Crowdsourcing: Harnessing the web for what it was built for
Designing a strategy that services an organisation’s talent needs has become an increasingly complex task for the hiring manager. Not just because of the unpredictable shifts in the economic climate, but also the constant introduction of new technologies, paving paths for new talent channels.
Recently, Matthew Jeffery described a relatively new concept – recruitment 4.0 and crowdsourcing. It involves using social communities to outsource tasks traditionally performed by internal employees.
How does it work? A company posts a problem online and a large number of individuals offer their opinions and ideas as to how to solve it. The winning idea is rewarded in some form, and the end result is the company adopting the idea for its own benefit.
Often described as a win-win solution – crowdsourcing is cost-effective for businesses and fosters innovation among their social communities. In fact, Amazon, Cisco, Facebook, IBM, Pepsi and Starbucks have already used crowdsourcing techniques to generate ideas that have already or are expected to turn into new products and service innovations.
Whilst there is still a way to go before we see a scalable crowdsourced recruiting solution, key elements can already be incorprated into companys’ social communities, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Here are some of the basics for businesses considering leveraging their social communities to crowdsource.
It’s an additional resource, not a replacement:
First and foremost, it’s important to remember that crowdsourcing is not being used to replace any human decision making processes.
It is a form of attraction, a platform to promote your brand and encourage your social followers to send you suggestions and ideas that can be used within your company, and ultimately create a pool of talent.
If you want to attract talent, you must make yourself attractive:
Building an attractive culture and work environment that will encourage star potential to your social communities is the basis of getting the most out of crowdsourcing.
The only way you’re going to be able to build these communities is if you build an incentive structure that will attract them to your social platforms – whether that’s through gamification, a place to share videos and photos, or offering exclusive access news.
Outsource clearly defined tasks to achieve your goal:
Crowdsourcing is best suited for simple tasks such as a new logo, website or product name.
Be specific. Make a detailed list of what the person is supposed to do. For example, if you’re looking to re-launch your company website, you could ask people for their feedback regarding layout, the readability of text and attractiveness of the design. From there you can get inspiration.
To those who develop a winning solution to your problem, you must offer some type of reward, whether that’s financial, a holiday or an iPad.
In return, each person who takes part in the challenge is focused on doing their best work so that they might win. And as such, the ideas and solutions you receive should be pretty fantastic.
Overall, it seems fair to say, keeping talent engaged and interested in your brand and business is not going to get easier. The influence of social media, it’s ease of access and the desire it creates to connect on a global level, makes crowdsourcing, simply another natural progression of time.
Has your organisation leveraged your social communities to meet your hiring needs? Do you have any tips to share?
For more information, about recruitment 4.0 and crowdsourcing, please click here.