Posts Tagged ‘ Social Media Recruting ’

Social Media & Recruitment -more questions than answers?

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I am going to start off by saying I am a big fan of some of the Social Media platforms and the use of them in the recruitment process. I am not an expert as some claim they are themselves; I am an enthusiast with real first-hand experience in using them.

Over the last few years I have been an active participant on some of the online communities and platforms that many many people are using. In that time some of these platforms have proved to be very enjoyable and useful indeed, especially Twitter and LinkedIn. I am comfortable with each and get a huge amount of satisfaction from both. They have both had a huge impact on my life.

Thousands of people try to convince us that mastery of the various Social Media platforms is essential for all those looking for work. Others promote them as essential platforms for agencies and employers as recruiting tools. Many of us have been to presentations that deal with the issue of using Social Media platforms as recruiting tools; some of these delivered by people with more knowledge than us, others I fear by people who might have some understanding of online communities but know little about their application and use in business, let alone recruiting and share their basic knowledge only for a fee. All of these presentations however tell us that if we are not using Social Media we are missing a trick and won’t have access to either the jobs we seek or the candidates we need to hire.

Yet I’ve had conversations with plenty, mostly senior people, who either don’t have LinkedIn profiles or that they have taken their profiles down because they are fed up with the annoying spam they get from head-hunters, agencies and recruiters. One could argue that if they setup their profiles right then this shouldn’t happen. Sadly they don’t and it does. There are only just over 100 million profiles on LinkedIn. That leaves the vast majority of the market workforces not on it.

Much has been said and written about the power of social media as a recruiting tool and to be honest most of it is rubbish and promotional speculation created by people or companies who want you to spend money with them. I do believe there is value in embracing the platforms to get the most out of them. There are benefits and yes people and companies have used it to further themselves, myself included. I’ve found a fantastic job (or it found me) as a result of my enthusiasm for Social Media. I’ve also made some of the best friends I could hope for, but it is not the be-all-and-end-all. Most of the people I know who embrace the various Social Media platforms use it for engagement and interaction on a personal level, many indeed use it for business purposes, either to promote themselves or their businesses in one way or another. That is the great thing about LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as all other Social Media platforms; it is different things to different people. It is not absolute.

In speaking to many in-house recruiters and many agencies each month the subject of the best ways to find the right candidates is always part of the conversation. Some use the various platforms very effectively, however the majority still don’t. They, as well as the candidates they seek tend to rely on traditional methods of attraction; job boards (including LinkedIn in this format) and agencies etc. One thing is clear, many people in recruitment can’t or don’t make much use of Social Media platforms either because they lack the time, interest or sadly the social skills and confidence to do so or they don’t believe they actually need to. (It shouldn’t be a surprise. Let’s face it many many people still don’t know how to use a phone effectively). In fact I would be extremely surprised if most job hunters don’t go to agencies and job boards and corporate sites first to find work, rather than think of to various alternate social platforms. I don’t blame them. If the companies don’t use them what point is there?

This leads to the two questions that prompted this blog post:-

If the Recruiters are not using Social Media platforms why should Candidates and why are they being pushed so hard to do so?

If the Candidates are not using Social Media platforms why should Employers and why are they being pushed so hard to do so?

I am sure there are plenty of opinions as well as answers to these two questions, would love to hear what you all think.

music of the day = Everblue by Paul Cusick

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Recruitment Fraud – Action Needed?

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A week or so ago there was a topic that was posted on The FIRM’s discussion forum that was quite alarming. One of the members, an in-house UK based recruitment manager at a large company had flagged the issue of Recruitment Fraud.

I suspect that label could cover a multitude of sins, some very minor that we might experience every day and some major. This one falls into the latter category. It would appear that criminal gangs have been targeting the jobs market to collect personal information about people. In many of these cases it appears that the perpetrators of such fraud are creating spoof corporate websites and enticing people to apply for jobs through them. Of course the ‘candidates’ think they are applying for legitimate jobs at well known global companies In doing so, the targeted members of the public are asked to provide a range of personal information that would be relevant to a job application, but being given to a criminal company puts them at serious risk.

These fraudsters have also claimed to be able to arrange visas including travel and accommodation, couriers, legal advice or other services. The perpetrators can get quite clever providing alternate contact info for another spoof department or transferring calls. All with the objective of convincing the ‘applicant’ of their legitimacy and to con them into supplying personal information and money in the belief that a legitimate visa will be issued.

In addition the fraudsters have been known to send what appears to be real job offers to these ‘applicants’. In a recent situation one company actually had people turn up to start work. As you can imagine this caused a lot of frustration and disappointment to all involved.

It seems that it is all very convincing with many overseas workers looking to migrate being targeted at potentially great expense to them.

Many companies including RBS, British Airways and Shell ( only did a very brief search) are now putting notices on their corporate careers sites to inform people of how they advertise and the processes they follow during a formal recruitment lifecycle. There is of course no indication that they have been targeted or if they are just acting ahead of the game.

This is a serious issue and thought it wise to raise awareness of the issue to a wider audience and to suggest that everyone starts to think of a page or statement that we can put on their corporate careers web site. Not only are the individuals victims of this but so would your company be if this happened to you or them. It would damage your reputation and the level of trust people have in your corporate, customer/consumer and employer brands.

Many of you will be aware of this, but if not I hope it helps

Starting a Job is not “Job Done”, It is just the start – Day 41 of #myjobhunt

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Day 41 of #myjobhunt = Day 1 of #mynewjob

So here we are at last – Day 41 of #myjobhunt and exactly 8 weeks after leaving my last job and starting my quest for a new career opportunity, I finally arrived at the day that it had all been aiming at.

Today I started my new job – well not actually today but the Monday of this week was Day 1 of what I will now be calling #mynewjob – obvious really. – I hope to call it that if I remaining appropriate to blog about my new job. Of course this may not be a good idea, but the jury is out.

One thing I am mindful of however is that whilst the quest for an offer had come to a natural and positive end with me accepting and starting a new job. The next step or phase in the process is the most important. I, like anyone who starts with a new employer has to now live up to billing and deliver and do it in style. I don’t mean I am going to be flash or a smartarse, but the aim is to deliver efficiently and effectively and against demand and expectations. It is all about making sure my new boss is vindicated for hiring me and is made to look good in the process. It won’t do me any harm either will it now? As fun as it was, I don’t want to be back to #myjobhunt any time soon, thank you very much.

But at this point early on the Day 1 Monday morning my only focus was making sure I made the train in time, to make connections so that I could meet my new boss at St. Pancras International for the Eurostar to Paris. Not the normal first day and rather pleased we didn’t need to catch the first train out!

Having spent 8 weeks not having to worry about getting out of bed let alone waking up, I set the alarm for 5am to be sure I was up, ready and able to catch the first train a 6.38am. I actually woke at 4am rolled over went back to sleep, the alarm was on silent so I didn’t hear it go off at 5am and finally woke up luckily at 0536. I had 20 mins to get myself out of the house. Not the best way to start a long day on the first day of a new job. Apple Inc. don’t you know how absolutely ridiculous it is not to allow an alarm to override silent mode. How dumb can you be? Okay, okay my fault knowing the limitations but still a design fault nonetheless. I have my phone on silent at night because of the number of mutations that don’t know that my number is not the number they want!

Anyway I made the train, no problems with the tube and made it to St Pancras and onto the Eurostar all very calm and collected thanks to Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti. I did however have to tell a man of the cloth that he can’t get on the train because his god wasn’t about to move the cases in front of him, human intervention would be needed to stow them properly, so that I could pass. I was smiling at the time! He saw the funny side of it too. Made it to my seat – well no not mine but by time the passenger whose seat it was arrived, I was very comfy and not about to move. All sorted. At this point it is worth pointing out that I had been up for 3.5 hours and had not yet had a coffee. Everyone on the carriage was lucky to make to Paris I tell you, but a dose of Led Zeppelin is a sort of cure all for me. I am not at my best without coffee, at least 3 large mugs at that. But I was sat next to the second most important person in my life at that moment – yup my new boss and thus just had to behave. I was in a smiling mood, honest.

So the first two and half hours of my new job were spent in fine, amusing and generous company – well what did you expect me to say? I spent the time listening to an induction of sorts and an overview of the challenges ahead, not much of it making a lot sense yet. But so glad I focused and concentrated as it all started to come together later in the day and throughout Day 2.

I intend to blog about my first 30 days as best I can without divulging operational specifics or making my team and colleagues uncomfortable. If I feel that this becomes the case I will stop. But I want to be able to relate the job hunting process with actually starting a job. When I wrote Day 1 of #myjobhunt I did so purely for my own purposes; I wanted to dump my thoughts and reflect on the day past and what needs to be done during the next day (I think I’ve written those words before, sorry). I want to see if by tracking my daily activity and reflecting on what happens and what is needed next, if my performance and my decision making is made any better than previous versions of Gary. I‘m not going to start a daily blog because I think that would become too specific and ….well boring. What I will try and do is give some kind of perspective of the personal challenges and changes I will have to go thoughts and some of the thoughts observations and experiences. It might not be possible. But let’s see how we go, eh?

So Day 1 I arrive in Paris having met only three people who work for the company, not bad when you consider that the total workforce is approx 55,000. Straight to the office and into a kick-off meeting.

This meeting was to actually kick off the “next phase” deployment of a global project that my boss is the owner of. So three hours of acronyms and language that was all alien to me and much of what was being discussed was initially so confusing. However much like a dimmer switch being slowly turned up, the more the afternoon wore on, the clearer much of it became and actually raised a number of questions that would have direct impact on what I was here to do. My job – ownership of all recruitment processes for Europe (excl UK); strategy, planning, operations and delivery.

Names of people were going in one ear and out another, every time I spoke to someone I was introduced to another person or process with further suggestions of who I needed to speak with or meet. Copious notes are being taken and comments attributed to people; no matter how many times I hear it I note it down.

I have already been assigned one project that needs to happen now and active involvement and the other I need to get up to speed with very very fast, and I know there are two or three others that are being discussed. How much of these will come my way remains to be seen. And this is addition to the normal daily stuff of planning and leading a strategic approach to recruitment and resourcing delivery.

The pace and scale of what we are doing is stunning. The excitement and energy created by a team that doesn’t know the meaning of “can’t do”, and seems to live by the “let’s get it done” ethos is a rush – they plan fast and execute even faster.

I am on the balls of my feet and bouncing ready to get in the game.

Music of the day = Thoughtless by Korn

That was Day 1 of #mynewjob for you.

How much visibility do you want / need when Job Hunting? – Day 32 #myjobhunt

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Since Day 1 I have been blogging frequently about my quest for a new job. When I started I did it purely to reflect on the day past. Within 2 days this had changed. The response I got from people gave me confidence and made me realize that this blog could be a fundamental tool in my job hunting activities. By the end of the first week I couldn’t believe the response and support I had received from so many people, some of whom I had already met, many I had not. It was however Week 2 that things really took off and by the end of Week 3 I had secured my first offer (Day 16). I think I have already written about how I got to Week 3 previously and will no doubt do so again in more detail, once #myjobhunt comes to a conclusion, if in fact it does before I lose interest in writing about it.

Since Week 3 and that offer I have come to realize something and it has been on my mind since. I have made my job hunting activities so open and visible to people, what will happen and what will people think of me if I don’t secure a job? Of course it is inevitable that people will start to wonder why people don’t want me. What will happen if I get a job and then it doesn’t work out? What if I can’t cope? What if …..? What if…..? So many what ifs? I have asked myself if writing this blog was the sensible thing to do in the first place and how can I stop without any negative impact.

Then I looked at the positives of the blog. The blog almost became my CV, the opportunities it created for me, not only actual jobs, but further discussions to take my career in a different direction have been constant throughout the last six and a bit weeks. Some are not for me, others have been too much for me i.e. I didn’t think I was ready or not likely to meet the expectations of role. Some have been great but the salary or rate and location hasn’t worked well. Others still haven’t mature yet and may or may not at all.

The blog has given me so many new perspectives on things; it has taught me some huge lessons about the market and the ability (or lack of) of the many practitioners in it; good and bad. It has made me think and be more reflective about what I want and what I can do. The good thing is that all of the lessons learned will be taken into my next job and built upon and shared with my colleagues, hopefully adding value at each step. This whole journey has taught me so much and no matter what, I expect I will still continue to blog in such a manner going forward.

This quest, this journey so far has been very emotional; worrying, stressful, annoying, humbling, inspiring, enjoyable, amusing. I have to this point, every step of the way enjoyed it immensely and I have made some terrific new friends.

Music of Day 32 – Daydream Believer by The Monkees – very loud and singing on the train!!! Oh yes I did! And others joined in!

How much visibility do you want / need when Job Hunting?

On Day 30 I got the call I was waiting for (and dreading!).

Today I accepted a job. I start 1st October 2010.

THANK YOU EVERYONE

How do I get onto your PSL?

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If you haven’t yet come across UK Recruiter I recommend a visit and a read. Run by Louise Triance, UK Recruiter not only provides a wealth of information to all those involved in the UK recruitment market, but Louise is a big advocate of getting agencies and in-house recruiters to network and cooperate with each other.

Louise recently asked for contributions to her “Recruiter Clinic” series by asking various people involved with the recruitment business “What is the question you are asked the most often?” and “What is the answer you give?”

I was pleased to help.

This is the question I get asked the most: How do I get onto your PSL?

Answer:
Many large organisations with traditional purchasing models follow complicated and cumbersome RFQ, RFI and tendering processes to select the suppliers for their PSL. There is no sure fire way of getting through the rules, weighting and scoring matrices that can be set up by procurement teams I’m afraid. This kind of process and the resulting set up, tend to leave suppliers feeling they are being kept at and arm’s length, with limited relationship potential, other than that of traditional supplier/buyer and that any quality in service is diminished. I agree. It’s a lottery and to be honest a waste of energy and time for all concerned.

In organisations where there is more emphasis on quality of service and importance placed on cooperation and understanding of the business, as well as the personalities required in the different roles, it is crucial that you build a relationship with the key stakeholders. These will either be with the in-house recruiting teams or the hiring manager.

A bit of advice, if the organisation you are trying to sell to has an in-house recruiting team, bypass them at your peril, for they can be the decision makers not only on which agency to deal with, but also on which people will be hired. You will almost certainly ruin any chance you have of dealing with that company if you try and go around the in-house recruiting team to the hiring managers directly.

Within such organisations PSL’s are built based on suppliers’ previous track record with a company, on feedback and input they get from the hiring managers. In-house teams in many of the HR departments talk to each other and compare notes on agencies, especially if they are members of The FIRM, and thus it is important that the levels and quality of service you offer is of the highest standards at all times.

If you are invited to give a presentation as part of a PSL review, be sure that you know the company you are presenting to inside out. You have to know the scope and scale of the company, which markets in operates in, who its competitors are, what the competitors are doing (in respect of sales strategy, reorgs, hiring) why they hire, how they hire, what competences they look for in the various departments, what technologies are important to that market, what is the buzz in the market, what legislation could affect them. This is more information than you can possibly get from an hours superficial searching on the internet. This is proper and through research, but it has to be done if you want to have any credibility. If you can clearly show that you know the market better than the in-house recruiters then you will be adding value already.

Hope this helps

Job Hunting, it’s all about Commitment, Confidence, Calls and Choices – Day 30 #myjobhunt

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This post represents my feelings from last week. If I were to keep true to the trend established in previous posts it would be a summation of Day 30 of #myjobhunt, which represents 6 full weeks of job hunting. Yet, I am going to sum up my feelings of Week 6 rather than making the post about a specific day.

Having been away with a great group of people at #SocRecCamp the previous weekend the week started on a high. I was just happy to have had the experiences in Devon. As the week progressed my mood changed.

Week 6 was certainly the lowest I have been throughout my quest for work or at least that was how I felt at times. A few things started to dawn on me that made me question what I was doing, why I was doing it and what it meant for my wife and I. It also made me question what I was actually looking for. Did I want the perfect job where my competencies and experiences could be fully utilized; a job that I would feel a passion for, a commitment to and one that would give me the challenges and the satisfactions that many don’t get to realize. Or did I want a pay packet?

I was beginning to wonder.

When I first started out Week 1 caught me by surprise, the number of opportunities I uncovered and the number of vacancies that my friends and colleagues passed my way was overwhelming as was the constant support. It all looked so positive and continued to look that way for a few weeks. In Week 6 however the number of appealing opportunities had come down to just 3 positions that I had interviews for. So my pipeline was very thin, opportunities coming my way were fewer, and fewer still were appealing. At the same time others who I know were getting jobs and starting them inside my own 6 week window. So of course I had to ask myself if I had the right mental approach, as well as if I had the right approach and strategy to job hunting.

As great as it seemed to test the power of Social Media and not use agencies I still have bills to pay. When I started #myjobhunt I did not aim to only use Social Media – all I wanted was a job. Yet after a few days my confidence was such that I became the biggest advocate of Social Media as a job hunting tool or set of tools. By Week 6 my confidence was waning, in fact it started waning in Week 4, once I became officially unemployed, as the doubts and the natural concerns about the future crept in.

It is not just about me either. I’ve been in similar positions before and was hoping never to be back here again. Each of those times my wife was a rock, a fantastic support even when things got as bad as they could have done. I didn’t want to put her through the worry again. It was obvious to me that once my gardening leave and my employment finished in Week 4, her stress and worry levels more than doubled. Then after our decision on Day 26 to withdraw my application from that technology company I decided I had to make her a promise – I promised to have accepted a job by the end of September. I was confident that I could get a contract; even one that didn’t advance my career would still pay the bills. I had also resigned myself to using agencies to hunt for work. I don’t care. We need to live.

These are all issues and concerns that all out of work job hunters go through; I know I am not alone.

All these feelings despite having had a terrific interview on Wednesday and a few other leads coming my way. If the Wednesday option doesn’t pan out then I would actually be starting all over again, back to Day 1 or Day 2, and I suppose it was this realization that hit hard. Or was it just that I had interviewed for that one job that I really wanted?

On Thursday a contract position that I had interviewed for in Week 2 disappeared on me. The company concerned changed strategy and thus the need for contract support went away. This didn’t help my mood or my confidence.

The call I wanted didn’t come.

On Friday morning, Day 30, I got loads of Twitter DM’s, texts and emails from people all asking me how I was. Whilst I so appreciated the support, I was trying to get my head away from the anxiety of wanting the phone to ring by doing something else. A two mile run helped but I felt like I was a teenager again. I even Tweeted a message later in the day, “Why don’t they call?” – I got some stupid answers to that!

I had to go out at about 1pm. This is a good thing; it meant that I would be busy and likely as not be able to get a signal on my phone. Still every time my phone rang with a number I didn’t recognise or with number blocked my stomach did some gymnastics. Each time it rang with a number I did recognise I answered but wanted them off the line soonest. It was one of those days were I was in and out of signal so that each time I got a signal I checked voice mail and returned calls only to have more calls come through and leave messages whilst on the phone. The call I wanted didn’t come through.

If you’ve read previous posts you will know I don’t get a signal at my home and have taken to walking or driving to the top of the hill about half a mile away to get one. So having left home at 1pm and not heard anything by 4pm I was resigned to not getting the call until Monday. I was actually okay with this. After all there was actually nothing I could do at this point. I was nearly home at 5.20pm and about 20-30 seconds from losing signal when I got the call.

I now have a choice.

Music of Day 30 – Nothing Else Matters by Metallica – I know, seriously I was listening to the Black album – coincidence eh?

Thanks for reading

What does the Recruitment Industry Compete on?

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In a departure from #myjobhunt blog series

Recently I was asked “What do you think are the key factors that the recruitment industry competes on?”

My Answer:

You have to think about what you are competing for. Are agencies and search firms competing for the potential candidates or are they competing for the actual deal with the customer? They should have both in mind always.

Of course if competing for the candidates you have to be able to present yourself as credible and effective. An agency has to present itself as knowing the market as well as the ins and outs of the customer they are representing to the candidate, without the hard sell. They have to know all there is to know to ensure that the candidate has sufficient information to determine if the job and company is suitable. Also armed with the customer knowledge the agency recruiter will be able to determine accurately if a candidate can be turned into a credible applicant in front of the customer.

Competing at the customer level we look for agencies or suppliers that will be able to represent our brand, our company and the position we are recruiting for as if they work for us; much like a sales channel does for products. If a search firm or agency can show they have the ability to understand our business, our processes and our culture then they will be equipped to sell our proposition to each candidate and be of greater service and thus value to all parties.

To compete we all have to be in the position to represent ourselves to each other and meet the expectations of all involved. If as a customer I respect the agency or search firm – and more importantly the person I am dealing with – I will invest the time to educate them and equip them to better represent me. In doing so the agency or search firm will be armed to earn the trust of the candidate. The candidate will have confidence that they will be represented to the customer and the customer will have the confidence that their brand is in safe hands. The customer will appreciate that candidates from that particular source will be thoroughly vetted and closest to the mark.

So answer to the question; the industry competes on knowledge and credibility……………oh yeah, for the poorly managed in-house PSL structures its all about price and not quality of service and the poorly equipped agencies all compete on speed of service rather than quality.

I welcome thoughts and comments on this one please