Monthly Archives: October 2012

Why “Social” is important not just for Recruiters but for everyone.

If you’ve read stuff I’ve written before (thank you) you will know I am an evangelist for all (OK most) things “Social”.  I’ve heard the detractors, and those who simply oversell the idea.

Let me talk about where I’m coming from.  Well the name of Social Networking gives it all away.

By being “Social” you are collaborating, sharing, asking for help, helping others and generally being involved.  It doesn’t mean you are always on Facebook, or Twitter or LinkedIn, Pinterest etc, although it means that you are using them as a vehicle for either your own personal branding, your learning, or to push a product.  I have had issues with previous Managers over my activity in this space, they didn’t see the value, just saw the frequency of my interactions and jumped to conclusions.  Happy to say a few years later I actually had a coffee with said Managers (after we’d parted ways) and received an apology, they just hadn’t recognised or realised what I was trying to do, and didn’t think my responses were valid, they are now playing catch up.

Being “Social” leads to Networking.  This has opened my horizons remarkably, I can still remember when I first dipped my toe into the Social networking water.  I didn’t know what to expect, I was just open to trying things, so I gave it a go.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Bill Boorman, he has taken this space to a new level!  But my collaborating, forcing myself to be involved, adding my 2 cents in conversations with people who I was (and still am) in awe of, was really beneficial to me.  Why?  Firstly it gave me confidence, not that it’s something I normally lack, but it really enforced some messages I had semi fixed in my head.  It opened up a brand new world of like minded people (scary huh).  I got to know people all around the world, and although the majority I have never met, and potentially wont, I feel a connection, I feel I know them, at least professionally.  It opened up a great channel for learning and asking questions.  I’ve had numerous skype calls with people from across the globe helping structure a vision, poke holes in an idea, or generally just providing an ear for a vent for the frustration this industry gives us at times.

The practicalities of this also stand out for me.  The learnings are amazing, be connected to the right people and you mind will thank you for it.  The connections however are THE most important thing.  Whilst it is great to know a lot of people, maybe it’s better to be known by more? Does that make sense?  Here’s why, in the cold hard light of day, it helps personally.  I had a boss say to me once (before Social Networking was even thought of) it’s great to have a great Rolodex (look it up kids) but if you aren’t billing from it… “who Cares?”.  Whilst I haven’t (overly) actively pushed it from a sales capacity, it has worked for me.  My last two roles came from relationships formed on-line.  In one  we had connected on-line even before we met face to face, the other I’d know basically a lifetime ago, but kept abreast of him via Social Media, so when the time was right, the time was right.  Networking is a super important part of growth, but not everyone enjoys the drinking, mingling, talking to strangers, etc that you have to do at a conference, or even generally.  The relative distance and security of involving yourself in a conversation on-line is much easier.  The real buzz is when you do attend a conference, and you recognise people’s names (even if they look nothing like their online picture), you “know” them, they “know” you.  That initial fear disappears.  It’s great. (Sometimes it also helps if your name is the answer to a quiz/scavenger hunt at a conference! Thanks Phil and Andrea)

Networking, or building your personal brand is an important thing in life, and if you make a living off your reputation and lets face it we all do, you need to start thinking about if you are paying this social media thing enough attention.  It’s not all about what you had for breakfast, or watching others rant about failed relationships, if that’s your belief… think again.

Recruitment Advertising, Does size matter?

So what is it you are after? What is the goal of your Recruitment advertising?  Is it to persuade a tidal wave of applicants to your (insert hyperbolic statement here) role or is it to attract the RIGHT/BEST candidate for your role?

In the last month or so, we started a campaign to find a Sales person for our business and to be honest I was pretty excited about it.  My expectations were high, that the role was so great that we’d be beating applicants back with a stick (I went and got one too), we upgraded our ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to ensure that we didn’t have to manually.

We’d done our planning, we’d mapped out what our ideal candidate looked like (not physically….. promise), where they would come from, the type of experience they would have.  The level of the role meant headhunting would be challenging, as we wanted to really hire someone with the right attitude, aptitude and ability to build into a star, I didn’t want to recycle someone else’s sales person.  We’d built a new training programme, mentoring process, even devised a new hiring process just for this role.  We were excited (OK maybe it was just me, but…. )

We wrote compelling copy, jazzed it up with videos and some other social media stuff.  Hit go… and sat back waiting for the flood gates to open.  And then……. the flood started.  Not really, a great journey is started by a single step right? So, I was happy when the trickle started, everything has to start somewhere right?  Surprisingly (for me) it didn’t really advance much past a trickle.

That said, what we did receive were profiles, calls, applications from a good half dozen people, who essentially came straight out of our minds eye (there was a fair amount of chaff too mind you).  Just like a bad 80s movie, these applications essentially came straight from our whiteboard, personifying themselves into our process.

That said, initially, through discussions with the team, there was some disappointment at the volumes (or lack there of) of applications. However, on reflection (even at this early stage), the ads have done their job.  They have attracted THE type of people we wanted.  We are only going to hire one (or two) after all.  Making the question, did they work or not? I’m voting YES…. you?

Dad lessons

“Do as I say not as I do!” – This was/is a favourite saying from my Dad.  Normally trotted out when we as kids, busted doing something, which we found amusing.  Talking with his mouthful and farting/burping in public being a few examples that you cannot go past.  (Those last two normally followed with the infamous “Where ever you may be, let your wind go free”)

———> MY Dad!

Now I’m an experienced Dad (well, I’ve been one now for 8.5 years and have now ramped my Dadness up to cover 3 (not so) little tykes, I’m finding myself morphing into my parents.  Sadly (I feel) it’s not just at home.  It’s creeping into my work life.  It’s quite confronting when you realise that you have people in your team, who are almost a generation younger than you!

I felt this yesterday.  I took an annual leave day to spend what turned out to be a stunning day with the family.  Being school holidays and all, it was the least I could do to at least seem like I was shouldering the load with my wife.  It was a great day, weather wise, couldn’t have asked for better, best Spring day for the season.  We jam packed it with activities which were fun for all of us.  We laughed when we heard about the traffic chaos almost shutting poor Melbourne town down, as I wasn’t needing to battle it.  We played, we worked in the garden, we got haircuts and we played some more!  It was gold!

But I was still drawn to the phone, the little mobile office in my pocket.  I only took one call, which we concluded in less than 2 minutes, but I was still compelled to check.  I’m not sure why.. I’m not a workaholic (sorry boss), sure I enjoy what I do and have a real passion for it, but reflecting back…. seriously? one day?  My mistress iPhone gets me in. (I get grumpy with my team do it) I can remember the days when you just travelled somewhere.  If you were out and someone wanted to catch you, you had to leave a message on a cassette tape on the answering machine (I think I’ve lost my Gen Y readers – check this for clarification) I couldn’t take calls, I couldn’t check status’ (that was done at the pub with the lads) and my message bank was a number of red slips of paper in my cubby hole at work when I returned to the office!  I’m wondering how my kids will actually be able to take a break from the office? They’ll be doing stuff we haven’t even thought of yet.

Is this a comment on me? society? a new working culture?  Does it make you good at your job or just bad at living?

Funnily, I accepted a meeting invitation which takes all of a microsecond to click “Yes” I’ll attend.  This acceptance was followed by a quick email, in capitals no less from one of MY team, saying “GET OFF THE EMAIL!”.  Humph… Double Humph!!!!  She was right mind you, and I would have done exactly the same thing, if the roles had been reversed.  But come on, “Do as I say not as I do!!” I can say that right? 😉