Saturday, October 30, 2010

Social Recruiting- adding a new dimension to the Hiring process

You must have come across the word- Social Recruiting in recent times. How many times have you googled it? Did you get the right answer? Here, we'll deconstruct this process for better understanding and gradual implementation. 

To start off with, what does it really mean, well Social Recruiting is nothing but the new-age process adopted by companies and recruiters to source and recruit candidates for employment, using social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. 

As per a survey carried out by a leading firm in the year 2009, more than 70% of the hires were made through Internet. Print has lost its relevancy and currently accounts for only 15% of all hires, followed by Employment agencies and others. With more than 2/3rd of the world’s internet population visiting social networking sites every day, it makes it one of the most popular online activities (even ahead of Email!). And with the exponential growth of ‘social networkers’ on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, et cetera, recruiting via social media is a great option.

Accenture was in the news recently, it has plans to recruit 50,000 people this year, with 40% sourced through social media and websites such as Twitter and LinkedIn. Another big player- Deloitte(in the Netherlands) is using social media to improve its recruitment process and websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, all have parts to play.

Lets talk about Recruiters or Headhunters first. Their prime task is to ‘attract’ the candidates with the help of these social platforms. Gone are the days when a company solely depended on their website and other job boards. Biggies like Google, Microsoft may be a little relaxed when it comes to social recruiting but for SMEs and the Not-so-Biggies, Social media is the perfect channel for hiring. Recruiters need to have a complete social footprint to ensure job seekers find them. They should also integrate social media into their websites and use these social networks as traffic drivers to them.

The next step involves the screening of the candidates and a background check. Sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter can be used extensively to attract the best of talent and screen them. On Facebook, the employers can extend their recruitment brand as well as have two-way conversations. Coming to LinkedIn, the companies can set up a corporate profile page and use an RSS feed to list the vacancies. Vacancies can also be posted in User groups. The use of Hash tags and lists in Twitter make it another possible option for Employers. YouTube is a difficult option but if done right, the employers can get masses to their doorstep. It can help immensely towards Brand building and job offering.

We recommend the following tools to Recruiters- LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Jobvite, Jobmagic, HirePlug, Work for Us, Zubed Jobs and a few more that can help recruiters track down the best of talent.

The recruiters need to remember that social media will eventually become intrinsically linked to their hiring strategy as well as their brand.

Now, coming to Jobseekers; Companies are increasingly using Social Recruiting in their hiring process and it pays well to get a good understanding of that process which can be used to the advantage of the Job seekers. The job seekers can position themselves better to be discovered by companies this way. They need to make sure they don’t post any inappropriate content on social networking portals. Bitching about your peers, Boss, co-workers, your organization can have a perilous impact on your social as well as professional life. In recent times, cricketers Kevin Pietersen, Dmitri Mascarenhas, Phil Hughes were severely reprimanded for their untimely outbursts on Twitter.

Bickering on social networks can even lead to loss of jobs as in some cases. At the same time, it may also affect your future prospects. So, one needs to be extra careful with what he posts on these sites.

To increase your chance of ‘being seen’ on social networks, you need to Position yourself well by posting relevant, informative content through blogs, content sharing and discussions. Always look to make new and useful contacts who’ll be helpful in your future undertakings. Initiate and participate in conversations to enhance your knowledge and establish a healthy relationship with your co-networkers.

We recommend the following social platforms that can help job seekers in their quest-  LinkedIn, Xing, Facebook, Viadeo, Twitter, Ning and Koda

And now to close it off, I’d like to say that Social media is just a new means for recruiters, but the fundamental process of effective communication and building relationships with the candidates remains the same.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Wake up, it's time to Take a stand!

Ernst Gaines, the American author had once mentioned in one of his short stories-Question everything. Every stripe, every star, every word spoken, Everything”.
Have we really forgotten this ‘rule’? In our fast-paced lives, we hardly stop to question so many things around us. There are a lot of things lying around us which don’t deserve to be there. But, we have given them a chance because we simply didn’t question their existence. (If we did question, we didn't get the answer and we conveniently ignored this and moved on with our lives) And by the time, we wake up and try to make a change, we are already deep into that shit. Be it Natural calamities or Terrorist activities or Illegal encroachments or Scams and Scandals, just name it and we can see that these things are always in the limelight at the very last minute, when we really can’t do much about it.
We are responsible for our own actions and due to our failure to act at the right time, we have been exploited at every stage. The promoters of such antagonistic movements/operations have succeeded in cheating us handsomely. They have simply taken advantage of our lenient behaviour and sold their defunct ideas, products and schemes leaving us at a loss.  For us, Indians, this has been happening for the past so many years, first the British than the Politicos, Heads of Corporate Organizations, Sports and welfare organizations, educational institutions, et al.
Every single time we have had to bow down and take the consequences in our stride. How long can this go on? How long do we remain vulnerable to such occurrences? Isn’t it time for us to wake up and take a stand- that We are not ready to accept dishonesty or fraud or any kinds of other unethical or unacceptable acts, anymore.
Whoever, in his Leadership capacity or non-Leadership role tries to do so should be severely and QUICKLY prosecuted and punished. We need to make sure there are no more cases of Harshad Mehta’s, Ramalinga Raju’s or Suresh Kalmadi’s. The people concerned with the above mentioned rogues kept quiet and didn’t interfere with the state-of-affairs. This led to those crooks continuing with their illegal operations and fulfill their quest for greed and power. And the resultant was shame and embarrassment. For Mehta and Raju, it was limited in terms of the people involved but in Kalmadi’s case, it was a National disgrace. 
So, its time for us- the people to Wake up and Take a stand against all this claptrap. Ask questions to those in-charge and seek answers, only then can we and make India a better place to live in for our future generations.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Content- The Real Winner in the Social Media race

Social Media, as we all know rides on quality content. Be it blogs or videos or articles or even facebook/twitter statuses, all ride on content. The number of people 'liking' or 'retweeting' or 'sharing' your content is directly proportional to its quality. Humor is a great vehicle and can have a great fan following. But, eventually it comes down to the amount of 'substance' one adds to his/her content. Its the substance that can make or break the fan following. (In this context, I'll use context and substance inter-changeably)

I'd define Social Media as a platform for Interaction, not just personally, but also professionally, using cultured practices. The word ‘Social’ used here, actually refers to the 'Social Life' of a person in the Virtual space. Just like in the Real-world, a person in virtual space meets new people, make friends, has conversations,  shares information, knowledge and data and much more. And just like in real life, your actions on Social media reflect your character. So, its important to be upto-the-mark when on Social Media. Whatever you post on Social media should have a meaning or purpose to it. It should have content that your peer networks can associate with, in some manner or the other.

Sadly, the content aspect is not taken too seriously by the users and we see all kinds of crap flying in and around our virtual life. Web developers spend loads of time, effort and money on the 'look' of their entity but end up paying very little or no attention to content. The end result is a visual splendor but a potential catastrophe due to the lack of substance. Most of them believe in the ‘All style, No substance’ mantra, which will more often than not take a pounding in present day times. Even in Search Engine Optimization, content rules.

Before using Social Media on a regular basis, one must adhere to the following ‘Laws of Social Media’

-    Create original, quality content that is meaningful, purposeful, and intriguing
-    Optimize the content with keywords that make sense and do not overstuff it
-    Network by posting the content in the right places and remember that where your customers are is where you need to be
-    Track where the content goes, how it got there and how it gets directed back to your site
-    Engage with others that surround the content and become active but not overly promotional
-    Nurture the engagement and use it to draw your audience in and tailor that content around their wants and need
-    Track everything that is trackable as Social Media ROI is the future of online content creation and management

Always remember, "Content is King!", not just in virtual space, but in real life too. 

P.S: Resources that may be of some help to you:
To know the most Retweeted post of the blogosphere, use Tweetmeme
To know the most shared content on facebook check out ItsTrending.

References: Dragon Search

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Journey.... so far

In this blog, I'm going to talk about my journey, after Engineering and the factors that influenced my decision to join Dot Now Social.

Even before I finished my Engineering, I had two jobs in hand. Both were startups. I was spoilt for choice. One dealt with Social Media strategy consulting, while the other was a global technology, services and consulting provider which coincidentally belonged to my kin.

I had always wanted to go through the startup experience. After sitting through numerous Entrepreneurship seminars, panel discussions and by just reading their books and articles, I had decided that someday I want to be an Entrepreneur. After my 4 years of Engineering, I realized that, there’s more to my life (like many of my peers) than just programming, networking, solving security issues or anything remotely close to what I had studied in my Information Technology course. I was more inclined towards Business Development and elements surrounding it. Having demonstrated Leadership roles and my flair for organizing activities and events successfully led to a lot of people (including a few of my professors and peers) suggesting me to look at this option of ‘starting my own thing’ or simply joining a startup.  I had learnt a lot about startups and the huge amount of challenges they face on a regular basis, through books, blogs and seminars that I had attended during my days at the Entrepreneurship Cell at college, AIESEC and various TiE(The IndUS Entrepreneurs) events.  The kind of growth they are poised for, the enormous amount of learning associated with this experience, it all sounded really exciting. It was something different, something adventurous.

So, joining a startup became very much a part of my ‘future’ plans. Even the fact that at this age, I could really experiment with my yet-to-start career gave me a big morale boost. So, the day finally arrived when I was actually offered a job in a startup. But, as luck had to have it, I got another one, following my first offer in just a space of 3-4 days. And, I was in a big fix. On one side, I had job security (thanks to my kin!), while on the other hand, I had a bigger challenge and a chance to see the Business world, right from its grassroots, i.e Small/Medium Businesses or Enterprises and learn and do everything right from scratch. Joining my Uncle’s firm would have put me into a ‘comfort zone’ of sorts.  I knew that I’d end up earning more at my Uncle’s firm but the kind of learning would be restricted and will be accompanied with a lot of aversion. I’d be eyed by all my co-workers as the ‘Boss’ nephew’. All my work, how much ever effort I put in will be regarded as a palpable fact and my failure (if I do manage to!) would be looked down upon . It would have definitely outcasted me from forming a healthy bond with my co-workers. But, I had some time before I got started with Dot Now, so I thought I'd do an internship at my Uncle's firm. Being an former of Sitel (PanAsia) and Director(Outsourcing) at Dell, I knew I stand to learn a lot from him. Over the next 2-3 months, I took care of the Web-site and helped in revamping it, designed marketing collaterals, drew out branding and communications strategies, and also managed logistics. 

Soon after that, I went for a short holiday and on my return, joined Dot Now Social. Its been almost a month now and its been through a great learning experience. Got to see Small/Medium Businesses very closely, working with our clients. Understood their constraints- theirs small budgets and diminutive resources and the challenges we face in scaling them. Apart from that, learnt a lot of new things about Social media sites- Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, StumbleUpon and many more. Also gained substantial knowledge about the Strategy and expertise building concept. Represented my company in around 3 conferences already ,got well-versed with a lot of business jargon and lastly, started Blogging!

Its too early to say that “ I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference”

But, today, into my 4th week at Dot Now Social, I’m proud to have made this decision!

Monday, October 4, 2010

About Me...

I'm back with my second post. In this post, I'll reveal some more of 'Me'. Before people read my future blogs, they ought to know me to some extent, atleast.
Before I start with my bio-sketch, let me share with you all one of my favourite theories here....

“According to me, the World can be divided broadly into 3 categories. Firstly, the Inventors, i.e the Engineers/Scientists(includes even the ones who don't possess the elusive degrees). This category is responsible for the Creation of every Man-made thing. The Second club comprises of the Enablers(who are the intermediaries and are responsible for the delivery of the products from the Inventors to the Consumers). They take care of the Sales’ elements. The third category consists of the Consumers themselves. It’s a cyclic process wherein the consumer of a certain product will again become an inventor and create something else out of that product or simply become an enabler and help the product reach out to further consumers and the process continues.”

And thats about it. Now, proceeding with ‘my story’......

I’d describe myself as an introspective, cooperative, directive and expressive person. I consider ‘people’ to be my highest priority and I like to have things organized, settled and planned out.

I’m a Technocrat in the field of Information Technology, but my passion for Business Development and Consulting brought me into my current domain. Presently, I’m responsible for the management of Business Development and Service Delivery at Dot Now Social, a Management Consulting startup firm. I’ve been associated with Rotary International, NEN, ACM and AIESEC in the past. I’m an ardent Cricket lover, a Quizzing enthusiast and a big-time fan of Sourav Ganguly. Also to add to this long list- a part-time philosopher, poet and a budding singer.

I’m passionate about Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Branding and Communications, Public Relations, Marketing, Journalism and Social media. I aspire to be an Entrepreneur!

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m deeply passionate about Leadership. From my modest experience at the helm, I inferred that Effective and Positive Leadership is the solution to every problem. A Leader can make or break the entity he’s leading.

Having lead diverse teams throughout my life- from being the Class Prefect to Captain of School cricket teams; organizing fests at college and leading sales teams to raise funds for them, being the editor of a college newsletter and heading societies at school and college, I’ve done it all. And with each experience, I’ve matured, and strived to become an improved Leader.

Before I close this post, I’d like to quote that 
Leadership is a journey, and every leader evolves through this journey to become a bigger and better Leader

Taking the Untrodden Path

 Greetings! to everyone who is reading this blog. This is my first 'serious' attempt at blogging. I had tried a couple of times before but failed to move on after my first attempt. 'Blogging' simply didn't excite me in the past. Despite having a friend's circle consisting of chronic bloggers, I never really felt the necessity, until now.

 Its been more than a week since I joined my new job, (infact my first job!) and the fact that it specializes in providing Social media services to Enterprises makes my foray into the Blogging world and reviving my Twitter account, all the more necessary.

 As of now, planning to write this on a weekly basis. Will talk about all those things that are dear to me and hope you can connect to it in some way or the other. Will try not to run into pages and pages and keep it concise. But there might be occasions where I might just lose track and keep on typing and typing. (Just hope that does not happen too often!)

 I've named my blog- The Untrodden Path. There is a deep meaning behind it. I'm sure all of you have come across Robert Frost's famous poem- 'The Road not Taken'The last 2 lines of that poem - 
"I took the one less traveled by, 
And that has made all the difference"

have been a great source of inspiration to me. Every individual in this world comes across a certain crossroads in his life a number of times, where he/she has to make a critical decision and choose from one of the few paths offered. Of course making a choice among the available options takes a lot of thinking, research and what not. But, at the same time it also takes courage to choose the less-opted path or walk on the less traveled path or simply the untrodden path. It involves a lot of risk and the uncertainty surrounding it makes it all the more adventurous.

 The courage to take the untrodden path is a hallmark of Entrepreneurs, Leaders, Pioneers, Inventor, Daredevils, Discoverers and all other kinds of Go-Getters.

 ‘The Untrodden Path’  refers to-  being Innovative, being Unconventional, being Unorthodox, being Distinct, being a Non conformist, being Unique, being Different... and that is what I believe in and that's what I am!