Archive for the ‘ Social Media ’ Category

Social Media & Recruitment -more questions than answers?

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I am going to start off by saying I am a big fan of some of the Social Media platforms and the use of them in the recruitment process. I am not an expert as some claim they are themselves; I am an enthusiast with real first-hand experience in using them.

Over the last few years I have been an active participant on some of the online communities and platforms that many many people are using. In that time some of these platforms have proved to be very enjoyable and useful indeed, especially Twitter and LinkedIn. I am comfortable with each and get a huge amount of satisfaction from both. They have both had a huge impact on my life.

Thousands of people try to convince us that mastery of the various Social Media platforms is essential for all those looking for work. Others promote them as essential platforms for agencies and employers as recruiting tools. Many of us have been to presentations that deal with the issue of using Social Media platforms as recruiting tools; some of these delivered by people with more knowledge than us, others I fear by people who might have some understanding of online communities but know little about their application and use in business, let alone recruiting and share their basic knowledge only for a fee. All of these presentations however tell us that if we are not using Social Media we are missing a trick and won’t have access to either the jobs we seek or the candidates we need to hire.

Yet I’ve had conversations with plenty, mostly senior people, who either don’t have LinkedIn profiles or that they have taken their profiles down because they are fed up with the annoying spam they get from head-hunters, agencies and recruiters. One could argue that if they setup their profiles right then this shouldn’t happen. Sadly they don’t and it does. There are only just over 100 million profiles on LinkedIn. That leaves the vast majority of the market workforces not on it.

Much has been said and written about the power of social media as a recruiting tool and to be honest most of it is rubbish and promotional speculation created by people or companies who want you to spend money with them. I do believe there is value in embracing the platforms to get the most out of them. There are benefits and yes people and companies have used it to further themselves, myself included. I’ve found a fantastic job (or it found me) as a result of my enthusiasm for Social Media. I’ve also made some of the best friends I could hope for, but it is not the be-all-and-end-all. Most of the people I know who embrace the various Social Media platforms use it for engagement and interaction on a personal level, many indeed use it for business purposes, either to promote themselves or their businesses in one way or another. That is the great thing about LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as all other Social Media platforms; it is different things to different people. It is not absolute.

In speaking to many in-house recruiters and many agencies each month the subject of the best ways to find the right candidates is always part of the conversation. Some use the various platforms very effectively, however the majority still don’t. They, as well as the candidates they seek tend to rely on traditional methods of attraction; job boards (including LinkedIn in this format) and agencies etc. One thing is clear, many people in recruitment can’t or don’t make much use of Social Media platforms either because they lack the time, interest or sadly the social skills and confidence to do so or they don’t believe they actually need to. (It shouldn’t be a surprise. Let’s face it many many people still don’t know how to use a phone effectively). In fact I would be extremely surprised if most job hunters don’t go to agencies and job boards and corporate sites first to find work, rather than think of to various alternate social platforms. I don’t blame them. If the companies don’t use them what point is there?

This leads to the two questions that prompted this blog post:-

If the Recruiters are not using Social Media platforms why should Candidates and why are they being pushed so hard to do so?

If the Candidates are not using Social Media platforms why should Employers and why are they being pushed so hard to do so?

I am sure there are plenty of opinions as well as answers to these two questions, would love to hear what you all think.

music of the day = Everblue by Paul Cusick

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Write your own damn blog!

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]

I am willing to be up front and state that I have moderated a comment on this blog post and rejected it as spam. It was the inspiration for this spontaneous post.

Unfortunately there are one or two people that tend to comment quite a bit on other peoples blog posts in order to antagonise or worse, just plain promote themselves, their company or their products under the guise of very thinly veiled comments. Not here you don’t.

It is a dilemma isn’t it? Do we allow open and honest debate letting anyone comment and letting the reader decide or should we give a slap to those that abuse the platform, lazily using it as an opportunity to influence, abuse or promote to someone else’s readers?

I suspect that the usual suspects will respond to this. If they do should I point them out so that you can read what they write on other people’s blogs and see why I am taking this stance?

Thoughts please.

Do you need a LinkedIn Profile to be trusted?

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]
I have a question for you; the post title isn’t it. But first a bit of background

For those that don’t know I frequent the Twitterverse quite a bit and am generally happy to chat with people in the open on Twitter about anything that interests me. Yesterday evening I struck up a conversation on Twitter with @Jerry_Albright, someone who follows me and whom I have followed for some time and is known to many through his blog www.jerrytherecruiter.com. Jerry and I share a professional interest in recruiting and as of last night I now know that we also enjoy fishing. So the conversation continued. After a while I get a question from a completely unknown Twitter user. Not a problem as this happens a lot and I concluded that this person follows Jerry or had searched on conversations around fishing and decided to join in. Always glad to talk fishing with people. On further investigation, his Twitter profile indicates that he too is interested in recruitment, so two points of common ground. Tweets go back and forth and nothing alarming happens at all. However being curious by nature I decide to find out a bit more about this chap.

My first port of call is always LinkedIn. I am a big fan of LinkedIn and have been using it daily in my professional business life since early 2004. In fact I found out this week I am member #150,542, which is very cool. I use LinkedIn lots, far more than I use Facebook or any other platform, Twitter aside, as a recruiter to find potential candidates and as a Group owner to engage with other people. So when it comes to looking into someone’s background, even if it is just to find out where they work or have worked, where they may live, to get an idea of who they are, LinkedIn is always the first place it turn to. Invariably it provides me the information I need. So when I looked this chap up, searching different permutations and couldn’t find a LinkedIn profile, it unnerved me quite a bit. Was I right to feel this way?

Now he is likely to be completely genuine and has done nothing at all suspect or underhand. There are many genuine reasons for not having a LinkedIn Profile. Am I right to question and doubt or am I narrow in my thinking?

So the question I have for you all is:-

Would you trust someone on Twitter if you couldn’t find a profile for them on LinkedIn?

Friends Like These

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]

I have had one of those weeks that are so rare that they stand out as truly brilliant and memorable.

It didn’t start off well to be truthful, Monday was very stressful and by the end of it I have booked myself a nice two week break; recuperation from surgery! Yeah not nice but needed and as such I’m strangely looking forward to it.

So why was the week so good? Those of you who are active on Twitter and who follow me will have seen that I also follow a very special lady. A lady who within the last 12 months has gone from being a total stranger, to being someone very special to me. This week Sarah Knight commenced and then completed her climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. People who know Sarah and have followed her training and her blog know how committed she was to not only the climb but in using it to raise funds for charity. She kept us updated with texts that got translated by some clever technology into tweets so on Tuesday morning I know for a fact that the vast majority of Sarah’s Twitter followers were commuting to their places of work with smiles on their faces and loads of respect for what she had achieved – well those that were breathing anyway.

Earlier this week also, there was a little bit of magic that had an impact and effect on me. Normally readers of the myhellisotherpeople.com blog usually anticipate either something insightful or at the very least a rant from The HRD. Something that at the very least stimulates or incites emotions in most readers. This day was no different in that respect. Yet in all other respects the post, The Strength to be Different was. The HRD, or Theo to those brave enough to speak with him (heeding the warning to keep hands closed and arms by ones side) had written one of the most moving pieces I have had the pleasure to read. A proud Dad sharing with us all, his feelings and love for his Son on his birthday. It brought tears to my eyes and a large smile to my face that even now is still there with the recall. I know it moved others it was that uplifting.

Not finished yet. Just before Christmas a couple of my other fave people lost their jobs when the company they worked for was closed down. Mervyn Dinnen was resolute to the point of denial, or at least that was how it felt from where I was. I read his blog avidly, talked to him, had coffee with him, introduced him to people I knew who I thought might be able to help. Mervyn remained his usual calm (well sort of) and smiling self. On Weds night this week I asked him how things were going and was pleased to hear that there might be good news on the horizon. Yesterday I was thrilled to find out that he had not only taken a new job but it was THE job that he set out to get. Jobsite are lucky to have him on board. I am so excited for him.

As if that wasn’t enough I actually bumped into The HRD at the station this morning. All the millions of commuters going in and out of London’s many train termini at any time and there we were walking next to each other at the same time; me on my usual commute, him not having a scooby’s where he was going or how he was going to get there. He is in HR so cut him some slack and it was too early for him to have had his requisite portion of raw meat. He always makes me smile. So off to work I go with a plan to meet with Gareth Jones, the other person who lost their job before Christmas mentioned in the paragraph above. Over lunch we covered quite a few topics, high on my list was his job hunting activities. And yes! There was good news. Gareth has so much experience in his locker, a very sharp business mind and a catch for anyone. I can’t reveal much, but again I am so made up for him.

So my week has been that memorable because four people, who over the last year have become close friends, are very special and mean the world to me have achieved or done something that has meant a lot to them. I didn’t do much out of the ordinary myself, I didn’t achieve anything but my friends did and they are happy.

Music of the Day = Angels Walk Amongst Us by Anathema

I hope I have many more weeks like this

How much visibility do you want / need when Job Hunting? – Day 32 #myjobhunt

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Since Day 1 I have been blogging frequently about my quest for a new job. When I started I did it purely to reflect on the day past. Within 2 days this had changed. The response I got from people gave me confidence and made me realize that this blog could be a fundamental tool in my job hunting activities. By the end of the first week I couldn’t believe the response and support I had received from so many people, some of whom I had already met, many I had not. It was however Week 2 that things really took off and by the end of Week 3 I had secured my first offer (Day 16). I think I have already written about how I got to Week 3 previously and will no doubt do so again in more detail, once #myjobhunt comes to a conclusion, if in fact it does before I lose interest in writing about it.

Since Week 3 and that offer I have come to realize something and it has been on my mind since. I have made my job hunting activities so open and visible to people, what will happen and what will people think of me if I don’t secure a job? Of course it is inevitable that people will start to wonder why people don’t want me. What will happen if I get a job and then it doesn’t work out? What if I can’t cope? What if …..? What if…..? So many what ifs? I have asked myself if writing this blog was the sensible thing to do in the first place and how can I stop without any negative impact.

Then I looked at the positives of the blog. The blog almost became my CV, the opportunities it created for me, not only actual jobs, but further discussions to take my career in a different direction have been constant throughout the last six and a bit weeks. Some are not for me, others have been too much for me i.e. I didn’t think I was ready or not likely to meet the expectations of role. Some have been great but the salary or rate and location hasn’t worked well. Others still haven’t mature yet and may or may not at all.

The blog has given me so many new perspectives on things; it has taught me some huge lessons about the market and the ability (or lack of) of the many practitioners in it; good and bad. It has made me think and be more reflective about what I want and what I can do. The good thing is that all of the lessons learned will be taken into my next job and built upon and shared with my colleagues, hopefully adding value at each step. This whole journey has taught me so much and no matter what, I expect I will still continue to blog in such a manner going forward.

This quest, this journey so far has been very emotional; worrying, stressful, annoying, humbling, inspiring, enjoyable, amusing. I have to this point, every step of the way enjoyed it immensely and I have made some terrific new friends.

Music of Day 32 – Daydream Believer by The Monkees – very loud and singing on the train!!! Oh yes I did! And others joined in!

How much visibility do you want / need when Job Hunting?

On Day 30 I got the call I was waiting for (and dreading!).

Today I accepted a job. I start 1st October 2010.

THANK YOU EVERYONE

Job Hunting, it’s all about Commitment, Confidence, Calls and Choices – Day 30 #myjobhunt

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This post represents my feelings from last week. If I were to keep true to the trend established in previous posts it would be a summation of Day 30 of #myjobhunt, which represents 6 full weeks of job hunting. Yet, I am going to sum up my feelings of Week 6 rather than making the post about a specific day.

Having been away with a great group of people at #SocRecCamp the previous weekend the week started on a high. I was just happy to have had the experiences in Devon. As the week progressed my mood changed.

Week 6 was certainly the lowest I have been throughout my quest for work or at least that was how I felt at times. A few things started to dawn on me that made me question what I was doing, why I was doing it and what it meant for my wife and I. It also made me question what I was actually looking for. Did I want the perfect job where my competencies and experiences could be fully utilized; a job that I would feel a passion for, a commitment to and one that would give me the challenges and the satisfactions that many don’t get to realize. Or did I want a pay packet?

I was beginning to wonder.

When I first started out Week 1 caught me by surprise, the number of opportunities I uncovered and the number of vacancies that my friends and colleagues passed my way was overwhelming as was the constant support. It all looked so positive and continued to look that way for a few weeks. In Week 6 however the number of appealing opportunities had come down to just 3 positions that I had interviews for. So my pipeline was very thin, opportunities coming my way were fewer, and fewer still were appealing. At the same time others who I know were getting jobs and starting them inside my own 6 week window. So of course I had to ask myself if I had the right mental approach, as well as if I had the right approach and strategy to job hunting.

As great as it seemed to test the power of Social Media and not use agencies I still have bills to pay. When I started #myjobhunt I did not aim to only use Social Media – all I wanted was a job. Yet after a few days my confidence was such that I became the biggest advocate of Social Media as a job hunting tool or set of tools. By Week 6 my confidence was waning, in fact it started waning in Week 4, once I became officially unemployed, as the doubts and the natural concerns about the future crept in.

It is not just about me either. I’ve been in similar positions before and was hoping never to be back here again. Each of those times my wife was a rock, a fantastic support even when things got as bad as they could have done. I didn’t want to put her through the worry again. It was obvious to me that once my gardening leave and my employment finished in Week 4, her stress and worry levels more than doubled. Then after our decision on Day 26 to withdraw my application from that technology company I decided I had to make her a promise – I promised to have accepted a job by the end of September. I was confident that I could get a contract; even one that didn’t advance my career would still pay the bills. I had also resigned myself to using agencies to hunt for work. I don’t care. We need to live.

These are all issues and concerns that all out of work job hunters go through; I know I am not alone.

All these feelings despite having had a terrific interview on Wednesday and a few other leads coming my way. If the Wednesday option doesn’t pan out then I would actually be starting all over again, back to Day 1 or Day 2, and I suppose it was this realization that hit hard. Or was it just that I had interviewed for that one job that I really wanted?

On Thursday a contract position that I had interviewed for in Week 2 disappeared on me. The company concerned changed strategy and thus the need for contract support went away. This didn’t help my mood or my confidence.

The call I wanted didn’t come.

On Friday morning, Day 30, I got loads of Twitter DM’s, texts and emails from people all asking me how I was. Whilst I so appreciated the support, I was trying to get my head away from the anxiety of wanting the phone to ring by doing something else. A two mile run helped but I felt like I was a teenager again. I even Tweeted a message later in the day, “Why don’t they call?” – I got some stupid answers to that!

I had to go out at about 1pm. This is a good thing; it meant that I would be busy and likely as not be able to get a signal on my phone. Still every time my phone rang with a number I didn’t recognise or with number blocked my stomach did some gymnastics. Each time it rang with a number I did recognise I answered but wanted them off the line soonest. It was one of those days were I was in and out of signal so that each time I got a signal I checked voice mail and returned calls only to have more calls come through and leave messages whilst on the phone. The call I wanted didn’t come through.

If you’ve read previous posts you will know I don’t get a signal at my home and have taken to walking or driving to the top of the hill about half a mile away to get one. So having left home at 1pm and not heard anything by 4pm I was resigned to not getting the call until Monday. I was actually okay with this. After all there was actually nothing I could do at this point. I was nearly home at 5.20pm and about 20-30 seconds from losing signal when I got the call.

I now have a choice.

Music of Day 30 – Nothing Else Matters by Metallica – I know, seriously I was listening to the Black album – coincidence eh?

Thanks for reading

Job Hunting is About Making Right Choices for the Right Reasons – Day 27 #myjobhunt

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]

This is Wednesday and Day 27. I’ve been unemployed for 2 whole weeks now. Gone in a flash! Feels like the first push has come to a head now. For the last week this was always going to be a big day for #myjobhunt with two final, or at least that was how they had been billed, interviews.

So before I get into the events and thoughts of today, let’s have a quick look at yesterday. As you have read in this and other blogs a few friends had a camping expedition in Devon over the weekend. It was one of the most relaxing and fun filled weekends I have had in a long time, maybe because there was very little pressure and the only expectations that had to be realized, were we would laugh, have a lot to drink, get very wet surfing and not have nearly enough sleep. The big point of this for me was the laughter and the relaxation with friends that have cared and have supported me throughout #myjobhunt. Talk of work was avoided and only touched upon in general or lighthearted banter. With sixteen very noisy, confident and extrovert people in a reasonably close environment you would have thought that I wouldn’t have had time for serious reflection, yet this is exactly what I was able to do, albeit briefly.

On Monday of this week I had a long conversation with Mrs F about the progress of #myjobhunt. No concerns apart from making the right choice. It doesn’t necessarily come down to choice and in this particular case – I’ll get there in a moment – it wasn’t about choice.

Since Day 1 I have been pursuing a job with an American technology company and have had a number of interviews, all of which have been blogged about here. I had a supposed final interview last week which resulted in another final interview to be had this week, today in fact. At this point I didn’t have a choice. As I mentioned very early on in Day 1 or Day 2 a candidate needs to get an offer to make a choice. Well that is not entirely true. I had the choice to withdraw my application altogether, didn’t I?

And that is what I did; I withdrew my application after 6 interviews. Didn’t see that one coming did you?

Why? You may ask. There were number of reasons if I was being really picky and critical, however the key deciding factor was that I did not have a good feeling about it. I didn’t have a bad feeling either. This means I had no emotion attached to it and to pursue a job that, if I got it, would have meant a 130-mile round trip, which I was poorly motivated by would have been wrong; not only for me, but to them too. Also after 6 individual interviews for the same role I was pursing it, they were not pursing me. I don’t want that to sound arrogant but they hadn’t once called me after an interview to ask me for my feedback, nor had they given me any feedback or a compelling reason to want to work for them. It won’t therefore surprise you; it didn’t me, to know that all they said when I called to tell them was “thanks for letting us know”! (WTF???) I think that response justifies and verifies that I had made the right decision to pull out.

I know! I know! They may have had that response because I was not the person they wanted anyway. But please???!! They and we have to give a candidate a better experience than that. It wasn’t a bad one and it won’t change my views on their products, but it wasn’t good enough for my requirements as a candidate, or by my standards as a Recruitment Manager.

Dusted down and moving on.

I was also contacted directly by a couple of members of The FIRM who proposed ideas to me or wanted to explore my interest or availability. Another couple of online contacts had put resourcers at other companies in touch with me and these need to be followed up.

So whilst the pipeline is not as long as it was previously it is still there. But it needs me persecute it and not let the opportunities slip me by. It is important that I follow all of these up to be sure I am not overlooked, nor show anyone any disrespect. If I have done this to you already I apologise.

Onwards and Upwards – Day 27: I travelled into London with my usual tunes on my iPod – yup you guessed it Genesis, Suppers Ready – for an interview in the City. I love the City, as I do most of Central London, but the City is special and was looking forward to this one having had a great call with both the recruiter and the hiring manager last week.

(SIDE NOTE -Trouble was the Tube strike hangover today. Now do they think us stupid? “signal failures” crippling the network the day after a strike. Says much about the intelligence somewhere in that mix! The irony is that they are striking over the possibility of maybe 800 jobs being cut and yet their laziness and not going to work today was delaying me for an interview. Lazy work-shy b#@*&$+s)

Where was I? – oh yeah stuck at Baker Street. I got to the City in the end in plenty of time – my usual 30 minutes safety window intact. The interview seemed to go well, but I think they are always difficult to read. That is all I will say. I am very keen on this one and don’t want to tempt fate. True to their nature the recruiter called within 2 hours to ask me for my feedback; however that call turned into another interview of sorts. This recruiter is awesome and asked me questions about the questions I was asked in the interview proper. What a way to make sure I had been focused, paying attention to the key points and taking it all in. So now I have the wait to hear. This is the worst bit. I am tight with anticipation on this one.

Music of Day 26 – Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd
Music of Day 27 – Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones

The one big downer of the last few days is the news that Connaught, the housing facilities maintenance company has gone into administration. There are a few of their recruiters in The FIRM that are likely to be affected or at least left worrying in uncertain times. I mention it because it means that potentially a large number of people – 4500 reported – could be in the same boat as me soon. It is not nice and I wish them all success in finding replacement opportunities soon, should they need to. One of their number, a recruiter and a member of The FIRM contacted my directly on Twitter yesterday, thanking me for this blog! He has taken something from it and reported to me today that he has already arranged two interviews on his Day 1– so I have competition in #myjobhunt eh? Seriously this is great news and of course I am glad I help in a small way – who would be?

What was also interesting is that he has been able to do this using his network of contacts and not relaying on the traditional and “so last year” approach of calling the agencies.

So if anyone reading this is looking for a technical recruiter in the Thames Valley, Surrey, Hants or London please give Jon Harrison aka @jonnieboyh a Tweet. Let’s see if we can take this social media networking thing to the next level shall we?

I want a job and that is till my #1 priority but if I can help others find jobs and if I can help companies find candidates by Paying it Forward, then I will.

And NO NO NO I am not starting my own agency again!

It’s called Social Recruiting

Just in case you are wondering what my background is my LinkedIn profile is a click away

or at

in the About Me page above. My contact details can be found in the Contact Me page and am open to any type of conversation that will help me or help you.

Thanks for reading