Year: 2016

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Thanks for a great 2016!

By Steve Riley   December 22, 2016  
As we start to pull the shutters down on 2016 we'd like to say a very big THANKS! (And if you can't be at least a little bit cheesy at this time of year, when can you?)Thanks to our clients, partners, suppliers, associates, and the army of geeks, designers, writers, managers and all the other multi-talented portfolio of skills and services that make up a modern, connected world. If you look back to where we started almost 15 years ago, some of what's possible now would be dismissed as pure alchemy and dreams. The 'blue sky' is increasingly routine.It's been a busy 2016 here at Reverse Delta and 2017 is already shaping up to a flying start, with several new sites revving up to go live. We're all busy, you're all busy. Sometimes we forget what we're here for, so we just wanted a moment to thank all the amazing people we've worked with in recent years.Ours is a techy business and it's easy to see everyday working life as a series of problems and headaches. But heck, if it were easy someone else would probably be doing it just as well, or better, or cheaper!It's worth a moment however, to focus on solutions. When we deliver a site we know it's going to work well and that goes from the basic right through to the full custom. What that means in turn is that our clients look better and deliver a better service to their own clients. And (here's the cheese again) in a lot of cases it can lead to truly life-changing transformations. In recruitment, our software has processed millions of job alerts, hundreds of thousands of job applications and countless job changes in the past year alone. It's big stuff when you think of it like that. It's nice to play a part. Here's to the next 15 years! 
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In the long run: Dave Haygarth’s epic run plan for December

By Dave Bancroft   December 2, 2016  
Our operations director Dave Haygarth is undergoing a bit of a tough challenge this month. In support of the M3 Project - Dave started off yesterday (1st December) by running a mile. No big deal, I guess, for many people. But today he will run two miles, then three miles on the 3rd December, up to a rather leg-pounding 16 miles on the 16th December, before going back down to 15, 14, 13, etc - running 7 miles on Christmas day and reducing day by day until a final single mile on the 31st. In total, the 256 miles will no doubt take its toll, but in particular, that middle 7 day section will include 99 miles of running.For over twelve years, the M3 Project has been providing housing related support to young people aged 16 -25. They support single young homeless in supported lodgings and homeless teenage families - be they single parents or couples. They're close to Dave and to us all here at Reverse Delta, as a long-standing client. We will be supporting the M3 Project by donating to this cause instead of printing and posting Christmas Cards.You can read more day-to-day on Dave's progress here on a micro-blog and more on the challenge here on the M3 Website. Both of those pages contain links, if you would consider making a donation - every penny is appreciated, of course.
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Why not just build your recruitment website in WordPress?

By Steve Riley   November 22, 2016  
Attractive thought isn’t it? Seemingly “free”, powerful and almost ubiquitous — WordPress seems to be conquering the web world and is starting to make inroads in recruitment websites.WordPress is a fantastic platform for all sorts of websites, and there are some great plug-ins for things like e-commerce, news-based sites, and there are even job board plugins.But we’d advise caution on a number of fronts if you’re thinking it might be the right road to take for your new recruitment website. Risk versus reward It’s all well and good getting a site built ‘on the cheap’, but you may want, or expect, it to last a few years.  With WordPress’s flexibility comes risk on a website where your candidates store their personal information. WordPress sites regularly get hacked if they are not being supported properly. Who’s going to tell your candidates the bad news about all their personal info going astray?Every alluring plug-in you might choose to use on your WordPress site is written by a different developer.  Do you know them?  Have you chatted to them? Does your developer know them? Was your mission critical plug-in written by a hobbyist open source developer, who falls of the radar once they get a proper job?No one wants to support other peoples code anymore, and because no particular organization monitors WordPress plug-ins, this means there could be a crucial bug in the plug-in you use on your site.If it is important to you, make sure your website is supported, monitored and patched, backed up by a contract.Don’t get us wrong, we love WordPress for general websites and even built our own company site on the platform. It’s great for this kind of thing, and we have developed hundreds of WordPress sites over the years.  We’ve also tried, and failed, to build really joined-up recruitment sites. We know of others in the market who do use WordPress, but it just doesn’t have the specific tools you need for recruitment.  Clients often come to us months after having one built, wishing they hadn’t.Let’s take a look at what an effective recruitment site needs: jobs! job search – not as easy as you think and the number of subtleties of exactly how this should work in different sectors a joined-up cycle of attraction, engagement retention and conversion with things like…email alerts social sharing  (WordPress is strong on social tools to be fair) candidate registration CV upload application handling integration with third-party CRM systems social sign-in feeds to specialist job boards…every one of these is either a struggle for WordPress or can only be done with a lot of custom development. And if you’re going to commission custom development, you may as well start with a supplier that specialises in recruitment. [You can see where we’re going with this!]Some of our sites are a combination of both FXRecruiter and WordPress. This is seamless to the user, and they can each play to their strengths: WordPress for news, blog and other similar content, FXRecruiter for job marketing and candidate attraction.In summary, we love WordPress here at Reverse Delta, we’re just not convinced it’s the answer to every question.
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Mobile overtakes desktop

By Dave Haygarth   November 3, 2016  
They predicted 2016 a long time ago and in October 2016, it happened. 51.3% mobile and tablet browsing and the desktop’s at 48.7%.  No surprises, really. Not if, but when... etc.It's an interesting landmark though.  Especially for those of us who, to our shame,remember the birth of the internet know what a dial-up modem sounds like still (to their shame and disgust) spend most of the day in front of a desktop device.The web is truly mobile now. If we include the internet of things, then desktop computers are as good as gone. Aodhan Cullen, chief executive of StatCounter, said: “This should be a wake up call especially for small businesses, sole traders and professionals to make sure that their websites are mobile friendly. Many older websites are not." We've been saying this for... well .. it seems like too long now. "Is your website mobile friendly?" may as well now be replaced with the much simpler "Is your website friendly?".Please stop looking at your website as some poster displayed on a large screen to impress your clients and start thinking about it as the powerful, portable app it truly should be, and get it earning for you. Contact us to find out what to do next!
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Twitterfeed goes out with a whimper for Halloween

By Dave Haygarth   October 31, 2016  
As grim things go, the slow demise of Twitterfeed isn't quite horror-movie proportions, but it's a sad and dark tale for the many people out there who have relied on it over these last few years.   It grew rapidly as people realised they could automate a good chunk of their marketing messages by posting from one source and syndicating to other social sources. It became so popular that link-shortening giants bit.ly acquired Twitterfeed mid stream.It's a classic case of survival of the fittest though and cleverer, easier, and generally app-ier things came along. It's a harsh world but obviously someone, somewhere decided that Twitterfeed's premium option wasn't bringing in enough money to keep the service going. The announcement 12 days ago that October 31st was the last day of Twitterfeed caught many by surprise.https://twitter.com/twfeed/status/786955705295245313It teaches any users what a potential house of cards we can build at time. As developers, we're always keen to point out in any proposals that external / third parties can do this. Stop services, be acquired, be unreliable, of even start charging. It's a frustrating sign of a world full of choice, and sometimes a case of which horse to back.Probably the biggest loss will be that at the time of writing there seems no viable (and free to use) alternative to post any feed content to a LinkedIn page. That will hurt some.  Maybe it is a gruesome Halloween thing after all?PS - For any readers out there in need of help, there are loads of other services, but who knows when they might close their doors? We're currently still fans of IFTTT, Zapier, and DLVR.it. There's a quick help guide here on our knowledgebase about how to feed your jobs to Twitter / Facebook on dlvr.it but good luck if you're looking for something to post to
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When is a job board a job aggregator?

By Steve Riley   October 27, 2016  
Our friends at Recruitics recently published a useful summary of the differences between a job board and a job aggregator.Simple concepts but similar enough to be easily confused. Hopefully this will shed some light!Put simply, the difference:Job aggregators are like Google search— using feeds from websites (like those we use in our FeedManager product) to find job listings and displaying them in query results. Job boards don’t search for jobs being posted to the web on other job sites or business career sites. They post jobs on behalf of companies who wish to advertise them.Job boards and job aggregators also contrast in the way they operate, for both job seeker and those posting to them:Pricing. Normally job boards sell individual job postings or job slots, while job aggregators offer a performance-based job advertising model. With a job board you pay for the job slots, regardless of whether you take any applications. With performance-based advertising, you can stop spending whenever you want.Job search optimization. Job aggregators scour the web for new jobs posted to job boards and career sites and often pull more information from the job ads to provide the most accurate results. Job aggregator search will typically search the job title, description, posting date, requirements, location and more to determine if the job fits the query. Job board search often relies on only job titles and location.Competition. When advertising jobs online, you’re competing with every other job on the site. On job aggregators, you can expect greater competition, because aggregators normally list more jobs than job boards. Job boards rely on businesses posting directly to their site. An aggregator can seem like a ‘one-stop-shop’ for job seekers and might increase your job visibility, but can also lead to more unqualified applicants. Job boards typically attract fewer job seekers, but they tend to be better qualified. Job boards tend to focus on niche professions attracting better candidates.What’s not so important is the source of the job — a job on a client website can be used on both a job board OR a job aggregator.You can read the full article here and follow Recruitics for more insights like this.
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Good times or bad times in recruitment?

By Dave Bancroft   September 22, 2016  
After the fragile economic recovery of recent years, many people were understandably nervous about what a post-Brexit world would look like.Would the recovery come tumbling down? The initial signs were bad – the pound tumbled against other currencies within the first week.The political outlook is confused at best – we haven’t even started the ‘Article 50‘ 2 year timetable for leaving and we’re now approaching 3 months after the referendum. So where does that leave the economy …and what does it mean for recruitment?The recent indicators have been very encouraging. The BBC revealed this week there was no ‘Brexit effect’ in latest jobs data. Unemployment fell slightly in the latest quarter, despite predictions of economic shock and a recruitment stall.The UK services sector saw a record rise in August, according to the closely-watched PMI survey. Services account for everything from financial services through to cafes and shops, and around 80% of the economy. The rise in confidence takes the economy back to pre-referendum levels. This has got to be good news for jobs and recruitment.Another question we should probably ask is: ‘Does it really matter?’ Not as flippant as it initially sounds – recruitment is a sector that seems to defy logic in some ways. When the rest of the business world is pulling in its horns, recruiters can sometimes look like they’re thriving. The more agile agencies can react to changing patterns and position themselves appropriately, for example focussing more on temporary than permanent positions or moving sideways into new sectors.In addition, there’s never any shortage of individuals becoming dissatisfied with working for someone else. The recruitment sector itself always has a steady stream of start-up agencies, through good times and bad. Other sectors are the same …and eventually these one and two-person bands will either sink or swim (and start recruiting as they grow).One final thought: marketing guru Seth Godin suggests the best time to start a business is in a recession. In short, if you can survive the poor times, you’ll thrive in the better times. More from Forbes on starting a business in a downturn.How are things for you?
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How can recruiters win from Brexit?

By Phil Heaton   July 20, 2016  
A guest blog this time from our Creative Director, Phil Heaton and a topical one. Phil has designed most of our top end sites and worked with our leading clients to define their brands and the messages they offer to clients and candidates. He knows recruiting.Phil asks: "Brecruitment. How will Brexit affect recruitment?" James Caan says Brexit’s hurting. Hiring decisions are on hold and all his recruitment firms are suffering.Is this the end of Britain’s ‘Jobs Miracle’? Or will a more can-do attitude carry the day?Here at Reverse Delta we’ve been supporting the growth of recruitment businesses since 2003. Together we weathered the bad times of 2008-12 and many of our early clients have gone from strength to strength. Some are now on their second or third generation of recruitment websites with us.It’s no great insight that in times of uncertainty the permanent market seizes up, with all the action in temp and contract placements. More useful: how to make the most of this?What definitely won’t change is that employer’s staffing demands will be increasingly fluid and eleventh hour.Finding and placing better quality candidates, more quickly, more effectively and more efficiently is the key to success. Being able to rapidly fill, filter and deploy a better talent pool means using web-based technology in four vital ways: 1. Attract talent Smarter jobs marketing. And reputation marketing too. As Google gets ever more ‘human’ with its algorithm – and web channels increasingly fragment – SEO tinkering yields dwindling returns. As do Jobs Boards; why pay out to boost their talent pool?By leveraging technology you can implement a more holistic and smarter jobs and content marketing strategy – to quickly enhance YOUR talent pool and YOUR reputation. 2. Engage talent Being attractive is one thing – being really engaging is something else. Your website has less than 3 seconds to make a winning first impression – anywhere, on any device. Cut to the chase quickly with relevant content (guess what, jobs mostly) that is easily found, smartly presented and gives a flavour of why you’re better.In short, your website has less than 3 seconds to answer the question: “Are they best for me?” 3. Convert talent to candidates You’ve shown them yours, now you need to know about them. Your website needs to work hard at this so you don’t have to. It should be encouraging interaction to build and update as complete a candidate profile as possible – in a friendly, easy, inviting way – and getting that information into your database pronto.The less time you need to spend on resourcing, the more you can profit from recruiting. 4. Retain the relationship We’re big on candidate retention. Keeping your talent pool close and exclusive is a no-brainer. But how many people in yours haven’t heard from you or been in touch in months? Years?It can be a fine line between staying in touch and stalking, but using tech right means you can keep being friendly in a meaningful, helpful and mutually rewarding manner.We know the UK’s recruitment sector. And we believe it can make a go of Brexit – not that it Caan’t.  To find out how our complete web know-how can help your recruitment business thrive, just get in touch with Phil Heaton or Dave Bancroft on: 08000 199 737
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How do you write a great job description?

By Steve Riley   July 12, 2016  
Last month we talked about choosing the right job title to give job hunters the best chance of finding your jobs and keeping the search engines interested.The general advice carries over:Write like a human – your readers are people, not machines. Write for them first. Think about your keywords – words and phrases you want the search engines to notice If your SEO efforts make the writing clunky, you've put the cart before the horse.Quick, we haven't got much time The description always starts with a brief summary paragraph. Think about having 20 seconds to get the key information across to a candidate. Use words they would use and mention:Business area Role type Summary of tasks Seniority or experience levelAfter that you've got three key sections to write more detail (in whatever order):About the role About the employer About the ideal candidateDon't waste words Try Googling "a fantastic opportunity for the right individual" – just short of 10 million people had the same idea. Wasted words. Plain English When we're not full time writers we have a tendency to reach for fancy words to make ourselves look smarter. Plain words are normally quicker to grasp and instill more confidence. We all poke fun at Estate Agents and their 'dwellings' and 'requirements' – what's wrong with 'houses' and 'needs'? Are you doing the same with your job descriptions?...and finally. Check and check again. We said this last time. It's worth repeating.Let us know if we can help with anything. PS Indeed has a nice summary for Writing an Effective Job Description on their site. Make sure you don't violate any of their rules and turn down Indeed traffic (we've known it happen).
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Six things that let your recruitment website down

By Steve Riley   June 21, 2016  
You have a great website, but there’s always room for improvement right? Are there any clunky areas that are easily fixable?The days of “my son in law can build us a website” are thankfully long gone and we all recognise the importance of specialist expertise. But even the professionals have been known to make errors of judgment or let style triumph over usability.Recruitment can be a fickle business and trust is harder to gain than it is to lose. Your website is absolutely key to your reputation – we all overwhelmingly start our job searches digitally these days.Take a look at your own website and see if you recognise any of these: 1. No social links, follows and shares. “You’ve got a job that sounds quite cool, but not quite right for me. Is there a simple way to fire it off to my old colleague Jenn? I owe her a favour.”Can your web visitors easily share your jobs with their own social network? Can they tweet, share on Facebook, send links via email? It’s a secondary stream of traffic you may be completely ignoring. 2. Compulsory CV upload. Or sites that don’t work well on mobile. “Your website looks beautiful, it really does. The trouble is I’m out on site most of the time and mostly just snatching a quick look on my phone. I can’t even apply for jobs properly.”Does your site recognise that your user is on a mobile and become more forgiving of compulsory CV upload? Or better yet, let candidates upload from cloud storage, such as Dropbox or Google Drive. 3. Lazy image choices. “Please, no more carefully choreographed collections of good looking people with impossible teeth. People are shy, we get that. They don’t want to feature on their own site, but at least choose real people doing real work. I’ll trust you then.”You’ve seen them all: office staff jumping in air, woman wearing telephone headset, suited men shaking hands, hardhats and London skylines. You switch off and skip over them …a little bit more trust in the brand is eroded. 4. More about you than them. “X and Y saw a gap in market to do Z, because we recognised our unique ability to…” Subtext: aren’t we great?It’s important to tell a good story and present yourself as engaging people to do business with. But the real story is about candidates and clients, not you. As my first boss used to say (and this pre-dates David Brent) – “Are you broadcasting on WII-FM?”…or “What’s In It For Me?” 5. No email alerts. “You’ve got some nice jobs but I’m not ready to move. Is there a way to keep a weather eye on you for that killer job I might want to apply for?”See above. Your agency covers my niche well but there’s nothing that takes my fancy right now. I don’t want to call you and waste both our times. Can you push out job alerts to me so I can keep an eye on what you have coming up? 6. Load time. “Your site looks beautiful, it really does …when it finally arrives.”You seriously expect me to hang around for the FOUR WHOLE SECONDS it takes to load properly? On the web,first impressions are formed in the blink of an eyelid (and we know you do the same with candidates).The numbers don’t lie: the longer your site takes to load, the more people lose interest.Let us know if we can help. 
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How do you write a great job ad title?

By Steve Riley   June 7, 2016  
Recruiters are busy people and anxious to spread the word about new roles. But resist the temptation to be too hasty getting jobs online. A bit of care up front writing the right job title and description will pay dividends down the line. Whether you have a complete brief from the client or are writing the ad from scratch there are some simple rules to keep the search engines interested and help candidates find your jobs. Think about your keywords.You'll already have your own ideas about what works for your market and probably follow house style, but here's a few thoughts around search, usability and readability that might help newer recruiter colleagues. Set expectations Include terminology that helps the candidate before they click. Terms like 'part-time' or 'night shift' can help save you paying for clicks from unqualified or disinterested candidates. Abbreviations Include common abbreviations in your job title. If a job is well-known by a particular abbreviation, job seekers will often include those abbreviations in their searches, so use both. For example, for a registered nurse, consider using 'Registered Nurse, RN'. Don't rely on the abbreviation alone. Write like a humanBe careful with buzzwords like 'ninja' or 'wizard'. They lack clarity and are harder to search for. Candidates will search for 'social media marketing' rather than 'social media ninja' Use relevant job titles that current job seekers will be searching for. For example, candidates are likely to search for 'flight attendant' than the more dated 'stewardess' Use the candidate's language not yours. So: client = employer candidate = job seeker vacancy/career/opportunity = job! Avoid industry jargon the average job seeker might not use. You can always hedge  your bets with a combination of 'insider' and plain English, eg 'Vehicle Restoration Engineer – Panel Beater' Be specific. For example include experience level or specialism if relevant, eg 'Senior biomedical scientist - Histology' rather than just 'Histologist' Make it look like a real job, even if you're continuously looking for people. Generic long-running job ads are for your own convenience, not the candidate's and won't attract the best applications...and finally Check and check again. Mistakes don't look good. You look sloppy and introduce doubt in the candidate's mind. If your job title is misspelled, it'll never show up in search. More on writing great Job Descriptions in the future. This post borrows heavily from two sources:the excellent advice at the Recruitment SEO Blog An article on Writing Effective Job Titles from the splendid people at RecruiticsLet us know if we can help with anything!