SOCIAL FOR HR – SOCIAL EMPLOYEES

SOCIAL MEDIA FOR HR – BLOG SERIES

#4: SOCIAL EMPLOYEES

Social Media Polices can be quite daunting for some – but they needn’t be. Depending on your organisation and the nature of it you may be open to a very generic social media policy, whereas others may need to be more stringent. Either way you go – it’s best to have a policy to safe guard both the organisation and the employee.

And that’s what brings me to the Good versus the Down Right Dumb! In my experience 90% of all employee social posting will be positive, with employees wanting to showcase outstanding work they’ve done, the awesome people they work with or cool things their organisation is doing. However there’s the exception to every rule right?! Every now and then you’ll strike one that posts photos of them snowboarding while on sick leave for a “back operation”, or claiming to be distraught over a death in the family to the point of needing extended bereavement leave and instead going on holiday to Thailand and posting photo’s on the beach and doing shots in bars….both true stories, and not surprisingly those people no longer work in those organisations. There were a series of other incidences in both cases, however having a social policy allowed for clear action to be taken.

I think when it comes to social employees, it’s like anything with employees – treat them like adults. Trust them to do the right thing, and on the odd occasion where they don’t ensure you have clear policy to deal with it.

 

GET SOCIAL

I hope you’ve enjoyed the series, and more importantly I hope if you weren’t already using Social for HR that you’re now encouraged to! And if you are using it, I hope you’re encouraged to go further. My advice from here is to quite simply, get social! Start small and comfortable and as you master one platform expand and grow your use from there. Get in touch via social – I’m not hard to find!

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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.

#HRLeadersSummit

I was lucky enough to be invited along to the HR Leaders Summit in Auckland this week, by the wonderful team at Drake NZ. Described as a high impact day addressing the changing face of HR, there were four speakers who were highlights on the day from me.

 Steve Tinghe, Business Futurist, opened with three key concepts for working back from the future – reimaging business and HR.

  1. Awareness of the emerging change.
  2. A broad and flexible sense of strategic identity. Senior Leaders need to take care to have a broader than internal sense of corporate identity, don’t become too introspective.
  3. A process for strategic design. In the information age we’re acquiring more data to make sense of the changing environment for competitive advantage; firms don’t need more information, just help applying and optimsing what they already have

He further discussed the need for strategy to be seen as a resource that needs time and energy and encompassing five key elements: Future, Creativity, Collaboration, Learning and Process.

The three words left with me after Diane Edwards, Ports of Auckland’s, address were Challenge, Culture and Courage. Entitled Change management and using HR to promote sustainable values, her session described the changes at PoA that enabled them to achieve a five year plan in only three years with some incredible profit and people results. Key strategies included:

  • Leadership courage; large scale restructuring, taking on the unions and chaining the culture.
  • Working together, reinventing relationships through communication, alignment, centralisation and integration. Show consideration and create partnerships.
  • Address poor behaviour head on; including the likes of zero tolerance on bullying and a focus on health and safety.
  • Breaking down hierarchies; such as getting exec’s out working on the wharf monthly.
  • Doing things better; competency frameworks challenging improvements and innovation, weekly WIps in place of annual PDRs and a customer focus on diversity of thinking.
  • Diversity and Progression; focus on moving women up, on progression through merit and job fit, aptitude testing and increasing flexible contracts.

Their results spoke for themselves, in turns of productivity and dividends returned to rate payers.

Kate Nuttal, Air NZ, though from a completely different perspective and starting point also told a pretty impressive story of the transformation Air NZ has been through in the past two years. Her five key takeaways were:

  1. Give people a sense of purpose, and connect to the vision. Small actions can make a big difference to the bottom line.
  2. Measure performance in a meaningful way and clearly differentiate high from low. Stop, start, continue mentality coupled with real conversations and staff development.
  3. Build great leaders and a robust talent framework. Leadership builds culture, creates engagement, promotes performance. Talent matrix hugely important.
  4. Truly collaborative with people (high performance engagement), connect with your people.
  5. Building employee capability in those areas that are a priority for the company. EG: sales capability – reward & recognition, sales cycle, capability model and collaboration.

The points Kate claimed made all of this work for Air NZ were: leadership by example, transparency, having difficult feedback conversations and coaching.

The final speaker also resonated strongly with me; Kylie Holton of Woods Bagot Australia on redesigning the workspace – a creative vision for the future. Kylie described building architecture and interior design in HR terms:

The main trends discussed were:

  • Culture & Brand; be original based on drivers of the business. Be authentic, show who you are and what you do.
  • Flexibility & Agility; re configuring spaces for project based work through furniture & infrastructure. Creating choices over when, where and how you work.
  • Model Shift; hierarchical to project based. Flexible furniture and walls (spaces that move and change).
  • Connection & Collaboration; people come into buildings for different reasons, and want to connect with the building differently, so creating scenarios for people to bump into each other. More break out spaces and virtual tools for engagement. Formal and informal work zones.
  • Innovation; spaces supporting productivity & innovation through freedom of choice and customisation.
  • Health & Wellbeing; natural light, planting and more sit/stand workstations.

It was interesting and incredibly positive to see so much alignment between our future working spaces, and evolving ways of working.

Something else interesting about this conference was that despite the references for leaders, HR and employees to all be more involved with social media, there was extremely little engagement with this during the conference. Chris South, Prominence, even encouraged it at the end of his session on Attracting the very best talent: The latest tips and tricks (which by the way was excellent and I got more tidbits that I missed from seeing him at IT18NZ), but to no avail. Hopefully attendees will take this on board, and hopefully those in Amanda Sterling, NZLeads’, session on HR in the Cloud – Changes and benefits of collaboration were encouraged also, so that next year we might see more sharing, conversations and networking as a result.

#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!

Balls, Service & Clients = Fearless Recruitment?

What is fearless recruitment? In thinking further on next weeks’  #RHUBNZ Conference I’m wondering…I’ve already pledged to become a Fearless Change Agent post conference, but what does being fearless in recruitment entail?

Is it greater, consistent or more use of emerging methods for attraction, application and ultimately hiring? Taking risks with candidates, going off gut feeling or not conducting reference checks? And are you ever really taking risks with candidates knowing you’ve got the 90 day trial period to fall back on should you fail or make a wrong call (NZ)? I should instantly round that off with my belief that the 90 day trial is not a back stop for these situations and due diligence should have been done before hiring the person. So then is it for trialling new methods and ideas in hiring practices? Is it letting go of the old and embracing the new? Is it not sticking to one method for all roles and/or candidates and being flexible dependent on person, role and situation? Is it about disrupting recruitment as we know it?

I don’t have the answer to these questions. But I hope #RHUBNZ does. I hope I learn of new and emerging platforms, processes and exercises for the end to end recruitment process across various roles, industries, generations and the hundred or so other differences between roles and candidates. I hope I hear of new, improved and tried and true recruitment management systems. I hope I learn about the future science of candidate experience. I’m also hoping for more research and insights to hiring across the various generations in the current workforce and what we can expect in years to come. I hope to leave feeling somewhat fearless; armed with new learning’s for implementation. Or at the very least new ideas for me to chase further.

For me, life and work as a part of that, is about constant change, development, improvement and as much positivity as possible. I would love to be fearless in all I do, however whilst I would describe myself as having “balls”, I also genuinely care about people and their well-being, and therefore tend to see the view of both parties in all I do. This isn’t always a happy medium in business; best outcome for all is the ultimate goal, but that’s not always possible from a business and profit perspective. As a result the ultimate takeaway from the #RHUBNZ for me would be to leave feeling fearless, armed with new practices and the ability to implement them ASAP in recruitment, with a sound ROI to feedback to the powers that be, at the same time providing a superior “service” to my “clients” – the employees.

Ten Action points from the #hrgcnz

Almost two weeks on from the fantastic HR Game Changer Conference I’ve had more time to reflect and revise on my thoughts during and post conference. What I’ve come up with here are my ten action points. 

Strangely, I’d been thinking about this post over the weekend and prioritising my action points and how to achieve them, then yesterday I received a letter from the team at Elephant Training and HR – asking me to do almost exactly that! Their letter reminded conference attendees of how Jason Judkins, CEO of Yealands, gave all employees a self addressed letter and asked them to fill in their goals at the beginning of the year. These were then sealed and opened at the Christmas party where they were asked to explain how they had gone about achieving their goals and received a $200 bonus. The results were exceptional, both personally and professionally.
So Elephant created a letter to each of us to capture our goals and actions post conference, with the intention that we bring them along to open at next years’ conference and collectively celebrate our successes and achievements. They framed the goals as actions to transform HR in my business, and actions to transform the HR profession. 

I’ve framed mine a little differently here as my focus has been on the ideas, wins, changes and initiatives developed during conference that I could takeaway and use in my business to transform the way we do things and as HR add more value to the business. Some have been instantly actionable and are relatively small changes, others will take some time to implement and require greater effort and dedication, but here are my top ten, in no particular order:

  • Instigate walking meetings and stand ups; movement stimulates.
  • Whilst treadmill working stations may be the dream, a great start would be non-formal and/or moving work stations promoting collaboration and collective / flexible working environments.
  • Use phones to record and share company stories.
  • Boost and promote the use of Yammer for internal communications; utilise more than one platform. Drive staff use of and interaction with 
  • Strategy on a page; simplify all communications, processes and documentation.
  • Use more visuals; in training, communications, recruitment…and so on.
  • Raise the profile of culture and embed into business strategy. Change culture along the way.
  • K.I.S. = In everything ask Keep? Improve? Stop / Start / Simplify?
  • Deliver, deliver, deliver.
  • Keep top of mind “What’s in it for them?”.

the many hats of an internal recruiter

This happens to be the third part in an unplanned series on recruitment, as result of my huge focus on this area in my current role. As an HR generalist I’m not a fulltime Internal Recruiter – but just at the moment it sure feels like I am! And I should start by saying how much I’ve enjoyed the extreme focus on this area of my work and how much of an opportunity it’s been for me to learn, grow and hone my skills.

The first hurdle I faced was a lack of quality applicants. Working for one of the country’s leading media organisations this had never been a problem in the past, people were generally knocking on our doors to get in. Not so now. A complete overhaul of our processes revealed some pretty shocking results. Our print advertising was adhoc and design templates hadn’t been updated in years, online advertising on our own media products was non-existent, we had only two avenues for advertising the roles – neither of which created any sort of candidate experience. From there internal processes were equally dated, not to mention somewhat slapstick and downright lacking in other areas.

I started with us, the company. I put on my marketing hat and then realised rather than reinventing the wheel it was better to consult and work with the marketing department to build a careers page on our website to load all current vacancies to – this has turned out great, though is still a work in progress now we have a whole lot more ideas to add to it. I utilised social media to link back to our careers page for vacancies, build online awareness and showcase through insights what it’s like working inside our company. Through up-skilling myself in these avenues and in turn our current employees, we’re already seeing a substantial following I these avenues and direct applications for both specific roles and general interest in working for the company as a result.

I hit up processes next. Streamlining, reinventing and mandating these across the board. In the months since these have been in place I’m happy to report more cohesion in recruitment, and importantly a consistent and higher standard of new employee.

Hiring Managers, where to begin?! I’ve lost count of how many different hats I need for dealing with the differences in their personalities, requests, expectations, timeframes, changes, whims, quirks, requirements etc etc etc! Spending time with each of them to understand the reasons behind the hire, their view of an ideal candidate, expectations regarding interviewing and various timeframes is first port of call. Then tactfully making alternative suggestions to these as the case usually requires for at least one of these aspects, or being pleasantly surprised if not!

All in all it’s been a huge amount of change for our department, and as such has required a lot of change management to ensure buy in from all, but it’s most definitely a change for the better. I realise none of this is rocket science, and there will be internal recruiters out there thinking we’re still in the dark ages! We still have a VERY long way to go from refining and tweaking the work done to date, to really moving forward into the future with increasingly more robust and progressive recruitment and attraction methods all adding to and enhancing our candidate experience. Our is a very big old ship that takes a long time to turn around, so I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved in a short space of time, and of the fruitful results we’re already seeing. There is as I say a lot more to do, and I’ll tackle it all one hat at a time.

employer branding 102

Post my first blog on this topic I’m left wondering…is the grass greener or is it only perceived / portrayed to be that way?

I’m researching all companies who on the outside project this amazing employer brand; a place everyone, myself included half the time aspires to work in. But is this truly the case, or is this clever marketing? For instance is the vision, mission and culture as it is implied, or is this the vision of HR or the marketer in charge of the employer branding? In other words is it real?

I say this as I sit on the cusp of producing an employer branding campaign / marketing plan for a major player in the NZ media world. I know what I want to project – I know the brand I want to portray, the culture I’ve been working for years to put in place and project. However is this only my mind-set? Am I portraying my loyalty to the brand or that of the vast majority in the workplace? And how do others in my position fare?

It seems to me from my research that it’s a mixed bag. I’ve discovered since my last post that looks can be deceiving. In other words some of those shouting the loudest employer branding praises have little to back it up, and others with zero in the market in this realm do an amazing job. Therefore does it once again come back to marketing and how you package a product? Or does word tend to get around re the good, the bad and the ugly in terms of employers?

Either way my take on it is you have to be honest. Project the positives in the workplace, tell the good stories and promote the progressive culture through employer branding. Be very wary of promoting your take on it if it is not the perception of the majority, and take the time to find this out first. Why? Employees are attracted and retained through employer branding, among other things. If it appears to be false, if they don’t realise it before they come on-board, they quickly will afterwards. To avoid disappointment and disillusionment in new employees, and to quickly build a repertoire and engagement with them, keep it honest and keep it real.

Thus you will position them for a better on-boarding experience and introduction to both the team, the organisation, their mission and values.  This should also ensure that they are indoctrinated to the culture sooner, performing faster and feel a much greater sense of identity with the organisation from feelings and perceptions they’ve formed about the organisation pre-employment. Ultimately, all leading to faster and higher levels of productivity.  But what would the case be if they were to come on-board and find the opposite is true?