Gareth Cartman

May 19
Hero want-to-attract-better-candidates-get-yer-social-on

I’ve been doing some recruiting over the last few months. 3 people, to be precise, all of them infinitely more social than me (I’m nearly 40, social for me involves being able to sit down with the missus for more than 20 minutes in the evening). They’re teaching me more about marketing than I’ve learned in the last 15 years, but above all, they’re teaching me that if we want to recruit more people like them, we’ve got to get our social on.

Candidates are choosy

I can yak on all I like about how millenials are not millenials and they’re just real people, but they are slightly different in their approach to their careers. And this is stereotyping older generations a little, but bear with me… in “days gone by”, people had defined career paths.

They sought security that came with internal promotion, they sought stability in ‘solid’ jobs and very specific career paths that came with, for example, graduate schemes.

My own generation started to tear this up, jumping around from job to job, but still with the same idea of career path at a very early age – but less reliant on one single employer. What we didn’t do was feel that we were empowered enough to “choose” our own employer. The very idea! Employers choose us!

Even in a world where youth unemployment is at an all-time high, the most talented young employees are choosy about where they go.

They want ethical employers, they want CSR portfolios, they want somewhere they can grow as a person and somewhere they can make a difference. They’re reading your Twitter feeds, they’re watching your output, they’re on your Facebook page, they’re probably even pinning your stuff on Pinterest.

The ease with which people younger than I take to technology is frightening (you should see my 3-year-old daughter on an iPad). They see it as a natural extension of their lives, and that explains why they see social as a natural extension of a business. Candidates are choosy, so if you’re not providing the evidence they want to see that you are the kind of people they want to work with, then you’re getting it wrong. 

You should be choosy first, though 

In order to get the people you want, you’re going to have to understand the future profile of your business a little better.

Simply replacing employees as they leave isn’t the way forward. Understanding the kind of people who are going to help you grow – whether they join today, next year or in five years’ time, is the way forward in this social world.

This is where HR and Marketing need to get round a table and talk. The way you talk about your business is the way you project yourself not just to prospects (hello, marketing), but to prospective candidates (hello, HR).

Who do you, the recruiter, wish to hire in the next few years if you’re going to grow the business? And therefore, how are you going to project your employer brand through the social channels that are currently in the hands of your marketers?

You have a stake – and a business case – for getting involved and shaping that message. Your candidates are stalking you – a lack of output, or the wrong kind of messaging can result in a top candidate saying “you know what, they’re not half as interesting an employer as I thought, I’m going to go with the other guys.”

Crack the whip (metaphorically)

It’s one thing to decide to take control of your social employer brand, it’s another to get it on.

What’s your plan? One great thing we’ve decided to implement is a social “wall of fame” (not shame), but it’s giving us the opportunity to highlight who has blogged, who has tweeted, who has shared, who has pinned stuff, etc. in a week. The winner gets out of making tea for the next week.

How very British. We don’t crack whips, we leave them on display.

But it’s a great incentive to get people more active, and if your brand relies on the expertise of your people, putting your people out there through social channels (and ensuring that they’re using personal-business handles) displays not just expertise, but atmosphere. It shows candidates that you want to profile your people and advance them.

And that you’re a good place to work.

So get yer social on – it’ll pay off. – Tweet it!

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March 31
Hero can-you-be-found

OK – show of virtual hands. How many of you have googled a candidate to see what comes up?

I’ll admit it. I’ve done it, and it’s not very HR of me – but some candidates who may have thought they were perfect will have ended up on my “do not invite” list because of their terrible Twitter feeds full of booze and profanity. Some had written blogs full of poor grammar and spelling mistakes.

Yeah, we google everyone.

And they’re googling you back, if they’ve got any sense. But what if they’re desperate to work for you, and they just don’t know it. How are they ever going to find out?

Sure, you can post on job boards and you can get a great recruitment agent on board – but sometimes the best people are the ones that have targeted you, and not the other way round. Being findable is half the job these days – so here’s our quick & easy guide to ensuring that you can be found – cutting down the hassle of going out & doing the finding!

Optimising your career pages

This is a simple quick win. A lot of people search for the job title they want, and many search for the company they want to work for.

For instance, they might be searching for “PHP Developer London”, or they might be searching for “Your Company Careers” – so make it easy to find the right page first…

1) Ensure that your page title (meta title) includes Job title + location + Company name + “Careers” – so it could be “PHP Developer London | Your Company Careers”

2) Ensure that the H1 includes the Job Title and the Location. Search engines tend to read pages from top to bottom, looking for key information. The page title and the H1 are two of the first things they look at.

3)  Ensure that you put the job title within the body of the text, and write at least 200 words. ‘Thin’ content doesn’t tend to rank well. Be as descriptive as you can.

4) You’re going to be competing in the search engine results – so make your Meta Description as captivating as possible. Add in a call to action, and you could gain a larger proportion of the clicks from the results page.

Optimising for users

A lot of SEO these days is actually about optimising the page for your users. Google know when a high proportion of your visitors bounce back from your page to the search results within just a few seconds. If that’s happening a lot, you’ll get demoted in the rankings.

It’s only fair.

So do what you can to make the user experience a nice one.

1)  If you have a video promoting how great it is to work in your company, use it. My former employer did this & significantly increased time on site. It’s cheesy, but it works.

2) Make the text readable. Nobody likes big blocks of text. Separate out paragraphs, use sub-headings, let people skim-read (because that’s what they do).

3) Be clear with your calls to action. Don’t hide them, don’t exaggerate them, just be clear about what visitors are going to do & what they’re going to get.

4) Make it quick. Page load time is a ranking factor – if you have big images on the page, or lots of fancy code, you may be slowing yourself down, and pushing yourself down the rankings. Keep your pages as light as possible.

Everyone’s googling each other, and it’s your candidates’ responsibility to ensure that they’re keeping their own online profiles clean. It’s your responsibility to ensure that a) you can be found, and b) your careers pages are read.


This awesome post was written by guest blogger Gareth Cartman.

Gareth is director of digital marketing for Clever Little Design, and has experience in HR, marketing & publishing. You can find him @clevergareth on Twitter or on the CLD blog:

Gareth’s blog is a wealth of information, and extremely fun to read. He’ll be contributing his expertise and clever ideas regularly on the Jobcast blog, so if you have any questions for Gareth, let us know in the comments!

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