Mobile Recruiting

At the upcoming ATC Social Media conference (early bird prices until 30 September) I will be talking briefly about mobile recruiting. A topic I know is a little strange to some people, but I think effective use of mobile technology is going to become a critical part of a recruiters toolkit. Let’s face it mobile technology is not something you can ignore, as of December 2009 there were over 4.5 billion active mobile subscribers globally!

I am going to look beyond SMS, Bluetooth and email on smart phones, while they have a critical place in your mobile strategy there are other things to consider.

For example, while a traditional computer is replaced on average every 3.5 years mobile devices are averaging a replacement cycle of 18 months! This means just because something did not work last year doesn’t mean it won’t work this year!

Other topics I will look at include location based services, there is more to it than FourSquare or Facebook Places, areas like sales force automation and the impact of cloud computing on mobiles.

I am also trying to think of a good demonstration for the session so if you have any ideas, leave me a comment.

HR Technology Trends

The Future
Credit: Flickr dbilly

Last month Watson Wyatt released their 2009 HR Technology Trends Report. So I grabbed my credit card and laid down US$45 to get a copy so I could see what they had to say.

Some thoughts:

  • The report is very hard to compare with their 2007 HR Technology Trends Report as the format has changed.
  • Intranets are still the most favoured method of communicating with employees 72%, with newer technologies making an entrance such as social networking 13%, Blogs 11% and podcasts 6%.
  • Organisations are still use manual processes when it comes to some core areas of talent management; succession planning (53%), career development (48%) and workforce planning (55%).
  • However 56% of organisations are planning to increase their use of talent management technology over the next two years. With leveraging existing ERP’s being the primary approach, 29%, integrated talent management systems are next with 27%.
  • Across all talent management areas organisation have a higher satisfaction with external solutions than internally developed ones.
  • However internally developed systems have a higher satisfaction than outsourced solutions in the areas of Recruiting, Compensation Administration, Annual Pay & Bonus Delivery, Succession Planning, and Workforce Planning.

So what next?

  • Technology vendors who have best in class succession planning and workforce planning solutions have the potential for growth over the next two years as organisation move to automate these processes.
  • Outsource providers in compensation administration, succession planning and workforce planning need to clean up their act otherwise they may see business dropping off.
  • Emerging technologies will continue to grow in usage within organisations to streamline communications with employees.

Internal Social Network Analysis

Following yesterday’s post on future recruiting technology, which looking back should have read future talent management technology, here is an example of thing I am seeing in the market.

SAP has built a Social Network Analyzer prototype for inside the organisation. (Hat tip James Governor.)

It aggregates existing enterprise data to display and discover organizational relationships. It provides the missing link between social networking platforms and enterprise information systems, by letting organizations leveraging data available in corporate information systems.

SNA helps jump-start social networking within the organization by letting you import and aggregate all the corporate relationships between people that are already recorded in your business applications, such as:

  • Management hierarchies from your human resources system
  • Data on who worked on which deals from your sales force automation system
  • Partner, customer, and partner supplier contacts along your supply chain
  • People who work on similar transactions within your operational systems

The early images show a product user interface that is very different to anything I have seen from the German Giant.

The tool bring data from disparate systems across the enterprise into a single view to see who is interacting with whom via relationships there can be significant talent management benefits, other than collaboration:

  • Look at the interaction of at risk high performers, are their other high performers that also might be at risk due to social relationships?
  • Top talent referrers, who else do they interact with and are they providing referrals, if not why?
  • Do poor performers interact together?
  • Do top performers interact together?

The tool can import any data that describes a relationship between two people or objects you can uncover relationships between individuals, groups and departments that do not appear in the traditional organisation structure.

Now what if we added into the mix information about external social networks??

Let’s not forget the privacy issues, to quote James:

I thought it was kind of funny, though obviously not surprising, that one of the reasons SAP has been slow to turn the prototype into product is European data protection law. While American firms would consider metadata about employee interactions to be company property, under German law that is certainly not the case – no, in Germany it would be called spying.

Will this product see the light of day? Will it be deployed in many organisations? What would trade unions think of the tool? All these questions and more will ultimately determine the future of this particular technology.

Recruiting or Branding failure?

I read a article (thanks Plugger) about how the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment need to recruit over 500 firefighters for the coming season. So I clicked on the link to read to full story and read a good story about their recruiting needs.

Mr Rash said the love of the bush and the opportunity to develop skills which people could take back to the community were key benefits for PFF recruits.

“PFFs gain valuable experience and development which they can use later, whether this be on farms, in helping their neighbours and community, or with the CFA,” he said.

Successful applicants must hold a current manual driver licence and pass a fitness and medical test to ensure they can cope with the physically demanding work.

“Successful applicants will be well trained and skilled to be able to work as part of a team, which is critical for working at fires,” Mr Rash said.

Most PFFs work from November and December until the end of March.

Close to the end of the article I got really excited:

DSE’s web-based, e-recruitment system, which helped to streamline the application process last year, will be used again this season.

Interested applicants can access information, find answers to the most commonly asked questions and submit their applications in one place by visiting

Access to the online recruitment system will be available when applications open this Saturday.

Applications close on Sunday 7 September.

So I went to to check it out, I was disappointed very quickly.

Some ideas on what should they have done:

  • Revise the year old employment page to prepare for the mass recruitment drive to engage with a potential candidate.
  • DSE knows who they are targeting, David Rash the Gippsland Assistant Manager detailed it in the article, so make sure the page appeals to the right audience and states up front the type of person they are looking for.
  • There was no respect for the candidate’s time. If someone bothers to check your page out at least provide them with the necessary information so they can make an informed decision on if they want to work for you. While applications have not opened they could of at least told visitors when they open, on Saturday 16th, in 4 days, what about providing an email reminder facility so I know when to come back.
  • The video a good touch, if it worked. But why not put it on YouTube, then just embed in the page. Now before you scoff this the CFA has their own YouTube Channel! This also doesn’t forcing users to go download QuickTime, and probably never come back.
  • The page provides very little information on what is expected of applicants, how often will them have to work, the article tells us November to March, so why doesn’t the web page?
  • Given they need 500 firefighters in 2 months this is also a great opportunity to engage other methods, such as social networks and social media, for attraction. This is suitable as they are looking for young fit people to participate during the Christmas period so targeting university students is a perfect approach. By the way the CFA already has a FaceBook group with lots of members.

A case of a poorly executed recruiting campaign.

Thoughts of Australia university graduates

At the beginning of July Graduate Careers Australia released a series of reports on what university graduates are thinking and how these thoughts match those of employers. The survey had 32,000 responses over a 9 week period in mid 2007.

The highlights of the report are available in the press release however I have reproduced some of the findings below.

Firstly graduates want what all generations have wanted “good training and development and interesting, challenging work”, also students are presenting to employers very well and indicate that they plan to remain in their ‘ideal’ job. However the question of if their graduate job was their ‘ideal’ job was not clearly answered, and I suspect not. Over 75% want a job the gives the work life balance over with a higher salary. A third of graduates said they would remain in their ‘ideal’ job for 5 or more years, while over 50% of employers felt graduates would leave within the first 3 years.

However there are also some differences in perception between the graduates and employers:-

  • ‘Opportunities for advancement’ was ranked first by employers, but fifth by students;
  • job security was ranked important by over 80 per cent of students, relative to just over 20 per cent of employers;
  • ‘Making a contribution to society’ was important to over 80 per cent of students compared with just under 50 per cent of employers believing this was important;
  • students were more willing to work additional unpaid hours to progress their careers than employers believed they would be;
  • company-paid training and development was clearly the most attractive non-cash benefit to students, followed by additional leave and performance-related bonuses

There are some other very interesting results in the survey. For example Generation Y was lower than both Generation X and Baby Boomers when is came to “Working for an ethically responsible, or
environmentally sound company”. Further employer and graduate expectations around benefits were slightly different. While both agreed that training and development was important, graduates rated superannuation as important, whereas employers felt this was the least attractive benefit they could offer. The least attractive non-cash benefit a mobile phone, and the least expected benefit was a car allowance.

The mobile phone item is interesting as the Microsoft sponsored survey I refered to last week had 48% of students wanting company paid for mobile or smart phones.