Irish Recruiters Hat Tip Awards for 2009

Thanks to those who took the time to send in their nominations for the Irish Recruiters “Hat Tip” awards. The “Hat Tip” is all about recognising recruitment innovation – especially, innovation that embraces technology. I hope by recognising some of the examples that caught my attention we can all spend some time looking at some of the winners and hopefully draw inspiration to create new innovation for the year ahead.

The marketplace while receiving a body blow in terms of heavy revenue and job losses continued to innovate last year. FY09 saw the first Irish Tuesday Club, saw the development of Worky.com, the expansion of the innovative Sonru.com, saw a plethora of recruiters rush to set up LinkedIn groups and another huge wave of them do the same with Twitter accounts. The industry also saw the birth of a new recruiter argot. There now exists a host of new vocabulary that probably warrants a phrasebook of its own. Here are a few phrases that caught some of my attention in some of the Irish Recruiters events in FY10.

“What is your Twitter handle”?
“Have you tried to write that string using the wild card or tilde moderators?”
“Which do you prefer WordPress or Type Pad”
“Have you tried the new free cascading style sheet or have your integrated the new automated feed?”
“How many characters can a Bing search take?”
“Have you tried push technology yet?”
“Do you know if Apple’s SDK is the similar to Ovi’s”
“Do you think that candidates should now all have cloud CVs?”

I even heard some recruiters talking about what kind of mobile app should the unions create to recruit new members!

So to the awards! I’ve spent at least 12 hours going through the nominations: reviewing web sites and blog posts, sieving through profiles, examining tweets, and much more. It was a lot of fun and I learnt a lot. Unfortunately, everyone can’t win. Those that don’t get mentioned and there are many can rest assured that these awards are simply one “corporate” recruiters opinion with one particular lens on. I’m sure if I was working for a job board, ATS, agency, etc I possibly would have different selection criteria and the awards could be very much different.

Quickest Response to Technology
This title has to go to Grafton. It would be remiss of me not to have them in the first Irish Recruiters “Hat Tip” awards for their first recruitment tweet which for me marked the crossing of a Rubicon for the Irish recruitment industry. It marked a clear stake in the ground from when the Irish Recruitment industry began to embrace social media. Even though it was quite some time ago it was good to see them react quickest in the market to the potential that micro-blogging has in recruitment. At least 50 other agencies have followed suit since – the most of which are now hashtaging, retweeting, setting up Twitterlists, and paying around with a variety of Twitter apps. http://twitter.com/graftonrec

Best Use Of Mobile And Cloud Computing Techniques
Despite the promise in FY09 for an Irish recruitment app in one of the app stores – none materialised. At one point Worky said they we’re going to launch one. Grafton said they were working on something as well. Nothing that I know of was launched in the end. Maybe we’ll see something in FY10. One Irish based initiative did catch my attention: http://www.txtajob.ie. Overall though, I decided to give the award to Bill Fischer who presented at the 2nd Irish Recruiters conference and showed us his impressive Twitter Job Search platform. Since then they have launched a new Twitter Job Search iPhone app which has some very slick UI and also some very impressive one tap functionality. www.twitterjobsearch.com

Most Interesting Irish Recruiters Discussion
There was quite a few in this category that got mentioned in the nominations I received. Two that got mentioned heavily were: the post on Recruit Ireland changing their cost/post policy, and the other on “The Apprentice”. However, the one I have decided to go for was Ruadhri McGarry of mynewcv.ie titled “Twitter: Does anyone use it for job or candidate search?”. It was a topic that ended up being one of the Tuesday Club presentations and also saw a lot of sharing of information. It is also a discussion which I’m sure will have more posted added to in the future as Twitter evolves.

Best New Irish Recruitment Blogger
This was unanimous (even though she did vote for herself as well :) !) Lindsay Browning. From a relatively newbie in technology way back in early FY09 to becoming a social media internet advocate in CPL, a power user of LinkedIn and now a confident well read blogger. Lindsay has done a great job with her blog http://lindsaybrowning.wordpress.com/ which has been included on the bloggers list on the Irish Recruiters toolbar. I’d encourage you all to pay it a visit. She also has got a second blog for the Irish gaming industry which is also beginning to grow: www.irishgamingrecruit.wordpress.com. Looking forward to loads of more blog posts in 2010 Lindsay.

Best Irish Recruitment Blog Post
There were quite a varied number of nominations in this category but I have decided to go with Jackie Brown medical’s which highlighted Santa and his swine flu vaccination. http://www.jackiebrownmedical.ie/medical-jobs-blog/2009/11/swine-flu-vaccination-for-santa The blog post was picked up by RTE and The Mail on Sunday at one point and was a clever way to bring traffic to their site. So from a pure marketing innovation point of view they pick up the “hat tip”.

Best Irish Recruitment Blog
Again there were a lot of nominations in this category and as such depending on what you like to get from a recruitment blog I have decided to break it into two categories: employer and other! While I think Microsoft’s blog could have won the employers blog I have decided to award it to Oracle’s EMEA campus recruitment blog http://blogs.oracle.com/campusrecruitment/. Good story telling, use of RSS feeds, video updates, etc were prevalent and any company who are thinking of creating a career’s blog should have a look at it. The other winner is Ivan Stojanovic’s recruitment blog www.jobsblog.ie. Ivan is an incessant blogger and has regularly provided up to date commentary on how the Irish Recruitment industry is changing with special focus on the job board industry. He was also one of the first bloggers to be added to the Irish Recruiters toolbar blog post feed.

Best Facebook Page
For me this goes to one of the Think Tank members: Select People. Jonathan and Vincent have done a very good job of building and consistently putting engaging and educational content on their Facebook page. They have also cleverly taken the opportunity to use the “Facebook Connect” functionality to tie it back to their company web site http://www.selectpeople.ie . With over 400 members, poll functionality, and video integration it sets a high bar for recruitment agencies in Ireland that want to try Facebook to follow. You can get their company page by going to Facebook and simply typing in “Select People” in the search prompt or the following link:

http://www.faceboo k.com/search/?q=select+people&init=quick#/selectpeoplejobs?ref=search&sid=700702447.3458618889..1

Most Creative Use Of Twitter
This goes to @kelloggsjobs. With the arrival of their new European marketing HQ this year in Swords they did a good job of using Twitter to broadcast their growth plans, mix in some job postings as well as using it to share other product information. They also embraced the background tailorisation feature which allows them rebrand the site to their own corporate branding needs.

Best Twitter Award
A true technology advocate with multi-lingual and deep sourcing skills the best twitter I have seen this year is Jan Rosa from Harvey Nash. Go to his page and see for yourself: http://twitter.com/janrosa. He’s done a great job of representing his company on the micro-blogging platform this year. He was one of the first recruiters I know to have embraced Twitter Job Search and he has always a strong viewpoint when it comes to social media, mobile and cloud computing.

Best Tweet
This was a hard one and there were very few nominations in this category. Maybe I’m going to have to take it out of the award categories for next year.  What I was looking for in this award was good use of the full functionality of a tweet. Hashtags, retweeting, using tiny url’s, etc. Possibly also the uses of something like Tweetdeck or Bubble Tweet. There were loads of examples to pick from. Jan used all of the above but the one I went for in the end was the simple one where he decided to source on Twitter by advertising to specific hashtags and using the Dublin hashtag instead of simply advertising to #jobs which a lot of recruiters seem to rely on and then posting a link to the job description.

I'm urgently looking for a #Documentum specialist for a 12 months contract in #Dublin #li

This is a simple example but it makes an important point in terms of best practice use of hashtags. I’ve added Jan to my Irish Recruiters member list. You can check out more of his tweets there at: http://twitter.com/irishrecruiters/members. While at the list page if you are and Irish Recruiter with a twitter account please go up and join the list.

Best LinkedIn Profile
There was no unanimous winner in this category. I was unable to find anyone who used the full range of functionality that the profile platform offers when compared to other examples I have seen around the world. However, there were a lot of members of Irish Recruiters that did a great job at using a variety of them and using them creatively. Managing your profile in LinkedIn can take hours. There’s the question of whether or not you place your email in the top of your profile and run the chance of finding yourself on the wrong side of LinkedIn’s wrath that have been known to suspend some repeat offenders for a number of months from using their platform. Then you have to decide what is going to be your “public” profile handle. You need to decide am I going to worry about writing my profile with search engine optimization in mind. You then have the option of using some of the Apps – do I want to embed a presentation, do I want to embed my blog, should I let people know about my travel arrangements. It goes on and on. So instead of naming one profile there is a few that caught my eye and all get a “Hat Tip”.

Niall Kelly for being the first that I saw to use the new Twitter app integrated into his profile: http://ie.linkedin.com/in/salesjobsireland

John Mooney for being one of the first to use to the WordPress integration app and for regularly using the update feature.

Best LinkedIn Group
There was a lot of nominations in this category and there was a couple of enquiries from some companies as whether or not they should be listing what they are doing in this space in these awards, thereby, giving away some of their ideas! So unfortunately, I may have missed some of the creativity that is out there but that said there was a lot to choose from. The one I would like to call out is “Paddy Tech” from Frank Brown in Allen Recruitment. This group has grown from strength to strength and is now one of the most followed LinkedIn groups in Ireland. It has had some very lively honest debate and it also has provided a lot of education for the ICT industry over the course of FY09. www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=35936

Most Creative Ad Online Campaign
This goes to Jackie Brown Medical for their appreciation of the importance that blogging and search engine optimization strategies have when attempting to get and maintain a high organic search listing in search engines to promote your brand. A common trend globally in a lot of companies is now to spend less in traditional ad mediums and channels with increased use of search engine and social media marketing techniques. Jackie Brown Medical has excelled in the blogosphere in 2009 and has excelled at understanding how search engines index and rank.

They have achieved some excellent results by doing some of the following: creating a number of inter-related recruitment blogs that cross reference and link to each other; by regularly posting; by paying special attention to keyword choices for URLs and blog post titles, by front loading key words for their meta tags and blog post tagging; and much more. They have demonstrated best in class examples of how to ensure that the relevant keywords to their business constantly are associated with their brand. Some of the blogs they write are:


Also worth a very honourable mention was the “Get Ireland Working” campaign from the RecruitIreland team. It got over 550 employers supporting it which is a notable achievement in itself. Here’s the press release from June last year. It also got advertised in their Twitter feed, Facebook Page and Facebook group. http://www.irishpressreleases.ie/2009/06/26/550-employers-support-recruitirelandcom%E2%80%99s-campaign-to-%E2%80%9Cget-ireland-working%E2%80%9D/

Industry Awards

The clear winner here was Sonru and their remote online automated interviewing technology. The greenest, carbon footprint reducing recruitment technology I know of in Ireland. With the recruitment of a new CEO Fergal O’Bryne I'm are looking forward to seeing the company grow from strength to strength in the years ahead. http://www.sonru.com/

Select People for the speed at which it consistently embraced the use of technology throughout FY09. Not only did they start their own blog, LinkedIn group and ask a lot of interesting questions in the Irish Recruiters conference around search engine use, the evolution and cloud computing and social media they actually embraced it in their every day recruitment processes *consistently*. If you go to their site you can see clear example of how they have integrated, blogging, micro-blogging and social networking into the core messaging of their brand. This has helped Select People clearly consolidate their place in the international recruitment marketplace where they compete with agencies from around the world. I’m hoping they can tell us more about their philosophy for embracing technology and why they place such a high priority on recruitment innovation in some of the events scheduled for Irish recruiters in FY10. Well done! http://www.selectpeople.ie/

For me it goes to Oracle. Nearly every recruiter I meet from Oracle has gone through a strong technical recruitment induction program. There use of social media is best in class and they continue to pioneer in direct sourcing techniques. In particular, they have done a great job at blogging and the use of Twitter.

Most Creative Use Of Technology Award
Grafton. Purely for highlighting the use of Twitter in recruiting they deserve it! Well done! Let’s see if you can maintain your “hat tip” award for next year! As Mohammed Ali quite rightly said, “ It’s hard getting to the top. It’s even harder staying there”!

And last but not least, the big one, Irish Recruiter’s recruiter of the year award goes to Jan Rosa of Harvey Nash. This is his third award after gaining the best twitter and tweet awards. Jan has contributed to a lot of ongoing discussions this year on the web, has applied a lot of the most modern social media and sourcing techniques to his own recruitment objectives and has been a great contributor to building community in Irish Recruiters in FY09. He is the consummate open networker and a real passionate and innovative cyber sleuth when it comes from learning from others to better himself. Maybe if we ask nicely he will share some of his learning’s with Irish Recruiters in the years ahead.

Well done to all the winners. I look forward to watching for more innovation from you all next year. A lot of change is afoot in the technology world that will continue to impact the recruitment industry. Expect a lot more integration with social media with enterprises; look to more API and OpenID discussions, watch as the app and browser wars intensify; the crazy world of cross reality and bizarre world of online-offline functionality will increase in pace; the content wars are going to get very interesting, with Rupert Murdoch potentially set to change drastically where, when and how content is consumed, this could be hugely disruptive for Google if he garners more support (see here: http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/11/13/murdoch-google-bing-mexicanstandoff/ );the cloud will become “smarter” watch out for more development with Hybrid SaaS, Thick SaaS, PaaS and also mobile as a service; semantic tagging and real time news will get better and the immersive web will take more strides forward with the ongoing development of proximity warnings and the evolution of the personal and private social media ecosphere; mobile cloud servers may get some air time as well as cross reality and how it is set to develop in the coming years; Apple will probably launch the iSlate tablet PC, Google will launch their own phone, and Microsoft's Windows Phone will get much better,  reputation management and privacy will be debated heavily as well as metrics and ROI on social media tactics. There is so much on the horizon I could go on for a long time, I haven’t even mentioned the emerging markets, but let’s just leave it there.

Irish Recruiters is planning to be in the thick of all this. I’m planning an exciting calendar for the year ahead and you can expect more innovation from the Think Tank and I. Expect a few announcements soon on training and education which I hope will be firsts for Ireland and more interesting Tuesday Club and Irish Recruiter conferences. I’m looking forward to it all and hope you can take part!

Happy Hunting! Declan

If you want to congratulate any of the winners please do so by tweeting using the #irishrecruiters hashtag