Getting a handle on your SEO and SEM will create best on-line publicity for better talent recruitment and placement!

In a weak economy like this, job boards and search engines get used more than ever before (Read).

So recruiters have more applicants than ever.  So why doesn’t your applicant quality for niche roles seem much better?

The answer begins with two questions: 1) How well are job postings being seen on job boards, as well as major search engines like Google and Yahoo, and job-specific engines like SimplyHired.com and Indeed.com?  and 2) What about the company’s online brand exposure (Web 2.o/Personal PR)?

Yes, dull job postings are a part of the problem!  Most lack the “what’s in it for me” motivating appeal that lets a passive candidate visualize the role, challenge, environment, etc. and want to get off their rear and apply for the job!  Even if you rewrote a job posting to make it “sing,” that’s not going to solve the dilemma in the age of Web 2.0.

Nowadays, professionals don’t necessarily think to go to a completely different kind of website for jobs.  They naturally search in the same place they go to find everything else:  their favorite search engine.

NOTE:  Google alone has over 150 million searches per month for jobs!

Or if someone uses a job-specific search, it’s increasingly on a job aggregator site that pulls job postings from multiple boards:  Indeed and SimplyHired are now both in the top 7 of *all* US job-related sites. In either case, job postings get buried almost immediately.  Did you know that approximately 60% of on-line users don’t look past the first page of their search engine results?  And almost 9 times out of 10, users don’t venture past the first three pages of search results?  Today, it’s not how new your postings are that determine their visibility, but their search relevance.  Even most career websites are pushed far down the results where you’d like to rank high, deflating your employer brand.

Here’s a recommendation:  Consider this 90-minute webinar next Thursday, Aug. 13, that will really explain search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing (SEM) for recruiting and employer branding. Learn how to leverage these two things to your advantage. 

Save the date for: 

“SEO & SEM for Recruiters: An Introductory Guide to Improve Your On-line Visibility.” 

Whether you want to do it on your own, or you already use a consultant (me, for instance!), this session will give you the confidence to make intelligent decisions and act purposefully:

http://aces.arbita.net/webinars/SEOSEMforRecruiters-aug09

THIS WEBINAR LETS YOU TAP AN EXPERT!

When MY GUYS (I am a big fan) and SOCIAL MEDIA GURUS (when it comes to recruiting),  Shally Steckerl and  Glenn Gutmacher of theJobMachine, Arbita Consulting & Education Services (ACES) http://aces.arbita.net have a question about search engine optimization (SEO) or marketing (SEM), they turn to one expert at Arbita ACES:  Nicole Bodem. 

With seven years of SEO experience, the last 2.5 of which specializing in recruiting, Nicole Bodem is a guru at helping you increase your online visibility.  (Check out her recent excellent blogpost at http://aces.arbita.net/Optimizing-your-Social-Media-Profile about optimizing your social network profiles, too.)  Just as importantly, she clearly explains what’s in the way of your recruiting success online, and how you can do many of the improvements yourself, regardless of budget. “Nicole is clearly among the best in this space, cuts through the clutter and tells it straight,”said Shally. “When she makes a search recommendation or implements something herself for a client, I know it’s going to make a real difference in their online recruiting results.”  Today’s tools also allow you to understand where your job postings appear and who’s coming to your career website as a result.  Now, the metrics and platforms to track source exist — and don’t depend on flawed candidate self-reporting.  You can determine which channels deliver the right talent.

What surprises most recruiters is that it’s not just job boards you need to focus on.  Through a combination of SEO and SEM, you can tilt the playing field your way by targeting relevant passive talent on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing, job-specific engines like SimplyHired and Indeed, social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook, as well as job boards. Even if you’re new to SEO or SEM, this online workshop on Aug. 13 at 1pm US EDT will cut through the hype and give you the understanding to take action, not dependent on any particular vendor or product.  Make a noticeable difference in your job posting and career website success.  Get details about “SEO & SEM for Recruiters: An Introductory Guide to Improve Your Online Visibility” and register today for just US$99.97 at http://aces.arbita.net/webinars/SEOSEMforRecruiters-aug09

 HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL LEARN IN 90 MINUTES NEXT THURSDAY (8/13/09):

– A clear understanding of the difference between SEO and SEM:  how each channel works, what it costs and how to control it

– Real-world examples of good and bad job ads, including tips and techniques you can implement immediately

– Effective ways to optimize your job advertisements, ensuring your latest postings have strong presence on the major search engines

– Analytical tools to track responses and understand which metrics are important to track

– How to evaluate your website for search engine friendliness, including which technologies to avoid that may prevent search engines from finding your job postings

– The 3 cornerstones of SEO — technical, content and trust — and how to remove barriers so all three are present, with some simple changes you can make today to increase your search engine visibility

– Quality score:  Bidding is not everything with search engine ads: your competitor can pay less yet still get more clicks! Learn how that works.

Recruitment and really all SEO and SEM are key to have in order to succeed in the Web 2.0 age.  They are the route to the success metrics that talent operations increasingly need to deliver to management.  I realize this is new territory for many, so  to make it easy for you:  The folks at ACES are so confident this webinar will make a difference in your recruiting and sourcing success, that if you decide afterwards it wasn’t useful, Shally has agreed to let you take a completely different Arbita ACES webinar workshop anytime in the next year, at no charge or obligation.

So what else can you learn by getting a handle on SEO and SEM?:

– Precisely control and track your job-related keyword spend

– Generate metrics for your site visitors & where they’re from

– Target talent by location and other criteria – even those seeking jobs among your competitors

– Customize your messaging to applicants

– Drop Your Cost per Click and per Applicant

– Turbocharge Your Employer Brand

This professional seminar offers you, without travel and from the convenience of your own computer, an ideal way to learn the latest ideas surrounding search engine optimization and marketing for recruitment.  With hundreds of millions of job-related searches done on search engines, job boards, job aggregators and other web properties per month, it only makes sense to learn how to use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) to your advantage.  And there’s no easier or clearer way to get your jumpstart than this webinar on Aug. 13 by Arbita’s acclaimed SEO/SEM guru, Nicole Bodem: http://aces.arbita.net/webinars/SEOSEMforRecruiters-aug09


It’s not what you say, it’s what you DO (with your Personal Brand).

Last month, Blogger and Senior Executive Business Development and Operations Strategist, Jeff Plante wrote piece about branding in business and why it’s necessary and essential to “back up” up words with actions (within operations, policies and procedures)  in order to continue build a company brand and have it continue to be successful for an organization long term.  In his post on July 24, 2009 (read the complete version on his Growing Profits Blog), Jeff wrote:  

Branding, as a concept, is easy enough to understand. It is the process by which an entity takes certain actions and creates messaging around itself to project an image associated with the entity. The image that a person or company seeks to project is referred to as “the brand” in a company’s or person’s eyes.

He goes on to say:
Success in branding is truly about the journey.  In other words, a business has to be brutally honest with its own self when it comes to defining a brand. What is the image that comes to mind in the market when your company name is heard or signage is viewed or a product is purchased? That is the starting point. The end result point is aligning an executive leadership team and the employees on the brand or image you wish to be seen in this manner in the future. What do you want people to think? What do you want them to feel? When they hear the name of your company? 

A company that understands what a “branding campaign” is really about is truly interested in changing or improving its brand. It will embrace this understanding and will actually tie in its messaging and communications with company operations, polices and procedures that reflect and support this message!

A strategic plan associated with annual operating plans and which ties in the desired brand to specific improvements and changes in the company’s operations, policies and procedures that impact the external environment is a key approach.

The very same practice can and should also apply to every individual out there who is currently looking to build on and HAVE a well rounded and LIKABLE brand.  So I  have rewritten some of  Jeff Plante’s observations as it applies to building a great PERSONAL BRAND AND KEEPING PERSONAL PR in continuous movement.  Please keep in mind that I have learned a lot of this “the hard way” over the years, but glad that I went through what I did  via my own and my clients’ campaigns (especially in the last few years as the term Personal Brand started to come into play) to truly understand that it takes more work than just words to build personal branding, thought leadership and great publicity! 

Let me know what you think:

Branding, as a concept, is easy enough to understand, but it is the process by which a PERSON takes certain actions and creates messaging around HIS/HERSELF to project an image associated with “HIS/HER PERSON.” The image that a person seeks to project is referred to as “the brand” in THE EYES OF THE BEHOLDER.Success in branding is truly about A PERSON’S journey.  In other words, a PERSON has to be brutally honest with HIS/HER own self when it comes to defining HIS/HER OWN brand. What is the image that comes to mind in the market when YOUR (INDIVIDUAL) NAME is SEEN OR HEARD or YOUR POST/signage is viewed or YOUR PRODUCT is purchased? That is the starting point. The end result is  being able to get OTHERS  to align (your staff, your publicist, your agent, your colleagues, fans, attorney .. etc.) with YOUR brand or the image NOW and in the future. What do you want people to think or feel (even believe) when they see and hear YOUR NAME?

THE PERSON who understands what a “branding campaign” is really about is also truly interested in also providing a human spirit to as well as always developing, changing or improving upon THE PERSONAL BRAND.  A SUCCESSFUL PERSONAL BRAND will embrace this understanding as well as actually tie in THE RIGHT messaging and communication pattern with HIS/HER own personal (or company) viewpoints and concepts that reflect and support the message!

A strategic plan and a consistent campaign that ties in A PERSON’S DESIRED BRAND to specific qualities and practices that HE/SHE can offer on a consistent basis (again, WITHIN A BUSINESS OR CAREER PATH –for instance) to impact an external environment or audience in a positive way is THE  BEST approach TO BUILDING A BETTER AND  MAINTAINING A CONSISTENT PERSONAL BRAND THAT WILL SIMPLY DOVETAIL INTO EXCEPTIONAL PERSONAL PR.


“Do it yourself PR” is not always the best practice (focus on what “you do”).

I keep going back to this article that was published in Entrepreneur Magazine last month (I had to put it on my website): Get Thee to a PR Firm (by Sara Wilson).  Sara’s short article says it all.  I sit here on a daily basis wondering why most people still tend to believe that “self promotion” is the only way.  Here’s my train of thought: I you are not a regular promoter of “thy self” (i.e. in the vein of Donald Trump— who in fact does have PR people) or a promoter/publicity producer in a company or for an agency (those people don’t have the need to self promote for the most part – they are too busy working for their company or clients), you should not be in dabbling in the business of personal publicity.  There is no such thing as “do it yourself PR” – and there are ways to outsource it to people who can provide a 3rd party representation angle with production and management.  In my opinion, focusing on “what you do” best should always be your best practice.


You have to be able to tell a good story

The ECMG (business talent representation with personal publicity production/management) side of my business focuses on executives who are in opportunity search mode (passive or agressive).  I still find it fascinating when I meet an executive who has been having a hard time finding a job, but who still thinks that his resume is going to open doors (like it used to maybe 10 years ago?).  I know about the old saying: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  However in this case, if  “it is not doing what it used to do (i.e. if the old way is broken), you better fix it.”  What I am trying to say here is that simply floating around (even a really good) resume in this market without a strong pitch, promotion, or even a third party rep/ pitch person to go along with it won’t do much (unless of course you have a super strong and extended network and the time and DESIRE to be your own pitch person and promoter) .  This is especially true for those individuals who have a unique and highly successful career path. You have to really push the envelope these days and get out there and TELL your story. Whether you do that via a personal publicist (who will do all the story telling and pitching for you), a blog and/or a personal website (with really strong SEO) or through on-line social networking and media, the more channels you can put you message out through the better.  Posting a resume or floating it around (marketing it) will not create personal publicity – your STORY will.  A resume is an outline of your career and while it can outline your success (quickly), in today’s COMPETITIVE  MARKET need to tell your story AND BE ON THE LEADING EDGE  to be able to get the traction that is needed now and in the future (for opportunity growth).


Social Networking = 1 part of a Personal PR/Networking and Marketing Effort!

I am VERY into social networking AND naturally, part of my business is to get clients into and produced on social networking (as well as manage and educate them on the process) or in some cases, build up clients who are already into it  — if they are just beginning or just don’t have the time to do it (read on).  As a publicist, I have to say the social networking is one of the best and cheapest ways to “get PR” – BUT it does not happen overnight or that quickly (even if you have the biggest network known to man).  People are into their own thing and most (while they will not admit to this!) are just not into “helping friends get connected” so that their friend can find a job or business etc. in hopes that that friend will then help them get connections and connected to do the same. Do you know what I mean? 

I just got invited to join a social networking site called: SALESCONX (www.salesconx.com). This is a social networking site that actually will PAY!  INGENIOUS! This is a way to actually get people to refer more often – because hard cold cash is involved).  I am not sure how it will work out – sounds very good – (pretty new deal), but Salesconx offers members three primary ways of earning referral fees:

  • List a Connection for Sale. Know of a colleague, customer, partner or investor looking for a particular product or service that you don’t offer? Do you have a relationship with a sought after decision maker? Determine your own referral fee for this connection and add it to the Salesconx listings. Salesconx buyers request to purchase an introduction to this person from you – for the fee that you have already determined.
  • Browse their Database for Connection Requests. Every day, Salesconx members are posting Requests for a Connection, or a request for a lead.  They have members offering superior referral fees for sellers who are willing to put them in touch with that right person.
  • Refer another experienced, qualified professional. Salesconx members earn $20 for each approved, experienced professional that they refer to our community.  

Okay that is all really great to know and well; I can’t say how long it will take for every person known to man looking for leads and referrals to jump into Salesconx.  I wish them well and I think (I know) I will try it out.  Now I can say this:

  1. Social networking takes a ton of time (I, for one, spend at least a few hours a day on my own stuff – and well, I COULD spend the whole DAY and days on end if I could, but I have clients that need this more than I do so there you go) – and so who has that much time in a day (extra that is) -to work a network unless they make social networking a full time job in the beginning (after a year or so you are pretty free and sailing along, but even then you still have to “work it” and maintain everything and keep it your information fresh and updated. 
  2. Social Networking it is a now very a useful tool for personal publicity, branding and marketing and will soon to be an overly necessary tool when it comes to doing and making business (happen) and getting publicity. NOTE THE PHRASE:  “soon to be”?   Yep – “soon to be” is a key point here. 
  3. NOT EVERYONE is a writer or even wants to write (about their own greatness – it’s bad enough to have to write a resume for most people) and if you want your social networking to be viable (and buzz worthy in the social networking communities: YOU BETTER HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY AND YOU BETTER BE ABLE TO SAY IT WELL – or you will go unnoticed – no matter how many “friends” you have in “your networks!”
  4. Again – social networking (and media) is TIME CONSUMING, but most of all
  5. NOT EVERYONE IS INTO OR EVEN THINKS ABOUT SOCIAL NETWORKING AND NETWORKS (AT LEAST JUST YET) and not everyone thinks social networking is necessary or an end all when it comes to finding talent, opportunities, new business deals etc.  So working your publicity and marketing in more than just one (social networking channel) is still SO NECESSARY.  I am thinking social networking will probably be the mainstay when my kids are in the business world (they are 2 and 8 right now – LOL).

Those of us working (or playing around) in the social networking bubble have a hard time REALIZING that MOST of the business world and society in general is still really far behind in this area (this social networking as well as social media era that is). Heck I am currently trying to educate my brother (43 yrs old, high school teacher and coach and MBA) on the whole thing – he is on Facebook and still thinks it’s a place to post pictures. 

All kidding aside, Social Networking = 1 PART of Personal PR.  I am just saying that when you want visibility (PR, marketing, whatever) – to create opportunity, sales (whatever), you need to work a plan that is involved in more than just ONE channel – right?  Companies selling products and services, after all, still rely on a blend of stuff like print ads, television advertising (and the like to include: www.spotrunner.com or www.rippletv.com), event marketing, press/media covered news stories and events, traditional email and mail marketing pieces, tradeshows, etc. etc.  So all I am saying is that Social Networkers should not rely on JUST social networking and traditionalists should not rely on what they have always known to work in days gone by! 

A modern Personal PR plan of action (especially for those looking for new opportunity – as in JOBS and new business!) should equate to: 1/4 Social Networking +  about 1/4 Social Media = 1/4  (blogs, online video/audio/etc.) + 1/2 DIRECT PUBLICITY and INTRODUCTION CAMPAIGNS (to include some PRESS/MEDIA PLACEMENT (IF applicable) and some good old fashioned “door knocking” to and belly-to-belly talking (even if it’s over the phone or email).   REMEMBER: NOT EVERYONE IS AS INVOLVED IN SOCIAL NETWORKING OR MEDIA AS WE WOULD ALL LIKE TO THINK!  Those who are ONLY in the traditionalist mode will miss out on a lot if they do not social network or try to get some social media built up and those who are ONLY into doing every bit of networking, self publicizing, branding and the like ONLINE via social networks and media could also be missing out on a ton of opportunity by refusing to work in a more traditional channel as well.


Got PR?

Got PR? Well if you think you don’t need it and you are in business or looking for a job you need it.  Executive and Business Opportunities do not simply occur and when they do they happen and go away quite quickly.  To stay on top of what is going on (in any market) at all times, you  (YOURSELF) have to be READY to be in the “in the right place, at the right time” –as the old saying goes.  Getting a totally different kind of professional endorsement and representation is one of the key ways to be able to do this (right place, right time thing). DON’T DO IT by yourself if you want press, opportunity or people wanting to “know more” (about you).  You need spin and you need PR people to do that for you. There is now such a thing as “personal publicists” and business talent agents (yes, just like how it works in Hollywood) and yes, these people have contacts, but they also know how to create and make contacts –for you.  The bottom line is ARE YOU WORTHY of their time and effort (think about that for a minute!).  Of course you want to know that your personal publicist CAN DO the job for you and the right publicist will work terms with you to be able to allow the “let me prove to you” thing to happen (and if they don’t provide, you need to fire them!).  The best personal publicists will create collaterals and branding that you can take away and walk home with (something for the price/retainer you pay at the top of your campaign/project).  Yet again, you do need to make sure that they do take you from point A to point B. References are a good thing to ask for, but don’t expect the same EXACT thing to happen for you that has happened for the other guy because very campaign or project is different only because EVERY PERSON IS DIFFERENT. References should be used for character and ethical ratings only. Just have patience – PR is a PROCESS and the more consistently you can work at it (or have other people work it out for you), the more publicity you will gain. Keep it building and keep your name out in lights (or computer lights?).