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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Checking Applicant Social Networking Profiles

image_01Hiring a new employee takes a considerable investment of your organization’s time, energy and resources. CareerBuilder’s annual social media recruitment study found that the number of employers taking to the web to research applicants has steadily risen over the past few years — from 43 percent in 2014 to 52 percent in 2015 [1].

As you investigate each applicant’s transcripts and professional references, you might have also considered checking their social networking profiles. Social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook are used by billions of people around the world for personal and professional reasons. Before you decide to take a look, consider the advantages and disadvantages of checking the profiles of your applicants.

Personality Type

Looking at an applicant’s profile on social media can give you an idea of the person’s personality type. If the person applied for a job where the workweek is long and he or she will be on call for nights and weekends, you may find it useful to know whether the person spends their weekends partying or participating in community events.

Professionalism

You may also want to check out a person’s profile and see what he or she has to say about current and former employers. Many jobs require a sense of confidentiality or at least a sense of respect. If the person makes accusations or generally speaks badly of their coworkers, employees or supervisors at their current job, the person could also do the same when working for your organization.

Privacy Rights

Every person has a right to privacy. When you go looking for a person’s profile that mostly deals with private or personal concerns, you could be facing a situation of legal repercussions. An applicant could reasonably argue that what they do on their own time as their leisure and personal pursuits are not within the realm of an employer’s interests.

Potential for Discrimination

Looking at an applicant’s profile and deciding not to continue pursue that person as a candidate could result in your organization facing discrimination claims. Social media profiles show plenty of personal information about a person, including their sexual orientation, gender identity, age, handicap, religion, race and ethnicity. Employers cannot use any legally protected information such as these items when making hiring decisions about a job applicant.

[1] http://thehiringsite.careerbuilder.com/2015/05/14/employers-checking-candidates-social-media/

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Five Benefits of Having Walking Meetings Outside of the Office

image_011The sit-down meeting may be a basic part of how your organization gets things done, but consider whether it really improves your organization’s productivity. The human body does some of its best thinking when moving. Researchers at Stanford University found that the creative output of people increases by an average of 60 percent when they are walking [1]. Consider these benefits of having walking meetings outside of the office.

Fewer Interruptions

During walking meetings, employees are less tempted to whip out their smartphones and catch up on the day’s news or posts from their social media feeds. Outdoor meetings also have fewer interruptions of uninvited guests walking into the meeting room. You may be able to get more done in less time by having a walking meeting.

Better Communication

Walking outside breaks down the barriers between management and employees. Your employees may be able to get their points across more succinctly and quickly than if they were sitting down across a big table from you. While outdoors, people become more relaxed and in tune with their surroundings, making it easier to say what they are thinking and feeling. Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, discovered that with walking meetings, the conversations are more candid—possibly because the two people aren’t making direct eye contact—with minimized distractions [2].

Improved Energy

Many office workers experience the 2:00 p.m. slump. This low-energy time of the day lends itself to poor focus and concentration. Taking your meeting outside of the office and having everyone walk around is an invigorating experience. The fresh air, sunshine and gentle breeze renew everyone’s energy and restore the ability to focus.

Healthier Bodies

Sitting for six hours per day during the workday has been found to increase cholesterol levels, blood sugar and blood pressure. Getting your staff outside and having walking meetings helps add some physical activity to their days. More active employees are healthier and may experience fewer illnesses.

New Ideas

The outdoor environment is always changing. From the leaves on the trees to the birds in the air, no two outdoor meetings will be the same. As your staff engages during walking meetings, the changing scenery may also inspire new ideas and more creative thinking. Your organization can benefit from the increased creativity and the new solutions that such creativity can bring into the workplace.

 

[1] http://www.inc.com/peter-economy/7-powerful-reasons-to-take-your-next-meeting-for-a-walk.html

[2] http://www.business.com/company-culture/walking-meetings-are-your-new-creativity-booster/

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Benefits Packages That Attract Members of the Millennial Generation

image_10In order to attract top-tier candidates for key employment positions, a comprehensive benefits package is integral. However, Millennial candidates may require benefits that are far different from their Baby Boomer counterparts. By understanding what benefits appeal most to the Millennial generation, businesses can put together attractive packages designed to bring in the best talent.

Flexible Hours

In decades past, employees wanted a better work-life balance. Today, it is more about work and life integration, something made possible through flexible hours. Kate Taylor of Forbes writes, “45 percent of Millennials will choose workplace flexibility over pay [1].” Many Millennials would rather take control over their work schedules than be required to clock in and out at the same time each day.

Cash Bonuses

An extensive report by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers reveals that on a global scale, one of the most important benefits to Millennials in the workplace is a cash bonus [2]. Increasingly, Millennials have very little in terms of emergency savings, so a cash bonus can be an important benefit. MarketWatch highlights that up to 34 percent of millennials don’t have any money in their savings accounts at all, indicating a preference or necessity to live monthly or weekly from their checking accounts [3]. Therefore, a cash bonus can provide much-needed financial stability to Millennials.

Ongoing Training and Development

According to Business.com, one of the most attractive benefits for Millennials is ongoing training and development [4]. Many Millennials are not content to simply secure a position; they also want to excel, learn more and be mentored by their superiors. By offering training programs in new areas of the industry or in developing technologies, your business might become more attractive to Millennial candidates.

Flexibility, personal advancement and cold-hard cash come in as three of the top benefits desired by Millennials. This may come as a surprise to HR managers and recruiters who are used to emphasizing health plans and pensions to an older generation of potential hires.

 

[1] http://www.forbes.com/sites/katetaylor/2013/08/23/why-millennials-are-ending-the-9-to-5/#6c7365733d75

[2] http://www.kpcb.com/internet-trends

[3] http://www.marketwatch.com/story/most-americans-have-less-than-1000-in-savings-2015-10-06

[4] http://www.business.com/company-culture/how-are-companies-changing-their-culture-to-attract-and-retain-millennials/

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Reasons to Hire Candidates With a Degree Unrelated to Your Industry

image_013When you are sorting through the applications for a position in your organization, do not automatically exclude the people who have a degree that is unrelated to your industry. Educational and business researchers are increasingly finding that any type of college degree leads to better chances at success in the workplace because college-educated workers are more creative in their methods of thinking. There are many reasons to hire someone with a degree that is seemingly unrelated to the type of job openings you have.

Multiple Perspectives

College graduates with a liberal arts degree must take a variety of courses in order to complete the degree. These students may take everything from history and Asian studies to calculus, chemistry and communications. Hiring these graduates allows your organization to bring someone on board who has the ability to think about issues from multiple perspectives.

Range of Experience

Only 27 percent of college graduates work in an industry related to their degree, explains Outside the Beltway [1]. Today’s engineering majors must complete courses in written and oral communications while English majors are also taking classes in technical writing and computer programs. In dynamic workplaces, a range of experience is often needed in order to solve complex problems that have multiple facets of concern.

No Limits to Problem-solving Approaches

People with an arts degree can bring a creative approach to problem solving. While showing a respect for the scientific process, such people can also bring new ways of thinking about technical and data-oriented problems. Many arts majors learn about long-term planning and goal setting, which can help your organization see the forest through the trees.

Enthusiasm and Energy

Hiring someone with an unrelated degree can add energy to your workplace, explains Louis Catron [2]. These types of employees can be especially helpful during challenging times or times of crisis. A theater major can put on a brave face and deliver disappointing sales earnings to your board of directors while also showing the necessary enthusiasm and energy as part of motivating others to finish a difficult task. The confidence and can-do attitude of people with a range of degrees helps to boost your organization’s morale.

[1] http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/most-college-graduates-have-jobs-unrelated-to-their-major/

[2] http://lecatr.people.wm.edu/majorslearn.html

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How to Use Periscope to Connect With Potential Job Candidates

image_11Periscope is a recently released app that works in conjunction with popular social networks and sharing websites such as Twitter and Instagram. The difference with Periscope is that it provides real-time conferencing capabilities and is meant for on-the-go use, rather than in front of a desktop or laptop computer. Periscope is a new tool that could make the difference in recruiting top new talent to your organization. Periscope is a clear demonstration of authenticity for you and your company.

How Periscope Is Used for Social Networking

Periscope is meant to be a way to give your followers a peek at your real life. For a human resources recruiter, that might mean logging into the app and providing a real-time tour through your office or showing some of the products made by your company. It’s a live and unedited feed that puts your real self and organization out there. Potential job candidates enjoy this sort of real-life glimpse at your organization because it gives them a feel for the workplace.

Engaging with Viewers Through Periscope

Periscope makes it easy for your followers to capture these live video feeds. When you’re getting ready to start a real-time video, you can post a link to your feed on your Twitter site. Your followers simply click on the link and get rerouted to your feed as it happens. Potential candidates can then engage with you by sending you questions through Twitter or sharing what they think of your video.

Connecting with Potential Job Candidates

As a key social influencer within your organization, you can expect to enjoy quite a following through Twitter. The opportunity to interact directly with you through Periscope will be an opportunity that potential candidates will not want to pass up. To get the greatest number of participants in each of your scopes, be sure to use relevant hashtags on your Twitter posting. You can also pick a memorable handle for your Periscope, such as “CompanyXRecruiting.” Throughout your scope, ask your viewers questions and respond to theirs. Your scopes may broaden your pool of potential candidates.