Monthly Archives: July 2009

IT’S ALL ABOUT ME!

Those that know me, know I live by this. I’d like to think I’m not selfish, but it is an attitude/awareness which has really has helped since I started believing in it.

I even have some friends, that will recite… “it’s all about Dan!” and I love it.

Let’s go back a little. Many years ago I went to a sales training seminar. They say, that if you get one good thing out of these things then it is money well spent. So there I was, in this huge auditorium with 1500 of my soon to be close friends, vehemently resisting buying the cassette tape (explanation of what term is for those Gen Y’s reading this from wikipedia) selling which was 90% of the seminar. You know the “90% of your time is dead time, traveling in your car, walking to the office etc. Why waste that time? Buy my pack of 192 cassette tapes and you’ll always be learning and making MORE MONEY!” My resistance was strong, in fact I had on my “this is crap why am I wasting my time on this” hat when the presenter said something which changed my professional outlook on life.

Please note these are not direct quotes, even though they are marked out that way, a little license must be allowed, as the seminar was around 15 years ago.

“Get out your business card” he said. “Cross out your company name, and your title consultant, salesman, business development manager, what ever it is” he said. I dutifully obeyed. “now give yourself a new title, call yourself “CEO, Managing Director, Head Honcho, President! whatever.” Now you can see you name and your new title. You are that. You are the CEO of your name, the CEO of you. Everything you do has impact on that person.”

Now that had an impact on me. I started seeing how everything had an impact on me. It gave me a huge amount of confidence, and continues to do so. I began to take my role personally, I began to take my business personally. It made me more professional!

When I look at situations, opportunities, people, I am a consumer. I think “what’s in it for me?” I look at things like it is my decision, and how it will affect me. I view things like if the business is doing well, then I am successful, and if the company isn’t doing well, then I need to lift my game.

I’ve taken this a little further of late. I have been working with the IT people of my company looking at all this web2.0 technology and how we can implement it in our organisation. There are lots of choices, lots of tools, free stuff, stuff that’ll cost, sexy looking, awesome to have stuff. But hold on… “what’s in it for me?” Will I (and thus my company) benefit from it?

Does having a Plaxo account help? A corporate Facebook page? A corporate Twitter account? A Yammer account? A wiki? A Youtube channel? Video advertising? A MySpace page? A blog? Do I target passive candidates? Do I use job boards or rely on social media? Applicant Tracking Systems in Beta version? Email vs phone calls? Agencies v inhouse? Is old school better?

I’ve tried them all! Some I got nothing out of, and after initial hype and excitement, found no real value to my company (or me) and had to walk away. Admit to mistakes, learn and move on!

Bill Boorman
asked recently what advice I’d give people new to the Recruiting industry. My best advice, don’t get seduced by the technology, don’t get swayed by all the “experts” online, and everywhere else, don’t believe Hiring Managers and HR people who tell you how to do your job. Try things, but don’t commit too hard. Find what works for you and stick to it. Make it all about YOU! (or me of course). Respect the profession and thus yourself, you’ll find your groove, but be prepared to step outside it, to expand your horizons.

Trust me, if you are looking for the silver bullet, to fix your Recruiting issues, the only one thing guaranteed to do that, is what is staring back at you from the mirror. Now recite after me. “IT’S…. ALL…. ABOUT…. ME!”

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The Future and past of Recruiting

Opening to the Social Recruiting Summit held at the Googleplex June 15, 2009. Developed by Brendan Shields (ere.net) and Susan Burns (talentsynchronicity.com)

Need a promotion? PROMOTE Yourself!

I’ve spoken before about that success of an HR person, or a Recruitment professional in the corporate world is akin to an umpire in a sporting event. If you don’t notice them, then they are doing something right.

However, as some of my English friends say.. “Bollocks to that”

In the Recruitment world, Agency or Internal, it is a challenge to get that promotion, unless of course you are the last person standing in an agency! I know many people who now run 200+ people contract desks and make a bucket load of money. Are they the best Recruiter there? Questionable, but are they the most resilient or self promoter? Most likely. In an inhouse environment, very hard to get a promotion (unless you see full on HR as a step up), as traditionally those teams are traditionally small.

I was always under the impression, well, I was told by my parents, if you work hard, do a great job, you’ll get noticed and you’ll get what you deserve. Sorry, Mum, Dad, that isn’t exactly true I’ve learned.

A few years ago I worked with a guy who was THE best self promoter, since Don King, I think he was the Australian version. He was a Sales guy in one of our interstate offices. It was a brand new region for our business, and if you listened to this guy, he was the Messiah. (actually, he did do a Monty python, he was just a very naughty boy!) Man, he was good, just ask him. He was obviously good, lots of people believed him.

Here’s the kicker, when you looked at the results, OK, his results at the end of 6 months, he had produced, delivered and had a well qualified pipeline of $0. nothing, nada, zip. How could that be?

Well, I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I picked up on this. My mind found itself another cliche to cling to “Perception is Reality”. How many times have I heard this over the years? OMG I thought… It’s true, it’s really true. This guy told everyone how good he was, he sold everyone on his value proposition with such verve and conviction that they all believed it, without need for evidence.

Well, thinking about my function, which I do a lot, we hadn’t received any type or level of attention, and you know what? We’d been delivering for the company for years.

That was a thunderbolt to me. I started bragging to everyone about our successes, talking to others about our short falls to gain buy-in in helping us to improve.

I told everyone, broadcast emails when we hit milestones, when an idea worked, we found a hard to fill person, when we used a new sourcing technique, I involved everyone in the company in Recruiting and showed how much value (and money) we added to the company. Even to the point of monetising our affects on the business (ie what you’d pay an agency for what we have delivered etc)

People started to pay attention, decision makers started consulting me on the way the business should be heading. The value add was seen and noticed, not without its detractors I must add, but the change was significant.

Recruitment eventually gained independance from the clutches of HR and we got our own seat at the Executive table. How? I did the same thing I always did, was just loud about it!

How to build relationships with recruiters?

BLOG POST as FEATURED at Jobseekr.com.au

Building a relationship with a recruiter is essential in your job search. You need to have respect for your recruiter. No matter what you have heard about recruiters or what you think of them, they are providing you a service and they could be your vehicle to a new job. I honestly think this is probably THE most important factor in building the relationship, and something that has been lacking whilst the market has been so buoyant.

As a Corporate Recruiter now, I see a change in people’s attitude when they change from thinking I am an agency recruiter to knowing I am truly representing my company. I don’t understand this. Recruiters will represent you into perspective clients, companies with jobs you may never hear of. Recruiters are always good to have on side, you should be using their skills and networks to your advantage.

If you are applying for a role it is up to you to build the relationship, and this starts from the initial interaction. From my point of view, a conversation beats an email. However the conversation needs to have meaning.

Please don’t call with a “I want to know more about the job”. Think about the ad.. think about how you can excel in it, and have questions which will help you tailor your cv to the role. Then tell them you will call them to discuss your potential suitability (at a certain time, get agreement on that) and stick to it.

Know this, you will only form a relationship if you can show, straight off the bat, that you will ad value to that Recruiter. Sounds crass doesn’t it? It’s true though, Recruiters literally get hundreds of calls and emails a day. Remember you are selling them something… yourself, being different and able to ad value to them makes a difference.

Once you speak to a Recruiter, modestly sell yourself, allow them to get to know you. When you get that interview, WOW them. Be open and honest, avoid game playing (For example, I’ve never seen the value of avoiding the salary question, as a Recruiter, it annoys me more than anything). No matter what you hear, I’m not convinced playing a game will give you an advantage one way or another, and I’m not sure you want a one up man ship, competitive style relationship with your recruiter. The more you get paid the more commission they make.. It is in their best interests to get you more. But also it is their job to help you realign expectations if they don’t match the clients budget. The Recruiters job is to find the right person for their client. Your job is to make them know that is you.

If your situation changes, (ie other job offers, the reason you were looking for a job disappears etc)let them know, give them honest feedback from your client interview, good bad or indifferent.

Again, treat them as you want them to treat you, but understand the dynamic of your relationship, you both have the same goal, just coming at it from different angles!

Exclusive Interview with the Recpest

There’s a character in the Twitterverse who caught my attention of late. Recpest.

Bill Boorman recently asked him to join in his radio show, to which Jerry Albright (quite rightly) said it won’t happen due to Recpest not wanting to show his true self. That got me thinking, what if I Direct Messaged him (Recpest) and asked for an interview, maybe I could shed some light on this guy.

I tried it, and well, he answered. Here is an except of our email exchange.

Who are you?

Starting with the philosophical questions huh Dan? Lots of people go on life journeys to find themselves. They are just dumb. I have a mirror, and unlike vampires, I’m always there. So there is one tip, I’m not a vampire! Although many people think I suck.

I am a Recruitment professional, who is getting sick of all the dribble and sewerage being spouted by “experts” out there, with the limited barrier of entry to being able to voice an opinion, the flood gates have opened.

I’m a listener, I read, and I buzz around the Recruitment industry, buzzing, around the crap, which creatures like me are drawn too

Where did you come from?

My parents and hundreds of siblings. Us pests breed well, check them out all over RBC.com and ERE.NET

Why are you here?

Got bored with the niceness online. Most internal Recruiters have to behave online. Decided to give the silent in house Recruiter a chance to say what they need.

Tell me your philosophy on Recruiting?

hmmmm evolving simplicity. People dress this business up to be all sorts of things. But the tools may change, but the underlying principles don’t. You add value to your business or client by having the right people available at the right time at the right price. Volumes and quality are important, but adding business benefit is why we are all there. This to me works across Agency and in house.


What do you recommend as a learning tool?

Active Communication and involvement. If you aren’t learning, or don’t know how to learn or where to go in this industry your in some trouble.

Get a core group of people around you with a variety of styles and methods and experience levels. Ask questions, participate in forums and social media circles. Answer questions, contribute to blogs and other media’s. You reap what you sew, read, contribute you’ll be surprised at what you’ll pick up. I’ve learned more in the last 2 years with the evolution of social media, than I did in the first 10+ years in the industry.

Who are you hero’s?

In the Recruiting world, there are many. The louder ones or interactive people on recruitingblogs.com, ERE.Net, Twitter, LinkedIn, the guys and girls at FOT. the amount of time and effort these people put into improving the Recruiting industry is amazing. The Recruiting Animal, and now Bill Boorman with their radio shows, giving people voices and debate. Jason Davis and Dave Manaster (and Todd Raphael) for ERE.Net. Contributors like Jerry Albright, Steve Levy, Maureen Sharib, Sandra McCartt, Rayanne Thorne, Karla Porter, John Sumser, Gerry Crispin, Shally Steckeral, Dave Mendosa. Yes there are lots of people I die to listen to. I am a deciple. I could go on, the list seems to grow daily with the people I keep discovering (not in an American idol sort of way, but in a my eyes are opening to more people kind of way) this month Michael Homula and Ryan Leary.

Twitter “people” like @RecruitingFreak

What are you pet peeves?
Wow you thought the last answer was long…

Automatic followers and automatic messages on Twitter.. make me sick!
People hitting “Reply to all”
Long winded, pointless answers
“I agree” answers
People who try to sell things, as comments on blogs etc
Lurkers..come on people get involved
Dumb advice
People not listening to me.
Ahh that’ll do I’m boring myself.

Where are you from?
Planet Earth, with some ET influences (that reminds me I have to phone home… Sorry mum)

What do you see as an emerging trend in the Recruitment world?

Maybe a law will come out to ban inane questions like that.

What’s the future for Recpest?
Finishing this interview I’m bored. Bye.. must buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz