Archive for May, 2015

Four Ways To Recruit On Facebook

Monday, May 25th, 2015

The other night, a friend of mine quipped “Facebook is like your refrigerator. You know nothing’s changed, but you still look inside every 15 minutes”. Millions of people visit the site several times a day, and amidst the usual trivial conversations, the site has become a place where breaking news appears quickly and (usually) accurately. As Facebook has grown, many recruiters have sought ways to harvest employees from the site. We’ve all heard about encouraging our present employees to advertise job openings among their friends, but let’s go beyond that level and concentrate on how to make the best use of this tremendous resource. Fair warning: we’ll offer four ways to use Facebook for recruiting and three of them will cost you money.

One of the easiest ways for a business to use Facebook is to start a fan page. It is a good idea for the HR or recruiting department to have a separate Facebook page from products and services. This allows you to find a focused audience that has a genuine interest in working for your company. You can offer connecting links on each page, so that misdirected readers can find you. Once you have the page set up, it’s important to engage your audience. Consider that readers who “like” your page may do so out of courtesy or reflex, and never visit the page again. However, if you engage your readers with open-ended questions that encourage responses, they become an active part of the conversation. This can get them excited about your site and should encourage them to come back. The number of people engaged in conversation on your Facebook page is the source of those mysterious “people talking about this” numbers that you’ll see on your page. Facebook is moving toward these kinds of active stats, and to keep on top of these numbers and keep the conversations going on your page, you’ll need a social media person on staff. If you haven’t hired that person, it might be time to do so.

Another option is Facebook advertising. This comes in two options, one free and one paid. Marketplace is the free option and it works in the same way as Craigslist. You can post jobs for free and they end up in a long list of positions that readers must filter and scroll through. As you can imagine, it’s not terribly effective, especially when there are other options available. Facebook ads have a greater (and more focused) reach, and you can budget how much you want to spend per day, and fine-tune your projected audience. The ad setup is quite intuitive, but it is important to know your projected demographics in depth, as the sub-categories go into fine detail. Beware of targeting a Facebook job ad to a particular gender, as such practices run counter to the EEOC laws.

In the past year, the company BranchOut has partnered with Facebook for the specific design of employment recruiting. BranchOut’s application, which works only within Facebook, allows users to connect with Facebook friends, and friends of their friends for finding new jobs and careers., BranchOut offers their services to recruiters for about $300 per month per seat, which is about half of LinkedIn’s price. Jobs can be posted for $49 each or a group of 10 for $39 each. The application presently has over 25 million users and about 3 million posted jobs. In comparison, LinkedIn has about 150 million users, but BranchOut’s association with Facebook means that their numbers grow as the social network’s members reply to (rather persistent) invitations to join BranchOut.

Facebook offers many opportunities for recruiters. Whether you advertise, create a fan page, use BranchOut, or do all of the above, the resources of the world’s largest social network can help you find the right people for your open positions. When you have business through Facebook, it makes more sense to check it every 15 minutes.

How To Access Free Resumes On Google

Monday, May 11th, 2015

In some prior articles we have focused on advanced Boolean techniques using Google and Bing and I thought it would be a good idea to bring it back a notch and cover some of the basics of using search engines to source resumes, as well as throw in a few tips and tricks I have learned along the way.

In this article, I am going to focus on using Google and will save Bing for another time, since it has its own nuances.  FeeTrader also has FT Searcher, an easy to use resume searching tool, within all Recruiter and Employer accounts.  After entering search keywords, FT Searcher expertly organizes your keywords utilizing advanced web search-string methodology to search Google, LinkedIn and Craigslist.

First of all, I think to fully utilize the capabilities of search engines, you first must understand the basic dynamics of web pages, how they are structured and how search engines like Google search within the structure of the website in order to bring up the most relevant search results.

Let’s use the Wall Street Journal’s home page as an example.  Below I have included a screenshot and have highlighted a couple important aspects of this site that is consistent with all sites.  We will use these features to make our Boolean search strings more targeted.

Website Structure

The two things I have pointed out in the image above are what is referred to as the Title Tag and URL of the website.  With most websites, these two things are usually pretty specific with regard to briefly describing the content of a particular page within a website.  When it comes to resumes, most people will add the word “resume” in either the title tag or URL, so that is what we want to focus on first in our search string so we can ensure that most of the results we see are resumes.  So now we just have to tell Google that we only want to see links to webpages that have the term “resume” in either the URL or the title tag.  To do this you will use the following Boolean search:

(inurl:resume OR intitle:resume)

You can also alternatively use CV or “curriculum vitae” in addition to the term resume.

One thing to note, is that a lot of job boards and other related websites also use the term “resume” in their title tags and URLs.  So how can we eliminate these false positive results?  We can do this by adding negative keywords to our search; words such as “free” or job or jobs might help eliminate unrelated search results.

Here’s an example of how I would begin a search for a SQL DBA in the Seattle area:

(inurl:resume OR intitle:resume) SQL (DBA OR “database administrator”) Seattle -free -job –jobs

This turned up 3,950 results and we still received a few false positives.  The next step would be to either add more job-specific terms such as “manage” or “SQL server”, etc.  or to narrow our search by location.  Since, using the term “Seattle” limits our result to only results that have the word Seattle in them.  We also want people in the surrounding areas such as Redmond, Bellevue and Issaquah.

To do this, I have found a couple of websites that can help us use zip codes and, if we wanted, area codes.  The only problem with area codes is the fact that a lot of people use their cell number and will often have a number with an area code that is not specific to our target location.

Here are links to those sites:

–          Area Codes

–          Zip Codes

Unfortunately, the page with the zip code radius does not include a link directly to this page so you have to click “Other Applications” and then, from the drop down, select “Zip Codes in a Circle.”

In my example, I want to find zip codes that are within a 20-mile radius of Redmond, WA.  I simply enter the zip code for Redmond (98053) and then 20 for the radius.  I will then be given the results in numerical order.  This is very important as we will use the smallest number and the largest number for our search string.  My results included 98004 to 98101.  Google uses “…” as an operator for a range of numbers, therefore, by adding 98004…98101 Google will now show results that have any number between the two I have provided.

Now, when I use the following search string I only have 6 results.  That’s not a lot, but at least it’s a better place to start than 3,950!

(inurl:resume OR intitle:resume) SQL (DBA OR “database administrator”) 98004…98101 -free -job –jobs

In summary, search engines are a great resource for sourcing candidates and there are a number of different techniques that can be used to extract different sets of results.  The key is knowing how to get the most targeted search results using a variety of tips and tricks that exist.

Happy hunting! Travis Scott

Successful Video Interviewing

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

One of my favorite pastimes is to watch old movies and TV shows to see how they predicted the future. I’m still waiting delivery of the personal robot and jet packs that we were all promised, but from the silly (The Jetsons) to the dramatic (Star Trek) to the profound (2001: A Space Odyssey), one thing that was predicted correctly was our use of video for conversations. Here we are, like George Jetson, Captain Kirk and the 2001 astronauts, using our video cameras and computer technology to communicate with people down the street or on the other side of the world. Recruiters have picked up on this technology to lessen their costs and increase their productivity.

So if you’re just getting started, what’s the best platform to use? For basic usage, Skype and Facetime seem to be the best options. Facetime has become quite popular, but it should be noted that it only works with Apple products. It may seem like everyone has an iPhone or an iPad, but that’s not the case. If you have those products, Facetime is pre-loaded, so you don’t have to worry about downloading software. Skype is now owned by Microsoft, and there are free versions for both PC and Mac applications. Thus, it retains wider usage and availability. Of course, if you want more bells and whistles, all you have to do is Google “video interview platform” and you’ll find plenty of companies dying to sell you their video conferencing packages.

Once you’ve settled on the platforms, the actual task of video interviewing is not that different from in-person interviewing. Yet, there are some elements to remember. First of all, we’re dealing with technology, which means things can go wrong. So, testing the equipment before every interview is an important detail. It’s like the old mantra: count on getting a flat tire on the way to work, and if it doesn’t happen, you’re just there a little early. All of the major platforms allow you to do test runs and let you see what you look like on camera. Assume that the candidate is also doing a test run, but be prepared to make adjustments once you’re both online.

Video interviews can give you great insights on a candidate’s appearance and body language, but keep in mind that the camera and microphone can pick up things that we generally ignore. For example, many coaching sites tell candidates to pick a professional looking atmosphere to place the camera. You should do the same. Keep in mind that white backgrounds can make you look flat, and will create hard shadows. Keep the sun at your back, but never frame against a window as the camera will be unable to discern the light and shadow combination and will put you in silhouette. If you’re looking for eye contact, remember that you must look into the camera, not the screen. Further, as many movie stars have learned, one should train oneself to look at the camera with their downstage eye to avoid looking cross-eyed on camera.  However, the biggest problem can be the microphone, which is usually sensitive enough to pick up all sorts of little noises. The simple act of shuffling papers can sound like a torrential windstorm, and you probably have more paper on your desk than the candidate.

If prepared and conducted correctly, a video interview can save your company the cost of flying a candidate in for an interview, and can help you decide if a candidate is ready to hire or eligible for a further interview.

Gotta go—the mailman’s at my door. Maybe he’s delivering my robot…Thomas Cunniffe