James Mayes

Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

Transparency vs protectionism, part 2: Driving up quality

In Facebook, LinkedIn, Recruitment, Social Media, Twitter, Uncategorized on September 20, 2010 at 8:46 am

So last week I wrote a post about the transparent nature of Social Media. It presents a clear challenge to all businesses, but particularly those in the past who have a more secretive nature to their operations.  There were a number of great comments on that post and those (plus a discussion with a contemporary across the pond) caused me to extend the thinking.

What if the transparent nature of social media was driven out as a message to candidates? Not for the purposes of securing a new job, or learning more about a client – but at a more conceptual level.  If a company or agency recruits via Social Media, they will at some point have discussed transparency.  It therefore stands to reason that these organisations are more comfortable that one of the following applies:

  1. They don’t have anything to hide
  2. They might have things they aren’t proud of, but they’re happy to be called out on it and learn from those mistakes
  3. They accept things will go wrong, but figure the benefits outweigh the risks

Whichever way you look at it, Social Media should allow for better scrutiny, commentary and feedback.  It should drive up the quality of the recruitment experience.

So here’s the question:  Can we drive this transparent message to candidates?  Will they buy this concept? If they do, we’ll see more candidates leaning towards those employers / agencies that are active in the social space. Those hiding in the more traditional media may find it harder and harder to generate great candidates – will this prove to be game-changing in the quality standards applicable across the industry?

I don’t have the answers yet – but I’ve got a strong gut feel and I’d love to hear your thoughts!

DISCLOSURE: I’m a founding director of TweetJobs. Our business focusses on helping recruiters to get Social. I clearly have a vested interest in this topic, though would note this is my personal blog. I feel free to speculate and theorise here, but flame away if you feel this disclosure is insufficient!

#socialrecruiting RoI, lesson one

In Facebook, LinkedIn, Recruitment, Social Media, Twitter on September 16, 2010 at 9:58 am

Picture credit http://www.hetemeel.com, concept credit @fellowcreative

It’s about transparency, not protectionism

In Facebook, LinkedIn, Recruitment, Social Media, Twitter on September 15, 2010 at 9:05 am

So this post is a quick reflection on a recent client meeting. The client concerned has been working with us for the last couple of months. In many ways, they’re the ideal player to be making moves in social recruiting: buy-in at board level; keen to learn about new technology; small enough to be agile; specialist enough to have brand value and so on.

We’ve been making steady progress with them in terms of  improving online visibility, understanding of the medium and the various platforms and indeed, these early moves have already delivered positive results. As you’d expect, these early results aren’t necessarily huge, but they’re sufficiently indicative that the client has gained in confidence.

So far, there’s only one concern they’ve raised.  Their market is niche, their candidates valuable.  If they become increasingly visible on platforms like Twitter and Facebook, competitors will be able to see who Follows or Likes the company. Does this not then form a feeding ground, giving away the spoils of all their hard work?

My response is a resounding NO! If you believe in Social Media and you believe in yourselves, this new environment is great way to show your candidates that you really are striving to be the best. If you’re transparent about this, your candidates will see and buy your belief in yourselves and be keener than ever to work with you in future.

I think we do great things for our clients – but I’ll admit in front of any of them that we’re still learning too.  So it’s not all about my response – what do you think?

Why Twitter? The Backchannel – #trumanchester

In Personal Development, Recruitment, Social Media, Twitter on September 10, 2010 at 12:19 pm

I regularly get asked about the value of Twitter and as you’d expect, I can talk for hours on the subject.  One particular favourite though, remains the backchannel.  It’s always easier to explain when there’s a real-time event happening that people can plug into, so I suggested recently that those sceptical should follow #trumanchester this week.  Now the event itself is over, I want to take a quick look back, including a few stats.

For those who haven’t been involved, #trumanchester was a two-day unconference focussed on the recruitment industry (8/9th Sept). Subjects include technology, process, candidate experience and particularly, Social Media. Organised by Bill Boorman, the event was attended by circa 85 people representing the UK, USA, Netherlands, Switzerland, Scandinavia and Ireland!.

In the week surrounding the event (4th-10th Sept), there were 296 tweeters using the #trumanchester hashtag, producing 2160 tweets.

Bearing in mind the number of attendees, it’s clear that many of those tweeters weren’t there in person.  Probably more still if one considers many Twitter users don’t actually tweet much, they simply consume. The top ten tweeters produced over 1000 tweets between them. Regardless of their regular followers, these people managed to broadcast their personal brand & message to a seriously focussed audience.

If you check out the transcript over the actual two days of the event, you’ll notice many comments and questions coming in from outside the room. Often, these are from thought leaders in the industry who couldn’t be present. They’re keeping themselves up to date, driving the debate in a particular direction, raising their own profile – whatever the reason, they’re deriving value from the backchannel and adding quality to the event as a whole.

For me, the backchannel has become a key element of any event, whether I’m there in person or not. If it’s not something you’ve investigated before, I urge you to do so in future! Two acknowledgements I should make: first, stats and transcript produced via WTHashtag. Second, kudos to @billboorman for recognising the value of live blogging and backchannel curation – bringing @lesanto in to drive this aspect added a huge amount of value.

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