How to Recruit the Under-Sourced Veteran Talent Pool

Posted by Mark Jackson on Tue, Jul, 28, 2015 @ 08:07 AM

We’ve all fallen prey to resting on our laurels, but as recruiters, staying stagnant is a recipe for failure. Between workforce generational gaps, skills gaps and gaps in talent, it is necessary to learn of different talent pools to pull from to accommodate these breaches in acquisitions. 

Recruit

So what is a pool you can recruit from for not only highly experienced, but highly qualified candidates as well? Veterans. However, sometimes the lack of medical accommodations dissuade these valuable potential candidates from divulging this information. Even though unemployment rates for female veterans who have been discharged since September 11, 2001 has declined to 9.3% in 2013 since it’s hiatus in 2011, there is still room for improvement.

Perhaps recruiters can step in to help repair the higher than average veteran unemployment rate. Here are some ways you can tap these frequently unused candidate pools to help boost your talent pipeline. 

 

Understand where to source candidates

Veterans, like any other particular group of candidates, have specific places they congregate when they look to find new jobs. In the case of veteran women, a Women Veteran Program Manager at the Veteran’s Association Medical Center can help you to source your candidates easily. These appointed officials are there to help the women veterans find employment after their service (among other things). Unfortunately, many female veterans don’t disclose this information as often as they should. Col. Steve Parker, Executive Director of Joining Forces (the joint initiative from Michelle Obama and Jill Biden to support military families said: 

“Female veterans also don’t all readily identify themselves as veterans.”

Only 21% of organizations say it was their top priority to build a strong relationship with their candidates and recruits. If you’re considering a strategic move towards hiring veterans, they may not have much experience outside the service. However, this time serving their country can involve numerous different roles and responsibilities. Determine veteran candidate fit by asking questions during the interview about how their time-served helped to prepare them for this role. Understanding their background and setting a solid foundation from the start with your candidates to improve cost-per-hire.

 

Tweet This: In search for highly experienced and qualified candidates? You may be under-sourcing this talent pool:

 

Network and Engage

Brand familiarity and a healthy employer brand can help you find qualified and interested candidates through the social platforms your ideal talent flocks to. Aberdeen found 73% of 18 to 34-year olds discovered their last employer via social media. Although Millennials account for 30% of the modern workplace, they constitute nearly three-quarters of the United States Military. 

Because Millennials are so active on social media, it’s important to target the social media pages that attract them as well. There are plenty of military affiliated organizations that use Twitter handles and Facebook pages to establish relationships with their followers. After establishing a relationship with your talent pool, familiarize yourself with additional organizations they engage with on personal and professional social sites. Notice the positive and negative interactions you are gaining with these audiences in order to adjust accordingly in the future.

 

Tweet This: Only 21% of organizations say it was their top priority to build a strong relationship with their recruits

 

Common misconceptions

Many veterans face pre-determined opinions regarding their service. Like the majority of stereotypes, they are anything but true. According to the veteran candidate pool, some of the most offensive assumptions organizations have about those who have served include:

      They are too rigid to deal with sudden changes

      Veterans are unable to think outside the box

      They shouldn’t have been deployed in the first place

 

Of the 50% of HR professionals that have hired veterans, however, they have said these misconceptions are far from the truth. There are many benefits to recruiting veterans including their strong responsibility and ability to work under pressure.

Stepping outside of your comfort zone isn’t always easy, but doing so opens the doors to experienced candidates like military veterans. Despite the fact they may not always be the most forthcoming with their service, they have a wide set of skills and abilities you may not be able to find in the traditional sources. Once you’ve adapted the changes in recruiting these predominantly untapped talent pools (compared to others), you can reach any audience, schedule interviews virtually and onboard to accommodate to everyone’s needs with the use of Cyber Recruiter, applicant tracking system, for quick, easy-to-follow processes.

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Tags: Recruit

The 10 Worst Ways in the World to End Your Email Signature

Posted by Mark Jackson on Wed, Jul, 22, 2015 @ 08:07 AM

Love it or hate it, email is here to stay and so are those lame sign offs. You know the ones, the signatures that make people cringe, clog spam filters or worse make the same corny joke over and over. Are you guilty of any of the following?

Email-Signature

Best

“Best,” along with “regards” and variations of either are some of the most boring and awkward ways to end an email. Both are a little too formal for most of the casual emails you send on a regular basis, but not formal enough to actually save you time when you’re sending an important email to a candidate or your boss. It’s an attempt as a catch-all which doesn’t catch anything, so it’s useless and fluff in most cases. It rarely communicates your tone and always makes you look like a zombie. Try instead: Cheers! 

More information than anyone will ever need

If you’re doing business, you need a quick way for people to contact you. Listing your contact information in your signature does that. Some people prefer phone conversations to email. We understand the needs. But what we don’t understand is why people need to list five phone numbers, a fax, their company name, and their address every time they send out an email. You don’t always need them and you definitely don’t always want to have such information out there. It also makes it less likely someone will actually contact youTry instead: Your cell phone number and email address. 

Making it Too Big

If your signature takes up more space than the message you’re sending every time, it may be time to reconsider how big your signature is. Big signatures can distract from whatever message you’re sending, can be mistaken for the message itself, and confuse spam filters into thinking you’re a robot. Keep it small, and keep it relevant. Candidates, employers, and whoever else you send emails to will thank you for it. Try instead: Your name a linked statement your rotate monthly.

Tweet This: If your signature takes up more space than the message you’re sending, it may be time to reconsider. 

Using an Image

When you use an image, you’re relying on the other person’s emails client to be compatible with whatever format you’re using, and that can be tricky, especially if you’re contacting someone who uses corporate email. Even worse, you can’t copy and paste text in an image, which means if you make your phone number an image the recipient will have to copy it down manually. Try instead: Uh, not using an image...

Motivational Quotes

Not everyone appreciates the daily reminders to hang in there. If you need these messages to keep you going, that’s fine, but keep them somewhere you’re more likely to see them. Additionally, these sort of quotes often make you look unprofessional, and tend to be tacked on to a bunch of information, again making your email signature larger than it needs to be. Try instead: Creating your own catchphrase!

Political Messages

Businesses tend to frown on showing your political affiliation at work. You may be passionate enough about a particular issue that you want everyone to know your stance on it, but that doesn’t make it a good idea to share with certain people. If someone’s going to reject your proposal, they’re probably not going to be swayed by your stance on an issue. And if someone doesn’t agree with you, it doesn’t do you any favors. Keep fighting for your cause, but make sure it doesn’t affect your ability to make valuable connections. Try instead: Your company website. 

Too Much Formatting

Just as with images, this one relies on the receiving being able to see the actual code. The difference is that when the HTML coding in your signature doesn’t work, it makes your message look convoluted and inflated, meaning your actual message can get lost in all the brackets and other symbols. Some HTML signatures are fun, but they’re usually not worth it, since they can negatively impact what you’re trying to say. Try instead: Plain text with a max of 2 links. 

Tweet This: Don't drown out the rest of your message with a bad email signature. Check out the 10 worst ones!

Link Shorteners

If bad formatting can confuse your message, link shorteners can delete it. Spam emails use lots of links to get people to click on them, so spam filters are trained to sniff out links in emails. If you’re using link shorteners in your email, there’s a good chance a filter will catch it and get your email sent to the wrong folder. If there’s important information you need someone to access on the other side of that link, then consider putting it in the signature itself (provided there isn’t too much of it). Try instead: A custom URL shortener or a simple link that looks like words but hides the bit.ly or URL shortener behind.

Legal Disclaimers

There are a couple of reasons you shouldn’t use legal disclaimers in your email. For one, they’re usually much too long for anyone to actually read, and like most methods of clogging up a signature, it can confuse your message. Another great reason not to use them is that they don’t actually work. Email disclaimers are not legally enforceable. So it won’t protect your email from being forwarded to the wrong person (though if it contained classified information, there’s still legal recourse to take that putting a disclaimer in the email itself won’t help with). It only offers a small sense of security that isn’t really there. Try instead: Not using disclaimers that only make you look like an amateur lawyer. 

Your Email Address

We already have your email because you just sent us one. There are tons more bad practices in email signatures, but these are the worst. When it comes to emails, it pays to be short, interesting and relevant. And to not get picked up by spam filters. Try instead: Your LinkedIn profile.

 

Visibility’s Cyber Train, applicant tracking system, can make sure every employee is brought up to speed with every company policy and procedure in no time. Sign up for demo today and see how the training programs of the future look like.

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Tags: Email Signature

Will We See You in the Big Easy at #SageSummit?

Posted by Sean Pomeroy on Thu, Jul, 16, 2015 @ 11:07 AM

Screen_Shot_2015-07-16_at_9.46.31_AM

It’s my favorite part of year — that’s right people, it’s time for Sage Summit! I love Sage Summit because it’s one of the best places to meet people, talk about HR, and see what inspiring things the keynote speakers have up their sleeves. I can’t deny that seeing some of these people live is a huge deal for me. Between that, the HR talk, and the chance to meet our customers, I can safely say that Sage Summit is my favorite work-related event this year.

Just look at the lineup! We’ve got heavyweights like Colin Powell, Chad Hurley and Carol Massar, who will have plenty of great advice to give. There’s also some incredibly exciting special guests like Trevor Noah, Tony Hawk, and Matthew Weiner! Important people from all walks of life come to this conference, making it all the more reason to go. Where else are you going to meet renowned thought leaders like these for work?

And yes, you can bet that I (along with the Visibility team) will be there, set up in booth #331 (check out some of the cool booth designs!). Come talk to us! As an HR Tech provider, we are passionate and always looking to spark new ideas by talking with customers. Visit the booth, get some swag, and let’s talk about how we can make HR a better space for candidates, employees and employers. If you just want to talk about how great Sage Summit is, we can chat about that too. And don’t forget: I’m hosting a session, “Getting and Keeping the Right TalentWednesday, July 29th at 10:30am in Learning Commons Room B. Don’t miss it!


Sage Summit will take place from July 27-30 in New Orleans. If you want to talk before the show begins or between sessions, send me a tweet @Sean_Pomery and use #SageSummit so you can connect with like-minded people and learn more about HR! We hope to see you there!

4 Ways HR Practitioners Can Continue to Grow

Posted by Mark Jackson on Wed, Jul, 08, 2015 @ 08:07 AM

The world is not going to get rid of HR anytime soon, but the field is changing in many drastic ways. Technology always has HR reps questioning their role at a company, outside market forces can always lead to new developments which diversify your skillset, and companies are always looking to speed up hiring and HR process. As someone who works in HR, you need to keep up with these changes. And if you follow our advice and integrate four key changes into your work life, you should be more than capable of leading the way in HR at your company.

HR-Practitioners

Always Be Open to Change

After a certain point in their careers, anyone can get set in their ways. They know how to do their job, have settled into rhythms of performing that job, and produce adequate performance. Why change a good thing? Because there are always ways to improve how well you work, in both formal and informal ways. 

Here HR Practitioners can take a cue from leaders, 76% of which are looking for more formal learning in the workplace. Though most training still takes place on the job, HR is a fast-moving industry, and if you only stick to “doing your job,” you’ll eventually fall behind. Talk to your managers about implementing more formal workplace learning, accept invitations to seminars on topics that interest you, and always be learning to changing your processes. No budget for travel or conferences? Then start an innovation book club at work or with like-minded individuals in your community.

Tweet This: Grow as an HR practitioner with these professional development tips.

Be a Positive Force

HR is often seen as one of the departments consistently holding businesses back. Other people at your company might think your department has too much red tape or enforces too many unimportant rules. A bigger issue, however, is that only 8% of HR leaders believe their teams have the skills to tackle all of the challenges of the workplace. If you want to grow as an HR rep, you need to fight back against both of these preconceptions.

The red tape can be tricky and will always be there, but your job is to explain why it’s there, and why it’s necessary. When employees understand why the forms they’re signing are important, they still may not love you, but they’ll end up knowing more about your situation, which will hopefully serve to let them know you’re on their side. Try explaining in person, via email or through other fun ways (try social or the company intranet) why you’re asking for specific help. Make it a team effort. 

Continue Networking After Getting the Job

When you hear the word “network,” it’s almost always followed by “for a job.” But networking can do more than help find a job — it can help you get better at your current one. Lily Zhang (@lzhng), a career Specialist at MIT, details how simple conversations can help illuminate the way forward for both participants. 

"Ask people you meet or sit down with about their recent challenges and accomplishments or about trends they’re seeing in their work. In particular, if something big has recently happened in your industry, see what your conversation partner thinks of the impact it might have on the field as a whole. You’ll get a much broader perspective if you expand the conversation beyond your own friends and officemates."

Discussing recent developments in the field with colleagues will keep you ahead of the curve and will improve your ability to do your job on a regular basis.

Take Reviews Seriously

While it’s great to discuss the industry with friends to see what new solutions you can implement in the future, your annual review can give you insight into what you could be doing to improve right now. Somewhere between 60 and 90% of employees (and managers) dislike performance reviews, but they can be key assets in growing as an HR representative.

Direct feedback can reveal what areas of your job you may have ignored recently, which ones you don’t need to refine for the time being, and what new opportunities you can take advantage of with the help of your boss. Not all annual performance reviews are pleasant, but most of them are valuable. 

Being on the forefront of change is rarely easy, but always satisfying. By being open to change, fighting back against old practices and misconceptions, learning from your peers, and taking direct feedback to heart, you should see positive results in the near future, and continue shaping the way people hire, the way you always have. 

Need to teach or learn a new skill in record time? Visibility Software’s learning management system helps you and all of your employees keep up with all the things you need to know in the workplace. Take a demo of our suite and you’ll see how fast and easy learning really is in the workplace.

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Tags: employee development, professional development

Adjust Your L&D Program to Meet Changing Workforce Needs

Posted by Sean Pomeroy on Thu, Jun, 25, 2015 @ 09:06 AM

Learning and development programs will change, or at least they should… that’s the reality. Your workforce isn’t the same it was 10 years ago, so why keep the same learning and development programs? It’s not safe to assume that workforce generations work and learn in the same way. To get the best performance from your employees and your L&D initiatives, you will need to adjust your program to meet the new learning and development needs.

learning-development

Aged learning and development programs don’t have the capability to adapt to and communicate with other systems in the company. Specifically, they can’t share information with big data aggregators that can determine organizational efficiency. However, adept L&D programs can take information from tools like gamified training and share those numbers with data aggregators. So how exactly should your learning and development program change? 

Adaptive Learning

Every individual has a different style of learning, so the standard classroom setting and testing informational knowledge doesn’t suit everyone. One size doesn’t fit all. Allowing your team to train through an adaptive learning system creates a comfortable and efficient atmosphere for each individual. This makes it more likely that each employee will retain more information.

David Wentworth (@DavidMWentworth) and Mollie Lombardi (@mollielombardi), Senior Learning Analyst and Vice President of Workforce Management Practice at Brandon Hall Group (respectively), said: 

“Employees can be monitored individually and in real time to determine what learning approach will best suit their needs. It has advantages for younger generations entering the workforce that have expectations around flexibility and interaction. Adaptive learning can be effective at improving efficiency, as well as employee engagement and retention since it allows employees to build confidence and overall expertise. Companies may want to consider breaking traditional learning methods by introducing aspects of adaptive learning.”

Mobile isn’t Just a Trend

It may seem like a fad with all of the smartphone options and apps for these phones, but it’s not merely a trend. Unfortunately, 27% of companies say there is no integration between their mobile capabilities and their learning and development programs. That means, new hires and employees in specialized training programs can’t educate themselves easily on their own time. They have to be at work, at their desk or on their computer. However, with a mobile enabled L&D program, employees have the ability to learn on their own time, wherever they feel most comfortable. 

Tweet This: 27% of companies say there is no integration between their mobile capabilities and their L&D programs.

Gamification Radiates

Your managers need to be able to easily track how and when your employees train. Gamification functions on data, that data is then sent to managers so they can see the progress of their team. It’s a growing trend, even among some of the major employers. The Entertainment Software Association estimates that 70% of these major employers use interactive software and games for training - and it will only grow. The gamification market is expected to grow 68.4% by 2018. So, even if you’re not as interested in the benefits for your employee engagement, use gamification as a way to train the team will emit company innovation.

Brevity is Key

Today’s world is so inundated with technology and visual stimulation, that keeping employees focused during training programs can be troublesome. Employees typically don’t have the time to watch - really watch - a training video longer than 4 minutes. The modern worker only has about 1% of available time in the office to dedicate to learning and development. That means out of the entire 8-hour workday, and when you do the math, that averages just under 5 minutes a day anyway.

Tweet This: How much time do you think employees have for learning and development? This answer will surprise you.

Your current antiquated system doesn’t fit your modern employees, nor does it fit your business needs. A more robust and communicative learning and development program allows business leaders to make more educated decision through talent analytics found in the L&D software. Through adaptive learning, mobile learning and development access, gamification, and keeping things short, your L&D program will become not only more effective, but more attractive to candidates and current employees. 

Visibility Software’s learning management system will help you change your process for training whenever necessary, allowing you to see how everyone’s making progress. Sign up for a demo today and see Cyber Train in action!

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Tags: learning management system, learning & development, employee development