Category Archives: competition

Musings from a Recruitment Tragic: Why I love X-Factor

It took me a while, but I figured out why I love this show.

I thought it was the fact that people we getting their dreams coming true? Maybe it was the extracting the water of the people who’s friends weren’t nice enough to tell them they have no talent?  Maybe it is the extraordinary talent that turns up year on year?

But you know what… it’s sad, I figured it out, it’s because it’s a whole nation wide Recruitment campaign!  Awesome right? Well for a tragic like me it is..

Come on, we all dream of this kind of application rate, and seriously how hard was it to attract all these people? What? You’re up against Idolwhoever’s got talent, etc… ? So what?  The challenge of course is sorting through all the chaff to get to the wheat, and from the limited amount I’m allowed to see, there is a hell of a lot of that.

Interviews are brief, to the point and targeted.  “Sing for us”, BANG done Yes/No … NEXT! repeat.

As a Recruiter, damn that’s tedious, but hey, we’ve all been there!  Quick decisions are made, people are cut.  Then the challenges come.  Show me how much you want it!  Let us put you under some pressure and see how you handle it.  Sick? too bad, suck it up, don’t get along with your team mates? suck it up, DELIVER! Again…. who doesn’t like a good targeted role play?

Each point being a veto point, and each veto gets harder and harder as it gets more and more personal to the person delivering the news.  Luckily, the other side is shown too, making the reality of how it feels to not success in something you really want, well real.  I hope you have all been there! Sat there dumb founded when you didn’t get what you really wanted when you wanted it!  If not, well you have to put yourself out there more!  It’ll make you a better Recruiter! Trust me, it’s personal to the person you’re turning down.

As with all Recruiting, not everyone will agree with the final decision, there will be pros and cons for everyone.  (It seems I have no idea, tonights results on the X-Factor were almost polar opposite from what I would have done, well with one of the judges at least.  Seems I wasn’t alone)

All the way through to the one winner, the successful applicant, the  person hired for the job! I want streamers, a single released, huge media coverage and an Australian wide audience next time I hire someone!!!!

I can dream! It’s not about being a X-Factor champion, Australian Idol, or whatever else, as I know that won’t happen.  But a Recruitment process like that, well, yeah.. sign me up!

Musings from #Rectec12, OK it’s not timely!

Ok it’s no secret that I love conferences.  The meeting of people, the sharing of ideas, sometimes the food and the vendors peddling their wares around the outside, but essentially I love the feeling of immersion in my career, in what I do, hearing new ideas, and getting new sparks to go back to the office and cause havoc with.  All these things were present at Phil Tusings latest Rectec.

This is the first Rectec I have attended, and I wasn’t let down.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, hoping to learn about some new tools and tricks I hadn’t heard of before and getting some perspectives on my world of Recruitment from people I didn’t know yet!  Ticks all round please

Firstly props to Phil for assembling such a great tribe of presenters and to Dave G for wrangling them all into line and keeping the conference on track (not an easy feet in a room full of Recruiters who love a good chat).

Quite simply, I need to just talk about my highlights or I will be writing forever, so here goes.  Apologies for those I don’t mention.

Brad Cook kicked us off in fine style.  A talk from the trenches if you would, someone who has built, driven, analysed and built again recruiting processes and metrics which have had a serious business impact, especially to his current company, Informatica.  It looked like you really need a big budget and high level support to achieve things, but he shared a lot of free ideas too.  Lots of food for thought and things to investigate once back in the office.

Mark Havercroft took to the stage in a relaxed and comfortable manner, I suppose you can when you are representing IBM.  He too spoke about BIG DATA, but introduced me to “Innovation Man” a truly superb character, reinforcing the need to actually put some of this “high level” talk, and “wishful thinking” into action.

Andrew Butow, a young guy I hadn’t heard about before, took to the stage in what can only be described as infectious enthusiasm.  I think he infected the whole crowd and had everyone eating out of his had throughout his presentation in “Gamification”.  It really was a memorable presentation.  He alluded to the fact that (sorry folks) gamification is nothing new, it’s always been there, just in different guises.  The old “Corporate ladder” being the most recognisable.  He was able to transfix the crowd and even convert a few nay sayers in the process, there was a great buzz around the room after this, and probably quite a few plans hatching or at least conversations being had in Recruiting departments across the country.

Carolyn Chyams, what can I say about Carolyn? A practical and entertaining presentation.  It was great to finally meet her in person and then see the tips and tricks her and Hannah Savage have plotted on Social Media to get the Firebrand brand where it sits today.  (For those who haven’t heard about what they have done with the Firebrand brand….. where have you been? )  Pulling back the screen a little and really sharing, I have pages of notes (Yes, I even got off Twitter and took copious of hand written notes which I am happy to say I can still read!)

Mike Casey, I remember when Grad connection was just run by 3 young guys who wanted to have fun and live the dream.  Nothing has changed there 🙂 The self proclaimed nerds, who understand this internet stuff so the rest of us plebs don’t need to, well, Mike really threw some spanners in the works for me.  He added to the stats we’d been hearing all day about the rise and rise of mobile technology, with a practical step forward.  In the process he kind of contradicted one of the other presenters about the need for an app versus a mobile ready product.  His term of “Mobile first Development” really hit a nerve with me.  It caused me to get straight on the phone to my business and change the scope of development for our website.  So Devs, blame Mike for your extra workload, but it’s going to be fun learning about HTML5, ResponsiveCSS and Bootstrap isn’t it?

You really need to be thankful for a conference where you can get some information, have some conversations with industry thought leaders and walk away with some insights, some ideas and some ways to practically implement.  So much for a quiet period leading into Christmas.  Congrats to all involved again, a great day Phil.

The King is dead. Long live the king! and #toprecruitertv

Driving in the car the other day with my kids, they were astounded when an announcement came on the radio that sadly a gentleman who was the oldest man in the world died at the ripe old age of 122, that’s right, 122, passport says born in 1890.  See report here Come on, that’s pretty impressive, brings in 2 new centuries, and surviving 2 world wars, a cold war etc.  I dips me lid.

My son, gave some rare insight though.  “Who’s number one now Dad?” Great question, who knows? But raised an interesting point.  You’re only number one in anything for a finite amount of time, only the most experienced, biggest biller, number one ranked world tennis player etc (you get the point right?).  The world moves on, the next generation moves in, or something else changes.  Sounds like, “The King is dead. Long live the king”, a sobering thought really.

I was excited recently with the launch of “Top Recruiter” for those who haven’t heard about it.  It is a “reality show” about Recruiters and Recruiting. Pitching the “best of the best” (implied air quotes too) against each other, to see who is the best recruiter, and apparently help America’s job hunting, with tips and tricks in finding their next job.  All for the grand prize of being names “Top Recruiter” and getting the notoriety of being named such.  You don’t need to invest too much time to watch the webisodes, mostly (only been two so far) are around 8 minutes and have had more footage of ladies legs from the knee down, fast cars and planes than content.  But I feel we’ll get there soon.

They’ve tried to add a bit of spice and controversy to the mix already, by brining in (as a contestant) an ex-husband of one of the previously announced contestants. Who right off the bat endears himself to the public, labelling his ex-wife a “fucking nutjob”.

(OK tenuous long bow here)  This guy reminded me of the conversation I had with my son in the car about the oldest guy.  Not that he was/is that old, but in the original interview with him to give the public a bit of a bio about himself, he stated something which stuck in my gut.  Not to quote directly, (because I’d have to go through and watch this episode again), but he says something like “I defy anyone to show they have more experience in this industry than me” .  Seriously? I haven’t read his bio, and he may be an octogenerian with a great plastic surgeon, but I think I’d almost have him covered, let alone luminaries like John Sumser, Steve Levy, Gerry Crispin, hell, Jerry Albright for goodness sake (not calling you gents old.. but….. 🙂 )  I realise on these shows humility probably needs to take a backseat letting ego, and overt confidence take the drivers seat, but please make it realistic, it’s not WWE

There’s no crying in Football! or should there be?

I had a great day today. Did one of the things I love doing most of the world. I went to the MCG with my Dad and my son (and cousin and 90,000 of my best friends) to watch an AFL game. I just love it. The atmosphere, the food, the shouting, the passion, the raw combative power and nature of the game.

I get pretty fired up at these games, I’m not my normal calm self, I kind of get involved. However I have had to calm/centre myself, now I have to be an example to my son. I do need to turn it down a few notches.

I found myself conflicted today however. Let me paint you the scene. The team I (and my son) support got absolutely thumped. We put up a bit of a fight, but in the end, we weren’t really good enough on the day. My son was shattered. It upset him greatly that we were losing, and tears started at an early stage.

This surprised me a bit, he hadn’t really done this before. My initial reaction was to calm him down. Remind him that losing happens, you have to take your turn and you need to be a good sport and that tears for not winning is not really acceptable. Then I thought a little more. Is this teaching him to accept losing? Should I be teaching this? It’s good to hate losing and to be single focused in achieving what you want. There has to be some level of competitiveness in you to be successful, and an acceptance of losing, well…. is it acceptable?

I was/am really conflicted. I’ve been told that to be more successful personally I need to be harder, (you’re too nice) have a bit more mongrel in me. OK losing happens. Should I be teaching that you have to like it? You should swallow it, grit your teeth, learn from it and come back better next time. But not like it, isn’t that accepting mediocrity?

Maybe this makes me a bad person or parent. I do believe that as a kid it isn’t if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game that counts, especially when you are learning skills, sports or at school, but do I believe that as an adult?