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Recruitment Update

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

I have been very quiet for a long time on the subject of recruitment.  A lot has happened in my absence.  There have been recruitment agency deaths, takeovers and consolidations.  I don’t want to focus on the negatives too much.  There is far too much of that going around.

I am writing this post just to announce what I will be up to for the next while.

Return to free job posting imminent

I had started a free job board, but stopped the process part way through.  I will be re-visiting mynextjob.ie and some other job sites.  I will also be re-vamping this site (I think I’ll start with these disgustingly coloured headings – bright green in-case you are reading after I’ve already done it).  If anybody has any suggestions of what they would like to see happen on this site, please drop me a line by commenting on this post or emailing me (see contact page).

Tell us your recruitment news

As always, any news you have on recruitment, good or bad is always appreciated.  I am not beyond a plug or two in this news section.  If you have been innovative or are bucking trends let me know and I’ll help you shout about it.

I have read a lot of posts about how recruitment is changing.  My opinion is that it is only changing in response to the current economic climate.  The job of a recruiter remains the same, it’s just a little tougher than it was 5 years ago.

Recruitment Methods

Certainly there is a change in recruitment methods.  Social media has been widely adopted at this stage, particularly Linkedin.  The hype about social media has died down though.  It is now just another day to day tool for recruiters.  There also seems to have been a bit of a backlash against social media with people preferring to get more personal with their clients/candidates.  While I see social media as integral to recruitment today, I applaud this more personal approach.  I believe it brings about a more professional recruitment service, one that will stand to the industry as a whole going forward.

During the celtic tiger years recruiting was easy and standards across the industry as a whole got a bit sloppy.  Some recruiters were treating recruitment as a numbers game.  The demand for staff allowed for this “fling as many CV’s as you can” approach to succeed to some extent.  This is no longer the case.  Client companies are now able to demand and get the job done that they are paying for.  They can get a smaller list of targeted CV’s that cuts down their own workload.  They can expect recruiters to be able to talk them through each of the CV’s they have sent in.  This is how it should be.

Job Seekers

The quality of job seekers for positions has been becoming increasingly better.  This is due to the larger numbers of highly qualified candidates out there through job loss / insecurity.

The market is tough out there for job seekers.  For recruitment agencies that facilitate emigration business is booming.  There is a general backlash amongst businesses to buck recession trends though.  I have heard a lot of business owners mention the 80’s.  Companies survived through hard times before.  We have had and will have some more tough financial medicine, but there has already been a small return to growth in the exports market.  We may not return to the heady days of the celtic tiger, but business will continue to be done in this country.  It has to be done.  People have to survive, and that means more innovation and more creation.

Job Vacancy Numbers Stabilise

Monday, January 25th, 2010

IrishJobs.ie have announced that the number of job vacancies advertised on their site has stabilised.

The current number of jobs on the IrishJobs site is about 16,000.  This is down from 45,000 in the midst of the Celtic Tiger years.

Sectors that are showing signs of recovery are:

  • Accountancy
  • Banking
  • IT
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Medical
  • Sales

None of these sectors are at anything like the strength they were once at, but the fact that the free fall in job vacancy numbers has halted is good news.  Reports from agencies also indicates a return towards some economic growth in 2010.

txtAjob.ie Update

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Text a Job (txtAjob.ie) Jobs to your mobile phone.

I previously wrote a post about Ireland’s only free-to-advertise text alert job board txtAjob.ie (Text a Job).  They offer jobs to your mobile phone via text alerts.

In the piece I wrote before I remarked that a job seeker would be likely to receive lots of jobs that were not suitable for them.  This was because the categories were very broad.  I am delighted to report that this has been addressed in a significant manner.  They have added a further 22 categories, meaning that subscribers to a specific category will have less flotsam to contend with.  This is a very welcome development.

Of course, how relevant jobs are to the user will be highly significant when it comes to people retaining the service on their phones, so it makes good business sense.

TxtAjob have also stated that stale and repeated jobs will also be automatically removed.  This has been a problem for all the job boards.  As we entered the recession it got particularly bad, with fake job postings and multiple versions of the same job advertised.  This was often in an effort to make an agency look like they had more jobs than were actually available.  TxtAjob are actively removing any instances.  The other job board to tackle this was RecruitIreland.com, who moved to a credits system like Monster last year.

It would seem that txtAjob have gained quite a few agencies as advertisers, but also have companies advertising too.  I know that they have integrated with eRecruit to make job posting easier for agencies that use that service.

TxtAjob have also been advertising fairly heavily.  They are running campaigns on Newstalk and on FM104, where they are also sponsoring FM104’s job finder spot.

Competing in the job board market is not easy, and txtAjob seem to be doing a good job of it.  Since advertising jobs is free it makes sense to post jobs with them, particularly with the media coverage they are currently receiving.

SEO for Jobs

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Search Engine Optimisation is not some mystic science

We have all heard of search engine optimisation (SEO).  Recruitment agencies in general have more than a passing interest in ranking well.

In the past we have had to rely on job boards to advertise our jobs.  This was because jobs on our own sites do not rank as well.  What can we do to improve that?

There are a few things.  Unfortunately some of them require some effort on our parts.

  1. Write unique content.  Search engines love unique content.  Most of us use syndicating software to post our jobs.  We post them once and they get sent to multiple sites.  This saves us a ton of time and time is money.  There is a downside though.  In cases of duplicate content (the same text in various places) Search engine algorithms try to find the original source and rate that while giving less importance to other sites.  Since, in general, big job sites get crawled by search engines more regularly than recruiters websites the end result is that your job on a job board is given priority over your own site.  The solution: Rewrite the job description for your own site.  That means that more of your own site has unique content.  It means doing the job twice, but it’s worth it.
  2. Keywords:  Make sure you include terms that you think that people will use to look for that type of job.  “Tiler urgently required” will not have the same impact as “jobs for Tilers” or “Tiling Vacancies”.  Put keywords in both the title and the body of your job description.
  3. Interesting Meta Descriptions: The search results in google and other search engines show the page title followed by the contents of the description tag from the page (<meta name=’description’ content=’blah blah blah’ />).  If this is not filled out google uses content it gets from the page directly.  Don’t leave it up to google.  Sell your job with the description.  Use descriptive words that excite like “fantastic career opportunity”.
  4. Tags: Several job sites allow you to use tags.  (Jobshot.ie and all the associated sites do)  Use them.  Most sites make separate pages out of each tag.  If you are not using them, you are not showing up as well as someone who is using them.

Text A Job (txtajob.ie)

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

Youve subscribed to ringtones.  Now you can spend €30 a month on jobs

A new jobs website hit the market over the last few weeks.  The site is www.txtajob.ie.

Free job posting seems to be par for the course these days. (insert shameless plug for www.jobshot.ie and www.mynextjob.ie here)

Recruitment agencies can post their jobs to www.txtajob.ie for free.  It is the job seekers that pay for this service.

It costs €1 per text alert received by a job seeker (to a maximum of €30 per month). People who sign up for the text service only receive texts for the categories they sign up for.  This is about as targeted as it is possible to make a service like this without doing it manually every time a job is posted.

For instance, if I sign up for Healthcare/Medical jobs I will receive txt alerts for Pharmacists, Nurses, Medical Sales Reps etc.  I am unlikely to be all of these things.

I’m wondering how many job seekers are willing to spend €30 a month to get access to jobs.

Searching the website itself is straightforward enough.  When you get to the part where you would normally apply for the job though there is a sting attached.  It will cost you €1 euro to get the application details.

Given that most (if not all) of those same jobs are available free of charge to job seekers on multiple job boards, I’m really not sure if the convenience of having them delivered by text rather than RSS or email (many mobiles are now able to handle both)  is worth €30 a month.

It is certainly a bold move, Competition in the job site market huge.