Hello from Rebecca
It’s safe to say that May has been an eventful month, from our clients absolutely smashing it at the Recruiter Awards (huge well done to everyone!), to our team members proudly representing Volcanic at a number of events, including Access All Areas and the first ever Bullhorn Live Sydney. With more exciting events around the corner we are looking forward to seeing what the next month brings.
As always, we are listening to your feedback and love to hear from you! If there is anything we can help you with please feel free to get in touch. For now, I will leave you with this month’s updates!
Rebecca Benson, Account Manager
For those that missed it, the first of our Lunch & Learn webinar series took place this month with our Global Marketing Director, Alison Dwyer and Technical Operations Manager, David Requena. Episode one focused on meta titles, tag management, notifications and descriptions. Thank you to everyone who tuned in and for those that were unable to attend, you can catch up here. Watch this space for episode two!
Alison was also part of the panel for UK Recruiter’s Rec Tech Showcase Live Chat Show, ahead of the Recruitment Technology Innovation & Social Media Showcase on the 19th June. Alison was accompanied by Louise Triance, Toby Conibear from Daxtra and Adam Gordon from Candidate ID. Diving into the challenges and benefits that recruitment technology can bring, it’s well worth a watch. You can find out more about it here.
One topic that was touched upon in the webinar was automation. All panelists were in agreement that more automation within their respective technology is highly important and beneficial for recruiters, taking away the heavy lifting to provide more focus on other aspects of their job. Our eBook ‘Automation + Integration = Return on Investment’ further goes into that along with some cool inbound software that we like.
A topic that has become increasingly important to support both inbound marketing and SEO is blogging. The next Lunch & Learn workshop that we’re holding will be how you use blogging to really drive your SEO, which will take place on Friday, 7th, June. You can register on our here - but in the meantime, here is some insight into how we plan, execute and benefit from our own blogging activity that you might find useful.
How to write your blog and drive your SEO
What makes a good blog post? Specifically, what makes a good blog post for a recruitment website? Even better, what makes a good blog post for a recruitment website that people will read?
First, you need to decide on the content and the message you want to get across to your audience. Funny, controversial, enlightening or about how to make the reader a better person. Seriously, think “added-value” on a personal and professional level.
If you build it, they will come
Writing for business is different to personal blogging as it is the merging of your thoughts and your agency’s public persona. It is essential that you make sure the two are aligned or you’re going to end up with a messy, incoherent babble of keywords. If you’re unsure about what to write about, do some research on what seems to be popular right now, or better yet - what is rising in popularity so you can be ahead of the curve. There are tools for this - Google Trends, BuzzSumo or AnswerthePublic. Once you’ve nailed down the message you want to get across, you can get started with the actual plan and structure.
Give them what they want!
So let’s start with a plan. You know the subject matter, so how do you lay it all out for your audience? Before you create your blog, you should decide how you’re going to structure it. Hubspot has some great templates if you get stuck, but the most commonly used tend to be in a list format or ‘How to’s’ like this one.
Keep it stupid, simple - but interesting
It’s important to make sure to be descriptive and use terminology that your audience will be able to understand. For example, if you were writing a blog about starting a job in a certain niche for those less experienced, you wouldn’t want to use jargon that might be difficult to understand. On the other side of the coin, if you were to be writing a blog for those more skilled within a certain sector, you’d want to be clear that you know what you are conveying by writing on their level of understanding.
No empty calories
One error that many bloggers make is keyword stuffing. Surely if you were writing a blog about jobs in medicine, you’d just constantly write ‘jobs in medicine’ right? Not at all. If anything, keyword stuffing can be detrimental to your SEO ranking and you can even get penalised for it by the major search engines. Let your blog have a voice and naturally flow with the knowledge that you’re putting across, and in doing so you don’t need to worry.
Nobody wants to speak to an empty chair. Get it ranked
So you’ve worked out the messaging and the structure of your blog post. Now you need to make it interesting and valuable for your audience, so that they want to read it. There are layers to focus on simultaneously here: you should have an interesting and educational blog but remember, it also needs to rank well for SEO.
Google’s RankBrain algorithm uses machine learning to gather the most relevant results for a specific search query and has a ranking factor based on your website reputation, the user’s interests and more importantly here, SEO. Google’s RankBrain algorithm is used for every single search and has done since 2016.
Don’t bore people, speak to them
Your blog content can make or break a reader’s perception of your business. Will it be read as the writings of a thought leader or just another generic blog post? There are plenty of tips to aim for the former.
Make sure to address your audience about what to expect without being too upfront and short. Would you rather click on a blog called ‘5 great answers to give in your job interview’ or ‘Interview questions’?
Naturally, we’re curious beings and we all want to enjoy what we are reading, so don’t be afraid to be ‘human’ about it.
Often seen in a subheading is a phrase or word that engages with the audience in a conversational way, which adds value to your blog and makes the reader want to read on. As mentioned earlier, dwell time is important for the success of a blog. Think about it, the title is the bait to bring the reader on to your page with the bucket brigades/subheadings are the hook! What better way to keep people reading than having an enticing header for each part of your blog?
Links can be internal or external. If you’re writing about something that you have a relevant page for or collateral on your site, then you can provide that to your reader with an internal link or backlink as it’s commonly known, reinforcing the perception of a thought leader in your subject.
On the other hand, linking to other websites may understandably seem a bit odd. Why would you want to send people away from your website halfway through reading a blog? Once again, it’s all about SEO. If you link to reputable and trustworthy websites that are relevant to your blog, then Google uses this information for clarity on what your content is about and deems you more trustworthy in the process.
While not always the best route to take, if your messaging and agency’s tone of language allows for it then reinforcing that through your blog post can help give both you the author and the blog itself some personality. This is becoming more acceptable across every industry in comparison to B2B/B2C and early blogging platforms.
Nobody wants to be bored and the majority of businesses are on a trajectory to being a lot less formal in their company structures (think of the millions of start-ups that see enterprises like Google as a roadmap), so why wouldn’t you take advantage of this and translate it into your writing?
Call to action (CTA)
Writing your blog with a specific message you want to get across is a big accomplishment. More importantly though is guiding what could end up being a new client or candidate for your agency to register their details with you. Having CTAs to a landing page such as ‘Apply for a job today’ or even a social sharing button placed at pivotal parts within the blog, whether that be strictly at the end, the middle or even on a sidebar (I’d recommend A/B testing to see what works best for you) can be highly successful.
The most important aspect of all this is to raise your recruitment agency’s online profile as well as giving your visitors a reason to come back to your site. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to start blogging!
The flat vector factor
We have to deliver a balance between form and function when it comes to website design and so we’re always on the lookout for the latest and greatest, particularly when it comes to user interface design trends. We are in an enviable position to see how well new design ideas (especially if they are adopted from other industries or sectors) gain traction across the Volcanic platform, equally, we get to appreciate the critical ROI of this new design.
Last year we proudly unveiled our own shiny new websites for the UK, Asia, Australia, the US, along with our global Resources site and one of the first questions was why we opted for a flat vector, cartoon-style look.
Firstly, this was a major UI trend last year, specifically within the tech sector, so for us, applying this to our websites gave us international ‘testing’ capabilities to find out why tech loved this approach so much and if it delivered us improved results. It did. Particularly around ‘friction’. For those of you that use Hotjar or Mouseflow that offer realtime user studies and analytics, will be familiar with the concept of friction; the bane of both designers and users, it reduces conversions, increases bounce rate and it’s the main reason that users don’t complete tasks on your website. Flat vector design encourages better use of white space, chunking and getting rid of unneeded and excessive content and design that causes cognitive overload, all contributing to less friction.
Our results speak for themselves, we are getting dwell-time up, the journey recordings in Mouseflow are showing that content is being read, and important our conversions have also improved. Absolutely, there are other contributing factors, but as in all things, being able to make incremental changes for marginal gains is how goals are achieved. We’ve picked out a few website examples to demonstrate flat vector designs that we like:
We don’t think that flat design is going anywhere, but if you want to take it to a new level, say hello to Deep flat.
Look out for layered flat vectors stacking up to create a great three-dimensional effect. This style of vector illustration is something we’re planning to introduce on the Volcanic site as we roll out some new pages over the coming months, so keep your eyes peeled!
For more detailed insight into how Volcanic deliver beautiful recruitment websites with functionality and user experience at the forefront, have a read of our eBook: Data-driven design.
Events, book recommendations and more...
There’s still time to join the Volcanic Australia Cup - the inter-agency table tennis tournament for recruitment agencies in Sydney starting on the 5th June. Don’t miss out on what will be a lot of fun and fierce competition! If you’d like to sign up, you can register your team here.
Bullhorn Live - Sydney
Our Sydney team had a great time meeting clients at the first Bullhorn Live event for Australia earlier this month. Recruiters from all over the region and beyond came together to network, share ideas and of course, have a few drinks towards the end!
Jordan Betteridge, Director of Volcanic Australia & New Zealand had this to say:
“It’s an absolute pleasure to be a part of a first time event in such a huge market. Bullhorn has delivered an event that not only exceeded delegates expectations on learning, but also on a supplier level, helped us educate our local market on the tech that ourselves and Bullhorn work hard on every day to better guide candidates through to the next mark in their career. Volcanic is proud to be a part of such a prestigious event not only as a marketplace partner, but also as a leader in the recruitment branding space.”
We’re already counting down to the next one! You can read all about the event here.
Bullhorn Engage - Boston, 12th-14th June 2019
Sticking with Bullhorn, Matt Comber and Tom Hall are heading out to represent Volcanic at Engage Boston next month. Speakers include Earvin “Magic” Johnson, who unfortunately won’t be shooting hoops but will no doubt have an enlightening talk about his company Magic Johnson Enterprises, who provide high-quality products and services that focus primarily on ethnically diverse and underserved urban communities. Our page for the event will be updated with all the latest news and gossip from Bullhorn Engage Boston around the event.
If you would like to book appointments with Matt and Tom at the event, feel free to drop them a message on LinkedIn, or you can send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Congratulations are in order…
We were thrilled to attend the UK Recruiter awards this month where so many of you were recognised for your accomplishments in the sector.
We wanted to take this opportunity to give a massive shout out to some of the winners of the night:
Toni Babb at Harrington Starr - Recruitment Industry Entrepreneur of the year
Darwin Recruitment - Best Recruitment Agency Marketing Team
NES Global Talent - Large Recruitment Agency of the year / Outstanding Outsourced Recruitment Organisation / Most Effective Compliance Operation
Talent International - Best IT/Technology Recruitment Agency
The Barton Partnership - Best Client Service
Signify Technology - Best New Agency
When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing
This is a book that you do have to make time for. Daniel Pink’s practical and insightful advice is based on the science behind how we organise our time and how we should set up the routines of our days. It’s readable and enjoyable and will enrich your lives.
And staying with all things to do with organising your days…
The Miracle Morning, will transform your life before 8am. Well that is according to Hal Elford. But to be fair he is a force to be reckoned with. He has created a movement of mad people who start their day VERY early, and who are fervent believers that the rituals they follow every morning has changed their lives.
We’ve been talking about client portals over the last couple of months and are now really excited to let you know that were ready to get this product into your hands.
Now called Employer Portal, this technology provides a faster, more secure way for hiring managers to view and manage candidate applications, removing the need for emails and spreadsheets. These portals give your clients better visibility of the recruitment process via self-serve, secure login. Portals offer instant, customised access to the candidates you supply from your CRM and improve communication within the hiring experience, automating administration without compromising the integrity of the core information.
As a recruiter, offering your clients a single login to your recruiter branded portal, or a fully client branded experience for RPO clients, enables up-to-the minute visibility of the candidates you select in real-time, creating a slick and professional candidate management platform.
If you want to find out more about the portal, please get in contact with Alec Middleton by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.