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BUMPER EDITION: 9 Stories the Recruitment Industry is Buzzing About this Week - 24th August 2015

In the news this week:

LinkedIn Launches Lookup: Standalone App to Help You Tap Your Co-Workers’ Skills

recruitment industry

LinkedIn has launched a new standalone iOS app called LinkedIn Lookup in a bid to help users make better use of their co-workers’s skills.

The company says it conducted research that suggests many corporate employees feel they could do a better job if they knew how to find out who else in the company had specific skills, and that most resorted to looking at LinkedIn rather than their own company’s often outdated intranet listings.

LinkedIn_Lookup_LearnTo tap into this use-case, LinkedIn’s Lookup app allows you to search for co-workers by name, title, current or past experience, education and specific skills. Once you’ve found the person you’re looking for, you can dig a bit deeper and check out all the usual relevant work info that you’d find on LinkedIn, such as title, work experience, education, top skills, work email address, etc. (Psst! This also works for contacts who you’re not actually connected with on LinkedIn.)

You can also set your contact preferences in the app too, thereby allowing co-workers to see your phone number to get in touch, for example. If no preference is set, the app sends an email directly to the linked work email address, or you can send a message within Lookup. Co-workers can message each other in this way, even if they haven’t downloaded Lookup and messages sent to LinkedIn Inboxes via Lookup don’t count towards the number of InMails users receive each month.

For now, the app is only available on iOS devices and can be downloaded here. For more information, check out LinkedIn’s blog post.

Instagram and Pinterest Doubled Users Over the Last 3 Years

recruitment industry

Social media dynamos Instagram and Pinterest nearly doubled their users between 2012 and 2015, according to a new study — and Pinterest is winning.

Pew Research Center, a Washington D.C.-based think tank, surveyed 1,907 adults this spring to learn about their social media habits. Among the discoveries: 31% of all adults who go online now use Pinterest, versus just 15% three years ago. Meanwhile, 28% of all adults who go online now use Instagram versus a mere 13% in 2012. Twitter also saw significant user growth over the same period, just not quite on the same level as Instagram and Pinterest. LinkedIn was the only social media platform studied that actually saw its user base decrease slightly from 2014 to 2015:

recruitment industry

Facebook, of course, remains far and away the most widely-used social media platform. It snagged 72% of all online adults in the survey, but there are signs that its growth spurt is at an end. That figure is just 5% higher than it was 3 years ago and goes hand in hand with Facebook’s own user statistics over the last several quarters, indicating slowing user growth in the U.S. Still, Facebook’s user base of 1.49 billion is several times larger than any other social media platform out there right now. The social network has achieved a global scale for which Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn still strive.

Facebook users also tend to have the highest engagement. For example, 70% of Facebook users log on every day, followed by Instagram users (59%), then Twitter (21%):


Pew Research’s study also revealed that adults use messaging services such as WhatsApp or Apple’s iMessage, on top of traditional SMS texting, more than ever. In fact, 49% of smartphone owners between the ages of 18 and 29 use messaging apps. The survey did not break out usage by messaging app. Some 41% of the same demographic load up ephemeral message apps such as Snapchat and its more encrypted counterpart, Wickr.

(RELATED: How to: Source Creative and Educational Professionals on Pinterest)

Amazon Launches New Set Of Career Videos Amid Workplace Culture Controversy

Amazon Boxes

It’s been an interesting week for Amazon. The New York Times just realised a very powerful exposé that details their bruising, data-driven workplace culture that chews up white-collar workers. Another journalist has accused Amazon of “killing” Seattle. And staff in a Swansea-based Amazon distribution warehouse, have been found to suffer “physical and mental illness” as a direct result of the “regimes” they work under.

But despite the myriad of bad news stories circulating about the distribution giant this week, Amazon’s operations and customer-service recruiting team is going ahead and launching a set of career videos aimed at portraying the challenges and opportunities of its operations technology and operation management jobs.

The videos are a results of travels this March across the U.S. to meet with teams, conduct interviews, and film Amazon’s fulfillment centers. The recruiters collaborated with senior-level leaders on the videos, and will be unveiling a set of about 20 videos by the end of this month.

Here are some examples:


(RELATED: How to Produce a Kick-Ass Recruitment Video for FREE in Under 60 Minutes)

University Job Finder “Campus Job” Rebrands as “WayUp”

recruitment industry

Campus Job, a startup that connects college students with local job opportunities, has changed its name to WayUp. Launched in September of 2014 by recent grads Liz Wessel and JJ Fliegelman, WayUp provides a platform for college students to find part-time work with companies looking for campus reps or other temporary employees.

In less than a year, WayUp has signed up over 5,000 companies and hundreds of thousands of student users, who attend some 2,500 U.S. colleges. Founder Liz Wessel reports that 1 in 3 students who applied for a job through WayUp last semester got an offer for at least one of the jobs – a pretty compelling stat!

Understandably, there was quite a bit of confusion with the “Campus Job” name. Aside from sounding to students like a tool for finding a job at the campus dining hall or library, the company was often called the wrong name entirely. In response, the founders hired a couple of students from the platform to come up with a better name, design a logo, and create a video announcing the new name (which is all sorts of EPIC):


WayUp is completely free for students, who create a profile that includes their grades, prior work experience, and hobbies. Companies can create listings across multiple campuses for free, but they’re charged a fee per qualified applicant that they receive.

Is Your Job Application Software Biased?

Companies using software to sort through job applications to make the recruitment process faster could be unknowingly creating a bias. The software, which often looks for specific words could be deemed as prejudiced, according to a test carried out by several US universities.

Software may appear to operate without bias because it strictly uses computer code to reach conclusions. That’s why many companies use algorithms to help weed out job applicants when hiring for a new position. But a team of computer scientists from the University of Utah, University of Arizona and Haverford College in Pennsylvania have discovered a way to find out if an algorithm used for hiring decisions, loan approvals and comparably weighty tasks could be biased like a human being.

Unconscious BiasThe researchers, led by Suresh Venkatasubramanian, an associate professor in the University of Utah’s School of Computing, have discovered a technique to determine if such software programs discriminate unintentionally and violate the legal standards for fair access to employment, housing and other opportunities e.g. whether or not software is able to predict a person’s race or gender even though it is hidden. The team also has determined a method to fix these potentially troubled algorithms.

Venkatasubramanian says:

“There’s a growing industry around doing résumé filtering and résumé scanning to look for job applicants, so there is definitely interest in this. If there are structural aspects of the testing process that would discriminate against one community just because of the nature of that community, that is unfair.”

As many recruiters are perfectly aware, companies have been using algorithms in software programs to help filter out job applicants in the hiring process, typically because it can be overwhelming to sort through the applications manually if many apply for the same job. A program can do that instead by scanning résumés and searching for keywords or numbers (such as school grade point averages) and then assigning an overall score to the applicant.

These programs also can learn as they analyse more data. Known as machine-learning algorithms, they can change and adapt like humans so they can better predict outcomes. Amazon uses similar algorithms so they can learn the buying habits of customers or more accurately target ads, and Netflix uses them so they can learn the movie tastes of users when recommending new viewing choices.

Bias in recruitmentBut there has been a growing debate on whether machine-learning algorithms can introduce unintentional bias much like humans do. “The irony is that the more we design artificial intelligence technology that successfully mimics humans, the more that A.I. is learning in a way that we do, with all of our biases and limitations,” Venkatasubramanian says. “I’m not saying it’s doing it, but I’m saying there is at least a potential for there to be a problem.”

Venkatasubramanian’s research revealed that you can use a test to determine if the algorithm in question is possibly biased. If the test — which ironically uses another machine-learning algorithm — can accurately predict a person’s race or gender based on the data being analysed, even though race or gender is hidden from the data, then there is a potential problem for bias based on the definition of disparate impact. If the test reveals a possible problem, Venkatasubramanian says it’s easy to fix. All you have to do is redistribute the data that is being analysed — say the information of the job applicants — so it will prevent the algorithm from seeing the information that can be used to create the bias.

“It would be ambitious and wonderful if what we did directly fed into better ways of doing hiring practices. But right now it’s a proof of concept,” he added.

Some serious food for thought there diversity recruiters!

(RELATED: How Badly is Your Unconscious Bias Affecting Your Recruiting Skills?)

Google Gave Hangouts a New Homepage… Away from Google+

Google Hangouts Homepage

First Photos, then YouTube and now Hangouts. Yes, in a Google+ post last Monday, Google announced it was fully decoupling Hangouts from Google+, giving the service its own dedicated homepage.

Users no longer have to log in to Gmail and Google+ to access Hangouts messaging, phone and video calls. According to the Google+ announcement post, the new Hangouts will feature “an inspiring image to get you through the day,” with images pulled from Google+. A Google spokesperson said the new page is “meant to be a nice, simple place where people can go to make a call”.

The conscious uncoupling of Hangouts is Google’s latest move to downsize and restructure their struggling social network. But while Google+ isn’t quite dead yet, it’s certainly not thriving!

#ILookLikeASurgeon Attacks Sexism in Medicine

recruitment industry

Last week thousands of women took to Twitter and beyond to fight sexism within their field, in a torrent called #ILookLikeAnEngineer. Now, inspired by the growing trend, female doctors have created their own feed where they upload a selfie with the hashtag #ILookLikeASurgeon.

The hashtag has already attracted 12,000 re-tweets and is still going strong, with women from across the globe taking photographs in their scrubs in an attempt to break down gender stereotypes.

The feed started with Heather Logghe, a resident surgeon based in North Carolina, explaining:

“The old stereotype [of a surgeon] is an all-knowing arrogant man who operates very well but can often be heartless, not only with co-workers but with patients too.”

Logghe goes on to claim that whilst sexist misconceptions are beginning to change, women are still woefully underrepresented in medicine. Alison McCoubrey, a consultant surgeon in Northern Ireland, explained how women now account for around half of the medical graduates in the UK, but just 11% of the surgical consultants.

Many used the media exposé to share their experiences in their profession, with one surgeon writing: “When I get asked ‘R u a nurse’ I say No, I’m a surgeon, but thanks for the compliment”, and another saying: “For every room you walked in and the patient looks straight past you to the male med student and says ‘How am I doing Doc?’”.

Becky Fisher uploaded her photograph with the caption: “Finding female role models in surgery can be tough, but I won’t let it put me off”, and Misty Humphries posted a picture of her entire all-women surgical team tweeting:

Logghe is confident that this global media attention will go a long way in challenging ideas within the industry, explaining: “If we can continue to encourage girls to enter the profession, then things will change.”

(RELATED: Top 10 In-Demand Healthcare Job Titles 2015)

Recruiters Are “The Worst Bosses in the UK”


The worst bosses in the UK work in the recruitment industry, according to a new surveyApproved Index has asked 1,400 employees across a range of different industries about their relationship with their bosses and found that people working in the recruitment industry are the most likely to quit their jobs because of a bad supervisor.

In fact, 100% of recruiters said that they had been forced to leave their job because of their boss at some point! In comparison, the UK average of people saying that they have left their jobs because of their boss, is 42%.

While recruiters may have the worst bosses in the UK, tourism and marketing are not far behind. Tourism came in second and marketing came third in the survey of the industries with the worst employee-boss relationships. 77% of people working in tourism said that they have left their jobs because of their bosses. That number was 63% for people working in marketing.

People working in accounting, architecture and fashion were also among the top 10 industries with the worst relationships with their supervisors.

Of the people surveyed, 42% said that their abysmal relationship with their bosses was caused by feeling underappreciated. 40% felt overworked. 35% thought that co-workers received favouritism. 31% felt that the bosses had given them empty promises. 30% felt that they were being unfairly paid.

At the same time only 30% in engineering said that their bosses had been the reason to why they had left their job. People working in research had the best relationship with their bosses with only 20% leaving their jobs because of a poor relationship with their boss.

Have You Taken the 2015 ‘State Of Sourcing’ Survey?

survey have just launched their annual “State of Sourcing” survey, a survey that aims to determine:

  • the tools people are using
  • how organisations are organising their sourcing teams
  • how sourcers and recruiters are compensated
  • and how sourcers and recruiters measured up at different organisations

It’s an incredibly useful benchmark survey, it only takes 10 minutes to complete, we’ll all have access to the results when they’re released at SourceCon (Sept 17-18th), and anyone who sources candidates or leads a talent acquisition team should try to participate.

So please get crack-a-lackin’ folks, you can complete the survey by clicking here.

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