With the Effectual Stretch in Recruiting, You Can’t Lose

“The end cannot justify the means, for the simple and obvious reason that the means employed determine the nature of the ends produced.” –Aldous Huxley

Indeed. This quote was shared with me in a comment on my Who Cares As Long As We’re Still Hiring article. The commenter conveyed that it does matter what we call something, as it helps to power the means.

This is true, and I responded that words do matter and the means employed are critical. But I argued that the spirit of technological innovation today isn’t helping to alleviate the human problem of not adapting fast enough to remain employable, and/or creating new opportunities where none existed before. We can and do occupy the same space with technology and displacement isn’t new, although now in this digital age, it’s unprecedented. Worrying about what we call talent acquisition isn’t creating solutions to retrain the workforce and keep our growing population productive – that’s the means I’m worried about.

His thoughtful response summed it all up:

The mistake all of us are doing… is trying to solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them – that only creates more problems.

Solid solutions in the past have come from trying to solve our problem outside the thinking we used to create them. This requires testing every belief we have – something most are not willing to do….

Amen. And change and solve we do, from every technological disruption to workforce displacement, whether it comes from early learning and not knowing any other way, or forced adoption.

For example, a PeopleFluent colleague of mine, who is a Millennial, developed a research survey for Millennials that will generate valuable insight for employers as they consider how to hire and develop their next generation of employees. Millennials can take the survey here. Instead of initially send out email campaigns to lists of the younger workforce, which we will still do, we instead chose to share via social media channels first. Within a week we had nearly 300 responses.

That’s telling, don’t you think? Give the young folk what they want, where they want it and how they want it, and you’re in.

Then there was the Wall Street Journal article about the New York Times temporarily blocking access to their homepage on all desktop computers at its headquarters. Those employees who try to get on their own site via desktops will receive a message prompting them to switch over to phones or tablets.

And that is that – forced adoption. Not a bad idea actually when you think about the fact that there are now well over 5 billion mobile devices in use across the world, compared to only 789 million laptops and 743 million desktop PCs. That’s where more and more of their readers are accessing newspapers, magazines and books.

And applying for jobs. In fact, the failure to recognize and account for the now ubiquitous use of mobile Internet access will most likely hobble a company’s efforts to find new people. As more candidates leverage their devices to learn about jobs and apply to them, they will simply move on from companies that don’t have mobile-optimized career sites. Responsive web design ensures the candidate experience is consistent regardless of device and will help reduce drop-off rates and increase qualified applicant conversation rates. Not to mention the fact that Google’s search algorithm now penalizes a company’s mojo if they have both a mobile and desktop website, as opposed to one mobile-optimized site.

Talent acquisition professionals today have the benefit of a bevy of technological innovations including mobile to empower attracting, sourcing, screening, interviewing, hiring and onboarding, but the mainstream is still focused on targeting the entire stream that dumps into the big blue of everyone looking or not looking for a job. The proverbial post-and-pray approach of posting a job everywhere possible and praying that some qualified folks will appear in the net along with the hundreds of unqualified people per each requisition posted. And doing it every single time the job is open.

When we discussed this on the TalentCulture #TChat Show with three progressive recruiting pros – Johnny Campbell, Founder and CEO at Social Talent; Sara Fleischmann, Purple Squirrel Hunter at Hewlett-Packard; and Stacy Zapar, Founder of Tenfold, and recruiting strategist, trainer & advisor – the consensus was that it’s the way recruiters have always done things.

There’s safety in numbers, and if everyone else is doing it, surely it must work! Unfortunately it’s still prevalent in many circles because there’s a lack of education and motivation in the recruiting industry.

But there those organizations making a difference, adopting new recruiting practices and empowering job seekers to do the same. For example, in a recent webinar with Gerry Crispin, Talent Board co-founder and one of the great minds behind the Candidate Experience Awards, some innovative examples of the “means employed determine the nature of the ends produced” include:

  • RMS – Run virtual chat rooms where job seekers bring honest questions and recruiters bring honest answers.
  • Spectrum Health System – Bring together qualified candidates and managers together in person for one-stop interview shop with a promised decision and offer, or not, the same day.
  • jetBlue – Built pilot people pools that start attracting talent in universities and then assign mentors that continue 3-4 years after graduation (bootcamps, assessments, etc. They sources 20% of their pilot hires this way.
  • CH2M – Continuously improve the recruiting experience and generate a monthly sentiment report. Their net promoter score increases year over year in overall communication, ATS efficiency, mobile apply, etc.

Change can be painfully productive, and the adage “adapt or perish” is one more and more employers and prospective employees hang from their hearts like motivational posters. That’s why with the effectual stretch in recruiting, of pushing oneself to learn and expand beyond what’s known and comfortable in a way that’s produces desired yet diverse effective results, it’s a win. Or what Mr. Huxley said. Either way you can’t lose.

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 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: 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:


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

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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