Recruitment, Talent Sourcing, @NRL_Bulldogs and random thoughts…

Random Rant

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

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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.


#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!!!???”

ZomboDroid28082013065036 (1)
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!


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


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.


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!