February 18, 2012
June 9, 2010
I was in our St Kilda Rd office last week and had the chance to meet up with Dan and David from GradConnection. I love what these guys are doing, their business has been around for two years and I really like how they have taken their own experiences from University found a niche in their market and have chased it. These guys are always networking. Whenever they come to Melbourne they send me a tweet to catch up, even though we often miss each other they are persistent. It sounds like their business is going from strength to strength and I have to think that success comes from their hard work and enthusiasm for their business.
Anyway, before my meeting with ProGrad I noticed a tweet from Kevin Wheeler who was saying it was his last day in Melbourne – I sent him a message and we met up that afternoon for a coffee (I am getting to the point I promise). On my way back to the office after my meeting I was on a tram and was sitting beside a lady who was talking to her friend on her mobile. She had just come back from an interview and was telling her friend how laid back the meeting was and how she wasn’t too sure of the next steps of the process as it was a really informal meeting. The recurring theme from this phone call was that 1) her and the interviewer got along really well and had a lot in common 2) the meeting was very informal and relaxed.
I wasn’t at the interview so I cannot say for certain, but in my experience regardless of the type of interview that is happening whether it is a relaxed interview at a coffee shop or a behavioural interview in an office setting one thing is consistent: the employer is assessing your ability to perform the role and fit into the company.
Different interviewers I find have different interviewing styles. For example some interviewers may create a very relaxed environment in the thinking this will draw out less practiced answers and give a more realistic view of the person and their abilities while other interviewers may put the candidate “under the pump” to see how they react in a stressful situation. There are as many interviewing styles as there are interviewers.
I think candidates regardless of the type of interview need to be professional and honest in both their skills/experiences, abilities and career plans (if you know what they are). Even though an interview may be informal, you shouldn’t slip into complacency. You should not forget the end goal of the interview which is to get a job. Business happens outside of the office walls and while you may meet someone for a coffee it is still a business meeting no matter how relaxed the setting. You don’t need to be stick in the mud and not let your personality shine through, but that first impression you make may play a big part in how far in the interview process you go.
April 20, 2010
In my role as a Recruiter at Oracle I receive a large number of resumes of people who are interested in working with us. People contact me for a number of reasons, it can be about a specific role that we may be hiring for or they may send me an email asking if there are any suitable roles for them. Sometimes when I speak to people we have similar roles available to the roles that they may actually be in now. Sometimes people are interested in making this type of sideways move if their motivation to change jobs is not necessarily that they are looking for increased responsibility or career advancement (example: money, redundancy, work environment).
However there are times when after walking through a specific role with a candidate that they may say to me – “You know that is very similar to the role that I am doing now. I would not want to move unless my next role presents me with the next challenge in my career”.
This is a far statement – if a person is looking to change jobs for the next step in their career they should be looking at suitable opportunities that will address their need. In this instance a sideways step will not really present any new challenges or responsibilities. The main change would be the company they are working for. Candidates looking for a new role because they are looking to move up the ladder should be looking for a role that offers them the next level of responsibility.
I think the best job changes for people who are looking for career advancement are the roles that stretch someone outside of their comfort zone but do not stretch them so much that they can’t cope with the added responsibilities and pressure. In my head I often think of this example in the same context of an elastic band – you can stretch it, but only so much before it snaps. That is what you should be looking for – to be stretched but not so much that you snap.
If you are for example in an individual contributor role and would like to move into a management role – you may not be quite ready to take on a role that is managing a large workforce or requires significant people management experience. While your intentions may be right, your lack of management experience may fit you outside of the scope of search to be successful this type of role. In this example you can move from an individual contributor role to a management role but it may need to be managing a smaller team rather than a larger team.
While you are trying to make this transition you can try to pick up some responsibilities in your current role that would give you the skills and experience you need for your next role. Never be afraid to put your hand up to help on a new project or piece of work. You never know when that newly gained experience may come in handy in your career.
This article was originally posted on David Talamelli’s Blog – David’s Journal on Tap
January 12, 2010
I have been a fan of Kevin Wheeler’s ever since I saw him present here at a conference in Melbourne Australia back in late 2007. He has just written one of those “here are my predictions for 2010″ posts that I recently mentioned in my last blog post. The link can be found here. It is a good article and what I like about Kevin’s posts is I find that they are based not only on just recruitment principles and operations but also on larger demographic and sociological trends. Yes there is lots written about Generation Y, but it is quality writing.
Anyway in his blog post, Kevin mentions one of the things he thinks we will see more of in 2010 is the “Virtual Recruiter and the Virtual Employee”. That is Recruiters will use the technology available to them to source, attract and hire candidates for roles in countries/cities outside of their location. Kevin writes that Recruiters will find jobs for people and hiring managers they may have never physically met.
I agree with Kevin, I think the use of the virtual employee will increase. As technology continues to develop to allow us to do many of the things we used to have to do in an office and with a mindset shift in what is a “workplace” is, I think we will see more people working in virtual teams and offices.
In my role, I work in a virtual team – my colleagues are based around the world and I liaise with people in APAC, EMEA and North America regularly. We all know what we have to do and work together with a common goal of finding the best people for Oracle. I am based in Melbourne Australia and have successfully placed candidates into roles here at Oracle across Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, India and Singapore. There have been times where I have worked with Managers and Candidates who I have never physically met – the relationships I have with some of my online networks is stronger I would suggest than what some people have with their real world contacts.
With the use of many online tools, soft phones and collaborative products the world is quickly becoming a much smaller place than it use to be. Employees are no longer limited by their physical location, they can work on projects with team members in different time zones or locations.
From my own personal experience workplace flexibility works very well. I enjoy working across different cultures, I have expanded my skills and capabilities and have provided my clients with a value added service. Not every organisation can offer this type of role, but if companies want to attract the best staff they will have to start making their working more flexible to a changing workforce that expects flexibility or risk getting left behind by quality candidates.
I know that there is a common perception that online networks are somehow not as strong as real life relationships and that unless you meet someone for a coffee you can only develop a relationship so far. I do agree with that thinking to some degree, however that gap is quickly closing as 1) the technology continues to develop to make us more connected and 2) the growing acceptance that your online networks are just as real and valuable as the relationships that you have with your in person networks.
January 7, 2010
It is that time of year where everyone writes a “my predictions for [insert niche area here] 2010” story. These articles and blog posts are great but rather than write up another list about the same things many of us have already heard or written about (eg. More about social media, mobile is coming, etc….) I wanted to reflect on something different (I sense a theme for my blog posts this year developing – updates next post). Whether you are in a company that employs 1 or 100 000 people, as professionals we all have certain tasks that we need to do to be successful in our jobs. The jobs we have have their ups and downs but they make up a large portion of our day, our time and our energy. Ideally we should enjoy what we do and if you are in a job to just “pay the bills” it does not have to necessarily be a bad thing.
If you are doing the same task day in and day out, it runs the risk of becoming monotonous. Yes you will become an “expert” in what you do because you do it day in and day out, but there is the inherent risk of losing your passion for what you do – I am not sure but if I had to do the same thing every day it would likely damper my creative thinking and spirit. But wait a second, in my role I do have similar tasks that I complete each day – work out our resourcing needs, search for and identify candidates, lots of search, lots of talking to people, the list goes on. Even though I do the same tasks I have not lost any passion or want to do my role.
I love what I do and I am successful at what I do. Since I started recruiting in 1999 I have seen many Recruiters just going through the motions, but that does not have to be the case, I think we can all add our own individuality to our jobs in some form. I think one of the reasons I enjoy my role as much as I do here at Oracle is because my management team has allowed me the flexibility to be creative in my role. I invest a large portion of my day doing the core things that I have to do to get my job done, but I also have outlets that let me not only be creative but also help the company by finding new answers and ways of doing things.
It does not matter what your outlet is – but if you can find one that helps both you and the company at the same time I think that creates a great energy. It could be tweeting a message or posting a blog article. For me writing is a great outlet. There have been times when I have been stuck on a problem with no answer in sight, looking at my laptop for ages – what I have done is put on my running shoes, turned up my iPod and in that run when I step away from the problem more often than not the solution has ‘popped’ into my head. When an idea hits you, go with it, if you can’t attend to that thought straight away – write it down and come back to it. Your idea may not be the traditional way you do things, but look into it – you may have something.
Candidates have access to more opportunities now than ever before. To attract and retain the top levels of candidates I think companies and managers need to embrace the individuality of each person (within reason). I think the days of managing teams with a ‘it’s my way or the highway’ approach are on their way out. Yes there are guidelines/ processes in most companies and yes employees need to work within these guidelines, but being in the corporate world does not mean you cannot express your individuality and let that flow through in your job.
October 22, 2009
I read an article titled “54% of Companies Ban Facebook, Twitter at Work” the other week and was quite surprised to find the number was that high.
Whenever the question comes up of about using social networking tools at work – the common debate tends to be focused around productivity. That is many people from a management perspective take the thinking that using tools like Facebook takes people away from doing the tasks that they are employed to do and ends up costing the company money. Users of Social Networks however counter that with the thought that it is by using tools like Facebook they are actually able to do the job they do and that social networking tools help the company do business and make money.
One point I think many people forget about in this debate is how this affects a companies ability to Recruit and Attract Candidates. The war for talent is becoming increasingly competitive and when I see statistics that companies do not allow Twitter/Facebook at work I wonder if companies are doing all they can to attract and retain top employees in their company.
With an increasingly competitive ‘war for talent’ candidates have access to more job opportunities now than ever before. In the next 10-15 years we are going to see a shift in the demographics of our workforce. As we see more of Generation Y (and soon Generation Z) enter the workplace – companies are going to have to adapt to the technology the new working population uses or companies may struggle to be seen an ‘employer of choice’ by top candidates. Social Networking tools are becoming part of our daily lives, similar to the uptake of mobile phones in the 1990′s.
If a candidate is deciding whether your company is the right workplace for them what message does a ban on social networks send? Inadvertanltly companies who ban this technology may be giving off signals to candidates that:
- Management does not trust their staff to do their job?
- Management will watch over your shoulder to make sure you are doing only what you have been hired to do?
- Does it promote your company as a forward thinking organisation always looking to improve or as a company stuck in its ways and policies?
- Your company is more concerned about manging risk, than doing new business in new ways?
Yes – I do agree Managers need to make sure that there are boundaries with what employees can and can not do at work and that managers do need to measure productivity – however a Social Media Policy outlining what is acceptable and what is not acceptable use of social networking tools would certainly clear up any confusion instead of just putting a ban on all sites. More often than not if you trust your employees to do their job you will get much better results than if you micro-manage them and watch their every tweet.
Candidates at all levels from Graduates to C- Level Candidates are much more savvy these days about which companies they want to work for. Top Candidates want to work in a working environment that is trustful, built on respect, and allows people to be successful in their roles. By banning these sites at work, you are taking away an Employees tools and you may be closing on the door on some fantastic candidates that use these tools as part of their day. Candidates may decline an offer from your company in favour of a company that has a Social Media Policy and allows online access. Employers give people access to a phone line…these online networks are similar tools to a phone… they give your Employees the ability to talk to your clients and customers.
As far as the productivity debate goes – I think the use of social networking tools in the workplace has far more positives and potential than negatives (as long as you do not spend 8 hrs a day playing mafia wars).
This article was originally published on the Blog – David’s Journal on Tap
October 19, 2009
Yesterday Bill Boorman organised and ran the first Australian Edition of his hugely successful talk back radio show “Ready for Lift Off”. It was a great opportunity to talk to Bill and I enjoyed the chance to hear some of his insights into the Recruitment World and hear his thoughts on various recruitment topics. The Recruiter Show brings news and views from around the globe with a special focus on what it means for this region. Expect debate, controversy and enjoyment. Lots of views shared on all things recruiting. The Podcast can be heard either here on this link or below.
The show was titled “The Road to Recovery” the first edition of the new Australasian show, looked at what is happening to the recruitment markets in the region as well as worldwide, the noises that are coming out of the market and looked in to the future to predict what the next 18 months will be like. What’s changed with client perception? whats changed with candidate perception? What impact social media? What can you do as a recruiter (corporate or agency) to make the most of it.
One of the things that Bill and I discussed was whether candidates and hiring managers are behaving differently in this downturn market as opposed to the busy markets we have experienced in the past. Besides the fact that some candidates are looking for more security than they may have in the past – for the most part things still seem the same. I don’t think it matters necessarily what “the market” is doing, if you are looking for a job make sure sure you are looking for roles that are the ideal next role for you to go into – what are you looking for in your next job: location, money, challenge, etc… your job search should be individual to yourself and reflect what you are looking for – do not get too caught up in the hype of an intangible market that you can not see or touch or feel.
There are always booms and busts in business – recruitment activity will become busy again in the IT world. I know Bill is tipping recruitment activity in general to slowly get busier until early 2010 when things may really take off.
The DownUnder Recruiting Talk Back Radio Show will be held every Monday at 5:00 pm Melbourne Time. I would recommend to any Recruiters that this would certainly be something worth plugging into if you have the opportunity. It is a very interactive way to discuss all things recruitment with your colleagues and peers in the local ANZ region.
October 11, 2009
It can be easy in life to sometimes think that the grass is greener on the other side. This can be anything from where you live, what role you are in, the technology available…the list can be endless. It is human nature for our minds to wonder and think of what things can be like on the other side of the fence. Yes, there are times that things actually are better elsewhere, however for the most part after having a look, what we often find is that is not often the case. In my time in Recruitment I have spoken to a number of Recruiters locally in ANZ who think that the Recruitment Function overseas is far more advanced than it is actually may be. Many times I have spoken to Recruiters in ANZ who think that we as an industry locally are a few years behind in the way recruitment takes place in comparison to other locations like North America or EMEA.
For the most part I disagree with statements like these, a good Recruiter will be successful regardless of the location they work.
I can however appreciate that local cultural differences can play a part. I think this line of thinking comes from the fact that many of the tools we now use tend to come from ‘hotspots’ like US West Coast or UK, etc…. Before social networking was all the rage many social networks were being created and used by early adopters in the US. For example (and this is a generalisation), I do think that the uptake of social networking tools occurs faster and is more engrained in the US than in comparison to Australia. In the US from what I have seen people are generally more open to sharing their information on public forums than people are locally in Australia. I think in Australia people tend to be more reserved when sending their resumes to companies or more cautious about setting up public profiles. I remember when I first set up my LinkedIn account about 4 years ago. In 2006, LinkedIn provided me with a competitive advantage as many Recruiters locally were not using LinkedIn at all. It was being used by many Recruiters in the US but not in Australia. I think this is because LinkedIn’s early adopters were predominantly based in the US. As the social network has expanded over the past 3-4 years it has become used more in other countries. Fast forward to 2009 and every Recruiter globally has a profile on LinkedIn (as a side note – I fear LinkedIn is going to become overrun with Recruiters and many candidates may lose interest in it as a tool, due to all the white noise).
I think that there are good and bad Recruiters everywhere – location does not make a person successful. As I have blogged about previously I do believe that in Recruitment that Customer Service is King. We may do things differently across the globe but one universal rule that I think applies regardless of location is that if you can not treat your clients and candidates with a superior level of customer service, you will always come in second place. I could put together a number of quotes of what makes a Recruiter successful, but like anything in life you only get out of something what you put in. You can not be successful if you are afraid to pick up the phone and make your cold calls or if you think that candidates will magically fall into your lap – it does not matter where you are or what tools you have available, hard work and determination are what counts.
August 18, 2009
As a person who has been on both sides of the recruitment fence, I can empathize with Job Seekers as to what it can be like when you are looking for a new job. There is typically a great deal of leg work including numerous emails, phone calls and meetings that do not culminate with your desired result- A Job. I think that in Recruitment like any other position where you are dealing with people, Customer Service is paramount. Not only should we treat people the way that we would like to be treated ourselves, but if we can leave people with a positive experience when they deal with us – it is beneficial for everyone involved in the process.
The other week I posted a blog entry titled: Treat Your Job Search as a Sales Process. One of our readers left a comment that I could not agree with more. Tommy Li mentioned that just as candidates should treat their job search as a sales process similarly companies should also make sure they too are engaging with candidates to make themselves stand out from the crowd.
Tommy is absolutely right, as Recruiters we need to make sure that we are effectively communicating with our candidates. The recruitment process is 100% a two way street between company and candidate. As Recruiters, candidates want to talk to us, they have questions about our open roles, they want to see if a role fits their skills/interests or if our work culture matches what they are looking for. A Recruiter’s interaction with people helps form their perception of a company.
I am amazed to still see Recruiters who do not want to be found or want to talk to their candidates. I often see Recruiters advertise roles on job boards and not list any contact details – no email, no phone number, no contact name. How is a candidate going to follow up about an opportunity or find out more about your company?? Yes, sometimes as Recruiters we get enquiries from people who do not fit our “scope of search”, but it doesn’t mean we should shy away from talking to candidates or not give anybody the chance to talk to us. That is our job.
As the recruitment landscape changes, our role as Recruiters is morphing. Yes, we are still primarily responsible for identifying and bringing on board talented individuals for our open roles, but increasingly our role is taking on a branding focus. Recruiters will have many conversations with people that will not result in them landing a job, but any conversation and interaction with a candidate will help establish and create our “employment brand”. People remember good customer service that they receive and they also remember poor customer service or no customer service that they receive. If a candidate has a poor experience or has no communication from a company that they are interested in they may in turn be more hesitant to express interest in that company in the future (“A first impression is a lasting impression”). If they have a good experience (even if it does not result in a job offer), not only is that person likely to keep exploring opportunities with us, but they are likely to share the experience they had with others. They can become a valuable member of our networking community and when the right opportunity comes along they willingly consider engaging with the organisation.
With all the latest ways to communicate with people (phone, text, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, etc…), it can be overwhelming at times for Recruiters to get back to everybody, particularly when your are bombarded with messages. We should try our best to talk to the people who are interested in working with us, even if it is just to say “thanks for the interest in our company”. Keeping that line of communication open and engaged is the life blood of our roles.
August 3, 2009
Leave a Comment
Last week I was invited to speak at the RecruitTech Recruitment and Technology Conference being held in Canberra on September 18th 2009.
Having a look at the Presenters there should be some interesting presentations, I am particularly looking forward to hearing from Michael Specht, Thomas Shaw, Kelly Magowan, Riges Younan and Phillip Tusing who I all know and think highly of.
I have been asked to present on the topic blogging from a recruitment perspective. When I started to think about this over the weekend I struggled to think of a starting point for this discussion.
I have been blogging for 12+ months now and I feel blogging has become a normal part of my day, it is just something that I do and not necessarily think about. I think good blogging occurs when people write what they believe in and/or feel. When you are honest in your communication that is reflected in your writing. Similarly, when you write what you think people want to hear or are not genuine in what you write that also is reflected in your writing and often comes across that way. Blogging is a great way to connect and talk to your readers, but if you are going to blog, do it for the right reasons not because you feel you have to or because it is the thing to do.
I am an big fan of blogging – both writing them and reading them. It will be difficult to keep my presentation to the 20 minutes I have been allocated, more importantly I need to start gathering my thoughts and think about what material to put into this presentation and what material to leave out.
February 24, 2009
Tomorrow I will be at the HR Futures Conference in Melbourne. I have been asked to say a few words about what trends I think we will see in Recruitment. As a sneak peak, here are some thoughts that I think we will see happening in Recruitment:
With the increased use of technology to search, identfiy and connect with candidates, I do believe technology will continue to shape and redefine the recruitment function. I think there are 5 trends that will we will see develop in the greater Recruitment Industry.
1) Web 2.0 technologies will continue to gain acceptance and usage in the Recruitment Industry as a viable means of sourcing and connecting with candidates. I believe many Recruiters are on the periphery of many of the Web 2.0 technologies with LinkedIn now being the common online social tool used by Recruiters. The uptake of Web 2.0 Technologies in the Recruitment Industry will expand into deeper and more meaninfgul conversations as we utilise the technology available (blogs, facebook, twitter, branding).
2) Candidates increasingly will gather information from multiple sources about a potential employer. It used to be a Job Description and information from a potential hiring manager/company was all a candidate had access to, to get information about a company or role. Now candidates can access an online community that openly shares information and experiences with each other about potential hiring companies/managers. Decisions about joining your organisation can be influenced by people and groups out of your network or association that you have no control over.
3) Recruitment will be a much more transparent function than it has been in the past. Recruitment is still about connecting with candidates and hiring managers. In today’s world however both candidates and clients alike have access to much more information about each other than ever before. We need to change our mindset to one where we share information about our processes and company (yes – the good, bad and ugly) rather than holding onto this information.
4) Our role as Recruiters is becoming a progressively more proactive service to our clients it will not only incorporate searching for and identifying talented individuals for our organisation but it also will include connecting with and engaging individuals/groups on employment branding. We will still be measured by hard targets such as number of placements, time to hire, candidate/interview/offer percentages, etc… however there will be more focus on soft targets or targets harder to measure such as employment branding, indirect hires, etc….
5) The ongoing shift from Job Boards to online networks will continue. Job Boards continue to play a part in the recruitment function however I think the trend of utilising other means of search will continue and there will be less reliance on Job Boards as a means of attracting candidates.
January 4, 2009
As readers of our blog may know I am an advocate of Web 2.0 technologies and Social Networking Tools – specifically as it applies to Job Searching and Recruitment.
I have just read an article by Jonelle Marte titled “Twitter Yourself a Job .
Jonelle Marte writes “Looking for a new job, Alexa Scordato didn’t email or call her contacts about possible openings. Instead, she messaged them via the social-networking Web site Twitter.com.
Her brief message: “Hey there! Looking for a Social Media job up in Boston. Are you guys doing any entry level hires?”
Within a week, she had an interview. Within two weeks, she had a job.
…It’s been criticized as a site for sharing mundane details about everyday activities. But people like 22-year-old Ms. Scordato, who used Twitter to privately message some people she’d met at a conference, show the site can be more than that.
“I would guess that if I had just sent them a long email with my résumé, I might not have gotten a response as fast as I did,” says Ms. Scordato, who was hired by Mzinga, a Boston-area company that helps businesses use social technology.”"
This is a fantastic example of the changing way that companies and candidates are now using Social Networking Tools to connect with each other. I do not believe tools like Twitter have gained widespread acceptance in the Recruitment Industry yet (I stress the word yet as it is becoming more mainstream) but it is quickly becoming a more viable tool and will soon be common practice in Recruitment. To stay connected with candidates companies will need to integrate these tools into their recruitment strategies and be less reliant on using job boards and traditional means of recruitment to attract top candidates.
My Twitter ID if you want to connect is http://twitter.com/DavidTalamelli