Dave Martin (@topbananas), Allthetopbananas.com shares views, insights, some facts, recruitment ideas and industry frustrations.

Dave Martin is the Managing Director and founder of Allthetopbananas.com. The aim of Allthetopbananas.com is to develop a friendly and helpful recruitment based services to delight the industry and the job seeker. In this blog he shares insightful ideas and industry news with a healthy scattering of rants and complaints. The objective of writing the blog is to communicate and share with the recruitment community. Success for this blog is feedback and two way communication. You can follow Dave Martin on Twitter.com/topbananas

Broadbean Mobilises Talent Acquisition

Broadbean Technology, the global provider of job distribution and candidate response analysis technology, recognised the new trend of rapid Mobile Internet growth which is driving evolution in online recruitment. It is well documented that Mobile Internet usage will overtake desktop Internet usage within 3 years and is tightly aligned with Social Networking.

Broadbean is dedicated to ensuring its clients are at the forefront of online recruitment technology and it sees going mobile as one of the biggest challenges facing recruiters and employers. The company is therefore pleased to announce a partnership with the global leading mobile recruiting provider Allthetopbananas.com. This strategic alliance enables Broadbean’s launch of a world class mobile recruiting product that will enable clients to mobilise their recruitment brand, attract new pools of talent and capitilise on this evolutionary shift in job seeker behavior.

David Martin, Managing Director at Allthetopbananas.com commented “As Mobile Internet grows the recruitment industry must adapt to the behavioral changes of candidates towards online consumption. Mobile provides immediacy and privacy, which is a powerful combination for those looking for work. Broadbean’s existing services and their dedication to staying at the forefront of technology, make the company a perfect partner for our Mobile Recruiting solutions. We look forward to further developing Mobile services with Broadbean, and helping the recruitment industry take full advantage of this rapidly growing channel.”

Broadbean’s new service provides dedicated apps starting with iPhone, iPad and Google Android. The offering includes a range of job search options (such as location, salary & job title) for candidates, as well as the unique ability to apply from the mobile device itself.
With these new applications, Broadbean’s clients will have opportunity to increase their reach far beyond their own career site, maximizing the reach of Apple and Google.

According to Dan Martin, Managing Director, Broadbean Technology, “Broadbean has always prided itself on staying at the forefront of evolving candidate sourcing technology and we see mobile as one of the biggest changes in online recruitment in the last 10 years. As the leader in the provision of sourcing technology to the recruitment industry we see this as a key value added service to our clients. The choice of Allthetopbananas.com as our partner was an obvious one given its pedigree in providing easy to use and cost effective mobile recruitment solutions.”

Did you see our candidate mobile research last week? We released it during the #tbMobRec event.

If you missed it we put it on Slideshare for you to enjoy.

So what does the research mean?

It illustrated that many job seekers with a smart phone, such as an iPhone, download dedicated job seeking apps and many regularly check for new jobs using their chosen mobile job search app.

The research provided multiple choice questions but included the opportunity for candidates to complete a free text feedback. Many candidates spent the time to provide extra feedback, sharing great ideas and their views with us. The most commonly voiced demand was for job alerts on the phone. Many iPhone owning candidates asked for push notification. This enables the job board or recruiter to push jobs to the candidate’s phone over the web. A pop up message similar to a text message alerts the job seeker.

The next versions of our iPhone & Android apps will support push notification. The mechanism is very powerful and will deliver high response as does SMS today. Unlike SMS the app is far better positioned to fully understand what vacancies the candidate is looking for which will drive stronger conversion to application. Job alerting via our app is also cheaper for the job board / recruiter as there is no message delivery charge!

I am very excited that candidates want this service. Mixed up in a digital cocktail with our Digital Portrait technology the alerts can be 1:1 targeted.

There will be some choices for job boards / recruiters. Alerts could be used as an additional revenue stream upselling targeted push promotion to recruiters / employers.

We will be supporting various options in our mobile solution, but how do you want to make the most of push notification?

What would you ideally like from job alerts?

Perhaps the most important thing is that each alert is helpful to the candidate and does not frustrate them!

Many job seekers also want to apply from the mobile. Now this sounds simple, but there are multiple technical difficulties, not least the fact that one cannot store a CV / Resume on an iPhone! Maybe the CV Cloud is needed after all? Maybe it is already here? I will discuss this in a blog post soon.

Here is a spontaneous video interview to share what it is all about and why you should be thinking about your Mobile strategy now.  http://akatopbananas.com/2010/04/28/why-mobile-recruiting/

 After announcing Talkback Mobile Recruiting #tbMobRec I have had many people tweet, email and ring me up to learn more about the day and about Mobile Recruiting.

I thought before going into detail about how to support recruiting practices via the mobile it may be best to summarise headline mobile Internet progress.
+ By 2014 there will be more use of Mobile Internet than Desktop Internet.

+ Nearly 1 third of Mobile Traffic is from an iPhone.

+ There are 160,000 iPhone Apps.

What is TalkBack Mobile Recruiting #tbMobRec?





Does your website expose a job search? Great, todays post is to challenge YOU!

What happens if you put a powerful large engine in a smart car?

Typically a bigger engine means faster car. The top of the range super cars have huge engines so surely we can copy this? We can shove one enormous engine into a little smart car to achieve the most wonderful driving experience? Well NO, we all realise that this wont work! Something is going to break, even if you did manage to physically fit the thing, someone is likely to get killed if they climb into that driving seat . The driving experience will be none existant.

Why do you have a job search on your website?

What are your online objectives?

Here is part two video of Mobile Recruiting. Please comment and give us your input / feedback.

Watch the video here

While looking for some stats for a company we help in the games industry I was surprised to see the market share iPhone / iTouch has taken from the portable games console market.  The PSP lost 9% share and Nintendo DS lost 5% share putting iPhone at 19% market share, based on portable game revenue. Considering most games are between $2- $4 while DS and PSP are closer $20 this illustrates significant activity. http://blog.flurry.com/bid/31566/Apple-iPhone-and-iPod-touch-Capture-U-S-Video-Game-Market-Share

I also noticed saw some interesting figures today surrounding the impact of Apple iPad. Flurry a mobile analytics company have seen a 172% increase in iPhone developments since the announcement of the iPad.

Out of interest there are now 150,000 apps available.  More apps are now being submitted to the Books category than any other – a few months ago Games was top.

Mobile Recruiting Video Part 1 of 2

Posted by: David Martin in Untagged  on

David Martin

Today I enjoyed being on @BillBoorman radio show as a guest speaker. (thanks Bill) Chatting on the show with @FelixWetzel, @SiteAdvisor, @AlanWhitford and the others inspired me to write more on the topic.

More than that, it inspired me to shoot my first video blog, which will become a regular feature and a Video Podcast available in iTunes.

Watch the video at : http://akatopbananas.com/2010/03/22/what-is-mobile-recruiting/

So what is all this mobile stuff about?

It is simple, it is having exposure on mobile phone. It is extending jobseeker services beyond the desktop and communicating with your jobseekers via the mobile. I know you may have been doing this with text for years, but the difference as @FelixWetzel pointed out is the jobseeker has the power.This is key to any successful online service.

In Decemeber I posted a blog - Is your company missing the mobile trick? In it I challenged every Job Board owner and Job Board marketing manager to make a New Years resolution -

"I must engage with iPhone users and not get left behind in the fast moving space of mobile web"

I am pleased to see that I can now go to AppStore and search for Job Board brands and find results. Well done to those who have done something. (We supplied apps for 13 board in the UK)


Was it worth while? Well I can share with you that many of our clients have seen a huge growth in mobile user interaction after launching their app. Interestingly, not just in downloads from AppStore but also in users visiting the website from an iPhone. In a couple of cases 2 or 3 times growth - happy clients!

But even more importantly happy job seekers. What so many job board executives are still failing to switch on to, is iPhone is not about some cool gadget that people show off in the bar. It is about a massive eco-system, a powerful marketing channel and users that really engage with the Internet.

iPhone is the web beyond the browser and this very special exciting place is so powerful. Beyond the browser has helped catapulted Twitter to its position, less than 30% of users tweet from the site itself, but instead from a 3rd party application connected to the web!

Yet again, I hear in the back of my head the marketing executive standing tall, head high proudly stating - "no problem, we have this covered - we have an M Site."

Wonderful. Great well done, Mr Marketing Executive, not only do you know what an M Site is you have gone and got one! I am very pleased! I would really like to hear this a lot more. But the problem is, who else knows you have this mobile site? How do users find it? Are you pleased with the results?

This is why AppStore is so powerful, the iPhone user thinks "I want a new sales job", at that point the millions and millions of dollars Apple spend on advertising pay off -
"Ooh", thinks the user, "I bet there's an App for That".

And off he or she goes on their merry way to find the app.

Where do they go? Google, Bing, Twitter?
NO, they go to AppStore and type in "Sales Jobs".

Now if you manage a generalist job board or a niche sales job board - you want to be in those results. Just like you want to be in the results in Google.

First off, just having your app there is free branding. Even if the user does not download the app they see your brand and it is associated with being up to date, trendy and useful - because you are associated with Apple iPhone. To some this may not be positive, but to one of the 50+ million iPhone / iTouch users it is very, very positive.

Second, they may download the app, so now you are on the phone equivalent of the desktop. This is a gold dust spot to have.

You can give your user, the experience they expect, where the interface reacts as other iPhone apps and is feature rich. Done well the app will help the user, it will help them find those jobs they want to apply for. It will help them carry out the most time consuming part of job seeking - the search and filter process. They can now do this on a train, sitting in the canteen at lunch or the coffee shop. You are now part of their extended internet engagement - Mobile Web. You are now beyond the browser. Now is the time to pat yourself on the back.

These users will go back to your website and will apply when they have found a job. The candidate experience is enhanced.

So why when I search (UK AppStore) for sales jobs is there only one niche job board - SalesTarget.com? (a client of ours) Come on Job Boards, you can do better.

Get moving - get Mobile.

Shameless plug: Now you know that I am slightly biased, my company Allthetopbananas.com is among other things the leading UK Job Board iPhone app supplier. But the reason we are in that position is we believe what we are saying and Mobile is here to grow! (btw we are now launching our iPhone apps Internationally!)

There are too many useless and rubbish recruitment websites- we need a mass purge or mass redesign!

Does your site look as old as the Ark?
Does it confuse users, making them think hard to do anything?
Are you getting any return from your website?

These are the questions I asked myself when I was reviewing a number of Recruitment Agency websites this week. One of our current projects is redesigning a highly successful recruitment agency's website. The agency in question has been online with a good site since the 90's. However the competing agency websites revealed a number of shockers!

Once again I was reminded of the level of rubbish out there! I know it is harsh, but it is true!

The Rec Con website is a representation of the business. It will affect how the business is viewed. What does your website say about you..?

This bunch are professional
This lot are cowboys

These people work with all the cool companies
Do these guys even have any jobs?!

This company is friendly and approachable
I am not calling this lot, they already scare me

Please go and have a look at your site. Consider the following...

1. Is it up to date looking? You would not run an advert that looked like it was from the 70's so don't run a website stuck in the 90's. (I know this is fashion etc. but your website is your greatest marketing tool)

2. What are the objectives of having your site? Does it fulfill them? If you want candidates to apply is it easy for them; are there jobs or roles to apply for?

3. Is it easy to use, well signposted? Can people get what they want quickly? So many sites have confusing navigation, search tools that are over complex for 100 jobs, with pointless distracting features. Are you guilty of running such a beast?

4. Does it successfully communicate your company values?

5. Does it work on a mobile phone? Mobile browsing is growing; how do you stack up?

I hope this helped. I am working on a checklist to help Rec Cons score their sites and identify the flaws. If you have any feedback I would welcome it. You can tweet me at @topbananas

Last week at the Recruitment Unconference I listened to a number of large recruitment agency firms and various industry experts discuss the impact of Social Recruitment.

One camp felt that the Job Boards of today will be killed off by agencies and HR; sourcing directly via Social Networks.

Some worried that the recruitment agency would be killed off in 10 years when today's teenagers join tomorrow's HR, with their wide digital networks nurtured over the years.

There were examples of agencies cutting 100% of job board spend! Where are the candidates coming from?- From their website via Twitter or Linked In.

Before we rush our attention to killer tactics of social recruiting to save thousands of pounds, I would like to consider the following framing points...

1. Social recruitment is very young. The social web evolution is in its early phases. Those early birds are, in some cases delivering strong results, but will this success remain feasible as the marketplace gets more crowded? How will it scale? Will it infringe privacy and be reined in by legislation?

2 Every new thing is always going to kill the last thing, according to media hype! But does it, or does the hyped frenzy just promote the killing? If the job boards embrace social media, it could become their best friend since Google, instead of the executioner. (Just as Google was a serious threat back in 2000)

3. The last major digital recruitment revolution - the online job board - delivered the CV database, which has created a volume of monstrous recruitment agencies. The volume of consultants that just forward CVs straight from a database as a "punt" is staggeringly high. The service level has suffered- no screening, no client relationship, no candidate relationship. Will social recruiting improve the situation or build on an ever-increasing bad named industry?

One thing is for sure, social networks are here to stay, even if the platforms change (Friends Reunited, MySpace, Bebo, Facebook, Twitter).  Any network of people will attract recruiters.

So what are you doing with Twitter or Linked In?

What would you like to see job boards doing?

What can we help you with as an online recruitment technology expert?

Further listening (not reading!) check out http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bill-boorman/2009/11/30/job-boards--rip-uk-show to listen to myself, @SiteAdvisor, @RCEURO and the host @BillBoorman chat about the future of job boards.

 Sourced from: http://www.allthetopbananas.com/Blogs/Dave/post/2009/11/Will-Social-Networks-kill-off-the-Job-Board.aspx


What the hell is an Unconference? Is Unconference even a real word? The organiser @BillBoorman told me it was a conference where the audience participated and set the agenda. I was not really sure how that would work, but I felt that hearing what other people wanted to talk about was going to be very interesting.

The event was informal, yet structured, with 6 or so small breakout sessions for attendees to sit down and join.  In the first one I found myself on a white leather sofa making up a large square with about 20 other people and @MattAlder running the discussion, mainly around LinkedIn and Twitter. Each individual was encouraged to talk, question, debate or state what he or she felt suitable. Matt encouraged and answered questions but others with experience engaged frequently.

This informal approach was refreshing and resulted in me taking away an insight into 20 different people’s views, opinions and experience surrounding Twitter and recruitment. Additionally I learnt people’s fears, hopes and frustrations. It was a fantastic 90 minutes! Thank you to everyone in the session for your participation; I enjoyed it!

I sat in 3 different track sessions; the last session I was in was great, unfortunately there were fewer people- only 6, with @AlanWhitford running it. The conversation was honest and debate reasonably fierce. Very enjoyable and rewarding.

The downside was the middle session. The expert running it was very knowledgeable, and the shared interesting experience. But it was not UN-conference. There was little or no debate, the topic was less audience-lead. I feel some guidelines to those running the sessions would help, @MattAlder’s technique going round the room with many tangents and discussions after each individual spoke worked great. @AlanWhitford’s session was smaller and he did really well pinpointing topics to individual’s experiences to drive more conversation.

A few weeks ago I talked about a significant increase in job advertisements, suggesting we are starting the climb of recovery, out of recession.

At the start of last week we were told our economy is still contracting as we remain in the record breaking recession. Surprisingly, the FTSE did not buckle at the news.

At the end of last week and start of this week there are reports telling us the property market is growing for the first time in 19 months, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/house-prices-record-first-annual-rise-in-19-months-1812311.html

I feel we are definitely on the road of recovery, a brief look in Google News this morning agrees....

US company launching in Europe (and UK) creating 8,000 jobs - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/article-1223730/Best-Buy-looks-8-000-staff-massive-recruitment-drive.html

New Zealand report showing similar analysis to Allthetopbananas.com job advert analysis, showing growth in the recruitment market - http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10606831

UK Infrastructure jobs growing and banks lending to big projects -  http://news.efinancialcareers.co.uk/newsandviews_item/newsItemId-22051

Abu Dhabi witnesses increased recruitment rates -  http://gulfnews.com/business/general/jobs-abu-dhabi-witnesses-increased-recruitment-rate-1.521604

As it is the first week in November we will be analysing the job advertisement data for October. I expect to reveal a positive headline showing continued recruitment improvement.

Yesterday evening a friend of ours was complaining about the job market. As the frustration began to vocalise itself I expected it to be about the volume of jobs available and choice. But to my surprise job availability was not the complaint!

The fact that there are currently not as many roles around in the jobseeker's particular field due to the recession, was not in fact, the jobseeker's main complaint.

The real bug bear was the poor and rude behavior of the recruitment industry.

After searching for that suitable job and then tailoring the CV to apply; being treated with zero respect and no manners was felt to be totally unacceptable. It was being faced with total unprofessional behavior from the recruitment agency and from direct applications that caused this candidate to be passionate about telling everyone possible about the 'waste of time' companies.

Most companies and agencies failed to reply at all. Some rang up, suggested the candidate was perfect, agreed to put forward the CV - great. But then they never called back. This action left the candidate excited and hopeful; but a few weeks later after failed attempts at getting back in touch with the recruiter, just filled with anger and frustration!

I know the recruitment industry is tough and hard work, but this approach only makes it harder for everyone.

The agencies that got it wrong were a mix of large international brands we all know, and small, one-branch private firms. The fact that so many agencies behave so badly is not an excuse. Now all the candidate's friends and social networks will think twice before using any of them!

Please, please look after your candidates and turn around the reputation of recruitment agencies!

If you are can not see the business case to reply to all candidates and act professionally then you need help! Clearly preventing individuals en masse slating your firm, should motivate you to change your ways, if not then perhaps you better throw in the towel now and line up at the Job Centre yourself.

Taken from www.allthetopbananas.com/blogs/dave


This week Google announced they are showing signs of recovery. They had their best quarter since recession hit. Wonderful.

The announcement was unfortunate timing for Allthetopbananas.com as it somewhat overshadowed our press release that the recruitment market is seeing recovery. We see more than one third of all UK jobs go through our website, and this places us in an ideal position to analyse the market place. So we did. And what did we find...

First let's set the picture - we are clearly still well behind the market size before recession hit. So far looking at job counts from the same leading job boards for 08 vs 09 the industry is 48% down in volume. This is not really a shock.

The good news is, we are climbing the wall of recovery. The volume of jobs in September 2008 compared to July 2008 saw the typical 3% growth. This year September 2009 compared to July 2009 shows 13% growth. This illustrates good signs of upturn. I am not saying the economy is saved, what I am saying is the recruitment market place is getting busier, which is a good thing for everyone!

Every day I read something about the scare of a double dip! The cause of crisis changes weekly from more sub prime disaster to space rocks crashing into the moon- well I made the last one up. The point is it has been tough, business leaders are worried and media sells on worries! The mix is dangerous, it creates panic attack style reports, all selling an unhappy 2010.

So what will happen? I believe it will be a reasonably slow recovery, but one that mainly stays on track in an upwards direction. I don't think a double dip will happen, but I expect a blip to occur causing a small dent in recovery. Assuming a blip does not panic leaders to make rash decisions we will overcome it successfully, if not it will turn into a dip. The blip has to happen, at some stage the base interest rate must increase, which will cause ripples.

We will be posting figures every month to help the industry monitor the progress. Being in recruitment provides us with a valuable insight into the market and as an industry, sharing these figures is important to help one another.

So keep an eye out for next month's release, you can read this month's here .

Taken from Allthetopbananas.com\blog\dave

Taken from the Allthetopbananas/ Dave Martin Blog

Autumn has started off as conference season for me. I have already enjoyed:

  • an afternoon of recruitment talks at a small show,
  • 2 days of seo plus social networking plus affilliate marketing at a4u,
  • a day of entrepeneur stories from James Cann , moo.com and WAYNE thanks to Microsoft BizSpark

In a few weeks it is an afternoon of getting more from the cloud with Amazon, then a day on Mobile, a day of computing cloud talks and finally on 19th November to finish off my events season there is the Recruitment Unconfernce with Tweetup after party.

There's a lot of events going on to invest your time in. So what did I get out of them? What makes a great session? What makes a terrible talk?

I hate sessions that are sales pitches, if I want to know more about your service i will ring you or read your www. So listen up speakers - don't do it!

I hate the preacher style experts - this world is complex there are always exceptions to your rules, try to accept it. Arrogance is not pretty.

Every event should have a Twitter back channel, it provides a great sense of connection amongst the audience. The networking is great leading to face to face meetings, the feedback is good, bad speakers get real feedback so they don't have an excuse to waste people's time in the future, there is normally some links of interest and there is always something funny!

The best part of any session or talk for me so far is the highly interactive sessions with plenty of Q and A. Why?
Q and A gives not just more honest responses from the speaker, it provides an insight to the audience's problems. Those few asking questions are sharing their coal face experience and coupled with expert views provides really powerful insight. These are the sessions you get the best early warnings from and the most inspiration. That is assuming my biggest pet peeve does not rise its head - stupid questions!

To everyone at every conference everywhere...
Don't ask irrelevant questions,
Don't ask questions that have already been answered (pay attention),
Don't ask questions that can't be answered!

This week I was in the audience with Chewy from Google talking. Question asked "doesn't your brand boost algo change walk all over the little guy?"

What was the answer going to be "Yes, ha, ha, ha" (in dr evil voice with lingering cackle?). You could see most of the audience's eyes rolling as the question was asked. Your fellow audience has invested their time and money to be sitting with you - respect this - ask useful questions!
The answer btw was "Tests showed our users preferred it on"

So only a 5/6 weeks to my first unconference and the end of my events season. I am looking forward to it - an entire day of sessions where the audience are requested to join in - this could be the future - q & a on speed!
I expect to get a lot out of the day. And there is a tweet up event after to network.

See you there?

Today we launched our new release of the Allthetopbananas.com iPhone job search application. But I think it is only right that we take the time out to stop and appreciate the long and difficult journey of mobile web.

Lets start with the early mobiles. It all started in 1979, yes 30 years ago – check out this BBC Archive clip.

It was not until 17 years later, 1996, that the first commercially available mobile web service was available. We have to thank Nokia with the Communicator 9000 on the Sonera network in Finland for starting it all off. Check out an old Nokia advert .

In 1999, just 10 years ago, we got the first mobile specific browser from the i-mode service launched in Japan. Mobile dedicated sites had to be written in WML and the buzz word of the day was WAP.

So, by 2002 many people had monochrome mobile devices with no nice way to input text or click hyperlinks. But they had mobile web access.

The two-way pager that had been around since 1999 was re-released in 2002 as a mobile email device with a keyboard, the BlackBerry, hit the enterprise market big time! Their devices were not good enough for web browsing, the input mechanisms were still not fun and speed was a problem.

Over the next few years, Nokia, HTC and Blackberry launched various devices that introduced touch screens, full colour, sound, full HTML web browsing and much more.

And then Apple released the iPhone, bringing it all together in one good-looking package.  The biggest development from the iPhone is, without doubt, the AppStore.

Where next? Andriod (Google phone) now has an AppStore / Market Place which is starting to grow, so clearly this will be the Apple USP for some while.

The input, the screen and the speed of handset are all SO much better than it once was. 10 years onfrom i-mode, the Mobile Web has finally arrived.

And you can now search for jobs as well.

 Taken from Allthetopbananas.com/Blogs/Dave/

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