Why do HR Professionals use Recruitment Marketing tools?

talentlyft-engage-candidate-engagement

Recruitment Marketing software offer solutions for some of the biggest recruiting goals and challenges. While some of the biggest recruiting challenges used to be messy and disorganized hiring processes, this is not the case anymore.

Recruitment Marketing features help finding, attracting, engaging, nurturing candidates and converting them into applicants. These problems have become much more challenging and worrying than managing job applicants and streamlining selection process – tasks handled by Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Recruitment platforms such as recruitment marketing software are becoming an inevitable recruiting tools of every modern recruiter.

Looking for a Recruiting Software? Here is our new Guide for Buying a Recruiting Software.

Solutions offered by Recruitment Marketing platforms

Overall Talent Acquisition strategy usually consist of pre and post application faze. Recruitment Marketing methods take care of the pre application stage, while Applicant Tracking System come in place after you have candidates in your talent pool.

That being said, if you are struggling to attract best talent, you need a Recruitment Marketing platform that will help you move candidates through the first 3 stages of Candidate Journey: Awareness, Consideration, Interest and bring them to the Application stage.

Recruitment Marketing platforms help recruiters find, attract, engage, nurture and convert high-quality applicants.

Solutions to Find high-quality candidates

  • One click job distribution
  • Social Media job promotion
  • Web sourcing
  • Referral programs

Solutions to Attract high-quality applicants

  • Employer Branding
  • Job marketing
  • Social Media recruiting
  • Branded career site
  • Search engine optimisation for job descriptions (SEO)

Solutions to Engage and Nurture high-quality candidates

  • Candidate Relationship Management
  • Engaging Email recruiting campaigns
  • Talent Networking
  • Career site Team Blogging
  • Career events
  • Talent community events
  • Educational recruiting content such as webinars, ebooks, courses
  • Recruiting email campaigns

Solutions to Convert high-quality applicants

  • Simple online application form
  • HR Analytics
  • Reporting
  • Email notifications and campaigns
  • Quick apply options

Want to know more about Recruitment Marketing? Visit our HR Blog.

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How to find the right candidate for a job?

Finding the right job candidates is one of the biggest recruiting challenges. Recruiters and other HR professionals that don’t use best recruiting strategies are often unable to find high-quality job applicants. With all the changes and advances in HR technologies, new recruiting and hiring solutions have emerged. Many recruiters are now implementing these new solutions to become more effective and productive in their jobs.

According to Recruitment strategies report 2017 done by GetApp, the biggest recruiting challenge in 2017 was the shortage of skilled candidates.

The process of finding job candidates has changed significantly since few years ago. Back then, it was enough to post a job on job boards and wait for candidates to apply. Also called “post and pray” strategy.

Today, it is more about building a strong Employer Branding strategy that attracts high quality applicants for hard-to-fill roles. Today, it is more about building a strong Employer Branding strategy that attracts high quality applicants for hard-to-fill roles.

Steps for finding the right job candidates

1. Define your ideal candidate a.k.a candidate persona 

Not knowing who your ideal candidate, or candidate persona, is, will make finding one impossible. To be able to attract and hire them, you need to know their characteristics, motivations, skills and preferences.

Defining a candidate persona requires planning and evaluation. The best way is to start from your current talent starts or your best employees. Learn more about their personalities, preferences, motivations and characteristics. Use these findings to find similar people for your current and future job openings.

Not sure how to do this? Here’s our free guide for defining your candidate persona.

2. Engage your current employees

You probably already know that your current employees are your best brand ambassadors. Same as current product users are best ambassadors for product brands. Their word of mouth means more than anyone else’s. Encourage their engagement and let them communicate their positive experiences to the outside. Remember, your employees are your best ambassadors, and people trust people more than brands, CEO and other C-level executives.

Involving your current employees can not only help you build a strong Employer Branding strategy, but it can also help your employees feel more engaged and satisfied with their jobs.

3. Write a clear job descriptions

Even though many recruiters underestimate this step, it is extremely important to do it right! Writing a clear and detailed job description plays a huge role in finding and attracting candidates with a good fit. Don’t only list duties, responsibilities and requirements, but talk about your company’s culture and Employee Value Proposition.

To save time, here are our free job description templates.

4. Streamline your efforts with a Recruitment Marketing tool

If you have right tools, finding the right job candidates is much easier and faster than without them. Solutions offered by recruitment marketing software are various, and with them you can build innovative recruiting strategies such as Inbound Recruiting and Candidate Relationship Management to improve Candidate Experience and encourage Candidate Engagement.

Sending useful, timely and relevant information to the candidates from your talent pool is a great way for strengthening your Employer Brand and communicating your Employee Value Proposition.

5. Optimize your career site to invite visitors to apply

When candidates want to learn about you, they go to your career site. Don-t loose this opportunity to impress them. Create content and look that reflects your company’s culture, mission and vision. Tell visitors about other employees success and career stories.

You can start by adding employee testimonials, fun videos, introduce your team, and write about cool project that your company is working on.

Don’t let visitors leave before hitting “Apply Now” button.

6. Use a recruiting software with a powerful sourcing tool

Today, there are powerful sourcing tools that find and extract candidates profiles. They also add them directly to your talent pool. Manual search takes a lot of time and effort, and is often very inefficient. With a powerful sourcing tool, you can make this process much faster, easier and more productive. These tools help you find candidates that match both the position and company culture.

7. Use an Applicant Tracking System

Solutions offered by applicant tracking systems are various, but their main purpose is to fasten and streamline the selections and hiring processes. By fastening the hiring and selection process, you can significantly improve Candidate Experience. With this, you can increase your application and hire rate for hard-to-fill roles. Did you know that top talent stays available on the market for only 10 days?

8. Implement and use employee referral programs

Referrals are proven to be best employees! Referrals can improve your time, cost and quality of hire, and make your hiring strategy much more productive. Yet, many companies still don’t have developed strategies for employee referrals.This is another great way to use your current employee to help you find the best people. To start, use these referral email templates for recruiters, and start engaging your employees today!

GetApp‘s survey has proven that employee referrals take shortest to hire, and bring the highest quality job applicants.

If you don’t have ideas about how to reward good referrals, here’s our favorite list of ideas for employee referral rewards.

For more details about finding the right candidates, here is our 2018 guide for finding high-quality talent.

5 Mistakes You May Be Making in Your Social Recruiting Process

Social Recruiting

Nowadays, social media recruitment is a well-known practice and most organizations are using it as a hiring tool during their recruitment process. Such companies use the online platform or social media to screen candidates and thus shortlist a select few to be interviewed physically. Social media allows these recruiting companies the option to advertise and market their jobs and also give the potential candidates access to such jobs 24 hours a day. However, most firms find it hard to get the right candidates using social media due to some mistakes they make in the selection process. Avoiding such mistakes gives you the opportunity to choose the right candidate easily.

Here are the 5 mistakes you may be making in your social recruiting process which you can do well to avoid:

  1. Failing to Plan and To Describe Your Scope Properly

This is a common mistake committed by most online recruiters. It is important to plan your recruitment process well and have your company description properly displayed. There are many social media sites and you need only the best candidates.

If you just post the job advert without properly describing it, most candidates may not even bother seeing it. Ensure that you plan well on social media sites to use and employ some strategies to make the advert reach as many people as possible. For instance, you can sponsor your advert and set your preferred target candidates.

  1. Not Defining Your Target Audience 

This is a mistake that most hiring firms do when posting jobs on social media. You have to describe your job and state clearly the target audience including the academic qualification, age and the required experience. This gives you a chance to eliminate unnecessary applicants and you will have a chance to choose from the candidates you want. This makes your selection process easier instead of having many applicants that are not qualified.

  1. Limiting Yourself to A Few Social Media Sites

This is another common mistake you should avoid. Researches have revealed that most of the employers only use the common sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. There are many sites where you can reach all your potential candidates easily. It is a fact that not all candidates are on one site and this explains why you should make use of as many sites as possible. This increases your chances of choosing the right candidate suitable for your job description.

  1. Use of Lengthy Application Process

Most applicants do not complete lengthy application processes. Most firms hiring online lose qualified candidates due to such processes. It is advisable that you make your online application and hiring process simple, short but thorough. This gives many qualified applicants a chance to complete their process and thus you get the best candidate.

  1. Failure to Display the Benefits of Joining Your Company

Most firms do not clearly display the benefits of joining their company. As an employer of choice, you need to convince them that they will not only grow financially but also professionally. This encourages many qualified candidates to apply and you will choose from the best candidates. These benefits can very easily be conveyed via social media though failing to do so can be a mistake.

These are some of the mistakes most recruiters commit while using social media for their hiring initiatives.

While you make sure you avoid these 5 mistakes, you can go a step further to refine your recruitment process by making use of online skill assessments to hire the absolutely right fit for your organisation.

Are there any such errors in social recruiting that you may like to share with us? Reply in the comments box and we will be happy to learn from your experience.

4 Things You Need to Know If You Want to Do Business in Asia

Ever since we entered the 21st century a lot of things have changed rapidly in business. The advancement of technology and the global use of the internet has created many opportunities around the globe. Today there are fewer business barriers than ever before as the whole world is completely connected.

Entrepreneurs and companies can easily get in touch with someone across the globe or acquire information that they need to start their business incentives abroad. Asia is becoming one of the hot markets for business investments, as this region is opening up to the West and offering many opportunities, given the fact that the market is still not saturated.

This is why a lot of people are looking to do some business in the East, no matter if we are talking about finding outsourcing partners or starting up new offices in Asian countries. However, there are certain specifics you need to know about Asia from a business perspective to make sure that everything goes as planned.

1. You will have to connect with locals to help you

A lot of people make a terrible mistake by thinking that they can do everything on their own, without anyone’s help. Even if you travel to the country that you want to do business in, you will never be able to make all the arrangements on your own.

There are many reasons for this. First of all, Asians are unlikely to get into business with a foreigner instantly and give their trust right away. You will need a person that knows the laws, the business environment and has the connections needed to “break into” the market

2.  Understand “the concept of face.”

This is a very important thing when it comes to business in Asia. Simply put, this concept means that you need to avoid shaming anyone with whom you do business and blaming them directly, even if they are the ones responsible for the mistakes that have been made.

When someone “loses face,” it basically means that they lost their reputation as a business person and this might mean the end of your cooperation for good. Be mild when telling someone that they are wrong and always take a part of the blame on yourself as well.

For example, if someone doesn’t understand what you are proposing, excuse yourself and say that you are not clear enough and this is how the whole situation can be resolved without the person losing face.

3. Culture is very important

Bear in mind that Asia is culturally very different than the West and that they pay a lot of attention to things that might not even be considered when doing business in Western countries. In Asia, respect and courtesy matter, so you need to have an open relationship with people.

When someone is aggressive and overly ambitious here, they are considered to be inexperienced. Learn some local expressions if you cannot comprehend the language, as this shows that you respect the country you are in. Also, make sure that your business incentives don’t clash with the religious beliefs in the country you are in.

4. Luxurious brands are well-received in Asia

Luxurious western brands which sell “cool” stuff are usually accepted quite readily by the Asian people. Asia is becoming more and more connected to the West, and people there love adopting Western culture and gadgets, as they find them incredibly cool. Still, it’s important that your products deliver the user experience that is promised or your audience will quickly turn on you.

Remember that Asia is a growing market and that there are many business opportunities lurking in this part of the world. In the end, make sure that you respect the country that you want to do business in, and that you never think of Asia as one big country, as there are many differences between all the different countries.

HR Buzzwords or Actual Recruiting Strategies?

HR and Talent Acquisition (TA) industries have been going through some major changes in the past few years. Following the new trends, people have come up with new terms, HR technology, expressions, as well as new TA strategies.

Some experts believe that these new terms are just buzzwords, while others believe that they have become inevitable strategies of every successful recruiting and hiring strategy.

Here is my list of some of the newly introduced HR expressions.

1. Recruitment Marketing

Recruitment Marketing is an expression used to describe methods used for communicating organization’s Employer Brand and Employee Value Proposition to attract high-quality job candidates to apply for their open positions.

Recruitment Marketing strategies are described as methods with the main goal of improving Candidate Experience and encouraging Candidate Engagement.

Many companies that follow latest trends in the world of HR technology, use features offered by Recruitment Marketing tools to better communicate their Employer Brand and Employee Value Proposition.

2. Inbound Recruiting

Inbound Recruiting is a method of creating targeted and branded content with the purpose of increasing your firm’s popularity and strengthening your Employer Brand.

Inbound Recruiting follows the famous Inbound Marketing strategy; technique for drawing customers to products and services via recruiting content marketing, social media marketing and search engine optimization.

The number one goal of every Inbound Recruiting strategy is to engage qualified candidates and convert them into job applicants to expand talent pools.

3. Candidate Relationship Management

Candidate relationship management (CRM) is a method for managing and improving relationships with current and potential future job candidates. Many companies use CRM technology to automate and ease communication process with the job seekers, encourage their engagement and improve candidate experience.

For example, some Recruitment Marketing tools offer solutions for creating engaging email campaigns to provide highly relevant, educative and interesting content in order to build stronger relationships and expand their talent pools with highly-qualified job candidates.

4. Employer Branding

Employer Branding involves all the activities and tactics used to communicate Employer Brand and Employee Value Proposition to passive and active job seekers.

In today’s “War for Talent” Employer Branding strategies are considered very important when it comes to solving one of the biggest recruiting challenges – attracting high-quality applicants.

LinkedIn’s research has shown that more than 75% of job seekers research about firm’s reputation before they apply for an open position. Companies that have weak employer brands not only have problems in attracting candidates, but also in retaining employees.

employer-branding-retaining-employees

5. Data-Driven Recruiting and HR Analytics

Data-Driven Recruiting or HR Analytics are two expressions used to demonstrate new recruiting methods in which HR Professionals make hiring decisions based on data gathered through HR technology such as Applicants Tracking Systems and Recruitment Marketing Platforms.

Data-driven recruiting has proven to improve some of the most important hiring metrics such as time to hire, cost to hire and quality of hire.

hr metrics

Question:

If you had data available that proves that referred candidates take shortest to hire, fastest to on-board, require least money and stay longest with your company, would you still waste your money on job boards and job promotions or would you improve your Employee Referral Program?

If you are wondering which HR metrics should you be tracking, here is our checklist of most important HR metrics with tips for improvement.

So are these just buzzwords or actual recruiting trends?

10 Best Cities For Young Professionals Seeking Work-Life Balance

Written by Megan Wells. First appeared at InvestmentZen. Reprinted with the special commentary for The HR Tech Weekly® ▸ 

Des Moines, Iowa, Skyline by Michael Tompsett

Good Job, Good Life

When career progression is the priority, choosing where to work often overshadows where to live for many young professionals. Yet, work-life balance remains important to this generation. A vibrant nightlife and great food scene, or good schools and activities for families top the list of desirable attributes in a location. Promoting other aspects of an area to candidates helps attract top talent.

Rent

Knowing your city’s housing costs makes the take-home pay real for a potential new hire. Few want their monthly income eaten up by rent to live in a cool neighborhood. With an average rent of less than $1,000 per month, Des Moines, Iowa, starts to look pretty good when coupled with a mean salary near the $50,000 mark. For a candidate considering a job offer in this city, the lure of generous disposable income could close the deal.

Walkability

Sharing with a candidate how “walkable” a city is reduces the negative impact of other factors like cost of living. Many dream of living in a diverse and exciting city environment where they complete daily errands on foot rather than in the car. San Francisco and Oakland, California, rate high in walkability.

Unemployment

Emphasizing an area’s strong local economy offers a sense of security in both the company and the area. Three cities currently have a low unemployment rate of 2.1%, Aurora and Denver, Colorado, and Madison, Wisconsin. While a potential employee needs to keep the car in these locales, a thriving city outweighs the time spent behind the wheel.

When looking to achieve a balance between a great job and a great life, help candidates to see the bigger picture. Smaller cities offer much in the way of generous salaries and affordability when compared to their big, coastal counterparts, leaving more time and income for the important things in life.

10 Best Cities For Young Professionals Seeking Work Life Balance

Many young professionals are eager to begin a financially independent lifestyle. With a new paycheck, saving, spending and lifestyle habits are likely to evolve. For most people starting off a new career, it’s important to have discretionary income for enjoying life outside of work. Living in a city large enough to offer activities and entertainment, with minimal use of a car can also be an added benefit.

By understanding these characteristics, we observed these national averages:

  • United States unemployment rate for metropolitan areas, according to BLS, is 4.1%
  • United States average rent index, according to Zillow, is $1,426
  • United States annual mean wage, according to BLS, is $49,630
  • According to WalkScore data, the average WalkScore in the U.S. is 41.3.

Then we asked ourselves, which cities can beat the averages and provide extra incentive for young professionals?

InvestmentZen was able to gather and analyze data from a number of sources to determine which 10 cities have the best stats for a strong work-life balance.

Methodology:

We used a weighted average to compared unemployment rate, walkability score, Zillow Rent Index, the annual mean wage for all occupations, and population for over 500 U.S. cities to determine which had the best balance of work life balance. These indicators prove to be the making for some of the best cities in the U.S. for young professionals.

These cities turned out to be great for young professionals who are looking to enhance their quality of life.

10. Aurora, CO

  • Unemployment Rate: 2.1%
  • Walkability Score: 43
  • Zillow Rent Index: $1,788
  • Annual Mean Wage: $55,910

The second city in Colorado to make the list (and the third most populous city in Colorado)  Aurora is home to many niche industries. While there are still more traditional business service suppliers, aerospace industries and bioscience firms are a major part of the economy in Aurora.

9. Oakland, CA

  • Unemployment Rate: 3.1%
  • Walkability Score: 72
  • Zillow Rent Index: $2,999
  • Annual Mean Wage: $69,110

With lower rent than sister city, San Francisco, residents of Oakland have the opportunity to work in San Francisco and commute back home to a less expensive apartment in Oakland (though the wages and unemployment rates are similar in both cities).

8. Milwaukee, WI

  • Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
  • Walkability Score: 62
  • Zillow Rent Index: $1,136
  • Annual Mean Wage: $49,350

Milwaukee is the second city in Wisconsin to make this list. The primary occupation groups in Milwaukee, according to BLS, are production jobs like machine operators and metal and plastic workers. Other heavily staffed industries are office and administration staff. The higher than average walkability score and relatively low rent are two contributing factors that bring Milwaukee to the list.

7. Detroit, MI

  • Unemployment Rate: 4%
  • Walkability Score: 55
  • Zillow Rent Index: $627
  • Annual Mean Wage: $50, 960

Though the unemployment rate in Detroit is still high, the city is coming back from its collapse. Detroit is becoming a hub for artists, architects, and engineer. Billions of dollars of construction projects have been spent to rebuild infrastructure, including transportation which is making the city more accessible and attractive to many young professionals.

6. San Francisco, CA

  • Unemployment Rate: 3.1%
  • Walkability Score: 86
  • Zillow Rent Index: $4,207
  • Annual Mean Wage: $69,110

Even with the sky-high rent index, the wages, walkability and unemployment rate are enough to boost San Francisco to the 6th spot on the list. It’s no secret that the tech industry is booming in San Francisco. The economy in the bay area has outpaced the rest of the state, and the country, in economic growth for the last five years.

5. St. Paul, MN

  • Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
  • Walkability Score: 59
  • Zillow Rent Index: $1,232.50
  • Annual Mean Wage: $55,010

Just across the river from the larger city of Minneapolis, St. Paul has grown in size over the last couple of years. New music venues, restaurants and night spots are popping up making the city an affordable but fun option for young professionals. The nicely balanced mean wage to rent index allows young professionals to life affordably and enjoy a nice work-life balance.

4. Tacoma, WA

  • Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
  • Walkability Score: 53
  • Zillow Rent Index: $1,155
  • Annual Mean Wage: $61,170

Tacoma has the second highest annual mean wage on this list, and with a zero percent income tax in the state of Washington, stretching a paycheck can also help pad discretionary income for young professionals.

3. Denver, CO

  • Unemployment Rate: 2.1%
  • Walkability Score: 61
  • Zillow Rent Index: $1,582
  • Annual Mean Wage: $55,910

Denver’s population has grown since 2010 by more than 93,000 (15.5%), largely due to a rise of newcomers headed to the mile-high city. One of the continually growing industries in Denver is its microbrew and craft beer scene, which can be a nice career path or fun extracurricular in this city.

2. Madison, WI

  • Unemployment Rate: 2.1%
  • Walkability Score: 49
  • Zillow Rent Index: $1,075
  • Annual Mean Wage: $50,830

Madison is a rapidly growing city. Between 2015 and 2016 Madison grew more than any other city in Wisconsin. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Madison surpassed a quarter million residents in the last year. According to the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, they accredit the growth to economic opportunity, livability factors and accessibility to amenities. It’s also notable that 55.1% of adults aged 25 and older have at least a Bachelor’s degree or higher.

1. Des Moines, IA

  • Unemployment Rate: 2.7%
  • Walkability Score: 45
  • Zillow Rent Index: $814.50
  • Annual Mean Wage: $49,420

The number one city on this list has exceptionally low unemployment and moderate wages. Another influential marker for Des Moines is the low rent – of the ten cities to rank on this list, Des Moines has the lowest rent.

Click here for a full, ranked list of data (including metros under a population of 200,000).

About the Author:

Megan Wells, San Francisco, CA

Megan Wells is a data journalist and content strategist based in San Francisco, California. Wells currently focuses on personal finance, mortgage, and fintech content. Wells’ work has appeared on Fox, Nasdaq, MSN, Motley Fool, and more. Wells also spoke at the 2015 Exceptional Women In Publishing conference.


Source: 10 Best Cities For Young Professionals Seeking Work-Life Balance – InvestmentZen

Casino

College Students Should Hedge Their Bets Smartly in the Gig Economy

What’s Your Major?

As folks file back into college classrooms, at record paces at many universities this fall, it’s important that everyone has their eyes wide open about the correlation between the college degree and getting a good job post-graduation. All people who have attended college (whether they graduated or not) have been asked a hundred times, if they’ve been asked once, “What’s your major?” This is the proverbial question that everyone asks, at Thanksgiving, when college students come home for the holidays. Of course the reason the question is asked is the family member of friend wants to try and predict the odds that your education will lead to a “good job” (whatever the heck that is). They want to know whether to be ‘concerned’ about your choice or be ‘super-excited’ about your job prospects post-graduation. Usually these questions have good intentions, but choosing a major can be nerve racking and cause stress.

What Do You Want to Do for the Rest of Your Life?

When I was an undergraduate student at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri in the mid-1990’s I, too, was asked this question many times by friends and family. For me, when I answered “Sociology and Criminal Justice” I was usually greeted with a “Oh, that sounds interesting”, which of course, is code for “What the heck are you going to do with that degree?” The thinking, in the 1990’s, was that one’s major was directly connected to the job they would do for the duration of their working career. So, therefore, if you had a major/minor in Sociology and Criminal Justice you were likely going to be a probation or parole officer, social worker, or maybe work at a prison. The trend in higher education for decades had been educating people for more ‘specialization’ given their concentrations/degrees. Most people wanted to be able to draw a straight line between a person’s college degree and their career path.

The answer to the, “What’s your major?” question has a much different meaning in 2017. The market has changed in gargantuan ways and college students should pay attention and ‘hedge their bets’ accordingly. It is no longer wise to go to college and get a degree without having thought long and hard about what you want to do with the degree and the likelihood that your studies will lead to a great job. The idea that “if you have a degree you’ll get a good job” is long gone and college students should take heed. I will argue that choosing a major in college is akin to making bets on the roulette wheel in Vegas and there is strategy involved–if you are savvy. To start, there are several questions that students need to ask themselves when they are early in their college experiences.

Pivotal questions that all college students should be asking themselves: 

  • Is there demand in the economy for what I’m learning in college – for what I’m majoring in? Does my major ‘translate’ to wide variety of in-demand jobs?
  • What are the prospects for the next few decades for my choice of study? What are economists forecasting? Are experts saying there is a shortage or surplus of those people with my background, skills, and abilities?
  • Am I wired to be a risk-taker and able to live with the reality that what I studied in college may NOT translate to a ‘good job’? Am I comfortable adapting to constant change?
  • Would I be happier if I chose a ‘safer’ major (and career path) where high demand has been proven and I will have a higher probability of getting a full-time job upon graduation?
  • Have I done research on how much money people in my career choice make? Have I done the math to figure out if this amount of money is enough to live on and be ‘relatively happy’ with?

Know Your Numbers

Get the Odds in Your Favor

When in college and trying to figure out a major/minor and where you envision your career going it’s critical to be informed with up-to-date information on key statistics regarding the job market, student loan debt, and the potential value of your major in the marketplace. For starters, it is critical to have a general understanding of current trends in the economy.

Specifically, it’s most helpful to know what types of jobs are in high demand and if economists are forecasting continued demand in the foreseeable future. A recent article titled, “America’s 10 toughest jobs to fill in 2017” is a great place to start. The list for 2017 includes: data scientist, financial adviser, general and operations manager, home health aide, information security analyst, medical services manager, physical therapist, registered nurse, software engineer, and truck driver. If I were in college today I would be thinking about how my studies in college were going to prepare me for a job that is high demand. This is the type of strategic thinking that can increase your odds of success. The math is easy. Would you rather be competing with 400 people for one open position or 40? The answer is obvious.

On the other hand, it’s also good to know what jobs are incredibly competitive and may lead to frustration post-graduation. Kiplinger put together an interesting list that is worth checking out. They determined this based on starting salarymid-career salary, annual online job postings, and projected 10-year job growth. The “10 Worst College Majors for your Career” included: exercise science, animal science, religion, radio, television and film production, graphic design, anthropology, paralegal studies, art, photography, culinary arts.

I know what you are likely saying at this point, “But Jason, my passion is in graphic design and the arts…I don’t want to study data science”! This is totally fine and I understand the balance between doing what one is passionate about vs. doing what will pay the bills. But, the point is college grads need to have an accurate picture of what they are up against and then decide what matters to them most. From my experience I think the “passionate aspect” is highly over-rated. I’ve found that a job is what you make it and so something that may not immediately strike you as ‘your passion’ can in the long-run be a great fit.

Along with knowing what majors are hot and not, it’s also critical to understand how the gig economy is impacting jobs and work in America. It may be that what you’ve trained for and studied to be is no longer possible as a full-time job with a pension, health insurance, and the rest. This is a reality that should be researched while you are in college.

The New Rules of the Gig Economy

The U.S. and global economy is constantly changing and requiring different skill sets from folks who want to be successful in the workforce. In a nutshell the days of working for the same company for 30+ years and retiring with a generous pension are few and far between. The “new” model is the trend toward the “Gig Economy”. What is the gig economy you ask? One definition: the trend toward project-based, temporary contracts that is permeating many (almost all) professions. The gig model is also known as: sharing economy, the on-demand, peer, or platform economy. Based on ratings-based marketplaces and in-app payment systems.

Rise of the Gig Economy

There are several companies that are good examples of the gig economy including: UberLyftJunoTaskRabbitPostmatesHandyDogvacay, and Airbnb. The trend for workers is they aren’t needed on a full-time 40+ hour/week basis. Rather work is needed on a ‘demand-only’ basis. This is, causing disruption in the work place.

There are many factors that have contributed to this shift, but understanding it could be the key for college students to find happiness in their careers. Estimates are that by 2020 up to 50% of the U.S. workforce could be involved in ‘freelance work’ – yes 50%! There are several pros and cons to the rise of the gig economy of course. For an interesting take on whether the Gig economy is working check out Nathan Heller’s piece in the New YorkerIs the the Gig Economy Working? The pros are that there is flexibility and freedom for workers and for customers they get things done in a quicker (and often cheaper) way. The cons are a lack of stability and being able to accurately predict income. One recent article cited that “85% of side-gig workers make less than $500 a month.” It will be interesting to see if the gig economy results in higher incomes in the next couple of decades as more and more ‘traditional’ businesses embrace the ‘gig way.’ Again, having an accurate picture of the ‘raw numbers’ can be super-helpful.

Before you pick a major in college you should know where there is demand in the job market and be aware of trends in the economy like the rise of the contingent workforce. In other words, you should hedge your bets accordingly. The casino game of roulette provides the perfect analogy.

Roulette Game Explained

The casino game roulette may look complicated and intimidating for those that have never played it. In reality the rules are pretty simple. The game revolves around luck, of course, and the player’s threshold for risk and reward. Roulette is all about odds and hoping that the ball drops on numbers/bets that the player is on.

There are several bets you can make and some have long odds and some are shorter. People place their bets with chips on the board and then the ball is thrown and the wheel is spun. After several times around the wheel the ball lands on a number and if players are playing that number they are paid.

Roulette is Akin to Choosing a Major

Make no mistake, regardless of what Vegas insiders might say, the game is dumb-luck, period. However, it can be a whole lot of fun and is often a social event where people make the same bets and everyone is happy (if they win). The house has the edge, of course, but the player can determine different levels of risk based on their betting style and bank roll.

Here are the basic payouts and the odds from the most to least risky:

  • Playing a number straight up is 35:1 odds – $10 bet earns the player $350 if that number hits
  • Playing 2, 3, or 4 numbers by placing chips on corners or in-between can be 18:112:19:1 – $10 bet earns the player $180, $120, and $90 respectively
  • Playing 0 or 00 is 35:1 odds (like all the other numbers) – But if Green/Zero or Double-zero hits all of the outside bets lose –  of course this is one way the house gets an edge on the player
  • Playing 1st 12, 2nd 12 or 3rd 12 – Player is playing numbers in that section – 2:1 odds – $10 bet earns the player $20 return if number in that area hits
  • Playing the columns – Player is playing all the numbers in that particular column – 2:1 odds – $10 bet earns the player $20 return if number in that column hits
  • Playing Red / Black (there are 18 red and 18 black numbers) – 1:1 odds – $10 bet earns the player $10 if red hits and they played red (vice versa with black)
  • Playing Odd / Even (there are 18 odd and 18 even numbers) – 1:1 odds – $10 bet earns the player $10 if odd number hits and they played odd (vice versa with even)
  • Playing 1-18 / 19-36 (betting that any number between 1-18 or 19-36 to hit) – 1:1 odds – $10 bet earns the player $10 if number between 1- 18 or 19-36 hits and they placed that bet

So, roulette provides players a plethora of betting options and ways to manage their risk and reward with every spin. I’ve played roulette for years and witnessed people win and lose a lot of money on the game. It turns out this is similar to making a decision on your major and career choice. Do you want to try and enter a field with long odds or shorter (more friendly) odds? This is a key questions college students need to ask. Given the shifts in the economy there are careers and college majors that have a much higher (and lower) chance of success for college graduates.

Picking a Major Is Like Playing Roulette – Odds Matter

Picking a major in college and trying to lay out one’s potential career path is very important. Having a firm grasp on the competitiveness and ‘odds’ of being successful is also essential. We should never underestimate the power of ‘expectation setting’ for our careers. If students decide to major in things that have a high probability of leading to jobs in high-demand areas like data science, financial advising, nursing, or physical therapy that is akin to betting Red/Black or betting the 1st 12 on the roulette wheel. This is a safer bet and the odds of being successful are higher than normal. On the contrary, if a student decides to major in anthropology or photography that is similar to playing a few numbers straight up on the roulette wheel and ‘hoping for the best.’ The payoff is great, but the odds of that student “hitting” (or landing a job) are much lower. Odds matter and shouldn’t be overlooked when important decisions about majors and careers are on the line.

Let It Ride?

Before I made a career change to content marketing I applied to several ‘assistant professor in sociology’ jobs in the Seattle/Tacoma area. Having achieved a Ph.d. and taught for 14 years, at several institutions of higher learning, I figured I’d be a good fit for many schools (whether 4-year institutions–public or private or community colleges). From the dozens and dozens of applications I filled out I ended up getting very few interviews and no job offers. One community college HR person told me that there were over 400 applicants for the ‘Assistant Professor of Sociology’ position I applied for. The odds were not in my favor–aka Hunger Games.

These are incredibly difficult odds and something I should have been more aware of when I was an undergraduate (picking a major) and in graduate school too. Clearly, I speak from learning some very hard lessons. I followed my passions and it didn’t work out as planned. The other structural change in academia that I should have seen coming was the shift from 70% of professors being full-time (with benefits and decent wages) and 30% being part-time (with no benefits and low pay) to the reverse in the last ten to fifteen years. Now, only 30% of professors are full-time with benefits and 70% are part-time. This is a shift in the work force that is crucial. I followed my passion and ignored the economic reality that was staring me in the face. Blindly ‘following your passions’ can be a recipe for disappointment.

Don’t get me wrong, following your passions should also factor into these decisions. However, students need to have a firm grasp on the odds-game given their major and career choice. What’s more it may be that students find they are most happy by being involved in the gig economy (for the benefits I’ve outlined in this article). The number of people working ‘side hustles‘ in the U.S. economy is clearly growing and can help bridge the gaps when full-time jobs aren’t as plentiful (or as satisfying) as they used to be. When I was between jobs I had football and basketball officiating to help keep money coming in and keep me busy. Side-hustles truly can be a life-line if things get tight. They might also lead to creative business opportunities that you didn’t know were possible.

In conclusion, the days of picking a major and career-choice based solely on your passions and what you ‘dream about doing’ are long gone for 95% of college graduates. The smarter way to go is to research heavily the job market and figure out how much risk you are willing to live with and calculate the odds that you can achieve the career-path you wish to pursue. And, of course, even if you do everything I’ve said you still may end up doing or being something different than you envisioned, but at least you will do it with your eyes wide open.


Source: College Students Should Hedge their Bets Smartly in the Gig Economy – Crelate

Remote Work Is Changing the Way We Lead

Remote Work Is Changing the Way We Lead

Written by Georgiana Beech, specially for The HR Tech Weekly®

Vintage Workplace

It goes without saying that businesses must adapt to changing employment trends or risk becoming obsolete. In order to recruit top talent and build an innovative, valuable workforce, companies must offer environments and perks that are attractive — that is, they must be modern and malleable.

With technology becoming entrenched in all aspects of the modern office, opportunities for remote work are abundant. According to the University of Alabama, 20 to 25 percent of American workers currently telecommute in some way, though up to 90 percent would like to. Slowly, the traditional office is fading.

Employees can now be scattered not only across the county, but across continents. With a multitude of business applications available, managing projects at a distance has never been easier. Communication between multiple departments (or even cooperating companies) streamlines the workflow and ups efficiency.

However, management across teams comes with a new set of challenges. Leaders need to switch up their style as much as employees do. Previously, American attitudes toward business have endorsed an every-person-for-themselves school of thought, encouraging workers to worry only about their personal progress.

Now, distance has forced a more group-minded approach. Employee development must be focused on critical thinking and problem solving. When working remotely, even though technology provides abundant connection, there is less immediate support available. Therefore, employees must be capable of higher-level assessment and problem management.

Managing employees equipped with more abstract skill sets may be challenging for some leaders. Your team may become noticeably self-sufficient, solving more problems on their own. This can be challenging to cope with if you’re used to leading with a very assignment-driven agenda.

You may also see your team diversify as you take on members from other companies or countries. Working with employees from different cultural backgrounds can create barriers to effective communication. You may have to contend with factors such as power distance, communication expectations, and conflict management styles.

Even if you feel comfortable navigating intercultural communication, your employees may not. With communication being a fundamental tenet of successful telecommuting, it is important to make sure that your employees feel prepared and empowered to tackle these challenges.

It can seem overwhelming to adopt a management style that’s appropriate to remote workers. It may even seem overwhelming to implement the technology necessary to make remote work possible. Based on the economic trade-off, though, the learning curve is worth it. Employees are happier and often more productive, in-office business costs lower, and you keep your business on the forefront of trends.

The infographic below, provided by the University of Alabama, details the current attitude towards remote work, as well as some of the implications for leaders as their offices make the switch.

Virtual Team Leadership: The Highs & Lows of Leading a Team Remotely
Source: Virtual Team Leadership: The Highs & Lows of Leading a Team Remotely | UAB Online Degrees
How Easy Is It for Your Employees to Be Employees?

How Easy Is It for Your Employees to Be Employees?

Author: Jen Stroud, HR Evangelist & Transformation Leader, ServiceNow

How Easy Is It for Your Employees to Be Employees?

I once worked for organization where most employees exiting said their reason for leaving was because it was just too difficult to be an employee there. Wow! Too difficult to be an employee? As HR professionals, we hear concerns about managers, pay, or even leadership as reasons people leave. Those are big challenges most organizations face at one time or another, and they are not easy to solve. But when an employee says it’s too hard to be an employee, that should get your attention quickly.

Jen Stroud, HR Evangelist & Transformation Leader, ServiceNow
Jen Stroud, ServiceNow

An HR leader told me that making work life easier for their employees is vitally important. This leader works for a company that is in the business of saving lives every day. They want their employees focused on this critical mission rather than on who can answer their benefits question or what process they need to follow to be reimbursed for a course they’ve taken. And they’re not alone. All executives want their employees focused on their mission, whether it’s creating innovative products, building a sales pipeline, or servicing customers. Organizations hire employees to perform a role that is vital to a company’s growth and stability. Any obstacle that gets in the way of that mission should be removed. Yet, the challenges often remain because some people view change as difficult and too disruptive or we have bought into the belief that one system can solve all our HR technology needs. It’s also possible that no one is asking employees what they think or ignoring the signs of frustration until it’s too late.

The good news is that with the technology solutions available today, HR leaders can dramatically impact the employee service experience in a positive way. But you have to be willing to look at your employee service experience and your HR technology landscape in a new way. You have to be willing to imagine the art of the possible and be ready to disrupt the status quo. I have met with several HR execs over the past few years who cannot acknowledge the need to disrupt their HR service landscape. Instead they trust that the investments they’ve made in the past will pay off one day. HR has been a laggard department when it comes to innovation and change. The good news is that this doesn’t have to be your reality.

Your Employee Service Experience

First, ask the simple question, “Is it easy for employees to take care of their basic HR needs and be productive in their jobs?” Are you providing your employees with a service experience at work that resembles their service experiences outside of work? Employees bring expectations to work every day. If they use an app in their personal lives that makes it easy to get something done, that is the type of experience they expect at work. And while no two organizations are alike and employee expectations vary, it is safe to say that most organizations face the same challenge—the majority of employees have high expectations for their employee service experience. Consider the following when assessing your current state:

  • Do you provide a one-stop shop for all HR questions and requests?
  • Are employees able to view their submitted requests at any time?
  • Are you keeping employees notified on the status of their requests in the manner they most desire (via text for example)?
  • Can employees easily find information pertinent to them and quickly submit requests to HR?
  • Can employees do all of this from their mobile device?

Your HR Technology Landscape

Digital Employee Experience

In most organizations, HR teams spend more than 30 percent of their days repeating the same information to employees over and over again and doing other repetitive work. Unfortunately, the information is not always consistent and correct. Often, response times are long leading to frustrated employees. In addition to preventing HR teams from focusing on more strategic initiatives, old school work environments that rely heavily on email communication and lack automated workflows are encouraging attrition as employees make the decision to move on to other organizations where they feel more valued… where it’s easier to be an employee. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much time is your HR team spending on the daily administrative minutia of answering the same questions over and over again whether by email, phone or in person?
  • Are they still manually updating systems and processing paperwork?
  • Are employee needs being anticipated? Are their expectations being managed?

Are the HR systems in use at your company fit for purpose or are there gaps that prevent you from providing a service experience to your employees that will make them feel valued and prepared to fully contribute to your mission? Most companies have invested in technology designed to manage employee information and transactions. The missing link is often the “interaction” component. Consider the following questions:

  • How is email used in your company to manage employee questions and requests?
  • Can you easily determine how many and what type of requests are coming into HR or your employee information needs?
  • Do employees have access 24/7 to a knowledge base that will inform their decisions about benefits?
  • Can your HR team easily and independently make modifications to workflows and forms without having to engage with IT or professional services?

There are great HCM solutions available in the market today though I have yet to see one that alone can truly accomplish all of these. Email continues to be used in most organizations to manage interactions with employees even though it provides no visibility into request status and no structure or metrics for HR. The good news is that service management technology exists that integrates with existing HR technology to fill in these gaps allowing organizations to streamline and modernize the entire employee life cycle.

If employees are not giving you direct feedback as they leave your company, they may be posting their thoughts on sites such as Glassdoor or otherwise letting potential applicants know about their experience. Don’t wait for disaster to strike or be overwhelmed by the challenges in front of you. All great journeys begin with one bold step. The first step in your transformation journey could be a matter of adding structure and visibility to your employee request and information processes. Seize the opportunity to make a difference—a difference that will have a long term impact on the viability of your company. Invest in your employee service experience and you may reap the rewards of higher employee engagement and longer employee tenure. At the very least, you will have far fewer complaints about the ease of working in your organization.

On the streets. An image from SplitShire.com

Finding the Right Job in the Right Field (Infographic)

Millennials – those who are born between 1977 to 1995 – is the generation that is widely discussed and written about these days. Characterized as tech-savvy, updated, and forward-thinking individuals, the millennial generation cannot be simply ignored nowadays, as many experts see them as the future that will revolutionize the way we conduct business and the way we think about the workplace.

But surprisingly, a significant number of Millennials across the world are still struggling to find the right job that matches well with their skills and knowledge. In the latest report from the International Labor Organization, it was reported that the global youth unemployment rate was expected to reach 13.1 per cent in 2016 and remain at that level through to 2017 (up from 12.9 per cent in 2015).

With the increasing saturation of the labor market, Millennials need to gain legitimate experience, hone their skills and knowledge by being involved in industry-related projects, and acquire the ability to be efficient in an environment relevant to their degree. These play a crucial role in finding the job that matches their education and qualification as prospective professionals.

However, the problem not only lies in the competition in the labor market but also on the way people view what a “job” is. For most Millennials, a 9-5 job is a set-up that will inhibit their personal growth, though also sees it as the only way to gain legitimate work experience. The Millennials have to change their outlook towards what job is and should start leveraging the potential of freelancing as a type of employment.

To learn more about freelancing and how it can help millennials find the right job for them, check out the infographic below from BrainBoxol.


Source: Finding the Right Job in the Right Field (Infographic) | Brain Boxol Blog