James Mayes

Archive for September, 2011|Monthly archive page

Guest Post: Beyond the buzzwords

In Blogging, Guest post, Human Resources, LinkedIn, Mobile, Recruitment, Social Media, Social Recruiting on September 30, 2011 at 10:11 am

As you might have noticed, I enjoy hosting the occasional guest post.  It changes the voice, introduces new opinion and generally tends help keep things fresh. Delighted to offer up this effort from Kyle Lagunas. In his own words “Kyle is the HR Analyst at Software Advice – a company that does human resources software reviews. He blogs about trends, technology and best practices in HR and recruiting by day, and drinks entirely too much wine by night.” I’d also suggest if the mobile aspects light your fire, you check out this great infographic from Dave Martin.

The high volume demands of 21st century recruiting drive hiring professionals’ search for the next best thing for finding talent. Recruiters have always been quick on the uptake when it comes to new and innovative technology, especially if this technology makes it easier to stay connected. Lately, there’s a lot of buzz surrounding social recruiting and mobile recruiting – and many recruiters are blindly jumping on the bandwagon. But what’s just buzz, and what will become a permanent part of every recruiter’s toolbox?

Mobile Recruiting, Mobile Recruiting & Social Recruiting

If you don’t know what I’m talking about when I say “mobile recruiting,” don’t feel bad. Though you’ve clearly been living a rock, I think it’s safe to assume you aren’t alone. So before we answer my larger question, I think it would behoove us to establish exactly what we’re talking about.

When talking about mobile recruiting, there are two distinct things someone may be referring to. Mobile recruiting usually refers to tools and best practices for managing the recruiting process on the go. However, mobile recruiting can also refer to marketing and recruiting strategies that leverage SMS, QR code and mobile technology (a relatively new idea in the industry).

Social recruiting is the all-encompassing term for strategies leveraging social media outlets for sourcing and recruiting candidates. Some might argue that social recruiting is only reinventing the wheel – as hiring professionals have always drawn on their social networks – but this is something different. Social media is taking the wheel, and bringing it out of the Stone Age.

Mobile Recruiting: Apps and More

What started with the mobile phone has exploded into a new way of doing business. Mobile recruiting allows recruiters to do what they do best: stay connected. How? Apps. Recruiters love gadgets. And mobile apps are, like, so in right now. Beyond staples like LinkedIns mobileapp, there are a few recruiting apps that I really like.

  • JobScience puts the functionality of an applicant tracking system right into recruiters’ pockets. Access jobs, applications and contacts on the iPhone. Their nifty resume search completes this powerhouse package.
  • TrafficGeyser’s InstantCustomer is a handy gadget for business card and contact management. Snap a picture of the contact’s business card, and Instant Customer scans the contact info, creates a profile for the candidate, and allows you to send a pre-written follow-up.
  • Recruit2’s GlobalRecruitingRoundtable app gives users access to top industry news and trends, and allows them to plug in to a community of experts. The app also delivers some serious functionality (sharing capabilities, videos, full article library) while running on a straightforward interface.
  • JobSpeek wins the award for originality. This free app adds a new dimension to job postings: audio. When posting a job description, recruiters can record a “hiring message.” Your very original postings go live on JobSpeek, as well as the major job search engines. It’s just downright cool.

Mobile SMS and QR code recruiting is getting some serious attention in recent months. Many of the big-name innovators in talent acquisition are onthequest to get candidates using smartphones to connect with their organizations. However, recruiting leader and sourcing consultant GeoffPeterson says, “The technology’s not 100% there.” A lot of time and energy is going into developing this new avenue for recruiting, though, and I expect we’ll see more developments in the next year or so.

Social Recruiting: Plan for Your Slice of the Pie

Though recruiting has always been social, social media has opened an entirely new can of worms. And if you want a piece of the social recruiting pie, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • You need a strategy. You may have a Twitter account, but that doesn’t mean you have a social recruiting strategy.
  • Don’t bombard, engage. Anyone can post “an exciting opportunity” on LinkedIn. If that’s all you’re using your social media accounts for, however, you’re going to lose your audience fast.
  • Keep the social in social media. You can get all the Facebook fans and Twitter followers you want, but unless you’re engaging your network, they’re just numbers.

Do Social & Mobile Really Create an Improved Process?

Amidst all the social and mobile recruiting buzz, everyone is talking about an “improved process,” and gushing over the benefits of all of these great developments in recruiting technology. But this phrase strikes a chord with me. What, exactly, dictates “an improved hiring process?” Will all of these nifty apps and tools continue to drive the high-volume recruiting demands of the 21st century? Or will the automation of the more tedious processes give us the time to shift the focus back to what recruiting is all about (getting to know people)?

Based on your answer, you’ll be the one to decide what hip new trends are worth investing in.


Blog: Facebook won’t let me forget

In Facebook, Personal Development, Social Media, Uncategorized on September 26, 2011 at 7:44 pm
As with most of the social world, I kept a close eye on F8 last week, expecting huge things and indeed, pleased with much of what I saw.  I’m still digesting the full extent of some implications and I’ll work through some of those here soon.

First up though, I wanted to explore an initial reaction from a friend of mine – this as a result of the Facebook Timeline feature.  I picked up the posts going round the tech blogs on how to create a spoof Facebook app so you could get the timeline functionality switched on early and get a preview. This I duly did. Again, I like.

From a design perspective, the profile page seems somehow more fluid to me. I’m no design expert (as anyone who’s witnessed one of my presentations will concur!) but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a decent experience when it occurs before mine own eyes.

In this case, I commented as much.  As one would expect, the comments continued (some positive, others negative) until something really stood out for me:

Is this really true? Are we only able to maintain friendships if we mask history or view relationships through rose-tinted spectacles? On the one hand, I’m only too happy to recognise my own failings, those occasions where on some level, apology or reparation has been necessary. On the other though, I find this a desperately sad reflection on human nature. Surely we can develop to a point where we no longer need to pretend some things were never said or done?

Having taken a few days to consider, my position hasn’t changed.  So how do I resolve these different aspects? Can I reconcile the open nature of future technology platforms with the need to occasionally forget? Will the likes of Facebook prove to be a permanent reminder of our own errors? Will this ultimately prove too uncomfortable for all but the purist of heart to live with?

I think I remain conflicted on the subject. I hope I will be for some time to come.  Changes like that made to the Facebook profile can cause the kind of introspection we don’t often allow for. For that alone, thanks Facebook. You did good. You made me stop and think.


Blog: Turning one recruitment hotspot into three?

In Community, Human Resources, Recruitment, Social Recruiting on September 23, 2011 at 1:05 pm

I’ve had some great exchanges with my new colleague Gautam in India recently, one of which sparked off by an article he produced discussing talent communities.  I wanted to share some of this.

Gautam’s starting point was a Venn diagram, showing two groups of potential candidates – those who have the skills to work for your company and those who are interested in working for your company. The overlap of both gives you a great recruiting hotspot.

However, we’re interested specifically in what can happen if we bring a third group into play – existing employees.  Most referral programmes try to use existing employees to bring in new candidates with the right skills – so the overlay we see here gives us two recruiting hotspots, not just one – by using existing employees to create an interest in working for your company where previously, there was none.

Let’s go a step further though, and look again at that first group. They’re interested in you.  That’s huge.  I can’t count how many times I’ve heard the phrase “hire for attitude, train for skills”. This is where we see huge potential.  If we can help companies leverage the skills of current employees and maybe some of their existing training material (and don’t tell me all of its commercially sensitive – I’ll buy that argument for maybe a third of what companies have, but not the whole amount!) then maybe we can create three recruiting hotspots.

This gives you an indication of what we’re building at BraveNewTalent.  If you want the concept pitch or the tech demo, do get in touch.  If you want to read more about this kind of thinking, I’d strongly suggest exploring Gautam’s blog!


Blogs and babies, part 2!

In Blogging, Personal on September 22, 2011 at 11:31 am

When our second child, Kate arrived nigh on eighteen months ago, I wasn’t much up for blogging the details, explaining why in clear terms.  This morning, I read an awesome post [NSFW!] by Jamie Leonard – a Dad, a recruiting industry legend and a man known for sharing his honest thoughts about pretty much anything.  Today’s was as honest and exhilarating as I’ve come to expect, but rather than an industry rant, he talked about the recent arrival of his daughter.

It made me laugh, it made me cry (just a little!) and it made me reflect.  That done, there are just a few things I’ll share.  Not quite in the hilarity Jamie has managed, but worth reading, I hope.

  1. They tell you parenthood gets easier. They lie. Other parents say this to convince you to join the club and suffer with them.  It doesn’t get easier at all.  It does change though. It starts as a physical endurance test to see how little sleep you can actually survive on, moves through the stress testing of the toddler years, then back into physical assault as they get old enough to demand you carry them and their bike up the hill whilst simultaneously booting you somewhere sensitive with a dangling welly boot. I anticipate a serious emotional onslaught to arrive with the teenage years, but maybe I get some breathing space first.
  2. “Have another one – two is easier.” Again with the lies from more experienced parents. It’s not easier, it’s just a less substantial mind-shift than the first time because your defences are already busted and you have no idea what a lazy Sunday looks like anymore. It’s lies with good intent though, because what they really mean is “I’ve watched my two/three kids grow into great relationships with one another and I’d hate to see you deprive yours of that”. Easier though? Like hell.
  3. You expect to love your children from the day they’re born. You don’t expect to fall in love with them though. Little by little, day after day, month after month, a little bit more all the time. You never realised quite the capacity you had.

OK, that’s enough about the children. I’ll be back soon with something  recruitment or technology related. In the meantime, if you like reading great blogs about babies and children, go say Hi to Jane. She does this stuff regularly – and far better than me!

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