Tag Archive for social media

Abba – A Recruiter’s Lament

Guest post by Elkie Holland from Prospectus IT Recruitment.

I’m sure we’re all familiar with the lyrics of “Ring Ring”  by Abba from 1973.  Listen to it again now and visualise a Recruiter sitting at their desk having advertised their latest job and waiting for the star candidate to call them.

I (recruiter) sit and wait and wonder about you (quality candidate)
It’s a dark and dreary night
Seems like nothing’s going right
(no placements)
Won’t you tell me how can I go on here without you?
(no quality candidate = no placement)

Yes I’m down and feeling blue
And I don’t know what to do, oh-oh

Ring, ring, why don’t you give me a call?

Is this a sad visualisation or a stark reality or perhaps a prophesy about to come true ?

Well, times have changed dramatically in the recruiting world and if Recruiters don’t change with it, they may well be sitting there singing this song.

You were here and now you’re gone
Hey did I do something wrong?

To be honest, the Recruiter may not have done something wrong, but they certainly aren’t doing things right if they’re still stuck with the mind-set of 1973 i.e. drafting up a nice little advert, placing it in the newspaper or trade magazine and sitting back and waiting for dozens of quality candidates to give them a call to tell them how great they are for their vacancy. 

Now I know 1973 seems a long time ago, and most many reading this won’t have been born then let alone been Recruiting at that time !  However, recruiting was still like this up until not so very long ago, except adverts were placed on the job boards rather than in newspapers or magazines.

Tell me, are we really through?
Won’t you hear me cry and you will know that my heart is breaking

The answer to this is that Recruiters are not finished.  They are still needed.

Yes I’m down and feeling blue
And I don’t know what to do, oh-oh

Recruiters need to adapt and move with the times.  Unless you’ve been hiding under rock, then you’ll have realised that Social Media has arrived and it’s here to stay.   Social Media has turned the Recruiting world on its head.  Recruiters are being forced to ‘hunt’ for quality candidates rather than just rely on ad response and waiting for their phone to ring.

It’s not that quality candidates are all hiding or don’t have phones and never reply to adverts but they are now being approached in a variety of different ways.  Therefore, they don’t always need to hunt vacancies on job boards and respond to adverts.  If a quality candidate has a LinkedIn profile, chances are they get a half a dozen or so In-mails a week starting with  ……. “I hope you don’t mind the approach, but I found your details on LinkedIn and wondered if you would be able to help me/be interested in etc”.    They may also have a Facebook profile and have been sent a personal message, or have been contacted via their Twitter account.  So candidates are being served opportunities in more ways than just traditional advertising from recruitment agencies and direct employers !

Won’t you please understand the need in me
So, ring, ring, why don’t you give me a call?

So, if you’re a Recruiter and you’re just sitting waiting for the star quality candidate to call you, then this song could be your song very soon !   Instead of you lamenting that the candidates “understand the need in you” and that they “call” you,  perhaps you should understand the needs of the candidate and go to them.

1973 was a great place to be a recruiter (and so was 1983, 1993 and 2003) but times have changed and you need to change too.  2012 is still a great time to be a Recruiter but you need to adapt to the exciting changes of the time.

To summarise: 

I am not saying job boards are dead, I am saying that Recruiters are no longer needed.  What I am saying is that Recruiters need to do more and get Social if they wish to avoid adopting the Abba song “Ring Ring” as their Lament  !

Socially with @jennydevaughn

Jenny DeVaughn work is rubbish! not that she’s bad, but she works for Waste Management, and is hiring 1500 people. waste management is a conservative, corporate environment.
Jenny talks about roadblocks., changing the “we’ve always done it this way mentality. trying to explain social to the unconverted, being evangelical without being labelled mad.
It’s not always a great career move to promote BIG changes. It’s not seen as innovation, it’s seen as change, and people don’t like change.
Jenny talks about not trying to present the big change in one go. Change one bit at a time.
One of the ways Jenny has made this work by working with existing vendors, going to them with her recruiting problems, and ask them to come up with a solution.
this meant that she could present the board with a problem and a choice of 2 solutions from existing suppliers. No need to change anything. Getting a new supplier authorised creates a real problem, which is why it is easier to try to get authorised vendors to work with you.
Jenny stated that it’s o.k. to start your social-media profile to post jobs. It can be a great start to social and gets the foot in the door. It’s phase one. might not be ideal or what you really want, it gets you started, and wins can move things on.
Once you start getting some fills, you can come back and move on to engagement. forget what the social-media purists might be telling you, you need to do what is right for you and your circumstances.
To get real change you need a corporate champion. Talk and present to them in the format they want. make sure they understand and buy the argument, before they try to represent you. what they need to defend you is data,business case, argument and solution.
Jenny talks about failure. I’m a fan of failing because it means your failing. don’t try, fail, complain or pass the buck, adopt the approach of try, fail, learn, move on.
The resistance De’vaughn got to promoting Facebook and LinkedIn groups as talent communities, was the last thing we want is a place for an angry mob who are never going to get hired by this company. the solution was to present it as a 30 day pilot, rather than a group.
jenny’s lesson has been when you block these groups and access to social-media at work, you don’t just block out the bad guys, you block out many more of the good guys.
I’ve seen Jenny develop over the last few years, since we first met at Recruitfest, Toronto. I’m proud to know the business women I see in front of me. Jenny has gone from enthusiastic consultant to corporate women, via BernardHodes  on the way.

Good luck in all your challenges!0



#TruDublin Schedule: 25’th – 26’th May
After feedback and crowd-sourcing attendees of #truDublin, we’ve come with a schedule for the event that is topical, current and bound to provoke conversation #tru style. There will be 3 tracks running each hour, hosted by a track-leader with expertise in or experience in the discussion topic. Tracks last for an hour and the content is determined by the participants, it’s open conversation.
If you have any tracks you want to add, contact me and we will schedule the track for you. Participants include recruiters (corporate and agency),HR, technologists, job board staff, job seekers and more.
The #TruDublin Schedule
Wednesday 25’th May
9.30 – 10.00: Welcome and introduction/Augmented Reality Check

Host Sponsor

Track 1 – Hub 1 – Guerilla Recruiting – Rob Van Elburg- 10.00 -11.00
Track 2 – Hub 2 – Graduates and Social Media – Ruxandra Fratescu – 10.00 – 11.00
Track 3 – Hub 3 – Running Virtual Teams – Arie Ball – 10.00 -11.00
11.00 – 12.15 – Coffee
Track 4 – Hub 1 – The Social Agency – Steve Ward – 11.15 – 12.15
Track 5 – Hub 2 – Employee Branded – Max Hayward – 11.15 – 12.15
Track 6 – Hub 3 – Merging Communication Channels – Calin Fusu – 11.15 – 12.15

12.30 – 1.30 – Lunch
Track 7 – Hub 1 – Secret Sourcing – Johnny Campbell – 1.30 – 2.30
Track 8 – Hub 2 – Every Picture Tells A Story – Oscar Marger – 1.30 – 2.30
Track 9 – Hub 3 – Contracting and the AWD – TBC
Track 10 – Hub 1 – Case Study: Hard Rock Firenze – Hiring 120 people in 4 weeks – Bill Boorman
Track 11 – Hub 2 – Creative content and curation – Martin Couzins
Track 12 – Hub 3 – The Future For Job Boards – TBC -


3.30 – 3.45 – Coffee
Track 13 – Hub 1 – Case Study: The Sodexo USA Case Study – Arie Ball – 3.45 – 4.45
Track 14 – Hub 2 – Hiring via twitter – Ivan  Stojenovic - 3.45 – 4.45
Track 15 – Hub 3 – Future ATS – Michael Wallace – 3.45 – 4.45
Tweetup: Dublin night(All welcome)
May 26’th: Day 2
9.30- 10.00: Welcome/Challenges – Bill Boorman
Track 15 – Hub 1 – Technology Shopping List – Mark Kieve – 10.00 – 11.00


Track 16 – Hub 2 – Mobile Recruiting – Dave Martin – 10.00 – 11.00
Track 17 – Hub 3 – Hiring Graduates – Ruxxana Fratescu – 10.00 – 11.00
11.00- 11.15 –Coffee
Track 18 – Hub 1 – Linking In – Johnny Campell – 11.15 – 12.15
Track 19 – Hub 2 –Social Footprint – Bill Fischer – 11.15 – 12.15
Track 20 – Hub 3 – Internal Sourcing – Arie Ball

12.30 – 1.30 – Lunch
Track 21 – Hub 1 – Video in Recruiting – TBC – 1.30 – 2.30

Social-Media Sponsor

Track 22 – Hub 2 – Referral Recruiting – Bill Boorman – 1.30 – 2.30
Track 23 – Hub 3 – Professional Sector Recruiting – Max Hayward – 1.30 – 2.30
Track 24 – Hub 1 – Talent Shortages – Rob Van Elburg -2.30 – 3.30
Track 25 – Hub 2 – Talent Communities – Arie Ball – 2.30 – 3.30
Track 26 – Hub 3 – Blog Workshop – The Blog Squad – 2.30 – 3.30
3.30 – 3.45 – Coffee
Closing conversation – 3.45 – 4.45 – The Future For Recruiting – Peter Cosgrove
4.45 – 5.00 – Close- Bill Boorman
Thanks to our sponsors who have made #truDublin possible:

Technology Sponsor

Host Sponsor: CPL
#TruSponsor: Broadbean
#TruSponsor: Jobsite
Technology Sponsor: Allthetopbannanas
Social Media Sponsor: Arithon

It would not be possible to run high quality events with accessible pricing without their support,
We salute you!


Why haven't more recruiters jumped on the Social Media bandwagon ?

Hi, I’m Elkie Holland  Director and founder of Prospectus IT Recruitment  and Bill asked me to guest blog for him whilst he is hopefully having a fantastic holiday.

I run a boutique IT recruitment agency that works in a very niche market. A question which I often hear from those involved with Social Media is:  “Why haven’t more recruiters jumped on the Social Media bandwagon and started Social Recruiting?” In their minds, it is fundamentally free (except for time) and simple and gives great results. I’d like to try to shed some light on this question;  Specifically the “when” and “why” more agencies haven’t adopted it faster.

Basically a Recruiter has to get the forces on their side, then traverse the Social Media Universe avoiding the TimeLoss Vortexes and hopefully making it through the Asteroid Information Overload Zone then stop on the variety of planets to set up bases and learn the local language and alignment and can only then get closer to arriving at the promised land of Social Recruiting and Social Media success. Let’s explore this analogy further:

Read the blog below or watch the movie:

Roger the Recruiter has a busy and hard enough job already in that he/she already has three separate forces to contend with that he has to juggle:

- Force 1: The agency boss or recruitment manager – demanding financial targets to be met.
- Force 2: The clients – all want the perfect candidate yesterday.
- Force 3: The candidates – who want the perfect job and constant communication.

As those savvy with Social Media already know, it takes time to plan and implement an effective campaign in Social Media , so it can take quite a while for a Recruiter to learn how to effectively use it to gain results. There is no handbook out there to help them.

Imagine this: Roger Recruiter gets all the forces in agreement with his concept and proposal that Social Media / Recruiting is a great and effective route forwards. Finally, his mission to go into the Social Media world is cleared for launch. Roger Recruiter gets into his Rocket and launches into the Social Media Universe. His voyage begins …

Roger Recruiter first comes up to the Planet of LinkedIn and sets up a base (profile) and starts to make connections : excellent, the SM Mission is progressing nicely.

WAIT … Roger’s radio phone buzzes:

Agency Boss: “…. return to base immediately, do not make any further advances or moves in the Social Media Universe. Your SM Mission has been terminated with immediate effect“
Roger: “Why, what’s the problem ?”
Agency Boss: “Return to base immediately or you risk other things being terminated too!”

Roger returns to base. There is a disturbance in one of the forces: his Agency Boss has contracted “Loss Fear Malady”.   Loss Fear Malady is the Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (also known as the “FUD Factor”) about who owns SM connections and contacts, who can keep what, who has access, etc, should Roger Recruiter decide to change jobs in the future. The larger Agency Boss now goes under “Legalese” Care to try to find a remedy and solution to this problem – the smaller Agency Boss can’t afford Legalese Care so the disease stays with them. Time passes, and some missions into the Social Media Universe are permanently grounded due to “Legalese Care” and “Loss Fear Malady”.

Luckily for our intrepid hero Roger Recruiter, a balance or truce is struck and all his forces are in agreement once again more so another mission is launched into Social Media Universe.

Roger Recruiter reaches LinkedIn and things have changed there already since his first encounter but Roger continues undaunted. He decides that as he already has a base on LinkedIn, he’d better plot courses to other planets (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube) quickly to set up bases in case of a quick recall again.

Danger! Roger now finds himself deeper in Social Media Universe, and wanders into the Asteroid Information Overload Zone. This is filled with loads of free advice, helpful fellow astronauts (social media gurus) all pointing different routes with varying messages, massive amounts of software, free apps, plug ins. There is no clear pathway.

He’s being pounded and bumped around in his rocket: The noise is HUGE … “Go to Facebook” – “Use Twitter” – “Don’t forget YouTube” – “Go back and do Groups on LinkedIn” – “Use x,y,z tool” –  “Agents you must engage” –  “Listen don’t talk to start” – “Facebook is personal” – “Facebook is a recruiter’s goldmine” – “Facebook is purely personal” – ““Agents don’t broadcast jobs”.

Roger Recruiter suffers massive head trauma from the information overload and has to retreat for medical treatment. Fortunately, Roger Recruiter is refreshed after a break and ventures forth again, feeling he’s more prepared this time to navigate the Asteroid Information Overload Zone, but wait! Everything has moved place and there seems to be even more noise than before with even more tools to investiage.

Roger Recruiter stays calm and carefully make his way, but he bombarded by new information and feels he’s making great progress. There is a constant buzzing from his Rocket’s Radio Phone. His Forces back on Earth are disturbed: they are questioning progress and demanding results one way or the other. Eventually one message comes through that cannot be ignored. “Agency Boss says: “ We’ve been patient, we’ve given you time but it’s been 3 months and you have no results. Without results there will be no job. Get results !”. Roger Recruiter is surprised that it has already been 3 months then realises that he fallen into one of the many TimeLoss Vortexes.

Roger still firmly believes that the future lies in the Social Recruiting Land which is at the far side of the Social Media Universe, but now he has 2 choices.

1) Continue to chart the Asteroid Information Overload Zone and try to get results before losing a job.
2) Return to base and continue with already known, tried, traditional and tested techniques.

What’s an Agency Boss supposed to do? Let a Recruiter continue with non-billing periods ? There are agency bills to pay and Recruiters sales are needed.
What’s a Client to do? Continue waiting or go to another agency? He needs to hire.
What’s a Candidate going to do?
Hmmm, what’s a Recruiter going to do? He needs to earn money to eat …

So…. realistically there are many who have tried but fallen at the variety of hurdles along the way to Social Recruiting:

1) Couldn’t start the journey as their forces were not in alignment.
2) Recalled from SM Mission due to Fear Loss Malady (FUD) and then grounded by Legalese.
3) Non-Recovery from Head Trauma caused in the Asteroid Information Overload Zone.
4) Sucked and still whirling in one of the many TimeLoss Vortexes.
5) Forces terminate mission.

So, while there is not an easy answer, there are Recruiters using Social Media for their jobs. It just requires, as all worthwhile things do, time, effort, and luck.

A Recruiter's Guide to Twitter

Bill is on vacation this week in sunny Wales so he has kindly invited me (Jonathan Campbell, Social Talent, @recruiterblog) to write a guest blog on his behalf.

I run a free weekly recruiting webinar (nearly) every Wednesday at 4pm GMT and Bill helped me with last week’s entitled “Twitter: The Great Untapped Recruitment Tool”.

Here’s what we discussed:

  • Getting the basics right
  • “Push” Job Marketing Strategies and getting your Twitter SEO right
  • “The Long Game”: successful engagement strategies for recruiters
  • Bio & Location Search: Go straight for the jugular & head-hunt
  • When 140 characters is not enough: What can a person’s tweets and followers tell you?
  • Klout: What is it and do you have it?
  • To Follow or not to Follow: when is it time to just listen?
  • It’s all about the Apps: why Twitter.com is only the beginning
  • Hashtags and Lists: What do you need to know

You can check it out for free here:

If you’d like to view any of our previous webinars or sign up for the next one, check them out here.  If you’re planning to come to truDublin next month, give me a shout as I’d love to get some of our tru fans on as guest webinar presenters over the coming weeks as we get ready for the greatest tru yet!

Don’t follow me on…

Twitter  is a great leveler and a real indication of where your brand stands. The reality is that some people like you and value your comments, some people don’t. The instant feedback element is part of what i like about the channel, as well as the opportunity to enter in to conversation and get feedback quickly. As twitter, and twitter use has evolved then the conversations and relationships on and off line have got closer and some real business relationships have been formed. When i spoke in Dallas at #Talentnetlive and at Recruitfest09 in Toronto, it was noticeably different that 80% of the delegates knew me or about me on some level without ever having met me. This is how social media has really changed the way we network.

Of recent, I’ve started following all the news from conferences worldwide. A recent blog by @HRMargo highlighted this, how twitter has enabled her to feel a part of many conferences that she would otherwise have been either excluded by budget/location or knowledge that it was taking place, the learning was exclusive to the lucky few who attended. I have recently organized #trulondon quite a low budget. The marketing has been almost exclusively via twitter, using the #trulondon hash tag and a wide number of blogs written about the event and we have managed to attract 12 top names in social recruiting as track leaders including Geoff Webb (@radicalrecruit) from Canada. This level of international marketing would have taken years and many thousands of pounds/dollars pre twitter. 

We all have our own views on how to build an effective following and maintain it. For me it is about conversation, contribution, helping where you can and sharing. For me, i make a regular habit of promoting my followers within my network and passing on links that i think might be interesting. I do this by retweeting links that interest me that i think could interest my network. I also retweet jobs in social recruiting that i see because i know that some of my followers are actively looking now and they may have missed it. My network is also international with about 70% of my followers being based out of the UK, and as a result i like to promote UK bloggers that I’m interested in and vice-a-versa. Through social media (and skype) the world is a shrinking place, and there is lots to be learnt from all cultures and recruiting markets. I see this as probably the biggest benefit of being involved in social networks, bigger than the business and brand opportunity is the self-development that comes from this instant library of bloggers and advisors in my twitter stream. If i like it, i want to share it.

There we come to the nature of twitter. Some people will simply not like your style, personality, volume or any number of other things. With a big following you can’t please everyone or you become pretty sterile, and how far away is changing your image from being unauthentic? The same people that talk brand image equally talk authenticity and originality. My advice is that consistency is the key, retaining a distinctive style. With nearly 3000 followers it seems to work o.k. for me. in the process i will lose some followers. without wishing to sound arrogant about it, i would invite anyone that does not like my style to unfollow, it’s really quite easy. That for me is one of the appeals of twitter, you choose who you want to follow and who you don’t, exercise that choice.

What prompted this blog was the comments from Peter Gold on a blog i wrote  quite a few months ago in another group.

Peters comments were:


“Maybe you were not on the list because you just RT everything anybody else says – where is the value to anyone in that? 100 tweets doesn’t make you good; 100 cold calls but not one new vacancy – what would be the point? You’ve some way to go Bill.”


Rather than be upset by this, it got me thinking about the comments, should i change how i tweet or continue as i do for the reasons outlined? i actually apreciate people being open and critical, even when they clearly have not read the full blog and subsequent comments.  My conclusion is what is outlined at the start of this entry. I may well have a long way to go, we all do and if my followers were decreasing i might be concerned but thats the beauty of twitter, if you don’t like what i do, don’t follow me or put me on your list. we all have that sanction and long may it continue.


To everyone in my network please retweet often. send anything you think might be interesting, i welcolme it and thank you for sharing. By sharing and engaging with your followers, and promoting others as well as yourself you build a trusted and valued network.


What are your thoughts on the best way to build a following and the value of a retweet? A great discussion for the social media circus track on Thursday. comment freely, i have broad shoulders.




What is all this “Un” stuff?

The Unblog – Norton Folgate

The unblog is the official blog of The Recruiting Unconference London  (if anything can be official about such an event!). This is the place for random thinking on recruiting and social recruiting, debate and discussion. In the spirit of the unconference, anyone can post here on any topic, start their own blog or leave comments. The comments are unmoderated, it is down to you to respect common decency just as it will be on the 19th November. All you need to do is register and start blogging. Word, video, podcast, whatever method you favour, post it here.
A what & a why you might be asking. What is an unconference & why Norton Folgate? (unless you are full of madness, you probably won’t know the answer to either.
An unconference is an unconventional event that has built momentum from the technology sector in the states. From barcamps to gatherings in parks, the unconference is seen as the best way to share and communicate and come up with real solutions without the clutter of structure or set agendas. Its also an ante-dote to attending a traditional conference, knowing half the speakers already and paying £3 – 400 to see one of them.

There are no rules or fixed structures, speakers or auditoriums, and definitely NO death by powerpoint. The event is broken in to tracks with trackleaders in most cases, who have some expertise in the discussion area. Their role is to encourage conversation, input where needed and support the exchange of ideas, communication, conversation, disagreement, debate and discussion. Anyone can join in and if you get bored, you just change the conversation or move to another track. I lead a track at Recruitfest09 in Toronto and this great event convinced me that we needed to do the same thing in London.
Norton Folgate is the name I’ve given the blog for  The Recruiting Unconference London or #trulondon if you live on twitter. I mention Madness, or the nutty boys for two reasons. Firstly they are by far the best band ever, and second, their recent (and excellent) album is titled “The liberty of Norton Folgate.” The release of the album drew my attention to the history of a part of London that was was named Norton Folgate, tucked between Whitechapel and the Bishopsgate. (The quest for the venue starts on the location of the Norton Folgate then head east from Mr.Truemans beer factory via the gas lights).

 The area was declared by statute a liberty i:e: A free land with no rules or order. Being a liberty, it attracted all of Londons society and became home to the artists, poets, performers, artistes, free thinkers, buskers, anarchists and the like. You might expect anarchy without order but the story , as the song goes saw a society spring up where people accepted each other, helped and shared views without the need for law and agenda, the people in effect policed and organised themselves.
The liberty of Norton Folgate may have been forgotten in time but for Madness, reviving it in song and retelling the story. By some strange chance, and in an event eerily unconnected with the band, property developers planned to pull down the alleys and buildings that form Norton Folgate and replace them with functional but faceless glass skyscrapers to match most of the surrounding areas. Norton Folgate seemed doomed forever when local protest met a brick wall of bureaucracy. By chance, a local historian opposed to the destruction of this piece of history found the Liberty and discovered that by error, the beaureaucrats had never actually revoked it. By evoking the Liberty, and declaring that the land did in fact belong to the people and not the planners, the demolition has been prevented at least for the time being. At the same time, Madness had read about Norton Folgate and had written a series of songs on London, culminating in a 10 minute classic celebrating the Liberty. The protesters, on hearing this, adopted the song as their anthem and the two movements combined. Madness, being a bit rebellious (but nice), in their day were honoured that their musical mischief making had coincided with such a rebellious event!
On my part, the spirit of Norton Folgate is exactly what the Recruiting Unconference London is all about. No set rules or structure, self policing, the tracks and controlling the content. We are expecting enjoyment, engagement, laughter, a little anger and plenty of learning. I view it that as The Bill Boorman Consultancy is the name above the door, it’s our job to facilitate the event, it’s the job of every attendee to organise it and make sure that the content is just right for them. You choose what you want to know, what you want to talk about, where you want to contribute and where you want to listen. Then just like in Norton Folgate, the evening will end in revelry.
The Recruiting Tweetup is a quarterly event organised by Jamie Leonard of The Ladders and Matt Alder of Penna Barkers, the social media ringmaster himself. The London RTU brings your networking offline and enables you to put faces to the tweets whilst enjoying the odd ale, liquor or similar exotic tipple. The London RTU is the place where the debate will no doubt continue long in to the night fuelled by intoxication. A great end to a great day!

The Recruiting Unconference London or #trulondon takes place on the 19th November.
You can book for The Recruiting Unconference London at http://recruitingunconference.eventbrite.com