Posts Tagged ‘ “Social Recruiting” ’

Include or Engage – Dont They Mean the Same Thing?

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]

Last Friday there were a lot of Tweets using the #HFCHAT – this stands for HireFriday Chat and takes place online surprisingly on Fridays. I confess I’ve not paid too much attention to it so cannot offer any thoughts, however on Friday last week there were a number or tweets using the hashtag that seemed to follow a theme.

One in particular from Steve Levy @levyrecruits caught my eye

@levyrecruits Companies and Recruiters: I know you’re reading this… STOP RECRUITING TO EXCLUDE PEOPLE; find ways to include them #hfchat

This got me thinking.

Was this referring to the linear CV sifting process or was it talking about community and engagement? Could apply to both.

Let quickly look at the former first.

The problem that many in-house teams or HR generalists face is the lack time and the lack of engagement. The teams either don’t have the resources to afford the time or they are not afforded the time by the hiring managers to fully understand what it is they need. Very few in-house recruiters are given the opportunity to actively partner and engage at a business level with their hiring managers. There could be many reasons for this; managers not respecting what recruiting function could do if engaged properly, recruiters not having the commercial awareness to be anything other than transactional, HR Managers and BP’s marginalising the recruiting function and operating in a culture of elitism, where only they have access to the hiring manager community. There are I suspect a few more valid reasons. None acceptable to me, but valid nonetheless. All of these are common and familiar. None of them help the company or its ability to identify good talent from amongst the dozens, maybe hundreds of applications received for each position. And none of them help the candidate community get to know about the company.

Companies can be spoiled by the volume of applications received per vacancy, the vast majority of which are irrelevant. Irrelevant applications are received all of the time; because of wishful thinking or belief that they can genuinely do the job, stupidity or because of a lack of information provided by the company. Whatever the reason for the application, relevant or otherwise the overburdened recruiter will typically follow a linear process. At this stage they are looking to exclude people in order to identify those they want to include. Even once they have spent the time to create a decent long list they have their minds focused on finding perfect fits or best fits and therefore look to include only those that fit the predefined criteria and to exclude those that clearly don’t. It’s a process of elimination until they arrive a suitable shortlist of candidates that are worthy of further time, consideration and interview. It happens this way, it has always happened this way and it will always continue to happen this way.

But what happens if the shortlist doesn’t contain that many people or that they don’t have the “perfect fit” attributes required as briefed? How many companies and their leaders and their recruiters have the time, maturity and sense, as well as the understanding of the business function they are recruiting for, to look at what transferable skills the candidates might have and how they can be applied to the role being recruited for? Very few I would suspect. Could this be the point that Steve was making in his tweet?

If we replace the use of the word “include”, in Steve’s Tweet with “engage” we address the latter thought above and move closer to where both candidates and companies will gain greatest value and benefit.

Recruiting teams must be allowed to partner with the business if they want to become anything other than administrators. In order to add value to the business they need to understand it. Understanding the business and the functions of the individual business unit therein is the first step in transitioning a recruiting team away from being an administrative support function to one that is a valuable extension to it. It will give the individual recruiters the knowledge and confidence to engage properly with a target candidate community/group/pool and proactively identify suitable people. It will give them the opportunity to sell through conversation and inclusion and be able to speak with authority and knowledge. Not possible when kept at arms-length

I agree whole heartedly with Steve in respect that we shouldn’t be sitting back waiting for the applications to arrive in our inbox or ATS and then select through a process of elimination based on buzz word matching or like-for-like experience matching we need to look at all attributes, if that is what he meant.

By including and fully engaging with recruiter the hiring managers equip them to properly represent their department, function and job to the world. It also enables them to confidently engage with targeted or open communities, whether they are online or offline. In doing so employers and potential employees have the opportunity to come together to explore each other without commitment or obligation. I would suspect that good people will be identified or at least stand out much easier and at the same time many of the irrelevant applications will be eliminated.

There are two things then we need to get better at – well there are many but in the context of this post – we need to be better equipped and willing to identify transferable skills and think about what we can teach and what we can learn from a hire. We also need to be more open and transparent and fully engage with our internal customer community to enable us to engage with their potential candidate communities.

The discussions that can result in transparency and engagement could lead anywhere. Why miss that opportunity?

Different Approaches for a Different Year – #myjobhunt Week 1

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]

Well that was an interesting week.

Having decided to take the week off to recharge my batteries I found myself thinking that I should spend some of the time looking for the my next job. The weather however was conspiring against me. Who wants to be stuck on the phone or at a PC when the sun is shining? A rare occasion in this year’s British summer.

On Weds I woke early (by holiday standards) having been stupid enough to book a PT session for 0800. When I left the house at 0745 for the walk through the woods and across the fields (that sounds very Larkrise to Candleford doesn’t it?) to the gym it was already very hot. By the time I got there I was already warmed up and then after 15 mins on the bike, up and down virtual hills I was dripping! Not nice for the next 2 hours. Like any good Personal Trainer Chris was not going to let me falter, slow down or give up regardless I cried and screamed like a baby.

It was therefore about 1100 that I finally booted up the laptop, tuned into Planet Rock and went about finding another suitable position.

Those that read the blog posts I wrote during #myjobhunt 2010 will know that I don’t tend to use typical approaches of job boards and agencies when proactively looking, or at least I didn’t then. On Wednesday I started out thinking that this year was not likely to be any different. I would continue to engage with as many people as I could and generate interest and referrals from my Facebook Friends, Twitter Followers and LinkedIn Connections. Or at least try.

Whilst this approach was and is working very well, it became clear that this year is significantly different to last year. This time last year I was happy to take a job that would enhance my career, either doing a job that had exciting content and development opportunity or one that would give me the opportunity to progress in the future. I spoke to everyone, I met as many people as I could, and chased down every lead I could. In having this approach I was lucky enough to have quite a few positions to chase and consider. This year I still need to do the same.

Yet it dawned on me that having been fortunate enough to land a job managing and leading change in the function in a complex organisation as we go through a sizable corporate and HR Transformation, the kind of job that will now float my boat has changed. Jobs like these tend to be quite senior and as such there is a tendency to give the vacancies to Search firms. In doing so it sort of eliminates the chances of referrals. I have already experienced it once in this year’s quest for a new job. A friend got in contact to say that they were looking for a person to run the European Recruitment function. I sent my CV knowing they had already given the role to a very expensive Search firm, a firm I have experience with and know how and what they charge. It was little surprise to get feedback a week or so later that they were really interested in my experience however, were quite advanced with another candidate presented by the Search firm. Of course the potential employer had probably paid in the region of £60,000 to the search firm already and wanted to think they were going to justify that expense, so a referral no matter how relevant would be a bit embarrassing wouldn’t it?

Despite the fact that in-house recruiting professionals of all grades are extremely well networked and connected to each other in the UK and elsewhere, thanks to The FIRM and other networks, I find it disappointing that Search seems to be the first port of call when hiring at this level. I may be disappointed but not surprised. In fact one position I am very keen on at the moment is as a result of a Search firm contacting me. So I am not complaining just making an observation.

One other problem with finding out about jobs and then being referred to the Search company, supposedly managing them, is that when you track down the Search firm and the so called “consultant” no one is ever available and you have to leave a message. You can never reach them nor will they bother to call you back? A Search firm called JD Haspel didn’t seem to be interested in being disturbed and haven’t called me back despite messages I left at the beginning of the week. Anyone use them?

Rant over.

By Wednesday evening I started to think that maybe I needed to contact as many search firms as I could that specialised in HR positions – are there any? That is the trouble. Where would I start? I recognised I probably needed to get in contact with a few, maybe those that I knew already would be more respectful and speak with me. Makes sense doesn’t it? So while I am mulling these thoughts over and trying to get motivated to speak with people that for the last year I have been targeting in my efforts to reduce costs (typical isn’t it? But I won’t corrupt myself by doing it any other way), I start surfing, reading blogs, and posting comments. Always a good way to get noticed in the right forums.

I then started trying to organise my LinkedIn Connections and exploring positions posted on The FIRMs job listing. I looked at one particular position posted in The FIRM that had also been posted to the wider LinkedIn platform, which then led me to a couple of positions that looked good. I sent an inMail to one of my connections for help on one, applied for another and saved a couple for later follow up. I also started noticing the differences in how companies and recruiters posted their jobs on LinkedIn. It was interesting that some jobs would have plenty of enticing detail whilst others would have lots about the company but little about the job itself. It is poor how some people think that they don’t have to sell and attract. Come on! You have to make a job look exciting otherwise why on earth would anyone apply, at this level? We want to know more, we want to hear it all, we like a challenge.

Also I noticed for the first time the links at the foot of the job ad. These are LinkedIn generate links called “People Who Viewed This Job Also Viewed”. Bingo! One job led to another and two more applications were made as a result. It was strange though and I am sure I was doing something wrong, some of the jobs I was finding by following these links didn’t come up in searches I ran on LinkedIn. I’ll figure that one out.

Wednesday had not finished there either. Whilst I was reading through LinkedIn I was also active on Twitter and monitoring a couple of lists. Two people who I have got to know over the last couple of years, one of whom I have never met, suggested two leads for me, both with full contact info and full introductions and both of which could very well lead somewhere. One a contract and the other a permanent job. Thank you to both, Ken and Mat for your generous assistance with both of these, pie and pint on me when we meet up.

Thursday was a day out. I was hoping for sunshine but the rain was torrential for the morning. I was out and about in Somerset, a part of the country that was a communications dead zone! It made me a bit nervous not only being without a cell phone signal but without email as well. I start to sweat and twitch when that happens for 10 mins on the train, but I was 6 hours off-grid this time.

Once I did get back to civilisation and my email downloaded I was pleased to see that one of the leads from the previous day had started to move quite nicely and needed some follow up when I got home. This was duly addressed.

Friday was dominated by two interviews in the City. These were effectively 3rd and 4th interviews in follow up to the 2nd interview I had on Day 1 (Monday). I was very excited and very nervous about these. I don’t tend to get nervous about much but as I have said previously the stakes are higher this year and the good opportunities are not likely to be as prolific as they were last year. Besides, everything I had found out and heard about this company has been positive and appealing. The job itself is a perfect opportunity for me to do again much of what I have done in the last year – but differently.

On the way into London I had so many good wishes sent my way by online and offline friends. I cannot begin to tell you just how much they all meant to me, made me smile and relaxed me. On my way home last night I received a few texts, DMs, WhatsApps and emails asking me how I had got on and how the interviews went. My initial reaction and thoughts were very positive. I enjoyed meeting both of the people today and felt that the interviews went well. But then I got to thinking. Replaying both of them in my mind through the evening the doubts started to creep in. Questions like “did I give a good performance?”, “was my answer the best I could have given?”, “should I have volunteered more?”, “did I talk too much?”, “did I listen enough?”, “why didn’t they ask me about some of the compliance issues?” and so on.

These sorts of thoughts are inevitable despite being unhealthy. I can only help I have done enough to maintain their interest and if haven’t I have to make sure I use the lessons learned to improve myself for next time.

Fingers crossed eh?

#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

This one is all about me – #myjobhunt 2011

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]

It seems frightening to think that it has been nearly a year.

A little over a year ago, in fact at the end of next week it will be a year, that I made the decision to change jobs.

Time flies when having fun.

Little did I suspect how that decision would impact me and how the activities of last summer and the people I would meet would change my life. I’m not talking about a change so inspiring that an afternoon TV drama could be made of it. But it did change me, for the better I hope.

What was I doing?

I was looking for my next job. I won’t review that experience in this post because I wrote about it extensively last summer in the series “#myjobhunt”, covering Days 1 to 32 of my experiences.

It became the best bracketed six weeks of my adult life; a period that still makes me smile.

As a result of #myjobhunt I started my current role at the very end of Sept, nine and half months ago. It started as a six month contract. Since then I have learned so much, grown plenty and achieved a huge amount both personally and in my job. The job itself was incredibly exciting and daunting before I started, quite a stretch from my previous role. This perception was nothing compared to how I felt after the first month. The pace and scale of what I had to do and what we were trying to achieve was and still is incredible. This job is huge!

I would love to go into the details of what has been achieved by me personally, by the Recruiting teams and by the European HR Service Delivery structure, of which the Resourcing and Recruiting structure is a part, but discretion and company confidentiality needs to be respected. Many of the challenges are the same that plenty have been through before and will go through time and again in the future. Organisations change and develop, going through OD programs with multifaceted change and transformation programmes in order to evolve and grow.

It is what happens. I am excited to be an integral part of these changes.

There are of course frustrations that come with a complex multi-cultural corporation that has grown over 3 centuries. There are the matrix of reporting lines, local priorities, legacy attitudes and the inevitable resistance to change, all of which need to be managed to be sure the overall business goals are achieved in the timescales required. Not only that, there are the inevitable moving goal posts. But one thing has been constant; the desire by the Service Delivery management team to get the job done and work through a problem, not circumvent it regardless of the challenge and degree of difficulty, and still achieve results that will make a substantial difference.

From my desk I can see where the improvements have been made. I count reducing the average Time to Hire by nearly 30%, the average Cost per Hire being reduced by 50%, the dependency of agencies being reduced from approx. 80% to less than 20% across the region in 9 months as significant achievements, but there is always much more that can be done. That is the best and most exciting part of my job. Set aside the five hours a day I have to commute with a 5am start and the not-so-wonderful smells on the tube, I actually feel like I work in HR now and belong in it as part of the changes we are making in the business and I tell you what, I love it! Maybe it is the company, maybe it’s my boss, or it could be her team of direct reports or it could be my team of direct reports or it could just be the job is the right one for me. All of the above I suspect.

I have been asked a number of times over the last few months what my perfect job would be if I were to spec it out myself. I have always answered that it would be the one have right now.

Which is sad, because being on a contract means that it inevitably it is going to come to an end and that end is likely to be fast approaching.

So time to dust the CV off, update it with all that has been done this last year (sorry Merv – still need a CV) and embark on another #myjobhunt. Of course anything can happen and I could still be here this time next year. I hope I am, truly I do. It would be great to take the changes and the results of this last year and use them as a platform next year and the year after. Can’t always have what we want though, eh? But I have to be practical and think and act wisely. So #myjobhunt starts again.

Needless to say that #myjobhunt won’t be the same daily serialisation it was last year. I won’t have the time for that – I will still have a job to do. Yet I will do my best to share my thoughts and observations in much the same way I did last year and I really hope I will meet as many wonderful supportive people and have as many laughs. I also hope I learn as many new things about myself as I did in the six weeks last summer and the subsequent 9 months.

And of course I welcome any input, introductions and opportunities.

Song of the Day – Back from Cali by Slash (feat. Myles Kennedy)

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

Starting a Job is not “Job Done”, It is just the start – Day 41 of #myjobhunt

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]

Day 41 of #myjobhunt = Day 1 of #mynewjob

So here we are at last – Day 41 of #myjobhunt and exactly 8 weeks after leaving my last job and starting my quest for a new career opportunity, I finally arrived at the day that it had all been aiming at.

Today I started my new job – well not actually today but the Monday of this week was Day 1 of what I will now be calling #mynewjob – obvious really. – I hope to call it that if I remaining appropriate to blog about my new job. Of course this may not be a good idea, but the jury is out.

One thing I am mindful of however is that whilst the quest for an offer had come to a natural and positive end with me accepting and starting a new job. The next step or phase in the process is the most important. I, like anyone who starts with a new employer has to now live up to billing and deliver and do it in style. I don’t mean I am going to be flash or a smartarse, but the aim is to deliver efficiently and effectively and against demand and expectations. It is all about making sure my new boss is vindicated for hiring me and is made to look good in the process. It won’t do me any harm either will it now? As fun as it was, I don’t want to be back to #myjobhunt any time soon, thank you very much.

But at this point early on the Day 1 Monday morning my only focus was making sure I made the train in time, to make connections so that I could meet my new boss at St. Pancras International for the Eurostar to Paris. Not the normal first day and rather pleased we didn’t need to catch the first train out!

Having spent 8 weeks not having to worry about getting out of bed let alone waking up, I set the alarm for 5am to be sure I was up, ready and able to catch the first train a 6.38am. I actually woke at 4am rolled over went back to sleep, the alarm was on silent so I didn’t hear it go off at 5am and finally woke up luckily at 0536. I had 20 mins to get myself out of the house. Not the best way to start a long day on the first day of a new job. Apple Inc. don’t you know how absolutely ridiculous it is not to allow an alarm to override silent mode. How dumb can you be? Okay, okay my fault knowing the limitations but still a design fault nonetheless. I have my phone on silent at night because of the number of mutations that don’t know that my number is not the number they want!

Anyway I made the train, no problems with the tube and made it to St Pancras and onto the Eurostar all very calm and collected thanks to Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti. I did however have to tell a man of the cloth that he can’t get on the train because his god wasn’t about to move the cases in front of him, human intervention would be needed to stow them properly, so that I could pass. I was smiling at the time! He saw the funny side of it too. Made it to my seat – well no not mine but by time the passenger whose seat it was arrived, I was very comfy and not about to move. All sorted. At this point it is worth pointing out that I had been up for 3.5 hours and had not yet had a coffee. Everyone on the carriage was lucky to make to Paris I tell you, but a dose of Led Zeppelin is a sort of cure all for me. I am not at my best without coffee, at least 3 large mugs at that. But I was sat next to the second most important person in my life at that moment – yup my new boss and thus just had to behave. I was in a smiling mood, honest.

So the first two and half hours of my new job were spent in fine, amusing and generous company – well what did you expect me to say? I spent the time listening to an induction of sorts and an overview of the challenges ahead, not much of it making a lot sense yet. But so glad I focused and concentrated as it all started to come together later in the day and throughout Day 2.

I intend to blog about my first 30 days as best I can without divulging operational specifics or making my team and colleagues uncomfortable. If I feel that this becomes the case I will stop. But I want to be able to relate the job hunting process with actually starting a job. When I wrote Day 1 of #myjobhunt I did so purely for my own purposes; I wanted to dump my thoughts and reflect on the day past and what needs to be done during the next day (I think I’ve written those words before, sorry). I want to see if by tracking my daily activity and reflecting on what happens and what is needed next, if my performance and my decision making is made any better than previous versions of Gary. I‘m not going to start a daily blog because I think that would become too specific and ….well boring. What I will try and do is give some kind of perspective of the personal challenges and changes I will have to go thoughts and some of the thoughts observations and experiences. It might not be possible. But let’s see how we go, eh?

So Day 1 I arrive in Paris having met only three people who work for the company, not bad when you consider that the total workforce is approx 55,000. Straight to the office and into a kick-off meeting.

This meeting was to actually kick off the “next phase” deployment of a global project that my boss is the owner of. So three hours of acronyms and language that was all alien to me and much of what was being discussed was initially so confusing. However much like a dimmer switch being slowly turned up, the more the afternoon wore on, the clearer much of it became and actually raised a number of questions that would have direct impact on what I was here to do. My job – ownership of all recruitment processes for Europe (excl UK); strategy, planning, operations and delivery.

Names of people were going in one ear and out another, every time I spoke to someone I was introduced to another person or process with further suggestions of who I needed to speak with or meet. Copious notes are being taken and comments attributed to people; no matter how many times I hear it I note it down.

I have already been assigned one project that needs to happen now and active involvement and the other I need to get up to speed with very very fast, and I know there are two or three others that are being discussed. How much of these will come my way remains to be seen. And this is addition to the normal daily stuff of planning and leading a strategic approach to recruitment and resourcing delivery.

The pace and scale of what we are doing is stunning. The excitement and energy created by a team that doesn’t know the meaning of “can’t do”, and seems to live by the “let’s get it done” ethos is a rush – they plan fast and execute even faster.

I am on the balls of my feet and bouncing ready to get in the game.

Music of the day = Thoughtless by Korn

That was Day 1 of #mynewjob for you.

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