Posted by Vic Okezie on June 25th, 2012

This is a guest post by James Mayes. James has been active within the recruitment industry and have recently served as Head of Client Solutions for BraveNewTalent and a founding Director of TweetJobs. He is passionate about social media, candidate experience and contextual content.

I’ve seen a variety of discussions recently focussed around what data should be captured when building a talent community. There’s the obvious professional information and interests which always come high on the list. Some platforms talk of capturing social assets, such as a blog address or Twitter handle. More and more, I’m seeing Facebook used to kick off a user’s account creation – though oftentimes, I think this is driven by the vendor’s desire to easily enable social sharing in the hope of aggressive user growth than for any smart data reasons.

I’ve always been more interested in other data pockets which can be captured. What articles has the individual read? Which videos have been watched? Were the user reactions positive, or negative? Much can be learned here, both about the value of an employer’s proposition to the talent market, but also about the suitability of the candidate. Not the suitability expressed deliberately on a profile or in an interview, but by actions, by the pieces of content an individual shows interest in. Surely this is a great guide to future professional interests, an indicator of preferred career direction and thus long term suitability.

I’ve maintained for a long time now that as storage is getting ever cheaper, a platform should capture as much data as possible at any given moment (with the caveat that this requirement be balanced against the user experience – much data gathering can be invisible to the user). My basis for this is that without access to the data, options are limited. Once data is available, it’s possible to explore, to experiment, to see what patterns emerge.

Love to hear your views on this – but before I sign off, I’ll share some thoughts conveyed to me via an attendee at the recent Apple developer’s conference. Physics and chemistry are intrinsically linked. Physics represents your universe of items. The atoms, the bits, the bytes, the everything. Chemistry details the way these things interact. Without the physics, there can be no chemistry. If you want chemistry in your Talent Acquisition, you’ll need to get the physics there too!

Posted by Vic Okezie on June 21st, 2012

Yesterday, I wrote a blog post about LinkedIn Careers where I reflected on its rather uninspiring and traditional layout. Today, the focus will be on Twitter Jobs.

The homepage welcomes you with a neat feel about it, and a invitation to Come Join the Flock. You’ll see a YouTube video on wide screen with the Twitter team waving – dressed in all formats; from jeans & t-shirts and suits & ties to smart trousers and dresses. This surely doesn’t ‘box’ working at Twitter into only a Gen-y or geekish culture, but one that seem to welcome and/or embrace all styles of personality. Flickr photo stream can be seen just underneath this.

Categories of Open Jobs are on the home page, and on click, you will see the listed jobs per section. There is not a search option or feature, but in reality what is the point of search, when you really want all your jobs out there for the best talent to see and apply. Homepage also shows tweets from Twitter employees talking about projects they are working on or just stuffs about/around Twitter.

The job view is full page width with no sidebar – but an Apply Button at the top corner, with some share icons. The Apply Button is powered by Jobvite, and allows you to either apply using a form, where you can include your twitter url OR an Apply with LinkedIn.

Overall Twitter Careers page is cool, neat and ‘does what it says on the tin’, while also showing the fun side of Twitter. I think this careers page balances nice design + job application functionality. And for this, my personal rating is 9/10. The next Social Career Websites review will be on Friday, and spotlight will be on Facebook Careers.

Posted by Vic Okezie on June 21st, 2012

This week we had a very fast paced and spirited chat on the subject of Social Media and Employer Brand. Lets dive right into what we found out…

What is Employer Branding?

This week’s chat involved the participants defining many terms. If a company’s Employer Brand is their reputation as an employer, then Employer Branding must be their efforts to influence that reputation.

This can have two outcomes, both positive and negative. Good candidate experience, evangelical employees and a transparent view of what life is like inside the company can enhance that reputation. On the other hand, poor communication with candidates and customers, a poorly engaged workforce and little effort to open the company up to the outside world can damage your brand as an employer. A great example of a company selling itself well on its own website was Fresh Egg. Take a look at their careers site.

Is the concept of Employer Branding realistic?

It seemed to be unanimously agreed that Employer Brand does exist as a concept. Every company has one whether they are aware of it or not. How we might measure it was a much trickier concept. We learned that Nokia are looking at using Radian6 for this.

Tools like Glassdoor can give companies an insight into how they are perceived, but it has limited penetration in Europe at the moment.

Matt Alder shared this video interview with Glassdoor that he filmed recently in San Francisco.

How does Social Media impact on Employer’s Brand? Social Media has given everyone with an internet connection the ability to become a publisher. This has put traditional word of mouth on steroids! People are talking about companies and have a potential audience of millions, even billions. Companies can choose to join in with this dialogue or not.

 A3 Gives company an opportunity to highlight company culture and have more 1 on 1 engagement on regular basis. #SRChat — Allen Jerkens (@AllenJerkens) June 20, 2012

Can companies manage Employer Brand via Social Media?

It was clear that Employer Brand seems impossible to measure at the present time using the tools available to us.

Social Media offers an immensely powerful way to offer insight into the inner workings of a business that would have remained hidden in the past. This can only help businesses attract talent that will fit in in that environment.

I think companies can influence their Employer Brand by using Social Media, but it’s not the only place that it exists. A company’s Employer brand will be strong in the eyes of the friends and families of its employees and those opinions would be harder to influence through tweets and YouTube videos.

That leads us nicely to the next question. Does the Employer Brand rest in the hands of every single employee within a business – without a doubt!

How can employees become Brand ambassadors on Social Media?

Lots of great Tweets for this one – I’ll leave it to the #SRChat participants to explain

What a great chat this week! Thanks to everyone that took part. If you’d like to follow all those that have taken part in an #SRChat then check out our Twitter list of participants.

Join us next week on the eve of #SRConf for more #SRChat at 8pm GMT (3pm ET and 12 noon PT). Next week’s topic shall be: Key Features of a Social Careers Websites. Get involved!

Posted by Vic Okezie on June 20th, 2012

So we talk a lot about Career Websites, and their effectiveness (or not) – and in the Social Recruiting backdrop, Social Career Sites are now becoming rather popular. I’ll be sharing some thoughts on a few I find rather cool – combining a healthy dose of aesthetics and usability.

For now, I wanted to review the career pages of the largest Social channels used for Recruiting: LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. This will be a 3 part series, starting with LinkedIn Careers.

If you interested in working at LinkedIn, you will find yourself with a rather bland and basic LinkedIn careers page, which to be fair to them, looks exactly like all Company or Career pages on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is surely drinking their own cool aid!

The Careers Page gives you a short profile of LinkedIn (in my case LinkedIn Europe) and Jobs I may be Interested in, based on an analysis of my profile, experience etc.

On the right side, LinkedIn shows me how I am connected to them – via 1st level contacts who work at LinkedIn. And under that section, I can see some LinkedIn Recruiters who I can contact directly. There is a YouTube video spotlight embedded on the side too and below these a few links to Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook. Within the main page, you see lots of recommendations or comments from LinkedIn employees on why you should work for them.

When you click the jobs, you see the very familiar job view like all jobs posted on LinkedIn, with options to Apply with LinkedIn or Apply with Resume (via Jobvite). I have never applied to work at LinkedIn so don’t know what the online application experience is like, but I assume it will be a simple and straightforwardly process. The jobs can be shared to a few social media platforms, but that option is tucked away on the right, in smaller icons.

LinkedIn has done really well, and continues to be a dominant Professional Networking platform. However, LinkedIn careers site lacks creativity (no I am not interested in flash or heavy graphics) and warmth that you’d wish for, with limited engaging content and a very conservative feel about it. I’d love to have seen their tweets embedded on the page with realtime conversations with candidates and/or customers. I sense this look may be reviewed and redesigned at some point to show more the fun side of working at LinkedIn. For now, my personal rating is 6/10.

My next Social Career Websites review will be on Thursday focused on Twitter Careers.

Posted by Vic Okezie on June 18th, 2012

One of my favourite presentations at our very first #SRCONF (Nov. 2010) is that by Cisco Europe. Sedef Buyukataman, (previous University Relations Manager, Cisco Europe and Emerging Markets) shared some key points on how she and Cisco Europe where actively engaging with potential candidates via Facebook. I think this may well be one of the earliest case studies of a global brand that started graduate conversations on Facebook.

The title of the presentation was: Facebook and Cisco – harnessing social networking as a tool in graduate recruitment. The actual slides are embedded below.

During the presentation back then, Sedef acknowledged that Cisco uses traditional Graduate Recruitment channels (Job fairs, giveaways, career services, job boards, mailers, emails etc). But she also pointed out a shift in the way Generation Y are communicating and connecting.

As Eric Chester writes in ‘Employing Generation Y’, ‘although they are better educated, more technosavvy, and quicker to adapt … they refuse to blindly conform to traditional standards. Instead, they boldly ask, ‘Why?’

According to her, Generation Y rarely uses email; instead the preferred media are social networking sites. Studies also show that Gen Y doesn’t respond to formality – particularly office hierarchies and traditions. Hence, Cisco had to modify their approach:

As part of this approach they found Facebook to be an excellent channel. In her words, Facebook is the platform for global viral marketing and personal referrals at all levels – by penetrating these social networks they can capitalize on the Human Network Effect.

They started small with the UK&I Facebook page, and then went global with their Cisco Graduate Recruitment page.  They supplemented the growths with targeted campaigns and also partnered with other Cisco pages on Facebook for cross marketing, hence not working in complete isolation.

But they made sure to keep it about communication

  • The highest media consumption comes from our videos and pictures
  • They let us know what they’re interested in by their likes and comments
  • They can ask us question in the open forum about their individual recruitment process or overall programs
  • Responsiveness is key
  • Content must be consistent and timely

As part of their strategy, they created unique pages for specific countries back then (can’t quite find the links now, though can see country-specific groups), and they also targeted their audience and tailored information to them. They relied on Facebook’s analytics to track their successes, with statistics showing number of fans (eh likes), page engagements, gender metrics, clicks etc.

From what I can see now, the CiscoUniversityJobs page is mostly used to share content about Cisco and engage with potential graduates, with a tab where people can apply for jobs if you like the page. The slides for the presentation are shown below, and this could be useful for companies looking at implementing a Social Recruiting presence on Facebook.