Posts Tagged ‘ Twitter ’

Having Multiple Versions of your CV – the discussion continues

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]

Last weekend I asked a simple question on Twitter, it got an immediate reaction from many which inspired me to post the same question on the blog. “Do CVs Contain the Truth?”

Of course we all hope they do, we know that not all of them do.

There have been some great comments and discussions on- and offline. When I created the post I was thinking as both a candidate, which is what I am and as a hiring recruitment manager, which is also what I am.

From the candidates perspective I only have one linear history of experience and in my CV I always highlight what I have done and what I have achieved, all of it, over the last 10 years. I am only going to apply for jobs that are relevant to that experience, to do anything else I would be deceiving myself that I could be something that I am not.

This is a change for me. In previous years when I was selling hardware and software, based on advice from a so called recruiting and career expert, I had a number of CVs; one highlighting my direct sales experience, a second highlighting my channel sales experience, and other highlighting my management experience, all created in order to justify the application to a particular job, a job that I was probably not suitable for. None of them actually suitable for me either. I learned my lesson. As a candidate I had to know what I am good at, what I want to do and what I bring to the next job. One of the key things I look for when considering a new role is what that job or company can do for me; how will it help me develop.

I am looking for a new job now and can see how two CVs might help find a job, especially if I haven’t find THE job; one to highlight my ability to fill Reqs and the other more strategic and management focused. But for now I only have one CV. The CV. The history.

From a Recruitment Managers perspective I don’t actually care. I only see a CV, I don’t know if it is one of one or one of many. I don’t care. It is what it is and I have to make a judgement and decision on it. What I do care about is being able to read a CV and believe it is a true representation of a candidate’s experience. If I start to have doubts then I won’t be inclined to proceed with the candidate.

I was interested in the comments from my fellow in-house recruiters and recruitment managers who said that they would rather read a CV that has points specific and relevant to the position applied for highlighted, to them I ask “how would you know that what you are reading has been created for you?” “How do you know they have read and understood the job description?” There is no way of knowing at all.

If we encourage candidates to alter CVs to highlight skills and experience simply touched upon, are we not asking for all CVs to be documents of aspiration? In doing so, are we then not diminishing the value of a CV as well as our ability to rely on them as a testament to skills, experience and knowledge genuinely earned and learned?

There is no right or wrong to this practice. It is simply a personal preference.

But it is worth thinking about it’s worth, rather than just accepting it as a good idea.


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 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?

Putting My Back Into Job Hunting, Not a Good Idea – Day 25 #myjobhunt

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]

My name is Gary Franklin and I am looking for a new job.

My last blog post was almost a week ago. That was Day 21 of #myjobhunt, this is Day 25. Having said that, the activity that took place on the last 3 days of last week probably amounts to enough to make it Day 21 and three quarters. But each day is separate.

So what happened on Days 22-24? Like I said last week, I was going to take it easier for a week. I needed a real break to be honest and whilst some might say that I have it easy being out of work and not getting up etc etc. blah blah…….you will know that if you have been in this position it can be very tiring, both mentally and physically. Yet a real break is not an option – I cannot afford to get used to not working, which is all so easy to do whilst the weather is warm. I can also tell you the way I have gone about it has been a lot more stressful than I had taken it to be. To the point that last week I could hardly move because of pain in my back and shoulders – all caused by a bad seating position, at the dining room table and not the desk in the attic, (and yes I’m at the table now) and of course the intensity and self-induced tension of the #myjobhunt process.

As mentioned in Day 21, the Wednesday of last week, which would have been Day 22 was dominated by a final interview (the 6th) with the Head of Global TA for a company I had been speaking with since Day 1. The interview lasted for 90 minutes and I seemed to get on well with them. At the end of the interview he suggested that he wanted me to have a conversation with their Head of EMEA – the business leader not the TA leader. It was the EMEA Head of TA that I was interviewing for. (Interview #7!!) He also suggested that he would like me to speak with the same chap that hadn’t bothered to make 4 previous attempts at an interview (#8 !!!). I expressed by reservations about that idea and suggested it wasn’t appropriate. He agreed.

I still have the final final interview on Wednesday of this week.

Last week I also commented on a terrific telephone interview I had with an in-house recruiter (she was terrific!) This resulted in me having a second telephone interview with the same company, this time with the Head of HR, EMEA. Now this interview was arranged on the Wednesday whilst I was driving back from the above interview and I hastily agreed to do it 08.30am on Friday 3rd Sept. Nothing wrong with that, except that I went to the Robert Plant concert in London on the Thursday night. Not only did I not get to bed until 2.30am Friday morning, but my ears were ringing and my voice didn’t work when I woke 3.5 hours later! I was a bit relieved to say the least that the interview times got mixed up and had to be rescheduled until later in the morning. All faculties working, I had a great chat with the Director, some of whose questions were very clever; one about LinkedIn connection ownership focused my wind like a razor. Thankfully I have read many comments on this issue and thus not only have my opinions, but also have those of others and options to present. I was invited to meet with her for Wednesday of this week at their offices in Central London. I was also asked to prepare a First 100-Day Plan for the interview. Best interview approach so far.

During each of the days I was sent Tweets, emails and LI InMails from so many generous people informing me of different vacant positions. I also found a couple of interest in some of the online groups and forums I frequent. I had a conversation about one that sounded pretty interesting – a 6 month interim position. However when the issue of rate was mentioned it was far below what the current climate/market is paying. We then had a very good conversation about this and what other roles are paying per day, I was able to provide details for them to do some checking if they required. Whether it makes any difference to them, budgets being budgets I don’t know. I’ve not heard back. I didn’t take the rate personally at all. It is what it is. I’ve spoken with so many candidates that take it as a personal insult when the rate or salary is not to their liking. Why do they do this? Do they think they are unique? Do they think they are a legend or the gift the company is waiting for? There is no need for it and it will most certainly not win you any favour with any agency or employer, regardless how unrealistic the salary or rate they can afford is.

On 3.5 hours sleep I packed the car and set off to spend the weekend in a field on the north Devon coast with a great bunch of people for the inaugural #SocRecCamp. Each of these people are prominent online in the recruiting business from one angle or another and have been supportive of me and #myjobhunt to the extreme. This is all I will say on this post but I will have a recollection of the 2010 #SocRecCamp in a later posting.

Music of the last few days –
Rock n Roll – Robert Plant & The Band of Joy (live Bluegrass version) – genius.
That’s Not My Name – The Ting Tings for campfire (gas lanterns) smiles

What have I learned these last few days? It is important that when companies go to market with a position they have scoped it out correctly. If a role is worth upwards of £350 per day, you will not do yourself and your reputation in the market any favours by only paying £250 per day. Yes, you are likely to get someone to fill the job; however one would question the levels of ability to reach the competency heights you need. Better to pay to get the job done properly and get the right experience from the market, than give the market a negative impression about your inability to pay or how much respect and value you give to certain functions. Remember Employer Brand is very hard to repair at the individual level. This is obviously not a job hunting lesson but it is certainly something I can remember from a job hunters perspective next time I am involved in a discussion with Comp &Ben or a hiring manager.

Another lesson learned is that I cannot maintain the high levels of energy needed if I don’t help myself. Exercise and good posture whilst sitting are both essential. I do not recommend having lengthy conversations on the phone or going to interviews when uncomfortable or in pain. I was for the last two weeks, as a result I was very distracted, had lower energy and stamina levels and my enthusiasm and therefore my chances of success were reduced. All Fixed now though.

Just in case you are wondering what my background is more can be found via my LinkedIn profile

Please Tweet or pass onto others who may know others who can help me.

thanks for reading

Job Hunting, must be Deliberately Deliberating – Day 20 #myjobhunt

This is the end of Day 20 and Week 4 of #myjobhunt – I am now unemployed!

[tweetmeme source=”GaryFranklin”]

The good news is that I can start the job of my choice immediately. The bad news is I don’t have a choice right now and can start work immediately.

In the last 24 hours I have probably had more new job vacancies come my way than in any other 24 hour period since I started #myjobhunt; all of them contract, with the exception of one permanent job. Unfortunately none of them fit with what I am looking for at this time, or I have been warned away. Of course this may change as time goes on, but for now I am not panicking and am being deliberate about what I am looking for.

To recap:-

I am looking for a Talent Attraction or Acquisition management position that will allow me to create, implement and then deliver against strategies. Or as a Recruitment Process Project Manager.

Areas of specialization: – don’t ever expect me to use the word EXPERT or GURU. In my experience those that call themselves gurus and experts just aren’t.

– Reducing agency spend through direct sourcing channels – managing the change
– Strategic planning and delivery of time challenged projects
– Creating and building online candidate communities
– Social Media & Online Recruiting tools
– ATS/CRM/CSM evaluation, selection and deployment

Now that I have the promotion bit done. What was Day 20 all about then?

I cannot believe how quiet it has been this week. But then it is the last full week of August, it is a long holiday weekend in most of the UK and schools go back next week. So it is the busiest holiday week of the summer.

Deliberately taking it easy today. I spent a couple of hours in LinkedIn, replying to inmails and approving or declining applications to join The FIRM. I was meeting someone at 1pm for a coffee so decided to get organized and go and sit in my “office” for an hour.

I parked up and there were two voice mails for me. One was a third or fourth round of telephone tennis and the other was about a job I had been pursing. I’d already had a couple of qualifying calls with their TA team and was pretty interested to find out more. Alas it was not to be – the company had decided they needed to focus on Germany and therefore moved the position out of the UK. Shame, but understandable. Germany is most certainly one of those countries you have to be in to recruit for. The recruiter at this company is a member of The FIRM and he was very helpful pointing in the direction of a couple of opportunities he’d heard about and chatting about the blog. Great guy, and hope you have a fantastic time on holiday in Switzerland.

I then decided to call some of the people I owed calls to. In particular, Matt Alder of Metashift. I met with Matt on Day 5, I think it as. We’d discussed an idea that had really excited us then and because of Twitter DM’s we both knew we should follow up. However as soon as we started speaking it was clear that neither of us could remember what it was. We got there in the end and agreed some action points. It is all around candidate communities – something that sits perfectly with what I do and what I enjoy. There will be more on this, either as part of the #myjobhunt series or outside of it, as we progress.

So off to meet with Katie McNab @Recruitgal at PepsiCo for coffee. I’ve known Katie for nearly two years through The FIRM and having met her previously this will be the first time that we could just chat 1-1. I was surprised at how keen she was about my job hunting journey and how much of an avid reader of the #myjobhunt series she was. It was also interesting to hear her thoughts on some of the instances detailed in the blog, none of them far removed from my own, but then I’ve read many of her postings on The FIRM’s discussion board and shared a panel with her so had a good idea that we shared the same views on much. They have a Starbucks in their offices in Reading. I thought I’d been spoiled with a Costa at my last place. One interesting fact is that they work summer hours which allows them to go home at 1230 or thereabouts on Friday through the summer months. Now that is a company that looks after its people.

On my way home I called in at my “office” parking place and left messages for a couple of people I should have called back earlier in the week. It’s a holiday weekend Friday – no one around.

I have to be honest I was a bit nervous of the Day 19 posting. Though fully justified in everything I said I am still looking for a job and I cannot afford to antagonize my potential future employers. Yet the emails, tweets, DM’s and conversations I had with other recruiters, both in-house and agency all agreed with my comments and concerns boosting my confidence no end. What was very interesting as well is that some of the people it was pointed at had sent me LinkedIn inmail messages and emails overnight. Very interesting that is too.

In one of the conversations I had today I was reminded of something that I had overlooked. I am so involved with The FIRM that I sometimes forget it is not the only HR or recruiting community that I spend time in. Why hadn’t I posted my availability to those? I have now – some of them at least. Will do the rest over the weekend or next week.

Music of Day 20 was The Hebrides Overture, Fingal’s Cave and the Scottish Symphony by Felix Mendelssohn ……….this was the first piece of classical music I ever bought when I was about 17.

There is much to reflect on from this one week. The power of social media and social networks as a recruiting and job hunting tool. The power of openness and honesty and the willingness of people to help. I learned that the people I interact with daily are very much on the same wavelength and share the same opinions – it is as if we’ve been drawn together byh some strange force. Could it be integrity? I have also come to recognise that despite a self-perceived air of superiority by the in-house recruiting community, including myself until recently, over agency staff, there are some in-house recruiters that just don’t do themselves, their colleague or worse their candidates and employers any favours. And there are some people who work for agencies who are a credit and pleasure to deal with and know.

That’s it. Thanks for reading. Have a good weekend. Day 21 will be Tuesday.

Job Hunting Optimism is Essential so long as it’s not Fantasy – Day 17 #myjobhunt

As #myjobhunt has progressed I have been considering options and opportunities in Central London. I have not worked in London on a daily basis since 1986! Back then they still had horse drawn carriages, smog and the Thames was frozen! For anyone too young not to remember 1986, I’m only kidding, but it was a long time ago. Canary Warf hadn’t been built; PC’s were so new that some companies had one! The world has changed, and so have I. Definitely older and hopefully wiser. Back then I was in IT, in a real sense, I was a techie, working in what we used to call datacentres, rooms the size of football pitches to house computers that had less power and storage than my iPhone.

So having decided that I will consider London for the right opportunity I am trying to spend a day a week if I can, meeting people or interviewing at companies in London. Day 17 was that day this week.

I had four meetings/interviews lined up for Day 17; the first one to start at 10am and the last one to start at 6.30pm, so a long day of 4square check-ins and coffees ahead of me. I was quite excited about the day and in particular two of the meetings.

The first meeting didn’t go well at all and it was my fault. I hadn’t engaged my brain properly until I got to speak to the third person in that company and am afraid I didn’t “sell” myself very well to the first two. By the time I met the last person I was with it, but I fear I may have compromised my chances. Disappointed to say the least, but the conversation has given me thoughts for further blog posting once I have a job.

The second meeting was a treat and a real surprise. I’d love to speak freely about this person and his company but I would be breaking his confidence and that’s not good practice. The whole meeting had me on the edge of my seat the enthusiasm, the knowledge around Social Media and new technologies and the expansive thoughts and plans. Hopefully more to follow up on with that one. Could lead to something in the longer term as well. Exciting stuff.

Meeting three was at LinkedIn. I was aware from speaking with them previously that they were looking for a Head of Resourcing, however the role is based in Dublin and therefore ruling me out of consideration. Anyone interested in this one let me know and I’ll put you in touch. So my hopes were up because of my relationship with LinkedIn over the last 3 years, but it was not to be. For someone like me who is a big advocate of the power and value of Social Media, the prospect, no matter how slim, of a job with LinkedIn was going to get me excited. Anyone who has read other posts in this series and the very first one I wrote in Sept 09 will know that I created a social network for in-house recruiters called The Forum for In-house Recruitment Managers – The FIRM – all of it within LinkedIn and thus have always a good relationship with them, in this country and in the US, and it was good to catch-up and share thoughts on the general impact of Social Media on both recruiting and job hunting.

The final meeting of the day was again full of promise but the more we spoke about the proposition the more challenges I could see and the more issues I found in it. This is not being critical of the idea or the business proposition, nor its need. It was purely the risk factor for me at the moment. However I did like what I heard, hope it is a successes and that can play a part in it – if of course I am not otherwise engaged when it matures.

During the day I was able to confirm a 5th telephone interview – yes the one I’ve been trying to have for over a week, the 6th interview which will be a meeting and the 7th and final with the big boss flying in from the USA next week. All extremely exciting.

So why was did I feel disappointed then? I don’t really know. I was sitting on the train home at 8.30pm feeling a bit deflated. It took a 30-second reality check from my Twitter buddies and my wife to make me realize that I was disappointed because I had unrealistic expectations of the day. That and the disappointing performance in the first meeting.

Music of Day 17 was The Rover by Led Zeppelin

What did I learn today? Don’t go to a meeting or interview with my head up my arse, get it turned on and tuned into the mood and tone of the meeting and be thoughtful about responses and answers. I’ve learned with The FIRM that for every thing I know and can pass onto others there are 100 other people who know things I don’t and from whim I can learn. Have to listen and learn. I forgot this yesterday. And of course have realistic expectations. Optimism is essential so long as it’s not fantasy.

Social Media (again!) but who does the recruiting?

Social Media as recruiting tools. Many many words have been written on particular subject; how to use Twitter, YouTube, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Xing etc to recruit with.

Just this week I was lucky enough to be able to listen to two leading figures in online recruiting; Bill Boorman and Paul Harrison both gave presentations on the advent and use of Social Media platforms as potential recruiting tools. On each occasion I was part of different audiences, each with different objectives and perceptions of the value of SocMed to their daily job functions. Both audiences were made up of experienced in-house corporate recruiters, who all know how to build attraction and acquisition teams, strategies, pipelines and source and acquire the best talent they can for their respective employers. It was interesting to hear the reactions of different members of each audience. It is very clear that even with all of the hype, people are still unsure.

What is important is that online SocMed platforms are here to stay and that the corporate recruiter will need to be able to make the best use of them to come out on top. How they do that will be up to the individual, the corporate strategy employed and how committed they’ll be. It is going to take a little money, a lot of thought and a bit of time to get it right. And what will be right for me won’t necessarily be right for you. Just think of the different strategies that companies such as Apple or Disney will employ compared to JP Morgan or even the BBC.

That is not to say they’ll have to spend hours and hours working the networks and gaining as many fans, followers or connections as they can (see previous posting for comments on that particular issue), but using the new ability to target specific demographics, search wider and faster than they have ever had the ability to do before. They will learn how to market both themselves and their Employer Value Proposition and as a result or part of that, they will need to learn what branding means and how it works. Understand who creates a brand, why it is so important and why it needs protecting!

SocMed has taken many of the old boundaries down and given us new tools and techniques to learn. But let us not forget that it is a means to an end and do not overlook the basics. By all means use SocMed platforms to find people, but when you do find them – PICK UP THE PHONE! SocMed doesn’t recruit, you do!