Can you do the #splits?

There are several interesting services taking shape on Twitter to help the recruitment industry; such as HashJobs, JobFeedr and now Splits.org.

Splits.org allows recruiters to share both jobs and candidates and splt the fees. Now Split networks are not new but this one is. Splits.org comes out of the new Recruiting Blogs Labs (does everyone have a lab these days?) and allows Twitter users to hashtag either jobs or candidates they are willing to do splits with.

The system works as follows:

  • Recruiters who are willing to do splits in general put out a Tweet using the hashtag #willdosplits
  • If you have candidates that you are willing to split with you reply to @have and use the hashtag #splits
  • If you have jobs reply to @need and use the hashtag #splits
  • A very simple search tool has been built at http://splits.org to allow you to search the data

Right now there are a few recruiters and job seekers in Australia testing the waters, some being @Mentaura, @robsmithxp and Emily_Wheeldon. I am not sure how the system can be “secured” from job seekers “spamming” the #splits hashtag with their own resume as if it takes off this will certainly happen.

Great idea, and starts to build the concept of semantic web into recruitment. Personally not sure it will scale but you never know and we need to experiment more to find ways of connecting candidates and recruiters.

Top Recruiting/Recruiters on Twitter

Twitter seems to be the flavour of the month. Every day I hear Twitter this and Twitter that, many times from mainstream press outlets.

It has taken the recruiting community a while to come to terms with Twitter. This is not a bad thing as the business value needed to be understood. I first blogged about Twitter in late November 2006, putting the tool in the cute category. My first thoughts on Twitter as a recruiting tool were in January 2007.

Things have changed a lot since then.

Now everyone seems to be on Twitter or have heard about Twitter. I know individuals who have generated significant revenues from Twitter. There is true business value.

This brings me to the list of Top Recruiters on Twitter. Originally posted about by Jim Stroud on The Recruiters Lounge, Jim used Twitter Grader to create a list of the Top 50 people who had the word recruiter in their Bio. 

Then some interesting discussions the Recruiting Blogs followed about the pros and cons of using Twitter as a recruiter. Some of the cons were allowing people to “see” your candidate list, this is suggest shows a lack of understanding about social media.

Of course some people were unhappy about being missed off the list, only because they did not list the word recruiter in their bio or had recruiting. So now we have a list of the Top 100 Recruiting users on Twitter. (Have to say that I am top of the list. UPDATE: Ok not anymore but oh well.) The list is also changing rapidly as people update their profiles to include the “right” words.

The whole idea of a list of top Twitter users is very hard to define. Twitter is about the individual and as such what I find interesting you probably will not. Also just because you have lots of followers does not necessarily mean you are the most influential in that area, although quite often this is the case.

Of interest Australian recruiters Markus HafnerDavid Talamelli and Greg Dwyer made the list original top 50. Three recruiters here in Australia that GET social media.

Twitter for Jobs a follow up

A short follow up on my post about using Twitter to find a job and find candidates.

As a recap, Brandon Mendelson (@BJMendelson) created two hastags, Have A Job? (#HAJ) and Need a job (#NAJ), the details can be found on his blog. I said the real power was you did not need to use Twitter to access the jobs or candidates that is very true but more. Now there is a tool, Hash#Jobs that is aggregating tweets that contain the following hastags, #job, #jobpost, #NAJ, #HAJ, #employment, #recruiting, #hiring.

The tools was built by Australian developer Warren Seen (@warren_s) as a bit of an experiment.

Looking for a job or looking for candidates? Look on Twitter.

A little experiment in recruitment has been kicked off by @BJMendelson on Twitter. Using Twitter to connect job seekers with employers through the use of hastags. Hashtags are a community driven tagging process for adding additional context and metadata to your Twitter.  You create a hashtag by prefixing a word with a hash symbol: #hashtag.

Brandon has created two hastags, Have A Job? (#HAJ) and Need a job (#NAJ), the details can be found on his blog. While Brandon is saying he will retweet the job ads the real power is you do not even need to use Twitter to gain access to the jobs and candidates.

If you are looking for staff, head over to Twitter Search and search for the hastag #HAJ, http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23HAJ. If you are looking for a job go to Twitter Search and look for the hashtag #NAJ, http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23NAJ. (Update: Ok I go the search the wrong way around!) If you are looking for staff, head over to Twitter Search and search for the hastag #NAJ, http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23NAJ. If you are looking for a job go to Twitter Search and look for the hashtag #HAJ, http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23HAJ.  You can pull this data into an RSS feed and get the jobs or candidates delivered directly to you. 

Nice and creative!

Social media in big companies

A couple of months ago Telstra joined Twitter via their ISP Big Pond, I and others wrote harshly about how the implementation had been a failure. Since that time the Telstra team have been taking on board the feedback and have made significant changes to the way they engage with people online.  After initially trying to go alone they have engaged with some of the best minds on social media in Australia to change their approach. The changes have been so dramatic I am surprised and impressed.

The original engagement via Twitter was:

@bushgeek Got a BigPond® query?! Ask about BigPond® via this link http://tinyurl.com/ 5ufhvf & a BigPond consultant will email you back.

Now this is a typical customer engagement via Twitter:

@jackmcintyre It’s a known issue being worked on,we suggest keep calling Tech to get it more attention to get it fixed quicker.

They are also having a bit of fun with people, yesterday was games day:

@BigPondTeam Wow! There are some fast people out there. #1 track currently is ‘Poker Face’ by Lady Gaga for $0.99 and its DRM Free! about 17 hours ago from TweetDeck

@BigPondTeam Who can tell me what is the #1 track on BigPond Music, and how much does it cost to purchase? about 18 hours ago from TweetDeck

@BigPondTeam We are going to try a few different things today, so feel free to play along!! #BPS

They are generating interest in some of the services on offer and yes this is marketing but in a fun way. I played along and to tell you the truth will go back to the Big Pond site to check out what is there.

Telstra also ran a short survey yesterday to get feedback from a number of people on how they were performing on Twitter. Before filling in the survey I thought I would ask my Twitter followers their thoughts as well. Here are a few.

pollyemj @mspecht my only interaction with @BigPondTeam was a bit spooky – just weird to be contacted randomly after i mentioned them in a tweet about 19 hours ago from twhirl in reply to mspecht

joshsharp @mspecht after a terrible start they very quickly took on feedback and turned it around. they’ve actually done a quite good job.. about 19 hours ago from twhirl in reply to mspecht

jurgen @mspecht I think they’re doing a good job. It’s personal and personable. Friendly and forthright. Not just an announcement stream. about 19 hours ago from NatsuLion in reply to mspecht

ourfounder @mspecht I’m obviously across the big pond,but looking over their tweet history I like the voice and regularity of the posts. Good info too. about 19 hours ago from TweetDeck in reply to mspecht

After further clarification from @pollyemj I found this interaction was at the start during the corporate robot response period.  The overall feeling matched mine. Terrible start, great improvement.

This gets me to wonder, the employees at Big Pond who are working with their customers in a more human and open fashion are they more engaged employees? Do they now enjoy their job more? Do they trust their employer?

52 ideas on using social media within HR

It has taken me a while to get this lists published, I originally had the idea six months ago! Below are 50 51 52 ideas on how you can use social media within your HR and Recruitment strategy.

Not all of the ideas are practical for all organisations, and I would never recommend you trying to implement all of them at once! Or for that matter without an overall strategy *insert ad for Inspecht social media consulting here*. The list is more designed to stimulate ideas and discussion on how all these new tools can be used in business today. You will notice most of the ideas require no financial outlay other than a bit of time, so most have a very solid demonstrable ROI.

  1. Get out and personally engage with your peers, join groups such as Recruiting Blogs or HRM Today
  2. Sign up for Twitter
  3. Start an external blog on HR areas that interest you
  4. Join groups on LinkedIn and contribute to the conversation
  5. Get a feed reader and subscribe to blogs about HR & recruiting
  6. Upgrade your internet usage policies so employees understand the “rules of engagement” with social media
  7. Encourage your hiring managers to begin engaging with potential candidates before they are needed
  8. Setup content watchlists and alerts to track suspects & prospects and your competitors key hires
  9. Setup an internal tagging site to allow anyone in the company to “tag” external suspects who might be potential candidates
  10. Use social bookmarking tools to collect links of sites and articles that are relevant to your hiring practices, share these amongst your peers
  11. Teach managers how to use RSS, watchlists and alerts to find out when people are discussing your company and products, as they could be potential candidates
  12. Publish exit interview results (remove incriminating personal content), encourage employees to comment and suggest ways to resolve the issues
  13. Create a wiki for new policy or process development
  14. Create an open 360 degree feedback tool that allows anyone in the company to rate and provide feedback on anyone else
  15. Allow people to bid internal credits for additional project work, once complete the manager then rewards employees with additional credits to be used on other projects
  16. Create an alumni social network to allow you to connect with ex-employees, retirees and long term leave employees, you might get some of them back
  17. As part of outplacement activities provided online branding programs to manage their existing online reputation and to build a sustainable online presence.
  18. Use these tools to focus on headcontent not headcount
  19. Implement a microblogging tool, such as Yammer or Co-op, internally
  20. Publish exit interview answers (personal details removed) on the internal intranet so everyone can see why people are leaving
  21. Deploy a wiki on your careers web site and allow both successful and unsuccessful applicants to document your recruitment process
  22. Implement a Live Chat feature on your careers page so if candidates have questions on jobs or your company they can contact recruiters, or the hiring manager directly
  23. Instead of sending emails, write blog posts, tag them & refer employees to the key posts for information
  24. Develop micro-training programs
  25. Create a employee group on Facebook/MySpace to allow your employees to join together online
  26. Get people blogging internally about their learning experiences, especially those expensive university courses, such as MBAs
  27. Create a page on your intranet (maybe using Yahoo Pipes) to consolidate the WatchLists for key candidates and competitor hires, then share the link to your key hiring managers
  28. Monitor sites like Glassdoor to see what people are saying about your HR practices
  29. Have a blog setup for new employees before they arrive
  30. Include training on blogs, wikis, and sharing tools as part of the induction program
  31. Invite new employees to post welcome messages on intranet, wiki, forum or blog (technology of your choice)
  32. Conduct background research on candidates using search engines
  33. SMS Interview reminders to candidates so they don’t forget, or shift reminders if you are in retail or hospitality
  34. Start a YouTube channel and allow anyone to post videos of their experience either working for, with or being recruited by your company
  35. Create video’s of mock interviews and post on YouTube
  36. Create a cool company recruitment video and post it on YouTube, then pass it around a few friends and see what happens. (Don’t know what a cool recruitment video is, then don’t try.)
  37. Create videos job ads for some of your key positions, post them on YouTube and link tot hem in the job ads
  38. Create a jobs podcast to support major recruitment drives, such as graduates
  39. Create podcasts on your interview process with sample questions and even sample answers to that you get the best results from your interview process
  40. Add your company to Jiibe so the right people come to work for your organisation
  41. Add a share on Facebook, Digg, Stumbleupon link to your job ads
  42. Look at advertising job on social network sites such as Facebook or MySpace, of course the right type of job
  43. Implement the My Company’s Hiring Facebook application
  44. Sponsor some blogs to help prospective candidates understand what it is like to work at your company, or what the recruitment process is like
  45. Use social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, LinkMe, Twitter, World of Warcraft) to develop relationships with potential candidates
  46. Use employee networks and your own social networks as referral networks for jobs
  47. Run a Career Fair in SecondLife
  48. Have your employees & managers run online career fairs, talk about life in the company, court potential talent using social media
  49. Invite your new graduates to your company Facebook group before they join so they can begin engaging with people
  50. Deliver induction/on boarding training via Facebook using the Udutu Teach Facebook application
  51. Have multiple people involved in your campaign, in case someone leaves
  52. Have fun!
UPDATE: After Jason’s comment I thought I would create a downloadable version of the list, so here is 52 Social Media Ideas for HR in PDF format, it is CC licensed so you can do as you wish as long as it is non-commerical in nature.

Australian Online tools for HR

I have been watching the growth in non recruiting SaaS tools for HR professionals in Australia with great interest.  We have had payroll and time tracking services for a while, and a few full fledged HRIS tools floating around but most have grown out of the old bureau offerings and not really built with the Internet in mind. 

An area of continual change is in Employee Relations. Australian legislation, like most countries, is complex and continually changing means you need to be an employment legal expert to operate in the area. Making services such as PeopleInsite, People In Small Biz and Workforce Guardian of value. All three are offering compliance documentation services to customers on a subscription basis, but seem to be approaching to from different directions.

People In Small Biz is an older style offering with a range of HR and employment services such as HR documents, onsite HR Health Checks, Outsourced HR, and AWA and Employee Collective Agreements. The cost $399/year. They also offer onsite health checks, outsourced HR services and recruitment.

PeopleInsite promotes itself as a full service employment records management operation. Allowing you to move all of your paper based employment documentation online. You can create new documents, leverage their templates, store them against employees and report on document status. They have also built integration services with payroll and HR tools.

Workforce Guardian takes these previous models a little further. Being an employee management system, employment contract generation tool, process, forms and letter guidance all supported verified by Clayton Utz an Australian employment law firm. Like PeopleInSite documents are stored against employees, reports can be run for analysis. Where Workforce Guardian is a little different is they don’t want to talk with you, well they will if you need to but also operate fully online, unlike the other services. After speaking today with Hans de Kraker their Business Development Manager they have clients who have signed up without any interaction with Workforce Guardian. They are also on Twitter which makes them even cooler in my books.

I am sure there are other services in the market place like these but I like where this is heading.

Meet Australian Oracle Recruiter David Talamelli

When it comes to corporates’ who blog the typical names mentioned have been Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, and IBM. One company who has been quietly working away at their social media strategy is Oracle. Globally they have hundreds of blogs, a customer focused wiki, employees on Twitter and in general tackling social media on all fronts.

In Australia Oracle has been working hard to engage with bloggers and social media, with several employees having blogs, such as The Red Room, interacting on Twitter and Facebook. What interests me more is Oracle Australia has one of the very few internal recruiters in Australia, David Talamelli, who blog. I have caught up with David for coffee, interacted on Twitter and on our blogs and very impressed with the things he is doing so I felt it would be good to sit down with him and learn a bit more. 

Without anymore introduction below is my short interview with David, I hope you enjoy it.

How long have you been a recruiter?

I have been in IT Recruitment since 1999 my initial focus has been on recruiting in Australia over the past few years this has expanded to the APAC region.

Tell us about your work experience?

My first role was working in an Agency Environment with a company called GAP IT, this was a very sales focused role and I was responsible for meeting my monthly sales targets, I was in this role from 1999-2002. In 2002 I moved into an onsite role at Hewlett Packard where I was responsible for sourcing and managing HP’s Contract Workforce. The recruitment at HP was a combination of high volume recruitment and sourcing for specialist roles. In early 2006 I joined Oracle’s growing APAC Recruitment Team as it expanded its presence in the region. I am coming up to 3 years in Oracle and am quite proud of some of the successes we have been able to achieve.

How about your education, formal, informal?

I graduated from Laurentian University (Canada) in 1996 with a Bachelor Degree (honours) in Psychology. Since that time I have also completed a Graduate Degree in HR Management at Monash University. I have attended many Recruitment Training Events and Seminars – the two presenters who I have found most beneficial/influential are 1) David Carman from CarmanWhite Training and 2) Shally Steckerl who is a Web 2.0 Recruiting Specialist from the US. I also enjoyed hearing from Kevin Wheeler when he was in AU recently.

How long have you been blogging?

I set up http://oraclerecruiter.blogspot.com in January this year and had posted a few posts here and there, but I really started blogging regularly about 6 months ago.

Who or what was your inspiration to start blogging?

I am always open to new ideas to recruit/identify people and actually tried blogging in 2007 to help me in filling a role I had to recruit for. At the time I did not get the response I was looking for via the blog, but it did get me thinking about blogging for my role. I set up this blog in January this year and after talking to my management a few months later they really sparked an interest in me in getting this going. At first it was hard to see the return or value in blogging but I am now seeing it become an important part of our sourcing strategy.

What approvals did you have to go through internally to Oracle before starting the blog?

Oracle has a Blogging Policy that all employees must abide by. I had to ensure that I worked within these guidelines. My management has been very supportive and helpful with regards to my blog.

Given Oracle is a large publically listed company did they provide you media training before starting the blog?

No, I have not had any media training, however our PR/Marketing Team are always there for assistance when I need to run something past them or make sure that my commentary is correct.

Does Oracle have guidelines on what you can or cannot blog about?

Yes we do, there are a number of items that we are not able to disclose information about.

Do you feel blogging has helped with your role at Oracle?

At first, I was not sure if blogging was assisting me in my role, as the viewers and subscribers was relatively low (I was thinking is anyone actually reading this?). However over the past 6 months I have seen my daily blog viewers and subscribers increase dramatically. I find blogging a great forum to reach out to and connect to people and give them an overview of some of the interesting things that we are doing. I think people reading my blog get value in the blog entries I write but it also gives people the opportunity and avenue to explore roles with us that they otherwise may not be aware of.

What would be your one greatest success story from your blogging?

I get people from around the world contacting me to comment on my blog, or send me their resume, or just getting touch with me from my blog. I think the biggest success is that this gives me an opportunity to reach a large audience and share with them my thoughts, ideas which people are enjoying. From a recruitment perspective – I recently advertised and searched for a number of developers in Australia for a project I was recruiting for. The blog address was listed on our advertising and as candidates clicked on the blog link there was a story about the roles and the project in full detail. This gave candidates a full overview of what was expected and helped streamline the process for me as when I connected with these candidates they already had a good idea of what we were doing. I think this separated and differentiated us from the rest of the companies advertising.

What do you feel is the biggest challenge about writing a blog?

At first I thought I would not have enough to talk about, however after 6 months I have found that this is not the case at all. Blogging also took up a considerable amount of my time in the initial stages as I was getting the layout correct, the coding right, still getting my creative thoughts flowing, etc…. However now that it is up and running it has become a much more time-effective tool.

If someone was thinking about starting a recruitment related blog, what advice would you want to give them?

If someone is going to start a recruitment blog, I would recommend that they do it for the right reasons, I think a blog is a means to help you interact with your audience not to sell to them. Recruiters can tend to focus only on filling the role(s) they are recruiting for, however a blog is a long term investment and it is not necessarily just there to collect resumes. Use it as a means to talk to people and be honest in your communication – you should treat your online relationships with people the same way you treat people in person.

What other blogs do you read and why do you recommend them?

Most of the blogs I read are either Recruitment or Oracle focused. I have 9 Blogs listed on my Blog they are: ERE.net, IT Brief, iTNews Australia, The Red Room, Michael Specht – discussions on HR, enterprise …, PR 2.0 (Brian Solis Blog), Shally Steckerl’s Blog, Six Figures Blog

What other social media tools do you use?

I am listed on many of the social media tools available however there are so many social media tools/websites available I mainly use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and my Blog.

Any final comments or words of wisdom?

I think with blogging just like anything else, you only get out of blogging what you put in. It is a lot of work to set up and get running and to maintain but it is also very rewarding as well.

Twitter SMS delivery

Over the last couple of weeks I have been working on a couple of small side projects, one of which is a services to get your Direct Messages and @Replies sent directly to your mobile phone via SMS, Tweet2SMS. Basically this is to replace the service that Twitter shutdown about 3 weeks ago for users outside of the US, Canada, UK & India.

The service has been running in a private beta for a couple of weeks and earlier this week I opened the beta up to anyone who wants to register. You still need to request an invite code, but they are distributed automatically based on service volume every hour.

Some of the features are:

  • Sends you an SMS when you receive a Direct Message via Twitter
  • Sends you an SMS when someone mentions you on Twitter using the @Reply syntax
  • Ability to set custom times when you want both Direct Messages and @Replies sent to your phone
  • Ability to snooze your whole account for a specified period, for when you are in that very important meeting
  • Ability to control your account by sending a Direct Message to @tweet2sms:
    • Account On – Turns your account on. Optional parameter for the number of hours you want your account on or the word Today which turns the account on until 3am the following day.
    • Account Off – Turns your account off, which means you will no longer receive any messages
    • Track On – Turns tracking of @Replies to your user name on, a word of warning if you are popular you will run out of SMS credits quickly. Optional parameter for the number of hours you want your account on or the word Today which turns the account on until 3am the following day.
    • Track Off – Turns tracking off, you get the idea.
    • Sleep 30 – Sleeps all SMS notices for 30 minutes
    • Sleep 60 – Sleeps all SMS notices for 60 minutes
    • Sleep 90 – Sleeps all SMS notices for 90 minutes
    • Sleep 120 – Sleeps all SMS notices for 120 minutes
    • Sleep Off – Cancels a previously requested sleep command
    • Help – Lets you know what you can do
  • All SMS messages are sent with a reminder as to how many credits you have left on your account
If you are a Twitter users and need an SMS service go try it out.

Good the bad and the ugly or is it a storm in a tea cup?

About 2 hours ago Twitter announced they were stopping their SMS notification service outside of the US, Canada, UK and India as it was costing them too much money. Now I completely understand a business needs to make money and the a free service cannot last forever but the way this change has been implemented is poor customer service. (See GetSatisfaction for a feeling on the change from their users.)

The announcement is effective immediately, not tomorrow, next week or next month, NOW! A bit like when they limited SMS notifications to 250/week with no notice. I guess we could say at least they told us this time.

Twitter had a perfect opportunity to provide premium services to customers willing to pay! For a company with no business model so far this might have been a good starting point for revenue generation.

I guess time will tell if the decision impact usage of the tool.