Monday, February 23, 2009

On Video CV’s:

From an recruitment industry point of view, it seems that whilst everyone can appreciate the benefits of a multimedia CV, and there are even some enterprises out there promoting the practice, it didn’t seem to me to be gaining a lot of steam over 2008.

Post-financial crisis however and suddenly "talent" is a buyers market again and job-seekers will need to impress if they want to get a foot in the door.

Are we going to see more video CV’s in 2009 from applicants wanting to differentiate themselves? And if you are a recruiter…are you ready and willing to receive them? See what these recruiters think...

Multimedia CV: Put your best face forward
By Lia Timson
The Sydney Morning Herald
Published: 07 February 2009

Get in front of potential employers with your own video.

When Matt Niedzwiedz wanted a job in event management, he prepared a multimedia CV package to showcase his talents.

The party organiser had spent many years working on the music scene in Warsaw and London and wanted to demonstrate his skills to potential employers. So he produced a 30-minute presentation, burnt it to mini-CD and mailed it away. He also produced a shorter version that he posted on video-sharing website YouTube.

"I was quite known in Europe but here I would be nobody," he says. "I wanted to show potential employers my way of working."

Niedzwiedz is not alone. An increasing number of tech-savvy jobseekers, particularly generation Ys, are using webcams, camera phones, editing software and online video-sharing sites to promote their talents and stand out from a long line of hopefuls. While there are subtleties to the technique, it can pay off.

The human resources manager at accounting firm Pitcher Partners, Melissa Banek, says she likes to see CVs on video.

"It provides a great snapshot of the candidate's profile, experience and education in [their] words," she says. "I find it an efficient use of time. The employer can work out which questions they would like to
further probe in an interview and not waste time going over old ground."

However, Banek warns some employers could immediately exclude you from a face-to-face interview if they are unimpressed with your video CV.

A browse of YouTube, where many jobseekers post their CVs as a supplement to targeted mail-outs, shows the diverse range of video resumes being produced.

Some have very poor production values and feature applicants giving lacklustre performances. Others dazzle the viewer with their high quality and confident presentation.

The director of non-profit placement agency NGO Recruitment, Richard Green, says he is yet to receive a video CV but expects that day is not far off. He believes a video CV could work well for jobs where media skills and unconventional thinking are an advantage, such as head of communications at an organisation like Greenpeace.

The talent manager for advertising specialist recruiter The Ladder, James Greet, says job applicants considering a video CV should make sure it is primarily focused on their experience and capacity to do the job.

"It may be a very creative way of building excitement around [you], as far as it's well directed, informed and entertaining," he says. "Done badly, it could ruin your chances."

Mature-aged workers can also take advantage of the technology, according to Sam Leon, the principal of XMSolutions, an over-45s recruiting firm. He favours web conferencing and video CVs over phone chats and preliminary person-to-person meetings with jobseekers. He says employers also appreciate avoiding travel expenses for first interviews of interstate candidates.

"It gives a feeling for the candidate's personality and whether they are genuine," Leon says. "You can pick up body language, watch their eyes and get them to hold up things like diplomas.

"Over the next five years, video CVs will be as normal as printed or emailed CVs, without question."

When Tourism Queensland recently sought applications for a dream job on Hamilton Island, it insisted on video CVs in the first round to get a feel for the applicants. The role pays $150,000 for six months of work, living on the island and promoting it to the world. More than 8000 applications have been received.

The area manager for recruiter Drake International, Zipporah Szalay, says video CVs should be carefully prepared. Drake has a professionally staffed production studio to help candidates properly represent themselves. It regularly produces 30-second videos for candidates, especially those looking to work overseas.

"We've done it for Asian students going back to their countries to work, even doctors and nurses," Szalay says.

"You can demonstrate a cultural fit [with the company] by the way you communicate your passion and charisma and they can click on a link to your CV. But it doesn't work for everything. Professionalism is the key. You need to really take care because you only get one shot at it."

Niedzwiedz has learned valuable lessons from his video CV. He received just one response from 60 CVs sent out. He now believes his 30-minute presentation was too much of a demand on a company's time.

He hopes to make another assault on the job market soon, using the insights he has gained.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"hungry designers wanted"

This is definitely still one of the best recruitment ads I have seen.
Apple seems to have got both their product and employment identity down. :)


Choosing a Recruitment Communications Agency

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Ri5 for the January issue of Pharma Times, the monthly magazine for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and healthcare industries.

The first half of the article, not included here, focused on the history of the recruitment communications industry. The following portion then goes into how the internet has effected that landscape and how a recruiter might go about selecting and engaging professional support in this area.

This should be of interest to anyone who is considering seeking the support of an agency such as Oxus and I am pleased to say that when looking at their main criteria, we tick all the boxes!

"... And then along came the Internet and, not only did the goalposts move, but the rules of the game went out of the window. As in so many other aspects of life, the Internet opens up wonderful potential for recruiters, while at the same time presenting a new set of challenges. The opportunities are threefold: the Internet offers extraordinary scope for an employer to communicate with its current workforce and potential employees ...; it allows far more detailed communication about an organisation, its culture and what it is like to work there; and it has vast capacity for candidate administration. This is not then simply a new channel for advertising vacancies but a platform on which to build and promote an organisation's image as an employer - the employer brand. It can also provide the administrative infrastructure for managing talent pools and pipelines.

Response rates and costs can be measured in real time, allowing campaigns to be fine-tuned on the run. Yet alongside all these largely positive possibilities, there are dangers lurking: anyone who has a modicum of Internet savvy will check in the chat rooms and on social networking sites to get informal views about any prospective employer's good and bad points. There is thus very little point in constructing a gold-plated employer brand if one scratch reveals rather tarnished base metal below.

The purpose of recruitment (or employment) communications is to achieve the best possible return on an organisation's investment in attracting and retaining the people it needs. Recruitment communications agencies are in business to develop and implement effective recruitment marketing strategies and employee communications, using a wide range of media expertise and creative flair to deliver such results. The specialist skills that such agencies have evolved over the last 50 years or so are now allied to the most sophisticated knowledge of digital and Internet technologies. At the very least, recruitment communications agencies deliver useful and valuable services; at best, they can help to achieve real competitive advantage.

Not all agencies offer the same services. The starting point is much as it has always been:

A recruitment communications agency will be able to write, design and produce recruitment advertisements and manage their placement in appropriate online and offline media.

They will offer expertise in the design, production and hosting of recruitment websites - both general careers sites and job-specific microsites.

They will advise on how to optimize the use of search engines, job boards and other online and offline media to drive qualified traffic to the right place.

Many will offer strategic advice on employment marketing, brand development and management, and communications strategies.

Most provide response management facilities.

Perhaps the key task for any employer wishing to appoint a recruitment communications agency is to specify precise requirements before devising a selection process to identify the best qualified.

Drawing up a long list of recruitment communications agencies that could meet the specification should be fairly straightforward. Look at the advertising agency listings and visit the agencies' own websites to get an impression of what they are like. And look for good examples of online and offline recruitment communications, and try to find out who was responsible. Or simply contact the HR team in organisations you respect and ask who they use. Once you've identified your targets, you should make contact and, if initial impressions are favourable, arrange a meeting. Some form of structured assessment may be appropriate, or you could consider a trial project or a competitive pitch between a short-list of agencies (probably inviting a maximum of three contenders), making it clear to all concerned the criteria you will be using to determine the winner. (One of the most useful exercises may be to brief all agencies on a "real" project and invite them to propose fully-costed solutions, with as little room as possible for ambiguity.)

Recruiters, not just in the UK but the world over, have at their disposal the means to communicate more effectively than ever with employees and potential employees. The price of getting it right need not be high, but the cost of getting it wrong could be huge. UK recruiters are fortunate to have at their service the world's most accomplished and talented recruitment communications experts and any effort put in to finding the right agency partner is likely to be repaid in spades."

Ri5 call themselves “the premier information and marketing platform for the recruitment communications industry” and they are without a doubt one of the best sources of information online for this industry. Check them out if you wish to read more.