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February 18, 2014

How To Identify Your Target Candidate Audience - Recruitment Strategy Series (Part 1)


One audience

If I asked you if you knew your target candidate audience AND where it was located, could you give me straight answer? And would it be accurate?
Now, I am no mind reader, but I am  guessing (from my experiences) your answer is no - unless of course, you are one of the excellent niche recruiters out there, who know everything there is to know about your target market. 

So my next question is therefore, why the hell not?

If you are a recruitment agency offering companies your 'market leading' recruitment expertise and industry knowledge AND you then answer 'no' to the question above, then surely you are just kidding yourself and your clients? And yet, that is what companies pay you for, isn't it? (And isn't that what you tell people you do on your website?)

If you are an in-house recruitment function and you answer 'no', then you probably have the wrong people in your recruitment team, a poor candidate acquisition strategy AND you are going to be spending way too much with recruitment agencies, job boards and recruitment advertising agencies sometime soon (if you haven't already blown your budget by now!)

So why are you still doing this? What possible reason can you give, as a recruiting professional, that justifies you not knowing where your target audience is?

Unfortunately, the answer I have had too many times from both parties (above) to the question of whether they know where their target audience is, 'no' mixed with a huge dose of apathy. Justification for this is quick in the coming - 'our clients are happy enough with what we do fort them' or 'its not my problem, it isn't my budget, so i will just use agencies - it can be their problem'. 

Sound familiar does it? (Please tell me it isn't!)

So how do you find out where your candidate audience really is, then? Unsurprisingly, it takes a little work, but it is something you absolutely need to do to, whichever recruiter you are.

Here are ten ways to identify where your target candidate audience is:

  1. List all the common job titles you hire / recruit for at your company, in a spreadsheet. Then add the synonyms of these job titles, that potential candidates will use for them (put yourself into the mind of a candidate for this.) This is REALLY important as many companies use weird and wonderful job titles that are unique to them and are not ones commonly used by other companies or job seekers. A great example is from our industry: there are many Talent Acquisition Manager titles around (but they are just a fancy name for a recruiter). However, that isn't the word(s) a non-industry person would use to find a recruiter - they would search for keywords like recruiter or recruitment or recruitment consultant.

  2. List all the primary keywords associated with these same job titles, and as above, add the synonyms with them to your spreadsheet. These are the keywords that you would expect to see in profiles, bio's, online resumes etc.

  3. Build some boolean string in readiness for the next stages. Staying with a recruitment example, it could look like: (recruiter OR "recruitment consultant" OR recruitment specialist" OR "recruitment resourcer"); or keywords, LinkedIn AND sourcing AND "social media"
    You may have already build your boolean strings and synonym libraries and added these to a central drive for sharing (if you haven't you should do this!). If this is a problem for you then go over to Social Talent's Boolean Generator for an easy way to create your strings.

  4. Ask your current employees (if employer) or candidates / contact / network (if agency) where they go to speak and chat to their peer groups - offline networking? Online groups? Which social networks?
    Human nature helps this greatly as we all tend to engage with like minded people. So, for example,  your project managers or developers will naturally be in contact with other project managers and developers - sharing problems, solving problems or just chatting. You need to find out where these conversations are happening. Now it might be a simple answer like LinkedIn Groups, Google Plus Communities or Facebook Groups, but the likelihood is that it will be in places that hadn't even occurred to you. Find them and you have found a target audience. Ask ALL your employees and just don't take no for an answer - you absolutely need to know the answer to this.

    [I deliberately haven't mentioned identifying target companies where your potential candidates could be, as that is so damn obvious. If you don't know those then you really are in the wrong job!]

  5. Use LinkedIn to help identify groups of your target audience. On LinkedIn the average number of groups per member is 7 - therefore check out the profiles of a number of good potential examples of your targets, scroll to the bottom of their profiles and see what groups they are in. They may well surprise you! Obviously you then have a great starting point to find other similar people. And of course when you identify the group, give it some x-ray search love and search the group: (inurl:dir OR inurl:pub) "insert exact group name" "keyword 1" "keyword 2"

  6. Use social networks like Facebook (using the GraphSearch), Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram, Quora, Github, StackOverflow etc to further search for your target audiences. Use the boolean strings you have created earlier either on their own in the searches or via x-ray searches of these networks.

  7. There are sites like MeetUp and Eventbrite that allow you to find networking events. Finding your target audience can also involve looking for networking groups, and doing the 'old-fashioned' thing of actually 'pressing some flesh' and talking to people. If you haven't done it for a while, it works!

  8. If you want to do some advertising as aprt of your attraction strategy, which job boards are the ones to advertise on? Where are the most suitable candidates? Is it the generic big boys - Monster, TotalJobs, Reed, CVLibrary or Jobsite? Is your advert better placed on a niche board with a smaller but targeted audience? If you haven't done stages 1-5 above, then you are simply guessing, and therefore potentially wasting your money. Don't just listen to what the job boards tell you - most of their sales people will tell you what you want to hear to get the sale. Do your homework. The right job board will make a huge difference.
  9. As a corporate who needs to use recruitment agencies for the hard to fill roles, which agencies do you use? Who are the ones that specialise in your marketplace? Have you even bothered to take the time to check? Here is a simple checklist to ensure a recruitment agency fins the candidates you want:
        • Does their website tell you they recruit these skills?
        • Look at the LinkedIn profiles of their recruiters - do their profiles highlight the fact they recruit these skills or types of roles?
        • Look at the jobs they are posting (on their own website and the job boards) - are they the types of skills you are looking for?
        • Check if they run LinkedIn Groups or other Communities based on the specialist skills you require.

  10. If you continue you do this..............

    Get head out of the sand
    ....... you are in the wrong industry. Recruiters - both in-house AND agency side - HAVE TO ADD VALUE TO their clients. If you don't want to do this, then go find alternative employment, before the decision is made for you!

It is important to remember that every target audience is made up of different segments, each with their own objectives of being in their groups. That's what makes this task challenging and fun, all at the same time!

Remember at this stage you are not sourcing yet, you are at the identification of where your target audience of candidates are. Now you are going to give yourselves the chance to recruit the right candidates for your company / clients.

You simply HAVE TO KNOW where your target candidates are - hopefully this post will give you a reminder of where yours are. If you are still not sure, you know where I am :)

Make sure you subscribe to this blog  for further posts in my Recruitment Strategy Series


Contactus2 I work with recruitment agencies and corporates to help them understand and leverage the different social media networks to improve their recruitment strategy, recruitment process, candidate attraction, employer branding and content marketing strategy. If you require guidance, advice or social recruiting training, get in touch today.

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February 07, 2014

How To Create Great Profiles And Passive Talent Circles On Google Plus (Slides)



If there is one social media platform that is polarizing opinion in the social recruiting world currently, then it is most definitely Google Plus! As I said in my last G+ post, many of the detractors have actually never given it a real go. But, what I do like is that when you show people who have never seen it before, what Google Plus can potentially do, and their eyes light up with excitement. This happened last week in Calgary in Western Canada. A bonus was that our hotel room overlooked the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympic Park - the day and night picture seen above.

Just a brief note to say that for all my regular readers of SironaSays, I have definitely not forsaken my normal regular blogging. I slipped a disc (back) just before Christmas and had a very painful January. One thing I learnt is that extreme pain dampens your blogging mojo! Anyway, it is not quite healed yet, but it is a lot better than it was, and I can now actually start working with my clients again, and doing what I enjoy, sharing my blogs with you all.

A big tip: Don't take a transatlantic flight with a slipped disc! But if you do, make sure you have Sara there to support you! I wouldn't have made it without her.

So, back to Calgary.

I was invited to speak at the first ever social recruiting conference in Western Canada, on the subject of Google Plus. It was a great line-up to be part of, and a style of conference that really resonates with me - hands-on and practical advice. So well done Shahid and Kathleen for that approach.


There was just short of 70 attendees from across Western Canada - all recruiters or Talent Managers, with about 50% coming from the Oil and Gas industry, which I guess was no surprise considering where it was based.

What was really interesting to me was that low levels of social media use in recruitment - even Twitter and Facebook was only being used by a very small number of people. LinkedIn was the only tool that was being used by the majority of the recruiters in the room, which is amazing when you consider that:


So there was a day of learning ahead then! And learn they did with some excellent presentations on Twitter (Kathleen Teixeira), Facebook (Shahid Wazed), LinkedIn (Lauralee Guthrie) 'Show Me, Don't Tell Me' (Kasey Sixt), Sourcing Strategies (Shally Steckerl and of course Google Plus from me.

There were two presentations I delivered and of course as always I am sharing the slide decks with you here on the blog.

The first was entitled, How To Create Unlimited Targeted Talent Pools Of Passive Candidates Using Google Plus. In this session I covered Google+ Authorship, creating talent pools with Google+ Circles and how to construct a great Google+ post.


The second session was entitled, Google Plus Workshop - Creating Good Profiles AND Getting Started With Hangouts. In this I covered how to create a good Google+ profile (personal and company) and looked at how to use Hangouts in recruitment.

This was a superb inaugural social recruiting conference in Calgary, and I know that next year the plans are for a bigger event. Keep an eye out for it next year, because it is definitely worth a day of your time.

As always, with my slides, I hope you get something out of them and if you need any extra info please contact me.

As I said above, normal blogging will be resumed, with a few changes coming this way over the next month as we have a redesign and new platform for our website and blog coming very soon.


Contactus2 I work with recruitment agencies and corporates to help them understand and leverage the different social media networks to improve their recruitment strategy, recruitment process, candidate attraction, employer branding and content marketing strategy. If you require guidance, advice or social recruiting training, get in touch today.

X3_rssIf you like reading this blog, then click on the orange RSS icon here and get the latest Sirona Says posts delivered to your RSS reader or your inbox the moment they come out.

January 16, 2014

10 Ways To Use Google Plus For Recruitment In 2014



Google Plus  has been ignored, ridiculed and abused by recruiters the world over. I regularly get told that G+ is…….  “A waste of time”, “No candidates on there”, “No-one uses it”, “Not another waste of time social network“, “It’s a candidate ghost town” <and my favourite> “It isn’t like LinkedIn!" And what makes these excuses even more laughable is that many of these same recruiters have never even tried Google+, let alone use it for finding candidates! And they seem to go out of their way to then share their feelings with whoever will listen! 

Recruiters need to start thinking of 2014 as the year of change. Seriously. And not to be afraid of it either. Too many recruiters are doing the same thing as they always have done (and still failing!), dismissing new methods, techniques and tools that could actually benefit them. Google+ is a prime example. It is fantastic tool for recruiters in many ways, yet recruiters treat Google+ like it is a deadly Google pathogen and won’t go near it.

We all use Google every day of the week. Google is the largest search engine, it has the biggest free email platform (Gmail), it owns the second biggest search engine (YouTube) and it is now the third biggest social network (540 million active monthly users), and one of the leading blogging platforms (Blogger). It has a free 15GB cloud storage for everyone and an excellent cloud sharing photo website (Picasa). 
Google has integrated ALL OF THESE into its Google+ social network, meaning you get all the proven benefits of all these leading products.

Google services

So, why Google+ for recruiting then?

  • Candidate sourcing - will over half a billion people do for now?
  • Engagement - commenting and +1's (Google+ now integrates it's own commenting engine on YouTube and Blogger, to further drive engagement)
  • Contact and communication - with all the contact information and links on the profiles, it is a great source of contact details for people. Now you can send other people on Google+ an email to their GMail account even if you don't have their email address.
  • Content marketing
  • Increased organic SEO - well it is Google!
  • Excellent community functionality - to create and participate in
  • Create completely customised talent pools (via Circles)
  • Superb video conferencing and messaging platform via Google+ Hangouts
  • Excellent mobile experience

A fellow blogger, Rebekah Radice sums up Google+ nicely: 
“The exposure within my industry is unlike anything I’ve experienced on any other social network. With Google Plus, I control my own destiny. Not so with Facebook. Between the dilution of organic search and the suppression of posts, Facebook is reducing even further what ability businesses had to get in front of their audience.Google Plus is all about the quality of your content, your ability to network and how willing you are to connect, engage and inspire others through your words and actions."

Well, I want to start you thinking that Google+ may not actually be that bad after all. Remember what I said - don’t listen to others, make your own decision and give it a try.

Make your on choice on g+
So here are my 10 ways To Use Google Plus For Recruitment In 2014:

  1. Create an awesome Google+ Profile. Google+ loves content and information, so make sure your profile is packed full of interesting information, relevant keywords, web links and include ALL your social profiles (I will talk SEO benefits later). Unlike LinkedIn you can add many links, bold text out and add multiple social networks (easily) on Google+.
    <TIP> Start with your LinkedIn profile (cope and paste it), making sure you add links to all the text links that relate back to your web pages, blog pages etc in the text. This will give you a good starting point.
    So here is your profile checklist - make sure you spend the time to really max these out, after all it is for your benefit in the end!

      • You need two good pictures for your Google+ page - a cover picture - the minimum size needed is 480 x 270, and a profile picture of you - a nice clean smiling head shot is always good. (as above, why not use your LinkedIn picture).

        Screenshot 2014-01-14 13.16.16

      • Telling Your Story ( Google+'s wording for your profile). You have your Tagline which is your elevator pitch, your Introduction (which is the same as the LinkedIn summary) and at the end of the Story is Bragging Rights - go and have a brag about something, you know you want to!
        <Just for reference> Up to the first 77 characters of your introduction will show up in Google+ search results when people are searching for others people with specific keywords in their profiles. The bit that shows up will include the text from your Introduction that most closely matches the search criteria.
      • Ensure you have links to all the pages and web pages from your website, blog, social, email addresses etc.
      • Include all your keywords, synonyms, industries, sectors, job titles you recruit for etc as you would in a really good LinkedIn profile.
      • The Work section allows you to add content for Occupation, Skills and Employment, and as before you can utilise your LinkedIn profile for help in populating these sections.
      • Links is the specific section to add all your social media profiles - so get them all on there!
      • Contact Information - don't be shy here! Remember if you want to be contacted by candidates, recruiters and companies then it always helps to put telephone numbers and email addresses on here. My advice would just to use the public ones already display on job adverts, websites and other profiles.
      • Getting your own personalised vanity Google Plus URL like mine -, requires just a few criteria before Google will issue you with one.
        • You must have a profile photo
        • You must have at least 10 followers
        • Your account must be at least 30 days old
        • Your account must be linked to a website (This is key)

        You will need to have a profile photo, at least 10 followers and an account over 30 days old

  2. Building your own set of Talent Pools - aka Circles. Circles are the Google+ way of 'following' people. You create a Circle, calling it whatever you want as it is private to you (no-one will see it). You can have as many Circles as you like (although there is a limit of 5000 people you can have in your Circles in total). Then you add people to your Circles by mousing over someones profile and ticking a box (it is really easy to do!) So as a recruiter you can set up your Circles for all the candidates sectors/skills/industries you recruit for.
    When you have people in your Circles, you can then share content with them. People will be notified when you have added them to your Circles, but they don't know which Circle or who else is in that Circle with them. They will also be encouraged to add you to one of their Circles.
    This is as easy as it is:
    Screenshot 2014-01-15 18.25.33

    <TIP> If you are still unsure Circles, just think of an analogy with Twitter. Your Followers on Twitter = the people that put you in their Google+ Circles; the people that you choose to add to the Circles = the people you follow on Twitter. I hope that makes it clearer.

  3. Candidate sourcing. This is the one thing about I find the strangest when discussing Google+ with recruiters. It has over half a billion people active on the network in one way or another, and recruiters just dismiss it out of hand. Seriously? Why wouldn't you want access to this huge pool of people?
    So how do search for candidates on LinkedIn?

      • You can use the search bar at the top of Google Plus,clicking on the People and Pages tab at the top, remembering the normal Google search terms you use. For this example I did "marketing Manager" UK.
        Screenshot 2014-01-15 17.52.35

      • Another way would be to do the same search (minus the UK), but click on Communities instead. When you see a Community that looks appropriate, click on it. Then what you want is the Members link - click that and it will show you all the profiles of the members of that Community.
        <TIP> Remember, not everyone joins Communities, so you need to do a search using both methods.
      • Use the x-ray search on Google. It unsurprisingly works very well indeed.
        Just use the usual string..... e.g. “lived * London” “Marketing manager” And of course it works nicely :)
        Screenshot 2014-01-15 18.11.16
  4. Claim Google+ Authorship for the content you create and boost your Google Author rank. (And get your picture appearing in Google search results as below). With Google really focusing on original content in their recent Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird updates with regards to search results quality and SEO, it really makes sense to take visible ownership of the content you create.

    Screenshot 2014-01-15 18.46.16

    You do this by linking your Google+ personal profile to the content you create on your website, blog or any other places you post content i.e guest blogging etc.
    It is easy to set up Authorship, just follow these instructions here.

  5. Tell the world you are now on Google+ and make it easy for them to add you to their Circles. This is really easy to do, as it is all about promoting your presence there using buttons, badges, links and widgets on all your online and offline collateral - website, blog, email footer, LinkedIn, Twitter etc. You can customise your badge or button on the developers page here.

    An alternative is to use a slightly different widget called It pulls your Google+ details, and it adds you latest updates from the site. I really like this as it shows people the types of updates you are sharing which will help someone add you to their Circle.
    It looks like this below. Go on .... add me to one of your Circles by just clicking the blue box below..... you know you want to :)

  6. Engage your Circles with good relevant content. Google+ loves you to share content - not just links to your blog posts like you may do on other social networks, but posts that actually mean something. It also loves visuals - images and videos, as they know how popular they are in terms of shareable types of content.
    When you are posting your content, you have a number of options:
    Screenshot 2014-01-16 08.39.03

    You can share specific content with your individual Circles you have created, which is really useful if you are creating your specialist talent pools. You can share content with all or some of your Circles at the same time, make the post private (only Circles will se it) or public, which means anyone can see it and it will can also be found in searches.
    The big bonus for Google+ from a content sharing platform is that you actually have the power to share your content to your Circles by email (you just tick the box at the bottom as shown above). Just think about that for a moment........ You can add who you like to your Circles AND then you can send them an email direct to their inbox! Brilliant.
    <Word of warning> Google+ allows users to easily block these emails. If you spam people (either with endless jobs, irrelevant content or too frequently) then you are going to encourage them to block your emails. Take a sensible approach and this is a fantastic part of using Google+ for content marketing.

    Now in terms of the best way to post content on Google+ here is some great advice in how to create the perfect Google+ post (full size one here):


    Thanks Dustin Stout for this great graphic.

  7. Use Hangouts as your video platform - it's free and very good indeed. You may already use Skype or Facetime to interview, brief and engage with your candidates, but try Google+ Hangouts. They are superb and have so many uses, and like the others are very easy to use via mobiles and tablets. This is what hangouts can do here.
    From a recruiter perspective they are superb. You can record the Hangouts and then share them on YouTube (if you choose to). You can use them for candidate interactions, client meetings across multiple locations (you can have 10 people in total on the call at any one time), presentations, briefings about jobs, interviewing influencers and industry leaders and then using this content for sharing via social channels, building your brand, products and services awareness as well as creating group Hangouts on specific subjects and publicising them as an event. This is exactly what I took part in yesterday for Colleague on their regular Hangout. I covered this same subject as this post - using Google+ for recruitment. Take a look, as I have embedded the video:

  8. Set up a Google+ Company page. If you have your own company or you work for a company, make sure you get a company page set up. The set up is exactly the same as setting up a personal page, ensuring you maxing out all the things I have written about in this post. This is absolutely essential for SEO purposes with regards to Google and search. It will obviously improve your social footprint, especially from Google's perspective!

    Screenshot 2014-01-16 14.01.11

    Try and make sure that you start posting some content on the page, and don't forget to post a Google+ company page badge, button or link on your website.
    People can add companies to Circles, as your page can add people and companies to your page Circles. So it is also important for branding and marketing, and you may also find that prospective future employees may well be adding your page to their Circles as well.
    <TIP> Even if you plan not to use Google+ within your company for recruiting purposed just yet, take a few hours out now and just set up your page and post a couple of posts. It will help you from Google's perspective.

  9. Join the some of the excellent Google+ Communities. For those of you that remember how good LinkedIn Groups were a few years back, without the endless restrictions and changes they have introduced over the last two years, then you will seriously enjoy Google+ Communities. You can use them in many ways - setting up your own community; actively participating in relevant communities you hav joined, 'source' people (add them to your Circles) from Community Member list or use them to actively network with active members within the Community itself.

    If you are setting up your own community, you can opt for a private or public one, which dictates whether you are visible to anyone including search.

  10. Use these excellent Google+ tools. As with any social media platform, there are many tools that get created to help you get the most out of the different networks - Google+ is no different, and here are some of my current favourites:
      • Hootsuite - this is a well known social media management tool. It allows you to mange your Google+ company page - sharing and scheduling posts without having to leave Hootsuite. Very handy for time management - especially for recruiter.
        <Note> Currently this is only applicable for Pages and not Personal Profiles.
      • Circlecount - an excellent tools that helps you fully understand your Google+ pages, Circles, content etc
      • - it regularly fetches all your publicly published Google+ activity Pages and Personal Profile) and reposts the new ones to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts of your selection, and delayed intervals.
      • Timing+ - helps you decide when it is the best time to post your Google+ content. By analyzing your historical post data, it shows you when you have had the most impact with your posts. This in turn will give you better access to your audience.
      • AllMyPlus - all your Google+ analytics and more. You can input other profile and pages and this site will give you all the analytics on their content, posting and lots more. Excellent tool for competetive analysis in recruitment.
      • RecommendedUsers - good site to look at other Google+ influencers across a number of different industries. Good to get started, but the downside is that the industry subjects are fixed. Worth a look if you are starting off, or if you want to follow some industry leaders on Google+.

So I hope you now realise that Google+ is most definitely worth using for recruitment. I would love to hear about other ways people are using it for recruitment, or any other Google+ tools you use, so share them in the comments.

If you are lucky to be in Calgary, Canada at the Social Recruiting Seminar on the 30th January, then you be hearing me speak more about how Google+ can be used as part of a social recruiting strategy.

And remember, don't forget to check my profile out on Google+ and maybe add me to your Circles.


Contactus2 I work with recruitment agencies and corporates to help them understand and leverage the different social media networks and technologies to improve their recruitment strategy, recruitment process, candidate attraction, employer branding and content marketing strategy. If you require guidance, advice, or maybe a speaker (on Google+ for example) for an event, get in touch today.

X3_rssIf you like reading this blog, then click on the orange RSS icon here and get the latest Sirona Says posts delivered to your RSS reader or your inbox the moment they come out.

January 08, 2014

Does Your Company Still Just Focus On LinkedIn?


Active Social Network Users January 2014

Change is a big word, and for some it is represents pain and discomfort - especially in recruitment. But why change when you can take the easy route every time, knowing that you won't get questioned too often - even if that the chosen route doesn't deliver? This is also call the path of least resistance, and it is a common direction for way too many recruiters!

Well for 2014 change is going to be necessary if you are involved in recruitment. [And that includes me as well - watch this space for my changes for 2014!] The staple social diet of recruiters (both corporates and agencies) - LinkedIn - is the primary professional network that we all utilise for sourcing, networking and business development. However, there are many, many more prospective candidates in other social networks, as demonstrated in the graphic I have put together above. (These latest stats are directly from each of the networks at the end of last year)

The change I refer to is the need to change your mindset. You as a recruiter need to accept that your precious candidates ARE DEFINITELY NOT all just on LinkedIn, and that they will be elsewhere online. They might well be on one of the other huge social networks (like the ones above), or they might be on some niche networks like Stackoverflow, Github, MeetUp etc. So what are you going to do about it?

LinkedIn is a fantastic network, there is no question in that. But you have to change your thinking this year and start to consider other options as to where your prospective candidates are going to be. This is of course going to take a little brain power and some detective work to find this out. There are plenty of tools that can help you do this - Google and Bing would be a good place to start!

Let's take the biggest social network - Facebook. How many of you have tried the truly awesome Facebook Graph search yet? Most recruiters don't even know it exists, and yet this is a tool that searches the whole Facebook Graph - well........ it only has a billion+ people on there, so it probably wouldn't be worth it now, would it!!!
If you still need convincing check out how it works courtesy of Johnny Cambell from Social Talent:

Then we have YouTube - again over a billion monthly users. We all watch videos on there every day, but have you ever used it for sourcing candidates? Why not? It is owned by Google and is in fact the 2nd biggest search engine in the world (behind Google), and it is FULL of searchable data.
Why not sit down with a coffee and do some searching on YouTube - you may just be surprised. The bonus is that YouTube have integrated Google Plus into their comment engine, so it makes getting hold of people easier (via G+ of course!)

Google Plus is the social network that for many seems to have immediate negative vibes the moment it's name gets mentioned. Crazy stuff, because it is a fantastic tool for recruiters. My next post is going to cover Google Plus in more detail so for now, if you haven't looked into G+ yet here is a slide deck on G+ I did last year (some of the graphics have now changed on G+ since then):

There has been much written and posted about using Twitter for recruiting, so by now you should have realised that Twitter should be in your recruiting toolbox. Still not sure - here is a post I wrote for TotalJobs on using Twitter for recruiting.

ChangeThe point of the post is not to tell you which social networks to use, but to encourage you to change your recruiting mindset and approach to how and where you find candidates from. Just think - your competitors could well be reading this and make the decision to make changes for 2014, use new networks and channels and find the candidates you can only dream of finding! The question is, will you make changes and get there first?


Contactus2 I work with recruitment agencies and corporates to help them understand and leverage the different social media networks to improve their recruitment strategy, recruitment process, candidate attraction, employer branding and content marketing strategy. If you require guidance, advice or social recruiting training, get in touch today.

X3_rssIf you like reading this blog, then click on the orange RSS icon here and get the latest Sirona Says posts delivered to your RSS reader or your inbox the moment they come out.

December 19, 2013

♫ It's beginning to look a lot like [insert word] everywhere you go ♫


Screenshot 2013-12-19 07.57.36Picture credit  

If you are anything like me then you have just inserted the Michael Buble disc into your brain, and added the word 'Christmas' into the title of the post. Now (like me) I guarantee you are singing the song - just in case here you go:

I have actually woken up 4 days in a row to this song playing in my head! My daughter calls it dream karaoke singing :-)

Obviously with us being in December and near the end of the year, the inevitable 2014 prediction merry-go-round is in full production, and of course being liberally shared around the social media world - good or bad!Now I don't have an issue with making predictions, as I have to do it (in one way or another) every week working with clients, but some of the crap that is being peddled by bloggers, analysts and industry commentators must be from the 'How To State The Flipping Obvious' book.

So back to Michael for a moment: now insert the words "the same crap" instead of Christmas and sing the song again! If you haven't seen the plethora of these 'How To State The Flipping Obvious' predictions here are some of the ones I have seen:

  1. The top three mainstream social networks for 2014 will be Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. They already are you dummy!
  2. LinkedIn will be the no.1 social network for recruiting in 2014. This is idiot material big style!
  3. The 'war for talent' is back for 2014. It never left us in the first place - there has always been a shortage of in-demand skills.Enough of this tosh already ........

So what can expect to see impact the recruitment industry in 2014? Well whatever it will be it won't be anything that happens fast - it never does in the recruitment industry!

These below are not predictions from me, but the continuation of trends that I have seen and experienced first hand during the second half of 2013. However, I do think they will actually gain traction at a quicker speed than we saw this year.

1. Working-hardRecruiters are going to have work harder and smarter for their placements/hires. With the upturn in hiring levels we are told will be the case in 2014, candidates will have more choice in the marketplace. Fact. So better candidate attraction, sourcing, engagement, employment brand transparency and experience will continue to come under the spotlight for next year. This is not something that is entirely natural to many recruiters, and (I really hope) collaboration across different departs and skills (i.e marketing and HR) will need to become more prevalent.

2. 8020The biggest competitors for third-party (agency) recruiters will be their clients and their target companies - being prompted and nudged by LinkedIn of course! Candidates are available to everyone on LinkedIn  - even with the most basic searching capabilities! It isn't hard for these companies to find the 80% (or more) of candidates that would fill most of their roles, and just leave the 20% (or less) for the agencies. And then when they engage the training of companies like Social Talent and Boolean Strings, the recruiters become very skilled indeed. 

3. GoogleGoogle will make you pay (not in £literal terms) for not updating your recruitment technologies - career sites and mobile sites (or lack of). We have seen Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird have huge impacts on website SEO, and with more candidates turning to Google for that first job search, paying attention to Google (and other search engines) will be critical for next year. How many companies or recruitment companies have still yet to fully embrace Google Plus - even though Google themselves have told you it is important for SEO? I know the answer, and it is a pitifully small number! The thing is, G+ is a brilliant recruitment tool but the trouble is that many recruiters have just dismissed it without even trying to use it.

4. SmediaYou don't have to be on every single social network in 2014 - but you do have to make sure you are active on the social networks where your audience is! But first and foremost you have to actually find that out - and that requires a little homework and (maybe) some help. Many recruiters will still not learn the power of social media next year, posting and spraying their jobs like manure on a farmers field, hoping that something will appear from the mess. But at last some recruitment agencies are now finally waking up and smelling the social media coffee. They are beginning to understand the power of social media for sourcing, engagement and brand building. [Just this week I have spoken to six recruitment agencies, who have now made the strategic commitment to better integrate social media into their day-to-day working - and I suspect there will be more doing it in early 2014 as candidates prove to be more elusive!]

5.  Specialists Specialism will continue to win within recruitment next year - both for recruitment agencies and in-house recruiters. Industry specialists, sector specialists and skill specialists will go from strength to strength next year. Candidates like working with them because of their knowledge, connections and industry understanding. This applies equally to internal recruiters who are focused on delivering specific talent for their internal clients. The best recruiters will combine this specialism with social media and provide real social proof and value for their areas of work for their target audiences.

6. ToleranceClient tolerance levels combined with increased expectations are going to cause a lot of pain for recruiters next year. We have already seen the start of this in 2013. I still believe that many hiring managers and HR people responsible for hiring, think that recruitment is easy. They certainly don’t fully get how hard it is to get the best candidates (which is what they always ask for, of course!), and all the factors that can impact a successful hire process - information, time, speed, feedback etc! Is it down to recruiters to educate their clients accordingly? Of course it is - it always has been, hasn’t it? But too often this gets lost in the process, and all the recruiters are able to do is to feed ‘the online recruitment system’ with CV’s, salary rates and availability! Very frustrating indeed!

7. Smart-Phone-Technology-For-An-Unlikely-AudienceTechnology is still going to be a HUGE FRUSTRATION next year. Too many companies and recruitment agencies have become reliant on crap technology that is still stuck in the 90’s (or worse!). New style systems incorporating CRM, social and engagement functionality are on the market and affordable for most companies. There is no longer an excuse for sticking your head in the sand and accepting the failures of recruitment technology - great technology exists that will immediately help your recruitment process - you just need to be ready to take that first step!

8. SmediaSocial advertising will be taking some of your job advertising next year, as you strive to attract more relevant candidates. With the ability to target large specific audiences on social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc on a PPC basis, more companies (driven by their digital agencies) will be tempted to try this method next year. Beware though - make sure you have a good social strategy and a great mobile enable career site presence in place first, otherwise you will just make yourselves look stupid, and you will waste your money!

9. Cef66eb42d243ef3407329ed08885ffeJob boards will still continue to deliver candidates next year (contrary to some opinion), but maybe not quite so many good ones, until they get their act in order themselves. The one thing I hope does improve next year is the style and quality of the adverts that are getting posted online - way too many are simply s**t (sorry but they are!) We have seen pictures adverts has started to appear more often (such as Jobgram) and I believe we will see the trend continue - especially as they are easily shared across sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram. 

10. Increase-sales-same-store-salesFinally in 2013 we saw increased vacancies and recruitment activities across the industry, which has been superb! I am hoping that this can be sustained (and maybe increased) during the course of 2014.

As I said earlier in the post, these are more observations than predictions based on what I have seen. I think you will agree there is nothing spectacular here, no re-invention of the wheel or no magic space dust, but just a further continuation of an industry that is dealing with the changing times in the way it does best…….. slowly and inconsistently :-))

Here’s to a successful 2014!

Contactus2 I work with recruitment agencies and corporates to help them understand and leverage the different social media networks to improve their recruitment strategy, recruitment process, candidate attraction, employer branding and content marketing strategy. If you require guidance, advice or social recruiting training, get in touch today.

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December 05, 2013

How To Avoid Being a Linkedin Desperate Dan


Desperate DanIf you are looking for a job, should you make it obvious on your LinkedIn profile? More importantly, does it make a difference?

This was a question that one of my blog subscribers in Australia emailed me this week. It is a superb question and one that I get asked a lot by job seekers. After all why shouldn't they advertise the fact they are available for work? Let's have a look at both sides of the discussion.
THE most important part of using LinkedIn is to understand exactly who you are writing your Linkedin profile for. What are your objectives for using LinkedIn? Have you even considered this?
  • Find a new job
  • (And therefore) be found by recruiters
  • Build your network
  • Build your brand
  • Attract new clients
  • Sell your products/services
  • Establish your reputation
  • Maintaining a professional online profile
Now that you (hopefully) have an idea of why you are on LinkedIn, it is time to start thinking about your target audience. How do they use LinkedIn? How do they search? Are they likely to be experienced (and skilled) users? You may think this sounds a bit like mind reading LinkedIn style, but this is the essence of being discovered on LinkedIn.
And you thought using LinkedIn was just about uploading a CV , changing a few things on your profile and then waiting for the phone to ring, or emails to start arriving in your inbox!
I am going to focus on the question in hand from Australia - people looking for a job, both actively and privately (or passively to use LinkedIn's words).
Before we worry about the headline for the moment, it is absolutely essential that you have fully maxed out your profile in every way.
  1. Make sure you have all the relevant keywords (and multiples of them!) in your Summary, Experiences AND Skills. Check this post on keywords out for help if you need it.
  2. Do some quick research on your job title on your current or last employer. Is it commonly used by other people (that do the same or similar jobs as you), or have you got one of those self-indulgent and egotistic titles you have created and no-one in your industry understands? In both cases, change it to 'accepted industry terminology'. Trust me on this one - this is where job title conformity will really help you! Why? Most recruiters are lazy searchers on LinkedIn, and won't take the time to search for weird and wonderful job titles!
  3. You MUST HAVE a kicking headline on LinkedIn to make it very obvious to recruiters as to what you do and what you are. If your LinkedIn headline is a little lame or full of fluffy stuff then read this popular post on getting a good headline.
  4. This is essential - put your contact details at the top of your summary. Email address and phone number, and a blog/website if you have one (including http:// in the URL for iPad users, as these links are clickable on the iPad). This just makes it very easy for people to contact you with the opportunities.
  5. Add some media files to your profile. This helps sell yourself to your audience. Again this must be tailored to your audience - you could post your CV here in PDF, or a short PowerPoint presentation (upload it to Slideshare first and then you just add the link to LinkedIn), talking about your experiences, case studies or projects you have delivered, for example. You can also add video, so if you have been filmed giving a presentation, or you have created films for clients, or you even want to add a video CV, it is easy to do so. Doing this will help make people's decisions on whether to contact you, so make sure they are worth it! You can have multiple files added to the Summary and each of your Job Roles.
  6. Ensure you have recommendations from previous employers and clients - and don't forget to make them visible!
  7. While you may dismiss them as a pain in the **** don't discount the skills and endorsements. Make sure you have all your main keywords listed as skills, and ask people to endorse you for them. There are two reasons for this - firstly these skills are in the search algorithm, and secondly it makes your profile look loads better with peer endorsed skills. 
  8. Find the relevant groups in your industry/sector and join them. This will give you access to like minded and like-skilled people for you to network with and learn from. 
A quick way of doing a test on your profile is to use a tool called Copy and paste all your LinkedIn profile text and then go over to the site. Click on 'Create' on the top and then paste the text into the box. Wordle will produce a word cloud based on your profile. Do all the large words show your main keywords? It should do. If not you might want to go back and 'tweak' your profile and add more of your relevant words.
When you have done all this, then it is time to test what you have done. Ask a friend to do some searching on their LinkedIn for the job titles and keywords that you have included on your profile. Do you start to appear in the searches? As before, if not you might need to 'tweak' things.
When you appear in searches now, you will have a profile that will give you a chance of grabbing the readers attention!
Now we are ready to answer the original question.
'If you are looking for a job, should you make it obvious on your LinkedIn profile?'
There two parts to this answer:
  1. If you are actively looking for a job but currently employed
    This may be obvious but unless you have a desire to cause friction with your current boss, this is not the time to be advertising your availability directly. The trick here is to make sure your profile is really superb and represents yourself in the best possible way. This way, when you start to network and people then check your profile out they will be impressed with what they see. (Just don't forget to include your contact details on your profile, so they can contact you!)

  2. If you are not working and need a job/contract/role now
    DanjpgWhat you need to avoid is the impression that you are desperate for a job - you may well be, but keep your LinkedIn integrity here, you don't want to be a Desperate Dan!
    Make sure you still tell people what you do in the headline - keywords etc - but my advice is to leave a little space for a simple statement of availability such as:
      • Available Now
      • Contract just finished
      • Available for new contract
      • Seeking new role
      • Available from <insert month>
What you must remember is that just because you are telling people you are available, it doesn't mean you will get that call! You still have to have a great profile with all the relevant skills and keywords on it. All you are doing by putting 'available now' is to get their attention -  you have to back up your 'own promo' work!

I will just repeat this absolutely crucial part of this again......... IF YOU WANT PEOPLE TO CONTACT YOU then make sure you have a phone number and email address very clearly presented at the top of your summary!

So if you are looking for a new job for next year - I wish you well :-)


Contactus2 I work with recruitment agencies and corporates to help them understand and leverage the different social media networks to improve their recruitment strategy, recruitment process, candidate attraction, employer branding and content marketing strategy. If you require guidance, advice or social recruiting training, get in touch today.

X3_rssIf you like reading this blog, then click on the orange RSS icon here and get the latest Sirona Says posts delivered to your RSS reader or your inbox the moment they come out.

November 13, 2013

How To Make Your Recruitment Day More Effective Using Social Media Technologies


There are many ways that you can save yourself time and effort in recruitment. Social media has helped this with many tools, tricks and technologies. Yesterday I had the pleasure of sharing a number of these at the UK Recruiter Conference organised by Louise Triance in London.

I started the slides with the simple analogy above - even with all the technology you could ever want, you still have to to the job you are there for - speaking to people and recruiting. Or in the picture above, it doesn't matter how much technology you have in the car, you still have to actually drive it!

Here are the slides from the presentation - How to make your recruitment day more efective using social media technologies.


 If you would like me to speak at your event and share great content with your audience, - give me a call or drop me an email, and let's have a chat.


Contactus2 I work with recruitment agencies and corporates to help them understand and leverage the different social media networks to improve their recruitment strategy, recruitment process, candidate attraction, employer branding and content marketing strategy. If you require guidance, advice or social recruiting training, get in touch today.

X3_rssIf you like reading this blog, then click on the orange RSS icon here and get the latest Sirona Says posts delivered to your RSS reader or your inbox the moment they come out.

November 06, 2013

Can You Use SocialDNA To Make Your Social Recruiting More Effective?


Social dna

Is there anyone you know that doesn't have some form of a digital footprint? (I have actually only ever found one person I know that had no presence anywhere online!) Most people now have at least one online social profile - LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, G+, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, etc  - maybe some you have even forgotten about! Remember that time you created a blog to write that one post and never wrote another? Google hasn't!!
Most people have got some kind of digital skeleton in their online closet, and even if it locked down for privacy purposes (let them believe that, it makes them happier!), your digital footprint has been left - this is the start of your SocialDNA.

But can these social profiles - your #SociaDNA - be used by companies to help them identify new potential talent for their companies? Can you use SocialDNA to make your social recruiting more effective? 

For the last couple of years, three companies have been trying to unravel this social DNA. They have been trying to understand how content, interactions, engagement and type of social network used can provide indicators as to peoples social influence, knowledge and ability. 


This would of course prove incredibly useful for companies looking to recruit people who have social media involvement within their jobs. For example, if you were hiring a marketing manager that requires good social media experience, you would expect them to have a strong SocialDNA. This would be picked up by one of the tools shown above (or should be) - Kred, Klout or PeerIndex - and indicated with a score. The level of score (all have different scoring systems) would then give you a guide as to their level of SocialDNA. A low score or no score at all, would indicate that they are not very active on social media, and maybe not right for your role.
If you haven't seen these before ( and there are still many of you I believe), these are what they look like:
Screenshot 2013-11-06 09.56.05
Any of you that use will have already seen this in action. Have you ever wondered what the red shape with a number in is on the Twitter website? Well this is actually your Klout score. It uses ' 400 signals from 8 social networks' to produce your social score out of 100. In my case it is currently 66 (the top image above).
This is great in theory, but there is however a big '?' here with regards to these three products. You see this thing called SocialDNA is incredibly complex.It utilises huge data sets - what is referred to as big data - complex calculations, semantic technologies and some very clever people to give you what is currently in place today.
For example, what determines if you are influential to people (in the social world)? Is it frequency of activity on the social networks, the type of content you share, the followers you have, the people that share your content (and their level of influence), the communities you are involved in, the types of networks you are part of, or any other of the myriad of data points there are in the social media world?
As I said it is complicated.
To date each of the three companies above have been openly ridiculed across the social web, for 'supposedly in-accurate' levels of influence across different subjects. The most famous was when Justin Bieber was hailed as the most influential person on social media!!  The fact is he might well have been to young teenage girls, but across the whole of social media? I don't think so! (And neither did all the people that took to channels like Twitter to voice the same opinion!) The problem with this is that it did little for the credibility of these tools! And here lies the one big problem……… credibility.
For these three tools (and others out there) there needs to be a consistency around the weighting of the results that we see. It isn't about just one social network, or frequency of updates or any one of a number of a criteria........ it is about all of them ..... but in the right balance - the weighting.
I don't think we have seen this to date with their results. This is going to take time.
John Sumser came up with a perfect answer with regards to this: "It took scientists many years to unravel DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid), but they got there in the end (and they are still learning about it!). The journey to unravel social DNA has only just begun, but be in no doubt that over the next few years, companies like Kred, Klout and Peerindex WILL get to understand people's social DNA and it's power in influence and decision making"

So let me go back to the point of the post. Can you use these (or other tools) to help you make a recruitment decision? In my opinion for some sectors, yes they can be very useful, but only as an indicator at this stage. If you are recruiting roles that need social media as part of them - sales, marketing, technology and recruitment - then maybe you should be keeping an eye on these platforms for the future. As an indicator they will give you a good idea if they are active on and have a presence on social media. So they would be useful. But I wouldn't be basing a hiring decision fully on how big their number is just yet!
Your social DNA is only going to grow and become more complex, so it is going to be really interesting to see how companies learn to de-construct it's different constituent parts for all our benefit! And the great thing about this sector is that it is improving every single week, with more and more brain cells, computing powers and (of course) money being used to help unravel our SocialDNA. Exciting times.


Parts of this post were originally included in a post I wrote for the HR Tech blog.


Contactus2 I work with recruitment agencies and corporates to help them understand and leverage the different social media networks to improve their recruitment strategy, recruitment process, candidate attraction, employer branding and content marketing strategy. If you require guidance, advice or social recruiting training, get in touch today.

X3_rssIf you like reading this blog, then click on the orange RSS icon here and get the latest Sirona Says posts delivered to your RSS reader or your inbox the moment they come out.

October 30, 2013

There Is No Excuse For Recruiters Posting Jobs Like This Anymore


Candidates never forget
What is THE most important thing to recruiters - you know the one thing they just cannot do without? It shouldn't be a hard question to answer........... candidates. So, why is it then there are still many recruiters (both internal and agency side) that do their best to try and alienate the lifeblood of their careers?

Let me share with you what got me started this morning. This footer was on the bottom of a job advert from a well known recruitment company:

"Please be aware we receive a high volume of applications for every role advertised & regularly receive applications from candidates who exceed the job credentials. We will only contact you within the next 14 days if you are selected for interview."

What an utter cop-out!

What they really mean is this:

"We are so arrogant and full of ourselves we can't be bothered to take the time to engage with the one thing that makes us all our money - you the candidate. We don't care about you and quite frankly you are lucky to even have a conversation with us. Yes we have the technology to communicate with you, but why should we bother? We don't need you - you need us, so suck it up and just apply to the next job instead. You might be lucky then (or then again maybe not!)"

At a time when everyone in the recruitment industry is talking about candidate experience - shouldn't this be consigned to the deleted folder?

Everyone involved in recruitment knows there is acute skill shortages in many sectors again. Candidates are back in the driving seat and in many cases have multiple offers on the table for interviews and jobs. So why would you distance yourself and alienate yourself (as a recruiter) from potential candidates for your roles? It just doesn't make sense - especially when you consider that you can use technology to eradicate this very easily.
Every company now uses recruitment systems, and even they don't (and are still using the recruiters favourite, the spreadsheet), they all use email systems like Outlook and GMAIL. ALL of these recruitment systems allow you to reply to applicants to jobs - yes, even Outlook. 

Whether you choose to set up an auto-response (via your recruitment system) to candidates (set up for either an immediate or delayed response) or whether you choose to do a bulk (bcc!) email response at the end of each day it doesn't matter. The fact is this should be the absolute minimum action you should do as a recruiter

I know that it is impossible to deal with 300 applicants you get for those popular roles, by calling all the applicants or emailing them personally. The candidates don't necessarily all expect that. But surely out of professional courtesy (you are a recruitment professional aren't you?), these people who have taken the time to apply to the job you posted for them to apply to, deserve at least a response from you? 

For every candidate you ignore, or don't get back to or treat with arrogance (as above), there will be maybe 5-10 other people that these candidates will speak to and tell them the experience they had with your company. Heck, they might even share it on their social networks! All for the sake of you being lazy with your process and technology.

So then think ahead to the next job you have - do a search for on your system. One of these candidates you ignored the first time could be right for the next role. They won't forget you ignored them the first time. But imagine if you had treated them properly? They would remember you then for the right reasons, and suddenly the conversation is so much more positive - and even if they aren't right they may well then be happy to share some referrals!

If you think I am being over dramatic - trust me I'm not. The BIGGEST complaint from candidates is exactly this - they send applications and CV's in for jobs and NEVER hear another word from the company or recruitment agency ever again.

The same applies for each stage of the recruitment process as well. Whether you interview these candidates, keep them on hold in the process as backup, reject them or the roles get put on hold, you must keep the communication consistent throughout the whole process - verbal and written.

And remember, candidates are like elephants - they never forget! The next time they are looking for a job, a friend wants a recommendation of who to apply to, or even when that candidate moves into a hiring role, they won't forget their own recruitment experience with your company. As the market gets even tighter over the next few years, this could make all the difference! 



Contactus2 I work with recruitment agencies and corporates to help them understand and leverage the different social media networks to improve their recruitment strategy, recruitment process, candidate attraction, employer branding and content marketing strategy. If you require guidance, advice or social recruiting training, get in touch today.

X3_rssIf you like reading this blog, then click on the orange RSS icon here and get the latest Sirona Says posts delivered to your RSS reader or your inbox the moment they come out.

October 23, 2013

Is This What The Recruiter Of Tomorrow Will Look Like?


Keep calm
If you were hiring a new recruiter next week, what skills would you want them to have? This is not a trick question at all - ask the same question just two years ago and the answer would have been vastly different to today, in my opinion.

Firstly, let me just cover off all the stuck-in the-mud 'traditional' recruiters who will read this post and immediately say that nothing in recruitment has changed, social media hasn't changed anything in recruitment and the world hasn't gone mobile (even though said recruiters use them every day!) To those, I recommend going off and reading something from Christopher Columbus, where you will be surprised to hear the world isn't flat! 

For the enlightened, you have all realised that the world of work has been quickly evolving over the last few years. Without going into huge amounts of detail, we have seen social media, mobile, skill shortages (globally), fast moving technology advancements, candidate empowerment and of course financial challenges have huge impacts on recruitment strategies and processes. Surely it would then be naive to think that the roles of recruiters have therefore stayed the same?

When I was asked to present a subject called The Future Of Recruitment down in New Zealand earlier this month, it got me thinking about the role of the recruiter and the different skills they now need to have in this changing business world.
So here are some of the skills I believe it is going to essential for recruiters to have in the (not so distant) future: 

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 08.56.271. Sales and marketing skills. Recruitment is sales and marketing - it always has been. Don't be under any illusion here you should be selling and marketing ALL THE TIME as a recruiter.First, as a recruiter talking to clients (existing and new) you are selling/marketing yourself, your brand and (hopefully) prospective candidates; secondly, you are then selling/marketing job opportunities to candidates (again, hopefully); thirdly, you are marketing your brand, company and yourself via your website, job board advertising and every time you post an update on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google plus etc. Now hopefully this is a skill that all recruiters have in abundance right now - although I am somehow not entirely convince about this!

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 08.56.372. Candidate networks building skills. I have resisted to use the 'trendy' term candidate communities/pool because I think that just confuses people as to what they really are, or really should be. I like to describe it better as specialist candidate networks, focused around the skills that you (as a recruiter) typically recruit for.
These are the future lifeblood of a recruiter (and have also been the main secret behind top billing recruiters), and as above should be being done already. When you specialise in a sector/industry you need to know (have access to) all the candidates that have the skills you want. It doesn't matter if they are currently working and not looking for a move now, as they will one day. You need to be known as the go-to recruiter in your industry/sector. if you are still unsure if you are doing this, ask yourself if you can answer yes to these ten defining points here.

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 08.56.463. Candidate sourcing skills. More and more companies are learning how to do direct resourcing more effectively. They are taking the 'low-hanging fruit' away from you and are placing adverts on job boards, LinkedIn, career sites and social networks directly. In many instances clients have told me they aim to recruit 80% (or higher) of their roles directly either now or in the near future, themselves. Where does that leave recruiters? 
It means that they need to be able to actually add real value to their clients, and either find candidates in places that the clients won't look or use skills that the clients don't possess. Just searching on LinkedIn won't cut it anymore - don't you think the clients don't know that's where many of your candidates come from? Also don't be under any illusions that LinkedIn are not selling that fact to them directly! You need to learn new skills and source candidates in different places - different social networks, develop niche referral channels, and find the places where the candidates actually are. 

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 08.57.074. Social media skills. Yes you may well be on LinkedIn, but are you using it well enough? This may shock you(!) to know that many candidates are not on LinkedIn and (worse), many with desired skills are starting to remove their profiles from the network, because of being hassled by recruiters! How many other social networks are there where these candidates can go? How many of these are you active on? I thought so! 
Now I am certainly not saying you have to be on all the social networks out there, that would be impossible. But you must be on the social networks where your target candidates are.
You have to take the time to find this out, and you must then get active on them. And I don't mean then just posting jobs like a muppet, you should be connecting with them, sharing insights and content (below) and developing relationships with that community. Like no.2 above, you become the go-to person in that community because you have built trust and an industry reputation. 

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 08.56.575. Content production skills. Let's me be very clear here  - I am not saying you have to suddenly become a prolific blogger overnight. That is not going to happen. What I am saying is that you, as a a specialist in your sector/industry, should be sharing content that is relevant to your specific audience. Now this may well be as simple as just sharing other people's good blog posts, articles, videos etc via the social channels you use. You can get some good pointers here - what do recruiters tweet, post and share - that might help you. Technology can help you manage this (and your time) very effectively. Tools like Buffer, Feedly and Hootsuite will really help you manage this and help you automate some of the process.

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 09.49.346. Contractor management skills.
With the need for skills becoming critical in many areas, companies are turning more and more to hiring contractors, interims and temporary workers. If you are a recruiter that has not before recruited and managed these types of candidates then these skills need to be learnt quickly. I bet you have already been asked by your clients for contractors where permanent skills are just not available  quickly enough. Sometime managing contractor/interims and temporary workers is really like trying to herd cats - many never do what you expect them to! I know this from many years of managing these areas in my recruitment past! If you work for a big agency or an RPO, then you will no doubt pass these 'temp roles' to your colleagues, but if you are an SME or even an in-house recruiter, then these may well be new challenges for you. Take the time to get advice from experienced recruiters and don't ever be afraid to ask for help.

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 08.57.247. Keep up to date with technologies. Obviously I don't think for one second we will all be using Google Glass in recruiting in the near future - but one day I am sure! Seriously though, technology is moving so fast, you have to find some way of keeping up with it. Why? Because it can help you in your job. It may be a new iPhone/Android mobile app, new sourcing technology, content aggregating platform, recruitment reporting tool, new recruitment platform, candidate management tool or something else equally exciting. This isn't about being nerdy, it is about being clever. Why not adopt technologies and tools that will help you do your job better, find more candidates and build your future candidate pipelines? 
Use tools like Feedly, Flipboard, Twitter and Pulse to keep you up to date with technologies. The more you read, the more you will find out what is useful and can be applied to recruiting. 

I hope I have stimulated your thinking for other skills you will need to have as a recruiter. Will you need all of them? Well I guess that depends on your role and where you work. But I do believe that between you and your fellow recruitment team colleagues (in-house or agency) you will need to cover them all off!



Contactus2 I work with recruitment agencies and corporates to help them understand and leverage the different social media networks to improve their recruitment strategy, recruitment process, candidate attraction, employer branding and content marketing strategy. If you require guidance, advice or social recruiting training, get in touch today.

X3_rssIf you like reading this blog, then click on the orange RSS icon here and get the latest Sirona Says posts delivered to your RSS reader or your inbox the moment they come out.

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