Category Archives: learning
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.
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 🙂
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!
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.
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.
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.