building communities

Will Periscope and Meerkat for Twitter impact your Employer Branding strategy?

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periscope v meerkat

Instant connection – that’s where we’re going and for agile and disruptive businesses, it’s a fun place to be.

Two new twitter live streaming services that have risen in popularity recently are Periscope and Meerkat.  Allowing people and businesses to live stream to their twitter following instantly now means that events, presentations and announcements could be quickly broadcast via a mobile device at the time – FREE!

Live streaming up till now has cost a fair bit but with these new apps which are available on iphone and android bringing your company to life has never been so simple.

For career focused twitter handles it could be a great way to share new insights into the business, what the business strategy is, why it’s a great place to work as well as showing people around the office.  Engaging your audience in different ways seeing if it works could have great candidate attraction and engagement potential!

Would your business be up for the live stream challenge?

To find out more about how you could use Periscope or Meerkat, check the video below.

Are your Recruiters Wasting their time Sourcing?

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Wasting time sourcing?

Have you gone mad Suzanne?

Well no, I haven’t gone mad but I think many recruiters may have.


What would you say if I told that you I went strawberry picking.  I went to the strawberry farm and I hunted for the biggest and the best strawberries.  Every time I found one I picked it, thought ‘WOW that’s impressive’ then I went and put it in my basket.   Every day, I would go back out into the strawberry farm and I’ll continue to pick my strawberries and I’d keep putting them in my basket. 

I didn’t put my basket in the fridge, I didn’t cover it with anything, I didn’t wash them, I really didn’t do anything to look after the strawberries that I had already picked; I just kept going back out into the field and picking more.   Eventually the strawberries in my basket went bad but I didn’t notice because I just kept putting more and more in.

Does that sound like a great use of my time and resources?

Was I making the most of the strawberries that I already had in my basket?

Did I care for them so that they lasted longer so that when I was ready to use them on my amazing Christmas Pavlova they were primed and ready to go?

p.s. the link is there for my wonderful international or non-Australian readers!  Make a Pav these holidays….it’ll change your life!  See… get sourcing advice and amazing recipes! What other recruitment blog gives you that!!!??


Well I feel like this is happening in the majority of organisations that are recruiting.   We work to build the database, to attract great candidates and then a new job requirement comes up and what do we do?   We go back out to market, put the job ad on the job board or LinkedIn and we spend 2, 3, 5 weeks looking for new candidates.


Well the reason may be that we don’t have very good database search or talent pooling practices.  I really can’t think of another reason.  

So what should we be doing?

Having a good understanding of which roles you may have coming up and which roles you recruit regularly should help you to manage the number of times you need to go to market a fresh.

Having engaged, well managed talent pools will not only mean you don’t have to go to market again and again but when you reconnect with candidates who have already shown an interest in your business that you’ve identified as being “a big strawberry” (or an amazing candidate) then everyone is already on board and ready to go.

The client owned recruitment database is one of the most neglected and underutilised tools today.  Everyone is so focused on getting the new job out there, assessing new candidates, that we lose the good ones we already have.

That candidate who was great and applied last time, sees the ad and thinks, well I’ve already applied and they obviously aren’t interested so I won’t apply again.   Not only have you wasted time going to market and going through the whole sourcing process again when you didn’t need to, but you lost a great candidate in the process and you spent more money than you needed to.

So here are 5 steps to decrease the spend on time, money and resources and use your database better:

1.       Ensure your database has a good search function 

This may mean that you either have to skills code or tag candidates so that they can be found later or you many need to test out if enhancements needs to be made to get the most out of the search functionality.   You probably only need to make 2 hires from the database to cover the cost of a technical update.  If you don’t know if your search function is good or not then find out.  Either contact your ATS company and they should be able to give you and your team training as well as help you determine if what you have will work for your needs.   Another option is add on database search technology such as SeeMore

2.       Train your recruiters to be database hound dogs

If you don’t train your recruiters to use the system in a way that will increase database searching then they’ll just keep doing what they have always done, which most of the time to is the advertise, wait 2 weeks then sift through 80 response!  Once you know the power of your ATS or database search capability then ensuring recruiters know how to use it is critical.   Also changing their mind set is something that may take some time but if they get into the habit of searching the database before they advertise then it will change over time.

3.       Actively influence source of hire

By looking at your source mix and knowing where your candidates are coming from can help you actively influence the mix by driving certain behaviours (training), targeting and rewarding your recruiter’s ability to move the source mix dial towards database or talent pooled hires.

By doing this you should also see a decrease in ‘days to hire’ as they are not waiting 2-4 weeks for ad response.

4.       Identify and develop active talent pools

Note the word active.  I say active because you don’t want a ‘basket of rotten strawberries’.  By ensuring that the quality of the candidates in your talent pools are good, it means that your recruiters will know that if they go and search in those talent pools they will get great candidates.  By implementing a manageable CRM (Candidate relationship management) strategy will also mean that you’re not only building your employer brand in the mind of candidates that you know are already interested in the company; because they’ve applied before, but it also keeps them connected and informed for when you want to tap them on the shoulder again.

5.       Candidate managers will pay for themselves

If you are a company with over 500,000 candidates sitting on its database (and that’s not many by today’s standards), then it may be worth investing in a candidate manager who can connect, engage, talent pool and farm out great candidates across the board.   I remember back in 1998 when I was working in recruitment, our candidate managers were worth their weight in gold.  For some reason we don’t seem to value this role anymore, but I think managed in the right way a dedicated resource will add enormous value to a team.   They can also manage talent communities, talent pools and develop social and sourcing strategies. 

So that’s my thoughts on why I think many recruiters are wasting their time sourcing.  Do the work, build your CRM strategies and searchable databases and then enjoy the benefits of that by tapping back into your strawberry basket when you need to!

Have a restful and safe break over the holiday season and I look forward to share many more branding, sourcing and social hints, tips and tricks with you in 2014!


5 Simple Ways to Engage your Candidates

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I’m a big believer in video content {she says as she types away!} and recently there have been two very pertinent videos from Social Talent and TruLondon with Bill Boorman which you can view below.

The content of these video are basically talking about candidate engagement and reflecting a true and accurate Employer Brand and cultural insight when engaging with candidates.

I’ve worked with a number of businesses locally and internationally on their Employee Value Proposition (EVP) ~ the WHY employees work there and WHY potential employees would want to work there, as well as their employer brand.   As technology gives us more and more access points to great talent in the market, whether that be through boolean searching, LinkedIn or any other social network, the game is changing.

I can see who has jobs that I might be interested in, and even when I get approaches about jobs, very rarely do people talk about culture and EVP’s of the organisations they represent.

The question I have is do they know what their EVP is and how to communicate it in an effective way?

The other question is, do recruiters start the discussion about culture fit early or is that left till the last interview?

So lets take a look at 5 ways you can engage candidates both before they become applicants as well as when they are going through the recruitment process.

1) Career site Collateralemployer brand

I love being a little nosey and seeing inside different organisations.  I love it when I have a meeting and walk into a reception area and survey my surroundings.  I’m interested to see how I’ll be greeted, what information may be sitting on the side tables and what branding an organisation has around it’s offices.   I’m sure I’m not the only person.   In todays day and age, we have so many tools at our disposal.

Video, imaging, information that we can share about our organisation in a place where candidates can take a look and see what it’s like to walk through our offices.   I also think that we underestimate the impact that this can have on a candidate’s initial interest and engagement in the organisations.    Your career site should be in the top three sourcing channels for any organisation.  It’s the place where potential applicants will go to check out what you’re doing, what you’re about and make a decision whether they think this organisation is right for them.  So the question is, have you invested anything into ensuring it reflects your organisation in the right way? Or is it just a click-through link with a list of jobs and may the companies values?

2) Case studies and storytellingstory

From the age of one most of us love stories.  We love to understand what happened along the way.  Storytelling can be also be one of your companies strongest assets. Why? because it proves that what you are saying is true.  There are people in your organization that are living out the experiences that you say your organisation offers.   We’ve used stories to show a client’s commitment to career progression, how they support diversity {you can see a truly powerful Deloitte diversity video here}, how the CEO interacts with the business and so much more.

Using stories allows you to humanise your brand in a relatable way ~ use it, don’t ignore amazing stories you could be sharing.  I’ll take a great authentic story of what it’s been like for an individual in your company over corporate marketing lines any day.

3) Talent pool Newsletters newsletter

So you’ve taken the time to identify candidates that you believe are right for your organisation.  They have skills, competencies and experience that you’re looking for.  So you segment them off into a Talent pool and…………… you leave them there for however long until you have the right job or someone remembers that they are sitting there.

The candidate doesn’t know they are in a talent pool, they don’t know that you think they are great for your business and they have no idea about what your organisation is doing 6 months down the track  – Brilliant!

The purpose of CRM strategies for Talent pools is to build the employer branding, share your stories and develop the engagement with candidates that you believe are right for your business.  Also telling them that you think this is key as well.   Let’s imagine for a moment that you’ve either been approached or you’ve applied for a role.    Something happens and the role doesn’t go ahead, but the recruiter says to you –

“Jo, we think that you’re skills, experience and motivations are aligned with what we are looking for in our business.  Now we don’t have a role right now for you but I would love to add you to our Talent pool.  What that means is that we communicate on a quarterly basis with a few select candidates that we want to continue to develop a relationship with.  The information that we email out to you will share information on what the business is up to, it may have videos, project updates, what’s happening around our corporate and social responsibility and we’ll share a bit about our culture.  Hopefully this ensures that we’re kept front of mind with high calibre candidates such as yourself and hopefully when an opportunity comes along you’ll have a much clearer understand of what we are about and it can help you make the decision as to whether this is right place for you in the future. ”

Simple. Easy. Straightforward. Engaging.

Who is going to say no to that?  I’m not spamming you.  I’m not sending you and update every day/week/month.  I’ll communicate with you and you can contact me if you see anything that takes your fancy re opportunities with us and we’ll do the same.  If a recruiter said this to me, I’d be impressed.  Just that gesture alone would set them apart.

4) Talent Communitiesgoogle plus

If you have the resource then talent communities are a great way to spread the net a little wider and share your employer brand and EVP to a bigger audience.  It also means that they can actively share your content with their communities and networks.   A number of 3rd party sites are have been around for the past 1-2 years include TalentCircles, Ascendify and AvatureCRM.  These can be used as an additional tool to your ATS and usually integrate with your existing systems.    One that I’m loving is Google+.  Goolge+ has the ability to build free communities that can be restricted to the candidates and people who you want to have in there, it has video capability as well as the usual social connect sharing capabilities.   Here’s are 2 quick video on setting up Google+ communities general & for Talent communities

5) Networking ~ social and face to face

meetup logoNothing replaces talking to people.  I could write a whole post just on this one heading, but the tip I’m going to give you today is to go to networking events your candidates are at, engage with them on social channels in a real and authentic way…meaning don’t just post links but have conversations!  and if you have recruitment social channels then it’s important to get your recruitment team to let EVERY  SINGLE CANDIDATE THAT THEY SPEAK TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR SOCIAL CHANNELS AND WHAT INFORMATION THEY WILL GET IF THEY FOLLOW IT.   I find it amazing when people say a social channel didn’t work but never actually told anyone about it.

Engagement is 70% of the battle.  You can find candidates, you can present them to your business but if they are not interested in your business it’s all a bit of a waste – so spend time thinking about what your message and engagement strategy in the market will be over the next 6-12 months and measure the impact as you go.

Social Talent – SourceCon Video on candidate engagement

TruDublin video on Candidate Engagement

Building an Effective Recruitment Function ~ 101

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The good old elevator pitch has always been one I’ve struggled with, mainly because I’m a talker!   So when someone asked me the other day to tell them what I do for clients in 1 sentence I thought this worked well as my ‘nutshell’ response….

“I help clients reduce recruitment costs, increase recruiter capability and supercharge Employer Brand”

That seems pretty simple doesn’t it?

okay thanks for reading…seeya tomorrow!…..

That’s probably not helpful to you if I just end today’s post there, and as this blog is all about sharing my knowledge and passion for great recruitment outputs and results with you, I thought I’d talk about what some of the key areas of focus should be if you want to develop your recruitment function to… reduce costs, increase capability and supercharge your Employer Brand.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to share EVERYTHING with you {that would just be silly}, but as I’ve worked in some great teams and worked and work for great companies, I’ve learnt a few things along the way.  I always assume that everyone knows these things which is always a bad assumption!

So here are just some of the basics.  I’m going to be writing on a number of topics that should be the foundation of any great recruitment function therefore entitled “Building an Effective Recruitment Function 101”.

Rule 1

Analyse it ~ if you can’t measure it, you can’t work out if it’s broken or not, make it better and improve it or understand what it means for your business (insights)

The first thing I try and do with any business that I’m working with is to understand what the current output is. And when it comes to efficiencies the question is:

Job 1 ~ Cost per hire


1a) How much are you spending on Recruiting in total

In total for all advertising, referral bonuses paid, salaries of recruiters, licenses for anything and everything to do with recruitment and any other costs, how much are you spending?

1b) Cost Per Hire (CPH)

Once you know how much you are spending, then divide it by the number of hires you are making in the same given period of time and work out what your CPH is.

I’ve found that on average it’s usually between $3-$5k per hire depending on your business, the talent you require and what your sourcing strategy is. Note that this is usually if you have a strong direct sourcing percentage.

Job 2 ~ Source Mix

source of hire

Once you know how much you are spending per head you are hiring into your business….. you now need to know what your source mix or source of hire is.
By understanding the source of hire you should be able to understand where you’re spending your money.

  • If all of your jobs are on job boards and are refreshed every day by recruiters then you could be paying a fortune in advertising
  • If all your jobs are hired through agencies then it’s easy to see that, that is where your spend is.
  • What about if you’re pouring money into social, meaning that your recruiters are sitting on that all day trying to build a follow and community but you’re not actually getting any hires out of that?   Well that will also drain the cash because you’re paying for unproductive heads in your team.

Have a clear understanding of how many hires you’ve made per sourcing channel and then cross reference that with your recruitment spend.

That’s job 2 done!

Job 3 ~ What is your time to hire?.


How long does it take you from the day the role is approved and open to the day that the candidates has accepted and/or signed on the dotted line?

Understanding this helps with a number of things.

3a) it helps you understand where your pain point are in your business.  Those pain points could be a lack of the skills in the market that you need.  It could also be hiring managers or processes that are holding up the process, it could also be your recruiters lack of ability to find those people or it could be bad process administration ~there are a long list of reasons why your time to hire is out of control.  It’s about digging and finding out what issues are there.

3b) This can also help you identify whether you need build talent pools/pipeline & or communities.   This is where it gets creative and proactive.

I constantly speak with clients who know that there are issues in their business but as it goes their teams keep doing the same things and expecting a different outcome.   This is where training and developing recruitment teams is essential.   It has to be part of the recruiters development plan to ensure they are up to date with sourcing changes and innovations otherwise you’re company’s ability to deliver in a passive and candidate driven market will deteriorate.

Okay so that’s just the first few things that you need to do.    I know it sounds so easy…. but it really depends on the systems that you have and whether you are able to get this information together quickly.  If you’re not, then your first step may be putting measuring tools or processes in place to gather this information asap.

We’ll be looking at building your sourcing strategy, talent pools and candidate engagement in upcoming “Building an Effective Recruitment Function ~ 101”  posts.

If you have specific questions or problems, then leave them in the comments below and I’ll add them to the long (and great!!) list of questions I gets!

Seeya and have a great day


Knowing the Rules of Engagement when it comes to Social Recruiting

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I recently read a blog post on  The Undercover Recruiter which had  a good infographic on “How to Source Top Talent”.

Out the whole infographic, there was one section (copied below) that stood out to me entitled “Know the Rules of Engagement”.

Whilst infographics are great and really help you to visualise what may be required, there is a lot that is worth expanding on.

Looking the image below, I feel that a whole book could be written on it, and no doubt there have probably been many books written it on, so I just wanted to touch on a few key points for those of you who are sitting in your office, or at your desk or if you’re lucky in a park somewhere thinking….Targeted? Consistent? Creative? Relevant and Urgent?  how do I do that?

thesocialrecruiter engagement  Let’s briefly run through some of these ideas.

1) Targeted: 

As I’ve stated before, many people think that when it comes to recruitment that more must be better.  The more exposure we have, the more candidates that apply, the more interviews we conduct.  But as with many things, more does not equal better or in fact quality.  Unless the people that you’re targeting are exactly what you are looking for then your resources will be sucked into reviewing mismatched cv’s.

Action: Be Targeted.  For the next 3-4 weeks, ask the candidates that you’re speaking to which social platforms they are on, what skills or industry specific communities they are apart of, and what content they would be interested in a) generally….ie: what do they read about and b) about your company

Know who they are, where they are and what they want! – there’s your strategy!

2) Consistent: 

Many companies get online and then work it out as they go.  Now whilst you will definitely learn new things as you go, before you start you need to have a plan.   What will you talk about?  Who is your audience? based on your knowledge and research, what do they want to hear about?

Action: By having a plan you can clearly outline that for 40% of the time you’ll share industry relevant information, for 40%of the time you’ll share company specific information and for 20% of the time you’ll share fun and interesting information.  This mix and weighting is completely up to you based on your audience and objectives.   By being consistent people know what to expect and go looking for the content that they know you’ll share that’s of interest to them. Having content curation sites such as or makes it easier to share content and I also have a stream on my Hootsuite dashboard with keywords that I’m interested it so that at a glance I see everything on Twitter about #socialrecruiting #socialrecruitment #HR #candidatesourcing.  This makes it easy for me to share  information quickly and my audience know what’s coming.

3) Creative:

This can be the challenge for many companies.  What will I say and how will I say it in an interesting way?  A great way to great creative is to use image sites and apps such as Pinterest or Instagram to share fun pictures of your office and staff, as well as inspiring or interesting quotes and images on Pinterest.  It just breaks it up a bit and as many stats and infograph show, pictures will always have a much higher engagement response rate online as people love to look at something rather than read, read, read!  So get your message across in a different way.

Action:  think about what is great about your company that you could share in a different way – that is not an official marketing release but something that reflects what your business is about.   Are there great events that you host or charity runs that you do.  Build an image of what happening behind the doors of your business that makes people want to work there and you’ll be heading in the right direction!

4) Relevant:

There is nothing more annoying that receiving something and the first thing you think is “why did they share this with me” – the whole, what’s in it for me is key to ensure people continue to return for more or engage and response to what you’re saying.   Why keeping an open dialogue with candidates that you’re engaging with, you will know what’s relevant to them.

Action: Ensure that you’re content answers these questions :  Will they find value in this content?  Will it help them solve a problem? Will it give them a new or more in-depth insight into my business?  Will they find this engaging  educational, funny? ~ remember it doesn’t all have to be serious!

5) Current: 

Simple but true, make sure the information that you’re sharing is current.  There are so many articles out there with information sources from 2004/5/6/7 that are really out of date now and not relevant to the current market or what’s happening in your industry.  Keeping your finger on the pulse of what is happening right now will mean that candidates feel like you ‘get it’ and you’re not just regurgitating information that has been rehashed.

Action: from the research you do with you candidate base, understand what their problems are right now and then respond to those problems with relevant information.   I would rather have 1 sentence that assists me now than a whole document that provides little insight or applicable information.

These are just a few point that I thought were worth building out a little bit more.

I can’t emphasize enough, how important it is for you not to assume what your audience want to know, but to actually speak with them, gather the data and make your decisions based on that information.  If you run off and just start doing what you think is right, you may miss the mark completely, waste time, money and effort.  Get it right from the start and you’ll see the benefits and return on investment  a lot quicker.

{Also check out my PLATFORMS tab to see more ideas around content to post on which platform}

The 3 key Groups of People to Engage when Building your Social Recruiting Communities

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There are a number of simple and effective ways to ensure that building your online candidate community is not an onerous task.   Wondering where your fans, likes, connections and followers will come from can be a fairly daunting thought for many who do not current live in this space on a day to day basis.

But using what you have is the first trick of the trade!

What does this mean, I hear you say… well lets take a look at the communities you already have around you that are engaged and awaiting your great employer branding and job opportunity information.

socialrecruiting employees1) Your current employees

I’m constantly amazed that organisations go to market with their social recruiting initiatives without engaging their current employee base.

Why is that?

Recent statistics show that the average person has 245 facebook friends.  Now when you think about who your own connections are, then I’m guessing that many of them are previous coworkers from other organisations that do the same thing you do.  Maybe they are people who you’ve become great friends with through networking events or just through other friends, ex-colleagues, etc.  By spending the time to work with your internal community, you may not only find that they are more than happy to share your content but may provide ideas of how else you can tap into these sought after communities through their own vast networking knowledge.

Your employees are hopefully already engaged advocates for your brand and the work that you do, and believe it or not, 9 times out of 10 they are keen to get involved when the company goes social.

2) Past job applicants sitting in your recruitment databasecandidate dabase

You have an entire database full of candidates that at one time or another, applied for a role within your company.  That says to me that they very well may be interested again in finding out about, not only job opportunities but what your organisation is up to generally.   Updating your current candidate database and letting them know that you are now on social platforms is a simple way to allow them to engage with you on a regular basis and keep in touch.

One the biggest issues that candidates and organisations have alike, is that the database, in the majority of organisations is not a communication tool.  There is only information going in, there is no communication going out of it in the majority of cases.  This means that if you don’t search your database on a regular basis or engage with your candidates, then you’ve potentially great some great talent just sitting there doing nothing.  It’s not the more efficient use of information when we’re constantly talking about the shortage of great talent.  A quick and simple way to update this information it through a newsletter or communication blast out.

By creating a communication to say ‘You’ve applied to us before and if you’re still interested then here are a number of channels that we’re now on’ or ‘if you’re still interested please update your details with us’ takes a lot of the workload off you contacting candidates individually.  Depending on your business and the size of your database may determine what the response is like.

3) All new candidates that you speak with

Make sure that all touch points for new candidates highlight where they can also be part of your online communities.  This will not only mean that they can search for jobs on your website but they can also follow along online to see and hear what the organisation is doing on a regular basis through your messages, stories and picture posts.  Every time a recruiter speaks with a new candidate, ideally the conversation should always end with, “if you’re not connected with us online then you can find us on Facebook at xxxxx or Twitter at xxxxx or on LinkedIn… here. We post all new information about project and opportunities here so you can keep up with what we’re doing”.

This gives it a personal feel when candidates can access your organisation even when there isn’t a job available.  Social platforms humanize what has become a bit of a faceless part of the practice …. the application and recruitment process.

It’s a great way to build community before you even speak to them about a vacant role.   By engaging new candidates at the start it means that it keeps your business front of mind if they are interacting with you regularly and have access to conversations as and when they happening between you and other individuals.    By showing what your organisation is really about, it also provides them an opt out if they feel that maybe the culture, environment or work isn’t for them; which isn’t a bad thing.  You want the right people, with the right skills, who’s motivations and values fit that of your business.  Bill Boorman writes a great blog post on attracting the right candidate and not just all and any candidates here.

By engaging these 3 communities that are already somewhat interested in your brand and potential roles is a great place to start.  We seem to constantly chase more and more candidates, yet lack the ability to maintain with interest and integrity the data and communities we already have access to.  It’s time to work smarter, not harder when it comes to ongoing relationships with top talent.

What’s your secret to sharing information with your communities?