Posted tagged ‘LinkedIn’

HR Needs to Get into the Social Media Major Leagues

September 1, 2009

As summer winds down and we watch to see if the “green shoots” here and there will establish a root system strong enough to provide a harvest of substance and sustenance for a recovery, my thoughts floated over the horizon to the future of HR.

Someone in my social network sent me a link to an interesting presentation on YouTube, Is Social Media a Fad?  The series of interesting tidbits gathered from various sources show we are way beyond fad and into a fundamental shift in the way we communicate. For example:

Years to reach 50 million users: Radio (38 years); TV (13 years); Internet (four years), iPod (three years). Facebook added 100 million users in less than nine months. iPhone applications hit one billion in nine months.

While some of the information presented in the YouTube video may be a bit exaggerated or unconfirmed, the trend is undeniable. The world of communications around us is moving ever faster, much like Moore’s Law. And it is having an impact. Just last week the Obama administration launched “Reality Check,” a section on the White House website that features videos by White House officials who address rumors and concerns about the health initiatives. President Obama gave a boost to BlogTalkRadio when he used the online venue to continue refuting the allegations spread by both traditional and social networking media.

Looking at social media in the context of HR, the impact on recruiting is already apparent. What recruiter – whether in-house or external third-party – isn’t using LinkedIn to scan profiles for passive candidates? But are your recruiters effectively using social media to promote your employment brand and candidate selection processes, to make the candidate experience worth “talking” about whether or not they are hired this time? What ideas are being implemented by your recruiting service provider to leverage the social media phenomenon to your best competitive advantage?

Taking it one step further, the prevalence of social media means it cannot end after the recruiting and onboarding processes. There must be a nexus between employee engagement, knowledge management, development and mentoring. And it must be leveraged to support an aligned culture, increased productivity and innovation.

I found information for this blog in seconds via Google, RSS feeds, Wikipedia, online news sites and my tags on Delicious. Can your employees find just-in-time internal information just as quickly? If they can’t easily find the appropriate subject matter experts for answers to their questions, today’s new employees will turn to their own network.

Other points to consider: Are policies needed around posting personal business-related opinions on internal and external social media websites? May employees recommend individuals from suppliers? What role should, and is, HR ready to play?

The reality is internal HR folks and third-party HRO service providers must quickly develop plans and enhance their skills to fully and effectively leverage social media to become major leaguers. What do you think the role of HR should be in using social media? Send us an email, post on the NelsonHall HRO Insight Group on LinkedIn or respond to this blog.

Like the HRO Insight blog? Please let us know. And pass on the good word to your Twitter network, update your Facebook wall for your business friends, Digg it, MIXX it, or help others StumbleUpon it!

Linda Merritt, Research Director, HRO, NelsonHall

Back to School Time for Recruiters

August 27, 2009

As you begin packing up your kid’s bag lunches for another school year, you may want to stock up your pantry to pack others (perhaps skipping the peanut butter and jelly) for your in-house or outsourced recruiting staff. Why? Talent acquisition remains the top issue faced by today’s HR organizations, despite the recession. And the advent of advanced recruiting technologies and explosion of social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook demands recruiters be trained on how to best leverage these new opportunities for both active and passive recruiting or get lost in the old school dust.

Some recruiting process outsourcing (RPO) providers have already stepped up to the plate in this new recruiter training arena. For example:

•  AIRS, a The RightThing company, recently launched an online Social Sourcing Certification Class. Designed for both in-house and third-party recruiters, the class focuses on techniques to assist recruiters in sourcing passive candidates, helps participants better understand how they strategically benefit recruitment strategy and covers how social media can be leveraged to build a strong employment brand. After the class, attendees have the opportunity to earn their Certified Social Sourcing Certification through a certification exam.

•  And KellyOCG partners with industry leaders to coach and certify its recruiters in leading edge sourcing techniques, and its recruiters utilize its proprietary sourcing technology to enhance their ability to quickly connect with both active and passive candidates.

The importance of training extends beyond how to recruit using social media and advanced technologies into using metrics to prove the value and ROI of the staffing function, whether in-house or outsourced, to the business. And despite acknowledging the importance of doing so, few organizations know how to measure and consistently use the data to demonstrate improved business performance. An example of an RPO provider offering such training is The Workplace Group, which, during the past month delivered two webinars and two in-person training classes at its corporate headquarters on how to implement and use metrics to demonstrate ROI. The company also offers on-site classes at client locations.

And in an example of moving beyond a common, though important, recruitment metric of time-to-hire, Aon Consulting was able to improve the timeliness and selection process of sales professionals for a computer systems company, leading to higher close rates, equating to $120 million additional sales per quarter for the client’s company.

As the HR community, and the business community in general, views talent acquisition as a primary corporate critical success factor, the importance of upping recruiter’s skills to utilize new techniques and platforms, and how to measure their output, should not be underestimated. And while cost and lack of time are frequently cited as inhibitors to training programs, the expense involved is comparatively low and with hiring volumes down, now is a perfect time to invest in recruiting staff members.

Forward-thinking organizations are investing today in their recruiters in preparation for the hiring uptick that’s expected in 2010. Our advice? Start arming your recruiting staff now to leverage new school recruiting techniques, platforms and mediums. It’s a highly worthwhile competitive investment.

Gary Bragar, Lead HRO Analyst, NelsonHall

Social Networking Sites: An Increasingly Bountiful Boon for Recruiters and Job Searchers

June 17, 2009

As revealed in NelsonHall’s latest recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) market analysis, social networking sites are the most rapidly emerging source of job candidates, and were identified as the third top hiring sourcing channel, preceded only by job boards and employee referrals. Further, according to the results of a recently released Social Recruitment Survey conducted by a provider of next-generation recruitment solutions, 80 percent of companies use or are planning to use social networking to find and attract candidates this year. And those looking for jobs are increasingly leveraging these sites for networking, connections, job referrals and marketing methods.

Let’s look at why social networking sites are proliferating as a tool for both RPO providers and job searchers.

RPO Providers

The top business-oriented social networking sites, LinkedIn and Plaxo, respectively cite over 41 million and 40 million members. Massive candidate bases! Further, search capabilities and these sites’ special interest-focused Groups can assist recruiters in drilling down to a smaller group of potential candidates for a specific job to be filled. Additionally, LinkedIn referrals can serve as an initial vetting point for RPO providers looking for specific qualities and characteristics in a potential candidate. While these referrals may be viewed as a bit biased as they are often from personal or work friends, no referrer will risk damaging his or her reputation by stretching a referral too far. Given all this, an increasing number of RPO providers are leveraging their recruitment technology and Applicant Tracking Systems to search for both active and passive candidates on these sites.

A lesser known job networking site is, a non-profit founded in January 2009 whose stated mission is, “To help bring people together in a community setting where each person commits to a single goal: to help just one person find gainful employment.” With more than 6,000 members in its Linkedin Group, 4,000 members in its Facebook Group and nearly 10,000 Twitter followers, JobAngels is another candidate sourcing site ripe for recruiters.

Note to RPO clients: If your RPO provider isn’t using social networking sites to source candidates for you, it should be.


As recruiters – both in-house and from RPO firms – are increasingly using social networking sites as a sourcing channel, candidates both active and passive should up their game in this realm as well. If you don’t yet have a profile on these types of sites, establish one. It’s not only a solid way to create your own enhanced business network, but could also lead to a potential job opportunity (even if you’re not actively looking for one.) Your comprehensive profile should include your background, specific achievements, key capabilities, education, etc., as well as some referrals if you can obtain them. But a quick word of caution here: be careful how you respond to incoming emails and of the content in the postings you may make directly on these sites. Assume whatever you say resides in the public domain.

And let’s not forget the Groups on these sites. Once you’ve created your profile, join Groups in your industry and your areas of interest, and interact with the other members by posting or responding to posts. They are a great place to “see and be seen.”

The bottom line is that social networks are an increasingly useful channel for recruiters to find candidates and candidates to be found.  As a result, they are an opportunity both sides of the equation should exploit.

Gary Bragar, Lead HRO Analyst, NelsonHall