Archive for Social Media

A Tale of Two Recruiters: Social Be Damned

deskLet’s imagine, shall we, that there’s no LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or any number of other social technologies and channels upon which one can rely as a recruiter. Let’s take the old-fashioned print publications out of the mix since as we all know no one reads newspapers anymore.  You can still access job boards and your own website where you can write bullet pointed job postings to your heart’s content.

Throughout this experiment your focus as a recruiter remains the same: finding and identifying candidates for open positions, building rapport, discerning their abilities and fit, presenting them to hiring managers and ideally getting a successful hire or placement.  Next step, of course, is to further engage with this newly hired candidate by tapping into their network and getting referrals for more successful hires.  And, of course, if you’re hanging on the agency side you need to get the ever-elusive hiring managers, HR leaders and decision makers to place the necessary requisitions into your hands.

You have no shortcuts and no social sites.  You can’t go mobile and you’re not allowed to use job distribution technology; the branding and marketing you do is in your hands.  You have a telephone, an email account, your connections (whatever that may mean), and an awareness of what’s going on in your market and/or your niche.

Can you still do it?  Would you still want to do it?

Is it 1993 or what?

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Over the last few months I’ve had coffee, lunch and cocktails with a number of local recruiters to get an idea of what they’re working on and how they’re approaching some changes happening in our market.  I’ve chatted with corporate recruiters, 3rd party recruiters, and staffing (contract) agency folks.  I’ve had these conversations with people who are relative newcomers and some who are jaded, world-weary, and remember dialing for dollars on a rotary phone.

So on to the tale…

Recruiter Number One (in-house) spends 2 – 3 evenings per week attending industry gatherings, professional networking events and mixing and mingling with his targeted candidates  – or those who know them.  Oh sure – he rocks social, can run a mean x-ray search, and wields his LinkedIn cred with finesse BUT he knows that a LinkedIn InMail or a bunch of automated tweets is not “social” recruiting.  He knows his success in the job also requires some traditional old-skool kind of social.   Would he rather, on some occasions, head home at 6 PM instead of spending an hour or two schmoozing over watered down cocktails and seafood puffs?  Sure.  But it comes with the territory and he knows it.

Recruiter Number Two (agency) recently told the agency owner  “no thanks; there’s no need for you to pay for me to join the Robotic CoffeeMaker Professional Association even though that’s my target market.  They hold all their events after work and when I’m done for the day I just want to go home.”   This woman apparently does some things right or I would assume she would be long gone but is she serious with this attitude?  Perhaps she’s the queen of the ATS or is able to close candidates when it’s down to the wire but this just stupefies me; she’s apparently under the mistaken belief that job orders will magically appear on her desk and that candidates, when needed, will materialize out of thin air.

So who, I ask, wants to do their job? Who understands that social behavior has nothing to do with tools and apps and technologies and everything to do with building relationships and connecting with people?

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Sure I’m picking on a recruiter here because that’s who shared the story.  But you could replace that job title in the above with Purchasing Supervisor or Database Administrator or Human Resources Manager or Widget Maker.  I continue to be amazed at the number of individuals who decline to take advantage of the opportunities – or shall we say the necessities – to do their work to the fullest.

Some may argue that if Recruiter #2 is getting the basics done and apparently the owner is OK with her performance why shouldn’t she want to live her life and get home?  She’s not letting her work define her – she’s more than her job!  Work – flex – balance.

Interesting twist to this is that Recruiter #2, after informing the agency owner that she won’t be going to any networking events or joining a professional organization, followed up with a request for a promotion.  And I’ve heard similar comments made by IT professionals and HR Generalists who have then gone on to lament the fact that their ‘career’ is stalled.

Yeah.

Look – I could care less if you’re tweeting like a boss or running a LinkedIn group.  Deftly managing your CRM is all well and good. But there are some fundamental social behaviors and duties in any job that are the same in 2013 as they were in 1993.

Social.  Be damned?

Social Recruiting Predictions – 2014

identifiedThe team at Identified has put together an eBook on Social Recruiting Predictions and Trends for 2014 and I was pleased to be asked to contribute.  Twenty-two amazing people weighed in on the topic and the eBook provides nuggets of wisdom to get you thinking about – and planning – your 2014 recruiting strategy.

One tidbit of advice offered, for recruiters who have not yet heeded the message, is the importance of developing a fully integrated use of social media as part of overall recruiting strategy; the use of social is neither an add-on nor an after thought but must rather be fully embedded.

Content in the eBook includes discussions about the necessity of going mobile,   the imperative to truly engage with candidates where they are , and the importance of building relationships and not just processing transactions.  There are admonishments about not using social media to merely broadcast jobs or messages and there is quite a bit of advice around how to create – and share – stellar content.

So what did I share?  What do I feel the next shift will be?  In my estimation Talent Management professionals will realize the need to maintain relationships on social channels (external and internal) with their new hires/current employees in order to retain talented individuals.  Social recruiting can also mean ‘recruiting within’ since one surely doesn’t want to be absent from the battlefield when one’s competitors are showing up to fight the war for (your) talent.  Know what I mean?

“The next leap in social recruiting will
 be internal social recruiting in which organizational leaders and HR and talent management pros identify ways to measure and quantify activity on their internal networks in conjunction with continued interaction with the employee’s own presence on their social networks.”

I encourage you to check it out by downloading the free eBook here.

How to Think about Social Data

large-free-social-media-vector-icons-580x424I recently had the opportunity to review Dice’s Open Web product which I wrote about yesterday.  I found it to be a great addition to the recruiter’s toolkit as it provides access to a much wider pool of potential candidates by making it incredibly easy to search in the social realm.

This certainly meets a need and saves time because, let’s face it, recruiters and HR ladies with a new Open Req on their desk are usually doing some sort of Google search, LinkedIn search, or trolling on social sites anyway.  It does, however, remind us how important it is for organizations to have defined policies/procedures for their use of social media profile information in the recruiting stage.  As unsexy as it may be it’s still critically important for HR professionals to manage risk and liability while balancing that with the benefits to be gained from interacting with and sourcing candidates via social channels.

Open Web LogoThere are many of my HR colleagues who continue to believe, very adamantly, in the need to keep personal and professional personas separate – both for themselves and for their candidates.  They really have no interest in viewing a applicant’s social footprint nor do they wish to cross the streams and engage with candidates via sites that are perceived as more personal (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr come to mind).  When reviewing applications these HR practitioners are the first to say that the only things of importance are professional skills and work experience…the corporate hiring equivalent of name, rank and serial number.

Does this mean HR professionals should never interact and connect with candidates or applicants online?  Does it mean they should never consider the ‘whole person’ when evaluating the importance of cultural fit, motivation and interests when contemplating moving someone along in the hiring process or extending an offer?  Of course not; in my mind that’s just plain foolish.

They can, however, be smart and purposeful by keeping a few key points front and center:

  • HR professionals and recruiters who research candidates or view candidates’ online social media information, even if public, should be aware that the information once seen cannot become ‘unseen.”  (note – the Open Web data is pulled from billions of web pages, all of which is public information readily available). There are certainly pieces of information that may be gathered by reviewing SM profiles that would be considered protected category information such as race, ethnicity, religion, marital status, physical or mental disabilities or medical conditions.  While this information could, and quite often does, come out during conversational chit chat in an interview, being aware of it earlier means the recruiter must make sure that screening/selection processes do not have an adverse impact on individuals in protected categories.
  • It’s advantageous to fully define which employer representative should be viewing social media profiles; for example, removing the Hiring Manager (ultimate decision maker) from this process and instead having the Recruiter who has been trained in how to use this information be the one who views social profiles. It’s a plus within the Dice product that when forwarding a candidate’s resume to a Hiring Manager only the resume moves forward; the Hiring Manager does not see the links to Open Web.
  • Employers who are government contractors and subject to E.O. 11246 must also ensure that their policies and procedures fall in line with OFCCP record keeping requirements in regards to the “Internet Applicant” definitions. As always, they should refer to DOL guidelines and/or get legal guidance with any questions in this area.

This is certainly not Dice’s first rodeo and I’m fairly certain that customers have access to guidance and best practices on how to appropriately manage candidate data; the customer dashboard I worked with had a treasure trove of information and links to resources.

But even if one is not using this platform the above tips are pertinent to anyone traversing this brave new world of internet and social recruiting.  We all remember the Uniform Guidelines/UGESP (HR 101) … right?  Right?

Collaborate with Me – #KW2013

kw2013I just returned from Kronosworks2013 where I spent a whirlwind time fully immersed in conversations and demos about the Kronos Inc. product offerings, platforms and new things coming down the proverbial pike.

I had the opportunity to meet with a number of Kronites (the term that CEO Aron Ain used to refer to his fellow team members during his opening remarks at the conference) and their customers.  One of the folks I had the chance to sit down with was Lynne Levy, Senior Product Manager for Social and Suite Functions.  While we had a great chat about a bunch of stuff that wasn’t even remotely HR Technology related (!) I did get to learn a bit more about the new social collaboration capabilities being rolled out within the Kronos Workforce Central suite. (Note – this optional module will be available to customers beginning in December).

I heard excited buzz from attendees (well, most of them…) who are looking forward to this functionality; these are the HR practitioners who realize that improving communication by breaking down barriers can not only enhance a sense of organizational community but also drive collaboration, efficiency and productivity.  They know (probably because they hear it regularly) that their employees and managers want easy and efficient ways to not only share ideas and interact with each other but to also, quite frankly, just know what the heck is going on.  So as to keep information manageable (although I think people can self-select what they want to read), this new module will allow for a personalized activity stream that will deliver updates/information that is relevant and personalized to individual employees based on role, location, department, etc.  There are also some limited gamification capabilities in the platform which, if it fits the organizational culture, then you can totally go for it.  Personally I’m not a big fan of the badge and button, bells and whistles flash – but that’s just me.

But let me just say hallelujah! This is the way people expect to work today.

Kronos Social

But, alas, there was still some chatter from a handful of the HR/Payroll/IT professionals in attendance. As you might guess these were the same tired comments I’ve heard for years whenever attempting to convince HR folks that social is not a 4-letter word.  For while Carol in IT is concerned about bandwidth (“We can’t have everyone hitting You Tube all day long”) and Bob in Payroll has concerns that employees will post on an open forum that their paycheck was incorrect, the typical HR professional’s ‘argument’ against using social technologies/platforms goes something like this:

  • I’m worried that employees will post negative things
  • Using social media/channels/technologies is a time waster
  • I don’t get it, so therefore…
  • We don’t need it

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I’ve been focused, often one-person at a time or group-by-group, on getting HR professionals excited about the possibilities inherent in embracing social for years. Years!  Yet even here in 2013 it continues to be a matter of informing my fellow HR ladies their employees are social and use of these technologies is not about the tool/website/app – it’s about the experience.  It’s behavior.  It’s human.

And the value is that while these conversations have been going on forever – with our without us Bill and Sally are hanging at the water cooler talking about their employment experience - we now have the opportunity to be a part of the conversation.

But the real selling point for adoption of social comes back to business reasons (such as the nifty capabilities in the Kronos module that allows employees to participate in problem-solving, i.e. a manager is faced with a last-minute shift-scheduling need).

A McKinsey Global Institute report found that The average interaction worker spends an estimated 28 percent of the workweek managing e-mail and nearly 20 percent looking for internal information or tracking down colleagues who can help with specific tasks. But when companies use social media internally, messages become content; a searchable record of knowledge can reduce, by as much as 35 percent, the time employees spend searching for company information. Additional value can be realized through faster, more efficient, more effective collaboration, both within and between enterprises.”

35% reduction in wasted time.  An opportunity to stop churning along on the hamster wheel and working inefficiently.

Imagine having the ability to reclaim that time and allow employees to use those hours to drive real value for your organization?

 

Disclosure

Kronos has sponsored my participation at KronosWorks2013 however all ideas and opinions are my own.

 

Kronos Social image courtesy of Holger Mueller at Constellation Research