Posts By: Ray O’Donnell

Create Culture Remotely This Holiday Season

 

Studies show that fostering a positive company culture means happier employees, which translates into more profit. USA Today recorded companies with happy employees outperform the competition by some 20%, and GrowthEverywhere has even found happy employees to be 12% more productive. At no point in the year is fostering company culture more important and impactful than it is during the holiday season. Unfortunately, some modern workforce trends can stand in the way of keeping employee morale high during this busy, travel-heavy time of year. Which trends in particular? How about the rises of teleworking and remote workforces.

Today, more than ever, the number of remote employees is skyrocketing. According to FlexJobs, more than three million full-time professionals consider their home their primary place of work. Teleworking may offer sizable gains in employee efficiency and flexibility, but many business leaders have concerns it may detract from fostering workplace culture, not to mention that they won’t be able to include remote employees in holiday celebrations.

Here are a few ideas for turning the annual holiday party into a massive remote celebration that includes remote employees and contributes to a culture-rich atmosphere.

Hold a Virtual Awards Ceremony

Distributing awards and accolades for the year is a great way to boost company morale. Keep it traditional, or take it up a notch by having everyone cast their vote on subjects like who is “the most comedic” or “a morning person.”

Exchange Gifts Across Time Zones

Mail presents and gag gifts to remote employees so they don’t miss out on the togetherness of an office gift exchange or the fun of a “Yankee Swap”. Try switching it up with a “Secret Santa” or baked desserts.

Games, Anyone?

Finding games to play with remote employees forces you to think outside the box. Create teams and get coworkers involved in a competitive game of Pictionary or charades. Try a gaming site where everyone can get together to play jeopardy or even sing karaoke.

Build a Spirited Company Brand

Sharing fun holiday photos of decorated work spaces, creating hashtags, posting videos from ugly sweater parties and gag gift exchanges helps illustrate your company brand. Taking your holiday party viral helps reinforce to existing employees how much you care about including them in year-end celebrations. Not to mention, it can help showcase how quirky and fun your organization is to prospects.

The bottom line—a positive culture creates happy employees, which means a more motivated and engaged group of people and a more successful company. The value of company culture, even among your remote staff, is not something that should be taken for granted. Take a moment this holiday season to host a “teleworking” party, and let your employees know how much they are valued. It’s the perfect time of year to start the new tradition and work toward creating a more positive culture.

The Consumerization of the Career and What It Means for HR

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Job shopping used to be done by flipping through the classified ads, scouring town for “Now Hiring” signs or via good old-fashioned word-of-mouth. Not anymore. Nowadays, job seekers have the power, and employers don’t have the luxury of sitting and waiting for top talent to come in and ask for an application.

HR and talent acquisition are now consumer-driven fields. The job market is as open as it’s ever been, giving top talent the freedom to be as choosey as they wish. They’re like shoppers who won an all-access pass to the world’s largest shopping mall, and talent-hungry companies are the empty department stores waiting to see if the shoppers will flock through their doors.

Similar to the modern day consumer, who is over halfway down the sales funnel before speaking to a sales representative, modern day talent is much more self-sufficient and knowledgeable thanks to rises in wireless connectivity and mobile devices. And like today’s salespeople, employers, HR departments and talent acquisition teams are forced to meet their prospective employees head-on with tools that help drive them to accept an employment offer or commit their future to their company.

Today’s job seekers are also hitting the market with different skills, mindsets, values and motivators than their predecessors. The workforce is younger, more tech savvy and values the intrinsic gains of experiences like traveling, exercising, eating healthy and donating to charity as much as, if not more than, the financial gains of a salary or benefit package.

This younger generation of talent also has evolved expectations for what “work” is. These candidates and employees have grown up being inundated with the stories of how behemoths like Apple and Facebook rose to the top or how niche startups like Uber gained momentum. They’ve seen these companies grow from the ground up, seen their brands become icons in the cultural zeitgeist and consumed their success stories through the TV through movies like “Jobs” and “The Social Network” and shows like “Silicon Valley.” In addition to being inspiring examples of organizational innovation and culture-building, these companies empower talent to approach their career as an opportunity to be creative, make a difference and think outside of the box.

What the Consumerization of HR Means for Employers

The consumerization of the career implores HR teams to approach key processes like recruiting, engagement and retention from a consumer-oriented standpoint. The process of hiring employees has evolved to become a process of selling them on a career, not just a job. Employment notices have taken on the provocative and eye-catching forms of consumer ads, evoking innovation and creativity over the nuts and bolts of a job description. Online platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn are tailor-made for this consumer-oriented approach to recruiting. Talent acquisition teams have ample opportunity to leverage these high-traffic platforms to engage prospective employees and start the application process with the click of a button.

For candidates, finding a job is now as seamless as ordering a pizza or buying new shoes. The workforce’s newfound mobility saddles HR teams with the challenge of expanding talent sourcing efforts while making the process easy and intuitive for prospects. Recruiting platforms like CareerBuilder and Indeed are helping them keep pace with mobility trends, however. Modern apps enable candidates to streamline their job search no matter where they are in the world.

In the office, the wonders of IoT give employers the ability to gain impactful insight into their workforce. Tools like mobile devices, fitness trackers, employee and candidate portals and even VR shed valuable light on employee behaviors, interests and motivators. Gathering this quantitative data helps employers develop a new understanding of the workforce that is key to optimizing HR strategies and tactics going forward.

HR teams can only work with what they’re given. Right now, they’re given a historically large pool of talented candidates, a massive lineup of organizations competing with them for talent, and, perhaps most importantly, a workforce culture that is driven by the consumer. Technology gives employers an obvious opportunity to optimize HR and talent acquisition strategies, but technology alone is simply a tool held in idle hands. Leveraging the consumerization of the career into major human capital gains requires an end-to-end understanding of how technology tools and trends like IoT fit into your larger organizational strategy. The culture surrounding the workforce may have changed but the need for the right candidates certainly hasn’t. It’s time for HR teams to find ways of adapting.

Have ideas on how HR can leverage the consumerization of the career into productivity boosts, recruiting successes, cost savings and more? Tell us, and we’ll make sure the rest of the HR community sees your ideas, too.

Creating Candidate Personas 101

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Every recruiter goes into an interview with a profile of their perfect candidate. They know the amount of experience the candidate should have, what skill sets she needs, any necessary degrees or certifications, and maybe even what previous positions she’s held. These “perfect” profiles are extremely helpful for targeting recruitment efforts, but are they enough for recruiters and HR teams to really understand if a person is right for a certain position?

SHRM explored this question in a recent article. The article highlights how recruiters may benefit from evolving their “perfect” candidate profiles into in-depth explorations of a prospective employee’s interests and motivators, a technique often used by marketers to identify their most qualified buyers.

According to Johnny Campbell, the founder and CEO of Social Talent, the key to creating candidate personas starts by putting successful current and former employees under the microscope. While doing this, there are three questions talent acquisition teams should ask to help create a comprehensive persona for certain positions…

1. What motivates this person?

2. Where does this person want to be in 10 years?

3. Where is the person now?

Read SHRM’s full article to get more insights into developing candidate personas.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of leveraging a candidate persona instead of a standard resume checklist is that it’s flexible and proactive. Chances are, the “profile” for a certain job position won’t change – a certain degree will always be needed, as will an approximate number of years of experience. But the mindsets, perspectives and motivators of potential candidates is fluid and ever-evolving. For this reason, your candidate persona guide should be a living document, and HR teams should always be updating it as they learn more about their talent.

For more insight into tailoring HR tactics to employees and candidates, read about our new recruiting acceleration platform.