Social Media: A Recruitment Revolution?

Back in June I shipped myself off to the first Social Recruiting Summit at Google HQ in San Francisco. On my return I was approached by the team from Australasian Talent Conference (Trevor Vas, Horace Chai, and Kevin Wheeler) to see if we could pull off a similar event here in Australia.

So on 3rd December in Melbourne we are bringing together some of the biggest names in recruitment and social media to participate in Social Media: A Recruitment Revolution.

The event will be like none other in Australia, combining traditional conference sessions with interactive “unconference” sessions to allow the audience to further develop the ideas and learn from industry peers.

Personally I am very excited about the speakers. We have secured Mark Pesce as our opening keynote speaker. If you do not know Mark he is an author, journalist, regular panellist on The New Inventors, and futurist. (He even has a Wikipedia page.) In addition to Mark, Margie Kwan from Ernst & Young will be presenting a case study on their use of Facebook and the we have a debate between Stephen Collins from acidlabs and Jake Andrew from SEEK on “Do you need a job board when you have social networking?”. Other topics include digital branding, social recruiting strategies, legal issues around social recruiting.

If you want to know more head over to the main site, check out the agenda and register ASAP as we have a space limitation.

Are careers website critical to success??

I was beaten to the punch by Kelly Magowan with her post yesterday as to why you need to upgrade your corporate careers site to be successful with social media. This was my flow on post from the Corporate Careers Website Report I released on Wednesday night.

However Kelly only scratched the surface of the issue.

Next, it is important to be mindful that the most likely outcome of using social media will be more traffic to your careers site. And herein lies the problem – when they get to your careers site, what happens? Hopefully they don’t take one look at it and bounce!

While right on the money social media will increase the visitors to your site the issue is a lot deeper than this. Deep integration of social media into your external HR and Recruitment practices in a manner that delivers strong ROI requires a hub.

Are your candidates lost?That hub is your careers website.

I have worked with several clients on developing a social recruiting strategy and the key to bringing all of the content together is your web site, in particular an easy to update site. One that allows you to easily add video, Twitter streams, blog content, profile recruiters/clients/candidates etc. Let’s face it, you are unlikely to have your recruitment video on YouTube go viral and by itself deliver ROI.

For employers the same is true you need a compelling careers website. One that respects, engages and informs the candidate about the employment deal you have on offer. For example only 27% of Australia’s BRW Top 200 organisations provide recruitment relevant company background information on their site. Only 32% provide detailed information on the recruitment process.

So before you run off and execute that fancy new social media strategy make sure you have the foundations in place for your hub.

Update: Direct link to the research report

State of Australian Corporate Career Websites

In late 2008 I spent some time reviewing the career websites of the BRW Top 200 organisations within Australia, based on the work by CareerXRoads in the US. The process included a physical review of each of the BRW Top 200 web sites during September to December 2008.

I sat on the report for a long time pondering what to do with the results. About six weeks ago I decided to release the results publically over on Inspecht for the purposes of discussion and review by others within the industry.

Each site was assessed on a series of attributes designed to assess an organisation’s approach to their careers website. The attributes were based on the CareerXRoads Mystery Job Seeker Reports. A comment on the results several attributes covered during the research required a subjective assessment such as; did the site contain detailed information on remuneration and benefits.

If you are interested you can download the report (oh yes it is free).

PageUp People: Integrated Talent Management

What is Integrated Talent Management (ITM)?

Well that was the question posed at this morning’s breakfast briefing session run by PageUp People to launch their new white paper, “ITM – The Evolution”. Their answer:
Workforce
Credit: Lumaxart

ITM leverages the same data, process, workflow management, security model, user portals, and reporting and analytics tools across all applications.

My answer would be very similar.

The white paper quotes heavily from people such as Thomas Otter, Jim Holincheck, CedarCrestone and Leighanne Levensaler with PageUp People offering their own conclusions on the research which in turn lays out a product roadmap for the PageUp People platform.

Within the white paper reference is made to three stages of ITM evolution:

  • Stage 1 – Today, multiple vendors, disconnected systems, a lack of analytics, and limited executive buy-in.
  • Stage 2 – Reduced number of vendors as each widen the breadth and depth of their offerings, tighter integration, initial workforce analytics, and growing executive buy-in.
  • Stage 3 – The holy grail a fully integrated talent management platform with predictive analytics and high levels of executive buy-in.

What stood out to me was the strong emphasis being placed on workforce analytics, the topic for the rest of this post, as a key indicator of a stage 3 ITM environment.

For well over a decade workforce analytics have been discussed and predicted to come of age many times, and again we have a major talent management vendor still predicting that workforce analytics is in the future! So when will the future become today?

Over the years workforce analytics has been a keen interest of mine, in 2004 I co-presented on the topic and AHRI’s HR Week. During the presentation I referenced work conducted by the Butler Group in 1995 on the issues around data warehousing little things such as; Availability, Understanding, Accurate, Consistent and Predictability, and Privacy. I firmly believe many of these issues need to be resolved before any form of workforce analytics can be confidently undertaken by an organisation.

My co-presenter 5 years ago John Macy referenced work from the Meta Group in 2000 on the 5 categories of workforce information management, the top level being predictive modelling! John went on to discuss trends from the Meta Group, which had vendors incorporate contextual analysis into their products by 2005 and in 2006/7 Leading organisations will develop & fine tune predictive models. I guess the Meta Group was wrong!

Now back to talent management, last year Dr John Sullivan discussed why Talent Management Analytics is still failing, I added my two cents worth as well. Let’s look at Dr John’s list again:

  1. HR Skill deficiency
  2. Lack of business knowledge
  3. Expensive tools limiting deployment
  4. Lack of quality data
  5. Complicated nature of talent management
A system will not solve all the items on this list, other than item 3. This point was emphasised in the PageUp People white paper when they looked at the People and Process implications. A broader organisational change activity is required to succeed in a strategic context with workforce analytics.

Australian Payroll: Chris 21

One of the reasons I have been so busy over the last few months is a specific client project I have been working on: a payroll upgrade and implementation of a new time & attendance system. While I not going to cover the details of the engagement I want to touch on the payroll system that is being implemented: Chris 21 from Frontier Software .

This is the first time I have worked so closely with the Chris 21 product, so I have been learning lots about what it can and can’t do. Overall I am impressed with the product (excluding the employee and manager tools, more on that later) based on what needs to be achieved for the client.

For Australian readers you might be wondering why I am impressed as I like many hear horror stories of tier 2 payroll implementations from all vendors. One reason: the administrative tool kit allows significant configuration and customisation of the core product to meet a client’s needs.

The downside is most clients are unable to take full advantage of these functions as it requires significant Chris 21 and technology knowledge to use the tools. For many clients I suspect the implementation consultants have locked them out of these sections as in the wrong hands you payroll system could easily be broken.

Additionally the integration options on paper are very robust, the product includes the ability to track data changes for outwards integration into message based platforms like an EAI. Inbound integration is a little harder and to achieve fully automated integration requires IT support and potentially custom development. Inbound processing is completed using General Transaction Requests (GTR) a specific data integration language provided by Frontier Software. GTRs allow clients to build complex integrations with their Chris 21 system, however IT support is a must.

The Employee and Manager offerings within the HR21 product are limited in usability, however this is due to the HR21 product being built on an older technology platform. The biggest issue is the lack of configuration offered to clients, without having to engage Frontier Software. Frontier Software is actively working to build a replacement based on more recent technology offerings. But, and a big but, HR21 implemented in an innovative manner could provide significant benefits to an organisation.

A final note I am not commenting on specific payroll processing functionality as this is very client specific.