Talent Circles

Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Better Approach to Diversity Recruiting Strategies


There has been a lot of research lately showing that companies with teams steeped in diversity are more successful than their less diverse competition. Research from McKinsey states that gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to financially outperform their competitors and ethnically-diverse companies are 35% more likely. Creating a diverse team of competent individuals who bring a variety of experiences, insights and ideas might just be a key factor in a company’s long-term success. But what’s the best way to go about making it happen?
We suggest an approach that involves a combination of the tried and true with some new, technology-based ideas.

The Tried and True: College Recruiting

One of the most traditional approaches to recruiting is still alive and kicking with great results – college recruiting. You likely already know the benefits of career fairs and working with career services departments, but the following are some tips to help you make the most of these activities when it comes to diversity recruiting.

  • Know your diversity goals – Do you need to hire a certain number or percentage of diverse individuals? Do they need to be in specific departments or positions? Be very clear before you start your college recruiting. And think beyond EEO requirements. What other types of people can you add to your workforce to make it truly well-rounded and heterogeneous?
  • Understand your talent needs – Knowing the type of positions you need to fill and the skills and personality traits that typically perform best in those roles is also something you must be extremely clear about. Do you need people who bring experiences and education from specific universities to fill very specialized roles or is a more generalized, broader range of schools, programs and experiences something that would be advantageous for you?
  • Get involved with diversity student groups at your target schools -- List the schools that align with your diversity and talent goals, and research the related student groups at each university. You can find many student groups that have both a diversity and professional focus at a broad range of schools. Being active in these groups can open up many opportunities.
  • Build relationships with faculty advisors – In addition, to building relationships with members of the student groups, connecting with the faculty advisors who oversee the groups is a great plan. Since the student members tend to change regularly, building lasting relationships with faculty members who often remain in their roles, will prevent you from continually starting over and give you a point person for discussing your needs and ideas.
  • Provide diverse representation from your company – A blend of human resources professionals and department or business unit managers should be involved in the college recruiting process. Ideally these people will reflect your company’s racial, ethnic, gender, and age diversity. On a visit to any campus (even a virtual visit) it’s obviously advantageous to have HR professionals who understand the intricacies of the hiring process, but it’s also very helpful to have managers or others who might have a more intimate knowledge of the positions you need to fill. Just remember, all non HR people should be coached on the laws and important components of the recruiting process.

Newer Approaches
With all the technology currently available, there are a variety of great new options you can add to your diversity recruiting toolbox. Even trying out just a couple of these approaches will really open up your recruiting options.
  • Social Media – With so many people spending time on social media sites, these places can be a recruiting hot spot. You should focus both on the larger sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Reddit as well as on industry- and diversity-specific blogs and social networks like Meetup. Scout these sites for people and groups who might fit your needs. Post the positions you’re trying to fill. Use these platforms to connect and create a wide pool of candidates with a range of backgrounds, professions and skills.
  • Search Freelance Marketplaces Freelance marketplaces are growing exponentially. And many exceptionally talented people work through these channels. Peoples’ reasons for turning to freelance work are as varied as the people themselves. These online marketplaces for freelance talent offer a global connection to candidates with incredibly diverse backgrounds, experience levels and viewpoints. Spend some time on sites like iFreelance and Upwork to see if you can add some great new talent to your growing team.
  • Digital advertising – Create a variety of display ads that speak to the diverse groups you’re trying to attract. Don’t try to create one broad, general job posting that will catch the eye of every type of individual you’d like to add to your team.
  • Think globally and create a talent pool – Regardless of your company’s state, country or continent, your university recruiting efforts no longer have the limits of location. Your reach for new talent has never extended farther than it does today. With the multitude of collaborative software currently available, in addition to the seemingly endless ways to connect electronically with people all over the world, global workforces are easier to create than ever before. And systems for storing all of the applicant and candidate information you amass over time are getting more and more sophisticated. As you continue to grow, and keep in touch with, your talent pool, you will have many people to reach out to when new positions open up.
  • Look for attitude rather than experience – When too much emphasis is placed on experience or specific skills, companies can really miss out on some potentially great talent. While new skills can be taught, a good attitude can’t be. If you make finding someone with the right attitude, rather than the right skill, a primary focus, you’re more likely to end up with someone you can train to be an amazing asset to your team.
With all of the options currently available, it has never been easier to create an exceptional team of diverse individuals. And it has never been more important.

To see which companies are doing diversity right, take a look at THE 2015 DIVERSITYINC

And, if you have questions about how we can help you improve your diversity recruiting efforts, we’re happy to help. Call us at 415-835-0202 or email us at sales@talentcircles.com today.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Above & Beyond the Degree: Students Need College Alumni Mentoring Programs


As students weigh their options and make decisions about which colleges to attend, an important new factor in their decision-making process is going to be the role a college’s career services department plays. More specifically, which colleges offer real help with career development during college and after graduation?

While you can’t underestimate the value of a good education, in recent years the degree alone hasn’t guaranteed a decent job offer. Even though the labor market seems to be improving, the pace at which it’s moving is slower than desired and the current employment outlook for new college grads could be better.

According to a 2014 Economic Policy Institute report, “For young college graduates, the unemployment rate is currently 8.5 percent (compared with 5.5 percent in 2007), and the underemployment rate is 16.8 percent (compared with 9.6 percent in 2007).”

A well-rounded education and a degree from a good college or university is no longer enough to entice many students to enroll. Parents and students alike want to know that upon college graduation, the probability of getting a good job will outweigh the likelihood of being saddled with monthly student loan payments that equal more than their paychecks. This means that knowing ongoing career help is available will be a major component in deciding which college to attend.

Universities and colleges with the best career services programs will be in higher demand than those who take a back seat approach and cut students loose after handing out degrees. One of the best options for ongoing student support is an alumni mentoring program.

Mentoring provides value to students, alumni and the educational institution. It is a way to engage with local businesses in your community, as well as with worldwide organizations. Businesses can build relationships early with possible future employees; learn more about what skills, talents and personalities work best for them; and aggregate a talent pool. Universities can gain recognition and loyalty, which can lead to more support for additional activities like job fairs and fundraisers, as well as increased student enrollment. Students will gain real world experience, be able to ask questions based in reality and discover more about their own abilities and preferences—not to mention already have a foot in the job market door that may be closed to their counterparts who haven’t had the benefit of a mentoring program.  For alumni mentors the value is in sharing experience, giving back to their university, and access to a possibly lucrative direct recruiting channel for their companies.

There are many options for creating a strong alumni mentoring program. Be sure to research ideas that meet with your needs and incorporate mentoring software that will help with scheduling, planning and creating specific programs that outline goals and expectations. Having robust mentoring software that integrates with a larger career services package, allows colleges and universities to provide the career counseling, employer connections, social student profiles, and ongoing analytics needed to ensure that students are prepared for employment during and after graduation in terms of both education and relationships with the right people.

For more information about how to go about setting up and integrating an alumni mentoring program as part of your career services package, please contact us at 888-835-0202 or via email sales@talentcircles.com

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Pay Attention to Age Diversity, Especially in the Tech Industry


When most people are asked to imagine walking into a top tech company, they conjure up images of young, twentysomethings, (mostly male) in jeans, tee shirts and flip flops. Because that has traditionally been the reality. There has been a belief among tech companies that older workers wouldn’t be comfortable with new technology, that they are less creative and less teachable. But these beliefs are unfounded—and extremely limiting.
According to Scientific American, “for groups that value innovation and new ideas, diversity helps.” Yes, even in the tech industry. And, yes, diversity needs to include age as a demographic in addition to race, gender and sexual orientation.
While most states and the federal government have laws that prohibit workforce discrimination—including age—the laws that require companies to report diversity breakdowns by demographics like race and gender, do not require the reporting of workers’ ages. So, unlike other demographics which have been making great strides over the past decade, age discrimination has been left somewhat unchecked.
The AARP provided data showing that 64% of workers between the ages of 45 and 74 said they experienced age discrimination. And yet, in the U.S., the full retirement age to receive unreduced benefits is gradually increasing to 67. Older people need to continue working but many companies, particularly in the tech industry, are finding ways to try to push them out the door.
Interestingly, though, now that the original entrepreneurs and workers from the tech boom are nearly 20 years older, they’re facing a reality they overlooked when first starting out: everyone ages. And with that realization, age discrimination is becoming a reality for larger numbers of people.
This increase in awareness of age-related discrimination has also led to an increase in age-related lawsuits. For example, Google settled a multimillion dollar claim a few years ago when a 54-year old computer scientist was fired by his 38-year-old supervisor who repeatedly made age-based remarks about his work, like being “obsolete,” “to old to matter” and “sluggish.”
So, perhaps it’s time to reach out to the over 50 crowd with a good recruiting campaign that really speaks to this underappreciated and underutilized demographic.  
Offering options like ongoing training, flexible hours and part-time employment can be a real boon for older workers (and pretty much anyone who is interested in work-life balance).
In addition to the fact that keeping older people employed benefits the economy by preventing them from becoming dependent on federal aid, diverse teams have greater perspective and more information to pull from. And this enables them to be more creative, more productive and better decision makers. According to Ed Lazowska, who holds the Bill & Melinda Gates Chair in Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, “All forms of diversity are important, for the same reasons: workforce demand, equality of opportunity and quality of end product.”
It is likely that it’s just a matter of time before companies are required to include age in their reporting demographics. So, get on board now and not only will you be ahead of the game legally, you’ll also be able to benefit from the experience and wisdom older workers can bring to the table.
Embrace the value that older workers offer and everybody wins.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Talent Networks and the Staffing Industry


Love it or hate it, technology is now a fundamental part of the staffing industry. With omnipresent social media, it is now easier than ever for candidates and hiring-decision makers to connect directly with each other.  With myriad Talent Network and CRM technologies available, it's additionally easier than ever to manage, maintain relationships and place candidates to your best matching position.  So, if you want to stay not only relevant but integral to the job placement needs of candidates and businesses, it’s a necessity to embrace some of the many technology platforms available.

One of the most significant sourcing tools you should be focusing on is a talent network.  Talent networks are similar to what we used to call the talent pipeline or bench. Only now, there are electronic options for collecting and maintaining endless amounts of data. Everything from candidates’ specific skills sets and projects they’ve worked on to clients’ detailed job placement needs and the types of individuals who fit best with their particular corporate culture.

Within the next week, we will be releasing a new white paper that pinpoints key changes to the long-standing staffing model. This will include explaining how staffing firms that integrate emerging talent pool technology can improve their performance and make their services more attractive to candidates, as well as increase the loyalty of temporary and contract employees.

For more information, keep an eye out for our upcoming white paper, Staffing Firms and Talent Pools: The Time Has Come to Sink or Swim.  Visit our website at www.talentcircles.com and contact us at sales@TalentCircles.com.

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Value of Virtual Career Fairs

If your university career center isn't offering online, virtual career fairs, they need to start now. In addition to positioning your college as tech savvy and current, here are five great reasons to choose hosting a virtual career fair over the traditional, physical job fair.

  1. Cost (or lack thereof)

Conducting a virtual career fair obviously requires some financial investment in terms of technology and personnel who oversee the project, but in comparison to the cost of a physical job fair, it’s miniscule. You won’t need to invest in any printed collateral. There are no facilities, furnishings or equipment to pay for. No insurance or security staff are required. And no travel costs are incurred. Offering a virtual career fair not only lowers the cost for your career center, but also for students and potential employers who no longer need to get to a physical location or have their own printed materials.

  1. Accessibility

Does having a global audience attend your next career fair seem farfetched? It isn’t. A virtual job fair enables equal access for all students and employers. There are no constraints due to time or location. Students have the opportunity to interact with employers worldwide, many of whom wouldn’t travel to their college campus for a career fair. And those employers now have access to a large number of potential recruits they might otherwise have never met. With just a couple of keystrokes, students can provide every employer of interest with their résumés and they can begin connecting with them in a variety of ways.

Teleconferences, online chats, webcasts, and even Instagram and Vine videos, offer students and recruiters a way to interact that is not limited by the time constraints of a traditional, physical job fair. These virtual interactions offer a convenient way for both parties to delve deeper into important details without infringing on anyone else’s time. And when there is mutual interest between a student and recruiter, an interview via video chat can be arranged—including multiple people if desired—without anyone having to leave the comfort of their home or office. For individuals who want or need to relocate, these virtual fairs can be exceptionally advantageous.

  1. Database

Unlike a physical job fair, a virtual venue captures the information everyone brings to the table – and can continue to collect it. Universities, recruiters and students are able to upload information they want to share about themselves so it can be accessed not only during the virtual fair, but also well after. The information can be used to create online communities based on shared interests and can provide a forum for people to stay connected. With up-to-date résumés and company profiles, as well as ongoing shared information from a variety of sources, recruiters will gain a constant stream of new applicants from which to actively recruit and students will have continual access to new job opportunities. With the chance for people to re-engage, the hiring process becomes more transparent, collaborative and valuable. Both students and employers will have a place that allows them to learn what each wants and how to better position themselves for future recruiting endeavors.

  1. Precision

When recruiters identify what positions they’re looking to fill, and are very specific about the skills and traits they need in potential recruits, virtual career fairs provide the opportunity to match those positions with students whose profiles fit the bill. And students are able to link their interests, preferences and abilities with jobs that best fit their needs. This means no one is wasting time standing in line or having lengthy conversations when there isn’t a good fit between a candidate and an open position. Both employers and students can be transparent in terms of what they are looking for, and what they are offering, so everyone is able to zero in on the option that is best for them. This makes the recruiting process faster and much more efficient.

  1. Consistency

Career centers and employers can ensure that their message to potential recruits is consistent. At physical career fairs, there is always a possibility that different representatives will provide a different outlook of their company’s values, needs and interests. With a virtual fair, recruiters host virtual booths, and even chat rooms at designated times, where they share information regarding the hiring process, job openings and life at the company. All participants can see the same questions and responses. Employers can also provide webinars that offer tips on résumé presentation and interview skills, or even detail life as an intern at the company. If necessary, these webinars and corporate messages can also be school-specific or streamlined for specific audiences.

Virtual career fairs offer value on so many levels. If you haven’t started looking into them, now is the time to make the move. If you aren’t sure where to start or just have questions about virtual career fairs in general, we’d be happy to help. Contact us at (415) 835-0202 or sales@talentcircles.com.