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Recruiters have largely seen social media as some sort of silver bullet, but in truth, it can be a wildcard. We all had high hopes for social recruiting but in most cases, it seems like those hopes have failed to materialize. Is it all just social media hype or can there be real value in social recruiting? If your end goal for using social media is to see impactful recruiting results, you might need to rethink your strategy.

You’ve probably been sold on social by now – in fact, 92% of employers report to using social media for recruiting. Which, in an industry that’s traditionally slow to adopt new technologies, is pretty impressive. If almost every company is using social media in their recruiting efforts, it must be valuable.

Unfortunately, the move from the recruiting margins to the mainstream hasn’t produced the results predicted for social media success. In fact, that promise was left largely unfulfilled because the landscape of social recruiting itself is changing. When social recruiting entered the conversation and our collective conscious, we took a one-size-fits-all approach – which doesn’t produce results.

We all turned to the same sources for information and strategy and it quickly became standard practice for every organization to have a social media page on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+ no matter what industry they were in or where their candidates are active. While early adapters built up their social networks and noticed some superficial success, there was no real ROI or focused strategy for companies to recruit talent through social networks.

Today, there’s a lot of noise on social networks which has posed a challenge for employers looking to recruit via social channels. Companies are using social media to market their products, sell their services, and educate consumers – on top of recruiting talent for their organizations. This has diffused the attention of consumers (aka your candidates) and diluted almost all of social media’s initial value proposition for recruiting.

Identifying a Successful Process

Before diving into social media, it’s important to have a plan. Start by deciding who will own social media efforts, identify key performance indicators (KPIs), and commit to measuring results. Make an effort to provide engaging content to your followers – think about links, photos, and videos that will grab the attention of the talent you’re looking to attract. Next, consider investing in a tool to make social recruiting more efficient, something that will automate posts to the social networks of your choice, measure activity, and, ultimately, save you time and money.

Another key to success with social recruiting is finding a way to cast a wide net; don’t let your message go into the ether. A great way to get more eyeballs on your posts is to enlist the help of employees at your company. Several companies have programs and tools in place to automatically post to employees’ networks, with their permission, which is a great way to easily access more candidates.

Social Recruiting: Time For A Game Changer

While identifying an ROI for social recruiting is difficult, it’s time to rethink our measure of success for this strategy. It’s more about the long game with social media – brand exposure, free access to an unlimited number of candidates, and building relationships with them rather than quickly converting candidates to new hires. In order to make social media an effective tool for talent acquisition, employers need to be realistic; it’s not a silver bullet, but rather an important part of a multi-channel recruitment strategy.

Turns out, sometimes those silver bullets can just wind up shooting you in the foot.

Spoiler alert: using #job doesn’t lead to more qualified clicks – just more noise.

So the next time you try to tweet your open requisitions or message candidates in hopes of making a hire, take a step back and put the hashtags aside for a minute. Here are some tips and tricks to try to actually get a candidate’s attention:

  • Reach out to a candidate with something unique. For example, respond to one of their tweets about their favorite NFL team and see if they’ll follow you. Then, when you Direct Message (DM) about a job, it’s a warm call.
  • Customize your LinkedIn invitations to give a more personal touch. Even if it’s not for a specific job, put time into the look and feel of the communication. First impressions matter, even in social recruiting.
  • Tell candidates they can connect with you through social media as well as through the more traditional channels in your voicemail and e-mail signature.
  • Share important updates on your social media channels (and use the word important). That way, anyone looking at your feed knows this is a primary source of information for your brand.
  • Make social media is part of a comprehensive recruitment strategy. A mixture of social recruiting, a mobile-optimized career site, SEO, and conventional job boards will help you round out your approach instead of putting all your eggs in one basket.

Remember: there’s never a chance of changing conventional wisdom by following conventions. That’s why it’s time to rethink what we know and what we expect from social media in recruitment.

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Today’s job candidates are looking for more than a position with a fair salary and a good commute, they want to work for a great brand. In fact, 91% of candidates say employment brand plays a role in their decision to apply according to a recent study from CareerBuilder. I think it’s fair to say that if you’ve created a culture in your organization that promotes results driven by hard work, compensates employees well and has the work environment of fun, creative collaboration – then you have the first part of the equation. The second part is knowing how to attract the best talent to your organization. This is where the delivery system is crucial along with the actual content you are creating.

  • At Mez Media, we work with clients to enhance their brand and we’ve worked with some of the top brands in Talent Acquisition. The one thing they all have in common is they’ve built a strong culture at their organizations that keeps employees engaged and attracts new talent as well. They create an environment of constant learning and provide a career track rather than a ‘job’ track. They’ve created an internal family, and they convey this by successfully positioning their brand internally and in the marketplace.
  • By the year 2015, over 80% of web traffic will be driven by video. What does that mean? We are doubling-down on video initiatives for our clients early in 2015 to give them an opportunity, at all budget levels, to make their video imprint online. When it comes to the brand element – there is nothing quite like watching a true, unscripted testimonial from an employee describing their experience at the company. It’s even more effective if there are a variety of videos from staff-level people, managers, and even an executive. This is a powerful internal recruiting tool as well as a great way to source talent.
  • Finally, we have asked our clients, from smaller privately held firms to the large Fortune 500 companies, what they are trying to portray online with their brand. The overwhelming response was that they are aiming to give the job seeker a 360 degree view of what it is like at their organization from team-building, outreach, and education. Overall, the goal is to make an emotional connection with their product or solution with their end-user.

If you’re trying to attract best-fit talent at your organization in 2015, you should make sure you’re portraying a consistent and effective company brand across all channels. Once you’ve identified what your brand says to candidates, consider video content as a primary vehicle to deliver that message. Video has the power of quickly engaging candidates and communicate your brand while allowing candidates to envision themselves working for your company. Effective video content could be the determining factor to getting great candidates to work at your company.

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Every article, list, and blog about great workplace perks tries to paint a picture of a scenic country club, filled with genius overachievers, enjoying pumpkin spice lattes while getting free massages. For those of us who work in reality, I am interested in discussing a perk that genuinely motivates and rewards. The goal of a manager is to build and provide a trusting environment where employees are incentivized to achieve and exceed target objectives while providing coaching when needed and recognition when deserved.

I’ve always aimed to earn the trust of the people I work with each day. This intangible perk won’t show up on any ‘Top 10’ list, but it is core to individual and team success. Trust creates an important dynamic of a positive atmosphere; individual opportunity for success. Empowering an employee to achieve individual objectives without constant, overbearing management is a benefit I’ve always enjoyed. I manage my team based on their demonstrated strengths and weaknesses; while analyzing the likelihood for success on tasks and projects. Productivity is increased when an individual is given the freedom to determine solutions and strategies with the guidance of experienced and accessible leadership. The employee knows that manager will provide correction when needed and the manager can delegate and lead. The necessary level of communication will naturally occur when managers and employees achieve the appropriate level of trust between objectives, abilities, and results.

Why Trust is Important

A trusting team dynamic will ensure that employees will be recognized accurately based on results. Failing to meet an intended target can uncover opportunities to improve future performance. I prefer to receive prompt, direct feedback when my results don’t exceed expectations. I trust my managers will provide constructive steps to help identify and resolve missteps. I use the same philosophy with my team. An open dialogue on areas for further development enables employees to increase the level of performance. I trust my employees want to achieve at the highest level possible and, in turn, they trust I will operate on their behalf to help exceeds those targets.

How to Build Trust

As a manager, it is critical to recognize your high performing team members. Consistent and constructive feedback at all levels builds the trust employees have in their managers and in the company overall. Finding ways to reward employees outside of traditional perks becomes an excellent tool for a manager. Recognition is the starting point – a hand written note, public praise, make sure the employee knows the behavior and result that warranted a reward. Additional flexibility in schedule, the privilege to work from home, and empathy to personal situations is a great way to build on that foundation of trust with an employee.

The Benefits of a Trusting Manager/Employee Relationship

Not only will trustworthy relationships at work make for a more comfortable, rewarding office atmosphere, they also drive results. When employees have solid relationships with their managers, it creates a pattern of success that motivates them and ultimately encourages them to produce at a higher level consistently. By the same token, managers can operate in a more efficient way if they can trust their staff. Managers are able to confidently delegate work and have honest conversations about workload. Establishing trust means employees aren’t scared to tell you when they’re overwhelmed, when they need help, and even when they’re unhappy at work – without fear of negative consequences. While it may take time to develop this level of understanding and empathy with your team, it is a priceless asset that allows you to better serve your employees. You’ll be able to provide the support they need to be successful and keep them engaged in their role. When managers gain a high level of trust with their employees, work product improves, morale is better, and all parties are happier.

For me, the ultimate perk is something that drives results and shows appreciation. I’ve been fortunate to work with people who put their faith in me to consistently deliver at a high level. I’ve been rewarded with flexibility and opportunity to further contribute in areas I have interest in within my organization. As I’ve built and developed teams, I’ve used this type of trust as a fundamental piece of my working relationship with everyone I support. I can live without the fantasyland benefits – I don’t even drink lattes. I just need a manager I can believe in and a team who knows we’re working together towards a shared goal – and I think a lot of employees would agree.

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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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