Twitter in the recruitment process

I am sorry but I have to call this out.

The RCSA is the peak Australian association for the recruitment and on-hire sector (according to their web site) but I do wonder sometimes if they know what is going on. (Disclosure I am not a member and have only attended a few of their events so my comments are very biased.)

The RCSA is running a “How to use Twitter in the Recruitment Process” webinar in June. Which on the surface is a great initiative.

Except. 

They are changing $143 for non member! Um hang on didn’t Thomas Shaw run one for free last month? You missed his session don’t worry just download my free guide! No don’t download my guide, have a search on Google for a guide.

Sorry it had to be said.

Internal Social Network Analysis

Following yesterday’s post on future recruiting technology, which looking back should have read future talent management technology, here is an example of thing I am seeing in the market.

SAP has built a Social Network Analyzer prototype for inside the organisation. (Hat tip James Governor.)

It aggregates existing enterprise data to display and discover organizational relationships. It provides the missing link between social networking platforms and enterprise information systems, by letting organizations leveraging data available in corporate information systems.

SNA helps jump-start social networking within the organization by letting you import and aggregate all the corporate relationships between people that are already recorded in your business applications, such as:

  • Management hierarchies from your human resources system
  • Data on who worked on which deals from your sales force automation system
  • Partner, customer, and partner supplier contacts along your supply chain
  • People who work on similar transactions within your operational systems

The early images show a product user interface that is very different to anything I have seen from the German Giant.

The tool bring data from disparate systems across the enterprise into a single view to see who is interacting with whom via relationships there can be significant talent management benefits, other than collaboration:

  • Look at the interaction of at risk high performers, are their other high performers that also might be at risk due to social relationships?
  • Top talent referrers, who else do they interact with and are they providing referrals, if not why?
  • Do poor performers interact together?
  • Do top performers interact together?

The tool can import any data that describes a relationship between two people or objects you can uncover relationships between individuals, groups and departments that do not appear in the traditional organisation structure.

Now what if we added into the mix information about external social networks??

Let’s not forget the privacy issues, to quote James:

I thought it was kind of funny, though obviously not surprising, that one of the reasons SAP has been slow to turn the prototype into product is European data protection law. While American firms would consider metadata about employee interactions to be company property, under German law that is certainly not the case – no, in Germany it would be called spying.

Will this product see the light of day? Will it be deployed in many organisations? What would trade unions think of the tool? All these questions and more will ultimately determine the future of this particular technology.

The future of recruiting technology

I have been thinking a lot recently about the future of recruiting technology. While social networking is all the rage at the moment it is not new, and was first seen as a recruitment tool at least two to three years ago if not longer.

So where to next?

I usually look at future technology trends with two view points, the Gartner Hype Cycle and Chris Anderson’s, from Wired Magazine, four key stages of technology viability.

First let’s look at the Gartner Hype Cycle. 

Hype Cycle

According to Gartner the visibility of new technologies peaks early with lots of hype and excitement, followed by a “trough of disillusionment” where inflated expectations hit reality. It is at this time when fundamental changes in both what the technology does and how we use them takes place. Sometimes technology does not survive but as the technology begins to prove itself we see it being used productively.

The trick it to know where a technology is on this curve. For example social recruiting, “peak of inflated expectations” or “slope of enlightenment”?

The second approach I have been thinking about was provided by Chris Anderson at TED in 2004 where he talked about technology collisions as a way of assessing its viability. The four collisions he lists are:

  1. Critical Price
  2. Critical Mass
  3. Displacing another technology
  4. Commoditise, nearly free

For example, job boards are moving toward being a commodity. Using free software anyone can create a job board for a community in about 24 hours.

Following FutureSummit I am also looking at the future in the terms of MegaTrends. The two trends of note here are the Rise of Asia and Connectivity. With connectivity, while social networking is all the rage now we don’t grasp what is going to happen as mobile connectivity really takes off. Could this mobility in social networking change influence?

So I have three attributes to consider now for technology each with their own factors to consider. I suspect somewhere in the mix is the future, now if I can only find it.

Trend Influences

Future Summit Wrap Up

How do I summarise Future Summit 2009? The Future
(Credits: From Flickr aussiegall)

I guess the best way as being talked to for 25 hours in a 36 hour period! This is a very different format to many of the other events I attend which tend to be more collaborative.

This lack of collaborative time where the participants were able to discuss the future was my biggest complaint. Most of the panels discussed issues of today that need to be resolved, not what the future holds, and unfortunately any talk of the future was just that, talk. The session content also tended to be very hit and miss on the quality. 

Over the two days there were three that stood out.

First was Alison Sander from Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) presentation on Megatrends (the second session) was one of the best sessions and eye opener. Maybe I am a bit slow but I had not explicitly thought about tapping into these trends as a method of growth. BCG tracks four types of trends; Terra, Economic, Technology and Meta but as Alison said just knowing about these trends is not enough. Action is what is needed. BCG provides their clients a four phase model on how to leverage megatrends:

  1. Recognize
  2. Understand
  3. Act
  4. Profit

I guess I have always done 1 and 2 but failed on 3 and 4, which is why I am not a billionaire ;-). A couple of interesting statistics I picked up, 60% of the world’s population is in Asia, and in 2006 the world’s population became more urban than not.

The next session of interest was not until late Tuesday morning looking at technology as an enabler of prosperity and growth. I had very high hopes of this session given the quality of the panel; Tracey Fellows MD Microsoft Australia, Holly Kramer Group MD Telstra Product Management, Dr Paul Twoney CEO ICANN, Professor Max Lu, and Glenn Wightwick CTO IBM Australia. While the discussion was a bit up and down some of the key gems came from Paul Twoney and Dr Lu.

Paul Twoney highlighted that while about 70% of the room had businesses that sold something on the Internet only about 2 people did so in a language other than English. Then came the kicker, Paul states that Brisbane, Sydney and Los Angeles are the only cities that have people who can speak all 38 languages of Asia (I would suspect Melbourne is very close). Dr Lu then went on to talk to us about solar being the ultimate energy source, nano ethics and social responsibility of nano technology and that the future of nanotechnology in manufacturing has a pervasive impact. The final key message was from Paul Twoney who challenged the audience to look at what we could be doing with broadband to help on climate change, water, globalisation and population growth.

The final session of serious interest was on harnessing Australian talent. Australia has been so successful building an international education program that we have reducing public funding to our own education institutions, which is impacting our ability to develop talent. International education students are a $15.5 billion industry for Australia, almost the 2nd largest export! One of the best quotes from the session came from Professor Gill Palmer of RMIT “people are a countries competitive advantage”.

The talent session then moved to looking at corporate management of talent. I can’t remember who provided stated this but, Australia is the worst in the OECD when it comes to amount of money corporations allocate to educating their employees. Another interesting statistic is that 67% of boardroom conversations are deeply inhibited, through one reason or another, making only 33% of boardroom conversations useful! Australia as over 1 million citizens living overseas, why are organisations not trying to bring them home as a method of talent development?

I had several interesting discussions. First discussion was at the gala dinner with two individuals; one from big business the other a major educational institution. We were discussing the issue of clean energy. Both told me that much of the technology existed today; just no one had put it all together. So I asked why they don’t open source it, so we can solve the energy problem. The answer, no one can make money out of open source and how do you know that people will not hold back their key ideas. The second discussion was over lunch where we were discussing how to inform the average Australian business about Megatrends for business growth. One of the first answers was to create a government institution of trend spotting to then communicate to the public.

My final thoughts. Australia has a good future; however this future could be great if we as a society learn how to harness key trends. Big business also needs to radically change to institutions that open up communications internally, become more socially responsible and finally grow and develop their employees.
 

Future Summit

Over the next couple of days I will be attending Future Summit 2009 a great big think tank in Melbourne run by Australian Davos Connection (ADC), covering the theme  shaping the future. If you don’t know about Future Summit it was founded by some “big business dudes” after returning from the World Economic Forum a few years ago.

Steve Hopkins is working for ADC and pulled together an awesome selection of social media people to attend to provide a unique perspective on the event. Along with myself others include:

If you are on Twitter watch for the #futuresummit tags.

Job Applications on Twitter-like service

I found this over at the Amnesia blog a Dutch marketing agency, Energize, in a bid to attract social media cadidates has reworked their job application page to look like Twitter.

I have to agree with the guy at Amnesia it is a little gimmicky, but as they said the site is getting attention.  A couple of interesting observations, the CV is optional

They are also meeting some of Gerry Crispin’s attributes on a good careers website:

  1. When I apply, am I the one this employer is looking for? (Am I your Target candidate or is someone else?)
  2. Is it clear to me why I should come to (or stay at) this company? (Engage me.)
  3. Was I able to find the information I need to support my reasons for applying here? (Can you really Inform me?)
  4. Was I thanked, offered next steps, promised feedback or status? (After I’ve applied, will you Respect me in the morning?)

This approach to attracting candidates is clearly showing the type of candidate they are after, this apporach is also engaging. But I don’t read Dutch so I can’t comment on if there is enough information on the site that is informing the candidate. Nor did they acknowledge my application immediately.

Social Media In the Workplace

Below are my notes for the talk I have given over the last week on social media in the workplace. I admit they do not flow as an essay as they supplemented my slides, hopefully you can derive my messages.

For nearly 20 years geeks have been operating in the backrooms of your organisations communicating across the Internet using tools such as Gopher, IRC, Usenet and HTTP. Then in 1994 Marc Andressen released Netscape Navigator into the world, since then it has never been the same.

Netscape allowed non technical people for the first time to graphically see not only documents on the Internet but also their relationships. This was the birth of the web as we know it today.

Everything on the web today has been built on these foundations. Including social media.
The first true social technology was the reply all button in email. As much as we often despise this feature for the first time it allowed people, through a single click of a button, to engage and collaborate with a large group of individuals. The first social gesture.

I have spent the last 2 and a half days at the Australasian Talent Conference where there was lots and lots of talk about social media and its impact on business, talent and the workplace. However most of the questions and comments tended to be we don’t understand it, it is a waste of time, we are ignoring it and where is the ROI. There is fear, uncertainty and misinformation amongst many of the leaders in business.

To help overcome these issues I will initially be spending time look at the foundations of social media before taking an trip in to using social media in the workplace.

Continue reading “Social Media In the Workplace”

Using Twitter for HR and Recruiting

If you had been watching my to do list for the last 18 months you would have seen an item sitting there and just not getting done. It was important but never urgent so never touched.

Write an introduction document on Twitter for HR and Recruiting. 

There have been lots of documents/posts/articles on the subject in the last 6 months and for a while I thought the world did not need another one. Well in the last 10 days I have decided different. So in the interests of my memebership in the Cult of Done, I present my document on Twitter for HR and Recruiting.

The document covers:

ATC Summary

Over the last few days I have published a number of posts summarising the sessions at ATC that I attended. However I wanted to pull together an overall summary of my thoughts from the event. This was my first ATC, mainly as I had now been in the position to attend before due to my previous corporate life which was a pity as I think attending in previous years would have been good. Well no point looking back let’s look forward.

First question was ATC worth the money? Yes. Even in the light of this GFC thing.

So what did I get out of the event to justify my expense?

  • Attending the sessions, while not all were good I took something from most of them. I could not say which was the best session, they were all different.
  • Meeting other Australian commentators such as Phillip Tusing, Jo Knox for the first time.
  • Catching up with Russell Kronenburg from Pacific Brands over lunch on the first learning in detail about some of their social media activities. They are doing awesome stuff!
  • Hallway time with the US speakers, most of whom I had never met in person, such as Master Burnett, Dr John Sullivan, Kevin Wheeler, Gerry Crispin, Charles Handler, and Sue Polo.
  • Having several business, dinner and social engagements organised with Master Burnett, Kevin Wheeler and Gerry Crispin for when I am in San Francisco for the Social Recruiting Summit next month. None of which would have been possible without ATC.
  • Catching up with locals like Riges Younan, Ross Clennett, Phillip Tusing, and the boys from Happener.
  • Meeting Belinda and Danielle from Buchan and chatting about marketing and PR, Daneille joined a number of us for dinner one night.
  • Meeting the Deloitte’s team (James Elliott and Tanyth Lloyd) and many other Australian organisations who are doing exciting things.
  • Chatting with Karen Cariss and Simon Cariss from PageUp People, Simon for the first time.

So as normal with these types of events, the sessions are good but it is the networking that makes it valuable.

If you are in any form of talent management, sourcing or a corporate recruiter and you did not attend shame. For transactional 3rd party recruiters I can see limited value, but if you are a 3rd party recruiter who wants to be ahead of the competition again shame you did not attend.

Another final comment there were several sponsor sessions most were traditional let’s try and sell you on our product. The PageUp session was different. PageUp approached their slot with an attitude of let’s inform the audience about something, virtually unrelated to their product but important to the audience, Twitter. The result was after the session their stand was the busiest of any of the stands over the two days, other than Hudson where we all went for good coffee.

Next Year: Yes.

ATC: Kevin Wheeler

Kevin closed out the final day of ATC with a great look at the future, getting the audience to really think about what is next. His theme retrain, redeploy and refresh. We are currently experiencing significant change across many areas:

  • Economic sea change
  • The end or beginning of the end of traditional media, schools, large organisations
  • Rise of cultural & economic salads
  • Terrorism/oil/energy/flu/pandemics
  • Shift to virtual worlds
This period of extreme change where extremophiles, things that survive by bring polar opposites together, will be the only organisations that survive. Organisations need to change as we are moving into the era of the free agent, “the future belongs to small organisations that build on creativeness and adaptability”.

Kevin sees five key themes in the future:

  1. Talent strategy is becoming the CEO concern
  2. Creative class employees will dominate
  3. Sustainability will be the focus
  4. Gen Y values will be mainstream values
  5. Virtual will increasing replace F2F interactions

I am going to skip the first item as to me and many of you this is not new, instead let’s look at the last 4 items.

Creative Class

Composed of scientists, engineers, architects, designers, educators, artists, musicians and entertainers whose economic function is to create new ideas, new technology, or new content. Approximately 38 million people in the US today. Kevin feels knowledge workers are old school and the world will be driven once again by the creative class.

Sustainability

  • Reuse/Recycle/Retain/Refresh
  • Use only what is needed
  • Hire & retain for broad based competences not specialisation
  • Retrain and develop through cross-functional & rotational experience and through informal networks
  • Redeploy and retrain constantly
  • Remove barriers to learning

Gen Y Values

  • Transparency is everything
  • Authenticity is expected
  • Teams define themselves
  • Tasks are chosen, not assigned
  • Contributions count more than credentials
  • Rewards are intrinsic as well as tangible

During 20th Century is was about transactions, routines and efficiency, 21st is about relationships, personalisation, and communications

Virtual

  • Social media is now core to the internet
  • Search is being automated
  • Profiles are starting to replace resumes (finally!)

Kevin intorduced a few emerging applications: JobVite, Entice Labs, YuMe and Adchemy. Finishing up with seven tips on surviving with extremophiles:

  1. Recognizing how polarities create strong networks
  2. Ongoing context sensing (beyond episode)
  3. Capacity to innovate or hibernate
  4. Support workers with empathy (not sympathy)
  5. Bring in and neutralise your treats
  6. Creating symbiotic relationships
  7. Develop self-replicating memes