Tony Restell

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Ex-Strategy Consultant | Founder: and| Entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in online recruitment and social media | Head of --> Social Media Marketing Agency for the Recruitment industry.

Please feel free to send me your questions any time!

Revealed: Social Recruiting Success Principles [Jobvite Webinar Recording]

Is boosting your company's Social Recruiting effectiveness high on your priority list for the coming months? If so, you're probably wondering how you can:

  • Implement a social media strategy that boosts your brand’s reach and engages potential hires
  • Attract and convert the right audience from social media followers to applicants
  • Identify any gaps that are preventing your social media from pulling in great candidates

Jobvite Social Recruiting webinar


On a recent Jobvite webinar I had the chance to address these social recruiting conundrums and more, drawing on the insights we gain in our social media agency from working on hundreds of clients' social media accounts each month. The full recording is shared below, including a lively Q&A session in which all the audience's most pressing social media / recruiting challenges and frustrations were addressed.

Additional topics covered included:

  • Tools to streamline content finding and scheduling on social media - and whether it's wise to automate?
  • The best content to share on LinkedIn
  • How to entice candidates to apply to your jobs WITHOUT publishing a constant stream of vacancies on your social media accounts
  • Deciding which social media sites to build a presence on, as a function of whether they have the right demographics and whether you can produce the desired outcomes from those sites

Jobvite Webinar Recording - Social Recruiting Success Principles


If you've any follow-on questions I can help with, feel free to comment below or tweet me on @tonyrestell


Jeff Herzog - Your Job Search is a Bare Knuckle Fight

If you are looking to accelerate your job search, these are the insights you really need to transform the results you're getting. We were thrilled to be joined this week by Jeff Herzog, who shared with us many winning tactics for today's jobs market. The author of Your Job Search is a Bare Knuckle Fight, Jeff gave us the hard facts and harsh realities about what it takes to really succeed in today's jobs market. Feedback from the attendees was outstanding - and you can find the full recording of this briefing below.

Your Job Search is a Bare Knuckle Fight

Jeff explored a variety of issues that can hamper your job search efforts - and stressed the activities you need to focus on to succeed. Topics covered included:

  • Why the advice you're getting may be too soft
  • Why the road to your next job could bypass HR
  • How to use the Internet as a tool - not a crutch
  • Accepting the fact that getting a new job is a "sales job"
  • When Networking is "Notworking"
  • Why you should not apply online

Job Search Advice from Jeff Herzog [Recording]

I'm sure you'll find this extremely valuable - and thanks again to Jeff for giving his time so freely. The attendees were hugely appreciative of his insights and I'm sure you will be too. Outstanding advice.

"Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with everyone - tons of useful information - specifically on using the phone, contacting the hiring manager and tips on interviewing"

If Jeff can help you or your business, you can connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter @FPCofNYC. For now, all the best in accelerating the results you're getting from your job search efforts.


Job Board Marketing - How To Drive Interest To Your Website

Whether you're running a job board or a recruitment agency business, knowing how to market them effectively is both critical and an ever-evolving challenge. That's why I was thrilled to welcome job board entrepreneur Keith Potts to lead a presentation on this topic, the full recording of which is shared below.

Job Board Marketing

Many in our industry will know Keith as the Founder of Jobsite, one of the world's most successful job board businesses. More recently he's built a job board technology platform that allows job boards, recruitment businesses and publishing companies to leverage best in class technologies to grow their own businesses (see: So he's one of the most highly regarded and well informed experts in this space and we're delighted to be able to share some of his knowledge with you.

Keith was joined by Lindsay Stanton of Digi-Me to tackle the role video has in marketing job ads more effectively; whilst I tackled the use of social media to attract client and candidate interest. This was in addition to the topics of Google SEO, landing page construction, website optimisation and A/B testing, jobs-by-email signup and a host of other highly relevant topics covered both during the presentation itself and the subsequent Q&A session. I'm sure you'll learn a lot from the recording below - and if you do, please do share with your contacts on social media using the sharing buttons provided. 

Job Board Marketing with Keith Potts

Thanks to both Keith and Lindsay for giving so freely of their time and insights. 


Andy Headworth - 5 Insights Gained Whilst Writing Social Media Recruitment

Andy Headworth - Social Media Recruitment

This last week I was thrilled to be joined by Andy Headworth, author of Social Media Recruitment, for a live Q&A session in which we fielded many of your most pressing social recruiting questions. If you missed it - and the wealth of insights and case examples that Andy shared - you'll find the recording below.

The session began with Andy sharing 5 insights he gained from writing his best-seller Social Media Recruitment. This included some really innovative examples of ways Recruiters have used new social angles to recruit - my personal favourite being the bespoke Spotify playlists to woo potential new hires! Thereafter we moved on to fielding your questions and addressing the challenges you've been facing in using social media to recruit.

If you've any follow-on questions or observations, feel free to comment below or to reach out to us on @andyheadworth and @tonyrestell


The 5 Habits Of Highly Successful Social Media Managers

Getting results on social media is my bread and butter - and a quirk of my job is that I probably come into contact with more social media managers than just about anyone else! So what are the things I see the most successful social media managers consistently doing?

Social Media Manager - Success Habits

Of course you can't talk about success without knowing what it is that the social media manager has been tasked with achieving for the business. Which brings me to the first of my 5 habits of highly successful social media managers...

Successful Social Media Managers Have a Clearly Defined Objective

"If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there!" - has to be one of my favourite sayings. The polar opposite is the situation you want to be in as a social media manager. You will want to be able to demonstrate your contribution to the business - both for your own job security and for your future promotion prospects. To do that, you want to have clearly defined objectives agreed with the business. Consider for a minute:

  • Generating client leads on social media
  • Securing invitations for your leadership team to speak at key industry events and be published in key industry publications
  • Attracting potential hires to your business
  • Driving your online sales
  • Boosting the conversion results of all your other marketing activities

Any one of these would be a valid objective you might be asked to achieve - and each of them has a value that the business can readily appreciate (as opposed to simply a growth in your follower count or reach). Knowing which of these you are striving to achieve means you can finesse where you invest your time and A/B test approaches to achieve the maximum results for the business. This is what ensures that - come year-end time - you can justify the investment the business has made in social media and even seek to have additional budget allocated to your projects.

Successful Social Media Managers Focus Their Efforts

There's a pressure and a danger within business to feel that you have to develop your company's presence on every major new social platform to hit the scene. This is particularly true if you don't have clearly defined objectives to hit. The most savvy social media managers I've encountered know that they achieve their best results when they master and dominate a handful of social media channels, rather than having a patchier presence on - and understanding of - every social site out there.

If you think of your own social media streams and group activities, you can probably think of a handful of people and businesses who consistently appear on your radar, day after day. These are the people who are commanding a disproportionate share of their audience's attention and who are most likely to be deriving real business results from social media. Be like them and focus your efforts on whichever sites are bringing you the most consistent and the most scaleable results.

Successful Social Media Managers Infuse Personality Into Their Posts

Social Media is at it's most powerful when it's prompting people to have conversations and take actions. Most businesses view it as a means of broadcasting about their services and latest offers - and whilst paid advertising provides a channel for doing this very effectively, on your social streams it's personality that will win people over and spark conversations.

If you've ever spent any time in sales, you'll know that the very best salespeople aren't those who push the sale the hardest. Rather, it's the salespeople who focus on building trust and rapport with people who tend to bring in the strongest results. The same is true on social media. Have your social media infused with your personality - and the personalities of others in the business - and you'll be well on the way to getting far more compelling business results from social media.

Successful Social Media Managers Are Always Learning and Testing

Social media is awash with data - and the most successful managers are often those who take this data and learn from it. They test whether changes to their profile pages increase follow rates. They test ways of getting their profiles seen by more and more of their target audience. They test whether sharing different types of content produces more engagement and therefore opportunities to have conversations with prospects. They test approaches that entice people engaging with you to take the desired next step to fulfilling your business objectives.

Analysing data and learning from it is therefore key, as is constantly testing the way you do things. Complementing that is the potential to be continously learning. Social media marketing really stands out as a professional specialism where it's always possible to be learning. Every week new tools come onto the market. Every month it seems that one of the major social sites changes something about their service that you have to learn about and adapt to. So the most successful social media managers I see are those who are always looking to learn from others and experiment with tools that may give them an edge.

Successful Social Media Managers Are Super Efficient

Last but not least, some of the most successful social media managers I've seen are those who astound you with the amount they get done in their working week. They achieve a prominence in their industry that seems almost superhuman, achieving results with just one person that you'd have thought would need three!

These social media managers appreciate that streamlining their processes and finding ways to automate tasks is absolutely critical to maximising results. Note that I'm not talking about automating your social presence, which is certainly *not* what a successful social media manager will be doing! Rather I'm talking about looking at every aspect of what you need to do in (or would like to be squeezing into) your daily routine and then looking at every opportunity to automate and streamline those tasks. This is what frees up your time so that you can focus on the most value-adding elements of the job like adding personality to your posts and engaging with prospects via social media. Less successful peers always run out of time for these things because the routine elements of the job are eating away at too much of their working week.

Final Remarks

Running a social media agency, I'm lucky to have the chance to interact with scores of social media managers. These are my top 5 habits that I've seen the most successful have embraced, but I'm sure they're by no means exhaustive. I'd love to hear your own thoughts on things you've seen others in our industry do really well - so please do add your comments below... or tweet me on @tonyrestell.


Lead Generation: Email vs Social Media

Having built a social media agency largely on the back of leads generated by social media, you might think that I would be a huge advocate of social media generated leads... and you'd be right!  However as we've grown the agency we've also experimented with other means of generating leads. Given all the talk about email marketing being dead, I wanted to share our experiences of sparking client interest via email lead generation.

Lead Generation: Email vs Social Media

Background: Social Media Lead Generation

In the early years of, we were very much focused on generating leads via social media. If you're anything like me, I have always felt uncomfortable taking the advice of an SEO agency if I didn't find that that agency’s website was appearing highly in Google search results. My thinking is - if they can't get SEO results for themselves, what chance is there of them getting SEO results for my business!  I felt the same way about the credibility of a social media agency. If we couldn't generate leads and drive traffic with social media ourselves, why should anyone believe we could do this for their business?!

So our early years were almost entirely focused on generating leads via our social media presence. We've written elsewhere about generating new client leads on social media, so suffice it to say here that we've had huge success in sparking client conversations and prompting inbound sales enquiries as a result of our social media efforts. The question in my mind was whether email outreach could be anything like as effective?

An Experiment in Email Marketing For Lead Generation

As our business has grown and grown, we have proven the point that leads can be generated via social media and so have turned our attentions to how else we might generate quality leads. More recently that has seen us venture into the realms of email outreach campaigns.  I approved this with some trepidation. Like you, my inbox contains a daily barrage of spammy direct mails. So it was important to me that what we did here was of the highest quality, only approaching people we’d researched ourselves with an approach that was therefore highly relevant to them. Here’s how email stacked up against social media for us, based on five key areas of assessment:

  • Lead Generation: Quality of Leads
  • Lead Generation: Quantity of Leads
  • Lead Generation: Time Investment
  • Lead Generation: Speed of Response
  • Lead Generation: Reputational Risk


Lead Generation: Quality of Leads

Email score: 5/5
Social Media score: 4/5

The starting point for your email outreach efforts is to research your prospects online and then to source email contact details for those who look to be an ideal fit for your business. By definition the quality of leads you're approaching is undeniably very high. You could take the same approach with social media, identifying people you want to be engaging with and then looking for opportunities to do so. However in practice that is highly time consuming. For any list of prospects you would find more email contact details for them than you would find opportunities to engage with them on social media.

So the apples-to-apples comparison is rather to look at all the opportunities that there are for you to engage with people in your industry on social media and then to pick out those opportunities where the prospect looks to be of the greatest relevance to your business as a genuine decision-making prospect. The end result here is a very high quality of leads generated, but you will also find yourself interacting with some people who don't have the same decision-making authority that your email-sourced leads would all have. Hence a narrow victory for email here.

Lead Generation: Quantity of Leads

Email score: 5/5
Social Media score: 5/5

Once you have mastered how to generate leads via email and via social media, the likelihood is that you'll be able to generate significant volumes of quality leads via both channels. There are tools that can help you to do this and there are external service providers you can turn to if you want to outsource this task. So in terms of quantity of leads, in our experience there's nothing to choose between the two.

Lead Generation: Time Investment

Email score: 5/5
Social Media score: 4/5

Once you have got to the point that you are successfully generating leads via each of these routes, the ongoing time investment to do so is pretty comparable. Between a half hour and an hour of time invested each day is going to reap significant volumes of leads for your business. The only difference is in the upfront time investment.

If you have a quality website and a good service to offer, you can be up and running with email outreach efforts without any significant upfront time investment. Whereas with social media, it's our experience that accounts with a credible following and some active engagement are more likely to yield results when it comes to lead generation than brand new accounts. Therefore you should count on spending some months upfront in building this credibility for your social media profiles before you can turn to social media for lead generation. Hence a narrow win for email again.

Lead Generation: Speed of Response

Email score: 3/5
Social Media score: 5/5

By contrast, on this count it's a clear win for social media. Once you have mastered your social media lead generation funnel, you will frequently see the business transition from never having interacted with someone to having a call booked in with them in the space of literally a matter of hours! Things can progress very quickly if the lead has been generated via social media, especially if you focus on those social sites where prospects are most active.

The same is not true of email outreach. The statistics show that it usually takes a number of emails and follow up emails to prompt a favourable response from a prospect. It is only when they receive your 2nd or 3rd email that the recipient will start to appreciate that you are contacting them personally rather than this being yet another unwanted mass mail in their inbox. Consequently the timescales needed to actually generate real leads in the business are far greater for email than for social media. A clear win for social media.

Lead Generation - Email Outreach Stats

Lead Generation: Reputational Risk

Email score: 3/5
Social Media score: 5/5

If there's one thing I really love about social media lead generation, it's that when done properly it simply never generates a negative reaction. If you have had a friendly conversation with someone on social media about topics related to their business, you've built a connection with them that can then be very naturally progressed onto the suggestion that you should have a call or meet up or send them some information.

The same is simply not true of email outreach. Occasionally your research will be a little off, maybe the information you found about someone online is no longer current. So there will be times that you approach someone and your approach is no longer relevant. Similarly we have no way of knowing the frame of mind the person is in when your email lands in their inbox. Maybe you just caught them at a bad time. Sometimes negative reactions to your approaches can be turned around, other times not.

What I can certainly say from our experiments in this area is that your approaches to people will be like Marmite. People will either love you having approached them (in a manner that’s helpful rather than salesy) or they will hate it. I don’t think you can get away from the fact that you are going to alienate some people and therefore dent the reputation of your business with a small pocket of the market. You may decide that that’s a downside you can afford in your business, but certainly we have to acknowledge that this downside exists in a way it simply doesn’t on social media. Plus you need to be careful not to fall foul of anti-spam legislation in the way you conduct your approaches or you could face stiff penalties. So once again a clear win for social media.

Final Lead Generation Scores

Email score: 21/25
Social Media score: 23/25

I hope this has been a helpful look at the relative merits of lead generation via both email outreach and social media marketing channels. The results in our business mean that we will certainly be using both on an ongoing basis. However in the final assessment social media is the narrow winner, simply for the speed with which results can be generated and the lower risk of any reputational damage being done to the business. Where will you be focusing your efforts in the coming months given the above input? Do let me know on Twitter @tonyrestell or via the comments below.

Note: in branching out to email lead generation and nurturing, we reached out to a specialist email marketing agency to ensure that our results were comparable with best practice results.


Overcoming The 5 Challenges That All Small Business Owners Face

Ponder this for just a moment. What are the 5 most critical challenges for small business owners to overcome if your business is to flourish and leave you able to enjoy the spoils of your work? Here I'd like to talk about my own personal experiences, based on the 16 years I've spent as a small business owner myself.

Challenge 1: Bringing Leads Into The Business
Challenge 2: Conquering Cashflow Issues
Challenge 3: Learning To Delegate
Challenge 4: Choosing What To Outsource
Challenge 5: Building a Scaleable Business

Small Business Owner Challenges

Challenge 1: Bringing Leads Into The Business

This first one is such a critical topic I'm addressing it through a series of presentations (see lead generation webinar). One major constraint on the rate of growth a business achieves is its ability to generate a consistent and sizeable flow of quality leads. If the quality of leads isn't high enough, profitability will always suffer from the sales costs of interacting with such a high number of "prospects".

A key success factor for any small business is to find ways of bringing leads into the business that are i) not dependent on key individuals, ii) are easily scaleable and iii) are pre-screened so that sales efforts are focused only on the most promising of prospects. Can you disappear on holiday for a couple of weeks and come back knowing that there'll have been no discernible blip in new client leads and sales volumes? If not - or if that thought makes you feel nervous - there's work to be done on improving your lead generation activities.

Challenge 2: Conquering Cashflow Issues

The second challenge is toxic. Stressing over cashflow, about whether you have the funds in the bank to pay your bills, can be a huge drag on a business. Firstly it can be a massive source of anxiety for the business owner and sidetrack them from being the inspirational source of motivation and leadership that the business really needs. Secondly it can hamper the speed at which you grow - since your ability to invest in smart ideas is constantly constrained by your ability to finance them.

Some of the most successful small businesses out there have built their products or services around payment plans and practices that mean the business actually gets the money in the bank long before it's had an outlay of costs to deliver on those sales. If your business sells either to consumers or to other small and medium sized businesses, you 'd be amazed to find out just how many businesses have sold their offerings in ways that involve payment being received up front. Challenge yourself long and hard before giving in to any conclusion that this can't be done in your market. The upsides from removing cashflow worries from your business are worth more than a cursory thought - and indeed are worth restructuring your whole offering around.

Challenge 3: Learning To Delegate

The third challenge is undoubtedly tough. As a business owner, you need to focus your time on doing some of the most value-adding things in your company. When you began you may well have gotten involved in everything. You may have become quite the expert at a whole variety of business-essential activities, chores and tactics.

There comes a point though where your limited time becomes a serious constraint on the growth of your business. There are only so many years you can burn the candles at both ends without paying the price. To ever fully enjoy the fruits of your efforts, you're going to have to learn to delegate much of what you do to other staff. There are people much more knowledgeable about this subject than me, so I'll defer mostly to their wisdom.

For completeness though, my own experiences suggest you have to be prepared to accept windows of time when you feel like business results are suffering, in order that you may invest the necessary hours in bringing your colleagues up to a level of expertise that you can live with. Notice here I say "that you can live with". Some aspects of what you've learnt to do you've become such an expert at, it's not realistic to expect anyone else to pitch in and fill your shoes to your complete satisfaction without a considerable window of time for learning. A key part of delegating is accepting that someone doing a job 80% as well as you might have done it is still driving the business in the right direction. It's a mindset that many business founders struggle to accept - and in doing so, therefore inadvertently make their own time limitations a massive constraint on the growth of the business.

Challenge 4: Choosing What To Outsource

What may look like a related topic is becoming ruthless at deciding what can and can not be outsourced. There's often a certain prestige associated with growing a large team of staff and strolling in of a morning to that ever growing office space. Be wary though. Outsourcing can give you access to levels of expertise that you simply couldn't have afforded to hire in-house. It can allow you to react and adapt in your business far faster than if relying on internal hires. It usually involves a far smaller financial commitment and so leaves your business much more resilient to riding out any financial shocks that the business may suffer as well.

I still remember the weight that was lifted from my shoulders when I first outsourced a key element of the operations (our finance and accounting) in the early years of my first business. The time that was freed up in my day was a real boon for the business - and being able to turn to real subject matter experts paid off time and time again. I challenge you to think about every aspect of your business - your lead generation, your website, your social media presence, your HR function, your Finance function ... and force yourself to justify why that particular part of the business needs to remain in-house, rather than being outsourced to eg. a social media agency. There are without doubt cost-savings to be made by outsourcing. You'll probably become more expert in that area if you outsource too. So unless it is so strategic that you business just can not let go of it, think really seriously about outsourcing.

Challenge 5: Building a Scaleable Business

Last but by no means least is the challenge of building a scaleable business. So many small companies I've worked with have grown in a piecemeal fashion. They've evolved how the business functions from year to year to adjust to the fact that they're now a bigger operation. But that is entirely different from building a business to be scaleable from the outset. All too often, businesses become locked into the way they do things - locked into extremely costly and ineffective processes and supplier arrangements - because the founder hasn't regularly stopped to think about scaleability.

So I encourage you to ponder on your business now and imagine it being a business that is ten times larger. What challenges would you face that you barely face today? What processes and tactics could you do totally differently today if you knew with certainty that you would soon be ten times bigger? Wherever you identify something that would need to be done very differently, try to build the business from today onwards in a way that accommodates that need for efficient growth. You'll end up being able to grow far faster and with far less stress and pressure in the long run.

Final Remarks from a Small Business Owner

I've thoroughly enjoyed thinking about this post and the various challenges I've encountered in my time as an entrepreneur. I really hope it's given you at least one thing you can go away and reflect seriously upon in the next weeks. If you have other points to add to the list, please do comment via the box below - or send me a tweet on @tonyrestell. Best of luck to you and may you take your business to a totally different level in the years to come.


Recruiters – Imagine Being on the Receiving End of Your Dream Call!

Let’s have a little fun! Imagine yourself in the office in the midst of your packed day of work. All around you recruitment consultants are busy trying to make placements…

The main phoneline rings out for the 8th time... Annoyed by your office's lack of enthusiasm you hesitantly pick up the call:

You: Hi *****, how can I help?

Caller: Hi there, can you put me through to Steph please?

You: She's not available I'm afraid, can I help?

Caller: Probably not to be honest, when will she be back?

You: I'm not sure, can I ask what the call's regarding. This sounds like a headhunt call?

Caller (undeterred): Yes it is, are you looking at all?

You: You don't know my name, how long I've been here, or whether I'm any good?

Caller: Oh don't worry, I place average consultants all the time!

This admittedly is an extreme example, but if you’re anything like the agency recruiters I speak with, you’ll have been in this situation before right?!

Hunted - the app for Recruiters

As soon as you have a little over 6 months’ recruitment experience you become a desirable asset for a competitor. Why?

Well, you've proven you're more than a flash in the pan. You have sales capability. You can cut it in the recruitment industry and might even be profitable.

Whether this is true or not, this is the perception to the outside world… The LinkedIn World.

LinkedIn is a window to the entire market of potential new hires and new opportunities. The only problem is that the window's made of privacy glass and often only silhouettes are visible.

Linkedin Silhouette

The current data set on your LinkedIn profile typically includes:

  • Average job tenure
  • What you look like
  • Industry specialism
  • Referrals (if you've asked for any)

The paradox of LinkedIn means you're approachable by any possible employer, but they don't have the context they need to tailor an approach that's specific to you. That begs the question, how could this all be made more efficient?

The Quest for Information

The more a potential employer knows about you, the more targeted the approach can be. This increases the likelihood of your interest and lowers the chance of your time being wasted by irrelevant headhunt calls.

Wouldn't it be great if future callers had all the pertinent information to ensure the call was a) relevant and b) of interest?

The Devil's in the Detail

So what information would we want those headhunters to have about us to increase the likelihood of a call being relevant? How about:

  • Whether you're looking or not
  • Your financial performance
  • Whether you'd consider relocation
  • If you're interested in management or have managed previously
  • Your industry specialism
  • The typical roles you’ve recruited for
  • Your average fees
  • Desired salary
  • Desired culture
  • Desired company size
  • Training/Professional Development required
  • Your frustrations…
  • … and your future aspirations

Hunted Recruiter Profile

Take A Bow – Hunted… The App That Helps You Get Recruited!

Given the above shortcomings, it was great to meet the Founders of Hunted. They’ve sought to create an App that gives Recruitment companies this exact information, so that approaches can be made that are likely to be highly relevant to the recruiter receiving them. What’s more, they told me “We believe that if someone has the above information, but is actually restricted to not knowing your name, current employer, and how aesthetically pleasing you might be - they'll only be interested in you for exactly the right reasons.

So when you get yourself a profile on Hunted, you’ll find you're completely anonymous on Hunted - until you want to be otherwise. Effectively you're allowing companies to headhunt you and increasing the chances of the perfect match in the process.

Hunted App Anonymous Recruiter Profile

Whether you're active or passive, potential employers will be aware of your situation. You can approach hiring managers directly, ask questions and even get inside access to their offices. You're able to anonymously see whether the grass is actually greener.

All you need to do is:

  • Set your preferences to control what you see
  • Build your profile in minutes
  • If you see something you like, chat anonymously or apply with one click
  • Let your dream come to you

If you're in recruitment it’s a no-brainer to have the Hunted app on your phone. If you're passive and not looking at all, they've built a deal tracker feature - which means you can progressively input your financial performance and see where you rank amongst peers in the industry. Pretty cool!

Placement Fees Tracker

Want to have a play with the app and see how it works for real? Then simply get Hunted for your iPhone or Android phone. Would love to hear your thoughts about the tool – do share in the comments below or tweet me on @tonyrestell.


FPC National Reviews Key Success Factors When Starting a Recruitment Business

This week I had the pleasure of hosting FPC National's Jeff Herzog, who joined us on a call to discuss the state of the executive recruitment market in the US and the key success factors when starting up a business in this space.

One of my colleagues had dropped into FPC's annual owners' conference in Florida a few months ago - and we'd been struck by the wealth of insights they had about building and maintaining a successful executive search firm. Having developed the business to the point that it has 66+ independently owned offices, it's a process that Jeff and the team have been through a fair few times! A recording of the full call is shared below for your review.

FPC National reviews success tips for Recruitment Businesses

On the live call Jeff Herzog shared:

  • A step-by-step checklist to going into business for yourself
  • Powerful insights into the Executive Search industry
  • A blueprint for beginning and fostering your growth as an executive recruitment business owner
  • The advantages of partnering with a franchisor versus “going it alone”

FPC National - A Guide To Owning An Executive Search Firm


I was particularly struck by the emphasis Jeff placed on technology having evolved the role of a modern recruiter, rather than having displaced the need for recruiters altogether. Also of note were the figures around the strong demand for executive recruitment services that we can expect to see as a result of demographic shifts. Contrary to the hype that's been around since the days when job boards were invented, this is an industry that's showing no signs of contracting any time soon!


How To Craft a Powerful Social Media Marketing Strategy

If you've been attracted to read this article, you're probably one of the growing number of entrepreneurs who's concluded that their business needs a social media strategy. As the owner of a social media agency, I've worked intensively on developing and deploying social media strategies for the last 4 years. Initially to drive interest in Social-Hire ... and thereafter to drive interest in the businesses of the clients we serve. So I thought it'd be a great way of helping you out if I put into words a number of the key things to act upon when drawing up and implementing your social media marketing strategy.

With that in mind, grab yourself a coffee, take a deep breath and think through all of the following before you begin putting your social media marketing strategy into place.

(Note: Once you get going, things will snowball and you'll soon find your time being drained by activities that you wouldn't have prioritised if you had thought through these issues from the outset!).

Powerful Social Media Strategy

Your Social Media Strategy - Key Considerations

1. Define Your Target market.

Who do you want to reach with your social presence? What demographic of user is most valuable to your business? If B2B, what sectors are you targeting, in which geographies and at what levels of seniority? If B2C, what does your typical consumer look like and what other interests do they have and companies do they typically purchase from?

Before you do anything, these are the questions you ought to ask yourself. In order for your strategy to be effective, you must have a clear and thorough understanding of who you want to reach so that you can develop your strategy accordingly. Knowing this information is essential to sourcing and creating content for your profiles and will help you identify the social media platforms your target audience are most likely to be using.

2. What Action Would You Like Your Target Audience To Take?

Looking ahead, what would constitute success for your team's social media presence? Purchases made direct from your website? Downloads of your brochure? Requests for a demo? Potential clients booking in for a consultation call? The answer will influence the tone of your social profiles, the content you share, and the calls to action you introduce in your updates.

The bottom line: Decide what you wish to accomplish with your social media presence and then guide your target audience toward taking actions that will help you get there.

3. How Will Your Social Profiles Be Valuable To Your Target Audience?

Consider how following your social profiles will benefit a member of your target audience. What information, insights, data, interviews, humour, content would a typical follower value receiving from you each day? Define this very clearly. Then, make your social profiles all about delivering this value, from the bio that appears on your profile page to the content that you deliver.

4. Brainstorm and Research Who Already Reaches Your Target Audience.

Chances are, you don't have as big an audience or following as you would like to have for your company. You can grow your audience by building relationships with non-competing businesses, organisations and individuals who reach the very audiences that you would like to reach. Figure out who they are-- focusing particularly on those who have a track record of regularly re-sharing other people's social posts-- by brainstorming with colleagues and researching your demographics' interests.

Go out of your way to share and comment on these influencers' updates. In no time, you will start to see some of them reciprocating which will allow your own updates to be seen by their sizeable followings and dramatically increase your reach and visibility.

5. Devise Tactics To Get Your Profiles Noticed on Each Social Media Site.

Typically, only 20-40% of a social site's user base is active enough to see your updates and engage with your brand. It's therefore essential that you devise tactics for each social site to ensure that you've isolated those users who are both relevant for your business and active on the site. Otherwise you risk the majority of your efforts being entirely in vain as you try to engage with accounts whose owners are simply never going to be aware of your attempts at engagement or see your posts.

6. Listen, Test, and Learn. Then, Repeat.

Pay attention to what people in your target market are saying on social media and the feedback you receive. Keep an eye out for mentions, comments, shares of your website content by others, etc. As well as direct feedback like comments, also pay attention to indirect feedback such as click data on your updates and resulting website traffic behavior when prospective customers and clients end up on your company site.

Facebook business pages, for instance, provide page insights that allow you to review the popularity of everything you post at a glance. Make note of the content with the highest engagement rate which measures the amount of people reached who then clicked, liked, commented on or shared your post. Do likewise on LinkedIn and on Twitter. Doing this will help you source and create stronger content in the future that will engage your audience more effectively. These are the steps that ensure you become a genuinely customer-centric business on social media.

In addition, track whether the desired actions you wanted your followers to take are actually being achieved and continually make adjustments to refine your presence. A company can have the most popular Facebook page by posting comics, memes and videos, but that would likely cause people to see the profile as a source of entertainment rather than a business that they might want to purchase from.

7. Make Time To Engage.

How and when will you engage with your followers and potential followers? Have you set aside the necessary resources/ hours to ensure you don't compromise on engaging with your audience?

The reason this is so important is because the single biggest wins from your social strategy will come from the time you invest in engaging with your current and potential followers. These interactions spark conversations with potential clients and customers, as well as with influencers. However, this is also the element of your social workflow that is most at risk of being compromised when other demands in the business are competing for your time. You mustn't allow other aspects of your working week to eat into this engagement time, or much of the benefit from your social presence will never truly be realised.

So there you have it-- some pointers I hope you will find extremely useful in helping you to take your first steps in developing and implementing a powerful social media marketing strategy for your business. If you'd like more help, or to find out how Social-Hire can support your social media efforts by having some of this work outsourced to us, don't hesitate to get some social media marketing help by setting up a time for a free one-on-one consultation.


Digital & Social Media Marketing - a Q&A Session for Recruiters

As Founder of social media agency, I had the pleasure last week of being joined by recruitment marketing expert Cameron McLennan for a live Q&A session. We shared insights on attracting candidate interest (and generating client leads) using strategies that are tried and tested in the recruiting world.

Social Media Agency and Recruitment Marketing expert share tips

We then turned our attentions to fielding your live questions during an engaging Q&A session which tackled topics such as:

  • For companies that have yet to adopt social recruiting, how would you suggest presenting the need for its adoption?
  • What advice would you give a start-up looking to generate results with social media?
  • What are some ways you've found that work to boost interactions on your social media posts?
  • My target audience is somewhat specific. How do I know which social media platforms I should focus on?
  • How many hours a week should we spend on it? And how much money should I spend on social media?

The full recording is provided below, please feel free to share it with your networks using the social share buttons on the left of the screen.

If you've questions of your own that you'd like us to help answer, feel free to book in for a free social media consultation with one of our team.


Hunted's Data and Insights Show How To Attract Top Recruiting Talent

I was fortunate to host a fascinating session with the Founders of earlier this week. With extensive experience in the recruitment industry - and lots of exposure to the Rec2Rec market - they have years of experience and insights into how to attract top recruiting talent to your business. What's more, through their Hunted App they now have data from thousands of recruiters worldwide to validate their theories.

Hunted Webinar on Talent Attraction

If you missed the session - or would like to revisit the key findings - you'll find a full recording below including the live Q&A session at the end. James Silverman knows his stuff and the feedback we got at the end of the session tells me that even the most seasoned of recruiters really got some great insights from the call. Hope you find it informative.

Webinar Recording: Attracting Top Recruiting Talent To Join Your Recruitment Business


We look forward to bringing you more insights from James and the team.


3 Things I Wish I'd Known About Social Media Effectiveness

IMHO there are just two types of business that would-be entrepreneurs can launch. The first is the business model that's been around for ages, has an established customer base, price points, business model and points of differentiation. Think of any business where someone learns the ropes and then leaves to set up what they hope will be a better version of the original. Indeed that's usually the model for success - learn from others what works and then strike out on your own knowing what it takes to succeed.

Social Media Effectiveness - No, Not Cat Memes!
Lessons learnt: no, the power of cat memes was not one of them!

The second type of business is the polar opposite. It's the business launching into a market that the founders believe can be created, or have just seen be born. But as no-one's done it before, there are no rules as to what works and what doesn't. You're literally experimenting and learning as you go along.

All of my entrepreneurial forays have been into this latter type of business, including launching a social media agency before they were mainstream. What I find intriguing about this is that you're always learning and you can't beat yourself up for making mistakes. By definition the right path has to be discovered - and indeed many such businesses fail simply because the finances wouldn't stretch long enough to allow that right path to be eventually uncovered.

Social Media Lessons Learnt

While I pride myself on the social media expertise that the team now provide, we've certainly had a learning curve of our own in getting to this point. Back in late 2011 the "right way" to get results on social media was very much something that people were experimenting with rather than were able to state with any certainty. And so it was for us.

With that said, then, here are the things I wish I'd known about social media effectiveness from the outset:

1. Email and social media complement one another

This is a mistake I really kick myself for making, since an earlier business of mine was built on the foundations of having a massive responsive email subscriber list. Yet I was blind-sided when setting up Social-Hire. My thinking was that gaining social media followers was the modern day equivalent of building an email subscriber list. The two were interchangeable, or one was superseding the other. And so for some time we generated a strong and growing audience of readers and prospects, for whom the only means of subscribing to Social-Hire was via our social accounts.

Big mistake. What I know now - and have put to good use on client campaigns - is that social media messages reinforce email marketing messages. Sharing resources, insights, promotions - whatever it is you need to get out in the market - will be far more effectively achieved if you expose your audience to the message across multiple media rather than just one. Sadly by the time I realised this we'd missed out on 18 months of email subscriber growth. Don't make the same mistake!

2. Avoid the herd mentality

In our earliest days, my focus was undoubtedly on building our LinkedIn network more than any other. This was essentially because recruiters were flocking there - and having initially focused on serving the recruitment industry I didn't want to miss out in the land grab. The only problem with this was that it ignored the reality. Facebook was then (and is even more today) the social site where our target audience could most cost-effectively be reached. Twitter, meanwhile, was the site where it was easiest to strike up business conversations and forge new relationships fast. Fortunately we realised this fast and re-prioritised to focus instead on building our Twitter networks.

When I see recruiters today who are slow to react to the decline in LinkedIn results that they're seeing, I'm reminded of this mistake. Just because it's the accepted wisdom that businesses in your industry need to be on XYZ social site, that may or may not hold up under closer scrutiny. Never take a decision based on opinions and gut instinct when there's hard data available that could prove or disprove this. Case in point here with these stats from Pew Internet.

Social Media Usage

Now remind me, which sites are you investing most of your social media $£$£s in right now?!

3. Engage rather than promote

This one is less something I wish I'd done differently - and more one I'm glad I got the guidance early on that meant I never fell into the trap. I'm talking here about the huge chasm in results that you'll see with a business that prioritises promoting on social media vs. one that focuses on engagement. (My thanks to Andy Headworth for the early words of wisdom here).

In a nutshell, most tangible business results you're likely to see from identifying your ideal prospects and engaging them on social media - rather than using it as a channel to promote your wares to that same audience. There are exceptions of course (Note: Bonus Lesson - no two social media strategies are the same!). But by and large, if you show me a business that's disappointed with the results it's getting on social media I'll almost certainly show you in turn a business that's being overly promotional and not genuinely engaging.

Concluding remarks

I hope this post has helped you think about your own social media effectiveness and things you've learnt (or could still learn). If you need more input on your social strategy, you're very welcome to book in for a free social media consultation with our team and we'll help you to figure out the approach that's right for your budget and circumstances. All the best.

Talenetic Founder Keith Potts on The Evolution of Recruitment

Recruitment Agency and Job Board Owners joined us yesterday for a briefing on the ways that technological advances have been impacting the recruitment industry. I was delighted to host Recruitment Entrepreneur Keith Potts for this session. Best known as the Founder of Jobsite - and more recently as the Founder of Talenetic - Keith addressed both the impact that technology has had to date and the further evolution of the recruitment industry that we can expect to see in the coming years.

The Evolution of Recruitment

A full recording of the session follows below. Personally the 3 key messages I took away from the session were: i) be wary of becoming over-reliant on any one channel for reaching candidates; ii) constantly be adapting to the ways that smartphones are impacting our behaviour; and iii) always be testing, collecting data and then refining what you do in light of the outcomes of your tests. For more insights like these do watch the recording below and check out the Talenetic Blog.

Jobsite & Talenetic Founder Keith Potts - Webinar Recording

The main topics addressed in the recording are:

  • The dramatic changes underway in the recruitment market - and how adapting can open up new revenue opportunities for your business.
  • The inside scoop on the recruiting technologies you could be incorporating into your Job Board, Recruitment Agency or Publishing business.
  • Question & Answer session with Keith Potts and Felix Wetzel.

For details of other forthcoming presentations, do register as a member of our inner circle.


3 Key Steps To Make Your Business More Social Media Savvy

I've spoken at length about the business upsides of investing in your social media presence. Whether you're looking to attract talent, generate business leads, drive online sales or raise the profile of your business, the right social media strategy can play a huge part in making you successful.

However, there are three challenges for a business to overcome if it wants to fully exploit social media...

Social Media Savvy

Those three key steps to make your business more social media savvy are:

  • Devising an effective social media strategy

  • Securing the social media skills necessary to deliver this strategy

  • Making the whole business more proactive on social media

Let's look at each in turn - and the changes you need to make in your business to exploit the full benefits that social media can bring...

Devising an effective social media strategy

Planning is essential when it comes to winning with social media. Once your team is let loose on social media, it can become a major time drain on the business. Your company needs to have a defined audience that it wants to reach, a specific outcome that it wants to achieve - and a funnel that takes people on that journey from first encounter to end result.

For some businesses this may be achieved entirely organically. You'll look to build up an ever larger audience and become increasingly effective at converting that audience into business leads, website traffic, online sales or candidate applicants. Yours will be a business that wins itself a rapidly growing fan base and engages to steer fans in the desired direction.

For other businesses the focus may be much more focused on direct marketing. You will become expert at using the wide range of advertising options and re-targeting approaches that are made possible by social media advertising channels. You will test, learn, test until you've found the formula of audience targeting, advertising copy, call to action and landing page that delivers a favourable ROI on your social media spend.

In my experience, most businesses will use a combination of both of these approaches to fully take advantage of social media and the business upsides it can bring.

Securing the social media skills necessary to deliver this strategy

You probably noticed that we've just uncovered a significant obstacle for any business wanting to make the most of social media. Having the skills in your team to do all of the above is a big ask. Maybe you'll choose to outsource your social media to dodge this challenge altogether, certainly this is an option that some SMEs have been adopting.

Many businesses want to have these skills in-house though. At which point you have two options. For the most rapid results, there's no avoiding the fact that you'll need to hire a proven Social Media Manager to lead the delivery of this strategy. You're going to need to involve someone in the hiring process who has deep knowledge of social media, or you run the risk of hiring someone whose seemingly impressive social media skills are actually quite mediocre. Or you're going to have to find the budget to engage a specialist social media recruitment agency who can select a proven expert for you. Obviously this ratchets up the cost of delivering on your social media strategy quite considerably.

Once on board you'll need to invest in keeping their skills current, given the rate at which social media best practice is evolving. Social media training like this actually opens up a second option though. Many businesses are trying to get social media results at a lower cost by turning to admin staff or interns to deliver their strategy. Without investment in their training, this can be a horribly ineffective option. Social media is often viewed as being free and easy to use. But there's nothing free or easy about getting business results on social media - and misjudging this is the single biggest reason that businesses fail to get results from social media in our experience.

However, if you can afford to wait a few more months to see social media results in your business, training up an under-utilised or lower cost member of staff may be a highly attractive option. Online courses make it possible for a staff member to learn these tools and approaches on the job - and to undertake training that is bespoke to the needs of your individual business. Take a look at The Unfair Advantage if you're thinking of going down the route of training staff in social media skills.

Making the whole business more proactive on social media

Numerous studies have shown that potential customers need something like seven touch points with your business before they will feel reassured and ready to "buy". Whether your "customers" are potential hires that you want to join your business, or people who you want to buy your services online, or businesspeople who you want to request a consultation... the same logic holds. If people have had more exposure to your business brand and its advocates, they are more likely to take the desired course of action and in a shorter space of time.

It stands to reason, therefore, that a team who all pull together in sharing a company's messages on social media will achieve stronger results than a company that's trying to get its message out there on its own. A company whose voice is multiplied is also more likely to be noticed and shared by social media influencers, taking your social media reach to a whole new level.

Success on this front comes down to two things. Firstly, conveying the message from your CEO that this is critical to the success of the business. You need your staff to really buy in to the importance of them being more proactive on social media. Secondly you need to give your staff the tools necessary to do the job. From curating the content to be shared to providing the tools that make that sharing hassle-free, the easier you make it for staff to get involved the more they will do so.

I hope this post has helped you in deciding on the right course of action for your business. If you need more input you're very welcome to book in for a free consultation with our team and we'll help you to reach the conclusion that's right for your budget and circumstances. Good luck.