Category Archives: action
Can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve written on here. I must have been busy, but here I am sitting down, renewing my relationship with my old friend… the BLOG… It’s literally been years.
It’s a great release though, so here I am.
Redundant again. My “job for life” didn’t really live up to the hype. Just like the “Never ending story” it came to an end. Sad, frustrating, scary, disappointed, helpless, angry, numb, thirsty, hungry, grateful, hopeful and resolute. All the emotions I felt after I had the conversation with my old business when I was informed via MS teams and a script that my position was redundant. (mental note… THE POSITION… must remember that Dan)
This won’t be a “woe is me” type blog, not will it be an uplifting “all the things you can do once laid off” blog. This will be a little more real.
Like everything challenging in life, you tend to think this won’t happen to you. Watching the news, reading all the reports, people getting sick, losing jobs, care packages, stimulus packages from the government, industries crippled, confusion about rules, risks of people our parents age, travel bans (from even your house). I mean how is this crap happening? Did I flip onto a movie channel?
How can you feel sorry for yourself when there is so much worse happening in the world than losing a job? Thousands are being killed by this invisible bitch. You’re above the grass (as my Dad would say) You’re stuck in lock down (or what ever it is officially called in Australia) with your wife and kids, there’s no wallowing. You need to be an example. Right?
“It’s business, not personal” I wonder how many times that little idiom has been said over the last few weeks. That’s BULLSHIT though. It’s personal to the person hearing it. The person who’s the primary bread winner, the provider, the protector. It’s earth shattering. I’ve been on both ends of this conversation, telling people their position isn’t required (in the business’ opinion) sucks, I know. BUT, I guarantee you that hearing it and facing that stark reality of being unemployed is WAY worse.
My process for this? Firstly, disbelief, I mean “what the f*$#”??? Looking the family in the eye and telling them, that their Dad and husband is a statistic now. He’s not the first or the last that this will happen too, but we need to adjust our life for a while whilst he gets his shit together. Reality check. No one is sure how long this will take. You could say I was a stoic mess. Worse case scenarios ran through my head all night, it was a long night. I hit solution mode. Man I scrambled over job boards, updated my LinkedIn, started doing my resume, looked at CentreLink (it was down at 2.30am ??? not a great sign), I was on fire.
I decided in those wee hours that the next day had to be one of action. Once I awoke, after falling asleep on the laptop in some weird angle on the couch. I showered, shaved, put product in my hair and decided to get back to work. This was BIG as I’d already been working from home for almost two weeks so I was a little scruffy and the hair on my face and top of my head had been sadly neglected. See, ACTION! SOLUTION MODE!
I was humbled and a little emotional from the response my LinkedIn change of status delivered. The messages and calls I received from our Recruitment community, and people I’ve worked with or dealt with over the years was amazing. Thanks to all those who did this. I truly am blessed.
That said, whilst uplifting and beautiful, the wind got sucked from my sails fairly quickly. The dark cloud resettled over me like they did in those cartoons we watched as kids.
It’s an interesting battle between the intellectual me and the feeling me (yes there is both). The intellectual me understands the global situation, knows it isn’t just me, and (something that is really hard for me to believe) knows it isn’t just about him. He will begrudgingly accept the umpires decision and will get on with life. Breathing in and out, one step after the other, watching the sun come up and go down as we know it will every single day. The feeling me however, plays a little different. He’s enjoying the time with the family, getting to spend time in the garden, happy to finally get to those little jobs which always get pushed to the bottom of the list in our busy lives. This is a fulfilling thing to do. But, he battles the darkness, those thoughts of “why me?”, those impostor voices that get a hearing in the quiet hours, and the black-hole of emptiness when there isn’t a job or purpose to really invest yourself in.
It’s a battle, daily. Don’t think it isn’t. Switching between positive and negative mindset, almost hourly at times. It’s exhausting. And yet, Nanna naps are not an option for me. They feel like they’re a sign of giving up. So that won’t happen.
It’s already been almost 2 weeks. I mean holy crap how did that happen? The world hasn’t stopped. Everyone has their own shit they’re dealing with. Kids are still on school holidays (god help us) and life goes on.
I’m pretty lucky I have a wonderful driven wife to give me focus (or to do lists, call it what you will), and keep the dark clouds at bay. Whilst the days are melting by we’re working through stuff. We’ve actioned the banks, the government, other creditors to ensure some breathing space. The resume is re written and we’ve registered on a range of different job boards and have begun working the network. I’m a realist. I’m not convinced this will change quickly, so I need to not focus purely on the job hunt. I’m not convinced this is a recipe for mental happiness.
There are jobs to do around the house, I’ve gardened, attacking long neglected areas, I’ve tried to fix a leak in the roof (ie I’ve tried, but need another downpour to really see if I succeeded or not), I’ve even washed windows. Desperate times people.
I’ve given myself time to think. I’ve always wanted to write something of substance, so I have given myself permission to have a crack at that. The allowance of thinking is a blessing, I’ve had other ideas which I’ll work on fleshing out. This is all really exciting.
I’m working on giving back and helping others in similar boats, more on that another time. However, it must be noted that the demons are fighting themselves in my head. How can I give advice and a sense of calm for people when I’m in the same boat? I know my experience can help others, fingers crossed it can.
There you go, Co-vid 19 sucks. A popular thought i’m sure. It’s tough on most people. I don’t think any one is immune to this.
You do you. What is best for you and your family, is best for you and your family. Help others if you can. Don’t be too hard on yourself, this is shit. But the sun will keep rising (yes even in Melbourne) and one day I know my kids will be able to use this time as a “when I was a kid story” . I was worried that their worse story would be the day in 2019 when the wifi went off for an entire day.
Recruitment agencies tend to be getting a bum rap at the moment, with what seems an endless amount of people getting on the “Whack the Recruitment Agency” bandwagon.
Whilst I cannot disagree that some agencies and some Recruiters can be dodgy and misrepresent the industry as a whole, it isn’t all bad. I’ve wrote about this before here.
However, I have noticed a distinct lack of posts from agencies or anyone really talking about dodgy clients, dodgy candidates and the like. This post aims to balance the scorecard to a point and share some war stories from the Recruiting trenches that I have seen or heard.
So dear readers, hold onto your seats and let me tell you some stories of dodgyness, dishonestly and downright crappyness perpetrated by “clients” and “Candidates” from the eyes of a Recruiter. I know, shocking right? It’s not just the Recruiters that are bad to deal with all the time.
Have you heard about the client who after going through a whole drawn out process of 2 interviews, psychometric tests, 3 references, turned down the candidate? That’s not the bad bit, that happens a lot. (but it really sucks to be a contingency recruiter when this happens) Skip forward 3 months, person who won job, leaves. Agency candidate is hired (great to be a recruiter when this happens), all behind the back of Agency Recruiter (again, not so good). This could all be an innocent mistake right? In fact as much was said when the Agency Recruiter called the company, first to find out what had happened, and if, in fact the person had started. (notwithstanding all candidates documentation from resume to reference checks were heavily branded in the agency logo etc) Once confirmation was given, agency person informed said client that an invoice would be coming. NEXT was the call from the CEO informing of the mistake and that he had never OK’d the expenditure, so there was a problem. There were threats of firing the person so as to not pay the bill etc, they said the person applied directly to them from when they had advertised (on inspection there was no ad). After lots of negotiation, it worked out for the agent, once lawyers entered the discussion.
How about the candidate who upon signing up for a role and joining a company, just doesn’t turn up on day one? No word, no nothing? Days of frantic searching later, emails, phone calls to mobile at all hours, even checking with emergency services to see if there were any accidents nearby etc, the Recruiter finally found a correct home phone number. Spoke to the candidates wife, hoping all was ok (I had called a candidate on a database and sadly I made the call in the middle of the person’s wake). Wife informs me that the candidate is fine and is at work “sorry what is this call in regards to?” hmmmmm accepted job, signed job, went through induction etc, just didn’t get around to leaving old job. What the?
How about the person who rocks up to an interview with IBM and proceeds to tell the hiring managers there that “IBM stands for Idiots Become Managers” that’s not embarrassing feedback to get is it?
Or the hiring manager who says “You’re 32, how many years would I really get out of you working here before you go off and start having babies?”
OR the hiring manager who actually compliments an interviewee on her ummmm appearance
OR asks out for drinks immediately after ascertaining said candidate doesn’t have a boyfriend?
OR the candidates who say they’ll do “ANYTHING” for a job, whilst shifting in what she believed was a direct take off of Sharon Stone in “Basic Instinct”
OR clients who specifically ask for “Australians” (I cannot dignify this by expanding further)
OR clients who make offers to people after 6 interviews only to shut down that division making the person redundant after 4 weeks of work?
OR the candidate who takes another job after 2 days on new job with client because he was actually waiting for that job.
OR The clients of a start up, who scared the new hire on day 2 by sharing a joint in the office
OR Those candidates who just don’t turn up for interviews AT ALL.
OR The candidates who bring their entire family, wife, child etc to the interview and let them wait in reception during an interview?
OR The clients who just don’t pay?
OK sorry, the rant took over. Feel free to share some more with me
The point of this post? Let’s see the world for what it is? There are good and bad everywhere. To just get stuck into one area, one industry because it is an easy target is stupid and lazy. Sure things can be improved in the Recruitment industry, tell me an industry that cannot improve somewhere. I bet you can’t. (I’ve deliberately not linked to any of these Recruitment bagging “blogs” as I don’t want to give them any more “air” time than they have already stolen)
So, stop trying to get cheap plugs and visits to your websites by highlighting these things and generally talking rubbish, there is enough stuff to sort through on the internet without sensationalist hyperbole bagging an easy target! Hmmmm what ever happened to lawyer jokes?
I am the JITH Lord! OK, maybe a little over stated, but an interesting start to a blog right? I’m pretty sure that the JITH’s are related to the Sith’s depicted in the Star Wars movies (and the cool picture above), taking the Recruiting ninja idea to a whole new level! The Force v Ninja’s, I should call James Cameron now to secure the film rights.
OK, Sorry not really what I wanted to write about today.
I have been reading Glen Cathey‘s “Just in time Recruiting” series a lot after his inspirational talk an Australasian Talent Conference event last year (click on the link guys, there is another one coming up.. these are the events which changed my Recruiting life)… It would be quite safe to state that Glen’s talk at this event instilled a “man crush” from my then boss. I saw it change his whole philosophy on Recruitment.
Flash forward half a year or so, and wow, it’s been an interesting few months. Going back to an inhouse role. With Peerlo we looked at numerous Recruiting philosophies, I’ve tended to morph a few of these into my role now.
In my current position, the majority of the roles we Recruit for fall into one of maybe 2-3 categories. So, we aren’t an agency, and the variety of our roles won’t expand apart from the odd “Hail Mary” to help a client out. So I’m thinking I can do a bit of this “Lean Recruiting” stuff and morph it into my “Just in Time Hiring” (JITH) ideal.
The idea of “If it doesn’t add value… it’s waste” resonates with me a lot. This, I think is the backbone of any Consulting business in my eyes. Glen speaks about the 5 of the 7 wastes that “Lean” aims to eliminate. Not all of these are “wastes” to me or my company or areas I need to or want to eliminate. There is probably one section which I would change to have input to JITH
Let’s look at them:
Glen mentions: “In recruiting, your candidate pipeline is your inventory. More specifically, your work-in-process (WIP) candidate inventory.” further refined as “A group of candidates that a recruiter stays in routine contact to maintain a relationship with, without a specific and current hiring need is essentially a work-in-process (WIP) candidate inventory.” ie they are “paused” somewhere in the process. Glenn argues that the amount of time and effort that goes into the relationship building. I tend to agree with this. “In or out” I think. I understand timing is not always right, however constant “catch ups”, coffees etc without the ability to hire in the forseeable future, is a problem that has to be monitored.
Glenn states. “According to Lean, a “defect” is something that does not conform to specifications or expectations. When it comes to recruiting, I’m not suggesting that the people themselves are defects. However, candidates that are sourced, contacted, screened, and with whom a relationship is maintained that do not ultimately match the actual hiring need are defects of the recruiting process.”
Hard to argue with really. We had a great example of this recently in a meeting I attended. We were talking about a potential hire, the plusses and minuses of said candidate. People were on the fence. He had been in the “process” for a little while and some people were very Bullish about his potential for the company. Bottom line, question was asked “Would you hire this person with no reservation to work with you in this company?” We couldn’t get an unreserved “Yes” so therefore the person ended up being a firm “No!” Cut lose from the hiring process, not taking up anymore time.
Glenn states “Over-processing occurs any time more work is done than what is required by the customer. Engaging, screening and building and maintaining relationships with candidates that will never ultimately be submitted to a client/manager in consideration for an interview can be seen as performing more work than necessary and be classified as over-processing.” Agreed! Why bother? What stats/KPIs are you trying to maintain? Why would you invest heavily in people you would not ever realistically think of starting with your company? Not wanting to offend someone? Get a new career!
Glenn states: “Lean defines the waste of waiting as any time that something is held in wait of the next production step. In recruiting, waiting occurs whenever candidates are not being advanced through the recruiting and hiring process.”
Dead on! The efficiency of one’s process will make or break a hire. Take too long, those hires will disappear, someone else will hire them, or they will grow disinterested in you and your process. You really need to drive the process.
Overproduction: (this is the one I disagree with)
“Production ahead of and in excess of demand.” This is deemed wasteful for a Recruiter. Too many job applications, of which no-one gets a real personal response. Glen states “Traditional proactive candidate pipelining ahead of actual hiring need almost always leads to overproduction.” From my point of view, having too many qualified candidates, all the way through our Recruitment process ready to hire, is a great thing, not a waste. I like to have candidates ready, willing and able to go, as proper timely workforce planning is not always do-able in our business. We need to be ready, and try to eliminate the lag in hiring, which would ultimately be there if not prepared. Our process takes a while, and has a high exclusion rate, getting someone through, with all our ticks means I need this person fully engaged and bought into our brand and message. I will put work into these people, they deserve it, my company needs it, it’s value adding!
To move onto the “Just in time” Recruiting part. Glenn states that by eliminating these wasteful parts of a normal Recruiting workflow that ” Just-In-Time recruiting is a pull-based strategy of providing hiring managers/clients with candidates that exactly match their needs, when they want them, in the amount they want.”
What a great idea, concept. A bit utopian I think. To start from a zero base, find, attract, process and hire someone in a time efficient manner (and lets face it, most companies need them YESTERDAY!) . I am unsure this is really possible, but then again, I know I don’t have the skills of Glenn. Maybe I see things differently as part of an inhouse team now? But whilst I agree with a fair percentage of this model, I feel the need to change it just a smidge.
I firmly believe that Recruiting is the act of attracting people to your company, your roles, your ideals. Finding people who will come along for the ride and sharing with them the reasons why they should. Talking to people about your company, exploring talent channels. Sorting the wheat from the chaff, making the hard calls on those who would fit and those who wouldn’t. I have probably repeated this ideal ad infinitum of late around my office (driving those around me mental may I add) , “Companies should ALWAYS be Recruiting” (identifying, targeting, vetting, having conversations and coffee with people) “Just not always Hiring” (Hiring is the result of good Recruiting! I’ll hire these Recruits as required, knowing that those people identified will not always be available when we need them. If there is enough of them, I’ll live with that)
This is where I corrupted Glenn’s “Just in time Recruiting” ideal and (well, you can see what I did with this right?) and started going down the path of Just In Time Hiring.
Still sticking to the ideals of mostly eliminating waste, I agree with this philosophy mostly. However, in what we as Recruiting professionals do, the “Recruiting” isn’t the important thing in what we do. Sounds weird when you write it down doesn’t it. It’s really only the Hiring (and subsequent STARTING) that counts. Our value add, our purpose for being employed or engaged is to hire! How many of our stakeholders will care if we have a carefully maintained Talent Pool, great Social Media platforms, 100,000 “Likers on Facebook”. If we don’t put the right bums on the right seats at the right times our value diminishes!
Hiring is the all important thing here, not the Recruiting, my job doesn’t end if/when a Hiring Manager decides to interview a Candidate. An interview isn’t a win! The success of my role is based wholly and solely on the Hiring of great talent WHEN the company needs them. I’ll live with the Over Production, I’m actually hoping for Over Production, the more the merrier (of successfully Recruiter, qualified and processed people).
I always need to be Recruiting to achieve this. If I am ALWAYS Recruiting, I can be a JITH (Just In Time Hiring – incase you missed it) Lord, and that sounds pretty cool to me 🙂
I was once prolific, a nightly blogger, commenter, commentator, participant or stream filler! I’m more of a lurker at the moment, and it’s hard to put a finger on the reason.
There’s heaps going on out in the blogosphere, some of it is even interesting. There’s still debate that rages on in the Recruiting space, the old chestnuts of “Social media = silver bullet” “Twitter is great vs Twitter sucks” “Job Boards are Dead” versus “No we’re not!” “Passive v active candidates” etc etc etc blah blah blah ad infinitum.
So, why aren’t I blogging? Looking through the archives here, it really is sparodic. For the last couple of years really. Probably co-incides with a few core life events. Bub number 3 and now changing jobs twice… that, it seems puts a dampener on things. I have a number of half written posts here, is it the fact that I’m too spent to finish them? Am I not happy with the product I’m producing? Or just the fact that another bright shiny object catches my eye? Am I self conscious because of the vast quantity of posting happening?
Honestly probably a mix of all of the above, the general weariness a new Bub brings to a family, my wife starting a business, a whole heap of focus on 2 new jobs, it really doesn’t leave a lot of mental space for output. That said, this is about to change! I preach (I actually call it evangelising, but we all know the truth) this stuff to people, I am now going to start “Doing as I say”, be warned more content will start coming from this page. Doing makes doing happen, action reinvents itself. I need to get back into this and stir some creative juices, there are ideas I need to have, discussions I need to generate. GAME ON! Minimum one a week! promise (I hope)
It’s official.. I’ve changed my mind.
I used to struggle with the idea of “casual days”. You know those days where you don’t need to suit up in the office, you come in your jeans, or whatever. I’ll be the first to admit, I was brainwashed. I was convinced, and from what I had personally seen, that when you have a casual day in the office, it leads to a real “casual day”. I saw it time and again infiltrate into the psyche of some of my team mates. The edge disappeared, the chats seems to linger over the cubicle, lunches extended out and time on the phone diminished, let’s not talk about client or candidate meetings.
I had a dilemma upon joining Peerlo. The suit was out! and just regular clothes were well… in. (unless meeting clients or candidates face to face). It really threw me, I mean, dressing was easy, a suit everyday, big decisions consisted of which suit, which shirt and which colour tie, and the weekend was the only time I had to think of the rest of my wardrobe. But now, with a good proportion of my work either interstate, or sourcing, I wasn’t always externally facing so to speak. Could I actually work if I was wearing sneakers to work? Seriously? Well over time, (and it has been a year) I’ve grown into it and you know what? I don’t believe it has affected my professionalism. Although now I have more decisions to make and more thoughts to have before I leave the house of a morning. Do I have any meetings scheduled (if not why not?)? are they in person? (in between comes the panic of, “Do I have a shirt ironed?”) and then the big questions come… what to wear today then? Oh lord it gets tough. Lucky I don’t have too many choices, don’t tell my wife I said that 🙂
I’m not sure what it is? Is it a generational thing? Is it a maturity level of the office? Or is it just a changing way of the working life? I have come to learn though, that suits don’t equal professionalism or a measure of work ethic. Maybe I need to get a hoodie like Zuckerberg? Seems to work for him.
So…. I’m now ten months into this job with Peerlo now, time flies huh?
It’s been an interesting journey, it’s been a fun journey, but I tell you what…. I feel like I’ve learned a lot, about a lot of things, even myself! So far some of the interesting discoveries have been
1) I broke a promise to myself over the last couple of years. Almost 10 years ago I promised myself that I wouldn’t out stay my welcome in a company again (after doing that) However, I think I stayed too long in my last role. Nothing against the company, this is a me thing. I got stuck in a rut, I saw the world through “What it could be” glasses as opposed to those indispensable “Reality glasses”. I kept thinking things would change, that when common sense prevailed, my role would evolve. Bottom line: Pollyanna 0 Reality 1. I see it now, deep down I probably knew it then, but knowing it and doing something about it is a completely different thing.
I can see now, how my mental stimulation has changed. Just check out my blogs (or lack thereof) of late. I used to write until all hours of the morning. I had to expire my mental energy before I could sleep… Now days, I can barely stay up passed 11 (OK I am getting old). I miss it as I really enjoy writing, but a lot of the time, once I get home, help my wife get the kids off to bed, I”m mentally stuffed.
2) I was way too nice in my last role. Not saying I’m an out and out bastard now, however, in helping to build this business I’ve found some leads, nay potential clients, I’ve known for a while, try to take advantage of me. Assuming I’d take the bottom of the barrel deal being offered and be thankful. Nope… I’m all about mutual professional respect now. Don’t want to respect me and what I do? Think you can do it better? Cheaper? Better value? By all means be my guest. My Brand, My Companies Brand won’t be placed in a subservient position. To quote Patrick Swayze “Nobody puts Baby in the Corner”
3) I don’t have to wear a suit every day to the office to be a professional or to be productive! (I actually had it in my mind that I did, this was a tough paradigm to shake!)
4) I respect myself and the industry I am in. Discussions I’ve been able to have with prospective clients, who are now real clients have been great for reaffirmation. Not that I am shy on self belief, however when your message has gotten old and stale and no-one really listens after you’ve been in a place for an eternity, it is heartening to rekindle the confidence in you do know your stuff.
5) Work life balance is achievable without the guilt. I work in an environment where maturity is expected. Families are respected. You deliver, what you say you’re going to deliver, when you say you’re going to deliver it, and you can be anywhere, doing anything (within reason)
It’s interesting. How all my roles to date have led me to this role. How everything I’ve learned about Recruiting, business, respect and fun can be encapsulated in conversations I have daily with the owner of the business. They have been the building blocks to where I am now both personally and professionally. I’m really looking forward to stacking up more of these blocks and seeing where it will take us. I have grand plans, Peerlo has grand plans…. Watch this space the boy is growing up!