Social recruitment in the investment community

A small post and badly written, ie copy and paste from a press release, but I wanted to document this somewhere.

Jobvite a new’ish recruitment software vendor has been selected by Advent Software as their new recruitment solution. Jobvite is a collaborative approach to recruitment that has all employees in the organisation get involved in the process:

Jobvite supports Advent’s external recruitment, applicant tracking, employee referral and internal mobility with one clean interface. All employees receive Jobvite access, so that everyone involved in talent acquisition can work together easily.

Jobvite has many of the basic features you would expect in a recruitment tool but it also allows employers to initiate a referrals process through their system:

This self-service allows hiring managers to actively engage in the recruiting cycle and work closely with the companys staffing team to attract, identify and hire top talent. The hiring manager can instantly see current candidate and requisition information in Jobvite. Even when managers are not signed into Jobvite, they receive updates and reminders via email and can even take action from a handheld device. Hiring managers can also jump-start talent acquisition by sending job invitations through Jobvites Web 2.0 referral system.

UPDATE: Kevin pointed out my complete fail with this last sentence, I really should stop writing posts in the dark without coffee. I am interested to see how Jobvite progresses with this calls for social recruitment. I am interested to see how Jobvite progresses with their product and approach to social recruitment

Business Update #3

I thought I would give you a quick update on where things are going with my new venture.

Set up

I have a company and name. Inspecht.

I have engaged a graphic designer to create a logo. I got some initial concepts last night, current favourites are:

Logo Concept 1 Logo Concept 2

Web site is coming, the content has been drafted and once we get the logos and stuff done I will let you know where to find all the goodness. Still working on a tag line, not sure I like the “Connecting Your People”, thoughts?

Business focus

The business will have three main areas of focus. Pillar one will be HR Technology, pillar two Online Recruitment and pillar three Enterprise 2.0. My primary activities across all three areas will be around strategy development, feasibility studies, program definition, project management and change management. I will also be looking to run workshops across all pillars and activities. Finally there might be some software sales as well.

Progress to Date

Very slow. I have had lots of initial meetings as part of my market research to sort out what I will be doing. So far no actual work, but then I have not really tried to get work. This will now change as I have an entity to work through.

I ran an unconference session at PubCamp this week which has generated some good discussions, hopefully some work might fall out of it. I have also got a speaking gig lined up in August for AHRI, and couple of possible writing items, more details to come.

I have also been preparing a series of documents to help with my customer engagements. These are templates, check lists and general business artefacts to help increase my productivity.

Next Steps

Finalise the logo, and web presence. This will allow me to begin branding the business and actively pursuing customers. Advertising is also on the cards. I also need to finalise my documents so when I do begin working I can add value to my clients immediately.

Further updates later.

More stolen data

Standford University is the latest large organisation to be involved in unintentional leaking of personal data. A laptop was stolen that contained the personal details of 62,000 former and current employees. The data included:-

  • Name, gender, date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Salary, business title, office location, office phone number, and e-mail address while employed by Stanford
  • Home address and phone number while employed by Stanford
  • Stanford ID card number and Stanford employee number

Oh dear!!! With all of that data identity theft is very, very easy.

Stanford seems to be reacting in a very professional and open manner, which is good. The reason for my post is about data encryption. Over the years while working for corporations I have been involved in many discussions around handling of sensitive data and the issue of using encryption boils down to a couple of major topics.

Firstly encryption tools can difficult for the average computer user to use. Second once encrypted movement of the data is made difficult (I know that’s that point) which makes ongoing use of the data by people who need access problematic.

The first reason is solvable via training but still if you don’t use the encryption tools regularly issues still pop up, and they will late on a Sunday night before an important presentation the next day. That’s Murphy for you.

The second issue is more difficult. Person A needs to send data to Person B so it is encrypted using regular public key technology, nice and simple if only Person B needs to use the data. But what happens when more people need to access the data? Well Person A needs to re-encrypt with all of the require public keys. It is this step where things get nasty. If Person A is in another organisation on the other side of the world, in outsourcing not uncommon, it could take time. So Person B decrypts the file and shares it unencrypted, so that business can be done. Yes they could re-encrypt it but in most organisations this does not happen. Not to mention what happens when either person leaves their respective organisations.

As we move into a world of mashups, open APIs and other Enterprise 2.0 goodness security is going to be even more important and complex!

Enterprise 2.0, employees and profits

Last night at PubCamp I led a small unconference session around Enterprise 2.0, employees and profits, overall it was Ok but not as good as I would have liked. A part of the issue was a couple of vocal participants in the front row who kept heckling the group the robust debate going, Duncan Riley and Tom Reynolds you know who you are. Actually the main issue was as I suspected wrong audience but it did force me to prepare some content so the I am very pleased with that as an outcome.

I had created some slides just in case but did not use them, maybe I should of to focus the group further rather than just talk. Next time. The plan was to introduce my thoughts with the slides and then open the floor up for discussion.

The slides are on SlideShare but like most of my presentations without the commentary they are fairly meaningless.

Here are some of my notes for the slides.


My basic premise is that businesses exist to create shareholder value, this is generally through revenue and profits. Therefore increasing revenue and profits must be the primary driver for all activities, even corporate social responsibility activities fundamentally exist to enhance shareholder value.

Slides 2 & 3

The first couple of slides are to highlight some of the documented reasons and benefits for organisations to undertake enterprise 2.0 activities. The last 3 benefits increased productivity, reduced turnover and improved communication are the focus areas for the remaining slides.

Slide 4

While it is generally accepted that happy and loyal employees are good for business, it is only recently that hard dollar evidence has been produced to support the idea.

Slide 5

In Australia we have a major employee engagement issue. A Gallup poll in 2005 of 1,500 employees found that 20% are actively disengaged (disruptive, unproductive or disloyal), with another 62% not committed to their role or employer. Gallup estimated this was costing the Australian economy A$30 billion annually. This research is backed up by recent studies in the US that found only 27% of workers were actively engaged.

Slide 6

Research from Alex Edmans, a business professor from Whartons School, has shown that happy employees do in fact drive company performance. He looked at Fortune magazine’s list of “100 Best Companies to Work for in America”and found that an annually rebalanced portfolio returned 14% between 1998 – 2005 compared to the market in general of only 6%.

Slide 7

A 2007/2008 Watson & Wyatt research report looked at employee engagement on a global basis and showed a strong linkage between engagement and financial performance. In summary organisations in the top 25% of engagement had a 20% total return to shareholders, a 22% market premium and $276K productivity per employee when compared to the bottom 25%.

Slide 8

This same survey found communication, compensation & benefits, customer focus and strategic leadership as the 4 key drivers for engaged employees. Communication & customer focus are areas that Enterprise 2.0 can help, well also strategic leadership but mainly from a communication point of view.

Slide 9

A further 2007/2008 Watson & Wyatt research report on communication best practices found that organisations with a “most effective” communication programs provided a 91% total return to shareholders from 2002-2006 compared to 62% for least effective. Improved communication effectiveness is associated with a 15.7% increase in market value. While finally organisations with “most effective” communication had an employee engagement level 4 times that of “least effective”.

Slide 10

The same communication survey found that there are 4 key emerging trends from organisations who communicate effectively:

  1. Give managers the information, tools & training to navigate change
  2. Give employees the opportunity to provide input into decisions that affect them
  3. Promoting a culture that supports information sharing
  4. Sharing the voice of the customer

Items 2 and 3 are the exact benefits organisation are seeing from Enterprise 2.0 deployments! Items 1 and 4 are also supported by Enterprise 2.0 but from my point of view they are secondary.

Slide 11

Another hard dollar area for Enterprise 2.0 is around retention of employees. If your employees are more engaged they are more likely to remain as employees, hence reducing the need to replace them. The cost to replace an employee ranges from 15% – 150% of their salary depending on the level and industry. For every employee who you retain you are contributing to the bottom line via cost avoidance.

Slide 12

A recent case study from Gartner on the use of Social Software by Dow (the chemical company) supported the previous slides. Over the next 5 years 40% of Dow’s 46,000 employees will be retiring, requiring a massive recruitment cost to replace. Dow have used social software to connect retired, long term leave of absence and current employee in an alumni style site. In the first 3 months of usage they had 25,000 referrals, 24 full time jobs and 40 contract roles filled. Based on the average cost per hire this tool could be saving them anywhere from US$50k-$200K per month already!

Over time I plan to enhance this presentation and my thoughts as they are directly related to where I want to take my new business.

June 23rd is a big day!

Today is a big day!

My final official day of employment with Nortel, which means my noticed period started 1 month ago. At 10:30am I meet with HR to hand back all of the “corporate items” and move on.

It is 4 years since I wrote my first blog post. That is 1,460 days worth of blogging, generating 1,138 posts with 2,069 comments.

Finally today is PubCamp Melbourne, where I have decided to led a discussion entitled:

A discussion on how Enterprise 2.0 can drive an organisations revenue and stock price. A look at the relationship between Enterprise 2.0, employees and an improved bottom line.

I plan to have a quick presentation at the PubCamp session and then open it up for discussion. Going to cover areas of employee engagement, the current research to show a relationship to positive financial returns and other areas for Enterprise 2.0 to deliver hard dollar savings.

Video resumes in the Australian marketplace

I am still busy reviewing what HR and recruitment progress I missed in the last 2 years while I worked in pure IT roles.

One area that still seems to be bubbling along slowly is the video resume, with opinions on if they are good or bad, we now even have our own player in the Australian market, Candidates Alive.

Candidates Alive are targeting the recruitment agencies instead of candidates directly. The process is candidates apply for a job, speak to the agency and then the agency produces a professional 1 – 2 minutes video that is sent to the hiring employer. This model works as a majority of recruitment in Australia is conducted via agencies not employers directly.

They launched late last year with a range of press coverage, including a very good article in the New Zealand Herald, which highlights many of the potential issues around the video resume. The biggest of which is discrimination, on all sorts of fronts.

Candidates Alive conducted research that indicated hiring managers prefer the video resume, this was done by providing the manager both a video link and a traditional resume at the same time. The managers clicked on the links first then the traditional resume. While Candidates Alive used this to say that manager prefer the video, I would counter saying it shows how easily discrimination could take place.

A big issue I see with the model is that agencies see to retain the copyright on the candidate’s video, from the New Zealand Hearld:-

Under this system, recruiters retain copyright of the resumes they produce – candidates can check them to make sure they are all right, and can see how many times they’ve been viewed, but they have no control over the clips.

This is all sorts of bad. I read the terms and conditions on the Candidates Alive web site and could not specifically see this clause so it could have changed. But if this is the case I would caution candidates from giving away their image/brand to agencies to do with what they want!!

I don’t know if over time the video resume will take off, personally I doubt it, but it is certainly an area to watch.

A final note the founder of Candidates Alive, Jonathan Weinstock was listed as an up and coming entrepreneur in the June edition of Anthill magazine. Congratulations!

Top 100 Australian Web 2.0 Applications

Today we saw the release of the top 100 Australian Web 2.0 applications in BRW, in reading the list there are many familiar names that appear along with a few new ones and a couple of surprises. I’m not going to comment on the list or specific positions as I’m sure there are lots of people with opinions, more information can be found on Ross Dawson’s blog.

It is good to see several HR related applications and a number of enterprise 2.0 type applications on the list. Second place went to Confluence from Atlassian an enterprise wiki used by organisations across the global.

On the HR related applications there are 4 on the list include:-

Talent management analytics

The good doctor, Dr John Sullivan that is, is providing HR practitioners with some of his thoughts around why analytics around talent management is failing and some of the future directions. I looked at the failings of workforce metrics a lot last year when I wrote the HR Technology topic for AHRI‘s Professional Diploma & would agree with him on all points this time, and would possible add a few more.

Some of the failings he identified were:

  • HR Skill deficiency
  • Lack of business knowledge
  • Expensive tools limiting deployment
  • Lack of quality data
  • Complicated nature of talent management

I would add a few other typical failings I have seen:

  • Trying to measure too many metrics or ones that are meaningless to the organisation
  • A lack of a planning culture within the HR function
  • No buy-in from IT to assist with the tools
  • No stakeholder engagement from outside of HR
  • Deployment of a system that is incompatible with the broader IT infrastructure

2.2 million working Australians are unhappy

Well that’s the number if you believe some new research that was released by Galaxy Research on Thursday last week to support the deployment of a new Chandler Macleod tool called CMyPeople. That and over 50% of us “falling” into our current careers. Actually the research and tool are quite important.

The research was released via a press release emailed out, I have been looking for a link on the web but nope can’t find one.

So what is this fancy tool? From the web site:

Discover a person’s true potential in as little as an hour. Through an online competency assessment, our unique system maps people and jobs against the same competency framework, using one common language.

The profiles are stored in an on-demand database, allowing organisations to attract, recruit, develop, promote and retain the right people every time, across the entire organisation.

The common language referred too is based on the government’s Employability Skills Profiler (ESP), which includes a Humm-Wadsworth temperament scale and other attributes to assess job seekers against 36 different competencies. Helping them determine their best career.

The tool has been rolled out to job centres across Australia with initial usage positive, validated via independent research showing an increase in placements of job seekers by 61%.

Job seekers go through either a 20 minute or a 90 minute assessment as part of the program. You can have a mini-assessment via the cmyself process. Apparently I have:

… an abundance of sociability and energy, generally coupled with a competitive outlook, apparent self-confidence, impatience to make things happen and, unless there is a very sound level of self management, they can become argumentative when challenged, vigorously defending their point of view and not always operating on a purely factual basis.

The result being:

This style is attracted to team leadership situations and/or the opportunity to be of benefit to others in a controlling role. Therefore, they should enjoy roles that enable them to coach or manage people or the helping professions such as:

Professional Roles:
Sales Manager; Coach; Medical Professional (Doctor, dentist, etc.); Club Manager;

Skilled Roles:
Sports Trainer; Travel Consultant; Human Resource Officer

Overall a great initiative, hopefully it will continue to have positive returns.

A couple of side notes. If you go to you still send up at the old ESP site, oops. UPDATE: This has been fixed. I received a call from Roger Christie from Sefiani Communications Group saying they had read this blog post and addressed the issue. Also they offered for me to go into Chandler Macleod to complete the full survey before the official release. Great work Roger! There is also an article on but it is really nothing more that a revamp of the press release.

PubCamp Melbourne

I have been able to clear my schedule and can now attend PubCamp Melbourne on 23rd June. What is PubCamp and why should you attend? Glad you asked, from their site:

  • Understand the most important trends and technologies for Web 2.0 and beyond – social and citizen media, the semantic web, widgets, the shift to online software, cloud computing, web devices, mobile and more.
  • Develop strategies for capitalizing on new digital media technologies and staying on top of their evolution.
  • Use Web 2.0 technologies inside your organization to improve how you operate.
  • Find out how other people are dealing with the challenges and learn from their mistakes and successes.
  • Take back practical tips and techniques you can use right now to help your business and career today.

Other than the general it’s about Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 the third bullet point really made the decision for me to attend as this is one area my new endeavour will be exploring. Not to forget it should be a chance to hang out with and meet some of the cool kids in the social media area in Australia.

PubCamp is divided into two sections a more formal conference style and then an unconference. Having never got to an unconference before I am not sure what to expect, but I figured I should try and lead a session.

I have titled the session I would like to lead:-

A discussion on how Enterprise 2.0 can drive an organisations revenue and stock price. A look at the relationship between Enterprise 2.0, employees and an improved bottom line.

My thought is to develop on the idea that enterprise 2.0 tools can help drive employee engagement and productivity which in turn drives better financial performance. While we all “know” better productivity drives better performance, the concept of engagement driving the bottom line is a little newer. Have a look at this paper from Wharton’s to get an idea where I am thinking.

I will post again as I flesh out my thoughts a little further, in the meantime comments would be great.