Where has all the content gone?

A short update.

As some will know I started a new job about 6 weeks ago. Like all new jobs things have been fairly busy, but I have been writing, just not here.

Most of my blogging is going to be over at the Navigo Research site.

I will still be blogging here, just at this stage not sure on the content. For now if you want to catch my blogging you will need to subscribe to both places :).

Over the next two weeks I will be in Sydney for a couple of conference. First the SuccessFactors SuccessConnect 2013 23-24 May  and then Australasian Talent Conference 28-30 May. I have some free time during this trip if you would like to catch up drop me an email.

On the Move

A few months ago I started assessing what I would be doing come the end of March after this very long project was over. I blogged a few times about the process of trying to decide where I was going and what I was doing, I even applied for a few jobs.

Well it is now time to make it official, from April 2nd 2013 I will be joining Navigo.

There is a fair bit more to this story than I am off to join some organisation.

Firstly very soon after my first post about starting to look for new challenges, Peter Forbes the owner of Navigo, reached out and asked if we could catch up. We caught up for a coffee in Hawthorn and discussed the state of the Australian marketplace, some of the things I have been trying to do with Inspecht and more importantly where he had been going with the Australia HR Technology Report. Navigo had released 2 reports purely focused on HR Technology in Australia, something brand new and really needed.

We both knew that the marketplace wanted information about vendors and trends but Peter could now back this up with solid research. I had experienced the same while building Inspecht and what Navigo now had, which I did not at Inspecht, was this research.

During 2012 Peter decided that he wanted to build out a new business line under the Navigo brand focusing purely on Research and Advisory. As part of this he went to market to try and recruit a Research and Advisory Analyst, with very limited luck. However when I blogged about looking for new work he felt I might be suited to the business, so he reached out.

Over the next couple of months we met a few times discussing what the role might look like. I took Peter through some of my thoughts about what I was looking for in a role. At the same time he took me through the way the Navigo ran it’s business, from the heavy use of Confluence, fully integrated into their Sugar CRM environment to their process focused style of operations. As the relationship grew so did my comfort level of joining another organisation to continue the type of work I had started in 2009/2010 with Inspecht.

So a couple of weeks ago I accepted the role as Senior Advisory at Navigo Research.

What does the role do:

  • Produce analysis and research into technology used in HR
  • Provide consulting and advisory services to Navigo Research customers
  • Promote and build the Navigo Research brand

Basically I will be building on the fabulous foundation of work already done on the HR Tech Report to write reports, white papers, and other research. In addition I will be building processes and practices to help organisations undertake technology reviews and complete the systems selection process. I plan to also work with both buyers and sellers of HR Technology in Australia to understand both the existing marketplace and the trends. (Vendors be ready for me to contact you.) With the best part of the role being to blog, write, and network with everyone and anyone in the HR Technology space in Australia.

There are a few practical things that will also change. (Other than I will have a real job.)

The Inspecht site has been closed and now re-directs here. There will be a new domain http://navigoresearch.com.au that will be launched before the end of April to be Navigo Research’s new home. We will be migrating all of the content from HR Tech Report to the new brand ( I say we but it’s really Jules the Navigo Marketing Manager who will do this part). From April 2nd you will also see me start to blog over at Navigo Research, this site will continue for personal blogging and the occasional rant.

Something else I want to address; products and independence. While Navigo resells some products that is under their solutions business line which is separate from the research. I will be working very hard to ensure that complete independence is kept and all vendors get an equal showing a view strongly held by Peter as well. If someone ever feels that is not happening please contact me as it will be my personal reputation on the line if that does not happen.

Plans for 2013

Just a short update and a small reflection.

At this stage nothing set in stone, still talking to a few people and looking at the jobs on offer.

My review of next steps has me looking in two different directions both equally interesting; IT project management ideally in HR Technology (either vendor or customer) or advise and consulting most likely with a vendor or consulting firm. Both options interest me and I think allow my skills to be used to add value to an organisation.

I have applied for a number of jobs and while none have been a 100% match to my skill set I have been interested in the deafening silence from recruiters. The ATS talks to me on application but to date not a single follow up either automated or personal. Not surprise by this as the roles are not a 100% match, however I had expected something. The general application process has been fairly painless each time but a few thoughts:

  • Cover letters, I really hate not knowing who I am addressing the cover letter. This anonymous recruiter ends up with “Sir or Madam” which just does not feel right, nor is it personal which is my style.
  • Cover letters take the most time in the application process I think they are very important as they allow you to highlight how your skills can meet specific requirements outlined in the job ad.
  • Many job ads are uninspiring and some even turned me off applying because they seems so dull. Now this could be a good thing as if the ad reflects the culture of the organisation, there is a self selection process taking place. This is bad if the ad reflects the recruiter’s culture and not that of their client’s as I suspect on a few occasions.
  • Job ads still have typos and many I find lack sufficient detail to work out what the role does other than generic “manage projects”.
  • Some job ads have so stringent must haves I wonder if there are candidates out there to match.
  • The actual application process has tended to be 50% through the job boards own tool and 50% through the advertiser’s ATS.
  • Employers seem to use their ATS for direct applications, recruiters the job boards tools.
  • Only a few ATS’s have asked me to write “War and Peace” or answer many questions.

I suspect in the next few weeks I will find a role and will certainly update once it is set in stone.

Search Update

A bit of an update.

Yes the networks do work, got a few interesting leads and a couple of meetings to follow up to see where things might go.

In addition I have been reviewing my resume and looking at what I enjoy doing as a step to determine the right sort of role and organisation for me in 2013.

The first part of this process is very hard I hate writing my own resume, I can look at other peoples and give advice but my own is much harder! As part of this I have actually considered getting some professional help on it, mostly to see if it improves my chances of landing a cool job. I would definitely do it if I could conduct some A/B type testing on the same job and see which (if either) got interviews. But as a preparation step I have uploaded my current resume to my blog, still need get a link on the front page and update LinkedIn most likely over the weekend.

The second part is trying to decide what type of role and organisation I want to work for. As part of this process I remembered a post I wrote a few years ago about a tool, CMy People, to help to long term unemployed get back into the workforce, while not long term unemployed I figured reviewing it would be a good idea. As part of the feedback process I was very lucky to have Kevin Chandler from Chandler Macleod give me the feedback a very amazing experience still to this day.

So what job can I do? In general he stated I was intellectual and could basically do any job I wanted as long as it held my interest. To determine the best job Kevin reviewed my key interests from a list of key words, based on these I have a 98% fit for a Web Development type role. While he felt I could do any role there were a few he indicated I would not be as good at as others: General Manager, CEO, Magistrate or Medical Scientist. Finally my personality is one of a high degree of self control.

Now those that know me well would probably laugh at me being a “real” developer but I feel the context of a development type role is fairly true. I like the process of creation and seeing a substantial end result, a primary reason for my interest in project style work and probably a reason I have changed roles (not necessarily companies) every 2 years. However a part of the review of the role the key portion that rang true to me was the comment, “as long as it held my interest”.  This means a project style role that was not within my interests area probably would not work.

These thoughts provide additional weight to my idea that going back to project management/pre-sales for a software vendor, into a consulting firm, or part of project management team inside an organisation would be the best idea. Now to just sort out my resume to match these types of roles and start on a list of employers.

The search

As I mentioned earlier I have been busy, I still am but now looking at my next steps and that will most likely result in some employment arrangement within an organisation. I have just started this journey but I do need to find something for March 2013.

I have spent a little time looking over my LinkedIn contacts and a few quick searches on jobs boards, reached out to a couple of contacts and even contacted a recruiter or two. Already a few of things have jumped out at me:

  • Most recruiters have not changed, while I have only had contact with a limited selection but I believe not much has changed. That is sad.
  • Seek is still top.
  • There a “truck loads” of IT jobs. (Most are not me.)
  • There are very little strategic HR Technology roles (I have had job alerts in place for 4 years and no change).
  • I have no idea what type of organisation I want to join.
  • I have several ideas on what type of role I would like, but given my background they vary from software pre-sales to HCM consulting to IT management.

An idea occurred to me today. I might document my process of finding employment in 2013. It might be interesting. It also could be boring, also it might not be a new idea (it probably isn’t, well I know it isn’t but Ellison has some ideas about what she wanted).

What I do think will be interesting is I have a five thousand followers on Twitter, close to 700 LinkedIn connections, a blog (this one) that at one point had over 25K unique visitors a month, I have spoken many times in the last 5 year, run conferences and traveled the world combining HR and technology.

So it should not be that hard to find something that will excite me. Or will it?

Not dead and not forgotten

Yes I am alive, and yes this blog is alive. While it has been almost a year since my last post I have not been slacking off, just to documenting my journey. Over the years of blogging I tend to self-censor when I feel the work I am doing might lead me to write about something I should not, therefore I find it easiest not to write.

Over the last two years I have been involved in some very interesting activities, the largest being a major HR/Payroll systems overhaul in a health care provider. This activity has been the primary reason for my absence. As this process is nearing the end I am starting to look towards my next activity and reflect on my learnings from the process.

Some of my thoughts on this journey so far are:

  • Transforming businesses is never easy
  • Transforming a business that has done something the same way for 20+ years is not easy
  • Health care is complex
  • Bureaucracy and I are not the best of friends
  • Technology is usually never the issue
  • People are people

The above list might not be revolutionary but as with most things the “devil is in the detail” and the detail is not something I can share.

That is it for now, I hope to post more over the coming months.

Is this a waste land?

Well there has not been a lot of movement here, but neither I nor this blog are dead.

At this point some of my larger projects are taking a lot of my time and most of what I am doing is not at a point where it can be shared on the blog. Having said that do expect updates in the near future.

In the meantime you could sign up for some of the training which I am running with Inside Job such as Essential Social Media for Recruitment or the Advanced Social Media for Recruitment.

Michael is MIA

Irony is after 5 years of blogging I am so busy with other activities I have not blogged for 10 days. Right now things are not going to get any better. I leave tomorrow for my annual ski holiday and will not be back until August 2nd.

What has been keeping me from blogging?

  • Major project for a client that has a significant phase that needs to be completed before I leave
  • Source of Talent Report, although my partner on this project is doing a lot of the work at the moment
  • Work for 3 or 4 other clients, proposals etc
  • Preparing for RecuitTECH in September
  • Planning a webinar for HR/Recruiter Daily on the Business Case for Social Recruiting
  • Planning for a social media and recruitment conference with the team from ATC for November, more on this soon

I hope for things to get back to something like normal in August, in the meantime here are a few links of some interesting stories I have found in the last few weeks.

A blog story 5 years on

5 years ago today I started blogging with a small and unassuming post called “Welcome” (original I know), with the first topic to be covered being recruitment. Over the years I have written a lot about recruitment, but also technology, management, and HR.

In summary over the last 1,825 days:

  • I have typed out 1,313 posts, a little under one a day
  • You have made 1,873 comments
  • I have worked for 4 different companies, well 5 as I now work for myself
  • Watched the rise and fall of many companies
  • Watched the rise and fall of many blogs
  • Met some amazing people, I was going to try and list a few but it became too hard.

When I decided to start a blog after reading several blogs for a while and finding very very few covering HR, Recruitment and Technology, ok there were none! I also want a place for my ideas in a format that others could provide feedback so the blog format was perfect.

Thank you to all who read my writing, I really appreciate it. If you have never commented it would be fantastic to hear from you over the next year.

Finally I am looking forward to another 5 years of typing away on this blog.

Joining the Cult of Done

I am officially joining the Cult of Done. There I have said it. I also blame John Sumser for pointing to it over at Social Recruiting. The original link comes from Boing Boing.

So with no further intro here is the Cult of Done Manifesto:

1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
3. There is no editing stage.
4. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.
5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
7. Once you’re done you can throw it away.
8. Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
11. Destruction is a variant of done.
12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
13. Done is the engine of more.