Hiring at many companies has slowed with the economic environment, but companies do continue to hire critical positions. I had the opportunity to talk with a recruiter recently about an example about that, and get another perspective on social media and hiring.
Here’s my discussion with HP University Recruiter Toni Goggans. Toni has been with the combined Company over 20 years total and has worn several hats (HR Consultant, Staffing Manager, Program Manager, Service Delivery Manager), with a current role focused on recruiting recent university grads for sales positions in the U.S. One of Toni’s career highlights was having an opportunity to travel as part of a team to Guadalajara, Mexico and Istanbul, Turkey to train other HP recruiters.
Steph K: I was on the network site for former and current interns and I noticed that you have an upcoming recruiting event at the University of New Mexico for Sales Trainees and Technical Consultants. What can you tell us about that event?
Toni: This is a follow-up to a series of on campus recruiting events. We will have hiring managers present to interview students for positions for our Albuquerque/Rio Rancho Contact Centers. The event is to recruit for full-time positions and candidates have typically received their degree in May 2008 or after. Those interested in these positions can apply online at www.hp.com/go/jobs. We will be hiring 600 at the temporary Albuquerque site and will have over 1300 employees at full capacity when we move to the permanent Contact Center in Rio Rancho, NM in February 2010!
Steph K: Social media is an evolving area. You used the online intern social network to let people know about a specific recruiting event. Are you seeing a change in the ways people connect with companies, and do you see that changing the way companies attract talent now or in the future?
Toni: Definitely! The key change is that most of our recruiting is done online. Positions are posted online and interested candidates need to apply online. This way their applications can be viewed immediately by both the hiring managers and the recruiter. Recruiters also mine resume databases to proactively find candidates with the skills we need as well as post our positions on several major internet job boards. With the significant increase in student use of social networks, employers are beginning to explore ways to appropriately use these networks to interact with students.
Steph K: From what I’ve seen in the current economy, companies are still doing some hiring but it’s more targeted than in the past. What’s your best career advice for people who are graduating in this economy?
Toni: First, take the time to do some research on the company of interest. Next, spend time creating your resume. Make sure you tailor it to the actual job you are applying for. I’ve seen major errors like addressing the cover letter to the wrong company or applying for positions which clearly aren’t a skills match. Follow the company process for applying for positions, i.e. if resumes are requested online via the company’s job website, apply online. Also, make sure you complete all portions of the application process including answering any prescreening questions, attaching your resume, etc.
Steph K: Anything else you want to add or comment on?
Toni: Be willing to expand your vision of your ideal job to include additional potential career paths that are using your knowledge and talents in other ways.
Steph K: Thanks Toni for sharing your perspectives!