Tag Archives: Seek

SEEK Launches Jobseeker Profiles and it’s Better Than Expected

This week saw the promised launch of SEEK’s foray into the online CV database market with Jobseeker Profiles.  The premise behind this is an attempt to flip the traditional job board model on its head and turn it into a proactive job search tool for job seekers, rather than reactive one.  Instead of applying to job ads as they appear on the site, this enables job seekers to post their CV and profile onto SEEK’s database and become searchable by recruitment agencies and employers looking for keywords or experience contained within those CVs.

Of course, this is a bit like when the football A-League was announced and launched back in 2005, bringing professional football to Australia and New Zealand for the first time.  Many people were like, “OK that’s cool, but really it’s about time seeing as every other country in the world has a professional football league already.”  So it is with this, with job board goliaths like Monster already having pioneered this facility many years hence.

So will it take off in our region?  The traditional resistance has always been that in a smaller market (particularly New Zealand) job seekers are going to be less inclined to post their details publically looking for a job in case their current employer should happen to stumble upon it.  I imagine SEEK will have set up numerous screens to protect the obvious identity of the candidate, until the candidate permits the release of their details to the employer, but it is still a cultural mindset that will be hard to shift.  The reaction amongst many of my fellow recruiters has been pretty under-whelming so far, a bit like the opening game of the A-League which I attended where Newcastle Jets lost 1-0 at home to Adelaide Utd.  A lone header from the visitors punctuating an inability for either team to string any passes together stuck a pin into the barely inflated pre-game bubble of excitement.

But I am an advocate of change and innovation if nothing else, so I am committed to giving this new thing a go.  And seeing as it’s Friday Whiteboard Day I thought I might as well provide you a running commentary of how I get on with my first foray into Jobseeker Profiles:

–          Open browser and click into SEEK.co.nz.  Looks familiar, notice the tile in the bottom “Look for a job while it looks for you, employers and recruiters are searching for people like you now”.  OK so that’s for the job seeker, but what about me?  I want to see what profiles I can find.

–          Click into it anyway to see if that’s where I should go…no it’s just for the job seeker.  OK well I’ll take my usual route for posting ads and click on “Advertisers Post a Job Ad” at the top of the screen.

–          Aha, here we go.  A new “Candidates” column on this page.  Click into “Jobseeker Profiles for your roles”

–          OK it all looks pretty nice, excitement and anticipation starting to build, where do I go next?  Only place I can see to go next is clicking on “your roles”

–          Here we go – familiar page but with a new “Jobseeker Profiles” column.  It is telling me there are 70 jobseeker profiles available for my “Experienced Recruitment Professionals” job ad – sweet.  Got to check this out, click on the 70.

–          Reduce the field to 29 by adding the keyword “recruitment” (as I am looking for experienced recruiters here, the word must surely appear on all profiles of experienced recruiters).  That also thankfully eliminates the “Hard Warking Boy” who wants to be a butcher (not sure which letter he mis-typed in that sentence)

–          Must say it looks like there might be one or two useful profiles for me here…have a scout through them.  As an introductory offer SEEK are giving away 10 free profile views per job ad so I’ll compile my short list and see how it goes…

–          OK got my 10 job seekers and click “Checkout”.  7 will have their CV’s released automatically and 3 are private profiles, so they get to review my job ad before releasing their info (this is where jobseekers worried about their boss seeing them looking can cover their arses)

–          2 of them are already registered with me.  One is a candidate I already placed 3 weeks ago.  The others are there for me to peruse and decide what to do with.

Overall I have to say this is quite a slick process.  It looks good and, once you have found your way into the right area of SEEK, it is very easy to use.  As for whether it will throw up the results recruiters are looking for?  Well I must say I was surprised to see the profile of a candidate who I have already placed.  This proves irrevocably that this could work very well for us in recruitment.  The fact he applied to me directly as well as posting his own profile meant I was able to work reactively on finding him a job, but this shows how it could become a more proactive process.

Looking at the rest, I will make contact, but on first glance doesn’t appear likely there will be the right fit in there.  But as this is taken up by more and more agencies and employers then more job seekers will load their details up and the quality of the database will improve.  I can definitely see this being of benefit, especially for overseas candidates moving to, or returning to, New Zealand, who wouldn’t necessarily know who to contact or where to look.

This is a good move from SEEK.  The calls about job boards becoming less and less relevant are getting louder, and have obviously prompted SEEK into launching this new product.  But this kind of move was essential for SEEK to remain relevant, to display some innovation, to just keep us all interested, especially as the likes of Linked In and Google make searching for candidates without job boards a realistic option for many recruiters.  Yes, this has been done before, but I must say SEEK have done this well.  As long as they now invest proper amounts in marketing this new feature to job seekers, to improve the size and quality of their database, then this could be a very useful tool in the recruiter’s candidate sourcing strategy.

Keen to hear about anyone else who has tried out this new feature in their particular sector, and any feedback you might have.

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Croquet and Pimms at the SEEK Estate

SEEK did something quite unexpected yesterday.  They hosted a very pleasant, convivial, civilised and not-at-all-brash garden party at Alberton House the “SEEK Estate” to host a range of clients, recruitment and corporate, to say thanks for our business.  How jolly decent of you SEEK and thanks for having us all along.

Now this was no legendary SEEK Blue Ball thronged with roaring recruiters, chest thumping suits and tottering tipsily on high heels.  This really was an indication of where we have come as an industry since the heady boom days.  The recession put paid to the Blue Ball, the flash venues and manically drumming Japs fading into a distant memory from 2008 as SEEK’s swollen coffers started to run as dry as those of their recruitment clients.  This was altogether a far more genteel occasion.  Recruiters are still in the process of hauling themselves back out of the recession.  No doubt work is picking up significantly and revenues are returning, but there are still a multitude of wounds to lick and heal, which came through in the polite and reserved chit chat that characterised the evening.  No more the sneering gloating over vanquished competitors, more like a few sideways glances and acknowledged mutual respect between competing firms who are all really just glad to still be in recruitment.

Forget Saatchi & Saatchi...it's Simon & Simon (Madison)

But for the wider recruitment masses, it was suggested by JP from Seek (who is now to be known as John-Paul as he was introduced by his new GM), that the Blue Ball will return.  So we will once again have a night of heavy drinking and general letting-hair-down behaviour.  Then we will really see if the recruitment industry leopard has managed to change its spots, or as I suspect is just currently wearing a clever spotless disguise in preparation to cast it aside when the boom returns.

The evening was also an opportunity for SEEK to introduce their aforementioned new GM.  Take a bow Janet Faulding and welcome to New Zealand’s recruitment community.  Janet has a background in running radio stations but did some online stuff as GM for Vouchermate.  We had a chat and she seemed pretty cool, although introducing her new account manager John as a fellow Pom, when he is from Zimbabwe, didn’t go down so well!

Janet Faulding speaks

It seems like The Whiteboard divided opinion last night as well, which is excellent news and just what I am trying to achieve – a bit of debate in our industry.  To be fair, there were many positive comments from some readers of the blog, and just one that suggested I was pushing things too far in a small market – but it’s all good and we’re all entitled to an opinion.  I have to take my hat off to the Manpower crew who were very magnanimous despite the panning received by many commentators a couple of weeks ago.

On that note the blog went past the 10,000 views mark last week, so thanks for all of your reading, especially those of you who contribute, comment and join in the debate on issues in our industry.

So there we have it.  No juicy gossip or salacious details on misbehaving recruiters this week I’m afraid.  I must say a big cheers to the guys from Hays, Recruit IT, Madison, and Automotive Employment, who carried the evening on in Snapdragon in the Viaduct.  It was a great night, but I really am all talked out, so I’m going to slink off to find a coffee and hopefully something abundantly greasy that I really shouldn’t be eating, but will be so good… I heard something on the radio yesterday about a battered sausage covered with chips and wrapped in bacon… a Piggy-Chip-Dog.

Mmm, that’ll be the ticket…aren’t hangovers great?

Recruit IT flying under the radar and banning use of flash

A Poor Sense of Timing from Manpower Professional

For a change I don’t have a lot to say this morning, other than to gather your thoughts on this job posted on SEEK at 1.18pm yesterday:

Engineering opportunities across the ditch

  • Get paid to move away
  • Great career progression opportunity
  • Excellent travel opportunity for the family

Our hearts go out to all those affected by the recent events in Christchurch. Having been there in September for the 7.1 earthquake and endless aftershocks, I can relate to the destruction and post traumatic distress the latest shocks have caused.

If you are looking for an opportunity to get away for a while, Australian Engineering firms could be your silver lining. With paid relocation and resettling assistance, the next 2 years could be an experience that you and your family will not regret.

Our consultants are currently working on Senior Engineering roles across a variety of disciplines and locations including:

Electrical Engineers:

  • Senior Distribution Engineer -Electrical Engineering MV and LV Distribution
  • HV Substation Design Engineers
  • Transmission Lines Design Engineers

Civil Engineers:

  • Principal Maritime/Marine Structures Engineer
  • Senior Civil Engineers – Land development
  • Senior Civil Engineers – Water resources
  • Senior Hydrologists
  • Principal Water Resources Engineer
  • Senior Structural Engineer – Career path to Branch Manager
  • Principal Geotechnical Engineer – Water retaining structures

Metallurgical and Process Engineers:

  • Process Engineer – Minerals processing experience preferred

These opportunities are with well renowned organisations on the East Coast of Australia (predominantly Brisbane) offering excellent salaries and career advancement opportunities. If you would like to discuss any of the above roles or how you would go about moving. Submit your CV using the APPLY button

This ad was posted almost exactly 48 hours after the earthquake struck on Tuesday. There are still people missing, the rescue and recovery mission is still underway, and there are still people out there hoping against hope that their friends, relatives or colleagues will make some kind of miraculous reappearance from the rubble of Christchurch. Am I being a little precious here, or is this just way too early?

Now the author of this job posting seems like a good enough boy. He was in Christchurch during the original September quake, caring for an ill relative according to his LinkedIn profile, and I don’t imagine this was meant with any sense of malice. But I do think it displays terrible timing and a naïve lack of judgement. From the way I read it, it appears his colleagues in Brisbane have gathered together their hard-to-fill engineering roles, determined that the fact he was there in September means he has “earned his stripes through the aftershocks”, and has the right angle to post on their behalf.

This is not helpful at this time. This is an attempt to generate commercial gain for your business, thinly disguised as offering a helping hand to Cantabrians keen to escape with their families. If it’s too early for the Crusaders, it is too early for Manpower Professional.

I have a couple of other quick observations on this. Firstly that half the city is still without power so quite how the Brisbane office of Manpower think potential candidates will have the means, never mind the will, to even read this job posting is beyond me. Secondly, Christchurch is in ruins. The city is smashed and from what I can see from the news the famous Mainland spirit has taken a beating too. I think that in time there will certainly be many Cantabrian engineers looking for pastures new with their families, but right now and for the coming months their skills and abilities are going to be crucial in helping the city recover.

And what of the Manpower Professional office in Christchurch itself? This office is consistently vying with South Auckland for the top performing branch in New Zealand. What would these guys make of this attempt, by their own colleagues “across the ditch”, to lure skilled engineers away from the disaster zone their city has become?

I listened to Mayor Bob Parker on the news last night talking about the need to behave with dignity and respect at this difficult time. Obviously that message hasn’t made it as far as Brisbane yet.

How Effective is Linked In for Recruitment?

I clicked over that holy grail of social media targets this week when my Linked In network exceeded the 500+ mark.  I was quite chuffed with myself.  Social media is a key part of my marketing and branding strategy and, particularly as a recruiter, Linked In is a critical tool in networking with professionals and sourcing candidates for roles with my clients.

Or so I thought.

But having reached this milestone of the digital networking space I thought I would do an audit of my Linked In network and try and assess exactly how effective mine was.  After all, my approach to Facebook and Twitter are at odds to my hunger for connection-building on Linked In.  With Twitter I try and keep the list of people I am following as small and targeted as possible.  Most are involved in the recruitment industry in some way, then there’s a smattering of Arsenal-related tweeps and a couple of other amusing social media types.  But if I am “Followed” by some online hotshot with thousands of Followers of their own and a daily splurge of online diatribe, I won’t automatically “Follow” them back unless I am actually interested in what they have to say.  With Facebook, which I rarely even use these days, my approach is even more at odds with Linked In.  I have always actively sought to keep my network of “Friends” below the 100 mark (which I think it just crept over again recently).  I just think that it is highly unusual you would really have a real-life network of more than 100 friends, so I don’t see the point of treating this differently in the online space.

So how effective is my Linked In network?  Well I am currently up to 506 connections and I was surprised to discover that exactly 100 of these connections are not in any way related to recruitment, which if you’re not aware, is the niche area I recruit for.  I wondered if these 100 people were my Facebook Friends, jumping across to my Linked In realm to try and get noticed by me, because I certainly wasn’t on Facebook!  In fact half of them probably are friends from school, University, football etc, with the rest being made up of pre-recruitment work colleagues, and about 4 or 5 who I have to say I have no idea who they are…!

Still, that means over 80% of my network is directly related to, and mostly currently working within, recruitment.  Which pleases me greatly, as this is the kind of network I am seeking to build, from a professional standpoint.  So okay, I know that if I write a Status Update, or post a link to The Whiteboard, or mention a role I am recruiting for, then lots of recruiters, mostly in the Asia-Pac region, will see it.  Great.  But how do you measure the effectiveness of this?  When all is said and done, the ultimate aim of my business is to place recruiters into roles within the recruitment industry.  So how many of my placements for 2010 can I directly attribute to my Linked In network?

One.

What’s that I hear you say?  Yes…I said…One.  Hmmm.  I joined Linked In in 2007 and have worked hard building my online brand and network.  Many hours would have gone into it over the years.  But was it all really worth it?  Just for one guy to say he had found me on Linked In and me then taking him through to eventual offer and acceptance stage with one of my clients.

As a comparison exactly 50% of my placements for 2010 came via online advertising, mostly on job boards, in particular Seek.  Now I am also happy with this number in comparison to previous years as it used to be a much higher percentage.  Watching the percentage of applicants being placed as a result of online advertising reduce means that a larger proportion are coming to me through word of mouth and referrals.

And I think this is where the intangible benefits of a strong, engaged, Linked In network can really be found.  All of those candidates are connections of mine on Linked In.  Many could have seen my updates and decided it was time to make a move, but applied through my website, for example.  Others were referred to me by colleagues at work, who might have been connected to me on Linked In, but rather than directing them to my Linked In profile took the easier route of just giving them my phone number.

So I have to say I am happy with my Linked In network, with its strength and relevance to my specialist sector, and with my Return on Investment for the hours put into it.  But it seems impossible to scientifically assess its effectiveness in monetary terms.  Okay I can say I have made one placement in one year as a direct approach to me on Linked In.  But my gut feel, my instinct, is that my efforts in the social media space have generated many more word of mouth referrals.  Just don’t ask me exactly how many!

I will leave you today with one final thought that my analysis threw up.  17 of my connections have surnames beginning with “Mc” or “Mac” and all of them, bar one, are in the middle of highly successful recruitment careers, most of them occupying senior positions within the industry.  So if you’re ever unsure about whether to bring someone of Celtic origin into your recruitment team, chances are you should just go for it, they look like they’re made of good stuff!

Trade Me Jobs claims victory over Seek but who is really #1 for Recruiters?

Back in August 2009 Trade Me Jobs announced with much glee and hand-rubbing that they had, for the first time, surpassed Seek on domestic page impressions.  The then head of Trade Me Jobs, Jimmy McGee, said that:

“Our next goal is to beat Seek on local unique browsers. We’re well on track to do this by the end of the year,”

 

Well it took almost a year longer than that for it to happen but it looks like that target has now been achieved.  Early Monday saw a Tweet appear from Trademe Jobs declaring that:

“Our team are pretty chuffed to announce that Trade Me Jobs is now New Zealand’s #1 job board!”

 

This was soon followed by an article in the National Business Review explaining that Trade Me Jobs had edged ahead of Seek according to Nielsen’s October market data, with 860,922 domestic unique browsers ahead of 857,486 for Seek.

But what does this actually mean for us in recruitment?  All this talk of page impressions and unique browsers will no doubt soon be countered by Seek with claims of superior “total sessions” and “hours spent on the site”.  In fact they did respond with an immediate reposte on Tuesday, claiming that their browsers were more engaged job seekers as they had not stumbled into the Jobs section following a “fun auction” such as Trade Me’s browsers.  All of these different metrics will probably be gobbledygook to most recruiters (well they are to me anyway).  So what is really important?

I think that the real measureable that recruiters and hiring managers will want to see is which job board most frequently delivers the candidate to fill the role?  Things like Unique Browsers are useful stats to show people looking to advertise products and services on your website, but don’t really give us recruiters the full picture.

I love the fact that Trade Me Jobs is providing competition to Seek.  I think their image and approach speaks more clearly to the Kiwi way of business.  You don’t get so many overseas applications from candidates without visas to work in NZ.  They have excellent account management and customer service delivery, in my experience anyway.  However, much as I enjoyed being a customer, during the whole of 2008 I only made one placement via a Trade Me Jobs advert, against significantly more via Seek.  Since then I have only used Seek (and Jobs.co.nz) to post my ads.  Whilst I do get a lot more candidates via other channels such as word of mouth referrals (thanks, everyone) and social media efforts, Seek still do deliver from a purely business perspective.

It has been suggested to me on a number of occasions by other recruiters that I should advertise on Trade Me Jobs now, but I’m still not sure I will get the return on investment, not for my industry anyway.

As far as I’m concerned New Zealand’s number one job board is the one that delivers me more placeable candidates.  At the moment that is still Seek by a long shot and I’m not convinced that much will have changed since 2008.

But I have to say this is all fabulous publicity for Trade Me Jobs anyway and it has certainly got me wondering.  Perhaps I will put it to the test in 2011…

A Glimpse at the Hays “social media policy”

I’m going to kick things off this week with an apology to Seek and their ex-GM of NZ Annemarie Duff.  Last week the question was asked whether she had had a dig at Momentum in her speech at the recent Seek Awards, as was the rumour I had heard.  Feedback from other sources has since suggested that it was a case of mistaken identity and comments were in fact made by an entirely different dark haired lady representing another four-letter organisation.

I enjoyed the company of Seek at an ad-writing seminar they put on at the Hilton this week.  It was pretty basic stuff but a very worthwhile refresher and there were plenty of new-to-industry and internal corporate recruiters there picking up some great tips.  Cheers also to Ross from Seek who showed great generosity of spirit in inviting me to their offices for a beer sometime in the future.

Onto other things and I recently heard from an old colleague who left the employment of Hays that they had to delete their Linkedin account entirely when they resigned from the company.  If you read The Whiteboard a couple of weeks ago you’ll have heard about another recruiter, from a different organisation, who was forced to delete Linkedin connections that mirrored names in the company database.  Well it sounds like Hays have taken things even further lately.

Hays have historically been swift and decisive in their handling of social media and the way their employees and ex-employees can utilise it, which is consistent with their strict enforcement of contractual obligations under restraints of trade for exiting staff.  They were one of the first to successfully challenge an ex-employee’s Linkedin network in a (UK) court of law.

As far as I’m aware Hays only recently allowed its employees in this region to have access to Linkedin.  Having computer systems that can allow certain staff access to certain websites, and others not, enabled them to say, “OK, you can have access to Linkedin at work if you like, but if we allow it then you have to sign this policy agreeing to delete your account if you leave our employment.”

This may seem Draconian but it is quite clever from Hays.  If an employee is using a work computer to access Linkedin then the inference would have to be that they are using the site for work purposes, and thereby the content of that account including its connections, messages and groups are owned by Hays rather than the recruiter.  So can Hays employees have any complaints?  They are not forced to sign such a policy, merely told that they can’t have access to the site at work unless they do sign it.  The more technologically savvy could still build their networks through a home PC or Linkedin i-Phone app.

So there is no doubt that such a policy will protect Hays’ IP generated during working hours, which is rightfully theirs to protect.  But I do wonder how such a policy would make current employees feel about the tools at their disposal as a recruiter.  Social media is an increasingly important phenomenon in a recruiter’s toolbox, and in my mind social media policies should be a collaborative and liquid affair, constantly moving with the times.  It should encourage recruiters to communicate, externally and internally, in a more personable and authentic way.  We are fast approaching an age where clients want to do business with real people rather than faceless brands and it is essential that personality and authenticity shines through.

Some of the top recruiters in our region are heavily involved with social media across all the different applications, but most notably Linkedin.  I would imagine that recruitment firms would be quite interested in securing the services of such recruiters and having them in their team.  So how, then, would it work if a recruiter joined a new company with an existing network of 500+ relevant connections and Group memberships, and utilised this network to generate fees for the new employer?  How would a policy such as Hays’ work in this instance?  My concern would be that it would be a big deterrent to that recruiter joining such an organisation in the first place.

It is completely understandable for Hays to impose such a policy but I think it is equally important that companies realise what they might actually be losing by doing so.  Something that black and white can give you security over IP and retention of existing business.  But it could also lose you creativity, openness and collaboration amongst employees, the hallmarks of the new social networking age, and mean you could be missing out on business that you didn’t even know existed.  

Discouraging or limiting social media activity must surely be a short-term fix rather than a long-term strategy.  One would hope so anyway.

Winners (and losers?) from the 2010 Seek New Zealand Recruitment Awards

Seek’s annual 2010 Recruitment Awards were held at the Hilton in Auckland last Friday night but you’d be hard pressed to know anything about it unless you were actually there.  I’ve been keeping an eye out for a press release all week but there has been nothing on Seek’s actual website or any newsworthy site such as the Herald or Stuff.

One site did decide to pick up the release and publish it out there, so The Whiteboard would like to follow suit and publically list and congratulate this year’s winners:

The winning agencies in each category are:

Adecco Recruitment

Large Generalist Recruiter

1st Call Recruitment

Medium Generalist Recruiter

Select Recruitment & HR

Small Generalist Recruiter

Geneva Health

Large Specialist Recruiter

Parker Bridge

Medium Specialist Recruiter

Synergy Consulting

Small Specialist Recruiter

Potentia

IT Recruiter

 

Now I do wish to offer my sincerest congratulations to these winners – and also to Madison and Focus who became Seek Legends for having won the award three times – but is this really the cream of the New Zealand recruitment industry?  I can identify some firms on there that I certainly feel are well up there, but there are others I have never even heard of.

Regular readers of The Whiteboard will have seen some views and opinion on the Seek Awards in my post on August  5th “SARAS – a credible award or just a popularity contest?”  I’m wondering if Seek are starting to come around to the same way of thinking because they certainly haven’t been singing from the rooftops about these latest winners.  Either that or they are purposefully playing it “low-key” after last year when the 2009 Winners and Finalists were announced to the Press roughly 2 hours before the awards actually took place (bit of a faux pas that took a distinct amount of excitement and anticipation out of the evening’s events).

As I wasn’t a finalist this year I wasn’t invited to the awards but luckily I had a mole in there who was sending out Tweets as the winners were announced.  This was actually quite exciting and I got to know the winners straight away without having to suffer all the whooping and hollering.

But it was another Tweet that I saw that I was quite surprised at.  It suggested that Anne-Marie Duff (GM of Seek NZ – well she was then – but it was her last day as she’s going to TVNZ as a Marketing Manager) took a bit of a playful swipe at Momentum during her intro speech and had a cheeky dig about the Stephen Wilce dodgy CV saga.  Apparently the comment was greeted with a second’s pause before the room exploded in great mirth and all-round points scoring against Momentum, all in front of a red-faced Anne-Marie.  I thought that was potentially a bit of an uncool comment as they are no doubt a large client of Seek, so I put out a Tweet of my own (from @JonathanRiceNZ):

“Is it true Anne-Marie from #Seek had a dig at Momentum in her speech at the Seek Awards?  Error of judgement?”

Well talk about opening a can of worms.  I mean I was only asking the question – not making a statement – but I was firmly rapped on the knuckles by Seek so I agreed to send out another Tweet advising my followers that it was untrue and Anne-Marie did not, in fact, say anything or make any reference at all to Momentum.

I was also informed that it was unfair on Anne-Marie as she had left Seek and couldn’t defend herself.  Well I’ve been thinking about this all week and decided that of course she has a chance to defend herself from my question-that-wasn’t-an-allegation-it-was-just-a-question-as-I-wasn’t-actually-there.  She can defend herself here, on The Whiteboard, by making a comment on this very post.

Of course anyone else who was there and also didn’t hear these comments can say so on here as well – and then I will be more than forthcoming with my apologies for having cast any aspersions in Seek’s direction whatsoever!

I have also found out that, all going well, a formal press release will be coming out in the early part of next week about the whole Momentum / Defence Force / Stephen Wilce saga – and I for one will be glad to hear an official statement at last.