How Technology is Changing Recruiting (video)


I’m often asked to give presentations to HR groups on trends in recruiting. Here is a video of the slide deck from my last presentation to the Human Resource Association of the National Capital Area (HRA-NCA).

The key takeaway is that Google search algorithms have a significant impact on the results you will receive from job postings, the visitors to job boards and LinkedIn are increasingly on mobile devices, and millions of job seekers are rating employers. All three factors require employers to adapt their recruiting strategies, or risk being left behind.

Fair warning, the purpose of the presentation was to highlight the trends, not to prescribe solutions, so there’s no easy answer to be found in the last slide.

Being Mobile-Friendly Won’t Solve Your Recruiting Problems


mobile recruitingWe’re always studying job seeker behavior, looking for ways to give our clients a recruiting advantage. And while some aspects of job seeker behavior have changed profoundly in the past two years, other aspects have not changed in the slightest.

The Big Changes

When someone decides to go online and look for a job, they go about it quite differently than they did a few years ago. Tiny changes in candidate behavior have rendered most recruiting strategies obsolete, but few employers even noticed.

I distilled some of the most compelling research into a short PowerPoint presentation on “Changes in the Recruiting Landscape.”  As you might expect, that presentation has received quite a bit of attention, in fact I was recently interviewed by Joe Coombs, the Workplace Trends and Forecasting Specialist for SHRM.  (You can read the interview here: “Technology is Changing the Nature of Recruiting, Job Searching.“)

To summarize the research, employers need to recognize that a growing percentage of job seekers are conducting their search on a mobile device. And while traditional job boards are seeing less traffic, Indeed is seeing more–they are now the top job site in the US, with 62% of all job seekers landing there in January 2013.

What Didn’t Change at All? 

Most people are not job seeking. Technology has not changed the number of people that employment advertising will reach.

More than 80% of fully-employed candidates are not looking at ads, no matter where they are posted, or how mobile-friendly they are. LinkedIn research has repeatedly found this. (You can download their free research paper here:  “Job Seeking Behavior of the Fully Employed.”)  Our own experience proves the validity of the LinkedIn research. In the past few months, we have compellingly written ads, posted at great expense in all the right places, all with the “Easy Apply” mobile functionality. But 80% of our best candidates were the people we contacted directly, not the people who answered ads.

So employers, while it’s important to understand what has changed in job seeker behavior, it is perhaps even more important to recognize what has not changed. Even the most cleverly designed employment advertising strategy will miss 4 out of 5 people.

What the CEO Wants From HR


200118379-001I just got back from moderating a panel discussion for the Human Resource Association of the National Capital Area. The topic was “What CEOs Want from HR.” I love joining the local SHRM chapters, and used to be on the Board of HRA-NCA, but honestly, it’s been a while since I made it to a meeting. Lately, I’ve spent alot more time in CEO circles.

One issue that keeps emerging from my CEO forums is that entrepreneurs and company CEOs put their jobs or their income on the line all the time.

They take big risks and make big strategic bets. Then they work like dogs to get results. Work/life balance takes a back seat sometimes; keeping everyone happy can take a back seat sometimes; the path forward is unclear sometimes; but uncertainly is part of the challenge and risk is part of the fun.

This is a level of risk many employees are uncomfortable with, and a level of commitment to the job that some people would prefer not to make. When one participant today asked how to balance their everyday work with their work on big strategic initiatives, our CEO panelist said simply “do both.” And there, in two words, is the clash in worldview between CEOs and people who aspire to “a seat at the table.” This is the world CEOs live in – it’s a take-no-prisoners philosophy that distills into a sentence: “Life is hard, so what? Get it done.”

We all risk our jobs every day, whether by taking big risks, or by not taking big risks.

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