Category Archives: technology

4 factors changing the face of in-house Recruitment… Are you up for it?

 

I am an evolutionist.  I love seeing things evolve, people, places, teams and functions.  Looking back to 2002 (yep, all that way) when I first landed into the world of in-house Recruitment, it’s interesting to see how things have changed as much as they have stayed the same.

I went in-house for the same reasons of many, I hated the agency land, whilst I enjoyed the cut and thrust as I am a competitive bugger, I struggled with the closing and ended up hating the fact that no matter how we dressed it up, or changed our titles from Account Managers to Consultants etc, it was still hard core sales.  I struggled to come to grips with the worlds perception of what I did and it clouded my own perception of myself, my self worth.  After having a good trot with one agency (5 Agency years, I think that is 30 normal human years), and a couple of false starts in a few others, I landed a job inhouse.  Thinking it will be a cruisey way to ply my trade without the fear of those daily stand up meetings answering “Have you made 50 calls today?” “How many new roles?” “How many client visits?” “How many submissions have you made?””How many interviews have you scheduled?” and of course “How much MONEY have you billed today?”

I thought it (the in-house) role would be all the things I loved about this job function without all the shit that goes with it in Agency land.  Sadly, I found that in-house roles came with their own brand of shit to deal with.

It was a function viewed as a subservient part of a glorious HR realm.  A poor cousin if you would.  It was something that the HR people thought they knew how to do, just didn’t want to lower themselves to actually participate in the activity.  They had more important things to deal with like, L&D, OH&S, Remuneration surveys, and writing policies! (I remember someone in an HR team actually saying “I’m not here to talk to the people, I’m here to do HR!”) However, they were happy to give their 2 cents (OK a little more) on how to do it.  Multiple lessons in egg sucking did occur.

On top of this, is was still near impossible to escape the tainting that being an Agency Recruiter gave me, even in-house.  I was still known as “Agency Dan” (and no I don’t think it was for my great skills and winning smile!) behind my back.

That role did transform, and I’ve noticed the evolution happening throughout the market, as the importance of your incoming talent increases.  I hear GE just hired 30-40 Recruiting people for a centre of excellence in Melbourne, that’s got to tell you something!

With that evolution, comes more responsibility, more roles to play within an organisation.  The advent of Social Media, I feel has begun to transform the role once more.

4 areas largely impacted or bolted onto the role now seem to be:

  • Strategic planning
  • Marketing
  • Public Relations
  • Entrepreneurial or Future facers

Strategic planning:

Formulating, internal and external succession plans.  Building and maintaining an engaged (had to say that word, sorry) talent pool, not just a mailing list.  I’ve seen Recruiters being involved in spotting companies for acquisition, I’ve seen Recruiters being the person “on Point” for the company when looking at moving into a new geographic region, exploring the market and the main players in it. (Not sure any of these things would have happened 10 years ago.

Marketing

This is the tough one.  There is now a blurred line between the two areas.  The term Employment Brand versus Corporate brand has really put this into focus for most Recruiting functions.  The realisation (in some companies) that any external marketing has an effect on Recruitment has changed the landscape.  10 years ago, who would have thought about having Recruitment have a say in the website development (apart from the tiny careers page) ? Who would have seen the Financial Controller/CFO have to include input from the Recruitment department in the making of the Annual Report?  But we do now! These are things that the discerning candidate will check.

Public Relations

Again, the rise and rise of social media has seen the need for Recruiters to start dabbling here.  Messages about your company, your brand can come from anywhere within or outside your company.  Who keeps tabs on this?  Away from products, most things mentioned on forums etc are employment based.  “This person is crap to work with” “Their Recruitment process sucks, they never got back to me” “stupid test” “they have no idea” “I heard they lost their Microsoft accreditation” As a Recruitment department you have to be across this.  The messaging going out impacts our lives as Recruiters, the messaging will change perceptions of what we are going to market with.  We need to be inserted into the planning.

Entrepreneurial or Future facers

With technology streaming ahead, there is an imperative to keep upto date with what is going on.  To evaluate what will and what won’t work for you.  Getting an edge, could help you out do your competitors, or vice versa.  You need to be trialling new things, have you trialled video interviewing? Sourcing from Facebook or YouTube? Is your ATS upto scratch?  Whilst I agree with the saying “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” I love a bit of tweaking.  You need to have some flair, take a risk, see if it works for you and your company.  Are you looking to the future and assessing what trends could mean for your company and your workforce? What does outsourcing or insourcing mean for your company? What does the increase in virtual teams or working from home mean for you? Is there an implication for your company with the well documented “ageing workforce” and the impending rise of Gen Y or millenials?  Does BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and Cloud technologies have an impact on your business and the way you work, and thus what you can offer a workforce?  These are all thoughts a Recruiting function should be considering.  10 years ago, I wasn’t aware of it happening, even in the agency field.  Do you as a Recruiting leader have the support within your business to be able to make mistakes?

I can see how in large companies this could be a political mine field, blurred lines of responsibility, lots of autographs to get to get something done.  But in smaller companies, without these restrictions these are growth areas for the “Recruiter”.  Do we have the skills to handle it? Can they be learned easily? Can we break out of our own moulds and embrace it? I’m excited! Are you?

#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…

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.

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!

For those of us technically challenged, this will blow you mind

This was presented to a group of Sony executives last year.

Very thought provoking!