James Mayes

Archive for the ‘Guest post’ Category

Blog: Talent communities vs the natural world

In Community, Conference, Guest post, Recruitment, Social Recruiting on July 12, 2012 at 8:07 am

Originally written as a guest post for #SRConf, now here for my archives.

I’ve heard previously that the idea of community very much underpins education (and therefore talent) since the dawn of human development. Interesting concept, plenty of historical evidence.

Sitting on the beach recently, feeding seagulls with my kids it prompted me to consider how we develop Talent Communities. We talk of seeding with content, of talent attraction, of using these mechanisms to identify the rarer candidate.

We debate the value of the community manager, the role such a person should play. A brief experiment made it simple to draw some very fundamental conclusions. First, a short video (no, not the beach… maybe next time!)

Some observations:

  • Seeding (feeding) can have a pretty immediate impact (if the food is right!)
  • Attraction continues via signals we’re not always aware of
  • While the main contingent can probably be predicted, it’s the unusual arrival that may prove more interesting
  • Interest dies away without continuing new food/content
  • Finally – the unexpected can cause the very sudden disintegration of a community

Is there more to be found here? For me, some of these basic principles can provide guidance for us as we explore and evolve. Keeping it simple can indeed be effective!

Blog: Social Recruiting = Communities, Physics and Chemistry!

In Community, Facebook, Guest post, Recruitment, Social Media, Social Recruiting on July 10, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Originally written as a guest post for #SRConf, now here for my archives.

I’ve seen a variety of discussions recently focussed around what data should be captured when building a talent community. There’s the obvious professional information and interests which always come high on the list. Some platforms talk of capturing social assets, such as a blog address or Twitter handle. More and more, I’m seeing Facebook used to kick off a user’s account creation – though oftentimes, I think this is driven by the vendor’s desire to easily enable social sharing in the hope of aggressive user growth than for any smart data reasons.

I’m more interested in other data pockets which can be captured. What articles has the individual read? Which videos have been watched? Were the user reactions positive, or negative? Much can be learned here, both about the value of an employer’s proposition to the talent market, but also about the suitability of the candidate. Not the suitability expressed deliberately on a profile or in an interview, but by actions, by the pieces of content an individual shows interest in. Surely this is a great guide to future professional interests, an indicator of preferred career direction and thus long term suitability.

recruitment - physics and chemistryI’ve maintained for a long time now that as storage is getting ever cheaper, a platform should capture as much data as possible at any given moment (with the caveat that this requirement be balanced against the user experience – much data gathering can be invisible to the user). My basis for this is that without access to the data, options are limited. Once data is available, it’s possible to explore, to experiment, to see what patterns emerge.

Love to hear your views on this – but before I sign off, I’ll share some thoughts conveyed to me via an attendee at the recent Apple developer’s conference. Physics and chemistry are intrinsically linked. Physics represents your universe of items. The atoms, the bits, the bytes, the everything. Chemistry details the way these things interact. Without the physics, there can be no chemistry. If you want chemistry in your Talent Acquisition, you’ll need to get the physics there too!

Guest post: Social Media Policies: Promoting vs. Regulating Use

In Community, Guest post, Human Resources, Recruitment, Social Media, Social Recruiting on January 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm

I occasionally offer up guest slots here.  About 5 months ago, Kyle Lagunas wrote a piece I particularly enjoyed, so I’m delighted to welcome him back. More about him in the footer, but in the meantime, enjoy!  

Fact: most employees occasionally use social media tools at work for personal reasons, anyway. Unsurprisingly, business leaders want guidelines in place for regulating employee use of social media outlets–and protecting against misuse–on personal and company accounts alike. Many 2012 corporate to-do lists include creating an official policy for regulating employees’ Tweets, Likes and Shares while at work.

One thing that I’ve noticed, though, is that while regulation-focused policies protect an organization against any potential social media blunders, they cast a shadow over the shoulder of every employee who uses the internet on a daily basis (shudder). Well-intended though they are, this approach to establishing guidelines often prevent the company from seeing any benefits whatsoever from employee use of social media. My suggestion: If your employees are already using social media while at work, why not make the most of it?

Though there’s certainly more than one way to skin this cat – there isn’t one universal social media policy that works for all, right? – there are a few things to consider when creating a more forward-thinking policy.

For example, you want to be sure you, your leaders, and your people know what you want to accomplish through social media. Are you using it for recruiting? Marketing? Branding? Promotions? For many organizations, the first step in creating a social media policy is to define the who, what, when and where of social media usage in the company. But according to Maren Hogan, Chief Marketing Brain of RedBranchMedia, “that’s doing it a little backwards.” With a clear purpose informing your policy, people will have an easier time understanding and following your guidelines.

On that note, you’re going to make sure that – regardless of your specific business goals – you are sure to invite everyone in the organization to participate. Of course, you’ll work with managers to decide which departments must incorporate social media into their daily workflows… But how can you encourage other departments to participate? One note: Set separate guidelines delineating voluntary users and mandatory users, so your people know what’s expected of them.

At some point, you’re going to need damage control. “When social media issues arise,” says Hogan, “who do you go to for help? IT? Marketing? A social media coordinator? The CIO?”  Get proactive, and establish a hierarchy of ownership – that way, your people will know when to talk to whom about what. Assign responsibility to the most sensible parties and provide a course of action for addressing mishaps and escalating issues when necessary.

So maybe you’re not paying people to hang out on Facebook all day. Structure is certainly important, and defining who is authorized to access various platforms makes sense… but “Our brains don’t work with don’ts–they work in a positive way,” says Rob Garcia, VP of Product at UpMo. “Policies that limit and regulate are bound to be unsuccessful. They push people away from social media, rather than using it to achieve company goals.” Bottom line: People are bound to make mistakes, your policies should be driven by what to do, rather than what not do.

You’re bound to run into a few challenges when creating, implementing and supporting an official social media policy. Hands-down, the hardest part is building a company culture that embraces a social mindset, one driven by the sharing of ideas and information. With that in mind, leadership should lead the charge in adopting your social media policy, paving the way for the rest of the organization. Garcia’s straightforward advice to leaders: “Show up and participate. The companies that are the most social media savvy are led by people who are plugged in and using different platforms to have valuable conversations.”

About the Author: Kyle Lagunas is the HR Analyst at Software Advice. On the surface, it’s his job to contribute to the ongoing conversation on all things HR. Beyond that, he makes sure his audience is keeping up with important trends and hot topics in the industry. Focused on offering a fresh take on points of interest in his market, he’s not your typical HR guy.

Blog: Top ten apps & sites of 2011

In Gadgets, Guest post, Mobile, Social Media, Social Recruiting, Start-ups on January 9, 2012 at 10:11 am

Originally written as a guest post for Ed Scrivener, now here for my archives.

I’ve followed Ed on Twitter for some time – and he recently responded to an invite for a guest post with a cracker on LinkedIn LIONS, which you’ll find here.  He’s kindly offered me the opportunity to reciprocate.

If we’ve not met before, I sit mostly on the intersection of recruitment and technology.  I’m a geek, I admit it.  I jump in on new apps and tools whenever I see them and I try to blog reviews of those I really like.  As we wind in to the year-end though, it seems appropriate to look back over the year and see what actually had staying power.  What delivered on-going value.  What’s still in use? So, in no particularly order, I offer you my geeklist for 2011.

  1. Ifttt – Sets up social rules. Too many different profiles to manage? Ifttt can help. Blogged a review of this one here.
  2. CoTweet – I use this as a desktop client for Twitter.  Most of the functions are not dissimilar to other players in the market, but there’s one differentiator I love – the conversations. I bring up Ed’s profile, I can see our Twitter history. That conversation we had about keyword spam back in May. What other app for Twitter gives you that?
  3. Xydo – news curation and delivery service. Part automated, but influenced by the networks you build as an individual. Best personalised news service I’ve found, blogged here!
  4. Evernote – The ultimate note taker.  I use it to hoard favourite tweets (delivered here automatically by Ifttt), to make meeting notes, to hold photos as part of a mobile project stream. Brilliant.
  5. Buffer – rather than flood your followers with all the articles you read on the train each morning, space them through the day. Combine with Xydo for excellent results! Review here.
  6. WordPress – my blog platform of choice. My needs are simple, so I stay with the hosted version – I’ve checked out others and not yet seen a reason to consider moving.
  7. DropBox – My files, anywhere. Backed up in the cloud, backed up to each machine I install it on, deletion controls (which I only found after this episode!!). Ace service.
  8. Zovo – bigger cloud backup. I use DropBox for working files, Zovo for long-term cloud synchronised automatic backups.
  9. Bit.ly – always was good, but the enhancements this year allow for custom short-links. Instructions here.
  10. Aerolatte – just because I’m working at home, doesn’t mean I put up with crap coffee. This helps. A lot.

I hope you see something new to enjoy. Likewise, if you want to offer up suggestions of your own, please do! Personal recommendation is my favourite form of discovery.  If you have questions for me, or just want to see what I find next, Twitter’s best. You’ll find me here.

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