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Guidelines on Recruitment Advertising

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 9:22pm Monday 13 July 2009    Print Article

The Australian Government has introduced a whole-of-government approach to recruitment advertising. These guidelines took affect from 1 July 2009 and apply to all government agencies/department subject to the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997.

Read the full Guidelines on Recruitment Advertising

I was surprised by one of the statement.... "colour cannot be used for recruitment advertisements placed in print media". Most of the print publications will offer colour upgrades for free! Will they accept the offer, or turn down the opportunity to stand out from the crowd?

Some questions to consider…
  • Should the government still mandate print advertising?
  • How much traffic does the APS Jobs website receive?
  • Is the whole-of-government approach to recruitment advertising slowing down proactive recruitment campaigns from individual agencies/departments?

Article URL:

Article Tags: australian government recruitment advertising recruitment guidelines print media government apsjobs recruitment campaigns

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With or without www?

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 8:39pm Sunday 12 July 2009    Print Article

Some people are very anal about whether URLs should have a www prefix or not. I personally think domains look naked without them, and there is a reason why we use the www in the first place.

It really surprises me how often typing in a domain name without the www in front, results in one of the following errors
  • Page Load Error. The browser could not find the host server for the provided address.
  • Directory Listing Denied
  • Bad Request (Invalid Hostname)
Not everyone enters the www when they type in a domain. Some leave it out, while others always type it in. Try it with your own website. How many visitors (clients & candidates) are you losing as a result of this error?

By forcing visitors and search engines to your preferred domain, you can guarantee that you won’t end up with duplicate results or different page ranks for your domain with or without the www.

It all depends on how your website host or server administrator has decided to set this up, but usually your domain will work with or without the www.

If you do make your website accessible with and without www, make sure that you use one as your “main” solution. For instance, if people go to “without www”, redirect them to “with www” (or vice versa).

This way you won’t run into cookie trouble for instance, with people having a cookie on www, returning the next day to without www and finding their cookie is gone (for cookies, these are two different domains).

Reasons to include www

  • It helps identify a URL as a web address, especially if the domain extension is other than a .com one
  • Many people will type it in anyway
  • For some people, URLs look more visually appealing with them
Reasons not to include www
  • It makes the URL longer, especially if the URL is for a subdomain
  • It's unnecessary
  • For some people, URLs look cleaner without them

Article URL:

Article Tags: www server recruitment website job board error www prefix search engine optimisation seo accessibility cookies

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Use of Google Maps in a Job Search

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 1:12am Friday 10 July 2009    Print Article

The idea of mashing together Google Maps with a job search has been around since early 2006. But does it help a job seeker with their job search?

Maps are functional if used correctly. They provide information and allow the job seeker to interact with the website.

More and more workers want to work closer to home and using maps (or proximity based searches) allows the job seeker to map distance, travel routes, public transport, amenities etc. What about geographically constrained job seekers?

I personally like the use of a map in the job search results. It provides a visual representation but can get a little crowded as you can see in some examples below from JobLoft, ZubedJobs, JobMaps, GIS Jobs and TwitterJobSearch

Unfortunately, it is hard to pinpoint the exact location the job will be based. Hang on... I know Google Maps is very smart software but ask yourself these questions:
  • Do recruiters ask their clients where the exact role is based?
  • What happens with "mobile" workers. How can we map the exact location?
  • Work from home jobs?
  • Is there a field for you to post this when adding the job to a job board?
Maps can distract the job seeker from the more important aspects of the role such as job details, job description, qualifications, salary etc.

Overall, the job search experience using maps takes longer. But it has some advantages for job seekers.

Article URL:

Article Tags: google maps job search search results mashup api jobmaps gis jobs clearinghouse jobloft zubedjobs twitterjobsearch location based search google maps job search

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Job Seekers should use a Recruitment Agency

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 9:22pm Tuesday 07 July 2009    Print Article

There are lots of things to take into account when choosing which Recruitment Agency you should use. In response to the 10 Things We Hate About Recruitment Companies article, let's take a look at why job seekers should use a Recruitment Agency.

Looking for a job can be a time consuming and frustrating experience... Searching for jobs, telephone interviews, responding to selection criteria, in-person interviews, psychometric profiles, waiting for a call that sometimes doesn't arrive can all add up to stress, that makes it hard to focus and find that job you want!

Job seekers need to realise that in this current environment; it will take longer to find the job you want. Recruiters are currently experiencing a candidate overflow where supply of labour is greater than the demand in most industries.
  • Recruitment consultants know what is happening in the marketplace - who is hiring, what projects are coming up, who to contact, etc.
  • Using a recruitment agency allows you to save time - the recruitment agency will do a lot of the leg work for you and this will allow you to do some of the other things that you want or need to get done.
  • You will be given access to jobs that you might not find on the open market - this will help increase your chances of gaining employment.
  • You have people working to get you a job with many contacts in the field that you are looking to get into - a recommendation can speak volumes and get you further in the door than a speculative resume.
  • Your resume will be submitted to a range of jobs including some that you might not have considered - the agency might be able to open up a new direction for you and encourage you to go for a number of positions that you are capable of doing.
  • The agency might advise you a provide you with suggestions on how to emphasise you resume and any key elements you wish to highlight - the agencies do this full time so take the time to ask them for advice or help.

Independent Recruitment Agencies or large multi-location chain

Both have their pros and cons. You're much more likely to get a more personal and better quality of service from a smaller recruitment agency than you are from a large chain, but the quality of roles handled by the smaller agency may be less high profile.

This is not always the case but large employers generally use one (or more) recruitment agencies to handle their affairs, and they tend to be larger agencies because it is believed they attract better candidates. Also margins are usually lower - cost effective.

Smaller agencies will remain in more regular contact with you, which makes you feel more like a valued customer than just another number.

Recruitment Consultants

It's important that you trust the person who represents you at the recruitment agency you choose. This is the person who could potentially help you land your dream role so you need to feel comfortable in their company. You need to be up front and honest with them and that they have your best interests at heart.

Usually a recruitment agency will have one consultant who specialises in recruiting for a certain sector, unless it's a very big organisation in which case they may have more than one, so if you don't feel happy dealing with the consultant who is assigned to you it may be better to go elsewhere.

You need to feel comfortable with the consultant you deal with. Also they are competent, understand the kind of positions that you are looking for and able to offer you those kinds of roles.

Of course a lot of people aren't fussy and register with every recruitment company they come across. The problem with this choice of tactic is that it can lead to your resume being submitted to the same company multiple times, which reflects badly on you and the agencies being employed by the recruiting client.

A client will often enlist the services of a number of recruitment agencies/consultants to find them candidates, with the successful provider winning the $$ commission. This is where problems of duplication can arise.

Whichever type of agency you choose, make sure that they have a good range of jobs available, so that you can always be sure of securing employment. Things are tough at the moment, which means that there are fewer jobs around, so don't end up picking a recruitment agency that is lazy about getting new positions in: you want one that really will work on your behalf.

A recruitment agency should also look after you and check that everything is going OK, so again, you need to feel able to communicate with them and as if you can easily establish a trusting relationship. Sometimes it can help to choose an agency that has been around for some time and so you can be sure they certainly know the ropes.

Article URL:

Article Tags: recruitment agency recruitment consultant job seekers talent management candidates recruitment industry recruitment agencies finding a job

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10 Things We Hate About Recruitment Companies

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 6:42pm Tuesday 07 July 2009    Print Article

I wanted to provide this article from a job seekers point of view. Like it or not, recruitment companies are firmly entrenched as part of the hiring landscape. However, all the evidence collected by Even It Up! seems to point to the fact that they notoriously over-promise and under-deliver?

How can we improve our standards, so that web sites/blog like Even It Up! do not have to exist? The 10 Things We Hate About Recruitment Companies include...
  • General position calls
  • Baiting
  • Pigeon-holing
  • Silence
  • Reference checks
  • They are not your 'agent'
  • Beware of the people not carrying pencils
  • Amateur hour
  • Once is never, twice is always
  • Gatekeeper status

Article URL:

Article Tags: recruitment agency even it up standards job seekers candidates

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Job Site Updates

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 9:48pm Monday 06 July 2009    Print Article

A number of new job sites have recently launched in Australia. These include Lifestyle Careers, My Job Wizard, and mUmBRELLA has added a jobs section.

Article URL:

Article Tags: lifestylecareers job boards mumbrella myjobwizard job sites resume services

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My job site has been hacked. What do I do?

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 10:16pm Sunday 05 July 2009    Print Article

If you think your website is safe, think again. Over the weekend 6 job sites were hacked and defaced. One of the first things that comes to my mind when I see that horrible “You’ve been hacked” message is… I wonder what information has been stolen? passwords, contact details, resumes, credit card/banking details, etc.

NOTE: The job sites affected have NO connection to Recruitment Directory. This blog post is intended as general advice.

First thing, is to not take it personally. Contact your hosting provider & webmaster, if you have one. Often times they can handle most of the technical heavy lifting for you. Lots of webmasters use shared hosting, which can make it difficult to do some of the things listed below.

Getting your site off-line
  • Turn your site off, or take your site off-line.
  • If you can't take it off-line, return a 503 status code to prevent it from being crawled by search engines
  • In the Google Webmaster Tools, use the URL removal tool to remove any hacked pages or URLs from search results that may have been added. This will prevent the hacked pages from being served to users

Damage Assessment
  • Do you have a damage control plan? Immediately put this into action and contact the relevant authorities.
  • It's a good idea to figure out exactly what the hacker was after. Were they looking for sensitive information? Did they want to gain control of your site for other purposes?
  • Try and gather as much information as you can. See if the host can give you a log showing all the FTP connections that were made to your account. You can use those to see if it was even an FTP connection that was used to make the change and possibly get an IP address
  • Look for any modified or uploaded files on your web server
  • Check your server logs for any suspicious activity, such as failed login attempts, command history (especially as root), unknown user accounts, etc
  • Determine the scope of the problem. Do you have other sites that may be affected?
  • If you're using a prepackaged software scripts like Wordpress, Drupal, or anything else that you didn't code there may be vulnerabilities in upload code that allows for this sort of modification. If your job site is custom built, double check any places where you allow users to upload resumes/files or modify existing files

  • The absolute best thing to do here is a complete reinstall. It's the only way to be completely sure you've removed everything the hacker may have done
  • After a fresh re-installation, use the latest backup you have to restore your site. Don't forget to make sure the backup is clean and free of hacked content too
  • Patch any software packages to the latest version. This includes things such as weblog platforms, content management systems, or any other type of third-party software installed
  • Check your Server Directory Listings
  • Change ALL your passwords

Restoring your online presence
  • Get your system back online.
  • Actively monitoring your sites for blacklists, malware, defacements, etc. We are currently trying out an online tool called Sucuri
  • Has the news spread to your clients, media, etc? Prepare a short statement saying you are aware of the issue and currently working to resolve the problem. It is important to be honest and upfront as hackers will post their accomplishments on the web.
  • Do you need to disclose that you have been hacked or information has been stolen? You will need to contact all users that have information on your database. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner released a Guide to handling personal information security breaches
  • If you're a Google Webmaster Tools user, sign in to your account. If your site was flagged as having malware, request a review to determine whether your site is clean. If you used the URL removal tool on URLs which you do want in the index, request that Webmaster Tools re-include your content by revoking the removal
  • Keep an eye on things, as the hacker may try to return

Article URL:

Article Tags: security job board malicious code insecure hacking personal information defacement information security security breaches recruitment website wordpress drupal google webmaster tools damage control

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Where did you hear about this job? Tracking Candidate Sources

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 1:07am Friday 03 July 2009    Print Article

Do you track where your candidates have come from? If you are using some sort of application tracking system (ATS) in your recruitment process; more than likely you have the ability to automatically track where the candidate has come from.

A white paper released by Jake Firth from in October 2006 claimed that 83% of ATS Sourcing Data is Inaccurate

"Having spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), HR Executives wrongly assume that the sourcing data has some resemblance to reality. Yet 5 out of 6 Candidates enter inaccurate data."

We all know it is very important to collect and generate periodic reports comparing the performance of our marketing channels. But with the evolution/improvements in technology why do I have the feeling that since the Oct 2006 survey, not much has changed?

Wherever possible, you should use URL “tracking tags” to correctly track the referral source. The predominately US based ATS Report Card compares various ATS providers.

There can be many other reasons that candidates do not provide the correct source when asked:
  • They don't remember (some ATS’s ask "where did you hear about this job" on the tenth page of the application) and some companies rely on information gathered during an interview, which can be several weeks later.
  • Some ATS's don't even have the site in their drop-down list. One major corporation listed the board as "Jobs and Logic" for months before the recruiter persuaded the ATS to make the necessary change. It was subsequently changed to Jobs in Logic.
  • Some ATS's have a confusing drop-down list with dozens or even hundreds of sources, sometimes not even in alphabetical order.
  • Some ATS's require a primary drop-down list followed by a secondary drop-down list, making it very difficult for the candidate to even find the site they were last on.
  • Some ATS's expect the candidate to type in their source - the first instinct for many candidates is to type in "internet" or "online", not a website name.
  • As the completion of the drop-down box is not mandatory on some ATS, the candidate may simply skip this question.
  • Many candidates will assume their "source" was where they started (such as Google, Yahoo, MSN)
  • Some candidates may search on multiple job boards and not remember which one they were just on last.
  • Some candidates do not want to reveal their source, so will often opt to choose no source or friend/associate, etc.
  • Some candidates want to pander favor by appearing dedicated to the company. So they choose the corporate name. After all this is where they are applying on the ATS.
  • Some candidates choose entirely unrelated sources (such as Highway Billboards), and nobody knows why.
  • Apathy prevails - instead of wading through dozens of options, which to them are irrelevant to applying for a position; they may simply click on "other" or the first source that comes to mind.

Article URL:

Article Tags: ats applicant tracking system application tracking system sources of hire tracking statistics jake firth sourcing data job boards recruitment marketing metrics sources of hire sources of talent

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Changes to Employment Law, What this means for Employers

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 8:15pm Thursday 02 July 2009    Print Article

As of the 1st of July 2009 a number of changes have come into effect relating to employment under the new Fair Work Regulations. The following blog post has been provided by LawLive.

One of the main changes for Small Businesses, is the change to the unfair dismissal laws. Previously Employers with fewer than 100 Employees were exempt from unfair dismissal laws, that has now changed and all Employers are now required to comply with unfair dismissal laws.

Within the unfair dismissal system, special arrangements apply for businesses with less than 15 "full-time equivalent" employees. Compared with larger businesses, smaller business receive;
  • Doubling of the minimum employment period from six to 12 months, during which time employees cannot take a claim for unfair dismissal, and
  • A short Fair Dismissal Code, which if followed by the business owner will ensure a dismissal is not unfair
This Fair Dismissal Code for Small Businesses requires the employer to give the employee a valid reason based of the employee's conduct or capacity to do the job, why the employee is at risk of being dismissed and a reasonable chance to rectify the problem.

By law, multiple notices are not required.

An important change to unfair dismissal is in the wording of the requirements for businesses that have had an unfair dismissal case bought against them, the fair dismissal code previously advised that an employer 'may be required to produce evidence of compliance', the code has been amended to now read than employer 'will be required to provide evidence'. Although a seemingly small change, it can have great ramifications.

To help avoid issues in dealing with unfair dismissal, it is important that all warnings be properly documented, and copies of any warnings given to employees are stored in their employee file. LawLive has a range of Warning Notices and Termination Notices available for these situations.

A fact sheet released by the Australian Government, includes further information on the changes to "Fair Dismissal" as well as a checklist to ensure that businesses comply with fair dismissal regulations.

LawLive helps you minimize your companies risks by getting all the legal documents your business requires. Cut down your legal costs by using LawLive's contracts & documents before seeing your Lawyer. All LawLive's contracts & documents are drafted by leading legal professionals, which ensures the professional quality of our contracts & documents.

Article URL:

Article Tags: lawlive employment law legal advice fair work regulations unfair dismissal warning notices termination small business

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Shut Up and Get Back to Work

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 5:02pm Tuesday 30 June 2009    Print Article

When Frank the Foreman shouts, you must do exactly what he says within the set amount of time (in time with the music). Shut Up and Get Back to Work is an interactive application designed for the iphone. It has four commands - you must pinch, slide, press or swipe the appropriate controls in the correct order Frank tells you.

The game is very simple. But as it speeds up, Frank will mix up the sequence with different commands “Slide it!" and colors "Blue".

Overall, the games design, graphics and layout are very good. Kudos on the video and website!

Within 5 minutes you are over the game.

Article URL:

Article Tags: iphone game enabled games iphone application

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