Talent Circles

Friday, November 28, 2014

How to Work with Your Agency to Build a Recruiting Strategy - Part 1

By Jessica Miller-Merrell 

From large companies to small, the structure of recruiting teams can be incredibly varied, ranging from no internal recruiting team to a vast team that also works with outside sources. It all depends on the size of your company and management preferences, but many large companies have recruiting teams that are lucky enough to work with recruiting agencies that come alongside the team to enhance efforts and increase reach. It’s a valuable tool to have at the ready, but it’s also important to know how to make the most of it.

What a recruiting agency is – and isn’t
Many HR specialists have worked with a RPO, or a recruiting process outsource, to recruit for a company, but a recruiting agency is far different. While a recruiting agency can be a significant part of your staffing strategy, they do not encompass your strategy. A RPO acts as a recruiting department outside your company, using their expertise and manpower to fill positions but a recruiting agency is different because it supports your existing, internal recruiting team.

Take a look at these three ways that a recruiting agency strengthens your efforts:

Support for your team  
Recruiting the best people and building a pipeline of candidates is an enormous task that even a team of many people can struggle to keep up with when you’re working for a larger organization, such as a Fortune 500 company. This is where recruiting agencies come in. Rather than carrying the entire company’s recruiting efforts, they lend their knowledge and support, adding extra strength to the team you have in place. In short, a recruiting agency operates in compliment to the recruiting team. They work externally to assist the organization, often placing candidates in hard-to-fill roles, temporary openings or mass hires.

In addition to the value they bring in helping fill positions in general, one of the best things about working with a recruiting agency is the ability to focus on long-term plans and solutions while your recruiting agency works to fill positions that may have taken a significant portion of your time. They also work to ensure that recruiting goals are met and in a timely manner.

Expertise and resources
One of the aspects of recruiting agencies that make them incredibly valuable is the fact that they typically have a vast amount of expertise within their team, as well as access to resources and candidates that your team may not be able to reach on its own. Take advantage of the fact that you have these tools available at your fingertips that, under normal circumstances, may have taken many years and a lot of money to acquire.

Help developing a recruiting strategy
You should already have some semblance of a recruiting strategy in place, but that will likely change once you have a recruiting agency on board. As you begin working with them, or if it’s time to reevaluate your current agency’s efforts, make the most of their experience and expertise by working with them to develop a strategy. It’ll help to have an outside look at your recruiting program, and it will ensure that you are both on the same page.

Whether you’re simply considering adding a recruiting agency to the mix or you’ve been using one for years, it’s important to take a step back and consider what it means to have this powerful tool within your reach. Watch for part two of this series to see what key actions you need to take to make the most of your recruiting agency.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Why is Employee Engagement Tied to Your Employment Brand?

By Jessica Miller-Merrell 

Every company wants a strong employment brand. It can be the difference between the best candidates desiring to be a part of your organization and those same candidates passing right by you without a second glance. After all, there are plenty of companies that are knocking it out of the park when it comes to their employment brand. In order to be competitive, you’ve got to have a fresh, transparent employment brand to set your company apart, but how exactly do you get there?

A common answer would be to have a social presence, relevant branding and expressive job and company descriptions, but the real key to an employment brand that’s going to attract candidates lies with your current workforce. In our day and age, people can go online and find out significantly more about your company than you’ve chosen to make public and much more than you’d probably like for them to see. You can thank your brand ambassadors, or your current employees, for that. But it’s the reality of employment brands today. To candidates, potential employers are the sum total of their online identity.

Companies do not own their employment brand but they do have the opportunity to help shape it while still remaining authentic. Employment branding is less about choosing what your image will be and more about the strategy and actions behind influencing internal and external perceptions. It is not a single decision but rather a long-term strategy that can be tied to applicant quality and employee retention.

It all starts at home
Your employment brand isn’t established online. It’s established in the day-to-day interactions between co-workers, the amount of value employees believe your company places on them, the motivation techniques of managers and the things your CEO values. This is where employees develop an image of the company they work for, and that image is reflected to the world. If you want your employees to be positive brand ambassadors and share with the world how great the organization is, they have to feel it and believe it. Employees who are not engaged may do their job, but they will not recommend the company to their friends and family or defend you in a debate. Engaged employees will go great lengths to boost your employment brand, but it all starts inside your organization’s four walls. 

Guiding the conversations
You will never be able to control your employment brand and remain transparent, but you can encourage your brand ambassadors and establish where the majority of conversations are taking place. By guiding where your employment brand is built, you’ll actually have a stronger brand. In order to do this, your HR and recruiting teams can develop messaging that will be seen by employees, candidates and customers about why your company is a great place to work. Secondly, you can direct employees and candidates to a central location, such as your company’s Talent Circles platform, to have these conversations, ask questions, share stories and network. Depending on what platform, technology or network you use, you could potentially decide how parties gain access, who sees what and the format of conversations.

While there is no way to own your employment brand, you can greatly influence it and maintain authenticity. But no matter how much you control or shape an employment brand, remember that your employment brand is formed from within your workforce.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Recruiting Teams Must Allow Candidates to Self-Assess Their Skills, Culture Fit and Abilities

By Jessica Miller-Merrell 

Pre-employment assessments have been used by organizations for years to determine whether or not a candidate is a good fit, but these one-sided assessments just are not fitting the bill anymore. We can all agree that filling a position has just as much to do with the candidate feeling the fit is right as it does with hiring managers selecting the right person, and yet most companies are only doing their due diligence on one end of that spectrum. In fact, Aberdeen’s 2014 study called “Translating High Potential Into High Performance” revealed that the popularity of pre-hiring assessments is growing quickly, experiencing a 20% growth from 2013 to 2014.

These pre-employment assessments are a valuable tool for ensuring quality hiring and qualifying the best candidates, but sometimes it’s what we don’t know, or in this case what the assessment can’t reveal, that will end up hurting us. 

Assessments seem to be this elusive and secret test that requires a candidate to jump through many hoops to complete. The test results are only available to the talent acquisition team leaving our candidate in the dark. There is no learning, growing or self-development for the job seeker or passive candidate happening. Enter in the self-assessment to build relationships and a solid reputation with your job search candidates. 

The self-assessment
In the same way that we take the time to discover a candidate’s experience, personality and probable fit with the company, the candidate should be able to do a reverse assessment. In this self-assessment, they’d ideally discover whether or not they have the right skills and abilities for the position, if the company culture is a good fit and more. This reverse assessment helps them determine whether or not applying, interviewing or taking the position is worth their time. As a bonus, candidates qualifying or disqualifying themselves saves recruiters time doing so. 

Help candidates perform a self-assessment
Some of the responsibility to self-assess does lay with the candidate, but there’s a lot that we can do to encourage them to do so. Often times, candidates actually prefer to reverse assess (after all, it can save them a lot of time and effort) but don’t have the information they need to.  To help candidates perform a self-assessment, provide the following resources:

A thorough job description – This should go beyond job duties and provide an accurate and complete picture of what the job entails. Go beyond the standard job description approved by the legal team. Think about it in terms of four different categories: day-to-day tasks, strategic planning responsibilities, team vs. individual projects and who their customers will be (internal or external)/what they’ll deliver to customers.

Position requirements – Share your non-negotiables and let candidates know that they truly are not negotiable if that’s the case. When describing specific skills, use adjectives that accurately describe the level of candidate you’re looking for and provide specific examples of what they’ll be expected to do.

A look at your company culture – Finding the right candidate goes far beyond skills, so show them what they’re really getting by accepting a job at your company. Use your social media platforms to share pictures from events, training and more, feature “a day in the life of” stories about employees on your blog and boldly share your company values and mission.

The best candidates want resources on multiple channels and platforms to help them decide whether the investment in the interview and formal application process is even worth their time, so make it available to them. Your job postings, employment branding and career site efforts are already established platforms where job seekers are currently assessing. Are you sharing the right information and resources to help candidates make the best decision to apply or join your talent network community? More importantly are you sharing the right information and resources to help make candidates make the decision to not apply? These small changes in what you present not only improve the candidate experience and enhance your employment brand but also improve your hiring overall, making it a no-brainer to provide resources that enable employee self-assessments.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

Friday, November 21, 2014

Using Technology to Build an Employment Brand

There is no doubt that the technology we have seen introduced in the recruiting space in the last several years has changed us for the better. Today’s applicant tracking systems and candidate relationship management systems make our excel spreadsheets of yesteryear look like cave drawings. We’re able to track, connect with, screen and keep up with candidates like never before, but many companies are still faced with a major problem. They‘re not able to do all these things in one place, and not in ways that support their employment brand.

While CRM and ATS technologies were game changers when they were introduced, they’re just not cutting it for those who want to be efficient and competitive in their recruiting. It's time to welcome a new technology that not only works on the back end but also presents your employment brand to the world.

The key to using these technologies like Talent Circles to build an employment brand is to incorporate these three essential elements. But first, your network or community starts with engagement, conversation and relationships not just a database. 

Provide a unified platform
The most vital part of a recruiting technology is that it provides a unified platform for you to manage all your recruiting activities and interactions with candidates. This means that both you and candidates have one central place to go for all recruiting activities. This can include applying, interviewing via video or phone, completing screening activities and connecting with recruiters and others.

Without a unified platform, your employment brand can become segmented as you send your candidates on a virtual scavenger hunt, gathering information about your company from LinkedIn, connecting with recruiters on Facebook, applying on your website, etc. Imagine if all these resources were in one place, and then consequently, all the information you could possibly need about a candidate is in one place. That’s what a unified platform does.

Foster a community
For all that technology can do for recruiting, it can’t make a candidate feel connected and desired. There will always be an element of human interaction and networking in recruiting and building your pipeline, so it’s important not to neglect that as part of your technology. Within your unified platform, you can create a community that allows candidates to connect with recruiters, other candidates and current employees. This can help them get their questions and learn more about the company, all under your watchful eye.

Make tasks easier and more efficient
The back-end features of your technology are just as important as what candidates see. It can make the difference between you being able to effectively recruit and being bogged down by endless details and ineffective data management. When choosing or developing a technology, you’ll want to make sure that it has the features and functions that you need as well. Essentially, it should be a hybrid of technologies that allow you to plan, engage and manage all from one place, making your job easier and tasks more efficient.

Technologies that do all this, such as the Talent Circles’ system, allow recruiters to present a consistent employment brand, meet candidates’ needs and streamline their duties like a CRM or ATS never could. 

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media.  She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Why HR & Information Technology Departments Should Play Nice

By Jessica Miller-Merrell  

In our day and age, it’s nearly impossible to be a part of society without embracing technology. Everywhere we go, there’s a smart phone firmly planted in our hands and at usually at least one other, maybe more, electronic devices within arm’s reach. And if you aren’t someone who treats their devices like a close member of the family, you no doubt know a handful of people who do. We have become one with the technology around us, and that’s not changing anytime soon.

This same technology that has changed the way we communicate and even function has also been making its way to our professional lives over the last several years and has become almost as essential to HR as the iPad we don’t dare leave home without. Aside from what this means for the way we do business, it has an overreaching implication that has been a long time coming: HR and IT, it’s time to become best buds.

The move towards a tech-centered workplace
Long gone are the days of HR and IT functioning exclusively from each other, speaking different languages and steering clear of one another because they’re not necessary to the other’s role. We’ve entered a whole new world where HR won’t be able to function without the support of their IT department. Going a step further, it won’t just be necessary for HR to look to IT for support, it’ll be in their best interest to lean on them at other times as well.

Filling the need for analytics and reporting
One of the most basic ways HR and IT can work together is to develop analytics for your career site and any other recruiting-related technologies. If you’re currently functioning without analytics, you’re on a journey without a map. Analytics can help you shape your strategy and gain insights about potential candidates. It’s an invaluable tool that your IT department should be able to implement fairly easily if you’re using a tool like Google Analytics. Trust me when I say that you’ll wonder how you managed without analytics once you have it.

The other main advantage of analytics is the ability to access reporting. It’s not only useful for you but also your managers and executives as you explain how your online recruiting works and the value it provides. Implementing analytics and accessing reports isn’t overly complicated but for most of us in HR, it’s not on our radar. That’s where your IT team comes in. It likely is on their radar and their expertise will be more than welcome here.

The potential for collaboration
HR and IT aren’t exactly known as the dream team at most companies, but there’s no reason that can’t be the case! Both parties bring major assets to the table and have the ability to combine an understanding of the needs of candidates and employees with the expertise to develop tools that meet those needs. It’s a win for both and an opportunity for HR and IT to make a real impact on the company.

Collaboration also gives HR the advantage of anticipating needs and developing proactive strategies for recruiting and building a candidate pipeline. In fact, there is a place for IT expertise and product development in nearly every aspect of HR.

Technology isn’t something fear in HR but instead is something we should embrace as it can only make our work stronger, sharper and faster. We are moving towards a more tech-centered workplace and recruiting space, so now is the time to play off each other’s strengths.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell 

Friday, November 14, 2014

How to Effectively Measure Your Social Recruiting Strategy – Part 3

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Social media is an enormous part of your social recruiting strategy, but it is just one piece of a social recruiting strategy and it has to make sense in the grand scheme of your goals. I talked in part one of this series about identifying your strategy so you’ll know what metrics to use, and then in part two about using relatable metrics to help you and business leaders understand its value, and here I’ll share the last piece of the puzzle: qualitative metrics.

In the journey of social recruiting, social media all too often is seen as the destination when it is merely a vehicle for getting us to our destination or goal. Too many of us develop our entire strategy around social media and off the advice of others, not necessarily questioning our efforts and not even realizing that there’s a much bigger picture. Social media is a channel that helps you source and engage the most qualified candidates, but don’t lose sight of the fact that the ultimate goal is successfully hiring and retaining a talented workforce. In order to do so, you’ve got to be smart about engagement efforts.

Qualitative metrics
To help you see the entire picture, look beyond just the quantitative metrics, or the numbers. Quantitative metrics have their place, but qualitative metrics are the listening portion of your self-evaluation. This is where you ask questions, get answers that can’t be averaged and divided, and gain insights that help you make sense of the quantitative metrics.

Think critically about what’s working and why, starting with these four critical questions:

Are your efforts resulting in higher quality candidates?
Your social media efforts may be brining in more applicants, leading to more interviews and quicker hires, but what level of candidates does your social-media sourcing yield? Are these candidates likely to be the future leadership of the company, the ones who will take initiative and the ones who are skilled in their jobs when they get to you?

Are current candidates feeling more satisfied with the hiring and selection process?
Your social media efforts should be doing more than providing you with candidates. It should also be enhancing your hiring process from the candidates’ view. Is the increased engagement and easier access to job postings and company information helping to create a better experience overall? Are they feeling involved in the process or did your engagement with them greatly decrease after you received their application?

Are the increased social media activities improving my candidate reach?
Where are the candidates you’re reaching coming from? Are they the type of candidates you set out to reach (is your aim good or are you pointing towards the wrong target?) Additionally, are your social media efforts helping you reach candidates you wouldn’t have otherwise reached or are you finding that the candidates could have been reached through another recruiting channel outside of social that you’re already engaged in?

What is my cost per hire by source for each recruitment activity, including social?
Making a company page on Facebook may be free but we all know that the cost of engaging in social is far from free. For instance, advertisements, sponsored job postings and our time add up. How does your cost per hire through social compare to traditional recruiting cost per hire? Is it worth your investment?

By thinking beyond the numbers, you’ll be able to see what’s working, why it’s working, what needs to change and what direction to go in the future. It helps you connect the dots and gives that “ah-ha” moment that comes when you see where social media fits in your overall social recruiting strategy.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The art and science of diversity recruiting

Diversity management is fairly straightforward once people are employees. Diversity reports show how successful (or unsuccessful) companies are. Most are only moderately successful at best, not because they do not want diversity, but simply because they use tools that prevent them to recruit for diversity. The current talent acquisition process is a transactional playing field designed to process resumes and not to hire people. And diversity hiring is all about people!

Building up a consistent diversity initiative requires the ability to create live talent pools that enables you to:

  • Decouple candidate attraction and engagement from specific jobs.
  • Design diversity circles that provide candidates with the ability to declare themselves as members of a given group (or multiple groups).
  • Dialogue with your talent community.

Decouple candidate attraction and engagement from specific jobs
This is what proactive recruiting is about. Do not wait to have job openings to look for candidates! We all know how ineffective reactive recruiting can be... It's a catastrophe as far as diversity is concerned. Build your talent pool through your branding efforts and invite candidates to join your talent network. You will deal with human beings and not simply with resumes. This is the starting point to get any insight on the populations you attract versus the groups you would like to attract. Once you have attracted candidates, you can search your talent pool to identify the best matches for your needs.

Design circles of interest enabling self-declaration
You cannot ask personal questions, but you can offer people the ability to tell you who they are! Using TalentCircles you can segment your community into branded groups of interest like "Veterans", "Students," "Flex-time," "LGBT," "Women in STEM," etc... Then, it's up to the candidates to subscribe to one or several of these groups. Each time you will post an event, any information, a blog post or a job in these groups, your candidates will be automatically notified and thus, continuously be engaged. It is the opportunity for your company to also showcase what it is like for your diverse employees to work in your organization, associate them effectively to your diversity efforts — and give a new breadth and depth to your initiative. Employees are your best spokespeople. Diverse employees who are happy with your diversity management efforts will be your most amazing evangelists.

 Diversity recruiting using TalentCircles

Dialogue with your talent community
So you decouple candidate attraction from any specific job, you offer candidates to declare themselves and now you are in the perfect situation to interact with people: via live video conversations with one or several members of your talent community, invite them to webinars, invite them to write blog posts for you, invite them to in-person events, etc... Building up diversity is all about getting to know people, conversing with them... and proactive recruiting is all about the artistry of looking at people for both aptitude and attitude.

So, just stop saying you care about hiring diversily while show unconvincing results year after year, just do it. It's truly only a matter of selecting a technology that makes it possible and easy!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How to Effectively Measure Your Social Recruiting Campaigns – Part 2

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

In part one this series on how to effectively measure your social recruiting campaigns, I discussed the need for a new kind of metrics and how the first step in measuring is identifying your strategy so you’ll know what type of metrics to use. In case you haven’t had a chance to read part one yet, I mentioned that your social strategy likely included one or more of several different campaign tactics, including culture and brand play, RSS feeds and more.

The great thing about the campaigns I talked about in part one is that they can work together or separately depending on how in-depth you choose to go with your social strategy. When used together, these tactics play off each other and help you build momentum and engagement across many platforms. However, you may find it more appropriate to focus on one of two strategies that make sense for your business. There’s no right or wrong.

Your next step
Once you know what it is you’re trying to achieve in your social recruiting campaigns, developing metrics is the obvious next step. In the corporate environment, when you’re developing metrics, you also have to think about what your leadership will want to know. Creating buy-in from senior business leaders often occurs only after they see the value. However, sometimes it’s hard for those who only use social media for personal reasons to understand that value, even when you share your methods, metrics and results. They may not automatically connect the dots, and that’s where you come in. It’s not only your job to develop metrics and create targets but also to educate executives and leaders on what it all means for your business.

To help business leaders in your company make sense of the results you share, use these five metrics that make it easy to go from seeing numbers to understanding value:

Source of hire
It often takes multiple touches to entice the candidate to make the ultimate job-search-buying decision, which is applying for a position. It’s valuable to know where the candidate engaged (many times this question will have multiple answers) and where they ultimately made the decision to apply. This helps leadership, and you, understand which social channels are most effective.

I like to use this metric to measure which sources were most effective in yielding candidates that are a good fit. Measure in terms of turnover at 90 days, 6 months, 12 months, 18 months and 24 months.

Applications per source
If you are using cookies to track candidates who visit and engage with your online properties, you can measure applications from each source. Don’t focus on the quantity, though. Focus on candidate quality instead.

Interviews per hire
If you are building an employment branding campaign, evaluate your interviews per hire for each source. It can help you see where to engage and what to post. For instance, I personally have found that in general, the more information a candidate can access in a job posting, the better quality of candidates you get.

Online review scores
Review sites like Glassdoor, as well as your own candidate survey, give insights into the recruitment and hiring process. Use these scores to understand how your online activities and internal efforts are aligning together to improve the company culture and online reputation.

Metrics don’t have to be a jumble of numbers. In fact, the most useful metrics help you see real life connections, and equally valuable, it helps you show others real life value. Watch for the final part of “How to Effectively Measure Your Social Recruiting Campaigns” to see how qualitative measurement of your social campaigns show how they fit in your overall social recruitment strategy.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

Monday, November 10, 2014

How to Effectively Measure Your Social Recruiting Campaigns – Part 1

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Once upon a time, in a not-so-far-away land, social media was not so commonplace. It may have been on the scene for a few years, but it was still pretty strange to all of us. Our companies slowly started adopting it as a way to connect with candidates, or maybe just as a way to have a presence where we knew we needed one but weren’t sure what to do with it. Over time, we became better acquainted with everything it could do for us and how it really could make a difference in recruiting and hiring. It was then that we also realized we would need to measure how effective it is in order to not only justify the time we spent on it but also to justify the investment we were making to our managers and executives.

Luckily for us, these social media sites made it relatively simple for us to see the impact we were making. Likes, retweets, shares, +1s – they helped us see how many people we were connecting with. But what they didn’t show was the important aspects of our social media – how and why people were connecting with us, their level of engagement, the value they’re getting from connecting with us and the value we’re seeing from connecting with them.

Why new metrics and why now? It’s not just that the need for more in-depth metrics has grown but it’s also that the way people in general are using social media is changing every day. Even I use it much differently than I did five years ago. I utilize them to learn, read and connect, which is the same things that millions of people use them for today. Even a few years ago, social interaction was much more on the surface than it is today.

The important thing five years ago was to have a social presence. Now, there is an entire hierarchy of social media recruiting and hiring, which includes leveraging your employment brand, sourcing talent through social, actively engaging in social recruiting, utilizing job feeds and setting aside time for social listening. Since we have turned social media into an enormous tool for recruiting, then we should also have metrics to tell us how well we are utilizing that tool.

Measurement starts with your end game
As with any metrics, in order to know what your metrics should be you must know what you hope to gain. Once you know that, you’ll know what kind of metrics will be of value. Every social strategy may be a bit different, but yours likely involves at least one, or maybe even all, of the these tactics:

Connect with candidates
We know by now that a “like” doesn’t exactly equal connecting with a candidate. In order to connect, we must create social activities that focus on serving and engaging with candidates.

A simple RSS Feed
A RSS or XML feed of your job postings is one of the most basic and essential elements.

Culture and branding play
Use social to your advantage by leveraging it to share how your company culture sets you apart as an employer of choice.

Internet sourcing focused
Maybe rather than focusing on broad social efforts and connecting with many candidates, you are focused on finding that purple squirrel engineer at just the right time.

Full-on employment branding strategy
This aspect is complex and involves multi-faceted moving parts. The most important part however, is that your employee brand ambassadors are at the heart of the strategy.

When you know what the key aspects of your strategy are, you’ll be ready to outline what metrics are needed to measure those. Stay tuned for part two of “How to Effectively Measure Your Social Recruiting Campaigns” to see how to measure specific aspects of your campaign within these strategies.  

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

Thursday, November 6, 2014

How to Recruit a Multi-Generational Workforce

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Harnessing the strength of a multi-generational workforce is powerful and provides a distinct advantage for your company. The step that comes before that, though, is recruiting a multi-generational workforce. We’re seeing a huge shift in the how, when and even why we engage job seekers and it’s largely due to changing demographics. These days, workforces are broken down into these five generations:

Traditionalists (Born 1922-1934)
Making up 13 percent of the workforce, traditionalists are older and more experienced, conform to the rules and sometimes have a tough time adopting technology.

Boomers (Born 1944-1960)
Just over a quarter of today’s workforce is made up of boomers. People in this group tend to be optimistic workaholics and are content with old-school methods of keeping notes and staying organized.

Generation X (Born 1961-1980)
Generation X makes up almost 20 percent of the workforce and is realistic, results oriented and fun. Many in this group have started their own businesses after seeing their parents give too much to a company and get too little in return.

Generation Y (Born 1981-2000)
Making up the largest segment of today’s workforce at almost 28 percent, generation Y is competitive, confident, socially conscious and tech savvy. This generation is the future of workplaces.

Generation Z (Born 2001-present)
While this generation isn’t currently in the workforce (and therefore makes up zero percent of it), they will start being recruited as early as next year when their oldest members turn 14. They truly are digital natives and will present exciting and unique recruiting challenges.

What does it all mean?
In order to engage these very diverse audiences, recruiting and talent acquisition teams must build recruitment strategies that are unique to each. After all, what reaches a 14 year old will probably not do much for a 60 year old, and vice versa. Now more than ever, we must be calculated yet flexible and above all, strategic.

Try these four tactics to reach and recruit a multi-generational workforce:

Start talking and listening
Whether intentional or not, you likely already have a multi-generational workforce right outside your office walls. Start surveying, talking and listening to them. They are your in-house experts for where, why and how their generation is seeking opportunities and what they’re looking for.

Keep up with the times
Researching trends and competition will be vital to standing out. Recruiting a multi-generational workforce requires engaging your target candidates better, faster and with a more unified strategy than you ever have before.

See it and speak it
In order to stay on track strategically, you must visualize your goals and then plan how to get there. The first step to understanding what success is to understand what it looks like. Develop your plan and write it down.

Monitor and measure
The last step of your strategic plan (before it starts all over – it is a never-ending cycle after all) should be to use metrics and analytics to guide changes & monitor success stories. Measure against your goals, readjust as needed and start over again, hopefully becoming more successful each time.

Human capitol can either be the driving force behind your company’s success or a major contributor to its struggle. Accept the challenge and use today’s changing demographics to your advantage.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How a CRM Can Transform Your Recruitment Strategy

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

If you read or listen to industry news, you’ve probably heard the buzz about something that many are referring to as a CRM, or a customer relationship management tool. It’s certainly not a new term but the way in which it’s being used is. In the world of sales or traditional customer acquisition, CRMs go a long way in tracking customers, logging details, following up and closing the sale. But they are now crossing over into the world of HR as a way to track candidates, log their details, follow up and engage, and even hire them.

If this type of system sounds familiar, it may because HR has been using something similar (yet different) for quite some time. Applicant tracking systems, or an ATS, is likely already part of your recruitment strategy, but there are some major areas in which it’s probably lacking because it wasn’t created for the same purpose as a CRM. For instance, an ATS is simply a database. This is where a CRM comes in. However, just like any technology, it has its limitations. The missing element here is the human element, which we can all agree is vital in recruiting.

So while a CRM can transform your recruitment strategy, a better way to look at it is that a CRM used the right way can transform your recruitment strategy.

Use your CRM to plug candidates into a community
What will really make the difference in the long-term development of your talent pipeline is a community where you can engage with them. As great as a CRM is, it’s an internal tool you and your team use. It’s not a community and in fact, it’s something your candidates will likely never know about. What it does do for you is makes it easier to identify which candidates should be plugged into a community, what part of the community they’d fit best in and track their engagement and involvement. Play to the strengths of your CRM and use it as part of your talent community strategy.

Candidates and jobs are constantly shifting - make sure your CRM isn’t static
A CRM is only as good as its administrator. One of the jobs you have as an administrator is to be involved in the CRM because it’s not a George Foreman rotisserie oven – you cannot “set it and forget it.” It’s up to you to determine which candidates to track, which to stop tracking and what jobs to identify candidates for. You cannot expect to be successful if you identify candidates to track only once every few months and only engage with them when you have an open position. CRMs track, but CRMs can’t read your mind and do not have human intuition.

CRMs don’t impress your candidates, so you have to
As I mentioned already, your candidates won’t know that you have a state-of-the-art CRM, no matter how cool it is, how much easier it makes your job or how you’re the only company you know with it so far. A CRM will set you apart behind the scenes, but it won’t set you apart to your candidates. It won’t create dynamic conversations or engage candidates, so you must. CRMs certainly have a role to play, but they are not a replacement for developing long-term relationships.

Overall, CRMs can be a good investment, as long as their users understand that there is no substitute for creating a talent community, engaging and building a long-term pipeline by fostering relationships. Your CRM is a powerful tool, but in and of itself, it is not a strategy.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell