Employment Blanding And The Society Of Secrets #truNZ #ATCSM

Every mention of EVP and one of these guys gets it

I’m really looking forward to being in New Zealand for #truNZ on Monday. I’ve been on a bit of a whirlwind tour taking in Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney, on top of 30 other destinations this year. It has been wild and informative, and a great way of learning about what is really happening in recruiting globally.

I know we are all connected, but you don’t really learn anything meaningful from the comfort of your own bum stuck on a seat in your house in front of a screen. You have to get out there and live it.
At every event I’ve been to there has been a lot of talk about employer branding, and how to get the best candidates to apply. This concerns me, because the big metric that everyone seems to be applying is that more is better. The more people who apply for a job, the better the chance of accidentally hiring the right person. In most locations I’ve heard people talking about defining the E.V.P. and why recruiting is really like marketing, except that it isn’t.
This pains me, because every time someone says E.V.P. a small puppy dies somewhere. Whilst we talk about authenticity, we also talk more about what people can’t say about work and the company because that would create the wrong impression and people just wouldn’t apply. I’ve heard plenty of people talk about how recruiters need to sell a job, and sell an opportunity, but my view is that if you have to sell it then you’ve got the fit wrong.
Lots of companies talk about wanting to be social organisations. They recognise the potential but fear the consequences, and operate there intranets, internal comms channels and the like as a society of secrets. Those who operate Yammer are the worst offenders. They are creating great culture content and having day-to-day people conversations in secret.

One organisation I spoke to at #ATCSM had a whole series of content on why they were a great company to work for locked down in the intranet. Great for the employees, but what about the outside world who might just want to know too? Best not tell them, they might become interested in knowing what we are all about. Best keep our internal comms internal. Keep it all a secret.

I get the point that there are confidential conversations and information that is internal and is secret. That is probably no more than 10% of what is being posted and discussed. That means 90% of the day-to-day conversations, topics and discussions offer a great insight in to the organisation. The real culture brand content that companies worry so much will take so much time to create is already there, its just hidden. They worry about  the cost, and the disruption to the employees day. If staff are allowed on Facebook they will just talk to their mates all day. They can’t be trusted. They are too stupid to be know what is secret and what is for public consumption. Best lock everything down behind a closed wall. Stick to the intranet. It is a nonsense argument really. The content is there. learn to share it, and keep sharing constant, rather than a series of one-off events.pictures, video, audio, text, let employees connect and talk in public. let them tell people why they wouldn’t want to work for you, that way you don’t accidentally end up with the wrong employees. You do, after all, end up with the employees you deserve.

All of your culture branding efforts should be about showing the good, the bad and ugly of working in your company. That way fewer people apply. The numbers go down, but the right people apply. The people who stay and survive.

I have a simple belief that every culture is sexy. People are different and unique. You can’t sum up what is important to them in one small set of statements. One EVP, that’s just marketing BS. On this trip I met a girl in Singapore who worked long hours in a company who had a 24 hour canteen. This was great for her because she could get food on the way home. It was convenient, and gave her life and work order. She changed jobs and forgot to ask about the canteen at interview, and on joining discovered that it was closed in the evening. This greatly inconvenienced her, and led to a quick exit. Her “EVP” was a 24 hour canteen. Ever seen that listed anywhere?

On my travels, I have heard 100 stories like this. Each one unique to the person who told them. We should be thinking of messaging about culture brand as being unique. A message to an audience of one, because really we only want one person to apply, the person that fits us, and we fit them. We should be doing all we can to put the rest off, because we are wrong for them. Needs and wants are unique, so our conversations should be unique ones.

What I’m seeing right now is everyone working hard on employer blanding. Companies doing the same thing, telling the same story and merging in to one. copying best practice, shying from innovation and being unique. Time for a change I think. ditch the EVP and all that other stuff, and start thinking about reaching an audience of one.

Bring on the conversation at #truNZ!

Bill

 

Whats next in Social & Mobile with @KWheeler #ATCSM

Kevin Wheeler is closing a great conference in Sydney, talking about the future. Wheeler starts by talking history in order to understand the future. The first SMS message was sent exactly 20 years ago to a Vodaphone UK cellphone from a PC. The message was “Happy Christmas”.

The first website was in 1991 at CERN. 1993 was the first internet browser Mosaic. The world-wide web was launched in 1994, with Explorer launching in 1995. The cellphone in 1983 and  the first social network six degrees launched in 1997. Myspace and LinkedIn launched in 2003 and Facebook and Twitter in 2006. For most of us, this has been in our lifetime.

MIT recently dropped a box of iPads in to an African village with no instructions. The children of the village figured them out and were learning songs and lessons in only a week. This proves that technology is intuitive rather than requiring instruction. The digital generation have figured this out and are driven by on-line exploration and discovery without fear.

Words and content have no value, it is their interpretation and use that has the value. We are at the end of the beginning of control. We come from a world of control and rules, but data ownership no longer applies. content comes from the crowd. Hierarchy no longer works because no one can own and control anything. The way in which work is organised and done is changing as companies learn to communicate and collaborate through social. The new way of work is smaller, leaner and more agile.

Words are disappearing, replaced by pictures, video and images, but recruiting sites and content is still 90% words. This need to change because people want the message in a way they can relate. We are the people of the screen with very short attention spans.

Candidates and employees become the center of hiring, and the recruiters role needs to significantly change. The next generation live and communicate by games, recruiting needs to reflect this. software is dead  with the future being app based.

Manager means control and a block. blocks won’t work in the new world of work. The challenge is being able to understand data in order to change the way recruiting works. Facebook has an uncertain future, LinkedIn will plateau twitter will slowly rise, Instagram will grow and career sites will disappear. By 2015 recruiting will be about seamless conversations between prospects, candidates, employees and managers. words are going to disappear, replaced by images. the best recruiters will be analysts, choreographers, editors and coaches. Higher social influence scores will be essential to be found. I would add that interaction is critical for visibility, and those who don’t take part will become invisible.

This is an exciting world for me, and in my view we are only 12 months away.

Bill

 

 

Live Blog: Starbucks got engaged with Jeremy Langhans @Jer425 #ATCSM

I’m blogging live from recruitment reinvented in Sydney. The first speaker is Jeremy Langhans, now of Expedia, formerly of Starbucks. The title of his talk is “engagement is king.” Jeremy is a story-teller, and he has a great story to tell. Langhans reduced global spend on third-party recruiters by 100% over two years whilst at Starbucks.

Langhans contends that if the number one thing for a company is to engage with their employees, then the number one thing for a recruiter is to engage with talent. Langhans holds a belief that:

“Content is queen. Engagement is king.”

E.V.P. is very traditional, but C.V.P. (candidate value proposition) was a new way of thinking. Focusing on what is the benefit to you of being a candidate, and how do we communicate that.

For Langhans this begins with web experience, and making sure that is portable and responsive. The web is usually the first point of connection, and the beginning of the relationship. At Starbucks this meant building a responsive web design, then proving the concept of social media for hiring. The C suite buys results, whilst recruiters respect concept.

Langhan has an inherent belief that candidates are customers. The same people who queued up in the store were the same people who went to the career site to look at jobs, and got hit with a straight no when they applied. Companies work very hard at acquiring and keeping customers, and when you look at candidates as customers it changes your view on how you treat them.

In social channels, Langhans works a model of 4 culture posts to 1 job. finding the right channels and places is about trying everything in small doses then going with what works. This is going to be different for everyone. Langhans describes engagement as spending plenty of time hitting the reply button. It is a good and simple matrix to follow.

His time model is:

> 70% of time in core channels

> 20% in new channels

> 10% experimentation and exploring

Brand is defined as “What is unique and consistent.” The rules for culture brand and employer brand should be no different. Consistently treating candidates well, and talking in public places. He has a brilliant approach to getting employees talking in public. Langhans is a genius and doing simple things well, with candidates at the heart of everything. You should connect and message him. You will get a reply!

Bill

Sunday ShoutOut: Rob Van Elburg: The Rave Recruiter

This weeks shout out goes to my friend and Dutch recruiting entrepreneur Rob Van Elburg. If the Simpsons ever wanted to feature a Dutch guy in an episode, I’m sure they would base it on a character like Rob, once met he is never forgotten.
Rob leads a busy life. He co-owns IT recruiters Rave-cruitment, a business he started in 2000, recruits internally for ING Bank, trains IT recruiters at the Academie voor Arbeidsmarktcommunicatie, and organises the annual Recruitment Industry Dance Event. (Known as #RIDE.)

If you have never been to #RIDE, it is a unique event that attracts over 1000 in house and agency recruiters to the center of Amsterdam for an evening of networking and dance. It is a tribute to Rob that he manages to attract high level sponsors to support the event including monster.Com and LinkedIn. This is one event that I always look forward to attending.

Rob has a history in IT recruiting dating back to 1992, which spans full desk recruiting, in-house and RPO. Away from the dance floor Rob is a serious recruiter with a great ability to source globally, with expertise in sourcing and relocating candidates across continents. He thinks outside the box in his approach to sourcing talent, and is known for finding candidates no one else is talking to.

One good example of Robs thinking is that he ditched his recruitment database over 5 years ago, believing that the whole of LinkedIn and the internet was his database. Whilst this might be a bit more common today, it raised plenty of eyebrows at the time. He is also known for taking a guerilla approach to marketing, through things like his video The Real Headhunter (don’t watch whilst eating), and launching #RIDE to connect his relocation service with recruiters across Europe.

Away from the office, Rob has a one year old daughter, who I know gives him plenty of inspiration to keep being creative. I’m grateful for Robs company and friendship. He is the real community DJ!

Bill

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Visibility: The new influence (or why Klout is important)

Contrary to the popular myth, content is not king. It is important, yes, but not as important as found content. If I don’t see what you are posting, then you have no opportunity to influence me or change my thinking. The way the social media channels work now, I’m more likely not to see your content than to see it, and that changes things.
Whilst I appreciate what they have been trying to achieve, I’ve always taken my Klout score with a pinch of salt. My Klout score has always been a direct relation to the volume of updates I have been pushing out. Since I moved my principle channel from Twitter to Facebook, my score has dropped considerably, but have I become any more or less influential? I consider my real influence comes through my blog or the #tru events that I host around the world, and Klout doesn’t really factor this in, although my mentions might go up as a result.
Although the actual algorithm is shrouded in a bit of mystery, the guide to Klout lists the signals they use to calculate your score as follows:

Facebook
Mentions: A mention of your name in a post indicates an effort to engage with you directly.
Likes: The simplest action that shows engagement with the content you create.
Comments: As a reaction to content you share, comments also reflect direct engagement by your network.
Subscribers: Subscriber count is a more persistent measure of influence that grows over time.
Wall Posts: Posts to your wall indicate both influence and engagement.
Friends: Friend count measures the reach of your network but is less important than how your network engages with your content.
Twitter
Retweets: Retweets increase your influence by exposing your content to extended follower networks.
Mentions: People seeking your attention by mentioning you is a strong signal of influence. We also take into account the differences in types of mentions, including “via” and “cc.”
List Memberships: Being included on lists curated by other users demonstrates your areas of influence.
Followers: Follower count is one factor in your Score, but we heavily favor engagement over size of audience.
Replies: Replies show that you are consistently engaging your network with quality content.
Google+
Comments: As a reaction to content you share, comments also reflect direct engagement by your network.
+1’s: The simplest action that shows engagement with the content you create.
Reshares: Reshares increase your influence by exposing your content to extended networks on Google+.
LinkedIn
Title: Your reported title on LinkedIn is a signal of your real-world influence and is persistent.
Connections: Your connection graph helps validate your real-world influence.
Recommenders: The recommenders in your network add additional signals to the contribution LinkedIn makes to your Score.
Comments: As a reaction to content you share, comments also reflect direct engagement by your network.

The important thing here is the emphasis on unique interaction and subscriptions in all of the channels, and your ratio of interactions to follower/friend/connection count. This is critical because edgerank (and whatever name LinkedIn and Twitter use to rank content), means that your content is only visible to people who interact with you. This is most evident on Facebook, but is relevant to Twitter and LinkedIn because your updates get pushed right down the stream or feed when there is little interaction. Equally, shares, likes and comments combined with authorship on Google+ will increase your ranking in personal search results amongst your social connections. Whichever way you look at it, interaction means visibility, and visibility presents the opportunity to influence.

Personally, I place the greatest importance on LinkedIn interactions, because my LinkedIn network has the greatest relevance to the areas I work in, and there is less interaction in this channel. I have calculated the relevance of my LinkedIn network at 70%, where as Facebook is closer to 45% (with a smaller network), and Twitter at close to 30%. (with my biggest network.). Whilst it seems Klout ranks all channels equally, your Klout score is a good indicator of interactions, hence visibility. If your not getting visibility, then you need to either reconsider how to get interaction from your updates by inviting comment or asking questions, or consider paying to promote your updates or tweets, which makes them visible to larger sections of your network. Whilst LinkedIn don’t yet offer “promoted” updates, I’m sure the facility won’t be too far away. It might well also be time to take more than a passing interest in your Klout score.

Bill

You can read the full guide to Klout scores HERE

 

Bullies and trolls

My daughter has been bullied at school. It has had quite quite a traumatic time for her, and has had a big impact on her confidence. When you are a Dad, you want to do all you can (and more) to protect your little girl. You also have to understand that sometimes you have to be hands off and try and pass on the love, support and tools in life to deal with it. In any circle, a bully is an inevitability, and as you get older you learn to build up an immunity to such behaviour and shut it out, doesn’t mean it doesn’t sometimes hurt, but you learn to roll with the punches. It made me think more and want to share my thoughts on bullying in life.
In my life and my career, I’ve had to handle my fair share of bullies I’ve been thinking hard about the ones I have met and worked with and for, and closer to home now, the ones I meet online. Probably the most common are the intellectual bullies. You know the ones, they think they are wiser and better than anyone else, and love to wade in with the barbed comment, then run off to snigger with their mates. I consider them to be no better than the playground bullies, but then I console myself with the fact that you have to be noticed to be bullied in this way, there is a reverse flattery in standing out enough to intimidate someone enough to make them want to bully you. There are trolls of course, who take pleasure in trying to cause trouble, but the best way to handle them is just to ignore them, they feed off attention, starve them of it. We all get bullied some time. It is how we handle it that defines us.
In every walk of life there are people who feel significantly inferior to feel the need to bully others, and this I think is the best tactic. To remember that you already have the upper hand, that is why you got the attention, and you can use it to your advantage. How many times do you hear great comedians learnt to be funny to repel the tough guys at school. Make people laugh and disarm them, smother them with love!
The best advice I ever had was that revenge was a life lived happy. I hope I can pass this on. To my daughter, and that anyone being bullied at work or in life can take some comfort from it. The reality of life is that 99% of people are good, and will do what they can to do a good turn for another human being. Lets remember the 99%, and not let the 1% lead to a life lived in fear of others. Life’s fun, lets just laugh at the bullies and enjoy it! Lead a happy life, and where you see bullying in work or life, call it out. The good guys (and girls) should stick together.
Bill

Now for something completely different: Jobsite.Com

I like things that are different. Companies who look at how things are done, follow user behavior and reinvent the model. The real innovation normally comes from start-ups who are agile, and have less layers of management to get “permission” from, or marketing departments not frozen by the fear of failure and perceived damage to the brand. In my experience, it is usually marketing who stifle innovation, and keeps companies rinsing and repeating the same products and process again and again. This week I saw something different, and it wasn’t from a start-up or small business.

Jobsite.Com takes the UK job board brand Jobsite to the US, except what on-line recruitment group Evenbase have come up with is not really a job board, at least not a job board as we know it. Different in virtually every respect from the tried, tested and tired model, from pricing to job listing.

I work with Evenbase from time to time, and Jobsite sponsor #truLondon. This has given me an opportunity to get a close look at their quarterly job seeker research, and products from companies like Broadbean and Jobrapido. What I’m seeing in Jobsite.Com is a combination of the expertise assembled in the Evenbase companies delivered in a new model labeled as Jobsite.Com.

What is so different about Jobsite.Com?

Firstly, it’s an aggregator with a similar user interface to Jobrapido. Jobrapido is now the second biggest vertical job search engine in the US, paving the way for the expansion of Jobsite in to the region.  One screen with two fields, What? and Where? The complicated work goes on under the hood, with no need to go from screen to screen. The jobs are scraped from direct employers career sites. Because the jobs are scraped from career sites, it is safe to assume that many of these jobs will not be advertised elsewhere.

I have been watching the matching technology that Jobsite have been developing in their lab on the south coast for the last year,now called Jobtology. This new school of matching tech does more than keyword counting, based on interpreting the meaning and context of whole documents. If you consider job specs and user profiles as two documents that match together, you get the idea of what is possible in Jobsite.Com, and the technology learns about you according to how you react to results, in order to perfect and personalize results. The more you interact, the better the result.Because jobs are scraped from sites, rather than posted by employers, I will be watching with interest to see what the % of employers are who will pay to access details, as there is no buy in process or permission needed to promote opportunities.

Jobsite.com integrates a version of Jobsite.co.uk’s award-winning job board technology, a scraping engine that aggregates jobs from millions of websites, an email marketing system, an e-commerce system, and Jobtology – Evenbase’s world-class semantic matching technology, all into one  offering.

The thinking behind this is to remove searching from job hunting and candidate matching (and this is the really exciting bit). Show potential applicants only the jobs they are interested in, qualified for and relevant, and show companies only the applicants who are qualified and relevant AND have expressed an interest in the job. Qualified and interested, that has to be a massive benefit to recruiters.

Jobsite.Com is an aggregator. That means that jobs come from multiple sources rather than just advertisers. Jobsite.Com has no advertising in the traditional way. The revenue model is based on giving hiring companies access to full profiles of interested applicants and pay $50 for contact details. No paid for jobs, no CV database or any of the traditional features. Think about how many profiles hiring companies are likely to want to connect with and what that will cost in comparison to the cost of job board advertising. I see this model of pricing as being the way all job boards will inevitably have to go, revenue by results rather than post and pray.

Applying for a job is quite simple, though geared to desktop rather than mobile in the first instance. All that is required is upload of a resume by attaching a file. up to 1500 words for a cover letter (and you get to see the job to the right of the cover letter as a reminder), drop downs for notice period, working status, expected salary minimum and max, name. address, city, state, zip code and contact numbers. There is the opportunity to save this data to profile, to avoid the need to input in the future. I’d like to see the addition of apply with LinkedIn to import data without the need for a resume or input of data. The new style of LinkedIn profile are great for this, and read much closer to a resume, are not presented as a .pdf (which has created problems when integrating with an ATS), with the option to add, delete or re-order the data. Apply with LinkedIn buttons are now on over 1 million websites globally, and would be a welcome addition here. If this was my product, I would be looking to go the extra step to make applications fully mobile. This would mean removing the need for a cover letter and resume upload, and that will take a shift in employer attitude as to what they want in an application to create access to employment.

Hiring companies access profiles of people who have expressed an interest in the job via the recruiter dashboard. Applicants are ranked by % match, with only those with a minimum score displayed. A “hot” candidate scores the minimum required level on the match, lives in the right area and has work status to fit the employer. What I really like about the back-end of Jobsite.Com is that you get to see all the data, score, resume, cover letter and personal data on one screen, with other qualifying candidates displayed as pin images on the right hand side of the screen for comparisons. Personal detail and identifying information like employer is omitted before paying for unlocking the detail. A big benefit I can see for applicants is that hiring companies will only pay to unlock the people they are really interested in, and the benefit to hiring companies is that they only see active candidates who have expressed an interest. No more time wasted searching dated CV databases or trying to contact candidates not in the market. All candidates are qualified, eligible to work and interested. Scores for candidates are calculated according to a semantic match with the job based on skills, background, experience, location and eligibility.

I spoke with Felix Wetzel, Evenbases Strategy Director about the launch. Wetzel is very clear that this is a beta launch to judge all user reactions, and to adjust the offering according to user behaviors and feedback. Wetzel is quoted as saying:

“Our immediate priority is to make sure the beta works, fine tune it, add in new development and move from beta to the full version of Jobsite.com for both candidates and hirers. Jobsite.com provides hirers already with something completely new and different and for the candidates we’ve got some equally revolutionary services in the pipeline.”

I’m excited about this offering, both for Evenbase and the job board industry as a whole. Job boards are far from dead, but they need to be evolving to stay current in this market place. Jobsite founder and Evenbase chairman Keith Potts comments:

“Our ability to update and re-invent our offering is what sets us apart. We will continue to develop and offer the latest technology to assist employers and job seekers.”

When I reviewed the launch of Evenbase, Potts was clear that the purpose of combining the brands was to be able to expand their offering globally. Jobsite.Com is a big step in this direction, and it is revolutionary in thinking. I look forward to seeing the results, and how the brave new initiatives work in the marketplace.

Bill

Disclaimer: I have worked with Evenbase on product, and Jobsite.Co.UK are regular sponsors of #truLondon.

 

 

Business Brains Tour. Guest Post By @REC

November sees the REC hitting the road for Business Brains On Tour, which brings together some top UK business talent to share their business knowledge to help you grow and develop your recruitment business.
One of the “brains” is Johnny Campbell, the CEO the Social Talent who is the recruiters social media favourite. His session will bring you up to speed on how to use social media to grow your business, attract the best candidates and use content to differentiate your business.
The REC caught up with Johnny for a quick chat to find out what we can expect from him on tour.
1. Please sum up your business philosophy in no more than 140 characters?
Be brilliant in everything you do and good things will happen. If you can’t be brilliant, do something else.
2. The economic pressures on recruitment agencies have grown in recent years – what one essential tip can you give to recruiters to help them build their business?
Companies used to rely on agencies for 80% of their hires. They are now moving towards 80% direct. If you want a share of the remaining 20%, be a specialist who is the absolute best at providing candidates in your niche. If you want to go after the 100%, you need an RPO model.
3. Recruitment has undergone huge changes in the way that it operates – what characteristics would you say are the most valuable for a successful recruitment business owner to have in the new environment?
You must be agile and focused on making yourself indispensable to your customers. Agility could mean being flexible in the pricing model that you offer, providing unusual services beyond fee based placement or just embracing the latest technologies in your operational model. What has not changed is the personal touch. This is still very much a people business. When you focus too much on the tech and the latest shiny new things, you can lose sight of the people and the relationships that are vital to the success of any recruitment business.
4. Social media has had a massive impact on the way that recruiters operate and there are a range of options on offer – what approach would you advise recruiters to take to get the most out of their social media?
Don’t use social media for the pure sake of it. Just because your competitor is on Facebook does not mean that you should be. Understand the potential value of all new tools and resources and then decide what is right for your business. To me, there are three core opportunities that recruiters can leverage from social media: 1) the enormous database of candidates that are there to be found, 2) the opportunity to market yourself and gain influence through social sites that are gradually consuming more and more internet users’ time and 3) new ways to communicate with and talk to potential candidates and clients.
5. The UK recruitment industry is continuing to grow and operate on a more global scale – what benefits are there to recruiters considering overseas markets?
With the growth of social and professional sites and the proliferation of the internet via mobile you can now hire for any job in the world using only your mobile phone. You no longer need to be in the same country, let alone the same city as the clients and candidates that you rely on, therefore the obstacles to developing business and expanding overseas have all but vanished. If you have a great business model and deliver a fantastic service, you can offer that anywhere in the world without ever leaving your local town!
6. Retaining high quality staff is key to driving business forward – what advice can you give to recruiters to make sure they hold onto to their top talent?
I met with a client recently who wanted us to deliver our Black Belt training to their staff but with one caveat; they wanted us to hold back some of our “best stuff” as they feared that if their recruiters had all of our training, they would surely leave and go elsewhere. I was discussing this with a colleague who made an excellent point; what happens if their staff don’t get the training…..and they stay! My advice is to invest in your staff, encourage self-direction, invest in a learning culture, give them something to believe in and then get out of their way and let them do their job. You don’t need free beer and fooze-ball tables to retain staff. Treat them like grown ups and say thank you once in a while and they may surprise you!
7. As an expert in your field you’re always asked for the best advice – however what would you say is the worst piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?
When we started Social Talent I had this over-riding belief that if we gave away our best advice for free, people would come and they would pay for our other services. I hosted our first live webinar in January 2011 and since then we have uploaded over 30 hours of free training material to YouTube. When I first suggested doing this I was told I was mad by everyone I knew in the agency market. They just couldn’t see the value of building an audience who trust your advice and understand that it comes with no strings attached. I was told to give a little and hold back the good stuff. I decided to ignore this and believe that our whole business has succeeded on this premise. When you help someone without asking for anything in return they will at the very least ensure to recommend you to everyone they know. At best, they will seek you out above your peers if they ever have an opportunity to repay you.
The Business Brains on Tour will be running on the 19, 20 and 21 of November in Birmingham, Manchester and London. For £100 discount on your ticket, “REC Business Brains on Tour, 19-21 November 2012″ book here, using the discount code REC1

To the LinkedIn trainers, coaches and book writers …

Sorry all for the message I am about to deliver. I know most of you. I respect some of you, but my request to you is really simple:

PLEASE STOP

I’ve long-held the view that you shouldn’t really write a paper book about Social Media. Any book that is instructional, and giving guidance to job seekers (especially), networkers or recruiters should really be an e-book with updates each month to notify the subscribers what has changed, what no longer applies and what won’t work any more. If this is not the case, then your book should really be called a history book. Publishers and writers may not like this, but the pace of change in the social media channels means anything else is really not being accurate. What you published in good faith last week might well be out of date.

Training is another difficult area. I think LinkedIn are just making too many changes, and keeping us guessing as to the impact of in particular the new profile design, to know if what is being taught is correct. I’m not sure yet how much this will impact on profile optimisation, or what impact endorsements are going to have yet. They are certainly doing strange things to search results, but there has not yet been enough time to evaluate how they change things. I’m also hearing recommendations for LinkedIn applications to bling a profile that may well be removed over the next few weeks. Let’s stop for breath and see what comes out in the wash. By all means speculate in blogs and other on-line places, but be clear this is your best guess based on our knowledge, because it is just confusing at the moment.

You can, and need to, keep up with the changes as they happen via the LinkedIn blogs, but the reality is these are more like advisory notes to the features and updates rather than explanations as to how they are going to impact. Please LinkedIn, give us a bit more of a clue, you know we love you!

At the end of this post, I have attached the video announcing all the recent changes. Only 10,000 people have watched the video. A big number, but a very small number when you consider users. This is what the channel has to say about the video:

Our Product team showcases the biggest enhancements we’ve made to the LinkedIn experience in the company’s history, including the launch of the new LinkedIn profile.

In their words, the biggest changes in history. Innovating, changing and helping in the fastest time in the companies history.

The reality of any change to any social media is that it takes a while to figure out what it really means, if anything, and this is really dictated by the way in which we, the users react. We need to get the new data pumping through the system to figure it out, and notice what is happening.

I can’t remember a time when LinkedIn has changed more significantly, and at such speed, largely without prior warning. The market respects our thought leaders and trainers, please stop for breath, give it time to shake out and start advising us again over issues like keywords or not. You will have our eternal gratitude if you can figure it out, and hold off the training in instruction until we have answers to the questions.

Thanks,

WATCH THIS VIDEO FROM LINKEDIN ON ALL THE CHANGES