Archive for July, 2008

Charging an applicant to TXT - is this right?

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

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I came across a blind recruitment advertisement for a Performance Analyst with a “major oil company” in yesterday’s The Dominion Post, run by recruitment agency Wheeler Campbell

In addition to providing recruiter contacts, DDI, and an email address there was a “FAST-TEXT” option.  A couple of things caught my attention with this.  First, it’s always interesting to see a recruitment agency using a TXT/SMS option.  A number of New Zealand employers (eg Air New Zealand, Transfield Services) have used this approach with success. 

My next observation is that “texts cost 99c“.  It is not my intention to disparage the Wheeler Campbell team, but I’m wondering whether this should be a cost the agency covers, rather than the applicant.  Part of me believes that an agency or employer should try their damn hardest to encourage suitable people to apply by whatever means.  Or is this an ingenious approach to discourage tyre kickers?  If I was entering a competition to win a car then a 99c txt may be fair, but isn’t it important to encourage a dialogue?  After all, applicants are investing their time in enquiring and applying.  Does one get a refund if they receive a regret / rejection letter?

Your thoughts?

Paul Jacobs
Engage

What can employer brand managers learn from Helen Clark and John Key?

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Just read an excellent blog post entitled Five things Barack Obama’s campaign proves about your recruitment brand.  Check it out.  Is your company running your employer branding initiatives like a campaign?  How are you reaching out to your internal and external audiences?  What communication methods and platforms do you use?  What’s your communication style?  What are your key messages?  How are you measuring outcomes?

I’m sure Peter Dunne would wonder if your branding initiatives were “pragmatic” and “commonsense”.  What can Winston Peters, Tariana Turia, Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rodney Hide teach us?

Paul Jacobs
Engage

Recruitment and employer branding using 140 characters

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

What are you doing right now?  What are you thinking?  (Apart from reading this blog post!)  Are you perturbed by the high price of iPhones in New Zealand?  Maybe others are perturbed as well.  Is there some part of you - be honest - that’s interested in what other people are doing and thinking right now?  You may find commonalities with more people than you think.  Could there be value in discovering the goss and hot topics out there, either in your local area or from those who live and work on the other side of the world?  Enter Twitter.

twitter.gif Twitter is the platform du jour.  Wikipedia defines Twitter as a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send “updates” (or “tweets”; text-based posts, up to 140 characters long) to the Twitter website.  Tweets can be sent via the Twitter website, SMS/TXT, RSS news/blog feed updates, or via a growing number of Twitter-focused third-party applications, including Facebook.  A tweet may include links to photos and websites.  You choose who you “follow” and others choose to follow you.  You can keep your followers and tweets limited to only people you choose.  People can comment on your tweets and you can comment on theirs, creating a conversation.  You can also see conversations between others.  The sound bites are small and easily digestible.  Check out this plain English introductory video on YouTube.

I’m relatively new to the whole life-streaming phenomena and at first I just didn’t get why someone felt compelled to tell the Twitter community that they are at the park with the kids, nervous about giving a big client presentation, or in a tizz after putting wasabi up their nostril (honest!).   I started to follow a group of technology enthusiasts in Wellington and many of my favourite bloggers, business leaders, authors, and famous people (eg Barack Obama) around the world (or from Mars - ie The Phoenix Mars Lander).  Members of the Twitter community are following me and I have entered into some interesting conversations on and off-line as a result.  I started learning stuff.  In a work context, I feel more informed about innovations and happenings in recruitment and recruitment technologies as a result. 

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In the last Engage blog post I talked about Zappos.  Check out the Zappos Twitter page (also accessible from the Zappos website).  438 Zappos employees are tweeting, including “Tony”, the Zappos CEO.  Tony has nearly 8,000 “followers”.  Reading the tweets gives you not only insights into the Zappos culture and business-related updates, but a deeper understanding of the Zappos team psyches and personalities.  (Tony’s recent “pool party” sounded a lot of fun.)  There’s nothing to stop me or a prospective jobseeker striking up a relationship or conversation with the Zappos team.  It all makes a traditional corporate careers site look very static and one-dimensional.

Some job boards, like this one, are pushing their listings via Twitter.  I’m not sure if I’m a fan of this, but it is another channel to get the word out.  Closer to home, New Zealand newcomer JOBX is using Twitter really well, even engaging the community in the design of their site and offering - check them out.

All has not been rosy with Twitter.  They’ve been plagued with downtime issues as they struggle to keep up with the growing demand.  Regardless, I believe Twitter has ushered in a form of simple communication that has enormous application, within and outside recruitment.

For deep searches of Twitter conversations, I recommend using Summize.

Paul Jacobs
Engage