Posts Tagged ‘ “social networking” ’

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

My Top 10 Predictions for 2012

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]

There have been a lot of predictions about the future of recruitment, about 2012 and about the economy so why not add to them I thought

Here are my top ten predictions for this year.

1. You will still have vacancies to fill
2. You will still get cold calls from people
3. Many of those People and others will continue to be stupid beyond words
4. Road Fund License (Car Tax) will need renewing at the end of …..(pick a month)
5. Christmas Day will be on 25th December 2012
6. It will rain in July………………somewhere
7. There will be more crap blogs than good blogs to read
8. Your Klout Score will remain completely irrelevant and useless to anyone but you
9. Social Media on the mobile will rule time and space
10. All of these will come true

There you go. That all you need to know for 2012.

Have a good one

#myjobhunt Happy Anniversary – a year on, Day 1

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]

Two weeks ago I wrote a post in which I mentioned that my current contract was soon to come to an end and it was unlikely to be extended and therefore would need to reactivate #myjobhunt for 2011. It was funny at the time of writing that post I was full of confidence and positivity, some of which was that there was the possibility that I would be staying on and part of it was because I had such fun last year and was looking forward to it this time around even though I had hoped not to have to. Does that make sense?

Two weeks ago I also had to start Jury Service. This was my second time as a jurist, the last time much more accommodating than this time! It couldn’t have come at a worse time, not only for my impending hunt, but also because of the workload and priorities I had in my current job.

The last time I sat on a Jury in 2005 it was in Coroners Court for a suicide. It affected me for quite some time, but it was over with in about a week.

This time it was Crown Court for a very serious crime. I was lucky to have been called for a case in the first couple of hours on the first day. Or at least that is how I felt for about an hour. Despite or maybe due to the repetitiveness of the statements and evidence from witnesses, I didn’t feel so lucky after the first day. The time spent in the jury box in the court itself was actually an interlude to the waiting around, and every evening I got home I was more tired and stressed than I would have been if I had been commuting to the office every day. I do not like not working when I should/could be and it probably didn’t help that I couldn’t talk about it when I did get home either. It was energy sapping, far more so than I could have expected (or needed either).

At work I have a lot on at the moment, most of which needs to be completed before the end of September if I am to leave at the end of Sept, which now seems almost certain. So not only was Jury Service an imposition to this, it meant that I wasn’t able to find the time to find the next “best job I’ve had”. I was fine during the first week thinking it won’t last long and we’ll be released but no, the judge asked us to come back for the second Monday. My frustrations and my irritation went up a level when after that case finished the judge asked us to check in to see if we were needed for the rest of the week. I was relatively lucky; I only had to hang around doing nothing for three days in the second week!!! Some of my fellow jurors from that first case got called on another long case – I am smiling inside.

It was exactly a year ago yesterday that #myjobhunt 2010 started. I’ll be honest with you I could probably republish the same first day post from last year. The initial anxieties, insecurities and doubts we’ve all had in the same circumstances were there, the same as they were last year. There are differences between last year and this. In 2010 I deliberately resigned from a job to find a new position that would allow me to grow and enhance my experience and give me the opportunity to develop and use my potential. This year I still have a big job to do.

Last year I was incredibly fortunate to land just that kind of position I craved and have had the opportunity to work with such a focused and energised group of people for the last year, in a great company as we have been going through some major changes. Now in 2011 as it seems time to move on, it would be perfect to be able to do the same again if at all possible. Hopefully correcting the mistakes made, improving the ideas put in place and enhancing whilst repeating some of the successes achieved. The stakes are somewhat higher as a result.

The morning of Day 1 was all about my job – having decided during my second week of Jury Service that I had outstanding holiday to take and needed a break I received permission to take a week of leave. I therefore had to not only follow up on a number of issues from the previous couple of weeks, but I needed to be sure that any outstanding issues were handed over. I also spent a bit of time making a few calls to update some people on my situation and of course the inevitable thinking and worrying!

1pm rolls around before I know it and off I go for a two and a half hour workout with a recently retained Personal Trainer. This worked a treat. Last year I walked the hills around the farm estate on which I live for exercise, this year I am stepping up the pain for gain. It worked! The juices were flowing (serotonin apparently) by the time I got home and I felt much more positive. It helped that my car passed its annual MOT without a glitch. I was ready apart from a small matter of dehydration, easily resolved for an afternoon and evening of positive action and thoughts.

There are a couple of opportunities I am discussing with people at the moment, one of which sounds after two interviews very exciting and could well be “that job”. I have been aware of both of these positions for a few weeks now, and frustrated that I have not been able to pursue either until yesterday due to my civic responsibilities. Other opportunities are out there and the grapevine has started to whisper but I now need to apply myself and find out more about each of them.

That will do for a Day 1 / Day 2 post, more hours will need to be spent tomorrow. Maybe I will have to walk to the top of the lane again to visit and reacquaint myself with the “office” that I became so familiar with last August.

Music of the Day – “Up Around the Bend” by Credence Clearwater Revival

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

Social Media & Recruitment -more questions than answers?

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]
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

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?