Monthly Archives: January 2010

Friends don’t let friends do reality TV

A person needs good friends in life. “OK Thank you Captain Obvious!” I hear you say, but hear me out.

These reality TV shows get a big viewing in my house, the “Big Brothers”, the “So you think you can dance”, “Idol” etc. The first few shows are notorious for the “What the…” moments. You know what I’m talking about, those people who are auditioning, who have no clue.

They profess to have a passion for the specific genre, singing, dancing, or just becoming a wannabe celebrity. The people who have no idea that they have no talent. Not the ones who go on for a joke, a bit of a laugh. I get that. But those with absolutely no talent, or idea that they have no talent (in that specific genre let me ad). They put themselves up for ridicule, with the firm belief that they really are Gods in their chosen field. “Me Mum thinks I am so talented, so I thought I’d give it a go”.

They need better people around them. (OK, I’m not bagging Mums. Your Mum has to think you are the best.. It’s her job!) Someone to say “No, you aren’t that good. Trust me. You’ll be embarrassed. You will be on national TV and seen as a joke.”

I understand the need to be supportive, to be positive, but seriously friends don’t let friends do some of this stuff. I’m lucky, I think if I got my heart set on going on Australia’s Next Top Model there would be at least someone in my nearest and dearest who would put up their hand and tell me. “Dan, you can’t do that. I know you really want to do it, and you’ve been practising really hard, and it is you passion. However, there are a couple of things you are lacking. A) YOU ARE NOT A FEMALE, B) YOU AREN’T 6 FOOT TALL C) YOU’VE NEVER WALKED IN HEELS and D) YOU AREN’T THAT PRETTY!” And then I’d hope I’d have the good sense to listen to them.

A person has to know their limitations. Striving for goals is important, and they don’t always have to be realistic, you know world peace and all that. The important thing is to have people you know and trust, who will help shape these goals!

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How many no’s can you take?

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” – Vince Lombardi

People ask me a lot what the best trait I look for in a Recruiter or sales person. The list is quite big, but the one which stands out like a beacon, is Resilience.

The whole world has gone though a tough time for the last 18 months or so. Lots of businesses and people have gone to the wall, the word “NO” has become more and more common in the language of corporates everywhere.

Sales people everywhere have been hearing it (even more so than usual), candidates after interviews, employees asking for pay rises, people asking for training, asking for conferences, people trying to innovate and getting extra budget to do so, asking people to change jobs, and people being told they have NO job left. NO NO NO NO NO

The flow on effect from this is that people stop asking, people stop striving, thinking and just exist/survive. Be aware of it, look out for it. Don’t let it get you.

I have a saying at work. If you want something to happen, if you want to implement something you need to be willing to take the pain! Nothing is an easy “yes”. Can you justify it? Can you prove an ROI? Have you got THE best price possible? Have you got the timing right?

Guess what people? It’s time to ask again… Get on the phone, go and visit, ask the questions for what you want to achieve. It’s time. Maybe you can plant the seeds for your own personal changes, or if you’re in hard core sales, it’s time to revisit your “clients”, maybe it’s time to call your candidates

Someone told me once that things can only get hit for so long before they stay dented. Be your own panel beater then.

See the song “I get knocked down, but I get up again, aint never gunna keep me down”

Keep asking, go back to those ideas, get your creativity flowing once more.. NOw is the time to get back into the working world as we knew it. Be seen to be adding value in all that you do.

This’ll make for an exciting 2010

Measure twice, cut once


In a few of my blogs I have spoken about things my Dad has told me. How I try to follow them. It may come out like I always do. Unfortunately I don’t always, and yes, I pay for it. (He’ll love this)

This saying has been topical for me for a couple of reasons of late.

Measure twice, cut once!

Over the years, I have avoided this at times to my peril.

Firstly, sorry to mention for those who read me a bit.. But yes we are doing renovations at the moment, and lets get this straight, I am not a tradie, I am not good at making stuff with my hands. So this saying kinda rings true at the moment.

Secondly, Around 10 years ago, my wife went to the US for 3 weeks for work. This was early in our marriage and was the longest we’d been apart. My only jobs were to a) keep the house tidy and to b) pick her up on her return.

Well a) was a no brainer, I’d even made a few cool changes to the outside. Now b) ended up being a problem. Why? I didn’t get to the airport! (yes I am still married to her) and why not? Well, my reasoning was that I was going off what she told me. She had told me the time she was landing. I believe it and didn’t check, yes I had a printed itinerary. If I had I would have seen that the timing was out and she was landing 3.5 hours earlier than we’d thought. Not a great experience for anyone. A problem easily solved, if only…..

Most recently, ie Monday US time, Tuesday, Australian time. I had made a commitment with Paul Paris and the team of the Ex-Recruiter Show. Paul and I had discussed this for a number of weeks and I was pumped to firstly be asked and secondly I really enjoy this stuff, talking about a number of my favourite topics. Paul and the team marketed it really well, the mentions part of my Tweetdeck was littered with mentions of me being on their show.
In our discussions it was mentioned that with the time difference, the show would air at around 10am my time. This time worked beautifully for me. It was a public holiday here for Australia Day, and I planned to get the show in and then get the celebrations started. Perfect.. right? wrong.

Around midnight the night before I got a bad feeling. I checked the Blog Talk Radio site for the Ex-Recruiter Show and used the “add to your outlook” button there to ensure that I had to time right. To my horror, guess what… I had the time wrong… it was 2 hours later… Right when the celebrations were to fire up in my house. I couldn’t cancel the celebrations, would be unpatriotic to do that. I had to bail on the show… my bad, my fault. If only I’d checked. (my deepest apologies to the #TERS team)

You’d think I’d learn. Double check things… Measure twice, cut once.

Before you decide on a course of action, make sure your information is right. No assumptions (my Dad has a saying for that too!)

3 Years on…………….

Wow it’s almost 3 years to the day when I started blogging.

I know this as I remember one of my original blogs was around the birth of my daughter Talia, who turns 3 tomorrow. Man time definitely does fly. I’ve just re read this early blog, seen the video’s and pics.. and serious tears came to the eye.

For those interested.. here is the reprinted version of what I wrote on January 26, 2007:


After months and months of waiting (OK 9 to be precise, or more if you add in the time trying!) I would like to take this opportunity to introdcue Talia Deanna Nuroo to the world. She arrived on the 25th January 2007 at 1.39pm.

Before I go too far into this, I must pay homage to my wonderful wife Simone, wow…. what a tough woman, she took this labour amazingly, mostly in a grand state of serenity, pushing through the pain in a display that leaves me genuinely lost for words to describe it, which is no mean feat. From 3am – 11.30 she pushed, breathed, relaxed, stretched and wobbled herself and Talia through contractions ranging from 5-2 minutes apart. If there is a mathematician out there, please let me know how many contractions that would be. No drugs, no swearing, just the odd tight hand holding (don’t worry I’m OK!) some gritted teeth, which I masterly reminded her to breathe through (see I was helping), the rest she just mentally toughed it out, truely inspiring, something I’ll never forget, and should remind me not to get into a fight with her. i may outweigh by around 1000 kilo’s but she’d kick my ass, and not break a sweat I think.

It wasn’t an ideal labour, as out little angel was being a little stubborn, facing the wrong way and then being a little too big to fit ou the natural way, but hey, it ended well, with Mum and Dad getting to hold young Talia just after lunch.

An unforgettable indescribable feeling. Now I may be biased, but I defy anyone to tell me she ain’t gorgeous and basically perfect! You can see her first shots on this site.

So far, a day into the lifelong journey Talia is going to undertake, I’m happy to report, she is feeding beautifully, sleeping pretty well, and loves cuddles with both Mum and Dad, who also love that. She has met her big brother Zac, and it looks like a lifetime partnership of mischief has begun.

Sim, is doing great, considering what she has had to go through to give me this wonderful gift, but on the improve.

This is a totally humbling experience, How luck can 1 guy be? An amazing wife, 2 gorgeous kids! In short LIFE IS GOOD.

Hard to believe really.. to see Talia now, a diva in training, a golden smiling, single minded, strong willed gorgeous girl, growing up so quickly in front of my eyes.. it is astounding. For those looking for something a little special to see, that you can’t see everyday. Check here to see the first ever meeting between mother and daughter… Not for the easy weeping!

"What we have here is ….. failure to communicate"

OK maybe I’m sucking up to Maren Hogan (Hi Maren) but I couldn’t resist this after the Saturday I’ve just had.

We’ve been renovating at home over the last month or so. I am not handy with these things at all, so we employed a builder to look after things for us. Things started off with a flourish, things got uninstalled, frames got put up, man we were flying.

Things started to go awry though, when it became clear that budgeting wasn’t this builders forte. He was pretty ordinary at man management to, delegation, motivation etc.

That’s fine, my wife is pretty good at these things, an HR Manager by trade, a child wrangler by choice, so she helped out. After a fairly blunt meeting, she began to helping Manage this guy, manage others.

Life was good again, things were happening, taking shape, we were going to hit our time lines as agreed.

SPEEDHUMP:

About a month ago, things stopped happening. He asked for more money, outside the (constantly revised) budget. I knocked him back, saying enough was enough, deliver what you promised. It became a matter of principle.. the well was dry! We had a blunt but friendly conversation, and we agreed on a way forward.

Or so I thought… He didn’t turn up again. Excuses came via text message re his non attendance. I’d call get his voice mail, and then receive a text message response. These messages became shorter and shorter, terser and terser, until the point where I’d had enough and had to start discussing my legal options.

I wasn’t getting anywhere fast. We changed tactics. I handed over communication to my wife, who by the way is 7 months pregnant (OK I was trying to punish him!) He responded to her (she is hard to ignore) and made commitments to coming back and finishing the job. We were very pleased with ourselves. Good cop, bad cop.. success!

WRONG!

He didn’t keep that commitment, instead sending a text message 3 hours after the agreed appointment time, saying he was in a bad way and couldn’t make it.

We were shattered. We called his mobile… disconnected.. we called his home phone… disconnected. Our hearts sank. We weren’t getting this job finished. We were out of ideas and to be honest pretty flat. We’d lost all modes of communication. Me a seasoned Recruiter, my wife an HR Pro… how could we both misread someone so much?

After a day of wallowing, we took positive action. We checked out our rights, and began making other arrangements.

This post has got longer than expected… sorry.

SILVER LINING?

Earlier this week, my wife went out.. when she returned there was a note on our door. From our builder, committing to coming over today (Saturday) to talk to us. We were shattered, that she’d missed him, yet not convinced that he would actually convinced he’d turn up.

We left messages again (his phones were back on) towards the end of the week to confirm times, and got silence in return. Thankfully this morning I received a text saying he would make it this afternoon.

HE MADE IT.

Boy, did we have a big conversation.

What we learned…. He was having a hard time with things. His van had blown up, he’d over committed to a number of people not just us, and was in way over his head. He’d assumed that we were a bottomless pit of money as we have a nice house in a nice area and have a nice car. It rocked him when reality hit, and he couldn’t think of a way out. He was avoiding people, and he hadn’t mentioned a few other things to us which I won’t expand on.

Bottom line, he wants to finish the job and will finish the job, he just wasn’t in a position to do so, for a variety of reasons at the time.

My wife and I took a collective breath and said fine.

We understand that stuff happens.. People mess up… We had to however explain to him that we aren’t mind readers and if we aren’t kept informed we naturally have to start planning and thinking the worst. By not communicating with us, we were starting to prepare for war.

We talked it out and came to a good understanding of each other.

It’s amazing the mess that appears when communication falls over. Fear fueled it. We were scared the job wouldn’t be finished, he was scared of our reaction. When he found the courage to face us and not rely on text messaging as a form of communication we found a solution, that it seems all parties are happy with.

There is no substitute to talking with someone face to face. Please, do not get seduced with the ease of communication with these new tools of twittering, texting, or even just emailing or writing letter. Get face to face… You will clear up misunderstandings, you won’t assume tone, You’ll learn more, you’ll get more out of it.

Nothing is wrong with old school.

Twitter and me.


We’re great mates. We go back a year ago, and our friendship has blossomed as time has gone on.

I was listening to Bill Boorman and the crew from his Ready for Liftoff radio show, and they were talking about Twitter for learning. They were looking at this from a different perspective to me. They were talking about running training courses using Social Media. Honestly that didn’t interest me that much, even though I’ve flirted with the idea of potentially using Second Life to run virtual training events.

However, Twitter and Training go hand in hand for me. I’m talking my training, my own personal development. Who would have thought, my daily dose of training 140 characters at a time.

When I initially joined Twitter, I had no idea what I was going to do with this weirdly named device, which did something called “micro-blogging”, I’d only just got my head around Blogging, blogging. What could I possibly do in 140 Characters? I lurked, I followed/connected to Recruiting legends, up and comers, people I knew of and people who just have damn good ideas. They all knew people, who knew people, who knew people etc etc etc. They all tweeted, they all re-tweeted each others messages, which mashed up quotes (which annoy me), statements, quotes, linked to blogs and engaged in debate/discussion.

I was seduced to engage, to add my 2 cents to conversations, and connected with more people. My network grew, let’s be honest, my network of followers v followees is not big in global Twitter terms, but it adds value to me.

I’ve been exposed to more information with Social media than I had for all my years of experience before I caught the wave. Twitter makes it even more accessible.

It’s always going, people are tweeting 24/7, so I’m getting information from UK, US, Australia, Asia etc, no matter when I check in.

That said, you can over do it. You can be distracted by the beeping of your tweetdeck, the allure of messages, witty comments or conversations you must be part of. Your day can disappear, from what you are paid to do to, to finding out what else is going on. You must be disciplined about it and only Tweet when the tweeting is good.

CruiterTalk 2010 Carnival

Just before Christmas I was contacted by Ryan Leary asking me to contribute to his latest Career Carnival. I was really excited and humbled to be asked, especially when you see the who’s who of Recruiting sharing their thoughts every single day. It’s cool to see my name next to them. Nerve wrecking, but I pulled the trigger and it is now up there for all to see.

I’d like to thank Ryan for the invitation.

What did I come up with? I decided to look at the Hiring Managers, and took a relatively high brow angle of relating it to toilet training. The connection?

Read it here

These are testing times and I have a 3rd on the way!

Frustrations to change you life!

I’m frustrated. Should I expand? It could go for a while? Alright, I’ll try to keep it straight.

That said I also have had a ground breaking revelation which should change the lives of all those that will read this.

OK let’s start with my frustration. I’ll start this by saying I am a pretty positive person, however of late, I’ve learned the path of the cynic and am starting to appreciate their journey! I digress, sorry. We’ve been doing renovations on our house of late. What an exciting time, changing our house, from an idea to something real and tangible, and what a great change it will make… or so we thought.

From an initial swashbuckling start, walls down, frames up, it was going like a dream. To a “we’re going over budget”… “I think we aren’t going to make the deadlines”…. “I can’t make it today”… “oh sorry I never look at my phone”… “sorry, gone over budget, give me more money or finish the job yourself”.

I am not an unreasonable man, my wife and I have allowed him to re-quote a couple of times and allowed him to clarify things after the fact. Cutting some things out of the budget and writing some stuff off all together. And yet he still is trying to grab more money. Eventually enough became enough. Hardlines were drawn and Dan the nice guy disappeared. Unfortunately, so did our builder (he even disconnected his home phone. Obviously forgetting I’m a Recruiter and will and was able to find him.. sucker). All calls were returned with a text message, and now he only responds to my wife. My bad.

I started to doubt myself, was it my communication style? Am I not being clear or clarifying enough, when people say they will do things at a certain time, a certain day? Thankfully (for my sanity anyway) they did the same thing to my wife. Promised to turn up at 8-8.30 am, for us to hang around to only receive a text message at 12.40 saying “Can’t make it”.

This has got ridiculous. To the point where I have had to threaten legal action. Something I have never done before.

Even the tradesmen who did a good job were unreliable. Couldn’t make a time that was set, wouldn’t let us know. I hate being in the dark and ignored.

Ahhh that was nice to get off my chest. Now for the bit I promised that would change your life. Some advice from Dan! Free, no charge. No strings attached.

How to stand out from the crowd!

Do as you say… When you say you will do it. If you can’t for whatever reason, own up to it early and let the person you committed to know.

It sounds easy, trust me it isn’t and it is unusual.

To annoy the younger people reading this.. “When I was a boy!” ok not a boy, but younger, at the early stages of my career, I had a client who had scores of open requirements at any one time. This was annoying, hard work, for little margin. We were part of a large panel, and most likely the least experienced team working for them. They had set end dates for applications, and wanted a response by that date, a yay or nay if you will.

Whilst we were not always able to present someone, I made sure we made contact in regards to each requisition, and had a conversation with the powers that be. By doing this, this deepened our relationship to the point where at the next supplier review, we came in number one!

It makes you memorable and proves you commitment to the client. Try it. Trust me, you’ll be remembered!

With or without you!

OK maybe it’s just a great excuse to play a U2 song. I had this idea about a post the other day, but let the idea fall from my head, with the amount of noise happening in my life at the moment. However, as fate would have it, I had to run (OK drive) up to the shops tonight for some milk, and guess what came on the radio? Tick! This song.

What does this have to do with what I normally blog about? Recruiting.

It speaks to me at the moment. I am in the middle of a search at the moment which is proving a little elusive. I’m getting closer I can feel it! I’ve found and met some great candidates, and some absolute shockers, I’ve used multiple mediums for my search, social media, print advertising, networking, job boards etc etc etc

The person is out there, do they know I will hire them yet? Nope. I heard once that a passive candidate is just someone who doesn’t know they are looking yet, maybe that’s my future employee, just haven’t turned over the right rock? Maybe I’ve spoken to them already and haven’t finished the process yet? But I’m waiting for you!

With or without you…..

WITH OR WITHOUT YOUUUUUUUU

The interesting thing about this role, is that it is an extremely important role for my company. However it is a function which normally has a love/hate relationship with Recruitment. I am actually hiring a rod for my own back.

I Can’t live…. with or without you….

My entry into Bill Boorman’s VLOG #HRCarnival

Not my finest work, LONG blinks which is a bit weird, but an interesting experience non the less…