LinkedIn, FaceBook Or Twitter: Social Pay Per Click Recruiting

The Kevin Costner principle of if you build it they will come, rarely applies to social recruiting. The first part of any social recruiting plan starts with building the social places, setting up the feeds and preparing the accounts for activity. The second phase is generating content and encouraging contributions from others. This starts with enlisting the help of brand advocates. For many organisations, the failure point is an over reliance on recruiters for content and managing the content. This falls down because the recruiters just don’t have the time to maintain it with their main  responsibility of sourcing and managing open vacancies now.The other down side of recruiters providing the content is credibility with the outside world. It’s not a case of knocking the recruiters, but candidates expect them to say the workplace is great, who they really want to hear from and see is the people who work there. It’s a simple principle, programmers want to hear from programmers, they don’t want to hear from recruiters. Recruiters contribute to the communication on jobs, the process to apply and to be accessible when wanted, the rest of the content comes from the business. Once you’ve got brand advocates contributing content, promote your social places in the business to bring in new fans, friends, followers etc. Your most important employer branding is your internal employer branding, and your internal talent community. Once they start talking in public, the outside world wants to listen in, and some even want to come in and look for themselves. So far all the growth has been organic, and if your going to start spending on bringing people to your social places, you need populated and busy sites to attract them to, with regular content and engagement. To speed up the process it’s time to start considering social advertising. In my view pay-per-click rather than pay per impression campaigns provide the best first option and the best value. This is quite different to traditional advertising, where the objective is to reach as big an audience as possible. Social advertising works best when you take a much more targeted approach, thinking sniper over broadcast in approach. The smaller the target audience, the lower the pay-per-click cost. Targeting a smaller audience also means you can be very specific in copy and image. Better to place multiple ads to small audiences, than one catch-all ad, In my experience, the click-throughs and conversions are much better when you take this sniper approach. It’s worth taking time over this, or looking to automate this process.

Facebook in particular lends itself to automated research and advertising using applications designed for this purpose. My preference is for Work4Labs, where target groups come from parsing the job spec for interests that match, and automating the ads, including the essential analytics off the back-end. My other recommendation for social advertising is to split test ad’s. Because you are paying per click, it’s not going to cost you any extra cash. Try 3 different texts or images aimed at an equal size section of the market e:g: 50 possible candidates in the target market per ad, then run them and test the results and go with what works best. Better to make decisions on what you know works rather than what you think works. Too many decisions of what works in social are based on guesses, data tells the real story. Each of the social channels offer different options and require a different approach:


LinkedIn pay-per-click ad’s are proving very effective, and I think are under rated by many. The ads are usually job ads, although you can also promote community spaces. talent networks or your LinkedIn group. The benefit of this channel is that you can target by geography, employer, job title, skills, keywords, any of the LinkedIn fields. The targeting in this channel is a little more obvious because the data in the profile is all related to work. The other optional feature of LinkedIn PPC advertising that is proving to be very effective is the photo ads that take the profile picture of the target and puts the image in the ad, under the heading “picture yourself here.” I think the association of the personal picture associated with the job makes these ads really stand out, and makes the target candidate really consider themselves working with you. If you do go down the route of LinkedIn PPC, you need to include the “apply with LinkedIn” button at the end of it, or a social sign in that uses LinkedIn data for a one click registration. It’s logical that when candidates come to you from any of the channels, they are going to want to use the data from the attraction channel to apply. The other benefit is that when you place the ad, you get shown 26 profiles that match the job based on location, skills and keywords. LinkedIn is clearly getting better at matching, and you might find who you want in this list before you start advertising.


Facebook is the life channel that has the largest population of users, and the widest range of people. Advertising in the channel is less obvious than a professional network like LinkedIn, where you can target on professional information. What I’ve found on Facebook is that advertising fan pages work, but advertising jobs is a lot less effective. I would advise building an active fan page first, and adding an application for seeing, sharing and applying for jobs.Your fan page will work best when the name of the page (with the exception of graduate recruiting) is not careers or jobs. No passive job seeker or the curious want to be seen liking or commenting on content on a page that points them out as a job seeker. The campaigns I’ve been involved in show that candidates coming from Facebook need to stay within Facebook when applying. You lose an average of 35% of applicants when you push them to an ATS, and an additional 30% within the ATS who never complete. The desperate stay with it but the good tend to disappear. Make application simple and quick, and remember that the majority of applicants coming this way will be coming from mobile. This means a mobile application process is essential. In my last post I reported how over 50% of the traffic on Facebook career application BranchOut comes from mobile, and how the real hike in  sign ups came when they made inviting and sign up simple by mobile. If ever you needed the evidence of the importance of mobile, this is it. The new time line for brand pages will also enhance this. Historically the application tabs weren’t visible on mobile, but the new layout positions 2 apps in larger buttons at the top of the page. Positioning the job app at the top of the page, together with the mobile accessibility and the whole timeline design, will increase the effectiveness of Facebook as a recruiting channel significantly. Watch this space! PPC ads can be targeted against interests, location, education, fans of pages etc. If you have never considered the channel before, check your target audience size by clicking the place an ad button on your profile. Set up a dummy ad, which will take you through to the targeting section. Test different combinations to identify target audience size, and think copy variation to entice the audience to click-through. It’s worth remembering that ads are the most liked and shared content on Facebook, and that linking ad’s to a Facebook destination, rather than an external site reduces the cost by at least 65%.


This might not be your first thought when considering a PPC campaign, but the introduction of sponsored tweets last year has changed this considerably. It’s proving to be the cheapest of the channels, with the highest apply and click-through rate. Sponsored tweets benefit from being promoted to the top of a search stream for anyone searching for related content or jobs, and lots of people use twitter as a search channel, (something that gets often overlooked.) You can also position ads against hashtags for industry events and chats that will attract your target audience. Twitter attracts browsers who are passing through the stream and get attracted by headlines.

When you’re considering text, it’s worth remembering to include hashtags that include location, principle skill and the word jobs. 8 x more people search twitter for jobs rather than job, one letter makes a big difference. I can’t explain the logic, but tweets with links in the middle of the text are 5 x more likely to be opened than links at the end. As with all PPC advertising, because you are paying for clicks, it’s worth running 3 different tweets to test what works best before committing to one ad. Tweets also get sent to the timeline of users with matching bios or a history of posting relevant tweets. As with all twitter recruiting, remember the geek words. Thats those words that are unique to a discipline, but identify the users as doing the job. Targeting through geek words in bios or content reaches a very relevent audience.

My experience with twitter is that you will attract a greater level of click-throughs, with less applications and efficiency, but the volume makes it well worth considering, particularly when you are trying to populate a talent community or network. Click troughs should go direct to a single job page, with a twitter style blue cloud background. This gives the feeling of still being in twitter, with a simple CV upload or apply with LinkedIn button. like Facebook, a lot of traffic is going to be coming via mobile, so the process needs to work easily with mobile job seekers.

PPC is an essential part of your social recruiting effort, supported by a simple application process, mobile friendly, and a social presence to provide extra content and attraction. Good luck in your efforts and let me know what works best for you.




Skills are the new currency at BraveNewTalent.

There’s a new world of work coming. There’s no doubt that work is moving to the contingent model, with people bringing in skills for the short-term, completing projects and moving on. Jobs have changed, and so have their requirments. The skills an employer needs now, they won’t need in the future. The shift to the knowledge sector has created a recruiting problem. New types of work are creating new functions in organisations. When sourcing in the past, recruiters looked searched for job titles, and people who had done similar jobs for competitor companies, using number of years in the role as a differentiator between one candidate and another.

Here is the problem. Many of the roles being recruited for now didnt exist even 18 months ago. The shift to the knowledge economy has changed that, and outside of the knowledge sector, it’s been a jobless recovery. Even the jobs that have remained have added new skill requirements, that were not forecast by education, creating an acute skills shortage. What does all this mean moving forward?

Skills are becoming the new currency. The difference between a contingent workforce, and a permanent workforce is that new hires need all the skills required in the job now, rather than the potential to develop in the future. There’s also less concern for long term fit. Work is temporary and immediate. This changes the requirements on both sides. Hiring will become less about fit, potential and experience, and more about current capability. in this environment, skills are the new currency for people to market in the quest for employment.

Yesterday I got to get a look at the new developments on community platform Brave New Talent, and to talk about where the product is going. I know it has taken a few years for the platform to take shape, but last years investment has seen founder Lucian Tarnowski going on a hiring spree, concentrating on developers and programmers to build in new functions. I think the product still has a way to go before it’s fully finished, but I like the thinking behind the way they are going, and I think it is worth getting on-board with now.

Last weeks update introduced skills on profiles, both for members and companies. Profiles are built on skills, using a slider for self ranking, and peer ranking is coming, to make it even more valuable. The feature I really like about  Monsters beknown, is that recommendations are for skills rather than personal opinion on job performance. This is much more relevent from the love fest that is LinkedIn recommendations. It’s good to see Brave New Talent looking to develop this further.

The useful bit in Brave New Talent is the matching of people and employers by skills. Companies are recommended to individuals to follow based on the skills match, and their past hiring. People who work for this company have these skills, and this company have recruited for these skills in the past, while recommending follows to companies based on the same criteria. Following and connecting works both ways, between companies and people, and people and profiles.

The next phase for the skills feature is developing skills communities with real community features, that enable members to connect and communicate with each other, based on their skills. This way, micro-communities will be able to exchange information, advice, help each other or just connect. It remains to be seen how these skills communities will develop, and what shape they will take, but it is an interesting concept to watch evolve. Similar to Google+ circles, grouping people and filtering content according to relevance, recommendation or targeted sharing makes a lot of sense. It also enables employers to take an active part, concentrating on those skills communities with the most relevance to them, tailoring their employer brand message to audience. Relevance of audience and message being the all important thing here, determined by skills.

BraveNewTalent are trying to position themselves as the Talented Network. It might seem like playing on semantics, but whilst not everyone wants to be labeled as talent, they have no objection to being ranked as talented. Skills communities and networks are not for everyone, or every employer, just those who fit the criteria. My definition of skilled is talented, making the skills profiles the perfect place to start.

Profiles on BraveNewTalent are free for employers and candidates. You should go and have a look at what has changed, and keep track of the new features as they evolve over the next few months. They are all about skills, skills communities, skills connections and skills profiles, perfect for the new world of work. Having been featured as the lead story on TechCrunch on Friday, following Tarnowskis talk at Davos, all eyes are on the platform to see what is coming next from the Talented Network.





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

Hard Rock Firenze Wins Award For #SocialRecruiting

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

Alison McCue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Hard Rock Firenze




Guest Post: David Walliams Social Community – Elkie Holland

Source: Indepependent.co.uk

It’s been amazing to watch David Walliams swim the Thames in aid of international charity sports relief. As much as his physical feat has been awe-inspiring, it’s also been incredible to see how people have used social to connect, follow his progress and ultimately raise money for the cause.
Whether it has been following his progress on twitter via a hashtag, leaving words of encouragement on Facebook or donating via a dedicated page, people felt a part of it much more than watching from the side-lines on TV.
Listening to the post event interviews, Walliams has commented on how surprised he was by the number of people who turned out on the river banks, swam in the river, partied in riverside houses and gave their support, as well as the speed at which they gave money, and the amounts at which they gave.
It is another real example of the reach and power of the social channels to mobilise people behind a cause that they want to be a part of. Nobody formally tells people where to be or when, they tell each other and the crowd gets swept up and joins in. Because people have access, they can take part.
This is my video of my day on the river cheering on David Walliams:

David’s epic swim has done a number of things

Looking at the things he has had to overcome (aside from a very long swim.)

  • The aches and pains of swimming from Lechlade in Gloucestershire to the edge of London
  • Battled diarrhoea, vomiting and low energy levels from “Thames tummy”.
  • Struggled with a painful rash where his wetsuit has rubbed his neck
  • Rescued a dog – Cookham Lock in Berkshire
  • Walliams’s wife, model Lara Stone, had to be  from a support boat which became stuck due to the movement of the tide yesterday. She had to be picked up by a boat operated by challenge sponsor BT .

Walliam’s finished the epic swim at Westminster Bridge yesterday  and so far has raised over £1 million. He has also made a lot of people smile in difficult times.

Walliams, 40, said of the support he has received: “I never expected this to catch the public’s imagination like it has – there seems to have been a real carnival atmosphere around. It which is lovely.”

What’s he done ?

David Walliams has done a lot:

He’s raised over £1 million for Sport Relief. He anticipated raising £200k!

He’s created a fantastic buzz and united people in his efforts by giving them something to take part in. Everyone taking part in the streams, sharing his news, progress and updates or adding words of support, had an opportunity to touch and share in his awesomeness. Everything had all the component parts of a real “community” where those involved could contribute by donating their own reach and networks to the cause.

With a very simple call to action, asking people to donate to the cause, there’s a simple end result. The message gets spread and people feel inspired to give. People gave because they got the message, shared in the exploit and most importantly, had a very easy way of doing so. All social needs a simple call to action.

On my part, I’m  humbled  to have witnessed part of David’s epic swim and to have cheered him on, hung out of a tree paparazzi style to take pictures, and paddled alongside him in a kayak. It’s been a lot of fun, and great to be a part of this community.

Walliams made the effort and a great effort that was, and the people, enabled by social took it to a whole new dimension.

(Oh: and Walliams klout went from 36 – 53 over the last week!)

You can find out about Sports Relief and donate HERE

Facebook, Twitter and Blackberry Messenger used to summon mobs (the headline you won't read!)

The suggested solution. Not mine!

It has now been proven that social media channels, particularly twitter, Facebook and Blackberry messenger has been used to spread messages summoning mobs to hot spots around England. Some of these mobs included youths, some even wearing hoods. Facebook groups and hashtags have sprung up across all these social channels encouraging these mobs, fully tooled up with hammers, brooms, spades and other implements to gather in fixed places at fixed times for the purpose of wreaking havoc. Havoc on the mess left behind, and to stick 2 fingers up at those who caused the destruction.
This is a small selection of the 1000′s of tweets that have been sent:



From the FaceBook Group Post riot clean-up: let’s help London which has gained 18,000+ fans in 36 hours:

“Any Clean Ups Happening In West London, Ealing? Please Let Me Know ASAP. Thank You.”

“Once the embarrassing rioting has ended in London let’s all show the world what we’re really about by helping rebuild and clean up so it is better than it was before. Invite all of your friends! Let’s see if we can get London looking like a new city by the end of the week”

“Any clean-ups anywhere near Muswell Hill going on tomorrow?”

“Is there anything happening in Ealing at the weekend for the clean up effort?”

“@cleantottenham on Twitter tells me that help is needed to handout fliers to commuters at Silver St train station in the morning if anyone can assist with that…?”

” clean as, and quiet. Glad to see you have reclaimed it! It’s our London and across the city we applaud for the efforts and bravery shown today. x”

“Clapham Junction saw some scary looting last night. .What was great today though was about 200 locals with brooms all waiting to help clear up and reclaim the streets. When the last fire engine pulled off there was a big cheer of thanks with lots of brooms being waving in the air.”

A few pictures i’d like to see on the frount pages in the morning!

And on YouTube, a little creativity!

And the video story of the “cleaners” in action. You can see both the devestation, climate and the real spirit in this video:

My last hat tip goes to one of my Facebook friends Stuart Gibson who left this messageagainst a picture I shared:

“We were there. We raised our brooms with hundreds of others. We even did Mexican waves with brooms. Finally, we were able to help council workers clear up the damage. It was very moving.”

Good job Stuart and everyone involved. This is as much a part of the social media story as the part Twitter etc played in the riots. Please share these story’s.

Sorry for moving away from my usual recruiting/social media posts, but I felt a strong desire to share this social media story of good! Business as usual tomorrow!


Lets Make Movies! A #HardRock Story!

It's all you need!

I was checking in on some of my usual fan pages.just looking at the content that makes a real community, rather than a notice board, when I came across this video short promoting a whole new low-budget movie that is in production. so low in fact,the budget was £0!

The movie is called “What would Ridley do?” . Inspired by a statement from Ridley Scott about just going out and shooting movies, Fergus Johnson has done just that.He has set up a fan page and a YouTube channel under the name of DigitalGuerillas. I love the whole concept of a no budget social adventure.
You don’t need big budgets, design agencies or anything else to produce something that is both good, and viral in message.

This is the trailer.

I’ve actually met Fergus. He won’t remember me but I remember him because he is a server at Hard Rock London and he served my table when I visited with my kids not so long ago. I remember Fergus because of the time he took with my children talking and showing them a few special bits of memorabilia, and as we say in social, what goes around, comes around.

On the subject of Hard Rock.I’mgoing to be running the blog squad for Hard Rock Calling in Hyde Park on the 24′th -26′th June. I don’t mind admitting that I have got quite giddy about this one, with performances from a host of great acts from Bon Jovi,Rod Stewart, The Killers, Jamesand many more.There’s also going to be 40,000 people in the park celebrating over the 3 days.

My plan for the blog squad is simple. There’s going to be plenty of coverage for the artists, it’s the people and their experiences that really interest me.They are the ones with the real story. That means 300+ pictures, audio-boo or video, all tagged and posted on Facebook for each blogger. 300 stories. 300 emotions, all coming together in one place.

With each Facebook user averaging 135 fans, that’s a massive potential reach for photo’s, with every picture telling a story. you can do your own maths as to the brand coverage. I take my lead from the DigitalGuerillas, with a camera and imagination, anything is possible!

As an added extra, to mark 4 years of Hard Rock in London, the team will be giving away 40 free tickets to Hard Rock Calling, as well as plenty of other cool prizes. The prizes will be given away from various London locations, announced over the next 10 days on the twitter account @HardRock or via the Hard Rock Calling page on 4Square. Checkit out and follow the instructions, this really is going to be a ball!

With social,anything is possible if you use your imagination, your content can take you anywhere. Let your content tell your story!


PS: Here is Ridley’s movie that inspired the story

Don’t let the blog snobs stop you doing anything by making you wait for awesome or excellent! just do it!


DigitalGuerillas Fan Page (please like it!)

HardRock On Twitter

Hard Rock Calling On FourSquare

Hard Rock Calling