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My Last Post

I first started blogging here nearly three years ago. This blog was only meant to be a 3 month project to promote the first #truLondon, then again there was only ever plans for 1 #TruLondon. This is post number 497. It has been a long journey. My first post was titled “whats all this unstuff?”
I was  inspired to put my thoughts in to a journal by Andy Headworth of Sirona Consulting and Peter Gold of Hire Strategies.  I had always written articles for the trade magazines, progressing to guest blogging, (my first ever post appeared on Jeff Lipschultz blog in the US, and then on blogging community Recruiting Blogs, but this was something different.
Keeping your own blog going requires discipline. Starting a blog is very easy. WordPress is close to idiot proof and takes about 5 minutes. The internet though is a graveyard of blogs that started with a lot of promise and then faded out. It is a real shame to see any blog go dormant. I think anyone that takes the time to write deserves encouragement. Bloggers should be sticking together to offer an environment of encouragement to keep people writing, unfortunately I see the opposite.
Twitter has become the domain of the blog snob in many ways. When the Olympics came along there was plenty of comment around how long before we see the posts proclaiming “what can recruiters learn from the olympics”. At the start of the year it was time to deride the prediction blogs. This is just wrong. Experienced bloggers should be tipping their hat to ANYONE who takes the time and effort to write, whatever the topic. Bloggers should play nicely, and those who don’t blog are not really in a position to be critical. Encourage everyone to contribute.

When I first started out I’m sure my posts were fairly terrible, but I’m blessed with thick skin. I never used to spell check or consider grammar. I was just enthusiastic to write. I advise all new bloggers to just write and see what happens. If you try to get your posts perfect then you are never going to push publish. You can edit later and you will learn as you go along. As the guys from Nike say, “Just do it!”

Over the years, this blog has moved from more of an opinion piece through to something that I hope is of some use to my readers. I’m still amazed that people keep coming back. Blogging has a lot of benefits. It has been great for helping me get known in the recruiting world globally, and to share my work. The about me and work with pages are the most visited each year.I get business from this, as well as people booking tickets to #tru events. Consistent blogging brings business, and that justifies the time and effort. Writing also means research and being constantly on the look out for new things to write about, and this means a constant learning curve. Writing a post also helps to structure your thoughts. Blogging has been an education for me which cascades in to my work. Marketing and learning for no investment other than time and effort.

This year I determined to get a bit more disciplined about my blogging, seeing my blog as central to everything I do. I now try to post 7 days a week, mixing contents between channels, people, case studys, technology, #tru and my general musings from my travels. Writing consistently, changing themes, sharing in new channels and thanks to a makeover from Ivan Stojanovic for SEO the traffic is up over 200% this year.

About a month ago I was invited to be the first blogger outside of the US to join the Human Resources Blogger Network, which is the brain child of  Laurie Ruettimann and the Starr Conspiracy. This presents the opportunity to generate advertising revenues, but more importantly to get advice and                                            mentoring from Laurie, who is one of the most successful professional bloggers in our space, as well as joining a team of peers who are all available for advice and encouragement.I know I have much to learn from them.

Joining HRBN, as well as taking on 4 paid blogging assignments has seen this blog outgrow this destination. As of tomorrow Norton Folgate: The RecruitingUnblog will be moving to wordpress.org and self-hosting at www.recruitingunblog.com. I will also be changing theme again to Gridiculous. I chose this theme because it is built to be responsive whatever device readers use, which will only make things better for readers.

I will be shutting down this blog and putting up the redirect notice. Please go there and reset your feeds. Thanks for joining me on this journey, it has been a lot of fun but is time to move on.

Bill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You must read this post on influence

This post is a bit of an experiment related to on-line influence and on-line impact. My view is that when we talk about influence, we really mean impact. Influence became a bit of a trendy word to use, multiplied by the likes of Klout and PeerIndex. Suddenly everyone was arguing about influence, relevance and whether it actually meant anything in the real world, or was just an elaborate marketing ploy.
Some bloggers have tried to intelectualise the whole influence conversation through their blog posts. As recruiters though what are we really interested in, influence or something else? These are my thoughts on what the principle measures should be for recruiters:

> How many people look at our jobs
> How many people apply for our jobs
> How many people get hired

> The conversion ratio of each

There are lots of other matrix I’m going to look at around influence. what content did people look at before they decided to apply. Is one piece of content better at progressing people to the next stage of the process than another. All of this is useful, but a recruiter is not judged on fans, followers, network numbers, likes, size of talent community or engagement, they get judged by hires. All of the other stuff might be useful, could even be considered to influential to recruitment outcomes, but in isolation none of them count for anything without hires.
On line activity is designed to create a reaction and an action. A click on a link, a share, a like etc, something happens because of the content. The worst thing is inaction, when nothing happens. That tells me that I’m either being ignored, hitting the wrong audience or lacking credibility as a source. It can also mean that I haven’t banked up enough credits in the bank of reciprocity. You know the kind of thing. you share my content or help me when I need it, I’m much more willing to help you. When that relationship becomes one-sided then I’m going to stop reacting to your content. I’m going to ignore you and do nothing. Not open your links or share them. Perhaps we should be measuring how many people are ignoring us rather than how many people are reacting to get a real picture of our influence, or rather the lack of it.

I have documented the story of the Barclay’s Social Hub in the past. What is impressive about the data that comes out of this story is that whilst traffic and page views increased considerably, applications dropped significantly. On the face of it this is not great, but the end result was a massive improvement in the conversion ratio of applications to hires because people were choosing to opt out because the added content enabled informed decision-making and opting out. It is fair to say that the reduction in applications shows that the content influenced the decision not to apply. As the conversion rates increased and the hiring targets were smashed, in this case it should be considered a positive influence even though no physical action took place. This brings in to question the whole measurement of influence because the inaction was the desired outcome, and the viewers were mostly “influenced” to do nothing.
I titled this post in the way I did because I wanted to test how easy it is to write a title or a heading that gets opened. Click throughs or open rates are easy to achieve with creative headlines or tweets, but what is important is what happens once the link is open. If nothing happens, is it really influence? If everyone looks at my job but nobody applies, should I be congratulating myself on my high traffic and great Klout score, or be concerned about the fact that no one is actually going to get hired. If the  headline of this post “tricked” you in to opening it, that’s great for my Klout score, but is it really influence?
One of the things that prompted this post was a conversation with a UK blogger who sends out tweets (automated) about her own blog post saying things like “Really interesting post” or “this is really helpful, great post.” When you click on these links it takes you to their blog and their content. I challenged her on this, asking if she had really said that about her own content. The response I got was that this approach was great for click-throughs and traffic. When I landed on the link, I felt cheated. my opinion of the blogger went down considerably. I added a click to the traffic numbers but was that really worth while. Is this influence, impact or nothing? This kind of link prompts an action, clicking on a link, but not a positive outcome because nothing else happens. There is an argument however that there was an opportunity for an outcome because I looked and made a choice not to act. Is this any different to what happened with Barclay’s? An automated job feed on Twitter gets a high click-through rate, but doesn’t really influence my thinking. It does however present the opportunity to consider applying. Should driving traffic be considered as important in social recruiting as “influence”, or is all this talk effluence?

My thoughts on this is that the most important thing is outcomes, and that is going to be different according to need. If you need to hire now, then traffic and applications are going to be key, if you are taking a longer term approach and looking to build pipeline then engagement, page views and other factors are going to be more important. To me, actions and outcomes are far more important than influence, and it is this that should be the main focus.

What do you think?

Bill

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A 100 Years Of Recruiting Tech @TalentBinHiring (Infographic) #TruSanFran

Tomorrow I’m leaving for SanFrancisco and #TruSanFran. The event takes place on Thursday 16′th August and will be hosted by our friends at TalentBin. I’ve been really impressed with the way they have developed from an early social referral product which I was unconvinced about, through to a brilliant sourcing tool. The 2 big features I like about Talent Bin are the aggregated social profile and the profiling from channels like github and stack overflow where the candidates hang out.
Thanks also to our event sponsors WhiteTruffle who have made it possible to run a quality event with a $20 admission price.
We are going to be running 2 Google+ hangouts during the event thanks to Dice.Com. The first hangout is for technical recruiters looking at the important issues and challenges faced bytechnical recruiters in SanFrancisco, and the second hangout will feature advice for job seekers in the technical sector from the expert recruiters present. I will be publishing the location of the hangout tomorrow. Please come and join us.

In advance of the event, TalentBin have produced an infographic that outlines the history of technical recruiting. Please share it!

YOU CAN STILL BOOK $20 TICKETS FOR ~TRUSANFRAN HERE

Please join us in person or on the Dice.Com hangout.

Bill

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The History Of Technical Recruiting According To @TalentBinHiring (Infographic) #TruSanFran

Tomorrow I’m leaving for SanFrancisco and #TruSanFran. The event takes place on Thursday 16’th August and will be hosted by our friends at TalentBin. I’ve been really impressed with the way they have developed from an early social referral product which I was unconvinced about, through to a brilliant sourcing tool. The 2 big features I like about Talent Bin are the aggregated social profile and the profiling from channels like github and stack overflow where the candidates hang out.
Thanks also to our event sponsors WhiteTruffle who have made it possible to run a quality event with a $20 admission price.
We are going to be running 2 Google+ hangouts during the event thanks to Dice.Com. The first hangout is for technical recruiters looking at the important issues and challenges faced bytechnical recruiters in SanFrancisco, and the second hangout will feature advice for job seekers in the technical sector from the expert recruiters present. I will be publishing the location of the hangout tomorrow. Please come and join us.

In advance of the event, TalentBin have produced an infographic that outlines the history of technical recruiting. Please share it!

YOU CAN STILL BOOK $20 TICKETS FOR ~TRUSANFRAN HERE

Please join us in person or on the Dice.Com hangout.

Bill

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The History Of Technical Recruiting According To @TalentBinHiring (Infographic) #TruSanFran

Tomorrow I’m leaving for SanFrancisco and #TruSanFran. The event takes place on Thursday 16’th August and will be hosted by our friends at TalentBin. I’ve been really impressed with the way they have developed from an early social referral product which I was unconvinced about, through to a brilliant sourcing tool. The 2 big features I like about Talent Bin are the aggregated social profile and the profiling from channels like github and stack overflow where the candidates hang out.
Thanks also to our event sponsors WhiteTruffle who have made it possible to run a quality event with a $20 admission price.
We are going to be running 2 Google+ hangouts during the event thanks to Dice.Com. The first hangout is for technical recruiters looking at the important issues and challenges faced bytechnical recruiters in SanFrancisco, and the second hangout will feature advice for job seekers in the technical sector from the expert recruiters present. I will be publishing the location of the hangout tomorrow. Please come and join us.

In advance of the event, TalentBin have produced an infographic that outlines the history of technical recruiting. Please share it!

YOU CAN STILL BOOK $20 TICKETS FOR ~TRUSANFRAN HERE

Please join us in person or on the Dice.Com hangout.

Bill

2 Comments

Get Referred: The Big Change In #SocialRecruiting?

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

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

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

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

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

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

> Rewards for referrals rather than hires.

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

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

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

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

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

Bill

 

18 Comments

Recruiters: This is the future (if you have one)

I’ve worked in and around recruiters for the last 30 years. I’ve been a director of a national recruitment business, and up to 3 years ago all of my career had been in third-party agency sector. the last few years nearly all of my clients have been corporate, because the corporate sector has been quickest change, but I’m not by any means anti-agency, or one of those ex-recruiters taking a pompous attitude about those recruiters who are still running a desk. I write this post because I’m concerned for the future of some of the recruiters out there who are showing no sign of change despite what the market is telling them.

this isn’t about social media, or the really slow adoption by some recruiting firms. The big challenge is coming from direct sourcing particularly in the EMEA region. Most of the businesses I know who have historically used external recruiters for the majority of their hiring are starting to look at bringing recruiting in-house, Whilst it is easy to think that this is all about reducing the cost of hire, the answer is a bit wider than being just about the £’s or $’s. If that was the case, the low or flat fee recruiters who have set out to buy mass  business by slashing margins would be doing much better than they appear to be when you cut through the hype. I know very few businesses who feel this offers them that much benefit, cheap is rarely little more than that.

The 4 issues they are looking to solve by bringing recruiting in-house are:

> Maximizing employer brand and telling their own story.

> Value. If you are offering little more than a CV service then how can you justify the fees?

> Pipeline. sourcing beyond immediate needs and forward planning. Building relationships now.

> Staff referrals. Seen as the best source of hiring, now extended by social referrals.

This doesn’t mean however that they wont use an agency for hiring, they just won’t make you their first port of call. You can continue trying to justify why you are different and do more. i know all the arguments. I’ve made them enough times in the past, or you can look at what companies are willing to pay for, and position yourself to offer it. What hiring companies are willing to pay for are:

> Expert knowledge of the market to offer real advice. Being a real expert means being immersed in the market you recruit in, making connections who can keep you current, and being a real consultant rather than a salesmen.

> Building unique relationships so that you can offer candidates they can not reach through conventional sourcing.

> A real network rather than a candidate base.

You need to be in a position to offer knowledge and candidates these companies just can’t access, and that means building relationships, moving from recruiting as a transactional sales process through to having a real network in the niche you recruit.

I hope agency recruiters can make that change, looking beyond the sale now mentality, and make the changes whilst they have the option.

Bill

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