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Tag >> social media

Social media and social networking have become even more essential elements of the broader marketing and communications mix this year, settling the question of whether they were merely capricious trends or fundamental and revolutionary shifts in the way that we engage, communicate and do business.

We are living in a world where consumer behaviour and activity have changed enormously in a very short time, where peer advocacy and user-generated content increasingly rival corporate advertising, and where communication can be achieved instantly. Considering this, it is no surprise that businesses are beginning to invest seriously in the places where their products and services are discussed the most.

However, it’s becoming very clear that this is an entirely new way of connecting with audiences, with its own set of considerations that relate to engagement and influence. The creative industries have always embraced innovation, encouraged change and challenged convention, so are more likely than other sectors to be moving at a similar pace to the technological advances driving these changes. Their challenge is to advise clients, who may not be as naturally inclined as others towards digital and social media, on how to make the best of the opportunities on offer.

Many established decision-makers are still trying to make sense of the digital world, the speed at which innovations are taking place and how to manage the wider business implications. Meanwhile, the so-called ‘Generation Y’ is highly mobile, technically astute and perfectly in sync with these burgeoning digital environments; quick to spot the opportunities and turn them to their advantage. This generation gap could fast become a cultural dichotomy, which is why it has become so essential for social media to be properly integrated into strong marketing and communications strategies.

Those artlessly invading and attempting to harness and commoditise these spaces have swiftly discovered that such a strategy doesn’t work. They are turning to the people who understand that this new-born digital knowledge needs to be blended with more traditional communication and creative skills to enable them to engage more successfully online. Digital design consultancies and digital marketing groups are working very hard to galvanise these skills through educating and informing their more senior specialists in the ways of digital and developing their ‘digital natives’ into more rounded creatives.

Now I love Facebook; there’s not many days I don’t log on. Facebook is my life in pictures; it’s silly, inane comments that only my friends and family get; it’s me at my rawest: No facade, no show, just me. If you’re my Facebook friend and I’m having a bad day, then you’ll probably hear about it in rather passionate prose… But you know what; I don’t have very many Facebook friends! I won’t befriend anyone I haven’t met, anyone I don’t like, or anyone I think there’s even a remote chance I might work with. And anyone I do befriend gets immediately labelled with one of three privacy levels. It’s not that there’s anything remotely dodgy on there – maybe the odd drunken SingStar photo, or a choice expletive, but nothing condemning. My Mum and Dad are both on there after all! But I don’t want every man and his dog seeing pictures of my life, friends and family! That’s private stuff!
I appreciate that some people use Facebook for recruitment and business. Some with success too… but for me, Facebook is the personal social media tool of choice. LinkedIn is for business; Twitter is for a mix of business, personal branding and pleasure; and Facebook is purely personal. I don’t mind being advertised to on there but pretty please, with cherries and cream, don’t ask me to be your friend if you’re not actually my friend!
I’m totally intrigued about how other people use Facebook though. So many people I know have hundreds of ‘friends’! To what end? And if you use it for business and pleasure then how do you keep the two separate? Do you have separate accounts, a raft of different privacy settings, or do you just keep it clean and not overly personal?

Please share your experiences; I would love to hear them!

I have been busy, busy, busy this week! Now I’m back working 5 days a week it’s a real change of pace. It’s actually a bit alarming how quickly you get used to enjoying a 4 day weekend… [Note to self: Challenge for the new year is to get Mr J into a top notch job so that I can laze around more and he can keep me in the manner to which I’ve always wanted to become accustomed!] So anyway, my social media play time has fallen by the wayside somewhat and I’ve really missed it. But actually not quite so much as I thought I would, because so many of the people I talk to on social media are now people I talk to in ‘real life’ too!

In the last seven days I’ve spoken to @LisaScales, @AndyHeadworth and @AlanWhitford on the phone and to @RadicalRecruit on Skype. I’ve had dinner with @MervynDinnen and @LaraNewman, and tomorrow I’m meeting @ClareWildman for after work drinkies. Who needs social media, eh?! Not one of these relationships would be in effect without social media. Well, without Twitter, to be precise!

Maybe I’m preaching to the choir here, but social media is really only the beginning. So far I’ve met at least 24 people from my personal Twittersphere, and frankly I need to work harder to increase that number because it’s a bit lame all things considered! Seriously though, there’s only so much you can convey in 140 characters or with the written word and if you truly want your relationships to flourish then you need to take it offline, into the real world and onto the next level. Yes, social media is a fantastic start and, sadly, I may never get to meet a lot of my favourite Tweeps in person due to geographic barriers, so in that respect is still an amazing tool, but even so… There are plenty of people we can and should meet. There are people in all our networks who we’ve never met but who live within a stones throw.

Now obviously you have to be a bit cautious about meeting anyone from off the internet. Though the prospect of being ‘groomed’ at 20-, 30-, 40-something is actually marginally flattering, personal safety comes first! But we’re all adults and we can all use our common sense. There are local tweetups and events happening all the time and this can be a perfect setting for a first meeting, not to mention providing the opportunity to meet a whole host of other people you might not have connected with otherwise!

@LaraNewman was the first person I’d met on Twitter who I met offline. We went ice skating together and had a lovely afternoon! Mr J thought she was probably an axe murderer or, failing that, some sort of swinger who was touting for new recruits. Of course, she was neither of those things (I suspect he was slightly disappointed about the latter!) but we met in a public place and Mr J demanded I leave a report with him listing everything I knew about her, just in case I never returned home. To be honest, I’ve never (yet!) had any doubts about my meetings with people on Twitter. Most people reveal a whole host of information about themselves on both Twitter and LinkedIn and are known by at least one other person in my network, so short of it being a very large and organised axe murdering ring, the odds are good that they’re not a psychopath. I’d be far more reticent to meet anyone who wasn’t pre-vetted though and you do have to use your common sense.

 Last week was the UK’s first recruitment unconference and it was certainly an interesting event. I was working the Social Media Track with @mattalder and@carveconsulting. Anyone who knows Matt and Paul will know how knowledgeable both are when it comes to social media; I cannot tell you how much I learned from them throughout the day!

Matt and Paul know all about using social media in business but me, I don’t know anything much about that really. I work in the construction industry and, as emaciated as the industry is, you don’t find that many candidates or clients from my little niche working the social networks. I use social media for me; my personal development and networking. I don’t know anything much about posting jobs, using boolean searches for finding candidates on LinkedIn, or monitoring my company’s brand because that’s not how I use it, so I didn’t feel as though I had an awful lot to contribute on that front. I’m more about personal branding and interaction, so I was a little sad that everyone was more interested in the corporate stuff. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised though really; these are tough times for recruiters and social media is a fairly new tool for a lot of people. Me, I’m a bit of a geek – I’ve been making friends and networking online since my mid-teens and the days of ICQ, IRC and forums.

Social media for personal use is something we all need to be aware of and work smarter at though. The benefits are endless but the two major ones are, in my opinion, personal development and networking.

Personal Development

We all have different work ethics, operate in different industries and have different training. Sharing our experiences and opinions, be it through blogs, tweets, emails or in person, is enlightening! We can learn something from everyone in our network and I think the unconference really highlighted that: There were all sorts of unique ways that companies and individuals were using social media, all sorts of tools that people were using to monitor their brand, and a variety of positive and negative experiences that people had had which we could all learn something from. I’m not going to list them all here; go to the next unconference in February and see for yourself! I didn’t get to visit any other tracks (apart from the secret track at the end!) but I still came away with a couple pages of notes, so I can only imagine what those who had a chance to move about learned!


I had a wonderful day yesterday and at the end of it meet with some old friends from a mid sized HR communications Agency (has to remain nameless as does the client at present). Sitting with them late PM with my cup of tea and they said to me "take a look at this report we have just done". I picked it up and it was headed "Views and Opinions from the Social World" it was a report they had produced for a client and it was all about them as an employer.

Holy ....was my immediate response, as those that follow some of my stuff know for  me "listening" is a passion and is in my opinion going to be a big part of the Employer Branding future. It's the new Black.

So I read the report and it was excellent, they had used a professional "listening" device ( more in a future blog) had used all the appropriate search words/terms including ; Careers, Work at, Jobs at, What's it's like plus any negative terms plus many more and then "listened" to what was being said about them.

Lots of data, time lines, high and low "buzz periods" (great for tracking what other "activity" might have created the buzz) and over a defined period. You could analysis by period, by channel e.g. a blog, a social medium etc and most inportantly,  what was said and by whom, when and where.

Blown away, but then maybe I am  just getting old and all organisations are doing this and I just have missed it.

 This article appeared on Staffing Industry Analyst and dovetails neatly into my last blog about "social recruiting" diversity and some future legal perils for recruiters.

Given social is normally a very "visual" experience would this mean therefore that in France using social media as part of any recruiting strategy would be prohibited? Would love one of our French community members to share with us their opinions on the  implications of this and, will this be acted on or ignored.

BUT if this and the other issues raised gather pace will be see the death of social media as a recruiting channel?

 The article highlights the fact that "50 French companies and local governments have agreed to take part in the French government's testing of recruitment via anonymous CVs in order to prevent racism, ageism and other prejudices".

But what I found facinating was this comment "the anonymous CV is designed to open the door for job seekers. It can therefore only be regarded as a first step in the recruitment process. Information such as names, age, sex, date and place of birth, nationality, marital status and photographs are banned in order to avoid prejudicial reactions".

What suprised me even more was that this was already a legal requirement. But as the article states "even though the French parliament made the anonymous CV a legal requirement more than three years ago, it has never been enforced. Management has been remarkably reluctant to promote this way of recruitment and the government took the view that voluntary participation by companies is far more sensible than enforced recruitment by anonymous CV".

Revelation - Your Employer Brand Is No Longer Owned by Your Firm

This is the headline from a piece written by Dr.John Sullivan at ERE In it, he admits that "Despite many successes, it's time to admit that a major employer branding principle is no longer true: that corporations can own or control their employer brand image".

He adds "the premise was that corporations could proactively put together a plan to win awards as excellent places to work, secure mention in news pieces and editorials, participate in case studies, and be talked about at industry events. Because corporations were coordinating nearly all of the information that made them visible, it was possible to heavily influence how they were perceived".

At the heart of his article he suggests "it was a practice that made firms like Google, Starbucks, GE, IBM, Microsoft, and HP famous as great places to work. However, that was then and this is now."

Dr Sullivan's article focuses on the issue that technology is now empowering/allowing all of us to comment on all things relating work, employment, job seeking etc . With "opinion sharing sites" like Glassdoor.com, Vault and others whose business model is to encourage us to post comments about the organisations/people we work for and they allow others to see our reviews is it hardly surprising that the company has lost control of the message.

Picking up on the reports from the Milch & Zucker conference , A Journey from Attraction to Selection.  Still have a few to do, and will bring them out over the next few days.  Pictures and video are starting to appear on the M&Z site as well.

Opening up the afternoon sessions, with Miodrag Perin of Bertelsmann, New York office. Met him at dinner and found out he did his graduate degree at my alma mater, SUNY at Binghamton.  More evidence of how small the world really is.
Mio Perrin
This was fun, as Bertelsman has done a lot of interesting things, including setting up a specific Recruitment brand and website. Mio is a dynamic and engaging speaker.

A couple of key concepts if you are going to reach out with Social Media as a recruitment media:

  • What works for marketing also works for us
  • We want to be where the people already are

Tested the idea of video applications, by filming his own team - proving internally how it can work and what actually has to be done.  See the video of Mio on the RCEuro Video section.

Points out that individuals are spending lots of time on the networks (compared to amount of time on a company website), where content and information is relevant.

Create Your Own Career
Inside our thoughts, inside our heads - everyday there are tons of ideas, phrases, concepts that should be shared and used in candidate attraction.

Social Media is no longer a 'nice to have'.  It is a necessity.

What was the Bertelsmann journey?

18 months ago, on Flickr and the business networks like Xing, LinkedIn as individuals, not as company.  

Resistance from internal colleagues 18 months ago:

  • Nobody Twitters
  • What does this have to do with recruiting?
  • What a waste of time
  • We should have our own video player

We want to be where the candidates are
Decided to integrate sharing tools such as "tell a friend" into website  and
integrate various analytics into the website to deploy and track activities

Developed the tag line and the complete recruitment website:
Create Your Own Career 2.0 by getting inspired.

What has been the result?

  • New career web sites in Germany and internationally
  • 38,000 unique visitors  per month
  • Top results of ranking, No. 1 in US, Europe, CEE
  • (Potential Power Ranking 2009)

What does his social landscape look like today?
Blogs, maps, chat, self assessment, videos of real employees on YouTube, Flickr

Created presence on the major Social Media sites:

There has been in recent weeks a lot of debate about the future of job boards, the impact of social media but some recently released statictics would indicate that job seekers are voting with their feet.

Comscore has released some interesting statistics about the US traffic to the business-oriented social networking site LinkedIn. According to Comscore, LinkedIn had 8 million US visitors in July this year, an increase of 66% compared to a year ago.

But the really interesting part was some data extraction about the kind of visitors that LinkedIn is getting. By cross-referencing visits to job-seeking sites with visits to LinkedIn, Comscore was able to estimate of how many of LinkedIn's visitors are job seekers (and even to what degree those visitors are looking for a job).

According to that data, the average LinkedIn user is 2.4 times as likely as the average Internet user to be looking for a job. A full 28.5% of LinkedIn's users are looking for a job

Using Comscore's data from the graph above, we get that compared to the average Internet user, LinkedIn users are:

It took radio 38 years to reach 50 million listeners. Terrestrial TV took 13 years to reach 50 million users. The internet took four years to reach 50 million people…

Social media has captured an audience of hundreds of millions in the last 12 months alone!

At a recent conference of well respected business leaders I was dismayed at the various negative comments based around social media. From my own experience, many more senior executives have taken the stance that its a complete waste of resources. Just to ensure I am not completely mad, I checked out all the speakers on LinkedIN and found, that’s right, none of them…

These highly experienced networkers just don’t get it – Social media is a new era of communication. The problem is – its growing so fast very few grasp its opportunity in the short-term never mind the strategic benefits of early involvement in the long term.

  • Networking – There is no better way to create new contacts.
  • Sales – Used correctly its an ideal tool to skip over gatekeepers.
  • Online marketing – Synchronise your online content and your search rankings are vastly improved.
  • Branding – Its practically free!
  • Online Recruitment – There is no better way to reach passive candidates.

Love it or hate it social media is here to stay, the question is how will it develop?

Real-time search

Google is great for finding the information you need, but try searching for the same information on twitter. Any good?

You have just potentially discovered phase 2 (2010 – 2011) of the social media revolution - Google v Microsoft – The search Wars



Great shows today

Bill Boorman's online radio show , in its third week had great guests from US and UK. This week's show features a collection of veteran recruiters discussing what clients want from the current market.

Listen to the full broadcaset in our Video/Audio stream: ON AIR - Ready for Lift Off. Or you can follow the link to to the BlogTalkRadio site and listen/download. Check out the first two shows either on our site or on the BlogTalkRadio site.


Listen to Billboorman on Blog Talk Radio

Was at the ONREC conference this week and the old thorny topic of a companies approach to "social media" usage came up.

I found three excellent articles on the topic, all authored by Sharlyn Lauby, they cover;

Should your company have a Social Media Ploicy?

10 must haves for you Social Media Ploicy.

How to deal with social media conflicts

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