Social recruiting in real time

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Most of you by now will have seen ‘The Best Twitter Conversation you will see today’. Lauded as an example of how brand social media managers can join in the conversation and have some fun. Not forgetting that the whole scenario kicked off with Tesco Mobile dealing with a sarcastic customer tweet. This is yet another example of the benefits of live (and listening) social management. Where there is always a hand on the keyboard waiting for the opportunity to have a conversation (no matter which direction it may go). Much of Social Marketing has it spot on.

While over in Recruitment, there currently is a seeming obsession with making life easier with technology and the ‘effective’ use of social media through time saving platforms. Common or garden ‘Scheduling’. Now think on. Would that Tesco Mobile, Jaffa Cakes et al, scenario have ever played out for recruiters and recruitment accounts doing that? Mostly not. We think that’s a shame and the reason why 99.9% of our social management has always been live. Behind every tweet and update, there’s a real person at the keyboard. It’s amazing the number of conversations we’ve engaged candidates in by being there in real time. And not it’s always about serious recruitment questions. There’s fun to be had in recruiting too. Especially when you’re there at the moment, that’s what really matters. And it should be no surprise what a real difference it achieves to how you’re perceived as an employer. Plus it’s much more enjoyable than letting your ATS autotweet every vacancy that goes live or constantly setting up Buffer a week in advance.

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100 not out

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Last week marked something of a personal highlight with the winning of my 100th award at the Recruitment Business Awards 2013.

(Not to mention, Award 101 too – but that maybe the theme for a later post.)

It got me thinking.

That after 20 years in the recruitment marketing industry, should I still be creating award-winning work? Shouldn’t there be a new generation (or two) producing better?

That when I started working in recruitment comms – digital, websites and social media – all the areas that, as an agency, we have embraced over the past years didn’t even exist. And now look at them.

That you can never stop learning. We saw the potential of Social Media over 4 years ago and began seeing how we could utilise it for recruitment. Starting from scratch, not case studies. Learning all the way, while the more cautious watched from the sidelines and only now are putting a toe in.

That the only awards worth winning, are for work that actually ‘worked’. Not just looked pretty. But work that ‘looks pretty’ and actually generated results, they’re the ones.

That you can never set out to produce an award-winning piece. It never happens. Start thinking this is the one and it never will be. Start thinking ‘I want to create the best work I can’. And it may have a chance.

That you can never disregard the ‘big idea’. It doesn’t matter if it’s a tweet or a global careers site, it should always be based on an idea. Not an execution. Not a new piece of tech. An idea that connects to the target audience.

And finally, that it’s great to be hands on. It keeps you closer to what works. Closer to the audience. Closer to what’s important. Closer to reality. And, who knows, maybe closer to Award No. 102?

Practice what you preach

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It’s so easy to pontificate in a blog post. Take all those ‘dos and don’ts’ you read about every day. Advice that will enable everyone to reach nirvana in social recruiting. The main sin being ‘Thou should not broadcast jobs’. That’s still the favourite theme of many a social recruiting expert. That, along with a multitude of content suggestions and scheduling tips.

These experts, and we’re talking about those who particularly reference company job accounts as opposed to individual recruiters, have they ever actually managed accounts? Where you talk and engage the community day-to-day, seven days a week. That’s when you can recommend what works and what doesn’t. It makes a huge difference to what you think it’s about, trust me. In the most part, those following such accounts on Twitter, Facebook et al, don’t want recruitment tips, CV advice – they want a job and they want to work for the company they’re following. Well, who knew? You would. If you asked them. Then you see why they’re interested what you post, not assume it’s just the helpful content everyone tells you they’re interested in.

That’s how over the past year, we’ve engaged one Twitter channel every single day and yet we only ‘broadcast’ jobs. (And more than doubled its following.) For another we have changed a static, mediocre Facebook page into an engaging community by, you guessed it, promoting the jobs. And it all comes down to how you do it. But we digress.

Going back to our experts. Unfortunately, most don’t follow their own recommendations. They broadcast their blog posts constantly, even putting out ancient posts to keep ’em pumping, Instead of ‘broadcasting’ jobs, they broadcast about social media in recruitment. The same type of content all day – and all night. Thanks to all the nice scheduling tech out there and all contrary to their expert advice that social is all about a timely, varied, interesting and more personable approach.

Is it the fact that they don’t practice what they preach because they are the experts and no one will question their output – just retweet it?

And the loser is…

Earlier this year we asked ‘Can Awards devalue Awards?’ In short, are there too many for the Recruitment industry and are they worth the win? Since then, how many of these events have extended their entry deadlines ‘due to demand’? Seriously. How many appear to have as many shortlisted as there probably have been entered? A few. And how many have been cancelled? Well, as of yesterday, the answer to the last question is one. Your Food Jobs People Awards is no more. Apparently, due to much interest but lack of entries. All of this after only appearing on the awards scene last year. Does this mean this sector is lethargic about entering or that there is no ‘work’ deemed worthy of doing so?

And it’s not just in them. The MAP Grocer Awards (formerly known as the GRAMIAs) has completely dropped its recruitment category for this year – although they have retained all the other branding and marketing ones. Again, is the Grocery sector not producing award-worthy work – or just not enough ‘quantity’  to justify a category?

Bigger picture? Are there now too many award schemes for what appears to be a diminishing pool of ‘award-winning’ work? It’s going to be interesting to see how the world of In-house Recruiter awards fares in the future as this appears to be a growth area this year.  Are the normal supporters of these awards – the recruitment comms agencies – more interested in sponsoring these events than concentrating on the ‘day job’ of working with companies to produce such work and strategies? Or are they being superseded and bypassed by the ‘D-I-Y’ culture that social media has encouraged?

When branding is more than a logo

In a time when brand guidelines seek to stifle creativity. When exclusion zones, minimum sizes, usage do’s and don’ts rule the roost. Where brand guardians fiercely protect their turf over the insurgent designer who dares to be creative by ranging the brand font right. Along comes the day when a brand proves you can be far bigger than your ‘brand identity’. Well done Sun.

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