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Believe it or not

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 10:43pm Thursday 26 March 2009    Print Article

I had to look twice at the splash page for Randstad. It couldn’t be the Therese Rein (PM’s Wife) could it? I doubt it is, but a good look-a-like. or Google Images

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Hippo Jobs appoints Administrators

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 8:53pm Tuesday 24 March 2009    Print Article

Hippo filled Form 505 - "Notification of Appointment or Cessation of an External Administrator" with ASIC today. In layman’s terms this means they have appointed Administrators to run/wind up/liquidate the company. The Gen-Y job board is said to have around 100k registered and profiled candidates, 80% under 25 years old. The site attracts 100k visitors each month.

Timothy Holden from Foremans Business Advisors has been apointed as Administrator to Hippo Jobs Pty Ltd

Hippo was the brain child of James Masini who started working on the concept while studying at University. After months of capital raising presentations to investors Hippo was launched in April 2007. Original investors included Jeff and Janine Allis (founders of Boost Juice) and Mark Besen

The job board was externally developed by Areeba (which STILL has the test site online)

The site was launched with much hype and fan fare which included national radio campaigns, outdoor advertising, university marketing and the usual online marketing. It started with around 5,000 job adverts from the retail and hospitality sector, and recruitment agencies were not allowed to advertise on the job board. The job board won the 2007 SmartCompany Awards for the Top Website Award

Exerts from from Start-Up Success For James Masini At Hippo Jobs

"It was during September - six months we’d been in business - and I was looking at the accounts one day when I remember being shocked at how low on cash we were. I left the office and called an emergency board meeting to discuss the matter; we needed to decide a course of action, and quickly. The board decided to raise additional funds through convertible notes issued pro-rata to existing shareholders. I learnt two things at this time: one, to keep a detailed and constant watch on the financials of the business, regardless of what you have in place; and two, as an entrepreneur I don’t like convertible notes!"

November came and with it another board meeting. “During this meeting I was told straight out I was costing the business too much money and that maybe my salary should be cut. In other words, I was being asked to take a massive financial hit for the sake of the business. I was shocked,” says Masini. “This method came from the highly paid CEO as a way of reducing the business’ cash burn, knowing as the young entrepreneur I would stick around anyway. I felt they wanted my ideas, they wanted my opinions and they wanted my knowledge of the market, but because of the financial situation, they did not want me paid for the work I was doing.

“I was distraught, physically and emotionally exhausted. To sit and think of the amount of time and energy I had put into this business, yet here I was as good as out on my ear.”


The situation was resolved, and the then CEO, Steve Smith left. Hippo moved in to the Boost Juice Head Office so the investors could keep an eye on their investment.

Feb 2008 saw DMG Radio acquire 20% of Hippo. This was a great strategic step for the job board. DMG in Australia runs the Nova/Vega radio network (DMG Radio is owned by Daily Mail Group Trust in the UK) which fits both companies target market of 15-24 year olds. It gave hippo the ability to leverage advertisers as well as free "air space" throughout the Nova/DMG radio network to increase website visits and candidate signup. The free “air space” soon ran out.

At around July 2008, advertisers had enough of the Gen-Y spin, and Hippo was struggling for job adverts. It decided to change its policy of allowing Recruiters to advertise jobs.  The site was hovering around the 200 job adverts.

Nov 2008 saw a number of process improvements on the site. This resulted in a function to hide recruiter ads in the search form.

Hippo tried various promotions including "buy one get one free" and recently introduced free advert posting "pay to unlock candidate details".

So what now... Not really sure. I doubt the job board will survive. Certainly the domain names and candidate database are worth some $$. But who would purchase it? I could see a retail/hospitality recruitment agency purchasing the candidate/advertiser database.

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Integrating Facebook Connect with your Job Board

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 11:37am Tuesday 24 March 2009    Print Article

Facebook Connect is part of the sites API platform released late last year. With Facebook the number 1 social networking site in the world, who wouldn't want to leverage off the success of this site?

Facebook Connect allows users to:
  • Seamlessly connect their Facebook account and information with your site (increase users/signup on your website)
  • Connect and find their friends who also use your site (provide a social aspect - friends invite friends)
  • Share information and actions on your site with their friends on Facebook (word of mouth promotion - free publicity)
Sites will adopt Facebook Connect for two reasons. First, their users are already actively using it; millions of users have OpenID log-ins and don't even know it. And second, because it's not just a registration system, it's the potential marketing channel. The integration between your website via the Facebook Connect API needs to be carefully thoughtout.

I have spoken with numerous colleagues in the industry about Facebook Connect integration with job boards, and unable to provide any Australian examples. There are a number of global job boards who have integrated with the platform including Tribehq, LawEnforcementJobs, HealthJobsNationWide

So why should job boards and career sites integrate with Facebook Connect?

Whilst many people may think that not having users register with you could damage your site, this probably will not be the case at all. I am sure there has been many a time that you or I have come to a website for some information only to find that you have to go through a long registration process to get the information you want.

I can certainly say that i have hit the back button and got the info from elsewhere. With Facebook connect your users can simply hit the Facebook login button, find the information they want, and stay on your site.

Facebook can tell you how many of the user’s friends are already members of your site. You can put a link somewhere that says, “Three of your friends already use the site - invite them to connect.” This can dramatically increase engagement of your existing users by drawing them back to your site. Not only this you can show the friends activity on a page within your site, so that users have yet another reason to return.

Facebook also let you pull certain information about the user such as basic profile info, avatar image etc, this can save you space on your server by hosting everything in a centralised location.

Whenever a user on your site does an action, you can post this information onto their wall. Obviously i don’t need to tell you how valuable this is, as not only does it appear in the news feed it also encourages their friends to click through onto your site.
  • One-click login and authorisation - This allows users to log in with their Facebook identity and allow your site to access the users Facebook profile information.
  • Privacy and Security Controls - Users have a central control of their information. The users password is not stored on the job board, but when the user connects to the site it authenticates and
  • Increase engagement - Leverage users' personal interests to show more relevant information and surface personalized content from friends such as reviews or comments.
  • Distribution Network - Users can share content and actions taken on your site with friends back on Facebook through Feed, invites, and other social communication channels on Facebook.
  • Access to Facebook Platform - Use the same API that the existing Facebook applications use.

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What is an API

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 10:34pm Monday 23 March 2009    Print Article

You may have heard the acronym "API" before, so what is it, and how it is used in recruitment. An application programming interface (API) is a set of programming instructions and standards for accessing a Web-based software application or tools. Software providers can release their own API to developers/clients/users, so they can develop and design products powered by the remote service.

An API is a software-to-software interface - NOT a user interface. With APIs, applications talk to each other without any user knowledge or intervention. Job boards, recruitment databases, payment providers & social networking sites all use some sort of API to communicate with each other. 

With APIs, the calls back and forth between applications are managed through a web service. Web services are a collection of technological standards and protocols, including XML (Extensible Markup Language), the programming language by which applications communicate over the Internet.

For example, if you post a job through JobAdder; the job advert is processed and posted to the job board via an API. During this process the API will check credentials, verify data and respond with information whether the job has been successfully posted or not.

The same process can be applied when you buy movie tickets online. When you enter your credit card details, the movie ticket Web site uses an API to send your credit card details to a remote application (bank) that verifies whether your information is correct. Once payment is confirmed, the remote application sends a response back to the movie ticket Web site saying it's OK to issue the tickets.

APIs and Web services are completely invisible to web site surfers and software users. Their job is to run silently in the background, providing a way for applications to work with each other in order to get the user the information or provide the functionality needed.

Software providers who release their API often do so as part of a larger software development kit (SDK) that includes the API, programming tools and other instructional documents to make the integration easier.

The image on the right shows the process of posting a job through the JobPortals network

Job boards and software providers have started integrating Twitter via the API to post jobs. In my previous blog post I wrote about how job seekers can use HashJobs and TwitterJobSearch to search for jobs. Both these sites use the API to search Twitters database.

Of course I could go into further technical detail, but recruiters should leave the integration of APIs to the experts who specialize in these areas.

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Job Searching via Twitter

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 7:20pm Thursday 19 March 2009    Print Article

Job searching has evolved from newspapers to job boards, and now evolving from job boards into social networking sites including Twitter. Job seekers can use this medium thanks to new content aggregation sites such as TwitterJobSearch, HashJobs and various other sites.

When users post a tweet, they can add a hash tag with more information. These hash tags can be used by the Twitter Search to search for content. Hash tags relating to jobs include: #job, #jobpost, #naj (need A Job?), #haj (have A Job?), #employment, #recruiting, #hiring, #rtjob, #career, #staffing

Below is a list of some recruiters, job boards, and job content aggregators who are on twitter. You can follow me at @thomasshaw

@2vouch @vicjobs @gamerjobs @gradconnection
@citirecruitment @sixfigures @recruiterdaily @ITJobsBrisbane
@nt3_cv_search @oraclerecruiter @shortlistnews @ITJobsMelbourne
@justsajobs @tribehq @adelaidejobs @JobsAustralia
@itjobssydney @hippojobs @melbournejobs @canberrajobs

Why Candidates should use Twitter

  • Twitter doesn’t have to be very time-consuming, but if it’s going to be part of your job search strategy, make a point to keep up with it by sending out something useful every day.
  • Read what other people write and respond. Join conversations and start your own.
  • Don’t be afraid to send a message directly to a professional in your field. Simply address your tweet to their Twitter name, and they should receive it.
  • Use the direct message feature if you have a private or personal note. Remember that the recipient may respond publicly, though.
  • Feel free to tweet that you are looking for an opportunity.
  • It can give you immediate access to other professionals in your field. When you follow industry leaders, you’ll know who spends time with them, what conferences they attend, what they’re reading and what is on their minds. This is great information to leverage for your search.
  • You will increase your exposure and credibility as well as personal and professional relationships when you connect to others in your industry.
  • It offers you a venue to demonstrate your expertise and share information in quick, pithy bursts of wisdom. This is perfect if you don’t have the time or energy to create a blog.

  • Brand yourself professionally. Choose a professional Twitter handle using your name or some combination of your name and profession that sounds good and is easy to remember.
  • Take time to create a professional profile that will attract your target market. If you don’t have a website, link to your LinkedIn profile.
  • Before you follow anyone, start posting some tweets. This will help you establish your presence and help you get used to "twittering"
  • Continue to build your network by using Twitter Search and Twitter’s Find People tool. Manually review profiles and use Twubble to help you find new people to follow. Use directories such as Twellow and TwitDir. Grow your network slowly - you don’t want to follow 1000 people and have only 30 following you. That makes you look spammy, not professional.
  • Remember the phrase "give and you shall recieve"? Think about what you can do for others. Don’t blatantly self-promote. Instead, help promote others. “Retweet” (pass along information someone else shared, giving them credit) - you will earn followers and friends this way. Those who know (and like) you will become part of your network and will be willing to help you.

Because each post can only contain 140 characters, shorthand is used lots when tweeting
  • RT = Retweet, followed by @ then the person you’re retweeting’s username e.g. RT @thomasshaw  indicates you are retweeting one of my posts
  • OH – Overheard
  • DM - Direct Message
  • @ - Send/Reply to e.g. @thomasshaw - sends a message to me on the public timeline
  • BTW - By The Way
  • JV - Joint Venture
  • IRL - In Real Life
  • LOL - Laugh out Loud, or Lots of Laughter depending on who you ask!
  • FTF - Face to Face
  • IMHO - In My Honest Opinion
  • abt - about

Frequently Used Phrases
  • The Twitterverse, or the Twitosphere - the community of Twitter users
  • Tweeter, or Twitterer - a Twitter user
  • Tweeple - Twitter Users
  • Tweet - a post on Twitter. Tweets - the updates you, and everyone else, post
  • Followers - people who have chosen to receive updates for a particular Twitterer
  • Twitterati - the members of the Twitter A-list that everyone wants to follow.
  • Twitterstream - the public, or friend, timeline - the posts on Twitter are chronologically listed
  • Mistweet - an accidentally posted tweet - may have errors or be incomplete  ie a mistake
  • Retweet - the action of reposting another user’s post, crediting them for it
  • Retweeter, or Retweetist - someone who retweets
  • Twisticuffs - the posts when 2 or more twitterers have a disagreement
  • Twetiquette (or Twitetiquette) - the right way to behave on Twitter

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Recruitment Directory launches live Technology Webinars

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 2:56pm Thursday 19 March 2009    Print Article

Recruitment Directory will be the first to launch various live recruitment technology webinars later this month in an effort to maximise recruiter’s knowledge in these areas.

The webinars will be run by experts in Web 2.0 and Recruitment Technology including Thomas Shaw, founder of Recruitment Directory.

Announcing the live webinars, Mr Shaw says that these will be a mix of paid and free training sessions. "Every recruitment agency, human resources department and job board are looking at ways to cut costs, and unfortunately it always starts with the training budgets. Participants will be able to log in from their own computer and converse with the expert trainers in real time. These training sessions will vary from 30mins - 2 hours and include fact sheets and follow up mentoring."

The list of webinars will include:
  • Using Twitter for Recruitment
  • Advanced sourcing via Twitter
  • Advanced sourcing via LinkedIn
  • Advanced sourcing via Facebook/MySpace
  • Recruiting via Web 2.0 and Social Media sites
  • Background searches via Social Media
  • Maximising your Career Site
Recruitment Directory is currently in final negotiations with a number of Career Coaches to provide job seekers with live group training sessions on around topics including "How to use a job board" and "Standing out from a crowd using Social Networking".

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Taking the Job Board to the people

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 3:21pm Wednesday 18 March 2009    Print Article

While having drinks with Kelly and Karen from Six Figures last Friday afternoon, I suggested numerous marketing ideas, to which they took one of them up. I spent this morning out on the street, with the Six Figures team outside Telstra/ANZ towers in Collins Street, Melbourne.

The aim of the exercise was to offer career assistance to those staff affected by redundancies plus promoting the job board to the marketplace. With our branded t-shirts and marketing materials, we managed to offer some light relief (and a smile) to staff on their way to work.

Kelly sums it up perfectly... “Sometimes the most effective assistance comes from the simplest of things”

Whilst Six Figures is a cutting edge job site, this tech start up knows that relationships and connecting with people both online/offline is what counts. That’s why they spent this morning connecting with the workers and job seekers of Melbourne, offering their support!

Congrats to the Six Figures team who were able to put together the resources and mobilize the marketing event with only a few days notice.

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Proof read your job ads

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 3:40pm Tuesday 17 March 2009    Print Article

Have a look at this job advert posted on Seek yesterday. Are recruiters using the spellchecker or proof reading the job adverts? It's quite easy to spot all the errors.

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Customer satisfaction the JobAdder way

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 12:57pm Tuesday 17 March 2009    Print Article

Promotional items are more important than ever in a tight economy. You want every edge you can get, and many of these items will reap rewards way beyond their cost. I was so excited to receive some promotional snakes from JobAdder in the mail today.

Gifts are always in season - don't think you have to wait for a major holiday like Christmas, Easter, Melbourne Cup, etc to give your special clients a gift. You can make up your own holiday if you want to!

The point is; gifts are useful to your company to further goodwill, make an impression, mark your appreciation for their support and business, and to promote your own company.

Be sure to get the gift imprinted or embroidered with your company name. If there is room and it is appropriate, include your name and phone number, or the company contact information.

You want your gift to be used, so make sure it is something the client will appreciate, enjoy, and keep using. This helps keep your company name fresh in their mind and in front of their eyes.

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Radio Interview - Great jobs and where to find them

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 12:36pm Monday 16 March 2009    Print Article

Earlier today, I was interviewed on a radio show called Career Communique Radio - Your Career Catalyst co-hosted by multi award-winning Career Management, Personal Branding Strategist and Author of "10 key steps to Ace that Interview" - Annemarie Cross and Career Coach - Keith Keller.

The show was titled "Great jobs and where to find them". You can download the show from here (note: 9mb) or listen to the podcast below. The interview starts with me at the 10m40s mark. You can listen to the edited version below.

Great jobs and where to find them

Need to find a job? In today’s job market it’s all about job seekers finding jobs through non-traditional sources. No longer is the traditional model of ‘waiting for a job to be published and then sending your resume through’ good enough.

Display job advertisements in newspapers are drying up as the advertisers are moving to online and other mediums. So if you’re currently in the job market and want to get access to great jobs – this show is a must listen!

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