Social Media Management 101 for Recruiters

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social-media-management

As Recruiters, we are already online a lot – we work with online job postings and interact with potential candidates on social media. However, in this “connected” day and age, every Recruiter would benefit from taking further steps by incorporating basic social marketing skills and tools into his or her daily practice.

Social Media Management Tools share content across multiple social accounts, such as LinkedIn member account and company pages, Twitter IDs, Facebook member, company pages, and groups, and Google-Plus profile and pages.

Buffer and Hootsuite are two popular tools in this category.

buffer

Here is how these tools work. The user sets a “sharing” schedule for each included social account – for example, an account could do four shares daily at set times. Then, on an on-going basis, the user adds the content to share to each managed social account’s queue. Social management tools collect the analytics on the shared content (expect to read about analytics and measurements in my next post).

That’s it! This is how social media management tools operate:

  1. Set social accounts and schedules
  2. Populate each account’s content queue
  3. Let it run and see the stats

These tools are open-ended as to what content they share – the user fills the content queues.

A word on pricing. Most social management tools have a free option that is pretty limited (but is good to test the tool) and a low-cost option (around $10/mo) that would work for most of us. An exception is Sprout Social – its cheapest option has gone up to $59 per month, perhaps more than many us (who are not professional marketers) would spend.

In addition to allowing to “hand”-populate the sharing queues, that the user can pick and choose while browsing the web, social management tools also offer to add content automatically, by subscribing to RSS feeds and using other “social triggers”.

RSS Support. Social media management tools offer RSS feed subscription. All we need is to pick relevant sites (blogs, news), that have RSS feeds, and enter the feed URLs into the tool; as an example, Hootsuite Syndicator offers to add feeds to Hootsuite.

Social Automation.  Buffer works well with the tool IFTTT (If This Than That).

  • “If This” stands for a”social trigger”. It can be a new blog post (an RSS-feed-based trigger) or one of many other “events” on social networks, for example, you or your brand being @mentioned on Twitter.
  • “Than That” stands for a “social action”. It can be a variety of actions – and includes adding posts to the queues in Buffer.

Here is an open-ended recipe for sharing via your social media accounts. Combine these three components:

  1. Content that you want to attract to – job posts, recruiting events – set up and let it run
  2. Relevant brand-related and professional content – news on your company, industry, posts from experts – set up and let it run
  3. Personal remarks (posts “by hand” -such as responding to a comment) – do on a regular basis

The analytics on how well others engage, collected over time, helps to optimize the shared content.

Are you curious what analytics means and how it is collected, or how to find RSS feeds? Watch for future posts and check out the upcoming information-packed

Brand New Webinar – Data-Driven Recruiting

 

Mobile Sourcing: Barely Touched

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mobile-touch

While we see an occasional post about obtaining a list of conference attendees from an app, I don’t think “mobile sourcing” has gotten the attention it deserves.

Mobile Recruiting has a great quick definition in a Smashfly post: “Deliver a mobile-responsive candidate experience, leverage SMS campaigns and capture leads from mobile devices at events.

However, if we step back from “recruiting” to “sourcing”, as in “finding professional information”, we’ll see that there is an aspect of sourcing, that the above definition mostly misses. Capturing leads from mobile devices at events is only one way of using mobile for sourcing – and most users don’t know how to download or search within that data.

Here is where the opportunity lies: many mobile sites and apps allow to discover and collect data that is not available from the usual “desktop” browser access, unless we make special efforts for access it. “Mobile-only” data remains largely untapped by Sourcers; discovering it undoubtedly belongs to Mobile Sourcing.

Interestingly,  some “mobile sourcing” can be done with no smartphone at hand, right from the desktop browser, using special URLs or changing the browser settings, as I am about to explain.

Getting data from mobile apps requires some technical knowledge. In this post, I won’t cover it (yet); let’s talk about mobile sites for starters.

For some sites, opening the site URL from a browser on a mobile device would automatically redirect to the “mobile” URL. For example,  linkedin.com redirects to touch.www.linkedin.com. By typing in URLs from the “mobile” pages (that start with touch.www…) we can reproduce the mobile site functionality in a desktop browser such as Chrome. The reason we might want to do so is that the mobile versions may have better – or different, complementary – functionality.

Here is a practical usage example. People who have reached a “commercial search limit”, would still see 25 search results in a search like this (I have guessed a working URL format. Interestingly, to the best of my knowledge, this is not what the current mobile LinkedIn search uses – it is an older version of the LI search that just continues to work). Here is a screenshot:

li-mobile-touch

…Other sites would keep the same site URL in a mobile browser, but the site would look and behave differently than its desktop version.

To reproduce the mobile-specific behavior on the desktop, use Chrome’s Developer Tools (CTRL-I) and toggle device (CTRL-M, help page). (It may sound complicated, but it is not; just ignore all the displayed code that you will see in the “Developer mode”!). Select the device to be emulated (such as iPhone 6-Plus, for example) from the drop-down menu, to see a close copy of the actual mobile screen. Even mouse movements behave differently when Chrome emulates “touch” devices.

As we access “mobile-only” functionality of a site via device emulation, we may find ourselves eventually looking at page URLs that never appear on the desktop. Here is screenshot of a page on LinkedIn, that can be viewed on the desktop because of the mobile emulation (notice the unfamiliar URL):

li-mobile

 

(Those with the “new” LinkedIn desktop UI tell us that it looks similar to the above mobile emulation-generated view.)

One attractive aspect of working with an emulated touch device is that some sites will switch from pages of search results to endless scrolling. So does LinkedIn; scrolling does not end at ten results per page as it does on the desktop. When we get a long list of results on one page, it is often easier to “digest” (or to collect into a table). 😉

We will continue Mobile Talent Sourcing exploration soon, in further posts and in an upcoming webinar – stay tuned!

 

Texting by Emailing for Recruiting

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sms

Following up on last year’s Arron Daniels guest post Texting While Sourcing, let’s take a closer look at texting in Sourcing and Recruiting.

Texting is about to become common practice in our industry. Job Candidate Preferences for Recruiter Text Messaging, a post by Brian Westfall, quotes as many as 60% of recruiters texting candidates. Unsurprisingly, most candidates under 25 years of age perceive texting as “professional”, while those older than 45 years don’t feel that way. Posts Can You Text Me Now? How To Leverage Text Messaging for Recruiting by Patrick Ward and Here’s How To Text For Success cover best practices in texting.

By all accounts, texting raises average candidate response rates dramatically, compared to emailing or leaving messages. Keeping in mind appropriate professional use of texting, how can we integrate it into our practice and use it efficiently? New tools such as TextRecruit promise to assist. But before we consider specialized tools, it would help to try easy – and not widely known – ways to manage texting outreach.

Did you know that it is possible to text by emailing, without using any additional tools? If we do so, we will be:

  • Keeping track of emails and texts together, for message consistency and communication tracking
  • Having a choice of a channel to reach out to a potential candidate
  • Able to set reminders for follow-ups
  • Mass-text when appropriate

Here is how texting by email works. If your recipients’ mobile carrier is AT&T, substitute the ‘number’ for the 10-digit cell number:

  • AT&T: number@txt.att.net

Similarly, for a few other popular mobile providers the templates are:

  • T-Mobile: number@tmomail.net
  • Verizon: number@vtext.com
  • Sprint: number@messaging.sprintpcs.com or number@pm.sprint.com
  • Virgin Mobile: number@vmobl.com

The email domains such as “txt.att.net” and “tmomail.net”, serving to receive texts sent by email are called “SMS Gateways”. Here is the most comprehensive list of SMS gateways I know of.

Of course, to find the correct email address, we need to know the mobile career for the given number. There are sites providing the information for free, for example, use freecarrierlookup.

SMS vs. MMS

Using texting by email, we need to understand the difference between “plain texting”, that allows to send a 160 character-long text at a time (SMS), and multimedia messaging (MMS). Mobile carriers accept either kind of messages via email, but the email domain is usually different for SMS vs. MMS. For example:

  • Verizon (SMS): number@vtext.com
  • Verizon (MMS): number@vzwpix.com

As always, we need to be considerate in the content and types of messages we send.

Sign up for the new webinar on Tuesday, November 15th (new date!) MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21st

Candidate Response Rates

to learn about easy-to-use tools for combining and optimizing messaging channels and improving candidates’ engagement.

 

 

 

 

 

Boolean Is Dead. On LinkedIn Only

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no-boolean

Here is a “double alert” I have just copied from my screen. A rare error occurred, and Boolean is going away in Recruiter Lite.

If you wanted to search, for example, for someone whose job title is (Engineer OR Developer) NOT Manager, you will no longer be able to do so.

Of the current choices of premium personal accounts,

choices

it looks like only Navigator and Lite have advanced search. Lite doesn’t have Boolean, we are told. Navigator has something called “Lead Builder” that doesn’t sound like “Boolean” to me. Is Boolean search going away from all accounts?

LinkedIn suggests to people who want to use Boolean search to upgrade to LinkedIn Recruiter. (By the way, is the assumption that only recruiters, of all LinkedIn members, may want to use Boolean search syntax?)

The problem for the fans of traditional Boolean search is not just that LinkedIn Recruiter is expensive; its search syntax is not exactly Boolean – it’s complicated and user-unfriendly. Just to give you one example – in LinkedIn Recruiter, the second search below brings up more results than the first:

  1. Software Engineer
  2. Software Engineer NOT Senior

(Did you think the first search should bring more results?)

In our sourcing practice, we find that searching on Google can be well done without writing long OR statements or exclusions using the minus. That is because Google has done a lot to understand what people are looking for, “read between the lines”, and show related results.

LinkedIn, on the other hand, doesn’t even “know” standard abbreviations, let alone synonyms; so on LinkedIn, we have always looked for terminology variations using OR statements. Not knowing even the basics on the job titles (VP and “Vice President” in the Job Title field search bring different results), it will not be able to provide us with intelligent suggestions.

We can’t just walk away from LinkedIn – it has so much professional data! But the lack of access to Boolean syntax on LinkedIn is going to lead to productivity loss, and not just for recruiters.

Bottom line:

  1. No Boolean in free LinkedIn accounts
  2. No Boolean in any premium LinkedIn accounts, including Job Seeker, Business, Sales Navigator, and Recruiter Lite
  3. No Boolean in LinkedIn Recruiter

I would be glad if the announcements of the Boolean death on LinkedIn are wrong! But to get ready for the new era, you might want to look into our (most popular!) workshop “Sourcing Without LinkedIn” to learn to utilize other sources and “Boolean Strings Basics” to brush up on X-Raying.

Three Ways to Raise Candidate Response Rates

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Personalizing messages to potential candidates is one of the widely accepted best practices, and rightly so. However, writing personal emails is not enough to get a high response rate. Most working professionals rarely even see, let alone open messages from recruiters. I.e. most recipients stop before they have a chance to see that personalized email; sometimes, before they see the subject, too.

Here are three aspects of reaching out, that are important not to forget about, to raise the response rate.

  1. Choosing recipients. When recruiters are deciding to whom to write, it is best to, first and foremost, choose professionals who already have a connection with them as a recruiter, agency, or employer. Search in your ATS first! The response rate among people, who have interacted with you or your employer in the past, is going to be high. It sounds straightforward, yet at some companies, searching begins elsewhere. (Related questions, to make sure your ATS supports that effort – How easy is it to search in your ATS? Do you keep in touch with past applicants? Refresh the ATS data? Does your ATS record past interview results if the person was not hired?)
  2. Optimizing the channels. When recruiters have access to variable channels to send a message (such as email addresses, profiles on social networks, and a mobile number), there are ways to optimize the choices. Just as one example, many recruiters are careful not to email to a candidate’s work address. – However, a lot of LinkedIn InMails will go to the work email address and may be deleted or land in a junk folder instead of being read. If this is the case, messaging via a different channel may work out. (Related question – Do you have a convenient system to track your interactions and, ideally, prompt to follow up as well?)
  3. What they see. It used to be a return name, email address, and subject, that everyone saw on the receiving end. Now, previews vary; most people see messages on mobile devices. To create an attractive message preview, it helps to know what the recipients see on the other end, depending on devices and applications they likely use. The preview should convince the recipient to read the message. (How many people keep that in mind?)

We will go over all aspects of measuring and raising candidate response rates in the upcoming webinar

Improve Candidate Response Rates – Monday, November 21st

As always, the webinar comes with the materials for everyone to keep and one month of unlimited support. Seating is limited.

 

Sourcing Challenge – Answers, Results, and Thoughts

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hard-to-find

The latest Sourcing Contest got lots of attention. More than a thousand people read the post; it has been one of the top reads on my blog in the last couple of weeks. More than a dozen people reached out to me privately or posted in online discussions, twitter (etc.) that they are:

  1. extremely busy right now
  2. don’t have access to what they must have via the company firewall
  3. hurricanes happening in the area
  4. (etc.)

So lots of potential winners just didn’t have the time. Hmm…

Lately, a Talent Sourcer’s role is being expanded to interviewing candidates, scheduling company interviews, employer branding (seriously?); perhaps negotiating and closing offers will be next? I do hope that, with all the added responsibilities, Sourcers will keep healthy in the “searching” and “understanding how search works” department. I hope Sourcing is not Dead!

I appreciate several contestants posting their answers and refining them in the responses. Kudos for trying it out! It wasn’t easy. Alas, the answers to this contest did not leave us with a grand prize winner. Nobody has gone all the way to answer the hardest questions (#4 and #13).

The Challenge itself and these two blog posts on the topic –

– are an excellent exercise for someone who wants to understand how to search the web and what can and cannot be found. The posts do shed some light on the answers to the most difficult questions. (OK, they just have the answers.)

Here are several honorable mentions. Ninh Tran has dug out a few links that were pointing to correct answers. Aaron Lintz has brought up the “/topics” pages as the ones that generate resume preview images for Google to index. Katie Gechijian has added some interesting thoughts (and a potential idea for another contest!).

Given every answer a serious consideration, as well as formally counting the points, we are announcing Vidhya as the winner. Congratulations! She was also the winner of a past fun contest. Vidhya, please contact me to get the reward.

Best of luck searching to all!

 

 

Resumes That Go Into the No-Humans Land

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cloud

Let’s now see what happens with resumes and other documents that LinkedIn members upload if they opt-out of sharing on Slideshare. (See the beginning of the exploration on attached resumes in my previous post.)

In this case, the resume still goes to Slideshare, but not under the user’s account, since the user had opted out. The user has no further control over the resume being found. In fact, the resume becomes forever not being found by any search anywhere. Here are some details.

The uploaded content (which the LinkedIn member did not want to post on Slideshare) goes into accounts of the non-human profiles on Slideshare, that LinkedIn automatically creates exactly for the purpose of storing those documents. By now, LinkedIn has created an army of those accounts; they all have the usernames starting with linkedincontent_ and ending with varying combinations of three digits and numbers. Here is an example of such a profile:

content

When LinkedIn sends the uploaded document to that Slideshare “user”‘s storage, the document’s privacy settings are assigned as follows:

  • Public image preview – yes
  • Available to download – no

Because the privacy is set as “unavailable to download”, the “text” of the document gets hidden – forever! Slideshow does not display the text, nor does it allow to search within it.

The “opted-out” resume’s formatted text goes into a cloud storage, where nobody will be able to access it. (Remember, the accounts storing those resumes are created programmatically – an account holder could, in theory, “see” the document as its owner, but these account owners are not people!). I won’t even say that this content is stored on the “deep web” (that consists of pages that only a limited number of people can see) – it exists in a non-human “web land”, where nobody can view, search, or download it. Sure enough, the auto-generated slideshow user profiles, like the one above, don’t show any of this “secret” content.

Will Google image search include the image previews of these documents? The answer is – “sometimes”. The image previews for this type of content are public. While we can see the document attached to a LinkedIn profile (such as the already-mentioned example of a profile with an uploaded resume) only in the logged-in profile view on LinkedIn, there is a public link to the preview, that shows in an incognito window as well.

Here’s a subtle part regarding the images being indexed by Google. While the links are public, Google only indexes a link if another page points to it. Interestingly, these image previews from SlideShare “surface” in some linkedin.com/topics pages! If you do an image search like this  (vary the letters/numbers at the end to see more results), you will see what’s happening. The documents which “surface”, can be found in images; all other previews, Google won’t index.

There is very little that we can find out about the linkedincontent_* type of SlideShare users. If you go to SlideShare and tell it that you are one of those users and forgot the password, it will show this:

slideshare-account

So these “users” have accounts registered with a slideshare.com email domain.

Borrowing Google’s message that we see once in a while:

That’s all we know!

Interesting, isn’t it?

P.S. Just ran into another interesting example of content that went into the No-Human Land:

slideshare-hidden

The Adventures of Joe’s LinkedIn Resume

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resume-bottle

LinkedIn profiles are often considered to be “new resumes.” It’s true, that if a professional fully fills out her LinkedIn profile, that profile works instead of a traditional resume, at least at the beginning stages of interviewing, at many companies. That is one of the innovations LinkedIn has brought into the area of recruiting, quite a game changer!

One the other hand, LinkedIn offers its members to upload and share documents on their profiles. There are hundreds of thousands of members who have uploaded PDF or MS Word resumes to their profiles. When we view those profiles, we see previews of the resumes (or other uploaded documents), which look like this:

resume-preview

 

Not all uploaded resumes are equal though. There are two kinds of documents, regarding others finding them by searching, depending on what the member did right after uploading a file:

uploadpng

Now, I need your full attention! Further destiny of the resume heavily depends on whether the member selects this option – “publish to SlideShare.”

publish-slideshare

Slideshare Opt-in. If the member continues and does publish on SlideShare, good for him or her! The member gets an account on Slideshare if s/he didn’t have one, the document is uploaded, and the member has further control over the resume:

  1. Being indexed by Google
  2. Whether others can download the original file (PDF, MS Word, etc.)

If you are a Recruiter or Sourcer searching for those resumes, you might want to try these custom search engines from our CSE collection:

Slideshare Resumes http://bit.ly/SlideshareResumesCSE
Slideshare CVs http://bit.ly/SlideshareCVsCSE

However, please note that the resumes cannot be found using LinkedIn people search by any keywords that are only on the resume and not on the profile. LinkedIn Recruiter search won’t find them either.

Recruiters: we’ll cover this (and much more!) at the sourcing webinar next week. 

Are you a job seeker? Note that pasting the resume text into the Description section accompanying the document won’t fix the ability for others to find that information either. LinkedIn doesn’t search in those descriptions.

If you want to be found by keywords in that uploaded document on LinkedIn, paste them in the summary or experience sections.

Slideshare Opt-out. It’s a shame if the member selects this option by unchecking the checkbox – assuming the member wanted to be found and was willing to share the resume with interested parties.

Believe it or not, the resume still goes to SlideShare in this case. (This is the correct answer to the question number one in the Sourcing Contest). However, if the member opts-out, the document does not go into the member’s SlideShare account, and he has no further control over this content being found in searching anywhere – on LinkedIn, SlideShare, or by search engines.

What happens then, is that, sometimes, Googlebot will pick the image preview. Recruiters: here’s a related post – Large Free Resume Database Hidden In Plain Sight. I must warn you though, that Google will index the content only of the “opted-in” resumes. I.e. we won’t find the image previews of the majority of “opted-out” resumes when searching by the job-related keywords.

The story of the resume in the opt-out case is fascinating. I will share it in a post soon. As a reminder for Sourcers who like a challenge, there is still a big chance to win the Contest. Monday, October 24th, 2016 is the deadline, and the Grand Prize is worth a lot.

 

The Fastest Ever Way to Uncover Hidden Names

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hidden

LinkedIn shows very little information about members who are out of our networks, even for those of us who pay for premium personal accounts.

This brand new method to uncover the real name, when we see “LinkedIn Member” instead, and view the full profile takes about ONE SECOND to execute. Here is how it works.

Take a very, very careful look at the screenshot below. Need I say more?

hidden-profile_

This name-and-profile uncovering technique, that you have just figured out, works in the cases where the member has set a custom profile URL. For those members who haven’t, we can also find the name and profile easier than before – it would just take more than one second (but it’s also quick).

I have also figured out ways to lift the limitations for other cases, such as how to work around the commercial search limits (in a way that was never shared online) and more.

Get the webinar Overcoming LinkedIn Limitations to learn many more new tips and techniques. As always, we provide the slides and video for everyone to keep, and one month of support.

P.S. If you have a Recruiter subscription, I’d recommend getting the LinkedIn Recruiter webinar recording from our Sourcing Training Library. All others, no matter with a free or a paid account, will find this webinar useful and informative. I promise!

 

A Close Look at “Open to New Opportunities”

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open

Signaling that one is “Open to New Opportunities” without alarming your boss is certainly a good idea for a job seeker. Recently, LinkedIn introduced this feature.

If you are a job seeker, there are a couple of things to be aware of here.

(1) The signal you send gets only to LinkedIn Recruiter product subscribers. That subscription is quite expensive. For many smaller companies – both potential employers and smaller recruiting agencies (which may be serving large corporations!) – the product costs too much to buy. Just be aware that the signal only goes to some, not all professionals who might want to employ you.

(2) The “exact” employer, i.e. a registered company on LinkedIn, will not see your status. But any company working in a close relationship with your employer, for example, other divisions registered as separate companies and third party recruiters, can still find you as someone looking. Then, people from different companies who are friendly can also ask each other to search. An employer without the subscription can ask someone with a subscription to look. (Etc.) Here’s a related discussion in our group.

It’s progress, though – Recruiters, no matter which subscription they have, have not been able to search for members with paid “Job Seeker” accounts. So for people who are openly looking, I’d advise raising the flag on your account. For those who want to keep it a secret, I am not sure.

If you are curious how widely members have used the “Open to New Opportunities” signal, here are some statistics, measured this morning using LinkedIn Recruiter.

The global stats are the following – please note that (for a variety of reasons) the numbers are approximate:

 

lir-all

Members who have set the status:

lir-open

The “Open” members amount to 0.25% of all the membership, as of now.

It’s the early days, so perhaps the stats show more of the membership using this function vs. those looking to leave. However, the stats narrowed down to the hiring company’s industry, and location can be examined for employers who are potentially in trouble. Those would be the companies with the percentage of employees looking to leave, out of employees with LinkedIn profiles, being high compared to the average. In fact, I would say it is a way to investigate companies that might be good to research when sourcing for talent. (Right?)