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6 Things You Can Do Better When Recruiting on LinkedIn

Social media has changed the way we recruit and LinkedIn is a major role in this area.  Whether you’re a recruiter looking to fill a pipeline or a manager seeking somebody to join your team, there are loads of ways you can take advantage of the professional network. The question is: are you doing everything you can?  Here are a few basic tips to improve your recruiting on LinkedIn and most of them are completely free!

  1. Enhance Your Profile

Look at your profile from a candidate’s perspective.  Do you look credible and professional?  Are you quickly answering any questions they might have about you? Most people already have a good profile picture, but there are other factors people don’t always consider:

  • Make sure your title accurately describes your position.
  • Link back to your organization’s website so people can learn more about you.
  • Have a compelling description of yourself that identifies your location, exactly what you do, what your company does, and what type of people you may seek. Tell a story that grabs their attention.
  • When listing skills and certifications, focus on the ones that a job seeker would want to know you have. For example, if you’re going to be their manager, highlight the skills that people would want to have in a boss.
  • Edit your personal link. In your profile, right below your image, there’s a small LinkedIn URL that will send people directly to your profile. On the right side of the screen when editing your profile, there’s an option to customize that Public Profile URL. Make it something easy to remember and include it in your signature block so others can easily look you up.
  1. Linkedn LogoManage and Build Your Network

If you’re not already connected to everyone you know, get on that.  LinkedIn has some intelligent ways to help you find people you know and can even tap into your email contacts and send invitations for you. Once you have a good list, start tagging your contacts.  Simply go to “Connections”, hover over your contact, click “Tag”, and group people together.  This makes it easier to filter and search people.

  1. Create and Share Your Company Showcase Page

LinkedIn Showcase Pages are a simple and free way to build your brand on LinkedIn.  Engage your marketing team to make the design and messaging consistent with the rest of your organization, then start encouraging your network to follow. The Showcase Page can be used to share company news, industry information, and even job opportunities.

  1. Share More Content

Sharing content is the perfect way to build your own credibility and engage with your connections.  Set a goal of sharing a few articles per week that would add value to your network, as well as some job postings, and share your opinion to start a conversation.  If you’re having trouble finding content, consider subscribing to some RSS feeds or follow thought leaders on LinkedIn, then share your favourite pieces. You can also save time by connecting LinkedIn to your Twitter account and having your tweets stream into LinkedIn.  Don’t forget to comment and like other people’s posts.

  1. Take Advantage of Groups

The right LinkedIn groups are filled with potential candidates.  Seek out and join the ones that fit with the people you are seeking.  Consider searching for groups by skills, location and industry to find the best ones. After you join a group, you can start building relationships with members by sharing content, including job opportunities in the Jobs tab.  You can also search through recent discussions for topics like “Seeking new opportunity” and contact people directly.  If you can’t find a group with the people you are seeking, then create and build a group; just remember to maintain it.

  1. The Traditional Recruiting Tools

It would be ridiculous to talk about recruiting on LinkedIn without discussing the obvious tools.  LinkedIn has basic and advanced search capabilities that allows you to search through not just your connections but your connections’ connections and your connections’ connections’ connections!  If that’s not working, share your job postings in a number of different ways.  We already discussed using your status, Show Case Page and Groups, but if you’re willing to invest some money, you can also post to the LinkedIn Job Board or upgrade your profile to gain access to more professionals.

Are there any tips above that you can start using to enhance your LinkedIn recruiting?  Do you have any to add?  Let us know in the comments section below!

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8 Tips You Should Know About Hashtags When Sharing Jobs

Last week’s post about recruiting on Twitter touched on something that’s a mystery to many social media newcomers – the hashtag.  Understanding hashtags is great opportunity for anybody to raise their profile on social media, but did you know they can also help you get more applicants for your job postings?

What is a hashtag?

Before we go into too much detail, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page.  Hashtags are the number sign (#) that you see at the start of words in people’s social media posts.  They’re used to tag posts with keywords so social networks can effectively organize posts.

How do hashtags work?

When you come across a hashtag, it is usually also a link.  By clicking that link, you’re brought to a page that aggregates all posts with that hashtag.  If there’s a subject you want to know more about, you can simply search out that hashtag to find all posts related to that topic. This is especially useful because the list of posts will include more than just your network – it opens your search up to the entire world’s posts (provided their privacy settings allow it).  It also means that when you use hashtags, you open up your post to more than just your followers.

While searching is the more popular function for a hashtag, they offer additional benefits. Some people use them to create a discussion or chat.  Many networks also use hashtags to show what’s “trending”.

So how can you use the hashtag when sharing jobs?

When you share a job on social media, it’s always a great idea to include hashtags, but you need to do it properly.  Here are eight things you should keep in mind:

  1. Find the most popular hashtags that will get attention. Search through your network, your competitors’ posts and industry posts to find out which keywords are most prevalent.  The image on the right has a few common hashtags used for job postings to help get you started.Hashtags for sharing jobs
  2. Think about potential applicants. Take a look at your candidates’ posts to see what they’re commonly interested in. For example, job seekers may be trying to improve their resume, so #resumeAdvice may get their attention.
  3. Use a hashtag generator. There are also plenty of tools online that will help you find the right hashtag and show you which ones are most popular.
  4. Limit your hashtags. Possibly the largest pitfall is using too many hashtags. Any more than one or two in a post can come off as spam and have negative effects on your post.
  5. Keep it relevant. Only include hashtags relating to your post so you don’t confuse your followers.
  6. Add it to a sentence. You don’t need to keep your hashtags at the end of your post, but embed it to your post. For example: If you’re looking for a #careerChange then check out this #job.
  7. Creating your own hashtag. Perhaps you’d like to start a conversation, use it for branding, or inject a little humour into your post.  Regardless, be sure to follow these guidelines:
    1. Don’t use spaces or punctuation – it won’t be picked up properly
    2. Separate words with a capital letter but DontStringTooManyWordsTogether
    3. Spelling is important!
    4. Check the history and meaning of a tag. It would be a branding nightmare if your “new” tag was actually used for a controversial topic.
  8. Know where to hashtag: Hashtags are supported on many networks, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube. Do your research, understand where they’re acceptable and how they’re used on each network.  For example, hashtags aren’t always accepted on Facebook and while they’re not supported on LinkedIn, they can still be effective when used appropriately.

Do you use hashtags in your recruiting strategy?  If so, what kind of success are you getting?  Do you have any tips to share?  Leave a comment below.

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9 Tips to Improve Your Twitter Recruitment Strategy

Love it or hate it, Twitter is one of the top social media platforms and isn’t going to go anywhere any time soon.  While it may seem like it’s just a hangout for people to tell the world what they had for breakfast, social media experts say millions of companies around the world have embraced it, especially when it comes to recruiting. September’s Virtual Recruiter Quick Poll, however, proved that there are also many who still haven’t jumped on the bandwagon.

Most companies who aren’t recruiting on Twitter have either strategically decided it’s not for them, or, more likely they don’t understand it. Other companies’ recruiting departments have dabbled in Twitter but still haven’t figured out the right formula.  Here are a few tips to help you get started on Twitter or to improve your current presence and recruiting efforts.

  1. Brand Your Page: Sticking with the generic Twitter template gives serious Twitter users the impression that your company isn’t serious or is incompetent. In less than 15 minutes on Twitter, you can easily upload your corporate logo as a profile picture, change the colors and cover picture to reflect your brand, and create a nice description.  You’ll continue to update and customize it over time, but a simple branded profile means you can start promoting yourself immediately.Twitter Bluebird
  2. Start Following People: Look for anybody who may be interested in what you have to say.  Of course you’d like job seekers, but Twitter profiles typically don’t openly say “I’m looking for jobs at XYZ Company!”  Instead, search for professionals in your industry and region, as well as any thought leaders who Tweet content relating to your corporate culture.
  3. Retweet and Favourite: No need to start Tweeting your own stuff yet. Since you’re following like-minded users, browse and retweet or favourite the best posts.  This will not only populate your feed, but it will help build a relationship with these users and increase the likelihood that they’ll retweet your content.
  4. Start Tweeting:  Now that you’ve got your feet wet, start putting out your own tweets but do not just tweet jobs.  Include company news, internal events, and articles that relate to your organization’s core values, products and services.  Provide value to your followers!
  5. Don’t Be Boring:  This is a social network.  Feel free to break the mold a bit and be a little more casual in your posts.
  6. Hashtag (#):  Not everybody understands Twitter and fewer people understand the hashtag, but when used properly, it’s a powerful tool! Think of a hashtag as a “Category” for your Tweet. Users will search a specific category to get all topics relating to it. To get you started, here are a few common hashtags when posting jobs: #jobs, #yourCity, #yourBrand, #yourIndustry, #resume
  7. Mention Other Users: When you write your Tweet, you can mention other users by writing @userName which notifies them and, very often, they will retweet.  Mention users who may have followers you’re targeting, like local job boards. For example, in Ottawa, there’s a Twitter user named @jobsOttawa.
  8. Set Up a Personal Account:  Once you have your organization’s Twitter profile set-up, apply these rules to your own account.  That account will attract a different network, but as long as you remain professional, you can also use it to promote your jobs.  Encourage staff in your organization to do the same and watch your reach grow exponentially.
  9. Source and Screen Candidates: Finally, don’t just use Twitter to promote yourself and hope others look at you.  Use the search functionality to target and research potential candidates.  Check out an applicant’s recent tweets to gain insight into their personality and work ethic.

Twitter is among the top websites visited around the world and is guaranteed to help raise the presence of your jobs.  As a side benefit, your corporate website will see search engine optimization benefits and the company could gain more publicity.  Is your organization on Twitter?  If so, does it have a separate account specifically for recruiting?  How are you leveraging this network?  Let us know!

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Tradition is Dead: The Evolution of the Resume

Our latest Virtual Recruiter Quick Poll asked hiring managers and recruiters across Canada a simple question that the industry’s been asking for a while: Is the resume dead?  To date, the overwhelming majority have answered “No” or “Not yet, but it will be”.

The poll was inspired by a recent article in the Globe and Mail which raised some great points about social media and the recruiting process. With social networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook dominating the Internet, Recruiters are quickly jumping on board and leveraging them to promote jobs and find top candidates.  As a result, both candidates and companies can find each other, learn about each other, and communicate more frequently. This is obviously no secret and it’s certainly not a new trend, but it begs the question of whether or not the resume is relevant anymore and, if it is, for how much longer?

To answer the question, let’s get really technical. According to Merriam-webster.com, a resume is A short document describing your education, work history, etc., that you give an employer when you are applying for a job; a list of achievements; and a short description of things that have happened. Other than a few rare circumstances, an employer will always want to know about a candidate’s professional experiences and achievements.  Based on the above definition then, logically, it’s safe to say that the resume will not go anywhere; however, you can expect that it will take on different formats than the traditional resume we’re used to seeing.  As a recruiter or hiring manager, it’s important you understand all of these formats so you know what to expect. It would be a shame to pass over a great candidate simply because they don’t have a “traditional” resume.

The Paper Resume

It’s safe to say that this resume is dead, at least in industries like IT or Finance and Accounting where everybody involved with the hiring process should be well-versed with computers and technology.  The paper resume is the one that’s dropped off or mailed in by the job seeker and typically follows that age-old “1-2 page only” rule.  Because of that golden rule, it’s the easiest resume to read, but it’s also the most difficult to screen using automated tools, pass around to colleagues, and store in your Applicant Track System (ATS) for later.  If you’re still accepting these resumes, please stop.I'm unable to read the tattoo

The Electronic Resume

Perhaps the most common one we see today and still very strong in popularity — it’s not going anywhere for at least a few years.  The electronic resume is usually a Word or PDF document and, while some people are still following the golden rule that applies to the paper resume, many more are creating lengthier, more detailed versions of their resume in an electronic format.  The electronic resume has benefits for job seekers and recruiters alike.  Job seekers can easily manage and edit it, submit it to multiple job boards, and email it directly to a recruiter from the comfort of their home office. On the other side, recruiters save the resumes in their ATS, screen them, and forward them on in minutes.  If you’re involved in hiring, the majority of your applicants are most likely submitting electronic resumes, but don’t get hooked up on this traditional format.  There’s a new generation shaking things up.

The Social Resume

As noted above, a resume is simply a way for a job applicant to describe education, work history, and achievements.  This can be done in so many more ways than the traditional format.  Here are a few things we’re seeing:

  • LinkedIn/Social Media: Probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think social.  Some professionals keep their LinkedIn profile more up-to-date and detailed than the electronic resume they sent you.  In fact, they may not even send you a traditional resume, but just a link to their profile.  The advantage of these resumes for a recruiter is that you can seek them out on your own, rather than hoping the all-star candidate finds you.  Detailed profiles are usually filled with keywords so if you have a specific need, you can easily search LinkedIn, or even Google, and the profile should pop-up. LinkedIn profiles may also have references on them already, again, saving you a step.  You can even look up the people who give the references to judge their credibility.
  • Public Resumes: They look like a traditional resume, and may even be in .doc or .pdf format, but you’re not going to receive them directly. Instead, you’ll receive a link.  A link to a Dropbox or Google Drive folder where the file is saved and accessible to everybody.  You can download it for your records, but be sure to keep the link.  When the candidate updates the resume, they’ll only update it in that public folder and may not let you know unless they really want to work for you.  Instead, if you want an updated resume from the candidate, it’s up to you to find it.
  • Websites: It seems like a daunting task, but there are services out there that make building a website easy, quick and free.  Innovative job seekers are taking advantage of these services to create an entire online presence for themselves that give a recruiter insight into their professional experience, skills and interests.  If you receive a web address from a candidate, follow it.  It may be shamefully dull, but it may also tell you more of a story about your applicant than their electronic resume could even start to tell you.

That just scratches the surface of the social resume.  Overall, since job seekers today have access to so many tools and innovations, we need to be ready to accept resumes in any form.  Have you seen any other unique resumes?  What do you think of them?  Would you consider a candidate who submits a social resume?  Let us know; we’d love to hear from you!

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Quick Poll: Is the resume dead?

Social media plays a massive role in all parts of business, including recruiting. According to this recent article from the Globe and Mail, more and more people are wondering “Is the resume dead?” What do you think?

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4 Easy and Free Steps to Getting the Attention of Top Talent

Eagle's Virtual Recruiter serviceApril’s Virtual Recruiter Quick Poll asked respondents what they feel is the most attractive feature of their company to new employees, aside from the work itself.  Not surprisingly, results of the poll and a simple Google search reveal that most companies have a mix of enticing qualities.  So, why are some companies still not receiving the amount of applicants they want?  

One obvious reason is the looming skills gap – especially in the technology sector.  Finding a person with your desired qualifications and experience can be difficult, but it’s not impossible.  That person is out there; you just need to grab their attention.   Here are 4 easy and free steps to doing so: 

  1. Take some time to customize your job posting. Although most companies have a solid mix of perks and benefits, not many actually promote them.  Take a look at your standard job posting template. Do you really sell your company or does it focus mainly on the job, skills and requirements?  What’s really differentiating you from your competitors who have a similar posting? Check out this blog post from January that gives some tips on promoting your company culture and everything you have to offer.

  2. Post your job on your website. Having your job published to your own site is crucial.  Even if you use a third-party tool that publishes your jobs, make it easy to find them from your homepage.  Making a new, easy-to-remember URL that forwards to your careers page is also a great tactic (ex. Yourcompany.com/jobs).  From there, ensure your page is consistent with company branding, the content flows and contains key words, and the application process is simple and clear.

  3. Submit it to Aggregators.  Job Aggregators are a search engine for jobs.  They scrape websites to collect jobs and make them available to job seekers in one place – for free.  Statistics show that more candidates prefer these aggregators for searching rather than traditional job boards, so if you’re not posting there, you’re likely missing out on a lot of great traffic.  To get started, visit a site and follow their instructions for posting a free job. There are a bunch of aggregators out there including Indeed, Simply Hired, Eluta and Wow Jobs.

  4. Facebook logoShare your job on social media.  If your company isn’t taking advantage of social media yet, you’re behind.  Since you already have that job posted to your website, get onto social media and share it.  Add a comment to make it more personal and then ask others in your company to do the same thing. Also consider joining a few groups on networks like LinkedIn and Facebook that will let you share job opportunities for free.  

These simple steps will push your job out to a large network of people.  The right customized job posting will not only attract more candidates, but key words will make it easier to search on job aggregators, search engines and job boards.  When you add social media to the mix, you make it more personal which will make it more credible.  Share your free and simple tips to promote a job by leaving us a comment.

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Screening Candidates on Social Media – Is It Worth It?

Eagle's Virtual Recruiter serviceOver the last 10 years, social media has changed the way we do many things in both our personal and professional lives.  One trend that quickly gained traction in the business world was the screening of the social media profiles of job applicants.  In fact, although the results of February’s Virtual Recruiter Quick Poll don’t reflect it, this study from CareerBuilder suggests that almost 40% of companies are now stalking their applicants online before making a hiring decision.

A recent Workopolis article explained how employers engage candidates on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to look for red flags, including both inappropriate content (ex. illegal drug use, drunkenness, profanity) and simple things like bad grammar.  Employers also can make assumptions about an applicant’s technical abilities based on whether or not they have a social media presence.  While these practices are a good way to understand a potential new employee’s personal life and behaviour, it may not always be an accurate screening mechanism and it can backfire.  Here are a few things to consider when screening your candidates’ social media profiles:

Accuracy

“Never judge a book by its cover” – an important message that applies across our lives, including when screening candidates.  Inappropriate Facebook posts, empty LinkedIn pages and Tweets filled with spelling errors don’t necessarily make a person unqualified for a position.  While it is helpful to get an alternate perspective about a person’s work style through information gathered from their social media profile, it’s important to remember that success in a current position and positive references should also factor in the hiring decision.  As long as a candidate’s social media activities don’t hurt the organization, what they do in their personal time should be considered irrelevant.  Another important consideration when looking through a person’s online history is timeline.  You run the risk of judging somebody based on old information or a lack of maturity.  They easily may have changed their ways by the time they applied to your job opening.

Privacy issues

privacyOnce something is posted to the World Wide Web privacy generally goes out the window, but some governments are stepping in, saying there are some privacy rights to consider.  According to an article written by go2, BC’s Office of the Privacy Commissioner has weighed in on the topic and suggests employers should review privacy laws to ensure they’re not over stepping boundaries.  If an applicant feels their information was collected or used improperly, they do have a right to file a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner and that can lead to headaches for your organization.

What does the candidate think?

SurveyA November 2013 study from North Carolina State University found that screening social media accounts can actually alienate potential employees and make it harder to attract top applicants.  According to the study, 66% of job applicants who learned employers had checked them out online felt their privacy had been invaded and were less impressed with the company.  On the other hand, a recent poll conducted by Workopolis suggests that 60% of Canadian job seekers actually consider this to be a normal part of the process and less than 25% would actually think less of their potential employer.

What do you think?  Is it acceptable to screen applicants by reviewing their social media profiles?  If so, how far should an organization go?  Should recruiters ask permission first?  Leave us a comment!

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Use Your Corporate Culture to Attract Talent!

When recruiting top talent, job postings are a great way to reach passive and active job seekers.  There are many techniques to writing the perfect description which in turn drives more applicants to your job posting and results in plenty of qualified candidates, but it’s also critical that you get the right qualified candidates.

Eagle's Virtual Recruiter serviceFinding somebody who fits into your organization and shares your values should be just as important, if not more important, as finding qualified talent.  If you agree to that statement, then you should agree that your corporate culture should be a major part of your job postings.  According to January’s Virtual Recruiter Quick Poll though, companies put little weight on culture when writing their job postings!

Chances are your job posting will be an applicant’s first impression of your organization, so it’s crucial that you use this opportunity to allow them to think beyond the requirements and entice them to want to work for you.  If you think your job postings could use some extra work in this area, here are a few simple tips to help you improve them today:

  • Start simple.  There’s no need to re-invent the wheel.  Include your company’s mission, vision, core values and any other cultural elements that already exist.
  • Brag about the benefits. Candidates often ask “What’s in it for me?”  and screen you as much as you screen them.  Brag about all of the perks you offer, whether they’re health benefits, parking, or free lunch!
  • man in PJs interviewing for jobDon’t forget the intangibles. All companies have some level of benefits, and they’re often very similar.  The smaller, intangible bonuses will separate your organization from others.  Tell your potential applicants about your work environment, recognition programs, and the little differences in the office that make it a great place to work.
  • Employee testimonials. Client testimonials are a common tool when marketing products/services.  They’re genuine, build trust and help buyers overcome skepticism.  The same can be done in your job postings.  Ask some of your employees to give a quick blurb about why they love working for you and what they feel makes working at your company different from anywhere else.
  • Be yourself.  We all learned this as kids.  Trying to be somebody you’re not leads to disaster and failed relationships. When you accurately describe the work environment and set the proper expectations, you’re more likely to find the best fit and avoid disappointment for both you and your new hire.
  • Go beyond the job posting. If you have a great understanding of your culture and want to brag about it, start promoting it the same way you would promote your corporate brand.  Social media makes this easy and is a great way to start.  Just check out this recent blog post about using Pinterest to recruit.

Being up-front about corporate culture in your job postings will not only encourage the right people to apply, but can also discourage applicants who simply won’t fit, saving you time in the screening stages of the recruitment process.

How much detail about corporate culture do you include in your postings?  Could you add more? We would love to hear from you.  Leave us a comment!

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Is Pinterest a Viable Recruiting Tool … Why Not Try it out?

Eagle's Virtual Recruiter serviceWhen it comes to recruiting and social media, most experts agree that LinkedIn is the prime spot with the best opportunities.  There are hundreds (possibly thousands) of social media websites, though, so why limit yourself to just one?  Pinterest is a great supplement because it can target a certain demographic and visually sell a corporate culture, but according to December’s Virtual Recruiter Quick Poll, very few organizations are actually leveraging this tool.

In less than 4 years, Pinterest has become one of the world’s top social networks, allowing users to pin pictures and videos to their Pinterest Boards and share them with their followers.  Although it’s known mostly for pictures relating to fashion tips, travel destinations and recipes, many recruiters use it to enhance their recruiting strategy, especially when potential employees include woman ages 18-34 (the top demographic using Pinterest).

Sound like it may be for you?  Here are a few tips we gathered to help you get started.

Diverse group of happy employeesCreate a Pinterest Account: Sounds obvious, but it’s a pretty crucial step in getting started. You will need to decide if you want an account that promotes the entire organization and its services, or a profile focused only on recruiting.

Create Boards that Add Value for Potential Applicants: Define your target audience, and create boards that would interest them (maybe those recipe boards could work for you).  This is how they will find you, follow you, and start wanting to work for you.  To begin, create a board dedicated to job search and workplace tips – almost everybody can relate to those.

Create Boards to Promote Your Company: These are where you can show off what you have to offer.  Some boards could include:

–       Cultural images such as team building events or fun graphics that represent your core values

–       A virtual tour of your offices and workspace

–       Videos of employees talking about how awesome it is to work with your organization

–       Links to LinkedIn profiles of your team members

–       The key skills you see in your ideal employees

–       And of course the obvious one, job postings!

Pinterest logoTell Them How to Interact: Pinterest doesn’t make it easy to contact fellow pinners so make sure you let people know how they can send you a resume. Include email addresses, links to your LinkedIn profile or corporate Job Board, QR codes, and any other tools that make it easy for a potential applicant to reach out.

Go Find Them:  Now that you’re putting stuff out there, you need to start interacting.  Start searching boards and pinners based on the interests of people you would want working for you.  Then, re-pin and share their content.  This will not only get their attention but help you get more content that’s relevant to the people you want to reach.

So what do you think?  Is Pinterest right for your organization’s recruitment strategy?  If so, how else can you leverage it to attract more quality applicants?  Share your opinion, leave us a comment!