Conference update

Just a short post.

Early bird registration closed yesterday, if you missed out sorry it is now $400 for the day. Still great value if you compare with many of the other events where you can spend $400 for half a day or even a few hours!

I have had a TBD session on the agenda as I have been playing with ideas on what and who to fill the session. While I can’t announce yet who the session will be I am very excited and hope to have things finalised in the next few days.

Finally if you are trying to justify coming along remember there is the executive overview PDF you can provide to your manager. We so far have people attending from Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, hopefully Perth and Adelaide as well. There are spots left so register today!

Hoojano in partnership with MYOB

Today Australian job referral tool, Hoojano, announced a partnership with MYOB under the banner of StaffSearcher. An interesting move by both organisations, release here

MYOB is moving more and more into SaaS offerings to small and medium business, they even own a web hosting business! Providng these businesses a cost effective method of recruiting candidates is a smart move.

From Hoojano’s point of view an interesting move and one that will give them great visibility to small to medium business owners in a difficult market. Many industry obversers, I for one, have been wondering, after launching their beta in February 2008 what Hoojano has been up to. The main Hoojano site has no jobs which had some wondering had they pulled up stumps! 

I registered and took the site for a bit of a test drive. Still very much like the original Hoojano offering, a few bugs still in the service such as wording errors in emails, but overall a pleasant experience. The biggest complaint is still the one from February 2008, the building up of your contact for referrals is a good concept but time consuming for the user. Also the system does not seem to allow me to create a profile to find myself jobs.

The StaffSearch fees are a bit complex:-

Listing Fee $25 + GST 

Reward – $ Specified by Hirer + GST 

StaffSearcher Reward Commission – 20% of the Reward 

Referrer Reward Commission – Referrers share of reward 

Sponsor Commission 5% of the Reward net of Reward Commission 

The reward is variable and up to the advertiser, and for the initial roles seem rather high but then that’s what the advertiser is will to pay.

A different model to 2Vouch*, who have a zero listing fee and the rewards based on salary levels.

A comment MYOB with StaffSearcher have decided to go around recruiters, a tactic not used by 2Vouch who have been actively partnering with recruiters. A move that might back fire, it has Geoff Jennings off side already

Hoojano/StaffSearcher, know this.  Probably a better approach to your marketing would have been to engage recruiters, rather than rally for their departure from the recruiting process.  

Hoojano CEO Mike Wilkinson responded to Geoff in the comments:

Can I respond on the line that MYOB has added to the homepage. By the way, I respond objectively as it is not a line our business (HooJano) adopts. MYOB is free to attract custom however they see fit.


What we have found in our discussions with recruiters is that under certain conditions and if the rewards are at a certain level, they are completely open to submitting candidates. (FYI, recruiters can chose to be overt or not in disclosing their core business, the customer simply wants candidates.)

I hope recruiters do at least give it a go and more so I hope they make money at a good margin so it can evolve as a long term, mutually beneficial part of their business.

I say game on! The more the merrier and the only winners should be candidates and employers!

(Disclosure: 2Vouch are a current customer of mine.)

HR Futures Conference

Just a short post to let you all know that early bird pricing for the Inspecht HR Futures Conference finishes in 3 days, 15th January. After this you will need to spend an extra A$50 to attend.

Remember you can register online, or download the offline order form.

Early Bird Before January 15  A$350
Regular After January 15  A$400


If you are planning to come from interstate, which I know some of you are, check out the venue details for accommodation options.

Microsoft Tag a not so new tool for marketing

Last week Microsoft launched a new service/tool/technology called Microsoft Tag. In simple terms it allows you to take a photo of an image with your internet-enabled phone and the related content is displayed on your phone. Very similar technology to the QR Code. But implemented very differently.

The QR Code stores all of the data in the image, for example the QR Code below actually stores the data of the URL for Inspecht. So when you take a photo of the image using your phone, the data is processed on the phone and then you are redirected to the Inspecht web site.

QR Code Inspecht

Microsoft’s tag service does not store the data in the image. Instead after taking a photo of the image the Microsoft Tag application on your phone communicates, via the Internet, with the Microsoft servers to figure out what to do next. The image is based on technology our of Microsoft Research called High Capcity Colour Barcode or HCCB for short. Microsoft has released reader applications for many different phones, head to to find out more.

Microsoft Tag Inspecht

Both provide very similar functionality.


  • Microsoft Tag allows you to create much smaller images than QR Codes
  • Microsoft Tag has significant in built error correction for partial or blurry images
  • Microsoft Tag is reportable a better user experience, personally I am not sure about that as I have found QR Codes very easy to use
  • Microsoft Tag makes it easy to get a reader application on your phone, I had to search to find a QR Code reader for my Treo
  • Microsoft Tags can be set to expire after a certain period, great for marketing
  • Based on my limited testing it seems you can change the data (URL, vCard etc) that the tag points to without needing to change the tag image
  • Microsoft Tag is support by the Microsoft marketing machine


  • Microsoft Tag requires full colour over QR Codes minimum requirement of black and white.
  • Microsoft Tag requires an Internet connection to work
  • Microsoft Tag requires Microsoft to store all of the data about the code and resulting data
  • Microsoft Tag is proprietary and after the beta period you will likely charged for using the service
  • QR Codes are very popular in Asia and have growing support in other locations, such as Australia

From a mobile recruiting point of view there is not a lot of difference. However the dynamic time driven content of the tag service makes the Microsoft offering a better choice for job ads or career fairs. For example here is a tag to a Seek job ad that will expire on 11th Feb 2009.

Seek Ad Tag

In Australia Telstra has been pushing QR Codes, under their own brand Telstra Mobile Codes marketed to only work on the Telstra Next G phone, which of course is not true as they are standard QR Codes. It will be interesting to see if Telstra drop the QR Code for Microsoft Tag.

Update: Anothy from Aussie startup QMCodes mentioned in the comments that the pro’s are all covered by their existing service Q-Lytics good to see a local company ahead of the big players.

Are you adapting your services to stay relevant?

An old saying by Heraclitus a Greek philosopher that “Nothing endures but change”. If this was true in 500 BC, then today if you are not preparing for change you are dead in the water. Period!

Today I was reading a Gartner research report by Thomas Otter, aka Vendorprisey, The Effects of Social Software on Your Employer Brand (Hat Tip: Amit Avasthi) which got me thinking about change.

Then I came across a post by Don Tapscott on Grown Up Digital about how libraries in the US are having to adapt to encourage Generation Y to visit. Resulting by the way in a 25% increase in attendance!

What would you do if you weren't afraid
So what do these two things have in common?

Customers are changing and so you must evolve to survive. Even more so in tough economic times. 

Now how are you changing to stay relevant? Depending on your view what do employers, candidates, employees or the board really want from you in 2009? How can you deliver it?

What should you be upgrading? Your employer branding? Your careers web site? Your referral program? Your Resume? Your Compensation programs? Your Performance Review programs? Your strategic plan?

Think about getting a 25% improvement by changing to suit your audience.

If you want to learn more about how to deal with change read Who Moved My Cheese?.

Photo credit: nguyenanhquan from Flickr.