Posts Tagged ‘attraction process’

What is a talent pool?

Friday, September 7th, 2012
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What is a talent pool?

PPS define and deliver talent to clients in the shape of staff who, as a minimum, add above average value to their company – through quality of work, and longevity of service. Talent exists at all levels within a company, from Industrial Placements to Executives.

Confusingly we also refer to the function of our Applicant Tracking System to be able to store pools of applicants as Talent Pool technology. Even though there is not always talent in the pool!

 So let us try to be clear!

Registering your interest to work for a company via their website will submit some of your basic details (sometimes only name and email address) to their recruitment database. This does not immediately qualify you as talent for that client. In fact for some of our clients, their pool of applicants who have registered an interest is so large, yet so unfocussed to their needs, that finding talent within it is like finding a needle in a haystack.

However, everyone in this pool has expressed an interest in working specifically for your

What is a talent pool?

What is a talent pool?

organisation. Whilst you may not be able to offer them a job, what you can do is treat them well. With good communication, timely updates and company information, you build on that interest. In time, they will become good customers, if not talent, and will be more prone to use your services or recommend true talent to you.

What about the biggest pool of them all – the job boards. It takes some time, but amongst the millions of Candidate details on the hundreds of job boards in the UK, there resides most certainly a good quantity of talent. You just need to know how to find it. An advance working of Boolean search helps here, and then to remember that they might not know who you are, so a practised ability to win them over will help. Many of our clients source a good deal of true talent via this method (with our help).

And the best talent pool of the lot? The individuals who have applied specifically to work for you, who you have screened for talent potential, and that are sitting in a pool that you are nurturing until the next suitable job role comes along. Particularly in the current times, good applicants often, though far from always, exceed the number of current vacancies. But for many clients, those vacancies will come along again before too long. So keep the good candidates, who have already cleared the first hurdle of wanting to work for you, and the harder second hurdle of being of the correct calibre to be real talent for you, interested, excited and ready to go as soon as the next vacancy arises.

Focussing on the bottom end of the list of ‘talent pools’ will save you time – a much better ratio of potential applicants to job offers, and money – less need to spend on advertising if you have a ready-made pool of applicants waiting to hear from you, when you recruit.

What does a talent pool mean to you? How much talent is in yours?

- Will Shepherd, Director of PPS

Connect with Will on LinkedIn

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Candidate #2: Social Media and its Future in Graduate Recruitment

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012
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Editor’s note: The following post was submitted as part of our recruitment process for our new Graduate Marketing Assistant. With freedom over subject, style and length, it was up to our candidates to present their thoughts in a way that embodied the PPS blog whilst giving us an insight into their marketing genius. This by no means is the deciding factor, but if you like what you read, comment and share – you would be helping a great candidate out! So without further ado, here’s Candidate #2′s offering:

Social media is becoming more and more a part of modern life. People are logging in to sites such Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis. In fact, within the 18-25 age range, it would seem unusual now for people not to have a social media presence. It is no surprise therefore that recruiters are using these market changes to their advantage, or at least dipping their toes in the water to see what potential these platforms may offer. This new movement has even got its own label – ‘social recruiting’.

Facebook

New graduates are one of the key targets for this type of recruitment. Recruiters go to where the potential talent is, and currently there is no bigger potential talent pool of graduates than on Facebook. With around 850 million users, it would seem silly to ignore it. A recent survey by milkround.com showed that 84% of students make Facebook their first port of call every morning.

So the question for recruiters is; how can Facebook be used in the most effective way? Some large companies have set up special pages just for people interested in, or entering their graduate application process. A former colleague of mine and recent graduate from the University of Durham, Emma Hawkins, recently ‘liked’ Barclays Graduates’ Facebook page: ‘I had reached the assessment centre stage and read in a forum that I may pick up some useful information by speaking to current graduates on the FB page’ says Emma, ‘I have found the majority of marketing I have encountered as regard graduate schemes has not been through social media though, but via events such as recruitment fairs’. She also noted how some companies, such as PWC, seem to have invested a lot of money in these types of events: ‘I went to a meal fully paid for by the company, having not even applied at that point!’

Emma also believes social media was not the most useful method of finding out about graduate jobs initially. She says, ‘I found it more useful as a resource once the application process had begun. It was a good way of researching into the companies and the schemes further. I still see Facebook as a social tool, not yet something that is used for professional matters or job hunting’. There is a good chance Emma’s experience has been echoed by thousands of graduates across the UK.

Facebook has its limitations. It does not allow users to tailor what job alerts they receive in the same way as, say, email alerts from a recruiter. Users can specify that they want to receive information about ‘Sales jobs in Hull’, and only those relevant will appear in their inbox. Facebook cannot be manipulated in the same way at this point, leading to potential problems. It seems that recruiters may have realised this and are using Facebook in alternative ways. Some are using it to post tips on the likes of writing a CV or how to prepare for an interview. This is the sort of information a job seeker would be interested in and it helps build a relationship between the recruiter and the potential applicant. One well known job website used the idea ’12 days of how to get a graduate job’ on their Facebook page on the lead up to Christmas.

Twitter

Twitter offers up a whole new set of challenges. Posts from recruiters can be lost in a busy twitterfeed, yet users would generally be more accepting towards multiple posts of the same job and posts of less specific interest. Twitter also offers up new opportunities to be creative. By aiming tweets ‘@’ specific people/organisations, job hunters can get themselves directly in front of their desired audience. A friend of mine recently secured himself an internship at BAFTA by creating a video of himself showcasing his video editing skills and tweeting it directly to the HR team at BAFTA. The video CV seems to be a growing trend, as discussed in a PPS Blog post from August 2011.

LinkedIn is perhaps better known for being used by both recruiters and job hunters. However it is currently better populated by slightly older demographics and is still to truly take off in the graduate community.

The Future

The ‘return on investment’ question is still unclear on using social media at this early stage, but evidence certainly seems to suggest that Social Media is offering new and interesting channels that will continue to be more and more a part of recruiters’ plans as we move into the future – both for graduates and the wider job seeking community.

What do you think? Should social media be a recruiting priority, does it depend on the platform, or is it down to how it is being used? Let us know your thoughts.

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Candidate #1: Social Media – why should you use it to market your business?

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012
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Editor’s note: The following post was submitted as part of our recruitment process for our new Graduate Marketing Assistant. With freedom over subject, style and length, it was up to our candidates to present their thoughts in a way that embodied the PPS blog whilst giving us an insight into their marketing genius. This by no means is the deciding factor, but if you like what you read, comment and share – you would be helping a great candidate out! So without further ado, here’s Candidate #1′s offering:

Social Media – why should you use it to market your business?

With the phrases: ‘I’ll tweet you…I’ll facebook you’ becoming ever more popular than ‘I’ll call you’, the way we connect and – more poignantly – the way we think has been drastically changed due to the invention of social media.

From the 8 year old technological whizz to the 80 year old Facebook addict, social networking and social media is a worldwide ageless phenomenon. It brings together a world of 196 countries and it does this in the blink of a winky-faced emoticon.

But how can social media help market your business? And why should it be so important?

This can be broadly sectioned into three conveniently alliterated words: image, impact and investment.

Image: Your company’s image is of huge importance to both existing and prospective customers. A company that embraces new media will give it a technological presence; it will be seen as state-of-the-art, intuitive and modern. A good website and a clean, updated Facebook/Twitter account will streamline your brand’s message, creating a consistently professional image online.

Using social media will also increase a company’s trustworthiness. A company that can interact and ‘chat’ with its customers on a friendly basis is a company that people can rely upon.

Impact: A company’s impact can be dramatically improved with the use of social media. Even the smallest of businesses can become a worldwide name through effective online marketing.

An example of this is the frustratingly addictive iPhone game, Angry Birds.

In May 2011, Angry Birds (and T-Mobile) created a life-size version of the iPhone game in Barcelona.  Pedestrians were able to play the game on a smart phone and watch the action in real life.

But more impressively, this stunt proved bigger than Barcelona when a video of the event became a viral hit. Social media made a stunt that happened in Spain become a world-wide talking point – just through an upload of a video. No costly television advertisement necessary.

Another aspect of ‘impact’ is the value of customer responses. If your business brings out a new product or has a new idea, social media can provide a free marketing research platform in which customers can interact and discuss your plans, thus measure the impact of your plans from the feedback of real customers.

Social media marketing allows you to discover your customers’ preferences so that any actions can be based on what your customers want. By asking their opinions, you build up your public image through interaction and by knowing their preferences, it is far easier for you to enhance your products and plan your marketing campaigns effectively.

Investment: Social media can take up your company’s valuable resources. But the perks of social media show that it is a worthwhile investment for your company.

What do you have to invest?

Social media is not a one-trick pony; you cannot leave a page once it has been set up to fall into the depths of the neglected internet. Social media needs resources in the form of people power.

Ideally, your social media accounts should be updated at least once a week. Customers should not feel inundated with updates as this may force them to remove you from their feeds. However, a continuous presence is important to keep customer focus.

Financially, social media is free, however you may want to invest in improving the look of your site through liaising with IT Services. Facebook can be used as a blank canvas for companies. You can now create anything from buttons to interactive games which all help to further increase your brand’s technological image as well as create a consistent brand ethos between social media and your business’s website.

Although one may consider the artsy stuff not necessary, it is always worth investing in the aesthetics of your social media.

So, what is the verdict?

Social media is a growingly important marketing tool for companies. If used effectively, businesses can gain copious amounts from its usage.  Social media marketing can be used to increase customer feedback, revenue and the image of even the most discreet of businesses.

The question is: why would you not use social media to market your business?

What are your thoughts? Do you think that social media has a place in marketing? Comment and share!

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Smartphone applications – do they have a place in recruitment?

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
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From blackberries to iPhones, to HTCs and Samsung Galaxys, with a smartphone to suit every type of user it is no surprise that recent figures indicate sales of smartphones have shot up by 75% worldwide.

Their applications, better known as ‘apps’, have been working their magic on many industries – you can now check your balance using your smartphone, or do your weekly shop or spend hours on end helping out a bunch of birds that seem to be quite angry about something.

Could smartphones be a staple of the future of recruitment?

Could smartphones be a staple of the future of recruitment?

For many services and products, having a custom-made app makes sense. It makes the customer experience easier, faster and efficient. Companies also benefit. Apps can be marketing tools to broaden customer base and build consumer loyalty, as well as doubling up as an office away from the office.

So could the smartphone and its applications do the same within the recruitment industry?

Online job boards have seen a 1500% increase in traffic from mobile devices since 2010. With peaks of job searching activity in line with the morning commute and late evening slumber, it seems that going mobile allows job seekers to search for longer throughout the day. Furthermore, Jobsite accounts that 9% of all mobile traffic ends in people actually applying for a role, with 5% of all of the applications it receives coming from mobiles.

With numerous people using their smartphone to follow job boards, search for the latest vacancies and apply, can recruiters get in on the action?

Firstly, recruiters can use apps to attract candidates. Video clips are a great way of advertising a vacancy, and a creative approach to standing out from the crowd. Downloading the official apps from Social Media’s ‘Big 3’ allow you to source and check out potential and passive candidates on the go.

Using mobile technology can assist in simplifying the screening process too. Apps such as the Hire Syndicate and Auto Search enable recruiters to collaborate with fellow recruiters and scour multiple websites using simple Boolean search strings. Candidates are able to submit their CVs to recruiters, which are then stored on a database for easy viewing and screening. Companies such as PepsiCo have created their own career app that gives prospective applicants the opportunity to get a feel for the company before they apply.

Whilst research does suggest that shunning mobile technology within recruitment may affect the amount of talent attracted, there still seems to be a long way to go before the handy Smartphone and its apps become a staple recruitment tool.

What are your thoughts? Do  smartphones and their applications have a place in recruitment? Comment and share!

Written by Bavinder Chahal, a recruiter at PPS

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Can recruitment tools be used for Volunteers?

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011
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Volunteering is rewarding and socially beneficial. It’s rewarding for people who want to use their professional skills and knowledge to benefit others, to give back to an organisation that has positively impacted on their life, either directly or indirectly or make a difference to the lives of others less fortunate. Socially, it can also be a great way to meet new people, make new friends and get to know your local community.

However the wider sociological and economic impact of volunteering can’t be ignored.  With the highest youth unemployment in decades – volunteering is also a great way of gaining new skills, knowledge and experience, enhancing a CV and improving one’s employment prospects.

Volunteering can be rewarding and socially beneficial.

As an ageing UK population volunteering also offers opportunities for older people who are now working longer, who have valuable skills and experience.
It is also for many organisations an important route to other types of engagement with the organisation, such as part time or full time working.

Click here to read more of PPS’ Managing Director, Amanda Marques’ thoughts on recruiting volunteers

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