Look Up Page

November 23, 2009


Workthing+ Workthing+  is an online service that gives jobseekers everything they need to manage their career in one place. It provides essential tools and advice that previously were only available to senior executives.

The Digital Development Director for Trinity Mirror's E-Recruitment businesses and a digital media expert, Gareth Lloyd talks with us on what makes Workthing+ so unique and how web visibility can affect a job seeker’s chances of landing a job.


What differentiates Workthing+ from other recruitment web sites in the Trinity Mirror Digital Recruitment group? 

Workthing+ is much more than a recruitment website. It’s a comprehensive service for jobseekers, offering the kind of structured career search support that until now have been prohibitively expensive to unemployed people looking for work. We are not paid by recruiters advertising vacancies – our clients are the candidates themselves, so candidates are our sole focus.
Of course, we’ve also got over 50 job boards in the Trinity Mirror Digital Recruitment portfolio with over 4m registered candidates and 500,000 applications per month. Overall, we have a substantial presence in the market.

Workthing+ was launched approximately 5 months ago, how do you feel the job market has changed during this time?

The job market seems to have stratified to two extremes. There are an increasing number of people who have been out of work for many months – long-term unemployment is a real concern. And then there are other areas where candidates are really in short supply, and good candidates are being picked up really quickly. 

We’ve seen candidates who claim to have done thousands of applications, and then wonder why these are not resulting in interviews. Workthing+ is all about helping smarter candidates get ahead of the game – helping them understand that being a jobseeker is a job in itself, and that job probably requires a very different set of skills to those they would use in their normal job. The challenge for jobseekers is accelerating their jobsearch – and that means quality, focus and structure – rather than ‘spray and pray’. 

One of the biggest changes over the past 5 months is that jobseekers are starting to realize that they can’t always succeed on their own, and that generic advice and support from the Job Centre is just not enough to make a difference.

In what way would you say Workthing+ clients are different from clients of other online recruitment services?

Firstly, our clients are the jobseekers not the recruiters – so our responsibility is to help the jobseeker in whatever way we can.  There is no doubt it takes time and effort to find a job, and we are open and honest about that: Workthing+ members have to put a lot in, and if they do, they get a lot out. It’s the opposite of those job boards that allow candidates to do an easy ‘1 click’ application – as though that’s all it takes to get a job. So, we appeal to the more serious jobseeker, someone who is willing to invest in their job search and career.

Are you guys happy with the rate in which subscribers are finding new jobs?

All the indication from our exit polls and other data indicate we have got a good strike rate. Now, there’s a grey area where we can’t be certain if a person got a job because they were a Workthing+ member, or whether they would have got the job anyway. Our members like and continue to use the service – we have a 70%+ renewal rate each month – and the feedback in terms of success rates is good.

What would you say is the biggest issue that job applicants struggle with when searching for a new job?

Candidates simply are not experts in the recruitment market – hopefully they don’t make a career out of looking for a job! Even if they are expert in their own field, they don’t understand how the process works and how recruitment consultants, HR departments and employers operate. So they don’t know what to expect and how to take control of the process.

How important do you think it is for a job applicant to have positive results come up on a Google search for their name?

Extremely. Any misrepresentation of your name or other negative results could be the difference between being offered a job or being passed over for someone else. Not only do these results need to be positive, they need to be accurate. Having some positive professional results is a good validation for a future employer that you are who you say you are, and you know what your CV claims – it’s virtual reference-checking.

Will having no results on Google ever become a deterring factor for an employer?

Most substantial employers would expect professional hires to have a relevant online presence, and would be confused if you had no web presence. Everyone who’s ever been online has a digital footprint – whether they realize it or not. The way I like to look at it is there’s no excuse for ignoring your online presence any more than ignoring what you wear to an interview. There’s a lot that can be done for free, requiring minimum time and effort. And for the more senior professional, services like the premium LookupPage offering are a valuable way to take control of your online presence. 

 

Gareth LloydGareth Lloyd

Digital Development Director, Trinity Mirror

Gareth is the Digital Development Director for Trinity Mirror's E-Recruitment businesses, managing over 50 recruitment websites. His career includes company directorships and C-suite roles in listed companies, fast-growing owner-managed businesses and as a director in a leading global consultancy firm. He has spent half his media and advertising career in Sydney and half in London, and has specialised in e-recruitment and digital media for the past 6 years.

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