The Launch of Inspecht TV

Over the years I have thought about creating a local HR or Recruiting focused podcast or video podcast, however each time I decide I really do not have the motivation to keep something like that up.
Inspecht TV
Well today I launched Inspecht TV. So what changed?

Several things did actually. Firstly Inspecht TV is not a regular show, it is not even a podcast, which satisfies my first requirement of not requiring a heap of work to get going.

Secondly I have been playing with video over the last few months as part of the ATC Social Media event (Youtube videos as well) and with the Inspecht webinars. As part of this work I have got myself a new camera, and figured out how to use video editing software (even if I am bad at it), convert to flash and deliver via WordPress.

The finally, Justin Hillier over at Social Recruiting 360 has been talking up video for a while and is even doing a real video podcast with interviews and topics etc.

All these things came together to become Inspecht TV.

What is Inspecht TV?

Yes there will be the occasional Inspecht produced video however the majority of the content will be showcasing other people’s videos. Inspecht TV will bring together a curated list of content for you to consume, you can subscribe to our special RSS feed to receive the latest content.

Unique Video Usage

If you have been following some of the other HR and Recruitment blogs in Australia there has been a bit of talk about using video, even I joined the discussions with a bit of a technology review.

Today I want to highlight a fairly unique use of YouTube Video. (If you are in marketing circles you might have seen this already.)

Ad agency BooneOakley moved their whole web site on to YouTube! Yes you heard it their whole web site onto YouTube.

Leaders are temporary

WOWA couple of years ago the Collab@Work blog wrote a very interesting article on how leadership in MMORPG’s, such as World of Warcraft is temporary. They provided reasons why in these MMORPG’s it makes sense to have temporary leaders:

In those games, leadership is a temporary position. At one point in time, you’re leading, the week after you’re following another leader. Reasons vary: too much pressure, less availability, someone else better suited for the job at hand, …

Unfortunately they highlighted that in traditional business leadership is virtually never temporary. Over the last couple of years the growth in this idea around temporary leadership in the way many small business collaboratively work together, especially when it comes to businesses based around the web. I would say that this is in part due to the fact that people in small business are very engaged in what they do, otherwise they would go out of business. Engagement is a key attribute required for temporary leadership to work.

Temporary leadership has many benefits again to quote Collab@Work:

  • having been a leader makes you a better follower. You understand better what the leader is trying to achieve
  • being a follower makes you a better leader. Your experience as a follower is still recent
  • from an organizational perspective, you can “test” more leaders including the ones that wouldn’t have been considered. That can dramatically increase your leadership bench, and see who are the best leaders rather than the best leader potentials.

The post was based on a HBR article from May 2008 which pointed out that  in today’s business:

A lot of work will be done by global teams—partly composed of people from outside the institution, over whom a leader has no formal authority—that are assembled for a single project and then disbanded. Collaboration within these geographically diverse groups will, by necessity, occur mainly through digital rather than face-to-face interaction.

Sounds like an MMORPG to me.  For example it makes sense that people who can successfully execute a 6 hour raid with 50 guild members based in 10 countries is developing the right skills needed for business in the future. They are also learning how to effectively leverage all of the social technologies we have available.

So as both articles say do not necessarily dismiss the hours spent by your children or friends on these games, they may in fact be learning the critical skills to be the next world leaders.

Using Video within your HR Processes

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Yesterday afternoon I sat in to listen Bill Boorman‘s Downunder Recruiting show where the discussion was on video, an interesting topic. I am very interested in video within a talent acquisition strategy as this has been a topic for many many years and I am glad to see people are starting to move away from the “Video Resume” as quite frankly that is probably the worse use case for video.

Before we go too much further we need to see video as just another form of content, it just happens to have audio and moving images. This is the key as I see people get stuck with video as just a method for having a talking head, video today can be far more than that.

However for all it’s benefits there is still a low take up of video, especially in Australia. One reason I believe we have not seen a broader take up of video is it is still a fairly hard technology to master both functionally and technically.

Another barrier I see is performance. This is a big issue in Australia, where we are ranked about 42nd on performance for brandband downloads and 72nd for uploads. This can mean it will take hours to upload a large video to your hosting provider and when people are watching your carefully crafted message it keeps stopping due to caching issues.

Technical Mastery

The first challenge is you need to produce good quality audio and images. Many people are uncomfortable with having their voice recorded, let alone appearing on video. Once these hurdles are overcome, a good quality script and plan needs to be prepared.  One aspect often over looked is the location needs to be right, lighting, background images and noise are all aspects to consider.

Then there are the technical aspects, starting with video capture, while webcams are very popular they generally do not produce good quality video, and they are also difficult to move around. But webcams are a great tools for interactive video, such as Skype. Don’t forget you still need to think about composition aspects, what will the other person see in the background of your image?

If you are producing a video for others to watch at a later time your jobs just got a lot harder.

After the captured of the video editing can be a challenge. You need software, which under Windows is a problem (yes Mac OS X users have a much better time here), yes there are open source products but to get that truely polished look you need to purchase software. Then actually rendering of any video beyond 3 – 5 minutes takes a lot of CPU processing power. A high quality video also takes up disk space, think 100MB per minute at standard definition with even more when you go high definition.

Once you have produced your video where do you host it? There are many public services for example is YouTube right you can only host 10 minutes and you have limited controls over security. Vimeo is another service that allows hosting, and for a fee you can control exactly who has access to the video, however the terms of service limit commercial usage. If you want your video to be viewable on mobile phones then things become even more complex as flash, the typical delivery method, has limited penetration on mobile devices.

Internal communications also need an environment to deliver the video, do not underestimate this otherwise your IT team will not be happy with you.  These tools need to be set up before you can begin to use video.

Ok with the negative aspects is video still worth getting involved in? Yes!

Potential Video Usage

Below is a short listing of where you can use video within your HR processes.

  1. Employer branding
  2. Attraction
  3. Training
  4. Employee communications
  5. Job advertisement
  6. Job interviews, with Skype or similar
  7. Candidate videos
  8. Anywhere where audio and images would enhance the message

Video Examples

Job Advertising

A recent job advert video from Australian company Noble Samurai looking for a new Agile Development Lead. During this 4 minute 40 seconds production you get to understand what the roles is about, who you would be working with, the working environment and culture.

The video starts with an interview with the CEO covering some of the things they are looking for. Followed by quick review of the office and some introduction to some of the team. While there are a couple of composition issues but generally the quality is very good.

Branding/Attraction/Employee Communications

Another good example is actually a excellent example on the use of social media in general, ASDA’s The Green Room. The site integrates all sorts of content, but the item I want to highlight is a recent message from the CEO to their employees.

Good practices in using video

Like all of this social media “stuff” quality content is critical. You need to add value to viewers otherwise they will turn off. If you are using video as part of your attraction process, make it real, keep things honest but professional. Keep the video focused, engaging and overall fun. Here are my top 10 production tips:

  1. Spend time planning up front
  2. Tell a story
  3. Have a good microphone
  4. Think about lighting and background composition
  5. Plan your delivery methods
  6. When capturing the video try not to pan too much or too fast
  7. Also limit you use of the zoom
  8. Use a tripod when shooting (whenever practical)
  9. Shoot from different angles, use multiple cameras
  10. Include lots of wide angle shots

Also have a look at Justin Hillier’s views on video.

10 things to do in 2010

While we are still in the first few weeks of the new year I through it would be good to look at come of the things you should focus on during 2010 to.

In no particular order here is my list of 10 things to do in 2010:

  1. Have an HR/Talent Management/Recruiting application blueprint
  2. The IT environment in many organisations is complex and needs constant management, even in the smallest of organisations. To help with managing the complexity ensure you have a strategy/roadmap/blueprint to follow.

  3. Learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  4. It seems finally organisations are starting to take note of the value that can be achieved from a decent career’s web site. While content and design are critical understanding a bit about SEO can help your jobs appear in the elusive number 1 spot of search results. Even if you do not have a career’s web site having your personal brand appear in search results can be a great thing.

  5. Implement a workforce planning program, with a foundation around competencies
  6. The recent CedarCrestone HR Technology survey found that organisations who were using workforce planning and competency management tools had significantly higher sales growth than those that did not. While they say they are not suggesting causality but over the last few years there has been stronger linkage between sales growth and these areas.

  7. Think beyond Facebook and Twitter when looking at social media
  8. With so much talk about Facebook and Twitter I feel people have forgotten that social media is more than just these two sites. Remember social media is about user generated content, including blogs, images, video, audio, ratings, reviews etc.

  9. Focus on high quality hires, never settle for less
  10. This should always be the best line of your hiring decisions. Period.

  11. Ensure your HR/Recruiting function is metrics driven
  12. Related to workforce planning is being metrics driven and I am not talking just about lists of headcount either. Gaining a deep understanding of your business and it’s drivers is critical to success. Do you know the best performing source of talent? What about the performance of your succession plans? But do not create an environment where you have an over reliance on benchmark based data as this basically turns the measures in to commodities by assuming what works for one organisation will work for yours.

  13. Don’t be afraid to experiment
  14. This one is for the Australian’s out there, experiment and fail!! As a population we tend to be afraid of failure. Do not be afraid. Organisations that experiment and fail regularly then to succeed.

  15. Learn about Web Squared
  16. You might be asking web what? Web Squared is the next evolution of the whole Web 2.0 idea. Web Squared builds on the idea that everything and everyone in the world cast “information shadows” or data. This data when leveraged provides extraordinary opportunities to organisations.

  17. Begin to think how you can bring real time into your operations
  18. The first part of web squared that you can bring into your organisation today is leveraging real time data. Look at real time data as key signals that form part of your business processes.

  19. Never ever forget about change management
  20. One of the biggest reasons for projects, of any sort, to fail is a lack of acceptance in the final outcomes being sort by the project. This can be alleviated through an effective change management program.

Thoughts on the Peopleclick Authoria merger

On 5 January 2010 Authoria and Peopleclick combined to form the largest privately owned company in the Talent Management marketplace. The new company, Peopleclick Authoria, claims to serve almost 60% of the Fortune 100 organisations. The new CEO will be Charles S. Jones, Managing Partner of Bedford Funding, the private equity firm undertaking the deal.

Some of my initial thoughts:

  • The merger will form the largest privately owned company in the Talent Management marketplace.
  • Both existing solutions will continue to be sold for the foreseeable future, with the addition of a combine suite offering.
  • The newly formed company leverages the best attributes of both vendors, Peopleclick’s recruitment offering and Authoria’s deep talent management features.
  • Technically both solutions are similar and offered as multi-tenant SaaS solutions, although Authoria’s use of single tenant for select larger clients may cause some integration issues.
  • Update: There is some debate around if Peopleclick have moved fully from their .NET platform to J2EE

  • As separate organisations both appeared in the recent Gartner eRecruitment 2009 Magic Quadrant report, with Peopleclick placed in the leaders category.
  • The combined organisation has the potential to move further into the leaders quadrant to provide a challenge to Taleo as the market leader.

More information is available to Inspecht members.

Unique job seeking method

I was forwarded an interesting Facebook event invitation today, someone seeking a job!

Paul Wants to be an Engineer

Here is the deal, our hero today is Paul a recent uni graduate in Engineering majoring in Robotics and Mechatronics and minoring in Mechanical Design Engineering with 18 months professional experience. Paul is having issues getting a job, so he put a call out to his Facebook friends to see who might be able to help him get a job. I like the idea.

I have posted his text below, but also see the Paul wants to be an Engineer!!! event on Facebook:

Hi there Facebook friends!

So, here’s the story;

I have just graduated from university with a Bachelors Degree in Engineering majoring in Robotics and Mechatronics and minoring in Mechanical Design Engineering. Along with this, I earned Class 2 Div A (Distinction) Honours.
I have also had over 18 months professional engineering experience with 14 months of that being employed at Bosch Australia.

The only problem is that I am finding it EXTREMELY difficult to find a job in this current global financial climate.

As you are all aware, in any industry it’s all about WHO you know and not WHAT you know.
So, I’m appealing to you to see if ANYONE has any contacts in the engineering world that could help me in getting my engineering career started!

I’m not too fussy with what position I’m looking for but I would prefer it to be in a capital city with a medium to large sized company with good career prospects in the automation/robotics/mechanical/engineering consultation areas.

There will also be prizes for the person who helps me land my first job 🙂

I have cover letters and resumes available upon demand.

Thanks heaps guys, any help will be greatly appreciated!

Paul.

Oh and if you happen to know someone looking for a graduate engineer you might want to drop him a line.

Is your HR Strategy ready for the intention economy?

I sit here typing this post during the first week of the second decade in the 21st century however some many organisation’s HR strategies are still stuck in the 20th century.

Let me explain.

Today most organisational HR strategy is based on a asynchronous model where the organisation does something and at a later time employees react. For example a new performance management policy is released, at a later point in time employees execute the performance review process. From an alternate direction an employee’s productivity begins to drop over time this becomes an issue so the organisation executes the performance improvement process.

Many organisations are aiming to move to a more synchronous environment, or real time. Here we have live chats on the career pages, real time updates on recruitment processes and continuous learning and performance management. In practical terms this can be thought of as HR dashboards and score cards that are updated live during the business day.

Real time is only part of the story the real value comes from understanding intentions. For example knowing that employees with 3 years service in the marketing department who have not changed roles in 6 months are your greatest risk of leaving and therefore Mary needs a role change. Or where a senior top performer plans to travel to a different office location your talent management system automatically suggests potential employees who could benefit from a mentoring session. Another example is where an employee is attending a conference the systems identify other employees, based on internal content, who would benefit from either also attending or receiving a briefing their return.

Intention based HR builds on the idea of predictive analytics but takes things further. Yes this is a long way off but leading organisations will start to experiment with these ideas over the next year or two. For example what could you do with these ideas; people who are looking for work in real time, or who hate their job?

On a side note based on the latest Cedar Crestone HR Technology survey only 10% of organisations have implemented predictive analytics.

(Note: I built on the ideas proposed by Jeremiah Owyang.)

HR/Payroll Software Used in Australia and New Zealand

There are lots and lots of different HR and Payroll systems in use across Australia and New Zealand, a fact that makes choosing a system very confusing. This process is made even more confusing by the lack of good quality information in the marketplace about what each solution offers.

During the years I have selected and implemented many different systems and now help clients select the right option for their business. But the process is never as simple as it should be. During 2010 I am hoping to provide more detailed coverage of the local marketplace.

To kick things off I have created a short (9 questions) survey that looks at the systems used for Payroll, HR and general Talent Management.

Welcome to 2010

2009 was a long year for many, it started out with all sorts of doom and gloom, then we have had some ups and downs but generally most people I speak with agree the year ended in a fairly good way.

So on to 2010. First question is it Twenty Ten or Two Thousand and Ten? Let me know your thoughts.

Some blog statistics:

  • 37% of traffic comes from Australia, meaning over 60% of you are not from around here. The next largest source of traffic is USA with 32% followed by UK with only 5%!
  • 54% of readers still prefer Internet Explorer although Firefox makes up 32%
  • 70% of all traffic comes from search engines of that Google makes up about 90% of that traffic. The top referrer to the site is Twitter, but that is only 1.5% of all traffic.
  • April 4 2009 saw the biggest spike in traffic, almost 100% more traffic than the next highest day.

Next up there are a few changes that I am planning for 2010. (Yes the rest of this post is a little commercial in nature, sorry.)

Over the break the Inspecht Online store had a little make over and allowed for the introduction of some new products.

Webinars

The first product I want to let you know about is the Webinar Series each at $49. Each month I plan to run a 60 minutes webinar looking at a variety of different topics, the first topic Entering the Social Recruiting Maze. Entering the Social Recruiting Maze is based on the joint presentation I gave at the ATS Social Media event in December.

Inspecht Membership

The second product is the Inspecht Memberships. These memberships are designed to give people access to premium content, much of which I use in my day to day consulting, eBooks and webinars. Each membership is $299 and just by signing up you get access to all of the webinars, valued at $588 for the year!

Full Membership includes:

  • Weekly emails of the Inspecht newsletter
  • Access to templates, FAQs, and checklists, with new resources being added all of the time.
  • Access to all AUD$15 eBooks from the Inspecht Online Store
  • Participation at each monthly 1 hour webinar
  • Access to all previous webinars

Right now I am still fleshing out the content within the membership section, but access to the webinars alone should justify the purchase.