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4 Ways Content Beats Social Media in Recruiting Quality Candidates for the Long Haul

by Dec 24, 2014, 5:04 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 10.06.15 AMIt’s the end of the year and that means that if you aren’t thinking about the tactics for next year, you’re definitely reviewing the past year to see what worked and what didn’t. I love this time of year, because the hustle and bustle eases and we can all take a big deep breath and reflect on the plan. Instead of running from one fire to the next, from one demand to the next, we can plan.

So obviously, you want to get involved in the new channels, like content, in all sorts of variations: blogs, video, employee-generated, podcasting, employee profiles, reasons why someone should work for you, etc. But you also know you need to stay in social media. Facebook, while 12 years old, is still “the place” to reach people. And LinkedIn is still the primary watering hole for people looking for jobs, so you have to be there.

But when push comes to shove, you have limited budget resources. You can’t buy everything you want, so you have to prioritize. So, if you are down to your last proverbial budget dollar, where do you spend it? Social media, or content?

Let’s start by looking at social media. These days, Facebook is a pay-for-play network. You only reach 1-3 percent of your organic audience, and Facebook just announced that posts that are purely promotional (“Buy this!” “Download this!” “Apply here!”) will be downgraded even more. So if you want your job posting to be seen by more than the tiniest fraction of potential fans, you need to pony up the cash. Remember when social media was cheap? That seems like a very long time ago.

While Twitter isn’t as bad as Facebook, it us already talking about filtering content as well, not pushing your job posts to all your fans. Again, bring your checkbook.

And LinkedIn? It also filters all traffic you see in your news feed. So all the time and energy you spent getting 100,000 fans wasn’t that productive, as you can’t really reach them all without spending money.

Let’s not forget that the big pitch social media gave us was “Sure, we have low click rates, but it’s all so cheap, who cares?” Now that it isn’t so cheap, low click rates aren’t so enticing.

Content is labor intensive. Even if you can magically grind out a short press release or blog post in an hour, the time to proof, edit, review, and approve it makes it expensive. And if you want something grander than just a blog post (said the guy who writes a lot of blog posts all day), the price tag goes way way up.

But content has a few things going for it that lower the price tag. keep reading…

FB@Work, Facebook’s New Business Service, Being Tested

by Nov 17, 2014, 7:23 pm ET

facebookFacebook is testing a new professional service specifically intended to be used in the workplace.

The company has so far been mum about “Facebook at Work.” However, the Financial Times, which disclosed the secret project, said it is designed as a collaboration tool, allowing users to share documents, communicate with colleagues, and build networks of professional contacts. Because it will enable users to keep their social network completely separate from their professional one, the new service is being considered a competitor to LinkedIn and to services from Google and Microsoft. keep reading…

Predictions for the Future of Digital Talent Acquisition: Social Media (Part 2 of 3)

by May 21, 2014, 12:06 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 5.12.46 AMThis is the second part of a three-part series on the future of digital talent acquisition. In part one, I looked at content. Content will be the watchword of the next few years and there are some very specific ways talent acquisition professionals can ride that wave. But content is a spark waiting for gasoline in the shape of social media.

It has only been a few years since social media escaped the dorms and became the communication and financial powerhouse we see today. To some extent, we’ve seen social media complete its maturation process to compete with TV and display ads. No longer is social media a means for people to talk to each other that happens to have ads on it. Now, it is a medium for ads that happens to allow you to connect with friends.

If you don’t believe it, take a look at your Facebook feed. If you stripped out updates for games like Farmville and Candy Crush, updates from brands, links to other websites and videos, and updates from other social media channels like Instagram, Pinterest and Spotify, what’s left? Not much. Not much at all.

But that doesn’t mean social media is dead. It means that it is changing and evolving. Maturation of the content channel coincides with a maturation of the business model: many of the feed updates are paid for. It used to be if you were a fan of Coke or Bucky Badger, their updates would show up on your feed because you are a fan. Now, only about 1 percent of all brand updates organically (read: free) make it onto peoples’ feeds. Everything else gets paid for.

So look at your Facebook feed again. Think about how many of those updates were paid for and what they cost. Think about how much time and effort goes into all those Upworthy, BuzzFeed, and Huffington Post “articles” that flood your feed. Think about the amount of actual conversation that is taking place on your Facebook feed and you’ll agree: Facebook has changed a great deal in just the last four years. This means that in the near term, any Facebook campaigns you’re considering will be more expensive just to maintain the same reach. This means that in the long term, maybe Facebook isn’t a social media platform as much as it’s an ad platform. This should change your thinking of if and how to use it. keep reading…

Are You Ready for the Changes Coming to Social Media?

by Apr 16, 2014, 5:17 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 6.16.22 PMMaybe it’s spring cleaning. Virtually every major social network is changing its interface or functionality.

Twitter Becomes More Like Facebook keep reading…

Facebook’s Billion-dollar Hiring Lesson — the Business Case for Eliminating Missed Hires

by Feb 21, 2014, 5:56 am ET

whatsappThe most costly recruiting error in recent history was revealed last week.

On Wednesday, Facebook announced its nearly $19 billion purchase of the instant-messaging firm WhatsApp. But the real news about the acquisition relates to the colossal recruiting failure that occurred a handful of years earlier (as reported by Forbes) when both WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton applied for a job at Facebook and were rejected (Acton was also rejected by Twitter).

As Brian Acton put it ,“We’re part of the Facebook reject club.” You could easily argue that this colossal “hiring miss” cost Facebook billions, and as a result, this hiring error has to rank near the top “not hired” errors, only rivaled by HP’s rejection of Steve Jobs for not having a college degree. If you are a corporate talent manager, this and similar errors should now become a critical part of your business case for fully funding an effective recruiting team and flawless hiring process.

The Top Eight “Billion-dollar Hiring Miss Lessons” for Talent Leaders keep reading…

Engineers Say Facebook is Dying and Won’t Last the Decade

by Feb 21, 2014, 5:43 am ET

Facebook death chartHere’s something you never heard at a recruiting conference: check your best candidate’s blood type before making an offer.

(You were expecting we’d start with the Facebook death thing? That’s what we call a teaser. Patience. It’s coming.)

If it’s B negative, you’ve got a pessimist on your hands. They might be the exactly right person for a job in disaster planning or safety officer; not so much for sales, unless fear of the failure they expect keeps them motivated.

How about an O? In the U.S., blood banks give those donors the top-tier treatment. In Japan, where this blood typing thing is totally out of control, Os are considered curious, generous, sociable, if a bit stubborn and flighty. keep reading…

‘Damning’ Report Says Facebook Marketing Doesn’t Work

by Oct 29, 2013, 2:51 pm ET

facebookDescribed as “damning,” “scathing,” and “brutal,” a Forrester report says Facebook is all but useless as a marketing tool, bluntly declaring “Facebook is failing marketers.”

“Don’t dedicate a paid ad budget for Facebook,” advises Forrester. “Marketers tell us Facebook ads generate less business value than display ads on other sites. It’s time to make decisions based on facts, not on faith or fascination. You’re just buying display ads!”

In a blog post addressed to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the author of the report says,”While lots of marketers spend lots of money on Facebook today, relatively few find success … Facebook ads were less valuable than any other marketing tactic (marketers)  could use on your site.” keep reading…

A Case Study of Facebook’s Simply Amazing Talent Management Practices, Part 2 of 2

by Sep 16, 2013, 5:56 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 12.00.32 PMIn part 1 of this series I covered the first 24 amazing talent management practices at Facebook. In this part, I will cover the remaining unique 21 best practices that you can learn from.

If you’re not aware of Facebook’s success, within 15 months of its IPO, its average employee produces over $1.3 million in revenue and $120,000 in profit each a year. has rated the firm No. 1 for employee satisfaction and its employees rate its CEO No. 1 with an almost perfect 99 percent approval rating. My primary contribution in this case study is to provide insight into the business reasoning behind each of its unique practices. The 45+ features are separated into 10 different categories. As you scan through these best practices, see if you don’t agree that they are unique. If you would like to learn from what I can only call simply amazing and results generating talent practices, read on. keep reading…

Facebook, Workday, Entelo, and Koofers on the Move

by Sep 11, 2013, 1:41 pm ET

Among the recent goings-on in recruiting and human resources technology: keep reading…

A Case Study of Facebook’s Simply Amazing Talent Management Practices, Part 1 of 2

by Sep 9, 2013, 6:32 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-09-05 at 10.33.24 PMAlmost everyone is aware of Facebook. Usually that knowledge comes from either using its social media product or by reading about its CEO. However, the unique aspects of the firm that almost no one is aware of are its distinct and powerful talent management practices.

In most cases, it takes literally several decades to develop an exceptional company that has a unique set of talent management practices that produce phenomenal business results. But occasionally there are exceptions. Apple became exceptional again in little more than a decade after the return of Steve Jobs. Google developed exceptional people management practices and business results in much less than a decade. But Facebook has gone from a college dorm room idea to an undisputed social media dominance in literally less than a handful of years. I’ve previously done case studies on the amazing talent management practices of both Google and Apple ) and now it’s time to cover the amazing talent management practices at Facebook that result in breathtaking workforce productivity levels. keep reading…

Don’t Be a Social Recruiting Zombie: Etiquette tips for the savvy recruiter

by Sep 4, 2013, 6:17 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-08-28 at 12.13.54 PMNobody likes a zombie. Even if it’s a zombie bearing a job opportunity.

But with the rise of social recruiting channels, many recruiters find themselves transitioning from a more formal candidate-recruiter interaction mode to something more akin to the wild, wild, west … where the etiquette and norms haven’t been 100 percent fleshed out yet.

And as such, recruiters find themselves trying to adapt to a new venue with its, own evolving set of norms.

Don’t be a zombie. Be human and thoughtful. keep reading…

The Right Tweet at the Right Time: Social Media Indicators for Real-Time Recruiting

by Aug 22, 2013, 6:14 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 3.10.45 PMYou know the old saying “the early bird catches the worm,” right? In the case of job recruiting, this phrase is particularly relevant. Any experienced recruiter knows that a highly qualified candidate who has multiple offers on the table needs to be targeted as quickly as possible.

But how exactly can a recruiter decide when it’s the right time to engage a candidate? How can recruiters monitor for indicators that a high-profile candidate may be open to a new opportunity, even before the candidate starts looking? Social media sites, because of their real-time nature, can be an incredibly helpful tool for not only building regular rapport with talent, but also helping recruiters find the right moment to engage with candidates for a new opportunity.

In this post I’m going to talk about a few ways I have used social media in the past to find real-time indicators for recruiting talent with the right timing. For the sake of brevity, I’ll be focusing on Twitter and Facebook (though this could easily be used for other social networks, too).

Opportunity Indicators on Twitter keep reading…

Maybe a Facebook Photo of Someone Drinking a Beer Isn’t So Bad

by Jul 3, 2013, 2:27 pm ET

ncsuEmployers who screen out people because they’re pictured on Facebook drinking may be screening out perfectly fine people, according to one new study.

Lori Foster Thompson, a North Carolina State University psychology professor, co-authored a paper about Facebook screening. A Ph.D. student, Will Stoughton, is a lead author. “Companies are eliminating some conscientious job applicants based on erroneous assumptions regarding what social media behavior tells us about the applicants,” Stoughton says.

Being “conscientious” and “responsible” isn’t directly correlated, the study finds, to whether you’re captured on a social media site with a Corona.

The problem — weeding out people for perhaps the wrong reasons — is worse for companies looking to hire extroverts.

keep reading…

Back to the Blog: Insights on Social Media From Marketers

by Jul 2, 2013, 6:06 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 7.05.21 PMPeople who work in marketing have been at the forefront of social media — flogging everything from Apples (not computers — the company has a very limited presence on social media) to zoos. But success, i.e., sales. have been elusive. Only a minority of marketers claim that their companies have increased sales through social media and then after as much as three years of effort! The recently released Social Media Marketing Industry Report documents many of the challenges and frustrations marketers have experienced and the lessons they have learned — useful for any recruiter working with social media.

Some key insights are: keep reading…

Think You Know Social Recruiting? Take a Lesson From the Military

by May 30, 2013, 6:19 am ET

image001 - Royal marinesA recent analysis of who is winning the talent war in social media showed some surprising results. In particular, the strong showing of the military compared to large private sector companies. Who knew the public sector could beat Google at its own game?

We’re used to mocking government departments for their slow uptake of technology and innovation, in everything from administration processes to marketing and communication. In the area of recruitment, however, some military organizations are mopping the floor when it comes to using social media to connect with potential recruits.

So … think you have a handle on social recruiting? Take a lesson from these military organizations. keep reading…

Facebook and Phone Calls: A Recipe for Recruiting Success

by Apr 10, 2013, 12:25 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-04-02 at 11.22.02 AMAccording to a recent Facebook blog post, “Half of employers (50 percent) are using Facebook in their hiring process. A majority (54 percent) already using the social network anticipates Facebook becoming a more important part of the talent acquisition process in the near future.”

Job candidates are also infusing their job search with Facebook activity. In a recent study conducted jointly by Facebook and Carnegie-Mellon University, results revealed that job seekers with strong ties who shared private messages, commented on each others’ posts, or posted directly on each others’ walls found new jobs at a rate of 33.2 percent over the three months. Those with weak ties found jobs a fifth as often, at only a 6.5 percent rate.

This data suggests two things: The first is that we are hiring people who are spending a lot of time on social media. (Let’s hope they’re not doing it while on the job!) And second, Facebook is a powerful tool for active, hands-on users. Like job seekers, recruiters need to do more than just jump on to the Facebook wagon — they need to learn how to drive it and not to forget to use the phone along with it. keep reading…

Mobile Engagement: Facebook and Samsung

by Apr 4, 2013, 1:43 pm ET

Galaxy_note_II_Flip-Cover-PhotoThe fPhone is finally here. Facebook is launching its own brand of phones that put social networking front and center. With an estimated 650 million mobile users it was inevitable that Facebook would introduce mobile devices that integrate users more tightly with the site, allowing for faster posting, chatting, and commenting. They might even allow for voice calls (remember those?).

Facebook’s foray into mobile phones is a direct response to Samsung’s plans to develop a social network. Slated to launch this year, it is designed to rival Facebook. The project is codenamed Samsung Facebook (Brilliant! Who could possibly guess what that’s about?). The thinking behind the fPhone and Samsung’s network (I believe the official name will be Twitter Plus) is to control both content and the mechanisms through which it is created. Samsung dominates the mobile phone market and makes nearly a third of all smartphones sold worldwide — more than double what Apple does. All those smartphones are the source of huge amounts of content, which becomes the property of Facebook, Google, etc. This means that most advertising based on that content doesn’t accrue to Samsung. But the combination of mobile phones and a social network is a direct threat to Facebook’s business model.

The Mobile Recruiter keep reading…

The Last Social Network: The Future of Social Media

by Mar 12, 2013, 5:27 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-03-05 at 11.05.11 PMWe are entering a time of social fatigue. A recent survey from Pew Research found that 61% of current Facebook users have voluntarily taken a break from using Facebook for a period of several weeks or more, and 20 percent of the online adults who do not currently use Facebook say they once used the site but no longer do so.

The forecast is for decreasing use: 34% of current Facebook users say the time that they spent on the site has decreased over the past year, and only 3% say they will spend more time on the site in the coming year. Meanwhile, 27% say they will spend less time. The honeymoon is over. Among the top reasons cited for decreased time spent on Facebook are: it’s a waste of time; bored with it; content is not relevant; and just didn’t like it.

This doesn’t mean that people are abandoning social media. Overall time spent in social networking continues to rise — up 38% over the previous year according to Nielsen Media — more than any other online activity. The growth in time spent on social media is largely tied to the spread of smartphones, sales of which are accelerating overseas but slowing in the U.S. as we reach near saturation. That just means that the same pattern of skyrocketing use of social media followed by slowing use will be repeated in other countries in coming years.

Why Didn’t the Mayans Warn Us?

So what’s happening? keep reading…

What’s Missing From Facebook’s Graph Search

by Feb 27, 2013, 5:09 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-02-25 at 10.01.54 AMI’ve been using Facebook’s much-vaunted graph search for about a month now, having been on the list for early users. The feature was launched with much fanfare by Facebook in January at a press conference that proved to be distinctly underwhelming. Expectations were high that the company would announce a Facebook phone (The fPhone?) — a blue device capable of automatically recording all your activities and posting them publicly (privacy settings would be permanently disabled). But instead those watching found that the company was rolling out … a better search. Evidence of disappointment was the company’s stock price which had been rising but reversed course halfway through the press conference.

Graph search supposedly makes it easier to find people in your network and discover potential connections. Filters such as “place type,” “liked by,” and “visited by friends” make locating things faster. The feature can serve recruiters by allowing for better search of people’s profiles. It appears to be reasonably effective. As an example I typed in “People that are Java Developers and live in Minnesota” and it turned up 38 names. That’s a small number so I tried variations such as “People that like Java and live in Minnesota” — which produced a much larger number, but many of these were coffee aficionados. Putting in more complex queries, such as adding another skill, produced no results. Switching to finding .Net developers produced only 18 names and trying “People that like .Net and live in Minnesota” turned up three names of people who like to fish.

Seek and Ye Shall Find keep reading…

Facebook’s Graph Search Is the Future of Social Recruiting

by Jan 29, 2013, 6:00 am ET

graph searchYou’ve probably heard the hype about Facebook’s new search utility, which it calls Graph Search. Unveiled just a couples weeks ago, it’s already being described as everything from a LinkedIn killer to a privacy killer, and a recruiter’s new best friend. For every one of those you can find an article — or 100 — that says the opposite.

Except when it comes to recruiting. While calling it a best friend may be premature, it won’t be long before Graph Search becomes as valuable to recruiters as Google and LinkedIn.

As Stephane Le Viet, CEO of Work4 Labs, wrote in a post on Forbes, “Graph Search is about discovering people — their work history, their education, their interests and their motivations — and using that discovery to recruit better.”

Described simply, Graph Search indexes and quickly accesses all the information each Facebook user has made available. This includes their profiles, photos, comments, likes, friends, and whatever else is out there. Theoretically, what Graph Search does was always possible. In practice, sifting through the thousands of pieces of data was such a huge, time-consuming task, it was all but impossible. keep reading…