Will You Be Able to Attract Strong Tech Candidates in the Future?

Tech for the future

According to current industry data, the fight for tech talent is only going to increase. Are you prepared? Will you be able to attract strong tech candidates in the future? Talent for tech-specific jobs will be scarce and recruiters need to make changes now if they want to be able to compete for this limited resource. Think about it. And ask yourself: What am I doing today to create a workplace that will attract job seekers ten years from now?

This is the kind of question that made Cisco Systems perform a complete overhaul of their talent acquisition approach. In a recent RecruitingTrends Thought Leadership piece, Jill Larsen, senior VP for talent acquisition at Cisco, put it this way, “Our mission was simple: We needed to build a best-in-class TA organization to inspire today’s talent for tomorrow’s Cisco.” In the article, How Cisco Disrupted Its Approach to Talent, Larsen provides three lessons that talent acquisition leaders need to follow if they want to be prepared for the future that technology is bringing our way.

She points out the importance of diligently using social networks to capture the attention of job candidates and stay connected. Investing in your talent brand is a necessary step to help you reach more potential talent, give candidates an accurate picture of your culture, and turn all your employees into ambassadors for your organization.

Larsen also explained the necessity of having great recruiters, noting that they are often the first contact that potential candidates have with a company. In the article, she puts it this way: “Recruiters should be equipped with the ability to generate talent pipelines, know how to competitively differentiate your company, deeply understand your products and markets, be able to consult to all their constituencies and, most importantly, they need to be able to negotiate and close the deal to hire the best candidates.” This requires a strong commitment and investment from the company, but, when done correctly, the results will prove that it was well worth the time and money.

The third lesson Larsen offers is the importance of using cloud-based technology. She says that using cloud-based systems that integrate with each other allows for better productivity and a much greater ability to analyze the mountains of data available inside your talent communities. All of this lends itself to more successful strategic planning, as well as the ability to connect with the right people, form symbiotic relationships, and make your organization an appealing option for strong talent.

For more information on building strong talent communities and integrating cloud-based technologies, visit TalentCircles.com, call us at 888-280-0808 or email sales@talentcircles.com.


The Unexpected Benefits of Talent Communities for People with Disabilities


Strong talent communities have become an integral part of good recruiting and hiring strategies. The bigger the talent community, the more options for high quality talent employers have. But to populate those communities, it’s up to recruiters and talent management personnel to be open and creative in the way they seek out potential employees and consider what they can bring to the table.

One way to do this is to reach out to the disabled segment of the population. Even with the increased focus on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, people with disabilities are often overlooked as a strong recruitment source. This needs to change.

Recruiting people with disabilities can provide a variety of benefits for your business or organization, including some that can be rather unexpected.

When you consider that nearly 20% of adults in the U.S. alone has a disability, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control, targeting the disabled population for recruitment opens you up to huge number of potential talent pool members.

Aside from sheer volume, however, people with disabilities also bring different perspectives. Take Jules Dameron, a deaf film director and actor, for example. In the article Deaf Talent community showcases art, Dameron pointed out that “the deaf community should feel empowered in the fact that they have a different perspective with different abilities than everybody else.” She believes “Being deaf is a gift because our brain is wired completely different. We are spatial in the way we relate to the world. We have a really different way of seeing the world than hearing people.”

Dameron also encourages people to drop their preconceived notions that deaf people are lacking and instead make an effort to meet deaf individuals and learn how much they have to offer.

The deaf community is just one example, but Dameron’s point relates to groups with all types of disabilities: Take the time to get to know people before you judge them and make assumptions about their capabilities and what they can offer. Make an effort to attract and engage people with disabilities by creating talent communities that speak to their interests and concerns.

Something to consider as an added benefit of hiring people with disabilities is, the more you learn about them and understand their needs, the greater your ability to at marketing your products and services to that segment and possibly gain them as customers.

Not only that but you’ll be educating your other employees as well, and they, in turn, can carry that education to their communities.

If you’d like to learn more about recruiting and engaging people with disabilities, here are some good resources:

EARN – Resources to help employers recruit, hire, retain and advance people with disabilities

Recruitment and Retention section of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)

WorkSupport.com offers Information, resources and research about work and disability issues

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) helps employers integrate people with disabilities

You might even look into grants from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The WIOA is intended to help people get the education and training they need to secure long-term career placement. It is also meant to improve services and employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Its grants provide for job search and placement assistance as well as employment counseling, career planning and many support services.

Here at TalentCircles we can help with all of your talent recruitment and engagement needs. For more information, visit TalentCircles.com, call us at 888-280-0808 or email sales@talentcircles.com.


Has Your Association Become Complacent? Make These Two Changes Now

Businessman Talking to Bored Staff in Meeting

Good professional and trade associations can bring a lot of value to their members. They provide wonderful networking opportunities, relevant training and education, great vendor discounts, and one strong voice powered by the strength of all the members. They also send the message that the companies and individuals who are members are trustworthy.

Even with all this going for them, many associations tend to be too idle when it comes to staying current with the latest technology and, according to the post, 5 Technology Trends Every Association Exec Should Follow, investing in exceptional talent. But this is a huge disservice to association members and their businesses.

Two of the most important things association leaders can invest in to avoid becoming complacent, and outdated, are member engagement and a good Association Management System.

Association Management System

In the simplest sense, your Applicant Management System (AMS) is computer software that enables you to collect, store and track information, as well as provide members with your information and services. With the right system, however, it becomes a way to generate interest, connect with members often and cultivate relationships.

It’s important to select an AMS that is built on an open platform that is highly configurable so you can continue to add or modify options as your needs change. In addition to being able to spread out costs over a longer time period, the great thing about investing in a platform that allows you to add on stand-alone products at your convenience is that you don’t have to have all the answers about what you need before you actually know what you need.

While you may find that your specific needs change and grow, one constant will be the ease of use.  Be sure you have an AMS that emphasizes quick data search, sort and retrieval, easy administration and dynamic web capabilities.

Member Engagement

A good AMS will also be pivotal in successfully engaging association members. With one system that collects and contains all member information and activity, you can analyze the data to adapt your focus.

Stay aware of what members really want and need. Provide the kind of information, assistance and services that help them solve problems and address their concerns. And do it in a variety of ways so you capture their attention and continue to keep them interested.

When you know your audience, you can actively engage with them through regular emails, video posts and seminars, social media and virtual communities. Many options for staying connected can be automated through your AMS while still conveying a personal feeling. The key is to keep in touch and continue to provide significant information and resources your members find valuable.

Engaged members use association services, provide feedback, are active in online forums, attend meetings, network with other members, offer suggestions and ideas, and are advocates of the association.

And, an added benefit of having engaged members and a great AMS is that you will have plenty of information available, at your fingertips, to search for potentially great talent to add to the association’s leadership or administrative team.

There are many great options available to help you keep your association current and valuable. If you’re not sure where to start, or have questions about improving your current association management strategy, please visit TalentCircles.com, call us at 888-280-0808 or email sales@talentcircles.com.


Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace: It’s Everyone’s Responsibility

Diversity and inclusionA diverse workforce isn’t simply a numbers game focused on how many members of certain groups of people a company employs.  It’s about bringing the diverse perspectives, work experiences, life styles and cultures of those groups together to make the company a better place.

Hiring individuals with diverse backgrounds is just a small piece of the puzzle. Organizations truly focused on diversity and inclusion go beyond investing in blanket diversity initiatives and instead work to foster lasting cultural change among their talent. The entire workforce knows they have responsibility for respecting, embracing and building on people’s differences.

In this blog post, 10 Ways Employees Can Support Diversity and Inclusion from Profiles in Diversity Journal, Robin Pidrelli offers several ideas for how employees can help foster true diversity and inclusion in the workplace. She suggests things like starting or joining an employee resource group; organizing diversity-related events; becoming a mentor; actively learning about colleagues’ different cultures, races, religions and backgrounds; and, being sure to treat people in the way THEY want to be treated—not the way YOU want to be treated.

Not only is creating a diverse and inclusive workforce the right thing to do, it’s also been shown to be the best strategy for a company’s success.

First of all, diverse companies are more attractive to new generations of workers. Research from PricewaterhouseCoopers shows that 86% of female and 74% of male millennials take a company’s policies on diversity, equality and inclusion into consideration when deciding whether or not they want to work for them.

In addition, Research continues to demonstrate that companies with a diverse workforce perform better financially. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’18th Annual Global CEO Survey, 85% of the CEOs surveyed said their formal diversity and inclusiveness strategy has improved their bottom line. And, this Credit Suisse report explains that companies with women as board directors, as well as those with lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender employees in senior roles, outperform the companies that lack that diversity.

Another positive outcome of creating diverse workforces is how it engenders more open-mindedness in the mainstream. For people who normally might not get the opportunity to interact with and really get to know people from different ethnic groups, or with a different sexual orientation or global outlook, or with physical or mental disabilities, talent-diverse companies provide a chance to challenge preconceived ideas and prejudices, and help stop discrimination.

Beyond just accepting people’s differences into your existing culture, the focus needs to be on valuing and respecting those differences in order to create a new learning culture—a culture that appreciates differing viewpoints and inspires healthy conflict rather than conformity. If you create an environment where people are comfortable being themselves and are encouraged to voice their opinions, you’ll be able to build a fully contributing workforce.

If you have questions about talent diversity and inclusion, or would like to learn more about the best hiring and recruiting practices, visit TalentCircles.com, call us at 888-280-0808 or email sales@talentcircles.com.


Government Hiring Freeze is an Opportunity to Rethink Your Recruiting

Rethink recruiting

A recent article in The New Orleans Advocate discussed concerns about how the Trump administration’s federal hiring freeze will affect the functioning of New Orleans’ brand new Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Certainly, the concerns about losing (for now) the many job opportunities the hospital was bringing to the city, and the lack of staff resulting in the inability to treat the many patients who need help, are quite valid. At the same time, though, the government sector might be able to find a positive in this unexpected setback.

If you’re in a government department, use the current hiring freeze as an opportunity to re-invest in your hiring infrastructure so you are even better prepared to recruit and hire when the freeze is lifted.

One of the first things to look at is your current technology. The rate at which new technology options are being introduced in the talent acquisition industry is astounding. Even if your current budget doesn’t allow for an entire revamp to the newest technologies, you can still benefit immensely by incorporating small pieces over time. The recruitment and talent acquisition space has stand-alone products for everything imaginable, so you can pick and choose the elements that are most important to you at any given time. The key to integrating them successfully, however, is to look to the future and always keep your long-term goals in mind.

Whichever technology options you choose, you will want to make sure the components lend themselves to building and maintaining a strong talent network. In order to engage the individuals you’d like to add to your talent network, you will want to use things like webinars, virtual communities, chat booths and social sharing. And, you will need a good system for tracking and managing the data for all those potential applicants.

It’s also important to be equipped to give candidates what they want. At the top of the list are consideration and communication. The best talent wants to work with businesses and agencies that   keep them in the loop during all aspects of the hiring process, from application to interview, to hired or not hired. They expect to know where they stand within a reasonable amount of time, throughout the various steps in the process. They also want a short, straightforward way to apply for jobs and learn about the company and the position. If it takes too long, or requires too many steps, applicants get bored and frustrated and move on. Things like video questionnaires, video resumes and live video interviews are a huge plus.

Ultimately, you want a talent recruitment system that incorporates a multitude of automated options with a personal approach that helps you build connections. Ensure you have a strong corporate website with an honest portrayal of the company’s culture, values and vision, while also regularly engaging with your talent network through relevant, interactive information and a robust, social media presence. Make it easy to stay connected and provide reasons to keep people coming back.

So, put this government hiring freeze to good use. Reevaluate your recruiting methods and reinvest in them so you will be poised to hire the best talent when the freeze is over.

For more information on ramping up your recruiting strategy, visit TalentCircles.com, call us at 888-280-0808 or email sales@talentcircles.com.


Build Your Talent Network: Reach Out to Rural Students


The education of rural students has not been a high priority focus for government, or for most universities and colleges. But this often-overlooked population can be a great source of future talent. The key is for recruiters, employers and college career development offices to start building meaningful connections within rural communities.

By focusing on what’s important to their community members and providing a way for them to be heard, as well as to connect with colleges, employers and other similar communities, talent seekers can help pick up the slack left by government and simultaneously lay the foundation for creating strong talent networks.

Ask Questions

For starters, find out where rural community members are struggling most when it comes to students’ continuing education and job opportunities. Child poverty is often high in rural areas, and poverty is strongly associated with lower educational attainment. Find out what community members need in terms of resources and motivation for encouraging high school students to not only graduate but to consider furthering their education and focusing on specific types of jobs and careers. Provide “virtual communities” that encourage people to share concerns, ideas and stay connected. Where possible, physical visits to rural locations are an excellent way to show true interest and build relationships.

Listen to Understand

While some issues might seem obvious, don’t assume you know what all rural students, parents and businesses need. If you’ve set up a good system for encouraging input and you can get people talking, really listen to understand what they want. Financial concerns are likely to be a major player in many rural areas, but there might also be a number of ways you can help just by supplying information that addresses their issues and questions.

Explain Opportunities

It’s likely that lack of information and resources causes many students in rural areas to feel that they have very limited options. They might see college as something completely unattainable because they don’t even know where to begin or what questions to ask. Or even who to ask. Providing opportunities that give them better insights into the college application and career development processes can be a big help. Perhaps you could set up an online community where students can find mentors; or, your HR or college career services office could partner with rural communities to provide a realistic picture of the many different job opportunities and how to get those jobs. What kind of education, and what are the steps needed to get it? What skills do they need and what do they have to do to develop them? Be a reliable source of information.

Stay Connected

Continue to be a valuable resource and you will build a loyal following. Your goal with a talent network is to develop strong relationships with potential candidates well in advance of when you actually need them. To do this, focus on nurturing these relationships just as you would any other friendship or acquaintance: Stay in touch through social media, reach out often, show that you’re interested in things that matter to them and be available when they need you. Fortunately, there are many electronic options available to balance the speed and ease of technology with the power to build and maintain solid relationships, while also storing all the candidate information you amass so you’ll have many people to reach out to when new positions open up.

Also, remember that technology isn’t the only way to go. You can add to your talent network through some good old-fashioned hospitality by sponsoring local events or holding an onsite meet and greet to get to know local talent and introduce them to your company or university.


If you’d like more information on the strategies for building a strong talent network, contact us at 415-835-0202 or sales@TalentCircles.com


Is the Technology Industry Leading the Way in Workplace Equality for Women?

Women in tech

The male-dominated technology industry may not seem like the most obvious place to start overcoming the decades old issue of gender inequality in the workplace, but some big-name tech companies are putting forth some serious effort.

In 2015, Salesforce spent $3 million to equalize pay among the company’s workforce. Marc Benioff pointed out, “We did find quite a few women who were being paid less than men and we’ve made that change.” In addition, Mr. Benioff strongly encouraged other CEOs to delve into their own companies’ gender-related salary discrepancies and make the necessary adjustments.

Just recently, Apple reported that women’s salaries are 99.6% of men’s; and Microsoft and Facebook provided data to show that men and women “of equal worth” were paid equally.

But there is still a lot of work to be done. Here in the United States, The Institute for Women’s Policy Research points out that closing the gender gap would have a strong, positive impact on the economy. They calculated that if women in the U.S. earned pay equal to their male counterparts, it would have added $482 billion to the economy in 2014 as well as cut the poverty rate for working women in half.

While, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, men generally seem to make about 20% more than women in the same positions, technology jobs, such as computer programmers, software developers, and information systems managers are starting to rank among the highest paying jobs for women. That being said, men still hold about 70% of tech jobs—and the percentage is even higher for leadership roles in tech companies.

Perhaps the U.S. could look to Australia for some pointers since some top technology companies there are doing better than most when it comes to filling high level leadership roles with women. Microsoft Australia, Intel Australia and Twitter Australia all have female managing directors. Australia also boasts a good number of successful female tech entrepreneurs.

With just about half of the world’s population being women—and, as Pip Marlow, managing director at Microsoft Australia points out in this TechRepublic post, with “women accounting for $20 trillion in consumer spend every year”—this segment is important and is tired of being overlooked.

It’s encouraging that some of the top tech companies are putting real programs and policies in place to correct the gender inequality issues, but there are many more—in many industries—that could benefit from moving forward on this issue with the same speed and energy they exert in new technology innovation. Companies that wait too long to bridge the gender gap are going to find themselves quickly falling behind their competition.

If you’d like more information on attracting and recruiting the best talent, contact us at 415-835-0202 or sales@TalentCircles.com


Talent Communities Strengthen Connections with Customers, Staff and Job Applicants


If you think of talent communities simply as a holding tank for potential future employees, you’re missing the bigger picture. And missing out on a great opportunity.

Fully functional talent communities not only offer members information about job openings, but they also provide valuable content about the industry and the company and its products. They should be an active forum where customers, staff and job applicants alike can turn for information, guidance and connecting with individuals who have shared interests. While not all companies have embraced the idea of online talent networks, the number of those that have continues to grow.

In particular, many tech companies, such as Jive, Higher Logic and IBM Connections are seeing the value in talent and customer communities. IBM Connections sees them as “a way to empower and engage people, inspire innovation and safely collaborate with customers and partners, bringing them into the conversation.” And, Higher Logic has several different communities to address varying needs. For example, their Collaborative Development community lets members submit suggestions for items they’d like to co-sponsor the building of, and their Feature Requests and Ideas community encourages suggestions for improving the higher logic platform.

With interactive online communities, members will get a solid understanding of the company’s culture and values, as well as the chance to share ideas and connect with other members. Job applicants can build relationships that lead to referrals. Employees can strengthen relationships with clients. And, customers actually have a forum for discussing their needs and preferences. This makes customers feel heard and appreciated, while at the same time allowing online community managers to capture data that is invaluable to businesses.

The key to success is providing customers and potential employees with useful information like upcoming product releases, business news, and job openings before outsiders receive it. You want to give community members the opportunity to regularly interact and network with leaders and decision makers so they begin to see the community as a place of value. Having a forum where they feel heard while also gaining important insights and lasting connections will keep them coming back for more, which, in turn, will strengthen loyalty to your company’s brand.

If you’d like more information about turning your talent communities into customer communities, and staying connected in the most effective and meaningful ways, visit us at TalentCircles.com or contact us at sales@TalentCircles.com.


Are You Making the Most of Your Online Community?


You know that building a strong talent network is essential for staying connected to the people who have the potential to be your next great employees. But, if you’re not also focusing on the bigger picture of an online community, you’re letting some great opportunities slip by.

In the blog post from Higher Logic, The Role of Online Communities and Customer Portals in Sales Enablement, they offer some great insights into using online communities for sales enablement. They point out that, “Many of today’s sales enablement programs don’t provide a one-stop shop where prospects can go to learn and ask questions online – something that’s becoming more and more of a necessity as people turn to the internet for information.”

Instead of focusing mainly on standard sales collateral, the goal for communities and customer portals should be to keep people engaged. You want to provide value on multiple levels so they will continue to come back indefinitely.

Susan Magrino, TalentCircles president, agrees with the concept of combining enablement with engagement. She explains, “An online community, which talent communities truly are, should offer more than just jobs and skills. Blogs, product offers and industry expertise should also be considered.”

Just as Higher Logic points out that online communities need to be rich with meaningful content like research, Q&A sessions and customer input opportunities to successfully enable sales teams, TalentCircles’ philosophy is that the same holds true for engaging talent.

If you offer a strong community where prospects, customers, employees and potential employees can interact to create user-generated content, learn more about your business and products, and find loads of helpful information, those individuals can’t help but forge relationships. And, with your company as the hub of those relationships, you’ll be building a network of advocates. Equally important is the fact that you will be able to gather mountains of data from your community members to help you inform your recruiting and business decisions.

If you’d like more information on the strategies for making the most of your online community, contact us at 415-835-0202 or sales@TalentCircles.com


Recruiters: Attract More Candidates and Keep Them Engaged


According to HCI (Human Capital Institute), less than one quarter of organizations feel they have a strong enough talent pool to fill their most important positions. And, as the number of new jobs is expected to continue to outnumber the candidates available to fill them, especially as the baby boomer generation retires, that could pose a real problem for many employers. If growing and maintaining a solid network of talent—for current and future hiring needs—isn’t at the top of your recruiting strategies list, it needs to be.

Generating interest in your organization and the jobs you have available is the first step in building a strong talent network. Here are some strategies that can help.

Use automated recruitment options – In addition to posting on job boards and your own website, there are many options now available for getting your job openings in front of your desired audience. Working with a vendor who offers things like automated emails and messaging, cloud-based recruiting software that works directly with social media accounts, and specialized tools for automatically engaging with potential candidates will greatly enhance your recruiting efficiency and effectiveness.

Create enticing job ads – Understand who your target audience is and speak to them directly with your ad. Make the job title interesting and be specific about the key responsibilities and expectations. Convey your company culture and use an inviting voice that sells people on why it’s a great place to work. Try using video and great graphics. And don’t go overboard on the details. Put your top few serious requirements that you’re unwilling to compromise on in the description, but don’t list unnecessary restrictions that could alienate good people.

Put effort into a positive candidate experience – Be sure you are making it easy and inviting for candidates to join your network and apply for jobs. Make it simple to find your organization’s job offerings; offer single sign-on so they can access multiple websites with just one user name and password; use applicant-friendly job applications that integrate with social media; and always respond quickly and kindly to your job applicants.

You also need to ensure that recruits don’t lose that interest halfway through the process. To keep them engaged, show them that you have their best interests in mind and that remaining in your talent community will open them up to good opportunities.

Make it personal – Responding to applicants with personalized messaging doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming—but it does need to be fast. There are many automated options that can provide an immediate response while still adding a personal feel. At the same time, a personal phone call still goes a long way in making a candidate feel valued, so make the effort to reach out to people you don’t want to lose.

Talk about success – Be specific about expectations and opportunities. Appeal to the people who are likely to be well matched to a job by pointing out what success in the role entails. And talk about the skills they get the opportunity to use. By focusing on challenges, results and success, you’ll keep ambitious people interested.

Be honest – If the individual doesn’t seem to be the right fit for the current job, that doesn’t mean he or she wouldn’t be great for a future position. So, don’t alienate good candidates by giving them false hope or mixed messages, and then never getting back to them. Telling applicants you’ll be in touch soon, keeping them hanging on when you have no intention of hiring them for the job, is not only rude, it will also reflect poorly on your company.

Stay connected – Actively engage with people who show some interest. Whether it’s in a virtual community, a newsletter, or through email or engagement on social media sites, keep in touch. Send holiday cards and continue to provide significant information and resources they could find valuable.

While some of these steps will require some work up front, when done correctly, much of it can become like a well-oiled machine that almost runs itself. And the work you put in up front to get the right tools in place will be well worth it in the long run.

To find out more about building a strong talent community, contact us at 415-835-0202 or sales@TalentCircles.com