CaseStudy

Smartphone tips from the BBC

Over the last year I’ve been working closely with the talent acquisition team at the BBC. last week marked the soft launch of Inside BBC Future Media, which includes plenty of content about working in the dept, and a Work4labs tab to check out the jobs whilst you are there. I say soft launch because there is a host of other things going on under the hood at BBC Careers around the technology, candidate experience, people, brand advocates and process. First, everyone is a bit distracted by the small matter of the Olympics, but it will be worth watching what is coming from October, and you can do that by becoming a fan of the page.

The BBC is full of great content in every department. This week I picked up a really interesting post on the page about how the BBC Academy are running training courses for journalists in getting the most out of Smart phones. I think the Smart phone has been the real reason behind the explosion in employer branding content. The device makes content creation, updating and sharing instant, once you open up your social places. This week Johnathan Campbell over at Social Talent posted about using Instagram channels for employer branding through images and following. The filters within Instagram make it easy for the least technical amongst us to create studio quality content every time. Rather than go on about Instagram, you can read Johnathan’s post HERE. He makes a very strong case for adding the channel in to your thinking.

Video is another area that has been brought alive by the Smart phone. The first big step in the explosion of video content was the Flipcam, which made uploads possible instantly. Video content became less about editing and camera angles, and more about quick upload and instant posting. YouTube editing features and filters has also made it possible to upload, edit and enhance content direct from your pocket media center that is your Smart phone. With the popularity of video for employer brand content, the technology turns every employee in to a potential story-teller and brand reporter. If the BBC are adopting photo and video content from Smart phones for news, then it should convince any employer that quality is not going to be an issue in reflecting brand.

The post by Marc Settle, of the college of journalism, gives some good examples of how Smart phone reporting is becoming more common in news reporting, particularly for breaking news. The most popular area of adoption is in radio, using audio apps to record interviews. I have used audio-boo in the past to report on events. Smart phones make regular audio content a reality from job descriptions, discussing teams, successes and war story’s. There are plenty of opportunities for content during work, and blending audio, video, images and text gives visitors to your web places to consume content when and how they want it.

The post has got me thinking about how we train brand advocates at the start of any program, offering additional training in Smart phone reporting with a few technical tips is definitely something I’m going to be including in future brand advocate programs. The tips from the post as examples of what is included in the reporter training are:

Top tips

Here are just a few tips you might find useful (these will in broad terms apply to all smartphones as general principles, but results will differ by make and model):

+ When taking photos, don’t tap the shutter button with your finger, as this could shake the camera and lead to a blurry photo. Instead, put your finger on the shutter button and lift it off. This much smoother action won’t risk jogging the camera as you take your snap.

+ When recording audio, don’t talk directly into the microphone, as you may see happen on The Apprentice. Instead, hold the phone as you would normally when making a phone call (for some voices, it works better held under the chin).

+ When recording video, don’t hold the camera vertically. Our eyes are horizontal; TV screens are horizontal; computer monitors are horizontal. Vertical video looks wrong, and the finished product will more than likely have nasty thick black borders.

With some thought, it is easy to put together some really useful content and interactive training in this area which will only enhance the quality and volume of employer branding content. A comment that has stuck with me from the Recruiting Innovation Summit last year came from @JenniferIntuit. It was my biggest take-away from the day and has stuck with me since. Jennifer included a slide in her presentation to the effect that if you want people to share content for you then you are going to have to make it simple and quick to do so. In Jennifer’s example this was about making sure that all content was packaged for sharing including using link shorteners, and sitting down one to one to make sure people know how to share. The same applies to content. We can’t expect employees to just know what good content looks like and how to share it. Smart phone content training and technique should be an essential part of this.

Bill

Pizza Hut People Go #SocialRecruiting With @PizzaHut_Dan (Case Study)

I’ve been attending Craig Fishers #TalentNetlive events across Texas for the last few years. I usually speak on topics like Facebook recruiting or cool tools panels. One of the good things about returning to the same events is that you get to see a few of the same faces and hear how they are progressing with integrating social recruiting. When you talk to anyone at an event you always get an idea of who the vaguely curious are, and who is seeking you out because they are plotting something for themselves. Whilst I will talk to anyone about anything, its greatt to talk to the plotters and offer your opinion. Sometimes this leads to work, other times its great to see their plans come to fruition and know that you had some input in to what happens.
I’ve met Daniel Hayward, the Senior Manager Staffing and Employer Brand For Pizza Hut in Dallas. At our first meeting, Dan spoke about how the business were looking to move their recruiting effort in to the social arena. I got to catch up with Dan again this week about how they have been getting on, and the results they have been achieving. This is their story:

Pizza Hut were founded in 1958 and now have over 6000 restaurants, 95% franchise owned and operated. Pizza Hut hire over 100,000 people, mostly team members, drivers and managers. 
Dan joined PHI in Sept 2011 with a brief to change the way they do things. At the time, they had a basic career site with no mobile integration or SEO. They were using kronos as the ATS on the back of the site, had no social media presence and were heavily reliant on job boards. This approach drove plenty of applications, with a low conversion rate. All social recruiting implementation should start with technology, a review of what you have now, what you need to change and  a plan to build the technical infrastructure to take you forward. After some fairly rigorous investigation, Pizza Hut chose to go with Jobs2Web as a comprehensive and social platform, with the switch taking place in January 2012.. Jobs2Web were also engaged as media buyer, and the social brand, Pizza Hut People was launched.

Along with technology, when you’re integrating social recruiting you need to review your people and how you organise and support them.  Hayward added 5 recruiters to the team, with a brief to get social through dedicated twitter accounts, and to start engaging with people.  They also changed their approach to talent attraction, harnessing a broader range of media and channels, targeting in to niche areas and adopting a PPC campaign. In a move to humanize the employer brand they took the innovative step of launching boards on Pinterest, producing photographic content and infographics that told their story. This achieved the humanizing objective, as well as giving the recruiters content to share.

When you attract potential employees through social, then you need social landing pages and application process. Pizza Hut launched a new career site hosted by jobs2web in May 2012. In particular, they were looking to improve the candidate experience, reducing clicks and offering new candidate friendly features. With social being so closely connected with mobile, it was essential to optimise the site, making sure all features and functions operate for everyone regardless of the device they use to gain access. One of the key features of the career site was creating a talent network. This offers any visitors the option to sign up for relevant updates. I’m a big fan of this approach.

When you land on the career site your greeted by 3 pictures of people, headed Team Jobs, Management Jobs and Corporate Careers, each with a big View Opportunities button. At the top of the page is a simple search function to search open positions by keyword and location. The top tabs offer a drop down menu of featured jobs, locations and join our network. The location tab brings up a map showing each state and the number of open jobs, with the facility to filter by job title. Click on a state and you get a more detailed local map, with individual jobs denoted by a pin, and clicking on a pin takes you to the job title, one click away from the job description and the apply process. Each job has the option to sign up for similar jobs by e-mail, to search jobs by keyword, to tell a friend using social sharing in multiple channels, search other jobs by keyword, find similar jobs by tag (such as jobs in Austin), to apply or sign up for the talent network. Hovering over the apply button gives the immediate option to start the application process with either LinkedIn or Facebook.

Clicking on the apply with LinkedIn requires a sign in to grant permission via LinkedIn. This takes you to a screen that congratulates you on joining the Pizza Hut talent community, advising that you will be mailed other jobs that fit your profile. All applicants are automatically added to the community. Clicking on apply again takes you to a screen giving you the option to choose to see other near by locations with the same or similar jobs. A tick box screen then gives you the opportunity to apply for additional positions that meet your requirements. Given that Pizza Hut have multiple positions in close by locations, I think this is a great feature for the candidates. The next screen is a consent form, and a clear instruction that completing the on-line application process will take a minimum of 30 – 40 minutes. It’s great to set expectations at the start. the next screen offers the options to upload a cover letter and a resume, then proceed with the application. This requires the input of 14 bits of personal data like social security number etc, and passwords to set up an account, before completing the pre-selection questionnaire.  The real benefit of this is that once a candidate has completed this stage they can use the data provided to apply at any time in the future through the talent network.

For people choosing to sign up for the talent network without applying, you get the same option to sign in with LinkedIn or Facebook which populates most of the fields needed. Members have a drop down menu with 4 status options:

> Passive interest

> Just starting to look

> Actively looking but employed

> Available immediately

> Permission to be contacted by a recruiter

This is followed by completing job agents to filter what jobs you want to hear about, keywords, location and the frequency you want to be messaged.  Submitting your agents returns jobs that meet your profile and a list of people you are connected with at Pizza Hut according to which profile you chose to use to sign up.  It’s very easy to use the site for simple navigation.

The site also offers links to additional employer branding content including:

> Slice of hope – Pizza Huts charitable enterprises and community projects.

> More about us

> Grow with us – linking to plenty of video profiles of employees

> Our culture – with more short video content

> Applying – stuff you should know.

At the bottom of the page is a really interesting feature in beta called “Social Job Matcher.” This function enables visitors to sign up for the talent network using any of their social profiles,  Clicking in instantly matches your profile with open jobs, offering the opportunity to apply. The other feature of social job match is the facility to match jobs against any of your connections to refer the job to them. The principle of this is great, although it doesn’t yet work that well in practice. It’s a bit long-winded because you have to click on the contact you want to match individually, rather than get all the matches delivered together, and the recommendations were based more on location than anything else. I will be watching this feature with interest to see how it evolves out of beta, and with some modifications to the matching.

The career site and PPC campaign kicked in with results almost immediately, and through the jobs2web platform Pizza Hut were able to track the sources of traffic and the candidate journey for the first time. To try something different Pizza Hut also built on their growing Pinterest following by engaging Paul Jacobs to build Jobgrams for delivery drivers. Jobgrams are job descriptions in the form of infographics designed for sharing through social channels. Jacobs has done a great job of developing these, and they get shared much more than conventional job posts with improved results, and this was no exception. You should take a look at the Jobgram to see how they are simple, visually striking and simple to share.

The results so far have been impressive, and are a testament to the work of Dan and his team. A few numbers:

> 30,000 = The number of open jobs posted at any one time.

> 4 Million – The number of applications forecast for 2012.

> 800,000 – The number of sign ups for the talent network since May.

> 100,000 – The monthly growth rate of the talent network.

> 20% – The number of applications coming from the talent network.

> 250,000 – The number of reapplies year to date.

> 4% – The % of candidates applying via the mobile portal.

> 25% – The % of candidates attracted via PPC.

The numbers that I find really interesting are those around the talent network. Given the rate of sign up and reapplication, it is conceivable that within 18months all hires could come from this source. I’m a fan of the network approach because the candidates opt in and require limited maintenance.  Sign up is really simple via one click, and the response rates indicate that candidates keep an interest in the brand even if they have been unsuccessful in the past. A continued focus on talent attraction through a blend of PPC and social activity will accelerate the growth of the talent network to optimum.

At the start of July Pizza Hut moved to the next stage of their strategy with the launch of LinkedIn and Facebook pages. The plan is to migrate the members of the talent network to the Facebook page, making the page the center for engagement.  The page currently has 51 members, with 76 people talking about it over the last 7 days. Expect this number to grow by hundreds of thousands over the coming weeks. I spoke with Dan about why they are looking to move the network away from the site and on to Facebook. His feeling is that the page offers much more opportunity to engage over time, build a community rather than purely a network, and to have a social place where all employees can get involved in the conversation. The Pizza Hut team are also now piloting presenting job descriptions in short Prezi’s that are visually engaging. Theres also plans to start adding jobs to pizza boxes based on the local stores and local jobs, with QR code links to join the network. This is simple, but I’m sure will be effective.  It will be great to follow their progress over the coming months with all of these initiatives. It was a pleasure to speak to Dan again, and see the progress they have made in such a short space of time. Thanks for sharing!

Bill

LINKS

Career Site

PizzaHut Pinterest

PizzaHut On LinkedIn

Dan Hayward On LinkedIn

PizzaHut People On Facebook

 

How to fail at on-line advertising (infographic) from Monster

I was sent this infographic from Monster which they put together after conducting research among job seekers, and what turns them off when deciding where to apply. Some of it is quite obvious, like spelling mistakes and ambiguous job titles. All of the research I’ve seen recently points to people only applying for jobs they feel they can do or will get an interview. This means the skills and experience required needs to be very clear in your job postings, whether it is in the social channels or on the job boards. There is no need to try to be over creative to get attention in the copy you are writing. A simple search on Monster in the UK found 146 current jobs listed as “Manger” and include postings from companies like Enterprise Rent-A-car and The Co=operative. These jobs won’t feature in searches for a manager’s job, or on e-mail alerts, which will have a major impact on response. Might be time to check your own postings to see what you are posting, and always get a second person to run a check.

Culture branding with @TheRedrecruiter: Rackertalent6 #SXSW #talentnet

This is a live blog from Austin, and TalentNetlive. i’m watching my friend Michael long speaking.  Long is from Rackspace, and is responsible for culture branding, taking a different approach to talent attraction. Michael started out as a recruiter and started blogging to be able to help candidates without losing the time he needed to sell.
Michael was attracted to social recruiting in rebellion against the marketing approach taken by many organisations. Long wanted to connect the people telling their story in the places they want to hear it.
long was brought in originally as a contractor to build an interactive career site where Rackspace employees, known as Rackers to tell their story. For the first 6 months it was all about content, and encouraging people to tell their story.
After 6 months, Rackspace brought in Jobs2Web to add a little science to the process.
The Rackertalent site attracted 37% of the traffic to the ATS, but an incredible 60% of hire. long put together a hit squad of internal talent to tell the story of the Rackspace culture. The team is made up of 8 people from videographers through to cartoonists, and it’s working. longs vision is not to attract the “best” talent, but to attract the right people for the business. The right people are the ones who fit the culture, not necessarily the best qualified or experienced. He feels strongly that retention begins in the recruiting process, and when there’s a retention problem it’s a hiring problem. the hiring message needs to be true and authentic. People need to have enough information to be able to make a defined decision that a job is right for them.
Culture is what it is. It’s not a message or something you can manufacture, but it is something you can put in a public place.
long showed a video to illustrate this called a day in the life. The video was shot, mixed and screened in one day, to make it a true reflection. Data wise, the numbers show that people who hit the culture section on the career site viewed 3 times as many pages, stayed for twice as long and were 70% more likely to get a job with the business. People interested in culture are really interested in your job rather than a job. Long feels retention is the biggest indicator of how well a business marry s culture with talent attraction and hiring.
Long reinforced my belief that your content has to reflect the real thing. People have to join the place they are expecting. I’ve been to Rackspace in Sanantonio, and it is very much like the culture reflected in the content. The Rackspace hoopla from slides to get down stairs, and the welcoming ceremonies are not for everyone, which is why showing what they are is important.
Check out Long and www.Rackertalent.com. You will feel the culture, and understand his message.
I’m a Michael long fan.

Bill

Barclays Future Leaders Hub: Reducing Volume/Increasing Quality #trulondon #truStockholm

When your working with a high-profile brand with a public presence, the problem is not getting people to apply for jobs. At #trulondon, Peter Gold spoke of Tesco’s receiving over 1Mn applications via their career site. I’ve seen the same thing with my clients Oracle and the BBC, it’s a different type of problem. The last thing these businesses need is more response, and the higher the volume of applications, the harder it is to provide a good candidate experience. Commonly the solution is to put recruiters behind a wall and cut off accessibility. It’s not that recruiters don’t want to give individual people the attention and response they deserve, there simply isn’t time in the over worked recruiters day. What these recruiters want is not more candidates, but better candidates who are a closer match to their requirements who they can invest time talking to, and developing relationships with. Quality over quantity.

Speaking with recruiting teams, it’s easy to bemoan the lack of engagement and relationship skills. It’s recruiters who are on the front line, and it’s recruiters who have the pressure to make their hires in a double-quick time, and to even more demanding standards from hiring managers. To find the proverbial needle in a haystack. This is against a background of a call for greater candidate care. It’s the recruiter who carry the can for empty seats, and from their point of view, there’s simply never enough hours in the day for the demands of social recruiting. They have to concentrate on hires now, rather than possible hires future.

It’s been blogged and spoken about quite often that the modern recruiter needs to think like a marketer. Most of the emphasis ha perhaps the has been on talent attraction rather than recruiting, and the better you get at talent attraction the more people reply. I have made myself a bit unpopular in the past with the digital media mafia, by stating that actually, perhaps the real need is to get the marketeers to think more like recruiters. I think Bernard Hodes have done this with the Barclays Future leaders programme.

I’ve spoken in the past with Quezzia Soares, who manages the recruitment marketing for Accenture. One of the things they have had to do is to be brutally honest about what their minimum requirements are for Graduates right at the start. This means telling anyone on their welcome pages that if you don’t have 400 UCAS points, there is no point in applying. The companies I work with have high standards of entry. Without getting in to the morals of this argument, it is the standard. I’m a believer in transparency. If you have no chance of getting a job, I don’t want to do anything to encourage you to apply. It’s just not fair to create false hope. I also think that there is nothing wrong with the message “It’s hard to get a job here. You have to be special to get in. We have high standards. Are you special?”

Recent job seeker research indicates that there’s a bit of apathy out there. People are just fed up of investing time in job applications where they are not going to get beyond the ATS. The jobs they apply for, and despite unemployment applications per person are right down, are those they feel they have a good chance of getting. This means rethinking how many jobs are presented. We’ve spent so much time presenting jobs to sell them, working on marketing copy and branding, that the requirement is buried so deep in the copy it gets lost. Better to put your requirements front and center, it might even raise the flow of qualified applications, while turning off those who don’t fit the bill.

About 6 months ago I was speaking with Andy Hyatt, Digital Director of  Bernard Hodes, and he told me about the work he was doing with colleague Steven Lo’Presti for the graduate recruitment at bankers Barclay’s. The plan was to launch a social media hub within their future leaders career site, to encourage on-going engagement between the graduate intake of recent years, and potential new hires. I’ve been watching the site closely since it’s launch since the middle of last year. It’s less of a career site, and more of a communication center, there’s also an i-phone app with many of the features converted for mobile, and a full mobile site with browser sniffer on entry. All the features a modern career site needs,

When you land on the site from the outside world, you land at The Hub.The Barclay’s Graduate program is titled: “Future Leaders” and the by=line that sums up the site is: “See More.Be More.”  It’s in an easy on the eye corporate blue, and very easy to navigate. The tabs at the top link to the The Graduate Programme, Undergraduate Programme, School Leaver Programme, School Leaver Programme, Events and Applying To Barclay’s. The applying tab explains the process in detail, with a very clear, “What we look for” section. The text at the start reads:

“There are no two ways about it. We have immensely high expectations of everyone who makes it onto the FLDP; and we’re looking for people who can bear the weight of those expectations. In other words, you’ll need ambition and vision every bit as big as ours from the outset.

It perhaps goes without saying that your academic record will be of the highest order (a 2:1 or above and 300 UCAS points to be precise), but becoming one of our future leaders is as much about your employability. Besides a strong academic record and work experience, you’ll need to demonstrate your involvement in extra-curricular activities.”

For me, this is clear and transparent, and like Accenture is saying if you don’t have the UCAS points there is no need to apply. It’s hard to get a job here.but if you get one, it’s going to be great. Think about what it is saying if you get an interview, it’s saying, OK, we think you could be special.

The individual career type tabs each feature a programme overview, and individual department tabs. Behind the departments are a few features I really like is being able to see individual profiles of the recent intake, and the opportunity to shadow them by connecting on LinkedIn or following on twitter, and there’s similar people to connect with behind every department, as well as blogs to follow. Simple but effective peer-to-peer employer branding.

Behind the events tab there’s a “play more” feature, with a game and leader-board, with an opportunity to win tickets to the ATP Grand Slam, based on taking part in an actual game when Barclay’s visit target universities as part of the milkround. I really like activities that link the virtual world with in person recruiting. I’m a big believer that social is physical as well as virtual. Another great initiative like this is labeled “Smile More.” This features some really cool pictures from the campus events, shot in black and white. When the pictures are taken, the students get invited to check back in to the site to view them, reconnecting them with the hiring hub.

Video’s feature throughout the site, with the opportunity to see the people, get video tips on the assessment process and a whole lot more. Visitors can also sign up for the video channel, that features 44 different videos, in multiple places on the site including the landing page and hub, as well as the Facebook page and Twitter feed. Theres also news feeds and twitter feeds in the hub and on the landing page.

Theres a register or log in section which takes you to a micro-site for the division you choose, and an apply button that links you in to the ATS, which is where the social bit ends. Theres no means of exporting detail from LinkedIn or other social profiles. Given that the hub is very social, I’d expect the application to be a bit easier. All details need to be entered, and it takes 16 clicks to get to apply. The jobs behind the application are easy to navigate, without lengthy job specs to wade through. All the information needed to choose which job is available in lots of different formats  according to the visitors choice, so there’s no need for the long-winded spec.

The easy registration means that Barclay’s can capture data and operate a talent network, connecting over relevent content. Whilst I’d prefer this to be via a social registration, it’s a small detail. Everything else on the site is brilliant.

So what has this meant in terms of numbers?

 

> Overall, the campaign has performed well, attracting just over 355,000 visitors to the site since it was re-launched in September 2011– an increase of 51% over last year, who viewed over 1.6 million pages – an increase of 75%. And this without an increase in advertising budget.

>Social media has played a big part in this success: at the time of writing the Twitter channel has picked up just over 470 followers – 477 to be precise, and the Facebook page has been liked by 510 users. The YouTube channel used to serve video content has generated over 17,100 views while the QR codes were scanned over 680 times. And these numbers are rising steadily week on week.

>The visitors that interact with The Hub,  have also proven to be more engaged with the site – proving that social content can attract and retain visitors over paid advertising: they are more likely to stay after viewing the first page (15.9% bounce rate vs. 25.8%), stay for longer on the site (9’ vs. 3’51”), and view, on average, twice as many pages per visit (10.05 vs. 5.01).

> Visits to the site have increased by 51%, applications have decreased by 40% over last year. At first this might seem worrying if not for the fact that the conversion rate between assessment and hire increased by 55%. Ultimate proof that targeted and relevant content can deliver better quality candidates who are also more likely to get hired.

I started this post talking about the need for big brand corporates have to reduce the volume of applications, whilst increasing the quality. What Barclay’s and Bernard Hodes have proved through this case study is that while it might take a bit of work, and you need to enlist the brand advocates from the business to do the engagement and connect with interested people from the target audience. The games run on university visits, leader board and photo features gives the students met on campus a reason to connect with the site and register. The social networking clearly drove traffic to the site without any additional spend.

Clarity of the standard required cuts out the many applications that this type of campaign would normally attract don’t apply. Sharing values, job content, peer-to-peer communication and clear job detail leads to people deselecting themselves from the process, avoiding wasted recruiter time.

Hyatt also commented that the feedback from the recruiters was that those who got through selection were totally committed and much more informed about the opportunity, which explains the significant improvement in the conversion rate. Supporting the candidate with information on resources on the selection and assessment process, greatly improves the candidate experience, and removes the risk of good candidates missing out by making errors in the process. For recruiters, only seeing committed and qualified candidates has to make their job better. It’s not just the candidate experience we need to be thinking about, it’s also the recruiter experience that gets improved by an engaged process.

I want to thank Andy Hyatt and Steven LoPresti of Bernard Hodes for bringing this story to #trulondon, and giving me access to the data for this post. It’s a great story. It is my intention to include at least 6 case studys at each #tru event moving forward, and will be inviting Andy Hyatt out to #truStockholm next month.

Bill

LINKS

Barclays Hub

Barclays FB

Barclays Twitter

Barclays YouTube

Meet Our People Blog

Andy Hyatt

BUY TICKETS FOR #TRUSTOCKHOLM March 28′th - 29′th

Sunday Shout Out: Steve Ward: An Agency Recruiter Who "Gets" #SocialRecruiting

Todays Sunday shout out is for Steve Ward of Cloud Nine Recruitment Group, who is well worthy of recognition. Steve is one of a rare but growing breed of agency recruiters who actually understand social recruiting and social media, as more than a job posting avenue. I first connected with Steve through twitter, where he is omnipresent. It’s understandable that Steve would be active in the social channels, given that his business Cloud Nine focuses on recruiting for the digital media sector, with an emphasis on social media. What is more interesting is the way in which Steve networks and contributes to the wider community he recruits from.

Long before immersing himself in social media, Ward had a long background in traditional agency recruiting, dating back to 1995, where he began his career with commercial recruiters Personnel Selection working up to a role as Branch Manager. He joined Recruitment Express as Commercial Business Development Manager in 1999, moving to Recruitment Cafe as Managing Director in 2002. After 3 years, Ward moved on to national recruitment business Select for a year, and the Randstad for 2 years as Business Manager. Ward set up Cloud Nine in 2009, and has not looked back.

The Cloud Nine Group is made up of a group of independent, single office recruiters, in which Wards Cloud Nine Recruitment provides the infrastructure. It’s not surprising to see the business structured this way, given Wards genuinely collaborative approach to social media. It’s a great example of the much over used adage: “TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More.” In this case it is true.

I have a theory that you can draw many parallels between a local pub and how personal social media networks work. I use the term network rather than community because I think this fits better the way in which we connect and group together on social networks. In any local pub, people group together in much the same way. In any pub there’s a” go  to guy” for pretty much everything. When you need help, there’s usually someone with some experience or expertise who are more than happy to help. When you want something doing, like electrical work, plumbing or decorating, then there’s always a “go to guy” and if there’s not, there’s always a man who knows a man that they can refer you to. When you are active in social media channels, then you get the opportunity to become the “go to guy” for your specialist area, and this will always lead to business.

You get to become the guy by letting it be known what you do, without making it all you talk about. You help people when they need advice. For recruiters this can be as simple  as reviewing a CV, giving interview advice or passing on information. In any pub environment, you don’t talk to only the people who could do business with you, you talk to everyone who wants a conversation, and you talk about multiple topics, and just enjoy being there. Social channels are much the same, particularly twitter.

Steve has become that go to guy for anything related to recruiting within the digital media and social space. Steve is a great example of how to balance on-line and off-line activities. He plays an active part in the social media community, and is often found at tweetups, meetups and other events. He is a regular host, speaker or contributor, and all this ground work has placed Cloud Nine at the center of the community.

It’s not surprising given, Steve’s network, that most of his business, and candidates come from recommendation or shares. I get jobs from the Cloud Nine Group account in my stream. The jobs are relevent to my stream because they are based in the UK and in a relevent sector for a group of my followers. I quite often share them, and I’m sure there are many others who do the same. We share relevent content from our friends that we trust. Any agency recruiters should take a look at Wards stream and activity, as a good example of how to earn a similar position in their respective niche.

Last week Ward announced the launch of a new joint venture with social integration business Socialgility. Socialgility consult with businesses on how they can integrate social media and social culture in to all business practice. The new venture, Socialgility Talent addresses the need for recruiting in-house digital marketing roles. As more and more businesses are looking to integrate social, so the need to hire specialists is becoming increasingly important. People are at the heart of any social strategy, and Socialgility Talent provide the people. It’s a promising proposition, and I wish Steve well in this.

Steve will be back at #trulondon again, running his ever popular track “The Social Agency.” If you are an agency recruiter, then it’s a must attend track. Ward is a great role model in how to achieve success through social, on and off-line. More importantly, he is a recruiter first and foremost, and this gives him a real understanding of #socialrecruiting, rather than social for socials sake.

Bill

LINKS

Steve Ward

Cloud Nine Recruitment

SocialGility

Sunday Shout Out: Steve Ward: An Agency Recruiter Who “Gets” #SocialRecruiting

Todays Sunday shout out is for Steve Ward of Cloud Nine Recruitment Group, who is well worthy of recognition. Steve is one of a rare but growing breed of agency recruiters who actually understand social recruiting and social media, as more than a job posting avenue. I first connected with Steve through twitter, where he is omnipresent. It’s understandable that Steve would be active in the social channels, given that his business Cloud Nine focuses on recruiting for the digital media sector, with an emphasis on social media. What is more interesting is the way in which Steve networks and contributes to the wider community he recruits from.

Long before immersing himself in social media, Ward had a long background in traditional agency recruiting, dating back to 1995, where he began his career with commercial recruiters Personnel Selection working up to a role as Branch Manager. He joined Recruitment Express as Commercial Business Development Manager in 1999, moving to Recruitment Cafe as Managing Director in 2002. After 3 years, Ward moved on to national recruitment business Select for a year, and the Randstad for 2 years as Business Manager. Ward set up Cloud Nine in 2009, and has not looked back.

The Cloud Nine Group is made up of a group of independent, single office recruiters, in which Wards Cloud Nine Recruitment provides the infrastructure. It’s not surprising to see the business structured this way, given Wards genuinely collaborative approach to social media. It’s a great example of the much over used adage: “TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More.” In this case it is true.

I have a theory that you can draw many parallels between a local pub and how personal social media networks work. I use the term network rather than community because I think this fits better the way in which we connect and group together on social networks. In any local pub, people group together in much the same way. In any pub there’s a” go  to guy” for pretty much everything. When you need help, there’s usually someone with some experience or expertise who are more than happy to help. When you want something doing, like electrical work, plumbing or decorating, then there’s always a “go to guy” and if there’s not, there’s always a man who knows a man that they can refer you to. When you are active in social media channels, then you get the opportunity to become the “go to guy” for your specialist area, and this will always lead to business.

You get to become the guy by letting it be known what you do, without making it all you talk about. You help people when they need advice. For recruiters this can be as simple  as reviewing a CV, giving interview advice or passing on information. In any pub environment, you don’t talk to only the people who could do business with you, you talk to everyone who wants a conversation, and you talk about multiple topics, and just enjoy being there. Social channels are much the same, particularly twitter.

Steve has become that go to guy for anything related to recruiting within the digital media and social space. Steve is a great example of how to balance on-line and off-line activities. He plays an active part in the social media community, and is often found at tweetups, meetups and other events. He is a regular host, speaker or contributor, and all this ground work has placed Cloud Nine at the center of the community.

It’s not surprising given, Steve’s network, that most of his business, and candidates come from recommendation or shares. I get jobs from the Cloud Nine Group account in my stream. The jobs are relevent to my stream because they are based in the UK and in a relevent sector for a group of my followers. I quite often share them, and I’m sure there are many others who do the same. We share relevent content from our friends that we trust. Any agency recruiters should take a look at Wards stream and activity, as a good example of how to earn a similar position in their respective niche.

Last week Ward announced the launch of a new joint venture with social integration business Socialgility. Socialgility consult with businesses on how they can integrate social media and social culture in to all business practice. The new venture, Socialgility Talent addresses the need for recruiting in-house digital marketing roles. As more and more businesses are looking to integrate social, so the need to hire specialists is becoming increasingly important. People are at the heart of any social strategy, and Socialgility Talent provide the people. It’s a promising proposition, and I wish Steve well in this.

Steve will be back at #trulondon again, running his ever popular track “The Social Agency.” If you are an agency recruiter, then it’s a must attend track. Ward is a great role model in how to achieve success through social, on and off-line. More importantly, he is a recruiter first and foremost, and this gives him a real understanding of #socialrecruiting, rather than social for socials sake.

Bill

LINKS

Steve Ward

Cloud Nine Recruitment

SocialGility

Brilliant #SocialRecruiting Is A Marathon

Last year I had the pleasure of spending time with Mike Vangel of TMP Worldwide. Recently I blogged about the UPS Road trip Competition he put together for sourcing a high volume of contract staff from loaders to drivers to cover the Christmas peak. It was an impressive campaign that got real results.

I first met Mike at #truBoston when he ran a track. telling the U.P.S. story so far. What struck me about Mike was how open he was to sharing the data and results that U.P.S. were getting from their social recruiting accounts. and the way in which they have built a following, and more importantly hires.

Vangel’s story of how social recruiting can evolve in a corporate environment.Like similar projects of this type, UPS recognised that it would take 3 years to be really effective. Mike also recognised and respected the need for restraint and respect for the brand during the roll out. It’s easy to rush gung-ho in to launching in every channel and making plenty of noise. This approach, when your working with a corporate who are concerned with protecting the brand, is usually the best way to go. Vangel measured everything against agreed objectives, so that he could demonstrate progress, reassure the corporate chiefs and earn the right to move to the next stage.
For social recruiting evangelists this can be frustrating, but it is the way to win support. This might be as simple as starting with an automated twitter feed in order to get some response, applications and hires. I understand how frustrating this might be for some, I can hear the tut, tutting and the comments of the need for engagement, but it is important to remember that this is the first step on the road to social recruiting. The same might apply to setting up a Facebook fan page and disabling comments. It takes away the fear and allows for content control. This builds belief in what can be achieved, and allows for an opening up of the page in stages, as others get to understand social better.

Taking the slow build approach over 3 years allowed UPS to build step by step, starting with YouTube videos of employees.and two LinkedIn recruiter accounts. From these small steps, they have now run fully integrated social accounts in all the channels, with no spend on paid for media. In Vangels presentation at the Recruiting Innovation Summit he outlined the journey UPS have taken so far, and where they are going next. Two points that really stand out in the data is the importance of having a mobile site when you are using social to attract candidates, and the real results that are achieved from text. In the age of sexy mobile apps and the mobile web, I think we often overlook the power of text. Mike opened my eyes to this, using the data to prove it, and as a result I now include text in all my thinking.

Mike has kindly provided me with his slide deck from his presentation, that includes all the steps they took to full integration, and the results (and estimated value) at each stage. I recommend you view this in full screen to appreciate all the numbers, it’s a brilliant story of slow, steady success. The statement that really stood out for me in Vangels presentation is:

“Social recruiting: It’s a marathon not a sprint!”

It’s a great point, and one to bear in mind if you are concerned about the slow progress your organisation might be making.

Thanks Mike for sharing. It’s a great story of brilliant social recruiting!
You can read my last post on the UPS road trip competition that brings the story up to date.

Bill

LINKS

Mike Vangel
UPS On Facebook

Viral #SocialRecruiting: The U.P.S. Road Trip

What does it take to make your recruiting  message viral? You want your message, and your opportunities to reach far and wide, particularly when you are hiring in large numbers. There has been plenty of discussion about whether gamification works, and if competitions and games attract players rather than candidates. I understand the critics point of view, but I’ve also seen some great examples that have countered the argument.

Mike Vangel of T.M.P. is an old friend of #Tru, having led a track on U.P.S.’s social recruiting efforts at #truBoston. I also got the opportunity to see him present at the Recruiting Innovation Summit. I have a lot of time for his thinking, and admire that he is very open in sharing the data behind the campaigns. I’m hoping we will be able to tempt him over to London in Feb for #truLondon5. U.P.S. have a great social recruiting story to tell.

Mike spoke to me recently prior to the launch of U.P.S.’s  “Road Trip” game on FaceBook, and I’ve been following this closely since the campaign launched on October 10′th.The game finishes on December 16′th, so I thought it was worth making a half time report, and it is so far so good. The game is aimed at recruiting seasonal driver helpers and part-time package handlers.

The concept of the game is that players enter by signing up for the UPS jobs newsletter and by voting for their favourite careers video, and sharing content or inviting friends to take part. The grand prize for the sweepstake, and it is a random draw, will be a gift voucher for Zappos up to the value of $2,000.00, with a weekly draw for a $100 voucher. The prize is up to $2,000 because the pot goes up the more likes the page gets. There’s currently 26,142 fans with the most important number, 782 people talking about it.

I see the “talking about” number on a fan page as being far more important than fan numbers, because this represents how many people are actively engaging with the page, whether its liking, sharing or commenting. 782 is particularly high for a careers page, so the campaign is obviously working.

Mike Vangel

When you first visit the U.P.S. jobs page, the landing page is a countdown clock to the end of the road trip, a promo logo and a button to enter and find out more about U.P.S. Jobs. Once you enter, you are taking to a page with 26 video’s to choose from or vote on, video’s from opportunities for women through to senior managers getting interviewed. Each video has a button to vote for your favourite, and an opt out button to share the video to your wall. This is a great way to promote the full career video catalogue and give potential employees to choose those that closest match their area of interest, from the corporate stuff like diversity, through to individual job types. Checking on the U.P.S. YouTube Channel, the viewing figures have grown considerable since the start of the competition, with the most popular of the video’s topping 5,000 views.

Once you’ve entered, you can invite friends to the sweepstake either via your wall or by invites. You get your friend list and earns another chance in the draw. What I like about this game is that it is simple to follow and enter. From the headlines I have been given by Mike when we spoke last, it has already been very successful at building up the talent network. (A talent network is people signed up for notifications of jobs and updates.) Applications for jobs are well up, both through the campaign and the work4labs application on the U.P.S. Jobs page. Promotion has been entirely through shares, Facebook and Twitter with no paid for media. It has been an undoubted success for U.P.S. in hiring seasonal staff and getting the message out there. Hats off to U.P.S. and Mike Vangel on this campaign.

The U.P.S. Jobs Sweepstake

Mike Vangel