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E.R.N Podcast – Tony Restell

by | Jun 13, 2019 | Executive Recruiter Network Podcast

David Tash, CEO, of Tash Rizzo, the #1 choice of lead generation and marketing for recruiting and staffing firms worldwide, interviewing Tony Restell, CEO at Social Hire

Podcast Transcript

David: Hey guys welcome back to another episode today we have the pleasure of having my man Tony with us he is another entrepreneur another marketer he’s been in the staffing recruiting industry for over 20 years.

Tony:  Pretty much.

David: And still loving it so uh Tony tell us about your company and how do you help recruiters and how do you do it.

Tony : Well firstly thanks very much for having me on the show David and yeah, I’m not a true recruiter I don’t sit down with candidates and do the interviewing and make the placements but I’ve worked in the online recruitment space as you say pretty much 20 years my business now is social hire as to that social hire.com and we’re a social media agency specialized in the recruitment sector so what we typically do is work with clients who want to generate a new stream of candidate interest so we might be generating candidate flow in a particular niche

market or want to generate client leads or just generally want to raise their brand awareness and be better known than any of their competitors in their market but we do that all through social media and through taking on the role effectively of a social media manager for those companies and that’s around the English-speaking world so we have loads of clients in the US here in the UK Canada Australia and New Zealand so we can see a little bit of what’s working everywhere.

David: Awesome really happy to have you on the show and we obviously we help recruiters we do lead gen for recruiters or staffing agencies and as far as social media like what are you seeing that that staff and recruiters can do right now that can impact their social media presence if you can give them one tip what would it be.

Tony: One tip would have to be to focus on engagement if you take a hundred recruitment businesses in any market at the moment and you look at what they’re doing on social media you know ninety or more of those hundred will still be focused on promotion they’re there social media feeds will be you know pumping out content pumping out vacancy adverts you know sell with very little engagement going on and the trouble at the moment is all the social sites you know over the last year or two have moved towards really engaging all sorry rewarding posts that are getting engagement so you could have a in a recruitment business that puts a couple of good posts a week that get really good engagement and they would actually have far more visibility and be getting far more results than a recruitment business that you know is churning things out multiple times a day so I think you know there’s obviously loads of things you can do differently on social media but for me that is the biggest thing holding back recruitment businesses from getting more results.

David : And you answered my next question which is why’s engagements so important and guys just to clarify that and we iterate that it’s because it’s not it’s not the quantity of what to put it out it really is the quality that these social media platforms and now rewarding you for being engaged for putting out quality content and Tony if there was one do you feel it’s better to focus on just one platform or to be kind of everywhere.

Tony: You want to be really expert on a platform in my opinion so if you’ve got enough resource in the business that you can do multiple platforms and do them really well then obviously that’s great but you another shortcoming I would see with recruitment businesses and part of the reason that they just you know promote them and push things out rather than engaging is that they’re spreading themselves too thin you know if you want to do a good job on LinkedIn that is going to be you know measured in hours per days not you know minutes per week and the same is true of every platform so if you’re a small business and you can’t afford the time to do a good job across multiple platforms then I would just pick one and stick with that and obviously if you’ve got the resource or you bring in someone like ourselves to help with that then you can start spreading your wings and being in more places.

David: Awesome and that’s exactly my our philosophy on it as well is we rather put our eggs in one basket and be great at a platform then just be average on all you know other and on multiple platforms because you’re going to get less bang for your buck that way and if you were to choose one platform right now between Twitter Facebook Instagram LinkedIn YouTube which platform is given recruiters the most return on investment for their time.

Tony: Well I think that’s a really interesting question in the sense that I would say there isn’t one answer fits all so the starting point you know working with any business whether they’re in recruitment or not is to understand what is the market that they want to go after and then figure out where can those people be reached most effectively and obviously you know LinkedIn has great reach in lots of industries and in lots of countries but it’s not universally true that it’s the best place to reach and engage with any particular audience so you know we typically work with clients on LinkedIn Twitter Facebook sometimes Instagram but where we will devote time to those platforms that will vary from client to client based on their brief you know geographically where they are what professions they’re in are we trying to engage with candidates with potential clients all of these things are going to impact you know where is the right place for you to actually be investing your time kind of percent agree with that.

David:  Now how’d you get into this whole social media for recruitment in the first place tell us about a little bit about your origin story.

Tony: Yeah So I started out my career as a strategy consultant and after a few years you know round the time to come boom for those listening in that are old enough for that you know saw the opportunity to launch a niche job board in Europe focused on the management consulting sector so you know our clients there were companies like you know Accenture and Deloitte and McKinsey and IBM and so for you know for since 2000 I’ve been in online recruitment helping companies you know to make hires through online digital means but then what we obviously saw you know particularly around the around the time of the financial crash just more and more companies shifting their spend from those kinds of means of recruiting and more and more putting their budget into social media be that searching on LinkedIn or be that advertising on Facebook or whatever else and so that for me I’d also sold that business during that time so I was liberated to be able to go and do something else and yeah so store some speakers in the early days of social media taking off really got me infused about social media actually started out on Twitter was the first one I experimented with and I just got hooked and I loved the fact that you could have so many conversations with people all around the world and literally go from you know not knowing someone to being on a call to making a sale you know you know in a matter of days for anyone who’s been in sales that’s you know that’s a sort of dream scenarios that you don’t have to be cold calling people anymore  you’re only talking to people who have actually said they’d like to have a chat with you.

David: Yeah that is the dream scenario, but I feel like a lot of people when they’re new to armed to digital lead generation they don’t understand that it takes time right just like building relationship with someone you’re not going to just ask them for what you know a date on the very first interaction it takes time to earn their trust I feel like the same thing as digitally and this is why having social media presence is important this is why building out your brand on social media is important because you’re getting the digital touch points which are targeted audience so this way when it comes time to pitch them or to you know show them how you can help them they’re already warmed up they’re ready for it.

Tony: Yeah Absolutely and you know you make your own luck don’t you if you’re doing the right things on social media you’ve really you know put your heart into it you may get lucky we’ve had clients well my old record was when within 24 hours someone had had a sales meeting through work that we’ve done and I always used to you know if ever I was telling any other potential client about what I would say look this is really unusual so I don’t want you to go away thinking this is what’s going to happen when we work with you but this is just an example of how fast it can happen and then in the last year we actually had someone get a sales call but within an hour of us starting so that sort of made the example even more ridiculous.


David: We actually had some 40,000-dollar contract within three days of us started Wow that you know we’re hoping to beat that record but again it’s not the norm but ignites in with digital marketing so sue me, yeah I’m.

Tony: When I went on running webinars and training sessions and stuff I always say to people to give yourself three months of doing the right things all the things that need to be done and then assess things at the end of that three months and if you’ve been doing the right things you will see enough results after those 90 days you know that the business can then justify this is definitely something we should be continuing with if you get results you know in a shorter time window than that then fantastic put it out here a warning for me a warning bell is always if I’m talking to your business that is coming to us because they’re in some kind of dire straits or they urgently need new clients tomorrow or they need to transform their candidate generation overnight you know I’m very candid with people and say look you know that’s not a realistic expectation you should be looking at social media as how can I be really advanced versus my competitors a year from now compared with where we are today and if that’s your mindset then social media is going to do wonders for you but if you’re you know if you’re looking at it to solve massive problems you’ve got in your business be that candidates or clients you know overnight then you’re setting yourself up for the disappointment I would say.

David: Yeah, I like to I like to say to our clients and our prospects you know Rome wasn’t built

in a day and neither will your market it takes a little bit of time to get there to build a foundation and Tony you mentioned some really good things and I’m a I’m a practitioner and can you

give us some examples of some bad things to do in social media or some not so smart things to do and then some quality some good things to do to really boost your social media engagement and build that foundation.

Tony: So I would anything that spammy is bad generally speaking you know we’ve all been on the receiving end of accepting connections on LinkedIn and then you know within a matter of hours because the person’s got their LinkedIn on some kind of autopilot you know you’re getting messages pitching you for a sales meeting or whatever that for me is an example of doing things badly and your Twitter was really plagued by this for years with all the sort of the Auto DMS that that used to have tools sending out for people what I would say though is people’s experience of that often makes them think that those are inherently bad things to do and actually they’re not you know if you are growing a network on LinkedIn and you do reach out to people with private messages you know a few weeks after you’ve connected and the message is you know engaging them rather than just trying to pitch for a sales meeting that is incredibly effective so I think it’s a fine line distinguishes what’s really terrible to do on social media and what works really well does that sound so your question.

David: It sounds like you’re saying that the automation itself isn’t what’s bad it’s the psychology of how you use the automation if you figure out how to give one person value and a new scalar to you give a thousand people value it’s valuable and you know you have a thousand engaged persons but if you spam and you kind of like hey I just met you buy my stuff to one person you do it to a thousand people then you just spend a thousand people.

Tony: Yeah and you know it is a mindset you there are people who get this instinctively and people who are just hardwired that they want to sell promote so it does chain you know require a change of mindset or it requires you to have someone in the business do it who just has the right mindset you know I’ll give you an example so in the earlier days of the business I was you know building my network with recruitment business owners like I could have followed up you know hours after they connected and said you know I’d love to jump on a call and tell you how social hire can transform your business but I didn’t and what you know what I did instead was I looked for events that were taking place in London as my focus was at that time that was for recruitment business owners and I reached out to people with private messages and hey you know I saw this events game taking place in London three weeks from now just wondered if you’re going to be going yourself I’m thinking I might well attend so it’ll be great to you know have the chance to meet in person there if you do decide to go and what I got from that was huge response you know loads of people really appreciative that I’ve actually brought this event to their attention and I had loads of people meet me at events like that and they would turn into clients I had loads of other people you know write back and say you know Tony I can’t make that one but it would be really useful to you know to have a chance to meet or jump on the phone so you know when could we do that and that’s just you know as the right outset engagement is where the majority of results often come on social media and so that’s where you need to focus you know as much of your time and effort as possible.

David: So I love that story by the way and I think there’s something needs to be addressed in that story that I want our listeners and our audience to realize that is what Tony did was he gave something that people would perceive as valuable it was relevant to hit that niche in that audience and that’s why they that’s why it was valuable but what in turn happened was they now look at his pro they now check Tony out what does Tony do hmm this is a nice guy that’s given me something of value now they’re going to go look at his LinkedIn profile so this is why it’s so important that you have an engaging profile that’s built to meet like to speak to your target audience so now go they’re going to see his headline they’re going to see his picture they’re going to look at his summary and they’re going to read some of the things and looked at some of his posts and they can see oh this guy helps recruiters and now that’s why they want to get on the phone with them and they’re asking for the core brand and he’s asking for the call does that make sense.

Tony: I think that yeah you described it perfectly and the other spin-off benefit would say of that is you also then will find you get more engagement on your posts because if the people that you’re connected with on LinkedIn feel like they’ve had some personal interaction with you they’re more likely to jump on to things that they see you know on their homepage feed whether that’s on Twitter or LinkedIn or anywhere else so actually when you are posting on those kinds of platforms you’re also going to get more engagement and because the platforms reward engagement that means your posts are going to be far more visible than competitors who aren’t doing those things so it’s you know it’s a multitude of benefits from focusing on that.

David: Oh yeah and right now what we’re seeing is video is there’s a party going on with video right now we’re getting massive impact with our videos and I just want to make sure our listeners understand that you know if you’re on social media you’re not doing video you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to engage with your audience.

Tony: Yeah and I think you know that’s true both of free social media so you’re just posting things on a site but it’s also true of paid advertising you know if you are running paid campaigns you will get more visibility for your advert if it is a video as if it is a you know just a link to an external website so multitude of reasons for going down that route and I think video is really interesting I think it’s powerful for two reasons one is that the sites themselves are actually prioritizing showing it yes so if you are you will stick with LinkedIn because it’s the one that recruiters tend to be most interested in you know if you are posting on LinkedIn you know a video each week and your competitors are posting their job ads for example you know they are posting a link that takes people off LinkedIn which LinkedIn doesn’t like and they penalize you are posting something that keeps people on LinkedIn which LinkedIn like and so they prioritize showing that in the feet so immediately you’re starting from a position where what you’re putting out on social media is going to be seen a lot more but then also the other benefit is it’s really good at helping people to warm to you know if they if they see you on camera presenting or they hear you running through a screen share of how to do something that will help them or talking through the state of the market we don’t you know whatever it might be and that creates more of a bond people feel they know you more than if they’ve just seen you know text posts and you recommending blogs that people should read.

David: It almost it’s almost a micro-celebrity effect right they the more they see you the more

likely you are to actually engage and do business with you I mean this is marketing 101 this is why Coca-Cola spends billions of dollars to have their adverts all over is because the more you see it psychologically you’re just going to you know you’re going to instead of saying hey I need us I’m going to reach for our sodas like no I’m going to reach for a coke right we have that ability nowadays with social media to do that on a micro level where if you invest and you know in doing video instead of just making a regular post now what happens on LinkedIn specifically is your connection that you make LinkedIn will actually promote those videos to your connections I hate you know Sutton says just made this post check it out and you’re getting free advertising which will cost you I mean we all know how expensive LinkedIn marketing platform can be you know which simply cost you know hundreds of dollars they’ll actually put that out to your audience for free just by you taking the time to share in your opinion in a video.

Tony: Again, absolutely agree.

David: And we can talk about this kind of stuff all day-um Tony how people can if they want some advice, they need some help with social media how can they teach you how can they get to you.

Tony: Yes I’m very happy to accept connections on LinkedIn so if you look me up Tony ref’s tell that’s our REST e double L I’m on there as you can imagine every day so very happy to answer things here or on twitter at tonyrestell and our website is social-hire.com so you’ll find a ton of resources and webinars and ideas on how to use social media there so yeah I hope to hear from some of you after the call.

David: Awesome guys go check it out social media is to you if you’re not utilizing eleven of social media in this day and age you’re missing out that’s all guys say so check Tony out guys and be sure to tune in next week for another episode see you then.

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