Archive for April, 2015

April 24, 2015

7 Reasons Why Recruitment Should Partner with Marketing

Executive Coaching 2

7 Reasons Why Recruitment Should Partner with Marketing

Every organization reaches a point where its ability to attract new talent demands a new, creative approach. The old way simply doesn’t cut it anymore, and hiring managers grow impatient. So where does one find new inspiration?

Acquiring talent is undeniably similar to marketing. In marketing, as in finding talent, customers (and candidates) must be engaged, convinced and nurtured before a sale (or hire) is completed.

Ultimately, any organization that is struggling to keep up and compete for talent would be remiss to not leverage its internal marketing expertise. Here are a few marketing themes to help reposition an organization on a path to success:

  1. Create a positive experience every time. Some of the largest organizations in the world spend millions of dollars to ensure that customer touch points are positive – which, ultimately, improves the customer experience and drives up revenue. The same principle can be applied to the candidate interview experience. The consequences of a poor interview experience last far beyond the interview itself, as colleagues, friends and family surely come to know about it. It’s key for organizations to ensure that every candidate interaction is positive.
  2. Use job posting titles to engage. A job title is an opportunity to stand out and engage talent. How can any recruiter expect to engage quality talent with a title as unoriginal as Network Administrator? Organizations should use this opportunity (or “copy space” as marketers refer to it) to educate candidates on what makes the organization unique and sets it apart. For example World Class International Organization in Search of Network Infrastructure Star is sure to get much more positive attention – not to mention clicks and inquiries.
  3. Leverage other channels. Attracting talent these days is so competitive, that in many organizations opportunities remain unfilled for months. However, with the volume of tools and people available, there’s no reason for this! I have over 1,000 connections on LinkedIn, who, in turn, connect me to nearly 1,600,000 people (via extended networks). That’s a lot of extra people to help put an opportunity in front of the right candidate. Don’t forget to engage your extended network and ask for help to spread the word! A word of caution however: reciprocity is key. You, too, must be willing to share opportunities when asked. Another channel to consider is recruitment vendors. They’re an extension of an organization. Just remember that to ensure that they have the right collateral and share appropriate messaging on your organizations behalf.
  4. Create content worth sharing. Content (such as a job description) should do more than just communicate job details. Rather, it can be used to establish brand, convey key differentiators, and elevate an organization as a leading employer – provided, of course, that the content is worth sharing. If so, then one of the most potent and inexpensive ways to spread the word is through social media; especially now that integrated communication features such as Share, Like, Re-Tweet and Pin It make it effortless for people to share compelling content.
  5. Repeat and schedule updates. Another great social media feature is the ability to strategically position content in front of a target market when they’re most likely to read it. Many social media aggregators make it easy to schedule and repeatedly distribute content. It’s like running a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl because the content is distributed to a targeted and engaged audience. And best of all, it’s free!
  6. Build and foster communities. A well-developed community engages people and allows them to remain connected to an organization’s brand. Communities come in different forms and sizes, including simple LinkedIn groups and Facebook pages, to comprehensive alumni programs that provide key market updates, attract new talent, and foster new business leads. A well-maintained community builds brand awareness, creates interest, and can be a fantastic source for new and engaged candidates.
  7. Conduct market research. Prior to entering a new market or launching a new product, organizations conduct research to understand market influences, identify obstacles to success, and discover how to best position their product or service. Talent attraction can certainly follow that lead. It amazes me how often talent is described as “one of the top two most important assets for an organization,” and yet it’s rarely given the same resources and budget as a marketing strategy. Market research enables organizations to gain insights on what influences and motivates top talent to consider new career opportunities.

While each of the themes above are beneficial, frankly, the only way to measurably take recruiting to the next level is to embed the principles of marketing within every aspect of an organization’s talent attraction strategy. This includes identifying, engaging, nurturing, and onboarding talent.

Of course, all of this begs the question: “What about organizations that lack the required marketing resources, or whose marketing department barely helps out with simple branding initiatives — let alone all of this extra talent attraction stuff?”

This is a valid concern and common challenge. To find an answer, I consulted a number of marketing leaders within my network. All of their feedback boiled down to this: talent attraction functions must do their homework, build a business case, and convince leadership that it is a worthy investment for additional marketing resources and budget.

In addition, organizations are wise to socialize what they want to achieve by seeking the advice of marketing leaders – because they likely know how, and how not, to proceed. At the same time, bringing marketing leaders into the conversation helps build early consensus and support, which is typically a deciding factor to the executive who will (or won’t) be releasing the additional budget.

As the global economy continues to improve, the fight for talent will grow with intensity. It will be a difficult challenge for many companies. Traditional methods of attracting talent are becoming less useful, and so the need for a different approach is growing. And on a humanistic level, how we interact has also evolved as social media empowers the average person to become more collaborative, bold and influential as opinions are voiced live and with a global reach. One poor interview experience with a candidate, and hundreds — if not thousands — will know about it in a matter of days (sometimes hours).

What this also means is that the close alignment between marketing and talent attraction needs to be more prevalent – and not just to avoid negative candidate feedback, but as a means to better understand and engage hard-to-find talent tactically and strategically.

My opinion is that we hit an inflexion point a while ago, and that talent attraction’s next frontier is clearly a partnership with marketing.

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Joe Minaudo is the leader of the Recruitment Strategy and Transformation practice with The Talent Company (www.thetalent.co), a human resources consulting firm that works closely with clients to develop, optimize and innovate their HR, Recruitment and Talent practices. Joe possesses more than 15 years of recruitment, talent management and workforce planning experience. He has lead recruitment and workforce planning functions for both international and global Big 4 consulting firms. Joe can be found at the following social tools LinkedIn and Twitter.

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April 15, 2015

The 3 Steps to Talent Optimization

Grow & Retain

First of all, what is Talent Optimization?

I get asked this question often and usually by individuals who confuse it with the function of talent development or talent management within their organization.

My definition of Talent Optimization is simply the alignment between the business strategy and the plan for your most important organizational asset, your talent.

It involves three critical steps:

  1. Start with your business strategy and assess its impacts on your talent needs.

The business strategy needs to be at the core of talent optimization.  The business strategy has to drive the desired organization talent outcomes.  Every talent initiative your organization develops, sponsors and participates in must be steered directly from where the business wants to go.  Without this alignment back to your business strategy your organization is simply wasting its time, efforts and money for initiatives that aren’t supporting what is important to your organization’s success.  So many companies have invested heavily in talent focused programs and initiatives over the years which look great…..but many times when I ask them why the created the program they aren’t able to align the purpose of their high visibility programs back to the business strategy.  Simply put, these companies have spent lots of money on “window dressings” and failed to focus their investments into ones that will shape their organization’s talent to where it needs to go.

  1. Assess your current talent to effectively understand current skills and capabilities.

Similar to analyzing the value of an organization’s asset, understanding your organization’s own talent and their capabilities is another critical factor within talent optimization.  Companies need to properly gauge their own talent’s skills, abilities, and limitations to effectively understand the gaps between their current talent and the desired skills and abilities needed to successfully achieve their business strategy and goals.  Very few companies are able to do this successfully.  Most companies understand the skills and competencies needed within each role but fail to understand the full capabilities and experiences of the talent working within that role.  Companies recruit and hire simply to fill their roles and fail to recognize the other skills, abilities and experiences of the new hire beyond the requirements the role.  There are so many great tools and technologies available for organizations to gain a better understanding of their talent which is essential to building an effective organization talent strategy and plan.

  1. Move, develop and recruit talent successfully to meet the organizational needs and goals.

An organization’s ability to effectively move, develop and recruit talent is the third critical factor for an organization to optimize talent.  Companies must be self-aware and understand their true capabilities within talent management, talent development and talent acquisition.  An organization who isn’t effective in managing and developing their own talent will need to rely more on hiring new talent to fulfill the requirements of the business strategy.  The organization must understand the limitations of their talent function and make the appropriate decision to either invest quickly in resolving their functional deficiencies or work around them.

Talent optimization starts at the top of the organization and shouldn’t be just another HR exercise which the executive team and the rest of the organization isn’t fully supporting.  Talent optimization is an organizational function – not just an HR function.

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Simon Parkin is the Practice Leader for HR, Recruitment and Talent Management Solutions at The Talent Company – www.thetalent.co  Simon is recognized as a global thought leader in the acquisition and management of talent and has successfully transformed the Talent function for organizations of all sizes. Simon works closely with clients to build, develop and innovate their Recruitment, Talent and HR functions. He is a former global leader of Recruitment and Talent for a Fortune 100 company. Simon is a featured speaker at a number of HR and Recruitment conferences across North America and an author of many acclaimed articles on innovative Recruitment, Talent and HR trends and best practices. Simon’s full profile can be found at http://ca.linkedin.com/in/simonparkin1 and he can be reached at simon.parkin@thetalent.co

April 13, 2015

Readying Your Organization for the Change in the Labour Market

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The next year will continue to be a period of change and transformation for Human Resources functions across North America.  I have been an HR and Talent professional for over 20 years working with some of the top organizations around the globe.  This year has been one of the busiest years for our Recruitment and Talent Advisory Practice since our inception 7 years ago – and one of the top 3 reasons our clients have called us over the past year has been to help organizations prepare for the change in the labour market.

The market is quickly changing from “an easier to recruit in” employer centric market where the supply of strong talent has easily outnumbered the demand for talent.  In 2015 the demand for talent will quickly overtake the supply of strong talent for the first time in the past 7 years.  Unemployment rates will continue to drop to pre-2007 numbers and the strong talent every organization seeks for their critical roles will be tougher to find.

The smart organizations have been preparing for this change in the labour market over the past year, investing appropriately in their talent management and acquisition functions and practices.  They understand the HR challenges ahead for their organizations and have ensured their functions are positioned in the best direction.

Here are a few of the HR challenges your organization will face in the near future:

  • Retention of your top talent – organizations across the continent are back in growth and will be more aggressive in the recruitment of your top talent to their organizations.
  • Retention of your top recruiters – often an overlooked area of focus but anyone who has heard me speak at a conference knows my view that only 20% of corporate recruiters are good and the first step in recruiting top talent to an organization is to hire great recruiters. So do whatever you can to hold onto the great recruiters you have.
  • Timeliness of your hiring decisions – over the past 7 years, organizations have increased the time they took in interviewing and making their hiring decisions. Unfortunately those organizations will lose the “good-to-great candidates” in their process to other organizations who are quicker to make their hiring decisions.
  • Managing a candidate’s multiple offers and counter offers – with most organizations focused on hiring in 2015, don’t be surprised that the “good-to-great candidates” you make offers to will have the luxury of weighing your offer to at least one other organization’s offer to them – so you better put your best offer forward and not wait to try and negotiate with a candidate as you will lose them to another organization. Or just as tough a scenario will be the candidate’s current organization doing everything possible to prevent the talent from leaving and presenting them with a counter offer.

We work with organizations every day to help them prepare their recruitment practices to be effective (and more efficient) in meeting the demands of the changing labour markets.  As an HR professional, what are you doing to prepare your organization?

 

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Simon Parkin is the Practice Leader for Recruitment, Talent and HR Solutions at The Talent Company – www.thetalent.co  Simon is recognized as a global thought leader in the acquisition and management of talent and has successfully transformed the Talent function for organizations of all sizes. Simon works closely with clients to build, develop and innovate their Recruitment, Talent and HR functions. He is a former global leader of Recruitment and Talent for a Fortune 100 company. Simon is a featured speaker at a number of HR and Recruitment conferences across North America and an author of many acclaimed articles on innovative Recruitment, Talent and HR trends and best practices. Simon’s full profile can be found athttp://ca.linkedin.com/in/simonparkin1

April 6, 2015

Are HR & CEO’s Headed For A Showdown?

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There is definitely a showdown coming. In fact, it may have already arrived. A recent Universum study stated that the “schism within organizations around issues of talent attraction, employer branding and retention have simmered for more than a decade.” In response China Gorman, CEO of the Great Places to Work Institute, wrote on Tuesday that she believes that a massive showdown is coming between HR and CEOs. While I obviously share her belief that the showdown is coming, I don’t agree that HR will be on the losing side.

Call me an optimist but I’m not the only one. In The Talent Company’s HR Pulse study we surveyed human resources professionals globally on the state of HR. The results of this study show that HR’s mood is positive; more than 50% of our respondents indicated that their HR team has improved in the last year.

Let’s look closer at the current state of talent. In their annual CEO survey PwC revealed that 63% of CEO’s are concerned about talent shortages and the availability of key skills. They’re right to be worried.

Study after study has identified talent as a significant gap. For instance, in our recent Pulse on Leadership study, The Talent Company surveyed HR and Business Leaders and fully 54% of our respondents gave their organization a failing grade on identifying current and future leaders. Furthermore, 78% of respondents said that HR needs to be more proactive in partnering with business leadership to develop talent programs.

Why is HR failing at their mandate? The Conference Board says the reasons are varied but attributes it primarily to human resources still being viewed as a support function, administrative overload, HR’s inability to invest in long-term strategic planning and a lack of critical business skills (such as data-driven analysis or forecasting) on the part of HR leaders.

So, you may ask why we’re feeling positive. Again, looking at our HR Pulse results we can see that in the last year HR effectiveness has improved due to process improvements and efficiencies, companies adding key HR expertise to support their growth agenda and better alignment between HR programs and business needs.

HR is finally getting a seat at the table as a strategic partner. The Society for Human Resources Management conducted a survey that indicates that “more than six out of ten HR professionals agreed that their head of HR was strongly involved in business decisions at the board level”.

Now that we have a seat at the table we need to be less concerned with keeping that seat and focus on being able to influence the talent agenda. While the PwC global CEO survey reported that 93% of CEOs know they need to change their strategy to attract and retain talent, 61% of respondents admit they have not done so yet.

The time to act is now. Make the next year a period of change and transformation for your Human Resources and Talent functions.

First, ensure you are able to deliver on your core mandate. Continue to identify process improvements and use technology in smart ways to optimize transactional functions. More importantly, make sure that you retain your key Human Resources professionals.

Once the right team and tools are in place, your Human Resources team members can become true HR Business Partners who can deliver services in a consultative, forward thinking and innovative way.

My colleague, Gord MacDonald, succinctly summarized this approach as The 5 C’s Of Being A Business Consultant:

  • Provide Credible people leadership to the company, with an emphasis on the human versus the capital side of human capital.
  • Build a Collaborative company culture.
  • Leverage the uniqueness of the company Culture. Doing what is right for the company.
  • Influence appropriate Change management at the organizational level.
  • Know what Customers want from the business.

In summary, our HR Pulse results revealed that HR’s top three priorities for the next year are talent and leadership development, talent acquisition and a focus on employee engagement. Focusing on these priorities will help ensure HR are successfully contributing to company growth and profitability.

 

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Kathleen Jinkerson is the Director of HR & Talent Solutions with The Talent Company, a human resources consulting firm that works closely with clients to develop, optimize and innovate their Talent practices. Kathleen possesses almost 10 years of experience in partnering with organizations to help them build their talent capacity as well as their HR and leadership teams. Kathleen is very active on both LinkedIn and Twitter.

 

For more information on The Talent Company and our customized solutions, visit www.thetalent.co

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