The Evenbase Quarterly Recruitment Review: My Thoughts

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

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

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

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

Jobs for the quarter

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

Job search methods 

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

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

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

Job Board Use

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

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

The inside information. 

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

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

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

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

The Mobile Surprise

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

Changing Recruiter Focus.

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

Summary

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

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

Light Bulb Moments From New Orleans #LASHRM

It’s been a few weeks now since I got back from #LASHRM in New Orleans. I have something I always do a few weeks after an event. I take some blank sheets of paper and I write down a few statements and words under 3 headings:

> What do I remember? What were the light bulb moments?

> Who do I remember?

> Out of 10, would I go back again?

Just for a change I thought it would share the first and last sections publicly, and for the record, in terms of who I remember, it was one of the longest lists from any event. This was a memorable event with a memorable crowd.

My light bulb moments:

> If you only connect with people like you, you will learn nothing and gain nothing.

> Diversity is as much about personality as colour, race etc

> Your network is your posse who are in your corner.

> If we all think the same some of us are irrelevant

> It’s not what you know it’s who you know, and that’s a good thing, despite negative connotations. Network intentionally.

> When you reward people for what you want them to do before you ask them to do it, they are much more likely to do what you want compared with rewarding them only if they do it.

> New Orleans is both one of the 5 most friendly cities in the world, and also the 5 most dangerous at the same time.

> Gumbo with everything is perfectly acceptable.

> It’s better to be the party than go to the party.

> People who earn $14.5 Mn a year essentially want the same things from work and colleagues as people on minimum wage. People are people whatever the status.

> Creating opportunities for accidental engagement is the best way to get people to ask what they really want to know. talking in places like car parks and water coolers beats meetings in offices because of informality. Executives need to create plenty of opportunities for this to happen.

> 5% of the people influence the behavior of the other 95%. The key is knowing who the 5% are, what motivates them and reaching them.

>  Its more effective to manage the work rather than the hours.

> It’s easier to take the work to where the skills are than take try to bring the skills to the work.

> People have better technology in their houses than they have in their offices.

> Don’t be afraid to fly the freak flag.

> Best practice is not innovation.

> State conferences beat champagne headline  events for content and community.

> Police horses fit in bars.

> You can tap dance by fitting tin can lids on the bottom of your shoes.

>If you are communicating the need for change, you need to deliver it as a benefit to the ones who are going to have to do the changing, not the benefit to you.

> When you give an order, people will follow but absolve themselves from responsibility for the outcome.

> American service can be as bad as UK service, they just wish you a “nice day” after.

> I’d like to work for Rose Hudson, the CEO of Louisiana State Lottery.

> The worst and most dangerous type of prejudice is delivered by people who would not consider themselves prejudiced.

> You don’t go to work, work comes to you.

> Robin Schooling is quite brilliant at getting everyone together. We all went to New Orleans because Robin asked. Thats the power of personal connections.

> Everyone in Louisiana talks about their life in 2 parts. Before the storm and after the storm.

> User adoption is more important than technical capability in HR Tech.

> Most people operate their current technology at 20%.

> New Orleans has gone through the rebuilding period and is now in the renaissance period. Town branding is important for its citizens.

> Jazz is quite cool but Blues is better.

> Big Al Carson should be a worldwide star.

Thats what I remembered from #LASHRM, and it’s a big list. I remembered a whole lot of new people. Thanks to you all, it was a lot of fun.

And the last bit, my score for if I would go back, it’s 11 out of 10! Brilliant conference. Brilliant time, and I’m already plotting #truNewOrleans for later in the year.

Bill

When The S**T hits the fan. A ConSol Partners Story

I was on my way back from #truMadrid when I got a message on Facebook from a fairly senior head of recruiting at a business you would all know. The message contained a link to a story published in The Kernel about recruitment business ConSol Partners under the heading

“Another Tech Recruiter Lying And Fabricating”under the category “Parasite.” The reason I was being asked about my thoughts on the story was that my friend spends quite a lot of money with ConSol, and was questioning if that was actually a good idea given the story.

The nature of the story was that a recruiter at ConSol had a candidate who had been interviewed by a start up and was waiting on an answer because they had another offer with a deadline, and another first interview with another of ConSols clients the following week. The allegation is that the recruiter knew the start up had decided not to pursue the candidate but lied about not having feedback because they wanted the candidate to let the deadline pass and go for the other interview. The post goes on to claim that ConSol went as far as to fabricate e-mails and storys as to how they had been unable to get hold of their client, and as a result, the candidate let the offer pass, missing out on the opportunity.

When the truth came out, the client was understandably unhappy to have been put in a bad light, and the candidate was understandably incensed, My friend had seen the story and wanted to know If I thought it was true and if they should be cutting ties with ConSol Partners, and they wont have been the only client to see it. The post featured a picture of Marc Cohen, Director of ConSol. Not great PR for anyone.

I’m not writing this post to pour more scorn on ConSol. On the face of it, the business has demonstrated the very worst of what the recruitment industry occasionally serves up, that does great damage to the greater majority of excellent recruiters. I say on the face of it, because I only know one side of the story. There could be more to it. ConSol may have a different take on things, I just couldn’t find it.

The Kernel post linked to the ConSol website and I;m sure they got plenty of traffic. I was looking for some kind of response, or even an acknowledgment, but nothing. I used Addictomatic to look at the wider social arena, and all I came up with The Kernel post and plenty of job tweets and posts. Google front page listed the website and The Kernel post again at 5. If I was searching for the company then there it is, not a great advert.

It could be that this is the action of a rogue recruiter, and the business is investigating or have already taken some action. I would have expected to find something somewhere. A comment on the post to at least acknowledge it could have taken some of the sting out of the tail. A strong network in the social channels would have brought some positive comments about the business from fans, but that takes time.

If I were in ConSol’s shoes, I’d be thinking quickly about how to manage the situation. My advice to any recruitment business is to monitor the social content with alerts so that they can respond to any negative comment before the story gets viral. For many people, silence speaks volumes. You don’t have to hold your hands up to everything you might be accused of, but you should acknowledge comments and be clear that you are not going in to hiding. You also need to have invested time in building your own networks. They will add their support when you need it if you have earnt it.It’s another great example of why recruitment businesses should be social and earning good will.

As a warning to other recruiters, The Kernel are on a bit of a mission. The post concludes with this comment:

“Recruitment companies, with the exception of headhunters at the higher levels, are often grubby, ugly places, staffed by low-grade, barely skilled operators. Few firms act ethically and responsibly.

For some reason, the people who run these parasitic organisations continue to imagine they can get one over on companies and candidates who are savvier and better-connected than they are.

The Kernel is currently compiling a feature-length report on the tricks and scams these unscrupulous companies try to pull on tech start-ups. In the meantime, this is one firm you’ll want to avoid. “

Bloggers have the power to publish, and sensational story’s go viral quickly. You can only influence the conversation if you are in it. There might be legal measures you can take down the line, but once a story is out, it’s out, and hangs around. Judging by the Kernel post, there is plenty more to come out. If ever recruitment firms needed a push to get social in order to understand how to communicate in the social channels, this should be it. Disgruntled candidates, clients and employees can wash their dirty laundry in public. It might be justified, it might not, but the one certainty is that these “exposes” will become more common. Time to wake up and smell the coffee! Be aware, be ready and transparent.

Bill

Bill

Whats happening in LinkedIn groups?

Last weeks post on my view of where LinkedIn is now as a channel attracted plenty of attention and comments from the likes of Matt Alder and Mr.LinkedIn, otherwise known as Mark Williams. my view is that the channel is predominantly becoming a people reference channel, and the place for targeted connecting and content posting/sharing, with an increasing number of users accessing the channel,commenting etc through third-party applications and e-mail.
When I first signed up for the channel, it wasn’t the case. I did plenty of networking and connections by being active in groups, and answering questions. Most of the books that I’ve seen talks about the channel operating in the same way, but in my view, it doesn’t. When I surveyed source of hire from 50 companies who promote hiring from LinkedIn, the source of hire story was much the same. This is the results that came back from the research, and this was data from the companies who were speaking loudly about their success on LinkedIn:

> 45% came from direct sourcing from LinkedIn where the recruiter initiated the approach. most had a LinkedIn recruiter account and felt it was effective.
> 19% came from PPC advertising. (In particular the ad featuring the picture from the profile in the “work here” ads) seem to have been very effective.
> 14% came from direct approaches to recruiter profiles or company profiles. (Hence the need for a well optimised profile and easy to find contact details.)
> 11% came from shared jobs and updates
> 7% came from company groups
> 4% came from other connections

You can read the full post HERE

I thought it was worth taking a closer look at group statistics to see what story they are telling. I took the data from 30 of the groups I belong to. The results are as follows:

> Total members: 343,010

> Average members per group: 11,433

> Largest Group: 134,980 members

> Smallest Group: 40 members

> Total Discussions: 2,144

> Average Discussions Per Group: 71

> Total Comments: 412

> Average Comments per group: 20

> Discussions per member: 1:168

> Comments per member: 1:596

> Comments per discussion: 1:3.5

From the groups that I looked at, only 2 stood out as being different to the trend:

> The Boolean Strings Network

> Recruitment Consultant.Eu

Both of these reversed the trend and had more comments than discussions, and conversation between members. These groups aside, the majority of members don’t contribute. The best way to get connections and to message without being connected is to belong to the same group. Sharing a group also raises your position in search, and recommendations for jobs, and as a “person you might know”. Looking at the contributions to the groups, I think most people are joining all 50 groups without getting involved in them. Joining a group in your target market is the most effective way to get reach and messaging, the channel is built this way.

Looking at the nature of discussions in groups, they are mostly links, rather than open discussions. You can share content with all your groups without going in to them, and I suspect this is where most of the discussions are coming from, and the reason for the lack of comments. The average user visits the channel directly 2.8 times a month.and according to comscore, spending 12 minutes in total a month. Thats not a lot of time for visiting groups, reading posts and commenting.

That said, I’m not saying that groups are a waste of time. Amongst the 50 I belong to there are probably 3 that stand out as communities. the common denominator amongst these is a strong and committed group owner or manager who takes the time to approve posts, generate discussion and move posts to promotions and jobs to jobs, they also spend time checking membership applications and issue warning messages to wrong doers. With the lack of quality groups, a good one really stands out, so there is opportunity, but you really need to be committed, as well as having an active plan for recruiting new members who are regular contributors and commenters in other groups.

Probably more concerning from the 30 groups I looked at is the week on week growth and decline. From the 30 groups, 5 grew by % of members, 8 remained static and 16 had shrunk in membership. The total decline across all the groups was 334%, showing a significant number of leavers against joiners.

What I am seeing from this data is that with a few exceptions, the channel is much more about posting and sharing via updates and groups than it is about connecting within the groups and having open discussion. I know from my referer figures that the channel remains the top source because of the targeted nature of the network. My LinkedIn connections, and those in the groups I belong to form my target audience. Posting in to LinkedIn is an essential part of my strategy, but I’m not expecting any conversation.

Bill

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Sunday ShoutOut: @Rruxx: Ruxandra Fratescu #TruGrad #CIETT2012

I’ve known Ruxandra since #Trulondon3, just over a year ago. I had the privelidge of being her mentor in the #truGrad program, we still speak often. Today is Rux’s birthday, which makes it the best day to feature her for my Sunday Shout Out.
Ruxandra was an easy person to mentor. She had a fixed plan that she wanted to be a recruiter, and when she agreed to do something to help herself, she always follows through with it. Ruxandra is highly competitive, in a positive way, and this was one of the main things that appealed to her about moving in to third-party recruiting after graduating from Middlesex University. This is highlighted in her background as a professional tennis player. Despite some parental pressure to pursue a career in tennis, Ruxandra elected to go to a business school in Romania, before moving to London to study Business and Law at Middlesex Uni.

From our first meeting Ruxandra updated her LinkedIn profile, joined and posted in groups asking for help. started a blog, created an on-line CV and made sure the world knew who she was through social. The result was plenty of attention, help, interviews and ultimately employment with K2 solutions as a Recruiter.

Despite the tough demands of starting work, completing training and being a succesful biller, Ruxandra has continued to contribute, being the driving force behind #truRomania and co-ordinating this years in-take of #truGrads. I’ve also seen her grow in confidence as a speaker, talking on behalf of the graduate population about employability.

Ruxandra has led tracks at #trulondon, #truDublin, #truRomania and #truAmsterdam. I’ve also asked her to take part in the #OccupyTheConference tracks at #CIETT2012, as a new recruiter I’m sure she is going to have a lot to tell those who have forgotten what it is like starting out. This is what Kevin Wheeler had to say about her at #truAmsterdam:

I’m proud to have been a part of Ruxandra’s story. I’m sure theres much more to come over the next few months and years. Happy birthday and good luck for the future. Her story demonstrates how any student can use social to get the opportunity they deserve, and connect with people who can really help launch a career, and continue with help and advice. If you sit in this bracket, you should really connect with her.

Bill

Ruxandra on LinkedIn

Bill

 

#OccupyTheConference #CIETT2012 London 23'rd – 25'th May

#CIETT2012  is coming to London on 23′rd – 25′th May, and I’m really excited. I’m excited because there is going to be visitors from the recruitment industry around the world here in London. There is a great line up of speakers, but more importantly we are going to be occupying the conference for 2 hours. Not in a squatter type way. We come with an invite to run 2 hours of unconference sessions, 3 tracks an hour. We will be putting away the Powerpoint, rearranging the chairs and creating conversation. Participants can move between tracks to make sure they get what they want from the sessions. The planned tracks are:

> The Social Agency – Steve Ward and Elkie Holland – Career Recruiters

> The Social Channels – Andy Headworth – Social Recruiting Consulting

>Corporate Social Recruiting – Klaudia Drulis – Oracle Corporation

>Going Mobile – @BillBoorman – Rebel Rouser

>Recruiter Branding – Jorgen Sundberg – Personal Branding Expert

>Social Sourcing – Johnny Campbell – Sourcing Expert

It’s going to be a real change for the participants in the middle of presentations. You need to be there!

Bill

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Top 10 Countries By Growth In Facebook Users

After last weeks post on the number of LinkedIn users by country, I thought it would be interesting to look at the top 10 countries by growth in number of Facebook users over the last 3 months. Thanks again to SocialBakers.Com for the data. The pen figure denotes penetration of the total population.

1. Brazil:  Users  46339720   Growth +8 432 320  Gain +22.24%  Pen  23.04%
2. India:  Users 45774260 Growth  +2 276 280  Gain +5.23%  Pen 3.90%
3. Japan: Users 8606640  Growth +1 836 820  Gain +27.13%  Pen 6.79%
4. United States: Users 157233760 Growth +1 531 980 Gain +0.98%  Pen 50.68%
5. South Korea:  Users 7034640  Growth+1 332 820  Gain+23.38%  Pen 14.46%
6. Egypt:  Users 10643740  Growth +1 099 340 Gain +11.52% Pen 13.23%
7. Mexico: Users  33041600 Growth+1 006 720  Gain +3.14%  Pen 29.38%
8. Germany: Users 23522500 Growth +921 840  Gain +4.08%  Pen 28.59%
9. Colombia: Users 16348660  Growth+729 080  Gain +4.67%  Pen 36.98%
10. Canada: Users 17883840  Growth +693 600  Gain +4.03%  Pen 52.97%

The data for the UK during this period was:

13: Users 30783600 Growth: +534 260 Gain: +1.77% Pen: 49.37%

Not quite half the population yet, but this figure should be achieved over the next quarter at the current growth rate. You can see the figures for any country by clicking on the link below.

Bill

SocialBakers.Com


What is LinkedIn Now?

Last week I wrote a post on the value of a LinkedIn share. The tracking i completed through Visibli led me to rank the value of a share in the channel as 6 x the value of comparative channels. This is mostly due to the greater relevance of LinkedIn networks, which is the most valuable feature of the network in my opinion. I’ve been spending a lot of time investigating the features, and how users are using the channel in order to get a clear view of just what LinkedIn is becoming.

I blogged a while ago that LinkedIn was not really a social site. It was one of my most popular posts in terms of reads. I’m seeing this becoming increasingly true, with less interaction, comments etc, and more people accessing the network and its features externally via e-mail etc. Where I see LinkedIn now is as the professional reference site for people. When you come across anyone new, we are increasingly turning to LinkedIn ahead of Google to check who they are. On my desktop I do it whilst I’m on the phone, and I’m sure it won’t be too long before we will be able to see the headline profiles of people who call us or connect with us on mobile devices so that we can see who and what they are instantly.

Equally, I’m seeing LinkedIn data getting integrated in to other applications as the point of reference. Tools like Salescrunch, which is built for running on-line sales meetings or webinars for groups of up to 40, and Cardcrunch (now owned by LinkedIn) which allows you to scan business cards of people you meet to send out invites,both use profiles to give reference to people’s profiles as you interact with them. I also revisited the chrome application store to view the apps that integrate in a similar way, working via the toolbar.

The search on LinkedIn extension enables you to find company profiles by highlighting any text, and the profile appears in a pop up without leaving the page you are on. You can review a resume/CV and take a look at the listed employers without needing to complete a separate search. Although this covers only company pages at the moment, there are plans to add people profiles very soon. 

Whoworks.At is a great extension or app for recruiters and anyone in a sales or research company. Once you’ve added the extension, you can see who you are connected with on LinkedIn on any website. It’s a great way for quick sourcing or reference in any conversation.

LinkedIn for Chrome lets you view all the updates from your network without logging in to the channel. You can add comments, updates, likes, share via twitter, see profiles and post in to your groups from your toolbar.

Share On LinkedIn enables you to share any content with your network from your toolbar. See any interesting content and you can choose to share it with everyone via updates, with individuals via messages and with groups.

I’ve listed 4 extensions that I use, but there are plenty of others either available or in development. The common trends are that new apps work with Linkedin data and profiles without the need to log in to the channel. The common denominator is that they all enable users to access and interact with the channel as the professional reference point enabling interaction, sharing and review outside of the channel. Central to this is the quality of personal and company profiles and network connections. Each of these applications are controlled by LinkedIn’s strict terms that determines how the data can be used. That means no scraping or storing, with access in to the data coming at the point of inquiry. LinkedIn enforces this rigorously, which means all apps need to follow this, and having a detailed profile is not an option, it’s a necessity. This strict control and enforcement means that access to the API is essential for any recruitment product, and that LinkedIn can determine just how users data gets used. this gives them control over developers, and protects the integrity of the channel. The tough stance is starting to make a lot of sense.

Increasingly LinkedIn profiles are the reference point for sign ups. job applications etc. This will only be multiplied by the increased use of mobile, where form filling is cumbersome and awkward. All of this points towards the channels purpose as THE professional reference point for companies and individuals.

The other area I see LinkedIn focusing is as a specialist source for news and content. The real benefit of LinkedIn networks is the relevance of connections. Looking at my own network, I’m connected with just under 3,500 people. Looking through the connections, 89% have direct relevance to what I do. My network gives me an extended reach of over 16,500,000 people. If you consider the relevance of my network, if the same ratio applies then it’s easy to see how far relevant content can reach.

When I published the sharing post i got an e-mail from Daniel Roth, who is the Executive Editor at LinkedIn, giving me more detail on what they are doing to encourage sharing of news and content. In March LinkedIn launched LinkedIn Today, which was added to increase the exposure and reach of shared content. The analytics behind what gets featured comes from the LinkedIn share button, called InShare, which you can embed in any web place. Each share scores points, and trending storys get featured on LinkedIn Today and the home page of LinkedIn under trending storys.

You can view LinkedIn Today by all news, sector news or individual publishers. On sign-up, users get a choice to follow industries. Theres currently 48 sectors to choose between. Following is by simple tick. You can also choose from an A-Z list of publishers (which includes blogs.) To get on the list of publishers you need to include the LinkedIn button on the sharing options and apply directly to LinkedIn Today for a publisher page. I think that this could be a great source for new, targeted readers in sector. Users can sign up to receive e-mail updates on the trending storys with choice over intervals. Featured content is selected ranked by shares from a wide range of sources. It will also help to achieve this by sharing appropriate posts in to groups. You can do this from updates or the InShare button. Don’t share every post or it will be considered spam, and include an introductory discussion and respond to comments. Groups will multiply your shares and your points. Monitor which groups share which content, so that you can rotate posts according to their topic. It takes a bit longer but it keeps you as a friend rather than foe.

Recently, LinkedIn has been added to the WordPress share features, so there is no need to add any complicated code or embed it in the programs.  This used to be only available in self-hosted .Org blogs. To add the InShare  button go to the settings feature from your dashboard, then the sharing setting, The first section enables you to link your Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Messenger and most importantly LinkedIn. Every time you publish a post, it is added to updates. Right now, you need to update manually if you want to add an image (which increases click-throughs), and some introductory text. I’m sure this will change in the near future, and activating it means you never forget. The other advice I would give is to disable automatic sharing to Twitter, and tweeting direct from your LinkedIn update. My reasoning behind this is that if you share from a LinkedIn update, each retweet counts as a LinkedIn share and is added to your score. Combining Twitter RT’s with LinkedIn shares give you a much greater chance of getting featured as a trending post by combining the channels.

The next section is the sharing buttons that you can add to each post. These now include LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, as well as channels like Digg, Stumbleupon, E-mail, Reddit etc. You choose which buttons to feature, and which ones to put behind the share button. You can choose the style of button, and what text you want to add. I have put the LinkedIn button first because I believe that this will lead to the most shares in LinkedIn, which is most likely to be relevant and will earn you points. Choose to feature your share buttons on all pages, posts, archive and other media.

The last bit is the tough bit, you need to create content worthy of sharing. It looks to me that LinkedIn are doing all they can to develop focused content sharing in to targeted networks. I think LinkedIn Today will become an important feature for achieving this, and should form an important part in your content strategy. Enable sharing by adding all the buttons, apply to be a publisher and produce content for this audience.

That brings you up to date on my thinking on where LinkedIn is going as a channel, and how you can get the most out of it. The functions of where LinkedIn should feature in your thinking are:

1) As THE professional reference point for people and companies, accessed in the channel and through third-party applications and extensions.

2) As the sourcing channel by search.

3) For building a targeted network by connections. New applications like Salescrunch and Cardmunch encourage adding connections from other activities. The more targeted the network, the better the share.

4) For sharing, promoting and consuming targeted content with a specific audience.

This is my thoughts on what LinkedIn has become. Less about engagement, and more about reference and targeted distribution. I think we are beginning to get a clear definition of what LinkedIn is as a channel and where it should fit in to our thinking. What is clear, is that it really isn’t a job board.

Bill

Links

LinkedIn Shares

LinkedIn Share Buttons

LinkedIn Today FAQ

Salescrunch

Cardmunch

Chrome Extensions

WordPress Add Share buttons

Cool Social Recruiting Tools With @Fishdogs #LASHRM

At Louisiana SHRM I got the privilege of presenting again with my friend Craig Fisher, better known as @Fishdogs. It is a bit of a geek fest when I get together with Craig. We are always looking at the latest apps that come out, and trying to hack them for recruiting purposes. With 100′s of apps coming out each week, it’s hard to keep up without one slipping under the net, so it is great when we can compare notes, even if the stalker potential scared the HR audience a little.
I have included the presentation that lists all the tools that we had a look at. Whilst the presentation is called cool tools, I would always maintain that it’s not the tool that is cool. A carpenter doesn’t call a hammer or a saw cool, but it’s what they do with them that sometimes get great and unexpected results. I think these tools are much the same, less cool tool than cool result. You need to be careful to not get seduced by the bright and shiny things, whilst being open to finding the ones that really will help you find the best talent.
As well as the ones on the list, i also did a bit of a live demo of Bullhorn Reach, and talked a little bit about Tribepad (as middleware), and the Visibli share bar that i have blogged about recently. It was a great session, and a real joy to show some of the unitiated just what is possible with a little imagination. Thanks Craig for inviting me to join you again. It’s always a blast.
As well as looking at the tools, Craig also shared a few tips on LinkedIn, that form part of his LinkedIn certified training. Things like:

> A profile of a 1000 words or more gets 40% of clicks.
> Pictures or avatars with photos of men staring straight at the camera and trying to smile or holding their chin 80% less connection requests from women than those who look at an angle.
>The word jobs is searched for 4xmore than job. always use Jobs in keywords.
>Embed keywords and long-tailed keyword phrases as the name on links to sections of your website for SEO.

While I like them all, I think to tool that really stood out for me was Rapportiv. I’m going to be blogging about this in more detail later in the week. Enjoy the show!

Sunday Shout Out:: @WilliamTincup – Community Freak #DTHR

I’m stuck at New Orleans Louis Armstrong Airport on my way back from what has been an excellent #LASHRM. Thanks to Robin Schooling for including me in 2 great days. During the event I got to see a brilliant opening keynote on social capital by the twosome that make up Talent Anarchy. One of the phrases that really stood out in the talk was that to stand out in social you need to fly your freak flag. Thats a term i really relate to. For me it’s about being different and unique. thinking and communicating in ways that contravene conventional thinking and mediocrity. There are few people who fit this term better than the recipient of this weeks Sunday Shout Out, William Tincup. I use the term community freak as a compliment, he is both unique and original and anything but ordinary. I like Tincup because he breaks the rules and makes new ones. Spending time with William and the conversation flows from travel, music, cigars, social, HR, people, and it is non-stop and frantic. I’ve spent some extended time in the company of William 3 times in the past year. Each time I have left with a new viewpoint or thought. Each time he has followed up the meeting with an introduction to someone new. These introductions have always been mutually beneficial, and have not benefited William directly. It’s the way he rolls.
If you want to see why William is different, then you don’t need to look any further than his website, “William Tincup: That’s all you had to say.” When you visit the site, it kind of breaks the rules of what others might tell you a modern website must contain. There’s no picture, other than a logo, no video, and plenty of long written text. It is less of a website and more of a manifesto on the direction Tincup is going. When you look at what he does, there are three clear things that stand out. What he sells: Conversations. What he doesn’t do: Any delivery. Where he is going: This is Tincups vision in his own words: ” I’ve always been a “what’s next” guy. I tend to manage my life better when I have goals. So during this period of my life, I have set the next goal to be this simple: by the time I’m 50 (8 years from now), I want to be the default expert on User Adoption Marketing. That’s it.”. He goes on to explain that in the short-term he is on a mission to talk to 1000 HR practitioners and 250 vendors on the topic. There is a book planned, which he intends to become the bible on the subject, and he is racking up the miles getting to nearly every conference going, talking, listening and connecting. The mission is explicit, and he is clear that he wants to achieve this by the time he is 50, within the next 8 years. I wouldn’t bet against him.

Tincup has been running marketing agencies for the last 11 years. First with Ariesnet, before creating the iconic Starr-Tincup, in partnership with Brett Starr, in November 2000. It was through Starr-tincup that I first became aware of William, through his weekly e-mail newsletter. I remember first thinking who are these crazy guys? This content is just insane, but then it grew on me. Each week I started looking forward to hearing from them and the latest ramblings. A bit like reading an episode of the Simpsons. I never wanted to miss one.

In July 2010 I read an update that Tincup was taking a new direction. it was an amicable parting of the ways between Tincup and Starr, with Tincup being very open about his reasoning for wanting to take a whole new direction. The first post explaining the story still forms the first page of his website, titled “My Story.” He explained his reasoning as

“Accolades and applause aside, lately I haven’t been a pleasure to be around.  I knew something wasn’t quite right with me but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it….

Have you ever fallen out of love with something you helped create?  Well, I did.  After owning and operating an agency – specifically, an outsourced marketing services firm – I came to realize that my heart just wasn’t in it any more.  Quite frankly, I’m not sure I believe in the outsourced marketing services model.”

That was incredibly open and transparent from someone who had after-all been selling this option for the past 12 years. He went to explain that really the marketing function should really be important enough to be run in-house, and that he wanted to devote his time, effort and energy in to enabling this through conversation. He is clear that he is not a consultant because he doesn’t deliver work, he sells conversations.Thats right, if you read his website you can see that clearly, and he is very transparent about what it is going to cost to have a conversation with Tincup, who explains just what a conversation with him is:

I strongly believe that a great conversation has several ingredients:

expectations,

preparation,

listening (to what is said and not said),

formation of insightful questions,

frank dialogue, and

a review of action steps.

These are the basics and without these, conversations are left to happenstance.”

It was around the time of this announcement that i got my first call from Tincup. It seems that #tru had come up on his radar as a place where conversations were happening, and he felt we should just talk. He also filled me in on his thoughts towards HR technology and user adoption. Whilst I agreed with his thinking, I couldn’t quite see at this point how this was going to evolve in to a recognisable business model, and quite what the business offering would. We agreed to stay in touch, and have done so more through messages and greetings than calls. I remember commenting to someone else at the time that although he was well established as a marketeer, I wanted to take a watching brief and really see what he was all about. I couldn’t see yet where he was going to fit in to the community. I was still thinking of him as a marketeer, and in my view there were more than enough of them about.

The first thing Tincup did that stood out was teaming up with Bryan Wempen for the daily blog talk radio show Drive ThruHR. Bryan is an experienced HR pro who I first came across when he sponsored #trulondon2. At the time, I was running my own blog talk radio show and I knew how hard it was to build audience and maintain content and callers over a sustained period of time, and bryan was planning on running a show every day at lunch time. I think I was Bryans second guest on the show, and he worked incredibly hard to build up the listener numbers and rankings. Steve Boese’s excellent HR Happy Hour was showing how you could build a community around an internet radio show in the HR space, but i was unsure that there was enough room for more shows on a similar theme, and #dthr had to create new content every day. It was a big ask.

I was curious about what would happen when I heard that Tincup would be joining the show as a co-host. What I’ve witnessed since has been a real pleasure to watch, and a real example of how to build brand and market content. Whilst it’s true to say that compelling content is critical to any social media activity, personally I don’t give it the “King” rating, I think that goes to found, read, heard or seen compelling content. I see some great blogs in the HR space that just don’t get the readership. Brilliant well crafted content that doesn’t have the impact it should because very few people are aware of what is being said.

Tincup brought another dimension to the solid foundations Wempen had built, and gave Tincup an avenue to do what he does best, have conversations, as well as another source for great guests, which is perhaps at the heart of the success of the show. The meteoric rise in the popularity of the show has been great to watch. In a relatively short space of time Tincup built a twitter following of over 112,000, combined with Wempens 30,000+.Tincup doesn’t just use his twitter feed to promote his work and #dthr, he has set up feeds from blogs in the HR and recruiting space (including this one), that helps to promote the work of others.

It’s unusual to see a #SHRM event that does not feature one or the other or both speaking, running a show and meeting people in the exhibition hall. Both work incredibly hard keeping the show front and centre. Tincup is also proud to promote his membership and participation in SHRM through his SPHR listing.

It was at Ohio SHRM in September last year that i first got to meet Tincup in person. Some people just stand out in a crowd and Tincup is one of those people. All of his clothing, including hats carry the distinctive TC logo, and he just looks different. He is softly spoken in person, with a great intensity about anything he is talking about that just draws you in to share your vision. He listens intently, and sends himself reminders to follow up on key things that he takes from the meeting of minds. His presentation to the Ohio SHRM audience was about what they should be expecting from their technology providers. It was engaging and incredibly valuable to the participants. Hearing about user adoption from the horses mouth made a lot of sense, but I was more impressed with the time Tincup took to seek people out, make them feel important and to learn from the conversation. I’ve met William twice since, at #TNLLive (where he is starting to work closely with my friend Craig Fisher). Tincup was part of the infamous house at #SXSW that I was delighted to be a part of, and again this week at Louisiana SHRM. Each time we’ve met the conversation has progressed, and I’ve learnt more than I think I have put in, and have gone away energised with new ideas. I suspect each SHRM conference, #dthr show and conference he attends is propelling him closer to his vision, and cranking up the volume of conversations.

Away from HR and taking over the world of user adoption thinking, Tincup is a proud father of 2 boys, whose faces show up from time to time in his content and presentation. He is also a great and easy guy to get to know. If you haven’t connected or met him yet, you should make the effort, and for me, I’m looking forward to carrying on the conversations.

Bill

WilliamTincup

Tincup On LinkedIn

DriveThruHR