10 clues that your hiring process is in need of a 21st century "social" tune-up

By Christopher M. Simone, VP of Sales at Treeline, Inc.

Mother's Day is coming up… a day for us to celebrate and cherish our mothers and those who love and have nurtured us as only mothers could. (note to self, send a link of this blog to Mom). It is also a day when our moms want to hear about what we are doing and how well we are making our way through life.

While my mother would listen with interest and kindness when I told her that I switched jobs (again), she would be very confused when I told her I found my new job because one of my friends Tweeted about a hot company that was hiring, so I started following them on Twitter (while driving), connected with them on Facebook, read blogs about them on Glassdoor.com, watched videos about them on YouTube, watched a Podcast that I found on their website, chatted with my Friend through my iGoogle page about the job posting (which I found on a social recruiting site), emailed my video resume from my smart phone, had an interview over Skype, and connected with the hiring manager on LinkedIn – who, incidentally, got a great backdoor reference from the manager that I worked for two jobs ago and who has already visited my wall.

Now, imagine if I told her that I wore jeans to the final interview and met the CEO who was dressed the same. Forget about it…

My mother and I never had this specific conversation, but there are hip mothers and fathers everywhere scratching their heads wondering what happened to searching the job boards, and grandmothers and grandfathers everywhere scratching their heads and wondering what happened to reading the Help Wanted section in the Sunday newspaper?

Now some people, including me, intend to holdout for the perpetuation of formal interview attire, but the rest we'll just have to embrace. Recruiting in the 21st century is different, a lot different. Change is in the wind, and the wind is blowing in the same direction as strong forces and macro trends.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has compiled very interesting data about job stability and transitions; this research has been conducted over long periods of time. There are different interpretations available but the data unequivocally reflects that the average number of job changes and careers per adult has increased from a few to many. Also, the average American's tenure at each job has substantially decreased. While the economic downturn complicates the extrapolation of these results in determining current millennial generation behavior, data strongly suggests that the trends are accelerating; meaning that the job search is nearing a constant cycle. Simply put, the job search is always on (and is fostered and reinforced by the social media and social networking sites that comprise the "social layer" being engineered into our lives).

Other Trends and Drivers:

  • The economic downturn has left companies short handed and unable to spend countless hours combing through hundreds of resumes.
  • With economic momentum starting to build, companies are looking for the right individuals that can drive growth and progress.
  • Employers and candidates are approaching the search process very differently with the progression of social media and networking. As reflected in a recent Treeline publication, the worldwide reach of social media sites has grown to amazing levels: Facebook: 500,000,000 users, LinkedIn 100,000,000 users, Twitter 75,000,000 users.
  • Companies need to communicate effectively with the social media savvy millennial generation.
  • Closing the "trust gap" – companies want more insight about the character of candidates and candidates want more information about the culture and character of prospective employers.

Just take a step back and think about consumerism. Would you make a major purchase of a car or expensive consumer electronic item without reading online reviews and scanning relevant blogs? You might also respond to and contribute content in the form of questions and comments. Do you follow the brand, at least temporarily, on Facebook or Twitter? Do you watch videos on YouTube? Do you look for deals on Amazon or eBay where you can also find user/consumer-generated content? Is there a Groupon floating around? You probably answered "yes" to one of these questions. I just purchased a car and found through social media before the purchase that it would run just fine on 87 Octane, and that the interior lighting was awful. True and True. Doesn't it make sense that these new 21st century behaviors will enter the job search and transform the way candidates find us, and the way we find candidates?

This is the part where my mother would become very proud of me, and would ask me about the opportunity moving forward…

The reality is this: if your hiring process is materially the same as it was three years ago, chances are you are missing an opportunity to achieve and accomplish more. You might be falling way behind in our new hyper social world. Improvement on the other hand will decrease the time and cost associated with attracting and hiring the right impact players who will help propel growth and progress.

Ten clues that your hiring process is in need of a 21st century "social" tune-up:

1) Are you heavily relying on job posts on monstrous job boards or paid advertising?

2) Are you forced to choose between relevance (a time consuming and imperfect process to refine the output of the job board search) or speed (a process that takes less time but yields an even greater number of unqualified resumes)?

3) Is your process passive – meaning, are you mostly waiting for candidates to respond to your postings and direct sourcing attempts?

4) Is your process and communication with the marketplace actively collaborative and interactive?

5) Is your process dictating when and how you are communicating with potential candidates?

6) Does your candidate interaction begin with an outdated resume format or nebulous online profile?

7) Are you screening and/or interviewing large numbers of candidates who are not aligned with the open role and/or corporate culture?

8) Are you able to appropriately assess potential fit prior to the first round of in-person interviews and therefore decrease the number of the candidates required during the in-person interview stage?

9) Is your process connecting you with your candidates and facilitating collaboration, information sharing and transparency which builds trust?

10) Have you consistently integrated at least three forms of social media/networking into your hiring process?

In part 2, we will explore some common initiatives and emerging approaches for making hiring processes more social – before Mother's Day 2012.

Questions – Do you plan to invest more in social recruiting in 2011 than 2010? Which social media/networking initiatives are you contemplating or already finding success with?

p.s. I love you Mom, and please follow me on Twitter.

Treeline, Inc. (www.treelineinc.com) is recognized as an award-winning recruiting firm. Treeline is also the developer of DADO — a first of its kind Social Recruiting platform and community that fuses 21st century technologies (including social media) and behaviors with recruiting best practices. In this new paradigm, recruiters add knowledge and support thereby fostering and reinforcing the social recruiting service for the 21st century, which is knowledge-powered, technology-enabled, collaborative, and social.


Published On: April 27th, 2011Categories: Blog News, Sales Recruiting

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