Tag Archive for: Mobile Recruiting

Digital Recruiting – What is Next?

15 Mai
15. Mai 2015

In Febrauary 2015 I left MonsterWorldwide after 3.5 years and also the online recruiting industry. It was a great time with great learnings. If you never worked in that area you might think even the online part is still old-fashioned, slow and boring, but this is not the case. It is a dynamic and innovative industry that is currently in a dramatical change process.
In opposite to other classified segments such as online travel or online real estate, technology is not the main driver of change and innovation. The object itself – jobs and the working force – are changing and forcing the innovation process in this industry.
Even today jobs are demanding different and new skill sets compared to a similar position ten years ago. And this is oynly the beginning. Transdisciplinarity, cross-cultural understanding, a design mindset and social intelligence are just a few of the new skills that are required in general beside a specific job qualification no matter if it is a  marketing, product, sales, HR or IT position. Additionally there is an increasing demand in companies for highly specialized skills and very specific working experience.

The demographic change is driving new challenges.

On the other hand the workforce is changing with the generations Y (in 2020 35% of the workforce), Z  (in 2020 12% of the workforce) and alpha (born after 2010 – still some time for us to prepare). Classical job boards are getting less important because already 50% of employees do not want to search for a new job anymore actively. Those want to be found, to be recommended or to get a job recommended by a personal contact. In the decision process to chose a specific job offer are parameters like flexible office hours, work-life-balance, company culture and non work-related benefits more important than in generations before. The time employees are staying in one company will be reduced below 2 years. So change is more a part of the DNA of such next generation employees. It is much more organic driven than forced by dissatisfaction with a current job. This type of employee is highly skilled, active in social networks and well connected. 54% even use social networks for work or skill related activities.
So the future workforce seems to become in a majority a kind of passive job seekers. Employers need to build a new recruiting philosophy in their HR departments.
How does the current online recruiting market match these changing requirements?
Companies like Careerbuilder, Monster Worldwide or Stepstone did not really manage to reinvent their business models so far, even job aggregators such as Indeed smell a little bit outdated in such a scenario. Professional networks like LinkedIn and even the German local player Xing seem to have better preconditions, but their member profiles do not all have the required details on very specific skill sets e.g. for potential IT candidates. Profile aggregation providers such as TalentBin or Dice have at least a partly answer to reach specific rare candidates in groups that are very active in work-related communities, e.g. developers.

Technological innovations need an organizational foundation of change.

Not surprisingly disruptive approaches are coming more from start-ups while the big online recruitment players are struggling with decreasing revenues and internal structural problems. Change needs to be driven from inside to outside, but this is difficult if key stakeholders are not pushing and supporting that approach and tend to protect the „old“ business and a given internal status quo. Change should also ideally be driven top down, what is getting difficult escpecially in companies with multiple hierarchical levels. To realize a technological shift companies need an innovation friendly organizational structure and climate.

So what is close or even has started?

1. All employees are passive candidates.
It will become even more difficult to reach high potentials and specialized experts via job boards and career pages. Active sourcing will be the much more active way to find the right people. Companies need to use their employees, build candidate networks and establish active sourcing directly in their HR departments. Still there is lack of knowledge and sensitivity how to contact potential candidates.

2. Social profiles keep to gain relevance.
To scan social profiles and activities is getting more and more important especially as the number of passive candidates is rising. Companies need intelligent tools to scan all relevant profiles and to analyze data.

3. Companies need to invest much more in employer branding.
Highly skilled candidates might have multiple options and are looking critical on potential new employers. Companies need to create a transparent view on company culture, benefits and career perspectives. Happy and satisfied employees are one of the best arguments.

4. Candidates are becoming highly specialized alrounders.
The new workforce is getting much more specialized than any generation before, but brings also a set of cross functional skills from other disciplines.

5. Video, video, video
The role of videos is increasing in every part of the recruiting process. Companies are presenting roles, workspace and colleagues in company videos, candidates are sending videos as application or example of their work, interviews are done via Skype or other video phone applications.

Sources: recruiting trends 2015, bewerberpraxis 2015, mccrindle blog, business news, Forbes, horizont, institute of the future

The Agile Recruiting Framework

09 Jan
9. Januar 2015

As already discussed in my articles “companies and recruiters need to learn how to ‘apply for candidates’” Part 1 and Part 2 the recruiting market is in a change process. Social technologies, mobile devices and diversification in job requirements and candidate expectations are transforming the working world. HR managers face multiple new and changing challenges when they are hiring. The time-to-hire is getting more and more critical, while many recruiting processes are still too complex and long-winded. They need to build a good understanding for new technologies and tools as this is the only way to answer requests for differentiated analytics of more complex profiles and candidate requirements. On the other hand it is a candidate market and top candidates have a clear expectation for the next job but also for the application process.
From company perspective HR managers are changing their role from an internal service provider into a business partner for all departments of the company. In a transforming environment they have not only to manage the effects of change inside a company, they have to be an active part of the whole change management process itself. HR managers need to act as agile change agents and to drive transformation. They have to shape the hiring process into a leaner, faster and more effective process, increase transparency and improve communication with candidates. It is very important to include also core future skills such as social intelligence, trans-disciplinarity, cross cultural competency or new media literacy (source: Institute for the Future) into search profiles to prepare the organization for the next challenges. Parallel the organization needs to be prepared for the next generations. In 2020 35% of the working force will be the Generation Y and already 12% the Generation Z (source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics). The next generations have a higher demand for liquid structures and working models, away from static hierarchies and old-school matrix organizations. This is another good reason for HR to become real agile.
The graphic shows a first conceptual Agile Recruiting Framework I developed based on my digital product transformation framework.
The framework includes:
• 4 influencing business and technology trends (social, mobile, analytics, cloud)
• 2 internal enablers (transparency, agility)
• 2 poles (profile & requirements of company, expectations & requirements of candidates)
• Attributes related to one of the poles
• 2 internal enablers (transparency, agility) with influence on both poles
• 4 influencing variables (tools, knowledge, time, process)
• 1 external frame (market), 1 internal frame (company culture)
In the center of the process are not the profile or company requirements – it is the candidate.

Part II: Companies and recruiters need to learn “how to apply for candidates”

12 Okt
12. Oktober 2014

Some companies such as law firms in Germany rate candidates still by their final marks mainly. Even if candidates seem to have a good fit in experience and already worked some years in the same legal field they are not considered for an interview below a specific mark. This is raising the question which are today’s relevant quality criteria for a candidate selection?

As a scientific research recently found out recruiters spend an average of six seconds to scan a resume and to decide if a candidate fits or not – recruiters self-reported they would spend four to five minutes per resume (source: TheLadders). This is not a surprise as time is always critical in recruiting projects. On the other hand quality is critical too. It just makes the resume to the deciding admission ticket. Well, today everybody can write everything in his profile and even resume. So how to verify information are correct? And how to find passive talents that did not pimp their profile or resume? Maybe here are new social tools like TalentBin the future. TalentBin for example tries to aggregate and combine public available social information from multiple sources in the net to create an information profile.

In my interviews some candidates also for executive positions reported about a very complex recruiting process. After they have been contacted they had up to four telephone interviews with different recruiters and ended up on a shortlist with a high number of candidates (up to 10) that was prepared for the client company. Unfortunately such processes are mostly not explained in the first interview otherwise many candidates might abandon the application. How much time would an experienced professional who is not desperately searching for a job invest in such a process with a 1:10 chance of success even after several interviews? Thinking of the Generation Y it is hard to believe that anyone would be interested – and this generation will represent 35% of the workforce in 2020. The Generation Y expects that companies apply for candidates and they demand a very personal and lean recruiting process.

For sure process and selection criteria are often set by the client company and recruiters might be “only” the executing part. On the other hand external (and internal) recruiters should understand themselves also as consultant of the client (or internal business partner) how to build a modern and fitting recruiting process with appropriate quality criteria. They have to act as change agent in a changing external and internal environment.

I made myself a lot of positive experience with external recruiters and also how I was contacted in active sourcing projects. Also there were reported many positive experiences in my interviews. But overall it still seems that a transformation of the recruitment process has often not started neither in the HR department of companies nor at executive search consultants or agencies. In consideration of the HR top trends 2014 (demographic change, shortage of qualified stuff and social media) this sounds surprisingly (source: Recruiting Trends 2014). Technology is already changing how we work and requiring different and new skill sets (source: Deloitte 2014). That means also that recruitment needs a shift, new HR skills, new HR technologies and a new approach for talent acquisition. In a global study only 13% of asked HR leaders claimed to be ready for the new challenges in their department (source: Deloitte 2014).

Finally there are some simple recommendations for recruiters based on the input from my interviews:

  1. Apply for a candidate
  2. Scan the candidate, not only the profile or CV
  3. Consult your client (or internal business partners) to choose a smart and lean selection process and discuss the quality criteria

Companies and recruiters need to learn “how to apply for candidates” (Part I)

21 Jul
21. Juli 2014

Apply for Candidates!

Since nearly ten years we are talking about Web 2.0, Social Web and how new technologies have changed our daily live and business. Today we face four digital mega trends that are catalysts of change: mobile internet usage, cloud computing, social communication and analytics / big data (Source: PWC, Gartner). Product management and development paradigms have massively evolved into an agile, dynamic and user and customer centric approach. Organization forms of companies are getting leaner and smarter to be able to act, react and execute in a much more competitive and dynamic market environment. If the implementation of “change” is successful and sustainable the positive effects are visible in mostly all parts of a company, no matter if marketing department, service or sales team. How about the recruitment department? In the last twelve month I talked to candidates and companies, but also to friends and colleagues in semi-structured interviews about their experience with “active sourcing” and companies’ recruiting processes.

Strictly speaking active sourcing is not a new concept. External recruiting-consultants have been sourcing actively for potential candidates since more than 60 years, but mostly focused on executive search. So what is new since Web 2.0 emerged? Professional social networks, blogs and other online communities make it easy for “everybody” to search for talents online. Many employees show skills and professional experience in their social profiles as a kind of reduced resume or release knowledge related articles in personal blogs and special interest communities. So active sourcing is not a tool only to search candidates for executive positions anymore, but for any role that is hard to fill. This is in line with expectations of potential candidates as 40% would prefer “to be found” instead to search themselves for a job (source: Recruiting Trends 2014). The passive job hunter is on the rise.

So, it is easy to search for candidates in the web. The flipside of this coin is a low average quality of how candidates are contacted. In some cases recruiters send superficial personalized messages on LinkedIn (or Xing in Germany) that sound like a kind of bulk mails with job offers. Often candidates seem to be selected by a few fitting keywords without accurate research on current job title, skills, education or career level. This is a very impersonal and superficial active sourcing approach and it creates a negative perception on the candidate site. Some other recruiters contact candidates directly via phone without sending an email or message before – obviously with the principle “give it a try”. It seems to be faster to make three minutes a cold call instead of reading five minutes more carefully the profile or to search for additional information about the candidate on blogs or a personal website. Those that act here as “recruiters” are of course not always experienced professionals. In some cases even students or interns without any recruitment experience make the first contact.

As a scientific research recently found out recruiters spend an average of six seconds to scan a resume and to decide if a candidate fits or not. Recruiters self-reported they would spend four to five minutes per resume (source: TheLadders).

Even at executive search it is obviously not always common to be well prepared before talking to potential candidates. More than 40% of targeted candidates reported that they felt the recruiters were not well prepared in the interviews (referring to an interview stage after agreement on a general interest from both sides). Although those candidates were contacted by the recruiter they found themselves after reflecting some interest already in a one-sided applicant position. Today we have a candidate market in many industries. An application process needs to be bilateral. Companies (and also recruiters) have to understand that they must apply for a candidate too.

What are the most important requirements candidates expect from recruiters?

I collected and structured the following items from candidates:

  1. Transparency about the recruiting process & timing
  2. Clear Communication & Feedback
    • Communicating the right expectations
    • Listening to the candidate’s expectation
    • Fast and honest feedback
      • About fit from the recruiter even before direct company contact
      • 1-2 working days after a direct interview with the company (even if it is just a status update, no decision)
    • Clear briefing before first company contact
    • Honest reflection of company’s situation and culture
  1. Well prepared recruiters beyond reading a candidate’s resume
  2. Respect for the time invest of a candidate

So transparency and communication are most important to set the right expectations and build trust. Without feedback there is no base for trust. It was often reported by candidates that after reaching a specific stage such as being presented from the recruiter to the company or having the first interview with the company, there was no feedback at all. In some cases it took weeks, in some months and in some cases the candidate never heard anything again from the recruiter. Of course that is the worst case. But after a candidate invested time in a recruiting process, it is naturally that he expects this his time invest is respected. And to get at least a short feedback about the main reasons for rejection is a fair expectation.


How mobile devices change recruitment (Wie mobile Geräte die Rekrutierung verändern)

02 Jul
2. Juli 2013

How mobile and social Web change the recruiting world (Part 2)

Beside the social factor there is a second important variable that drives change in recruitment.

The MOBILE-factor

Around 40% of Germans already use the Internet via mobile devices (D21, 2013) and more than 50% of the German Internet users go mobile online (Accenture, 2012, D21, 2013). After all, 28% of Germans have already started looking for a job mobile (Recruiting Trends, 2013), while most German companies’ career and recruitment activities are mostly unprepared for mobile seekers. Nearly 80% of mobile users complain that career opportunities are insufficiently optimized for mobile. Only between 7 and 10% (Recruiting Trends, 2013 / Internal Study monsters 2013) of companies declared to be prepared for mobile users in the field of career and recruitment. Over 40% of companies do not know e.g. if their website is technical “mobile ready” or have even not thought about it yet. Job and career sites should be designed „responsive“ or „liquid“ to ensure a consistent and legible image on all browser sizes. Ideally, the career page and the company’s website are designed following the principles of „mobile first“. Although only a few candidates actually apply via mobile devices in Germany, the search and selection of information on mobile devices is an important part on the application path of potential candidates. In Germany nearly every application is including an individual cover letter, what create an additional obstacle to apply mobile.

The Internet itself is becoming a kind of mobile content. The mobile usability is not an aspect of the web offer, but the web itself is a part of the mobile offering and mobile devices are the primary target of use.

Technology is a necessary base, but simplicity and direct benefit of use are the key to make mobile application successful. The most powerful and comprehensive application will not win automatically the most users, but the one that is most easy to use and that creates the highest value.

Due to the different mobile ecosystems such as Android, iOS and Windows Mobile so-called “web apps” are becoming more attractive because these work on all mobile platforms. Only one system has to be developed and maintained. Often here is a subdomain „m.domainname“ used.

Wie das mobile und soziale Netz die Rekrutierungswelt verändern (Teil 2)

Neben dem sozialen Faktor existiert eine zweite wesentliche Variable, die Veränderungen in der Rekrutierung vorantreibt.

Der MOBILE-Faktor

Rund 40% der Deutschen nutzen das Internet bereits über mobile Endgeräte (D21 2013), bei den Deutschen Internetnutzern geht mehr als jeder zweite mobil online (Accenture 2012, D21 2013). Immerhin 28% der Deutschen suchen bereits mobil nach einem Job (Recruiting Trends 2013), während die meisten Unternehmen im Bereich Karriere und Rekrutierung überwiegend unzureichend auf zunehmende mobile Zugriffe vorbereitet sind. Rund 80% der mobilen Nutzer bemängeln, dass Karriereangebote nur unzureichend mobil optimiert sind. Nur 10% (Recruiting Trends 2013) bzw. 7% (Interne Studie Monster 2013) der Unternehmen geben an, auf mobile Nutzer im Bereich Karriere und Rekrutierung vorbereitet zu sein, über 40% wissen es nicht genau oder haben noch keine Planung dazu. Stellenanzeigen und Karriereseite sollten „responsive“ oder „liquid“ gestaltet sein, um ein einheitliches und lesbares Bild über sämtlich Browsergrößen zu gewährleisten. Im Idealfall ist der Karrierebereich und die Webseite des Unternehmens nach den Prinzipien von „mobile first“ aufgebaut. Auch wenn sich noch wenige Kandidaten tatsächlich über mobile Geräte in Deutschland bewerben, was unter anderem der Deutschen „Anschreibe-Kultur“ zuzuschreiben ist, wird die Suche und Informationsselektion über mobile Geräte ein wichtiger Teilfaktor des Bewerbungspfads für aktive und passive Kandidaten. Das Internet selbst wird zunehmend zu einem mobilen Inhalt. Dh. nicht die mobile Nutzbarkeit ist ein Teilaspekt des Webangebots, sondern das Web selbst ist ein Teilbereich des Mobilangebots und die mobilen Geräte sind das primäre Nutzungsszenario.

Dabei ist die Technologie die notwendige Basis, im Vordergrund stehen aber die Einfachheit der Nutzung und der eindeutige Mehrwert für den Anwender. Nicht die kompletteste und funktionsreichste Applikation gewinnt die meisten Anwender, sondern diejenige, die am einfachsten zu bedienen ist und den höchsten Nutzen spendet. Aufgrund der unterschiedlichen mobilen Ökosysteme wie Android, iOS und Windows Mobile werden dabei so genannte Web-Apps immer attraktiver, da diese Plattform übergreifend arbeiten – man pflegt und entwickelt nur ein System. Oftmals wird hierfür im Web eine „m.“ Subdomain genutzt.

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