One of my favorite things about being connected to other professionals online is the accountability it brings. I am an advocate for connecting to other professionals and exchanging stories and best practices. As fast as the world moves these days no one should be spending time reinventing the wheel (and believe me our problems are not as unique as we think they are). I’m connected to people from all over the country through this blog, my Facebook, twitter, Instagram, g+ and I love it. I read what they are sharing, I call on them for advice, we call on them as a chapter when we need some great speakers, we solicit invitations to write for each other and encourage each other to be better professionals for our businesses.
It also holds me accountable for my recruiting. I’m connected with recruiters that are far more experienced than me so when I do a lame post to catch the eye of job seekers and then call those experienced recruiters to complain that I can’t find anyone for this position, they are going to call me on my crappy work. I can’t hide what I’m doing if there is an electronic trail of everything I’ve published right? Sometimes we like to tell our side of the story when we are complaining, venting or presenting information but if it’s online there is no getting around what was said (or wasn’t said). No sugar-coating or pretending I gave it all my effort if there is proof that I didn’t.
You can use social accountability for any and everything these days. Seriously, there are groups for like every single thing. I also use it for fitness. I follow people on Instagram that workout like beasts every day. We look forward to seeing each other post about our workouts and we encourage each other to keep going. It’s a wonderful thing to see that someone you follow did a killer workout even when they didn’t want to on the very same day that you are considering skipping your workout. The cool thing about using twitter and IG (and FB even though some people think otherwise) for accountability is when you use a hashtag (not a pound sign Juanita 🙂 ) for your group to track! I’ve found one that combines my HR world and my fitness world. Wait for it…wait. for. it.: #hrfitcrew (Thank you Chris for kicking that off!) I totally found this by accident, but I love that its other HR pros getting fit and encouraging/challenging each other. I know this makes me sound like a huge dork, but it’s perfect for me.
You remember that awesome recruiting workshop I just talked about a couple of days ago? yeah… I’m going to talk about it for the next 6 months probably. I get excited when respectable, experienced pros start talking about social media and its role in todays work place.
The most obvious thing Tim talked about that made me go durhhhhh was the Facebook page for Facebook recruiting. Facebook is a little scary to personally recruit with because there are a bazillion creepers out there. At a previous job I made a page just for my office (to avoid creepers), but why didn’t I think of just having my own page and having each of my recruiters have their own page? Hindsight. This totally just reminded me of another thing that I had been introduced to for Facebook recruiting: the monster.com BeKnown app. Two problems with it: 1) Monster is not my favorite and 2) Just reading that it keeps your personal and professional life separate exhausts me.
Separating your personal and professional life is another topic that we touched on. I’ve been asked before “Why do you use your twitter for personal and professional? Why don’t you just have two separate accounts?” I use the same account for everything because it’s exhausting to have multiple accounts on the same social media outlet. For the most part I am completely myself on my social media accounts and the fun thing about that is, I’m not such a terrible person that I need constant censorship AND I am a recruiter 24/7 so it is part of my personal life. The one thing that I’m not as careful with, though, is making sure I’m sharing relevant information for my targeted audience. It’s okay to share stuff you like, but if it’s not relevant to the people you are trying to attract to connect with you don’t be surprised when you are not making those connections, ya dig? The biggest thing you can do to be successful in this arena is make sure you are giving your audience more than you are taking from your audience. I’m the worst about sharing things irrelevant to my targeted audience these days because I will share something that I think is funny in a heartbeat, or an HR article in half a millisecond without thinking about those EEs or CEs that don’t care about that stuff. This is where my social media recruiting needs improvement, lots of it. (See, its okay to not be perfect with your #SoMe efforts from day one. Don’t let that scare you).
The main thing you need to know about using social media for your recruiting efforts is that it does not replace the telephone. Those of us who push social media recruiting push it because it helps you, not because it replaces anything. It’s a form of marketing to attract the talent you need. It works for you when you’re not working. Much like HR technology it is just a device to make your recruiting work faster. It is another tool in your tool belt! It is not the end all be all. It is not a replacement for the telephone. Just in case you are confused, NO it does not replace the telephone 🙂 . Pick up that phone and call people! Social media does not take the social function out of recruiting, you still have to develop relationships with people and have voice to voice conversations.
I love social media and I love it when other HR folks love social media. If you have been thinking about taking that social media step, but you have questions or you are worried, email me (email@example.com)! If I don’t know the answer I bet I know someone who does! If you have a great tip, please feel free to leave it in the comments below, I’d love to hear what you’ve found works for you.
Applicant. Tracking. Systems. Why do you need them and which one is for you? This is actually a hard concept for some pros to wrap their head around. I myself didn’t even know what an ATS was until I had been using one for about five years. I didn’t know that’s what it was called, in fact no one used it when they hired me except to report hours for payroll. Literally, they would take paper time cards and figure them up and key them into a function of the ATS that communicated the information to another program. Sounds ridiculous right? So my former employer had bought this fancy system and no one was using it for its true purpose. They also hadn’t activated it through the website to capture applications, they were still peddling paper applications (this was only about eight years ago).
Where I currently work actually built their own applicant tracking system. You would think that was super bad ass because we are a highly technical company… it’s not. I was excited at first because this means you own it, you edit it, you tailor it how you want. The major downfalls: someone on our payroll has to make edits we want, it doesn’t communicate with Costpoint or Outlook or our educational assistance function, EDP function, etc. and it just plain doesn’t do what us recruiters need it to do. I’ve been mumbling about needing an ATS since about my fourth day on the job here.
Last year at #SHRM13 I spent some time on the overwhelming vendor floor. At first look it was miles of sales people shoving the latest and greatest tool in your face, but once you get to a useful vendor and pocket a few awesome giveaways, you start to relax. It’s nice to be able to compare vendors side by side and really evaluate where you are going to get the most bang for your buck. I spent some time with a couple of HRIS vendors that really rocked my socks, but I think my favorite was Halogen Software. What’s really sweet nowadays is that big players like Halogen are not just an ATS, they are every technological tool you need in one place. I chatted with a rep at the conference and had a few follow-up calls with the most amazing rep ever, Nancy!
Nancy let me ask a ton of questions to truly understand their product line and explore different scenarios to meet different needs. She also walked me through a demo or two! My favorite thing that Halogen can string together for a client, above the basic needs of applicant tracking system, is what they call the eAppraisal Professional Services. Most software tools are going to have this extra as an option these days, but Halogen is adamant that you should implement only what you need and they are willing to file that down with you. This function includes employee appraisals and project reviews, goal alignment and management, on boarding forms and task management capabilities, performance based development planning and other neat things to follow-up on these tasks faster than before! Their systems connect the HR function of talent management with the managers function of talent management and facilitates a one stop shop to weave every piece of it together. Their customer service really is amazing (straight from their site):
Companies that have grown from small business to mid-size and have their sights set on being a mega size business tend to find themselves caught up in a pile of processes and a bunch of neat tools that don’t get the job done all the way. When you’re shopping for the right tools you need to keep in mind that these tools don’t replace HR or any of your HR functions they facilitate a faster track to implement all of your HR/talent management functions. If you don’t know where to start, I recommend connecting with Nancy ( firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-866-311-5007) and letting her help you assess your needs and better understand the right custom suite for you and your organization. If nothing else, mosey around their website and pick up white papers on HR metrics, retaining talent, managing employee goals and more! You can also pick up some great insight from any of their talented blog contributors.
If there is one thing that my little soul needed it was a recruiting revival and praise sweet bearded Jesus he sent me Tim Sackett and Kris Dunn! We (NASHRM) had a full day of this recruiting duo and I promise I felt Huntsville turn on its side while these two were laying some truth down.
What did we cover? The important stuff- social recruiting, turning corporate recruiting to an in-house agency model, making your managers career agents and thinking like a sales person. You can get some heaping doses of their take on these things at their sites (tagged earlier in this post).
Why am I excited? It is super refreshing to connect with people who know their shit stuff. It’s nice to know someone is going to challenge your excuses and it’s great to hear successful people say things like “you don’t have to go to all the meetings, tell them you’re busy recruiting”. By the way, if you say that you should in fact spend that time recruiting.
Perfect timing? I think so. I’ve struggled immensely in my transition to the corporate world. You can watch for that post later this month when I hit my yeariversary. Corporate is full of things like policies, procedures and checklists. Not that they are not necessary, they just tend to take priority over the actual actions. I’m familiar with the things we can and cannot do legally, I know the alphabet soup we need to fear, but what I’m most interested in is getting to the right talent and connecting that talent to the right opportunity. I almost forgot it was possible to do that.
More to come over the next week or so on the breakdown of what I thought were key points, but today just a huge THANK YOU to these two guys for spending a day with us in Huntsville and reviving my little recruiting heart!
So what, I take my phone to meetings, big deal. It’s not because I’m a gen Yer, its not because I’m playing tetris or crushing candy. It’s not because I’m taking selfies or tweeting about how boring the meeting is. I keep my phone with me because it’s a valuable resource. I’m using my phone in a meeting to take notes, take pictures of slides for reference later, researching things relevant to what we are talking about etc. I’m using my cell phone powers for good.
My boss hates that I’m always walking around phone-in-hand. He cannot stand it, he will stop me and make sure I’m paying attention to what he’s saying. I don’t think he’s surprised anymore when he stops me to make sure I’m paying attention and I actually am paying attention. (I think that because one day his boss was in his office talking to us and made a comment about how I was clicking away pretty fast on my phone and he said, to my surprise, “yeah, but in a minute she will look up and repeat everything we just said and then tell us what she thinks”). It also annoys Bobbi. While we were chatting Wednesday night at Chick-fil-a (which by the way I do not love their food) I was googling, reading and tweeting throughout our conversation and it was driving her nuts.
I get it. It looks rude. It looks like you’re not paying attention, but that’s because of all those people out their using their cell phone powers for bubble popping, tetris and candy crushing. Maybe someone being on their cell phone is the exact opposite-maybe it means they ARE paying attention. The funny thing is I’m actually putting pencil to paper right now and not paying attention to what is going on around me. I’m not making a single note about the presentation or anyone’s comments, I am making notes for this post, making my to-do list and planning a few workouts. No one has even raised an eyebrow at me. It looks like I’m just taking notes… whatever.
I was sitting in a meeting a week ago at a local college with the new board of trustees and one of the guys in the meeting said he actually does not allow cell phones in his meetings. He doesn’t want to hear a phone vibrate or see someone texting. Oy vey. Today in technical writing we were talking about measuring the effectiveness of your presentation and someone joked that you can tell you aren’t doing a good job when the audience is on their blackberries (people are using blackberries still?).
If you don’t want people texting during a meeting then say so. If you don’t want #sleepingselfies showing up on instagram with a tagline about the meeting boring them to sleep, then say so. Don’t assume I’m not paying attention. I’m researching. I’m taking notes (and by the way I do take notes using twitter sometimes so yes I’m tweeting occasionally). If you start talking about something I am not familiar with, I’m going to give it a google so I can get up to speed. If you have a question about a resource we should be considering for something, I’ll look it up right then. If you schedule a follow-up meeting, I’m putting it on my calendar right then. I’m not texting. I can use my phone for more things than texting. It would be irresponsible of me to not utilize my mobile device to its fullest capabilities. Just think about it next time you want to throw an employee out of the room for being on their phone, if I’m not on my phone, I’m probably not paying attention. Don’t be so old school.
One of my favorite things about working in Human Resources is my network! My network is full of funny and knowledgeable professionals that I call on regularly for their point of view, expertise, snarky comment or a good laugh. I would argue with anyone that I have one of the best networks ever!!! How did I end up connected to these amaze-balls peeps? One word folks, volunteering. I fell into HR by chance and the second I learned about our local SHRM affiliate chapter I was signing up and when a volunteer opportunity came my way I didn’t think twice about saying yes. I had no expectations of my volunteer role and what it would do for me, I was genuinely interested in finding a way to show my appreciation for our chapter (NASHRM) and the wealth of information they provided to newbies like myself.
I started out on a committee, the Community Relations & Education committee to be exact. I immediately met two people who became friends of mine, in fact one of them was my study partner when I took the PHR exam and the other I serve on our board with to this day! It made attending large monthly luncheons less intimidating when I knew at least two people in the room. This committee is how I ended up as a board member, over the years one of the leaders on the board saw me as a good fit for a role and the rest is history. I’ve held a few different positions, but Director of Government (legislative) affairs is my favorite. This specific volunteer role has afforded me the opportunity to go on multiple hill visits to DC and this year I’m going to the legislative conference! Volunteering has connected me to potential clients, friends, experts in my field and mentors. I would not have the knowledge I have today without all of these people, programs and opportunities.
I’ve learned through my many years of volunteering that there is a spot for everyone. If you are a behind the scenes kind of volunteer maybe you can coordinate the newsletter? Only want to volunteer at one meeting, don’t be afraid to ask, even if you know you’re only available to help once you won’t be turned away. If you’re thing is event coordinating you could be involved in programs. If sales is more your thing, getting sponsors is a volunteer need. Super fantastic with online tools and gadgets and social media, there’s a spot for that. Many chapters have subcommittees to help board members fulfill their defined goals and I think that is a great place to start if you’re looking for ways to volunteer. Take a minute to find out what volunteer opportunities are available in your local chapter, because while you’re doing a wonderful thing giving back to your profession (that movie title thing again) you’re doing amazing things for your professional development as well!
I had a quick conversation with one of my HR buddies the other day about an incident that brought up all those bad feelings I have when people forget the value of HR and the overall role HR plays. I talk about it a lot, not just online. I mostly take the angle of challenging HR professionals to communicate our purpose better, but sometimes it simply boils down to people, even HR, losing the big picture.
Huntsville, AL is full of government sub-contractors and that is still a fairly new world to me, but in a nutshell let’s review the simple foundation: employees working directly for a contract bill their work directly to that contract or contracts they are working on; employees who do not work directly for a contract, let’s call them essential business systems, bill indirectly. Those groups that bill indirectly are costing corporate directly. Their salaries and department budgets come directly out of overhead, basically they cost the company money. It’s sometimes easy for people, whether it be managers or the executive team, to focus on that one statement “you cost the company money”, but without essential business systems a “direct employee” cannot continue to do business on their own for the long-term.
Who is essential business systems? These could be human resources department (duh), business development, marketing, contracts, accounting, executive administrators, IT group, security, facilities etc. The other important piece often overlooked is that all of these groups have to work together like a well oiled machine for optimum results! If BD isn’t communicating with HR about possible business on the radar then HR probably isn’t getting prepared for the work that it will take to recruit new talent, identify internal talent, prepare benefits training or paperwork, gather salary information for comparison, generally speaking preparing the HR department to make the transition as smooth as possible for the possible customer and new employees. Another example is marketing cannot advertise for upcoming career fairs or college recruiting events if human resources/recruiters have not communicated that schedule to them. These examples could go on for days, but for the sake of time I’ll stop there.
Why this post? Please stop forgetting the big picture. Please understand that all essential business systems receive critique for costing the organization indirect dollars and that you are all in it together. Continue to communicate your purpose to the organization as a whole, but remember the other essential business systems are HRs kindred spirits.!