SOCIAL FOR HR – TALENT ATTRACTION

SOCIAL MEDIA FOR HR – BLOG SERIES

#1: TALENT ATTRACTION

The possibilities when it comes to recruitment are endless and given 84% of professionals in NZ are interested in new positions it’s an important area to note. In my role now every vacancy is advertised on job boards, including our own, but also pushed out to twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and this year we’re expanding those to include Instagram and snapchat. We also utilise online community’s specific to our industry through the likes of StopPress and MA+D Daily. As a result or targeted campaigns we can specifically point to all of these social platforms as the direct source of new hires. It’s important to note here that adding video and eye-catching imagery to posts and specifically targeting content to your audience is key to achieve maximum impact and engagement.

Depending on your industry or type of roles you may need to consider niche social markets for passive talent attraction such as the likes of Github and Angelslist – just make sure you understand the niche platforms before you dive into them!

Talent Pooling is made possible on social through the likes of followers – they are the people actively engaging with your brand online. This can be further honed by creating specific interest groups and managing these effectively, again, through engaging, targeted content.

The Employer Branding opportunities on social are vast – through actively promoting your employer brand, show casing what it’s like to work in your organisation, giving insight to your employee engagement and culture gives potential candidates a wealth of information when considering a role with you. And given 37% of job seekers claim they can’t get enough information on organisations in the job hunting process, this is a golden opportunity for employers.

Candidate quality can be improved through social also – you are given a forum in which you can actively have conversations with them pre, during and post the hiring process, in a way it becomes a key screening tool.

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Sourcing Summit NZ 2015 – #sosunz

The line-up for this year’s #sosunz was awesome – as soon as I heard Katrina Collier (@WinngImpression) and Johnny Campbell (@socialtalent) were on board I wanted to be there! And they didn’t disappoint.

Johnny truly deserves the title “Sourcing Ninja”, and blew all our minds with his tips on how high performing recruiters work differently. He introduced us to the ICES model – Identify, Contact, Engage, Submit and demonstrated hacks that would make us all first class stalkers or PI’s if we were ever looking for a career change! He detailed the need for precision searches, the use of timing and multiple channels for engagement, emotional intelligence in recruiters and the essentials of building trust and a reputation online. If you haven’t already, check out sourcehub, for incredibly easy Boolean strings searches useable across multiple online locations/sources. Also, give CrystalKnows a try for incredibly accurate personality details about candidates pooled from their LinkedIn profiles and other online presences’ – scarily accurate in most cases!

Katrina was equally brilliant. She detailed the need to cut through the ever increasing noise in people’s lives to get your roles in front of the right candidates. To do this you need to be someone worth talking to, be easy to follow and most importantly become known, liked and trusted. Make it all about them, personalise your communication, research the role and the candidate and check your use of words (see NLP – nuero linguistic programming). Katrina also stressed it being the recruiters role to bring people into the company – so don’t be hamstrung by IT or Communications/Marketing.  Mobile and video are now and talent is everywhere – the future is reputation based and employee centric. Don’t do the things you’ve always done.

Gavin Buchanan (@gavinbuchanan) spoke a whole world of sense in relation to internal recruiters and got more than one “here here” for his straightforward approach in getting the basics right in sourcing on the global stage: contextual advertising, be clear on the value proposition and who the target is, be realistic about NZ and job boards work! It’s not rocket science; get the marketing, advertising, site and engagement right.

Amy Tea (@amyteanz) focused on phone hacks – a recurring theme throughout the conference, get  smart, get on the phone! Use the phone as a first reference check, as a way to build the black book of trusted networks, be prepared, be meaningful and follow up!

Another one to advocate job boards was Chris South (@findsouth), however he noted that top talent very rarely need to use them so consider consumer job marketing – think outside the square, try new things and spread across multiple channels! Think audience analysis, marketing channels, marketing content, landing pages, timing and budget.

The unconference sessions were equally fantastic on the day – I attended Rachel Kemp’s (@Rachiemouse) session where my biggest takeaway was to set up, manage and grow LinkedIn groups relevant to the talent you are sourcing.

Overall an awesome day – I left mind blown, with so many new ideas for sourcing talent, feeling invigorated and inspired! Another amazing effort from @philliptusing!

#IT18NZ – Opening my eyes…blowing my mind

Phillip Tusing (@PhillipTusing) invited me along to the #IT18NZ conference on 21 April and as a result I have much to thank him for. I’ve come away with my eyes opened, mind blown and a host of new ideas for implementation and further investigation.

The day kicked off with a Key Note address from Candace Kinser on Building and Growing High-Growth Tech Companies; key takeaways for me included:

  • Start-up cultures are very real to people now; need to get this on table from get go and agree remuneration, perks etc from outset
  • High growth firms often attract people who are risk takers, competitive, creative, identify with the brand/product/culture, are well travelled and worldly, and intelligent but not always ‘people’ people

Candace was followed by Andrew Milestone from Red Hat who discussed recruiting the ‘open source’ way (opensource.com) being: open exchange, collaborative participation, rapid prototyping, meritocracy and community development. He also shared lessons for recruiters such as following the company’s mission and helping to build it if they haven’t got one, offering new products and services to customers and supporting charities. I particularly liked his final messages: Aim High, Fail Fast, Measure, Repeat, Win.

Laura Stocker from ADP, Airs was next on the agenda blowing my mind as much as last time I saw her speak with some incredible imaging insights to sourcing tactics covering Google image searches, Instagram, Xraying sites for images, Video searches, Vine.co, lanyrd and the likes of Trip Advisor and AirBnb.

Using alternatives to LinkedIn such at Stackoverflow.com, Meetup.com, GitHub and Behance.net with some amazing insights into finding candidates, their email addresses and links to their networks were the eye openers for a non-tech recruiter such as myself, and really highlighted just how much you can find on candidates if you know where and how to look from Chis South (@findsouth), of Prominence’s session.

Richard Westney (@HRmanNZ) of HR Shop had five lessons for us:

  • Don’t confuse perks with culture (employees want appropriate salary, challenging work and training/development)
  • Don’t F up the culture!
  • Culture creates the foundation for all future innovation (avoid group think)
  • Hire the right people, ask the right questions
  • Lead & manage in a different way (ensure company positioned for future)

Other valuable messages from Richard were to be aware of culture impact early on, creating small trams with laser sharp focus, leadership via trust and autonomy and encouraging responsibility and ownership (developed in conjunction with Try Hammond (@TroyHammo) of Vend.

Patrick Wagner of Game Loft gave us some incredible insights and advice for hiring and retaining millennial’s from offering workplace flexibility, listening to employees, communicating vision & values and making them grow.  He suggested being prepared for shorter term employees by shortening inductions, streamlining processes & tools, cutting long projects to shorter phases (agile), emphasizing strongest employees and not relying on oral tradition – document everything!

Troy Hammond (@TroyHammo) & Vanessa Payne (@vanessapaynenz) of Vend were on board with three tips for successfully engaging candidates; being story-telling, strategic timing of emails and sending follow up emails with real life and useable examples of each. They also discussed their partnership with the likes of Weirdly for assessing the cultural fit of candidate and Ask Nicely for assessing their NPS. Of particular note is their personalised rejection emails to every candidate.

John Clegg (@johnclegg) from Summer of Tech followed with the benefits of internships, from accessing raw talent through training staff in the right way, improving diversity and accelerating student development. To ensure success in the internship he recommends spending time finding the right intern, selling the organisation to the students, balancing hard and soft skill development and properly on boarding them.

The conference was closed by Mark Pascall of 3Months who started out with API and Google Prediction, moving through the Internet of Things, connecting the online and offline worlds with the likes of Shopkick, Estimote Stickers and wearable technology. He discussed Myo, augmented & virtual reality, and then moved on to Bitcoin and the disruption of money leading to innovations in smart contracts. All completely blowing my mind! I think it’s safe to say most of us could have listened to and questioned him for much longer than his allocated time slot!

#IT18NZ is one of the best conferences I’ve been to in terms of takeaways, learning’s and a lengthy list for further research and implementation – surprising considering I’m not a tech recruiter, but not given Phillips involvement. Further adding to the benefits of the day was the opportunity to put more ‘in real life’ faces to names I know from social media and the like, and catching up with others I don’t get to see often enough. A fantastic day, one I hope to repeat next year – and am slightly jealous of the crew in Wellington who have yet to experience it in 2015!

#RHUBNZ – Fearless Change Agent.

“Fearless in the face of failure” (@warrenyoungster)

…was one of the most eloquent tweets to come out of the 2014 #RHUBNZ conference. This came from the closing key note speech of the conference by Diane Foreman of Emergent and it really resonated with me. Particularly in terms of my pre-conference blog as to how I would become a Fearless Change Agent. Diane’s whole ethos is about conquering fear to achieve success.  And this was the theme for the conference; fearless recruitment.


“Be bold not stupid” (@MattBRecruiter)

A thread that became familiar during the course of the conference was ‘change’. The world of work is changing. Demographics are changing. The recruitment profession is changing; we need to do things differently. It’s no longer enough to do the same old same old. It’s essential to differentiate, provide expertise, demonstrate value and be a trusted advisor to our ‘clients’. Significant change is required, but it needs to be smart and calculated with a view to growing the role of the recruiter in the future.


“Recruiting the right person is like falling in love” Do they have to be mutually exclusive? (@SeanWaltersNZ)

I think the answer to this is a definite no. The ability for recruitment and recruiters to change now and into the future is as essential as being able to work collaboratively and apply judgement through the likes of critical thinking, systems thinking and learning agility. Applying lean thinking to the candidate experience is a key factor that came out of Warren Young’s (IRD) address, who has been working along principles such as “ask once”, “no touch” and attack waste”. These things will go hand in hand.

The ability to innovate and integrate will become key. This will entail the likes of greater social and mobile adoption, the use of new and emerging systems and tools, new methods for sourcing, selling, assessing and managing talent. Speed is crucial.

Talent is becoming a scare commodity; therefore the candidate experience is of utmost importance for all recruiters, internal and external. Refining this and creating seamless links between each element of the process will feature heavily and refining this should be a focus for all recruiters. 


“I can now stalk people on #facebook for ‘talent pooling” (@JaimeGallocher)

Tweet based on Laura Stoker’s (@lauralstoker) presentation on Facebook Search. #RHUBNZ unearthed a host of new tools, methods, and companies I’m keen to explore further in the name of change, development and being fearless. From Facebook search, through Prophet, Lippl, AskNicely and Watson there is so much more out there to enhance the performance of recruiters and recruitment – so much I envisage another blog to come on this.


“#FearlessRecruitment Make a decision” (@rebeccaclarkenz)

Recruiters need to decide to change. To grow, challenge and evolve. To achieve this we need to be fearless. Many of the speakers and in fact the attendees of #RHUBNZ are fearless; pioneering into new frontiers of recruiting through utilising, developing and creating new worlds of work. The options as I see it are to join them and lead the charge, or be left behind and face extinction. I know which I prefer, and I challenge you to become a Fearless Change Agent.