Will LinkedIn’s New Recruiting Tool Replace Job Boards?

Keep that recruiting software tuned into LinkedIn. The online professional network is about to get better for recruiters, job seekers, and – yes – even employed professionals not looking for a new job.

LinkedIn’s new tool, which is scheduled to launch in just a few months, is called “Talent Pipeline.” It’s an add-on to LinkedIn Recruiter, which is already one of the best online recruiting tools out there. Supposedly, companies will also be able to use Talent Pipeline as a free-standing program, but I have a hard time imagining anyone using it that isn’t already using Recruiter.

With one of the largest databases of working professionals or passive candidates, this new tool could seriously displace job boards.  Instead of job seekers chasing jobs, LinkedIn will make it easier for recruiters and staffing professionals to find and engage the select few qualified candidates they are most interested in.  No more looking for a diamond in the rough as recruiters and staffing professional will now be able to sort through a field of diamonds and transfer the best candidates to their own staffing or recruiting software for nurturing.

Here are the Talent Pipeline highlights:

  • One Stop Shop. Leads from virtually any source will be culled, organized, and updated in one place. The recruiter, of course, gets to set the search and organizational parameters. The program will also enable you to develop one profile from many sources, so data from John Smith’s company won’t be separate from the data drawn from his LinkedIn profile.
  • Easy Sharing. Despite their penchant for competition, independent recruiters know that sharing information is the lifeblood of their work. Recruiting companies and recruiting teams also benefit from well-developed internal information networks. Talent Pipeline promises to provide easy-to-use-and-customize sharing platforms.
  • Intuitive Interface. From the demos I’ve seen, the profiles are full of crucial information but still easy to read, even at a glance. And the program as a whole seems to be fairly easy to pick up. No doubt, LinkedIn (and others) will release a bunch of free training videos when the new service comes online.

I can imagine some recruiters saying, “But I already do all that via LinkedIn and other recruiting software.” That may be true, but I’ll bet that it takes a lot of time and effort to get the important data from two, three, or more different programs. Like a lot of great software, Talent Pipeline promises nothing terribly new in terms of outcome, but a much easier way to achieve that outcome. (Need an example? Look no further than Microsoft Word. Almost everything I produce with Word could be done with a typewriter, editing pen, and some basic graphics tools – or three different programs. Word simply makes it a lot easier to get the product I want.)

Maybe I’m excited about Talent Pipeline because I’m a staffing software geek. But I’ll bet that, in just a few years, recruiters around the country (and world) will wonder how they got along without it – kind of like word processing programs today.

Can Your Back Office Staffing Software Talk To Social Media?

Regular readers of this blog know that I’m big on staffing software, social media, and staffing software that maximizes social media.

So of course I want to ask, “Does your back office staffing software talk to social media?” By which I mean,

  • Does it seamlessly integrate with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – the three most important social media outlets for staffing professionals? You need to be able to easily import search results from these social media channels into various databases. You also need to easily move text – usually, some form of marketing text – to these outlets.
  • Does it allow you to set up automatic social media tracking and reports? Do you know, for example, how many people searched for a particular kind of job? Do you know how often people are talking about a particular company and what they are saying about it? Do you know how your competition is using social media? If not, you need better staffing software.
  • Does it allow you to easily use other social media outlets? No one knows how big Google+ is going to get, and no one knows what the next short-lived or long-lived social media phenomenon will look like. But you need to be ready to jump at social media opportunities as they arise, and that requires staffing software that’s social media friendly.

I’m still surprised that a lot of staffing professionals don’t really use social media. Maybe they have a Facebook and LinkedIn account, and maybe they tweet on a regular basis. But they don’t take advantage of the tremendous information gathering, information sharing, and networking opportunities afforded by it.

Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. Old habits die hard, and some of those old habits still pay good dividends in the staffing world. And it really is just a matter of time. Staffing professionals (including the “older generation” of people like me) use the internet and email today better than they did five years ago, so they’ll catch up with the social media revolution eventually – or retire before they have to. Speaking for myself, I prefer revolution over retirement any day!

Have questions about staffing software, recruiting software, and other tools for the staffing industry? Contact us – we’d love to hear from you.

All the Little Birdies

If your staffing business does not have a Twitter account, it may be time to give in and get an @ handle.  There is of course the obvious reason to join: Twitter allows recruiters to post quick links for open jobs where many candidates can see them. What else though?

Actually, there are several major ways a Twitter account can benefit your business. I found a great article on Social Media Magic http://socialmediamagic.com/blog/7-reasons-business-twitter/ about how you can use Twitter to your business’ advantage. The article discusses the impact your branded Twitter page can have on followers and brings up a good point; followers can experience your brand on Twitter. By visiting your website they can see your brand and find out about your offerings but with Twitter they can experience your brand as a living and communicating entity that is trying to actively engage those that they service.

Creating a specialized Twitter page with graphics (not from Twitter stock) and your company’s logo is relatively simple and inexpensive. See our Bond-US branded page here http://twitter.com/BondUS.

So what are you waiting for? Get tweeting!

Three Techniques to Reduce the Business Impact of Employees Quitting

In my last post, I talked about ten ways to keep employees reasonably happy, engaged, and productive. Now, let’s look at the other, inevitable, side of the coin. Employees that leave anyway.

Let’s face the facts. Many of your employees – and I’m talking about your most productive recruiters, staffing coordinators and sales staff – are just waiting for the right time to quit. The staffing and recruiting industry is known for generally high turnover among staff; averaging 50 percent of more according to research by the American Staffing Association and Staffing Industry Analysts. What’s more, in today’s economic client where there is tremendous pressure on employees to perform, surveys from a variety of sources indicate that roughly one-third of employees are ready to leave – they are, according to the surveys, just plain tired of their employment situation and all that it may represent.

And that, friends, is going to cost your business dearly. As recruiting and staffing professionals, you know what it costs to recruit and train new internal staff when valued employees leave, but employees who are already disengaged and ‘marking time’ on the job are costing you too. In publishing the results of the Mercer What’s Working (http://www.mercer.com/press-releases/1418665) survey it was noted that, “The business consequences of this erosion in employee sentiment are significant, and clearly the issue goes far beyond retention,” said Mindy Fox, a Senior Partner at Mercer and the firm’s U.S. Region Leader, in a press release announcing the highlights of the survey. “Diminished loyalty and widespread apathy can undermine business performance, particularly as companies increasingly look to their workforces to drive productivity gains and spur innovation.” In short, many of your staff are eager to quit.

So how do you mitigate the loss of your employees quitting?

If employee turnover is an expected consequence of your business processes, then you should have a strategic plan to reduce the business losses associated with that turnover. What you don’t want is any of your staff to leave with KNOWLEDGE in their heads that contributes to your firm’s business and its profitability.

Following the lead of such organizations as General Electric, Siemens, the World Bank, and others, the knowledge management of your staffing or recruiting firm has to include ‘Continuity Management’. Here are three techniques for gathering, storing, cataloguing and making available this knowledge:

  • First, use in-person methods to identify the knowledge that is critical to capture. According to a study by the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC), while electronic communication (email, on-line chat, etc.) has its value and its place, it does not and cannot take the place of knowledge gained in face-to-face interaction. Such human interaction opportunities include:
    • Senior management meetings
    • Interviews with internal subject matter experts
    • Internal or external communities of practice and/or interest
    • Internal conferences
    • Focus groups
    • Exit interviews
  • Second, establish methodology, infrastructure, and practice of capturing tacit and explicit knowledge for use
    • Recording and reporting tools. This includes information systems (such as your staffing and recruiting software) that record activities and other business processes, meeting notes and related documents, or even audio or video tapes of events
    • File storage and access. This may be hard copy files for some information or any form of digital information storage, such as databases and document management systems
    • Establish review and validation process for captured knowledge
  • Third, establish methodologies and practices for the access and use of knowledge
    • Knowledge databases should be easily accessible and updateable
    • Business information staffing and recruiting software systems should be able to suggest best practices based on real-time capture of tacit and explicit information
    • Establish rules, techniques and processes for the management of your business data that tracks employee use and prevents its loss or unauthorized use

While there are a lot of things that you CAN do to improve employee retention, you have to be prepared for the inevitable loss of staff employees. Doing so will play a huge role in the ability of your staffing and recruiting firm to deliver continuity in its customer service and other recruiting and operational processes. And that’s good for your bottom line.


At Bond International Software, we are deeply interested in what makes your recruiting and staffing efforts more effective and profitable. You can follow us at: http://www.bond-us.com/blog/

Predictions for Recruitment in 2012 – What is your opinion?

2012In the latest issue of Recruitment International magazine, a range of recruiters and suppliers to the recruitment industry were asked what their predictions are for 2012.
Interestingly, the general concensus of the article is that ‘optimisim is key to sustaining business  – because without it we risk talking ourselves into recession…’
So what are Bond International Software’s predictions?
Daniel Richardson, Chief Technology Officer at Bond International Software, said that with the UK economy likely to be unstable for the foreseeable future, 2012 will be a difficult year for recruiters and candidates alike.

Daniel Richardson: “In the increasingly volatile recruitment industry, the candidate market is becoming far less loyal to any one individual recruiter and thus recruitment consultants are having to work harder to retain those relationships with individual prospective employees.

At the same time huge numbers of candidates are competing for each position, but for recruiters to remain ahead of the curve, the key is in sourcing and identifying high quality candidates that are right for each role.

Ensuring only the most pertinent of candidates are put forward for roles will allow recruiters to beat off competition from their rivals and retain their position as the recruitment supplier of choice for their clients.

Customer service therefore – to both the candidate and the client – is a key priority for the recruiter. And there is indeed already an increase in demand for recruitment solutions that aid in the filtration process and in easily managing multiple tasks across multiple clients and candidates. In short, this all boils down to delivering consistently high levels of service.

We can therefore expect to see a rise in the number of products and technology based services being released in 2012 which reflect this widespread current shift in emphasis, towards enhancing the levels of service recruiters are able to offer their clients, beyond the usual requirement of placing more candidates in more roles.

Dashboards for instance are now, as predicted previously, overtaking the more traditional databases in the real-time monitoring of activity and progress, allowing for a far greater degree of visibility and advance warning as to situations requiring intervention.

Most notable is the degree to which expectations have risen when it comes to mobile functionality. Indeed, ubiquitous working, where the lines between desktop and mobile devices are disappearing, are increasing in demand.

Software systems that are simply accessed via mobile internet browsers, however, are no longer cutting the mustard, as iPad and iPhone technology and its intuitive use gathers pace. Therefore, there is now a trend for recruiters to access the back office software system to display candidates and vacancies immediately during client meetings, therefore avoiding delay by having to return to a desktop to answer queries. This will cause technology providers to accelerate their development of mobile applications that are compatible with leading hardware releases.

There is also an increasing demand for recruitment systems that integrate with social media networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook, and that are appreciative of the wealth of information available in the wider social sphere beyond these two giants of the online social world.

Such improved visibility and the increased significance of “social” will allow recruiters to pull in information from an increasing number of sources, which will provide them with a clearer picture of their potential candidates from the very earliest stages of the recruitment process, allowing them to recruit intelligently.

Such a display of flexibility, visibility and responsiveness showcases the recruiter in the brightest possible light and enables a vastly improved service, and perception, and this is something we can expect to see come to fruition over the next 12 months…”

  • If you would like to find out more about the latest version of Adapt, please contact one of our recruitment experts on 01903 707070 or email james.payne@bond.co.uk

Planning for the Bus or the Lottery

What’s Your Back-Up Plan for Your Back Office?

Think about your most essential employee, is it the person that completes payroll and billing? Ask yourself, would your business be okay if she got hit by a bus tomorrow? Or, on a less traumatic and more positive note, what if he won the lottery and never wanted to work again?

Whether you think of it as a Contingency Plan or a Succession Plan, there are many reasons why they’re important for all key roles at your company. Today I am writing specifically about weekly payroll and billing personnel at small to midsize companies. If your payroll/billing person doesn’t have a backup or a succession plan, this post is for you. I aim to to equip you with the language necessary to engage key employees and to ask them to help you develop plans for after they leave.

Employees in key positions with no back-up enjoy job security, but carry heavy burdens as well:
• She can never take a vacation longer than 4 days
• He has no one to consult with if the numbers seem “off” or there are concerns
• If a personal emergency arises, there is no one to cover for her
• He is fully responsible

In additional to these personal reasons, think about the business:
• Could you get through the first payroll and billing without her?
• Do you know how to submit the direct deposit files to the bank on time?
• And the EFTPS to the IRS?
• Do you know the nuances of each client’s invoices?

If you answer no to any of the above questions, besides being left in the dark when your key employee leaves, think about the immense negotiating power she has over you.

Approaching a loyal and hard-working employee about his or her succession is a delicate matter that needs to be handled tactfully. Don’t risk threatening job security or making her feel unappreciated or you’ll create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Devising the plan secretly will not work either. Key employees are like parents with eyes in the back of their heads; they know everything about the systems in place at your company and can usually tell immediately when someone is snooping around or something is off. This could also create a self-fulfilling prophesy if the person assumes you have intentions of replacing him.

Something unique about small businesses is that employees, especially the good ones, must take on many roles. Good employees know that as the business grows, new situations arise that require new solutions and processes.

Thinking on your feet and being adaptable is important. The good employees are able to do this because they understand the entire system that makes the company work, and how each change will affect it. Good employees aim to get the job done even if when it’s “not in their job description” because they know that their job description is always changing.

What puts smaller companies at risk is that because we all wear many hats and sometimes fly by the seat of our pants, most tasks are un-documented, unnoticed and even unknown by everyone else but the person doing them. When a long-time employee leaves, those left behind may have no idea what holes there are to fill.

So, the question is: will you be able to survive that first week without your key employee? Then, when you finally find someone to fill those large shoes, how will you train them, when you are unsure of everything that person did? Most likely, you and your co-workers will be finding and trying to fill those holes long after that key employee is gone.

How Not to Do It
Because some employers are afraid to have the succession discussion with key employees, we often have owners calling for the emergency training of a new employee in order to just get through that first payroll. It’s wonderful that they’re asking for training from the source, and I applaud this. However, it leaves a poor impression with the new employee. Nobody likes to be thrown into a high pressure situation like this.

How you Should Do It
As you are well aware, key employees hold a lot of secrets about “the way things are done around here.” You need their buy-in and knowledge to help you devise a successful succession plan. Ask her, “If you won the lottery tomorrow and never wanted to come into work again, how should I proceed? What types of traits should I look for in your replacement?” Or else, “how do you feel we can take some of the burden off of you so that you’re able to go on a longer vacation if you wanted to?”

Let him know that his job is not threatened in any way, but that you want his ideas and input on a plan to put in place for the next generation. Since he’s most close to the process, he probably knows what to do best.

What’s Common?
Depending on size on complexity, most companies have the same person complete the entire payroll and billing for a branch or a segment of branches. This works best due to the nature of staffing payroll and billing and that the hours are equal. After payroll hours are entered, billing is completed with just a click of the mouse (entering hours is the time consuming part.)

So, how can we introduce a second person into the process, for means of having a back-up, without disrupting the process too much? Below are some of my ideas, use these in conjunction with those ideas from the person you’re completing the succession planning for:

1. Schedule two 2-hour training sessions with a Bond consultant to cover the basics of payroll and billing and then complete a mock payroll using our training databases. It’s helpful to be hands-on during the training.
2. Next, have your key employee assist with practical applications and on-going practice. If the back-up is a manager, have him/her complete the staff payroll for 1 week, every other month,
3. Or, cross train: Ask trusted sales people or recruiters to complete the payroll and billing for their customers for 1 week per month

Also, remember, that as the owner, you may also want to have a good idea what to do so that you know how one of the most important functions of your business is completed. Please contact Bond for more information on any of these ideas.

Does Your Employment Agency Software Measure Up?

Maybe you don’t currently have staffing software in your office. Maybe you have a program, but it doesn’t meet all your needs. Maybe you’re just wondering, “What else is out there?”

No matter why you’re looking at staffing software, here are some features that you should be looking for:

  • Intuitive applicant tracking and resume management. In some ways, the entire program should be intuitive, but these two features are the bread and butter of any staffing software. It simply must be easy to use them and to learn, via extended use, the finer details of the program.
  • Contact management. I’ve written a lot about the importance of social networking in the staffing industry. You and your colleagues have to be able to constantly – and easily –  grow and manage their contact list.
  • Cloud compatible. Why take up precious hard drive space with a cumbersome software program? Log in and let the software company worry about the hardware.
  • Mobile compatible. Mobile is the new frontier of…well, just about everything. Most of us are already  running around with portable, pocket-sized computers called smart phones.  Staffing software needs to be compatible with these devices as we all want to acceess work data at home, the coffee shop, the airport, the neighbor’s house, at our favorite London pub, and so on.
  • Compatibility. Employment agency software should work seamlessly with social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook, software like Office, Outlook, SQL, and other enterprise programs.
  • Standardized and Customizable. Some reports are used by just about every staffing company, and some are unique to particular sub-sections of the industry. Make sure your employment agency software offers both.
  • Service, service, service. Yes, staffing software should be intuitive, but of course ongoing training and support will be needed for optimal integration. Stay away from employment agency software that doesn’t come with a thorough training program, a plan for installation and data conversion, and ongoing support.

Of course, I think that Bond US has the best suite of  employment agency software in the business. Contact us today for more information. Better yet, set up a free demo and see if we measure up to the standards above.

Holiday Recruiting – 5 Things You Need to Know

It’s not too late to get into the holiday recruiting spirit.

Alas, that’s not the same as getting into the holiday spirit – but it’s still worth your time and effort. Why? Contrary to popular wisdom, the holiday season – roughly, from mid-December to mid-January – is a good time to recruit. A lot of web-based applicants slow down their activities, assuming (wrongly, of course) that no one hires during this time. This leaves more time for a recruiter to zero in on top applicants.

So here are a few suggestions for recruiting during the holidays:

  • Pay attention to college graduates. Did you know that roughly one-third of all college student graduate in December? Armed with a degree, they’re ready to get a semester ahead of the other two-thirds in the search for jobs.
  • Pay attention to foreign candidates. Not everyone thinks of late December/early January as a time for office parties. For much of the world, it’s business as usual, which means qualified candidates will be looking for jobs.
  • Pay attention to retail and customer service candidates. More precisely, pay attention to their supervisors. More face-to-face customer action happens during December than any other time during the year, so it’s a great time to find out who the very best retail and customer service performers are.
  • Call up those busy candidates. You’ve been wanting to bring them in for an interview, but they are to busy with work, with a project, with their own business, etc. Chances are, they will have some free time over the holidays.
  • Send cards. Emails and the occasional call are easily ignored, but most people would feel bad if they didn’t open up a card – especially if it’s hand-addressed. So send those top candidates a card and let them know that you’re still thinking about them. They’ll get the message.

For more recruiting tips and information about recruiting and staffing software, tune into this and other Bond US blogs.

Bond International Software to Sponsor UK Recruiter’s Recruitment Directors Event

Bond International Software, the global provider of recruitment & human capital management software & services, will be showcasing the latest version of Bond Adapt – the specialist portfolio of recruitment software applications – at UK Recruiter’s Recruitment Directors Networking event on the 9th February 2012 at Royal Bank of Scotland, 250 Bishopsgate, London. Sponsoring the event, Bond demonstrates its commitment to helping those recruiters who are looking to move their businesses to the next level.

The event is entitled, “Selling or Sustaining – the differences of trading for an exit or trading for a lifestyle”, and is ideal for those directors of recruitment consultancies looking to accelerate business growth, anyone thinking of creating a new recruitment company from scratch, or wanting to help enable an MBO or sale of their existing recruitment organisation.

Keynote speakers at the event will be presenting to attendees on how to make a lifestyle business work, put in place the plans necessary to exit their existing business or establish a brand new recruitment business with the end goal of a sale in mind.

Louise Triance, Managing Director, UK Recruiter, comments, “As one of the leading recruitment software providers in the industry, we are delighted that Bond International Software is dedicating support to our Recruitment Directors Networking event. Our events aim to keep attendees up to date with the latest strategic thinking and to allow them to hear firsthand how peers are tackling the current industry challenges.”

James Payne, Head of Business Development, Bond International Software (UK), comments, “We are looking forward to sponsoring the Recruitment Directors Networking event as it provides us with not only a great opportunity to network with industry peers and learn more about how we can develop our own business, but also, the opportunity to raise the profile of Bond Adapt amongst key individuals.”

Payne continues, “Over the years, we have spent a great deal of time and resource in continually updating and developing our flagship product, Bond Adapt, in line with current industry needs. The software is suitable for a wide variety of recruiters – indeed from those looking to move their consultancy to the next level to those wanting to create a new recruitment company from scratch, the flexibility of Bond Adapt allows any recruiter to enhance their business. An event which focuses on these areas of business is therefore the perfect platform for us to showcase the functionality and broad suitability within the latest version of Bond Adapt, and we are therefore looking forward to the opportunities that attending UK Recruiter’s Recruitment Directors Networking event will inevitably bring.”