Facebook or Print ads?

Ivan Andrija Stojanovic, Head of Online, CPL Osijek CroatiaWill you advertise on Facebook or in the traditional proven media like newspapers or radio?

I was talking to some postgraduate business and IT students (Overeducated and under experienced for Jobs of tomorrow) and asked them who has the Facebook account. I wanted to show how deep the Facebook penetration actually is. I got more hands up than that I could count. So I reversed the question – and asked who doesn’t have or didn’t use his Facebook account in the last week. I have 3 hands up. In the group of 80 people.

I asked them if they bought papers (any papers) in the last 7 days. Two bought local classified advertising paper looking for flats to rent. One bought photo magazine and one other bout a gardening magazine. Same 80 people.

All are postgraduate students, and all are looking at the job market. All are exactly those you will want to target with your jobs advertisements. So where will you advertise?

To look into it even further – the question is how will you actually advertise there. Facebook and LinkedIN will gladly take your money. Since those are ‘Cash Hungry’ businesses. Twitter and most other social networks do not provide a facility where you can just bluntly dump your advertising budget. It is a known fact that the proper ‘usage’ of a social networking site will give you far better results that advertising on the same site. Painfully small is a list of jobs filled from the advertisements on Facebook or LinkedIN. The way one sources the candies from the Social Networking sites is by constant branding, inbound marketing, networking – all the opposites from classical advertising.

Facebook seems like the best place to invest 90% of your recruitment marketing budget from todays perspective. Tomorrow? Ahh… it will probably change again… Just remember, it will never be the same as it once was, and the wheel will never start turning back. Where you will invest next year, is most likely into something that does not even exist today.

Social Networks – a threat to the Recruitment Agencies?

Social Networks are here! Recruitment and sourcing in particular is changing. Job Boards that the recruitment agencies have been relying for as their main source of candidates are getting smaller role to play today. The future for the job boards is not extremely bright either. Their dominance is being replaced by the social networks. There are more and better candidates using social networks than job boards. Recruiters had to follow the trend – moving their business of the job boards – to the social networks.

Job boards will not really die tomorrow. Job boards will still have their place in the online recruitment world. Most of them in a bit different shape or form. They will serve as repository for active jobs, and feed their data to the web sites with the high ant targeted traffic (do you recognise the description of a social network here?).

A lot of the recruiters are not extremely happy with the way that social networking sites are changing the recruitment. They feel the threatened. Why? They feel that they will be bypassed since employers will be able to source and recruit directly on the social networking web sites. Those recruiters go that far that they themselves do not use the social networks, trying to stop the wheel of change.

The change is here. And more of it is coming. Embrace it. Don’t fight it. Resistance is futile.

Online recruitment as well as any online business are changing. Changing constantly and rapidly (Microsoft: At the Speed of Light). Adoption spread and growth of the Internet fuel the acceleration of the change of Internet itself. Market penetration phase is shortening, and the market reach is growing.

Social networks are NOT the end of the recruitment agencies.

Internet brought the quick and cheap advertising to the recruiters 15 years ago in a form of job boards. Employers used them as well as recruitment agents. Both successfully. Both competed for the same candidate. Social networks are no different. Both direct employers and recruitment consultants will use them. If used right, social networks will be (are today!) extremely beneficial in the recruitment process. Does this mean the end of the tunnel for the recruitment agencies? Absolutely not! Recruitment agents have their place in the recruitment process, and will always have it as long as they add value. The tools they use will always the be the tools that are on the disposal of the employers as well. Social networks today, and whatever comes along tomorrow.

The most powerful marketing tool for a job seeker is…

… when all the personal branding channels are combined.

In no particular order:
1. Social networks presence – descriptive public profile combined with the active participation in discussions.
2. Personal Blog
3. Presence on the Corporate Blog
4. Any online publication (indexed by Google)

The real power of all your online presence is in the ability to connect all those channels together. Ad your friends and co workers in social networks, drive them to your blog for more status updates, get them subscribed to your RSS feeds and twitter. From your RSS and tweets send them back to your questions and discussion on your blog and social networks, and increase the readership in every jump from one media to another.

Personal branding practice as above replaces the necessity to look for a job on jobs sites. The recruiters will ‘know about you’ already anyway. Just blog daily, and publish one article or a question in the social network of your choice (relevance to your target industry).

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.

Silicon Republic review of Jobs Blog

silicon_rep-logo Silicon Republic, Ireland’s leading technology news web site published a nice review of Jobs Blog:

Ivan Stojanovic works in the recruitment industry and operates EmployIreland.ie. JobsBlog.ie is where he waxes lyrical on the topic.
He keeps us up to date on the latest seminars, talks, new sites and companies, and tackles issues like ’10 don’ts for job hunters on social
networks’.
His top tip? Make sure nothing embarrassing shows up when you Google your name.

Thanks Silicon Republic for the nice touch!!!

Recruitment Conference

irish-recruitment-conference-2009

Irish Recruiters LinkedIN Group got together in the a form of a Recruitment Conference.

It was great to see so many friends together, thank you all for coming!

We all need to say a BIG: Thank You to Declan Fitzgerald who organised it all again so well!

Pictures? Well this time around I decided I will mail you the pictures – and only the ones you are on! Just put the comment below and I’ll mail you all the photos you are on. I emailed some nice photographs to your mailboxes already, so check there first. This is just out of a respect for all of you who joined us for a pint afterwards. Please no funny faces to the camera anymore! :)

When the world’s largest professional social network is at the same table with the country’s largest jobs site and the largest recruitment agency, all organised by the world’s largest (richest) IT company… it has to be interesting. Even in the extremely sad times like these. 3 out of 2 recruiters have been made redundant in the last 9 months. I guess the room would be fuller if the conference took place a year ago.

What I took from the conference is that the social networks definitely ARE the most important recruitment tools. LinkedIN is the most important although having so slow penetration in Ireland. Less than 150 000 registered, and only a small percentage of that with a useful profile (from the recruitment perspective).

Job Boards still dominating the market but quickly losing their prior historical dominance. Recruitment advertising fees are dropping, and also disappearing with RecruitIreland.com leading that avenue.

Recruitment agencies are changing their offerings and repositioning themselves in the recruitment process. From all we have heard on the recruitment conference and especially on the ‘After Party’ – if you know how to use Twitter to source the candidates, there is a great future for you in recruitment!

10 don’ts for job hunters on social networks

  • Don’t be too technical or industry specific in your profile
  • Don’t jump on a social networking site and give the perception that you’re desperately looking for a job — just “taking” and not “giving”
  • Don’t wait until you’re laid off before building out your social networks and staying active
  • Don’t forget to check out your “online presence” or “personal branding” to make sure nothing embarrassing shows up when you Google your name
  • Don’t forget the No. 1 goal is an in-company referral and you must be willing to take action outside your comfort zone to get one
  • Don’t spend too much time in front of the screen. Phone calls and face-to-face meetings are vital
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out to anyone on the Web in your targeted area — ask questions, suggest products, share information
  • Don’t expect to log on and find a direct lead, because the best tips often come from someone on the network who is several times removed from you
  • Don’t forget to stay engaged in your field, keep up on the latest news, products and services. Check out start-ups, which can be a great place to find a job if you act fast
  • Don’t try to make friends or contacts with everyone you can on the networks; make sure it’s someone you know or have something in common with

Declan Fitzgerald

Social Networking, Blogging, Recruitment 2.0, an all the other buzz words do not mean anything until all those technologies are utilised, and utilised properly. It is actually quite easy to embrace it all, or any part of it, and make absolutely nothing. How many web sites, job sites, blogs social networks or internet projects in all shapes or forms get published and just nothing happens with them afterwards? If you do it, you have to do it right, to make any kind of impact. There is a long list of people and companies trying, and all are in the same race. Only one or a small number can therefore succeed in every niche.

Irish employers have stayed out of all this new way of attracting talent. Irish companies haven’t made much success in blogging or the next step – recruiting via their blogs. LinkedIN and Facebook are used as the tool for the background checking more than what they are built for – for sourcing. Boolean searches, we all tried it and found gems, but very few in Ireland and it was disappointing.

But then it all started changing. And the change started with Declan Fitzgerald – a recruiter form Microsoft who calls himself – The Irish Cyber Sleuth. Declan was brave and jumped heads up into the blogging and social networking. Fairly quickly all his efforts come together with a great result. The result is actually so great that not only Microsoft will benefit from it, but it has far greater repercussions on the whole Irish Recruitment and Human Resources industry. Things will never be the same again. Declan lifted us and made us all think on how we do our business, and in some cases ‘Pushed’ us into the future of the recruitment.

So how did Declan Fitzgerald do it all?

Well Declan did a lot of things, and the result we see today is the combined result of all of those actions. What we have today is:

Blog: The Irish Cyber Sleuth: The Future of Recruitment is in the Cloud
Talking about someone’s blog is just like painting about someone’s music. Read it! It is the most popular Employer recruitment blog in the country for a reason. Here is how Declan describes it himself:
I am passionate about technology and recruitment. This blog is about the intersection of both, keeping an eye on what is happening in both industries in Ireland and abroad and understanding, commentating and theorising about what is happening on the gleam of the knife of recruitment innovation.

LinkedIN Group: Irish Recruiters
Declan made the largest group of the Recruiters in Ireland on LinkedIN. He closely monitors the activity, moderates it and encourages positive discussions. A lot of hard work and it is all paying off not since the group has 852 members today, and not just ‘anyone’ in it.

Tuesday Club
Being such a great networker, Declan knew that he needed to organise the Irish Recruiters to meet physically as well, not only over the Internet. The Tuesday Club is the meeting only for the members of the LinkedIN Group Irish Recruiters. And this is what makes it so good. Only the people who keep an eye on the future have been there. This makes the quality of discussions that Declan organises with the questions prepared up front, on the highest level. We all learned something on Tuesday Club! It is not that often to see people working the Irish jobs sites, multiple job posting service providers, ATS, recruitment agencies and in house recruiters all in the same room in the very open discussion? Recruiters sharing experiences like what jobs site they use for what kind of a position? The timing was perfect for the Tuesday Club. Recession brought us recruiters very close together as the industry. We genuinely want to help each other and care about each other. Even that we might be a competition some times. The ruthless ‘Sales and Nothing but the Sales’ approach we used to have during the past decade grew into a nice and relaxed atmosphere. Enjoyable. Tuesday Club that Declan so passionately organises is just the best that could happen to the recruitment industry in Ireland.

Recruitment Conference: The Future of Recruitment – Part 1:The Road Ahead!
As if the above wasn’t enough, Declan went on and organised a recruitment conference. Ireland has seen a very few of those, and if I remember correctly the biggest so far was the one Marco and his Jobs.ie crowd organised some 4 years in Westin Hotel in Dublin. Declan invited the top heads from the largest Irish recruitment agency and largest Irish jobs site, and some people from Microsoft and LinkedIN. A serious line-up. He asked them to give their views on the future of the recruitment. Declan was brave again since those 4 views should be all going in their separate directions. The Q&A session will be lively!

Declan does not show any signs of tiring actually. The Tuesday Club ended in him making sure everyone knows their input on the topics for the next meeting is not only welcome but expected! He names his first conference ‘Part 1’ for a reason. He already has a plan what will the next one be about and when are the likely speakers.

Well done Declan!