Tag Archive for Jobs2Web

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Pizza Hut People Go #SocialRecruiting With @PizzaHut_Dan (Case Study)

I’ve been attending Craig Fishers #TalentNetlive events across Texas for the last few years. I usually speak on topics like Facebook recruiting or cool tools panels. One of the good things about returning to the same events is that you get to see a few of the same faces and hear how they are progressing with integrating social recruiting. When you talk to anyone at an event you always get an idea of who the vaguely curious are, and who is seeking you out because they are plotting something for themselves. Whilst I will talk to anyone about anything, its greatt to talk to the plotters and offer your opinion. Sometimes this leads to work, other times its great to see their plans come to fruition and know that you had some input in to what happens.
I’ve met Daniel Hayward, the Senior Manager Staffing and Employer Brand For Pizza Hut in Dallas. At our first meeting, Dan spoke about how the business were looking to move their recruiting effort in to the social arena. I got to catch up with Dan again this week about how they have been getting on, and the results they have been achieving. This is their story:

Pizza Hut were founded in 1958 and now have over 6000 restaurants, 95% franchise owned and operated. Pizza Hut hire over 100,000 people, mostly team members, drivers and managers. 
Dan joined PHI in Sept 2011 with a brief to change the way they do things. At the time, they had a basic career site with no mobile integration or SEO. They were using kronos as the ATS on the back of the site, had no social media presence and were heavily reliant on job boards. This approach drove plenty of applications, with a low conversion rate. All social recruiting implementation should start with technology, a review of what you have now, what you need to change and  a plan to build the technical infrastructure to take you forward. After some fairly rigorous investigation, Pizza Hut chose to go with Jobs2Web as a comprehensive and social platform, with the switch taking place in January 2012.. Jobs2Web were also engaged as media buyer, and the social brand, Pizza Hut People was launched.

Along with technology, when you’re integrating social recruiting you need to review your people and how you organise and support them.  Hayward added 5 recruiters to the team, with a brief to get social through dedicated twitter accounts, and to start engaging with people.  They also changed their approach to talent attraction, harnessing a broader range of media and channels, targeting in to niche areas and adopting a PPC campaign. In a move to humanize the employer brand they took the innovative step of launching boards on Pinterest, producing photographic content and infographics that told their story. This achieved the humanizing objective, as well as giving the recruiters content to share.

When you attract potential employees through social, then you need social landing pages and application process. Pizza Hut launched a new career site hosted by jobs2web in May 2012. In particular, they were looking to improve the candidate experience, reducing clicks and offering new candidate friendly features. With social being so closely connected with mobile, it was essential to optimise the site, making sure all features and functions operate for everyone regardless of the device they use to gain access. One of the key features of the career site was creating a talent network. This offers any visitors the option to sign up for relevant updates. I’m a big fan of this approach.

When you land on the career site your greeted by 3 pictures of people, headed Team Jobs, Management Jobs and Corporate Careers, each with a big View Opportunities button. At the top of the page is a simple search function to search open positions by keyword and location. The top tabs offer a drop down menu of featured jobs, locations and join our network. The location tab brings up a map showing each state and the number of open jobs, with the facility to filter by job title. Click on a state and you get a more detailed local map, with individual jobs denoted by a pin, and clicking on a pin takes you to the job title, one click away from the job description and the apply process. Each job has the option to sign up for similar jobs by e-mail, to search jobs by keyword, to tell a friend using social sharing in multiple channels, search other jobs by keyword, find similar jobs by tag (such as jobs in Austin), to apply or sign up for the talent network. Hovering over the apply button gives the immediate option to start the application process with either LinkedIn or Facebook.

Clicking on the apply with LinkedIn requires a sign in to grant permission via LinkedIn. This takes you to a screen that congratulates you on joining the Pizza Hut talent community, advising that you will be mailed other jobs that fit your profile. All applicants are automatically added to the community. Clicking on apply again takes you to a screen giving you the option to choose to see other near by locations with the same or similar jobs. A tick box screen then gives you the opportunity to apply for additional positions that meet your requirements. Given that Pizza Hut have multiple positions in close by locations, I think this is a great feature for the candidates. The next screen is a consent form, and a clear instruction that completing the on-line application process will take a minimum of 30 – 40 minutes. It’s great to set expectations at the start. the next screen offers the options to upload a cover letter and a resume, then proceed with the application. This requires the input of 14 bits of personal data like social security number etc, and passwords to set up an account, before completing the pre-selection questionnaire.  The real benefit of this is that once a candidate has completed this stage they can use the data provided to apply at any time in the future through the talent network.

For people choosing to sign up for the talent network without applying, you get the same option to sign in with LinkedIn or Facebook which populates most of the fields needed. Members have a drop down menu with 4 status options:

> Passive interest

> Just starting to look

> Actively looking but employed

> Available immediately

> Permission to be contacted by a recruiter

This is followed by completing job agents to filter what jobs you want to hear about, keywords, location and the frequency you want to be messaged.  Submitting your agents returns jobs that meet your profile and a list of people you are connected with at Pizza Hut according to which profile you chose to use to sign up.  It’s very easy to use the site for simple navigation.

The site also offers links to additional employer branding content including:

> Slice of hope – Pizza Huts charitable enterprises and community projects.

> More about us

> Grow with us – linking to plenty of video profiles of employees

> Our culture – with more short video content

> Applying – stuff you should know.

At the bottom of the page is a really interesting feature in beta called “Social Job Matcher.” This function enables visitors to sign up for the talent network using any of their social profiles,  Clicking in instantly matches your profile with open jobs, offering the opportunity to apply. The other feature of social job match is the facility to match jobs against any of your connections to refer the job to them. The principle of this is great, although it doesn’t yet work that well in practice. It’s a bit long-winded because you have to click on the contact you want to match individually, rather than get all the matches delivered together, and the recommendations were based more on location than anything else. I will be watching this feature with interest to see how it evolves out of beta, and with some modifications to the matching.

The career site and PPC campaign kicked in with results almost immediately, and through the jobs2web platform Pizza Hut were able to track the sources of traffic and the candidate journey for the first time. To try something different Pizza Hut also built on their growing Pinterest following by engaging Paul Jacobs to build Jobgrams for delivery drivers. Jobgrams are job descriptions in the form of infographics designed for sharing through social channels. Jacobs has done a great job of developing these, and they get shared much more than conventional job posts with improved results, and this was no exception. You should take a look at the Jobgram to see how they are simple, visually striking and simple to share.

The results so far have been impressive, and are a testament to the work of Dan and his team. A few numbers:

> 30,000 = The number of open jobs posted at any one time.

> 4 Million – The number of applications forecast for 2012.

> 800,000 – The number of sign ups for the talent network since May.

> 100,000 – The monthly growth rate of the talent network.

> 20% – The number of applications coming from the talent network.

> 250,000 – The number of reapplies year to date.

> 4% – The % of candidates applying via the mobile portal.

> 25% – The % of candidates attracted via PPC.

The numbers that I find really interesting are those around the talent network. Given the rate of sign up and reapplication, it is conceivable that within 18months all hires could come from this source. I’m a fan of the network approach because the candidates opt in and require limited maintenance.  Sign up is really simple via one click, and the response rates indicate that candidates keep an interest in the brand even if they have been unsuccessful in the past. A continued focus on talent attraction through a blend of PPC and social activity will accelerate the growth of the talent network to optimum.

At the start of July Pizza Hut moved to the next stage of their strategy with the launch of LinkedIn and Facebook pages. The plan is to migrate the members of the talent network to the Facebook page, making the page the center for engagement.  The page currently has 51 members, with 76 people talking about it over the last 7 days. Expect this number to grow by hundreds of thousands over the coming weeks. I spoke with Dan about why they are looking to move the network away from the site and on to Facebook. His feeling is that the page offers much more opportunity to engage over time, build a community rather than purely a network, and to have a social place where all employees can get involved in the conversation. The Pizza Hut team are also now piloting presenting job descriptions in short Prezi’s that are visually engaging. Theres also plans to start adding jobs to pizza boxes based on the local stores and local jobs, with QR code links to join the network. This is simple, but I’m sure will be effective.  It will be great to follow their progress over the coming months with all of these initiatives. It was a pleasure to speak to Dan again, and see the progress they have made in such a short space of time. Thanks for sharing!



Career Site

PizzaHut Pinterest

PizzaHut On LinkedIn

Dan Hayward On LinkedIn

PizzaHut People On Facebook