Monthly Archives: March 2010

Lexie Jean arrives… This is HUGE!

It doesn’t happen every day, and not everyone gets to experience it. As such I am feeling very blessed, humbled and honoured. It’s not everyday you get to witness the birth of one of your kids.

Two days ago on the 24th March 2010, I was lucky enough to do just that as Lexie Jean Nuroo made her way into this world just before 2pm. What an enterance it was. She came a couple of weeks ahead of schedule, but settled right into it, like she’s been doing this all her life… ahem… ummm OK.. she has. Feeding, looking around, and all other body movements, made a weary Dad proud.

What made this Dad amazingly proud was the efforts of his wife, Simone. Guys, if you haven’t seen it before, women are amazingly resilient creatures. I can’t imagine putting my body, mind and spirit through what my darling wife endured, with a smile on her facec and the only tears in her eyes were those of joy, when she finally got to hold Lexie.

Now, whilst it’s true, as a guy, you really aren’t that involved in the whole process (OK potentialy a bit at the beginning). OK OK OK you’re there for support, but trust me there is not much you do apart from getting in the way and feeling awkward.

Your part comes post birth… Cutting the cord! that is huge. A little scarey, and then frustrating as the scissors don’t do as good a job as you’d think, and you are cutting a part of your child. The rewards for this bit of effort of that are amazing. You get to hold your child, just you and her. I got over an hour just with her as they were getting my wife back to the room, my duty was to stay with my daughter and ensure that it was definitely her returned to her Mum. Can you imagine, having the first hour of someone’s life, just with you. What an honour.. something I will never forget.

I’d like to publically thank my wife for giving me such a wonderful family, not sure what else a man can ask for. A gorgeous wife, a mini me son, and two beautiful and darling daughters. The gifts which will last me a lifetime. I am truely blessed. THANK YOU SIM.

I’ve probably written enough here, but this is an amazing time in my life and it’s tough to stop.

Welcome to the world Lexie Jean Nuroo, we love you lots and cannot wait to see what you will bring to this world.

See photo’s here They are apparently too large to attach too this medium

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Google Checks happen – Be Aware

This is going to be another of those posts popping up in the online Recruitment Community here in Australia. All was started with Riges Younan’s post, followed up with some Twitter banter, then Jarrad Woods started a tinychat(ummm) chat and now posts are popping up all over the place. It’s actually pretty cool, the debate is great, with some really great minds putting their 0.2 cents worth in. I thought I’d dilute the pool with some of mine.

Hold on… quick recap. The debate was all about the use of Social Media in background checking candidates. Heated agreement and debate raged.

I found myself swaying in the wind a bit during the debate, taking up the cause of one side, then the other, then finding myself on the fence. Hey, don’t hate me, these people made some awesome points. You try keeping up with comments and opinion from people like Jarred Woods, Justin Hillier, Kellie O’Shaughnessy, Aaron Dodd, Riges Younan, Michael Specht, Thomas Shaw, and Paul Jacobs and not getting swayed a few times.

My side of the debate? Is probably pretty simplistic.

Ethical or not… it will happen. How can you police it? What company will say “I didn’t hire you because of that photo on Flikr, or that Facebook comment you made in January 2009”

Turning it around a little I think Recruiters can and should stand at the forefront of awareness of this issue. We need to educate people to have ownership and control of their own image, especially when they are engaging in a Recruitment process. They need to be made aware that these kind of checks can and do happen (officially and unofficially) and they need to be prepared for them.

Recruiters also need to make sure this issue is known internally too. Inform HR and the rest of the company.. and then of course train HR, Hiring Managers, Execs etc (or those not as savvy in the Social Media side of things) to look at relevance and not to jump at shadows. Just like “tone” in emails, you shouldn’t try to read anything into it, a picture alone does not make a compelling argument, nor does a bold/brash statement on a forum. You need to dig deeper to find context…. Nothing worse than having to fight opinions taken from half the information… we’ve all been there.

As inhouse Recruiters you want to have all the information available. Nothing worse than 20/20 hindsight clouding a decision which could have been avoided. How do you explain to your CEO that there is information out there that you didn’t look at and could have saved you making a hiring mistake which ended up costing the company thousands! What do you say as a 3rd party Recruiter, when your client comes to you with a “Thanks for the candidate, he/she’s great, however we found this on site.abc and don’t think it shows a suitability to our culture. So we will pass” If you are not across this information how do you combat this?

You can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can’t use Social Media to locate or source people and then say bad form to use for anything else. You cannot police the line drawing, it’s impossible. You need to be aware, and make your candidates aware of what is happening out there.

Should these checks be done in secrecy? I think we all need a disclaimer saying that “by volunteering to enter our Recruitment process you are agreeing to the possibility that internet searches may be made about you.” – But would that stop people from applying? (most likely)

Education is the key. Recruiters take ownership of that. Then people/candidates etc take responsibility of your own profile (mark your Facebook, linkedin etc profile with the appropriate privacy settings if you are worried). Do your own search on yourself, (“googling” (or “yahooing”, or “binging”) yourself is not a bad thing to do) then if there is anything dodgy found, be able to discuss it. Seriously. It’s not the fact that Big Brother is watching, it’s the fact that everyone can be watching.

You Can’t always get what you want………

People ask “how do you get ideas to write all the time?”.. Life does it, seriously, things pop up from nowhere and fester in your mind, and boom there is a blog post in the making. Whether it be good or bad… whatever, a post is there.

This happened to me tonight, watching idol of all things. One of the contestants sang “You can’t always get what you want”. I love this song by the way, but it stirred something inside me.

I was guest judging at an IT Graduation presentation day yesterday. I’m a sucker for this stuff and really enjoyed myself, even if I did sit through 8 presentations for 10-12 minutes each on the same topic. Essentially I had the same presentation 8 times. The fun thing was I was asked to be tough, harsh even to these guys. So hey, what was I to do? I was blunt, I was harsh, it was fun.

One of the interesting things was afterwards, I had a couple of the 80 come up to me and ask for specific feedback for themselves. “sure” I say, “do you want me to be as blunt as I was in the broader feedback?” “Yes, sir”. “Are you sure?” “Yes, sir, I love feedback”
“OK, let me get my notes”.

So I let this poor guy have both barrels. I told him his pitch wasn’t team focussed, it was all about him and his product, I told him he looked the part but his suit pants were too long, and if he has a tie on do the top button up. I spoke about fiddling with his hands, not making eye contact etc etc etc.

I felt for this guy. He was shattered. To his credit, he rallied himself and started arguing about my feedback. “Mate, ou asked for my honest feedback. this is it. If you take it, so be it, feel free to disreguard it, it’s free. But dont argue with me, this is my opinion.” He even argued with the shirt button comment, “well my shirt is too tight and it was a bit tight” I think he wasn’t happy with my “well get a better shirt!”.

I’m guessing that whilst he may not have particularly liked what I said, but he will remember it…. and hopefully it’ll help.

You can’t always get what you want! But you just might find, you get what you need…

Seeing the world through their eyes

Guess what I did today? Yes….! I went to see Dora the Explorer with my little girl. Damn it was fun. Not so much the show, but watching it through my daughter’s eyes. I spent the majority of the first act watching my daughter’s face. Her unbridled enthusiasm and joy, just warmed my heart and basically tatooed a smile on my face for the rest of the day.

You have to do it… see the world through the eye’s of a child, it’s magnificent. The colours are brighter, the people are bigger, and life is that little bit simplier.

Looking into things a little further, the same thing needs to be translated into Recruiting.

Look at your ads, your process, our candidate care through the candidates eyes. The world may look different. If you’re a third party Recruiter, look at the world through your client’s eyes. Is what you’re doing adding value to them or to you? Will sending that unsolicited email with a hail mary of a candidate enhance your reputation in their eyes? Will that cold call with “you got any jobs I can help with?” really help them out? Think about it… Before you call, email, tweet, IM, Inmail or whatever else it is you may do to your clients. Look at the world through their eyes…

Dirty deeds done dirt cheap.

This came up on my ipod this week and from the week I’ve had, I really related. (plus it put me in a great mood to get me going for the day!) Putting it bluntly I’ve had to play the role of bastard a lot this week.

As per an earlier post, I had to tell a couple of people they were dreaming in their expectations. I had to tell some contractors they weren’t going to be renewed, I got a bit narky with some vendors and put some really tough deliverables on some other vendors. I told an agency Recruiter their pitch was ordinary and then gave some unsolicited (and by the sound of it unwanted advice). I’ve had to push back against the business, “politely” told a Regional Manager to “shut up and listen”, and I’ve been called up and emailed by competitor CEO’s or MD’s to STOP approaching their staff. (I told them they should be flattered I think their staff are worthy of being approached, they should be more worried if I wasn’t approaching) I did however avoid the “you’ve got bad breath” conversation our HR team had to have with someone.

All in the week of an in-house Recruiter. It’s what we do, it’s part of the role of adding value to our company.

That said the team achieved some amazing results (which made me smile a lot) of hiring some great people, across all states, finding some new rich veins of talent (which we have mined beautifully), and proving ourselves once again in terms of value, quality and volume of work we achieve to some of the Company Executive. Some of the reports and statistics we provided really blew some socks off.

The Ying and Yang of the role. This is why I do it.