SocialRecruiting

Making academics virtual recruiters at the University of Oxford #SRTech

I’m watching Richard Bunkham deliver a keynote about how the university of Oxford are turning line managers in to virtual recruiters. The university recruitment environment has 163 different depts who each have a responsibility for recruiting. They are adopting a candidate centered pproach that helps the candidate to find only the jobs and places that are right.
Richard talks more about jobs, and job distribution rather than content, and this concerns me a bit, but I like the way they are making line managers responsible for their own hiring.
As a University, they make evidence based decisions, and track everything. they are also not afraid of experimentation and research, and that some candidates will want to work in a specific dept, whilst others are interested in the university as a whole. They track where their candidates and employees spend most time on-line and what they are doing. The Zoology dept for example spend most of their time on Facebook, and this was something of a surprise.
The most successful source of hired applicants is the university website, followed by referrals. Word of mouth and social media is responsible for 14% of hires, where as their biggest spend has been on press advertising, this has been one of the least effective sources, and is changing. They are now using the social channels, particularly linkedin, as well as specialist forums like Researchgate and other niche forums.
The Universities approach now is promoting recruitment marketing, rather than press advertising, which is what they have always done. write a dated ad, sit back and wait. Richard uses evidence to prove where the best hires came from, and is slowly changing a machine. They are opening things up and encouraging peer to peer recruiting, plugging in to the competitive nature of academics. All staff had mandatory training in the change in recruiting culture, and their was a big pushback from academics who felt they already knew the best way to do things, the way they had done it for 400 years. come to the end of the year then push publish at the end of term. The budget is zero, which means a bit of creative funding, and pushing hardest for using free channels. The learning points are:

> Hiring managers have the best understanding of what they want. They should be hiring.
> Employees have the most relevant connections. for hire.
> to prove an argument you need data and evidence.
> A supertanker can turn around.

It’s an interesting approach. if the University of Oxford is thinking this way, shouldn’t we all?

Bill

2012/13 Part 3: Semantic matching, learning and some new technology

Happy Sunday. In Part 3 of this series I’m going to take a closer look at what has been happening with semantic matching, and how this impacts on recruiting tech, and a few more thoughts on how social learning is developing.

The social evidence based sourcing platforms I listed in part 2, have been proving their value in the tech sector. This is inevitable because the tech companies have a defined niche, defined communities, the greatest need and the expertise to develop the products. There is no logical reason however, that these technologies can not be applied to any sector for social evidence based sourcing.Expect to see this technology evolving in to other sectors during 2013.

The introduction of LinkedIn endorsements for skills, and there priority in search results is another example of where the thinking is going in this direction. John Sumser summed this up at #TruLondon when he described how the real problem was not a shortage of talent, but rather an inability to find it because of over supply. There is plenty of talent, it’s just not clearly labelled in the way it has been in the past. The only way you found someone with X skill was to hire someone with X qualification.

The problem now is that technology and business is evolving faster than academia, and people are learning skills in an informal way. Think YouTube, Stack Overflow etc. As jobs in the way we know them continue to disappear, and more people move their skills to being cottage industries, working on project rather than employment contract, so formal learning via expensive work based qualifications will disappear. The end result will be more informal learning, and a greater reliance on social recognition and endorsement. It is going to be interesting watching this unfold this year through learning programs like Udemy, which have a social feel, and are easy to edit, update and change as technology changes.

For recruiters, the soon to be launched MySocialTalent,Com is a great example of this, an interactive training platform that can be updated whenever needed. The platform is available on subscription at less than £200 a seat for a year. I know Johnny Campbells style well, and he makes what looks like complicated internet sourcing principles simple. The platform delivers training in bite sized chunks, with plenty of interactive exercises and feedback. The real benefit though is that as the search platforms and social channels change as they do on an on-going basis, the platform gets updated to keep you up to date. It is one of those products I wish I would have developed, and is built on a platform for the future.Expect more of these types of agile learning platforms to be coming to the fore this year, and reject traditional curriculum based learning, which is proving dated.

In terms of innovation, the other companies that have caught my eye are SmallImprovements, who offer an on-line continuous performance management and feedback product in a social way. It is a bit like Rypple for companies outside of the enterprise scale.(That is a compliment.), White Truffle, the intuitive matching platform with an innovative pricing structure, TalentFig, the assesment tool with a simple interface that is amazingly accurate, much better than SHL and other more expensive alternatives currently available in my opinion, and much easier to interpret.. Finnish swarm technology IntuneX that connects people within an organisation by their skills, expertise or interests, and Dutch HR data aggregator Hunite, who use mobile notifications taken from a companies vast array of HR systems to advise employees of essential actions via push notifications. (My description doesn’t really do it justice, but it is very neat.). I’m also watching what happens with Evenbases Jobsite.Com quite closely. This combines job scraping from corporate sites, with an agregator search interface for job seekers, semantic matching technology, and a pay for results pricing model where hiring companies choose to unlock details of applicants who both match and have expressed an interest in the job. My only concern with this is how companies will react to the scraping aspect, but then this has become common practice amongst the agregators.
I expect the agregators like JobRapido (also an Evenbase company by acquisition) and Indeed to continue to grow in popularity, as job seekers are looking for one on-line destination for jobs requiring no real registration, rather than having to go to multiple boards.

Semantic matching tech will also become more mainstream, as people are looking to see only opportunities they match and are interested in, rather than having to search through every opportunity based on key-words, which is time consuming and frustrating. Expect to see semantic matching and single job presenting as a feature of career sites over the coming year. Why show people jobs they are not suited for? It makes no sense for anyone, and this will solve it, preventing people from being tempted in to applying for jobs they won’t even get an interview for.
On the subject of semantic matching, I’m also expecting to hear a lot more about Monster’s SeeMore and 6sense technologies. Monster have partnered with the Department Of Work And Pensions to power the on-line presence for JobCentre+. It is going to be really interesting to see how this technology works on this scale, for the wide range of people who are claiming benefit or looking for jobs. Having looked at both SeeMore and 6Sense in depth a few times this year (as well as several conference demos), the potential applications for sourcing and matching is impressive. If I worked at Monster, I would be talking about it a lot more.

 Tomorrow in Part 4 I’m going to be posting more on ATS;’s, new launches and the innovation in this area. What do you think are the technology and products that will stand out in 2013?

Happy Sunday,

Bill

Disclaimer: Jobsite sponsor #Trulondon and Johnathan Campbell often buys me beer.

My Culture Branding E-Book With KellyOCG

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

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

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

Bill

 

 

 

 

 

Recruiters, Sourcers, HR Folk, Technologists: I need your help

I’ve always been about connecting people, and contributing to the sense of community where I can. In the dark days BT (before Twitter), I used to sell my knowledge and experience, and guard what I know quite closely. I viewed my knowledge as this big secret tat had a big value. I had a business as a trainer that did quite well for a few years, then not so well when the recession came along and no one had any money to pay.

The thing I came to realise was that I didn’t have any big secret about recruiting. I didn’t invent anything. I was quite good at framing it. Explaining and simplifying what I knew and inspiring people to get on and do it. I could map out a good process, and spot problems, but there was nothing secret about it. Then everyone ran out of money and there was nothing to pay for a consultant or trainer, and I had to start again.

What I learnt from all this is that information and knowledge is free, and everywhere in the net age. The more of my knowledge and experience that I gave away and made public to anyone who wanted to talk or listen or read, the more people wanted to work with me to just try something crazy, something different. With #tru, I wanted to make knowledge sharing as cheap as possible, and give anyone who wanted to share a platform to do just that, and I wanted a community where  anyone with an idea, even without a reputation could share it. I also wanted a community where people can connect and help each other. Help each other not for financial gain, though plenty of people do naturally buy from the people they get to know and trust, but just because we can and it is what we do. When someone wants some help from some of the crazy folk who think differently, then we give it, because it feels good, and you never know when you are going to be doing the asking.

A few years ago I discovered Stack Overflow, the programmer community where anyone can ask questions, get answers, rank answers and recognise other contributors to the community. It mirrors my philosophy of not having any competitors, only collaborators. You can read my review of Stack Overflow HERE. This is a real community run by the community. I’m delighted that founder Joel Spolsky is going to be at #trulondon on Monday to share the story from 4.00 PM GMT. You can watch Joel’s conversation live via the Kelly Services Live Hangout (along with the rest of the 2 days by registering HERE.

Since starting to follow Stack Overflow and seeing how the community runs itself, and members help and rank each other, I’ve wanted to build something similar for the people space to do the same. I define the people space as anyone from recruiters, technology folk, HR etc who have anything to do with getting people hired.

Stack Exchange gives anyone the opportunity to set up their own Q & A site in any niche. To make this site, #trufriends, a reality we need your support. Area 51 is the incubator for these communities to test interest and content before moving to Beta and public launch. To move to the next stage we need 51 followers and 10 test questions. In Area 51 you will be asked to:

“Write an actual question that you might ask on the site.

Discussing whether questions are on-topic or off-topic helps figure out what the site is about, and, more importantly, what it’s not about.”

YOU can help make this a reality by signing up to follow the site and asking the type of questions you would want to ask on the live site, and to share the concept in your own networks. There is a way to go before we are live, but my plan is to take the community to 1000 members over the next 6 weeks. The important thing here is that the community determines for itself what #trufriends is going to be about. We are 31 followers from the next step. Please be one of the 31.

I think this will be a great resource for sharing and helping, and a real community. I want to provide the on-line place through Stack Exchange, and let the community do the rest.

Please sign up HERE and spread the word.

Bill.

 

The Evenbase Quarterly Job Market Review (My Take)

My friends from Evenbase recently published the Autumn edition of their quarterly job market review for the UK. I always look forward to this research because it is conducted independent of the Evenbase brands and provides a real insight in to the UK job market. The survey is conducted by HPI Research.

The survey methodology

The quarterly review is based on in-depth, independent online research among 500 job seekers and 200 recruiters, carried out by market research agency HPI in April and May 2012.
Respondents are selected from a third-party database of job seekers and businesses, with a 50/50 split of male & female respondents, as well as a good spread across factors such as age, location, sector and salary. This spread is maintained consistently across the research each quarter, so that the findings can be compared with confidence.
Job seekers are split approximately 50/50 between active and passive candidates. Active is defined as anyone who is attending interviews or has taken steps to find a new job, such as looking at relevant vacancies. Passive is defined as anyone who is considering or open to switching jobs, but has not yet taken any action.
Business respondents are selected according to business type as follows:
● 50 recruitment decision-makers from SoHos (10-49 employees)
● 75 recruitment decision-makers from SMEs (50-249 employees)
● 75 recruitment decision-makers from corporate organisations (250+ employees)

The headlines. (My thoughts are in italics below the headline.)

> 57% of active job seekers feel the job situation is worse than last year

This is an interesting stat, given that the Evenbase report that job advertising is up on the last quarter. More jobs but less confidence. This perhaps reflects the miss-match between the types of jobs and the experience and skills of the job seekers who are active. In demand employees tend to be in demand by their current employees  with less job insecurity and a reluctance to move. I describe this as the war for other people’s talent.

> Advertised vacancies have risen from  5.5 to 7.7 mostly on-line

For the moment, advertising is still the default process for companies recruiting. Get a job, post it and see what happens. As more companies in the corporate sector develop their direct sourcing capability in their recruiting teams I anticipate this changing. Not imminently, but gradually quarter by quarter over the next few years. Job boards will never die, there will always be a place for job portals but I anticipate more companies looking to their own resources over time. In particular, I would be interested in how many of these companies are moving from automatic post to developing talent pipelines and developing their capability to search historical candidates.

> SoHo employers have open posts but corporate and SME remain cautious

The growth in hiring is coming from companies with under 50 employees. Smaller companies are more agile to change, responding to changing market demands and technology. Smaller companies will also contain a good % of technology start ups in the last 3 years who were set up and built with the new economy in mind. Those that are proving successful will be the ones hiring for growth. Technology companies should be considering offerings for this sector. Recently Work4Labs have announced the release of a free SME facebook job posting tool, Tribepad have released an SME version of their enterprise product, SMART Recruiters have developed a free ATS. These are great examples of products developed for this growth market.

> Job seekers using agencies as the route to work down 5% on the last quarter

This perhaps reflects the perception job seekers have of the value of agencies right now, and should be a worrying statistic for them. Another consideration though might be that as the active job seekers don’t match the needs of the active employers (as evidenced in point one), the agencies are distancing themselves from less in demand candidates and being more specific in advertising and approaches. Job seeker apathy seems to be prevalent right now, evidenced by some of the results in this latest survey. As much as they are reluctant to make speculative inquiries to employers, they are also moving away from registering with multiple agencies unless there is a very specific job advertised. If I were running an agency right now I would want to investigate this to understand why agencies are being seen as less of a source of the best next move, and more of a necessary evil for a specific job.

> Job seekers making speculative applications down 6% after a 9% rise last quarter

This is a reflection of 2 things in my opinion. Job seeker apathy, and unfriendly technology and process employed by corporate companies. When I reviewed a series of career sites recently, it was not uncommon to see notifications of speculative CVs not welcome or “if you don’t hear from us in 3 weeks we are not interested.” The speculative CVs fall through the cracks and just get ignored. It comes as no surprise to discover that job seekers are deciding this is a waste of time, which means companies could be missing out on some great talent, and need to rethink this process.

The most used recruitment methods.

> For SoHo organisations personal networks are the most used recruitment method – 35, job boards – 25, newspaper ads – 20, agencies – 15, trade publication ads – 10, social networks – 15.

> For S.M.E.’s:   Trade publication ads – 30,  Job boards – 32, Newspaper ads – 30, Personal networks – 25, Agency – 22,Social networks – 16.

> For Corporate: Agencies – 32, Trade publications – 27, Job boards – 25, Newspaper ads – 22, Personal networks – 20, Social networks – 10.

I would be interested in knowing where social media fits in with the high ranking personal networks. It might be that social channels like LinkedIn are an important part of personal networks, and what the respondents mean is that they are not planning on posting jobs in social networks. This is an area of confusion for many people, what recruiting via social media actually means. I also feel that the impact of employer branding activity in social media channels should not be under estimated in driving applications via career sites and job boards, although these may not be included in the respondents thinking.

The agency numbers for corporate remains high. I would be surprised to see this figure remaining high over the next 6 months, as more corporates adopt direct sourcing as an approach to hiring. It would be interesting to know the split between RPO and agency hiring, which I suspect would paint a different picture.

Most considered job search methods by job seekers.

> Job boards – 75, Company websites – 72, Newspaper ads – 70, Agencies – 60, Spec CVs – 55, Trade publications – 50, Social networks – 40.

Probably the biggest surprise here is that newspaper ads and trade publications feature so highly. I would be interested in understanding how much of this is through traditional printed newspaper ads, and how much is through the associated on-line job sites. If you go to Guardian On-line for example, or the caterer on line, would you consider this a newspaper or a job board? I suspect the former, though my view is that it is the latter. 

Most considered recruitment methods by business

> Job boards – 60, Newspaper ads – 50, Personal networks – 50, Agencies – 45, Trade publications – 47, Social networks – 40.

It is interesting to note that career sites feature so highly on the job seeker list, but don’t merit a mention in the considered recruitment methods by business. Perhaps this explains the generally poor state of many career sites, with limited investment in development or design, particularly around mobile.

> Smartphone ownership among job seekers up from 47% to 71% in 3 months.

> Location search for jobs the big feature

This is really self explanatory, and begs the question why more companies are not taking mobile and mobility more seriously. With such a hike in Smartphone ownership by job seekers, you would expect the increase in mobile sites and mobile friendly features to grow at the same rate; You would also expect mobile to be top of the list of requirements that companies want from job boards, but it doesn’t. 

Last week I blogged that e-mail opens on mobile devices had now taken over from desktops. Even features like jobs by e-mail, and the attached links should reflect this. If messages are going to mobile, and job seekers are opening them in the down time, then the job boards should reflect this. I suspect the reason mobile is not more in demand from companies is that they are not yet ready to extend the experience from board to application. 

The location features is perhaps the most interesting point in this data, and is a key consideration in how jobs are served to job seekers. It is common to post jobs from the location of the recruiter rather than the location of the job. I will be posting on this in more detail next week, in the build up to the mobile tracks at #trulondon.

> Price the biggest factor in choosing job boards,Specialism and knowledge feature highly.

No surprise to see price as the biggest factor in choosing a board. When price is the main consideration, it is fair to assume that companies find it close to impossible to differentiate between the main boards. This should be an important consideration for the boards themselves. Companies are less interested in the value add features like video upload, and are looking at the basic features.

Based on the points around specialization being key in choice, the main boards need to find a way to segment jobs and develop focus in core markets. This will help companies to compare board to board in order to choose the best option on something other than price. The desire for niche locations should also send a clear message to agency recruiters, the appetite in the market is for specialization, and clear differentiation. 

>Social media features are ranked as slightly more important than previous surveys, though still not important.

It is encouraging to see an increasing demand for social media features, even it is quite low. I would expect this to continue growing over the next year, becoming more important to companies. Over the last year we have seen more social features develop linking the boards with the job seekers social networks. The more features that are added to the major job boards, the more important they will become in buying decisions.

> Press and TV advertising to support job boards the biggest drop in importance to companies.

Only down by 7%, but the biggest drop in this section of the survey. I think this might be a reaction by the increased spend over the last quarter by all the boards in media and TV advertising. As each of the main boards even up the spend, it becomes less of a differentiator, and as a result, less important in decision making.

> Mobile still not featured as a requirement by companies

As mentioned earlier in the post, mobile is off the companies radar right now, but this has to change.

This is a quote from the report that gives a good indication as to job seeker behaviors:

“For the second quarter in a row, a close look at the most popular and desired job board services among job seekers yields few surprises.
Browsing for jobs remains the most used service, but there was
continued growth in the number of people researching sectors and
companies – an indication that job seekers are spending more time
on preparation and less time on direct approaches to companies,
further illustrated by the reduced numbers of candidates storing CVs online for direct applications.”

My feeling is that this is in part down to the rise in mobile.Job browsing via mobile in down time is also another factor in the browsing figures. I know from previous data from Jobsite that mobile access to the board continues to rise.month on month. 

The quest for more information indicates that job seekers, particularly those who are working, want to be 100% sure of their decision before applying. This highlights the big part social media and employer branding can play in the decision. The more information that is easily accessible, the more likely the potential candidates will be able to research and make informed decisions. This type of employer brand content does not necessarily increase applications, because candidates are as likely to opt out as opt in, but it often results in an increase the efficiency of application to interview to hire.  I would be interested in seeing future surveys asking companies what employer branding activity they are doing in social to support their recruiting efforts, and job seekers, what research they conduct in social media channels. My feeling is that this would give a much better insight in to the part social media is playing in recruiting, and not just the applying part.

> CV uploads up by 9% to job boards

Again my feeling is that this is linked to the impact of mobile. Candidates need a CV on-line in order to apply via mobile. This also illustrates that job seekers are in for the long haul. Uploading a CV to a database is a more passive approach to speculative applications. The job seekers want to give companies access to their details. In the last report from Evenbase, there was a big increase in the time employers were spending searching the database. This increase could be an extension of this. As job seekers have got results from being on the database, so news spreads.

> New measure of the desire for contacting employers via Facebook and LinkedIn – low at 17%.

For the first time, the survey looked at how job seekers felt about being contacted directly in social media channels by employers. The low number is a surprise. I suspect this is the result of clumsy recruiter contact in LinkedIn. The Facebook question is an interesting one. When asked the question, job seekers often say that they do not wish to be contacted in this channel. This contradicts the reality of the volume of hiring that goes on in the channel through fan pages. I would like to see that question posed the other way round, “How would YOU feel about contacting employers in social media channels?”. I suspect the results would be quite different.

> Researching companies by job seekers continually  growing in importance.

I won’t comment further on this as it has been covered in some detail earlier in the post.

> CV to email and jobs to print most desirable features. No appetite for video upload, chat or other perceived value add services by employers.

It looks like employers want the simple functions with no frills. I think it is probably to early to dismiss these add on features yet. It is notable that job seekers want access to more information on companies, whilst the companies want to stick to the provision of the basic information i:e: jobs. This could be because companies are not ready for video or engagement features yet, rather than a lack of demand from the job seekers.

> Most used services by employers CV search and advertising a job.

CV searching continues to grow in importance to employers. this indicates that recruiters are taking a more proactive approach to sourcing people, possibly because they are not getting the response they want from advertising, or because they are unsure what they are looking for and want to see the options. Either way, it seems that both job seekers and employers are heading in the same direction for a change on this one. As searching in CV databases becomes more sophisticated through the addition of new features, I would expect to see this rising as a source of hire.

> Display of print advertising on boards doubled this quarter.

This points towards companies wanting to stand out to beat off the competition. Employers clearly feel that visual look will help them to be different and improve response rates. I’m not sure that this is not thinking old school newspaper advertising i.e.: the biggest ad stands out. It would be interesting to see some data on the improved (or not) effectiveness of display ads.

Once again, thanks to Evenbase and Jobsite for making this data publicly available. When you follow it over time you start to see the trends evolving. You can download the original report HERE. This certainly impacts on my thinking. My big take-aways are the gap between what job seekers want and employers demand from job boards. It is almost opposite (except for the CV database), the certainty candidates are looking for before applying, and the rise of mobile.

Be glad to know your thoughts,

Bill

DISCLAIMER: Evenbase and Jobsite are platinum sponsors of #truLondon

 

 

 

 

 

Why you need to be networked and engaged to be seen

I’m close to completing a white paper for TweetMyJobs entitled “What is social recruiting?” It started a white paper but may well end up being an e-book. There is so much to talk about from so many angles. It will be available to download over the next few weeks, and we are scheduling a hangout to talk through what has come out of the research.
The big message though that I keep coming back to is the need for network and engagement to get the best out of your social recruiting efforts.

Whilst there is plenty to be said for building relationships with potential employees through engagement, the big reason for making engagement and network a priority in your efforts is visibility and reach. no matter what angle you take, there’s another reason for growing your network and engaging with your connections.

If we start with Facebook, visibility of your content is dependent on Edgerank. It doesn’t matter how many friends you have, or how many fans you have on your fan page, if there is no interaction then your content is hidden from the streams of most of your connections. You will often hear people spout out that content is king. This is only partially true. Some of the best content on the web gets no recognition or return because very few people get to read it. Not because its not good, but because no one outside of the usual circle of friends get to read it.

Edgerank is the algorithm used by Facebook to determine whose content you see in your stream. That is why the updates you see are from the same people, unless you go searching in the stream, but most people don’t have the time or the inclination to go searching. The way Edgerank works is to rank your connections, and the pages you friend by how much you interact with them. If you think of it on a points system, a comment is worth 3  points, a share 2 points and a like 1 point. Scores decrease according to the age of an interaction, which is why you might see posts from some people for a while before they drop out of view, and only those pages or friends you continue to engage with stay in view. This means that your content needs not only to be good, but also content that elicits a reaction. If your working with brand advocates then you need to get them liking and commenting on the content posted to keep it visible to them.

LinkedIn are applying a similar algorithm to determine the updates that appear at the top of your stream. Updates are selected for you to see according to what is trending in your network. Trends are calculated each hour according to interactions, likes,shares and comments the same as Edgerank. The same ranking applies for what you see when you log in to a group. If people aren’t interacting then your content gets hidden from view.

Interactions are also important for Google juice. The more your content gets shared and actioned by way of likes and comments, the higher the Google ranking. The Google algorithm also promotes content according to your location, and what is getting shared, liked and commented on by your network. your social footprint influences your Google ranking, and your network determines who gets to see it.

This is the other key element of success, your active network. Not in terms of numbers but in terms of relevant audience and interactions. Only by continuing to grow and engage with your network will you achieve visibility, and it is visible content that is king, whatever the channel.

Bill

New Technology Coming Out Of Finland #TruHelsinki

As a new initiative for #truHelsinki we are trying to bring tech start-ups together with some of the influencers in the region for #truHelsinki. This is a live blog about some of the technology companies sharing their products and where they are up to in the recruiting space.

Joberate -

Joberate started life as a recruiting firm, which gives them a perspective on recruiting beyond technology. The purpose of the company is to position on-line advertising in the right place in the social channels. The site enables recruiters to post a link to any job for a customised campaign suggestion. The search is cross-channel and includes areas like LinkedIn groups based on research. Joberate are keen to stress that the research is conducted by humans searching for content rather than anything automated. The campaign breaks down audience and includes Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and traditional job boards etc. Joberate post both jobs and discussions. All posts are by the client brand rather than their own. Joberate post jobs, but they also post discussions about jobs based on the group content.

As a disclaimer, I advise Joberate on product. I did this because I love what they do in helping recruiters to apply research to social to find the right audience. A new launch on the product is a social sharing bar, get referred network feature and applying by profile. Take a look.

Recruitby.net

Recruitby.net is a video selection tool that has a very simple screen for companies to record video response to greet job seekers applying and set selection questions. What is different is the simple comment and share buttons amongst the recruiting/hiring team. Video can be set up by invite or by ad response. The technology is a bit different because they have removed time constraints and one take only, giving candidates the opportunity, with an approve and submit answer. It’s not quite as clever as a Wowzer or Sonru BUT it is very candidate friendly. It’s simple to use and the pricing makes it attractive to have a look at.

IntuneX

IntuneX are about connecting expertise within companies employees. Our work mainly consists of exchanging e-mails and documents when we could be sharing more. Right now sharing expertise is by accident rather than design. Intune wants to change that.

Anyone can share an idea or a project internally and anyone can contribute or comment. It is built-in HTML5 so it is responsive to any device. To take part any employees can sign in and sign up, importing social profiles and sharing their own ratings and views. Any employee can rank anyone in any area. Where interests or expertise match a project, invites are sent out to join the “swarm”. A swarm is a project or problem.the help areas are Idea, problem, project, task, announcement and competence survey. It looks like a cross between Twitter and Facebook that users will be comfortable with. This one will be a big hit in my opinion. take a look at it! this is the most exciting new tech I have seen for a while.

LabOfApps

LabOfApps is about figuring how mobile adoption changes business. More people have a mobile that a tooth-brush, that is frightening data. This video tells you more: http://vimeo.com/43167249.

The growth in mobile applications by app rather than mobile website is four fold. Once a user has an app to solve a problem, they never go back to web access. Social channels are struggling with mobile, witness the LinkedIn and Facebook apps, external apps are catching up. Once people connect with an app to do a job, they no longer return to the website. think Amazon.Com, if you download the global app, then you are unlikely to revisit the site. LabOfApps provide solutions to recruitment problems through bespoke apps. I’m coming around to seeing the need for Apps as well as responsive sites, which should be standard. Watch this space for more launches.

This has been a great evening for looking at technology companies in the region. I will be posting more live comment from Helsinki tomorrow.

Bill

 

 

 

 

LinkedIn Advertising Solutions. It’s All About Data #TruLondon

I had a really interesting morning at LinkedIn HQ in London yesterday, discussing some of the direction the company is going in terms of product. I recently posted a breakdown of the second half results announced by LinkedIn, which showed a big investment in product and headcount, particularly around advertising and account management.
Historically, the advertising products have only been available in English, but the company have recently announced that they are launching ads in 17 languages, in keeping with the move to make the platform and user profiles available in every language. LinkedIn operates in 200 countries, and being genuinely global means being bilingual. The new languages are  EnglishCzechDutchFrenchGerman,IndonesianItalianJapaneseKoreanMalayNorwegianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSpanish,Swedish, and Turkish. Other languages are being considered for the future.  you can select the language you want your ad to appear in by selecting the language you want from the drop down in settings, or the language link button at the bottom of your home page. (It is worth noting that the language of member posts will always be displayed in the language they were posted.) For global or domestic recruiters outside of English speaking countries this has to be a really exciting development, but how well do LinkedIn ads work?

This ties in with my belief that the recent changes to the home page are all about keeping users in channel, staying for longer periods of time. Since the launch of the new home page integrating the update stream and switching posting from updates to the home page, engagement in channel is at an all time high. The principle is simple, for ads to work, users need to be kept in and on channel. Making the experience local through language is another way of achieving this. The more time spent in channel on the home page and user profiles, the more effective the advertising.

There are a range of ways to place ads on LinkedIn including PPC which allows for targeting by all of the fields within LinkedIn including location, company, job title, skills, seniority, etc. A really interesting option allows for targeting members of groups. It is an exciting prospect to be able to reach all the people employed at a competitor, or the members of a specific group who fit your target audience. The suggested costs are a bit more than you would expect to pay for similar ads on Facebook or Google but it is PPC, you can set limits and the structured data on LinkedIn makes targeting incredibly accurate. As with all PPC, you are going to get better results and reduce your costs by placing multiple ads and dissecting the audience and mixing text and image according to audience. The downside of `LinkedIn ads is that you are restricted to 80 characters in the title and 80 characters in the description. (think writing for Twitter.) As with all PPC you should split test different ads to see which ones work for which audience. You can post a link in the ad to a LinkedIn page or an external website. I’m piloting these ads to promote a company page, now that LinkedIn allow updates from the page, and give page administrators access to the profiles of people following the page. Even if you have tried PPC previously and not got the results in the past, I think it is worth trying again due to the new home page features.The other option is to take a look at the other advertising options. You can read more in the LinkedIn solutions center.

Whilst I was at LinkedIn, I got a look at some of the ways LinkedIn are mining the data behind user profiles and companies to identify the full potential for the 3 product offerings:

> Matching solutions

> Hiring solutions

> Media solutions

The potential to mine data for understanding your business, the people within it and the market you work in is really impressive. The more the user numbers grow, the more the structured data pool grows. The potential for developing new products that interpret this data in a constructive way, and to deliver targeted recruitment campaigns is phenomenal. LinkedIn is all about data, and there is a lot more to come from this.

When looking at the data, one area really stood out for me that i think is really exciting, and that is the number of views of all the company employees profiles combined. When you consider who looks at profiles, it is easy to see that these are going to be people from the same sector, competitors, people from the same field or with a similar skill set.In a company of any size, that is going to be a lot of very relevant eyes over the course of a year. One of the LinkedIn media solutions is to place an ad next to all of your employees profiles. The ad that works best takes the picture of the user viewing the profile and positions the image with text like “see yourself at” with your company name and other detail like the job title of the visitor. I have seen this level of personalized advertising work very effectively with company pages, but the potential of these ads with employee profiles is significant. I inquired after  the cost of this type of campaign, given the volume of eyes, and was surprised to hear the price point (on rate card) at £4,200 a year for 1000 employees (£4.20) each for a year, with reductions for additional employees. This could be the best bit of internet real estate for recruiters.

I will be running a track on the changing face of LinkedIn at #TruLondon on 22nd and 23rd October. I hope you can join us for the discussion. With so much changing in the channel, it really is time to rethink your LinkedIn strategy, with targeted advertising a part of that thinking.

Bill

 

 

Recruiters: No need to be friends

Just when you thought it was safe to start reading the Facebook for recruiting blog posts again, the debate reignites over at ERE over whether job seekers want to be friends with recruiters, and that personal messaging is intrusive. I’m a big fan of ERE. The contributors are well informed, and they provoke great debate from the community, (Who could forget Autodesks Matthew Jeffery’s Recruiters 3.0,4.0,5.0 and subsequent instalments.) The post that caught my attention because it was e-mailed to me by reader Jacob Madsen for comment is titled: “Facebook Recruiting Is All The Rage,” by Howard Adamsky.

The post makes some very good points raised around the danger of making candidate judgments around the content on a candidates personal feed. The really interesting discussion though comes in the comments which range from the hugely passionate Facebook recruiters through to the usual “I hardly ever use the channel for personal use but it deffinitely won’t work for recruiting.” The latter is always a dangerous position to take.I’m all for people saying they don’t “think” it will work, but you really need to have been involved in trying something before you are in a position to say this doesn’t work.

One of the comments that really stood out for me was from the author Adamsky, who posted in response to a comment around Facebook being the place for forming meaningful dialogue with candidates. Adamsky replies:

“@ Michelle: I think you might be wrong. I see FB as struggling, I do not see it as a place for serious recruiting and you will have to define “meaningful conversations” for me. Sadly, I might be missing the boat but I can’t even I imagine how FB would build a brand. “

I’m not going to get in to the health, or not, of Facebook as a channel, but I can say from experience that meaningful conversations start on Facebook every day. I say start because any conversation needs to move from the on-line to the off-line to be truly meaningful. When you run an effective fan page then there is plenty of meaningful dialogue between recruiters and employees and potential candidates. This is harder for third party recruiters to achieve because the desired relationship is often shorter term and job based, but there are plenty of corporate recruiters who are connecting and attracting candidates to apply for opportunities. Facebook is the perfect channel for displaying employer brand content in pictures, updates and video. The length of time people stay connected with brand pages like Careers at Oracle, Hard Rock Cafe Firenze or Salesforce.com I’m happy to accept that these are huge brands, but I also know that Facebook applications are driving much of their hiring because I have been closely involved in the launch of 2 of the 3. One of the notable things about these and other fan pages is that the content is seen as humanising the brand. Can you build a brand on Facebook? There are 1000′s of examples of companies in the B2B sector who have done just that, as well as many others who already had a great brand, (like the 3 listed), but enhanced their employer brand through Facebook.

The important point here is that the connection is as a FAN and not a friend. I think this is the biggest area people jump to the wrong conclusions when talking recruiting in this channel. Recruiters don’t want or need to be your friend. They don’t need to see your pictures or look at your updates to make judgments on your political views. They want to make applying and displaying employer brand content accesible, and to make it easy for interested partys to connect with recruiters as fans, not as friends. When you are weighing up the value of facebook as as a recruiting channel you need to think this way, and understand that this seperates the personal from the professional.

I was speaking this evening with Ohio Recruiter Meredith Soleau, who recruits for the automotive industry, and is hiring candidates that will almost definitely not be on LinkedIn, or many other places on the web. Meredith uses the BranchOut enterprise application on Facebook to find people who meet her criteria, and she does it very successfully. Interestingly, and related to Howard;s original post, Meredith does not use Branchout or Facebook to message the candidates unless there is no other option, but it is the place where she can find people who can’t be found anywhere else. The BranchOut Recruiter Connect, has reach across the whole of the network for finding people. Once Merredith finds the right people she contacts them by phone to sell the opportunity, and she is making hires. If you can use Facebook for finding the right people, you don’t have to message them as an unconnected contact, there are other ways to speak that might be better received. Twitter is the place for talking to strangers, Facebook probably isn’t, but it could be one of the best places for finding strangers and identifying what they do in some sectors.

In conclusion, stop thinking that the need to be friends or access to personal updates, pictures etc. There are fan pages, applications that don’t require access to anything other than employment detail. There are referral applications, and get referred applications that build pipeline. Facebook should only be part of the recruitment mix, but it is an error to leave it out because you are thinking of Facebook as a personal channel, think fan not friend!

Thanks to Howard and ERE for prompting this post. It is a discussion I have often.

Bill