How has Covid Impacted Recruiting Globally?

With 2020 slowly coming to end I’ve decided to reflect on my experience. The recruiting industry faced many challenges this year from working remotely, to hiring freezes, to dealing with a global pandemic. Recruiters have faced a ton of challenges this year.

Virtual Interviewing

At the beginning of March many countries went into full lockdowns. With that many businesses for the first time allowed employees to work fully remotely. For my team, it might have shifted from doing in-person final round interviews to conducting those interviews over Zoom calls. 

Employment Branding

Recruiters had to shift away from in person interviews and this impacted how to sell a company’s culture and environment. Employment branding had to quickly be utilized for company brands. I had the opportunity to interview Zack Gallinger on this topic.

I’ve spoken with a lot of recruiters over the past few months and there is no question that virtually everyone is struggling. The recruiters that have maintained the most business are those that have a strong unique selling proposition (USP). A unique selling proposition is a “unique benefit exhibited by a company, service, product or brand that enables it to stand out from competitors.” 

Challenging Job Market

We’ve had to continuously change our process to deal with this bullish candidate market. Majority of candidates are requesting fully remote roles. It’s tough if your company does require even relocation. 

Predicting 2021

In 2021, companies will still be on edge. Many will still be on hold and cautious to hiring. Hopefully, by mid-year thing’s will calm down and go back to normal after a vaccine is widely distributed globally. 

I’ve predicted other changes for the upcoming year and how Covid will impact things below: 

About the Author

Jonathan Kidder, AKA the “Wizard Sourcer,” is a top-ranked technical talent sourcing recruiter, staffing expert, and corporate trainer who assists organizations of all sizes in identifying and attracting top talent. A wizard at harnessing the power of social networking, Boolean strings, search aggregators, deep web searching, scrapers, and other advanced technology tricks and tools. In 2015, he founded a recruiting blog called WizardSourcer. Which has become one of leading knowledge resources for recruiters online. His mission is simple: To help Recruiters and Talent Sourcers stay updated on the latest sourcing trends within our community.


Top 5 most in demand skills in Ireland right now

What are the Top 5 most in demand skills in Ireland February 2017?Top 5 most in demand skills in Ireland right now


Director, AWS HR (Amazon) is the job I would like!


Just found an interesting HR Director job advertised by Amazon Ireland. I really, really like it, and I think it would be good for it myself! I do not think Amazon is ready to go outside of the box and hire people like me for a role like that. Could I be wrong? Corporations might be screaming the word “Diversity” but leadership roles rarely get filled by really embracing it. Foreign accents are absent in boardrooms in Ireland. And that is exactly what an HR Director should work on! Chicken or egg situation isn’t it? :)

Anyway, I love the job description! It is slightly messy, someone was editing it a lot, so paragraph titles do not correspond much to the text beneath them – Benefits is the best example. But it does show a high level of creativity, a lot of care and, above all: modern thinking!

I wonder if the recruiter receiving applications, will simply decline all applicants without “HR Director” as a current title? Will they look for credentials as opposed to experience? Will they look for school grades or charisma – that is one of the top requirements of a great HR Director? I don’t know…

Anyway, I like it and wish all the best to who gets it. I’ll just be singing Ray Charles – It Should Have Been Me

Here is a cool job advertisement:
Director, AWS HR

Job description
Position Summary

The Head of HR, Amazon Web Services (AWS) Ireland carries a critical role in managing Amazon’s human capital capability and requires a progressive, data-driven, customer-obsessed Human Resources Leader. This role will be pivotal in scaling an innovative, groundbreaking business.


Direct responsibilities include providing support to a diverse set of businesses represented across the AWS businesses. The population is varied with a strong technical orientation – this includes data centre technicians working shift patterns, field workers, technical customer services and contractors. The Human Resources team consists of HR Business Partners supported by HR Shared Services, with indirect responsibilities including Web Consumer, Kindle and Ireland Compensation & Benefits.

The position is based in Dublin, Ireland. It will report into the Head of HR, EU AWS.

Key Responsibilities

Day To Day, This Person Will
Provide strong HR leadership and direction to HR business partners and Talent Acquisition teams in Ireland
Earn trust as a partner to the Ireland Leadership Teams, EU as well as global HR Team and beyond
Contribute to EU and global HR team, working beyond a local remit; will be recognized as having added value to the business, not just HR, by business unit and functional heads even outside the core geographies;
Be known for setting HR goals that are based on business drivers and ensuring HR is always looking for underlying people issues to help solve business challenges.
Interact and build strong, productive relationships with Amazon UK Corporate, Operations, Kindle and Digital
Manage and further build a strong, structured HR team with succession bench strength; identify, attract and develop new HR talent and provide a clear roadmap to progress further

Focus and Deliverables for the First 12 Months

Further develop and coach the existing HR team to grow further and provide best-in-class HR business partner service to their clients
Act as counselor and trusted advisor to the Ireland Senior Leadership Team, coaching them to hone leadership skills
Build global relationships with other HR partners and business heads; will be recognized as having added value to the business, not just HR, by business unit and functional heads in all geographies
Will have ‘moved the needle’ in Ireland through innovation; will have produced and developed programs to provide measurable results– by time saved, revenue added etc.
Impact the role of the EU HR Leader through questioning perceived norms, bringing original perspectives to existing challenges and trying new methods to achieve results

Ideal Candidate Profile

University degree required
MBA, additional technical or analytical qualification ideal but not essential
Fluent English is required


The ideal candidate will be an experienced leader with a reputation for hiring and developing the best teams and taking brave and innovative talent decisions. They will have earned the trust of executives, peers and teams through challenging preconceived norms to add value to a business beyond a pure human capital remit, developing programs that yield measurable change. Possessing natural gravitas and credibility, the ideal candidate will have a proven track record of acting as a counsellor and sounding board to CEOs or MDs and will be recognized for providing guidance that is indispensable in critical decision making.


They will have built deep relationships across cultural boundaries with both the business and peers within a global, senior HR team and will be respected for approaching challenges with original thinking, penetrating insight and tenacity. They may well also be a subject matter expert in a human capital discipline such as Learning & Development, Talent Management or Compensation and Benefits. Experience of American corporate culture or post-merger / acquisition integration environments may also be beneficial.

The Head of HR, AWS Ireland will be a natural ‘strategic do-er’ who will balance execution strength with strategic insight and may have had previous experience with an online or a game changing organization. They will thrive in fast paced, data-driven environments and will have excellent communication and presentation skills, able to ‘zoom-in and zoom-out’ of detail while not losing sight of bigger-picture objectives. They will have a preference for fact-based decision making, be numerate, write well and quickly and be able to effortlessly influence across cultures.
Team leadership; will have developed a best-in-class HR team, preferably in an international role
Will have worked in an international, matrixed environment, preferably online
Will be adept at coaching; direct but subtle at all levels
Will have operated at pace; preferably in an organization experiencing hyper-growth in new markets
Will have delivered change and measurable results in environments with high levels of ambiguity where proven structures or complete data are not the norm

Professional Qualities

Professional Traits That Are Not Unique To This Position, But Necessary For Amazon Leaders
Is a great people manager that understand to further build, develop and motivate a great team
Is highly analytical and structured
Thinks strategically and long term, but can also dive deep and stays on top of tactical execution
Exhibits excellent business judgment
Create an environment where innovative drive is fostered
Is a superb negotiator, at ease sitting down with top level executives with vendors and manufacturers
Has relentlessly high standards
Is action and results oriented

It should have been me….


Ireland’s Best Job Opportunities

irelands best job opportunities

If you ask students in Ireland what companies provide the best opportunities you get some very interesting results!

Here are the top ten companies Irish IT students would like to work for:

1 Google
– Not a surprise. They have the tallest building in Dublin located in Dublin Docklands, area admired by cool young people.

2 Apple
– I got the new iPhone for 18th birthday and unfortunately the glass got broken on the party the same evening.

3 Microsoft
– Sound choice for Southsiders. There is even a parking space for every employee.

4 Intel
– Well there needs to be a space for the gadget geeks.

5 Facebook
– Got to “Like” it.

6 Boston Scientific
– I never actually got what these guys do?

7 Samsung
– Yeah, I hate Apple fanboys (and my iPhone broke on my 18th birthday…)!

8 Boeing
– Now that is surely caused by traumas from a childhood spent in cheap Ryanair flights.

– Didn’t know that crowd is still around.

10 Disney
– These guys are doing a really early start of their recruitment milk round. No wonder some students never shake it off.


Recruitment Video NASA Style

I wrote various blog posts about the use of video in recruitment. I am not talking here about the video interviewing products, but creating the employment branding videos.

What NASA just published is simply great!


You are in the driving seat of your career

The youth unemployment is still in the double digits numbers in almost all European countries. The recession is slowly receding and there are positive signs all over. The US stock market is at it’s highest numbers ever, the oil price is on the other end of the scale, and that is all helping the economy – increasing your chances to land in a job you wanted!

You are in a  driving seat of your career 1

One thing was the truth before the recession, during it and is still very much the truth now: You are in the driving seat of your career! If you want to become a Formula 1 driver you need to start somewhere. here is a local Driving Lessons school in Dublin. If you don’t do all you can to land it that dream job of yours, it very unlikely to happen. Why? There are plenty of of the colleagues of your yours who WILL do all they can to compete with you for the same job. The one who puts the most effort, and does it best will land in the best job. Will it be you? If you do all you can, you will get a job you deserve!

The most important is not to give up. Not to give up before you even started. The job will not come to you, you have to go and get it. Remember, even in the worst European economies, the majority of graduates do get a job almost straight out of college. Why do they get it? Because they have done something about it. They went out, looked around, found what they wanted and did all they could to land in their desired role.

And so should you.

Sending your application and the CV via the job sites, in the comfort of your home is far them enough nowadays. Uploading your CV to the CV databases and waiting to be found, rarely ever works any more. Having the perfect LinkedIn profile is nice, but itself usually does absolutely nothing for your career, especially in the early stages of it. Recruiters are sourcing for the experience that simply isn’t there on your LinkedIn profile.


Ireland is the 4th best country at attracting migrants with university degrees

Ireland is the 4th best country at attracting migrants with university degrees, according to the OECD data.

Ireland is the 4th best country at attracting migrants with university degrees

With that in mind, can you believe there are still companies in Ireland who what to hire only the local candidates? Talking about the missed opportunity and losing a competitive advantage.


Make the most of your cover letter

I don’t think it is fair to say that a cover letter can get you a job on its own, however, it can definitely get you an interview. If after the interview process it is between to very closely matched candidates, the recruiter may refer back to the cover letters and that could sway their decision.
A cover letter is a great tool to highlight what you can’t fit into your CV, so make the most the opportunity to showcase your talents and don’t waste it.

What is the recruiter looking for
You as a candidate need to identify what a recruiter is looking for in a candidate, a job spec should be able to tell you this along with a quick look at the company website. Your cover letter should then highlight what you have done in your career and the benefit you would be to the company.

Highlight why you have chosen their company
We all know the situation when we meet somebody for the first time and all they do is talk about themselves, well don’t fall into that same trap. Explaining why you have chosen a particular company will give you a chance to highlight the research you have done on the company. It can help give you an advantage over other candidates by allowing you to explain why your skills and competencies are a close fit for what the company is looking for.

Personalise your cover letter
Sometimes a personal touch on a cover letter can make you stand out from the crowd, for example, “After living in Australia for 3 years I am really looking forward to moving home and working in a full-time job”. This can show recruiters the human side to your CV and it can also indicate to them that a person is serious about finding a good job and they are willing to work hard.

Make the recruiter want to keep reading
Your key objective is to capture the recruiter’s imagination so that they want to keep reading. A good idea is to highlight something that you have done such as “I increased turnover in our department by 15% in my first two months”, immediately you will have captured the recruiter’s imagination and the first thing they are going to want to know is how you did this.

The whole purpose of a cover letter is to get you an interview and if you can get the recruiter’s attention and they are willing to meet you, then you have succeeded in your task.

This post is written by the staff of: Skillda Careers – a leading careers website providing you with tips and advice to ensure your success in the jobs market.


Recruitment video done right!

When you combine a lot of creativity, technology, great skills and passion, you crate the great stuff! Here is a sample of such great stuff from my friends in Ericsson.



Merry Christmas from Computerfutures!

Good people from Computer futures have sent me some great muffins. Thanks, guys!

It’s not that often that I get branded food! I like it!

computer features 3


Are Recruiters any different than Irish Economists?

In the video below David McWilliams talks about the Irish economists (and the average punters!). He talks how we humans make decisions completely irrationally. Both the masses and the professionals – Economists.

It just stuck me how applicable is this to the Recruitment Industry. Regardless of all the recruitment processes we have implemented the decision who gets a job or not is at the end down to a human.

Just remember to replace the Economist with the Recruiter while watching the video below and see how applicable it is!

Do you still believe in the rejection,…. oops sorry – selection process?

Blogs Career Jobs Recruitment

JobBridge could only work if…

With JobBridge in the news again I couldn’t resist to clearly put myself in the ranks of those who are against it. Not like the Socialist Pary members like Paul Murphy MEP who writes JobBridge to nowhere! (I like the article!), but quite close to it. The internship scheme is a good idea and could work quite well if done right. The one we have today is very, very far from it. It is no surprise it is causing such all these troubles for the government, with the majority of people expressing themselves unusually vocally about it. And the majority of the votes are the NO votes for the national internship programme.

The internship programme could actually work well. If… If the rules are set right. Imagine that a company can ONLY get an intern if the intern will be doing exactly what the company specialises in, and if the intern will learn skills during the internship that will make him the very attractive hire for the same company he got an internship from? To put this in real life example the rules should look somewhat like this:

1. No internships for the jobs that are paid minimum wage (by that same company). Why? The government has a chance to get unemployed placed in the job and it should aim highest possible paid ones.
2. Internship can be offered where the work performed is one of the core skills of the company. A marketing company can have a marketing intern, not a web designer. A web design company can have a web designer as an intern, not a marketing person. Why? Simply because the internship is there for the intern to learn.
3. Strictly no receptionist, admin, PA, and similar internships.
4. A company must provide a Mentor for the intern. Such a mentor should prove he/she will dedicate 10% of the working time to the Intern for the training. A mentor must be a senior staff member (in years of experience) and have the skills relevant to the internship.

The internship should be exactly the same as the initial training a new hire gets in the first few months on the job. It would give the company an extended period to test and try the intern before they make a hire. A trained intern after 6 months of the internship should be a far more interesting hire than a new candidate since the company has already invested in the intern who is ready to start the work immediately (or has been doing it for the months already).

Wouldn’t this make far more sense than the Internship programme we have today?

Blogs Internet LinkedIN Recruitment Recruitment Agency Social Recruitment Twitter

What is The Recruitment Unconference?

What is a recruitment conference? We all know the answer to that. It is a large meeting where a number of people (one by one) speak to the group. There are short breaks in between speakers, for the people get a coffee and network.

Who comes to the conference?

Speakers – are people presenting. Salespeople presenting how their solutions, products or services changed the industry for the better.

Delegates – people who sit, listen, take notes and have coffee in the breaks. Delegates are quite often people who are looking for a new job. They look around what else is there. Some attendees are there because they are sent there by their employers. They have to attend one or two of those a year. You can see them leaving quickly after the last presentation, to catch some time off for an afternoon shopping or something alike.

What is Recruitment Unconference?

Recruitment Unconference is a gathering of recruiters with the social media rules applied. There are no speakers. There are no delegates. Just recruiters who can behave as they do in the social media: lead conversations, contribute, listen, move to another room/topic, network or just have a coffee. Yes, there is a coffee here as well!

It is list Facebook or Twitter really. Everyone can talk about anything they want to really. Everyone can listen (follow/connect) whoever they choose. Anyone can comment, contribute and even ‘take over’ the conversation. Anyone can change the topic. Anyone can. And everyone is invited to do exactly that! Everyone is asked to contribute. Everyone’s opinion is asked for in a discussion on every topic he is physically present at.

Now that we know what the Recruitment Unconference is, let’s check on how the most popular one actually functions in the recruitment industry. This brings us to its founder @BillBoorman and his unconference events taking place around the globe. They are called TRU for The Recruitment Unconference. After the three characters, there is a name of the city or country the event is in. So you have TRULondon, TRUDublin and similar. If an event is held multiple times in the same city the name also gets a number Like TruDublin4. This is to form a hashtag for Twiter. Why is Twitter important? Well, the usual ways of communication like email and phone are one to one or one to many (mailing lists). The Unconference is different because everyone is welcomed to contribute. So social media is a place to look for any info (or post any info!) about the recruitment unconference.

Since the recruiters who attend the unconference are (in most cases) the natural users of the social media, they post their thoughts especially on the Twitter, as it is the fastest channel, in real-time during the unconference. They all use the hashtag so it is really simple to follow what anyone is tweeting about. That usually is a reflection on what is spoken about. You can usually follow multiple discussions from the same conference at the same time. What is the best about it is that anyone on Twitter can contribute to those discussions by using the same unconference hashtag. This makes the discussions leave the room and go out to social media. There the discussions get the life of their own.

The format that Bill has made for this TRU events is the following. There is a quick opening. The bigger the conference the quicker it is, since the larger the crowd is the harder it is to keep them quiet. Remember those are not your Delegates. These people are here to participate.


Bill usually announces the tracks (topics) that will be discussed in different rooms. He also announces who is the track leader for each topic. That is usually an expert in that field. Or a recruiter who wants to share the recent experience with some new tool used for the recruitment, and ask for feedback. Depending on the size of the unconference there are usually 3 tracks running in parallel. They are held in separate rooms. Anyone can choose any track and even move to another track whenever they choose. Bill himself would for example move quite often from a track to track, hopping from a conversation to another and contributing to each one he hops in. Sometimes he would also bring the relevant points being made in another track that is happening in parallel.

As social media is not for everyone, the recruitment unconference is not for everyone as well. Some people prefer to be delegates rather than to participate. Social is not for everyone. The anti-social or traditional conference is not for everyone as well. People discovered they can apply the social media rules to the conference and that some types of conferences the social conference or the unconference is a much better format. Hence the recruitment unconference TRU that @BillBoorman started 5 years ago in London has spread to a long list of counties on different continents. Recruiters themselves found the unconference format to work better than the speaker-delegate format. Not all of the recruiters that is. But the recruiters that understood the social media and found the way how to use it for recruitment.

The #TRU in the City near YOU!

The recruitment unconference, the #TRU will come to the city near you if it didn’t already. You will not find a flyer in your post with a list of fabulous speakers. There is not even a list of delegates. To be honest not even flashing your own business card is a welcome gesture. Connection on LinkedIn and Facebook or Follow on Twitter is on the other hand. If you are a delegate type, trust me, it’s not for you. Where you will find about #TRU is in the social media channels, and there only. On Bill’s Blog as well. And from there to hashtags on Twitter. While I am writing this the #TruHelsinki is on right now. Guess what it is all on social media in real-time as well. You can follow it here:!/search/?q=%23TruHelsinki&src=hash.

If you like what you see there we will see you soon at #TRU. If not, that’s OK too.

Blogs Internet Jobs Recruitment Recruitment Agency Search Engine SEO SERP Social Networks Social Recruitment Twitter

Recruitment SEO: How many web sites link to yours?

In the Links are the currency on the web we looked at the total number of links no the web that the Link Count tool from SEOmoz would show for our 20 recruitment agency web sites. But not all the links are equal. The more I think about it, it would be fair to say that no two links are the same. One (smart) way thinking about the links is to count just the web sites that link to your web site. So if there are 2 or 2 million links from some domain to your web site it would still count as one.

If we look at our 29 recruitment agency web sites list and between them where is what we get:


Sites Linking































The results show that only 5 Irish Recruitment agencies have more web sites linking to them than this blog. If you want your jobs to be seen by as many possible job seekers and as many possible clients (employers) it would be natural to want to bring visitors from as many sites to your site. Therefore having as many web sites linking to your site would help you get more candidates and clients. As simple as that. The above table show how good are you at that particular task. If your site is not on the list, you can get this figure for your site and compare yourself with the competition.

Even more important than this direct traffic of visitors that you get from other sites is the fact that from the perspective of the search engines like Google, your site the more “important” the more web sites link to your site. So the more links you have to your site – the more likely is that Google will display any content on your site above the similar content on any other web site. This is extremely important for the ranking of your jobs. When a similar job is advertised on many job boards and recruitment agency web sites, the site that will get listed on top is very often the one that has the most links from other web sites.

How to get more links to your web site?

Submitting your site to an online directory? – that is the most common answer I get when I do the Recruitment SEO Training. Unfortunately, the answer is always – no. Why not? The practise was abused and Google decides to in most cases ignore it, and in some cases even penalize it.

Just do not buy links. Please. – That is what Google would say, and in my experience, this is the best advice possible in most cases.

Spamming social media with your links. – Will make sure you get ignored, not followed by anyone but bots. Again the time and money the drain.


Think about what links do you click at on the web.

You might click on a link in the article you are reading on some site. If you are reading a review on some blog, about the new tool the LinkedIn has launched, and there is a link to that tool within the article – you might click it. Ask yourself how did that article ended up on a publication you are reading? Can you submit your content there? With a link to something new and cool on your web site? If you are thinking of PR submissions at this stage, I can tell you, you are on the wrong track. Think of guest blog posts. Think of the places where different people publish content. You are probably getting where I am going with this… yes the combined name of all such sites is Social Media.

Blogs Recruitment Recruitment Agency Search Engine SEO SERP

Recruitment SEO: Googoe Index Saturaton

Imagine the following scenario:

First in Google for your keyword!
Your web site has one page, and the site is with that page linked first for your main keyword. One would say this is the search engine optimisation done very well. The site is first for its keyword. What else can one ask for?

First in Google for all your keywords!
When will realise there are multiple keywords your site need to be first for in Google searches. One page will not make it easier. You will create one page for each keyword. It usually starts with the page for ‘Clients’ and ‘Job Seekers’. You will optimise each of those pages to get on top of Google searches for your search keyword of the search phrase. Most recruitment agencies would naturally want to be ranked on top for the phrase “Recruitment Agency” – to attract Clients. Then there are similar keywords targeted to Job Seekers like “Jobs in IT”, or whatever your agency specialises in. If you get first for those search keywords – have you done your SEO good? Of course, you are first in Google for all your main keywords.

Highly ranked in Google for every single one of your jobs, pages and blog posts (and having tons of them!)
In this scenario, you are not really first for search phrases like the usual hot one “Recruitment Agency”. Instead, all your jobs are on top or close to the top for ANY relevant keyword to that job. You cannot really define what keywords you are highly ranked for since it depends on what jobs you have advertised on your site at that time.

If you don’t have jobs in a particular industry, or for some reason, they don’t rank as well as your competition, you write blogs about those industries. In essence, what you are doing is you are creating more content and publishing it on more pages on your web site. Those new pages then start ranking for the keywords you are writing about. What you are doing is you are saturation Google index and the Google search results pages with your entries. This enables you to capture traffic for any search phrase you are interested in. Your web site becomes an inbound marketing platform that is quite simple to use. Need some Java developers? Just write about the Java development on your site. Get that content in Google index, and anyone searching for Java Development will see your site listed in the Google search results. If you write interesting articles and they are nicely presented in the search results – anyone looking for a Java development will come to your site!

This is what I call Google Saturation. It is a process of submitting the content on your web site to Google, for various search phrases you are interested in. Notice the difference between the top two scenarios. We don’t have the ”Main Keyword(s)” we want to rank for on top of the search engines.

The table below shows the Google Saturation of 29 recruitment agency web sites and as a marker. The number next to each web site shows the total number of pages Google has from each web site.

Note that this table is the first on in this Recruitment SEO series that show really drastic differences between the 29 randomly chosen recruitment agency web sites.

URL Google Index  496000  291000  184000  10700  7580  6980  5680  5490  4810  4660  4430  2390  783  610  602  601  533  528  471  446  302  190  189  145  138  100  62  37  5  n/f

By looking at your web site visitors logs in a program like Google Analytics you will notice that even linked first for your most important keyword it still delivers traffic that is a very small percentage of your total visitor’s traffic from Google for all the other keywords combined. If you have a high Google Saturation – meaning hundreds of thousands of pages featured in the Google search results, the traffic for your main 10 most important keywords brings less than 1% of your total traffic! And as such, the ranking for one individual keyword becomes irrelevant to the overall traffic of the whole site. If you want to make a success in capturing the largest possible amount of free traffic, this is definitely the route to go. Think big! THINK BIG!

Google Saturation is one of the key factors of SEO. It is also the most often ignored one.