Improving predictability and control over talent supply chain

Companies have always been been keen on improving predictability and control over talent supply chain. The bottle neck in the process was essentially sourcing quality talent for recruitment. Rest of the process was always more predictable and in control.

Companies now can have better control over their talent sourcing by leveraging:
1. Extending Recruitment Funnel on Top by Engaging with Talent on Social Media
2. Analytics

Everybody today is on Social Media; excellently put by The Economist, if Facebook were a country, it would be the second most populous one! By companies establishing firm presence on social media and connecting with target talent, companies can create skill basket of talent who could readily be sourced when need arises. Of course, in theory, this system alway existed but in practice it never created starts..but now the scale that companies can achieve by leveraging social media and systematisation made possible with social ATS allows companies to execute on theoretical models better. Doing this essentially has profound impact on the hiring funnel. Where traditionally companies measured recruitment funnel from submission stage, now the funnel will get extended on the top to include talent listening to company, followed by talent actively engaged, followed by application received. This extension results in better control over sourcing.

Here is the new sourcing funnel:

New age Recruitment Funnel
New age Recruitment Funnel

Emergence of Analytics has improved predictability in many aspects of business. The impact is same for talent sourcing. Historical data analysis, better predictability based on statistical models will help companies improve predictability.

Gamification for Recruiter Productivity Enhancement and Social Recruiting

Gamification has become a buzz word today. Everyone is talking about it but only a limited few are successfully applying the principles to improve living. But the few applying gamification are reaping great success and with much fanfare, adding to the buzz. Advent of total digitization of work, ERP and corporate social media is making adoption of Gamification very friendly and straight forward! Therefore I believe gamification is the next tectonic change that we will be experiencing in this and next decade.

Recruitment industry is also undergoing dramatic change. Social Media is seen as a huge opportunity and social hiring is catching on as a wild fire. These changes are forcing recruitment companies to upskill recruiters to hire socially using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. However social recruiting requires paradigm shift among recruiters who today are more adapted to job board hiring where recruiters follow a transactional marketing approach. To be successful in social hiring, one needs to be good at networking and relationship building and companies are finding hard to bring this required paradigm shift and get recruiters to follow a relationship marketing approach consistently.

If recruitment companies are to succeed then they need to quickly bring the change and bring it quickly! But how could companies bring such a change and sustain such a change? Perhaps GAMIFICATION is the answer. There are several benefits in choosing gamification as the tool to bring requisite change:

  • Change is required among recruiters who are in the age group 20-35 that has experienced game and gamification since their childhood and are receptive to it.
  • Gamification has methods to bring a person to experience, up-skill and bring mastery among participants. A skill development program needs to be in these phases to bring any lasting change.
  • Gamification fits very well in places where one wishes to encourage competition. Time and again gamification has been successfully implemented among sales teams and call centers to improve productivity.
  • Recruitment has always seen as a stressful job. Adding FUN to it can go a long way in improving quality of life and thereby reducing staff attrition and productivity. Gamification inherently brings the element of fun and therefore is apt for the situation.
  • Team work is seen as a major motivating element and thus gamification uses this element to its benefit. Recruitment firms are moving from individual star performance and winner takes it all mentality to a more team driven, process driven approach. Gamification can aid the over all movement and support the transition.

My next blog will deal with what gamification is and how exactly game elements and game design could be used to improve recruiter productivity and get recruiters to adopt social recruitment.

Turbocharge House of Quality with Social Media

In todays highly competitive environment, companies are finely segmenting their market and optimizing their product to delight their target segment. Since aspirations, desires and expectations of the target segment keeps changing, companies are constantly tweaking their products and innovating to adopt to the demand change. The House of Quality (HoQ) Matrix is the most recognized and widely used form of Quality Function Deployment (QFD) to achieve this end. It translates customer requirements into an appropriate number of engineering targets to be met by a product design.

Raise of Social Media is fast changing the way companies interact with people and how people interact with companies. People are freely communicating their true feeling on this platform and companies are trying to find ways to capture this data and use it to its benefit.

In this blog, I would explain how companies could use social media to turbocharge HoQ in order to reduce the lead time between changing customer aspiration and delivering customized products. This blog does not intend to explain HoQ in itself. For more on HoQ, click: http://www.public.iastate.edu/~vardeman/IE361/f01mini/johnson.pdf

(Paid) http://sloanreview.mit.edu/the-magazine/1993-spring/3434/how-puritanbennett-used-the-house-of-quality/

How to couple Social Media to House of Quality?

For successfully coupling Social Media and House Of Quality, we must first have the the right infrastructure such as prominent social media presence in Facebook, tweeter, LinkedIn etc. Once we have prominent presence, we must form a team comprising of all stake holders for House of Quality:

New Stake Holders of House of Quality

Once we cautiously bring the team together and set context we must bring clarity on role of each stake holder. Applying principles of change management would be a good starting point for implementation. As is the case in every process, no one size fits all and every firm must find their sweet spot.

What are the top 3 Key Benefits?

  1. Social Media would help House of Quality document become a continuously changing and accurate document that can be referred by R&D team regularly and produce products that delight customer.
  2. More transparent and system driven approach to understanding customer requirements and allocating resources to meet the requirements.
  3. Reduced lead time between customers requiring a change and the company providing it. This leads to tremendous competitive advantage

In conclusion, House of Quality needs to be a very dynamically updated and proactive document. In order to achieve this, we need to get customer input for the document in real time. Social Media could help us do so in a systematic manner. Achieving this feat would ultimately provide companies with competitive advantage and help them delight their customer.

Using Facebook Banner on page effectively

Facebook’s new timeline for Pages has created quite a wave! Some have welcomed the move and some are frowning and a whole lot of people are still puzzled how to react to the change. I welcome this move and specifically love the huge Facebook Banner that the new timeline allows! Banners are opening up a whole lot of opportunity for marketers to express their creativity on Facebook Page and bring more value to their fans and target audience. Here are some tips on creating effective Facebook banner:

ARE U STUCK WITH WEB 2.0 MINDSET? most companies are still stuck WITH web 2.0 mindset and are using the banner as they would use in a website; to communicate their brand promise or about their cash cow products. Facebook has largest percentage of active users and people follow newsfeed very regularly and therefore Facebook is all about NEW! One cannot put a banner and leave it for the next generation to change! However one could use banner to communicate corporate brand but should continue to bring new photos to do so. Therefore banners should communicate fresh ideas all the time and serve a business purpose. Below GE has shown its office but I feel GE could have better utilized the banner by communicating a purpose by using text in the banner.

FACEBOOK IS A SOCIAL PLATFORM, REMEMBER? Being social also means being helpful. Therefore the banner should not be used to JUST communicate company’s identity or acheivements, it can and should only communicate value/benefit to the viewer! Its matter of perspective! Perhaps good use of banner is to communicate new launches, special deals, offers, innovative ways of better using the product, etc. Apple is using their banner to show their new product release iPad3.

THEME BASED MARKETING IS BACK IN FASHION! companies could create monthly theme for marketing and could use the banner to drive the theme among the fans. Theme based marketing required dedicated efforts and is fundamental to the way marketing chooses to operate. Therefore it is not easy to adopt this way but smaller sized organisation could find ways to select theme for a month and market their product based on the theme. Here is one example of theme based marketing undertaken by old spice:

Having discussed ways to use Facebook banner effectively, here are some ways that are NOT the right methods:

SHOULDN’T MARKETERS USE EVERYTHING TO COMMUNICATE SOMETHING? Not using the banner to communicate a point sufficiently and clearly is wasting a precious scarce resource that marketers cannot afford! If using some text is the solution.

Isn’t not putting a banner at all a crime?

Some of my own creations are below, these may not be the best but have:

  • Call to action
  • Benefits
  • New Product/Service

I would also like to share an excellent example by Samsung! These guys are doing wonderful job on Social Media Marketing!I

I welcome more suggestions on innovative ways of using Facebook Banners. Please share your ideas.