What You Need to Know When Using Social Media to Screen Candidates (Part I)

JobCandidates

If you take a look around our blog, it would be safe to assume that we are pretty big fans of using social media when it comes to recruiting, and just about everything else around the office.

However, one point that we would like to stress is that social media isn’t the end all be all of recruiting; in fact, in some cases using it can be to our disadvantage.

One area where this seems to ring true is in regards to screening candidates, which we outlined in our post on a study done by NC State University researchers. The study showed how misleading screening applicants can be when using social media platforms.

In case you missed it, here is a quick recap of their findings:

  • “People who posted references to drugs and alcohol were no less conscientious or no more conscientious than those who didn’t,” said Dr. Lisa Thompson, co-author of the study and professor of psychology at the university.
  • Will Stoughton, lead author and Ph.D student at the university, concluded that “companies are eliminating some conscientious job applicants based on erroneous assumptions regarding what social media behavior tells us about the applicants.”

Yes, using social media to screen candidates can be potentially misleading, but should we avoid using it at all? We don’t think so, which is why we thought we’d go through and give you a few tips on how to successfully use social media to screen candidates. Take a look below for our first tip:

Avoid the bad. Sure, it is important to look out for any big red flags that may indicate a candidate is wrong for the job, but as the research shows, it doesn’t always give us the results we want. If anything, going in with preconceived notions that the candidate has something wrong with them will just make it harder for you to make a fair call on hiring or not hiring the candidate. This is not only unfair to them, but a waste of company time and resources. So before you go ahead and start looking for photos of them partying or referencing something inappropriate, you might want to think twice.

On Thursday, we’ll finish up our post with a few more tips on how to successfully screen candidates. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!


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Checking in on Our Favorite Social Media Platforms (Part I)

Facebook

Every once in a while, we like to do a little check up on our favorite social media platforms.

As we’ve mentioned in the past, these platforms can be a wonderful addition to any company’s recruiting arsenal–but as with any tool in your recruiting arsenal, you need to always keep an eye on any changes that can happen.

In the past month, Facebook and Twitter have made a couple of changes that we think deserve attention. We are going to discuss the details of these updates, as well as what they could potentially mean for your use in recruiting efforts, and for your company overall. Take a look below:

 Facebook’s new messenger app

Social media giant, Facebook, may still reign supreme amongst social media users, but in the recent weeks, a controversy has definitely stirred the pot. Facebook is now requiring mobile users to download their stand-alone Facebook Messenger app in order to chat with their friends and family privately.

The news came with some pretty heavy backlash as some users believe the social media giant is invading their privacy due to a number of features (contacts, calendar, location, microphone, etc.) that the app is asking permission to access. Though Mashable and other news sites have dispelled some of the rumors, the controversy could prompt users to abandon the social media platform, especially in the mobile arena. And this would be something to make Facebook worry, for the mobile app arena has been a struggle for the social media giant since the beginning.

We aren’t really ones to speculate, but we do think it is important to at least consider the “what-ifs” –just as long as we take them with a grain a salt. Luckily, for those who are really opposed to downloading the new messenger app, some people have already found several ways to get around the changeover. (Check out Mashable’s post on how to avoid using the new messenger app, here.)

On Thursday, we will finish up our post by giving you one more Facebook update, as well as a few updates hitting Twitter and how “tweeters” are responding to them.

In the meantime, what do you think about the new Facebook Messenger app? Is it worth downloading or would you rather abandon the platform altogether? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!


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Employers: Paying Attention to Your Candidates in the Waiting Room (Part II)

office folks getting a tour

In our last post, we gave you a primer on making your candidates wait in the waiting room and what it means for your candidate experience.

As we mentioned, the candidate experience is a vital part of your company’s success. From defining your employer brand and your company culture to affecting the efficiency of your recruiting efforts, all of these things are impacted by a candidate’s experience in some shape or form.

For the most part, employers know the major target areas when it comes making a great candidate experience, but where we see them falter the most is when it comes to the waiting room.

On Tuesday, we gave you three reasons why you should pay attention to your candidates in the waiting room. Today, we are going to give you a few ways on how to do so. Take a look below:

  • Welcome them. Change how you think of the waiting room. Instead, think of it as a welcome center where you still have an opportunity to wow your candidates. Everyone in the office should make an effort to approach the candidates if they happen to walking by the area. Instilling this kind of behavior is a great way to expand your company culture as well allow your employees to get a feel for what could be a new teammate, making it much easier for this future employee to acclimate themselves with the company.
  • Take care of them. Do more than just offer them a seat. When someone has to wait for an extended period of time, it is common courtesy to at least offer them something to drink. If you want, you could also give them a quick brochure or handout that can help them get more acquainted with the company (if they don’t know already)–though we prefer that there is someone there who can actually converse with them.
  • Give them a tour. If you anticipate a long waiting period, consider giving them a tour of the office. Sure, most companies don’t have the resources to hire a full-time tour guide, but with plenty of notice, you can ask each employee to put in their time and give at least a quick 15 minute walk through the office. This not only buys you time with your other candidates, but also helps those on the tour get a feel for the office and the culture.

Have any tips that you’d like to add? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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3 Reasons Why You Need to Work On Your Company Culture

facing a crowded room in a plaid shirt

Take a look around an HR blog or website and you are bound to find the words “company culture” popping up again and again.

For many, company culture can be somewhat of a mystery. It’s something that every company has, but just because you have it doesn’t mean it’s benefiting you in all the right ways.

Some leaders don’t know what needs to be done to get their company culture in the right place, or whether they need to actually put much effort into it at all, since for many, company cultures seems like a byproduct of just being a company at all.

However, as we’ve brought up many times on this blog, company culture plays an integral role in the success of your company. To help give you a better idea of why company culture is so important, we thought we’d break down why you need to pay special attention to your company culture, and how to go about doing so.

For today, we’ll start with why. Take a look below:

  • It’s a top recruiting tool. When a job candidate takes a look at your company, chances are, they are looking into your company culture. What we’re referring to are the things that you value, why you value them, and how you go about attaining/upholding those goals and values.

    For many candidates these days (especially the Milliennial generation), relating to the values of the company is one of the biggest factors when it comes to choosing where they apply. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you do your best to narrow down your company culture and highlight what makes you stand out as a company.

  • It helps solidify your team. Not only is having a great company culture important for recruiting, it is also an important aspect of solidifying your team/company as a whole. When you hire like-minded people who value what you value, then hopefully they will band together in order to obtain the goals that you set up for your company. When employees believe in what you do, they should be more likely to succeed—and a big part of that is having a crystal clear company culture that can help guide them towards those goals.
  • It helps put everyone on the same page. Adding to our point above, a crystal clear company culture is great way to ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows exactly what the company is striving for. The hope is that you won’t have to worry about any stragglers because you’ve already made it clear what you expect out of them, and what they should expect out of you.

On Thursday, we’ll get into how you can vamp up your company culture to ensure success. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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Employers: Hiring Employees Who Care (Part II)

looking up at skyscrapers

Yesterday, we gave you several reasons why you should hire employees who really care about their job.

As we mentioned, hiring passionate employees can bring a lot of benefits to a company. From the strive for excellence and progress, to an employee’s personal investment in the company, all of these things can help enhance the overall success of your company.

But finding passionate employees isn’t always that easy. As a hiring manager, it can require a little detective work to sift through all of the candidates, especially when everyone can simply say, “Yes, I am passionate.”

To lead you in the right direction, here are a few tips that can help you pick out the right (read: passionate) candidates for the job. Take look below:

Assess cultural fit

Cultural fit may determine exactly whether an individual is passionate or not, but it will help make things easier for you. By comparing the values of your candidates to employees who you already know are passionate, you can get a better idea of where they stand in terms of commitment. If you happen to see the same drive and characteristics in them as you do in your employees, then it is safe to say that you are at least heading in the right direction.

An extraordinary interview

The interview is usually the first serious one-on-one conversation where you will be able to gauge their passion. With that in mind, here are a few things to look for.

  • They ask a lot of questions and aren’t afraid to share their opinions. A lot of interviews typically consist of the hiring manager asking all of the questions and the candidate answering back with planned answers, but that’s not the case when it comes to a candidate who is passionate about the job.

    Look for people who aren’t afraid to share their opinions, whether it has to do with their personal assessment of the industry, how they believe they can enhance your company, and more. An interview with them should feel like you are being interviewed by the candidate as well.

  • They make a great sell. Above all, a candidate who is passionate about the position is also more likely to try to sell themselves (i.e. their qualities and characteristics) compared to the average candidate. This is a good sign because it shows that they are persistent and truly believe they are the right candidate for the job. That kind of drive is a great quality to have in any employee.

What do you think about hiring passionate employees? Is it important to your company? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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Employers: Hiring Employees Who Care (Part I)

notes

When it comes to employees, one of the major sayings that gets tossed around is “quality over quantity.”

But there’s more to that saying than simply hiring employees who have the skills, experience, and characteristics for success: they need to have passion, too.

Over the next few days, we’re going to talk about hiring employees who are passionate about their job. For today, we’ll talk about three reasons why you should hire employees who will really care about their job. Take a look below:

  • When your company succeeds, they succeed (and vice versa). One of the most important things about hiring employees with passion for their job is the excitement they gain from seeing that your company does well. Simply put, these employees have a lot to gain when your company does well because they’re personally invested in your company. In turn, a lot of their success depends on yours and vice versa, making it a highly reciprocal relationship. This helps to ensure that both parties are doing their best to reap the benefits of this teamwork.
  • They look for progress. Employees who are truly passionate about their jobs and want the company to succeed do more than just meeting the end-of-the-year goals—they’re also trying to go above and beyond and look towards the future. This drive and push for progress can do wonders for your company, as it helps you to think outside of the box, giving you a better chance to stand out amongst the competition.
  • They strive for excellence. A passionate employee’s strive for excellence is one of the driving forces behind their work ethic, which is a great thing for you because you see all of the great benefits from it. Passionate employees go above and beyond in every aspect, from their push to help others succeed, to the extra details they add to their work, and even to pushing themselves to learn and adapt beyond their boundaries. This kind of work ethic can do wonders for your company culture and success, making these types of employees a valuable asset.

Check back tomorrow when we go over a few ways you can scope out these passionate employees during the hiring process. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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Employers vs. Candidates: Who Is Interviewing Who? (Part II)

interviewers

 

Yesterday, we talked about why it is important for employers to not take the hiring process—and the candidates—for granted.

Despite the common belief that candidates must bend over backwards to get the job they want, they actually have more power than employers think. In reality, they also have a pretty good amount of influence over a company’s success.

In our previous post, we gave you a handful of reasons why you as an employer should feel like you are being interviewed by candidate. To round things off, we are going to give you a few tips on how to go about doing that, hopefully leading to a more fruitful and fair interviewing process. Take a look below:

  • Come prepared. When a candidate comes in for an interview, we always expect them to come fully prepared to answer or tackle whatever it is that we throw at them. The same should go for the hiring manager as well.

    Don’t go into an interview thinking you can get away without reading the resume, or worse, knowing exactly what the position entails. You are a representative of your company, and when you look unprofessional, it reflects poorly on your company, which may affect your candidate’s final decision.

  • Nail your values and goals. This one follows pretty close to our first tip but deserves a category of its own. Simply put, this means figuring out exactly what is important to your company. Candidates these days, especially Millennials, are very keen on authenticity; if the values of the company they want to work for don’t relate to what they believe in, they’re likely to either leave the job quickly or struggle to find a sense of purpose.

    Avoid this problem by being up front with them. It’s better to have things not work out in the hiring process than it is to have an employee discover your values later on and cost your company time and money.

  • Don’t waste their time. This one is a pretty common problem that most employers run into. Be quick as possible when it comes to letting them know of anything new, whether that means a brief update about when they’ll likely heat from you next, or if another candidate has already been selected for the job.

    Your candidates have lives as well, so it should go without saying that their time can be better spent elsewhere than patiently waiting by the phone for any updates on the job. Employer branding is important, and courtesy is an essential part of keeping a positive employer brand.

The hiring process is a two-way street, so don’t take your candidates for granted. By being as courteous to them as they are to you, you’ll not only make your candidates happier—you’ll also have a better chance of retaining the top talent you need to be a successful company.

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Employers vs. Candidates: Who Is Interviewing Who? (Part I)

skyscraper

For candidates, the interview process can be pretty nerve-racking. They have to prepare themselves for what they’re going to say, whether they’re too dressed up or underdressed, whether their qualifications and characteristics meet the requirements of the job, and more.

And, on top of all that, there’s the possibility that they’ll go through multiple interviews and still not get the job. All in all, being a job seeker can be a pretty tough position to be in.

But believe it or not, candidates shouldn’t be the only ones worried about the interview process. As a company, you are not only in the business of selling goods and services to customers or clients. You’re also in the business of selling your brand and company to the workforce, because without employees, the range of your success would be limited, to say the least.

As such, it is important to not take the hiring process for granted. Here are a few reasons why you, as an employer, should feel like you are being interviewed too. Take a look below:

  • Candidates have options. As much as you’d like to think you are the only company in the world, that isn’t the case. Just like you, candidates have plenty of options when it comes to picking and choosing where they want to work, and chances are, they are weighing the pros and cons of each one. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by making the wrong first impression; when you do, you give your competitors a better opportunity to snatch up your top talent.
  • The candidate experience is essential. Above all, you always need to be thinking about the candidate experience. While some candidates might put up with all of the waiting or lack of acknowledgement from the hiring manager and recruiter, the ones who don’t have the potential to have a large impact when they speak up to their friends. In turn, a few bad candidate experiences can compromise your employer brand and end up narrowing your talent pool—a less than desirable position to be in.

Check back tomorrow when we continue our discussion on employers being interviewed by candidates. In the meantime, what do you think? Do employers need to treat candidates like an interviewer? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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3 Tips on How to Attract Millennials

chicago bean

Graduation month has come, and that means there will be plenty of Millennials getting ready to enter the workforce once they’ve received their diplomas.

For employers, now is a great time to take advantage of the flood of top talent that will be out there in the job market.

However, it is not as easy as it sounds. Millennials can be a tough crowd to please, sometimes making it extremely frustrating for the older generations who typically have the job of hiring them.

As difficult as they may seem at first glance, Millennials are extremely hard-working and will become the future leaders of most companies. As such, it is important that you do your best to attract them as effectively and efficiently as possible.

To show you how to do that, we thought we would give you three tips on how to attract Millennials and find the top talent you need. Take a look below:

  • Be flexible. Millenials place a high value on work-life balance. As such, it is important that you do your best to make sure your company offers some flexibility on the schedule. This can either be done through a work from home program, or through some kind of vacation benefits, a few extended lunch breaks, or even allowing them to choose how and when they get their work done. Just make sure you do this all within reason in order to make sure you maximize the work.
  • Be tech-savvy. It is the age of technology and Millennials are at the forefront when it comes to all of the new programs, electronics, and apps floating around. If you want to catch the eye of this new generation, try your best to be up to date on all of the various things coming out in the tech world. There are plenty of ways to do this. The easiest way is to make sure you are up to date on all of your social media sites. Another thing to consider is allowing people to bring their own devices to work. Whether it is a laptop or mobile phone, giving them the freedom to at least use them for work can help attract the Millennial crowd.
  • Be authentic. Millennials crave authenticity. As such, it’s important to make sure that your company has something truly genuine to offer to this group. Figuring out your core values and how the Millennial generation can benefit from them in their personal and professional life is an extremely important part of getting them interested in what you have to offer, so make sure you figure out what is that makes you so great.

Have anything to add to our list? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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Employers: What You Need to Know About Internships (Part II)

interviewing at a job fair

On Friday, we kicked off our brief guide on what employers need to know about internships.

As we mentioned, an internship program is a great way for employers to tap into the future emerging workforce without making any unnecessary sacrifices that usually come with hiring students looking for part-time work.

Not only that, but internships are also a great benefit for candidates, especially students looking to “test the waters” as they prepare for their professional career.

In short, internships can be a win-win situation, but only if you put in the effort. Today, we are going to give you some tips on how you make the most out of your internships. Take a look below:

Have an actual program. Don’t wing it on your internships. Having a formal policy with a staff or coordinator to enforce it will help to guarantee that your internship program won’t be abused by the employees or the interns. This helps to prevent any unwanted legal repercussions that have plagued internships in recent years, as well as prevent the program from wasting the company’s and the candidate’s time.

  • Make it an authentic experience. The purpose of an internship is for your interns to gain insight as to how your company functions, so it only makes sense that you give them the real experience. Leave the grunt work out of the program and make sure that the interns will actually benefit and learn something new.
  • They’re interns, not employees. Along with an authentic experience, you have to make sure it is a learning experience. Remember, they aren’t getting the same benefits as your employees so you need to reward them with a different set of benefits such as feedback, a chance to progress and learn, and hopefully a new set a skills. Always keep in mind that their goals are much different than your employees’, and make sure your program is adequately meeting them.
  • Think long-term. While internships may be short-term, you always have to have a long-term goal in mind. One of the great advantages of an internship program is that you have an opportunity to introduce these interns to your company’s culture. As such, you should always treat your interns as potential candidates and hopefully, your efforts may actually pay off when it comes time to hiring them.

Have any tips you’d like to add to our list? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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