Background Checking … Using Social Media

Robert Pickell, who’s the senior vice president of customer solutions at HireRight, says that he expects to see a lawsuit like that before long: a workplace violence or similar episode will happen, and someone will argue that the employer should have found information on social media indicating that the employee was dangerous.

HireRight has been talking to customers about the social-media-background-checking convergence for three or four years. The company has yet to plunge into it, though, saying there just isn’t demand, and the pitfalls are too great.

In the comment section, I’d love to hear your thoughts on all this.


Employee referrals and social media have begun to blend together. Could background checks and social media be next?

A new company called “Social Intelligence” says it’ll “track the worldwide network of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, LinkedIn, individual blogs, and thousands of other sources.”

Social Intelligence will, within 24-48 hours, produce a report on a job candidate using both automation as well as humans, the latter there to make sure there aren’t “false positives.” It says it will weed out “protected class” information it finds, such as race and religion. The company is also offering a version to monitor what existing employees are up to.

As far as the hiring version, a screenshot, which you can click on to enlarge, shows that the employee profile screens for such things as: ”Gangs,” “Drugs/drug lingo,” “demonstrating potentially violent behavior,” and “poor judgment” — something we could all agree can be found in ample supply on social media.

I asked the company’s CEO, Max Drucker, whether this judgment thing is kind of subjective. “We err on the side of not flagging something,” he says, adding that “serious red-flag issues” are what they’re really looking for. He also notes that the firm has three people review information before the profile’s done. So, “Todd beat Sean in the 600-meter dash” shouldn’t show up as a Todd-beats-people flag. I hope.

Nick Fishman, the co-founder of EmployeeScreenIQ, doesn’t envision his or other similar companies going down the social-media background-checking road. “Not only are they not now, but I don’t foresee getting into it in the future,” he says. “It’s a hornet’s nest.” Awaiting employers in that nest, he says, are FCRA regulations and EEO rules. Leer más “Background Checking … Using Social Media”

Why the Old Recruiting Skills Are Dead, and Four Essential New Ones

There has never been a more challenging time to be a corporate recruiter. Hiring managers are very demanding and expect fast, personalized service by knowledgeable recruiters. Given the current unemployment rate and the perceived availability of talent, they may be unrealistic in what they expect. Nonetheless, they are the primary customer and need to be provided service at a high level. Candidates, too, are not what they used to be. The talented and highly in-demand candidates also want to be given fast, personalized service by an ethical and in-the-know recruiter.

All of this means that the skills that once defined a successful corporate recruiter are not sufficient. Indeed, those skills may even be detrimental to success.

A corporate recruiter has always had a different skill set than a recruiter working in an agency or as an independent. While agency recruiters have focused on building relationships (often in deep, vertical job families), on tapping into new sources of candidates, and on assessing candidates against a variety of criteria, the corporate recruiter has evolved three very different set of competencies over the years.

The first is the ability to facilitate hiring. These recruiters are adept at dealing with the corporate bureaucracy and legal issues. They are formidable navigators of the corporate landscape. They know every hill and valley, every bomb and sinkhole. These skills are unique to a particular company and do not transfer well. Recruiters with these competencies are most likely to have worked for the same firm for many years. Every bureaucracy has created people with these types of skills and could not function without them. The internal knowledge they have, and their ability to get things done in systems resistant to getting things done, makes them valuable, but only in that system. While this may seem as if it is practical and useful, the skills usually fail completely to help the recruiter navigate a talent-constrained marketplace, find the rare candidates, or convince them to work for the organization.


There has never been a more challenging time to be a corporate recruiter. Hiring managers are very demanding and expect fast, personalized service by knowledgeable recruiters. Given the current unemployment rate and the perceived availability of talent, they may be unrealistic in what they expect. Nonetheless, they are the primary customer and need to be provided service at a high level. Candidates, too, are not what they used to be. The talented and highly in-demand candidates also want to be given fast, personalized service by an ethical and in-the-know recruiter.

All of this means that the skills that once defined a successful corporate recruiter are not sufficient. Indeed, those skills may even be detrimental to success.

A corporate recruiter has always had a different skill set than a recruiter working in an agency or as an independent. While agency recruiters have focused on building relationships (often in deep, vertical job families), on tapping into new sources of candidates, and on assessing candidates against a variety of criteria, the corporate recruiter has evolved three very different set of competencies over the years.

The first is the ability to facilitate hiring. These recruiters are adept at dealing with the corporate bureaucracy and legal issues. They are formidable navigators of the corporate landscape. They know every hill and valley, every bomb and sinkhole. These skills are unique to a particular company and do not transfer well. Recruiters with these competencies are most likely to have worked for the same firm for many years. Every bureaucracy has created people with these types of skills and could not function without them. The internal knowledge they have, and their ability to get things done in systems resistant to getting things done, makes them valuable, but only in that system. While this may seem as if it is practical and useful, the skills usually fail completely to help the recruiter navigate a talent-constrained marketplace, find the rare candidates, or convince them to work for the organization. Leer más “Why the Old Recruiting Skills Are Dead, and Four Essential New Ones”

Why the Old Recruiting Skills Are Dead, and Four Essential New Ones

There has never been a more challenging time to be a corporate recruiter. Hiring managers are very demanding and expect fast, personalized service by knowledgeable recruiters. Given the current unemployment rate and the perceived availability of talent, they may be unrealistic in what they expect. Nonetheless, they are the primary customer and need to be provided service at a high level. Candidates, too, are not what they used to be. The talented and highly in-demand candidates also want to be given fast, personalized service by an ethical and in-the-know recruiter.

All of this means that the skills that once defined a successful corporate recruiter are not sufficient. Indeed, those skills may even be detrimental to success.

A corporate recruiter has always had a different skill set than a recruiter working in an agency or as an independent. While agency recruiters have focused on building relationships (often in deep, vertical job families), on tapping into new sources of candidates, and on assessing candidates against a variety of criteria, the corporate recruiter has evolved three very different set of competencies over the years.

The first is the ability to facilitate hiring. These recruiters are adept at dealing with the corporate bureaucracy and legal issues. They are formidable navigators of the corporate landscape. They know every hill and valley, every bomb and sinkhole. These skills are unique to a particular company and do not transfer well. Recruiters with these competencies are most likely to have worked for the same firm for many years. Every bureaucracy has created people with these types of skills and could not function without them. The internal knowledge they have, and their ability to get things done in systems resistant to getting things done, makes them valuable, but only in that system. While this may seem as if it is practical and useful, the skills usually fail completely to help the recruiter navigate a talent-constrained marketplace, find the rare candidates, or convince them to work for the organization.


There has never been a more challenging time to be a corporate recruiter. Hiring managers are very demanding and expect fast, personalized service by knowledgeable recruiters. Given the current unemployment rate and the perceived availability of talent, they may be unrealistic in what they expect. Nonetheless, they are the primary customer and need to be provided service at a high level. Candidates, too, are not what they used to be. The talented and highly in-demand candidates also want to be given fast, personalized service by an ethical and in-the-know recruiter.

All of this means that the skills that once defined a successful corporate recruiter are not sufficient. Indeed, those skills may even be detrimental to success.

A corporate recruiter has always had a different skill set than a recruiter working in an agency or as an independent. While agency recruiters have focused on building relationships (often in deep, vertical job families), on tapping into new sources of candidates, and on assessing candidates against a variety of criteria, the corporate recruiter has evolved three very different set of competencies over the years.

The first is the ability to facilitate hiring. These recruiters are adept at dealing with the corporate bureaucracy and legal issues. They are formidable navigators of the corporate landscape. They know every hill and valley, every bomb and sinkhole. These skills are unique to a particular company and do not transfer well. Recruiters with these competencies are most likely to have worked for the same firm for many years. Every bureaucracy has created people with these types of skills and could not function without them. The internal knowledge they have, and their ability to get things done in systems resistant to getting things done, makes them valuable, but only in that system. While this may seem as if it is practical and useful, the skills usually fail completely to help the recruiter navigate a talent-constrained marketplace, find the rare candidates, or convince them to work for the organization. Leer más “Why the Old Recruiting Skills Are Dead, and Four Essential New Ones”

The Future of College Recruiting Will be Dominated by Market Research (Part 1 of 2)

The current lull in college recruiting is an opportune time to evaluate new strategies and tools. It is no secret that the vast majority of organizations that recruit from college campuses globally do so tactically, employing little or no strategy. To even the casual observer, the approaches used are predictable, pedestrian, and in some cases laughable, but all of that is about to change.

From the vantage point of someone who has been involved in college recruiting for more than 40 years, either representing a corporation or a university, it is clear that we are approaching a strategic inflection point with regard to the amount of strategy supporting college recruiting.

As that inflection point approaches, there are several dramatic changes that you should anticipate, including:

* The growth of social media (already demonstrating significant impact), opens up hundreds of new communication channels, allowing organizations to present highly targeted messages to highly targeted prospect segments and to cultivate relationships with top talent throughout their academic careers.
* The growth in acceptance of and access to video communication equipment will make it possible for organizations to decrease the use of campus visits and embrace “remote college recruiting.” This societal change comes just as more universities embrace virtual classrooms that allow students to participate in courses without being physically present. Costs will drop, organizations will be able to expand the number of colleges mined for talent, and everyone involved will save time.
* The globalization of work will force organizations to embrace unified global sourcing. While most organizations today continue to recruit geographically, as work becomes more distributed and global universities refine their emphasis and establish stronger industrial ties (Petronas University of Technology for example), organizations will have no choice but to tap the global market to recruit the high volume of graduates with specialized skills needed.
* The “businessization” of university recruiting will require more strategic, longer-term programs to manage complex situations. Due to the dramatic growth of for-profit universities and ongoing economic pressures on public institutions, many educational programs today have direct ties to established corporations that enable benefactors closer access to top students. Cultivating a relationship with said students in such environments will require college recruiting functions to become more business-like, i.e. guided by strategy, empowered with real-time information and relationship-management tools, and world-class opportunities (think of jobs as products) to take to students.

All of the changes highlighted above point to a demand for the college recruiting function to migrate away from being a game of chance to a more serious function that embraces cutting-edge marketing and sales tactics to deliver specific students to the organization. The modern arsenal of tools needed will include CRM (customer relationship management) systems and highly segmented branding informed by robust market research.


by Dr. John Sullivan | //ere.net

The current lull in college recruiting is an opportune time to evaluate new strategies and tools. It is no secret that the vast majority of organizations that recruit from college campuses globally do so tactically, employing little or no strategy. To even the casual observer, the approaches used are predictable, pedestrian, and in some cases laughable, but all of that is about to change.

From the vantage point of someone who has been involved in college recruiting for more than 40 years, either representing a corporation or a university, it is clear that we are approaching a strategic inflection point with regard to the amount of strategy supporting college recruiting.

As that inflection point approaches, there are several dramatic changes that you should anticipate, including:

  • The growth of social media (already demonstrating significant impact), opens up hundreds of new communication channels, allowing organizations to present highly targeted messages to highly targeted prospect segments and to cultivate relationships with top talent throughout their academic careers.
  • The growth in acceptance of and access to video communication equipment will make it possible for organizations to decrease the use of campus visits and embrace “remote college recruiting.” This societal change comes just as more universities embrace virtual classrooms that allow students to participate in courses without being physically present. Costs will drop, organizations will be able to expand the number of colleges mined for talent, and everyone involved will save time.
  • The globalization of work will force organizations to embrace unified global sourcing. While most organizations today continue to recruit geographically, as work becomes more distributed and global universities refine their emphasis and establish stronger industrial ties (Petronas University of Technology for example), organizations will have no choice but to tap the global market to recruit the high volume of graduates with specialized skills needed.
  • The “businessization” of university recruiting will require more strategic, longer-term programs to manage complex situations. Due to the dramatic growth of for-profit universities and ongoing economic pressures on public institutions, many educational programs today have direct ties to established corporations that enable benefactors closer access to top students. Cultivating a relationship with said students in such environments will require college recruiting functions to become more business-like, i.e. guided by strategy, empowered with real-time information and relationship-management tools, and world-class opportunities (think of jobs as products) to take to students.

All of the changes highlighted above point to a demand for the college recruiting function to migrate away from being a game of chance to a more serious function that embraces cutting-edge marketing and sales tactics to deliver specific students to the organization. The modern arsenal of tools needed will include CRM (customer relationship management) systems and highly segmented branding informed by robust market research. Leer más “The Future of College Recruiting Will be Dominated by Market Research (Part 1 of 2)”

Movement from Test to Experience: a Fundamental Shift in Assessment Perspective

Despite the advantages listed above, we need to be realists and face the fact that testing is a difficult game to be in. Despite a huge shot in the arm provided by technology, the basic testing paradigm still involves candidates filling in small circles and likely grousing a bit in the process.

On the other side of the fence, many companies view a “test” as isolated element of the hiring process, not an integrated part of the bigger picture. As a result of this paradigm it is not a stretch to say that in their current mainstream state of use:

* Tests are boring — they are not engaging for candidates. In fact, they have the opposite effect.
* Tests build walls — it is very common for a separate function to be in charge of testing and for tests to be an “add on,” creating separation between various parts of the recruitment/staffing functions
* Tests are highly localized — although highly effective as key parts of an employee lifecycle/talent management perspective, tests are most commonly used to fight fires
* Tests offer only a one-way dialogue — pre-employment tests provide no feedback to the applicant and by doing so can function to erode employment branding efforts


Reengineering guidance and relationship of Mis...

by Dr. Charles Handler | //ere.net

Those of us in the testing and assessment business are very proud of what we do. We have about 50 years of experience in helping companies to make better hiring decisions, resulting in happier employees and increased ROI. Some of the benefits of pre-employment assessments include:

  • Sound methodology: when created correctly, assessments provide an accurate and reliable way to measure constructs important for job performance
  • ROI: we have tons of data to show that assessments provide a strong value add to the hiring process
  • Variety: there are thousands of tests available, covering almost every job and industry
  • Versatility: tests can be used for both pre- and post-hire assessment, helping them offer more value

Despite the advantages listed above, we need to be realists and face the fact that testing is a difficult game to be in. Despite a huge shot in the arm provided by technology, the basic testing paradigm still involves candidates filling in small circles and likely grousing a bit in the process.

On the other side of the fence, many companies view a “test” as isolated element of the hiring process, not an integrated part of the bigger picture. As a result of this paradigm it is not a stretch to say that in their current mainstream state of use:

  • Tests are boring — they are not engaging for candidates. In fact, they have the opposite effect.
  • Tests build walls — it is very common for a separate function to be in charge of testing and for tests to be an “add on,” creating separation between various parts of the recruitment/staffing functions
  • Tests are highly localized — although highly effective as key parts of an employee lifecycle/talent management perspective, tests are most commonly used to fight fires
  • Tests offer only a one-way dialogue — pre-employment tests provide no feedback to the applicant and by doing so can function to erode employment branding efforts

The positive and negative factors associated with testing combined with what I call “technology push” (the idea that advances in technology push all businesses and industries upward and forward by providing the infrastructure needed for innovation) are driving a fundamental shift in testing. This shift will carry us away from thinking about “tests” toward an increased focus on the idea of creating an “experience” that adds value for all parties involved in multiple ways.

We can expect this shift in focus to bring an increase in:

  • Transparency: tests will become embedded into a more engaging candidate experience until they become transparent to the applicant
  • Interactivity: experiences will increase the level of interactivity between organizations and job applicants/employees, as well as interactivity within the applicant population
  • Predictive accuracy: technology-backed experiences will help create major shifts in predictive capabilities of assessment-based content based on business intelligence and data analysis that flows from increased engagement and interactivity Leer más “Movement from Test to Experience: a Fundamental Shift in Assessment Perspective”

How to Get Your Executives to Pay Attention to Metrics (Part 2 of 2)

Maximizing Visibility

* Imbed metrics in standard business reports — this is the most important action among the 25 listed here. HR metrics are traditionally presented in independent HR reports, which are rarely widely distributed or read. Reports emanating from the CEO, COO, CFO, and business unit leaders are more likely to be widely read and therefore the best place to embed a few powerful HR metrics. Many business leaders inherently accept that things like vacant positions, quality of hire, turnover, and absenteeism negatively impact their business, but are used to discussions about each being silo’d as HR issues, not business issues. Partnering with business leaders to identify workforce-related risks and embedding information about each in relevant business communications will make the connection more clear.
* Alerts and forecasting — the vast majority of HR metrics being reported today reveal little change from period to period, making paying attention to them akin to staring at a rock and waiting for it to dance. If you want managers to pay attention, stop reporting nothing and start alerting managers to things that are changing or that will likely impact their business.
* Include an executive summary — if you must push out a lot of information, keep in mind that like you, busy executives don’t have the time to read an entire report, so be sure to include an executive summary highlighting the problems or opportunities that your metrics point out.
* Continue the story — in addition to reporting your successes through metrics, use other communications to further spread your message. One approach is to write up your HR “success stories” in a narrative format and then integrate them into regular communication mechanisms like newsletters, web sites, blogs, videos, and internal presentations.
* Get some metrics in the annual report – the most widely distributed business report is the annual report. Getting a few of your critical metrics in it increases both your visibility and status and may result in external analysts commenting on your successes.


Metrics have become and will continue to be an indispensable tool when it comes to managing any corporate function strategically. Unfortunately, like many things in life, not all metrics deliver the same value. In part one of this series, I discussed five differentiators that set exceptional metrics initiatives apart from average ones and offered up a number of ways that you could improve your efforts with formal planning and a compelling presentation format. In this part, my attention turns to improving the visibility, relevance, and emphasis of your efforts.

Maximizing Visibility

  • Imbed metrics in standard business reports — this is the most important action among the 25 listed here. HR metrics are traditionally presented in independent HR reports, which are rarely widely distributed or read. Reports emanating from the CEO, COO, CFO, and business unit leaders are more likely to be widely read and therefore the best place to embed a few powerful HR metrics. Many business leaders inherently accept that things like vacant positions, quality of hire, turnover, and absenteeism negatively impact their business, but are used to discussions about each being silo’d as HR issues, not business issues. Partnering with business leaders to identify workforce-related risks and embedding information about each in relevant business communications will make the connection more clear.
  • Alerts and forecasting — the vast majority of HR metrics being reported today reveal little change from period to period, making paying attention to them akin to staring at a rock and waiting for it to dance. If you want managers to pay attention, stop reporting nothing and start alerting managers to things that are changing or that will likely impact their business.
  • Include an executive summary — if you must push out a lot of information, keep in mind that like you, busy executives don’t have the time to read an entire report, so be sure to include an executive summary highlighting the problems or opportunities that your metrics point out.
  • Continue the story — in addition to reporting your successes through metrics, use other communications to further spread your message. One approach is to write up your HR “success stories” in a narrative format and then integrate them into regular communication mechanisms like newsletters, web sites, blogs, videos, and internal presentations.
  • Get some metrics in the annual report – the most widely distributed business report is the annual report. Getting a few of your critical metrics in it increases both your visibility and status and may result in external analysts commenting on your successes.

Improving Relevance

  • Give them input in selecting metrics — the metrics you report on might seem irrelevant to your managers because they were not involved in selecting them. Ask your target audience “what people-management metrics would help them make better decisions?” If they select a weak metric, educate them about better metrics that may present a more accurate story.
  • Always include ROI — the return on the investment of budget dollars (or ROI) is the single most powerful metric. As a result, include the estimated ROI ratio of people-management, which compares all labor and HR costs to the revenue generated by your firm’s employees. If this ROI percentage (also known as workforce productivity) is high, you should directly compare it to other business functions.
  • Drop metrics that are ignored – if you deliver your metrics online, use web analytics to determine which metrics managers are paying attention to and drop those they are not. If you are not relying on electronic distribution, ask them.
  • Avoid tactical metrics – even if executives and managers request them, it’s often best to omit tactical or operational metrics that cover process efficiency. Focus on strategic metrics that directly relate to or directly impact primary business goals (i.e. revenue, profit, product development, customer service and sales). Leer más “How to Get Your Executives to Pay Attention to Metrics (Part 2 of 2)”

Career Development Complaints Is a Warning Sign and an Invitation

Having a job almost three years into the recession is a type of security, which explains why 81 percent of the workers in the survey aren’t actively looking, though 51 percent of them see no career advancement where they are, and 43 percent believe they have to change jobs to move up.

Wise HR professionals should take these surveys as an early warning. Internal career advancement may be limited, but that doesn’t mean bosses should be overlooking opportunities to help their staff develop the skills they’ll need when openings do come up.

Two years ago, when Lake Research Partners asked about career development, 25 percent of the workers said their boss was “not providing guidance and opportunities necessary to advance.” Now, almost three times as many workers feel that way.

Besides being good business to have workers ready to step up, it can also help ward off recruiter raiding. If large numbers of workers are unhappy with their career development, and a big percentage feel they have to leave their company to grow, that’s fertile ground for recruiters. You can’t stop defections, but doing nothing will only make the best talent more receptive to other opportunities.


The Office's Michael ScottWhen CareerBuilder asked workers which TV bosses most reminded them of their own boss, it wasn’t much of a surprise to find American Idol‘s Simon Cowell and The Office‘s Michael Scott among the top ten.

But Judge Judy? Oprah?

I don’t suppose most of us think of Cowell, Judge Judy or Oprah as TV bosses, even if bossy and opinionated and judgmental fit two of the three. But hey, this is CareerBuilder’s gig and it’s just for fun anyway.

Oprah made the list because she reminded at least some of the almost 4,500 poll takers of their boss. “Very influential and informative,” CareerBuilder called her. The job board applied another “i” word to Cowell: “insulting.” Michael Scott got his own “i” word: “idiotic.” Judge Judy was “no nonsense and fair.”

There was a serious side to the online survey. Workers were asked their opinion of their boss’ skills and management qualities. The biggest shortcoming, identified by 61 percent of the participants, was in career development. They didn’t feel the boss was doing a good job preparing them to advance in the company. Leer más “Career Development Complaints Is a Warning Sign and an Invitation”