Do you take sourcing more seriously than your competitors?

half deflated by mr.enigma

I recently went to a conference full of HR and Recruitment Leaders. I felt like I was totally in my element, talking to peers and influencers of our markets and shaking hands with industry heroes etc. During our discussions we inevitably we came to the topic of direct sourcing and began talking about it.

All I can say is I was very surprised, in fact, I was absolutely dumbfounded when I discovered how little recruitment leaders knew about basic Direct Sourcing; never mind the more complex issues that are associated with it.

I had several discussions with different people who explained to me the role of a researcher was to learn the “how to of recruitment” and then to progress to a recruiter level position and begin stakeholder management. Essentially that was their career track. Or, “yes we do direct sourcing through social media” Q: “Like what?” A: “Oh you know, we are on the Professional networks”.

I was fuming and disappointed all at once, I almost felt like a half deflated balloon. But then I began to think about this a little differently. If direct sourcing is not done well, is that a big problem for you and me?

Well, no, in fact it is totally the opposite. It’s a great thing. Let me explain:

I used to work with a team of sourcers and occasionally we would come across a search that was done to death, you know the one, you have placed three or four candidates and the business needs two more. All of our media was over used and the market had not refreshed yet. I was asked to step in (with fresh eyes) and my colleagues explained to me what they had done so far. A few days later I came up with a list of another forty potential candidates. There were looks of awe and disdain all rolled into one. First reaction was: “how did you find these people?”

Now let me make this clear, I am probably a “medium” when it comes to skill level at technical sourcing. But I know that using different information sources and cross referencing with professional networks like LinkedIn, will usually yield you some results that are not keyword searchable on that platform. A lot of professional profiles are just a name, job title and company (if that). Those profiles are unlikely to come up in most keyword searches. I explained this to my colleagues; I think someone called me a “nerd” and took the list to go transact it.

Here is the theory:

If I know my competitor organisations are not taking candidate sourcing absolutely seriously and are adopting half measures approaching this issue; this is great! It means that they are not going to find the people that we are both looking for. This means I get first pick of a pool of passive candidates that no-one really speaks to, and I am going to find candidates that don’t already have 5 offers at any one time.
So when that question comes out in conversation, “so Ralph, what do you do for a living?” I am torn between a few ways of answering it. Should I say that I am a humble researcher (tongue in cheek), or “I’m your biggest competitor that you did not know of”?

Image credit.

Influence From Within

go-to-personRecently I have been speaking to a range of audiences about how social media technologies and practices can be used inside an organisation.

The use of social media inside an organisation is more commonly being referred to as social business.

In many of the workshops I have lead lately, one of the most common discussion points has been what about the people in our organisation that will never tweet or blog. The question is always asked, how can we enlist them using social inside the company?

Until recently, it has all been about social media – Twitter, Facebook and the like.

Those early adopters such as myself (on Twitter since 2007, using LinkedIn and blogging since 2004) find themselves completely comfortable sharing their every thought and movements, to the bemusement of those that find this a totally foreign practice.

External vs internal influence

The online influence industry, while still in its infancy is dominated by platforms such as Kred (where I am CEO), and Klout.

As well as finding real online influencers, a culture of those who try and game these platforms and become “more influential” has also sprung up. I wrote recently about how to spot a social media faker.

In my role, I see first-hand those who think they are influential try and convince brands of the same. Only when you have actually become an influencer (accidentally in my case) can you really understand how online influence actually works.

While platforms such as Kred can help you find people to connect with and promote your product or service, we may be missing a trick.

People are your greatest asset

Inside every organisation is an army of influencers, subject matter experts and “go to” people all waiting to be found, that can help us with our day-day jobs, and in turn provide better experiences for our customers.

I remember when I worked at the largest telecommunications company in Australia, Telstra in the late 90s, there were over 54,000 staff (now around 36,000). The internal directory did not list the expertise of staff members, so it was always a case of being well networked internally to get your job done and find the right people.

Amazingly, when I was working on an online portal opportunity for small businesses at the telco, I discovered through my networks that there were 6 such initiatives being run at the same time. Needless to say I was quick to convene a meeting (in a small room with no chairs so we all had to stand), where those assembled agreed to work on just one small business portal.

Had I been able to use a tool to find all of the small business people in the organisation, I could have saved weeks of effort.

Becoming a social business

Social business takes over from social media when we use the same techniques and technologies used in a very public way, and bring those inside an organisation.

Where publicly I tweet, internally I might use Yammer, Chatter, or a product from IBM called Connections. These internal social networks are secure in that you cannot see what is being said outside the organisation.

The question is how do we get people to use them when they are not natural users of social media?

Ginni Rometty, the CEO of IBM gave a presentation recently to the Council on Foreign Relations where described how in the future, IBM might pay a bonus based on how well you share information with your co-workers, and how your customers and partners rate you as well.

At the same event, she also talked about how today’s workers now have a secret weapon, to be used in conjunction with the “big data” that everyone talks about. Today’s workers now have access to each other.

In the video below, she says

“You might have forgotten this: Peter Drucker coined the word “knowledge worker.” It was actually 1959 – 1959, so I was a little toddler at this time.

Now, non-routine work – but what’s changed? Obviously, I said tons of data.

The tools are different today than they were then. Billions of different interfaces. But today’s knowledge workers have access to something around the clock: The have access to each other.

That’s what’s different. And in a social enterprise, I will also assert that your value will be not what you know; it will be what you share. And that is a very different paradigm.”

Ginni has really hit on one of the key benefits of social business – allowing those inside an enterprise to use the same tools and techniques we use when networking socially, to network internally.

Putting the social back into social business

At a recent conference in London, I was speaking on a panel about the next stage of social media.

A question from the audience asked what metrics can be used to look at the adoption of social media inside an organisation. My response, shown below explained how Ogilvy in London used gamification techniques to encourage their staff to get more involved with social.

In summary – make social inside an organisation fun and inclusive and then people are more likely to use it.

Isn’t this just spying on our employees?

Those more concerned about data sharing and privacy may not be entirely comfortable with the notion of sharing at work. I see it differently though.

Imagine there has been a safety issue identified at your company that makes children’s toys.

Instantly, horrified mummy bloggers hit social media condemning your company for selling unsafe toys and demanding that your CEO resigns.

Just as quickly, your internal networks swing into action, and those from R&D through to customer service and even HR chime in with what they are hearing, along with possible solutions from subject matter experts, and then the facts emerge quickly that it is a minor fault that can be easily fixed thanks to the collaboration happening in real-time with people from across the company.

As a result of the great feedback, the product development department work on a solution, and then share exactly what is being done to fix the fault, and everyone is kept informed.

In this scenario, those people managing the company’s Twitter and Facebook pages as well as those on the end of the phone to outraged mothers are able to quickly distribute the facts, and a crisis is averted.

What happens next is those mummy bloggers turn from being outraged, into strong advocates because your company dealt with this issue in real time, were transparent and got the message out quickly.

In the same scenario, applied to the way many companies operate today, the whole company might be waiting for the PR department to release a statement, and those within the company able to provide specialist advice might be overlooked as the situation unfolds.

So in the future, when we talk about influencers, don’t forget those in your own organisation, which if armed with the same tools that help make ordinary people into influencers online, could be your greatest asset inside your organisation.

Andrew will be presenting on “Talent In The Age Of Social Business” and the implications for resourcing at Discover Sourcing.

Facebook Graph Search Demo

Last week I was a guest on Shane McCusker’s regular sourcing webinar. I have just been given access to Facebook’s new Graph Search, so I decided to show off what I have learned about it so far.

Here’s the recording of the webinar for you in case you missed it:

Follow Shane’s Recruitment Blog for more webinars.

UK Sourcers News – 7th January 2013

UK Sourcers News

We have our second UK Sourcers Meetup this week. On Friday, Amazon will be hosting us at their new Development Center in London. We are delighted by the interest in these events and regret that everyone that requested a ticket did not get one – but by keeping the events small, we make sure everyone gets something out of it and has a chance to share.

Our second New Year Sourcing Assignment will be posted in the UK Sourcers LinkedIn Group on Thursday. This week we will be looking at improving the job ads we write with some great tips from Alastair Cartwright of Ingenium.

Toby Culshaw from Thales won our Christmas Sourcing Challenge! Well done Toby – we hope you enjoy your Cadbury’s Chocolate hamper from Sourcing Hat Ltd.

We posted a list of our top content from 2012 – have you missed any of it?

LinkedIn

Want to know who has viewed your LinkedIn profile? Here’s an interesting little “hack” from Life Hacker.

Have you clicked on a University name on a LinkedIn profile recently? An interesting feature that you might have missed.

Last week we asked if you are making the best use of links on your LinkedIn profile.

Social Media

We have a fresh Social Network Map of The World for 2013 – Facebook now dominates in 127 out of 137 countries.

World Map of Social Networks - January 2013

Search

10 Ways to Speed up and Beef up your Google Searches – Another useful list from Lifehacker.

Detailed clarification on some of the finer points of Google and Bing search syntax from Boolean Strings

Is there anything I have missed? Do let me know if there’s something you’d like me to share in a future News post.

UK Sourcers News – 12th November 2012

LinkedIn

LinkedIn Event Logo

LinkedIn will scrap their Events App on 26th November. You will no longer be able to show off the events you are attending/speaking at to your LinkedIn network. I think this is a great shame. I will share some alternative tools on the blog later this week.

The new LinkedIn profiles have started to roll out. If you haven’t seen one yet then take a look at this sample: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/sample. Get a full look under the bonnet of the new LinkedIn profiles on Mr LinkedIn’s blog.

The section listing what you are happy to be contacted about, looking like this on the old style profiles,

LinkedIn Contact Preferences List

seems to be no longer visible. Will this affect the way you approach potential candidates?

Social Media

Instagram now has profile pages for the desktop web. If you use Instagram then be sure to take a look and add a bio to your profile. Just like StarbucksJobs has done:

StarbucksJobs on Instagram

To see your Instagram web profile simply visit instagr.am/YourUsername.

Facebook has always seemed a lot of hard work when it comes to candidate research. Balazs Paroczay totally changed my opinion on this while in #TruLondon’s sourcing lab last month. Take a look at his fantastic Facebook Sourcing Prezi to see what I mean.

Events

Last week I hosted a session with Laura Stoker of AIRS at UK Recruiter’s End of Year Conference. Laura introduced a few tools that might prove useful for sourcing:

  • X-ray and Filetype searches with Google – see my Search Engine Handbook for details
  • etools.ch – a meta search engine from Switzerland that searches 13 search engines at once.
  • Yatedo – a people search engine that can turn up fresh results
  • Yandex – a growing search engine from Russia

You might also be interested in Lisa Jones’ write up of her session on Technology trends from the UK Recruiter Conference.

After the conference came the culmination of this years’ National Online Recruitment Awards. You can find all the winners listed on the NORAs website..

Christmas

I would like to host a Christmas get together for the UK Sourcers community – I am looking for a sponsor to pay for some nibbles and few drinks – get in touch if you think your business would benefit from helping us out.

Why Are Twitter Lists So Great For Recruitment?

Twitter Lane by Duncan Hall

Twitter has a great feature to help recruiters and sourcers find relevant and respected twitter accounts – Twitter Lists. This feature isn’t very well promoted though so might not be immediately discovered by new users.

If you are an active Twitter user then you will not have failed to notice a few notifications appearing in your “@Connect” section saying that someone has added you to a list or two. You might even have created a few lists of your own.

What are Twitter lists?

A Twitter user can create a list and add Twitter accounts that interest them to it. You don’t have to follow a person to add them to one of your lists. Once you create and name a list you can start adding people to it right away using the little drop down menu on their profile.

Adding someone to a Twitter Lists

A twitter list can be public (other people can see who is on it and choose to follow it) or private (only you know who is on your private lists and only you can make use of them).

Finding Someone's Twitter listsYou can find someone’s Twitter lists by visiting their profile on twitter.com and looking at the options on the left hand side of the page. You can view @UKSourcers’ Twitter lists here: http://twitter.com/uksourcers/lists

What is so great about Twitter Lists?

  1. People more knowledgeable than you do all the hard work: people create lists of people that share their interests. I have a list of Star Trek fans, I know that they are all massive Trekkers but very few of them probably mention this in their Twitter bios. I also have a list of Sourcers that are based in the UK. People often create lists of other people in their industry or people they met at a particular event. This is really useful curation.
  2. Follow targeted people fast: You can follow someone else’s list with one click or choose a few people off their list to follow in your main timeline. This makes following a very targeted group very quick to do.
  3. Follow accounts without them knowing: It would be nice to be able to keep tabs on your competitors on Twitter without getting their attention, wouldn’t it? Keep an eye on them without adding to their follower account? You can by listing them on a private list.
  4. Never Miss Important Tweets: Now that I follow more than 2,000 people I’ve had to get creative to prevent missing tweets from the people that I care about the most. This has led me to create private lists like “Clients” so that I always know what they’re up to and can help them out if needed and another list called “VIPs” for my closest friends and family so that I don’t miss their news.

What do you use lists for?

Have I missed anything – How do you make use of Twitter lists?

 

You might also be interested in:

Image Credit.

UK Sourcers News – 10th September 2012

UK Sourcers News

Last week we held our first event. I’d like to thank everyone that came along – the attendees were the event. I really enjoyed seeing people sharing their challenges and chatting about what they’re doing in the world of sourcing. It was also great to learn a few new things! I had been a little nervous about the “no agenda” format, but everyone seemed happy to get going and dive in. Extra big thanks to Ken and Florence at Mind Candy for providing such an inspiring setting and for keeping hunger at bay with plenty of pizza!

Thanks to Chris at Plugin Recruiter for writing such a nice review of the event too.

Ideally I would like to make the events a regular thing – and not always in London. So if your company would like to host one, then just let me know. When I get the next event off the ground, It’ll be announced in our LinkedIn group first.

Social Media

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner revealed a lot of amazing facts about LinkedIn’s growth – via Business Insider

10 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Twitter Before Your Competitors Do – By Jeff Bullas

Opportunities for Sourcers

Talent Sourcer at BP

International Talent Sourcer at Microsoft – Reading, Berkshire

Talent Manager at Anheuser-Busch InBev – Luton, United Kingdom

If you’ve got an event or a job that you’d like shared on the UK Sourcers blog then do let me know.

UK Sourcers News – 28th August 2012

UK Sourcers News

Our first event is “sold out”!
If you’d like to come, get on the Waitlist in case someone drops out at the last minute. If you already have your free ticket to the UK Sourcers’ Meetup on 6th September, don’t forget to let me know if you find you can no longer make it.

Last week we published our first eBook – Get your copy of our Basic Search Engine Guide for Recruiters by Katharine Robinson (aka TheSourceress).

Social Media

101 types of content to share on your Social Recruiting Networks – a great resource from Andy Headworth of Sirona Consulting.

What your social media profile says about you – thought provoking piece from the UK Recruiter blog.

You no longer need an invite to use Pinterest – there’s no excuse not to sign up and have a play with it.

UK Sourcing Opportunities/Jobs

Research & Sourcing Consultant (Marketing/Gaming) – Betfair, London

Talent Attraction Specialist UK & Ireland for AB InBev – Ochre House, London

Recruitment Online Community Manager (Social Media) – Lloyds Register, London

Sourcing Specialist – 6 month FTC at Johnson & Johnson – Reading, Berkshire

If you have a job or an event that you would like us to share with the UK Sourcers community, please get in touch.

LinkedIn Is Not The Only Fruit

Last week I attended the Social Recruiting Conference (#SRConf) in London. Pete Crosby from Viadeo was one of the speakers.

Viadeo is a professional networking site with around 45 million members, 10 million of which are in Europe. While this isn’t as many as LinkedIn – Viadeo has significant penetration in France.

Viadeo at srconf

If you are looking to identify talent on the continent, it could well be time to check out viadeo.

At #SRConf we heard from EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services, employing around 133,000 people at more than 170 sites worldwide. They have had significant success using Viadeo. They launched a group there which grew to over 700 members in less than one week.

Viadeo have recently launched their company pages too.

While this video focuses on small business, at the conference, Pete Crosby identified American Express as one of the first businesses to make the most of the new feature. You should also take a look at Viadeo’s own page.

If you are wondering if the kind of people you wish to hire in the UK are using Viadeo, why not try an x-ray search from Google by adding a job title or a company keyword to this search string:

inurl:profile site:gb.viadeo.com

Google estimates that this string returns 300,000 viadeo profiles on the gb subdomain, which might not sound like a lot, but it might include someone that you wouldn’t otherwise have found.

Do connect with me on viadeo if you are already a member or if you decide to join.

You might also want to look at Xing. Xing has over 12 million members and great coverage in Germany. Here’s my profile.

5 Things Not To Do When You Join Twitter

Twitter "Keep Calm" Poster - by Manish Mansinh on BehanceTwitter is great if you are starting to explore Social Media or looking to learn more about Sourcing. It has been instrumental as part of my professional development and led to virtually all my business, one way or another. Twitter has helped me discover loads of useful content and meet many very smart people.

I had the luxury of learning how to use Twitter when it was a much quieter, more relaxed place. There were hardly any businesses or celebrities yet – I remember the day that Stephen Fry joined. There was no pressure to be getting “ROI” out of it – it was just a fun way to connect with like minded people.

It seems easy to succumb to these pressures now and end up not getting the most out of this fantastic platform.

So, when you join Twitter, please don’t…

Excessively tweet links to jobs

The Problem: Lisa Jones of Barclay Jones recently wrote about this problem on the UK recruiter blog, I recommend having a read. While Job tweets are of interest to active job seekers, the majority of people are not actively looking for a new job and might need a more subtle approach. Plus – it’s REALLY BORING!

What to do instead: While jobs are a very easy thing to tweet when you are a beginner, you do have a wealth of experience in your industry and in recruitment – why not demonstrate this on Social Media? Take a look at this list of 20 things for recruiters and sourcers to tweet about. You could always set up a separate Twitter account that just tweets links to job, but be clear that this is all it does and let followers know how they can actually talk to you.

Follow loads of people at once

The Problem: Following people is probably the best way to get their attention, so don’t waste it. When you first join Twitter, you won’t have said much and you won’t be entirely sure what you are doing. If someone follows me and they haven’t tweeted yet then I am unlikely to follow them back as I don’t know what I will be signing up for. The same goes for someone that has only Tweeted five times – I don’t know if that person is just dipping their toe in the birdbath or if they will stick with it.

What to do instead: Lay low for a week or two. Get your profile looking good with a well written bio and a profile picture. You should also get some Tweets under your belt and learn how the lingo works. Follow a few colleagues or people that you know use Twitter well (aim for about 20 people) that way you can learn from what they do – what sort of Tweets do you like to get in your stream? Once you have found your feet, take Twitter to the next level and follow some more people. Rince and repeat.

Thoughtlessly connect Twitter with LinkedIn and/or Facebook

The Problem: It’s very easy to think that you are saving time and being very efficient by sending all your tweets to LinkedIn or all your Facebook updates to Twitter, but it creates all kinds of jarring issues that newbies will find confusing and experienced Twitter users will find annoying. The language used on each of the platforms is different and Facebook and LinkedIn will allow you longer format updates than Twitter.

What to do instead: It is a minefield that I recommend avoiding. If you must do it, be sure to dive into the settings on LinkedIn and Facebook and understand what you’re really sharing and when. I have written about the problem of sending your LinkedIn updates to Twitter before.

Drop Tweet Bombs

The Problem: I read lots of posts about “doing social media” in 10 minutes per day and the like. While it is possible, it seems that most people think you should send out an entire day’s worth of tweets all at once. This will totally take over your followers’ Twitter streams. That is considered a bit rude in Twitterville.

What to do instead: I’d recommend using a tool like buffer to spread your Tweets out through the day. Also, if you decide to have your jobs or blog posts sent to Twitter automatically via an app like twitterfeed or dlvr.it – please dive into the settings and make sure that it won’t tweet 10 jobs at once. If you are unsure what you are doing – don’t do it!

Turn every word into a #Hashtag

The Problem: It is very simple – tweets containing lots of hashtags are difficult to read, eyeballs skip right over them. If your tweet looks fugly – I’m not clicking on the link!

The Solution: Hashtags are an important way to get noticed when you start out on Twitter, so don’t be put off using them. Keep hashtags to a minimum, one or two is usually plenty. If you want to use more then maybe try some A B Testing to see which works best – does a tweet with #jobs get more clicks and reactions than a tweet with #careers? You should ALWAYS check how a hashtag is being used already, if at all, before including it.

Do you have any Dos and Don’ts for Twitter newbies? Let us know in the comments 🙂

You might also find useful:
Twitter Tip: Replies and Mentions are not the same
Using Twitter for Recruiting – A Presentation from The FIRM’s Direct Sourcing event in Dec 2011