Tag Archive for Bill Boorman

The Talent Tipping Point

I’ve never been a big fan of the talent community concept. I get the idea. It would be nice if jobs, careers and companies were interesting enough to support real communities. A real community in my opinion, enables everyone to be able to connect, communicate and set the agenda for conversation. Whilst there was a lot of talk by companies wanting a community, what most really wanted was a talent network. The talent network can be defined as up and down communication between the recruiters and potential candidates when the messaging is relevant. Companies like AT&T have done a great job of this by utilising technology like Findly, that enables a simple sign up and the segmentation of data.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the Talent Tipping Point, and what this might be for different organisations. What I mean by this is the number of connections an organisation needs to reach the point of having all the message points they need to fill all of their future hiring needs. This need not be in a formal way via an organised talent network, it might also include social media connections such as fans of the Facebook career page, followers on Twitter or a LinkedIn page. All of these data points are searchable, which simplifies segmenting data, matching to content and jobs, and relevant messaging.

When we consider all of the data points that might be open to recruiters:

1) Current employees for internal mobility. All of the source of hire reports indicate internal mobility and promotions as the number one source. When employee data is retained in the CRM for matching and access by recruiters without the need for permission, and employees are made aware of every relevant opportunity.

2) Ex-employees for boomerang hires. As attitudes are changing to rehiring, organisations are increasing their percentage of rehire’s. This provides another pool of data within the CRM for recruiters, and increased connections. Ex-employee data is valuable because past performance, conduct, skills and achievements are known.

3) Social referral data. Modern referral technology such as RolePoint, (Disclosure: I serve as the lead advisor to RolePoint), enable recruiters to match opted in employees social media and other connections with content and new opportunities. When we consider that the average employee will have 125 Facebook friends, and 240 LinkedIn connections, it is easy to see the potential of gaining access to this data, with the opportunity for matching and messaging.

4) Previous applicants. Consider the high volume of applicants who have shown an interest in the company in the past. When this data is organised for search and retrieval, (rather than simply storage), this provides a huge pool of qualified data of people, some of whom will have already been met and assessed. When the candidate experience has been a good one regardless of the outcome, there could well be an interest in reapplying for the right opportunity.

5) Friends, fans and followers. Individuals are increasingly connecting with companies via LinkedIn and other social pages, Fan pages, Twitter accounts etc. The numbers will increase, and whilst there may be some attrition in connections as people choose to disconnect, other branding activity will bring in new people. This will also include people who choose to sign up for a talent network to keep in touch, in the same way as they might follow a company page.

When we look at these five data sets and consider the volume and relevance of connections, it is easy to see the potential for reaching a Talent Tipping Point of all the connections you are ever likely to need for future recruiting. If we can identify this point, (including relevant skills), backed up with technology for accurate and timely data retrieval in real-time, analytics, data mapping for succession planning and workforce analytics, and relevant messaging, then the focus of the talent acquisition team takes on a new dimension. Hit the tipping point of connections (and you may already be there), and its all about maintenance of relationships and cleanliness of data over new talent attraction.

Exciting times!

Bill

Mental Health And Recruiting: A Little Honesty

I’ve been thinking of re-launching my blog, and today I think I have something important enough to start writing again. Yesterday, at #truStockholm, I got in to a bit of a conversation with someone about mental health, and how to best support someone suffering with depression from an HR point of view. I’m passionate about this subject because it is very close to home, and something which I feel is grossly misunderstood, especially by recruiters and HR professionals, because mental health, unlike other disabilities is really seen as a problem. I don’t think that is right, and better understanding is needed in these areas because 1 in 5 people live with some form of mental illness, and many others are impacted by a partner, friend or family.
For my part, some of you will have heard me talk about my wife Fran, and how she is bipolar. I’m not going to say that it is something she suffers from, because it is a part of her, and something she deals with and just gets on. Most days you would never know, other days it is really apparent, but it just is the way it is. I’m sure she would change it if she could, but she can’t, so we do all we can to understand it and get on.
I think we are all a bit crazy one way or another. We all have down days and moments of high, the difference with those with bipolar is that this can switch quite suddenly, from extreme depression and lethargy to extreme excitement. When you live with someone like this you know the signs, and you can, for the most part see what’s coming and be supportive in the best way you can. Sometimes that means offering a shoulder to cry on, even though you can’t see the reason for the tears, and other times it means nodding in the right places and waiting for the high to subside.
What I have learnt as an observer is that anyone with bipolar lives life in extremes, outside of long periods of normality, (if there is such a thing.) Extremes can bring dreadful dark days, but it can also bring extreme creativity, energy and brilliance. The comedian and actor Stephen Fry is famously bipolar, so too was Steve Jobs. When you read the Jobs’ life story it is easy to see it. Van Gogh was bipolar, it can be a genius’s blessing and a genius’s curse. The question I ask here is if Steve Jobs would get employed in a job based on his “condition” and behaviour? Where would the world be if he was condemned as a “mad guy” and never given an opportunity?
All I’m asking for is for everyone in HR and recruiting to find out a bit more. To understand what bipolar, depression and other mental health issues mean, and consider how you could make a bit of a difference. If you can deal with the downtimes, you know the genius will follow. Everyone is affected one way or another. We would make the effort for someone partially sighted, hard of hearing, disabled or with one leg, why should we think of mental health as any different? I know from experience that every down time is followed by genius. Embrace it and deal with it, because that might be where the elusive innovation can come from.
It’s good to be back,
Bill

Method in the madness – #likeminds & #trulondon

Last week I went to a breakfast meeting to see a presenter that I’ve been hoping to meet for some time. The breakfast was organized by Word Of Mouth Uk, (W.O.M.UK.), an organisation you should check out if you are London based. The speakers were Scott Gould and Drew Ellis, the brains behind conference movement #likeminds.

If anyone has not heard of it, #likeminds is a bi-annual social media conference that takes place in Exeter.

#likeminds is in theory a conference on social-media, but it’s not really a conference as much as it is a movement, with many similarities to #tru.

Scott and Drew launched #likeminds about the same time as #trulondon 1, so we tend to keep an eye on what they are doing. Not because we are envious, I admire what they do, but because there is much to learn as we all evolve beyond a simple event.

In my view, the event is secondary to the connections made and conversations had before, during and after the event. The number of people who have made lasting connections, started by a common theme, in both cases, the event, is the biggest factor. Contributors get a sense of belonging and give freely through blogs, links, tweets, video’s and a whole host of other ways. Those that give and help, thrive in this environment. Scott describes the most important aspect of #likeminds as the hashtag. He calls it a “platform” on a #, and I think this sums up what we have built at #tru also.

I’d like to say that we planned things out like this and had great vision. The reality is, on our part anyway, it happened by accident. It has been more a case of perspiration over inspiration, and what has, and is still happening truly astounds me. Both events occurred over a month ago, and yet the hashtag and twitter stream as well as the Facebook fan pages are alive and well.

I’m glad I saw Scott, because his story helped to make some sense of our story. Some of the similarities between the two events are:

: The date we started out and our events took place.

: Both started with zero investment, zero marketing budget or overall plan, but a real desire to do something and the foundations of a personal network to build on.

: Timing and opportunity were also crucial. We both launched at a time when people were looking at all these new channels as more than a bit of fun, recognized the potential but wanted some guidance, and I think, a sense of belonging with other people who didn’t think them idiots.

: There’s two people directly behind the event. One who is very visible and one who is less vocal, but equally industrious and a calming influence. In the case of #likeminds, this was Drew Ellis, who I warmed to instantly, and in the case of #tru, Geoff Webb. http:// twitter.com/radicalrecruit)

: Both have strong international links. From the start, #likeminds were tied with international personalities to blend global best practice. In the case of #likeminds, this was in the form of Olivier Blanchard (@thebrandbuilder) and Trey Pennington, http://www.treypennington.com.) I’m convinced this merging of cultures, best practice and thinking opens up a new way of thinking, where the only barriers to communicating anywhere in the world are time-zones.

:At the second event, #likeminds attracted 350 people from 3 continents with 30 world class speakers. While #trulondon attracted 180 attendees over the 3 days, they were from 9 countries with 35 track leaders that I would put up against anyone in the expert stakes.

: The #likeminds hashtag is showing no sign of slowing down any day soon. The #trulondon hashtag is showing no sign of slowing down soon. (albeit we are diluting it a bit with #truUSA, #truAus, #truNZ, #truManchester, #truDublin, #truIndia etc etc. The presentation has made me think about whether we need to switch this to one single identity as in #likeminds, or if we are better maintaining the #tru brand but highlighting the local focus.

:Both events had a very low ticket cost in comparison to traditional conferences.

:Both events have more “ambassadors” spreading the word with passion than any other events I can think of.

Despite the conference/unconference format making the actual events polls apart in structure, there are many more similarities between the way we have both evolved. I’m not sure you could imitate it intentionally; it grows out of passion and industry.

My big take away’s from Scott’s presentation that really hit home were:

: The # is THE platform.

: Word of mouth (or as I term it: Word of mouse), is people to people not company to company. People buy the people that are involved, and the energy wave, not the company. They trust recommendations and not pitches.

:You can’t govern or control what people say on the hashtag, about you or for you. You have to let it have a life of it’s own, and a few negative comments can be as strong a message for you as all the positive ones.

: The presentation (and it was a powerpoint presentation), was titled Spreadability v Reach.
Spreadability is social, multiway, adapts, needs guidance (not control), is dynamic and is a personal relationship.
Reach is broadcast, one way, repetitious, governed, static and is all public relations. This point really hit home for me as to the way of marketing and growing in the social media age. You have to let it happen, nurture it, give it a reason for being (the events) but not force it or make it purely referenced to a company or it’s products.

The biggest point for me though was when Scott made the statement: “People don’t necessarily remember what they heard, but they remember how they felt!”

This sums up exactly how I feel about #trulondon, despite everything, something special happened. There was plenty of learning, but the biggest thing everyone remarked on was the deep connections that were made and friendships that are evolving. The same will happen at #truUSA, at Madison on April 18th/19th.

In days past, you had to cram all your learning in to the sessions and the learning finished when you left. You took plenty of business cards but how many of those people did you continue to connect with daily? How many of those people were known to you professionally and personally before the event?

The event gives you the reason to start those connections early before the day, so it’s like meeting old friends when you do get together, and you can continue connecting every day long after the event, whatever the geography. That wasn’t possible not so long ago, and it gives the # a new life of it’s own.

For anyone interested, you can view Scott’s slides here.

Thanks to Scott, Drew, #likeminds (all of you) and WOM for helping me to understand a little more about why #trulondon has grown the way it has. I’d wish you luck for the future if I thought you needed it! I’ve found another inspiration.

Keep being ambassadors, viva #likeminds.

Bill