Recruitment off the back of a truck

This sign is usually parked near the intersection of River and Shirley roads in Crows Nest; during peak traffic hours, the area is a nightmare to drive through, if you can drive through. I live half a mile down from where this ad is.

I am not sure when you last time paid attention to a You-Haul advertisement pushing a jobs website, let alone remembering to check it out once you got home. Seriously, I am just glad to get out of the bumper-to-bumper nightmare without getting too stuck.

Pretty dumb to spend money on this, huh?

Well, the ad is parked in a spot that is pretty much equidistant to The Royal North Shore and Mater Hospitals; surruounding them there is an entire ecosystem of labs, surgeries, private practices, physio centers, you name it.

My neighbour is a nurse. At the small primary school my kids go to, there are at least 1/2 dozen midwives who live in the area. They surely drive around River Rd all-the-time.

I’ve a had look at the advertised website. It is a bit of a substandard online experience, compared to best/better practice. It does what it needs to do as a jobs site, however.

Question is: What would you say is the candidate response due to the ad by the side of the road? I am not expecting huge flows of CV’s, but possibly high relevance levels and material volumes of applicants, given their geo hyper-targeting.

I will aim to get in touch with the agency guys and see if I can complete the picture. Just remember: you can have a niche campaign on wheels if you want to, outside Uni’s (graduates), coming out of Pyrmont (digital, IT), etc.

Have a good evening.

Come on, be social :)

What if your soul mate wants to come to your apartment?

It’s encouraging to be approached by an increasing number of recruitment firms and corporate recruitment teams asking for guidance on how to improve/ramp-up their presence on professional and online social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook.

With the risk of stopping them in their tracks, I normally include in this conversation a question or two about their own websites; I enquire if they measure their traffic, if they know how their sites renders on a smartphone and how regularly they update content, jobs, etc.

Sometimes I can feel in the voice of these potential customers a level of disappointment, so as to say “no, no; don’t get off topic, I don’t want to talk about my site; focus on the question about networks”

Like I said, it’s encouraging. It reflects that recruiters are aware that they need to go where job seekers and clients live, research, find.

Maybe it was the lack of caffeine today, but all I could come up with trying to explain why I ask those seemingly off-putting questions about their own website, was the following social dating scenario:

Imagine an online network is a funky, fashionable bar: nice music, lots of great-looking people mingling, checking each other out.

You are there too with shiny new clothes and accessories (company page, personal profile), already with a few acquaintances know you from previous meet-ups (connections), checking people out and being checked out.

Suddenly across the room, you see someone that really grabs your attention with their presence and persona (awesome profile – 100% complete, premium membership, open networker, looking for a career change). Fantastic!

At that moment, you come onto this person’s focus too; you’re the right complement: great connections, work for an awesome agency, and you’re hiring for this great company.

It’s a match. It’s late however: the bar will close eventually, but you and your soul mate don’t want to leave, both of you want to know more of each other. You want to talk all night.

So you pop the question: “Do you want to come to my apartment?”

At that moment (hopefully before you mutter the words) you may have thought: In which condition will this person find my abode? When did I last vacuum? Is there more than stale milk in the fridge?

You know where I am going.

If you effectively engage potential candidates or customers on a professional/social network, and they are keen enough to accept your invitation to your apartment (your company website); What they find there? Will this more intimate environment help you grow closer to this person, or will he/she be putt-off because your place is not as shiny as you appeared on the bar?

I say it again, more than happy to assist people to dress up and look fab in preparation to go to this huge online bar; just let me ask you in which condition you left your apartment.

Happy Oz Day everyone!!

Come on, be social :)

Seth’s done it again

With “Linchpin”, Seth Godin has hit the mark as far as conveying a message that resonates with employers, employees, the self-employed, the entrepreneur: work is art in as much as it is a process filled with generosity provided by individuals that create, connect, produce; and ultimately has an effect on others.

Perhaps the book’s punch comes from the fact that the metaphors and actual advice avoid the usual career advice gaff and aims to engage the reader at the emotional level that is required to be an effective worker, as opposed to a ‘steady job holder’.

This post – the first in more than a few months – is direct result of his pep-write: I’ve been too busy to “ship” (deliver, produce, think, give). I had great excuses: I am dedicating a lot of time to other projects including Digital Reach, and I had ruined the original template of this blog (it still is as you can see), so I did not want too many visitors.

I am getting out there again: selling, writing, consulting, pushing the things I stand for; which as you know it’s double-shit scary. Double because you can fail, which makes you feel you want to go hide under a rock and never come out; or you succeed, which means you have to get tense again and deliver so that your client is happy to pay the bill you sent them and then want to come back for some more.

Obviously if you dislike Godin, this will likely not be the book to make you a convert. It’s more of the same, perhaps sharper than ever, less sympathetic and with a desire to shake the ‘factory worker’ mindset and bring out the unruly genius in all of us.

If you get to it, let me know what were your impressions.

Have a great rest of the week

Come on, be social :)

You can post a job ad, but it will cost you

It’s the beginning of the year and I am already disappointed.

I thought 2010 was going to be the year where significantly less job ads, print or online, were going to include phrases like:

– ‘leading multinational’ to refer to the hiring company
– ‘high calibre individual’ to refer to the candidate they want to attract
– ‘challenging and dynamic environment’ to describe work conditions

What’s the real chance to get who you really want for this role with ‘details’ like those above?

I understand the anonymity has been used to protect clients from ambulance chasers, unsolicited CV’s etc. Those protection costs though are extremely high. It will cost real money to process unsuitable applicants – for example.

You might find the right individual in that hay stack you are generating. But just in case, get your calculator out and do your numbers; your job ads might be making your advertising/sourcing process more expensive than what you imagine.

Come on, be social :)

Social Tools – The worst that could’ve happened to Recruitment?


In a recent post, @greg_savage reported that he had asked attendees of an RCSA event/roadshow for a quick show of hands about social tools usage. The results:

a) 80% of recruiters have a LinkedIn account, whilst only 20% were using it ‘actively’
b) there was a very low take up of twitter (5-10% have a handle)

You know what? If there were more ‘active’ recruiters on LinkedIn, or more consultants moving into twitter, the ‘damage’ might be even bigger.

What damage?

I went to @coffeemornings last Friday; I spoke to four peeps that had been approached by recruiters on LinkedIn that they had not heard from – let alone met – before; these peeps ranted about these recruiters effectively cold calling them, to either connect and then be referred to other LinkedIn members, or do the usual tyre-kicking (you happy in your job? kinda thing).

Some recruiters are using new(er) tools and combining them with old practices and old thinking. Big risk.

And big opportunities.

Recruiters that notice that LinkedIn is not a resume database or a Yellow Pages for candidates, will score; they will give themselves room to develop their brand as individual professionals and that of the firms the happen to be working for.

Recruiters that feel the disconnect between social tools and the ‘let’s put bums on seats’ way of recruitment, and are courageous enough to re-energise their practices in the eyes of clients and job seekers, will come on top.

Big risk. Big opportunities.

Come on, be social :)

my chirp on twitter

In the industrial era, Big money was spent on Big research that spawned Big products; the early adopters for such wares (planes, guns, mainframes) were either governments or well-funded, large corporations. Subsequent to that, mass-production-driven economies of scale allowed for diminishing marginal production costs through automation, cheaper labour, amortisation of R&D expenditure. The consumerisation of products was the result of its massification.

In the post-industrial period, comparatively small investments of time and money are dedicated to launch new tools and services that are firstly thrown into the hands of individual users, generally for little or no money. When this offering reaches or gets close to the proverbial tipping point, corporations and governments start to pay attention. Consumerisation effectively acts as a huge proof of concept.

The first example that comes to mind is ICQ; it supposedly started with pimply kids flirting and talking about music, right? Next thing, intranet based IM applications are vanilla services in business. Same for P2P, even email if you want to go that far back. The music discussions and flirting (may be) are gone but the design stayed.

So, next time you feel like rolling your eyes when someone tweets what she had for breakfast, may I kindly suggest you have a Stella, relax and reflect that in all likelihood the trivial stuff (maybe) will fade away from twitter, but its infrastructure will certainly remain.Twitter-Bird

Come on, be social :)

The Merovingian said: for every action there is a reaction

Recruitment agencies are receiving less assignments from their clients

Recruiters – like all or most of us – need to stay busy or else. They start chasing ads

If they chase ads, they might as well have a candidates that can fill the role

In lieu of/addition to looking at their own databases, recruiters chasing ads opt to create their own sourcing/trawling posts

The incremental cost of posting the trawling job ads is negligible; recruiters may have already paid for them as part of their monthly contracts

Applications per ad are already up given our context

Candidates won’t get much attention, because the recruiter’s interest in them is contingent on the ad-chasing success ratio (which I would say is low)

Hiring companies are getting peeved with cold-calling consultants, which leads them to (if possible) write more and more generic ads so that they are not identified by ad-chasers

What’s in the horizon?

As contracts with job boards get renewed maybe there will be less ads (both good and bad, but proportionally less bad ones)

Reduced confidence on recruiters will lead job seekers to going back to job seeking via people you can trust, which can also include hand-picked recruiters, but also colleagues, friends, family.

Referrals based on trawling ads will not produce results.

Niche sites that have the inclination and capacity to monitor the quality of job ads could also get the thumbs up. Issue here is: what’s quality? An ad for a work-from-home scheme? The fifth version of the same ad? A suspicious looking/fake one? The more judgment you apply the more labor-intensive / costly the exercise.

Hiring organisations have an opportunity to work on their employer brand during this time, A ‘grey’ recruitment practice does not necessarily imply low candidate quality.

Thank you @jobadder for your comments re. niche sites

Hope your week finishes very well

Come on, be social :)