Recently, I attended the Staffing Industry Analyst Executive Forum, where their focus was “Connecting with your Key Communities.” Many of the panel sessions, keynotes, and discussions revolved around the changing nature of work, the challenges faced by employers in accessing the most qualified talent, and the elusive mission to inspire productive and engaged teams. Their insights remain applicable for both this year’s graduating seniors, and those Hiring Managers looking to add a Millennial or GenNexter to their team.
A core theme from panel meetings to group conversations focused on research findings on the changing world of work and workforce, social engagement, and a level of transparency and honesty as you move into the workforce and through your career.
As a job seeker in 2012, you have an abundance of information available in a virtual instant about the companies and people you want to work for, so do your homework. When I ask Talent to research before interviewing at IT and Marketing jobs in Baltimore, I hear the groan: “more homework…really?” This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many of your classmates don’t know about the firms they are applying to. Jump on the company’s website and read about their products, services, history, recent news, and leadership.
Follow the company and their leadership on Twitter. Do a bit more research on Hoovers, Dunn & Brad Street, Glassdoor.com, and LinkedIn. Speaking of LinkedIn, research your interviewers, look at their career paths, where they went to school, and professional references from others working for and with them. Ultimately, your next employer or internship provider wants to know that you want to work with their company. Yes, they want to see that you can do the job, but more importantly that you will fit and engage with their existing team.
As a Hiring Manager, know your company’s presence (or lack thereof) and your individual engagement on social networks. Make sure you know what is posted on your company’s website, and that your purpose as an organization and for the position is clearly defined. The best and the brightest talent will be looking for organizations to align not only with their skills but with their sense of purpose, and desire to participate in meaningful work.
2) Build and Protect Your Brand
I mentioned LinkedIn for researching the companies as part of your engagement strategy in your job search, but you should also add your own profile to this social networking site. Be proactive in how you manage your social media presence. From LinkedIn to Facebook to Twitter, the lines continue to blur between personal and business. Who you are in the digital space is not separated from who you are in the office. Protect your digital identity as seriously as you protect your financial identity, and know that employers, clients, and colleagues will “Google” or “Facebook” you.
For the Hiring Manager, be prepared to receive LinkedIn requests, Twitter followers, and the occasional Facebook request from an interviewee or recent hire. Make sure you are aware of your company’s written and unwritten policies on social media. As mentioned above, understand that the lines of professional and personal continue to blur, and a rigid social media policy won’t change that. The Millennial Generation sees work as a key part of an integrated life, not just eight isolated hours between “true living,” so much of the motivation around job choice and satisfaction now revolves around a sense of purpose.
3) Say “Thank You”
Gratitude can’t be understated in a world that focuses on “What’s in it for Me?” Thank your interviewers, your neighbor who made an introduction via LinkedIn, or your college professor who wrote a recommendation or acted as a reference for you. Make your “thank you” genuine, specific, and engaging. For the Hiring Manager, acknowledge the time you spent with your candidates with a sincere and brief response.
With 60,000 job boards, multiple ways to connect, and increasing pressures to be unique and stand out, option paralysis can set in. The tools for getting a job or landing that killer talent may have significantly changed, but the core themes of engaging, being true to who you are, and doing good work remain the same.
Author Name – Stephanie Ranno
Title – Branch Manager
Location – Baltimore, MD
Twitter – @stephranno
Byline – Stephanie has spent the last 7 years in the creative recruiting and staffing industry, building relationships with amazing talent and innovative corporations. At the core she is a renaissance gal, who thrives with too many things on her plate. Hence: student of emerging media trends, manager of an outstanding recruitment team, local actress on the stages of Baltimore, certified group fitness instructor, and wife and mother (though last, certainly not least in importance)
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