Category Archives: learning

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.

Advertisements

#atcsyd Day 2.. The Awesomeness Returned!

Man what a day…. sorry, it’s late I’m writing this, but I just arrived at home. (took a few more days, went back to work, and now finished this)

But back to the start of my day…

Great start… woke up without the sound of crying (I have young children… this is a perfect start of a day!)

Then… awesome breakfast provided by the #atcsyd guys (the food at this event was magnificent!)

Rebecca Houghton was the emcee today, and for a lady who was introduced as someone who is self confessed as unfunny, she had the room giggling and laughing and well, eating out of the palm of her hand.. Even if she did crowdsource her 10,000 steps for the day. (I won’t tell anyone though)

Then Rebecca did something that has the potential to change my professional life.  She introduced Glen Cathey who presented  “Moneyball Approach to Recruitment” Big Data – Big Changes… aka The art of winning an Unfair game…

It’s fair to say that “Big Data” was the term for the day!

Changing of mindsets and questioning what Real Data you need to make GREAT decisions….. and can you validate your currently held assumptions and ensure you don’t hold any biases of any type.  He shocked (and worried) the majority of the people in the room, with some stats about the relative success of tall people (over 6 foot 2) versus not so tall people. (Glen stated that 3.9% of American males over 6’2, however 30% of CEOs are over 6’2, a disproportionate number you’d think… interpret as you will!)  Sadly I qualify for the latter.  On a personal note, I could hear my Dad in my head, throughout this presentation with the idea of the “Assumption” doctorate.  ie Don’t assume things, get backing from your ideas with statistical data.

Questions raised in my head were, what data do I have to challenge? What do I want to challenge?  As far as I know the majority of Recruiting is subjective, you like the person, they perform OK in interviews, their chances of getting hired are greater than those who don’t interview well, but may have other core skills.

With Moneyball Recruiting, Glenn, suggests we “Move away from subjective means of assessing talent and make hiring decisions more objective, fact and empirical data based means”  The idea that Google have a specific “People Analytics” team, gives us something to think about, apparently all “people decisions” at Google are based on Data and Analytics.

Imagine if as an employee you carry your statistics across your career like sports people do? Raw numbers out there for everyone to see and assess! How would you feel? Would it change the way you work?

Glenn then raised the idea that “Intelligence” is a core predictor of performance.  Statistics given stated that if you use “intelligence” as a core predictor of performance, you’ll be right 65% of the time.  That’s not a bad score  I wouldn’t think.  The question raised was “What is intelligence?” “Are we talking Emotional Intelligence? Street smarts or your IQ?”

Another question was raised, which realistically hit right at the heart of a core belief of what we do as Recruiters or Sourcers.  “Why do you want to hire an industry re-tread?” Someone over looked by someone else, or already working at another place.  Why do that or could you identify people outside your core beliefs and ideals who could do the job as effectively, if just viewed a little differently?  Looked at through more objective eyes, through the identification of core “Traits” or “signals of success”.  These questions had a huge impact on the crowd, you could almost hear all the cogs turning in the collective brains of the attendees… How can we re-look at what we do?  The big question was then posed “If you had to start all over again… what would you do differently?”

In case you were thinking the age of information was taking over, and Recruiters we fast becoming an endangered species, Glenn concluded that “Great strategies… without great people, are not worth a damn!”  So, we’re still hanging in there people.. room for us all yet!

Adding to the days geekfest was Simon Cariss talking about “Global intelligence leverages HCM Decision making”.   Essentially Simon took us on a magical tour of numbers.  (I saw in some circles it described as #dataporn!) Just having some fun with them, showing us how data can tell us a story.  He illustrated this story with the global launch of the virtual launch of the iPad 5 (it’s invisible folks!) and how everything connects.  This dude seriously had his geek on… (it was great). (Another highlight was Simon’s Australianising the infamous “Purple squirrel” with a “Red Possum” LOVED IT!)

He then asked a question, based around the idea that “the door of the CEO is always open, for the right information”.  What is the right information your CEO requires to make decisions? Can you simplify it down to one number? In the age of mobile information and smaller screens, maybe this is something you need to think about! (Apparently for those “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” fans, 42 is not the number!)

Howard Kotzen was up next “Building a case for intuitive Technology and integrated Talent management”, more talk of Big Data and continuing on the theme of “asking the right questions” a perfect follow up for Simon.  He spoke about talent ownership and the responsibilities for success.  How Recruitment should be seen as an Enterprise Resource Planning idea, where each silo of the process understands and appreciates the fact of their dependency on one another, striving for the same goal of company success.

Howard’s talk was followed by a person I was really looking forward to hearing, and meeting, Master Burnett.  He gave a talk on “Lean Recruitment Marketing” – I loved this talk, fast paced, thought provoking and practical.  Just what we (OK I’m speaking for myself) wanted in a conference like this.  It was tough to take notes, as my mind was going flat out trying to keep up with everything.  I took pics of the slides, which I’ll share if I get the permission of Trevor and his team.

Bottom lines (yes plural, as he made some great points which stuck with me and may have changed the way I look at Recruitment… again!)

Master asked us to think about our Marketing, and question “What’s changed in 10 years?”  Think about the channels you used, how many of them are obsolete now?

He spoke about the polarisation of our audience now across our multiple SPOPs (Social Points of Presence) cool term huh! and the fact that now the audience will talk back and readily question

Are we forcing our old stuff into new markets?

These Lean philosophies will test market, and see if our assumptions are accurate.  Try many things, in small doses across many mediums.  Measure, iterate, try again! (wash, rinse repeat!) Trust data over opinions, build and derive that data yourself!  And allow yourself the flexibility to move with the times.  Who would have thought about marketing/recruiting in Pinterest a year ago?  Be dictated to by the conversation and get to a stage where you are leading it!

He spoke about how in this age speed and flexibility are the new drivers of competitive advantage, process slows us down! (For those that know me, it was music to my ears)  Apparently, Life happens when you’re stuck in the middle of process!

Master was not talking about throwing “process” out the window, but get rid of in the aim of trying things, in small stages to reach an outcome (or not).  He encouraged us to think about outcomes versus output.  Don’t talk stats of interviews achieved, page views, eyeball minutes, etc.  Talk about outcomes, be specific, make it measurable, attainable, relevant and of course bound by strict time constraints.

The game changer?  This really resonated with me.  The outcome of successful Recruitment is great performance and success of the business!  What do you think about that? Not talking “bums on seats” in a timely manner, not talking time to hire or quality of hire, not talking longevity of hire, but business success.  BAM

(Makes sense doesn’t it, but haven’t really ever taken it to that extreme!)

Sadly, due to travel plans I had to miss the unconference sessions, but I have no doubt they would have continued down the stream of thought provocation.  I look forward to reading more posts as they filter out about this great conference.  Hat tip to all the organisers, speakers and attendees.  I just love the conversations! Can’t wait until the next one!

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 🙂

Suits don’t equal professionalism

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.

My take on the Sourcing Summit 2011 #SOSU11

Last week I attended the first ever Sourcing Summit, and before I go too far into this I must congratulate both Phil Tusing and Andrea Mitchell for putting on the first event of its type in Australia.  I think it was a great success with both the quality of the speakers, but for the attendees too, the conversations at breaks were inspiring!

The day didn’t start the best, with the super early morning flight, the coffee spillage thanks to a clumsy cabbie, Thunderbird looking hair when I arrived. But thanks to a quick splash of water (and to Andrea for letting me know), reversible hand dryers, and my emergency pack of “don’t look stupid”materials in my backpack (and another coffee) we got back on track.

It was a little intimidating listening to a lot of these speakers, man,  there are some smart people on this planet, wish I was more like them!   I’ll write about my highlights here, I seriously don’t have the bandwidth to write about every speaker, so if I missed you, I apologise right now… Sorry

One of the most used terms of this summit was “engagement” and let me tell you, I was engaged immediately by Gavin Heaton’s presentation, as one of the first slides spoke about his coffee club, I mean come on…. “coffee”after that morning? He had my attention.   This guy is super smart, had some great sound bites which were duly tweeted around the world in real-time, with the bottom line being, think about, learn about, engage with, and continually talk to your community….

@servantofchaos says “every business is only a generation away from extinction” #sosu11

#SOSU11 @servantofchaos taking us through a history lesson – looking for a job in the paper 🙂

andreamitchell  Love that @servantofchaos is referencing Moore’s Law #sosu11

@servantofchaos is talking about the need for a marketing mindset in sourcing #sosu11

Brent Pearson (someone I’ve looked up to and respected for years, but have never met) was next up, my notes initially parked him somewhere between a realist and a grump at the industry.  I ended up pegging him as a passionate realist with a pinch of cynicism.  But boy is he smart.  His initial statement of “I’m going to upset some people in this room today” set the tone for me, I was hooked!  His video was entertaining and his message sound.  To summarize, with a few liberties (because it’s my blog) … Firstly, don’t be seduced by all the technology that comes out in this space. (tick…. Been there done that, it sucks, but you got to try things, you may get the winner) Then, how do you know if it’s any good? YOU MEASURE and Benchmark!

Brent gave some great stats and a case study in terms of a client of his business (HRX) about source of application and attempting to disprove the all things Facebook and Twitter, where there was a little hiccup.  However, I didn’t think it proved enough, not sure if it was extrapolated out far enough.  It proved an idea around using Social Media from an attraction point of view, which was great, and looking at it as a tool to help direct your marketing budget.  Great! However I think you would have to work backwards from analysing where the people you have hired have come from, and the focus your funds there.  You can get all the applications you want from your “Google adwords” but if you don’t hire any of those applicants, what’s the point?

Perhaps the most interesting presentation was that of Jason Timor, the Indigenous Recruitment Advisor at QANTAS. It was a really interesting presentation, fascinating in fact. Really impressive that a company actually has a programme like this. What John highlighted most, in my mind, was the idea that with all the talk of community, talent pooling and technology, you still cannot escape the fact that this is a people business. sitting down having a cup of tea with people, respecting where you are, who you’re talking to, is a very effective attraction strategy. someone building IRL (in real life) talent communities. Just made me smile listening to him.  Simple (and very effective) Science

Simon Townsend from Deloitte, the innovation centre, just baffled me. He had some great soundbites which I eagerly tweeted, probably masking the fact that a lot of what he said net over my head. But a brilliant mind, and he saw things in a very unique way. Just made me want to be better and have lots more resources around me.

#sosu11 yammer is twitter in a straightjacket @wittering :)”
@fjmorales: having my mind melted again at #SOSU11 by @wittering
“culture of fun with serious intent” @wittering 🙂 like that”
DamonKlotz  “You can only stumble if you are moving forward. Love it! #sosu11

Paul Jacobs. Now this was another guy I was looking forward to talking to. The energetic, friendly and quite amusing community DJ from NZ. Another person I’d been communication with for years but never met. Paul is a bright bloke, who loves his technology and social media. He also provided the best quote of the day “you can shake my muffin” (it’ll lose something if I put in context) and was also half of the winning tweet of the day

“Sure thing RT @DamonKlotz: Get me a beer from the chilly bin would ya! RT @pauljacobs4real: Thongs? It’s farking jandals people#SOSU11

Paul however, tried to escape the live blogging critiques ie tweeting of his presentation (He said it was to bring a touch of an unconference to the event, I know better 🙂 ). He got everyone standing, worried people as he started with a roving mike and then asked a question which I think the answers even surprised him. He asked the room (rephrased here by me) what was more important in sourcing, technology or the human touch? Surprisingly, ni a room full of sourcing geeks, there was a heavy leaning to the human touch. Even if he had to make a new third actor of a mix of both. (my choice)

The final presenter I’ll talk about is Christian Leloux.  As always he impressed with his passion and knowledge of sourcing and how he is engineering the function in Ernst & Young. With all the technology talk, process and gadget wowing of the process, Christian said the most poignant thing of the whole summit when he said “bottom line, this is all about getting bums on seats right? And solving business problems”. It was a statement I was waiting for, it was a statement, which to me validated the whole Summit.

“sourcing not a skillset any more it is a vocation!!! @Cleloux

There were 2 days to this summit, I only attended one, however, for a first up event, in a function that really is in its infancy in Australia, I was proud to be there, and to be an answer to a quiz question!

5 Lessons learned

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!

Twitter and me.


We’re great mates. We go back a year ago, and our friendship has blossomed as time has gone on.

I was listening to Bill Boorman and the crew from his Ready for Liftoff radio show, and they were talking about Twitter for learning. They were looking at this from a different perspective to me. They were talking about running training courses using Social Media. Honestly that didn’t interest me that much, even though I’ve flirted with the idea of potentially using Second Life to run virtual training events.

However, Twitter and Training go hand in hand for me. I’m talking my training, my own personal development. Who would have thought, my daily dose of training 140 characters at a time.

When I initially joined Twitter, I had no idea what I was going to do with this weirdly named device, which did something called “micro-blogging”, I’d only just got my head around Blogging, blogging. What could I possibly do in 140 Characters? I lurked, I followed/connected to Recruiting legends, up and comers, people I knew of and people who just have damn good ideas. They all knew people, who knew people, who knew people etc etc etc. They all tweeted, they all re-tweeted each others messages, which mashed up quotes (which annoy me), statements, quotes, linked to blogs and engaged in debate/discussion.

I was seduced to engage, to add my 2 cents to conversations, and connected with more people. My network grew, let’s be honest, my network of followers v followees is not big in global Twitter terms, but it adds value to me.

I’ve been exposed to more information with Social media than I had for all my years of experience before I caught the wave. Twitter makes it even more accessible.

It’s always going, people are tweeting 24/7, so I’m getting information from UK, US, Australia, Asia etc, no matter when I check in.

That said, you can over do it. You can be distracted by the beeping of your tweetdeck, the allure of messages, witty comments or conversations you must be part of. Your day can disappear, from what you are paid to do to, to finding out what else is going on. You must be disciplined about it and only Tweet when the tweeting is good.

I LIED TO YOU

OK, so I lied… There I said it.

More of a lie of omission. I was reading over my blog, which has gone way longer that I actually expected it to, I mean who’d have thought that I’d still be doing this 18 months on. Anyway, I wrote an entry in February titled, “Why I blog” I wrote all the things I was feeling at the time, but re-reading it, I missed something out. Why I started it?

This will sound bad, but the honest answer is money. I had this great idea that if I wrote a blog, whacked some Google Adsense on the side of it, and I’d be sitting back having a full time job just counting the cash that would just roll in. Funnily enough… It didn’t work. Checking my balance, after over 18 months and almost 90 posts now… I’m up to a grand total of AUD$5.67. Maybe I could build a personal brand which will launch my career internationally? Not really.

So what is in it for me then? Surely there has to be something? I’m not a coach, who by their very presence in Social Media is advertising their products and services (even if they say they aren’t), I’m not a social media guru, but I’ve learned about a lot of new stuff I’ve had to try, I’m not part of an agency, which would use this as company branding to show the strength of their Recruiters and themselves. Somewhere where it could be possible to show a genuine return on the investment put into it. That said it is only time…

I figured it out, bottom line reason. Because it’s only fair. A simple answer really, but the god honest truth (with the fact that I enjoy it, blogging and learning more about Recruitment has become my hobby too. Sad isn’t it)

What do I mean? I really feel like I’m part of a community here and by here I mean in the social media realm. Communities like Recruitingblogs.com, ERE.net and the Australia/NZ site hosted by Paul Jacobs Recruitment 2.0 Asia Pacific. These places have become my professional life blood. People from all over the world contributing and learning from one another. Sure there are a constant few names that pop up in conversations, or writing blogs or contributing to conversations, forums etc. I’m now pretty comfortable saying I have friends all over the world now, that I have never met. I’d like to one day, but I feel like I know them.

These people are spending their time writing articles, contributing to conversations, that I am reading. FOR FREE! I honestly believe it is the least I can do to put a little back. If it adds value to anyone, then that’s a bonus, but it’s what happens in a community. Give and take you know.

There are some amazing people out there giving their time and expertise for free, all because they believe in the industry, are passionate about what they do and genuinely feel the need to basically help out. Check out those sites I mentioned before to see what I mean. If you’re a Recruiter and you’re not on these sites, then you are doing yourself and you company a disservice. Just like in Sales, you learn more by listening than talking, (you know the old 2 ears 1 mouth, use in that ratio) but to get the most out of things, you still have to contribute, open your mouth, get your hands on your keyboard and get into it.

Don’t get me wrong, if I can find a way to seriously monetize my blog, then I’m all over it (I feel nervous that I will get lots more spam tweets now), until then, my day job still pays the bills and until child number 3 arrives, my blog, my twitter, my social media outlets is what keeps me up happily up at night.

Turn the lights out when your finished, 2008 is done

Well, that’s it isn’t it? Work for 2008 just about done. What a year it has been….. changes, growth, finding a voice and confidence in the world and learnt by the bucket load.

I’ve found this blogosphere and am really enjoying contributing and learning from peers and industry experts, not just from my chosen field, but for life in general, I am constantly amazed at the information available through this wonderful medium.

I’ve seen myself grow, personally and professionally, watched my family grow and experienced the joy that is watching my wife assist my children in their growth, I’d like to take some credit, but hey credit where it is due, she spends the majority of the time with them… I am the novelty act, for bath time, bed time, morning milk and weekends. You wont find a prouder man… to the point I used my ability to get home for bath time in a film festival I ran for my work.

http://www.facebook.com/v/23854606753

We’ve enjoyed good health and lots of laughs, you have to be happy with that. In April my wife and I will achieve 10 years of marriage… who’da thought it… she’s a brave woman, and I’m a lucky man.

Professionally, one of the highlights was watching my team develop and achieve some very challenging goals with some innovative solutions using technology to our advantage.

I attended my first Australasian Talent Conference and was amazed by how that affected me and my outlook on life, personally and professionally. To have conversations with Heather Hamilton, Dave Mendoza, Rob McIntosh, Shally Steckerl, Kevin Wheeler et al helped accelerate my development as a professional more than anything else in my almost 15 years experience to date.. if you see this guys.. thank you. It saddens me that with the economic climate outlook for 2009 may exclude me from the 2009 session.

I am about to start a break at home, and can’t wait to wind down and enjoy the time with family and friends, especially those friends of mine who have returned from London for the Christmas season. They added to my shot glass collection.. gotta love them.

So to anyone reading this… Merry Christmas, have a happy and safe New Year. Don’t be shy, please add comments it will be great to know people are actually reading things.

Goodbye 2008, thanks for coming, we had fun.