Category Archives: Social Net

Cloud Recruiting and the Voluntary Sector

Companies can be big, unwieldy and slow to act. You might like to try out some Cloud Recruiting ideas but are being stopped by Marketing or Human Resources or your boss who doesn’t get it.

How about trying some of these techniques with a voluntary group you are involved with?

The voluntary sector is largely about engagement of a community. The cloud recruiting tools, apart from being free are perfect for growing and developing networks. The voluntary sector has quickly grasped the potential of this technology and have not been slow to act.

Before you think, but these American/British voluntary groups are big, well funded etc etc, let’s have a look at some New Zealand initiatives I have found.

Engage your Community conferences are popping up around New Zealand. The next one is in Rotorua on 28th November. Nobody is paying more than $200 to attend. The speakers are very high calibre and really understand the technologies in this space.

MIraz Jordan who is one of the speakers on Engage your Community circuit has started “Groupings – inspiration and a toolkit for voluntary groups.” There are some great links on this site – Beth’s blog will give you a sense of how deliberately and cleverly voluntary groups are already using this technology. Stephen Blyth is a New Zealander who blogs in the same area,  Not quite so intimidating if you are just getting started. Here is Stephen’s presentation on Spreading the word using Video, podcasts, blogs and more. Stephen has the presentation stored in SlideShare which is a great way to share your presentation.

Intersect is a group for “green” Wellington young professionals. They have formed a social network on Ning. This group already has 441 members. It looks active and good fun. Intersect have now attracted enouth attention to have a story in this month’s Good magazine.  I only wish I was a bit younger!

Hopefully, you are involved with a voluntary group and no doubt they need to recruit and engage more people and raise money.  In my experience with voluntary groups, you put your hand up, the job is yours. So become a “Web Community Manager” for your group, learn as you go. Try it out and gain some experience and then bring these skills back into your work and do some good at the same time.

By the way,my kid’s school had a Little Day Out fundraiser this year. We had a blog and did email marketing to our parents.  I tried to get a Facebook going for the committe but this didn’t work. We went from raising $25,000 to raising $75,000. We barely touched the surface of what is possible with using these tools, we had more parents engaged than ever before, the school really lifted its sense of commuity and we made more money.

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Create your own Job Board and Social Network

If you haven’t used Ning it is an easy way to make your own social network/topic group. (There will be a pgroup for you on Ning as they now have 500,000 of them)

For example, I am a member of New Zealand Recruitment 2.0 which is for New Zealanders who want to discuss innovations in Recruitment.

Today I found a clever and easy way to of using Ning as a specialist Job Board combined with a Social Network Wirelessjobs

There is a blog, events listing, industry news, links to LinkedIn and Facebook. Having used Ning (and I am not a developer), I know that a Ning network could be easily set up by somebody with no programming skills.

On the Wireless Jobs site there is also a job board that is powered by StandOutJobs. Standout Jobs is free HR software for building your own career web site, marketing jobs and managing candidates through the hiring process. As far as I am concerned, if Kevin Wheeler is endorsing it, this is a good thing.

“One of the best of the tools [for building recruiting websites] is provided by Standout Jobs.” Kevin Wheeler

It looks perfect for New Zealand companies. Here are a few examples.

Freshbooks

Curve Dental

Technorati

And here is one from an Australian community organisation

TRCare

SocialLight is featured as a Case Study on Stand OutJobs.

Does this sound like your company?

“a technology startup with less than 10 employees. The company has an exciting workplace, but limited resources for hiring and staffing programs or recruiters.

Since its creation, Socialight used a variety of tools to find employees, including personal and professional networking, Craigslist, targeted technology forums, and university career sites.

These options varied in terms of the number and quality of job candidates they could reach. But across the board, they failed to effectively brand Socialight as a desirable employer, and empower the company with the tools and flexibility to stand out in a competitive recruiting environment.

Socialight

Socialight recognized that it needed a more effective way to develop its employer brand, attract job candidates, including “passive” job seekers exploring their options, promote a positive candidate experience, and manage applicants more efficiently through the hiring process. Rather than wait until conditions permitted the company to design its own career portal, Socialight started using StandoutJobs, which enabled it to showcase its culture and team, advertise open positions, and input job applicants into the hiring process.

According to Socialight CEO Dan Melinger, the career site was easy to create: “Just a couple of hours’ work and we were presentable to the world. It was important to us that we could launch the career site quickly, but also make sure that we were doing a great job of representing Socialight as the fantastic and exciting work environment it is. Standing out in a crowded job market isn’t easy, but we’re empowered more than ever now with Standout Jobs”

Does your company hire people in a specialist area that would benefit from a professional group/job board?

I would love to hear from you if you are interested in working with these products for your company in New Zealand

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New Zealand Job Boards

In New Zealand, we are now seeing the proliferation of many new job boards. An attempt to take some of the market from the market leader, Seek, cut costs and provide a better product. The problem all of these boards have is getting brand recognition and then web traffic.

Seek have had another stellar year, lifting profit by 37% up to $76.3 million, up from $55.5 million in 2007. Seek have a low cost model and plenty to spend on marketing.

Companies can of course advertise on Seek or any board they chose to but it is always worth checking out the numbers. Compete and Alexa are reputable web analytics sites but most NZ job boards come up as “too little data”. Web analytics is not an exact science but it does give you some indication of traffic. Give it a try yourself –  http://www.myjobspace. co.nz comes up with 3,500 unique visitors compared to Seek’s 4,500, JobX 1.500. CVBank.co.nz, Spotjobs.co.nz have insufficient data.

TradeMejobs.co.nz and NZHeraldJobs  have no separate job listings so you cannot see their  numbers.

Seek appears to be no longer has the dominant position it once had.

Also these numbers do not tell you if the same people are now just searching on more job boards. It  doesn’t show where these people come from and can they work in New Zealand. The numbers are very low so the “Cloud Recruiting” ideas of Talent Pooling look far more compelling.

Image representing Alexa as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBase

Companies who are advertising on job boards will find this fragmentation of the market difficult.  There are now company job boards, professional organisation job boards, print and other media, social networks, google adwords and a  number of specialist boards. In the US, companies just don’t know where to list. The boards all fragmented and now there are aggregators like Indeed that “scrape” all the sites and get all the jobs in one place again!

What it means for companies is more expense listing across multiple boards and also more time to load the jobs and to monitor them.  In New Zealand we still don’t have mass job uploader products like Broadbean that are available in the UK.

Niche New Zealand sites, that are already well trafficked like Geekzone have started attaching job boards to their sites. GeekZone has plenty of interesting, fresh  content and a strong user base. Geekzone has tied up with http://www.jobx.co.nz. but it is just a click through. Interestingly, the model of paying to list jobs is fast disappearing in the US.

There are a proliferation now of free boards that are attached to well trafficed sites. SapFans is for fans of SAP – very specific. I had great success and response using this job board.  A marvellous combination of high traffic, active users and free.

Like all advertising you have to go where the eyeballs are! Also if you have your own talent pool you shouldn’t need to  advertise on boards at all but be able to approach the right people when the time is right.

Here is an interesting article on this by Jason Buss “What if Job Boards became obsolete? . This article gives a good overview of the issues being discussed around Job Boards in the US, where the market is far more mature than New Zealand.

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Cloud Recruiting – a new definition?

There is a lot of  technology on the web  that is already available, that works and  that can be used for Recruitment.

New Zealand is a long way behind the US where these technologies are already being tried and used successfully. The great thing is we can miss some of the steps the pioneers have made and jump straight into using this new technology that is so well suited for recruitment.

If you work down this list, and click on the terms there is is an example of a technology that fits under the heading.

Cloud recruiting is excellent for all sized companies but is particularly good for smaller companies who are unknown, do not have an employment brand and also do not want a bit outlay on recruitment technology when their recruitment needs ebb and flow. Most cloud technology is either free or SaaS – pay as you go, per person. Constantly new ideas come out that can be added to this list. For example, I have just I read about Mobatalk which is away to send video on Twitter.

Recruitment 2.0, e-recruitment are being used to describe this new way of recruiting, but things have moved on a notch in that people no longer need to have the tools on their own PC. People can access information anywhere, any place on any device as long as they can connect to the internet.

This is all so new there is no widely accepted term that describes all this but this week I found a new definition  by Michael Marlett from Microsoft, Cloud Recruiting and it is the one I am going to settle on.

The way people work as well as the type of information, the speed that this is now that this is now available is undergoing a major change. Why not take advantage of this for your firm and be one of the early adopters in New Zealand?

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Quality Social Networks

untarnished social networks

In Social Media, the same is true for the rest of the technology. The technology is a tool that gets you to the end result.

Using Social Networks for recruitment, your end result could be:

  • Letting potential new hires find out more about your company and get a sense of the culture.
  • Forming an Alumini group and stay in touch with past staff who are happy to refer for you, or to tempt them back
  • Forming a community of people who like your company and just want to know what is happening.

It doesn’t matter what the latest trend is, the key thing is finding out where your potential community go online. Ask your existing staff, people who are in the jobs now what sites they suggest would be best. What sites do they visit professionally. Where do their peers go online?

Some people think that a bigger social network is better. More, more, more! How many “friends” can you have on Facebook? It is very tempting to go for big and this does have its merits but really It is about talking to the right people. People who are genuinely interested. You like them and they like you. People who you have met, people who know something about your company.

See Mr Godin has to say:

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Using Facebook for Recruitment

Are you using Facebook for your company Recruitment? There are some large US companies,  who have invested heavily in Facebook but I don’t see this popular social networking tool being used extensively yet in NZ.

There seems to be some reluctance to use Facebook, Yes, Captain it is the new frontier. Not that new though … 334,921 people are signed up in New Zealand network. 80 million worldwide. Facebook has relaunched in July 2008 and is now targeting itself as a tool for networking in the business world. Why fight it, ignore it when you can just try it?

Regardless of what you think, if this is where your potential staff spend their time on line, this is where you need to be. Like all advertisers, you need to follow the eyeballs. If you want to find passive candidates, there is no point just advertising on Seek. Facebook should be seen as forming a Talent Pool, it is there as part of a longer term Recruitment Strategy. It is about forming relationships.

There seems to be a fear about various social media, Facebook being one of many, but what about opening your mind to the benefits?

Simply, Facebook is a great way to engage with existing staff and also lets people find out about your company and culture. It is never what you say, it is what you do that counts in forming a company culture. Giving possible new hires a sense of cultural values like respect, diversity, teamwork, collaboration, openness, and authenticity is possible if you engage with people. It is difficult to convey this on a static closed off web site by stating we are honest, open and collaborative. It is not the same as being these things. By being on Facebook you are showing your values.


Facebook has two sections that I suggest you use for Recruitment. Groups and Events. I would start with a Group of people who are already in the company, this can include past staff too, like  the Friends of Fronde Group . Remember, if potential new hires finds these sites, it will really give them a sense of the culture.

If you search in Facebook, you will find people who work, or have worked for your company. And this is the point. If you don’t set something up, new hires can easily find a lone voice, in your company to contact. Try a search on your company and see who comes up. It is better if there are a range of views not just one voice? People can read through a list of comments and make their own mind up.

By using Facebook, you will be establishing an employment brand. So think carefully about the image you want to portray. In a group, you can pose questions, talk about issues that face your company, note interesting blogs, video clips, press releases. You should have no problem on what to say! Once you have started the Group though, you need to keep feeding it. (Please read my earlier post on the Social Community Manager). So while Facebook, is cheap and easy to use it does require somebody to be responsible and keep it going. Like all relationships, it needs an investment of time. The Warehouse has started a Facebook group. I can find lots of started groups that have gone nowhere. What impression does this give you of the company? Better to take it down than to have a non functioning group.

Once the Group is going, it is easy to invite people to Events. Company events to start with. Making these public can really prove there is a “fun” company culture. Again, it is about being, rather than just saying it. Have a look at Gen-i – it appears to be a group for the social club. Later, wider events where you showcase the company knowledge, a new innovation, product launch etc. It is very easy to invite your contacts in Facebook, and they can easily send the invite on to a friend.

The WDHB has just ventured into Facebook Groups for their Graduate Recruitment. This give you an idea of an event that the WDHB have just run. Looks like they need a few more people in their group though…

MEET AND GREET DAY!!
Come and meet with Charge Nurse Managers and current New Graduate Nurses, from every area, to help you decide what area of nursing you would like to kick start your career with!!
Onewa Netball Courts function room
44 Northcote Road, Northcote, Auckland

Business is about relationships, it is about people. Social media is a tool that can help with those connections – why would you not want to connect with talent, with your staff? Social media has taken hold because the communications is genuine and people want authenticity.

Before you through your hands up in horror. Social media is no different to any other part of business. If people abuse the community, or the tool deal with it as you would anything else….actually I believe it will be easier as there is be written or verbal evidence.

If you don’t want to have a presence on Facebook, you can let applicants be emailed the Job details to their Facebook address like this Talent Technology does. As Facebook is a web site, people can receive Facebook emails privately at work. Some people, think this is one of the reasons for its success…

Best known in this area is the Ernst and Young sites. E&Y paid an undisclosed fee (US$500,000 I read somewhere) to Facebook . So don’t be disheartened if you can not easily replicate this. These sites do give you a sense of what is possible. I am talking here about something more low key, connected and real.

Social Media Community Manager

Many companies are now venturing on line, using Social Media to build their employment brand and to sell more of their goods and services. Going online is not enough though. Content must be generated if a company is going to leverage from its web experience.

In the US I have noticed a role the Social Media Community Manager – now this sounds like fun! From one Job Description I found…

As a given, a Community Manager needs to be familiar with and part of:Be responsible for setting up tracking and alerts for keywords specific to our industry, subscribing to relevant industry blogs, podcasts, and video channels, and to subscribe to certain topic categories on YouTube.

Be able to comment on appropriate blogs intelligently and accurately, bringing traffic back to the company blog. Monitoring the existing blog sphere by listening and commenting would be the bulk of duties to begin with.

Already have a blog of their own so know to create an audience

Facilitate conversations inside Facebook, Ning community or other relevant communities.

Often I sign up in Facebook, or LinkedIn or some other community and nothing happens. Nada. Build it and they will come does not happen on the internet. Build it and you have to work to get their attention is more like it! It is a slow romance not a one night stand! To begin with when people sign up,  they  are on the outside looking in. It takes a while until they get the hang of it all before they get more involved.  It is new members of a group to generate content and discussion, this needs to be created by the people who set up the Group or Blog or Twitter Group – Enter the Social Media Community Manager.

This role is relatively new in New Zealand. I found a few who are working in the government sector. A few communications managers are taking this role, some people with a PR background. There are some people in the IT sector have the technical smarts to understand what is required, but they also need to be able to write and have good marketing skills. No doubt the early adopters who are already across the space should and will get these roles (although, they may cringe at the thought of this, but look at it as a career option to justify all those hours spent on the Social Net!)

So if going on line is not enough, a company needs to think about this carefully before they start. Do you have the skills and time in house to start and maintain a vibrant on-line community? Your company’s reputation is very important both off and on line. There is so much noise aound this whole area, companies are jumping into it without really thinking about it at all and wondering why then nothing happens?

Companies also need to consider are they really ready for this onlineworld? The philosophy behind online communities is openness and honesty.

Does your company want to hear what your community honestly wants to tell you?

Will you respond and be proactive to suggestions that your community suggests?

From a recruitment point of you, are you clear with your employment brand and what you messages you are communicating?

How does the Social Net fit in with the rest of your marketing?

What is the purpose of the community you are creating?

Do you know where your potential audience already goes on line?

How big do you want to be on line? Or is it better to be small with the right people?

This discussion is taking place all over the web. I like this fellows take on it.