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What is the best social media traffic for your recruitment web site?

More job seekers applying to the jobs advertised on your recruitment web site is what every recruiter dreams of (and asks me to do for them). Being listed on top of Google search results is important but the referral traffic from the social media sites is growing rapidly. If you manage your presence on the social media sites you have most likely seen something like 100% growth of the referral traffic from the social media sites in the last 12 months. Google is aware of this and have recently introduced a detailed analysis of the referral traffic from the social media web sites in their Google Analytics product.

What social media site will bring you the best visitors and the most job applications?

Pages visited on a jobs board web site from LinkedIN Facebook and Twitter.png

The best way to start looking at it is by the number of pages the visitors from each site look at on your site. Here is a chart I have compiled from number of recruitment and job sites that shows very interesting and quite unpredicted data. The visitors to the job site that came from LinkedIn open only 2.13 web pages on the job site on average. The Facebook referral traffic is slightly better with 3.3 web sites opened by the visitors that came from Facebook. Twitter is the largest surprise here. The average visitor from twitter opens 7.74 web pages on a job site! 

More pages seen on a recruitment site mean more applications for your jobs!

Without entering into a deep discussion why do visitors from LinkedIn open almost 4 times less pages than the visitors from Twitter, it is quite likely that you will get an application from a visitor who have seen more pages. Why? Most of the pages on a job site, careers site or a recruitment agency web site are the pages with jobs currently on offer. The more jobs seen the more likely is that the job seeker will find something interesting to apply for.

Do not tweet your jobs!

If a visitor from twitter opens almost 8 pages on your recruitment site, you can rest assured that he will find the job he is looking for on your site. Tweeting a single job in each tweet has a low rate of matching the interest of any single job seeker. Tweet something that catches the attention of any (relevant) job seeker. Industry news, salary surveys, skills in demand or something funny bordering on provocative in most cases has the highest click trough rate (on Twitter). With on average almost 8 pages viewed from the visitor from Twitter, you can be sure he will find the job to apply for as well on your web site. 

Remember, a visitor from Twitter will find your positions advertised on your recruitment web site. Tweeting and re-tweeting your jobs is more likely annoy them more than if you fill the twitter stream interesting data (published on your site!). They will find your jobs when they visit your site. 
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Top 5 mistakes the recruiters do in the social media?

Top 5 mistakes the recruiters do in the social media:

  • 1. Ignore. It was the most common mistake, but finally people are realising that the social media is not going to “go away”. When other people talk about
    you in the social media – it is ALLWAYS the best to be a part of that communication.
  • 2. Publish only jobs in all social media channels. At some stage that did help your SEO. Well, have you not heard of Google Panda and Google Penguin? Those two Google updates have worked hardtop fixing that social media spamming effect on the search engine results. Today it does nothing for you but annoys the people who get bombarded by your jobs postings and are checking the ways how to get rid of you in their social media channels.
  • 3. Publish your jobs in the social media and do not check the applications in that same channel? If you tweet your jobs on your jobs are tweeted automatically, jobseekers will apply and ask you questions in twitter. Very few recruiters are actually even aware that they should or could check what people are asking in those channels. If you job is posted on your Facebook wall, one would expect a recruiter will respond on the engagement from the job seeker on that same Facebook wall. The social media is like any other communication channel. Like email or a phone. You send an email with a question (I have a job, do you want to apply?) and a job seeker responds (Yes, please). The worst a recruiter can do is to ignore a job seeker. Why? It is all in public here. You can pretend you have deleted someone’s email, but you can’t hide of someone ‘talking’ to you on your Facebook wall.
  • 4. Put the (password protected) link in the tweet or a Facebook & LinkedIn status update like: “Check my cool jobs in the Box https://www.box.com/files#/files” When you click on the link, that site asks you to register first.
  • 5. Tweet “Follow me” in twitter. – this one puzzles me completely! Only people who follow you see your tweets in their streams. Why SPAM them with the “Follow me” tweets?

 

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Recruitment SEO

The Recruitment Un-conference #truDublin starts tomorrow. The #tru is my favourite recruitment conference and I tend to attend it whenever I can. Wherever it is. @BillBoorman is the founder and the organiser. Bill is unique and simply great at what he does. He also gets a local help wherever he takes the #tru conference. The #truDublin is organised by Jonathan Campbell @socialtalent and to be honest, I couldn’t think of anyone else who would do the job better than Johnny!

So far #tru was in a long list of cities, and I had the pleasure to attend quite a few of them. After the #truDublin we go to #truBudapest next where  Balazs Paroczay @TheBalazs is a local organiser.

I usually lead track that is related to SEO. In the last few years the SEO have been changing at the very fast pace. I just realised how different those discussions have been on the different conferences. In fact thinking back about what we have been doing just a couple years ago is completely irrelevant and we actually do the opposite today. And still call it the same: “The SEO”!

On the #truDublin this week I lead a track called: Recruitment SEO.
What it really means today is:
  • Search engine optimisation (SEO) of your recruitment agency web site
  • SEO of your Company Careers web site
  • SEO of your recruitment blog Impact of the HTML5 on your web site
  • SEO 10% of web traffic is mobile. What is different with mobile SEO?
  • Google+ products that (drastically) effect your SEO How social media affects your SEO post Panda, Penguin, Zebra and other Black&White Google updates
  • OAuth
  • … and a few more secret toppics you can hear about on #TruDublin “Recruitment SEO” track.

What the Recruitment SEO track is NOT about:
  • How to tweet your jobs to increase your SEO?
  • How to post your jobs in your Facebook to increase your SEO?
  • How to Post your jobs in LinkedIN status updates to increase your SEO?
  • How to publish your videos on YouTube to increase your SEO?


What the Recruitment SEO track is definitely NOT about:
  • iPhone recruitment apps
  • Android recruitment apps
  • Mobile versions of your web site


If there is anything else you would like me to cover – just let me know either in advance, or just shout tomorrow.

Hope to see you there at #TruDublin Recruitment SEO track!
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NRF Annual Recruitment Conference 2012 - Photos

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If you recruit in a ‘Candidate Driven’ market, it’s time to rethink you advertising strategy!

Candidate driven market is a phrase one hears from the recruiters when their usual sourcing channels dry up. It is happening now in most countries with the job sites. People expect a bit more from a web site but just a directory listing that a job sites mostly are. In the recruitment agency dominated markets like UK and Ireland, it really isn’t that exciting looking at the job descriptions that do their best to hide who the employer is, where exactly the job is, what is the salary offered, and anything else that could actually make the job advertisement attractive to the potential job seeker?
 
 
Candidate Driven jobs market
 
 
No applications on your jobs advertised on job sites and your own site is a reflection of the different expectations of the visitor of any site on the web today. Why on earth do you think anyone would like a web page with a sterile job description and click the ‘I Like’ button? Why would anyone share it to his friends? “Maybe I know someone?”. Well whoever I know I would never send to a vanilla job spec without any real info about the job or a company itself.

 
 
No application to your jobs advertised does not mean that there are no candidates around. Even dressing the issue nicely into the lovely phrase ‘Candidate Driven Market’, doesn’t help the fact that your attraction, advertising & sourcing technique is not working.
 
 
Recruiter Driven jobs market
 
 
You should control your industry as much as you can. Influence, participate, network, communicate, publish, share, lead, innovate, comment, ask, answer, organise, … be active. Be seen. Be Known (Didn’t Monster use that recently as a product name?). Candidate driven jobs market is happening to the recruiters that simply do not follow the candidates. Not all candidates change their behaviour all at once. A recruiter should look at the trends. It might be more worth recruiting from the source (media) where there are less candidates if there is relatively far smaller number of recruiters.
 
 
The initial success in sourcing candidates via the social media that the early adopters have recorded is a classic sample. It is not easy to recruit on Facebook or twitter. But guess what? No one is recruiting there! Whoever you find is very unlikely to have ever spoken (gen y) to a recruiter ever!

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Candidates From Social Media Get Hired First!

If you have been monitoring your source of hire in the last couple of years, you have most likely noticed the trend. There is more and more hires  and placements made from the candidates sourced from the social media. If you didn’t notice this trend jet you might want to look into the way you are measuring your source of hire, or you are simply non-existent on the social media sites.

The social media enables you to attract candidates that would never ever apply for your job advertisements. Those are the Passive Candidates that you can reach only by sourcing. Social media help greatly in that task. It enables you to ‘speak’ to them directly. It gives you an unique chance to ‘sell’ them your vacancy.

The way you go about selling your vacancy can be direct and indirect. The less direct you are, the harder to reach candidates you attract. Here is how recruiters approach the social media:

Level 1. Publish our jobs in recruiters tweets, LinkedIn status updates and Facebook profile.
- This is the closest to the job advertising model so recruiters are comfortable with that straight away. The problem is that it gives nothing for candidate that he cannot see on the job boards. In fact most of the candidates will feel their ‘space’ in the social media is invaded. Hence the results are similar to the job board advertising, just a new set of candidates have been reached.

Level 2. Mixed amount of the original content and jobs data is published in recruiters tweets, LinkedIn status updates and Facebook profile.
- The original content created by the recruiter gives reason for following, connecting, and responding to the recruiters content. Engagement level grows from the candidates as the amount and the quality of the recruiters content. Recruiters who publish interesting industry data get ‘listened to’. Those that include their personal views get interacted with. Talking to the passive candidates, what else could you have asked for?

Level 3. Time to own the conversations – your own blog!
- Social media is great. The more relevant quality content you publish the more Passive Candidates you are attracting. More often than not the other recruiters will join in. And poach from your candidate pools. Remember on social media you don’t really own anything. When you build your talent community, by simple providing them with the content they are looking for, it is time to bring them all to the environment you control. On your own blog you control what content gets published and what not. You have the full control of everything! Publishing in the social media and bringing the conversation to your own controlled platform puts you in power. Here you can control that your talent community is not just ‘stolen’ by your competitors.

Level 4. Your talent community becomes Alive!
- At some stage your talent community will have its own voice. Your role is more on the moderation and support side. The content contribution of the community you have attracted in the social media and brought to your own platform outgrows your own and takes the life of its own. The recruiter needs to step back and provide a platform for the candidates to communicate freely. It can be online in the shape of the Forum, or a blog network or offline in Open Evenings, Breakfast Briefings or any offline networking event. A barbecue or flashmob would do as well!

The higher level (on the scale above) of the recruiters social media evolvement enables talking to a larger group of possible candidates. Not all of the people engaged will ever become a candidate. Some people are just happy where they are. The longer it takes you to get to them, the less other recruiters they are talking to. If you talent community grows your main job actually becomes keeping them aware that you actually exist and are actually hiring. Your activity actually gets far less demanding and gets back to where a recruiter starts – just publishing your jobs, in your own pool of candidates on a platform you control.

It does take a lot of effort, and it doesn’t happen overnight though…

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Who are your Best Candidates?

Recruiters often distinguish two groups of candidates called Active Candidates and Passive Candidates.

Who are Active Candidates?
Active candidates are the ones who are actively looking for a job. They search the job postings, apply on job boards and agency web sites. They leave their CVs in the CV databases like Monster.

Who are Passive Candidates?
Passive candidates are not looking for a job. They are working for their current employer or lately can also be unemployed. What makes them the potential candidate is that they if approached with the right opportunity, they will consider their options. A good recruiter will find a perfect timing like when times are tough for their current employer, to convert those passive (from the recruitment perspective) people, to candidates.

Who are the Best Candidates?
There are times when the active candidates are more sought for. In what is called a ‘Full Employment’ in a country, when the unemployment rate is below 5% (for most countries), there is shortage of any candidates for majority of roles. What recruiters value to most is finding a person that would actually accept a job offer. On the other side in the recession times like today, there is plenty of candidates, majority of them unemployed who are forced to actively look for a job. Recruiters will still find hard to fill roles in this scenario for several reasons:
1. Hiring managers are aware of a huge number of unemployed people and are driving the salaries low and requirements high.
2. Passive candidates are hard to convince to change their job. Higher salary doesn’t play the major role any more. Job security becomes important.
3. The volume of applications from non-applicable (unskilled) candidates needs to be managed.

The Best Candidates are the one you manage to hire. Their behaviour changes in different economic situations and even stages of life. Depending on what type of role you have to fill, what is the economy like and what is happening with the industry will have a drastic impact on what types of candidates you will be able to get.

In the recession times like today, Passive Candidates are your best bet!
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Recruitment using Social Media

Social Recruitment – where are we today?

Most recruiters cannot even envisage the scenario where their jobs would be posted to their Facebook and Twitter, and especially on LinkedIn. Their Facebook profiles are in most cases private. They network with their friends and family there. Twitter is actually a social media tool that recruiter try to avoid if at all possible. It is just a bit too simple. 140 characters to say something meaningful? Not likely. Saying it in public, to both my candidates, clients and competitors? Definitely NOT! That is actually the main reason that sourcing on twitter works best out of all social networks. Recruiters simply don’t use it. So a few that do – have plenty of candidates to choose from. You would like to be the only recruiter with the full access to the Monster CV database, would you?

When recruiters push themselves (or get pushed by their manager) to start posting their jobs to the social media, it usually have no impact on their work. Why? Simply because they do it wrong. How wrong? Well completely wrong. What they do is just what they got set so it is done for them automatically. Like the link to every new job gets tweeted by their Twitter account. Of course no one but a plethora of SPAM-ers and robots follow them. There is absolutely no reason to follow someone’s Twitter account that just publishes jobs. Perhaps the only ones who would find any use of it are the competitors. They can check on you – what are you up to, by subscribing to your Twitter account. The same is with Facebook. The same is with LinkedIn.

Sourcing in Social Media?

You might as well speak French. Or Boolean. Or Klingon. The majority of recruiters would not be able to tell the difference between Boolean and Klingon. And why is Boolean different in Google, Bing, LinkedIn, and your own CV database search? Why can’t there be just one Boolean? Why is there a Boolean at all if it’s different in every single place I use it? It is like Klingon that has a very strong accent? Like a Dub talking to a someone from West Cork.

Recruitment and sourcing specialists and trainers train recruiters on how to use advanced tools on top of the social media products, where the average recruiter doesn’t really understand the underlying products at all. How to generate twitter lists does very little to a person who doesn’t really feel the urge to tweet and build his followership. Again the vast majority of recruiters simply do not want to tweet, full stop. Will they ‘Engage’ and build a ‘Talent Community’? Absolutely not! They hate the whole idea of ‘exposing’ themselves online. Recruiters are more comfortable with the word ‘Confidential’ than ‘Share’. Recruiters do not really ‘Share’ anything. Recruiters do not ‘Like’.

That is why a few recruiters who do the opposite are so successful! The way we communicate is changing. A few years ago I would call a few friends and we would go out. Today I ‘Publish’ where I am, and others follow. Note the difference – today there is less planned – it is real time. I checked in here. I am here doing this and that. Others follow, or I follow them. Today we live and work where the information is freely available in real time. Not using it for the recruitment is like deciding not to use fax, email, job boards, or whatever revolutionised the recruitment.

Real time, local and hence mobile. Those are the attributes of the future recruitment process.
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Jobs in Australia

Thousands have been waiting in the cues in different cities in Ireland to enter the job fairs that offered jobs in Australia. It was a €10 entrance fee, and jobless people have cued for hours to pay it. Their dream is to leave the country in a search for a better future. Australia with its currently low unemployment rate sounds like a promised land.

There is a lot of political debate about unemployment in the recent years.

Governments are changing but the unemployment just keeps rising. With all the emigration we currently have, and we did not have one like this in a recent history, the unemployment rate in Ireland in still a steady number of just above 14%. Imagine just for a second that we do not have this emigration all this years? What would the unemployment rate be in Ireland today?

The huge number of recent immigrants have also returned to their home countries. Some have moved on to the third countries, in a search for a better life. It is estimated that more than 100 000 Polish of the 250 000 that came over here, returned home. If they would have stayed only this would add 20% more unemployed people on the register.

Regardless of the thousands of unfilled jobs in Australia, the reality is that there are countries where Irish are more than welcome and there are those others. In Europe, Ireland has the image of one of those nicest counties to live (and work). Celtic Tiger will not be forgotten, since it was in the European news for long, long time. Every single Eastern European country wanted to become the new Ireland. Irish economic success was used as the yardstick for measurement of the performance of the various European  governments for years. That will not really be forgotten soon. The last 3 to 4 years of recession and the effective bankruptcy and the nationalisation of the Irish banks haven’t done that much damage to Irish brand in the Europe. There is always some Greece that is easier to blame than a lovely green Isle, whose pubs we all love.

Jobs in Australia, as can be seen on the Gumtree jobs site advertisement in Australia might be a bit different story. The message from the job advertiser is clear: “No Irish need apply”.

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Recruiters and Social Media

While a lot of noise is about the importance of the social media in recruitment the hard fact is that there is about the same number of recruiters using the social media and the ones that simply ignore it. There is very little written on the web about how social media is useless for a recruiter. People who do not use the social media do not publish online. In fact the most of them simply do not publish at all. Recruiters who do use social media in most cases just listen to what others are publishing. More courageous ‘like’ or ‘Share’, and the very small percentage of less than 5% actually create the original content. So here is a path of a recruiter in the adoption of the social media.

1. No social media presence

A lot of recruiters simply do not have a LinkedIn profile. Or they have a 100% empty profile, with just their name, a handful of connections, no picture, not bio. No twitter, or the one with no tweets. Facebook – closed for the friends and family / or none. They are doing their job as they did it 5 or 10 or more years ago. They do it good. They do not need the social media, have no time or interest for it. Most work in narrow industry niches, and are specialised in a location where there is not much competition between recruiters.

2. Listen

After reading in newspapers about LinkedIn, and listening about the success of Facebook on TV recruiters open their LinkedIn, Facebook and twitter accounts. Some fill their data guided by the wizards, and complete their profiles. Then they just listen. They invite a few colleagues in their networks, and when have time, they read groups discussions, and watch pictures on Facebook. They are never really tagged in pictures, and they watch closely their (minimalistic) social media footprint. They are the ones you will hear talking next to the water cooler about what someone wrote on Facebook. They take the social media content – offline.

3. Share

At some stage when you read a discussion that is about the topic you are passionate about, you will get an urge to get involved. The first steps usually are the little buttons that enable you to ‘Like’ a page, or ‘Thumb Up / Down’ the point someone made in a discussion online. You can ‘Score’ and answer, and do similar one click actions – that lure you in the world of the social media. You feel like you are a part of it. I have had my say! By clicking the Like button on some comment on Facebook. Great.

4. Create

The last stage of evolution of a recruiter in the social media adoption is the creation of your own content. Your first tweets, your first Facebook simple sentences, your LinkedIn answers and latter questions. Your LinkedIn Group contributions and later starting your own discussions. The next creating your own blog, and later on syndication parts of your content on the related industry blog networks. The number of people who actually create the continent is really small. It is really hard to justify the time, and hard to measure the ROI.

One cannot really say that it is necessary to ever get to the latest stage of the creation of your own content. Although all the social media platforms are built with exactly that in mind, the reality is that the vast majority of people simply just do not do it. Some try it a bit and stop, but most really never publish anything. Should one be a good or bad recruiter based on the level on the adoption of the social media? Absolutely not. Recruiter’s quality is measured by the quality, (speed, cost, etc) of a hire. The tools used to make it happen are irrelevant.

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