Monthly Archives: May 2014

Could Moocs be the next big thing in college recruiting?

If you follow the learning and development community, then Moocs, or Massive On-line Open Courses won’t be a new concept. They have been gaining momentum, popularity and adoption since first appearing in 2008. .Wikipedia defines a Mooc as:

“A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC; /mk/) is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings, and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for students, professors, and teaching assistants (TAs).”

Kevin Wheeler wrote on ERE in March 2014:

“Sites like Udemy, Moodle, Udacity, and others allow organizations to create their own private courses. These can attract potential candidates and provide a platform for engagement that is authentic and useful to the candidate and your firm. If you can involve hiring managers, as well as fellow employees, you will have one more high-quality source of candidates.”

In my work with Sydney start-up and SRM (student relationship manager) technology provider iGrads, I have been spending the last 12 months taking a close look at the trends within graduate and entry-level hire, and  I can see real potential for organisations to develop their own Moocs to attract students, by providing learning delivered by employees to support and mentor students in their course work during their study years. This would connect the organisation with students providing real value to all. For the student they get high quality, relevant learning, whilst the company gets a great opportunity to connect, build relationships, offer work experience and internship, as well as assessing a students skills, capability and learning through study, assessments, assignments and real life simulations. This has to be the ultimate in employer branding particularly when hiring students. Connect in year one, and you would be the obvious destination by year 3, as well as ensuring that study is relevant to work, a common complaint when looking at the traditional academic curriculum.It has been well documented that Gen Y value learning, whilst millennial’s value development opportunity, Organisations offering Moocs would stand out on both accounts.

Thinking beyond students in university, the rising cost of study, against a background of high level student unemployment has led to many questioning the value of continued education. An ambitious organisation requiring specific skills or learning could set up their own university equivalent as a means of attracting and assessing candidates in a whole range of areas, particularly talent short markets such as developers, your own in-house code academy, open to anyone interested in signing up.

My thinking is that this could be something we should see much more of over the coming years.

Bill

The Talent Tipping Point

I’ve never been a big fan of the talent community concept. I get the idea. It would be nice if jobs, careers and companies were interesting enough to support real communities. A real community in my opinion, enables everyone to be able to connect, communicate and set the agenda for conversation. Whilst there was a lot of talk by companies wanting a community, what most really wanted was a talent network. The talent network can be defined as up and down communication between the recruiters and potential candidates when the messaging is relevant. Companies like AT&T have done a great job of this by utilising technology like Findly, that enables a simple sign up and the segmentation of data.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the Talent Tipping Point, and what this might be for different organisations. What I mean by this is the number of connections an organisation needs to reach the point of having all the message points they need to fill all of their future hiring needs. This need not be in a formal way via an organised talent network, it might also include social media connections such as fans of the Facebook career page, followers on Twitter or a LinkedIn page. All of these data points are searchable, which simplifies segmenting data, matching to content and jobs, and relevant messaging.

When we consider all of the data points that might be open to recruiters:

1) Current employees for internal mobility. All of the source of hire reports indicate internal mobility and promotions as the number one source. When employee data is retained in the CRM for matching and access by recruiters without the need for permission, and employees are made aware of every relevant opportunity.

2) Ex-employees for boomerang hires. As attitudes are changing to rehiring, organisations are increasing their percentage of rehire’s. This provides another pool of data within the CRM for recruiters, and increased connections. Ex-employee data is valuable because past performance, conduct, skills and achievements are known.

3) Social referral data. Modern referral technology such as RolePoint, (Disclosure: I serve as the lead advisor to RolePoint), enable recruiters to match opted in employees social media and other connections with content and new opportunities. When we consider that the average employee will have 125 Facebook friends, and 240 LinkedIn connections, it is easy to see the potential of gaining access to this data, with the opportunity for matching and messaging.

4) Previous applicants. Consider the high volume of applicants who have shown an interest in the company in the past. When this data is organised for search and retrieval, (rather than simply storage), this provides a huge pool of qualified data of people, some of whom will have already been met and assessed. When the candidate experience has been a good one regardless of the outcome, there could well be an interest in reapplying for the right opportunity.

5) Friends, fans and followers. Individuals are increasingly connecting with companies via LinkedIn and other social pages, Fan pages, Twitter accounts etc. The numbers will increase, and whilst there may be some attrition in connections as people choose to disconnect, other branding activity will bring in new people. This will also include people who choose to sign up for a talent network to keep in touch, in the same way as they might follow a company page.

When we look at these five data sets and consider the volume and relevance of connections, it is easy to see the potential for reaching a Talent Tipping Point of all the connections you are ever likely to need for future recruiting. If we can identify this point, (including relevant skills), backed up with technology for accurate and timely data retrieval in real-time, analytics, data mapping for succession planning and workforce analytics, and relevant messaging, then the focus of the talent acquisition team takes on a new dimension. Hit the tipping point of connections (and you may already be there), and its all about maintenance of relationships and cleanliness of data over new talent attraction.

Exciting times!

Bill

Mental Health And Recruiting: A Little Honesty

I’ve been thinking of re-launching my blog, and today I think I have something important enough to start writing again. Yesterday, at #truStockholm, I got in to a bit of a conversation with someone about mental health, and how to best support someone suffering with depression from an HR point of view. I’m passionate about this subject because it is very close to home, and something which I feel is grossly misunderstood, especially by recruiters and HR professionals, because mental health, unlike other disabilities is really seen as a problem. I don’t think that is right, and better understanding is needed in these areas because 1 in 5 people live with some form of mental illness, and many others are impacted by a partner, friend or family.
For my part, some of you will have heard me talk about my wife Fran, and how she is bipolar. I’m not going to say that it is something she suffers from, because it is a part of her, and something she deals with and just gets on. Most days you would never know, other days it is really apparent, but it just is the way it is. I’m sure she would change it if she could, but she can’t, so we do all we can to understand it and get on.
I think we are all a bit crazy one way or another. We all have down days and moments of high, the difference with those with bipolar is that this can switch quite suddenly, from extreme depression and lethargy to extreme excitement. When you live with someone like this you know the signs, and you can, for the most part see what’s coming and be supportive in the best way you can. Sometimes that means offering a shoulder to cry on, even though you can’t see the reason for the tears, and other times it means nodding in the right places and waiting for the high to subside.
What I have learnt as an observer is that anyone with bipolar lives life in extremes, outside of long periods of normality, (if there is such a thing.) Extremes can bring dreadful dark days, but it can also bring extreme creativity, energy and brilliance. The comedian and actor Stephen Fry is famously bipolar, so too was Steve Jobs. When you read the Jobs’ life story it is easy to see it. Van Gogh was bipolar, it can be a genius’s blessing and a genius’s curse. The question I ask here is if Steve Jobs would get employed in a job based on his “condition” and behaviour? Where would the world be if he was condemned as a “mad guy” and never given an opportunity?
All I’m asking for is for everyone in HR and recruiting to find out a bit more. To understand what bipolar, depression and other mental health issues mean, and consider how you could make a bit of a difference. If you can deal with the downtimes, you know the genius will follow. Everyone is affected one way or another. We would make the effort for someone partially sighted, hard of hearing, disabled or with one leg, why should we think of mental health as any different? I know from experience that every down time is followed by genius. Embrace it and deal with it, because that might be where the elusive innovation can come from.
It’s good to be back,
Bill