A Personal Touch: Make Your Company Brand Human

Why do people recognize the brands in commercials featuring a happy child eating cereal or a supermodel chowing down on a messy cheeseburger? Among other reasons such as the fact that she’s a supermodel, duh, is the undeniable fact that people identify with the human quality in these ads. So how do you get your company brand to have that personal touch that is easily recognizable on social media? First, you need to humanize your brand. Make sure that you use images and words that will speak to your target audience. Not sure who your target audience is? Then it’s definitely time for a strategic planning session with your management team! #personaltouch #companybrand #socialmedia

Second, you’ll need to switch gears a bit and move from corporate speak to the personal stories of why your company is amazing, and that has to come from employees and managers alike. Share posts from your employees about how great your company is, use blog posts from your staff writers to bring up topics on social media, and share photos and real-life examples of what your company is all about. For example, did your company sponsor a toy drive or canned food drive for the holidays? If so, share that on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn pages. People want to see that your company is one that values its employees and has a vision larger than itself.

Get involved in conversations on LinkedIn and Twitter. Make your company brand something that people recognize not only by your logo or profile picture, but also by what you do and say. Be consistent in your posts, and share a common message across your social media outlets. That doesn’t mean you need to copy and paste everything from one outlet to another, but you should have a similar voice on every company branding tool out there for the masses! Engagement in group discussions, responding to influential people in your field, and tagging others is a great way to get more exposure for your company brand and to make a name for yourself. Human resources itself is all about people, so why not extend that approach to your company brand as well? Give that personal touch and you will see amazing responses! Now get out there and post, share, like, comment, and tag away!!

Speed Dating (aka Interviews) in 4 Easy Steps

What selection tools do you have in place at work? Are you the hiring manager for your department? Or does the HR Department handle all phases of selection and recruitment for your organization? At Peoplescape, our consultants are HR professionals who have sat across the table on an interview panel, and have devised a strategy for hiring the best and brightest in several fields. We have found tips that make interviews more challenging, and also bring out responses that give you, as the interviewer, some insight into the candidates you are screening. Here are a few of our top tips for making your speed dating (aka interview) process a bit easier next time around.

Step 1: Do not stay away from the “tough” questions. Instead, have a reason for asking them and make sure the question applies to the position so you can get a feel for the candidate’s response in real on-the-job situations.

Step 2: Set expectations for the job, and both you and the candidate will be more prepared for what’s to come. Don’t fall prey to the all-too-common scenario of an employee leaving a new job after a short time because they didn’t get a sense of what the job actually was prior to accepting the role.

Step 3: Screen for candidates based not only on their skill set, but on their culture fit with your organization. Company culture is a huge component to finding the best and brightest for your team!

Step 4: Use additional tools wherever possible. The more information you have to assist in the selection process, the better off you will be. Job suitability assessments, meetings with colleagues and team brainstorming, and engaging with the candidate in various settings such as lunch meeting, group activity, and on-the-job observations are all great ways to gauge the fit for a certain candidate on your team.

But, you may ask, what’s the point? The goal of a successful interview process is qualified, satisfied, productive employees. So by following these steps, you are stepping up your interview game. Which, let’s face it, is a freakishly similar process to the concept of speed dating where you awkwardly sit at a table, chatting with a stranger for 5-10 minutes, and then deciding if you want to see them again. At Peoplescape, that’s also what we do! So if you’re tired of the game, call in for a backup and we’d be happy to assist!

Shiny New Toys: Attracting Your Next Millennial Stars

Like moths to the flame, millennials are attracted to shiny new objects. Right? Isn’t that the perception for our younger generation in today’s workplace? But shockingly, the one thing that attracts millennials to your organization more than a new cell phone, a company car or the latest in Apple technology on their desktop, is something that used to be much more prevalent. It has since fallen to the wayside as priorities seem to have shifted for many companies, and budgets become more constrained for those “extra benefits” that used to be more present.

What is it that millennials are searching for in their next company? Are you ready for it? Money! Shocked? I know I was. But more specifically than money, millennials are actually looking for repayment assistance for student loans when considering their next employer. A recent survey conducted by SHRM found that less than 1% of employers plan to offer this benefit to new hires, but it is the foremost thing on fresh grads’ minds as they struggle to pay off their student loans while starting out in a new career.

One company that has decided to jump in with both feet is Price Waterhouse Coopers (@PWCareer) where employees are offered $1200 to pay back student loans each year. For someone fresh out of college, this is a huge benefit because their actual paycheck is being spent on adult things that they may be brand new to dealing with: rent, electricity, groceries, gas, even the dreaded laundromat visits. As more employers get on board with this benefit, it may have a huge payoff for them as well, when new college grads seek out companies that will help them pay off their student loan debt. New hires may also be more inclined to be productive and stick around if their needs are being met.

Let’s be honest here, friends, a brand new cell phone or a shiny tablet probably won’t hurt either! To really make a difference, you have to get to the core of what the millennials need. And student loan repayment assistance is certainly on the top of the list!

(http://www.hrmorning.com/the-new-benefit-thatll-help-you-attract-the-best-of-millennials/)

Recruiting Metrics: What do the Numbers Really Mean?

Recruiting metrics can look as convoluted as the formula for finding the square root of pi if you don’t know what it is you are looking at. I myself am admittedly not a numbers gal. I’d prefer to write a 5000 word essay over a page of multiplication and algebraic equations any day! And this is fairly common for human resources professionals, as we don’t always identify ourselves as “numbers” people. However, in order to be efficient recruiting experts, understanding the numbers of it all is critical to adopting and utilizing an effective strategy for finding the best people to join your team! So, as with most things that make us uncomfortable in life, the ideal way to understand the metrics is to get comfortable with the numbers game.

Recruiting Metrics: What do the numbers really mean?

In 2012, SHRM (Society for Human Resources Management) released their first human resources metric standard survey. While not the most exhilarating piece of reading material, it does attempt to set the stage for how and why metrics in recruitment and HR in general matter.

The first issue is the cost per hire calculation (CPHC). This is discovered by looking at the external recruiting costs plus the internal recruiting costs, divided by the total number of hires during a given time period. This information will quantify the resources you are devoting to recruiting (either internally or externally) and the cost-effectiveness of this effort.

The second issue is what I would like to spend some time on here, because it seems to be the more critical piece of this particular puzzle. There are so many different numbers you could look at for HR: employee absenteeism rates, worker’s compensation costs per employee, HR staff to overall staff ratio, human capital cost (factoring in the cost of benefits), and many more. However, the one I’d like to take a look at is the turnover rate. We’ve written a lot about terminations and new hires, and this all factors into the company’s turnover rate which then affects the cost of recruitment and the budget for new hire and selection. By understanding your company’s numbers in terms of recruitment and turnover, you can better determine where you need to spend your selection/search funds, and how you can make the most of your money in this area. Understanding these numbers and knowing how to search, how to hire, how to screen, and how to onboard will likely decrease your turnover rate, which then helps with training costs, new employee onboarding processes, time spent setting up new hire emails, accounts, etc. So for all of my fellow non-numbers people, I’d suggest turning your attention to these particular numbers, because everyone knows the dollar speaks volumes when it comes to metrics in the workplace!

Hiring People Where They Are

Meeting people where they are is a common theme amongst community groups and churches. Why not adopt this same mantra in the workplace when it comes to attracting top talent? Meeting job applicants where they happen to be is a critical next step in where recruitment is headed in 2016. Whether that may be on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn, or simply by utilizing mobile job applications that can be easily accessed on cell phones and tablets, this is something that employers need to seriously consider when analyzing their recruiting success and failure in 2015, and moving forward with a game plan for the coming year.

According to Tom Epperson of valuesbasedleader.com, meeting people where they are simply means, “diagnosing their values, their style, their needs, and their emotions, and connecting with them in a way that is effective for them.” This is also known as the platinum rule…much like the golden rule of treating others as you wish to be treated, the platinum rule encourages spending time to get to know the person you are working with, understanding what makes them tick and what works for them. This is an ideal practice when it comes to recruiting the stars for your team, because your people may be hanging out on Facebook, but you are more of a LinkedIn person. Doing some online research to find out the hot spots for your ideal candidates, or following them on Facebook or Twitter to see what is relevant in their worlds, this can go a long way towards attracting the talent pool that you are after in your organization.

Doing the same things and expecting change is the definition of insanity. Don’t be crazy, and utilize the tools at your disposal. Use mobile job applications whether that may be an in-house app that your tech department can set up just for your company, or utilize the mobile job application functions within the recruiting giants of Monster and Indeed. It’s safe to say that most job seekers in the 40 and under set are NOT scouring newspapers on Sunday, circling the job ads that they want to visit or call on Monday morning. Most job seekers are looking on their phones, while they are out running errands, visiting with friends or watching NFL games in the local dive bar on Sunday. Mobile is where it’s at…and that’s where your stars are most likely to be.

If you’re unsure of the mobile job applications and systems that will work best for your company, please feel free to contact us. Our HR professionals have utilized these specific tools in their own workplace and can make helpful suggestions for what might work for your organization!

What Can Social Media Do For Your Selection Process

When meeting new people, whether in social settings or professional meetings or conferences, instead of asking for business cards or phone numbers, we’re seeing a new trend. “What’s your LinkedIn profile?” or “What’s your IG?” These social media avenues have become a personal stamp or signature, putting our own personal brand into the mix of celebrities, companies, and products. Of course, it makes sense then that companies would use social media to target new superstars to join their organization. But like with any new technology tool, companies must be careful with how they use social media for recruitment. It’s critical to represent your organization in the same way online as you would in a face-to-face meeting, and to be consistent with your approach. Here are a few do’s and don’ts for playing the social media recruitment game! Good luck!

Do’s

  1. Do have a presence across various avenues of social media – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, YouTube…the options are endless!
  2. Do make deliberate decisions – use a social media tool such as hootsuite.com to schedule posts and do your research to make sure you are posting at a time that will be effective for job seekers!
  3. Engage in conversations – use LinkedIn group forums or respond to tweets and posts in order to engage your audience. If your presence is real and known, your results will be better!
  4. Do use social media to conduct mini background checks…Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram all give a sneak peek into the candidate behind that professional resume. Social media is public information that you have access to, so use it!
  5. Be consistent – this is a good business practice in general, but definitely applies to social media recruiting. Fair, equitable, and consistent postings and interaction with your audience are key to success in utilizing social media to benefit your organization and the HR department!

Don’ts

  1. Miracles CAN happen….but don’t expect them to! Patience and diligence will pay off in the long run, even if it seems like a really long journey to get there.
  2. Don’t count solely on social media. There are (GASP!) some people who do not use social media at all, so when advertising for certain positions, analyze the best places/tools to utilize to find your target audience.
  3. Don’t make any guarantees online…again, social media is a public forum. Encourage everyone to apply equally, and follow up with qualified candidates by phone or email. Keep the process under wraps, while utilizing social media to broadcast open positions. Be smart about your postings, because EVERYONE can see them!
  4. Don’t make decisions based solely on a candidate’s profile…follow all legal obligations and EEO guidelines throughout your recruitment and selection process.

Don’t write social media off as a passing trend…from MySpace in the early 2000s to the world of Instagram today, social media is here to stay. So accept it and use it to your advantage!

Expert Value: Finding the Stars

As the global economy becomes more and more dependent on technology and innovation, companies must look at their talent and determine the expert value in each of their employees. Finding the stars and creating an environment that your experts want to be a part of is a challenge that every employer must face in today’s fast-paced digital world. Many specialized professionals (i.e. scientists, engineers, doctors, accountants) are more interested in developing their own professional expertise than in finding a management career track. Forcing natural experts into management career paths goes against the success of their own personal career goals. Instead of pushing experts into management levels, forcing them up the organizational hierarchy to promote and compensate them at higher levels, employers will now need to look at how they can reward their experts while not forcing them into management roles that they do not want.

Who are these high professionals who would rather advance in their own expertise than be promoted to management level positions? According to the Korn Ferry Institute online, “High professionals are individuals who have the capacity and interest to continuously develop their expertise for effective performance in progressively more challenging roles within their specialties.” These professionals need to be given alternative reward structures in order to recognize their expert value, while also respecting their own career goals.

High professionals want to be challenged within their own roles, and possess a strong desire for achievement. Solving complex problems is fun for them, and they recognize that learning contributes to their career success. On the flip side of this search for stars and leaders within your organization, high potentials are the employees who may not have a specific skill set, but have “management potential.” In many organizations, it is these high potential employees that are rewarded with compensation, benefits, management roles, and other perks while the high professionals are more likely to be ignored in terms of total rewards and recognition. Both groups are highly critical for the success of any organization, and should be compensated and rewarded as such. For instance, maybe having a “chief engineer” would be a more rewarding role than promoting your most skilled engineer to a department manager role. The engineer innately wants to do what he is best at – engineering. So don’t push him into a role that he will grow to hate.

Instead, reward and recognize for those skills and expert value that you can’t replace as easily. You can often groom employees into becoming effective managers – but is it as easy to teach a retail worker the ins and outs of engineering? Probably not. Not everyone wants to be a manager. And not everyone has the skills or abilities to be an engineer. So instead of fast-tracking EVERYONE on the same path, let’s acknowledge the differences within our workplaces and reward accordingly.

Emotional Intelligence and New Hires

Personality tests and skills-based competencies have been a part of recruiting and hiring decisions for quite some time now, but are you considering the Emotional Intelligence (EI) of your potential hires? According to Bamboo HR, 1 in 3 HR Managers are placing increased importance on EI in their hiring decisions. Is your organization part of that 1 in 3?

I know you’re probably thinking… [tweetthis]Emotional Intelligence – What is it and why does it matter?[/tweetthis] Read more

Social Media and Recruitment

Love it or Hate it, social media is not going anywhere. Along with it comes the debate over whether or not to use it in recruitment and then, how and when to use it .

I’ve heard arguments on so many sides of it.

“Don’t Use It”
Social media profiles can give potential employers more information than they need to make employment decisions. For example, the photos may tell you information about age, gender, and national origin. The profiles may tell you about religious beliefs or sexual orientation. The content on their page may suggest political affiliation or show details about out-of-work activities that don’t pertain to employment decisions. The fear seems to be primarily around discrimination.

“Use It”
There are numerous benefits to using Social Media in your recruitment strategy. Employees can reach out into their networks and post about open positions and that leads increased engagement. Not to mention, you can reach passive job seekers more easily than using a standard job board.

Then there’s the question of how and when and which sites to use?

This question may be easier answered depending on the Social Media platform. For job postings, consider encouraging individual employees to post the link to your ATS on their social media platforms – Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn about open position in the company, especially if a number of your successful hires have come from referrals. This should also be embraced on a company level – embrace Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as marketing and recruiting tools. From a recruiting standpoint (directly contacting potential candidates), I tend to prefer LinkedIn as it is the most popular Social Media site for posting about professional details.

I’ve heard discussion about researching a candidate’s social media profiles after you have selected your final candidates. This again could still put you in hot water with learning information about the person that is protected. There seems to be a lot of chatter about an employer’s ability to limit or monitor an employee’s off-work activities. The EEOC held a meeting last year to hear information about topics surrounding Social Media and one recommendation that came from an attorney in that meeting was to use a 3rd party company to review social media profiles to avoid the potential of seeing sensitive information.

All in all, I’m a supporter of leveraging social media to reach more potential candidates and increase engagement. The more people that see and share your job posting, the larger and better pool of candidates an employer gets to pick from! Where I draw the line? Beware of reviewing social media content on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to make employment related decisions – there’s just too much sensitive information you may be able to pull from these sites to sway decision based on appearance, politic views, non-work activities, protected classes, etc. rather than on the merits of their skills and experience.

Pinpoint: Interviewing Skills and the On-Demand Workforce

Interviewing potential candidates for a new job position can be tough.  Sharpen your skills with these quick tips from our hiring experts.  Also in this month’s issue: the unique challenges and benefits of the on-demand workforce.

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