Archive for the ‘ The FIRM ’ Category

Who Do you Think is the Most Influential Leader in Global Recruitment?

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]

Do you work for or know an influential leader?Banner 344x80

I am sure many of us will have been fortunate to have worked for, or with a manager who has been an inspiration to us and has possessed the true ability to lead, not only the team and its delivery of services, but also has had the clarity of thought to lead the thinking on different issues important to you and to the business that you support. They are rare and we don’t always appreciate them at the time, but each of them as had a bearing on you and how your do things.

In their August edition Recruiter magazine launched “Most Influential In-house Recruiters” with a stellar line up of in-house practitioners for 2013, each of whom in the opinion of the author of that piece made a significant impact in their business or is a key influencer and thought leader. Many, myself included (I am pleased to say I am friends or at least know all but two of those mentioned), recognise that they each deserve to be included and for a variety of reasons. These leaders have made a significant difference to the teams they lead, the services they deliver, the innovations they have implemented at their employers or the changes they have influenced in the wider recruitment landscape.

It goes without saying that each one of those included by Recruiter deserve to be there, yet there will be countless others across the world that have had a similarly significant impact on the people they work with and the services they deliver and also richly deserve the accolades of their peers.
Do you work with someone that deserves the acknowledgement?
Who has made a difference to you and your business?

Whether you consider someone to be a good leader or an inspiration to you or others will always depend on circumstance and perspective of course.  And it is your perspective that counts.

Who do you think deserve to be honoured as The Recruitment Leader of The Year 2013? who will you nominate?

Get your nominations in now  >> Click HERE

Closing date for entries is 30th Sept 2013

Originally posted on The FIRM Awards site

Advertisements

Recruiters – What are your 3 Burning Questions?

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]

A month or so ago Emma and I were invited to present at the End of Year Recruitment Conference held this last week and organised by The Recruiter Network. This would be the first time we had stood up as The FIRM in a public environment and wanted to do something that was in keeping with our core values – we chose “sharing knowledge”.

There are many ways in which standards can be raised for hiring managers, recruiting practitioners working in-house and for sales people working at agencies; arguably the biggest of these is by gaining an understanding of how we all work. It is probably fair to say that very few agency staff know what it is like to work in house or what the roles and responsibilities of recruitment or HR practitioners are and the challenges they have.  There are guesses; some right, some wrong, but rarely known

With this in mind we felt a little information sharing could go a long way. If the in-house function is performing well, has the sophistication, resources, competencies and desire then the use of agencies will be eliminated in that organisation. However, I doubt very much that this model is widely adopted and that the vast majority of companies will chose to use the services of agencies for one reason or another. Let us remember though that the vast majority of companies do not have a dedicated competent in-house Rescouring teams and as such companies choose to use agencies. Hiring managers who manage their own process typically won’t have a clue how to resource properly, despite what they themselves will think and as such will tend to use an agency or worse, multiple agencies for expedience. Nothing wrong with that if it works well for all parties.

So to our presentation. The idea was to ask agencies what their Burning Questions are and discuss some of the reasons the questions needed to be asked and hopefully provide answers and insights.

1. What are the 3 Burning Questions you, as a recruitment consultant, would like to ask your customers (hiring managers)?

2. What are the 3 Burning Questions you, as a recruitment consultant, would like to ask HR or Resourcing teams at your customers or prospects?

3. What are the 3 biggest issues or frustrations you have when dealing with HR or Resourcing functions?

The questions were posted on Surveymonkey. Using Twitter and the UK Recruiter newsletter we invited agencies to ask away.

We were given a 50 minute speaking slot at the start of the conference and as such unfortunately we couldn’t discuss every question asked. Some were just too stupid anyway.  These are the ones we addressed or at least we tried to on the day. Thanks to the discussion in the room amongst the delegates we sort of ran out of time.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Question 1. What are the 3 Burning Questions you, as the recruitment consultant, would like to ask your customers (hiring managers)?

  • What is more important, cutting costs or finding the right candidate?
  • What would be your ideal Agency/Customer relationship?

Question 2. What are the 3 Burning Questions you, as the recruitment consultant, would like to ask HR or Resourcing teams at your customers or prospects?

  • Do you have favourite agencies/recruiters and why?
  • Why do you block access to hiring managers, even when we are a recognised and trusted partner?

Question 3. What are the 3 biggest issues or frustrations you have when dealing with HR or Resourcing functions?

  • Feedback …………or a lack of it
  • Poor job descriptions or briefings on the positions
  • Not responding to telephone calls (messages) or emails

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

From many of the questions it is clear that some agencies really do want to learn in order to help their customers. It was also clear from some of the reactions in the room to the answers we were giving that agencies simply do not know nor can they comprehend the scale of some of the challenges in-house people have – there were gasps after Emma gave one example of what her teams are dealing with on a daily basis. It is also clear that many companies would do better by engaging more with their suppliers and teaching each other how to work together.  Better results for all I suspect will be realised.

I welcome further questions

I welcome further answers

If you would like to discuss any of these questions or any others that you have please let me know. My contact details can be found here.

The FIRM – a 2011 update

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]

In December 2007 I created a Group on LinkedIn called The FIRM – The Forum for In-house Recruitment Managers, to allow a few in-house recruiters and recruitment managers who had already been ‘speaking’ with each other via email and Yahoo! IM for a week or two to collaborate with each other. Little did I know then how big and successful The FIRM would become and never imagined it would become so useful to many, myself included. Now three and half years later there are 3800 members in 49 countries. We have established ourselves as an online community that meets offline, whose members enjoy sharing experiences, asking for and offering help and learning plenty along the way.

Our Vision – today

Run by in-house recruiters for in-house recruiters The FIRM was founded as a LinkedIn Group in December 2007, it is a supportive and collaborative community of corporate recruitment professionals that provides both an online and offline hub for members to network, request help, share knowledge and give advice on all aspects of recruitment and talent management.

We aim to promote the values and professionalism of our members, as well as ensuring ethical integrity and best practice – raising the standard of service we provide to our internal customers and receive from external suppliers.

I can’t speak for every one of course but I have heard some great comments from other members who also get regular benefit from engaging and meeting with each other, each professionals doing very similar jobs. Personally I have learned plenty, thanks to the input and/or introductions made. It is always the first place I turn when I need help with an issue related to the recruitment life cycle, processes and policies. It is also the first port of call, as it is for many, when I need to hire someone.

Offline we having been holding events on a fairly regular basis. They started out in January 2009 as a simple breakfast and the morning networking meeting. That was all it was, a chance to chat with fellow in house recruiters, with a little presentation from our first sponsor, LinkedIn. There were 45 people at this first event, many of whom still attend regularly, some of who have become friends now. It was at this first event I realised it was too big for just me and where I met Emma Mirrington for the first time. The rest, as they say is history.

Based on the success of that event we ran more. At each event we’ve asked the attendees what they wanted to discuss or hear about at the next or future events, we’ve progressed in this manner ever since albeit with slight bigger conference style events. We have been very lucky and very grateful to have had the support of so many of the members of The FIRM who come along, many are repeat visitors.

Currently all of the events have been restricted to the UK, this is purely a logistical issue, however we have aspirations to repeat some of these events in other countries in the future. We have courted with ideas and invites already to do something in Australia, China, Singapore and UAE however the time to find sponsors as well as the critical mass of members to make it a success somewhat influences us. Any ideas or suggestions would be welcome here please.

We have also benefited from the great support and help of our fabulous sponsors over the last 2 years, without whom we just would not have been able to hold any of the events at all. So a hearty thanks to LinkedIn, Matt Alder (Barkers when they existed), SHL, 33, Google, TotalJobs.com, TheNetwork.com, Avature as well as to CareerPlayer for the filming and editing of the videos in this blog. Further thanks go to Frances Lewis of Osborne Clark, Peter Gold of Hire Strategies and Mark Williams of ETN Training for generous time helping us with the webinars we have been able to put on for the members. And of course the generous contribution of all of the speakers we have been lucky enough to have spend time informing us, educating us and helping us.

In the last year both Emma and I have changed jobs, which has meant huge changes and adjustments for each of us. And because the day jobs must always take priority we haven’t had the time to deliver against some of the plans we’ve had, nor has it afforded us the time to organise some of the events we had wished so. We have ideas to address this now.

Also in the last 18 months Emma has moved house, gotten married, had a baby and still found the time to get stuff done. The FIRM just wouldn’t be The FIRM and the success it is without her. Put it this way; I talk a lot, Emma actually does a lot.

Thank you Emma. x

Going forward? Simple. We would like The FIRM to be what the members want it to be.

The FIRM gets Technical – guest blog by Peter Hetherington

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]

In a change from my norm I am very fortunate to have Peter Hetherington (@phetherington1 on Twitter) create the first ever guest post on this blog.

Peter thank you so much and by way of introduction, Peter is Head of EMEA Recruitment at Corporate Executive Board, and is also a long-standing member of The FIRM, a volunteer police officer, a semi-obsessed swing dancer, and a committed boat-dweller, who firmly believes that when London finally floods, he’ll be the last one laughing.”

Thursday 23rd June saw The Forum for In-house Recruitment Managers (The FIRM) host the latest member conference in London, this time on the topic of Technical Recruiting. This is an umbrella subject, covering all manner of staple sourcing issues, right from the venerable subject of Social Media, to the young and thrusting newcomer Mobile Recruiting, flirting with the Hollywood glamour of Video, and getting uncontrollably techy on the topic of Search Engine Optimisation.

Whilst there were other elements like a talk from Avature’s CEO on how his CRM product can help you get ‘in the Zone’, and a rousing sermon from Recruitment 3.0 evangelist Matthew Jeffery on the future of recruitment, the areas that I will focus on are those of Mobile recruitment, use of Video and Search Engine Optimisation, as these all have some key takeaways that every member of The FIRM can benefit from immediately!

Mobile Recruitment

(Credit to key note speakers Dave Martin, MD of All The Top Bananas and Katie McNab, Head of Recruitment, UK & Ireland for PepsiCo)

As unlikely as it may seem to some, research shows that by 2013, more people will access the internet via a mobile device or smart phone than will access it by a traditional PC/worktop. Combine that stat with the fact that whilst it takes on average 72 hours to read an email after delivery, the average time for a SMS or push notification on a mobile is 30minutes, and suddenly email and PCs start to feel a little prehistoric…!

Leading thinkers on all things Recruitment believe that corporate career sites will more and more become a collection of content stored in multiple places and designed for multiple formats. Early adopters have already accelerated their ‘cloud’ recruitment presence, and during the conference, members of The FIRM were encouraged to consider doing the same.

Outside of recruitment, the world is already much changed. For example, today there are well over 175m users of Facebook, and over 50% of these users are more active on their mobiles than on a PC. The candidate landscape is equally beginning to change, with job boards now allowing mobile searching and applications from the device. If you truly want to engage with candidates, it makes good sense to allow candidates to apply for jobs in the manner and medium of their choice. 20 years ago we were receiving fax CVs and posted copies. The maturity of the mobile market has accelerated far quicker than the growth of the internet, and companies need to be ready for that change.

PepsiCo is an early adopter of Mobile Recruitment, and we heard from Katie McNab (a fellow member of The FIRM and @Recruitgal blogger extraordinaire) about her experience in developing PepsiCo’s mobile web pages and app, which was unveiled to us as a teaser prior to UK launch. It is a thing of beauty, and once the “oohs” and “aahs” subsided, we were treated to an objective view of the pitfalls and considerations each of us would need to be aware of if we were to follow her example. Katie, like many of us, is a natural cynic – so her own verdict was inevitably ‘we’ll wait and see’, but comforting to hear that 2 hires in the US have already been attributed to the mobile site, and 10 more candidates in process from it!

Key Takeaways

1. At the bare minimum you may need a mobile-enabled careers site. At the moment, any prospective candidate who navigates to your site through a mobile (conceivably from LinkedIn, Facebook, or your 3rd party job board postings) may not have an optimal experience.
2. Ideally you should have the ability to present jobs and allow applications through a mobile site.
3. An App would go a step further in allowing you the ability to engage candidates who opt in to push-notifications – providing them with job alerts and important company news

Use of Video in Recruitment

(Credit to CareerPlayer Director, Rob Wescott)

Scientific study has shown that the video impacts the mind of a viewer in a way unlike other forms of information does. Put simply, just like Heineken (but without the disciplinary consequences if used in the work place), video reaches the parts of a brain other recruitment media can’t reach. These parts are most associated with emotional impact and long term memory. Video is therefore a powerful element to a recruitment branding exercise.

A study of graduates have shown that, in order of preference, the elements they would most like to see on a graduate recruitment site are:
a. A Day in the Life video
b. A video showing current graduate trainees
c. A virtual office tour (video or flash)

Video can also be used to great effect in Onboarding, and messages from the CEO or senior leadership played over video, or other emotive information can help to build a stronger psychological contract with new employees and improve retention and discretionary effort.

Key Takeaways

1. It would be worth the investment to produce a ‘day in the life’ video and maybe some virtual office clips and stream through YouTube onto your careers site (and future mobile sites, Facebook page, etc.!)
2. It could be time to revisit how you use videos in Onboarding/Induction days.

Recruitment Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

(Credit to key note speaker Peter Gold, Director of Hire Strategies and all-round ATS, SEO and SEM guru)

Job boards rule. So do aggregators. You will never beat them at advertising things like ‘sales jobs’ or ‘java jobs’. What is important is what content or websites you have linking in to your jobs and career pages, how your job adverts are written, and how you measure, test and weed out your web content. Members of The FIRM should consider the following:

1. The longer and more specific a job title, the better it will rank.
2. Optimise your site for occurrences of ‘jobs at xyz’, ‘work at xyz’ and ‘careers at xyz’ – whilst you may have a good ranking in one or more, you may be at risk of having your ranking supplanted by a job board or even a site like Glassdoor.com!
3. Resistance is futile – you will be aggregated! No, it is not the Borg* – we’re talking about those troublesome sites that steal your job descriptions and aggregate them out to the world at large without so much as a please or thank you. Given the inexorability of falling victim to these sites, members of The FIRM are encouraged to work with Indeed.com, Workhound and SimplyHired to make sure the Right content is aggregated, not what they ‘spider’ from us without direction.
4. Create ‘Authority’ pages for recurring jobs. These are persistent pages that you then start to build content around, and link to. The best ranking web pages are those that have the most amount of relevant links going to them, and build up their relevance over time. (E.g. links from LinkedIn, Facebook, blogs, aggregators, job boards, other relevant websites).
5. Measure and test – use Google analytics to monitor traffic in to the careers site and Taleo job postings. It is very important to weed out pages that nobody visits, as these dilute the search ranking.
6. Make sure pages have proper meta title tags and H1 headings, as well as repetition of job titles in content
7. Have most relevant content highest on page – i.e. finish with ‘About xyz company’, rather than have it at start of job descriptions.

*obligatory geek reference. Every technical recruitment blog needs one..

The FIRM’s Technical Recruitment conference was much Tweeted about using hashtag #FIRMrectek – go see what people said on the day!

Peter

___________________

thank you Peter. Peter’s LinkedIn profile

Recruiters Recruiting Recruiters – I am learning lots, are you? – Day 19 #myjobhunt

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]

Today I tried to get back into the mood of the first two weeks, focused on how to try and build again a strong pipeline of opportunity. I knew I didn’t have the time to focus on it today but I had to think it through. Over the last two weeks many opportunities have come along, but very few of them have actually matured into anything. Some as a result of them not being the right fit, others because of the lack of follow-up, follow through or just respond. And not on my part either. More on this later. But I had to find more to keep my options open.

Coffee machine on, laptop on, Planet Rock loaded. On Planet rock at the moment they have Alice Cooper as the morning DJ, not the best choice I must say, because he does talk some crap! Today he was playing it as well. Grateful to iTunes thought. My own coffee was particularly good this morning. I only had about 90 minutes before I had to go out for an hour or so. Emails first. Quiet though. Very quiet indeed. The first time in ages that I hadn’t a single email to respond to. Strangely Twitter was quite too. Well until about 7am and then all of my Twitter buddies woke up at the same time. Worrying that they may have all gone to #SocRecCamp a week early without me. Definitely more on this next week. Oh yes indeed.

The #earlyshift was mad for about 60 minutes and quite amusing; the rain dominating many of the conversations; stories of soaked and miserable summer holidays from around the UK. It is a shame when we had 30C degree, plus, heat through June and July.

Right, Day 19 was to be dominated by a telephone interview rearranged from previously failed attempts and a face-to-face interview, both with the same company and would effectively be interviews 5 & 6. I made sure I was in a good signal area a good 15 minutes before the call was due and waited until 20 minutes after the allotted time. No call. I must say that at this stage I was very disappointed to say the least. Shame – what to do? Do I withdraw my application or see how the afternoon session pans out? The latter commonsense approach wins out but confidence is now obviously low. Whose wouldn’t be, eh?

On the journey of about 45 mins to the interview I get a call back from one of the companies than have a position I have been very keen about for the last few weeks. Unfortunately it as bad news. It would appear that this employer wanted someone with precise experience of managing large (yet 500 vacancies per year is not large) RPO engagements. So they want someone who does that, to change jobs to do that same again. Do people jump like for like? Well of course they do but the point is there are few that will and fewer still with the experience they thing they need for this job. Many relationship management skills and experiences are perfectly and undeniably transferrable for this role. Mine in particular as a Channel and Partner Manager would be a good example. A shame as it would have been a good use of my skills and personality to manage such a relationship. I can understand their position to a certain extent, but still it frustrates, especially as the job description was a good fit and the company offered an almost perfect brand to recruit for. I expect that this is not an unusual situation that many job hunters find themselves in, yet as a recruiter it does seem to have a bigger effect as we are taught to look for and assess the transferrable skills not ignore them! It is however important to remember it is not personal, it happens and there is nothing I can do about it. It is not something that I can have a direct influence over and thus need to just put it behind me.

I had to shake it off and be ready to perform in 30 minutes. I was quite grateful for the appalling weather and the amount of rain on the roads. I caused me to concentrate fully on the road. When I got to the interview I was ready.

The saving grace of the day was this interview with the Head of HR in EMEA. A very good experience to back up a very good impression of the offices, location and people I met and spoken with so far, as well as the information I know and have learned about them recently. To be fair apart from the one aforementioned potential interviewer the rest of the interviewing team have been a shining ambassadors for their brand. I have enjoyed the passion, enthusiasm and commitment to move the business forward. If they still want to see me I have a final interview next week with the global head of TA and am very excited about the prospect

Finally when I got home I had some decent email. One in particular from the professional career coach and CV writer who I mentioned in Day 1 and who had helped me with my CV. She came up a couple of ideas; one was for a company I had explored briefly three months ago, before I started #myjobhunt. It hadn’t lasted more than a couple of calls then but with another go from a different angle……..every option must be explored.

I also took some time to review the emails and the ideas that had come my way over the last 3 weeks and a list of those to follow up with has been compiled and will be acted upon tomorrow. I was also alarmed to see that there were a number of people who had contacted me, mostly in house recruiters and some I am afraid to say are members of The FIRM, who have not bothered to respond to my responses to their initial contacts. The FIRM has a goal to raise standards in all areas or recruiting, particularly our own. It is no wonder that candidates and agencies make their complaints. You let us all down by not trying to improve your own standards.

Music of Day 19 was Ballroom Blitz by The Sweet

What did I learn today? Not all recruiters are good at everything they do. Not all recruiters have the same nor keep to the same standards as I do. Over the last couple of years, I have complained about the poor behaviors at agencies. In meetings I’ve also heard agencies complain about the poor service they get from in house recruiters. I am beginning to empathise.

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring but i aint Snoring! -Day 7

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]

Day 7 rocked to the foundations, despite a very slow and groggy start.

Get up, coffee on and fire up laptop getting ready to go. Raining harder and steadier than we’ve seen in months and it doesn’t look like it is in a hurry to pass by either. No way I’m going out to feed the chickens in that! I reconcile this with the fact that I know they won’t want to leave their shelter and brave the rain just to get to the feeder, will they!

First task on the “work” list is to review all of those wanting to join The FIRM. I get a little sadistic pleasure in rejecting some of them – yeah as if it means anything!

So added a few today. It’s steady and then onto the next task. Finalising the newsletter. We send out a newsletter to all global members of The FIRM during the first week of the month with update and news. Emma did most of the work as always but just needed me to add a couple of items that had come to me at the last minute. This took a few hours to format and was ready to go out later in the day. I think each month we get better at it. We now feature a blog of the month; no it’s not me but Jim Stroud this month as well as a write up on a diversity event by one of the members. Plus the usual selection of offers for our members.

All of that and answering emails that had come in overnight had taken me to lunch time in the blink of an eye. Time then to start applying myself to #myjobhunt.

I was frustrated first thing not to have received emails I was expecting from a couple of people. Once I thought about it and looked closer I found them both in my spam filter. Why does that happen to legit emails? Then I remembered I have a new PC and the AV software purchased with it needs configuring. No guesses which one I have and trust :). So all tidied up and both emails responded to. Fingers crossed they will lead to something; one of them was confirmation for a 2nd interview. Phew! Time and date for that one was added to the calendar late in the day. Good news.

At the risk of repeating myself it still surprises me how many people contacted me today out of the blue, some of them I haven’t had much dialogue with before, wishing me well or just for a general chat. I got a message from someone who I’ve followed on Twitter and who has followed me back for sometime, but we’ve never communicated outside of Twitter. Very pleasant exchange. Interesting too to hear how she obtained her current contract assignment. Very encouraging. There was also a message in my LinkedIn inbox from another who wanted to keep my brain active with an idea around recruiting. Sounds intriguing and I am looking forward to exploring that one further. I don’t mind if these conversations or email exchanges as well as the others that I have, are not directly about jobs or work for me, it is just good to speak with like-minded people active in the recruiting space.

By about 14:30 in the afternoon I hadn’t really done too much that many would call job hunting. I think I had though – I’d had real or online exchanges with close to twenty people already.

Now, what I haven’t explained is that I do not get a cell phone signal in my house. On previous days when I’ve said to my wife that am going to the office, I have meant the vegetable garden, 50 metres up-hill from the house. I get a signal up there you see. This is ok until it rains. Like yesterday; a 40 minute conversation with someone left me feeling quite good, so I came down the slope without care; feet slid from under me and I landed hard. Luckily on my most padded bit (no not my head!). Not so lucky it was straight into a bed of nettles. So the garden is the office on good days and not suitable on rainy days, and with it coming down for Noah today, I have to drive up the lane to the top of the hill and park up. As soon as I do the calls start coming in. Initially voicemails, but then as I am returning those calls more messages are left. By the time I had returned to the house I had spoken with 2 Search firms, applied for one contract position, offered to help with referrals for another and confirmed one interview.

That was a very fast and very productive hour. On my return to the house there is an email from someone in The FIRM outlining a position that looks ideal for me, both in terms of location and content. It is via an agency that contacted her but since she is in my online network, it is allowed.

The day closes with the newsletter being sent out and feedback, as well as input, coming back to us.

The one negative of the day is the reflection that I hadn’t heard from anyone in respect of two jobs I had applied for on Day 1, other than an auto reply. Not surprising given that both were via agencies. Do I name and shame them? I am inclined to do so but want to sleep on it and hear your thoughts. It is a constant complaint in the market. We all know this and strive to ensure we offer better care and service. But here we are with two companies/people who have no respect. I might just out them tomorrow and see what happens – let’s call it part of the experiment shall we?

Music of the Day – India/Mountain Time, Joe Bonamassa

That’s it. Thanks for reading.

London’s Calling – but using Twitter, LinkedIn & Facebook

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]

So this was the first day that I wasn’t going to turn on a PC all day and thus would have to rely for the most part on email and the phone, although with my iPhone I wasn’t going to be too far out of the loop. At the moment that is a good thing I can tell you.

So, where to start?

Over the last couple of days I have met a number of people as you will have read, one of whom reminded me how visible you can make yourself. With pictures on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blogs, each different, it is hardly surprising when meeting people for the first time, people who up to that very moment were just a blur in the crowd, wave and smile and stand up to greet you. I know it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise but, whilst I am ok with it, I’m still not used to it. And its not as if I don’t do the same to them, is it? It always makes me smile and for the most part it’s a conversation ice breaker.

So Day 5. Hello.

The entire day was spent either travelling to and from or in London itself. With four pre-planned meetings, luckily all within a few hundred metres of each other I didn’t need to use the Tube much.

So the usual thing; music in the car, music on the train and Tube were needed. The choice for car and Tube are variables, but for the train there is only one choice! See previous blog.
The first few hours of the day was spent with some of those involved in the organisation and sponsorship of The FIRM’s Direct Sourcing event in October. Meeting with Steve Lewis at Totaljobs.com /The Network, our main sponsors and then across the street to meet with the managers of the venue we are using. All very impressive stuff and very pleased to be working with all of them.

The next meeting was one that I had hoped could turn into an opportunity for work of some kind. It did. But it turned into one of those situations that I did not feel comfortable about. I don’t want to take anything at all away from the person I met or his business, but I have to look at me, what I want and how I am perceived. There is a lot of talk in some circles about personal brand. I have come to realize over the last 6 months that everyone has a personal brand! Everyone creates it themselves; some promote it, others don’t. But the important thing is that to those that care about such things, there is a need to protect it. I am keen to protect mine. Certain things about me are import to me; fun, friends, hard work, openness (hence this blog), but top of the list is integrity. This means honesty to myself as well as to others.

Despite my upbeat approach, I did have that “oh shit!” moment last weekend thinking, “must get a job fast, any job and must get it fast”. But as the week has progressed, actually not that long into it, I started looking at each job/option and then asked myself,

“Am I interested in it?”
“Do I honestly have the skills to do it?”
“Will I do a good job such that the company will recognise I have too?”

And the most important question I suppose

“I am I being honest with myself?”

Of course I can’t decide on anything until I have explored it fully but some things don’t sit right. I don’t think I am being too selective; I am being honest in my aspirations and about my abilities. Importantly I am not wasting time and energy pursuin jobs I know I shouldn’t have applied for. It also wastes other people’s time and as I’ve mentioned before, it is the people you meet that you can build relationships with and wasting people’s time won’t help, will it?

My last meeting of the day was with Matt Alder, in a pub of course! I’ve known Matt for just over a year and always enjoy his company and his insights. Matt has been involved in the recruiting business for quite some time, specifically in the marketing and branding side and always has great thoughts and ideas. We spent an hour and a half over a pint comparing notes and sharing ideas, during which time we both came up with ideas that if they can be worked through could add value for the other.

Throughout the day I’ve spoken to a number of people by phone. Each conversation, whilst, work related and job hunt related, where very enjoyable and had a few laughs in them. Very important.

So homebound at last. Last task of the day was to pop into PC World in Reading and pick up my new laptop. I get to the shop and it’s not ready. Having spent nearly 90 minutes with them over 24 hours earlier, suffering their confusion, poor systems and a sales assistant that responded to everything said to or asked of him with “fair enough”, I was more that a little irritated to find that they couldn’t be bothered to get it ready in time. They keep me waiting 20 minutes with an “I-don’t-really-give-a-shit-but-sorry” apology. DSGi and PC World you really do need to get your customer services act together. If any of the recruiters who work there read this please pass on my comments. Needless to say I am unlikely to shop there again for anything heavier than a pencil. Oh they don’t sell those? Lucky then aren’t I?

Do I have a new laptop? Yes, an Acer 4820T 🙂 will take it for attest drive over the weekend.

Music of the Day – Street Fighting Man, The Rolling Stones

Oh yes, I nearly forgot. I confirmed two interviews for next week; one was as a result of an in house recruiter in the USA who had read this blog then found my LinkedIn Profile then contacting me – see it works! I have a meeting confirmed with a Search firm that was referred to my by someone I met at #ConnectingHR, which I got to know through Twitter. I have also had my application confirmed for a contract position by an agency chap I met earlier this year through Twitter.

If you doubt the power of Social Media in the networking and recruiting process, I hope you are learning from this. Oh and by the way if you want to employ me to show you how you can adapt it as a recruiting tool, do let me know 🙂