Why and How LinkedIn Can Bring More Than Just Top Talent To Your Company

LinkedIn is one of the social media sites that may be as misunderstood as Twitter. CEOs and key executives constantly ask me why they should be using either one. They haven’t been able to grasp the impact these tools can have on their company. The CEO or key executive doesn’t have to actually use either of them, but they should at least encourage the use by the appropriate people in their organization.

LinkedIn is more than just social networking like Facebook. I think of Facebook as a personal social site and LinkedIn as the business people's social site. LinkedIn and Facebook serve different purposes.

Unlike Facebook which hides a lot of information about the person, unless you are directly connected, LinkedIn profiles are pretty much open for everyone to review. Granted the person controls what information they chose to display, but whatever they decide it is open to just about everyone. This is actually a good thing.

Since most profiles on LinkedIn are about the person’s professional background it really isn’t too much different than posting one’s resume online. This opens up a whole new way to use LinkedIn to benefit your company.

Here are some examples:

Hiring. Why pay thousands of dollars to Monster, CareerBuilder or The Ladders in order to have access to their resume databases? If you are seeking a professional person chances are very high you can locate them on LinkedIn. You can review their background, experiences, accomplishments, awards, education and so on,  for free or a small monthly fee.

In addition you can connect to references, view a list of people with similar backgrounds, identify people in your industry or even specific companies. LinkedIn has provided you and your hiring team not only with a wealth of people, but also given you an enormous amount of information on this person.

Reference Checking. We hear this all the time, people won’t give you references unless they know they will give a good reference. OK, so now you have a way of getting your own references.  LinkedIn allows you to find people based on companies. LinkedIn will give you list of people that have worked at a specific company and those currently working at the company. Now you have a list of people independent from the ones the candidate provided you.

Customer Leads. Cold calling has never been the best way to access a company. With LinkedIn your sales people can now develop warm leads. Your salesperson can identify a potential customer, find who else in their network has contacts within the company or better yet knows the person your salesperson wants to meet and ask for an introduction. How about asking if they would set up a lunch with the potential customer? This is a powerful tool few sales people use.

Vendors. What a great way to pre-qualify vendors. Go on LinkedIn look for people that have left the company and connect with them. You may learn some things the salesperson will never tell you. Granted, depending on the person the information could be biased. That works both ways. As with all information the person collecting the information will have to filter it as they see fit. But I submit having it and ignoring it is better than not having it at all.

Affiliations. Another tool that helps identify potential companies to affiliate with. This is a great way to be introduced to someone you hope to develop a professional business relationship. Often contained within the profile are recommendations that may help you decide if this is the right company to work alongside.

Open Jobs. A component of hiring but this has a different spin. The ability to post open positions  for free or low cost. With LinkedIn groups you can post a job for free and have hundreds of thousands of people be aware of it. In addition, for a reasonable fee you can target specific people, with specific backgrounds, in specific industries only. So you don’t receive hundreds of unqualified resumes.

International Contacts. LinkedIn is a global site. If you are seeking contacts or considering doing business in a foreign country, LinkedIn may provide the contacts you need to get started. If your company is considering coming to the USA, the level of contacts available to you in just about every business sector is well worth your time to check out.

I could continue, but if I haven’t convinced by now why go on. Even if these reasons don’t work for your company, think beyond the specifics above. Think about how these resources can be utilized in your company. That is the real value of LinkedIn. It opens up so many opportunities that have not been available in the past.

I would encourage everyone to be active on LinkedIn. The benefits far out weigh any drawbacks.

Join the other 10,000 CEOs, key executives and HR professionals and download a FREE copy of our best-selling book, You’re NOT The Person I Hired. Just CLICK HERE  and under the FREE Hiring Resources section you can download our free eBook.

Retaining your best talent is always the best thing any company can do. Download our FREE Non-Monetary Rewards and Recognitions Matrix. It will help you retain your best people without additional compensation. CLICK HERE to download under the Free Resources section.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad

 

Four Things Companies Do To Shoot Themselves In The Foot When Hiring – Part 1

I recently asked over one hundred CEOs and their key executives, “Is hiring top talent critical to the success of your organization?” Not surprising everyone replied “Yes.” Not simply important, but critical. So then I asked,”If it is critical, then how many of you spend time each month focusing on hiring, excluding when you are actively looking to fill a position?” Not surprising, only three people raised their hand.

WOW, something that is critical to the success of the organization, gets virtually zero time unless there is a current need. Is that the way most critical issues are handled in your company? No strategic planning. No thought or action discussed or taken until the problem arises? Only once the problem arises is it dealt with it. Until then it is that famous management strategy, “Out of sight, out of mind?” or “We will cross that bridge when we get there.”

I believe this management style only happens with hiring. Most other critical issues are regularly discussed, on-going programs such as, cost reductions, product development, increasing sales or market share, customer service, improving operational efficiencies are all constantly discussed and often major components of the company's strategic plan. In fact, I have seen many strategic plans that all have great plans for growth. Yet few ever include a strategy for hiring the people needed to execute the plan as the company grows. Strategic hiring is rarely part of a strategic plan.

I believe companies that truly want to hire top talent and do it on a consistent basis must avoid these four major land mines when hiring:

1) Untrained Managers – Hands down the number one reason hiring fails. This is the biggest problem with hiring in most companies. Few managers are actually properly trained on how to hire. Most managers have never even attended one course or read a book on hiring. For the few that have had training, it is usually limited to interviewing training. Granted this is better than nothing, but interviewing is only one step in an effective hiring process. If you aren't finding qualified candidates, all interviewing training will do is validate they aren't qualified. If the job isn't properly defined then where you look for candidates may not be the right place, resulting in unqualified candidates.

The fact is the vast majority of managers use the “Tribal Hiring Training” program. Too often a person learns to hire from the person that hired them. And the person that hired them learned from the person that hired then, and so it goes all the way back to Moses. All this really does is perpetuate hiring mistakes from one generation to another. It doesn't resolve the problem.

If companies are serious about improving hiring, step one is to develop an effective hiring process and then training their managers in all aspects of the process.

2) Poorly Defined Job – This mistake results in the search going sideways before it even starts. Traditional job descriptions for the most part aren't job descriptions at all. Most describe a person. Does this read like your job descriptions; Minimum 5 years experience, minimum BA degree, then a list of minimum skills/knowledge and certifications, and let's not forget the endless list of behaviors the candidate must have, team player, high energy, self-starter, strategic thinker, good communicator, BLAH BLAH BLAH. Of course there is also the list of the basic duties, tasks and responsibilities. These are really important, but as a person with 5 years of experience, who doesn't know these already? This traditional job description defines a minimally qualified person, not the job. So before the search starts it is all about finding the least qualified person. Any wonder why the least qualified person shows up at your door?

Instead of defining the least qualified person, start by defining superior performance in the role or the results expected to be achieved once the person is on board. For example, Improve customer service feedback scores from X to Y. Reduce turnover from X% to Y% within the next twelve months. Implement a sales forecasting process that includes a rolling six month forecast that is accurate within X% of actual sales. Now this is the real job. It defines expectations, not some vague terms or minimum requirements. For every job there are usually at least four of these results required. The job is being defined by performance. In order for the person to be able to achieve these results they must have the right experience. Maybe it is five years, maybe three or maybe ten, it doesn't matter. If they can do these it is enough. Now go find a person that can explain how they will deliver these once on board and you have the right person.

3) Finding candidates – See part 2

4) Disrespecting the Candidates – See part 2

Join the other 10,000 CEOs, key executives and HR professionals and download a FREE copy of our best-selling book, “You’re NOT The Person I Hired.”  Just CLICK HERE  and under the FREE Hiring Resources section you can download our free eBook.

Retaining your best talent is always the best thing any company can do. Download our FREE  Non-Monetary Rewards and Recognitions Matrix. It will help you retain your best people without additional compensation. CLICK HERE to download under the Free Resources section.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad

 

Only You Can Prevent Desperation Hiring

Question: When do most companies start the hiring process? Answer: When they need someone. It can then take up to three months to hire someone. By this time, the hiring manager and their staff is overworked, projects are falling behind schedule, overtime is through the roof, work is backing up, short cuts are causing mistakes, and everyone is frustrated. At this point the hiring manager is desperate. We call this stage in the hiring process, desperation hiring. The only good news is that the hiring manager doesn’t reach the depression stage until 6 months.

Question: What kind of hire do you think the hiring manager will make? Answer: Poor. They are likely to take the next best person that comes along, or worse, settle for one of the previously interviewed good solid below average candidates.

Why does this happen? We believe it's because most companies don’t start the hiring process until they need someone. They then cross their fingers and hope that the person with top talent that they want to hire just happens to be looking at the same time.

We refer to this as the “random luck” hiring methodology. Unfortunately, this is the hiring methodology for many companies.

Desperation hiring is one of the easiest mistakes to correct in the hiring process since most hiring managers know in advance of an opening. Granted not always, but most of the time good managers know.

Simple recommendations to avoid desperation hiring:

  1. Begin a soft launch. Don’t wait until the last minute to start the search. There are many things hiring managers can do prior to instigating a full blown job search. Start letting people know you will be looking to hire a person and ask for referrals. Let everyone in the company know the opening is coming.
  2. Consider attending local association meetings that these people attend. Start identifying and engaging people you believe have the right attitude to fit your culture.
  3. Use the social media sites to identify potential candidates. LinkedIn is one of the best tools for doing this. You can search LinkedIn for people in your geographic community. Start by requesting to be linked together. Then maybe meet one morning for coffee just to get to know each other. Don’t even mention you are considering hiring someone.
  4. If hiring sales people, start asking customers who they think are the best sales people calling on them. Your customers know it is in their best interests to have the best sales people calling on them.
  5. If you attend trade shows, when you meet people you think will be a good fit you should talk to them, get their business card, and follow-up once back in the office. A follow-up might be as simple as an email letting them know you enjoyed meeting them at the show. It could be some information on your company or anything that begins to engage this person. Eventually, ask to meet for coffee or for a short meeting when you are in their area.
  6. When unsolicited resumes come in don’t just throw them away because you aren’t looking now. Instead review them, and if the person looks like someone you would hire start to connect with them. Begin the rapport building process. Recruiters do this all the time. That is why we seem to always have candidates when companies call us. I have placed people 2 years after first receiving an unsolicited resume.
  7. Start building a queue of potential people. Most companies and hiring managers know those key positions that are hard to fill. These are the positions you should always be on the lookout for. Just start a file on who and where these people are. Don’t worry that they may not be on the market 6 months from now. If they are passive candidates chances are very good they will be available.

There are a lot of things that hiring managers can do proactively that will shorten the hiring process and bring better candidates to the table. Too often most managers only think about hiring when they need someone. Like most things, the time to do anything is when you don’t have to and aren’t under pressure.

Committing just a few hours a month can help your company or department avoid desperation hiring.

Join the other 10,000 CEOs, key executives and HR professionals and download a FREE copy of our best-selling book, “You’re NOT The Person I Hired.”  Just CLICK HERE  and under the FREE Hiring Resources section you can download our free eBook.

Retaining your best talent is always the best thing any company can do. Download our FREE  Non-Monetary Rewards and Recognitions Matrix. It will help you retain your best people without additional compensation. CLICK HERE to download under the Free Resources section.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard

Booster Shot to Find Top Talent Through Social Recruiting

Booster Shot to Find Top Talent Through Social Recruiting

Are you ready for a booster shot in the arm to finding top talent?

In delivering our brand new program on Social Recruiting to a Vistage Group, I was struck by how comfortable everyone was with social media, but had not yet started using these common sites and tools, like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, for recruiting.

In 3 short hours, we covered the key elements of establishing an infrastructure to recruit top talent on the Internet, how to turn social recruiting into a process, and how to apply off-line techniques to the on-line world. Social Recruiting could turn out to be the virtual “booster shot in arm.” There are so many opportunities to connect with high potential candidates through on-line identification, acquisition, engagement, and nurturing – it’s almost overwhelming.

Does your company have a specific plan to leverage social media to find top talent, OR is more along the lines of who has time to post a job ad on Monster.com and hope for the best. You know how those efforts typically pan out.

Imagine having a specific plan of attack for every opening in your company – for this level job, here are the immediate 8 social media tactics we’ll use when we open up the position. I’ll bet with just a few simple techniques, you could dramatically boost the number of top talent candidates flowing into the top of your funnel.

Are you currently using social recruiting as one of your primary finding and sourcing tools?

Have you sent any of your managers/executives to training on how to find great candidates for their teams?

What research/benchmarking have you conducted with comparable companies to see what they are doing with social recruiting?

Are the best comparable companies winning the war for talent because they’re effectively using social recruiting?

Barry Deutsch

You Can Shorten Your Hiring Process

Q. We are a mid-size company that doesn’t hire that often. It seems that when we want to hire it takes a long time just to find qualified candidates. Is there a way to shorten the time it takes to hire someone?

A. Hiring fast rarely includes hiring the very best. The best way to shorten the time it takes to hire someone is to have a pool of qualified people available when you need them. The problem is that most companies start the hiring process when they need someone, which often happens after one of their best people just gave notice. Companies then expect that at that exact moment in time a highly qualified candidate will also be searching, the stars will magically align and they should be able to hire this person. Wouldn’t it be nice if every time you were looking, highly qualified candidates were also looking? It just doesn’t work that way. Most hiring processes are reactive. To change your situation your hiring process must become proactive.

Highly qualified candidates don’t search based on your hiring schedule. They search based on their schedule, so hiring can’t be a one time event that happens when you decide you are ready to hire someone. This option will only provide you the best available candidates at that moment in time. Companies that excel at hiring top talent know that hiring is a process and having a queue of qualified candidates is critical. Your hiring managers should always be on the lookout for potential people, even if your company only hires once a year. Every manager should have at least two or three potential candidates for the key positions in their department. This means that your hiring managers will have to dedicate at least some time each month to hiring. They should engage potential hires, identify who might be a potential hire, attend professional groups where these potential hires exist, respond to unsolicited resumes that have potential instead of deleting them, use LinkedIn to connect with potential candidates and follow up with potential candidates when contacted. None of these takes a lot of time to do, maybe an hour a month. These small things can dramatically shorten the time it takes to hire someone and also increase the quality of those hires.

You can explore our audio library, download free examples of compelling marketing statements, download a summary of our research project that identifies the biggest hiring mistakes, and get our culture assessment tool by clicking the links. All of these are free.

I welcome your thoughts and comments. Please forward this to your contacts on Facebook, LinkedIn, or anyone you think would benefit from this article.

Brad Remillard