Employer Branding

Going viral on LinkedIn with SlideShare

In May of last year LinkedIn acquired document sharing platform SlideShare for $119Mn, made up of cash and shares. The acquisition made a lot of sense, given that the integration between the two channels became increasingly deeper. SlideShare makes uploading documents for sharing very simple, and at $19 a month for the basic pro account, it’s inexpensive. (The free version is also functional if you want to try it out.)

I’ve been using SlideShare to upload documents and white papers to embed on my LinkedIn profile and other social places. Uploading a white paper takes about 2 minutes and looks brilliant. It’s easy to read on-line without the need to download, (although there is a download button), easy to share on any of the social channels, and easy to embed through a copied embed code. SlideShare also transcribe the content below the paper which is great for SEO. Users can follow accounts of content they like, receiving notifications every time new content gets added. Without any real effort I have gained over 800 followers. Anyone viewing content sees thumbnails of similar content on the right hand side of the screen which adds additional views, new followers and downloads.  This is an example of my most recent upload, a white paper for RolePoint on Social Referrals.

SlideShare has great analytics, tracking views, sharers,search terms, traffic sources and results , and the pro version enables you to add lead capture, contact buttons, HD video uploads, tracking of opens by prospects, on-line meetings and discussions, branding, branding, blocking of competitor content and larger uploads like e-books.

The real benefit comes from sharing SlideShare content as updates and discussions in targeted groups. The last 2 papers i have distributed in this way have trended and been promoted on the home page of both LinkedIn and SlideShare. The two channels compliment each other perfectly, and is proving the best way to share  papers, documents (like job specs), video and e-books to a targeted audience, combining the great visual look of SlideShare with the ease of reaching a very relevant audience through LinkedIn targeting. The RolePoint white paper featured in this post has been viewed 1,404 times, and is proving to have a much longer shelf like than other social channels,has been embedded in 136 other places and been downloaded 22 times. When you are generating targeted content, this is the best way to share it making it an essential part of your employer branding and content planning.


Employment Blanding And The Society Of Secrets #truNZ #ATCSM

Every mention of EVP and one of these guys gets it

I’m really looking forward to being in New Zealand for #truNZ on Monday. I’ve been on a bit of a whirlwind tour taking in Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney, on top of 30 other destinations this year. It has been wild and informative, and a great way of learning about what is really happening in recruiting globally.

I know we are all connected, but you don’t really learn anything meaningful from the comfort of your own bum stuck on a seat in your house in front of a screen. You have to get out there and live it.
At every event I’ve been to there has been a lot of talk about employer branding, and how to get the best candidates to apply. This concerns me, because the big metric that everyone seems to be applying is that more is better. The more people who apply for a job, the better the chance of accidentally hiring the right person. In most locations I’ve heard people talking about defining the E.V.P. and why recruiting is really like marketing, except that it isn’t.
This pains me, because every time someone says E.V.P. a small puppy dies somewhere. Whilst we talk about authenticity, we also talk more about what people can’t say about work and the company because that would create the wrong impression and people just wouldn’t apply. I’ve heard plenty of people talk about how recruiters need to sell a job, and sell an opportunity, but my view is that if you have to sell it then you’ve got the fit wrong.
Lots of companies talk about wanting to be social organisations. They recognise the potential but fear the consequences, and operate there intranets, internal comms channels and the like as a society of secrets. Those who operate Yammer are the worst offenders. They are creating great culture content and having day-to-day people conversations in secret.

One organisation I spoke to at #ATCSM had a whole series of content on why they were a great company to work for locked down in the intranet. Great for the employees, but what about the outside world who might just want to know too? Best not tell them, they might become interested in knowing what we are all about. Best keep our internal comms internal. Keep it all a secret.

I get the point that there are confidential conversations and information that is internal and is secret. That is probably no more than 10% of what is being posted and discussed. That means 90% of the day-to-day conversations, topics and discussions offer a great insight in to the organisation. The real culture brand content that companies worry so much will take so much time to create is already there, its just hidden. They worry about  the cost, and the disruption to the employees day. If staff are allowed on Facebook they will just talk to their mates all day. They can’t be trusted. They are too stupid to be know what is secret and what is for public consumption. Best lock everything down behind a closed wall. Stick to the intranet. It is a nonsense argument really. The content is there. learn to share it, and keep sharing constant, rather than a series of one-off events.pictures, video, audio, text, let employees connect and talk in public. let them tell people why they wouldn’t want to work for you, that way you don’t accidentally end up with the wrong employees. You do, after all, end up with the employees you deserve.

All of your culture branding efforts should be about showing the good, the bad and ugly of working in your company. That way fewer people apply. The numbers go down, but the right people apply. The people who stay and survive.

I have a simple belief that every culture is sexy. People are different and unique. You can’t sum up what is important to them in one small set of statements. One EVP, that’s just marketing BS. On this trip I met a girl in Singapore who worked long hours in a company who had a 24 hour canteen. This was great for her because she could get food on the way home. It was convenient, and gave her life and work order. She changed jobs and forgot to ask about the canteen at interview, and on joining discovered that it was closed in the evening. This greatly inconvenienced her, and led to a quick exit. Her “EVP” was a 24 hour canteen. Ever seen that listed anywhere?

On my travels, I have heard 100 stories like this. Each one unique to the person who told them. We should be thinking of messaging about culture brand as being unique. A message to an audience of one, because really we only want one person to apply, the person that fits us, and we fit them. We should be doing all we can to put the rest off, because we are wrong for them. Needs and wants are unique, so our conversations should be unique ones.

What I’m seeing right now is everyone working hard on employer blanding. Companies doing the same thing, telling the same story and merging in to one. copying best practice, shying from innovation and being unique. Time for a change I think. ditch the EVP and all that other stuff, and start thinking about reaching an audience of one.

Bring on the conversation at #truNZ!



The Top 30 Career Pages On Facebook, The #SocialRecruiting Index #TruLondon

At #TruLondon Dutch employment  branding firm Maximum are launching the Social Recruitment Monitor, an index that measures a mix of fans, followers and subscribers, comments, likes and engagement. This is how the company describes the index:

“MXMM believes that the number of ‘likes’ isn’t the sole indicator of social media recruitment success on Facebook, just as the number of followers isn’t the sole indicator of success on Twitter. The MXMM Social Media Index, around which the Social Recruitment Monitor is built, uses weighted variables that are proven indicators of ‘popularity’, ‘activity’ and ‘interaction’ – not just ‘likes’. In our vision activity and interaction are better indicators of success/effectiveness so they play a bigger part in the overall index, whilst number of likes (and growth over a period) of course remains an important factor as well. The index gives a mean over the last four weeks and will be updated on a weekly basis. In total the MXMM index is based upon twenty individual variables/numbers to ensure a robust index.”

The index currently covers Facebook, with plans to extend this to Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, so this has the potential to provide a real insight in to how the career brands are doing. One neat feature allows you to compare one account with another directly. What is important is the greater scoring for engagement over fan numbers, and growth of fan numbers over the total fan numbers. When you look at the data displayed, you can see that the emphasis is on engagement, similar to Edgerank. Without engagement on Facebook, and recently LinkedIn, content and updates become invisible from the streams of the people they are trying to reach.

The index is free to access and updated weekly. At #truLondon Maximum are going to look at the top 20 career pages globally, and the top 20 career pages in Europe. I think I’d like to see this extended to any page that features jobs, such as Hard Rock Firenze, but I applaud what they have done so far. If you have a career page you can add it to the index by registering your own career page.

Some of the results are quite surprising. I know AT&T only launched their page a few months ago, yet they sit at 3. They have been quick to get engaged with their fans in the Facebook environment.


  • 68,85MXMM-Index
  • 6.574Fans
  • 8,0502Engagement Ratio
  • 56,05MXMM-Index
  • +2Index shift
  • 2.556Fans
  • 9,8503Engagement Ratio
  • 53,65MXMM-Index
  • -Index shift
  • 10.216Fans
  • 0,3771Engagement Ratio
  • 47,26MXMM-Index
  • -2Index shift
  • 24.492Fans
  • 3,6227Engagement Ratio
  • 45,67MXMM-Index
  • +1Index shift
  • 36.303Fans
  • 0,1503Engagement Ratio
  • 43,68MXMM-Index
  • +7Index shift
  • 77.103Fans
  • 1,2300Engagement Ratio
  • 42,87MXMM-Index
  • -2Index shift
  • 6.082Fans
  • 1,5224Engagement Ratio
  • 42,40MXMM-Index
  • +2Index shift
  • 10.173Fans
  • 0,5083Engagement Ratio
  • 42,25MXMM-Index
  • -1Index shift
  • 4.488Fans
  • 0,9011Engagement Ratio
  • 41,79MXMM-Index
  • -1Index shift
  • 8.065Fans
  • 0Engagement Ratio
  • 40,84MXMM-Index
  • +1Index shift
  • 16.763Fans
  • 1,7373Engagement Ratio
  • 37,61MXMM-Index
  • -1Index shift
  • 33.586Fans
  • 0,9364Engagement Ratio
  • 34,58MXMM-Index
  • +1Index shift
  • 9.232Fans
  • 0,3121Engagement Ratio
  • 33,99MXMM-Index
  • +1Index shift
  • 87.138Fans
  • 1,9526Engagement Ratio
  • 33,57MXMM-Index
  • -8Index shift
  • 960Fans
  • 5,4083Engagement Ratio
  • 32,01MXMM-Index
  • -Index shift
  • 4.803Fans
  • 0Engagement Ratio



  • 29,48MXMM-Index
  • -Index shift
  • 104.495Fans
  • 0,5347Engagement Ratio
  • 27,30MXMM-Index
  • -Index shift
  • 16.197Fans
  • 0,3482Engagement Ratio
  • 27,08MXMM-Index
  • -Index shift
  • 3.332Fans
  • 4,6596Engagement Ratio
  • 26,68MXMM-Index
  • -Index shift
  • 31.911Fans
  • 0,1985Engagement Ratio
  • 23,70MXMM-Index
  • +2Index shift
  • 2.904Fans
  • 1,2974Engagement Ratio
  • 22,29MXMM-Index
  • -Index shift
  • 18.961Fans
  • 0Engagement Ratio
  • 21,41MXMM-Index
  • +4Index shift
  • 742Fans
  • 3,4060Engagement Ratio
  • 21,27MXMM-Index
  • -Index shift
  • 38.006Fans
  • 0,3693Engagement Ratio
  • 21,25MXMM-Index
  • +5Index shift
  • 2.534Fans
  • 0,3376Engagement Ratio
  • 20,86MXMM-Index
  • -5Index shift
  • 24.908Fans
  • 0,0672Engagement Ratio
  • 19,96MXMM-Index
  • +1Index shift
  • 96.873Fans
  • 0Engagement Ratio
  • 19,67MXMM-Index
  • -2Index shift
  • 18.392Fans
  • 0,4651Engagement Ratio
  • 17,82MXMM-Index
  • -Index shift
  • 47.798Fans
  • 0,2595Engagement Ratio
  • 15,53MXMM-Index
  • -5Index shift
  • 3.385Fans
  • 0Engagement Ratio


I think what is the most interesting is the top ranking position for Continental, the auto-parts business. Before the index, at least 10 of the entry’s in the top 10 would not have come up on my radar when it comes to social recruiting.

The data that sits behind the index like the volume of likes, shares, comments and weekly fan growth is listed in the index in the detail view. This makes sense of the scoring behind the index. Examining these scores, another surprise is the low number of on each of the rated pages, the highest is 14 and most of the others are between 2 and 4. You don;t need a lot of noise and updates to get interaction, you just need compelling content that provokes a reaction, you also don’t need 1000′s of fans.  I’m really looking forward to hearing about the trends that are coming out of this research.I recommend that you take a look at the index yourself.

You can access the full index HERE 



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.


Women @ Work (Infographic)

Most days I get sent an infographic that the producer is certain will be of interest to my readers. Usually they are of no interest to anyone. A thinly disguised link back or self promotion, but I got this one yesterday from On-Line MBA that is a bit different and got me thinking, with regards social recruiting and talent attraction. The number that really jumped out for me is that only 12.5% of UK companies have female board directors. Now I don’t want to go all political on this, but I think it is quite shocking.

At the same time, I work with a few businesses that buck this trend and have a number of senior roles held by women. If you are like one of these businesses, this has to create a great talent attraction opportunity, to make sure that your senior women are sharing their story in your social places. Based on this data, female brand advocates with success story’s to share have got to be a great asset to your talent attraction strategy.


Women at Work Infographic Via MBA@UNC
Via MBA@UNC MBA Online & Women 2.0

#Hatemyboss #Hatemyjob Warning: Contains real tweets

In researching this post I conducted a simple search in my twitter timeline, for people posting using the hashtag #hatemyjob and #hatemyboss.The following are real tweets from this search. I’ve not embedded the tweets to protect the stupid from themselves, but I promise you these are real. Try the search out for yourself!



Hungover drums just sound awful. #hatemyjob

I don’t see why people aren’t interested in a boring cold call from me to do a shit survey about a load of crap #answerthephone #hatemyjob

Hate going to work when the suns out especially 10-6 #hatemyjob” girlllllllll do not get me started Haha

Off to the hell hole I go … #hatemyjob

Can’t be arsed today! #HateMyJob

Today wasn’t nice. We should just skip from Sunday to Tuesday. Or just straight to Saturday!! #hatemyjob

OHKAY COOL, don’t schedule me at all.to work. That’s perfectly fine, knowing that I NEED MONEY. #hatemyjob

Welp back to work tomorrow #hatemyjob

In our work. The faves do what the want when they want. And the rest of us suffer for it #hatemyjob#idontwanttotakeyourorder

I just love going to work and crying everyday! #hatemyjob

woohoo! finally I finished 5 stupid design with very weak computer to the company where I work :s… I’m very comfortable now but #HateMyJob


back to work tomorrow after a week off.. #hatemyboss #FML

so bitter about being at work two hours early on a saturday. #hatemyboss

I seriously hate most of my bosses but 1 #HateMyBoss #WorkProbs

I feel like i’m back to the age of the anxiety #fuckthisshit #hatemyboss

For real? This day is just going down hill now…. #hatemyboss

I cant fucking do my homework when I have down time? are you fucking kidding me. hate to break it to you but school comes first. #hatemyboss

Deff gonna be late to work but then again who cares, #hatemyboss treats me like crap anyways

This is an absolute Piss take! Fuck you Managing director! #cunt #hatemyboss

Hottest day of the year so far + being stuck with my boss for 5 hours = complete and utter torture!!!! #FML #hatemyboss

Work til 3 and I can’t wait for it to be over #hatemyboss

Need to find a new job ASAP!#hatemyboss

I feel like i’m back to the age of the anxiety#fuckthisshit #hatemyboss

Theres always a lot of talk about people getting fired for being critical of their employer, boss or colleagues in the social media channels. In the most part, these storys usually come down to the argument about privacy, monitoring and just what people get fired for. Mostly I find that it is a case of the comments being a symptom of the general breakdown of relationship between employer and employee, and all the tweets or updates really did was give the bullets that enable the company to load the gun and fire. Theres also an argument that these are stupid people who deserve to be fired, after all, most contracts of employment prohibit speaking in a manner that might bring damage to the company.

Another way of looking at it is that these posts indicate  just what these employees think of their bosses and jobs. I don’t think it is just a case of sacking the misguided people behind the tweets and the problem goes away.

There is always going to be the odd rogue employee that needs to have a conversation, but if it is a number of employees tweeting the same things, there’s a work place problem that needs addressing, and the solution won’t be heavy-handed policy or action. Twitter is the messenger for employee sentiment, don’t shoot the messenger, fix the problem. I don’t have the data, but I’m fairly sure that the tweets listed below were mostly made from mobile. No amount of bans on tweeting from work is going to block that, better to work with employees on creating awareness about public platforms.  Education is always a better solution to legislation, and far better for employer reputation, which ultimately results in employer branding.

Employees are being increasingly asked to take part in talent attraction, by sharing jobs and other content in their social networks. The practice of social referral is dependent on this, but what is the likelihood of any of this being effective if your people mix these referrals and posts in with negative comments about their boss or job?

The route to getting a great employer brand is quite simple. BE A GREAT COMPANY! Monitoring employee content is the barometer to employer brand, but you need to consider how you are going to react. If your employees feel so bad about you that they tweet their feelings so openly, your problem isn’t that they are on Facebook or Twitter, and firing them all won’t make the problem go away.


YouTube,Google+.Livestream And The Social Channels

There’s a great feature that I have only just noticed on Google+, that I think offers good opportunities for employer branding and social recruiting. I have been working with a few clients on hosting hangouts on a weekly basis, and inviting candidates to come and talk. While the audiences aren’t huge, the feedback and results are great.

The other benefit is that you can record these shows for posting to YouTube, sharing or embedding on your career site and other social places. YouTube have lifted the 10 minute limit on these videos, so you can house the whole show, and that’s got me thinking about what is possible, and in particular the best way to promote video and other content across all of the social channels.

The other way that you can use YouTube with Google+ is sharing pre-recorded videos for broadcast in to a hangout. This has possibilities for your employer brand videos, training, even team communications. The closer tie-in between Google products and YouTube has real potential. You can promote hangouts to your circles as well as promoting events through the wider social networks. Combining a hangout with livestream using screenshare also means you can broadcast on to your fan page on Facebook, embed as a live event on your career site, pretty much anywhere on-line. You also get the opportunity to run chat features in both channels so that you can engage with potential candidates. Once you’ve scheduled the event you can share it through Facebook events, LinkedIn events, Plancast, Twitvite, (my new favourite event software BSwarms) and all the other event sharing platforms. There’s real opportunity to get plenty of people from your target audience to the event. You can make plenty of noise to announce it. Google+ has a great people search facility that makes targeting individuals easy by discipline, trade, skill, experience and location for further invites.

I spotted a great example of cross-channel promotion for a Ustrean show today from Deloitte in New Zealand, who continue to raise the bar in this area. They’ve started promoting their internship and graduate recruitment program by connecting potential candidates through a series of blogs, events, weekly ustream broadcast on to their Facebook fan page titled “up close and personal”, events and other activity.They’ve also just started promoting hangout sessions with the graduate recruiters. All the content and sessions are promoted via an active twitter, Google+ and Facebook page. They engage in every channel they can, but use live video very well.

They currently have 121 live openings to fill at the next intake.  The promotion for the ustream  event came to my attention via an infographic on Pinterest, which was repinned in the social recruiting infographics board I follow. The Infographic contained some very simple to follow info on Deloitte as a business and employer.

The image linked back to traditional media on the job board Grad Connection. If you don’t know GradConnection, the board is rich in social features including forums, more images than words, and featured employers. The featured employers page includes Facebook, YouTube and Twitter widgets linking to the social places, links to the career site and an application process that encourages joining for updates and a simple C.V. upload and parsing to populate all applications. The only thing missing is the opportunity to apply using a social profile like LinkedIn. I think this site is a good model for what a social job site can be.

Switching over to their Facebook fan page, they’ve already switched over to timeline and the result looks brilliant. The banner they are using is consistent with their graduate branding featuring a slightly open door against a black background, with the strap line, “Make your move.”

The 4 featured apps with the new big button looks are likes, photos, events and not surprisingly, YouTube. Close to half the content is pictures or video, so it looks great in the new format. The YouTube channel on the Deloitte page is powered by the Involver app. This is quite a new app to me, but it’s brilliant and easy to install. The YouTube app features the latest video uploaded at the top and other videos from your channel underneath. Click on any video and it moves to the top for viewing. The freemium option allows for 1 video auto-posted to your page and wall each day, and there’s a paid for version that does a lot more including posting to multiple pages. Other apps in the Involver suite include RSS feeds, Flickr, a neat app that renders html in to the Facebook i-frame and a twitter feed. Involver also publish a brilliant engagement platform that is also worth a look.

A Deloitte Intern Video

There’s plenty of other video content in a similar vein that gives a good feel for life and work at Deloitte NZ, though the stand out is still the U-Stream live Q and A sessions. I’ve spoken with Paul Jacobs of consultancy Engage, who is supporting Deloitte Grads NZ in to the social arena about the impact this has had on their employer brand. The results clearly show that they have become the employer of choice among the student population, but the stand out area for me is the multi-channel approach they are taking, where one compliments another and video and live broadcast features highly.

The other area that I think offers great opportunities for recruiters is running the event as a careers fair. Individual recruiters can be available via either Skype or individual circles for one to one conversation, and including a simple application process to apply or sign up for your talent network. Promoting a career event across all the channels, making it live and accessible offers real opportunity for dynamic recruiting, connecting with your possible candidate base.




Deloitte on Facebook





Paul Jacobs

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.



Barclays Hub

Barclays FB

Barclays Twitter

Barclays YouTube

Meet Our People Blog

Andy Hyatt


Coolest Job In The World On MonsterCoolJobs.Com

If you weren’t a recruiter, or battling your way through HR, what would be the coolest job in the world to do? I started thinking about this when I was sent a link to the “Cool Jobs” landing page for a formula one racing team, powered by Monster.Com. They’ve pulled off a bit of a coup by working with the Marussia F1 Team  in putting together a brand new team. It’s great for Monster, but I think it will also work out well for Marussia.

Now when we think Formula one, it’s natural to think of Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton and co. It’s inevitable that we think of the headline makers, and not that it takes 200 people to get the car around the track in a quick time. There is the engineering staff that makes the real difference to times by clipping off seconds through innovation. The whole team though will consist of people in the office, accounts, payroll and even the odd H.R. manager. There are lots of jobs that would look on the outside to look ordinary, but become cool because of who the employer is, or the products they produce. 

Now this gets me thinking. When you’re not a formula one racing team or anything nearly as sexy, perhaps an insurance company or an accountant, how do you turn “just another job” in to a “cool job?” This is where employer branding comes in to play. Jobs become cool by the right association, and this is brought to the public eye through social activity. Creating places where people can tell the real story of work, and share a look in to their working life and workplace through pictures, video and other content.

If you asked any of the millions who are unemployed around the world, I think they would mostly say that any job is cool. That work is cool. I think we sometimes forget that our jobs and workplace is cool to someone looking for that kind of job or your kind of workplace. In the day to day of doing a job, of working with the same people or at the same desk each day, it’s easy to forget that to people outside of the day to day, it’s actually both cool and interesting. Whenever I work with new brand advocates, it’s getting this point across that is actually one of the hardest things to achieve. To do this you need to get them to look at the business, department or job that they do, and see it through the eyes of an outsider. What would they want to know? What would they see as cool? What makes you a cool employer and how can you communicate this in an authentic way? Being cool without being cheesy? That’s the real challenge of employer branding, getting people to share with peers, and understand what is interesting. You might be surprised to see just what content people respond to, from pictures of desks to videos of the canteen. These images can take your business in to the “cool” category, when you create a place where content can be posted and let people share.

I love what Monster have done with the cool jobs landing page, and the Marrussia F1 team in creating a video and job board campaign in building the team in this way, behind the headline of “take us to the podium!” Watch the video, there’s a brilliant message on building the right team, and why a racing team would turn to a job board.


Monster Cool Jobs

The Talent Network Approach #ATCSource #TruLondon

Carrie Corbin

I’ve been traveling quite a lot recently, clocking up a few airmiles  and meeting some fantastic people. There is no doubt that social recruiting is high on the agenda of most hiring companies. It’snot always the ultimate solution to everything, but it sits in the mix.
Last week Oracle Corporation announced that they are going to be hiring 1,700 new staff in the EMEA region, and are focussing recruiting activity on Facebook, Twitter and other social channels. I’ve been working closely with the team on putting the infrastructure together for this, and when one of the biggest brands in the world start investing in social, then you know that things are going main stream.
The big barrier that everyone talks about is time.Recruiting teams by and large do not have the time to invest in building talent communities. It takes a big budget and belief to invest in attracting people and engaging with them, whom you may never hire. Succesful social recruiting takes time to get a return, (outside of the post and pray approach.). The challenge is taking recruiting, which is largely focussed in the now, and adopting techniques that will take time to bring tangible results. My belief is that it takes at least 6 months before you begin to be in a position to harvest a return, and build up anything like a network that will pay off. Most recruiters have targets to hire now, and as a result, hiring becomes transactional in the now, starting with posting, dealing with response and perhaps a bit of LinkedIn sourcing and offering jobs. Success comes from numbers, find a number of possible candidates, mail them and hope that it sticks. Fill a job, get another job and rinse and repeat.The same is even more true when you look at third-party agency recruiters.
When I was in SanAntonio at #TNL I got to spend some time with Carrie Corbin (@TheAlphaFemme) of A.T.& T;s Associate Director of staffing and Talent Attraction. I have long been a fan of Carries work. What I picked up from our conversation was the view that A.T & T do not focus on talent communities, more talent networks. That is knowing how to reach people with relevent messages when they need to communicate. this could be job opportunities, employer branding content or just to get back on the radar. This is largely done by e-mail, where the key is relevance of message to avoid spam. This doesn’t feature engagement. It is all one way messaging with a call to action, and doesn’t rely on on-going dialogue or communication.
The job board research conducted by Jobsite, repeatedly finds accurate jobs by e-mail, that match capability, as one of the highest ranking “wants” from jobseekers. they want timely notifications of jobs that match their capabilities, to save them constantly needing to check in and follow jobs as they come up. Passive job seekers still want to be kept in the loop as to jobs that come up just in case the opportunity is tempting enough to apply.
We can apply the same thinking to talent networks. By capturing contact details and profiles of those people who come in to contact with your employer brand at any point so that you can update them with opportunities when they come up, without the need of maintaining an on-going relationship, (as with the community approach.)
Jump forward a few weeks to #ATCSource in Melbourne, and I had the opportunity to take a close look at a product that serves this function well, find.ly.com. Find.ly provide a plug-in that sits on multiple channels from career pages to fan pages. Anyone viewing the page is invited to connect with the network, and can do so using their LinkedIn or Facebook profiles. It is a 2 click opt-in operation that is quick and very simple.
On the back-end of Find.Ly, a profile is built based on the on-line profiles of the people who elect in. Find.ly calls this a “talent hive.” where recruiters can access the social profiles of potential candidates.There are 3 real benefits to Find.ly as I see it:
1: Profiles are based in real-time on the current social profile. If a contact updates their LinkedIn profile, their record updates, and recruiters can elect to receive alerts to these updates. Combining this with tracking of predictive internet behaviours, you can identify potential candidates when they move from passive to active, and be most likely to be responsive.
2: The hive is fully searchable and supports Boolean logic. This means a recruiter can segment people on any criteria to identify who to message from the talent network. Recruiters can interrogate the hive and send relevent messages.
3: Sign up is simple, opt in or invite, and sits across all career places, social or otherwise.

Users of Find.ly include A.T.& T and Nike, so they have a blue chip client base. The talent network approach fits larger organisations who need to manage scale and continuous hiring.

This approach to building a talent network, rather than a community has lots of potential. A network requires less maintenance and is reactive to need, meaning activity can focus on “hire now”, while ensuring no contact is lost and all detail on profiles are current.
On another note, I see the talent network fitting closer with the third-party/agency recruiters,over the more time intensive, longer term talent community approach. This is perhaps the approach to social that agency recruiters should be exploring as a means to capturing the contact detail of all those people coming in to contact with their agency.
A talent network approach will only be enhanced by developing talent communities and places to feature employment branding content to attract people in to the network. Increasingly, organisations are separating employer branding from recruiting or marketing. Organisations like Accenture operate recruitment marketing as a function focussed on talent attraction, others like Oracle have empowered employees to play an active part in brand advocacy. Recruiters can maximise on this type of activity by creating a framework for capturing contact detail of anyone responding, looking or getting involves, tracking these contacts to keep information current, and messaging contacts with relevant calls to action, whilst not needing to continuously communicate.
I’m going to be looking at the case for talent networks at #truRomania this week, and #truLondon next week. I’m interested in your views of this approach over talent communities. What works for you?



Carrie Corbin