Monday, November 29, 2010

Upcoming Series: Overview of Do's and Don'ts with Social Media and Recruiting

I just finished editing my presentation for the Campus Recruiting Forum happening in Waterloo on Tuesday November 30th, 2010 I and in Calgary on Thursday December 2nd, 2010. I can't wait!

I am speaking on the topic of social media & recruiting. I will be providing an overview on why social media is important for a company to use in their recruiting plan & will also provide do's and don'ts for each site like: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare and YouTube.

I am thinking of creating my first Blog Series that recaps some of those learnings & helps provide a quick guide to using social media & recruiting. I am also considering then extending the concept into a 2nd Series recapping these similar sites but how to use in Onboarding (which I think is the hottest new use for social media).

Intriguing? Interested? What would you like to see in these 2 series?

Want to see me speak? Register for the Campus Recruiting Forum at:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Promising the World: Marrying Recruiting & Onboarding

Recruiting and Onboarding must be: Transparent, Realistic, Authentic, Set Realistic Expectations and Deliver on Promises. Seems so simple doesn’t it!? Why, then, are so many employers falling short in delivering on the promises made during the recruiting process in an employee’s first 90 days!? Read on for some tips to marry recruiting & onboarding.

My background is in marketing but my current position is in recruitment. Recently I have become intrigued with the role onboarding plays within the field of Talent Management. I look to marketing for trends in how to build a loyal customer, or in my case, an engaged employee. One of the biggest lessons in marketing is to deliver on brand promises. Let’s say you purchase a bad product, a real lemon, you are not likely to purchase the product ever again – right!? In today’s day and age of social media, you do not want to get a bad reputation in the workplace. Today employees don’t bat an eye at writing up tweets, facebook posts or using websites like Glassdoor to rate their experiences.

Companies promise the world to secure the right employees. However, recruiting & onboarding are typically run by different individuals and sometimes different departments. Companies need to be careful not to overpromise in recruiting and under deliver in the first 90 days. You have gone to a lot of hard work to source, interview & offer a great candidate. Don’t put all of your hard work to waste. If you do not meet these expectations in your orientation (first week) & onboarding process (first 90 days) you lose engagement. Ensure that your recruiting & onboarding programming is connected so you deliver on promises made in hooking those fabulous new hires. Engaged employees = productive employees!

Helpful? Questions?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Social Media Searches are Becoming Mainstream in the Interview Process: Tips & Watch outs for both Employers and Job Seekers

 Multiple personalities online: what does your Google search results, Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter & LinkedIn (etc) profile say about you? As a potential candidate, what are some cautions to be aware of? As a perspective employer, how can you use these sites to check out candidates before forwarding that final offer letter? Read on to find out!

Our social media profiles each have a voice or an indication of the personality behind the profile. The implication of living our lives in online spaces is that the internet is permanent. Even if you press delete, that information has been stored on a server and is never truly GONE. What does this mean for potential employers or job seekers?

Young adults (25+), who are social media savvy, are tending to use twitter to make plans/update their networks versus sending SMS/text messages or emails. Relationships tend to be more open than ever before.  In this, there are consequences that conversations between 2 individuals are now available for the world to see. For job seekers, this has strong implications as you are no longer controlling all of the information that an employer can use to make a hiring decision. Previously, perspective candidates told the story they wanted shared by writing a cover letter, formatting a resume of their experience & engaging their potential employer in an interview. Now many companies include social media searches in their job decisions before formalizing an offer letter.  What do you need to know as a candidate to ensure you don’t lose that hire offer when you had an amazing interview but they turn up information online that makes them worry you might be a bit of a loose cannon!?

Below are my thoughts for you job seekers on what these sites tell employers about you as a potential candidate. As an employer, I have also given tips to using these sites to check out potential employees. One big lesson for employers is don’t use social media searches as a deciding factor. Good employers balance social media insights with a candidate’s CV & interview. They use social media sites to gauge liability/culture fit and see if the candidate is as button down as that interview suggested! Below I will review the mainstream sites being Google, Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter and LinkedIn providing a brief summary of what might be out there and some cautions to both candidates and employers in order of least to most important sites:
·     Most employers at the very least complete a Google Search on potential candidates. Have you ever Googled your own name to see what comes up? Lesson #1 - Know what’s out there! Employers - using a name to do a Google search is not a guaranteed match as unless there is a photo or other clear identifying data, you don’t know that the found information is actually attached to your particular “Jane Smith.” This is one of the least indicative ways to see your candidate in their online life. The more senior the candidate, the more relevant this space is especially if they claim to be an “expert” in a given field and thus should have speaking engagements promoted online.
·     As a candidate, Foursquare lets people know your neighborhood/places you spend time, which tells them how you live your life and the things that are important to you. This site is really about someone’s personal life versus their professional persona. If you are hiring someone who claims to be a real networker/a mover & shaker, this site can give you a great indication of where they might be spending time. Getting access to someone’s foursquare updates is tricky; however, most users allow foursquare to connect to their twitter and twitter is 99% an open network so the information can be found there.
·     As a candidate, Facebook is typically about your personal life - photos and visits with friends. This is where you probably really let loose. As a candidate, have a VERY STRONG privacy setting on this site to continue to live your life with only chosen “friends” having access to your photos of the party last weekend! Make smart decisions about your profile photo as most people can see it without being connected on Facebook – ensure that it isn’t a photo of you draped over a bottle of booze – as a candidate, is this the image you want to project? Most employers do a quick search on Facebook now-a-days; however, as a smart candidate don’t allow them much access. As an employer, understand this is a personal site about chosen “friends” and respect that your candidate has strong work-life separation!
·     I think that Twitter starts getting into a great social indicator of a potential candidate and their cultural fit. Not all candidates are on twitter so your search may create a big zero in the results department. For those active in this space, twitter is almost an entirely open network where people don’t protect their tweets so finding candidates is easy. Those who use it tend to balance the personal and professional and twitter becomes a bit of a bridge between Facebook & LinkedIn. As an employer, see what your candidate is into. As more and more companies are hiring people who claim to be “social media gurus” ensure they are! See how many followers they have & who they are (ensure they aren’t just spam accounts) and see who they are following. See if all they do is RT (retweet) or are they a content generator? See if they are in influencer – do others retweet them or are they mentioned?  Do they follow the social media rules of showing personality, creating transparency and authenticity and is their information relevant and timely? For potential candidates checking out a company, this is the best way to see the company’s culture & see if you might fit in with your potential colleagues!
·     LinkedIn = as professional as they come. This essentially is an online resume. I love doing searches on LinkedIn for potential hires because of the “recommendation” feature where previously clients, colleagues and managers can write up a reference through the site. This is a great way to see candidate’s perspective experience & how others worked for them. As a candidate, really work this website to get your profile to the 100% complete stage by listing all previous experience & asking some key contacts for recommendations highlighting specific skills or experiences that are relevant in your job search.

As a job seeking candidate, especially those in the millennial group (born 1986+) my major lessons are to “think before you post” and never “drink and post.” Nothing good ever comes of posts/updates done in the wee hours of the morning when your internal screening/filters are permanently in the “off” position!  As an employer, ensure you use social media sites as a temperature check but not the official hire decision. Balance the results with the CV and interview results. Gauge how important a social media search is based on the role you are hiring for.

Did this post help you as a potential employer on understanding how to find information on candidates? Candidates, did this tell you a few cautionary tales of where employers are seeking information & how to guard some (like Facebook) and showcase others (like LinkedIn). Do you think it’s fair that employers use social media searches in their job hunts?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Finding Inspiration: 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common

Last night I attended a seminar at The Schulich School of Business. The seminar was a guest lecture by Richard St. John the author of The 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common. I am addicted to for inspiration speaker sessions and was intrigued that St. John is one of the top downloaded TED talks. This fact alone had me signing up in a heartbeat. The session went through the 8 traits he defines successful people have in common: Passion, Work, Focus, Push, Ideas, Improve, Serve and Persist. I took 8 pages of notes in the session, came home and re-watched his ted talk (see link at bottom)

I went into work today and the only word I can use is INSPIRED.  I am someone who takes my career very seriously and I have goals, plans, motivation to do better, learn more and teach others but sometimes this focus is lost in the hustle and bustle of the office. I walked into work today, typed up a page of key phrases & learnings from the session, printed a copy to put above my desk and walked around visiting my entire team and telling them about the session (having already provided the link to his talk the night before) and handing out my created one-page highlight sheet for their desks. My attitude was contagious today.

I’m sharing my insights on this inspirational speaker (and great author – I’m already 5 chapters in!) because it shows that you need to drive your own success & create that excitement about what you do for yourself. I love what I do but sometimes in the busyness of the day-to-day, I forget to be excited about what I bring to the world. Today had me telling others about this inspirational talk, key takeaways and even emailing friends from around the world my key takeaway tip sheet on the 8 tips. It was inspirational that these tips, my attitude and my drive will create success for me! I was rejuvenated and refocused by the talk & wanting to not only drive my own success but help others be successful themselves. I brought my team management and coaching to a new level today.  My reminder from the session is to look up from the grind, seek to find inspiration & get out into the world to meet others that inspire you. If you do, you will in turn come back to work inspired to motivate others!

Has anyone else read his book or seen St. John speak? Have you recently attended an amazing speaker or read a fabulous book!? Please share to inspire me & others!

Watch Richard St. John's TED session by clicking: