ATC Social Media Conference

We are coming to the end of the early bird discount period for the joint event between Inspecht and ATC Social Media: A Recruitment Revolution. while the early bird discount is good, register 2 or more delegates and you get an even better deal.

So why attend?

  1. Listen to Australian case studies from Ernst & Young and Atlassian
  2. Hear from Futurist Mark Pesce
  3. Participate in workshops on social recruiting strategies, digital branding and the use of social networking for sourcing
  4. Watch the debate between Stephen Collins and Jake Andrews, from SEEK, on “Do you need a job board when you have social networking?”
  5. Put forward your own ideas and thought in the World Cafe session
  6. Listen and interact with your peers in the special unconference session where you get to control the agenda

This event was inspired by the ERE Social Recruiting Summit so I caught up with Paul Jacobs from Tribe HQ a New Zealander who attended the event with me to find out why he trekked all the way from Wellington New Zealand to San Francisco. (These are definitely NOT Oscar winning performances but we had fun.)

Finally if you are a member of Recruitment 2.0 APAC you could win a free ticket to attend

Are your offer letters keepsakes?

Something I get asked a lot is “How does social media impact the HR department?”

There are lots of ways, including areas that crosses into the recruiting; attraction, branding, onboarding and closing the deal.

Do your offer letters engage future employees like this?

All kidding aside, any company that can give this much attention to detail just in their HR paperwork should be fun to work for.  I am looking forward to this new adventure.

How about something someone would never throw out?

I don’t think I’ll ever throw this out. It’s a keepsake that reminds me of the major move I made from Toronto to San Francisco and all the sacrifices made and opportunities gained.

Or make your experienced hire feel “like a kid on Christmas morning”?

Enter the Apple Job Offer.

(Via Glyph)

These are the feeling expressed by Glyph about his current Apple job offer and Justin Reid’s historical offer.

Just imagine how engaged your new employees will be if they feel proud enough to photograph your paperwork and describe the “tension on the hinge of the folder is perfect: not too tense, not too loose”! Let’s not over look the complete alignment of the above offer packages to the corporate culture of Apple.

Unfortunately onboarding processes are a frequently overlooked part of both recruitment and HR processes.

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.


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.


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

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.

Michael is MIA

Irony is after 5 years of blogging I am so busy with other activities I have not blogged for 10 days. Right now things are not going to get any better. I leave tomorrow for my annual ski holiday and will not be back until August 2nd.

What has been keeping me from blogging?

  • Major project for a client that has a significant phase that needs to be completed before I leave
  • Source of Talent Report, although my partner on this project is doing a lot of the work at the moment
  • Work for 3 or 4 other clients, proposals etc
  • Preparing for RecuitTECH in September
  • Planning a webinar for HR/Recruiter Daily on the Business Case for Social Recruiting
  • Planning for a social media and recruitment conference with the team from ATC for November, more on this soon

I hope for things to get back to something like normal in August, in the meantime here are a few links of some interesting stories I have found in the last few weeks.

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.

Social Recruiting Summit

I arrived this afternoon in Palo Alto to attend the Social Recruiting Summit, catch up with several people here in San Francisco and have a few meetings. While it is a damn long way to come for effectively 1 day event I am hoping it is worth the effort.

We kick off tonight with a Tweet Up, which happens to be in the hotel where I am staying. Some of the sessions from tomorrow include:

  • A Conversation with LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman
  • Google Campus Tour
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Ubiquity & Authenticity in Social Media
  • No Sacred Cows: Making Sense of Social Recruiting
  • Online Employer Reputation & Social Recruiting

The event is very community focused, while each formal session is 1 hour in length on 30 minutes has been allocated to presentation. The rest of the time is for audience engagement. In addition there are three unconference sessions which anyone can speak, including yours truly.

I hope to blog and tweet (#socialrecruiting) about the event, although Twitter will be limited to PC based tweets as I could not get a decent prepaid SIM with a data plan.

Following the summit I have meetings with several key influencers within the recruitment industry, attending the San Francisco HR Technology Breakfast and catching up with Karen Beaman from Jeitosa.

I also hope to duck away and check out some of the Redwood Trees.

Excellent operational service delivery

This is the third instalment in my look at the hype around social recruiting, if you have missed them see the intro, parts 1 & 2.

HR/Recruiters should focus on ensuring their operational service delivery is excellent instead of creating unrealistic expectations that social recruiting will save them. Like any business there is no point trying to work out how to integrate Twitter, Facebook or any other fancy technology into your processes if your processes are fundamentally broken!

This excellent operational delivery includes treating candidates (and clients) as people, not as a commission. Here is a personal story of how bad third party recruiters have become in Australia. At the end of 2008 as the GFC started to really bite I had an amazing interaction with a recruiter from a well known agency.

Week 1

I was called ask if I was interested in contract SAP Project Management work. During the discussion the recruiter refused to provide the client name until they had an updated resume. I explained that they had called me because they had “found” my details in their system therefore if they wanted my resume they needed to open up. Eventually they told me the client and declined from applying as I did not like the employer. At the end of the call they asked for an updated resume, which I decided to send over.

Week 2

I was called by the same recruiter, not just agency the same person! However initially I did not recognise their name so I said nothing. The discussion was the same they had “found” my details in their system, was I interested in contract SAP Project Management work. By the end of the call I had remembered this was the same person I was speaking to last week, and they wanted an updated resume. I thought it would be fun to re-forward my original email to them as a subtle hint.

Week 3

About 4pm on Friday another blocked number called my mobile. Bingo a recruiter. Not just any recruiter my friend from the last 2 weeks who seemed to have no idea who I was! No they had “found” my details in their system,  was I interested in contract SAP Project Management work and could I send an updated resume to them! I declined.

6 months earlier when there were jobs a plenty this type of interaction was very common. But in December 2008 I was shocked.

So forget about fancy technology until your processes excellent.

Organisational challenges for social recruiting

There are four major challenges facing organisations from integrating social recruiting into their business operations, again I am stealing from the Mckinsey Cloud Computing report. Before we get into them I want to remind you of my current working definition of social recruiting:

  1. Using social media tools as part of recruiting
  2. Building a community of potential candidates
  3. Engaging with candidates as people not numbers

So what are the challenges?

  1. Financial
  2. Technical
  3. Operational
  4. Organisational

Let’s look at each in turn.


Many current approaches to social recruiting left unchecked actually increase the cost of hire and as my colleague Markus Hafner aka eskimo_sparky on Twitter said:

@mspecht I tend to agree with @trib. Many co’s also forget that using socmed poorly can damage brand plus increase cost per hire.

While the use of social media can be seen as “free” ie limited actual dollar spend there can be a massive time sink if not used in an educated manner.


The technical issues are everywhere for social recruiting. They range from data security, privacy, ability to access the services from within the firewall, integration with existing talent management systems to actually how does one use the tools.


How does the recruitment process get modified to include these new technical tools, organisational approaches and ideas? Clear management of both hiring managers and senior leaders expectations needs to be undertaken. Both from a “it’s cheap” and “it’s fast” point of view. What processes and procedures need to be modified to incorporate these new approaches?


The overall structure of HR and recruiting functions will need to be modified to operate within a social recruiting world. What new roles need to be introduced? What roles need to be removed?

I am not setting out to answer all or any of these questions within these blog posts more just putting some thoughts out there to see what happens.

Step 1 define Social Recruiting

I wrote yesterday asking is the hype around social recruiting over, while a bit of a attention grabbing title I think the question still needs to be asked. Because when the hype is over we will all have moved on cause it failed to deliver or social recruiting will be part of everyday business.

In the comments Joshua Kahn from Find & Attract pondered:

Social Recruiting” isn’t that a bit redundant? It’s like saying “wet water”. For anyone who’s ever recruited, its social.

I have to admit the first time I wrote the post I called social recruiting a tautology. But then I thought a bit. Is social recruiting about using social media to recruit? Or is social recruiting as Joshua says a tautology? Or is social recruiting like cloud computing something we are all a bit confused about?

I see social recruiting as a broader topic than just social media, a broader topic than just all recruiting is social because you deal with people and broader than just community building. I see social recruiting as all three. As a rough cut:

  1. Using social media tools as part of recruiting
  2. Building a community of potential candidates
  3. Engaging with candidates as people not numbers

Now these three points are defined from the Australian point of view which is very third party recruiter centric and looking at all phases of recruitment; attract, source, engage, screen and offer.