How Employers Can Support Work/Life Harmony Approach to Careers

We explored the idea of individuals taking a whole-life-fit approach to their careers in our last post, to help them create harmony between their work and life. The concept of finding harmony, rather than balance between the two, outlines that in order to achieve a better quality of life, we must learn to leverage our strengths and abilities from each area of our life to contribute to others. As the individual seeks to find that harmony, employers can put forth their efforts to help employees achieve it. According to the Corporate Executive Board, who represents about 80% of the Fortune 500 companies, who found that employees who believe that they have a good work/life balance work 21% harder than those who don’t. That’s a pretty nice productivity boost.

Employers are offering numerous perks to help their team members find a good work/life balance, but the statistics show that many employees are not satisfied with the efforts. A study by the American Psychological Association reveals that 59% of employees are satisfied by those efforts, with only 53% saying they think that their employer actually values a work/life balance.

As employers focus on their efforts to turn a profit, attention should be given to the wellbeing of staff as well. Fostering an environment where employees feel secure, satisfied, and valued means that your employees are more willing and capable to meet your objectives. By introducing harmony, rather than balance, you are acknowledging that each individual member has varied life demands, skills, interests, and aspirations, and that you are happy to embrace them for the good of both the company and employee.

Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2015 states that 38% of employers felt like they were ‘weak’ when it came to helping employees balance personal and professional work/life demands. That is shockingly low, when considered against the above stats. Integrating a work/life harmony approach into your Talent Management strategy can help to boost a company’s own view on their efforts, along with that of the employee.

Five tips to help your employees find work/life harmony:

  1. When hiring, seek talent fit
    Invest in employees who are invested in your organization.
    Balanced approach = Hiring a candidate based on Job Fit, meaning they are capable of doing the job, but are not necessarily a fit for the company.
    Harmony approach = Hiring a candidate based on Talent Fit, meaning that you seek out candidates who are aligned with your company values, goals, brand, purpose, and who fit with your talent forecasting needs. They fit within the role and within the company.
  1. Allow staff to explore career development options
    While some people are content to spend their entire career in a single role type, many are not.
    Balanced Approach = providing a lateral career path to employees, focusing on developing a certain skill set while excluding other skills and interests
    Harmony Approach = creating an exploratory, zig-zag path that allows employees to utilize a varied skill set and leverage their strengths, resulting in greater contribution to your organization
  1. Implement and support employee policies to respect the demands of life outside of the company.
    Formally acknowledging that your employees have a life outside of work set it clear: you respect your staff for the people they are. Implementing and supporting policies helps your employees understand that you value them.
    Balanced Approach = Offering an excellent vacation package, for example
    Harmony Approach = Offering flex time that works around the personal life demands of employees, so that they don’t have to use up vacation time for things that are not actually vacation related
  1. Encourage staff to participate on projects that are outside of their job role, but within their interest and skill sets.
    Similar to encouraging career exploration, encouraging staff to participate in other projects is an empowering move that gives them the opportunity to contribute in ways they typically would not be able to.
    Balanced Approach = Interdepartmental teams focusing on a single result
    Harmony Approach = Cross-departmental teams working together, providing varied views and needs, different perspectives on problem solving and solutions
  1. Disconnect
    Don’t expect that your employees will be available 24/7. Certain projects and tasks might require that your staff be available outside of their regular working hours, but don’t expect that this should be the norm.
    Balanced Approach = Prioritizing work needs, fitting in life needs
    Harmony Approach = Respecting both work and life needs

Finding work/life harmony is the responsibility of the individual, there is no denying it. Employers have the opportunity to support their team members to find that harmony, which will only benefit the organization in the long run.

Whole-Life-Fit as a Measure of Work/Life Harmony

People have struggled to find a work/life balance pretty much since the existence of ‘work’. Determining where your priorities lie and how to actually attend to them can be just as stressful as the demands of your work and life. In a society that is increasingly more connected, creating a balance can seem unachieveable. Stepping back from the idea of work/life balance – the ability to juggle all the responsibilities in your life, pay attention to all your priorities, and not jeopardize any of them – and adjusting your view to a work/life harmony gives the opportunity to re-evaluate what your responsibilities and priorities are. Only then can you proactively make decisions that help them work together to provide you with a better quality of life.

When it comes to recruitment, companies go through a relatively thorough process with the goal of finding ‘talent fit.’ This process hopes to seek candidates who are aligned with the values and objectives of the company, and who offer the appropriate skills and experiences needed to perform well in a role. When candidates who fit these criteria are selected for hire, they generally become better engaged employees who tend to outperform those with less of a ‘fit.’

From the individual’s perspective, taking a similar approach to evaluating employers and your career choices can help to find a better ‘whole life fit’. A whole life fit is an approach to managing your personal and professional life in a manner that brings harmony between the two. Harmony, rather than balance, means that we seek ways to leverage our abilities and strengths from each area of life to positively impact the other.

Work, in the broad sense, should not just be paid employment, but rather, should be viewed as our contribution to society as a whole. Whether we are family caregivers, community volunteers, students, employees, or entrepreneurs, we are performing a task or function that serves the greater good. Our work is something we do out of need, obligation, or opportunity.

Life encompasses our home, family, relationships, interests, health, wellness, and so on. Our responsibility, duty, and enjoyment in these areas teach us many lessons and skills in which we can transfer and utilize in others.

Combined, our work and life make up our ‘whole life.’ What we do in life impacts our work, and what we do in work impacts our life. We develop skills that can cross over and have experiences that will positively benefit others. On the opposite end, our life can creep into our work and create a negative impact, just as work can creep into life. They are so intricately intertwined that thinking that one doesn’t effect the other is like thinking the world is flat.

As such, harmonizing these two areas allows you to recognize, reward, and readjust as needed.

Here are a few tips to finding your whole life fit to create a better work/life harmony:

Life

  1. Understand your priorities
    • Define what and who are important to you, and why.
  2. Connect with your values
    • Understand your values and how they propel you forward.
  3. Be real, be honest
    • Have a realistic view of the opportunities and world before you; be prepared to adapt and flex in order to create harmony.

Work

  1. Abilities
    • The innate qualities that you have that allow you to develop and excel in your skills.
  2. Interests & Passions
    • Appreciate what interests you; seeking the ‘dream job’ isn’t always possible, but finding interest in what you do is possible.
  3. Skills & Experiences
    • Learned and developed proficiencies, often developed through the transfer of training and knowledge.

 

whole-life-fit

 

Some aspects of life and work will intersect while others won’t. Seeking out opportunities that align with this intersection will bring about a whole life fit that allows you to perform better and be an overall happier individual.

Just as companies perform annual evaluations, individuals can regularly assess their whole life fit. It’s a simple exercise that will bring great value. Take the time to evaluate and find your whole life fit.

 

~Watch for our next post: How can employers embrace the ‘whole life fit’ and help their employees create a better work/life harmony?~

 

Find High Potential Candidates by Tapping Into Your Customer Database

Your customer base is a veritable gold mine when it comes to seeking new candidates. Last week, we explored methods to help provide your applicants and candidates the same level of service excellence that you offer your customers; providing a consistent and interactive experience is key to transitioning your customers into candidates and not jeopardizing brand advocacy as a consumer. This week we’ll look at ways to tap into your customer base to find those high potential candidates.

Customers are already familiar with your products and services, likely have valued knowledge of your industry, and are supporters of your company brand. You can’t hire them all, and certainly don’t need to, but if you tapped into even 5% of your customer database, the quality of candidates you could source would be infinitely better than what you would find from just cross-posting openings on multiple job sites.

Three Ways to Tap Into Your Customer Database

Use point of sale data to identify potential prospects

Customer transaction data can provide useful information. In the case of home centre retailer, they can identify which areas of building, construction and renovation a customer might have expertise in, whether they are a home handyman or a contractor, and even which product lines they might have knowledge about. When compared to current hiring needs, customers who measure up can be identified and placed into a recruitment marketing outreach program.

Flag loyal and regular customers

The stand out thing about loyal and regular customers is that they like your business. People will return to a place of business over and over again when they have a good experience; whether they are treated well, can easily find the products they are looking for, or feel your products are good value, they enjoying doing business with you. That demonstrated loyalty is a quality that many businesses hope to find in their employees, so if you know your customers already possess it, why not try to convert that brand loyalty into employer loyalty? By flagging these customers, you can invite them to consider your organization as an employer while sharing with them the perks they would receive as an employee.

Train staff to engage with customers

Nothing is quite as flattering as a personal invitation. Your current staff are the perfect people to provide such an invitation. Through everyday interactions with customers, your staff members can pick out the customers who could be a good fit for your team. They can easily learn which customers have product and industry knowledge, have a friendly and helpful personality, and even who might be open to a new opportunity. Help your staff understand the value of connecting with customers and inviting them to join your talent community, while praising them for their efforts and contributions to helping your business build a great team.

You’ve already mastered sourcing from your traditional HR/Recruiting tools, yet, you’re missing the one audience that are already brand advocates. Expand that relationship and allow them to see you not only as a place to purchase products and services they love, but one where they can see themselves having a successful career.

 

Service Excellence Isn’t Just for Customers

The fluidity between the customer experience and the candidate experience should be seamless. As an individual moves from one identity to the next, they should be supported and engaged the entire way. Your customer base is one of your best resources for new hires; as you reach into the customer pool to source new candidates you want to ensure they are receiving the same service excellence that they receive as a customer. After all, they have come to know your organization for a certain level of expertise and customer service, so why not carry it forward and deepen their connection to your brand.

The mantra “The customer is always right” holds that superior service should be provided to the customer, even when they are wrong, to ensure repeat business and brand loyalty. This same philosophy should be applied to your customers who seek opportunity for employment. By providing the same standard of excellence, you are ensuring that you don’t lose their business, even if they are not chosen to move forward in the selection process.

The notion that “The candidate is always right” might make some uncomfortable, particularly when thinking about the fact that only a miniscule percent of applicants are ‘right’ – right for the job, right for the company, and right for the current need. But if we shift our thinking just a little, it’s easier to embrace the notion. The applicant – not just the candidate – IS always right. Right in the sense that they too deserve respect and a little attention to let them know you appreciate their interest.

Three Steps to Providing a Standard of “Candidate Excellence”

Providing your candidates an experience that is on par with that of the customer experience is easy when they are sitting in front of the hiring manager for an interview. Two-way communication, information sharing, and a personal connection is developed. But this is so far along in the process, it’s pretty much at the ‘buying’ stage that a customer would be in. Don’t wait to provide an excellent experience; create it right from the start. Talent communities allow you offer this experience the moment a person signs up as a member. It is the digital experience for a candidate that would be equivalent to a customer walking in the front doors of your establishment and being greeted by a staff member.

Talent communities provide an effective and engaging way to transition the relationship with your customers into candidates. With the right talent community platform, companies can push their brand and agenda in a non-invasive way, while providing an interactive and inclusive experience to members. They can drive two-way communication, connect with all applicants (not just those chosen to move forward), and provide a consistent experience. The experience should be reflective of the customer experience.

Provide real engagement with a two-way communication method

Current approaches of one-way communication with email blasts and job announcements are impersonal and spam-like. Rather, offer conversations between your organization and your talent audience on topics that matter to both your company and your prospects, sharing insights, interests, and skills. Deliver the information that they want to know about your company that will help them make a better decision about working for you, while you can gather valuable insights about each person to help you make informed hiring decisions.

Create an environment that embraces all prospects

This approach connects well with the “candidate is always right” philosophy. Even when an applicant is a poor fit, they shouldn’t receive any less of an experience than the ideal candidate receives. An equal playing field means that those who are not selected still felt heard and valued, and will walk away from the experience feeling positive. That positive experience reflects kindly on your company and would not deter them from continuing on as a customer of your business.

Provide a continual and consistent experience

Connect with your talent audience in that way that is not dependent on a specific job opportunity, but rather on a relationship with your brand. Don’t let applicants drop off into the black hole because they either are not a successful candidate or they haven’t found a current position they are interested in. Instead, develop relationships that are ongoing, that keep interaction fun and easy, and that offer benefits other than immediate employment. Reward your members with insider information, pre-sale access to goods, and even discount coupon codes. Encourage not just the applicant-employer relationship, but the consumer-company one, to help nurture brand loyalty.

Your candidates deserve a standard of excellence the same way your customers do. Many businesses are so focused on providing an excellent customer experience that they forget to adopt the same level of service to prospective employees. While you are not going hire all of those applicants, they all have a credit card in their wallet with room for purchases from your company. Make sure they don’t tuck their credit card away and use it elsewhere.

Visit our blog again soon, as next week we will explore methods to tap into your current customer base to source top hires.

Should You Join A Talent Community?

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 9.37.21 AMIn today’s world, it is very common to find organizations who have talent communities. Just like any community, a talent community provides an environment of like-individuals to learn and share about specific topics. By joining a talent community, you can expect to learn more about the organization and what it’s like to work there.

Like many, you might think to yourself “Why should I join a talent community, can’t I just apply to a job?” You certainly can just apply, but where does that get you? A submitted application with little to no follow up from the employer. A talent community connects you with the organization allowing a relationship to develop.

Here a just a few reasons you should take those 30 seconds to register or introduce yourself to a talent community that is hosted by an organization you are interested in:

  • Stay connected to companies you like.  Talent communities are not just for job seekers. They allow you to stay in-the-know and help to keep you connected to your favorite brands. Participation in discussions, contests, and events keep it light and fun. And you never know, you might even be privy to exclusive rewards that are only offered to the talent community members.
  • See what else is out there. Whether you are an active or passive job seeker, the key benefit of joining a talent community is the opportunity to learn and explore. You can learn about the company and explore their culture, while even learning a little something about yourself. Perhaps you feel happy in your current role and don’t feel the need to be job searching; that’s ok! But you never know what the future holds, and the day might come that you feel you want to make a move. By establishing yourself a community member, you’ve given yourself the upperhand to have already educated yourself about the company and you’ve put yourself on that company’s radar.
  • Curious about what it’s like to work at another company. Once you join a talent community, organizations provide insights to what is happening inside the company.  It gives you—the outsider—a  better understanding of what it could be like as an employee at the organization. You get a better understanding of not only the types of roles, but, also the culture of the organization. The more innovative companies provide a discussion-based community forum, like Talent Dojo, where you get to contribute and be recognized for your expertise while learning the inside story.  Either way, you get to know the employer better to help you determine if it’s your employer of choice.
  • Dream job could be just a click or call away. Members of talent communities are typically given privileged information, that at times, could also include jobs.  Imagine never having to search a career site, but having a recruiter contact you about an opportunity that fits your skills, motivation, and expertise.  You may even receive newsletters spotlighting the company’s hot jobs that fit your experience.  Click or call, the recruiters are coming to you!
  • Embed yourself in the organization’s sourcing strategies. Talent communities have become the number one sourcing tool for companies when they are searching for new candidates/employees. Talent Communities were developed in order for organizations to keep connected to their talent audience.  Companies have always wanted to keep a pipeline of top talent, however, the lack of technologies and other resources in the past didn’t allow an organization to keep in touch with their talent of choice; therefore, the talent often got lost in the black hole of an application process.  Many talent communities are CRM-based, making it easy and efficient for recruiting organizations to keep in touch.
  • Efficiency in the searching for candidates is a must for any organization. Companies are no longer able to cast a wide net in hopes to attract the perfect candidate – for example, many jobs are not posted on Monster, Career Builder, and the like anymore. It’s expensive and inefficient.  Companies are focused more on quality, not quantity.  A talent community allows an organization to see who is interested in them and understand their expertise.  It is no longer about a job fit but, a talent fit.
  • Contribute quicker. Typically, you start learning about the organization’s culture and ways of working until you interview.  As a member of a talent community, you begin to learn before you’ve even applied.  This decreases the on-boarding time and allows you to begin contributing to the organization sooner!

By joining a talent community, you’re allowing yourself to learn more about an organization.  You’re also letting the company know you may be interested in them as an employer.  It’s a great way to begin building a relationship well before you’ve even joined the organization. Talent communities give you the opportunity to learn beyond what you would find from a website.  This knowledge will allow you to make well-informed decisions about your next career move.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and join your favorite brand’s talent community now!  Start by introducing yourself to Qwalify!

Stop the Talent Gap by Focusing on Talent Fit

The cost of hiring is going up. Companies are discovering that competition for the best talent is getting fierce. Candidates now have multiple offers to consider. In this competitive talent landscape companies are investing more time and money hiring the right people to drive their businesses forward.

Selecting the right candidate is the first step to ensuring your investment is well spent. But as many recruiters and hiring managers know, finding that right candidate isn’t always easy. It’s kind of like finding Willy Wonka’s golden ticket; there aren’t many out there, but with perseverance and patience, you just might find one. As recruiting shifts ever so slowly from a post-and-pray model to a proactive relationship-based one, companies can begin to focus more on talent fit rather than job fit.

Job fit is simply where a candidate meetJob Fit 4s the requirements for the job: they have X skill, Y experience, and Z education. This information provides only a small piece of the intricate puzzle that makes up a person, leaving out key considerations such as personality, behavior, preferences, motivators, company and product knowledge, and more. Hiring by job fit is reliant on yesterday’s needs and doesn’t take company culture or organizational goals into consideration and creates a talent gap.

When organizations experience a talent gap, the most obvious indicators are high turnover and low productivity. Employees tend to be less engaged as they don’t feel a strong connection for the purpose or goals of the organization. The impact of a talent gap drives up the cost of hiring due to lengthier onboarding and training, loss of productivity time, and increases the risk of a bad hire.

Talent Fit 3Talent fit is where your company and candidates intersect. Talent fit extends beyond the X, Y, Z, to consider how your candidates align with the future needs, goals, values, and brand of your company.

Your candidates are as unique as the all the people who make up your organization. Each person brings something different and valuable to the table. Determining who is the right talent fit, however, takes more than just reading resumes.

Three simple actions to start recruiting for Talent Fit:

1. Look Beyond Resumes

Resumes are static documents that contain details that candidates think you want to know. They reveal very little about personality, work ethic, behaviors, motivators, and so on. They are a one dimensional document in a three dimensional world.

2. Engage in Real Conversation

It’s amazing what you can learn about a person when you have real conversations with them over a period of time. So many companies use social media and their traditional marketing channels to talk at their audience, not with them, in their attempts to generate engagement. The end result is just a lot of noise and relationships that are not actually engaged. To fullfil recruiting needs, talent by the hundreds – or even thousands – are invited to self-select and apply to roles that they are not likely a fit for and then sit in the ‘black hole’ where any amount of engagement slowly dissolves. Avoid this disengaged and disconnected approach by inviting them instead to simply introduce themselves and take part in a series of natural conversations. Those who stand out can be invited to put themselves forward into an application process. By turning the current process on its head and allowing recruiters and hiring managers to create conversations and vet prospects before they apply saves time and creates a meaningful, value added experience for everyone.

3. Understand Organizational Needs, Goals, and Culture

Your organization is a unique entity. While you may have aspects in common with other companies in your industry or those of similar size, no two are alike. The people who make up your team are just as unique, and bring qualities that help to reflect and build your organization’s character. Understanding what it is that drives your company forward means that you will have a better understanding of the kind of people who are needed to keep it going.

Bonus tip!

4. Focus on one process at a time.

An effective Talent Fit strategy always starts with a focused initial use case to grow from. Ask us how clients have initiated their strategies with Talent Dojo to power game-changing use cases such as recruiting from their customer base or loyalty program.

Job fit is for yesterday’s needs. Talent fit is for the future. Get to know your candidates, reduce turn over, save money. It’s as simple as that.

Breaking the Myth: “If you build it, will they come?”

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 11.12.58 AMWe’re all aware of the Kevin Costner movie Field of Dreams.  The movie is best remembered for the quote “If you build it, he will come.”  Costner’s character, Ray, builds a baseball diamond in the middle of his Iowa cornfield and yes, Shoeless Joe came, along with the rest of the Chicago White Sox team of 1919.  Once the diamond was complete, one by one, the members of the team came walking out of the cornfield, ready to play ball.

Sounds like an awesome concept, right?  If you build a perfectly designed ‘field’ for a specific audience, you will meet their unfilled dreams while providing a sense of connection and achievement for those involved.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could somehow – telepathically or otherwise –  let your audience know you have something for them?  Think of how great it would be if the moment you launched your talent community instantaneously there were 100’s of members already at your fingertips.

Since organizations have started building talent communities, it has been assumed that this would happen – that the talent audience would just come in droves to join.  Years later, no matter how strong your brand is, this concept still only works in the movies!  I’ve worked with clients across a myriad of industries whom I have designed, implemented, and managed talent communities for years.  The one thing that is consistent across all industries, brands, profiles, locations, and levels is that when building talent communities if you don’t tell him, he won’t come.  ‘He’ is your talent audience.  ‘He’ is your future leader, marketing guru, finance expert, sales extraordinaire… ‘He’ is your future hire.

There is no magic energy force that draws your audience out of the cornfield and into your community.  You need to tell them; you need to shout it out loud!  Your audience deserves to know you’ve made something for them and there is value for them to come join.

Because of this, we have to systematically and strategically think through how to let our audience know we have something for them.  There are so many ways to market your community, from online to offline sources.  The better you know your audience the more effective you will be in getting in front of them and introducing them to your talent community.  You don’t have to market everywhere, but, knowing the behaviors of your audience will increase your effectiveness.

Top Five Methods to Marketing your Talent Community

Website/Career Site

Your career site is the entry point to bring potential employees into the organization. 76% of candidates prefer to apply through your own career site than any other channel (Potential Park).  You have a primed audience already visiting; adding a button inviting them to join your community is the easiest and quickest way to begin building your community.  The visitors are already thinking of you as an employer so give them the opportunity to stay connected – invite them in!  I have personally witnessed a minimum of a 20% increase in membership acquisition by clients who posted the “Join our Talent Community” on their career site over those who chose otherwise.

Email

Capitalize on your ATS.  Your ATS is a black hole full of names and email addresses of individuals who already expressed interest in your brand.  The typical ATS will allow you to slice and dice your data to provide you a list of past applicants as specific or general you wish to invite them to your community. Alternatively, you can purchase lists from experienced sourcing gurus which will do the heavy lifting for you and provide you with the necessary information for you to distribute your email.  Since Email conversion rates are 3 times higher than social media with a 17% higher value in the conversion, (Hubspot) it’s a great place to yield the highest return on your efforts.

Social Media

As mentioned above, understanding where your audience is, is a great way to know where to market your community.  We know there are 1.65 billion monthly active users on Facebook, 1.3 billion registered users on Twitter and 433 million users on Linkedin (DMR). I do not know what profile or audience you are wanting to attract, however, I’m going to go out on a limb and tell you, I’m pretty certain they are probably hanging around one or all of these networks.  These channels allow you to get very specific on the criteria to which you want to advertise, which allows you to get very targeted.  Each channel allows you to set specific budgets and only charges you if your ad is clicked. You also have the flexibility to adjust your campaigns as needed, making it very easy to maximize your budget to it’s most successful results.

Search Engine

Google, along with other search engines, allow you to create pay-per-click advertisements as well. Google Adwords typically sees a 3.97% conversion rate for the employment services industry, with an average at 2.7%. (Search Engine Watch). There are over 100 billion monthly searches on Google – again, your talent audience is probably part of that statistic! (DMR)

Events

Career fairs and on-campus presentations are prime opportunities to capitalize on expanding the members of your community.  According to a 2013 NACE study, 98.1% of companies they polled believe that on-campus fairs are the number one avenue for them to brand themselves with students.  You don’t have to lose the connection when you leave the event! Hand out business cards with the invite or follow up with an email invitation into your community.  Give them the opportunity to stay connected to your brand.

…and the list goes on…

Inviting your talent audience via your email signature, the bottom of profile-specific job descriptions, on-boarding documents, employee referral programs, sales receipts, flyers, delivery trucks and even your current candidates are a few other examples of where you can market your talent community. Take advantage of your existing marketing efforts, even partner with your marketing organization to elevate the awareness of your community! The opportunity is endless, but, the key is to understand where your audience is and invite them to join.

Kudos to you for building a community for talent to join to support you in your current and future hiring needs.  However, if you’re not telling the talent audience you have this magnificent place for them to join and get connected to your brand, your community won’t reap the rewards of fulfilling your – and their – dreams.  While gaining new members into your community may not be as simple as the “if you build it, he will come” theory, there are a myriad of marketing options available to attract your talent audience and invite them to join!

The Class of 2016: Set the Expectations to Prepare them for Greatness

It’s that time of year again – the heart rates of new grads are pumping as they look towards their future, and the heart rates of campus recruiters are jumping as they reach out to connect with a new wave of prospects. When they meet in the middle, a disconnect between reality and expectation ensues.

The divide between the expectations of the Class of 2016 versus the realities leaves recruiters with two options: an opportunity to explore and educate or to fail both the grad and company.

What do new grads want? The Accenture Strategy 2015 U.S. College Graduate Employment Study reveals telling data. 82% of the Class of 2016 research the job market before choosing their major, 74% expect to be with their first employer for at least 3 years, 85% desire to work for smaller companies in non-traditional sectors and 77% expect that their employer will provide on-the-job training that will help them progress in their career.

The reality? Only 64% of grads from the previous two years ended up working in their chosen fields, with 49% of grads claiming they are underemployed, 41% are earning $25,000 or less a year, and only 53% reported that they received on-the-job training. It’s a far cry from their expectations.

Knowing such facts, recruiters are put in a unique position where they can: 1) explore the expectations of the new grad and educate them on what they should actually be expecting, and 2) educate their employers and clients on these expectations and offer solutions to help them meet/compromise on some of these expectations.

For most grads, their first job dictates the rest of their career, and they feel the weight of that decision looming over them. Walking around a career fair where they are bombarded with campus recruiters isn’t the most ideal situation to make decisions. Many new grads are not yet able to articulate what they are good at, what skills they have to offer, and how they will fit within a company’s culture. Pulling this information out of them in a five minute conversation is next to impossible.

The elevator pitch and that brief conversation usually gets left behind at the career fair. With the exception of the few savvy networkers, your new database of bare-boned resumes gets stale pretty quick. Offer them something more; offer them an engaging relationship where they can stay connected with your organization and showcase all those skills they didn’t ever have a chance to tell you about. Involve them in your world, provide them information they want to know, pique their curiosity, and give them the opportunity to share their knowledge. Build a talent community for new grads where you can vet your prospects, provide pre-onboarding training, and set clear what life at your company will look like.

Welcoming new grads into such a community builds the relationship and develops affinity before they are even considered for a role. Help them make the right decision in making their first career move by educating them. When the time comes for you to move your ideal members forward into the candidate category, they are informed and educated about your business and their expectations are more aligned with reality.

Keep a pulse on what new grads expect and slow their racing heartbeats through transparency and engagement. Keep the lines of communication open to build long term and engaged relationships that can lead to prosperous careers.

Metrics – don’t be fooled

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Ah recruiting metrics. They can provide such a wealth of information, but they can also fool you by providing unnecessary data. Some find them the necessary evil while others appreciate their value and have built sophisticated processes in order to capture every possible data point to measure their recruiting effectiveness. I, for one, have always loved recruiting metrics. From the time I stepped into corporate recruiting, I was determined to eliminate subjectivity on all fronts. At the end of the day, I was so determined to be prepared to answer that elusive question from my leaders and/or hiring managers: “Why?”. There was no way I would let myself answer with a vague “I don’t know” or “because” response. Instead, I would rifle through any data I could lay my hands on to put together informed and valuable answers. Remember, this was 15-20 years ago when the thought of recruiting efficiency was at it’s infancy and it was acceptable to point the finger at the recruiter for the blame.

Let’s fast forward to today. The data that is available to us now is well beyond the usual suspects – cost per hire and time to fill. We’re reporting on any and everything we can – from the useful to the useless. The HR tech industry has given us some pretty cool tools to help us measure more than I could have even imagined 15-20 years ago to prove our efficiency and effectiveness in our hiring practices. Gone are the days of pointed fingers and blame.

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Now that we are at a time when technology can calculate all of these metrics, we really must ask you: Are all of them necessary for you to effectively manage your department? Are you finding yourself answering that elusive “Why?” question? And do your metrics even support your answer?

What if the data being measured is the wrong data? Common metrics of today don’t necessarily help you know if you are getting the right person at the right time. Imagine if you started putting metrics on your talent pipeline. For example, if you measured your talent audience engagement, you would have an indicator of the quality talent available at any given time. Understanding your pool quality would allow you to know if your talent audience meets the critical needs of the business. When you start analyzing to understand if it’s tell you if you are getting the right people at the right time, you may realign your measuring and start focusing on your talent pool data before you focus on your applicant pool.

When you pause and think about it, metrics wouldn’t even be around if we didn’t need to answer that ‘Why?” question. If we were all hiring the right people at the right time, the questions wouldn’t have to asked. Hiring teams and organizations would be pleased with the amount of candidates, the quality of candidates, and ultimately, the quality of hire. Recruiters wouldn’t have the need to capture every possible data point to prove their ability to support the hiring needs.

While other tools are out there capturing every single data point, the team at Qwalify believes in capturing the right data to help bring in the right people at the right time. Instead of starting the talent evaluation after someone becomes an applicant, Qwalify’s Talent Dojo allows organizations to construct discussions separate from the application process, which allow you to gather contextualized data to find the most suitable members to be invited into the application pool. You can quickly identify fit for both the company and the role through metrics that matter.

Don’t let all those metrics out there fool you. Focus on what is most valuable to your organization through a top of the funnel, relationship-building, discussion-based engagement platform that removes the need to record all those never-ending data points that you’ve been so diligent about recording. And while you’re making your job easier, you’re providing your talent audience a positive and engagement experience.

 

Better Engage Your Talent Community in Three Steps

 

Machines are better at hiring talent than humans. Or so they tell us. Sourcing, candidate screening, job matching, source of hire data, time to hire metrics – all of these and more are aided or provided by tech tools and systems. Technology certainly makes the role of the recruiter more refined, effective, and efficient, but we can’t remove people from the mix entirely. We think that the human touch is still a vital component to making successful hires. Even with cognitive technology at our fingertips, the last say on a hire is a person, not a machine.

Your talent community craves personal contact. Who wouldn’t? We live in a world of machines; in a world of a million ways to stay connected without ever having to actually talk to someone. So it’s nice, feeling like someone is taking the time to talk to you – just you. But we know that’s not the most effective way for a recruiter to spend their time, especially if your talent community is made up of thousands of people.

The solution? A question and answer community that is designed around motivation, recognition and contribution value that allows you to target specific members. Imagine the member’s delight when they receive a message requesting them specifically to participate in a discussion. It feels good to receive that message and it feels even better to receive a recognition on their response.

It doesn’t stop there. Engagement isn’t just about reaching out and showing your face. It’s about providing the right kind of content – well directed, on-message, industry-relevant, interest-piquing, and timely content. After all, there is no point in engaging in discussions that hold no value for you or your talent community.

So how do you do begin to engage your talent community? By inviting them into your Talent Dojo. And what do you do with your Talent Dojo? Educate, participate, and invigorate.

Educate: The members in the talent community you’ve built within your Dojo are there for a reason. They are interested in your organization. They want to know more; they want to have the insiders edge that will give them the advantage. So why not give it to them? Provide them with background information, updates on company projects and products, and company trivia.  As you provide them with information, ask them for feedback and what they think.  Perhaps even go so far as to ask ‘how might you have done this differently?’  It’s a great way to both educate your Dojo and learn about your members.

Participate:  Encourage participation from both your members and your team collaborators.  The more you can get your own team active in the Dojo, the more opportunities members will have to interact and contribute.  The more collaborators you have to lead community discussions, the more diverse the discussions will be.  Chances are likely your Project Manager on the development team would ask entirely different questions than your Marketing Manager – which also means that you can better target segments of your Dojo by leveraging the diversity of your collaborators. Added to that, a valuable perk of having several of your own team members interacting with Dojo members means that you can gather different perspectives about members you might otherwise miss if you were relying on just yourself.

Invigorate: Worried that your Dojo is getting a little stale? Provide your members with challenges, surveys, brain teasers, and contests. Remember that community discussions don’t have to just revolve around your organization.  You can also consider trends are going in on your industry that you can build discussions around, which will help you to learn which candidates are engaged and informed about your industry. Another great way to shake things up a little with your Dojo members is to invite them offline for an event.  While this approach is more time consuming and requires effort from both HR and marketing, the results can be amazing.  While Talent Dojo can create an amazing online experience, there is still nothing like a real live meet-up.  Invite your prospects to in-person events where your recruiters and employee brand ambassadors can meet with them, whether it’s a recruiting event, an informational event, or an after five networking event. Through the Community Discussion you can create an invitation and share it with either a select group or the whole Dojo, and collect your RSVPs through a simple Yes or No answer.  Coordinate with your marketing and recruiting teams to find a suitable date and time that works for a handful of staff to plan and participate in.  

Don’t leave recruiting just to the machines. Take a proactive approach and insert a little human touch to make the best hiring decisions you can.

 

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