August 2009 16
What a week. While many news channels were saturated with coverage of Ted Kennedy’s passing and the Michael Jackson homicide investigation, here’s what you may have missed in employment and recruiting news…
Thanks to everyone who offered feedback after my earlier post asking recruiters why they don’t get back to job seekers. Just as I anticipated, the overwhelming reason people gave for not responding to job seekers was time constraints:
One respondent reported receiving up to 500 applicants for one filled position, while another said they had 50 – 100 applicants they were trying to reach each day, adding, “If they [recruiters] called very candidate back that called them they would be fielding candidate call backs all day.” Okay, fair enough.
If a friend tells you they're not a huge fan of your three wolves T-shirt, well, maybe you'd defiantly wear it to dinner anyway because you know it looks, um, fabulous. But if your customers or candidates told you a new product of yours was hideous, would you scrap it? Well, that's exactly what General Motors Co. recently did, with its recent cancellation of plans to launch a new Buick sport-utility vehicle after asking for feedback from its customers, employees, and many others about the vehicle -- and then actually listening to that feedback.
As Vice Chairman of GM Tom Stephens wrote on the GM FastLane blog after the decision was made:
The Buick crossover we showed received consistent feedback from large parts of all the audiences that it didn’t fit the premium characteristics that customers have come to expect from Buick.
The negative buzz all started when Twitter users started calling the vehicle a "Vuick," a reference to GM's Saturn Vue that provided the basis for the Buick. Consumers' complaints stemmed around the idea that the Buick was simply a retread of the Vue, rather than a new design. Add hashtag #vuick to a tweet, get others talking about it, and before you know it -- Twitter's all abuzz about it. And apparently, GM was watching -- and listening. And the criticism didn't end there.
We were all struck by the consistency of the criticism of the compact crossover. And what we decided to do in response is a good example of the essence of the new General Motors… acting quickly, and boldly, and listening to feedback from customers, employees, dealers, media and just about anyone else with an opinion, Stephens continued to say on the GM FastLane blog.
It appears that social media is taking companies to task in their business practices and behaviors. With customers, clients, and candidates reacting and sharing information and opinions on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, businesses are forced to take a harder look at what they're doing -- or suffer the consequences of ignoring the chatter and damaging valuable relationships.
I believe that this is a positive movement. Business practices are becoming not only more transparent, but more interactive. As an employer, you have probably already noticed this interactiveness if you participate on social networks. Social networking Web sites are be valuable tools for companies to embrace in order to connect with candidates, establish a brand presence online, and build valuable relationships.
It's important to remember that you have the power to build or destroy relationships with candidates. You can ignore them or answer questions defensively, or you can reach out, engage, help -- and, as GM did, listen. Really listen to what candidates and employees want. After all, it's the best free advice out there.
So I ask: Are you paying attention to what your candidates and employees are saying about you? How are you responding?
In CareerBuilder’s recent interview with Ben Roth, founder and chief executive officer of Roth Staffing Companies, L.P., Ben revealed his thoughts on the “three circles of the hedgehog,” his advice to other companies on how to create a values-driven company, the importance of his company’s “Ambassadors” in driving employee engagement, and more.
What was the mission you set out to accomplish when you created Roth Staffing?
Employers who want to retain top talent over the next 12 months had better be willing to pay up – at least that’s what the results of the annual Employment Dynamics and Growth Expectations (EDGE) Report indicate.
Released today, the report, conducted by CareerBuilder and Robert Half International, provides an overview of the current employment situation, as well as a glimpse of the future hiring landscape.
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