tonyrestell

Tony Restell

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

Please feel free to send me your questions any time!

5 Challenges That All Entrepreneurs Face

What are the 5 most critical challenges for you to address if your business is to thrive and leave you able to enjoy the fruits of your work? Here I'd like to share my own Top 5, based on the 16 years I've spent building a number of successful small businesses.

Entrepreneur Challenges

During that time I've had the privilege of serving, partnering with and buying from a wide array of small businesses. The following are the challenges that I've seen hold small businesses back most consistently - and that Founders have often found it hardest to address:
 

  • Bringing Leads Into The Business
  • Conquering Cashflow Issues
  • Learning To Delegate
  • Choosing What To Outsource
  • Building a Scaleable Business


Bringing Leads Into The Business

This first one is such a critical topic I'm addressing it through a series of presentations (see info). One major constraint on the rate of growth a business achieves is its ability to bring in 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 reliant on key individuals, ii) are readily 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 anxious - there's work to be done on improving your lead generation activities.


Conquering Cashflow Issues

The second challenge is poisonous. Worrying about 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 huge source of anxiety for the business owner and distract 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 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 discover just how many businesses have sold their offerings in ways that involve payment being received up front. Challenge yourself long and hard before caving 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.
 

Learning To Delegate

The third challenge is undoubtedly tough. As a business owner, you need to focus your time on doing the most value-adding things in your company. When you started out you may well have gotten involved in everything. You may have become quite the expert at a whole variety of business-essential activities, tasks 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 labour, you're going to need to learn to delegate much of what you do to other people. There are people far more knowledgeable about this subject than me, so I'll defer largely to their wisdom.

For completeness though, my own experiences suggest you have to be prepared to accept periods 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 jump 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 forward. 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.


Choosing What To Outsource

What may seem like a related topic is becoming ruthless at deciding what can and cannot 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 function) 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. There are almost certainly 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 cannot let go of it, think seriously about outsourcing.


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 adapt 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 think about 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

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 coming days. If you have other points to add to the list, please do comment via the box below - or fire me across a tweet on @tonyrestell. Best of luck to you and may you take your business to a totally different level in the coming years.

 

Determining Your Best Source of New Client Leads

There are three metrics that are critical to success in the overwhelming majority of small businesses. The first is how frequently (and consistently) new leads can be brought into the business. The second is how effectively those leads can be converted into actual sales. Whilst the third is whether each customer can be transformed into a repeat customer.

Your Best Source of Client Leads

One of the things I love about social media is how important it can become as a source of new business leads, almost regardless of the market the business serves or the size of the company. It's such a weight off the shoulders of a business owner to provide them with a scaleable source of new business leads - and refreshing that this isn't constrained by the availability of key salespeople or indeed the Founder themselves.

Note: if you've been trying to figure out how to do this in your own business, do join me for a presentation on this very topic.

What I'd like to share with you here though is the importance of tracking the source of your own business leads, so you can decide where to invest your time and money in a more informed manner going forwards. Here's an example of what I mean, looking at the relative cost of generating a quality lead via a variety of lead generation channels:
 


Clearly you need to determine what constitutes a quality lead for your business. What demographics do you need to reach to have a qualified buyer for your products or services? And what step do they need to have taken to become a genuine lead for your business? Maybe you need people with a certain job title to register for a demo of your software. Maybe you need people in a particular income bracket to request a promotional code for your services. The important thing is to define this - and to make sure that the step you're requiring them to complete does mean they're self-selecting themselves as a genuine prospect for your business.

Having done this, you'll then want to test a variety of channels for bringing in leads. Ideally testing each channel until you've optimised that channel to get the best performance from it. Then once you have each channel delivering at peak performance, putting an equal budget into each - over the same timescale - and then seeing how each performs in otherwise identical market conditions.

If you do this well, you should end up with a chart not dissimilar to the one above, but showing you the comparative costs of generating leads via each of the channels you've tested. For small businesses with limited budgets, you're clearly going to want to exhaust the most cost effective channels first before investing too heavily in the channels that produce smaller profit margins. So this one exercise can give tremendous focus to your business activities - and in all likelihood demonstrate the overwhelming case for investing more heavily in your social media presence.

If you need help getting this right in your business, you're welcome to reach out for a free social media consultation - or better still, join me for a presentation where we'll explore these tactics in greater depth.

 

APSCo CEO Ann Swain To Star in Top Recruiter 5 - Will You?

Regular readers will know that I've watched with a mix of awe and intrigue these last couple of years as Top Recruiter has captured the imagination of Recruiters in the US. A reality show that sees recruiters competing with one another, it's amassed a huge audience of fans in the States. If you've never watched the show before, I highly recommend heading over to the show's official website.

The latest series will see Top Recruiter evolve from a reality series to a more mature docufilm series, with a new level of competition added to the mix. North America will be taking on Europe in a twist that will see the show being filmed in London and across Europe during this summer. Just this last week producer Chris LaVoie has confirmed that APSCo CEO Ann Swain will star in Top Recruiter 5 - but the question is, will you? 

Four enter. One survives. Who's the Top Recruiter who will help elevate the industry? You, perhaps?

Top Recruiter - New Series


For the more competitive amongst you, this is a rare opportunity to elevate your position as a thought leader and recruiting visionary. To get exposure on a global stage and to appear alongside some of the most highly regarded recruiters from the US. The winner from the last season of Top Recruiter was featured on NBC News and now has a regular slot every monday on Sirus Radio. It'll be interesting to see the UK exposure that results for those who make it through.

If that's got you intrigued, the casting call is now out and Recruiters interested in being considered are invited to submit their details today (you can apply here). I very much hope to see you featuring prominently when the production airs - and remember, you heard about the opportunity here on Social-Hire!

 

Social Media is Like Riding a Bike...

Social media is like riding a bike isn't it? A few quick outings and you'll soon have the hang of it? And once you've learnt how to use social media you can hop back on anytime you'd like!

Social Media Recruitment

Sorry to disappoint, but nothing could be further from the truth - and this goes a long way towards explaining why recruiting teams have so spectacularly failed to capitalise on the opportunities that social media presents. Sure it's easy to start using social media, but it has to be mastered for true business results to start flowing.

So how can you tell if you're in one of those rare recruiting teams that has properly mastered social media? Well it's perhaps easier to help you identify that you've not reached these heights by sharing with you 5 tell-tale signs that show your company's recruitment team is flopping when it comes to social media:

1) Your candidate targeting hasn't been explicitly defined and shared across the team. What types of candidates are you trying to reach? Passive candidates? Active candidates? What job titles are you targeting? Which competitors have staff you would like to woo? Which types of roles are you best placed to fill via social media? If this hasn't been put in writing and shared with all your recruiting team, how can you expect the whole team to pull in the same direction on social media?

2) There's no consistency of message. What makes people choose to work for your company as opposed to your competitors? Consequently what types of people do you need to be appealing to? Has your messaging been designed to appeal to this demographic of candidate? And most importantly, have these messaging themese been shared with all your recruiting team so that everyone's updates reinforce the wider company message you want potential candidates to be exposed to?

3) There's no clear conversion strategy. Once your social media profiles are winning followers and you've started interacting with the types of candidates you'd like to hire, what conversion tactics are you implementing to turn possible interest into concrete actions that candidates take to bring them into your hiring funnel? (P.S. simply sharing your latest jobs with them falls way short of what's needed and can actually be counter-productive!).

4) There's insufficient testing being undertaken. From the types of content you share... to the tone of messaging you use... to the social media adverts you run - every element of social recruiting needs to be tested and perfected. Continuously improving the results you're getting means you have to be regularly testing out new approaches, new messages, new conversion strategies - and then tweaking your social media approach based on what's producing the best results for your recruiting team.

5) There's a resourcing void! Are there recruiters or marketers in your business dedicated to mastering each social site, each of whom has their time part-allocated to building your social recruiting capability? If not, this is a sure-fire way to underachieve on social media. It's commonplace for recruiters to be asked to try out social approaches alongside their regular day job, without freeing up hours of their time to do so.

This doesn't work! Non-core responsibilities are always the first things to be sacrificed if a recruiter is struggling to fulfil their primary responsibilities. So the company never really builds any momentum or generates the necessary degree of expertise in social recruiting. You simply must have some dedicated resource - either in-house or by buying it in from external social media experts.


Concluding remarks

If your conclusion is that your recruiting team is simply not at the races when it comes to social media, we can help. By providing an outsourced service to build your social media recruitment presence, we free your recruiting team to focus on actual recruiting - whilst simultaneously bringing the social media expertise to the task of growing your social media presence. Join one of the next webinar dates to learn more about the impact social media can have on your recruiting team, or book in for a free consultation with one of our team using the calendar button below.


Schedule a social recruiting call

 

Tony Restell is the Founder of Social-Hire.com and helps candidates and recruiters leverage social media. A published author and Cambridge graduate, you’re welcome to reach out to Tony on @tonyrestell

 

Small Business Marketers: 5 Things To Cram Into Your Social Media Workday

Getting great business results from social media is just like baking a cake. There are heaps of key ingredients needed - and if any are overlooked, the end result may prove a big disappointment!

Small Business Marketing Tips

This characterises what I hear day in and day out when talking with small business owners and marketing managers, dejected by the poor results they're getting from social media. Naturally some of these businesses just don't have a clue how to leverage social media - and that's fine. A quick call can soon fix that. But others are doing a really good job with certain elements of their social media presence - they're just oblivious to the parts they're neglecting, undermining all their hard work in the process!

So with this in mind, I'm going to detail 5 activities that you should be looking to regularly undertake so that your social media cake isn't lacking any of the key ingredients:


1) Make Your Profiles Truly Valuable 

The chances are your business operates in a niche market. You serve certain geographies, sectors, types of customers - and you want to build your network and brand presence within that niche. That's what's going to enable you to generate client leads via social media or produce a regular stream of sales from your social profiles.

To do this you need to make your profiles a magnet for people in your niche market - by consistently finding and sharing content they will want to devour.

Find and share reports, interviews, data, tips and insights that enrich people's professional lives each day. Or make your profiles a source of humour and inspiration. Don't stick with just the most obvious sources in your market though. People are much more likely to have seen those already. Uncover hard-to-find or enthusiast niche blogs, reports, interviews and cartoons whose content is excellent but is much less likely to have been read. This way you turn your profiles into information sources that potential customers feel compelled to follow and willingly choose to interact with and reshare.


2) Proactively Get Your Profiles in Front of Your Target Audience

One of the most documented causes of business failure is the belief that "if we build it they'll come". The same is true of your social media presence. Just because you've made your profiles incredibly fun or informative doesn't mean everyone's going to find out about your social media presence and flock to it. No - you have to proactively get your profiles in front of the types of people you want to attract to your business (and ultimately convert into customers).

This topic warrants a whole article in itself. But whichever social platforms you aspire to having a presence on, each and every day you need to be doing things to ensure that the right people become aware of your social media presence. This includes activities like following people, commenting on posts, contributing in groups, participating in tweetchats, running paid sponsorship campaigns ... Every time you invest in doing these things your audience grows - building your business an asset for the future.


3) Make Others Warm To You

Make it part of your routine for your company to find and share other people's content, mentioning them in your updates so they know you're doing so. Find relevant people's updates that you can comment on or re-share, adding your own insights or compliments to give your presence that personal touch. Like, +1 and favourite updates where appropriate.

If you think about it, the majority of social media users get less than one retweet or re-share per day, so just think how much you can stand out in their feeds if yours is the business that gives them the warm glow of feeling appreciated ...


4) Build Relationships With Influencers

Lots of business owners I speak with are obsessed by their follower or fan numbers. This, they perceive, is the audience they can reach with their updates - and therefore is the size of the potential client base they've amassed on social media.

A key thing to consider is that businesses can easily get a 20x to 30x increase in the reach of their messages if influencers start to reshare some of their updates.

For me, influencers are people who have a significant follower base of the types of people your marketing manager would like to be reaching. They're also people whose followers actually interact with them (ie. they've not just bought followers but have a really engaged audience of people who act on the things they share).

You need to target your influencer efforts though, as not all influencers are of equal value to your business. You see many influencers only ever share their own content and very rarely re-share or retweet others. As a business you could invest a lot of time trying to cultivate relationships with such influencers, but this is unlikely to ever result in them sharing your updates with their followers.

So what we're looking for are those influencers who have a large following, an engaged following ... and who have a track record of regularly re-sharing other people's updates. I personally like to use Buzzsumo to identify such people. But the key thing on a day to day basis is to be taking little steps to build rapport with the influencers you have identified as being key to your marketing strategy.


5) Engage With Your Audience

As a small business owner or marketing manager, there are things you 'd like people to be doing that would take them from being a mere follower to someone who is now a potential customer for your business.

Engaging with your audience is a great way of cementing that these actions are taken. If people have started re-sharing your updates or commenting on them, hearing back from you is a great way to turn that one-off action into more of a habit. But equally important is the fact that engaging extracts the marketing value from all the other social media efforts you've been making.

Whenever someone engages with your profiles, or a discussion relevant to your business, have a check on their social profile. Do they look like a prospect for your business? If so, interact with them. Do so conversationally, keep the dialogue going, befriend them. Then when the moment is right, prompt them to think about taking the step you 'd like them to take next.

For each business that step will be different. Maybe you would like them to submit a request for assistance. Maybe you'd like them to book in a call time with one of your team. Maybe you 'd like them to sign up for a demo or request a discount voucher code.

The key thing is to ensure that every day you are jumping on the hidden opportunities to turn social media followers into real business results. Social media, you see, is like a sales funnel. Each step can be refined and optimised. Eventually you arrive at the point where you know that every 100 new targeted followers you attract will lead to X number of customer enquiries in the subsequent months - and then it becomes a lot easier to justify the ongoing investment in your social media presence.


Concluding Remarks

If you're like most small businesses I speak with, you've probably had a number of "Aha" moments whilst reading the above. Things that you can see it makes sense to be doing, but that to-date you've not been doing or have been inconsistently doing.

A key element of success on social media is consistency. So get into the habit of doing the above 5 things on a regular basis and you'll start to see the results you're getting from social media inexorably creeping upwards.

All the best.

P.S. By now I hopefully have your brain whirring in terms of fathoming out how you can put this all to work in your own business? If you'd like to pick our brains some more about what your business should be doing to leverage social media, we'd be very happy to help. We can provide an outsourced service to build your social media presence and maximise your chances of success; or just schedule a free call to brainstorm what your next steps should be. You're welcome to book in a call time below to get started - hope to speak soon either way.


Schedule a social media call

 

Tony Restell is the Founder of Social-Hire.com and helps small businesses to leverage social media. A published author and Cambridge graduate, you’re welcome to reach out to Tony on @tonyrestell

 

Social Media Marketing - A Wake Up Call for Small Businesses

I tried not to work much over the holiday period (hope you had a great break yourself by the way!). But I did get lured into devouring a fascinating article profiling one simple change that can transform the success of a small business. I don't know the business coach who authored the post, so I'm not going to endorse it here. But suffice it to say that they illustrated the difference between two small businesses, one of which could bring in new leads and convert them quickly... whilst the other one struggled to do so. Everything else about the two businesses was assumed to be the same.

The difference in how these businesses did after just one year was staggering - and made me think this should be a wake-up call for anyone running a small business...

Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses

In one scenario the small business becomes hugely valuable in a remarkably short space of time. In the other the business plods along and the owner constantly has the worry hanging over them about whether they'll have enough new business coming through in the next months. I don't know about you, but I like going to bed at night knowing that my business is doing so well we're having to turn away work - not worrying if I can pay our staff this month!

The key message is that the simple act of being able to consistently attract quality leads completely transforms the value of your business and your enjoyment of owning the business (as does the ability to then convert those leads into sales).


Turning on the taps to bring a flood of leads into your business

You may well be one of those business owners who's actually finding it harder to generate new client leads. People seem increasingly less responsive to email marketing don't they? Whilst cold calls just aren't as effective as they used to be. Pay-per-click marketing is becoming ever more costly... and getting your website to rank highly on search engines is a constant battle. Some of this sound familiar?

If you're keen to boost the flow of new leads into your business, social media may just be the secret sauce you've been looking for. You see one of the most exciting things about social media is the way it can bring a flood of new leads into a business - and in a manner that is consistent and replicable. What's more, small businesses can generate leads through social media marketing every bit as successfully as global mega-brands. I can say this with such certainty for the simple reason that we're doing exactly this in our own business and on behalf of numerous clients we work with.


Making social media marketing work for your small business

Let me share with you a few things you need to know in order to start successfully generating leads on social media. This should help you think about how social media can start to strengthen your own small business:


- No matter what business you're in, it's likely that people don't buy from you the moment they first find you. They will probably not even share their details with you the first time they come to your website. So the first challenge with social media is to figure out a social media strategy that makes your ideal prospects want to follow your business on social media - and therefore open themselves up to receiving your messages on a regular basis. Winning the right to remain on your prospects' radars is the first step in your social media journey.

Key takeaway: figure out how you can make your social media profiles valuable, insightful or entertaining to your target customers.


- Building lots of fans and followers on social media is a great asset for your company, but the real magic happens when other people start sharing your updates with their contacts. Imagine if your company started to appear in the Facebook feeds and Twitter streams of a million people in your local area or in your target industry. An exciting prospect right?! The key to making this happen is to figure out a strategy for enticing people to share your updates. Maybe that's through relationship-building with key influencers in your market. Maybe it's by running a viral competition. The strategy will be different for each business, but the key is to figure out how you're going to tap into this viral sharing effect in your business and therefore reach a mass audience.

Key takeaway: don't be overly focused on your own follower and fan numbers, but instead look at the number of people your business is reaching on social media.


- Engagement rather than promotion is often where the real business value lies. There's no "one size fits all" when it comes to getting a great return on your investment in social media. However, one of the biggest mistakes I see businesses make is relying on promotion rather than engagement to drive business results. If you're selling something cheap to a mass market audience, it may be that pure promotion campaigns on social media can produce results. But for any business selling higher priced goods or services, the reality is that people are much more likely do what you want if you've engaged with them rather than promoted something to them. A massive mistake businesses make is to take the shortcut of running paid promotions on social media when the harder graft of finding and engaging with prospects would have been more likely to produce results.

Key takeaway: determine whether your business is transactional (people will usually buy from you without talking to anyone) or relations-based (customers typically speak to you before buying) and then formulate a strategy based on promotions or engagement accordingly.


- One final key element of success is figuring out how to convert fans and followers into actual prospects for your business. Having a large and growing audience of prospects is all well and good, but we need some of these people to actually place an order if we're to really be successful. The trick here is to think about what you could offer of value to people that they would want to sign up for and that allows you to flush out the most serious prospects amongst your followers.

eg. if you run an event management business for weddings, you might offer a free consultation for people to have their wedding preparations checked. Those who sign up for the offer clearly have anxiety around the planning of their wedding - and so are amongst the most promising prospects for your business.

eg. if you run a software business, you might offer people a sneak preview of your latest new tool on a live demo. In signing up you may look to collect a few bits of information about each person so that you have a richer prospecting list to follow-up with after the call.


Two things are essential here. Firstly, you need figure out what you can offer that people would want or would be intrigued enough about that they would not want to miss. Secondly you need to be constantly challenging whether that is the offer that converts your audience most effectively. Always be running tests where your current approach is being challenged by an alternative offer, so that you're constantly refining how many leads you can extract from your social media lead funnel.

Key takeaway: don't rely on your audience choosing to find out what your business does or how you could help them; instead entice them to reveal that they are prospects for your business by signing up to something that would only be of interest to a prospect.


How To Get Started?

By now I hopefully have your brain whirring in terms of fathoming out how you can put this all to work in your own business? If you'd like to pick our brains some more about what your business should be doing to leverage social media, we'd be very happy to help. We can provide an outsourced service to build your social media presence and maximise your chances of success; or just schedule a free call to brainstorm what your next steps should be. You're welcome to book in a call time below to get started - hope to speak soon either way.

Schedule a social media call

 

Tony Restell is the Founder of Social-Hire.com and helps small businesses to leverage social media. A published author and Cambridge graduate, you’re welcome to reach out to Tony on @tonyrestell

 

How to Solve These 16 Hiring Problems in the New Year

The new year offers us the opportunity to reflect back on the year that has passed and make resolutions for the year ahead. For hiring professionals and HR managers, fixing problems within the hiring process is always a priority. Businesses have to keep up with the modern job-seeker, meaning that they have to constantly adapt and change their hiring process to suit their talent pool. This article sent through from Heather R. Huhman looks at this topic and provides some interesting insights into how to solve the hiring dilemmas you may face in 2016. 

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Today’s talent pool looks a lot different than it did 10 years ago. To keep up with the modern job seeker, today’s hiring process should have also changed and improved over the years.

The infographic below, compiled by Spark Hire, a video interview solution connecting hiring professionals and job candidates, offers a number of solutions to common problems HR professionals face at each stage of the hiring process, from sourcing candidates to making the final offer.

Some highlights include:

  • 46% of talent leaders say finding candidates in high demand talent pools is a major barrier
  • 77% of hiring managers say that recruiters’ screening processes are inadequate
  • Only 41% of talent has received interview feedback before
  • 18% of candidates reject the initial offer and negotiate for a better one

Check out the full infographic below to see where your hiring process might be lacking and how to best fix it.

What are some other common issues with the traditional hiring process? What’s the solution? Share in the comments!

Stay Calm & Get Hired: Five Famous Mantras Adapted to the Job Search

For many people, the idea of hunting for a new job conjures up a feeling of dread. Submitting CV's, going to interviews and waiting for feedback, can make the road to your dream role a long one and for a lot of job seekers, this can cause unnecessary stress.

In this guest post, Yarden Tadmor, founder and CEO of Switch, shares five famous Mantra's that can be used as a way of reducing stress, help ease the anxiety of your job search and will hopefully provide inspiration to help you feel confident about getting your dream role.

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By Yarden Tadmor | Switch

In recent years there has been a surprising amount of overlap between the business world and the world of spiritual practice. Many industry titans, from Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff to Russell Simmons, from Rupert Murdoch to the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, have taken to relieving stress through meditation. Whatever practice these and other business leaders choose, from transcendental meditation, yoga, prayer or any other spiritual alignment techniques, the purpose is to relax, de-stress and re-center. And nobody can blame them, because anyone familiar with the fast-paced, results-based business world of today knows it can be stressful enough to knock even the most capable among us off balance.

For those job seekers on the hunt for a new position, that same stress is magnified tenfold. Not only do they need to worry about breaking into the highly competitive job market, but also, whether they are currently employed or not, there are financial, family and emotional concerns in the balance.

However, there are solutions to the stress. In the Hindu faith, a common spiritual practice is called "Japa", which is the silent repetition of a mantra. While most people have heard of mantras thanks to pop culture’s appropriation of the topic, it’s doubtful that many use them in their everyday lives. But if used properly -- consistent, honest commitment to your mantra -- they can be a powerful anti-stress tool. Here are five famous modern mantras adapted to the job search. If you’re currently in the midst of an anxious job hunt, try one of these or invent one that feels more personal for you.
 

1. “I don’t have to be perfect to get hired.”

When starting your search, it’s easy to fall into the trap of self-sabotage. Dusting off and updating your resume and getting it out there to employers can be an agonizing process, especially if you are preoccupied with the thought that everybody else competing for the positions you want are more qualified than you. That’s negative thinking, and it can bleed into your cover letters, correspondence with employers and interviews. Study after study has shown that confidence, leadership ability and likability are the qualities most desired by employers, even more than years of experience or hard, technical skills. Repeat this mantra to remind yourself that you can only do what you can do in the search, and it’s no use getting caught up on what you can’t, or how other applicants might be different.
 

2. “I am not who I’m going to be. I am always becoming.”

Conversely to the first mantra, this one serves as a reminder that nobody -- including you -- will be the perfect candidate for the position you most want. If you want that job and don’t want to settle for something less, it may mean gaining experience by other means, whether it’s another degree, a certificate program or an internship. The working world is always evolving, and the demands on you as a potential employee are always changing. In order to keep up, you must adapt, learn and “become” along with it.
 

3. “Action conquers fear.”

If you’ve set out on the search and haven’t gotten responses -- or worse, a series of rejections -- chances are you might be starting to doubt yourself. That’s a natural reaction, but it also contributes to a heightened sense of fear and anxiety. At this point in the search, it’s important to not become one of the millions who fall out of the job search. In order to keep plugging away with your applications and interactions with employers, you can use this mantra to remind yourself that, like hockey legend Wayne Gretzky famously said, you are guaranteed to miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.
 

4. “I search slowly, but I never search backward.”

This mantra can be interpreted in a number of ways. Searching backward can mean finding and applying for jobs below your qualifications or not applying at all. My favorite interpretation, though, means settling for a job search that consists entirely of searching on job boards. Indeed, Monster and LinkedIn can only take you so far -- which happens to be not far at all -- and in order to land a job in a reasonable amount of time, you will need a well-rounded job search. This can mean getting in touch directly with hiring managers at companies you want to work for, attending networking events, downloading mobile apps or utilizing other services to best position yourself to get hired.
 

5. “Grant me the serenity to accept the jobs I cannot have, the courage to have the jobs I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Last and certainly not least, this popular mantra can be as easily adapted to the job search as it has to things like substance abuse recovery and anger management. Searching for a job is all about maximizing time and resources. Blindly submitting resumes for every job that is remotely relevant to your location, skills and experience is not a recipe for job search success. However, if you are selective, and take the time to determine which jobs are most appropriate and exciting, your chances will increase your chances and allow you to maximize, intelligently, your time and resources.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Yarden Tadmor is the founder & CEO of Switch, a mobile job marketplace that aims to match top candidates with real hiring managers in new and innovative ways. Candidates can apply to relevant positions easily and be connected to their next career in minutes, all from the comfort and convenience of their iPhone. Click here to download Switch on iPhone or to get Switch on Android and start swiping today!

 

The Unstoppable Momentum of Doing More For Less

I was on a long train ride this last week and found myself with that rarest of commodities - free time! With no internet connection for miles and miles, I gazed out of the window and reflected on the changes we've seen in recruiting these last couple of decades.

Recruiting - Doing More For Less

There was one thought that I kept returning to. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this...

I reflected that recruiting teams have become overpowered by the need to do more for less, at the expense of all other rationale indicators of success.

Let's illustrate the point with an example that's persisted for well over a decade - the insistence that candidates fill out an online application form. This sorry practice was introduced primarily to reduce the workload of recruiters. Faced with a barrage of job board applicants, something had to be done to streamline the process of screening candidates in and out of the hiring process. The successes of such processes in allowing recruiters to do more for less was trumpeted to the exclusion of all other considerations.

Now for any company interested in attracting top talent, this was a disasterous turn of events. Speak to any expert in the online recruitment world and they'll tell you that lengthy online application processes turn away the best candidates. Only those candidates who are less in demand and more desperate for work will you not risk losing by forcing them through such a process. Yet companies have persisted with this approach to this day, often hiding behind sorry excuses such as compliance as the reason for sticking with the status quo.

Fast forward to today and we have a world in which the majority of job hunting activity is either taking place on a mobile device - or soon will be. A scenario in which the ability and inclination to fill out lengthy online application forms is hit even more. With every day that passes, the likelihood that candidates choose not to apply simply grows and grows.
 

Blinkered Thinking?

This blind focus on doing more for less would be fine if it wasn't completely at odds with attracting and hiring the very best candidates. Unfortunately that's often not the case.

With the global economy broadly facing a scenario of talent shortages and candidate-driven hiring markets, this mantra of doing more for less is having major implications for businesses. Consider for a moment:
 

  • The best way of attracting quality candidates via social media is to invest time in engaging rather than advertising on social media. But it's also the approach that is most time intensive and fits least well with the ideology of doing more for less.
     
  • The most effective way of approaching candidates is via the phone rather than through mass-sending of InMails. But that's an approach that doesn't sit well with teams being squeezed to do more in less time.
     
  • A multitude of KPIs could be improved by companies having a more active careers presence on social media. Application rates would be boosted, acceptance rates lifted, referral volumes increased. But recruiting teams would need to ask for additional resources to implement this in their businesses - and it's a brave recruiter who'll do that in a time where doing more for less is the over-riding priority.


The list could go on and on. But two things here stand out as being really of interest...

Firstly, we seem locked into an era where it's innovative solutions that ostensibly allow recruiters to achieve more in less time that stand the most chance of flourishing (thank goodness our social media services help recruiters to achieve more for less I reflected on the train!!). Most successful technology launches in the last decade can claim to help recruiters do things faster and more cost effectively; those that market themselves as allowing you to recruit better candidates but don't bring a time or monetary saving are few and far between.

Secondly, smaller companies would seem to have an opportunity to "punch above their weight" as an employer of preference. Less likely to be locked into the downwards spiral that is "doing more for less", these companies can focus instead on "attracting better candidates than our competitors" by doing the very things that large corporates seem to be locked out of doing (and if you'd like to add attracting candidates on social media to the things you're doing more effectively, do join one of my next webinars on this very topic).

I'm not sure if this is a peculiarly Recruitment-related disease, or if the "more for less" mantra is pervading all areas of corporate life. Would love to hear your thoughts, please do share in the comments section below or tweet me on @tonyrestell

 

Recruitment Consultants - 5 Signs It's Time to Move On


You've been a Recruitment Consultant for several years. You've always been thought of as a high achiever. You exceed targets, clients love working with you and your peers turn to you for ideas and advice.

Yet your career trajectory is also linked to the company you work for - the culture of the business, the strategy of the owners and their standing in the marketplace. There comes a time when you have to recognise that the interests of your career are no longer served by your current employer.

For many, it's a change of employer that will reinvigorate your career. For others, it may be time to set up a recruitment business. Whatever the solution, how do you recognise the early warning signs that it's time you considered a career move?

In this guest post, recruitment to recruitment specialists GNB Partnership identify five tell-tale signs that help recruiters determine when it’s time to move on:

  • You're concerned about the quality of your work
  • Your company seems to be falling behind
  • You're constantly negotiating on fees
  • Your colleagues are moving on
  • You've lost your enthusiasm

****************************************************************************************

You're concerned about the quality of your work

Winning new clients can give you a great buzz. Securing more roles from your clients feels great too. But what if you have that slight sinking feeling accompanying these wins? You're anxious about your ability to deliver and that's compromising your job satisfaction.

There are many reasons you might fear for your ability to deliver great hires that are unrelated to your ability to do your job. Maybe your new researcher isn't up to scratch. Maybe your company increasingly works for businesses that pay below-market salaries. Maybe you're being burdened with more and more tasks that detract from the time you actually have available to work on your assignments.

Whatever the reason, this has to be addressed. Your professional reputation in the market is only as good as the last few hires you've made. If the resources and environment at your employer have started to compromise your ability to deliver on assignments, it may be time to think about moving on.
 

Your company seems to be falling behind

Your company's website is starting to look dated. Investment in a mobile-friendly site hasn't happened. Maybe your company's presence on social media is lame. Perhaps there's a reluctance to pay for the new tools and services that competitors in the market are starting to leverage. Or the offices are starting to look shabby.

Great sports people move to join the best teams. They know that there's only so much that exceptional talent can achieve on its own. Exceptional talent needs the right team around them and the right environment to thrive. Recruiters are no different. Put a fantastic recruiter in a mediocre company and they will outperform their peers. But put that fantastic recruiter into a market leader and they will become one of the highest performers in the industry.

If you're starting to think that your recruitment agency is falling behind, that's a very strong reason to think about a move. Allow your career to flourish rather than be held back by your surroundings.
 

You're constantly negotiating on fees

A recruitment agency doing great work and with a great reputation generally doesn't negotiate on fees. They turn work away. Seriously. A great recruitment business has so many clients wanting to work with them that they pick and choose who they will represent. Asides from during a severe recession, that means they will close off any conversation around fee negotiations. They simply don't need to lower their fees to continuously have a full book of work.

If you seem to be being pushed hard on fee negotiations by all your clients, the chances are you're working in a business that just doesn't command that respect in the market. You'll never fulfil your potential in recruitment as long as you're with a company like that. Your clients will have their openings being worked on by dozens of your competitors, reducing the frequency with which you'll make placements; and even when you do make a placement, it'll be at fee rates that compromise the earnings you in turn can make. Move on to take your recruitment career to a whole new level.
 

Your colleagues are moving on

It’s always unsettling to be in a business where lots of people are leaving. However, some departures are a greater cause for concern than others. Have a think about the colleagues you admire the most in your company. Who amongst your peers do you really respect? Who do you consider a mentor? Whose success would you aspire to replicating? Who do you really learn from?

When you start to see those people leaving – or just hear rumblings of discontent from their quarters – it may well be time to consider your own position. Top performers are quick to move on if there are things about a business that are making them uncomfortable. Maybe they have visibility of the future pipeline of work. Maybe they are hearing feedback in the market that has them feeling unsettled. Maybe they just no longer believe your current company can help them to fulfil their ambitions. Whatever the reason, if those you trust and respect the most in your company are looking to move (or have indeed moved already) then you have to start considering why that is and potentially scout the market for a more attractive agency to join.
 

You've lost your enthusiasm

Last but not least is the small matter of how you feel each day. Do you wake up enthusiastic and eager to tackle another day furthering your recruiting career? Or are you losing the drive to do your best work, dreading aspects of what lies ahead?

There are a whole variety of reasons you may be feeling like this, from office politics to unprofessional colleagues to financial concerns about the business. Whatever the reason, if it is not within your power to rectify what's causing you to feel this way, you need to move on before your results start to suffer.
 

Concluding remarks

Hopefully these insights will help you to spot when it's next time to move on in your recruiting career. For some of you, they'll have prompted the realisation that that time is now. If you'd like to have a confidential chat about your options and your marketability, get in touch with GNB Partnership today on +44 (0)203 463 8653

 

The 5 Biggest Mistakes Recruiting Businesses Are Making on Social Media

The 5 Biggest Mistakes Recruiting Businesses Are Making on Social Media


Social media should have you salivating! If you're doing it right, then every day it should be bringing candidate leads and client prospects into your business. It's one of those things that once you "get it", you just want to experiment with it and learn more and more for the thrill of the results you see flowing from it. Unsurprisingly, it can become quite addictive once it's become a major contributor to your team's success.

Yet 95% of people who read this column are frustrated right now because social media just isn't working for them. And everyone I'm sure would love to pick up some ideas to improve their social media results considerably. So addressing these frustrations and desires is what this post is going to be all about.

When we're first talking to recruitment businesses (and indeed recruitment teams and recruitment tech companies), there are lots of common threads that explain why they're not getting mouth-watering results from social media. Five of the biggest mistakes are what I'll focus on here, although this list is by no means exhaustive.

In no particular order, here are 5 mistakes that are robbing you of ROI from your social media efforts:

  • Obsessing About LinkedIn
     
  • Under Investing in Social Media
     
  • Having The Wrong Focus
     
  • Failing To Experiment
     
  • Being Robotic


Let's help you unravel what you're doing wrong in each of these 5 areas.


Obsessing About LinkedIn

Firstly let's deal with the elephant in the room. In your business people are obsessed with LinkedIn aren't they? I understand that it's a great candidate sourcing tool and I'm not necessarily saying you should abandon it. But let's be clear about two things:

  • LinkedIn is the worst social site for building a recruiting brand that gets seen and sparks conversations. The data is absolutely conclusive on this (see comScore chart below). If you want to reach people day in day out then you need to be active on the platforms where people spend their time. That's places like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. LinkedIn, by contrast, is rarely used by the majority of its members. Focusing your efforts here is like putting billboards up in the middle of the desert and expecting them to be seen more than if you'd advertised in an airport. Come on people - enough with the LinkedIn obsession!
     
  • LinkedIn is also the most expensive social site for building a recruiting brand and generating results. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, companies on LinkedIn can do almost nothing to build their profile without a sizeable advertising budget. Want your recruiting business to engage in conversations across the site? You can't do that. Want to invite people in your industry to connect with your page? You can't do that. Want to be active in Groups to raise your profile? You guessed it, you can't do that either. There are a few ideas you can implement in your business to build LinkedIn followers, but for a small business the impact of these will be minimal. Essentially all roads lead to you needing to spend significantly on LinkedIn if you want a sizeable presence there.

Which Social Networks Have the Most Engaged Audience?

If that wasn't bad enough, the cost of advertising your recruiting business on LinkedIn is also far far higher than on other social sites. Try setting up a targeted advertising campaign and you're likely to find the minimum bid price is ~$6 per click. Holy cow! You can get 8-10 targeted clicks for that same spend on Twitter - and more still on Facebook. Wake up recruiters - LinkedIn doesn't have nearly as many advertising impressions to sell and so the price is bid up. And businesses are all mesmerised by LinkedIn and want to advertise there, bidding the price up further still. Smart recruitment marketers look to spread their budgets across a wider spectrum of social media where more results can be generated for any given spend.

As a concluding remark to give some balance to what I've said here, it may still be worthwhile you having a strong presence on LinkedIn. If you can acquire candidates or clients at a cost per acquisition that is still profitable for your team, then by all means invest in your LinkedIn presence. But please don't do it at the blind expense of building your presence elsewhere. That's simply ignoring the data about where people spend their time and where you can generate significant interest for a far more modest spend.


Under Investing in Social Media

There are three ways that recruitment businesses are chronically under investing in social media. Firstly, many agency owners are deluded about the time needed to get results on social media. One of your team being tasked to spend a few hours a week on social just doesn't cut it. The single biggest reason for this is that results on social media have a tipping point. If you spend only half the time that's needed to do everything you should be doing on social media, you'll be lucky to get even 10% of the business results. So invest the necessary time to do this properly - or don't invest in it at all!

This brings me onto the second under-investment, namely the necessary investment in skills. If you hire a skilled social media team member, you'll need them dedicated for at least 50% of the week to getting you results on social media. Far too many recruiting businesses leave this to an intern or an admin person to manage - and someone like this who's lacking the necessary expertise will need to work full-time on your social media to produce results. Even then they'll probably not get anything like the same results as if you'd worked with a social media expert.

So significant time and money is needed to get results from social media. And that brings me to the last type of under-investment we see, namely not having a budget allocated to advertising on social media and to subscribing for the various tools that will allow you to accelerate your effectiveness on social media. Both are essential if you really want social media to start contributing considerably to your recruiting business.


Having The Wrong Focus

Recruiting teams are invariably focused on the jobs they need to fill. Show me a recruiting business that's failing on social media and I'll show you a team whose social media profiles pump out a stream of vacancies and requests for candidate referrals.

This is all wrong! Attracting candidates or clients on social media requires that you pivot your social media presence to focus on what would make it appealing to them. Research your niche industry. Discover what type of content people are commenting on and resharing most. Learn what types of posts prompt engagement in your industry. And then ensure that 90%+ of your updates are focused on this type of content rather than jobs.

The payback will be that you build an enormous and engaged audience in your niche market - which with the right strategies you can then convert into applications and call requests that your competitors are completely missing out on. But you've got to have patience and you've got to have backbone. Not a week will go by without some of your recruiters clamouring for the company to be sharing more of the jobs you are working on on your social accounts (for insights as to why this is a flawed strategy, see here).


Failing To Experiment

I've worked on hundreds of social media profiles for recruitment teams around the world. Broadly speaking I've learnt what produces the best response from candidates and from potential clients. But even with that degree of experience, I can't tell you categorically what will work best in your particular niche and geography.

To determine the optimal strategy and approach for each recruiting business, you have to get out there in the market and experiment. Have you experimented with the wording on your profiles to see what produces the highest conversion rate of new followers? Are you tweaking the types of content you share to reflect which is producing the most interactions and interest? Have you A/B tested which types of approaches to candidates or clients produce the highest response rate?

Almost certainly the answer to these questions is no. But if you're not doing these things, you're not optimising your social media so that every hour or dollar invested produces the maximum payback for your business. You wouldn't spend money on job boards so indiscriminately, so why not have the same rigour in perfecting your investment in social media?


Being Robotic

Last but not least is the overuse of automation and the underinvestment in being personable on social media. Both completely undermine the results you're achieving on social media.

Let's talk first about automation. Some automation is a good thing. By all means automatically collect lists of people who've reshared your content. Feel free to auto schedule a few key recurring updates that need to go out each month. Automatically store a log of everything you've shared on social media so you have a library of updates you can potentially reuse in the future. This type of automation is a good thing - and multiplies the amount you can achieve for any given time investment.

Unfortunately the recruitment industry is rife with people who don't realise how spammy and robotic a lot of their social media updates come across as. ANYTHING that appears in someone's timeline on social media where it's plainly obvious that you didn't craft the message yourself absolutely kills engagement with your audience:
 

  • those messages thanking your most important RTers this last week, pulled together by a tool. The feel good factor of getting that recognition is completely killed by the knowledge that this was automated rather than a heartfelt thank you.
     
  • those automated DMs thanking people for following and pushing them to connect with you on LinkedIn too. Obviously automated and impersonal. The bond you could have formed with a new connection is completely undermined.
     
  • those messages you copy and paste and send to dozens of people in a row, they don't come across as sincere - and look downright lazy if I can see in your timeline that you've sent the same message to a whole bunch of other people.
     
  • don't even get me started on the auto-posting of jobs from your job-posting software provider or ATS onto your social accounts! Absolutely horrible - and if you're using them no wonder your social results underwhelm!


The list could go on, but you get my point. If people feel they have had a message from a real person who has taken time out of their day to personally craft a message to them, that can be the building block for a relationship to be formed - and from relationships real business results can flow. But if your first impression of someone is that they've insulted you by not even deeming you worthy of anything more than an automated message, that destroys the whole value in you ever having connected. No relationships being formed = no business results.

One final point on this topic of being too robotic. In our experience, the overwhelming majority of ROI from social media comes from having conversations with the people who've interacted with your profiles, your website's content, your group updates and the like. So as a recruitment business, you need to orient all your activities around ensuring as many opportunities to engage as possible are stimulated by your social media presence. The good news is that recruiters are generally good at speaking to people so this should come naturally. The bad news is it takes time - and means weaning your recruiters of their instinct to do whatever can be done quickest.


Concluding Remarks / Next Steps

Hopefully you've picked up a lot of ideas about why your recruiting business has been getting a lower return from social media than you would like? Please do add your observations or questions in the comments section below. If you'd like to get more insights, you're very welcome to join one of our next free webinars where we'll be lifting the lid even further on how to get results. Or you can book in a call with one of our team to talk through the specifics of your business and the social media approach that's likely to be most effective for you. Let's make this next quarter the best you've ever had for getting results from social media!

 

The One Mistake Every Recruiter is Making on Social Media and How to Avoid It

There are many reasons you're not getting the results you'd like to be getting from social media. One of those reasons is easy to fix - but I can say with near certainty that you haven't acted on this yet. How can I say that - well because our day to day interactions with the recruiting industry demonstrate that the overwhelming majority of recruiting teams and recruitment businesses are guilty!
 

#SocialRecruiting - achieving positive ROI

I'll get to this flaw in just a minute, but first let me ask you a couple of questions:
 

  • Does your company spend any money (or invest any of your team's time) trying to attract candidates - or client leads - for your business?
     
  • Has it become second nature that you track these investments to monitor where your team generates the most positive results?


I'm sure you'll have answered yes to the first question - and I'm guessing that you answered yes to the second one too. Collectively we've certainly become a lot more rigorous in tracking our spend and the return it brings. Or have we?

The answer explains in part the poor results your recruiting team are getting from social media. It explains why social media hasn't turned into a significant source of candidate traffic for your recruiting team. It explains why social media hasn't become an important source of new client leads for your recruitment business.

Here's the rub. Recruiters have embraced a wide range of data over the last two decades. We know how much a shortlist candidate costs to generate on each of the job boards we use. We know our sources of hire - and the time to hire and cost of hire for each. We probably know the relative performance of different recruiters on our team. We know our retention figures by source of hire. We know the ROI on our LinkedIn licences. The list could go on...

The glaring omission here is social media effectiveness. In all other areas of recruiting we've rigorously tested what works and what doesn't work; we've tweaked and refined what we do to squeeze ever greater results from our investment. Yet almost universally, this is not yet the case with social media.

If you're building a social media presence for your recruiting team, you should be thinking about this like a sales funnel and then tweaking and refining every element of the sales funnel. You have an audience you would like to reach - and an end result that you're hoping to achieve with your social media presence. Every element in between ought to be being tested and refined:
 

  • What message in your profile bios generates the highest conversion rate (of new fans or followers)?
     
  • What types of updates generate the most comments, likes and reshares on your profiles and in your niche market?
     
  • Which methods of getting your profiles seen by new candidates or client leads are proving to be the most effective?
     
  • What engagement activity generates the most interactions with prospective candidates or clients for your recruiting business?
     
  • What "call to action" is most effective at converting those potential prospects into more tangible leads for your recruiting team?
     
  • Is the immediate result you're striving for from social media (eg. applications to your open job vacancies) even the right one, or would a different end result (eg. driving candidate registrations for your email newsletter) actually produce a far higher conversion rate?
     
  • How do these sales funnel conversion rates differ by social site - and therefore which social sites are producing the most favourable returns for your recruiting team?


Right now I imagine you'll be nodding your head that your recruitment processes are typically monitored and refined with this level of attention to detail. But equally you'll be conceding that in the sphere of social media this is not yet the case. Correct? So as a first step in raising your game, start tracking and testing on social media and I'm in no doubt you'll see a significant upturn in your results. You'll probably also have a lot of fun and make some surprising discoveries along the way about how best you can engage your audience and drive positive ROI for your team.

Need help putting these ideas into practice? The Social-Hire team can certainly help. Why not jump on one of our next webinars for more insights about how we get results for clients? Or book in a call with our team to talk through your own experiences with social media and the results you would like us to help you generate.


One Final Thought - Practising What We Preach

I should encourage you to look out for a new post from me around mid-November time. Right now we're running a test of just one element of our own client attraction strategy and pitting social media against other channels. From what I'm seeing so far, the results are going to both shock and enlighten you - and will cause you to rethink entirely why your own social media efforts are not working as well as you'd like them to. If you want to be sure you don't miss this case study you can register for our Recruiters' Inner Circle email alerts here.
 

2 Must-Know Tips for Jobseekers

As I travel around European business schools I'm struck by one shocking fact. No-one seems to have taken on board just how drastically the jobs market has evolved.

Let me state that more clearly. If you're still job hunting today the way you did a few years ago, you are condemning yourself to career stagnation!
 

Jobseeker Tips


So let's look at two key ways that jobseekers need to evolve to ratchet up their chances of success.
 

1. Becoming the must-hire candidate in your market

Only a few years ago, most executive jobs were advertised. With a well-crafted resume, candidates could research their market and submit a tailored resume to dozens of positions - giving themselves blanket coverage in the jobs market.

Today this is no longer the case.

Today, a significant proportion of all executive openings are never advertised. You will not find them on job boards. You will not find them on LinkedIn. You will not find them on company careers pages. But if you can't find these openings, how can you apply for them? The answer is you can't - instead you have to ensure that recruiters can (and will) find you!

One of the biggest shifts that social media has brought about is a move away from advertising roles to an alternative world in which recruiters track down the ideal hires for their openings. It should therefore be apparent that you'll only be considered for a role if you can make yourself a "must-hire" candidate for that type of role.

The key to this is ensuring that your professional profile is highly visible, even when you are not job-hunting. To achieve this, there are two essential steps I would recommend to any ambitious professional today.

The first essential building block is ensuring that your LinkedIn profile has been fully worked over to appeal to recruiters in your niche. This means two things fundamentally. Firstly it means doing the keyword research to ensure your profile will appear in the types of candidate searches that recruiters are undertaking in your market. Secondly it means reworking your profile to be a marketing document that showcases your skills and excites the reader into thinking they've found their perfect hire.

The second building block - not essential but highly recommended - is to start nurturing your professional reputation online. Do people in your industry know your name, would they recommend to others in the sector that you're a source of great insights or a key person to network with? Are you a published author? Do conference organisers, journalists and industry influencers reach out to tap into your expertise?

Those who can answer yes to this question find that they are regularly being approached with lucrative new engagements or career moves. They have made themselves an aspirational hire - great things will happen to a company if this person's services can be secured. Those who cannot answer yes to this question are more reliant on a recruiter needing to fill a position for which they are an exact. This may still happen, but you'll no longer have businesses creating a position in order to accommodate your talents - you're simply a candidate to fill a known vacancy in the business.

For the avoidance of doubt, someone still operating in the old world will always have to be working to have their resume considered for openings. Someone who's finessed their LinkedIn profile will increasingly be receiving direct approaches and be less likely to need to job search. And those who've built their professional persona to be a known expert in their industry will get such a flood of approaches that they can pick and choose their next moves or engagements at will.

Which type of candidate would you like to be?


2. Understanding how candidates are assessed today

The second major change to comprehend is that the resume is now only a small element in the selection process. A growing proportion of candidates are today being rejected because of other information a recruiter has uncovered about them online; and increasingly a candidate's online presence can play a part in making them appear to be the strongest candidate on the shortlist.

Two actions should be considered in light of this. Firstly, you should regularly try searching for yourself online and seeing what other people can learn about you through simple research. Maybe you've been tagged in photos that could cause alarm to a prospective employer. Maybe comments you've made on social media could be misconstrued. Or the tone in which you've interacted with others leaves something to be desired. Not everything that appears in those searches will necessarily even have been published by you. But being tagged in posts or photos still creates an impression about you that may or may not be harmful to your future employment.

The two steps you can take to improve things are firstly to try and remove posts (or have your tag erased) so that unfavourable impressions are cleansed. Secondly you can also look at creating new profiles online so that more of the Page 1 results on Google are actually impressions that you've written yourself and that therefore represent you in the most favourable light. It's worth noting that social profiles often appear very highly in Google searches, so the simple act of creating yourself a Google+ profile or a Twitter account can mean that what appears as a page 1 result is much more within your control.

If these steps could be describing as "cleansing" or "housekeeping", the second action involves being more proactive. We've already seen how becoming renowned as an expert in your industry can bring you a stream of enquiries and opportunities. But it also has the secondary benefit that your candidacy is strengthened when a recruiter starts researching you online. A Google search that produces lots of results where you are sharing expertise with others in your industry, sparking debate and interactions, building your professional profile... this all reflects very well on you as a prospective candidate.

So I'd describe this second action as "carving out your online persona". Decide what you want to be renowned for in your industry - and then go out there and build yourself a reputation in that mould. For some people this will involve becoming an occasional blogger. For others it'll be more simple - finding and curating great content from others in the industry... and adding your own insights and commentary when sharing that content. The most important thing is consistency - so that others in the industry are increasingly drawn to you and encouraged to share your updates with their wider networks. It's these actions, repeated over time, that result in you becoming extremely well known in your industry - and having a professional reputation that you yourself have manufactured.


Concluding Remarks

As I travel to Business Schools across Europe, one thing is very apparent to me. As I deliver guest lectures on behalf of careers services, it's clear that these developments are real eye-openers for the majority of top flight executives. And if top MBAs aren't fully aware of these changes, I have to think that the same must be true in the broader market.

So please, for the sake of your career trajectory, carve yourself out some time over the next month to really address these issues. A small investment now will yield disproportionately strong results over the coming years. Good luck.

 

Casting Call: Top Recruiter Looking To Uncover 20 Recruitment Leaders in Europe

Exciting developments from the Top Recruiter team, with the hunt for Europe's standout Recruitment Leaders getting underway in earnest.
 

Top Recruiter - Casting Call


A few weeks ago I alerted you that the hit show Top Recruiter was set to return in November. With this latest production Top Recruiter is evolving from a reality series to a more mature docufilm series. But even more intriguing is the addition of a new twist - with North America taking on Europe and the show being filmed in London and across Europe during the early summer of 2016.


Casting Call - Apply Today

Over the coming weeks the Top Recruiter team will be sifting through the so-called “movers and shakers” of the recruitment industry and hand-picking the true leaders-the ones who are driving positive change and inspiring the world around them. The good guys. The givers.

For Recruiters based in Europe, this is a rare opportunity to elevate your position as a thought leader and recruiting visionary. To get exposure on a global stage and to appear alongside some of the most highly regarded recruiters from the US. 

Recruiters interested in being considered for the forthcoming "Art of Recruiting" production in The Painted Hall in London are invited to submit their details today - you can apply now on the Top Recruiter site.

Could you be featuring on our screens within the year? As Top Recruiter stress on the casting call page,
 

The best leaders recognise that one of their greatest strengths lies in sharing their vulnerabilities, not just their successes. They are open about what their imperfections have taught them and how they’ve grown because of them.
 

People respect that. They connect with it. They can’t help but be affected by it.


Does that resonate? If so, apply today and I very much hope to see you featuring prominently when the production airs next year.

 

6 Ways To Build An Engaged + Relevant Twitter Following

As my Twitter following (@tonyrestell) approaches the 40,000 mark and our recruiting handle (@hireonsocial) approaches 60,000, I thought I’d reflect on some lessons learnt about growing an engaged and relevant twitter following. Engagement though is essential – if people aren’t interacting with you, building a relationship and helping expand the reach of your tweets then your twitter following is just a number. Relevance is also key, time spent interacting with people who have little business relevance is unlikely to produce positive ROI for your social media efforts.

Recruiting on Twitter


So here are 6 things to focus on to build your own engaged and relevant twitter following... 


1. Plan time to engage on Twitter

Twitter is all about the moment. It’s not like email where a reply weeks after initial contact can further a relationship. Opportunities to engage present themselves for a few fleeting moments and then often they are gone. So you need to be disciplined in setting yourself some time windows each day when you will be active on Twitter and looking out for opportunities to engage (and then stick to that commitment!).


2. Develop a strategy for your Twitter presence

Social networks can pull you in all sorts of directions if you allow them to. Twitter is certainly no different. If you don’t have a strategy to adhere to, you’ll find yourself spending a lot of time on Twitter – without any concrete outcome you can necessarily show for this at the end of each quarter.

Think about:

  1. who is the audience I want to reach and engage with on twitter? (past candidates? new candidates? immediately available candidates? passive candidates? or maybe your focus is on reaching potential new recruiting clients?)
     
  2. what do I want them to have done X weeks from now so that followers and reach on twitter translate into actual business results (eg. submit a resume for review, book in a call time...)
     
  3. what content and updates will appeal to that target audience... and what process do I need to follow to encourage people to take the desired next step?

     

3. Continually test and refine your strategy

As you use Twitter in your daily routine, you’ll find some things work really well and others flop. You'll also find that what works evolves as the size and credibility of your account grows; and that the ways people interact and follow an individual’s twitter account differ significantly from how they engage with a branded corporate account.

Twitter – and the tools available to users – are also constantly evolving, so what works today will not necessarily be effective a year from now. So continually test and refine your strategy – and don’t be fearful of changing your approach in the light of the results you're seeing.

That last point is key. You need to be monitoring results. Use tools to help you track the effectiveness of your tweets, and the conversions you're achieving in your twitter sales funnel. What proportion of candidates visiting your profile choose to follow you (optimise this)? How many new candidates are you attracting to your profile each month (drive this figure up)? Which approaches to engaging people so that they take the next steps you want them to take are proving most effective (A/B split test this)?


4. Find ways to segment your twitter streams so that you can focus your engagement efforts

For some readers this’ll mean creating lists on your twitter account so that you can turn your attention to different portions of your twitter following depending on your current priorities. For others this’ll mean creating twitter streams monitoring specific search strings relevant to you. The key is to figure out how you're going to laser-focus your attention on that tiny part of the total twitter stream that is really most valuable to you and your end goal.


5. Keep your twitter stream populated with relevant content

If you’re not active on Twitter for any given period, people aren’t going to stumble across you in their twitter streams and aren’t going to be presented with opportunities to engage with you. So it’s critical that you develop a plan to ensure your twitter stream is consistently populated with relevant and engaging content. Tools like Buffer and Hootsuite make it easy to schedule content sending in a way that can still be personable; whilst maintaining a balance of the latest information and some evergreen content ensures you always have something valuable you could be sharing with your twitter following.

With our recruiting clients we find the optimal posting volumes to be 6-8 per day for recruiters targeting one geography; or a multiple of this if targeting a global audience. Clearly this takes work - and is just one of the reasons that recruiting on social media isn't "free".


6. Use Twitter tools and processes to increase your productivity and tidy up your twitter following

There are loads of tools out there to help identify which of your twitter interactions are most worthwhile following up. Twitter tools can also be used to check who you are following and to propose accounts that are of little value (ie. never engage, tweet out only new content in a 100% automated manner, are no longer active users, etc). A little time each week devoted to using these tools will allow you to focus your attentions on the most valuable twitter relationships; and to cleaning out the dead wood from your twitter following to make way for other more valuable contacts.

Turning what you do into processes or schedules that you follow regularly can have a dramatic impact in terms of allowing you to get more done in less time. In terms of tools to look at, we particularly like SocialBro and ManageFlitter for analysing twitter users to target; Riffle for getting insights about twitter users to help us prioritise who to engage with; and BuzzSumo for identifying influencers in our recruiting clients' niche markets. 


Bonus Tip! Make a conscious effort to focus on helping others and interacting personally

Whether you’re looking for a job, wanting to generate sales, needing to attract new hires... the temptation to push out promotional messages on twitter can be overwhelming (just think of how many recruiters you see whose twitter accounts are a stream of job postings). The same is true of trying to lure people to come and read your own content rather than sending them liberally to go and look at other people’s content.

My definitive advice here is to focus your efforts on helping others and interacting with people personally whenever you can. Helping people – irrespective of the gain to yourself – will ultimately be what builds relationships and goodwill towards you. That's an essential building block to getting results on twitter (and indeed all social media), so should be your absolute focus.

Personal interactions, meanwhile, are what solidify your twitter following and make people inclined to share your messages and recommend you. Try not to pass up the opportunity to personally thank people for their shares, respond to their comments, etc. Plus when retweeting, try to add your own thoughts to the tweet. It only takes seconds to do, but endears you to the person you’re retweeting far more than a simple RT.


Concluding Remarks

My professional life has been enriched enormously by the recruiting and jobseeker community I've immersed myself in on Twitter. But I've also seen plenty of recruiting businesses who've tried it and given up not really knowing why they've not enjoyed the same results. As I head towards the 40,000 followers mark, I genuinely hope these pointers will help you to build an engaged and relevant twitter following for yourself and to start seeing significant business results for all your efforts.

If you'd like to really accelerate your results, do join me for one of our next social media for recruiters sessions, where I'll be walking through step by step how we get results on social media. They're free, so look forward to sharing insights you can put into practice with your recruiting team right away!