Nov 28, 2010

Looking to hire you (step one)

Human resources are undoubtedly valuable for any company. Willing to grow, restructure or simply to replace recent departures, companies need to find appropriate people (in terms of skills and personality) to hire. Headhunting is an old activity, but maybe "the game" has changed in today's world, with all the new technologies, the internet, the social networks, the constant changing human behavior.

End of 2010 snapshot:

- LinkedIn offers a very good professional network at international level where people can publish their CV, connect to other professionals, follow companies and look for jobs. Although it has an admirable evolution, it still has some limitations for the moment: is not very spread in all the countries (for example, in my country it gathers about 280K people out of a total population of about 20 mil. people - so just about 1% of the population has an account) and it doesn't really gather people from all the domains (like technical, medical etc.)

- Xing is a similar network to LinkedIn (but less developed in terms of features), with a higher spread in Europe (mostly Germany) and facing the same challenges: geographical areas and professional domains covered.

- On Twitter there are plenty of jobs publishing accounts for different niches. But most of them just advertise jobs for the masses of followers, without being able to personalize and engage. I personally found them more like noise and not really helpful.

- There are plenty of recruiting online platforms where there are jobs posted and you can perform advanced searches. Some offer the possibility to simply upload you CV document, but some require additional efforts to fill in a registration form - and so you can end up losing a lot of time for each website. The good and popular ones have a disadvantage for the job seekers: their application is submitted among other hundreds or thousands of other applications and so the response rate from companies is very low.

- Companies advertise on their own website the job opportunities. The best ones are the small local companies that give you usually an email address to submit your application as you consider. The big ones, especially the international ones, mainly have a personalized online registration form - so again, you need a lot of time to complete your application for each company, filling in over and over again your experience, studies etc.

Well, I have some advice from a job seeker point of view for all the companies that are looking to hire people:

- Do publish on your general website the job opportunities with as many details as possible and in simple terms. People that like specific companies will most probably try their websites.

- Don't make people fill in registration forms. Is a time waster for them, even if it might be a time saver for you. Just let them use their own CV file or, even better, their LinkedIn account.

- Do provide a personal contact (full name and individual email address) for each position. Please, no hr@, "apply here" button or whatever. People need to talk to other people, they feel more motivated to write a nice email (as a cover/ motivation letter) when they know the person behind it (that they can google or you can provide the profile to make it even easier).

- Do use LinkedIn company profile and job advertising. It is easy for people to follow companies they are interested in and look for jobs, especially through their connections (first or second degree) - very useful.

- Do use recruitment platforms, but only to advertise the job. Again, no "apply here" button, but an individual contact that people can email.

- Do publish the job description link on your company's twitter account. Your followers might be interested or they can recommend it to other people they find appropriate.

- Do convince bloggers to write about your available positions. They will get you to the right target group (example, student bloggers for internships).

- Do check the profile (mainly LinkedIn account) of your biggest online fans and propose them appropriate/ personalized job opportunities.

- Do start a conversation with all the people who applied that wrote you with interest. Even if you don't hire them, they are good fans, they might be useful later or for another position.

It may look like your HR, Marketing and Management people need to invest more time and enthusiasm then they used to, but it is worth it. People like to engage with your employees, the people behind the brand/ company they like. And they will share their experiences with their friends.


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