On August 9th, Gerry Crispin shared his observations and expertise on the steps employers can take to increase their candidate attraction. Gerry drew on data from the 2015 Candidate Experience Research data which includes survey results from 130,000 candidates. The webinar was scheduled for just 30 minutes which didn’t allow time to respond to participants’ question.
Gerry graciously agreed to follow up and provide additional information based on questions.
The topics covered included:
Key information candidates need to determine if your job represents a great opportunity for them
Critical components of starting the candidate experience successfully
Leaderships’ toughest challenge in instigating essential change
Q: Can you give an example of someone doing [candidate experience] well?
All the employers that won the candidate experience award – essentially because their candidates rated them highest, are slowly being interviewed by Kevin Grossman. You can download quite a few podcasts of employers doing this well. http://www.thetalentboard.org/resources/candes-podcasts/
Q: Please finish remarks about letting candidates know about the process. (You started talking about this and cut yourself off saying you could talk an hour on this subject alone.)
Accenture offers candidates an app customized by a recruiter to help those invited in for interviews to prepare. Genentech requires anyone coming in for an interview to take an online course on interviewing. Pacific Northwest National Labs, T-Mobile, Deloitte, Capital One, Corning, Google and others are increasingly describing different aspects of their recruiting process from how they review and choose candidates to go forward with, what kind of interviews and the types of questions they ask. RMS and NBC Universal are examples of employers setting up chat rooms to answer candidate questions about what to expect
Q:How can we do a better job about salary?
Easy, share the range of the entry level salary being offered for key positions where this is an issue. Use 1 standard deviation or typically the range for 80% of the hires.
Q: Does [information candidates want to know] apply to certain candidates?
Yes. Your candidate’s’ interests may not be related to what other firms need to do.
Q: How do you scale it?
Focus on critical positions. Survey representative samples throughout the year.
A student is walking through campus perusing Twitter on his phone when she stumbles upon a hilarious dancing pig video:
After laughing herself into tears, she immediately retweets it to share with all her followers. Her friend Megan tweets the video out saying “If you like pigs and Rihanna, this is a must watch”. Her friend Steve favorites and also retweets the video, commenting, “Made the mistake of watching this in the library, currently being kicked out for laughing too loud.”
Another of the student’s friends, Dan, loves pigs but he’s not on Twitter because in his words, he has better things to do with his time. She decides to waste his “better time” and posts it on his Facebook wall. That causes his friend Nancy to see it and share it to her Facebook friends and next thing you know, the video is all over campus: from new Vine remixes, to Snapchat reaction videos, to a campus-wide dancing pig themed party.
This is constantly happening on campus with all kinds of medium: from video to music to blogs. New content is being shared across universities every minute. If it’s engaging and interesting, it is passed along from phone to phone, from student to student. This is how students get, and want to get, their information.
Don’t you wish your job opportunities generated this kind of viewership?
Posting text-based job descriptions doesn’t work in this environment. They aren’t going to capture the attention of students and you can bet not a single student is going to want to share them in any of their circles. If you want your jobs to spread across campus, appearing in front of hundreds of interested students, you need to use mobile, video and social sharing in an interesting and engaging way.
It should come as no surprise that mobile is most important when it comes to going viral on campus. Every student is walking around with a mini computer in their pocket and if your job description isn’t designed for mobile, it’s not even going to get read, let alone shared. Being mobile friendly allows students to see your jobs and interact with your content wherever they are.
Video accounts for 72% of all internet traffic and that number shouldn’t come as a surprise. Essentially all of us would much rather watch a video then read an article providing the same information. Use video to show students the information about the job rather than tell them. Show them the environment they will work in and the people they will work with. Use employee-generated content to add transparency and credibility to your message. Show alumni of the school sharing their stories of succeeding in your company. Video allows you to distribute your message in the medium students want.
Every student on campus has a Facebook, LinkedIn and/or Twitter account. Most have all three. Social media is how students stay in touch and share things among their circles. It’s also become a source of information for students. Many check their social media accounts regularly to stay up-to-date with friends and what’s popular around campus. Putting social share into your jobs improves their ability to be shared and noticed by interested students.
If you want your jobs to spread across campus, appearing in front of hundreds of interested students, you need to use mobile, video and social sharing in an interesting and engaging way.
There has been a wave of new recruiting products built on technology that combines these three features. You’re no longer limited to the web-based postings and career sites that students have abandoned. These new platforms are easy to use, inexpensive and require minimal time and effort to set up. Use these powerful job profiles to attract and interest students, making sure you have an attentive audience to speak to before sending your recruiters to campus.
Peter Rogers is the Head of Campus Recruiting Outreach for Sparc, the new way to advertise jobs on campus. Sparc ignites interest through engaging job profiles that feature short video clips showcasing alumni. Designed for mobile and social sharing, Sparc allows students to view and share jobs easily, leading to more participation in campus events. Engage today’s top students now by visiting www.sparcstart.com.
Imagine you own a retail store located well off the main road.Very few people drive by and as a result, you’re not selling much.You think if the store was more inviting, more customers would come.So you spend six figures on new shelving, better lighting and even hire a consultant to advise on traffic flow.
Not much changes.
So you decide to change your product signage making it easier for customer to understand and learn about the products you offer.You change the font and layout, and rewrite the product descriptions. You put an ad in the Penny Saver even though the only people who actually read it are retirees who don’t use your products.
The people who do wander into the store buy more so your head of Merchandising is convinced that you are spending money on the right things, but you are not so sure.Not enough people are coming into the store, and of the ones that do, most don’t have the resources to be serious buyers.Will spending more money on store signage really be the answer?
You don’t need a background in retail, or marketing or any other business discipline to understand that building customer traffic will require advertising.If customers don’t know the store is there, it doesn’t matter how well designed and stocked it is.
Now take this scenario to Talent Acquisition.You need more applicant flow so you spend the bulk of your budget on your career site adding videos and making it mobile friendly.That doesn’t seem to generate the quality candidates you want so you decide to rewrite your job descriptions and even post on several job boards.
When that doesn’t work, you seize on the data from Glassdoor and LinkedIn showing that candidates conduct job research on those sites.So you spend money on both of them.
Not much changes.
Generating candidates is a three step process.When you break down the three steps, it becomes clear what outcome you will get from investments in each of the steps.
Step 1: Discovery
The first step is Discovery.Much like the retail store, candidates need to know your jobs exists.Right now there are approximately 5 million open jobs in the United States.Unemployment is at historical lows and very, very few qualified people are searching job boards looking for a job.Even fewer are randomly exploring corporate careers sites to see if they can find an appropriate job.
That doesn’t mean that a lot of job switching isn’t going on.People trade up their positions all the time.On average, 50 million people change jobs every year.If you want more of them to apply to you, you need to get your jobs in front of them.People discover jobs through a variety of channels: recruiters reach out to them, a friend calls or emails them, they see the job on social media, an employee refers them, or other serendipitous methods.
On average, 50 million people change jobs every year.
Once they discover a job that looks interesting and could be a good career move, they go to step 2.
Step 2: Research
Once their interest has been piqued, they want to know more about the job before they make the investment to apply.The Candidate Experience Research by The Talent Board shows that 76% of candidates conduct research before they apply.This is where the investment in your career site, Glassdoor and LinkedIn comes into play.Informative, interesting and positive information on these sites will keep candidates in your pipeline and advance them to step 3.
Step 3: Apply
The final step is Apply.For candidates who have maintained interest in the job, they are ready to invest the time and effort to apply.Having a streamlined, well-constructed and mobile friendly application will maximize your conversion from viewers to applicants.
If your goal is to increase your pool of applicants, spending money on the Research sites, including your own careers site, will only move the needle a little.Good research sites will keep interested candidates interested, but they do nothing to attract more candidates.
If you want to increase your candidate pool with more qualified candidates, you need to invest in the Discovery phase. Discovery requires outreach, advertising and promotion.Your content must be mobile friendly since candidates, especially Millennials, use their phones as their primary source of information.The information must be interesting and engaging since most candidates are not actively looking for a job and you need to entice them to consider yours.Video is the most effective medium for capturing candidates’ attention.And most importantly, you must make social sharing effortless for individuals.To put your job in front of the maximum number of qualified candidates, you must leverage the power of social media and make it easy for individuals to pass your jobs along to friends and colleagues.
If you want potential candidates to take action, your Discovery efforts must be job specific.General information about your company, culture and opportunities will not generate a response from individuals. The hook that prompts action is a specific job that is interesting and appealing to an individual.Potential candidates become aware of a job and immediately assess whether or not the job is a good career move and will advance their career. If the job looks promising, then the individual wants to know more about the hiring organization and they begin their Research phase.But without a specific job to focus the research, the process never advances.
Text-only job descriptions are yesterday’s technology and don’t interest today’s candidates.
Best-in-class Discovery tools are:
self-contained: candidates do not need to go to another source for basic information,
engaging: include video welcoming message from the potential boss,
sharable: social share buttons built in and
compelling: highlight strengths of the job.
Understanding the three steps to candidate attraction, and the critical elements of each step, will help you assess your strengths and weaknesses, allocate your resources better and improve your results.With a well-disciplined approach, you can build an effective and consistent process that will generate the qualified candidates you need to achieve your recruiting goals.
Maury Hanigan is CEO of SparcStart, the award-winning candidate attraction tool that that engages today’s most sought-after talent. Candidates meet their potential boss and co-workers through 20-second videos that are short enough to keep candidate’s attention but powerful enough to draw their interest. Sparcs can be viewed easily on mobile devices and shared quickly on social media. Engage today’s top candidates now by visitingwww.sparcstart.com.
With the major West Coast tech companies publicly announcing their employee diversity stats, an honest conversation is starting about the dominance of white male culture in most large tech organizations. Good intentions and accountability can make a difference, but the difficult question remains about how to change.
Of course, for tech companies, there is unquestionably a supply issue and the long-term solutions require systemic changes in our educational and immigration systems. But the shortage of developers has never been a reason that Intel, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple have accepted for not meeting their hiring goals.
And on almost any corporate career page, there are pictures of diverse employees. It is possible to pull out a checklist and fill in all the boxes on a diversity checklist because these pages are so contrived that there is undoubtedly one of each. And laughably, many of the same faces appear on multiple corporate sites, the result of using stock photographs. Just walk around a college career fair and see how many booths feature the same group of diverse “employees.” This gang, available on shutter iStockphoto.com, is everywhere.
What happens if the team you are hiring for is currently all male and you would like to add some diversity to it? Doesn’t showing three men send a strong message about what the organization is like and what the organization aims to be? But including a woman or person of color who has no connection to the position is disingenuous and deceptive. What should you do? As always, the answer is: it depends.
For real change, there needs to be some credibility. If your organization advertises itself as wildly diverse and a candidate arrives for an interview just to realize that nobody looks like him or her, you’re going to have a tough time convincing that individual of anything including assurances of challenging work and career progression. I’ve seen recruiters genuinely dumbfounded at the reluctance of women and minorities to accept job offers. Who would want to work for a company that misrepresented itself right from the get-go?
But talent acquisition managers face the reality that candidates want to see people like them succeeding in the organization. Imagine if you spoke no Chinese and were applying for a job with a Chinese company in China. Wouldn’t you want to know that at least one other person like you was able to succeed in that situation? For women walking into tech companies, veterans entering civilian employment or under-represented minorities applying for any job, the workplace can feel that foreign to them.
So what do you do?
If you are recruiting for a role on an all-male team, don’t include three videos of women.
One solution is to give visibility to the diversity you have, but this can be tricky. I’ve never met a black person who didn’t know that they were being included in a corporate photo shoot because they were black. Some of them resent the exploitation, some are just resigned to it, and some are excited to be a welcoming beacon to other minorities. It is important to understand that there are employees who just want to be regular employees rather than be labeled as black/gay/veteran. Hopefully, there will also be employees who want to take an active role in improving the workforce. Chances are, they are adults and it is possible to have adult conversations with them about the role they want to play.
Start with some honest conversations. These may be one-on-one or they may be in small groups. But the most important thing is to listen and be prepared to act on the suggestions.
If a woman confides that she is unwilling to actively recruit other women to the organization because the Friday afternoon beer blasts initiate unwelcome behavior, the organization needs to do something about it. There may also be suggestions about participation in events or other investments that will make a difference. And then be prepared to respect individuals’ feelings about participation in recruiting. If they don’t want to be a token, don’t ask them to be. If they want to be actively involved in recruiting, give them time and recognition for doing so.
The other side of that equation is being honest with candidates. Tech companies have taken a brave and admirable step in releasing their diversity stats. The numbers aren’t flattering, but Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter have publicly acknowledged their situations. Their credibility soared by telling the world that they are prepared to be held accountable. Who knew that honesty could be so powerful?
So when clients ask us about diversity, our answer is this: be honest. If you are recruiting for a role on an all-male team, don’t include three videos of women. Be thoughtful about who you have to represent co-workers. And use the videos for the incredible capability they have – let your veterans state their service and let your dyslexics mention their dyslexia. Candidates like the authenticity of employee-generated video and often watch the videos for jobs other than the one they are applying for. When you crowdsource video clips from your employees, amazing things can happen. Stop scripting a hoax.
This article was previously published on TechCrunch, January 21, 2016.
The most successful job ad ever written was Shackleton’s broadside advertising for the crew of the Endurance. Printed with hand-set type on cheap paper and glued to piers and posts around the harbor, it read:
A reported 5,000 men lined up to apply. If your knowledge of history extends to arctic explorers, you know how the expedition turned out. But the ad was amazing on so many levels, including honesty.
So how did the recruitment advertising business go from honest, succinct, well-placed and candidate-producing gems to the pages-long, generic, unnoticed and ineffective garble that is posted on job boards and career sites today? How did we get so bad at this?
Bizarrely, the answer is technology. While technology usually makes communication and processes better, it has actually undermined the way we advertise our jobs.
If you start at the beginning, think 3,000 BC to 600 AD, employment worked entirely on employee referrals (and large doses of forced conscription). If you needed a worker, someone in your village recommended a cousin or neighbor. With the introduction of paper manufacturing in the early 1300’s, broadsides were posted in public places advertising jobs.
The adoption of movable type in 1609 gave birth to the newspaper and around 1700, the first Help Wanted ad appeared. By the beginning of the 1900’s, they looked something like this:
Through the 19th and 20th centuries, the Help Wanted ads became the backbone of recruitment advertising. Since they were paid for by the line, great recruiters mastered a form of haiku that rarely exceeded 100-200 characters (and you complain about Twitter because …?).
Every major newspaper, and small town gazette had pages of ads. They still exist in newspapers today, even in the playground of the wealthy, the Hamptons.
But then the internet became the primary communication tool replacing newspapers, magazines, telephone and mail, and with it came the job board. Monster launched in 1999, not the first digital help-wanted source, but for a decade the dominant one. At its height, it listed over a million jobs on any given day. During the 2000’s, the industry exploded and currently counts more than 100,000 job boards (not jobs, job boards). A secondary industry emerged to aggregate the boards with the launch of Indeed in 2004, SmashFly in 2007 and others.
And the content changed because pricing changed. No longer charged by the line, job ads could be as long as you wanted for one flat fee. Going from the 2-3 sentence Help Wanted ad to the unlimited-length job posting could have been an opportunity to provide detailed and useful information about jobs; but generating original content is difficult and time consuming. Instead, recruiters (with some prodding from the Legal Department) started posting job descriptions.
While technology usually makes communication and processes better, it has actually undermined the way we advertise our jobs.
Job descriptions were originally created as legal documents. They are the basis against which an employee is evaluated, and potentially fired. They were never intended to be marketing documents and work poorly in that capacity. It is comparable to real estate agents selling a house by posting the mortgage documents.
And technology advanced faster than the recruiting industry again by making computers mobile and reducing screen size to 2.5×4 inches. Reading job descriptions on small screens, even when they are mobile friendly, is tedious at best. Yet the majority of jobs are posted on a job board or corporate career site,both of which were designed for a desktop computer. And in this age of functional full-employment, visits to job sites are in precipitous decline.
So we have gone from having honest posters prominently displayed where potential candidates are looking, to mind-numbing paragraphs hosted on sites designed for obsolete equipment.
If that is not discouraging enough, the entire format of information delivery has changed. Assuming straight-line growth in Cisco’s estimate of video content on the internet, 72% of internet content will be video this year. Candidates aren’t reading. They want to see, and hear, and watch. Text-only job descriptions are as obsolete as the equipment they were designed for.
Candidates expect to see current, authentic and relevant information about a potential job. They want to know who they will work for, and who they will work with. They want to see the work environment and get a sense of the culture. They want a video-mobile job profile that can be shared on social media. For companies that are using this new format, the number of shares, views and applies is many times the response they get with posted job descriptions. The technology and content are once again aligning, for the first time in 300 years.
Anyone need employees for hazardous journey?
Maury Hanigan is CEO of Sparc, a job marketing platform that is designed for video, mobile and social recruiting. For more information, visit: www.sparcstart.com
The month of December often seems like a dead month for recruiting. Much of its 31 days are taken up by holidays and hiring activity is limited heading into the new year. However, identifying and sourcing good candidates is almost always a good investment, if not for a current opening, then for a future one. Depending on the job level, recruiting can be a several week to several month process. Anyone who waits until January 1st to begin will be at a disadvantage.
The holidays are a break when candidates have the free time to pick up their heads and see what is out there.
Candidates’ work schedules slow down and there is very little corporate travel or major meetings during the weeks leading up to the holidays. This means they have more time at work plus have the added bonus of time off. Even if they are happy in their jobs, the year-end is a natural time to assess where they are in their careers and explore options. While some of them will submit applications if they see an enticing job, may more will just gather research about who is hiring and which companies have interesting opportunities.
Candidates take action when they see an opportunity that looks like a good career move. They don’t take action just because a company looks attractive, they do it because are interested in the job. If the job is a good next step for them, then they want to learn more about the company. But they need to understand why the job is a good fit and how it will advance their career.
Every employer should be at full tilt during the holidays and make sure their jobs are posted before Christmas. To maximize their exposure to candidates, especially the highly valued passive candidate, it is essential to utilize the holidays. Passive candidates are generally succeeding in their jobs and don’t usually spend time looking at job postings. It can be challenging to get their attention, but the holidays are an opening when they are the most reachable. You need to have compelling content and useful information, and if you do, you will get more interest. Sending successful candidates a text-only job description, or posting a text-only job description is generally insufficient.
Employers need to reassess how they are sourcing and reaching out to candidates and the holidays are a perfect time to experiment with that. Start with posting mobile friendly job descriptions as the majority of candidates are getting their information on a mobile device. Tweet your jobs, post them on Facebook; utilize social media to get your jobs maximum exposure. Try video based recruiting to attract top passive candidates who won’t be swayed by typical text-based job descriptions.
December is far from a dead month for recruiting. With passive candidates seeing what the job world has to offer them, there is plenty of opportunity for recruiters to experiment with new recruiting trends and build a strong candidate pool and tested tools heading into 2016.
“Morgans believes in delivering guest experiences that are genuine and transformative, and we need to ensure that we hire people who derive true pleasure in delivering on that promise each and every day. Featuring our employees in our recruiting efforts is a natural fit and a highly effective way of attracting the best candidates.
Morgans Hotel Group
Morgans Delivers Memorable, Luxurious Experience for Guests and Employees…
If Morgans Hotel Group is known for just one thing, it is its innovative approach to the hotel experience. Widely credited with creating the first “boutique” hotel, the company continues to lead the hotel industry’s boutique sector through its stylish and luxurious properties located in both urban locations such as London and New York, and exotic settings such as Istanbul.
From the lobby to the dining room and from the rooftop to the pool deck, Morgans prides itself on delivering a one-of-a-kind, transformative experience for its guests. This philosophy extends to the experience of each of its employees, many of whom have been with the company for years. Whether it is the chef who has the opportunity to source and make his own ingredients or the housekeeper who receives additional training to reach the management level, Morgans offers its employees unique opportunities and experiences that they cannot find anywhere else.
…But Recruiting Efforts Were Stuck in the Past
Never satisfied with the status quo, Morgans began to look for a way to push the boundaries of their existing recruiting efforts. The company wanted to more clearly convey to candidates the passion that their employees feel for their jobs, as well as communicate the company’s values and culture more authentically.
Their traditional recruiting methods were slow and expensive. Finding the employees who not only had exceptional qualifications but also had the passion for excellence was a challenge. And the need to fill positions quickly was constant; a top restaurant cannot operate without a chef. The staid and boring online job boards just did not cut it for a company that wanted to be on the leading edge of hospitality recruiting.
One of the challenges faced by the recruiting function was the sheer breadth of roles that must be filled. Not only do they staff all corporate functions, each hotel employs security, IT, construction, chefs, event planners, sound engineers, housekeeping, training and every function needed to run a small city. Focusing on one function would be a luxury that Morgan’s recruiters do not have. Adding to the challenge is location. Location is not flexible and properties such as the new hotel in Doha will be staffed entirely with employees from other countries. Job marketing needed to make an impact.
Morgans brought in Lisa Moran, President of Employment Practices Group, a leading Human Resources consultant, to work with their team to bring innovation and excellence to recruiting. “Morgans wanted candidates to feel an immediate emotional connection with the existing employees and hotels. Posting detailed job descriptions on traditional job boards has no spark to them whatsoever.”
Tweaking the existing process was not an option. Morgans wanted to dramatically improve the way they were attracting and hiring employees. They needed a new approach that did not require additional staff or additional funding, but connected with potential employees more powerfully.
Sparc Brings Morgans’ Recruiting Out of the Doldrums
Morgans turned to Sparc which gave them a streamlined and easy to use tool to create engaging job profiles. Using short, sound bite-style videos, the mobile optimized recruiting platform provides candidates with a preview of their work environment and potential manager and co-workers. Additional details – about the company, position, career path, location and other distinctive aspects of the job opportunity – also are included with the job profile to encourage the candidate to apply.
“The short, unscripted videos convey a credibility that is not possible in print. As candidates watch the videos, they understand that the corporate communications team did not write a speech for the hiring manager to deliver – the manager truly wants to share, in his or her own words, what makes this job interesting and attractive,” Maury Hanigan, founder and chief executive officer of Sparc, says. “A simple video of real people talking about real jobs gives you an authenticity that is compelling.”
With 14 properties throughout the world and more under development, Morgans also needed job profiles that were easy to set up and leverage the organizations’ existing applicant tracking system, Taleo, so that recruiters only needed to set up job profiles once. This level of time-saving integration was critical for Morgans. The Sparc platform also manages quality control over their video content by ensuring that nothing is posted without the appropriate levels of review and approval. In this way, the hotel group’s high standards are upheld to ensure that a consistent candidate experience is delivered.
With the engaging content easily assembled on the Sparc platform, Morgans began marketing their jobs instead of just posting them.
New Approach Creates Buzz, Engages Targeted Talent
The results were impressive. Jobs profiles took on a viral life of their own because the job profile was interesting and the Sparc platform has social media sharing built in making it simple for candidates to retweet, post to Facebook or share on LinkedIn or Google+. Their job profiles were seen by candidates who never looked at a job board or Morgans’ corporate careers site.
“We are always interested in new tools that will help us reach our recruiting goals faster or be more consistent in delivering on our brand promise, both with guests and potential employees,” summarizes Alexis Toomer, Morgans’ HR Manager for Operations and Talent “But prior to partnering Sparc, we had not found a platform that gave us a creative approach that not only was worth our time but that also was streamlined and simple to use. With Sparc, we now have a quick and easy way to bring our employment brand to life. In our videos, you can see the diversity of our staff and the vibrant hotel atmosphere that you will be working in – it’s truly an authentic glimpse of life at Morgans Hotel Group.”