7th Annual ATC Conference coming up

Brochure

The 7th Annual ATC Conference is just around the corner and from the looks of the agenda it will be as fantastic as the previous ones. This year’s theme is around agile talent management and will be looking at the different ways you can structure your talent management function.

As always the speaker line up is top quality and once again including several international representatives, including the likes of Gerry Crispin and Kevin Wheeler. Not to be out done by the international speakers there are local practitioners and consultants to help provide the Australian perspective; Davin D’Silva, Kimberley Hubble, and Jared Woods to mention a few.

The agenda has a few very interesting sessions that I hope to attend. Jenny Hoysted and Tony Wallace are running a session about agile workforce planning which given many organisations struggle with regular workforce planning going agile with it would prove to be difficult. Also Richard Lishewski, Global Talent Acquisition Director, Nike session on the different options to deliver talent to your organisation will provide a bit of a global context to things. There are several session around social recruitment, no surprise there, even a “social media bootcamp” for those yet to jump on board. Several sessions are looking at how to balance your workforce in an era of outsorcing, offshoring, contigency and redundancies.

While not speaking this year I am certainly planning to attend to catch up on what is going on.

(Disclosure: ATC have been a previous client and business partner of mine and the team are good friends.)

UPDATE: Since publishing this post I have been asked to assist in running one of the pre-conference workshops, Building a Winning Social Recruitment Business Case with Jared Woods.

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.

Mobility and HR

ipad
Source: Flickr user smemon

Be it mobile phones or tablets Australians love our mobile devices with 76% of us having a Smartphone and almost 40% of us now have tablet devices, however only 50% of these with non-wifi communication capability limiting the remainder to use in cafes and other public wifi locations.

The 8th Australian Mobile Phone Lifestyle Index goes on to look at the types of activities Australians are undertaking on their phones; excluding voice and SMS. The growth rates for the period 2010 to 2012 of these non-traditional activities are fairly substantial:

  • Send and receive emails – 25%
  • To get information – 21%
  • For entertainment – 15%
  • To visit websites, and/or search or browse the internet – 20%
  • For banking, including transfers and bill payments – 19%
  • To buy things online – 16%

The survey also reveals that “approximately 40% of respondents use their mobile phone to compare prices online and to look at product or service reviews before making a purchase decision.” This implies that consumer facing organisations that do not have a mobile optimised web site could be suffering when consumers are making purchasing decisions. From personally experience will I often double check information and prices while in the store before making the final decision so I am not surprised 40% of users are doing the same.

With a majority of Australian’s now actively use mobile versions of web sites and downloadable apps how are we doing from a HR perspective in leveraging mobility?

Not very well.

Of the top 20 listed companies in Australia only 3 had any form of mobile optimised career or job search site. The rest directed mobile job search traffic to their traditional ATS which assumes the candidate is on a desktop device and able to complete the extended application process including the uploading of a resume. A handful of organisations have mobile sites which automatically redirect users when a mobile browser is detected, unfortunately other then Wesfarmers the user then needs to navigate to the main site to find career information.

Company Mobile Careers/Jobs
AMP No
ANZ No, only banking site
BHP Billiton No
Brambles No
CBA No, only banking site
CSL No
Macquaire Group No
NAB No, only banking site
Newcrest Yes once you reach the job search
Origin No, but do have a mobile site
QBE No
Rio Tinto No
Santos No
Suncorp Yes once you reach the job search
Telstra No, but do have a mobile site
Westpac No, but do have a mobile site
Westfield No
Wesfarmers Yes a mobile site that integrates some careers information but not a job specific job site
Woolworths No, but do have a mobile site
Woodside Petroleum No

Is this an issue?

Yes. Primarily because we are seeing a growth in the usage of mobile devices in the workplace. The Telstye 2012 report “Digital Workplace: The fast pace of business change” found that 43% of Australian organisations are allowing the practice of “Bring Your Own Device”, which allows employees to connect their own devices to the corporate network, and 28% allow some form of “Bring Your Own Application”, using non-corporate IT applications on your devices, resulting in more employees undertaking workplace tasks using mobile devices. According to the report’s author Rodney Gedda, the number of applications people can use in a work environment growing due to the increased use of cloud based offerings.

As more business processes become accessible via mobile devices employees are going to expect HR processes to be accessible on mobile devices. Recruitment tends to be the first process to “embrace” new technology and this lack of “mobile aware” careers and job sites indicates that HR is behind in being able to offer mobile solutions to the workforce.

UPDATE – 23 Jan 2013

I just spent a few hours with Simon Cariss Senior Vice President – Innovation at PageUp People, looking at a number of their new product offerings. We got discussing mobile and how limit usage it has at the moment. A majority of the sites that had mobile job offerings were in fact based on their platform, a fact I left out of the post as it was not a review of products.

We then discussed the Suncorp site as they do have a mobile optimized Career’s site, the issue is if you visit Suncorp directly via your browser you are sent to the banking home page and then have to navigate through a non-mobile optimized site. However if you search for Suncorp via Google there is a link directly to their Careers landing page in the Google search results allowing you to experience their mobile offerings. Another interesting fact is Suncorp do not have an Apply Now button on the mobile jobs site (a configuration feature clients control), instead they are using PageUp’s email feature to allow the job seeker to email the job directly to themselves to deal with at a later date. As soon as the job seeker completes this step the recruiter has their email address and then follow up if no application is received.

A final update PageUp People have a very interesting tool that is a practical use case for Big Data, more on that later.

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?

ATC Social Media Presentation

Here is my presentation from the ATC Social Media event. My main messages that I hope people took away were:

  • Using social media for marketing is ok, but engagement and community is better
  • Engagement and community is harder than just a Twitter account or Facebook
  • Social Media is not easy, nor is it free
  • True engagement with social media is about people conversing with people, not brands servicing people
  • CFO’s like to talk about dollars

Sourcing in Australia

A growth area for both agency recruiters and internal functions is that of sourcing and over the last few years the availability of tools to source candidates have changed dramatically. A decade ago to undertake the sourcing of a hard to find candidate involved a lots of phone calls and a really good contact list. While in 2011 the same holds true the internet has provided sourcers with a massive database of potential candidates. The rise of search engines and social media may have made us lose our memory but they have also given rise to the role of the internet sourcer.

Usage of boolean search, LinkedIn and other social media sites have made it easier than ever to proactively find candidates. For many of you this will not come as a surprise.

What might be of interest is a small conference I am speaking at in August, Finders Keepers, put on by my friends at ATC. Finders Keepers will have several international speakers in attendance, in fact the speakers list reads like a Who’s Who of sourcers; with internationals such as Glen Cathey (Boolean BlackBelt), Jim Stoud, Kevin Wheeler, Bill Boorman, and locals Ross Clennett, Martin Warren, and Andrea Mitchell. I will be doing a half day workshop with Jim Stoud looking at “How to Find the Hidden Talent Your Competition Overlooked”.

While the act of building a half day workshop with someone from the other side of the world is interesting enough, I suspect trying to keep up with Jim will be the hardest part of the session. If you have no idea who Jim is, watch the video below and you will see what I mean.

If you are interested in sourcing and where it is at in Australia get along and attend.

Long time between drinks

Well a long time between blog posts.

Why the break? Lots of reasons too many to list really.

Anyways.

Today I am preparing to judge the Fairfax Employment Media Awards, while I am not (and can’t) mention specific enteries some observations:

  • Big corporate’s are always big corporate’s in everything they do, PowerPoint anyone?
  • Recruitment Advertising Agencies love to be creative, in everything they do, I mean everything! I will need new printer cartridges after this.
  • If you submit to enough categories you are more likely to win something!
  • If you submit enough entries to the same category you are more likely to be able to claim to be “The Best….”

Anyway better go back to reviewing the Best Small Recruitment Firm submissions.

Who owns your brand in the social media world?

Tomorrow morning I am doing a presentation for MyCareer and some of their clients looking at the wonderful topic of:

Who owns your brand in a social media world

An interesting topic some might think more interesting have a job board promote social media, more on that later. While I have a large amount of content, even spoke on a similar topic in October last year, I have revised a major portion of my talk based on some ideas from a few others:

Some of the topics I will cover include:

  • What is social media, I like to ensure the audience knows where I am coming from
  • What can happen to a brand online
  • Strategies
  • Learn to Adapt
  • Be Smart no Clever (hat tip Jared)
  • Add value
  • Be consistent but authentic and definitely not generic
  • Provide support to recruiters
  • Processes, Processes, Processes

If you happen to be lucky enough to attend I would love to hear your feedback.

10 days to go!

Only 10 days to go before the early bird pricing for this year’s ATC Social Media conference expires! If you are thinking of going, and why wouldn’t you, register now to save 20% on your registration.

What will you get from coming along? Well other than listening to me natter on about mobile recruiting you will hear from international speakers such as:

  • Chris Hoyt: Talent Engagement and Marketing Leader at PepsiCo
  • Kevin Wheeler: a globally known speaker, author, teacher and consultant in human capital acquisition and development, as well as in corporate education

Local speakers include:

  • Jared Woods, now at OneSteel looking after all sorts of things including their social media strategy for recruitment
  • Nick Duggal, Special Counsel at Tresscox Lawyers, has practiced exclusively in the area of workplace relations
  • Simon Cariss is one of the founders of PageUp People

If you attend you will also get to experience social media in it’s human form with our unconference and world cafe sessions.