More on business spam (unsolicited email)

A couple of days ago I posted about business spam and where it fits within my framework. I posted about ResumeFit and a couple of emails I received from Tom Schmidt the CEO. Well it was not really spam as it was not sent indiscriminately to multiple people, just to me. As such Tom actually sent me an email explaining that he was just trying to introduce me to some new technology within the HR space.

So let me redefine it is unsolicited email, and this was the basis of my post.

As I said the service provided by ResumeFit looks really interesting and I actually plan to have a bit of a play around and see if it provides the resumes as HR-XML. So far I have not found a tool that allows me to publish my resume online in HR-XML format, maybe ResumeFit will be the solution?

Work life balance do you have it

A couple of interesting things passed under my nose today. Firstly I saw from Scoble and Steve Rubel that several well known bloggers are trying to get some more blog life balance. Then I was listening to the second ComputerWorld Live show where they were discussing the Australian Computer Society’s (ACS) Work Life Balance policy statement that was made earlier in the month.
The ACS is also trying to look for ways to get more women back into the work force to help reduce the pending skills shortage. Having an appropriate work life balance is critical. ACS are proposing several very interesting and personally good options for workers and employers. The Australian Government however have respond with yet another committee to look at the telecommuting. Not really the answer we need to address the skills shortage, nor our work life balance issues.


The forward thinking (read cool) Gretchen has released a new podcast called Jobcast where she is interviewing Microsoft employees, managers and recruiters to give us all a first hand understanding of Microsoft from all perspectives. All these cool things almost makes me want to go work for Microsoft… Maybe that is the point 😉

Downloading now and will listen today!

Business spam

This morning I checked my Gmail and found some spam that Google had not caught. Why am I surprised? Because it was actually interesting, relevant and real. I got two emails from Tom Schmidt CEO of while the content was interesting and the proposed service might work it is still spam.

However this does put me an interesting dilemma. While the topic of the email is interesting do I ignore it and make it as spam on principle?

As things go I also saw a post today from HRMarketer on email campaigns that refers to a case study showing spam, sorry email marketing is actually working. Then there is Gretchen who has been looking at ways to contact passive candidates, email is one method, is that also spam?

I am now confused, what is spam and what is not? Do I want interesting spam?

HR and your company’s brand

Regina from deep your brand is instilled within your organisation. Very interesting read.

It got me thinking about the different clients I have worked with over the years and which of them had their brand instilled in their HR systems and processes. Some of the best implementations of workplace systems have certainly been in organisations who truly understand their brand and reference it in everything they do.

Updated:- Fixed the title, shows what happens why you blog before coffee.

Background checking and recruitment

It is strange how things come together and where ideas pop up.

Last week I meet up with some guys from RefSure, a background screening company based in Australia with global reach. I originally meet them several years ago when they were getting set up, pre 9/11. Now business is booming!

Like all background checking services they offer identity, employment, and education verifications along with police checks, work authorisations and they will even do reference checks for you at a reasonable price. They have links with the major recruitment vendors in Australia, for everyone outside of Australia sorry. Looks like a fantastic service for busy recruiters. However having now used the service myself I cannot comment on the quality of the service.

Now the interesting piece is how this type of service stacks up against general Yahoo and Google type searching, or specific people searching on Yahoo (of course you can pay for background checks on Yahoo as well). Time will tell.

Today I noticed Doc Searls talking about a couple of services that allow you to get information about people, some of them for free. ZoomInfo provides a very comprehensive service that I feel will compete directly with paid background checking services for free, unfortunately seems to only cover the US. It is this free service that seems to have got some attention in the last few weeks.

ZoomInfo provides business solutions for recruiters. They are advertising the use of their service as a talent pool, nice concept. (I need to check which rock I have been under cause ZoomInfo have been around for several years.)

Another service mentioned by Doc is MyDestiny, which maps your online social network, however I have not been able to get it going for some reason my Java VM does not want to work.

These tools along with Preople, Technorati, Feedster, Pubsub and the tradition Google/Yahoo are in some ways making it easy for us all to help inflate our online egos. However they are also going to form a major input source into recruitment process, if your company is just using traditional means of both sourcing and checking candidates you will most likely find yourself in hot water over the next year or so. The legal implications of getting it wrong are quite substantial and you should be ensuring you are doing everything possible to reduce the likelihood of error. Oh, you can also have some fun the process to inflate your ego.

Apparently I am going to be rich

I just received an email (in my Yahoo account) from someone by the name of Patrick Taylor who can gain access to the US$32mil in fund of the late president Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo, who died on the 5th of February, 2005. It has been a while since I have been privileged enough to be offered such amazing wealth, last time was about 2 years ago. I find it interesting on the accuracy of the claim, the scammers are getting better.

A search on Togo on Google gave me lots of interesting hits, obviously a real place. The first real link was to the CIA’s fact book, they even mention the president’s name, however the president is still alive according to the CIA. The only news link is from the Taipei Times, published yesterday stating that the president is in fact dead. Now where things go wrong is the email mentions there is no next of kin, however his son was installed as president by the military.

For a laugh I have reproduced the whole email below, but please keep it confidential ;-).

Just another real life example of why companies need spam filters and other internet tools to assist employees in how they operate online.

I am Patrick Taylor, a member of staff in a Corporate Securities firm. We keep valuables for high net worth individuals, blue chip corporations and diplomatic organisations.

I am contacting you in regards to our client, the late president Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo, who died on the 5th of February, 2005. This client has a total deposit of Thirty Two Million United States Dollars in our vaults. After the 9/11 incidents, our company policy do not permit cash deposit, so he confided in me as the foreign operations officer to make this deposit since June 2003.

The last communication I had with him was on the 25th of November 2004, where he was making arrangements to claim the deposit. Thereafter it was revealed that he died of heart attack in his hometown in Togo. After the acknowledgement of his death, it became apparent that there was no claim to his funds since he listed no next of kin in his bio-data form. He made the deposit under the name of Guardian Trust investment (GTI) and disclosed the content as company valuables and Antiques. This was for confidentiality and to reduce taxes.

If no claim is made within six months, the company under its storage terms and conditions will legally auction the content of the deposit. If discovered that the content is cash, it will be confiscated and I would be penalised, since I accepted the cash deposit against the company?s regulations. As a staff, it is impossible for me to have access to the funds or claim it myself. More so, such valuable deposits are kept at a different branch, where we have our terminal facilities. Consequently, it is important that I find a credible candidate to play the role of a Trustee or representative to Guardian Trust Investment to help claim the deposit. It is on this ground that I need your assistance to claim the funds which will be possible with the information I hold. Once this is achieved, you shall be entitled to 50% of the total funds while I shall retain the balance 50%.

I am aware of the risks involved in this proposal, therefore I ask that you consider the factors above and keep it strictly confidential. However, if you feel you are unable to fulfil this role, I request you discard of this letter.

I look forward to hearing form you.

Thank you

Senator Andrew Bartlett weighs in

Will pointed out a comment from Senator Andrew Barlett on his blog around the recent proposed changes where bloggers will need to provide the names and address details on election related blogs. In fact it seems the Senator Barlett not only reads blogs he has one himself and provides a lengthy review of the issues.

While I don’t necessarily agree with his political views, having a blog is great to see.