4 Reasons Social Media Is A Critical Recruiting Tool

There’s always that tipping point when the future turns into the present; novelty becomes the new normal. In tech recruiting, that’s the case with social media. If you’re not building social media into your recruiting efforts at this point, you’re not really recruiting on par with the industry standard.

Need a kick in the pants before life puts you in a food coma? Here are four ways social media is now a recruiting must:

1. It’s the best way to reach job seekers. I’m seeing a lot of confusion in this realm, but simply put, far more job seekers are on social media than aren’t. Is it because they’re younger and they do everything on social media? Perhaps. Does it matter why? It doesn’t. This is one instance where accepting the status quo is actually forward thinking. According to a white paper by iCIMS, putting a job posting up on social media can increase candidate applications by between 30 and 50 percent.

2. It’s part of a cultural shift. Recruiting success isn’t just measured by jobs filled, but by who fills them. And what drives top employees now is more than just a paycheck. Purpose, we now know, is a critical driver of talent. Interesting that a recruiting hub would lead the way here; LinkedIn has grown exponentially (78 million to over 400 million members in five years), and now looks for employees driven by purpose. Its staff includes 41 percent who cite self-fulfillment and a desire to serve others as key, according to the 2015 Workforce Purpose index. Recruiters take note: competencies are only part of the equation; the very concept of work needs to be screened for as well. Those who view their work as far more than dollars or promotions perform better on all fronts, found recent research by NYU and Imperative.

3. Transparency goes both ways. The fact that 48 percent of job applicants in a recent survey are active in social media is more than a “don’t get left out” for recruiting. It also means there’s access to a full-circle view of the candidate, whether or not that’s the intention, and one more way to take some potentially nasty surprises (and hiring fails) out of the equation. Recruiters are learning to follow a different kind of gut reaction than the old days of handshakes and necktie patterns: 61 percent of hiring managers found something they didn’t like on a candidate’s social media account, and 55 percent  of hiring managers reconsidered the hire based on what they found.

4. It’s not the “good-old-boy” network anymore. Recruiters surveyed in 2014 anticipated an ever-tightening and more competitive drive for candidates in 2015. The top way to stay ahead of the game was social media: 73 percent of recruiters planned to invest more in social recruiting, versus 63 percent in referrals. This is an entirely different world than Armbruster putting in a good word for his prep school buddy (and I’m not trying to be gender specific here, just culture-specific). The same survey found that 93 percent of companies and recruiters were using social media — up from 82 percent four years earlier.

Not so unlike the way the Cloud blasted open our conceptions of how much information we could live with, social recruiting has changed the game. This is a far, far different playing field, with the same extreme contrast. You’re either on it, or you’re not. Social is a key tool for promoting jobs, building brands, sourcing candidates, creating relationships, and vetting applicants. Recruiters know it’s the future (or the now), and they’re investing their time and money accordingly.

The talent’s not going to wait.

Image: BigStock

A version of this article was first published on Forbes on 11/25/15

#TChat Preview: How Tech Pros Can Help Assess and Hire Tech Pros

The TalentCulture #TChat Show is back live on Wednesday, January 20, 2016, from 1-2 pm ET (10-11 am PT).

Last week we talked about why the best recruitment means smarter workforce marketing, and this week we’re going to talk about how tech pros can help assess and hire tech pros.

In the world of recruiting, experts are a little more difficult to define. The exception to this rule is in the field of technology. The tech field is based on those who have real-world, developed, sought-after skills.

True technical expertise is difficult to find, even as it is increasingly needed in today’s rich digital economy. With companies increasingly relying on their employees’ technical acumen, it has become more important than ever to make quick, accurate hiring decisions.

Studies have shown that the cost of a bad hire can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. The cost of onboarding and training an employee that turns out not to have the technical skill level needed to complete their job is not only disheartening, but wastes valuable resources.

These are the many reasons why you need seasoned technical experts to help you hire your tech pros today.

#TChat Event: How Tech Pros Can Help Assess and Hire Tech Pros


Tune in to our LIVE online podcast Wednesday, January 20 — 1 pm ET / 10 am PT

Join TalentCulture #TChat Show co-founders and co-hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman as they talk about how tech pros can help assess and hire tech pros with this week’s guest: Kevin Rooney, CEO of Expert Interview, a service that assesses technical skills resulting in better-informed hiring decisions.

#TChat on Twitter — Wednesday, January 20— 1:30 pm ET / 10:30 am PT

Immediately following the live show, the team will move to the #TChat Twitter stream to continue the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community. We invite everyone with a Twitter account to participate as we gather for a dynamic live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: What types of assessments and/or interviews can help improve tech recruiting? #TChat  (Tweet this Question)

Q2: How do less competitive industries compete in tech recruiting with big tech brands?#TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q3: Can tech expert assessments/interviews help improve tech recruiting and hiring?#TChat (Tweet this Question)

Until then, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed, our TalentCulture World of Work Community LinkedIn group, and in our TalentCulture G+ community. Feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions. See you there!

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Lasting Career Tips for Engineers

If you’re an engineer, you’re automatically in a prime negotiating position when it comes to commanding a good salary–it’s a simple matter of supply and demand. But while a big check in the near term might seem like the best idea, it may not be the best move for your overall career. The career tips below will make sure you’re doing what’s best for the long haul.

On Asking For And Negotiating A Pay Raise (Successfully!)

Often, people place too much emphasis on current salary. Money will come to those that enter a company and find the opportunity to significantly improve some aspect of that company.  Negotiating for $5k to $10k is nothing when you compare that to getting to the senior ranks within a company where you can start negotiating multiples of that number. With that said if you’re currently negotiating a pay raise, it’s important to hold your ground.  You cannot be afraid to say “no.”

As for when to bring up a raise, after a big project is a good idea. Be prepared with market data and set the expectation of what it is you’re seeking.  You may not get it then, but they will understand your expectations. Ideally, you should also raise the issue before your company’s review period. In some companies at the review period is too late as you have already been measured.  Keep track of your major accomplishments over the year and present them before the review period so that you’ve set the stage.

On Working As A Contractor

Excluding some very specific circumstances, engineers shouldn’t be doing contract work. The marginal difference between going contract versus full-time employee isn’t worth the stagnation that most contractors incur. Additionally, due to the nature of contract work, it creates “jumpy” resumes and no hiring manager at a good company wants someone that’s jumpy. An exception to the rule is for those who are young and using contract work as a mechanism to travel the world while working remotely. But remember: even as a contractor it’s best to go all in. Get into a company, work with the latest tech, stay current and move the needle.

On How Long To Stay With A Company

Get into the best company where you can make the most impact and stay for a while to grab a hold of a top position. Three years is a good time frame, with two being the minimum and five being the max. Generally speaking, quitting after only a year will burn a bridge unless there is an extraordinary reason.

If you’re leaving in two years it should be for a good reason. Also, make sure you make an impact before you leave. There are innumerable ways to do that, and it all depends on your role in the organization. The key is that is has to be something measurable, such as building a platform to scale, or rebuilding a mobile app from scratch. Staying and making solid contributions will far outweigh any nominal salary differences in the short term. Too many people are jumping around in this hot market, which actually prolongs their path to the senior ranks.

On Choosing Between Multiple Offers

Remember to take your time in choosing the right company and position–there’s no rush. Your demand level won’t suddenly change, and most companies are looking for more than one of an in-demand skill set.  Sure, everyone wants to talk to you right now. Vet companies against each other, and make the right move. The best offer is unique to the person getting the offer—focus on the offer that aligns best to your career aspirations and has an appropriate level of risk for you. The fundamentals remain the same.

To avoid burning bridges with companies, be firm in your resolve, but professional. You’re leaving a company for a reason–stick with it. Be clear about that reason and explain the opportunity, and how the current company does not give those same opportunities. If you can’t concisely and clearly elaborate on the deltas between the roles, then you’re not ready to quit and you risk burning a bridge with either company. Get assistance with how to be clear in your resignation from people you trust. Wavering back and forth will only make you look bad. You want to be “the one that got away,” so that if you ever need that relationship again, it will be there. Hiring managers should be investing in their employees and it takes time to reap the rewards of that investment.

Note that if a company is paying an absurdly high salary beyond the market, there’s probably a reason why. Understand what that reason is, because any place you work for a six month stint is six months of your life you can’t get back, and it’s something that will stay on your resume for years.

On Getting An Outsider’s Perspective

To that end, figure out who the best search firms are, and find a recruiter you can trust so you have an experienced outside perspective.  Admittedly, there’s a natural distrust in the market for recruiters, and as an ex-engineer I get why. However, finding a recruiter that’s knowledgeable about the market and has access to the best companies in the valley can be an ally and can help take your career to new heights.

Photo credit: Bigstock

#TChat Preview: How Candidate Research And Relationship Building Win In Tech Recruiting

The TalentCulture #TChat Show is back live on Wednesday, March 18, 2015, from 7-8 pm ET (4-5 pm PT). The #TChat radio portion runs the first 30 minutes from 7-7:30 pm ET, followed by the #TChat Twitter chat from 7:30-8 pm ET. The competition for top tech talent is fierce, employers must still find creative ways to entice people with in-demand STEM skills to join their company — getting to know who they’re targeting is critical prior to and especially during outreach. According to Dice’s recent Tech Candidate Sentiment Survey, at least 50% of candidate respondents said that they wish recruiters would do more research on them and their background before calling, but this is significantly down from 2013. The right online research tool combined with continuous relationship building and developing a repository for a ready pool of tech candidates, companies can competitively source the most qualified people when the time is right. Join TalentCulture #TChat Show co-founders and co-hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman as we learn about how research and relationship-building win in tech recruiting with this week’s guests: Ashley Fox, Program Associate at Partnership for Public Service; and Pete Radloff, Lead Technical Recruiter with comScore.

Ashley is a Program Associate at the Partnership for Public Service, a non-partisan non- profit organization that works to revitalize our federal government by inspiring a new generation to serve and by transforming the way government works. She manages, the Partnership’s online resource for students and jobseekers, and builds workshops on recruiting and hiring for federal employees.

Pete Radloff has 15 years of recruiting experience and has worked with such companies as comScore, exaqueo, National Public Radio and LivingSocial. Pete’s experience and expertise center around in using technology and social media to source, recruit, enhance the candidate experience and promote strong employer brands. Pete also currently sits on the Board of Directors for RecruitDC.

Sneak Peek:

We hope you’ll join the #TChat conversation this week and share your questions, opinions and ideas with our guests and the TalentCulture Community.

#TChat Events: How Candidate Research and Relationship Building Win in Tech Recruiting

TChatRadio_logo_020813#TChat Radio — Wed, March 18th — 7 pm ET / 4 pm PT Tune in to the #TChat Radio show with our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman, as they talk with our guests: Ashley Fox and Pete Radloff.

Tune in LIVE online Wednesday, March 18th!

#TChat Twitter Chat — Wed, March 18th — 7:30 pm ET / 4:30 pm PT Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin, Ashley and Pete will move to the #TChat Twitter stream, where we’ll continue the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we gather for a dynamic live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: Why do so many recruiters and hiring managers still use the post-and-pray approach? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q2: What does relationship-building mean to you and how do you invest in it? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q3: How do you create and sustain tech talent pipelines today? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Until the show, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed, our TalentCulture World of Work Community LinkedIn group, and in our new TalentCulture G+ community. So feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions. See you there!!


Tech Recruiting: Skilling Up to Fill the Middle #TChat Recap

(Editor’s Note: Looking for details of this week’s #TChat Events? See the Storify slideshow and resource links at the end of this post. And to learn how you can win this week’s Pebble Smartwatch giveaway, visit Dice.)

I remember when I was choosing the cover art for my book, Tech Job Hunt Handbook. I couldn’t help thinking, “How am I going to fill-in the middle?”

That’s the toughest part. Filling the middle. Developing coherent career guidance for technical professionals – from the job search, to the interview, to the hire.

But I did it. And in the process, I learned so much about how technology touches every facet of our lives, how rapidly the world of work is changing, and how important it is to stay relevant while competing for specialized jobs in areas like cloud computing, big data and mobile application development.

Retooling your skills and re-branding yourself is essential, whether you’re trying to be more effective in your current tech job — or seeking a new professional challenge — or recruiting to fill those specialized technical roles. And of course, retooling can’t be a one-shot deal. It has to be an ongoing process.

Continuous Commitment Counts

As the economy inches back, millions of people are quitting their jobs, confident they can find an attractive career next-step. These professionals are open to competent help. But even with today’s fluid, open-for-business talent pool, “filling the middle” is no easy task.

In a recent hiring survey of recruiters and hiring managers, Dice found that 5 of the 12 most challenging cities for tech recruiting are in the Midwest. Why? They’re “tough recruiting locations based on a combination of supply and demand issues.”

Frontline recruiting reports like that are a call-to-action for anyone located in “the middle,” as well as those on both coasts. Whatever your location, a winning hiring strategy takes marketing savvy, selling skills and “in the know” awareness of the technical positions you’re trying to close.

This week’s #TChat Events with Shravan Goli, President of Dice, and Sara Fleischman, Senior Technical Recruiter at Concur reinforced my conviction that “filling the middle” requires ongoing commitment, at two levels:

1) Keep Skilling Up. In today’s workplace, tech industry recruiters may feel more secure than others. But the pace of innovation is relentless — it challenging us all to stay ahead of the curve. It’s not just about matching job candidates step-for-step. It’s about proving your strength in your  role, and out-pacing other recruiters who are determined to stay “in the know.”

2) Keep Filling Up. As a tech-savvy recruiter, you may have an edge. But tech lingo isn’t the whole package. You add value by staying aware of salary trends and specifics about how your company, city and regional amenities compare. You’ll also build stronger relationships if you’re always up-to-date with practical guidance, tools and recommendations that help candidates assess new opportunities, get noticed by the right people, ace interviews and negotiate successfully.

Over time, recruiters with that kind of commitment build a reputation as resourceful “go to” career advisors. A talent pipeline eventually follows. And that’s what I call filling the middle with the right stuff.

Dice smartwatch giveaway for #TChat participantsShare Your Ideas — Win a Smartwatch!

Thanks to everyone who joined this week’s #TChat Events. We value your ideas. In fact, Dice is so interested in your input that they’re giving away a cool Pebble Smartwatch to a lucky participant!

Entering is easy. Just share your tech recruiting ideas or questions with Dice by Friday, February 7th. Then find out who wins at #TChat on Wednesday February 12th! (See details and enter now.)

#TChat Week-In-Review: How to Find Top Tech Talent

Shravan Goli Sara Fleischman (2)

See the Preview Post now

SAT 1/25:
#TChat Preview:
TalentCulture Community Manager, Tim McDonald, framed the week’s topic in a post featuring two “sneak peek” hangouts with guests, Shravan Goli and Sara Fleischman. See the #TChat Preview now: “Finding Tech Talent to Fuel the Future

SUN 1/26: Post:
In her weekly Forbes column, TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, offered guidance based on her personal experience as a tech industry talent strategist. Read “How Leaders Hire Top Tech Talent.


What Makes Tech Talent Tick?” — by Dr. Nancy Rubin
Tech Pros’ Salaries, Confidence Rise” — January Trend Report by Dice


Listen to the #TChat Radio replay

WED 1/29:
#TChat Radio: Host Meghan M. Biro talked with Shravan Goli, and Sara Fleischman about what it takes to recruit tech talent in today’s competitive environment. Listen to the #TChat Radio replay now

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Shravan, and Sara joined the TalentCulture community on the #TChat Twitter stream for a dynamic open conversation, centered on 5 related questions.

See highlights in the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Insights: Finding Tech Talent to Fuel the Future

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Shravan Goli, and Sara Fleischman for sharing your perspectives on tech recruiting tools, techniques and trends. We value your time and your expertise!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about tech recruiting issues? We welcome 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 at #TChat Events, we’ll look at how each of us can be more effective at managing our careers, with one of the nation’s best known career coaches, Maggie Mistal, and one of her clients, Laura Rolands. So save the date, Wednesday, February 5, and prepare to raise your professional game!

Meanwhile, the TalentCulture conversation continues daily on the #TChat Twitter stream, our NEW Google+ community, and elsewhere on social media.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Image Credit: Top Student Challenges