Check out Eric’s new column, The Hiring Squad, in the Pittsburgh Tech Council’s TEQ Magazine every month. In case you missed it, here was his column for July:

 

I often say that the internet is both the best and the worst thing that has ever happened to humankind. On one hand, it’s incredible to have the world at your fingertips; everything you could possibly want to read or watch is a Google search away. The Encyclopedia Britannica has been long ago boxed up and put on a shelf in the attic, and a world of information is now in our pockets and purses.
On the other hand, according to a recent UK research study, this access to technology and the overload of information has led humans to “have a shorter attention span than goldfish.” We are constantly overstimulated, and capturing our attention for any meaningful period of time is next to impossible.

I bring this up to help paint a picture of what it’s like to be a professional seeking work in today’s world. With the plethora of job boards (30k+ according to Monster.com), along with sites like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Salary.com, and constant tweets and Facebook posts about jobs and hiring needs – people are overwhelmed with noise. In addition to all the noise, when they actually do take the time to apply, they rarely get any kind of a response from the people on the receiving end of their resumes.

 

What does this have to do with you and your company trying to hire great people? Everything.

 

We live in a world where people want actionable, transparent data right now. Without it, they quickly lose interest and move on to the next thing. All your company is to them is one of seven hundred companies with a Java developer role listed in the greater Pittsburgh area.

If you haven’t done so recently – I’d encourage you to pull up Indeed.com, type in the title or skills needed for one of your current hires, and start scrolling. Put yourself in the shoes of a seeker, and you’ll quickly realize just how frustrating it is to do what they do, day in and day out. Every single listing looks more or less the same, and people have little to no incentive to do anything other than click apply, and move on to the next posting.

The majority of people in the workforce – 80% to be just about precise – refuse to do this. They stay put at their current jobs and wait for their own network to help connect them to the next step in their journeys. In other words, your current recruiting efforts, whatever they may be, are likely missing just about everyone you are trying to target.

Take a minute to step back from the madness that has become recruiting and hiring today, and look at it with a clean pair of eyes. What can you do differently?  Start with building trust through transparency. The days of “hiding” what benefits you provide, the amenities of working at your company and the culture inside your walls, are over. The world is already changing around you, whether you realize it or not.

To illustrate this point, I want to share a story about my father. He used to encourage me to shred all of the envelopes that came in the mail with my address on it out of the fear of identity theft. Prior to the internet, this made sense, and I completely understood his perspective. One day, I turned on my laptop, pulled up Google Earth, and I showed him his house online, both from the air and from the street. His jaw dropped; he quite honestly couldn’t believe what he was seeing. He asked me how I could take it down, and I told him that it wasn’t possible. The bottom line is, information about us has moved online, whether we want it to or not.

As an organization, you should embrace this and use it to your advantage. Pull back the curtains to what it’s like to actually be an employee in your organization. Be open and honest with the information that people are seeking about you, and let it help to weed out those that don’t fit. Use your website, your social media, and your job postings to tell the story of your company rather than spamming job listings aimlessly to the world.

Much of my  last 8+ years has been looking at technology in the human capital space that helps companies like yours and mine do just this. Sadly, I can tell you very honestly that I haven’t found anything that does it well. This has continued to inspire us as Imagine Careers on our own journey. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to take a look at our Professional Discovery Platform at https://discover.imaginecareers.com. Our goal is to help companies finally have a place to tell their story in a transparent and trusted way.  You can claim your company’s profile for free.  Don’t see it?  You can email data@imaginecareers.com to request for it to be added.