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How secure is your Recruitment website? DDoS Attacks

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 11:58am Tuesday 17 November 2009    Print Article

As reported in the news yesterday, Australian hosted recruitment software provider, RecruitAdvantage faced a denial of service (DDoS) attack on their online software. The SaaS product (TurboRecruit) was subsequently slowed down and taken offline.

Unfortunately, customers around the country were unable to create, edit or post job advertisements, or work on the candidate records. Jobseekers were unable to apply for any vacancies whose job postings lead to the online recruitment software.

The goal of any DoS (Denial of Service) attack is to cripple a web site, either temporarily or permanently, so that the web site can no longer respond to legitimate connection requests. DoS attacks are much easier to accomplish than remotely gaining administrative access to a target system.

A DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack occurs when multiple systems overwhelm the bandwidth of a particular target simultaneously. The computers behind such an attack are often distributed around the world and will be part of what is known as a botnet.

The main difference between a DDoS attack versus a DoS attack, is that the target server will be overload by hundreds or thousands of requests compared to just one attacker in the case of a DoS attack. Therefore it is much, much harder for a server to withstand a DDoS attack as opposed to the simpler DoS incursion.

Symantec have produced a video which explains the process in easy to understand language.

Article URL:

Article Tags: denial of service attack ddos internet security server symantec recruitment software online recruitment recruitment website turborecruit recruitadvantage dos distributed denial of service attack

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Cut the fat. Expired job ads should not be displayed

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 7:00pm Sunday 15 November 2009    Print Article

Have you ever wondered why some job boards display expired (or archived) job ads online? I have always been a believer that expired job ads SHOULD NOT be displayed, but others may have you believe that expired job ads are good for your SEO.

Yes, it may increase the number of pages available for search engines to index. But this black hat SEO trick will only discredit your site in the long run. It can also have the reverse effect on your search engine performance - expired job ads may show higher than your active content.

Have you ever stopped to think about the problems this causes for job seekers, and not to mention your brand? Expired job ads should not be displayed because...
  • It wastes the job seekers time
  • It gives the job seeker a false sense of hope
  • Could be used against the advertiser/job board for 'misleading advertising'
  • Provides evidence of clients old job ads

Article URL:

Article Tags: online recruitment job boards expired job ads expired job advertisements job ads seo search engine misleading advertising job seekers

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What are you doing to make your job ads stand out from the crowd?

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 7:14pm Tuesday 10 November 2009    Print Article

There have been a number of innovative and creative IT job ads recently. Unless you have been snooping on the source code of Trade Me Jobs, you would not have noticed the hidden comment.

In the second example, a company called Trajectory in Canada is specifically targeting Developers. Although the job advert is hard to read (written in JSON), it is specifically targeting job seekers in that niche.

What are you doing to make your job ads stand out from the crowd?

Article URL:

Article Tags: trademe source code job advert it job advert job board json employer branding json developer trajectory inc

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Posting Jobs to the Facebook Marketplace via Oodle

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 4:24pm Monday 09 November 2009    Print Article

Earlier in the year I informed readers about the Facebook Marketplace now being powered by Oodle. Now I want to show you how to automatically post your jobs into Oodle for inclusion in the Facebook Marketplace. I recommend Recruiters/Employers use a Multi Posting provider, but if you are technical capable of doing it yourself, here are some instructions.

Please note this feed only applies to jobs listed in the USA, UK, Canada, India & Ireland

The quickest and most reliable way to get your listings into Oodle is to provide them with a data feed. Oodle uses this data to index your listings but not to present them (ie. the search results always link directly to the listings on your site). Oodle strongly prefers XML feeds, although they can accept CSV and tab-delimited text files.

If you are not comfortable in creating a XML feed, you should refer to an earlier article titled Creating a RSS Job Feed for a more detailed example.

You should refer to Oodle's XML Job Feed specifications for detailed instructions.

Job Fields - Each job listing needs to include these required fields

category, id, title, url

Location Fields - The location fields indicate the location of the item being listed. For location-based search to work, it is highly recommended that each listing specify its location at least down to the city or zip/postal code level.

address, city, country, latitude, longitude, neighborhood, state, zip_code

Additional Fields - The more of these additional fields that are included for a listing, the more likely that listing is to be found in searches.

benefits, company, company_size, create_time, currency, description, employee_type, expire_time, featured, fee, hourly_rate, industry, ip_address, registration, required_education, required_experience, salary, salary_type, secondary_source, seller_email, seller_name, seller_phone, seller_url

Once you have created and tested your XML job feed, you can now submit the feed to Oodle.

Article URL:

Article Tags: oodle facebook jobs facebook marketplace xml api job search posting jobs xml job feed

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Gone in 60 seconds. The Candidate Registration Process

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 1:25am Monday 09 November 2009    Print Article

Most sites make it very hard for a job seeker to register for an account. The first problem they face is being redirected from the initial page they were viewing to a separate registration page. Secondly, there are often required fields like username, email address or password which require validation of some sorts.

Previously, I have talked about using jQuery Modal Boxes to improve your recruitment website. Using this technology we can eliminate the first problem in redirecting job seekers to a separate webpage, saving page download time, and make the process much more enjoyable.

The second problem is a bit more complicated.

Most job sites will wait for the user to submit a form before processing any errors. Some will validate one field at a time, others will report on all the errors at once.

Unfortunately, if you have a form that has multiple required fields, you could have the job seeker submitting the same form over and over again. Boring... By now the job seeker would have given up and left your site!

By implementing a validation process that checks the fields as you type (or as you move to the next field). You can notify the user of any errors or suggestions immediately, instead of wasting their time processing the form once completed.

The job seeker registration process should be as simple as possible. If you spend some time improving the use of your website, you will offer the user a much enjoyable experience.

Article URL:

Article Tags: candidate registration job boards job sites online recruitment ux ui modal boxes jquery password strength seek user experience form validation validation process job seeker

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96% of Recruiters source Candidates through mainstream Job Boards

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 10:30pm Wednesday 04 November 2009    Print Article

The RCSA has just released the latest Quarterly Business Manager Survey results for the 3rd Quarter 2009. Contained within the past 2 surveys, is a question regarding the "media used to source candidates". Although the survey is only a small sample of Recruitment Agencies across Australia & New Zealand, I have grouped together the past 2 survey results, to better represent any trends over the past 6 months.

I would encourage the RCSA to continue to refine the existing sources (grouping Social Networking sites) and expand to include Resume Databases, Print Media etc.

The majority of respondents (96%) source candidates through mainstream job boards followed by networking events (76%) and in-house & niche job boards (69%).

However, the RCSA statistics only show the "media used to source candidates". It is unknown if these candidates turned into successful placements or if the agency correctly identified the original candidate source. There is a considerable (placement conversion) difference in comparing the Source of Talent 2009 survey to the RCSA survey results.

3rd Qtr 2009 - 201 responses, data collection began early October 2009 and completed 16 October 2009
2nd Qtr 2009
- 184 responses, data collection began early July 2009 and completed 30 July 2009

Source of Hire: Employers vs Recruiters, Source of Talent 2009 survey

There are distinct differences between how employers and recruitment firms source talent. Employers have a high dependence on internal recruitment teams. Anecdotal evidence suggested that internal recruiters are mainly former recruitment staff from agencies. For both employers and recruiters, job boards remain the main source of talent.

Agencies rely on job boards more significantly with 40% of talent coming through online job boards, while corporations are significantly lower at 24.35%. Recruiters seem to be a lot savvier with social media and networks than employers. Social media climbed up to rank as the 12th most successful source of talent for recruiters. In the case of employers it remains at the bottom of the list, with only 0.24% of total hires coming through from social media or networks. Overall, employers make better use of their corporate website than recruiters. Websites ranked no 3 for employers while it stands at no 5 for recruiters.

Article URL:

Article Tags: rcsa candidate sources sources of talent survey job boards social networking niche job boards networking events referrals statistics ih-house job board refer a friend business networking sites trade magazines virtual communication channels rcsa quarterly business manager survey

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Job Board Statistics - Oct 09

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 4:52pm Monday 02 November 2009    Print Article

Australian Job Board Statistics measuring the total unique browsers between October 2008 and October 2009. Data source - Nielsen NetRatings. SEEK 3.829m, CareerOne 1.578m, MyCareer 1.249m

Article URL:

Article Tags: nielsen netratings job board statistics job board october 2009 seek careerone mycareer job board report

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Rejecting Candidates based on IP Address

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 2:48pm Friday 30 October 2009    Print Article

We now rely on using technology in the recruitment process more than ever. But should we place 100% of our trust in rejecting candidates based solely on their IP address?

While browsing a number of job sites this morning, I spotted an interesting function on an overseas job board. The underlying job board software pre qualifies candidates based on their location (IP address).

An extract of the product sheet reveals "Recruiters set a budget for each job ad. Qualified views cost only 49 cents each. When the job is filled, recruiters pay only for the number of qualified views that job ad received. For example, a recruiter will not pay for an India-based view of a job posted in New York"

Okay... Well that might make sense for those job boards selling a "pay for performance" model. But isn't the main reason we use job boards is to help us distribute our ads to an audience we can't reach?

I used to work in IT Recruitment and I would estimate that around 80% of the candidates that applied to my job ads had immigrated within the past 5 years.

We want the best candidate, and some of the best candidates do come from overseas!

How many of us travel overseas for work or on holidays? Take this example. John, a highly respected and well sought after candidate was in Australia on holidays. He saw this job he wanted to apply for but… Sorry. This employer requests that only candidates in Canada apply to this job. You appear to be located in Australia, not Canada, so you will not be able to apply for this job.

I will save the technology flaws for another blog post.

Has our reliance on technology gone too far or has it done its job?

Article URL:

Article Tags: candidates rejection ip address ip blocking discrimination security candidate rejection overseas candidate pay for performance migration job board job site

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Recruitment Directory closes MySpace job search applications

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 3:24pm Thursday 29 October 2009    Print Article

Over the past few months, in consultation with all of our affected clients. We have decided to remove all of our MySpace job search applications from use. This decision was based on the fact that the social networking site is no longer a valuable source of candidate traffic and becoming a detriment to the employer brand.

Supporting hundreds of applications across multiple social networking sites is very resource intensive. There are still many ways you can post jobs to MySpace including status updates and automatic RSS feeds. Now days, most clients would rather use the site to mine for candidate data.

MySpace is still a valuable social network to millions of people, and it is not going to disappear. But if this trend continues, you could see it completely fade away in terms of relevancy.

Facebook vs MySpace statistics

Article URL:

Article Tags: myspace recruitment directory job search application social networking employer branding recruitment branding

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Cut the fat. I have no idea what you are talking about

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 11:28am Tuesday 27 October 2009    Print Article

At first, I thought users were giving a score to each job advert. But then I realised the "score" is the relevance of your keyword to each job search result. Would the common job seeker have realised this? It's time to cut the fat.

Bonus point if you can work out which Government website this is from.

Article URL:

Article Tags: job search job search results ux job search relevance job advert

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