What is next…

I have been pondering the future.

What is next? Do you know? If so please do tell.

A number of years ago I pondered what was next from blogging and podcasting, neither of these forms have really survived in the way the were circa 2005/2006. Let alone what happened to MySpace, Friendster, Orkut…

Let’s look at the user base of popular social networking sites in 2005 .(Of note the term social media was not really in our vocabulary then. In fact social media was called “new media” we knew it was new but just what was it?)

MySpace 26.7 Million
Facebook 11.1 Million
Xanga.com 7.9 Million
Bebo.com 1.5 Million
Friendster 1.5 Million
Tribe Networks 515K
LinkedIn 354K
Orkut.com 83K

So not many of the sites in the above list really play a part in Social Media 2011, so where does this leave us?

I have no idea. Yet.

Well personally I want to find the 2005/2006 version of Twitter/Facebook in 2011/2012 and see what it will do to society in five years time.

Workforce Analytics: Following the employees

I ran across an interesting post from the LinkedIn blog, via Steve Barham from LinkedIn, entitled Where did all the people go from the collapsed financial institutions?. The post was looking at the flow of employees between five major financial services companies:

  • Barclays
  • Credit Suisse
  • Citigroup
  • Bank Of America
  • JP Morgan Chase

LinkedIn Data - Financial Fallout Graphic

This image shows the amazing amount of data that is available from LinkedIn both via public searches and as a premium paying member, to quote the post:

To be specific, other than two acquiring companies (Bank of America acquired Merrill Lynch and Nomura acquired Lehman Brothers’ franchise in the Asia Pacific region), Barclays was by far the biggest beneficiary, scooping up 10% of the laid off talent, followed by Credit Suisse at 1.5% and Citigroup at 1.1 %.

While an interesting look at talent movement it got me thinking.

A couple of questions came to mind:

  1. Do you use external talent movement data in your workforce planning/sourcing strategy planning?
  2. Does your workforce analytics program allow you the same sort of analysis?

I would suspect most companies would answer No to both questions. The cynical might also ask why would you want this information. So let’s look at a couple of examples:

Example 1: Your organisation is experiencing rapid growth in one particular area of the business, so you need to recruit more employees. Access this information would allow you to target the “usual suspects” for new talent but you could also look to see if there had been a major exodus to other organisations that may not be on your “usual suspects” list. These organisations may not be prepared for an all out assault on their talent.

Example 2: Can you produce graphs that show where each division of your organisation is getting is best performing employees, covering both internal and external movements? Not a purely LinkedIn example but highlighting similar talent flows.

A final note there is no reason why your HR/Payroll/ERP/People Management/Whatever System should not be launching these sorts of features. For example LinkedIn opened its API up to developers almost 6 months ago.

Twitter and LinkedIn

Earlier this week Twitter and LinkedIn announced a partnership whereby you can now share updates between both services. Given that according to Pew Internet & American Life Project a total of 19% of American online adults have posted a status update this change is significant.

Firstly it will give all those professionals on LinkedIn who feel they do not have time for Twitter a chance to create a Twitter presence that complements their LinkedIn profile.

Second Twitter users who want to provide their professional LinkedIn profile with a bit of fresh content can do so. But this is the trick.

Most people with a LinkedIn profile want to keep it professional, well the folks at LinkedIn and Twitter have thought of this.

share-settings

You can set up the integration so only Tweets with the hashtag #in appear on your LinkedIn profile.


on-twitter

All of this new content on both platforms is a gold mine for Recruiters and Employers.

How?

Many people keep their LinkedIn profile a little restricted from a public point of view, with their status updates appearing in Twitter you can now get a better view on what they are doing. But it is the integration from Twitter to LinkedIn which has the most potential. If people are using LinkedIn as their digital resume, tweets appearing alongside their professional background will allow recruiters and employers to gain a far greater understanding of a candidate.

Jobvite Source: Social Recruiting for All

Late last week Jobvite, who 3 weeks ago secured another $8.25 million in series B funding, launched their latest product Jobvite Source. A product that allows any company to source candidates through a combination of social networks without the need of their larger ATS. Jobvite Source also allows employees to refer jobs on to their contacts across tools such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Effectively Jobvite Source is taking the social recruiting portion their ATS, Jobvite Hire, and making it available for any organisation to use, regardless of the ATS vendor.

Jobvite Source includes the following key features:

  • Social Networking Sourcing
  • Employee Referrals – across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Email etc.
  • Candidate Relationship Management
  • Facebook Application

The images provided to me show a comparison searching for a “product manager” in Jobvite Source vs Google. Where as Google provides a mixture of results, Jobvite Source delivers only potential candidates. A full image was a bit large to place in the post but I uploaded it so you can view.

Other features include a metrics dashboard to show recruiters the progress of their jobs across the different networks.

PR_source_dashboards

I have requested a full demo of the product and will try and post once I have seen it.

Overall an interesting move, the full press release of the launch is available on their website. With an additional $8.25 million I will expecting some big things from Jobvite in the next 12 months.

While Jobvite Source offers lots of features, Australian vendor JobGenie can provide organisations very similar features for a small monthly fee. JobGenie also offers an open API so developers can build right on top of the JobGenie platform, a very unique offering.

Disclosures:

  • JobGenie has been a client of mine.
  • Jobvite were very accommodating of me when I was in San Francisco in June.

Social Recruiting Summit

A quick summary from the Social Recruiting Summit that I attended yesterday at Google in San Francisco.

The day kicked off with Reid Hoffman CEO of LinkedIn giving us an amazing presentation on LinkedIn. One of Reid’s main messages was that every individual is now their own small business, which means everyone needs their own brand. Therefore you need to build the asset value of yourself. Further if every individual is a small business, every individual is an entrepreneur and everyone will have/need an online profile. Some interesting food for thought.

Reid also provided some interesting statistics on LinkedIn ; 1 million new signups every 17 days, 41 million professionals in over 1 70 industries across 200 countries with the highest per capital membership being from the Netherlands!

Next up was our tour of the Google campus. While only short it was still very hard to take it all in. Some of the highlights included:

  • Meng’s wall of Presidential photos
  • Free food, of course!
  • Two outside lap pools with a lifeguard
  • Lots of random things such as old style phone booths, steal shark fins, pink flamingos all over the campus
  • 24 hour free gym
  • Free blue bikes that you can just take to get around the campus
  • Posters. There were posters everywhere advertising all sorts of things. Not like most companies where there are “official” locations for posters. Not at Google it seems you just grab your poster and tape it up where ever you want.

For the first concurrent sessions I decided to try the unconference sessions on the assumption that the others were being streamed and I should be able to download the video and audio later. The session was Social Recruiting ROI. As with some other unconference sessions I have attended the session was a bit confusing and didn’t really answer any questions. The reason I believe was a mismatch in expectations between the audience and session facilitators. We had about 80 people in the room most hoping to hear from the panel how to identify ROI, while the panel was wanting to hear from the audience. My takeaway from this session is we need some metrics, but no one really knows what they are, yet.

After lunch we had Sacha Chua from IBM talk about the “most awesome job search ever”. A fantastic session looking at social recruitment from the candidates point of view. Sacha had been blogging while at university and during the process had connected with several people from IBM. She told a very funny story of going for her first interview at IBM. Beforehand she did all the right things and prepared for the interview but was very nervous about the process given she really wanted to work for IBM. At the start of the interview, the hiring manager introduced themself and essentially said “it is great to finally meet you I was a bit nervous about meeting you face to face”! Sacha was in shock because that was exactly how she felt! The profile she had developed online meant that IBM wanted her to join them and they were concerned that IBM would not be “good” enough!

Sacha then went on to talk about how productive she was from day one because she already knew so many people inside IBM. She knew more about IBM before she joined than she could ever get off a career’s site. This is essentially Cluetrain Thesis 84:

We know some people from your company. They’re pretty cool online. Do you have any more like that you’re hiding? Can they come out and play?

So why don’t more organisations allow their employees to connect with potential candidates? Don’t know how to do that just find employees who are passionate about your company and let them tell stories. Don’t have employees who are passionate? You might just have a problem.

Next up was Joshua Khan who’s presentation was about sacred cows and social recruiting. An interesting look at some of the work he had been doing with Geek Squad and Best Buy. Josh went through multiple examples giving the audience a great run down of what worked, what didn’t and what he has learnt from each experience. One of the key messages from Josh was that lots of social recruiting ideas don’t really cost a huge amount of money, if any at all.

The greatest learning here was that there was nothing new. The work I have been doing with clients in Australia is basically the same as what Josh has been doing in the US. So is Australia really 2 – 3 years behind? Now I will admit I had been speaking with Josh in the morning on the shuttle bus to Googleplex about the level of social media maturity of the audience, which neither of us knew. So this does mean he could of held back some of the really forward thinking ideas and approaches?

The final session was from Shannon Seery Gude on employer online reputation and social recruiting strategies. Even though I have known Shannon and her husband Julian for many years we have never actually met! Shannon knows her stuff and this was the best presentation of the day. Shannon gave the audience an inside look at how Bernard Hodes develops online strategies for clients, just this session provided enough practical tips and hints to cover the cost of event ticket.

You can see her full presentation on her blog.

So the real question is was the event worth the travel and expense. Yes.

My only regret I wish it went on for two days, in fact several people mentioned the same thing. The main reasons were the day felt rushed and I had to make some very hard decisions on which sessions I attended.

Is social media a SCAM for recruiting


Credit:Flickr cambodia4kidsorg

Last week a US recruitment expert Peter Weddle called social media a SCAM for recruiting. He stated that it was a waste of time with no ROI, although he did not use the term ROI. Finally his prediction was that social media will not be the future of recruiting until 2014 while job boards will remain the predominant method of finding a job.  His source two survey’s one his own and the other by AfterCollege:

Social media came in at number 15 on the list of choices and was selected by just 10.9% of respondents which, of course, included those most celebrated for their use of social media—Millennials.

Well Peter’s comments got a few people all flustered, including Paul Debettingnies and Jim Durbin also known as The Social Media Headhunter.

I am not going to comment on the posts more a comment on the ROI of using social media for recruiting in Australia (some have links to stories others are examples I have picked up in the marketplace):

  • First up Darryl King from Ireckon hired his new Project Manager via Twitter.
  • The boys from Happener use social media as the backbone of their business.
  • Amneisa Rasor Fish hired their Director of Social media through Twitter.
  • Amy Cato from Cato & Hall hires a vast majority of her placements via Facebook.
  • Thomas Shaw has many customers placing candidates through his Facebook apps.
  • V set up a dedicated careers site on MySpace to allow young Australian’s access to 60 ‘never-to-be-advertised’ positions. 4,000+ applications and all positions were filled and V achieved over $750K in marketing exposure.
  • Deloitte Australia actively uses social media sites as a talent pool source.

I could continue but I think you get the point this also ignores all of the recruiters using LinkedIn and LinkMe to source candidates.

I have said it before and will continue to say it social media does have a place within your recruiting strategy but it is NOT a recruitment strategy on its own! The key is to understand where the talent hangs out online and then develop a strategy to engage with them on their terms.

Case Study

The Forrester Social Technographics 2008 report shows that Gen Y (18-28) are significantly higher Creators, Critics, Collectors and Joiners then other generations up to 49 index points. While Gen X overall are more likely to be Spectators (63%), Joiners (41%), Critics (32%) and finally Creators (24%). Young Boomers do not participate with social media anywhere as often as Gen Y or Gen X, Young Boomers are Spectators (48%), Critics (29%), Joiners (27%) and Creators (17%) which is not a lot different to Older Boomers or Seniors.

So if your target market is Young Boomers (43-52 year olds) leading with a social media is not the right move. If you market is Gen X you need to develop a method for them to be consumers of social media or even critics.

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.

Meet Brett Iredale from Job Adder

Following last weeks interview with Kevin Howard from Jobs in HR today we have another local recruitment expert Brett Iredale. Brett runs the successful automated job posting system JobAdder and as you will see from the interview an early adopter of technology. While the last few interviews have been focused on recruiting I am working to expand the topics into other areas of HR.

Tell us a bit about your background, how did you end up in the job board business?

My background is in IT, in particular business systems consulting and sales. I started my own business in IT Recruitment in 2001 and first started developing niche job sites in 2002 as a way to attract staff for our recruitment clients. The job boards were really an experiment initially and I was lucky to have the background and the people around me to be able to do it very affordably. Long story short the job board business generated a lot of interest so we white labelled the software, streamlined our processes, automated the entire thing and started rolling out more job boards.

When did you setup JobAdder?

We started developing JobAdder in 2005 for the reasons outlined below.

Who or what was your inspiration to start JobAdder, and can you briefly explain the idea behind JobAdder?

JobAdder came about as a result of our experiences selling job board memberships. As job board owners we kept coming up against 2 issues over and over again:

1. Without an automated job posting solution our advertisers were just not posting their ads so it was very difficult to get traction. Advertisers would ask for an introductory offer but then they wouldn’t get around to posting their jobs because it was all too hard. Converting a client to an ongoing contract from that starting point is nearly impossible.

2. When we started launching job boards we soon discovered that the recruitment systems our clients were using wanted an average of $10,000 a site to integrate our job boards into their posting platforms. It became very clear that most ATS systems see job posting as a low priority pain in the butt. I approached the only dedicated job posting software provider that existed back then and found them even less interested in integrating our job boards. I was told “sorry we only integrate large well known job boards”. That staggering attitude was the impetus for what we now have in JobAdder.

With these challenges in mind we had little choice but to set about solving our own problem.

Can you explain the value proposition of the JobAdder tool?

There are a number of important value props however here are a few of the key ones
1. Save time and money by making it easier and faster to post ads onto multiple job boards
2. Increase staff satisfaction and productivity by reducing menial time consuming tasks
3. Increase job distribution and brand awareness by making it easier to utilise additional job boards
4. Spend your advertising dollars more effectively by better understanding the effectiveness of the job boards you are using.
5. Turn your own web site into an effective candidate attraction channel by using the broad range of tools available in JobAdder such as an integrated job search on your web site, send to a friend, referral tracking, ability to send jobs to social networks, job alerts and more.
6. Control and understand ad spend through the sophisticated job allocation system

How do you feel this approach benefits the advertisers and candidates?

Benefits to advertisers are covered in the previous point. Benefits to job seekers are that consultants have more time to work with candidates, thereby able to provide a better service.

Why did you decide to move away from niche jobs boards, such as NowHiring, to focus only the JobAdder service?

I have a deep passion for niche boards and had I been 2 people and not one I would still be involved. My situation was simply that I had 2 businesses showing strong potential and as a small business I felt that the smart thing to do was to find a home for one and focus 100% on the other. 6 months on I am absolutely certain it was the right move.

You have integrated with over 125 jobs boards, are you able to comment on if niche job boards gaining or losing postings?

I think it is safe to say that across the board most job sites are seeing reduced job volumes. We track the advertising volumes of most major sites in Australia and have been seeing this now for a couple of months. However job board success is not measured purely in job volumes so a drop off in ad numbers in itself does not mean certain sites are struggling. There are a number of niche sites that continue to increase their brand awareness and seem to be making strong inroads.

While you have integrations with the major Australian job boards, what are some of the more obscure boards you work with?

If there was a job site for left-handed Smurfs we would integrate them. Unfortunately we haven’t come across that one yet but we do have a very broad range of niche sites from niche Microsoft software solutions (DynamicsCareers.com) to job and resume sharing sites such as RecRadar.com and the very new 2vouch.com.au. Another niche site that keeps popping up is Adage.com.au – a site for mature aged workers (mature being over 40 years of age, cough cough). Adage recently picked up a gong at the Diversity at Work awards presented by Sir Bob Geldof so it is plain to see that niche sites form an important part of the job board eco system.

You have recently launched a new version of JobAdder, what are some of the new features?

This has been a major new release so pretty much all areas of the product were touched however some of the major enhancements were:

  • Improved User Interface. The UI has been modernised and subtly re-engineered to allow us to continue to expand the product throughout 2009.
  • New job board integration platform. Our developers have spent months developing a new job board integration platform that allows our consultants to add new job board partners in as little as an hour each. It is critical to our growth plans to be able to add new sites quickly and easily.
  • Free trials. We have taken the decision to open up our site to allow prospective clients and clients of other systems to be able to sign in, have a play around and even post live ads to free job sites in our network.
  • A new template system that allows users to easily save and re-use job ads as templates. For example if you have ads you commonly write then you can now save them as templates and use them over and over again as required.
  • Improved spell checking including a new and improved spell checker and the ability for managers to set rules in place so that users cannot post a job without first spell checking it.
  • A new job board module for advertisers wanting to send jobs to their own sites either using iframes or XML. We have always provided this service however the new system includes a number of enhancements such as referral programs, job alerts, ability to send jobs to social networks and more.

Clients can track applicants within the JobAdder tool, does this mean you are really an ATS with a job posting engine?

No, applicant tracking in JobAdder is predominantly for reporting purposes. ATS systems are complex animals and there are some very good ones out there, however as a group they tend to be lousy at job posting so we are continuing to focus on our knitting.

With so many jobs being posted everyday what are some of the tips you could provide for crafting the perfect job posting?

I am not sure there is such a thing as a perfect job posting but in my experience the number one rule is to focus on the person not the job spec. Understand the person you are targeting and write your job ad accordingly. There are a number of ways to understand the kind of person you are targeting and I don’t recommend one method over the other. The important thing is that you do understand the type of person you are after and write the ad as though it is written just for them.

You recently blogged in late October that “The reality for job boards is that the strong will get stronger and the weak will get weaker.” Can you explain this statement a bit further.

I don’t believe a downturn in itself creates more opportunity for niche sites. Advertisers tend to rationalise their ad spend when things tighten up so by definition it cannot mean a blanket advantage to niche job sites. What we are seeing is that advertisers are seeking efficiencies as they are in all other areas of their business. This means looking at where they are getting best results so that they can spend a greater percentage of their budget with proven performers and spend less on speculative channels . If (and only if) a niche site is delivering strong results to an advertiser then there is every chance it could be selected on a panel instead of a second or third ranked generalist site.

We are seeing a similar thing in the generalist market. A lot of advertisers who were previously advertising with 3 generalist job boards have rationalised that back to 2 sites.

For this reason I believe the relative gap between top and bottom stretches in a downturn. There is not as much money to go around so stragglers and underperformers will be left behind and strong performers who are adding real value will shore up their positions and move ahead relative to their competition.

What do you see as the current trends for recruiting talent in Australia over the coming one to two years?

That is a broad question but I see a strong sustained move towards technology and towards corporate careers sites (of course you would expect me to say that).

For example I know quite a few companies in Australia now receiving more than 15% of all job applications through their own web sites. At the other end of the spectrum we still have some large recruiters and corporate advertisers who don’t even advertise their jobs on their web site.

There will continue to be a lot noise around social networking however I think it will largely continue to just be noise.

Do you see a growth in posting jobs via social networks such as Facebook, MySpace or Twitter?

I hear an increase in the number of people talking about such sites however a lot of the noise is coming from people who don’t really use or understand these mediums. I do use them to varying degrees and so do all the people who work here and so far we remain underwhelmed.

Linkedin (Facebook for adults) will continue to grow in popularity and effectiveness but I am afraid I do not see Facebook and Myspace as the next hot frontiers in online recruitment.

That said we will continue to invest in leading edge technology and will continue to look very closely at anything that we believe will add value to our users. For example we are currently working on some significant social networking initiatives for 2009 and are trialling in some very exciting emerging technologies that we hope to roll out in coming months.

What blogs do you read and why do you recommend them?

Unfortunately I don’t read as many blogs as I used to. I tend to read a lot of technology and trend related blogs (mainly out of the US) however won’t give away my favourite ones in this article if that’s OK. In terms of online recruitment I read Cheezhead although he has lost focus over the last 6 months so my interest there is waning. I read your blog of course Michael, John Sumser, Mashable, Standout Jobs Blog, The AIM Group, YourHRGuy, Destination Talent and many of the other usual suspects.

It is difficult recommending blogs because they are such a personal thing. It depends on the industry you are in, your particular personal interests, the writing styles you like and so on.

What other social media tools, if any, do you use?

My tried and tested social media of choice remain the phone, the BBQ and a bottle of wine.

For me “online social media” is still a contradiction in terms. If I am online I am either working or wasting time but I am definitely not socialising.

Any final comments or words of wisdom?

I am too young to be wise and as my wife always reminds me, nothing I say is final.

Meet Australian Oracle Recruiter David Talamelli

When it comes to corporates’ who blog the typical names mentioned have been Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, and IBM. One company who has been quietly working away at their social media strategy is Oracle. Globally they have hundreds of blogs, a customer focused wiki, employees on Twitter and in general tackling social media on all fronts.

In Australia Oracle has been working hard to engage with bloggers and social media, with several employees having blogs, such as The Red Room, interacting on Twitter and Facebook. What interests me more is Oracle Australia has one of the very few internal recruiters in Australia, David Talamelli, who blog. I have caught up with David for coffee, interacted on Twitter and on our blogs and very impressed with the things he is doing so I felt it would be good to sit down with him and learn a bit more. 

Without anymore introduction below is my short interview with David, I hope you enjoy it.

How long have you been a recruiter?

I have been in IT Recruitment since 1999 my initial focus has been on recruiting in Australia over the past few years this has expanded to the APAC region.

Tell us about your work experience?

My first role was working in an Agency Environment with a company called GAP IT, this was a very sales focused role and I was responsible for meeting my monthly sales targets, I was in this role from 1999-2002. In 2002 I moved into an onsite role at Hewlett Packard where I was responsible for sourcing and managing HP’s Contract Workforce. The recruitment at HP was a combination of high volume recruitment and sourcing for specialist roles. In early 2006 I joined Oracle’s growing APAC Recruitment Team as it expanded its presence in the region. I am coming up to 3 years in Oracle and am quite proud of some of the successes we have been able to achieve.

How about your education, formal, informal?

I graduated from Laurentian University (Canada) in 1996 with a Bachelor Degree (honours) in Psychology. Since that time I have also completed a Graduate Degree in HR Management at Monash University. I have attended many Recruitment Training Events and Seminars – the two presenters who I have found most beneficial/influential are 1) David Carman from CarmanWhite Training and 2) Shally Steckerl who is a Web 2.0 Recruiting Specialist from the US. I also enjoyed hearing from Kevin Wheeler when he was in AU recently.

How long have you been blogging?

I set up http://oraclerecruiter.blogspot.com in January this year and had posted a few posts here and there, but I really started blogging regularly about 6 months ago.

Who or what was your inspiration to start blogging?

I am always open to new ideas to recruit/identify people and actually tried blogging in 2007 to help me in filling a role I had to recruit for. At the time I did not get the response I was looking for via the blog, but it did get me thinking about blogging for my role. I set up this blog in January this year and after talking to my management a few months later they really sparked an interest in me in getting this going. At first it was hard to see the return or value in blogging but I am now seeing it become an important part of our sourcing strategy.

What approvals did you have to go through internally to Oracle before starting the blog?

Oracle has a Blogging Policy that all employees must abide by. I had to ensure that I worked within these guidelines. My management has been very supportive and helpful with regards to my blog.

Given Oracle is a large publically listed company did they provide you media training before starting the blog?

No, I have not had any media training, however our PR/Marketing Team are always there for assistance when I need to run something past them or make sure that my commentary is correct.

Does Oracle have guidelines on what you can or cannot blog about?

Yes we do, there are a number of items that we are not able to disclose information about.

Do you feel blogging has helped with your role at Oracle?

At first, I was not sure if blogging was assisting me in my role, as the viewers and subscribers was relatively low (I was thinking is anyone actually reading this?). However over the past 6 months I have seen my daily blog viewers and subscribers increase dramatically. I find blogging a great forum to reach out to and connect to people and give them an overview of some of the interesting things that we are doing. I think people reading my blog get value in the blog entries I write but it also gives people the opportunity and avenue to explore roles with us that they otherwise may not be aware of.

What would be your one greatest success story from your blogging?

I get people from around the world contacting me to comment on my blog, or send me their resume, or just getting touch with me from my blog. I think the biggest success is that this gives me an opportunity to reach a large audience and share with them my thoughts, ideas which people are enjoying. From a recruitment perspective – I recently advertised and searched for a number of developers in Australia for a project I was recruiting for. The blog address was listed on our advertising and as candidates clicked on the blog link there was a story about the roles and the project in full detail. This gave candidates a full overview of what was expected and helped streamline the process for me as when I connected with these candidates they already had a good idea of what we were doing. I think this separated and differentiated us from the rest of the companies advertising.

What do you feel is the biggest challenge about writing a blog?

At first I thought I would not have enough to talk about, however after 6 months I have found that this is not the case at all. Blogging also took up a considerable amount of my time in the initial stages as I was getting the layout correct, the coding right, still getting my creative thoughts flowing, etc…. However now that it is up and running it has become a much more time-effective tool.

If someone was thinking about starting a recruitment related blog, what advice would you want to give them?

If someone is going to start a recruitment blog, I would recommend that they do it for the right reasons, I think a blog is a means to help you interact with your audience not to sell to them. Recruiters can tend to focus only on filling the role(s) they are recruiting for, however a blog is a long term investment and it is not necessarily just there to collect resumes. Use it as a means to talk to people and be honest in your communication – you should treat your online relationships with people the same way you treat people in person.

What other blogs do you read and why do you recommend them?

Most of the blogs I read are either Recruitment or Oracle focused. I have 9 Blogs listed on my Blog they are: ERE.net, IT Brief, iTNews Australia, The Red Room, Michael Specht – discussions on HR, enterprise …, PR 2.0 (Brian Solis Blog), Shally Steckerl’s Blog, Six Figures Blog

What other social media tools do you use?

I am listed on many of the social media tools available however there are so many social media tools/websites available I mainly use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and my Blog.

Any final comments or words of wisdom?

I think with blogging just like anything else, you only get out of blogging what you put in. It is a lot of work to set up and get running and to maintain but it is also very rewarding as well.

10 tips to build your network

It seems today you cannot go anywhere without hearing about social networks and their value to business.

This is all very good but what happens if you don’t have a large professional network? Below are 10 easy to implement tips on how to build up your professional network.

  1. Join the social networks online
    The first step for anyone today wanting to expand their network is to join LinkedIn. Further look to join more specialised services such as LinkMe, FaceBook, MySpace and industry specific services ad these will provide you with different connections.
  2. Attend industry gatherings
    All industries have key groups and organisations where people of similar background gather, many are free or require minimal investments other than your time.
  3. Get a personal business card
    When you build your network you want to make sure that it is transportable from employer to employer. By handing out a personal business card, not one from your current employer will assist with this process.
  4. Meet 5 new people
    Don’t always associated with the same people. Every time you go to a professional or social event make sure you meet at least 5 new people.
  5. You are a brand
    Brand yourself to your network in order to build it further, the more people know you to more people will want to know you.
  6. Globalise the network
    When you were growing up, perhaps you had a pen-pal in a different country, in a global marketplace you never know when knowing someone in Tanzania will come in handy.
  7. Become an information sponge
    Use a contact management tool to record e-mails, phone numbers, and everything else you can about the people you know.
  8. Take control of your virtual presence
    Make sure that when people look for you online, your image is both accurate and flattering.
  9. Join the virtual communities where your target market lives
    Once you have joined one group, ask the members where else they connect with like-minded people. Be sure to look for smaller groups within larger sites.
  10. Take a leadership role in your industry
    Write a blog to cover your domain, and perhaps create an online community around your unique interests

What are your best tips?