Chandler Macleod Group says employment opportunities still exist

During February 2009 the Chandler Macleod Group (CMG) conducted a survey of 5,250 candidates in the Australian workforce and found some interesting but not surprising results. I have summarised some of the highlights from the press release below, or you can read it in full online.

  • 30% of all candidates have been affected directly or indirectly by job loss due to redundancy
  • 76% of employees who remained in organisations that had cut staff planned to seek other employment opportunities
  • Job vacancies still exist, mainly in the government, not-for-profit, health and utilities sectors
  • 50% of employers are introducing “innovative” ways to retain talent, ie 3 or 4 day work weeks
  • Applications for the jobs that remain have doubled in the last three months

For the job opportunities that remain candidates need to stand out from the crowd to quote Peter Gleeson CMG’s Executive General Manager of Professional & Executive Recruitment:

“Qualities that employers are looking for today in candidates are: resilience; strong leadership; ability to seek ways to remain competitive from a business development standpoint; and the ability to be more productive with limited resources,”

Earlier in the press release David Reynolds, Chandler Macleod Consulting’s Executive General Manager said:

“I believe that job losses will continue to rise steeply before the financial year end in June 2009 as organisations will need to show they have the strategies and structures in place to face the challenges of the financial year ahead.”

In summary while there might be job opportunities out there, and employers are looking for people who can help them survive times are going to get worse before they get better.

But don’t despair as Phillip Tusing from Destination Talent says unemployment is a bit of a strange thing:

For instance, Cabramatta struggles with an unemployment rate of 15.6%, while Wollstonecraft is 2.9%. To residents (employers and job seekers) of both suburbs, the national unemployment average doesn’t mean much.

HR Futures Presentations now available

It is about 6 weeks since the HR Futures Conference so I felt it was about time to finish up getting the content produced out there. Most of the speakers have posted on their own sites but we still needed to get them together in a single place.  So yesterday I pulled them all together.  All presentations are now available over at HR Futures. The audio snipits are also still in the work.

Remember there are a bunch of photos on Flickr and you can follow the continued discussion on Twitter.

PeopleInsite helps manage employment documentation

This is one of those posts I have been meaning to write for a while, there are still another 3 or 4 that I have to catch up on.

I met with Richard Breden Managing Director of PeopleInsite a while back to discuss their product PI Employment, Richard contacted me following my post of Workforce Guardian. PI Employment is a 100% Australian owned SaaS tool designed to provide records management solutions to larger organisations, as of the beginning of March they now have three products; the original PI Employment, PI Commercial, and PI Complete.

PI Employment started life a few years ago following the introduction of Australian Workplace Agreements or AWAs to Australian. The tool allows businesses to create, upload and manage all of their critical employment documents. The documents are created based on an organisation’s own templates by taking users through simple Question and Answer process. Typical ways organisations can use PI Employment are:

  • Employment and independent contractor agreements.
  • Storage of  EBA’s, awards and policies all assigned to the relevant employees
  • Generation warning letters, probationary reviews
  • Record notes around performance management to create a complete performance counselling history
  • An archive of all past employee and contractor records

For documents that need approvals as part of the creation process they can be routed through a faily simple basic workflow process before being stored, as approved, against the employee records. PI Employment allows organisations to create a short profile of each employee which can be maintained manually or through integrations with several HR/Payroll systems such as Aurion, HR3, DataSpeed and SAP.

In additional to storage of document PI Employment also provides a reminder service to assist HR and line managers to follow up and review the required documents. The reminders are sent out via email or appear within the system.

Australian Job Board Report 2009 released

I have been very slack in the last few weeks and I have not posted about several very exciting and interesting activities, I will work to fix this over the next few days.

Firstly the Australian Job Board Report for 2009 has been released by Phillip Tusing from Destination Talent. The report lists 236 job boards in operation in Australia, while not all it is a very good representation. Phillip also covers the Australian recruitment technology landscape, with more than 40 national and international recruitment technology providers. There is also a few words of advice from me on page 26.

If you are involved in recruitment in Australia I highly recommend you take a look at the report.

Workplace policies for Social Media

There has been another little dust up over at Telstra, all due to a satirical Twitter account called Fake Stephen Conroy. (For international readers Stephen Conroy is the Federal Communications Minister.)

In summary Leslie Nassar Telstra employee had been running the account for a while providing hours of entertainment. A few days ago Leslie was outed (or he outed himself I am not sure) and this is when things got messy. It seems the left hand of Telstra did not know what the right hand was doing. The media got involved and things got messier.

But what I want to focus on is workplace policies for social media.

A few weeks ago Michael Park from Deacons law firm provided a fantastic overview at the HR Futures conference I have uploaded the presentation for all to view (with permission from Deacons and Michael of course).

Essentially you need to cover the 5 following areas:

  1. Provide rights for the participants and define their equitable treatment
  2. Protect the interests of all stakeholders, external and internal
  3. Define roles and responsibilities for implementation and operation
  4. Define integrity and ethical behaviours of participants
  5. Cover disclosure and transparency

With the 5 main messages for your policy depending on culture:

  1. Stop & Think
  2. Use your loaf
  3. You can always disclaim, but you cannot hide
  4. Keep it real
  5. Respect the channels

Want or need to learn more I have a half day workshop for organisations to help their HR departments come to terms with Web 2.0 and social media. Interested? Contact me for more details.

Special deal for blog readers

Australasian Talent Conference has put together a special deal for my blog readers.

Before I get to the deal, a bit about ATC:

The Australasian Talent Conference is a collaboration between the leading corporate recruitment and talent management experts from Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the United States. First introduced in 2007 and modeled on the successful Electronic Recruitment Exchange ERE Conference in the United States. Organisers are; Kevin Wheeler, Trevor Vas, Horace Chai and Kate Breuner.

A selection of this year’s speakers include internationals folks:

  • Dr John Sullivan
  • Gerry Crispin
  • Kevin Wheeler
  • Master Burnett

Along with locals:

  • Trevor Vas
  • Dr. Ian Williamson
  • Naomi Simson
  • James Elliott
  • Virginia Matthew


ATC is offering my blog readers 10% off!

Register online, use promotion code INS09 and you will receive 10% off the conference price. That’s AUD$250 on the $2,500 list price. Not a bad deal if you are planning to attend and missed out on the early price pricing. Even if you were not planning to attend with the line up of speakers you should!

In the news

An interview I did late last year for Nett magazine on social networking and recruitment was finally published. Sarah Stokely did a great job getting some many different view points and quotes about social networking in the office. You can read the full article online or just my bits below:

Human resources and recruitment professionals tend to be concerned with productivity and security issues around Facebook rather than viewing it as a recruitment tool.

“Facebook is still seen by many as a place that kids hang out, but this is changing,” says human resources technology and social networking consultant Michael Specht.

“LinkedIn and LinkMe are becoming very popular for agency recruiters, but not so much for corporate recruiters yet.”

However, some agencies are not using these tools very well.

“I often hear of colleagues who have been cold called by a recruiter based on them searching in LinkedIn and know very little about the person they are calling, like they are running their own business or moved out of that particular area of work,” he says.

“Many of these profiles are not kept up to date by people, making their usefulness, without other research, limited.”

Fear != Happy Employees

Following my post yesterday about Facebook I found a great post from Jim Benson about about how your approach to your employees directly impacts your success.

The family that owned the restaurant had two long time trusted employees who served as managers.  The family knew the restaurant was in good hands.  When the long term employees left, the family was worried.  Fast food restaurants hire young, minimum wage workers who often slack off or even steal from the register. 

The owners felt they needed to keep an eye on the restaurant.  So they installed cameras.

This created an environment of US vs THEM with employees just keeping busy so the owners did not call them up to find out what was going on.

So the employees found themselves filling full salts, cleaning clean floors and hiding directly underneath the cameras in the “blind spots” just to have a simple conversation.  They never wanted to appear “not busy.”

As a team, the employees only could rally around one thing – their hatred of the cameras.  They couldn’t talk to each other, learn about each other, or learn from each other.  They could all merely mindlessly perform the already-satisfied chore list.

One by one, the other employees all left.  None of them would ever become the new long-time and trusted employees because trust was never allowed to develop.

Not a way to run a successful organisation. Will the owners blame the young Gen Y workers not having the right work ethic or is there a deeper issue? Could it be that they never developed a trust relationship with their employees? Did they engage with them? Just because your employee’s look busy does not mean they are actually productive, and servicing your customers.



Is Facebook good or bad?

It seems to me that if I was to believe the pundits social media is going to either cause the next apocalypse or be the saviour for us all! 

But I want to look at two specific cases here and their relationship with HR.

First the negative.

Kimberley SwannKimberley Swann, at 16 year old in the UK, who was sacked from Ivell Marketing & Logistics for posting on her Facebook profile that her office administration job was boring. Some more background:

  • It was her first real office job, yes she was employed at a call centre before but this was her first office job. 
  • The company only found out after she allowed another employee to become a “friend” on Facebook.
  • She never mentioned the company name, so no initial damage.
  • There is no information on if the company provided her an acceptable usage policy, even while she posted from home it should have highlighted that she should have a due diligence when interacting online.

While it might not have been the smartest of things to do, I personally don’t think it should result in immediate dismissal. The company would have done better to take on board the fact that she was bored and look at ways to use her skills, also explaining that posting on Facebook was not the smartest of moves. If she did it again then look at discipline actions.

Another thought if they had done nothing Ivell Marketing & Logistics or Steve Ivell would not be all over the Internet and they would not have had to remove the contact us page on their web site due Facebook users crashing their email server. 

Now the positive, Deloitte’s is paying employees for using Facebook to find new employees! Deloitte’s a large user of social media as part of regular business operations and recruitment, this only entrenches them as a leader around innovation.

Now this brings me to Brett from Job Adder’s post from last week, he’s right don’t put the cart before the horse otherwise you and your social media campaign will end up on the cart even if you don’t want to go on the cart.