Ryan St. Germaine

August 29
Jobcast Careers

This next point might sound obvious, but trust me, it is often forgotten. Social media is social! Your account should not only be for sharing information, but also for engaging with social networks and responding to queries. For recruitment and HR accounts, open a window into your company by sharing information about company events, industry information, news events and corporate videos or blogs. Twitter connects you to potential candidates in real time.  This allows you to gain a broader perspective of the candidate, understanding their likes and dislikes, media patterns, interests and accomplishments that cannot be conveyed in a standard resume. It also allows you to source passive candidates.

So what are some of the potential recruitment uses?

The following ten ideas will get you started:

Expand your network.

After establishing a solid group of related industry and professional contacts you follow, keep on top of their tweets and source possible offline groups or associations to join. By leveraging online conversations to create offline relationships, you can expand your network and possibly source new candidates in person.

Position yourself as a thought leader.

Tweet specific information related to your industry or the profession(s) you are recruiting for, including links to company blogs to establish credibility as a leader within your field. Also consider hosting free webinars or posting videos, presentations or white papers about relevant thought leadership.

Listen to your candidates.

Twitter offers a platform for individuals to voice their concerns, so it is imperative that all areas of your recruitment program are customer-centric. Any negative experiences deriving from the application through to the interview process can affect your company brand. It is therefore imperative to address issues that arise publicly, then continue the discussion offline. This likely will involve greater collaboration between your customer service, marketing and human resources departments to ensure the right delivery.

Keep an eye on the competition.

Monitor your competitors, including their tweets, followers and conversations to see how they are using Twitter to recruit. See what is being said about them, analyze their response and develop best practices. You will also be able to communicate with your competitors’ potential candidates and possibly employees, keeping in mind that they’ll also be able to communicate with yours.

Source brand ambassadors.

Use your current employee and customer base to solicit candidate referrals by offering an incentive to tweet or post information on their social media accounts. Several third party providers will offer unique URLs so you can track website views and applications, evaluate the process and reward your brand ambassadors.

Advertise roles.

By posting your job openings on Twitter, you’ll expose your company to a larger, targeted audience that can apply directly through the site or link through to your company website or blog. You can attract active job seekers or even customers that are currently following your feed, or target individuals by posting @ messages with the link to the job description.

Gather information.

After receiving applications, you can review candidates’ online profiles to see what they’re saying. You need to be aware of discrimination laws and while it should not replace formal reference checks, reviewing profiles will allow you to get a better understanding of a candidate's interests.

Highlight upcoming events.

Will your company be attending a recruitment fair, hosting a candidate open house, or other networking event? Offer an incentive for anyone who retweets or visits your booth to help drive traffic and expose your brand to a larger audience.

Host a conversation.

By adding a  hashtag (#) to a key word or topic, individuals will be able to follow a particular stream or conversation. Consider this tool if you are hosting a seminar or event to allow individuals the ability to access information, even if they are not there in person. For instance, if you are watching a keynote presentation at a career fair, regularly tweet information using a #hashtag. People may follow the conversation and your company, prompting additional buzz and interest in employment opportunities.

Create conversations.

Encourage your staff to use Twitter, including company leadership and line managers as well as staff level employees. By creating a corporate culture that is transparent and offers the opportunity for feedback and dialogue, you’ll not only strengthen employee engagement, you’ll also profile your company as a great place to work. Most importantly, Twitter is about creating a presence, engaging with current and potential candidates and establishing employer brand awareness. By using Twitter for recruitment you can convert conversations into actions, increasing brand awareness and driving candidate applications.

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August 22
Jobcast Careers

Who are you trying to reach on Twitter? Here are some things to consider to make your profile stand out. Like Facebook, Twitter only allows one account per email address. This is easily sidestepped by using different email addresses. You may want a Twitter account for personal use as well as account for the company. Some larger companies may also have multiple accounts to address specific issues. An example is Telus, which has @TELUSsupport, @TELUSCommunity, @TELUSHealth and @TELUSBusiness, among others. This is especially important for consumer products or services as there is potential merit for separate accounts dealing with customer service, marketing, media relations and recruitment to avoid confusion.

Create your profile.

Once determining whether you will tweet under a personal or corporate account, it is time to create a 160-character profile describing your role or company. Think about key words potential candidates may use to find you and keep it professional. Remember to include the location and corporate website address.

Customize your page design.

Twitter offers themes to visually embellish your account. Instead of using a generic look, consider finding a third party site that offers free, unique themes. Better yet, have one that displays your company’s branding, the addresses of your various social media accounts and recruitment/HR email addresses.

Find accounts to follow.

Start following individuals who may be good potential candidates. Often, these individuals will follow you back. There are also several third party directory services, such as Twellow, which will allow you to search for Twitter users by profession, interest, location and category. It will also suggest users to follow based on keywords of individuals you are already following.

Public or private?

Your Twitter posts are public and can be found on Twitter as well as in search engine results, so keep this in mind. You can send @ messages, which include the person’s user name (e.g. @username) within the post, so they will be notified. Remember, only if both users are following one another can you send a direct message, or DM - this is a private tweet for that user only.

To list or not to list?

As you start following people, you may wish to create various lists. These lists allow you to segment certain group or communities. For instance, create lists by job function to easily identify potential candidates for different job categories. In addition, you can see how many people have listed you. To get the most from your Twitter profile, build your profile with your ideal candidate in mind. Ask yourself who your target audience is and what kind of information will be relevant to them. The stronger your profile, the more likely you will be able to attract the right talent for your company. For more Twitter recruiting tips and social recruiting advice, follow us @jobcastnet.

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August 16
Jobcast Careers

Google+ has come on the social media scene with avengeance. While it took Facebook three years to hit 25 million users, Google+ completed the same task in just over a month. While it can be argued that other social media sites forged the way, truth is that the public has responded very favourably to the new offering.

So why all the hype?

Google+ is the best of all social media worlds. It combines the most useful parts of various sites, plus ups the ante with a few more tricks. It allows you to keep your social and professional life separate and it combines email, online search and social media in one. But how can hiring managers use it for recruiting?

Circles: When you add people to your contacts on Google+, you will be forced to put them into a circle — a group defined by yourself. These can include colleagues, friends, family, University alumni, yoga friends — anything. Unlike Facebook, however, both parties don’t have to agree to have each other in a circle. As such, you are able to share content with specific circles. For a hiring manager, this means you can send customized messages to potential candidates, separate from what you would send to your family or friends. Furthermore, circles are all about privacy. You can control who sees what.

Huddle: This function is like instant messaging for people within your circle. With communication moving so quickly, being able to connect with your candidate quickly can help you set up interviews with little effort. For recruiting consultants, you have instant communication with your client company allowing you to better manage the recruitment process.

Sparks: This feature is a news feed on selected subject matters you can share within your circles. Hiring managers can get a better understanding of potential candidates’ interests and source individuals for specific roles.

Hangouts: Skype meets social media. Hangouts is the video chat function of Google+, allowing up to 10 people to connect. This is a great way for hiring managers to screen applicants before a formal interview or connect with long distance candidates.

Search: Of course Google wouldn’t miss the opportunity to combine both search and social media. For recruiters this allows you to source candidates, like LinkedIn as well as seek out recommendations and referrals.

Takeout: Want to download your data from Google+? No problem. Takeout allows you to take your information out of Google+ or any Google product.

+1: You might have seen this appearing on various websites. +1 is the ‘like’ feature of Google+. It allows you to pull content from the web and share with your circles. Again you are able to find out what people in your circles are sharing, including their interests. While not yet implemented, it is possible that when Google+ evolves, you will be able to search for people based on their +1 content. This will be a very powerful tool for recruiters.

Company pages: Not so fortunate here. Google+ is still developing its company-specific pages, so in the meantime, it is best to search for a company on LinkedIn or through their website. I’m sure there is more to come here!

So, the question stands: is Google+ and other social media initiatives like the LinkedIn apply now function changing the face of recruitment? Definitely. Will it replace job boards and recruiters, doubtful. For in-house hiring managers and recruitment consultants, it offers a powerful tool to search for candidates, source leads and generate applications. Presented with so many options, recruiters will have to decide which is the most efficient and effective way to manage what may become an endless supply of candidates. As the economy improves, however, and the war for talent once again returns, those armed with the necessary ammunition will emerge victorious.

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August 15
Jobcast Careers

About Twitter

Founded in 2006 after a day-long brainstorming session, Twitter is a social networking and microblogging site where users share “tweets” — 140 (or less) character posts where brevity is both a virtue and a necessity. This can also be achieved by embedding links in the post, directing readers to other sites containing a longer article, blog, photo or video of interest. The site currently has more than 200 million users, with 200 million tweets each day. That’s 2300 tweets sent each second!

Getting Started:

Like most social networking sites, it is important to sit back and monitor the conversation before jumping in. Twitter has its own social norms and conventions and before using it to recruit, it is important to become familiar with the site. Try performing key word searches on your company, competitors and industry and look up prominent company leaders. There are many uses for Twitter, including socializing, monitoring current events and news, even checking sports information. Once you grasp the general use of the platform, it is time to start using Twitter to recruit. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Perform Key Word Searches. Consider searching for subject matters that would be of interest to your potential candidates and see who is following these topics. For instance, if you are hiring a marketing specialist, consider looking at the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) account and seek out individuals following it. If you are looking for a new accountant, try searching for words like “finance”, “IFRS” or “audit” and see who is discussing what.

Look up your competitors. See if the competition is currently using Twitter. Find out what information they are posting as well as information on their followers. You may also be able to determine their current employees and contact them about opportunities at your firm.

Take a look in the mirror. See what people are saying about your company online. This will help you formulate your company’s Twitter objectives for both business development as well as recruitment, while gaining some valuable feedback on your operations, customer service, sales and marketing. You may also find out what information your employees are already sharing about your organization.

Look for trending topics. You will find Trending Topics on the right hand column of your Twitter page. This is a phrase or topic that has the largest number of tweets at the given time. It may be because of a political or social occurrence, or the result of a concerted effort by users to raise a topic’s popularity. You can view worldwide trending topics, and some countries and cities have also been localized. Depending on the topic, you may find some relevant information for your recruitment program.

Domestic or international? Look for topics that are of certain interest in the specific markets where you operate. As Twitter is truly global, there is no reason why a recruiter in Vancouver can’t source candidates for their organization’s Asian or European operations. Likewise, with a global job market, consider talent from abroad to fill critical roles where local talent isn’t available.

Find persons of interest. Look up business leaders, politicians, subject matter experts or even celebrities to see what they’re talking about. Depending on your company’s product or service offering, followers of these individuals may be good potential candidates as well.

Connect and recruit. Once you source potential candidates, it is time to connect with them. If they are already following your Twitter feed, you’ll be able to send them a direct message (DM) once you start following them. DMs, or private messages can only be shared if both tweeters are following one another. If not, try tweeting a generic message using their @username, suggesting they contact you. For instance: @JohnDoe Pls follow and DM me about potential opportunities at @ABCcompany. (Note: 74 characters).

New users are flocking to Twitter – nearly half a million per day, according to their recent blog post! With this many users engaging, it’s a great way to reach out to talented, well-connected individuals. Start using Twitter to find potential candidates for your business today! www.twitter.com

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August 8
Jobcast Careers

What are some of the legal implications of having employees recommend people through social media sites? 

Thinking of offering a recommendation on LinkedIn? Think again. If your organization is like many others in Canada, you may be in breach of corporate policy. Legal departments are struggling to keep up with the advent of social media and the new freedom employees have to share information online. This may include competitive or sensitive information, personal sentiments, defamatory statements and, recommendations of course.

Prior to online communities, references were typically limited to the human resources department or line managers who offered tactically-worded statements that were mindful of provincial or federal laws and regulations. Typically offered in a one-to-one phone conversation or letter of recommendation, there was less potential of statements being misconstrued or broadcast to a larger audience. Online references — typically through LinkedIn — have changed the standard and many companies are concerned about the legal implications of such changes.

As with most areas of online communication and social media, there are very few legal precedents to help companies navigate the changing business and legal landscape. As organizations await legal jurisdiction in these areas, many are opting to prohibit employees from offering recommendations to past and current employees, vendors and suppliers as they are concerned that one’s personal opinions may suggest the larger perspectives of the organization.

I think that these companies are missing a larger marketing, business development, sales, human resources and recruitment opportunity. Below are 5 reasons why companies should allow employees to share their opinions freely online.

Corporate branding. Companies who embrace social media and incorporate it into all areas of their business operations are leveraging a very powerful and potentially lucrative tool. Many consumers are looking for companies who demonstrate similar values to their own and are searching online for information before deciding where they will spend their money. This means companies need to be transparent in all of their processes as it is estimated that 89% of consumers [search online] about a product or service before making their decision.

Employer branding. Companies are increasingly becoming more aware of how their company — their employer brand — is perceived to potential candidates. Job seekers are researching companies online and are looking for a great place to work. By allowing LinkedIn recommendations, you are increasing your online presence on the number one site for professional networking, exposing you to a limitless candidate pool.

Credibility. Allowing employees to post recommendations offers credibility to your talent pool, validating their abilities to potential business contacts. While especially important for your sales and business development team, it is also essential for individuals who work with external vendors, suppliers and customers.

Internal Morale. Limiting the number of rules and regulations makes employees feel like they have ownership over their role within the organization. This in turn improves employee pride and morale as individuals feel empowered to showcase their talents and good feedback.

Focus on internal processes. By allowing recommendations as well as general flexibility in all social media communications, your company will be forced to look at its internal processes and what makes it a great place to work. More attention will be given to the employee experience, including greater communication and understanding of company priorities and guidelines. Gaining employee buy-in will allow you to drive those strategies that will have the greatest impact on business growth while spending less time on activities that don’t provide a commercial benefit.

A strong advocate for social media, my priority is the value your business can derive from greater exposure to online communities. I am conscious to the necessity of following the letter of the law, particularly for large and publicly-traded organizations, as not doing so can have potentially damaging ramifications. Still, by allowing some freedom of expression and interaction, your employees will feel a stronger connection with your organization and will be more receptive to follow guidelines, provided they can see the logic and business case for them. The result is a more loyal employee base and the many benefits that accompany one.

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August 2
Jobcast Careers

Convinced that leveraging Facebook to engage with potential candidates is right for your company? Consider creating a strategy to ensure you are getting the most out of your time and financial commitment. Consider this 5 step approach:

Objective. What is the purpose of your account and/or Like page? Is it to build brand awareness, enhance your employer brand, establish leads to build an email list, drive traffic to your recruitment page, engage your community or a combination of the above? Perhaps you are looking to leverage your solid consumer brand reputation to drive candidate flow. Determining whether you will host a combined or separate recruitment and marketing page will be your first step.

Design your social media strategy. Will you use Facebook as a stand-alone marketing and candidate generation tool or integrate with other sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube or a company blog or website? Will you cross-populate content and followers to increase your overall employer and company brand reputation? Creating a targeted and measurable plan will help you derive value from Facebook while also ensuring return on your financial and time investment.

Determine your content. Develop a plan for publishing content, including updates, photos, videos and links. Consider creating a matrix to determine what content will be fed to which site to get the right messages to your followers. Using a platform such as Tweetdeck or HootSuite will allow you to schedule your content and send out automatically. For recruitment, consider posting information about current job opportunities, promotions in the firm, company activities and team building events, videos, even employee testimonials.

Plan to promote. As discussed above, consider ways to promote your social media accounts. This may be through paid Facebook advertising or promotion on your website, blog, other social media sites, direct marketing literature, groups, updates etc. By integrating your online and offline communications programs, you’ll reach a larger audience and cross-promote your marketing and recruitment messages.

Aim to convert. While it is great to have large numbers of followers, it it inconsequential if they don’t convert into job applications. Build your community by providing timely and relevant content, while also engaging in dialogue. Social media is about two way communication, not just feeding followers content.

These are just a few suggestions to get you started. Once you’re using Facebook for recruitment on a regular basis, you’ll gain a better understanding of which methods are best for your market. Now that you’re armed with some basic concepts on Facebook strategy, why not get started today? To install our Facebook recruitment app, click here.

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July 25
Jobcast Careers

Creating a Facebook Page or ‘Like’ page is easy. With 700 million registered users, having a Like page will allow you to connect with potential candidates or consumers while building your corporate and employer brand reputation. There is no limit to the number of Like pages available to an account, so it is important to consider whether you will manage separate accounts for marketing and recruitment functions, and also who will manage them. The rise of social media has created overlap between the communications and human resources departments, so determining who is responsible at the onset will help establish spheres of influence from the get go. In setting up your Facebook page, there are a few things to remember:

Content is public. All Like pages are public, so people can view your page even if they are not logged into Facebook. Additionally, content posted on the page gets indexed on Google, so individuals can find your company even if they are not users of the site.

Content can be segmented. Looking to engage with a specific country, city or language group? Your posts can be customized and segmented by location and language, resulting in targeted, specific messaging.

Share the work. You are able to add additional administrators to your page. Keep in mind, however, that everyone will have the same rights to the page, including adding or removing other admins, so choose wisely!

Add content. Think of applications you may include on your page including videos, rich text, graphics, opt-in box, job postings, links etc. Get creative and check out some of the third party applications, like Jobcast to make your page stand out from the crowd.

Promote. Use Facebook adverts to promote your Like page to individuals, segmenting by location, age or interests. You can test different image and text based adverts to see what works and manage your budget through cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-impression (CPM) based pricing.

Ready to get started? Visit www.facebook.com/pages and look for the “Create Page” in the right hand side to set up your Facebook Page.

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July 15
Blog reference-checks-traditional-or-2-0

With all of the creative advancements in social media, hiring managers may be tempted to also use online networking sites for candidate references. The art of communication has taken a drastic turn, with peoples’ busy schedules resulting in more emails and fewer phone calls. Naturally, this affects all areas of the business world, including reference checks. But is using social media to find out information about a candidate’s background a good idea? Legalities aside, let’s look at some of the more practical pros and cons.


Unbiased information. The best feature of using social media to access references is the potential for reaching former colleagues and superiors not provided on a candidates’ submitted reference list. Naturally, candidates will provide a list of individuals who will speak highly of them and this may provide an inaccurate or incomplete picture of the individual’s competencies. By finding former colleagues on LinkedIn, hiring managers can easily find individuals who can provide a 360 degree perspective on the candidate.

Fast and easy. For busy professionals, it can often be hard to complete references on potential candidates. This is especially true for non-HR line managers who are also responsible for their functional areas. By providing potential references a standard list of questions for written reply, hiring managers can easily compile and benchmark candidates against one another.

High response rate. Just as the reference checker may be short on time, the reference giver may also be challenged to find the time in their day for a formal phone reference. Providing a written statement may be easier to coordinate as individuals can provide information when the time suits them best.


Inability of references to comment. With many organizations limiting what information employees can offer, it is likely that many of the individuals you target for references won’t be able to provide comment on the candidate. While this may also occur during a reference conducted by phone, there is a higher likelihood of finding the individual who can speak on behalf of the organization, saving you time in the long run.

Incomplete information. When receiving a written statement about a candidate, often the information is incomplete and does not offer a adequate perspective on the individual. Once the reference is submitted, it is often challenging to get an individual to elaborate.

Breach of confidentiality. For candidates who are currently employed and performing a confidential job search, approaching individuals without the candidate’s consent can put the individual in a difficult situation with their current employer. It is also possible to approach an individual who did not witness first hand an individuals’ performance.

Lack of personal contact. As with other online communications, the demise of the personal phone call means that the small intonations and tone of voice are not prevalent on the online reference. Often it is important to hear these vocal variances and prod deeper to get the full story on a candidate. By removing this personal, vocal contact, a candidate reference may be incomplete. While social communities have changed the way we source, connect and recruit candidates, we eventually have to take the relationship offline as, generally speaking, the individual will be working alongside us. It may be wise then to also conduct the reference check the good old-fashioned way, over the phone. Hiring can be a costly activity if not done correctly, so are you prepared to take that risk?

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July 5
Blog how-technology-is-changing-the-face-of-recruitment

What would recruitment be without technology? Rewind fifteen years and we were accepting faxed and mailed resumes, posting job adverts in the paper, filing thousands of applications and manually calling applicants. Fast forward to 2011 and the rules of the game have dramatically changed for both in-house and agency recruiters alike. Same for candidates. Once upon a time they were printing off copies of their resume (or typing them!) and doing whatever they could to get them in the hands of their targeted company. The internet has changed all of that! First came the job board to link candidates and hiring managers and then Web 2.0 took us even further. Today job seekers and recruiters alike just need to log on to start connecting. Every day we hear about a new app being created or how the power of the cloud will make the latest technology and software even more accessible. So will these advancements actually make it easier for candidates and hiring managers to connect? Will recruitment actually benefit? Let’s first take a look at social media. Based on research done by TNS, it is estimated that 46 per cent of the world’s population access social media sites at least once a day. In Canada or any western country, it is safe to say that this figure is even higher. Whether young or old, social media has changed the way we communicate. People are spending an increasing amount of their daily lives online and the ability for recruiters to connect with these individuals -- many of whom are not actively job hunting -- is essential. The challenge for many recruiters is the sheer volume of potential candidates plus the large number of social media channels available. It is therefore important to not just use technology for technology’s sake, but to use it wisely and productively. Using a third party application like Jobcast can therefore simplify efforts and facilitate the process. The most successful social media recruitment initiatives are those that imitate real-life scenarios. Think about how people like to connect and interact and extend that logic online. People want to see the face behind the brand and are conducting online audits of potential companies prior to and during the recruitment process. It is important to take stock and integrate your company’s digital footprint to ensure that you are presenting your desired corporate brand to potential candidates. Another trend is the rise of the mobile app and how that is affecting the way candidates conduct their job hunt. More and more individuals are relying on mobile internet for its conveniences as well as its accessibility. The cost of mobile internet has dropped significantly in recent years and it is likely that many individuals no longer have access to a computer at home, opting for their mobile device instead. As a result, the way potential job seekers view employment opportunities at your company has changed and apps or mobile-friendly websites are on the rise. It is important to find out how job seekers are looking for your company and then make it as easy as possible for them to find what they’re looking for. Cloud computing will also change how companies hire employees. For smaller businesses, advanced software and databases were often cost prohibitive as they did not have the budget to purchase the technology nor the onsite capabilities to manage the programs. The rise of the cloud is making it easier for companies to leverage advancements in technology and it’s likely that we’ll see many more companies harness the power in their recruitment efforts. With so many advancements, it can be challenging to stay up-to-date, so the winners will be those who can concurrently stay ahead of the curve while also effectively and efficiently use available technology. It is about finding the business use and how it can simplify and enhance your existing program, not simply using technology for the sake of it. In so doing your recruitment program should be enhanced resulting in more efficient in-house selection or agency placements. And to the victor goes the spoils.

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