What I Learned at ILSHRM12 — The Talent Sessions

 

 

I’m continuing my wrap-up of the Illinois State SHRM Conference I attended last week. So far, I’ve covered

and

Today’s post is going to share my take-aways from the TalentNet Live event which kicked-off the Conference and Sarah White’s session on “The Candidate Experience.” Even though it is a little out-of-order, these two tied together so well that I thought sharing the lessons together made the most sense.

TalentNet Live is a social recruiting education and strategy company that seeks to inspire recruiters and companies to create better employer brands and recruitment strategies through social media. They host live events, chats and a weekly radio show dedicated to it. They are smart people and they pair with smart people to provide great insight and practical tips on all things talent. If you haven’t already, you should most definitely check them out! (Click here for more) … Sarah White is a HR/Recruiting professional turned consultant. Her focus on integrating technology and human capital. She’s also a blogger at the HR Tech Blog and super fun person to follow on Twitter. Be sure to check her out as well.

And here’s what I gleaned for your reading pleasure, (and hopefully) knowledge and wisdom …

Social media is here to stay and it is having a really significant impact not only on how we relate to customers/clients, but also to our employees. Regardless of whether your company has an official social media presence, you have a presence through your employees — which means the story of your company is being told by both what they are and are not saying. Companies don’t have an internal face and external face anymore — and social media is the great equalizer and lie detector! Good or bad, the truth is being told about your company and its practices through social media channels.

The good news is you have the ability to control some of this and use it to your advantage. When companies stop being afraid of negative feedback and interactions on social media, they can start to engage with employees in meaningful ways through these platforms. There are tons of great tools companies can use for this that are FREE and easy to manage … And speaking of managing, DO NOT take the summer intern or person in the office who everyone knows is always on Facebook and put him/her in charge of social media. Social media is for more than just the young and techy. Create opportunities for anyone interested to step up, help with research and give input into the strategy. It is too important not to manage with the same seriousness as Finance or Marketing.

Along with using social media to engage employees, you should also use it to engage talent — both internal and external. Give current employees and those interested in working for you the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge by building talent communities and discussion forums. Have a career site that does more than just post jobs — make it a place for current and potential employees to engage with management and learn more about what it is really like to work for your organization.

However, if your traditional recruiting and hiring practices are not solid, going social should NOT be your priority. If your company is still living in the world of paper applications and newspaper ads, it doesn’t make sense to dive into a full social branding platform. Instead, you need to develop a longer strategy on how to get your company to that level by slowly and methodically strengthening and adding pieces. For example, make sure your paper application is current and complete before moving to an online version. Make sure your applicant tracking system (ATS) is set up properly and tracking valuable metrics. Make sure your candidate experience is consistent with what your company thinks and wants it to be … But don’t go social until you are sure those other areas are tight and right! Otherwise, you are courting confusion, difficulty and disaster that will hurt your company more than help it.

The good news is there are also lots of tools that are FREE and easy to manage that can help you to get there. There are ATS systems, survey generators, even email alert programs that will tell you when an employee is talking about your company on social media, and much more available. Once again, the folks at TalentNet and Sarah White are great resources to start with.

The key is to get over the fear and grab hold of this way of thinking sooner rather than later. Social media’s impact on our companies and how we attract, hire and retain employees isn’t going anywhere. We can either change … or be changed by change (that’s a quote from Simon T Bailey).

It’s up to you.

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