Archive for the ‘Recruitment’ Category

Some LinkedIn Tips From @talentgeniusltd Twitter Feed

February 22, 2011 1 comment

Recently, I’ve been adding brief LinkedIn tips onto to the Talent Genius Ltd Twitter feed, which you can follow HERE.

So, for a bit of a different ‘blog’, I’ve decided to add them on here as well, to give them another avenue & for LinkedIn users to appreciate. They are only brief tips (mainly as they’re all 140 characters or less!), but if one of them helps you to either get a new job, gain a new client or generally win new business, then it’s worth it. Please continue to ‘follow’ @talentgeniusltd as well for ongoing LinkedIn Tips.

Please note, these are taken directly from the Twitter Feed, so are all 140 characters or less. Please feel free to ‘share’ them on your Twitter feed (if you want to ‘credit’ @talentgeniusltd that’s up to you) – Keep following for more tips each day.

  • Hide which companies you follow in your settings, otherwise your competition may know who you are trying to do business with.
  • Business owners, create a ‘Products & Services’ section on your company page. Get client recommendations for services too.
  • Don’t ‘over-do’ it with colleague recommendations. Client recommendations are more important.
  • Job hunters – Make LinkedIn your full online CV. You can print off & save a PDF of your profile direct from profile page.
  • Don’t over-use LinkedIn & Twitter integration. Over changing your profile will lead to members hiding your updates.
  • Always spell-check your entries. Install a spell-check in your browser bar for ease.
  • Update your profile at least once a week. Use the ‘skills’ feature to highlight & expand upon your experience.
  • Your personal profile photo is also your ‘brand’. Treat it as such. Don’t use company logos as it breaches LinkedIn T&C’s.
  • Always read the Group Rules when you join a new group. You should aim to ‘fit in’ with the culture/tone of the group
  • Add your company website on your profile page and company profile page to help your SEO. LinkedIn is great for backlinks.
  • In open groups, you can ‘share’ discussions & replies directly to Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn (profiles/groups/individuals)
  • When joining groups, think of your competition as well as potential customers. Increase your competitor/Market knowledge
  • You can now restart archived discussions in Open Groups. Pick out your old favourite discussions and start comments again
  • Use less than 20 words in discussion title lengths. Use the discussion body for more detail. Entice members to raise debate
  • Personalise the link to your website. Don’t just call it ‘My Website’. Think of your company branding, get the name out

Other LinkedIn Updates

I thought I’d let you know about a few other small LinkedIn updates that have happened quite recently too that could be useful.

► Sharing LinkedIn Discussions/Promotions/Jobs Through Social Media.

If you are not aware, you can now share your or other member discussions through LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook. I regularly ‘Tweet’ discussions to attract new members to the site and to promote discussions/promotions. It would be great to see fellow members doing this as well.

You can see how to share your discussions at the following LinkedIn Blog Page:

► Brand New Twitter Discussion Feature

LinkedIn have also now added a feature in groups where each reply can be ‘Tweeted’ as well. Those with Twitter Accounts will see a Twitter Icon next to ‘Add Comment’ when adding a reply. Very useful when tweeting out comments, replies, messages or maybe a little too weighted on LinkedIn getting more exposure through other social media.

To note, you can stop each reply going out on your Twitter account as well by ‘unticking’ the box next to ‘Add Comment’.

► Restarting Old/Archived Discussions

Since being made an ‘Open group’, all older discussions were ‘archived’. This archive has always been viewable, but you can now also restart your old/archive discussions. A very useful feature if you want an old discussion topic to be discussed again, whilst retaining all previous comments from other members.

► FREE LinkedIn Guide 4.0

I have updated the FREE Talent Genius Ltd LinkedIn Guide. You may download the guide from the following Google Documents Link (You do not need a Google Account to download). Please note, if the download link does not work, it is simply as the download quota is high, please just retry after a few minutes:

► FREE HR & Employment Law Seminar – March 22nd, Bolton

Talent Genius LtdPeninsula Business Services are co-hosting a FREE Employment Law Seminar for Business Owners, Company Directors and Senior Level HR ONLY.

Tuesday, 22nd March 2011. Bolton Reebok Stadium, Bolton

9.30am-10.00am – Coffee/Refreshments

10.00am-12.45pm – Seminar (Including A Break Period)

When it comes to business success, your employees are your most precious and costly resource. Productive, engaged employees lead to increased customer loyalty and profitability. But there are many traps and pitfalls that can reduce productivity and put you, the employer, at risk.

As you prepare for economic growth, now is the time to meet our experts who will guide you through your staff management issues.

To attend this FREE Event, please email or call Steve Smithson on 01942 323 000.

You may also register your interest through Linkedin at the following events page (please note, this event is being promoted through various sources):

Please note, this event is for Business Owners, Company Directors, Senior Level HR Professionals ONLY.

HR Consultants, Recruitment Consultants or employees of HR Consultancies will be advised they cannot attend as the co-host is an Employment Law Consultancy themselves & there is a conflict of interest.


Steve Smithson
Managing Director
Talent Genius Ltd

PS: A new Talent Genius Ltd website is coming soon…

If you notice the site down, it’s because ‘changes are coming’.


Recruitment Agents Are Not All Evil. Part Two

October 20, 2010 10 comments

First of all, thanks for all the comments on ‘Part One’ of this part of the Talent Genius Ltd blog, looking at my WordPress stats, I see there were over 4,000 unique views in the first 24 hours, which is remarkable. Also, thanks for the comments on Linkedin as well. If you wish to connect with me on Linkedin, my profile can be found HERE

For this part of the blog, I’ll discuss the ‘reputation’ of Recruitment Consultants that I have come across on various Linkedin Group Discussions and I’ll address one of the issues…

So, I wake up at 7.00am and, luckily, I work from a home-based office, so I now don’t have to drive twenty miles in rush hour traffic each day, but when I turn on my PC, I open Outlook and see there’s 430 emails that have been sent to me from 10pm to 7am. Many of these emails are ‘CV Alerts’ from particular jobsites that I use. So, here is ‘Issue 1’ to look at – I’ve read several candidate experience’s and their interpretation of events/though processes on recruitment. One comment from an unhappy candidate of a Recruitment Agency (RA) read :

“All these RA’s just add fake jobs on job sites to fish for new CV’s, they have no interest in helping us get a job…”

Well, to inform you, RA’s with access to most job boards can set up ‘CV Alerts’ by using particular industries/job title/experience levels/keywords and these CV’s get sent directly to agencies. So there’s no ‘need’ to RA’s to simply ‘fish’ for new CV’s because if you are registered on the job board you saw the advert on, chances are the RA already has your CV. Job Adverts are primarily designed to attract new, relevant candidates, some of which may not be registered and only ‘passively’ looking for a role, so they see the job ad and then send in their CV themselves. It’s also these candidates who tend to be more ‘suitable’ for the roles as they have typically read the job ad properly and feel that they are generally a good ‘fit’.

Now, a typical job advert (and I’m basing this on my ads) will attract at least 100 applications in the first 48 hours. I’d addressed before that many of these applications are probably not suitable anyway, but these candidate’s that are not suitable DO waste the RA’s time. They tend to send their CV in several times, make several phone calls to the RA and look for the reason direct from the RA as to why they are not suitable.

Unfortunately, these candidates are actually taking valuable time away from the RA, who genuinely wants to find the best candidates for the role and wants to spend their time speaking/meeting/registering the candidates that they feel are more suitable. And remember, RA’s are essentially ‘paid to discriminate’ by their clients as the client only wants a shortlist based upon the brief they have given the RA. The RA wants to ‘fill the role’ so they can make money themselves… So they can pay their mortgages, have a social life, whatever they need money for.

What they do not want is to spend their valuable time explaining to unsuitable candidates why they are not suitable and for that candidate to then have a ‘rant’ online, with statements such as “How dare the RA tell me I’m not suitable, I have all the relevant experience”.

I’ll take a recent example I had, for a HR Business Partner Role.

“Hi Steve, I’ve sent you my CV for the HR Business Partner role in Birmingham.”

“Ok, let me look at your details, we try to contact suitable candidates in due course, but let me check…”

I then looked at the candidate’s CV, which was a very poorly laid out CV, full of spelling and grammatical errors, no email address, no telephone number and a silly email address similar to ‘genderbender69@…’ The CV had no reference to any previous experience as a HR Business Partner or within the industry of my client, who, despite my attempts to ensure that many skills were transferable, wanted someone from within their sector, for various reasons which were all understandable.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t think you are suitable for the HR Business Partner role, looking at your CV, you don’t have any relevant experience, your history is more L&D focused.”

“Excuse me, but I have lots of experience in a HR Business Partner role, it just wasn’t my job title and I haven’t put that on my CV…”

“Ok, fair enough, but your CV is your marketing tool, it’s what is there to benchmark you against the role and other candidates, if you don’t have the relevant experience on it, even if you do, I’m not to know. Would you mind revising your CV and adding on the relevant details of your similar role in the industry?”

“No, I don’t have time for that, can you not do that?”

“Sorry, no, we don’t falsify CV’s to suit roles and it’s important that you write the detail, etc as to ensure that you did the duties/tasks. If you can redo it and send it to me, I’ll take a good look and give you some feedback.”

“Well that’s just wrong, you’re telling me I don’t have the experience, who are you to say?

“Ok, that’s your opinion, but until you do this, I can’t consider your application any further.”

At this stage, I could’ve explained how I have worked in the HR industry for 12 years and so on, but I decided it would be best to politely terminate the call. I’m sure RA’s out there receive many similar calls, but it’s worth noting that I also saw this candidate have an online ‘rant’ against agencies and employers. Should the candidate have considered that these ‘online rants’ are visible to employers too and show a poor sense of judgement. If you were an employer and saw the candidate’s ‘online rant’, would you not question the motives and use that as part of a recruitment decision?

Candidates as much as RA’s need to ensure that they are not being overly negative when using social media because of its easy accessibility to potential employers/recruiters. The RA would see the candidate as a ‘high risk’ and not want to put the candidate forward for roles because their client relationship could be at risk too.

Food For Thought… Recruitment is a two way process from RA’s and Candidates and Candidates need to work hard to get the job too. Every RA I know works very hard to ensure that they do everything they can to help the candidates and as someone mentioned in the previous blog comments, recruitment is a ‘thankless job’. But hey, we are an important part of the process in ensuring the job market ‘bounces back’, so please, use us well and appreciate our hard work in securing you an interview and the interview preparation, don’t ‘blame’ us (unless we did do something wrong!).

Work with us and we, in return, will always work hard for you.


Steve Smithson

Managing Director

Talent Genius Ltd


Recruitment Agents Are Not All Evil. Part One

October 18, 2010 10 comments

There are many groups on Linkedin where all you will read is discussion after discussion on how people ‘hate’ Recruitment Agents (RA’s) and how RA’s do ‘nothing’ and never reply to calls or emails, how many add fake job adverts on the internet to attract candidates and so much more. Constant ‘RA’s are a waste of time’, etc.

It becomes tedious after discussion number 10 in a particular group (Webrecruit), where the Group clearly has an agenda to ensure that these ‘bad news items’ about RA’s get out into the public (as Webrecuit simple run a flat-rate internet recruitment solution, so they WANT people to not like RA’s). I even tried adding a post about supporting RA’s, but it got deleted and I messaged the group owner, who looks at my profile at least once a day, but doesn’t have the courtesy to reply.

Before working in Recruitment, I thought RA’s had it easy. It seemed like all they did was find a CV, get it over to me and I then paid a fee to them. All the RA’s I knew were making £100k+ a year, worked 14 hour days, then 6 hours in the pub, then 4 hours sleep. I moved into recruitment and the reality is very different, especially when I moved into recruitment during a recession. RA’s I knew still worked very long days, making calls to candidates at 7.30am and then again at 7.30pm, meeting 5 candidates a day, interviewing them, then making 50+ cold calls to businesses to see if they were recruiting, etc and 49 of those calls getting a simple  ‘Piss Off!’ from the prospect.

Then the RA’s go home, but they are still ‘on call’ and candidates are calling them at 9pm, 10pm, emailing them even later and expecting a reply asap to help them get a job. Then candidates send an email advising they can’t make an interview (that the RA hs worked VERY hard to get for them in the first place).

The RA then goes into work, turns their PC on and there’s 200 new CV’s overnight from one job ad, lets say for a HR Manager in Manchester. About 20 of the CV’s are from Poland, Nigeria or India. Then 50 or so are from candidates who have never worked in a HR dept, but have ‘sat in a few disciplinaries’. Then there’s, say, 100 candidates left. Most of them are a waste of time, there’s the candidate who knows its a full-time position being advertised, but wants part-time hours and wants to work Monday Afternoon and Wednesday only. But still wants to be put forward so more time can be wasted. Then several candidates make phone calls into the office, usually when they wake up at about 11am and they ‘want to know more about the job’, but the RA won’t reveal anything til they send in a CV.

“I sent my CV last night to you, have you not read it yet? My God, you RA’s are rubbish!”

“Sorry, I have had 200+ applications for the role, I’ve not had time to go through each of them, because all our candidates expect 5-10 minute phone calls, explaining whey they are not suitable for the job. And in that time, my competitor has not replied to the emails or made phone calls to every none-relevant candidate who expects reply. They’ve also got 3 ideal candidates, 1 already registered with them and 2 who I may also have the CV of, but haven’t had a chance to ring them yet because of the Nigerian Fork-Lift Truck driver, who has now sent his CV 33 times to me. Oh, my competitor has two interviews set up as well already.”

“So… Why am I not suitable for the role?” asked the angry candidate.

“Sorry, I haven’t read over your CV just yet, I’ve been working for hours without any break and your CV is a mess, it’s formatted all wrong, there’s spelling mistakes galore and your email address is ‘’. Oh and you were previously an electrician, not a HR Manager, I’m afraid you won’t be suitable for the role.”

‘Well, thanks for wasting my time then you stupid RA!” exclaims the candidate.

The RA then rests his head in his arms, shaking in disbelief. Then the phone rings again, this time, it’s ‘Shirley’ and Shirley is a Cook, but she has read a book about HR, is immediately available and wants nothing less than £45k…