Social media

Agency recruiters and #socialrecruiting

I was recently asked to contribute to an e-book aimed at third party recruiting firms. I will share the links when the book becomes available. but in the meantime, this is an exert on my thoughts on some of the challenges the recruitment industry faces from corporate recruiting to technology adoption.

Agency recruiters and social-media.

The recruitment agency market in the UK is facing its toughest period of completion, with the challenge coming on 3 fronts: Direct sourcing, data and candidate demands.
Social media makes direct sourcing a logical choice for many corporates. In the past agencies have been able to retain a strong position because they have been the default source of hire for most companies. HR depts. Have lacked both the time and expertise to source the best talent, so agencies became the natural choice. Over the last few years we have seen more businesses appointing talent acquisition teams set up, with many of the practioners switching sides from recruitment companies and bringing their expertise in house.
It is easy to assume that this is all about cost saving, and whilst there is some merit in this, with companies like Riccoh and Oracle claiming to have reduced spend by up to £3Mn in one year, I believe the real reason is closer to greater efficiency and employer branding. Corporate companies are now looking to employees to be their brand advocates through social media activities like blogging, video etc. in on-line places like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. LinkedIn in particular have simplified the process of identifying talent and making approaches. The recruiter products are geared to corporate recruiters, with extra features and capability that is not available in the agency recruiter versions. The smoke and mirrors of locating talent is fast disappearing, taking away some of the agency recruiters competitive advantage. Having names and details of people in a database is no longer a real benefit. When everyone has a social footprint. People are easy to locate. Agency’s need to be thinking about what corporate businesses are willing to pay for and it is about value. This means recruiters need to be able to offer more than a CV service. They will pay for expertise, advice and relationships with hard to find candidates in niche areas. Recruiters need to invest time and resource in to building and maintaining these relationships ahead of requirement. It’s a big shift from the current transactional model.
Corporate companies feel that only they can sell their employer brand and tell their story. They are also leveraging social referrals and employee generated content to drive the pipeline of applications. Other businesses are looking to technology to develop talent communities and talent networks to profile and engage with potential candidates for now and in the future. Recruiting is moving from the need now transactional model to one that is more about relationships built over time. Looking in to the not too distant future it is conceivable that anyone will have access to profiles to anybody. The big closed database that used to be the biggest selling point for agencies is rapidly decreasing in value.
In terms of employer brand, an increasing number of businesses who are not yet ready yet to take on all of their own sourcing and recruiting are looking to RPO as a half-way house solution. This is less about “rent-a-recruiter”, and is more about combining recruitment expertise with employer brand and the story of work. This presents some opportunity for either those agencies that currently offer an RPO solution or have the capability to develop this service. Genuine recruiting partnerships means their work story becomes your work story, and gives agencies the opportunity to stay involved.
As previously mentioned, the big challenge is really around data. In the past, a recruitment businesses value was built around the data they “owned” and controlled. The size of database and information held by the business was a big factor, and agencies inevitably fought to store and protect everything. Today, there is no value in data itself. The real value for investment purposes is a businesses capability to interpret and use data. Much of the data held in a traditional data-base becomes out of date on the day it is submitted. A CV is only relevant for a short space of time. LinkedIn is becoming the professional reference point for people. This is increasingly stretching well beyond recruiting. When someone calls you or you meet somebody new, the first place you look is their LinkedIn profile. It used to be Google, now it’s LinkedIn. The result of this is that a LinkedIn profile is fast becoming the most up to date career and skills record of a person, it’s current and updated in real time. This means that there is no need to keep the data, only the location of the data. What is important is how you organise access and tag the data for retrieval. Tagging is everything for searching and sourcing. It is about information retrieval rather than information storage. The traditional recruitment databases will need to play catch up with this, and recruiters will need to catch up and facilitate this.
Recent research conducted by the Evenbase Group, which includes brands like Jobsite, Broadbean and Jobrapido shows that the wants from candidates are almost the opposite of the wants from recruiters. The biggest divide is over mobile compatability. Traffic to job boards and career sites is increasing significantly month on month, yet the demand for mobile capability from recruiters is negligible. This highlights the gap between the thinking of job seekers and recruiters. Recruitment companies should be reviewing their mobile capability now and ensuring that candidates can access content, browse jobs, sign up and apply with any device. Mobile is not a luxury; it is fast becoming a necessity.
These are my thoughts on the near future. In order to compete with corporate brands for in demand talent, agencies are going to have to learn to engage in the places that candidates want to. This means adopting new skills and investing time in relationships. Recruiters are well equipped to make this shift, the next step is recognising the need and building the foundations.

Just my thoughts, love to hear yours,


Hanging Out With Bullhorn. The Future Of #SocialRecruiting

I’m going to be taking part in a hang out chat on Google+ with Steven Duque, Bullhorns social media evangelist. We decided to go with a hangout because we want the conversations to be informal, rehearsed and a genuine conversation. The feature we are going to be using is Google+ Air that was launched in May. I think this is a brilliant feature for recruiters because you have plenty of control (through a mini-studio) over the image, who gets highlighted, the camera angles, lighting etc. You can broadcast direct on to your Google+ page, promote the “show” as on air, capture and record to YouTube etc, as well as sharing invites through all the social channels. The other really neat feature of Air is that you can embed a view widget on any web space. I’m looking forward to giving this tech a live run after having had plenty of practice, and it is free to use.

The topic of the chat is “The future of social recruiting”. I have a few views on the topic, but we are talking future not present or past. I have plenty of ideas that I want to share.
One of my big thoughts is that we will are moving from an “apply for” transactional model to a “talk to” model. that is relationship/engagement based. There is no need to apply for jobs any more, simply express interest. If the recruiters can see who is interested and evaluate them accordingly then they can direct the potential candidates in the right direction. Thats got to be good for recruiters and improve the candidate experience all around.

I’m going to be joining the hang out from #truAmsterdam on the 21′st June at 11.00am EST/4.00 PM GMT, so you can expect a few surprise guests to join the conversation. You can view the hangout on a specially built landing page on the Bullhorn Reach blog. Bullhorn Reach will  be sponsoring #TruAmsterdam again as well as hosting the hang out. I’m a bigfan of the reach product and it is great to be associated with the business.

It has been a big week at Bullhorn. This week the Boston based business announced that they have been acquired by Vista Equity Partners for just short of $100Mn.Founder Art Papas is staying at the helm of the business with the management team staying in place. The investment will enable Bullhorn to push on with some exciting developments on both their CRM and Reach products. This is great news given what they have already achieved. They work exclusively in the recruitment sector,  offering a pure SAAS solution.

Vista already have over $33.6bn invested in SAAS companies, and it is going to be interesting to see how the various parts might fit together in areas like research and development. It’s going to be exciting watching. Congratulations to Art and all the team. I look forward to hanging out. See you there.




Twitter trends just got personal

There’s a new feature on twitter that I think is quite neat. On the twitter screen you can access trends by clicking on the #discover tab. Before Wednesday this gave you the global trends from twitter. You got to see the tweets, links, videos and pictures that were being most shared. This was quite interesting for amusement, but had little real value other than curiosity. You can usually predict what is going to be trending globally by what gets featured in the news or current affairs.This week that all changed.
Twitter have switched trends to a personalised version based on your location and your own following and followers. This is a really useful feature for recruiters in my opinion, because it makes it easy to stay current, and to join topical conversations.  This is also a great way to identify who is influencing or starting the trends, as the most shared are listed at the top of the list as the top tweets. With trends being based on your personal network, you can see what events or twitter chats are attracting your target audience.

I’ve blogged in the past about setting up different accounts according to the disciplines you hire for by searching for geek words in either Twitter search or SocialBro and following the people you find, and sharing targeted content on these accounts. The added benefit of doing this now is that you can also pick up the trends and popular content in your target market. This also means you can spot and share the content that you know is already appealing to your target audience, and this is going to bring following.

Twitter understand that you may not want this new feature, so they have given the option to reset the default to global trends, or to toggle between the two, all you need to do is click on the change tab. This is another reason I’m moving from Tweetdeck and back to I get all the features I need in the one place.



The church of the holy tweeters featuring @RevRichardColes

Rectors, priests and vicars are really recruiters in cassocks. Their job (among other things) is to spread a brand or a message, and engage with what is largely a passive population, and recruit them in some way in to the flock. I’m not a religious person, but then I’m also not unreligous .Probably best described as agnostic, I use my church when I need it for weddings (once), christenings and funerals. I don’t belong to any particular church. i don’t not believe, I just haven’t found any one religion to commit to fully. I’m a passive candidate.

I have found myself getting more interested in the conversations the church are having in the UK though because I’ve started following @RevRichardColes. I can’t see myself being born again or anything like that, but I have become aware of the conversation and I have even joined in a few times. I will do this on Twitter or Facebook, though I wouldn’t see myself going in to a church to have the conversation.

The Reverend Richard Coles came up on my radar  when he was appointed Vicar of Finedon Parish about eighteen months ago. Finedon is a reasonably sleepy Northamptonshire town. My wife’s family come from there. It’s very English with antique and book shops, a few pubs and a cricket team. They had the same, traditional Vicar for many years. When en Richard Coles was appointed I was quite surprised. In a former life he had been a pop star with the band The Communards and is openly gay. Someone, somewhere made a brave decision to appoint him and shake things up a bit.It takes brave decisions to do something different.

The Communards

Normally this wouldn’t  have been enough to attract more than my curious attention but the Rev had a twitter account and was engaging with a few people i know. I thought he was worth a follow to see what he was all about. a few months ago I decided to pay closer attention to what he was tweeting about because his following had grown to over 17,000 whilst following only 500, and 1,740 friends on Facebook. What i found was very interesting.

Breaking down his following (or virtual flock), they are a real mix from local parishioners,those who have religious leanings and then the biggest section, the curiously interested. When you analyze his content it is almost a text-book corporate account. His tweets are about 10% business, parish affairs, saint of the day etc, 10% local news about his parish, 10% personal views and comments like train journeys etc and most importantly, 70% @ replies. The Rev replies to messages, and this makes him accessible to the vaguely curious. I don’t know how many people attend his church each Sunday, but I’m guessing it is less than 10% of those he reaches with his tweets.

Source: BBC

Today the Rev has been very busy because the Church Of England have made statements relating to gay marriage. Theres been a lot of people joining the conversation because of his tweets. Yesterday he was very busy because his saint of the day  featured a saint who stamped on the head of a pigeon who was really the devil. It is a fun and informative account to follow. Interestingly, he doesn’t feel the need to print a disclaimer that his content represents his own views and not necessarily those of God, his ultimate employer.

I wanted to highlight what the rev is achieving because he has managed to reach a wide and diverse audience. Should I ever have need for any religious guidance he would be my go to man because we are connected. I feel a part of his extended virtual community. I think institutions, companies, groups, politicians etc can learn a lot from looking at personalities like this who are becoming the “go to guy” to such a wide audience and learn from it. If all he did was tweet links to sermons, there wouldn’t be much of a following! The lesson, if you want to reach people talk to them and be reachable in the places they go.

Hats off to the Rev, and keep up the good work. If I ever need your help, I’ll tweet you. Here endeth the lesson.


The Rev Richard Coles (Wikipedia)

A very modern Vicar

RevRichardColes on Twitter

The Evenbase Quarterly Recruitment Review: My Thoughts

I’ve just received the Spring edition of the Quarterly Recruitment Review from Evenbase. I always value this research because it is conducted independently by HPI Research, who conduct on-line surveys of 500 job seekers and 200 decision makers within corporate companies. I have found this research to offer a very good reflection of the market in the past. It’s a valuable read that anyone in the sector should look out for. The research was conducted during January and February 2012.

My first observation is that the branding has switched from Jobsite to Evenbase, reflecting the new group. I would have liked to know a little more about how the job seekers and decision makers are sourced, because this will impact on the data. It’s fair to assume that they are users of Jobsite, and as such will be job board orientated in their method of job search or hiring,. If you conducted similar research about shopping habits, by questioning the users of on-line stores, you would get a definite leaning towards on-line retail, I don;t see this research as any different, and have considered this factor in my thinking. Using samples from job board candidates will also be skewed to active job seekers who are already in the job search and using job boards. Passive candidates are less likely to be attracted to job boards and will need a different approach, and their views may not be represented in this research. This is only my assumption, contradicted by the research which lists 52% of respondents as passive. It may be that I determine a passive candidate in a different way, being a person who has not made any job seeking effort, including uploading a CV.

Despite these considerations, the trends between one report and the last makes for interesting reading. and give a great insight in to what is happening Thin this section of the market, and should be reflected in your recruiting strategy.

The following are my thoughts and interpretation of the data and hiring trends, which may vary from the findings of the report. I recommend you download the report (its free), and draw your own conclusions. Thanks again to Evenbase for openly sharing this data.

Jobs for the quarter

Reflecting the market, the average jobs open reported by the companies surveyed fell from 7.87 in the last survey to 5.74 in this quarter, a drop of 27%, with jobs advertised on-line dropping by 25% in what is traditionally the busiest period for hiring. This reflects the depressed state of the market at the moment, with unemployment in the UK at its highest level for 16 years, with over 8% of the workforce out of work, and 22% of 16 – 22 year olds being out of work.

Job search methods 

The big headline was the drop in the use of social media by jobseekers, which dropped 10% from the last quarter from 45% to 35%. I think an explanation for this might be what jobseekers regard as social media and job search. I think that they may be referring to the channels they use to search for jobs and apply, rather than following and searching for company content in social channels. Job boards have one real purpose for job seekers, to find and apply for jobs, where as social places are about much more than that. It may mean that active or unemployed jobseekers are looking to the direct route for opportunities by going to job boards in increasing frequency, where as passive candidates are being reached in the social channels. Another explanation for this result might be that Facebook and Twitter in particular has become an integral part of life. Jobseekers come across opportunities and employer branding content without  consciously searching for it. On LinkedIn, approaches and jobs are likely to come directly from recruiters, recommendations or shares. It may be that jobseekers no longer feel the need to proactively search, when opportunities come to them based on their profile.

Interestingly, companies reported a slight increase in the use of social networking, although they also recorded a much greater reliance on personal networks for hiring. Personal networks are closely linked to social networks, in particular LinkedIn.

The number of candidates sending speculative CV’s direct to companies rose by  9%. Most corporate companies do not have a process for managing speculative applications resulting in good potential candidates falling through the cracks, with the applications falling through the cracks. This result indicates that now more than ever it is important to set up a process for connecting with people who are interested in you as a company, but have no specific job to apply for. I have seen career sites that offer 2 channels for applications, one going to the jobs open and a specific mailbox or talent network for connecting speculative candidates with companies they want to work for, with recruiters to review these applications as they come in. This also highlights the need for social employer branding content and culture, as well as career sites that create the desire for speculative applications to organisations.

Job Board Use

The number of jobseekers using 2 – 5  job boards rose by 14% to 63%, and the number using more than 5 boards almost halved to 8%, the gain fairly evenly split between those who have decided to increase opportunities by using more than 1 board, where as at the`other end of the scale candidates who have been using more than 5 are failing to see a benefit to this approach, possibly as a result of seeing the same jobs multiple times.

Employers by contrast are taking a different approach, with 69% of employers using only one board to advertise opportunities.This may be because employers have less to advertise, or because they are interested in generating less, but more specific response. Use of agencies by recruiting companies has fallen by 6% again to . I would expect this trend to continue as an increasing number of corporate companies look to bring recruiting in-house.

The inside information. 

Probably the most useful data that comes out of the report comes from Jobsite themselves because this can not be disputed and is less opinion based. The first of the headlines is that job seekers are notably returning to browsing jobs, spending more time looking. After a decline, this is back to normal levels, perhaps indicating that more people are starting to consider their options regardless of the economic conditions.

Candidates are looking for more information on companies beyond job descriptions, up from 36% to 45%. This highlights the need for social places and social features on the career site that give access to more information, and let job seekers see inside an organisation. It is likely that job seekers looking for additional or background information will go to Google to search for it. What you need to consider is what will come up in a search, and where the potential will land. The landing page needs simple navigation and content in mixed formats including video, pictures and text.

The report speculates that this, combined with the 5% increase from job seekers looking for more industry information could indicate that job seekers are looking to appear to be more informed, particularly given the increase in speculative C.V.’s being sent to employers. My own view is that this reflects the trend I’m seeing for job seekers to see more culture content in order to choose where they want to work.

Using Barclay’s Future Leaders data, visitors looked at more content and spent more time on individual pages, with visitor numbers significantly up. The result of looking at more content actually resulted in a decrease in applications. This is not a bad thing, as this has been marked by a significant increase in the efficiency of applications to interviews and interviews to hires. Potential candidates are looking for more information on culture, values and environment, and are more likely to opt out than opt in. This is being reflected in the data from this research, and shows why additional information sources are more important than ever.

The Mobile Surprise

Probably the most surprising data coming out of the research is that mobile compatibility as a feature when choosing job boards has decreased for the second month running, despite what you might read from other commentators. The reason for this could be that the mobile experience when                  leaving the job board and applying in to a company career page is poor, meaning job seekers are not seeing this as a viable option when applying for jobs, and as a result rank mobile low in their list of needs. This is made more surprising given the up lift in visiting accessing the job boards themselves by mobile. My suspicion is that as more companies improve their own mobile capability, then the link with job boards will become more important  as a feature of choice, at the moment, as most companies simply do not cater for mobile applications, the last thing companies want is candidates hitting a wall once they leave the job board environment.

Changing Recruiter Focus.

It is interesting to note that recruiters are continuing to change from passive “post and wait” sourcing and taking a proactive targeted approach to sourcing. This is evidenced by the fact that daily CV e-mail requests are down by a massive 50%, whilst access to the CV database is for search by recruiters is significantly up. I see this as reflecting a desire by recruiters to find candidates themselves, with less reliance on the candidates to determine what is the right fit. This way recruiters can set their own search parameters and change them as required. They can also target only the candidates who meet their requirements, controlling the suitability of applicants. The recruiters clearly see the job board CV database as more useful to them than other channels because people have indicated they are looking by placing their CV on a job board database. I see this trend continuing, with recruiters choosing to devote their time approaching people who fit their requirements and taking a targeted approach to those active job seekers who match their jobs. They have retained confidence in the job boards attracting talent, without wanting to spend time on response that doesn’t fit.


The interesting thing about these reports is the difference between the approach taken by job seekers to get hired, and the approach taken by recruiters to hire. This has long been the pattern, with job seekers adopting one course of action, and by the time the recruiters catch on and adjust, the job seekers change again. Recruiters need to attract talent in the way they want to be approached, rather than second guessing. Recruiters are relying on less job boards, (usually one), whilst job seekers are using more to find opportunities. the recruiters are more focussed on active CV search rather than passively advertising and waiting. Whilst mobile is not important to recruiters right now, this will change as other processes fall in line by necessity and demand. I think the 10% drop in social media use by job seekers reflects the full integration of social in to life.Having a LinkedIn profile, belonging to a group or visiting a fan page with career options or clicking a job link on twitter is no longer seen as conscious job seeking and searching, hence the result. The increased use of personal networks by recruiters, and the desire for more company and industry information all points to the important part social plays in job seeking and talent attraction. What is abundantly clear is that job boards, and more specifically the accompanying CV database play a key part in recruiting and job seeking.

Thanks again Evenbase for sharing this data. You can download it HERE

A recruiting manifesto #truEurope

this document is not my original thought, though I concur with much of the thinking. This is a manifesto from Bjorn veestra, the founder of Employer brand Insights, prior to his track at #truEurope, in a bit of a Jerry McGuire moment. Enjoy and comment,

MANIFESTO – #trueurope
‘The future of labour: The Talent Stock Exchange’

Brussel, 19 april 2012

join the conversation at #trueurope

Author manifesto and track leader: @bjornveenstra
Founder: and Employer Brand Insights

The labour market’s landscape is changing at a fast pace.
We observe a strong urge among university and college graduates for personal freedom and the ability to engage in entrepreneurial activity on an independent basis. Ask ten higher educated starters or professionals how they perceive their future role in the labour market and expect over half of them to reply that they are aiming to work independently at some point in time in their professional life.

Personally, I am convinced that within the next five years, this landscape will depict a fundamental shift from ‘work agreements’ to ‘talent contracts’. Within ten years there will be a new world in which every individual is marketing his or her own talents and skills either independently or through an organized format.

Talent contract©
Talent contracts will be known for its flexible attitude towards duration, be it extremely short-term (hours, days, weeks) or longer term (months, years). It will be directly connected to the talent and knowledge that needs to be delivered on, scarcity of talent and skill determine the tariff and the talent-contractor carries the risk. Nothing I’ve mentioned so far is new in any way, apart from the fact that it’ll become standard practice.

Talent Stock Exchange©
I firmly belief in action-reaction. Following the above train of thoughts I foresee a movement in which talent groups unite in order to market themselves to employers in an organized manner. Is this the birth of the Talent Stock Exchange? The reversed business model of the major current temporary work agencies, where talent unifies and markets itself. Employers can in turn perhaps also take part in this Talent Stock Exchange.

No matter how you put it, this is an interesting question because the role of the employer brand (as an integral part of brand-management) will only increase in importance. The labour market will be ruled more obviously by the principles of demand and supply due to the pressures of an ageing labour market and an increased degree of flexibility.

Who shall access my talent?
The above mentioned matter is merely functional, and oriented on recruiting talent. An at least equally important fundament of making decisions in terms of employment is determined by the employee: who would you give access to your skills and talent. Research amongst over 5.500 Dutch higher educated (Employer Brand Monitor) has shown that the decision of accepting a task or employer is more and more based on the match between the personal brand and the employer brand. In other words: whom do I want to give access to my talent? Values, norms, culture and archetypes are key in determining the match between the personal DNA and the Employer Brand DNA.

Engage and join the conversation at #trueurope
‘Based on all findings, remarks, opinions, suggestions I will formulate an updated Manifesto on ‘The future of labour: The Talent Stock Exchange’.


Abba – A Recruiter’s Lament

Guest post by Elkie Holland from Prospectus IT Recruitment.

I’m sure we’re all familiar with the lyrics of “Ring Ring”  by Abba from 1973.  Listen to it again now and visualise a Recruiter sitting at their desk having advertised their latest job and waiting for the star candidate to call them.

I (recruiter) sit and wait and wonder about you (quality candidate)
It’s a dark and dreary night
Seems like nothing’s going right
(no placements)
Won’t you tell me how can I go on here without you?
(no quality candidate = no placement)

Yes I’m down and feeling blue
And I don’t know what to do, oh-oh

Ring, ring, why don’t you give me a call?

Is this a sad visualisation or a stark reality or perhaps a prophesy about to come true ?

Well, times have changed dramatically in the recruiting world and if Recruiters don’t change with it, they may well be sitting there singing this song.

You were here and now you’re gone
Hey did I do something wrong?

To be honest, the Recruiter may not have done something wrong, but they certainly aren’t doing things right if they’re still stuck with the mind-set of 1973 i.e. drafting up a nice little advert, placing it in the newspaper or trade magazine and sitting back and waiting for dozens of quality candidates to give them a call to tell them how great they are for their vacancy. 

Now I know 1973 seems a long time ago, and most many reading this won’t have been born then let alone been Recruiting at that time !  However, recruiting was still like this up until not so very long ago, except adverts were placed on the job boards rather than in newspapers or magazines.

Tell me, are we really through?
Won’t you hear me cry and you will know that my heart is breaking

The answer to this is that Recruiters are not finished.  They are still needed.

Yes I’m down and feeling blue
And I don’t know what to do, oh-oh

Recruiters need to adapt and move with the times.  Unless you’ve been hiding under rock, then you’ll have realised that Social Media has arrived and it’s here to stay.   Social Media has turned the Recruiting world on its head.  Recruiters are being forced to ‘hunt’ for quality candidates rather than just rely on ad response and waiting for their phone to ring.

It’s not that quality candidates are all hiding or don’t have phones and never reply to adverts but they are now being approached in a variety of different ways.  Therefore, they don’t always need to hunt vacancies on job boards and respond to adverts.  If a quality candidate has a LinkedIn profile, chances are they get a half a dozen or so In-mails a week starting with  ……. “I hope you don’t mind the approach, but I found your details on LinkedIn and wondered if you would be able to help me/be interested in etc”.    They may also have a Facebook profile and have been sent a personal message, or have been contacted via their Twitter account.  So candidates are being served opportunities in more ways than just traditional advertising from recruitment agencies and direct employers !

Won’t you please understand the need in me
So, ring, ring, why don’t you give me a call?

So, if you’re a Recruiter and you’re just sitting waiting for the star quality candidate to call you, then this song could be your song very soon !   Instead of you lamenting that the candidates “understand the need in you” and that they “call” you,  perhaps you should understand the needs of the candidate and go to them.

1973 was a great place to be a recruiter (and so was 1983, 1993 and 2003) but times have changed and you need to change too.  2012 is still a great time to be a Recruiter but you need to adapt to the exciting changes of the time.

To summarise: 

I am not saying job boards are dead, I am saying that Recruiters are no longer needed.  What I am saying is that Recruiters need to do more and get Social if they wish to avoid adopting the Abba song “Ring Ring” as their Lament  !

Brilliant Content Sharing Tool: Visibli

I’ve been playing around with a new sharing tool that I think has real potential. Like most of these apps, there’s a free version and an enterprise version with added features. I think the free version is a great way to build following and fans by content sharing, and it is very easy to set up and integrate in to your social places. It came to my attention through a link I received in my stream. I opened the post, loved the look of the bar and signed up using my Facebook account. The total set up took no more than 5 minutes. It’s quick, easy, free and very useful.
The engage feature of Visibli comes with the freemium option and is built for sharing content. It’s a link shortener that enables you to add a header to all your shares that can be customised to add all of your social connections with buttons for simple following.
The toolbar I’ve set up is labeled with whatever name or handle you want to add, followed by icons that link to your personal Facebook and/or page, Twitter account, LinkedIn, FourSquare, Flikkr and WordPress blog, as well as adding your picture. It looks great, and encourages people viewing your links to connect with you. Its great but simple branding. You can also add any images with links for customised buttons for anything, Pinterest,Xing, YouTube, anywhere you want to connect.

Visibli operates as a link shortener and for simplicity, integrates in to Tweetdeck or Seismic. You do this by selecting link shortener in settings, select other then add your Visibli key, alternatively you can set the app to replace a shortener by accessing your account and accessing your username and API and adding these to your Visibli account. Any content shared from your usual applications will share them under your customised Visibli bar. It’s brilliantly simple.

If your blog is self-hosted on WordPress you can integrate Visibli in to your shares easily, so that any time anyone shares a post in the usual way, they share your bar. Other customisable features in the freemium version include adding a like button, which means you can get your shares liked and shared including your toolbar, a download button for music or podcasts, mailing list/newsletter sign up, iTunes, free text to link to any web place, Amazon links for publishers (great if you have a book to sell) and Topspin for download documents, pretty much all you need to share all your links every time you share any content, and re-sharing will only push your links further.

I’ve spoken in the past about the benefit of running RSS feeds from other blogs that contain good content in the area you recruit, which helps to attract a targeted following, although this can prove a bit fiddley. Visibli has a very simple way of doing this. You can add an RSS feed for any website or blog direct to any Twitter account. You might choose to do this through your main account or an account set up specifically for this.You don’t need to do anything else, every time a post gets published it is automatically syndicated in to your feed.

Linking a # (hashtag) through Visibli also enables Facebook updates to either your timeline or fanpage on Facebook. The beauty of this is that you can share the content you choose via Twitter, and it gets shared with your personal bar and all your links. For simplicity of sharing any content outside of these channels, add the Visibli bookmark to your toolbars, then its simple drag and drop any time you want to share anything. There’s no reason to ever share anything without the link being shortened through Visibli, or your personal bar.

The last feature that I really like is the analytics, because Visibli shortens and shares the links, everything is trackable, giving you weekly reports and easy to read graphs on real-time clicks for the last 14 days, retweets, clicks on the engagement bar and the URL. You can interrogate each link by referrers (sharers), locations, browsers (including mobile) and engagement bar clicks. This means that you can see what content is working, what attracts followers, friends etc, who your sharers are and plenty more. I think this is brilliant for understanding your content and postings, so that you can develop a real content strategy based on data. Theres even a feature for analyzing any twitter or facebook account by tweets, retweets, engagement per post and engagement per capita (10,000), with the option to compare up to 3 accounts. Good to see how you compare with your competitors. The Visibli social engagement reports give you tailored feedback on who, where and how to target any brands audience, the influencers in your target audience, the best performing keywords and websites and the people who talk about the things that will appeal to your audience. The first reports free on application, so it’s worth getting it to understand your audience.

All the features listed in this post are in the freemium version, and should be where you start. The paid for accounts start at $19 a month for an individual account which gives you the additional features of unlimited time analytics, top categories, timing (so you can see the best times to share) and the top formats. The Business account at $49 a month gives you 3 accounts, Enterprise at $99 a month gives you 9 accounts and the Agency account at $299 a month gives you 30. Not badly priced for the analytics it brings.

For the benefit of Marc Drees, and anyone else wondering, I have no relationship with Visibli, I just think that this app is one of the best I’ve seen for some time. It’s easy to install and use, will promote your brand with every click and share, and most importantly gives you the analytics to understand what is happening with your accounts. You should check it out,


Get Visibli Social Analytics Free

Getting Hacked.A #tru internet cops and robbers story.

An important bit of news. I’m not in Manilla. I haven’t been robbed. You don’t need to send me any money, all is well. I make this announcement because yesterday I had a bit of a surreal experience and got my accounts hacked. All of my e-mail contacts got sent the following message within 2 minutes of the villain gaining access to my e-mail account.

“Just hoping this email reaches you well, I’m sorry for this emergency and for not informing you about my urgent trip to Manila,Philippines but I just have to let you know my present predicament. Everything was fine until I was attacked on my way back to the hotel, I wasn’t hurt but I lost my money, bank cards, mobile phone and my bag in the course of this attack. I immediately contacted my bank in order to block my cards and also made a report at the nearest police station. I’ve been to the embassy and they are helping me with my documentation so i can fly out but I’m urgently in need of some money to pay for my hotel bills and my flight ticket home, will definitely REFUND as soon as back home .”

I made a few school boy errors that made hacking my accounts quite easy, but I wanted to share them with you to prevent the same thing happening to you. I was on Facebook at 2.00pm yesterday when a message popped up to say that I was logged out, and an e-mail on my yahoo account to say that I had requested a password change to my Facebook account. Before I could click the “not me” button the message disappeared and I was unable to log back in to Facebook because my password had changed. I went back to my e-mail and saw all the messages and contacts disappear.
I phoned my internet provider BT who responded quickly by taking control of my screen through remote log-in. Getting access in to my account they were able to identify that my default e-mail had been changed to, and that all of my contacts, and anyone who had e-mailed me had been sent the e-mail, and anyone replying offering to help or questioning the message by e-mail had their reply going direct to the impostor. The message carried some credibility because it was sent from my account and in my e-mail template that others were familiar with. Because I was able to act immediately, this was blocked, the fake Yahoo default closed and they were able to pick up the IP address and location of the offending account. This detail was then forwarded to the police who responded whilst the “data robbery” was in progress, because the location was in London. I’m hoping they can make an arrest in this case, it’s just fortunate that I was live at the time.I await further news.
Whilst this was going on,I was getting a whole stream of tweets either telling me that my e-mail had been hacked or inquiring after my welfare.

I also got a host of calls to authenticate the story and offer help if it was genuine. As I travel quite a lot to different places and I was robbed in Miami, when Facebook friends did come to my rescue, I guess the story was possible. Thanks in particular to Andy Hyatt who was the first to call, and posted on my timeline to warn people who I was not robbed and not in Manilla. In fact I was at home in Earls Barton.
In true social media fashion, once the drama was over the banter followed, including one message from Ryan Leary who posted on Facebook that he had just sent me $20k to rescue me and when was he going to get it back!
I have to say that BT were excellent in responding so quickly and getting me back on track. They are now in the process of restoring all my contacts and e-mails back. As far as I can tell, no one was duped in to sending money, and the police have something to go on. The scum bag gained access by registering an account via Yahoo live messenger, fortunately they did not have time to get beyond Facebook and my Twitter log in uses a different password.
My lesson is to tighten up my security. I had a simple to work out password because it was my children’s names and if you look at any of my social places you can find them and figure it out. Hackers go through your profiles and try things like names, company names etc to guess passwords, and most of us use something familiar as a password to make it easy to remember, and if it’s easy to remember, it’s easy to guess. Better to have different passwords, and something random that includes numbers, and is not referenced anywhere else. Might be hard to remember, but hard to remember is hard to crack. Dates of birth are also vulnerable because they can be found on Facebook. Use something that is not listed anywhere else.
If you are the low life who tried to rob my friends and you’re reading this, I hope you get caught soon, you are leaving a trail, and I’d be glad to give evidence against you. Thanks everyone else for your messages and concern, it reminds me that although we may only be connected on-line, it’s a real community. Button down the hatches, get your security in good order and if you do get a message asking for help, check in another channel before reacting. Apologies to anyone who was inconvenienced by my little adventure. In the words of Vinnie Jones at the end of Lock,Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels, “It’s been emotional.”
I learned about cyber security training courses and plan to attend as I believe there is more I should know about cyber security and its possibilities to protect my personal data.

If you are the one who hacked my accounts, this one is for you:

The Social Relationship Matrix #truStockholm

I’m just back from a great #truStockholm, where I was really impressed with the progress made over the last 12 months by the recruiters involved. At the last #truStockholm, we spent a lot of time talking concept and why adopting social recruiting might be a good idea. This time around, the talk was all around what people were doing, and there’s some great work going on in the region.2/3′ds of the tracks were in Swedish, and that’s great. It shows me that it was very much the locals taking the lead, and like #truParis, that’s how it should be. Whilst I didn’t understand it, the emotion and energy in the conversation didn’t need translating. Thanks to Monster Sverige and Social Honesty for making happen. We are already plotting the next event for September which will involve two countries and a boat in between. Keep your eyes posted!

During the event I ran a track on social relations, and talked about the social matrix I apply. It’s not really rocket science, but it works well for me. Where I’m connected with someone socially gives a good indicator of the strength of our relationship. In simple terms:

Twitter. Where most of my relationships start. Twitter is the intro channel. Follow or following needs no acceptance or invitation. It’s the place where we first say “Hi.” This is where we get acquainted.

LinkedIn. Having exchanged a few tweets and come up on the radar, the LinkedIn invites follow. Were connected. Whilst most of the engagement is on twitter, there’s more of an awareness of the professional profile with some mutual sharing. It’s also the time for adding to Google+ circles, and more mutual sharing. Increasingly, it’s also the time for getting followed on Pinterest.

Facebook. Starting out as a fan, and connecting via the fan page. This might be via the blog or another social place. The Facebook relationship starts as a fan, on a more professional basis with a few likes and shares. The last stage is becoming a friend, and it is the word friend that holds the real significance. This is now a strong relationship, and engagement moves from Twitter to Facebook through comments, likes and shares. Personal contact moves from DM to instant chat on Facebook messaging.

This is not an exact science, but I’ve found it to be quite accurate. The relationship also works backwards. If we become more distant due to a lack of engagement or reason to talk, the channels in which we engage revert backwards to predominantly twitter.

This model provoked quite a lot of conversation about how it can be applied. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts,