How You Are Turning Off Candidates on Social Media

By now it’s not a matter of if you should be engaging candidates and recruiting talent on social media. And with good reason — employers who used social media to hire found a 49% improvement in candidate quality over recruiting through traditional channels. Instead, it’s a matter of how you can do it better. Competition for top talent is fierce, and social media is no longer a differentiator, but a necessity.

Today’s candidates are more discerning than ever.december blog 2

Although businesses are spending billions of dollars on social media, it is ultimately a very personal tool for many people. With the personal nature of social media — particularly as it relates to job searches and careers – adhering to best practices when engaging with candidates is important. Seventy-three percent of job seekers aged 18 to 34 found their last job through a social network – can you afford to turn off these candidates? Commit any of these social recruiting faux pas, and you risk alienating talent while building a negative reputation online:

  1. Lacking a plan. What are your specific goals for social media – to stay top of mind with candidates? To provide useful information for candidates to find jobs? To demonstrate thought leadership? These are just a few of the goals many businesses have when it comes to social recruiting, but yours may be different. And the steps you take to achieve those goals can vary widely. Do some research into social media best practices, be sure you understand the social sites where your company will be active, and map out a plan to help you achieve your goals. A little work ahead of time can go a long way toward building a strong social media reputation.
  2. Ignoring your profile. If you’ll pardon the comparison, your company social media profiles are essentially your online resume (how’s that for irony?). If your profiles aren’t up to snuff, just as your recruiters are likely to throw away an imperfect resume, candidates are likely to pass by your profiles. Engaging photos and complete descriptions (that sound “human” and are filled with more than corporate speak – remember, these are “social” profiles!) are the first tip off to candidates that your profiles are genuine, engaging and worthwhile. Once your profiles are set up, though, it’s up to you to keep them “social.” Guidelines can vary, but be sure to post to Facebook at least a few times per week, LinkedIn as well, and to Twitter a few times each day. Once you get a handle on these most popular networks, you might even want to consider looking at additional networks like Instagram or Snapchat. But be sure to post often: Content that is useful to your audience (eg. resume tips, interview advice, etcetera) or provides insights into your company (eg. holiday parties, birthday celebrations, employee recognition) help candidates feel “connected” to you before they ever speak to a recruiter or visit your office.
  3. Spamming candidates. Although your job openings may be great, exciting opportunities, the reality is that not every candidate is interested. Spam is universally abhorred, and when you spam candidates they don’t forget it (they also tell people…a lot of them). If you’ve sent LinkedIn InMail to a candidate and haven’t heard back, one or two follow ups within a few weeks is completely acceptable. Five messages over the course of a week (particularly with sales-y language) are not. And spam goes beyond frequency – if you’re sending sales letters to candidates on social media, you may as well be telling them not to apply to your jobs. It has been stated here several times but bears repeating – they call it “social” media, so be social! While it’s often impossible to craft custom messages for every candidate, be sure to do more than send mass emails to hundreds of candidates, all containing the same generic message. Block candidates into groups by criteria like age, experience level, alma mater, etcetera, then craft messages that offer personal elements to show that you’ve taken the time to reach out to them online. Candidates will absolutely remember you after you’ve reached out to them on social media – it’s up to you to make sure it’s not for the wrong reasons.
  4. Getting too personal. While social media can help you make stronger connections with candidates, be careful not to get too personal. Connecting on LinkedIn and (often) Twitter are acceptable and encouraged ways to stay in touch with candidates, but many candidates prefer to keep their Facebook profiles for friends and family. Avoid sending friend requests on Facebook, or any requests to connect on other social sites where you notice that posted content is strictly personal.

Here at Helpmates, our network of candidates across Southern California is engaged and ready to contribute to your bottom line. Contact us today to learn more about our staffing solutions.

Shorter Work Day? Maybe Not, But How About These?

Sweden is making headlines with its shift to a 6-hour workday. While cultural and economic differences between the workplace in Sweden versus the U.S. might be vastly different, the shift is definitely garnering attention from the media. Specifically, it’s opening up a discussion about how employers can create work opportunities that are more attractive to top talent.

Is your workplace attractive to top talent?december blog1

You may not need to reduce your work day to six hours, but you can create an environment that attracts and retains top talent. Here’s how:

  1. Be flexible. Flexible workplaces are no longer a luxury – in many specialties, locations and industries, they are an expectation. With the latest technologies, telecommuting is more convenient and productive than ever. Are there roles within your organization that could be handled either part- or full-time from home? Could your workday start at 8am for some and 10am for others? Can your employees take breaks and lunches on their own schedules? Look at ways to create a more flexible environment – whether large or small – and employees will respond.
  2. Invest in your team. When employees feel as if their employers are invested in them and their futures, they respond. Are you investing in your team? The latest technology helps employees do their jobs more efficiently and with less hassle (it’s time to trash those old CRT monitors and clunky PC towers!). On- and off-site training and learning opportunities help employees expand their skills and learn about potential career paths within your company, improving retention and helping you nurture and build your future organizational leaders. And when you invest in your current team, it also makes an impression on candidates – think about the impression you’d have of an organization if you walked through the building to an interview and passed outdated computers and a drab office. Now think about passing the latest computers, or an engaged team in a training or team building session. Investing in your team doesn’t just retain your current talent, it attracts top talent at all levels.
  3. Simplify your hiring process. We recently highlighted some ways companies turn off top talent, and hiring process is one of the most critical. Show you’re an attractive workplace to candidates by making their first experiences with you positive and seamless. How you present yourself during the hiring process often gives key indicators to candidates how it will be to work for you. If it’s disorganized and slow, would you want to work for you?
  4. Get active in the community. Today’s talent (especially millennials) wants to work with employers who have clear values. Giving back to the community – both through financial support and volunteering or other employee events – is a way to not only make a difference, but show talent that your commitment to them goes beyond the 9 to 5.

Employees respond to a welcoming, flexible and supportive work environment, but finding the right candidates is essential. Helpmates has an extensive network of talent across Southern California – we’ll find the right talent to jump in and make an immediate impact on your organization.

4 Ways Your Company is Turning Off Top Talent

Bloggers and the Internet spend a great deal of time sharing suggestions for attracting top talent (we posted some tips for attracting millennials this summer, actually). But while attracting top talent is critical, there is another recruiting key that is often forgotten.

Turning OFF top talent!

While you’re thinking of ways to attract talent, you could be simultaneously sending a subliminal message that you’re not the best place to work. And that message could be costly. Here are four common mistakes companies make that can turn off top talent:Untitled

  1. Boring job descriptions. Job descriptions are much more than a way to weed out unqualified candidates – they’re your first (and sometimes only) way of selling both the job and your company to talent. If your job descriptions offer little more than a bullet list of “musts” and “would like to haves,” you’re missing out. We share some keys for writing effective job descriptions in this blog post – print it out and hang it by your computer for some inspiration when creating your next job description.
  2. A drawn out hiring process. It’s a candidate’s market right now, with some industries fighting tooth and nail for top talent. You can’t afford to drag out the hiring process unnecessarily – when you do, your competitors are snatching up top talent. Take a realistic look at your hiring process and see where you can “cut the fat.” Do you really need four people in an interview (which can add days or weeks to coordinate schedules)? Could you conduct several interviews in one day to avoid bringing candidates in on multiple days? You’d be surprised how often one or two extra days in a few places can result in loss of your top candidates.
  3. Disconnected messaging and reality. This one can be a bit tricky. Building a strong employer brand is a critical part of the recruitment strategy for many organizations, and rightfully so. But spending hours and dollars on a strong employer branding message could end up a colossal waste if the reality of life within your organization doesn’t mesh with the reality you’re pushing in your messaging. Be honest about your company culture and identify its true strengths, not what you wish they were. Craft messaging that helps convey that message, so that when candidates meet with your team, that message is reinforced. Taking these steps can save you considerable recruiting costs down the line (and should also help your retention rate).
  4. Too much formality.  By all accounts, if your corporate culture is more formal, be sure to present yourself formally in all communications. But formality doesn’t mean a lack of humanity. Generic messages like “Your resume has been received” help you blend right in with every other competitor using an ATS (applicant tracking system). Are you excited that incredible candidates are applying to your company? You should be! Let them know about it so that when someone from your office does call or email them, they’re excited to hear from you. A shift from “Your resume has been received” to “We are so excited you chose to apply with us – we’re reviewing resumes for the next few days and will be in touch soon” could be a simple change that makes a massive difference.

Turning off top talent can cost you, but a sound recruiting strategy is also essential. That’s where Helpmates comes in. Our extensive network of talented professionals across Southern California trusts us to find them incredible jobs. We’d love to connect them with yours! Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you find top talent.

Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Writing Job Descriptions That Deliver

In many instances, job descriptions serve as your unofficial introduction to top talent. Many candidates are viewing your job descriptions before visiting your website or reading your brochure.

Are your job descriptions doing THEIR job?

Today’s candidates are more discerning than ever. They want to work for companies that align with their culture and beliefs, that offer a strong culture and possibly flexibility. Are your job descriptions selling them on your job and your company?

For many organizations, job descriptions are little more than a checklist of requirements used to weed out unqualified candidates. Changing your view on job descriptions and putting a bit more time and effort into their creation could make a big impact on the number and quality of candidates applying to your jobs.

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Effective job descriptions: A checklist

This checklist can help – print it out and hang it by your computer to help you truly create job descriptions that deliver:

  1. Sound like a human being. Are you hiring robots or people? Then why do most job descriptions sound as if they were written by a machine? Today’s job seekers are much more discerning about companies and opportunities they apply to – your job descriptions should be elevated to meet those needs. And the first way to do that is to add some “human” to them. If you’ve been writing job descriptions the “old” way for years, this might be hard at first. Here’s a tip: Record yourself talking about the job and its requirements as if a candidate was siting right in front of you. Type it up, format and you are done. It really is that simple.
  2. Sell your company. We’re in a candidate-driven market, and the notion that candidates should be grateful for any opportunities is an outdated one. Today’s job seekers have more choices than ever, and they need a reason (other than your job) to choose your company over the competition. So take the opportunity and sell your company in the job description. Were you named a best place to work? Is your break room fridge always stocked with great snacks? Now’s the time to share it! Anything you can do to differentiate your business from the competition, while building your employer brand, is going to help your job description stand out for the right reasons.
  3. Quick and easy. Remember the last time you were applying to jobs? Applying to jobs is in and of itself a full-time job for many people! Crafting unique resumes and cover letters, searching for jobs, then reading descriptions and applying to jobs (often with a fairly long and tedious process within the applicant tracking system) is exhausting for candidates. If you can convey the first two bullet points in a clear and concise manner, you’re much more likely to be on candidates’ good sides. Focus on the most important facts and points, and leave the rest to your hiring process. The simplification will make it that much easier for candidates to get to the “good” stuff (and will look much better on a mobile phone, where more and more candidates are reading and applying to jobs).
  4. Include a call to action. Want candidates to apply now using your ATS? Prefer that they send a resume to your hiring manager? Tell them! Be specific in next steps to ensure that candidates can clearly take the correct next steps in your hiring process. As a bonus, candidates who don’t follow these directions may not be as detail oriented as candidates you would need for certain roles, so you can potentially weed out those who don’t follow directions here.

Job descriptions are one component of a successful recruiting strategy, but there is much more to attracting and hiring top talent. At Helpmates, we have an extensive network of top candidates across Southern California. Contact us today to learn how we can help your business maximize its talent investment.

Image courtesy of patrisyu at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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