If you are in hiring mode you’ve probably noticed a marked reduction in the quality of your ad response. This might be because you haven’t yet embraced the social media trend (and it’s not a trend), become SEO savvy, started actively monitoring your company’s online reputation and learned the finer art of Boolean search.

Google is now. Candidates are using search engines to find companies they want to work for. Top Talent is serious about their career path and they decide who sees them, who they want to approach and where they work. Networking is the definitive choice for serious job seekers (online and offline). Identity theft is a real problem. In the past you used to be able to find candidates through resume databases on the large job boards; that is in the past.

The good news is that FINALLY, companies are beginning to realize that bad hires are unbelievably expensive; recent figures put the cost of a bad hire at between 3x and 15x the person’s salary. So, relying on dated methods of finding talent is having a direct impact on your company’s ability to find, attract and hire the right people. The internet has created a fantastic opportunity for you to promote your company whether you are large or small to prospective employees so let’s get started.

Talent Acquisition best practices are evolving – again. The changes taking place today can be compared to the mainstream adoption of internet job boards in the 1990s. Monster, Careerbuilder and HotJobs took the lead in creating a marketplace for jobs and candidates. We’ve already discussed what’s happening to these methods – their market is declining and new approaches to attracting Top Talent are surfacing. Companies on the forefront of this movement are establishing a new set of best practices including Google, Proctor & Gamble, CH2MHill to name a few. We’ll discuss some of the concepts further including Candidate Relationship Management, Communities, Employment Branding, Niche Marketplaces and Social Media.

CRM (Candidate Relationship Management) is a relatively new concept to the Talent Acquisition function. Marketing to candidates based on specific skills, interests and experience allows a company to build relationships with people who they are interested in hiring (now and in the future). Mining for candidates via search engines based on profile criteria and then using email campaigns to introduce, involve and attract candidates mimics the Sales/Marketing function. Analyzing your career site visitor activity will also help you to identify why people visit, where they go on your site when they visit, how they get there, and what triggers them to apply is extremely helpful as you develop your career pages.

Online communities, both private and public are becoming increasingly popular among those who are serious about managing their careers. These are the rock stars you need and your ability to get them interested will increase your Talent Acquisition effectiveness. Building a community of like-minded individuals who are ‘fans’ of your company will create a viral network of people who help you recruit. It’s like having a partner channel (in sales), people talking you up and selling your company on your behalf. Private communities can be built through Ning and CollectiveX. In addition, thousands of niche communities exist that revolve around common interests, professional specialty and geography. These include associations, clubs, Meetups and online forums. Get involved and become an active participant in discussions, questions and blogs to help establish you as an authority. Top Talent likes to hang out with other Top Talent – and they want to work for recognized leaders in their industry.

Employment Branding; what is your company’s reputation (online and offline)? What is the word on the street about your company? These are questions that top performing companies are VERY concerned with. Who you hire, how you hire and where your employees come from are all transparent on the internet. Your company has a reputation. Your customers are watching, your employees are participating, and your future employees are making notes. Your job is to monitor, facilitate and respond to it; actively. If you don’t, it will take on a life of its own. This is the single most important indicator of your ability to attract the Talent you need to succeed in a globally competitive market.

Finally, social networking is not a trend. If you’re not on Linked In, ZoomInfo, Facebook, Twitter or any of the other specialized networks you are, effectively, invisible. Get out there, get involved and be highly visible to everyone. Accept invitations, blog, answer questions, ask questions and make noise about your company, your interests and your profession. Candidates are looking for companies who are visible, and have a positive rapport with their community.

Fact #1 – Your Company DOES have an employment brand

Fact #2 – Visibility is the key to social media recruiting

Fact #3 – Niche communities present a more focused talent pool than large boards

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Happy New Year!  I’m certain we are all happy to close the book on 2009 and look forward to building momentum again in 2010.  I thought I’d start the year with a series on trends in Talent Acquisition.  This is part 1 of a three part discussion – I hope you can embrace the changes – your company’s knowledge capital depends on it!
Talent Acquisition, aka recruiting, is undergoing a tremendous shift.  I spend a lot of time researching current trends and helping companies figure out how to do it – and do it well.  The task of finding, attracting and hiring talent is no longer about posting positions on job boards.  The times, they are a changing.
Let’s take a look at the state of the employment market today.  Candidate job board traffic has been on a continuous decline for 3 years.  The experience is frustrating for job seekers who abhor pop ups, are weary of ad-related content while trying to create a profile, have received WAY too many scam-related (work at home and make a million) offers and are increasingly aware of identity breaches.  Furthermore, the talent shortage is indeed coming; baby boomers WILL retire although not as soon as originally thought, and there simply aren’t enough people in the workforce to fill the gaps.  As well, more than 50 percent of American workers are likely to jump ship once the economy turns around, according to a September 2009 report by Staffing Industry Review.
Each of these occurrences should be cause for concern if you are using classic methods for recruiting talent today.  However, in aggregate, these phenomena have the potential for crippling your hiring plans. 
Change is not an option. In the next issue we’ll talk about tools available and new ways of finding, attracting and hiring strategically.
Fact #1 – Your Company’s ability to remain competitive is a direct result of your people
Fact #2 – CRM today stands for Candidate Relationship Management
Fact #3 – Your Sales Process is a model for your Recruiting Process