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 Interesting Methods for Hiring Highly Skilled Candidates

It's a fascinating time to be in the recruiting world right now. With each passing month, you see market commentaries starting to look more and more like they did before the Lehman crash. The focus is increasingly on the difficulties that employers are expecting to face in attracting the staff they need... and the fact that this is becoming a candidate-driven market once again.

So I was intrigued to receive this guest contribution from Josh Tolan, CEO of Spark Hire, suggesting 5 methods you could experiment with to attract top talent into your business. Hope it proves a helpful read.

5 Interesting Methods for Hiring Highly Skilled Candidates
5 Interesting Methods for Hiring Highly Skilled Candidates

With a growing skills gap, employers and recruiters are finding it more difficult to attract the top talent companies need. This is especially prevalent in tech and STEM related disciplines. While unemployed candidates outnumber positions 3.6 to one in most industries, STEM positions actually outnumber candidates 1.9 to one.

A 2014 survey from Brilliant, in conjunction with Dr. Richard Curtin, Professor and Director of Surveys at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, found 65 percent of companies had unfilled positions in accounting, finance, and IT.

It’s time to get creative in order to bridge the skills gap. Here are five interesting methods to build a bridge in order to lead the top talent into your company:


Skills Assessments

The economic outlook for many companies is growing brighter, with the Brilliant survey finding 43 percent of companies surveyed saw improvement on the horizon. Still, in a tough economic climate, you can’t really afford to hire someone who doesn’t have all the skills required. After all, some companies have pegged the cost of a bad hire at as much as $50,000. You need to make sure your candidate has the right stuff right off the bat.

Utilizing skills assessments can allow you to get a better feel for your candidate’s concrete abilities. If a candidate will have to do a high volume of writing, ask them to complete a writing test. Ask for web designers to write code and for graphic designers to show you their design skills. Know before you go through the hiring process whether your candidate can hit the ground running.


Social Media

Social media is gaining steam for both job seekers and recruiters. According to the Pew Center for Research, 74 percent of online adults have at least one social networking profile now. You can use social media to get a better feel for a candidate’s personal brand and level of professionalism. If you see something wildly inappropriate on social media, your company might have just dodged a public relations disaster waiting to happen.


Video Interviewing

In today’s ultra-competitive landscape, connecting personally in the hiring process has become a must. Video interviews, particularly one-way video interviews, allow you to connect quickly with candidates without wasting much of your precious time.

Candidates answer your questions in short videos, which you can watch for any duration. If you know the candidate is all wrong for the job, you can easily move on to someone more qualified before the end of the interview. Plus, video interviewing allows you to lower barriers and cross borders, finding the best talent wherever they live without ponying up money for plane tickets.


Temporary Talent

According to the American Staffing Association, more than 11 million people are employed in temporary labor per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found temporary jobs edged up 216,000 jobs so far in 2014. Temporary labor is becoming more popular as employers find it harder and harder to find employees with the skills needed for the job.

If you use temporary talent, you can approach candidates from a “try before you buy” position. If the candidate turns out to be great, you can easily transition this person into a full-time employee. If the candidate falls down on the job, however, you can sever ties without all the stresses and strains of firing a permanent hire.


Evaluating Soft Skills

Soft skills are gaining in importance, as communication, collaboration, and outside interaction become more important parts of almost every industry. According to a study by Millennial Branding, 98 percent of employers are looking for candidates with top-notch communication skills.

Candidates with great soft skills also show the ability to grow and learn in their positions because they have the ability to listen. Being able to work together closely with coworkers and management can jump the skills gap, since these candidates are willing and able to learn new skills to add to their repertoire.

When you consider 46 percent of small business new hires fail within 18 months, and in 89 percent of the cases it’s due to company culture mismatch, you can see how important soft skills are when it comes to saving your bottom line. A good communicator with a positive attitude and ability to learn might actually be a better bet than an uninspired candidate with a perfect skill set.

Jumping the skills gap isn’t easy, which means you might need to step outside the box in order to attract and hire the people you need. By looking at some new ways to hire, you can find the top quality employees your company needs to succeed.

What do you think? What are you doing to jump the skills gap? Share in the comments!

 

Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video interview solution used by more than 2,000 companies across the globe. Learn more about using video interviewing for cultural hiring and connect with Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Recruiting on Google+ [A Guide To Getting Started]

So why aren't more recruiters actively recruiting on Google+?

Recruiting on Google+, a beginner's guideAt the time of recording the following getting started guide, Google+ had twice as many active users as LinkedIn - and the added benefit that researching and contacting candidates on the social site is entirely free. Yet take-up by recruiters has been slow. So we invited Katrina Collier to give an introductory talk, helping you understand the basics of getting started on Google+ so that you can start to use it as a recruiting tool. The webinar recording includes insights into:
 

- Setting up your Google+ profile

- Organising your contacts in circles

- Targeting what you share to only be seen by specific contacts

- Searching for candidates on Google+ using both the Google+ search interface and using X-Ray searching

- Contacting candidates on Google+

- Discovering Google+ Communities (like LinkedIn Groups) and insights into the demographics of who is on Google+


Video Recording + Additional Resources

You'll find the recording below. Please do share if you find it helpful - and for more advanced tips on using Google+ to recruit do refer to the article How To Recruit on Google+

 

 

How To Develop a Powerful Social Media Strategy

If you’ve been attracted to read this article, you’re probably one of the growing number of recruiters who’s concluded that their business needs a social media strategy. I’ve worked intensively on developing and deploying social media strategies for the last 36 months. Initially to drive interest in Social-Hire… and increasingly to drive interest in the businesses of the recruiting clients we serve. So I thought it’d be a great way of helping our recruiter followers and contacts if I put into words (and an infographic for your wall!) some of the key things to act upon when drawing up and implementing your social media strategy.

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

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


1. Define Your Target Audience

Who do you want to reach with your social presence? Potential candidates? Potential recruiting clients? What sectors are you targeting, in what geographies and at what levels of seniority? Do you hire for niche markets… and if so can they really all be served by one set of social profiles?

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


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

Looking ahead, what would constitute success for your team’s social media presence? Increased candidate traffic to your careers pages? Uploads of resumes to your ATS? Requests for a call to discuss hiring challenges that potential future clients are facing? The answer to these questions will influence the tone of your social profiles, the content you share, and the calls to action you introduce in your updates.

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


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

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

If your target audience comprises job seekers in a specialised industry, then sharing targeted content that will help them land a job or further their career in that field would be valuable. So too is specialist content from niche publications that your audience may not have come across before.


4. Brainstorm and Research Who Already Reaches Your Target Audience

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

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


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

Typically, only 20 percent of a social site’s user base is active enough to see your updates and engage with your brand. It’s therefore essential that you devise tactics for each social site to ensure that you’ve isolated those users who are both relevant for your business and active on the site. Otherwise you risk 80%+ of your efforts being entirely in vain as you try to engage with accounts whose owners are simply never going to be aware of your attempts at engagement or see your posts.


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

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

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

In addition, track whether the desired actions you wanted your followers to take are actually being achieved and continually make adjustments to refine your presence. A company can have the most popular Facebook page by posting comics, memes and videos, but that would likely cause job seekers to see the profile as a source of entertainment rather than a resource to help them land a new job.


7. Make Time To Engage

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

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

So there you have it – some pointers I hope you will find extremely useful in helping you to take your first steps in developing and implementing a powerful social media strategy for your business. If you’d like more help, or to find out how Social-Hire can support your social media efforts by having some of this work outsourced to us, feel free to set up a time for a free one-on-one consultation. And for those of you who’d like something to pin on your wall to help remind you of these pointers, here’s a more graphical format you’re welcome to use and share as you see fit!

 

How to Develop a Powerful Social Media Strategy

Leveraging Social Media To Become The Most Talked About Recruiting Brand in Your Niche!

Did you know that as you read this page, there are recruitment businesses growing their brand presence on social media? Some are striking up relationships with potential future clients. Some are growing a highly targeted audience of candidates in their sector. They are quite possibly developing a recruiting brand whose strength is staggering in relation to the size of their business. Worryingly they may well be building up a lead that it will be very costly for other recruitment businesses to claw back at a later date.

Leveraging Social Media for Recruitment Brand Building


That’s why I wanted to host a presentation all about leveraging social media to become the most talked about recruiting brand in your niche, so our recruiter contacts are better placed to act quickly. A strong social media presence can attract a steady flow of targeted candidates to your business. It can spark conversations with potential clients and elevate you to a position of authority in the niche recruiting markets you serve. But you have to have the right social media strategy in place; and you have to know how to deliver on that strategy. Hopefully the video recording below will help enormously. But if you'd like to accelerate things further, you are very welcome to schedule a call with the Social-Hire team to talk through your business and the steps it could be taking. Just book in a convenient time here.


Video Recording: Building Your Recruiting Brand on Social Media

Generally speaking, my recipe for success on any social platform involves initially defining very clearly the audience you want to reach and the ultimate goals of the business for its social media presence. It's also very important to brainstorm all the other businesses, organisations and professionals out there who probably already reach that audience but don't compete with you directly. I cover all this in the recording, along with the next steps which involve making sure you:
 

  1. Build profiles that ooze with valuable insights and quality content
     
  2. Proactively get your profile in front of the right audience (active, interested and engaged)
     
  3. Make time to engage with your followers and fellow group / community members


The slides are also available below, though I recommend the video recording above as lots of the worked examples, screenshares, etc. that I ran recruiters through you'll obviously only see by watching the recording.
 

FYI: if you didn't know Social-Hire already, we’re a social media outsourcing company focused exclusively on serving clients in the recruitment sector. We help recruitment businesses, recruitment technology companies, in-house recruiting teams, job boards and the like develop the right social media strategy…. and then deliver on that strategy day in day out. And we do all that for less than the cost of an intern. If you’d like to talk through your current social media strategy and ways we could work with you, simply request a callback and we'd be delighted to help.

 

Slides: Building Your Recruiting Brand on Social Media


If these insights have been helpful to you, please do consider sharing on your social networks. Thanks!

 

 

How To Land a Job in a LinkedIn World

Working with recruitment businesses and recruitment technology companies, I get to see first-hand how dramatically recruiting has evolved these last couple of years. How companies are using job boards and recruitment agencies has evolved. The ways they are now seeking to identify ideal candidates and approach them directly mean that many roles you would be interested in are never actually advertised and you simply can't find them anywhere online!


That's why I decided to organise a briefing for candidates who wanted to understand "how to land a job in a LinkedIn world". Below you'll find the video recording and the slide deck. In the first part of this session I concentrate on helping you understand how to go about searching for a new job in today's economy - and the crucial role that your social media presence now plays. Trust me, you almost certainly haven't taken all the steps you need to have taken to address this shift!

In addition, it's also true that - whatever industry you work in - right now there are executives who are furthering their careers through the intelligent use of social media. You could be one of them if you just knew how best to leverage these tools - and that's what I focus on in the second part of this presentation. Enjoy!


Watch Back the Video

 

I'm very grateful for all the business leads and help that my network have provided me with over the years. So I ran this webinar as my way of giving something back. I hope it also proves helpful to you - and if you'd like more insights like this simply follow us using the social media links at the bottom of the page...


Review the Slides

 

How To Recruit on Google+

Google+ is the great recruiting anomaly. It has more active users than LinkedIn. Rich profile data. Offers access to highly valuable candidate niches. Best of all, it's completely free to use. Yet recruiters have been slow to come on board.

This may well come down to a simple lack of knowledge about how to recruit on Google+. That's why we've teamed up with TalentCulture to help inform recruiters about the essentials of recruiting on Google+. Both our companies are social recruiting advocates and we wanted to help accelerate the adoption of Google+ by recruiters. Once you're up and running on Google+ do follow us for more insights like these! (Social-Hire here and TalentCulture here)
 

How To Recruit on Google+ by Social-Hire.com in partnership with TalentCulture
 

An Overlooked Goldmine of Talent

How To Recruit on Google+One reason for the slow uptake of Google+ must surely be that recruiters question whether it can help them hit their recruiting targets. So let's start off by addressing this concern.

Here is a platform that has more active users than LinkedIn. Its total user base is over 1 billion people, making it second only to Facebook in terms of potential reach. Plus its active user numbers are considerably greater than LinkedIn's, meaning there's more chance of candidates responding to your approaches or updates in a prompt manner.

Google+ also offers recruiters access to some highly valuable candidate niches. Research user demographics with the CircleCount tool and you'll see Google+ has strong adoption amongst IT professionals and amongst students, to name just a couple that you may be excited to tap into.

Not all users have filled out their profiles as comprehensively as they have done on LinkedIn, but this is offset by the richness of information a recruiter can glean. By seeing the content users have shared and the groups communities they are active in, recruiters can learn a lot about a prospective hire and find ways to engage them most effectively.

Hopefully I'm starting to whet your appetite as to what's possible in terms of recruiting on Google+? The only issue I can see is that some recruiters may have become hooked on the enterprise tools that LinkedIn provide. It's true that if you just want to quickly research a long list of candidates to approach and then quickly fire off messages to your targets, Google+ will seem arduous and time consuming by comparison. But if your company's success hinges on reaching a higher proportion of those targets - and candidates that are inevitably missed on LinkedIn - then adding Google+ to your recruiting armour is absolutely essential.

The two approaches you are most likely to be interested in are:

  • Building Your Recruiting Brand on Google+
  • Sourcing Candidates on Google+

... I'll be concentrating on the first of these - plus suggesting articles that cover the sourcing angle - after having walked you through setting up your profiles on Google+


Setting Up Your Google+ Profiles

You can think about your presence on Google+ in similar terms to your presence on LinkedIn. Individual recruiters can have their own profiles and be active on the site in their own right. Company brands can also have their own company profiles and recruiting presence on Google+.

The huge advantage over LinkedIn is that company profiles on Google+ can do almost everything that individual profiles can do. As a company or recruiting brand you can be active in communities (think groups), you can circle other people (think follow), comment on their posts and +1 them (equivalent to a 'like'). As we'll talk about in the section on building your recruiting brand, this allows you to be proactive in building your recruiting brand's following - something which on LinkedIn can only be achieved through paid advertising. The significance of this is huge, particularly for any recruiters trying to operate on a limited budget. Company profiles also elicit from people a different reaction than a personal recruiter profile, so it's well worth investing time in creating and maintaining both.

So the first step is clearly going to be setting up both your individual and your company recruiting profiles. Then we'll want to understand the workings of Google+ so that we know how to use these profiles in an effective manner.

There have been lots of outstanding posts written about how to create a visually appealing, keyword rich and targeted profile. So in the interests of brevity, for those needing help with setting up profiles I would point you to the following excellent resources:

>> How to create a Google+ profile (for individual recruiters)

- see the excellent step-by-step walkthrough on Google+ and further ideas in this Google+ profile tips post by Hallam Internet

>> How to create a Google+ company page (to represent your recruiting or employer brand)

- again the company page walkthrough on Google+ is a great starting point and you'll also find this video by Google+ expert Martin Shervington a helpful resource.

For now, let's turn our attentions to some of the basics you'll need to know once you've created your profiles.


How To Recruit on Google+: The Basics

Getting organised. One of the things I love about Google+ is the ability to follow people in a manner that allows you to be hyper targeted (which in Google terminology is"circling" someone...). On your profile (under 'People') you can create as many circles as you like, named in the manner you choose. Other people on Google+ know when you have circled them, but they don't know the name of the circle or circles you put them into.

As a recruiter, you can therefore create circles for each area of the business you recruit for, or for each job title in your business, or any other grouping that will help you to get organised.

Once you have circled people in this way, you can then view your homepage and filter to show only updates from a certain circle. Similarly, when you share updates you can choose to share them only with certain circles. In this way, you can really have Google+ tailored for whatever is most important to your business at any point in time. 


Being smart. Google+ is no different to LinkedIn or Twitter in the sense that the majority of profiles you'll visit aren't what could be called "active" users of the site. There's the scope to lose a lot of time circling and messaging people who aren't likely to see your interest in them anytime in the next hours or days. So as with all social platforms, you always have to have one eye on whether what you're doing is reaching real engaged users or simply disappearing into the Google+ abyss.

Having said this, one of the huge advantages of Google+ in my experience is that active users typically respond or react in a matter of hours - much the same as you'd be used to if you're an engaged user of twitter. For anyone who's grown tired of waiting for a response on LinkedIn, only to get one months later, this is a real breath of fresh air!

This of course stands to reason. A logged in Google+ user sees their notifications flag every time they visit Google, YouTube, Gmail ... or any of Google's other web services. For most businesspeople, it's pretty hard to go through a day's work without being exposed to these notifications multiple times.


Getting Noticed on Google+

Which brings me nicely onto a look at the notifications feature. If we want to be noticed, we need to know what triggers our activities appearing in someone else's notifications stream, in a way that's natural and appealing - rather than aggressive and spammy. The following are worth noting:

  • Adding someone to your circles or adding them back (reciprocating them having added you) appears in notifications.
     
  • Commenting on someone's post, resharing it or +1'ing a post appears in notifications - of these, comments are most likely to be noticed.
     
  • +1'ing a comment someone's made appears in notifications and is a good way of acknowledging those who are giving life to a discussion; it's also good for acknowledging you've seen a comment someone left you.
     
  • Inviting your circles to join a community or to attend an event or live video broadcast (hangout on air) appears in notifications.
     
  • A summary of all new posts into a community appears in community members' notifications
     
  • Sharing a post with specific circles (rather than just publicly) results in your introduction to the post appearing in the notifications of those you targeted.


On this last point, it should be stressed that lots of people who have circled you will see your post if you just share it publicly, as active users tend to check their homepage frequently. Sharing with specific circles and therefore bringing the post into someone's notifications can become tiresome if not done sparingly. So only do this for your most valuable posts (valuable for those following you rather than valuable for you) or you risk losing "followers" or having them tune out your updates.

Having established how you can gain visibility with your profiles, let's turn to look at how you can actually leverage this to build up a strong candidate following - either for yourself as an individual recruiter, or for your recruiting or employer brand page.
 

Building Your Recruiting Brand on Google

Let me start by showing you how quickly it's possible to grow a following - and generate engagement - on Google+. This interactive chart (thanks again Circlecount) shows how my own profile grew at a phenomenal rate in the 10 months after I embarked on building a Google+ presence. You'll notice that both my follower count and the engagement on my posts accelerated dramatically once I started putting the right approach in place.

 

Generally speaking, my recipe for success on any social platform is as follows:

  1. Build profiles that ooze with valuable insights and quality content, so that people who come across them are given a compelling reason to follow you.
     
  2. Figure out ways on that social platform to identify the users who are i) active, ii) interested in the things your profile will become known for and ideally iii) already demonstrating that they like to share and comment on other people's posts.
     
  3. Make time to engage with your followers and fellow group / community members so that you give your profiles a real sense of personality and your followers a real sense that they "belong" to a community of sorts.


Building profiles that are valuable to your target audience (1) is not really specific to Google+. If you need help figuring this out - and it should be part of your overall social media strategy as a recruiter - I would direct you to a recent guest post I wrote for Totaljobs.

Engaging with followers once you've won them (3) is also not specific to Google+. But the basic principle (on any social platform) is that the more personal interactions someone has with your recruiting brand (or with you as an individual recruiter), the more inclined they will be to look out for - and engage with - your future updates. It's a step that I often see people fail to address and that can leave you with a sizeable following, but of candidates who don't really click on many of your updates or ever share them with their networks. 

It's identifying the right people to try and engage with (2) that is crucial. This is true on all social platforms, but particularly so on Google+ where the overwhelming majority of users are only occasional users (it's not dissimilar to Twitter in this respect). 

Just as on twitter, I suggest searching Google+ for the type of content you intend to share and any related hashtags. For example, a search for the URL social-hire.com on Google+ brings up shares of content from that website – plus all the people who’ve +1’d the content, reshared it or commented on it. Taking this approach, we know the types of content these people are interested in, we know they are active on Google+ and we know that they are the types of users who will engage with other people’s content. You’ll soon be circling people who have a high propensity to circle you back, be interested in what you’re sharing and inclined to re-share your posts. Bullseye!


Experiment and Incorporate Strong Visuals and Personality

It's well worth keeping an eye on the "What's Hot" section of Google+ to see the types of content that are generating the greatest user response. At the time of writing, I would say that posts incorporating striking or entertaining visuals are generating strong reactions. Similarly, occasional posts that reveal your personality or that show that your brand has a human side are also strong performers. Here's a recent example from my own profile which combines both these points and has attracted a lot of shares and interest.

 

 


You should keep an eye on what is working well for you and what is not though, as these things change over time. Also note that some Google+ Communities are particularly vibrant, while others are subdued - and some that were vibrant simply die a slow death if the founders cease to manage and nurture them. So always be trying to adjust your approach to reflect what's producing results. Incidentally, if you'd like some Google+ Communities to get you started I can recommend TalentCulture's World of Work community for those working in Recruiting / Talent / HR; our Social-Hire Job Search Advice + Recruiter Contacts community; Andy Headworth's Recruiting with Google+ community as a specialist recruiter help forum and the Plus Your Business! community for broader Google+ help and insights.

It’s only by monitoring reactions to what you are posting – and where you are posting it – that you’ll be in a position to adjust your strategy and maximise your effectiveness. Don’t assume that you can just replicate what’s working well on LinkedIn, or that what works well now will work well a year from now.


Sourcing Candidates on Google+

It would require a sizeable post just to do justice to the topic of sourcing candidates on Google+. Since others are more expert in this topic than I am, I will simply point you to some recommended resources. To dip your toe in the water and get a feel for the types of candidates you could reach out to on Google+, it's certainly worth taking a few minutes to have a play with Social-Hire's candidate search tool.

Anyone serious about sourcing will want to take this to the next level though and so I recommend taking a look at SourceCon's excellent Everything You Need to Know to Source Candidates on Google+. For a shorter read you could also turn to point 3 of Andy Headworth's 10 Ways To Use Google Plus For Recruitment.


Concluding Remarks

I hope I've inspired you to think more seriously about using Google+ as a recruiting tool. I hope also to have made it easier for you to get started and to figure out how Google+ can be part of your wider recruitment branding (and sourcing) strategy. If you need more help getting your social strategy right, you're of course welcome to schedule a call with us to walk through the things you could be doing differently and more effectively as a recruiting team or recruitment business. Otherwise, I look forward to engaging with you on Google+ in the coming weeks!

 

Connect6° - Candidate Sourcing on Steroids?

With more than half of employed people either actively seeking or open to new job opportunities*, the passive job market offers huge potential for recruiters who know how to find and connect with top talent.  Tapping into this candidate audience has been one big element of LinkedIn’s success these last years. But as I noted in my post "2014: The Year LinkedIn Loses Out to Twitter and Facebook?", the situation was ripe for other candidate sourcing tools to emerge that would tap into much more than just LinkedIn.

“The likes of Twitter and Facebook – to date only modestly used as hiring tools – could suddenly see a surge in recruiter activity” I wrote at the time. “I expect both to be adopted by recruiters with far more vigour as 2014 unfolds, particularly as people aggregators gain traction and make sourcing from these channels increasingly easy.”

 

Candidate Sourcing Tools


Well one of the things I love about leading the Social-Hire team is that I come into contact with entrepreneurs behind lots of new recruitment technology start-ups. Take Connect6° which launched its Chrome extension called PeopleDiscovery this week. They’re doing exactly what I predicted in that post late last year and I’ll try to give you a flavour here for what’s possible with this new candidate sourcing tool. But there’s nothing better than seeing a tool in action, so pause for just one minute to have a look at their demo video. Most recruiters I imagine will be salivating when they see what the Connect6° team have made possible...
 

You can see in a nutshell that this is precisely the type of tool that is making it much easier to find and connect with passive candidates and extend your reach way beyond just LinkedIn!


So What is Connect6°?

Having been one of the first to have a play with the Connect6° service, I’d draw attention to there being two distinct offerings. The first is a search engine called PeopleSearch that helps recruiters (and salespeople for that matter) discover candidates (or prospects) based on keywords embedded within their social profiles. So whereas on LinkedIn you’re only searching the LinkedIn membership, here you’re searching a combined pool of 550m+ social profiles.

The second element is PeopleDiscovery, a browser extension that provides contact information about contacts as you visit different websites – for which you got a taste in the above demo video.

My aim here is to briefly describe how to use each tool to get the most out of them. 


Using the PeopleDiscovery Browser Extension

The Connect6° browser extension, currently available on the Chrome Store, dynamically displays contact information as you browse the web. This typically includes a profile picture, brief bio, contact details, and the person’s social links. The plug-in is not dissimilar to Rapportive, which many readers will know provides contextual information about your contacts within Gmail.

The big difference with the Connect6° browser extension is that it displays information about people you don’t know – and on a range of websites. So you can pull up information as you’re browsing Twitter or LinkedIn for example, scanning contacts in Salesforce.com or whilst you’re in Gmail. 


So, how does it work?

As you browse web pages, Connect6° places a small icon next to any contacts on the webpage. When you hover over the icon, the person’s profile is automatically displayed in a sidebar. Here’s the Connect6° template of what’s included, but you get the best idea from simply seeing it in action on the video above:

Candidate Sourcing with the Connect6° PeopleDiscovery Browser Extension

What will particularly excite recruiters is that you can get the contact details of candidates directly from the Connect6° sidebar, with a variety of sources being used to research and track down each individual’s contact details. If you’ve uploaded your own connections (via LinkedIn or Facebook), you can also view a social graph showing any contacts you have that connect you to the person you’re researching.

There are a few other bells and whistles that come with the browser extension. Icons appear next to the contact’s name on the sidebar and can provide some more useful information and functionality:

  •  the ability to perform a custom search with PeopleSearch based on specific criteria
  •  the ability to search for related profiles within PeopleSearch.
  •  the ability to add the contact to your favorites for future follow-up
  •  review all your favorites within PeopleSearch


Using the PeopleSearch Tool

No prizes for guessing that the PeopleSearch tool is a powerful people aggregator search tool, enabling recruiters to search across 550+ million social and technical profiles by title, skill, location, and other search criteria to quickly discover new shortlist-calibre candidates. So instead of doing separate searches on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Github, etc., you can do your candidate sourcing with a single search that then spans all of these networks. The potential here in terms of both saving time and ensuring you don’t overlook candidates probably needs no spelling out.
 

Candidate Sourcing with Connect6° PeopleSearch

As you would expect, you can add search terms for specific job skills like java, python, jquery or product management; you can also hunt using job titles, company names, schools or even look for specific people in the main search bar.  You can also narrow down by location. Within the search bar you apply Boolean logic to broaden or narrow down your search by adding new lines and requirements to the query. You’ll probably find it simplest to start with a broader, simpler search – then review the results and refine them by adding more search criteria.

For each profile match, Connect6° provides contact and professional details, including a picture, title, skills summary and contact details – essentially the same information you saw in the browser extension above. Connect6° also provides links to each person’s social profiles including Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, StackOverflow and Github (among others).

Other useful features include saving your query and using it again or modifying it for slightly different job roles or locations.

You can further refine your search results by source (e.g., just show candidates who have a GitHub profile), by connections, and by the location radius (find candidates within a 10, 25, 50 or 100-mile radius of the city). Customers who upload their own connections (e.g., via LinkedIn and Facebook) can view a social graph charting the connections between you and the job candidate of interest.
 

Candidate Sourcing made easy with Connect6°PeopleSearch

As with the browser extension, you can “favorite” candidates for follow-up or simply click to get their email address (and phone number if available). In either case, you will be asked to assign the contact to an opportunity. Think of opportunities as virtual folders that let you organize all of your hiring requirements in one place. You can then find specific candidates in your Favorites tab by selecting the relevant opportunity.

As for the contact details, these come from a variety of third-party sources. If Connect6° does not have the contact details, it usually can get them within 24-48 hours from these sources or through crowdsourcing. This is obviously one aspect of the offering that I haven’t been able to test out rigourously, but if Connect6° have this nailed then the floodgates could really open up for recruiters to migrate from LinkedIn to an alternative where the communication is actually delivered direct to candidates’ email inboxes!


So What Does Connect6° Cost?

Connect6° is launching PeopleSearch and PeopleDiscovery as free services during the open beta phase. You’re provided with 50 free contact credits upon signup and 25 free contact credits per month thereafter (for the duration of the beta program).  Every time you request a candidate’s contact details and Connect6° is able to deliver them, you use up one contact credit. I’ve yet to hear what the ongoing costs for using Connect6° are going to be once the beta period has ended. I suspect in part that’ll depend on how much recruiters come to love the service – and how much people find they’re able to rely on the candidate contact information that Connect6° provides. But I guess that makes it all the more worthwhile getting in there early and assessing the value of the tool before any charges are introduced. What are you waiting for?! Connect6.com
 

If you’ve any observations after you’ve had a chance to play around with the tool and experiment with contacting candidates this way, do feel free to leave a comment in the section below.


One Last Thing

This is a new style of content for us here on Social-Hire. We’ve not historically written about the launches of new social recruiting services or attempted to help readers understand how these services could be useful. Has this write-up been insightful and would you like to see more like this on the site in the coming months? Again please do share your thoughts in the comments or by contacting us on our social media profiles (for links see bottom of page). Thanks, Tony


* http://blog.jobvite.com/2014/02/2014-jobvite-job-seeker-nation-study/#sthash.RW82Uv2t.dpuf

 

Is Video About To Go Mainstream as a Candidate Engagement Tool?

Video has always been an effective medium for sharing concepts and promoting brands across multiple channels. It’s become one of the most popular ways for both individuals and companies to express ideas and generate engagement. So it’s perhaps not surprising that innovative businesses have been working on ways to make video a really powerful tool in the professional recruiter’s tool belt.

Is Video About To Go Mainstream as a Candidate Engagement Tool?


Myths About Video Recruiting

To date, adoption of video in recruiting has been slow-going for a number of reasons. Foremost amongst them has been the time and cost of putting together a truly engaging piece of video that compels candidates to want to learn more. Other reasons are lack of resources, lack of knowledge about the impact of video on driving candidate engagement, plus uncertainty about how to integrate video into existing recruitment approaches.

Sometimes we come into contact with new businesses that are a real cause for excitement, simply because we can see how significantly they have shifted the goalposts. People aggregators are an example in the sourcing space – and JOBVIDDY certainly ticks that box in the video recruitment market.

Using Video as a Candidate Engagement Tool We recently had the pleasure of talking with Andy Kerney, Co-Founder and CEO of JOBVIDDY – described as the world's 1st interactive video job description product. What excites me most about the offering is the way that JOBVIDDY can produce an engaging and interactive corporate recruiting video, without a company having to shoot any new video footage. That massively reduces the obstacle to experimenting with video and means they can be produced with the minimum of time commitment on the part of a recruiter or the company’s employees. For me, that’s always been the biggest obstacle to more widespread use of video in recruitment. Anyway, here’s what we learnt from our chat, both in terms of their offering and also broader tips for success when using video in recruitment:

JOBVIDDY features an easy way for organizations to get their career videos and job descriptions out to candidates across social media, using a unique video production system that integrates information that candidates are seeking into existing or new branded video shorts. Kerney shared some valuable insight with us about how recruitment videos can be maximized for candidate engagement.

So how can video be more easily and effectively used in recruitment?
 

Using Video as a Candidate Engagement Tool from the Start

“Everyone talks about candidate engagement, but very few people execute on this. Candidates today have an incredible appetite and an expectation for more than just information about the job. Today they want more content to help them decide about both job and company fit. It’s why there’s so much open discussion about how recruiters need to start being creative, tailoring content to their audience – in reality adding marketing into their toolkit, which is not necessarily a natural step. Companies use video extensively in product, lifestyle and information type marketing, so as consumers of video, candidates get it. If creativity is needed on behalf of the recruiter, looking to video to get their content across could really be the answer.” (Andy Kerney)

When it comes to developing recruitment processes, recruiters still have a long way to go in terms of accurately creating a message that talks to the candidate. Consider that companies know that they need to get their brand out there, and they spend a lot of time and effort doing this. Technological advances mean their brand now gets out there faster and more effectively than ever before. However it doesn’t necessarily do so in a way that really appeals to candidates. They seem to get the short end of the stick. “Pulling together the best components of the whole recruitment process into one package that’s engaging to candidates” is the key to a better performing video recruitment solution.


What Video Recruiting Is Really About

“When you talk to someone about video, they imagine camera crews descending on their office or more recently think you’re talking about video interviewing. When we talk about video recruiting, we’re specifically talking about how companies can better use the great video material that they’ve already created and align it with their EVP or recruitment marketing strategies to attract, engage and deliver a great candidate UX. It’s been created, posted to Youtube or Vimeo, added to the career site and then left, job done, tick in the box. Companies are still relying on a Job Title and Company logo to attract talent through a Job Description posting; I believe they’ve got it the wrong way round. In every facet of our consumer-driven life, we’re bombarded with imagery designed to attract. Car showrooms have shiny, polished, great looking cars; they don’t rely purely on a poster or sign with a bullet point list of a car’s specification in the window; retail shops put the latest fashions in the shop window to entice a shopper to enter and buy. Video recruiting in a nutshell is putting your job, your company in the shop window.”

Video recruitment is about more than just creating a corporate video to make the company look good. It’s about talking to candidates as if they are consumers in your market. In fact, about 99 percent of the videos out there today are designed to sell consumers on the benefits of a product or service. Why not take it further and sell the idea that working for your company has a great many benefits too? Smart companies create recruiting videos that focus on sharing the corporate philosophy in an interactive and engaging way so that others can buy into this ideal.


Why Video is so Powerful in Recruiting

“Aside from all of the commentary about how good the engagement rates are for video when used across social media - and the continuing growth in online video consumption - video is powerful in recruiting for two simple reasons; it can speak to the candidate and is visually engaging - two things that a regular job description can’t do. Used well it can be an incredibly powerful medium. With the interactive features of JOBVIDDY, multiple different content forms can be incorporated, with the ability for one click to direct the candidate back to the careers site or actual job to begin the application process. That’s crucial because as any marketing professional or sales person will attest to, conversion requires you keeping the customer focused on you or your product, As soon as a candidate goes off to find out more about your company, they’re exposed to other outside influences, just think about the other “similar” videos that YouTube promote in the sidebar, it can be a distraction.”

Video, when used well in the recruiting space, can produce very powerful results. Studies have shown that mobile device usage by job seekers is growing rapidly – and video dovetails beautifully as a way to engage potential candidates on their mobile devices.

Video is linked to certain candidate behaviours, including:

  • Learning more about the corporate culture to see if there is a good fit for their skills and goals.
  • Searching for additional information about the company, its products and services in one place.
  • Watching and interacting with videos to gain a better understanding of the benefits to them of joining a company.


Recently, Google released research on recruitment and the use of video, written up on Mervyn Dinnen’s excellent blog. This showed that 87 percent of candidates go to YouTube immediately or soon after spotting a job advertisement online. If accurate, this stat is eye-opening. Consider the resources that businesses devote to developing career portals and a strong social presence; yet on the platform candidates are most likely to turn to immediately after a period of job searching, recruiting brands are generally lacking a compelling presence. Isn’t it time you put this right?


Time You Experimented With Video?

Fortunately, JOBVIDDY has made it very easy for companies to create stunning recruitment videos, using corporate branding videos, clips and images that already exist. Social-Hire readers are being offered the chance to sign up for a free video job ad. Simply provide a few details and include a job description for one of your open positions. JOBVIDDY does the rest. The video is ready within 24 hours, a special link is provided for sharing the unique video, plus it’s featured on their gallery for job seekers. Do give it a try – and we’d love to hear your feedback in due course via the comments section below!

Using Social Media To Help Others

The day a Doctor tells you that your child has leukaemia. It’s too awful to even try to put into words. The years of treatment that follow are bruising too – on the child, the parents and your broader circle of family and friends.

When we were hit with this news back in 2009, I was astonished by the acts of kindness and by the level of support that came flooding in from my online network. Over 200 of my LinkedIn contacts donated to a charity fundraising page I created, which helped me feel like I was doing something constructive rather than wallowing in the situation. There was a constant stream of uplifting messages, offers of support and contacts of people who’d been through something similar.  It made a huge impression on me – and I vowed to do the same for others whenever I could.
 

Using Social Media To Help Others


Using Social Media To Help Maya

Checking my LinkedIn inbox this week, I’m struck by one message. A little girl called Maya is battling Leukaemia at the age of just 4. The same delicate age James was when he was fighting Leukaemia. One of my LinkedIn connections is a friend of the family and is shaving his head for a charity that conducts research into this disease. Could I help?

Donating is great – and if you can spare a few dollars then please do support their cause. But I felt in the unique position of being able to do more. I could offer support to the parents, in a way that those who’ve not been through this battle simply cannot. And I could call on our social media following and the reach of our site to try and spread this message far and wide.

Whether or not you feel in a position to donate, all of us can use our social networks to make a difference. If everyone who reads this takes action and shares it on one of their social networks, just think how many people will be drawn to Maya’s plight. How much more money could be raised for the charity.
 

Using Social Media To Build a Brighter Future

The difference that these charities make is enormous – and so the difference you can make by donating or by sharing this page is enormous too. If we’d been hit with this devastating news just 15 or 20 years earlier, James’s chances of survival would have been almost non-existent. Fast forward to today and the overwhelming majority of children like Maya and James will make a full recovery. But only because of people like you who’ve supported the cause. By using our social media to spread messages like this one, we can help ensure that the future for children is brighter still. Who knows, within a few years we may have beaten childhood leukaemia completely.

Will you help by sharing this message today, or by donating to the research programme? Thank you so much.


Thanks to everyone who reached out to support us back in 2009 / 10. James is now a happy, healthy young boy who beats his Dad at football, tennis, skiing and pretty much any other sport you'd care to mention! If you were someone who showed us kindness at that time, thank you.

 

2014: The Year LinkedIn Loses Out to Twitter and Facebook?

Social Recruiting - LinkedIn Loses Out to Twitter and FacebookIf one thing has transformed the recruiting landscape these last couple of years, it's the rise of LinkedIn. Or rather the growth of inhouse recruiting teams - the catalyst for which has been LinkedIn. But has the business soared so high there's a danger it'll now face something of a fall?
 

Well I predict that 2014 will be the year when recruiters broaden their approach to social recruiting. To date, there’s been a heavy reliance on LinkedIn. This has been largely warranted by both the results it’s delivered and by the modest hiring climate we’ve been operating in. But both of these factors are changing in front of our very eyes.
 

Without question, LinkedIn has had a dramatic effect on the hiring market over the last couple of years. The way it has empowered internal recruiting teams to find and approach candidates has transformed employers’ reliance on other recruiting channels. Recruitment businesses, specialist publications and job boards have all suffered as a result.
 

However, LinkedIn is now becoming a victim of its own success. So strong has the uptake of its recruiter offering been, candidates have found themselves receiving an increasing deluge of approaches from recruiters. Some of them desired, others not. The upshot of this – which I’m hearing time and time again – is that recruiters are now having to approach far far more candidates on LinkedIn to generate the same results that just a small number of approaches would have delivered only 18 or 24 months ago. Candidates are now less responsive to these approaches – and some are even scaling back their LinkedIn profiles to the bare minimum in order to “hide” themselves from the eyes of recruiters.


This change is important for two reasons. Firstly it suggests that in a more buoyant market, LinkedIn will be constrained in terms of the volume of hires that it can deliver for employers. If hiring volumes were to double, it’s not at all clear that LinkedIn’s contribution to the hiring total could keep pace. Secondly as LinkedIn becomes comparatively more costly as a recruitment channel, the appeal of other channels will increase. Job boards could very quickly see an upturn in business, as the economics of using them become more favourable. The likes of Twitter and Facebook – to date only modestly used as hiring tools – could suddenly see a surge in recruiter activity. I expect both to be adopted by recruiters with far more vigour as 2014 unfolds, particularly as people aggregators gain traction and make sourcing from these channels increasingly easy.


Of course the second component I mentioned at the outset is the hiring climate. At the time of writing, we are several months into what looks like a significant improvement in the economic climate – with a surge in hiring activity to mirror the improving economic headlines. With most commentators agreeing that these trends will be sustained – and accelerated – into 2014, the need and pressure for recruiters to raise their game will undoubtedly gain momentum too.


So 2014 – the year that LinkedIn’s lead is eroded… and Twitter, Facebook and the People Aggregators are in the ascendency. Check back with me in a year’s time (@tonyrestell) and let me know if I got it right! (and I'd love to hear your own predictions for 2014 recruiting trends in the comments section below)


Want to make better use of social media in your recruiting business? Check our Social Media Marketing services for recruitment businesses.

 

Social Media: Are Job Seekers in Denial?!

Tony Restell talks Social Media and whether Job Seekers are in Denial

These last couple of weeks I’ve been actively helping a lot of candidates figure out their job search strategy and the changes they need to make to the way they go about their job search.

Overall I’ve found it an eye-opening experience!

When I think about the ways recruiting has been transformed in the last years, it’s true to say that a lot of changes have happened “behind the scenes”. That’s to say that if you’re a recruiter – or interact with a lot of recruiters – then you’ll be aware of these changes. But if you’re a candidate without close recruiter contacts, the chances are you’ll not have fully appreciated changes such as:
 

The growth of the “hidden jobs market” – far, far more hiring is now being undertaken by internal recruitment teams researching and approaching the candidates they would like to hire for their openings, without those openings ever being publicly advertised. So as a candidate, you need to be investing the time to ensure your social profiles are keyword rich and optimised to be found by recruiters in your professional niche.


The increasing importance of employee referral programs – the combination of the reach of social networks and the power of candidate matching technologies has greatly increased the impact of employers’ referral programs. Where once these were employers’ preferred source of candidate but only able to deliver a trickle of applicants, today they have become a far more significant source of hires. As well as ensuring your social profiles are optimised, you also have to expand your networks as much as possible so that you increasingly appear as a potential match for new openings. You have to be well connected to stand any chance of being picked up by an employee referral scheme.


Hiring has become far more targeted and your application strategy should reflect this. Back in the boom hiring years, companies were often hiring waves of employees at a time. There was a degree to which companies would create jobs to fit the profile of a strong candidate – or at least would keep your details on file and shortly thereafter be in a position to need someone with your broad skillset. Today hiring is completely different.

Companies are looking to fill very specific openings – and are therefore seeking a very specific skillset and experience profile. For jobseekers, this means it’s imperative that you invest more time in tracking down roles for which you are an ideal fit; and invest more time in crafting tailored applications that present you in the best possible light for each opening. Applying en masse to jobs is simply no longer a credible job search strategy for anyone aspiring to any kind of professional or executive position.  


Your social profiles can make or break your application – you have to assume that any recruiter looking at your CV / Resume is going to simultaneously have your LinkedIn profile open. Discrepancies between the two are going to be noticed. Recommendations or errors on your profile could be every bit as influential to the recruiter as the actual application you submitted. Plus you have to assume that all other social activity could come into play in their decision – so vet yourself and your web presence proactively before you submit a single application.


I could go on – and indeed I think I will in a detailed video tutorial in the coming months. From all these interactions in the last weeks, I’ve become convinced that the biggest problem here isn’t that job seekers are in denial. There’s no sign that candidates are just behaving as if nothing’s changed in the last years and refusing to adapt. No, it’s rather the case that most candidates don’t have the insider insights to know what it is that has changed – and therefore to be able to think coherently about how their job search needs to be adapted. I hope the above thoughts have at least given you some inklings as to where your focus should now be. Would an insider briefing be beneficial to you? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

Facebook Takes Aim at LinkedIn’s Recruiting Dollars

It amuses me to think of Facebook being David and some other internet business being Goliath. But in the case of recruiter spend on social sites, LinkedIn is most definitely the Goliath and Facebook the upstart David.

Facebook vs LinkedIn - The Social Recruiting Battle

But could it be that LinkedIn’s own history actually turns out to be its undoing? You see today we all view LinkedIn as having commandeered a massive chunk of the global spend on recruitment marketing. Yet it wasn’t that long ago – circa 2008 – that LinkedIn’s business wasn’t focused on recruiting at all. For several years it was a very fast-growing networking site with no seeming plan to turn that position into the recruitment-led business it is today.

That’s what makes Facebook particularly scary as a potential competitor.


How Facebook Could Rival LinkedIn

Here’s a business that has give or take five times the reach of LinkedIn; a userbase that’s active on the site to a degree that LinkedIn can only dream of; and the ability to reach candidates in sectors that you don’t typically view LinkedIn as being able to reach.

I’ve wondered for some time whether Facebook might make moves into this space as the hiring market rebounded. After all, it does have shareholders to please and the need to grow revenues without populating our streams with ever more sponsored posts.

Several things have happened this year that make me think Facebook is now taking aim at LinkedIn’s recruiting dollars. The first was the launch of Facebook Graph Search, giving recruiters a means of searching the profiles of Facebook members to try and track down shortlist candidates based on where they work and where they live.
 

Facebook Graph Search and Work4 - a powerful combination
 

The second was seeing Facebook roll out a profile completion bar and prompt, encouraging users to fill out their profiles with ever more detail. Then we saw the addition of the Professional Skills section, a blatant move to have ever more talent data about its userbase available for recruiters to mine.

These thoughts were solidified this last week talking to Stéphane Le Viet, Founder & CEO of Facebook Recruiting Solution provider Work4. He said a couple of things that I’ve been hearing increasingly in the market:

“A lot of companies are starting to think very hard about how they can reduce their reliance on LinkedIn. More and more recruiters seem ready to embrace Facebook as a channel to research and reach out to candidates.”


A Shift in Recruiter Sentiment?

Now I should say that Stéphane’s company have just launched a new recruiting tool - Graph Search Recruiter - that makes it easy for recruiters to search for candidates on Facebook, send them invitations to look at open vacancies and then track the responsiveness of these approaches. So perhaps it’s unsurprising that he should see the market trends moving in this direction.

But I have to say this echoes what I’m hearing too. What’s fascinating to me is how this tussle between LinkedIn and Facebook will play out.

As things stand, it costs recruiters just $1 to contact candidates on Facebook. For anyone who’s bought any kind of LinkedIn premium service or recruiter licence of late, you’ll know this is a tiny fraction of the equivalent spend on LinkedIn. My hunch is that this huge price advantage is something Facebook will be able to sustain. Its advertising offering is far more mature and established than LinkedIn’s. And the frequency with which people visit the site means it’s in a better position to drive those advertising eye-balls. At which point, Facebook can afford to keep its pricing aggressive in the battle to win recruiter market share. Plus with over 1 billion users, what it loses in lower pricing it could make up in part with higher volumes.  

Talking to Stéphane Le Viet and seeing their product in action, it was interesting to see how sourcing from Facebook allows recruiters to tap into niches like Nursing, Graduates, Truck Drivers, Restaurant workers and the like – all of whom are active on Facebook but less likely to be found on LinkedIn. There’s certainly a portion of the recruiting market that LinkedIn hasn’t focused on serving who are going to find this Facebook move a breath of fresh air!

The Work4 solution already boasts clients like PepsiCo and GroupOn, with a backlog of companies waiting to be set up on the system following the launch of the offering in the last weeks. So it seems there is indeed an appetite amongst recruiters to branch out from their reliance on LinkedIn.


LinkedIn's Trump Cards

But before this starts sounding like a “LinkedIn is doomed” post, there are a number of aces LinkedIn has up its sleeve that simply can’t be ignored. For me the most significant of these is recruiter productivity. Firstly LinkedIn holds vastly more talent data about each of its users than Facebook, meaning a recruiter’s ability to narrow down to those candidates of most interest is far greater. I can’t see this gap being closed anytime soon, no matter how hard Facebook pushes us to provide fuller profile information.

Then you have the streamlined processes by which recruiters can search for candidates and contact them on LinkedIn, plus store searches and view other similar candidates. I can’t help thinking that several searches could be completed on LinkedIn in the time it would take to complete one on Facebook. Which has me wondering – maybe that’ll make Facebook the preserve of recruitment agencies, willing to go the extra mile; with inhouse sourcing teams remaining focused on LinkedIn?

It’s very early days for now – but we’re living through very interesting times with LinkedIn no longer the only game in town. How do you see things unfolding in the coming year or two? Do let me know in the comments.


Image credits: Quozio, Work4

 

Readying Yourself For The Hiring Upturn – A 5 Point Checklist

Do I dare put this in writing? Might I jinx the recruiting industry by stating what we’ve all been whispering to one another?!

The hiring market is bouncing back.

Yes across many geographies and a variety of industries I’ve been hearing the same thing – companies are increasingly turning the recruiting taps back on and confidence in the recruitment industry is higher than it’s been for many years. Recent economic headlines certainly support the notion that the long overdue pick-up in hiring activity could finally be upon us.

Readying Yourself For The Hiring Upturn - A 5 Point Checklist

But the bigger talking point isn’t whether the hiring market is picking up. It’s whether companies are well positioned to make the necessary hires as that recruiting demand gathers momentum. With this in mind, here are five things I hear forward-thinking companies turning their attentions to:
 

  • Rekindling Your Relationships with External Recruiters
     
  • Making Sure Your Employee Referral Program Is Fit For Purpose
     
  • Reducing Your Reliance on LinkedIn
     
  • Getting To Grips With Alternative Social Networks
     
  • Planning Your Job Board Activities


Let’s look at each in turn.


Rekindling Your Relationships with External Recruiters

There’s a huge shock awaiting any internal recruiters who have cut back on their use of external recruiters these last years. Significant changes have taken place. You’ll find many suppliers have disappeared from the market altogether. Huge numbers of recruiters have moved on or moved in-house.

Put simply, you cannot assume that your old PSL will deliver today as it did 5 years ago. Nor can you assume that the rock-bottom fee rates you’ve negotiated these last years will have external recruiters fighting your corner as the market recovers.

In short, it’s time to rebuild your relationship with external recruiters and ensure that the partnerships you have in place are fit for purpose more than 5 years since you last called on them in earnest.


Making Sure Your Employee Referral Program Is Fit For Purpose

Is your employee referral program the very best it could be? Do you have near-universal buy-in and participation in the program from your current employee base? Does it leverage social networks to maximum effect? Has it become one of your most significant sources of hires? If not, it may be time to investigate the employee referral programs your competitors are starting to implement and assess how you can achieve similar results in your organisation.


Reducing Your Reliance on LinkedIn

Let’s face it, we’ve been spoilt by LinkedIn these last years. It’s enabled internal recruiters to proactively research and approach shortlist candidates in a way that hadn’t previously been possible. It’s meant that hires have been made in-house that previously would have been sent out to recruitment agencies to handle.

There’s a fly in the ointment though. Recruiters report that this approach is becoming far less effective. The service has been sold so comprehensively that candidates are increasingly being overwhelmed (and irritated) by the volume of approaches they are receiving. In some sectors recruiters even report candidates are removing content from their profiles to make it less likely they’ll be found.

Does this spell the end of LinkedIn’s impact on the hiring sector? No. Does it mean you should pull back from using LinkedIn to approach candidates directly? No. Does it mean you now need to invest more time to achieve the kind of LinkedIn results you’ve become used to seeing in recent years? Almost certainly. At which point, other avenues for attracting candidates start to become more viable and more attractive routes for meeting the increased hiring demand in your business.


Getting To Grips With Alternative Social Networks

Various recruiter surveys have shown how overwhelming LinkedIn’s lead is in terms of being the social network that companies turn to to recruit. In part this is a branding triumph. In part it reflects the fact that the platform has been developed these last years with recruiting centre stage.

Yet there are distinct advantages that the other platforms can offer. Google+ and Twitter are both free. They both have user numbers that are a multiple of LinkedIn’s and so allow recruiters to tap into a far larger candidate audience. They make possible same-day or even same-hour conversations with candidates, such is the user responsiveness level they enjoy. Yet they’ve been largely overlooked by the mainstream of recruiters. If you haven’t at least explored the results that other social networks could deliver for your business, maybe now is the time to assess your social recruiting strategy with a fresh pair of eyes.


Planning Your Job Board Activities

Finding ways to approach passive candidates has been a major focal point for recruiters over the last years. But as hiring demand picks up, companies will also need to be effective in the channels where active jobseekers are most likely to be reached. From all my conversations with recruiters, it seems that job boards continue to be the most effective means of reaching this active candidate audience. Yet many employers have de-emphasised this channel during the last years and aren’t on top of how to get the best results from the job boards they used to rely on (or indeed aware of the deals that may be available to them to lock-in at present). If that sounds like your company, you may want to consider re-engaging with your job board suppliers to establish which still perform strongly in your sector and to plan out the kind of activity you’d need to be factoring in to get maximum results from them when needed.


These are the 5 issues I see you may want to address, based on everything I've been hearing in the market of late. What might I have missed? What will you be focusing on? Please do share your thoughts in the comments stream below!


Image Credit: Recite

 

Employee Referral Schemes: The 5 Reasons Yours Underperforms

Now Hiring - Employee Referrals Particularly Welcome!For as long as I’ve been involved in recruitment, employee referral hires have always been the holy grail of recruiting. Countless studies have shown that employee referrals typically work out best for the employer in the long run (in terms of tenure of the employee being longest), succeed in bringing recruits on board faster than other channels; and the icing on the cake – at a lower cost per hire than many alternative recruiting channels.

These studies have always chimed with what I hear directly from employers. The problem I’ve always heard employers bumping up against though is that they just can’t ramp up the volume of hires being made through the employee referral route and so remain reliant on other channels for the majority of their hires.


Employee Referral Hires Get a Social Boost?

It seems that this shortcoming may now finally be being overcome. In its latest source of hire report, CareerXRoads reveal that referral hires are now US employers’ most important source of external hires, ahead of both the corporate career site and trusty job boards. External recruiters incidentally are way down the list – though in some countries like the UK you could reasonably expect their weighting to be far higher than in the US:

  • Referrals 24.5%
  • Career Site 23.4%
  • Jobboards 18.1%
  • Direct Sourcing 6.8%
  • 3rd Party Recruiters 3.1%

It seems the combination of technology advances and social networking have made it possible for smart employers to extract a far greater volume of hires from their employee referral programs.


Employee Referrals - 5 Key Ingredients

If you’re not getting a quarter of all your external hires via the employee referral route, maybe it’s time to assess whether your program ticks the following 5 boxes in terms of factors that seem crucial for success:


1. Automation – for an employee referral program to be a success, it’s crucial for your recruiting team to be able to enrol employees onto the program quickly and effectively. Automated follow-up is also key to ensure that employees are fully engaged with the program and learn what steps they need to take on an ongoing basis.

It’s important that recruiters are able to import all the company’s job openings without any double-work. Otherwise you have the employees engaged but only a trickle of jobs coming through. It’s critical that your program makes it as easy as possible for employees to share the most relevant openings with their networks and to be made aware of people in their network who could be a great fit.

With insufficient automation, referral programs will often be characterised by a flurry of activity at the outset that then dwindles quickly thereafter. By contrast, a program that’s been cleverly automated will require only moments of an employees time each week – and will similarly generate very little workload for the recruiting team.


2. Intelligent Candidate Matching – this is a factor that has often caused employee referral programs to die, for two distinct reasons. If employees are left to look at job openings and consider who in their network might be a good fit, they will often lack the time to give this their full consideration – or will simply overlook people in their network who could have been a great fit. But sharing jobs without any candidate matching can also cause employees to disengage. If inappropriate jobs start appearing in their social networking feeds, this is unlikely to produce hires and could reflect badly on the employee.

What’s key therefore is to have some form of intelligent candidate matching. If jobs are to be shared on social networks, your employee referral program needs to select which openings are most relevant for each employee to share. Ideally this will be done so effectively that the employee will be happy to have such jobs automatically shared with their networks. Alongside this, a personal approach to potential matches is likely to increase the response rate amongst shortlist-calibre candidates. So ideally your program should also present to employees the members of their network who look like the strongest fit for open positions, so most of the work of sharing openings with appropriate individuals has been done.


3. Introducing Competition and Gamification – one drawback of employee referral initiatives has historically been that there’s a long feedback loop between the time when an employee initiates a candidate referral and that candidate actually joining the business. Plus there are many candidate referrals that never end up being hired and where a reward is therefore not forthcoming.

This is where some form of competition or staff leaderboard can be a great motivator. By publicly recognising the efforts of those employees who have been most actively participating in the scheme, employers can make staff feel motivated to continue their involvement in the referral program on a weekly or fortnightly basis. If your program doesn’t make it easy for you to regularly acknowledge and thank staff in this way, that may be one significant contributor to a lack of engagement in the program.


4. Leveraging Employees’ Extended Networks – until very recently, most employee referral programs rewarded existing staff for referring in a successful hire. Incentivising the wider network of your employees’ contacts to share your openings has been the missing ingredient.  Yet doing this expands the reach of your recruitment marketing exponentially!


5. Mobile-Enabled – we live in an era where it’s well-documented that candidates are increasingly likely to progress their job search on a mobile device. Yet recruiting has struggled to keep pace, with a large proportion of careers pages and application processes yet to be optimised for mobile. It therefore goes without saying that an employee referral program that doesn’t work on mobile devices is going to produce weaker results than one that works seamlessly on mobiles.


Get to the point where you have an employee referral program that does all these things and you’ll have made a giant leap forwards. Getting employees on board and motivated to participate should become easy. The bottleneck of having enough jobs – and the right jobs – to share is eradicated. The reach – indeed the targeted reach – of your referral scheme is dramatically increased. No wonder this channel has become so important for the employers who have embraced it in this way.


Would you like a behind the scenes look at a social referral platform in action? We work with one of the leading providers and would be happy to arrange a live demo for you. Have all your questions answered and understand how the above ideas can work in practice. Simply schedule a convenient time here and we’ll take care of the rest (Note: Employers only)


Image credit: Recite

 

Building Your Brand on LinkedIn

Building Your Brand on LinkedInBuilding your brand on LinkedIn isn’t that different to building it on any other social network. There are of course nuances and differences, but the fundamentals are the same. So I was intrigued to read LinkedIn’s 20 Tips to Amplify Your Brand on LinkedIn and thought the presentation was worthy of sharing with you here. 5 tips highlighted as being amongst the most important are as follows, my thoughts added to each – hope the ideas prove helpful to you as you build both your personal and recruiting brands on LinkedIn:
 

Building Your Brand: Demonstrate value to followers and results will follow

Whether we’re talking about an individual LinkedIn profile or your Company Page, you should strive to provide value and insights to your target audience. This should be achieved through a consistent posting strategy that prioritises the sharing of what’s most valuable to your target audience over what your company would most like them to be aware of. Keep company messages to a minority of your posts and they’ll actually generate a lot of interest if the rest of your updates have followers glued to what you have to say!


Building Your Brand: Leverage existing content streams

One of the hardest things in building a strong presence on any social network is sustaining a consistent stream of content that your followers will consider highly valuable, that hasn’t all been sourced from your own company (else this looks like a promotional stream). The low effort approach of auto-posting everything you’ve put on another social channel straight onto LinkedIn is also much less effective. Each social platform has its own conversational style – so what you choose to share and how you choose to share it will differ considerably from say Facebook to LinkedIn. But you should cross-pollenate your LinkedIn updates with the content you’ve found to be generating the greatest interest and engagement on other channels, not have a separate workstream of content generation for each social channel you’re active on.


Building Your Brand: Connect LinkedIn into your wider online presence

The part that often catches businesses out on social media is not doing enough to get their profiles noticed. It’s all well and good having a great social profile crammed with helpful updates. But what if your target audience never become aware of its existence?! That’s why you should use your various social profiles to generate interest and awareness in your other profiles – and always be looking out for ways to raise awareness of these on your website, guest blog contributions, email newsletters and the like.


Building Your Brand: Engage your team on LinkedIn

This ties in to the above point. The more of your staff include their company on their LinkedIn profile, the broader the network of people likely to become aware of your Company Page. Better still, if you can have your staff actively sharing updates put out via your Company Page then you can multiply the reach of your efforts very considerably.


Building Your Brand: Engage in LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn is no different to other platforms. If you engage in Tweetchats, Google+ Communities, Facebook Groups or LinkedIn Groups, you can significantly increase the reach of your brand with your target audience. Carefully select groups that both fit your target audience profile and that seem to have good levels of engagement. Then focus on providing value to those group members, sharing company updates sparingly. You’ll then build new followings of people who value the insights you share – and who will be looking out for your updates at the point at which you do have a company message to share.


Here’s the presentation in full. If you’ve any observations please do leave in the comments field below