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How To Extend Your Company’s Hiring Reach

October 4, 2013 Leave a comment

social recruitingOne of the hardest things to do within your job is to fill open jobs. Whether your company has an actual location or is based online, you will find that it’s important to find qualified individuals as well as individuals who want to work for your company. If you aren’t one of the biggest names, you may need to convince people that they want to come work for you – and this is why you will need to extend the hiring reach of your company.

Whether you are recruiting on your own or using a recruiter, you need to make sure you have enough candidates to make good hiring moves for your company. Once you get all of the candidates loaded into an applicant tracking system, you can then find individuals who meet all of your needs.

The first thing you have to come to terms with is that posting a job does not guarantee traffic. Just as your marketing department will tell you that they have to drive traffic to the company website, you have to drive traffic to the job postings.

Accounting Today offers a variety of suggestions, including promoting the job posting on social media. There are a lot of business professionals on the social media sites today. Despite this, there are a lot of firms who are not using social media sites to reach out to professionals. LinkedIn profiles are a big one, though it can also be done with a business page on Facebook and a handle on Twitter.

Once you get started on the social media sites, you will want to keep up the communication with the goal of social media recruiting efforts . Talk not only of the job opening but of your company and why people would want to work there. If you have cutting edge technology, let people know. Your social media discussions can work twofold – helping you promote your company and the open job positions.

Social advertising is another thing to look into. You can target people better with LinkedIn and Facebook and it is much less expensive than traditional print advertising. This means you get a better ROI as long as you are using the right geographic area and paying attention to the keywords.

If you take the time to optimize your career landing page and the job descriptions with keywords, you can get more hits. Think about what people would use in a search engine to look for jobs – and then include those within your website.

You have a network of friends and business associates. These should not be forgotten when you are extending the reach of your hiring methods. Post some job positions and then ask people to share the link and retweet and do whatever else it is that they do.

Your HR efforts are only as good as your reach. Extend your reach and watch how much easier it is to recruit.

 

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Great Hires Go The Distance

March 22, 2013 Leave a comment

great hiresHiring the right employees is the first step to building a great company. But finding the right people is only half the battle, you also have to make sure that you can keep them. It doesn’t do your business any good to find and train great new employees, only to have them turn around and leave for something else.  In fact that type of hiring practice can end up sinking a company.

Attracting and keeping great employees is all about innovation. That means learning and adapting to changes and challenges in every aspect of the business, from including the way you hiring and recruit new employees. Hiring the right employees can be a big part of that innovation and making sure that your employees stick around

Hiring the right employees is not just about hiring the employees who have the fanciest credentials and the most degrees. It is also about making sure that those employees fit in well with your company. That means your new recruits must be just as excited about the work your company is doing as you are about hiring them. If they are not excited about the work, chances are they won’t stick around long enough for it to be worth hiring them.

It’s also important to for the company to create an atmosphere of excitement and enthusiasm. If the employees who currently work at your company aren’t excited to come into work or at least act like they are excited to be there, it will be next to impossible to find enthusiastic, committed new hires who want to stick around and grow with your company.

But figuring out which applicants those might be can be just as hard as attracting them. This is why it is so important to stay up to date with the latest hiring techniques and practices in order to stay innovative and have a leg up ahead of the competition. Your competitors also want to hire the best most enthusiastic employees without having to try and poach them from you later. They are sure to be using up to date, state of the art technology and techniques to find and hire new recruits, and you don’t want to be left in the dust just because you are using the same tired old tricks.

Many companies are using some form of applicant tracking system to help them find, recruit and hire the best applicants for the job. This technology is a database filled with names, resumes, and other important information about applicants and potential applicants.   The top of the line ATS makes your hiring process more efficient – it lets your company become a lean, mean hiring machine.   By staying on top of hiring technology you are ensuring that your company will find and retain the best employees, and therefore stay healthy and productive.

Is Internal Referral Hiring The Best Way to Find Talent?

February 8, 2013 Leave a comment

referral hiring ATSThere’s a well known saying in the job market; “It’s not what you know, it’s who you,” and in today’s market that has never been more true. More than ever, it’s important for companies to not only keep track of who they hire, but also where they find their candidates. With so many variables involved, external resumes, various job boards, social networks, and referrals, having an effective applicant tracking system in place is vital when it comes to verifying which methods work best for your company.

A recent New York Times article profiled a large employer that receives nearly half of their new hires from employee referrals. According to this and other employers it is these recruits that are the cream that rises to the top of the crop.

But does knowing someone necessarily make a person a good candidate? In many cases it does. John Sullivan, an HR consultant that teaches management at San Francisco State University calls the job board, Monster.com, Monster.ugly and says that it carries a stigma. He also says sending a resume without a connection, preferably someone within the company, is like sending it to a “black hole.” While it does make things more difficult for the long term unemployed, it does bring in higher quality candidates. Those who spend time not using their skills do lose them, and often their network.

When companies do take the risk and hire someone who has been unemployed for an extended period of time, they often pay for it, because the employee may not be as skilled as they believe they are, and may not stay in the position either from their own admittance of their shortcoming, or because the employer recognizes that keeping them employed is no longer cost effective. Hiring a new person not only means paying their salary, but also paying for their training, background checks, and other assessments. In 2007, Training magazine reported that even established employees cost companies an average of $12,000 per year in training. That just increases for new or “rusty” workers. When over 600 CEOs were interviewed by Harvard Business School about hiring midlevel managers, they reported that it normally took more than six months just to break even.

While internal referrals are a good way to go, and do account for about half of new hires. Some hiring segments simply aren’t tracked effectively by most companies, notably contingent workers, such as temporary contract workers and freelancers, are often not tracked at all. While many companies don’t seem to make this a high priority, those who do include these workers as a part of their applicant tracking system find that they represented around 13% with the number expected to grow, Since these workers are hired for more focused tasks, employers are often able to identify a worker’s potential without making the investment of full on training. It also gets workers a chance to meet and network with others for future referral opportunities.

For many companies, internal referrals may be the way to go, however not all companies are the same. To find what works best in your organization it is important to track your own hiring process and evaluate the data specific to you.

Top 5 Ways to Organize your Small Business

October 12, 2009 Leave a comment

blackboardRunning a small business or start up can be a daunting task because most of the primary day to day responsibilities often fall on the shoulders of one or two owners.  There are a multitude of tasks to keep track of, including accounting, hiring, marketing, financial forecasts and deadlines for clients.   Sometimes, it can be overwhelming for one person to juggle so many different tasks simultaneously.

I’d like to take a moment to go over several simple tools and methods to help small business owners keep track of and prioritize the various tasks involved in operations.

1.   Use a Whiteboard

Whether it’s a whiteboard, blackboard, bulletin board, or a simple notepad, try to keep a weekly log of primary tasks up front and center.  While there are a plethora of online programs and tools for organizing daily/weekly tasks, it helps to back it all up with a basic pen and paper list.    It is integral to have this weekly ‘grail’ to refer to when you hit a wall – try placing it in the center of your office for everyone to see.  Utilize different colors or check boxes to re-enforce accomplishments or the completion of a task.

2.  Use Google Documents

While Microsoft Word is still the standard in word processing, Google Documents has several advantages that make it the perfect online tool for inter & extra-office collaboration.   Need to brainstorm a list of potential clients for your wedding cake business?  Simply hop on Google Docs, create a new sheet, and share it with as many collaborators as you like.  The whole team can then log onto the document and make edits ‘live,’ to avoid the hassle of huge email chains or lengthy phone conversations.  Also be sure to try out Google Spreadsheets, a MS Excel alternative that allows you for seamless organization and collaboration.

3.  Use Recruiting Software

If you are a small business is the process of finding the best talent available, the task can become process intensive and  fairly complex.  Keeping track of multiple candidates, reviewing resumes and tracking progress can drastically slow your company’s forward movement.

One way to combat this small business brain freeze it to utilize a recruiting software package to track applicants, manage resumes, and provide a collaboration tool for your hiring managers.  Many modern day recruiting software solutions live completely online, making it incredibly simple to access and utilize with the click of a mouse.

4.  Prioritize with Flexibility

Sometimes, when it’s just you and 500 different tasks, there will be a tendency to jump from one task to another before completion. This can be good and bad.  It’s good to be flexible and not bang your head against any one task  if you aren’t making any progress.   Sometimes it helps to step back, breathe, and come back to something with a new outlook.   However, if your mind wanders too far and too often, nothing will end up done.  Try to find the balance between priority and flexibility that allows you to find a natural rhythm in completing weekly tasks.

5. Early Calls

If part of your business involves contacting potential clients, cold calling, emailing or collaborating with various individuals, I would suggest using the first half of the week for this.  People have the natural tendency to be more receptive during the first half of the week.  After Wednesday many potential business contacts begin to fade into their weekend shelters.  Getting a hold of these people on Monday or Tuesday will make the second half of your week far more productive.

It’s always better online – industry playing catch-up

July 16, 2009 Leave a comment

iphone newspaperIts amazing to see what people are doing online nowadays.  Cut out any cross-section of modern day society and you will find it’s cyber-doppelganger, often making a process more efficient and accessible. From online dating to religious ritual, the Internet has provided an invaluable outlet for expressing the many facets of human culture.

Despite the proven power of the internet, there are still bastions of old-thinking that grumble about the pitfalls the online world can expose us to.  They will eventually come around. Take the political world. It wasn’t until the recent ‘Obama-fi-cation’ of politics that candidates began to expound their views via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and dozens of other cyber-stages. For the most part, pre-Obama politicians stuck to their nightly news pundits and caucus speeches to get the message out.  Other recent Goliaths to fall include the TV, film, and music industries (although I still question their web dedication).

There is still a major fraction of industry that refuses to accept the full efficiency and economy of the Internet.  Sure, they might be using email and Google search, but that’s about it. I’d like to create a list that spans various cross-sections of industries that are still missing the big picture. Feel free to chirp in with any other examples.

Newspapers:

I know.  Many of us still like to get that Sunday New York Times on the doorstep, crisp in our hands as we sip our morning coffee.  Is it really worth it though? It is estimated that nearly 500,000 trees are cut down to produce every Sunday’s newspaper. New digital ink formats like the Amazon Kindles’ make it possible to nearly replicate your old newspaper experience with a completely digital one. Not only that, but you will be able to access a wider variety of articles from various sources, rather than being trapped by the opinions of a handful of writers and media execs. We need to stop postponing the inevitable and bring the axe down on paper newspapers, rather than reading their slow, wordy obituaries.

Paper Receipts:

Sure, there appear to be a ton of technologies and solutions that can digitize receipts, but none of them have quite caught on yet. Most consumers still make a purchase from WalMart, BestBuy or McDonalds and still receive paper receipts that they either throw away or stow in some musty file cabinet. One notable company that hopes to digitize all receipts is AllEtronic, which creates an easy way to divert and organize all your receipts online with participating retailers. We need more retailers to jump on the bandwagon though. Not only does a world with no paper receipts prove more eco-friendly, but it also saves us all the hassle of dealing with crumpled up balls of trash.

Human Resources and Hiring:

Although we all know about online job sites like Monster.com to search for job openings, there still is a notable lack of enterprise hiring solutions that are fully online. Many businesses are still dealing with clunky installation CDs when it comes their recruiting, applicant tracking and applicant management needs. Hiring is something that becomes twenty times more efficient online because it can take on a more effective mode of collaboration, analytics and management.  Newton Software is one web accessible solution that is ahead of the curve.  Newton Software touts easy online access, a seamless hiring process and affordable pricing options.

Cars:

You’re thinking I’m a bit ahead of myself on this one. I’m actually speaking of the business model that manufacturers use to sell cars and how it may benefit from a Web 2.0 makeover.  Online advertising is now a multi-billion dollar business with Google leading the way through their innovative AdWords solution.  The auto-industry is desperately looking for new ways to market and sell their cars.

What if all of our modern day GPS-aware cars were able to serve us advertisements that were location relevant? Did dad forget to stop by Home Depot on his way home? Not if his car lets him know a few miles before the exit.   Sure, it may get annoying (or dangerous) if you are flocked by a swarm of flying Dunkin Donuts’ across your windshield, but it may be well worth the price break on your car.   Manufacturers could sell their cars at more affordable prices with some incoming ad-revenue from big brands across the country.   Perhaps you might have the choice to turn ‘annoying’ advertisements off by paying for the car at full price.

Small Business Hiring Gains Fire Power

June 12, 2009 Leave a comment

prometheusWe are witnessing the end of an era.   Since the end of World War 2, large companies have controlled the ebb and flow of the US economy: from the reign of the Detroit automakers to the rise of west coast tech moguls like Microsoft and Google.   Small businesses have been the tiny vessels tossed in the wake of gargantuan tankers, forcing their products on consumers through sheer bulk.

The tides are changing though-  the failing American economy has exposed the incapability of big business, spotlighting bullheaded corporate practices and broken supply chains. The changing times have given way to opportunities for smaller businesses to navigate the economic waters through nascent, cost-effective technologies.   Unlike the slow moving behemoths of old, start-ups have the ability to rapidly change direction and adapt to newly minted consumer demands.  Young companies now have access to a plethora of new tools that utilize the internet to minimize costs and maximize efficiency.

One sector that highlights this onset of change between big and small is in the hiring arena.  A recent New York Times article zoned in on the big corporations of Silicon Valley, and how a ‘code of honor’ existed between several companies towards acquiring each other’s talent.    This unwritten pact between several large companies essentially directs their recruiters to stay away from hiring one-another’s star players.

From the New York Times:

Some veteran human resources executives said that hiring was not so much the issue; employees are free to look for work pretty much anywhere. But they say major companies often have an unwritten agreement to not actively poach employees from their partners.

“Most companies have a hands-off list,” said Ken Perluss, who recently left Yahoo as director for talent acquisition after more than 11 years with the company. “It tells recruiters, ‘Don’t recruit from this company. They are our partner.’ ”

These questionable practices have been observed to such an extent that several companies are currently under the watchful eye of the Justice Department for ‘anti-competitive’ practices.  If such practices are actually occurring, where does this leave smaller businesses who could utilize such star talent to an even greater degree?   In the Silicon Valley tech scene,  one great mind could make the difference between a start-up succeeding or failing.  Top level engineers are more likely thrive in innovative start-up environments than in corporate organizational hierarchies that often stifle creativity.

Small tech companies are already threatening larger ones through the development of innovative, viral, and cost-effective online applications.   It was only a few years ago that Facebook and Twitter were still specks on the map.  It is probable that larger tech companies are attempting to keep the recruiting advantage on their court through ‘gentleman’s agreements’ that prevents the transfer of talent to the next generation of Facebooks.

Small businesses and start-ups alike posses the technology to counter-balance these big-business-pacts.  New, simple and cutting-edge hiring software solutions allow small businesses to find and manage the best talent in the business.  In the days of old, providing a recruiting solution that adeptly encompassed recruiter collaboration, seamless applicant management, and easy online access would cost an arm and a leg. Today’s business class tools walk the path of consumer Web 2.0 applications that are meant to promote simplicity and collaboration at a reasonable price point.    Newton Software is one such solution which can allow small businesses to compete with larger corporations in acquiring the best talent on the market.

There are a plethora of other online tools that smaller business have begun to utilize to maximize their efficiency- from collaboration tools like Basecamp to data storage applications like Dropbox.  Even within large corporations like Google and Microsoft- external applications have begun to take off to bolster intra-company collaboration networks.

It would be naive to say big business will simply disappear into the night, suddenly replaced by a multitude of hungry young successors.   The climate will be sure to shift though: economic and technological progress will freeze the mammoths of industry and provide sure-footing for the smaller  innovators.  Perhaps one such innovator will be our next Prometheus, armed with the fire of  technology to light the way for the future.