Employee Branded: Employees As Fans – #TruLeeds

I’ve always been puzzled as to why so much non-confidential employee communication goes on behind closed doors. I really like Rypple as a feedback tool for internal comms, and platforms like yammer provide a much more social and interactive intranet, but how much of the communication that goes on here is confidential, and how much is a missed opportunity for great employer branding?
If your employees talk to each other in public and share their daily chit-chat, photos, videos and congratulations to colleagues, birthdays, births etc, how effective could this be in giving a real insight in to the workplace.
It’s no secret that I’m a champion of Facebook fan pages for building public communities. To make a fan page a community over a notice board, certain things need to be achieved.
The content needs to change regularly, not just be business announcements.
Be social in content style and postings.
Have regular contributors, likes and comments beyond the administrators postings.
Have social features like chat, livestream etc.
In addition to this, it helps if people can, if they choose, apply for jobs or buy product/services.
The challenge then is to get the internal marketing right. You want people to sign up for the page because they want to rather than because they have to. targeted ad’s together with internal e-cards or invites will help with this. Give your brand advocates something to share and they will. Encourage them to post their work/branding content in the group first and share from there. This not only puts the content in to their stream, but it also spreads the content under the community name. A welcome invitation. Once you combine employee community with a social referral app like Work4Labs, you get an idea of the potential and power of this approach.
To give you an idea of the possible each that can be achieved, Oracle Community, Oracle Sales Community and Oracle Romania recently launched. A video of the inside of the Dublin office as liked 27 times and viewed over 1000. When you consider the average Facebook user has 135 fans, then that’s 135 x 27 as a possible reach for simple branding content. The most shared content is face pictures and video, and there is opportunity throughout the day to create this content and get it shared, all with your fan page attached.
Oracle have taken a proactive approach to these employee focussed fan pages. There has been training for anyone who wants to be involved on what makes good, sharable content. Theres no real rules or restrictions, just common sense guidelines and a healthy respect for the global brand. Recently, the community were even asked to vote for the design and functionality of the mobile app they liked the best. Again there was plenty of feedback and shares from those who will be the eventual users. Theres even a plan for a social event to coincide with social media day on the 30′th. I’m sworn to secrecy so keep your eyes peeled.
Hats off to the Oracle team, in particular social champion and serious grafter Klaudia Drullis, the real community DJ and powerhouse. It’s a pleasure working with this team, Oracle have a real open mind to social and recognise the real potential.
I’m going to be talking about becoming employee branded at #truleeds on Friday. You can still get a ticket if you hurry!
What do you think is the best way to get your employees active in employer branding? love to hear your thoughts.
Bill
LINKS:
The Oracle Community On FaceBook

Rypple

Work4Labs
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Guest Post: Wayne Barclay: Recruiters in the clouds. #truLeeds

A simple question to start your thinking:

“What are the opportunities and threats to recruiters when working in the Cloud?”

I was always taught “Recruitment isn’t a difficult process” and in its simplest terms it’s not. If you’re an agency recruiter: Find Job> Find candidates for jobs> Sell candidates into client> Client interviews (normally more than once)> Client offers Candidate Job> Candidate starts new Job> (Client pays). If you’re an internal recruiter: Advertise job>Interview Candidate>Place candidate…

In any event, much of what you do is now in the cloud… whether you like it or not.

It’s a highly competitive market, timescales are short, your product has a brain and can say NO at any point so having a competitive advantage is critical to the success of your business.

Does Cloud provide that competitive advantage?

There’s that word again “Cloud”. It’s everywhere you look. Only last week, iCloud was launched by a well-known fruit company! Cloud means different things to different people, however, looking at it from a recruitment point of view got me thinking: what are the opportunities and threats to recruiters for Cloud? Most applications, CRM and ATS in particular, these days are being offered in full fat (office installations) or lighter (cloud) options. Equally, social media is total cloud, so many recruiters are working in it already.

For every user or purchaser FLEXIBILITY provides a significant opportunity.

For the company considering Cloud, you can scale up or down your operation quickly and efficiently. You can expand in exotic locations at the drop of a hat, knowing that so long as there is some form of Internet connection you can open that office quickly and with limited resources. Costs become easy to identify and are scalable. Configuration and rollout of new systems is (generally) quicker. You are not reliant on an expensive IT department. In essence, send them a laptop and a login (and possibly a phone) and off they go!

For the field-based / on-call / part-time users being out of the office but having full access to systems either via a smart phone, tablet or laptop should speed up delivery of service to their clients. Management are also able to get real-time information and make decisions quicker based on the information that goes into the system quicker than if no remote access.

There are a number of issues that my clients always talk about: Security and Connection.

Ensuring your company data is secure, should said item be mislaid, or doesn’t walk off when people leave the business is one of the biggest concerns.

In addition to that your users must be able to access the systems so having a reliable data connection is of paramount importance as well.

These are just two threats that business owners / management must ensure they have “figured out” before implementing Cloud based technologies.

There are plenty more opportunities and threats and we look forward to discussing these in the track at #TruLeeds.

Wayne Barclay is the Virtual IT Director for consultancy Barclay-Jones, and will be leading a track at #truleeds covering this key recruiting topic. I’m really interested in the security element, and look forward to discussing more this Thursday.

Links:

Barclay Jones
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The Cost Of Engagement #truleeds

I’m going to be leading a track at #truLeeds next Thursday entitled “cost of engagement.” I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot recently in the work I have been doing with recruiting teams.This is really a follow on to the post #SocialRecruiting: It’s not for recruiters, that created plenty of reaction.

The big difficulty for recruiters is finding the time needed to engage, answer questions, and be involved in what is being said outside of the obvious “I want a job.”  Recruiters are under serious time pressure to deliver candidates for interview now. Though the desire may be there to build talent pools, respond to candidates who are not clearly a fit for current jobs or to get active in social channels for employer branding, time pressure makes it almost impossible to take a long term view.

My thinking on this is to not pressure recruiters to be social, better to develop their skills in sourcing social channels and the approach needed to manage social applications and convert fans, followers and connections in to candidates.

When i ran recruiting teams directly in the pre-internet days, I was always frustrated when we advertised jobs and didn’t have a plan as to who would answer the phones when the phone rang. Jumping forward to today, the situation is much the same. An unanswered question on a fan page, a tweet that goes unresponded or an enquiry unacknowledged is exactly the same as the unanswered phone. If there is no time or focus on engaging, it’s better to stay out of the social channels, or make plans to filter content to recruiters and look to appoint staff with direct responsibility (and time) for engagement.

What I have been finding is that when active recruiting campaigns are running via social channels, most of the questions and dialogue is not about the jobs, (most of that info is already available from multiple sources already), as well as speculative enquiries from people wanting to engage and investigate opportunities with the brand rather than apply for specific jobs.

Having an engagement team takes an investment in time and money, but solves the problem and enables a proactive approach to engagement between the company and possible hires, while increasing exposure of the employer brand. this also means you can have someone available for ad-hoc chat and calls, as well as making sure the essential referrals are handled efficiently, with the right level attention and feedback.

The day after #truDublin I was fortunate enough to spend a day with Sodexo USA V.P. for talent attraction, Arie Ball. One of the points we talked about was how Sodexo manage their budget. Inevitably, adopting a social approach to recruiting leads to some serious cost savings in areas like agency fees and job board advertising. The savings are redirected in to other areas of recruiting, like hiring more recruiters or investing in building talent communities for the future. It’s not about reducing the spend, more about finding more efficient ways to use the money. I see an engagement team, part of the recruiting team without hiring responsibility being a great example of how savings can be redirected in to longer term thinking, while shorter term hiring targets are met by the recruiters.

At the recent International Recruitment Conference that I spoke at in London, Quezia Soares, who has recruitment marketing responsibility for Accenture in EMEA gave an excellent presentation on her strategy, part of which looked at the talent pipeline, and how Accenture were not expecting to see any significant return from their talent pool for at least 3 years! Thats a big investment in time, resource and money, but one which promises great long term benefits both in terms of cost and quality of hire.

The approach to redistribute spend from current need to future investment makes a lot of sense, and an engagement team is a great investment in the mid to long term, freeing recruiters to concentrate on hiring. The key to this approach is to look at were the savings can be made now, advertising and sourcing being the obvious place. Invest in recruiter training in sourcing and converting potential candidates for themselves rather than relying on a post and pray approach. The savings coming from reduced ad spend can be invested in building the engagement team and n tools that enhance the process.

I will be discussing this approach in more detail at #truleeds on Thursday and Friday this week. There’s still a few tickets available to take part.

What do you see as the cost of engagement?

Bill

Links:

Arie Ball

Quezia Soares

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#TruLeeds – tracks and trackleaders – 23'rd – 24'th June

With just over a week to go to #truLeeds, I’ve crowd sourced the issues that are on everyone’s minds in the people space in order to identify the tracks to include in the agenda. Once again I’m overwhelmed by the quality of track leaders who have bought tickets and put themselves forward to host conversations. If you have never been to a #tru event before, the format is to run at least 3 tracks each hour. The trackleader starts the conversation, then it goes where it goes. All participants are actively encouraged to move between tracks during the hour, to get everything they want from the day. If there’s nothing on the schedule for you, start your own track, theres plenty of space available.

Once again i’m grateful to our supporters who always make it possible to put on a quality 2 day event for £125.00

Platinum Sponsor:Jobsite

#Tru Sponsor:Broadbean

Social Media Sponsor: SocialCruiter  

Platinum Sponsor

Mobile Sponsor:Allthetopbananas

#TruLeeds Partner: Graduates Yorkshire

The Tracks And Track Leaders:

Real Twitter Recruiting – Ivan Stojanovic -CPL

Graduate Employability – Martin Edmondson – Graduates Yorkshire

Social Footprints – Bill Fischer – The Social CV

Slaying The Social Recruiting R.O.I.B.S.-Patrick Boonstra – Maximum.NL

Techno;ogy Futures – Peter Thompson – O.P.D. Group

Going Mobile – Chris Bradshaw  - AllTheTopbananas

The Social Agency – Steve Ward – Cloud9

Case Study: What did WeightWatchers do? – James Swift – BeyondInteractive

Branding Inside Out -#Lumesse – TBA

Community Technology – Lisa Scales – Tribepad

The Real Cost Of Engagement – Bill Boorman – @BillBoorman

Moving To The Clouds -Wayne Barclay – BarclayJones

Spectacular S.E.O.- Dave Martin -AllTheTopBananas

Recruiting Technology – Mark Kieve – Amris

Candidate Experience – Mervyn Dinnen – Jobsite

The E,A, Community Case Study – Matthew Jeffery -Autodesk

Mobile Website Sponsor

Boolean Strings And Facebook – Martin Lee – U Recruitment

Referral Recruiting – Michelle Rea – Social Honesty

The Graduate Questions – Rhiannon Hughes – Graduates Yorkshire

Expose Yourself , How To Win Business From Social- Lisa Jones

Future Job Board – Shaun Wiese – Broadbean

LinkingIn – Mr.LinkedIn -Mark Williams – E.T.N. Training

The Rejection Business – James Mayes -Brave New Talent

Compelling Content – Martin Couzins

Every Picture Tells A Story -Oscar Mager – Recruiting Essentials

Graduate Employer Brand – Max Heywood – Max Heywood Ltd

Secret Sourcing – Johnny Campbell -Social BPO

Games And The Dutch Army – Patrick Boonstra – Maximum NL

The Hard Rock Story -Hiring 120 Staff In 4 Weeks – Bill Boorman – @BillBoorman

Video Story – Johnny Campbell – Social BPO

Recruiting 3.0 – Matthew Jeffery – Autodesk

Thats a great line up with lots of opportunity for conversation, learning and talking about your real life opportunities.

Hosts

I look forward to seeing you in Leeds,

Bill

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Great branding with YouTube channels, FaceBook and the timert.me app

I’m always on the lookout for cool, simple apps to share that I think can be used to enhance branding and recruiting. While reading the Facebook stream, I came across Timert, which is really simple to install and use. 

Timert enables you to automatically post new video content from your YouTube channel on to your wall and selected fan pages in one go. To install, all you need to do is add your name, e-mail address and the name of your YouTube channel.

 

The app adds your channel and frames new content. Viewers get access to additional content, and can directly access your YouTube channel via a visible button on the side of your profile or fan page.It keeps your look,image and content delivery consistent, and promotes your channel as well as your video. I think this is a great addition to branding efforts, and it’s free!
With the popularity of video content for sharing, anyone choosing to share will be spreading your branded channel as well as the individual video. I think this is a brilliant add-on to your profile and pages, bringing your social channels closer together. It’s also a great time saver if you are operating multiple micro-communities within Facebook fan pages. (Great for targeted recruiting!)

I’m going to be spending some time over the next week getting my channel looking right and further promoting it as a destination.

You can do quite a lot to your channel including adding:

:Video Page Banner:
Upload a small banner that will display above the info box on all your video pages (maximum 360px by 55px, format: GIF, JPEG, PNG, and no bigger than 256k).
Video Page Icon:
Choose a logo or icon that will display below your username in the info box on all your video pages (55px by 55px, format: GIF, JPEG, PNG).
Channel Banner:
Upload a large banner that will display at the top of your Channel page (maximum 875px by 150px for branded, 875px by 75px for enhanced and no bigger than 256k, format: GIF, JPEG, PNG).
Channel Banner Link (optional):
Include a link to an external site that will redirect a user to when clicking on your Channel Banner Graphic.
Mobile Channel Banner: Upload a mobile banner that will display at the top of your Channel page when viewed from a high-end mobile device (portrait banners need to be 320px by 50px, landscape banners need to be 480x by 50px, format: JPG, GIF or PNG and no bigger than 128k).
Connect Box Icon:
Choose a logo or icon that will display in the “Connect with…” box (55px by 55px, format: GIF, JPEG, PNG, and no bigger than 256k).
Channel Side Column Image:
Upload an image that will display in the left column around the “Connect with…” box (maximum 300px by 250px, format: GIF, JPEG, PNG).
Branding Box (optional):
Create a custom text box with an optional link back to a specified URL.
Branding Box Title (optional):
Create a title for the Branding box.
Channel layout:
You now have the option to choose the widescreen format for your channel layout which essentially means making the page wider and including a new widescreen player to show off content that was shot in the 16:9 widescreen format. The old player was sized at 480×360 (4:3 aspect ratio) while the new player is 640×360 (16:9 aspect ratio). The 16:9 content is displayed at a higher resolution and without black ‘letterbox’ bars at the top and bottom of the video.
Tracking Image URL (optional):
e.g. http://www.adserver.com/image123.gif .
Redirect URL (optional):
http://www.youtube.com/username will redirected to this URL. (e.g. /contest/CONTESTNAME, /watch?v=XXXXXXXXXXX, or /group/GROUPNAME).
A few additional branding features include “Other Channel Links” which is optional. You can now list up to 16 destination channels in the order you would like them to be shown in your channel.

I’m going to be doing some work over the next week to get my channel looking the way I want it. As your channel views increase, YouTube will promote your channel (I think the magic number is 10,000), bringing additional viewers to your content.

Combining your channel with Timert in Facebook will only help to bring those viewers!

Who do you think is doing the best work promoting employer branding content via video?

Bill

Links

Timert

My YouTube Channel

Guest Post: What did Weight Watchers do? – @JamesSwift at #truLeeds

Bored of “that london”, James Swift, Director and founder of North West digital agency Beyond Interactive has been one of the driving forces behind bringing #tru to the north of England.

A long time friend of the event, James was one of the first to shout loud “don’t forget us!”. I’m glad we didn’t.

James will be leading a track telling the Weight Watchers recruiting story, as well as sharing a number of great case studys. this post looks at how Weight watchers changed their approach to hiring. Interesting reading!

Weight Watchers Leaders: Pass on the feeling

Background

A key part of the Weight Watchers experience has always been the weight-loss meetings – not just socialising and getting support from other members, but drawing on the experience of the Leader, a person who has been through the process and is able to guide and advise members.

Recently, this role of Leader changed from self-employed status to employed status by Weight Watchers. The company was keen for as many Leaders as possible to move from being self-employed to under their employ, and also to use this as an opportunity to attract new people.

Beyond Interactive consulted with Weight Watchers over their existing marketing for Leaders recruitment. We identified that while it was all informative it was lacking in personality and was not creating a buzz around the role. Being a Leader is a very personable, interactive job and we wanted to reflect this in the marketing. We wanted to create a long term strategy that created engagement and built up a meaningful brand and feeling around Weight Watchers Leaders.

Solution

Website:

The first thing to address was how to inject personality into the campaign, and felt that video was the best way to do this. By interviewing existing Leaders about the role we could get honest and passionate descriptions which would allow visitors to the site to feel like they were engaging with people, and would tap into that very human and interactive aspect of the role. We decided to go a step further with this and add an interactive element to the videos, by breaking them down into individual questions and letting the user click on a question to produce the answer. This would allow visitors to feel like they were really engaging with the brand and choosing their own content, giving a positive feel to the whole experience whilst letting them discover the benefits of being a Leader.

Overhauling the Leaders website, to bring it to life with colour and links to social networks, made it feel more modern and friendly.

Press and print:

The videos had given us 5 “faces” of Weight Watchers Leaders, 5 real people who were genuinely good adverts for the role, so we could use these people on the marketing collateral. This would provide consistency and also give the campaign its personality.

We used postcards, adverts in Weight Watchers magazine and even pop up stands at trade fairs with full length images of the Leaders to spread the message. The slogan “Pass on the feeling” sums up what is great about being a Leader – once someone has achieved their goal weight they can help others achieve similar success.

Online media:

As part of the new talent attraction strategy we thought carefully about the demographic we were targeting. The role is very much a lifestyle career as meetings are generally in the evening and Leaders can run as many or as few as they want. Therefore it suits working mums, those who only want part-time work or even people in full-time work who want extra income or who are passionate about helping others maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.

Therefore we ran the campaign on the Workingmums website to engage with those wanting to strike a work life balance. We made sure the copy for the ads was suited for the audience; conversational and friendly, just like Leaders should be, but also inspirational and full of passion.

To support this we ran adword campaigns on Google and Facebook. Facebook allowed us to use the faces of our 5 lovely Leaders so the look and feel we’d created on the website spread across other media to attract passive candidates. We picked keywords that would reflect the interests and lifestyles of the target demographic – people who already “like” Weight Watchers, people who “like” parenting groups or healthy eating pages etc. Similarly Google allowed us to engage with people searching for evening jobs, jobs at Weight Watchers etc, and drive them to the website where they could become excited by the proposition.

Results

The result was a campaign that spanned different media and forms but was consistent, with a friendly, engaging and informative style. The success was better than we could have hoped for, with around 95% of existing Leaders moving from self-employed to full-time status. We also generated over 1,300 referrals from Facebook and over 360 applications from Workingmums, so they were spoilt for choice with new talent and have raised awareness about the benefits of being a Leader.

Next Steps

This success is by no means the end point. The campaign is in its infancy and our purpose was always to create something that Weight Watchers could use on a long term basis as opposed to a quick fix recruitment drive.

From here we’ll be helping them with a fully integrated social media plan which will stay in keeping with the friendly brand. We’ll also help them to roll out this concept across other areas, such as their Head Office recruitment site and also, excitingly, global sites.

Links:

James Swift

Beyond Interactive

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Lets Make Movies! A #HardRock Story!

It's all you need!

I was checking in on some of my usual fan pages.just looking at the content that makes a real community, rather than a notice board, when I came across this video short promoting a whole new low-budget movie that is in production. so low in fact,the budget was £0!

The movie is called “What would Ridley do?” . Inspired by a statement from Ridley Scott about just going out and shooting movies, Fergus Johnson has done just that.He has set up a fan page and a YouTube channel under the name of DigitalGuerillas. I love the whole concept of a no budget social adventure.
You don’t need big budgets, design agencies or anything else to produce something that is both good, and viral in message.

This is the trailer.

I’ve actually met Fergus. He won’t remember me but I remember him because he is a server at Hard Rock London and he served my table when I visited with my kids not so long ago. I remember Fergus because of the time he took with my children talking and showing them a few special bits of memorabilia, and as we say in social, what goes around, comes around.

On the subject of Hard Rock.I’mgoing to be running the blog squad for Hard Rock Calling in Hyde Park on the 24′th -26′th June. I don’t mind admitting that I have got quite giddy about this one, with performances from a host of great acts from Bon Jovi,Rod Stewart, The Killers, Jamesand many more.There’s also going to be 40,000 people in the park celebrating over the 3 days.

My plan for the blog squad is simple. There’s going to be plenty of coverage for the artists, it’s the people and their experiences that really interest me.They are the ones with the real story. That means 300+ pictures, audio-boo or video, all tagged and posted on Facebook for each blogger. 300 stories. 300 emotions, all coming together in one place.

With each Facebook user averaging 135 fans, that’s a massive potential reach for photo’s, with every picture telling a story. you can do your own maths as to the brand coverage. I take my lead from the DigitalGuerillas, with a camera and imagination, anything is possible!

As an added extra, to mark 4 years of Hard Rock in London, the team will be giving away 40 free tickets to Hard Rock Calling, as well as plenty of other cool prizes. The prizes will be given away from various London locations, announced over the next 10 days on the twitter account @HardRock or via the Hard Rock Calling page on 4Square. Checkit out and follow the instructions, this really is going to be a ball!

With social,anything is possible if you use your imagination, your content can take you anywhere. Let your content tell your story!

Bill

PS: Here is Ridley’s movie that inspired the story

Don’t let the blog snobs stop you doing anything by making you wait for awesome or excellent! just do it!

LINKS:

DigitalGuerillas Fan Page (please like it!)

HardRock On Twitter

Hard Rock Calling On FourSquare

Hard Rock Calling

Inside The Sourcers Brain

If you could pop the hood of the cranium of some of the best sourcers, and look inside to see just how their brain is wired, I think there might be a few surprises.

 
Technical aptitude, fluency in geek speak, programming etc are going to be there in abundance but it is all only part of the mix. you can learn all these things from a wise old sourcing master.
The most important sourcing skill however, and one you can never learn, is logic.
You can’t learn logic,and   whatever people may say, you can’t automate it. The most important skill that separates the really succesful talent sourcer from the average is the application of human logic to technology. i always find it amusing when trainers offer courses, or HR professionals bang on about teaching innovation. You can’t teach innovation. You can’t teach common sense. You can nurture those skills, encourage and allow people to take risks, allow time for discovery. if common sense and logic is missing,It’s not something that can be acquired.

 
The type of brain that thinks if this guy works at this company, he might well know someone who can do this job. I can’t see it in his social connections or his footprint, but I’m sure if I asked him he would, and if he doesn’t then he probably knows someone who does know someone.The chain continues untill the ideal person is found.
Having spent some time with some corporate recruiters recently talking sourcing and technology, it was pretty clear that many of their searches were falling short on 2 accounts:

1) They were always searching for candidates who met the target 100%. You rarely, if ever, get a 100% black and white match. The magic is in the grey. The bits you take out of the search string or the questions you ask to locate someone close enough to the spec to do it.
2) Thinking of the result of a boolean string as the end of the search. The people (i don’t think of them as bio’s!) you find are the beginning. they are the people who will lead you to the talent that you really need.

I think a lot of this comes down to whether you negatively or positively match people. Most recruiters or sourcers conduct a search and identify possible candidates either from c.v.’s, LinkedIn profiles or similar and look for reasons to eliminate the potential candidates. The reasons they are not suitable for the role. I have always taken the opposite approach. I’m looking for the reasons someone could be suitable for the job.
Finding those 2 or 3 points that mean someone either can do the job, or may well be connected or know someone who could do it, this is the beginning of the search, not the end of it, and the smart sourcer uses their brain to go and unlock the clues.

TheSocialCV.Com locates people via their social footprint and connects bio’s profiles, blogs etc in one place. It is a great sourcing tool. What i find interesting when using it is how a person often only reveals their profesional details in one place, whilst being present in other channels.

In a recent search for specialist employment lawyers practicing in Dublin, with twitter accounts, i found 40 people who matched these 3 requirments. Interestingly, only 3 of the twitter accounts listed their profesional details anywhere on twitter, The profesional detail came from LinkedIn, Plaxo or Google profiles. TheSocialCV connects these places, one to the other, to find the best channel to engage. While this tech will do this, the good sourcer is always thinking where is the next placeto look. Peoples profesional details are not always obvious in their social places, but the majority of profesions are represented in the engagment channels of Twitter and Facebook. The good sourcer connectsthe social places by searching for things like geek words in content rather than obvioud bio adverts.
we’re going to be looking at sourcer DNA at #truLeeds on the 23′rd/24′th june and the Australasian talent conference Source event in August.
To start the conversation, what do you think makes up the sourcers DNA?
Bill

TheSocialCV

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#ATCSource – featuring Glen Cathey, Jim Stroud, Bill Boorman and others

LinkedIn "Apply For" Application: really useful or smart marketing?

During the last week the good folks at LinkedIn announced the launch of the “Apply For” button within the channel. None other than Mashable reported on the launch. The post was retweeted 2926 times and was liked 646 times.Other bloggers rushed to announce how this could be the death of the CV, well documented in Matt Alder’s excellent Recruiting Futurology.

Now, any feature that makes it easier for job seekers to apply for a job is a good thing in my book.I’m just not sure that what we are seeing is new here. As I read it, the apply for tab enables advertisers to post the tab on their ad within LinkedIn on partner sites. I’m guessing that the partner sites are going to be the same partner sites as already integrate with the JobsInsider toolbar. These are primarily U.S. centric, being Monster, CareerBuilder, HotJobs, Craigslist, SimplyHired, Dice and Vault. I don’tknow this for certain, so if i’m wrong I stand corrected. A number of the leading European job boards already have the functionality to sign up and integrate details on registration from the LinkedIn profile. This registration enables applications using this data and alerting potential employers of matches.

The way it looks like the button is going to work is to extract info from the profile and put it through a candidate funnel that acts as a client A.T.S. The hiring company can add extra questions and request a covering letter etc, so there is some customisation possible. Whilst this is a new feature within LinkedIn, being able to push a LinkedIn profile through an A.T.S.in order to apply for a job. earlier this year Bernard Hodes announced the launch of the excellent Social Job Matcher. The Hodes product sits on any career site or web site, and enables candidates to apply for jobs using the detail from their profile.   The difference between Social Job Matcher and the new LinkedIn feature is that the Hodes offering spans both LinkedIn and Facebook, giving wider reach.

A number of existing A.T.S.’s such as Caliber and Arithon already integrate with the LinkedIn A.P.I. for candidates, accepting applications via LinkedIn profiles. This functionality is nothing new, and I’m unsure how the LinkedIn button is any different. Whilst LinkedIn will filter and sift candidates for hiring companies using the tab, is this any difference to the A.T.S.integration that already exists?

It is possible that LinkedIn will record the data on who is applying for jobs using the tab, and use this to promote active candidates, (those applying) higher in the rankings when recommending profiles to hiring companies advertising jobs. (LinkedIn currently recommends 24 profiles to advertisers, matched via the LinkedIn semantic matching engine). Matches are currently prioritized according to 1) Location 2)Skills 3)Job Title, in that order. I’d be interested to know if the LinkedIn algorithm has changed or if it is based on the same formula.

I’d be interested in knowing from LinkedIn how the information is extracted from profiles when candidates apply via the button. I ask this because if you change the order of your profile using edit (as many people do, moving contacts to the top), then this knocks out other automated LinkedIn features like  business card, resume maker or e-mail header. Information is extracted by position on the profile page rather than heading. I will be interested to see if the button extracts and exports information by category heading or position on the profile. If it is position on the profile, then this will necessitate removing the functionality to reposition sections of the profile.

What LinkedIn have achieved with the button is plenty of attention and good PR.At the moment I can’t see anything significantly new that does not exist in other applications already in use, the benefits offered by the app’s like Social Jobmatcher, is that you can incorporate both LinkedIn and Facebook, not LI exclusively.

Am I calling this wrong? Do you see this as more than a smart bit of marketing?

Bill

Links

Mashable

Matt Alders RecruitingFutureology

Social JobMatcher

JobsInsider

Arithon

#Socialrecruiting: It's not for recruiters

Now this might seem a bit controversial, it’s not intended to be. I write this post on route to Romania, where i’m going to be working with Oracle brand advocates on content creation as well as the recruiting team for EMEA. I have been working with Oracle for a while. They are very open to being social and see the potential that building communities around fan pages will bring.As a result of this project, I’ve been spending a lot of time talking to other corporate recruiters about how (or not), they do social, and I’m seeing a few recurring themes. The most common barriers being available time and targets to hire now!
The complication for all recruiters (and this is not dissimilar to any corporate and most agency recruiters that I have talked to), is time to work outside of anything other than the just-in-time recruiting model. Time pressures mean that recruiting activity is transactional. It’s get a job, find the candidates, fill the job and move on to the next job. Line managers demand hires yesterday, and the relationship needs to be hirer/potential recruit now, rather than potential recruit future. Time and business pressure dictates that it is this way.
Social activity is more about sourcing and broadcasting opportunities in the here and now than in the future. The recruiters job is to get people hired as quickly and effectively as possible, finding potential employees based on skills and experience and converting them in to employees. The job of the recruiter is the locator and the closer. More of a completer finisher than a relationship builder.
Does this mean then that I see social recruiting as wholly transactional?

Far from it. Social plays a massive part in building employer brand, pipelining the talent community and communicating with the world at large about what the company is really like to work for. Employees who develop social networks can provide access to potential employees with any opportunities that come up, acting as the introducer to the recruiter via referral. Employees take and tag pictures and video that says everything about the employer in a credible way, without needing any words or marketing spin. Employee content carries far more credibility than recruiter credibility. After all, a recruiter will always update that this is a great place to work, an employee will only share that if they really believe it.
There in lies the next challenge for corporate, getting people to post and comment freely. It’s not that they don’t want to, but it’s often a case from day one of employment that they have to follow strict rules contained in a brand manual, and get 3 different levels of permission, authority and approval before they can comment about the company or it’s products. Jump forward to this new age of social. Employees are asked to act responsibly towards confidentiality of business and people, courteous and respectful. The basic guidelines are to “Be a grown up.” And then it is up to them to post what and when they like. Any content (blog posts excepted) that take more than 10 minutes to create and tag is considered too manufactured. Content needs to be instant, real and ideally involving people. Once you open this up, and get over the early resistance then you are away.
Once the communities are building with plenty of connections building, people commenting and asking questions, then it’s time for the recruiters to get involved. the role of the recruiter at this point is to identify who could be looking for a job from their on-line behaviour and questions. Recruiters need to get applications and enquiries directly from the Facebook fan page and other social places. This is where the engagement becomes critical and the recruiters can use their skills to match the potential candidates. This might be come in for this job, or it might be stick around and stay in touch, there’s nothing now but I like the look of you. Alternatively it might be talk to this recruiter, they may be the right person for you to talk to. All of this kind of interaction is lost once a C.V. hits an A.T.S. in the traditional way.
All employees should be involved in the social part of recruiting, with the recruiters taking care of the transaction, in the most timely and efficient way.
What part do you think recruiters should play in social recruiting? Where do you think my thinking falls down?

Bill