Two-thirds of HR managers using social media to recruit


The most popular platform for recruitment via social media is Facebook, followed by LinkedIn

More than two-thirds (67%) of HR managers are utilising social media to recruit new staff, according to creative content agency Southerly.

For those using social media the most popular platform was Facebook, used by 73%. Two-thirds (67%) use LinkedIn, and half (50%) recruit on Twitter. Almost a fifth (18%) of HR managers are distributing recruitment-focused content on Instagram, and one in 20 (5%) uses Snapchat.

Additionally, 31% of respondents had paid social media sites to boost their content, with 65% of those who have paid for content doing so on LinkedIn, 65% paying for exposure on Facebook, 33% boosting Twitter posts, and 24% paying for coverage on Instagram.

When it comes to how companies use social media Southerley found that 43% of firms communicate directly with potential candidates, for example through the use of direct messages on Twitter or via Facebook Messenger. The most common platform for doing this was LinkedIn, used by 80%. However, 38% said that they never communicate with individual candidates over social media.

Overall, 53% of respondents claimed that using social media for recruitment was successful, with 10% admitting it was fairly or very unsuccessful. A very small minority (3%) said they could not tell if it had been successful as they were struggling to measure it.

Shelley Hoppe, CEO of Southerly, explained that as the economy has picked up jobseekers have become more discerning. “HR managers simply can’t afford to stick to the old ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to finding talent,” she said. “Content and social media are hot topics in marketing and these techniques can be applied to great effect in the world of recruitment. Forward-thinking HR managers are making the most of the various media, tools and channels available to engage with candidates in a fresh and informative way, and are seeing positive results across a variety of strategic metrics.”

Tom Holmes, founding director at HR technology consultancy Veran Performance, said his company has seen increasing interest in recruitment marketing. “The HR function is in flux at the moment and this is an area that HR absolutely must own, rather than hand off to marketing or brand teams,” he said. “There’s a real opportunity for HR managers to embrace new, dynamic techniques that will help them attract high-quality candidates who reflect the organisation’s values, which in turn will impact positively on recruitment and retention costs.”

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Skills shortages to worsen as UK employment on record high


Talent gaps in the UK are going to become worse as the country’s unemployment figures continues to drop.

That is according to a new report from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC). The research reveals that UK unemployment has dropped to 5.1%.

While this may be good news for the people in employment, it means recruiters have a smaller talent pool to source from as 82% of companies are planning on increasing their staff headcount in the next three months.

15% of employers in the professional and managerial sector expect a skills shortage in the upcoming months. 14% in the technical and engineering sector, and 13% in the driving and distribution sector said the same.

“Options are running out for organisations that want to take on more staff,” Kevin Green, Chief Executive at the REC, says.

“Schools and hospitals are already facing enormous problems because of a shortage of teachers and nurses. SMEs and big businesses are both feeling the pressure. The need for people to do the jobs available is driving firms to become more innovative and creative in their recruitment strategies.

“As campaigning begins in earnest around the EU referendum, jobs will be high on the agenda. We urge both sides of the argument to keep in mind that UK businesses must have sufficient access to the global labour market in order to thrive. We need more skilled people to fill job vacancies in the UK, not fewer.”

The REC, the CIPD, CBI and the Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA) recently spoke out against the planned removal to the Travel & Subsistence tax release. The organisations feared that 750,000 workers, many of who were temporary staff, would be affected by the changes coming into effect in April.

However, the JobsOutlook report revealed that this fear has had little effect on the temporary jobs market. 98% of temporary staff hirers stated that they would either hold (50%) or increase (48%) their existing numbers.

The REC drew on a number of official figures, surveys and internet search data for the JobsOutlook report.

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Why you shouldn’t necessarily be alarmed by employment gaps

Curriculum vitae - CV et compétences différentes


Employment gaps. Periods of absence from the workforce. Times when the candidate didn’t have a job.

Whatever one calls them, they are real bugbears of organisations, which – when faced with an overwhelming number of applicants for a position – often use them as an instant excuse to ditch a CV. This, of course, is if their online recruitment software hasn’t done that already.

But could that applicant with that supposedly worrying employment gap actually be your dream candidate that you are overlooking, a true “diamond in the rough”?

An understandable – but perhaps overstated – concern

First of all, let’s not treat you like an idiot: we know there are perfectly good reasons to fret over a black hole in a candidate’s career history.

It’s a worry that every hiring manager has had on seeing such a CV: did the candidate do something serious to blacklist themselves from employment? Maybe they were a disruptive influence or were guilty of highly unethical behaviour that resulted in their sacking?

However, it’s also possible that the applicant in question was a relative victim of circumstances, such as…

The economy

Sure, the late 2000s economic slowdown may be a mere memory for many of us, but others – both organisations and workers – are still feeling the after-effects. The employee may have been a very good one, but their difficulties in holding down a role for a sustained period of time may have been attributable to what was going on in their sector or the wider economy at that time.

Poor fit

If you spend any time reading our blog posts here at Webrecruit, you will know just how much we emphasise the importance of ‘cultural fit’. It might therefore be obvious to you that a new hire needs to fit into your workforce well, but not every organisation takes the time to think about such things, often taking on and then spitting out staffers who they really shouldn’t have employed in the first place.

Toxic environments

Related to the above circumstance, sometimes, workers – especially those with less experience in a certain position – just never quite perform when they are landed into an already-toxic work environment not of their own making. Sometimes, the candidate really is a victim of external circumstances.

What we are basically trying to say, is this: don’t automatically dismiss a candidate on the basis of an employment gap or two. At the very least, ask questions of the candidate to establish exactly what led to those blanks on their CV.

By establishing as much truth as you can about a candidate’s background, you can make a much more informed decision on their suitability for your role – whether or not their CV is marked by one or two gaps in their work history.

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One million job applications and record new vacancies mark positive start to 2016


As Britain went back to work this week, the expected January jobs rush has certainly lived up to its billing, according to the UK’s largest job board.

After an encouraging end to 2015, with 19% more new vacancies on offer in Q4 than the previous year, 2016 has started with record recruiter and jobseeker activity.

In just the first week of 2016, more than 1.1 million job applications have been made on reed.co.uk and over 60,000 new candidates have joined the site in a bid to start 2016 with a brand new role. Recruiters have been busy too, with 50,000 jobs posted already this year across a broad range of areas.

These massive figures come as reed.co.uk’s all-new Love Mondays advertising campaign, which launched on New Year’s Day, gains increasing exposure on national TV and online.

The national brand advertising campaign, which will run throughout the year, encourages Britain’s workforce to take control of their careers and continues reed.co.uk’s fresh approach to recruitment, with quirky, entertaining ads. Reaching 37.5 million adults in January alone, reed.co.uk aims to secure more new jobs for more new candidates in 2016 than ever before.


Mark Rhodes, Marketing Director at reed comments:

The flying start we’ve seen to 2016 has more than lived up to expectations, after we saw encouraging growth in new jobs as last year drew to a close.

“We’ve had a record number of new vacancies posted this week, matched by more than 1.1 million applications – more than four applications a second at peak times.

The first signs for 2016 point to a positive, buoyant jobs market, with an abundance of early activity. Tens of thousands of candidates are starting the New Year by entering the jobs market, whilst employers are taking the opportunity to recruit the best new talent an invigorated market has to offer.”

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New year, new job: steps to make your CV stand out

With recruiters spending just nine seconds reading each CV – yours needs to be concise and colourful to catch their attention

Why does your CV need to have a wow factor? Research by the National Citizen Service is that recruiters are now taking an average nine seconds (well 8.8 to be exact) to look at a CV when shortlisting. This poses two important questions – how can they tell anything valuable about a candidate in such a short amount of time? And how can you show that you are fit for the job?

Let’s get some perspective: first it’s an average, and second it is highly likely that most internal recruiters take longer. Recruitment consultants are the skim shortlisters – they can probably see key points quicker because they do it all the time.

However, what this research does emphasise is the need to think carefully about how you can make your CV stand out so it ends up on the “invite to interview” pile, whether read for nine or 90 seconds. Here’s how to do that:

Get into the head of the employer
Your potential boss needs to see the benefit of you working for them. They need to see you have what they need – skills, qualities, abilities – and that you work hard and add value to the organisation. So imagine you are recruiting for your job, and ask yourself: “What would I like to see to know this person could do the job well?”

The answer is a small number of really exciting benefits and results, backed up by examples that are relevant to the job you are applying for.

Think about the impact you have in your current job. Did you increase income? Save the company money? Create an innovative procedure or product? Increase social media presence? Build a team? Increase reputation? Provide exceptional support or mentoring to others? What did you do really well?

Then craft some powerful bullet points that demonstrate your impact in a company – don’t forget to explain what it was like before, so your potential boss can understand the changes you affected. For example: “Developed a social media campaign that increased Twitter followers from 500 to 1500 in three months using targeted themes such as …”

Make your profile special
Your profile is the three to four sentences at the top of the first page of your CV. They are possibly the most important sentences on your CV as the strength of your profile determines whether the hiring manager or recruiter will carry on reading. That can make it the hardest thing to write – it needs to be a summation of you and what you bring to the job but without lots of vague generic adjectives.

Staying in the head of your prospective employer, ask yourself: “What are my unique selling points in relation to this job?” This can be specific skills, experience, interests, qualifications or passions. For example, a profile for a project manager applying for a job in the arts sector could be:

“Versatile project manager, with over 10 years’ experience of delivering multiple complex projects, engaging with key stakeholders, clients and third parties within the financial and arts sectors. Particular expertise in delivering innovative solutions, assimilating business needs, translating it into tangible requirements and engaging people to deliver positive outcomes. Prince II qualified with experience using Agile methodology. Strong interest in cultural art and making art accessible for all.”

Add some frills
While the wow factor is not about curly fonts, colour or a wacky layout, it is about being different to all the other candidates out there. You can do this by showing some extras that tell your prospective employer more about you (remember it has to be relevant to the role).

Show you can spot trends and have opinions in your area of expertise – if you’ve written a blog, had something published or spoken at an event, relevant to your work life, include a link on your CV so they can check it out.
Demonstrate you are connected – show you attend networking events in your field, have relevant connections on LinkedIn and participate in online group discussions.
Add a link to your LinkedIn profile where they can see recommendations, your group activity, any Pulse blogposts you’ve made, etc.
If you have a portfolio of work either on Tumblr or your own webpage then include a link so they can view your creative work easily.

Don’t forget the basics
Don’t lessen the impact of the content of your CV by not paying attention to the basic rules – here’s a reminder:

No more than two pages.
Less is more – make sure it is not text dense, and allow plenty of white space around the text to make it easy to read.
Use bullet points and headings to give it a clear structure.
No spelling or grammatical errors – check, check and check again.
Having a CV that stands out will increase your confidence, create the right mindset for your job search, give you pride in what you’ve achieved and should land you an interview.

Sarah Archer is a qualified career coach and co-founder of Careertree

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Future Watford job market receives massive boost



At long last Transport For London have plugged the huge funding gap which has stalled the start of the Croxley Rail Link which will see Metropolitan Line tube trains running to Watford Junction…..for the first time in nearly 35 years.

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Talent Octopus referral scheme



This is a unique invitation to earn by referring your social network to Talent Octopus

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Five ways to improve your interview technique


Does your interview research go beyond checking a company’s website? And is your focus on delivery or the content of your answers?

Becoming an exceptional candidate is something you can do; it’s just that most people don’t take the trouble. In my experience, most interviews don’t go that well; most people are bad at them. The truth is that many recruiters are actually not particularly good at interviewing either nor particularly effective. So, if you prepare properly and are a good interviewee, the odds can be stacked in your favour.

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