A Multitude of Hope is Peter Weddle’s new novel about what’s happening to the American Dream.
It’s a tale of three out-of-work Baby Boomers and a secret online group of workplace activists who are practicing “economic disobedience” against the vulture capitalists in the American economy.
Ripped right from today’s headlines, the book engulfs you in a no-holds barred war between a self-styled monarchy of greed-is-good investors and a virtual colony of revolutionaries using the Web to even the score. Part edge-of-your-seat thriller and part exploration of modern American culture, this is one novel you won’t want to miss.
To read a free except, click here.
The Generic Candidate
The latest “big idea” in recruiting is to optimize the candidate experience. Pundits everywhere have leaped on the bandwagon to offer this strategy or that technique to make job seekers feel better as they pass through the recruiting process. No doubt, it’s all helpful advice. But, sadly, it also ignores the one element that most sours the outlook and interest of potential new hires: our demeaning habit of treating every individual as a generic candidate.
Let’s start by taking a secret shopper visit to virtually any employer site on the Web today. As the first page opens, what do we see? There are tabs leading to a description of the organization and its culture, its benefits, and, of course, its jobs. Occasionally, there might be a tab for recent graduates or diversity candidates, but other than that, it’s all mayonnaise.
Just as bad, that indifference to individual differences also a very transactional feel. It’s as if the visitor has landed in a store, and the employer is politely but insistently pushing them to make a purchase. “Buy our employer; a job here will look great on your resume.”
Active job seekers may have to tolerate such an experience, but for everybody else, it’s an engraved invitation to leave the site. And, everybody else a very big group. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, at any point in time (including during a recession and tepid recovery), only 16 percent of the workforce is actively in transition. In other words, the candidate experience on most corporate career sites is driving away more than four-fifths of the candidate population.
The Better Experience
What’s a better experience? Make the visitor feel as if they’ve entered a farm, and your sole goal is to nurture a relationship with them. Relationships, however, are built with individuals, and individuals – especially those who are top performers – have this funny habit of seeing themselves as people with distinct identities.
Now, when you think about it, that’s not so unusual. For example, how do you now expect to be treated as an online consumer? Whether you’re visiting the site of your favorite bookstore or shoe boutique, the state-of-the-art in consumer technology has conditioned you to believe that the site should recognize and acknowledge your unique preferences.
The bar is a little lower for employer sites, but not much. The best candidates don’t (yet) expect you to recognize and acknowledge their unique employment background and objectives, but they do want you to treat them as differentiated people of talent. They’ve worked hard to establish themselves as finance, sales, nursing, information technology, human resource and other kinds of professionals. They don’t think it’s asking too much, therefore, for you to respect that effort by NOT treating them as generic candidates.
Getting Past Generic
There are many steps you can take to avoid a generic candidate experience on your employer’s Web-site. Among the most important, however, are two that will signal your respect for the key differences among persons of talent. They acknowledge each individual’s acquisition of expertise in a particular occupation and their experience applying that knowledge at work.
Step 1. Set up separate channels or areas on your career site for each of the major occupational fields for which you recruit. Instead of providing an experience where they are directed to visit the department or divisions of your company – distinctions that mean nothing to them – organize your site to give each visitor an area that’s been set aside just for them and their peers. Make them feel as if they have a “career home” on your site.
Step 2. Tailor the content in each occupation’s channel to the unique aspirations, values and vocabulary of its members. Describe its unique career path options, work style (e.g., team-based or individual initiative), and rewards. Then, support those claims with peer testimonials that are written by your employer’s current workers in each field and which describe their actual day-to-day work experience.
No one likes to be treated as one of the herd. To make sure your employer’s career area doesn’t inadvertently give candidates exactly that kind of experience, transform your site from a store to a farm and shift its content from generic to occupation specific information.
Thanks for reading,
Visit me at Weddles.com
Remember What Your Mother Taught You
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Be At Your Best With the Best Tools
The best recruiters use the best resources to get the job done. And, when it comes to reaching top talent online, their choice is clear. It’s WEDDLE’s Guides for Recruiting Success. Get yours today!
WEDDLE’s 2011/12 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. This is the 10th edition of the Guide the American Staffing Association called the “Zagat” of job boards and social media sites.
WEDDLE’s Guide to Association Web Sites. This book details the recruiting resources and capabilities that are available at the Web-sites of over 3,000 professional and technical associations.
Finding Needles in a Haystack. This one-of-a-kind guide lists over 25,000 keywords and keyword phrases, across 5,400 job and position titles in 28 industries and professions.
Sourcing Career Success
As recruiters and HR professionals, we spend 33 percent of our day (or more) on-the-job and 100 percent of our job helping others to achieve career success.
Don’t our own careers deserve equal attention? Absolutely! And the one best way to do that is by sourcing career success with WEDDLE’s books. They include:
Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System. This book introduces a complete regimen of activities that will help you successfully compete for and hang onto the job of your dreams. Its one-of-a-kind program not only tells you what to do, but how to do it and how often.
Recognizing Richard Rabbit. This fable for adults will entertain and delight you and help you out of the boxes that keep you from becoming the champion inside you. It is a novel and engaging way to recognize the talented person you are meant to be.
The Career Activist Republic. This blockbuster of a book provides a provocative yet positive assessment of the changing world of work in the American economy and describes an innovative strategy that will enable you to avoid the pitfalls and capture the opportunities in this new environment.
The Success Matrix: Wisdom from the Web on How to Get Hired and Not Be Fired. This anthology collects the best of Peter Weddle’s columns on job search and career success. It is the only book you’ll find that provides a candid and totally up-to-date look at how to get and stay ahead in today’s workplace.