Telecommute Jobs Schema for Remote Opportunities on Google

Telecommute Jobs Schema for Remote Opportunities on Google

We’ve covered how to get your jobs picked up organically by Google in previous articles. But did you know that there’s a way to promote work-from-home remote positions as well? If you have a Google Ads or Search Console account you may have received an email from Google detailing remote jobs schema. If so this article will help simplify things for you. If you haven’t seen these messages and this is brand new to you, read on, this is important.

With COVID-19 wreaking havoc on office-based businesses and employment, search volume for remote positions has increased greatly. As more interest in hiring remote workers and finding work-from-home jobs increases the opportunity for staffing companies to appear in search results grows as well.

When implementing your job schema for remote positions specify joblocationtype: “TELECOMMUTE” and Google will list the results location as “Anywhere” and display a “work from home” tag next to that job posting as seen in the example below.

As of writing this post the feature is only available in the US and UK.

Why Is This Important?

Google is the most used search engine in the world. That’s a start. Google also provides job search results on searches for jobs. This means that you can have your jobs on the first page of Google when someone searches for the positions you’re hiring for. Not only that, but you also don’t have to pay advertising fees and you don’t have to compete with as many other websites the way you do with SEO. You don’t have to pay for ads on Google or Indeed and you don’t have to have one of the top 5-10 staffing websites in your industry. Now all you have to do is optimize your positions for Google job search results. Implementing jobs schema also creates a more user-friendly experience. Rather than having to click through to several websites, the user is able to access jobs directly from Google. Fewer clicks + more options = better user experience.

For more information about adding schema for work-from-home 100% remote positions visit Google’s Developer Support. If you need help implementing jobs schema or modifying your jobs schema to reflect work-from-home opportunities please feel free to reach out. We’d love to help you.

Actions Speak Louder than Words

Actions Speak Louder than Words

Responding to social unrest

In the past ering on the side of caution when voicing political opinion was the status quo. This day in age, the opposite holds true. Many companies are voicing support for the Black Lives Movement (BLM) as well as issues impacting the planet and human rights. What does this look like in the staffing industry though? How does your company participate in the national conversation without being performative? Is it even appropriate to respond?

Short answer: Yes, you should respond.

Long answer: If you are a conscientious company, you likely already have the resources for speaking up. Often a company’s mission or vision will hold the key to relating to the world’s forward moving and evolving landscape. This is reflected in your branding and in your policies. You are set up for making a statement of support to the public.

If your company has had these initiatives on the back burner, now is the time to start drafting your action plan. Let any statement you put out reflect the actions you plan to take. Then take them.

Don’t let the simplicity of these statements mislead you. While a statement of support sounds like a logical step to saying “we care”, clients, customers and future employees aren’t easily fooled. Unless you have the steps you are taking, it will all look like a performance in times of adversity.

Actions speak louder than words.

Clients, recruits and your staff are smart. They can see through a blanket statement or a buzzword hashtag pretty quickly. While statements of support for BLM may look different from company to company, they all say the same thing: “marketing opportunity”.

The world wants to see systemic change. Every system in our society has room for equitable growth no matter if you start today or have been working on these issues since the 1960’s. Our parents, teachers and leaders have been echoing the same sentiment since all of time, actions speak louder than words.

So we ask you, how are you advocating for change? How are you showing your support for the movement you want to support?

Before you release your statement, you should be drafting an action plan that states how you plan on being the change, not just speaking about the needed change, in your company and/or industry.

But what does that look like?

  1. Donating to organizations
    This can be an organization that supports youth literacy in underserved communities to directly sending money to the Black Lives Matter movement. That’s up to you. 
  2. Training
    Everyone has room to grow. Microaggressions, systemic oppression, biases lay deep in our culture. Becoming an anti-racist takes thoughtful work. It’s powerful to offer this opportunity to your staff especially in an industry that is on the frontline of equitable hiring.
  3. Review Practices
    Take a good look at how you are hiring, we can guarantee there is room for improvement. Make sure you are as equitable as you say you are. Share your hiring policies with potential candidates.

Aligning with your company values

Start with your values and work from there to speak out about supporting any movement. Having a statement or marketing campaign align with your company’s values can be more authentic than hopping on the hashtag bandwagon. If your company values diversity and equity, great. Even if your company values aren’t specifically about diversity, equity, or inclusivity but broader ideas such as open books finances or ongoing training, there are ways to align those beliefs with big social issues. Don’t feel like you need to run off track to show you care. 

If you don’t have a values document for your company, start there. 

Know your audience

If your audience is customers, clients, recruits you don’t already have relationships with, your intentions are misaligned. Your audience needs to be the people you already work with, even better would be the people that work for your company. You wouldn’t exist without them. 

Start with your staff. Check in with them and find out how they are coping with social issues. Are they from a marginalized community? Are they living in an area fraught with protest? Have they been spending their off time at protests or spending their savings on donating to a cause they believe in? Align with them. Match them. Let them participate in this conversation. 

This can also ring true for clients you staff or for the folks you are placing. Most large companies aren’t sitting on the sidelines for big issues. Social media won’t let them. They aren’t allowed to because #silenceiscompliance is pulling even the shyest companies to the front lines. You may not need to match them on the scale of your altruism, but you should lean into the right side of history. 

Assessing your strategy for change

We understand that owning a small company comes with a long to-do list. The world always has something going on. Climate change. Pandemics. Protests. Each time you wonder, is this moment different from any other? Do I need to spend the money and time addressing news headlines?  No, you shouldn’t be addressing each news headline. You should be addressing how your company weaves diversity, equity, inclusion and even belonging into the framework of your business so it doesn’t feel like extra work. It ends up being just the work that you do.

Consider updating the language in your company copy to be more inclusive, offer training in combating biases, incorporate equitable standards in hiring. These things should be the status quo.  

What does action look like?

Not every action has to be public. Altruistic acts can be complicated. Let’s keep it simple. A header note, image or banner on your homepage that tells customers where your support is going will speak louder than running an ad trying to express the same.  

Now is not the time to sit back. Companies put money into all sides of politics or campaigns that echo their beliefs all time. Be sure you are placing yourself on the right side of history by fighting for what you know is right. 

 

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and Staffing Websites

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and Staffing Websites

Should You Consider Implementing AMP for your Staffing Business’ Website?

It depends on what your goals are. If your business operated mostly offline, through word of mouth referrals, or gets most of your client and candidate leads from third-party sources, it may not be that important to you. However, if your business operates online and relies on a fast, search engine optimized website you should consider implementing AMP.

What is AMP?

Accelerated Mobile Pages are a type of webpage that use stripped-down versions of HTML & CSS to serve faster mobile webpages on mobile devices. The technology was launched by Google as an open-source project with the goal of providing a better user experience for Google users.

AMP can be implemented in a number of different ways depending on your website platform. If you’ve used a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress you’ll find that creating an AMP site is much easier and cost-effective than hardcoding all of the AMP pages.

Why is AMP Important?

AMP greatly increases performance on Mobile devices for Google users. Faster load times result in better user experiences which results in better SEO for your website. Those better user experiences also result in lower bounce rates. If your website struggles with high bounce rates on mobile, it could be related to slow load times.

We’ve witnessed the power of AMP on several websites where we’ve implemented it. There have been studies that show AMP can lead to increased organic traffic as well.

Another secondary benefit to AMP is that Google hosts your AMP site. This means server performance is improved.

There Are Drawbacks

AMP isn’t perfect. It’s designed to increase page speed on mobile devices. That means removing a lot of what can make a mobile website experience interesting. Another thing to consider is how often your website changes. If you have new jobs opening and closing on a daily basis, you may run into issues using AMP on your job board. However, if you’re in a congested market with several high ranking competitors getting AMP set up on your website could make a huge difference.

Because Google hosts your AMP site you miss out on URL branding. This is something that some brands just can’t stomach.

Analytics can become more complicated. If you’re using a CMS like WordPress it’s actually not that difficult. However, if you’re developing your own AMP site using another method you’ll need to add analytics to the AMP pages as well.

Certain functionality may not be possible with AMP. If you have a custom web app for your job board or use a third-party service for live chat or chatbot functionality it’s possible they won’t work on your AMP site.

Should You Implement AMP?

It all boils down to what’s right for your business. If you’re neck and neck with a lot of your competition getting a boost in organic search results could make a big difference.

Pros

  • Faster webpages on mobile
  • Better user experience on mobile
  • Higher rankings on Google

Cons

  • Worse branding in URL
  • Limited functionality
  • Limited design

Learn more at amp.dev. Feel free to reach out if you have questions about implementing AMP for your staffing business’ website.

What to do with COVID-19 Downtime

What to do with COVID-19 Downtime

Formerly busy streets have been deserted, conference rooms remain empty, and workers all across America continue to adjust to a different kind of business day. There’s absolutely no question that the novel coronavirus has changed the world as we once knew completely upside-down.

After more than 50 days of self-isolation and social distancing, several states have begun lifting their shelter-in-place orders and rolling out individual plans to reopen their economies. Although the strategies seem to change daily, it appears that many will unfold in phases, which means it still could be months before we see any semblance of normalcy.

If COVID-19 has negatively impacted your staffing agency, know that you are certainly not alone. Sadly, many companies (both large and small) have had to furlough employees while others have lost significant contracts. We recognize that your calendar may have a lot more free space than it had only a matter of weeks ago, so we’ve compiled a list of activities that you can work on now to endure this period of uncertainty:

Personal Branding & Networking

  • Improve your LinkedIn Profile – Often, the professional networking platform is the first place people visit when looking for talent or searching for a new job opportunity. Increase your chances of being found by the right person by optimizing your LinkedIn profile.
  • Participate in networking – There may not be many in-person networking events happening given the nature of the situation, but that shouldn’t stop you from connecting with others. Look to LinkedIn and other social networks to grow your network.
  • Author a personal blog – There are dozens of benefits to creating a personal brand, including earning trust, gaining authority and developing an “always-on” funnel of opportunities. Spend this extra time by building your voice and showcasing your expertise on a personal blog.
  • Explore other marketing channels – Anyone marketing a business in today’s digital world knows that marketing plans are always evolving. If you’ve been hoping to add another channel to your strategy, such as creating a podcast or developing videos, there’s never been a better chance to get your feet wet.
  • Reach out to clients, candidates and contracts to check-in – Chances are you are not the only one in your network feeling the effects of the novel coronavirus. Take a moment to check in with all of your contacts to see how everything is going. Remember to keep the current economic state top of mind, by focusing on providing helpful resources rather than selling.
  • Participate in outreach to thought leaders and authorities – Right now, it seems everyone is determined to help out during this time of need. Consider reaching out to thought leaders and other authority figures to learn more about their current take on the industry and any other feedback they may have garnered during this unpredictable time.

Philanthropy

  • Focus on community development – Times of crisis hold the most opportunity to make direct connections in your community. If there is a certain area that holds a special place in your heart, volunteer to lend a helping hand during this time of need. If you are one of the lucky few who has not lost business due to the pandemic, you may want to consider participating in charitable giving.
  • Create COVID-19 resources – After connecting with clients and candidates, you will likely notice patterns in their situations. Use these insights to develop COVID-19 specific guides or other practical resources to help others navigate through this challenging period. After all, too much information doesn’t exist in a time like now.
  • Create a scholarship program – What better way to support your community than by helping a deserving student offset the cost of higher education? Here’s what you need to think about when starting a program.

Efficiency/Productivity

  • Clean up your ATS/CRM – Isn’t CRM/ATS management just one of those tasks that always falls to the bottom of the priority list? Now, there are no excuses. Take some to review your database by updating contact information and changing the status of your applicants. Your future self will thank you!
  • Clean up your workspace – Science has proven that a clean desk helps immensely in the productivity department. If a previously busy schedule has been keeping you from giving your workspace a thorough deep cleaning, now is the time.
  • Enable your team to work remotely – We are in the midst of a revolution. Many believe the WFH era is here to stay, even after the coronavirus has ended. Work with your team to enhance the virtual workplace. Consider asking for feedback from your team to see if you are capable of making their work easier.
    You may also be searching for ways to build team camaraderie remotely, think about incorporating an instant messaging tool (if you haven’t done so already,) and setting up weekly one-on-one video chats and virtual happy hours. Take a look at these other fun team-building activities.
  • Improve your home office – Since you have been primarily working from home, you may have noticed your home office is not set up nearly as nicely as your typical workspace. Now that you’ve had a chance to acclimate to your new office, take some time to recognize its downfalls and work to find the right resources. Here are 18 must-have items.
  • Evaluate your finances and save money – Unless you have a specific passion for numbers, bookkeeping may very well be your least favorite job of business ownership, and may often get pushed down to the bottom of your To Do List. Place more of an emphasis on the evaluation of your bookkeeping, reconcile your transactions and run reports to see how the year was progressing before COVID.

Marketing & Branding

  • Adjust your messaging – Avoid sounding tone deaf to the struggles of others. Be genuine and sincere in your messaging. Take down ads that might miss the mark during these times. Create ads that focus on brand awareness rather than conversions. “When this is all over, we’ll be here to help you get back to work” rather than “Apply now to land your dream job”.
  • Redesign your logo – Although it may be hard to believe, remember the pandemic will eventually come to an end. Prepare for that period by taking a good hard look at your brand. If your logo is in need of an update, this might be the right time to move forward.
  • Create graphics – One of the most challenging elements of digital marketing is having the necessary graphics readily available. Work with a creative employee or freelance designer to create an image library of digital assets. You may want to consider display ads, infographics, brochures, flyers and more.
  • Participate in reputation management – When was the last time you googled your business name? Take some time to research your business’ reputation. Review online comments from clients and candidates to identify whether or not internal circumstances may be contributing to negative publicity. Brainstorm ideas on improvement tips, if necessary.
  • Improve business listings – When reviewing your online reputation, you may find old or incorrect business listings with the wrong phone number or address. Update them by using a service like Moz Local or Yext. These tools will also allow you to create new local business listings. If your company is mostly based on referrals from local traffic, focusing your efforts on creating consistent citations is a great place to start.
  • Analyze Google Analytics – If you already have Google Analytics set up, you know what a priceless resource it can be for acquisition, but up until now, you may not have logged in as often you should. To get the most value, identify potential conversion tracking improvements, identify referral sources that could be nurtured, exclude spam traffic, and look for additional content opportunities. Stay tuned to find more ways to improve your company’s Google Analytics account.
  • Review your website’s SEO – Determine how much of your website traffic is coming from search engines. Dig into Google Search Console to discover keywords with ranking that could be improved upon, and find pieces of content that are working well. Begin recognizing patterns and find more ways to do more.
  • Audit ad accounts and conversion sources – Use Google Analytics and your ATS/CRM to identify lead sources that outperform others. Use this newfound information to influence your future marketing efforts.
  • Improve conversion tracking – If you can’t currently see where candidates/clients are coming from in your ATS, find a solution to integrate tracking. Knowing where client and candidate leads/conversions are coming from is imperative to your marketing success.
  • Perform a cost-benefit analysis for advertising – More than likely you’re familiar with the old adage, “Half of my marketing is wasted – the problem is I don’t know which half.” Become a smarter marketer by creating a cost-benefit analysis. Determine your ROI for your advertising campaigns by comparing Indeed vs Monster vs Google Ads.
  • Conduct a survey or a poll – As we mentioned, we are all living in unchartered territory, which means that we’re all amateurs learning as we go. Take some time to conduct a quick survey or poll to gain more insight on what the current economic state means to clients and candidates. Don’t forget to distribute your findings to your network later on!
  • Host a webinar – We guarantee that you are not the only one with time on your hands. With that understanding, use this opening as an opportunity to share your knowledge with others through a webinar. Possible topics could include optimizing your LinkedIn profile, learning how to negotiate or improving your resume.

Website

  • Improve your website – Before physically reaching out, a client or candidate will likely already be familiar with your company based on your website. Take some time to improve and think about user experience. Take off your owner hat and put yourself in the shoes of your visitor; determine what they may be looking during their visit and how your website holds up to the challenge.
  • Write content – After reviewing Google Analytics, you may notice “holes” in your content, or pages where visitors are most likely to drop off the site. Determine if there are certain pieces of content that may help the visitor through your sales funnel. A few ideas to get you started include FAQs, blog posts, or other informational pages. It may be helpful to begin with keyword research to get a better idea of what people are looking for during certain search queries.
  • Improve your job board – Again, after reviewing your website analytics, you may notice trends on your most valuable pages, including your job board. Seek out opportunities to improve the search-friendliness, conversion rate and user experience. Don’t forget to create a benchmark now to monitor your progress.
  • Write better job descriptions – Today’s job seekers are looking for more than just a job, they want a fulfilling career with an organization that shares their values. That’s why in 2020, it’s not enough to simply outline the position opportunities. Take a good hard look at your company’s job descriptions to see where there may be room for improvement. Check out this recent post on job description best practices.
  • Evaluate mobile responsiveness of your website – You never get a second chance at a first impression. Since we know that over half of all job searches start on a mobile device, it is imperative that your website and job postings are mobile-friendly. See how your site scores on the Google Mobile-Friendly Test.
  • Upgrade your hosting – If you’re like many business owners, you chose the most cost-effective hosting option when developing your first website. Now, you may be left wondering if the starter package is still the best option. Check out these signs to know if it is time for an upgrade.

Research

  • Research competitors – Do you remember the last time you were able to keep an eye on your direct competitors? If you’re like many of us, it was probably your first month on the job. Take a few spare moments to follow their social media profiles, sign up for their newsletters and review their websites. Familiarize yourself with their services and look for areas of improvement within your own organization.
  • Research verticals or revenue opportunity – Have a list of ideas for vertical services that you have been saving for a rainy day? There may not be a single cloud in the sky, but the day has arrived. In today’s day and age, recruiters with a niche focus have the upper hand due to their specific experience in the field. Start exploring new industries and service offering expansions to increase your agency’s competitive advantage.

It’s been said dozens of ways: we are all living in unprecedented times and watching history unfold in real-time, but trust us, the pandemic will eventually come to an end. By accomplishing a handful of these tasks now, you will be prepared for worklife post-COVID.

Us Customs And Border Protection Ends Controversial Accenture Staffing Contract

Us Customs And Border Protection Ends Controversial Accenture Staffing Contract

April 08 2019

CNN recently reported that The Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection agency ended their contract with Accenture. The contract was controversial for a number of reasons and amounted to $297 million. One of the many issues surrounding this deal involved the lackluster performance of Accenture. As of December 2018 Accenture had only completed processing 58 applicants and only 22 had been hired after being almost a year into the contract. The approximate 3,500 applicants who haven’t been processed have reportedly been transferred to CBP following the cancellation of their agreement. Accenture was reportedly paid about $19 million for start-up costs and about $2 million for the 58 candidates who were processed.


unsplash-logoDaan Huttinga