Friday, April 10, 2009

The Candidate Journey - from applicant to employee

Published in 2007, “Recruitment 2020” was the result of nine months of research that focused on developing possible futures - or scenarios - for recruitment, and to identify their implications for the industry and for public policy more broadly.

The paper in its entirety is widely available online and is an interesting read for those with direct recruitment responsibilities and even more so for those who run businesses of any substantial size.

Amongst the many findings, they identified the need to bring the recruitment process “into brand” and use the engagement of candidates as a window through which outsiders can see how you operate and make a decision on whether or not they wish to join such a team.

(From Recruitment 2020, pg 77)
Align the recruitment experience with client ethos

At a time when job seekers are showing an increasing interest not just in levels of pay but also in a much wider set of factors - including how it feels to work somewhere - the experience of being recruited matters.
Organisations with a relaxed, business-like or playful ethos (and brand) need to ensure that the process of recruitment itself reflects that ethos. When candidates go through recruitment processes they are also gathering information and making judgments about their potential employers - meaning that the process must reflect the organisation itself. This requires differentiated processes designed not just to identify the right competencies but also to create the right impression.

We do have clients in China that have already identified this and are working towards improving their performance in the “candidate journey,” not just to “prove” that they do what they say they do…value open communication, respect individuals, act with integrity etc, but also to begin the cultural induction of the candidate by exposing them to the organisational culture from the very first engagement. The result is a new employee who has a cultural awareness and affinity with the organisation on his very first day at work. On-boarding process, assimilation and retention can all be improved as a result and best of all, you will have created a brand advocate who will no doubt go tell his friends what a great place to work he has found.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

And you thought you had recruitment challenges...

Top jobs go empty in deadly Chinese mining center
(Associated Press Writer Christopher Bodeen)

BEIJING – Position open: Mayor of Chinese coal mining city notorious for frequent fatal accidents and heavy pollution. Prospective candidates: None.

State media reports on Wednesday said the jobs of mayor and Communist Party boss in the northern city of Linfen have gone unfilled for more than six months because no one wants the potentially career-killing positions.

The former incumbents were fired after a mining accident last September that killed 270 people.

Replacements have yet to be found from within the local government and attempts to recruit candidates from outside the area have so far failed, the China Daily and other newspapers reported.

"The ideal candidates must be willing to risk their political career," it said. Job tenure will likely last only until the next accident, China Daily said.

Asked about the reports, an official at Linfen's government propaganda office said new leaders were expected "soon."

"It's not as serious as media reported," said the man, who refused to give his name as is common among Chinese bureaucrats.

Despite the axing of numerous officials, changes in political leadership at the local level have done little to curb the carnage in China's mining industry, the world's deadliest. Most accidents are blamed on corruption, poor regulation, and cutting corners on safety to feed the growing economy's insatiable demand for coal.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Recruiters Placing More Emphasis on Corporate Branding

A recent survey by recruitment software company Standout Jobs and reveals that 43% of the companies polled are pulling their spending from Internet job boards and re-directing those resources to better showcase their brand to potential employment candidates.

The shift away from job boards is a response to current market conditions, which have made more high-value candidates available to companies looking to capitalize on the market's turnaround with strategic hires, reveals the survey. And while the current market remains grim, optimism still dictates many of the respondents' near term hiring plans, with more than 30% planning to increase hiring during the second and third quarter of 2009: adding the fourth quarter raises that number to 41%.

Referrals are still the most popular avenue for sourcing jobs, but the companies polled indicate their Web site or career page as being the next most valuable vehicle for finding candidates. Job boards, while useful for generating a higher volume of resumes, are being criticized for not delivering qualified candidates, which are seen as the key for surviving the tough current economic climate and building future organizational strength.

"We decided to create this poll to get a sense of how bad or good the market for hiring really was at the organizational level, rather than continuing to rely on media reports which have been overwhelmingly negative," says Benjamin Yoskovitz, Standout Jobs CEO and founder. "With the help of our poll partner,, we asked 450 internal company recruiters a number of questions having to do with their hiring practices and plans for the immediate future.

The results showed cautious optimism, with many expecting to start hiring again in the third quarter. We also learned their standards and processes have changed, and now strategic hiring is the name of the game." Companies are putting more emphasis on engaging quality talent in an effort to show they're a 'great place to work' for the right candidates. Creating a better fit between employer and employee is seen as a key to hiring success, and employment branding attracts the right type of candidates through more open, regular and interactive communication with applicants.

This trend was evident in the poll question "Which recruiting trends do you think could improve your recruiting efforts?" Of the respondents, 239 claim "social networks," while 187 respondents indicate candidate relationship management was high on their list of priorities. The survey further indicates that search engine optimization was also a favorite followed by "other," blogs, online video, and Twitter.

Companies are clearly interested in re-marketing to job seekers, treating people well in addition to delivering a strong candidate experience. Even though the companies polled indicated they were increasing their dependence on their sites and social tools to engage candidates, the majority of them had no specific strategies for recruiting Generation X and Y applicants, which have grown up with the web and are more likely than their older colleagues to use it for job hunting, socializing and networking.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Dominos Delivers

What I love about this recruitment drive from Dominos Pizza in Australia is the visible input and support of their marketing team and CEO in getting out this media release.

It’s obviously a great message during times of job-loss and much easier to get media attention but still, they have done a great job on their careers site with a clearly articulated and compelling candidate value proposition (CVP) for all vacant positions.

Turns out Dominos is a fun place to work, pay is good, there are serious training and development opportunities and real potential for long-term careers even from entry level driver / delivery jobs.

Their careers site is worth a visit as it ticks a lot of boxes. One feature that I love is where they answer the questions of parents who might be considering the benefits and dangers of having their little ones take their first foray into employment.

Also, by suggesting that they have traditionally relied on students and part-timers but that they are ready for applications from others, they open the door for a much wider group of potential employees by driving home the message that Dominos is a viable long-term career option.

An influx of these employees will most certainly reduce staff turnover and directly impact the bottom line of this listed company whose investors and stakeholders should all be happy with this public and highly professional display of respect to the management of their human capital.

Media release:

Pizza chain has 2,500 job vacancies

Tuesday March 3, 2009, 4:20 pm

While the mining and banking sectors lay off thousands of workers, a major food chain says it has 2,500 vacancies.

Domino's Pizza is seeking casual pizza deliverers across its 434 stores in Australia.

The chain is bucking the trend which has seen 3,000 jobs lost in Queensland's mining sector alone this year, and hundreds in other industries such as banking and retail.

Domino's chief executive Don Meij said the economic downturn was turning many families to more affordable takeaway food.

"As a result this has seen our stores experience the need for additional staff to fulfil orders and deliveries," Mr Meij said.

Domino's has launched a recruitment website, to help fill its vacancies.

With a minimum hourly rate of $10.78 for the first three months plus $1.73 for each delivery, the traditional job takers are university students.

But Domino's corporate operations manager Kerri Hayman said there were career paths at the firm, which might have ex-bank workers and miners lining up for jobs.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Fear Not! Web2.0 is here to stay...

One of the single most compelling reasons for a company to undertake some research and development of their employer brand is simply to position the organisation to perform better in what is now known as the "recruitment2.0" or "web2.0" landscape.

In this world, honesty and transparency are key so only having indulged in some navel-gazing, and taken a stance in some key areas, are organisations in a position to participate in conversations about themselves as an employer in these forums.

It is a fact that "the crowd controls the message" now and HR are indeed correct to have reservations about this but if you choose to stake no claims of your own, or worse, continue to use the white-lies of yesteryear, then you are genuinely and completely at the mercy of the crowd – and this, it seems to me, should be even more of a concern!

The following article from CIPD picks up on the concerns of HR in general when presented with the reality and opportunities of a web2.0 world.


Avoid ‘Facebook fear factor’, CIPD tells HR

A new CIPD report finds that HR is failing to take advantages of "the many opportunities presented by Web 2.0 technology." The report suggests that the potential benefits of this technology are being overlooked because of fears about potential employee misbehaviour and a reluctance to lose control over its use. It warns that HR faces losing out on the possibility of playing an important role in guiding the adoption of Web 2.0 to enhance organisational and business performance.

The report (‘Web 2.0 and Human Resource Management: ‘Groundswell' or hype?') lays out a systems framework to help HR professionals think about how web-based content (in the form of texts, videos, opinions and other applications) can be transferred - through new Web 2.0 social media technologies - into important HR outputs. As well as offering clear guidance about Web 2.0, it cites a number of case-studies illustrating how organisations can reap the benefits of these technologies (in areas such as collaboration, learning & development, employer branding and engagement) while simultaneously mitigating the risk of employee abuse.

CIPD organisation & resourcing adviser Vanessa Robinson says "Web 2.0 provides employees with new tools for collaboration and knowledge-sharing. Its open, democratic nature, however, has meant that many HR professionals are focusing on the negative side, which is a shame as Web 2.0 is here to stay.

"HR is in danger of playing catch-up as a profession in failing to advance the interests of organisations by navigating them through the undoubted benefits. As well as limiting potential abuse by carefully selecting the technology used, HR professionals must develop and communicate clear and well-informed policies to help employees understand what behaviour is acceptable and what is clearly not.

"Organisations will be increasingly faced with employees seeking to use Web 2.0 social media technologies at work, so rather than ignore them or ban them outright they will need to adopt sensible policies that fit a particular context. There are no one-size-fits all policies because contexts differ, which is evident from our research and case studies."

Monday, February 23, 2009

On Video CV’s:

From an recruitment industry point of view, it seems that whilst everyone can appreciate the benefits of a multimedia CV, and there are even some enterprises out there promoting the practice, it didn’t seem to me to be gaining a lot of steam over 2008.

Post-financial crisis however and suddenly "talent" is a buyers market again and job-seekers will need to impress if they want to get a foot in the door.

Are we going to see more video CV’s in 2009 from applicants wanting to differentiate themselves? And if you are a recruiter…are you ready and willing to receive them? See what these recruiters think...

Multimedia CV: Put your best face forward
By Lia Timson
The Sydney Morning Herald
Published: 07 February 2009

Get in front of potential employers with your own video.

When Matt Niedzwiedz wanted a job in event management, he prepared a multimedia CV package to showcase his talents.

The party organiser had spent many years working on the music scene in Warsaw and London and wanted to demonstrate his skills to potential employers. So he produced a 30-minute presentation, burnt it to mini-CD and mailed it away. He also produced a shorter version that he posted on video-sharing website YouTube.

"I was quite known in Europe but here I would be nobody," he says. "I wanted to show potential employers my way of working."

Niedzwiedz is not alone. An increasing number of tech-savvy jobseekers, particularly generation Ys, are using webcams, camera phones, editing software and online video-sharing sites to promote their talents and stand out from a long line of hopefuls. While there are subtleties to the technique, it can pay off.

The human resources manager at accounting firm Pitcher Partners, Melissa Banek, says she likes to see CVs on video.

"It provides a great snapshot of the candidate's profile, experience and education in [their] words," she says. "I find it an efficient use of time. The employer can work out which questions they would like to
further probe in an interview and not waste time going over old ground."

However, Banek warns some employers could immediately exclude you from a face-to-face interview if they are unimpressed with your video CV.

A browse of YouTube, where many jobseekers post their CVs as a supplement to targeted mail-outs, shows the diverse range of video resumes being produced.

Some have very poor production values and feature applicants giving lacklustre performances. Others dazzle the viewer with their high quality and confident presentation.

The director of non-profit placement agency NGO Recruitment, Richard Green, says he is yet to receive a video CV but expects that day is not far off. He believes a video CV could work well for jobs where media skills and unconventional thinking are an advantage, such as head of communications at an organisation like Greenpeace.

The talent manager for advertising specialist recruiter The Ladder, James Greet, says job applicants considering a video CV should make sure it is primarily focused on their experience and capacity to do the job.

"It may be a very creative way of building excitement around [you], as far as it's well directed, informed and entertaining," he says. "Done badly, it could ruin your chances."

Mature-aged workers can also take advantage of the technology, according to Sam Leon, the principal of XMSolutions, an over-45s recruiting firm. He favours web conferencing and video CVs over phone chats and preliminary person-to-person meetings with jobseekers. He says employers also appreciate avoiding travel expenses for first interviews of interstate candidates.

"It gives a feeling for the candidate's personality and whether they are genuine," Leon says. "You can pick up body language, watch their eyes and get them to hold up things like diplomas.

"Over the next five years, video CVs will be as normal as printed or emailed CVs, without question."

When Tourism Queensland recently sought applications for a dream job on Hamilton Island, it insisted on video CVs in the first round to get a feel for the applicants. The role pays $150,000 for six months of work, living on the island and promoting it to the world. More than 8000 applications have been received.

The area manager for recruiter Drake International, Zipporah Szalay, says video CVs should be carefully prepared. Drake has a professionally staffed production studio to help candidates properly represent themselves. It regularly produces 30-second videos for candidates, especially those looking to work overseas.

"We've done it for Asian students going back to their countries to work, even doctors and nurses," Szalay says.

"You can demonstrate a cultural fit [with the company] by the way you communicate your passion and charisma and they can click on a link to your CV. But it doesn't work for everything. Professionalism is the key. You need to really take care because you only get one shot at it."

Niedzwiedz has learned valuable lessons from his video CV. He received just one response from 60 CVs sent out. He now believes his 30-minute presentation was too much of a demand on a company's time.

He hopes to make another assault on the job market soon, using the insights he has gained.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"hungry designers wanted"

This is definitely still one of the best recruitment ads I have seen.
Apple seems to have got both their product and employment identity down. :)