Posts Tagged ‘ Social Media ’

My Top 10 Predictions for 2012

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There have been a lot of predictions about the future of recruitment, about 2012 and about the economy so why not add to them I thought

Here are my top ten predictions for this year.

1. You will still have vacancies to fill
2. You will still get cold calls from people
3. Many of those People and others will continue to be stupid beyond words
4. Road Fund License (Car Tax) will need renewing at the end of …..(pick a month)
5. Christmas Day will be on 25th December 2012
6. It will rain in July………………somewhere
7. There will be more crap blogs than good blogs to read
8. Your Klout Score will remain completely irrelevant and useless to anyone but you
9. Social Media on the mobile will rule time and space
10. All of these will come true

There you go. That all you need to know for 2012.

Have a good one

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LinkedIn – Blank Invites to Connect …………why?

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I must get between 10 and 20 invitations to connect with people I don’t know each week on LinkedIn. Many of them come from recruitment agencies. I am okay with this; after all it is what LinkedIn is for.

What I don’t understand however is why nearly all of them have no message in them. They offer no reason or qualification why the connection is relevant to me or to them for that matter. I can make assumptions but………………..

It doesn’t take more than a few seconds to write a quick note. LinkedIn even makes it straight forward by limiting the number of words for those literarily challenged.

Is there a logical reason for this? Am I missing something? Lazy, rude and spam?

#myjobhunt – Being Inspired & Being Confident is Crucial

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Today I was inspired.

It happens more to me than many people I know. It comes from the people I count as my friends and the people I meet or chat to by phone.

I had 6 major discussions today; 3 in person and 3 by phone. Each one was different and each left me with things to think about and reflect upon.

As many people know I’m looking for work at the moment and I’m sure it won’t surprise you to hear that it is not easy and at times my head is all over the place. I know I am not alone. Yet it is days like today and the conversations I had, that bring the focus back. I’m not going to go into the detail, but the inspiration each of them gave me was huge.

I don’t mind admitting that I got up this morning feel quite down and frustrated with #myjobhunt 2011, you may have got that from my last post. Yet I got the station and onto the train. One of the things that only a few know about me is that I love listening music to the point that I can get very lost in it and generally take my in-ear headphones everywhere with me. I tend to like it loud and I tend to like it very heavy, for much of what I listen to anyway. This morning was no different and yes it was loud. As a result by the time I’d got to London my mood was on the upside

The first meeting was a chat with Doug Shaw, someone I’ve got to know through Twitter, ConnectingHR and at SocRecCamp. A top bloke. Genuine and supportive. It was a simple coffee to share ideas and explore a few thoughts, no agenda, just chatter. Time flew past and I had to leave to make my way to my next appointment, scheduled as an interview. I was buzzing, not from the coffee but from the conversation I’d just had.

I don’t get nervous about much but this interview was different, not because of what is at stake in my life but because of whom I was interviewing with. But I was up for it. Over the next hour I had another conversation with someone who shares my passion for what we do and who gets how to engage with people. We shared our thoughts and he probed to find out what I thought on certain issues and practices around Resourcing and Talent. It was a good introductory conversation which had to come to a halt after 80 mins, both of us acknowledging that we could have spent all day on the various subjects and issues we face in our daily jobs. Now if I get this particular position this is the chap I would report to. It’s pretty good to know that your potential boss gets it too.

I had a spring in my step as I strolled across the West End of London to my next meeting.

This one was with a lady from APSCo who I’d met and shared ideas and thoughts with previously over the last two or three years. We talked about the complaints or moans members of The FIRM have about agencies, along with issues that the agencies have when dealing with their customers, whether HR, Resourcers or hiring manager. Typical and expected chatter. It wasn’t an entirely pleasing subject to chat about given there is unlikely to be a simple answer to the issues we all have, nor is there ever likely to be a remedy to them. All we can do is discuss them and try our best to improve how we do things. What was clear for me however as I walked to the Tube was that if we all focus completely on doing the best we can, in the right and appropriate way, as expected by everyone then it can only be better. Anyway that’s another subject for another day…..maybe.

What was good about this meeting was that it I was given the inspiration to possibly make a difference and it was in my power as an individual to do something about it. Which I will be doing over the next week or so, if I can find the time

Whilst I’ve been looking for work I got to know of a number of others that are in the same situation; three of whom I had met for the first time this year. I am pleased to say that these three people, all in HR have in the last 4 working days secured new jobs. One of whom announced her success today adding to my good feeling. I won’t out them just yet as I am not sure how public they have made their news, but brilliant news and many congratulations to you all; G, S and J.

I suppose what I am saying with this post is that it is okay to be a little down and a little frustrated and a little confused when job hunting. It’s a serious business. But be true, stay focused and believe in yourself and know that you are good at what you do and you’ll have days like this too and soon those days will turn into the kind of days my three friends have had in this last week. Be inspired.

I started this post by saying I was inspired today. I was. I’d started the day feeling pretty grim about things but then as the day wore on I got back on the balls of my feet and started to feel good, and by the time I got home I was buzzing. It was a day when I got focus and confidence back. And it’s not just today either. The support and encouragement and great friendship I have received this year is amazing. Last year blew me away but this year is amazing. Thank you all.

My name is Gary, I’m looking for a new job and I am good at what I do.

Music of the Day: BU2B by Rush (also inpsired by Doug, a Rush fan too)

thanks for reading

This one is all about me – #myjobhunt 2011

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It seems frightening to think that it has been nearly a year.

A little over a year ago, in fact at the end of next week it will be a year, that I made the decision to change jobs.

Time flies when having fun.

Little did I suspect how that decision would impact me and how the activities of last summer and the people I would meet would change my life. I’m not talking about a change so inspiring that an afternoon TV drama could be made of it. But it did change me, for the better I hope.

What was I doing?

I was looking for my next job. I won’t review that experience in this post because I wrote about it extensively last summer in the series “#myjobhunt”, covering Days 1 to 32 of my experiences.

It became the best bracketed six weeks of my adult life; a period that still makes me smile.

As a result of #myjobhunt I started my current role at the very end of Sept, nine and half months ago. It started as a six month contract. Since then I have learned so much, grown plenty and achieved a huge amount both personally and in my job. The job itself was incredibly exciting and daunting before I started, quite a stretch from my previous role. This perception was nothing compared to how I felt after the first month. The pace and scale of what I had to do and what we were trying to achieve was and still is incredible. This job is huge!

I would love to go into the details of what has been achieved by me personally, by the Recruiting teams and by the European HR Service Delivery structure, of which the Resourcing and Recruiting structure is a part, but discretion and company confidentiality needs to be respected. Many of the challenges are the same that plenty have been through before and will go through time and again in the future. Organisations change and develop, going through OD programs with multifaceted change and transformation programmes in order to evolve and grow.

It is what happens. I am excited to be an integral part of these changes.

There are of course frustrations that come with a complex multi-cultural corporation that has grown over 3 centuries. There are the matrix of reporting lines, local priorities, legacy attitudes and the inevitable resistance to change, all of which need to be managed to be sure the overall business goals are achieved in the timescales required. Not only that, there are the inevitable moving goal posts. But one thing has been constant; the desire by the Service Delivery management team to get the job done and work through a problem, not circumvent it regardless of the challenge and degree of difficulty, and still achieve results that will make a substantial difference.

From my desk I can see where the improvements have been made. I count reducing the average Time to Hire by nearly 30%, the average Cost per Hire being reduced by 50%, the dependency of agencies being reduced from approx. 80% to less than 20% across the region in 9 months as significant achievements, but there is always much more that can be done. That is the best and most exciting part of my job. Set aside the five hours a day I have to commute with a 5am start and the not-so-wonderful smells on the tube, I actually feel like I work in HR now and belong in it as part of the changes we are making in the business and I tell you what, I love it! Maybe it is the company, maybe it’s my boss, or it could be her team of direct reports or it could be my team of direct reports or it could just be the job is the right one for me. All of the above I suspect.

I have been asked a number of times over the last few months what my perfect job would be if I were to spec it out myself. I have always answered that it would be the one have right now.

Which is sad, because being on a contract means that it inevitably it is going to come to an end and that end is likely to be fast approaching.

So time to dust the CV off, update it with all that has been done this last year (sorry Merv – still need a CV) and embark on another #myjobhunt. Of course anything can happen and I could still be here this time next year. I hope I am, truly I do. It would be great to take the changes and the results of this last year and use them as a platform next year and the year after. Can’t always have what we want though, eh? But I have to be practical and think and act wisely. So #myjobhunt starts again.

Needless to say that #myjobhunt won’t be the same daily serialisation it was last year. I won’t have the time for that – I will still have a job to do. Yet I will do my best to share my thoughts and observations in much the same way I did last year and I really hope I will meet as many wonderful supportive people and have as many laughs. I also hope I learn as many new things about myself as I did in the six weeks last summer and the subsequent 9 months.

And of course I welcome any input, introductions and opportunities.

Song of the Day – Back from Cali by Slash (feat. Myles Kennedy)

The FIRM gets Technical – guest blog by Peter Hetherington

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In a change from my norm I am very fortunate to have Peter Hetherington (@phetherington1 on Twitter) create the first ever guest post on this blog.

Peter thank you so much and by way of introduction, Peter is Head of EMEA Recruitment at Corporate Executive Board, and is also a long-standing member of The FIRM, a volunteer police officer, a semi-obsessed swing dancer, and a committed boat-dweller, who firmly believes that when London finally floods, he’ll be the last one laughing.”

Thursday 23rd June saw The Forum for In-house Recruitment Managers (The FIRM) host the latest member conference in London, this time on the topic of Technical Recruiting. This is an umbrella subject, covering all manner of staple sourcing issues, right from the venerable subject of Social Media, to the young and thrusting newcomer Mobile Recruiting, flirting with the Hollywood glamour of Video, and getting uncontrollably techy on the topic of Search Engine Optimisation.

Whilst there were other elements like a talk from Avature’s CEO on how his CRM product can help you get ‘in the Zone’, and a rousing sermon from Recruitment 3.0 evangelist Matthew Jeffery on the future of recruitment, the areas that I will focus on are those of Mobile recruitment, use of Video and Search Engine Optimisation, as these all have some key takeaways that every member of The FIRM can benefit from immediately!

Mobile Recruitment

(Credit to key note speakers Dave Martin, MD of All The Top Bananas and Katie McNab, Head of Recruitment, UK & Ireland for PepsiCo)

As unlikely as it may seem to some, research shows that by 2013, more people will access the internet via a mobile device or smart phone than will access it by a traditional PC/worktop. Combine that stat with the fact that whilst it takes on average 72 hours to read an email after delivery, the average time for a SMS or push notification on a mobile is 30minutes, and suddenly email and PCs start to feel a little prehistoric…!

Leading thinkers on all things Recruitment believe that corporate career sites will more and more become a collection of content stored in multiple places and designed for multiple formats. Early adopters have already accelerated their ‘cloud’ recruitment presence, and during the conference, members of The FIRM were encouraged to consider doing the same.

Outside of recruitment, the world is already much changed. For example, today there are well over 175m users of Facebook, and over 50% of these users are more active on their mobiles than on a PC. The candidate landscape is equally beginning to change, with job boards now allowing mobile searching and applications from the device. If you truly want to engage with candidates, it makes good sense to allow candidates to apply for jobs in the manner and medium of their choice. 20 years ago we were receiving fax CVs and posted copies. The maturity of the mobile market has accelerated far quicker than the growth of the internet, and companies need to be ready for that change.

PepsiCo is an early adopter of Mobile Recruitment, and we heard from Katie McNab (a fellow member of The FIRM and @Recruitgal blogger extraordinaire) about her experience in developing PepsiCo’s mobile web pages and app, which was unveiled to us as a teaser prior to UK launch. It is a thing of beauty, and once the “oohs” and “aahs” subsided, we were treated to an objective view of the pitfalls and considerations each of us would need to be aware of if we were to follow her example. Katie, like many of us, is a natural cynic – so her own verdict was inevitably ‘we’ll wait and see’, but comforting to hear that 2 hires in the US have already been attributed to the mobile site, and 10 more candidates in process from it!

Key Takeaways

1. At the bare minimum you may need a mobile-enabled careers site. At the moment, any prospective candidate who navigates to your site through a mobile (conceivably from LinkedIn, Facebook, or your 3rd party job board postings) may not have an optimal experience.
2. Ideally you should have the ability to present jobs and allow applications through a mobile site.
3. An App would go a step further in allowing you the ability to engage candidates who opt in to push-notifications – providing them with job alerts and important company news

Use of Video in Recruitment

(Credit to CareerPlayer Director, Rob Wescott)

Scientific study has shown that the video impacts the mind of a viewer in a way unlike other forms of information does. Put simply, just like Heineken (but without the disciplinary consequences if used in the work place), video reaches the parts of a brain other recruitment media can’t reach. These parts are most associated with emotional impact and long term memory. Video is therefore a powerful element to a recruitment branding exercise.

A study of graduates have shown that, in order of preference, the elements they would most like to see on a graduate recruitment site are:
a. A Day in the Life video
b. A video showing current graduate trainees
c. A virtual office tour (video or flash)

Video can also be used to great effect in Onboarding, and messages from the CEO or senior leadership played over video, or other emotive information can help to build a stronger psychological contract with new employees and improve retention and discretionary effort.

Key Takeaways

1. It would be worth the investment to produce a ‘day in the life’ video and maybe some virtual office clips and stream through YouTube onto your careers site (and future mobile sites, Facebook page, etc.!)
2. It could be time to revisit how you use videos in Onboarding/Induction days.

Recruitment Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

(Credit to key note speaker Peter Gold, Director of Hire Strategies and all-round ATS, SEO and SEM guru)

Job boards rule. So do aggregators. You will never beat them at advertising things like ‘sales jobs’ or ‘java jobs’. What is important is what content or websites you have linking in to your jobs and career pages, how your job adverts are written, and how you measure, test and weed out your web content. Members of The FIRM should consider the following:

1. The longer and more specific a job title, the better it will rank.
2. Optimise your site for occurrences of ‘jobs at xyz’, ‘work at xyz’ and ‘careers at xyz’ – whilst you may have a good ranking in one or more, you may be at risk of having your ranking supplanted by a job board or even a site like Glassdoor.com!
3. Resistance is futile – you will be aggregated! No, it is not the Borg* – we’re talking about those troublesome sites that steal your job descriptions and aggregate them out to the world at large without so much as a please or thank you. Given the inexorability of falling victim to these sites, members of The FIRM are encouraged to work with Indeed.com, Workhound and SimplyHired to make sure the Right content is aggregated, not what they ‘spider’ from us without direction.
4. Create ‘Authority’ pages for recurring jobs. These are persistent pages that you then start to build content around, and link to. The best ranking web pages are those that have the most amount of relevant links going to them, and build up their relevance over time. (E.g. links from LinkedIn, Facebook, blogs, aggregators, job boards, other relevant websites).
5. Measure and test – use Google analytics to monitor traffic in to the careers site and Taleo job postings. It is very important to weed out pages that nobody visits, as these dilute the search ranking.
6. Make sure pages have proper meta title tags and H1 headings, as well as repetition of job titles in content
7. Have most relevant content highest on page – i.e. finish with ‘About xyz company’, rather than have it at start of job descriptions.

*obligatory geek reference. Every technical recruitment blog needs one..

The FIRM’s Technical Recruitment conference was much Tweeted about using hashtag #FIRMrectek – go see what people said on the day!

Peter

___________________

thank you Peter. Peter’s LinkedIn profile

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

Write your own damn blog!

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I am willing to be up front and state that I have moderated a comment on this blog post and rejected it as spam. It was the inspiration for this spontaneous post.

Unfortunately there are one or two people that tend to comment quite a bit on other peoples blog posts in order to antagonise or worse, just plain promote themselves, their company or their products under the guise of very thinly veiled comments. Not here you don’t.

It is a dilemma isn’t it? Do we allow open and honest debate letting anyone comment and letting the reader decide or should we give a slap to those that abuse the platform, lazily using it as an opportunity to influence, abuse or promote to someone else’s readers?

I suspect that the usual suspects will respond to this. If they do should I point them out so that you can read what they write on other people’s blogs and see why I am taking this stance?

Thoughts please.