June 15th, 2015 by Livingston Comments Off

The term “Recruiter” sure gets thrown around a lot. In most cases it’s a catch-all for anyone involved in the process of sourcing, attracting, screening and selling working professionals on new job opportunities. Recruiting is Sales. Recruiting is Marketing. Recruiting is a Negotiation. But the decision to change jobs is far greater than the decision to buy a house or lease a new car. Taking a new job is a choice that very much impacts an individual’s career trajectory, their families, and their very well-being. Needless to say, those of us involved with convincing someone to alter 50% of another person’s waking life, shouldn’t take our profession lightly. While the recruiting industry and ecosystem of clients, vendors, technology partners and staffing agencies is vast, it’s important we help inform clients and hiring managers the term “Recruiter” can vary considerably and that this job is complex.

When researching the current state of talent acquisition, it’s common to find blogs and articles about trends, tips or best practices around the recruiting function. It’s great that practitioners, industry leaders and analysts are willing to share their ideas, but I’ve found that what works and what doesn’t work, varies dramatically depending on the specific company you’re representing or the specific job requirement at hand.

The most straightforward distinction among Recruiters are those that are working in-house for a single organization, also known as Corporate Recruiters and those who work for external staffing agencies (aka Headhunters). In both scenarios, Recruiters are working on filling open jobs with qualified people, or “butts in seats”, but the nature of these two roles is quite different.

Agency work is intense. A Recruiter’s day-to-day consists of working ‘the bullpen’, cranking out hundreds of cold calls per day, dialing for dollars. They’re either hustling to get legitimate job requisitions (reqs) from attractive clients or racing to find that needle in the haystack, to make a placement and get paid. While agency recruiting is quite lucrative, it’s a ‘eat what you kill’ mentality and not for the faint of heart, similar to the competitive and cut throat nature of many other industries ‘agency’ environments. Building relationships and trust with both clients and candidates is one of the most important aspects of agency recruiting. “Time” on the other hand, is a staffing firm’s kryptonite. Too much time required to find, screen and send candidates to clients (internal Recruiters or hiring managers) and agency Recruiters will starve.

There are high-margin (retained & executive search agencies) and low-margin (high-volume) temp agencies and everyone in between. There are boutique staffing firms and multi-billion dollar, publicly traded agencies with an international footprint. As such, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for an agency or for an individual agency Recruiter in the trenches. It’s up to the Recruiter to find the tools and ‘hone’ the techniques to differentiate themselves from the competition and accelerate the candidate process to make themselves, and the firm, successful.

Corporate Recruiting has another set of stressful challenges. In this sense, Recruiters are working with internal client groups and tasked with filtering the talent that’s best suited for a range of departments across the organization. Unlike agency recruiting, you can’t choose the reqs you work on. All jobs must be filled, and each day they remain unfilled, someone at the company is carrying the extra load and becoming more frustrated that it’s still open – usually this is the hiring manager themselves. What complicates things further is that every Hiring Manager you’re working with thinks their open job is the top priority for the company, and there’s traditionally no one else that’s going to tell them it’s not, not even their own manager.

Internal Recruiters are responsible for allocating their time to service 20, 30, 40 open reqs with 5, 10, 15+ unique hiring managers who are essentially internal clients. Building relationships here is also key to understanding the needs of the business and thus finding and filtering the right talent to fill open jobs. Once again, it’s ‘time’ that also haunts internal recruiters. Too many reqs, too many screens, not enough qualified candidates, and over-worked and over-stressed hiring managers fearful of losing their open headcount all chew through your day. Corporate Recruiters are constantly juggling Time versus Cost versus Quality with every requisition to find the best person at the time for the money. Throw in ‘culture fit’ and personality (both very subjective and time intense to asses) and the company better have free snacks or your Recruiter may soon become violent, now that big commissions are not part of the compensation plan.

I’ll never forget the ‘Aha!’ moment after transitioning from staffing agencies, to an in-house recruiting role at MTV Networks in Times Square, New York City, where I learned first hand the difference between external and in-house recruiting. For years it was my job to get candidates to accept the offer on the table from our clients. Ultimately I was working for the client, for it was the client who paid us our placement fee, not that candidate (a common misnomer in headhunting). If my candidate didn’t accept the offer, we didn’t get paid, and we were back to the drawing board. Getting to ‘Yes’ was as critical to the agency recruiting business as any sales role.

However, moving in-house, you quickly find out that making the wrong hire can do much more damage than an empty desk. The time and cost of everyone involved to on-board, train, and get a new hire up and running is astonishing and the worse thing you can do is convince someone to take a job that isn’t the right fit for the employee or for the company. As a corporate Recruiter, there are hundreds of variables when matching candidates to requisitions, hiring managers and the teams they’ll be working with. Identifying potential red flags among a candidate’s ordinary yellow flags, and preventing a bad hire can be one of the most productive things a Recruiter can do. This is probably not going to win favors in the short-term, but will help the company in the long run and prevent a single bad hire from derailing the productivity of the incumbent team, or contributing to more bad hires. This is a great example of why the recruiting function is often misperceived and why misinterpretation and miscommunication occurs frequently between recruiters and hiring managers.

Flipping the switch and learning to speak up and say ‘No’ to a hire was an unexpected lesson and fundamental to a successful transition to in-house recruiting.

We built The Honeit.com Platform to embrace the Recruiters in the trenches and give them the infrastructure and support to build confidence with clients and hiring managers and to accelerate the hiring process. For the first time ever, Recruiters can phone screen and asses talent as they normally do, but finally let candidates ‘speak for themselves’ to relieve the pressure. Honeit improves communication between Recruiters and hiring manager, removes redundant steps of the job interview process and saves everyone involved – time, money and frustration. Get Started for Free at www.honeit.com

Hello from Honeit, Inc.

November 12th, 2014 by Livingston Comments Off

Excited to begin the new journey with Honeit.com – to re-imagine the interview process and save time, money and frustration to both employers and job-seekers alike. I found two great co-founders, talented full stack engineers, just as passionate as I am about making the interview process more efficient.

More info at www.honeit.com

Interview Experts get paid to interview more junior job-seekers in their field and function. We’re looking for experts who can provide thorough interview practice, provide interview feedback, career advice & mentorship. Experts can apply via www.honeit.com/expert

If you’re a staffing agency or talent acquisition team, Honeit has built a robust interview platform that will take your phone screens to the next level.

Happy to tell you more about how this all works!


Social Media (D.I.Y) Presentation @HBO HQ

July 19th, 2010 by Livingston Comments Off

I had a chance to present to the NYC Recruiter Network at HBO’s  headquarters in NYC this past April.  The topic was a DIY (Do It Yourself) approach to Social Media, outlining our attempt at MTV Networks to keep up with Social Media and engage our fans, potential  applicants, current/former interns and employees of the company.

Linkedin: Company Follow & Job Seeker Accounts

May 4th, 2010 by Livingston Comments Off

Two recent offerings were released by LinkedIn this week.

Company Follow:

Users now have the ability to follow interesting companies, to keep up with recent company activity.  This streaming activity feature, Company Follow -  includes recent hires, promotions, departures or jobs from the selected organization.  This is has always been noteworthy info listed on a company profile page, but only a few of the most recent changes were listed.  Now the ability to stream this info in real-time lets job seekers and recruiters stay up to date.

  • Job seekers – monitor the companies for updates on the jobs you have applied to.  If you see someone recently started as a Marketing Manager with small company X, this could be considered feedback and it may be time to move on with your job search.  Jobs from a given company are also presented, similar to following a company RSS Job feed.
  • For companies, this is a great way to welcome new employees to the organization – nothing better than receiving welcome notes from management or co-workers during your first week.  This could easily be integrated with the on-boarding process.
  • This is also powerful biz intelligence to see where other companies are hiring, and how well the companies are doing (from both job seeker and recruiter perspective).  It has never been easier to follow both inward/outward personnel trends within an organization – this could even provide valuable investment intelligence.

Company Follow via LinkedIn

Summary view on the LI homepage:

Job Seeker – Paid / Subscription Accounts:

The second feature will be a game changer to Linkedin.

Paid solutions have been available to companies to purchase for  some time now.  This includes paid job postings, Corporate Recruiter search licenses (to access all 60 million+ candidates, not just 3 degrees of freedom) and most recently, their Recruitment Media and Company profile page upgrades.  This last option gives companies the ability to lock down the company profile content so that only certain individuals in the organization can update the company bio page.  Without paying for this ($$$$/expensive!) feature , anyone in the organization can change the logo, tweak the description and even update the company facts/figures detail.

Now Job Seekers can pay for premium or featured space when they apply to jobs.  Similar to sponsored ads on Indeed or simply Hired (that allow for companies to pay extra for premium placement), Job seekers can now pay to be on the top of the resume pile.  Sponsored job placements typically work by competitive keyword bidding, whoever pays the most for a certain keyword that is searched, is in the top slot.  Indeed offers 3 premium locations on every page of their search results (two on top and one at bottom of the page).  In LinkedIn’s case, it looks like however many paying job seekers will be listed on the top of the pile, could be 1 or could be 55 for any given job.

While I think this feature is valuable to candidates, I’m curious how this works with their recommendation engine within the corporate solution.  The corporate solution offers ‘recommended matches’ when you post a job, I’m curious if unqualified/unmatched (paid) jobseeker profiles will be included as results within this feature.  <– me being a skeptic, but I’m sure the product folks at LI are light years ahead.

But wait, the Job Seeker Pro option is $500.00/month..   This makes www.theladders.com seem like chump change.  While $500/month seems extreme in this economic climate, it does provide a service to the job seeker.  One feature that’s included in the premium account is the ability to see who’s interested in you.   Even the ability to view titles/company names of individuals that have viewed your profile is extremely powerful.  This feature would provide feedback to job applications and also provide leads into other companies that may be interested in your skill set.

Linkedin – IPO Much?

Scary charts –> HIRE Act

April 2nd, 2010 by Livingston Comments Off

I’ve seen a few scary job charts lately, but this one from Calculated Risk, stood out.


On a similar note, Obama recently passed the HIRE Act,  with hopes to ’spur hiring and help small business owners.’  Video and article can be seen at CBS News.  From the article:

  • The bill mandates that payroll takes will be forgiven for businesses that hire someone who has been unemployed for at least two months;
  • It will permit small businesses to write off investments they make in equipment this year;
  • It will reform municipal bonds to expand investment in schools and clean energy;
  • And it will continue roadway infrastructure investment into the spring and summer, when, the president said, construction jobs pick up.

Topeka News, Topeka Maps & Topeka Talk

April 1st, 2010 by Livingston Comments Off

Sure enough I went to the Google.com Classic Homepage today (iGoogle is my default) to see what was in store for us on this gorgeous April Fools day in NYC and what do I see?

April Fools Topeka.com

Topeka has been putting out all the stops to try and get Google’s attention for their new ultra-fast broadband project, and looks like the hard work paid off.  There’s been some good press of their efforts and a great blog post from Eric Schmidt today celebrating Google’s name change to Topeka.

Must say that being a Topeka native and a follower of Google new/products, this is pretty kewl even if for only a day.  Now I just hope that they get the bid for the broadband project.

Looks like Topeka is even trending on Twitter, perhaps the first/last time? :(

**Update – My dad reminded me that Bill Bunten, the current Mayor of Topeka was our next door neighbor for 7 years in Topeka, KS.  He is the one that renamed the city of Topeka, ‘Google’.   I just sent him a note of congratulations as the new role as CEO of Google.

**Update 2 – He replied to my note!

Back to basics with Simple (Telephone) Sourcing

March 30th, 2010 by Livingston 0

With so many incredible online tools, websites and social networks, sourcers sometimes forget the most basic tools out there.  We use search engines on a daily basis, but become so inundated with fine-tuning our advanced Boolean strings, in order to dig deeper and data mine the web, we forget simple sourcing.

Looking for someone in particular?  Do you have their name and know what state they live in?

While Gen Y may only go mobile, many homes in America still have a publically visible land line visible via the white pages or Google Phone book.  In NYC, the Time Warner Triple Play deal is hard to pass up, it’s actually cheaper to buy the package that includes digital cable, broadband, and digital telephone – even if you seldom use the phone.

Let’s pick a random first name:  Alan, and a random last name:  Johnson, and living somewhere in Washington State.  For some reason, Google doesn’t make it easy to use their phonebook directly, but you can view names/numbers within search results using the following search structures.

There are times when we’re so inundated with Twitter/FB etc, that we forget to just give them a call at home – and this is much more acceptable than calling someone directly at work.  There may be a time for a call to their office as a last resort, but be mindful of their secretary, interrupting a meeting, or open work environments (but that’s a whole other post).

**Shout out to all the telephone sourcers out there, we know the phone isn’t dead (yet).

Domain Pains – Transfering from Google Apps to GoDaddy

February 12th, 2010 by Livingston 2

Well, I must admit that I buy too many domain names.  Every time I get an idea for a product or service, I think of domain name that works well and claim it.  Not that the names alone are that incredible, but they’re related to the idea and it’s a $10 motivation fee that I charge myself.  Actually they’re usually 7.49, I always add a coupon code to my order (for everything purchased online).

The trouble started when I decided to purchase a number of domains through Google Apps (www.google.com/a).  They had a deal with godaddy/enom where they would be the broker, and you could get domain privacy included in the $10/year rate.  It also automatically set you up with Google Products/Webmaster tools/Google Pages, etc.

All was fine and dandy until I wanted to get my domains all together with one company, GoDaddy.  Here’s the problem: every time I bought a name through Google, they were buying from GoDaddy through a unique GD account.  So this means, buy 25 domains, and you have 25 separate log-ins and 25 unique passwords to deal with.  Not to mention that each of them are private, so before you can transfer them you must go to www.Domainsbyproxy.com, and request each domain’s corresponding DBproxy account number, which will let you request forgotten password email, which will then allow you to update your password – Didn’t know this until step #7 below – again this is needed for every one of those 25 domains.

So here are the steps (the below order takes into account delays/lag time with account# requests, password resets and updates to take place.)

  1. Request to transfer your domains, this is done through the service where you want to ultimately purchase and manage your domains.  I was trying to transfer from Google Apps to GoDaddy, so initiated the transfers through GD.  What gets confusing is that your purchase through Google was really also through GoDaddy.  You’d think it would be an easy transfer from GD to GD, but the support reps can’t help you here since they don’t support transactions through Brokers (Google Apps) – sucks but makes sense.
  2. Find the original purchase email from Google Domains – this will give you a link to create your first admin account.   Once you’ve logged in to the admin panel, go to Advanced Settings –> Domain Names –> DNS Settings.  This will give you your unique GoDaddy user name and password for that domain, along with a customer service pin #.
  3. Once you’ve logged in, there are two steps here.  First unlock the domain.  Second, request the authorization number to be sent via email.
  4. While you’re waiting for the above steps to process, go to www.domainsbyproxy.com and track down your customer number by adding the domain name itself and completing their captcha.  This will send you an email with the customer number.
  5. Once you get the customer number, you can request to reset the password.  They’ll send you an email with a URL-Key to create a new one.
  6. When you have the customer number and your updated password – login to DBProxy and check the box that says ‘remove this domain from the private something or other”.
  7. If you don’t do step #6 prior to beginning the transfer of the domain, you’re transfer will be rejected and you’ll get this lovely and vague error message:  Dear Registration Private,  The transfer of DOMAINNAME.com from Google Apps to another registrar could not be completed for the following reason(s):   Express written objection to the transfer from the Transfer Contact. (e.g. – email, fax, paper document or other processes by which the Transfer Contact has expressly and voluntarily objected through opt-in means). If you believe that this domain name does not fit the situation described above, go to http://www.securepaynet.net/gdshop/support.asp?prog_id=412956&isc=gdbb35 for assistance.  Regards,  Domain Services Google Apps”
  8. When you first requested the transfer, you should have received an email that includes the Transaction ID: 748953143 and Security Code: JF8dGH8176 for your domain.
  9. Eventually you will also receive an email with your Authorization Info:  2348750148PO4677.
  10. Now that your domain is unlocked, it is no longer private, you have your transaction ID, Security Code, Authorization code, go to your GoDaddy Account and view ‘Domain Transfers’.  This is where you’ll see the 4 steps (progress meters) of the transfer.
  11. Since you’ve already initiated the transfer, now you need to authorize the transfer.  Check the domain name box, and in the upper right screen, click and hold the Authorize button, it will provide a drop-down box to select ‘begin authorization’.  <– Poor User Interface and confusing, I was so exasperated at this point that I didn’t see the drop-down, or it took a second longer than I was willing to wait.
  12. Add all your transaction ID, security code and then ‘Accept transfer’, then add the Authorization code.
  13. If all goes well, you should receive a very friendly (not) email from Google stating that it takes 5 days to process.  And that if you want to change your mind FOR ANY REASON, simply log-in to their account to cancel.  Of course they make it really easy to cancel a transfer.
  14. Voila – and that’s just for a single domain.  Because they’re all purchased through Google, with unique GoDaddy accounts, there is no easy or automated (bulk) way to do this.

The above may be obvious to some, but I had a heck of a time making this happen, there were quite a few steps, the GD to GD piece confused me and I’m still in the process of transferring the rest.

Local Trends on Twitter

January 28th, 2010 by Livingston 0

Yesterday, Twitter launched what I believe to be the beginning of a very powerful feature set – Local Trends.   Global trends, have been available for some time, these include world events, celebrity names, and their associated #hashtags.  Now we can dive deeper into local trends by Country and international cities.  This is just the beginning, Twitter has the power to dive down to Zip Codes and eventually take advantage of the Geotags that most of us include in our Tweets.  Imagine searching for trends, topics and items in your neighborhood, or even street.

We can already search locally via Twitter, very powerful if you know your Boolean Logic (or else advanced search page) —>   near:Spokane within:15mi job  -”good job”.  Local trends are one step closer to the hyper-local future of advertising.

The Major topics below include comments on the events, others are more localized content, relevant to the city/country.

New York City:

  • #itampon With the iSlate, iTablet, and iPad among the choices, Apple went with iPad.  
  • Apple iPad Steve Jobs announced Apple’s new tablet computer at a press event today (Jan. 27).
  • #SOTU
  • Ugly Betty ABC is canceling the comedy-drama, effective at the end of this, the fourth, season (Jan. 27).
  • Winn
  • Haiti The country was hit by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. People are tweeting to organize relief efforts or relay news.
  • Multitasking
  • Damon
  • Valentine
  • Union

Sao Paulo:



  • #itampon With the iSlate, iTablet, and iPad among the choices, Apple went with iPad.
  • #oraclesun
  • Apple iPad Steve Jobs announced Apple’s new tablet computer at a press event today (Jan. 27).
  • MadTV
  • Ellison
  • HaitiThe country was hit by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. People are tweeting to organize relief efforts or relay news.
  • Ugly BettyABC is canceling the comedy-drama, effective at the end of this, the fourth, season (Jan. 27).
  • Multitasking
  • Rooney
  • Tablet

Clean, Green and Environmental (Traffic)

January 25th, 2010 by Livingston 0

Simply Hired and Indeed, so alike that even their graphs and data look remarkably similar.  Could there be one glorious RSS job feed hiding out there somewhere?

Green, Environmental, Clean trends

Both Indeed and Simply Hired were trending down in December for unique visitors (below), but imagine things have been picking up for both in January.  Looks like Indeed overtook SH in traffic around June 2009.

Even with their current lead, I find it hard to believe that is that they’re happy to fill their own competitor’s jobs… http://www.indeed.com/q-Simply-Hired-jobs.html.  Perhaps a little tongue-in-cheek?

A little press never hurts..

January 20th, 2010 by Livingston 0

MTV Networks received a little love back in October 2009, from Fox News in an article labled “Job Hunting with Social Networks“.  We’ve seen a lot of traction from our Twitter account @MTVNetworksJobs, and our followers continue to grow, almost 19,000 !

We keep those we follow to a minimum since we’re an HR account, and an EEO company – but it’s been a fantastic vehicle for job syndication.  We follow all our other MTVN twitter accounts (~ 120 and growing), along with accounts related to Twitter services. (Wefollow, Tweetstats, Twitterfeed, Hootsuite, Twellow, etc).  The only issue we face is that individuals are not able to Direct Message (DM), so most all the exchanges with candidates are public – which is probably for the best.

Here’s the video from the article:

We also received some attention from the Wall Street Journal, in an article “A New Job Just a Tweet Away“.  Thanks to Sarah Needleman for the shout out, we were mentioned in the article’s lead paragraph.

“As online job boards have grown crowded amid the recession, many big companies, including Microsoft Corp., Verizon Communications Inc., Raytheon Corp. and Viacom Inc.’s MTV Networks, now list job openings on the Twitter microblogging site.”

We’ve seen some good success with Social Media, but you still hear from those worried about the return (ROI) on their social media investment.  IT’S CHEAP PEOPLE – and with a little creativity, your brand (business or personal) can really shine through.  We’re not talking $400 per job posting, where of course you’d want to be sure that you get what you pay for.  We now syndicate our jobs via XML/RSS for free and have analytics via SquareSpace and Google to keep tabs on where people are coming from, and Taleo reporting for who’s getting hired.  What’s new is that many of these sources are no cost to us.

The real power is the added (but hard to track) benefits that include branding, awareness, connections,  and sharing our company culture (humor, diversity, corporate responsibility) with our applicants.  This is hard when  MTV Networks does not have a home page, only the Viacom site and our new careers site.  Although we have a number of web properties, none give a good overview of our corporate umbrella.  Social media gives us the ability to promote and (more importantly) interact with all of our brands.

Catching up to Ping.fm

December 21st, 2009 by Livingston 0

Ping.fm was ahead of the game for status management across multiple portals and communities.  The challenge was getting a feed to ping, but this could be done fairly easily with Twitterfeed.

One of the great things about Ping in the past is that it could post to Facebook Pages, instead of your standard Facebook profile status.  This is a very important feature for admins that have a personal account, but may also manage Fan or Corporate pages within Facebook.  Ping.fm was the first to easily post to fan pages.

However, the problem with Ping is that it included two bit.ly links when pushing out updates, and there was a dodgy link shortening feature to deal with.  Twitterfeed has new enhanced its offerings, and you can easily syndicate updates to Twitter, Ping.fm and now Facebook (including Facebook Pages).   This has basically taken away the need to use ping before Facebook, except for powering your LinkedIn profile.




For many of the niche sites, you’ll still need Ping today, but I imagine Twitter feed will be adding multiple distribution channels very soon.  Probably a good time to sell to Seesmic.

On a similar note – finally registered a bit.ly account, they’re really giving some powerful metrics in association to both unique bitly URL’s and the Main URL that unique bitly’s represent.  For example you can see how many clicks your unique bitly received in comparison to all bitly’s that point to parent URL.  It also provides a dashboard of your bit.ly activity instead of using the + (plus sign) tag at the end of a bit.ly URL.

Happy Holidays!

December 15th, 2009 by Livingston 0

These E-Card creators are getting better and better!

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

WordPress White Screen of Death or just a ‘WSOD’

November 24th, 2009 by Livingston 0

Phew, well after months of not looking at this site, I realized that there had not been a ‘this site’.  Serves me right for not paying attention to it.  Who knows how long the digitalsourcer page has been down, even the /wp-admin login page was a WSOD.  Thank you to Mr. Hightechdad – for his step-by-step DIY fix for Fixing Blank, Empty OR White Wordpress Pages After Upgrade.  His rename-the-ol’-'plugin-folder to automatically turn off all plugins (including the problem plugin) trick worked.  Sounds like putting off the upgrade from WP 2.6.x to 2.8.6 was not a good idea.

WSOD, similar to the BlSoD or the MS BSOD -  it has been suggested that they be merged as Screens of death .

After a recent trip to Australia, where I learned about everything down under that can kill you, I can only imagine the Aussie’s have another screen of death awaiting discovery.  I wonder what color?

Cassowary Attack

Cassowary Attack

Keyword Combinations with Maxhire’s Search Results Matrix

May 13th, 2009 by Livingston 0

With all the news today surrounding Google’s new product launches (Google Squared, Google Options and Sky Map for Android), it reminded me of a very interesting search feature from the Maxhire product suite.

Like most Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), Maxhire was loaded with bells and whistles, and at times these options cluttered the most basic and useful functionality of a candidate database.  For companies that don’t require scheduling, pipeline management, on-boarding tools, time and attendance features, etc, they shouldn’t have to look at all the fields and sections associated with unwanted add-ons.  Turning these features off should remove them for your view, clean up the dashboard, and simplify the site’s usability.

With that said, Matrix had some very interesting sourcing features, the most memorable was the Keyword matrix search.  It was a very powerful feature, especially for training and explaining the world of online sourcing.  A large part of mastering the art of digging into the web, requires the mastery of basic concepts of Boolean logic and operators.

In this example, the user is searching the three terms “technical support” “system administrator” SQL (this would be equivalent to the string ["technical support" AND "system administrator" AND SQL] within Google.

With Maxhire’s ‘Results Matrix’ view, the user is able to see what went right, and what went wrong within a certain Boolean string.  It also allows recruiters and sourcers to learn the relationships of keywords within a role or job description and across industries.  For example, a ‘non-technical’ Technical Recruiter can see how web technologies may or may not fit together.  If someone has CSS on their profile, chances are they’ve also listed HTML.  If someone has .NET, they most likely have asp.net, c# or vb.net as well.

The beauty of the results matrix is this – in a typical search where no results are returned, the sourcer would not know where they went wrong.  This leads us to the question of which phrase excluded the most results or what was the sour keyword?

The magic is in the results matrix.  All possible search combinations are performed, and each of the results are displayed in a matrix view.  In the above example, 45 profiles included all three keywords, 148 profiles contain the more general phrase of “technical support” and 225 profiles contain the keyword SQL – this could be due to multiple uses of the keyword SQL (My SQL – the Database, SQL Server, or simply referencing the ‘Structured Query Language‘).  For a beginning sourcer, these results display the sensitivity of Boolean logic, and the fine tuning needed to really find that needle in a haystack.

I’m very interested in the release of Wolfram Alpha – available sometime this month, and the upcoming Google Squared, that will open up more Data Results for a given Google Search.

Google ‘Me’ Profile, Latitude and a Few Good links

April 22nd, 2009 by Livingston 0

The article from Read Write Web (RBB) yesterday announced ‘Google Me‘ and the pluses and minuses associated with the new Google Profile service.  As the article points out, most individuals would choose to remove results that include their name, instead of adding more data to the public.  ‘Other Names’ and “Places I’ve Lived’ are both fields you can add to, but not sure why anyone would, this seems very different than the “Cities I’ve visited” widgets on most social networks.

This brings up the important topic of personal branding.  There are accounts and profiles you may or may not want to share with the public.  But then again, controlling your brand with a good number of healthy, relevant links to your name, job or hobbies, may push the negative results to page 2 or 3 on Google.  If you’re not happy with that nagging Friendster photo, or cached web page on Google, it may be worth getting a Google Profile, people may stop looking for you once they find a few good links.  <– Shout out to UnHub

Google also announced ‘Latitude“, what seems to be an incredible way to stay in touch with friends and see who’s out and about in your area.  But once again, more information to the data behemoth.  All of these applications, nicely wrapped together within a single Google Account, with soon-to-be Geo Advertisement targeting block by block.

CV Gadget - very interesting tool to monitor your personal brand. CVGadget searches a number of social networks and returns the results within one simple interface.

UnHub – A Simple way to showcase ‘you’, helps wtih SEO, reverse links, etc..

Twitterfall – Monitoring Twitter’s Public Timeline

March 30th, 2009 by Livingston 0

Summize.com (now search.twitter.com) lets you search the billions of tweets out there through a number of search operators.  It also provides real time updates for a single search.  This means that if people have tweeted since your last search, the results will refresh with more results that fit your query.

For those users that are either monitoring multiple Twitter accounts, or using Twitter for marketing/advertising products and services, Twitterfall adds flexibility and added features to searching Twitter’s Public Timeline.

Twitterfall lets you search multiple keywords at a given time, and also includes geolocation tuning to localize the tweets.  This can be helpful when looking for people, services or skill sets within a certain zip code radius. Twitter feed also lets you color code your queries, this makes it easier to group related queries and/or twitter accounts.  Twitterfall also includes auto-refresh (real time) functionality to that of search.twitter.com

With Twitterfall, you can:

  • Monitor @Replies across all of your twitter accounts.
  • Track similar keywords: ‘MTV Networks’, MTVN MTVGames, ‘MTV Games’, MTVGamesJobs
  • Follow specific users and use color labels to group them by topic or industry.
  • Trend similar hashtags and color code them accordingly: #job, #jobs, #careers, #recruiting, #recruiter, #work, etc.
  • Filter queries with Geo location

An interesting side note.. Many twitter tools incorporate the TinyURL commands to shorten lengthy URL addresses (since we only have 140 characters to work with).  Twitterfall lets you hover over the TinyURL and automatically expands the full URLs.  This can be a nice feature if you’re browsing random tweets, from random users and are unsure where they may be taking you.

Twitter Job Postings via Twitterfeed, RSS Slice and Dice

February 5th, 2009 by Livingston 0

Using Twitter.com for product and service marketing is becoming easier and easier with the help of a number of twitter tools.  I recently started using TwitterFeed to syndicate industry-specific RSS Job advertisements to corporate twitter accounts.

RSS - Real Simple Syndication

1.  You’ll need an active RSS feed with your current job listings.

2.  Get this feed to a major job aggregator. (Indeed, Oodle, Simply Hired, etc)

3.  To create custom RSS feeds unique to job categories, (sales, IT, finance, digital) play with the advanced search feature on the job aggregator until you find the right combination of keywords.  Add your company name to the company field to ensure only your company jobs are displayed.  With Indeed.com, you can also choose to show jobs from the employer’s web site only, instead of other job boards where your company may be paying to post jobs.  This way, the traffic goes directly to your career site or landing page, and is not boosting traffic to the other boards (skewing ROI measurement).

4.  Once you’re happy with the job listing results, look for the RSS icon (orange) on the page, or in the website’s address bar.  Clicking this icon will take you two your unique RSS job category feed.

5.  Using Twitterfeed, create a new feed, select Twitter as the platform, and add the RSS feed you created.  You can choose to automatically shorten the URL with TInyURL, and even add text that proceeds the posting.  (May want to include the twitter hashtag #job for extra weight) Set the frequency, and number of posts and your set.  Voila! – no more manual job posting on Twitter.

Facebook Ads – I think they’ve figured me out.

January 12th, 2009 by Livingston 0

Targeted Facebook Advertisements - Skyscraper

Couldn’t help but notice the skyscraper advertisements on Facebook today.  I know Facebook uses our information including profile data, location, friends’ data, etc to serve targeted ads, but was amazed to see this morning’s ad combo.

  • Coach Youth Soccer – I would love to do this again in New York, just need 30 hours in a day.
  • Deep Deals on Deep Powder – They must know I’m a ski freak and planning a ski trip to Jackson Hole, WY in Mid-March.
  • One for the Team – on MTV. – Is it because I like new music, work for MTV Networks, or perhaps because their new single is titled “A Better Job” !

FB could be putting the finishing touches on their algorithms, or their ad inventory may finally be catching up with gigantic reach and diverse interests (profile data) among its members.

Either way, I’d much prefer these targeted ads – with relevant information, and potentially relevant coupons/discounts to those of generic ‘Doritos’ advertisements.

Where’s Matt Video – Not a Hoax..

January 8th, 2009 by Livingston 0

I’m gonna go with my gut, and the warm and fuzzies I felt after watching the video a number of times.

Others agree, some don’t, but I’m happy to read Matt’s official stance on the matter posted 1/6/08…

From Matt.. “The dancing video is not a hoax. The EG lecture announcing a hoax is itself a hoax. I did not make the video by dancing in front of a green screen. I did travel to all those places. No swimming pools were used to simulate weightlessness. No one (that I’m aware of) built an army of animatronic robots in order to fake a viral video. And Walt Disney never (to my knowledge) said that thing about puppets knowing how to keep their damn mouths shut. I don’t think he’d really talk that way.”

This can be found at the BOTTOM of his ‘announcement that the video is a hoax’.  Do you really think they created robots?

Job Search and Candidate Sourcing with Twitter

December 18th, 2008 by Livingston 0

To many individuals (including Guy Kawasaki), Twitter is becoming the tool of choice for online marketing.

After reviewing Twitter’s search operators, a little digging lead me to some interesting job search and recruiting applications within the twitter community.

If you’re not happy with your job, try also leveraging your twitter network during your next job search.  Just make sure to keep in mind the LIVEdigitally rules of engagement.

Free Tacos for Talent – Street Team Recruiting Tactics

December 10th, 2008 by Livingston 0

Some call it “vulture-like”, I think this is a fantastic way to both spread the word your hiring, market a start up and let the Yahoos know that you’re thinking off them.  Who wouldn’t want free tacos?!

Text Cloud Resumes and Job Descriptions

December 8th, 2008 by Livingston 0

I think it’s fair to say that updating your own resume is a grueling task. Perhaps this is the reason some individuals stay at the same job for decades.  Formatting, font, content and layout all play a big part in the overall presentation of a resume.  Once you think you’ve got it right, hours are spent with a fine tooth comb, attempting to answer seemingly mindless questions including should I use that semicolon? There’s also  Periods or no Periods??

On a similar note, job descriptions are another professional document that hiring managers consistently squirm around. Maintaining a collaborative job description library is useful, it may also score brownie points with your client, but managers will still need to buckle down and write unique content.  This brings up the discussion of job advertisements vs. job descriptions, in order to separate your listing from the millions of job descriptions spanning thousands of job boards.

While content is important, correct punctuation and grammar are imperative to a resume.  Of course the devil is in the details, but it’s also important to examine the overall tone and text within your resume or job description.  Enter Text Clouds.

There are several free places to create Text Clouds..

Once you have created a text cloud with your resume, there are few things to look at once you take out everyday words including: the, and, a, of, etc..

Word Count: Examine the number of repeated words in your document. If your most common word is ‘great’, you may want to buy a thesaurus.  The largest words in your cloud should stand out; think of the large words as your skill set summary.

Subject Matter: If you’re interested in a particular job, take a look at the job’s cloud tag and compare it to your own. If you don’t recognize 90% of the larger words, you’re probably not a fit for the position.

SEO/SEM: For your most important skill set keywords, it may be worth using multiple references or tenses.  For example, a Flash/ActionScript developer may want to have “ActionScript”, “Action Script” and AS 2.0/3.0 listed throughout their resume.  It’s also important to note that some sourcing tools including Broadlook Diver, will only return results with keywords located in certain areas of the resume.

Responsibilities versus Required Experience: Job descriptions are typically separated into sections. Create text clouds with individual paragraphs, to see how closely the required experience resembles the day to day requirements of the opening.  Your resume text cloud may not resemble the overall job description, but may fit the required experience.

Hat tip to Joe Lamantia for a great post on other interesting Text Cloud examples.


Sourcing Skill Sets with State Statistics

December 2nd, 2008 by Livingston 0

There was recently a post on the Alley Insider referencing State Stats, a site that compares keyword search tendencies by state.  AI explores current keywords in the digital space including ‘facebook’, ‘Mark Zuckerburg’, ‘Jerry Yang’, ‘Iphone’, etc.  State Stats compares the relative-rate of search queries across the US, and users can examine the correlation of this query rate to that of other state rankings, including density, illiteracy and income.  This sounded like a perfect research tool for skill sets across the US.  Where to begin?

I thought Drupal and Joomla, two popular Open Source CMS (Content Management System) platforms, with unmistakable names were a good place to start.

  • Joomla: Top States are California, Utah, Virginia, Colorado, Texas, Florida
  • Drupal: Top States are Oregon, California, Massechusets, Colorado, Utah, Washington D.C.
  • PHP:  Top States are Utah, California, Oregon, Texas, New York, Washington
  • Wordpress:  Top States are California, Utah, Oregon, Washington, New York, Colorado

Typically when sourcing for talent, there’s interest in keeping relocation costs down.  Initial searches within a commutable distance are preferred, but there are times you cannot find a sufficient number of interested and available candidates in your local area.  However, without an included radius restriction, or Boolean string of zip code, state, or area code possibilities, there can be an unmanageable number of results.  When a reasonable zip code radius search isn’t returning the proper results, first take a look in the states with buzz around your skill set, before opening up a general nation-wide search and sifting through results.  Don’t forget to also search these particular state craigslist resume boards.

This tool may also assist in visualizing the digital divide that’s also buzzing from state to state.

Twitter Search Operators

December 1st, 2008 by Livingston 0

By now you’ve probably heard of Twitter and may even be addicted to tweeting.  I’ve been casually using it and following some friends and industry folks, but have not yet successfully used it as a sourcing tool, and am itching to do so.

There are some posts and even resources that explain the Boolean logic and zip code radius search with search.twitter.com to find potential candidates.  This tool was originally summize.com, they did a great NYC tech meetup demo here in NYC prior to the ~15 mm acquisition by Twitter.  I spent some time yesterday looking into Twitter’s advanced search operators, and a few of them stood out.

  • Link Filters: The ability to return tweets that include reference URLs. “my resume”  filter:links
  • Since & Until Operators: Similar to Google’s date search feature, you can search a range of dates.  Try searching before and after major related events to your topic.  For example, try until:2008-11-17  “my resume” yahoo versus since:2008-11-17  “my resume” yahoo to filter out everyone applying for the CEO position..
  • :) & :(  Mood Operators: Check out the difference between “my job” :( and “my job” :).  Not everyone uses emotion with their tweets, but some do.  Just my guess, but it’s probably a little more difficult to recruit someone who loves their job.
  • Hashtag Operator (#): Holds more weight than simply searching the word, and hashtags will continue to evolve.  For example, PHP #job when looking for PHP jobs.  This operator can also be used to track specific events.  During the recent 2008 election, users added #current and #debate08 to signify a current, debate oriented tweet.  Others may simply need their daily haiku fix (#haiku).

These have really sparked my interest, some companies are already starting to tap into this resource including Ruder Finn UK, Ripple6, and Chemical Records, but I still think we’re scratching the surface here.

LinkedIn Corporate (Sourcing) Solution

November 25th, 2008 by Livingston 0

I’ve been tinkering with LinkedIn’s corporate solution for the past 6-7 months and can easily say that the ability to search the (entire) rapidly growing LI population warrants the purchase of a single seat.  The free account only lets members search and view up to 3 degrees of the LI population, and growing one’s network to view more members can be timely and diminish the value of a members personal network.  LIONs (LinkedIn Open Networkers) are a good way to rapidly grow your network, but the jury’s still out on the value of this rapid growth.  At one point I read something like 100,000 new members are joining the network per week, now it looks as though they are “currently adding new members at one per second, 24 hours a day, seven days a week”.  (604,800 per week)

However, as far as a recruiting collaboration tool, the ability to share job and project folders alone does not justify purchasing a seat for every recruiter or sourcer on the recruiting team.   A few nice features include bulk emails, exporting to csv or pdf documents and more InMails (50 per month with rollover) to play with that do add some value.  There will need to be more flexibility and features that incorporate more employees involved with the hiring process before the corporate solution will trump other talent acquisition systems (ATS and VMS), but it is a must have for sourcing.

While you can’t have multiple IP addresses (users) on a single seat, this may give rise to adjusting the recruiting team and building that sourcing team you’ve always wanted..

Org Chart Data Visualization and more..

November 24th, 2008 by Livingston 0

There’s been a lot of blogging activity recently on the topic of Data Visualization across social networks.  Facebook shared a video yesterday that shows the interaction of Facebook users across the globe.  (Skip to the middle for the good stuff)  Mashable also listed a few videos, they’re not your typical pie chart.

This reminds me of a great entry from TNT, regarding organizational data structure.  Even looking at the most common organizational chart in a new light can be very powerful.

Corporate Recruiting and Cost Per Hire (CPH?)

November 21st, 2008 by Livingston 0

If you had $1000 to spend on a particular job, what would you do?  Would you source? Would you post?  Where do you begin?

Now think about a $500, $250 or $50 per job allowance, where do you start now?

The recruiting process should not depend on the amount of money in your budget.  Many times, recruiters skip the simple, even free ways to source, post and spread word for an available opportunity.  Immediately posting a job to one of the big three (Monster.com, Careerbuilder.com, HotJobs.com) either manually or through a wrapping agreement is probably the worst thing we can do.  Not only does it cost $$, we lose the chance to view applicants that are truly interested in our company and check our career page on a regular basis.  There is a time to pay-to-post via niche sites and major job boards, but next time you get an open requisition, “let it breathe” and think about what you can do for $100 or less!

PBWiki.com – Viral Job Marketing Example

November 20th, 2008 by Livingston 0

http://i37.tinypic.com/2hpnn0l.jpgNo longer late-breaking news, but thought the guys at pbwiki.com did a great job with their viral job marketing campaign.  3 days ago, this picture was uploaded to digg.com, it was the number one (dugg) item for the day and has now been tagged 4444 times.  Some folks thought it was kinda funny, others noticed the series of numbers/letters at the bottom and could tell there was something more to the posting.

Searching a few of the data sets leads us to this link via md5oogle.com, pointing to the result: http://pbwiki.com/content/jobs.

Google is notorious for even more intricate job campaigns, that include billboards and a complex series of coding puzzles.

I’m happy to see startups taking advantage of the ever-increasing viral nature of the web.  It’s cheaper than using staffing agencies, and serves as a pre-screener for applicants, ultimately providing more quality talent and less resumes to sort through.

Keyword Roots, Tenses within Search vs. SEM

November 18th, 2008 by Livingston 0

Search stemming (also known as wild card (*) search) searches the root of a word and returns all letter combinations (tenses) of the word in the search results.  For example, searching for the words (analyzing, analyzed or analysis), simply search the wild card “analy* ” or in some engines including Google “analy”, when no wild card is needed and stemming is standard.  This will narrow your search without losing results, pretty standard.

However, when marketing to those searching (i.e. resumes, job postings or advertisement), it’s best not to use the root of a word in its simplist or present tense form. To target those searching for (developer, development, develop, developed, developing, develops), you wouldn’t want to only use the word “develop” because you’re content will be excluded in results that stem from searching one of the longer words.  It’s best to use all tenses within your content, or at a minimum, use one of the other longer tenses that include the root (developer, development, developed, developing, or develops), this way you’re post will show up for those also searching “develop” along with the keyword of your choosing, essentially getting 2 for 1.

This doesn’t work for every word and their corresponding tenses; but something to keep an eye on when typing job advertisements, your own resume or when paying for sponsored keywords or pay per click (PPC) AdWords.

Also,  the wild card (*) operator now has an even more powerful feature within the Google search engine, the asterisk is now used to replace a whole word (or words) within a given phrase.  “i’m heading to” * tonight will fill in a word or phrase for you, what’s a practical sourcing application for this trick?

SearchWiki vs. Open Source Search

November 18th, 2008 by Livingston 0

Next Steps for Search?  Collaborative and customizable search results.  Two major players, Google and the founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales, are tackling this challenge.  SearchWiki will allow for customizable results shown only to the user, this seems more similar to bookmarking than tweaking Google’s super-secret search algorithm.  However, there is an option to “see how the community has collectively edited the search results by clicking on the “See all notes for this SearchWiki” link”.  I’m interested to see how this feature works, since most searches are not entirely the same.

Jimmy Wales’ open source search project may level the playing field, neutralizing many of the SEO best practices used by sites, large companies that can afford to focus both their attention and advertising dollars to a top page ranking.

Craigslist Sourcing

November 17th, 2008 by Livingston 0

Many think of Craigslist as a great cheap place to post jobs, but forget there are also thousands of resumes from which to source.

New York City resumes, Albany resumes, Long Island Resumes, etc, all have their own resume micro site.  While they are each a great pool for potential talent, it can be a challenge to source all micro sites when sourcing individuals within a commutable distance to a particular city. (I.e. New York, NY)  Not to mention other states that may also have potential candidates. (i.e. New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania)

Keep in mind that when looking for talent in a particular city, don’t forget about the craigslist resume pool for your sister city or neighboring state.

You can also experiment with searching outside the craigslist.org domain.  Try a search that includes this domain and the ‘res’ (resume) directory without a specific location.  inurl:craigslist.org inurl:res java jsp for a simple java, jsp skill set search within google.

Zip Code – Data Visualization

November 16th, 2008 by Livingston 0

Ben Fry’s Zipdecode tool is over 4 years old, but I’m still impressed with its elegant design, usability and representation of every day data.  Still trying to fine tune this from a sourcing standpoint, but for some reason it helps me to visualize this site when I’m thinking about zip code radius search.  there are times when tweaking the zip code units or tens digit is all you need, combined with the numrange feature of google and you’re good to go, and don’t have to write long Boolean “OR” statements that encompass all possible 5 digit numbers.

For example, let’s say we’re searching within a commutable distance of Spokane, WA (~99223).  Take a look at Fry’s Zipdecode map and the difference between 992__ , 993__ and 994__ .  We then know that zip codes from 99200 – 99300 cover the Pacific Northwest.  A simple numrange search in Google, inurl:resume wa 99200..99300, pulls resumes with any zip code between these numbers, and from Fry’s map, we know they’re in the vicinity of Spokane.
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November 16th, 2008 by Livingston 0

Well, buying a domain from GoDaddy through Google Apps, and turning around to host via GoDaddy has been a bit confusing. Think I will go back to buying domains directly through Go Daddy, easier to add Google Apps and Webmaster tools later.