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The days of advertising in newspapers has decreased in popularity over the last few years. This method has previously been the main method of recruitment for many businesses. The reasons for the decline in popularity vary. In the current economic climate, time is a very valuable commodity for business. Generally the minimum notice period required when leaving a job is one month. Ideally a business would want the replacement employee selected two weeks after the position became vacant in order to facilitate the training period and changeover period. This is not possible with the more the more traditional methods unless the process was rushed. Usually it is quite expensive, especially for national or business newspaper. It has a short shelf life as usually the paper is read once and then recycled. The majority of readers will ignore the advert as it will not be relevant to them.
The method of selecting an employee by means of blocks of interviews is also very time-consuming as often the departmental manager and the H.R. manager are present for the interviews.
However over the past few years there has been an increase in innovative ways of recruiting candidates and selecting employees. The main reason behind the development in the recruitment process is the development of technology. The widespread availability of the internet and the development of smart phones and the technology associated with them has increased dramatically over the past few years. Newspapers are decreasingly in popularity due to the availability of news on smart phone apps and websites. According to a Red C survey 71% of Irish people are expected to have a Smartphone by 2013. Also the needs of businesses have changed drastically. Many companies previously used recruitment agencies when they required temporary employees for seasonal work or specific projects, the cost associated with using a recruitment agency is very high compared to the cost of recruiting the employees.
Innovative approaches being taken by companies in 2013 towards filling vacancies.
Advertising vacancies on recruitment websites like www.jobs.ie or www.recruitireland.com has many benefits. It allows recruiters to post ads almost immediately. It is relatively straightforward to post jobs on these websites as they are very user friendly and have a step by step procedure which helps to target the specific skills and qualities required for the position. It allows relatively small companies to reach a much larger geographical audience. It costs significantly less to advertise on a website than the more traditional methods. It allows job seekers to search jobs by location by category and by full-time or part-time positions. Jobseekers actively looking for a new job browse recruitment sites regularly and once their CV is uploaded it is available to the recruiter. Therefore it is possible to recruit possible candidates relatively faster than traditional methods.
A possible flaw in this method of recruitment is that sometimes it can lead to a vast quantity of applicants. Many unqualified applicants may apply but many websites have filters to prevent them being submitted.
Many companies are beginning to use social media in order to attract new employees. Social media networks such as LinkedIn is one of the more popular websites. LinkedIn has over two hundred million members in over two hundred countries. Eighty seven per cent of employers trust LinkedIn as a source of information for affecting decision making and forty nine per cent of business find LinkedIn to be a good source for word of mouth information on brand experience according to a survey by punchmedia. (Slideshare 2013) As the statistics show social media recruitment is becomingly increasingly popular. This enables recruiters to headhunt suitable candidates that are not actively job-hunting. While headhunting applicants has been around for a long time for example previously a hotel owners that was impressed by a manager they had a pleasant experience with at a wedding may recruit them to work in their own hotel. This often depends on a lot of luck, being at the right place at the right time and also the manager may simply be having a good day. With websites like LinkedIn it is possible to contact any amount of connections for personal, academic and professional references. It is also relatively straightforward to use LinkedIn it can be accessed from any smart phone or laptop that has internet. It is possible to search for candidates specific to your need including salary and experience. LinkedIn also simplifies tracking down previous employees who impressed management
Many companies now use "the Belbin test" to determine what role a candidate will play in an organisation. The Belbin test helps determine what role a person plays in an organisation. It consists of several questions with five possible answers. Each answer gives a score and once the scores are tallied up the final score indicates which of the nine team roles they are best suited for. It helps determine if the candidate is simply putting on an act in order to get the job or if the information they shared is genuine. It also indicates if they would be a match to the position available.
Personality tests are also a popular tool for recruiters before the second round of interviews. They give a good indication whether or not the candidate will fit in with the culture of the company. These tests are relatively fool proof. "A lot of these tests have in-built systems that guard against manipulation by the person taking the test. Often the same kind of question will be asked twice, but phrased in a different way, so it will reveal if you're attempting to fake it." (Silicon Republic)
Group interviews are often used as a method of interviewing employees. This method can be effective in two ways. The first way is where a panel 'two or more company representatives' conducts the interview. This has proven effective in interviewing candidates as having more than one person observing the candidate can help in noticing in the candidates body language and/or contradictions in the information shared. Also this technique demonstrates the candidate's ability to work under pressure.
The second way of conducting a group interview is by interviewing multiple candidates for the position at the same time. This has proven very effective and prevents the process from becoming time consuming. It allows candidates to observe the competition. Often team building exercises are used during group interviews to help determine who the natural leaders are in the group. Team building exercises not only allow possible candidates to demonstrate their teamwork and leadership skills it allows them to demonstrate their creativity, assertiveness, ability to adapt to different task and show how they perform under pressure. This can be seen in the popular television programme the Apprentice.
On the final stage of the interview many companies choose to invite the candidate out to lunch. This is a good method of observing the candidate in a social surrounding outside the workplace can prove beneficial as once outside the workplace candidates usually let their guard down. For example; how a person interacts with a waiter or waitress tells a lot about their personality, their values and ethical beliefs. If they treat the waiter with the same respect as they treat the interviewees or if they treat the waiter as if they are a lower class citizen it will help determine if they will be match the corporate culture in the business. Their table manners and their ability to hold a natural conversation outside the workplace will also help determine if they are suitable for the position.
Many companies now choose to promote from the lower ranks of their company. By acknowledging employees talents and training for higher ranking posts has proved effective. It improves productivity and motivation within the organization as employees believe that they will have the opportunity to get promoted, fills the vacancy much faster, more cost efficient and enables a more accurate assessment to be completed.
Selective advertising. Google and similar search engines now keep a record of individuals' searches by accessing their cookies. If a job seeker was to search "Galway Bartender job", their search engine will remember this search and adverts for similar jobs will appear in the left hand side of the screen when browsing the internet afterwards. This is an effective method of advertising vacant positions.
A company who demonstrates an innovative approach to filling vacancies is Google. After extensive marketing and PR efforts Google has created a world recognised brand.
The World's First Recruiting Culture
Google has accomplished something that no other corporation has ever accomplished. In less than a handful of years, they have developed what can only be categorized as a "recruiting machine." They still have a ways to go, but what they have done so far can only be categorized as amazing. Now, Google still doesn't have the best sales and marketing strategy (FirstMerit Bank does), nor are they the best when it comes to the use of metrics (Valero Energy is). But what they have done better than anyone else is to develop the world's first "recruiting culture" (see my previous writings on this subject). What that means is that recruiting and the need for it permeates the entire organization. Not just the recruiting function or the HR organization, but the entire company - from the key leaders on down to the entry-level employees. As a result of this culture, not only does Google fund recruiting to the point where the function is in a league by itself, but they have also gone to the extraordinary step of changing the way employees work in order to attract and retain the very best. (Note: It might be credible to argue that Cisco in the late 90s had the world's first "recruiting culture" but since the exit of Michael McNeal, Janel Canepa, Randall Birkwood et al, that function has long since been dismantled to below "K-Mart levels," so it's probably a moot issue.)
Google Has Changed Work Itself With "20% Time"
Many organizations have changed their pay or benefits in order to attract better workers, but no one has changed every professional job in the company just so that the work itself is the primary attraction and retention tool. Rather than letting work, jobs, and job descriptions be put together by the "out of touch" people in corporate compensation, Google's founders (Larry and Sergey as everyone calls them), HR director Stacy Sullivan, and the leadership team at Google have literally crafted every professional job and workplace element so that all employees are:
Working on interesting work
Constantly challenged to do more
Feeling that they are adding value
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The key element of changing the work so that the work itself becomes a critical attraction and retention force and driver of innovation and motivation is what Google calls "20% work." There is no concrete definition of what 20% work means, but generally for professional jobs it means that the employee works the equivalent of one-day-a-week on their own researching individually selected projects that the company funds and supports. Both Google Groups and Google News products are reported to have started as a result of personal 20% time projects. Other firms, like Genentech and 3M, have utilized similar programs, and although I've spent time at both firms, I find the Google approach to be clearly superior. Despite not being clearly publicized on their website, it is so easy to understand and so compelling that just the mention of 20% time excites applicants and current employees like no other program I've ever come across. In addition to being a phenomenal attraction tool, it also keeps their retention rate at, as one HR executive put it "almost nil." But its greatest value is that it drives innovation and creativity throughout the organization.
At Google, innovation is expected of everyone in every function, not just product development. The 20% time, along with the expectation of continuous and disruptive innovation, has driven the company's phenomenal success in product and service innovation. Yes, in this rare case, HR activities and policies are actually driving corporate business success.
One Thousand Millionaires
I find that most people who have never visited Google think that the primary attraction tool and driver of retention at Google is the phenomenal income derived from employee stock options. Yes, it is a fact that Google created an estimated 1,000 millionaire employees when they went public (they could be billionaire employees by the time you read this case study, if the stock price keeps growing and its current rate!). But rather than driving success, I have found (as I also found at previous stock-growth powerhouses like Charles Schwab, Intel, Cisco, and Microsoft) that rather than contributing to success, the money also has negative impacts. The public awareness of such widely held wealth among employees actually brings in a volume of resumes from people who want to "work for the money" rather than the joy of being at the firm that celebrates innovation more than any other company on the planet. Other ways that the wealth is distracting include the difficulty of motivating and managing individuals with sudden wealth and the almost inevitable "us versus them" mentality that is caused by the significant wealth differential between people hired before and after the IPO. My conclusion is that stock options are not the primary attractor of top talent at Google. Instead, it's the work.
The World's Largest Recruiting Budget
Google recruiting is the best-funded recruiting function in any major product-driven corporation. This is not in a misstatement. Arnnon Geshuri, the head of recruiting, and Stacy Sullivan, the director of HR, have done what can only be classified as an unbelievable job in convincing senior management to fund the recruiting effort beyond that of any corporation in history. My own calculations indicate that, at times, Google recruitment has a ratio of 1 recruiter for every 14 employees (14:1). That ratio surpasses the previous record of 65:1, held by Cisco during the first war for talent in the late '90s. If on the surface this ratio doesn't impress you, I might suggest that you compare it to the typically much larger ratio of employees to all HR professionals, which is about 100:1. Because "building a business case" is an essential factor for building a recruiting culture (or even for having a strategic impact), their funding level puts Google in a class by itself
The Benefits Are Breathtaking
Before I highlight the extraordinary benefits that Google offers, it is important to note that although these benefits are certainly so breathtaking that they do in fact get almost every potential applicant's attention, they are not designed just for recruiting purposes. Instead, these benefits are also designed to encourage collaboration, to break down barriers between functions, and to stimulate individual creativity and innovation. These benefits do attract some of the "wrong people," that is, talented individuals who are seeking benefits rather than an opportunity to do their best work, which creates a screening challenge. In addition, some also argue that such a wealth of benefits and opportunities to play distracts less-focused workers from their jobs. The take away for other firms is that, even if you do match Google's "non-work" benefits (as firms like SAS have almost done), you are not automatically going to attract the very best and the most innovative. To do that you also need a strong "employment brand" and jobs that are designed to continually challenge and grow employees. A partial list of Google's "I bet you don't have that where you work" benefits include:
According to (Ere 2005) Google offers employee benefits that are second to none. This makes Google a great place to work and focuses on the theory that not all employees are focused on monetary rewards. Some of the benefits included in their Silicon Valley Campus are:
Flexi hours for the majority of employees
The option to dress casually at work
There is an on-site physician and dentist
Dogs are allowed in the workplace
A complimentary canteen that serves a variety of drinks, snacks and meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, cooked by world class chefs.
A generous holiday allowance of three weeks for the first year.
Recreation time is encouraged with video games, foosball, volleyball and pool tables readily available
Valet car parking and carwash facilities for e,
Valet parking and car wash facilities.
Maternity and parental leave after the birth of a child
There is a child care centre nearby and a backup childcare facilities on site.
Free transport to nearby cities.
They offer $5000 tax incentive scheme if an employee buys a hybrid.
Weekly meetings where the founders of the company regularly speak.
An onsite gym, yoga classes and fitness classes.