London Event Review

Our Communications Exec, George Archer summarises the Embrace Social event on Tuesday.

First up to speak at #EmbraceSocial Media Culture in Talent and Hiring was Tiffany St James, ex-political social media heavyweight and now a leading thinker in social business and digital engagement.

Tiffany St James - CopyOpening that we “can never go back to a world that is not social” and that everything humans do are not only more transparent but more socially interconnected, Tiffany went on to discuss ‘slippy content’ – content that is visually appealing and easily spread, used and changed at the will of your audience, and how this can be used to the advantage of recruiters & HR professionals. According to research quoted by Tiffany, “on the internet, people like yourself are the third most trusted types of people.”

To take advantage of this, recruitment professionals are in a great position to make jobs desirable and use attraction rather than the standard ‘pitching’ model. Tiffany gave the example of Disney and their approach to advertising careers – they advertise opportunities using an attractive and animated picture of the world, with jobs visually represented on the globe by rich content like images and videos, not the bog-standard job title, salary and 5 sentence description most job boards follow. Here is her presentation:

Steve Ward, who heads up co-organisers CloudNine Social Media & Digital Talent gave the lowdown on what to look for in the right Social Media Manager. “The qualities you need to look for, the salary you should expect to pay and the experience of your candidate will differ entirely depending on the kind of company you are recruiting for,” Steve explained. “You also need to ask yourself whether your company is ready, what your objectives are but most importantly – how you are going to measure the success of achieving these objectives?”

Steve stockpicGiving an example, Steve told a story about a previous client who knew he needed to engage his business with social media – a common story across many industry sectors – but assumed he needed a 24-year old graduate who spent their life Tweeting and salivating over the latest offerings from Google. Presenting the client with a selection of candidates of all ages and with different levels of experience, the client immediately realised his preconceptions were wrong. He saw that his business, predominately made up of 40-something professionals needed a 40-something year old social media expert. That said, in what still remains a largely embryonic and fast evolving industry, “It’s not how long you’ve done it, its what you’ve done,” emphasised Steve.

His presentation is here:

Finishing off the event, world-renowned Social Recruiting specialist Bill Boorman who dispelled myths and shook up the room, at least for some people anyway. A member of the audience asked him about mistakes made using social media – Bill said straight away that “you can’t worry about making mistakes, just go an do it. If it doesn’t work, move on! That’s how I work, I test with loads of little things all over the place, then when something works, I’ll focus on that.”
Focusing heavily on the credentials of `NetWorth`, Bill talked of the importance of the network and how that is traditional as well as modern thinking. “Networking hasn’t changed in years. We’ve always talked to each other, in the pub, on the bus, at weddings – now we do it on internet channels which we’ve called social media,”  Bill said matter-of-factly.

BillBoormanRemembering harder times, he said that with no job and nothing purposeful to do (though he didn’t tell people this), instead of watching TV he jumped onto Twitter and LinkedIn and started talking to people. A lot. Gradually, people got to know him because he was interesting and generated content that people saw as personal and entertaining to them. This formed the basis for another powerful argument: “The general saying in the social media sphere is that ‘content is king’. Yeah ok, but only if the right people see it! You need to make sure it’s actually reaching the right people! `FOUND content is king`.”

Ensuring your content reaches the right demographic (another question asked by the audience) depends on best distribution of the right content, and ultimately, Edgerank. Edgerank determines whether or not what you post on Twitter, Facebook or any of the social networks you see around these days actually gets seen by people, let alone read. Bill simplified it that say, if someone ‘likes’ your content, you get one point. If someone shares it, you get two points. If someone comments on it – you’ve got yourself full marks, because Edgerank will place it higher on the ‘list’.

“If people don’t interact with your stuff, your stuff is invisible,” he grinned.

He talked very much around the objective of wanting less applicants, but more right applicants.

Using an extremely successful example of a social media campaign he had run in the past, Bill talked about trying to find top C++ programmers (a highly sought-after computer programming language). Firstly, he and his team created a Twitter list of all programmers who had listed themselves as working at the geographically opposing company. Tuning into this list allowed Bill and his team to see what the programmers were talking about. As it turned out, they were talking about coffee and Family Guy. Immediately they knew what these guys were interested in, but more importantly what they were talking about. It turned out that not only were they able to find out this, but from various ‘check-ins’ on social networks they were able to establish the Starbucks they drank their coffee at so they could place a paid ad for C++ programmers outside the Starbucks that Twitter list congregated at.


Bill’s presentation focused on #SocialRecruiting in 7 Words. They were: NetWorth, Brand, Content, Data, Audience, Interaction, Mobility.

We were running 20 minutes over time, but nobody was shuffling in their seats. The content of the talks was commented after, as being relevant and engaging – with each speaker hitting the marks for different people in the room.

Thank you to Tiffany and Bill for taking the time to come and present to our audience with such knowledge and passion.


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