Case Study

Hertz journey to excellence with Christine Schwendemann #KellyTSS

I’m live blogging from the Kelly Talent Strategy Summit in Frankfurt. Schwendemann is the first speaker, and is the manager of global assessment services. The business is going through a process of change to meet the needs of the modern, mobile world where customers value convenience and speed above all else. Changing the business means a global requirement for a different type of hire. Over the last few years, talent management has moved from being local in each country, to a global approach. This encompasses Organisational Development, Organisation Effectiveness, Global Talent Acquisition, Global Assessment Services, Global Performance and other “people” business units.
Schwendemann is responsible for facilitating assessments in the recruitment process around the world. She is quick to point out that assessments are not the complete solution, but are a useful indicator to fit and future performance. Hertz have tests they can apply for all positions in the business, with employees completing on-going assessments throughout the employee lifecycle. This starts with selection and moves on in to performance management and career development.
360 degree surveys look at the past, psychometric testing looks at today, and the assessment tests look to the future. Hertz outsource this function, with tests linked to the competency model of the business. An assessment is a combination of tests such as the Hogan Suite, cognitive ability tests etc, as well as role plays and practical exercises. The tests are integrated in to the ATS (ICIM’s), with each applicant taking a basic test at application point.
Success is tracked by factors like retention, performance etc to identify success and change the assessments accordingly. It is all about data and review. The immediate impact of introducing these assessments globally has been a significant reduction in 90 day turnover. When the pre-hire test was introduced, customer satisfaction went up for recommended hires, and down where the assessment indicated that candidates should not be hired. There was an increase in sales performance by 11.4% after the assessment was introduced, and staff turnover was reduced by 46.2%, with an estimated turnover saving of $1.41Mn. Impressive numbers.
Schwendemann shared the story of the merger between Dollar and Thrifty following acquisition. The plan was to announce a new structure within 3 months, and to treat the new employees to the group the same as Hertz employees, with equal opportunity in the restructured company. All employees in the new and old business completed assessments to build a profile for matching against the roles in the business, measured against the agreed competencies.
All hiring managers get a simple Insights report in order to compare candidates against the same criteria. The key to success is involving all the stake holders from the start, with the participant playing the biggest part. Development meetings and plans are agreed at a three way meeing with the line manager, and HR acting as the supporter/facilitator. All assessments are followed up with a structured feedback call after seven days, followed up by the development meeting.
What Hertz have learned so far is that information on the tests, measures and the process need to be very transparent, with an emphasis on development rather than selection. The roles and responsibilities in the development plan need to be clearly defined, with good support and training for negative results and scores. Feedback and coaching needs to be day to day.
It has been an interesting journey, to centralise what good employees look like, and how they will perform in the future. I will be watching the continued role out of this initiative with great interest.

Keith Potts, Evenbase, Evolution And The Hottest Prospects For Digital Recruitment In 2020

I was lucky enough to get an early look at some extensive research from Evenbase titled “The evolution of digital recruitment: The hottest markets in 2020″. It makes for interesting reading and it is published this morning. Evenbase are one of the worlds leading digital recruitment groups (Full description at the end of the post.)

The research was conducted by MBA & Company in late 2012, and took in to account factors like GDP growth potential, level of employment, maturity of digital recruitment, mobile adoption, social media integration and other factors. I got to discuss this research at length with Evenbase CEO Keith Potts, to understand a little better what this research means from one of the veterans of the industry. A conversation with Potts about anything is always illuminating and enjoyable, and this was no different.

The culmination of the research is the production of the Evenbase hot list of who they believe will be the top 10 countries for digital recruiting by 2020. This is the list in order:

1. Brazil –A young, confident and ambitious market, Brazil has growth potential on many levels and is known to be digitally innovative.

2. India – India’s sheer economic growth potential makes it an exceptionally interesting market. Only serious development imbalances keep from the top slot.

3. China – Although significant political and cultural challenges remain, the sheer growth performance and destiny of the world’s largest economy make it attractive.

4. US – Expected to stay a dynamic, innovative economic powerhouse and driver of change in digital recruitment over the next few years.

5. Australia – Another confident and ambitious AsiaPac country, Australia’s skill shortages make it ripe for innovation in digital recruitment.

6. Japan – This massive, technologically innovative economy is undergoing cultural change after many years of stagnation.

7. Canada – Although small in size, Canada has been fast to adopt new ideas, with a range of unique opportunities for the introduction to the new digital recruitment offerings.

8. Germany – Considered as the European economic powerhouse for the foreseeable future, and currently undergoing significant labour market changes

9. Russia – A wild card, Russia is beset by deep political and economic issues but has a range of opportunities to unlock its untapped potential.

10. Mexico / UK – Mexico, another wild card, is highly problematic at present but has the potential to suddenly take off and become the new Brazil. The UK has significant economic growth issues but is traditionally one of the world’s largest recruitment markets.


I discussed these results with Potts to get his take on what the research means, and what the big surprises were. He cited Mexico being on a par with the UK, the high ranking of Australia and Brazil ranking above China. The thinking behind China was that there is still plenty of uncertainty around the future political situation in China. This was certainly the message I took back from #truSingapore and #truHongKong. By contrast, Mexico is showing stability year on year, and Australia has a huge demand for technical and engineering staff that will fuel growth in digital media, particularly given geographical challenges. Competition is another key consideration, and what is already established in the market. The report cites the example of Japan, which offers great potential, but has a well established and very competitive local market. There are 3 times more employment agencies in Japan than their nearest competitor. When a market is so well established and populated by competitors, better to explore the growing markets which offer more potential and a less developed market.

The scarcity of labour is another consideration, along with pay. Where jobs are harder to fill, and the salaries are higher, then there is more demand and greater reward for digital recruiting. I was surprised to read that the salary for an executive post in Brazil is double that of the US, which goes some way to explaining the top spot for Brazil.

Keith Potts

Potts sees the rise in adoption of mobile and mobile apply anywhere being one of the main game changers in digital recruitment over the coming years. The when and where people are looking to use mobile for web search and applications will have a massive impact on the digital products in these countries. The brands that get this right will gain a real competitive advantage, hence the importance of mobile to Evenbase.

How this manifests is going to be dictated by understanding the local market. A good example of this is India and the US, where the cost of data access compared to what we know in Europe means text messaging features much higher than  mobileweb access. Whilst there are global trends, each of the countries have their own unique problems which calls for a local solution. Potts sums this up in the report with the comment:      

” Globalisation levels some playing fields, but national identities remain complex – models that work in Belgium will probably not work in Brazil”

This is why Evenbase invests so much time and effort in to local partners who really understand what is going on in their own back yard.

Potts sees Workana as being one of the rising stars in the group because of the service they offer. Evenbase recently invested in the Argentinian start-up, who are fast becoming the region’s leader in brokering freelance work on-line. Potential clients post work (rather than jobs on the site), and freelancers pitch for the work by presenting their portfolio. Customers can check references on previous work, social recognition, endorsements, etc. through the site, and the more the freelancers work through the platform, the higher their ranking. With more and more jobs converting to work and projects, and the rise in freelancing and working from home, this platform has the potential to grow quickly, and globally. They are another string to the Evenbase bow.

I asked Potts how he felt this shift, and the rise in digital recruiting would impact on recruitment agencies, after all  if Evenbase are making it easier to connect employees and employers, and contractors and contracts with contractors without the need for the middleman, then the market potential must be shrinking. Potts was quick to dismiss this, explaining, “We are talking about people not products, and people are incredibly complex. As long as companies need people, agencies have a part to play. Many (though not all) direct hiring organisations are behind the sourcing capability of the agencies, and this means agencies will be around for years to come, even if the market is shrinking”. We share the view though that many agencies will need to work harder on relationships, becoming career managers rather than people placers, but like the job boards, they are a long way from dead yet.

I spoke with Potts about how he sees job boards evolving over the coming years. He highlighted the changing pricing models giving the examples of Jobsite.Co.Uk and the US launch of Jobsite.Com. Whilst Jobsite.Co.Uk currently operate a pay per post  model, Jobsite.Com utilise scraping technology to post jobs (at no charge) from company career sites, offering job seekers up to 4 times as much relevant content, using social profiles and Evenbase’s semantic matching technology, Jobtology, to offer up only jobs they are qualified for. Customers pay for access to candidates who fit and have expressed an interest in the opportunity, in a pay per performance model. Potts highlighted that it was important to understand these new markets, in order to offer the best digital products for each of them on a local basis.

Potts feels semantic matching, and Jobtology in particular, will play a big part in improving candidate experience and quality of response by only offering jobs or candidates that are relevant. I shared the research from the UK #CandE’s that the average response needed to fill a job is 85 applicants, and that an average of 70% of these applicants are unqualified. Only 20% of applicants see anything other than the job ad before they apply, hence the mismatch.  Potts pointed out that Jobtology uses social profiles and other data to match potential candidates only to jobs where there is a fit, and this will significantly change these numbers, after all, if applicants don’t see jobs they don’t fit, there is no danger they will apply. This will see a reduction of jobs by e-mail, and other filtered services, with matching and messaging by the most appropriate channel, such as mobile. It will be interesting to see how this evolves.

I asked Potts where the aggregators like Indeed and Evenbase own Jobrapido fitted in to this brave new world. His reply was that Vito (Lomele), the Jobrapido founder can take content from any job board in the world and serve it up to. JobRapido have a presence in 55 countries, and are the number one job site in many of these locations. This doesn’t mean that all of these countries will be a priority (hence the research), but it does give Evenbase a foot in the door. Growth in new territories by Jobrapido will come by investment in those countries who are displaying the best potential for GDP growth, a key factor in the research.

Given the growth of Jobrapido and competitor Indeed across the globe, i asked Potts how this had impacted on the domestic job boards. My thinking was that there was now only a need to advertise on one board, and the job would go viral via the aggregators. Potts responded that recruiters haven’t caught up with this yet, and that 95% of advertisers go for the job board model. The remaining 5% opt are smarter and go for a joint approach. Whilst any job can, and will end up in the aggregation channels, it is the sponsored ads that get front page listings and promotions. An increasing amount of the aggregator revenue stream is coming from job boards, who recognize the additional traffic and response driven by these platforms. Interestingly, spend on both job boards and aggregators are continuing to increase. What is clear from the Evenbase strategy is that whichever way customer spend goes, and it may switch as more companies look to join the smart 5% who invest in both, they have both options covered. Jobrapido is proving a shrewd acquisition by the group.

Away from the job boards and aggregators, Potts highlights the new products that are being developed by Broadbean to support direct sourcing efforts. The first launch will be a universal search tool, that will enable recruiters to search across multiple channels from one place. Whilst they are not ready to share yet, there are a number of new products on the road map that Pott’s feels will make a real difference to recruiters. It will be interesting to see what is coming next, because Potts was clearly excited by the prospect.

We concluded the conversation by talking about the last piece of the digital jigsaw, social media and social recruiting. Potts has a clear view of where social meets traditional media.  He sees social as the natural partner for digital recruiting. There is the benefit of being able to integrate social profiles in to matching without the need for candidates to submit data, particularly when you consider mobile. Social channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter give potential  candidates the opportunity to become aware of companies through employer branding content. The research places less importance on social media, and the likelihood of job seekers turning to social in their search. I think this is an area that sometimes confuses job seekers. Whilst they may not expect to apply in a social channel, the time spent by users in the channels means they can only be influenced in all of their decision-making by the content they come across whilst browsing. It is a little bit like the mobile questions, where job seekers often  rank mobile as not important, not because they don’t want to apply by mobile, technology means it is not really an option at the moment. The result is that it is not a consideration. This will only increase response in other areas of digital media, and open up opportunities for social sourcing through the Broadbean products.

After the call, I had the opportunity to reflect on the first conversation I had with Potts when he was announcing the launch of Evenbase, and the thinking behind forming a combined digital media offering across the DMGT brands, and the second conversation after they had acquired Jobrapido. The strategy was to take the brands global, look for new investments and products that strengthened the group, and to be able to develop an offering in all areas of digital media. This was a big plan, but it looks like it is paying off in a relatively short space of time. Having witnessed this close up, the prospect of expansion based on this research is realistic. In Evenbase style they have chosen to share the full research with anyone interested. You can download this on the Evenbase site. I enjoyed my conversation with Keith, as always it was an education.


DISCLAIMER: I am an occasional adviser to Evenbase and Broadbean.

About Evenbase

Evenbase is a global digital recruitment group and part of dmg media

The Evenbase portfolio includes the flagship job board brands Jobsite and Oilcareers, the leading multi-poster and unified search provider BroadbeanJobrapido – one of the world’s largest job search aggregators, and recruitment partnerships with brands such as 02 Active and the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

The portfolio spans 55 countries, includes a network of over 60 recruitment sites and employs more than 400 people, with offices in North America, United Kingdom, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates and Australia..

Live Blog: Starbucks got engaged with Jeremy Langhans @Jer425 #ATCSM

I’m blogging live from recruitment reinvented in Sydney. The first speaker is Jeremy Langhans, now of Expedia, formerly of Starbucks. The title of his talk is “engagement is king.” Jeremy is a story-teller, and he has a great story to tell. Langhans reduced global spend on third-party recruiters by 100% over two years whilst at Starbucks.

Langhans contends that if the number one thing for a company is to engage with their employees, then the number one thing for a recruiter is to engage with talent. Langhans holds a belief that:

“Content is queen. Engagement is king.”

E.V.P. is very traditional, but C.V.P. (candidate value proposition) was a new way of thinking. Focusing on what is the benefit to you of being a candidate, and how do we communicate that.

For Langhans this begins with web experience, and making sure that is portable and responsive. The web is usually the first point of connection, and the beginning of the relationship. At Starbucks this meant building a responsive web design, then proving the concept of social media for hiring. The C suite buys results, whilst recruiters respect concept.

Langhan has an inherent belief that candidates are customers. The same people who queued up in the store were the same people who went to the career site to look at jobs, and got hit with a straight no when they applied. Companies work very hard at acquiring and keeping customers, and when you look at candidates as customers it changes your view on how you treat them.

In social channels, Langhans works a model of 4 culture posts to 1 job. finding the right channels and places is about trying everything in small doses then going with what works. This is going to be different for everyone. Langhans describes engagement as spending plenty of time hitting the reply button. It is a good and simple matrix to follow.

His time model is:

> 70% of time in core channels

> 20% in new channels

> 10% experimentation and exploring

Brand is defined as “What is unique and consistent.” The rules for culture brand and employer brand should be no different. Consistently treating candidates well, and talking in public places. He has a brilliant approach to getting employees talking in public. Langhans is a genius and doing simple things well, with candidates at the heart of everything. You should connect and message him. You will get a reply!


My Culture Branding E-Book With KellyOCG

I’ve been lucky enough to get a look at some real culture brands first hand. To see the way some businesses like Rackspace in Texas, HardRock in London,The BBC in London and Barclays have been able to build a distinctive culture, and frame it for public consumption. When you work with brands like these, the challenge is not to get more people to apply for jobs with the company, but to reduce the volumes and improve the efficiency of those who actually apply. The objective is to use social places to give employees a voice to show the reality of work, and to enable potential applicants to opt out if it is not for them.

All organisations have a unique culture. Culture doesn’t have to be dynamic and fun packed, it could be steady and staid, controlling or totally open and creative. The important thing is that the face you show to the world is the reality of what lives behind your four walls. That way people can choose if they want in, or not.

I was first switched on to this concept a few years ago at #truLondon by the excellent Michael long. I’ve since been lucky enough to visit Rackspace and see it in action first hand. I was delighted to share my thoughts and experiences with Sally Hunter, the RPO lead for EMEA for Kelly. Together we have produced this short e-book to share our thoughts. I hope this provokes more thought and discussion because there is more to come!
You might want to view the e-book in full screen view or download your own copy.







Who are jobrapido? A conversation with Vito Lomele

If you follow this blog, then you might remember that I had the opportunity to announce that Evenbase made their first acquisition,  Jobrapido, on April 16′th. I got to speak with Evenbase Chairman Keith Potts at the time, who explained the reasoning behind the deal. Potts sees the future of digital recruiting being having a strong presence and brands in 5 key areas:

> Jobboards
>Job Posting
>Social Media
>Job aggregation 

Jobrapido filled the aggregator spot, having built themselves up as the second biggest brand in the world in just 7 short years. I was impressed by their story and what I have seen and heard about the service. Aggregators are a relatively new area for me on this scale, and I was keen to find out more.
Last week I got to catch up with enigmatic Jobrapido founder Vito Lomele, to find out a little bit more about the business, and just how they had managed to achieve this level of success.
The key numbers:

> 52Mn – The number of unique visitors to the site in May

> 660Mn – The total number of visitors to the site annually in 2011

> 160Mn – The number of searches conducted on the site in May.

> 3 – The average number of searches per unique visitor.

> 70 – The number of Jobrapido employees.

>7 years – The age of Jobrapido

>15 – The number of languages Jobrapido are fluent in.

> Eu 30Mn – The investment Evenbase made in acquiring the business.

Lomele talks passionately about the business, why he feels they have achieved so much, and where the business was going now after the Evenbase investment.  Lomele describes Jobrapido as a vertical search engine. The business has expanded quickly across the globe country by country, and are now ranked in the top 5 career sites in 50 countries, usually ranked number 1 or 2. In terms of traffic, there are only really 2 job aggregators who dominate the market, Indeed and Jobrapido. The gap in traffic numbers between 2 and 3 is huge. Most notably, Jobrapidolaunched in the U.S. in June 2012, and in 12 short months have risen to the number 2 spot.

Vito Lomelle

I asked Lomele about his strategy for growth in new markets. He explained that the model is quite simple. First they partner with all the job boards in a country to ensure a comprehensive listing of jobs, (whilst avoiding duplicates), then they acquire traffic through social channels, PPC and ad words. They start small-scale, split testing everything to see what works, then build from there based on user behaviors. I was curious about why Lomele favored this route over SEO. His answer was enlightening.

We don’t want to get tied to the whims of the search engines.  Just when you think you are on top of it, they move the goal posts and you have to start again.  You have much more control over acquired traffic. The real challenge is not in getting the traffic, but making sure that visitors are happy with the experience when they get there and want to return.”

I was really interested in this last point. Lomele sees the real competition being not between the destinations or methods available to job seekers, but for their time. What their data shows them (and they track everything), is that the average job speaker spends 30 minutes a on-line searching for an opportunity, and take between 3 and 6 months to get a job. JobRapido are battling for their share of that time, and by becoming trusted for hosting all the relevant jobs across all the boards in the country, then they get the biggest share of that time. Job seekers divide the time invested in search evenly between networking and applying and content consumption. That means 15 minutes a day spent finding opportunities and completing applications.

What Lomele has to say about what retains traffic and time holds a big message for any recruiter or technology company. Their approach is to make sure that the user interface is very simple, and that the complicated bits live under the hood. For Jobrapido this means only asking for 3 bits of information, what, where and distance. The challenge is making sure that the results that come back are very relevant. People will only come back if the interface is simple, quick (both in terms of returning results and completion), and the results relevant to the query. In the job search business, immediacy and accuracy are everything. Job seekers want simple navigation, limited clicks and are unforgiving when things don’t work out. They have no time for error.

When you arrive at Jobrapido either via a PPC ad, search or Facebook there’s a simple screen with 3 options:

> What – with prompts for job title, skill, company etc, and a drop down list of popular job titles.

> Where – with a drop down list of countries,city, county and postcode. There is a drop down menu of popular cities. Clicking on country diverts to the domestic site.

> Within – with a drop down menu offering 10 – 40 miles.

Clicking on the find jobs tab triggers a pop up that offers updates of new jobs by e-mail by simply entering the address. Search results are instant, and applying on the original job board is only 3 clicks away.

I asked Lomele what he could tell me about what goes on “under the hood”, or at least as much as he was willing to share. It is, after all, the engine and the algorithms that give them competitive advantage and deliver accurate results quickly. The big challenge is keeping up with synonyms and understanding what job titles mean and match. The technology is intuitive, which means it learns about users by searches and results, in order to return better and better results. Whatever is hidden, it’s clear from the results that it is working. Acquiring traffic is relatively easy, retaining it is considerably harder, and they seem to be very good at the retention part.

Lomele spoke about the trends he is seeing from job seekers. He sees the demand switching from jobs by e-mail to jobs by mobile and Facebook messaging. At the moment, 20% of traffic comes via mobile, although this is rising each month, with a higher % coming direct from Facebook. I asked Lamele if this meant that a mobile app was next on the cards for Jobrapido, or developing the existing Facebook app. His response was enlightening:

“Why build separate apps? Why not build one that does both?”.

The current Facebook app is a divert to the home page and takes the user out of Facebook. It is hard to see how much traffic this drives as diverts out of the channel do not record users via app data. It is in the blue print to create an app that keeps the user within Facebook or mobile according to how they arrive, without impacting on experience. My concern would be the experience the job seeker has when it comes to applying at the final destination if the job board is not mobile compatible. one solution might be to incorporate mobile jobs and application in a similar way to Maddle.Com as an extra service to customers that retains the candidate experience. Maddle is a plug and play mobile solution. Lomele also spoke about the impact he thinks Google+ could have, with particular reference to Google rankings. The vision is to develop the app to work and live cross-channel, and to offer the same experience in each, giving job seekers the choice to search in the channel they are most comfortable with.  I will be following how  this one develops with interest.

I wanted to know a little more about what was behind Jobrapido, and where the vision originally came from. As with many companies of this type, the idea and vision was born out of Lomelles personal frustration with job search. Before founding the company, he spent 8 years working in different city’s around the world including London. Lomele worked with on-line media and products, websites and mobile communications. On returning to Italy and looking for work, he realised how fractured and complicated on-line job search was and created the first version of Jobrapido in 2006. In 2008 he opened the first Jobrapido office and began hiring. What is impressive is that the growth up to the acquisition, which included hiring 70 staff was self-funded. The business generates revenue by selling enhanced listings and traffic, while providing all job seeker services free. It is a model that works.

I was interested in why a self-funded business that was evidently successful felt the need to join a bigger group. Had Lomele moved on, it would have been a question of financial gain, but he has remained as the head of the business post acquisition. He felt the business needed to bring in expertise to help capitalise on the global growth, in particular in the U.S. Whilst there were other offers, Lomele felt Evenbase offered the best fit, especially with regards retaining and supporting entrepreneurial  individuals and retaining the business identity, as well as the opportunity to collaborate with the other brands in the group.

The early years of Jobrapido have been a real success story so far, but with Evenbase backing and support, the potential for global growth is phenomenal.Good luck to all involved. Vito, it was a pleasure talking, and thanks for sharing. Here’s to #truMilan in the near future.



Vito Lomele


The Monster UK Jobseeker Journey And Thinking (infographic)

David Henry, from Monster UK shared a really interesting infographic with me today, that shows what is going on behind the searches made by visitors to Monster UK, and is taken from a poll of 2000 visitors during 2011. It is a good reflection of what people are feeling about the job search.
. This really gives some food for thought. The infographic is a great way to show the headlines, and you can click on any of the images to get the full data that sits behind it. What really stands out for me is that while 73% of people asked are unhappy in their job, 20% won’t bother applying because they don’t believe they will get a job. Concerningly, 43% felt tat their interviewer was unprepared for the interview. This looks to be an even bigger candidate experience to me than the much talked about A.T.S. I will be throwing this in to the mix at #trulondon. It’s a damming result.

Thanks to David for sending this over. Looks a perfect candidate for pinning!


Get the original with links

Sunday Shoutout: @mjebishop saves Ricoh UK £3Mn

The name of Mike Bishop might be a new name to many readers of this blog, given that he is not massively social. Neither has the business he heads the recruiting team for, Ricoh UK, implemented any new  innovations  in the social recruiting space. I have chosen Mike for this Sundays shout out because of what he has achieved over the last 2 years, in moving Ricoh from being heavily agency dependent, through to a direct sourcing model, and it has brought real results.

The shift to direct sourcing is probably the biggest change in the UK recruitment market. There is significant change afoot, and is a trend I’m expecting to dominate in 2012. I spoke to Bishop recently about the reasoning behind the change in thinking at Ricoh, and what the journey they had taken. Similar to other organisations I have spoken with who have followed the same route, it wasn’t all about reducing the cost of hire, although this has been a notable outcome.  

Bishop feels that direct sourcing has given them a bigger impact on quality of hire, control over process, (in particular manpower planning) and harnessing the employer brand to attract the best talent.

Bishop joined Ricoh in 2008, after a career in agency recruiting, joining from sales recruiters Robson Taylor Selection. Bishop had spent over 7 years working in the sector before moving to the corporate sector, and it is this background that has clearly influenced his thinking since joining, reflected in the teams proactive approach to sourcing talent.

When Bishop arrived at Ricoh, agency spend for the year 2008 – 2009 was £2Mn and 675 hires. Very little hiring directly, and calling an agency, any agency was the default process for hiring managers. During the same year they had used 124 different agencies, had no formal agreements in place and had terms that ranged from 15% of the annual salary to 35% of the total package.

It’s no surprise agency hiring was the only real option. There was no career site,presence in any social media including LinkedIn. and no dedicated recruiters. The business had no local employer brand presence at any of their locations, and no means for candidates to apply should they chance on the business. The average cost per hire was £3,600.00

Bishop drew up a plan for year one to bring recruiting in-house, which meant extensive negotiations with the Ricoh board to convince them to change what they had been doing for some years. This started with the hiring of 3 additional recruiters, one to focus on sales and two for general hires, including the call centre. Bishop’s plan was not to cut out agencies completely, but to operate in a more controlled way. This was achieved by introducing a P.S.L. with specific areas of focus and speciality. Agencies that could add value, rather than purely introduce people.

In year one agency hires were reduced from 82% to 30%. The additional 70% of hires were achieved by adopting a mix of direct headhunting, launching a careers section to the corporate site,  job board advertising, introduction of an employee referral program for the first time, and raising the local employer brand. The result of Bishops efforts for 2009/10 was the reduction of the average cost per hire to £945 over 675 hires, equating to a saving of £1.3Mn. No small change!

The year two focus for 2011 was a greater emphasis on direct sourcing approaches. Bishop compares this to operating as an agency only in-house, with the added benefit of being able to capitalise on employer brand and tell their own story. As a result of the savings and improved efficiencies in year one,  the team took on additional responsibility for all the temporary staffing within the business giving them control of all staffing.

Another of the benefits that Ricoh have realised as a result of direct sourcing and greater control of the hiring process has been significantly improved retention, reducing the need to 375 hires. During 2011 Bishop placed greater emphasis on sourcing via LinkedIn, and latterly Facebook. The team use LinkedIn recruiter accounts to identify potential new hires and make approaches via InMail and calls. The latest addition to the team took on the responsibility for locating talent and approaching them via Facebook, with this channel now representing 40% of their individual hires, and is a channel they are looking to utilise increasingly in 2012. These initiatives during 2011 further reduced the cost per hire to £498, representing a total saving close to £3Mn over two years, as well as greater efficiencies and retention rates.

What I think is different about this story is that it has been achieved by adopting a just in time sourcing approach without yet committing to a social approach for talent attraction, although this is coming during 2012. A business needs to be ready for a longer term approach to adopting pipelining. The results of the last two years show the foundations are in place, as well as the support from the business that comes with tangible results. During 2012 Bishop and his team will be taking on responsibility for hiring throughout Europe, proving the benefits that can be achieved by adopting an agency approach in-house.

Bishop will be sharing the Ricoh UK story in the direct sourcing track at #trulondon on the 22′nd and 23rd Feb. You should join the conversation!


Mike Bishop

Ricoh UK

My Take On The @JobsiteUK Quarterly Recruitment Review #TruLondon

#TruLondon platinum sponsor, and good friend to #tru, Jobsite UK, have just released their latest results from candidate and recruiter research, that tells an interesting story. I always value this research published each quarter, because it is conducted by an independent research company.  HPI,  conduct on-line research of 500 job seekers and 200 Recruiters, (split between corporate and agency.) The survey was conducted between October and November 2011. This post is my interpretation of the report, and some thoughts of my own. You can download the research on the link at the end of this post. The report is detailed and thought-provoking, and provides plenty of opportunity for discussion.

Thanks again Jobsite for sharing!

The Quarterly Recruitment Review.

Before going in to what the data tells us, I think it is worth noting that the research is taken from active job seekers who are being proactive in their job search. My experience of the businesses I’m working with is that an important part of attraction strategy needs to be targeted at those candidates labelled passive. Those that are probably still employed, (due to their skills being in demand), and it is this target group that is best approached through engagement and a social approach. I make this point not to discredit or rubbish the results, because I think they are important, but because it would be easy to underestimate the importance of a social approach based on the results. That said, the results illustrate why a balanced approach to recruiting is still important, to attract the passive (reached through social), and the active (reached through more traditional means.).
50% of the candidates who responded declared themselves as active in the job market, and 50% declared themselves as not active, but would consider a move over the next 12 months. I think that there is a third important category for recruiters to consider. That is those people who are not considering a move, and are content in their jobs. In my opinion, this is an important part of the market, given that hiring managers are increasingly looking for 100% fit. We also need to consider that many of the new jobs in the “knowledge” economy have not previously existed, and working people have evolved in to these roles in line with the changing demands of their employers, both in terms of skills and knowledge. Because these people are moving forward in their careers with their existing employers, they are less likely to be active, and in particular looking at job boards or advertising. This section of the talent pool are only likely to be reached through a strategy of direct sourcing or social engagement, to tempt them in to looking. They will also have very different needs in terms of content or relationship, perhaps taking an even longer term view. This section of the talent pool are not covered by the research, that said, this is only my opinion and i have no data to support it.
Equally, I think it is easy to underestimate the importance of employer branding, as an extension of corporate brand, and reputation in attracting talent now and in the future. There is nothing in the report to say why candidates choose one employer over another, other than the impact of one ad over another, and where the candidates have formed their opinions on employers. This may be much less important to candidates who are actively looking for a job, including those who are unemployed and driven by different needs, but it is an important consideration none the less, and central to a social recruiting strategy. What the report does tell us is that the number of candidates incorporating social in to their active job search is up to nearly 50% of those surveyed. This tells me that whilst this is not the principle approach to job seeking, there is an increasing appetite for social, and I don’t see this diminishing. Of equal interest and importance is the increase in candidates using career sites as a means of choosing target employers, following job opportunities and applying. This should be the wake up call for many companies to take another look at their career site and its growing importance as more than just a notice board for jobs.
For the first time since the research began in 2008, more advertisers are choosing job board advertising over printed media. This is not the story of job boards dying.

The key headlines:

> The mood among job seekers is continuing to look black, with a continued increase in the number of job seekers who feel less optimistic about their prospects looking forward. Only 23% of those asked felt more optimistic.
> S.M.E. businesses reported decreased hiring in the last quarter with a surprising growth in the S.O.H.O. (Small or home office environment) , now accounting for nearly 25% of hiring. That said, S.M.E.’s account for the highest % of hiring, narrowly ahead of corporate businesses.
> Employers are showing more confidence in the use of agencies for hiring, increasing by 4 points over the last quarter, though agencies have slipped from second to third choice behind on-line job boards and newspaper advertising. This is perhaps explained by the more pro-active approach taken by corporate recruiters, away from using agencies as a default setting. I would expect this trend to continue, along with a growth in social. Although the report shows minor use by employers, increased use by job seekers (up to nearly 50%), can only bring a growth in social recruiting by employers looking to capitalise.
> Recruiters are moving from using one job board to using multiple boards. This is perhaps explained by the reported increased difficulty in finding the right candidates. As talent gets harder to find, the recruiters are spreading the net, perhaps an indication of the need for recruiters to look at other methods of attraction including social recruiting, outside of the traditional newspaper/job board route.
> By contrast, job seekers are increasingly reducing the number of job boards they are using, with increasing numbers reporting using one board. The majority are still using multiple boards, but this is decreasing notably. As the report suggests, this is probably due to job seekers seeing repeat ads across a number of boards, leading to the decision to save time and just use one. The challenge for the job boards being the need to win unique advertisers and job seeker loyalty. This highlights the challenge the job boards face in providing the best candidate experience, and perhaps explains the increased spend by job boards on TV and similar advertising, and increased social media activity aimed at raising brand awareness and loyalty.
> The number one function for job seekers, as always, remains the opportunity to browse jobs in one place and environment. Ease of navigation and locating jobs is clearly the most important thing for job seekers, as it always has been, however, this is notably down this quarter to its second lowest ever figure. As the report suggests, this is probably due to the fact that job seekers are only interested in applying for jobs they know they can get. This is perhaps a symptom of job seekers getting worn down by rejection or lack of feedback, and choosing to concentrate only on jobs they are confident they can get. For recruiters this means being very specific about what you are looking for in job postings, making this easy to locate and catch the eye, with less attention to the “fluffy” detail favoured by many copy writers. This also perhaps marks the end of the practice of job seekers taking a “flyer.”
> Job notifications by e-mail are returning in popularity. There was a period of time where innumerable matching of offerings from many services amounted to spam,and this led to a decline in popularity of this service. perhaps the move to single job board use is also a factor in this. Using one job board only means less e-mails, but those received having greater relevance. What I take from this is the need for recruiters to ensure that any automated matching and filtering is accurate from a career site, leaning towards the talent network approach. This also means enough data needs to be collected and searchable at sign up. Any matching technology will only be as accurate as the data to match to. Recruiters should also be considering how they write and add jobs, with enough match points to ensure accuracy.Thekey point I take from this again is job seekers declaring “I want to hear about jobs I can get, rather than jobs I might want.”
> The 3 key factors in recruiters choosing which job board to use are price, as recruiters look to reduce cost per hire in any way they can,specialisation or reach to attract the harder to find candidates, and an active strategy to attract new candidates on to the board. This perhaps explains the increase in T.V. and social activity by the UK job boards, which is more than I can remember at any time. The research shows that this kind of activity is as important for client attraction, as candidate attraction, and is perhaps an important message for recruitment agencies that they need to maintain a high brand profile, aside from posting jobs.
> Regional profile also features highly, continuing the theme from previous research that local is the number one requirement for job seekers.This should be encouraging for regional boards and recruiters, and highlights the need to have a local brand, as well as a national or even global brand.
> Surprisingly, there has been a decreased desire for mobile or social features on job boards, despite significantly increased use of social channels by the world at large, witnessed by the significant growth in user accounts. Whilst engagement, mobile and interactivity is seen as important on career sites, and with individual recruiters, job seekers are less interested in these functions on job boards, perhaps related to the main attraction being the opportunity to browse, get jobs by e-mail and apply. Interestingly, this is in contrast to much of what the commentators are advising job boards need to do to avoid imminent death. I suspect the comments on mobile features relate to an assumption by job seekers that mobile compatibility, and ease of operation is standard now.For many, accessing job boards by mobile is the normal route to access, not considered any different to P.C. access, and only noticed when it is not possible.
> Recruiters report that the most important feature of any job board is a searchable C.V. database, preferring to pro-actively search for candidates, rather than advertise and wait. This again highlights the potential for developing sourcing skills outside of the job boards, and explains the increase in popularity of sites like LinkedIn, and in the U.K, C.V.Library. Despite the continuing rise in unemployment, the right candidates are still hard to find. The match needs to be 100% for both the job seeker and the hiring manager. With job seekers only applying for jobs they feel they are qualified for, and recruiter requirements in many cases being less defined, its easy to see the benefit to recruiters of taking the job to the candidate. This starts with the obvious places, like the C.V. database, and expand from there. Direct sourcing is becoming increasingly important for recruiters and is a skill, both in terms of technique and approach that needs to be developed.

Felix Wetzel

Once again, Felix Wetzel, the recently promoted Strategy Development Director at Jobsite, will be discussing this and other data in a track at #truLondon. It is a great opportunity to discuss real data and ongoing research from the leading UK job board. Anyone who knows Felix, knows that this will be as entertaining as it is informative. I’m grateful to Felix and Jobsite for the very open approach they take to data and sharing knowledge. This approach can only make recruiting in general better informed and effective.

This post is my interpretation and opinion on the research as it is presented. I urge you to download the report yourself, it’s free and available every quarter, and let me know what you think.



Jobsite’s Quarterly Recruitment Review


Felix Wetzel

Hard Rock Firenze Wins Award For #SocialRecruiting

Readers of this blog will be aware of the story of Hard Rock Firenze, and how they hired 120 people, with the whole process taking just 4 weeks end to end. The whole campaign was run entirely in Facebook, making it probably the most succesful recruiting project of its type. We thought it was great, and now it has been honoured with the “Recruiting Award For Excellence In Social Networking Efforts”. The award was collected by the person who deserves the most credit, Alison McCue, the regional training manager for Hard Rock (Europe), who collected the award tonight in Chicago.
I first met Alison when she ran a track on the school of Hard Rocks at #truLondon about a year ago. After talking social at the event, I met a few times with Alison to look at how Hard Rock could integrate social in to their recruiting efforts. We shot some video interviews with the staff in the London flagship store, and looked at the best way to promote what is a great employer brand. Hard Rock and Facebook go hand in hand. The target audience lives there, and the venues lend themselves to individual fan pages.

Alison McCue

My view is that the best way to recruit via Facebook is by building pages around the business and adding the opportunity to apply for jobs if they choose to.
For this project, Work4Labs provided the perfect solution, offering both the apply tab that made it simple to post jobs and apply within Facebook, share and like jobs, and all the cool features you would exact, supported by the dynamic interest targeting feature, that selects and automates Facebook advertising by each job.

This combination brought over 1000 fans to the page within 24 hours, and a total of 10,222 fans over 4 weeks, and over 4000 job applications during the 2 weeks of the live recruiting campaign.

From these applications, 700 people were invited to book interview slots via a dedicated Eventbrite site, running the interviews as an event. 600 interviews were booked and confirmed over 3 days, with all conversation and questions taking place on the fan page wall.

600 hopeful candidates attended interviews over 3 days, 20 per hour, resulting in all 120 hires, with a great back up list. The page has since gone from strength to strength, promoting the venue, and now has an active fan base of 37,000 fans, with regular applications for future employment opportunities still coming in.

We had a few sleepless nights, and not everything worked as we hoped, but thats the fun of doing something for the first time. You learn by “test practice”, fix as you go, innovate, and through blood, sweat and tears get to the end result.

The hiring objective was smashed at a fraction of the cost spent on previous campaigns, and ahead of schedule.  It’s brilliant that ONREC have chosen to recognise this campaign with the award. The real credit goes to Alison McCue who took the risk, staking such an important campaign on a switch to social, and the Hard Rock team who did all the hard work interviewing. I’m proud that the seeds of the plan came from #truLondon, (it shows why everyone should attend a #tru event!), and for being a part in this story.

I will be sharing this story at #truSA in Johannesburg onthe 9′th November and CapeTown on the 11′th November, as well as the free talent conference TalentWorks2011 in Miami on 16′th November. Hope to see you there, and well done again to Alison and the team!


Hard Rock Firenze




Starbucks Guys Video Error

I thought this story was worth sharing. With 500k collective views, a bit of YouTube immortality.The ad’s attached to the video are for a competitor store.

Not sure if it was just a rogue guy that didn’t think,or if a bit more guidance would have prevented it. He is obviously a gifted and creative guy. Could have been a great employee.

And what happened next:

Think before you post. Not good for Starbucks, not good for Chris!