Posts Tagged ‘ Attitude ’

Words I am Unlikely to Say

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]

I was recently researching a company online and that included having a look at the profiles of their senior management.  Each of them had “Words I am unlikely to say” at foot of their bios.  The answers were along the lines of “nothing is impossible”, “never”, “I can’t” etc. You get the drift.  Maybe these words do honestly sum up the personalities of those that they are attributed to, only they will know for sure.  I can sort of understand what it was or is they want to convey, yet it comes across as cheesy, all faux positivity and formulaic, straight out of a motivational seminar. and hardly likely to be consistent with a properly profiled personality.  It was as if they haven’t given it much thought or, thought it would be a good reflection.  Maybe they had some advisors that did it for them. Who knows?

Still it did get me to asking myself about the words I never say in the same context however.  I didn’t have to reflect, because they were there front and centre of my mind as I read.  I’ve lived by them for as long as I can remember.  Actually there are two such standards I’ve used as a yard stick to getting things done properly.

I suppose they may have been drummed into me in my early 20s when I moved from driving a keyboard working in datacentres to selling at a recruitment agency.  The Sales Director had a huge influence and has remained an inspiration to me. His name was Dennis Linscott.  Dennis sadly passed away 11 years ago, but many of the lessons he taught remain with me today. Chief among them is the attention to detail and thinking about what else can be done to get job done right.

Whether what I learned from Dennis moulded me or coincidentally suited my personality only psychologists can answer that one, but what I do know is I’ve always been one of those people that gives it all or nothing.  This can manifest itself in many ways; from total immersion into something, attention to the detail and form, tenacity, bloody-mindedness, belligerence and so on.

Slight deviation needed here. I am aware that I don’t always see typos or spelling errors. That’s not the attention to detail to which I refer above.  I refer to knowing, understanding, covering all the angles and perspectives, thinking what else can be done or needs doing, asking myself “so what?” That’s the attention to detail to which I refer. Dennis taught me that.

What I do now and how I go about it is governed by those principles.  I always ask myself “so what?” when putting a proposal or business case or project recommendation together; “what’s in it for them?”, “what would make a difference to them?”

So what are the two things you are never likely to hear me say when it comes to doing something well?

“That’ll do” and “It’s good enough”

Certainly not as a statement that I consider a task well done or indeed completed and if I do happen to use them when accepting work from others…….well the ambiguity of the phrases could mean I’m happy that all that can be done has been done, alternatively I might just be less than impressed.  I will let you guess, but a clue; Winston Churchill was fond of saying, “I am easily pleased…….by perfection”. I first heard that at school from a teacher drilling a similar thing into the class and that became a mental tattoo.

It’s an attitude and a way of being.  It’s me. I don’t even think them unless it’s to check what else I need to do, can do, should do etc.

“That’ll do” never does. Just by asking if it will do, you have abdicated caring about the quality. Likewise if you think something is good enough it very rarely will be and is an acceptance of a compromise to quality and to doing the job right.

It is always likely to be the difference between making something happen rather than just letting it happen by chance.

When I read the statements from the management of the company I was researching I could almost hear them saying “yeah that’ll do” and seeing the slight shrug of the shoulders as they said it.

So to keep the theme going what words are you never likely to say and why?

Oh and music of the moment – My Wave by Soundgarden

#myjobhunt – Being Inspired & Being Confident is Crucial

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]

Today I was inspired.

It happens more to me than many people I know. It comes from the people I count as my friends and the people I meet or chat to by phone.

I had 6 major discussions today; 3 in person and 3 by phone. Each one was different and each left me with things to think about and reflect upon.

As many people know I’m looking for work at the moment and I’m sure it won’t surprise you to hear that it is not easy and at times my head is all over the place. I know I am not alone. Yet it is days like today and the conversations I had, that bring the focus back. I’m not going to go into the detail, but the inspiration each of them gave me was huge.

I don’t mind admitting that I got up this morning feel quite down and frustrated with #myjobhunt 2011, you may have got that from my last post. Yet I got the station and onto the train. One of the things that only a few know about me is that I love listening music to the point that I can get very lost in it and generally take my in-ear headphones everywhere with me. I tend to like it loud and I tend to like it very heavy, for much of what I listen to anyway. This morning was no different and yes it was loud. As a result by the time I’d got to London my mood was on the upside

The first meeting was a chat with Doug Shaw, someone I’ve got to know through Twitter, ConnectingHR and at SocRecCamp. A top bloke. Genuine and supportive. It was a simple coffee to share ideas and explore a few thoughts, no agenda, just chatter. Time flew past and I had to leave to make my way to my next appointment, scheduled as an interview. I was buzzing, not from the coffee but from the conversation I’d just had.

I don’t get nervous about much but this interview was different, not because of what is at stake in my life but because of whom I was interviewing with. But I was up for it. Over the next hour I had another conversation with someone who shares my passion for what we do and who gets how to engage with people. We shared our thoughts and he probed to find out what I thought on certain issues and practices around Resourcing and Talent. It was a good introductory conversation which had to come to a halt after 80 mins, both of us acknowledging that we could have spent all day on the various subjects and issues we face in our daily jobs. Now if I get this particular position this is the chap I would report to. It’s pretty good to know that your potential boss gets it too.

I had a spring in my step as I strolled across the West End of London to my next meeting.

This one was with a lady from APSCo who I’d met and shared ideas and thoughts with previously over the last two or three years. We talked about the complaints or moans members of The FIRM have about agencies, along with issues that the agencies have when dealing with their customers, whether HR, Resourcers or hiring manager. Typical and expected chatter. It wasn’t an entirely pleasing subject to chat about given there is unlikely to be a simple answer to the issues we all have, nor is there ever likely to be a remedy to them. All we can do is discuss them and try our best to improve how we do things. What was clear for me however as I walked to the Tube was that if we all focus completely on doing the best we can, in the right and appropriate way, as expected by everyone then it can only be better. Anyway that’s another subject for another day…..maybe.

What was good about this meeting was that it I was given the inspiration to possibly make a difference and it was in my power as an individual to do something about it. Which I will be doing over the next week or so, if I can find the time

Whilst I’ve been looking for work I got to know of a number of others that are in the same situation; three of whom I had met for the first time this year. I am pleased to say that these three people, all in HR have in the last 4 working days secured new jobs. One of whom announced her success today adding to my good feeling. I won’t out them just yet as I am not sure how public they have made their news, but brilliant news and many congratulations to you all; G, S and J.

I suppose what I am saying with this post is that it is okay to be a little down and a little frustrated and a little confused when job hunting. It’s a serious business. But be true, stay focused and believe in yourself and know that you are good at what you do and you’ll have days like this too and soon those days will turn into the kind of days my three friends have had in this last week. Be inspired.

I started this post by saying I was inspired today. I was. I’d started the day feeling pretty grim about things but then as the day wore on I got back on the balls of my feet and started to feel good, and by the time I got home I was buzzing. It was a day when I got focus and confidence back. And it’s not just today either. The support and encouragement and great friendship I have received this year is amazing. Last year blew me away but this year is amazing. Thank you all.

My name is Gary, I’m looking for a new job and I am good at what I do.

Music of the Day: BU2B by Rush (also inpsired by Doug, a Rush fan too)

thanks for reading

An old post: Will I Win? or I Will Win!

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]

Originally posted 23 September 2009

I read a very good article this morning, one that made me think hard about behaviour, rationale and the power and control of my own mind

In the article by Peter Bregman in the Harvard Business Blog showed how simple mind games can have a very adverse affect on our personality and our lives. It is a great article and really struck home how much control we give to our imagination and creating fantasies that can all to easily become reality.

In describing the two scenarios; his own personal anxieties after being stung by a number of hornets and the behaviour and actions of his friend in the work place I am sure Peter has outlined situations that we can all see ourselves doing in our daily lives. I certainly can – it is only human nature surely.

Will I Win? or I Will Win! Exactly the same number of letters, the same number words. All that is different is the order they are in. The first has doubt and insecurity running all through it, whereas coming at the same words from a different perspective and using them slight differently they become full of certainty and confidence.

So by taking control of your imagination and reeling in the fantasy before you start living it you’ll have better options. Positive Mental Attitude is what it’s all about. And we can control that! I’m neither an evangelist nor an expert on the issues at all and don’t intend to preach but I read this article and it reminded me that by taking the positive “I Will Win!” stance is actually more enjoyable and relaxing than asking the question.

Careful! Think! Plan! Interviews really are very important

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On my Friday commute last week, as on most other days I was busy scrolling through my Twitter feed, catching up on what had been posted overnight as well as having the normal high spirited Friday banter with friends. There is usually plenty to catch up on and read. I only have an hour of over ground commute so am never able to read it all. One tweet however stood out; actually it was a ReTweet or RT.

The original post in its entirety is

“Be truthful if you sleep through/forget/don’t show up to an interview. Employers MAY be understanding.”

This was posted by someone who has as a fair number of followers on Twitter and appears to work for a company with a good website giving what is generally sound advice to job seekers. However I find this tweet quite disturbing. I can’t fault the logic of being honest; it does indeed go a long way. But to actually come out and state something as absurd as stated in the tweet is dangerous.

There is no, I repeat no excuse for sleeping late, forgetting or just not showing up ever. It is inexcusable and indefensible. Now I am sure that the author of the tweet didn’t mean it this way, I would hope not anyway! However if you put yourself out there as an “expert” who advises people on how to find a job and how to perform in an interview, you do have a certain responsibility. Many people will listen to you and if they read and digest that tweet they are unlikely to get hired.

This blog isn’t a rant nor is it intended to offer general criticism of the author at all. Therefore I don’t intend to name or link to his website.

There are many reasons why people can’t make a prearranged interview, many of them credible, understandable and forgivable, however the reason stated above are not amongst these. If you are applying for any job in any company you must without fail and excuse show the company, the job and the hiring manager the utmost respect.

In many organisations Managers want people in their teams that meet certain key competencies or behavioural traits. Now I know many companies don’t get all psych and sophisticated and actually label their selection criteria that way, regardless hiring managers generally have standards they look for; whether it is technical ability, team fit, experience in a certain function etc., the list goes on. Above all else the hiring manager will most certainly want to employ someone who wants to do the job, someone who has the right attitude and will generally get the job done. Decisions to hire are generally based on how an interview has highlighted these attributes.

Conversely oversleeping, forgetting to attend or not showing up for an interview highlights other attributes that to my knowledge are not acceptable in any job. It shows lack of planning, discipline, enthusiasm and respect for the job, manager and company, a lack of common courtesy and importantly a lack of self-respect.

There is no sure fire guaranteed way of making a good impression, of securing that perfect job, but you have to do your utmost to make sure you don’t leave a bad a impression. Good planning will go a long way as will the right attitude.

There are many do’s and don’ts, what are your thoughts?

Is Measuring the Cost of Hire sufficient to prove Effectiveness?

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As every in house recruiter knows there is a priority to reduce the cost of hire. If you don’t then you should. Many of the initiatives that flow through the corporate landscape are justified before or after by the forecasted or realised cost savings; whether it is creation of a PSL, a new ATS, increased head count to reduce use of agencies or to reduce time to hire etc., it all comes down to RIO.

There are those in house recruiting structures that strive for a perfect direct souring model; one that is motivated by the business need to reduce agency and search dependency and therefore the cost of hire. There is nothing wrong with that at all and for many would be a sound justification.

But what about considerations given to the quality of hire? Have you given thought to how much it would cost you to make a Bad Hire? Estimates vary on this one from a few months of Total Cost to Company (TCC) to 3 years. TCC is salary plus bonus plus Fringe Costs (in a sales environment add in commission guarantees well). The reason it can be so high is not only the cost of the original hire and the wasted salary to that person, but the cost of the replacement, the lack of productivity the poor hire contributed and then the training and ramp up time of the replacement hire.

If your poor hire is also potentially one of your consumers then the impact of the poor hire could run into millions of lost revenue over the lifetimes of that person and their extended family. It is a stretch I know, but a risk easily calculated. Another impact will be the detrimental impact to the Employer Brand of your company. Now I appreciate that Employer Brand is promoted, protected and impacted on so many levels but the experience a candidate has or employee has (regardless of how long they stay with the company)will without doubt influence other people’s perception of your company as a place to work as part of their career aspirations.

What might be the impact if the poor hire was a senior member of management or in a high profile position? Wouldn’t that have an adverse impact on the reputation of the organisation not only from its customer but its investors as well?

With these thoughts in mind, is a focus on the reduction in the unit cost per hire a real indicator of improvement and gained efficiencies? Shouldn’t we be looking at the seemingly unquantifiable ‘Quality of Hire’ and promotion of or impact to ‘Employer Brand’? Both tend to get overlooked outside of the recruiting teams, possibly because the benefits can only be measured over a longer period.

Focusing on the Candidate Experience and the Quality of Hire, obviously with an eye on the costs are key considerations for me because they offer potentially massive long terms gains for the business as well as the reputation of my teams, whereas the cost of hire is typically a short term metric relative to the past or current fiscal period.

So is Measuring the Cost of Hire sufficient to prove Effectiveness? I would say No. What do you think?

A work in progress and interesting to hear thoughts on this, especially what areas can positively affect the Candidate Experience, Employer Branding and Quality for hire?

Social Media, yes;
Employee Engagement, yes;
Referral Programs, yes

– what else?

CV Farmers or Hunters for Top Talent? what would you rather be?

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]

Just over three months ago I embarked upon #MyJobHunt and started to really learn a lot about the abilities and the attitudes that pervade recruiting.   I’d had my own experiences, been influenced by other people’s and formed my own opinions, but the 6 weeks of #myjobhunt and the subsequent 10 weeks has taught me so many more realities around what we do and how we do it.

During my six week journey and adventure whilst I was looking for my next employment option I had two clear thoughts  and have used them a number of times in discussions and in presentations.

1.       The number of companies that have dedicated in-house recruitment teams is the tip of the iceberg; the number of those companies that have a sophisticated in-house team represent  the pinnacle of the tip of the iceberg

 

2.       The second point is that no recruiter is as good as they think they are; no process is as good as it is meant to be.

 

I’m not going to comment on the sophisticated teams and structures because they really are very very  good at what they do and how they do it.

Anyone hear the expression CV Farmer?  I use it quite a bit. It can apply to agency and in-house recruiters alike.  A CV Farmer is a recruiter that posts job adverts on company web sites and job boards or gives an agency a brief then sits back and waits for the CV’s to come to them.  They then do basic screening and then pass them directly the Hiring Managers.  The vast majority of in-house teams or structures are made up of CV Farmers or as their HR colleagues call them and their customers refer to them; Administrators.

These structures and individuals generally lack the understanding of what it takes to be a Hunter, actively searching for the right individual, assessing their capabilities and competencies in line with the needs of the business and the culture of the environment, let alone be able to provide substantiated advice and guidance to the Hiring Manager.

Don’t get me wrong. Farmers fill vacancies. They can do it and save on fees that may be spent on agencies or search firms. However how confident are you that you have hired the best possible candidate rather than a convenient one?

I’ve had countless conversations with other in-house recruiters over the last few months, covering a wide variety of topics.  One common thread is how a recruiting team’s performance and its worth to the business can be directly influenced by or as a result of the attitude of the person at the top of the tree in HR.   I can relate to this, unfortunately.

I have only ever met a few HR Managers or Directors that know how to recruit, unless their primary role is recruitment.  I was given a perfectly clear example of this recently when speaking with HRDs from organisations of various sizes and markets.  I asked by a show of hands how many of them had personally recruited for people in the last year.  Most of them put their hands up.  When I then asked them to put their hands down if they had used an agency or search company, all but one put their hands down.  All they had proven was that they knew how to use a phone.  I told them so, which opened up all sorts of conversations.

One clear point from personal experiences during #MyJobHunt, as well as before and after, is that the majority of HR departments treat recruiters as Administrators, which in turn means that they tend not to be equipped well enough to give a candidate a proper experience and therefore don’t add any real value.  In fact in many companies recruitment is managed by HR Administrators.  Worse still, if they are treated like administrators, they will behave like administrators and not necessarily give the candidate the experience they will need or deserve.

What I find troubling is that we constantly read in the business or HR press, or are informed internally that attracting and acquiring top talent is a Top 5 Board level priority, yet it is rarely treated as such and tends to be treated with little respect and importance by HRDs.

I agree that I have generalised and  appreciate that there are many reasons why in-house teams are not as good as they think they are or could be, and I am pretty sure that this post will stimulate a few comments, but hey it I didn’t hear it or experience it I wouldn’t comment on it.  I think you know that about me.

The point I am trying to make is that recruiters can add significant value to your employer brand, your corporate brand, your reputation in the market, your ability to attract and acquire top talent and when supported, equipped and engaged correctly they will add far more value to the company balance sheet than any other part of HR…………..arguably.  I am biased of course

I’m in the lucky position to have joined a company as we go through a transformation, part of which is the creation of an improved and hopefully sophisticated team at the pinnacle of the tip of the iceberg with all the processes, tools and skills to add real value to the company – yeah that’s my goal and my job!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]

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