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Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple Steps
Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple Steps
Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple Steps
Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple Steps
Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple Steps
Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple Steps
Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple Steps
Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple Steps
Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple Steps
Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple Steps
Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple Steps
Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple Steps
Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple Steps
Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple Steps
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Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple Steps

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Leveraging your social network to generate referral hires will increase efficiency in your online hiring process. Download our eBook to find out how content marketing and social networking can improve …

Leveraging your social network to generate referral hires will increase efficiency in your online hiring process. Download our eBook to find out how content marketing and social networking can improve your recruiting process!

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  • 1. Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple Steps Groupies, Linchpins and Stalkers:
  • 2. 1 Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple StepsGroupies, Linchpins and Stalkers: Full Disclosure: You Are Not Your Number of Connections. Let’s face it: You’ve heard the buzz about social media and did what you were told to do. You’re on LinkedIn, have a Twitter account and have even…gasp… started accepting professional connections into your private world of Facebook. Still, it doesn’t feel like much has changed, does it? You’ve got connections, followers and some activity, but when it comes down to trying to mine your network for real recruiting results – referrals, recommendations and direct applies to your open positions – it still feels like 1998, complete with that client server ATS you used to rock in the .com era and the flannel shirt left over from when Pearl Jam came through town. Good news. It doesn’t have to be that way. If you’ve made most of the right moves related to the tools (social media involvement, a LinkedIn account and a decent ATS), odds are the only thing standing between you and a network that delivers real recruiting results is a networking/marketing strategy that makes the most of who you and your company are. Let’s get started. Let’s address the elephant in the room as a starting point: LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook did not invent networking. Networking is a state of mind and a skill, not a technology platform. Long before we measured you based on the number of digital connections you had, cavemen were networking without technology to check on the location of fire and Woolly Mammoths. Cave drawings indicate that large shells and animal horns may have been used to create sounds indicating an incoming message. Networking Is Not New.
  • 3. 2 Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple StepsGroupies, Linchpins and Stalkers: • Version 0.0 I don’t use Facebook for work – that’s for my private stuff. I like to keep the wall nice and high. It’s scary out there. • Version 1.0 I’ve got a LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook account but limited connections – where are all the great candidates? • Version 2.0 I’m a networking superfreak, a “LION”, a “LinkedIn Open Connector”. However, despite my 10,000 1st Degree Connections, I have no clue who is actually in my network and my LI home page is more cluttered up than my Farmville dashboard. • Version 3.0 I’m a networking machine. I’ve successfully made the transition to digital networking, but you could plop me down in the 1920’s and I’d be a networking machine without Linked In. That whole prohibition thing might be an issue, however. As a result, recruiters look at their deployment of tools like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and find themselves running one of four versions of digital networking: The Bottom Line: Networking transcends technology. The best networkers today make technology work for them, but the behaviors related to networking are more important than the technology used. Still, technology is here and it’s hard to be an effective networker without it.
  • 4. 3 Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple StepsGroupies, Linchpins and Stalkers: At this point, we’ve established that technology won’t create a great network while you watch YouTube videos all day long (our favorite – Office Space and this classic video from P.O.D. – but we digress). Your network and its success in helping you get great recruiting results is a direct reflection of your networking strategy. What strategy you ask? To build a killer network that’s responsive to your calls for referral requests, we recommend the following five-step plan: A Five-Step Networking Program: Focus on Strategy, Not the Technology 1. Have a plan for what you want to accomplish via a networking strategy. Who do you want to target with your networking efforts? Do you need a focused strategy that looks to build a network related to a narrow/ specific set of profiles and skills, or does a general outreach plan to the community you live in make more sense? You need to know the answer before you start building the network machine. 2. Agree and institutionalize how you capture new members of your network. The biggest mistake people make as they consider building a network is that they don’t formalize a “capture” approach. Questions you need to answer related to capture include the following gems:
  • 5. 4 Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple StepsGroupies, Linchpins and Stalkers: • Would you consider someone you traded business cards with eligible to be added to your network? Most people say yes to this question. What’s the digital equivalent of trading business cards? That should be the digital cue to capture someone in your network (examples: email exchange, twitter conversation/add, online application, etc.). If you consistently capture according to this standard, your network is going to explode. • Who on your team is responsible for capturing new network members? All recruiters and HR pros? Key managers? Anyone else? How do you enforce/encourage compliance with the capture standard? • What’s your tool of choice related to formally adding people to your network? Your ATS? LinkedIn? Can you afford to build a network in multiple locations? Will that work? • Don’t forget about portability issues. When team members capture new members of the network, who owns the network? Do they own it or does the company? You need to figure out what you’re comfortable with now before a recruiter leaves with 60% of your network on her LinkedIn account (LinkedIn Professional, anyone?), then disables the ability for you to view her connections. • Think about transparency on the open web, as well as the risk of it. Is Johnny Competitor watching? Newsflash: They should be, and if they’re not, take advantage and start recon’ing everything they do! Bottom line: When it comes to the open web and the transparency offered, remember that 1. The size of your 2nd degree is much more important than your 1st, and 2. Being a “1st Degree Connection” is again a state of mind – it’s about a “strong tie”, which only comes from actual relationship building (both online and offline as well). Ouch.
  • 6. 5 Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple StepsGroupies, Linchpins and Stalkers: 3. Make Technology work for you related to how you capture new members of your network You’re a busy person, so you and I both know you’ll never build a sweet network unless you’ve got technology helping you minimize the work needed to invite people to join your tribe. Ways to automate adding people to your network include the following: 4. Do proactive outreach to grow your network beyond the “business card” approach. Once you’ve reached a steady state related to capturing those you communicate with as part of your network, you need to do some proactive outreach. Go back to your plan and carve out some time each week to go trolling on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and connect with your target audience. Give yourself a quota to fill for outreach connections. 5. Have something to say to your network once in awhile. Let’s face it, if you connect with thousands of people but never have anything to say, your network won’t respond when you need it to. A cold network generates no recruiting results. You need to communicate with your network consistently, even if it’s passive in nature. No, this doesn’t mean spamming white-box job descriptions everywhere you can. We’ll cover this more in the next section. • Killer App: Jobvite. Target, capture and manage all social recruiting in any network without breaking a sweat. LinkedIn Outlook toolbar. You click, the target gets an invite. They know you because they’ve sent you an email. Shazam. • Good but not great: The auto-add feature for your flavor of ATS. Includes the popular, yet elusive, LinkedIn profile “scrape” and the “email into the system” option. Not as dynamic as the LinkedIn Outlook toolbar, and the ATS world is all over the map related to functionality that’s available. • Your website: If you’re getting traffic, your network should be able to opt-in at your website to some degree. Who cares about eyeballs if you’re not capturing them? So are you offering some thought leadership that will entice them to give you their name, title, and email, etc.? How about a cool video series? Your website should be a magnetic funnel in which you’re passively building your network. Most suck, however.
  • 7. 6 Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple StepsGroupies, Linchpins and Stalkers: Repeat after me: You Are Not Your Number of Connections. If you take our advice, your network will grow. That’s the good news. The bad news is that unless you find a way to consistently engage your network, they won’t have any clue who you or your company are. I Know That Dude! Building Trust and Recognition in Your Network 1. Content is king. You need to figure out something to say to your network to keep it warm. People don’t refer without trust. You can’t expect referrals if people haven’t heard from you in 2 years. 2. Content ranges from Nerd Papers to Status Updates. Hardcore content includes whitepapers and case studies, which are valuable and build thought leadership, but both take a long time to produce. Midrange content efforts include blogposts and videos. Light content includes Tweets and Facebook status updates related to what’s going on at your company without creating original content. That’s where the concept of conversation comes in. Have 5,000 people in your network? Great!! Got anything to say to them? No? If you’re struggling with what to say to your recruiting network beyond sending them a link to your open jobs, here are some thought starters related to developing your own content plan to prime your tribe:
  • 8. 7 Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple StepsGroupies, Linchpins and Stalkers: 3. Topical content distributed through social networks is the sweet spot. Commit to a manageable content creation schedule as a starting point. Cover stuff happening in your company through a blog post or short video, then distribute through social networks. The voice of the content matters, so make it natural and assessable and write like you talk. Don’t forget content titles also matter. Open APIs mean you can distribute a single piece of content to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter with one update (this is a bigger key than people think – because it allows to look like you are everywhere, when you’re not.) If you don’t have your own content, you can keep the flow going with value-added links of interest distributed through the big three social networks. 4. Provoke Like You’re a Reporter from TMZ. Focus on eliciting some emotional response – make the network laugh, cry, scream, or jump out a window … but don’t put them to sleep. The way to engagement is by shaking trees and actually having something interesting or contrarian to say. Otherwise, you’re just white noise. If there’s one complaint about Social Media, it’s that you can’t pick up a real signal anymore. Consistent content makes your job postings more attractive and increases distribution of your openings/referrals that directly result. In order to tap into that reality, you not only need to build a network, you’ve got to build your/your company’s brand to that network through simple, yet consistent content. People apply to and refer the employment brands they know best.
  • 9. 8 Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple StepsGroupies, Linchpins and Stalkers: Let’s say you’ve systematically built your networkand started to prime the pump by providing an interesting, yet manageable, content stream to your tribe. As you entertain/educate, here’s the personas you’ll start to see emerge among the members of your network: Groupies are Good, Stalkers are Bad: The 5 Faces You’ll See 1. Groupies/Fans. These are your fans – either of you, your company or a combination thereof. You’ve opted to engage your network through content, and this group loves what you’re doing. As a result, the “groupie” is highly likely to either apply for an open spot at your company or refer an opening to someone who’s a match. Handle your Groupies with extreme care – treat them like a number and they’ll go Gangster on you in a hurry. Groupies and Gangsters are a thin line removed from each other – that’s just how it is with extreme personalities. 2. Linchpins Linchpins are the influencers in the talent pools you need most, and they hold the key to your success. They don’t need a job, and they’re unlikely to apply for your openings. Still, if they like your content stream/overall vibe and open up their network and refer candidates to your company, you win in a big way. You’ll have to proactively build relationships with these folks to reap the full benefits of what they can do for you from a referral and promotion perspective.Keep in mind that Linchpins will often surprise you that they’re as influential as they are – they’re typically more calculated and strategic than the cheerleading Groupie, so your best bet is to remember that anyone might be a Linchpin. As You Build Your Network
  • 10. 9 Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple StepsGroupies, Linchpins and Stalkers: 3. Stalkers. Like a groupie, the stalker is your fan. Unfortunately, it’s going to be a little uncomfortable for you. The stalker not only is your fan, but he’s desperately trying to get into your company by applying for every open position at your company. Customer Service Rep? Check. CFO? Check. He’s applied for both of them. Once he applies for each job, he sends you emails and calls you to talk about it. Do you have the restraining order form handy? You may need that. 4. Zombies. Every network is dominated by zombies, who are inactive members of your tribe. The Zombie isn’t really sure who you are or what your company does. If you do nothing to market consistently to your network, 99%+ of your network will consist of Zombies – kind of like the Manhattan Will Smith inhabited in the movie I Am Legend. Start marketing with a content plan, and the number of zombies in your network comes way down. Still, it’s common for 50% or more of a network that’s being actively marketed to consist of zombies. Your job is to drive down that percentage so the network is there when you need it most – when you need direct applies or referrals for your open jobs. 5. Gangsters. A Gangster is someone that hates you and everything your Brand stands for. Just ask Walmart. A Gangster will hijack your group and spam every member telling tales of rampant illegal alien workers and how the Management team intentionally tried to salmonella poison all of North America. When you boot them from the group, they’ll create a new profile and find a new way in. While you can’t get rid of Gangsters, the rest of your network can, like a team of ticked-off white-blood cells.
  • 11. 10 Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple StepsGroupies, Linchpins and Stalkers: How much time should you be spending on building and maintaining your network? We can’t say this part too often: Get your game plan around capturing network members rolling before you worry about sending content to your network. Spending time on content when you don’t have a plan to systematically grow your network is like eating Pop Tarts to get ready for the Olympics – it’s pointless. Once you have the concept of “capture” down, expect that content activities are going to take a couple of hours per week. Here are some estimates: Our recommendation? Work backward. Start with light content, then as you get in a groove start laying in original content about your company through blog posts and videos, and only move to whitepapers once you get your doctorate. Or you hire a complete nerd who writes like Dave Chappelle. • Hardcore content (whitepapers and case studies): Eight hours per paper • Midrange content (blog posts and videos): Two hours per week for 3-4 pieces of content • Light content (Tweets and Facebook status updates related to what’s going on at your company or in your industry without creating original content): 15 minutes a day. If Time Was Money, You’d be Bankrupt
  • 12. 11 Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple StepsGroupies, Linchpins and Stalkers: Here’s the big finish: If you think technology is going to deliver a robust network that provides a steady stream of candidates, you’re wrong. Technology can help you automate how you track and communicate with your network, but it’s a terrible replacement for having and executing a plan related to building your network. Like Albert Einstein used to say, “Use the tools, but don’t become one.” Or maybe that was Snooky from Jersey Shore… Follow our five step plan on building your network, and start marketing to your tribe via a manageable content schedule. You’ll get results. And watch out for the stalkers. They’re a persistent bunch. Your Network’s Most Important Asset: <You> Technology Doesn’t Replace
  • 13. 12 Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple StepsGroupies, Linchpins and Stalkers: About the Authors Fistful of Talent (known to followers as FOT) is a multi-contributor blog that focuses on all things related to Talent. Founded in 2008 by Kris Dunn and known for its mixture of news, opinion, tips and snark, FOT features 14 HR pros, corporate recruiters, third party recruiters and industry consultants who share their views daily on the world of HR, recruiting and organizational talent. FOT is featured at workforce.com and contributors such as Jessica Lee, Kris Dunn, Tim Sackett, Paul Hebert and Josh Letourneau regularly appear at conferences to speak and stay plugged in to what’s going on in the Talent industry. Put on your helmet and join the conversation at www.fistfuloftalent.com. Kris Dunn is currently the Chief Human Resources Officer at Kinetix, the RPO and recruiting firm for growth companies. He’s a VP of HR type who has led HR practices in Fortune 500s and venture capital-held startups. Kris is also among the most transparent HR pros you can find, caring so much about the art of HR that he’s started two blogs (www.hrcapitalist.com and www.fistfuloftalent.com) with the goal of building a community he could learn from. He’s been putting his thoughts down every business day for over 4 years. That means what you see is what you get. He can’t hide, and if he ever pulled the blogs down, Google would probably haunt him forever anyway. Follow @kris_dunn. Josh Letourneau is the Managing Director of Knight & Bishop, an Exec Search and Social Network Analysis firm that helps organizations unlock performance by taking a look “under the hood” of the OrgChart. Josh holds an MBA from Mercer University and while not a PHR, thinks Elephants are cool and lives with his wife and their 4 dogs in Atlanta, GA. Follow @jletourneau. Tim Sackett, SPHR is currently the EVP of HRU Technical Resources, a 400 employee contingent IT and Technical Firm based in Lansing, MI. Prior to HRU, Tim has held executive level HR & Talent level positions with Fortune 500 companies in Healthcare, Retail and Casual Dining. Follow @ TimSackett.
  • 14. 13 Optimize Your Network to Generate Referral Hires in 5 Simple StepsGroupies, Linchpins and Stalkers: Jobvite is a complete, modular Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform which can optimize the speed, cost-effectiveness and ease of recruiting for any company. The Jobvite recruiting platform includes social recruiting, recruiter CRM and applicant tracking solutions. Here’s how Jobvite can help you optimize your network: Makes the capture easy. An intuitive recruiter CRM enables recruiting teams to share data, organize lead generation, and manage email and social network campaigns. Live social profile feeds enhance your database and save research time. That means recruiters can focus more on topical content and real engagement and less on copy-paste. (And your database can’t walk out the door.) Find your target. Matching technology helps you find people in your database, your network, or on the open web who are right for the job you are filling. Seamless social recruiting pulls contacts from LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter into one database – or tap 300 more networks. Follow up. Now that you found someone, deliver your unique content through email or social networks. Create campaigns that focus on the specific interests of important segments in your network. All hands on deck. Empower employees to help you build a larger, more relevant network. Send a Jobvite to extend your reach with viral distribution through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter as well as email – it’s employee referral on steroids. Want to build trust and recognition? Plugged in employees can help with that. Make the most of what you’ve got. Candidate- friendly, engaging career sites help you optimize your funnel. And you can drive more traffic by extending your employment brand to Facebook and Twitter with automated Jobvite feeds. Get better all the time. Built-in tracking and intuitive dashboards keep track of what works, so you can keep optimizing how you spend your time and money. There’s more. Come by our website to explore or take a tour. CONNECT WITH US www.jobvite.com www.twitter.com/jobvite www.linkedin.com/company/jobvite www.facebook.com/jobvite 650 376 7200

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