Hiring through LinkedIn has become so common we don’t even think about anymore—in fact, many of you reading this blog probably got your current job through LinkedIn. It’s the digital version of analog networking, where the people you met at a tradeshow become your “connections” and your network grows across your company, industry, and vertical. Hiring managers have tapped into LinkedIn for over a decade, actively recruiting through the platform. Again, none of this should be news.
But a new epicenter is developing in the hiring world: Slack. Yes, the Salesforce-owned inter-office communications tool used in today’s trendiest workplaces has, over the course of the pandemic, come to be recognized as a pathway to accelerated hiring timelines.
There is good deal of irony in this curious truth—a tool designed to facilitate workplace communication is helping people find a new workplace.
Why Slack? Why Now? Why Not?
We are all familiar with typical Slack channels, the ones that exist for entire companies, specific teams within them, and individual people. This type of functionality is available from competitors like Microsoft Teams. What sets Slack apart, however, is the bevy of independent channels that connect Slack users who do not work at the same company.
Some of these independent channels are built around frivolity and hobby, but an entire subset of them is dedicated to networking for specific professions and industries. These invite-only groups have, over the last couple of years, a tool to rapidly recruit skilled employees.
Professional groups dedicated to human resources, marketing, user experience, analytics, and any other remote-enabled, skilled profession you can think of. While networking for the sake of employment opportunities is certainly prominent, these professional forums also do things like host virtual events and even semi- and non-professional events like “beers and tears” night, in which members share their achievements and disappointments.
Now, amid the Great Resignation, hiring managers are using Slack to speed up hiring. Yes, there are similar professional forums on Reddit and Discord but in these environments users are typically anonymous, meaning the opportunities for actual real-world networking are very limited.
With Slack, on the other hand, users use their real name and workplace to identify themselves. Archives are maintained of all public conversations, which can be searched by members, who can also privately message one another. This means that people can be relatively certain who they are talking to and where they work, and can go through previous conversations within the group.
Whether intentionally or not, Slack has built one hugely powerful job marketplace.
Peer Networks and Job Marketplaces: Slack Forums in Practice
Within these groups, members post about openings at their company simply because they want to help out people in the network. These are not hiring managers or HR professionals, merely employees who have heard their company is hiring. Since the professional groups vet their members before they can join, the opportunities are real and the applicants are serious.
This is particularly important within groups dedicated to underrepresented backgrounds. A peer’s word within these groups carries much more weight than a professional job recruiter spamming LinkedIn.
“If you had a person vouching for a company, that’s going to speak a lot louder than a recruiter coming in and just posting a job and saying, ‘We’re looking for diverse talent,’” one user points out.
Also, job opportunities emerge from spontaneous encounters, not coordinated efforts. For example, Maria Velazquez joined an analytics group a while back. As she told the Wall Street Journal, she one day gave advice to a fellow member about a data translation tool she frequently used. Sometime later, that fellow member notified the group that his company was hiring. When she expressed interest in the position, he remembered their previous interaction, and fast tracked her through the hiring process.
“I’m no longer just a résumé on the pile,” she says. “The community knows me on a personal level.” It is as if the group almost serves as the first interview, ensuring that applicants are qualified and plugged into the latest conversations in their field. From there, they can rapidly progress through the hiring process.
Or, as another Slack user—who fielded twenty interviews within the first two weeks of joining the professional group—put it, “I’m used to either being ghosted or waiting around for about 17 days,” he said. From ghosted for 17 days to hired in two.
TrendSource I-9 Verifications Accelerate Onboarding
Of course, an accelerated hiring timeline means nothing if companies cannot rapidly onboard their New Hires. Otherwise, it’s like paying for overnight shipping just to leave the package on your doorstep for a week before opening it.
And that’s where TrendSource’s I-9 Verifications + E-Verify come in. Outsourcing Form I-9 for on-site and remote employees alike helps speed up onboarding. This is particularly true for companies hiring remote employees.
It should go without saying that no employer wants to get caught violating employment eligibility laws, but ensuring they are followed requires HR resources and takes time. With TrendSource, your company can outsource I-9s to the experts.
We will arrange for a Field Agent to meet your New Hire(s) at a location of their choosing, where they will complete Section 2 together. The Field Agent takes all necessary photographs and, once Verifications are complete, they are easily accessible through our online dashboard.
It’s tough to attract, onboard, and maintain talent. Anytime companies find shortcuts that don’t compromise quality, they must take them. But shortcuts do no good if you follow them up with an unnecessary detour.
Keep forward momentum through the entire hiring and onboarding process with TrendSource’s Remote I-9 Verification + E-Verify.