Source of influence or source of hire?

I’ve been thinking quite a lot recently about source of hire. It’s one of the most common statistics that gets measured and reported. The reports that I see tend to indicate that social media is fairly low on the list of source of hire. Well below the career site or the job boards. When you look at the numbers you have to consider if all this social activity and investment is really worth it. I’ve had the conversation twice today alone, and with some fairly big corporate clients.
The problem with the source of hire measures is that they are usually based on the last click a candidate made before they applied. It’s really a guide as to how effective your application process is, the appeal of your headlines and how cumbersome it is to submit your application. Thats why I’m interested in matrix like the ratios on how many complete the application process from first click. The time it takes to apply, anything that shows me the application process is working. When the source of hire numbers are in, it’s usually this that gets reported.The last click. not the first.

The problem as I see it is that there’s often a lot of interaction before that final click. I want to know where the candidate journey starts. They start as a voyeur, just looking around. Perhaps they started to see your employer branding content on one of the main channels. Maybe they followed you on twitter and clicked on a few links. Watched a few videos and viewed the pictures on Flickr of your latest events. Perhaps they joined your fanpage and liked what they saw. Wherever it starts, I want to track that journey. My real interest is in the source of influence where the hiring journey starts. What are they looking at that convinces them to make the commitment and apply. I want to know how effective all the content is, which means tracking the whole journey to see what is really effective, and not just the last click. The same is true of referral candidates. Is it the final job they get sent before applying, or all the content the referer has shared before that makes them apply? It’s something you have to consider.

When Michael Long of Rackspace delivered his excellent keynote at #TNLive in Austin a few weeks ago, he spoke of how the people who visited their culture site, RackerTalent, before applying for a job, were 65% more likely to be successful than those whose first port of call is the career site and ATS. In the case of Rackspace, there’s a destination that can be tracked, but what about for everyone else?

Theres a few places you can start. Like tracking everyone who follows you on twitter or fans your page. Tracking and recording who is liking your content, engaging or commenting, and seeing where they end up. It is important data to track the whole source of influence to know what is working. Where the influence starts and ends.

Followers of this blog will know that I favour a talent network approach. There’s a place for community, but using talent network technology enables anyone to register their interest in following you with one click. To get very relevant updates without the need to apply or complete forms. A good talent network uses open authorisation and data from the LinkedIn profile to tag interested parties, enabling very relevant communications, invites to take part in events, view content etc. It also means you can track the first point of attraction over application, by offering the opportunity to sign up with one click. The challenge is identifying where the journey starts, an understanding of the source of influence and not just source of application.






Posting To LinkedIn

At the end of February LinkedIn announced the launch of a new feature that is already proving a hit. The new feature enables you to add a “follow company” tab on any web place.When you follow a company, updates come by e-mail, meaning people can elect to get all the latest including jobs from prospective employers, and they don’t need to log in to LinkedIn to do it. It’s a great feature, and one you should be adding to all your internet places.

Increasingly the channel are looking at more and more ways that people can interact and use the channel without logging in.This is an inevitable move in response to user behaviors. Increasingly, users are spending more time in Facebook, and less time anywhere else. They are looking to use the features of the channel, in particular using LinkedIn profiles for social sign in’s and populating information fields required by third-party applications. The users see LinkedIn as their professional reference site, a kind of default C.V.

Increasingly the channel is also becoming a powerful news source. There’s lots of sharing going on, when you consider the average network size is 220 connections. The top shared post last week on the LinkedIn follow button launch was shared 805 times. Next on the list was a post titled “Winners and losers in the great recession” was shared 754 times, and the post entitled “Guess which 10 countries think they are the luckiest professionally” was shared 205 times. Thats a lot of reach when you multiply it by the average network size. My own post on LinkedIn recently was my most viewed post in a single day, and my last 3 posts aimed at my LinkedIn network have trended in the top 10 shared recruiting posts in the respective weeks. LinkedIn has proved to be my biggest referer, and the LinkedIn posts have come out top in my SEO figures. Writing with the network in mind makes all the difference to traffic.

There’s a few things you need to think about when writing for this section of your audience. Start with looking at the make up of your connections. You can find this by looking at your connections page. You get a break down of industries, locations and companies. You probably know this data already, but it’s worth looking at. Next look at the most active groups you belong to. Which are the most active with comments and what are they talking about? It’s worth considering the hot topics when considering your content. Writing with groups in mind helps to get shares.

Whilst you probably already have the WordPress or blogger application installed on your profile that automatically updates your profile each time you post, you need to do a bit more to get the real benefit from the channel. Add your blog post to the update section of your profile. Write a twitter style update to your profile to grab the attention and attach the post. This will add the opening paragraph and image. Once you’ve updated, you can share in groups and to targeted individuals.

You don’t need to go in to the individual groups to post. Select each group by entering the first letter of the group name in the group section. You need to do more than just share the post. Start a discussion around the blog topic asking for comments. Give an outline of your opinion, your post will be automatically added. You can also elect to send your post to specific individuals by LinkedIn messages. To do this just click on “send to individuals” and use the search options to add up to 50 people within your network to send it out to.

If  you are posting a discussion in groups, make sure you are answering any comments. You don’t need to go in to the groups to do this. Open your settings to get updates by e-mail. When you get an e-mail notification, you can reply back by e-mail.Finally, monitor which groups get you the most shares. The analytics on your blog will show your referrals from LinkedIn. Open up the list to see which individual groups are opening your post the most. The groups which open or comment on your post the most will give you an indication of future content.

Despite changing user habits, operating more outside rather than inside LinkedIn, the channel remains the number one referer to this blog. Keep the channel in your mind when writing, and use titles that will stand out when the e-mail updates land in your connections in-box.


Sunday ShoutOut: My Mum Rose Boorman

Celebrating her 80th Birthday with the Hells Angels (really)

It’s mothering sunday here in the UK, so what better day to recognise my biggest influencer, my Mum, Rose Boorman. This post is my mothers day gift. I know my mum will see it on Facebook because she is busy building up her mafia family as Big Ma Boorman!

If I could award a klout score to the influence she has had on me, you’d need a score bigger than 100. If I think about the strengths I have, I can see where I inherited them. It is without doubt nurture over nature.
My mum is 83. and has been a widow for 46 years. My dad died in a road accident when I was 3 months old. Her attitude to this terrible event in her life was that given my age, and the young age of my 3 brothers and sister, she had to get on with it and move on in life, and she did. Growing up, I always knew that I didnt;t have a Dad around, but I never felt I was missing out on anything. As a parent myself now, I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been. Holidays were packed with adventure. We were the first kids I know to go abroad for holidays each year, travelling to places like Ibiza, driving over the Alps between France and Spain, Benidorm and other places. When I was about 9 or 10 my Mum bought a camper van and drove all across Europe with the boys in the back. It’s how we spent our time away from school, together as a family in the back of the van travelling to new destinations, sleeping on the roadside and exploring life. I never felt unlucky to only have one parent because my Mum never made me feel that way. We had the life we had because that’s what we had, and we enjoyed what we had rather that what we had lost.

The Boorman Clan

I’ve heard my Mum moan about many things, usually me or one of my Brothers, but never about how unfair her life had been. This is remarkable considering she was raised an orphan and became a widow with a young family. She taught me that when things happen in life, you deal with them and move on. I sometimes see envy or bitterness in others, a sense of the not fair. Because I was never raised in this type of environment, I’ve never felt this way. If others have more than me, or good fortune, I’m pleased for them. If life serves up shit for a while, accept it and move on. Life should be lived in the future not in the past.
My Mum has never allowed a feeling of not being able to do something because of circumstances get in the way of living life. She raised all of us Boorman’s with a belief that you can be anything you want to be. When someone tells you that you can’t do or be something, it is all the motivation you need to get on and do it. She never conformed to what people were supposed to be or how they were supposed to act, and I think that is one of the big things that has enabled me to have 3 careers, as a recruiter, a trainer and now doing whatever it is I do now.
One of the other things that stand out in my memory is my Mum as a very committed Cub and Scout leader. Despite having a hard enough job raising the 4 of us who were at home, she found lots of time and energy to help others. She has always been committed to helping and making the lives of others better. I’m sure it is this spirit of helping where you can without expectation of return or recognition, that has helped shape my success in the social world we live in now. Her times in Scouts also leaves me with plenty of memories of my Mum abseiling, climbing, rafting and plenty of other things that you wouldn’t expect of a women of her age. Why conform? Why not push the boundaries and challenge yourself from time to time? Work out how you can do things, rather than looking at all the reasons you can’t or shouldn’t, or the barriers that are going to get in the way. Do what you want to do. Be who you want to be. My Mum taught me that.

I spent my school years mostly at boarding school, as did my brothers. It wasn’t because it was easier for my Mum, it must have been quite difficult and lonely as a widow, but because she believed that it was the best way for us to get educated and have male influences. It made us independent and must have been hard for her, but looking back, set me up for the life I have subsequently led. I hope as a parent, I will always be able to do the same, and put the needs of my Children first, regardless of impact on me, and do what is right for them.
When my Mum had retired from her later career as not surprisingly a carer, (she was about 68 at the time), and with all of us kids having moved away having our own lives, she decided that the family home was too big for one person and sold up, as she approached her 72′nd year. Despite having lived in the same area for the best part of 35 years, she chose to move several 100 miles to be closer to me, my brother and one of her Grandchildren. Leaving behind a community in which she was well established with plenty of close friends, at her age looked like a mammoth task. Not for my Mum. Within weeks of moving to a new area, she was already joining community groups like 3i, the short bowls club, etc and making plenty of new friends. She is rarely in and always busy. She inspires me with a sense that community doesn’t come to you, and you can move between communities if you put yourself out there and contribute. Anyone can establish themselves anywhere if they make the effort and reach out. Coming in to some disposable cash for the first time, and wishing to see family in australia she booked a trip. Typical of my Mum, not an ordinary trip. A 3 week coach trip with back-packers around Australia, that included diving at the Great Barrier Reef, taking a hot air balloon over Red Rock, all the usual things you would expect of a women in her 70′s.
Today she is 83, still drives most places, and despite some of the medical ailments that come with age and the need to slow down (though just a bit), my Mum continues to be an inspirational parent, grand parent and great grand parent, as well as aunt , relative and friend. She has inspired us all to be who we want to be, and to deal with whatever life might throw at us, and get on with the future rather than dwelling in the past. Thats a lesson and inspiration that has been invaluable to me over the last few years in particular. If I can match up and be half as good a parent then it will be a job well done. The biggest thing I can give my children is that anything is possible, to believe in themselves and make the most of the opportunities life brings, no set back is insurmountable to a happy and fulfilled life.
I don’t say it anywhere near enough, but I love you Mum. Happy Mothers Day.

YouTube,Google+.Livestream And The Social Channels

There’s a great feature that I have only just noticed on Google+, that I think offers good opportunities for employer branding and social recruiting. I have been working with a few clients on hosting hangouts on a weekly basis, and inviting candidates to come and talk. While the audiences aren’t huge, the feedback and results are great.

The other benefit is that you can record these shows for posting to YouTube, sharing or embedding on your career site and other social places. YouTube have lifted the 10 minute limit on these videos, so you can house the whole show, and that’s got me thinking about what is possible, and in particular the best way to promote video and other content across all of the social channels.

The other way that you can use YouTube with Google+ is sharing pre-recorded videos for broadcast in to a hangout. This has possibilities for your employer brand videos, training, even team communications. The closer tie-in between Google products and YouTube has real potential. You can promote hangouts to your circles as well as promoting events through the wider social networks. Combining a hangout with livestream using screenshare also means you can broadcast on to your fan page on Facebook, embed as a live event on your career site, pretty much anywhere on-line. You also get the opportunity to run chat features in both channels so that you can engage with potential candidates. Once you’ve scheduled the event you can share it through Facebook events, LinkedIn events, Plancast, Twitvite, (my new favourite event software BSwarms) and all the other event sharing platforms. There’s real opportunity to get plenty of people from your target audience to the event. You can make plenty of noise to announce it. Google+ has a great people search facility that makes targeting individuals easy by discipline, trade, skill, experience and location for further invites.

I spotted a great example of cross-channel promotion for a Ustrean show today from Deloitte in New Zealand, who continue to raise the bar in this area. They’ve started promoting their internship and graduate recruitment program by connecting potential candidates through a series of blogs, events, weekly ustream broadcast on to their Facebook fan page titled “up close and personal”, events and other activity.They’ve also just started promoting hangout sessions with the graduate recruiters. All the content and sessions are promoted via an active twitter, Google+ and Facebook page. They engage in every channel they can, but use live video very well.

They currently have 121 live openings to fill at the next intake.  The promotion for the ustream  event came to my attention via an infographic on Pinterest, which was repinned in the social recruiting infographics board I follow. The Infographic contained some very simple to follow info on Deloitte as a business and employer.

The image linked back to traditional media on the job board Grad Connection. If you don’t know GradConnection, the board is rich in social features including forums, more images than words, and featured employers. The featured employers page includes Facebook, YouTube and Twitter widgets linking to the social places, links to the career site and an application process that encourages joining for updates and a simple C.V. upload and parsing to populate all applications. The only thing missing is the opportunity to apply using a social profile like LinkedIn. I think this site is a good model for what a social job site can be.

Switching over to their Facebook fan page, they’ve already switched over to timeline and the result looks brilliant. The banner they are using is consistent with their graduate branding featuring a slightly open door against a black background, with the strap line, “Make your move.”

The 4 featured apps with the new big button looks are likes, photos, events and not surprisingly, YouTube. Youcan stream your favorite shows and movies on a fire stick, you can learn how to install smart iptv on amazon fire stick here. Close to half the content is pictures or video, so it looks great in the new format. The YouTube channel on the Deloitte page is powered by the Involver app. This is quite a new app to me, but it’s brilliant and easy to install. The YouTube app features the latest video uploaded at the top and other videos from your channel underneath. Click on any video and it moves to the top for viewing. The freemium option allows for 1 video auto-posted to your page and wall each day, and there’s a paid for version that does a lot more including posting to multiple pages. Other apps in the Involver suite include RSS feeds, Flickr, a neat app that renders html in to the Facebook i-frame and a twitter feed. Involver also publish a brilliant engagement platform that is also worth a look.

A Deloitte Intern Video

There’s plenty of other video content in a similar vein that gives a good feel for life and work at Deloitte NZ, though the stand out is still the U-Stream live Q and A sessions. I’ve spoken with Paul Jacobs of consultancy Engage, who is supporting Deloitte Grads NZ in to the social arena about the impact this has had on their employer brand. The results clearly show that they have become the employer of choice among the student population, but the stand out area for me is the multi-channel approach they are taking, where one compliments another and video and live broadcast features highly.

The other area that I think offers great opportunities for recruiters is running the event as a careers fair. Individual recruiters can be available via either Skype or individual circles for one to one conversation, and including a simple application process to apply or sign up for your talent network. Promoting a career event across all the channels, making it live and accessible offers real opportunity for dynamic recruiting, connecting with your possible candidate base.




Deloitte on Facebook





Paul Jacobs

Signing off from #SXSW: My learning with @fishdogs

#SXSW and #TNLive has been one of the best networking experiences I’ve ever had. It’s been a hard party with new connections every minute. I’ve met some great people. From an hour with Chris Brogan on Friday, drinking with the crazy Rackspace team, too many memories to list them all without being boring.
The big thing for me has been being able to look at what is going on in other sectors outside of the recruiting bubble I usually inhabit. Theres lots more to digest and share over time. Mostly I want to thank @fishdogs for making it happen. We are going to be collaborating on a few things, so watch this space.


Culture branding with @TheRedrecruiter: Rackertalent6 #SXSW #talentnet

This is a live blog from Austin, and TalentNetlive. i’m watching my friend Michael long speaking.  Long is from Rackspace, and is responsible for culture branding, taking a different approach to talent attraction. Michael started out as a recruiter and started blogging to be able to help candidates without losing the time he needed to sell.
Michael was attracted to social recruiting in rebellion against the marketing approach taken by many organisations. Long wanted to connect the people telling their story in the places they want to hear it.
long was brought in originally as a contractor to build an interactive career site where Rackspace employees, known as Rackers to tell their story. For the first 6 months it was all about content, and encouraging people to tell their story.
After 6 months, Rackspace brought in Jobs2Web to add a little science to the process.
The Rackertalent site attracted 37% of the traffic to the ATS, but an incredible 60% of hire. long put together a hit squad of internal talent to tell the story of the Rackspace culture. The team is made up of 8 people from videographers through to cartoonists, and it’s working. longs vision is not to attract the “best” talent, but to attract the right people for the business. The right people are the ones who fit the culture, not necessarily the best qualified or experienced. He feels strongly that retention begins in the recruiting process, and when there’s a retention problem it’s a hiring problem. the hiring message needs to be true and authentic. People need to have enough information to be able to make a defined decision that a job is right for them.
Culture is what it is. It’s not a message or something you can manufacture, but it is something you can put in a public place.
long showed a video to illustrate this called a day in the life. The video was shot, mixed and screened in one day, to make it a true reflection. Data wise, the numbers show that people who hit the culture section on the career site viewed 3 times as many pages, stayed for twice as long and were 70% more likely to get a job with the business. People interested in culture are really interested in your job rather than a job. Long feels retention is the biggest indicator of how well a business marry s culture with talent attraction and hiring.
Long reinforced my belief that your content has to reflect the real thing. People have to join the place they are expecting. I’ve been to Rackspace in Sanantonio, and it is very much like the culture reflected in the content. The Rackspace hoopla from slides to get down stairs, and the welcoming ceremonies are not for everyone, which is why showing what they are is important.
Check out Long and You will feel the culture, and understand his message.
I’m a Michael long fan.


6 Cool Tools with @Fishdogs and @BillBoorman #TalentNet

Sometimes, when your spending time with friends, it’s good to just fire up the camera and ask a question for a one take video. We are going to be running the Cool Tools session at #TNL in Austin on Friday, before venturing in to the geekfest that is #SXSW.
This is our one take on our top 3 cool tools at the moment.

What would be your top 3 cool tools?



Buy tickets for #TNL