Talent Circles

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Recruiting Small is the Way to Go Big in 2015

By Jessica Miller-Merrell 

I’ve always said to think big when it comes to recruiting, to set your sights high and push yourself to be the best recruiter you can be. Sometimes, however, big isn’t literal. Sometimes big means successful and simply gives us a way to frame our efforts. That’s certainly true this year, because small is the new big in 2015. Forget about casting your nets wide and instead focus on the small.

The most important thing about going small this year is putting aside egos. It sounds silly because everyone says they just want what’s best for the company, but all too often egos lead to recruiting teams putting more emphasis on quantity than quality. Small is targeted, focused and driven by the needs of the organization. It’s about playing on your strengths, determining what your recruiting team is great at and using that to build, grow and evolve. Embracing small starts with making small changes. So before you go and completely re-haul your existing recruiting strategies or programs, know that it starts with recognizing your strengths, building specific, targeted goals and incorporating changes that don’t require you to realign the entire talent department. They can be simple and small but lead to big things.

This year, I’m focused on making these three changes that emphasize the value of going small:

Mindfulness is taking time to understand the goals, desires, emotions and needs of people. Start with those around you, such as your boss, team members, spouse and candidates. This helps you to see what others’ priorities and concerns are and how people who are directly and indirectly related to the hiring process are affected. For instance, your spouse’s concerns are likely the same concerns that spouses of your candidates have. Knowing what they are allows you to address them early on. Simply asking the small question, “What can I do to make the hiring process better for you?” is a great way to have a conversation that will lead to better processes and more communication without being overwhelming.

Quality over quantity
As you focus in on fewer candidates, a nice byproduct of that will be fewer phone screenings, interviews, background research and reference checks. The goal is to bring in better and more qualified job seekers rather than a large number that you have to sift through. For me, quality over quantity means traveling less and enjoying my work more. As you focus on the important things, you’ll feel more free and able to think creatively.

More hugs
This year I’m committed to showing more hugs and appreciation in ways that are meaningful but not complex. You’d be surprised how much a simple phone call to a candidate or a thank you to a member of your team can mean. To you, this could mean focusing on personal happiness and finding ways to create small joys more simply. In recruiting, this can look like spending more time with the smaller pool of candidates you’ve identified and feeling really good about a candidate placement because you gave it the time and attention it deserved.

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

Monday, February 23, 2015

Social Recruiting Needs Strategy

By Jessica Miller-Merrell 

Like any business, having a plan almost always leads to better and more successful results. It’s the reason retailers set financial goals for the year and financial institutions ask bankers to sign a certain number of customers up for loans. In the recruiting world, it’s the reason we agonize over our campus career fair calendar and religiously analyze our recruiting dashboards. We know that creating a plan will keep us from shooting in the dark and hoping we get close to our target.

Social media is no exception, but it’s often treated as such. Some think that it’s not necessarily a planned portion of the overall recruiting strategy because it often appears to be spontaneous and in the moment. The truth is, successful social media recruiting is planned and spontaneous, reactive and proactive, and above all else, strategic. In order to fully embrace social recruiting, you need a plan. One that goes beyond superficial social factors like re-tweets, likes, fans and followers, and focuses on the role it plays within your recruiting strategy framework.

Define your goals
Goals are important to have because they define where we want to be and provide hope that if we develop an effective strategy, we can get there. Going back to my college days, I can hear my marketing professor saying over and over again “Goals should be realistic and measurable.” Those words are simple but true. As you establish your goals, think about how your social networking goals help your recruiting team achieve its goals and of course, how these goals fit into the organization’s overall goals. Goals should speak to the social goal and the goal you hope to achieve as a result of that. For instance, if your goal is to have 1,000 new Facebook likes, how many more candidates do you hope that will connect you with?

Measurements and what they mean
Setting goals is important, but measuring and understanding results are what makes those goals worthwhile. In the same way that we desire to better understand which websites are the best candidate sources and how our job board or advertising spend is impacting our number of qualified candidates, we have to analyze social results as well. We have to know why we are measuring Twitter RTs, Instagram hearts and Facebook likes, or they’re no more valuable than the tiny icons themselves.  When you measure results, look for a cause and effect.

Don’t forget the strategy in your strategy
Goals are very important because they show where we want to be, but people tend to confuse strategy with goals, and social is especially susceptible to that because analytics provide us with a snapshot while the true purpose of these networks is harder to understand. A successful social strategy involves more than just how large you’d like your social networks to be, how much you’ll spend in Facebook ads to achieve that and how many new candidates that could potentially translate to. Your strategy should be just that – a strategy – or a road map to guide your postings and interactions. It should outline multiple tactics across all your platforms and include at least an overview of budget, timeline and responsible parties.

It takes time to build and grow a following. Companies must not only develop a strategy from the get go but also clearly define what success looks like, as well as ways to measure those results. The truth is that social media, like any recruiting channel, is an investment. 

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

Friday, February 20, 2015

5 Recruiting and Human Resources Words I Loathe

By Jessica Miller-Merrell 

The role of human resources and recruiting are the two most misunderstood jobs in companies and among today’s workforce. Most employees think we are simply responsible for hiring and firing, managers believe we are the workplace police, executives think we are only there for compliance purposes and candidates see us as phone screeners. There’s so much more to what we do than people see and the truth is that our jobs are critical to the company.

Our industry has come a long way to prove that we are much more than, if not at all like, those stereotypes, but even we are to blame for perpetuating some of these ideas. One way we do this is by using terminology that others don’t understand or see negatively.
These terms, or HR speak as I like to call it, add to the assumption that we are just recruiting order takers or HR folks who serve as the workplace hand-washing referee. This year, I’ll be working on wiping these five terms from my vocabulary and replacing them with more user-friendly phrasing. Care to join?

Talent management
Talent management is really a fancy way of saying we’re maintaining the hierarchy that’s been in place for years and choosing who will be next to climb that ladder. It perpetuates an old-school idea that someone needs to be groomed and that without our constant evaluation and recommendations, people would never develop into leaders and receive promotions. It’s stuck up and outdated.

Human capital
We use this word to talk about the value a person brings to the organization but it winds up sounding like we view people as assets rather than human beings. An individual employee’s influence or impact is hard to measure, but we should speak about them as people, not objects.

Employee or human relations
Employees often believe that HR departments only advocate for the organization’s agendas, and it’s sad but these terms conjure up that image. The truth is, HR professionals support the business and serve as a mediator between employer and employee, so perhaps new phrasing will reflect that.

Talent acquisition
The word acquisition sounds like you’re purchasing office equipment. Attach it to “talent” and you’ve created an image of buying and trading people. The hiring process is so much softer and more complex than the word “acquisition” implies.

High Potential
Often times, our criteria of labeling employees as high potential is no different than providing one test to hundreds of people and expecting it to analyze the many nuanced strengths and weaknesses. It’s not possible because everyone has their own talents and skills. It might help you with “talent management” (see above) but the reward of someone receiving this label isn’t worth the dip in morale you’ll experience from everyone around them.

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

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

How to Create Meaning in Recruiting

By Jessica Miller-Merrell 

As last year came to a close and I began thinking about what 2015 had in store for me, I kept being drawn to questions that I hadn’t asked myself in many, many years. Questions about my purpose, contentment, career and what it all meant to me. What it all came down to was the meaning I derived from all these aspects in my life and how I arrived at feeling like what I did was still enjoyable and meaningful. These questions also made me think beyond myself and consider what place meaning has in a recruiter’s world.

I believe most recruiters do what they do because they love it, but when was the last time you considered whether or not your work was meaningful? It’s not a question that comes up at most happy hours or conferences, but it’s an important one. It’s easy to forget about but can make such a big impact.

What is meaning?
In this setting, meaning is the significance and importance we feel about the work we do, what we feel that we achieve and how satisfied we are knowing that. It answers the question of what our purpose is and the end result we hope to achieve. Meaning is what you or your organization (Yes, organizations should be doing meaningful work!) stand for when no one is watching. It’s what drives us, motivates and elevates us to be ourselves, think creatively and see opportunity. On a basic level, meaning is what draws others to us and makes them want to know us and attracts candidates to an organization.

Understanding meaning starts with understanding who you are, either as an individual or as an organization. What are your values, priorities and goals? How do you want others to feel after interacting with you or at the end of the hiring process, and how do you want to feel at the end of the day? These are the questions that force you to evaluate what kind of meaning you want your work to have, even if you’re not quite there yet. In contrast, answer those questions in present tense, such as how do I currently feel at the end of the day and what values am I exercising in my work?

The how of meaningful recruiting
If the answers to the questions of what your work is like in present day differ from what you want it to be, your work might not be as meaningful as you’d like. The only way to change that is one step at a time, one day at a time and one hire at a time. Meaning happens when you do the work and ask the hard questions of your hiring managers, teammates and senior leaders. It becomes meaningful when you build a story around those important and distinctive features and benefits that make your organization or team worth talking about.

Often times, we don’t make the distinction between being intentional in our work and setting ourselves on auto pilot. Truly meaningful recruiting is made up of a series of intentional actions. It’s achieved through a number of decisions that we are engaged in and that add up to a candidate feeling positive about their experience with you, and you going home at the end of the day satisfied.  

Lastly, meaning is what pushes us to accomplish our dreams, goals or targets. By stopping and asking yourself what, why and how you’re doing, you can become the recruiter you’ve always wanted to be. You can be that person that doesn’t dread work and isn’t short with candidates but instead are excited, filled with passion and find joy in what you do.

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

Monday, February 16, 2015

How to Scale Your Recruiting and Hiring Efforts

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Growth is a great thing. In fact, in business it’s the most obvious sign of success and is what every CEO and company is looking for. However, there’s a reason the term “growing pains” was coined so long ago. We all understand that after the celebration comes to an end, growth is accompanied by change, stress and business needs. The company’s human resources team is often sought out to become the hero and fix the growing pains that seemingly popped up over night. This is a both a major opportunity and significant challenge for HR departments to exhibit their value to an organization.

In order to be able to step up when the time comes, you’ve got to be prepared ahead of time. Take the reigns and scale your efforts when your company starts to hyper grow by implementing these four steps:

Create a process
Any time you hope to duplicate something, the first stop is evaluating how you currently complete the task, in this case successfully recruiting a new employee. By evaluating how you do so, a pattern will likely emerge that will become your process. After your natural process has emerged, you’ll want to record it, which means identifying steps and the order in which they work best. This is no different than a recipe in a cookbook. What ingredients bring about the best end result and how do you put all those ingredients together so that they’re each optimized?

Document everything
After you’ve established your own process, step outside yourself and get into the minds of your best recruiters. You know what your secret ingredients are, but what else are the most successful recruiters using to make their secret sauce? Uncover and document the timesaving tools, creative resources and technologies that those around you are taking advantage of so that those you want to be successful in a short amount of time have a head start.

Communication is the key to any successful team. Whether it’s with your hiring managers, business leaders, new hires or former candidates, you’ve got to set expectations, ask questions and sometimes hardest of all, manage expectations. Most importantly, you and your team should work to exceed those expectations every single day. The only way this can be achieved is through ongoing information sharing, holding people accountable and peer mentoring among those you bring on during times of growth and current team members.

Make it fun

Periods of hyper growth can be extremely hard on many areas of the business and HR is no exception. Recruiters can easily get burned out, so it’s important to stay grounded and remember that people are human. Set goals, work smart by using your data and dashboards to track results and continually encourage creativity. The best results happen when we manage to have fun with our friends and succeed at the same time.

 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, February 13, 2015

Why Your Job Ad is Dripping with Nonsense

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

We all want to draft job postings that grab candidates’ attention, convey the scope of a position, are easily read and completely knock it out of the park. The sad reality is that the majority of postings do the exact opposite of all that. In fact, they’re mostly total nonsense. They are oozing, dripping and overflowing with absolutely ridiculous and outlandish things. Your job seekers realize this too. It’s the reason so many of them apply for a job even when they don’t meet the minimum qualifications. We’ve conditioned them to expect inflated responsibilities, marketing talk and shoot-for-the-moon qualifications. They can barely cut through the clutter to discover what it is the position is and what it requires.

So why, when no one sets out to draft an insane job posting, do we have so many that just aren’t cutting it? It all starts with how we look at it. From purpose, to tone and everything in between, sometimes what we’re saying and what we really mean don’t go hand in hand. Even worse, sometimes it does, but we’re off base about what we should be saying.

An effective job ad is a lot like a commercial. It’s an opportunity to compel your candidate to come to your careers page or talent network to learn more. It is absolutely not a novel, a chance to show off your industry jargon or a page-long bulleted list of everything you could possibly think of for the position. Throw what you know out the window and start re-vamping your job listings with these five keys in mind.

Get visual
We live in a time when a picture is worth far more than words in nearly every situation. For the best results, create a visual that will attract candidates and make them want to read what you have to say. After you’ve developed the visual you wish to use, get creative with places you can use it.

Create a Campaign
A good job description is just one piece of the recruiting puzzle. Think strategically about what channels you’ll use to share it, when it makes the most sense to and how you’ll support the posting. Will it lead the candidate to a talent network? Will you direct them to a careers page that reinforces the look and feel of your employment brand?

Focus on the long term
Keep the desperation and urgency out of your job postings by viewing every posting as an opportunity to build a long-term pipeline of potential candidates. Seeing recruiting through these lenses will likely change the way you think about individual postings.

Be honest
It’s important to be honest with yourself about what you really need, and to be honest with your job seeker about who you really are as a company. Don’t pretend to be someone else because this only lends to higher turnover for the long term. Keep your tone consistent with your company culture.

Be engaging, and then engage

Your job posting or ad should absolutely engage your potential candidate by providing a call to action other than applying. How can they connect with you? It may be through social media, a careers page or talent network but they should have a place to go to engage with you.

 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, February 11, 2015

Recruiters Are Really Project Managers

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

The term project manager might traditionally be reserved for IT professionals, but no matter what your career path, you’re most likely also a project manager. For instance, as a marketer and strategist, I juggle multiple clients at one time. Each has different requirements, expectations and a relationship that is separate and unique. A project manager, regardless of their industry, oversees a project through the planning, tactical and measurement phases, from beginning to end. Recruiters understand this tightrope walk better than anyone else. Their title may be recruiter, but their day-to-day responsibilities center around project management.

It’s no wonder that recruiters aren’t just great at recruiting. Through an informal survey of my recruiter friends and colleagues, I found that the average recruiter is handling approximately 25 job listings a month! That means that they could be working with as many as 25 different hiring managers and around 5,000 candidates on a monthly basis. No one handles that kind of client load without some serious project management skills.

This demand on recruiters is what pushes so many to become recruiters by day and project managers by night. What I mean by this is that the workload continues on regardless of how hectic schedules become, the number of phone calls they receive in a day or how many resumes each job listing summons. Throughout a 12 month period, an average recruiter will likely oversee 300 job requisitions and handle 60,000 candidates. These numbers alone tell you that now more than ever, recruiters are master project managers as well.

From my own observations, recruiting project management consists of three key functions:

Meeting client needs
It’s clear that recruiters are there to meet the needs of those we traditionally call their clients: the hiring managers. But when we talk about meeting needs, what doesn’t come up as often is the whole other set of clients that recruiters have: candidates. It’s true that recruiters mainly focus on supporting the hiring managers, but great recruiters care about their candidates’ needs as well and have to manage concerns, expectations and hopes on both ends of the spectrum. This alone can take up an enormous amount of time, and yet many recruiters keep the balance well and develop relationships with both parties that are beneficial in the future.

Keeping an excellent calendar and staying on target
Part recruiter, part project manager, part calendar keeper. Thus is the life of a recruiter. Not only do recruiters have to manage their own calendar but they also must coordinate with candidates, hiring managers, potential candidates and many more parties. It sounds simple, but it can be challenging when you also add in the stress of sticking to a hiring timeline, staying on target and meeting goals. In order to achieve this, recruiters often have to encourage, remind and accommodate.

Playing match maker
Aside from the logistics of juggling dozens of hiring managers and hundreds of candidates, recruiters must also be skilled in making great matches. It sounds obvious, but it’s both vital and sometimes forgotten by the time you’ve completed all the administrative tasks it takes to get there. Drawing contrast from the IT world once again, it’s the same as a technology project manager also understanding the technological side of what everyone on his or her team is doing. In the recruiting world, it’s not enough to just be a great recruiter or just be an excellent project manager. You must be able to cover all the bases in order to move from project to project, researching and fulfilling the needs of all parties.

 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, February 9, 2015

How to Create Awesome Online Content for Your Job Seeker Community

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Are you leveraging online content to attract potential candidates? If not, you’re missing a big piece of the recruiting puzzle. You’re not alone, though. Creating share-worthy online content is definitely easier said than done, and many are completely mystified by how one does it consistently. I know this because I get many questions about how I create online content day after day. The answer I give people is that content truly is all around us. I’m inspired by other blogs, podcasts, videos, photographs and so much more. However, behind that truth are a couple of secrets that I often think about hours after being asked the question.

So for those who want to create awesome content that job seekers want to read, I’d like to share a few tricks of the trade.

Understand your audience
Creating awesome online content starts with understanding your audience. In your head or on paper, briefly profile what your candidates are usually like, or what you want your candidates to be like. Doing this allows you to think about what these people want and need and to escape the trap of only coming up with ideas that appeal to you. The content isn’t about you. It’s about the needs of the intended audience you are trying to reach. Know your audience and you’ll soon know what they want to see, read and hear.

Keep it real
Your content should emphasize your employment brand’s look, feel and tone, but it shouldn’t sound like marketing speak. Content should appeal to candidates as individuals and should focus on providing a solution or resource that meets a need. Most days I talk to my intended audience directly, looking to them for inspiration. I ask them about their challenges, frustrations and situations that drive them crazy. This reminds me that there are real people on the other side accessing my content and reminds me of what they are like as individuals.  

Don’t limit yourself  
If I was only engaged in brainstorming content between the hours of 8 and 5, I wouldn’t have near as many resources on my website and blog. Ideas come at me in the strangest places, such as in the car while listening to a song, at home during a television show or while talking with a friend over coffee. By opening yourself up to accept ideas in many different forms and metaphors, you’ll have a never-ending supply of ideas for blogs, resources, webinars, podcasts and more.

Be original
This seems like a given, but in a world where job seekers have millions of blog posts and resources to choose from, it needs to be said. How can you give an old topic a fresh spin? Are you willing to tackle the tough things that no one else is talking about? Providing fresh and customized content that advises, informs and suits their needs will set you apart.

 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, February 6, 2015

Internet Sourcing is the Best Solution to All Your Recruiting Needs

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Internet sourcing is arguably one of the most dynamic tools that recruiters have available to them today. By using recruiting technologies and algorithms that monitor changes and updates to the social profiles of candidates and connections, you can engage and develop relationships with the candidates that would best fit your company. Recruiters can utilize these tools, along with their own techniques, to find hidden gems who would be nearly impossible to find without internet sourcing. This kind of system allows recruiters to be targeted and focused in their approach and aggressive in finding the best of the best. It’s no doubt one of the fastest growing and most successful strategies that recruiting teams are using and is ideal for hiring for hard-to-fill positions and ones with an immediate need.

However, sourcing can be incredibly time consuming and requires a great deal of knowledge and skill in order to locate and engage specific candidates who suit your needs. There are a number of things to consider when evaluating your sourcing strategy, form how much time you’ll dedicate to it to where candidate info will live once it’s sourced. Here are four key questions to answer in order for internet sourcing to become the answer to your recruiting needs.

How will you manage sourcing?
Sourcing involves research and is often hard to scale unless you are able to plan for it. You’ll most likely want to leverage a recruiting technology that allows you to quickly search and engage a pre-qualified community. This keeps you from wading through profiles and pages of candidates who may or may not be qualified. This is just one way internet sourcing allows you to be more targeted in your approach.

What channels will you source from?
There are so many places online that you can source candidates, from the most popular social networks to obscure, industry-specific message boards. One of the first things you’ll need to establish is what makes sense for your company and what will lead you to the types of candidates you’re looking for.

What kind of follow up will you use?
Even after using a tool that allows you to pre-qualify candidates, you’re still tasked with the responsibility of actually doing the sourcing. This is where you have the opportunity to shine as a company. I recommend developing a loose message template to streamline the process and free you up to identify ways to personally connect with the candidate. Always, always, always personalize your message and give them a reason to reply.

What happens after the sourcing?
After you’ve connected with a candidate, you’ll want to have a plan in place that takes the guess work out of what comes next. I’m a proponent of building and fostering your own community that you can guide candidates to after an initial conversation, or in some cases, even in your first message. No matter what your strategy looks like, the key to great internet sourcing is using a tools and technology designed to help you manage, engage, establish and maintain relationships with candidates beyond your mining tools, ATS or social recruiting.

 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, February 4, 2015

How Social Recruiting Improves Your Time to Hire

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

As technology continues to improve all around us, one of the most significant effects it has on us is its ability to save us time. The way we use social media in recruiting is no exception to this trend, allowing us to source better and quicker than we have ever been able to. In fact, The Aberdeen Group’s study, “Getting Social About Sourcing,” revealed that companies that use social recruiting hire an average of 2.5 times quicker than those that don’t. Their cost per hire also decreases dramatically, which no doubt is due in part to the man-hours saved with each hire.

While most of us are probably using some sort of social recruiting, for the most part strategies tend to be lacking in focus and commitment. However, by using many aspects of social recruiting to develop a strategy, we can be more effective in our efforts.

Social listening
You probably know by now that social success comes from creating conversations and talking with, not at, candidates. But what you may not know is that much of the success is shaped before the conversation ever takes place. It begins with listening to the conversations all around you on social networks. What are people saying and asking about? What are other companies touting and what are people responding to? Social listening will also allow you to periodically check in on your efforts by evaluating whether or not you are ahead of your competition, if anyone is talking about you out there and of course, what’s working and what’s not. A little time spent listening could save you a lot of time because it gives you the data you need to know when your techniques need to be tweaked.

Job feeds
Some companies choose to utilize their social networks to create a social job feed. This is one of the most basic uses of social recruiting and is typically a company’s first step in making use of the tools they have available. The advantage of this type of job feed over  a job board or your careers page is that candidates have access to the most up-to-date postings and can even ask questions. Others can also share the postings through social, increasing your reach.

Social recruiting
While we’ve been talking about the overall term social recruiting throughout this article, the social recruiting I’m referring to here is the day-to-day social recruiting that has replaced much of the face-to-face recruiting we used to do. This is the grass roots recruiting that we’ve come to know and love, in digital form.

All too often we see short-lived, spray-and-pray strategies that are a gamble at best. In order to truly use social recruiting in a strategic way, you need to view it not only as another candidate source in which to fill single positions and job openings but also as a candidate pipeline source. This candidate pipeline should be powered by your social recruiting but candidate relationships should be fostered through a talent community that you direct them to and you manage.  

Employment branding
The opportunity to flex your employment brand across your social platforms is one of the best things about social recruiting. This also gives you the chance to leverage both the parts of your employment brand that you own (talent network, design, etc.) and the parts you don’t have control over but can benefit from (what people are saying about you, employee brand ambassadors, etc.). All of these pieces can come together to create a well-rounded image of your company that candidates can learn about through your social channels. 

 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, February 2, 2015

2015 is the Year for HR and Recruiting to Shine

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

HR and recruiting haven’t always been considered assets in businesses. In fact, there was a time when HR was viewed just as a department for paper pushing, filing and compliance. Those of us in HR and recruiting know that although that was never the case, it is true that our roles have grown and changed over the years. Now, CEOs and executives are catching up and realizing how vital of a part we play. With leaders catching up to the curve and understanding the value HR and recruiting bring, 2015 truly is our year to shine.

It’s a great time for HR and Recruiting to strut its stuff because unemployment is at record lows and the demand for qualified workers with specialty knowledge is higher than it has ever been. This puts human resources and recruiting front and center because without the right people companies will suffer.

Embrace your role and step into the spotlight by using these three tactics.

Focus on onboarding and engagement
I think our natural tendency in HR and especially recruiting is to disengage when the employee becomes part of team. However, the need for onboarding and engagement goes far beyond the candidate experience and even first-day orientation. This year, look critically at how you engage candidates in their first 12 months of employment, as these are the most productive and vital times for ensuring that we retain our new and recent hires. This will not only increase your retention rate but will positively impact company culture and ultimately benefit your bottom line.

Proactive recruiting
If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines simply posting and hoping that candidates will see your job opening and apply, it’s time to step up to the plate and get what you want for your organization. One of the best ways to do this is to begin looking at the recruiting and hiring cycle as an actual relationship. This not only helps you reach the most qualified candidates but also helps you make the best matches and builds your candidate pipeline. In this extremely positive job market, we have to court them, interact with them and be responsive to exactly what they want and need.

Strategy. Strategy. Strategy
All that we do to reach candidates and retain employees, including the two tactics that I mentioned above, should be part an overall strategy that is developed thoughtfully and with our goals in mind. Those with a clear long-term plan of how talent plays a role in growing the organization are the ones who will be making an impact in 2015. Think beyond Excel formulas and spreadsheets and evaluate what your company and people need, and how you’ll get them there. Focus on how your talent strategies align with the organization’s goals to gain the respect that your department deserves while reaping also the benefits.

2015 holds a lot of great things for our industry, so get ready to dive in, take advantage of the headway we’ve made and gain some time in the spotlight. 

 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