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How Retail Hiring Will Change in the Next 5 Years

The shopping experience has changed a lot over the past 10 years. But the experience of applying for a retail job is pretty stuck in the past.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016 there were nearly 5 million retail sales jobs in the U.S. While the retail industry is changing fast and moving from brick-and-mortar to online, retailers still employ a large demographic of Americans. And retailers that want to attract and retain those workers will need to stay innovative.

We asked Kimberly Carroll, principal at HR consulting firm IA, how she sees recruiting and hiring changing among her retail clients.

Goodbye to Paper Applications

“If you can’t hire people quickly, you’re in trouble,” she says. If you’re working with paper applications, like a lot of retailers still are, you slow down the hiring pipeline and deter young applicants. “Especially with seasonal hiring, you need to be able to get candidates in quickly and stay in contact with them.”

Many retailers hire thousands of seasonal employees around the holidays. When you have to manually process paper applications, you can’t quickly assess, hire and onboard candidates — and you likely can’t stay in touch with them about future openings. For all those reasons, paper applications are quickly on their way out as companies move to fully digital hiring processes.

A Better Application Experience

Even the retailers that offer online applications for hourly employees still have big opportunities to improve the user experience. “These days, it’s all about the candidate experience,” she says. Retailers can take a page from tech companies’ playbooks and spend more time understanding their users: the applicants.

“Create a more unified experience,” she says. “Don’t send applicants to different apps and websites to do E-Verify and background checks. Keep them on one online platform, with one look and feel.”

Same-Day Hiring

Carroll mapped out a typical retail hiring scenario. A candidate goes to the mall to apply for jobs. They fill out a paper application, they talk to the store manager — and then they leave the store without a clear answer about next steps, since the manager has to get the employee into the system and go through approvals to make a hire.

But other retailers, maybe at the same mall, support same-day hiring. The candidate can walk a few yards away from that first business and get a job on the spot. “As soon as an applicant leaves, you’ve lost them,” she says.

Amazon is a retailer that’s set a new standard for hiring speed. At Amazon, candidates can fill out an application online and schedule an interview, after which they can be hired on the spot and even start working that day.

When it comes to competing for retail talent, it’s all about speed, Carroll says.

Daily Pay

Not only are companies figuring out how to hire someone right away, Carroll says she’s talking to companies that are paying employees every day.

“Companies are looking at paying retail employees on a daily basis. They’re saying, ‘Can we support that? And if we can, why not do it?’” She says employees are drawn to the instant gratification of immediate pay for every day they work, instead of waiting for a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly check.

Retention Programs for Hourly Employees

For most brick-and-mortar retailers, the largest employee demographic is hourly workers. Retaining hourly workers is always a challenge, but there’s an opportunity to retain and promote those employees, offering them growth beyond entry-level positions.“If you keep losing those employees, you’re losing the skill set you might want in the future. So, the most successful retail organizations are building leaders from within, focusing on retaining more of their hourly workforce,” she says.

She suggests building a career path that starts at the entry-level, hourly position. “People put such a focus on higher education, but there’s nothing wrong with starting at an entry-level job and moving up,” she says. “Take an interest in those employees. Teach them skills, help them process, and turn the job into a career. Retailers need to extend their retention programs to hourly workers, not just salaried employees. ”

The January 2017 Jobs Report: What It Means for Recruiters

The Bureau of Labor Statistics just published its much anticipated January 2017 Jobs Report. While most news outlets focused on the highlights—227,000 new jobs were added in January, and unemployment in the United States is approaching its lowest rate in nine years—it’s important to look at the full report to get a better sense of how the job market looks in your industry. Doing so will give you a more nuanced sense of hiring, training, and compensation trends—and other best practices—on an industry-by-industry basis.

Here are a few ways you can use the information in the report to your advantage:

Be Open to More Training

The labor market is tightening—the pace of hiring has slowed, despite the increase in number of jobs reported in January. Most of the job gains were concentrated in the retail trade, construction, and financial industries. Small businesses, in particular, are reporting difficulty in finding quality candidates. Nearly 70 percent of HR professionals said that they faced challenges hiring qualified candidates in the current talent market, according to the “New Talent Landscape: Recruiting Difficulty and Skills Shortages,” a June 2016 research report released by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). As a result, many HR professionals are casting a wider net, hiring less experienced people and then investing the time and money to train these new hires themselves.

In fact, nearly two-thirds of small businesses reported that they are spending more time training workers than a year ago, according to a survey conducted by The Wall Street Journal and Vistage International, a San Diego executive advisory group. Conducting in-house training can be costly, but doing so provides you with the ability to ensure consistent training among a group of workers. It can also save you money in the long run by increasing productivity.

Opportunity to Increase Diversity

Is one of your goals this year to improve the diversity among your workforce? If so, you’ll benefit in more ways than one by targeting your recruitment efforts toward one of the minority groups listed in the report with higher unemployment. African American adult males, for example, had an over 7 percent seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, as compared to the 4 percent unemployment rate among white males.

Depending on your business, you may want to take advantage of hiring younger, too. The unemployment rate among 16- to 19-year-old African Americans was 26.9 percent, as compared to a 13.2 unemployment rate among white teens. African-American women had a lower unemployment rate—6.7 percent—but it was still higher than the rate of white women ages 20 and older.

Modest Salary Increases on the Rise

Wages have steadily increased in the past few months, meaning you might have to pay more to attract new hires. As Baby Boomers begin to retire and unemployment has decreased, businesses are competing for a smaller pool of workers. Another factor that may have led to the January wage increase: Minimum-wage amounts rose in 19 states.

Salary increases for new hires are still on the modest side. In fact, fewer employers in both the services and manufacturing sectors increased new-hire compensation in December, according to the SHRM Leading Indicators of National Employment report, which was released about a month before the most recent Jobs Report. Only 13 percent of respondents in both sectors said that they increased pay for new hires. For the services sector, that represented a 4.9-point decrease as compared with a year ago. The majority of businesses surveyed said that new-hire compensation remains flat. Overall, wages rose by 2.5 percent as compared to last year, below expectations of 2.7 percent, according to the January Jobs Report.

While the January 2017 Jobs Report offers a big-picture overview of current labor trends, digging deep into industry-specific data is key to ensuring that your hiring, training and compensation practices are aligned with sector-specific growth and opportunities in the coming year.

Photo Credit: visitbasis Flickr via Compfight cc

The Major Hiring Trends That Every Hiring Company Needs to Know

Finding the right talent continues to be an urgent issue for companies. As the economy continues to improve, businesses are experiencing intense competition in the job market. Yet, when it comes to the critical work of talent acquisition, many companies fail to focus their full attention to this urgent need.

In iCIMS’ recently published U.S. Hiring Trends report, we reviewed job creation and demand trends within the United States across all industries, geographies, and company sizes. We discovered there is a notable gap between talent demand (defined as the number of available positions) and talent availability (defined as the quantity of applications). Additionally, we looked at passive candidates, people who are interested in your brand but not yet ready to apply for a new job, and found there are key trends in certain industries, geographic locations, and company sizes. The following presents these findings, and what companies can do to address today’s new trends in talent acquisition.

Data Insights

Whether you’re an organization seeking top talent or a candidate searching for your next career, a little data goes a long way. After analyzing many data points around the concentration of available jobs in the U.S, we found multiple trends tied to available jobs vs. available talent by industry, geography, and company size.

  • The pharmaceutical and construction industries have the most notable gap between talent demand and talent availability.
  • The South has the highest demand for talent with the lowest number of applicants entering the hiring pipeline for open positions compared to all other regions. However, when company size is controlled, the West has the highest demand for talent.
  • All companies, regardless of size, have more applicants entering the hiring pipeline than the number of open positions.

The Rise of the Passive Candidate

According to a 2015 iCIMS survey, 64 percent of job seekers said they would consider joining a talent pool to receive company updates. We examined candidates that have expressed passive job interest and are registered in talent pools by industry and found the following insights:

  • Retail and Healthcare is Prime for Passive: More than half of all passive candidates – people who are interested in your brand but not yet ready to apply for a new job – are interested in companies within the retail and healthcare industries.
  • Passive Candidates Convert Quickly in the Midwest: The Northeast region has the highest concentration of passive candidates interested in jobs. However, the Midwest region has the highest rate of converting passive candidates to active applicants.
  • If You Build Talent Pools, the Candidates will Join: All companies, regardless of size, have more applicants entering talent pools than the number of open positions.

While it’s understood that events beyond our control may affect the ebb and flow of how competitive a certain market is, talent acquisition teams now have the tools they need to take control – regardless of the economic conditions or trends.

As these changes continue to impact the way job seekers search for the right role and employers approach talent acquisition, iCIMS will continue to analyze the data and provide insights into the hiring landscape on a quarterly basis. To learn more about the recent trends, please consider attending the webinar, “How to Create and Maximize Talent Pipelines” hosted by Meghan M. Biro at 2:00 p.m. EDT on October 6, 2015.

 

Image Credit: Bigstock

What Makes Tech Talent Tick?

The problem is crystal clear. But the solution is not as obvious.

In today’s digitally driven world, skilled IT professionals are in short supply. It’s tougher than ever for employers to build the tech teams they need for successful innovation. But just how tough is it?

Tech Hiring By The Numbers

According to research by Microsoft, the IT labor shortage is alarming. A 2012 survey on the state of U.S. technical talent estimates that the number of new jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree in computer science grows each year by 122,300 openings.

In a tough economic climate, that kind of healthy job growth seems like good news. But here’s the rest of the story: The average number of computer science graduates each year is only 59,731. That’s less than half of new job demand.

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See infographic at Dice.com

The survey also uncovered discrepancies between what employers think engineers find attractive in a job, and what engineers actually want. For example:

 89% of software engineers said they applied for 2 jobs or less in the 5 years prior to the survey. This relatively low turnover rate helps explain why it’s so difficult to find and engage experienced software engineers. (Although, in 2014, the picture is no longer as stable. According to a recent Dice.com survey, more than 40% of companies say they’ve lost tech staff in the past 6 months, compared to 30% a year ago.)

  64% of recruiters believe that the opportunity to work with interesting technology is the primary reason software engineers are motivated to consider a new job. But engineers disagree. In fact, less than 10% of those surveyed say cutting-edge technology is a key reason to accept a new position.

  Top reasons engineers respond to recruiter outreach:
45% — Position is relevant to their background;
13% — Interest in the company;
10% — Competitive compensation.
(These priorities also seem to be shifting in 2014. According to Dice.com research, 75% of tech workers who changed jobs recently were motivated primarily by higher compensation.)

To learn more about what motivates technology professionals, consider this snapshot from a Dice survey conducted in 2011:

What Tech Professionals Want in Current Job

Motives Matter For Acquisition and Retention

Knowing what matters to technical professionals is vital to the recruitment process. But it’s just as important for successful workforce retention.

Technical Talent Employer Retention strategeis

 

 

Building Tech Teams That Last

What’s the best approach to finding, hiring and retaining a technical team that will help your business scale? Chris Lea outlined a time-tested 3-step path at the 2011 Future of Web Apps Conference:

Step 1: Find Talent

  Determine the skills you need
  Spend time on social media to see who shares advice and insights. Build relationships
  Review email lists and attend tech meetups to locate and connect with attractive candidates
  Maintain a dedicated ‘tech blog,” separate from your company’s primary blog

Step 2: Hire Talent

  Can they do the job?
  Are they the right fit for the company?

Step 3: Keep Talent

  Commit to a trial period, so both parties have a chance to determine the fit
  Make sure people take vacation periodically — preferably away from a computer

Chris Lea’s retention “must haves” are echoed by other tech recruiting experts in 5 Smart Ways to Retain Top Tech Talent:

  The more closely your job requirements match the employee’s skills, goals and values, the more likely employees will want to stay. Hire for fit, and retention will follow.
  Start strong. Retention efforts should begin during onboarding.
  Avoid burnout. Evaluate project workflows and organizational structure. Set clear expectations about duties and develop equitable workloads. Actively encourage work-life balance.
  Regularly assess employee engagement and motivation. Gather insight to guide development paths and workforce strategies.
  Commit to sustainability at a corporate level. The connection between innovation, community and the environment is very important to many technology professionals.

What Works For You?

As the hiring landscape grows increasingly competitive, creative acquisition and retention strategies can give your organization an advantage.

Is your company struggling to hire new tech talent? Are you losing IT employees you want to retain? Have you tried new approaches? What works for you? Share your comments below.

(Editor’s Note: To discuss World of Work topics like this with the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events each Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome at events, or join our ongoing Twitter conversation anytime. Learn more…)

Image Credit: Pixabay

Hiring: Moving Forward With Mobile? #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Looking for a full recap of the week’s highlights and resources? Read the #TChat Recap: “Mobile Hiring Hits The Fast Lane.”)

Several weeks ago at #TChat Events, our community discussed the rapid rise in demand for mobile recruiting.

The statistics are mind-boggling. Already, it’s estimated that 1 billion job-related searches are initiated each month from mobile devices. That kind of volume means organizations everywhere are racing to make their candidate experience more mobile friendly.

Mobile Recruiting Leaps Forward: Can Hiring Keep Pace?

These explosive mobile adoption figures lead us to wonder — what happens after the recruitment phase?

Are HR organizations committed to mobile-friendly hiring processes — from the offer letter to onboarding — and beyond? What will it take to connect the mobile workforce dots across the entire employee lifecycle? And how can we get there from here? That’s what we’ll explore this week at #TChat Events, with two talent acquisition experts:

Kyle Lagunas, Talent Acquisition Industry Analyst at Brandon Hall Group and
Todd Owens, President and COO at TalentWise, a next-generation hiring platform provider.

Todd took several minutes to help frame this week’s issues in a “sneak peek” hangout with me:

This is an important issue for talent-minded professionals everywhere. So we hope you’ll join the conversation this week. We look forward to hearing your ideas and opinions!

#TChat Events: Mobile Devices + Hiring = Good Match?

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Tune-in to #TChat Radio

#TChat Radio — Wed, Nov 13 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Todd Owens and Kyle Lagunas about how mobile hiring processes extend the candidate experience and improve HR effectiveness. Tune-in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Nov 13 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, we’ll move this discussion to the #TChat Twitter stream, where Dr. Nancy Rubin will moderate an open chat with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these questions:

Q1: What exactly is mobile hiring, and how it is being applied today?
Q2: What are the advantages of hiring anywhere, anytime?
Q3: How can mobile hiring showcase an organization’s corporate culture?
Q4: How can companies get all generations to adopt mobile recruiting/hiring?
Q5: Is mobile hiring a revolution, while mobile onboarding is an evolution?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.
We’ll see you on the stream!

Recruiting: Going Mobile By Demand? #TChat Recap

This week at #TChat Events, the TalentCulture community explored the emerging role of mobile recruiting in today’s world of work.

First, let’s clarify — what does the term “mobile recruiting” mean? CareerBuilder defines it this way:

“The ability to market to prospective talent with or on a mobile device. More importantly, mobile recruiting is about the opportunity to connect with job seekers anywhere, and at any time; provide a better candidate experience; streamline your own process; and engage job seekers in entirely new and unique ways.”

It sounds like a lofty goal — but how do we get there from here? And how are employers overcoming key issues in implementing mobile strategies? To keep the conversation grounded, we welcomed two experts in talent acquisition:

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, Founder and Chief Blogger at Blogging4Jobs and
Rayanne Thorn, VP of Product Marketing and Strategy at Technomedia, global talent management solutions provider.

(Editor’s Note: See highlights from the #TChat events and related resource links at the end of this post.)

Mobile Is Everywhere — Why Isn’t Mobile Recruiting?

Many #TChat participants agreed that mobile recruiting is becoming a necessity, as individuals increasingly rely on smart phones and tablets to connect with information and people in our personal and professional lives.

The convenience of mobile access is rapidly translating into job search behaviors, even though many employers haven’t yet optimized their websites for mobile access. SimplyHired says that the number of workers looking for jobs via mobile devices has skyrocketed, from 2.3 million to 9.3 million in the past year. Talemetry, says that 70% of job seekers are using mobile platforms, while Beyond.com estimates even higher, at 77%. (See the article and infographic.)

However, as the Wall Street Journal explained earlier this year, most companies aren’t moving fast enough. According to a recent CareerBuilder study, only 20% of Fortune 500 companies have mobile-optimized career sites. What is everyone waiting for? Read the full report, “Trends in Mobile Adoption: An Analysis of Mobile Recruitment Efforts Across Industries.”

Mobile Excellence: What Does It Look Like?

So, what does it take for employers to be “mobile recruitment ready”? Ideally, it starts with a website that is that is optimized for mobile interaction. SnapHop, a company that provides mobile talent management solutions, says these elements are necessary for a great candidate experience:

Support for all mobile platforms — access to sites from anywhere using, any mobile device;
Location awareness — automatically sense the candidate’s location and filter information accordingly;
Personalization — tailor information and recommendations by uncovering candidate preferences;
Social media presence — leverage social channels to connect with candidates and share relevant, timely content;
Responsive design — ensure that on all platforms, content is easy to skim and consume, and navigation flows with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling.

Upward Mobility: Advantages of Mobile Recruitment

If you’re still not convinced about the business case for mobile recruitment, CareerBuilder for Employers developed a helpful presentation that outlines key issues and opportunities:

And what did the #TChat crowd say about the pros and cons of mobile recruiting? Check the highlights slideshow and other resource links below for great facts, real-world stories and ideas from across the TalentCulture community.

#TChat Week-In-Review: Mobile Devices + Recruiting = Perfect Match?

Jessica Miller Merrell

Watch the preview hangout now

SAT 10/26:

#TChat Preview:
TalentCulture Community Manager Tim McDonald framed this week’s topic in a post that featured a brief G+ Hangout video with one of our guests, Jessica Miller-Merrell, Read the Preview: “Mobile Devices + Recruiting = Perfect Match?

SUN 10/27:

Forbes.com Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro recommended ways that employers can gain business advantage by embracing mobile strategies. Read: “5 Ways To Use Mobile To Recruit Top Talent.”

MON 10/28:

Related Post: Dan Newman, author of Millennial CEO, offered a broad perspective on the changing of the leadership guard — and its implications for business. Read: “Another Kind of Revolution: Social, Mobile, Cloud.

WED 10/30:

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Listen to the #TChat Radio show now

#TChat Radio: Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman spoke with guests Jessica Miller-Merrell and Rayanne Thorn about how mobile adoption is revolutionizing the recruiting process today’s world of work. Listen to the radio recording now!

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and guests moved over to the #TChat Twitter stream as I led the TalentCulture community through a conversation focused on 5 key questions. For highlights, check the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Insights: Recruiting Is Rockin’ Mobile Platforms

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/tchat-insights-recruiting-is-rockin-mobile-at-lea.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Jessica Miller-Merrell and Rayanne Thorn for helping us explore the potential of mobile platforms in the recruiting process. Your knowledge and passion are infectuous!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about mobile recruiting trends or issues? We’d love to share your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, we dive into another fascinating topic — the role of social media in building brand influence. So save the date (November 6) for another #TChat double-header!

Meanwhile, the World of Work conversation continues. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, on our LinkedIn discussion group. or elsewhere on social media. The lights are always on here at TalentCulture, and your thoughts are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: GailJadeHamilton via Flickr

Recruitment Insights Webinar: Join Us!

What does it take to recruit top talent in today’s business environment? Is a nonstop employer commitment essential? And how can companies link recruiting and retention more closely, for better business results?

Learn from the experts at a very special webinar this Thursday, July 25, at 1pm ET/10 am PT. At 24×7 Recruitment TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, and Achievers Talent Acquisition Manager, Kate Pope, will engage in a dynamic discussion about the factors that make or break recruiting strategies.

WR_247Recruit_SM_404x404-001“I’m passionate about exploring best practices in talent management — and forums like this create an opportunity to share ideas with a broader community” Meghan says. “Earlier this year, TalentCulture and Achievers joined forces to help generate conversations that elevate the future of work. This brings that concept to life in a way that can make a real difference for talent-minded professionals.”

Throughout the webinar, members of the TalentCulture community are invited to share highlights and questions on Twitter by tweeting with Achievers’ #A_Chat hashtag.

Register now at Achievers.com, and join the discussion this Thursday!

Participating Organizations

Learn more about Achievers, and follow @Achievers on Twitter.
Learn more about TalentCulture, and follow @TalentCulture on Twitter.

Hiring Is Hard: May The Best Brand Win #TChat Recap

The hiring scene today is like two sides of a rolling coin. On one side, five generations of diverse candidates are clamoring for what’s on the other side — a mash-up of full-time, part-time, outsourced and freelance jobs that continue to be redefined on-the-fly by disruptive economic, business and technology forces.

This controlled chaos challenges job seekers to demonstrate professional value through new social channels — while simultaneously challenging employers to recruit the right talent through those same social channels. It sounds like a perfect candidate fit should be easy to find. But as #TChat-ters know, the world of work isn’t perfect — and it leaves a lasting impression, for better or worse.

The Candidate Experience: A Reality Check

Let me illustrate. As a member of The Talent Board Candidate Experience Council, I have more than a passing interest in the topic of hiring practices. And frankly, last year’s CandE Awards insights concerned me. Here’s a good news/bad news slice of life from employers who sought CandE recognition in 2012:

Good News: The so-called recruiting “black hole” (that awkward space where employers fail to share any status or notifications with job candidates) is fading.

Bad News: There’s still room for improvement, even among pace-setters.

Only 1 in 3 companies ask for feedback from job candidates who don’t advance to the final evaluation round. And +90% of rejected candidates say they weren’t asked for feedback after they learned about their status. This means employers are missing meaningful insight from a broad spectrum of candidates.

– More than 50% of candidates say they’re likely or very likely to tell close friends about their experience — regardless of whether it was positive (74%) or negative (61%). Connect the dots and you’ll see huge implications for employer brands.

So, how can we improve upon today’s standard of practice? That’s exactly why applications for 2013 CandE Awards are being accepted. It’s also why #TChat focused on the topic this week — to encourage creative thinking and knowledge sharing among members of the TalentCulture community. We’ve captured highlights and resources below — feel free to review and comment anytime, and share with others who might benefit.

Together, we can raise the bar — so every brand can win.

#TChat Week in Review

SAT 6/1

GerryElaine

Watch video interviews in the #TChat Preview now

#TChat Preview + Sneak Peek Videos: Our Community Manager, Tim McDonald, introduced this week’s topic in G+ Hangout interviews with our special guests, Elaine Orler, president of talent acquisition consulting firm Talent Function, and Gerry Crispin, staffing strategist and co-founder of CareerXroads. See the videos now in Tim’s post: “Does Your Hiring Process Speak for Your Brand?”

 SUN 6/2

Forbes.com Post: In her weekly Forbes column, TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro examined some of the key ways companies can recruit top-notch talent by improving their recruiting experience. Read “4 Steps Of Leaders Who Win Stellar Talent.”

TUE 6/4

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Listen to the #TChat Radio show

#TChat Radio: Guests Elaine and Gerry sat down with hosts Meghan and me to examine the candidate experience in detail — the increasing importance of recruiting as a living “face” of corporate brands. Listen to the recording now: “Hiring: The Candidate Experience is Everything.”

WED 6/5

#TChat Twitter: #TChat-ters came together on the Twitter stream to share thoughts, concerns and opinions about the impact and influence of the candidate experience in today’s world of work. If you missed the real-time Twitter action, or would like to review highlights, watch the slideshow below:

#TChat Twitter Highlights: “Does Your Hiring Process Speak For Your Brand?”

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/tchat-insights-does-your-hiring-process-speak-for.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

SPECIAL THANKS: Again, a nod to this week’s guests Elaine Orler and Gerry Crispin. We’re inspired by your expertise and passion for improving the candidate experience.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about your hiring experience? Suggestions perhaps? We’d love to share your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week we move on to the topic of open leadership with enterprise learning expert Dan Pontefract. We’ll talk about collaborative leadership models that drive productivity, engagement and improved business results. Stay tuned for details this weekend!

Until then, the World of Work conversation continues each day. Join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, or on our new LinkedIn discussion group. And feel free to explore other areas of our redesigned website. The gears are always turning at TalentCulture, and your ideas and opinions are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

(Editor’s Note: This post is an extension of commentary that originally appears in Kevin Grossman’s “Reach West” blog. Read the full original post: “Go Ahead And Roll Your Big And Gaudy Candidate Experience Dice.”)

Image Credit: Pixabay

Narrowing the Unemployment Gaps: #TChat Preview

EDITOR’S NOTE: Want to read the RECAP of this week’s events? Read “#TChat Recap: Is it Time to Hire Yourself?”

There’s just too many of them: 4.8 million who are known as “the long-term unemployed” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These are people who have been out of work for 27 weeks or more, and in fact make up almost 40 percent of all unemployed people.

The current average period a person in the U.S. stays unemployed is about 40 weeks, which is just way too long. Employers who are hiring won’t hire them, and states like New Jersey, Oregon and the District of Columbia passed laws in 2011 and 2012 so employers couldn’t discriminate against the unemployed.

Surely the long-term unemployed would jump for joy at the prospect of being hired, finally; surely, plenty of them are highly qualified. The economy isn’t exactly going gangbusters, after all. What’s the solution? Is there a solution? Should we further legislate who we can or can’t hire?

Probably not — there was a bill in California for the same sort of law as those in New Jersey, Oregon and the like, but Governor Brown vetoed it. But the unemployed ought to be given a fair shake if they do everything in their power to remain relevant and up-to-date with skills through contracting and volunteering, right? Jobs don’t appear magically, so who and what creates them?

This week’s #TChat explores this continuing conundrum on what both the employers can and should do and what the unemployed can and should do to make their business case and close the gaps. Here are the questions to guide our many, many discussions:

Q1: First and foremost, who and what are the true job creators and why?

Q2: What can employers do to make hiring fairer to qualified applicants, currently employed or not?

Q3: What can the out-of-work do to keep themselves relevant and marketable after weeks and weeks of unemployment?

Q4: Should government legislate not discriminating against the unemployed? Why or why not?

Q5: What consumer and B2B technologies are helping both employers and the unemployed close the hiring gaps?

Click to hear this recorded radio show now

So, join yours truly (@MeghanMBiro) and Kevin W. Grossman (@KevinWGrossman). Let’s see if we and you can crowd-source some actionable new ideas for the long-term unemployed to leave the ranks of the long-term unemployed. This week we welcome Dr. Janice Presser (@DrJanice), CEO and a principal of The Gabriel Institute and architect of the underlying technology that powers Teamability™, as well as Kevin Matuszak (@Tooozy), a very special guest who will talk about his creative #HireKevin campaign to work at Applebee’s.

Today, the long-term unemployed need new, catchy tactics and strategies, and Kevin Matuszak’s approach is a great example, fuel for the conversation. Catch Kevin and me, along with our guests, first on Tuesday, Feb. 12, for #TChat Radio from 7:30pm ET / 4:30pm PT and, then, on Wednesday, Feb. 13, for #TChat Twitter from 7-8 pm ET (6-7pm CT, 5-6pm MT, 4-5pm PT, or wherever you are). You can also hang out with us.

Chat with us!

Image Credit: Pixabay

Like Flaming Sheets of Unfinished Music

And then I saw a post that read, “Entrepreneurs face a fiscal cliff every day.”

I nodded. Yes, they do. But I kept thinking about it more and more and realized what I already know from my own experience as well as that of millions of others: we all face a fiscal cliff every day.

Every single day. “We can go from boom to bust, from dreams to a bowl of dust,” as one of my favorite writers and musicians Neil Peart has penned. According to a recent report from the Corporation for Enterprise Development, nearly 44 percent of American households don’t have enough savings to cover their basic expenses for three months, in the event of a financial emergency like losing a job or paying for unexpected medical care.

From dreams to a bowl of dust

As working (or not currently working) professionals, whether we’ve been in formal leadership roles or not, we do our best to lead ourselves. We are responsible for our own development and growth, our own experience and skill sets, our own unique value and specialization, our own relevancy and marketability. We do our best to provide, to take care of ourselves and our families and our communities. But the marketplace is volatile, government policies are polarized and archaic, and many global enterprises quietly plan their own domination atop a trillion dollars in assets.

Never the twain shall meet

Economists agree that startups and new business ventures breed innovative sparks that sometimes catch fire and create jobs beyond the failing fire line. And yet, we still keep building businesses with like-mindedness in mind. Meaning, we hire those like us and those we like. Unfortunately like-mindedness breeds single-mindedness, which is a mental inbreeding of sorts. (This week during #TChat, where we talked about diversity of ideas and innovation, one participant referenced the financial crisis and unending recession as an example of what can happen in an industry that’s inbred. And it continues.)

That’s where think tanks come in. A group of smart folk from preferably diverse backgrounds create an organization that performs research and advocacy around things like social policy, economics, technology and culture. These are usually non-profits that try to remain as objective as possible in their methods and findings, encouraging politicians and captains of industry to apply them liberally, like salve on a burn.

I’d argue that sparks of business innovation start coming more from this kind of think tank mindset, from this “unlike-mindedness” of unique individuals bringing diverse ideation around product and/or service creation and advancement, marketing and customer service of the highest creative and responsive caliber – and ultimately the business sense to balance risk and fiscal responsibility to those who are part of the core team, and those who must grow with the business, which is what we want. These unique and highly specialized individuals will not only have sound IQ’s, but they’ll have higher EQ’s as well.

The more empaths the better, I say

However, diverse ideation needs rules of engagement – otherwise stuff may not get done. Milestones and deadlines and objectives must be met. True progress is the progression of application, adoption and adjustment. Otherwise, it’s a hot smart mess of questions and answers flying through the air like flaming sheets of unfinished music.

We compose our lives every day at the edge of the world, and the world of work – so let’s do try to make it a better one that works for us all.

Photo credit: Fire Flames via stock.xchng

Zero Unemployment and the War for Talent: #TChat Preview

Originally Published by Matt Charney on MonsterThinking

There’s nothing better than the feeling of an accepted offer for a recruiter (or for a candidate), one that overwhelmingly and resoundingly answers that question: “Would you consider an opportunity if it was clearly better than the job you have today?”

Every job offer employers make is a promise – and the motivations for saying ‘yes,’ conversely, are driven by the desire to have one’s promise fulfilled. That’s why those of us charged with talent acquisition and retention are required to make a compact, explicit or implicit, with candidates that, within our control and knowledge, the job is a promise that can be kept.

Our personal and employment brands depend on it. And so, too, does Monster’s. To quote an ad we recently ran in the Wall Street Journal, for us, “every day is labor day.” Finding a new job or a new candidate requires a life decision that’s built on trust – and forming that relationship over the weeks and months required for the hiring process to play out is really what recruiting is about, after all.

Over the past few months, we’ve built a similar relationship with the #TChat community – and we’re proud to be a part of a conversation where job seekers, social media makers, industry leaders and talent influencers intersect.

It’s created a conversation in an often superfluous noise of tweets, and transformed a hashtag into a community dedicated to the big picture questions – and short term, actionable solutions – which affect both those currently working and those looking for work.

Which is pretty much all of us. And whether you’re a job seeker, or employer, you’re a Monster customer. And we’re listening.

So we hope you can join co-hosts @meghanmbiro @talentculture @kevinwgrossman and guest moderator Jessica Miller-Merrill (@blogging4jobs), whose post inspired this week’s #TChat topic:

 Zero Unemployment & The War for Talent

#TChat Questions & Recommended Reading (09.07.11)

Here are questions we’ll be discussing, along with some related posts that, while not required, will help prepare, and inform, your participation in the #TChat conversation. Make your voice heard tonight, Wednesday, September 7 at 7 PM ET/4 PM PT.

We hope you can join us we discuss the current and future employment picture and what organizations and talent can do to help get America back to work for the generations of today – and tomorrow.

Q1. Is zero unemployment possible? If so, what would be the major repercussions?

Read: War for Talent & Zero Unemployment by Jessica Miller-Merrill

Q2. Is job search broken? If so, what can be done to fix it?

Read: 7 Personal Tune Ups for Tough Times by Mike Brown

Q3. Do recruiters and employers make the hiring process too complex? If so, how?

Read: Does Your Hiring Process Sentence Applicants to Hard Labor? by Jon Picoult

Q4. Looking at the job market today, do you see a jobs crisis or a war for talent?

Read: The Truth About Employment by John Sumser

Q5. What’s your advice on job creation (in 140 characters or less?)

Read: We Need More Clock-Punchers by Charlie Judy

Q6. What will the (job outlook) look like for Generation Z? Better or bleak? Why?

Read: Career Activism: The Non-Generational Talent of Workers by Peter Weddle

Let us know what you think!

Finding Career Success Without A Job or Internship

Written by Kirsten Taggart

I’m currently in Australia taking some classes and learning what life is like in the southern hemisphere.  Even more, I’m learning some important lessons and tricks on how to advance my career away from home without a job or an internship. Whether you’re also abroad, a recent graduate, or simply want to plan ahead, it’s always beneficial to know how to be productive on your own time.

We’re facing an unemployment rate of 9.1% (underemployment is at 19.2%). There are approximately 21 applicants per job position.  Intimidating? I certainly think so. But you can have a major advantage over your competition simply by making yourself known and getting your name out there from wherever you may be.

Being away from home, I’ve found the best way to do so is to stay connected. Email previous employers/professors and tell them what you’re up to, what you’re planning on doing in the near future, etc. Maybe they know someone you can contact.

Use LinkedIn wisely.

Be vocal on Twitter – when I say vocal I don’t mean telling the world that you broke up with your boy/girlfriend via a sappy song lyric. Twitter is a branding source so use it the way you would want your employers to view you. What are you interested in? What relevant articles have you read lately? Who are (or aren’t) you following?  Twitter is great for making connections in your industry and finding open positions.

At the same time, go out and meet people. My goal here has been to meet the locals and find out what they do, what working in Sydney is like, workplace dynamics, etc.  Who knows, you might find someone in your field that can help you out.

Here’s a recent example of how networking can help you anywhere in the world. TalentCulture recently took on a few new talented bloggers.  I tweeted them a small community welcome, which led to a conversation with William. Before I knew it, he was sending me the contact information of his friend in Australia.  Now I have a local connection and an opportunity to expand my network.

In the past few weeks there have been numerous articles on the best and worst advice for college students, but the most valuable tip I’ve heard so far is not to limit yourself. Put yourself out there on social media – in the end you’ll be available to a much broader job market.

If you would like to read more on the world of work for new grads, check out Tuesday’s #TChat recap.

Fighting the Beast of Unemployment: An Economic Boost is Needed

Repeat after me: there are no magic job wands.

Whether you believe there’s a talent war or not, there are still too many of us out of work. There are shortages of skills, a growing global competitiveness and industries with jobs that will most likely never be heard from again.

But buying into the fairy tale that [insert politician and/or political party of choice here] can and should be the magical job creator that will save us from ourselves only lends us false hope. Unfortunately we’re going to hear a lot of that rhetoric in the next 18 months.

This is just brings false hope that will be defaulted on time and time again. And listen, I’m a Keynesian, one who believes that when the private sector fails miserably – think Great Depression and our very recent economic ice age we’re still thawing from – the public sector needs to take monetary action to try and stabilize the financial markets and get folks back to work in the short term.

I’m not an economist, but I am an econ hobbyist who cares about tempering the beast of business’s destructive nature. Whether you agreed with it or not, short-term public stimulus can help spark long-term job growth if channeled at improving the infrastructure that makes it easier to conduct business in the US and beyond (think trains, planes and automobiles).

But that’s only part of the picture. You also have to have sustainable economic growth and incentives to invest in growing your talent base locally, virtually and globally. And if you have a sound business model, customers and sustainable growth, investors may come a-knockin’ to give you the capital you need to further grow, and maybe, just maybe, hire more talent.

On one of my recent trips across the US I caught up on one of my favorite podcast shows – NPR Planet Money. In one episode titled How do you create a job?, the hosts asked Princeton economist Orley Ashenfelter what he thinks when politicians say they created jobs:

I usually laugh. … When someone says that they are stating a fact: “While I was in office, employment increased by 150,000,” or whatever it increased by. Whether or not you can attribute that to what they did is another, much more difficult question…And by the way, you don’t often hear people say, “I destroyed 150 thousand jobs.”

The true bottom line here is that the government has to appeal to corporate greed. You have to incent business with lower taxes and/or improve the infrastructure in which we conduct business in order to stimulate job growth.

And even then there are no guarantees companies will start hiring. Many are sitting on mounds of cash, investing in stock buybacks, R&D or hiring outside of the US in emerging markets.

It’s called the marginal efficiency of investment – how much of a dollar you invest do you get to keep in profits. Businesses are not in the business of keeping people employed. They’re in the business of making money, and along the way they employ folks as a means to that end. But if you woo the beast, then maybe, just maybe they’ll start hiring, if the cost of paying someone to do a job is less than the output the job produces in revenue. Thankfully there is hiring happening in the US. Not enough to dramatically chip away at the unemployment rate, but it is happening.

I know this all sounds at odds from harmonizing workplace humanity I usually write about. It’s not, though. I’ve learned more about the economics of 21st century life in the past year to fill, well, a lifetime, and I’m a supporter of the Zero Unemployment movement (my recent rants with them were captured on video here and here).

There are no magic job wands. If there were, you know I’d be waving mine.

IMAGE VIA Nieve44/La Luz

How to Evaluate Your Current Company Culture

Many job seekers are now evaluating prospective employers based on company culture. Candidates want to determine how they will fit in and if the environment is right for them before they’re hired.

As you may know, company culture varies based on several factors. Although some companies don’t focus on the culture within the organization, every company has a culture whether they like it or not. Take a look at the following—each is part of the company culture at your organization:

  • Employees
  • Company size
  • Environment
  • Policies
  • Procedures
  • Mission
  • Values
  • Attitudes
  • Employee commitment
  • Communication
  • Common behaviors
  • Relationships
  • Leadership
  • Recruiting
  • Support

In order to determine whether your culture is working at your organization, you need to first evaluate the current culture. Ask yourself the following:

  • How do employees within the organization handle conflict?
  • How well do employees work together?
  • Are workers encouraged to speak up and identify problems?
  • Does the company address problems head on?
  • How do the company values play into the culture?
  • Are employees rewarded for performance? How?
  • What does the company, as a whole, value?
  • How does the company deal with new ideas?
  • Does the organization encourage employees
  • What are the company hiring and firing processes? How do these affect the culture?

Is the culture in at your organization less than satisfactory? There are ways to improve upon it—here’s how:

Decide how you want it to look in the future

What needs to be changed? How do you want your ideal culture to look after these changes occur? Keep in mind that every company will not (and should not) have the same company culture, although you can certainly be inspired by another company’s culture in some ways.

Review the organization’s mission, vision and values

Is the culture aligned with the overall mission? Are company values mirrored in the culture? If not, how can you integrate company mission, vision and values better?

What else can employers do to evaluate (and improve upon) company culture at their organization?

IMAGE VIA Davide Boyle in DC

2011 Workplace Culture Predictions and Commentary: #TChat Recap

It was almost like science fiction.

Almost.

The fact that last night’s #TChat was about 2011 workplace culture predictions and commentary, and we as pseudo-soothsayers and part-time prophets were locked in a post-economic-apocalyptic vault painting the walls with phosphorescent Twiffiti.

Some of which was right on the bottom line, and some of which was, well, not.  Smart, but not.

Here were the questions:

  • Q1: Given what you believe to be true – and factual – will 2011 bring more or less net hiring – and why?
  • Q2: In 2011 will there be a change in rate of A-player exodus? Why or why not? If yes, initiatives can be taken to improve retention?
  • Q3: Will innovation and R&D be taken off life support this year? If yes, what leadership initiatives can be taken to drive it?
  • Q4: Leadership development always on the lips of executives, analysts but will this be the year organizations invest? Why or not?
  • Q5: Managing greater mobile/contingent workforce appears significant business initiative; what are orgs doing to ensure its success?
  • Q6: Social networking will continue to be a critical marketing and recruiting tool, but will the ROI be there?

Some things that struck me were:

  • Hiring will pick up (and is), but there just won’t be enough jobs for all those unemployed, and more of the jobs are in emerging economies outside the U.S.  Read this and that.
  • The contingent workforce will be on the rise.
  • Virtual mobility will be on the rise.
  • Although no one likes to work for jerks, A-players will only jump if they have viable opportunities to jump to, or they get the entrepreneurial bug.
  • Barriers of entry into many markets are so few these days that the companies that want to stay in business never stopped innovating, and investing in R&D, and collaborative partnerships, and marketing, and business development…

I’m telling you — the vault was aglow with prime Twiffiti. You should view the transcript if you have a moment.  Over 300 contributors this week, the top 10 of which were:

  • @talentculture – 249
  • @meghanmbiro – 151
  • @KevinWGrossman – 73
  • @HRMargo – 67
  • @LevyRecruits – 60
  • @JeffWaldmanHR – 58
  • @IanMondrow – 58
  • @dawnrasmussen – 56
  • @CyndyTrivella – 55
  • @ValueIntoWords – 46

Next Tuesday, January 11, from 5-6 p.m. PT/8-9 p.m. ET, we’re tackling The New Old World of Job Hunting and Hiring.

Now, how do I get this glowing paint off my hands?