With both Comic Relief, and National Apprenticeship Week having recently taken place, the question of how businesses can play a positive role in the world, both in their communities and abroad, is a pertinent one. In this week’s Metroblogs article, some fun ideas for raising money in the workplace were discussed. This piece will expand on that by looking at corporate volunteering schemes as away that businesses can give something back to their communities – and discussing how this sort of scheme can benefit not only the charities themselves, but the workers and employers who participate in them.
Organisations like Business in the Community are devoted to encouraging and publicising business involvement in charitable schemes and are keen to emphasise that business’s social responsibility programmes – including volunteering – deliver tangible social value. While the idea of ‘corporate social responsibility’ is sometimes dismissed as having more to do with PR, volunteering partnerships with established charities have the advantage of drawing on these charities’ expertise, therefore increasing the likelihood that volunteers’ efforts are directed in genuinely productive ways.
Symbiotic Corporate Volunteering
Charities often compete for the same pot of donations and must make the most of their investments – in time, training and money. So it makes sense to use expertise and manpower from the corporate world, in a symbiotic relationship.
From an employer’s perspective, corporate volunteering represents a great opportunity to give employees the chance to be involved in deeply rewarding work where they can develop new skills, improve current ones and work with different people. In addition, advertising corporate social responsibility activities can help attract employees whose aspirations and ethos are in line with those of the company.
HLN Architects, for example, is a Cardiff-based firm with widespread offices. The company takes part in Business in the Community’s Give & Gain Days in order to build better relationships both between colleagues and between the firm and communities. Projects such as the design and construction of 2012’s Reading Garden for a Cardiff school also boost morale and help employees’ skills development.
Travis Perkins is another example of a firm who have taken proactive steps to encourage their employees’ involvement in volunteering. The firm has a dedicated charity committee, active partnerships with charities such as Together for Short Lives and The Breast Cancer Campaign, and last May won Business of the Year at the Business Charity Award. As well as a wide range of fundraising efforts, staff are also encouraged to volunteer in their local communities, for example in renovating the gardens at children’s hospices in their area.
The company’s corporate social responsibility programmes are frequently cited by employees as making a positive contribution to team spirit and overall company culture.
More Than Teambuilding
Another new development – and a sign of the growing popularity of these relationships – is the way in which charities now advertise themselves as offering corporate volunteering schemes. Many prominent charities, for example The RSPCA, The NSPCC, and The Children’s Trust, now promote their corporate volunteering opportunities. And there is definitely an awareness of what businesses are looking for in these experiences. Opportunities are advertised as training days or teambuilding experiences in some cases, giving companies a clear idea of where these ‘paid days off’ fit in the budget.
Above all, the keys to a successful corporate volunteer programme are structure and feedback. Because if the volunteers (and the company) have no idea what good their work does, they are unlikely to continue. In other words, HR personnel responsible for setting up these schemes should look to volunteer opportunities with organizations that have a clear plan and reporting system. Achievement is as important to personal fulfillment as it is to the bottom line.
This piece is part of a wider look at volunteering and charitable giving at work. For more articles, see Metroblogs and the Worklife blog. The Guardian’s Voluntary Sector Network Partner Zone and Business in the Community have information on existing corporate volunteering schemes, and useful resources for those looking to set one up.
We had an exciting time at the prestigious Onrec Awards 2013 last night, as the success, growth, innovation, talent and achievements within the Online Recruitment Industry were celebrated, culminating in the 9th annual awards ceremony.
And we’re proud to be creating even more space in our trophy cabinet this morning as we picked up TWO awards, for…
The Best Online Candidate Experience
By offering candidates a great online experience coupled with innovative technology, we believe we can deliver the best results for clients and it was very rewarding to be recognised by our industry peers.
Our parent company Evenbase has recently commissioned research to compare recruitment markets around the world and have produced the Hot Markets List which provides a view of the digital recruitment landscape towards 2020.
The report Digital Recruitment : The Hottest Markets in 2020 looked at the many variables that affect the receptiveness of a market to digital recruitment, from raw GDP growth potential to earnings trends, cultural phenomena, mobile and social internet usage, and more.
Here are some of the key findings:
- Brazil ranks ahead of China: Despite great economic potential, some markets just won’t realise their potential in terms of digital recruitment due to internal forces. For example, despite the sheer economic might of China, Brazil has a greater potential given its openness to working with international businesses
- Next Generation Expectations: Generation Z, or today’s ‘digital natives’, are the incoming wave of candidates. For those in the western world, the childhood of this generation has been defined by their interaction with social and media technology, and the expectation that life can be managed via wifi and a smart phone. These are the next wave of candidates hitting the recruitment industry and they have lifelong exposure to technology and high expectations of what it can deliver them. Digital recruitment players need to sit up & take note! These ‘inflated’ expectations are a mere benchmark for the generations that will follow Gen Z into the workforce.
- Australia punching above its weight: A relatively isolated market, Australia has an intriguing combination of confidence and ambition. It outranks all of Europe and the likes of Japan and Canada in this Hot Markets ranking.
- Local approach to global strategy: If nothing else, this research has reinforced the need to eliminate the HQ replication approach to global expansion. The report highlights a wide variance in political, economic, social and technological factors and the subsequent need for savvy recruiters or companies to recognise a variety of stages in digital recruitment evolution across markets and take a local approach to global strategy.
The greatest challenge for any recruitment business going forward is to walk away from what we know so far and to be willing to step away from the ‘old’ ways of thinking.
As a result, switched on recruiters and companies will understand and embrace the expectations of Gen Z, while recognising the need for a local (rather than global) approach.
We recently took part in the 7th TruLondon Recruitment Unconference. We were not sponsoring this time so were able to use the opportunity to take part in a number of tracks and discussions as attendees.
As usual, the event attracted a wide range of Recruitment, HR and Talent practitioners from around the world, with first time visitors from the US and New Zealand, as well a strong European contingent.
Many of the traditional TruLondon themes were discussed – candidate experience, recruiter adoption of social media, best sourcing tools, employer branding – as well as a number of new topics, particularly surrounding content, video and future employment models.
As Tru events tend to be more about the conversation, we’re bringing you a snapshot of our favourite 5…
Jobseekers and Recruiters – do they look in the same place?
We’ve often posed this question here on Insider as it’s a recurring theme in our Quarterly Recruitment Review, and it was apparent at Tru also. There seemed little appetite from recruiters to find out more about how and why jobseekers use various tools, instead focusing on how they aren’t using them to be found. “Recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates, but candidates don’t use LinkedIn to find work” was one tweeted comment whilst the overall message from one of the sourcing tracks was “If candidates don’t get the basics right how can recruiters utilise innovative sourcing tools? Candidates don’t know how to be found.”
Employee referrals aren’t just about jobs.
The consensus view was that too often referrals are linked to specific vacancies, whereas in a truly social company they should be more about people who will fit with the business. There was much talk about the cash incentives that businesses give, with many suggesting a more fun reward would better help companies to leverage their employees’ networks, making it less transactional.
Make the candidate experience transparent.
Several winners of the UK Candidate Experience Awards were present to share some of the initiatives that they had implemented. It was agreed that this experience was now public (through sites such as Glassdoor) so it would be better for companies to collect their own stats on the candidate experience (from both successful and unsuccessful applicants) and publish these on their career site. It would set expectations and ensure that companies strive to maintain a positive experience.
Networked recruiters are the future.
As usual there was a lot of talk about recruitment agencies and where they fitted in to the future hiring landscape. Well networked, niche recruiters who play a key role within the communities that they recruit for were championed – although the monetisation of this type of working model remains a challenge. More recruiters accepted that social media platforms represent another channel through which to converse rather than one to avoid. As one attendee put it “People coming in to the workforce don’t know a life without mobile and digital. The world is changing and you have to change with it”. The counterpoint however was “Stop spending money on social media training for people who aren’t social! Find the stories internally and the people who love them!”
Let your hiring managers interview you.
This was a discussion more for in-house recruiters and HR professionals, and it was generally agreed that too few companies road test their candidate attraction processes by experiencing it as a candidate would – “Apply for a role at your company; walk in their shoes”. One well received idea was to let each hiring manager interview you, so finding out what impressions they give, which questions they ask and and how they sell the company and opportunity.
If you went to TruLondon7 let us know what you thought of the event and which conversations you enjoyed…
Our most recent Evenbase Quarterly Recruitment Review showed that job seekers are increasingly embracing digital and mobile routes to market.
Are recruiters doing the same?
Watch this video to hear the key findings on job seeker behaviour during Winter 2012/13. Are you looking for them in the same places?
Smartphone ownership amongst jobseekers is at its highest level. How they use them in the job hunting process is also evolving, and their expectations are rising. Watch this to find out if your mobile strategy is getting to the right people.
Let us know how you’re reaching out to candidates…
This post comes from our Search Marketing Manager Gary Elliott, as he looks at what the recent changes to Facebook’s News Feed mean for recruiters…
“Before we start, I think it’s important to say that the EdgeRank algorithm behind what news you see hasn’t changed. Affinity, weight and time decay still determine what news makes it to your feed.
This means the fundamentals of running a Facebook Page for your recruitment business haven’t changed:
- Be interesting
- Be social
- Be relevant
- Be connected
Now that’s out of the way, let’s look at the news feed changes.
(If you want more information on the changes themselves, you can read about them here)
Here I’ll take a look at each of the key points and show you how I think it affects you as a digital recruiter.
1. It’s Much More Visual
The design of the news feed has changed to give more prominence to visual items.
This has a couple of implications for your business:
- Posting photos gets you more visual real-estate. So if you’re not including a photo with every post, you should start.
- Your photos will need to be better. No more low-res pixelated monstrosities, and no more cheesy stock photos we’ve all seen a million times before.
The first thing you might think as a recruiter is, “How am I going to find a creative, interesting photo for the office manager role I’m recruiting for?”
Here I think stock photography would be fine, but I would still suggest you try and avoid the over-used photos that have people jumping and high-fiving each other.
2. The Experience Is Device Agnostic
Regardless of device, the experience on Facebook will be the same. This shows just how important mobile devices are for Facebook’s growth.
This really only has 1 implication for you. It’s a pretty big one though:
- Your website needs to be device agnostic too. Users will expect to click from your Page to your website and back again seamlessly.
3. There Are More Feeds
As well as the normal news feed, there are other more specific feeds for users to browse.
The average user will only ever check out the main news feed, so you should concentrate on getting as many of your posts in there.
In my experience recruitment businesses struggle to generate EdgeRank with their fans mainly because job-hunting is a covert activity for most people. This means your posts will fall into the ‘Following’ category along with the other business pages and celebrity updates. This means your posts may only be seen by the most motivated of Facebook users.
So there are my thoughts on how the new Facebook news feed changes affect the digital recruiter. Do you think there are other ways it could impact how you recruit using social channels? Or is it a simple design change that won’t change how you work?