Tag Archive for #TruLeeds

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?



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.


I look forward to seeing you in Leeds,



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


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.



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.


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.


James Swift

Beyond Interactive

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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?



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

Branding Inside Out: #Lumesse @ #truDublin

Michelle Martin, head of Marketing for the newly rebranded Lumesse came to #truDublin this week to tell the story of how they did it.The process they went through to engage all employees,and what the brand should stand for when it was launched on the public. the process took 11 months, and i think there are some very interesting points worth sharing.
Brand is much more than a marketing effort.
The biggest take away for me was that they concentrated all their branding effort and attention on the employees of the business, believing that if they got the internal branding effort right, then the external branding would naturally follow. I agree with this sentiment, having witnessed too many companies who view branding as a purely marketing effort, more about image than actually meaning something. Winning the hearts and minds of  employees by giving them the main say in the outcome is farmore important than the external image. if they believe the message then they will share it. In the social age, sharing person to person is the most important consideration.
The reasoning behind the rebranding was that the old Stepstone business was in a bit of a branding wilderness after splitting from the job board side of the business. Plenty of people knew the Stepstone name, but without the job board product, few knew quite what they were. They are a global business who needed a clearly defined offering.
The project started with a whole series of open conversations with 40 staff from around the globe representing different departments, to identify and agree what the business values should be. This was followed up by a 6 week programme of employee communication and conversation to gather and consider every opinion from the whole of the business.

After much head scratching, and doubtless plenty of post it notes, mind maps and the like, they came up with the following brand statements:

:Lets be honest
:Free your mind
:Enjoy the ride
:Yes (translated in to many languages!)

Time will tell if this is marketing speak or something more meaningful and longer lasting, but the early signs are positive. By taking an employee lead approach to branding, there’s a much greater chance to deliver the things that you tell people you are about. It’s testament to the employee buy in to the rebrand that despite having had the new look, name, image and message revealed to all staff a full 4 weeks before the public launch, the companies request for keeping things under wraps was followed, with no leaks. Given the connected age that we live in, I think that is quite remarkable and says a lot.

Some other interesting take-aways were:

It’s impossible now to get a descriptive dot-com name globally. they have all gone.

A rebrand gives the opportunity to take a close look at all of the business from values, services, customers and what you want the business to be collectively.

In a global business, you need to define what works locally and define a local brand that works within the global brand. Personalised without conflicting.

I’m looking forward to hearing more at #truLeeds about how this story is unfolding. What do you think are the most important aspects of brand and who decides it?



Michelle Martin



This is a sponsored post part of the Lumesse Blogathon www.lumesse.com