Viral Marketing Initiatives

We’ve been discussing the use of videos at work for marketing our open positions and how if done correctly, they’re an incredibly powerful tool.  With that being said, what makes a video or any marketing campaign for that matter, so attention grabbing that it ends up going viral?

First, personally, I think it has a lot to do with pulling on the heart strings of your audience.  I remember the GoPro “Fireman Saves Kitten” video.  It was one of GoPro’s first videos that popularized the camera.  It had a total of 22 million views with 5 million in the first week alone.  Why?  First of all, who doesn’t want to see a cute, little baby kitty being brought back to life?  And also, GoPro made it incredibly easy to share.  Every possible social media channel button was provided along with a “share” button and a button to email it or even embed it in your own content.  And the social commenting, or “likes” it received on Facebook helped it spread like wild fire because it was seen on each person’s individual feed.

I also think humor has a lot to do with what leads to a campaign going viral.  I know that if I find something funny, I am most likely going to share it.  If it made me laugh, it will most likely make my audience laugh as well.  The Kmart “Ship My Pants”  commercial has to be one of the funniest I’ve ever seen.  I remember seeing it on TV and then looking for it on YouTube so I could purposely share it.

Along with humor, the Kmart video also had some shock value to it.  When I first heard the commercial, I stopped in my tracks to listen because I was so caught off guard.  Did they just say what I think they said on network TV?  The ad did what it was supposed to do – it got my attention and pushed me to want to share it.

And lastly, free stuff!  Who doesn’t love free stuff?  Give something away for free to someone, and pretty soon they’re telling their pals how they too can get that something free.  Hotmail is a great example.  In the mid 90’s, this start-up went from zero to 4.5 million subscribers in under a year by offering a free, web based email service.  How did they do it?  When someone received a Hotmail email, a “Get your free email at Hotmail” link appeared on the bottom.  They were pioneers in the 90’s because paid internet service usually only provided one email address per account.  Hotmail gave people options.  They could now have more than one email address and could access that email from anywhere in the world.  Genius!  Hotmail was eventually bought out by Microsoft in 1998 for $400 million.

I don’t know what content I can come up with for my recruiting videos that is emotional, funny or shocking, offering free stuff that makes people want to share it to everyone they know, but I will certainly try.  Stay tuned.  If you have any ideas, please pass them along.

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Blogging Best Practices For People Who Aren’t “Mean and Sucky”

Since I am new to blogging, I’ve been doing a lot of research on the subject and there is just so much information out there.   For this week’s module, I am supposed to research best practices for blogging and describe how my industry employs those best practices.  Well, I did research best practices and it seems like there are hundreds of articles on the subject, and most of those articles are writtenthinking-face by bloggers!  Go figure.  Are these all industry experts?  Am I an industry expert because I have a blog?  Any Joe Schmoe can have a blog and call himself an expert.  How do I determine whose best practices are the best, best practices?

Well, I ended up finding a few tips that weren’t on a blog that seemed worthy to share and one that was from a blog that I liked so I’ll share that too.

Here’s one-   Ask questions and seek opinions (Jantsch, n.d.).  As a recruiter, I really like this one.  It’s what I do.  I ask A LOT of questions.  I feel like I interview everyone I meet.  Ask my husband, that poor soul.  Sometimes I ask so many questions when we’re watching a show that he finally has to say, “I just don’t know!  Stop asking me so many questions!!”  It’s kind of funny, actually.  As you’re blogging, asking someone for their opinion and feedback is only going to enhance your content and open up the dialogue.  So I give this one a major thumbs up. Hand Like Image

Here’s another- Credit Your Sources ( Amber, 2014).  Now this is obviously a common sense point.  You want to give credit where credit is due and also make sure you’re not plagiarizing.  Thumbs up on this one too.

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This brings me to my third and favorite best practice.  This one made me chuckle.  It’s from The Tao of Twitter by Mark Schaefer.  He’s obviously referring to a Twitter best practice but the same can be applied to blogs as well.  He suggests that you Be Yourself.  He said, “There is no reason you can’t be yourself, unless you are a naturally mean and sucky person.  If you are in that category, you have to either not be mean and sucky or not use Twitter” (Schaefer, 2012).  How true and funny is that?  You can’t be mean and blog.  Well, technically you can, but you probably won’t get that many followers, unless…. they’re also “mean and sucky”.  I guess that if you find a lot of “mean and sucky” people to follow you, your blog could potentially be very successful.   Hhmmm…Funny how some things can really make you think.  Things that make you go, Hhmmm.  (flashback to the early 90’s).

I think all of these tips should be employed by everyone and not just one particular industry.  As I continue with my blog and research  and learn from others, I’ll be sure to incorporate as many best practices as I can find and really try to not be “mean and sucky”.  What are some of your favorite best practices you employ?

 

A. (2014, October 26). Blog Series | Blogging Etiquette and Best Practices ⋆ Forever Amber. Retrieved July 15, 2016, from http://www.foreveramber.co.uk/2014/10/blogging-etiquette-best-practises.html

Jantsch, J. (n.d.). Let’s Talk. Social Media For Small Business. Retrieved July 15, 2016, from https://www.ducttapemarketing.com/socialmediaforbusiness.pdf

Schaefer, M. W. (2012). The Tao of Twitter: Changing your life and business 140 characters at a time. New York: McGraw-Hill.

 

 

Risky Business

It’s interesting to hear different people’s perception of what a recruiter does. I was having dinner with friends a few years ago and the topic came up in conversation.  I can’t remember what premised me explaining how I go out and source for candidates.  My friend looked at me very confused and said, “You mean you actually look for people?  I thought you just posted a job on a few websites and then waited for someone to apply”.   I then went on to explain my process afteInspectorr receiving a req (requisition).  Yes, I actually do have to go out and look for candidates for my jobs…most of them anyway. Some jobs, like back in the day (and I’m dating myself here- about 20 years ago), I am able to just post and fill with actual applicants.  Those are most likely entry level or common roles but for the most part, I have very niche jobs that require me targeting our competition and utilizing the passive candidate database I’ve built over the years.

So where do I look? Well, we already know how much I love LinkedIn.  That’s my number one.  And then I often will search portfolio sites (Behance or Coroflot) and some sales data sites such as Data.com Connect or Spoke.com for leads, which I then usually follow up on LinkedIn.  I know, LinkedIn, I said it again. I’ll also do Boolean searches on variosocial media graphicus search engines to get the best reach.  Different search engines index different data so utilizing more than one ups your chances of finding valuable information. I’ll also use various Boolean search techniques like XRay or FlipSearch to target specific social media sites. I am actually an AIRS certified Social Sourcing Recruiter (CSSR) and have learned some neat techniques to find those squirrels. No, that doesn’t mean I am certified to recruit social people.  It means I took an AIRS social Sourcing recruiter course and then passed the certification test.

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Sourcing through social media is absolutely necessary this day in age. If you are not where your candidates are, your competition most likely is and will scoop them up before your very eyes. You run the risk of losing valuable talent if you don’t.  Then again, social media recruiting also has some risks. This topic came up in one of our weekly discussions at school.  Some companies actually go so far as to require applicants to submit their social media passwords so they can run their own little background checks.  Who the hell has the time to dig that deep, first of all?  In the industry I am in, I work with mostly creative people, designers, etc., and I can only imagine what I would find on their social media pages.  In any case, I read that a number of states have started the process of banning this practice.  When a potential employer starts looking into an applicant’s personal life that deep, they run the risk of learning information about that person that they really shouldn’t know at that stage of the game. For example, their race, their religious beliefs, are they pregnant, etc.?  Now you’re not only being incredibly nosy, you’re truly running the risk of a discrimination lawsuit (Guerin, n.d.).  Also, and I am making an assumption here as I have not thoroughly researched this topic, I would imagine you would have to somehow prove that you researched EVERY applicant’s social media pages for EEO purposes.  In any case, there are risks to both but social media is here to stay so I’ll continue my hunt there.

social media flowers

 

 

Guerin, L., JD. (n.d.). Can Potential Employers Check Your Facebook Page? | Nolo.com. Retrieved June 25, 2016, from http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/can-potential-employers-check-your-facebook-page.html

 

I just LOVE LinkedIn

I say this all the time.  LinkedIn is a vital tool for building professional relationships.  It’s even more important when you’re looking for a job.  For recruiters, it remains the number one source for finding talent.  I have close to 4000 first connections globally on LinkedIn. earth These are people who are directly connected to me because I’ve either accepted their invitation to connect or they’ve accepted an invitation I sent them.  I don’t know all of these people, I wish I did, but each one has something about their experience that I find interesting.  So why connect?   A study by sociologist, Mark Granovetter discusses how it’s your “acquaintances who introduce you to new ideas and opportunities”, not your close friends in your inner circle (Merrill, 2014). Think about it.  Your close friends most likely do similar things and know the same people as you.  Connecting with others outside of my circle is a way of building my opportunity to learn from some fascinating people.  And, we may be able to help each other out some day down the road.

A great tool to help build those connections is LinkedIn Recruiter, one of the paid levels of membership on LinkedIn.  My employer pays for several “seats” for our recruitment team.  This membership has some valuable tools to help make our job easier and more efficient.   With this subscription, I have my own dashboard that displays tabs for my projects, jobs, reports and more.  I can InMail anyone within LinkedIn’s network of 450+ million professionals and also build valuable pipelines of talent with particular skill sets. This greatly reduces my time to fill, eliminating the need to start a search from scratch.  A great feature which I find incredibly helpful is the Profile Recommendation feature.   LinkedIn uses algorithms based on your prior usage and provides you with recommendations such as People You May Want to HireSimilar Profiles, Profile Matches for your posted jobs, People Also Viewed and Suggested Professionals.  The more you use the product, the more LinkedIn “learns” about you and provides you with more tailored recommendations (Venkatraman, 2014).

The newest feature which I am excited to dig into is the Recruiter Mobile App. This takes your LinkedIn experience to a whole new level and allows you to be where your candidates are.  Whether you’re working remotely or traveling, this app gives you the freedom to use all of LinkedIn’s capabilities on the go.   View and search candidate’s profiles, make connections, manage job postings and even email right from your mobile device.  Another great tool to add to the recruiter tool box to help find that damn squirrel!

LinkedIn Mobile

Merrill, T. (2014, May). Retrieved July 3, 2016, from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140506113910-43645946-why-you-should-connect-with-people-you-don-t-know-on-linkedin

Venkatraman, S. (2014, December 4). 5 Unique Features of LinkedIn Recruiter That Will Make Your Job Easier. Retrieved July 3, 2016, from https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/blog/2014/12/5-unique-features-of-linkedin-recruiter-that-will-make-your-job-easier?u=0#!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recruiting in the Social Media age

As mentioned in my first post, the recruiting industry has changed dramatically.  We’re moving more and more into a digital world of hiring. Candidates are viewing job postings on social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.  They’re not only using their computers to view these postings but more often on their tablets and phones.  Candidates are now even applying for jobs via their mobile devices. It’s a very competitive job market out there.  Take your time responding to a candidate or have a difficult application process, and they will quickly move on to the next opportunity.  Companies are striving to keep up with the demands of today’s mobile candidate.

Social media is making it easier for us as recruiters to get the word out about openings and to make those connections with the candidate.  For example, almost all organizations use some version of an applicant tracking systems (ATS) which is a software application that tracks resumes, interviews, applications, etc.  Today, most of these systems have mobile capabilities for  job searches and mobile job applications.  On the recruiter side, these tools also offer social media integration.  We are now able to share our open positions with our personal social media networks with the push of a button.  Most also offer the ability to automate and publish openings to the organization’s Twitter, Facebook and other social media channels seamlessly.

Social media recruiting

As an organization is trying to attract top talent, there’s something very important they need to keep in mind.  When a prospective candidate is looking for a new position, their first port of call is usually a company’s website.  According to Amber Hyatt, Director of Product Marketing for Silkroad, in a Business News Daily article titled, Hiring in a Digital Age: What’s Next for Recruiting, a company’s website is like a “store front”.   This is where potential candidates learn most about the organizations they are interested in.  In today’s competitive landscape, it’s imperative that the “Employer Brand” is clearly portrayed on the website. What is an Employer Brand?  An Employer Brand is an organization’s reputation as an employer.  The process of employer branding is a term used to explain how organizations market themselves as an employer both internally and externally (Sokro, 2012).  Basically what it boils down to is clearly communicating why someone would want to work for you.  A few good ways to do this is to ensure you have vibrant, attractive and inviting photos and content.  Make sure it’s optimized for mobile devices with social sharing buttons clearly visible on each page.  Try to include photos of employees in their work environment or at corporate gatherings and also video interviews of employees speaking freely and unscripted. This helps visitors build an emotional connection and help them see themselves in that person’s shoes.

When you’re trying to attract talent, this is the number one thing you need to get right first!  Why?  Because as you develop your social media presence, you’re going to be driving that traffic from your various social media channels back to your website.  The ultimate goal is to engage that person and get them to apply.  If your company is not properly represented or if a candidate cannot get a good feel about what it’s like to work for you by viewing your website, they’re moving on and the hunt for the Purplish Squirrel continues.

References:

Fallon, N. (n.d.). Hiring in the Digital Age: What’s Next for Recruiting? Retrieved June 27, 2016, from http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6975-future-of-recruiting.html

Sokro, E. (2012). Impact of Employer Branding on Employee Attraction and Retention. European Journal of Business and Management, 4(18), 164. Retrieved April 7, 2016, from http://pakacademicsearch.com/pdf-files/ech/517/164-173 Vol 4, No 18 (2012).pdf

 

Welcome to my blog!

I am a seeker and finder of people.  Call me a Head Hunter or even fancier, a Talent Acquisition Specialist, but I call myself a Recruiter.  I have been in this profession for over two decades in various industries.  I’ve worked for agencies, I’ve been my own agency and I’ve worked for giant corporations. I’ve been on both sides of the desk, recruiting and selling recruiting services.  I didn’t grow up thinking, “I’m going to be a recruiter”.  It just happened, and I went with it.  It turned out to be the best career possible for me.  I’m an extrovert.  I love people. I need to be socializing constantly.  And I absolutely LOVE a challenge.  The position that is impossible to fill drives me to succeed.

My role as a recruiter has changed dramatically over the years.  I started off before anyone really knew how to use the internet.  We would post jobs in newspapers and hope for the best.  Today, I am a networking machine.  When I meet someone, usually within the first few minutes I know their name, what they do, where they work, and I am getting their contact information and starting to build a professional relationship.

I use social media tools such as LinkedIn and Twitter to connect and build my network.  LinkedIn is my number one source for information.  I am constantly on LinkedIn researching names and titles.  In essence, I feel I am a name collector.  I have names written everywhere- in my phone, on sticky notes in my office, in countless notebooks.  Everyone’s name sounds familiar to me at this point.  LinkedIn is a way for me to organize all of these names and use them to my advantage.  I connect with everyone and anyone I find who has an interesting title or background no matter the industry.  At the risk of sounding selfish, I connect with people because somewhere down the road, I may be able to use them or someone they know to fill one of my open positions.

Twitter is a social media tool I am relatively new to.  I am just getting my feet wet trying to figure out the best way to use it.  At one point, I had three Twitter handles, one for personal, one for my actual job and one for this blog.  I’ve since shut down the personal one because I wasn’t giving it any attention.  I am just learning how to utilize Twitter to really engage with the audience I am trying to reach.  I am learning about Twitter lists and how to use them to my advantage as a way of organizing people.  My goal for the next few months will be to really try and build a solid follower base and start adding relevant, interesting content to help build up my passive candidate database.

All of these efforts, collecting names, networking, connecting and engaging with people, are for one particular purpose- to find that perfect candidate- the “Purple Squirrel”.  For those that are not familiar with the term, the Purple Squirrel is a term used by recruiters to describe that absolute perfect candidate that checks off ALL of the boxes on that hiring manager’s wish list- i.e. the technical product developer with vulcanized, performance, waterproofing, cement lasted, hand-sewn in their skill set and 5 years of factory experience in Asia, who is also diverse and has salary requirements within the incredibly, ridiculous low budget who is willing to relocate on their own dime to live and work in the boonies.   They all want that, right?  Well, do you spend month after month searching, going without that support you need, spending unnecessary, unbudgeted funds to find this needle in the haystack or do you take your chances and hire that “not so perfect” candidate, the one that doesn’t check off every single box on the list, the “Purplish Squirrel” as I call them, and develop and groom that person into that perfect employee?   I try and convince my managers to take this leap of faith all the time.  Of course, occasionally, you get lucky and that Purple Squirrel does surface but for the most part, you end up chasing your tail when you could have already changed that req status to “Filled” months ago with the Purplish Squirrel.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Please tell me what you think.  Thanks for reading!