Welcome to Part 2 of this blog series covering my learning points and thoughts from over 30 #tru events, and plenty of other events last year. I will be running this series for the next 6 days. You can catch up with Part One HERE if you missed it. In this post I’m going to continue with my thoughts on why recruiting is local, even in the global world we work in. 

Because recruiting is local,  you can’t take any one approach or strategy, and expect it to work globally. My trip to Singapore and Hong Kong at the tail end of the year revealed that the biggest frustration recruiters had was that they were being governed by corporate giants from afar who signed global deals for technology or attraction tools, or expected the same benefits package to be attractive everywhere, when the reality is that is that local is different.

Local people want different things, usually dictated by what other companies are doing. I’ve visited 30 countries this year and talked to recruiters. Whilst the problems and challenges all look the same on the face of it, the solutions are vastly different. A good example of this is China, where money and job title are the main motivators, Singapore where the big driver is opportunity to work overseas and how the company is valued, against the vastly different factors that work for European or US companies. To hire local, you have to think local, and that may change from state to state or town to town. The research from global employment branding specialists Universum in to the ideal employers across the globe, covered at #truSingapore (Singapore list) and #truHongKong (Hong Kong List) showed very different types of company as the graduate employers of choice from country to country.
It was great to have Joel Spolsky, the founder of Stack Overflow at #truLondon in October. Spolsky spoke about their research in to what made programmers move between employers, based on research of over 5000 members of the Stack Overflow community. Over 60% of the programmers asked would take a pay cut of up to 20% for the right job. (As Spolsky pointed out, for the most part they can afford to!). What really attracted them was the challenge of the work, the technology and code they were going to be working on, and how modern the office tech is. Things like chairs, desks, etc. are well worth extra investment, and always buying new and latest for new employees, as well as enabling home working and bring your own device days. These aren’t necessarily the things I would have guessed, or featured in culture branding content.

This goes to show how important it is hat you understand your target audience, starting with your own employees, as to what you should be offering. Attraction strategies will also have the added benefit of being retention strategies if they are open to everyone, and not just the new hires! The best way to promote this through culture branding is to create opportunities and outlets where programmers inside your organisation can connect with programmers outside of it, and talk about the things that are important to them. Programmers speak the language of programmers, recruiters don’t. What different potential employees want can not be covered by a single, all-encompassing EVP. Employment branding is personal, as well as local.
The big talk in 2012 has been around BIG data. Less about whats out there, and more about how we can mine it and make it useful in recruiting. There is lots of data on just about everything, but not lots of structured data. We are looking to technology to collect the wealth of data available and interpret it in a way that we can better understand what it means. The recruiting products that do this well for recruiting at the moment are mostly from the states. TalentBin is well documented as a great sourcing tool, but keep an eye on new start-ups Entelo, Remarkable Hire and Gild.

They are all focused (not surprisingly), on the tech sector right now, but could be applied to any niche. The results are impressive and provide a viable alternative to sourcing from LinkedIn, being non-profile dependent. Each of these platforms not only find candidates, but predict who might be in the market for a change based on other factors (like the company share price), or a recent increase in on-line activity. The other aspect that I REALLY like is that candidate selection is based on on-line reputation, rather than experience or qualifications. Not reputation in a Klout or LinkedIn endorsement way, but based on peer ratings to answers and votes in places like Github, Stackoverflow, Dribble and Quora. This shift to recognizing informal learning and real experience, over perceived experience based on job title, is a positive move in my opinion. As more companies move to using social evidence over academic qualifications in hiring, what is the value in academia, and how will this impact on traditional, curriculum based academics as practiced by our learning establishments?

Expensive qualifications may well become a thing of the past, as learning becomes free. I’m not sure I would rush to encourage my Children to go to University for anything other than social development or network opportunity.

I would also add Bright.Com in to the mix of companies who are helping recruiters make sense of big data.  Bright have developed a sophisticated CV and Job matching tool that interprets, matches and scores the relevance of the match. Bright also works in reverse for job seekers, showing opportunities that match based on the algorithm.

The more I see the results that are coming back from automated matching, the more I’m recognizing that the algorithms and science that goes on under the hood works, is quick and efficient, and is rivaling human interpretation of data. The machines are proving there worth in a constant quest to automate as much of the recruiting process. I first witnessed what the Bright data doctors can do at #SHRM National in Atlanta, and I have been following them closely since. Expect to hear a lot more about them, and others, in 2013.

Tomorrow  I’m going to be taking a closer look at what has been happening with job boards, and a few more innovative technologies, as well as my top tip for 2013. What are your thoughts?


Disclaimer: TalentBin were sponsors of #TruSanFran, Jobsite and Stack Overflow sponsored #TruLondon.