Tag: social media

Talent Attraction, Satisfaction & Productivity – Social & Tech DO Matter #EWS2015

Posted on December 15th, by Jennifer Payne in Business and Workplace. No Comments

Editor’s Note: Women of HR has partnered with Spherion on a series of sponsored posts to bring you highlights and commentary from their 2015 Emerging Workforce Study, which contains a great deal of interesting data and statistics about future trends in the workforce and our workplaces.  This is the final post in that series.


Social media and technology are not new topics in the world of Human Resources.  If you haven’t been thinking and talking about them for at least the last couple of years, I ask – where have you been?  Early adopters have been talking social for years now, and even those that were a little later to the party have been at least marginally aware for the past couple of years that there is something to this “social thing.”  Companies and HR departments are slowly becoming more tech savvy and realizing the value of technologies and how they can make our companies, departments, and processes more efficient and effective.  However, despite that there is still a ways to go and progress to be made.  As we’ve seen time and time again throughout our examination of Spherion’s 2015 Emerging Workforce Study over the past several months, there continues to be a gap between what employees believe and expect, and what employers realize and act upon.

Looking at some key statistics from the Emerging Workforce Study, we see that social and technology appear to be key drivers in attracting talent and keeping them satisfied, engaged, and productive once they are on board.  I suspect these numbers will only continue to grow as time goes on.  And employers seem to realize that, but sadly aren’t sure exactly how to address it:

  • 50% of workers believe social media outlets at least somewhat influence their view of a company for whom they may work
  • 47% of employees expect their user experience with their HR department to match what they are accustomed to in the outside world; however only 24% report that their HR departments provide mobile applications for work related processes
  • 54% of workers indicate they spend anywhere from less than an hour up to 6 hours in a typical workday using social media tools or mobile applications to get their job done
  • 50% of employers admit they still struggle with how to address social media policies or practices in their workplaces


What Does This Mean For HR Leaders?

There are a few things that become evident from these statistics, and become key takeaways for HR leaders.  The first is the importance of employment branding and social engagement.  If 50% of potential job seekers place at least some merit in how companies are portrayed online, it seems rather important the HR departments have a handle on what’s being said about them.  This might mean taking on responsibility for owning the company’s Glassdoor or LinkedIn pages.  It might mean creating and managing Facebook and Twitter career pages and accounts.  Or for public facing companies (i.e. retail, healthcare, or other public services) it very well may mean partnering with your marketing department to ensure your messaging is consistent.  Think about it – if a customer has a bad experience with your company, are they likely to want to work for you, or refer someone else to work for you?

The second key takeaway is the concept of the consumerization of technology.  As our outside world and our lives become more and more dependent on technology and the efficiencies it provides, our expectations in our work worlds tend to align with that.  In this app driven society in which we live, in which we can use our smart phones for almost anything we need to do, it stands to reason that what we need to accomplish in our jobs should reflect that as well, and the statistics show that almost half of us believe that.  However, only about a quarter of employers are providing this reality.  So as HR leaders, we need to stay on top of latest trends and technologies and constantly be evaluating ways we can implement and upgrade our existing processes to reflect the reality of the outside world.  And it doesn’t need to be all or nothing, all at once.  It might mean starting with one system or process that touches the most employees and upgrading that, and then continually evaluate other options going forward.  However you approach it, technology is not going away, and it’s our responsibility as savvy HR leaders to be aware of our options and how they can make our workplaces better and more productive.

And the third key takeaway is the social media is not going away.  Not only that, but many employees expect and need to use it to be productive in their jobs.  Not being sure of how to address policies and practices is no excuse.  Blocking social media sites in the workplace is no longer the answer.  You can equate it to the use of the internet in the workplace…was there a time when companies did not provide access to the web?  Sure.  Is that acceptable now?  Of course not; workers rely on the ability to research online and access sites to do their jobs.  Social media is just the next evolution of workplace productivity tools.  Many people rely on crowdsourcing, networking, and information mining that is possible through social media sites to enhance their productivity.  Can social media also be a time suck and productivity deterrent?  Perhaps.  That’s where good guidelines come into play.  Managing for the exception is never a good practice in any aspect of HR or leadership.

As I’ve said throughout this series, it’s a changing world out there.  We as employers we need to be aware of, on top of, and embracing the tools and resources available to us to keep us competitive and effective.  We need to understand the trends and changing expectations of the workforce to position ourselves to attract and retain the best talent available.  Using the excuse that we just don’t understand is no longer acceptable if we want to survive.


This post was the final in a series of six posts over the past several months relating to Spherion’s 2015 Emerging Workforce Study.  If you’re interested in reading the previous posts, you can find them here: 

Are We On The Same Page? Critical Skills For The Future Workplace 

The Challenge of the Future Workforce 

The Workplace of the Future: What We Need To Know 

The Changing Face of the Job Search 

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same – What Matters to Employers in the Hiring Process


Disclosure: Spherion partnered with bloggers such as me for their Emerging Workforce Study program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any idea mentioned in these posts. Spherion believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Spherion’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.


About the Author: Jennifer Payne, SPHR, SHRM-SCP has over 16 years of HR experience in employee relations, talent acquisition, and learning & development, and currently works in talent acquisition and development in the retail grocery industry.  She is one of the co-founders of Women of HR, and is currently the Editor of the site. You can connect with her on Twitter as @JennyJensHR and on LinkedIn.


Technology, Smechtology

Posted on October 14th, by Dorothy Douglass in Business and Workplace, HR Technology. 5 comments

What does the word “technology” do to your blood pressure when you hear it?  How about “digital space?”  “Social media?”

Your answer may be different depending on a few things:

  • Your age;
  • Your geography;
  • Your career choice; and possibly,
  • Any expectations you’ve been given for using (or not using) technology.

For the record, I’m 53.  I’m an HR professional – I am in banking, now for 13+ years, healthcare for 5 years prior, and in small business for 7+ years, with an even earlier working stint in the public welfare sector.  I remember when the fax machine came out – I was ecstatic over the ability to move information faster, but had to wait until some of our vendors and clients “caught up” and caught on to the efficiency.  I remember when I refused to use a computer mouse – I told my husband, “why should I, when  I have all the function buttons memorized?”  Remember F1, F2, F3?

I remember calling my husband (he was so tech-savvy back then!) from work so he could teach me this thing called ‘mail merge.’  Once I had a staff of 35 employees, I wasn’t going to type and retype names & addresses in my quarterly employee newsletter.  And finally, did anyone delete all those requests back around the years 2002 – 2005 to “connect with your colleague Joe Schmoe” on something called LinkedIn?  Yes.  I did.  I deleted them.

I live in the conservative Midwest, and in a smaller community.  Hence, our population in general may be behind in the learning curve and usage of social media.  My age group is, too – I’m often frustrated because I seem to still have close friends (who live thousands of miles away) who refuse to use social media.  Any of it.  I occasionally get a phone call, “did you know that Susie is fighting thyroid disease?  No one told me, I’m so upset.”  And actually, Susie posted the information herself on Facebook, Twitter, or elsewhere in the digital world. Ce la vie.

At a recent round table of HR banking professionals in my home state, we gathered to discuss HR topics. One of our frustrations was our trade association’s change of communication from a list-serv email to their website.  To ask questions and share dilemmas with colleagues, we need to now learn something new.  And different.  And that is hard – for everyone.  We HR professionals had to take a (difficult) look in the mirror and do what we often coach others to do – get with the program, learn new technology, adapt to change.  Tough one.

I have to say, even for an “oldster,” I was surprised to hear that some of my HR colleagues still use paper applications when recruiting,  aren’t engaged in the digital space, and aren’t on LinkedIn.   I believe I also heard some of our collegial competitors still discourage internet usage and social media usage in the workplace.  For me, I found that sad – even freely stating that I was NOT an early adopter, and I am still fairly tech-UNsavvy.

I contend that for HR to earn that proverbial seat at the executive level table (aka the C-suite), HR professionals need to be disruptors.  Using social technologies can be disruptive and when learned and used in a positive way,  a change agent.  We need to question the status quo, make some decisions then ask for forgiveness, and we need to step up and lead.  Human Resources has been administrative – almost forever, right?  The “Personnel” departments of old were there to support operations, process paperwork, deliver payroll, file employee records, administer benefit programs, and write policies.

We still serve some of those administrative needs, but HR can be so much more to the organization.  We need to ask the question “Why?”  Why are we doing it this way, why aren’t we adapting new technologies, why don’t we invest in an HRIS?  From my small corner of the world, we can help drive cultural shifts and mentalities, albeit slowly, and often with much assistance from other business drivers.  Some of that comes from learning to use technology – it’s not going away.

Here are some ideas for HR professionals to consider:

  • Have an open mind to change.   Most of us no longer hand out cash on pay day, and many of us no longer hand out paper paychecks either.  We have electronic means of delivering pay, so why wouldn’t we want to move along that continuum with everything HR does?  From recruiting to performance management,  HR is getting electronically delivered out there in many places – more efficiently, and often more effectively.
  • Get social.  Take a look, in your off-time, at the social spaces out there.  LinkedIn is NOT just a tool people use for a job search.  Not anymore.  Ease into social media, one place at a time.  It can be overwhelming.  Join Facebook and just look around for a while.  You don’t have to post.  Same with LinkedIn – see what other HR professionals are doing in the social space.  There are a ton of HR blogs out there, many are fabulous to read, and provide good tips.  Seek out one you like and follow them for a bit to get a feel.

To move the Human Resources profession up, each of us has a responsibility to be continuous learners, and mostly, to learn to live in the digital spaces.  Good luck!  You can do this!

[One of these days, I might even get that blog started…. Yes, change happens slowly.]


Photo Credit

About the Author:  Dorothy Douglass is Vice President of Human Resources & Training at MutualBank, an Indiana-based financial institution.  She began her career with Mutual in 2001 as Human Resources Manager, and is a graduate of Ball State University.  She is proud to have been in Human Resources now for more than 17 years and is continuing to “lean in” and working to influence the “people management” side of her organization.  She is passionate about managing and developing people; and I have yet to be bored in 13+ years in her current job.   She considers herself fairly tech-UN-savvy, though has immersed herself in Facebook and LinkedIn.  She’s still working on the Twitter-sphere & has goals to blog more in 2014.


HR & Social Media: Mending the Uneasy Relationship

Posted on March 13th, by a Guest Contributor in Business and Workplace. No Comments

Society has gotten to the point where it is more interesting to find that a person does not use some sort of social media platform, than one that uses a platform daily. This deeply personal display of information, however, often finds its way into a workplace environment, and not always in a positive way.

There are numerous ways that Human Resources departments can use social media. For example, businesses have successfully utilized the content for team building, training, communication, work delegation, research and blogging. However, there are 3 fundamental areas that social networking sites could positively affect.

  • Communication: Clear communication between Human Resources and employees is critical for the health of a company. Through social media, it is much easier than ever before. Using these networks as a tool, Human Resources departments can easily communicate a message to everyone in the company, regardless of their location. A tweet or a status update can quickly convey a short message to hundreds in an instant.


  • Employee feedback: Long ago, Human Resources departments relied on suggestion boxes or private meetings for employee suggestions and concerns. Now, using social networks or online forums, employees can voice their opinions and have open discussions.


  • Recruiting: Human Resources departments know that today’s job seekers are online. Recruiting departments now use social media to market their company and talk directly to potential employees. Many Human Resources departments also use social media when conducting background checks on applicants, looking for additional information not provided in a traditional resume.


But what exactly can each social platform do for Human Resources? Let’s look at the 3 main networks.


The social media giant has literally millions of users from all over the world, making it a handy  tool for Human Resources personnel. Since Facebook is so popular, the chances of an applicant having an active profile are high. It is a great place to start additional research on a potential hire.



The professional social network, LinkedIn is perfect for recruiters looking for qualified applicants. With an active job board, it is also a good place to post a job ad that will be seen by the right people.



Twitter has an excellent search feature which allows Human Resources departments to look for potential employees by searching relevant hashtags and keywords. Like Facebook, Twitter is also a good screening tool for looking up applicants.


The way Human Resources departments run themselves have evolved as the use of social media has become crucial. And they continue to evolve. Here are a couple of issues that Human Resources need to keep an eye on and be ready for.


Employees using their own devices

Before the widespread popularity of smart phones, companies used to provide handheld devices for their employees. Today, Human Resources departments need to understand that they can’t control the communication channels of their employees, and prepare accordingly.


The ever-changing legal side

Since social media changes so frequently, some states are making efforts to regulate what employers can and cannot access on applicant’s social media profiles. Currently, 6 states have passed laws that prohibit employers from obtaining information on applicants via social media. While these laws haven’t hit the majority of states, it’s definitely something that could happen and businesses should watch the legal and regulatory developments.


Social media has become increasingly accepted in the business world. Once mainly used for marketing and advertising, social media networks now serve a purpose for Human Resources departments as well. It can be used to make companies run more efficiently, as a hiring and job search tool. Smart HR departments are now using social media to their advantage and keeping an eye on the constant changes that could help or hinder their efforts.


About the Author:  Today’s guest contributor for WomenOfHr.com is Mark W. Kirkpatrick,  an enthusiastic writer and infographic designer who focuses primarily on public relations, tech and the business globalization. You can also find more of his writing at 1800-Number.com, which covers all things related to business communications.

Prepare for the Worst? Or Prepare for the Best? Or Simply, Prepare.

Posted on February 27th, by Dorothy Douglass in Business and Workplace. No Comments

I live in Indiana.  It’s February, typically considered a winter month (you might hear a little cynicism in my words…).  And it’s snowy.  Albeit, there’s much more snow here than we’ve had in recent years, but is that really a surprise?

I was scheduled to attend a local seminar tomorrow.  I am a “nerd” and enjoy learning, especially if it will help me be a better HR professional, coach, &/or person.  I always like to get another trainer’s perspective & I am familiar with this speaker – who I consider to be excellent, so I was looking forward to it.  I got an email yesterday morning indicating it had been postponed until late this month.  Our “weather” hadn’t even hit yet, although forecasters had been prognosticating a new “snowpocalypse” for days.  And I saw or heard it everywhere I turned – Facebook, Twitter, television, radio.

The weather predictions appeared to be coming true by mid-afternoon yesterday and lots of snow began falling.  Our company began monitoring in order to make prudent business decisions about closing or delaying opening today.    As weather often does, it appeared to taper off last evening, and yet, the social media and television continued to “blow up” with news and details of “snowpocalypse.”  It’s no wonder people overreact – the worse-case-scenarios are played out on every avenue of communication.

My husband was up early today, and was out snow-blowing our drive, and our neighbors, long before any county snow plow would have considered coming down our road.  I got to thinking about all of this after getting the 5:55AM email that our business would open as usual today.  It seems like everyone is preparing for the worse-case scenario, instead of preparing so it won’t be.  Does that make sense?

What I mean is, it seems with the advent of social media and immediate news feeds, we tend to take on almost a ‘victim’ mentality.  The weatherman predicts weather, everyone posts it on their statuses or news feeds,  we all run to the store for bread, milk, and perhaps some adult beverages, and then we wait for the weather, sometimes predicting early that we can’t make it in.  Often, the weather doesn’t end up being near as scary as predicted, and yet, many are paralyzed by the thought of that ‘worse-case scenario.”

What happened to simply preparing for the weather – extra layers of clothing, getting up early to shovel, snow-blow, scrape the car windows, leaving earlier than usual in order to get to work.

I do not remember a day that my Dad & Mom didn’t get up and go to work.  Dad owned his own business,  Mom worked at the local university, and no matter the weather, they got up, prepared for it, and went to work.  Why are we any different today?  We have better gadgets – snow blower, automatic car starters, warmer clothing and such, along with better prediction information – and yet, we aren’t preparing for the rigors of getting up and going to work, we are preparing for the worse.

Kind of like my seminar planned for tomorrow.  I’m bummed.  It seems like with a little preparation, the seminar might have been able to happen. Maybe not, depending on the speaker schedule and travel location, but it feels like we prepared for the worst, instead of preparing for the best.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want anyone to endanger themselves to get to work.  Yet, before our social media, did our parents and prior generations know better, prepare better, have a better work ethic?  I don’t think so.  I think they just used good common sense and prepared – for the best. Without all the “noise” from social media and news 24/7 on television, radio and streaming through our laptops and other devices, people simply prepared.  Perhaps they had more time….


Photo credit

 About the Author:  Dorothy Douglass is Vice President of Human Resources & Training at MutualBank, an Indiana-based financial institution.  She began her career with Mutual in 2001 as Human Resources Manager, and is a graduate of Ball State University.  She is proud to have been in Human Resources now for more than 17 years and is continuing to “lean in” and working to influence the “people management” side of her organization.  She is passionate about managing and developing people; and I have yet to be bored in 13+ years in her current job.   She considers herself fairly tech-UN-savvy, though has immersed herself in Facebook and LinkedIn.  She’s still working on the Twitter-sphere & has goals to blog more in 2014.

What’s In A Name?

Posted on February 11th, by Shauna Moerke in Business and Workplace, On My Mind. No Comments

Several years ago I did a post on this site called Love, Marriage, and SEO. In it I talked about how through marriage I had lucked into a great new name because I was, and still continue to be, the only Shauna Moerke on the internet. That’s awesome SEO (Search Engine Optimization) right there. I was so confident that I would never change my name again. Ah, to be so young and so naive.

Flash forward a few years and with a divorce and a new marriage under my belt and I found myself with a conundrum. As I mentioned in that previous post, all my time in social media and even my professional HR career I was Shauna Moerke. Now I could keep Moerke as my last name. That was always an option and honestly, it was the easiest choice. And that may have been what I would chose to do if it had been my maiden name. Now, call me superstitious or sentimental, but I did not like entering into a new marriage and keeping my name from a previous marriage. So once again, I find myself running the name change gauntlet as I try to figure out what to do now.

Professionally, the effect can be rather minimal if you are prepared. Make sure you start reaching out to your professional contacts, starting with your references first, to let them know of your new name. This also has the added bonus of getting you to check in on how your network is doing, which is something we should all be doing on a regular basis but often forget to. And as you start changing your name in all the important areas (Driver’s license, passport, social security, voter registration, etc) take the time to update your resume and order personal cards (as opposed to business cards, though you will need those too) with your new name that you can start handing out. It is much easier for others to get in touch with you if they don’t have to figure out how your new name is spelled.

Social media, well, that is a harder problem. I have a lot invested in the name Moerke. Not only is my blog’s name officially “Shauna Moerke is…“, even if I still refer to it as HR Minion, but my whole social media identity is linked to it. So for my social media piece, I decided on a compromise. My blog’s name hasn’t changed. My name on this site and on twitter hasn’t changed. On Facebook and LinkedIn I have Moerke as my former name right next to my new last name and I haven’t changed the link addresses on either. If you found me before as Shauna Moerke, you can find me still. But now you can also find me as Shauna Griffis too.

Oh, did I happen to mention that my new last name is also pretty awesome? It turns out that I am the only Shauna Griffis on the internet, a fact that my new husband was very quick to point out to me long before we made anything official. Gotta love a man with a great name and a head for how this social media game is played.


Photo credit

About the author:  Shauna is an HR professional with a diverse work history, a Master’s degree, and a PHR certification. She is also a huge geek, social media advocate, and infectious giggler. Besides being a co-founder of the Women of HR she also serves as the current Ringmistress of the Carnival of HR, is the former co-host of the HR Happy Hour blogtalk radio show, and blogs at her own site as the HR Minion.

Chicago Bound! #SHRM13 Preview

Posted on June 12th, by Jennifer Payne in SHRM Chapters and Conferences. No Comments

For the next week, as thousands of HR professionals from around the country and world converge on Chicago for the 2013 SHRM Annual Conference and Expo, Women of HR will be joining them and featuring all things SHRM Annual related…

This weekend I’ll be heading to Chicago, IL for the 2013 SHRM Annual Conference and Expo, running from Sunday, June 16th though Wednesday, June 19th at McCormick Place in downtown Chicago.  I am fortunate and honored to have been invited to be a part of the #SHRM13 Social Media team, and will thus be attending to cover the events of the conference, share information, and generally help build excitement around the event.

Next week, check back here for posts about what’s happening in and around the conference.  I’ll be sharing my thoughts on information and key learnings that particularly resonate with me.  I’ll certainly be highlighting keynotes from Blake Mycoskie , Daniel Pink , and Mark KellyGabby Giffords, but I’ll also be sharing information from various concurrent sessions as well. 

If you’re on Twitter, be sure to follow the hashtag #SHRM13; I, along with my fellow Social Media Team members, and many others will be tweeting to share information and impressions from the sessions and other conference events and happenings as well.  It’s a great way to keep up with what’s happening in real time, even if you can’t be there. 

In addition, SHRM has done a fantastic job in building an online conference community for this year’s conference.  Head on over and check out the site – if you’re attending it’s a great resource for everything confernece related.  Even if you’re not attending, if you are a SHRM member you can still check in and read the discussions and blog posts; I’m certain there will be a wealth of great information shared here over the course of the four days.

 And lastly, if you’re also attending the conference, let me know!  You can connect with me on Twitter @JennyJensHR or on LinkedIn.  

 See you in Chicago!

Smart Social Media Policy Starts With Managers: 5 Key Questions to Ask

With social media, what you don’t know can seriously hurt your organization. One 2010 survey found that employees estimate spending roughly four hours every day checking multiple email accounts, with up to two hours spent on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. A 2012 Salary.com survey found that 64 percent of employees visit non-work related websites daily. And don’t think blocking employee access to social media on company networks is the answer; personal smartphones and tablets are ubiquitous, and easily fill the gap.

The rub for today’s organizations is that while social media use at work has definite risks, it also is one of the best ways to empower and engage employees. Increasingly, in our connected 24/7 businesses, the line between work and personal time is blurring. This is especially true for Generation Y employees; as long as they meet deadlines and deliver, these employees don’t feel that it’s particularly useful to distinguish between time spent updating Twitter or engaged in team meetings. Organizations may beg to differ, especially when an offensive or inappropriate blog post or tweet can damage their brand, lower employee morale, and even lead to workplace lawsuits.

Yet, most organizations don’t really know how their employees are using social media, either personally or professionally, let alone what impact it’s having on employees’ overall levels of productivity.

That’s why it’s so important, before you set policy, to know how your managers currently handle social media use at work, as well as how its use by employees is effecting their management. Get at these fundamental issues by asking managers five key questions:

  1. Have your employees’ use of social media ever triggered a workplace lawsuit or regulatory investigation?
  2. What impact have your employees’ personal use of social media during work hours had, if any, on their productivity?
  3. How do you use social media, if at all, to help manage your projects and employees?
  4. Have you reviewed all applicable federal and state laws governing electronic data content, usage, monitoring, privacy, e-discovery, data encryption, business records and other legal issues in all jurisdictions in which you operate, have employees or serve customers?
  5. Could you comply with a court-ordered “social media audit”, by producing legally compliant business blog posts, email messages, text messages and other electronically stored information (ESI) within 990 days?

Social media can speed innovation and collaboration, but ONLY if your employees know how to both use it as well as steer clear of its many pitfalls. Start by asking managers these simple questions; they often surface extremely important information that, especially in larger organizations, you may not have been aware of. Finally, remember that for reasons of both confidentiality and fear, getting access to this sort of information is not always easy. It’s therefore important that organizations create mechanisms by which examples of social media use (and abuse!) can be regularly shared with the broader employee base.

Photo credit iStockphoto

About the author: Steve Miranda is Managing Director of Cornell University’s Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (CAHRS), a leading partnership between industry and academia devoted to the field of global human resource management. He is also a faculty author of the new eCornell certificate program,Social Media in HR: From Policy to Practice. Prior to CAHRS, Miranda was Chief Human Resource and Strategic Planning Officer for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the world’s largest professional HR association, serving over 260,000 members in over 100 countries.

7 Hiring Trends of 2013

Posted on January 8th, by a Guest Contributor in Business and Workplace. 1 Comment

If you’ve got a hiring hole to fill, breathe easy. The good news is there is a workforce out there, willing and able to take on complex tasks quickly and get your business moving. But the go-to techniques that used to work in wooing ace candidates or in narrowing a broad field may not cut the mustard now.

Among the hiring trends for 2013 that are emerging, is a heavy focus on a highly personalized, digital approach. Here’s a glimpse of what seems to be key as the next ‘season’ nears.

1. More mobile

TechSling reports this will be the year more job hunters let their thumbs do the applying. With so many smartphones and apps, Techsling notes more candidates are looking to apply for posts via their mobile devices: “Job seekers and employees manage almost every aspect of their professional life digitally so recruitment managers need to get ready
for this. They need to invest in recruiting initiatives that include support for mobile and tablet technology.”

2. Upping the candidate experience

Sarah White & Associates figures that the candidate’s personal experience throughout the recruitment process is going to be more important than ever. This means active engagement, offering a positive and rewarding experience the whole way through, and putting in some extra hard work at the marketing and networking stage.

3. Niche recruiting

It’s not one net to catch them all – particularly for smaller businesses. Responding to the increasing difficulty of filling critical positions, some experts predict that more small businesses in 2013 are likely to make the investment in external recruiters, often for openings in technical niches.

4. More grunt work

Recruiters will continue to shift their emphasis away from the task of “finding” candidates, according to this post by Dr. John Sullivan. Instead, he writes, there will be a move toward the still tricky task of successfully “selling” star talent. This will see many recruiters reframing what they do, and putting the premium on knowing their candidate well – and
their target.

5. A growing emphasis on online candidate assessment

Dr. John Sullivan also writes that “to ensure that managers see only candidate slates

that exclusively contain high-quality candidates, more applicants for high-volume jobs will be required to complete a brief but effective online technical knowledge and skill assessment test.” Pre-employment psychometric tools help employers to save time and recruitment costs. In a sea of similar-sounding resumes, this kind of testing can help to make sure improve accurate selections. The testing will also highlight long-form questions – a sort of virtual interview before the short list even makes it to the first cut.

6. Non-active prospects fire up social media

For people who aren’t targeting a specific firm, LinkedIn will be the tool of choice for people looking to step up their career. That means including a new search layer of strategy in targeting candidates. “Companies will use industry-related groups, feeds and networking pages to develop relationships with a pool of pre-qualified candidates for a variety of positions – reducing the time required to fill a vacancy before they're even ready to post a job,” according to this post at Hcareers.com.

7. Deeper profiling

Once the resume gets the OK, more employers are taking a look at what a candidate brings to the table healthwise. Although not yet a popular policy, for example, many U.S. hospitals refuse to hire smokers. Still other companies are screening out people who show tobacco in their systems at all. It all ties back to what the employer is willing to pay in
health insurance costs (and, ostensibly, to have a healthy workforce for the long run). It’s precariously personal territory, and may not roll into a trend, but it is worth considering how soon your firm is willing to start tackling employee health issues.

In the end, employers are taking extra measures to ensure that the quality of the candidates they are bringing in are much better. With these trends on the rise, there is greater likelihood that employers will create much stronger teams by filtering out the bad applicants and only hiring the top 10%.

About the author: Christine Bird is the Co-Founder of Cream.hr, a psychometric pre-employment assessment platform that determines top-performers based on a powerful proprietary algorithm. Christine lives and works in San Francisco, California where you’ll find her running half-marathons, hosting dinner parties or spending time with her dog, Tucker. Connect with Christine on Twitter at @christine_bird.

Photo credit: iStockPhoto


Social Media and Sexual Harassment

Posted on October 25th, by a Guest Contributor in Business and Workplace. Comments Off on Social Media and Sexual Harassment

Offices are a place of business… usually. The line between work and personal lives is being blurred as 9-to-5 jobs go out the window and professional and personal lives blend.

A direct comment that could be deemed sexual harassment is now an irregularity in physical places of business. Social media is a more subtle outlet for sexual harassment.  With policies and procedures in place for more direct harassment, companies may be overlooking social media sexual harassment. Ensure every employee enjoys a harassment free work place by taking action now.

What is social media sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment online is very similar to in-office incidents. Both are unwelcome sexual behaviors, which could be expected to make a person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. This includes sexually suggestive behavior, offensive photos, repeated requests to go out and written emails. However these aren’t the only possibilities. Social media is just the newest outlet.

  • Social media sexual harassment can include cases of bosses or coworkers making unwanted sexual comments, suggestions and advances on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.
  • Whether these actions take place during the work day or not, if the employee being harassed feels uncomfortable by a co-workers comment on a friend’s wall or after receiving a sexually-based tweet, sexual harassment is taking place.

Some may feel the anonymity of online communities, or the nature of social media sites themselves, promote sharing without professional accountability. This may be thoughts on another co-workers looks, sexual orientation or something completely different. While sharing is encouraged through social media networks, lines can be blurred when it comes to distinguishing between personal use and professionalism,

How do I address it?

Addressing sexual harassment is often a training HR departments conduct with staff shortly after hire. Most businesses have policies in place for how a case of sexual harassment should be handled and reported. However, when it comes to social media, many are at a loss. Create an ope

n environment where reporting a case of sexual harassment can be discussed without fear of judgment or confidentiality breaches and put a policy in place that is social media specific.

  • Always ask for evidence. You want to get as much information as possible whether it’s a link, screen shot, etc. Ask to see it yourself online when possible to make sure no editing has taken place.
  • Talk to both parties. Much of what we say is in our tone and body language. It is easy to misconstrue a text, IM or Facebook message. Hearing both sides of the story is incredibly important when it comes to dealing with a case of sexual harassment that doesn’t take place in person.
  • Look for patterns in the alleged harasser. A one-time incident may be a miscommunication, but repeated messages that make another feel uncomfortable isn’t – especially after the matter has been addressed.
  • Make sure your sexual harassment policy includes information regarding personal emails and social media accounts. Having a policy in place will not only encourage those being harassed to take action according to procedure, but it may play the role of deterrent for future cases.

As a part of the HR department, or as the entire HR department which is often the case at small businesses, recognizing that in-office sexual harassment can transcend working hours and platforms is essential to addressing any situation that arises. Work with your company to create a social media section of your sexual harassment policy so it is clear what is crossing the line as personal and professional lives blend with social media. Friending a co-worker on Facebook may seem like a good idea, but sometimes it’s just better to leave it at the office.

Photo credit: iStockphoto

Author Bio: Erica Bell is a small business writer who focuses on topics such as HR software and social media trends. She is a web content writer for Business.com Media.


Why Your Company Should Use Social Media

Posted on October 23rd, by a Guest Contributor in Business and Workplace. 4 comments

What was once a professional networking tool used by a select few has now become a critical aspect of the lives of a huge portion of the population. Social media can be a powerful resource for businesses wanting to expand, diversify, or appeal to a wider demographic.

This starts with the simple concept of branding. Branding is more than choosing a name for your company and defining a business plan. You must create an impression that will last with your targeted audience. WordPress themes, for example, allow you to develop a website and blog that are geared toward your market and feature a branded appearance and “feel” that you can carry through your social media to establish recognition and continuity.

There are several ways in which you can improve your business through the use of social media:

Recognition as a Resource in Your Niche

If you are seen by your readers as a resource for valuable information related to your niche you will develop the reputation of being a reliable, established voice that your audience will trust and come to for information, products and services.

Social media allows you to provide information not just on your individual company, but on the actual market in which your company is involved. This will bring those with questions to you and keep them coming back to learn more. Once you are trusted even by a few, this opinion will spread.


If no one knows that you exist, how can you expect to build a customer base? Involvement in social media puts you right in front of the tremendous audience that uses social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare on a daily basis. Social media gives you the opportunity to be involved in the daily thoughts and activities of your targeted audience through creating and participating in conversations, offering useful or interesting tidbits of information, and inviting potential customers to interact with you on your social media platform and through your other forms of internet presence.

Find New Leads and Opportunities for Expansion

Being involved in social media allows you to seek out new leads, clients, and ways to expand the scope of your business. With a social media presence you can attract clients and referrals or determine if there are needs in your market that you could fulfill through new projects. Linking your social media platforms and other forms of internet presence such as blogs and websites will develop your identity as a frontrunner in your market and encourage people to refer friends, suggest new projects, and look to you for opportunity.

Company Culture

Your company culture is important to the success of your business because it is what will make you stand out. When your customers recognize your brand, what impression do you want it to make? Developing a social media strategy will force you to focus in on what makes you you. You must create your company personality and identity in order for you to maintain your social media involvement so that your participation on these platforms is optimized to appeal to your targeted audience.

Improved Hiring Abilities

Your company is really only as good as the people that comprise your team so you should devote attention to selecting candidates that will make a beneficial contribution to your company. Social media involvement reduces the need to sift through endless piles of resumes and generic cover letters by letting you focus only on those people that are involved in your network.

Involvement will show that they are fully aware of your company and can demonstrate their compatibility with your company culture. Social media is a prime illuminator of personality, giving you the opportunity to pinpoint those candidates you feel would be a good match so you can shorten the hiring process and improve your chances of building a strong, valuable team without need for adjustments later.

Photo credit: norebbo.com

About author

Olga Ionel is a creative writer at ThemeFuse.com. She is passionate by WordPress, SEO and Blogging.