HR Perspectives

Terri has been on both sides of our company and has a special passion for recruitment and advocacy of workers with experience.  

ThirdQuarter sat down with Melissa Grapentine, University of Manitoba's HR Department to ask her about the trends she is seeing in recruitment and work today - from a Millennial Perspective.  Thanks to Masha Giller for this story and others in a series to follow. 

What's happening in the world of recruitment and work these days?

And what insights does an HR professional from the Millennial generation have to share with us? Melissa Grapentine's experience working at the University of Manitoba's HR department has seen her take an entry level position to get her foot in the door, followed by promotions over several years to HR Business Manager and her current role of HR Communications Specialist, where her job is to connect with staff across campus, ensuring they get necessary information on a regular basis, including various internal communications, publications through the University's online newspaper and social media. Involved in advertisement and recruiting strategy as well as policy and procedures, Melissa, who recently completed her MBA at University of Manitoba's Asper School of Business, also sits on the leadership team in HR, reporting directly to the Vice President.

Online Recruitment

The big news currently, is the way recruitment is happening these days – electronically: “It's all online now and it's amazing – both from a recruiter's point of view and the candidate's,” notes Melissa

“Current online strategies really blow my mind: Job boards have different ways of tracking you online, then inserting promotional ads through those mechanisms. Recruitment on the whole is becoming very automated, very electronic.  In my own organization, we recently began talks on changing our HR system to the newest level upgrade, which would encompass more than we ever thought possible. All HR functions can be driven through this program, so it cuts down on paper and allows us to reconsider job duties traditionally involved in delivering HR functions across the organization. It's a real shift in how we interact with our clients.

An automated and electronic process for virtually everything – every HR function – is where that's going. I hope it doesn't remove the people side of things though, because that's really important – having face-to-face discussions, especially in HR. As a leader and a manager I see this shift with online recruitment and can't even imagine where it'll be next year, let alone 10 years from now. It's growing exponentially in ways we never dreamed. Being able to track people's movements online through Google and subsequently target those job seekers is huge. That's what LinkedIn is doing with those emails they send out. “So and So” is looking for people like you and they have all these jobs available. That's just the start of where technology is going now.

It is a two-way street, however notes Melissa: “Job-seekers also benefit, since they're now evaluating the employer as much as the employer is evaluating them. It's becoming more of a selective process for people who are looking for work, because all that information is available so publicly now. They can make a decision about an employer before they even go for an interview, just based on an online presence, or how they were contacted, networked or recruited online.” Another resource for your work-search is Glassdoor, which posts reviews about organizations – including salaries and benefits, “Glassdoor certainly provides good leverage for candidates to negotiate salary as well, and knowing what market standards are is helpful. It's all out there.”

Social Media: Get Tech-Savvy

In case you haven't gotten that memo, social media has become a thing. If you're not making use of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites, you'll be at a disadvantage and miss out on opportunities not only to connect with potential job openings, but key information that keeps you in the loop – whether in your field, your social circles, or your community. It also gives you an advantage when applying for a new position, where you'll appear more plugged in and tech-savvy, particularly when speaking with gate-keepers likely to be part of GenerationTech.

Social media savviness isn't always a given, however: “A lot of the boomer generation, for example, at my organization, doesn't have Twitter, so they might miss out on updates we send through that social forum,” says Melissa, “So I've built in a Twitter feed to our web site. If they're not on social media, when they go on our website at least they'll see what we're putting up there.

But, for the younger people coming fresh out of school, who want to work up the ladder quickly, it’s easy to get frustrated with perceived “unequal” social media or tech skills across the workforce. We've grown up with computers. Kids today have technology at their fingertips from the time they're born. It's hard to imagine someone wouldn't inherently know how to operate them, but they grew up in a different time – so we should be more aware of that. That said, there are very tech-savvy older people. So it's an individual choice.”

Up Next:  Adapability, Positive Outlook, Emotional Intelligence and Life Skills, Multi-Generaitonal Workpaces, Empathy, Fulfilling Work, Customer Focus, Recognition and Postive Culture.