Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Using Technology for Corporate Recruiting

By Kim Tarasiewicz

How many of you were recruited for a job right out of college? Did you attend the sessions where you “dressed for success,” met with corporate representatives, and then typed out or, heaven forbid, hand-wrote a thank you letter? As my son begins life on campus as a freshman at Temple University, I am amazed at how much technology has changed the face of college life and also job recruiting.

This generation of college students is the most tech-savvy group by far; a Mashable infographic shows that 73 percent of students say they cannot study without the use of technology. As the class of 2019 makes its way through college, technology will impact the process of gaining employment even more, and those organizations that want to hire the best of the bunch will have to keep up with those advances, as well.

Just networking and putting out an advertisement on LinkedIn might not be enough for companies to connect with the right hire. Technology companies are launching new applications to help college students find the right job, and you better believe this technology-driven group will know how to use those apps.

Companies like Symplicity have partnered with college career centers to give businesses that are hiring access to highly qualified job candidates. Job seekers can download an app and keep all of their resources and searches stored in one place - yet another reason that any company developing a new website needs to have a mobile site as well if they want to remain competitive.

College students today are aware of how competitive the job market is. To remain competitive as that market evolves, they must partner with their career center early on to match skills with opportunities. As is the case at Temple, on-campus interviews are still important, but much of the process and tracking is done online with your student account.

For talent managers, keeping up with the technology college students are using can be tough, but recruiters should be aware of how potential hires are using QR codes to upload resumes, using calendars to schedule interviews, and checking websites such as Glassdoor to rate interviews and compare corporate hiring processes. Recruiters themselves can access apps to evaluate candidates, keep track of job fairs, and access a database of job seekers.

So to those hiring students fresh out of college, start updating your corporate technology now to keep abreast of the latest resources and hire the best. And to the class of 2019, good luck in your college endeavors and here’s hoping that each of you can connect on the right job with the right company four years from now.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

3 Reasons Why a Twitter Rant is Rarely Helpful to Your Business

By Megan Quinn
In recent news, Tinder spoke out on Twitter against Vanity Fair about an article on the online dating app written by journalist Nancy Jo Sales. Tinder went on a 31-tweet rant after they clearly disapproved of the article’s viewpoint of how Tinder has negatively impacted dating in our modern age. But does venting online solve anything? Sure, speaking out on social media got people engaged and talking about Tinder and Vanity Fair, but not necessarily in the best ways for Tinder. 

After Tinder’s online tirade, many people surprisingly spoke up in defense of Sales and Vanity Fair. I’m sure that this wasn’t the kind of response that Tinder had anticipated. While Tinder also had many supporters posting pictures of successful married Tinder couples, they later released a statement explaining their Twitter outburst:

“We have a passionate team that truly believes in Tinder. While reading a recent Vanity Fair article about today’s dating culture, we were saddened to see that the article didn’t touch upon the positive experiences that the majority of our users encounter daily,” Tinder said in the statement. “Our intention was to highlight the many statistics and amazing stories that are sometimes left unpublished, and, in doing so, we overreacted.”

Tinder’s rant may have seemed unwarranted at first, but it actually may have been a calculated PR move. In fact, BuzzFeed journalist Claudia Koerner said she was contacted by a PR rep from Tinder and was told to be on the lookout for a response.
From a professional viewpoint, Tinder would have been safer with just releasing a factual statement in response to the Vanity Fair article. Below are three reasons why Tinder should not have blasted their thoughts publicly on social media.

1.       It’s annoying and whiny – Tinder came off looking unprofessional and immature about the situation and the criticism. Twitter user @meowseo compared the reaction to their “immature ex-boyfriend.”

2.       People can screenshot – Once something is on the Internet, it never dies and topics can resurface at any time. This incident is something that the Tinder management team will remember and have to revisit for years to come.

3.       Things can get heated – Emotions can quickly pour out and things can be said in the heat of the moment that will have to be resolved later. It seems like the Tinder rant was emotionally charged by someone involved with their social media team. 

It’s important to stop and think before starting a social media rant that may hurt your business later. We rarely recommend taking an emotional approach to this kind of situation. Tinder may have been worried that the Vanity Fair article would hurt their business, but in responding, they ended up making themselves look far worse in the process.

Monday, August 10, 2015

8 Interview Tips to Help Create Fresh Content

By Rose Strong

Do you regularly write blog posts, articles or press releases? Are you often researching and seeking ways to tell a story or better explain a topic? To make your content fresh, you need information that is different from all the other stuff out there on the Internet and in the media biosphere. Sometimes the perfect quotes or information from interviewing a specific person can help you create a blog post, article or press release that gets noticed.

Have you ever wanted to interview in the style of Terry Gross, on National Public Radio’s Fresh Air? Gross has a way of getting her guests to say things to her that other interviewers never seem to be able to emulate. Well, that takes practice, and lots of it, but even without years of practice, you can still aim to create original content by using interview tactics that make your subject feel free to talk and give you interesting information.

Here are a few tips I’ve learned over the years from my own experience and from others to conduct effective interviews. Note that some of these tactics work best with willing subjects; interviewing “hostile witnesses” is a whole different ballgame.
  1. Be prepared! 
  2. Do your research before ever speaking to the person who can give you direct quotes and information. Set up a list of questions and know your topic, because if you don’t, it will show.

  3. Start with small talk. 
  4. Don’t just dive in with the topic you’re researching. Some people are a bit unnerved by an interview and find the process to be somewhat difficult. Start by asking where they’re from, where did they go to college, what was their first job - something that can be soft and manageable for them to just chat about. Typically, people like talking about themselves, so a soft start helps builds trust, and people who trust, talk.

  5. It’s not a game of 20-Questions, so take it slow.
  6. You want to entice your interviewee to tell you things, not hammer them with question after question to get to the good stuff. A good interview takes patience, not force. Design your questions to elicit information in small blurbs by dissecting the topic into small portions, if possible. Be prepared to give your subject time to answer.

  7. Ask open-ended questions. 
  8. These are the ones that don’t allow for only a yes or no answer. It’s best to allow the person you’re interviewing to speak freely and answer with more than a one-word answer.

  9. Don’t get stuck in a box.
  10. Allow your interview subject to talk, and if you don’t stick to your prepared questions; it’s okay. You may find out something you didn’t expect, making your story take a different turn or giving you material for another story or blog post.  

  11. Maintain control of the interview.
  12. I know, this seems completely opposite of what I just said, but you do have to maintain some semblance of control, if for nothing else than the sake of time and efficiency. Keeping an interview on track may take some practice, especially if you are interviewing someone who enjoys talking or simply says what comes into their heads.

  13. Listen, listen, listen and listen some more.
  14. Give your subject space in between questions and listen up. Allow a bit of silence. A few seconds in between is good and allows your interviewee that chance to think. Don’t interrupt, and don’t interject your own experiences or ideas. It’s not about you.

  15. Make this your final question:
  16. In my years of doing research for articles, blog posts and press releases, there is one question with which I typically end each interview: “Is there anything I didn’t ask that you think is important for people to know?” After you’ve gone through your prepared questions and veered off onto other paths and come back again, this question gives the interviewee a chance to state, or restate, the most important points.
Interviewing someone can be a smooth process if you follow just a few of the hints above. You won’t be perfect, and sometimes you’ll walk away thinking you should have asked this or should have asked that. It happens. That’s what a follow-up email or phone call is for, and most subjects won’t mind or find it a bother. It lets them know you’re doing your best to be thorough and get to the heart of the matter.