Monthly Archives: April 2009

Job Boards… Not dead yet

I was asked recently in an interview I did with Phillip Tusing on his site Destination Talent about the main source of my hires.

I know it seems to be en-vogue to proclaim the death of Job Boards, but I’m not convinced they are dead yet. Is it just because I am an internal recruiter and don’t know any better? To show as proof the declining ad numbers must be misleading… there isn’t the work at the moment to advertise for.

I thought the crew at Monty Python summed it up nicely

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Would you hire this guy?

Just saw this video on Youtube. It shows a young man trying “something different” to get a job.

My question is… what does it really say about his personal brand?

Would you hire him? You have to say though, as a Marketing person, he sure created a buzz!

Is this the Death of the Revolution?

I saw a video today which re-ignited a thought of mine, which has been bubbling away in dormant fury for the last few years.

I have got fed up with generation generalisations. In particular the constant genuflecting to the Gen Y’s of the world. Get ready world, change everything here they come! They need to be treated different, they expect more, more quickly, they care for the environment, the crave community, they are more fluid in their employment ideals, they are new, fresh, the likes of we have never seen before etc etc etc… blah blah blah…

What awakened this idea in me was a blog post by Veronica Altemus which featured this video.

Is this a real work place Revolution? Or is it the same as it always has been for new generations making their way in the world?

Here are a few of the thoughts that have been floating around in my head.

Is the Gen Y phenomenon that new?
Doesn’t every generation seem “different” to the preceding generations? The Baby Boomers “freaked out” their parents, the social discourse found in the 1960’s is a badge lots of that generation hold onto. However they were born into an era of prosperity, which afforded them the freedom to think big, to dream and to expect those dreams to become reality..(sound familiar?) The world keeps evolving, but as they say the more things change the more they stay the same.

Older people will always think their way is the right way and younger people will think they know how to do it better, and will tell the other party that. My 5 year old is re-affirming this for me at the moment.

With the war for talent currently in a state of detente, will the apparent need to bend to the apparent will of the Gen Ys of the world, dissipate? I know it will in a number of companies with Leaders across the world thinking people will be thankful for employment, “they should feel lucky working for us.”

I presented a talk to a Group of first year University students the other week, around the topic of “Consulting, what it means to me and should mean to you.” Whilst I was preparing this talk, it occurred to me that this generation of students won’t have the advantages of their predecessors (ie those graduating 1 or 2 years ago) when it comes to job search, I’ll be surprised if employers are clamouring all over themselves to hire as many of them as they can (although I also believe that those who do will have a huge competitive advantage in the future, but that’s a different post.) Their prospects in the near future are a little scary, they may have to work harder to find their first job, they may have to accept things like starting at the bottom and working their way up, of not just being the most junior person on site to actually being treated like that.

Will the perception of entitlement disappear or become more realistic now that we are in economically unpleasant times? Will that confidence we associate with that generation fade away?

Did Baby Boomers eventually tow the line when the economic climate changed and they gained more responsibilities? Did the Utopian ideals go the way of the Dodo when they had to deliver food and shelter for their families? Or did they become more like their parents (shudder) just morphed versions.

Obviously the world has changed, evolved if you will. Certain ideals are not common place anymore, technology has evolved and will continue to evolve. Things are different. However, is the generation gap any different now to what it was 20-30-40-50 years ago? The Baby Boomers would have had to put up with the questions around their “far out” ideals, of social etiquette, questions over their attitude to work, questions over their behaviour, questions over their music, questions over their hair cuts etc.

Is this just the human race version of collaboration and versioning? Everyone builds on what was done before. Some things better, some things worse, some things change, some don’t. Very little is torn down, and rebuilt from scratch.

Social Networking and collaboration etc as just technical versions of what people had to do face to face previously. Same thing, just with a different spin. Does the way the world works have to revolutionise itself or will this new generation work their way into corporations and just continue to evolve the practices, over time, the way it has always been done?

Recruiting has to be more than a skills match!

There was an interesting discussion I was part of the other day, which culminated from a blog post I read over on Recruitingblogs.com where Jane was questioning her own ethics and morals when put in a position to make a placement with a candidate she essentially thought was a jerk. (it was weird, refreshingly so, not a mention on Social networking, technology, or the recession anywhere in the post)

In the end it really questioned my thoughts as to what the role of a Recruiter actually is and how it differs depending on your point of view. Should it be different?

My view on the role of a Recruiter, in it simplest form. The Recruiter is the person who finds people, with the right attitude, aptitude, skills to suit a company and a position it is trying to fill.

Maybe this is too simplistic?

This discussion however, refuted this to a point. Questioning if considering someones attitude is part of their responsibility, “I don’t think it’s my job to try to predict whose personality is going to work and whose won’t work.” Really? Then what is it?

If Recruiting was just skills matching, why have interviews? Find a cv, which matches your needs, test the person on that skill, (maybe add water) and presto you have a new employee.

I understand the differing viewpoints from Agency to in house, as I have done both. I’ve been judged by my employer for the number of placements I’ve made and the money I have made the company and I have been judged on the number of hires I have made and the quality of those hires. The one truth for both roles have been that if people (ie people I’ve hired) don’t work out, I, like Lucy, have some ‘splaining to do!

I always felt that when working for an agency, I was representing that company, and thus had to look like their representative, understand the nuances of the role, their salary packaging, the manager and the wider team etc. On the flip side, I had to have enough information on a candidate to thoroughly represent them, a fine line we walked.

I left the Agency world when I felt that this was no longer valued by my organisation. “Why are you wasting time interviewing people face to face?” was a question I faced by new management, which sounded the death knell of my agency career.

Question again who was I representing? Who was my client? The person I who would pay my fee, or the person whom I got a job. To me, it was a no brainer, the person paying me of course. However, when I’d spent time with candidates, formed relationships, invested myself personally, this line got a little blurred.

However, working in house, this line was no longer blurred, when people didn’t work out, it wasn’t the case of “oops, sorry, but hey you made the decision, I only made the introduction. What? money back? No, sorry, but a credit note I can do!” No, things don’t work out working in house, well, it kind of smacks you in the face. Ever had a Managing Director or HR Manager walking through the hallways asking loudly “who hired that guy?” (not fun!) Even if there is more than you in the process, ie hiring managers, tests etc, it does fall on your shoulders, nowhere to hide, no one to blame, it’s you.

Now from what I have seen, the reasons people who don’t work out, don’t work out, is more from an attitude point of view than a skill deficiency. So why then isn’t it the job of an Agency to look at these things? Am I missing something?