Irish Jobs feeling the heat from Facebook

The social media is leaving scars on the traditional advertising models. How your brand is represented on Facebook is far more important than the article in Irish Times. Why? Simply because of it far greater reach. Far more people read Facebook than Irish Times. Far, far more, and the gap is getting bigger each day.

In recruitment the social media is finding it’s place, and Irish Jobs Sites feel it on their skin. A dozen of small job boards simply vanished during the last year. The big national ones are in the panic mode. Here is the sample from Irish Jobs, how they are reacting to the recruiters and candidates embracing he social media sites, and just leaving their IrishJobs.ie web site. They publish a survey that shows people spend tons of time on Facebook, and less on LinkedIn and Twitter. But they take a protectionist view to try to save their (extincting) industry. So they say that the social media sites, with Facebok leading the game actually costs Irish industry – since people hang out on Facebook as opposed to work. Here is their story:

Findings from IrishJobs.ie’s social networking at work survey

Ninety per cent of all respondents said they used Facebook in general, while 39pc visit YouTube and 15pc use Twitter.
The survey found that workers were against the idea of banning these sites at work. Some 77pc were in favour of some sort of access to them during working hours.
More than half of the respondents felt they are just as productive as ever and 7pc feel that social networking sites make them more productive.
The 7pc claim that short breaks to check these sites help them concentrate better when they returned to work.
Five per cent of respondents claimed they were less productive, as they were constantly distracted.
It was also revealed that large companies were more inclined to have a social networking usage policy during work hours, with 58pc of those within these companies confirming it.
Usage among employees in these companies was lower, with 43pc logging onto social networking during work hours.
Some 27pc of SME employees said their workplace has a social networking policy and as a result, 55pc of employees admitted to using these services at work.

What this press release is supposed to achieve is a knee jerk reaction from the directors and business owners – to shut down access to Facebok (please correct me if I am wrong here)! It is the same surfers that Irish Jobs have lost over the last years, that went to Facebook. Facebook is more fun than boring jobs sites. And Irish Jobs and the likes are losing visitors, losing advertisers, and the revenue. Their business model is actually quite ‘Last Century’ really. And with no future. And it is a hard fact to swallow! Hence the scare tactics here by the Irish Jobs marketing gurus.

Social Networks Vs Online Job Boards…

Here are just two facts first:
1. Revenues of online job boards are falling
2. Social networks are (still!) gaining popularity

Why are job boards in trouble all of the sudden after being profitable for more than 10 years?

The troubled world economy that hit the recession in the second half of the 2008 and continued well into most of the 2009 (is it over yet???!!!) resulted in the first dip of the volume of the internet traffic. First ever actually. It is the first time since the Internet exists that the volume of the activity on the internet was smaller compared with the same month a year ago. All the iPhones and all kind of internet enabled devices did not help here. There have been far less people working (and surfing in their breaks), and far less people had time to surf during their work.

The combination of the large reduction of the job advertisements (that generate the revenue for the job boards, and also the drop in web site traffic in general – the figures of a job boards in 2009 do not look so rosy!

Social networks are a long term threat to the job boards.

The number of people spending time, and the sheer amount of time people spend on the social networking sites does not really leave much time to search the job boards. Compared to the job boards, the social networking sites are actually extremely boring. There is 0 interaction on the site really. As a job hunter you apply for a job or jobs you like, and what you get back in 99% of the cases is an automated response in the email. The confirmation of the job application. Impersonal and sterile. The social networks on the other side let you publish the content for other users (or anyone on internet) to read and see. Social networks let you say what you think (that your spouse doesn’t!). Social networks encourage you to comment pretty much anything!

You can meet new people. You can catch up with old school mates. You can check the last summer holiday photos of your cousins. You can upload your fancy wedding photos, with all the family in strange dresses in the background! You can grade photos and comment them. You can upload video from your car racing weekend. Your greatest fishing catch.

Social network is like a pub. People are talking. Social network is like a ‘Corso’, the main street boardwalk where you hang out with your friends and their friends. You can also do some business with all this people there if you feel like it. But do not really have to, since you can check how your mates commented the game yesterday. And tell them how YOU think your home club should have played.

After you got used to the way of communication that the social networks or let you by broadcasting YOUR message to the masses, the idea of browsing boring listings of the jobs on the job sites simply isn’t that appealing any more.

Social Recruitment is born simply because people are far more active on the social networks than on job boards. If Twitter wouldn’t have that many visitors and users it would be impossible to hire staff there. But the sheer volume of users on Twitter makes it a platform where you really can hire staff with the most crazy restriction anyone have ever imposed on the recruitment process – communication limited to 140 characters (spaces included!!!). Facebook is probably the platform with the largest number of useless, and distracting applications but the fact that the number of active users is larger than most of the countries in the world – makes it a perfect sourcing application for a large number or positions. LinkedIN is specialising for the recruitment itself – the social network of professionals. Even their Jobs section isn’t visited as much as all the others since it is simply boring. Visitors expect more from the social networks then the boring jobs listings. They want to contribute. They want to read other peoples contribution. They way to confirm their decisions by getting the independent views from other people with similar conclusions.

SEO for job advertisment?

Is Search Engine Optimization important for advertising your jobs on the job boards? Should you optimize every single job post? Isn’t optimization of job post on a job board actually only ‘Keyword Stuffing’, since you do not control any other page element?

Short answer:

Yes SEO is extremely important when publishing a job on a job board. Yes, you can only play with text, s0 make sure you do it well!

Why SEO-in a individual job post?

It will attract searches composed of number of words (‘Long Tail Search’) that describe the desired position. In general a job seeker that searches for ‘Jobs’ is on average of less ‘Quality Applicant’ than someone searching for ‘IT Project Manager Dublin South’.

By optimising the job specification for the search engines – the quality of the applicants raise dramatically. I have done tests with a number of my clients in publishing the two versions of the same role. One the way they would ‘Normally’ write it and the other highly optimised for the most used search words combined in search phrases constructed from:

  • Job location
  • Job title or role name
  • Job Location
  • Skills required or technologies used
  • Qualifications required or desired

The result is that the majority of candidates interviewed came from a version of the job advertised that was optimised for the search engines. The majority of the applications would tend to come from a day to 3 – 4 days after the publishing of the role. The overall quality of the applications would tend to go down as times goes by after that.

Recruitment SEO 101: Keyword Analysis

Any SEO Consultant will tell you that a decent SEO project should somewhere in its starting phase have a step called Keyword Analysis. Unfortunately different people have a quite different idea what exactly does the Keyword Analysis mean. Some mean that it is about finding the most relevant keywords, some that it is about the number or keywords, and the rest arte somewhere in between.

Google has a quite easy to use Keyword Suggestion Tool. Here are the keywords that Google will ‘suggest’ as a similar and relevant search keywords to the term ‘Jobs’.

I’ll leave up to you to draw your own conclusions about the suggested keywords. Are those really relevant? Too many? Too few?

Keywords related to term(s) entered – sorted by relevance:

jobs, sales jobs, job, accounting jobs, job opportunities, job search, finance jobs, medical jobs, find jobs, hr jobs, legal jobs, nursing jobs, summer jobs, temporary jobs, job vacancies, job site, job bank, jobs search, jobs online, jobs google, internet jobs, full time jobs, jobs available, financial jobs, healthcare jobs, temp jobs, job listings, part time jobs, banking jobs, top jobs, retail jobs, job sites, government jobs, jobs uk, jobs london, graduate jobs, engineering jobs, office jobs, new jobs, jobs com, parttime jobs, jobs wanted, jobs banks, find a job, social work jobs, contract jobs abroad, job fair, job find, advertising jobs, job seekers, environmental jobs, pa jobs, job agency, need a job, technical jobs, media jobs, administration jobs, accountant jobs, financial services jobs, sales rep jobs, job vacancy, job agencies, jobs waterford, online job, recruitment jobs, job recruitment, job google, part time job, jobs vacancies, jobs in london, jobs cork, accountancy jobs, local jobs, jobs international, irish job, jobs it, finance job, engineer jobs, jobs canada, hotel jobs, home jobs, sales job, jobs bank, language jobs, job applications, irish jobs, jobs on line, www jobs, looking for jobs, jobs france, all jobs, list of jobs, jobs no experience, ebay jobs, jobs club, jobs i, delivery jobs, microsoft jobs, receptionist jobs, promotions jobs, jobs websites, customer service jobs, child care jobs, fun jobs, jobs website, forklift jobs, partime jobs, maintenance jobs, clerical jobs, manufacturing jobs, jobs compliance, job seeking, loads of jobs, i need a job, ice jobs, microbiology jobs, job search google, tv jobs, nursing home jobs, promotional jobs, jobs in google, health promotion jobs, looking for job, health care jobs, jobs in healthcare, computer jobs, google job listing, job finder, gallery jobs, seasonal jobs, logistics jobs, dental jobs, job boards, jobs in boston, night jobs, jobs in chicago, my jobs, jobs in san francisco, jobs with animals, midland jobs, jobs in radio, payroll jobs, forestry jobs, welding jobs, entry level jobs, looking for a job, art jobs

Google has a bit more for your Keyword Analysis study. Here is the list of:

Additional Keywords to be considered – sorted by relevance

employment, employment agencies, employment opportunities, careers, recruitment, recruitment agencies, career, job listing, job postings, hiring, vacancies, opportunities, vacancy, help wanted, part time, employers, work, telemarketing jobs, employment google, employment online, job opening, job posting, entry level positions, employment agency, job opportunity, openings, auditing positions, recruiters, employment cork, jobs marketing, accountant hiring, positions, sales vacancies, home employment, entry level, recruit, full time, recruitment companies, telesales, recruitment agency, career opportunities, auditing position, part time work, typist, staffing, recruitment google, irish employment, sales reps, irish recruitment, legal recruitment

This second list is actually very interesting. What one can do is take any of those and ask the Google Keyword Tool for the Related Keywords suggestions again. By doing so the keyword list expands indefinitely.