Am I Mashed Up or Just Fried? A Journey Into Social Recruiting (Part 4):

Chris Carlson

 

Christopher Carlson, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition, Booz Allen Hamilton
Twitter: @cciCarlson
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ccicrc

I am happy to report that my team has created a new drinking game based on my journey into social recruiting. They have to drink every time I use the word “webinar”.   Webinars have become an obsession of mine as I view them as a way to have virtual engagement and I think serve as a strong vehicle for sharing information. They also allow us to harness the enthusiastic employee base that we have and I have been so thrilled with the willingness our employees to participate in our initiative. I do feel for my team though as several of our team meetings have ended up looking like a TV network program scheduling meeting and I am sure my colleagues racked up quite a large number of drinks (not during work, of course). Part of my obsession comes from the need to address the objectives I discussed in Part 3 of my series and serve as a primary vehicle to address one of the two components of social recruiting that I see as essential.

From my perspective, there are two critical components of building a social recruiting strategy. The first is really about content and how you push your message out there or “branding”. To start down this path, we looked at different components of traditional campus recruiting and discussed how they translate into a virtual world. The content that is developed for the virtual world needs to be both engaging and compelling so that individuals will return time and time again.

That component takes some time to develop as you need to think about

  1. how you feed your message across all the outlets,
  2. how you highlight your employee value proposition, and
  3. how will you enhance the candidate’s experience?

You can’t just tweet: “We have jobs!” or “Hey you! Here is a job for you”. People will get bored with that very quickly. There will be a need to translate the key messaging from your traditional campus information session into virtual messaging and balance that messaging with your technical and functional expertise that you share in classroom presentations or case competitions.

You also have to think about how to touch as many candidates if not more with these messages in quick hits like a career fair and then drive those connections into actual pipeline.  There are a number of companies out there that do a tremendous job with this component and have been doing so for a while so it is important to think about how to set yourself apart. It was this component that led to my team’s new drinking game.

The second component from my perspective is one that many old school recruiters may appreciate—“direct sourcing”. As you may recall, I grew up in recruiting and learned how to start with a list of five names and turn those into a pipeline and this background is the cornerstone of my recruiting philosophy.

I think the sound of directly source to identify talent in the college recruiting world doesn’t always seem like a popular approach with some people for a variety of reasons. However, it is what I know and is always forefront in my mind. I know that I want computer science majors who have internships, so I am going to go after those candidates. There was a time in our team’s past where they wouldn’t let me get a hold of a resume book because they knew I would be contacting candidates into the wee hours of the night and I would be firing off e-mails to the team with candidates who responded with interest.

I truly believe once a recruiter, always a recruiter. So you and I both know that there are candidates out there who don’t want to go to a webinar and for that matter, do not want to go to an in-person career fair, but they are candidates we still want to reach. I guess if you sat in a hallway on campus with some donuts you might reach some of them (I know I ALWAYS stop for a donut), but that is going to require a lot of donuts and a lot of manpower in a lot of hallways.

NACE reported that there are more than twice as many jobs for computer science graduates as there are graduates. So part of our strategy is about direct outreach. I will be honest: we are still reviewing and testing a variety of methods and tools other than me staying awake all night e-mailing every computer science student, and I don’t want to give away too much about some of our thinking around this one. Suffice to say, you have to spend some time thinking about this one.

Looking at how to integrate these two components has kept me up many a night. You are not going to be able to recruit a candidate if you don’t have a compelling employee value proposition or brand. Likewise, you can brand yourself all day long, but you may not ever reach the candidate pool you want without some good old-fashioned direct sourcing. So as I watch a variety of reruns and infomercials late into the night, I sit and wonder how to feed the student’s need to feel engaged if I don’t go to campus. In essence, how do I offer that virtual donut? (Mmmmmmm….donuts) And that, my friends, is our greatest challenge and where I think the greatest transformation within university recruiting is taking place—tapping into the social networks.

Look out for additional entries highlighting my journey into social recruiting. As a reminder, I am presenting on this topic in more detail at #NACE14. Also, if any of you want to connect to share stories or best practices, reach out to me and we can share some virtual donuts. I do like the donuts and the doughnuts.

“Everyone Is a Recruiter” will be presented on Tuesday, June 10, at 3:30 p.m. See the #NACE14 Itinerary Builder for details.

Did you miss Christopher Carlson’s first, second, and third installments on his journey into social recruiting? Read them now!

Am I Mashed Up or Just Fried? A Journey Into Social Recruiting

Chris Carlson
Christopher Carlson, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition, Booz Allen Hamilton
Twitter: @cciCarlson
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ccicrc

Reading regular updates on corporate engagement and investment into social media suggests that it is becoming a critical piece of corporate recruiting strategies.  The influence of social recruiting and media on university recruiting continues to evolve.  Many traditional campus recruiting models are being challenged by new paradigms in means of communication.  Our team has been in the process of evolving our social recruiting strategies for university recruiting, and when asked to contribute to the NACE Blog, I thought it would be appropriate to develop a series of blogs designed to share more about my personal journey into social recruiting.

Let me start the series by sharing a personal perspective.  I hate to confess this, but I learned recruiting in a small office back in the day when recruiting was done by putting an advertisement in a local paper and that was pretty much our only strategy.  We opened the envelopes of those who applied and proceeded to review them, and put them into two piles—qualified and not-qualified.  I still remember counting the months and years of experience on each of the qualified resumes with a red pen for review by the hiring manager and the EEO officer. We thought 150 applicants was a lot.

Over the years, I recruited during the introduction of the Internet and job boards. I still am close with some recruiters who were in the chat room of the original OCC, which became Monster. We went from 150 applicants per  job posting to thousands. They came in from all over the world. Technical recruiting exploded, but it was still contained in the confines of job boards and postings. Throughout this whole period, some things remained constant in university recruiting—posting positions, career fairs, on-campus interviews, meeting professors, and student group meetings. Technology advanced a greater ease in posting as we didn’t have to mail a flyer anymore, but still nothing dramatic happened.

Fast forward to now…every student has a smart phone and/or a tablet. Career services staff leverage social media to keep students informed and even trained. There are apps like Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Vine that allow individuals to communicate instantly and to large numbers of people.  My head whirls sometimes just thinking about it all. Should I be mashing something so I can “mashup?” If I am on Twitter, am I twittering or tweeting, and why am I putting a hashtag in front of everything? Do I have to write in complete sentences?  Who are these people and why do they want to connect with me?

Our team met just over a year ago to review the changing landscape on campuses and within our business. We reviewed our resources, outreach, tools, and historical metrics.  We discussed our challenges and opportunities. We then started to realize that we needed to embrace a remote, social recruiting strategy. We started down that path and are still moving in that direction. Over the coming months I am going to discuss the transition from traditional campus recruiting to embracing this “brave new world.” I will be discussing processes, lessons learned, and best practices.

In true social media fashion, I encourage you to share your stories with me as well. We can mashup together, and I hope you will continue to follow me down my #journey. I will also be presenting at #NACE14 on this topic in more detail.

Everyone Is a Recruiter, best practices on establishing a social recruiting approach that takes into account both internal and external tools and audiences, will be presented by Christopher Carlson and Courtenay Verret, Talent Acquisition Program Associate, American Red Cross.

Read part 2 of Christopher Carlson’s “Journey Into Social Recruiting.”

Highlights from the Social Media Mashup, #NACESocial

Espie SantiagoEspie Santiago, NACE Guest Blogger, is an assistant director of career counseling at the Stanford University Career Development Center

Twitter: @espie_s
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/espiesantiago

I am happy to report that NACE’s Social Media Mashup in San Jose exceeded my expectations. Here’s my best attempt to give you a synopsis of the two-day event.

Day 1:
Eager to mash it up with colleagues familiar and new, I arrived to #NACESocial like a geek – fashionably early. I was warmly welcomed by NACE’s Marilyn Mackes and Mallory Gott-Ortiz, and key organizer Dawn Carter from NetApp. Not before long, I was surrounded by nearly 100 colleagues, all excited to learn about trends and best practices in social media – present and future.

First on the agenda was David Spector, Global Head of Mobile, TMP Worldwide, who gave the opening keynote address: The Art & Science of Social Media.
TMP

David reminded us of how far technology has evolved since the 90s – when there was dial-up internet through “classic devices” and you could not use your phone and the web at the same time. But now we can’t live without our mobile devices, and even though many have a choice of going to a laptop or desktop, a majority of us favor using our smartphones over any other device:

• 81% of searches are done via mobile because of either speed or convenience
• 77% of mobile searches are conducted at home or work
• Only 17% of searches are conducted on the go

By 2016, it is predicted that 92% of all college graduates will own smartphones.
The key takeaway for me was that if you aren’t designing your product or services for a mobile device/smartphone, then you are behind the curve.

However, despite the inundation of social media, David emphasized that human interaction still prevails. The need for people to connect is at the center of why social media was created in the first place.

After the opening keynote, I had the difficult task of deciding which concurrent session to attend. After much debate, I settled on the following:

Student Panel: Successfully Engaging Students With Social and Digital Media
Tom Devlin from UC Berkeley moderated a panel of recent grads and current students to discuss how they used social media to conduct their job and internship searches. All panelists commented that LinkedIn strongly contributed to their success in landing positions. They also said the trend is moving away from using Facebook, but more activity on LinkedIn and Twitter with YouTube and Instagram as additional popular social media platforms.

The key takeaway from this session was that students are beginning to use LinkedIn more and more to connect with employers. Employers – beef up those company pages!

Day 2:
After a great breakfast and some in-person networking, I, again, was tasked with choosing between some equally enticing presentations. Luckily, I would be conducting a presentation on “Strategies to Help Students Get the Most from their LinkedIn Experience” during the final presentation timeslot, so I had one less decision to make.

First, I attended: The Changing Face of Social Media in Career Services, presented by Manny Contomanolis from RIT and Trudy Steinfeld from NYU.

Manny and Trudy had the most hilarious slide from the entire mashup, describing social media sites, deconstructed from the toilet.
SocialMediaDecon

They had some many great takeaways from their presentation, but here my favorites:

• What’s Next in Social Media? It’s mobile, visual, greater integration (easier to share content across multi-platforms), social at the institutional scale, content affirmed as king, and the importance of brand management

• Key Principles in Social Media Strategy Development
1) Flexibility 2) Content driven 3) Appropriate investments 4) Involve the right people
5) Commitment

• Don’t be too quick as to use every social media application that comes out!
• Know your institution and what would suit it best. For example, Pinterest is dominated by female users, so it may not be most the effective use of time if your campus is male-dominated.
• If nothing else, just ask yourself the following to drive your strategy: “Is it concise, accurate, relevant and timely?”

Next, I chose to attend: Is Campus Recruiting Really a Thing of the Past?, presented by Rob Humphrey from LinkedIn.

Basically, the answer is no! Phew, I still have a job! With the creation of things like University pages, lowering the user age to 14, and “CheckIn” which gives employers easy access to candidate data for career fairs and other events, LinkedIn will continue to complement the campus recruiting experience through the use of social technology. Campus recruiting is reinventing itself with the ease of LinkedIn’s tools.

Lastly, Ryan Glick from Google gave the closing keynote address: Search & Social.
Ryan talked about lots of great ideas for using Google tools for social recruiting. He discussed the trends and changing landscape of the job industry, mobile as a social tool, and the use of video (YouTube) to grow and engage your audience. And I especially enjoyed learning how Google+ can help build communities.
Google
Again – my key takeaway from his presentation amongst a lot of great content is MOBILE, MOBILE, MOBILE! Job seekers are using their smartphones to look for jobs, not to apply for them per se, but to search for them, making mobile a huge part of the job-seeking experience. (Job seekers and employers looking to build a mobile site should look at Indeed.)

Conclusion
There was so much great information to be gained from #NACESocial that I am so happy that NACE is sharing the presentations with us online. I look forward to continuing to dialogue about trends and best practices in social media with my colleagues in career services and recruiting.

Strategies to Help Students Get the Most from Their LinkedIn Experience

Espie SantiagoEspie Santiago, NACE Guest Blogger, is an assistant director of career counseling at the Stanford University Career Development Center
Twitter: @espie_s
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/espiesantiagoOn Friday, August 23, my colleague Bev Principal and I will be conducting a session on “Strategies to Help Students Get the Most from Their LinkedIn Experience.” As career services professionals and employers, we all know that LinkedIn is a mandatory tool in today’s job market, but it can be challenging to convince students of its value without structured programs. It’s even more challenging when faculty and academic departments on your college campus don’t use LinkedIn themselves, and therefore don’t support or encourage students to use it. We’re excited to share with you how we, at the Stanford University Career Development Center, were able to successfully grow our LinkedIn program amongst students, faculty and staff, thereby helping students get the most from their LinkedIn experience. Ours is one such success story, but we’re also anxious to hear anecdotes from others on the do’s and don’ts of building social media programs at your respective organizations.

I am really looking forward to meeting fellow social media enthusiasts throughout #NACESocial!

NACE Social Media Mashup:
Pre-Event Online Networking

Espie SantiagoEspie Santiago, NACE Guest Blogger, is an assistant director of career counseling at the Stanford University Career Development Center
Twitter: @espie_s
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/espiesantiago




Today I was fortunate to have participated in NACE’s Social Media Pre-Event, which was a live virtual speed-networking session. Working in university career services over the years, I’ve definitely overdosed on my share of in-person speed-networking events, but this was the first time I’ve ever joined one online. And boy did I enjoy using this type of technology to get connected to Mashup attendees prior to #NACESocial this Thursday and Friday – what a great way to engage some of us before the event even begins! Hosted by Brazen Careerist, I was able to easily chat with a handful of career services professionals and employers to learn about their specific interests in using social media today. I look forward to continuing our conversations in person at the Mashup. Special thanks to those I chatted with including Diana Wong, Dawn Carter, Glen Fowler, Alice Camuti and Ashley Hoffman.