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Social Media In Hiring…Fair Use or Unfair Access?

A colleague asked a thought provoking question the other day…Do companies address social media in hiring, and if so, how? Good question.

In a world where the hiring process is meant to be black and white in order to make an effective hiring decision based on an applicant’s professional experience, how do employers address a gray area of accidental or intentional viewing of applicants’ social media profiles within the hiring process?

 

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Proceeding With Caution

Companies are still hesitant to discuss social media with applicants because of the variables associated with it and fears of potential discrimination if social media is used improperly. After all, an applicants’ social media pages may display protected information. However, with our personal and professional connections through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms, it’s not uncommon to have direct or indirect social connections to potential applicants.

Often, employees spread word of job openings at their company by posting the job listing on personal social media pages. What happens when a “friend”, “follower” or “connection” is interested in that position? With that existing social media connection, a current employee has access to see the potential employee’s social media page in full candor. Once something is posted on social media, it cannot be unseen. So how much info is too much info for a current employee to see? And how much of that info can advertently or inadvertently be considered in the hiring process?

Develop Social Screening Guidelines

According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) released a survey in 2015 that showed 84% of employers used social media to recruit job candidates and nearly 50% used social media profiles or online searches to screen applicants.  This should not be too surprising.  Look at companies’ corporate webpages.  More often than not, there are links on a corporate page for viewers to “Like” their page, “Follow” them, or “Connect” with them on social media.  When individuals, who may later be prospective applicants, “Like”, “Follow” or “Connect” a company’s corporate page, the company gains access to view certain aspects of those individuals’ social media pages as well.

With the increasing number of people following the social media pages of companies in which they want to work, companies will need to develop guidelines on how social media information will be collected and used.  On the other side, potential applicants need to maintain professionalism within their social media page(s) and need to be cognizant that their social media page(s) may be viewed by individuals affiliated with the hiring process.

Be Aware of Your State’s Legislation

Also discussed in the Chicago Tribune article, llinois is one of a limited number of states that prohibit employers from requesting access or the password to a current or potential employee’s social media profiles.  However, that does not mean employers do not have a right to view what is publicly available.  SHRM has posted a list of states that have passed a form of legislation affecting online privacy. Since the publication of this list, the number of states passing “anti-snooping” legislation is growing so you will need to check with your company’s legal team to see if any states in which you hire have passed additional measures which affect online privacy.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) published a useful article that suggests a protocol for employers if social media is used in the hiring process.  It is essential to have a solid plan of action on how to safely and legally use social media within the organization’s hiring process to maintain a culture of non-discriminatory hiring practices.

7 Ways to Maximize Benefit and Minimize Risk according to SHRM

  1. Never ask for passwords. In several states, employers cannot ask an applicant (or employee) for his or her social media password by law. In all 50 states, asking for an applicant’s (or employee’s) password creates a real risk of violating the federal Stored Communications Act. For this reason, employers should look only at content that is public.
  2. Have HR do it. It is best if someone in HR, rather than a hiring manager, checks candidates’ social media profiles. The HR professional is more likely to know what he or she can and cannot consider.
  3. Look later in the process. Check social media profiles after an applicant has been interviewed, when his or her membership in protected groups is likely already known.
  4. Be consistent. Don’t look at only one applicant’s social media profiles.
  5. Document decisions. Print out the page containing social media content on which you base any hiring decision and record any reason for rejection, such as bad judgment. This protects you if damaging content has been deleted by the time a decision is challenged.
  6. Consider the source. Focus on the candidate’s own posts or tweets, not on what others have said about him or her. You may want to give the candidate a chance to respond to findings of worrisome social media content. There are impostor social media accounts out there.
  7. Be aware that other laws may apply. For example, if you use a third party to do social media screening, you are probably subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (and similar state laws). Also, some state laws prohibit adverse action based on off-duty conduct, except under narrow circumstances.

Fair (and Effective) Use

Employers who use social media for legitimate reasons may not be seeking to find negative items in the applicant’s profile.  On the contrary, that HR representative may be trying to confirm the applicant’s professional demeanor, professional affiliations and qualifications, along with viewing the applicant’s written communication skills.  However, if an applicant posts a negative item, such as discriminatory remarks or references to illegal activities, these items could have a strong impact on the individual’s consideration for the position.

If using social media in hiring, Human Resources, with consultation from the company legal team, needs to devise a consistent and fair use policy in accordance with adherence to providing equal employment opportunities. ExactHire does not provide legal counsel.  If you are considering the inclusion of a question(s) relating to social media within your employment application(s), please consult your company’s legal team to acquire their insight as to what question content, if any, can legally be included in an employment application. Once you have spoken with them, we can update your application(s) with the content you specify if you want an item added.

On a final note, since social media is a fantastic way to stay connected with updates and news, if you have not had a chance to..

Please do so!  We want to share our news with you!

How to Make Social Media Work for Your Recruiting Process

These days, social media is about the best way for job seekers to see what’s out there and for hiring managers to find job seekers. Leveraging the community that social media sites provide can be an extremely effective way to source talent.

However, there are some things to remember. You have to understand the site is merely a platform. Simply being on the site will not generate results. You’ll have to make full use of the tools, network, and in some cases, paid features to be successful.

What works well?

  • First, complete all registration steps and requested information.
  • Note that full profiles with content, posts and updates will land at the top of search results.
  • Everyday interaction on social media will be required to stay “current” as well.
  • Don’t make your social media presence all about you.
  • Engage with others in non-job seeking or non-recruiting ways, too.

What doesn’t work?

  • Hiring managers can’t just post jobs and wait for the applicants to come to them. The “post and pray” method doesn’t work on even the best social media sites. You’ll have to identify keywords and run searches that target your ideal candidate. Leverage the communication features of the site to reach out and follow-up.
  • Job seekers have to go a step further and interact with and reach out to potential hiring managers. Merely setting up a profile, uploading a resume and sitting back hoping recruiters will come to them will get them nowhere.

Take a personal approach, after all we are talking about social networking.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is by far the best place for prospective white collar job seekers and recruiters. With some basic search knowledge, job seekers can identify individuals who may be the decision makers for hiring at desired locations. This allows them the ability to better customize their outreach to employers during the job application process, as well as use their network to ask for introductions to a specific individual in a position to influence the hiring decision.

They can also get the scoop on what’s available by following individuals, companies and groups. Savvy job seekers will look beyond the job postings and pay attention to what companies are posting. They shouldn’t request to connect with someone only to turn around and ask that person about a job. This tactic can be very annoying to anyone who has been on the receiving end of those connection requests before. If job seekers want to cold contact, they are better off calling the hiring manager as long as the job postings don’t advise against this approach.

As a hiring manager, you can attract individuals by leveraging your own social media profile, connections and company pages to promote openings. The same aforementioned basic search knowledge can be used to identify potential candidates. Pay attention to profile updates, promotions and those who are publishing to give you an indication of top performers.

Facebook

Although not known to be a professional networking and social media venue, Facebook does have its own advantages. Job seekers can follow their favorite companies and brands, all of whom are posting not only consumer content, but company updates and job listings. Job seekers who want to work for their favorite brands pay attention to them on Facebook.

Hiring managers, you can hire your biggest company fans by paying attention to who interacts with your company’s page. If you hire people who are already fans of your products or services they are more likely to be valuable brand ambassadors and have a passion for what they are doing within your business.

The Muse

Relatively new to the social media career site beat, The Muse is a neat site with many tools for job seekers including career advice and career development tips. Companies who are active on The Muse will have direct access to job seekers, especially those with a focus on professional and career development. You can even leverage your hiring and recruiting expertise and apply to be a career counselor.

Job seekers will enjoy themed content relating to professional development and career growth. Astute hiring managers can look to provide content and coaching while interacting with job seekers.

Business Journals

Local business journals are always on the pulse of the local marketplace. They also frequently announce promotions, “people on the move,” new businesses, new offices and many other pieces of job seeking intelligence. If you’re sourcing applicants, following the social media profiles of business journals (as well as their actual online publications) is an excellent way to identify key players and top performers…not to mention keep an eye on the latest news about the labor market.

Job seekers who follow business journals will gain insight on companies that are actively growing, hiring and promoting. They can put these companies on their short list, then flip over to LinkedIn and try to identify the decision makers.

Write [on Social Media]

This works equally well for job seekers and hiring managers. Hiring managers want to hire smart people and job seekers want to work for smart people. Make your own social media content plan and calendar. Utilize Twitter and LinkedIn to promote your recruitment brand, your company and your knowledge and expertise. Don’t forget to regularly share your job listings on social media with relevant hashtags, too. You can streamline this process using an applicant tracking system with social recruiting features. As you build a following, you will begin to attract candidates because you’ll bring positive, relevant attention to you and your company.

For job seekers, staying current on social media will help them maintain a digital portfolio and resume. For best results, they should keep it focused to their specialty and post frequently–it’s free advertising. Hiring managers are sure to be looking at job candidates’ social media profiles, so it is in the best of interest of job seekers to make sure it is not only professional but full of quality content.

 

There are many other social media platforms out there to investigate. Ultimately you’ll want to find a platform that aligns with your industry and the applicants with which you want to associate. You need to go to where your candidates are and that may even include following your competitors’ social media pages, too.

Photo Credit: Maialisa

Baby, You’re a Firework (or at Least Your New Employee Is)

Fourth of July is just around the corner and just like fireworks, onboarding employees can be exciting, stressful, and downright treacherous at times. In the spirit of the patriotic festivities, let’s look through the top ten most popular fireworks in comparison to common candidates and employees that could be experienced in the onboarding process. The process of Onboarding a new employee can be time-consuming, but with ExactHire’s resources and Onboarding Software, you could spend more time getting to know your employee!

If you’re interested in finding out what type of employee you are, take this light-hearted quiz, and then check out the descriptions of each firework below!

1. Party Poppersfirework-party-popper

Party poppers are generally listed as a novelty item or trick noise maker and are sold year-round in shops which sell party supplies. It emits a loud popping noise by means of a small friction-actuated explosive charge that is emitted by pulling a string. Finding a candidate similar to a party popper may come in many forms; one may be the applicant that initially seems exciting and opinionated but can also fizzle out fairly quickly, or it could be the employee that brings excitement all year-round.

2. TNT Poppers

firework-tnt-popper

These are a hit with younger kids, mainly because they can’t set themselves on fire but can still annoy the ever-living daylights out of adults by throwing them at their feet. TNT Poppers are inexpensive and can keep people entertained for a total of maybe 20 minutes. In terms of potential employees, this is probably the applicant that may seem like a good fit initially, but after further investigation or an interview, he or she would probably only last a few months in the company.

3. Snakes

firework-snake

At first glance, snakes may seem like mere child’s play, but if you really think about it, how does a small tube of practically nothing turn into an endless black “snake”? We may never know, but this is the new employee that you may not have had high hopes for but it turns out that he can do literally anything – all day. This candidate can make something out of nothing, and can truly be one of the best assets to your company. (Or maybe you’d rather just consider them the metaphorical snake, we’re not here to judge.)

4. Sparklers

firework-sparkler

An age-old favorite, sparklers light up the front yard for a few minutes and as any new employee does, lights up the eyes of those around it (or him). Though sparklers only last for a few moments, a new employee or candidate may qualify as a Sparkler if he or she comes into the business with flare and favoritism, and sticks around as a consistent favorite.

5. Firecrackers

firework-firecracker

Iconic? Sure. Noisy? Definitely. It’s easy to imagine what a potential employee with the personality (or voice) of a firecracker would be – loud and potentially explosive. As a candidate, this person or “firecracker” could be full of ideas and popping with enthusiasm! Definitely someone worth holding on to.

6. Bottle Rockets

firework-bottle-rocket

Just as its name suggests, a Bottle Rocket is a small rocket lodged in a bottle with a stabilizing stick attached to it. A big oversight when thinking about Bottle Rockets (in terms of people) is that they come in a ton of different sizes and models; sure they stick to the basic model, but also bring different ideas (big or small), projects, and goals to the workplace.

7. Roman Candles

firework-roman-candle

As the site, Thrillist, describes Roman Candles “Lovely but dangerous” and they couldn’t be more accurate – for the actual firework. In terms of Roman Candle-esque people though – it’s more in terms of lovely and dangerous. Roman Candle employees come in everyday ready to conquer the workplace and any task that may come their way.

8. Smoke Balls

firework-smoke-ball

Smoke Balls are little bombs that when lit give off a few minutes of colored smoke and usually stain anything they touch (I love them). As far as excitement goes, they probably wouldn’t make anyone’s top ten, but they are fun and reliable – never changing what they do. To find someone in the workplace comparable to a smoke ball, you’d probably consider them to be trustworthy, dependable, and mostly predicable.

9. Fountains

firework-fountain

A family favorite, Fountains are the fireworks that everyone gets because it’s probably illegal to buy artillery shells in your town. Either way, Fountains are fun and last a long time with many different effects throughout their show. As a potential employee, the fountain may be underestimated at first but with time will prove that she has a ton of new ideas, one just as different as the one before it. Fountain employees are stellar assets to a company and should be held onto at all costs.

10. Artillery Shells

firework-artillery-shell

Artillery Shells are the massive fireworks that Fourth of July is truly known for – and also illegal in many states – but that’s not important. What’s important is how big and beautiful they are, each different and special in their own way. As these should be left to be set on fire by the professionals, it is likely that the Artillery Shells in the office are probably the CEO’s or someone who set the whole business in motion. If not, watch out because the shell in your office is heading for big things.

 

No matter what kind of employee you or anyone in the office is, everyone should be celebrated this Fourth of July, just like our nation’s Independence.

Have a great holiday from everyone at ExactHire!

Image credit: FREE CLIP: Sparklers by Cinema White (contact)

6 Skills to Master in Your First Year Out of College

1. How to Write a Resume

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Resumes are like the windows into your job seeking souls, or a window into what you did before this job. Either way, they’re important. Whether or not you think you are a resume “expert,” every position requires a little tweaking of the resume. So, it doesn’t matter how good or bad you think your resume is, there are hundreds of ways to create or improve one that looks totally professional. Here are some previous blogs about how to do just that:

2. How to Budget

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I’m still working on this one myself, but learning how to budget your money is crucial in the year after you graduate. Through college, you were generally guaranteed a place to live and could beg your friends into giving you their leftovers, but now you might be out on your own. If you are (or if you’re trying to be) it could be time to actually log your spending/savings so that you’re not left out in the cold. If you don’t want to take my word on it, maybe read the Forbes take on it.

3. Taking Care of Yourself

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And that means getting in and out of bed at a reasonable hour. This is probably the easiest and hardest part of graduating college. Sure, you had to learn how to “cook” and maintain decently healthy living habits, but now it’s the time where you actually have to pretend to know how to be an adult. This means exercising, knowing where the produce section of the grocery store is, and hopefully having more than just alcohol and ketchup packets in your fridge at any given time.

4. Creating and Maintaining Professional Relationships

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It’s easy to fall into the routine of seeing the same people everyday, and if you’ve just graduated, it’s even easier to forget the difference in experience levels. Creating professional relationships are simple; just show and give respect where deserved, but maintaining the professionalism is a little more difficult. If you already have a job or want to study how you can become a functioning member of work culture, you can check out these blogs:

5. Interviewing Well

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Lucky for you, ExactHire has multiple blogs on how to do just that! Here are a few that you should definitely check out in order to find success at every turn, or interview.

6. Having an Opinion

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This may seem like an obvious skill to have mastered, especially after you ruled the classroom with your deep and probing thoughts; but what happens when your opinion on Jane Eyre’s choice to return to blind Mr. Rochester is no longer relevant? Answer: you form new opinions. Just as you had to do your research for that research project your senior year, you have to research your new job. The more you know and understand about the company, the easier it will be to give your own input. Though it may seem scary at first to have different thoughts than those around you, stick to what you know, show that you care, but always be open to new and other opinions.

Image credit: PUSH FOR HELP by Jonahthan Nightingale (contact)

What’s Your Recruiting Personality? [QUIZ]

Looking to get into the recruiting profession? Or, maybe you’re already a seasoned pro but just want to better identify your true recruiting strengths? Whatever the case, take ExactHire’s “What’s Your Recruiting Personality?” Quiz to identify your talent acquisition sweet spot.

From recruiting analytics and compliance reporting to social media and screening, this entertaining yet informative quiz will use your answers to ten short multiple choice questions to point you in the direction of your most prominent recruitment personality type.

Whether you’re happy managing metrics, driven by social shares or energized by candidate conversations…there’s a recruitment role that speaks to your passion. No matter which personality type you call your own, one thing is certain across all personalities…the recruitment field is always evolving and challenging professionals to adapt their sourcing styles.

This is especially true when it comes to navigating the mobile recruiting space. As a result, the ExactHire team has included examples of mobile recruiting software features especially well-suited for each recruiter type in each persona description.

What are you waiting for? Take the quiz and then share the results with your friends!

Mobile Social Recruitment Best Practices

Image Credit: Any Questions? by Matthias Ripp (contact)

Mobile Recruiting Strategy Fails – When Your Organization Isn’t Prepared

You built a mobile recruiting presence, the applicants came…but then your organization wasn’t ready. Or, maybe you’re well on your way toward social recruiting Shangri La and you sense that a few hiring managers may be late to the party. In this blog, I’ll review five mobile recruiting strategy fails encountered when a business is not prepared in the hopes that you can avoid the same mistakes.

1 – Failure To Get Buy In

Even if you’ve already put a few mobile-friendly recruiting elements into play, or if you continue to evolve your social media content calendar to include career-related advice, you will still struggle if the rest of the team at your company isn’t prepared to buy into and participate in the new talent acquisition model. Start by educating them with statistics that paint a picture of this trend–no, this new way of doing business–to get their attention.

According to a 2015 survey by SHRM, 65% of employer respondents indicated they had sourced candidates from social media in the past year. And if it’s not your organization regularly leveraging the power of professional networking sites like LinkedIn or career community-focused networks like Beyond.com, then you can bet your competitors are.

Skilled workers who are willing and able to participate in the workforce aren’t as easy to come by these days. For example, in October 2015, recruiting difficulty reached a four year high for the 19th consecutive month according to SHRM’s Leading Indicators of National Employment (LINE) Report. Your organization must utilize the latest resources available in order to grab its share of scarce talent.

2 – Failure To Be Candidate-Centric

Remember when Tom Hanks’ character told Meg Ryan’s character that she needed to take it “to the mattresses” to save her business in the movie You’ve Got Mail? As you may recall, the dialogue was actually a reference to the famed Godfather; however, I like to mention the former, more recent movie because it represented how (at the time) email was a revolution in the dating game. It changed the face of courtship forever.

So now has social media and the proliferation of smartphones and tablets forced the evolution of talent acquisition. Take it to the mattresses. Be candidate-centric…maybe not in the same context that a staffing agency might because you have to fill a specific job rather than amass resumes for the future, but in a way that empowers your company to find the candidates where they are…on the networks and devices they are using. Don’t make it difficult for candidates to research your company online; and do make it easy for them to share jobs and positive career-related content on social networks when they want to chat with their peers about what they heard about working at your organization.

3 – Failure To Know Your Candidate Personas

If you fail to identify your target applicant audience across various job categories, then you will miss the mark when it comes to selecting specific social networks, mobile job posting apps and even customizing the applicant interface for your jobs portal to optimize your user experience (UX).

And while the thought that “mobile is coming” often conjures images of my favorite Stark family characters warning that “winter is coming” along with an onslaught of white-walkers in the binge watch-worthy Game of Thrones, the extent to which your organization needs to plan out its mobile and social strategy is dependent on the types of jobs you offer and the demographics and preferences of the top talent filling those positions. According to a 2015 Pew Research Center Report on U.S. smartphone use, it is lower income smartphone owners who are the most likely to use a phone during a job search.

Translation: The mobile candidate experience will make or break your recruiting success when it comes to your less specialized and entry-level positions.

 

In fact, according to the report, “compared with smartphone owners from households earning $75,000 or more per year, those from households earning less than $30,000 annually are nearly twice as likely to use a smartphone to look for information about a job — and more than four times as likely to use their phone to actually submit a job application.” So ask yourself what percentage of your recruiting efforts focus on that population and then take appropriate action.

This insight doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels if you manage HR at a professional office setting with higher income levels such as a physicians group or an engineering firm. Mobile is coming and the statistics on usage in the job seeker space will continue to climb across all income brackets.

4 – Failure to Communicate Internally

In your haste to reach out to candidates in their own space and ensure that your applicant tracking system is mobile responsive, did you miss explaining the consequences a more savvy candidate hiring experience will have on your internal stakeholders? If you’re not catching my drift, think about whether the following comments elicit a grin…or a chagrin.

  • Have you engaged hiring managers in the process of revamping your recruiting process? If not, then the shorter, concise job descriptions you may want to use may irritate them since they don’t understand why you are condensing details about their department’s opportunity. (The answer of course would be due to the shorter attention spans and impatient click behavior indicative especially of mobile job viewers).
  • Ever since social media has inserted itself into the selection process, the next generation of candidates who used to place phone calls to hiring managers and HR staff are now inviting employers to connect on social media; or, they are simply tweeting at your organization’s Twitter handle with specific job questions. With this increase in inbound activity comes the heightened responsibility for employer representatives to be ready to respond in the same manner solicited. And, for your organization to have documented policies on how you handle social media inquiries (using the best hashtags BTW) and candidate social screening.
  • Have you documented details on which social platforms and external job boards you use to post which types of positions? After all, what works for attracting manufacturing-minded machinists will probably fail miserably at securing interest from content marketers.
  • Have you discussed how to approach scenarios in which you may need to privately source talent for a position that is not yet open? If individuals in management but outside of recruiting are involved, a lack of coaching to show constraint when it comes to covertly posting future jobs can spell disaster for many…especially the existing employee who has not yet received the termination memo.

5 – Failure To Enable A Talent-Focused Culture

When was the last time you paid a placement fee to an external recruiter? Not something you want to do for every open position, huh? While there is certainly a time and a place for such engagements, in the meantime you should be focused on maximizing awareness for your job opportunities via in-house resources. The right approach starts with making sure that your existing employees, vendors, clients, alumni and friends know about the amazing roles available with your organization. The best approach kicks it up a notch (like Emeril) and incentivizes crowdsourcing behavior with a socially savvy employee referral program.

Make it easy for individuals to share your job listings with their networks using a unique permalink (URL address with an individual identifier) that tracks their referral activity and rewards them when their candidates are hired. Then, when it comes to amplifying the reach of your latest career-related content, share examples of suggested wording for social posts so that your co-workers can quickly copy and paste to spread your message (for ex., if they are outside of human resources and don’t necessarily want to spend time/thought on crafting their own version of a message). Also, consider whether any rigid social media policies or limited access to certain websites will limit your long-term hiring objectives by handcuffing your employees’ talent-focused social behavior.

This is the first post in a series of blogs about mobile recruiting fails. Stay tuned for the next post which will examine what happens when the technical aspects of your mobile-friendly recruiting experience don’t align with the rest of your hiring process.

ExactHire’s HireCentric applicant tracking system is a mobile responsive software application for your job posting and recruiting needs. Contact us for details today.

Image credit: FAIL Stamp by Hans Gerwitz (contact)

Engaging Applicants – New Economy New Rules

It’s March in Indianapolis, Indiana. That means two things: wildly fluctuating temperatures (March 6: 2℉…March 11: 65 ℉); and basketball (this year will mark the 7th time since 1940 that Indy has hosted the NCAA Men’s Final Four). It’s through hosting events like the Final Four–and that spectacle in Speedway–that Indianapolis earned the nickname “Amateur Sports Capital of the World.” However, increasingly, the word “amateur” is becoming unnecessary.

Last week, I had the privilege of listening to three leaders in the Indianapolis professional sports scene. Rob Laycock of the Indiana Pacers, Dan Plumlee of the Indianapolis Colts, and Tom Dunmore of the Indy Eleven spoke at New Economy New Rules–a monthly event organized by TechPoint. The event seeks to introduce new ideas about how business is done today and how it will be done tomorrow, often with an emphasis on technology as a catalyst for change. Accordingly, the discussion topics at this event were less about on-field action and more about evolving technologies that enhance the fan experience and fill seats.

The talk was exciting for me in my career as a digital marketer–these guys have metrics on everything–and eye-opening from my perspective as a sports fan–who knew they could track bathroom traffic at stadiums in real-time?! But how can Human Resources departments–large and small–incorporate technology into their operations?

Start With A Clear Destination

Before adopting new technology, an organization should first have a clear understanding of its business objectives and goals.  From there, it’s a matter of exploring and selecting technologies that will provide employees with value-added assistance in meeting important objectives–those that will directly impact business goals.  In varying degrees and ways, each sports organization uses technology to meet important business objectives. However, all three emphasized the importance of using technology to engage the community, with the goal of cultivating passionate, loyal fans to fill their seats.

In the world of Human Resources, our organizations can use technology to engage job applicants and fill our “open seats” with passionate, loyal new hires too. Let’s explore how this can be done by taking a look at how these sports organizations engage and cultivate fans.

Engaging Applicants-More Than Filling Seats

A common theme throughout the conversation was that, yes, the goal is to fill the seats, but focusing on gross tickets sales as the sole indicator of success is a mistake. For these organizations, it’s more about building relationships with fans for the long haul. In fact, Mr. Laycock likened it to dating, wherein a team gradually develops a closer, stronger relationship with a fan; the end-goal is to gain and maintain a fan’s lifelong loyalty, which is hopefully expressed through annual ticket purchases.

For HR Departments, we are looking to find the right match for our organization too–although this is speed dating, and we have many significant others, and…well let’s just stop the metaphor there. The point is: we want to attract talented people to our organization who stay and become passionate brand ambassadors. These individuals will value both our organization and the relationship they have with it.

Does your hiring process seek to find, hire, and onboard individuals who will be passionate, loyal fans of your organization? If not, you’ll be looking to refill your seats real soon, and your organization will suffer for it. To avoid this, consider investing in an Applicant Tracking System that streamlines the hiring process and increases applicant engagement through  automated job postings to multiple job boards, integrated social media sharing, and timely, personalized applicant status updates and follow-up requests. By utilizing this technology, you’ll provide a more welcoming hiring process for the applicant and have more time to meaningful interact with job candidates–your future fans.

Engaging Applicants-Highlight Star Players

With the right perspective on what your hiring goal is (hiring passionate, loyal fans of your organization) and a strong foundation of hiring technology in place (a robust Applicant Tracking System), you will be ready to attract top talent to your team. To do this, you must impress job seekers with how awesome it is to be a part of your team. It’s important that you do this in a way that is–and is perceived to be–authentic. There’s no better way to do this than to highlight your star players.

Pat McAfee of the Indianapolis Colts has over 300,000 followers on Twitter. His tweets inform, entertain, and ultimately galvanize the Colts fan-base. The content isn’t always about his place of employment, but this works to the Colts’ advantage as it helps in reaching new fans–especially younger ones. Do members of your team have a platform from which to tell their story?

engaging applicants as fans

McAfee engages fans through Twitter.

Job seekers need to experience it to believe it. If your organization is only providing a list of “Why ‘ABC Corp.’ Is A Great Place To Work”, then you’re missing out on an opportunity to engage job seekers who are looking to bring their talents to a special place. Highlight your current employees via your website and social media to illustrate not just what your organization is about, but who it’s about. If you already employ passionate, loyal fans of your organization, then you’ll likely attract the same.

Engaging Applicants-A FANtastic Experience

FANtastic Experience
This is FANtastic!
Courtesy of totalprosports.com

 

We know that an Applicant Tracking System can provide an HR Department with the time and features needed to make a positive impression on job applicants. But what happens after you’ve hired and filled the open seat? What is the new hire’s experience?

Onboarding a new hire is equivalent to welcoming a new fan to their first game. The Pacers, Colts, and Indy Eleven don’t stop engaging fans once the ticket is sold. They continue strengthening their fan relationships with the goal of cultivating life-long fans. These organizations use technology to accomplish this where it makes sense, but these are simply tools to convey a sentiment: you belong and you are appreciated.

How does your organization provide a fantastic experience for new hires? This question, of course, is part of the larger topics of  “work culture” and “employer brand”. But a simple way to create a pleasant experience for your new employees is to provide them with a highly organized and personalized onboarding experience. And again, this can be accomplished with the help of technology…Onboarding Software.

Just as a new fan’s first-game experience should not be marred by long waits at the gate, concession stand, and restroom; a new hire’s first day should not be marked by completion of forms, redundant tasks, and an office supply scavenger hunt. Onboarding Software can streamline the common tasks associated with the onboarding process and eliminate the need for new hires to fill out stacks and stacks of forms.

When your organization’s new employees are not swamped with an endless number of mind-numbing tasks or confused about what form is needed next, they are free to interact with new colleagues and begin building a relationship with your organization. This also provides the organization with the opportunity to be creative with how it welcomes and orientates new employees. An onboarding like this will show appreciation for new hires, and it contributes to their sense of belonging.

New Economy New Rules

In today’s competitive economy, finding and hiring talented individuals to fill your open seats (and stay in them) is vital for an organization’s continued growth and profitability. Successful organizations like the Colts, Indy Eleven, and Pacers invest in technology to efficiently reach business objectives, HR departments can do the same by embracing technology as a tool to improve the hiring and onboarding processes. It’s important to know that an investment in hiring technology will certainly create efficiencies in operations; however, more importantly, it will support a powerfully engaging experience for applicants and new hires–one that will cultivate passionate, loyal employees–and fans–of your organization.

 

ExactHire offers hiring technology that helps small to medium sized organizations scale for growth. Our HireCentric Applicant Tracking System features social media and job board integration to maximize an organization’s recruitment operations. Additionally, our Onboarding Software helps ensure that new hires enjoy a FANtastic experience with your organization.  Learn more by contacting a member of our team today!

 

Image credit: Game Over by Andrew Malone (contact)

Social Media As Recruitment Tools

As an undergrad at Purdue University, my campus was one of the first beyond the Ivy League to gain access to Facebook. Then, as I recall, it was used for connecting people based on shared courses or majors…but also for creeping (a practice that endures today).

Of course, social networking sites existed long before Facebook. Some of these sites floundered and failed, others still exist today. All of these sites succeeded by connecting people to people in one way or another.

Today, social networking sites do so much more than simply connect people. They have transformed from sites you only visited for fun, to tools you use for gaining knowledge, insight, and opportunities. LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and countless others connect people with ideas, news, art, events, brands, and–increasingly–prospective employers.

best practices in mobile and social recruiting | Download

Be There Now

As an organization, it’s tempting to see the top ten growing social networking sites and think “we gotta be there too! Right away! Now!”. But once you begin talking to your audience in a new way, you then must be prepared to answer in that way as well. It’s no different than including your cell number on a business card–you implicitly commit to answering all calls to that number, and you risk losing business should you not.

So you can see that incorporating just a handful of social media channels into your talent recruitment strategy can easily become overwhelming. But with competition for talent becoming fiercer each day, what’s an “HR Department of One” to do? You can’t be everywhere…can you?

One answer is to determine which social media platforms are most popular. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center illustrates that Facebook is still king in terms of number of users, but other platforms are adding users at a faster rate.


% of online adults who use the following social media websites, by year

 

That’s good information to know, but it’s also important to consider how frequently users are using the platform. When looking at frequency of use, again Facebook leads the way with 70% of its users choosing to interact daily.

 

Frequency of social media site use

 

Ok. So we know which platform has the most users and which one has the most active users. So we go with Facebook and call it a day? Or do we choose Facebook and LinkedIn (because LinkedIn is like Facebook for professionals). And we stop there because we don’t have enough time to manage anymore than that.

Sadly, this is still the conclusion that some HR professionals reach today. Facebook is familiar. That’s where everyone is. LinkedIn is for professionals. That’s where the best will be. It’s a decision that allows the organization to answer: “Yes, we’re on social media.” Unfortunately, while an organization may “be on social media”, it may not be leveraging it to meet its business goals.

Social Media As Tools

Social networking sites are not just places to be, they’re tools to be used. The savvy HR professional knows this, and so they utilize multiple social channels to attract talent in different ways–they use the right tool for the right job. But they don’t chain themselves to a screen in order to post to and monitor multiple platforms. By using an Applicant Tracking System that supports social media and job board integration, the “HR Department of One” can now write once and post to multiple channels with one click. These job posts contain links to a branded career portal, where prospective applicants can learn more about the position, the organization, and how to apply.

Social media provides HR departments with a valuable set of tools. Managing these tools in a way that enhances existing processes–rather than bogs them down–is vital to competing for the best talent in any industry. By utilizing an Applicant Tracking System to manage your social media channels, you can maximize your organization’s social media presence as part of an overall talent recruitment strategy.

 

ExactHire offers hiring technology that helps small to medium sized organizations scale for growth. Our HireCentric Applicant Tracking System features social media and job board integration to maximize an organization’s recruitment operations. Learn more by contacting a member of our team today!

Image credit: Old Tools by Sean (contact)

Tapping Your Untapped Audience – Social Media

Have you checked your Facebook page today? Tweeted? Updated your LinkedIn profile? Chances are you have completed one, two, or all three of those items today. Social media can have a huge influence on both our personal and professional lives, and it can be a great resource to effectively promote our organization as well.

Building a Social Media Presence

Social media offers individuals a way to instantly acquire information and “be in the know” about an organization–its events, news, and culture. If your organization does not have a Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn page, or if those pages are not updated often, it is time to change that.  Here are a few eye opening statistics about social media users.

Facebook:  Facebook currently has approximately 1.35 billion users monthly and is the most most active social media platform in the world. Over 23% of Internet traffic is from Facebook.

Twitter:  There is approximately 284 million monthly active users, and 500 million tweets are sent daily.  Interesting note:  Eighty percent of Twitter’s active users are mobile users.

LinkedIn:  LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 332 million members in over 200 countries and territories. More than four million companies have LinkedIn company pages.

Looking at that data, clearly there are a lot of people in this world using social media. So it makes perfect sense for your organization to be there. But to have a meaningful presence, you must look beyond your immediate network. Do this by exploring who your followers follow, and then connect with them where it makes sense. However, know that once your organization is “liked”, “followed” or “connected”, you are not finished–this is where the road gets exciting!

Maintaining a Social Media Presence

Display your organization’s culture via social media so that viewers can get a solid feel for your work environment, along with learning your organization’s goals. Content updates should radiate excitement and invite curiosity. Regular, relevant updates will keep the Likers liking, the Followers following, and the Connected connected. Occasional or irrelevant updates, will result in an audience that stops listening or disconnects all together. Remember: there is always another organization ready to steal your audience’s attention, and your future talent may be among that audience.

Finding Time to Be Social

If you are concerned about the time it takes to post updates, work closely with your marketing team to see how tasks can be coordinated. Solicit content ideas from the organization as a whole, and of course, identify the types of content that your audience finds meaningful. If your organization is small and your team members wear many hats, look at identifying a team member to coordinate updates, but with the understanding that everyone is responsible for providing ideas, interesting facts and data, and overall enriching content that emphasizes your organization’s mission.

Promoting Social Media Offline

Effective promotion of your social media sites is essential for reaching new audiences. Actively promote your pages on your corporate site, but also share your social media sites within your professional and personal networks at conferences, events, meetings, or even volunteer activities–wherever you can reach people in-person and wherever it makes sense.

Promoting Social Media Through ExactHire’s HireCentric ATS

Users of Exacthire’s HireCentric ATS can promote their organization’s social media pages from within our system. When job applicants view the company’s job listings, they can also access social media sites to learn more about the organization and its latest news. If you are a HireCentric user and not currently using this feature, please contact the Support Team to discuss ways promote your social media pages.

Do not let your organization miss out on expanding your audience through the use of social media. Actively update your social media and share your news with the world. People want to hear what is going on within your organization!

And of course, we like to share what is going on at ExactHire, so let’s connect!

Like Us On Facebook

Follow Us On Twitter

Connect With Us On LinkedIn

Follow Our Page On Google+

 
Image credit: Tapped by Mike (contact)

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