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With the omnipresence of the internet, mobile devices, and social sites, brand messaging more than ever is not just what you say but how you say it. The medium itself is a key part of the message, speaking volumes about a business before any actual information is revealed. Video messaging has been widely embraced by the biggest, most popular companies and helps convey that a company is successful and on the leading edge of trends and technologies. In addition, studies show that video enhances the effectiveness of the message as well, with audiences retaining up to 300% more content through watching video than reading text. This may be one of the reasons that website visitors are 64% more likely to buy a product on a retail site after they’ve viewed a related video.

Hot on the heels of the success of online video in the consumer marketplace, more and more best-in-class companies are leveraging the built-in benefits of video in the human resources space, particularly in the area of recruitment. For instance, text job descriptions are being transformed into video job descriptions to engage and attract the best candidates; company culture videos are being created to boost employment brand recognition; and video screening tools are being used to save time and money getting to know candidates. With its proven effectiveness and popularity, video messaging is now making its way into the next phase of the hiring process: onboarding.

A Better Way to Welcome

The purpose of onboarding is to make sure that new employees feel welcome and prepared for what lies ahead, but in reality, bogging-down new hires with handbooks and stacks of paperwork – even if it is well-intentioned – often has the opposite effect. Online video poses a friendlier, less overwhelming way to break the ice, providing audiovisual information that is not only more engaging but also more likely to be remembered. In addition, since video can be viewed on mobile devices, it allows new employees to progress through the onboarding process anytime, anywhere. Compelling audiovisual content combined with flexibility makes for a favorable first impression, especially with today’s fast-paced, on-the-go workforce.

Subject Matter

There really is no limit to what onboarding material can be covered using video.  Explanations of insurance options, benefits packages, diversity & inclusion practices, and compliance are popular subjects companies are currently covering through video. Video tutorials introducing employees to proprietary technologies and systems are also common since it’s easier for people to understand new systems when they can see them in action rather than through a series of still pictures. Other topics include the company’s history, values, products/services, and important people within the organization or your department.

Onboarding Videos for Senior Executives

According to ConsultingMag.com, it is estimated that 60-80% of newly hired executives leave within the first 24 months. The cost associated with these departures is tremendous, not only from a monetary standpoint but also through lost productivity and negative publicity. Onboarding programs can help with this detrimental turnover, but many companies flinch at the idea of asking executives to participate. If you don’t feel comfortable having senior-level staff taking part in the same programs as other new employees, video can be a great way to streamline the onboarding experience specifically for higher level audiences, demonstrating just how much you value them and their time. And since 75% of executives watch business-related videos on a weekly basis anyway, an onboarding video easily falls within their comfort zone.

Tracking & Calls-to-Action

An added benefit of using video for onboarding is that tracking technology can be embedded into the video’s player, allowing you to keep track of employee activity.  Depending on what type of information you need, tracking technology can be programmed to generate more general data, such as who has viewed each video and who hasn’t, or data as specific as when, where, and what type of device the videos were viewed from. The most effective videos also feature a call-to-action, which prompts viewers to complete interactive forms or questionnaires. This ensures that employees not only viewed the videos but also understood them.

Addressing Technical Concerns

It’s important to keep in mind that although videos have a huge impact on audiences, they also have a huge impact on internal bandwidth. In other words, the sheer size of video files eats up a lot of server space and could make the videos slow to load. This is a serious problem, considering that viewers give up on an online video if it doesn’t load in two seconds or less. Using YouTube is one way around this, but security can be an issue if you’re dealing with confidential subject matter.  YouTube also negates any tracking other than the overall number of views. The best and easiest approach for video hosting is to go through an all-inclusive technology company, which will provide you with fast downloads, secure links, and customized tracking.

Looking Ahead

As technology snowballs, society’s expectations of employers are evolving at an equally fast pace.  Based on other trends within the HR industry, such as social and mobile, web-based video will be the norm for both recruitment messaging and onboarding in just a few years. It will quickly filter to other areas within the HR space as well, such as redeployment, employee transitions, and benefit open enrollment season.  As a result, there’s no time like the present for HR professionals to begin adopting this versatile and effective technology into their existing processes.

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Partnerships require understanding, whether it be in our personal lives or the business world. Without understanding another persons' point of view, it can be difficult to build trust and realistic expectations of the partnership. Recruitment is an ever changing world, with a number of specialty areas just like any other corporate function. Personally, in my experience working in Human Resources, I have noticed that recruiters and hiring managers have trouble seeing eye-to-eye. Not only can this make for an uncomfortable partnership, it can also get in the way of fulfilling a very important goal: finding top talent for the organization. There are countless ways recruiters and hiring managers can best work together, but arguably two of the most important ingredients for success are how we treat candidates and each other throughout the hiring process.

To be successful in attracting and retaining talent, we must remind ourselves that candidates and employees are people … just like us. They are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and we are all human. They must be networked, sourced, recruited, interviewed and hired in a sustainable way. While business needs are always a priority, what makes a business and their industry reputation thrive is how candidates feel about you and your brand when they don't get the job. The hiring manager and recruiter as a team must remember that they are both responsible for adding value to potential candidates throughout the interview and hiring process, regardless of their viability as a candidate.

There are many ripple effects that can stem from the recruitment process, and the reputation of your personal, and company brand can suffer if candidates have a bad hiring experience. With transparent reviews on Glassdoor and possible exposure of discontent on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, there are certainly more reputational risks involved in the hiring process than there was even five years ago. Yes, the role of a corporate recruiter is to fill open positions with the best candidates possible in the shortest amount of time, but even more so, their roles have evolved to protect companies against litigation risks and damage to their brand. This is especially important for a company marketing a service/product to the public, or providing a B2B solution to other organizations. Candidates can often be consumers or decision makers down the road, and it is our shared responsibility to consider the bigger business picture.

Hiring managers are under pressure to perform and deliver, manage expectations from the top down and bottom up, and regardless of circumstances or staffing levels are held accountable for the success or failure of their teams. The empathy recruiters have for the empty space in an organizational chart, what that means to the business, and the motivation and drive they have to overcome obstacles is what sets the best recruiters in the industry apart from the pack. That same level of empathy is what also sets the best hiring managers apart.

We are all under the same pressures, and at the end of the day we’re all working towards the same goal. Nobody is perfect and sometimes the pressure to deliver on both sides can get the best of us. The key to a successful partnership between recruiters and hiring managers is a healthy dose of empathy for each other, and a shared understanding that the sum of our business objectives are bigger than us both.

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OK. It’s Monday morning at 8:42 am. You nervously walk into the office of your new job and you’re not sure what to expect. You have sweaty palms, your heart is beating a little faster and you’re trying to quell the butterflies in your stomach. As you don your best business attire for day one, so many thoughts run through your mind. 

“What I am getting myself into?”

“Was this the right move for me professionally?”

“Can I do  this job?”

“Is it the right  fit for me?”

That first day is typically a whirlwind. You shake 1,000 different hands and quickly meet the entire company. You’re focused on remembering as many names as possible and by lunch time, your head is completely spinning.

Just when you think you’ve met everyone, you’re introduced to your mentor. This person is there to get you up to speed and put you in a position for success within your new organization. Your mentor isn’t your manager, or even someone within your department, they’re a dedicated resource to help you navigate through your new job, and your career path in the future. A mentor wears many hats as they assist you: including teacher, coach, motivational speaker, company concierge, physiatrist, tour guide and possibly even bartender.

Why Create a Mentor Program

The mentorship role at a company is immensely helpful, not only to the new employee, but for the company as well. The more conversations I have with my clients, who are HR professionals, the more I hear them stress the importance of a cultural fit. Companies have their own unique dynamics or personality that define their identity. One role of the mentor is to teach that philosophy to the new hire. It can be overwhelming to absorb so much new information so quickly. However, a strong mentor can be an advocate and explain the company values in a reasonable, understandable manner. Another role of the mentor that is truly critical to the success of the organization is the ability to train new employees and set them up for success. Even if your organization has the most dynamic and successful training program, the mentor should serve as an informal supplement to that training. Inevitably, the new hire will have some hurdles as they learn all the new processes and procedures. A mentor is a go-to resource for questions and can provide further insight for new hires outside their job function.  It should be a huge asset for all involved.

Keys to a Successful Mentor Program

Now that you’re sold on the idea of creating a mentor program, you might be wondering where to start. Just like any new business project it’s important to identify the goal and put a plan in place to reach that goal. Here are a few tips to get your mentorship program off the ground.

  1. Identify Mentors: Several factors are critical for an organization when they select a mentor. You need someone is who smart, understanding, knows the organization and is a good teacher.  Most importantly, an organization should select mentors that WANT TO be mentors. Make it clear to mentors that this could be a great learning experience for them, and a way to exercise their leadership skills outside the normal function of their role. Being a mentor isn’t easy and it takes time, energy and patience to mentor a new employee, so all mentors should be passionate about the responsibility. The mentor’s level of commitment and their enthusiasm directly effects the success of the new employee.
  2. Take Mentorship Outside of the Office: Fostering the perfect mentorship takes trust. In a successful mentor relationship, the mentee feels like they can confide in their mentor. Trust, in any situation, is built through time and experiences. Encourage the duo to get out of the office and do something, (anything) outside of work that can bond the two-some. Sharing experiences and learning about each other will create trust, confidence and a strong mentor-mentee relationship.
  3. Constantly Evaluate & Improve the Program: As with any aspect of the business, it is important to regularly evaluate and improve your mentorship program. Be sure to constantly solicit open feedback from mentors and new employees who have participated. Honest, constructive dialogue can help you pivot and reassess what is working and what needs improvement. Putting the mentorship program under the microscope for evaluation every few months will allow you to ensure you are maximizing its effectiveness.
  4. Seek The Feedback & Advice of Other Professionals: You will notice that more organizations are placing a bigger emphasis on their mentorship program. Pick the brains of other professionals in other organization. Use conferences, social media, discussion groups, meet-ups and other resources to get feedback, ideas and insight regarding what other companies are doing with their mentorship programs. Even a small takeaway from another organization can bring your mentorship program to new heights. Perhaps they have a creative idea that you can “steal” and it would make a tremendous impact on your organization.

So in summary, if you do not have a mentorship program … consider starting one for your organization.  And if you do have one, think about what is needed to bring it to the next level. The best mentorship programs lead to a more effective onboarding experience for new hires, additional career development opportunities for employees, and a strong culture for your organization. It’s a great experience for both the mentor and the mentee. Big picture: it’s a phenomenal asset for the company and maximizing it will be a huge win for the organization.

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Conversations surrounding the use of social media for marketing and recruitment often include an assessment of the pros and cons of its popular use in a generation that’s grown #hashtaghappy. The key here is that social media is cemented into our culture and become a place where people spend significant parts of our day. Social media is a key component of building a brand, spreading awareness, and bringing in qualified candidates, customers, and clients – is your company taking advantage of this great exposure?

Despite its grand appeal to a diverse audience, entry into this realm continues to be a daunting task to many organizations. In my experience, there is a reluctance surrounding the idea of putting something “out there” to a vast audience in fear of how people might react. People worry about the backlash of the wrong status update and/or interacting with audiences that may not be particularly receptive to their message.

The truth is, this can happen no matter what. However, the benefits outweigh the negatives here.

Messages about companies are floating around whether they participate in social media or not. If you want to participate in conversations related to your company, you need to be on social media. By actively contributing to social media in a professional manner, you maintain ownership of your image, gain control over the message, and are given the chance to interact with followers of your brand. The use of social media for marketing and recruitment has powerful benefits:

  1. Trackability of lead source demographics
  2. Media campaigns that reach a larger, more targeted audience
  3. Clear numeric indicators of brand-building and reach with recording of click-throughs, likes, etc.
  4. Greater control of your social media image
  5. Saving on print materials

How to Make it Work for You

Whether your organization has already started using social media and would like to revisit your approach or has just started to contemplate using it, there are some steps that can assist in the ramp-up.

  1. Develop a social media policy for your company.
    The policy should reflect your company’s business environment and goals for using social media. Choose which social media sites will work best for your company. It doesn’t just have to be Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. In fact, a more niche site might work even better for your business. Dedicate one person to create content and monitor activity on social media for best results – it really is a full time job. Include guidelines on what degree non-company members will be able to post publically (i.e. comments on a wall). Whenever possible, a legal review of the policy is recommended.
  2. Create an outline for the rollout of your social media campaign.
    The outline should include examples of what material will be posted, the frequency you plan to post to each social network, and the proposed time for these posts. Do your research and make sure your content is relevant to your target audience and that you’re posting at times when they are active on social media. Decide what your measure of success will be. It makes strategic sense to have a system in place for counting “clicks” and “likes,” for example.
  3. Assess the results
    Many social media platforms have their own analytics built in. Use these metrics and some of your own to report back on effectiveness. Review results on how your team measured against the goals you set for your social media campaign. Did you measure up to your definition of success? Where did you fall short? This is also a good time to make any necessary changes to your strategy and pivot from there.

Tips for Creating Social Media Messages

  • Don’t use sales content – aim to build relationships.
  • Use images, infographics, and videos to make your posts eye-catching.
  • Provide relevant information.
  • Celebrate your company’s successes.
  • Engage and interact with your followers.
  • Use third party resources and be sure to source the information.

Keep in mind that all things new include an adjustment phase. Being patient with yourself and your company as you adapt to using social media will go a long way making a positive leap in the growth of your company.

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Sometimes I wonder if waiting for the “Next Big Thing” has become a new sport. Last month at the HR Technology Conference, I felt like people were waiting for this clear signal of “Next Big Thing” in recruiting.

Whenever I feel that way, I have a tendency to start at the basics. Like with a definition. Even when I know the definition. It helps me focus. So, recruiting is defined as the activity of enrolling, hiring, and/or engaging a person either in an organization or as a supporter.

After three plus days of educational sessions and expo hall conversations, know what I realized? We all hold the key to the “Next Big Thing”. Instead of looking for it to happen, we need to make it happen ourselves.

  1. Revisit our recruiting goals and strategies. The fundamental goal of recruiting doesn’t change. It’s to hire the best people in the most effective and efficient way possible. The first part of the sentence doesn’t change. We will always be looking for the best talent. But the second part – effective and efficient – is always changing. That’s why we have to find solutions to scale our efforts. Including recruiting technology solutions as part of organizational goals sends the message that talent is a “Big” deal within the company.
  2. Implement technology tools such as mobile, social and video in the recruitment process. By now, we understand that video, social and mobile are not fads or trends. It doesn’t matter how much we personally use them -- your recruiting strategy must include them. HR departments have a real opportunity to usher in the “Next Big” wave of engagement with mobile recruiting, social sharing, and video interviews.
  3. Revise our hiring policies and practices. If we’re going to refocus our strategy and rework the tools, then it’s obvious we have to revise our policies and practices. With the help of an applicant tracking system (ATS), we can streamline the hiring process. We can also create a more collaborative hiring environment. Building high performing recruiting teams will be “Next” on the minds of senior leaders as the search for talent continues to get tougher.
  4. Refine the candidate experience. There’s lots of talk these days about the candidate experience - and with good reason. The candidate experience impacts the bottom-line of the organization. What candidates think of your organization impacts who applies, who gets hired, who takes care of the customer, and therefore how well the company performs. The candidate experience isn’t a “set it and forget it” strategy. Smart organizations will build talent networks to keep a constant pulse on what’s “Next” with talent.
  5. Redefine employment metrics and reporting. I had a boss who always said, “What gets measured gets done.” It’s a slight variation of the famous Peter Drucker quote. We have to make sure our methods are successful. Using data from our recruiting technology allows us to establish the metrics we will use to define success, evaluate our progress, and make adjustments as necessary. Technology takes the excuse, “It’s impossible to determine those numbers,” off the table.

What’s great about this approach is we can do one of these, all of them or a combination to create the “Next Big Thing” for our organizations. If your organization already has recruitment technology in place, then it becomes a question of stepping up your game.

  • Should recruiting goals be revisited?
  • Are we maximizing the use of our technology?
  • Is the candidate experience the best it can be?
  • Can our recruiting teams perform better or faster?

The “Next Big Thing” in recruiting starts with you.

P.S. Want to see how recruiting technology can create the “Next Big Thing” for your recruiting efforts? Join me and Holly DeMuro, Hire Expectations Institute Curator at iCIMS, on Thursday, November 13 for a webinar on “Increasing Productivity Using HR Recruiting Technology.” Details and registration information can be found here

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If you’ve ever interviewed anyone, you know that the focus is usually about how the candidate is perceived by the interviewer, but have you ever thought about what the candidate thinks of you? Well, it’s a great starting point to evaluate your employee engagement. The reality is that a smooth, appealing candidate experience from the onset of your relationships can make or break new employee engagement. And while there are many ways to bolster candidate and employee engagement, a great place to start is as simple as rolling all features of the talent acquisition process together into what’s called an end-to-end recruiting framework. The best practice is to combine employer branding, candidate sourcing, recruitment advertising, career portals, hiring, and onboarding into one process. As a complete system, end-to-end talent acquisition shows candidates, and new hires, that their engagement, readiness, and overall experiences are top of mind, and it all starts with the ‘pre-hello.’

The concept of the ‘pre-hello’ is to connect with candidates before they find you. It’s fairly simple and can truly be a game changer when used effectively. It starts at the very beginning, and the goal is to provide them with a strong, unified experience that will continue throughout the employee’s career. Businesses that incorporate the ‘pre-hello’ strengthen the candidate experience and help forge a strong, lasting relationship. The ‘pre-hello’ can be different for every company, but there are some elements that should remain the same for all: a candidate-friendly career portal, accessible, approachable advertising, and a quality pre-boarding program.

More than half of companies cite the need to engage new hires in company culture as the top pressure influencing their onboarding efforts. Employees are more likely to stay at their place of employment if they are engaged; however, they need a reason to stay. That’s why it is so important for employees to feel connected to the business from the start. By establishing strong relationships with candidates from the onset, companies give their new talent a clear look into what they can expect from their employer. It gives them an opportunity to interact with future colleagues, to better grasp future day-to-day activities, and what to expect from their new employer to ensure they are ready to contribute from the very first day. If your new employees don’t feel engaged from the beginning, what’s to say they don’t leave altogether? After all, 90% of businesses believe that employees make their decision to stay within the first year.

Hang on to top talent within your organization by starting your relationship with candidates on the right foot forward. Join me on November 5th at 2pm EST to find out more the ‘pre-hello,’ why an end-to-end talent acquisition framework is a necessity, and how leave a lasting impression.

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Each year, the iCIMS crew heads out to the HR Technology Conference to network and meet with thousands of HR Professionals from all over the world. Attending a trade show of this size provides several benefits for an organization, everything from the branding exposure to top sales opportunities. On my back from the conference this year, I noticed the same benefits are true for attending recruitment events. Here are some easy-to-use tips that your team can put into action to help stand out in the crowd.

Give Them Something to Talk About

At HR Technology, everywhere you look, people are posting pictures to Instagram, tweeting out facts from interesting sessions, and keeping the event alive on social media. The same holds true at recruitment events. Always be sure to ask the career fair coordinator if there is a specific hashtag that you should be using at the event – if not, make one up! Or you can use the school’s name to promote. This way, people following the school will see your company participating in the conversation on social media, furthering your reach.

Being active on social media is important, but be sure to keep the messages engaging and give people something to get excited about. Just telling students to stop by your booth may not be enough, let them know what you have to offer them and why they should spend their time with you.

Another way of winning the social media game, is to offer a really creative and fun giveaway that will get attendees talking for you! Here at iCIMS, we were excited to give the HR Technology attendees a ‘Suite Dreams’ room drop package – complete with fuzzy Ike slippers and a sleep mask! People were thrilled with the gift and shared their excitement on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Giving away some fun, creative promotional items to students can provide the same results at recruitment events.

Express Your Culture … Creatively

Many organizations hand out flyers or folders at college fairs that may say what a great place their company is – but showing them first hand is much more valuable. At HR Technology, some vendors used their booth atmosphere to mimic aspects of their corporate culture such as ditching the business wear and having team members wear their jeans and sneakers to demonstrate their casual dress code at work. This helps your company stand out, and gives booth attendees an idea of what it’s like to work at your company – just by passing by the booth. 

This tip can easily be used at recruitment events to physically show potential candidates what type of organization they could work for. For example, if a perk at your company is free healthy snacks to employees, you can fill your table with fruits and granola bars for students to snack on. If you have a strong community focus around green initiatives – perhaps you can have small plants on your table to hand out to students when they come to learn about your organization. These are all ways to stand out by showing your company culture, rather than just writing it in a pamphlet.

Get Digital

Walking through the aisles of HR Technology, digital devices are EVERYWHERE. Whether it’s iPads, monitors, video walls, or interactive touch screens – every booth is showcasing their products on screen.

Basically paper is becoming obsolete at these events – people don’t even bring business cards anymore! All information is collected through electronic scanners and other devices so that attendees don’t need to worry about bringing anything with them.

This is a trend that is also present at recruitment events by using mobile-optimized recruitment marketing automation tools which are used to collect students’ information. Companies with monitors or iPads are much more likely to get attention from students, than booths with flyers and a stack of resumes. Giving students a way to electronically submit their resumes, shows that your company is up-to-date with technology and the student will appreciate not having to carry a stack of paper resumes around with them. Additionally, it creates a pool of candidates for recruiters to engage with after the career fair. By having the candidates’ information already imported in a recruitment marketing automation tool, recruiters can easily send email communications and keep interested candidates updated on company news, job openings, and more.

These are just a few ways for your organization to stand out at upcoming recruitment fairs. What other strategies are you using to achieve success at your events?

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During my post college job search, one of the most effective networking strategies I utilized was the informational interview. For those unfamiliar with this term, an informational interview is a candidate’s conversation with an employee that serves as a way to get their foot in the door. The catch? The candidate is not vying for a specific job requisition which can make this conversation a little tricky.

After understanding what the informational interview entails, many current job seekers may see it as a waste of time. What’s the point of going on an interview when there isn’t a specific role attached? It’s a fair question, one that I even asked myself prior to my first informational interview experience. But once I opened myself up to the process, I was able to understand how valuable it was in establishing connections and showcasing my abilities outside of my resume and cover letter.

The informational interview is a great networking tool for anybody, but is especially valuable for someone looking for a new job or career transition. Here are three reasons why you should include informational interviews in your job searching strategy. 

It Gets You Out of the Resume Black Hole

Any former or current job seeker will tell you that the most irritating part about their search is the “resume back hole”, a common term used for a candidate’s resume getting lost amongst the many applications.  Many talent acquisition professionals are looking for different ways to rectify this problem. In the meantime, job seekers can utilize informational interviews to give their application an edge over the other candidates contending for the same jobs.

Job seekers should also keep in mind that more than half of all available jobs are not being actively advertised. If this personal one-on-one conversation goes well, it could lead to an employee referral for a “secret job” or a job not open to the public. Remember the old saying: “it’s not what you know, but who you know.”

It Will Give You an Inside Look at a Company or Industry

Probably one of the biggest advantages of the informational interview is the opportunity to get to know a company or industry. This type of inside look is something that a quick web search cannot provide. If done right, candidates will not only get the scoop about a company’s culture or projects, but they will be able to receive guidance that may help them navigate the industry.

The two keys to a successful informational interview is thorough research and asking the right questions. Just like a regular job interview, candidates should spend time before the interview researching the company and the person they are interviewing with. Then, they should use this research to compile pointed questions. One of my personal favorite questions I’ve asked in previous informational interviews is “What do you like about the company and what is something you would like to see improve?” Many professionals I’ve interacted with loved that question because it gives them a chance to provide their own unique insight.

It Could Lead to a Potential Mentorship Opportunity

When I describe the informational interview to others, I like to call it “the building blocks to a professional relationship.” What’s important to remember is that this opportunity is just a starting point to a strong connection. If the informational interview is done right, meaning, there’s a mutual strong connection, it can lead to a mentorship. This tight-knit relationship can create big waves for a job seeker throughout the rest of their career.

As a professional who never had a mentor but always wanted one, I always give informational interviews my all, just like I would do with a regular job interview. More importantly, I always make sure I stay fresh in the person’s mind with a “pleasantly persistent” follow up strategy. So far, my informational interviews have given me a great network of go-to connections I can turn to for questions, information, or advice. Though I am still in the process of building stronger relationships with my connections, I have a few professionals in mind that I could inquire about a mentorship opportunity, and that’s all thanks to this simple exploratory conversation.

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Thirty years ago, employees weighed their job satisfaction based on vacation time, medical benefits, retirement plans, and salaries. All of those factors still matter today, but workplace perks have taken on a new meaning. The modern workforce is looking for more than general compensation, they want an atmosphere that will enhance their overall work experience and make the grind of the workday enjoyable. Recently, I joined our recruiting team at a college job fair and asked students what was important to them in their search for a career. Confirming my presumption, an overwhelming number expressed the importance of incentives and perks that extended beyond the salary. As an employer, the right perks go a long way in an effort to provide a positive work experience to the staff. In this blog, I discuss several successful endeavors that worked at my company, but I encourage each employer to seek the feedback of staff members in order to decide what perks are most beneficial at your organization.

Free Food Tastes Better

Here at iCIMS, we have an abundance of drinks, lunch, and snacks provided by the company for employees. We half-jokingly coined the phrase “The iCIMS 15”. Similar to freshmen year in college, it’s easy to pack on a few extra pounds between the pot lucks, lunch and learns, bagel Fridays, and other company events. These events feed more than just a hungry stomach — they promote a much-needed sense of community that ties departments together. For example, in my role, I rarely come into contact with our software developers. However, I still have a great working relationship with the team since we can easily stay in touch during frequent company events. Each month, the company provides a great opportunity to mix and collaborate with departments that may not interact together regularly.

A Workforce that Hoops Together, Stays Together

I once heard the phrase “I would never leave the company until we win a championship with the company basketball team.” Certainly an exaggerated statement, but the perks derived from a workplace team (soccer, softball, basketball, golf, etc.) do wonders for an organization. It brings a sense of comradery and teamwork to a company. In addition, these type of perks promote healthy lifestyles which is a win for all. Company sports teams also provide a unique way to showcase the brand to the community. At iCIMS, we have even seen it as a recruiting tool on occasion. For example, players on opposing teams become interested in a company with such a great culture, then research the company,  and end up applying.

Passionate Outreach Projects Do Wonders 

Our company vision promotes responsibility to our community and our environment. This can be exemplified with projects such as park clean-ups, community volunteering and fundraising. It’s so powerful to watch the collective workforce rally for a cause they believe in as a unit. When Hurricane Sandy devastated our area, iCIMS collected over $30,000 for the Raine Foundation. Through this endeavor, our team directly impacted the lives of struggling families in an immediate and obvious way. This proved not only to be an impactful way to support the community, but also provided each employee with a sense of gratitude and the opportunity to assist in a quick and meaningful manner.

Bring Your Kids to Work Day

Perhaps no single event can be more rewarding for employers than Bring Your Kids to Work Day.  The day provides a chance for an employee to have their workplace family meet their real family. Children get to see behind the curtain into where their parents go each day, what they do, and who they interact with. It’s a fun-filled day for all, and most importantly, it can bridge the delta between home-life and work-life in a positive and educational way.  

 

 

In summary, small steps can be taken with little or no cost that can provide tremendous benefit to your employees.  The benefits are endless as morale will improve, employee turnover will be reduced and you will have a happier & more productive workforce.  Most steps taken can be simple, inexpensive and easily deliverable.  We encourage you to develop an action plan with input from your employees to add some amazing perks that will be sure to take your organization to the next level.

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According to a survey conducted by GlassDoor, 89% of job-seeking respondents said they plan on using their mobile devices to help find employment. As a millennial, taking advantage of mobile technology when looking for your next, or first, job allows you to get more done in less time, and just might help you land a coveted position before someone else does. However, that's only true if you use the right strategy.

1. Safety First: Protect Your Mobile Search
Before you get started on your job search, make sure your device is protected, this way your important information used when completing job applications is safe. Create a password for your mobile device, if you don't already have one. To reduce the chances of identity thieves or hackers accessing your device remotely, install antivirus software. As a final step, make sure the remote wipe feature is enabled and that you know the procedure to quickly erase your device in the event it's lost or stolen.

Additionally, when applying for jobs, you may be asked to share sensitive information, like your social security number. Take mind to your internet source and avoid public wi-fi hotspots which can be vulnerable to criminals. The best practice is to use a secure internet source that you trust when applying for jobs on your mobile device, so your information is safe.

2. Download Apps of Preferred Job Listing Websites
If you're currently using Monster or CareerBuilder for your job search, be sure to download the mobile app. If you're using another job search website, as the saying goes, most likely, there's an app for that, as well. Other, more generic apps can be useful in your job search, too. Apploi, which takes advantage of the GPS features on your device, lets you locate job opportunities near you. Download JobJuice to prepare for interviews. And, Evernote Hello can help with business card management.

3. Include a Professional Email Signature
Go into your email provider's settings function and make sure you create a solid email signature for use on all job-related messages. Make it more descriptive and professional than the typical "Sent from my iPhone."

4. Set-Up Text or Email Notifications
Be sure to set up email or text notifications to receive alerts of newly posted jobs. This way, you can avoid having to check your mobile device repeatedly throughout the day, and you’ll be the first to know about new job postings for positions that may interest you.

Final Thoughts
The website TheLadders recently conducted a study claiming that if you wait longer than 72 hours to apply for a position after it's been posted on the Internet, the chances of your application even being viewed by an HR professional or hiring manager drop by roughly one-half. That's where your mobile device can come to the rescue. Start using it for your employment search today, and you just might get that dream job before you know it.

Do you know of any other ways millennials can use mobile technology in their job search?

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