Tag Archive for: Social 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.

The unknown company: How to attract job seekers?

17 Mrz
17. März 2014

In the so called “war for talents” big brands such as Hugo Boss, Audi or Google have an unbeatable advantage. They are also employer brands and get often enough applicants because potential talents have already a passion for their products or company. How can an unknown mid-size company compete in such a race?  Many companies look desperately for very rare profile candidates, e.g. in the IT or engineering segment and several of them have a lot to offer: Great workspace, free fruits and drinks, leisure offers (fitness club, table soccer), child care, free language trainings, health care or life insurance or pensions (especially UK)… But how can companies better reach potential talents and make such benefits more visible? To build an employer brand is a long term strategy that will take time. A first step is a more creative usage of a simple job posting. The posting is a direct contact point with potential candidates. Many companies still do not understand that they have also to apply for candidates and that it is not enough to post a job and pray for getting the right applicants. A posting should not be a simple text ad with a logo, it could be advertsing for the company showing real people, products, workspace and office. To apply and be ready to change a job is also a very emotional moment. You have to gain trust even to make the candidate send his application. Trust is based on transparency and positive emotions.

A scientific study of the Goethe-University of Frankfurt/Main (Germany) compared a plain text job posting (standard ad) with a designed job posting (employer branding ad) that includes multiple pictures, a company video, interactive elements and was structured like a website with a simple navigation. The study was based on a multi-method experiment design combining pre-survey, laboratory experiment including eyetracking and post-survey with 180 persons. The research was conducted with two groups, each 90 persons that have seen only one type of posting, the standard ad or the employer branding ad. Both ads were for the same position and company (midsize, no top 100 brand) and had the same text description. The participants had to answer the same questions before and after they have seen the specific posting (rating on five point Likert scale). They did all not know the company before the test.

The study had two main findings:

1.) The residence time on the employer branding posting was with 3.7 minutes nearly the double of the residence time on the standard positing (1.9 minutes).

2.) All image related evaluations shown a significant uplift after the participants have seen the employer branding posting, while there was no real change for the standard ad.

For example the company was rated as more likeable, more authentic, more reliable and even more successful (compared to the standard posting). While the first two are explainable through the pictures of employees and the company video, the last two are definitely a subjective impression. The results show that such a designed posting with company insight can bring a candidate in a very positive emotional mood. Finally another result was that the willingness to apply for a job at the specific company increases with an employer branding ad.

The employer branding job posting was created and invented in late 2012 by my team and me at Monster Worldwide Germany. It is including full compatibility also on mobile devices (responsive design). Still it is not used by enough companies. Some firms do not understand the need for such an approach, some are still afraid to create a transparent picture of their company. But it is an opportunity, not a risk, especially as the current Generations Y or Z expect more transparency and authenticity than past generations. In times of social media it is difficult to hide something for a company, on the other hand there might a lot positive to show if communicated proactively. The employer branding job posting is no universal remedy against too less applicants, but an interesting and important tool for recruiters, especially for companies with not well known brands.

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.

How social Web changes recruitment (Wie das soziale Netz die Rekrutierung verändert)

09 Jun
9. Juni 2013

How mobile and social Web change the recruiting world (Part 1)

The impact of social media and mobile devices on our daily life is pervasive and lead to profound changes. These changes still show a wide range of regional differences in intensity and dynamic and affect many industries, also the recruitment and applicant market.

The SOCIAL-Factor

Social media and social networks induce significantly altered behavior patterns of job seekers. In other words, the new possibilities lead to additional ways how to find jobs, how to become aware of new career opportunities and how to proceed when applying. Simultaneously social media offers for companies and recruiters additional options to spread vacancies online or to search for potential employees. In particular it is easier to reach so-called passive candidates. More and more people, who could imagine a job change, would prefer to be found by the new job instead to search for a new job. In Germany 40% of all seekers act as such passive seekers (Recruiting Trends 2013). Within social media it is especially the sharing of information and an increasing recommendation behavior that work as catalysts to fill a vacancy.
For a successful integration of social media in the recruitment process it is important to pay attention on authentic content and credibility of corporate messages. The target group, means social media users are extremely critical and do not forgive companies if posts or any other social activities seem to be a fake or not authentic. A huge number of failed viral recruiting videos even from top brand companies show unplanned negative feedback from the target group.

It is not necessary to invest a big budget to create an authentic and successful viral video clip. Twitter demonstrates how to create a video with a small budget based on humour and motivated employees. This is a credible and likeable presentation of the employer brand and matches with the company identity. But of course that does not work for every company. E.g. a bank needs to stay serious and trustable also in a viral clip even if the target group of this activity is below 25 years.

Nevertheless, especially for unknown brands and SMEs social media offers a favorable platform for effective employer branding. Unfortunately, some companies understand the need for transparency still more as a threat rather as an opportunity. In 2012 only 3.1% of new hires in the German top 1,000 companies resulted from social media channels. However, social media is not a replacement for traditional recruitment channels but an important addition, depending on position and target group of candidates. According to the recruiting trends 2013, 56.7% of German job seekers like the integration of social media channels into companies’ recruiting activities. Despite this, over 60% of the seekers still use classic job boards as a primary tool for job search. But more than 62% of Germans students are connecting via social networks with companies when they start to look for their first job (Microsoft / Unicum 2012).

This is at least an indication that this generation will likely have no reservations to use social media as active element in their future career planning.

To be continued…

Wie das mobile und soziale Netz die Rekrutierungswelt verändern (Teil 1)

Social Media und der Einfluss mobiler Endgeräte auf das tägliche Leben sind allgegenwärtig. Die Folge ist Veränderung, wenn auch mit regional unterschiedlicher Intensität und Dynamik. Auch der Rekrutierungsmarkt bzw. der Bewerbermarkt bleiben von dieser Veränderung nicht verschont.

Der SOCIAL-Faktor

Soziale Medien und Netzwerke führen zu deutlich veränderten Verhaltensmustern bei der Jobsuche. Oder anders gesagt, die neuen Möglichkeiten führen zu zusätzlichen Wegen, wie man Jobs findet, auf neue berufliche Optionen aufmerksam wird und wie man bei der Bewerbung vorgeht. Gleichzeitig bieten die sozialen Medien auch für Unternehmen und Recruiter zusätzliche Optionen, Vakanzen online zu verbreiten oder nach potentiellen Mitarbeitern zu suchen. Vor allem so genannte passive Kandidaten können viel besser erreicht werden. Immer mehr Menschen, die sich einen Jobwechsel vorstellen könnten, möchten lieber vom Job gefunden werden als selber danach zu suchen – in Deutschland über 40% (Recruiting Trends 2013)[1]. Innerhalb der sozialen Medien wirken vor allem das Teilen von Informationen (das so genannte „Sharing“) und ein zunehmendes Empfehlungsverhalten als Katalysatoren für das Besetzen von Vakanzen.

Um die sozialen Medien erfolgreich in den Rekrutierungsprozess einzubinden, ist auf authentische Inhalte und Glaubwürdigkeit der Unternehmensbotschaften zu achten. Die Zielgruppe, also Nutzer die soziale Medien aktiv leben, ist hier extrem kritisch und verzeiht Unternehmen selten, wenn Beiträge oder Aktivitäten gestellt wirken. Die zahlreichen missglückten Viralvideos namhafter Unternehmen auch im Bereich Rekrutierung zeigen eher ungewollte Verbreitungseffekte. Dabei braucht man nicht unbedingt ein großes Budget um ein authentisches Rekrutierungsvideo zu erstellen. Twitter zeigt wie man mit Witz und motivierten Mitarbeitern glaubhaft die Arbeitgebermarke präsentiert. Aber natürlich passt das nicht zu jedem Unternehmen – die Identität des Unternehmens muss in jedem Fall gewahrt bleiben. So kann eine Bank ihre Botschaft sicherlich modern und humorvoll gestalten, sollte aber dennoch immer serös bleiben und die Ansprache im Vergleich zum Unternehmensauftritt nicht grundsätzlich verändern, auch wenn die primäre Zielgruppe der Aktivität unter 25 Jahren liegt.

In jedem Fall bieten die sozialen Medien gerade für unbekanntere Unternehmen und den Mittelstand eine günstige Präsentationsplattform für effektives Employer Branding. Leider verstehen einige Unternehmen die erforderliche Transparenz immer noch mehr als Gefahr statt als eine Chance. 2012 resultierten gerade einmal 3,1% der Einstellungen in den Deutschen Top 1.000 Unternehmen aus Social Media Kanälen. Allerdings sind die sozialen Medien auch kein Ersatz für die klassischen Rekrutierungskanäle sondern vielmehr eine wichtige Ergänzung, abhängig von Position und Kandidatenzielgruppe. 56,7% der Bewerber finden es laut den Recuriting Trends 2013 gut, wenn Unternehmen sozialen Medien in der Rekrutierung einsetzen. Dennoch setzen über 60% der Jobsuchenden auf klassische Stellenbörsen als primäres Instrument zur Stellensuche. Über 62% der Deutschen Studenten vernetzen sich allerdings schon im Studium über soziale Netzwerke mit Unternehmen, um nach dem Abschluss einen schnelleren Einstieg zu finden (Microsoft/Unicum 2012). Das ist zumindest ein Hinweis darauf, dass diese Generation auch in Zukunft wenig Berührungsängste haben dürfte, Social Media als aktives Element bei der Karriereplanung zu nutzen.

Fortsetzung folgt…..


[1] Die Recruiting Trends sind eine jährliche Studie der Universitäten Frankfurt, Bamberg, des CHRIS Instituts und von Monster Deutschland.

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