The unblog dialogue

A daily post of anything relating to The Recruiting Unconference London. Random thoughts, twitter streams, chat and anything you want to post. musings, discussions and all things social recruiting.

When the fan hits the Sh*t #TruSanFran #TruNY

I’m going to be running an extra track at #truSanFran on the 13th May and #truNY on the 18th May.The topic of conversation is what to do when people update your page with negative comments or try to goad you in to argument or defence of a position. When you open up yourself to comments and updates, you are always going to get some negative comments or feedback. This is not just a Facebook thing, although plenty of trolls live there. Twitter, in my experience, has the largest number of “smug” tweeters who are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to post sarcastic comments and appear to be clever. The question is how do you deal with this? When your fans are being disruptive and attacking you, what do you do? How do you respond if a blogger has you in their sites and is poking and poking?

Here is the problem. Any conflict is played out in the public eye, and conflict attracts plenty of rubber neckers. Rubber neckers are those people who enjoy seeing a good car crash, and enjoy the whole dram of a good scrap. They might not comment directly. but they will share, and like, and draw other peoples attention to what is going on. It is why many marketeers fear fear social media, because you give up the control of your brand in favour of democracy. Of course updates and posts can be deleted, but the memory lives on and they never really disappear  so just how do you deal with a troll?

My rule of thumb is quite simple, don’t poke a troll with a stick. Do your best to keep emotion out of it, however hard it might be. When you get emotional you get aggressive  and that’s just going to fan the flames. Try not to over justify. Answer with facts and thank the troll for their feedback. They will hate that you haven’t been riled or got upset, because that was their plan. Your other fans and followers will come to your defence. The grace with which you handle criticism gives you the upper hand. Only block or remove spam, offensive or illegal comments, because a community should be a democracy, and some negative feedback keeps you on your toes.

During the #tru US tour I’m going to be sharing some real troll stories, and getting your views on how to handle it best. I hope you can join us.


This post is dedicated to Marc Drees, who regularly refers to me as a self-promoter and rent a pen.


Be A Twitter Stalker (Recruiter Edition) #SocialAgency

On the 2′nd May 5.00PM BST/12.00 EDT/9.00AM PDT, I’m going to be taking part in the fortnightly “#SocialAgency” Hangout on Google+, hosted by my friends at Colleague. Whilst the title of the hangout is “Sourcing on Twitter: Live and Uncut”,i’m going to be talking specifically about Twitter stalking, and sharing a few tricks, tools and applications that make this possible. I’m going to be taking live geek words from the audience, and demonstrating how to find people who are using these terms, and why searching for bios is largely a waste of time.
We are going to look at how you can snoop on your competitors, and profile your targets (candidates and clients), in order to identify the conversation starters in the introduction channel.
In particular I’m going to look at Twitter lists, and why these are more important than followers and following, with some examples of how we have used 4square check ins on Twitter to launch campaigns by location, topic and interest. This won’t be about engagement or any of the other good things that you can do on Twitter, there are plenty of other webinars that demonstrate this. I will be sharing the content from my Twitter stalking course, and it’s going to be different.

You can sign up to join the HangOut HERE. I hope you can join me, Mark Stephens of the F10 group, and Louis Welcomme of Colleague, for the conversation. We would love plenty of questions.


Disclaimer: I advise the hosts Colleague on product and content.

#globaltru, #TalentNet And What The Future Holds

On Sept 11th, 2010, I spoke at the first #TalentNetLive in Dallas. I was the opening keynote. It was the first time I had spoken in the US, and it was the first time I met Craig Fisher (better known as @Fishdogs in Smith’s English Pub in Dallas. Over a few pints, we formed an early friendship talking plans and possibilities. At that time #TalentNetLive was a one off event. A cheap option for those Dallas recruiters who could not secure budget to attend ERE. A few weeks later I lead my first track at an unconference at Recruitfest in Toronto. I was hooked on the concept, but wanted to break a few more rules. In November, just a few short months later, I hosted the first #truLondon and bullied and begged 80 people to attend. This was another one off, but I could see the appetite to break away from the usual conference format and do something different. To provide accessible, low cost events where people talked rather than listened.
In 2011, I first met a Finn Aki Kakko Aki was launching a new service to research markets as well as recommend the best channels and content to use to promote opportunities. Shortly after that #truLondon I met up with Aki again at the Finnish embassy. It wasn’t a great meeting and in normal circumstances it would have been the end of most normal relationships. I didn’t know Aki well then, I do now.

Firstly, I’d got off a plane after 14 hours and lost my luggage. Secondly, I didn’t think the product was all that original or good. In fact, I told him it was S****. There was no way I was going to share it, write it up or work with them.

A few days later I got a message that changed my view. Aki messaged me to say that he had taken my comments on board, agreed in part, and wanted to talk some more. He wanted to know how to make it better, and he did. I respected the willingness to take some fairly tough criticism as a good thing, and to make changes. I got to love the Joberate product, as it evolved over the coming year.

Once #tru was up and running, and both the concept and name got better known, we started to recieve more and more requests to take #tru further and further afield. Starting with#truAmsterdam (where we have now hosted 8 events), Stockholm, Dublin, South Africa, Romania, Hungary, San Francisco, Boston, New Orleans, Helsinki, Australia and more. In 2011, I teamed up with Aki and Joberate to advise on product and to take #tru to new locations in the Far East like China, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand and others. The plan was, and is, to be genuinely global series of events.

When I’d been running #tru for about a year, John Sumser wrote a post about the new kids on the block. The list included me, Craig Fisher and Jessica Miller-Merrell, and a few others who have since gone quiet. We were all exploring social media and events, without a digital media background. We were breaking a few rules, producing lots of content, building networks and being different. Sumser’s view that we would all end up being content marketers and generators. Although we didn’t know it then, he was right.

Whether it was a blog post or an event, we were working out what would work with the new audience, in the new channels. I now view events entirely as a series of live content, where the most important thing is the participants and what they want. It’s not broadcast, it’s conversation. During this time I was also continuing to take part in as many of Craig Fisher’s Talent Net Live events, and Craig was attending #tru. The events were different. #TalentNet is more of a facilitated conference where the attendees get plenty of opportunities to ask questions. It’s more structured, but some people need that. Both Craig and I have been fortunate enough to build brilliant networks who support what we do, young and older, everyone is welcome.

And so we get today. After events in Australia and New Zealand, Craig, Aki and I have been hatching a plan to bring it all together. This comes in the form of a new business, Globaltru, which brings the two events together. In some cities and countries we will be running #tru; in others #TalentNetLive; and sometimes both. We are supported by global sponsors Kelly, Joberate and the Stack Overflow recruiter brand Careers 2.0, as well as a host of local sponsors. We are grateful for their confidence and support. The team includes Ruta Klyvyte who has the not too simple job of dealing with logistics, organising the three of us (which is like herding cats), and keeping an ever-changing community and website up to date. We are planning 100 events this year, and 300 next year. We are receiving requests each week to bring #tru to a new city, and new countries. All we need to bring an event to any city is a willing host, a venue and a sponsor. We really don’t care where it is. We want to reach recruiters, HR professionals and technologists everywhere. You want us, we will come! We intend to reach more individuals in the people space, and have more conversations than anyone else. We want to connect people, and give them the opportunity to talk. In the last 3 years we have connected lots of people who have done business together, got jobs, done international deals, and inspired at least four companies to set up. We did this by giving people the opportunity to talk. I’m proud of that.

Thanks everyone who has been on the ride so far. There are far too many people to mention, but you know who you are.

Our first venture is the forthcoming US road trip, that starts with #truSanFran on the 13′th May that features track leaders including Kevin Wheeler, Stephane Le Viet, Bill Fisher, Craig Fisher, Kes Thygesen, Irina Shamaeva, Master Burnett, Jerome Ternynck, and Justin Hall, at the SmartRecruiters‘ HQ.

#truOC in Newport, OC with track leaders Rayanne Thorne, Michael Clarke, Stacy Donovan Zapar, Kevin Wheeler, John Sumser, Bill Fisher, China Gorman and others.

#truNY in the ‘Big Apple,’ hosted by Stack Careers, with track leaders Ivo Bottcher, Danelle DiLibero, Victorio Milian, Laurie Ruettimann, Kes Thygesen, Adam Lewis, Steve Levy, Chris Russell and others.

I hope you can join us.


Here’s to the future. Hold on to your hats. It’s going to be fun!

The Power Of Content With Keith Robinson #Rectec13

Keith Robinson, @SiteAdvisor is addressing the afternoon session of the conference, which has now switched to an audience of agency recruiters. Robinson is a partner in Cardiff business Ecom Digital, who produce content for a variety of media. He opens with the statement:

“The war is for ownership of talent and the candidate won!”

The flood of content on-line aimed at candidates has made them more switched on and in tune with what they need to do to get a jobv than ever before, and this challenges the position of the recruitment company. The job boards want to resell candidates direct to recruiters and employers at the same time. Recruitment companies want to resell candidates to direct employers, but the biggest change is the growth of in-house recruitment professional, who want the talent to come direct to them.
Robinson feels the big challenge facing recruiters is to engage with talent in a crowded space. Robinson feels that it is the in-house recruiters, rather than agencies who are investing in technology, people and time more than their agency counterparts, because in-house are setting up, whilst agencies are considering reinventing.
Engagement starts on a career or website. the first destination for most people, along with the social channels. Advertising and job posts as a first means of attraction. are recruitment agencies failing in this area?
Robinson talks about the need for candidate relationship management, considering a constant cleanse of the database by content marketing using wordpress hosting. Small pieces of relevant content sent on a regular basis, whilst monitoring the bounce rate and returns to keep things clean.
this starts by defining your objective by understanding your audience and understanding where they are. where marketeers say audience, recruiters say candidates, and this brings a different attitude and approach. You need to know the best channels to reach them, and the places they respond to best. This doesn’t mean you have to solely create your own content, there is an equal opportunity to curate the work of others and share. being analytical a your market means that you can share at the best time in the best place. Robinson recommends mixing up content format from video, to text, to sound, and being ready to collect it anywhere and at any time. The iPhone makes this a real reality.Sharing this content constantly, makes you the go to guy for clients and candidates because people want to go to people they know when they have a need. If you work in a technical space, make your content very technical, this cuts out the noise.
Robinson closes with the statement that we all have the opportunity to be publishers, and to get some Google love. Your e-mail database is your most valuable resource as long as you care for it. The future recruiter is dependent on mastering this.
Good news from an industry veteran.

What does Broadbean do? #SRTECH13

I’m live blogging from #SRTech in Birmingham. Richard Essex is talking about how Broadbean has changed over the years. Many of us kind of know what we think they do, but it is quite cloudy. Today it takes one ad to be posted to five job boards and one social media site to make a hire. The average recruiter takes eleven minutes to post a job to a job board without a multi-poster. For some recruiters, they are spending up to 55% of their working day posting job ads. that is kind of scary.
The Broadbean product is quite different for corporate recruiters rather than agency recruiters. The big difference is the type of ads placed, and what happens when applicants apply. Users can create template job ads and add dynamic content like video or podcast for social media posting. Candidates can be redirected according to where you want them to go, Typically the career site. The beauty of this is that any redirect is to the job landing page, rather than requiring a log in to the career site for searching again. This also makes source tracking automated for the whole candidate journey, providing real analytics.
80% of corporate clients use an apply on-line form direct in to the ATS. The recruiter dashboard tracks all the current activity like jobs posted, responses, progress for multiple posting in one place, measuring the effectiveness of each post in the same way. Each applicant has a simple review form, presenting their data in the same way regardless of source. The historical tracking of real job board performance, which can include both volume and quality) helps select the best media for future posting. You can drill down in to the data by position, date range, results, location, job or skill type etc. This is essential data for organisations with on-going hiring requirements, and those organisations without an ATS can handle all of their candidate management, progress and tracking through the platform. Data helps companies to make the best decisions over job posting. another interesting fact is that the use of their integrated search tool is increasing month on month. which searches internally and externally, by taking data from multiple places and organising it in a consistent way, indexing every candidate. This is about data retrieval rather than data storage. the growth in use of the sourcing product over the multi-poster by corporate recruiters indicates the changing work practices of corporate recruiters.
Social referral is the other part of the Broadbean offering, that distributes jobs to internal employees and their social networks. they are now much more than a posting tool. An interesting look at a product we all know, that is continually finding new ways to deliver data.As always, I like the product.
Disclaimer: Broadbean are occasional sponsor of #tru events, as are the Evenbase group.

What Women Want @ Work #Infographic #LinkedIn

The good folks from LinkedIn have been conducting some interesting research in to what their female members really want from work. The survey was completed on-line by 5,300 participants in 13 countries, and was a repeat of the same survey completed 5 years ago. Things have definitely changed, not least expectation.
The number one want is work/life balance, not only from those who want it, but also from those who think it is very achievable. It was also interesting to note that the country with the highest satisfaction rating for women is India with 94%. Not what you might expect.
I think this is important because you need to look at your own culture branding, and see how much you are reflecting what you can realistically offer in your content. Real diversity begins with talent attraction, and getting your house in order to make sure deliver on your promises.
Thanks to LinkedIn for another great piece of research.

@DwaneLay : 10 steps to change (and a bonus.) #LASHRM13


I’m back in Louisiana for #LASHRM13 to live blog and deliver the closing keynote. My friend Dwane Lay is opening the show. He is looking radiant in a bright red suit, and ready to rock the show. Dwane is a recently published author and  expert in lean HR. he understands how to streamline process, and do things better and cut out unnecessary levels of process. I love his work in this area, which is built on keeping things simple. I’m looking forward to hearing his message on changing cultures. as a pragmatist with personality, i know he will deliver an important message in an entertaining way.he is talking about culture in a process way. This will mesh well with my closing keynote, looking at culture in an emotional way.

Lay opens by stating that people don’t really think about the environment they work in until you change it.  He believes culture is a process, and that you can’t change a culture just by saying something, you can only change it by doing something. This starts by mapping out what you do now, then figure out what you want to feed in to it to bring about the outcome you want.

Culture is built on pillars;

Norms: . The way people are expected to behave, and how they are expected to behave towards others. The basics of workplace behavior haven’t changed much, but the expectation of people has.

Values: What people really believe in. people turn their ire on groups of people, not the individuals. everyone hates lawyers as a collective, but not the individual people who are lawyers, They align groups of people, depts, companies etc that they don’t like.

Symbols: the symbol of a company drives an emotion. it is why companies spend so much on branding. The symbols in a work place drive an emotional reaction. Success of change comes from identifying the right symbols, names of depts, job roles etc. by simply changing a name of a job or dept, you can change the way people think about their position and purpose.

Technology: Culture is impacted not by what the technology is, but how it is used. Lay gave the example of being given a Blackberry in a job when he owned an i-phone. His opinion from day one was that the technology was dated. people become attached to what they use and know. this needs to be considered in change. Too often when you change a  technology, you use it in exactly the same way as the tech you replaced because it didn’t work anymore. You need to consider and communicate why you are changing tech, and go back to the users to plan the difference in to practice.

Language: It’s not about what you say, but how you talk about it, and how you encourage others to talk about it.

Lay talks about the book freakonomics, and the big take away:

“One of the most powerful laws of the universe is the laws of unintended consequences.”

What lay means by that is that you can set the process for change in place, but how people react is very different to what you expected. what you need to do is set change in place, monitor, react and change course as you go along. because there is no way of doing anything other than guessing how people are going to react.

change starts with looking for your leaders and influencers, not by job title but by reality. To change things, you need to identify who has the influence, and concentrate on bringing those people on-board first. If they believe in the change, others will follow. change groups of people by changing the individuals.

Lays steps steps to change the way things are done are:

1) Know thy self. (don’t believe the hype). Know what you are good at and what you are not.) take care of yourself first, and know what is really important to you.

2) Know others as well.. Get to know what makes them tick. their real values and how they think.and their emotional attachments to how things are done now, and how they could be done.

3) Beware the wisdom of the masses. understand what everyone thinks and believes as a group, and how that can work against you.

4) Influence don’t order. When people follow orders, they will comply but they won’t take responsibility for the result. People are wired to follow and obey, and only a few people have the resources to resist authority. compliance does not mean belief or commitment.

5) Protect dissenting voices. you need to encourage open disagreement. People will be talking about the negatives in change anyway, they will just be doing it in private. You need to encourage open talk in order to influence it.

6) Resist peer pressure.Be aware of “group” think, but be willing to do what is right rather than what is popular.

7) Debug your language. When you use language people don’t recognize or hate through connotation, you lose them before you’ve started. do you speak the language of the audience?

8) Practice critical thinking. Always ask lots of questions of everyone involved, and be willing to wait for the  answer. The right answer will not be the immediate answer, that’s a defense.

9) Tip sacred cows.don’t be frightened to question possible change in everything, and ask the questions you are not supposed to ask. the “untouchable” areas and people are the ones you should challenge most, because they will be the catalyst or the barrier to change.

10) Own your own story. You can decide and influence the outputs and the inputs by what you do.

Bonus 11) make sure the change is right for you. if it’s not right for you, it’s not going to happen

Great job Dwane.







Social Media Internship with @RolePoint (I’m hiring.) Be a Community DJ

I’m really excited to be mentoring the team of interns at San Francisco and London-based start-up RolePoint. RolePoint are redefining referrals for the social age, with a mix of innovative technology and infrastructure. A combined technology and consultancy approach. A social business needs to have a social approach from the inside out. This means building a presence across all of the social channels, and a reputation for researched, engaging content. I’m a big believer that to serve a community through your business offering you need to be a part of it.

To make this happen I’m hiring a team of paid interns to develop the social accounts through engagement, learning and content creation. I will be mentoring the team of community DJ’s, in all areas of social and content generation. It is going to be a fun journey, and I’m expecting to learn more than I share. Whilst we work to deadline and a content Calender, the best content and conversation will come from the creator. This isn’t about generating standard press releases or sales content. I’m open to exploring content in any channel and in any format, We are looking for creativity, not conformity.

We are looking for individuals from any background who understand networking, research and content creation in any environment, probably with their own blog and a creative approach to content. if this sounds interesting, you can view the role HERE, and find out about our thinking around social referral HERE. The founders are active in the business and will have close involvement with the team. We all lead busy lives, and will not always be available, that’s why we need people who work on their own initiative. We treat people like grown ups because when people are treated that way, that’s how they behave. We are open to people looking to understand how a start up works in order to do it themselves, (the founders are happy to mentor in this), for someone looking to learn the social world in order to launch a career elsewhere, or looking to join the RolePoint team. This is a genuine internship, where the commitment cuts both ways.

To apply, I’m not looking for a CV or an application, I’m looking for a blog post or video in any format on one of the three topics:

> Changing campus recruiting

> Reward and recognition in the social generation

> Game mechanics for hiring

You can mail me your submission in any channel, I’m easy to find, and if we use your submission then we will pay you for it and set up a meeting. All content will be posted in your own name, we don’t believe in ghosts! I’m excited to see your work, and to be a part of a great team.



Rethinking Mobile Apply #CandEUK

This might seem a bit of a change in direction. I’ve always championed mobile integration in to recruitment process, and apply by mobile has been a big part of the conversation. At risk of being controversial (as if I would), I have been rethinking my position on this. First off, this doesn’t mean I’m changing my mind about the importance of mobile, the numbers show that mobile is social, and is fast becoming web. Mobile should be the first consideration in buying or building technology, building mobile to web rather than the other way round.

Over the last 3 months I have been spending a lot of time going through the data for the Candidate Experience Awards, UK Edition, known as the CandE’s. When you look at the hard data from a wide range of companies, the learning points are quite clear. To give you some idea of the headlines that are going to be included in the white paper:

> The average job gets 80 applications for each post filled.

> 70% of candidates are unqualified for the job they apply for

> Only 20% of applicants see a job description before applying, and this includes the minimum requirements.

When you look at these numbers, it does make you question if this is desperation or a lack of research on the part of the applicants. Whilst the process might well be painful, as is well documented, killer questions are being left to the end of the process, (if at all), rather than being stated before starting the application process. It seem that all the emphasis has been on talent attraction rather tan recruiting, as recruiters have rushed to become marketeers. With these numbers, any level of candidate experience for already overloaded recruiters becomes a problem.

This brings me on to mobile apply, or any type of apply for that matter. The smart companies in the survey have started separating out candidates and applicants, with different processes to provide the best experience for each. My definitions are:

>  Candidates

Anyone connected with the company in a network. This could be a talent network, a LinkedIn follower, a Facebook fan or similar. A candidate should be able to declare their interest with one click, giving access to their data, enabling notification of relevant content and opportunities matched to their profiles. A candidate stays a candidate as long as they choose to be connected. This replaces concepts like silver medalists, or the win/lose application process.

> Applicant

Anyone actively in the application process for a job or jobs. A minimum requirement of this should be that the applicant is aware of the minimum requirements and has seen a form of the job spec, not the job ad, but the job spec. Rejected applicants become candidates for future messaging, sourcing, matching and consideration. My thinking on mobile is that this should be for the candidate process only, though the process of moving from candidate to applicant can be mobile enabled via the talent network, with mobile landing pages and related data sent to those candidates who match the minimum requirements based on the candidate data submitted.

My thinking now is for a mobile candidate process, and that a mobile apply process on its own might just make the situation worse. The #CandE UK WhitePaper will be available for download soon. Any company interested in getting their own process benchmarked against other EMEA employers can register their interest free to take part in the 2013 survey. There is no maximum number of companies who can be awarded the kite mark recognition, or achieve distinction, and all companies get a complete report. If you are serious about candidate experience, take part!


PLEASE NOTE: The opinions expressed in this post are mine, and not an official #CandE communication.

Find out about the CandEUK 2013 Awards HERE

Jesus loves a flowchart. Watching Mike Psenka. Equifax.#HRTechEurope

The last speaker is Mike Psenka. Eduifax are a large credit scoring company. What Psenka views their role as is to collect disparate data and present it in an understandable way. this is not new as a concept. he gave the example of Florence nightingale, who was the first person to use a pie chart to influence decisions. boards of companies need these visual presentations of data to make decision-making simple.

taking the example of the Olympics, he shows how talent identification and development by tracking and using data brings about improved performance. it has been used for years in medicine. The process begins with measurement and constant change. Psenka talks about the importance of measuring a complete data set, and not just focusing on one magic number to make decisions and change. It is constant analytics and interpretation to turn big data in to small, usable chunks.

Mike shows the variance map. which tracks changes in performance of employees, rather than the top line number. His view is that what is important is not where people are now, but the direction they are going in. This can be applied to any area of the business, and the visual presentation of data is what gives non-technical people insight and understanding. This has been a constant theme in each of the presentations (apart from Wetzel), big data is only valuable when the data set is complete and the interpretation is presented in pictures. The challenge again is getting all the data in one place securely. I can’t help thinking of the old saying, “In god we trust, everyone else bring data.” The updated version  for the modern-day would be to add: “Jesus loves a flow chart!” (before anyone complains to Psenka on the religious reference, that work is entirely my own. please address any angry mails to me.)