James Mayes

Archive for July, 2010|Monthly archive page

Automation vs human interaction?

In Recruitment, Social Media, Twitter on July 28, 2010 at 3:57 pm

You may be familiar with the Pareto Principle – more commonly referred to as the 80/20 rule. The original law was very specific, but over the years it’s been quoted in reference to a wide number of situations, often tweaked slightly to suit the particular circumstances of the situation.

I stumbled across some archive material from Seth Godin recently – and it set me thinking about that law in relation to Twitter.  There’s obviously an array of tools out there for turbo-charging your use of Twitter but to what extent is automation acceptable? If social media is all about engagement and dialogue, maybe it’s not possible to automate any; should an actual human being be involved at all times?

Personally, I believe it comes down to what you want from Twitter.  Some want a source of information and may use alerts, lists or other techniques to find what they want. Others want conversation, in which case it’s almost certainly the natural touch at all stages.  For my personal Twitter account, that’s absolutely the case. I’m looking to find (and when I can, offer) thought leadership, interspersed with the lighter touch that helps form the glue in most relationships.

For business though, I do believe an element of automation is possible – and this is where our friend Pareto steps forward.  Just tweeting jobs is both a mundane task and one that leads to a dull Twitterstream.  By helping our clients consider the content element, we can improve the diversity and value of the material being published. With both of these aspects, automation is easily achievable and not necessarily detrimental and for many recruiters, that may take care of 80% of their total Twitter exposure

Of all the effort put into a topic, it’s the final 20% that really puts the icing on the cake.  Perhaps that, then, is the part where genuine human interaction is the most important – and for us, the part where the client really has to engage.

Disclosure: I’m a Founding Director of TweetJobs

Comments and views are always welcome here….

Do exit interviews happen?

In Personal Development, Recruitment on July 21, 2010 at 10:16 am

As more regular readers will know, I tend to use this blog to express thoughts on a particular subject, speculate on concepts or share my feedback on tools and techniques.  This time though, I really want your opinions.

I was reading a short piece published recently in Recruiter, talking about exit interviews.  They’re a common enough topic in the staffing industry that I don’t feel further explanation is necessary.  However, I gather from this article that the survey was targeted at end customers – not recruiters themselves.  I cast my mind back and with all honesty, I don’t recall ever being the subject of an exit interview. I’ve conducted a few (and I think missed a couple I should have done) – but I’ve never been on the receiving end. Do these actually happen as often as they should?

Looking back on my experience, I have two immediate reactions. The first is that with a couple of employers, I took on more than one role. I’m thinking an exit interview when moving from one role into another could (should?) have provided valuable feedback. However, that’s not my main question for today, more something to ponder for the future.  What I’m keen to do today is learn more about good (or bad) exit interview questions.  Is there a line of enquiry you follow time and again, because you know it elicits useful information?  C’mon, share it with me.

In return, I’ll offer you an interview question which I know has been used regularly by a division of a major retail bank when looking to see what approach a candidate takes to problem-solving.

Imagine if you will, the world’s supply of chocolate has ended.  Why might this be?

I can promise you, they had a real mix of good, bad and downright perplexing responses!

Do you have Klout on Twitter?

In Personal Development, Social Media, Twitter on July 12, 2010 at 1:32 pm

As you might imagine, I keep a roving eye on social media tools – particularly those relevant to the Twittersphere. One tool I’ve used occasionally over a period of months now is Klout. There are a number of tools which attempt to monitor your reach or influence on Twitter, some simply based around follower numbers, others much more advanced.  Klout is certainly one of the more sophisticated.

The reason I’m sharing it that I’ve found it useful on several occasions. It looks at follower numbers, as most things do – but it takes a number of other items into consideration and subsequently plots your position against those of higher ranking twitter users.  This again, is not unusual. However, taking it further still, Klout breaks out these other users into types, or styles. Some people create, others syndicate. Some are broad-reach, others are very focussed. How do you compare?

Klout gives you far more ability to decide what kind of engagement you seek, then hone your message over weeks and months – and for that reason, I think it’s worth a little of your time.

UPDATE: December 2010

I’ve continued to play with Klout over the last few months, but have become increasingly sceptical of the results.  I saw this post earlier today, which does a great job of explaining the problem. It’s also worth reading for the second comment, Klout’s own CEO. Perfectly handled, in my view.


The day #socialrecruiting got challenged

In Recruitment, Social Media, Twitter on July 8, 2010 at 3:37 pm

I recently saw a challenge laid out in a US blog which caught my eye.  Focussed very much on the shift from traditional recruiting techniques and job-boards to the emerging methods referred to most frequently as Social Recruiting, this challenge was focussed on Twitter.

The challenge was a very simple one, laid at the door of a couple of Twitter specialists in the US – “using your Twitter broadcast methods, find me candidates for XYZ job and prove your worth”.

The challenge was duly taken up and though I haven’t yet seen the final outcome, there’s another aspect I want to consider.  I’d rather look at the nature of the challenge itself.  “Find me candidates for XYZ job”. On the face of it, a fair challenge and something a traditional job board would probably have no issue with.  However, to apply this straight to the Social Recruiting world is to examine only a small part of the picture.

Social Recruiting is about community building.  It’s about identifying your target candidate market and communicating with them over a period of time, probably via multiple platforms.  Having them engage with your brand and values. Drawing your future candidates in and ensuring they’re not only accessible when needed, but more engaged with your organisation than your competitors.

If that sounds like the kind of recruitment you want in your organisation, then Social Recruiting could be a killer part of your arsenal. If you want to try Social Recruiting as a one-off, then maybe we need to talk through the concept again.

As always – feel free to take issue, praise, or just generally make your mark in the comments! If you want to check out the original challenge, it was issued May 14th, here.

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