4 Staffing And Recruiting Tips To Attract Candidates Online

Whether through your website, blog, Facebook page or optimized LinkedIn profile, the success of your recruiting firm or staffing agency depends on its ability to attract the best candidates online.

So the question is “Are you doing all you can to build your online staffing and recruiting efforts?”  If you had to pause for even a moment, here are 4 tips you can start to leverage today to bring more candidates to your virtual door:

1. Build a Better Keyword List – What words do candidates use to describe or find your recruiting firm or staffing agency, before they know you by name? If you are able to answer this question, from the vantage point of your candidates, you will have a pretty good idea of the keywords that should be used in everything from your web copy, to your blog posts to your social profiles.

Remember that the keywords you choose will make up the foundation of your messaging and should be sprinkled throughout the content you create.  Also remember that the language used by your candidates is ever-changing, so always be open to researching and revising your list.

2. Create Content That Solves Problems – Finding the right job, or finding a job period, could fairly be assumed as a common problem for job candidates.  Imagine if your recruiting firm or staffing agency developed content designed to help these candidates – for instance, a blog post offering first time hire interview tips, or a skills assessment designed to help candidates zero in on their dream career.  This type of content, with the right keywords sprinkled throughout, not only helps attract candidates – it helps build up the trust that can transform into deep brand awareness.

3. Maintain Your Social Presence – It’s one thing to launch a Facebook page or LinkedIn profile – but quite another to maintain it.  When developing or updating your social plan, ensure there is a commitment to consistently posting updates, sharing content and engaging with other users.  Not only does this activity put off signals that can help to boost your search ranking, it shows your candidates that you are an active and knowledgeable firm or agency.

4. Give Your Employees a Voice – Candidates are not just looking for a recruiting firm or a staffing agency.  They are looking for someone they can trust.  This is a feeling that is very emotional and very personal.  And one of the best ways to start building this personal connection is to ensure your employees contribute to the output of your company.

Whether it’s through blog posts they author or social conversations they engage in, putting your employees out there can help to quickly attract candidates that are seeking a more personal connection to your firm or agency.

To learn more about how your recruiting or staffing agency can best take advantage of social media, and how our recruiting software can help, contact us or request a free demo.

6 LinkedIn Optimization Tips For Your Recruiting or Staffing Agency

Recruiting and staffing agencies are becoming more and more familiar with the idea of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and the need to optimize their websites and blog posts.  But SEO represents just one slice of an online marketing program – and website optimization is simply one tactic.

Being truly resonant online requires the creation and maintenance of a holistic online footprint.  And for even the smallest recruiting or staffing agency, this footprint can encompass everything from media relations to social networks.

Since your recruiting or staffing agency will need to start somewhere as it embarks on its major optimization initiative, I’ve offered six tips below to help you optimize what is – perhaps – the social network most ingrained in your current social staffing plan: LinkedIn.

1. Revisit Your LinkedIn Company Overview – Chances are your recruiting or staffing agency looks a bit different than when you initially created your LinkedIn profile.  Not only do you have more employees, more services, more clients – but you’ve also likely evolved your messaging since your launch.  And this means that new keywords hold new value for your online marketing efforts.  If it’s been 12 months or more since you’ve reviewed your LinkedIn company profile, schedule yourself 30 minutes to review this copy to ensure it is using the keywords that most accurately describe the attributes you want your agency to be found for today – rather than the agency you were when first being established.

2. Work With Your Team To Optimize Personal Profiles – If your website is capturing traffic from LinkedIn, a significant percentage is likely coming from the profile pages of your employees.  As such, ensuring those profile pages are easier to find for either hyper-qualified prospects (ie prospects that know your sales reps by name) or those just entering the awareness stage (ie those seeking a seasoned staffing supervisor in Minneapolis, MN) is key.  Work with your employees to ensure their personal profiles both link back to your web properties but also that they are optimized with the same set of keywords that shape the balance of your recruiting or staffing agency’s messaging.

3. Link To New Content – Creation of new, optimized content represents the heartbeat of your agency – making it critical that the content you create is shared as effectively with as much of your audience as possible.  Fortunately, LinkedIn – like Facebook and Twitter – will allow you to autofeed your blog content.  With all autofeeds in place, a simple click of the publish button will ensure your latest content is shared with dozens of groups and networks instantly.

4. Refresh Your Postings – Both clients and candidates could be browsing your agency profile daily to find out more about the latest job openings or candidates.  Be sure that the updates posted to your LinkedIn company profile are as frequent as necessary.

5. Offer Proof Points On the Products/Services Tab – Why should candidates or clients use your recruiting or staffing agency?  Here’s your chance to set yourself apart.  Include compelling images and testimonials to communicate your company’s unique strengths.

6. Answer Questions & Become a Thought Leader – Remember that at its heart, LinkedIn is about professional networking.  And a big component of this is trusting your network to help you answer questions.  Once or twice a week, review the Answers section of LinkedIn for open questions from others in your industry.  What myself and my team commonly will do is look for open questions related to recruiting software, as this represents our company’s specialty.  If you see a question you can help with, share an answer publicly.  (Remember – this is not a sales tactic – so please do not try to shoehorn in a sales pitch at the end.  That said, it is perfectly acceptable to optimize your answer through the use of keywords.) Simply build trust by sharing your knowledge.  You’ll be surprised how often this tactic will lead those on the Answer string to click through to your profile – and ultimately – to your website.  And from there, you may commence selling.

To learn more about how your recruiting or staffing agency can best take advantage of social media, and how our recruiting and staffing software can help, contact us or request a free demo.

Legally Speaking: How Should Your Recruiting or Staffing Agency Address Social Media Privacy Issues?

I’ve recently made my opinion on employer Facebook snooping quite clear – any the negative feeling I feel deep in my gut is shared by nearly every other source I’ve seen.  Fortunately – it seems this negative view is slowly being transformed into laws and guidelines.

The furor stems over the demands of some employers, recruiters or staffing agencies to get social media passwords or log-ins from employees or candidates.  At the heart of the matter is the question of whether employees or job candidates should be forced to allow potential employers, recruiters or staffing agencies more access into their private lives.  While current laws may still leave room for interpretation – it is perfectly clear which way the wind is blowing.

A recent Denver Business Journal article points out that in Colorado, employees’ legal off-duty activities are protected, and that could extend to Facebook use.

Two Senators apparently agree that forcing job seekers to share Facebook passwords is a breach of privacy and possible cause for discrimination.  Charles Schumer (NY) and Richard Blumenthal (CT) have asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to launch an investigation into whether employers asking for passwords during interviews is in violation of federal law (New York Times, March 25, 2012).

In the article, a Facebook executive warned that “if an employer discovered that a job applicant is a member of a protected group, the employer might be vulnerable to claims of discrimination if it did not hire that person.”  Such protected information includes gender, age, religion and race – much of which you can find on Facebook profiles.

Today, only Maryland prohibits employers from requiring employees to turn over social media passwords.  However California currently has a bill before the Senate (having just won unanimous support in the House) which would also ban employers from demanding access to Facebook accounts (AB1844).

The challenge will be moving forward that with the interconnectedness of the Internet and the proliferation of information on social media, recruiting firms and staffing agencies will be tempted to use whatever tools they can to get a better idea of candidate personalities and profiles.

Case in point, many recruiting firms and staffing agencies rely upon LinkedIn as heavily as they do resumes to get a clearer picture of candidates.  However, the difference is, LinkedIn profiles have been created for that very reason.

The next year should produce an interesting array of new laws and regulations.  In the meantime, what actions should your recruiting firm or staffing agency take?

I say this not as a lawyer – but as someone that has worked in the staffing industry for several years.  While we may be tempted to take advantage of all information we are – currently – legally entitled to in order to find the right candidates, there are certain lines we simply should not cross.  While it may be true that asking for social passwords is not currently in violation of any laws in most states – the stain such an action leaves on an agency could be difficult to bounce back from.  This holds especially true if privacy laws change – and your agency’s actions are cited as even a minor reason as to why.

Bottom-line: employees and job candidates have private lives.  And as long as they fill your needs – or meet the needs of your clients – that’s OK.  My original position was to steer your agency clear of Facebook snooping stupidity.  And my opinion – now backed up by mounting legislation – has not changed.

To learn more about how your recruiting or staffing agency can best take advantage of social media – from both a business and ethical standpoint – and how our recruiting and staffing software can help, contact us or request a free demo.

Will LinkedIn Profiles Replace Resumes At Your Recruiting or Staffing Agency?

Industry standards are hard things to change.  And most times – they are still in use because they still work.

Take resumes for example.  When it comes to staffing and recruiting, they’re required reading – whether you choose to read each in detail or automate resume reading with staffing or recruitment software. But the resume has new a force threatening to take its place as the industry standard: the LinkedIn profile.

The question is: Will LinkedIn profiles completely overtake resumes as the prime way for your recruiting, employment or staffing agency to learn what it needs to know about candidates and job seekers?

Personally, I don’t see it as an either-or situation just yet.  That said, I don’t think any true candidate picture is complete without a powerful LinkedIn profile, regardless of the strength of their resume.   Here are 3 reasons why:

1. Personal Branding Is Here To Stay
Branding isn’t just for businesses any more.  Now candidates have ample opportunity to present themselves to your recruiting or staffing agency in a compelling fashion through their customized profiles.

Rather than the traditionally brief resume, a personal profile can be a more creative platform for showcasing a candidate’s unique interests.  In addition to listing job experience, the profile can link to a blog, share a reading list and even offer SlideShare presentations.

2. Messaging Makes A Difference
A candidate’s online profile is the ideal place for you to get a better sense of a job seeker’s communication skills.  With all the added information a candidate can include, you can assess not only how qualified a person is for the job but also how they communicate their strengths.

Candidates can use a more conversational tone to expand upon their experience and interests and recruiters can get a better sense of the person’s personality and creativity.

3. Referrals Can Complete The Picture
A candidate’s profile can provide you with a treasure trove of referrals and recommendations.

It can also offer a road map of a person’s career path by showing how well connected that candidate is within their chosen industry.  The profile is the online fulfillment of the traditional “Recommendations Provided Upon Request.”

With a finite universe of qualified candidates, enterprising recruiters and staffing professionals need a variety of tools to discover the cream of the crop.  The LinkedIn profile combined with a resume – rather than one or the other – offers the most complete and powerful overview.

To learn more about how your recruiting or staffing agency can best take advantage of social media, and how our recruiting and staffing software can help, contact us or request a free demo.

Why Selecting Your Staffing and Recruiting Software Is Like Hiring a Top Producer

Improve your business success by using the same criteria for selecting your staffing software and recruiting software that you would use to select a candidate to boost your sales and recruiting bottom line.

Select software like you select a top performing sales personAs a staffing and recruiting professional, you know the value of a top producer in your business. They are hard to recruit, as you won’t find any colleges offering majors in “staffing and recruiting sales,” or “third-party recruiting and staffing.” More importantly, your top producers, whether in sales or recruiting, are likely to produce 80 percent of your business profits.

You want your business to grow profitably, so it makes sense then to apply the same criteria to your staffing and recruiting software selection as you would to hiring a top sales and recruiting producer for your business. After all, your recruiting software is the single most important tool your top producers have to produce results with. But how do you go about it? You can use the established character traits of top performers as principals for selecting your software.

Here we’ll apply the seven character traits of top performing sellers as described by Steve W. Martin, who teaches sales strategy at the USC Marshall School of Business, to staffing and recruiting software vendors:

  1. Modesty. A team orientation to your recruiting and staffing software solution. Your recruiting software vendor will recognize and position you and your staff side-by-side with their own staff (sales, technical support, development, etc.) as one team with one goal – your success. Your software vendor should have the deep expertise and skills in-house – from sales to development to training to support – to understand and address your business needs. Find out how many staff they have in key positions and how long they’ve been with the firm to determine how their teams’ experience can support your business.
  2. Conscientiousness. A strong sense of duty and being responsible and reliable. Your staffing and recruiting software vendor should take the importance of your business success very seriously and feel deeply responsible for the results. This “ownership” of your success is most often seen in their ongoing investments in technology development, their honesty in their business dealings, and the responsiveness and quality of the after-the-sale customer support you get, so find out how much of their gross is dedicated to development and talk to lots of customer references about product performance and support.
  3. Achievement Orientation. Understanding and measuring how your software fits into your business. Your staffing and recruiting software vendor should be fixated on achieving goals and continuously measuring their performance in comparison to their goals. This means that they are continuously refining their products and services based on your feedback (and that of their other customers) to improve performance. Learn how they measure their development and support performance and seek to improve it for insight on how key performance metrics play a role in their business.
  4. Curiosity. Inquisitiveness about your business that translates into effective solutions. Your staffing software and recruiting software vendor should have a hunger for knowledge and information about your business, your customers, and your industry. They will be driven to ask you difficult and uncomfortable questions in order to close gaps in information that will help them provide you the best solution and services.
  5. Lack of Gregariousness. Your staffing and recruiting software vendor is your technology advisor – not your BFF.  Your staffing software vendor should have long experience with many customers across relevant industry segments. That gives them deep insight into the business of staffing and recruiting and how their solution can improve your success. As your trusted advisor on recruiting and staffing technology, they may offer recommendations that, at first glance, may be counter to your own thinking, but are nonetheless sound.
  6. Lack of Discouragement. Competitive, never-give-up attitude to winning and keeping your business successful.  The staffing and recruiting business is a tough, competitive one and your recruiting and staffing software should be eager to help you compete. That means that, regardless of what the business climate is like, they are focused on developing and delivering the products and services you need with dedication, expertise, and staying-power to support you today and in the years ahead. Seek references that have been with the vendor for some time and ask about their software and business support experiences.
  7. Lack of Self-Consciousness. Aggressively capable of “thinking outside the box” to discover and implement new technology to enable your success. New technology and ideas confront old perceptions and ways of doing business daily. Your staffing and recruiting software vendor must be comfortable embracing changes in technology or business processes that offer you important new benefits and fighting for their cause even if it means rankling you in the process.

So there you have it – seven principles for selecting your next staffing software or recruiting software package based on the same standards you should use for selecting a top performing sales or recruiting staff member. If you are in the market for a change in business software, these can be helpful in your selection process. Even if you are not in the market for new software, maybe you should consider applying them to your current software vendor – you might find it enlightening.

If you would like to talk to us about how our staffing and recruiting software can improve your business, click demo or give us a call at 800-318-4983 today. We’re here to help you succeed.

REC Names Bond as CIETT World Employment Conference 2012 Co-Sponsor

Bond International Software, the global provider of recruitment & human capital management software & services, has been officially unveiled as the co-sponsor of the Ciett World Employment Conference 2012, incorporating REC Annual Convention, which is renowned in the international recruitment industry for being the networking event of the year. The conference takes place on the 23rd – 25th May at the Landmark, 222 Marylebone Road, London.

As part of the co-sponsorship deal, Bond will be showcasing at the conference the latest version of Bond Adapt – the specialist portfolio of recruitment software applications. As a co-sponsor at the global recruitment event of the year, Bond further demonstrates its determination to share its in-depth industry experience and innovative technology solutions with the international marketplace and ensure a close relationship with the industry as a whole.

Demonstrations will be given of the latest version of its flagship product, Bond Adapt, currently used by some of the largest global recruiters and available as a Software-as-a-Service or as an on-site deployment. Newly developed features to aid recruiters’ day-to-day activities will be highlighted along with proven AWR workflows and Bond Adapt’s wide integration with other popular industry tools, such as Daxtra’s Search Station 2 and Drag&Tag.

The theme for the three-day Ciett World Employment Conference 2012 is “Transforming the Global Brand”. The conference programme has been specifically designed to provide the 350 attending delegates with a balance between the strategic trends of the international staffing industry, whilst offering practical business advice.

As host for the World Conference, Kevin Green, Chief Executive of REC, comments, “The recruitment and staffing industry has a leading role to play in the global economic recovery, and as an international recruitment software provider itself, Bond is well-placed to offer new recruitment solutions that are continually being brought to the marketplace. We are therefore delighted that Bond International Software supporting the World Employment Conference. REC is committed to raising standards and professionalism in the industry. We have brought together high profile speakers and world experts to address this global audience. We are excited that Bond has chosen to partner with us and Ciett. It demonstrates the level of interest that already exists for the event.”

Tim Richards, Managing Director, Bond International Software, comments, “As we emerge from a difficult period of economic instability, the recruitment industry must be encouraged to embrace new and exciting ways of doing business, whether that be through the purchase of an innovative technology solution, or a change in mindset of how particular processes should be conducted and managed.  It is for this reason that engaging directly with the market via networking events, such as the World Employment Conference, is crucial to the continuing development of the recruitment industry, and we are therefore proud to be co-sponsoring this year’s event.”