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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.

Online Marketing

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Announcing the New Online Marketing Forum.  We are shouting about our latest resource for you.

Online Marketing is the life blood of recruitment agencies.  There is a massive thirst for knowledge out there.  To try and meet that demand Webshed have created a Online Marketing Forum.

The forum has boards for SEO, Online and offline marketing, Social Media, and PR.  The idea is that it will provide a place to ask questions in an anonymous manner.

SEO is a huge area in itself, and since SEO, Marketing, PR and Social Media all tie together, we at Webshed prefer to use the term holistic SEO.  The forum is broken into sections, but for a really good online presence all of the sections should be married together.

The Online Marketing Forum is very new.  As a result there little activity on it.  This will change.  I have just begun actively marketing the forum, and over the next few weeks it will see a spike in activity.  If you have a question or a comment do not be afraid to be the first to post.  After all, every forum has to start somewhere!

The Online Marketing Forum should be a good resource for recruiters who want to learn how to build both their own brand and the company brand online.  It is not just recruiters who will benefit.  Anybody with an online business can use the forum and benefit from free advice.

It is your forum, and will be very much user led.  Enjoy it.  Visit the Online Marketing Forum at http://www.webshed.ie/forum.

Returning to Recruitment

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Returning to Recruitment can be stressful

Returning to recruitment an easy task? Obviously… evidently not!

After nearly 5 years working in the Recruitment business and a further 17 month stint at “Motherhood”, returning back to the role I love so much would, at first glance, seem the most natural progression to getting yourself  ”back into the workforce”. The excitement of coming back to work and getting right back into the nitty gritty of meeting new people on both sides of the process was endlessly thrilling to me! Afterall… recruitment is recruitment right? Returning to recruitment is now, in 2010, NOT as simple as all that!

The first thing that hits me are words like Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and… BLOG? I’m suddenly facing a fullforce training schedule on how to use these things on a day to day basis in my fabulous new recruitment role? You want me to write a what?? So here I am, day 2 and after what seems like a year of fear, here I am writing my first blog and all the time thinking how do I incorporate this into recruitment.. but I am told that everyone does it, so I’ll try my best!

What I face now, which for some reason I am quite looking forward to, is this strange new paper free environment with blogs and Tweets and Status Updates as opposed to “File, Print”! My connections, upon returning to recruitment, will no longer be squeezed into the address book at the back of my diary but rather in the form of Connections in Linkedin! I’ve had a look… admittedly, it looks good so who am I to object!

All in all, returning to recruitment looks good so far. I’m told that my fear of blogs will eventually go away.. eventually!

Hotgirl69@gmail.com, if you want a job change your email address!

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Email addresses you should not use for job hunting

It is astounding how many people send in CV’s from email addresses that do them no favours what so ever.  I have no problem with anybody calling themselves hotgirl69@gmail.com, stud09@hotmail.com or mushroom.trev@ucd.ie, but I do not want to see it on a job application.  Yes It amuses me, it makes me laugh and it may even make me remember you.  The trouble is you really don’t want to be remembered for your decidedly dodgy email address.

How is a recruiter supposed to put you forward as a professional in your field when they know that you are willing to use an email address like the above to promote yourself.  Ireland is not quite the repressive Catholic Ireland it used to be, but alluding to sexual prowess, recreational drug taking or criminality is not clever.

It could perhaps be excused if it were not so simple to get a new email address that is more professional. trevor.sorbie@gmail.com is a lot better than mushroom.trev.

Now that that is off my chest, do I really have to go into making your profile private on facebook and cleaning up your Linkedin profile?  Good.  Oh, just one thing on facebook.  If, like me you are linked to Saddam Hussain, Salman Rushdie, Osama Bin Laden and George Bush, just because you though it was funny… be aware that you cannot make your friends private.  If you are looking for a job then ditch your less admirable, politically incorrect, or controversial friends.  You do not want somebody else getting your job just because you inadvertently offended your would be boss by linking to somebody they despise.

Irish Recruiters

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Declan Fitgeralds Hat Tip Award

Declan Fitzgerald, the Microsoft recruiter who started of the Irish Recruiters group on Linkedin decided to hold his own Recruitment Awards over the Christmas period.

Dubbed the Irish Recruiters Hat Tip awards, Declan asked for nominations from the pool of over 1,000 members of the Linkedin Group.

You can check out the results for yourself.

While there are several recruitment agencies and individuals mentioned in the awards, it is unfortunate that being the organiser, Declan could not be mentioned himself.

Declan is a massively keen social media exponent.  It is perhaps not surprising, since he is an in-house recruiter for Microsoft, that he is somewhat obsessed by technology – not that I can talk!  Thus the awards focuses solely on the use of technology and ability to adapt to technology by recruiters.

I don’t know of any other recruiter who has managed to grow a linkedin group so successfully.  In fact Declan’s impact on the recruitment industry was such that, after he organised his first conference for recruiters, there where whispers that he was trying to take over from the National Recruitment Federation.  This is absolutely not the case, but it is a strong indicator of the ground breaking work he was doing bringing Irish recruiters together.

The Irish Recruiters group came about at a time when the Irish Recruitment industry was just waking up to the potential of Social Media for Recruitment.  The first tentative steps were being made, and everybody was hungry for information on how to use it without time wasting.  Declan saw the opportunity and acted on it.

So Declan, here’s a hat tip back at you!

Google Creates a PR nightmare

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

The new Google SideWiki could potentially be a Public Relations nightmare for companies.  In most cases I suspect that management are not even aware of its existence, let alone it’s potential for harm.

The new sidebar pictured below works on the same principles as Wikipedia – thus the name.  While the site owners entry will be on top, it allows any registered Google user to write comments attached to your site.

Google Side-Wiki on Recruitment Agencies Ireland. A useful tool for web surfers or a potential PR disaster?

Did I just say anybody?  Yes I did.  Would you allow everybody in the world to write content on your site?  Not in a million years.  But now they can do just that.  In fact users can comment on every single page of your site.  They can have different comments on different pages.

The age old adage of word of mouth working better for bad news than good news holds true here.  Treat a customer badly and you may well pay the price.  Only instead of the customer bad mouthing you to just friends, family and colleagues, they can now (if they feel aggrieved enough) denounce your services to the world. On your very own website.

It doesn’t stop there either.  What about your competitors?  Do you trust them not to write disparaging comments about your company?  That would be bad enough anywhere, but to have those same comments attached to your own website would be highly embarrassing.

So what can you do about it?

  1. Get acquainted with Google Sidewiki. Get the Google toolbar.  To view a wiki entry for a web page, just click on the sidewiki button on the google toolbar.
  2. Get your own comments in first. A site owner (your google account must be associated with the website – webmaster tools validation) can make a wiki entry that will stay on top of all other comments.  This entry can be made to show up for all pages on the site.  This is particularly useful since most of us have dynamic websites.
  3. Make your own comments lengthy. Surfers are lazy.  We hate scrolling any more than we have to.  Do not put in just two lines in your own wiki entry.  Make it long enough to ensure scrolling is necessary.  Thus it takes effort to reach the other comments, leaving you more control over what people read.
  4. Subscribe to the comments RSS feed. This will not work in outlook, so you will have to use another RSS reader.  This should really be at number one in this list.  You need to know what people are saying about you.  By subscribing to the RSS feed you will know every time a new comment is posted. (As an aside here, I am assuming that you are also using Google Alerts to let you know every time your company is mentioned on the Web.)
  5. Submit a removal request. If you do become the victim of unwarranted abuse through sidewiki, then you can request that the comment be removed.  Think before doing this though.  A well handled response can sometimes work better from a PR point of view than having the comment deleted.  After all, if somebody has gone to the trouble of writing damaging material attached to your site, then when they find it deleted they could be encouraged to write the same information elsewhere.  Tackling it at source may be a better option.

It’s not all bad news though.  People can write nice things too.  It doesn’t have to be a PR nightmare.

Survival of the obvious

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Twitter becomes more useful to recruiters by integrating with Linkedin

What has the recession taught us?  We went from times of plenty to something approaching mass hysteria in 0.6 seconds flat.  It gave us all a bit of a scare.  More than that; it killed a few agencies completely.

Why have the other recruitment agencies survived?  For most it was a combination of factors.

Recruitment takes place on the internet.  That’s a sweeping statement but largely true.  It is more imperative than ever to be visible online.

We have so many new tools at our disposal too.  Twitter, Linkedin, Blogging, Forums, Facebook.  No longer are we confined to our own websites and a few job boards.  Now we can grow networks and interlink them too.

Linkedin - Facebook in a suit!

How many of you have linked up your twitter job posts to your linkedin status?  That way every time you post a job it goes directly to Twitter, and from there to your Linkedin status (which of course gets sent in status update messages to all your contacts!).  Fantastic.  From posting one job you can have it reach hundreds or even thousands without even having to touch on the number of people the job boards reach.

I knew twitter was good for something!

I’ve drifted a bit from my “Survival of the obvious” heading.  The point is that if you do not make yourself blindingly obvious as a recruiter then you are behind the curve.

If you are not utilising all the great new tools we have then you are trading in a backstreet instead of the main street.

Good marketing is all about visibility and getting your name out there.  If we get it wrong we won’t survive.  How high does your website rank for your chosen keywords?  Who are internet searchers finding first?  If you are not in the first three results of an internet search you are losing out in a big way.

A little investment in Search Engine Optimisation pays for itself.  A little time invested into social media is the best free marketing you can get.