James Mayes

Posts Tagged ‘BraveNewTalent’

Blog: Change, my favourite opportunity

In Human Resources, Personal, Personal Development, Recruitment, Social Media, Social Recruiting, Start-ups on April 12, 2012 at 10:44 am

As a few people are already aware, it seems sensible to put this one out and clear. Times are changing and I’m moving to pastures new.  I’ve had a great time with BraveNewTalent and had the pleasure of working with some awesome people.  Lucian’s vision remains inspiring and when it delivers, it truly will address a global issue. I wish him and the team all the best!

Some say the most important part when considering future career moves is to be focussed. I’m less sure.  For me, the joy of change is the openness of opportunity, the option to change direction.

Maybe this is why my professional experience is so diverse – hands-on recruiter, sales guy, client manager, solutions design, product development.  I have a love of tech, but not to the extent that I want to write code. I take joy in trying to accurately define the problem to be addressed so the chosen route really is a solution, not just a fix.

So, what next? Well, I’ve started companies before and have a few ideas on new tools to build and services to offer. I’m not stopping there though.

This isn’t just a news-flash, it’s a request. No, I’m not asking for massive retweets of a “find my next job” post. Instead, I’d particularly appreciate two things – whether you know me well, or from a distance.

  1. If you’ve read my blog over the last few years, you have a feel for what I like to be involved in.  If you think there’s an avenue I should explore, I’d LOVE that alternate opinion. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can spot the best answer, simply by being one step removed. You might be that fresh pair of eyes.
  2. This isn’t a “blast & broadcast” post – don’t spam your followers with my needs. Instead, just let me know if you think there’s someone with whom a coffee conversation would be rewarding – that’s where the best things happen!
Signing off – leaving you with the musical genius of Bowie, and a plethora of contact options for me!

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!


Blog: Rejection and branding in the recruitment industry

In Community, Conference, Social Media, Social Recruiting on May 17, 2011 at 9:28 am

I wrote this post last week for Bill Boorman as part of the build-up for #TruDublin. Now posted here for my archive!

I’ve been a strong supporter of the #TRU series of the events from the start. I’m delighted to be heading over to Dublin for Bill’s next event, and once again, I’ll be running a track. Those who’ve followed the events in the past will know I’ve often contributed in this way, usually focussed on use of Twitter from one angle or another. This time though, will be different.

I recently joined tech start-up BraveNewTalent. My role here is multi-faceted, for which I’m very appreciative – it allows for involvement across the firm, whilst also supporting outside engagement. As a result, I was recently at another HR industry event – leading me to write a short post on whether, based on energy expended, the Recruitment industry should rebrand itself the Rejection industry.

I suggest in that piece that the rejection aspect of recruitment is one which has a high brand-impact (especially for consumer brands) and is something which use of social media platforms could help to address.

Therein lies the focus I’ll be taking with my track for #TRUDublin. It only takes a little thought to realise how a poor recruitment (rejection) experience impacts brand values for someone who is also a consumer, thus ensuring the cost of rejecting that candidate is raised further when including the (sales) revenue you’ll no longer have access to and the marketing spend previously focussed on that consumer which is now to no avail.

Consider then, what can be done to address this? There’s plenty of evidence to suggest candidates drawn from a talent community, rather than a more traditional transactional recruitment exchange, outperform at assessment and are more likely to accept a job offer. This then, is a more effective model (if anyone wants a BraveNewTalent case study, please let me know, I’d be delighted to talk further!).

For the purposes of this track though, I don’t want to look at talent communities producing successful candidates – I want to look at those left behind. Maybe they’re rejected as unsuitable, maybe they’re not ready yet, maybe your hiring requirements changed. Regardless, they joined your community and you have the ability to continue talking to them. Surely to do so would send a far stronger message than the simple “Thanks, but no thanks”.

What can be offered? All kinds of relevant content. You may have rejected the candidate from a specific post – but there’s always the possibility you’ll consider them again in future. Even more likely, the possibility you’ll consider someone else they know. How many times have you heard the phrase referral recruiting?

If someone is part of a community, you can continue to offer them useful information about your industry sector, or the development cycle of a particular type of career. Depending on your choice of community platform, you can deliver these messages to the whole community – or target a relevant subset, based on filtering or segmentation. For those you might look to hire at some point in future, perhaps a mentoring programme might be appropriate. Regardless, they are ALL jobseekers, and it’s very rare any candidate gives the perfect interview.

Whatever you decide you can offer, at least offer SOMETHING. Simply closing the door when they’ve taken the time to investigate your brand is insufficient. Need more support or budget? Engage with your marketing department. If your community grows to a healthy size, they’ll have suitable incentive to help you.

That’s where I’m at so far. I have a myriad of thoughts on the subject, and I think social recruiting is really only seeing the tip of the iceberg so far. Let’s pull a great track together in Dublin and see if diving in allows us to get a glimpse of the rest of this particular iceberg.

Sláinte mhaith!

Are we recruiting or rejecting?

In Conference, Personal Development, Recruitment, Social Media on May 10, 2011 at 8:35 am

At the recent ConnectingHR event, one of the organisers behind the community space we used gave us a brief insight into their plans and philosophy. While he spoke for only a few minutes, he left a lasting thought with me for our industry. He used the analogy of a mis-named light bulb: most of the energy going in gets distributed as heat, not light – so why do we not refer to it as a heater?

From a recruitment perspective, he claimed, we are similarly misnamed. The vast majority of applications result in rejection, with actual recruitment occurring in only a minority of circumstances (how many CV’s do you review before you make a placement or a hire?). I meant to blog this last week, but have been somewhat sidetracked with a team day out and subsequent brainstorming day at BNT (the day out led to a new recruitment video!).

Due to a current technology curse, I was subjected to a history lesson yesterday as I attempted to send a text – with Nokia predictive text, the key-presses for Selection actually show initially as Rejection. I figure this blog is meant to be written!

I don’t believe either the light bulb or recruitment are mis-named; both are named to reflect the intended outcome, not the unintended side effect. However, this by-product is not inconsequential. In the case of the light bulb, advances are being made. A change in the chemical composition and materials used result in an improved environmental footprint.

In recruitment though, I’ve seen very little change in the last twenty years. If anything, the processes I’ve witnessed first-hand have actually deteriorated as technology such as job-boards and mobile apps have made it easy to apply to multiple roles – increased volume of applications has meant a reduction of individual feedback, or even the absence of a response / acknowledgement all together.

We live in a socially connected world. Whilst recruitment might not yet be ready (in the main) to adopt social media, as an industry it must surely accept that we’re all brand consumers and we all share our experiences. A bad experience individually leads to a retweet, a Facebook update, a blog post. I heard the perfect sound-bite for this a few weeks back: If you have a great experience, you tell your friends. If you have a bad experience, you tell Google.

I recently joined BraveNewTalent. Managing the rejection process isn’t what BNT is about – but by ensuring all applicants come into a community environment, where they gain an insight into clients, can see a community develop and can learn about other opportunities with the organisation, maybe a better rejection process is a damn decent side effect for Social Recruiting to aim for?

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