recruiting

Practical Tips for Effectively Using Social Media to Recruit Top Talent

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I’ve often found that advice about social media, while well-intentioned, isn’t practical, actionable, or sustainable. Then there’s the advice of Chloe DiVita of Perceptive Presence. I love her practical insights because they’re straightforward. And they work! I had the opportunity to chat with her recently on how business leaders, HR professionals, and recruiters can better leverage social media to find top talent.

Scott WintripPractical Tips for Effectively Using Social Media to Recruit Top Talent
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Four Recruiting Tips for Small Business Owners in an Overtapped Labor Pool

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As a small business owner, you’re beyond busy—and that isn’t likely to change. One moment, you’re serving as a salesperson, trying to close that new piece of business. The next, you’re playing service rep and solving a buyer’s problem or doing executive tasks like running to the bank to sign loan documents.

Scott WintripFour Recruiting Tips for Small Business Owners in an Overtapped Labor Pool
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5 Common Sense Changes for How You Hire

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It’s been said that common sense isn’t all that common. I was recently reminded of this in a disturbing way.

The people who run Tampa International Airport have installed an innovative device in their bathrooms. It’s called The Pouch. I could immediately see its usefulness. Putting a backpack, briefcase, or other small carryon in this device will keep it clean and dry.

I noticed a sticker affixed to The Pouch. It pictured a baby with the universal “don’t do this” symbol on it. Seriously? People need to be told not to put a baby in there? Does this mean someone actually tried it? Yikes! While this an extreme example, it once again showed me that people don’t always make decisions rooted in common sense.

Common sense is often lacking in many areas of life and work. One is hiring. I frequently observe organizations engaging in hiring practices that defy common sense. Does this mean that the leaders who engage in the methods are bad people? Maybe even dumb? No. Of course not.

The issue is that habits often interfere with our innate instincts. The very instincts that are at the core of common sense decision-making. We get so used to doing something a certain way, we don’t see that there’s an alternative. Frequently, it takes someone pointing out that there’s a better way. Here are five of my most frequently shared common sense hiring ideas I’m sharing with leaders.

Common Sense Change #1:

Recruit ahead instead of react to an open job

Change is inevitable, including that people will change jobs. Your best employees could leave today, tomorrow, or next week. No matter how loyal you believe them to be. Given the immediate, negative impacts of an open job, it no longer makes sense to wait until a job opens to fill it. In today fast-paced world, common sense dictates that you must line up talent before you need it.

Common Sense Change #2:

Make hiring decisions based upon facts instead of feelings

Most people understand that feelings aren’t facts. Yet, they allow their gut feelings, such as liking someone, to dictate who they hire. Sure, liking a candidate is a good thing. But likeability isn’t proof that someone fits a job. Common sense selection requires having a list of clear criteria that help you pick the right people regardless of what your feelings are telling you.

Common Sense Change #3:

Rely on multiple streams of talent instead of a singular trusted resource

Ask leaders if one resource, such as a job board or referrals, can be relied upon to fill every open job every single time. Most of these leaders will acknowledge it’s dangerous to put all of your eggs in that one basket. However, watch many of these same leaders in action, and you’ll observe contradictory behavior. They rely on that one resource to the exclusion of everything else. Here’s habit in action, trumping common sense. Filling jobs quickly with high-quality talent requires tapping into more than one talent stream.

Common Sense Change #4:

Have candidates show instead of tell

Conventional job interviews are an inaccurate way of determining fit. Why? Both the jobseeker and hiring manager are putting their best selves forward. This gives each party a narrow view of reality. It should be no surprise that many hires fail, given that a decision was made based upon limited information. The common sense way to interview is to seek proof of fit. Having candidates show you they can do the job allows you to experience them in action, while they get to try on the job for size.

Common Sense Change #5:

Change one thing at a time instead of everything at once

How many times have you tried to change many things all at once? I’m betting that didn’t turn out well. Fast change doesn’t stick. It takes time to adjust your routines and change your hiring habits. A rapid series of changes will overwhelm you. When your sense of being overwhelmed reaches a tipping point, you’ll give up and revert back to your previous routine. Better to change one thing at a time and have it stick, than rush the process and have to start all over again.

Access to your common sense is immediately available any time you need it. You just have to get out of your own way. The beauty is the inherent simplicity that comes with it. Common sense solutions are the easiest to employ, once you realize the only thing standing in their way is you.

Scott Wintrip5 Common Sense Changes for How You Hire
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Dear Hiring Manager: An Open Letter

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Dear Hiring Manager,

I understand that you’re busy. Probably more than ever since your company has likely remained lean following the Great Recession. That’s why I’m suggesting you take on an important task. One that may seem counterintuitive. Your company needs your help generating candidate referrals to fill your jobs.

You may be thinking, “This so-called hiring expert has lost his mind. I’ve already got a full calendar and a desk loaded with work.” A recent story about restaurant chain Cracker Barrel demonstrates why helping with referrals is in your best interest.

Cracker Barrel is known for it’s innovative marketing approaches. One of these has included managers picking random people from the local phonebook and inviting them to a new Cracker Barrel for a home-cooked meal on the house. As the company puts it, “Two weeks later, business picked up. All over town, people were talking about the new restaurant near the interstate and the manager who was calling people to invite them over for dinner.” 

So, how does this Cracker Barrel example relate to generating job candidate referrals? Being invited by a restaurant manager for a free meal is a welcome surprise. Being contacted about career opportunities is a welcome surprise and an ego boost. When you personally reach out to a potential job candidate, you’re sending a message. You’re saying, “You matter. I value you and your background.” You’re also showing people that your company and leadership style are different and attractive.

Why is this important? You have tremendous power. You have a network of colleagues who may fit current (or future) job openings. This same group of contacts can introduce you to dozens of additional people who could also fit your hiring needs.

Now, you may be thinking, “Our corporate recruiter or someone in HR could do this just as easily as I can.” No offense to them, but they cannot. You have something they don’t—shared experience. You have much in common with that prospective job candidate. You talk their talk and understand what they go through each day. This gives you immediate credibility and helps engender trust. A recruiter or HR can help you move things forward following your initial dialogue with someone. But only after you’ve built rapport and captured the candidate’s interest.

Generating referrals now, even if you don’t have any open jobs, will save you time. This part may seem surprising. However, think about what happens when a job opens. Most managers engage in the old way of hiring—keeping a job open until the right person shows up. That means they have to do their own job, handle or delegate the workload of the open position, and conduct interviews to fill that opening. Is it any wonder so many leaders are exhausted and overwhelmed?

When you engage in the new way of hiring—cultivating talented people and waiting for the right job to show up—the exhaustion and overwhelm go away. Spending 20 minutes a week reaching out to talented people helps keep hiring manageable.

So, help your company help you. Set aside a small chunk of time weekly to cultivate referrals. Use these referrals to line up people before you need them. Engage in the new way of hiring and make hiring delays a thing of the past.

Sincerely yours,

Scott Wintrip

Scott WintripDear Hiring Manager: An Open Letter
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How to Generate 20 Job Candidate Referrals in 20 Minutes

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People are generous. When you ask for their help in the right way, you’ll be amazed at the result. Including when you ask for referrals to top talent. In this video, I walk you through a four-step process that can land you 20 job candidate referrals in just 20 minutes.

Scott WintripHow to Generate 20 Job Candidate Referrals in 20 Minutes
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The Competitive Advantage of Being Talent Rich

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When it comes to success in business, one measure alone can accurately predict the future—wealth of talent. The more talent wealth an organization has, the more successful that organization will be.

We’ve all experienced the benefits of organizations that are rich in talent. These are the companies we’ve come to love. When we say we love a company, what we’re really saying is we love the work being done by the exceptional people in these organizations. People are the reason why Apple, Alphabet (Google), Amazon.com, and Starbucks remain some of the world’s most admired companies. That’s why having a wealth of talent is so important for all organizations. Talented employees who do outstanding work are the secret ingredients that make their companies great.

Just as there are levels of personal wealth, so too are there levels of talent wealth within companies. Organizations that are talent rich are the trendsetters and chief innovators within their industries. At the other end of the spectrum are those businesses that are talent poor. These companies scramble to be competitive and frequently struggle to survive.

The message is clear: In order for your organization to thrive, it must have great talent. And building a wealth of talent begins with assessing your organization’s current circumstances. You’ll start by determining your current level of talent wealth. Next, you’ll enrich your pool of prospective employees by improving the flow of top talent, as well as enhancing how you attract talented people to join your company. Finally, you’ll ensure that your organization can sustain success by always having highly qualified people ready to hire the moment a job becomes open.

INTRODUCING THE TALENT WEALTH SPECTRUM

Is your organization talent rich, talent poor, or somewhere in between? Accurately appraising your current level of talent wealth will guide you in taking appropriate action to improve or maintain your competitive advantage.

Determining and increasing your talent wealth begins with understanding the four levels of talent wealth.

  • Talent Rich 
    Organizations that are talent rich excel, leading the way in their industries. They don’t worry about the competition; they’re the ones other companies are aspiring to become. They’re constantly several steps ahead, generating new ideas, including the latest innovations to products and services.
  • Talent Strong 
    Talent strong organizations operate efficiently and succeed in many things they do. These companies win more than they lose, outpacing many of their competitors. They’re fairly creative, sometimes being the ones to create the latest, greatest version of a product or service.
  • Talent Stable 
    Organizations that are talent stable spend each day competing with others, laboring to maintain their position in the market. These organizations watch for the latest trends or innovations and do their best to add them to their offerings.
  • Talent Poor 
    Talent poor companies scramble to get work done. Often, these organizations struggle to remain viable. They’re several steps behind their competitors. Frequently they offer the same products or services year after year, only occasionally copying the new offerings being provided by companies in the same business.

If you’re ready to improve your talent wealth, download the free, full report on this topic from ChangeThis.com.

Scott WintripThe Competitive Advantage of Being Talent Rich
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Using PR to Attract Top Talent

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In movies, we’ve heard about the concept of “force.” Some films use this idea for protection, as in a force field that repels threats. Then there’s the force that’s like a special positive power, helping the good guys overcome the bad ones.

In business, there’s also a positive force. One that’s related to hiring. It’s called candidate gravity. Candidate gravity is the pull your organization has on talent. This pull may be weak, drawing in an insufficient supply of candidates; inconsistent, coming in ebbs and flows; or strong, generating a consistent stream of people. Organizations with strong candidate gravity always draw a stronger flow of top talent their way, leaving second- and third-tier candidates for everyone else. Because so many organizations have a weak or inconsistent pull on high quality people, I’ve dedicated a chapter to this topic in my new book.

How can you improve your candidate gravity? By leveraging often overlooked ways of drawing in candidates. One of those is PR. To help you get starting in using PR for recruitment or to improve your current PR efforts, I turned to a leading expert—Fauzia Burke. Fauzia is the founder and president of FSB Associates. Here’s what she had say on the topic of using PR to attract top talent.

Scott: Why is PR important in today’s competitive marketplace?

Fauzia: I think PR has always been important, but today it also gives you a competitive advantage. In the past the companies with the most money won the image game because they could out-spend the little guys on advertising. PR levels the playing field. If your ideas are better and you are doing good work, you can get the same amount of coverage as a big company. PR helps to build credibility through securing positive media coverage, and a great PR firm will help your company put its best foot forward by getting you in front of the right, influential media. While advertising and content marketing are important, PR is more influential because it provides third party validation and cannot be purchased.

Scott: When properly leveraged, how can a sustained PR campaign attract more top talent?

Fauzia: I like that you are thinking of a sustained PR campaign. Much of the success from PR comes from consistency. Think about it: the first thing most of us do when investigating a new company or person to work with is we “google” it. Hopefully, the top results for your company will be an official website, plus positive press on that valuable first two pages of a Google search result. Along with positive press, you also want to make sure the media is current. A good story from five years ago won’t have the same impact as positive stories every year. You want to make sure your company is presenting itself in the best possible light and appears current.

Scott: What are the steps to get started in incorporating PR into an organization’s recruiting efforts?

Fauzia: Whether you decide to hire an outside PR firm or use staff in-house, obviously your goal is to attract and keep top talent. Think about a plan or strategy to attract the right kind of person. What qualities would they be looking for in a future employer?

Once you have your strategy set, determine who in your organization will serve as your official spokesperson. Just remember good PR is an invitation to prospects to check out your company. Don’t forget to get your house in order first. Evaluate your social media platforms and make sure your content fits your corporate message. Commit to an editorial calendar for social posting and blogging. This may sound like a lot of work, but once you spend some time on the strategy, execution will be much easier.

Scott: One’s one secret people don’t know about writing great PR content?

Fauzia: In my opinion, the best PR content isn’t about “selling” something. It’s about providing helpful information—sometimes information people didn’t even know they needed. When you are seen as an authority in your industry, people will come back to you for thought pieces, opinions and your product and services.

Scott: What’s one closing piece of advice you’d like to share with readers?

Fauzia: PR needs to be a longterm strategy, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. An online brand can take at least 18 months to be fully executed, and even online coverage takes at least 6-8 weeks from the time you start to see results. Pace yourself and stay consistent.

Fauzia’s firm, FSB Associates, is an online publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. She’s also the author of Online Marketing for Busy Authors (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, April 2016). Fauzia worked for Wiley and Henry Holt before starting FSB, and has promoted the books of authors such as Alan Alda, Arianna Huffington, Deepak Chopra, Melissa Francis, S. C. Gwynne, Mika Brzezinski, Charles Spencer and many more. For online marketing, book publishing and social media advice, follow Fauzia on Twitter (@FauziaBurke) and Facebook (Fauzia S. Burke). For more information on her book, please visit: http://www.FauziaBurke.com.

Scott WintripUsing PR to Attract Top Talent
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Five Tips to Network for Top Talent

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Word of mouth is a powerful way to find great talent and fill open positions. It’s also often overlooked. Why? Because people forget to ask for this help. Plus, they don’t realize the potency of this stream of talent.

Just how potent are referrals? In reviewing the hiring practices of 70 companies last year, there was a pattern. Those whose employees at all levels of the organization networked for referrals filled their jobs four times faster than those that did not.

Tip #1: Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
If there’s a “magic bullet” for effective networking and getting quality referrals, it’s this: just ask for help.

Simply telling someone that you need help—even saying the word itself—creates an important dynamic. It’s human nature for us to help one another. When you use the word “help,” you’re reminding the person you’re asking of your shared humanity. This simple approach often paves the way for people to be generous in pointing you in the right direction.

Tip #2: Realize a little goes a long way.
Investing a few minutes each day in referral recon pays off in dividends. And it’s easy; it doesn’t even feel like work.

When a vendor stops by, ask for their help with referrals; at the local office supply store or that restaurant where you’re having lunch, network with the employees you meet; a phone call to a friend could turn into two or three candidate referrals. Small, quick inquiries such as these can turn into big wins when you find a great person to hire.

Tip #3: Get specific with qualities you’re looking for.
Don’t just ask your contacts for referrals to people who are looking for a job. Ask for referrals to the specific type of person you want to hire.

For example, if you’re looking for a store manager, you might say, “Who do you know that is good at managing a retail store? I’m looking especially for someone who listens more than they speak.” This precision helps the person you’re asking thoroughly “search” their mental Rolodex for the right person amongst the hundreds of people they know.

Tip #4: Don’t forget to ask your “obvious” networks for referrals.
How often do you ask current employees for their help with candidate referrals? What about their family members, or the previous employees who left your organization on good terms? Have you asked your own family and friends to put you in touch with referrals they know?

It’s easy to overlook the obvious resources for strong referrals. This oversight comes at a cost. We’re likely missing out on the insight of the very people who are most likely to want to help us.”

Tip #5: Remember the most important “rule” to attracting great talent.
The best attractor of top talent isn’t high salary or fancy titles; it’s being a great place to work. Make sure your organization has a positive and engaging environment and you’ll develop a reputation as an enjoyable place to work. Then when you network and request referrals, the people you ask will go out of their way to refer their friends and colleagues to you.

Reaching out to the people you meet—as well as those you already know—can connect you with impressive talent. Make referral generation a regular part of your tasks, whether you’re the CEO or in a staff-level role. Before you know it, you’ll realize that good people are easier to find.

Scott WintripFive Tips to Network for Top Talent
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Want Less Stress? Eliminate Hiring Delays.

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No DelaysDelays are costly. Retailers without product on hand lose business. Manufacturers lacking enough materials can’t build what buyers need. Customer service teams without enough personnel fail to respond to customers quickly.

One of the worst kinds of delays is in hiring.

Hiring delays do tremendous harm. They cause anxiety. Every day a job remains open, the more work that falls to you. Adding to this workload is having to interview to fill that job. This adds to your stress. You have to balance your increased workload while ensuring you hire the right person. Because if you get it wrong, you’ll be back you started. However, the added work and pressure of choosing the right person makes matters even worse. Decisions made when we’re stressed out often don’t turn out well.

What can you do? You can eliminate hiring delays. While this won’t happen overnight, you can achieve this in a relatively short time. How? Start with these three steps:

  1. Fill that open job ASAP
    If you’re staring at an empty desk, it’s time to get it filled. Now. No matter what. Yes, I know you have many priorities. But until you get that job filled, you can’t permanently eliminate hiring delays. Make filling that job a daily priority. Carve out time every morning to work on hiring a quality person for that role. Don’t go it along. Ask for help from your departmental colleagues and HR staff, if available to you. Reach out to external resources, such as a staffing or recruitment firm.
  2. Build an inventory of talent
    It’s not if you’re going to need to hire, but when. So plan for the when. Line up at least one or two prospective future hires. Talented people are always open to laying the groundwork for their future.
  3. Maintain that inventory
    Stay in touch with your prospective hires. Cultivate additional people, as needed. A few minutes each day adds up to being able to hire who you need, when you need them.

Work comes with enough stress and anxiety without adding to it. That’s why you must eliminate hiring delays. Having enough people to help you do quality work will reduce your stress, possibly making some days virtually stress free.

Success Over Stress

 

Scott WintripWant Less Stress? Eliminate Hiring Delays.
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