Tools and Applications

New free recruiting tool from the Colleague Hack Day

I love being involved in hack days. I’m not much of a coder, so my job is usually to talk around the social market, and the challenges recruiters face, then let the programmers loose to build something new. I’m always amazed at how quickly a good programmer can get hold of a new concept and turn it in to the beginnings of a really worthwhile product.

I’ve been working with recruitment software company Colleague advising them on how social is changing recruiting, and ways in which they can integrate social and advanced sourcing features in to the product. There is an exciting road map of changes ahead over the coming year to develop more of the sourcing and communicating capability direct from the recruiters desk top. The brief is to save recruiters time, and enable them to work in more effective ways, incorporating all that the internet has to offer. One of the first initiatives was to work with the developers on the hack-day. Colleague also used #trulondon to conduct a survey of the features needed to develop modern recruitment software, integrating social. The findings of this survey has been included in the road map.

The first free product to come out of this is the Colleague X-ray toolbar, built to operate as an add-on to Internet Explorer. The features of the Colleague X-Ray toolbar enables recruiters to:

  • Source candidates, companies and clients online – through social channels, job sites and more

  • X-ray search over social media channels

  • Easily create complex boolean search strings

  • Create lists of default search engines

  • Find online profiles from one online image from all social networks (very neat.)

  • Create default x-ray search lists of regular social channels and websites

>>> The Colleague X-Ray Toolbar works with Internet Explorer and is FREE <<<
For Colleague users there are additional features including:

  • Automatically gather contact, company or candidate information from a web page
  • Push this data into your Colleague database with a click of a button
  • Verification tools allow you to check for duplicates, select from lists when you are presented with multiple options and tag contact, company and contact records with ‘skills’,

>>> The Colleague Side Bar – for parsing data off websites into Colleague – will only work currently with the latest version of Colleague V.6.4.8 <<<

Check out the video from developer Jonathan Broadley, who led the build on how the toolbar works:

You can download the toolbar free HERE

Good work Colleague!

Bill

Disclaimer: I work with Colleague on product and content.
 

 

Very Cool #SocialRecruiting Tool From @Gwendall

I look at least 10 new apps and tools a day that all promise to be the next big thing. Usually they promise much and deliver little. They are usually an imitation of something else I’ve seen before, perhaps just a little improved. Every so often though I see something that I really think is worth sharing.

I’m a big fan of Marc Drees’s blog Recruitment Matters, with a little help from Google translate because it is all written in Dutch. The only recommendations Marc usually makes is why you shouldn’t use one product or another, and more often than not he is proved to be right. I’ve been on the receiving end a few times myself.

On the 19′th of January he recommended a new people social search engine Falcon.io, built by  Gwendall Esnault of Paris and New York. When Marc recommends something, you should listen, because he tests everything. This one really makes my cool tools list, (expect it to be coming to an unconference near you.) This is the message you get on the “about” page:

Because people search sucks.
We all have multiple identities online, but we have no way to map and search them all easily.
Falcon solves that. Welcome to the next generation of white pages.

I know we have seen similar tools like TalentBin and the SocialCV, but these are subscription services that require a licence and take a bit of getting used to. This is simple and free, and we like free.

Falcon is a Chrome extension that you add to your tool bar. You get a small red “F” icon on the tool bar that you can turn on and of as you need it. The Chrome store says that Falcon enables you to discover anyone’s social details on Twitter, Tweetdeck, Github, Dribble and HackerNews. The store describes Falcon as Rapportive for social networks. I’ve tried it out extensively on Tweetdeck, Twitter and Github. It takes seconds to show me the social profiles including a Twitter bio, klout description of what the target talks about, e-mail address, LinkedIn, FourSquare and Facebook addressabout.me profile and a host of other locations. (Some I’d even forgotten I had,) or the most part it is error fee. (See the exceptions below.) The search window pops up on the right hand side of the screen, keeping the original site open.

The only downside I can find is that you need to either hover over a name as an instant reference, or enter a social URL in to the search bar, so you need a start point. There is also the occasional glitch when the same nicknames are used by different people on different platforms.

That is really nit-picking, because apart from hat its brilliant and lightening quick. Search Tweedeck for geek words and instantly check the results before connecting or adding to a Twitter list for following in a column in Tweetdeck. This is an instant add-on to the Sourcers toolbox. Hat tip to Drees for the spot. Go download it now, and if you want more tools like this, I’m going to be sharing 20 at The Recruitment Agency Expo in London on the 26′th Feb. It’s free but tickets are limited.

Bill

PS: I will be continuing my review series next week, and I have 3 new case studies coming up. Keep following!

 

2012/13 Part 6: Video Selection And Mobility

In the last post of this series we looked at some of the technical aspects of mobile. Most of the conversation is around mSite, apps or responsive web design, and what the best solution is. The really important discussion though as with any change or innovation is what it means in real terms to people and practices.

Probably the best mobile development that I have seen over the last year is the HireVue iPhone app. This enables candidates to record answers to pre-recorded questions, to view employer brand video, and to switch to a Skype style live, two-way interview if required. When I first looked at video selection a few years ago, I could see the potential but the market wasn’t quite ready because of user attitude to being filmed, and the availability of technology. This has all changed, now most of us have a camera in our pocket, and we have got very used to video calling as a result of Skype, Facetime etc. I think HireVue have the lead at the moment in the video selection space because of the iPhone app, but Irish company Sonru are not far behind, and Dutch company Camio, and US based Green Job Interview and Wowzer (formerly Ovia) are not too far behind. Clooks are also worth a look.

As the pricing comes down and the technology gets wider adoption, this will become mainstream over the next year. This is also a busy space with lots of new products being launched each month in local markets, being fully multilingual is a challenge most tech companies will need to overcome if they are to compete on the world stage. The benefit of video is that it needs no translation, once the operating platform has been changed. Employment branding video content needs to be local, and in a language understood by the target audience, with support and recruiting process that reflects this. No point switching from a video in Spanish, to a Spanish video selection assessment, then on to an English based ATS. You need to be speaking the language of your candidates for hire and selection, and considering images and content according to local attitudes, getting properly in tune with local attitudes.

What I am confident about is that communicating by video, and video selection is going to become far more common over the next year and as more and more start-ups are entering the market, and the established vendors are integrating with the enterprise ATS’s, we can expect the costs to become more competitive, and use to increase. The mobile aspect of the HireVue application really opens things up in this area.

At #truLondon, Felix Wetzel, the Strategy Development Director at Evenbase ran a track talking about what he terms mobility. Mobility is the term used to describe how mobile has changed the when, where and how of recruiting on-line. I find this the really interesting aspect of mobile and social, because accessibility has become anytime and anywhere. 75% of e-mails are opened on a mobile device. This means thinking about the length and content included, and that any links go to a mobile optimised location, and that any images or video are view-able on mobile. The peak times for access to web destinations are also changing. The golden hours are 6.15 – 9.15, 10.45 – 11.20, 12.10 – 2.15 and 4.40 – 9.30. This is really important because these are the times recruiters need to be live to respond to questions, updates and conversations. The traditional 9 – 5 just won’t cut it.

What is also clear about these times are that people are accessing web locations, viewing content and browsing on the move.  The data from Evenbase companies Jobsite and Broadbean show a pattern of browsing and searching for jobs in the morning and bookmarking opportunities, looking at supporting employer branding content and companies in the day, and spending time applying in the evening from a desk top. The data clearly shows that this is what is happening, but I think that this is really a result of what is possible via mobile rather than what job seekers really want.

Research among job seekers by Potential Park, shared at #truStockholm shows the following data: (The survey was taken from 5000 students)

> 88% of job seekers are or would search for jobs via mobile Internet.
>The biggest current activity is to “search for jobs”, followed by “looking for career related information”.
> The second largest desire is to be alerted of jobs to look at
> Nearly 1 in 3 job seekers want to apply from their smartphone.

> Information on an employers recruitment process and tips ranked highly

This shows that the desire to complete the full process via mobile is there, the opportunity is not (yet!). This means employers need to think about the technology that enables candidates to go through to the apply stage on mobile. The other point Wetzel makes is that mobility means people seeking access to content on the move. This means browsing on journeys such as the daily commute where internet access may be dipping in and out. Wetzel makes the point that because of this, it is important to consider making the caching of data possible and simple, which leans towards an app approach.

My own feeling is that we need to move away from asking every applicant to go through a lengthy and painful application process which has to be done on a desktop. From the clients I work with, 55% of people who bookmark jobs on a mobile never get around to applying. They are lost in the delay. Better to make it possible to express an interest with very basic info, like access to a LinkedIn profile, and get the profile in front of a recruiter to decide if the talent network is the best route, or if the candidate should be applying because they match the spec. That is going to reduce significant seepage and be better for everyone. LinkedIn apply and applications like Jibe make this very possible. Jibe are a bit different because they make it possible to apply from any device, and take the application data to the ATS. There’s also a referral and job distribution product integrated. I’ve watched Jibe for a few years now, as they have evolved from what was a social e-mail plug-in that didn’t work brilliantly in to the product it is now, that solves a real problem in the market for candidates and employers.  Expect this approach to gain momentum in 2013.

For job seekers the trends are clear. They are tired of applying for jobs and then disappearing in to a black hole. In a test I conducted this year the average application takes 1 hour 55 minutes, and takes a minimum of 50 clicks and screens. That is close to impossible on mobile and has to change.

Job seekers are now only applying for jobs they are sure they want, for organisations they want to work for, and in jobs they are confident they will get an interview for. For me, this means thinking of jobs as content rather than adverts, and this content needs to be accessible by mobile with simple navigation and a mobile user interface. Think Amazon on job content, you might also be interested in this, and think video, photo, blog, social connections etc as well as job descriptions with an early notification of minimum requirements clearly set out. Make expressing interest with a social profile possible and easy from every piece of content from Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook etc through to job boards. Think on-line events around jobs like Google hangouts and chats, scheduled in the golden hours and available via mobile. When you think this way, you start to recruit socially, and providing all the content candidates might want, in the format they want, with the opportunity to apply. It’s an interesting prospect we should all be thinking about.

In Part 7 I’m going to be looking closer at just what LinkedIn became in 2012, and a real example of social gravity. Thanks for sticking with the series so far.

Bill

Disclaimer: Jobsite sponsor #TruLondon and I have worked with Felix Wetzel as a consultant.

Clooks and Camio sponsor #TruAmsterdam

2012/13 Part 4: Changing face of the social ATS

This is the fourth post in the review series of 2012, addressing the changing face of the ATS. It is an area that attracts a lot of attention and discussion from users. Perhaps the technology buyers in organisations should be taking notice.

I haven’t been to, or held an event this year where someone has turned around and said: “You know what, we love our ATS!”. 2012 has seen a lot of complaining around what are seen as applicant turn-off systems. To be fair to the enterprise vendors, most users get the technology they deserve rather than the technology they need, but users, encouraged by the likes of William Tincup, are getting more demanding. I’ve seen Tincup speak a few times this year about getting much more from your technology suppliers. Tincup’s main point is that you only really hold the power when you are negotiating deals, and you should use this to your advantage to ensure free upgrades, (so you are always working with the latest version), and free support and training for the life time of the contract. Too often recruiters are only using a small part of the capability of their technology because they are uninformed or unsupported. My experience this year is that you should also insist on an open API, and integration with any other technology you choose, Technology suppliers need to learn that you are the client, and that they need to play nicely. I spoke about this at #HRTechEurope, and judging by the feedback it hit a real note.

This year I think we are going to be seeing a lot of change, and hearing a lot more about the social ATS. The stand out company in this area is SmartRecruiters. When I was first introduced to Smart, I liked the product but was skeptical about the viability of the pricing model. The platform is free, looks and feels like Facebook, is fully mobile optimized  and has career site build features and plug-ins, Facebook integration, job posting etc. The revenue is generated from job posting, where commissions are charged to the job boards for jobs posted by SmartRecruiters. They now have over 30,000 users, and lead a new breed of intuitive ATS’ that is easy to use by both recruiters and job seekers. Smart has been largely targeted at smaller companies with no existing ATS, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear them announcing enterprise size users in the near future, as the platform continues to gain attention.
Using a similar model, Dutch company Vonq are launching Qandidate mid January. Qandidate has similar features, aimed at the European market. It has already been tested with existing Vonq clients, and is being built around the multilingual and legal requirements of the individual states within Europe. This will give them a bit of an advantage in this territory.
Recruitment platform and middleware provider Tribepad have also launched a social ATS, although this is priced in a more traditional way. Tribepad have enjoyed some big client wins this year including Sodexo Europe and the BBC. They have also launched in to the US during 2012, as G4S extended their use of the platform from Europe, as part of a global roll out. At #truLondon in October, Colin Minto outlined the necessary adjustments they had to make to comply with FCCP regulations. I haven’t seen another platform that is quite as comprehensive in this area, and if the Tribepad team are able to raise their visibility in the US, then more global client wins will follow. The real benefit of Tribepad is that you can wrap all of your recruiting data in one place, and the data flow in one direction. I’ve been impressed by the potential so far, and although I haven’t seen it first hand yet, I understand that they have now built social profiling in to the main platform, as well as making this available as a standalone product.

In response to customer demand, they launched a “light” version of the product for smaller users, available at a low monthly subscription with plug-in integration. What I like about the Tribepad team is that the product is in a constant state of development, almost a permanent beta, driven by user requirement and demand.If the company were in San Francisco rather than Leeds, I’m sure we would have heard a lot more about them already.  Watch this one closely.
Another new launch from the UK in recent months that is targeted around socialising and simplifying the application process is Peter Golds HirePad (No relation to TribePad). HirePad is built as the gateway between the ad (or update), and the ATS, making the job mobile, and creating a portal for a talent network. Talent networks record basic details creating segmenting interested people for updates, jobs and content that match their profiles. In most cases, this is much closer to what most hiring companies need, rather than the high maintenance, over hyped talent communities. Golds view is that the application needs to stay within the corporate ATS, but the process around expressing interest and connecting should be much easier, quicker and possible by mobile.

Gold is not looking to provide the full solution, given that most companies of size already have an ATS solution in place, but to provide easy integration, job posting and job marketing, and a complete mobile/talent network to make attraction and applying simple and effective.

I really like the integration with Google maps, that enables potential candidates to view jobs by location. I’ve seen this type of feature work very well for Pizza Hut using Jobs2Web. This is brilliant for the retail or hospitality sectors, where similar jobs are open at multiple locations close to the candidate. Jobs2Web have built a great business out of their platform, and were acquired by SuccessFactors in 2012.

I know Gold of old, and the real strength of HirePad lies in the job marketing from traditional to social job distribution, SEO, micro-sites by job etc, all  A/B tested to find the best solution.

Dutch company Maddle have had some success in Europe making individual jobs mobile through micro-sites and mobile apply at a low-cost, so the model is there. Maddle mobilise a job within 24 hours by launching a dedicated MSite, making the application process mobile, and providing the opportunity to add video and other content. It’s a brilliant, quick and cheap solution.

My reservation with the mobile half way house solution (as opposed to Maddle) is what happens when a potential candidate moves from a mobile friendly environment to a clunky, non-mobile friendly ATS. This puts a level of extra process in the application process, but is a big improvement on what is available now. In Part 5 tomorrow we will look closer at the mobile space and mobile recruiting.

The other platforms worth looking at when considering the social ATS are Irish company Zartis, and London start-up JobPage. Both offer low cost job distribution, social posting and ATS for the SME market. Zartis in particular is an evolving platform that integrates mobile, referral technology, WordPress plug-ins and other innovation. Zartis founder John Dennehy has a background in on-line gaming, and is integrating gaming thinking in to the platform. Expect to see more of these features in 2013. Dennehy is also involved in a really innovative country branding project with make IT Ireland and make IT Cork. I will be discussing these in more detail later in this review series.

It was HirePad founder Gold who first got me thinking that we should be doing away with the existing application process all together, inviting people to express interest, so that recruiters can get a look at interested people at the top of the funnel, and push only those candidates with a good fit in to the pain of applying in what is mostly a lengthy process, directing others towards a lighter touch talent network. I’m going to be very interested in seeing how this pans out over 2013, and if larger hiring companies can be persuaded to take this candidate centric approach. 2013 must see the applicant and the recruiter put at the heart of the application and candidate management process, and technology needs to reflect this.

Companies need to stop talking and start doing, which means involving recruiters in the recruitment technology buying process. All too often the real users just get given the latest purchase, and get told to get on with it. Is it any wonder that they just replace the old technology, with new technology without changing any of the processes.There is a lot of interesting technology coming in to this space to challenge the enterprise giants. The real innovation is coming from agile start-ups, and the market is calling out for change. 2013 will be the year we finally move from ATS to full recruiting platform, where tracking is only a small part of the functionality, and it is not before time. If the enterprise solutions don’t start changing usability, mobile optimization, ease (and willingness) to integrate with other technology and create easy navigation, then they are going to lose out as contracts come up for renewal. Watch this space!

Bill

Disclaimer: I have supplied paid for content to the TribePad blog this year, and Maddle and Vonq are sponsors of #TruAmsterdam.

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.

Visibility: The new influence (or why Klout is important)

Contrary to the popular myth, content is not king. It is important, yes, but not as important as found content. If I don’t see what you are posting, then you have no opportunity to influence me or change my thinking. The way the social media channels work now, I’m more likely not to see your content than to see it, and that changes things.
Whilst I appreciate what they have been trying to achieve, I’ve always taken my Klout score with a pinch of salt. My Klout score has always been a direct relation to the volume of updates I have been pushing out. Since I moved my principle channel from Twitter to Facebook, my score has dropped considerably, but have I become any more or less influential? I consider my real influence comes through my blog or the #tru events that I host around the world, and Klout doesn’t really factor this in, although my mentions might go up as a result.
Although the actual algorithm is shrouded in a bit of mystery, the guide to Klout lists the signals they use to calculate your score as follows:

Facebook
Mentions: A mention of your name in a post indicates an effort to engage with you directly.
Likes: The simplest action that shows engagement with the content you create.
Comments: As a reaction to content you share, comments also reflect direct engagement by your network.
Subscribers: Subscriber count is a more persistent measure of influence that grows over time.
Wall Posts: Posts to your wall indicate both influence and engagement.
Friends: Friend count measures the reach of your network but is less important than how your network engages with your content.
Twitter
Retweets: Retweets increase your influence by exposing your content to extended follower networks.
Mentions: People seeking your attention by mentioning you is a strong signal of influence. We also take into account the differences in types of mentions, including “via” and “cc.”
List Memberships: Being included on lists curated by other users demonstrates your areas of influence.
Followers: Follower count is one factor in your Score, but we heavily favor engagement over size of audience.
Replies: Replies show that you are consistently engaging your network with quality content.
Google+
Comments: As a reaction to content you share, comments also reflect direct engagement by your network.
+1’s: The simplest action that shows engagement with the content you create.
Reshares: Reshares increase your influence by exposing your content to extended networks on Google+.
LinkedIn
Title: Your reported title on LinkedIn is a signal of your real-world influence and is persistent.
Connections: Your connection graph helps validate your real-world influence.
Recommenders: The recommenders in your network add additional signals to the contribution LinkedIn makes to your Score.
Comments: As a reaction to content you share, comments also reflect direct engagement by your network.

The important thing here is the emphasis on unique interaction and subscriptions in all of the channels, and your ratio of interactions to follower/friend/connection count. This is critical because edgerank (and whatever name LinkedIn and Twitter use to rank content), means that your content is only visible to people who interact with you. This is most evident on Facebook, but is relevant to Twitter and LinkedIn because your updates get pushed right down the stream or feed when there is little interaction. Equally, shares, likes and comments combined with authorship on Google+ will increase your ranking in personal search results amongst your social connections. Whichever way you look at it, interaction means visibility, and visibility presents the opportunity to influence.

Personally, I place the greatest importance on LinkedIn interactions, because my LinkedIn network has the greatest relevance to the areas I work in, and there is less interaction in this channel. I have calculated the relevance of my LinkedIn network at 70%, where as Facebook is closer to 45% (with a smaller network), and Twitter at close to 30%. (with my biggest network.). Whilst it seems Klout ranks all channels equally, your Klout score is a good indicator of interactions, hence visibility. If your not getting visibility, then you need to either reconsider how to get interaction from your updates by inviting comment or asking questions, or consider paying to promote your updates or tweets, which makes them visible to larger sections of your network. Whilst LinkedIn don’t yet offer “promoted” updates, I’m sure the facility won’t be too far away. It might well also be time to take more than a passing interest in your Klout score.

Bill

You can read the full guide to Klout scores HERE

 

Now for something completely different: Jobsite.Com

I like things that are different. Companies who look at how things are done, follow user behavior and reinvent the model. The real innovation normally comes from start-ups who are agile, and have less layers of management to get “permission” from, or marketing departments not frozen by the fear of failure and perceived damage to the brand. In my experience, it is usually marketing who stifle innovation, and keeps companies rinsing and repeating the same products and process again and again. This week I saw something different, and it wasn’t from a start-up or small business.

Jobsite.Com takes the UK job board brand Jobsite to the US, except what on-line recruitment group Evenbase have come up with is not really a job board, at least not a job board as we know it. Different in virtually every respect from the tried, tested and tired model, from pricing to job listing.

I work with Evenbase from time to time, and Jobsite sponsor #truLondon. This has given me an opportunity to get a close look at their quarterly job seeker research, and products from companies like Broadbean and Jobrapido. What I’m seeing in Jobsite.Com is a combination of the expertise assembled in the Evenbase companies delivered in a new model labeled as Jobsite.Com.

What is so different about Jobsite.Com?

Firstly, it’s an aggregator with a similar user interface to Jobrapido. Jobrapido is now the second biggest vertical job search engine in the US, paving the way for the expansion of Jobsite in to the region.  One screen with two fields, What? and Where? The complicated work goes on under the hood, with no need to go from screen to screen. The jobs are scraped from direct employers career sites. Because the jobs are scraped from career sites, it is safe to assume that many of these jobs will not be advertised elsewhere.

I have been watching the matching technology that Jobsite have been developing in their lab on the south coast for the last year,now called Jobtology. This new school of matching tech does more than keyword counting, based on interpreting the meaning and context of whole documents. If you consider job specs and user profiles as two documents that match together, you get the idea of what is possible in Jobsite.Com, and the technology learns about you according to how you react to results, in order to perfect and personalize results. The more you interact, the better the result.Because jobs are scraped from sites, rather than posted by employers, I will be watching with interest to see what the % of employers are who will pay to access details, as there is no buy in process or permission needed to promote opportunities.

Jobsite.com integrates a version of Jobsite.co.uk’s award-winning job board technology, a scraping engine that aggregates jobs from millions of websites, an email marketing system, an e-commerce system, and Jobtology – Evenbase’s world-class semantic matching technology, all into one  offering.

The thinking behind this is to remove searching from job hunting and candidate matching (and this is the really exciting bit). Show potential applicants only the jobs they are interested in, qualified for and relevant, and show companies only the applicants who are qualified and relevant AND have expressed an interest in the job. Qualified and interested, that has to be a massive benefit to recruiters.

Jobsite.Com is an aggregator. That means that jobs come from multiple sources rather than just advertisers. Jobsite.Com has no advertising in the traditional way. The revenue model is based on giving hiring companies access to full profiles of interested applicants and pay $50 for contact details. No paid for jobs, no CV database or any of the traditional features. Think about how many profiles hiring companies are likely to want to connect with and what that will cost in comparison to the cost of job board advertising. I see this model of pricing as being the way all job boards will inevitably have to go, revenue by results rather than post and pray.

Applying for a job is quite simple, though geared to desktop rather than mobile in the first instance. All that is required is upload of a resume by attaching a file. up to 1500 words for a cover letter (and you get to see the job to the right of the cover letter as a reminder), drop downs for notice period, working status, expected salary minimum and max, name. address, city, state, zip code and contact numbers. There is the opportunity to save this data to profile, to avoid the need to input in the future. I’d like to see the addition of apply with LinkedIn to import data without the need for a resume or input of data. The new style of LinkedIn profile are great for this, and read much closer to a resume, are not presented as a .pdf (which has created problems when integrating with an ATS), with the option to add, delete or re-order the data. Apply with LinkedIn buttons are now on over 1 million websites globally, and would be a welcome addition here. If this was my product, I would be looking to go the extra step to make applications fully mobile. This would mean removing the need for a cover letter and resume upload, and that will take a shift in employer attitude as to what they want in an application to create access to employment.

Hiring companies access profiles of people who have expressed an interest in the job via the recruiter dashboard. Applicants are ranked by % match, with only those with a minimum score displayed. A “hot” candidate scores the minimum required level on the match, lives in the right area and has work status to fit the employer. What I really like about the back-end of Jobsite.Com is that you get to see all the data, score, resume, cover letter and personal data on one screen, with other qualifying candidates displayed as pin images on the right hand side of the screen for comparisons. Personal detail and identifying information like employer is omitted before paying for unlocking the detail. A big benefit I can see for applicants is that hiring companies will only pay to unlock the people they are really interested in, and the benefit to hiring companies is that they only see active candidates who have expressed an interest. No more time wasted searching dated CV databases or trying to contact candidates not in the market. All candidates are qualified, eligible to work and interested. Scores for candidates are calculated according to a semantic match with the job based on skills, background, experience, location and eligibility.

I spoke with Felix Wetzel, Evenbases Strategy Director about the launch. Wetzel is very clear that this is a beta launch to judge all user reactions, and to adjust the offering according to user behaviors and feedback. Wetzel is quoted as saying:

“Our immediate priority is to make sure the beta works, fine tune it, add in new development and move from beta to the full version of Jobsite.com for both candidates and hirers. Jobsite.com provides hirers already with something completely new and different and for the candidates we’ve got some equally revolutionary services in the pipeline.”

I’m excited about this offering, both for Evenbase and the job board industry as a whole. Job boards are far from dead, but they need to be evolving to stay current in this market place. Jobsite founder and Evenbase chairman Keith Potts comments:

“Our ability to update and re-invent our offering is what sets us apart. We will continue to develop and offer the latest technology to assist employers and job seekers.”

When I reviewed the launch of Evenbase, Potts was clear that the purpose of combining the brands was to be able to expand their offering globally. Jobsite.Com is a big step in this direction, and it is revolutionary in thinking. I look forward to seeing the results, and how the brave new initiatives work in the marketplace.

Bill

Disclaimer: I have worked with Evenbase on product, and Jobsite.Co.UK are regular sponsors of #truLondon.

 

 

A new extension that makes LinkedIn better from @HireSignals

Every so often you come across an app that is just a great idea. it might not be fully functioning yet, but you can see that what it does solves a real life problem in the market.Today I stumbled across one such app with HireSignals. They have been sharing my LinkedIn posts for a while, so I took a peek at what they actually do and i’m impressed by the simplicity and real need for the product.They have also been quite clever in how they position themselves with LinkedIn, enhancing user experience without competing.When a product is dependent on API access, then this is critical. Just think Pealk!

The problem for people in a job is how do they let recruiters know they are open to approaches without alerting their current employer? It needs a masonic type secret signal that says ” i’m in the market,” hidden from the world apart from the people they want to see them as active. The solution to this problem is the HireSignals platform.

The concept is that the platform sits on top of LinkedIn and enables people to state their intentions in job search. Recruiters sign up for access, which comes by way of a pop-up when they access a LinkedIn profile that has a HireSignals account. A neat feature that addresses the issue of confidentiality is the option to bar users from certain companies to see the status bar. This way users can hide their intentions from recruiters at their own company.

Sign up is one click using a users own LinkedIn profile. Users then register a status:

> Actively networking for jobs

> Passively networking for jobs

> Not networking but open to updates

> Not open to approaches

The user can then add specific information about what they are looking for like salary, benefits, level, stage of firm, and the domain names of firms they want to be hidden from. It is a very quick and easy process.

The app is currently only available as a Firefox extension, with a planned Chrome release for next month. When a recruiter has HireSignals installed and they conduct a search on LinkedIn, any profiles coming in results who also have a HireSignals account are colour coded. Green indicates active, Amber – possibly open to approaches and Red – Not open. Recruiters can then access what additional information is available on the platform. If a user is blocking a company from viewing their details then no color is attached to give away their status. In order to sign up, recruiters must provide a verified e-mail address attached to a firm. Recruiters changing firms need to re-apply. All recruiters are checked and validated to keep the platform clean.

Messaging is via LinkedIn through messages or InMail. HireSignals are not trying to build a network on a network, it is more about benefiting recruiter and job seeking users. The platform was built by a recruiter for the benefit of his own search boutique before going on general release.

This quote from pandomonthly gives an insight in to the thinking behind the platform:

“The intent with this platform is to create something that is both recruiter and candidate friendly but also highly complementary to LinkedIn and a genuine enhancement to their platform for recruiters,” says founder and CEO Feargall Kenny. Future updates plan to add notifications for recruiters when candidate connections change their status from not looking to any of the more receptive options.”

Kenny runs Glenborn Corporation, a boutique search firm for b2b web technology sales and product professionals, based in New York. Kenny is also closely tied in with the NY Technology MeetUp Group, and the PitchOutOfWaterMeetUpGroup, having close ties with V.C. firms in the market. He is clearly one of the new breed of recruiters who do so much more to contribute to the business community they work in beyond recruiting.

I was curious about the business model behind the product. It is free for recruiters and job seekers, so is this a freemium offering ahead of something bigger? This is answered in the pandomonthly article:

“HireSignals is currently free for all parties, although there are thoughts about monetizing going forward. This is a tricky proposition given that the tool is built on top of LinkedIn’s API. As has been proven repeatedly in recent months, building on top of another company’s API — specifically a larger one — is a risky proposition which has come back to burn many startups.

LinkedIn’s API Terms of Service prohibit making “ad revenue” or “subscription revenue” off the platform. This would seem to leave the door open for HireSignals to take a cut of the agency commission or corporate referral fees which are standard in the industry — for example, if a recruiter is paid a fee of 20 percent of the candidate’s yearly salary, HireSignals as the referrer may one day receive 10 percent of that commission.”

HireSignals have set strict rules for how recruiters can use the platform and contact candidates:

Code of Conduct for Recruiters Using the HireSignals platform

Housekeeping rules

  • To protect candidate confidentiality you are prohibited from sharing your access with another recruiter
  • If you move to another firm or to a non-recruiting function within a corporation, you must create a new account
  • You must abide by candidates interests and filters and only contact them with positions that closely match their criteria
  • Do Not contact candidates If they say not to
  • A candidates’s status is highly confidential. It is not to be shared with anyone outside your firm.

Failure to adhere to these rules can mean the termination of your recruiter account on HireSignals.

Contacting candidates

  • You don’t contact candidates through this site or the add-on – continue to use your standard methods of contact – Inmails, phone,emails etc. If the HireSignals’ platform aided you in your outreach you should mention “I saw your HireSignal…” in the title of your email.

If the platform continues to compliment rather than compete with LinkedIn, driving all users back to the original platform, and working as an extension on top of it, then I can see real potential as they expand to chrome and other browsers, I have a feeling they could become a feature of the platform, then who knows where they might go. LinkedIn have a history of buying apps that enhance user experience, Cardmunch and SlideShare being great examples. Could this be the eventual destination for this simple app that solves a very real problem for recruiters and job seekers? I wouldn’t bet against it, and good luck to them, it’s simple, effective and useful to all LinkedIn users. I like it.

Bill

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Being number one on Google (infographic)

I found this infographic when I was researching a post on Google and page rank. I think some of these points are really worth taking on board. How often do you look past the first few entry’s on Google, and most people start their job search on Google. If you like it please pin and share it.
Thanks to Brand Yourself for creating the infographic, and the Undercover Recruiter for sharing it on your recruiting board.
Bill

Recruiters: What the new LinkedIn means to you

LinkedIn are on a constant path of change. Jeff Weiner, CEO of the professional networking giant describes this as a state of constant beta. The long term aims of the channel are shrouded in secrecy, but if you keep up with the changes it is easy to see a pattern developing. In the last quarters financial results Weiner commented that the company had made significant investments in increasing their sales team and in developing product. Each time I log in, something looks different or has moved to a different position on the screen. Whilst these changes might seem cosmetic, they are changing the way users are interacting with the platform, and this means recruiters need to be rethinking their LinkedIn strategy.

The trend over time was for using LinkedIn from outside of the channel, with users relying on e-mail and third party applications to interact and keep up. At one time the average user only visited the channel 1.9 times a month. Most notably, engagement levels were low, and the discussion was all around whether LinkedIn was a social channel at all. What is interesting to note is that since the recent redesign of the home page engagement is now at a record level for the channel because users are driven to the home page, and the home page now contains a stream for updates which increases engagement.

One of the other new features enables users to determine which updates get displayed on their home page. The default is for all updates in time sequence, with a refresh button at the top of the stream to show the number of updates since you logged in to the channel. The display options are:

>Top
The most popular updates from your connections (what constitutes popular is explained below this list.)

>Recent
The latest updates.

>LinkedIn Today
Users can customise this according to what topics they want to follow. This is very similar to the way the Mashable social app enables users to choose what content they want to follow by category.

>Connections.
Based on your personal network.

>Shares
What is being shared by your network displayed by time line

>Groups
Updates from your connections in the groups that you share

>Profiles
Changes to the profiles of your connections. This is quite a neat way to keep up to date with what is happening from your connections in one place, from changes to job title, address etc to who is launching a LinkedIn ad campaign.

>Applications
The applications added to profiles by your connections.

>Companies
Changes to company profiles by your network, recommendations and updates.
>Answers
Another neat feature that lets you see all the questions asked and answers given by your network. You can answer this question from this screen or comment, like or share, a great way to engage with your connections when they are reaching out for help or advice.

>Your Updates
Your personal updates including comments,likes and shares.

>Customize
This enables users to determine what type of updates they choose to see or hide, and how many updates they want to see on their home page. If a user is not interested in seeing jobs you may be interested in they can choose to hide them.

LinkedIn are also working on automating moving jobs from the stream (and group discussions) when they are posted as updates. This will clean up the stream and keep it relevant and topical for users. For recruiters, this will also impact on the practice of posting jobs to updates and in to discussions in groups. The only way to reach targeted audience for jobs will be through paid for advertising (most effective), or by posting in the jobs section of groups.

Customisation is a big feature of the new home page because users can edit their own home screen changing the position of the key features and taking out the ones they don’t want. LinkedIn want to give users a personalised experience on their home page, again to encourage use, and making it a destination for users to keep up and engage with their network in one place. The more time users spend in the channel, the more opportunities to serve up PPC and targeted ads based on user behaviour and profile. What i’m seeing among the channels is that their battle is as much about user time as it is about the number of users. Over the last quarter LinkedIn reported a significant increase in ad revenue and a significant increase in sales staff. PPC and ad revenue goes well beyond recruiter products, and it may well be that the company see this as the route away from their dependence on the dominant recruiter revenues. Success in this area is dependent on time spent in channel.

The company have clearly taken some inspiration for this from Facebook and Edgerank, aiming to deliver the most relevant and popular content to the top of the feed via LinkedIn Today. Updates are shared according to the posts that are trending amongst your connections. When you consider that your LinkedIn network is going to be far the most relevant to your objectives by a long way. My own network, which stands at close to 4000 connections comprises of 70% of relevant audience. Others with a smaller network may well have an even higher level of relevance. This means that effective updates are becoming increasingly important because they are far more likely to be seen by the people you want to reach than in any other channel.

LinkedIn shares are ranked according to comments,likes and shares for promoting in the stream between connections. To get “share” points and inclusion in the algorithm the shared content needs to contain a LinkedIn share button first on the list of share options, an important consideration for page design. Retweets count as LinkedIn shares provided the link on the tweet originated from your profile. This means posting to LinkedIn first manually on the home page, and tweeting from the update. This also applies for LinkedIn links posted to Facebook. Even if you are using a posting app like buffer, or a shortner like bitly, use the LinkedIn update as the originating link. By linking all postings back to LinkedIn as the originating source, every action counts as a LinkedIn like, comment or share, and each action will advance the promotion of your content in the channel.

Yesterday, I noticed that LinkedIn have taken the update and share feature from the profile to the home page. This subtle change is quite clever because it drives users to their personal home page rather than their profile, and the more familiar people become with their home page, the more often they are going to use it and review the updates in the stream. The other change of significance is enabling updates from company pages. Again this brings the way LinkedIn works closer to what works on Facebook with pages, enabling users to share updates and communicate with their followers.

Company pages have also added a new feature that gives page admins access to the profiles of who is following the company account. This is the first time recruiters (via the page admin) have been able to see who is connecting with them in order to reach out to anyone who looks of interest. Jobseekers also have access to a similar feature for the page as the one for group statistics. As the company pages are evolving they could become as important as Facebook fan pages for recruiting, especially now that you can post updates from the page. It is going to be interesting to see how these evolve.

Another of the announcements to come out of the last briefing was that LinkedIn are now making it much easier for developers of third party applications.to develop sign ins using their profile, access to updates for monitoring and posting and for integrating share features. Notably, LinkedIn are making it easy for applications that facilitate engagment in groups beyond purely posting in to discussions. This links back to my view of where LinkedIn are positioning themselves among the social media channels. Everything they are developing points to 4 aims:

> To increase engagement between a targeted professional audience without the noise of other channels such as Twitter or Facebook.

> To become the channel for sharing to a targeted and very relevant audience.

> To be the professional reference point for signing in or signing up for any application such as job seeking.

> To become the source for structured professional data and all its applications. This goes well beyond recruiting.

Everything I’m seeing points to great progress in these areas. When you consider your recruiting strategy and how you attract, reach and engage with talent, it is important to consider how the changing face of the channel could impact on your strategy. Time to rethink how you are using LinkedIn for the new age? It is a different place that needs a new approach, and old thinking is just that. Make the most of the changes.

Bill