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LinkedIn’s New Publishing Platform Revolutionizing Social Recruitment

LinkedIn is the largest professional social network. With more than 150 million users worldwide, the site has long provided an invaluable resource to recruiters: a dynamic network of resumes, endorsed by colleagues and connected by 2nd or 3rd degree connections.

For a long time, though, the site was missing something that drives traffic to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter: content.

But all of that has changed… and recruiting will never be the same.

Candidates & Recruiters: Finally On The Same Page

Back in October of 2012, LinkedIn began offering its own content via “Influencers”—a move that has increased site traffic eightfold, according to LinkedIn’s executive editor, Daniel Roth.  Just this February, the company announced on its official blog that it would be opening up the publishing platform to all of its members, starting with 25,000 members and then slowly expanding it to multiple languages over upcoming weeks and months. With the publishing platform open to all of its users, traffic will only continue to grow, increasing the opportunities for candidates and recruiters to connect online.

Just Another Blog?

Not exactly. Unlike other social media sites, LinkedIn is a platform for individuals to share their professional voice. Once a post is created, it will be integrated with the professional profile alongside the resume, connections, and endorsements. For candidates, this is an opportunity to build a cohesive portfolio online. For recruiters, it means quickly identifying the passions, writing skills, and expertise of potential candidates.

Candidate profiles aren’t the only ones on display though; all companies should be developing a strategy for how to use LinkedIn to market their brand. The benefits of a strong brand for talent acquisition is long established: simply put, companies with strong brand presence are more likely to engage and retain top talent.

Tips to Make The Most Out Of The New Publisher

  1. Involve your CEO: As leaders of your company, they are your brand ambassadors. Leverage them to build a strong voice for your company online.
  2. Share your business’s expertise: Your insights and thought leadership will engage candidates and spark professional conversations that will in turn strengthen your network.
  3. Don’t bore readers with walls of text: It’s tempting to restrict content to text when maintaining a professional tone, but in order to truly engage readers you will need to include images and video.
  4. Connect with the right readers: One of the big perks of the new platform is being able to see demographic analytics about who is clicking on your content. This means you’ll be able to review whether your content targets the right professionals.

Get Ahead Of The Curve

The new publisher isn’t available to everyone yet, so there is still time to build your network by joining groups and updating your profile. In the meantime, develop a strategy with your HR team to leverage this new tool to access top talent at no additional cost.  

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Being part of the recruiting team here at iCIMS is really exciting for a few reasons. First, iCIMS is one of New Jersey’s fastest growing companies. In just a few years, iCIMS has added hundreds of employees and they are expected to add another 120 within the year. Second, I get to use the latest talent acquisition solutions to help with my sourcing and recruiting efforts.

While most of our recruiting efforts come from job postings, social media, and employee referrals, one of the most important efforts comes from college recruiting. Career fairs provide a prime opportunity to interact with students, bring brand awareness, and make many new connections. From planning to the actual event, here are some tips that we live by!
 

1) Create a Plan

At iCIMS, we spend months planning for college recruitment season. We have frequent brainstorming sessions where we choose our target schools, develop “teams” of the best iCIMS employees to join us, and discuss which jobs we want to focus on while at the event. Additionally, we have the task of choosing the way we market ourselves while there, from picking out the tchotchkes to hand out, to what banners we want to use, to the brochures and information pieces laid out. Once everything is decided, it is time to prep the team, charge the iPad and laptops, pack up the supplies, and hit the road!

2) Go Team!

Having the right team in place is crucial for a success. We carefully select who will be on the career fair teams, which is often hard because we have so many great volunteers. Whether it’s a Monmouth alum from iCIMS’ Sales team helping us recruit at the business school’s events or bringing a Scarlett Knight from iCIMS’ R&D department to a Rutgers tech career fair, we try to bring alumni from the schools who are representative of the opportunities currently available at iCIMS. We hand out special branded t-shirts to the dream team members, give them a break down of the opportunities, the logistics of the career fair, “the elevator pitch,” etc. Once everybody is prepped and caffeinated, we get ready to shake some hands!

3) Keep it Simple

We are a green company, so we are always trying to think of ways to reduce our carbon footprint. We actually don’t collect a single resume at the career fairs. We either have applicants sign into our Talent CRM, iCIMS Connect, at the fair or we hand out an Ike sticker with the career page link on it to encourage them to apply directly online. After a long day of meeting and greeting at the career fair, our work continues. We will run a report to see if any attendees have applied to positions at iCIMS and start to qualify the applicants and take next steps, like sending them a request to submit a Video Cover Letter. It’s important to follow up with the candidates and to be in touch with them shortly after they apply. This gets them interested and excited, as they are usually overwhelmed at these events and may feel they would otherwise be lost in the pile! While on the career site, they will also get a better understanding of who we are and especially our company culture. While this approach is new for us, we have seen a lot of success with this tactic.

Career fairs can be very overwhelming and exhausting for both the recruiters and students. It’s important, even after giving the same spiel a hundred times, to let your passion and excitement for the company show. Be friendly, be welcoming, and be yourself. The students we meet can feel our enthusiasm and it’s contagious. Remember, you could be shaking hands with your future colleague!

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Sharlyn Lauby, SPHR, CPLP is the HR Bartender, whose blog is a friendly place to discuss workplace issues. When she’s not tending bar, Sharlyn is president of ITM Group, Inc., which specializes in training solutions to help clients retain and engage talent. Her off-hours are spent searching for the best hamburger on the planet, fabulous wine that cost less than $10 bottle and unusual iPad apps.

Every organization has a culture. Culture is defined as a collection of commonly-held traditions, beliefs, and behaviors by a group of people. Culture is a part of every company and, in many workplaces, it’s never documented. In order for a company to achieve its business goals, they must recognize and leverage the talent within the company. That means being able to create a culture that is empowering, supportive, and, in turn, allows people to do their best work.

It also means having a culture that is diverse and inclusionary. Lew Platt, former CEO of Hewlett Packard, summarized the business case for diversity and inclusion best. “I see three main points to make the business case for diversity: 1) A talent shortage that requires us to seek out and use the full capabilities of all our employees. 2) The need to be like our customers, including the need to understand and communicate with them in terms that reflects their concerns. And 3) Diverse teams produce better results.”

The question becomes, how do we create a culture that does all of these things? Well, the first step is hiring the right people. The people that align with your cultural identity. Here are four steps to consider:

STEP 1: Understand Your Cultural Identity

Organizations need to have an unfiltered understanding of their culture – not the culture they want to be, but the culture they really are. As a human resources professional, one of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen companies make is to have meeting rooms full of posters that they say represent who they are as an organization only to discover employees don’t embrace those same qualities.

A company’s cultural identity is tied to the personal leadership of its employees, the emotional intelligence of its leadership, the trust employees share with each other, and the business’ ability to be agile and change.

STEP 2: Incorporate Your Identity into Your Career Website

If companies want to hire employees that align with their culture, they have to share what their culture is all about. A company’s cultural identity should be clear when a candidate looks at the company’s career site.

Organizations can use images and video to give candidates a sense of the organization. For example, I know companies that have demonstrated a commitment to diversity and hiring people with disabilities. It is part of their cultural identity and their career websites reflect that.

Images aren’t the only aspect. Your culture comes through in the wording of job descriptions, job openings, and the communications you send out to talent networks and communities.

STEP 3: Share Your Culture with Candidates

Today’s candidates want to see your cultural identity before they ever apply to your company. They are also looking for confirmation of your culture when they interact with recruiters and hiring managers.

This includes the exchanges taking place during career fairs, interactions on social media, and conversations during screening and interviews. Each contact between a candidate and the company either confirms or denies your cultural identity.

When an organization understands and embraces their cultural identity, sharing corporate culture becomes a natural part of the conversation. If a recruiter is trying to “sell” a culture, it’s often very obvious – the candidate knows it and the recruiter knows it as well.

STEP 4: Include Your Culture in Onboarding

Organizations do not have to lose their cultural identity during orientation and onboarding. For those parts of the process that have been automated, make sure they still incorporate a piece of your cultural identity. Obviously, the company can bring their culture to life using video introductions. But organizations have a great opportunity with mentoring and coaching activities.

One of my former bosses called mentoring “an opportunity to tell you where all the landmines were” and how to maneuver around them. Those landmines were are part of the company’s culture and, to be successful, you need to know where they are.

Cultural identity reflects many things: trust, leadership, accountability and working relationships. It’s what companies stands for and the way for companies to excel is to hire individuals that share those same cultural values.

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Effective recruiting is what turns an average company into a great company, and HR professionals can turn not only to other professional organizations for best practices, but also to other institutions that seek to recruit top talent. 
 
Fraternities and sororities, for example, have to be proactive recruiters in order to support their goals and make their organization well-known, successful, and effective on college campuses. The question is, what can HR learn from Greek organizations?  In many ways, recruitment for Greek Life illustrates a number of best practice techniques that are similar to how the most effective companies source for new talent.  

Rush Week/Sourcing

Rush week is the single most important time for Greek Life.  Every single Greek organization presents their events and activities for the week to the entire student body in hopes those interested will come.  Knowing how to effectively market and get the word out about the events is crucial to getting potential candidates to “apply” for a fraternity or sorority.   Many promote their events through social media, word of mouth, and guerilla marketing tactics.  This ensures the greatest reach to potential new members. 

Professional organizations can look to how Greek organizations approach sourcing to develop some of their own sourcing techniques.

 Make it Easy for Applicants to Find You: By utilizing a recruitment software, you can automatically post your jobs to your career sites and job boards so potential candidates view them.  
 Keep Applicants Interested on Social Media: You can announce new positions on social media in order to identify and engage pools of talent who might be interested in working for you.  Social media is the latest trend, and having the technology to post jobs automatically to multiple social media outlets puts you one step ahead of the competition.

Recruitment Chair Acts as Fraternity/Sorority HR Department

The recruitment chair is a potential new member’s main Point of Contact when rushing a fraternity or sorority.  They are also the person who determines which potential member will receive a bid, similar to how a hiring manager decides which candidate will get the official job offer.  The fraternity/sorority recruitment chair is responsible for making potential candidates feel comfortable and introducing them to the fraternity/sorority culture and values.
  
Sound familiar?  This responsibility is very similar to what the best recruiters do on the job every day in their respective human resources departments.

 You Are the Face of Your Organization: The recruiter is often the first point of contact for a potential hire, as well as the first person to communicate and their organizations’ values.
 Accurate Record-Keeping is Key: Recruiters might interact with dozens of candidates each day. It is important for recruiters to keep careful notes on candidate impressions as well as stages within the hiring process in order to make sure that the best potential employees are identified efficiently. 

Integrating New Candidates into Your Organization/Onboarding

Bringing a new person into your organization, and introducing them to “the way you do things” can seem like a daunting task, but in reality it’s fairly simple.  In Greek Life, new members go through an onboarding process that introduces them to the ideals and history behind their respective organization.  Therefore, upon completion of the process, they are ready to be full-fledged members of their fraternity or sorority.
  
In reference to hiring candidates into a company, the full onboarding process can be automated.

 Make Sure Your New Hires Get up and Running Quickly: With an online onboarding portal, you can easily display information on company culture and mission, host electronic paperwork, and give new hires an introduction to the values of your organization.  Transition your new hire into a prepared employee by educating them about your organization before they even walk in on their first day. A strong onboarding program will ensure your new employees are confident and ready to be productive from day one!


It’s amazing to see how recruiting best practices within the Greek community can also serve as guidance for professional recruiters. By taking advantage of these tactics, you can effectively recruit the best candidates, whether that be for membership in a Greek organization, or the best candidates for a job at your organization.

 

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As a thought leader in talent acquisition and a leading provider of social recruitment tools, iCIMS fields a lot of questions from recruiters pertaining to the use of social media in recruitment. Surprisingly, one of the most common concerns employers express involves advertising jobs on Facebook: Specifically, could Facebook job advertising damage the company’s employment brand reputation if the jobs end up posted near objectionable content?

Here, I think recruiters can take a lesson from marketing. The fact of the matter is, with such massive competition to attract the best talent, recruiters have, by necessity, become marketers for the company’s employment brand. Recruiters’ customers are job seekers and your products are the jobs you are trying to fill.

In the world of marketing, concern about the dangers of social media and brand reputation is certainly not new; it has existed since the first emergence of Web 2.0 in the mid-1990s. Back then, advertisers were desperately trying to figure out how to capitalize on a growing trend of un-moderated consumer interaction with peer-to-peer sharing, content syndication, self-publishing, and social media interaction. Since then, we have seen additional risks emerge within the world of Web 2.0: Rating- and review-oriented sites allow individuals to post potentially negative reviews, functions like the ability “Like” brands on social media allows companies brand content to display on personal feeds, which risks appearing near inappropriate content. Early on, there was no way for advertisers to know what uncontrolled interaction and uncontrolled content was going to do to their reputations.

The overwhelming prominence of social media in the modern world meant that, ultimately, marketing departments who wished to remain competitive in an increasingly social world had no choice but to take the leap into social media. In the end, businesses learned a new way to grow their customer base!

So, what about Objectionable Content? Questionable content was indeed a big fear for some. Still, many marketers pushed forward as common sense reminded them that Internet users see ads and content all the time, they are smart enough to look at each piece of content as its own entity.  Think about it this way, if a person posts a You Tube music video to their Facebook profile and shortly thereafter posts a photo of the family dog, do you assume the family dog is a rock star? Of course not! Also, the wisest marketers realized that the benefit of free word-of-mouth advertising far outweighed many of the risks.

Even though most users are aware of distinction between separate pieces of content and engage with each piece as a distinct item, many social media providers understand that business still needs to be cautious when it comes to their brand reputation.  Accordingly, social media providers such as Facebook have taken steps to keep social content as clean as possible with policies and content standards.
 
Still, some may question – Why bother with Facebook when I feel much more secure with content on Linkedin?
Simply, Statistics show that Facebook is, by far, the most popular and most engaging social network available today. That means, people pay attention to other people’s status updates and they are more likely to click on Facebook posts, see your job, and apply.

Furthermore, it’s often said that birds of a feather flock together. In the world of social media, that means that your smart employees are likely to have smart friends. You want those friends to take an interest in your job postings because you want smart people to fill your open positions. If you want to reach them, you need to grab their attention where they live - and that is on Facebook.

Still not convinced, download out Whitepaper on the Value of Recruiting on Facebook to learn more.


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The number of channels available to recruiters to source candidates has grown rapidly in recent years--namely those offered by social-media based recruiting. Software Advice, a firm that helps HR professionals research new recruiting software purchases, in partnership with iCIMS, conducted a survey to determine which channels deliver the most, and best, candidates. According to the 183 survey participants, it seems traditional sourcing techniques are still the most used sourcing channels in the recruiting profession, but social media is on the rise.

Software Advice’s data indicate that, despite the explosion of niche careers sites and social media-enabled applicant tracking systems, the top three most used channels continue to be the old stand-bys: employee referrals, traditional job boards, and company careers pages.

But despite these three channels being the most used, social-media based recruiting should not be discounted as a sourcing channel. In fact, when recruiters were asked which channels delivered the greatest quantity of candidates, social media was ranked third.

Furthermore, when recruiters were asked to rank which channels delivered the best quality of candidates, social media ranked second, outstripping traditional job boards and company careers pages.

If social media’s dominance in the quality and quantity of hires doesn’t convince you of its staying power, almost 50 percent of respondents claimed they planned on increasing their investment in social media recruiting in 2013.  Social, it seems, is here to stay.

Have a look at the 2013 Recruiting Channels Results for yourself:

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When social media sites first catapulted into popularity well over a decade ago we classify them as having a simple purpose—connecting people. Social media sites were first created with the intention of bringing people together in venues where they could interact freely, sharing their lives through a blend of sights and sounds. Although we still use social media to connect with people worldwide today, we have recently witnessed a transformation from serving as a leisure activity to being a necessary professional tool responsible for transforming the world of recruiting today.

“Social media is changing how HR professionals do their jobs, most dramatically in recruiting,” contends Alexander Stone of SHRM. The number of employers using social media for recruiting candidates is rapidly rising.  2011 survey results showed that 56% of respondents cited using social media to search and communicate with job applicants. In 2008, an even fewer 34% reported using social media for HR purposes. In comparison to the 77% who utilize social media for their recruiting efforts today, we have witnessed quite a spike in social media recruitment activity.

So, what makes social media so appetizing appealing to HR professionals? According to research conducted by SHRM, HR professionals have shifted focus to social media for recruiting purposes for a few reasons:

• Ability to recruit passive job applicants who might not otherwise apply (80%)
• Ability to target job candidates with specific skill sets (69%)
• Increase employer branding and recognition (67%)

In fact, four out of five HR professionals are using social media as a recruitment tool primarily for its ability to attract candidates who would not typically apply. Social media sites have become such an important piece of the recruiting puzzle that they are being integrated into applicant tracking processes. This automation allows recruiters to automatically post job openings to social media sites, mine candidates through their social profiles, report on the success of each channel in providing the best candidates, as well as granting candidates mobile access to job openings and applications.

With that being said, studies have reported that HR professionals prefer some social media sites over others:

• LinkedIn (94%)
• Facebook (54%)
• Twitter (39%)
• Professional or association sites (29%)

Since social media has penetrated the world of HR we are presented with the question, “what does the future hold for the relationship between social media and HR?” Although the bond between social media and HR has only been recently formed, we can predict that social media features will become a permanent part of recruiting and recruiting software systems. Accessibility will increase presenting career opportunities at candidates’ fingertips. Recruitment software vendors will need to accommodate their software to social media trends and innovations as we continue to see a larger dependency on social media for recruiting, onboarding, and engaging employees. Ultimately, in order to stay competitive in the war for top talent, HR professionals need to stay ahead of the curve and leverage social media as a powerful tool within their recruitment processes.

 

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As we reflect back at last year’s hiring data, iCIMS wanted to provide a glimpse at where our clients were finding their most qualified applicants across the different sourcing tools available today. In order to provide the most current and comprehensive data, we analyzed our 1,500+ clients’ source effectiveness reports. These reports assess recruitment advertising sources and the volume of candidates coming from each. Additionally, the report highlights the quality of such sources by displaying where candidates were in the recruitment process by source (ie: Did a lot of candidates come from a given source, but all were automatically disqualified?). On the flip side, the reports show if certain sources produce candidates who move farther along in the hiring process. We took the calendar year of 2012, and compared that to our previous study done in of 2011.  The results were accurately tracked by leveraging the automated source tracking feature of the iCIMS Talent Platform. This feature takes away the risk of candidates falsely identifying their source by automatically locking in the true origin of a candidate to ensure accurate reporting. The organization’s that benefit from the iCIMS platform range in size from companies of 10 employees, to global corporations well over 100,000; ensuring our report was applicable for a full range of organizations. In total, the data provided insight from over 1.5 million job postings, 30 million applicants, and 400,000 hires.

Of the 400,000 hires, 25% came from external sources (highlighted in the graph below) ; the other 75% came from referrals, internal hires, company career sites, and undefined sources. This data is very similar to the data collected last year (29% and 71% respectively), and confirms that iCIMS clients are better leveraging the tools at their disposal to make jobs visible via their corporate and in-house portals, as well as through employee referrals to bring in qualified applicants.

Though we are thrilled to see a high number of new hires coming in from these types of sources, the data also reveals the impact of external sources in the hiring process. Of the identified external sources of hire, Indeed.com, CareerBuilder, Monster, Craigslist, Linkedin, and Simply Hired, emerged as the top branded external sources of hire with sources such 3rd party recruiting agencies,  job fairs, and campus recruiting also making the list. Indeed alone accounted for more hires than all other branded sources combined and stood far out from the pack, delivering 27% of all external hires. Career Fairs also saw substantial uptick from last year leading us to believe that the economic climate is beginning to look up, and more recent graduates are finding jobs from these sources.

As we look back at where new hires came from in 2012, a few things are clear. The first is that our clients have continued to utilize the tools that are available through the iCIMS Talent Platform to effectively source out and recruit the best candidates. The second is that the external sources that were being used last year are still being used today, but in higher volumes, and lastly the sources may be the same, but the number of new hires has increased by over 25% leading us to even further suspect that many companies are starting to expand their recruitment strategies.

 

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Talent acquisition is a top priority for all companies, no matter what their size. To get the job done, you need the right person to do it. End of story. But with so many options now available for sourcing talent, where should employers focus their time and energy?

In the recruiting world, there has been a lot of talk about social recruiting--i.e. utilizing social media outlets like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter--to find active and passive candidates. Additionally, the nature of employee referrals is evolving, as these social channels allow current employees to post vacancies on their own personal social profiles.
As a result, the recruiting world is changing rapidly. Whereas sourcing and hiring was once under the exclusive, almost despotic, purview of the HR department--the experts who held the keys to the metaphorical employment castle--social channels have democratized the entire process. Everyone now has a voice. But determining which voices should be heeded, and which forums garner the most appropriate candidates for the job, is becoming more difficult as recruiters are overwhelmed with options.

To help navigate the evolving recruiting landscape, you need to know where you should focus your efforts. Are job boards still your best bet? Or does your company’s career page funnel excellent resumes into your inbox? Should you focus more time and energy scouring through profiles on LinkedIn? On Facebook? There are so many questions recruiters must now ask themselves to stay on top of their game.

In order to help HR departments and recruiting agencies prepare for a future that will undoubtedly be affected even more by technological innovation, Software Advice has prepared a survey to help determine which recruiting channels deliver the greatest bang for their buck, as well as provide employers with a clearer picture of the recruiting landscape as it stands now--and where it’s going.

However, we can’t answer these questions no our own. We need your help. And to make it worth your while, not only will we email you the results, but if you take the short seven-question survey, you can enter to win an iPad Mini!

 

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The customer is always right – especially when it comes to what they want to see in the product they use every day. In this case that product is the iCIMS Talent Platform, and iCIMS has always been committed to taking our clients ideas and feedback, and turning them into our newest features. While our annual surveys, client user groups, Product Experience Panel, and daily interactions with clients help us garner an idea of our clients are looking for, iCIMS has also created the Customer Advisory Council (CAC) – a two day conference held each year where an elite group of clients get together with the iCIMS team to discuss ideas and improvements for the system as well as upcoming trends in HR.

This Monday, September 10th marks the start of iCIMS’ 9th Annual Customer Advisory Council . The CAC gives us the ability to work face to face with both everyday users in the system and their executives to not only hear what new features they would like to see, but also things that they feel might not be working to their full potential. It’s a simple, proactive way to keep a pulse on how clients are using the system, ways that we can better the user and candidate experience, and share with our clients where iCIMS is headed as a company.

This year’s CAC is slated to allow for even more free flowing conversation between clients and iCIMS employees. With the largest CAC head count to date, new conference tracks, smaller break-out sessions, and one-on-one meetings all being hosted at iCIMS’ brand new HQ in Matawan NJ, we can’t wait to see the feedback we gain!

 

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