How mature is your recruitment organization?

maturity - recruitment

The biggest asset for any company today is its workforce. Because of that, businesses are moving from just “hiring people” to hiring the RIGHT people, at the RIGHT cost and the RIGHT time.

As a part of this transformation, many recruiting organizations are moving away from a reactive, traditional model and towards a proactive, strategic one. They four key per-requisites of this new approach is:

  1. Developing sourcing expertise in-house.
  2. Using automation to personalize their job opportunities.
  3. Ensuring the right talent brand messaging is in front of the right candidates.
  4. Giving recruiters access to the right talent pools.

So once you gauge the maturity level of your recruitment organization, you will be able to focus on developing a road-map and building a more efficient and proactive team.

Take this quiz to find out what stage you are in:

[wp_simple_survey id=”1″]

18 Building Blocks To Articulate Your Employer Brand

If an organization has a well-defined employer brand on social media —not just the occasional post and/or job ads—they have a heck of a lot of fuel for social media, blogging, search engine optimization, public relations, and word-of-mouth. A plain job ad, by itself, doesn’t go so far in these increasingly important and mission-critical channels that are all about messaging, targeting, content, and differentiation.

Job ads don’t get shared

Think about it: No matter how cool the job is, what do plain job ads really do for you in these social arenas? They’re merely an indication that your business is growing and that you are hiring. Unfortunately, such posts are just noise and will go unnoticed in this crowded social space. (Your company or brand name could be one exception, when it allows for a unique and meaningful user handle or URL, especially if you can claim it across social platforms.)

Start tapping into your deeper power.

The true power of employer brand articulation is that it gives you—actually your whole organization—the strategy, messaging and talking points (i.e. content) to guide your social media efforts and other outreach. It can define what you offer, who you serve, and how you’re best at what you do. And, it can even tell you who to target it to and what tone it should be expressed in, unifying your messaging and your voice across markets and media types.

Brand articulation is not just your mark, it’s your brand put into words, concepts, and experiences. Unfortunately, most businesses just jump into the visual part of branding, without determining the exact value proposition and story their visual is based on.

Here are some of the building blocks of brand definition and brand strategy. Scan through and see how these could feed your social media (and other) efforts. My guess is that if you had all of these clearly defined and knew this much about your brand, you’d likely have more content and messaging ideas than you have time in the day to blog or tweet.

Organizational elements

  1. Vision (Where are we going? What do we want to achieve?)
  2. Mission (What’s our purpose? Why do we exist?)
  3. Values (What are our core beliefs? Principles that drive us?)

External Messaging

  1. Target Market (Who specifically do we need to hire?)
  2. Key Audiences (Who else are we talking to? And why?)
  3. Key Products or Services (What are our primary offerings?)
  4. Competitors (How are we different from our competitors?)
  5. Positioning (How are we seen and valued in comparison to our competitors?)

Internal Messaging

  1. Value Proposition (What’s different about us? Why does it matter?)
  2. Elevator Pitch (How do we talk about this casually?)
  3. Brand Promise (What do we assure? Why choose us?)
  4. Key Messages (What are the three or four things that every communication should say?)
  5. Proof Points (What is the factual information that backs these claims up?)

Branding

  1. Brand Personality (What are our organization’s “human” traits and attributes? How do we behave?)
  2. Voice and Tone (How do we talk? What mood do we want to convey?)
  3. Beacon (What’s the one word or concept that best represents us?)
  4. Brand Story (How do we boil these things down into an emotionally compelling narrative?)
  5. Manifesto (Are we so passionate, or so revolutionary, about something that we want to make a “public declaration” of it?)

Build a solid brand platform to launch (and speak and share) from.

It’s ideal to start with the bulk of these strategic questions answered before building a visual brand identity. (The fact of the matter is that a job ad and brand identity should ideally be the outcome of a employer brand articulation process, not the other way around.) But even organizations with established social presence can significantly benefit from going back to build the communication and messaging foundation underneath.

Imagine how much more unique, meaningful, and effective your Tweets, pins, shares, videos, profiles, and posts (and yes, your job ads too) can be with the power of all this intention, thinking, and common understanding behind them. It’s actually simple physics. A solid platform, focus, and every bit of energy and every system working in alignment is additive, giving you both a trajectory and maximum momentum.

Another good metaphor is brand as an iceberg. The job ad, name, or tagline may be the obvious and highly visible tip above the waterline. But it identifies and stands for something much, much larger (and potentially more powerful) down below.

 

Solving the lack of Employee Engagement at the source

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There is a “monster” terrorizing businesses big and small, running through office buildings, eating profits and demoralizing employees and customers alike. This monster is called “employee disengagement,” and it contributes to the downfall of businesses everywhere.

Employee disengagement is exactly what it sounds like: when your employees are apathetic about their job. Employee disengagement can be extremely detrimental to your business. Gallup’s State of the American Workplace Report for 2012 cited that nearly 70 percent of employees were not actively engaged in their work, and cost employers approximately $500 billion in lost work, money and time every year. According to an article by Tolman & Wiker Insurance, disengagement can cost your company money by causing employees to care less about their jobs, which will cause them to hurry through projects instead of seeing them advance in the best way possible. They will also miss work more often, have more safety incidents, and create higher turnover in the company. The high turnover can cause an increase in cost, as it costs money to cover illnesses and train new employees.

It can get even worse. Sometimes employees are not just disengaged, but actively disengaged, meaning they purposely act out when they are unhappy, undermining the productivity of other employees. This can cause many problems, including decreased morale in the office, and a negative effect on customers.

Disengaged employees may also negatively affect your brand. Not only are they more likely to be rude or uncaring to customers, providing a bad customer experience that sheds negative light on the company, but they may also post negative job reviews online that deter future prospective employees.

There is hope on the horizon for businesses. Employee disengagement can be avoided with proper candidate engagement. Candidate engagement is a precursor to employee engagement; after all, an employee is more than just an employee, and a candidate is more than just a candidate. These are real people with real lives outside of work, as well as the ability to retain memories. A candidate will remember how they were treated during the interview process, and this will translate to their attitude about their job if they become employed. If they were made to feel important and cared about as more than just a “cog in the machine,” they will remember that their new boss cares about people. If the entire process was robotic and automated and they felt like they were talking to computers more than people, they may get the impression that their employers do not really care about anything more than filling a position.

These candidates and future employees don’t only affect their own positions; they will also bring praise to the business for future candidates and employees. The Good Jobs, a company that helps organizations find the right candidates, say that a survey suggests only 2 percent of respondents don’t look into a company before applying for it. This means that 98% of candidates have done their research into your company. Some of this research has probably included reading what current and past employees and candidates have to say about their experiences.

 

So how can you make candidate engagement work for you?

 

First of all, make sure you are seeking out candidates that will fit in with your organization’s culture. If you are hiring for a niche position, be sure that is stated in your advertising. Also consider hosting a “meetup” in other to gather a group of candidates for information about your company. This can be done through meetup.com, where you host a group that is focused on a common interest. Another way to bring the candidates to you can include loading your website with informational videos and photos about what working in your office will be like, or telling your business’s story about how it came to be and what you learned along the way.

Once you have candidates in mind to interview, be sure to make the interview about more than just what they can do for you and the company. Ask them about themselves or what got them interested in your company. If you jump right into the job description and qualifications right off the bat, you may come off an intimidating and scare the customer away.  Another way to keep candidates engaged is to create a candidate pool, or a group of eligible candidates, and send them regular newsletters to keep them up to date on what is going on in your company.

Using these tips and keeping in mind that candidates are people with personal lives, too, will allow you to build up your brand and find quality employees who will enjoy working for your company.

 

4 Sins of Employee Disengagement

 

Employee Disengagement

Disengaged Employee

According to a recent Gallup poll, engaged employees make up less than a third of the US workforce. A little more than half of employees are not engaged, and a shocking 18 percent are actively disengaged. Millennials are the least engaged generation at 28 percent while boomers are the most engaged one at 42 percent. Millennial’s dissatisfaction results stems from the mismatch between the jobs they had hoped to receive after college and the reality of their employment situation.

Employee engagement, which reflects the emotional commitment an employee has to an organization is not just an organizational nicety but a business necessity due to direct ties to a number of performance outcomes, such as profitability, workforce productivity and customer service. As employees care more, they are more productive, give better service, and even stay in their jobs longer. The end result is then happier customers, who buy more and refer more, which will drive sales and increase profits. A 2012 report on human capital from McKinsey corroborated this hypothesis, noting that organizations with top scores in employee engagement are about 60% more likely to be leading and profitable companies in their respective industries.

The first step in re-engaging a disengaged workforce is to know how to identify it. Unfortunately, this can tend to be tricky as disengaged employees aren’t necessarily bad employees. They could have been some of your most talented and productive employees at some point. The ultimate indication of disengagement is the decisions people make to leave their job. While some people will stay in a role they’re not happy in, most will eventually choose to look for a new and better opportunity elsewhere.

 

Disengaged employees tend to only do what’s absolutely necessary of them to get the job done, without going the extra mile. Typically, they don’t take initiative, rarely work late and don’t give their jobs much afterthought when the day is over. So how do you spot them?

 

The four most common habits of disengaged employees include:

  1. Not caring attitude – Employees that display less interest or care for their work or their organization’s wellbeing are likely to be disengaged.
  2. Repetitive absenteeism – An employee who displays a pattern of absences is most likely disengaged. This indicates a decreased motivation to get the work completed on time. They could even be skipping work to attend job interviews.
  3. Poor quality of work – Failing to meet deadlines, or meeting deadlines with subpar work on a regular basis are signs of employee disengagement. This is evidence that an employee is less committed, especially if you have prior evidence of better performance.
  4. Permanent negativity – A previously high performing employee that consistently exhibits a negative attitude might be going through difficult times at home, or might be disengaged. Either situation must be addressed differently as is detrimental to the workplace.

 

Identifying and accepting the fact that you have a workforce engagement issue is the first step toward immobilising it. Choosing to be proactive and doing something about it is the next. Overlooking or evading the four previously enumerated habits of workforce disengagement is a common mistake leaders make.

It’s important to understand that every experience and interaction at work has the potential to influence an employee’s engagement level. Each person is unique, and to influence their commitment requires an understanding of what motivates them. The most important thing any leader can do to improve engagement is focus on the employee’s individual spirit as well as the team’s and to ensure that they are in complete harmony.

Employees tap into their internal positive energy to get the job done well. People who are energised typically choose to act in ways that promote success. But, when people are drained and discontent, they become more likely to disengage and behave in ways that jeopardize not only their own success but the team’s as well.

As a leader you need to take a proactive approach in improving the engagement of your team. You need to make engagement a priority by linking it to corporate performance objectives. Start by attracting and hiring people who want to be here. People who are passionate about your brand will tend to care more about your business and contribute better. Then, understand your team and deliberately influence the aspects that drives them. Give them the initial boost and then let them take ownership for their own spirit and level of engagement. It is crucial to implement a feedback loop to keep the engagement levels high.