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!

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!


Talenytics – Actionable Data To Finesse Your Hiring Process

Talk to Recruitment Agency owners about the business challenges they face and in my experience two issues will come to the fore. No surprises that they both relate to the business having the right data to be able to streamline recruitment effectiveness.

Quite possibly you recognise one - or both - as challenges that your own recruitment business has struggled to address? In-house recruiters will no doubt also see these are issues that corporate recruiters struggle with too:

  • Getting comprehensive briefs from clients so that recruiters can deliver efficiently on requirements and not be derailed by having additional specs added to the brief as the assignment unfolds.
  • Having the data needed to assess how the business is performing – how individual recruiters are performing, the roles where the business risks not delivering for clients, tracking time to fill, source of hire, risk of candidate flight…

So I was intrigued to be granted early access to a new recruiting tool that would seem to address both these challenges head on. Talenytics plugs right into your existing recruiting processes and delivers a wealth of information for a recruitment business owner or in-house recruitment team such as:

  • Open, closed and cancelled roles
  • Tracking of candidate sources
  • Average time to fill roles
  • Average candidate fit
  • % of candidates accepted at each interview stage
  • Individual recruiter performance

Talenytics - Helping Recruiting Businesses To Prosper

What seems particularly valuable though is the process that recruiters adhere to as they start work on a new engagement. Working with Hiring Managers, key criteria for shortlist candidates are drawn up and agreed – together with any other aspects of delivery that the recruiter should prioritise.

The benefits here are multi-faceted. Firstly, there is far greater clarity from the outset regarding the key requirements that the recruiter must deliver on. Secondly, there is visibility at a business level as to which roles we are struggling to generate suitable candidates for – with individual recruiters also able to be assessed based on the average fit of the candidates they are putting forward. Thirdly, sources of candidates can be assessed in relation to the quality of fit shortlist candidates that they are producing.

Talenytics - Using Data To Recruit Effectively

Particularly intriguing for me is the element of predictive hiring analytics that Talenytics provides. As your company makes more hires that have been tracked by Talenytics, the insights from those campaigns and the input from hiring managers during those campaigns will be used to help predict important criteria (per client)  for future hires. So the next time hiring managers don't fully specify the "must-haves" for a role, Talenytics will alert you to other criteria you should also factor in so as to deliver candidates with the greatest probability of being hired. How's that for futuristic?!

With Talenytics now out of beta and available to the broader recruitment market, you’d be well advised to book in a demo via the site and see for yourself the impact this could have on your recruiting business or in-house recruiting team [Request a demo here].


Top Recruiter Set To Return To Your Screens

From here in the UK, 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.

Top Recruiter - New Series

When I spoke to producer Chris LaVoie this last week, he had two big announcements. The first is that a new series will hit our screens in November, the trailer for which you will find below (and hats off to Chris for the standards he's setting here, a credit to the recruitment industry).

With this latest production Chris has taken Top Recruiter from a reality series to a more mature docufilm series, so it will be interesting to see how this changes the viewer experience and how Top Recruiter is perceived. But even more intriguing is the addition of another level of competition to the mix - with North America taking on Europe in a twist that will see the show being filmed in London and across Europe during June 2016.

For the more competitive amongst you, I'll be sure to provide casting call details and the like here over the coming months! But for now, here's a flavour of what's in store when the next series broadcasts in November:

About the Docufilm Series: Top Recruiter - Reign of the Bosses

Somewhere along the way, recruitment and sourcing has taken a wrong turn, and now the integrity of the industry is in a state of collapse. The financial cost of correcting it will be high—more than some will want to pay. But the cost of allowing it to stay on its current course—to enable the perpetuation of a fundamentally flawed system—would be devastating to future generations.

Over the past several years, #theMovement has escalated whispers of change into a roar that is reverberating around the globe. 

Ours is an industry that is meant to serve others, yet too many people are just out to serve themselves. In Top Recruiter, Reign of the Bosses, the day of recruiter reckoning has arrived. Contestants’ skills will be scrutinized. Their character will be questioned. And in the end, judgment will be passed.

Get ready for the Human Experiment.  Visit the official site today!


5 Key Social Recruiting Takeaways

How can Recruiters get results from social media? What time investment is needed for those results to start flowing? Is it realistic for recruitment businesses to do this themselves? Are in-house recruiters missing a trick by focusing so heavily on LinkedIn? And what does success look like?

I recently decided to ramp up the frequency of our social recruiting webinars, as in call after call I've found myself addressing these types of questions - and there are only so many of these calls I can squeeze into a week!

Recruiting with Social Media

In pulling together the slides for this webinar, I found myself addressing all the above questions and more. Hopefully you'll be able to join me on one of the next sessions to hear in-depth insights on these topics and more. But to whet your appetite, I thought it'd be helpful to share some headlines with you:


How can Recruiters get results from social media?

In my mind there are two really distinct areas of Social Recruiting. First up we have sourcing candidates by using social sites (most notably LinkedIn) as one massive public resume database. Then there's the second angle, which is attracting candidates (or recruiting clients) by having a compelling social media presence and tapping into the pool of passive candidates that recruiters are so anxious to woo. Depending on the type of recruiting assignments your team undertakes, you'll need to have one or both of these angles covered.

Our focus is principally the candidate attraction side of social recruiting and so that's what I cover during the webinar session. To be successful you'll need to turn your social media presence into a sales funnel for your recruiting team, the end outcome of which being whatever you want your social media strategy to deliver for the team (applicants, referrals, client leads, etc.). There are 4 key steps to achieving this and I run through them in some depth during the webinar.

#SocialRecruiting - Free Webinars


What time investment is needed for those results to start flowing?

In what timescales should you promise the business that the fruits of this social media presence will be felt? Clearly this is a function of how much resource you invest in building your social media presence. But you shouldn't be thinking about this as producing overnight results. Initial business results achieved within 3 months is achievable if you have an expert working on this. 6 months if not. Then you're looking at 12-24 months to really build an unassailable lead in your market and be the recruiting brand that everyone knows and wants to interact with.


Is it realistic for recruitment businesses to do this themselves?

The answer here is yes and no. Success requires you to have a consistent presence on social media - and to be doing a multitude of things that are all needed to generate success. Within a recruitment business (or in-house recruiting team), it's inconceivable that existing team members could do this.

Recruiters making placements find it impossible to continue spending time developing a social media presence, when that's invariably at the expense of the candidates and clients they would otherwise be talking to. To this day I've never seen this type of social recruiting be successfully undertaken in-house, unless the business has gone all out and hired a social media marketing manager with responsibility for making this happen.

Are in-house recruiters missing a trick by focusing so heavily on LinkedIn?

Without question! Consider for a moment that a significant portion of all LinkedIn users only return to the site once a month. Now consider that many of those same users are logging into Facebook multiple times per week, or are active on Twitter several times a day. If you are entirely focused on sourcing candidates then LinkedIn has a lot to offer. But if you're also wanting to build your recruiting brand and attract candidates to your business then it's the other social sites that will give you the frequent touch points and immediacy of interaction necessary to generate results.

What does success look like?

Just as with the question of the timescales necessary for results to be achieved, clearly the results you will see in your business are going to be a function of the time and resource you invest into your social media presence. But to help you quantify what could be achieved in your business, I do share insights into the types of results we see our recruiting clients achieve - be that candidates attracted to your careers page, signups to a careers event or resume database, inbound client leads generated.... What's key, though, is that by turning your social media presence into a sales funnel, you get to the point where there's a clear end result being achieved for any given level of investment in social recruiting.

Hopefully you can join me on one of the next webinar dates and I can expand on these topics and give you some other pointers on how Recruiters are getting results from social media.


7 Ways to Be Constantly Recruiting Star Talent Using Social Media

Recently we published a How To Guide For Recruiters on using social media for recruiting. The feedback we've had has been unbelievable (thank you!) and it's already been shared a staggering 1,464 times on social media. But one request that came through several times was for a shorter introductory post for those just wanting a brief overview of the topic.

Well Social Recruiting certainly involves listening - so we've listened and here is that shorter introductory post!

Recruiting on Social Media

7 Ideas For Using Social Media To Recruit

In the full guide we detailed how you can use social media in 7 key ways to boost your hiring results. Those 7 ideas are:

  • Use social recruiting techniques to boost your employer brand or recruiting brand and attract potential hires to your business

  • Engage with influencers in your industry to multiply twentyfold or thirtyfold the reach of your recruiting team's messages in the markets you're trying to recruit in

  • Use targeted social media advertising to attract your ideal hires directly to your careers pages or to your most critical job listings

  • Implement a social referral programme to drive more employee referrals from your existing staff base

  • Ensure your efforts are not undermined by an inability to convert the growing number of candidates now using mobile devices in their job search

  • Research your ideal candidates on social media and approach them direct

  • Improve the candidate experience and solidify candidates' decision to join your company through effective use of social media

Here's a taster of what your business / recruiting team should be focusing on in each of these 7 areas. If you'd like the comprehensive run-down of social recruiting and these 7 ideas be sure to check out the full how to guide.

Use social recruiting techniques to boost your recruiting brand + attract hires

Having a strong recruiting or employer brand on social media is important for two key reasons. Firstly, being a name that candidates know and respect improves the returns you get from every other recruiting activity you undertake. Candidates are more likely to take your calls, reply to InMails, respond to job adverts, etc. if yours is a brand they have already warmed to. But as well as improving the ROI of everything else your recruiting team does, a strong recruiting brand on social media can actually be a new means of attracting candidate interest in its own right. Think of your social media followers as your talent pool and your advocate network. A company that wins a large following for its recruiting team's social media profiles has a ready-made audience of potential candidates that can be enticed to submit their resumes in the future. It also increasingly has a network of people who believe in the business and who will become more and more willing to share your openings to reach their networks too.

How to do this is something I cover in my regular free webinars on social recruiting but suffice it to say there are 4 steps that have to be adhered to if you want to get results.

Engage with influencers to multiply the reach of your messages

For most of our clients, this step will form part of their strategy to have a stronger recruiting brand presence on social media. But it's also an approach that can be used in isolation and so I've split it out here.

The core idea to exploit is that there are already lots of people and organisations out there who have built sizeable engaged followings of the exact types of people your business would like to recruit. To give you a simple example, sales software vendors and sales trainers both will have sizeable followings of sales people.

As a recruiting team, what you want to be doing is finding the influencers in your industry who also regularly reshare content and updates from other businesses. These are the people you want to build relationships with to quickly see the reach of your recruiting brand skyrocket on social media. Reaching 20 or 30 times as many people as you have followers is something that's eminently achieveable and that's why it's worth your time cultivating influencer relationships.


Use targeted social media advertising to attract your ideal hires

Novices pump job alerts out across their Twitter streams or Facebook pages, not realising that this is simply making them look desperate - and harming their prospects of ever attracting a loyal and engaged following of prospective future hires. I mean think about it, who wants their social media streams clogged with a barrage of untargeted job adverts? Only the most desperate jobseekers in our experience!

Pros realise that social media provides a means of defining the exact audience (passive and active candidates) that the business needs to reach - and then paying to have hiring campaigns displayed just to that highly targeted audience. Better still, you don't have to become an expert at using the various social media advertising platforms yourself. You can turn to the experts to run your PPC campaigns on social media for you.


Implement a social referral programme to drive more employee referrals

Whether you use one of the many social referral platforms out there, or go it alone with your own internal project, the upsides from engaging staff to provide referrals are threefold. Firstly, by tapping into the networks of all your existing staff you can potentially reach a lot of your target candidate audience, in a way that's more personal than simply advertising to that same audience.

Secondly because candidates will receive an invitation to consider a vacancy from someone they know, the chances of the candidate looking at the message and clicking to check out the vacancy are greatly enhanced when compared with eg. a cold InMail from a recruiter that the candidate doesn't know. The likelihood of them warming to the company - and ultimately succeeding in the role - is also improved if they already know people in the organisation.

Last but not least, paying existing staff - rather than external suppliers - to generate candidate leads clearly improves the remuneration of your staff, whilst bringing on board staff members that the team are more likely to bond with. So there's the added benefit that your own staff retention rates are likely to be strengthened and the pressure to actually make additional hires is relieved.

Ensure your efforts are not undermined by the rise of #mobile

Whilst mobile recruiting and social recruiting are in some ways distinct, they are also highly complementary. Once you consider that most social media users are accessing their social accounts from a mobile device, it should clearly follow that no attempts to secure candidate applications via social media can ever be successful unless the steps that candidates need to follow in order to apply have been mobile optimised!

Research your ideal candidates on social media and approach them direct

Sourcing candidates via social media is the area of social recruiting that I'm least expert in. We offer a candidate sourcing service here on Social-Hire, but I very much leave others to deliver on this service.

That being said, I can certainly comment on the overall importance of this aspect of social recruiting - I'll just defer to others when it comes to the How To aspect of doing this yourself.

Given how closely LinkedIn is associated with this aspect of Social Recruiting, it's quite possibly the element that you'll be most familiar with yourself. The principle is simple. Today there are vast "Resume databases" available to anyone who wants to start working as a recruiter, where only ten years ago they'd have been proprietary assets of a recruitment business. So the barriers to entry for an inhouse recruitment team to find and approach candidates directly have been massively reduced. Similarly the barriers to entry for someone leaving a recruitment business to go and set up their own competitor.

How to effectively mine LinkedIn for talent, how to find tech candidates on GitHub when you find they've deserted LinkedIn, how to tap into the more sizeable profile databases that Facebook and Google+ provide, how to find the in-depth social profiles of candidates who've caught your interest on Twitter. All this and more is the realm of the social sourcing specialist.

There are various tools you can use to find talent across social platforms: TalentBin (by Monster), Entelo, Open Web (from Dice), Connect6, 3Sourcing and lots of training courses you can attend to bolster your skills. 

Improve the candidate experience and solidify candidates' decision to join your company

Last but not least is the impact that all your social media activities can have on Candidate Experience. At multiple points during the research, application, interview and offer acceptance stages, it's now highly probable that your candidates will have interactions (or a lack of interactions) with your company and its staff that influence whether they ultimately go on to be hired by you. All these touch points contribute to the overall Candidate Experience that you offer - and therefore to the acceptance rates that your whole recruiting operation is able to achieve. Ignore at your peril!

Final Remarks

All the best in your Social Recruiting endeavours this year and beyond and I hope this summary of our How To Guide has been helpful. If you'd like to spend some time chatting through your social recruiting tactics with us, you're most welcome to book in a time for a call with one of our super friendly expert team. We're here to help!

Schedule a social recruiting call


Tony Restell is the Founder of and helps candidates and recruiters leverage social media. Having spent the last 15 years serving the recruitment industry, Tony is a frequent guest speaker on the ever-changing jobs market and how both candidates and recruiters must adapt in order to thrive. A published author and Cambridge graduate, you’re welcome to reach out to Tony on @tonyrestell


Social Recruiting: A Step By Step Approach

There are many different strategies that fall under the heading of Social Recruiting. The one that we're most intensively involved with here at Social-Hire is building a strong attraction strategy through social media. For some businesses the focus will be on candidate attraction. For others it'll be all about attracting potential recruiter clients. But whatever the focus, we consistently see 4 steps that clients need to implement to generate positive ROI from their social recruiting efforts.

Have a read of these 4 steps and assess candidly whether or not you are really doing all these things in your business. Your answers may well uncover the reasons you aren't generating the results from your Social Recruiting efforts that you would like to be achieving...

Social Recruiting: Step By Step

Start With The End Goal in Mind

The first step sounds obvious but many businesses we speak with actually haven't had this conversation internally. The first key step is being very clear within your team about the audience you want to reach with your social media presence - and what you want your growing social media audience to have done several weeks or months down the line that will make them valuable for your business.

The answer here will be different for different recruiting teams. Some will be focused on generating recruiter client leads. Others will want to drive an increase in candidate applications. Others will want to boost the search engine rankings of their careers site through stronger social sharing of their content. The key thing is to have actually defined your audience and goals at the outset so that all your social media activities are undertaken with these targets in mind.

Become a Candidate Magnet in Your Industry

The second step is to think about what will make your profiles exceedingly valuable, entertaining and insightful to this target audience. Often recruitment businesses and recruiting teams are guilty of their social streams being nothing more than a parade of their latest job openings, plus maybe the occasional team photo or update about what the team is up to.

If you want to become a magnet in your industry that attracts your desired target audience, this simply will not do. Essentially we want our social recruiting profiles to be like lead pages for our business. We want to tweak and optimise them so that a higher and higher percentage of people visiting our profiles choose to follow them - and get our updates on an ongoing basis. Do a poor job here and your social profiles might only achieve a 1% conversion rate. Do this well and you might see a 40% conversion achieved. Clearly it's not worth doing anything else to raise awareness of your social media profiles until you've plugged the holes in your conversion rate.

Essentially you need to become an invaluable resource in your niche market, one that people will come to view as indispensable and whose updates they will want to share with others in their network. This is where the huge value on social media can be derived. For example, several of the accounts we manage have twitter followings of 35,000 to 50,000 followers. But when we look at the reach those profiles enjoy each month, their messages are actually seen by between 500,000 and a million twitter followers. Even with smaller accounts, a similar multiplier effect can be achieved if the right things are being done. It’s this network effect that gives your business and your recruiting team visibility amongst - and access to - the huge candidate audience that you want to reach. But this is only achieved when the updates you post are consistently valuable and share-worthy.

Attract and Convert Candidate Interest

The 3rd step is equally key. If all you do is Steps 1 and 2, you will have a social media presence that looks professional when people click to your profiles from your website. But you will not be growing an ever larger audience of candidates or clients who go on to do the things needed to fulfil your corporate objectives on social media (and so you'll fail if you stop here).

That’s where Step 3 comes in. Step 3 involves understanding each of the social platforms where you have built a presence and figuring out the steps that are needed to get your profiles seen by more and more of your target audience. This requires consistent and informed activity across your social networks in order that your follower and fan base grows month on month.

Engaging as a Key Final Step

Last but not least, Step 4 involves engaging with your target audience on social media. This should mean reviewing the profiles of everyone who has interacted with your company on social media and following up accordingly. It may also mean discovering conversations taking place in your industry and jumping in and participating in those conversations. But essentially it revolves around taking that awareness that your recruiting brand now has on social media and turning it into meaningful conversations taking place with either prospective candidates or potential recruiting clients (or indeed both). For most recruiting teams, it’s this engagement that drives the overwhelming business value of having a strong social media recruiting presence. But you can't ever fulfil Step 4 effectively if you haven't already done a great job implementing Steps 1-3.

Need Help?

If this sounds daunting and 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 recruiting presence 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 - speak soon!

Schedule a social recruiting call


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


Recruitment Technology - Your Competitive Advantage

Advances in Recruitment Technology may not be quite as futuristic as drone technology or 3D printers, but innovations in recent years have nonetheless had a profound impact on the recruitment industry. This week we invited Kirstie Kelly, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Launchpad Recruits, to share with us all the impact they are seeing technology have on the recruitment marketplace. The insights, which you can access via the recording below, highlighted the ways that corporate recruiters are leveraging recruitment technologies; and perhaps more interestingly, flagged the need for recruitment businesses to adapt if they aren't to make themselves redundant.

Recruitment Technology - Your Competitive Advantage

Listening to Kirstie talk about the evolution of technologies and their impact on candidate expectations, I was struck by just how much things have moved on. Only ten years ago, candidates would not have expected it to be possible to have interactions with a potential employer until the point they were invited in for interview. Careers fairs were one of the rare opportunities to interact in advance of deciding to apply. Fast forward to today and candidates can interact extensively with an employer's recruitment team - and existing employees - before they've even decided to submit an application. Throughout the hiring process - and when deciding on an offer - they similarly have access to people in the business and those interactions (or lack of them) have the potential to solidify or derail the candidate's decision to join.

The Impact of Recruitment Technology

It's clear that employers are using technology for several key reasons. In part technology adoption helps them to streamline their recruitment processes and improve recruiter productivity. In part technology helps ensure compliance and addresses concerns around diversity hiring and protects the business from discrimination claims. Without doubt recruitment technologies also help companies to attract candidates and improve the candidate experience.

The danger for recruitment businesses is that if companies become heavily wedded to technologies for these reasons - and the corresponding benefits they bring the business - then any recruitment agency not working in a similar fashion will look increasingly less like they're part of the solution to their recruitment problems. Can you afford to let your recruitment business be made redundant because you were slow to adapt?

Recruitment Technology - Your Competitive Advantage: Webinar Recording

Without further delay I share with you the webinar recording below. I hope you find it an enlightening session and if you're contemplating experimenting with video for recruitment in your own business, do take advantage of Launchpad's trial offer or book yourself in a demo with them to see how some of these tools work.

Have these insights been helpful? Please do consider sharing with your networks via the buttons below:

Social Recruiting - The Secret to Securing a Positive ROI

I love the saying "if you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there".

Since founding Social-Hire this phrase has taken on a new significance - and gets to the very heart of why teams often struggle to get positive ROI from their investment in social recruiting. So many of the businesses who come to us for help with figuring out their social media strategy are guilty of this most basic of failings: they don't know - in concrete terms - what it is that they want their social media presence to deliver for the business.

Are You Guilty?

Indulge me while I paraphrase the typical conversation we have with businesses:

Caller: We're conscious we're not doing enough as a business to exploit social media. I mean, all the candidates are on there nowadays so we've got to make sure we're there too.

Social-Hire: So what would constitute success for you, what would you like to see happening once you've figured out how to build a better recruiting presence on social media?

Caller: Well we'd like to have more followers on our accounts, targeted followers from our industry. A good mixture of clients and candidates, so that more and more people know our business.

Social-Hire: So how would you see that converting into more placement fees for your business / more candidate applications / more conversations with prospective recruiter clients?

Caller: Good question. I hadn't thought that far ahead to be honest - I just know we can't afford to be left behind...

The Aha Moment

So allow me to share with you an Aha moment that should help you to get better ROI from your social recruiting efforts than pretty much any of your competitors.

You have to think of your social media presence like a sales funnel:

Getting ROI from your social media recruiting presence
Figure 1: The Social Media Sales Funnel

This funnel starts with defining the people your business needs to win over. And it finishes with the desired action you'd want these people to take so that they actually become valuable to your business. You see a follower has limited business value. A prospective client who's requested a call with your recruitment agency, well that's a totally different proposition.

Breaking Down The Social Media Sales Funnel

So we start with the target audience that our business wants to reach with social media. Define them thoroughly. What are their job titles, what publications do they read, what tools and services are they likely to use, what industry events are they likely to attend, who do they look up to and seek advice from already?

The next step is to ensure that we've created our social media profiles - and the content strategy for what we'll share on those profiles - with that defined target audience in mind. What would make those people want to follow us? What type of insights are they most likely to find valuable? If we can get these things right, our social media pages will become high-converting "landing pages" - meaning that for any given number of our target audience who visit our profiles, there'll be a high proportion (30-40% is possible) who will choose to follow us and receive our updates on an ongoing basis.

Once we have built a strong audience of followers from our target demographic, we need to experiment with the types of content shares and updates that are most likely to spark interactions with them, or have them decide to reshare our posts with their followers. It's these actions on our updates that really provide the spark for a business relationship to be formed. So being on top of the data and knowing what types of updates produce the desired interactions is key.

If you achieve this much, that's great. It's already a lot more than many recruiting teams and recruitment businesses are achieving with their social media presence. But on its own, even this is not enough....

Social Recruiting ROI Needs A Call To Action

As a business, you need to have offers you can put to this target audience that causes them to take the course of action that you want them to take. That could be submitting a resume for a free critique from your team; it could be booking in a time for a call to gain your insights about the state of the hiring market; it could be signing up to an alert service to be notified as new jobs go live on your careers pages.

Each business will be different. But the key thing is that you have a variety of "offers" you can put to prospects as you interact on social media. So that instead of saying "Thanks so much for the RT" you're instead saying "Really appreciate the RT, perhaps we could repay you by reviewing your Resume?"

It's these messages that elevate simple followers of your company accounts into potential clients or candidates that your team can actually act upon to generate real business results.

Much has been written about recruitment converging with marketing. In the sphere of social media this is absolutely true. An effective recruiter has to be thinking of the team's social media recruiting presence as a sales funnel. Consider the following:

  • How we can reach as much of the target demographic as possible can be finessed
  • How well our social media profiles convert visits into follows can be fine-tuned
  • How effectively we engage prospects in actual conversations can be refined
  • How well our calls to action convert into actual actions being taken can be A/B tested

Are you working through each of these points in your business and constantly optimising your social media presence to get better and better results? I thought not!

The truth is, these activities resemble a racing car team trying to tweak every element to squeeze yet more performance out of the whole package. Social recruiting is no different - and if you want ROI from your efforts then thinking of it as a sales funnel - and then refining each element of the funnel - is the route to go down to get results.

Need Help?

If this sounds daunting and 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 recruitment presence 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 - speak soon!

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


Video Technology in Recruitment - Insider Insights

We had the pleasure of welcoming the Launchpad Recruits team to present on a recent webinar about the use of video technology in recruitment. The insights, which you can access via the recording below, really opened our eyes to the variety of ways companies can benefit from making greater use of video technologies in the hiring process.

Video Technology in Recruitment

Background: Video Technology in Recruitment

When you talk about using video for recruitment, most people will assume you're talking about conducting job interviews via Skype. Some might think of introducing some element of video into their candidate attraction campaigns. But the impact of the technologies being deployed today is much more far-reaching.

Kirstie Kelly, Director at Launchpad, talked us through some of the ways that clients are using their tools as an illustration of ways that video technology is being used in recruitment. The angle that most intrigued me on the call was the use of recorded candidate responses to pre-assigned interview questions.

For initial candidate screening, this seems a game changer. Instead of trying to whittle that pile of CVs down with a quick scan, why not form that opinion from watching the candidate answer a couple of questions that provide the insights you need to make the right calls?

Changing the Economics of Recruiting

For a variety of reasons this seems highly attractive. Firstly, any company can effectively "interview" a far greater number of candidates, greatly increasing the chances that the "star candidates" will be uncovered in the screening process. But just as important, the candidate experience is greatly enhanced. Gone is the frustration that the vast majority of candidates never make it to interview stages and are left feeling rejected and disengaged. In its place is a process that means far more candidates are left feeling positive about the company and its hiring process. In an era where the Candidate Experience is viewed as being all important, this could well prove to be a game changer.

What intrigued me even more though was the example of professional services firms using a similar approach as part of their Final Round interviewing process. At first you'd think this is counterintuitive. Why put your most valued candidates through a process that seems less personal? But the reality is that this approach allows all the Partners / hiring decision makers to see the exact same performance of each candidate and so more readily reach a final hiring decision that everyone has bought into. This contrasts with the more traditional round of final interviews, where each Partner has a differing opinion of the interview performances of each final round candidate. I'll be honest, until this approach was laid bare I wouldn't have even contemplated this as a way that video could be effectively used to improve (rather than streamline) the hiring process!

Video Technology in Recruitment: Webinar Recording

Well without further delay I share with you the webinar recording below. I must say a special thanks to Kirstie and the Launchpad Recruits team for having battled through a connectivity issue they faced part way through the session. I hope you find it an enlightening session and if you're contemplating experimenting with video for recruitment in your own business, do take advantage of Launchpad's 30 day trial offer as a great way of exploring what's possible.

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