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We have moved to Wordpress! Posted by Jason Links to this post The Recruiting Front Lines has evolved. At the beginning of the year, I changed jobs within my company, moving away from Outreach and Education, and into my new role as Director of Business Development. While I remain closely involved with our field activity, I am now more focused on strategic partnerships, social media, and the world of internet recruitment resources. As I have made this change, the focus of my blog content has also changed. Recently, I began to feel that many of the ideas I had for blog posts would not fit within the framework of The Recruiting Front Lines. This was a cause of some frustration, as I felt that I was either misrepresenting my content with the title of my blog, or that I was stifling my writing because I felt it didn't fit. To rectify this situation, I have created a new blog home, now on WordPress. I am still ironing out the wrinkles, but feel that it is far enough along that I can move all my past content, and begin posting all new content, at the new address. I would like to formally welcome everyone to come check out my new home at I can't wait to hear what you think! Best Regards, and Thank you for your time and attention over the past 18 months. Jason

Sep 5, 2008

Gustav & Other Disasters: What can Recruiters, HR professionals, or job seekers do to help?

First, please join me in sending your thoughts and prayers to the hundreds of thousands of people who are without power, and the two million who were displaced by Hurricane Gustav. As Americans, we can sometimes be a people that idolize extremes in the world, and I hope that the survivors of Gustav get as much assistance, empathy, and attention as is appropriate to such an event. Consider for a moment, wherever you are sitting right now, what your day would look like if you got the call to evacuate with 2 million of your closest neighbors- imagine what the roads were like, the stores, the sidewalks, the bus stations. And tomorrow, if you decide to come back, you'll find windows missing, or holes in the roof that allowed the downpour to flood your home, or your beautiful landscape you worked all summer on ripped from the earth. Of course, you may not have power either, so cleaning up would be a task straight from history.

There are more storms coming- in the form of hurricanes, or forest fires, or blizzards, or tornadoes, or floods... Despite our best efforts, we can never insulate or isolate ourselves from the enormity of earth's environment. Natural disasters, as these are called, and social disasters, including poverty, homelessness, disease, crime..., affect great swaths of our world, our nations, our communities, and our lives. The effects ripple through our families and values, our economy, and our social ego, and can be lasting for years to come.

OK, so I don't mean to bring everyone down first thing on Friday. So, what exactly can HR professionals, recruiters, and job seekers do to help out when disasters like this arise? How can we help our fellow Americans in a time of need? What special skills can we provide that will make a difference?

The company I work for hosts a Louisiana-specific internet job board, and ideas were floated yesterday to see what could be done. I thought I'd share what we are trying to do, along with some other thoughts on what we can do in times like these. Our first thought was that there would be a substantial need for volunteers and assistance in the clean up efforts. We are reaching out to the parishes and community centers that have phones and electricity and offering to post those needs at not cost on our sites. Of course a primary obstacle that we are facing is that many people in the region may not have access to the web, including the government centers. If you are in, or know of anyone in a position to take advantage of this offer, please have them contact the company. Our thoughts were that we could help find and mobilize those who were looking for work, but also cared about helping the community.

As HR professionals, recruiters, advertising resources, and job seekers we all have roles we can play to help out. Below are just a couple ideas that came to me, and I'd love to hear your comments on other ideas you may have.
Those are just a couple of my thoughts. I hope you'll share your ideas via the comments links. Thanks for taking a moment to take a look at the scenes from the recruiting front lines in the gulf coast.

Sep 3, 2008

Hosting your own recruiting open house- YES YOU CAN!

As I spend more time focused on the processes and strategies that the best local businesses use to attract the best local talent, and how the best local talent finds the best local career opportunities, it's clear to me that a face time is one aspect of the recruitment process that is absolutely vital, and cannot be replaced with technology- no matter how fancy, shiny, user friendly, or cutting edge.

Please check out the questions at the bottom, and complete the poll above!

That being said, I also see more and more people relying more heavily on the internet and placing less emphasis on this valuable face time. Face Time does not include video conferences, as a two dimensional image cannot substitute for three dimensional body language. So, if we generally agree that the most valuable form of connecting with other people and identifying the right fit for ourselves and our companies, why this decreased engagement with on-site or in-person career events?

There are some very good reasons, actually. Many feel that job fairs only attract a certain demographic, and if the jobs you have aren't in that demographic, it's perceived to be a waste or time. On the job seeker side, many people see the "same old" companies represented time and again at career events and job fairs, which normally consist or larger national organizations with larger recruiting budgets. Rarely will you find a career fair filled with great, small to mid-sized, privately owned, profitable, growing organizations from a variety of industries. I certainly understand these objections and concerns, and am willing to acknowledge their validity on some level. So, how do you attract the right kind of candidates to fill your current needs, increase your pipeline of talent for future important placements, and identify the next wave of hires for any revolving positions you have?

How about hosting your own career fair or open house at your organization. This practice, once reserved for only the largest employers with a variety of current openings, can be the best way for any business (yes, you're business too!) to find great talent, and actually create the opportunity to share the company's vision. This type of event can be used to truly market what makes your company special in the labor market- your unique employment proposition, if you will. It also allows you to generate interest in your company's service or products to all the attendees that you don't hire.

Job Seekers, whether active or passive, can also reap great benefits from attending such events. This gives you the opportunity to more thoroughly assess the employer as your next destination, and a forum to ask questions and meet employees. Also, because you aren't broadcasting your resume, or attending a larger scale event, there is less likelihood that your co-workers will find out about your wandering eye.

If you haven't executed this type of event, however, there are some very tricky steps and important pitfalls to take note of. When launching an employer hosted open house, the best practice is to include employees from every department in your company (or in the physical location, if you are part of a larger company), so that you can attract a strong group of candidates from all fields. You'll also want to make sure you're screening attendees in advance, so you can plan your time at the event. Communicating the open house is a puzzle as well, as you don't want to rely on any traditional broadcast media. Traditional Broadcast Media can be a good thing for some types of advertising, but it does have its limitations. One, of course is the cost. If your budget only allows for one TV station, or 2 radio stations, then you're limiting your reach to only the people who watch or listen to those stations. There are better ways to reach a wider array of employees.

I have a couple questions that I'd love comments on, and hope you'll also answer the new poll question above.

That's the way it looks to me from the Recruiting Front Lines. Good luck and happy hunting!

Jason Blais on FoxNews

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Using Video to Reinforce Employment Brand