New Recruitment Tools

Stop Receiving Unqualified Resumes

Imitation-GameWith the Academy Awards approaching I’m trying to see as many nominated films as I can—so I recently saw “The Imitation Game”. If you’re not familiar with the (true) story, it takes during WWII and it is the story of the incredibly smart team of people that worked to crack Nazi codes in England. Alan Turing (he is considered the creator of computer science) led this team of geniuses and he knew that recruiting these brilliant minds was going to be hard (a concept recruiters are sadly all too familiar with). But Turing’s recruitment method while unconventional was actually quite simple.

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I Filled a Job You Didn't Even Know You Had.

OK, so you’re a hiring manager, and you’ve just arrived at the office, grabbed your coffee and opened up your email inbox.  There--in boldfaced lettering--the subject line of my email screams “JOB PROPOSAL MEMO”.   And you’re thinking…great.  Another spam from some job seeker.  But you open it anyway.

And that’s how my story at Beyond.com began.

10 years and 2 weeks ago, a new position was created at Beyond.com, which was invented and filled by yours truly.  The primary tool used to accomplish this?  It wasn’t a resume or cover letter.  It was a Job Proposal Memo.

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I’m Not in the Mood: Measuring Employee Happiness

“Feelings….nothing more than feelings…” 

The song “Feelings”, written in 1974 and performed by many artists since that time, is running through my head as I pen this post. And now, with the addition of some new “human capital emotional monitoring tools” that have recently hit the market, perhaps HR professionals and business owners will soon be singing the same tune.

As the world continues to capitalize on the explosive use of mobile devices by building apps that Emooter make you look pretty or help you make your friends look fat, innovation in the HR space is no different. Two recent
tools to hit the scene, emooter.com and morale.me, are hoping to help HR professionals better gauge the mood of their employees.  A third, called happi.ly, is rumored to be coming out later this year. 

Basically, the way these tools work is pretty simple. As an HR administrator, just download the app or log in to the web site, set up the administrator account, and invite your employees to participate. Employees then can click a smiley face or frowny face, or use a slider bar and tell the app how their feeling about their job. Your employees can do this real time and as many times a day as they desire. This data is then aggregated from all of the participating employees across the company and can be used to get a real time pulse on how your employees are feeling. Think of it as an electronic mood ring for your employees. Clever.

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Who will win the war for Resume 2.0? Ten Visual Resume Tools Reviewed.

Before it was easy to build your own blog, before Facebook was hot, before the ability to tweet a Boring message to the world…getting your skills and qualifications in the hands of the right people was much different than it is today.

Not so long ago, job search meant sweating over an IBM typewriter—or in later years—a word processing program, driving to the local stationary store, picking up the parchment paper, and getting just the right stamp for the outside of the envelope. And, most of the time your envelope would be opened by a real person, who would experience your application from both a visual and tactile sense as they unfolded your resume and cover letter and perused the contents. Back in the day, these were just a few of the resume rituals that were quite commonplace.

Fast forward to now. At the push of the button, you can apply to almost any job, anywhere. A job seeker has access to more jobs, more companies, and more opportunities. And, of course, employers have their pick of more candidates, with more experience, from more places. Job seekers have more jobs at their fingertips, but are competing against far more people. Employers have more talent at their disposal, but struggle to identify the best talent amidst the sea of applications.

In the process the resume has been downgraded to mere words in binary format, competing for the attention of computer systems that are the gatekeepers to recruiters. The traditional resume still persists but, as renowned HR expert Peter Weddle recently said, it is about as “inspiring as a brick.” In fact, in a recent Beyond.com poll, over 57% of the HR professionals we polled said that an infographic or visual-style resume would help them more quickly evaluate candidates over a traditional resume. And, 79% of jobseekers said that they wish they had a better way to present themselves online. Resumes are primed for an upgrade.

In the age of social media, your personal brand is king. You are the marketing department for the product of "You." You are the sales person for yourself. And the cacophony of available self-publishing, self-branding, self-broadcasting tools is exhaustive and overwhelming. Every day, a new social network pops up or some new-fangled job search site promises to give you all the jobs, handle the apply for you, and make your job search quick, easy, and painless. And yet, most job seekers still must rely on a few pages of largely unformatted copy and bullets to get hired.

At present, that is the reality. A more evocative resume doesn’t play well with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs), and 93% of hiring managers are still going to ask for the traditional resume at some point during the hiring process.  But, recruiters and HR folks are already stepping outside of their systems to get a fuller picture by searching Google and looking people up on social media to find out who they really are. A growing number of companies are developing alternatives to the traditional resume. Over the next few years, these formats will continue to gain traction, become better integrated with ATS systems and other technology, and grow more widely used and accepted by job seekers and recruiters.

Here’s a look at 10 companies that are leading the charge in enabling professionals to craft a more visual resume and make a better online elevator pitch. I graded each tool based on eight important criteria to demonstrate their value (see addendum).

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Beyond.com Launches New ‘Career Portfolio’ for Professionals to Create a Visual Resume in Minutes

Leading career network provides a new way for professionals to supplement their traditional resume with a dynamic infographic of their career history

Beyond.com, The Career Network focused on helping people grow and succeed professionally, today announced that they have launched an all-new Career Portfolio, a compelling, engaging and visually-informative snapshot of a person’s career that can supplement a traditional resume. This new tool, available for free to the over 30 million members of the Beyond.com community, maps career accomplishments into a timeline, allowing re cruiters and HR professionals to quickly scan for the most relevant information on the candidate.

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Facebook Graph Search: don't get caught with your pants down

OK, so it has finally happened.  We’ve talked about it for years, we’ve argued about it in the bar and in the board room:

“Facebook will always be for my personal stuff and Linkedin is always for my professional stuff.”

Not so fast. 

With Facebook's new Graph Search, your personal life and your professional life have just collided.  In a VERY big way.
 
Released in Beta in January, 2013, Graph Search is Facebook’s new people search tool.  The name isn't very sexy, but what it can do for recruiters, marketers, and those of you looking to troll Facebook to find a date is actually pretty powerful.  Almost scary.

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Easy Way To Increase Your Job Posting Views & Applies

With so many short snippets of information thrown at us from every direction online with Facebook statuses, Tweets, and YouTube clips most people are becoming intolerant of reading text (which is why I’ll keep this short).  As we change the way in which we choose to digest information online, the recruitment industry is also changing as the recruitment video is taking off (and helping to increase the number of online job views and applies). 

 We at Beyond.com also offer this dynamic feature to hiring managers, and Jennifer King, HR Analyst at Software Advice, recently wrote a blog post that does a great job explaining how to create and promote an effective recruitment video. Read Jennifer's blog post here.

Read the blog now!


Yay or Nay: Employers Asking for Candidates' Facebook Passwords

I can’t let this topic slip by and not mention it. 

Employers are asking candidates for access to their Facebook accounts.  Today, when a job seeker applies to a job they should not be surprised that an employer will scour the Internet for info on the candidate—and their first stop will most likely be Facebook.  However, if they land on the candidate’s page and find the page to be privatized, they may now start asking the candidate for their password.

When I read this last week I was shocked! Sites out there train us to know that this kind of behavior is not okay.  Usually in their terms and conditions there’s even some kind of language that says “No one from our site will ever ask you for your password, if someone ever does do not give it to them.” So how do employers expect candidates to respond if they’re pressed for their Facebook password? 

With so many job seekers out there competing for jobs and the attention of employers, I would hate for candidates to think that by handing over the password to their Facebook account that they now have a leg up on the competition.

I expect that this practice will fizzle fast because employers that engage in this behavior will have a hard time recruiting candidates because no one wants to work for an organization that doesn’t trust its employees.  What kind of message does that send?

Facebook has taken a stance on the issue as well, saying that this is an invasion of privacy, even threatening to take legal action against organizations that ask for candidate passwords.

Everyone has a right to their privacy—if a candidate’s Facebook page is private, their references check out and they’re not a serial killer—there is no need to ask for their password—after all there’s a password for a reason.


Tips to Avoid Crossing The Line in Social Recruiting

This week we have a guest blogger, Kyle Lagunas, the HR Analyst at Software Advice–a company that conducts human resources and applicant tracking software comparisons.

When it comes to using social media websites for recruiting - what we call social recruiting - how far is too far? Beyond learning the hard way what works and what doesn’t, there are some best practices emerging to help recruiters know when they’ve pushed the proverbial envelope too far. And hiring professionals are discovering a new line of recruiting applications and tools built into applicant tracking software to help them rise above the same old hashtag to better identify, connect with and place viable candidates.

For all their good intentions, many folks using social media in their recruiting efforts are running into the same issues. Here are the top three:

  • Spamming job posts. Want to render your social recruiting efforts ineffective? Spamming people with your job opportunities is a surefire way to do just that. The key to social recruiting is to be social and engaging. Share industry news and articles of interest, exchange personal messages, etc.

  • Prying rather than researching. Some positions require a flawless social media presence. For the rest, you shouldn’t be digging too deeply into their profiles. Screening should be focused on general impressions of candidates to see if they would fit within your company culture.

  • Penalizing candidates for level of access. It’s not unusual for candidates to deny recruiters access to their Facebook profile, inviting them to connect via LinkedIn instead. Many people use Facebook for personal, rather than professional networking - especially in Generation Y. Don’t write off candidates for showing a bit of backbone and managing their public image - it’s hardly something to penalize.

Lessons Learned from the Trenches

Some people are experiencing more success in social recruiting than others, and have picked up a few tricks worth sharing. Carolyn Betts, CEO of Betts Recruiting, is one such person, and was recently featured in a New York Times article, for leveraging social media to grow her recruiting success. She and I chatted last week, and she shared some lessons she’s learned from the trenches.

  • Focus on strategy. You won’t be able to make the most of social media if you’re going into it blindly. You need to have a plan for how you want to accomplish your goals. Betts suggests starting with one social media site, familiarizing yourself with it, then growing your presence gradually.

  • Have realistic expectations. When you consider the industry you’re in and the position you’re hiring for, are your deal-breakers realistic? You need to determine upfront how much weight you are giving a candidate’s social media presence.

  • Leverage the right apps and tools. Many successful social recruiters know that in order to make the most of your social recruiting efforts, you need to leverage the right tools. Why go it alone when there are applications with built-in best practices for recruiting more effectively?

Software Expanding Recruiters’ Reach

Human resources software is growing to help recruiters make use of social media in their hiring strategy. But before recruiters can fully harness these helpful tools, they must determine whether or not they are in the right social media playground.

According to a recent study, approximately 85 percent of U.S. companies used LinkedIn for recruiting last year, though only 30 percent of active job seekers are on LinkedIn. As such, many recruiters are finding LinkedIn a bit overcrowded. Where are the candidates? The large majority of them are on Facebook.

Because the data recruiters are looking for is a little harder to find on Facebook, however, many miss the sourcing opportunity this vast network provides. Fortunately, there are third-party software developers devising methods to put actionable candidate information into the hands of recruiters quickly and efficiently. Some of these recruiting solutions are standalone applications that leverage recruiters’ networks. Others - like Bullhorn Reach - are applications designed specifically for automating social recruiting.

For further reading, check out Kyle's HR blog at: http://blog.softwareadvice.com/articles/hr/social-recruiting-how-far-is-too-far-010271/


If You Don’t Factor Mobile Into Your Recruitment Plan You’re Making a HUGE Mistake

Sometimes when I’m in a public place—riding a train, walking down the street, or even sitting in a restaurant, I love to observe how many people are engrossed in their cell phones.  And I will tell you I’m no different. 

My Smartphone is my lifeline, I don’t leave home without it—I don’t even leave a room in my home without it (but don’t tell my mother that, because then she’ll wonder why I don’t ALWAYS answer the phone when she calls).

But I have become so addicted attached to my phone that I do EVERYTHING on it, from paying bills, checking movie times—and buying movie tickets, sending emails, playing Words With Friends (I recently discovered that “Nachos” is not an acceptable word—I know I was shocked too!), to reading my favorite blog, EmploymentMetrix (shameless plug!).  So with so much reliance on our Smartphones and unfortunately a large number of people out of work, it is little surprise that job searching and recruitment has gone mobile—in a big way!

Mobile job search apps are BOOMING and the number of candidates searching for jobs on their mobile devices has skyrocketed by more than 100% in the last year alone. So if you’re an HR Pro that has yet to factor in mobile into your recruitment plan, you’re making a BIG mistake.

Check out the latest infographic from Beyond.com—it shows that more than 77% of job seekers use mobile job search apps.  Job Seekers use these apps to quickly react to new job postings, discreetly search for jobs, and simply the freedom it allows them to search for jobs anytime from anywhere.  Potential candidates are no longer tied down to their home computer to search and apply for jobs, now they can do it on their commute to work, while they’re waiting in the doctor’s office, or even waiting for that barista to make their favorite tasty beverage.   So if you have yet to jump on the mobile bandwagon you’re going to be left behind—that goes for HR pros and job seekers alike!