The Beginner’s Guide to Social Hiring

It’s a candidate’s job market and, if businesses hope to compete, it’s imperative that they can attract top talent. A huge portion of the talent pool today is, at most, “passively” looking for new opportunities. This means that you can’t just post your open jobs to a job board and hope that the right candidate applies; you must actively engage even passive candidates if you have any hope of winning the “war on talent.” While most organizations today are aware that social media can be a powerful hiring tool, a surprising number aren’t using it to its fullest, or even at all. Social media can be a brilliant source of recruiting potential if used well. So where to start?

  1.       Be Consistent

Consistency is key to developing a successful social recruiting process. You may not need a dedicated social recruiter posting on your behalf day and night, but the sporadic posting of jobs to LinkedIn, Facebook, and their ilk will not be very impactful. You should be posting content regularly, ideally daily, to attract and grow a potential candidate pool. Your “voice” and “tone” should also be consistent. Figure out how often you want to post and how you want your social messaging to sound, then make sure you consistently strive towards your goals for both.

  1.       Be Engaging

Easier said than done, volumes have been written on the topic of audience engagement. The whole thing is liable to feel overwhelming and overly technical to a social hiring novice. It’s important to remember that there will be some trial and error, but in time you will figure out what works to engage your audience.  Try out different strategies; do you get more reaction when you ask questions? Do people respond well when you share photos? Whatever you do, make sure you tailor your message to your target audience – the people you’d love to have working for you – as much as you can.

  1.       Be Diverse

While you obviously want to use your social hiring efforts to fill your open jobs, if you truly want to get the most from social recruitment, you should try to connect with your audience on many levels. This isn’t just your chance to advertise job openings, it is your opportunity to showcase the great things about working in your organization.  Share useful content, post about your successes, and connect with your future and current candidate pool beyond just the scope of filling a req.

  1.       Be Targeted

There are a mind-bending number of social media platforms in regular use today and attempting to maintain a diverse, engaging, and consistent footprint on all of them would likely require much more effort than it was worth. For that reason alone, it pays to be targeted in your approach. Go to where your audience already is. It may require some research and a bit of trial and error, but determine who you’re looking to attract to your organization, and then find out which platforms they use the most. If you have the biggest need for seasoned executive talent, you’ll probably find them in a different place than you would new grads. Figure out the type of talent you want to attract and then make sure your efforts are targeted to reach them.

While there is certainly plenty more to creating a successful social hiring strategy, these four steps should help you create a great foundation.  By creating a presence that is consistent, engaging, and varied and then targeting your efforts to the places they’ll be the most impactful, you will have a scalable and customizable process that can be used to supercharge your recruitment efforts and meet whatever talent needs you may have.

Leveraging Numbers On Your Resume

Much advice is given about resumes. What to include, what not to, say one thing one way and not the other. A popular piece of wisdom is to list achievements and not just what you did. If you want to make an even bigger impact and go deeper than just your achievement you can add the use of numbers. Numbers can quantify what you did and what sort of value you brought to your company and what you could bring into a new job. Here are some ways you can use numbers to catch a potential employer’s attention.

Follow the Money

It’s all about the bottom line. Companies are always trying to do things less expensively for greater profit. If you can describe with numbers how you saved your company money in a certain way, you’ll be one step closer to that job offer. List your achievements, but with each one get more specific. Explain how you led a team of a certain number of individuals to greater productivity in their sales and marketing which resulted in a certain number of increased profit. The key is to be specific.

Another important factor whenever you use numbers, not just with money, is to have other quantifying numbers. Maybe you helped your company increase sales but over what length of time? This creates a fuller picture so that the person looking over your resume has more background.

Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock

Wasted time is wasted money, so use numbers to explain how you saved time or managed time well. Maybe you cut down on production time by implementing a more efficient process. Be able to explain that with numbers. Other than money, time is one of the things companies are always trying to use better. If you can share how you saved your company time in your specific area, you’ll grab their attention.

Other Areas

Maybe it’s not time or money for you. How you help your company may be a bit more nebulous. You can still use numbers even if that’s the case. Did you help to grow a team or complete a certain number of projects? Those are numbers that you can use to your advantage still.

You may not know exactly what that number may be. That’s not a problem. If you can estimate or give a range, that will help. If you write, “Fielded 10-15 calls from XYZ company a week,” that’s still better than not having a number at all. Make sure you’re not giving an unrealistic picture with your numbers, though. Also, consider what your numbers are conveying to the person reading your resume. Will they expect you to work in that same way and accomplish those same results? If that’s not what you want, then be careful what numbers you put down. You want to make sure you can deliver what you are inadvertently promising.

Numbers grab the attention of the person looking over your resume. Leverage those to the best of your ability to stand out from the stack even more.

7 Stress-Relieving Interview Tips

Whether it’s your first interview or your tenth, there are always ways you can improve your interview skills. Interviews can be intimidating, and a lot of pressure may hang on them. However, with some preparation and forethought, you can take the stress out of your interviews and perhaps even have some fun. Here are seven stress-relieving interview tips.

Understand What You’re Communicating

A lot is said about verbal communication, but equally important is what you’re communicating with your body. Crossing your arms shows a defensive and disinterested posture. Even if this is normal for you, avoid it so that you aren’t giving the interviewer the wrong impression. Leaning in or sitting up straight shows interest in what the other person is saying. Practicing good posture is also a good idea. Not only does slouching look sloppy, if you allow your shoulders to slump it appears like you don’t have much confidence. If you don’t know what nonverbal habits you’ve fallen into, ask a friend to observe you and give feedback.

Don’t Dodge the Questions

Whether you mean to or not, not answering the interviewer’s questions completely or at all will seem like you’re trying to avoid the answer. Which maybe you are. Be familiar with the type of questions that come up during an interview. Practice what you might say to them. If you’re asked an uncomfortable question, like why you got fired from your last job, be direct in answering that. Avoiding it will make it seem like you have something to hide. With this type of question, if you phrase it positively and emphasize what you’ve learned and how you’ve changed, you can actually create a better impression.

Carefully Consider What You Want to Ask

In the same token, when you have the opportunity to ask questions, do so! Come with a few questions prepared. Just make sure they’re not easy, basic questions you could have found with a quick Google search. As the interview progresses, if you think of a question, keep that in mind. Asking questions in return shows that you’re engaged in the interview and are interested in the job.

Practice Active Listening

This is an important skill, but so many people miss the mark with it. You can show that you’re really interested in what the other person is saying by asking clarifying questions or nodding every now and then. Maintaining eye contact and considering your facial expression are also good ways of communicating this.

Watch Your Language

This isn’t your home and this person isn’t your friend. They may be eventually, but now is not the time to be overly familiar. Be careful how you talk and what words or phrases you use. Don’t reference outdated technology or overused buzzwords that will make you seem fake. Also, cursing should not show up at this interview. Your interview is about business, keep it that way.

Know the Company

You probably have sent in applications for several jobs and may have more than one interview. With that in mind, do some research on the company and the interviewer you’re meeting with. Brush up on that, so that you can tailor your responses to the job. You also want to make sure you don’t mix up this company with another one and offend your interviewer.

Give Thanks

Finally, finish off your interview by thanking the other person. End on a high note in this way. Additionally, send a thank-you email or card to continue showing your interest in the job. This is good manners and is also a good way to follow up with the interviewer and keep yourself at the top of their mind.

Interviews don’t have to be high-stress and anxiety-inducing moments. By applying these tips, you’ll find yourself prepared and more relaxed for your interview.

Have Some Fun! Round-Out Your Resume

Usually, the words “fun” and “resume” would never be combined unless you were a down-and-out clown looking to do some birthday parties. You don’t have to be in the entertainment industry to enjoy bulking up your resume while between jobs or with an eye towards a job switch.

You’ve probably heard the advice that you should be doing something while you’re out of work or between jobs. But what, exactly, is this something that would be so profitable? Here are some ideas to utilize that will not only look good on your resume but will also help you grow as a person and enjoy your life.

What’s more, many of these ideas are cheap or free and put you in the path of potential networking opportunities.

Learn a Language

Our world is becoming smaller and smaller, and many businesses are expanding to encompass global markets. Learning a language can be fun, but it can also be very valuable in business relations. Understanding a foreign culture or being able to communicate without an interpreter would be invaluable to a boss.

This also shows a commitment to a challenging task. It shows initiative on your part, but only if you stick with it.

Just be sure to communicate your level of fluency, you don’t want to find yourself over your head because your boss mistakenly believed you could speak Swahili without a hitch.

Participate in a Public Speaking or Acting Class

Both help to provide a certain level of comfortability when in front of groups. Being able to stand in front of a group and express your vision or your company’s goals in a clear, commanding way, is incredibly valuable. Take the opportunity to continue to build on your public speaking skills.

Try Something New

Consider the different fields or abilities that are in high-demand right now. If one of those interests you, think about taking a class on it. You never know when it may be beneficial to your employer. Or, try something seemingly fun or frivolous that doesn’t necessarily apply to your profession. Who knows, later on down the road you may find that exact skill coming in handy, and you’ll get to be the one to save the day.

Pursue What You Love

Do you have a hobby you enjoy? See if you can turn that into a business opportunity and make some money in the process. The initiative to take what you love and develop it into a profitable opportunity will stand out on your resume, even if it doesn’t pan out like you thought it might. Plus, in the process, you’ll probably find that you really enjoy spending more time pursuing that thing.

Volunteer

What do you know? Are you a marketing guru? Take that knowledge and help your favorite charity get their name out there in a better, more visible way. Whatever it is that you’re good at or have spent time doing, see if you can’t use it to help others out. Volunteering is good at any point in your career and benefits all involved. It’s especially good when you’re between jobs. It gives you something to do and it shows your future employer that you’re interested in the long-term.

You don’t have to use all of these ideas to see your resume grow. Pick a few and see where it goes. You’ll definitely have some fun and your future employer will appreciate the well-rounded employee you are and the unique skills you bring to their business.

A Good Problem: Choosing Between Two Great Candidates

It’s an enviable position to be in; you have a surplus of great candidates who are willing to join your team. The hard part is over and your only remaining job is choosing between them. Enviable as it may be, it still poses a problem. In a perfect world, you’d have the budget to hire all the qualified candidates that you come across. However, that usually isn’t a real possibility and you may have to make some tough choices. What is a hiring manager to do? If you find yourself forced to choose between two equally weighted candidates, take some time to think through the following to determine who the best addition will be. The plus side is, you know no matter what your decision, you’ll get a talented employee.


Hire for Runway
While you are screening candidates for a position, it is important to think ahead. Could you see either of the candidates moving up in the organization in the future? The candidate with the most potential to advance in their career with you will be the more strategic hire. Not only will you be making a great pick for your current role, but you’ll be improving your succession plan for the years to come.


Hire for Eagerness
You may want to hire both candidates equally, but do both candidates equally want to be hired? Most of the time, the candidate who is the most excited about the opportunity will be the more successful in the long run. After all, isn’t it better to work with someone who really wants to be there? Think back over your interactions with both candidates throughout the process and try to determine how eager they each were to move on at each step of the way.

 

Hire for Fit
While both candidates may seem equal on paper, cultural fit is much harder to discern from a resume. Take a beat to define and describe your organization’s culture. Chances are that one of the two candidates will be a more organic fit for the environment. The person you hire should share the values and ambitions of the company, so cultural fit can be crucial to a successful hire.

If all else fails, you can always make an old-fashioned pros and cons list. Just make sure that you are taking runway, eagerness, and cultural fit into account before you make your final decision. When you have two great candidates to choose from, there really isn’t a wrong answer. However, every hiring decision is important, so be sure that you carefully consider every angle. When in doubt, bring others into the process and ask them to rank the candidates against the above criteria. Once you’re sure that you have a candidate who has the most runway for promotability, the most ambition to be a part of your team, and who is the most appropriate cultural fit, you’ll know you have the best candidate for the job.

4 Ways to Quickly Boost Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is something that many organizations take very seriously. It has been a growing focus among leaders and is the driving force behind many strategic initiatives undertaken by major companies in recent years. Despite all this, one look at employee engagement scores in the workplace at large will show you that there is still a lot of room for improvement in most cases. So what is a leader, looking for quick and impactful ways to boost engagement, to do?

  1.       Conduct Engagement Surveys

This may seem like a pretty obvious first step, but a surprising number of companies are not conducting these surveys. Among Fortune 500 organizations, as many as 96% are utilizing these tools. However, among midsized companies, this number drops to just 65%. Not only are these surveys vital to understanding where you stand with your employees, the simple act of giving your employees the chance to feel heard can have immediate impacts on your engagement overall.

  1.       Recognize Achievements

One of the fastest ways to lose the interest and attention of your employees is to let good work go unnoticed. You don’t necessarily need to build a formal employee recognition program (though that is certainly an option), but it is critical that you take the time to recognize and reward the accomplishments of your employees in some way. This will incentivize them to keep making an impact and help ensure that they feel appreciated.

  1.       Provide Growth Opportunities

One of the biggest reasons why employees leave their jobs is a lack of growth opportunities. When your workforce does not feel challenged, they will inevitably begin to lose interest. It’s not always possible to promote employees continuously, but it is important that you find ways to offer your key talent projects which test their abilities, opportunities to learn new skills, and a variety of experiences to keep them engaged.

  1.       Offer Guidance

Offering employees mentorship can be an invaluable way to build loyalty and drive positive engagement. Providing your employees with guidance shouldn’t only be restricted to the performance improvement plan. If you give your workforce the chance to take advantage of mentorship – whether formally through a program or informally through access to great leadership – they will become a more engaged and better-skilled workforce overall.

Employee engagement is multifaceted and complex. There are countless factors that contribute to how engaged your employees are, and no one solution will be the end-all-beat-all to building a culture of engagement. However, these four tactics can go a long way in making a positive impact on your engagement scores. When you take the time to listen to your employees’ concerns and needs and provide them with appropriate recognition, development, and mentorship opportunities, you lay down the foundation for an engaging workplace culture.

The Anatomy of the Recruiting Process

Finding the perfect candidate can be an arduous process. It involves a lot of investment in the way of time and energy, but it’s an entirely necessary evil. Understanding what makes the process tick can go a long way to demystifying and streamlining things, however. By understanding the clear delineation between the phases of the recruitment process, you will be better able to manage expectations and timelines for all parties. From the beginning to the end, knowing what is happening behind the scenes at each phase will enable you to react more nimbly and make better decisions at every turn, whether you’re doing the hiring yourself or working with a recruiting partner.

Phase One: The Intake

During the intake phase, it is critical to get consensus from all stakeholders. Never assume that everyone is on the same page and has the same candidate profile in mind. If you fail to have these discussions at the outset, you run the risk of wasting a lot of time, money, and effort going after the wrong candidates. Make sure you ask for input from everyone who will be involved in the hiring decision, including any “must haves” or “can’t dos” so that you have a clear picture of who you are looking for. If you are working with any external recruiting partners, share as much of this information as you possibly can, so that they will be able to find you the best candidates for the job.

Phase Two: Candidate Sourcing

The second phase generally involves a lot of research and legwork on the computer and/or phone. If you are working with a recruiting partner, a lot of this legwork will hopefully be their burden to bear. This part of the process can be one of the longest, so don’t be surprised if it takes a bit of time before you start seeing resumes that fit the bill. If you post your job description online, you’ll have to spend a fair amount of time weeding through resumes. Sourcing candidates should ideally also include the strategic outreach to passive candidates whose backgrounds would be a great fit. It is critical not to stop this phase once you’ve started. Even if you think you have the perfect candidate, there are any number of ways that falloff could occur, so even if you ramp down a bit, be sure to keep the sourcing going until you have your hire made.

Phase Three: Interviewing

The interview phase is different for every organization and may even differ from position to position. In some cases, one onsite could be all it takes to decide to make an offer. In others, there are flights to arrange, calls to schedule, and a host of stakeholders for potential candidates to meet. Make sure you have a clear roadmap of what the interviewing process will look like before you start looking to schedule. Set candidates’ expectations ahead of time and try to minimize the time that elapses during this phase.

Phase Four: Making an Offer or Starting Over

After phase three comes the moment of truth. Either you have a viable candidate who’s emerged, or you must start over. Sometimes, unfortunately, it may be both. Even if you make an offer, you have no guarantee of acceptance; this is why it is so critical to continue sourcing candidates even as you progress through the other phases of the recruitment process. If you don’t find yourself with a viable candidate, revisit the intake stage and see if there are any areas where you were perhaps too specific or where you may have missed the mark on the ideal profile.

While this may be a somewhat oversimplified version of the work and the time that goes into successfully navigating the recruitment process, it does give you an idea of what you should be focused on at each juncture. From the moment you realize you have an opening until the moment your new hire walks through the door, you should be fully engaged in this process. Be sure to keep your recruiting partners in the loop at each phase as well. If you can manage to do all of this, you’ll find that the process runs much more smoothly and you will insure against any costly lulls.

5 Reasons Your Job Isn’t Getting Filled

Finding the right candidate for a role can be a daunting endeavor. It takes time, patience, and a good deal of legwork to successfully source, screen, and hire the right person for the job and any number of things can go wrong along the way. If you have found that your roles aren’t being filled in a timely fashion, there could be any number of factors to blame. The following five issues are some of the more common culprits that can cause the recruitment process to break down, leaving you with an empty role.

  1.       Your Budget is Too Low

This is one of the biggest hurdles to jump when it comes to filling a role. If there are internal equity issues restricting your budget, it can pose a serious problem. However, if you simply aren’t offering the right amount of money for what you’re looking for, you are going to have a tough time attracting qualified candidates. If you think you might be off the mark on the compensation, market surveys can help you determine if you need to make an adjustment. If the dollars aren’t in the budget, then you may have to lower the scope of the role itself to find the right fit for the right price.

  1.       You Are Being Too Specific

If you find that your budget isn’t the problem, it could be the job itself. While of course there is a required level of experience for any role, if you narrow your candidate pool too far, you will have a tough time finding anyone who happens to be qualified. Make sure that you don’t narrow your search too far and try focusing on high-potential talent who can be trained in any skills they might be lacking.

  1.       You Are “Posting and Praying”

This is a very common mistake when it comes to sourcing talent. It is an incredibly competitive market out there, so talent can be choosy and companies must get creative to find the talent they need. If you simply post your job description to the big boards and screen the candidates who apply, you may find it takes much longer to find what you’re looking for. Instead, be proactive. Take up the mantle of seeking out that great talent and actively work to recruit them, rather than hoping that they come to you.

  1.       You Are Taking Too Long

Time is never your friend when it comes to the recruitment process. Candidates get cold feet, accept competing offers, or just generally lose interest if you drag the process out for too long. Make recruitment a priority, and if you find a candidate that you like, move quickly!

  1.       You Aren’t Screening Well

If you find that you keep getting pretty far into the process, only to determine that you don’t have the right candidate, you are likely dropping the ball somewhere in the early screening process. This can cost valuable time and leave you with an unfilled role, despite a lot of effort. Make sure that you are asking key questions early on, that you have the right people interviewing candidates, and that you have clear guidelines about what qualifies a candidate for the role.

            While there is certainly no shortage of places where the recruitment process may break down, by focusing on these five areas, you will eliminate many of the common culprits. If you have a role that you just can’t fill, it pays to take a beat and ask yourself if you may be making missteps in these areas.

4 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Get Ahead at Work

How do you get that promotion at work when your coworkers are also jockeying for it? Standing out from the competition may be easier than you think. Here are some ways to stand out without destroying your relationships with your colleagues.

Go Above and Beyond

Yes, you probably have heard this before, but have you applied it? Showing initiative and taking on tasks you weren’t necessarily assigned to do will get attention from the boss. Just make sure someone else wasn’t assigned to that job. Being willing to step outside your normal job or skill set and do what others won’t will draw good attention. When you’re willing to volunteer for projects others avoid, your boss will be thankful to have you and will be more likely to consider you for future promotions.

Do Your Job

Doing your job to the best of your ability will put you leaps and bounds over some of your competition. Many people just show up to work because of the paycheck. They don’t have any drive or desire to be there or to try and enjoy their work. If you come to work with a smile on your face and do what you do to the best of your ability, you’ll stand out. Even if the job you’re in isn’t your dream job, you can still pick parts of it that you enjoy. Focus on those. Find fulfillment however you can in your job. The quality of your work will improve and you will definitely stick out from the crowd.

Be a Leader

When opportunities for leadership come up, ask to be put there. Don’t shy away from added responsibility. After all, that’s what promotion is all about. This is also a great opportunity to learn the best ways of leadership. If you’re able to, ask your boss once you’ve completed the project how you did. Ask her in what ways you could have improved. Your boss will appreciate your humble attitude, proving that leadership won’t go to your head in the event that you get that promotion.

If you’re able to be a leader, make sure to do your best to cause your colleagues to have success too. Encouraging them and praising them for their work is a great leadership trait. As a leader, not only do you want to succeed, you should want them to be successful too.

Talk to Them

If you know that you and a coworker are both trying to get the same promotion, talk to them. Don’t let the tension simmer. Not only will that make your workplace uncomfortable, it could potentially ruin your relationship with your coworker. Be willing to sit down with them, acknowledge that you both want the job, and commit to remaining friendly throughout the process. By taking the initiative in doing this, your coworker will know that you aren’t going to try to get the job by underhanded means and you’re not out to destroy their career.

Simply doing your job to the best of your ability and taking the opportunities that come your way can get you a long way in your career. Do the right thing. Avoid the temptation to succumb to underhanded measures and back-stabbing techniques. Those may get you ahead for a short while, but in the long run, they will ruin your career.

The Beginner’s Guide to Working with a Search Firm

For hiring managers who have never had the opportunity to partner with a search firm, the idea can seem a little foreign. It can be confusing trying to determine what the recruiter’s role will be, what information you need to provide for them, and what to expect from the whole partnership. If you are considering working with a search firm for the first time, there are a few foundational things that you can do to ensure a meaningful partnership.

Be Forthcoming

This can’t be stressed enough. Your recruiter should be your partner. After all, it is in their best interests to find you the right candidate, so you truly have a common goal. For this reason, you should be comfortable telling them everything that they need to know about the position they are helping you to fill. You should tell them the good, the bad, and the ugly. Give them any relevant background about your organization. Tell them about the personalities of those they’ll be working closely with. The more information given to your recruiter, the more effective they can be in getting you the talent you are looking for. Don’t hold back!

Ask for Advice

Many times, hiring managers don’t take full advantage of the consultative resource that a good staffing partner can be. Recruiters focus on talent all day every day, so if you have any questions about the process, the search, or the market in general, don’t hesitate to use them as a trusted resource. If you’re uncertain about how you should handle any part of the search, asking your recruiter for advice can be a simple and effective way to gain perspective.

Set Expectations

Setting expectations early and often is critical to a mutually beneficial partnership. It is especially important if you aren’t accustomed to the process of partnering with search firms.  Tell your recruiting partners what you expect from them and what they can expect from you (your response times, your availability to interview their candidates, etc.). Clarify and qualify as much as you can, and continue to revisit these expectations as you progress through the process. This act alone should go a long way towards helping you demystify your new partnership.

By following these few guidelines, you are setting yourself up for success in working with a search firm. Your new recruiting partners will be thankful that you have been so forthcoming and communicative. They will clearly understand what is expected of them and will be able to help you understand what they expect from you. You may even find that they can be a fantastic resource, not simply a candidate generation tool. These steps are ideal for those new to the process, but even for veterans, they are good habits to revisit and engage in. As you consider working with a search firm, set yourself up for success and ensure that you get the most out of the experience.