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Archive for April, 2013

Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y or Millennials – How to Hire Them All

April 19, 2013 Leave a comment

Cliff Oxford caused quite a stir recently when he suggested in a New York Times article that entrepreneurs running fast-growth companies should shy away from hiring baby boomers. In a nutshell, Oxford believes that boomers, who he refers to as the parents of Gen X and Gen Y employees, expect too much money, are distracted by outside commitments, are unwilling to take risks, are clueless about social media, and want to be pampered with perks such as corner offices.

Instead, Oxford recommends that fast-growth companies concentrate on hiring what he calls “Great Recession Graduates” who had to forgo out-of-state schools and wait on tables during college after their parents (those baby boomers) drained their savings and retirement accounts to survive.

Although Oxford admits that some boomers can still thrive in fast-growth companies, he seems to have forgotten that boomers are the ones who brought the personal computers, the World Wide Web, the cell phones, and GPS required by social media into the world. Those creative people were once like the current crop of graduates – young, eager, and unafraid of risks. In addition, most of them attended state colleges and waited on tables to help pay the bills.

On the other hand, Oxford does make some good points. It’s important that recruiters and HR managers hire people who will fit well with the culture of their company. Most companies find the best hiring strategies balance the experience and stability of older workers with the fresh ideas of recent graduates and less-experienced employees.

Fast-growth companies operating on a shoestring will place more value on employees that can and will work for lower salaries in return for a potentially larger reward later. Thus, recruiters and HR personnel at fast-growth companies may want to focus resources on recent college graduates who are happy to have a first job and are willing to work hard because they don’t yet have families that produce the “outside commitments” that Oxford denigrates.

Regardless of a company’s hiring strategy, HR specialists need to be aware of new technologies available to help find and hire the best people for the job. HR departments are increasingly replacing expensive recruiting fairs, newspaper ad campaigns, and clunky paper-based hiring systems with web-based tools that create an Applicant Tracking System. In addition to automating and streamlining hiring processes, these tools use integrated social media strategies to announce openings and attract applicants, a technique that will appeal to upcoming and recent college graduates who communicate primarily through social media.

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How to Use Social Media for the Best Hiring Results

April 4, 2013 Leave a comment

social media hiring & recruitingHiring practices for human resources departments and hiring managers are evolving. It is important that you stay on top of these developments to find and attract the top talent for your company. There are many tools emerging that help people connect and inform each other about their professional experience. How do you know which ones to use and how much value to place on the information that is available from them?

Evaluating these mechanisms can seem to take as long as the evaluating the job applicants you want to bring onto the team. However, we have to go where the people are in order to keep current and get the most out of the field of potential employees. If you aren’t moving at the speed of the best applicants when they check in on your and your company would they evaluate it as their best potential place of employment? Methods for hiring that are antiquated send signals that your company might still be operating like it is the stone age, in which case candidates might look to companies that reflect more modern technological savvy.

As always, it can be hard to know what social interaction are legitimately valuable from a distance and which are just chatter on the airwaves. Does your company currently take advantage of social media to except applications or seek out people that might be a good fit? There are many ways you can use social media to find employees but some a designed to connect professionals. Others can provide a lot of usual information for those in human resources. Hiring is a complex process, making sure that no one is wasting their time is important on both sides of the meeting table.

Services such as Klout and Kred are excellent ways for people to centralize and measure their connections plus social interactions into a standardized form that others can participate in as well. The upside to these services is that they offer a metric that is attempting to be a reflection of the aggregate value of how influential or reputable an individual may be in comparison to other candidates in the field applicants. One negative element is that applicants that do not engage with a professional online community will have lower scores than those that are taking the time to reach out. Hiring staffers could interpret this person as being less valuable than someone with a higher community score but this does not truly mean they would are less qualified. Of course, in this age there are many places looking for employees that openly evangelize.

Many companies are using applicant tracking software, especially systems that have social media hiring features. This technology allows companies to track an applicant across the web and to corroborate information for themselves. In this way it is possible to customize a solution that works for a particular set of needs which are not those of a social network outside of the company.