Hanging Out With Bullhorn. The Future Of #SocialRecruiting

I’m going to be taking part in a hang out chat on Google+ with Steven Duque, Bullhorns social media evangelist. We decided to go with a hangout because we want the conversations to be informal, rehearsed and a genuine conversation. The feature we are going to be using is Google+ Air that was launched in May. I think this is a brilliant feature for recruiters because you have plenty of control (through a mini-studio) over the image, who gets highlighted, the camera angles, lighting etc. You can broadcast direct on to your Google+ page, promote the “show” as on air, capture and record to YouTube etc, as well as sharing invites through all the social channels. The other really neat feature of Air is that you can embed a view widget on any web space. I’m looking forward to giving this tech a live run after having had plenty of practice, and it is free to use.

The topic of the chat is “The future of social recruiting”. I have a few views on the topic, but we are talking future not present or past. I have plenty of ideas that I want to share.
One of my big thoughts is that we will are moving from an “apply for” transactional model to a “talk to” model. that is relationship/engagement based. There is no need to apply for jobs any more, simply express interest. If the recruiters can see who is interested and evaluate them accordingly then they can direct the potential candidates in the right direction. Thats got to be good for recruiters and improve the candidate experience all around.

I’m going to be joining the hang out from #truAmsterdam on the 21′st June at 11.00am EST/4.00 PM GMT, so you can expect a few surprise guests to join the conversation. You can view the hangout on a specially built landing page on the Bullhorn Reach blog. Bullhorn Reach will  be sponsoring #TruAmsterdam again as well as hosting the hang out. I’m a bigfan of the reach product and it is great to be associated with the business.

It has been a big week at Bullhorn. This week the Boston based business announced that they have been acquired by Vista Equity Partners for just short of $100Mn.Founder Art Papas is staying at the helm of the business with the management team staying in place. The investment will enable Bullhorn to push on with some exciting developments on both their CRM and Reach products. This is great news given what they have already achieved. They work exclusively in the recruitment sector,  offering a pure SAAS solution.

Vista already have over $33.6bn invested in SAAS companies, and it is going to be interesting to see how the various parts might fit together in areas like research and development. It’s going to be exciting watching. Congratulations to Art and all the team. I look forward to hanging out. See you there.




Guest post: Students and Social Media #truAmsterdam

I am writing this guest post following the research I have done for my track at April’s #truAmsterdam – Students and Social Media: The #Tru Story. Why did I choose this track? Being very lucky to be part of the #trugrad mentoring scheme, and like this discovering the amazing help of social media when job hunting, I asked myself: how about my fellow students? Is there anyone teaching them how to use social media to advertise themselves?

It was easy to guess the answer but I thought it would be better to prove it. So I used the Survey application to create a 9-question survey on Facebook, and I sent messages to probably 500 of my friends asking them to do it, and inviting them to join the Student Social Media Group. I created this group in order to gather students from different universities and countries, and between us to be able to share or gain social media knowledge. A few of my friends shared the survey on their walls, like this making it accessible to approximately 3000 students. I was very optimistic at the beginning because I targeted 200 students in a week time. Unfortunately, after 6 days only 2% of those who could have accessed the survey actually did it. I then saw myself in the situation when I had to go around my university and ask other students to do the survey by hand. This can only show one thing, and this is that students use Facebook strictly for communication purposes (post photos, comments, send messages).

After gathering the results of my survey, I considered that the best way to make them public was using prezi – it’s great!

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I must admit that my research has got certain limitations, such as time and the fact that 75% of the students were from the same university. I will definitely expand this research in preparation for my track at #truDublin and I will target a much bigger number of students from the top as well as the average universities.

Even if I am aware that I still have to do a lot of research regarding this subject, I strongly believe that when it comes to graduate recruitment there is a certain gap somewhere, or shortage. I am making this statement after having noticed that big companies mostly look for graduates at top universities, even if those are the students who tend to have the least working experience when finishing their degree. On the other hand, students at average universities seem to focus on applying to the best companies, they spend on average 3 to 5 days submitting online applications, and end up receiving an email saying that they were unsuccessful on that occasion. In some way they forget that there are also small and medium enterprises where they can receive good training and furthermore, receive more responsibilities. Having said this, there are many good, capable students at average universities, but it is unfortunate that they don’t know how to advertise themselves, in other words they don’t know how to use social media to their advantage.


Internal Sourcing:The Sodexo Story from #truAmsterdam

I sat in on the internal sourcing track at #truAmsterdam, in which Sherie Valderrama from Sodexo USA shared her experiences of introducing a hugely successful internal sourcing strategy. This means that Sodexo are as likely to look for new recruits within their own ranks as they are to source outside.

It is easy to see why this works well. You know the true story, skills and capability of the people you are approaching. Theres no need for references,you already have their records and a direct line to their boss. There’s so many positives, it begs the question why this isn’t common practice in all companies. Yes, jobs get advertised to internal staff, But how many outside of Sodexo actively source from within?
The barriers to implementing a program of this type are understandable.Managers are inevitably reluctant to lose their star performers, having invested considerable time and effort in developing them. With good staff being so hard to find, why would you actively encourage them to move on?
Sodexo have been able to overcome this by acknowledging that ambitous employees will inevitably want to progress, and if the opportunity is not there in their current team they will look outside of the organisation.
The current negative equity in the housing market across the globe also means people are unable (rather than unwilling) to consider relocation as an option.Internally, this means progression is only possible by moving companies or switching Divisions locally.
The impact of these factors mean that companies who are willing to enable the switch, retain the talent.Sherie higlighted that the biggest challenge faced by Sodexo’s recruiters is convincing hiring managers that staff are transferable between divisions, if they have the skills then the disciplines can be learnt.To  justify this argument, Sodexo have been tracking performance data for staff that have made the transfer, and the figures prove that internal transfers work. The gratitude and buy-in from staff given the opportunity drives learning, commitment and loyalty.
Managers who develop a reputation for developing staff and supporting staff when they are ready to better themselves, have no problems when it comes to attracting talent for themselves.
The other essential ingredient to making this work is to establish an environment of trust where staff do not fear repercussions if they openly seek other opportunities and are unsuccessful, they need to know they have a job to go back to. Managers also need to be open to internal recruiters approaching their staff when appropriate opportunities arise.
I can understand why it is hard to develop a culture where internal sourcing is common recruiting process, but if you can achieve it as Sodexo have done, the benefits greatly outweigh the barriers that have to be overcome to achieve this.
You can hear more about the Sodexo story at #truDublin from their V.P.of talent attraction Arie Ball. It’snot to be missed!

What are your thoughts to internal sourcing?


Sodexo USA

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#truAmsterdam thinking: Student Recruiting, Gaming And Empire Avenue

Listening to #truGrad Ruxandra Fratescu’s excelent track on how students are using social-media, and how they communicate, 3 points really stood out from her research and questionnaire.

OK,only 100 students completed it and they were all from the same University, but I’m sure that once this has been expanded to a wider circle the results will be very similar.

The 3 stand-out points are:

1: The vast most students have no idea how to connect with potential future employers in social-media.

2: Over 70% of the students asked use Facebook primarily for gaming, the largest proportion spending 3 – 5 hours per week on Facebook.

3: Students with a twitter account rarely tweet more than once a week even when looking for a job in their final year.

You will be able to download the results from Ruxandra’s research on this blog later this week, and will be able to take part in the track at #truDublin. I recommend you do, if you have any interest in student recruitment.

The really interesting thing for me is the gaming element. This led to a bit of a secret track, and several side conversations on just how recruiters can link gaming in to recruiting.

I thought it was interesting to note how many times Empire Avenue was mentioned during #truAmsterdam. Most people are trying to work out just what purpose it has, and if there really is any value in it.

My view is that it is really based on measuring what is controversially termed influence. (I prefer the term impact.) Members (players) are traded at a share price based on activity across social-media channels including twitter, Facebook, blogs, LinkedIn and YouTube, reach and mentions/likes from others.

This is essentially the same as applications like Klout or PeerIndex, although Empire Avenue goes further.

Values also go up according to how much of your stock is bought and sold. Like other “games” you earn badges for achievements, can create your own communities,  invite others to join the network. There’s chat options,leader boards, trending reports, a ticker tape to show the share price of your buys and personal messaging to other members.

It is sophisticated fun, and the membership is growing rapidly both on the website and the Facebook app.

Serious players (the addicted), are spending plenty of  time studying member profiles and scores of  players in order to identify the best people to invest in. It really is about forecasting who will be ranked as influential in the social channels and investing in them early, as well as engaging regularly within Empire avenue itself. The more you do, and the wiser you invest, the better you perform.

The gaming element hooks people in and interestingly, although its based on the same thing, it’s not attracting the same negative comments and posts as Klout. (I was even encouraged to join by one of the Klout detractors!). Call it a game and everyone wants to play, call it a serious ranking of influence and you get the opposite effect.

I’ve never really understood why people play Mafia Wars on Facebook but according to appdata.com, there are currently 23,492,409 players, with around 5.5 million playing daily (source: Answers.Com.). Now that I’m getting hooked in to Empire Avenue, I’m beginning to understand why.

I have combined these discussion topics because I can see the potential offered by combining gaming, Facebook and recruiting graduates. Combining a game element to attract students  with extra communication features through chat and mentions, private messaging and group forums with a theme that will appeal to the target student market, and Facebook is the place to build and house it.

This video, shot by Keith Robinson at #truAmsterdam, expands on some of the points covered by Ruxandra.

What do you do to attract graduates?


Ruxandra Fratescu on LinkedIn

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Take A Look At  Empire Avenue

The #truAmsterdam Schedule

#tru sponsor

For this #truAmsterdam we have assembled a team of 20 track-leaders from the “people” space around the globe, and after crowd sourcing the current hot topics have put together a schedule of tracks that promise 2 days of great conversation and some controversy.

Feel free to move between the tracks as you wish. As always, tracks will be added if you want anything different.

#truAmsterdam sponsor

#TruAmsterdam is happening thanks to our generous sponsors and supporters Y.E.R, Broadbean, Work4Labs and #RIDE.

Thursday 28′th

9.30 – 10.00; Intro and Opening – Bill Boorman/Gordon Lokenberg

10.00 – 11.00 – Track 1 – Room 1

Extreme Recruiting Techniques – Kevin Wheeler

10.00 – 11.00 – Track 2 – Room 2

Where mobile is going – Gordon Lokenberg

10.00 – 11.00 – Track 3 – Room 3

Guerilla branding #RIDE style – Rob Van Elburg

11.00 – 11.15 – Coffee

11.15 – 12.12.15 – Track 4 – Room 1

Referral Recruiting -Jacco Valkenburg

11.15 – 12.15 – Track 5 – Room 2

Case Study: Hard Rock Firenze: Hiring 120 people in 4 weeks – Bill Boorman

11.15 – 12.15 – Track 6 – Room 3

The (Non)sense Of Communities – Peer Goudsmit

12.15 – 1.15 – Lunch

1.15 – 1.30 – Augmented Reality Check – Gordon Lokenberg

1.30 – 2.30 – Track 7 – Room 1

Internal Mobility – Sherrie Valderrama – Sodexo USA

1.30 – 2.30 – Track 8 – Room 2

Creating Professional Sector Talent Pools – Max Heywood

1.30 – 2.30 – Track 9 – Room 3

LinkedIn for Agencies – Olfetjan Miejer

2.30 – 3.30 – Track 10 – Room 1

Stephane Le Viet – Facing Up To Facebook

2.30 – 3.30 – Track 11 – Room 2

Next Generation Job Boards – Ricky Wheeler – Broadbean

2.30 – 3.30 – Track 12 – Room 3

Your Social Footprint – Bill Fischer

3.30 – 3.45 – Coffee

3.45 – 4.45 – Open Debate – The Future Of Talent Acquisition – Kevin Wheeler

4.45 – 5.00 – Close Followed By drinks With Y.E.R.

Day 2 – Friday 29’th April

9.30 – 10.00 – Opening and the talent challenge – Bill Boorman

10.00 – 11.00 – Track 13 – Room 1

Students and Social Media – The #Tru Story – Ruxxandra Frattescu

10.00 – 11.00 – Track 14 – Room 2

R.P.O – Marco Hol

10.00 -11.00 – Track 15 – Room 3

Managing The Recruiting Function – Laura Baselaar

11.00 – 11.15 – Coffee

11.15 – 12.15 – Track 16 – Room 1

Case Study – The Sodexo USA story – Sherry Valderrama

11.15 – 12.15 – Track 17 – Room 2

Leveraging LinkedIn Groups – Jacco Valkenburg

11.15 – 12.15 – Track 18 – Room 3

Measuring The R.O.I. Of  Social Recruitment Simply – Patrick Boonstra

12.15 – 1.15 – Lunch

1.15 – 2.15 – Track 19 – Room 1

Secret Sourcing – Gordon Lokenberg

1.15 – 2.15 – Track 20 – Room 2

Old Skool v New Kool – Keith Robinson

1.15 – Track 21 – Room 3

Talent Shortages – Rob Van Elburg

2.15 – 3.15 – Track 22 – Room 1

Getting Jobs Shared – Stephane Le Viet

2.15 – 3.15 – track 23 – Room 2

Content Creation And Curation – Martin Couzins

2.15 – 3.15 – Track 24 – Room 3

Personal Branding v Corporate Branding – Oscar Mager

3.15 – 3.30 – Coffee

3.30 – 4.30 – Open Debate

The Future Of Recruiting – Kevin Wheeler

4.30: Close For Queens Day Drinks



Guest Post: @SValderrama: Snr Director Talent Acquisition Sodexo #truAmsterdam

It’s great to welcome @SValderrama, the Senior Director for Talent Acquisition at Sodexo USA to #truAmsterdam. Sherrie will be sharing the impressive Sodexo case study, talking about real world practice and leading a track on internal sourcing and mobility programs.
These are Sherries thoughts:

I am a huge believer in the power of failure—not the small little failures we all experience day-to-day, like not brewing the perfect cup of coffee to start the morning with a clear brain, or overcooking the salmon that you always make perfectly until the night that you are entertaining.  I am referring to big failures—colossal failures—of the type that Jim Collins, author of “Built to Last” might call “big, hairy and audacious”.

What do I mean by the “power of failure”? Early in my professional career (in my pre-Sodexo days), I was fortunate to experience one monumental failure that totally transformed my outlook on talent.  Although I still cringe when I recall the failure, what I learned was that if you can face the failure head on, it is almost always a gift in disguise because it can lead you to embrace change.

My “big, hairy, audacious” failure was to take the internal talent pool for granted in the midst of a competitive bid for a major contract.  The cost?  The contract, along with our top employee, went to our competitor. My gift?  An enduring conviction that talent acquisition leaders must not only have an aggressive external strategy to source, attract and recruit top talent, we must also recognize that from the moment top talent joins our company, we play a key role in engagement and retention. If we view our top employees as a highly prized “talent pool”, and continually engage and “recruit” from that pool, we can contribute more to the retention of top, high potential employees than just about any other company initiative, and avoid the failure of losing our top talent to our competitors.

Which brings me to the topic that I hope to discuss at #truAmsterdam—why do so many companies fail to retain their top employees?  We know there may be many different reasons why a high performer decides to leave a company, but when the exit interviews indicate lack of promotional opportunity, to me, this is probably the # 1 failure of any company. How can we, as talent acquisition leaders, take this failure, learn from it, and find success?

Especially when you consider the trends that are impacting the current and future labor markets, the stakes could not be higher:

  • Demographic trends: declining birth rates + aging workforce = shrinking talent pool
  • Education trends: large high school drop out rates + declining college graduation rates for Gen Y students = major skills gap

For companies like Sodexo, with huge growth goals and the need for highly skilled talent, these two trends require a full-fledged strategy that leverages all of the many external sourcing venues, and also engages and retains our top internal employees, recognizing they are a key talent pool to fuel our growth.

So although we have a very robust strategy that focuses on external talent—sourcing, attracting, and hiring top employees through a mixture of aggressive sourcing, leveraging technology, being a leader in social media, building robust talent communities, etc, we  also know that to focus talent acquisition solely externally would be a monumental failure for our company.

Just because it makes all of the business sense in the world, doesn’t mean it is easy. In most companies, there are lots of barriers that prevent internal sourcing and to be successful, you need to be able to identify those barriers and find ways to push through. At Sodexo, we have been sourcing internally for a few years now, and we now have a full-fledged internal mobility initiative that focuses in on “recruiting” our own employees for the next steps in their careers—not only for opportunities in the US, but for all of the 80 countries where Sodexo has operations. We have also deployed our executive recruiters to focus on helping our high potentials prepare for their next step by providing one-on-one career coaching. Our hope is that we never find our hippos in an exit interview saying “but I was not aware of opportunities.”

I look forward to #truAmsterdam next week to share some of the Sodexo experience, and learn more about approaches you have tried in your organizations.

Theres a few tickets left for #truAmsterdam next week. You can get one HERE