A Change in Our Approach

When we began Spruik.me, a big part of it was dedicated to helping connect RTO, TAFE and University students with industry opportunities. As is often the case with a new business, things don’t always go to plan. But in true entrepreneurial spirit, the obstacle has became the way.

We are now exploring the viability of extraordinary niche groups as different Talent Communities. At the time of writing we are building a community of Group Exercise Instructors with Marietta Mehanni and a community dedicated to new Personal Trainers – through our work with HealthyPeople we’ve come to realise that new PTs are a valuable subset of the Personal Training group, with specific needs and appeal to employers (they rarely have established bad habits).

The Brunswick Street Community we looked at was not an option. There were clear issues with getting professionals on board and I realised that a more valuable community for Brunswick Street would be one of Baristas alone (if you think you have the connections to make this one fly, please get in touch).

Pulling focus on a problem is also easier when you have a something to completely take your mind off it for a while.

The last few weeks have seen plenty of cerebral muscle flexed on our new venture, MyMembership.Cards. The distraction from Spruik.me has been like a holiday. 

If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

Regards, D.

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Work On Brunswick Street

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On Friday I took to Brunswick Street (Fitzroy VIC), not for lunch or an after work beverage (although that did happen), but to ask a number of traders what they think about an employment hub (or Talent Community) for our iconic street.

More specifically, what would they think of an exclusive, free space to advertise jobs available on Brunswick Street, and would they be interested in free access to promoted candidates?

Before I share the result, you may be thinking that these employers would be fine, they’d have CVs dropped off every day from people looking for work. And, in part, you’d be right. Some employers reported receiving as many as 10 CVs a day.

But here’s the thing, the process is massively inefficient and wastes time for both the candidate and the employer.

Professionals are walking the street all day without any certainty that there is going to be anything to show for it. Will their CV actually get in front of the person that matters? And if an opportunity does come up, how can they be sure that their CV is going to stand out from all others?

For employers, the process is pot luck. There is no certainty that the right person is going to come through the door when you need them. Plus there is the inevitable interruption to business. And when a good candidate does come in, what system is in place to ensure their details are easily found when the time is right?

Beyond these walk-ins, employers can advertise to free job boards, but the results there are sketchy. Paid options are better, but having to pay for ads is never a joy.

And this is Brunswick Street, Dammit!

Anywhere as popular, and as populated, as this should have a world class selection of candidates to tap into.

So what I proposed to employers is this; we’ll run an exclusive jobs community for Brunswick Street hospitality and retail traders. There will be no cost to advertise jobs, and they will have ongoing access to candidates.

PLUS, we will provide a preliminary screening of candidates to ensure that only those that are relevant are accepted into our community.

PLUS, any candidate actively looking for work can be promoted directly to the recruiting managers via email (no need for candidates to be trudging the streets).

So what did the employers think? Enthusiastic with a touch of hesitation – not uncommon when someone offers something for free (a wise man once said, ‘somewhere, someone has to pay’). But all traders relaxed when I gave more detail on our wider goal – to make this Talent Community a success and a proving ground for more financially rewarding communities in the future.

At the time of writing we are in the process of putting together the back end. Stay tuned for more progress on this all new service.

Dennis Hosking.

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Talent Communities – The New Black

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A recent, small but significant change has been to re-badge SCHOOLS as TALENT COMMUNITIES.

‘Talent Communities’ better describes the focus of Spruik.me (and HealthyPeople.com.au). It’s all about bringing together like minded individuals and employers.

There were two key reasons for this;

We realised it’s not just schools that have a collection of people interested in working in a specific industry. For example…

Recruiters, why hide your light under a bushel? Provide your clients with a ready list of candidates, both passive and actively looking. We can let you know as soon as employers navigate to your page – one of your Business Development people can be on them right away.

Industry Associations, this is a perfect way to increase the value of your annual fees. You have complete control of who has access to your page and who and what roles are promoted.

The second reason for shifting the focus away from schools related simply to the challenge in finding a sympathetic ear. I’m not saying I’ve given up on teaching institutions, they’re just a tougher nut to crack than I expected – for many and varied reasons.

Other recent updates include more informative emails about promoted candidates, better filtering on candidate searches and a tweak to the search tool in mobile view. 

If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

Regards, Dennis Hosking

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Online and offline improvements.

Over the last few months there has been some big changes both online and offline.

Among the biggest of recent changes was the introduction of ajax for selecting suburbs in the search tool. In short, it means you can search for any suburb, and any nearby results (if nothing in the original suburb) will be returned. It also makes for fater page load times.

Another update includes a widget to filter all candidates from a particular school. What’s this mean? Well, anyone visiting the schools pages can drill down to relevant candidates in by area, industry and desired job type. Check out the example with the Australian Fitness Academy.

Not only can you drill down to the most relevant candidates from a school, our dev wizard has enabled the ability to distil your selection to those actively looking for a new role.

Candidates now receive an email whenever their CV has been downloaded. This is something we provide on the HealthyPeople site but had not yet implemented here. I think it’s a great thing to know when you’re on someone’s radar – it’s an opportunity to follow up and make the most of the new connection.

Speaking of emails, we’ve added the first name and location to emails about new promoted candidates to employers. We thought employers might appreciate a little extra information. In particular, location.

There’s also been a few bug fixes in there as well. We discovered that there were some misbehaving links, in particular with the downloading of docx CVs.

Offline, there’s been some big changes to our line up. We’ve added Michael Grogan to our office team and Matthew Worley has taken over as our CIO.

Regards, D.

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Graduate Recruitment Smack-down!

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We’ve put a lot of innovation into Spruik.me to make it the sort of service that changes the game for students, employers and educational institutions. But don’t be fooled into thinking these are innovations are untested. The systems behind Spruik.me were founded in our original (and still operating) HealthyPeople site.

But you’re not here for the chit-chat, so let’s move on to the main event – a smack-down between the fresh, the fit and the fantastic, Spruik.me VS the die hard determination of Traditional Graduate Recruitment

ROUND 1 – VISIBILITY

Most traditional graduate recruitment service (TGRS) job boards are practically invisible. To both employers and students! Many pages contain nothing more than a log in with no suggestion of what’s available.

Spruik.me, on the other hand, showcases opportunities and connections of the school. Why hide your industry networks, job opportunities and available students and graduates? Sure, key details are hidden from unapproved eyes, but visitors – both employers and students – can see at a glance what’s available for them.

The more visible your careers services, the greater the utilisation. 

ROUND 2 – REQUIRED MANPOWER

The key here is output. Both TGRS and Spruik.me may require just one person to administer the service, but with our automated systems and easy-to-use interface, Spruik.me however, offers much more than job listings.

Spruik.me makes it possible for one person to actively promote tens of thousands of students to employers while at the same time assisting hundreds of employers with job advertising.

HealthyPeople, for example, services 39,000+ professionals and close to 300 employers around Australia every month. This is managed by two non full time staff. 

ROUND 3 – MOBILITY

Are you using a TGRS job board? Then it’s strictly desktop only! Too bad for those students and teaching staff using smartphones and tablets.

The Spruik.me site is responsive / adaptive. Which means that, no matter what size screen is used to view the site, it will adapt to fit. No app required. Genius!

In an increasingly mobile community, the ability to connect via mobile devices is essential to maximise engagement. 

ROUND 4 – TOOLS FOR CAREERS OFFICERS

The focus for Spruik.me has not been on appointment setting tools, etc.  To this point, we’ve focused on bringing together students and employers. We’ve been less concerned with peripheral functionality. There are plenty of services around for things like booking of appointments and meeting rooms.

Spruik.me is a tool for people that want to have an impact.

ROUND 5 – A MARKETING TOOL

By focusing solely on graduate job advertising and locking down graduate recruitment portals, TGRS reflect very little value back on to the school.

Spruik.me, by comparison, showcases a school’s industry connections and jobs, therefore opening a window to the potential opportunities for future students.

But we haven’t stopped there, as all students populate general searches of professionals, we’re encouraging employers to connect with the school (they need to be connected to see details). This, in turn, generates greater word of mouth, providing a wealth of FREE marketing for the school.

If you’re investing time and effort into graduate recruitment, why not provide a service that feeds back into your admissions.

ROUND 6 – PROMOTING STUDENTS

This is not a service offered by traditional graduate recruiting services.

Promoting students is at the core of Spruik.me. Hence the name. We are the only group that can put graduating students easily and effectively in front of employers in their preferred industry and locations.

By promoting students to employers we provide more opportunities than can ever be possible with job advertising alone.

ROUND 7 – ‘GIVE A FISH OR TEACH TO FISH’

Traditional Graduate Recruitment Services, by their very nature, have no value to students beyond graduate opportunities.

Accounts set up on Spruik.me continue to work throughout a student’s career. This is an opportunity to set a student up for life, not just their first job.

Careers officers have the ability to help professionals create the best possible profiles on Spruik.me, ensuring a service that delivers opportunities well into a student’s career.

ROUND 8 – COST

Some TGRS can be very expensive. Recent education cuts in Victoria have caused many schools to abandon proprietary services.

Spruik.me is FREE.

Premium services will be introduced in the future, but as a mark of gratitude to the teaching institutions that join us early, these services remain FREE.

Our focus, first and foremost, is providing an optimal service that meets the needs of ALL stakeholders.

AND THE WINNER IS…

To us, the answer is clear. Spruik.me is the future for getting graduates into healthy careers.

You’ve witnessed the rounds, you must have an opinion. You’re welcome to cast your vote in the comments below.

If you’re a part of a teaching institution and would like to talk further, please call me (Dennis) on 0414 481 525.

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Reaching out from beyond the web…

One thing I’ve noticed is that employers will advertise available roles in their shop window, but there is no connection between that window notice and the details the employer has advertised online.

Why not bring them together?

Have the ad in the window point directly to the ad online. Keep all your applications in one place and deal with them when the time is right rather than when the applicant chooses to pop in. Genius!

This is also great for people applying for the job. How so? Let’s say you happen to notice an ad in a business window. Firstly, the shop may be shut, so you can’t just walk right in. Secondly, you may not have your CV with you, nor be dressed suitably for a good first impression. However, you see the ad is advertised on Spruik.me. So you simply open a browser on your smartphone and locate the ad using the search keyword provided. If it all looks good, you can create your cover letter and attach the CV you have on file, all while STANDING IN FRONT OF THE SHOP! Brilliant!

Let’s not forget, your application is also enhanced by your professional profile (check out an example here).

To help bridge the gap between online and offline, we’re sending employers a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to put in their window. A good old fashioned DL sized notice. It’s a free service we’re including with all job ads. It is a bit of an experiment, so let us know what you think via a comment below.

DL

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