Tag Archive for social recruiting

The Talent Tipping Point

I’ve never been a big fan of the talent community concept. I get the idea. It would be nice if jobs, careers and companies were interesting enough to support real communities. A real community in my opinion, enables everyone to be able to connect, communicate and set the agenda for conversation. Whilst there was a lot of talk by companies wanting a community, what most really wanted was a talent network. The talent network can be defined as up and down communication between the recruiters and potential candidates when the messaging is relevant. Companies like AT&T have done a great job of this by utilising technology like Findly, that enables a simple sign up and the segmentation of data.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the Talent Tipping Point, and what this might be for different organisations. What I mean by this is the number of connections an organisation needs to reach the point of having all the message points they need to fill all of their future hiring needs. This need not be in a formal way via an organised talent network, it might also include social media connections such as fans of the Facebook career page, followers on Twitter or a LinkedIn page. All of these data points are searchable, which simplifies segmenting data, matching to content and jobs, and relevant messaging.

When we consider all of the data points that might be open to recruiters:

1) Current employees for internal mobility. All of the source of hire reports indicate internal mobility and promotions as the number one source. When employee data is retained in the CRM for matching and access by recruiters without the need for permission, and employees are made aware of every relevant opportunity.

2) Ex-employees for boomerang hires. As attitudes are changing to rehiring, organisations are increasing their percentage of rehire’s. This provides another pool of data within the CRM for recruiters, and increased connections. Ex-employee data is valuable because past performance, conduct, skills and achievements are known.

3) Social referral data. Modern referral technology such as RolePoint, (Disclosure: I serve as the lead advisor to RolePoint), enable recruiters to match opted in employees social media and other connections with content and new opportunities. When we consider that the average employee will have 125 Facebook friends, and 240 LinkedIn connections, it is easy to see the potential of gaining access to this data, with the opportunity for matching and messaging.

4) Previous applicants. Consider the high volume of applicants who have shown an interest in the company in the past. When this data is organised for search and retrieval, (rather than simply storage), this provides a huge pool of qualified data of people, some of whom will have already been met and assessed. When the candidate experience has been a good one regardless of the outcome, there could well be an interest in reapplying for the right opportunity.

5) Friends, fans and followers. Individuals are increasingly connecting with companies via LinkedIn and other social pages, Fan pages, Twitter accounts etc. The numbers will increase, and whilst there may be some attrition in connections as people choose to disconnect, other branding activity will bring in new people. This will also include people who choose to sign up for a talent network to keep in touch, in the same way as they might follow a company page.

When we look at these five data sets and consider the volume and relevance of connections, it is easy to see the potential for reaching a Talent Tipping Point of all the connections you are ever likely to need for future recruiting. If we can identify this point, (including relevant skills), backed up with technology for accurate and timely data retrieval in real-time, analytics, data mapping for succession planning and workforce analytics, and relevant messaging, then the focus of the talent acquisition team takes on a new dimension. Hit the tipping point of connections (and you may already be there), and its all about maintenance of relationships and cleanliness of data over new talent attraction.

Exciting times!


The perfect #SocialRecruiting tool for agency owners

You remember this from the film Men In Black, a neutralizer to wipe the brain. After a few conversations this week, I think it is the only device, tool or application that would convince agency owners to take the risk and let their staff get social.

A few weeks ago I read a blog post that advised getting new starters to sign a contract to say who their contacts were on joining, and to hand over any connections when they left. The lawyers have been filling their boots (and wallets) over this fear. Devising contracts, handbooks and handcuffs to tie down new recruiters. I think it is just rubbish!

How motivating and welcoming is it to start your new job being told how you are going to have to behave when you leave, and that your new employers are already planning your exit and don’t really trust you.  It just doesn’t work. You set the scene of distrust, don’t be surprised if your recruiters do the dirty, particularly when you hired them for their contacts.

The simple message is:


Data is public, it is in the public domain, and the only people who can claim ownership on LinkedIn connections or data is LinkedIn. Here is a revolutionary idea, how about you trust your recruiters, and you build relationships with the contacts in the business. If owners invest time in to the relationships in the business, then who your clients and candidates are connected with on LinkedIn is not important. The revenue is in the relationship not the connection.

We don’t yet have a neutralizer, so you can’t erase what your leavers might know. Exercise some trust and reap the benefit of social recruiting, rather than being paralyzed by fear.


Get Referred: The Big Change In #SocialRecruiting?

There is a feature that I have been noticing appearing on most of the Facebook recruiting applications. The get referred feature enables you to see how you are connected with the employing company, and enables you to message your contacts to ask to be referred for a particular job. In most of the apps you get to see both your LinkedIn connections and your Facebook connections. You can find this feature on the Work4Labs, TMJ,  Gooodjob, Glassdoor, BranchOut, Jibe and more. This might not seem like a big deal, it has become common place, but I think it could be.

My thinking behind this is that it changes the dynamic for social referrals and job pipeline. I’m a big fan of social referrals. The average person has 125 Facebook friends and 225 LinkedIn connections. From the research I’ve conducted there is usually a 20% crossover between the channels, and around 70% relevance for employment. This might be as tenuous as living in the right area, but when you multiply the numbers by the number of employees then there is massive potential.

Applications like Work4Labs and SocialReferral (available through Broadbean Inc) have matching technology under the hood that matches the social profiles of an employees connections, enabling employees to refer jobs to potential candidates creating a relevant and on-going pipeline. The success of social referral programs are dependent on five things:

> Understanding that a social-referral is based on a profile match and is not a recommendation. this means removing accountability and asking for the level of relationship.

> Establishing trust at point of sign up that you want access to networks for automated matching only. You need to provide reassurance that you won’t be stripping any data or messaging anyone without going through the owner of the network first.

> Establishing a review and response time to ALL social referrals regardless of fit.

> Rewards for referrals rather than hires.

> Making the process quick, and using technology to take the work out of matching, with no reliance on memory.

These are the pillars on which I build social referral programs, along with ensuring high-profile visibility and recognition well beyond the launch date. The reality of this however is that most social referral programs falter beyond the first 3 months because they cease to be a priority, become a distraction or the promised rewards or recognition are not forthcoming. There is always a new initiative or something more important that becomes a priority. To make these programs work you need to embed them in to culture, and keep them going. It takes real effort, but the pipeline rewards are significant.

What changes this is the get referred button because this changes the onus from the employee to the interested party in terms of effort. Potentially this also changes the candidate experience where referral candidates are given priority for review and response. It also gives potential candidates the opportunity to look deeper in to companies by enabling conversation and investigation on a peer level before application, and the more informed the candidate, the better the conversion rate to employee, because those who choose to opt in after investigation interview better because they have already established their interest.

LinkedIn go a bit further on their get referred feature because they show the relationship with the advertising recruiter and the closest connections. I’d like to see this feature being integrated in to all the applications beyond who you know, including features like who you know who does this job now with the potential employer. The how are you connected feature is also a great way to promote a talent network, giving potential candidates a great reason to express their interest, even if they are not ready to apply. As this feature catches on, it will only encourage people to make connections within companies that could be of interest at some stage in their career, and offers a very real benefit to those who network.

Combining an internal social referral program with get referred features on all jobs and social places will only enhance your pipeline, and make your applications better. Get referred might just make a real difference to your results.



The Social Relationship Matrix #truStockholm

I’m just back from a great #truStockholm, where I was really impressed with the progress made over the last 12 months by the recruiters involved. At the last #truStockholm, we spent a lot of time talking concept and why adopting social recruiting might be a good idea. This time around, the talk was all around what people were doing, and there’s some great work going on in the region.2/3′ds of the tracks were in Swedish, and that’s great. It shows me that it was very much the locals taking the lead, and like #truParis, that’s how it should be. Whilst I didn’t understand it, the emotion and energy in the conversation didn’t need translating. Thanks to Monster Sverige and Social Honesty for making happen. We are already plotting the next event for September which will involve two countries and a boat in between. Keep your eyes posted!

During the event I ran a track on social relations, and talked about the social matrix I apply. It’s not really rocket science, but it works well for me. Where I’m connected with someone socially gives a good indicator of the strength of our relationship. In simple terms:

Twitter. Where most of my relationships start. Twitter is the intro channel. Follow or following needs no acceptance or invitation. It’s the place where we first say “Hi.” This is where we get acquainted.

LinkedIn. Having exchanged a few tweets and come up on the radar, the LinkedIn invites follow. Were connected. Whilst most of the engagement is on twitter, there’s more of an awareness of the professional profile with some mutual sharing. It’s also the time for adding to Google+ circles, and more mutual sharing. Increasingly, it’s also the time for getting followed on Pinterest.

Facebook. Starting out as a fan, and connecting via the fan page. This might be via the blog or another social place. The Facebook relationship starts as a fan, on a more professional basis with a few likes and shares. The last stage is becoming a friend, and it is the word friend that holds the real significance. This is now a strong relationship, and engagement moves from Twitter to Facebook through comments, likes and shares. Personal contact moves from DM to instant chat on Facebook messaging.

This is not an exact science, but I’ve found it to be quite accurate. The relationship also works backwards. If we become more distant due to a lack of engagement or reason to talk, the channels in which we engage revert backwards to predominantly twitter.

This model provoked quite a lot of conversation about how it can be applied. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts,



Source of influence or source of hire?

I’ve been thinking quite a lot recently about source of hire. It’s one of the most common statistics that gets measured and reported. The reports that I see tend to indicate that social media is fairly low on the list of source of hire. Well below the career site or the job boards. When you look at the numbers you have to consider if all this social activity and investment is really worth it. I’ve had the conversation twice today alone, and with some fairly big corporate clients.
The problem with the source of hire measures is that they are usually based on the last click a candidate made before they applied. It’s really a guide as to how effective your application process is, the appeal of your headlines and how cumbersome it is to submit your application. Thats why I’m interested in matrix like the ratios on how many complete the application process from first click. The time it takes to apply, anything that shows me the application process is working. When the source of hire numbers are in, it’s usually this that gets reported.The last click. not the first.

The problem as I see it is that there’s often a lot of interaction before that final click. I want to know where the candidate journey starts. They start as a voyeur, just looking around. Perhaps they started to see your employer branding content on one of the main channels. Maybe they followed you on twitter and clicked on a few links. Watched a few videos and viewed the pictures on Flickr of your latest events. Perhaps they joined your fanpage and liked what they saw. Wherever it starts, I want to track that journey. My real interest is in the source of influence where the hiring journey starts. What are they looking at that convinces them to make the commitment and apply. I want to know how effective all the content is, which means tracking the whole journey to see what is really effective, and not just the last click. The same is true of referral candidates. Is it the final job they get sent before applying, or all the content the referer has shared before that makes them apply? It’s something you have to consider.

When Michael Long of Rackspace delivered his excellent keynote at #TNLive in Austin a few weeks ago, he spoke of how the people who visited their culture site, RackerTalent, before applying for a job, were 65% more likely to be successful than those whose first port of call is the career site and ATS. In the case of Rackspace, there’s a destination that can be tracked, but what about for everyone else?

Theres a few places you can start. Like tracking everyone who follows you on twitter or fans your page. Tracking and recording who is liking your content, engaging or commenting, and seeing where they end up. It is important data to track the whole source of influence to know what is working. Where the influence starts and ends.

Followers of this blog will know that I favour a talent network approach. There’s a place for community, but using talent network technology enables anyone to register their interest in following you with one click. To get very relevant updates without the need to apply or complete forms. A good talent network uses open authorisation and data from the LinkedIn profile to tag interested parties, enabling very relevant communications, invites to take part in events, view content etc. It also means you can track the first point of attraction over application, by offering the opportunity to sign up with one click. The challenge is identifying where the journey starts, an understanding of the source of influence and not just source of application.






Pushing the recruiting envelope with @paulJacobs4real #ATCSM (talking Porn)

Lets here it for the crazy ones!

The community DJ is doing his stuff. Paul is looking at industries outside of recruiting to see how to develop recruiting. His view is that many are still recruiting like it is 1999. it is still all LinkedIn and Job boards.
paul showed how he used an infographic as a job ad. He is working out how to integrate the infographic in to mobile and make it interactive. I love this thinking. Some may use livestreaming services brisbane for their events.
Paul showed examples of viral campaigns from other industries, particularly in Facebook. ASB created the first virtual bank on Facebook, that incorporates virtual messaging to communication. This has possibilities for a virtual recruiting office. Most recruiting i-phone apps are just sticking career sites on an app. Jacobs is looking for more.
In the porn industry, they have been using live stream, e-commerce, chat and viral marketing for quite a few years. They are well ahead of the curve when it comes to making connections. Paul showed an augmented reality app from the world of dating, where you can identify who wants to “hook up” in a bar. Why can’t the same tech be used in recruiting?
You Tube now allows you to sign in with your Facebook and put people from photo’sin to images. (He showed the Ikea ad.) This type of app could really work for employer branding and attraction.
The inspiration for his hugely succesful Deloitte NZ grads campaign came from looking at what celebrities were doing on Facebook. He noticed how they were connecting with fans through live streaming and chat. This proved to be successful, when no one else was doing it in the recruiting space.
I’m hoping we can see a few more crazy ones in the recruitment space!

New Kool v Old School: Video Talking Talent Networks #ATCSource #SocialRecruiting

I made this video for an event for Greg Savage. The video got lost somewhere in the ether but I wanted to share it with you and hear your thoughts.
The #ATCSource event referred to in the video is on Thursday 17′th August, and I will be around to meet anyone Melbourne based on Friday 18′th.
Sounds quality is not great but enjoy!

#ATCSource Event – Pre-Conference Workshops – 17′th August Main Event – 18′th August


Cracking The Geek Code

I blogged a while ago about meeting one of my social-media idols @documentally on a train journey from Preston to Northampton. I’d been on the mobile and he had overheard me use the term “tweetup.” This triggered a conversation and a meeting with someone I had been following (and learning from for a while.)
I mention this story because we both agreed that “tweetup” was some kind of a geek password that enabled us to connect.
Recently, I’ve been working on drawing up lists of the geek passwords in the sectors they recruit in. These are the words that their target candidates use when they talk to each other about work or projects relevant to the sector. The only way to identify these words is to either ask, be in the conversation or follow what is being said in industry groups, forums or blog posts.
Once you have your list of geek words, those used by your targets and not many others,set up searches and alerts in all of the social channels. This is far more targeted and effective than searching for job titles, and because searches and alerts are in real-time, the people you find are current and most likely relevent. Searching content and postings by “geek words” proves far more effective than searching for bios, directory listings or profiles.
What are your geek words?

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!