LinkedIn.The place to look. The Place to be found

job boardsJobvite, a US company which provides a Web 2.0 platforms to manage all aspects of hiring people have just published their second annual Social Recruitment Survey.

The 2009 Jobvite Social Recruitment survey has found that more employers are using social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook to find, attract and recruit candidates. They are also finding that they are more satisfied with the quality of candidates found this way as well as through employee referrals than those found on job boards and 3rd party recruitment agencies.

Results found that 72% of those surveyed plan to increase their use of social networks, 76% plan to invest in employee referrals while a majority say they will invest less in costly sources such as job boards and third party recruitment.

80% of companies are using or planning to use social networks as a way to find and attract candidates with LinkedIn now being used by 95% of those surveyed to source candidates, Facebook is second with 59% and then 42% for Twitter.

Whilst the survey focused on over 400 individuals using or interested in using Social Media to recruit staff, it is the levels of satisfaction expressed that are the highlight of the report along with the potential of LinkedIn. With over 30 million professionals from 150 unique industries with an average age of 39 and average earnings of $139,00o it is an obvious source for executive recruiters.

But clearly the nature of LinkledIn is changing and encompassing a wider demographic which will be further fueled by this survey.

Given the survey covered a wide variety of businesses from small (less than 100 employees) to very large (more than 5,000 employees) it is clear that Social Media Recruiting has application across the board. Especially given the high levels of satisfaction expressed compared to Recruitment Agencies, Job Boards etc. Also 89% of those who participated were real employers and not agencies.

There is also a clear indication that the power and reach of Social Networks will see a growth of employee referrals being used to recruit staff. Rather than banning Social Networking employers will see another benefit in utilising the social and professional networks of their staff to find the best people to fill vacancies.

The main reasons for the use of Social Networks rated as follows :

  • Reach passive job-seekers – 77%
  • Low cost candidate source – 74%
  • Source hard to find skills or experience – 72%

The key outcomes of the survey included:

  • 66% said they had hired through an online Social Network already

They will invest more time and money next year in:

  • Employee referrals – 76%
  • Social Networks -72%
  • Corporate career site – 64%

They will invest less time and money in:

  • 3rd party recruiters – 72%
  • Job boards – 57%

So as foreshadowed in previous posts the recruitment industry is one that will see great change in future as a result of the growth of Social Networking. Also it is clear that the use of Social Media by recruiters within companies and by their current staff will grow in the effort to find the best candidates more cost effectively.

Clearly another reason for companies large and small to develop and implement Social Media Policies and Plans which incorporate staff recruitment.

For those interested or involved in recruitment it is well worth downloading the free survey results and analysis from the Jobvite website … and checking out the Enova Newsletter and reading The Grumpy Old Managers Guide to Social Media Marketing.

Will the right recruits find you?

linkedin2Recently Tara Cain a former Journalist now working as a Communications Specialist at Reckitt Benckiser posted an interesting question on LinkedIn.

The consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser wants graduates to be aware of the exciting career opportunities within the company.
They have utilised Facebook, Linked In and run an employee blog – but can Twitter help with an awareness-raising initiative too?
Should it be used for those purposes and will the right people be listening?

Firstly it was great to see that big companies are using the tools I have been talking to companies in the Recruiting industry about for some time and secondly the question prompter over twenty very useful responses. Once again re-enforcing the power of LinkedIn with answers like this one fromJames Ainsworth PR Support at BHP Information Solutions

Twitter is ideal for brands, in terms of monitoring brands and engaging with the target audience. It is easy to use Twitter tools to fine tune who you follow and who follows you and the word of mouth effect will work in your favour too if you use it correctly. The link below is an article explaining just why businesses should be on Twitter. It is a world of opportunity, not waiting to happen, but happening now….…

and a list of companies who are using Twitter to recruit staff fromMike Ellsworth IT Program Director | LinkedIn Trainer | Facebook Trainer | Twitter Trainer | Social Media Consulting

AOL American Express Accenture  ACULIS, Inc.  ADP  Allstate Insurance  APCO Worldwide Apple  Assurant Solutions  AT&T
Burger King City of Kingston Clearspring Compuware comScore Davita, Inc. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ecolab EDS EMC
Ernst and Young Expedia Follett Software Co. Forrester Research, Inc. Fullhouse Interactive Hallmark HCA Hershey
Hewitt Hitachi Consulting HomEq Servicing Hyatt Hotels & Resorts Intel Intercontinental Hotel Group J.B. Hunt
Kaplan Test Prep Services Keller Williams Realty Kissito Post-Acute Care KPMG Kroger LexisNexis Mattel McCormick & Schmick
McGladry Microsoft MTV Games MTV Networks New York Times nGenera PEAK6 Investments Raytheon Razorfish
Sodexo Southwest Airlines Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center Starbucks The Ritz-Carlton Thomson Reuters Time Warner
Twitter (of course!) United Parcel Service University of Pittsburgh Med Center UPMC US Dept. of State Verizon Warner Bros
Whistler Blackstone Zappos

Others have pointed out the demographics of Twitter, which are pretty inclusive, so pretty much any company can benefit from recruiting via Twitter.

So the the consensus answer is, yes. Brands should be on Twitter for lots of reasons, and recruiting is a big one and my consensus as always ———what a great source of free consulting, market research, mentoring etc LinkedIn can be if used to the max.

Is your business like China or Iran?

banned in chinaIf yours is one of many companies that bans the use of FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter etc then you have much in common with China and Iran!

Although in recent times Twitter has been used very successfully as the medium to transmit more info about the situation in Iran there than CNN or any of the mainstream media!

There are many things that amuse me about an office ban on Twitter etc as I have said before (Smoke or Surf) but none more than a company that proclaims they are very keen to hire more young people and/or a younger market.

Millennials and GenYs who see that their prospective employer has such a policy will almost certainly not be interested. So make sure you demonstrate the outlook and attitude younger people are looking for, if you want to acquire them.

Although it seems crazy in current times to focus heavily on young talent (and succession planning) to bypass the deep and wide pool of talented Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.

So there is one use for Social Media it seems – even non believers may seem some use for .. attracting young employees. And while they are to be found on social media sites so are people of all ges and demographic so why limit your prospecting because what you will find are people who will want to work for a company that demonstrates a commitment to fresh ideas and new ways of thinking. But also the same applies to consumers and potential clients not just to potential employees.

But why would you want o hire someone you found on social media site wen your company blocks use of such site. Well perhaps you should not! Instead you should have a social media strategy these days and it should e alignment with your mantra,values an vision. If you overstate your commitment to new technologies by banning he for example employees and consumer may will be very turned off.

But how will they know you ask! because social media is the ultimate watchdog. There are now sites springing up that list everything you may want to now about a company, especially as a prospective employee . Glassdoor is one such site, listing Reviews, Salaries by Job Class, Media stories, blog entries etc for 26,000 plus companies.

In summary the benefits of using social media to hire staff…

You will be better prepared after reading the applicants personal and professional bio and recommendations (eg on LinkedIn & FaceBook) watched their video/s on YouTube, read their blog and checked their tweets

They will be more prepared after looking at you website, reading your blog, connecting with some current emplyees on LinkedIn, looking for info on sites like and read comments on your Facebook fan page. They will certainly know more than they ever did from the mareketing speak on the standard brochure like website. They may indeed decide that you dont fit them!!

And now their is a new term in recruitment Onboarding. From day one they may recognise some of your people from their Twitter photos or LinkedIn profiles. They will probably already “know” a few people from meeting them on LinkedIn or Facebook. Life will be easier from Day One ….they wont be faced with asking random starners where to find the nearest toilet. They will feel at home and as such productive much sooner.

Self Service Staffing at your fingerstips…

The Recruiting Office - 1941
The Recruiting Office - 1941

Almost everyday in one of the LinkedIn groups of which I am a member there is a professional recruitment consultant telling me he is happy to be linked to me and/or anyone else who is interested. They are building their online contacts of executives who may match a role that comes up in future … anywhere in the world. This hammers home to me the fact that this industry is undergoing a massive change and that there are still many in the industry that don’t get it.

They need to re-engineer their businesses to leverage the benefits that Web 2.0 offers or go the way that many successful travel agents and other “middlemen” have gone recently.

If you are looking to recruit Millennials or Y geners the Net is the place to find them and, more so, impress them. But no matter who you want to recruit you will be able to engage large numbers of them very cost effectively using the Web 2.0 tools.

Recently I ran a little test to see how effectively Twitter could help me in my business. I sent one Tweet “Looking for a young Social Media Marketing evangelist in Adelaide to work in a small PR/Social Media agency.”

Within 2 hours I had contact with two people who were interested and with two agencies that wanted to link with us. Then in less than half an hour I was able to read their full profile on LinkedIn including recommendations from others they had worked with and for. So I had their resume and reference checks without even picking up the phone. Finally I Googled them to find other information and then checked them on Facebook and/or Myspace to get a view of what they were like as a person.

Of course while I was doing that they had done the same to us – checked website, read blogs, checked LinkedIn and Facebook etc and so knew pretty much who we were and what we did for whom.

So in a few hours I found exactly what I was looking for at no cost … and they determined that we were for them … without an interview!!

Sure I was looking for a person that would be across the methods I employed but it is a clear sign of the future of finding people and people finding you.

Almost everyday I read, online, for free the stories in the New York Times that are of interest to me. One such story was about Amanda Casgar, a young lady who said it was her mission to get a job with the Murphy-Goode winery in California. They were looking for a “social media whiz” for the role of “Lifestyle Correspondent” and paying $10,000 per month to promote their range of wines in blogs, Facebook and Twitter.

She had a background in magazine marketing, was an occasional user of Twitter and had a passion for wine. So she set out as applicant No. 505 to win the job as best she could. She began by posting regular tweets about wine. Then she set up a website “Good Times with Amanda Casgar” to report on her progress towards winning the job and then started a Facebook Fan Page for the winery. While half a dozen others also set up a Facebook page she went further and bought several 50 cent per click ads to generate traffic to her page.

Then she spent two days filming and editing her video resume in the form of a Sketch entitled “Random Acts of Wineness”.

This story highlights how popular the recently created role of Social Media Specialist has become and the new ways that candidates have at their disposal to impress prospective employers well before any shortlist or interview process.

The other thing the story highlighted to me was the mere fact that the company was looking for a person in this role attracted much interest. They demonstrated that they were with it … and the interest in them by the applicants show they were worth looking at even if you didn’t want to work for them.

There were over 600 applicants and over 50,000 people visited the company website as a result of the interest in the company that was built by the applicants in their quest to prove that they could do the job.

So perhaps they don’t need to hire anyone. Just running a job ad has done the job … maybe.

Unfortunately the winemaker (a Grumpy Old Manager) was telling people he was not on Twitter and that he was hiring someone to do this for him.

Not really a case of Say what you be .. and Be what you say.

What will become of the man in the middle??

middle manA friend of mine was a very successful travel agent some years ago. He refused to acknowledge what the Internet would do to the travel industry. As a result he is now walking away from his business because it is now worth virtually nothing. He had the industry knowledge but not the foresight to develop an online travel service like…but didn’t see the opportunity.

Now many other industries face the same situation because it is easy for suppliers/manufacturers/growers to speak directly with consumers via Web 2.0 tool.

There are obvious applications for recruitment of staff, the buying and selling of real estate and all manner of online direct sales. But there are many areas where compliance with legislation and/or complexity of the product/service appear to make the middleman’s ability to deal face to face a vital ingredient.

But when I read of services that now link consumers with farmers cutting out retailers and wholesalers and lending services that are linking lenders direct to borrowers it is obvious that where there is a will there is a way.

For quite some time the major retailers have been forcing many of their primary produce suppliers (eg Fruit and Veg) to enter into online auctions and bid direct rather than leaving it to a wholesalers or a co-op to find the market for them and take a cut off the top.

So the challenge is to find a way to take your product/service to a much larger and more widely spread market by mass producing and charging low fees. Is it possible for you to go from charging 400 people $1,000 for face to face service to 40,000 paying $10 for a fast efficient and relevant service?

If you can find that way you certainly have a future in a Web 2.0.

If the business can do it the tools are there to support this approach to mass customisation as has never been possible before.