2016: The Transformational Employee Talent Profile

I would categorize the 2010’s as the decade of transformation. In 2015 we continued to see organizations execute strategies to “transform” their business to increase revenue and lower operating costs.

Uber was also in the spotlight in 2015. It’s a great example of a business that used technology to evolve the traditional taxi service model. Despite protests, public opinion and demand have resulted increased market share for Uber, eroding the existing taxi monopoly. The lesson is companies can’t afford to be complacent or behind the times with technology.

uberx

For many organizations the transformation journey has been challenging. Strategically, culturally and operationally, the end state requires employees to abandon the “old ways” and become more agile, adaptive, innovative and insightful. The diagram below shows a few examples of what the transformation has looked like for many organizations.

transformation

As employers re-tool their workforce, they’ve also realized they need to attract and retain talent that can sustain the new workplace. As change becomes more rapid it will be too expensive for employers to continue to downsize and attract new talent as strategies change.

This means HR will need to re-think about how they define success profiles, or what I call the Talent Profile of the Transformation Employee. After transformation, the workforce promotes change; talent is fluid and able to move into different roles as the business grows and changes. Instead of traditional recruitment practices that focus on screening for specialized job knowledge, the focus shift to screening on for behaviours, attitudes and the willingness to embrace and promote change. Employees would learn the specialized knowledge they needed to enable them to move into other roles. Research shows it’s easier to learning something new than it is to change behaviours[1].

Employers are also under pressure to deliver a work environment that will attract and retain the transformational employee they seek. The greater the match between the successful talent profile and the employer’s value proposition the greater probability the employee will stay.

transformation_profile

2016 will be a pivotal year for talent in the workforce. More than 3.6 million baby boomers will retire this year[2]. It will also be the first year Gen Z graduates will enter the workforce[3]. More digitally advanced in technology and open to trying new things than Millennials, they will seek jobs that match their technology and work-life style needs. In 2016, Millennials will comprise the same percentage of the workplace demographic as Gen x’ers. As we approach the end of the decade, Millennials will comprise 50% of the workforce; with Gen Z comprising 20%[4].

millennials

Millennials in the workforce- Source: [Footnote 5]

Companies such as Uber, Airbnb and Task Rabbit will continue to compete attract candidates with offers of C2C entrepreneurial and flexible work arrangements.

genz

Gen Z – Source: [Footnote 6]

As we begin 2016, I wish each of you a wonderful happy, healthy and prosperous new year. May your transformation experiences be successful!

I’d love to hear about some of your transformation stories. Please share them with me on LinkedIn or twitter@AnnzalieBarrett on Twitter.

________________________________________________________________________________

[1] http://www.reliableplant.com/Read/28781/learning-change-behavior
[2] http://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2015/11/01/10-workplace-trends-for-2016/
[3] http://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2015/11/01/10-workplace-trends-for-2016/
[4] http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8280-generation-z-workplace.html
[5] https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/managing-tomorrows-people/future-of-work/assets/reshaping-the-workplace.pdf
[6] https://www.visioncritical.com/generation-z-infographics

Engagement- The Cornerstone of Onboarding: A Tale of Two Stories

Engagement is playing a bigger role in sourcing and retention. In the Deloitte 2015 HR Technology Report, John Bersin articulated the next era of HR technology has shifted from automation to engagement. Things like blogs, social communities, tweets, facebook posts, social crowdsourcing, etc. are all strategies that companies are undertaking to remain competitive and retain their human capital investment.

on_imageBut what about that window of time when a candidate is transitioning from their old job into the new one? The Onboarding window. It’s the optimal time to capitialize on the excitement and eagerness of new hires.

Some companies have already started focusing on engagement by shifting away from automated forms and mass structured orientation classes to using social channels, interactive video and/or “buddies” in orientation. This supports research which finds 80% of learning happens in an unstructured environment through conversations with co-workers[1].

Successful onboarding also has a bottom line impact. On average, the cost of finding a replacement for a junior level employee is about 20% of their salary. That percentage increases as the level of seniority increases[2]. Interestingly, new hire turnover within the first 45 days can amount to about 300% of the new hires annual salary[3]. This puts a lot of pressure on companies to get onboarding right.

OB_firstyear

Some companies are still focused on using technology for forms automation and provisioning instead of engagement. The importance of interaction with employees should not be underestimated whether you use technology or not. Consider the following two stories and its impact on retention.

Experience  # 1- High Engagement; Low Automation

Jill* was referred by an employee to a prestigious financial services company. After a number of interviews she was delighted to accept a senior position. Jill was excited to start her new job. Prior to her start date, she was called into the office to complete the new hire paperwork.  She was presented with her offer letter and a number of forms to sign and complete. The entire process took about 30 minutes. She would be notified via phone or email if there were any issues or questions.

Day 1

On her first day, Jill* arrived at the appropriated time and was greeted warmly by the receptionist. After a few minutes, onboarding_1John*; her new Manager, came out to greet her. He welcomed her and showed her to her desk. He told her he would be back in 30 minutes once she got settled in. There was an envelope on Jill’s desk with information to log into her computer, set up her voice mail and keys for her cabinets and office. John came back after 30 minutes and escorted her to his office. After a few minutes of banter he presented her with a word document that outlined her schedule for the first week. He provided an overview of the organizational structure, gave her a seating chart of the floor and talked through what needed to be completed on the first day.

After spending some time going through the schedule, John took Jill around the floor and introduced her to the team. He also introduced her to her “Buddy”, Mark*, who also reported to him. Mark would be her main point of contact for questions and specific work related items. As per the schedule, Jill spent sometime with Mark to get her up to speed and identified some other key contacts she would need to meet over the next week.

At lunch time, John came back and all three of them went for lunch. After lunch; Jill had some time allotted with the Coordinator to complete her benefits enrolment. After that, she completed some mandatory training courses. Around 3:30; Mark came by to visit Jill. He dropped off a few files for Jill to familiarize herself with. He also offered to answer any other questions she had. Jill was glad to have the personal interaction and said she would review the files to get a head start for the next day.

At 4:30 John came by to enquire about Jill’s first day. How was she feeling? How were things? Was the schedule he prepared helpful? Was Mark helpful as a Buddy? Jill was quite happy with the proceedings of the day and found having a buddy extremely helpful. John was glad. He talked about some of the projects she had been assigned to and some of the challenges they were trying to address. John told Jill to call it a day, and said he looked forward to seeing her again tomorrow.

happy_eeAs Jill commuted home she reflected on the day. She was quite impressed with how her the first day unfolded. She was glad John assigned her a Buddy and appreciated his thoughtfulness to make her feel comfortable. She was confident she made the right decision to join this company.

Jill stayed with the company for 5 years.

Tale # 2- High Automation; Low Engagement

Sally* was referral by an employee to a prestigious financial services company. After a number of interviews she was offered and accepted senior position. Sally was excited to start her new job. Prior to her start date, Sally was emailed her offer letter and instructions on how to complete the onboarding process.  The process consisted of completing a series of electronic forms, checklists and collecting banking information. Sally thought the process was quick and efficient. She enjoyed the ability to complete transactions online at her own convenience. She also had the option of emailing her new Manager if she had any questions. This experience renewed her excitement to start her new job.

Day 1

On her first day, Sally arrived at the appropriated time. She was greeted warmly by the receptionist who asked her to wait as her Manager, Amy*, had not arrived yet. Sally waited in the reception area for 30 minutes. When Amy arrived she greeted her warmly, apologized for being late and showed her to her desk. She told her she would be back in a while as she was late for a meeting . Sally took the opportunity to get settled in. The keys for her cabinets and information about her computer were on her desk.

Amy came back after an hour and started to introduce her to other people on the floor. She then returned Sally to her alone_workdesk and asked her to start reviewing some documents on the shared drive. Sally started reading the documents Amy requested. As there was no schedule, Sally did not know what time Amy would come by for lunch. Sally waited for Amy but soon realized lunch wasn’t part of the first day. She decided to go down to the food court by herself. At the elevator she ran into Amy who said she was going to grab a bite, did she want to come? Sally nodded and they went down together. Sally was just about to pay for her sandwich when Amy said she would pay for it. Unsure of what to do, Sally smiled and thanked Amy. They walked back to the office to their individual desks, where Sally ate her lunch alone.

Around 2:30pm Amy came by and asked Sally to meet with her to debrief about some of the projects she needed to become familiar with. After the meeting Sally went back to her desk and started completing information for her benefits and mandatory training.

At about 4:30 Sally got an email from Amy saying she had to leave early and hoped her first day went well. She said she was happy to have her on board and would see her tomorrow. Sally realized she would not have an opportunity to debrief with Amy about her first day. Unsure of when she should leave, Sally decided to pack up and call it a day.

Womancontemplating_istockimage_0As Sally commuted home, she reflected upon the day. Her first day had not been what she expected. In fact it was quite disappointing. She barely spent anytime with Amy and was left alone most of the day. She felt isolated. Her colleagues seemed so busy she felt awkward interrupting them. She also couldn’t believe the lunch mishap. She contemplated whether this was normal behaviour at the company? Was this going to be a good fit after all? Had she made the right decision? It left her with an uneasy feeling. Hopefully tomorrow would be better.

Sally left the company just before her first year anniversary.

The two experiences above are true stories that have been shared with me. Even through Jill and Sally had vastly different experiences, both stories illustrated how important engagement was in cementing the employee experience and retention. I asked Sally if she would have traded a manual process to completing onboarding forms if it meant she could spend more “engagement” time with her Manager and/or co-workers. Without hesitation she said YES.onboarding_mobile

Now picture Millennials entering the workforce. Connected, collaborative, social, mobile, comfortable on multiple device types and demand 24×7 accessibility. Conventional strategies will do little to keep this generation stimulated and engaged. Companies need to capitalize on using blogs, communities and gamification to appeal to this generation. Building rapport can also be multi-dimensional. Tools like Skype/FaceTime can be alternate ways to chat with colleagues or management. Communities to crowdsource or connect with others are familiar ways for Millennials to engage. A Buddy (in person or virtual) is still a wonderful way to help new hires acclimate to the company.

So rethink about your approach to Onboarding. Engagement is the foundation to employee retention!

________________________________________________________________________________________________

* Names have been changed

[1] http://www.socialtext.com/blog/2013/05/goodbye-boring-orientation-hello-social-onboarding/

[2] Ibid

[3] https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141014104815-21377985-driving-people-excellence-through-social-onboarding

Kick Starting Your New Year

First, I want to start off by wishing all of you a very happy, safe, healthy and prosperous New Year.

happy new year

The holiday season typically provide us with an opportunity to reflect on the year behind us. What lessons did we learn? What would we do differently? What did we accomplish and what weren’t we able to cross off our list. As the new year begins most of us feel rejuvenated, optimistic, full of hope and revolve to make this year different.

This may include setting goals for a new job, home, travel, more money, etc. As you begin to define what you want to change, the how to get there will be a critical input to developing your roadmap.

elearning

If your sites are set on career changes you may want to explore enhancing your skill set. Virtual learning has come a long way over the last few years and now there are variety of free learning options that cater to how you want to learn.

  1. Leverage your company’s eLearning library for education/training programs.
  2. Take advantage of social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ . You can join free groups, participate in conversations, projects, webinars, events and industry discussions.
  3. Sites like Coursera offer college/university level courses taught by professors for free!
  4. One of my personal favourites; YouTube. It’s not just for music videos. It offers instructional videos, how to’s, etc. It’s one of my main go to’s when I need just in time learning.

Upgrading your skills in an evolving market is always a good idea. It demonstrates your willingness to learn new things and keep relevant. Take a few moments to think about what new skills or training you would like to acquire and how that may help you align with your roadmap.

Maybe you’re quite happy with your job but would like to get a better sense of what’s happening within your coffee chatcompany or out there (in your industry). The start of the new year should also be a re-examination of relationships.  Remove those who are toxic and draining. Toxic relationships erode your self-confidence and leave you feeling inadequate. Toss them in the garbage! Draining relationships are ones that are typically one sided, all about the other person. Hey it’s time to put yourself first! Time to let go and move on to relationships that are fulfilling for both parties.

I am a firm believer in meeting new people. Not only does it expand your social network, but it also stimulates your communication and inter-personal skills. It removes complacency and makes us more self-aware. Take some time to build networks both within and outside your organization. How about making a goal to network with six people this year? That’s one every two months.

  1. Pick two people you sparingly interact with at work. Schedule a coffee to learn more about what they do and connect.
  2. Pick two people from your external network that are acquaintances. If they live in another city/location schedule virtual coffee using tools like Google HangOut, Skype, Facetime, What’sapp, etc. so you can still maintain the visual connection.
  3. Pick to two people in your community. Building and cultivating your network can be an important step in helping you make connections to realize your end goals.
  4. Build your networks through LinkedIn, Twitter and/or Google+. Increasing your network will give you more visibility to other professionals.

LinkedIn_edit_profile

Regardless of your end goals, as I wrote in my blog post How to Articulate Your Accomplishments for Your Performance Review, make a point of updating your online profile(s) to include accomplishments, skills and projects you have completed. This will boost your brand and showcase your skills.

Finally, and most importantly, balance your professional goals and objectives with your personal goals and objectives. The way we feel is the foundation of

how we project ourselves to our family, friends and work colleagues. Feeling positive about you should be your number one priority. Maybe it’s time to take up a new hobby or start an exercise routine. Having this balance will help put you into the right frame of mind to focus and achieve your goals. I am particularly passionate about this.

My personal journey to re-focus on health and wellness started in 2013. I felt I was overweight which caused me to be lethargic and more introverted. The final straw was when I went to my cousins wedding and looked at pics of myself. I didn’t like what I sahealthylifestylew. I decided I need to do something to improve my well being. That year I started an exercise routine and started eating more natural foods. Within six months I lost close to 40 pounds and 6 dress sizes. I had a lot of support and encouragement along the way. I’ve managed to stick to my routine and have kept the weight off for more than a year. More importantly, I feel better and have more energy. It’s transformed my attitude, relationships and way of thinking. Make it a priority and find time to spend on yourself. How can you start?

  1. Exercise 3 times a week for 30 minutes (cardio)
  2. Reduce your sugar intake
  3. Reduce your  processed food intake
  4. Eat frequently with smaller meals throughout the day

We all think we don’t have time, but with a little sacrifice, you can reap big rewards.

As for me…I am thankful I had a great year last year and feel very optimistic for the year ahead.

I would love to hear what you have planned for the year ahead. I wish you every sucess in achieving your goals. Tweet me @annzaliebarrett

Course TSPK101- Expanding Your Technology Vocabulary For Business Use

In my opinion, there are three things that have become the norm of modern day societal interaction:

  1. Mobile Devices
  2. The Cloud
  3. Social Networking

I’ve affectionately labelled them the Technology Trio. Most of us could not go an hour without interacting with one, if not all of these items. This Technology Trio is fast becoming the driver of business strategy development; encompassing sales, marketing, product offerings and the employee value proposition.

Technology_Trio

That’s right I said employee value proposition.

Employees are increasingly demanding the use of mobile, cloud and social collaboration at work. Things like importing their talent profile from LinkedIn, requesting and approving vacation on their smart phone or using SharePoint to crowd source ideas from multiple internal and external stakeholders to complete a project.

Discussions about the Technology Trio have also become common place in executive strategic planning discussions. functions including . Departments such as Sales, Finance, HR, Marketing, Legal, Procurement, Operations, Compliance, etc., are now expected to have some general knowledge of the Trio to develop solutions to support businesses strategies.

Cloud-Ops-Model-lg

These could include providing answers/recommendations on whether to use a new SaaS solution to manage sales. What’s the contract/ cost implications if we move to an integrated best in suite solution or continue with a series of best in breed solutions? If  we enable API plugin’s how do we mitigate privacy concerns? If we use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to engage customers as part of our sales strategy are they any compliance risks? What guidelines need to be added to our code of conduct around acceptable usage of social media at work? How should we address anonymous employment reviews  on social media sites about our company? How do we leverage big data to gain insights into projected sales revenue or succession planning for baby boomer retirements? What’s our social recruitment strategy? And on and on….

iStock_000012479982Small

For many, this is new and overwhelming territory. Symptoms may include eyes being glazed over, increased heart rate, bouts of perspiration or having to leave the meeting early due to a sudden appointment!

Relax. Take a deep breath.

For all of you who would like a crash course on the essential technology terms* you need to know for your next meeting; this blog post is for you!

 -Technology Terminology Cheat Sheet-

Term*

Definition

Example

Android Is a mobile operating system (OS) developed by Google. Android is designed primarily for touch screen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. It uses touch inputs like swiping, tapping, pinching, etc. to manipulate on-screen objects. It also offers a virtual keyboard.
  • JellyBean
  • NexusGalaxy
  • HTC Mobile
API PlugIn An application programming interface (API) specifies software component inputs and outputs.  Its main purpose is to define a set of functionalities which allow integration (plug in) of new features into existing applications or to share data between otherwise distinct applications.
  • Apply for a job on a recruitment system using your LinkedIn profile
  • Login to TripAdvisor using your Facebook profile
Best of Breed (BoB) Applications that offer specialized functions in specific areas that ERP’s suites usually do not feature. (E.g. Time and attendance, compensation, talent management, financial planning, etc.) Most BoB  solutions are now SaaS and Cloud based.
  • Kronos
  • Salesforce.com
  • HireVue
  • Jobvite
  • JobsDB
Best in Suite (BiS) Applications that provide a broad set of functional capabilities as part of an integrated suite. These components can be sold as standalone modules or bundled. They sit on a unified platform which makes integration easy.
  • SAP
  • Oracle
  • IBM
  • Blue Link
Big Data Is an all-encompassing term for the collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand data management tools or traditional data processing applications. Big data solutions:

  • Zaponet
  • SAP Big Data
  • Oracle Big Data
Cloud Computing Is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product. Shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices remotely as a utility (like an electricity grid) over a network such as the Internet. Cloud computing allows users to access their information anywhere, anytime and on any device type.
  • Google Drive
  • Yahoo email
  • Facebook
  • WordPress

 

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image24614112

Term* Definition Example
Integrated Platform A unified technology solution that offers software that delivers services across multiple subject areas such as learning, recruitment, compensation, talent management, etc. Unlike BiS, there are no modules to sell individually.
  • Workday
Middleware Computer software that connects software applications to other software applications. Think of it as “software glue”. Middleware is used behind the scenes to execute transactions, facilitate data flow or build integration.
  • Custom API’s
  • Web Servers
  • Automated backup system
Mobile Refers to a variety of smart, portable devices that can access the internet and facilitate the usage of apps.
  • Blackberry
  • iPad
  • Smart Phones
Mobile App A computer program designed to run on smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices. Apps (applications) are available through application distributors such as the Apple App Store, Google Play and BlackBerry App World.
  • Good
  • Mobile Bank Payments
  • Instagram
SaaS Software as a Service (SaaS) is a cloud model that delivers on-demand applications that are hosted and managed by the service provider and paid for on a subscription basis (fee/ license).
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Workday
  • Salesforce.com
  • SuccessFactors
SEO Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of influencing the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”)search results. The goal is to have content indexed so it ranks closer to the top (higher) on the page when search results are returned. The higher results are ranked, the higher the probability  visitors will see content and click on it. Content can be in the form of text or digital media such as videos, audio files or images.
  • Your content shows up in the top 10 search results on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Baidu, Naver, Khoj, Achei, etc.

 

social_recruiting

Term* Definition Example
Smart Phone A mobile phone with more advanced computing capability and connectivity than basic feature phones. Smartphones include a touchscreen computer, web browser, Wi-Fi connectivity, 3rd-party apps, etc.
  • Blackberry
  • iPhone
  • Samsung Galaxy
  • HTC
Social Collaboration A processes that helps multiple people interact and share information over the internet to achieve a common goal.
  • LinkedIn
  • TripAdvisor
  • Google Hangout
  • SharePoint
Social Recruiting The use of social media and mobile tools to facilitate sourcing, marketing and recruitment. Many SaaS solutions offer social recruitment tools as part of their suite of products.
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Adwords
  • Jobs2Web
Technology Ecosystem The suite of systems in an organization that make up their comprehensive systems portfolio.
  • Your organizations systems

This list is by no means exhaustive. It should however, give you a good starting point to become a knowledgeable contributor in conversations.

I hope you find this blog post useful. Stay tuned for my next blog post which will delve into social recruiting vocabulary.

I would love to hear from you. Please drop me a line via  pca_icon_linkedin_111w_116h LinkedIn or twitter@annzaliebarrett

Ann_Nov_2012

By Ann Barrett- Director, Integrated Solutions

*Source of terms have been taken from wikipedia.com and modified for relevance.

Are You Using Data to Drive Your HR Strategy?

2014 is shaping up to be a year that will disrupt the way traditional HR functions operate. As technology, social media and data continue to become interwoven into the fabric of the workplace, HR must start to think and act like business functions by using data and insights to drive their strategy.

Business accountingNot that long ago, thought leaders called upon companies to treat HR as a strategic partner alongside the CEO, CFO, CIO, etc. to bring insights to human capital within the organization. HR, like business functions will need to rely on data, trending and analysis to assess and shape new initiatives.  Over the last few years, business functions (marketing, sales, legal, communications, products, operations, compliance; just to name a few) have expanded their data sources to include social media insights, internet analytics, search and traffic patterns. That coupled with “listening” to what people are saying about the company on social platforms provides key information on developing and/or tweaking strategies. This data is also extremely useful for HR to gage satisfaction, employee insights and dissatisfaction.

You may wonder how HR can use data for strategy when most of the data is based on operational transactions. To that I say, follow the lead of the business. HR can use a combination of operational, internet and social media metrics to analyze recruitment volume, sourcing effectiveness, candidate experience, retention and brand impact.

Here are a few ideas on how you can put data to work to help build your strategy:

1.      Recruitment (Talent Sourcing)- Building your workforce  is critical to achieving the organizations’ goals

a. Measures:  Source of Application, Source of Hire, Cost of Sourcing Channels

 Data Source: RMS/ATS

Strategy:  What channels have proven to be most effective for hires? Are there any shifts or trends that are emerging quarter over quarter or year over year? Invest your sourcing dollars wisely. Analyze data over time so you can see what sources are yielding and providing good ROI.  Your data will guide you to make sound, informed decisions.

 Cost per paid channel

 b. Measure:  Recruiter capacity

 Data Source: RMS/ATS

Strategy:  Do you have enough people to execute the work?  Analyze recruiter capacity against volume and complexity. Be prepared to dig deeper to speak to efficiency of work. Recruiter capacity impacts both service levels and the quality of output they can provide in a realistic time frame.

2.       Talent Sourcing Interactions- impacts brand and consumer opinions about the organization

a. Measure: Candidate experience

Data Sources: Glassdoor, Indeed, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Strategy: As social recruitment becomes more dominant, candidate experience is playing a more critical role impacting attraction. Like it or not candidates’ feedback about their employers are becoming more prevalent and visible online, whether the employer has a social media presence or not. It’s important to understand and assess chatter as more candidates rely on authentic feedback to make employment and product decisions about the organization. Organizations that embrace feedback and make improvements not only impact talent sourcing, but may also impact bottom line sales.

 6-british-entertainment-retailer-hmv-lost-complete-control-of-its-social-media-team-when-rogue-members-used-the-account-to-childishly-live-tweet-a-massive-firing-at-the-company

b. Measure: Manager experience, Recruiter Performance

 Data Source: Survey

 Strategy: How do businesses know if their products or services add value? Feedback about the service and its value is critical to fostering good working relations to achieve the organizations goals.  Use manager feedback to fine tune your service offering. Identify areas for improvement and acknowledge and reward great service.

 

3.       Talent Management – retention is critical to building and sustaining human capital in the organization

a. Measure: Retention

Data Sources: ERP, Performance Tools, Exit Interviews, LinkedIn

Strategy:  Why are employees leaving your organization? Where are they going?  Are certain departments or job functions prone to lower retention than others? Analyzing data will provide insight on which companies are attracting your talent and what jobs they are moving into. Social media has made it easy to get that information. Channels like LinkedIn can run talent analytics on employee changes (coming and going) to help you understand your competition.

 talent flows

b.      Measure: Employee experience

Data Sources: Glassdoor, Indeed, Facebook, Twitter, etc; Engagement Survey, Internal Crowdsourcing

Strategy: The ability to solicit feedback from employees has never been easier for HR Functions. With internal and external social media and collaboration tools available it’s quick and simple to get a sense of what’s working and what isn’t. Canned annual engagement surveys may feel like a corporate exercise rather than an employee centric forum to voice opinions or ideas.  Happy and engaged employees are more likely to stay and move within your organization than those who feel they have no voice.


I hope these few examples get you excited about the possibilities that are are at your fingertips.  Be cognizant that your metrics should be meaningful and actionable. Use your data to drive strategy, not file in your metrics folder!

I would love to hear about some metrics your company has used to help drive your strategy. Comment on my post or send me a tweet @annzaliebarrett

What Will Be the Title of Your 2014 Chapter?

happy new year

First, I want to start off by wishing all of you a very happy, safe, healthy and prosperous New Year. As the New Year begins, it provides a sense of optimism, opportunity and possibilities. I like to think of it as ending the chapter of the previous year and starting a new chapter charting your course for the year ahead.  So what will the  title of your 2014 chapter be? For some the chapter may contain goals for a new job, home, travel, more money, etc. The title of your chapter can guide you on creating a plan to help you achieve those goals. It can serve as an anchor to remind you what you set out for the year.

elearning

If your 2014 chapter has aspirations for a promotion or career change (and of course more money), consider exploring development opportunities that may be available to you through your company’s eLearning tool or education/training programs. Social networking tools such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ also have free groups you can join to participate in conversations, projects, webinars, events and industry discussions. Upgrading your skills in an evolving market is always a good idea.

It demonstrates your willingness to learn new things and keep relevant. Take a few moments to think about what new skills or training you would like to acquire and how that may help you align with your holistic career plan.

Maybe you’re quite happy win your job but would like to get a better sense of what’s happening within your coffee chatcompany or out there (in your industry). The start of the new year should also be the start of new relationships. Take some time to build networks both within and outside your organization. I am a firm believer that different perspectives can help you make a more informed decision about what’s happening both beside you and around you. How about making a goal to network with six people this year? That’s one every two months.  Perhaps three people internally and three people externally. Maybe they’re acquaintances that you casually interact with that you would like to get to know better. Build you networks through LinkedIn, Twitter and/or Google+. Pick a few people and reach out to them. If  you can’t meet in person, set up a virtual coffee. Building and cultivating your network can be an important step in helping you make connections to realize your end goals.

LinkedIn_edit_profile

Regardless of your end goals. as I wrote in my last blog post How to Articulate Your Accomplishments for Your Performance Review, make a point of updating your online profiles to include accomplishments, skills and projects you completed. Having an updated profile helps build your brand and showcase your updated skills.

Finally, and most importantly, incorporate your personal goals and objectives into your 2014 chapter. The way we feel is the foundation of
healthylifestyle

how we project ourselves to our family, friends and work colleagues. Feeling positive about you should be your number one priority. Maybe it’s time to take up a new hobby or start an exercise routine. Having balance helps put you into the right frame of mind to focus and achieve your goals.

As for me…the title of my 2014 chapter will be an expansion of my 2013 continuous improvement philosophy, simply: “Expanding My Perspectives Through learning”.That will include both professional and personal goals.

I look forward to hearing what titles you come up with for this year. I wish you every success in achieving your goals. Tweet me @annzaliebarrett !

How Twitter Is Changing the Way We Interact

I have a confession to make…I’ve become a bit of a Twitter junkie. If you had asked me eighteen months ago why Twitter is such a popular tool I would have shrugged by shoulders in bewilderment. At the time, I too was puzzled as to why so many people were using this channel to read “tweets” about what people were doing all day. I thought aren’t people already using Facebook for that?

As a social media professional I kept circling back to how we could leverage Twitter as a strategic channel for engagement and marketingimagesCAPM27TL. I often struggled with how I could use this channel for recruitment. Earlier this year I attended a Brainstorm conference which had one day dedicated to how to use social media for campus recruitment. Although I am not a campus recruiter, I did know that Twitter was an important channel for students and new graduates. Chelsea Newton and Michael Mahoney from Talent Formula delivered an amazing workshop reviewing all the relevant social  media channels. One comment that really resonated with me, one powerful statement that I still think about today is this; “…If you are looking to put together a social media strategy, you have to be on the channels to understand how they work.” It sounds so obvious, but it was really profound. Right then and there I logged into my dormant Twitter account and started tweeting to Michael, Chelsea and the group about what I had learned and observed. It was enlightening, powerful and liberating. People were actually responding and re-tweeeting me!

A few weeks ago, I was reading an article in Canadian Business magazine (yes an actual magazine) talking about how Twitter has changed the way we watch TV. The article stated that 70% of TV viewers now watch shows with a smart phone/tablet in hand; using them a second screen in imagesCAZ5Q2YGTV viewing. So, I have another confession to make…I too have adopted this practice. On Sunday nights I arm myself with my iPad and tune into to watch one of my favourite shows, The Walking Dead. Through a simple #hashtag thousands of us around the globe tweet our comments, reactions, predictions, etc. before, after and during the show. Many of the actors also tweet their own commentary encouraging further conversation. TV shows such as the Talking Dead take questions from Facebook and Twitter as discussion items for the show. It allows for much broader participation and engagement. The ability to interact with people in a shared conversation through Twitter has changed the way I watch certain shows.

As I use Twitter more and more, I realize why it is so popular and impactful:

1) Quick updates– You can share a thought, observation, picture or comment on the fly. It’s easy to do.

imagesCAKE6HJS

2) Expands Sharing- The integration of Twitter on other social media platforms and websites allow you to share pictures, articles, webpages, comments, updates, etc. to your followers that is easy to consume. Re-tweets are also fast and networking friendly.


3)
 
You can participate in conversations– You may say, can’t we do this on Facebook? I’ll answer it one word. #Hastag. This humble, yet revolutionary invention allows people to come together and participate in imagesCAK1XFF9conversations.  At the last conference I attended, conversations and observations were shared collectively through a hashtag. Even if you couldn’t participate in person, you could still be part of the conversation and contribute your ideas, thoughts and feedback.

4) You can follow people without being intrusive– Twitter has limited profile information. The idea is to converse. Most people feel comfortable “following” other people they don’t’ really know, but want to get to know. It’s the perfect bridge between Facebook and LinkedIn.

twitter-tablet-hed-2013

5)  You can have a single opinion or a unified voice- Twitter is a great way to rally people around a single cause. Good or bad. Product
launches can generate oodles of hype and amplify brand. In the case of JP Morgan, it can also provide a unified voice for disgruntled people sharing feedback and comments about the company.

So a few weeks after my Sunday TV + Twitter ritual, I circled back to the initial question; how can recruitment use Twitter in a more meaningful way? It’s no surprise the primary strategy is still based on a job board approach. While this may be low hanging fruit, it’s still missing the essence of what Twitter really represents; engagement. A few months ago I wrote a blog post about Bilal Jaffery who got a job at Enterasys through a tweet back to the CEO. The lesson is social media is more powerful if you take the time to converse. It means investing in creating a pipeline of people you would like to have a further conversation with. So how do you do that?

1)      Build up your follower base- As you start to follow other companies, you may notice people who are of interest. Start to follow them. Get to know them.

Twitter-Recruiting

2)      Participate in conversations- I can’t stress this enough. To make yourself visible you have to participate in conversations. So add your two cents!

3)      Be responsive- Conversations are two way. If you are tweeting you should also re-tweet and respond to tweets.

4)      Direct Message People of Interest- When you see someone you want to talk to direct message them.

5)      Don’t Spam- Don’t tweet just for the sake of tweeting. It’s better to a have a few quality tweets (including jobs) instead of hundreds that clog up peoples tweeter feed. You will be “unfollowed” pretty quickly and it could damage your reputation.

Twitter is a viable contender in the recruitment space. Many companies who have followed the steps above have touted success through product sales, brand, recognition and hires through its usage. McDonald’s,  AT&T, Cogent Company and Enterasys are few examples of this.

I hope these few tips will help you start thinking about how you can use Twitter for recruitment. I would love to hear from you so please tweet me @annzaliebarrett

twitter

Happy Tweeting!

Career Product Marketing- What Are You Selling?

In my last blog post I talked about how organizations are using crowdsourcing to improve marketing messages to make products more appealing. I spoke about how HR functions can also utilize this rich data to improve its employee value proposition and employment brand. As Recruitment functions start to climb out of a 2.0 model attention is being directed to use social media platforms for recruiting. In a quest to increase reach, many companies continue to push out long, traditional, wordy job postings that serve to instruct the reader rather than entice them. It looks something like this:

old_jd

If product marketing took this approach it would be the equivalent of pushing out a product specification to attract buyers. Sounds absurd right? Marketing knows they have to develop compelling messages to entice the reader to at least find out more about the product. Messages are developed into visual ads where social media acts as a forum to engage and interact with consumers. The difference looks something like this:

samsung_spec       samsung_product_ad

What if recruitment took a business approach and treated “careers” as products they’re trying to sell? Each vacancy would represent an individual product marketed through a job ad. The marketing approach would centre on crafting key messages to attract relevant prospects for the product. Job postings would be more marketing friendly focused on key communities to interact and engage in a meaningful way.

For companies who have embraced this type of thinking the outcomes are creative and concise ads geared at soliciting relevant prospects with links where the reader can learn more.

ASCPUN201006237Ad00701

1234807_10151794314309346_1163308203_n  microsoft_jobad

Think about what is attracting you to these ads. What makes you linger? Visual and emotional cues make you want to read more. Visual content marketing has a higher impact on social media because it’s easier to consume and share.

Some companies such as Salesforce.com have taken this even one step further by extending career marketing to a video format. This approach is far beyond recruitment 2.0, and actually moves into the realm of recruitment 4.0. Here, the Manager takes an active role in the recruitment process. The video is short, engaging and easily downloadable so it can be viewed on the go. Prospects are also offered the opportunity to engage with the Manager via social media (in this case Twitter) for more information. This creates the opportunity for real interaction instead of a one way push.

salesforce_pic

A forward thinking approach.

I know many of you reading this may think this is a huge amount of work that requires a lot of money. Not to mention, Managers would never do a video. To that I would say, start small. Do you have a few key roles you can start with that you can pilot? Start to create the foundation by shifting the mindset. Many companies have fantastic in-house creative, brand, communication and digital teams. Partner with them. Learn from them. Small successes pave the way for larger successes.

To help you get started, I’ve mapped out how recruitment can craft career marketing messages using the same thought process as a product marketer. Product marketing essentially has to answer three main questions for consumers:

Business Product Marketing Messages Career Product Marketing Messages
1- What will this product do for me if I buy it? (What’s In It For Me- WIFM?) 1- How will this job utilize and/or enhance my skills and develop my career? (WIFM?)
2- What are the main/exciting features of this product? What does it do? 2- What are the main/attractive features of this job? What would I do? (Keep it concise)
3- How is this product different from its competitors? 3- Why should I work for your company instead of your competitors?

I hope this blog post has energized you to think of your job postings in a new way! I would love to hear about your success stories.

 

By Ann Barrett, Director eRecruitment & Social Media Strategy

Has Your Company Embraced Crowdsourcing to Improve Your Employee Value Proposition?

Crowdsourcing is one of the hottest conversation topics on the web. I predict it will be the most “buzzed word” of 2013. Companies are starting to pay attention to crowdsourcing as viable, cost effective ways to develop new product lines, new technologies, solve problems and improve service. Crowdsourcing is also important to HR as it can provide a wealth of knowledge in understanding employee experiences with a company’s employee

crowdsourcing

value proposition (EVP) and employment brand.

So, what exactly is crowdsourcing? The term crowdsourcing is a mix of the word “crowd” and “sourcing” first coined by Jeff Howe in a 2008 Wired magazine article “The Rise of Crowdsourcing”[1]. In essence it’s an online database where people can contribute content (written, video, pictures) by posting it in a public forum which can be viewed and shared by others. Availability on the internet makes it easier to search and find information. Integration with social media sites such as Facebook means reviews can be cross-shared to friends. Apps let you search and review on the go through mobile platforms.

To demonstrate the power and value of crowdsourcing to the business and HR, I thought I would do a cross comparison from two strategic crowdsourcing sites; TripAdvisor and Glassdoor.

tripadvisor_logo

 

I am an avid and loyal TripAdvisor member. Over the years I have become dependent on TripAdvisor to help me make informed decisions on what hotels to stay at when I travel. I find the reviews invaluable and will not make a decision without consulting TripAdvisor first. I also pay it forward by writing my own reviews, thus sharing my experience with others.

glassdoor_logo_250I was first introduced to Glassdoor through Facebook. I got a few invitations from friends in my network requesting I join.  At first glace I didn’t understand its value. However once I saw there were anonymous reviews providing real insight into the culture, work, management and environment of an organization, i was hooked.

Sites like TripAdvisor and Glassdoor are powerful because of their reach. As the stats below reveal, the traffic, membership and visibility on these sites is enormous  More importantly…they are still growing.

  TripAdvisor (Business) Glassdoor (HR)
Reach
  • World’s largest travel site[2]
  • 50M visitors per month
  • 20M business visitors per month
  • 1.5 Reviews posted every second
  • 21M registered users[3]
  • 260K companies globally
  • 5 company reviews
  • A new member joins every 7 seconds
glassdoor_reviewEvery company has a vested interest in promoting how great they are. They want to you buy their product and/or attract top talent. Crowdsourced reviews are powerful because they are authentic. They are reflective of genuine experiences from a variety of people who have interacted with the company.

90% of consumers trust peer recommendations compared to only 14% from advertisements[4]. This has put pressure on companies to become more authentic in their brand promise and employment value proposition.

  TripAdvisor (Business) Glassdoor (HR)
Authentic
  • Reviewers have actually stayed at the hotel.
  • They have no vested interest in portraying the hotel as good or bad.

 

  • Reviewers are either current employees or former employees.
  • Reviewers write reviews based on their employment experience.
  • Anonymity allows for more genuine feedback without fear of reprisal.
tripadvisor_travllerphotosCrowdsourced reviews are powerful because they are transparent about the brand promise. They help to answer the question, Is the company/employer genuinely delivering what the promise?
  TripAdvisor (Business) Glassdoor (HR)
Transparent
  • Pictures and videos of hotel rooms, bathrooms, restaurants, etc. from reviewers provide real examples of what is delivered versus what is being advertised.
  • Potential travellers have more realistic expectations about the product they will receive.

 

  • Viewers have more realistic expectations about day to day operations, work environment and management styles.
  • Employees rate the employee value proposition (career progression, growth, development, compensation, benefits, etc.) against what they experienced. This helps set expectations for future prospects.
tripadvisor_reviewsIt’s my opinion that companies should be grateful for crowdsourcing through sites like TripAdvisor and Glassdoor. Think about it. Customers and employees at no cost; are providing companies with feedback on what they’re doing well and what they can improve on.

Actionable Feedback. It’s a goldmine of rich data.

  TripAdvisor (Business) Glassdoor (HR)
Actionable Feedback
  • Reviewers provide suggestions for improve.
  • Reviewers provide feedback on what’s working.

Companies that are focused on continuous improvements can create action plans to fix shortcoming.

Positive feedback can be woven into marketing and advertising to highlight positive attributes, making the brand promise more credible.

  • Reviewers provide suggestions to Management on areas they can improve.
  • Reviewers provide feedback on things that are working well.

Employers can cross reference engagement results with reviews. Retention strategies can be created based on feedback.

Positive feedback can be woven into employment branding and the employee value proposition messaging, making them more credible.

 

If you reviewed two hotels at the same price point and one had predominantly negative reviews and the other had predominantly positive reviews; which one would you choose? Crowdsourced reviews are powerful because they influence people’s opinion and ultimately impact their decision. That has a bottom line impact.

 

  TripAdvisor (Business) Glassdoor (HR)
Reviews Impact Decisions
  • Positive reviews may yield more sales.
  • Negative reviews may result in a loss of a sale opportunity.
  • Companies can assess referral ratings based on reviews.
  •  Positive reviews may attract better talent to your organization.
  • Negative reviews may turn off top talent.
  • Employers can assess referral ratings based on reviews.
reviewsCompanies cannot ignore crowdsourcing’s impact on the bottom line any longer. Smart companies will acknowledge suggestions and make improvements to demonstrate they are listening. This willingness to change also builds credibility as reviews validate changes.

HR Departments should be conscious that employee opinions not only have a direct impact on talent sourcing strategies, but may also carry over to net promoter scores (NPS), product sales and customer retention. Dissatisfied employees may not buy or recommend company products to a friend. That impacts the bottom line.

 

 

 

 

 

By Ann Barrett, Director eRecruitment & Social Media Strategy


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowdsourcing

[2] http://www.slideshare.net/eTourismAfrica/trip-advisor-2012

Is Technology an Enabler or a Driver?

When I first started in the field of eRecruitment the use of technology to automate forms and processes was still formsrelatively new. If you’re thinking that was back in the 80’s or 90’s you would still be in the wrong decade. As late as the early 2000’s many companies were only using technology to enable job applications, on-line form completion and on-line pay statement reviews. Technology was regarded as an enabler to complete and facilitate processes, drive efficiency and reduce costs and administration. Organizations drove articulating specifications on how technology could enable process automation.

044625-japan-technology-company-sharp

It’s September 2013. As I write this blog post I am in Tokyo, Japan; one of the most technologically connected and forward thinking countries

in the world. My older iPad feels like a clunky machine compared to the smaller, thinner more sophisticated  smart phones, tablets and cameras they are using. Everything here is done by technology, from animation to toilets. As I look at people on the train engrossed in their smart phones playing games, texting social networking, taking pictures, etc. it occurs to me technology has evolved to become a driver changing the way people interact and use it. You may say isn’t technology still acting as an enabler, allowing us to execute processes such as texting and gaming? My rebuttal would be, technology has become a  driver because we are adapting to it.

My example is a simple, yet powerful one that shows how technology influenced us to adapt to it.  It’s called apps. When Apple imagesCAGEOSCElaunched the iPhone back in 2007, the concept of using third-party applications (apps) to present subsequent social networking programs and shop (iTunes) was a new and innovative concept. I would categorize it as a driver because most consumers didn’t even know they wanted it until it became available. Once people started using it, adapting to the new presentation and functionality, the demand was almost insatiable. Every company wanted to develop their own app to reach consumers to drive business. Today every mobile vendor offers apps as a standard operating feature of their phones and/or tablets. Consumers have been driven to use apps which has actually changed the way we interact with technology.

blackberry-crash-600x450

Technology is driving change. Organizations need to re-think about how they can realize its value in the marketplace. Resistance to its adoption has clear downstream bottom line impacts. Take consumers opinion on the recent bid to acquire Blackberry by Fairfax Financial. Public opinion revealed many perceived Blackberry was too slow to adopt new features onto their mobile platform which other companies such as Samsung capitalized on. The result was decreased consumer consumption and market share.

How does this impact recruitment?

Organizations also need to recognize the significance technology is playing in the attraction and retention of talent.

Managers_need_to_be_like_students_embrace_technology-426x283

For example, we know that the usage of mobile devices will continue to grow as the primary way people access the internet and information. We  can infer the absence of a mobile strategy will exclude larger percentages of the population interacting with your brand. As social networking tools become a more dominant way to learn about employers, interact with them and read reviews on what others say about them, recruitment and talent functions will need to embrace these tools as a relevant and meaningful ways to engage and communicate.

If your organization isn’t doing it, your competitor will.