Monthly Archives: November 2009

Do You WOO!

Is Recruiting still Recruiting? Or are we just intermediaries, forging introductions between an individual and a company?

Hard core Recruiting to me is actively finding/locating, courting and convincing talent that our client or company is the place for them. You see it a lot is sporting fields. High level executives etc. It can’t happen all the time I get that. But with all the talk of Talent Pooling at the moment. How do we look after our candidates?

How do you woo them? And when does the wooing stop?

I heard a story about Jerry Albright recently which inspired me. Jerry is one of my favourite Recruiting personalities and fonts of information. He gets it and keeps things real and has a great product (OK exit product placement). Legend has it he drove 6 hours to meet a candidate. He cared, he sensed he needed to do that for a long term relationship. Some people thought this was nuts! But seriously… isn’t that what Recruiting is? The woo!

I recently hired a guy who I met for the first time over 15 months ago. A gun candidate, who my company needed to have, and in my opinion he needed us. But at the time… there wasn’t the opportunity to formalise the relationship. I kept in touch, periodically, I set the expectation and then delivered to it. Then an opportunity turned up… BAM! Phone call, coffee, handshake, starting! DEAL! Oh I loved it. I’m sure all Recruiters will have stories like this.

You have to work the talent pool. Adding people to your database doesn’t count. Your talent needs to know who you are, and what you’ll do for them and vice versa… IT IS A TWO WAY RELATIONSHIP.

Then comes the tricky bit… Following through once to woo is won! You’ve sold an idea, a concept about your company, can you deliver on what you said. And then…. like any relationship you have to work it. You can’t hire and then leave alone.

Retention is a huge issue with most companies, the woo must continue… remind people why they joined, help re-enforce their decision was right, and live up to the EVP you evangelised. Don’t stop! If you do, you get comfortable, you concentrate on the new hires, new talent to woo. Guess what will happen? Other will come a wooing….

Let’s face it… it is easier to keep than to find. Keep wooing

Mr Cellophane

Internal Recruiters are the Mr (or Ms or Miss or Mrs) Cellophane’s of the corporate world, the poor cousin of the HR team. Like the old adage internal recruiters should be seen and not heard. (I disagree by the way, I’ve just seen this ideal a bit)

Your part of the company, but not really. You don’t build or sell the widgets, you don’t set policy, you don’t deliver the business solutions to clients. You don’t actually make money for the company, you find the people that do. Smart companies understand, but are there lots of smart companies out there?

I’m all about adding value, and i’m all about being heard, I hate being dismissed or ignored.
Do you make yourself heard? Or do you just wait for things to happen? Have you been too nervous about your job security to stir the pot and instigate change? Or are you just happy how things are going? Or do you just bitch and moan and write songs about how bad things are for you?

You are one to the key externally facing people of the company.. STAND UP!

Dialog from video, is this you?

I’m the father, papa, dad dad. Did you hear me? no you did’nt hear me. That’s the story of my life, nobody notice I’m around, nobody Not even my parents noticed me. One day I went to school, and when I came home, they moved!


If someone stood up in a crowd
And raised his voice up way out loud
And waved his arm
And shook his leg
You’d notice him

If someone in the movie show
Yelled “fired in the second row,
This whole place is a powder keg!”
You’d notice him

And even without clucking like a hen
Everyone gets noticed, now and then,
Unless, of course, that personage should
Invisible, inconsequential me!

Mister cellophane
Should have been my name
Mister cellophane

’cause you can look right through me
Walk right by me
And never know I’m there!

I tell ya
Mister cellophane
Should have been my name
Mister cellophane

’cause you can look right through me
walk right by me
And never know I’m there. . .

Suppose you was a little cat
Residin’ in a person’s flat
Who fed you fish and scratched your

You’d notice him

Suppose you was a woman wed
And sleepin’ in a double bed beside one man for seven years
You’d notice him

A human being’s made of more that air
With all that bulk , you’re bound to see
him there

Unless that human bein’ next to you
Is unimpressive, undistinguished
You know who. . .

Should have been my name
Mister cellophane
’cause you can look right through me
Walk right by me
And never know I’m there

etc etc etc

Knock with your elbows!

Believe it or not we are coming up to Christmas… well the Shopping malls and TV ads are telling me that. With that, the parties are starting, the liver is getting prepared both professionally and personally. I have friends off to Indonesia this coming weekend, so I have now had my first official Christmas do…

With the advent of the Christmas spirit, I was reminded of a saying my Dad always used to say if people were coming over for a function or a party. “Sure come on over. Just make sure you knock with your elbows!”

I love the saying…. do you understand where my Dad was coming from? You had to knock with your elbows because your hands were full. Full of what? Up to you, but you were adding value to the party!

Hmmm Recruitment, business, life advice or just social etiquette? Answer= (E) – All of the above.

Ask yourself this question before entering a meeting, making a call, offering a job, asking for a raise, or even applying for a job. Am I knocking with my elbows?

Am I bringing something to the party in this situation? If not what are you there? Why are you doing that?

You need to know why you are making that call to a client, why they will want to buy from you. You need to know why that candidate wants to accept your job. You need to know why your company needs you around. Take the time to learn the value you are adding. Learn your own Unique Value Proposition, and be prepared to share it.

It’s poor manners to turn up to a party with nothing. Knock with your elbows! And ensure YOU ARE BRINGING SOMETHING TO THE TABLE!

Celebrity Spotting

Interesting week here in Melbourne town this week. A mid November heatwave, the likes of which have not been seen before I wouldn’t think. Seriously in the pool this week, unheard of! Not complaining mind you.

Britney Spears arrived in Australia, to lipsinc her way through a National tour. Great strategy arriving, with decoy Britneys, body guards and a gratuitous amount of press coverage. Both good and bad.

Tiger Woods hits our fair shores, causing golfing havoc and traffic bedlam. Rarely have we seen such a sustained media circus for one visiting our shores.

It has done amazing things to the profile of the sport, it really is testament to the man as to how he can stay so composed with all that focus (although I’ve heard reports, he’s getting a fair temper on the course.)

I mean how would it be, to go to a place where everyone knows you, and wants to get to know you better, or even just an autograph. Your reputation has proceeded you, people are clamouring to get some of your attention. Does it just happen in Sport or celebrity?

Who would you clamour to meet, see, hear in your career stream? Do we want to admit there are people out there who are JUST THAT GOOD. Or is it just acceptable to fawn over those in the big media spotlight?

Would love to hear your thoughts….

Sleep when I’m Dead!

Driving in my car today, in what turned out to be a drive down nostalgia lane. I’d hit THAT radio station, you know the one which somehow talked to me… it kept playing song after song, which just reminded me of my younger carefree days. This song came on, merging my current reality with my willful past… Magic.

Here I was signing out loud, probably scaring my son for life, and then I started hearing the lyrics, and my mind started tying them in with tweets and emails about sleeping or the lack thereof. There was my aha moment… I related and I understood.

Let’s see if I can break this down for you… so far I’ve written lots of words and said not much (look out politics or consulting here I come!)

Those of you who are avid social networks will understand this, but maybe it may help explain me to those who are yet to even embrace Twitter.

The only way to get something out of something is to put something into it. Social Networking is no different. It is no magic bullet, or answer to the meaning of life, but it is a font of knowledge, which really does need to be mined.

Here’s the kicker, it takes time. Now I get paid to Recruit and to Manage a Recruiting team, and whilst I can learn about all these things online in a variety of social networking forums, my day to day responsibility is to find and attract talent to my company.

My hours at work are dedicated to that.

To immerse yourself in these forums/arenas whatever the term you have for it, you have to give up some of your own time, and be willing to work across timezones. I heard Dave Mendoza say once the it’s not who you know, it’s who knows you!” So the question is raised.. How do you get yourself known? You need to engage in you target markets, whether that be on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or any number of Ning sites. But you seriously need to put in some hours to get that happening, or have a team of elves working around the clock for you…. (it’s coming up to their busy season, don’t call them until mid January at the earliest for help requests)

To seriously engage, you have to be there, to comment, to debate and to really connect where the action is. My network is littered with people who live this ideal. I’ll name but a few.

Jason Davis (AKA Slouch); the king of social networking/recruiting as far as I”m concerned and video blog specialist. He is ALWAYS online, it’s rare to log into without him being logged in. If there is anyone MORE passionate about Recruiting than JD, I’m yet to meet them.

Maren Hogan; She is all over Twitter and RBC like a rash… a nice one by the way! She has a great way of viewing hte world, adding unique insights whilst juggling her family.

Maureen Sharib; telephone sourcer to the stars! You need a name? She’ll find it, Maureen always seems to be where I am online, adding comments, asking questions, fuelling debate, AND sharing the skills and tricks that she uses with the rest of us mere mortals

The Recruiting Animal; Is there a more engaged Recruiter? This guy had a radio show before it became en vogue! He is a twitter addict, which when matched with his obvious Starbucks habit, makes him a must person to connect to. He willingly shares his knowledge, without selling services etc… maybe he just likes the celebrity, whatever it is I’m thankful for it.

and last but not least Bill Boorman, this guy is all OVER the Recruiting web. He most likely survives on 3-5 hours sleep a night, and for those other 20 odd hours, you’ll find him on Twitter, or a variety of other sites. His passion is Recruiting and it shows and he willingly shares it with whoever asks. His reputation seems to be building daily. There are rumours the man is actually a robot… a claim he strongly denies. Dedicated maybe… a robot.. no.

There are so many more I could list here, but I wont you know who you are.

These people all give so much to the community, and yet I am yet to spend a cent on any of them (sorry guys). Their own personal brand is strong, and have quickly become people I admire and respect.

They always seem to be there, adding value and contributing, I have to stay up late to keep up with it all. And why do I do it? why am I responding to tweets, emails and questions in all hours of the morning? As Bon Jovi says, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”

Unveiled DWS’ not so secret, Secret Millionaire – Danny Wallis talks to me

Last night on Australia’s Channel 9’s Secret Millionaire, my boss Danny Wallis took centre stage as the undercover multi Millionaire do-gooder. Watching this increased my pride in what we are about as a company, as we are most definitely led by the top. Danny does keep a lot of his charitable work hidden from view, under the cover of his hard lined business exterior. But for those who have known him for a while you’ll know his other side. We had an event a few years ago we called “DWS donate a day” whereby every dollar we earned as a company for that day we donated to one of 3 different charities. Note, this was a number of years ago, but we were able to donate $150,000 for that single days work! Let me say it again as I find it pretty impressive $150,000.

For Danny to put himself in the public eye like this is a bit out of character, but I am glad he did. At his return from 10 days without contact with the office, his laptop or mobile phone (Which I think almost killed him) I caught up with him and he allowed me to write down his thoughts. Please read below.

“After spending 10 days in Wollongong, NSW as part of Channel 9’s new reality series The Secret Millionaire, it’s fair to say, it has had a huge impact on me.
I had never previously been to Wollongong and to be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect as what I had heard about it wasn’t really all that complimentary. What I found though was a community full of life and spirit and people doing some amazing work.

As a “volunteer” I spent 10 days dealing with those less fortunate and those very much in need. After spending time with them you realise they aren’t freaks, they’re real people with real emotions who’ve found themselves in a position they can’t control. The scary thing is it could happen to anyone. Luckily though, there are some incredible people out there who do their very best to help and support others within their community.

I spent quite a deal of time at “Darcy House”, a drop in centre for the most disadvantaged and isolated people of the Illawarra. The work they do there is simply inspiring. They provide food, shelter, advocacy, advice and social support and in many cases Darcy House is the final option for many of these people. Each person had their own unique story to tell and they were all unanimous in agreeing that without Darcy House their circumstances would be much, much worse. Darcy House operates on a very modest budget and I knew they would benefit in some way from the donations I was going to make.

I also spent a lot of time with Jim Clabour at the Wollongong Police Citizens Boys Club and the Illawarra amputee association. Jim is a giant of a man with a heart of gold. He lost his leg, from the knee down, in an industrial accident over 20 years ago and since then has devoted his life to helping others. He spends the majority of his time teaching local youth how to box and the importance of discipline. Imagine that, a one legged boxing trainer. The gym was very old and run down but Jim never once complained. He simply made do with what he had and ensured the kids were always made as welcome and as comfortable as possible. Believe it or not, Jim drives a bus part time to help make ends meet. Never been on a bus trip with a one legged driver before so that was definitely a first for me. As a bus driver, Jim makes a great boxing coach. All jokes aside, Jim’s positive attitude and commitment to the youth of region made me pretty certain he too would feature in some way in my final decision of who would benefit from my donations.

Without a doubt the most touching and emotional part of my Secret Millionaire journey was my meetings with the O’Brien family. David and Rebecca O’Brien’s children, Jayden 5 and Billy 3 suffer from the rare skin condition epidermolysis bullosa. The condition causes the skin to blister at the slightest irritation has been a huge emotional and financial drain on the O’Brien’s. The boys will never be able to do what most kids take for granted and watching them struggle through their pain broke my heart. They have blisters all over their bodies and the slightest touch or bump breaks the skin. Regular hospital trips are a part of their lives and Jayden suffers from the condition internally too which means he has to be fed through a tube. Both Jayden and Billy never once complained about anything. They realised they were different to other kids and that’s just how it was. The resilience of children is incredible. There was no doubt I was going to help the O’Briens.

When it came to making my final decision about who would benefit from my donations and by how much there were a lot of things running through my mind.
At the end of my journey on Secret Millionaire, I donated $100,000.
$50,000 went the O’Briens. $30,000 to Jim Clabour and $20,000 to Darcy House.
A lot of the time, many of us just don’t realise how truly lucky and blessed we are. We take so many things for granted and don’t realise there are so many people throughout Australia who are really struggling and doing it tough. This is a great country, however we can make it greater still by taking a leaf out of the book of the people I met and giving back to our communities and helping out those less fortunate. You don’t have to donate thousands and thousands of dollars to make a difference. You can make a difference by simply helping out in any capacity you can.

There are some great, committed people and organisations out there and it was my privilege and pleasure to be able to assist, in my own small way, the fantastic work these incredible people do. The circumstances I experienced in Wollongong will stay with me forever and I’m just so glad I was able to help. We all can help. We all should help”

After watching the episode last night, after some nerves (I’m not sure what Danny must have been feeling) when sitting down to watch it, I have to say I am really impressed. And I’m not just saying that because he signs my pay cheques. I really enjoy this show, it highlights some things we just take for granted, and I think it also shows that there are some really caring people out there. Thanks to Channel 9 for putting this show on and thanks to Danny and all the other secret millionaires who agreed to be part of it, giving up their own time and money to help those in the community who need it. Whilst I won’t admit to tears when watching these shows, for some reason there is always some moisture in the eye cavity.


OK, so I lied… There I said it.

More of a lie of omission. I was reading over my blog, which has gone way longer that I actually expected it to, I mean who’d have thought that I’d still be doing this 18 months on. Anyway, I wrote an entry in February titled, “Why I blog” I wrote all the things I was feeling at the time, but re-reading it, I missed something out. Why I started it?

This will sound bad, but the honest answer is money. I had this great idea that if I wrote a blog, whacked some Google Adsense on the side of it, and I’d be sitting back having a full time job just counting the cash that would just roll in. Funnily enough… It didn’t work. Checking my balance, after over 18 months and almost 90 posts now… I’m up to a grand total of AUD$5.67. Maybe I could build a personal brand which will launch my career internationally? Not really.

So what is in it for me then? Surely there has to be something? I’m not a coach, who by their very presence in Social Media is advertising their products and services (even if they say they aren’t), I’m not a social media guru, but I’ve learned about a lot of new stuff I’ve had to try, I’m not part of an agency, which would use this as company branding to show the strength of their Recruiters and themselves. Somewhere where it could be possible to show a genuine return on the investment put into it. That said it is only time…

I figured it out, bottom line reason. Because it’s only fair. A simple answer really, but the god honest truth (with the fact that I enjoy it, blogging and learning more about Recruitment has become my hobby too. Sad isn’t it)

What do I mean? I really feel like I’m part of a community here and by here I mean in the social media realm. Communities like, and the Australia/NZ site hosted by Paul Jacobs Recruitment 2.0 Asia Pacific. These places have become my professional life blood. People from all over the world contributing and learning from one another. Sure there are a constant few names that pop up in conversations, or writing blogs or contributing to conversations, forums etc. I’m now pretty comfortable saying I have friends all over the world now, that I have never met. I’d like to one day, but I feel like I know them.

These people are spending their time writing articles, contributing to conversations, that I am reading. FOR FREE! I honestly believe it is the least I can do to put a little back. If it adds value to anyone, then that’s a bonus, but it’s what happens in a community. Give and take you know.

There are some amazing people out there giving their time and expertise for free, all because they believe in the industry, are passionate about what they do and genuinely feel the need to basically help out. Check out those sites I mentioned before to see what I mean. If you’re a Recruiter and you’re not on these sites, then you are doing yourself and you company a disservice. Just like in Sales, you learn more by listening than talking, (you know the old 2 ears 1 mouth, use in that ratio) but to get the most out of things, you still have to contribute, open your mouth, get your hands on your keyboard and get into it.

Don’t get me wrong, if I can find a way to seriously monetize my blog, then I’m all over it (I feel nervous that I will get lots more spam tweets now), until then, my day job still pays the bills and until child number 3 arrives, my blog, my twitter, my social media outlets is what keeps me up happily up at night.