Hello from Tom
This first introduction is from me, but the rest of the team will be by-lining future editions, so this will keep the content fresh and you will get to know everyone a little bit better.
Many of you have asked how things are going since we became part of The Access Group; it’s going well, actually not much has changed! Certainly, one of the first orders of business is the integration of all Access’ technology with our own, and a first taste of this capability will be on show at Access all Areas on the 2nd of May.
To those of you who celebrate Easter, Happy Easter, and to everyone able to take time off over the long weekend, we wish you sunshine! Although our offices in Stockport and Sydney will be closed, the team in Malaysia will be able to support you.
Let us know what you think about our first newsletter, if you would like more included and if the format suits you. It will be a monthly newsletter so you will have plenty of time to send your suggestions before the next one.
Tom Hall, Customer Success Director
As mentioned in our email, the Lunch & Learn webinar series is well worth attending as there are real gains to be made to improve your SEO and candidate UX when you use these areas to your advantage. The webinar is on Friday, the 3rd of May, sign up here if you’re interested.
In case you’ve missed out on some of our previous ebooks or webinars around SEO, and supporting topics, here’s a quick recap:
A Recruiter’s Guide to SEO offers some great specialised search engine optimisation tips specifically for our industry. It’s been designed to help you build a successful content strategy to improve your SEO. So download it if you want to:
Frame your content strategy to rank highly on Google
Promote content that drives results from your target audience
Demonstrate knowledge and expertise in your field.
Our Pragmatic SEO Hacks is a quick and easy read and provides you with some instant tips that will really make a difference to your search capabilities and ranking. It outlines what you need to know about Google’s Rankbrain and gives guidance on how to structure content on your webpages to leverage better click throughs and dwell time
Tech we recommend...
We’re huge advocates of software that can help market your business, for example SEMrush that has an intuitive dashboard, and capabilities like keyword and content suggestions, a writing assistant add-on and insightful analytics to name a few. Using software such as SEMrush to enhance your digital strategies can help attract the perfect candidates, as your site and content becomes fully optimised for search engines like Google and Bing. Constantly being updated with new, creative beta updates, it feels like a completely upgraded platform month after month!
Look out for...
Video interviewing is popping up more frequently with the likes of Showcaser, Odro and Hinterview helping fast forward the future of the recruiting process. With the rise of apps like TikTok and their investment in learning algorithms and artificial intelligence, video is definitely the future of recruitment. With the current audience being predominantly generation Z, along with the rise of the gig economy, it’s a safe bet that the two will coincide with each other as working patterns are continuously changing. What better platform than a short video showcasing the talents and skill-set of prospects?
Beware the bots!
With all software, a level of programming, maintenance and input is needed to ensure that any operating system or SaaS product is being used in line with your business model. This is extremely true with chatbots. With machine learning and automation finding its place in the industry, it’s important to remember that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all when it comes to chatbots. The preparation and manual maintenance that is needed to ensure a fluid conversation from chatbots requires time and money that may be better suited elsewhere. That’s not to say they can’t work, but we believe that candidates prefer the personal touch that isn’t yet accessible via a chatbot, due to the limitations in current technology. And at the end of the day, with Google for Jobs and a great programmatic ad campaign, you really should be driving your candidates directly to the job, not putting another 'click' or barrier in the way.
As with everything in recruitment, the software you choose is as effective as you make it. There is no right or wrong when it comes to the software you choose, but it would be wrong to think that some aren’t better served for your purpose than others. Enhancing your digital transformation strategy in the age of digital innovation is what will keep your recruitment business thriving and using the right tools is just one part of it.
See some of our other recommendations that you will find in our free eBook on Automation + Integration.
This website really ticks every box in both visual design and good user experience. Not only does it present an aesthetically beautiful user interface, but it also demonstrates data-driven design thinking that delivers an exceptional experience for both candidates and clients.
Let’s take a look…
Instantly you get a feel for the brand, and notice the repetition in soft, circular shapes, which reinforce the design of the logo.
The positioning, size and circular design of the logo acts as a bullseye for the job search, drawing the user in.
The background image supports this, drawing the eyes of the user down and centre, again in the direction of the job search.
And notice the man looking up at the search. These are all subtle directional cues that make a huge difference.
What's more, reinforcing the logo in the background is a clever use of subliminal messaging, and this is repeated in numerous places across the site.
Not to mention, the attention-grabbing CTA which anchors the user to the next section.
Take me there…
Again in this section the eyes follow the lines in the background image directly towards the key CTAs in the centre of the screen.
It's aesthetically pleasing to look at, but at the same time, mechanically genius!
The sub-pages have a cleaner look and feel, and introduce new shapes to the user. Rather than rounded, soft shapes that we observed on the homepage, we now see straight lines and sharp edges. What is the effect of this?
The straight, diagonal header shape draws the eye down the page, and as you scroll down you will notice the eye follows a zig-zag formation, as a clever use of both lines and animation catches the users attention in various points down the page. This is all intentional user-experience design.
The header also opens space to focus on the social media icons.
The straight edges contrast with the rounded CTAs, allowing them to keep their prominence on the page.
Again you notice consistency in branding and colour, with the mint green logo subtly appearing in the background of the team members as the user hovers over them to reveal more information.
To find out more about how your recruitment agency can boost your online presence with a functional, responsive, user-focused website, have a read of our eBook: Data-driven design or check out our other blog posts on Recruitment Website Design.
This site is also an example of Volcanic's dedication to delivering beautiful websites with functionality and user experience at the forefront.
The Discovered website is the result of working with a client who truly values the importance of design-led thinking, as well as the mechanics behind the aesthetics that boost engagement and conversions.
It is clear that Discovered has put a lot of focus on the design process on portraying a strong brand image, even down to the smaller details such as their choice of a sans serif font, Karla, which re-enforces their hip and casual brand feel.
Thanks to our mobile-considerate web design, the Discovered site is wonderfully responsive.
CTAs are adapted to present tap-friendly touch targets, and content responds well to a smaller screen-size, with content stacking vertically rather than horizontally.
The animation throughout this page entices further engagement as users interact with the content.
Subtle interaction design such as expanding and highlighting content draw attention to key CTAs throughout the website.
Events, Book Recommendations & More...
When you think of ping pong or table tennis , does it conjure up an image of Forrest Gump? Or perhaps you view it as a way businesses demonstrate what fun places they are to work at, because hey, they've got fussball and table tennis.
Well you’d be wrong - this Olympic sport is taken very seriously at Volcanic; bodyline is not restricted to cricket and conceding defeat is never good-natured. And it would seem that the recruitment industry in Australia is as competitive as we are. That’s why we’re announcing the first Volcanic Australia Cup - an interagency table tennis tournament for recruitment agencies in the region, taking place in Sydney from the the 15th of May.
Winners of this Singles Table Tennis League, which will feature up to 16 teams in a round-robin style competition and take place over 15 weeks, will take home the Volcanic Australia cup (and we will think of something else nice to give you!)
If you want to sign up then get in touch with Greg as soon as possible. Slots are limited to first-come-first-serve. Let the battle begin.
Bullhorn Live - Sydney, 7th May
Staying with all things Australian, don’t forget that the inaugural Bullhorn Live takes place on the 7th of May - our team from Sydney will be there. If you want to find out more about our tech partnership and the benefits from a client’s perspective, we will be catching up with Jenny Lloyd at Lloyd Connection to find out more, we will share this interview with you on our blog. Keep your eyes peeled.
Access all Areas - London, 2nd May
If you’re an Access client and would like to attend this great event in London, 2nd of May, registrations are still open. Our very own Matt Comber and Steve Barnhurst will be presenting a great session on 'Indeed and the implications of changes that Indeed will be making and how recruitment agencies can respond'.
If you’re attending these events, or any others that you can find on the Events’ page, please don’t forget to let us know so that we can say hello.
Full marks to the following books that are all worth reading.
Rework - An old one, but a good one.
We loved this book as it really does motivate anyone wanting to start or grow a business and don’t think they have enough time, ability or expertise. This one will really help you make the most of every hour of your day, if you have the desire. Written by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, co-founders of software company Basecamp, it’s an easy read offering a simpler-is-better philosophy about building a business and managing your career.
Top tip: This one’s from Matt Comber - if you don’t think you have time to read a book, then don’t - listen to it on Audible at 1.50 speed.
Written by David Goggins, skip this one (and his podcasts and social feeds) if you’re anti-swearing, because this man has the mouth of a sailor. And that’s because he is one, a SEAL actually. Although at first glance this book may seem biased towards men, don’t be put off by this - this book is an excellent read if you just want the truth about why you do or don’t succeed at something: life, dieting, running, relationships, you name it. Whatever you think your enemy is, you will be able to kick its butt by the end of this book.
Monkey see, monkey do
So why has tech gone ape over this branding phenomenon?
According to top naming and branding business, A Hundred Monkeys (I kid you not), it may be because of a trend called wordsmashing. Essentially, you smash two disparate words together - one emotional, the other descriptive, and voila, you get massively successful brands like Zendesk, Spoonrocket, Deliveroo and Boxbee. Get it?
Well let’s apply the theory, Zendesk conjures the notion that their software brings calm to the chaos of a typical customer service desk. Spoonrocket should tell you instantly that it’s a very fast food delivery service (that sadly failed) and Boxbee; storage solutions for people that are as busy as bees. Deliveroo is all about the ‘safe’ delivery of your food. You know, how a roo protects its joey!
So back to monkeys, we looked at SurveyMonkey, MailChimp, MonkeyMedia and MobileMonkey to discover if the wordsmash theory works. At first glance it does - think of all the characteristics of a monkey; quick, intelligent, agile, eloquent, flexible and fun. You get the idea. Then add the descriptor - mail, survey, media and mobile. Mobile being more vague, because this SaaS offers messenger marketing for Facebook, so it’s a bit of a stretch.
But when you take another look, there is a bit more to this story. Starting with SurveyMonkey, it absolutely does what it says on the tin - a survey tool for those people curious to find out information and who need an agile, fun tool to get the job done. What’s interesting about this branding story, however, is how the name of the company actually had the unintended consequence of shaping SurveyMonkey’s culture. Curiosity is now central to the company culture and is highly recognised and rewarded by the CEO, Zander Lurie. And according to Lurie, not being curious is bad for all businesses. This steered the company to work on a feature update and rebrand, which emphasised the value of corporate curiosity including its catchphrase ‘Power to the Curious’.
MailChimp also evidences the wordsmash methodology, but the real reason for having a chimp as their icon, was essentially the same reason why Twitter had its fail whale. When things went south, Ben Chestnut thought chimps, being cute like kittens, would make a great addition to their ‘sorry’ notifications. Freddy, the name of said chimp, continues to embody this marketing platform, that incidentally started out as ChimpMail, until it was discovered that this domain name was not available.
Throwing a monkey wrench in the works
We didn’t find out the ‘official’ branding story behind MonkeyMedia or MobileMonkey and why they went with a primate central to their branding. But we did discover a concept called blanding that throws a proverbial monkey wrench in the works. It might just be that these cheeky newcomers have embraced the branding methodology. Coined by Thierry Brunfaut and Tom Greenwood, blanding is when a company “starts with a made-up-word name. Puts it in a sans-serif typeface. Makes it clean and readable, with just the right amount of white space. Uses a direct tone of voice. Ignores the need for a logo. Maybe throws in some cheerful illustrations. Uses vibrant colors, with bonus points given for purple and turquoise.”
So rather than taking the time discovering and developing the characteristics and the brand narrative, a business just follows this simple formula. Seen as a reaction to Uber, Airbnb, Apple and other brands that share the same visual language, companies, particularly tech, have created a cookie-cutter process that they believe will deliver the same clean, fresh brand message of these tech giants. This move to blanding is supported by the need to translate a new brand online and offline. Will it support omnichannel marketing? Will it scale up and down? And more importantly, do we have the time and money to invest in this marketing malarky? Blanding, unfortunately seems to work in all instances.
So the moral of the story - it’s not really about the name or even the logo - branding is something so much more than figuring out about the monkeys. It’s about everything that touches a business and the emotion that is sparked at these points. It matters that you obsess about the kerning of the font, because this is likely to mean that you obsess about the service or the tech that you offer your clients. It matters because every call that a consultant makes, every job alert that a candidate receives and every email sent to a client, reveals the nature of your business. Culture is defined by this attention to detail and the reasons why perfection is sought.
GDPR - the Right to be Forgotten (RTBF)
When your DPO makes a RTBF request on behalf of a candidate or website user, it will now be added to the same list of pending requests that you will be familiar with, found in the compliance area. The DPO will be offered the same process to complete the request (as the candidate would through the candidate portal) to delete the user’s data. One deletion take place, it is then recorded and can be validated as part of any audit.
Just head over to compliance and you will see this new addition in the audit area. REMEMBER that only registered DPOs or data representatives will have visibility of this new function.
The DPO will receive a warning notification prior to final deletion, because the action cannot be reverted.