The @CERN Track: Perfect ATS

At #TruGeneva I got to meet the Head of Recruiting for CERN James Purvis. It was interesting to hear the challenges they face in hiring some of the greatest brains in Europe if not the world. During the conversation James spoke about the challenge of what an ATS should look like in these social days. He produced this video for #TruMadrid, posing the question:

The conversation carried over to #truDublin and this summary was captured by SocialTalent who did a great job of mixing the final cut. Here is what #truDublin had to say after some added refreshment, Dublin style.

What are your views on what the perfect ATS might look like?


Finding the needles in the haystacks. A Google sourcers story.

One of the highlights of an excellent #truDublin was listening to Google sourcer Wojciech Smailinski talking about the type of candidates that he needs to source for the recruiters responsible for the engineering team in EMEA. It gave a fascinating insight in to how you can find what would be for many of us the unfindable.

Wojciech has been working for Google in Dublin for about a year, before then he had no recruiting experience but plenty of enthusiasm, and the excellent Blue Belt Internet Sourcing training from Johny Campbell at SocialTalent. He explained that his target candidates are hidden deep in the internet, well below LinkedIn or any CV database, in fact he went as far as to say that if any candidate had a prepared CV they probably wouldn’t be suitable for these roles.

Google receive 6000 CV’s a day globally. It’s a big pot to mine from, but the type of people they want to hire for specialist IT engineering roles are not looking for jobs. They are usually content and often working on their own products or projects. The last thing they want is a LinkedIn profile. The best they might have is a very vague one, because as soon as they put any detail, skills or qualifications on-line they get overloaded with calls and approaches from recruiters . The challenge is how do you first find the right target people and then approach them, when they are not hanging around in the usual social networks and places. 

One of the things that become clear when you talk to Wojciec is how he sees the sourcers role, and why a single focus is so important. This also illustrates the big difference between being a recruiter and a sourcer. The true sourcer concerns themselves with finding the people with the right skill set and experience to meet the hiring requirements. He doesn’t concern himself with detail like personality fit or retention in the business, that is the job of the recruiters. The sourcers find the people who meet the requirement, who are interested in talking to the recruiters, and the other detail is the concern of the recruiter. It makes sense, recruiters recruit and sourcers source.

Johny Campbell of SocialTalent has been both a recruiter and a dedicated sourcer. He talks of the need to shut himself away from the world and any distractions when sourcing. Physically plugging in the headphones, playing loud tunes before getting lost in boolean strings, starting with a very narrow search and working outward. it would seem that Spotify is now an essential part of the sourcing toolbox, and the ability to switch off and focus on the task is the key skill needed when hiring a sourcer. It was interesting how many times Woicech commented “that’s not my job.” This wasn’t in a jobsworth way, he is simply focused on his part of the recruitment process.

I can contrast this to a track at #truLondon about a year ago with Glen Cathey who writes the excellent Boolean Black Belt blog. Glen is probably the leading commentator on deep sourcing techniques, but he was quick to point out that despite his reputation, he is not a sourcer, he is a recruiter. Comparing Wojciec with glen, it’s easy to see where he is coming from. Whilst Glen identifies talent through just in time sourcing techniques, he is equally concerned with fit, candidate relationship and managing the process through to hire. He is the ultimate recruiter rather than a sourcer.

The big question then is where you find these people who are choosing to hide themselves away and don’t want to be found. During the track, a thought went through my mind. It as much about finding the haystacks as finding the needles. Identifying the on-line places where these people are likely to be hiding out. Listening to the sourcers in the room, these are usually the on-line forums. Both Github and StackOverflow got a few mentions, and the search in these forums was for the people answering questions rather than asking them.

SEO expert Ivan Stojanovic explained how he searches for the geek words rather than profiles. These are the unique words or phrases that one person might say (or post), to another that identifies the discipline they work in or the skills they have. He has used this very successfully to source from twitter, and of the 27 people who were placed from this exercise, only one had a LinkedIn profile. Ivan advises using the same geek words to source in these forums, and if you already employ the type of people you are targeting, they are going to be able to point you in the right on-line direction.

The other suggestions for locating those needles in the haystack:

> YouTube – Post technical videos or find specialist videos in  your target market. The commenters and likers are a good place to start your search.

> WordPress/Blogger/Posterous/Tumblr/Typepad/Jux/Posterous Places/Blogetry/Weebly/Live Journal – These 10 are blogging  and content sharing  platforms. Each platform has a search engine that enables search of all content. Finding blogs in your target market (using the geek words) enables  you to identify targets by author and also commenters.

> Flikkr, Instagram and other photo sharing platforms. – The photo sharers contain a wealth of names and job titles which are all searchable.

> Google profiles – Anyone with G-mail or any Google product will have a Google profile, and they are usually left open and searchable. This links in to Google+ which is the easiest of the social channels to search  through the “find people +” feature. This also allows for geek words for shared content in the stream. Anyone sharing content in your target area is worth investigating.

> Skype – The internet phone channel is one of the biggest on-line channels by users, few profiles are closed and are searchable. Whilst the detail might limited, when you find someone a message or call makes it easy to connect.

> MeetUp – Each week there are 100′s of meet ups going on across the world. You can search for meet ups going on by topis, tags, participants etc. Most of the meet publish an attendance list, and if the group is in your target area you might just find what you are looking for.

> Eventbrite/Lanyard/Plancast – Much like meet up, each of these event platforms are searchable and many events publish attendees and their contact details.

> Slideshare – The presentation platform is searchable and can be followed by presenter. If the content is in your target area then it’s another good place to search for talent.

These are few of the places that came out of the discussion as places you can search in when you’re looking for the hidden talent. The final challenge for the sourcers is how much requirements are changing by skill set. It’s a constant requirement to understand how skills are merging, and that the jobs Google are hiring for don’t necessarily exist in other companies. Some of the jobs did not exist even a year ago, It’s not about searching for one skill set in isolation but combinations. This means a sourcer needs to develop an understanding of the job requirements in detail skill by skill. and the priority of skills in each job. Different companies use their own internal jargon to describe skill sets. A modern-day sourcer needs to understand the market terminology and what skills mean what from one organisation to another. The other confusing factor is job titles, which are unique, anything from  chief nerd to disruptor have been hired in the last few months. The modern-day sourcer needs to ignore titles and interrogate skills to get the right combination.

It was a great track, with content worth sharing. It is about finding the haystacks first, then looking for the needle, and all the time with the right Spotify list blasting out.


It’s official: TruDublin will kick off again on May 16-17

TruDublin May 16 and 17 Sycamore Club Dublin

I am delighted to announce the third TruDublin Unconference will take place on Wednesday and Thursday May 16th and 17th, in the Sycamore Club Temple Bar in Dublin, for two days of all things recruiting and technology.

Early Bird Tickets for TruDublin at just €99 each until May 5th (normal price €199) from Eventbrite, Click here to book.

If you don’t know by now, a TRU unconference is a a unique event where the emphasis is on conversation, communication and the free exchange of ideas and experiences. Participants come from the people space, usually made up of Recruiters (corporate and agency), Human Resources, Talent Acquisition, Technology Developers and Vendors and more.

The format is to run a minimum of 3 tracks each hour. The tracks are started by a track leader who has some experience of the discussion topic. The role of the track leader is to start the conversation and let the conversation evolve wherever it goes. Participants are actively encouraged to move between tracks according to what they need individually. No one is offended and there is no need to stand on ceremony.

We have 4 simple rules:

1: No PowerPoint (or KeyNote, or Prezi…)

2: No Presenting

3: No Name Badges (Just ask!)

4: No Pitching

Outside of that, anything goes!

Track Topics so far:

  • Attracting Graduate Talent
  • The Future of the Recruitment Agency
  • Legal Pitfalls of Social Recruiting
  • The Future of Semantic CV Search
  • Has Video Assessment gone mainstream?
  • LinkedIn: Social or Job Board?
  • Power & Pitfalls of Interruptive Communication
  • The Social Agency
  • Building an In-House Recruitment Agency
  • The Challenge of Large Numbers
  • Growth in Recession
  • Employee Referrals: The Holy Grail?
  • Global Culture in a Social World
  • Email: The Unsexy Social NetworkThe CV is Dead, long live the CV
  • Dumb Database & The Futureof the ATS
  • Big Data

(More tracks and topics will be announced over the next two weeks)

We can exclusively reveal our first batch of Track Leaders are:

Mairead Fleming, MD Brightwater Karl Murray, CEO Ingage Ivan Stojanovic, CEO JobsBoard.ie
Peter Cosgrove, Director Cpl John Dennehy, CEO Zartis Barry Rudden, Associate Director Sigmar
Klaudia Drulis, Global Social Media Strategist for Recruitment at Oracle James Mayes, Social Recruiting & Start-ups Expert Ed Hendrick, Founder Sonru
Gary Mullan, Owner & Co-Founder Prosperity John Dillon, Alumni Director at Trinity Foundation, TCD Stephen Harrington, Strategic Account Manager CandidateManager
James Mailley, Sales Director at Monster Shane McCusker, MD 1ntelligence Jonathan Campbell, CEO Social Talent
Colin Donnery, President at NRF & MD of FRS Recruitment Letrecia Tippett, Chief Services Officer at Morgan McKinley Bill Boorman, Founder of TruEvents

More track leaders and tracks to be announced over the next few weeks – watch this space! See you all in Dublin!

Guest Post: Max Heywood: Employee Branded #truDublin

The Awesome power Of Personal Accounts

My previous experiences at #Tru events have been terrific – great people, great content and a really stimulating format – so I’m very much looking forward to doing it all again at #TruDublin later this week!

This time around I’m running a track called Employee Branded, looking at empowering employees to publish running accounts of their workplace experiences, to help prospective hires get a better insight into what it’s like to work for a particular employer.

Arguably traditional Employer Brand materials – advertising, brochures, videos, websites and the like – have not kept up with the times and are increasingly ineffective, especially amongst entry-level talent.

I’ve seen this first hand as Global Head of Employer Brand at Credit Suisse these last few years – there has been an explosion in the number of channels a prospective hire can go to for information about a particular employer and this has led to a corresponding erosion of trust in the information employers themselves provide.

Often this is compounded by the fact that many employers struggle to clearly differentiate themselves from their competition and their mandating that marketing materials pass through many levels of corporate sanitizing, so that they end up bland and sterile. In the meantime the real story is increasingly leaking from the organisations directly from employees through their networks.

Has the time has come for employers to embrace this change and start empowering employees to share authentic experiences? After all the big difference between competing organisations is often their culture and personal accounts are often the best way to express it.

Can employers shake off their command and control mindset and trust their employees? What ground rules need to be in place? How should they deal with less than positive accounts? Which employers are leading the way and what have their experiences been? What is the best way to test this out in your organisation? How should this approach co-exists with more traditional ones?

If you are looking for answers to these questions come join me at #TruDublin Wednesday morning, or follow the hashtag!

Follow Max On Twitter

#Lumesse. The part bloggers play in branding #truDublin

One of the big recruiting story’s over the last few weeks has to be the rebrand of talent management business Stepstone, who became Lumesse over the last week. Hopefully you only rebrand once, so when you do it has to be big, and when your customers and employees are spread across the world, it has to be global.
Theres a great opportunity for exposure,but at the same time there’s plenty of risk in change.While the short-term noise surrounding a rebrand is significant, people ultimately do not like change. Changing the look and feel of technology people are familiar with creates discomfort, which is why communication and listening to feedback as it happens is critical. Using the social channels to spread the word, engage and more importantly listen, can make this possible and enhance the change process.
Interestingly, Lumesse are looking to bloggers (me included) in every country they operate to carry their message and monitor feedback. It is perhaps indicative of the way those that are active in the social channels are recognised as being important message carriers in targeted sectors.Lumesse recognise that their story is going to be told and commented on, better tobe part of the conversation by giving access to the company and their products. I think this move is to be applauded, and demonstrates the part bloggers, and those active in social channels play in branding. While it might not be good news for the P.R. companies, it is clear that influence is seen as a little more than a Klout score.
I’m delighted to announce that Lumesse will be joining us in #truDublin on the 25′th May to talk rebranding. This will be a great opportunity to understand the rebranding process, lumesse in particular, as well as other areas of global talent management.

This is a fun look at how Lumesse came up with the new name and brand, featuring BrandMan!

To further build Lumesse’s presence in the social channels, they are appointing a Social Media and Community Manager in the UK. If you’d like more information on what looks like a great opportunity, send me a message and I will pass on your details.

What do you think of the way Lumesse are managing the rebrand? What do you want to hear about and ask? Pose a question and I will get you a video answer for next week.






This is a sponsored post part of the Lumesse Blogathon www.lumesse.com

Guest Post: Sodexo’s @Arie_Ball: Hiring college grads, building a future #truDublin

I found an old Irish proverb that says, “The future is not set, there is no fate but what we make for ourselves.” I think this proverb is especially poignant when we project it on college recruiting.

At Sodexo, college recruiting is a way to recruit top talent for the leadership of our company, now and into the future. This philosophy is embraced at all levels, from our CEO and his executive team to our field operators.

But, our efforts are not just about attending recruitment events, nor are they just about our hiring needs for today. We work to actively engage college students throughout their college years and build relationships with them for today and tomorrow. From Sodexo Careers blog posts to mentoring programs, we work with students to help guide them towards their careers and teach them job search strategies and techniques. We also aim to introduce them to all of the different career options within Sodexo.

If you do not sow in the spring, you will not reap in the autumn.

One of our premier offerings for college students is our Future Leaders internship program, which features individually tailored professional development and mentoring opportunities, providing a foundation for their future success.

We start by training our hiring managers on how to create a meaningful work experience for interns. Then, we ensure that each intern is matched with a mentor to help navigate our company and provide additional technical/professional expertise. We provide professional development webinars on career planning, ethics in the workplace and the use of social networking to enhance communication.

At the conclusion of the internship, we find that more than 95 percent of interns would like to work for Sodexo and more than 40 percent who are eligible for hire are offered a position after passing their criminal background check from https://www.sterlingcheck.co.uk/. Additionally, select students who complete the internship are invited to participate in our Student Ambassador program, which aims to build Sodexo’s employment brand on campus with faculty, staff, students and alumni.

You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.

We also realize that students sometimes need to find their own way. So, we start early, working with high school students. Through our relationships with top student organizations in our industry, like ProStart and BCA, we provide mentoring, career search help and make site visits. At the college level, we work with the National Society for Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH) where we not only attend career fairs but have a strong presence throughout the year. We also serve on industry panels at the NSMH national conference where we connect with students and invite them for on-site interviews.

Attending conferences is great. But, our main focus is in building relationships with these students using the communication tools that they prefer – social media. From the dedicated college recruitment page on our Career Center web site, students have access to numerous sites including our Sodexo Careers blog, a Facebook page, several LinkedIn groups, a YouTube channel and our Twitter handle, just to name a few. We also embrace unique opportunities within these media, such as creating Facebook event pages, i.e. Sodexo’s NSMH conference page. Even if we don’t have a position for them now by maintaining connections through our talent communities we may just have the perfect position for them as they gain experience and progress with their career.

Communicating on their terms is key to reaching college students. For example, earlier this year we embarked on a mobile text message campaign to reach students attending the NSMH national conference. Students who subscribed to our “text to win” campaign submitted information that captured in our candidate database. From there, we interacted with these students throughout the conference and used their information to generate leads for various job openings. The interaction with the students was phenomenal, but it wasn’t all about us. The students who participated were entered into a drawing for a $300 Apple store gift card.

At the core of all our student outreach activities lies our goal to not only brand Sodexo as a top employer with the next generation of leaders, but to help shape career choices while students are still in high school .. For example, we contribute a bi-weekly post to Dan Shawbel’s Student Branding Blog, a Top 50 Counseling Blog with 14,000 readers per month and we’re cited multiple times in two ProStart textbooks used by 84,000 highschool students. If we are not preparing today for the talent we need tomorrow, our companies will not maintain their competitive position in the market.

Distant hills look green.

College recruitment may only be one element that contributes toward Sodexo’s future, but it is one that we believe plays a critical role in the development of our future leadership. We work to not only identify top talent, but to help prepare that talent to ensure quality hires upon graduation. Once hired, we continue to develop that talent, guiding them toward the future.

Wherever you go and whatever you do, May the luck of the Irish be there with you. I look forward to meeting you at #truDublin!

Don’t miss the opportunity to meet with Arie at #truDublin next week. You can buy the last few tickets HERE

Every Picture Tells A Story Featuring @OscarMager And The Faces Of #truAmsterdam

Sometimes you don’t need words.A picture, especially of faces creates a thousand more thoughts,ideas or emotions. Oscar Mager of RecruitingEssential.Nl has been attending #tru events since the first #truAmsterdam. He can always be seen snapping pictures or creating video.He can best be described as #truPapperazzi.
What I love about the picture story of events more than anything else is the emotions and expressions captured as they happen.It’snotlike a series of posed photos of people doing their best to look cool or be seen with the coolest kids at the party. Oscars pictures are discretely captured (despite a long lens!) of people in action, and he puts them together in to a video montage.
Photo’s and video are the most shared content. Natural pictures taken around the workplace give the best insight of what it is like to work there, and give a real feel for the culture.
I’ve been working with the EMEA Recruiting team at Oracle recently,helping to encourage employer generated content because I believe that pictures in particular form sharable and believable content.Anyone with a camera phone can generate content that tells the employer brand story.I use Oscars pictures to illustrate exactly what I’m talking about.
When he is not snapping, Oscar will be leading a track at #truDublin entitled “every picture” to discuss all things relating to photo content.I will definitely be heading that way and smiling!

This is Oscars pictures from #truAmsterdam.If you’venever been to a #tru event, this gives you a real taste of what happens, and if you’ve been, you’ll recognise some of the faces!

Thanks Oscar, for your great contribution!

Oscar Mager



Guerrilla Recruiting from @RAVanElburg #truDublin

It’s not often I post twice a day, but I’ve been receiving questions on what to expect from Rob’s track at #truDublin. Rob does things very differently in the way he promotes his business RAVE Recruitment as a global brand. For a start he hosts #RIDE, the recruitment industry dance event. #RIDE is a great event, attracting over 1100 recruiters to Amsterdam in November.Rob will be hosting the first #RIDE London with #truLondon in September.
To give you an idea of some of the other techniques Rob employs that could be considered “guerrilla”, here’s a video that went viral.Not to everyone’s tastes, but it got great results and Rave noticed and talked about!

Whatever you think, its been viewed 28,715 times!


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