Talent Acquisition Leadership

Practical Tips for Effectively Using Social Media to Recruit Top Talent

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I’ve often found that advice about social media, while well-intentioned, isn’t practical, actionable, or sustainable. Then there’s the advice of Chloe DiVita of Perceptive Presence. I love her practical insights because they’re straightforward. And they work! I had the opportunity to chat with her recently on how business leaders, HR professionals, and recruiters can better leverage social media to find top talent.

Scott WintripPractical Tips for Effectively Using Social Media to Recruit Top Talent
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How to Tell if a Job Candidate’s Ability Matches His Resume: 4 Tips to Help Weed Out Future Bad Hires and Choose the Best Candidates Every Time

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It’s always exciting when you receive a resume from a job candidate who seems like a great fit. It’s even more exciting when the candidate nails the interview. And there’s nothing quite like the relief and satisfaction you feel when the person accepts the position. Now you’ve got yourself a brand-new employee. Unfortunately, sometimes the fairy tale stops here when people who give great interviews turn out to be bad hires.

Most of us have experienced being blindsided when an exciting candidate turns out to be a really disappointing employee. It’s always discouraging when the person you interviewed is not the same individual who shows up to work. You find yourself wondering what went wrong. It usually comes down to a few mistakes that you can easily remedy.

This starts with the resume. Even the most impressive resume paints an incomplete picture of the candidate’s potential. Relying too heavily on a resume is no better than judging a book by its cover. To combat this common problem, here are four tips to help you avoid making hires you later regret.

Tip #1 – Develop clear hiring criteria.
Your excitement about a candidate’s resume can interfere with sound decision-making. We can select the wrong people for the wrong reason when our feelings get in the way. To counter this tendency, develop clear hiring criteria complete with a detailed list of skills and personality traits that the right person must exemplify. Also, be sure to list the undesired traits you need to avoid.

It’s important to remember that feelings are not facts. Emotions, left unchecked, easily become false evidence that candidates fit roles when they do not. Don’t let an outstanding resume blind you to the fact that the candidate is not right for the position you’re hiring for. Always refer back to your hiring criteria when you think you’ve found the perfect match. This step checks your accuracy and ensures that you seek proof that the talent matches the job you need to fill.

Tip #2 – Pose written questions to accompany the resume.
Resumes are a mere glimpse into someone’s experience, background, and skills, providing. An incomplete picture of the job candidate. Not to mention candidates want to put their best selves forward in a resume, and often this includes incomplete details, exaggerations, and sometimes outright lies. Asking candidates to submit written answers to several questions helps provide you with a clearer picture of who they are

What should you ask your job candidates? The best strategy is to pick key details from your hiring criteria and pose specific questions to gather those details. For example, for a sales position you could ask, “How do you sell? Be specific, but limit your response to two or three paragraphs.” Only those candidates who followed your directions and whose answers match your criteria should move on to the next phase of your selection process.

Tip #3 – Seek more proof of fit through experiential interviews.
Conventional interviews don’t really work because candidates are always on their best behavior. They say what you want to hear, only share the best parts of their backgrounds, and make promises of how well they will perform on the job. Unfortunately, these promises don’t always translate into quality work. Experiential interviews are the answer to this problem.

Instead of listening to a candidate’s promises, seek truth. Focus your interviews around having candidates perform sample work that demonstrates the skills and experience noted on their resume. This work should focus on key aspects of the job. Have salespeople demonstrate how they sell. Require computer programmers to write sample code. Set up a scenario where a customer service manager has to solve a real business problem. Watch carefully as they do the work. You’ll quickly see whether the candidate is a good fit, or not.

Tip #4 – Ask candidates about their work failures during phone interviews, then listen carefully.
Everyone has failed at some point in their careers. However, potential hires may be hesitant to share about their failures during interviews. This is a red flag you should watch out for.

When a candidate glosses over past failures, beware. This often indicates that they won’t be a transparent employee or leader within the company. But candidates who are honest, humble, and able to share openly about past failures will positively contribute to your company’s success. The failure question is a great way to identify the candidates that are willing to bring transparency to their role within your organization.

An impressive resume doesn’t always mean your candidate will perform as expected. And conventional interviews don’t work the way we wish they did. To hire the best talent each time you interview, you need to take a closer look at your candidates. Learn who they are, assess their performance and integrity, and then rate them with your specific job criteria in mind. These extra steps will help you gain a clear view of every applicant, so you know exactly who is showing up for work on Monday morning…and you won’t be disappointed.

Scott WintripHow to Tell if a Job Candidate’s Ability Matches His Resume: 4 Tips to Help Weed Out Future Bad Hires and Choose the Best Candidates Every Time
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Timely Advice From One of HR’s Top Advocates

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There are lots of people who are passionate about the positive impacts of the HR profession. Then there’s Steve Browne. He’s a gifted HR leader combined with being the ultimate cheerleader for the profession. I had the pleasure of chatting with him recently. You’ll want to be sure to print a copy of this conversation and refer to his advice often.

Scott: For those who’ve not yet met you Steve, what should they know about you and your work?

Steve: I’m kind of a unicorn when it comes to Human Resources because it’s the only field I’ve been in throughout my career. I’ve held various roles in distinctly different industries, but always in HR. My current role is the one people in HR dream about because I’m expected to be a strategic businessperson. It’s not that I haven’t done this in the past, but now it’s more intentional. I get to work on culture and moving the business forward through our people.

Scott: I love the title of your new book, “HR on Purpose !!” Why was it important for you to write this book now?

Steve: It’s important because I’ve grown weary of people tearing down Human Resources. We’re one of the few fields where people take shots at it on a fairly regular basis. I want my peers in HR to know that what they do matters organizationally, personally, and professionally. I felt that I had a message that was positive and genuine based on experience and not just theory.

Scott: One of the valuable things you address in the book is changing counterproductive mindsets. You challenge readers to give up their preconceived notions about HR and instead develop HR into what it could be. What’s one of the most common of these counterproductive mindsets? How can people begin to change this right now?

Steve: A significant counterproductive mindset is basing how you practice HR on the exceptions versus the majority. We tend to take some anomaly in behavior and make a massive, stringent policy or procedure to address a fringe situation. We continue to miss the majority of people who are great to work with and are doing their best. We’ve dehumanized the workplace through structure and systems. The first step to take is to understand that if you loosen the reigns a bit that chaos will not break out. It just won’t. People want to have expectations and parameters to work within, and not a set of do’s and don’ts. Trust that people will bring their best, and they will.

Scott: Many HR leaders tell me that they’re ready to embrace new ideas, such as the faster hiring process I developed that eliminates hiring delays. However, some are having trouble getting company executives to buy-in. How can these HR leaders engage executives to support them in making these changes?

Steve: I believe we need to remind ourselves that executives are employees too. Since we have the ability and opportunity to work with all employees, we can feel that executives are approachable if we treat them as people and not titles. HR needs to learn to speak the language of every level of the organization so that they can be heard and valued. When meeting with execs there needs to be a business case and a business impact as part of the conversation. It’s not that ideas aren’t great on their own. However, putting together something from an overall business perspective is more likely to be considered because you’re speaking their language.

Scott: One’s one simple secret most people don’t know about staying passionate as an HR leader?

Steve: I think you have to truly believe in people. Not some poster catchphrase or cutesy slogan. Believe in others. They’re aching for someone to do that on a regular basis throughout companies of all sizes and types. People want to belong and HR can be that link for them. That energy drives passion. I know people will disappoint me, but I will disappoint others at times as well. The humanity and uniqueness of people motivates me because I get to meet and learn about the world through their eyes. It never gets old.

Scott: What’s one closing piece of advice you’d like to share with our readers?

Steve: I’d love for your readers to know that what they do matters and has a lasting impact on the lives of people. This is far more than “work” or “HR.” We’re in the people business and we have the chance to shape and improve lives. Something as simple as a warm “Hello” that is intentional and not just done in passing may be the one thing that breaks through to someone who needed to be acknowledged and noticed. I don’t mean to sound utopian. It’s just time for HR to own who it is and what it does within an organization. It’s time for us to practice on purpose!! (double exclamation points intended)

Scott: It’s hard not to feel good about the valuable work done by HR professionals when you’ve got Steve Browne telling it like it is. Be sure to read his book and follow his work. Here’s how you can do both:

Buy Steve’s book

Read Steve’s blog

Follow Steve on LinkedIn

Scott WintripTimely Advice From One of HR’s Top Advocates
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How to Create a Rising Tide of Talent Within Your Organization

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Great leaders lift up the people around them. They help employees harness their natural abilities, guide the development of their skills, and support them along an internal career path. Nurturing your organization’s team members has many payoffs. Staff member stay dedicated to the company and its mission; employee retention remains high; and in time, the organization gains its next generation of leaders.

Unfortunately, the persistent talent shortage across the globe is undermining these efforts. There continue to be more jobs than qualified people to fill them. Further, this talent shortage is delaying promotions, which keeps people stuck in their current jobs because they’re the only ones who can do that job. Even when there’s a career path for them, talented employees can’t advance in their own company; they can’t step up because there’s simply no one available to take their place.

You can solve this problem by creating a rising tide of talent available to your organization. Instead of focusing on succession plans that fail for lack of qualified successors, developing a continuous influx of top talent expedites advancement and elevates careers at all levels in your organization.

How can you create a rising tide of talent? By ensuring your organization maintains a wealth of quality people.

Determining Your Current Talent Wealth

Talented employees who do outstanding work are the secret ingredients that make a company great. Sustaining a full complement of good employees fuels succession plans and helps you maintain a competitive advantage.

Just as there are levels of personal wealth, so too are there levels of talent wealth within all companies. The departments in your organization are either talent rich, talent poor, or hover somewhere in between. Understanding your current level of talent wealth is important. Read the following descriptions and share them with your organization’s department heads and HR. Work together to determine which description best describes the current ranking of each department.

1. Talent Rich Departments

Talent rich departments employ mostly above average people, many of who are top talent in their fields of expertise. These people consistently do high quality work, often exceeding expectations and beating deadlines. Numerous advancement opportunities are almost always filled from within, creating new job opportunities. These jobs are filled quickly from a pipeline filled with high quality job candidates.

2. Talent Strong Departments

Talent strong departments employ people who are at least average at what they do. Some of these employees are top talent in their fields of expertise. They do quality work that meets expectations and deadlines. Advancement opportunities are frequently filled from within, creating new job opportunities. Some open jobs are filled quickly from a pipeline of talent. Other jobs take longer to fill, delaying promotions until new employees are found.

3. Talent Stable Departments

Talent stable departments have a mixture of average and below average performers. Just a few, if any, employees would be designated as top talent. The performance of these employees is typically adequate, although they can struggle to meet expectations and deadlines. Advancement opportunities, when they occur, are sometimes filled from within. When jobs become open, it usually takes days to fill some of them, weeks or months to fill the rest. Promotions are often delayed or even cancelled when backfilling a role takes too long.

4. Talent Poor Departments

Talent poor departments employ a significant number of below average performers, along with a handful of people who could be considered average in their roles. Rarely is there anyone on the team who could be considered top talent. Job performance is usually mediocre at best. Deadlines are often missed and expectations are rarely exceeded. Advancement opportunities are rare, prompting people to leave for other positions. When jobs open, it takes weeks or months to fill them.

Shaping the Future of Your Organization’s Talent

Talent rich businesses thrive while others struggle. Make maintaining high talent wealth throughout your company a top priority to ensure its success. Require that each department improve their ranking (or maintain their talent rich level if that’s already been achieved). Support department heads in filling open jobs and replacing subpar performers with quality hires. Work together with each department to set a goal and a deadline for this improvement, such as raising their current ranking one level or more by the end of the next business quarter. If you need help drawing in quality job candidates and conducting an efficient hiring process, my new book will show you how.

The flow of talent in your organization will determine its future, lifting careers or sinking them, including your own. Hire exceptional people. Help them to be the best versions of themselves. Offer them a path that elevates their careers and yours. Build and maintain a wealth of talent that makes your organization an unstoppable force in the marketplace.

This article originally appeared on Great Leadership with Dan McCarthy.

Scott WintripHow to Create a Rising Tide of Talent Within Your Organization
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How to Keep Job Reqs from Getting Stuck in the Slow Lane

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upset driverSlow drivers are frustrating. Especially when they hang out in the left-hand passing lane. They backup traffic and create unnecessary delays.

This same issue is happening in organizations. Hiring managers are taking their foot off the gas of the selection process. Staffing professionals and corporate recruiters end up getting stuck behind them, unable to move things forward efficiently.

How does this play out? It often goes like this. You find a candidate who’s a good fit. Upon presenting her to the hiring manager, there’s enthusiasm about her potential. So you initiate the interview process. Things start moving forward but suddenly, there’s a scheduling traffic jam. The hiring manager gets busy and ostpones an interview. Then there’s another delay when a key decision-maker goes away on vacation. Days turn into weeks, then a month, then two. Before long, your candidate becomes another recruiting mishap when she takes a job with a faster moving competitor.

Hiring doesn’t have to get trapped in the slow lane. Exploring upfront issues of time and access to people can help you avoid slowdowns and stalls. The conversation goes like this.

“To make sure I can do my best work for you, it helps if I know about constraints around time and people. What time constraints are there in the coming days and next few weeks? What about people? Who else will be involved in interviews and hiring decisions? What constraints are there for accessing these individuals?”

Digging into these details helps keep the process flowing. Especially if you pre-book interview slots in advance to work around the constraints you’ve uncovered.

The best way to solve a problem to is to keep it from happening. Having a conversation about time and access to people up front will help keep you from getting stuck in the hiring slow lane.

Scott WintripHow to Keep Job Reqs from Getting Stuck in the Slow Lane
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The Importance of What You Do

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Writing can be tricky. Sometimes an article has a positive impact. Other times, a piece ends up being a dud. Then there are those articles that stand the test of time. Here’s one of them.

I wrote the original version of The Importance of What You Do 17 years ago. Threase Baker, President of ABBTECH Professional Resources, sent me a copy of the original article, asking if I remembered when I wrote it. She went on to say that she’d been resending it to her staff every month for the past 17 years. Wow! I was stunned.

As a result of her comment, thought it was time to share it again. This time, I’ve updated it to include everyone in companies, organizations, and staffing and recruiting firms who are involved in hiring each day.

I hope you find this piece as meaningful as Threase did.

_________________

You have one of the most important jobs in the world. Why? Because you impact one of the most important aspects of each person’s life—how they earn their income. Your contribution helps them pay their mortgage, feed their families, and purchase birthday presents for their children.

You also make a valuable contribution to the most important resource of a company—their people.

Without you, countless individuals would end up struggling through the job search process. You make it easier by paving the way for them.

Numerous positions would take longer to fill or even go unfilled without the help you provide.

You impact your co-workers each day in ways that you probably do not realize. It may be something as profound as the solution you offer for a problem or as simple as a shared smile that brightens their day.

During the very lonely and frightening experience of being “downsized,” you are there. You are a friendly face at a time when jobseekers need it the most.

Hiring managers benefit not only from your efforts, but also your insights. Your knowledge of hiring and the availability of talented candidates helps them every time you share this information with them.

Can one person make a difference? You already have just by choosing your career.

Thank you for the important impact that you make each day!

Scott WintripThe Importance of What You Do
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