Tips on managing social media in the workplace

Last week I did a short podcast with Nick McCormick, author of Lead Well and Prosper, looking at tips for managing social media in the workplace.

We spoke about implementing guidelines/policies within the workplace along with some of the potential issues and how to manage them.  However given the short format of the podcast, it is only 8 minutes,  it is hard to cover everything but makes the podcast very easy to listen too.

I thought it would be good to also cover some of the tips for creating guidelines/policies here to help you out. The resulting document, in whatever format, needs to achieve five major things:

  1. Have people stop and think before posting, both professionally and personally.
  2. Focus people on thinking about what they are doing and the implications.
  3. Highlight that while disclaimers are good, you cannot hide behind them.
  4. Remind people to keep their online interactions real and authentic.
  5. Ensure people respect the culture of the tools and services you are using.

If you want to learn more about social media in the workplace you can watch my presentation from RecruitTECH 2009 over on Inspecht TV or contact me for more information.

Given the press coverage we have had in Australia, and overseas, this week I would suggest everyone needs to implement these five tips when online.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for recruiters

Over the last few years there has been a significant growth in the number of people using general search engines to search for jobs. In Australia alone the word jobs appears in around 30 million searches per month!

However what does this really mean?

Does it mean that Seek, MyCareer and CareerOne will be going out of business because everyone will be using Google?

Not at all!

So does it mean you can ignore the world of search engine optimization or SEO for short?

Again not at all!

Very few people who use search engines look beyond the first one or two pages of results. If your website is not returned within those two pages, preferably on the first page and ideally in the number one position, your competition is beating you.

So then what is SEO? At it’s core SEO is designing your web site in a manner that makes it easy to be found, and indexed by search engines. Simple.

Well to a point. Obviously the best way to optimize your site for search engines is ensure that your content contains the keywords that people might use to find your product, brand or organisation. However by just adding these terms to your web site will not magically promote your site on top the number one page or into the number one spot.  This means you must learn the art of SEO.
SEO Tricks for Recruiters
There are many other tricks that you need to master such as making sure your keywords are used in headings, appropriate naming of your pages, meta data, links and having relevant content. However you should always keep in mind that for some keywords there is lots of competition which makes it very difficult to get your site in the number one spot. This means you need to undertake keyword research to know which keywords to target.

So why is this relevant for recruiters in Australia?

Because the word jobs appears in 30 million searches per month. But so do the brands, products and names of your clients. This means that the potential for searchers to find the job advertised by you significantly increases if you know what you are doing.

Let’s not forget that potential clients also use search engines to find new recruiters. So your business also benefits from effective use of SEO.

To learn more about search engine optimization and how it can benefit your recruitment activities register for the March Webinar, SEO for Recruiting.

(Image from Flickr by Search Engine People Blog.)

9th Annual Source of Hire Report

Industry heavy weights Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler will be releasing their 9th Annual Source of Hire report on Friday US time on the CareerXRoads web site. I was lucky enough to be sent an advanced copy by Gerry.

Once again the reports details where corporations in the US found their employees during 2009, this year they look at 176,420 hires.

While the report is not generally available I will share some of the results with you below. However beforehand please note the the quote from Gerry and Mark that appears at the beginning of the document:

If the reader assumes that the data sliced and diced in this whitepaper is truly representative of where firms find their hires in the US, then you will have missed our point entirely. Indeed, this whitepaper, which we have published now for nearly a decade, is constructed as a lab report to examine the problems and the promise of how well corporations measure one part of the staffing process.

Our intent is to hold up a mirror so firms can look at themselves and their increasingly critical and vulnerable supply chain. Vendors can help, but only if staffing leaders are disciplined enough to do their part and get vendors to focus on needed changes as a priority.

So on with the results.

Internal Hires

51% of all hires were internal movement or promotions. Indicating the continued trend of internal talent management activities around succession planning and development. The report highlights that one of the stated employee value propositions (EVPs) of most organisations is to develop their employees. A result of around 51% of hires through internal placement tends to indicate that these organisation are fulfilling this development promise.

The bad news in Australia is when compared to the 2009 Sources of Talent Report it was found that only 6.29% of hires were through internal promotion. What does this say about how Australian employers fulfill their EVPs?

External Hires

75% of all external hires came from 5 sources:

  1. Referrals
  2. Career Site
  3. Job Boards
  4. Direct Sourcing

Referrals have been consistently the number one source of external hires for the last five years.

When comparing to the Australian report referrals were the number four source of external hires, at only 7.57% of all hires. Once again there is a huge opportunity for Australian organisations to increase their use of employee referral programs instead of continually relying on the “post and pray” approach through job boards. Don’t know how to do referrals, check out our ebook.

Direct Sourcing/Internal Recruiters

One very interesting area of the report is where they try and define what is direct sourcing. As part of the survey they asked the participants what do they consider direct sourcing to be, the options:

  • Mining our internal ATS for candidates who have not applied
  • Mining external candidate databases for leads we can convert into prospects and candidates
  • Researching profiles on social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook etc
  • Developing Search Engine Marketing campaigns to create prospects from leads
  • Cold Calls/contacting individuals from internal or external research

The results are shown in the table below.

Direct Sourcing

Given internal recruiters are the second largest source of hire in Australia what do you consider direct sourcing?

Further Thoughts

Throughout the report Gerry and Mark write about many of the same challenges Phillip Tusing and I encountered when preparing the Australian report. For example, the devil is in the detail and it is very hard to keep everyone working on the same definition of each source. And even if you place a job in print it will still end up online, so is that a job board or print source. What is a source vs a channel, or a tool vs a process?

At the end of the report that provide some good suggestions on how we can all improve the tracking and usage of source of hire data. These include:

  • Fixing the inherent issues with candidates self reporting source
  • Deciding where the source starts, in the channel or at the destination
  • Look at additional methods to capture source of hire data to supplement self reporting
  • Understand patterns in your source data
  • Implement more discipline in process and practices

I would highly recommend you go and download the report when it is available.

Australian Vendor PeopleStreme – 30% increase in Revenue

Many companies during the last 12 months have experienced either a reduction or at best no growth in revenue, not local vendor PeopleStreme . PeopleStreme, who sell talent management solutions recorded a 30% increase in revenue.

According to Lyle Potgieter CEO of PeopleStreme:

“Organisations have got two problems, the first being getting their people productive, the second looking after their top talent. Both needs require systems and know how and industrial age paper shuffling systems don’t cut it anymore.”

These challenges have fueling their growth over the last 12 months and I would suspect this growth will continue into the next year or so.

I was lucky enough to spend a couple of hours with Lyle and his Principal Software Architect Dale Smalley to review their product line. Overall PeopleStreme provide a comprehensive, fully integrated, toolset for the management of people within your organisation. Their product line covers:

  • Talent Management
  • Performance Management
  • Recruitment Software and Applicant Tracking
  • Employee Engagement Survey
  • Workforce Planning
  • Employee Recognition
  • Exit Survey
  • eLearning Management
  • Succession Planning
  • Organisation Charting
  • Position Description Software
  • Human Resources Metrics

They also happen to have based a vast majority of the product features on their research work that they undertake jointly with the Performance Management Institute, RMIT and La Trobe University.

PeopleStreme also happen to be the producers of some of the recent videos over on Inspecht TV.

Australian Vendors fail with RSS

01_01I was updating my feeds today and decided I had better add the news/press/media release for a number of local vendors. I had not done this earlier as last I had looked most did not provide RSS feeds, I had hoped this situation had changed.

Unfortunately I was wrong.

Of the 12 vendors I check before writing this post only 1 provided RSS for news updates and this was provided through a blog as their news source. Most had some form of email news/newsletter service.

The vendors without RSS news updates are:

The only vendor with RSS?

I just picked this list at random to add, they range in size and scope, and are a mix of recruitment,talent management and HR/Payroll software providers.

Lucky Google Reader now has the ability to create a feed from a static HTML page so I can sort of subscribe to the vendors updates via my RSS reader.

Jamie Oliver TED Prize Winner

“I wish for everyone to help create a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity” – Jamie Oliver

I posted the 20 minute video of Jamie Oliver this year’s TED Prize winner over on Inspecht TV but wanted to cross post here as well. In the video he shares stories from his anti-obesity project, specifically food in schools call for an all-out assault on obesity. At one point he shows a classroom full of young children who do not seem to know what some of the most common vegetables even look like!

What struck me was only this week here in Australia burger chain Hungry Jacks has admitted to breaking advertising rules that limits the advertising of high fat foods to children. The reason? Contractual obligations to the “US-based licensor of The Simpsons which specified how and when the children’s meal promotion was to be advertised.”

Now just think of the workplace impacts in 10 to 15 years when all these children start suffering type 2 diabetes and requiring time off for medical treatments! (Yes I had to connect this to the blog in some way.)

Australian vendor Neller purchased by NorthgateArinso

An interesting move last week international vendor NorthgateArinso acquired Adelaide based HR/Payroll vendor Neller. Finally giving NorthgateArinso a decent foothold of the Australian marketplace. Based on the press announcements all of Neller’s employees will remain and local Neller CEO will take up the reins on the combined entity.

Several years ago Northgate, as it was called back then, acquired vendor Rebus however this never really translated into major growth in Australia. With Neller the outcome could be very different. Neller’s Preceda People product pays around 700,000 employees across about 1,000 customer including large corporates such as Woolworths.

In 2006 Neller re-developed their AS400 based system into a fully functioning web based application using tools provided by LANSA. Since this time Neller have continued with strong sales growth.

It is not surprising that in Australia we are following the global trend of consolidation in HR/Payroll/Talent Management marketplace.

Inspecht TV Update

Over the last week there have been several videos published over at Inspecht TV and lined up content over the next few weeks. So if you are interested in the latest HR and recruitment video content go subscribe.

In the meantime if you have not subscribed here are some of the videos:

Some of the content lined up includes presentations by Seth Godin, Jimmy Wales, Clay Shirky, Dave Ulrich and others.

Building your technology business case

FinanceOne of the most important tasks of any project is building and maintaining your business case. Unfortunately the business case is so often a single document not covering full life cycle costs and produced to obtain funding approval and never looked at again!

Bad!

In fact your business case needs to document the full cost of the business change you are creating and be monitored for viability on a regular basis.

A business case has many components and will usual vary by organisation and it’s own requirements. However in general a “good” (I use the term to define the scope of a business case not the output) business case will include information on:

  • Background reasons
  • Expected Benefits
  • Anticipated Costs
  • Known Risks
  • Timelines
  • Investment Appraisal and Evaluation

This content will help your organisation ensure that the business cast is justified and that the reason for your project to continue is aligned with overall corporate strategy.

The business case is also a living document. As such you should review and update the contents at regular/various stages in your project, at least when ever something significant happens within or to the project. The project board or steering committee should be reviewing the ongoing viability of the project and if the business case is not longer valid the project should be stopped. Stopping a project is always a political issue however if the benefits no longer outweigh the costs (sunk and future) then it should be stopped.

Best in class organisations also conduct post project reviews including benefit realisation assessments to ensure that the project achieved the expected outcomes.

So does your current technology project have a valid business case?

(Photo Flickr User: alancleaver_2000)