Category Archives: inspired

#ATCSYD OMG… Australian Talent Conference is GO!

If you’re reading this and you haven’t been able to attend this weeks #atcsyd (the Australasian Talent Conference in Sydney this week) there’s a couple of things I’d like to say.  Well, firstly, “sucks to be you” :), secondly, I apologies for the large input on my twitter feed and thirdly, better start working on your boss for budget for next year!

I mean what a day! Here’s my (attempted) brief overview of this day…

Firstly, up early enough for the birds to tell me to sssshhh.  I tried to leave the house under the secret cover of darkness, only to be sprung by my youngest, who proceeded to howl the house down at the very idea that Dad may be going somewhere without her.  Silver lining? I got to say “good bye” to everyone, as they all woke up… #sneakyfail

Uneventful commute to airport, however my perfect plan for easing into this day with a quiet coffee pre flight was hampered by the far far far queues awaiting me at airport security #coffeefail It was barely 6am people… Come on!!!

Sadly I missed the drumming which kicked off the #atcsyd (which isn’t a bad thing I don’t thing) and then walked in for the second half of Dr John Sullivan’s talk on “Competing through Agility” (missing first half was a bad thing!) The big takeaway I got from this talk was that Speed rocks! (no not that speed) Spoke about rates of improvement, and the imperative to improve at a higher rate than the business. (OK I missed a fair chunk of this session) Bottom line… speed and innovation, check the Twitter stream #atcsyd for more 🙂 Taco’s as bribes for cv’s were mentioned though.

The next session was “Will you consider Video interviewing before your boss tells you to try it”.  Interesting session, for me personally as I have been wrestling with this for most of this year. Kevin Wheeler and Gerard Ward presented on this, however, it was mostly Gerard from Testgrid talking about his product.  My issue with this topic was that people were using the terms “screening” and “interviewing” as interchangeable.  That is a concern for me.  However, I’m not yet convince that my audience or clients are ready as yet. I don’t think it will be far away though.  Also, need to note that some of these products are not yet mobile compliant, which to me is ludicrous and devalues their product.

The next session was delivered on “Fast-tracking Career success Through the Power of mentors” by Jen Dalitz.  She made some really good points, took a few tangents (but who doesn’t love a Beagle analogy?).  Lots of men versus women and how they work, I’m not sure if she was alluding that one was better than the other, just that they were different.  Some great tips around mentoring though, looking internally and externally.  Putting the idea of having a “Personal Board of Directors” ie a Board of different people with different skills to help you work through the ins and outs of this professional world.  I loved that idea.

The next session was something I was looking forward to as Glen Cathey was presenting with Gabriel Garcia.  They were talking about “Searching Big Data Immigrated from the US to Australia”, sadly this was more of a product pitch, with some interesting ideals thrown in for good measure.  Semantic searching, however, and the technology around that, is very cool!  Enterprise, Search Driven Business Intelligence…. “Say it aint so!” very cool idea.  It made me realise my limitations around search and as @JaredWoods noted… “Get my geek on and start to drool over the technology” Best quote from this was from Glen “Data has no value if you cannot retrieve it” .  Obviously limitations around this idea is the fact that if you have a crap database then, it would be useless, however for your Infosys’, Ernst & Young’s IBM’s etc I can see how great this could be.  Also good to see CareerOne trying to innovate and evolve from a pure Job board.

Incase you didn’t know, some of the best lessons learned from these conferences occur at the breaks, when you get to catch up and meet with people, other professionals, who in some cases you only know online.  I love this.  And yes this happened here today…

Enough about that… Lunch was great, with a cheesecake to die for at the end… OMG YUMMMMM!!!! no not sharing….

OK sorry.. off topic… The sessions coming up next were a choice of 4.   I chose @Davidals session on “Rethinking Attraction and Recruitment: Blue Ocean Philosophies” and Anthony Storks “If you can’t Attach Your New Talent, You’ll never engage them”

2 genuinely quality session, even if it was sad to miss the other two.

David started his talk with using the “cirque du soleil” as a case study of something that took a concept, re-thought it, eliminated competition and thrived in a dying industry.  Just through innovation and uniqueness! GOLD! He spoke about Red Sea fishing and Blue sea fishing, red being the conventional, tried, true, boring and limited version, with Blue being the innovation, standing out from the pack, being willing to make a difference version.  Obviously there was a bias towards the Blue style (and not just because “state of Origin” was on today, and we’re n Sydney)… I can’t go word for word… slide for slide here because, well, he’s already done it.  And if he wants to attach and share here, well, he will!  But the outline for being able to make innovation, build a compelling business case, think about starting to look at what you want to achieve in four quadrants…  Create Raise Eliminate Reduce… think about those… see how you go! (Sorry I couldn’t think of a witty, amusing acronym for that)

For Anthony Stork, I need to apologise, no I don’t need to apologise for him, just that his energy, passion and knowledge of his topic around employee Attachment was so impressive that it didn’t give a lot of space for taking notes (plus the fact that my wifi connection crapped itself about now).  But firstly, a great speaker.  Some major points coming out of this session were around the cost of attrition, where the buck stops, how to measure.  He spoke of  the importance of Core attachment perceptions of Security, trust & value, acceptance, and belonging. and how without these core perceptions being managed we were essentially doomed to fail, or perish I think the word was.  Compelling stuff, especially when he put a dollar value around the idea… (his numbers) a New hire is a $100,000 investment in the first 3 month… Seems like something you really want to get right huh?

After a quick break we saw Tanyth Lloyd (@voguist) headline the “World Cafe” part of the conference next… What is that? I hear you ask.  Essentially it is a big hall, 15 different topics to discuss on 15 different tables, each with a facilitator.  You pick a table, discuss there for 20 minutes… stop… regroup… share with room…. pick another topic and repeat.  Always interesting topics… I’ll attach the topics somewhere here (thanks for pic Glen Cathey) .  But let’s just say, what happens on tables 15 and 10, will stay on tables 15 and 10!

All this conference, just provided us the vehicle to take us to the final session of the day with the one and only Greg Savage.  If you don’t know Greg, Ok not personally, but if you haven’t heard of him (what are you reading this for) Google him, I’m sure he won’t mind.  Then watch, listen and learn.

Greg got the dud time, the tough time of the day.. the final person/speaker sitting in between 300 delegates and free beverages.  I have to say, I’ve conversed with Greg for a number of years now, we’ve agreed and disagreed on things, but this is the first time I’ve met him and heard him speak live.  All I can say is that I thoroughly recommend it.  I’d almost go as far as to say that if you want your Recruiters to get inspired by their job, and bounce back to their desks to GET THINGS done, they need to see Greg.  Greg is an evangelist for what we do.  But today he gave us a case study on how his company took to the Social side of things.  How his company… “Went Social”  Greg freely shares this case study, so for me to write about it would not do it justice… Just ask him, he’s never short of a word! 🙂

He likes to operate in “the REAL world” and apparently Recruiters operate in this world, which I tell you confused some delegates.  He spoke about not having a “social Media strategy” but weaving “Social” into the very fabric of their company.  The stats he used were compelling, as was his 11 pronged strategy, and really did raise some questions in my own head, of some things I will explore more when back in the office.  One thing he said that I’ll share that’ll stick with me for a while… “A Status update can fill a role!” think about that! (and this my friends is what you want out of a conference!)

Then of course the drinks and canopies came out to conclude a great day.  Looking forward to tomorrow, glad I got this out of my head tonight, need to make room for tomorrow 🙂

Thanks to Trevor Vas, Horace Chai, Martin Warren, Kevin Wheeler and the team for putting this on again.. Bring on tomorrow. So looking forward to meeting more people tomorrow… and if you read this and want to say hi to me…. please do, I won’t be hard to find…

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Social Media, Recruitment, Seriously, it ain’t that new!

I find it interesting, this world we live in.  I’m probably too entrenched in this Social Media, Recruiting space.  I get genuinely surprised when people either a) discover Social Media b) discover how to use it within Recruitment.  When people rock up at these conferences and are all starry eyed and “Wow’ed” at what they are discovering.  I know it is pretty cool stuff, which is why I like to go for these.  I too was once doe eyed listening at the foot of the wisdom tree sucking in as much as I could, and honestly… it changed my Recruiting life.  But that was many years ago now, Social Media was in its infancy, LinkedIn had less than a million people on it, Facebook was barely out of college, Twitter wasn’t thought of yet and RecruitingBlogs.com only had a couple of thousand users.  I still remember the nerves of hitting “publish” on my first blog post (@AdamAxon I think you’d remember) and expecting the world to somehow stop (it didn’t… I guess you knew that though huh?)

Why is Social media such a surprise for people now? 2 people join Linkedin every second they tell us.  Facebook has almost a billion people on it, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr etc etc etc ad infinitum.   It’s mainstream right? Not reserved as the pure domain of computer nerds and people who cannot connect with people in real life (we’re all there still though).  Right?  By hitting “publish” on this post, I’m probably preaching to the converted, but I’m typing it anyways!

The great thing I love about Social Media, is the speed of its evolution.  This speed makes it OK to try things, if it doesn’t work, fine, switch gears, mark down the lesson learned and go on to the next thing.  Failure doesn’t always mean the apocalypse, just ask questions about Google Wave.  The world of Social Media will forgive you and let you move on (and probably forget about your little mistake pretty quickly.. oh look something shiny….. sorry what was I talking about?)

Sometimes I think it’s healthy to sit back and look at the world around you.  Realise that not everyone thinks the same way, (yes, even with all the reciprocal smoke blowing on some of these blog sites) and be prepared to talk people through what you do.  Are you sure you know/understand why you do things? Social Media is still scary for people, especially people in companies, it is a move away from what they have traditionally done, things that have been successful.  Change is tough, change is confronting, and sometimes, it’s not always needed.  People need to understand why they are doing things, what’s in it for them! Not just follow blindly.  You need to have a reason, a business imperative to join in to the conversation.  I really don’t think having 3000 “Likers” or “followers” is a legitimate business goal, there I said it!

Find that reason, find that critical need, and the rest will happen.  It’s our job (us old time players in this space), to educate, challenge and support.  I’m learning not to assume that people know this stuff, which is a challenge for me, even though I’m not a Digital Native myself.  If you or your company are struggling to take the leap, don’t be scared, trust me (OK, I realise that was said by a Recruiter)… the water is fine.  You’ll find and learn by doing! That’s the best bit about Social Media’s evolution, you keep learning and evolving with it.  It’s a great ride, share it with people.

Recruiting Ninja’s lookout! The JITH Lords are coming

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:

Inventory:

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.

Defects:

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.

Over-processing:

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!

Waiting:

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 🙂

The way meetings should be!

This is just a fun post (well for me).

I was going to a meeting the other day and to keep the noise of the kids out of my head (who I was sharing a train carriage with) I had the headphones in just playing some “drown those kids out” type music.  I kept those headphones in all the way to my  meeting.  It gave me an idea….

How cool would it be to enter every meeting with your own entrance music?  (insert imagination dream style music here) “and here…… All the way from up the road….Weighing in at  …… An undisclosed number (lol)… It’s Peerlo’s own…… Daaaaaaaaannnnnn Nuuuurooooooooooo”  You could change it up depending on the tone of the meeting….

I saw a great example on Chuck recently:

(see Chuck.. http://youtu.be/xxBF8gId7Mo)

This is what I would use…..

What would you choose?

Wanted: Inspiration… DEAD or ALIVE


Well, here we go again… doing my nightly blog reading, and it seems it is the same stuff, different day. Hold on… did I just see a Groundhog?

Articles on Gen Y, v Gen X v Baby Boomers. Gen Y’s “you just don’t understand us!” Baby Boomers “and we really don’t care!” Gen X’s where is the money in this debate?
Articles on Thought leadership, who is one? how do you become one? and just because you say you are one…. are you really?
Articles on the next big technical advance (AKA twitter me this Batman! Does Twitter work for you)
Articles on the Recession. Are we close to the end? Of life as we know it or the Recession… depends on what you read.

Or variations of the above…

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Honestly, I’m getting a little jaded. I must be, I’m getting into conversations about the validity of a cover letter in a job search (again).

John Sumsers TOP 100 INFLUENCERS in the HR/Recruiting world may spark some interest, some great reading and some high level debate (or some low brow name calling, Jerry Spring style, which we all love). Hopefully John will have a good mix of the generations and where they sit in the HR/Rec value chain. Having been an avid reader of John’s over the years, I’d expect nothing less in what will prove to be a huge excise for John. (But will make him a great resource for those people Recruiting in the HR/Rec niche!)

Maybe it’s me. My life seems to have hit 4th gear, with holiday finished, commitments with the children and work commitments firing up across the country. Don’t get me wrong I am so appreciative for this and I value every minute. It’s just that I enjoy this part of my life, the late night blog reading, the learning about Recruitment and the frivolity between the participants. I seem to be missing that. It has left the building Elvis style.

Maybe it’s the missing chat area from one of my favourite sites. Maybe I’m a little more tired at the moment and don’t get around as much anymore, so only see those certain discussion/blog topics.

I’m obviously not a thought leader, as I cannot at this time of night come up with something fresh or alternative to what I’ve said, although a new kids book article could be on its way soon.. be warned.

I am happy, comfortable and challenged in my life and work.

So herein is the challenge blogoverse, give me something new! Get me thinking, inspire me… please.

Pie Night Clarity

Wow… what a night.

A night of mayhem, madness, excitement, order and anarchy, and let’s not forget, pride and fun and smiles.

That was my night tonight. I attended my son’s first football club meeting, in the form of a jumper presentation and pie night (A great Aussie tradition). It was Zach’s first involvement in a footy club, and his excitement all week in the lead up, seemed justified with his facial expressions as he took the whole thing in. The highlight for him (and his apparently very proud Dad) obviously being presented with his first “real” football playing jumper, and a great kit bag full of stuff from the AFL and its sponsors nab. (I’m not endorsing nab, however the amount of money they must pour into this astounds me. If every junior club and every junior player got the same stuff, well, let’s just say WOW!)

Another thing struck me, being in attendance tonight. How many people, freely give up their time for others. This is a volunteer/honorary organisation, run by people who just believe in it, and who want to contribute. Amazing!

I have always been pretty protective with my time. I find it hard to give more to anyone, as I save what I don’t use for work for my immediate family. My parents were always there for me, I saw my Dad every night, he was always home for dinner, Mum was there every afternoon after school, and Dad attended every single sporting event I had as a kid (which I think was every weekend, summer and winter). I want to provide the same for my kids. But there are some amazing people out there, who, I think can do all this and more.

I have been learning about so many people giving of late, it is just great for the soul, and has me questioning myself and feeling a little guilty.

From those who have given for those horrific bushfires in Victoria recently, to people in my own recruiting circles, who have been putting their own special talents to assist those who are suffering in this recession. People like the Susan Kang Nam, (the PinkOlive woman) who heads up a Career Club called SaltyLegs (really have to find out the origin of that name), to the RecruiterGuy Chris Hoyt, who apart from being the Talent Acquisition Guru at AT&T is actively involved in raising funds, well at the moment the Big Brother, Big Sister programmes with “bowling for kids” and more recently the people from JobCamp (#JobCamp), Luke Havey Palmer from Buzzle, and Stephen Collins, AKA @Trib Honestly, what a great concept. Putting together Employers, Unemployed and Specialist Recriuters who really can do something about making jobs for people in a room for 2 days to see if they can make a difference. These are all inspirational people, who’ve had inspirational ideas, and more important is the fact that they ACTED on them.

Well what can I say, whilst not in their league, it did make me put my hand up, much to the surprise to those who know me. For what? may you ask…. Just remember, you heard it here first I am going to be a brand new Auskick coach for the 5-6 year olds at our local club. Maybe I was inspired, or maybe they just put something in the pies?