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Irish Recruiters Winter Conference (Live Blog)

We’re in Deloitte’s building in Dublin today for the Irish Recruiters Winter Conference hosted by Declan Fitzgerald of LinkedIn.

Quick update; yesterday was the 3rd birthday of the Irish Recruiters Group and there are now 1388 members representing 309 recruitment agencies, 19 job boards and 111 Recruitment Managers. 25% of the members are non-agency. Interestingly 40 of the members are Irish Recruiters working in Australia!


Facebook Fan Pages: They have pivoted and built recruitment pages based on locations and disciplines. None of the tabs show careers or jobs, which is unusual. Instead they have decided to embed their recruitment messages in the Wall.

Twitter: Join The Flock is one of the best corporate career twit feeds out there. There are 6 people working behind the scenes to run this feed. 60% of the updates are from the business, only 20% from the recruitmen team. They also set up TwitterU for university recruitment. TwitterEng is skills focused.

So what are Microsoft doing? JobsBlog is backed by a staff of 18 people with a content calendar that is updated every week. They have developed a world class SEO marketing analytics platform called Jobs2Web at which aims to solve the problem of its jobs not being indexed very well based on url keywords etc.

Last year they spent US7.5m on job boards with an average cost of 28k per hire. LinkedIn had a similar high spend last year prompting both companies to try and address the problem.

In 2008 a lot of Microsoft’s hires were coming from social media and referrals. They built a platform focusing on midtail search terms, i.e. jobseekers who google for jobs without using your company name as a keyword. Microsoft last year pumped 1.5m into Linked In and 0.5m into this new SEO tool. Job Board spend dropped to 3.5m.

Jobs2Web produced multiple landing pages based on locational and functional search keywords. Candidates can social share the pages or can apply for the job and write their own automatic updating string to say how often they want to hear from Microsoft about similar jobs.

They can also check out the company’s Linked In Groups and Twitter feeds and join from there.

On their Facebook Page they have broken out the jobs links by location allowing Facebookers to target the locational site that is most suitable to their job search on Facebook.

Starbucks; are they best in class at social media?  Declan reckons they are (so does Facebook considering their Pages have the most combined Likes of any brand on Facebook).

They have built a really good Job App integrated in their Facebook Page. They also have a great Twitter feed and an iPhone app to boot!

So, what are LinkedIn doing? Declan is nearly two months in the job and he tells us that they are experiencing hyper-growth right now. They are moving towards Career Pages and away from a Carer Site. Talent Direct is an excellent product that direct mails individuals on LinkedIn based on client criteria. The Recruiter product is their flagship product that recruiters are using often in place of an ATS to source candidates.

All of these massive tech companies are busy hiring dedicated social media recruitment teams. Content calendar is key: 60-20-20. Metrics are a must and engagement is becoming a key stat (the glueinees or stickiness). Video is key to this, nobody has really cracked this; ie delivering consistently, high quality videos. Fortune 400 companies in general are investing heavily in in-hosue recruitment.

Predictions for FY11:

Search is getting local: huge battle between Facebook and Google in this market. Yelp is also particularly interesting in this space.

We are entering the age of data analytics and how they effect communities.  The next 18 months will see a raft of new analytics for understanding and monetising your networks.

Group Buying is en vogure; GroupOn are going full on into China and Microsoft has bought a company called Cudo to get into this space.

Search will continue to get more social search. Google will probably come out with their own social search engine in April of this year.

People are going to be much more diligent about curating their own content into a more manageable form (i.e. reduce the noise). Flipboard was voted Apple App of the year this year.

Location based technologies will go local; ads will move towards video, nice job boards and nice social networks will expand.

Near field communication; such as the NFC Chip allowing devices to exchange data through proximity.

The 2010 Social Media Survey Results:

91% of companies use social media to recruit.

LinkedIn was the Number 1 channel with 74% of people using it (yet 89% have hired through it)!!

78% of respondents hired people through social media last year; 12 companies hired more than 50 people last year.

In the majority of companies there is no central ownership of the firm’s social media strategy.

50% are planning to spend less on job boards next year whilst 62% said they would be spending more on social media. 51% said that they would be spending more on SEO next year, 41% more on direct sourcing.

40% of respondents said that they would be happy to outsource their social media management.

36% said that they plan to take the Irish Recruiters training course next year.

The sample set is around 130 people out of the 1300 members.

Kimberley Darling from LinkedIn takes the microphone to discuss what LinkedIn are doing these days:

There are 85 million members globally; 20 million in Europe growing at a rate of one member every 0.8 seconds. Their rate of growth is growing exponentially.  There are 400k members in Ireland, 5m in the UK (40% of the professional population), 2m in the Netherlands.  Their international growth is growing much faster than US domestic growth and LinkedIn is now in 6 languages representing 150 industries with 1 billion page views every month.

LinkedIn in Ireland:

Ireland has the second highest penetration in Ireland; 14.7% of those who have internet access which is just a shade behind the Netherlands. Their Dublin office opened in April 2010 and is their European HQ. Mumbai, Sydney, Toronto, Dublin were all opened this year; they have doubled in size this year and now have 900 employees.

They are a private company who make their money from:

1. Advertising including Direct Ads (similar to Google Adwords, self-serve ads)

2. Premium Memberships

3. Talent Acquisition Product.

The revenue is pretty evenly split betweeen the three.

All social networks are not created network. Facebook is a social utility, Twitter is all about Public Communications whilst LinkedIn is a Professional Network.

Kimberley is now demonstrating Signal which is a new LinkedIn product that is still in beta which shows a merging of your Twitter feed and the posts that LinkedIn members are broadcasting. You can filter by keyword, location, industry etc. Interestingly you can zoom in to see what people working at a particular company are saying about a topic.

Next up is LinkedIn’s recent Company Pages product which automatically generates a page for any company with more than 5 people on LinkedIn, otherwise you can manually set one up.  A company overview is free but you pay to list products and advertise jobs (actually I know that you can list basic services for free; there must be an upgrade for richer functionality).

The real bonus is that your services can receive recommendations from LinkedIn users and all recommendations can be seen on a Company’s Page.  You can add videos, documents etc on to this page.

LinkedIn Referral Engine: demonstrating using some screenshots from Accenture’s implementation of this tool.  Employee referral candidates are the number one source of hire, the highest quality and the lowest cost per hire.  The engine aims to drive employee referrals by periodically emailing your own employes asking them to recommend people from their network, targeting these by using an algorithm built around their current requirements. The homepage module matches and suggests candidates to the recruiters and employees can refer candidates from their network in one click. It also offers clients a module that advertises in the streams of employees, suggesting that they recommend certain matched profiles, further giving them an easy opportunity to refer their network.

Next product been demoed is Career Explorer which is currently only available in the US but is planned for Europe soon. It was launched at NYU a couple of months ago and helps candidates develop a career path, reach out to people in similar careers and help them on their road to starting a particular career through networking and knowledge sharing.  Graduates can gain information on average salaries, potential career paths and loads of really interesting demographics on their chosen career path and how likely it is that they can get into it or what steps they should take to accelerate the process.

The last and latest product is Resume Builder which offers you several templates from which you can create a soft copy CV from your LinkedIn profile. You can pdf the file or print it and choose to use it to apply for jobs on job boards etc. You can go to Settings on your LinkedIn profile and create a public url that points to your Resume created by Resume Builder rather than your Public Profile.

Mobile Applications:

Connect inPerson for iPhone is a new app which allows you to Bump phones and connect on LinkedIn (basically a replacement for Bump).

Thanks Kimberley

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