Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sourcecon Or Bust!

Two weeks from today, I'll be off to Hot'lanta to attend SourceCon. Now I've been to a number of HR & Recruiting conferences over the past several years, but this one will truly be unique, both in content, and what I hope to get out of it. As a bonus the timing of this conference could not be more perfect. I need to build a business case for a sourcing function, and two days of total immersion in Sourcing should do the trick.

Typically, when I attend these conference, I'm looking for best practices, for new tools and tricks of the trades, and new friends and colleagues. What's different this time? A singular goal. I need to walk away from Sourcecon with a better understanding of what a sourcing function could and should look like at our firm. What would the structure and scale be? How much of any of this would we outsource? How do I sell this to those who have no clue as to what Sourcing is? How much will this cost and how do I justify that?

Of course, it will be great to reconnect with a number of colleagues in the industry (Tracey Friend, Rob McIntosh, Shally, Mendoza, and Glenn Gutmacher, among others). I also very much look forward to meeting a couple of fellow bloggers (Jim Stroud, Amy Beth Hale) for the first time.

I know what Sourcing is, I know we need a sourcing function, I'm hopeful that I leave SourceCon with a better understanding of how to craft this critical need for our firm. If you read this post and will be attending SourceCon yourself, let me know. I look forward to seeing you there!

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Jobster = Spamster?

It pains me to write this today, but I'm compelled due to the numerous canned e-mails that I have received over the past few months from Jobster. Those of you who have read this blog for a while know that I was an early adopter, I was on their short-lived Customer Advisory Board, I know Jason Goldberg and several other current and former Jobster employees and like them all. You also know that I've been perplexed by their actions over the past year, particularly around their shifting product line/strategy, not to mention the mass layoffs at the start of this year.

When changed employers, I wasn't a Jobster client any longer, and still do not believe that Jobster is the right tool for my company at this time. I've kept my Jobster profile up though and for a while would get periodic requests to join my network or to become a contact. That was all well and good and fit with their social networking model (and my interest in social networking). Lately though, I don't seem to get those any more. In fact, over the past 2-3 months, the only emails I have received from Jobster have either been invitations to participate in one of their webinars (I was getting an invitation a week, but chose not to participate, primarily due to schedule conflicts), or 'Notes' on my profile from Jason.

Now when I get one of these 'You have a Note' emails, I have to click on the link, login each time (it won't keep me logged in for some reason) to read it. Not sure why it just can't show me the 'Note' in the email, which would save alot of time and clicks. I've received four of these over the last 7 weeks. Each of these emails were blast marketing emails, nothing personal about it. Even though I've known Jason for 2 1/2 years now. Oh, and the 'Note' I received before the ones from Jason, was from 'Jessica' that was another blast marketing piece.

So I'm turning off the ability to leave Notes for me on Jobster. I'm a bit sad about that. I was really hot on Jobster there for a while, and to this day, still believe that their core product had potential. But times have changed, so has Jobster, so have I. No more 'Notes' from Jason Goldberg, of course unless he'd like to send me a personal email just to say hi.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

It's Going To Be A Great Fall!

I'm starting to get excited about what should be a busy and exciting Fall season. Fall is my favorite time of the year usually anyway. Football is gearing up, Baseball is winding down, and for a very brief time, Basketball and Hockey even overlap. The temperatures here get right around where I like it (60s and 70s), and the colorful foliage makes everything look nice.

In terms of Recruiting however, there's going to be alot going on over the next few months, including:
- Conferences: ERE Expo (see the shiny new badge over on the right sidebar!), SourceCon and a CareerXroads Colloquium event.
- RIMS: We are scheduled to launch Virtual Edge next week. The excitement and energy is building, we will all be in a learning mode this Fall, but the payoff for this investment should be huge.
- Surveys & Metrics: New surveys and new data from RIMS. Can't wait to sort it out and make sense of it all.
- New Business Cases: I'll be spending alot of time this Fall building business cases for a Sourcing Function and an Alumni Program.
- ERP: We'll be morphing our ERP Theme in a few weeks, can't wait to see the results.
- Travel: In addition to the conferences, I'll be paying our Recruiters in the field a visit on various trips around the country.

Of course I'll be writing about all of this, hopefully more often too. In the meantime be sure to click on the ERE Expo badge over there---> and sign up if you haven't done so already. See you there!

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Training, Traveling and Beaching

It’s been a pretty busy summer, one of the reasons why I haven’t been blogging so much lately. I also have to admit that the time I’ve been spending on social networks like Facebook, RecruitingBlogs.com and LinkedIn has taken away from time that I would of spent blogging. A busy summer is about to turn into a busy fall, but regardless, I hope to start writing again a bit more often.

The past two weeks in particular have been fun, busy, and tiring. The week before last we took our annual family vacation to Bethany Beach, DE. We’ve stayed at the Sea Colony resort there 3 out of the last 4 years, and have enjoyed it every time. The temperatures were hot, but a lot of time swimming in the ocean and the pool helped cool things off. Vacation memories faded fast however last week as I spent 3 days in training and 1 1/2 days traveling coast-to-coast.

Last Tuesday and Wednesday, myself and 25 of my fellow Recruiters here at the firm went through Virtual Edge training at our training center in Tysons Corner, VA. This was the second of three training sessions that we are holding this month. Tuesday night I took 10 of my colleagues on a twilight tour of the DC Monuments. This is the second time I have done a tour like this over the past 15 months, and both times, my ‘customers’ loved it. Think there might be a business opportunity here for me, hmmm… Anyway, overall the reception of Virtual Edge has been greeted with enthusiasm and optimism. We are scheduled to go live late next week after a couple delays. I've been involved with this since my first day, so you can imagine my excitement to finally move forward with this.

As soon as I was done with training on Wednesday, I headed straight to the airport to fly cross-country to Irvine, CA to help deliver Competency Based Interview (CBI) training to 20 of our staff and management. It was a long way to go just for a day of training, but the trip was worth it as we had a class that was highly engaged and generally appreciative of what they were being taught.

I was able to spend my downtime in ‘The OC’ visiting Laguna Beach and Newport Beach. It was pretty sweet to touch both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in the same week! Friday was spent flying home (don’t do red-eyes). The weekend was largely spent catching up on lost sleep. Fall is my favorite time of the year, and this should be an exciting one coming up. I've got three conferences on my calendar, plus more travel and new programs to develop. More to come!

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Fast Bad Revisited

I first heard the term "Fast Bad" several years ago during a local EMA event presentation by Michael McNeal, who at the time was running the world's most innovative recruiting organization at Cisco. I wrote about Michael's use of this term in a post titled "I Can't Recruit From My ATS!" last Fall.

There was a quote from yesterday's ERE Forum that I felt was highly relevant, but from a slightly different angle:

While presenting my ATS to a prospective customer, my #1 'favorite' question I've ever been asked by a recruiter is: 'Won't this software put me out of a job? 'My answer was: 'Only if you're a bad recruiter, because it will help you do more of the wrong things, faster. - Sylvia D.
Sometimes, it isn't the technology or the implementation that is the problem, often times the end-user can be equally to blame. I found this quote to be especially relevant as we start to finish up the implementation phase for our new ATS, and will be moving into Recruiter Training starting in two weeks.

I don't believe that we have 'bad recruiters', but to Sylvia's point, misuse of the system doesn't help matters, and can in some cases make things worse. We feel strongly that we selected the right system, the implementation phase is critical to our efforts moving forward, but the ultimate success will be directly correlated to how well our Recruiters adopt and use the system.

Starting next week, all of our Recruiters will be provided two days of intense training on how the system works and how to get the best out of it. I plan on following up with our Recruiters throughout the Fall to ensure they are maximizing the use of this system. We will offer follow-on training and best-practice sharing to ensure that everyone has access to the latest and most relevant information. At the end of the day, the last thing I want our Recruiters to be accused of is "doing more of the wrong things, faster". "Fast Bad" can be worse than "Slow Good" if you know what I mean.

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