Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Integrity of Social Networks

There are two kinds of online Social Networkers these days, those that are Open Networkers, and those that are not. I must say that I fit in the camp of the latter. Back at the ERE Expo in San Diego, I had an interesting conversation with Microsoft sourcing guru, Glenn Gutmatcher. Glenn is an Open Networker on LinkedIn because as a sourcer, he wants access to as many people as possible. I had a very similar conversation with Scott Kahle last year. I am not a sourcer myself, so I don't have that same motivation. In fact, I'm not personally searching for any candidates myself these days in my pure Strategy role.

I've built my LinkedIn network up to 340+ 1st Degree connections through connecting with current/former coworkers, people I have met in person, via e-mail, or other medium, and others through relevant forums like MLPF and ERE where it is clear that the relation might be mutually beneficial. I have continued to build up my network for both my personal professional needs, as well as to benefit my fellow recruiters. IMO, the whole concept of LinkedIn is built on 'trusted' relationships. IMHO, the 'trusted relationship' concept gets diluted with the Open Networking philosophy.

A couple weeks back at the Virtual Edge Power Summit, Dave Copps from PureDiscovery talked about how networks are starting to become more niche in nature, that the quality and relevancy of the connection is becoming more important than the quality. That's what I like about and it's subgroups (I even just formed a private group on NING thanks to Slouch's inspiration). That's what I like about the ERE Expo as compared to the SHRM National Conference as well. I feel I can really connect with people in these forums, people who I know and trust. I think that Dave Copps is right, quality of networks are going to take more precedence of quality of networks. The trick will be how to tap into those niche networks. It won't be as easy as it is on LinkedIn or in other large forums.

I guess it all boils down to preference and motivation though. I don't fault Open Networkers, but it's not for me personally. I'm excited to see what can happen in these smaller niche networks though. I believe that because the connections will be stronger, that the trust will be stronger, and therefore the collaboration and knowledge sharing will be richer.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Virtual Edge Power Summit Recap

I'm home now from the ADP/Virtual Edge (VE) Power Summit, held at the beautiful Hyatt Coconut Point resort in SW Florida. It was an informative, fun 3 days here and now more than ever I’m looking forward to moving forward with our implementation. In addition to the resort being wonderful, the food was great, and the networking was even better. An unexpected surprise was seeing The CHAD, who was there to do a presentation about what to do post-AJB. Chad is a great guy and his presentation provided some very useful and timely information.

Other highlights included the opening session with Jerry Thurber, Anne Nimke and Sue Marks’ take on The 10 Demandments (chock full of examples of great candidate-friendly career websites), Nury Plumbley’s discussion on how she gave Agilent’s career web site an ‘extreme makeover’, Ed Newman’s Workforce Planning session, and finally a peek at Pure Discovery’s new Semantic Search capabilities.

I always enjoy listening to Ed, and today was no exception. He offered one bit of advise in particular that really resonated with me: Don’t measure metrics like cost-per-hire and time-to-fill, then attempt to reduce those numbers just for the sake of lowering costs or improving efficiencies. Accept that certain jobs may cost more, and take more time to fill than others. Use those metrics instead in your workforce planning and sourcing efforts, and as a result, take a more proactive stance in Recruiting. I knew this already, but Ed reinforced the point once again in a clear, effective manner (better than I just did here at least).

I made some new friends on this trip, and spent some quality time with a couple of my teammates as well. Kudos to VE for putting on a great show. I look forward to working with them closely in the coming months.


100th Post!!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

R.I.M.S. - Part 3

Back in March, I wrote two posts (here and here) regarding the selection process of our new RIMS (Recruitment Information Management System). The balance of March and most of April was spent on final evaluations and due diligence after we narrowed our choices from the 4 vendors we saw demos from to our two finalists, Taleo and Virtual Edge (VE). I was an active participant in checking references on both systems, mostly provided by users in my network. Although both systems are outstanding, it was clear for several reasons that VE was a more appropriate tool for our current and future needs. I’d be happy to discuss our final selection reasoning offline with anyone who is interested.

There were two aspects of VE that truly stood out however, and in my mind were the clear differentiators. First, one of the comments that I heard over and over again while checking references was ‘single line of code’. It was very clear that implementations and upgrades have often been smooth and seamless for their clients because everyone is on the same version of the system. The second clear differentiator was VE Pilot. I have spoken and wrote many times over the past few years about the critical need for ATS Vendors to add CRM functionality to their systems. Up until now, those demands by not only myself, but many others, have fallen on deaf ears. VE has changed all of that however with the recent release of their CRM module, VE Pilot. From what I have seen, there is nothing else on the ATS market quite like it. We are very excited to learn more about what this tool will be able to do to enhance our candidate development and management efforts.

As I am composing this post, I’m heading down to the VE User Conference on the Gulf Coast of Florida for three days of training and networking. I look forward to seeing two of my teammates there, as well as friends with The Newman Group, and many others that I hope to learn from. More to come on this conference as I plan to provide updates here over the next couple of days.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Name Our Employee Referral Blog

My current employer, much like my prior employer, is embracing internal blogging more and more as a channel to improve collaboration and knowledge sharing. Currently, I am working on building out an Intranet site for the launch of our new Employee Referral Program (ERP). So, when our Intranet Project Manager (TC) suggested that I include a blog on the site as an easy way to share information and gain feedback, I fully embraced the idea.

I plan on using the blog to share success stories, highlight critical positions that we need help filling, and providing tips to our employees on how important they are in our talent acquisition efforts and what they can do to help. This will be in addition to links to our current job openings, our locations (for those who don't know where all of our office are), links to related articles, and more.

I've been wanting to do a corporate recruiting blog since the beginning, so this is a good next step. Problem is though, what to name it. TC initially coined it "Referral Madness". Not bad, I've been toying with similar names like "Referral Mania!" and "Referralpalooza". I need something catchy and attention grabbing, yet something that will fit into a somewhat conservative professional services culture.

I put it to you then, the readers of this blog to offer some suggestions. I don't have any prizes to give away, but you will be contributing to a noble internal blogging effort, and hey, this should be fun if nothing else!

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007!!!

Move over, Jason Davis's (aka the Slouch) new recruiting blog project, is here! Although quite different from his original venture, this appears to be a cool new format to bring together the Recruiting Blogosphere. So check it out, and if you blog, sign up!