James Mayes

Archive for May, 2011|Monthly archive page

Blog: Proven methods, new technology – advert targeting for recruitment (c/o #trudublin )

In Conference, Recruitment, Social Media on May 25, 2011 at 2:32 pm

For those following the tweetstream, you’ll know I’m deep in the fun of a recruiting unconference in Dublin this week.  There are a number of themes developing which will result in future blogs, but one I really want to put out this afternoon.

It’s clear many recruiters are increasingly interested in new technology and particularly, social media.  However, I’ve noticed many old-school techniques dying out. As an obvious example, recruiters are pushing out job details on Facebook and asking people to Like or Share – but are not asking for referrals on every candidate call. Those old techniques were drilled into people for a good reason – they got results.

Yesterday and today, a recurring theme has been “Where do we put our message?” – yet few seem to ASK those they’ve hired in the past few months, or long-standing high-performers in an organisation. If tapped, these people can provide a key input to your recruitment advertising strategy, social media messaging, etc – fish where the fish are, to borrow a phrase!

The reason for this quick post? A perfect example from a major technology firm here in Dublin. They’ve picked the top 10% of performers in divisions where recruitment activity is heavy. They’ve then asked for their permission to place tracking software on laptops. There’s an element of trust involved, as the employees are encouraged to go about their web usage in the normal way – but the result is compelling: clear analytics on precisely where their top performers hang out on the web.

Undoubtedly, there are other aspects to consider – but this strikes me as a rich source of targeting data which is being hugely overlooked.

Guest blog: Collateral Damage in HR

In Guest post, Human Resources, Personal Development, Recruitment on May 19, 2011 at 3:00 pm

I’ve had numerous Twitter conversations with CT Trivella over the past year – a mix of professional conversation and banter – and I’ve grown to really appreciate the way she develops an idea. With that in mind, I offered her a guest post slot here and was delighted when she accepted. There’s a full bio at the end of the post, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy the read!

Some very disturbing situations have arisen lately that have made me stop and take pause. I am seeing an inordinate number of human resources pals, along with business acquaintances leaving their human resource positions. The most disturbing fact about these vacancies is that many of them have left their jobs without securing another position. Given the current economic situation existing in the world today, I find this alarming. At first glance I wondered what was so wrong with their jobs that they felt they had to leave without having another job lined up and with only a weak plan B in the works. After speaking with them, it became quite evident that they, like many other employed people, are tired of being beaten up and overwhelmed by the never-ending bureaucratic tape, lack of support and daunting demands to satisfy everyone from all directions around them. They actually speak like people who have had the weight of the world removed from their shoulders, not like people facing the stress of an upcoming and exhaustive job search.

Now having said all of this, I want to come clean. I am one of the people who pointed a finger at HR folks (specifically the recruiters) in an article published on the site ERE.net in 2010. I wrote about how every job candidate deserves respect and open communication. What I was directly referring to in that article is how every job candidate, regardless of their candidacy, should be contacted on the state of their application and be treated with respect and courtesy. For the record, I am not back-peddling on what I said in that article, but it has now become crystal clear to me that my imploring words only looked at one side of the equation: the job seekers viewpoint. [For reasons that could within themselves be a post, I won’t go into how (many) HR departments are still not getting the respect they should be from the executive leadership suite.]

So where does this leave HR in our current work world? To me it seems in a position of disadvantage. If companies tie HR’s “hands’ and any move forward is quickly squashed due to lack of understanding, interest, money, disrespect for the human resources function, or whatever the reason should be, why have an HR department within the organization? Everyone wants to feel that his/her contributions are propelling the company forward and making a positive impact on the culture, bottom line, morale, brand, etc.; this includes the people who work in the human resources department.

Thinking about these unemployed HR people I personally know and why they have chosen to leave their former company without another job in-hand saddens me. I know that each and every one of these people worked hard and smart trying to elevate the HR function within their organizations. The encouraging thing is that these folks are very good at what they do in their respective HR role so I know they will resurface at another organization… but when. Jobs in human resources are no more abundant than in any other profession. I’ve been told that certain makers are in place that will raise their radar and definitely come into focus as these people interview with their next potential employer. What I do know is this, these are HR professionals the business world cannot and should not be without.

About my guest:

Cyndy began her career in Human Resource Communications as an Employment Branding Specialist and Recruitment and Retention Strategist on Madison Avenue in New York City over 14 years ago. Prior to that, she worked in corporate human resources as a training and development coordinator. In addition, Cyndy has multiple years of media planning and account strategy experience at a management level from both the media and agency sides. She has managed/manages many client accounts ranging from Fortune 100 to small start-ups. She holds a BA in psychology and mass communications from Westfield State University in Massachusetts.

Infographic: Demographics of Social Media

In Facebook, Infographic, Social Media, Twitter on May 18, 2011 at 9:34 am

Blog: Rejection and branding in the recruitment industry

In Community, Conference, Social Media, Social Recruiting on May 17, 2011 at 9:28 am

I wrote this post last week for Bill Boorman as part of the build-up for #TruDublin. Now posted here for my archive!

I’ve been a strong supporter of the #TRU series of the events from the start. I’m delighted to be heading over to Dublin for Bill’s next event, and once again, I’ll be running a track. Those who’ve followed the events in the past will know I’ve often contributed in this way, usually focussed on use of Twitter from one angle or another. This time though, will be different.

I recently joined tech start-up BraveNewTalent. My role here is multi-faceted, for which I’m very appreciative – it allows for involvement across the firm, whilst also supporting outside engagement. As a result, I was recently at another HR industry event – leading me to write a short post on whether, based on energy expended, the Recruitment industry should rebrand itself the Rejection industry.

I suggest in that piece that the rejection aspect of recruitment is one which has a high brand-impact (especially for consumer brands) and is something which use of social media platforms could help to address.

Therein lies the focus I’ll be taking with my track for #TRUDublin. It only takes a little thought to realise how a poor recruitment (rejection) experience impacts brand values for someone who is also a consumer, thus ensuring the cost of rejecting that candidate is raised further when including the (sales) revenue you’ll no longer have access to and the marketing spend previously focussed on that consumer which is now to no avail.

Consider then, what can be done to address this? There’s plenty of evidence to suggest candidates drawn from a talent community, rather than a more traditional transactional recruitment exchange, outperform at assessment and are more likely to accept a job offer. This then, is a more effective model (if anyone wants a BraveNewTalent case study, please let me know, I’d be delighted to talk further!).

For the purposes of this track though, I don’t want to look at talent communities producing successful candidates – I want to look at those left behind. Maybe they’re rejected as unsuitable, maybe they’re not ready yet, maybe your hiring requirements changed. Regardless, they joined your community and you have the ability to continue talking to them. Surely to do so would send a far stronger message than the simple “Thanks, but no thanks”.

What can be offered? All kinds of relevant content. You may have rejected the candidate from a specific post – but there’s always the possibility you’ll consider them again in future. Even more likely, the possibility you’ll consider someone else they know. How many times have you heard the phrase referral recruiting?

If someone is part of a community, you can continue to offer them useful information about your industry sector, or the development cycle of a particular type of career. Depending on your choice of community platform, you can deliver these messages to the whole community – or target a relevant subset, based on filtering or segmentation. For those you might look to hire at some point in future, perhaps a mentoring programme might be appropriate. Regardless, they are ALL jobseekers, and it’s very rare any candidate gives the perfect interview.

Whatever you decide you can offer, at least offer SOMETHING. Simply closing the door when they’ve taken the time to investigate your brand is insufficient. Need more support or budget? Engage with your marketing department. If your community grows to a healthy size, they’ll have suitable incentive to help you.

That’s where I’m at so far. I have a myriad of thoughts on the subject, and I think social recruiting is really only seeing the tip of the iceberg so far. Let’s pull a great track together in Dublin and see if diving in allows us to get a glimpse of the rest of this particular iceberg.

Sláinte mhaith!

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