Inspecht TV Update

Over the last week there have been several videos published over at Inspecht TV and lined up content over the next few weeks. So if you are interested in the latest HR and recruitment video content go subscribe.

In the meantime if you have not subscribed here are some of the videos:

Some of the content lined up includes presentations by Seth Godin, Jimmy Wales, Clay Shirky, Dave Ulrich and others.

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.

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.

ATC Social Media Event

Yesterday was the first joint ATC/Inspecht event looking specifically at the usage of social media in recruitment. My personal opinion is that overall the day was a great success, although we will wait for the formal feedback from participants to know their feelings. Here are some of my thoughts and observations.

  • Having over 130 people in a room designed for 120 is a little cramped, but that is what happens when you sell out an event.
  • A lot of people knew very little about social media in general, let alone how they could be using it as part of their day to day work.
  • 80% of the participants were internal recruiters or consultants, very few agencies were represented.
  • Mark Pesce is always a great speaker.
  • There was lots of good discussion on Twitter.
  • E&Y are doing some very good things.
  • Atlassian as always have their finger on the pulse of their community.
  • People are very confused about how to include social media as part of their recruitment strategy.
  • There is a lot of concern about the legal and management issues of social media in the work place.
  • Job boards are not going away anytime soon.
  • We need to really start to promote Enterprise 2.0 as part of talent management strategies

We will be pulling together as many of the presentations as possible and make them available on the conference site. Also all sessions were captured on video once the videos are edited they will be posted online.

Here are a couple of blogs post I have found discussing the event:

A final note, we are talking about a bigger and better event for 2010 so watch this space.

It’s all about the message

A lack of clear communication is cited as a common cause of many relationships failures, be they personal or professional.

Many a study has shown that clearly communicating the employment deal up front is a critical first step in having an engaged employee.

This should be obvious, no one likes to buy a product only to find out that the advertising misled us. If you have not been watching The Apprentice Australia, spend a moment and watch the video below, skip to 3:30  and see what one of Australia’s top businessmen thinks of misleading advertising. Even if it is slightly grey.

Which is why if an employee is sold a deal that does not meet the marketing you are battling up hill to reengage them!

Make sure your job ad, career web site and interview process does not sell something that is not.

While employee testimonials are a great way to provide insight into what it is like to work for your organisation, they tend to be staged, not to mislead but to put forward the best image. Another idea, let your employees blog. Employees who blog openly and honestly will allow prospective employees to see what it is really like in your workplace.

Social Media: A Recruitment Revolution?

Back in June I shipped myself off to the first Social Recruiting Summit at Google HQ in San Francisco. On my return I was approached by the team from Australasian Talent Conference (Trevor Vas, Horace Chai, and Kevin Wheeler) to see if we could pull off a similar event here in Australia.

So on 3rd December in Melbourne we are bringing together some of the biggest names in recruitment and social media to participate in Social Media: A Recruitment Revolution.

The event will be like none other in Australia, combining traditional conference sessions with interactive “unconference” sessions to allow the audience to further develop the ideas and learn from industry peers.

Personally I am very excited about the speakers. We have secured Mark Pesce as our opening keynote speaker. If you do not know Mark he is an author, journalist, regular panellist on The New Inventors, and futurist. (He even has a Wikipedia page.) In addition to Mark, Margie Kwan from Ernst & Young will be presenting a case study on their use of Facebook and the we have a debate between Stephen Collins from acidlabs and Jake Andrew from SEEK on “Do you need a job board when you have social networking?”. Other topics include digital branding, social recruiting strategies, legal issues around social recruiting.

If you want to know more head over to the main site, check out the agenda and register ASAP as we have a space limitation.

52 ideas on using social media within HR

It has taken me a while to get this lists published, I originally had the idea six months ago! Below are 50 51 52 ideas on how you can use social media within your HR and Recruitment strategy.

Not all of the ideas are practical for all organisations, and I would never recommend you trying to implement all of them at once! Or for that matter without an overall strategy *insert ad for Inspecht social media consulting here*. The list is more designed to stimulate ideas and discussion on how all these new tools can be used in business today. You will notice most of the ideas require no financial outlay other than a bit of time, so most have a very solid demonstrable ROI.

  1. Get out and personally engage with your peers, join groups such as Recruiting Blogs or HRM Today
  2. Sign up for Twitter
  3. Start an external blog on HR areas that interest you
  4. Join groups on LinkedIn and contribute to the conversation
  5. Get a feed reader and subscribe to blogs about HR & recruiting
  6. Upgrade your internet usage policies so employees understand the “rules of engagement” with social media
  7. Encourage your hiring managers to begin engaging with potential candidates before they are needed
  8. Setup content watchlists and alerts to track suspects & prospects and your competitors key hires
  9. Setup an internal tagging site to allow anyone in the company to “tag” external suspects who might be potential candidates
  10. Use social bookmarking tools to collect links of sites and articles that are relevant to your hiring practices, share these amongst your peers
  11. Teach managers how to use RSS, watchlists and alerts to find out when people are discussing your company and products, as they could be potential candidates
  12. Publish exit interview results (remove incriminating personal content), encourage employees to comment and suggest ways to resolve the issues
  13. Create a wiki for new policy or process development
  14. Create an open 360 degree feedback tool that allows anyone in the company to rate and provide feedback on anyone else
  15. Allow people to bid internal credits for additional project work, once complete the manager then rewards employees with additional credits to be used on other projects
  16. Create an alumni social network to allow you to connect with ex-employees, retirees and long term leave employees, you might get some of them back
  17. As part of outplacement activities provided online branding programs to manage their existing online reputation and to build a sustainable online presence.
  18. Use these tools to focus on headcontent not headcount
  19. Implement a microblogging tool, such as Yammer or Co-op, internally
  20. Publish exit interview answers (personal details removed) on the internal intranet so everyone can see why people are leaving
  21. Deploy a wiki on your careers web site and allow both successful and unsuccessful applicants to document your recruitment process
  22. Implement a Live Chat feature on your careers page so if candidates have questions on jobs or your company they can contact recruiters, or the hiring manager directly
  23. Instead of sending emails, write blog posts, tag them & refer employees to the key posts for information
  24. Develop micro-training programs
  25. Create a employee group on Facebook/MySpace to allow your employees to join together online
  26. Get people blogging internally about their learning experiences, especially those expensive university courses, such as MBAs
  27. Create a page on your intranet (maybe using Yahoo Pipes) to consolidate the WatchLists for key candidates and competitor hires, then share the link to your key hiring managers
  28. Monitor sites like Glassdoor to see what people are saying about your HR practices
  29. Have a blog setup for new employees before they arrive
  30. Include training on blogs, wikis, and sharing tools as part of the induction program
  31. Invite new employees to post welcome messages on intranet, wiki, forum or blog (technology of your choice)
  32. Conduct background research on candidates using search engines
  33. SMS Interview reminders to candidates so they don’t forget, or shift reminders if you are in retail or hospitality
  34. Start a YouTube channel and allow anyone to post videos of their experience either working for, with or being recruited by your company
  35. Create video’s of mock interviews and post on YouTube
  36. Create a cool company recruitment video and post it on YouTube, then pass it around a few friends and see what happens. (Don’t know what a cool recruitment video is, then don’t try.)
  37. Create videos job ads for some of your key positions, post them on YouTube and link tot hem in the job ads
  38. Create a jobs podcast to support major recruitment drives, such as graduates
  39. Create podcasts on your interview process with sample questions and even sample answers to that you get the best results from your interview process
  40. Add your company to Jiibe so the right people come to work for your organisation
  41. Add a share on Facebook, Digg, Stumbleupon link to your job ads
  42. Look at advertising job on social network sites such as Facebook or MySpace, of course the right type of job
  43. Implement the My Company’s Hiring Facebook application
  44. Sponsor some blogs to help prospective candidates understand what it is like to work at your company, or what the recruitment process is like
  45. Use social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, LinkMe, Twitter, World of Warcraft) to develop relationships with potential candidates
  46. Use employee networks and your own social networks as referral networks for jobs
  47. Run a Career Fair in SecondLife
  48. Have your employees & managers run online career fairs, talk about life in the company, court potential talent using social media
  49. Invite your new graduates to your company Facebook group before they join so they can begin engaging with people
  50. Deliver induction/on boarding training via Facebook using the Udutu Teach Facebook application
  51. Have multiple people involved in your campaign, in case someone leaves
  52. Have fun!
UPDATE: After Jason’s comment I thought I would create a downloadable version of the list, so here is 52 Social Media Ideas for HR in PDF format, it is CC licensed so you can do as you wish as long as it is non-commerical in nature.

Video resumes in the Australian marketplace

I am still busy reviewing what HR and recruitment progress I missed in the last 2 years while I worked in pure IT roles.

One area that still seems to be bubbling along slowly is the video resume, with opinions on if they are good or bad, we now even have our own player in the Australian market, Candidates Alive.

Candidates Alive are targeting the recruitment agencies instead of candidates directly. The process is candidates apply for a job, speak to the agency and then the agency produces a professional 1 – 2 minutes video that is sent to the hiring employer. This model works as a majority of recruitment in Australia is conducted via agencies not employers directly.

They launched late last year with a range of press coverage, including a very good article in the New Zealand Herald, which highlights many of the potential issues around the video resume. The biggest of which is discrimination, on all sorts of fronts.

Candidates Alive conducted research that indicated hiring managers prefer the video resume, this was done by providing the manager both a video link and a traditional resume at the same time. The managers clicked on the links first then the traditional resume. While Candidates Alive used this to say that manager prefer the video, I would counter saying it shows how easily discrimination could take place.

A big issue I see with the model is that agencies see to retain the copyright on the candidate’s video, from the New Zealand Hearld:-

Under this system, recruiters retain copyright of the resumes they produce – candidates can check them to make sure they are all right, and can see how many times they’ve been viewed, but they have no control over the clips.

This is all sorts of bad. I read the terms and conditions on the Candidates Alive web site and could not specifically see this clause so it could have changed. But if this is the case I would caution candidates from giving away their image/brand to agencies to do with what they want!!

I don’t know if over time the video resume will take off, personally I doubt it, but it is certainly an area to watch.

A final note the founder of Candidates Alive, Jonathan Weinstock was listed as an up and coming entrepreneur in the June edition of Anthill magazine. Congratulations!