Recruitment Tips, Employer Trends, and Hiring Insights from CareerBuilder


The One Video You Need to See This Week: Will Sensory Tattoos Make Their Way Into the Workplace?

Now that researchers have developed a sensory tattoo that monitors athlete productivity, will one that monitors employee productivity be far behind?

Forget heart-rate monitors, athletes will soon be able to measure their physical progress by applying temporary tattoos that monitor sweat, track chemical balance and gauge physical activity.

Developed by a team at the University of California-San Diego, these tattoos seem to take the wearable gadget trend to the next level. Continue reading >>

By in Innovation, Technology, Trends


10 Mobile Apps for a Mobile Recruiter

Now that the world is more mobile than ever, productivity has increased and the expectations to accomplish more in a day’s work has skyrocketed. Mr. Joe Stock-trader has mobile apps to provide real-time stock updates, and even the host or hostess at our favorite restaurants has a tablet to assign seating. So, what about the recruiters and HR professionals? What mobile apps should mobile recruiters use to optimize our day? Continue reading >>

By in Innovation, Mobile, Technology


Skype Interviewing for a Positive Candidate Experience [HOW-TO]

In person interviews are rarely the first step in the candidate screening process anymore. Over the last 10 to 15 years, there’s been a shift to phone screening, and in the last couple years, there’s been another shift to Skype and video interviews. As recruiters, the comfort level of providing a phone screen is usually performed with ease and experience, but with the new shift to video, there’re a few things to consider to give a positive candidate experience. Continue reading >>

By in Innovation, Interviewing, Technology


Big Data: An ‘Easy Button’ for Recruiting? Why It’s Not as Crazy as It Sounds

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an ‘easy button’ when it came to recruiting? A way to pinpoint exactly where the candidates you need are hiding? A litmus test to predict which candidates will be successful in your organization? A navigation device to show you where you need to focus your recruiting efforts and what message you need to send to bring in a better quantity and quality of applicants? Continue reading >>

By in Innovation, Technology, Trends

Filling Jobs

Minding the Gap: New Initiative Takes On Workforce Skills Shortage

Among today’s most baffling unexplained mysteries – the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, who killed Kennedy, the ongoing success of ‘Two and a Half Men’ – there’s one that is dominating the news lately: Despite the fact that more than 14 million people are unemployed, there remain 3.2 million job openings in America.

The reason for this discrepancy, many experts believe, is that today’s workers simply don’t have the skills employers need to fill these positions – and it’s leading to what’s commonly referred to as a skills gap. Continue reading >>

By in Closing the Skills Gap, Innovation, Insights & Trends

hrpa annual conference

The Best Ideas from HRPA’s 2012 Conference–In 140 Characters or Fewer

I was at 2012′s HRPA conference last week, tweeting, blogging, jumping into sessions       about everything from the importance of cultural fit to the prevalence of age discrimination (more to come on those soon). I was also busy sneaking some peach gummy candy (CareerBuilder Canada had the most delicious booth ever, as evidenced by the picture on left of two of our CareerBuilder Canada employees, Jean and Brin, with a myriad of candy). Continue reading >>

By in Employee Engagement, Innovation, Talent Acquisition, Trade Shows

Klout and recruitment: Good or bad?

Klout and Recruitment: Passing Trend Or Permanent Hiring Tool?

Klout and recruitment: Good or bad?Your hotel may whisk you off to a Cirque du Soleil show, an upgraded luxury suite or a fabulous dinner.

That phone call about your computer issues that normally passes you through four different people may shoot you directly to Susan, the manager.

Your favorite airline may send you to the new Bali resort everyone’s raving about – on their dime.

And if you’re a job candidate, the employer you’re courting may be bowled over by your credentials and hire you on the spot –

– all because of your Klout score.

What?! Yes, it’s true – not only are brands using Klout on a consumer level, but recruiters and employers are starting to use Klout scores to gauge candidates’ effectiveness or fit as a potential hire. Is Klout + recruitment a passing trend – or a permanent hiring tool? Let’s take a closer look.

What is Klout?

Klout is, according to the company’s website, “the standard for online and Internet influence.” Klout insists it isn’t about the A-Listers, because they believe every person who creates content has influence. “Our mission,” the site says, “is to help every individual understand and leverage their influence.

And in a recent Twitter chat (#kloutchat), Klout shed light on how one’s score is determined: “Score is based on how how many people you influence, how much you influence them, and how influential they are.” It’s more about reactions to the content people create — than about the content itself; about how much people take action on your content through things like retweets, “Likes,” commenting, and clicking on your links. How much of what you do online causes people to take action? That’s Klout’s bread and butter.

Klout + Recruitment

The chatter about Klout has been growing stronger. Originally, it was about individuals using it to determine their online influence among their peers. More recently, brands have gotten into the mix and have started using Klout to create perks for customers or potential customers with a high influence index, like Spotify giving Klout users early access, Virgin America giving away tickets, or hotel upgrades or restaurant table VIP. The thinking is, getting influential users to experience your products will cause them to talk about your brand on online networks and spread sentiment about your company through their online influence.

And now, Klout is seeping into the world of recruitment — and faster than we may realize. Joe Fernandez, CEO of Klout, believes that social media is becoming an increasingly important candidate asset. “A person’s comfort and ability to leverage social media is becoming, if not critical, at least a differentiator among candidates,” says Joe Fernandez, CEO of Klout, in a recent Q&A blog post with Forbes blogger Tracey John. If he’s hiring for a marketing employee and two candidates have similar education and experience, but one candidate is active on sites like Twitter, Facebook, and blogs and one is not Fernandez says, he says he will hire the one who is.

Klout can’t be the only factor in making decision on hiring, he adds – just as you wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) base college entry based on SAT or ACT scores alone. “I think in terms of understanding somebody’s ability, comfort, reach and engagement with social media – which is becoming more and more important – that Klout is the standard and a great tool for hiring.”

The CEO of Klout isn’t the only one using Klout for recruitment. In Mark Schaefer’s blog post, The Making of a Social Media Slut, he says he recently heard about four friends or co-workers making — or being on the other end of — decisions that were arrived at because of Klout scores, all within a 72-hour time period. Though we’re far from Klout and recruitment being a mainstream practice, it’s happening — and we need to take a hard look at the potential positives of such a mix, as well as the potential pitfalls.

By in Employee Engagement, Innovation, Insights & Trends, Social Media, Sourcing, Talent Acquisition

Howard Schultz and Bill Kurtis Q&A at Borders

Howard Schultz on How Starbucks Got Its Groove Back

Howard Schultz and Bill Kurtis Q&A at BordersThe woman in the grey sweatshirt stood up in front of roughly 100 others at Borders Books’ Chicago State St. location and tearfully told Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, that she’d closed her store and driven all night from her store in Ohio to see him speak in person. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be in front of you today,” she said, her voice breaking with emotion.

She, like many of us, was at Borders to see a Q&A discussion between Schultz and CBS2’s Bill Kurtis on Schultz’s new leadership memoir, Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul (and perhaps get a book signed or a photo taken with the man who has changed the way many people think about coffee). After the woman thanked Schultz for all that he’d done for her and her employees, Kurtis asked her why it was that she drove so far to see him – why Schultz? “He’s an inspiration, and he’s honest,” she replied, as if it was the most obvious answer in the world.

It’s hard to argue with the fact that Schultz and the Starbucks brand have a die-hard following – and as I sat listening in awe to the woman who traveled all night from my beloved home state of Ohio to see Schultz and express her gratitude and devotion to Schultz and Starbucks in such a personal way, I realized I was seeing the power of the Starbucks brand in action. Here was a company that, more than most any others, had built up nearly impenetrable company and employment brands, gained a legion of loyal fans, customers and employees, and grown to a massive 16,000-store, “there’s a Starbucks on nearly every corner” giant. But, as Schultz would point out, things weren’t so rosy just a few years earlier.

Flashback to 2007

“I could sense, or small, that something wasn’t quite right,” Schultz said as he addressed the overflowing crowd of fans and curious onlookers before him. He was referring to February 2007, a time when, he said, he became concerned about what was happening at Starbucks – or rather, what wasn’t happening. Little by little, Starbucks had been losing some of the signature traits it had been founded on.

In 2000, Schultz had stepped down as CEO (or, as a Starbucks employee would write it, “ceo”– they have used lowercase job titles since their early days) and became chairman, moving away from day-to-day operations to focus on global strategy and expansion. In the years that followed, store growth accelerated and stock prices soared as sales and profits increased every single quarter – until they suddenly didn’t. By 2007, things were taking a turn for the worse. “Starbucks had begun to fail itself,” Schultz said.

Bitter times

Over time, the company had been expanding the brand beyond its core into various media like music, books, and film. In addition, every quarter, there was more intense pressure to maintain annual revenue and profit increases of at least 20 percent – an ambitious goal that Schultz admits he was complicit in promoting. Amidst battle cries of “More growth!” the team had lost sight of what the Starbucks experience was really all about. Starbucks, he pointed out in his book, has always been about so much more than coffee. “But without great coffee,” he wrote, “we have no reason to exist.”

So, on Valentine’s Day 2007, Schultz sent an email to Jim Donald, the CEO of Starbucks at that time, warning of the commoditization of Starbucks (the email was aptly titled The Commoditization of the Starbucks Experience ), hoping to unleash an honest conversation that would prompt everyone to reexamine the path they were traveling. He stressed a need to get back to Starbucks’ core and make the changes necessary to evoke “ the tradition, heritage and passion they all had for the true Starbucks experience.” Unfortunately, he said, the email leaked, and the next thing he knew it was all over the Internet – and the public was in a furor. Starbucks – and Schultz himself — received a lot of criticism for his opinions, even from Starbucks’ own employees, and as he says, it undermined what he was trying to accomplish.

Online conversations took on a life of their own, and while the company was struggling to figure out how to create balance between growth and a need to preserve what the company was really about, Schultz realized that they could no longer use their stores and website to communicate and control the conversations – the public was really in control of what was being said. Coincidentally, soon before Schultz’s email went out, three big communication changes had occurred: a week earlier, Apple had introduced the iPhone; four months earlier, Google had bought YouTube; and five months earlier, Facebook had opened up to the public.

Times were changing, and Starbucks was forced to either change with them or get left behind.

Back to the grind(s)?

Toward the end of 2007, as the situation reached a breaking point, the board decided Schultz needed to return as CEO. So, in January 2008, he did. It wasn’t his original intention, and it wasn’t an easy decision. In addition to having to tell Donald he was taking over, he was re-immersing himself in a company that was increasingly becoming viewed as one of the poster children of the recession (i.e. “save money, don’t drink at Starbucks”); people were being encouraged to look elsewhere for coffee easier on the pocket.

As he jumped back into his role as CEO, Schultz said, he realized that the issues he’d brought up in that now-infamous email back in 2007 were even larger and deeper than he had then thought. This was through no fault of people working there, he said — it was due to the fact that Starbucks was rewarding the wrong things. Factors like speed of service were praised, rather than keeping focus on the customer and the quality of the product.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz at Borders

Schultz’s reaction?

On February 23, 2008, “I closed every store to retrain 115,000 people – I said we were going back to the roots of the company.” Of course, the media frenzy that ensued from this decision brought many to believe that the end of Starbucks was near – that they were no longer relevant. Schultz admits it was a bold decision to retrain every single employee. His explanation? “It was honest, it was authentic, and it was necessary.” The company lost $6 million that day. And as he said, Starbucks still had a long, long way to go in solving their mounting problems – but this was a start.

Starting over, he said, involved metaphorically asking the question of employees, What does it mean not to be a bystander? “From this point, we had to create, attract and create new customers.” Gone, he says, was the time that Starbucks could do no wrong — that the company was on a “magic carpet ride” – and that profitability and likeability would happen automatically with every move the company made. Gone was the time that Starbucks was leading the conversation — now, they had to find a way to take part in the larger conversations that were happening.

Later in 2008, one month after Wall Street’s meltdown and a few weeks before Starbucks would announce significantly reduced profits for the fourth quarter, Schultz decided to get all of the store managers together — all 11,000 of them — for a leadership conference. They’d always done the conference in Seattle, and even though nearly every major city wanted to host them, Schultz said they chose a place very much in need of assistance: New Orleans. Despite the odds, Schultz knew it had to be done, to start rebuilding trust between Starbucks and its employees and invest in Starbucks’ continuing transformation — and New Orleans was the right place to do it. Not only did they have a week-long meeting with interactive galleries, roundtables, and panels, but they also did service in the 9th Ward and helped to rebuild some of the city’s most devastated neighborhoods.

“I’ve always loved this company,” Schultz said in Onward. “Love is why I had some back as ceo and why I feel so personally responsible for its failure and success. Yet somewhere along our journey, the love our people had for Starbucks had blurred. New Orleans had brought it back into focus, and once again our values stood in stark relief… because of everything we experienced in New Orleans, it was apparent to all of us what it meant to love something — and the responsibility that goes with it.”

Moving forward

By in Book Review, Employee Engagement, Innovation, Insights & Trends, Retention


The Secrets to Their Success: What Smart Companies Understand About Talent Intelligence

Do you ever wonder how companies like Google, Best Buy, P&G, Harrah’s, Dell, Starbucks and Sysco – to name just a few – consistently rank on Best Places to Work and Most Desirable Employers lists? It’s not just the fancy perks like free gourmet meals, stock options, on-site fitness facilities and flex schedules. (Well, not just that, anyway.)

The secret to their success is data.

These companies are able to position themselves as best places to work because they rely on data to inform all of their recruitment decisions. They gather data on everything from job seeker and employee perceptions, behaviors and desires (including even the above-mentioned ‘fancy perks’ employees want most) to industry trends and talent supply and demand. They then analyze this data to understand where to focus their recruitment efforts to get the best return on their investment.

Harrah’s, for example, used metrics to evaluate the effects of its health and wellness programs on employee engagement and the bottom line. Starbucks and Best Buy have established metrics that can precisely identify the value of a 0.1 percent increase in engagement among employees at a particular store. Sysco implemented analytics to identify which workforce factors influence employee satisfaction and how they correlated to higher revenue, lower costs, higher retention and stronger customer loyalty. The company then applied these findings to identify what actions by management will have the greatest impact on the business. Similarly, Google used talent intelligence to identify eight effective leadership behaviors, which the company now uses as criteria when considering performance reviews and staffing decisions.

Six Habits of Highly Successful Employers
The above are just a few examples of how companies rely on data to understand both current and potential employees and use this intelligence to position themselves as desirable places to work. So how can you create a similar experience with data to see bottom-line results? Consider the following key concepts that companies who successfully recruit with data get right.

By in Employee Engagement, Innovation, Insights & Trends, Retention, Talent Acquisition, Webinars


A Recruitment Strategy Without Data Isn’t A Strategy At All

Content strategist Mike Loukides recently wrote, “The future belongs to the companies who figure out how to collect and use data successfully.”

While he may have been referring to marketing data, he could easily have been referring to recruitment. After all, recruitment essentially is just another form of marketing. Why do advertisers create focus groups? Administer surveys? Study consumers? They take the time to gather information on their consumers, analyze it, and use it to inform their marketing strategy and ultimately keep them ahead of the competition in the eyes of their target audience.

When it comes to recruiting, the importance of data to inform key decisions is no different. It is crucial that hiring managers and recruiters understand their target audience – who they are, what they value, how they approach their job search – in order to ensure they are reaching this audience with the right messages, at the right times and through the right channels.

Gone are the days when recruiters and hiring managers could get away with simply putting a job ad in a local paper, hoping people apply. Today, recruitment – that is, the efforts that attract, engage and retain the highest quality of employees – requires a strategy, and the key to that strategy is data.

And with more job seeker and employee data available than ever, employers today have no good reason not to use data to inform their recruiting efforts. In fact, ignoring this data is downright detrimental to their organizations, considering that the competition for attracting and retaining the best talent is more intense than ever. Today’s savviest employers are already using data as part of their recruitment strategy, and the trend is only increasing; those who are not quick to embrace data will simply fall behind.

By in Employee Engagement, Innovation, Insights & Trends, Retention, Talent Acquisition, Webinars

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