Archive for September, 2008

LinkedIn Company Profiles - a tool for employers, recruiters and jobseekers

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

I’ve noticed a trend on LinkedIn over the last couple of months.  New Zealand recruitment consultants, often via their first degree connections, are requesting that I provide an “introduction” to my first degree connections who are currently working within NZ organisations.   One of my first degree connections was stoked to be approached by a recruitment consultant, another chose to ignore the introduction.  I’m not anti this approach, as part of the value of LinkedIn is extending beyond one’s immediate network.  Also, the recruiter is being proactive and recognises the value of using the value chain to source candidates.  It’s not intrusive; both I and my connections can always decide to ignore the referral.  Interestingly, most of my connections have listed on their profile pages that they are open to career opportunities, job inquiries and the like.  The recruiter still has to do the hard work of establishing a working relationship with that person.  Another approach taken by a few NZ recruiters (mainly the internal recruiters I must add) is to join LinkedIn groups in the areas they are recruiting for.  The smart ones are also listing vacancies on their status updates.

What was missing in this equation, at the start of this year at least, was the opportunity for a jobseeker to find out about an employer or recruitment agency.  When LinkedIn introduced Company Profiles back in March I could see the enormous potential of this feature for employers, recruiters and jobseekers.  For employers and recruiters, it’s an opportunity to brand themselves to jobseekers.  For jobseekers, LinkedIn becomes a research tool. It’s a reconnaissance tool for recruiters, providing deeper insight into the potential talent within an employer.  Employers can also use this for their own succession planning strategies.  In fact, it is a headhunting tool.

More recently, LinkedIn introduced the ability to search for companies based on industry, location, company size and the closeness of the connection.  Check out some of the companies.   If your company is not listed, note that LinkedIn plan to allow companies to add themselves directly, and has been working on addressing some security considerations raised by some LinkedIn members.

You will notice there’s a lot of information on the company profiles, such as the average age of their LinkedIn employees in your wider network, their gender breakdown, common qualifications, recent hires and promotions, and the most popular person profiles.  LinkedIn plan to extend these features, allowing companies to post jobs, recruitment videos, promotional stuff etc on their profile page.  Very interesting!

LinkedIn has also recently introduced their own iPhone application and discussion features for LinkedIn Groups, including an often-requested groups directory. 

Paul Jacobs

RateMyAgency NZ - disturbing or brilliant?

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

Recruitment agencies often get a bad rap.  Many New Zealanders would rate them alongside real estate agents and other sales professionals in the popularity stakes.  My own experience has been varied, both from the candidate and employer side.  I have come across some great recruiters and some scum of the earth and/or incompetent ones.  On occasion, those “scum of the earth” ones actually delivered the results.

Getstaffed, developed by two Wellington guys, provides an online platform for businesses to connect directly with a pool of contractors, with no recruitment agency anywhere in sight.  Also check out Crackerjacks, which recently launched with a similar proposition.  Though this model is interesting, this post is not about the pros or cons of this concept or a review of these providers.  Specifically, this post is about the RateMyAgency page on the Getstaffed website.  

Warning: If you are one of the IT recruitment agencies mentioned on this page, take a deep breath now and maybe pour a glass of whiskey before you click through.  You may have fared well, but there is a high chance that the ratings and comments on this page may send you straight to the therapist’s chair.

Have a glance at the comments and ratings, including those directed at Getstaffed themselves (good on you Getstaffed for listing the feedback received from your service users).  Obviously RateMyAgency is providing jobseekers with an outlet to voice their views, whether positive or not-so-positive.  Quite possibly employers and candidates may think twice about their dealings with an agency after viewing RateMyAgency.  

A few things concern me however, as follows:

  1. Is it really appropriate for Getstaffed to operate this page?  Their service offer does not include recruitment agencies, and it’s not really in their best interests for agencies to be seen in a positive light - is it?   Would it be more balanced for say the RCSA or ITCRA to manage such a site?  
  2. I would predict that the visitors to this site may not necessarily be that endeared to recruitment agencies, possibly because they have had a negative experience.  This would negatively skew the feedback. 
  3. Sometimes, when a recruitment agency does a professional job throughout the whole recruitment process, an unsuccessful candidate gets annoyed and blames the agency and consultant.  Are we looking at some of these candidates on RateMyAgency?  Conversely, candidates that are successful at the end of the process are typically well-disposed to the agency.

Another approach to assessing the candidate experience is for the employer to ask a candidate directly.  This could be done at the interview stage or later stages of the recruitment process.  Questions could include:

  • What’s your recruitment experience been like thus far with the recruitment agency?
  • Have they been professional?  Responsive?
  • Have they worked hard to present you in the best possible light and find the best possible job match?  
  • Have they tried to understand you and your experience, skills, qualities, career interests?  
  • How would you rate them?  What would make them exemplary in your eyes?

There’s nothing to stop the employer asking an unsuccessful candidate (presented by the agency) about their experiences.  Questioning may provide some interesting insights.  Better still, incorporate the “candidate experience” into the Service Level Agreement documentation.

What do you think of RateMyAgency?

Paul Jacobs

The NZ Recruitment 2.0 community

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

There’s a great deal of innovation happening in recruitment; from new ways of sourcing candidates to advances in technology. NZ Recruitment 2.0 is for Kiwis who share an interest in the bigger picture of recruitment within the NZ context.

To join the community, which currently has 154 members, register here.  Community members can connect with other members, host and attend recruitment-related events, join special interest groups, post photos and videos, post questions, and debate and discuss a range of issues.

The community is hosted on the Ning social networking platform.

Paul Jacobs