After their annual assessment, Manpower announced that 46% of U.S. employers are now facing talent shortages, finding it difficult to match their job descriptions with the right candidate.
In response to this constant challenge, Google is launching Google for Jobs, an initiative based on the already existing Google Cloud Jobs API. It all started when the guys from Google asked themselves the following question: “How can we create a 10x increase in the number of people hired?”
In response to this, they started to optimize the visitors experience in order to increase conversion, but then realized something else was needed.
Most job postings out there have ambiguous titles that are hard to understand or relate to by the job seeker. Therefore, Google Cloud jobs API is the first vertical pre-trained machine learning model from Google, acting like a translator for job titles and making it easier for job seekers to find exactly what they are looking for.
In a nutshell, the API aggregates clusters of similar jobs (art, fashion & design or business development manager, director, government BD manager) and most importantly, it understands the specific job title, but also synonyms (biz dev, bus. Dev etc), similar roles (brand manager, relations manager), occupation, job category and necessary skills (business development, communications/interpersonal skills etc).
This product was already launched in November last year and can be used by companies to increase their conversion rate. More info can be found on Google’s official page.
On the job seeker’s side google for jobs comes to ease the process of finding the perfect opportunity.
What is Google for Jobs?
Google for Jobs is an initiative focused on helping both job seekers and employers through collaboration with the job matching industry, letting users explore relevant jobs pulled in from a number of sources, within a single Google search.
The previous journey of an applicant shown in the chart below showcases how they would need to go back and forth to the main page or to open multiple tabs in order to prospect the available job postings out there. Another major issue (time waster) is that there are always duplicated results that couldn’t be filtered out.
By making use of the Google Cloud for Jobs API, there are no duplicates in the results list and the job information is all centralised, allowing prospective candidates to get more information before heading to a specific site to apply. Google is trying to offer as much information as possible within this search engine, linking back to the original vacancy only with one button.
How does it work?
From the back-end side, Google for Jobs removes all unnecessary data in a vacancy and then normalizes the title making it easy to classify. This makes it an easier search by the job seeker, while also labeling it with a confidence score.
From a front-end side, it promises to be very intuitive.
As a job seeker, you first type the job you’re looking for. You can then filter the results based on: Category, Title, City, Date posted, Type, Company Type, Employer and even Distance from your current location (as commuting distance has become an increasingly important factor in job choices).
To create a comprehensive list, Google first has to remove all of the duplicate listings that employers post to all of these job sites. Then, its machine learning-trained algorithms sift through and categorize them. These job sites often already use at least some job-specific markup to help search engines understand that something is a job posting.
Users can compare job details, refine their search and find out about companies. Here, Google for Jobs applies SEO logic to job postings, meaning that there is only one source per job. If multiple job postings link to the same source, the scoring is based upon improving a few key variables:
More metadata (including sectors & disciplines)
Less external redirects (integrated ATS and native application process)
Strong domain name SEO rank
There are simple ways to improve a site & job postings’ SEO rank
Register with Google Search Console
Correctly configured robots.txt file
Analytics linked to site
Responsive web design
No duplication across sitemap content
Fast page load time
Use noindex/nofollow to prevent certain pages from being indexed
AMP enable site’s content pages
Maximize inbound links
Have a clear content strategy
Where is Google heading with this?
Currently the service is only launched in the US, but we could expect it to be coming to Europe around the end of this year. Here’s what we at LevelUp Ventures think you should expect from this.
In the short term
Deeper and more direct integration with Google Hire (their ATS)
Might they add an ‘apply’ button and do away with the need for external vacancies all together?
More ranking and transparency on employers
Elimination of duplicate posts
Elimination of organic-search-dominating platforms like Indeed
And in the long term, a real ‘guns blazing’ approach to job marketing is needed for success. Think growth hacking and cultivating a strong employer brand:
Strong content strategy
Email marketing campaigns
Aggregation partner tactics
Editorial integration using intelligent widgets and APIs
Google is very clear about the fact that it doesn’t want to directly compete with Monster, CareerBuilder and similar sites. It currently has no plans to let employers posts jobs directly to its jobs search engine for example.
Why should you care about this?
Because it’s going to come to Europe soon and it’s going to revolutionize the way both recruiters and job seekers approach the job market.
Because as every early adopter, you would get a head start and will be able to attract the right candidates faster, the ones that are really interested in working for your company and your job posting.
Share this with your team and let us know what your concerns or general thoughts are.
As recruiters, we are fighting the day-to-day battle to attract top talent for our customers or employers. As you all know, the process basically consists of sourcing, engaging and hiring/closing. What we have noticed at LevelUp is a shift in “where” the challenge in the process actually is.
Sourcing is becoming increasingly easy to due to;
Better and more available tooling, the expected rise of Google Jobs will also contribute to this.
More platforms where candidates can be identified
An increase in the usage of these platforms by candidates themselves
Sourcing is often portrayed as this cool and mysterious skill where highly skilled sourcers can find hidden talent in the unseen realms of the internet using the most complicated boolean searches…
Wake-up call: most of the time it is quite easy (for generic profiles that is). It does get really hard for super-specialized profiles where there are just a few who possess a certain skill or experience.
It also gets hard if you are sourcing in multiple “waves”, mostly due to failing to hire, and already have found hundreds if not thousand+ profiles for a position…
But sourcing for your average developer is pretty straightforward; know which tools to use, how to properly use these (think scraping, think using mechanical turk to do some of the “robot work” for you), and just getting in that “hardcore focus mode” and putting in the hours!
I would like to take this opportunity to explain the why on this article:
Our mission at LevelUp Ventures is enabling growth and we are aware we cannot service everyone at the same time; by sharing this, we’re living our mission for a broader audience.
We believe in open source
Happy to hear your thoughts and get feedback, so my engaging (and therefore hiring) can get to the next level.
It’s marketing 🙂
So the shift I was mentioning is all about the engaging of the (passive) candidate, these are my top-learnings;
Content is key
The first point of communication is called “the reach-out”, this is the part where you can set yourself apart from the competition. Ideal situation is that the hiring manager (or even CEO/CTO, which is common in start-ups but would be weird with corporates) reaches out him/herself. No one is waiting for a “middle-man” agency recruiter. We should accept that; and use that.
Data shows that keeping it brief and personalizing your message are the keys to success. Be sure to personalize enough for the reader to know you have actually put some time in checking out who they are but have not done not a whole lot of stalking ;).
Make sure you speak their language, so a reach-out for a Data Analyst, BusDev Manager or Developer should be totally different (even when it’s recruiting for the same company).
By using their language I basically mean: try to get it into the details of the job, give them a sneak peek of what’s waiting for them in language a “middle-man” recruiter could not understand because it is simply not his/her field of expertise. Try to test their limits of experience with an in-depth question, but not intimidate them ;).
Always make sure to include a call-to-action, bot not the “recruiter way” by directly asking for their number or telling them what to do.. Just give them some options (preferable 3 options, our brain loves that) and let them decide themselves what’s the next step.
No one is waiting for a job with “cool atmosphere” or “fun colleagues” or “free beer’” or “lots of responsibility”… we’ll leave all the standardized crap for the corporates to use ok? Thank you.
And try not to overthink; we tend to start using big complex words once we think too much. How would you explain the job to someone you just met in a bar; use that language.
Timing is everything
Ok, so now you have written that awesome reach-out (and maybe even some follow-ups?), and you are ready to send! Next big question that pops up: when are we sending?
First start-off with some basic reasoning… on which platforms is competition the highest and on which days and times of the week are people usually busy?
This is basically going to lead you to sending at non-business hours (or trying to engage them in that “bored hour” just after lunch or so).
And then the platform question… are you going to use InMails? Maybe an e-mail? To their private or business address? Some recruiters even use social media or whatsapp… I think we are not there yet and it is still invasive to do so for now. Emails work better for tech positions, the response rate is 200-300% higher. Commercial people tend to respond to InMail pretty well still.
Just beware: the content can be awesome but if no one opens your e-mail due to bad timing it has been a waste of time/energy and result. So make sure your timing is perfect!
We as recruiters have to realize and accept that the majority of people are just not open.. But if the content was amazing they will let you know (and even give you some compliments for your effort hopefully).
If you are reading this, you’re probably looking for the magic formula that will get you into an acceleration program.
This article will prepare you with the insights into what we (accelerators) hope to see from our ideal startup applicants during the selection process. For your convenience, we’ve broken the expectations into three stages: Before applying, First round of selection, Any further rounds of selection, and Due diligence & joining us!
Check if you qualify
Find out what is the screening criteria (check this example). If you don’t meet minimum requirements then ask yourself, “will I get there in 4-6 weeks?”. Note that teams which tick all the boxes will get priority.
Have clarity on why you are applying
Our best applicants apply to the acceleration verticals/programs as part of their strategy to go from A to B. Some of the ways you could benefit are one-on-one sessions with experts, personalised mentorship, extensive network access, peer-to-peer learning, investment and deal making readiness/support. Identify which aspects of the program are most important for your team and what precise areas are your priorities to take them to the next level(s). Be ready to discuss them during the selection process!
Plan your application procedure
In order to go all the way, you first need to be well informed about the whole process and look for all available information on the accelerator’s website. Different stages will require certain preparation. We also try to provide you with insights at various points during the selection. Being aware of next steps will not only allow you to be well-prepared but also will give you time to work/implement the feedback.
During the selection process
Wear your heart on your sleeve
As accelerators, our bets are on the jockeys! Who is your team? What is your mission? Why are you going to make a difference? And why should it matter? Answer these questions with passion.
Apply early so we can give feedback
Should we be convinced of the startup-accelerator match, we are able to kick-off the partnership right away. A lot of acceleration programs are on rolling basis. Why wait when you can get started with the acceleration already, right? Why postpone the important expert or partner introduction session? We’d also like to get to know you and your team really well. We anticipate the same feeling from your side. Let us give ourselves the best chance to do this! Besides, if you don’t make the cut, you’ll have time to work on the feedback and make a stronger case again before the deadline.
Keep your answers precise
A good team knows its story, impact and competition; and is able to express them in simple easy-to-understand terms. These are the things we want to understand here. This allows us a chance to get a sneak peak of who you are. The details are for later rounds.
Avoid exaggeration at all costs
All our best performing startups have one thing in common- they’re not afraid to be vulnerable when working with us. Your honest answers allow us to have a clear idea of where you stand and how we can provide a personalized program to your advantage. For example, some of your numbers might not be thorough. Being a startup, this is understandable as long as you are explicit about the incompleteness. So say it like it is. Don’t risk your credibility!
Further rounds of selection
In this round, the focus is on detail. It might be hard to tell a great application from a good one but it’s always easy to pinpoint a sloppy application. Try and ensure you have enough time to provide all the relevant information via the form of presentation we ask: a video, a slide, a pitch, etc. When unsure, clarify your remarks so you have the best chance of invitation to join the program. Especially give yourselves a head start if you have a lot more homework to do.
Prove it’s possible, through a great product or service introduction video
Show us you’ve done the groundwork, when you submit a video/ a slide to showcase the tangible side of your proposition. We’d like to see the functionality and uniqueness here. Need to sign an NDA? Email the contact person.
Breakdown the important numbers
Are you looking to hire employees? What is the equity split? What’s the revenue forecast? How does your burn rate look like right now? etc. Some of the questions in the information form will test the sustainability of your business. We are not looking for startups with the most optimistic projections. The ideal startups, we expect, would have done their homework and are able to reason how they plan to improve.
Highlight the strategy
While we like unique products, we LOVE great strategies. Refer to the talking points in the carousel. Step 1. Understand your market, competition and growth etc. Step 2. Be prepared to talk about how you’re going to jump the hurdles.
Leave no loose ends
We understand, sometimes, the time might not be enough to answer all questions and remarks. Offer to follow up, in case more information is needed to finalise the selection.
Due Diligence and joining us!
Have the necessary documents and information ready to share
Following the invitation, you’ll go through a due diligence of your company and background checks. This is a standard procedure. You’ll receive a clear checklist and explanation of the procedure.
Update as you go
Do you have a new partner or have struck a good deal? Have you hired a new executive? Did you win a competition? Etc. That’s exciting! Keep us posted with such developments. If you are facing some problems, we would be happy to lend support as well.
From our experience, we know that this is a time taking process. When you co-operate by being swift in your reaction, we can kick-off our partnership at the earliest date. Return all the information and documents in time!
Candidates apply without reading the job descriptions. You spend time weeding them out. Precious time.
Job seekers nowadays are confused with the million search results they get. A search for “retail jobs Amsterdam” will show retail jobs, tech support jobs, sales jobs, along with ads for tourists in between. Some of those jobs are in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and some are in Amsterdam, New York.
With the time and financial pressure to get a job, most job seekers end up applying for all of them. This behavior takes a heavy toll on the employers’ side.
Big companies like Google is no exception. They receive around 3 million job applications each year. No one is winning, and Google decided to roll up its sleeve to fix the situation. The Cloud Jobs API was born to help job seekers find the most relevant jobs to their search criteria. As a result, companies’ hiring pipelines will be filled with the most relevant candidates to their jobs.
1—It all starts with the job description
The number one reason that makes job search so complex is the job titles. One function can have different names in different organizations. “Customer support” can be “customer success” or “customer service.” Each of those can be followed by a wide range of nouns, from normal options like “specialist,” “representative,” “agent,” “manager,” to more adventurous choices like “guru,” “wizard,” and “ninja.” These nuances are just the beginning.
To top this off, there is a level of seniority required for each job. It differs per company and might or might not be stated explicitly in the job description. Even when seniority is addressed, chances are things will still go wrong. For example, an assistant job supporting a senior role often includes “senior” or similar words in its description. Because of that, most search engines would think that the assistant job is senior and will show it to job seekers searching for real senior roles.
All these parameters together are too much for search engines to process. Even for Google, whose algorithm can detect that “jaguar” means the car, not the animal when you search for it. To up its game decrypting job search, Google decided to collect, analyze, and classify all jobs there are on the planet.
Job titles are grouped into clusters.
Job descriptions are broken down into attributes and skills.
From this giant database, Google can now define which jobs are the most relevant to a job seeker’s search term. Even obscure jobs like computer repair – opening up a computer and going into the wires – was also surfaced by Google for Jobs.
Despite this smart algorithm, it’s best to be careful with choices like “ninja” the next time you pen a job description. Tools like Textio have shown a strong connection between the wording of your jobs and the types of applicants you get. Words that you think are fresh and exciting might turn out to be stereotyping and alienating certain groups of candidates.
Just remember that Google can surface your job as a relevant result. But if potential candidates don’t see themselves in it, it’s irrelevant.
2—It all comes down to the commutes
How many times have you been in this situation: you are happy, the new hire is happy, until both crash into the reality of commuting?
Many job seekers underestimate the damage of long-distance travel to work. Besides the time wasted on the road and traffic jams, research has found stress and health risks associated with commutes longer than 90 minutes. What candidates deem “no problem” in order to get the job will snowball into the very reason that makes them quit it.
To prevent candidates from stretching themselves too much from the get-go, Google has added a location filter to their search results. Job seekers can choose “30 minutes” travel by “driving” and Google will show jobs that satisfy both conditions. This handy algorithm borrowed from Google Maps helps candidates find jobs within their reach and make the commitments they can keep.
3—It changes the future of job advertising
If Google for Jobs works and candidates only need to google to find jobs, will job boards become obsolete? The answer is “yes, but not now.” At the moment, Google is working with job boards instead of wiping them out. The cooperation is necessary to train Google’s machine learning to detect relevant job postings on a large scale. It also helps enrich Google’s job database with real-time search behaviors and search patterns. Further down the line, job boards as they are today will have little chance of survival. Companies need to rethink their job advertising strategy, starting with two fundamental points.
First, you will no longer have to post the same job to multiple job boards anymore. Google will be able to spot all duplicate postings of one job. Only one posting with the most complete description will be shown to candidates. You don’t need to aimlessly post jobs to job boards, hoping that they might reach the potential candidates. Now you just need to publish your job descriptions online, knowing that they will reach the potential candidates.
Second, it will be of utmost importance to put the best job descriptions online. It has been a common practice to post your jobs to industry-related job boards and relevant candidates will come automatically. Your job descriptions do not have to be great. They just need to be displayed at the right place. You can outdo competitors having the same job openings by pouring more money into job ads. That will change with Google for Jobs.
As Google will show all jobs that meet candidates’ search criteria for free, the deciding factor is not “where your jobs are” but “what your jobs are.” The only way to stand out is having outstanding job descriptions.
Think about the candidate personas you want to attract. What motivates them professionally? What can you offer? Lay all the details out in a clear structure so that Google can index them properly and bring them to the right candidates.
It will only be easier and easier for your jobs to be found by Google for Jobs. It is actually happening right now. If you are using Recruitee, all you need to do is to publish your jobs to your careers site. The more detailed your jobs are, the easier it is for Google for Jobs to pick them up. You can do that by simply filling out all the fields when creating a job in Recruitee.
As soon as your job is live on your careers site, Google for Jobs will index it automatically. To speed up the process, you can post your jobs to job boards like Indeed and Glassdoor right from Recruitee. The process takes only one click and it helps point out to Google that you are having new jobs for it. Here is an example of a job live on a careers site provided by Recruitee.
And here is how the job is found by Google for Jobs.
If a candidate is interested, they can click a search result, go straight to the job posting on a job board or a careers site, and start the applying process. As simple as that.
4—It gives you fewer candidates with higher quality
With the duplicate and mismatched results out of the picture, what job seekers get from their search is fewer options, yet highly relevant. The urge to “apply first, think later” to cope with the overwhelming amount of search results disappears.
Candidates know what they find is vetted by Google and is a good fit for their search criteria. As a result, companies will see a decrease in quantity going hand in hand with an increase in quality of the job applications they get. The time saved from eliminating ‘spam’ candidates can now be invested in improving the candidate experience for those who are truly going for it.
Besides, there is no excuse for not treating your candidates properly with all the HR technology we have. A simple email to confirm every candidate’s application can make a difference, as Stephanie de Booij from Tiqets has found out, and it takes only one minute to set up with Recruitee. Starting from small interactions like that, you can build up a great candidate journey for those involved.
From what we have seen, candidates who have a good experience with a company are likelier to recommend their peers and friends to apply for that company, no matter if they are hired or not.
Ready, steady, go; in that order
With Google for Jobs, your candidate input will become more precise and targeted. It’s more important than ever to have the right structure to process these ‘hot’ candidates. This strong focus on efficiency has always been Recruitee’s goal. It has only become stronger:
We have expanded Recruitee to optimize the hiring process as much as possible – not only tracking applicants, but also employer branding on careers sites and job posting. Above all, we understand that each company has its own needs and its own set of tools. Hiring itself does not happen in silos. So we have Recruitee’s API open and maximize its integrations with most common tools out there: Microsoft, G Suite, Slack, and more.
This post was written Hagi Trinh, recruitment writer at Recruitee.com. The team is working on the greatest hiring platform of all time…check it out at Recruitee.com and follow them @recruiteeHR
Disclaimer: Before we go any further, let’s make clear that we don’t consider ourselves to be agency recruiters here at LevelUp…at least not in the traditional sense. Think of us more like recruitment process outsourcing or even as consultants. We could be an agency, but we just dont feel like it.
Certainly aspects of what we do fit into the need for agency recruiters outlined in this article. But it’s the ethics, process and approach that we adopt, that differentiates us. We are startup focused, disruptive and turning startups into hiring machines one step at a time
The agency recruiter. The mere thought to most people induces shudders and visions of a smiling, LinkedIn loving individual.
And it’s true. Most traditional agency recruiters are sales driven people who value their hiring fee & commission more than someone’s career trajectory. In the traditional recruiting model, maximising revenue is a primary objective around which all other considerations must orbit.
So can recruiting agencies be useful?
Of course they can. It’s important to remember that recruiting agencies exist for a distinct reason: to cover the gaps that an in-house recruiter could not fill.
Recruiting agencies can save you plenty of time by sourcing and shortlisting candidates for open jobs. Likewise, many agents will handle the tricky early phases of a recruiting pipelines such as CV & phone screening.
This isn’t to say that a recruiting agency could replace internal recruiting efforts, but rather to highlight that they can more efficiently cover early stages of the recruiting pipeline due to economies of scale, workflow, expertise and network.
To summarise, a few of the key areas in which an agency would be particularly useful:
Specialised & executive roles:
An internal recruiter has vision over the company’s talent needs, but may not necessarily have the specialised knowledge for certain roles. This necessary process of learning could cost the company more in terms of time and money than simply hiring a recruiting agency. The agency guarantees knowledge of specific skills across the board, specialist sourcing methodologies and niche job boards.
Short term needs:
Sometimes the talent need is so urgent that a recruiting agency becomes the most time & cost viable solution. Agencies have an in-built network of talent and can fill vacancies fast, should this be required.
Fill a pipeline:
An internal hiring manager may have their finger on the pulse of a company’s hiring needs, but they still rely on a full pipeline of talent to make their decisions. An agency can be a great partner to help in this process, helping internal recruiters to make more informed decisions.
Agents are partners, not foes
And here comes the important part: addressing your talent needs isn’t a case of in-house versus agency. In many cases, both an agency and an internal recruiter can provide complementary skillsets.
It is important to recognise which parts of your talent needs are best satisfied by each party, in terms of time and cost. It is important to map out your future hiring needs and figure out what works best. And remember, many agencies understand startup culture as well as in-house!
Just to recap, here are a few things to consider when choosing an agency or in-house for a particular need:
Network: Who can provide easy access to the network needed for a role? Is this network general or specific?
Expertise: What specific knowledge is required? Is prior experience in a sector beneficial to hiring?
Culture: Is this a short term hire or a longer term prospect? Is knowledge of the team culture important?
Money: Does the hiring need justify a long term sunk cost? Or is a short term one-off fee more appropriate?
Goals: Is the company desire to setup future hiring processes? Does internal HR make sense? What is the growth plan for the team?
All things considered, analytics are key. It is important to measure your ‘good’ hires and work out why those were successful.
From that data you can find a balance between filling your talent needs with agency recruiters and in-house recruiters. Finding the optimal hiring partner for your company may take time, but it’s worth investing the time in getting it right in order to build a team for growth.
And that’s why we feel different in what we’re doing at LevelUp Ventures. A lot of the value we add to startups crosses the line between in house and agency recruiters. We just don’t feel like either.
Our mission is to address these talent needs with startup friendly, innovative and creative solutions. We believe startups are the best places to work, and we’re driven by the prospect of making our clients happy. No cold emails, no sales commission and certainly no suits here!
I had a professional photo with an outstanding headline
I wrote a nice personalised summary in the first person
I thought about job titles, clear job descriptions & my diverse skillset to help the viewer imagine where I might fit in
Added some links and documents to support my experiences
Got recommendations from my candidates and colleagues
I added my educational background, made sure I had no time gaps and/or red flags
Clearly, I filled out as much of the profile as possible, with the right mixture of keywords to be found. And there it was …. around June 2015, I was approached on LinkedIn with a ‘Tech Recruitment’ job by several companies from the UK and Dublin.
Me, a 162cm ‘tall’ girl playing basketball, who had never lived further than from my home, Bratislava, was contacted to work abroad! There, in the big wild west! Yes Life, you really surprised me when you challenged me, you made me curious & excited, you gave me confidence and because you taught me to be a competitive person: ‘Challenge accepted!’
Well, I didn’t accept the ‘London’ opportunity. London is too big a city for a small girl like me as a first ‘abroad’ experience. But instead, I decided to go to Amsterdam. Not that big, but still a capital city, metropolitan, modern, beautiful and international — simply an ideal place for an expat. I opened LinkedIn and started searching for jobs. I was reading and reading and reading a lot of job listing, when suddenly….
Are you an agency recruiter? (“yes I am”), fed up with cold calling at a recruiting firm or bored of working for large corporates? (“yes I am”)? Do you love to find hidden talent in the online realms? (“yes I do”)? Do you love both people and puzzles? (“yes, I really love both”) Join us, and help deliver hyper growth to Amsterdam’s tech & online startups (“yes I want and I will”)!’ and here we go, I decided to apply! But I knew that I had one really big disadvantage, I was still living in Slovakia, which meant:
People might expect that I needed a Visa because they often think Slovakia is part of Russia, or similar to it.
People have different culture stereotypes, maybe even prejudices about Eastern Europe
People are afraid that I might not be really serious about relocating and might drop out from the process
I decided to break these disadvantages and show that they should hire me, so I was assuming: the typical cover letter is not enough! Here’s why:
‘Sloppy’ recruiters will not read it
Recruiters will not really get my enthusiasm and my motivation
Recruiters will not care at all …
I really wanted to show this company ‘LevelUp Ventures’ that I am different as they are! I came up with an idea how to show them my personality and motivation. That same day, I opened my old HP notebook from like 7 years ago with a really old (not even HD) camera and started recording. I finished it, pasted it to my CV and sent it to them.
Well… as you could see, it’s not HD quality and not even the sound is alright. I mean what do you expect from my old PC? And yes, I used a curtain for my background…. But it’s cool! I am proud (and a bit embarrassed too), but I put all my effort in there and guess what …
Aik Deveneijns, the CEO of LevelUp Ventures, loved the amateur video, loved the curtain and he loved my effort and you know what else? He hired me on ‘XMAS EVE’!
Well… let me tell you Life, whom I’ve become from that moment when I started to work for LevelUp Ventures!
Eva, a Slovak girl with a passion for tech recruiting awesome talent for the top 10% of funded startups here in Amsterdam.
I’ve met great people, who are amazing, energetic, creative, gorgeous & smart! I’ve met great candidates, many of them I can even call friends now. All of those people and companies taught me a lot! I’ve never learned that fast and that much before.
At LevelUp Ventures I’ve been a 21st century recruiter, and that means no cold calling or spamming (it’s useless!), I’ve been myself, quite the nerd, with a genuine passion for tech & boolean and a new era of recruiting: networking, social selling & branding, internet & digital marketing and growth hacking. At LevelUp Ventures I could do it all and more! I felt comfortable, acknowledged, autonomous and always charged by our mission to ‘enable growth’.
Thank you LevelUp Ventures you’ve taught me a lot, and special thanks to my lovely colleagues:
@ aikdeveneijns “glorious leader” how to inspire others with their vision and use inventive ways of reaching goals
@ tomvrenken “ginger hustler” how to be honest, work persistently and easily lift people’s spirits
@ omario “mr. coolio” how to rise above it and not get stressed, stay calm and supportive.
@ ryan “grey” gruss how to use marketing, be creative and use efficiently the network.
@ jeremy ”the machine” how to finish a project and achieve the goal over the people emotions
@andrei “newbie” how to be enthusiastic over & over and don’t give up
@ becky “Cali girl” how to constantly work to improve the company’s employer brand and company culture.
@ elise “sunshine” how to be a responsive, concerned, always helpful and caring person
@ alina “bulina” how to have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve, how to help to cooperate or to support
Now it’s time to move forward! Life, you again surprised me and challenged me and so ‘again a new challenge accepted!’ Here I start my new adventure as the first in-house recruiter @Impraise and let’s see what this challenge will bring me, let’s build an amazing team!
I will be back soon!
PS: Check LevelUp Ventures out here, they’re pretty cool and hiring!
Growth is hard. Like a fear of heights or a fear of small spaces, scaling up a company can be a daunting thought for many startup founders. In fact, a recent study by Highland Europe confirmed that half of the founders interviewed believed that it was their ability to manage growth or adapt strategy that would lead to failure for their startup when it began to scale up.
So, what’s up?
When you typically read about stories of startup failure, it comes down to fundraising and the ability to manage capital. But this study seems to indicate the opposite – it shows that founders themselves blame failure on their ability to manage.
As the survey below shows, two of the biggest perceived hurdles to growth are finding senior talent and customer acquisition as a company grows. But these threats stem from a broader reaction from startup leaders: the worry over transforming from founder to CEO.
Becoming the CEO of a rapidly growing company seems daunting on paper – the vast task of satisfying an increasing number of stakeholders, balancing risks and rewards, and maintaining a creative vision for the company. Customer acquisition, attracting senior talent and other worries cited in the study are by products of this fear.
Gordon Willoughby, CEO of file transfer service WeTransfer, has described his company as being “squarely in the ‘scale-up’ phase”, but already experiencing many of the organisational infrastructure and capability hurdles mentioned.
Is it all bad news for founders?
Absolutely not. Being startup founders by definition means that these kind of people do not give up on making a success of their vision.
The report also confirmed that startup founders are indeed optimistic, with two thirds believing that their company had unicorn potential. The mere idea of scaling up is a fantasy for most founders, but it seems they are equally as aware of the pitfalls of growth as its rewards.
The ability to hire senior talent, manage cash flow and adapt strategically are part of this transition from founder to CEO as a company scales. Founders need to see themselves not as the biggest risk to scaling up their company, but the biggest asset for successful growth.
How founders can adapt to scaling up
Scaling up a startup is a big test for any founder, and so it’s easy to understand why so many feel belittled by such a task. But…it doesn’t have to be!
Yes, you guessed it…we have put together a few tips. Here at LevelUp, we deal with scale ups all the time and we’ve seen how to adapt from the frontline. Enjoy!
1) Keep delegating
At some point, you have to realise that you can’t do everything yourself and that you may actually be putting your business at risk by spreading yourself too thin. We get it…founders feel very attached to their companies and want to be in charge of every aspect from the office decor to the nitty gritty financials.
But as a wiseman once said, surround yourself more qualified than yourself. A successful founder should recognise the challenges to growth and the people who are best suited to tackle them head on.
2) Track your time
With so many things to do from walk the dog to perfect the pitch, being a startup founder can seem like an endless task. And with all that on your plate, who cared about what time you spend on each?
Wrong. You don’t have to meticulously log timesheets every 10 minutes, but try to keep a record of what you’re working on and how long it takes you to complete it. This is a key part in working out the pain points of your business and where you are wasting yourvaluable time.
3) Try not to multitask too much
Ahh multitasking…the coveted holy grail of startup life – the inescapable urge to prove to the world you are the bastion of dedication to your project.
Again…wrong. Researchers believe that just 2% of people have the right brainpower to be competent “supertankers”, while the rest of us see our productivity drop when we try to do multiple things at once. So do yourself and your company a favour as you scale by managing projects one-by-one. Use any tools necessary to make life easier but please dont do everything at once.
4) Don’t sweat the small stuff
This tip sounds like the name of some 90s pop chart hit, but it’s actually very crucial to scaling up with success. Few people choose to found a company to sample the joys of financial admin, secretarial paperwork, email management and data filing.
So don’t end up spending the majority of your time doing these very tasks rather than focusing on leading your company. Delegate these low-level tasks to someone else on the team or even just automate the s@#t out of them. Less time spent on form filling is more time spent on managing your company’s growth.
Starting a company is hard enough, but scaling it up presents a whole new suite of challenges. The problems outlined in the survey show that the transition from scrappy founder to growth-managing CEO is a big one for many. Everything from customer acquisitor to cash flow can be effectively grown, if a founder keeps control over themselves.
The key to founders’ adaptability is inherently personal. Keep a firm grip over the company’s vision, manage and adapt your workflow to growth, and know when to delegate and who to hire. If anyone can bounce back, up and sideways, it’s a startup founder so get out there and scale up your company 🙂
Candidate Experience and Employer Branding. They seem to be trending topics these days. When companies are looking to improve their recruitment strategy, the importance of a positive candidate experience cannot be denied! We all know it, we all say it. But do we really put our money where our mouth is?
Candidate experience is about ensuring that every single candidate (yes this includes applicants) receives honest and positive feedback – no matter what message you need to send. It includes communicating in the right way to everyone whether they make it to the interview or not even to the qualified stage. Why go through all the effort you’re thinking? Because if you don’t, you are fracturing your employer brand.
Employer brand means everything anyone has ever said about your brand Your customers speak about you, negatively, neutral, or better, positively. They are on social media, they talk to their friends and family. While a positive review can encourage the customer’s network to try the product or service you are offering, one negative review can be fatal. When communicating to that one customer, you are essentially speaking to her entire network.
The same goes when talking to candidates. They too have a network which they talk to about you. If they don’t describe the experience of applying to a job at your company as positive, take it from me, they will tell their friends about it. So not only will you have a candidate that will never apply or buy from you again, you will always lose potential customers.
Think of it this way: a candidate in your recruitment process might not fit the job or might not be interested in your offer for whatever reason… But this same person can still become a customer. Why? If they are positively approached with honest and personal communication, chances are that this candidate will buy your product/services in the future. Just because they have been treated so well. Isn’t that great?
Now it’s time to leverage this. Focus on every single candidate touchpoint there is, whether it is directly with your HR people or on the social platforms you are on. Be honest and personal like I mentioned earlier, but there is more you can do to get the most out of it:
Ask for referrals. If they are not the right fit or if they are not interested at the moment, ask the candidate if they know anyone who might. Referrals have the highest applicant to hire rate – even though only 7% of referred candidates apply, nearly half, 40%, get hired. To further compare: it takes on average 128 applicants versus 12 referrals to make one hire. That is a huge win.
Integrate communication feedback loops. Even though this is a rather “old” piece of advice, there still remains so much hidden potential when it comes to implementing communication loops and asking for feedback. Don’t ignore your candidates or send plain automated responses. Find a way that works for you to keep the communication loop going throughout the process, whether it is a chatbot on social media or a dedicated team to answer all the questions. Encourage two-way feedback; from your team to the candidate and from the candidate to the team. The better the communication, the better the feedback, the better the candidate experience and the greater your employer brand will become. Plus, how can we improve anything that we do without feedback?
I think we can all agree a positive candidate is important. So is employer branding. Now combine your efforts and ensure your candidate experience leads to a strong employer brand.
“A strong employer brand lends an organisation a significant competitive edge in recruiting, retaining and making the most of employees; it is a differentiator, aimed at building engagement and loyalty through identity.” – Jorgen Sunberg, CEO of Link Humans
Slack is everywhere. Not only is it now able to do everything from order our groceries to have a chat with us about our work…Slack is now a powerful tool to be used by recruiters.
Many recruiting tools are already building native apps to make use of the Slack platform, but more importantly Slack can be used directly to supplement or enhance recruiting workflows.
Below is a brief overview of how we are using Slack at LevelUp and a couple of ideas for how you can integrate Slack into your activities.
How we use slack
Partner & Customer collaboration We have slack channels for each of our customer projects; and invite founders & hiring managers into that channel. It’s a perfect way to quickly communicate, as well as being able to look back on what has been decided & discussed. For the complexity of running our Talent projects, it’s not enough though. If we collaborate / communicate on an individual talent level, we’d rather use (tagging) in software that’s dedicated to managing talent flow. In our case, that’s mostly Recruitee. We are using Asana for internal project management, and looking if and how we should invite our customers into that platform as well.
Client leads – Besides the normal collaboration channels, we linked Pipedrive to our slack channel. This is another effective way to keep the whole team aware of our business development efforts and upcoming new deals.
Unsollicited CV’s – Many of our Startup & Scaleup customers receive unsollicited CV’s from no-cure-no-pay agency recruiters. It drives them nuts, because they might run into problems later when they hire these people. These agencies tend to feel like they ‘own’ this talent. You can forward these CV’s to email@example.com and it pops up in our #talentfromthedarkside channel. We generally don’t look at these unsolicited CVs from recruiting agencies, but it sure is an awful lot of fun to be the ‘waste disposal bin’ for our customers!
Competitors & Content – Slack is also a great way to store information about your competitors amongst colleagues for later reference, and information to share with your client base.
Some other ideas
Applicant Tracking System – Use a web hook to pull in CVs from a job posting straight into a Slack channel. Then either using reactions or notes, allow your team members to give opinions on each candidate.
Sourcing/profiles – Create a dedicated Slack community of talent which works around content & referrals. It would involve inviting other companies into that Slack (channel) to have your own crowdfunded (free) headhunting practice!
Slack may not seem like the obvious addition to your recruiting workflow but it offers many ways to streamline different channels into a hub where your team all works. Give it a go and let us know what you think!