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Recruiting

A Case For Reinventing Job Descriptions

I recently had an opportunity to speak at Glassdoor’s inaugural Employer Branding Summit. I made the case that corporate recruiting is still rooted in dated practices, and explored what recruiting might look like if it was built from the ground up today.

One of the points we discussed was job descriptions, and the fact that they’re one of the least evolved tools in our corporate recruiting tool belt.

We’ve stuck to the script for years. Laundry list of vague responsibilities? Check. Unrealistic qualifications? Check. Compliance-driven language? Check. We’re not touching on many things that matter in today’s market. We can do better.

Job descriptions tend to be written for the benefit of the employer, not the employee.

When we write for compliance or legacy, we fail to give prospects a true sense of what our organizations are like – our culture, our teams, our perks, physical office space. We try to convey the soul of our organization in text alone. We’ve become over-reliant on our career sites as the place to share images, video, and our people.

Today’s prospect are busier (and more distracted) than ever. We have a limited window to get their attention, particularly for high-demand talent. A boilerplate JD won’t do it.

What if job descriptions looked more like this?

AT_JD_oftheFuture2_tweet

Candidates don’t want to rely upon boilerplate JD’s to give them a sense of whether they should explore your jobs. They want to know about things like specific deliverables, success measures, growth plans, and perks. They want to know what their desk might look like, what tools they might use, and what their colleagues are like.

Why don’t we consider things like…

  • Include a 30 second video from the hiring manger about why you might want to work in this role
  • Share stories of past employees in similar roles and their career growth
  • Include LinkedIn/social profiles of the team
  • Embed photos or videos of the office
  • Include infographics and other visual mediums to convey the opportunity
  • Make job descriptions text more dynamic by including hyperlinks to more content (press, awards, employee blogs, multimedia, company social links, etc.)

What are they keys to a great job description in your mind? Do you have any examples of other companies getting job descriptions right? I’d love to hear them. Leave a comment and let’s start taking steps to give prospects something better.

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Employer Branding, Innovation, Recruiting, Social Media, Uncategorized

Glassdoor Summit Preview: You Say You Want A [r]Evolution? #GDSummit

What if?

What if seems like a good starting point when pondering a revolution.

Think about where we are today in recruiting – our practices, our technology, our shortcomings. How’d we get here? Or more importantly, is where we are in recruiting today where we should be? Have our practices kept up with broader societal changes?

In recruiting, evolution = iteration. Our behaviors and approaches change slowly. Our practices are built upon workforce assumptions that aren’t keeping pace with candidate behaviors.

9/10 job seekers say they will use a mobile device in their job search within the next year, yet 90% of Fortune 500 career sites don’t support mobile apply. We’re not keeping pace with these changes in candidate behavior. It’s time for recruiting to evolve.

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What if?

What if…we started over. What if we built recruiting today, based on current job search behaviors and expectations? What would it look like?

I’ll be diving into that topic during the opening presentation during Glassdoor’s first Employer Branding Summit on September 12th. I’ll be joined by an exceptional mix of leading Employer Branding and Recruiting minds to discuss the future of Employer Branding, and its impact on recruiting. You can view the full lineup below. I’ll be the MC for the day, so really looking forward to sharing and learning from everyone. You can too!

Register Here

You can also join the conversation on Twitter at #GDSummit.

Glassdoor Employer Branding Summit Agenda

Hop On, Hop Off! Feel free to join a single session, portions of each or the whole Summit. It’s up to you—just make sure you register now for the live stream! You can also follow our live Twitter feed using the hashtag #GDSummit.

9:00 am – 9:15 am Welcome Intro | Robert Hohman – CEO, Glassdoor
9:15 am – 9:45 am Keynote Presentation | Lars Schmidt – Amplify Talent
9:45 am – 10:15 am Simply Irresistible: Are You? | Josh Bersin – Bersin by Deloitte
10:15 am – 10:45 am Break
10:45 am – 11:15 am 3 Secrets to Employer Brand Storytelling | Bryan Chaney – IBM
11:15 am – 11:45 am Content Is King, Distribution Is Queen: Content Marketing for Recruitment | Jennifer Tharp – AT&T
11:45 am – 12:45 pm Networking Lunch
12:45 pm – 1:00 pm New to Glassdoor! | Alison Hadden – Glassdoor
1:00 pm – 1:30 pm If Seuss Was Alive in Two Thousand and Five | Arie Ball and Anthony Scarpino – Sodexo
1:30 pm – 2:00 pm Infinite Possibilities, Limited Budget: Optimizing Your Branding Resources | Jen Powell – Deloitte
2:00 pm – 2:30 pm Getting Your Brand Out of the Box | Stacy Zapar – Zappos
2:30 pm – 2:45 pm Break
2:45 pm – 3:15 pm Using Video to Share Your Company’s Story and Attract Talent | Shannon Smedstad – CEB
3:15 pm – 3:45 pm Bringing It All Together: Combining Your Employer Branding Efforts on Glassdoor | Will Staney – Glassdoor
3:45 pm – 4:00 pm Closing Remarks | Lars Schmidt & Robert Hohman
4:00 pm – 6:00pm Cocktail Reception

 

dice_big fish
Recruiting

Dice Tech Salary Survey Results – 2014

Dice just released their 2014 technical salary survey results. You can download the full survey here.

The report provides insights into the current state of tech hiring across the U.S. The infographic below provides details of the top five salaries and markets for technical talent in 2013.

Dice_2014 Tech Salary Cities

In today’s competitive hiring market, retaining your best technical employees is vital. Rest assured your best technical talent is getting regular calls from recruiters. Will they listen? Are you doing enough to retain them?

The chart below breaks down some of the ways organizations attempted to retain their talent in 2013. They include compensation, increased responsibilities, recognition, and work flexibility.

Dice Retention Motivators

The full report goes into more details on the current state of technical salaries and expectations. More details below:

Dice’s Salary Survey Report for 2014 shows that salaries and confidence are rising for U.S. tech professionals, but tech powered companies are on edge as compensation satisfaction slips.

More tech professionals in the U.S. enjoyed merit raises last year, driving average salaries up nearly 3% to $87,811. Tech professionals understand they can easily find ways to grow their career in 2014, with two-thirds of respondents (65%) confident in finding a new, better position. That overwhelming confidence matched with declining salary satisfaction (54%, down from 57%) will keep tech-powered companies on edge about their retention strategies.

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Recruiting

The Anatomy Of A Top 10 LinkedIn Company Page: Inside NPR

The following post was originally published on the LinkedIn Talent Blog. You can find the original post here.

Last week LinkedIn released their Top 10 Company Pages of 2013. I was surprised and excited to find NPR among them, listed alongside organizations like Kellogg, Adobe, Dell, Mashable, Hubspot and more. As an admitted employer branding geek, I’ve been preaching the benefits for years. I’m also a believer in open-source approaches to work, so wanted to share some of the tips and tactics that helped us make this list.

But wait, isn’t NPR a household name?

In the U.S., this is true. NPR has been around for over 40 years. We’re fortunate to have an incredibly engaged audience, and fans who support us. This certainly gives us an advantage around discovery, but LinkedIn company pages followers are only part of the formula. The real keys are content and engagement. Your name may get people to click the ‘follow’ button, but name alone won’t get them to return and engage with you.

Don’t you need a big staff and resources to be effective in talent branding?

This tends to be one of the bigger misconceptions about social media in general, particularly as it relates to recruiting and employer branding. You don’t need an army of Community Managers to be effective. You need discipline, and tools, and a learned sense of time management – but even if you’re a team of one, you can make an impact. At NPR, we’re a non-profit with limited resources and a lean three member recruiting team. This means that I solely manage our LinkedIn company page (among other responsibilities). It can be done effectively, you just need to be disciplined with your time and use tools to enhance your efficiency. More on that later. Continue reading

#NPRsunset
Recruiting

Signing Off: My Career At NPR And What’s Next

Photo by Lars Schmidt

I’ll miss #nprsunset

I still remember my first week on the job at NPR in February 2011. I was touring All Things Considered at the beginning of the Arab Spring, watching the remarkable buzz and pace of the newsroom while covering a Mubarak speech. I sat in the main studio waiting room, speaking with a four star general before he stepped into the studio to be interviewed by Robert Siegel. It was so impressive to this newsroom neophyte, and I knew I joined something special.

I didn’t grow up a backseat baby. I joined NPR with a deep admiration for their journalism and unbiased programming, but not with a deep understanding of public radio. As the next several months passed and I began to get my bearings, I was often struck by my colleague’s intelligence, compassion, creativity and deep passion towards NPR’s mission to create a more informed public. Even though I was the proverbial new guy (an ‘HR’ new guy at that), I was welcomed warmly.

I’ve had an opportunity to work with many brilliant and interesting colleagues, not to mention a stellar stream of candidates and new hires who are shaping NPR today. I readily found collaborators who were willing to experiment and try new campaigns, like #NPRlife. I was fortunate to have a supportive group of HR colleagues and a boss in Jeff Perkins who empowered me to think big, take calculated risks, and not be afraid to fail. I met kindred spirits like Elise Hu and Danielle Deabler, who allowed me to get involved in inspiring initiatives like Generation Listen. I’ve had the opportunity to share our employment branding and social recruiting journey through conferences and media like Mashable, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, TwitterHootSuite, and others. Continue reading

Recruitment
Recruiting

How To Design A High Impact Interview Process

HiringHiring. It’s one of the top factors in determining whether your organization will succeed. Your people, and the culture they help you build, shapes the DNA of your organization. What are your values? What do you stand for (and against)? Why do you exist as an organization? The answers to these questions are generally framed by the founders or executives, but your employees are the ones who determine whether your organization truly lives these truths.

Early Stage Hiring: Phone A Friend

When you’re an early stage startup or small company, hiring tends to involve tapping your collective networks to see who you can hire. This process may lack diversity, but it’s a path of least resistance and generally leads to low-scale hiring success. As your organization grows, these networks grow thinner and begin to dry up. This tends to be the growth stage when most organization will bring on recruiting help, whether in-house or agency, to help them reach new candidate pools.

Building A High-Growth Interview Process

When you’re in high-growth mode you need to build an interview model that’s efficient, effective, and continues to provide the critical lens through which you want your candidates to be viewed through. It’s important this process has enough structure to be followed, but scales and offers flexibility when needed. The ‘Ideal process’ will vary as it should be tailored to each organization, but the following items should be factored in to most high-growth interview procedures.

Requisition Approval Process

Things move fast in high growth organizations, particularly startups. Strategic decisions (including hiring plans) can be made over coffee or beers. It’s important to have a light-weight process that ensures the appropriate stakeholders (Finance, HR/Recruiting, Division lead) have all signed off that the position is within budget and organizational hiring timeline/priorities. You’re recruiting resources are valuable, and you don’t want to waste time building and engaging candidate pipelines for jobs you won’t hire.

Sourcing & Networking

Recruiting is a team sport. Successful companies get this. No matter how effective your recruiting team is, the reality is that their reach only goes so far. It’s vital to build programs that allow the entire organization to rally behind the company’s growth. Strong recruiting teams will develop programs to ensure that all staff are aware of current hiring initiatives (particularly essential roles), and equip their colleagues with the tools and resources they need to be effective brand ambassadors.

Interview Prep

When you’re hiring at scale, it’s important all the stakeholders are really dialed in on the profile you’re targeting in each role. The hiring manager and recruiter should meet with the interview team before interviews begin to discuss the job description, target profile, intangibles, projects and initiatives they will work on, how the role interacts with their area (for cross-functional interviews, which most will tend to be), cultural fit, etc. This discussion is vital in ensuring all the stakeholders are on the same page and fully aware of what they’re vetting.

Interview Process

The recruiter should discuss the ideal process with the hiring manager during their search strategy kick-off meeting. The interview process should be generally defined so internal teams know what to expect, but also flexible to allow you to accelerate if you find stellar talent that has competing offers. The recruiter is generally the top end of the filter – evaluating candidates fit, motivations, qualifications (generally for technology roles), and identifying any potential blockers that might need to be overcome. Once determined qualified, the candidate will generally speak or meet with the hiring manager via phone/Skype/etc. This step is not always necessary, but important for technology roles to vet skills more deeply than a recruiter may be able to vet. Evaluations, code samples, and problem-solving/behavioral exercises help streamline this stage of the process. Free tools like Skype and Google Hangouts, or paid tools like WePow and HireVue, are valuable here as they allow more robust discussions in the early stages of the process to determine fit and potential. Following the initial vetting to confirm viability, the candidate will come in and meet the interview team for further vetting on skill and cultural fit. I find adding some structure to those interviews (behavioral questions, splitting competency evals per interviewer, etc.) adds value to this stage.

Candidate Experience

This is a really important to embed and reinforce throughout the interview process. How an organizations treats candidates, good or bad, is a tweet of GlassDoor post away from your talent pool. If you communicate regularly and treat every candidate with dignity and respect, you have an opportunity to create advocates. They may not get hired, but they will have a deeper respect for your company – and they will tell their friends. Open and regular communication goes a long way in enhancing candidate experience. An example is a recent ‘Candidate Experience Pledge’ we created to give NPR applicants a detailed overview of what to expect from the moment they apply.

Decision

After the interview, you’ll want to get the stakeholders together to discuss feedback. There are a variety of ways to do this. One way I’ve found to be productive is brief written evaluations (based on pre-determined templates) sent to the hiring manager and recruiter, followed by a group discussion. Gathering the written feedback in advance allows for unbiased input, and raises potential red flags to be discussed in the meeting. The eval includes a thumbs up/down on support for hiring. The hiring manager has the ultimate decision, but should ideally get near consensus from the interview team. Any red flags that are surfaced should be discussed and addressed during the review meeting.

These are just a few things to consider when developing a high-growth interview process. What tips and procedures have you found successful when developing your hiring plans? Please share in the comments section.

Recruitment
Recruiting

Recruiting In The Trenches: Should You Care About Social?

The following is a re-post from a guest post I shared on RecruitingBlogs.com this week. You can find the original post here.

This week I’ll be presenting at Recruiting Trends annual conference. My session, Recruiting Lessons From The Trenches: How To Develop, Champion, And Manage Social Media Recruiting Strategies That Work, will explore how recruiting leaders can develop and integrate social recruiting into their workflow, and the impact it has.

NPR Recruiting Manager Infographic

There is a lot of chatter about social recruiting; benefits, costs, ROI. My aim will be to demystify some of that, and provide actionable examples of how to implement social into your branding initiatives.

Social Media is a tool, not a strategy.

With all the buzz around social, it’s easy for recruiting leaders to get caught up in the hype. Don’t. If you feel compelled to get your recruiting efforts on social, just to say you are, it will show – and it won’t be effective. It’s not enough to have a presence on social. You have to actively and regularly nurture your network and build the type of engagement that helps supplement your traditional recruiting methods.

While I do think an employment branding strategy should be integrated into every recruiting strategy, the delivery mechanism doesn’t have to be limited to social media. Your career site, job descriptions (like the example on the right), candidate experience – all of these are tools at your disposal to enhance your talent brand.

Social is a long play endeavor.

If you decide to pursue social, it’s important you’re prepared to put in the time and work needed for it to pay off. Social is not a quick fix solution. It takes roughly a year to build an engaged network that begins producing measurable and consistent results in source of applicants and hires.

At NPR, we’ve built ‘the big three’ (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter) into our top 10 sources of applicants and hires. Twitter, specifically, is our #4 source of hire. It’s been a key resource for helping us reach that elusive ‘passive talent’. This didn’t happen overnight. It took months of engaging, tinkering, and learning to build the kind of engaged community the bears this fruit. You can learn more about NPR’s employer branding journey here. Continue reading

Social Media

How To Be A Digital Influencer

Influence

Influence. It’s a term we hear often in today’s social media/digital/marketing-fueled world. Marketers and brands grapple with – what does it mean? how can it be measured? how can influencers be identified? how can we get them to support our brand?

On an individual level, many of us desire to be influential. That desire certainly precedes social media, but has been magnified with it’s prevalence. We seek out ways to expand our reach and establish ourselves as thought leaders. We long for likes, retweets, and +1’s.

Influence is something that’s earned, not given.

If you’re approaching influence from the standpoint of “how can it benefit me”, chances are you’ll fail. Influence is something you earn through the course of contributing to your respective field – helping others, giving ideas away, and contributing to the collective intellect of your industry. You do this not because you want to be influential. You do it because you want to be better, and you want to help others be better.

Realizing it’s not about you is the first step in becoming influential.

I have been thinking about what a path to influence really looks like, and contributed the following post to Blogging4Jobs. You can read the original post here.

So you want to be an influencer. Whether you follow Technorati for trends on what’s next in digital influence, or your aim is to be ‘discoverable’ as a social media influencer, you’re going to have to put in work to get there. The following 25 steps will get you on your way to being an influencer in your chosen field.

25 Steps To Becoming A Digital Influencer

  1. Be patient. This won’t happen overnight. It will take years of effort and commitment (yes, years).
  2. Don’t obsess over sites likeKloutKred, andPeerIndex. (Seriously, visiting once a day will not help your score).
  3. Be generousShare your knowledge and expertise freely.
  4. Have a great idea? Give it away.
  5. Build Twitter lists of people in your field you admire. Learn from them.
  6. Proactively build a diverse network.
  7. Find blogs of thought leaders in your industry. Comment on them. Share them with your network.
  8. Don’t obsess over your social media follower numbers.
  9. Be a voracious reader of blogs, books, trends, etc in your industry. Share what you find.
  10. Obsess over your social media follower numbers (sigh).
  11. Remember not to obsess over your social media numbers.
  12. Join Twitter chats in your industry.
  13. Find conferences and events to attend. Make a point to meet some of your social media connections who will attend. Have coffee / beers / conversation with them.
  14. Be real. Don’t get so focused on your personal brand you lose the person. Personality counts (unless you’re a jerk).
  15. Don’t be a jerk.
  16. Join LinkedIn Groups in your field and share your wisdom.
  17. Look for any and all opportunities to speak at conferences (virtual counts).
  18. Start a blog (If you’re at least a decent writer, and have ideas to share.Guest bloggingcounts).
  19. Be generous. Share your knowledge and expertise freely (again).
  20. Join Quora. Follow and answer questions in your field of expertise.

Check out 20-25 from the original post on Blogging4Jobs.

Did I leave any off that you feel are important characteristics of a digital influencer? Share in the comments and let me know. 

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Recruiting

12 Digital Tools For Today’s Social Media Recruiter

So, you’re a recruiter who’s embraced social. Good call. Welcome to the world of Recruiting 3.0.

Social recruiting isn’t meant to replace ‘old school’ recruiting methods (for those of us who learned how to recruit with a phone book and land line), but it gives today’s recruiter additional tools to find and engage talent. Recruiting has evolved. Recruitment marketing and employment branding are now key components of a successful talent strategy.

Strong social recruiting strategies allow recruiting teams to amplify their impact, and can be a key differentiator when competing for talent.

If you’re working in a small to medium size business (or non-profit), chances are you’re involved in all aspects of recruiting – from employer branding and talent attraction to sourcing, hiring, and workforce planning. Time is your most precious resource, and efficiency is crucial when managing a busy desk and diverse sets of responsibilities.

As a self-professed HR MacGyver and digital geek, I’m constantly scouring the tech landscape for tools and resources that can help me be more efficient and help my team make a bigger impact. Here are some of the resources I use that have become indispensable tools to help me manage my social recruiting activities.

12 Digital Tools For Today’s Social Media Recruiter

  1. Digg (Free) My new go to RSS reader after Google Reader’s demise. Feedly is another good option, but Digg’s reader was built to mirror Google Reader so the familiarity gives it an edge for me. RSS readers are an important tool for digital recruiters, as they allow you to easily and efficiently view content to share with your social recruiting channels. 
  2. Buffer (Freemium) My go to tool for scheduling social media posts. Buffer allows you to queue and schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. You can also schedule different send patterns for different sites. It’s a huge time-saver to ensure you’re regularly contributing content to your various social media channels. Bonus: install the chrome extension to easily add to your queue from any website. More on Buffer in this Amplify Tool review.
  3. Sprout Social (Paid) Sprout is one of the few paid social media tools I use. The smart inbox is a huge time-saver, allowing you to view all the feeds you manage (@ mentions, hashtags, etc) in one unified field. Bonus: their iOS app is feature-rich and allows you to monitor, send, and manager on the go.  Continue reading