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Micah Fairchild HR Thought Leader Denis Pombriant In His Own Words

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 By Chuck Schaeffer

HCM Thought Leader Podcast Series

4.5 stars
How Social and Mobile Offer New Opportunities to HR Leaders
Denis Pombriant Denis Pombriant, Managing Director of Beagle Research, shares insights into new HR opportunities in collaborative hiring and using new social and mobile recruiting technologies to improve performance and more so, shift the strategic value HR delivers to the business. He also offers a six step framework to embrace social technologies and win the battle for top talent.

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21 minutes, 35 seconds (21:35)


Key take away points in the HCM discussion with Denis Pombriant:

  • Denis has authored some recent research and writing which shows social media and mobile technologies have changed what we think of work, how we work and where we work from. The research also suggests these changes can deliver a business opportunity for forward thinking HR leaders in terms of recruiting and how they hire. Denis shares how with social media, recruiting outreach spans much further than newspaper ads or local recruiting efforts and increase the available talent pool. This is particularly helpful when seeking specialized skills and competencies which may not be abundant in local geographies.

  • Denis has also found that internal social networks can create a more collaborative hiring process, which seemingly produces better results in the battle for top talent, as well as fewer recruiting mistakes and PUREs (previously unrecognized recruiting errors), which are extremely costly in terms of dollars, delay and lost opportunity. Denis references how Steve Jobs implemented internal recruiting processes at Apple, essentially requiring candidates to interview with departments outside the position they were interviewing in order for various liaisons to the role to influence the recruiting selection.

  • Denis describes what many view as a paradigm shift whereby Human Resources has evolved from the back office to the front office. Driven by social and mobile technologies that are having a bigger effect on HR missions and services delivery than just improved processes, many business leaders are changing their perception of HR and Human Capital Management as back office functions. In a more collaborative environment the HR department does the marketing of the company’s jobs to the outside world, does the selling of prospective candidates to hiring managers and delivers customer service, often times over social media, to a large and expanding candidate pool seeking answers and engagement with the company. Marketing, selling and delivering customer service are front office functions, and are giving HR professionals new opportunities to get closer to the lines of business.

  • The battle for top talent is only increasing and “A” players don’t stay on the market long, that is even if they came on the market as many must be recruited while they are still employed and before they are looking. And when A candidates enter the job market, they’ve got to be taken off the street fast. Denis has identified six imperatives to meet these challenges and improve HR recruiting performance.

    First, listen and analyze — Listening amounts to capturing social data and analyzing it and it represents half of a closed loop process of effective communication in a social enterprise. One of the more powerful aspects of social media is its ability to capture input from anyone almost anywhere so social media can become one of the organization’s more powerful listening posts. Social media data capture and combined analytics give users the powerful ability to understand and address the sentiment of messages streaming over social networks. It contributes significantly to an organization’s ability to identify advocates for their company that can drive referrals, act on promising candidates, or identify influencers within relevant communities that can help shape their company brand.

    Second, act on social marketing — Once a company has a better picture of the talent market it can mount effective employment brand campaigns to recruit the best talent. Implied in this is the notion of going where the candidate is on the Internet, which often means not relying exclusively on traditional job posting and hiring vehicles but leveraging popular social networks. People are increasingly spending their time for both personal and professional networking on social sites. For that reason your talent acquisition strategy needs to include an active presence in the media by both a corporate team and an engaging employee base. The current employee base is the strongest referral for your employment brand. An employee wouldn’t likely refer a friend to a position within the same company unless he was satisfied and optimistic for their own future. The Economist recently reported that an average person spends more than one hour per day on social media, more than they spend on email or surfing the web. For these reasons, making HR fluent with social technologies is essential.

    Third, automate and extend — With so many people looking for work, many companies find they have too many applications from people who lack the right qualifications. But the HR department still must review each resume if it expects to find the needle in a haystack and the review must be objectively verifiable for regulatory compliance. Much of the process can be automated through parsing and keyword identification, which in turn can be done faster and more economically through technology. Elevating this review to include automated prescreening questions, candidate rankings, and scoring saves time and can be the gating factor in a company’s ability to quickly make an offer ahead of its rivals.

    Fourth, service and engage — In addition to recruiting and hiring new people, a social enterprise has to be able to serve its existing employees throughout a full lifecycle — across locations and regardless of time zone. Beyond purely socialized aspects of management, employees will still engage with the organization for information concerning employment, benefits and training. But also, the current community of employees is the most effective place to source the next successful hire. Steve Jobs noted that A players only want to work with A players and one of the best ways to find them is to ask others who they respect.

    Fifth, connect and sell — Social and mobile technologies and apps enhance all aspects of HR but are particularly useful in the collaborative hiring process where multiple people may be required to meet with, and deliver feedback on, individual candidates. Connections made during the interviewing process can prove to be valuable even when an interview does not result in an immediate hire because all positive introductions can lead to potential referrals or future successful hires. For example, both parties might realize that an over qualified candidate is not an exact fit but the candidate can refer someone else who may be a fit for a particular hire and then potentially become a candidate for a more senior position at a later date. A socialized HR system can better enable the various people involved in HR processes to act asynchronously to contribute their ideas and to maintain key relationships at varying points in hiring. Collecting and collating this information and keeping all stakeholders on task falls to the HR department and managing all of this communication is infinitely easier with a socialized system.

    Sixth, collaborate — A traditional HR department might handle the majority of interviewing and hiring decisions, controlling the flow of resumes and communication from candidate to manager. But in the social enterprise, communication channels are distributed throughout the organization and candidates have just as much power to make direct contact with hiring mangers, peers and references via their own social networks. In today’s collaborative hiring process the HR team can no longer assume they can, or should, control the flow of information. Rather, they should consider themselves the project managers. HR derives greater value for the social enterprise when it can focus more on tracking key communication activities and guiding the process rather than controlling it. More importantly, in the social enterprise collaboration is the rule; it is not limited to the hiring process. The social experience continues to drive employee onboarding, training, future status changes and employment success, which all comes back to creating an innovative employment brand that attracts top talent. End

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I realized that A players like to work with A players, they just didn’t like working with C players."

— Steve Jobs


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