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My Social Recruiting Predictions for 2014 – India

January 6, 2014 1 comment

For past few days, I have seen a heavy influx on blogs / articles about 2014 predictions. It has encouraged me enough to blog on my favorite topic – Social hiring, even if I may be bit late to catch this trend. It would be interesting to look at them again in December to do a “reality-check” on these. Who knows, I may have good chances of becoming Fortune Teller in HR :). (Kidding)

In my opinion, Social Hiring is no more a fad or just talk of the town! We’ve crossed that bridge. Though I think India TA industry is far away from building a matured framework around it, we are heading in the right direction. Here are my thoughts about transformation that social recruiting will bring to talent acquisition in the New Year.

LinkedIn to remain dominant

Despite having lower user-base than Facebook, LinkedIn will continue to enjoy top choice for recruiters to source and attract talent. Many of large corporations have been investing in LinkedIn for gaining competitive advantage and this trend will continue. LinkedIn will enjoy this position due to their talent solutions and with no other professional network near to compete with. However, LinkedIn would to understand that slowly and surely the competitive advantage for organizations will diminish if every company has the same access.

Facebook has a long way to go to go anywhere near LinkedIn due to lack of professional features, user perception and no focused efforts towards designing any solutions. It will largely be looked at as an engagement / branding channel than sourcing. I’ll be happy to be proved wrong thoughJ.

Social Referrals to gain momentum

Social provides a great opportunity for companies to engage the social graph of their associates and expand the reach beyond traditional channels. HR / Recruiting teams will educate their associates to enhance their professional profiles on social channels to enable more referral traffic. The internal associates will be encouraged to share jobs on their social network to expand the reach.

New Breed of Talent Emerging – Social Talent Advisor

In the present situation, while most of the companies are looking at social as just another channel to source and engage candidates, it will need focused efforts toward transforming it as a strategy. TA organizations will need to buy or build internal competency to place Social Recruiting experts on their teams. The primary role of this person will be to install social recruiting framework, train recruiters and work with marketing teams. This means new career opportunity for recruiters J. Now, isn’t that a good news!

Rise to New Start-Ups / Services

Social Recruiting will provide new avenues for technology companies to venture into new start-ups to help TA organizations achieve their objective. Year 2013 has already seen some start-ups taking stage in this space like MyParichay, Huntshire, WhistleTalk, RippleHire etc. It will be a welcome sign for the industry to boost innovation.

The digital agencies will also see an encouraging interest from HR folks for using social media on talent acquisition / employer branding which will require digital agencies to develop new plethora of services to new audience.

Forcing Job Portals to attempt Social

The Impact of social media in hiring has been felt even by the job portals. The growth of job portals has been stagnant at its best and it has been an uphill struggle for even the top-tier job portals to retain their market share. Increasingly job portals will talk “Social” and install this component as part of their strategy. Early signs are evident of this trend with examples like NaukriRecruiter, Shine.com investing into MyParichay, TimesJobs adding social plugin and even with failed attempts like BeKnown from Monster.com. There will be more such integrations in 2014 with an attempt from job portals to retain their customers.

Employer Branding on top of TA Strategy

With emergence of Social Media in recruiting, we have been hearing about “Employer Branding” in the same breath. In fact, with power of talent on social – we are not just talking about Employer Brand but more of a Talent Brand. Social has transformed employer brand from posters / advertisements to what people really talk about your company. While some companies will seize the opportunity on employer branding through social, most of them will be pushed to make this move. “Talent Branding” will finally be on top of most talent agendas. Look out for developments with Glassdoor.com, Jobbuzz.com.

Social Media moving beyond Sourcing to every part of Talent Acquisition

Social Recruiting in current shape is mostly associated with talent sourcing and engagement. However, as the usage of social media grows we will see social integration within other parts of talent acquisition apart from sourcing like – market intelligence, candidate experience, background verification, engagement in offer stages, helpdesk etc.

Social Media becomes a “Must Have” strategy

Social will move up in the order of strategy of TA Leaders from “nice-to-have” to “must-to-have”. Early movers have an advantage in the market and others will play a catch-up game. However, let’s not take social as “innovation” anymore. Doing social is no more innovative but staying competitive! Though IT/ITES will lead this trend, other industries like FMCG / Retail, BFSI will follow the suit. It will be a year where Social Recruiting will move from “should we do this” to “let’s do this”.

The year 2014 is set to be an interesting year for recruiting industry in India considering impact of social, big data and mobile technologies. While the industry definitely will be under cost-pressure and ROI will be looked at very closely, it’s the perfect setting for TA leaders to break out from comfort zones and look at unchartered territories with amount of risk involved. Now, isn’t that what leadership means :).

Here’s wishing everyone great time hunting, farming, assessing and developing talent!

What do you think? Glad to hear your views…

talent

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Launching India Corporate Talent Acquisition Survey 2013

December 27, 2013 Leave a comment

In many ways 2013 was a very significant year for Talent Acquisition community in India. The TA community has definitely breezing through “winds of change” with arrival of big data / analytics, social becoming more than a fad and realizing impact of technologies like cloud and mobile on human resources. Probably this is more relevant to the in-house corporate talent acquisition teams who has a tough ask of delivering “more with less” in today’s cost-sensitive eco-system. This is my attempt to keep fingers on the pulse of what “Talent Acquisition” function is talking, listening and feeling. I am happy to launch Talent Acquisition Survey 2013 especially designed for strategic corporate TA function :).

It is my continued effort to last year’s India Sourcing / Recruiting Survey which gave us a great overview of India’s sourcing and recruiting landscape. I wanted to go deeper into corporate side of talent acquisition and understand how the entire community is strategically looking at this transformation phase and components associated with it. The transformation we are witnessing is beyond just technologies, the hidden iceberg is more about the importance of “talent-agenda” in today’s corporate and business systems.

I would invite every HR / talent acquisition professional within in-house / corporate functions to participate and share this survey. I will be happy to share a detailed report of this survey in February 2014.

Click below to Launch Survey 

http://svy.mk/1caQlMW

Look forward to hear your interesting views! Wishing you all the very best for 2014.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Diversification Trend in Indian Job Portal Industry

February 16, 2013 3 comments

In the rising era of social media, Indian recruitment industry – especially, job portals segment is going through a bit of struggling though an interesting period. Though the Indian numbers of Social Media penetration are much lesser (5% India Vs 60% USA), it has certainly made top job portals to take a notice of this trend and respond to it rather re-actively.

The traditional job portal industry in India is heavily dominated by Naukri.com (InfoEdge Ltd.) and MonsterIndia.com (Subsidiary of Monster.com). The other players like TimesJobs.com, Shine.com, Careerbuilder.com etc has been on the edge, struggling for their market share for a long time. Today corporate companies are looking at social media channels to lower their sourcing costs, increasing candidate engagement and enhancing employer brand. In fact, a professional networking site like LinkedIn has been keeping a strong pressure on job portals. The effect of this trend has been felt by job portals significantly in past couple of years. Naukri.com and Monster.com has been under pressure to increase their profit shares and market value in the current scenario. Both of these houses contributes to an overall INR 600 Crores (120 Million USD) turnover in between them.

This market trend has definitely led a paradigm shift in a way job portals are looking at their internal business model and diversifying their service stream. The days are gone when job portals were happy to maintain their candidate database and earn yearly service contracts. Today they can not simply depend on their traditional model and there is a greater need to diversify their service streams. Market is already witnessing some of the new equations that are being tested by many of these players. Here’s a run-down of some of the most notable diversifications: –

Naukri.com – Segmentation and Referrals Tool

Naukri is by far the biggest job portal in India with around INR 330 crores of yearly turnovers. Recently they have launched FirstNaukri.com and NaukriPremium.com as new services for the segmented and focused target audience. FirstNaukri.com – as name suggest is targeted for graduates. In this case, Naukri is offering assessment tools, on-boarding platform and employer branding options for employers. Similarly, they are also providing options like events employer-connect / engagement tools, contests and consulting for students. On the other hand, they have also targeted high-end segment of executive / leadership level candidates through NaukriPremium.com. This portal is a focuses on senior level candidates who are typically above INR 15 lakh CTC.

Interestingly, Naukri has also launched the Internal Referral Tool that is integrated to their job portals. This tool lets recruiters to open their Naukri jobs internally to employees and receive candidates. This move certainly suggests that Naukri is looking at a different segment of business. This may be a good option for small to medium enterprises that do not have in-house system for referrals. Nevertheless, this certainly raises the risk of exposing internal associates to Naukri and other related data security concerns.

MonsterIndia.com – Integrating Social and Segmentation

Monster’s BeKnown, the social media networking tool is around for past one year or so, but have not earned much success globally. They are now trying to integrate BeKnown in their job search results page to gain momentum. I recently learned that Monster has added Social Connections to their job listing which lets candidate to view who all in their BeKnown network works in that company. This feature is yet to release in India, but it certainly shows the path going ahead.

In addition to above, MonsterIndia has recently launched Monster College in their service offerings. Monster College connects colleges to recruiters. It offers to strengthen a relationship between college T&P officers with company HRs. They also have assessment tools for filtering candidates presented to HR.

Shine.com / MyParichay Partnership – Social Referrals Meets Job Portal

MyParichay is a Summit HR start-up is a social media employee referral tool in Indian market. It has announced a partnership with Shine.com to let recruiter shares their jobs on MyParichay through the network of company associates. This is an interesting development indeed as a “Job portal meets Social Media meets Employee Referrals” scenario. This partnership will definitely give a way to new equations in the industry if it creates a successful case-study.

Headhonchos – Senior Hiring Job Portal

One of the oldest and largest executive search company ABC Consultants Ltd has initiated HeadHonchos last year to build a new job portal that is targeted to senior / leadership / executive level candidates. Interestingly, they used “LinkedIn” in big way initially to promote HeadHonchos to lure candidates into their database. They work on the candidate-drive pricing model and provide premier level services to candidates from consulting perspective.

I am sure this is a start of new partnerships, relationships and diversification in until now a very traditional job portal market in India. Job portals are slowly, but surely acknowledging the entry of new-age social media and choose to work with them rather than competing.

LinkedIn is becoming one of the fastest growing recruitment solution providers in India. They now have a special “India pricing” to cater domestic needs. Recruitment organizations are definitely inclining towards their recruitment solutions which offer a unique combination of passive candidate search, job postings and employer branding. Job portal needs to continue driving towards diversification and being more “Socially-Connected” with their audience in order to sustain and grow. They need to realize that they can no longer just expect candidates to visit their portals, but rather they need to be proactively follow the candidates wherever they are :).

People Matters conclave on Social Media in Talent Management 2012 – My takeaways

June 17, 2012 2 comments

For long time, I have been searching for an Indian community on Social Media recruitment. My following on Social recruitment mostly comes from western world and conferences where the concept is relatively more mature and wide-spread. I was very curious to understand how India HR community looks at Social Media, especially from talent acquisition glasses.

That’s when I came across People Matters conclave on Social Media Talent Management. I was more delighted to see focus on talent acquisition, as most of times HR conferences sadly do not cover this part of people process. I also saw many familiar speaker names such as Gautam Ghosh, Aadil Bandukwala and many others with whom I had interacted on twitter but never met. On 13th of June 2012 I travelled all the way from Pune to attend this conference inBangalore with an open mind and inquisitive set of ears. This is a summary of a conclave from my table.

Unfortunately I arrived a bit late at conference and missed out welcome address by Dr. Madhukar from Alliance University. EsterMartinez, (Founder –  People matters) successfully set up the context by specifying why Social Media matters in today’s talent world. She said that by 2018 there will be more Gen Y who will be more “Social” savvy. This means every company should have a “Social” component in their strategy.

Elango R (CHRO, Mphasis) was on the stage then to elaborate “Why” and “How” today’s HR should embrace social media for their talent strategies. He shared a case-study from Mphasis where HR simplified an idea about creating a social platform for programmers to share their “Re-Usable” codes on AppStore look-a-like application to save duplicate efforts and increase overall productivity. They now have 65% of re-usable codes in their directory. He also mentioned that we are 5-6 years away from opening Social Media tools like Facebook, Twitter to employees in office but HR should find other “Social” ways to drive effectiveness using this powerful medium at enterprise level. Sangeeta Lala (Co-Founder, TeamLease Services) presented how recruitment agency can help their candidates and clients through Employer Branding and Social Hiring.

Next was one of the most awaited sessions for me by Aadil Bandukwala (Talent Acquisition Advisor, Dell) on Social Recruiting. Aadil presented a great case-study on how DellIndia has used various social tools to attract and recruit candidates effectively. He presented a layer-like structure where Dell has a Career Site, Job search site, social media channels and recruitment CRM which is connected with one anfother. Today, recruiters are able to send jobs to social media channels with one click. He also showcased about how people can search jobs through Facebook apps and effective usage of twitter to broadcast open requirements. He demonstrated an interesting study where user-generated video got more hits than their marketing video. It emphasizes the fact about people on Social Media “likes” human generated content than automatic one. They also have a strong “listening” ability to their target recruiting audience with their Social Media Command Centre. Clearly, Dell has set an example in Social Recruiting space inIndia. It was an amazing overview of how Social Recruiting can be implemented if done in right way. Kudos to Dell!

One of the most well known figures in Indian Social Media space, Gautam Ghosh moderated a track on Employee Engagement & Recognition. Gautam presented a “Gamification” model to engage employees in Social driven HR environment. He introduced a concept of giving badges and expert tags to internal employees for recognition. C. Mahalingam (EVP & CPO, Symphony Services) pointed out that “fun” is not necessarily an engagement and companies really do not need Chief Fun Officers. Rohit Rawal (Co-Founder, QuadMo Solutions) mentioned how their solution SPOTLIGHT is helping companies to socialize Rewards and Recognition internally. Panel also pointed out that companies should not take rewards and recognition in same bucket. Most of times people are really looking for recognition than just monitory rewards.

The post-lunch slot was given appropriately to Abhijit Bhaduri (Chief Learning Officer, Wipro) who kept audience on their toes about the concept of employer brand and learning. He mentioned today employer brand is not owned by companies but by employees and potential hires. Brand is what your people and potential employees say about your company. In today’s world with talent war scenario, it is two way reference check with candidates doing their own due diligence to find out what people say about the company before joining. A great branding is one where Alumni say good thing about his / her ex-company. He mentioned that today’s learning is static and it is an event. People can not learn in fix time at fix locations. Their learning should be social, virtual and ongoing. With social media – hiring, brand building and learning is been driven by people which requires zero investment. This session was an eye-opener for everyone in the room to change their perspective of employer brand and learning.

The last session of the day was moderated by Dayanand Allapur (Head – HR, Tesco) with B. Venkataramana (CPO – Landmark Group), Pallab B (Director – HR, Citrix) and Raghavendra (VP & Head – HR, Infosys BPO). The panel shared some great views about how “Social” as a concept is becoming a strategic phenomenon to drive an effective employee engagement. Speakers shared various examples of using social channels as part of their HR strategy.

Networking Breaks gave me an opportunity to meet some interesting people in this space. In fact, I met one of ex-colleagues after seven years :). It was great to see HR fraternity is going beyond “Curiosity” to “Enthusiasm” for using social media in HR and recruitment. The event was well organized by People Matters with great line up of speakers. I would love to see more recruitment angle next time. Special mentions of sponsors –Alliance University, Shine.Com, quadMo and rupeepower for their support.

As many of the speakers said, we may not using Social Media effectively on the ground just as yet as it will take us few years to reach that maturity levels. However, it is more important to create the “Social Environment” among employees and employers for creating the mindset before we implement radical social efforts in our HR / recruiting areas. I strongly believe next year same time, we will see many successful social usage case studies from India HR Inc. For people oriented functions like HR / Recruitment “Social” is not a choice but a question of “When” and “How”.

What Social Recruiting is and What it is not

May 11, 2012 6 comments

Each day I speak with recruiters about Social Media who shares their enthusiasm about using this channel for sourcing. The next question is – how soon they should expect to get profiles and where all they can post the jobs. Social Media is being viewed as a next best thing in recruitment as well as a “magic wand” which will produce profiles from thin air!

There is a definite wave about “Social Recruiting” in the air which needs a proper understanding, strategy and implication rather than blanket usage. It’s imperative that we understand the real power of Social Recruiting with a broader spectrum than just a short sighted approach.

I have compiled a list of what I think the real Social Recruiting is and what it isn’t.

I get so many queries like can you post this in Facebook and LinkedIn. Well, are you treating them as job portals for posting? Do you even know where and how to post? Is this a “readymade” tool for job searching? Any new concept brings along a need for learning and exploring. Social Media is more than a tool and not even a strategy in itself.

In short, recruiters should not to see Social Media merely as a tool. They need to see this as an opportunity to reach out to bigger target audience, engage them in meaningful dialogue and create a talent pool to gain a distinct competitive advantage over competition. Social gives enormous opportunities to create proactive and long term candidate pipeline along with building a great employer brand. This is so much more than just posting in groups, pages and twitting like “Job Robots”.

So next time, do think “long term” and “strategic” while using Social Media. One thing more – it’s there to stay, so use it before your competitor does 🙂

I would love to get your opinion on the above list. Any additions / changes you suggest? Let’s open up a discussion…

Breaking news – Introducing Google+ Pages and Twitter Activity

November 8, 2011 1 comment

The recent entry of Google+ has stirred the entire Social Media space in a big way. Facebook has just changed its interface and introduced various concepts like Groups to counter-attack Google+. I think it is just a start. This is a hot boiling place to watch…

We have the two big (if you consider it BIG enough) news coming from Google+ and Twitter this morning. These updates / changes suggest that both of them taking on Facebook aggressively. Let’s look at them from sourcing / recruitment angles too.

Introducing Google+ Pages

This is Google’s answer to Facebook Fan pages. In recent times, fan pages have become a great tool for recruitment / corporate companies to enhance their employment brand as well as to reach out to wider social media audience.  Google+ is now riding the wave by announcing Google+ pages. The page structure is very similar to Facebook Fan page where you can post your openings, comment, engage etc. Instead of “Liking”, you can add this page to your “Circles”. Other utilities include “About” section, Photos and Videos.

One of the interesting functions is Google+ Direct Connect. You can connect your websites to Google+ page. If you are able to convince Google+ algorithm about authenticity and quality of content, they would award you a +operator. This makes your page searchable on Google with + operator. There are few live examples like +Pepsi.

 

Although at this point of time though the structure looks pretty simple and much like Facebook, I am sure that Google has bigger plans in overall social media strategy. This platform gives Google+ a huge advantage for attracting company / individual brands to connect and engage audience. For recruiters, it is just another online place to showcase brand and jobs for now. However, keep watching this space.

Twitter adds News Feed (Activity Tab)

One of the reasons Facebook has been successful to attract and engage large audience is due to their “News Feed”. This feature lets user know more about what their friends are doing with 2nd level friends. Thus resulting into knowing new people, what they do and enhanced engagement overall. Even though this feature has come under some criticism due to security concerns, it is like a “Newspaper” putting up hot stories from their friends which you can not resist to read.

Twitter has been very conservative till today by adopting a very simple and straight forward philosophy of showing only twits from your connections. Starting today, Twitter has powered “@username” tab displaying various activities for your own account. This includes people who re-tweeted your twits, newly followed people along with your mentions.

 

The more important change for me however is their introduction of “Activity” tab. This tab tells you about what your twitter connections are up to J. You can now view new accounts they are following, any favorite twits they have added, new addition to lists etc.

 

Utility for Recruiters?

  • You can now keep a tab on new accounts your candidates are following. A great way to know their friends / colleagues / connections in a same industry / company.
  • Uncovering new lists they are been added to.
  • Any other advantage you can think of :).

 

Social Media is slowly but surely is establishing as a big buck business. LinkedIn and Facebook has already proved their market worth. The good part – this competition will provide a gate-way to some great innovations and experimentation in social media space. Businesses are learning from one another and providing better value proposition for customers. Enjoy them until they are free…. 🙂

 

Social Media for companies – Negating the side-effects

September 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Have you ever been to open house which says get approval on your questions and comments before speaking out it in open? Sounds weird? Well, is this a mindset you are carrying to your social media strategy?

Social Media is slowly but surely coming to an age where it is more of a strategic component than just “Riding a Trend”. It is a medium that exposes your brand / company to open crowd which can give any company an advantage to reach out larger audience. However it does bring in a risk component with itself as it can attract negative comments / sentiments of their employees as well as customers. This may be fear of company management which restricts the open use of social media.

As they say – everything has its pros and cons. Here’s what best you can do to maintain and enhance your brand on social media while curbing an “evil” effect.

Involve Your Employees – Best Brand Ambassadors.

While you look outside to market yourselves and brand your company name, you may tend to forget that your employees are the best brand ambassadors of your company. It is a great idea to involve them actively on your social networks to tell their experiences / views about your company / brand. People would rather listen to human stories than standard marketing brochures. Yes, you may attract some negative sentiments from “never-to-be-satisfied souls”; however, there are more chances that you attract positive vibes if you involve larger audience.

Community Moderation

In current social media channels, you get do get admin rights where-in you can actively moderate your groups, comments, postings etc; however use this right diligently. It is not advisable to delete OR react strongly to every negative / non-sense comments. Remember, it is an open platform – a democracy J. Let people have their own say and you can counter them with the positivity which can showcase your brand value. If your community members start thinking that you are deleting negative comments, they will definitely shy away from your group. You can always re-direct those negative comments subtly. Your brand also carries your company’s characters and values.

Be open for Improvements and Suggestions

Social media is a two way conversation and needs to have “ears”. You would always want your followers / group members to listen great things you have to say. Never close the communications gates though. You would also carefully need to listen what your followers have to say. Sometimes, they may have a complaint, a suggestion, a crappy experience about your service / product etc. Please make sure you route their views to appropriate department and consider them valuable. Do not forget to thank them for their valuable suggestion. Give them an honorary feeling which they will associate with your brand.

Be careful on what you say

We have seen enough examples of big goof-ups on some Fortune 500 company’s social media communities where one word OR sentence can destroy your brand image. Do not get intimidated or carried away by comments of other people. Respond such comments with proper business etiquettes and sentiments. Please do not take them personally. Remember, it is not you (as a person) commenting on them but you are representing an entire company.

“Feel Good” Factor

The community should always carry a “Feel Good” factor about company, people, clients and their services on social media. There should be a consistent effort for company to engage your audience into new developments, updates, news etc on your company. Also, try to run various contests and quizzes (even if without any rewards) on your page and give credits to the winners. It always creates an attachment of the person to the brand and helps to neutralize any negative feelings.

Social media as a channel needs openness and transparency from employer’s point of view to bring long term effective results. You just cannot expect goodness if you are not prepared for the risks. It does expose an opportunity to attract some rough comments but it also provides to clear an air publically to help brand-building. Moreover, this cannot be a reason to not to open to use this excellent channel for people engagement and brand-building.

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