SoLoMo – Social, Local, and Mobile – is not a trend; it is happening right now on this moment. If a company does not have a clear SoLoMo strategy or a mobile-optimized website by now, the company has fallen behind in competition.
I am an optimistic person and thus believe many companies have already taken SoLoMo seriously. Otherwise, they have probably been defeated by their competitors who embrace SoLoMo. My real concern is that not every company has an integrated SoLoMo strategy. Often, companies pay close attention to SoLoMo’s effect on sales and marketing. A true integrated strategy, however, must include every facet of business operations into considerations.
Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported a story that highlighted the SoLoMo’s impact on employee recruitment. According to this report, mobile devices will outpass desktops/laptops and become Americans’ preferred method for accessing the internet by 2015. Among the Fortune 500 companies, 167 (33%) have already had career portals that are optimized to fit in a smartphone screen. A year ago, only 65 companies did so.
McDonald’s and Macy’s are the two examples cited in the report. McDonald’s launched its mobile career site back in 2008. At that time, three million people visited the mobile site and 24,000 actually submitted an application on the mobile site. By 2012, McDonald’s received two million applications, with a record of 30 million visits of its mobile career site. Today, McDonald’s mobile career site brings over 10% of applications to the company.
Macy’s tested its mobile-optimized career page in 2011 with selected positions like software developers and marketers before the company rolled out a mobile page for hourly employees in 2012. Today, Macy’s receive 20-25% of applications from its mobile career page.
Recently, Convenience Store Decisions and Humetrics conducted a national human resource (HR) survey with nearly 100 convenience store chains, representing 12,000 stores in the U.S. The results also support SoLoMo’s impact on HR operations, including:
- The two most effective recruiting tools for hourly employees are in-store ads or outdoor signage and employee referral program. For salaried positions, internet job boards and company websites become the two most effective methods.
- Social media are being used in recruitment by 28% of respondents, significantly higher than what was reported in 2012 (2%).
- The usage of CraigsList for recruiting hourly employees increased from 21% in 2011 to 25% in 2012 (Craigslist also has a mobile app).
- Only 5% stores are using social media sites for screening now, but another 5% plan to add checking social media sites as a screening method in 2013.
- About 22% suggested they will adopt new training technologies, such as e-Learning, Webinars, learning management systems, smartphones, iPad, PC, among many others.
Another market-research report by Nielsen found that 63% of Americans use mobile devices to access social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn (Weber, 2013). Mobile devices indeed provide a great means for companies to reach potential candidates. To embrace SoLoMo, some employers also use QR codes and text-messaging in mobile recruiting.
One challenge of doing mobile recruiting, however, is that mobile-optimized career sites might not be as easy to navigate as the sites on laptops/desktops (Weber, 2013). Regardless, SoLoMo in HR is happening now.
Do you think SoLoMo will play an even more important role in HR? How about its impact on other areas of business operations? How can businesses respond to the SoLoMo movement? Referring to your personal experience, for what purposes do you use mobile devices? Do you believe your smartphone can help you find a job in the future? Why or why not?
Kleiman, Mel. (April, 2013). The 2013 convenience store human resources study. Convenience Store Decisions, 24(4), p. 26-30.
Weber, Lauren. (April 24, 2013). How your smartphone could get you a job: McDonald’s, Macy’s customize their career sites, but most companies aren’t moving fast enough. The Wall Street Journal, retrieve online on April 24, 2013 via http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323551004578441130657837720.html
The picture was downloaded from teczealots.com
It is not new to hear people got fired because of their updates on social networking sites. In one extreme case, a man got fired even for his random thoughts posted on Facebook. So, is it legal for companies to fire employees because of their updates on social media sites?
Employees have the rights to discuss face-to-face on “protected concerted activity” as outlined by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). For example, employees can talk about their wages and work conditions with co-workers. According to The Lodging Magazine (2013), the answer to whether employees have the rights to talk about work or their boss on social media sites depends on whether the employee’s update is considered as protected concerted activity.
The article in The Lodging Magazine reported two cases with the published decisions from NLRB. One case involves in an employee’s sarcastic comments about the employer. This employee is not protected because NLRB believes that the comments were made “solely by the employee without any discussion with other employees.” In the other case, an employee responded to a co-worker’s criticisms of her job performance as well as the performance of other co-workers. This employee was fired, but NLRB ruled in favor of the terminated employee because the employee’s behavior is “a call to group action that related to their working conditions.”
Even though it is noted that the decision made by the NLRB may turn out to be invalid because the Supreme Court by the Administration is still pending on its decision on whether the NLRB “lacks a quorum and is unable to conduct business,” employers are advised to keep such decisions of NLRB in mind. In the end, the article lists six suggestions for employers’ considerations (direct quotes):
- Eliminate policies that require employees to maintain confidentiality over wages, bonuses, or commissions.
- Review social media policies for non-specific terms that need further definition or stricter language.
- Adjust overly broad language that prohibits employees from discussing company policies, schedules, safety, dress codes, work assignments, other staff, or management.
- Eliminate or change language that prohibits posting of company logos, company name, identification of employee with the company, etc.
- Where legitimate issues are involved, define information that the company considers confidential (private employee data, guest information, strategic marketing plans, financial particulars).
- Consider a disclaimer at the end of the social media policy that makes clear that the policy is not intended to restrict an employee’s Section Seven Rights under the NLRA.
My suggestion to individual users is to think before posting any negative comments about work or their boss. They may ask themselves: besides venting my feelings about work or my boss on social media sites, how does my update help solve the issue? Are there other places for me to vent my feelings? Are there other places I can seek solutions (e.g., the HR Office, the corporate HR Manager, the NLRB, etc.)?
I agree to the article that managers need to revisit their companies’ policy. Ideally, I believe that the best solution to “stop” employees from bad-mouthing the company or their supervisors is to nurture an organizational culture that value employee feedback. If employees know their employer listens to them and shows genuine interest to them, they tend to be more open to their managers about their feelings and thoughts. If their issues are solved, they will not need to vent their feelings on social media sites any more. What do you think?
Ryan, Andria, & Lominack, Reybun. (2013, March). Word to the wise: the National Labor Relations Board is weighing in on social media communications and employee rights; Here’s what hoteliers need to know. The Lodging Magazine (The official magazine of The American Hotel + Lodging Association), p. 20-21.
The U.S. added 157,000 payroll positions in January according to The New York Times. Such job growth, however, did not result in a lower unemployment rate. On the contrary, the unemployment rate rose to 7.9% for the month. What is going on?
There must be more than one reason behind that. One could be employers now require existing employees to take over some of the responsibilities for the vacant positions until they are filled. When employers are not filling the vacant positions, the increased number of payroll positions does not help lower the unemployment rate.
Another possible reason is that fewer employers are willing to invest in candidates with less experience but great potential. Companies prefer to hire candidates who are ready to plug in and perform the job immediately — usually those holding a similar position in a competitive firm. By doing so, companies can save a good amount of training and development cost. Therefore, it may seem everyone is “hiring,” but the truth is everyone is fighting for the same candidates who have already had a job. When no one is hiring the unemployed, the increased number of empty positions has little effect on the unemployment rate.
I consider what I mentioned above the “malpractices” in HR operations because these companies are doing nothing but “digging the grave” for themselves. Today, almost every professional is on LinkedIn. Many are also active on other social media platforms. As compared to regular staff, valuable employees are more vulnerable to be seen on the internet and be approached by a competitor. As a result, when the economy is turning around, the companies that require employees to do more for less or do not want to invest in their human capital will end up losing the top talent for the competitors.
Considering retention management is a system-wise approach to encourage valuable employees to stay with the employer, I would like to ask you the following questions: What considerations a company must take in managing employee retention? Based on what you experienced in the workplace or what you have read in literature, what tactics can employers use to manage employee retention? Which tactics work well? Which do not? For what reasons?
Rampell, Catherine. (2013, February 2). Job growth steady, but unemployment rises to 7.9%. The New York Times, pp. B1. Also available online via http://nyti.ms/XxVsxP
The picture was downloaded from FrankCrum
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.
It is no longer a secret that companies use social media to recruit and select managerial candidates. As a result, if a job seeker wants to catch an employer’s attention, s/he must be visible online as an expert.
Last year, I published an article about social-media job-search tactics in HOSTEUR™, in which I shared some career advice with hospitality and tourism students. A year later, I was invited to write an article of the same topic for the HealthyYou Magazine, but this time my target audience is the students majoring in nutrition science and public health. I actually offered similar advice to both groups (even though with different wordings). The truth is it doesn’t matter in which area(s) a person wants to advance his/her career. The basic tactics of using social media in job search remain the same. Here are some examples,
- A job seeker must understand the characteristics and qualifications that his/her ideal employer is looking for in order to design/develop an appropriate personal brand that fits into this employer’s expectations as well as his/her own career goal.
- Having a presence on major social networking sites, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter is good, but not enough. A job seeker also needs to actively participate in online forums and discussion. The more useful information this person shares, the better. The more this person helps other in a specific area, the more likely this person will be known as an expertise in a particular domain.
- It is nice to connect with the industry experts, professionals, co-workers, clients, and people who share the same interests, but these connections may not mean much if we never interact with them. A trustful relationship is built over time through continuous interactions.
- Being negative and critical is fine because it shows a person’s professional knowledge (at least it indicates that this person is capable of identifying an issue), but it can be better if this person is able to offer constructive feedback, suggestions, and alternative solutions to help solve the issue.
- In order to leverage the power of social media, professionals and students must be willing to share their knowledge and some personal information online. A person can have the most brilliant idea in the world, but such wonderful idea might never be discovered or searchable by a potential employer if this person keeps everything private.
What do you think? Will those tactics work in other disciplines besides hospitality and tourism, nutrition science, and public health? What other useful suggestions will you make to those job seekers who plan to use social media in job search?
One Has No Choice But to Manage His/Her Online Image
Background Check on Social Media: Now Is a Serious Business
Using Facebook for Background Check
Social Media and Job Search I
Social Media and Job Search II
Kwok, Linchi (2012). Beyond a profile page: Using social media to build a personal brand and impress potential employers. HealthyYou Magazine, 12(1), 14 – 15. (Available in print but not online yet).
I recently read two discussions about company policies on employees’ grooming standards and social media. I believe they both deserve our attention, especially if we are working in the service sector.
The first one is about a company’s guidelines on employee dress codes and grooming standards. Today, there are more people wearing tattoos and piercings than before. It is found that 32% of those between 25 and 29 wear at least one tattoo. Does this mean more companies will allow employees to uncover their tattoos and piercings at work?
I doubt it. Based on my own research on hospitality recruiters’ expectations of job candidates and my work experience in the industry, I believe the service industry is still very conservative in dress codes and very strict on employees’ grooming standards. The question is: What policy is deemed appropriate in the work place?
According to a recent report in the HR Magazine, strict work place dress codes may raise legal issues, especially when a tattoo or piercing “reflects a genuine religious belief.” In that case, “the employer must accommodate that belief unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the business.”
The second discussion is a case about Facebook and legal issues. According to the Ogletree Deakins News, a salesman got fired by a car dealership because (a) he posted comments criticizing the way that the dealership had handled a marketing event with photos on Facebook and (b) he made critical comments about an accident that occurred during the marketing event by another dealership, which is run by the same company of his and located right next door. He then filed unfair labor practice charge against the dealership, “alleging both that he had been discharged because he engaged in protected concerted activities in violation of Section 8(a)(1) of the Act and that the company maintained several unlawful rules in its employee handbook.” So, what are the results?
The administrative law judge (ALJ) concluded that the salesman was discharged because of what he posted about the accident caused by the dealership next door, “and because that posting was not protected activity, the termination was not unlawful.” The ALJ, however, “considered the allegations that the employee handbook contained several policies that violated the ACT.” Three out of the four challenged “courtesy” policies on the dealership’s employee handbook are found unlawful and need modifications. One example of the unlawful policy reads:
Courtesy: Courtesy is the responsibility of every employee. Everyone is expected to be courteous, polite and friendly to our customers, vendors and suppliers, as well as to their fellow employees. No one should be disrespectful or use profanity or any other languages which injures the image or reputation of the Dealership.
On review, the National Labor Review Board (NLRB) agreed that the “courtesy rule” violated Section 8(a)(1) Act because “employees would reasonably construe its broad prohibition against ‘disrespectful’ conduct and ‘language which injures the image or reputation of the Dealership’ as encompassing Section 7 activity, such as employees’ protected statement.” NLRB further explained that an employee’s “polite expression of disagreement could be deemed ‘disrespectful’ to the company’s reputation” under the courtesy policy. In the end, the company was ordered to “rescind the three rules and furnish all employees with the language of lawful rules or a revised employee handbook containing the new rules.”
I do not have any JD education, but it seems to me that many companies striving to provide professional and exceptional customer service (in a more “conservative” way at least) would set strict guidelines on employees’ grooming standards, their usage of social networking sites, as well as courtesy. It becomes obvious that we need to be very careful in writing an employee handbook. It is probably a very good idea to seek legal advice regarding the appropriate content and languages used in the handbook. HR professionals must be fair to everyone and apply the same policy to every employee.
What practical implications do you see from these two cases? Are they worthy of our attention?
Deschenaux, Joanne. (2012, November). Workplace Dress, Grooming Codes May Raised Legal Issues. HR Magazine, p. 18.
Ogletree Deakins News – The Employment Law Authority. (2012, September/October). NLRB upholds Dismissal in Facebook Case, but Finds Employer’s Policy Violated Federal Labor Law. p. 1 and p. 6 (in a newsletter).
Can a job candidate with exceptional analytical skills set him/her apart from the sea of applicants? Furthermore, will good analytical skills be able to help people advance their career?
According to Julie Martin, the Controller and Director of Operations at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel and Conference Center¹:
Analytical skills are very important. Sometimes, it equals to “smart” even though there are smart people who might not have good analytical skills. … People with good analytical skills will be able to present their arguments with numbers and facts, which makes their statements more convincing. … Besides “numbers,” analytical skills can also be referred to a person’s ability of analyzing a complex issue and identifying the possible solutions to the problem(s).
Julie’s words remind me a qualitative study of mine in 2011, in which I asked a group of hospitality recruiters: “What intellectual skills are important in hiring a hospitality senior? Why are they important?” Analytical skills and problem solving skills were mentioned by a few recruiters. They expected college graduates must understand numbers and are able to solve business issues on their own.
I agree. Analytical skills are extremely important, no matter if we are working in a business or a not-for-profit organization. The bottom line is every organization must operate in a budget. Without the ability of generating incomes and controlling expenses, no operations can sustain. As a result, if we want to be a leader of some sort, we must understand how to make informed decisions with supporting data and rational reasons.
Have you ever worked with someone who possesses above-average analytical skills? Does this person look smart to you? Do you prefer to work with this person over others with below-average analytical skills? Why or why not? To think deeper, how can a person develop his/her analytical skills?
1. I invited Julie Martin to speak in my Hotel and Resort Operations class last week. I interpret our conversation based on my notes; Julie might not have said those sentences word by word.
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.