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.

Agile talent management software – Your survival plan?

I read with interest this morning Dr John Sullivan’s article looking at how to survive in such turbulent economic times, his concept seems to be a play on the software development process Agile. To quote Wikipedia Agile software development is:

Agile software development refers to a group of software development methodologies based on iterative development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams.

I am very interested in John’s views next week as he shows us some of the attributes he sees within an agile talent management strategy. In the meantime let me provide some of my own thoughts.

Last month I sat through a demonstration of a top end talent management system that ticked all of the boxes from a feature set, which as a buyer of software is important. However during the whole presentation I could not help but think “wow this would require a large structured project to implement in even the smallest of organisations”.  To start with a massive project would be required around defining competency frameworks, then career paths, development plans, capturing employee information, etc. Ongoing the process of ensuring performance management information is collected, development plans are kept up to date, compensation plans managed would overload many an HR department.

Most systems and their vendors today still follow something that closely resembles the waterfall model of software development. Again from Wikipedia:

The waterfall model is the most structured of the methods, stepping through requirements-capture, analysis, design, coding, and testing in a strict, pre-planned sequence. Progress is generally measured in terms of deliverable artifacts: requirement specifications, design documents, test plans, code reviews and the like.

Where as agile processes produce completely developed and tested features every few weeks. Today the consumer web is a very fast moving and dynamic environment that can change almost overnight, for example 18 months ago MySpace was the place to be, now it is Facebook. This has lead to most consumer focused web development teams, and some corporate, to use agile processes to quickly deliver new features to their customers. To this end a host of light weight tools have entered the market to help support these teams, for example Pivotal Tracker and Agile Zen.

Today most corporate IT environments are the exact opposite to agile. They have enormous governance models designed to stop “cowboy software development” and ensure that all stakeholders, including the board, internal customers, and in particular departments such as finance, have the necessary input into the decision making process. These governance processes have been required due to the complexity created within an organisation’s IT environment from years and years of short term planning and projects where only “phase one” has ever been deployed. Ok yes there are exceptions I admit, but ask the employees of most organisations what it is like working with their IT team and they will roll their eyes at you.

Enter Agile.

Just as Dr John Sullivan is suggesting you bring agile practices into your talent management strategies, how about you bring them into your software projects as well?

PageUp People: Integrated Talent Management

What is Integrated Talent Management (ITM)?

Well that was the question posed at this morning’s breakfast briefing session run by PageUp People to launch their new white paper, “ITM – The Evolution”. Their answer:
Workforce
Credit: Lumaxart

ITM leverages the same data, process, workflow management, security model, user portals, and reporting and analytics tools across all applications.

My answer would be very similar.

The white paper quotes heavily from people such as Thomas Otter, Jim Holincheck, CedarCrestone and Leighanne Levensaler with PageUp People offering their own conclusions on the research which in turn lays out a product roadmap for the PageUp People platform.

Within the white paper reference is made to three stages of ITM evolution:

  • Stage 1 – Today, multiple vendors, disconnected systems, a lack of analytics, and limited executive buy-in.
  • Stage 2 – Reduced number of vendors as each widen the breadth and depth of their offerings, tighter integration, initial workforce analytics, and growing executive buy-in.
  • Stage 3 – The holy grail a fully integrated talent management platform with predictive analytics and high levels of executive buy-in.

What stood out to me was the strong emphasis being placed on workforce analytics, the topic for the rest of this post, as a key indicator of a stage 3 ITM environment.

For well over a decade workforce analytics have been discussed and predicted to come of age many times, and again we have a major talent management vendor still predicting that workforce analytics is in the future! So when will the future become today?

Over the years workforce analytics has been a keen interest of mine, in 2004 I co-presented on the topic and AHRI’s HR Week. During the presentation I referenced work conducted by the Butler Group in 1995 on the issues around data warehousing little things such as; Availability, Understanding, Accurate, Consistent and Predictability, and Privacy. I firmly believe many of these issues need to be resolved before any form of workforce analytics can be confidently undertaken by an organisation.

My co-presenter 5 years ago John Macy referenced work from the Meta Group in 2000 on the 5 categories of workforce information management, the top level being predictive modelling! John went on to discuss trends from the Meta Group, which had vendors incorporate contextual analysis into their products by 2005 and in 2006/7 Leading organisations will develop & fine tune predictive models. I guess the Meta Group was wrong!

Now back to talent management, last year Dr John Sullivan discussed why Talent Management Analytics is still failing, I added my two cents worth as well. Let’s look at Dr John’s list again:

  1. HR Skill deficiency
  2. Lack of business knowledge
  3. Expensive tools limiting deployment
  4. Lack of quality data
  5. Complicated nature of talent management
A system will not solve all the items on this list, other than item 3. This point was emphasised in the PageUp People white paper when they looked at the People and Process implications. A broader organisational change activity is required to succeed in a strategic context with workforce analytics.

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: Dr John Sullivan

So much was covered in the morning session at ATC I will try and summarise some of my thoughts in a few posts.

First for the summary was Dr John Sullivan, and like always he provided a massive amount of information and stirred up the crowd. Here is a summary of his one hour information dump on us:

Early Warning Signs of downturn

  • # of approvals to get a req approved
  • Travel freezes
  • Paper clip memo – do not buy small stuff
  • Stop hiring contingency workers/or laying them off
  • Other firms freeze their hiring
  • Recruiting budgets cut
  • Layoffs, furloughs, pay freezes

 Why this is different

  • Volatility of stock markets & credit availability with short spurts of growth
  • Global markets, means that there is still growth out there
  • Global competition will increase as organitions need to regain their positions
  • Expectations for innovations will not decrease
  • Churn will be common (hiring & laying off at the same time)
  • Government bailouts
  • No other career options for recruiters

Advantages of recruiting during tough times

  • Less competition from other firms, because less recruitment budgets, means it will be easier to sell the job to candidates (I don’t agree with this point)
  • More high quality candidates available as some of the layoffs are massive in scope
  • Less loyalty amongst survivors
  • Weakened employer brands
  • Turnover & retirements rates will decrease
  • Cheap recruiting technology
  • get ready to explode out of the box when things turn around
  • Tight times make you stronger
  • Workforce planning will be encouraged
  • Some industries will suffer less

Potential Problems during Downturns

  • Executives are already viewing this as a time that has surplus talent which means they think there is no need for recruiting
  • Resource limits that impact top performances
  • Stock options are no longer a major motivator (other engagement tools)
  • Job security is king
  • Increased volume of traffic
  • Relocation issues (no credit)
  • Loss of trust & confidence in organisations
  • Managers will be less focused on recruiting
  • Technology budgets disappear
  • HR politics gets worse (aka build vs buy)