Select Website 

Recruitment Directory's Blog - Australia's #1 Recruitment Technology Blog!

Previous Page Previous Page  Next Page Next Page

No one wants to follow your Recruitment Agency on Twitter

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 10:00pm Thursday 08 October 2009    Print Article

I had an interesting call from a Recruiter today. He was complaining about the fact that no one wants to follow his Recruitment Agency on Twitter. I spent some time talking about the ways you can use Twitter in the Recruitment process. But he didn't care.

We talked about creating a social recruiting strategy to interact with the users. He didn't care.

This is not an unusual situation I find myself in. Nearly all Recruiters I talk with about using some type of social media for recruitment just want to post job adverts and wait for candidates to apply (post and pray).

Well, there is already a service you use for that. It's called a job board.

Only posting job adverts to Twitter is just not good enough. There is no conversation or engagement between you and your users.

These Twitter feeds tend to create a lot of noise and frankly, waste the users time scrolling through all the latest jobs that are not relevant to them.

It's not that people don't want to follow you. You just have nothing interesting to add to the conversation.

Article URL:

Article Tags: twitter recruiters job board candidates using twitter for recruitment job feed social media social recruiting strategy

Comments View Comments (4)

Is your Job Site redirecting Candidates to insecure websites?

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 5:30pm Wednesday 07 October 2009    Print Article

Have you ever clicked on what you thought was a safe website URL and then all of a sudden your browser/antivirus software blocks the webpage?

Every day, I am alerted to yet another recruitment website falling victim to some sort of security incident. If you own or manage a website, YOU are responsible for your website’s security and have an implied "duty of care" to provide safe 3rd party links.

Imagine this...

A user clicks on your job boards "Apply Now" button, and is redirected to a 3rd party application form.

Unfortunately the website the user was redirected to is insecure and has been flagged as a badware site.

The user then completes the application form and attaches their resume containing personal details, bank account, visa, passport etc.

Guess what?

The user’s details have now been intercepted by another party and can now be used for fraud, identity theft etc. The user may have also downloaded or accepted infected documents.

To reduce the risk associated with 3rd party links. You SHOULD automatically check (wash) all your URL links (within the job advert or linkout URL) as well as the email address (@domain) against known Malware or Black list.

There are various enterprise programs available from security providers, but in this example we will focus on integrating with Google's Safe Browsing API.

The Google Safe Browsing API is an experimental service that allows you check URLs against Google's constantly-updated blacklists of suspected phishing and malware pages.

If you use Firefox you would already be familiar with the malware or phishing warning screen that shows up when you visit suspicious sites. You will use this API to download an encrypted table for local, client-side lookups of URLs.

A small company can obtain the API key and query Google Safe Browsing API directly. There is no need to maintain local list of md5 hashes. This approach is a lot simpler. Another advantage - you always use a fresh list of URLs (no 30 min delay until the next execution of a cron job)

Making calls to the API is pretty straightforward. You need to first register with Google to get a developer key in order to access the service. Once you do this you simply call a certain URL which responds with a list of MD5 hash values to suspected malware sites.

It is important to note for privacy and security reasons; we are not directly comparing the real URL against another list of URLs. Instead comparing the MD5 hashes (which in theory, almost can't be reversed back to the original URL string)

Step 1. Sign up for an API developer key

Step 2. Set up 2 tables in your local database to store the downloaded lists (see example code below).

Step 3. Create 2 pages google_malware.php & google_blacklist.php (see example code below). You will need to set up a cron job every 30 minutes to automatically download the updated lists.

Step 4. Create a script to check all your URLs (converting to md5) against the downloaded malware/black list on every update.

If the script finds a match between your website's data and the downloaded malware/black list you should immediately change the status of the job advert to "offline". Inform the advertiser of your findings and manually check the URL with your own browser.

Create Database Tables
CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS google_malware ( malware_hash VARCHAR(28) NOT NULL DEFAULT '' PRIMARY KEY (malware_hash)) CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS google_blacklist ( blacklist_hash VARCHAR(28) NOT NULL DEFAULT '', PRIMARY KEY (blacklist_hash))

<?php $conn = mysql_connect('localhost', 'DATABASE_USERNAME', 'DATABASE_PASSWORD') or die(mysql_error()); mysql_select_db('DATABASE_NAME') or die(mysql_error()); $api_key = "GOOGLE_SAFE_BROWSING_API_KEY"; $version_malware = "goog-malware-hash"; $google_url = ""; // ################ MALWARE LIST DOWNLOAD ################ //open the remote URL $target_mal = "$google_url?client=api&apikey=$api_key&version=$version_malware:1:-1"; $handle_mal = fopen("$target_mal", 'r') or die("Couldn't open file handle " . $target_mal); //populate the db if ($handle_mal) { while (!feof($handle_mal)) { $line_mal = fgets($handle_mal); //ignore the first line if (substr($line_mal,0,1) != '[') { $operation_mal = (substr($line_mal,0,1)); //get the '+' or '-' $hash_mal = substr($line_mal,1); //get the md5 hash $hash_mal = mysql_real_escape_string($hash_mal); //just to be safe if ($operation_mal == '+') $sql_mal = 'INSERT INTO google_malware SET malware_hash = \''.$hash_mal.'\''; else $sql_mal = 'DELETE FROM google_malware WHERE malware_hash = \''.$hash_mal.'\''; mysql_query($sql_mal) or die(mysql_error()); } } echo 'MALWARE table downloaded.'; fclose($handle_mal); } mysql_close($conn); ?>

<?php $conn = mysql_connect('localhost', 'DATABASE_USERNAME', 'DATABASE_PASSWORD') or die(mysql_error()); mysql_select_db('DATABASE_NAME') or die(mysql_error()); $api_key = "GOOGLE_SAFE_BROWSING_API_KEY"; $version_blacklist = "goog-black-hash"; $google_url = ""; // ################ BLACK LIST DOWNLOAD ################ //open the remote URL $target_bla = "$google_url?client=api&apikey=$api_key&version=$version_blacklist:1:-1"; $handle_bla = fopen("$target_bla", 'r') or die("Couldn't open file handle " . $target_bla); //populate the db if ($handle_bla) { while (!feof($handle_bla)) { $line_bla = fgets($handle_bla); //ignore the first line if (substr($line_bla,0,1) != '[') { $operation_bla = (substr($line_bla,0,1)); //get the '+' or '-' $hash_bla = substr($line_bla,1); //get the md5 hash $hash_bla = mysql_real_escape_string($hash_bla); //just to be safe if ($operation_bla == '+') $sql_bla = 'INSERT INTO google_blacklist SET blacklist_hash = \''.$hash_bla.'\''; else $sql_bla = 'DELETE FROM google_blacklist WHERE blacklist_hash = \''.$hash_bla.'\''; mysql_query($sql_bla) or die(mysql_error()); } } echo 'BLACKLIST table downloaded.'; fclose($handle_bla); } mysql_close($conn); ?>

Article URL:

Article Tags: api hacking google safe browsing api job board recruitment website safety security php script md5 hash malware blacklist phishing database email encryption exploit mysql privacy sql injection vulnerability identity theft

Comments View Comments (0)

Can your job site translate HTML code?

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 6:48pm Sunday 04 October 2009    Print Article

This may seem like a no brainer - do you check EVERY job advert that is posted from your organisation? If your job advert contains HTML or special characters you need to ensure your listings on a job board/recruitment website can interrupt the HTML code/tags.

Over the years, job boards have allowed us to use HTML code/tags to visually enhance our job adverts. However, with the advancements in technology, most forms now use WYSIWYG editors to make the process easier.

But... display errors can still happen
  • The user can manually enter the wrong HTML code or forget to close a tag
  • The website is unable to correctly interrupt the code
Most of the time HTML errors are an easy fix. Although, it can have a flow on effect with other parts of the website including RSS feeds and search engine results.

What message are you sending to potential candidates (or clients)?

HTML Special Character &

Failure to close a HTML tag resulting in the rest of the job advert being hyperlinked

Encoding Issue

HTML Issues

Article URL:

Article Tags: job adverts html code html characters job board recruitment website wysiwyg job site

Comments View Comments (0)

Constructing Effective Job Advertisements

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 3:38pm Sunday 04 October 2009    Print Article

Despite readily available research, statistics and recruitment training, many Recruitment Consultants are still not representing their clients correctly. Luke Carolan, Rec to Rec Specialist from Aspire Solutions International explains how Recruiters can construct effective job adverts.

As Human Resources departments are becoming more recruitment savvy and increasingly taking recruitment in-house. The importance of having exceptional advertisements that motivate wavering employees has never been greater. As a Rec to Rec I am often asked “why would I want services that I can provide?” I believe this is a valid question not just for Rec to Recs but also from HR to Recruiters.

Some people may be thinking along the lines of “your time is valuable I can save you the hassle and difficulty” or other cliché’ prescribed responses. Wrong answer!

All Recruitment Consultants should have a strong point of difference and a valid value proposition. We should not be doing what HR are doing or in my case recruiting in the same manner as Recruitment Manager would for an internal position. In this article I do not intend to do myself out of a job but merely help Recruitment Consultants stay professional in advertising for their clients and the recruitment industry.

Advertising for clients might be small part of the recruitment process however it’s an important one. Advertising is not only about calling out for the most suitable people. It’s also about your representation of your company and client. If you’re job taking and client information gathering process is poor, your advertisement will be. Often I hear of people making the comment “I don’t want to provide too much information as I’ll give away who my client is” this is an issue of poor process. If the role is exclusive or restricted to a current panel this is not something to be too concerned about. If this is an issue I would suggest you look at better ways of “brick walling your business”.

When taking requirements it’s important to get all the information. Obtaining this information is certainly easier if you’ve met with client, been on site and asked questions like. “What’s different about you?”, “Why would the best people in the market want to work for you?” At this point if you’re speaking with a senior representative or an owner they should be in a position to answer this with great detail. I suggest you take notes of everything they say and if at any stage you hear them mention the same thing more than once you know that is a strong factor or motivator of the business and its representative. These motivators can be used well when representing your clients either face to face with your candidate or in your advertisements.

Writing Your Summary

The most important factor in writing advertisements is having people look at them. The opportunity to introduce your advertisement is through the summary. The summary should be clean, to the point and effective. Enough study and surveys have been completed now that we know job seekers are looking to check the $$, location and the title (for relevance) before they will even look at the ad. These really are very basic requirements for a summary and must always be present. For the most of us who don’t just want active jobseekers and are looking to attract passive candidates. We need to include some hooks that will generate enough interest for people to want to read more.

Writing Your Advertisement

Many people have different advertising formats and I have heard many arguments around what the best format is. I believe different formats can suit for different roles. I.e. would a format for an Accountant be the same as a format for a Graphic Artist? I will say however there are some common factors that are always a good idea. The format should be clean, concise, specific and descriptive. It’s important to keep in mind that to the Recruitment Consultant this may just be another job however to the job seeker this will be seen as the next step in their career and maybe even life changing. To your client this is a representation of their business (something they’re very proud of) and your capability to represent them.

Clients Do Check Advertisements
  • Keeping this in mind ask your self who are you looking to attract? Who would be ideal?
  • What kind of ad response do you want? I.e. are you looking for a targeted response with specific candidates or a broad response for maximum resumes? And what’s special about this opportunity?
Finding your advertisement can also be an issue. Keep in mind many candidates will be searching through a key word search. This means it’s a good idea to have the title of the position mentioned 3 times within the body of the ad. When listing the ad be specific especially on things like location. A Sydney CBD opportunity will be found in a Sydney search however a Sydney opportunity will not be found in a Sydney CBD search.

What do your candidates want? Your candidates have relayed to the advertising mediums that they want information to be pertinent, communicated clearly and cleanly. They want you to know what they’re looking for
  • Location
  • Money
  • Required experience / qualifications
  • Description of the position and your client
  • Why the opportunity is available
  • What’s special about the opportunity and client
  • Duties of the position
  • How long the opportunity is available for
  • Your contact details
  • How to apply
Finally I would suggest you and your team have a look on a few job boards. Each Consultant should pick three of the best ad’s they can find (in a comparable recruitment space) and discuss with their peers what they like and what can be improved on.

Luke Carolan, Aspire Solutions International
[email protected]

Article URL:

Article Tags: job ads writing effective job adverts luke carolan aspire solutions international recruitment consultants job board recruitment advertising rec to rec human resources candidates job search

Comments View Comments (0)

Improving your Recruitment Website - jQuery Modal Boxes

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 10:55pm Tuesday 29 September 2009    Print Article

How many times have you been redirected away from the webpage you were viewing and then unable to find that webpage again?

When it comes to improving your recruitment website, modern web applications (such as jQuery modal boxes) allow us to interact with the user without the hassle of reloading the whole page or opening a new window.

This can drastically improve the users overall experience with your website because they are not redirected away from the initial webpage they were viewing!

We want to keep the user on the job advert page so they don't have to click through the search process again. As you can see with the examples below. We can use this for our login, refer a friend or application forms.

There are a number of jQuery scripts available including Facebox, Lightbox, Thickbox, nyroModal, jqModal, SimpleModal, etc.

Article URL:

Article Tags: peoplebank jquery browser pop up window jobadder hippo jquery lightbox jquery thickbox jquery nyromodal jquery facebox modal dialog boxes jobsjobsjobs shk job board recruitment website user experience user interface ux ui javascript

Comments View Comments (0)

Creating a Google Gadget

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 11:00pm Sunday 27 September 2009    Print Article

With the ever increasing number of job boards, social networking sites, RSS feeds etc. We need to make it easier for users to discover and subscribe to your content. Google Gadgets (aka widget, plugin, module) can be a great way to present and share information to your website users across multiple platforms.

Previously, we have looked at various Examples of Job Search Widgets and have even stepped through the process of Creating a Job Search Widget.

Google Gadgets are miniature objects made by Google users that offer cool and dynamic content that can be placed on any page on the web. You can add gadgets you like to your iGoogle (mobile/desktop), Google Desktop and even your own website.

Try adding these 2 examples to your Google homepage or desktop
In this example, we are using the widget code we developed in our previous article titled Creating a Job Search Widget as well as utilizing the Google Gadget API. Once we have created this XML page, we can submit it to Google and then add it to our iGoogle homepage.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <Module> <ModulePrefs title="Recruitment Directory TEST" height="250" author="Recruitment Directory" author_email="" thumbnail="" screenshot="" /> <Content type="html"> <![CDATA[ <script type="text/javascript" src=""> </script> ]]> </Content> </Module>

Article URL:

Article Tags: igoogle google gadget xml api job search widget widgets rss feed mobile widget google desktop

Comments View Comments (0)

It's all about the numbers

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 11:09am Wednesday 23 September 2009    Print Article

Have you ever been to a job site where you looked at the hit counter and just scratched your head?

All websites want to publically say how good they are "we have X number of users on our database", "today we had X number of applications" "X number of candidate searches on our database" etc.

That's great! But who cares?

While statistics play an important part of "selling" your website. It is important to step back and think what kind of statistics are necessary or important for users to see on your website.
  • Is the data accurate?
  • Can/has the data be manipulated?
A "hit" or "page view" is one of the easiest statistics to manipulate. Every time you view or refresh the page, the counter is incremented. Yes, you may only count the number of UNIQUE views - but can you really trust this unless it is independently verified by a 3rd party?

Measurable statistics should not be influenced or manipulated by external variables. The only statistics I believe a job site should show in real-time are
  • number of jobs
  • number of registered users/employers/candidates in the database
  • number of applications for a job
Remember there are heavy penalties for misleading and deceptive conduct. Are your statistics accurate?

Article URL:

Article Tags: statistics analytics statistical manipulation hit counter search results misleading and deceptive conduct number of jobs number of job applications number of registered candidates number of registered employers number of candidates database statistics

Comments View Comments (0)

Creating a Job Search Widget

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 7:40pm Tuesday 22 September 2009    Print Article

One of the easiest way to create, and distribute your own job search widget is through a simple JavaScript. Within this JavaScript, we can specify the widgets size and content that will be displayed to the end user.

Previously I have shown you some Examples of Job Search Widgets and let's not forget why we want to create a widget in the first place.

To increase the distribution and create loyalty within your user base. By displaying a widget on your website, you can provide your readers with jobs and content from your favorite job site.

I suggest using a JavaScript because we can centrally CONTROL and UPDATE the content displayed to the end user without having to get the publisher to update the websites code. You can also MEASURE and TRACK the performance of the affiliate network.

In this example, you will need to create 2 files. Note: This widget will be a set size of 250 x 250 using IAB Ad Unit Guidelines.

1. widget.js
2. jobsearch.html (or other file extensions aspx, php)

The code you need to use to try out this example (remember to replace the URL with your own) is..
<script type="text/javascript" src=""> </script>
That’s it. You can centrally control what the widget displays and can update it anytime you want.


document.write('<iframe frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" height="250" width="250" src="URL/jobsearch.html" style="border: medium none ;"/></iframe>');


<html> <head> <style type="text/css"> body { margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px;} </style> </head> <body> <table width="250px" height="250px" border="0" cellpadding="10" cellspacing="0"> <tr> <td valign="top" align="left">CREATE YOUR WIDGET HERE</td> </tr> </table> </body> </html>

Article URL:

Article Tags: widget iab ad unit guidelines search form job search widget javascript job distribution

Comments View Comments (0)

RecruitTECH 2009 - Twitter, Facebook, Recruitment & Integration

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 12:27pm Monday 21 September 2009    Print Article

Last week, I was fortunate enough to be one of the presenters at RecruitTECH 2009 - Australian Recruitment and Technology Conference in Canberra ACT. Below is my presentation titled "Twitter, Facebook, Recruitment & Integration".

Facebook and more recently Twitter are all the rage on the internet. But do these social networking tools have an application for recruitment? In this session, you will learn how these services can be used to recruit people for your organisation right now.

Whilst many dismiss these sites as a fad, how can we easily integrate our recruitment website or ATS into these systems to collect user data?

Download powerpoint presentation - 4.36MB

Download presentation slides, 1 per page - 2.55MB

Download presentation slides, 2 per page - 2.53MB

Article URL:

Article Tags: recruittech thomas shaw recruitment directory twitter facebook recruitment integration facebook connect api oauth canberra recruittech 2009 people search engine using facebook for recruitment using twitter for recruitment social networking social recruiting ppc openid recruitment website job boards ats applicant tracking system crm

Comments View Comments (1)

Charging Job Seekers to View or Apply for Jobs

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 8:00pm Tuesday 15 September 2009    Print Article

Charging job seekers to help them find work is a very touchy subject. Yes there may be some laws and the RCSA will say it is unethical for Recruiters to double dip etc. Except in the real world, there is nothing stopping a online job site from charging job seekers a fee to access premium content.

I was quite critical in my previous comments regarding a new premium SMS Job Alerts service about to launch. Except later that day, I remembered that there are already existing websites that charge the job seeker to access to premium content or bolt-on products (eg. SMS alerts).
So before you go complain about these sites (which I am sure some of you will kick up your feet and stomp a little) we need to understand the reasons why these job sites are charging the job seeker.
  • Only serious job seekers will apply for the role
  • It creates a niche community for your job site
  • Job seekers want EXCLUSIVE access to jobs, content and extra services that they do not get on other job boards
  • There is no such thing as a "free job board"
  • If job seekers are serious about finding work, they will pay for the convenience of these extras
Let's face it. We all need to earn a living, and these premium sites are actually adding value to the job seeker.

In Australia, our leading news publications; News Ltd and Fairfax, will soon charge readers a fee to access the websites news content. SEEK has ruled out charging job seekers, but what about CareerOne (50% owned by News Ltd/Monster) or MyCareer (owned by Fairfax) ??

So if your job site is going start charging the job seeker make sure that
  • The jobs are 100% unique and not available elsewhere else
  • The job seekers are financially able to pay for access. Aim at the professional/executive industry
  • Your marketing has to effectively communicate and convince job seekers that they are paying for exclusive, valuable content
What do you think?

Article URL:

Article Tags: sixfigures ragtradejobs smsthejob smsmejobs artshub localbacon charging candidates charging job seekers for work rcsa theladders sms job alerts seek mycareer careerone fairfax news ltd

Comments View Comments (4)

Previous Page Previous Page  Next Page Next Page

Random Blog Articles

Job Board Statistics - January 2010
Published: 1:53pm Tuesday 02 February 2010

MyCareer, TradeMe, & TheBigChair?? What is happening down in Fairfax land
Published: 8:00am Wednesday 24 November 2010

Communication within the HR community
Published: 5:34pm Friday 12 December 2008

What Thomas is reading - 19 Dec 2008
Published: 12:59am Friday 19 December 2008

Product Management Axioms
Published: 4:27pm Wednesday 23 June 2010