Recruitment, Talent Sourcing, @NRL_Bulldogs and random thoughts…

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Oh Paris, how I love thee!

Food… glorious food! Paris how your succulent delights have taken my breath away.
Every meal is better than the last. Whether it be a baguette,  a cheese platter or a simple croissant, the food in Paris is blowing my mind!

The Escargot above was divine. The garlic and mixed basil and parsley dressing was delightful.

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Steak tartare,  creamy vegetable soup, escargot and chips.
The steak tartare had a hint of mayonnaise in it, but it was ground up well. A little bit of chilli gave this dish a marvellous kick

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These macarons literally melted in my mouth… full of flavour, not too sugary, crisp when you bit into it. A dessert man’s heaven.

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I’m a Tirimisu connoisseur. I love it. I was expecting more marscapone in this, however there was coffee liqueur soaked spongecake within. The coffee was not old and bitter. One of the best Tirimisus I’ve had in many years.

Now all I can say is that I am ready to slip into a food coma!

Au revoir.


Arriving too early… for an interview – Not a good idea!

I love LinkedIn, although the ability to keep track of the continuous stream of information is pretty tough.

This afternoon whilst perusing the updates from my network, I noticed an agency recruiter post an update about candidates arriving too early for an interview – so for the benefit of my network, I’ll provide some guidance on this.

Arriving too early to an interview is as detrimental as arriving late. Best time to arrive in reception is 5 minutes before your interview. If you arrive by car (or public transport) early to your interview, don’t rock up to reception with plenty of time to spare, go to a cafe, or go for a brisk stroll, or stay in your car singing (actually, only do this if you park a few blocks away… actually, don’t do this, you might lose your voice!)

I like to compare the recruitment process to dating…

An interview is like a first date, so it might be worth considering the following:-

Do

• Dress to impress
• Keep your answers clear and succinct
• Keep your language as positive as possible. Negativity is frowned upon.
• Firm handshakes – not the floppy fish.
• Have questions about the team you may join handy

Do not

• Flirt (yes this works for both sexes, and it does happen!!!)
• Don’t speak ill of your current employer
• Smoke a cigarette before the interview… outside the door of the office. You will smell like cigarettes! Not good! Actually, make sure your breath doesn’t smell, you have sprayed some deodorant (or used some form of deodorant) and (maybe) a little dab of cologne or perfume.
• It’s not a stand up comedy routine, you can have a laugh, but keep it professional! (I’m guilty of this!)

However, back to my initial reason for this post, don’t come too soon, or your thoughts of making your permanent arrival at your potential employer may never happen!

Want to stay in touch? Connect with me on LinkedIn http://linkd.in/HRQ2fp


Agency Recruiters are all bad people! (or so News.com.au would have you believe!)

Every now and again I make the mistake of jumping onto the News for Dummies website news.com.au and I couldn’t help but see, amongst the picture of celebrities coming out of rehab, celebrities dating other celebrities, and new movies out at the cinema a post that caught me eye.

Former recruitment agent spills details on what really goes on in the industry

Now whilst I have personally experienced some of the things that this individual mentions, one could argue that this is all hearsay, as the person who was interviewed decided to remain anonymous. Then you could get into the finer points of his allegations, such as:-

Working on 5 jobs – In my first 3 months as a recruiter, I was working at least 15 jobs at any given point in time. When I was more experienced, I could have up to 30, with different organisations, however they were all in a vertical market, so if you messed around your candidates, you would not have any success!
Charging on Car Allowances – This is something I never did as an agent, I could, but I didn’t. This is dependant upon the T’s and C’s that you have with your client.
The amount of emails he didn’t respond to and just deleted – This proves this recruiter is lazy. And probably recruited grads, or testers (sorry Testing peepz, but there are so many Testers in the market, become Niche and you will always have work – stay generic, and you will compete for every job with 200+ other candidates)
Pumping you for info – #Sales101 As a candidate, you can always say, “I don’t feel comfortable telling you this info”

I want to ask what the point of writing such an article is? What is there to gain? If this article was a simple blog post, they may have been able to get away with writing something that slanders an entire industry sector, and brings the reputations of the many Staffing and Recruitment professionals into question.
Austin Powers Meme - Copy
There are also no suggestions of how this could be improved by the journalist Victoria Craw.

What I’d recommend to not only Victoria, but to the other journalists at News.Com.Au, is to look at this pearler of a piece by BRW

Why is this credible?
1. Big picture of a reputable recruiter (he is talking about his experience with nothing to hide!)
2. Provides examples of ways that corporates are working to change this perception ie Atlassian
3. They post a link to a Whirlpool forum that is almost point by point, exactly the same as this article, however, with no name, this post has no credibility, even if points raised could be correct.

Now I’ve just re-read what I have written, and I do feel bad, as I think it may come across that I am hammering Victoria… My intention is to get Journalists writing on fact, so our media does not end up like The Daily Mail, the New York Times, or The Washington post with political rumours, fear-mongering and a general lack of substance, and to keep the reputation of the industry I am member of intact.

You may still be wondering, what are the ways that the recruitment world and refine itself? Well, in the last 3 years there have been huge changes in the ethics of recruiters, it could be driven by the GFC, when 457-recruiters went back home, or by the increase of membership in ITCRA and RCSA, or it could be the increased utilisation from the business of internal sourcing and recruitment teams who know how to negotiate with their peers.

Happy to engage in conversation with Victoria, other journalists, peers and candidates on this topic.

Quick link here to another one of my peers, Scott Brown, for his take on this.


Google Glass – I’m excited!!!

I got a chance to have a play with Google Glass yesterday… and it was pretty funky!Image

In recent times I’ve been hesitant about the level of social engagement I’ve been putting out to the Matrix, what with all the NSA spying/Snowden leaks/Wikileaks etc etc etc, but using Google Glass got me to thinking about how much I really don’t care.

One could argue that having a set of semi-glasses with a camera attached to it is over the top (but 3 months ago, so was the idea of having a wrist watch the connects to your phone, right?!?!)

But what can you do with it? Well you can read other blogs for that…

What did I do with it? I recorded Will Staney dancing, took a few group photos, and fantasized about being Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2… “Come with me if you want to live!”

Is this gadget essential? No… Is it cool? Yes. Will every person who bought a smartwatch want to have this amongst their “really cool toys collection? HELL YES! Will I purchase one, pretty sure I will.

I wanted to end this post by being all philosophical and intellectual, however the best way I thought is simple…

Dammit! #1stworldproblems 


#SOSUAU – An experience so far – your social picture

I had someone call out to me at the #sosuau

“Hey Mark”
“Hey mate” I replied.
“You look just like your picture pn twitter and linkedin.” He said next.

This got me thinking, do you use professional photographer shots on your professional or social media profiles? Would someone be able to recognise you in the crowd?

If a part of social and business networking is about your ability to form long lasting relationships or impressions on your network,  why would we have images that are not accurate representations of ourselves on our profiles?

Food for thought?

Shoutout to Mark Reilly for spurring me to continue blogging.


Election season is here… I can’t wait for it to be over!!!

If you’re an everyday, run of the mill individual like myself, then you would have noticed the significant increase in “Junk Mail” into your mailbox at home or business. “Why yes!” you may be exclaiming to yourself right about now, I wonder why Dominos keep sending me the same discount coupons, and why for some unknown reason, JB Hi-Fi always seem to have a sale on.

No, these aren’t the mail items I speak of…. I talk about the endless stream of Labor, Liberal and Greens hard copy mail that you and I have been receiving for the past 6 weeks!

I wish I had kept this massive stack of repetitive rubbish that each candidate sends to me… I would have loved to take a photo of it all, maybe blended them with some juice and ice, and force fed it to each candidate.

I don’t understand how each of these parties can talk about having a “Green” policy, and then mass produce countless amounts of junk and sending it to me, week on week! Why wouldn’t you email me? If you have my home address (which only a handful of my friends and family have access to), then surely you could get access to my email which is all over my social and professional media profiles?

At least if you emailed me, I could hit the SPAM button and no longer receive your messages… or choose to unsubscribe from your list… However we are in the digital age, and “Ain’t Nobody got time for dat” hardcopy mail that comes into my mailbox.
SPAM

In actual fact, you would have a higher probability of me reading your dribble if you sent it in digital format than sending it in the physical form.

I do, however, want to deviate from this rant to ask “Why do people who walk around and put junk mail in my mail box never pay attention to the NO JUNK MAIL sign on my mailbox!?!? WHY!!!???”

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Back to my topic…

Please…. Please…. PLEASE!!! STOP sending me your political fear mongering in an attempt to get me to vote for you…
Oh and PLEASE tell me… What’s with the street signs?!!? Seriously? Looking at all the street signs just reiterates to me who I won’t vote for. And trying to camouflage your political party by trying to blend the logo into the background isn’t working either…

The election is 3 days away… I can’t wait for it to be over!

End Rant!


Hanging with the @ninefold crew

This team is the definition of new age technology geeks. Gone are the Bill Gates style of haircuts and thick glasses, in are the designer jeans, geeked out teez, well manicured facial hair and outgoing wit and personalities.

Ninefold consists of a cool bunch of people that I’d sit down and share a few beers with… and!!! They are going to be hiring 2 cloud system engineers and a couple of ruby devs.
Happy to put you in touch if you would be keen to find out more.
Happy Friday!!!

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Hanging with the @ninefold crew

This team is the definition of new age technology geeks. Gone are the Bill Gates style of haircuts and thick glasses, in are the designer jeans, geeked out teez, well manicured facial hair and outgoing wit and personalities.

Ninefold consists of a cool bunch of people that I’d sit down and share a few beers with… and!!! They are going to be hiring 2 cloud system engineers and a couple of ruby devs.
Happy to put you in touch if you would be keen to find out more.
Happy Friday!!!

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5 in a Row, someone has to go?!?!

Unfortunately tonight’s game was a reminder of the old sales adage that you are only as good as your last win. This is not 2012. We are not in the Grand Final. We are not lighting up the field with our dominating displays of strength and athletic abilities, we are not the talk of the town when it comes to harmony, passion and loyalty.

We are 1 from 5.

Our only win has been against a terrible Parramatta Eels side, and in all fairness, we should have lost this game.

The silver lining as I’ve seen it has been that we have lost to some of the best teams in the comp, and the teams that will be in the top 8 come finals time.

  • Melbourne Storm
  • North Queensland Cowboys
  • Manly Sea Eagles
  • South Sydney Rabbitohs

These games were always close on paper. Our attack was weak, and our defence kept us in the game.

However tonight, it didn’t, and now we add the Sydney City Roosters to the list.

Roosters SBW try

Bulldogs fans are entitled to be frustrated. Tonight’s game wasn’t close, on the field, on the board, or on paper.

Our team seems confused. Our team seems disjointed. Our team seems unhappy.

Our club plays best when our players are having fun.

Maybe it is the unique blend of injuries and suspensions that is leaving us lacking depth. Maybe it is the fact the we have many of our star players not signed to a new contract for the coming years.

I don’t know what it is, but as a passionate Bulldogs supporter, I want to see our team turn it around, the sooner the better. When our team loses, we lose.

Mr Greenberg, Des, Coaching staff, and our talented team, lets get together and work as a team. The pillars of excellence in the Centre of Excellence needs to inspire the team again. If someone isn’t abiding by them, they should learn to embrace them.

Your fans want… nay, need results. We are here to help! Tell us what we can do.


Friday Night Smackdown in the NRL

To all the journalists and Tv presenters out there trying to hype Friday nights game, remember this simple thing.

Friday night is not SBW vs Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs, it’s not East vs West, it’s not SBW vs the Bulldogs Army, it’s not about redemption, it’s not about anything other than a game of footy between 2 teams that are performing average in the NRL at the moment, especially given the experienced rosters they both have. It is about the Roosters VS the Bulldogs.

SBW said it best in his interview with Danny Wiedler, “There is no-one that I played with 5 years ago at the club that is still in the team!” This is a great piece of analysis from Sonny Bill, but if the guy had half a brain, he could do something that would massively reduce the feelings of hatred that will be channeled his way tomorrow night. Apologise. 2 words to the fans. “I’m sorry!”

If he was to show an ounce of humility, he would win over the masses again. Unfortunately this won’t be coming any time soon.

So….

NSW Police should relax, the new NRL Chairman should take a chill pill, and the media outlets should just stop painting every Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs supporter as a trouble maker. We are a multicultural club, arguably the most diverse multicultural club in the NRL with some of the most passionate fans known to this great country.

Should Sonny Bill be concerned about his safety. Hell no!

SBW Memes

Will he cop a round of abuse when he gets onto the field… Without a shadow of a doubt!

Is there a possibility of trouble? Not from the Bulldogs faithful.

What you will see is the people who buy in to the hype attending the game, seeking to support their teams, and after consuming too much alcohol, these idiots will go at one another after the game.

The thing that sucks about this is that it will be the innocent supporters who attend every game that will be on the receiving end of abuse from these rowdy fans. I think back to last year when the Bulldogs played Manly at Brookvale oval, and innocent female fans in the Bulldogs army were on the receiving end of racial, physical and verbal abuse from intoxicated Manly fans. Beer cans were thrown, banners were ripped and insults were hurled.

There were no subsequent investigations from either club, NSW Police or the NRL.

None of the true fans will cause an issue.


Proudtobeabulldog

What is a true fan you may ask? A member. If you are a true fan and want to support your club, become a member. The Bulldogs have a membership package starting from around $50, with full membership for under $300 for the season. Put your money where your mouth is. Support the financial security of your club, attend as many games as you can, engage on social media with other fans, interact with them at games. The NRL community is full of opportunities to meet new people and extend your network. All this can be done is a safe and harmonious environment.

For those of you who aren’t members and will be attending the game, prove me wrong!


T-Rex is not yet extinct!

 Tony Williams… OUR team needs you!

You are the newest addition to the Bulldogs family. You are big, you are strong! You are a state of origin player. You are an Australian Representative. You’ve played for a Manly team that has won the NRL comp and could have easily 2 of the 3 others in the last 3 years, so you have the experience.

BUT my friend, it appears that you lack the desire and the heart that being a Bulldog brings out in all who put on the magnificent Blue and White jersey. Your performance on Friday night was less than impressive.

I sit on the 50m line alongside a number of the older Bulldogs supporters. These fans bleed Blue and White. They love the club and have been there through thick and thin. My favourite are the mum and daughter aged in their 80’s and 50’s respectively, that attend every home game together to cheer on our team. The ladies loved big Barry Ward, they loved Darren Britt, they loved Solo Haumono, they loved Steve Price, Andrew “Bobcat” Ryan and they love the big bustling brothers Frank the tank and Sammy Kasiano. When your name was mentioned last year as the new addition to the pack, people were overjoyed as we thought that your experience would assist in beefing up our pack, and you could mentor the younger guys coming through.

I’m sure that with recent media reports stating that your representative career is on the line as a result of your less than stellar Club performances wouldn’t help your self esteem, I hope it is the kick up the backside that you need. Your performance to date is far from what we as fans expected.

On the field you look lost. My guess is that something is going wrong for you off the field. If this is the case, my advice would be to sit out of the team for 2 weeks and play in reserve grade. Attend the games and sit with the Bulldogs Army. Come sit with my wife and I on Friday night against the Roosters, visit the best innovation in Australian Sports Social Media Interaction in the Dogbox and see how passionate the Bulldogs supporters are.

We all bleed blue and white, and we all want the best for the club. If you are uncertain of your future with us, don’t be afraid. Take a step back, interact with the fans, understand the club culture and realise that every time a ball is passed to you, that you should be running to catch it at 100km p/hr and that every proud fan is right behind you.

I said this earlier, you are big and strong, and if you were to run onto the ball at full pace, no-one could stop you. Remove the self-doubt from your mind. We believe in you, even if you don’t believe in yourself!

trex meme


LinkedIn Recruiter Test needs updating…

For those of you who weren’t aware, in Jan 2013, LinkedIn removed the LinkedIn Answers feature of their site.

Below is the note on their site, plus the link.

“As of January 31, 2013, the LinkedIn Answers feature will be retired from LinkedIn. We’ll be focusing our efforts on the development of new and more engaging ways to share and discuss professional topics across LinkedIn. In the meantime, you can still pose questions and facilitate professional discussions through other popular LinkedIn channels including LinkedIn Polls, Groups, or status updates.” http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/35227

I never really used LinkedIn Answers… I found that interacting with people within the LinkedIn Groups was a better way to connect and network with the Professionals I was targeting.

I’ve just gone through the process to become a LinkedIn Recruiter Expert. Question 1 is about branding. And look what I have found.

Check out the 5th Bullet Point

Check out the 5th Bullet Point

Questions 6 and 7 are both on LinkedIn Answers. Does this mean I got the answers incorrect?

More references to LinkedIn Answers which no longer exists

More references to LinkedIn Answers which no longer exists

EVEN More references to LinkedIn Answers which no longer exists
EVEN More references to LinkedIn Answers which no longer exists

Whilst this may not be high up on the agenda of things that required improvement, it is something that does need to be sorted.

LinkedIn…. You’re Welcome! 🙂


My response to another annoying News.com.au article on LinkedIn

Feel free to read the article.

http://www.news.com.au/technology/biztech/the-dos-and-donts-of-linkedin-how-not-to-make-it-awkward/story-fn5lic6c-1226560691515

Ok… I wanted to put together something highly intelligent but to be brutally honest, my brain is yet to recover from 6 weeks of honeymooning extravaganzas which included close to 10 days in Vegas, and 11 nights in an all-inclusive hotel in Playa del Carmen, Mexico… So I am just gonna answer the questions the news.com.au posts.

  • Is it appropriate to recommend your boss for key skills? Yes, why would this be an issue, you work with them and if they are good at what they do, it is a simple click of a button to recommend them. If you don’t think they are good at any of the skills that are shown, don’t recommend.
  • And what if someone you work with asks for a recommendation? What if you secretly think they’re rubbish at their job? LinkedIn contacts should only ask for recommendations from those who they have worked with or for. If you don’t rate someone, you just ignore the request, or if you are like me, message them saying you don’t feel comfortable recommending them.
  • Do you send a courtesy email when somebody adds you? Not an email, I usually reply back to the person saying thanks for adding me and I hope we can stay in touch and assist one another in the near future.
  • And oh-dear-god I forgot to log out before looking at a competitor’s profile so now they probably think I’m some kind of weird stalker – this isn’t a question, but you should really just slap yourself for this comment… This is a public website, where people knowingly put their details online to share with others. I’ve made numerous contacts on LinkedIn via the “Stalking” method. As a Recruiter, I’ve placed the majority of my candidates via LinkedIn. Staying logged in to LinkedIn whilst viewing profiles enables you to have a conversation with the person you are checking out, without it feeling too weird. For those who want to go into complete stalker mode, you don’t have to log out, you can simply set your profile to being private via the settings panel.

stalker meme

  • Sydney-based marketing manager Michael (not his real name) told news.com.au that he asked some of his colleagues for a LinkedIn recommendation after quitting his job but forgot to change the email address his LinkedIn notifications were sent to –  Michael is an idiot, and should have an external email setup specifically for his LinkedIn account. You have the option to add multiple email addresses to your LinkedIn account just in case your account gets hacked, if you forget your password, or so you can find contacts listed within those various accounts.
  • “Funnily enough the same manager has tried connecting with me since which I find very amusing,” he said.
    The above is still from Michael, who based on his comments is 15 and has left his marketing role at the local Maccas. You should always try to leave your employer without burning bridges. I wonder if he connected with the manager. I would have made a point to connect and catch up with them for a coffee or a beer to ensure that we are on good terms.So, what are you going to take away from my rebuttal? Something I hope… 

Happy new year all!


Perth recruiters – #SOSU12 Perth is almost here, what are you waiting for?!!?

I was very fortunate to secure myself a ticket to #SOSU12 in Sydney earlier this year, and what an awesome event it was…

We started the morning over a cup of coffee and some light food and were sharing war stories with other internal recruiters from small businesses and global corporates, which put a huge smile on my face. The ability to network with other geeky recruiters and talent acquisition professionals is a rarity, and this event allowed me to do this.

I was chatting with great sourcing minds like Dan Nuroo, Christian Le Leoux and Mark Reilly, Recruiters with awesome personalities like Nathan Wong and Rod Ko and the up and coming divas of sourcing Vanessa Duke and Danielle Arabi

AND this was all before the event officially kicked off!

The piece de resistance was by far Irina Shimaeva , softly spoken and extremely witty, Irina shows you how “basic searches” can bring you sensational results. If you are an advanced user of Boolean search strings, then come with your questions ready.

I’m doing my best to get to Perth to see Mas Bianchi speak, this is a lady who has worked for some of the largest mining companies globally in a sourcing capacity, and I am wondering what wonderful tricks she has up her sleeve to share with #SOSU12.

There are still a few seats left remaining so if you want to network with your fellow Sourcing Pros from Western Australia and beyond, and learn some innovative tips from abroad, Register yourself NOW!!!

For your viewing pleasure

Something I thought I’d throw in to put a smile on your face.


Inspirational Diversity video from IBM

 
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I love videos like these… it’s great to see that companies are looking for ways to beat the skills shortage whilst treating every candidate equally!


Another interesting article on how to encourage women into the wonderful land of IT!
#EEO #Diversity

An interesting piece of research crossed my desk a while ago and as always the headline did the trick – At least one woman should be interviewed for every IT job opening, advocacy group says.

This research is from a not-for-profit group advocating there should be more women working in information technology in the USA. The research says that recruiters for high-tech jobs should make sure there is at least one woman candidate for every IT job opening. Solutions to Recruit Technical Women is published by the California-based Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, and the authors say this kind of extra effort by recruiters, who often look to universities for candidates, will raise the chances that the high-tech industry will see growing numbers of female technical specialists and managers.

While I shudder to think that we are, after many years of active encouragement for gender equality, still…

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An interesting article by the #ITCRA CEO as to why IT Recruiters are important…
Not a bad read…

According to a recently released report A snapshot of Australia’s digital future to 2050 by key analyst Phil Ruthven, commissioned by IBM, Australia’s ICT industry is predicted to grow from a $131 billion sector currently to about $1 trillion by 2050, demonstrating the importance of ICT to the economic and social wellbeing of today’s young people.

Commenting on the report, Penny Coulter, Chair of the National ICT Careers Week Steering Committee and Honorary Member of ITCRA said “this report underlines the importance of encouraging young people to study and work in ICT. Today, the Australian ICT industry employs more people than the mining and resource industry, and this report indicates that position is unlikely to change.”

“Given this rapid growth, the prognosis laid out in the report clearly anticipates a very strong demand for ICT workers to fill new kinds of ICT jobs,” said Ms Coulter. “The type and variety…

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Re-Blog – Make ’em laugh!

A great blog written by Damien Schulze that was worth sharing.

Make ’em laugh!.


IBM to Acquire Kenexa To Bolster Social Business Initiatives…from IBM

This is going to bolster the IBM HR Service Offerings… Fingers cross we get to use Brassring internally!

HR Technology Vendor News by HRchitect

 

HRchitect featured Kenexa in our release of The Suite Life of Integrated Talent Management and also includes them in our list of top Talent Acquisition Systems and top Talent Management Systems vendors that businesses should consider. Derek Bluestone, VP Product Marketing appeared on the HRchitect WebMingle on June 17, 2010. HRchitect’s Matt Lafata, one of the industry’s leading talent management systems analysts, attended the Kenexa Analyst Day in 2010 & 2011 and the Kenexa World Conference from 2009-2011.

If you are looking for a new Talent Management System, or any HR system, don’t rely solely on “recommendations” or published reports. Do yourself a huge favor and talk to HRchitect first. After 15 years, HRchitect has unparalleled knowledge of the HR and Talent Management vendor community and can save you time and money in selection and implementation. Simply put, do not invest in any kind of HR technology without consulting…

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My reply to “Does LinkedIn really get the job done?” on News.com.au

My reply to “Does LinkedIn really get the job done?” on News.com.au http://www.news.com.au/technology/does-linkedin-really-get-the-job-done/story-e6frfro0-1226461168019 (if you haven’t read it, you probably should now)

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Mark Mansour, I am an ex-techy, ex-telco salesman turned recruiter who has 8 years of technology and engineering recruitment experience in the Asia-Pacific market.

On Thursday morning upon my arrival to work, I went through my e-mails and setup my priorities for the day, and took 5 minutes to browse some substandard journalism on news.com.au.

This article caught my attention… Why? Because as someone who has filled hundreds of jobs via LinkedIn, I felt it necessary to put a human, real world touch on something that reeks of last-minute-article-submission-syndrome (Yes Claire Connelly, you has L.M.A.S.S!)

Firstly, I’ve conducted a couple of different searches (out of my own interest for Jeff Atwood), one via Google (searching for LinkedIn profiles with his details – no success), via LinkedIn Recruiter (again, no success) and via my own account which has 15,000+ direct connections (again no luck)… So, I simply ran a Google search for “Jeff Atwood” “software designer” and found his Blog – http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/ . In geek terminology, this guy is pretty cool. Same background as myself, grew up on BBSes.

Why did I do this? Well, I love to know who it is that complains about the #1 site for talent attraction and professional networking…  (yeah I know, you thought I was going to keep rambling, didn’t you?)

I am a big advocate of sites such as LinkedIn (they enable me to proactively connect with people I wouldn’t normally interact with to provide them with opportunities to either

A)      Work for THE largest global technology and services company

B)       Work for a company the lives and breathes DIVERSITY

C)       Take that next step in their Career.

Ok, so the above may come across as the “Mark Mansour Recruitment Sales Pitch”, but let’s think about the alternative…

  • You apply to a job via a Job board.
  • You hold your breath waiting for a phone call from the company or recruiter.
  • How exhale because you have held your breath for too long
  • You take another deep breath.
  • You fall, hit your head on your computer desk and are rushed to the Emergency Room for a nasty cut, and potentially jailed for “assaulting and battering” yourself.

(ok the last is an extreme, but you get where I am coming from).

So let’s get back to basics… Who should use LinkedIn?

In my opinion, everyone, however, “white collar” workers have more to gain than blue collar workers. Why? Well, normal job boards tend to have a greater amount of these types of jobs advertised. If you are to call and follow up your application, the response rate will tend to be higher. However, where you could use LinkedIn is to identify who the “hiring manager” or HR rep for the organisation is, and either call them via the switch, or send a personal message via A) One of your connections (this will work better than à)  B) Directly, to indicate you have applied for a specific position and are keen to discuss it.

Whether you like it or not, EVERYONE is a passive candidate. Depending on the way you slept the night before, whether the local café got your order right/wrong, whether your boss has given you a greater workload than others, you are a passive candidate!

What does this mean? You may be happy with your current job, but if someone came along and “sold” you the dream job, you wouldn’t hesitate to leave.

Dream job can be interpreted as:-

  • More money (base salary or bonus)
  • Greater flexibility (work/life balance)
  • More interesting work
  • Better management team
  • Additional mentoring, training and support
  • Extra benefits (medical insurance, life insurance)
  • Or a combo of all the above.

So why does this mean you should be on LinkedIn?

Well, your LinkedIn profile allows colleagues, past and present, to recommend your work publicly. The more recommendations you have, the likelier you are to receive interest from a potential organisation about your skills. Also, at its basic level, LinkedIn does not cost you a cent. You list your skills and experience almost like you would on your own CV, and it sits there. You can see who viewed your profile. You connect with other colleagues or clients.

During the GFC, organisations that were still hiring did so through internal networks, which meant a reduced utilisation of agencies. By connecting with colleagues on LinkedIn, you are able to stay in touch and network regarding future roles.

As a final note regarding LinkedIn… As with everything in life, you get out what you put in… If you just list the titles of what you have done, add 1 colleague, and then expect the world to notice you, please be advised, You are not in a fairy tale. You should be active, engage in the variety of groups, add more information, recommend colleagues, add skills to your profile.

Most recruitment systems now allow you to apply by using your LinkedIn profile… So if you are sick of getting no replies from potential employers, use LinkedIn, build your profile, and the results will speak for themselves!


Rule candidates in, not out! How internal recruiters can hurt the process and what they can do to change it!

Agency recruiters look away, I am going to provide some advice to my fellow internal recruiters to assist them increase their direct fill rate.

As an experienced agency recruiter, I always tried to identify someone who was 100% on the mark for a vacancy I was working on.  After a number of instances where the candidate was able to “hit the ground” running, but ultimately got bored and left because of the repetitive nature of their work, I changed my way of thinking… I asked my hiring managers whether they wanted a quick fix or someone who would grow and stay within the team. Being that the average tenure of IT Professionals in the same position/organisation is 18 months, was I doing my clients a disservice by finding them a “perfect match” for their requirements?

I began investing more time in my clients, understanding the nature of their business and realised that whilst most were under the pump continuously, having someone slightly more junior in their teams, who the senior members could mould and impart years of wisdom on to, was a more strategic approach to filling a void. The negative side of this was that as an agent, it was hard to justify charging the same fee for someone who couldn’t really do the job 100%.

Flash forward to where I am now. I work for a Global technology company that appreciates diversity, encourages diversity, promotes and sells itself to its employees on its diversity. My “consultative approach” to talent identification is now beginning to pay off.

Hiring managers are increasingly having buzz words painting apocalyptic pictures such as “War for Talent” thrown at them. The fact is there is no war. Talent Identification is and has been at peace for quite some time. The problem is that we rely too much on automated systems to do our job for us. We need to bring the people back into the system. We need to ask what workload can hiring managers really handle. We need to provide opportunities for growth firstly to our internal teams (all vacancies should be given to current team members to apply!) and then to the external market.

Hiring someone internally and training them in new technologies (or giving them to the opportunity to gain new skills) achieves one thing that is lacking from the employment market these days… It builds loyalty. Employees are always looking to do the right thing by themselves, which means continually attempting to climb the corporate ladder for greater financial or professional reward.

If they are not given the opportunity to enhance their skills within your company, then they will search for this elsewhere.

Don’t forget the main motivators for staff to seek new opportunities (in no particular order.)   
1. Salary   
2. Position/Work duties   
3. Working conditions (hours/team/company culture/work-life balance)   
4. Lack of training   
5. Management   
6. Lack of career opportunities

In my opinion, your next step will be to go to market for someone who can step up into this position or hit the ground running. The latter will always be the obvious choice, however when you factor internal systems and processes that are required to be learnt in order for someone to be 100% efficient and “hit the ground running”, the former seems like a better option to an employer.

Why?

You allow someone who has not been given the opportunity to progress their career to do so within your organisation. You allocate senior members in your team mentoring responsibilities which will grow their skill sets. You now have 3-6 months’ worth of training and “ramping up” covered off by the new member of staff who in this time, would have (ideally) picked up a whole bunch of new skills, which in turn, is repaid with loyalty and appreciation to you as a manager.


WTF are you thinking?!? What NOT to post on Social Media sites!

Wow!!! I am continually surprised, infuriated and just plain gobsmacked by the ridiculous things people post on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram etc etc.

Most recently, I’ve seen the body of a young baby boy, just over a year old who had recently passed away, being placed in his coffin, and prepared with family, prior to the funeral taking place. This is just unbelievable!!!

I’m not sure what would lead a person to think that posting a dead body on a social media site is a good thing to do… Or why the hell the person who posted the image would then tag the child’s mother!

Let’s not forget the people who like the image… HOW THE HECK can you like an image of a dead child! In my humble opinion, this image and many like it should be reported to Facebook or other said sites and removed. Posting a photo online of a dead body is no different to sending the picture framed and signed to the parents! It is just bad bloody taste!

On the topic of deceased people, one thing you should never do is tag someone in a post…. For example, posting something like, “Can’t believe it has been a year since @ThePersonWhoDied passed away… We miss you!” is fine. Checking yourself in to a cemetery and posting “Having a smoke with @ThePersonWhoDied” is just ridiculous, if you have done this, you should give yourself an uppercut!

Aside from the fact that it is just weird to be checking yourself into a cemetery, don’t forget that you should have respect for the dead. They are meant to be at peace. Posting something like this makes a mockery of them, and also makes you look like a fruit-loop!

The one thing that I find very sketchy when it comes to social media is cursing… Swearing! There is a fine line with what you post to social media. It depends who your friends are and which social network you use. Facebook tends to be free flowing, as you generally only add people you know to Facebook, people who you are happy to expose to your ignorance (yes this is a tongue in cheek comment!)

Twitter is the social network that you should always be mindful of. Everything you post is a representation of your brand. If you curse, you will lose followers as your message loses its power, unless you are a gangsta rapper trying to win street cred, however, I am a bit old school, and the rappers I listen to solved their problems with guns, not words on a social media site.

So… what have we learnt??? Something I hope!


Labels do not matter!

Not sure if I am the only one feeling this, but there is a feeling of disharmony in the Craft. I don’t know what the cause of it is… Especially since in the last 4 months there have been some fantastic things happening. Movember was awesome, and we raised a heap of cash.
Then we had the Pink Ribbon Ride where we were represented by our Masons on Bikes with pink vests.
There was the event up near Newcastle which had the Square and Compass flying high, and there will be another beach side event this Sunday where our symbols will be shining bright again!
Also, by the end of this month, we will have been represented at UNSW O-Week and USyd O-Week.
We are also fortunate to have a number of inspiring, forward thinking Freemasons that have put their hands up to lead their Lodge for the next year, along with some experienced, forward thinking Masons stepping up and acting as mentors to many younger Masons, and we seem to have a number of candidates knocking on our doors seeking to be brought to light.
If all seems to be going so well, why is there this feeling in the air?
I was speaking with a good friend and Brother the other day and he summed up Freemasonry to me nice and simple.
“Freemasonry is perfect! It’s the members that ruin it.”
I bring this up because I tend to compare my experience with Lodge, to my time at work. At work, I have fun. I laugh, I crack my own whip, I work with my team and I deliver results. My work is recognised and I feel appreciated.
When I attend Lodge (mine of visited others), I’ve felt stressed, anxious, and paranoid. I work hard, yet hear that “My Brothers” talk behind my back, I don’t seek the recognition, and mostly, it isn’t offered.
When I am working with different Brethren on Masonic related projects, we are results driven. We work together in harmony, we listen to one another, we counsel one another, we support one another and build on ideas together as a team.
As Freemasons, we should never discuss religion or politics in the Lodge room, but this does not stop us from being an organisation that would have K-Rudd running scared because of some of the underhandedness of its members.
My Brothers,
As a Master Mason, as a Brother, I ask you all to work together, in harmony, to put aside the BS, for the benefit of our Perfect organisation.
Backstabbing, lying, deception should not be tolerated. If there is a Brother that you don’t see eye to eye with, why not spend 5 minutes having a chat to let that Brother know there is an issue. Don’t talk about them behind there back.
We need to unite. We have a banner, but we divide ourselves. We label ourselves. The thing I see wrong in society these days is that everyone wants to have a label. Gay, bi, straight, skinny, fat, tall… Why do we pull ourselves apart with labels. Lodge, District, Region, Grand Lodge, 2020, STEP!
WE ARE ALL FREEMASONS. This is a Brotherhood of Men.
Let’s act like men and leave the gossiping for girls at high school.
Real men wear Aprons… Not skirts!

Women of the world, WAKE UP!

I recently tried to set a girl a work up with a long time mate of mine. I get along with both like a house on fire, and think that they will click.

He is tall, dark and handsome, she is blonde, green eyes with an hourglass figure.

Sounds like the beginning of a romance novel right?

Well, wrong!

Seems like I made a cardinal mistake by not allowing things to happen naturally. In the heat of the moment, I showed a not so flattering picture of my mate to the woman from work. No nudity, just one of him exhaling smoke from a Hubbly Bubbly (Argeeleh – the Middle Eastern smoke that resembles a large bong!)

This picture was ridiculed. The guy was wearing a baggy jumper, which was crumpled… “He has a gut!” was the reaction. The picture passed around the team and all the ladies laughing.

This is the first time that I have experienced this kind of behavior. I know that women especially women in groups, turn into cats, but disrespecting a good mate of mine is just plain rude.

Women who see themselves as a 10/10 need to wake up. Guys will tend to only see you as a 7! Your 5hit does stink.

Women complain that there are no good guys out there, but when presented with a great opportunity, ridicule and completely rule out.

So you understand, I showed pictures of the lady to my mate. He viewed the pictures, smiled, said she was very pretty, and asked about her personality, is she fun and whether I thought they would get along. I know right, he sounds like a total pig!

Ladies of the world, WAKE UP! You are all looking for Mr. Right, and expecting Brad Pitt, but you are a world away from being an Angelina Jolie! Don’t listen to the bitchiness of other women. Take a chance, put yourself out there, and you may find true love! Ridicule someone after viewing a picture and risk being alone forever.