Recruiting Archives - upstartHR

Posts tagged "Recruiting"



Can I (and Should I) Fire An Employee for Social Media Content?

google job candidatesThere is a phenomenon that doesn’t get talked about much publicly, but it’s something that in-the-trenches HR folks deal with fairly regularly. While we want to “rise up” and think about big picture, have a strategic viewpoint, and assume the best, there are always going to be friction points that hold us back. It’s a part of the whole “working with people” thing. :-) Today I want to talk through a few recent questions I have received around the impact of social media in the workplace.

We recently hired someone, but after he started I found out that he is posting offensive content to his Instagram page. Should we fire him? This is his first real job after college.

In some cases, it’s perfectly acceptable to terminate someone for what they are sharing online, especially if it would be harmful for your company if it were to come into the public eye. In this case, I’d take a coaching approach initially. The guy’s in his first job and might not realize the implications of what he is sharing. Take him aside, explain why he should NOT be sharing offensive things on a public social media site, and ask him to make it private and/or stop.

One way I’ve had success with this in the past is by framing it in terms of how someone they respect would see it. For instance, “I know that Joe thinks a lot of you, and that’s why he pushed to bring you on board. What would he say if he found out about this?” That’s often times motivation enough. We forget that maturity is delayed in kids these days for numerous reasons, and the first step should be to educate, not criticize. Don’t assume they know that the behavior is offensive.

We absolutely do not look at anyone’s social media profiles before we hire. That’s discriminatory, right?

Not necessarily. Often times I would not have time to research people online simply due to the time factor. With a full slate of work I didn’t have time to look up every single person (the recruiting process was already long enough). But there was one key time that it really saved us from embarrassment and lost revenue. We were pursuing work with a branch of the military known for its close, community-style relationship. Everyone knows everyone, right?

We had a backup candidate we were going to submit for the effort, and I went out to Google to find him on LinkedIn (because I heart LinkedIn for recruiting, by the way). His LinkedIn profile was the second item in the Google search results. The first? An article about his arrest for indecent exposure and subsequent legal actions. Due to the specific community we were dealing with, having that candidate in our proposal would have made us look clueless and would probably have cost us a sizable chunk of money if we lost it completely.

I don’t always Google my candidates, but I have a good reason to.

Now, would I forego hiring someone because they have pictures of them having a good time on the weekend shared on their Facebook page? That’s going to depend on the company culture, the person’s overall value as determined by the hiring process, and the exact nature of what I find in a search. It’s certainly not a blanket “no,” but it also isn’t a blank check for “anything goes,” either.

There’s a little thing called negligent hiring that I would bring up here to the naysayers. The basic premise is that if you have information that the candidate did something wrong in the past and could reasonably be expected to to it again to the detriment of those around them, then you have a responsibility to the rest of your staff to NOT hire the person. If we find out something about a candidate that would bring financial or other harm to employees, company, or customers, it’s our responsibility to keep that kind of people from getting onto the payroll.

Whether you want to warn them ahead of time or not is entirely your call. As long as you have some measure of transparency in the recruiting process, the candidate shouldn’t expect anything public to be off-limits.

What other questions do you have about social media and how it has added complexity to everyday HR activities? I’d love to offer some advice!

Should HR Be Managing Contingent Workers?

managing contingent workersOne of the best conversations I had last week was about how technology is changing to allow internal HR/recruiting leaders to also take over the management of contingent workers: free agents, temps, etc. But, if you’ve spent some time in HR, you probably know that this is something that we just don’t do. But why?

Good question.

Sometimes the barrier to technological improvement isn’t technology-related at all.

That thought occurred to me during a discussion with the provider, PeopleFluent, that has built a robust recruiting solution that also allows management of contingent workers. In other words, if you’re trying to bring in free agents, contractors, or other non-traditional workers, you can do that within the recruiting tools instead of having an entirely separate process.

The provider has had adoption issues and doesn’t have a significant number of clients (at least in the US) that are seeking to implement this portion of the recruiting system. The problem, as many HR pros will tell you, is that we don’t always want to be in charge of the contingent workers. Here’s why…
Keep reading…

How to Select a Third Party Recruiter

My phone rings and caller ID tells me it’s a recruiting firm calling. I can’t be the only one rolling my eyes thinking, “would they just stop calling me!?”, right? I have a bias against using third parties to fill our open reqs for a number of reasons – fees, signal-to-noise-ratio and culture fit issues, chief among them – but they are necessary at times for our technical positions. Managed correctly (which my People Ops partner-in-crime does), they can absolutely lead to terrific hires. So let’s talk about how to use them efficiently.

Take the lead

Go into the process valuing your time. Every extra bit of energy you have to put into managing a recruiter or weeding through oodles of bad resumes is costing you some opportunity. If you invest heavily in selecting the right recruiter and getting them off on the right foot, it’ll save you time and credibility with your hiring managers in the end.

Talk to a number of firms, settle on a few you feel comfortable with, and invite them on site to get a sense of what the company is about and what the team is looking for. When companies are anything less than enthusiastic about visiting, cut them loose.

Laying the foundation

Define your arrangement, expectations, and any future opportunities that may be available to the recruiter if successful. Encourage recruiters to ask all the questions they need to confidently send over 3-5 candidates they feel fit your gig (our recruiter stresses to send candidates as they become available, not all at once). For each of the candidates you receive, provide crystal clear feedback about what you do and do not like so the recruiter can get an understanding of exactly what you are looking for.

Be okay with a trickle of candidates – you want quality; a stuffed inbox does nothing for you.

Good recruiters should start to hone in on what you want and act like an extension of your company if you give them the type of feedback you’d expect from hiring managers when you start to source for a role.

A word of warning

Be wary of recruiters who are less interested in your feedback than they are in selling you on a candidate (if it’s a good candidate, there are tons of companies out there who will want him or her). They are chasing a commision, not a long-term partnership. Cut loose those unable to adapt and meet your expectations. You know what it takes to be successful at your company. And, ultimately, it’s your credibility on the line.

What experience have you had with third party recruiters? Love ‘em? Hate ‘em? Share in the comments below!

About the author: Jane Jaxon is the HR Director of a high-growth tech company in Boston where she gets to focus on building a great workplace and scaling people operations. Jane’s favorite buzzwords of the trade are eNPS, talent density and (of course) people operations. She likes neither pina colada’s nor getting caught in the rain, but sure loves marathoning critically-acclaimed tv series, reading in the sun, plotting her fantasy football world domination and, lastly, keeping a stealthy social media presence. Find her on LinkedIn.

How Long Is Your Recruiting Process?

So after reading an interesting post by my friend Tim Sackett recently, I stopped to think about the “ideal” length of the recruiting process. Here’s Tim:

People won’t read a 700 page book, they want 300.  No one wants to watch a three hour movie, make it two.  Why do we have to have an hour meeting, make it thirty minutes. Being too long is not a weakness you want to have in today’s world.  Being too long is now a sign that you probably don’t really know what you’re doing.  If you can’t be short and concise, you’re looked at as ‘old fashioned’. That’s what your candidates are thinking of your selection process.  You try and tell yourself, and your leadership, that we ‘take our time’ because we want to ‘make the right decision’. But your competition is making those same decisions in half the time.  You’re old fashion. You’re broken.  You’re taking too long. Source: http://www.timsackett.com/2014/08/21/its-too-long/

Here’s a short video where I give both sides of the issue (subscribers click through to view):

So, what’s the right answer for you and your organization? Read the rest of my thoughts on the subject in my post on Talent Acquisition Process Length at the Brandon Hall Group blog.

Vendors: Why Your Customers Hate You

Last week I was talking with a friend who is the Director of HR for an eleven million dollar company. They are trying to find an applicant tracking system to replace their current solution, and he asked me for some advice on where to start his search. He spent several hours looking around the web, scouring Google, and checking in with friends (hence the call to me). After all of that searching, all he had was a headache from the various frustrations he met during his search. While the experiment is quite informal, I think it’s an interesting peek into the mind of your average customer.

Why he’s changing platforms

He has been really happy with the applicant tracking system his company is using, but they have slowly started “premiumizing” the basic features he has come to rely on to get his daily work done. Bit by bit it was an acceptable nuisance because the basic price fit his budget and it was a tool the company had used for three years successfully.

We all know the truth, though. Businesses change. Products change. That’s part of life.

However, the new pricing model is built not on how much the system is used from a recruiting standpoint (number of applicants, job postings, recruiters, etc.), but on how many employees the company has. My friend is having trouble making sense of why that is the driving factor of the price when it isn’t relevant to the duties of a recruiter.

To be blunt, he feels slighted by the company that he has put his credibility on the line for, because he now has to request additional funds to purchase another system, train hiring managers to use it, and find out how to import legacy data into the platform.

I’m certain the new prices are going to fit some customers well, but it isn’t something that he can fit into his budget, so he’s on the hunt.

Lack of pricing information

Like pretty much every business decision, one of the initial hurdles is budget-based. In other words, can we afford it? However, even a simple question like that is virtually impossible to answer in a cursory review of some of the applicant tracking websites out there. Here are some of the questions that surfaced:

  • So how is this pricing model determined again?
  • How much will it actually cost? Is there a setup fee? What’s the annual cost? Is there a discount?
  • The website says “free trial,” but I have to give them a credit card number to test it out—I don’t know if I trust them enough to give them that information just yet.

Lack of feature description

The next priority is feature set. Will this do what we need it to do?

  • The website doesn’t have any screenshots. I need to see the user interface to see if it’s going to be intuitive for the recruiting team, hiring managers, and candidates.
  • It lists a key feature I need, but it doesn’t tell me what tiers the feature is available for.
  • I’d really like to see a demo or video tutorial, but all of that stuff is locked behind a sales rep. I don’t want to get on someone’s telemarketing list—I just want to look at the application.

Do your potential customers a favor

Have someone who is unfamiliar with your product visit your site and the sites of two or three of your competitors. They need to be looking for standard information: pricing, features, etc.

Without prompting or leading them, allow them to try and see how quickly they can find the information they are seeking and track how long it takes to do that.

If they have trouble finding the information, then a change might be necessary. Don’t do it for me–do it for your customers.

Applying Marketing Principles to HR

Today we’re honored to have a guest post from a long-time friend and fellow HR practitioner. Jane Jaxon is the rockstar HR Director for a tech company in Boston. Learn more about her in the bio below the article. 

Marketing 101: You need a product that meets the needs of your target customer or audience, then you need to promote it where it will be seen by and sought out by potential customers.

Branding 101: Define what you are about and what space in the market you occupy. Stand for something you believe in. Build such a strong connection with your audience that they take on your brand identity on as their own.

Wait, this is an HR blog, right? It is. Why are these concepts so basic when building a business and customer base, but relatively foreign in the HR world? Human capital is critical to the success of a company, yet basic marketing principles and resources are rarely allocated to our teams. It seems silly. A business cannot succeed without both the right product or service and the right people to deliver that product or service.

I suspect many of you don’t have marketers on your team, but there are some simple steps you can begin to take on your own to differentiate yourself and strengthen your employer brand to attract a better pipeline.

Understand your value proposition. What value can you deliver to prospective candidates? Examples include: location, work/life balance, opportunity to work with cutting edge technologies, top-of-the-market pay or great mentorship and development programs. Ask your current employees what the best part of working for your company is. And market it! Make sure pictures and language on your website highlight your differentiators. Invite employees to write testimonials or post to Glassdoor. But above all, be honest.

Figure out your market and focus your advertising appropriately. Each position has a unique market and needs to be treated as such. For example, we ask our team to review our job descriptions when we’re adding to the team to give us feedback – the oozing-with-personality job descriptions we use for entry level positions just may not appeal to senior level developers or a CFO. When I’m looking for an engineer, I ask our current team where they spend their time browsing and to tell me about the most effective cold call or email they have received and I tweak my recruitment approach accordingly. Finally, when we land a fantastic candidate, we take note of how so we can better focus our efforts next time.

Deliver. You need your public persona to match the candidate (and employee) experience. If you differentiate by the intelligence of your team, candidates expect to talk to smart people. If you pride yourself on corporate values and culture, the interview experience and questions should reflect that. You cannot attract or retain the right people if you aren’t able to deliver on the experience you’ve marketed. Just think – would you go back to a hotel that showed beautiful rooms and an ocean view but delivered an inferior product? Neither will candidates.

No company is perfect in every area, but you can be much more successful if you are able to identify what your strengths are, how you compare to the competition, and your audience, then relay that message in an effective way. How do you stack up? What differentiates your open reqs and opportunities from the competition?

About the author: Jane Jaxon is the HR Director of a high-growth tech company in Boston where she gets to focus on building a great workplace and scaling people operations. Jane’s favorite buzzwords of the trade are eNPS, talent density and (of course) people operations. She likes neither pina colada’s nor getting caught in the rain, but sure loves marathoning critically-acclaimed tv series, reading in the sun, plotting her fantasy football world domination and, lastly, keeping a stealthy social media presence. Find her on LinkedIn.

How to Recruit with LinkedIn (for Free)

Recently I was talking with a friend about recruiting, and LinkedIn came up. I mentioned my success with the tool, and that led to some discussions around how to use it, what to do, how to connect, etc. In the video below I go over my tips for how to use a free LinkedIn account to recruit like a rockstar.

Video notes

In the video I cover three key areas for the newbie or the advanced HR pro to take advantage of LinkedIn for recruiting.

  1. Searching LinkedIn with Google using the site:linkedin.com operator
  2. Crafting a connection message that people want to respond to
  3. Leveraging new contacts’ connections for referral purposes

Have you used LinkedIn for recruiting? What has been your experience? Any other questions I could answer?

Loading...
Get free updates via email
Spam's for grilled cheese, not email. I won't sell your email address.