Alasdair Murray's Blog (37)

Job boards Aren't Dying (but a lot of recruiters are doing their best to help kill them off)

I sometimes think people are thinking far too hard and becoming much too confused about the whole recruitment process and how to attract applicants.

Job boards to me are the ideal and only place I would look for jobs. Why? Because it is so bloody simple. I register and set up some search terms so that…

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Added by Alasdair Murray on June 19, 2014 at 6:30am — 7 Comments

Technology and the numbers game is destroying creativity of thought.

While browsing Twitter recently I noticed an organisation that was offering an all in recruitment advertising service for less than £200 (about $335), so I got in touch. Not because I have any jobs to advertise, but because I was curious. Here's what they told me:

"We will write your advert ensuring it is…

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Added by Alasdair Murray on June 3, 2014 at 5:30am — 1 Comment

Do employers need to to adapt to meet the needs of Gen Y? (Or should Gen Y adapt to meets the needs of the employer?)

When I was growing up as something of a surly youth way back when, I had my own idea of what I wanted and what the world owed me. But, I soon found out that in order to get on in life, and in work, you need a degree of flexibility rather than a set of immovable expectations around which employers need to lightly tread. The difference is of course, back then we…

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Added by Alasdair Murray on September 16, 2013 at 6:00am — No Comments

Who or what really, really winds you up at work?

A survey of 2,500 office workers carried out at the end of 2012 revealed that the most annoying trait amongst their colleagues was noisy eating.  Not surprisingly, general messiness, smelly food and irritating habits were also high up on the list of general gripes. But it got me thinking, other than the above examples, what is it that winds YOU up at work? Here are five of my own personal favourites.

At number five, what I like to call ‘the sarcastic welcomer’ i.e. the person who…

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Added by Alasdair Murray on February 18, 2013 at 10:00am — No Comments

There's not a lack of talent, there's a lack of creativity and forethought!

The following is an elongated version of a comment I made recently about an article which posed the question "Does talent grow on trees" and debated whether there is a talent shortage in the current marketplace.

As someone who has worked in recruitment marketing for over 20 years, I would say there has been a definite dumbing down in the messages that some people, recruiters and employers alike, put out there these days under the guise of being a…

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Added by Alasdair Murray on October 26, 2012 at 6:00am — 1 Comment

Ever wondered what the clever phrases in those job ads actually mean?

Conduct an online job search these days and you’re soon confronted with lots of ads, many suggesting, without actually saying it of course, that each day spent working with them will be just like dying and going to heaven, only better. But should they be taken at face value?  Is your workplace heaven? Or is it more like hell, despite what that ever so enticing advertisement that lured you there in the first place suggested? Here I take a lighthearted look at what job ads say and what they…

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Added by Alasdair Murray on April 24, 2012 at 7:00am — No Comments

20 more interview questions and how NOT to answer them

Following the popularity of my original series of 20 interview questions and how not to answer them, I've once again revisited the job interview scenario and present for your delectation a bit of Friday afternoon fun:

Interviewer:  "How do you manage people?'.

Interviewee: "I don't so much manage as tolerate them to be honest" 

Interviewer: "Describe a complex problem you had to deal with"

Interviewee: "Chlamydia wasn't much fun, but…

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Added by Alasdair Murray on April 20, 2012 at 9:00am — 1 Comment

I don't buy all this "allowing Facebook access at work increases productivity" nonsense

Remember before all this online technology shenanigans when we just turned up to work - to work? Did we insist that we had access to Pac Man, Pong or Space Invaders, or any of the other trivial pursuits you care to name, during working hours? Of course not. Then, when the good old 'Messenger' came along - Yahoo, AOL etc. - and enabled us to chat with strangers at our will - did we insist that our new distraction of choice be installed on our PCs in the office? No. So why, pray tell, is there…

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Added by Alasdair Murray on April 12, 2012 at 7:34am — 12 Comments

I'm willing to believe that social recruiting works, but the compelling evidence just isn't out there

I’ve had a few run ins, albeit friendly exchanges of banter, of late with a few pro social recruiting types. Obviously it’s difficult to explain ones self fully in 140 characters or less so I thought I would take a bit longer to explain my stance.

 

I make no bones about it – I like social media. I said as much over 2 years ago in a blog that picked up on Ricky Gervais’s flounce (he’s since come back as we all know). Indeed I have gained business I would never have otherwise…

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Added by Alasdair Murray on February 15, 2012 at 2:30pm — 30 Comments

Is it time to banish the clichés and the errors and take a good hard look at the way you communicate?

Freelance copywriter Alasdair Murray on how some recruiters could gain a competitive edge over their rivals if only they thought a bit more about the messages they put out into the public domain.

 

They are there for all to see – the ‘new year, new career’ job ads that get wheeled out at the beginning of each new year. Someone somewhere clearly still thinks it’s original and a bit clever. Trust me, it’s not, nor has it been for many years. In fact, it’s become…

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Added by Alasdair Murray on February 9, 2012 at 8:30am — No Comments

You can reach me by email, you can reach me by website, you can reach me by mobile phone, but....

...for crying out loud make the content you reach me with worth reading!

 

Seriously, the more technology advances and, as a result, the easier it becomes for any old Joe to upload content onto a website, the more creativity seems to be going out of the window, particularly in recruitment.

 

What sparked my latest rant? I read somewhere today that as there are 5 billion mobile phone users in the world it follows that many  more people in the coming months and…

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Added by Alasdair Murray on October 5, 2011 at 9:00am — 8 Comments

Are we the architects of our own employment downfall?

An interesting debate emerged recently when it was revealed that the UK actually has more jobless teenagers than Slovenia.

Straight away of course there were the usual "well what do you expect with all the foreigners coming over here" type comments and others blaming the generation before them for voting for this, that and the other, but it got me thinking (always a dangerous thing) - would it be silly to suggest that it's nothing to do with immigration, baby boomers, Generation X or…

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Added by Alasdair Murray on September 13, 2011 at 7:00am — No Comments

Enough of this global talent pool talk already!

Not a single day passes by of late without hearing the dreaded words 'global talent pool', but what does that phrase actually mean in practice, if anything at all?

Consider a typical recruiting scenario. You're looking for a mid-career engineer for a specific location. There is no relocation package on offer so straight away it would be fair to assume that 99 times out of a hundred your likely candidate is going to come from a 30 or 40 mile radius of wherever the business is situated.…

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Added by Alasdair Murray on May 3, 2011 at 11:00am — 13 Comments

What IS a talent community anyway?

I keep hearing so much hot air and bluster from social media 'experts' about how talent communities are the way to go. But what does it all mean?

My understanding is that the idea is that companies try and make their customers, or in this instance, potential candidates, talk to each other. Engage in a cosy little chat within an online community with the notion of sharing information,opinion, ideas etc. But why???

Overshadowed only by marriage and buying a home, an individual's…

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Added by Alasdair Murray on March 1, 2011 at 11:43am — 7 Comments

Social recruiting? It's just a passing fad (unless you're a household name company of course)

Microsoft. Apple. Google. Coca Cola. Virgin. The BBC. What do they have in common? Each of them could advertise on the back of a cigarette packet, put a card in a shop window or float a message in a bottle out to sea and they would still get a good response to their recruitment campaigns. Indeed all of them receive hundreds of unsolicited applications each and every year.

 …

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Added by Alasdair Murray on February 9, 2011 at 9:30am — 95 Comments

Computer says 'no'. Or, why technology is destroying creativity

Browsing Twitter recently I came across a pretty senior level role for a prominent UK organisation. Nothing unusual there. But, upon reading through the job advertisement it soon became apparent that no thought whatsoever had gone into its make-up. Indeed, this job post was over 200 lines long and consisted purely of dull cut and pasted content taken straight from a job description.

I decided to ask the advertiser why, as a leading light in their field, they saw fit to post such a…

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Added by Alasdair Murray on January 17, 2011 at 10:00am — 3 Comments

Good copy, bad copy (or, how the same job can be written in two totally different ways. One alluring, the other bland)

Today I am going to demonstrate two different ways of posting the same job on the web. The first way is the all too common lazy one where a recruiter simply cuts and pastes the job description and top and tails it with a bit about the client and a response mechanism. The other way is the right way, and that is, instead of cut and pasting it, to take the information from the job description and craft it into a bit of copy that not only flows, but reaches out…

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Added by Alasdair Murray on September 19, 2010 at 9:30am — 7 Comments

Do you go into a grocery store to buy a car?

...when you're in a pharmacy, do you have a sudden urge to purchase a shovel? No, of course you don't. But hang on a minute, there's a method to what seem a couple of mad and random questions, and it's this...



Everywhere you look these days there is always someone who is happy to preach about how social recruiting is where it's at. Encourage people to be fans on Facebook they say. Establish an online community for your company where everyone… Continue

Added by Alasdair Murray on September 1, 2010 at 10:00am — 2 Comments

9 simple steps to writing a good recruitment advertisement/job board post

Do you see writing job ad copy as a bit of a chore? Something that you put off until the last possible minute and then hastily throw together with more than a little apprehension or doubt? Use this simple nine step guide and you’ll soon get used to a formulaic running order that will make writing copy that much easier in the future.



1) THE JOB TITLE – Start off by asking yourself is the job title an industry recognised standard or something… Continue

Added by Alasdair Murray on August 12, 2010 at 4:30am — No Comments

The same thing that's dragged job boards down will kill off social recruiting (or why recruiters fail to grasp the concept of advertising)

Honestly, if I had a penny for every time I have read about how the job boards are dying I'd have ooh, let me see now, at least one of the Queen's English pounds sterling. And you know what? they are not dying of old age, they are being poisoned into oblivion by the very people who are meant to make them work - the recruiter.



Yes siree, it doesn't take much figuring out. Social media isn't the holy grail these gurus would have you believe it is. You post the same crap as you've been… Continue

Added by Alasdair Murray on July 20, 2010 at 9:00am — 11 Comments

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