Poorly written social media policies kill engagement–the exact opposite of what recruiters need. Instead, your recruitment policies for social media should focus on empowering high-quality engagement, and developing trust within your talent communities.
A traditional policy answers the “what do we do when ___ happens” but social media is unpredictable and the courts are years away from interpreting laws in this new world order. Since the environment changes so often policies for social media recruiting are better when they support culture instead of attempting to legislate adjudicate.
Here’s some guidelines to help you build a social recruitment policy:
I know policies are not the most exciting topic, but I hope you now have a tool to get started :)
By Jim Boesel
A person buys the best hammer in the world only to discover that it doesn’t change their ability to hammer a nail. Sounds silly, yet companies that set out to buy what they’ve determined is the best ATS often find nothing has improved a year after installing it. Their mistake is buying an ATS thinking it’s a solution, when in reality,
a tool is only as effective as it is used. The irony is companies who install ATSs
often end up in worse shape than before, through no fault of the ATS
The hiring process will never be replaced by technology because it all comes down to people hiring people. An ATS's value is its ability to provide an infrastructure for managing the process, but that process will always be dictated by people. Given the current market, the subject of ATS efficiency might not seem important, but this is the most strategic time to focus on it. When the market rebounds, will you be ready for it or fall back on the bad habit of reacting to situations? Quality of hire becomes increasingly critical.
As a contract recruiter, I was always astounded at companies that seemed to start every new job search from scratch when they probably already had resumes of the people they’d most want to hire. The problem is forgetting candidates after they went through the process and not having the means to revisit them. If someone took another job or weren’t quite right for a specific job, does that mean you wouldn't want to ever hire them? Chances are companies pay more in agency fees for hires they could have made with existing candidates than they paid for the entire ATS! Whenever I started a new assignment, I always sourced existing resumes first, which invariably resulted in free, quick, strategic hires.
Another problem that results from poorly implemented ATSs is lost candidate submissions. On paper, it might seem logical to have the candidate enter all the information you want in your ATS for you. But think how often candidates simply give up before finishing the submission process! I always insist on personally testing
the submission process, and often find glaring errors. I also insist on getting website statistics to identify at what point candidates quit before completing the submission process. If you were a highly desirable candidate believing that companies would want to hire you, would you be less inclined to complete a laborious submission process when other companies don’t require it? OFCCP requires you to obtain certain information about a candidate but nowherein the regulation does it say who has to enter the information. In fact, the degree of complication in your submission process actually lowers the quality of the candidate pool, which is a big deal to hiring managers. If that means the ATS can't do the busy work part of your job well, isn’t that what you’re paid to do, anyway?
Few companies ever consider the importance of standardizing simple candidate data entry. Instead of thinking big-picture, they wait until the problem becomes unmanageable. By that point, correcting all the legacy data is untenable. Titles and technology keywords should be as limited as possible or you lose candidates. For example, if some candidates are entered as C++ engineers, others as OOD engineers and yet others as Object Oriented Developers, even though they're all the same thing, you now need at least three separate searches to find essentially the same skill sets. As another example, there are basically three operating systems: MS, Mac and Unix. Subsets of these like XT or Vista are rarely important because chances are you’re looking for specific disciplines like QA, GUI, RDBMS, etc., and most people tend to be current on the OS, anyway. Once your Boolean search delivers a short list, you can quickly review the resumes, which is how you’ll really
determine if they’re a potential fit.
A real world example of the value in this was with one of my first clients. They’d suddenly lost an engineer with a critical, hard-to-find skill set. They immediately started contacting agencies, offering increased fees, but never once considering if we might already have a replacement candidate. Having just finished tuning the ATS, I conducted a search which surprisingly turned up 12 potential candidates they didn’t know they had. Within an hour, I’d qualified four available candidates, two of which had previously declined offers but now were interested in being hired. Within a week, they’d hired their replacement and the savings in agency fees paid for my services.
The point is a tool isn’t the solution to a problem, but the time to get good at using it -- which is a key part of the solution -- is before you really need it, like an ATS in today’s hiring market.
If you have a Facebook Page for your Social Recruitment efforts
but are getting little to no traction, fear not, you are not alone. Use this guide
to repair, revive and relaunch your Facebook page. If you haven’t started a
Facebook campaign then you can read this as a roadmap for building one from
scratch while avoiding some of the most embarrassing pitfalls the platform has
to offer and allowing you to focus on something that is built right from the start.
Did You Go Where They Are?
Did you know your prospects on Facebook have their own pages? Yeah, imagine that! So maybe you should "Like" their page, no? THAT will get their attention. AND they are probably going to return the favor, or at least stop by yours. Search with you target keywords in the Facebook search bar then filter by Pages. Branch out, grow, hit new markets, reciprocate, ENGAGE!
Were You All Talk No Listen?
If you get things right people will posts on your wall. Now is your chance! Engage!
Reply! If you say nothing, then you are missing an opportunity. They are not going to come back and try again, and others who see how you ignore people will be further discouraged from participating. Respond to every comment, thank them for every like, and encourage them to post their thoughts. Even if all you have to say is “Thanks for the comment” it shows you are paying attention and not just an automaton on autopilot. Don’t kill the conversation before it starts!
Did You Create Custom Landing Pages?
I bet you’ve seen those Facebook Pages that have cool graphics and other custom apps right? Some are custom developed by expensive experts using FBML (Facebook Markup Language), but you probably didn’t know that you can a bunch of free Facebook Page templates that you can easily customize did you? Just do a search for “free Facebook Page Templates” and go from there. For example here is one to get you started: http://www.facebookpagetemplates.com/how-to-use.php.
Install one so that visitors land there first (this is basically a landing page) before they go on to your page’s wall or info section. Use it as a billboard to show your Employer Value Proposition, cool videos, hot jobs, or just to teach your visitors what to do like for example “Like Our Page” or “Sign up for our Jobs feed.”
Did You Use Updates?
Under the edit page section there’s a place called resources and from there you can “Send and Update” to all who Liked your page. The best part of this function is that you are able to target it by location, sex and age. It is extremely useful and a great way to stay in front of your audience.
Did You Use the Apps?
Basic stuff like pictures, discussions, events, are fine but try some of the other stuff.
How about BranchOut or BeKnown? Or even better, what Facebook Apps do your candidates like to use? Find them, load them on your page, and you have a ready built audience!
Did You Minimize the Chit Chat?
There’s too much junk out there. Quite simply, don’t bore people to death
with inane chatter. Stay on topic, on message, and think about what causes
engagement. Chatter is not conversation!
Did You Employ Video and Photo?
People love photos and videos. Visual goes viral more often than plain text. Look for interesting and appropriate YouTube videos and share them on our page. Infographics are fun but also quick and easy to read. Search for Infographics about your industry, your company, your product, your market, or just fun/useful/informative ones and share them too. Take pictures at your company events, onferences, corporate volunteering, and upload them. OR find other’s photos from those events that you can share. I bet they are out there if you look for them. It is
What is Your Message Strategy Again?
So they Liked your page, now what? Have you enchanted them? Do you educate, entertain and/or engage them? If not then what the heck are you doing on Facebook anyway? Go back to the flat Web 1.0 already and spare yourself the grief. Don’t just
post jobs, post articles about how LAND the job, how to interview, how to write a catchy video resume. Share useful content!
Did You Ask For It?
If you don’t ask then that’s exactly what you will get. Your recruitment team already has built-in fans – they are your hiring managers or clients, your colleagues, other employees with whom you interact. They all have a vested interest in your Recruitment success!
Did You Consider Your Facebook Page a Recruitment Marketing Channel?
Guess what… the word Media is in Social Media. Think about it! It is an extension of MEDIA. That means it is like other advertising and PR channels (think TV, Radio,
Print). Have you posted your company’s last major announcements? Conference you sponsored or where your people presented? Charity events? Why not? That promotes engagement with your target candidates.
Did You Reach People Offline?
You can’t just reach people actively using Facebook. Have you told all the candidates you found on Monster and LinkedIn, or from your Careers site that you have a recruiting page on Facebookyou’re your Facebook Page listed on your business cards? Linked to from you Career website? Do you include it in your email signature? Do you add it to your job postings, brochures, print ads, direct mail? Successful Facebook Recruitment is about reach, engagement, availability, transparency. It is not just about finding people through in Facebook but driving Facebook users to your page.
Did You Forget Your Newsfeed?
From your Facebook Page click the Home button at the top right. This shows
people whose pages you have "Liked" before. It looks like your Personal Newsfeed
because it works like that, but browse the postings and see posts from your prospects pages that you "Like" and maybe even comment or share them on YOUR page. But pay attention – like and comment on stuff that is on message (remember your message strategy? Keep in mind this is from your PAGE so it will be tied to your recruitment brand not your personal account!
Did you Barter and Cross-promote?
I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine. Did you approach your business partners, colleagues, team mates, anyone in your influence sphere and barter with them to send an update on their behalf to your group if they would do the same for you on theirs. You can also give them content to post on their page and ask them to give you content you can repost on yours (be sure its on message though).
Did you Blow Off Your Metrics?
Insights on your Home page are like Google Analytics. Check your progress.
Does what you are doing result in increased traffic or is it hurting you? Invest the time to learn Insights and it becomes a great litmus test for your activity. If your stats drop, change things up a bit. If your stats increase do more of what you’ve been doing until the stats stop increasing THEN change it up a bit and try something new.
Did You Remember That Other People’s Opinion Matters?
A tab on the left of your Home page is called Questions. With it you can send a message to your page members (those who “Liked” the page) and ask them to answer a question. Like for example“Hey I’m trying to connect with more people in the _____ sector, does anyone know where they hang out online?” This is an ad-hoc poll or survey. Another thing you can ask is“Hey guys, what kind of posts do you
want to see MORE of on this page?” Or you can ask the opposite –what don’t they like. Basically any question you’ve ever wanted to ask a candidate you can ask here. “What do you think of our benefits/career site/employee referral program/job ads/recent press release etc…. ?” This helps you identify and connect with what your network is thinking, or what they care about.
OK so now you should be able to recover from your epic #FAIL on Facebook, or prevent one. Next we’re going to take a hard look at Twitter and what you can do with this bizarre platform that refuses to go away.
Surveys have shown that 85% of staffing leaders utilize Social Recruiting avenues - yet most of the clients we work with lack any formal social recruitment strategy. With all the choices available and potential legal, audit or regulatory entanglements many recruitment leaders are confused or even paralyzed by fear. Hiring organizations know the recruitment world has made a dramatic shift, and recruiters know they need to meet prospects where they already are, but without a clear strategy many end up jumping blindly into social recruiting and make easily avoidable mistakes.
If you think the best way to recruit with social media is feeding your jobs RSS feed through twitter but then get distracted with new entries into the space such as Google+, we wrote this article series just for you and hope this helps you avoid an epic #fail by falling victim to some of the most common mistakes.
Why your social recruitment "strategy" failed:
Lack of Research on the Platform
Don’t forget that Social Media is just that – MEDIA! That means it is about branding and visibility. There’s way too much hype around social media. Anyone can create an account on the hundreds of social sites for free. Most people just jump blindly onboard the shiny new social site because it is cool, hip or trendy, or just because some pundit recommended it. Hold on! Start with a bare profile and poke around, don’t reveal much or import all your connections just yet. Is your target market there? If not, BAIL!
Are your competitors there?
If so what are they doing well and how do they suck? Are there cool apps you find immediately and easily useful? Is there communication or just lots of self promotion? Before you go ahead and fill out your profile and import all your contacts, ask your connections in other social sites what THEY think – use quick ad-hoc polls or surveys like Facebook Questions or LinkedIn Answers to see if this new place is going to appeal to your established audience. If not, just leave your bare profile on there to protect your user name and come back in a few months to see if there’s new traction.
When you do an email blast you know precisely who you are reaching right? So it’s the same thing with social media. Don’t just go for numbers. A large amount of followers means absolutely nothing if they are the wrong audience for your message. Sure, with social media we can target with laser focus, but first did you identify WHO you are trying to reach? When you know who you want to reach then focus on making meaningful connections with influential or connected people. Having 100,000 followers who have no idea what you are talking about is not as good as having 1,000 followers who actually read and repost your messages.
You were inconsistent!
Social media is not about “a quick second here” and “I’ll get around to it.” Weather its daily, weekly, or monthly get on some semblance of a regular schedule. If you are not visible to your audience on a regular basis they will move on to other channels and stop checking back with you. Make a spreadsheet and plan ahead a few months, when you get a burst of ideas put them into the spreadsheet so that when you are busy or can’t think of something at least you can draw from that.
You were pushy!
You are not going to get success by getting in people’s faces and blasting them with volume. Get a book on Marketing 101 and you’ll see that social media is more about Pull Marketing thank Push Marketing. Start conversations, engage, don’t “advertise” all the time. A bit of pushing is ok, maybe 10% or 20% at MOST. Before you go pushing though make sure you have an established audience otherwise you’ll cut your success short before you even begin. Once you are credible and trustworthy, and the “pull” is happening then the “push”can be effective. Push too soon and you’ll blow your opportunity.
Focused on the wrong goals.
“More candidates” is not a good goal for social media. Broaden your scope. The ROI is in hits to your career site which improves your SEO and reduces your traditional advertisement spend. Or look for newsletter signups, increased applications, higher quality of respondents, or improved employment brand recognition.
Most organizations expect hiring to be turned on and off like a light switch as needed. During times of growth requisitions are opened once the need becomes urgent, which is usually too late, and as a response additional recruiters are hired immediately either on contract or as full time employees. New recruiters with little company experience and virtually no knowledge of corporate culture are then expected to at once turn around and hire the next wave of talent in short order. Even organizations enjoying solid partnerships with contingent staffing vendors expect from them such quick ramp-up and turn-around time that it becomes practically impossible for vendors to take the time required in truly evaluating candidates to present the highest quality available. Hiring top talent is the single most critical aspect in attaining growth with staying power.
Originally published on ERE CRLJ view the full article below:
Having dedicated over half of my life to being a coach and facilitator -- first in martial arts, then as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and for the last 12 years as an evangelist for the sourcing industry -- I am fascinated by the conversation on adult education theory. Aside from being a lifetime practitioner, the only formal teaching I’ve ever received in the discipline of instruction was my Peace Corps indoctrination into “non-formal” education, a variation of adult learning theory that is extraordinarily effective in a development setting. Ask any Return Peace Corps Volunteer like me, or any other development worker, and they will tell you that transferring skill and knowledge, changing attitudes, and shifting paradigms are among the chief objectives.
To me, there is no superior thrill or higher reward than to experience the light bulb turning on above someone’s head when they learn something new. That moment of discovery is exhilarating for both trainer and the student. This is why I have a hard time understanding why so few leaders in our industry are willing to share their knowledge. Among those who do, there is a preponderance of “sage on the stage” educators looking down at the audience from their pulpit in a position of seniority, not as mentors, coaches, or facilitators. This time-honored “sage” education model is effectual with children but adults also need something else.
SAGE ON THE STAGE MODEL
The sage on the stage is an instructor who lectures and who believes s/he has knowledge to “give” to others who would benefit from it. In contrast, a “guide on the side” is an instructor who helps people discover knowledge and steer them in ways that assist in their quest for answers. The sage on the stage model is efficient and recognizes the wisdom and experience of the instructor. In our busy lives leading recruitment organizations it feels as if all we have time for is to sit through a select few of these a year where we listen to a progression of sages preach to us from their pulpits. This is primarily what we find at recruiting conferences and on most webinars. But is this just a factor of our lack of time, poor planning and low resources? Leaders in other industries must certainly be as busy and under-resourced as we are, so what gives?
Download the full white paper below.
Semantics is the field of study that focuses on meaning. Semantic
search engines, therefore, would be ones capable of understanding the meaning of
content for which they search. We define meaning as the message inherently
intended, expressed or signified in symbols, words, phrases, sentences and
larger blocks of text.
A semantic search engine would need to understand not only the
meaning of the data but that of the question being asked. And it would need to
do this instantly or automatically, returning only results that match and none
that have a meaning different from what the asker intended.
For example, a semantic search engine could disambiguate results
that lead to peoples’ resumes or profiles versus results that the lead to
employment advertisements. Perhaps an even simpler example would be to tell the
difference between Apple the fruit, Apple the company (or products), and Apple
the record studio. Search for just Apple in Google and most of the top results
will be about the company, not the other two, because most people on Google are
searching and clicking on results about Apple Inc. (and/or its products). This
is how statistically based popularity driven search devices like Google’s “page
rank” work. This is not semantic search at all. Popular pages are not
necessarily credible, and credible sources are not always incredibly popular.
One of the largest problems with implementing true semantic search has been that it is difficult for the computer to know who you are. In the example above it would have to tell whether you are a job seeker or a recruiter. Unless the search engine can learn from your past search behavior, or your previous selections, you would have to manually indicate a category for it to categorize results. Some search engines approximate semantic search by asking you to tag, catalog, sort and otherwise try to “train” the search engine, which is too time consuming for the average user.
So why is this important to you?
Well, if a computer knows what you mean right away, without having to learn from you or be trained by you, it would give you only relevant results and not show you all that other junk you have to manually sift through in today’s search engines. Technology is getting there, but we’re not close enough yet. In this author’s opinion there is still no search tool that comes close to understanding meaning and context, much less subtext, but there are a few getting close enough to be worth exploring.
Where is Semantic Search Today?
Semantic search promises that we should be able to search content on the Internet without needing to be experts in search. To do this, it needs to be automatic and it must not require us to go around tagging and cataloging content to make it acceptable for computers to “understand.” We just don’t have time to waste when a computer should be smart enough to derive context, subtext and meaning for me.
Tagging and annotating is not the answer either. Another part of the problem is
the lack of sheer computing power. There are limits to what we can compute
today, and search engines are no more than racks full of computers running
You see, search problems that have an exponential number of possible solutions can’t be solved by merely analyzing relational data. Think of all the possible combinations of meaning around a simple word like “well.”It could be a hole in the ground for extracting water, oil, gas, or brine… or it could be a container such as an ink well, or health related as in “I’m not well,” or an interjection in conversation “Well, then what I suggest is…” Or perhaps it signifies abundance as in “a well of information.” It could even mean one of the Internet’s original communities, The WELL. And that’s just some of the variations of the word as a noun. There are several others like the open space through all the floors in a building (stair well), nautical (anchor well), aeronautical (wheel well), or in British English the space in front of the judge’s bench. Then if you consider all the verb and adjective variations, and idioms, well… you see?
When a human reads “stair well” they don’t imagine an oil well inside a stair, they automatically know what it means. Computers, on the other hand, have to calculate dozens of variations and probabilities to be able to arrive at a best guess. I’m sure you’ve looked up words in the dictionary only to find they have three or four completely different definitions, sometimes even more! Disambiguating them is easy for us humans because of context and subtext, but not very easy for computers.
Context is the physical text surrounding a word, sentence or paragraph. In other words, its explicit therefore you can physically read context and thus a search engine could index keywords to interpret it. This is mostly how major search engines work today. Subtext, however, is the implicit or underlying meaning of text. Machines have not yet been able to “read” subtext, it must be interpreted though either inference, intuition, knowledge of the stated subject matter, educated guessing, or by making assumptions as a result of logical leaps. To do this, machines would have to use massive computing power to establish all possible relationships between words.
This kind of soft information is easily interpreted by a human with just enough knowledge of the landscape to be able to make logical leaps. For example, if you read the words “windows” and “vista” on a page that has other words that look like they are related to computers, you immediately know that is a page about the Microsoft Windows Vista operating system. But if a computer picks up those two words in a page it could associate them to concepts such as a view out of a window, and not really understand the underlying meaning.
Someday, search engines may be able to infer meaning from the pages they index. I’m waiting, with baited breath, for a solution that approaches the artificial intelligence needed to successfully extract this from pages. Semantic search technology has set our expectations too high. We have been misled by countless articles from experts, and the marketing of new search engines (remember Acoona and Cuil?) touting that this technology will dethrone Google by giving us much faster and more accurate search results. However, that is just not true. I do believe that semantic search is going to be a big deal some day, and that it will help us find data on the web in ways we just can’t do today by treating the entire worldwide content of the public web as a gigantic database and inferring meaning from our queries, just not today.
Measurement of success begins with understanding the gap between achievement and failure. Before you can evaluate the effectiveness of your sourcing function you must first diagnose where it exists now, then determine your goals so you can measure the gap between the two.
Sourcing today is being described many different ways, with definitions sometimes in violent opposition. At SourceCon just recently I presented a session introducing clarity around practical ways to measure success in sourcing — whether you work alone or as part of a team. There is a broad variety of sourcing models, encompassing everything from teams of dedicated Internet and telephone researchers to mixed roles involving outreach of both active and passive candidates as well as combinations of recruitment marketing, social media, RPOs, and multiple vendors. As such, a “number of hires” metric is inadequate at expressing the value of the sourcing function.
I've experience well over 200 sourcing models throughout my career now, and I have continuous conversations with recruitment thought leaders around the world. Because of that I believe I have one of the most comprehensive perspectives of what it takes to create a successful sourcing function, and how to evaluate if yours is on the right path. Check out the Prezi I did at SourceCon:
Effective recruitment replenishes the talent ranks of an organization by connecting great people with great employment opportunities. Sourcing is a skill that brings about great recruiting. Without sourcing, recruiters can feel like Sisyphus ceaselessly rolling giant reqs up to the top of the mountain only to see them roll down the other side again. This is nothing more than the pursuit of mediocrity, chasing after our candidates and hiring managers only to begin anew when the next "urgent" requirement comes through. Recruiters who fail to create a sourcing plan are destined to suffer stoically at the hands of demanding hiring managers, desperate candidates, and weary staffing leaders.