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What's up .docx?

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 8:00am Wednesday 12 August 2009    Print Article

Have you ever received a resume in .docx format and were unable to open it? I have, but that was back in 2007! I was polite enough to email the candidate and ask them to resend the resume in .doc format. Unfortunately, not all recruiters/employers will do the same.

Last week I noticed a tweet from Brett Iredale at JobAdder talking about a new function to the multi-posting system. One of the new functionalities in JobAdder allows you to convert a document type from one file format to another.† YAY, now we need to wait for all the others to follow.

In 2007, Microsoft released Office 2007 which included a variety of new file formats including docx, xlsx, pptx etc. These new file formats were not backwards compatible with earlier versions of Microsoft Word.

To fix the file compatibility problem, you can download a patch that will allow you to open docx files in earlier versions of Word.

But... the average recruiter may not have the technical skills (or administration rights) to perform such an upgrade.

There are currently no publically available statistics on the percentage % of received application file types (ie doc, docx, rft, pdf, html, etc) processed by the various systems/vendors. So I asked some of my peers in the industry to calculate their system statistics.

.docx file format, 7% - 20% of all applications processed (approx)

The file format issue is not only confined to .docx - there are a number of recruitment databases, applicant tracking systems, etc that are unable to handle/parse/convert pdf's! So what will happen to the candidateís unread resume? Will you...
  • email the candidate asking for another version?
  • try converting the resume to another format?
  • reject the candidateís application?
  • skip and pretend you never received the application?
Most likely you will skip over candidate and move onto the next application. Download and install the upgrade. You never know if THAT candidate will be the one you place.


Article URL: http://www.recruitmentdirectory.com.au/Blog/whats-up-docx-a246.html

Article Tags: doc pdf docx microsoft office resume online application form online recruitment document type microsoft word jobadder jobadder.com recruitment database resume parsing applicant tracking system

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Creating an Effective Social Media Strategy, Part 6 - Provide Consistent Content, Donít Simply Dabble

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 8:00am Tuesday 11 August 2009    Print Article

Now that youíve got spokespeople, guidelines and an understanding of the landscape, you are ready to engage in social media. Social media is about contributing to the conversation, not just selling your product or service.

It is acceptable to tout company announcements and activities, but participation means going beyond promotions. Share third party resources with your followers, fans and social media network. Offer them interesting articles and opportunities that will help them better understand the industry and see the value you can provide.

If you have a blog, tweet links to interesting articles that may provide valuable information on emerging trends or other educational materials within it and drive people back to your content. The more valuable your content, the more your audience will grow.

Commit to your social media network. Be consistent with your updates, while you may not be able to post your own content on every occasion, regularly offer general thoughts and opinions on other content. Staying involved with your network is the only way to really leverage the platform. Anyone can create noise in social media, it is up to you to provide valuable insight.

Staying on top of trends in your industry and having the ability to deliver well thought out analysis positions you as a thought leader, builds your organizationís credibility and can positively influence your organizationís online reputation.



Article URL: http://www.recruitmentdirectory.com.au/Blog/creating-an-effective-social-media-strategy-part-6-provide-consistent-content-dont-simply-dabble-a245.html

Article Tags: social media social media strategy social networking online recruitment creating a strategy conversation communication collaboration pr spokespeople vocus vocus.com online marketing online communication social recruiting social recruiting strategy measuring social media

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Post-n-Pray vs Pay for Performance

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 8:00am Monday 10 August 2009    Print Article

Is the Australian online recruitment market ever going to see a shift away from the traditional 'pay-to-post' model to a 'pay for performance' (P4P) revenue model? Pay for performance is also commonly referred to as pay-per-application (PPA) or pay-per-placement (PPP).

The pay-per-application model has been long touted as the way forward for job boards. It allows advertisers to pay for results rather praying for candidates to apply. ie. Advertiser only pays $ per resume received (could be capped at #apps or when reach $ level).

Pay-per-placement involves a much closer arrangement with the advertiser to follow the tracking of each candidate when they apply for a role - right through to placement.

These two performance models take a lot of the risk out of advertising because you don't pay unless the site delivers.


But these models are unsustainable through the economic cycle. When jobseekers are applying in abundance, no one wants to pay for them. When advertisers are happy to pay for any candidate going - there aren't any candidates!

1. Traffic - Forget about all the other generalist and niche job boards, according to Nielsen NetRatings July 2009 statistics, our market is dominated by 3 main players - SEEK, CareerOne & MyCareer.
  • SEEK 3.266 million unique browsers - up 6.8% from June
  • CareerOne 1.499 million unique browsers - down 0.5% from June
  • MyCareer 1.166 million unique browsers - up 9.8% from June
A job board needs to have enough candidate traffic (and application) for it to be profitable. How can you attract candidates if you have no money to find them? This is why most job boards fail.

2. Bypassing the System - How can you track or stop users directly contacting the advertiser and submitting the resume via another method? Nearly all job adverts will list the Recruiter/Employer, contact name, phone number, etc. If you can bypass the system, how can you charge the advertiser?

3. Quality - Is the site going to deliver quality candidates? The quality of an application is always going to be pretty subjective and difficult to measure.

4. Duplication - What happens if the candidate is already on your database? Will you still get charged?

5. Fraud - The models are subject to applicant fraud. Fake and bogus applications could push up the sites performance.

Overall, posting an online job advert in Australia is relatively inexpensive compared to other geographical markets. If one of the major job boards did change itís revenue model - would the others follow?

Recruiters/Employers first need to better understand where the candidate comes from (see my previous blog post on Tracking Candidate Sources) and understand that a job advert is also an advertising opportunity Ė your brand is on show.

I can't see how a pay-for-performance model is going to revolutionise our industry. I am keen to hear your thoughts on this topic.


Article URL: http://www.recruitmentdirectory.com.au/Blog/post-n-pray-vs-pay-for-performance-a244.html

Article Tags: pay to post pay for performance job board online recruitment p4p post n pray ppa ppp pay per application pay per placement advertising model seek seek.com.au careerone careerone.com.au mycareer mycareer.com.au nielsen netratings revenue model candidate tracking

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Recruitment Directory releases white label iPhone job search applications

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 10:00am Friday 07 August 2009    Print Article

Recruitment Directory has continued its dominance in developing recruiting products for emerging technologies and social media sites. Recruitment Directory has developed a white label job search applications for the Apple iPhone. (see media release)

Announcing the iPhone application, Thomas Shaw, Managing Director of Recruitment Directory said ďOnce again, we are leading the way in helping recruiters, job boards and employers understand and utilize emerging technologies to source candidates. We have developed an innovative way for organisations to create their own application for the iPhone.Ē

ďThe opportunity for innovation on mobile devices has increased significantly, but organisations are unable to take full advantage of this medium. There are a number of barriers such as having the expertise and knowledge to create integrated applications. We led the way in sourcing candidates by Facebook, MySpace and Twitter and developing mobile applications was always the next logical step.Ē

ďMost people would argue with me that having a dedicated mobile application is a waste, and sometimes I would agree with them - except the benefit of just having ď1 clickĒ to load a job search application outweighs users having to remember and type a job sites URL into the browser.Ē

ďOur applications are simple, easy to use and allow the user to experience the iPhone interface.Ē

ďWhen distributing your jobs to a job site, social media and other destinations; it is important to create integration with the systems platform. This way you can utilize and enhance the users experience on that particular platform - not just open the full advert in a new window. Each application will be fully branded with the clientsí details, graphics and job feeds.Ē

ďWhen developing the concept for iPhone job search applications, we wanted to make it as easy as possible for both the advertiser and most importantly the end user to use - simple and uncomplicated.Ē


White label job search applications for the iPhone are available now from Recruitment Directory. Sample screen shots below.







Article URL: http://www.recruitmentdirectory.com.au/Blog/recruitment-directory-releases-white-label-iphone-job-search-applications-a243.html

Article Tags: recruitment directory facebook myspace iphone apple iphone media release product development mobile enabled job site job search mobile mobile recruitment mobile recruiting job search application iphone application iphone job search

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Creating an Effective Social Media Strategy, Part 5 - Set Priorities and Goals, Donít Try To Do It All

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 7:00am Friday 07 August 2009    Print Article

Not all online conversations carry the same weight. Many will have no impact on your company and not every mention of your company or brand will require the same amount of attention. The trick is to understand what does and does not matter. While a discussion on the latest product release or customer feedback may be worth engaging in, other discussions may be trivial and will not require your participation.

While knowing what conversations are taking place and using the valuable insight gained from them is important, understanding impact will help you define the priority to the company. Just remember, you may not be able to do it all. The world of social media is rapidly growing and changing, focus on what will help you meet your goals.



Article URL: http://www.recruitmentdirectory.com.au/Blog/creating-an-effective-social-media-strategy-part-5-set-priorities-and-goals-dont-try-to-do-it-all-a242.html

Article Tags: social media social media strategy social networking online recruitment creating a strategy conversation communication collaboration pr spokespeople vocus vocus.com online marketing online communication social recruiting social recruiting strategy measuring social media

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Mobile Enabled Job Sites

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 10:00pm Tuesday 04 August 2009    Print Article

Continuing on from the previous article on Problems with Mobile Recruiting. One of the problems in having 2 different versions of your website, is deciding whether you should automatically redirect or allow the user to choose between viewing in mobile or original version.

Using the same URL for both the mobile and desktop version has huge benefits. The biggest benefit is that for users, the URL does not matter. Adding a specific subdomain/folder ("mobile" or "m" are the most commonly used) to your site is another way of opening your website for mobile users. You could even purchase a .mobi domain name.

There are now so many different types of mobile devices and browsers that auto redirection can be quite complex. Tonight I tried out 3 different mobile job sites which included MyCareer, Michael Page and CVB. Only CVB had a redirection script for the iphone which worked. For more information, have a read on auto device-detection scripts in either PHP, ASP or you can read the full list of mobile browser details

My advice has always been to automatically redirect users to the mobile version because it is faster than waiting for the full site to download. Promoting a seperate URL is a waste of resources. I recently read a article titled Why You Should Automatically Route iPhone Users to Your Mobile Site which backed up my advice.†

But many argue that it is fundamentally wrong to redirect based on a browser. In their philosophy a website should always be aware of the capabilities/limitations of the browser and adapt accordingly, regardless of the type or age of the browser. But you might choose to do this anyway - in fact there is a very good case for presenting totally different content based on the browser. One of the most important arguments is that the information needs of mobile users might be totally different.

Do's of mobile webpage design
  • Do design pages for a screen size of 320 by 240 pixels.
  • Keep in mind that the user can not focus on very detailed area's of your design. One of the most important considerations is that user input can be garbled for many reasons and clicking on small links is hard.
  • Do add alt-tags for pictures, users regularly block downloading images in the browser, just to reduce bandwith consumption.

Don'ts of mobile webpage design
  • Don't use scripting languages, flash or other complex objects.
  • Don't use frames or other dividers, they take a lot of space and do not add much value, many frames are shown only for 20%, causing a lot of sliders as well.
  • Don't use objects that have a fixed size, like tables.
  • Don't use big pictures, besides the waste of screenspace, they also use a lot of bandwith costing a lot of time and money
  • Don't write lengthy texts, since people on the run generally have a hard time reading them

Do you prefer auto redirection or viewing the original site? I would be keen to hear your thoughts.



Article URL: http://www.recruitmentdirectory.com.au/Blog/mobile-enabled-job-sites-a241.html

Article Tags: mobile recruiting mobile recruitment mobile iphone job search mobile enabled job site auto redirection url mycareer mycareer.com.au cvb cvb.co.nz michael page michaelpage.com.au mobile job search iphone job search

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Problems with Mobile Recruiting

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 11:30pm Sunday 02 August 2009    Print Article

I have been working hard over the past few months developing product ideas for mobile devices and we are very close to releasing an iphone job search application. Most people would argue with me that having a dedicated mobile application is a waste, and sometimes I would agree with them except...

The benefit of just having ď1 clickĒ to load a job search application outweighs users having to remember and type your URL into the browser. Let's say you are a job seeker searching for a new job on your phone. Here are some of the steps you would take
  1. Open mobile internet browser
  2. Type the job site's URL into the browser. Hoping that you remember the website and there are no problems with your URL (see article on with or without www)
  3. Wait for the website to download and load in your browser (check data allowanceÖHow much is this costing me?)
  4. Zoom in/out to navigate around the website
  5. Flash scripts are not loading!
  6. Iím lost, it's taking too long! **EXIT**
There are too many steps to take before the user gives up and leaves your website. Even if you have a mobile enabled website, are you redirecting users to that site and can you honestly say that your website is mobile enabled/optimised?

I conducted a survey earlier in the year titled Optimising your job site for mobile devices and found various discrepancies between the various websites. You can try to fix this by redeveloping your website for mobile devices. It's not cheap and most organisations do not have the resources for it.

One of the other problems with job searching on your mobile device is how do users apply for a job?† It is possible to build some sort of login system that stores your details/resume, but there are still technical difficulties in storing/uploading documents from mobile devices. One of the solutions around this is to have the user shortlist or send the job to their email, where they can apply via a computer.

When distributing your jobs to job boards, social media sites and other destinations; it is important to create integration with the systems platform. This way you can utilize and enhance the users experience on that particular platform - not just open the full advert in a new window.

A number of recruiters have asked me how they can distribute their jobs to the iphone. We did not build an all-in-one application for everyone to use. Instead each application will be branded with your name, logo, details and job list. To submit your jobs you will need a formatted RSS/XML job feed.

When developing the concept for iphone job search applications, we wanted to make it as easy as possible for both the advertiser and most importantly the end user to use - simple and uncomplicated.

Stay tuned for more information.


Article URL: http://www.recruitmentdirectory.com.au/Blog/problems-with-mobile-recruiting-a240.html

Article Tags: mobile recruiting mobile recruitment mobile iphone job search iphone application iphone job search application rss product development iphone job search mobile job search

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Creating an Effective Social Media Strategy, Part 4 - Communicate the Strategy, Donít Allow for Confusion

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 10:48pm Sunday 02 August 2009    Print Article

While you may have created a strategy and identified the spokespeople who will participate in online conversations, if you do not share that strategy with the rest of the organization it will lead to confusion. Social media turns everyone associated with your brand into a potential company representative. Whether you are a large or small company, the nature of social media requires specific guidelines for conduct.

Make sure employees know their role in the discussion. Just as you communicate guidelines for media calls or other media activities, share guidelines on what is and is not appropriate for social media. While many employees are tempted to participate in conversations, giving clear directives on company policy will help you control the message. While 99% of the participation is likely harmless, in some cases, it may impact company brand and reputation.

Establishing guidelines will help you mitigate internal risks to your online reputation as well as potential organizational issues. Technology will help you comprehensively monitor and track social media conversations so that you know when and if your employees are participating to ensure your guidelines are being followed.



Article URL: http://www.recruitmentdirectory.com.au/Blog/creating-an-effective-social-media-strategy-part-4-communicate-the-strategy-dont-allow-for-confusion-a239.html

Article Tags: social media social media strategy social networking online recruitment creating a strategy conversation communication collaboration pr spokespeople vocus vocus.com online marketing online communication social recruiting social recruiting strategy measuring social media

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Creating an Effective Social Media Strategy, Part 3 - Identify Spokespeople, Donít Dilute the Message

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 2:43pm Thursday 30 July 2009    Print Article

As with traditional media strategies, you must also determine spokespeople for your social media strategy. You wouldnít pull just any employee to speak to the media and social media should be no different. Despite the informal nature of the conversations on some platforms, the person responding is still a company representative and the image of the company is reflected in those discussions.

Unlike traditional media, social media puts you in direct communication with the public and different company representatives may be better for these audiences. While your traditional media spokesperson may be the CEO, your customers and prospects may be best served by a company representative who deals with more everyday tasks and not the overall company strategy.

As part of your PR strategy, you need to take the information you have gathered from monitoring social media and determine your ideal spokespeople. Identify a spokesperson to respond to corporate questions, customer feedback, support services, sales opportunities and other industry trends. Be sure you spend time training your spokespeople just as you would for traditional media so that they know and can communicate your company message effectively. Be sure to keep the channels of communication open to gauge feedback from your spokespeople. As the business climate changes, there may be opportunities to change your message so that it accurately reflects the needs and concerns of your customers.

Once you determine who will represent the company, come up with a plan to respond that fits the needs of your company. Depending on frequency of requests and availability of resources, you may decide to designate an initial responder who can identify the needs of the situation and route the inquiry to the appropriate person. While it is also an effective strategy to have each designated spokesperson respond individually, be careful, as too many voices in social media can be confusing to your audience and also dilute your message. Whichever strategy you choose, make sure the company message is very clear both externally and internally.



Article URL: http://www.recruitmentdirectory.com.au/Blog/creating-an-effective-social-media-strategy-part-3-identify-spokespeople-dont-dilute-the-message-a238.html

Article Tags: social media social media strategy social networking online recruitment creating a strategy conversation communication collaboration pr spokespeople vocus vocus.com online marketing online communication social recruiting social recruiting strategy measuring social media

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Are you adding value to your database? Effective database management tips

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 10:30am Tuesday 28 July 2009    Print Article

Every recruitment agency has some sort of database to store candidate/client contact information, notes, conversations, jobs, resumes, files, invoices etc. A properly designed and well maintained database can help improve internal efficiencies, provide accurate data, cut costs and speed up the recruitment lifecycle.

Managing and maintaining confidential data is not only good business practice - it's a legal requirement! Here are some of my top tips to manage and maintain your database.
  • Appoint an internal user to champion and implement correct database management processes.
  • Enforce and maintain proper user access. Regularly conduct data access audits to ensure users are not accessing data they are not supposed to. Never allow users the ability to delete records or access unauthorised data.
  • What kind of information are you collecting? Is it necessary, valuable, important or legal?
  • Ensure that everyone in the organisation (including external stakeholders) are educated in the importance of maintaining good-quality data. Hold regular review meetings to ensure that your data quality processes are up to date, efficient and effective, and remain so.
  • Are you correctly capturing, inserting and validating data? Depending on the system, it may be possible to enforce rules on the type of data entered eg. length & type of data (letters, numbers & special characters).
  • Before adding a new contact into the database, check to see they are not already on the database. This may sound like common sense, but unfortunately there is not always a "unique" contact identifier - users can have more than one email address, and can be known by variations of their full name. If you create duplicate records, ensure that they are merged as soon as possible.
  • Files should always be stored as read only. You do not want a user to accidently overwrite someoneís resume!
  • Measure data quality. No matter how good the systems and processes you put in place to capture data across all touch points, it is essential that you have a way of measuring the quality of the data over time.
  • Never delete data! Deactivate (or hide) the record and record a file note. You never know if you need it in the future.
  • Review potential threats (internal/external) to information stored in databases. How secure is your database?
  • Regularly repair, optimize and backup your database.
  • Create a disaster management plan. You never know if something may happen.



Article URL: http://www.recruitmentdirectory.com.au/Blog/are-you-adding-value-to-your-database-effective-database-management-tips-a237.html

Article Tags: database candidate database database management recruitment database data integrity data capture data validation data quality information management information systems tips

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