I've heard it all…every reason in the book as to why someone should not be hired. Of course, often the skills don’t match or the cultural fit just isn't there, but first impressions take center stage. Wouldn't it be foolish to blow the opportunity for your dream job based on a bad first impression? Miss Manners may seem old fashioned and passé, but manners never go out of style. Standards may change with the world, but the basics always stay the same. Common courtesy is always in fashion.
A Simple Thank You
For many adults, Facebook is a way to connect with friends, old and new -- find out what they’re doing, who they are with or where they are going. Although it is the most used social network today by all ages, the most active users are Generation Y – ages 18 to 29 years old, who have an average of 700 friends. Their networks continue to expand as they add co-workers, friends of friends, and anyone else they may know. But what is the significance of any of this when it comes to recruiting and hiring? Facebook is an inadvertent business network for Gen Y. So how can you take advantage of this on your quest for great employees?
New data shows that on average Gen Y users have 16 co-workers as friends. (The study also found that half have more than five employees as Facebook friends.) So when they’re away from work, they’re still connected to their workplace. Gen Y users aren’t intentionally using their Facebook for business. They are listing their past and current jobs – companies and title to inform their “friends”. Meanwhile, they are likely connected to great potential candidates! As a networker you have the ability to reach out to this generation by friending them directly or by contacting a friend of a friend in order to help reach this audience.
It’s now 2012, a new year and a new start for most people. Many like to begin their new year with a fresh start, a new outlook on life, or even a new job. Over the past few years we have seen trends and fads fade in and out, but one trend for certain that isn’t going anywhere is social networks! Since its start up in 2004, Facebook has continued to grow and become the largest social network with over 800 million active users. If you thought that you could be the few left without a Facebook you should think again.
Twitter has also emerged as a social network powerhouse with over 175 million users. Tweeting, replying, mentioning, and re-tweeting are becoming common words in our everyday language. But what is the significance of these social networks, besides distractions and ways to procrastinate? Well, social networks play a major role in how businesses market and people find jobs. LinkedIn is becoming the online resume for individuals; where they can put their past and present work history, post recommendations, references, network, and reconnect with colleagues, and former employees. With over 135 million users, LinkedIn is becoming a primary search network for job recruiters and active job seekers. It is beginning to replace websites such as Monster and Career Builder, which have been used in the past by candidates.
How many recruiters have sent candidate after candidate to a hiring manager and for some reason, there is always a reason why they are not good enough to hire? When you, the recruiter or HR professional, initially spoke with the hiring manager, you found out some tell-tale information about the position. You found the position has been open for three months, the manager has interviewed 15 people, and there are four agencies working on it. The first question a perceptive recruiter would ask is “Is this a real opening?” If there is a real opening, is there any pain associated with not filling it? Ok, for argument sake, let’s say there is an actual position with some pain. From there you have to follow the links of the recruiting chain: the sourcing, interviewing, selection process to include notice being given and an actual start. It has been my experience that hiring managers tend to see the interview and selection process, as a process by which they look for every reason they can to not hire someone. Many of the companies I have managed recruitment processes for initially had a system set whereby candidates had to jump through several hoops in terms of assessments, several rounds of interviews with everyone in the company (all asking the same twenty questions and any one having veto power). This is a disqualification focused interview process. A screening out system.
To help managers see how their interview and selection process is focused, as a candidate would see it from the outside, I run them through a scenario. I challenge them to put themselves in the role of a candidate. You are a candidate, happily employed with a company, but perhaps open to exploring a better opportunity (however you would define “better”). A recruiter calls you on a Tuesday and describes a position to you that he or she is working on. You see it as an interesting opening with a company on your target list. You are an excellent fit and the opportunity would be a good next step in your career. You find out that there will be three rounds of interviews over a three-week period. Each will require you to take a half day out of work. You will have to take two assessments and a drug screen before you will even get to meet with the first manager. Would you do it? If you would then I would proffer that you are not very happily employed and may be downright subconsciously desperate to make a move.
It’s a pretty common thought that this is a difficult time of year to hire. I hear this over and over each year once the leaves stop falling. In actuality, the hiring climate changes a bit at the end of fourth quarter – so planning for it can work to your advantage. Now is one of the best times of the year for passive candidate recruitment – people seem more open to speaking – maybe it’s the holiday spirit, some free time on their hands or they are thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. Whatever the case, passive recruiting is a key part of a recruiting strategy. Smart companies look for the best people, not the best available people.
Passive candidates are just that… passive, “not participating readily or actively”. That doesn’t mean someone isn’t interested in making a change, but people are busy. Making a concerted effort to search for a new job is often in the back of someone’s mind, but actually making the time to do so is another story. Searching for a job takes work. So –imagine having the “perfect” opportunity land in your lap. No searching boards, no networking, no redoing the resume…. A great candidate can be enticed to speak if you approach them the right way.