Brushing Off My Shoes For a New 2020

It has been an extraordinary couple of weeks with so much impact and change with the outbreak of Coronavirus. I have posted a few comments on the impact that this pandemic may have in the business landscape on LinkedIn but it has certainly added another challenge to the running that I enjoy.

After finishing my first 100km race in September 2019, I quickly fell into the trap that so many runners with access to wifi fall into. I was on that runner’s high that you get after finishing a race and ended up signing up for events that was planning to be a big 2020. After a few discussions with family/friend the races I ended up entering were:

  1. Two Bays 56k race in January
  2. Duncan’s Run 56k race in March
  3. Margaret River 80k race in May
  4. Larapinta 4 dayrace in August
  5. Surf Coast 50krace in September.

I started my training in October 2019 for the Two Bays race in January and was happy to complete that event in just over 6 hours. While I completed Two Bays relatively fine, I had my eyes on Duncan’s Run in March that is quite hilly and I really wanted to give that a good crack. My training for Duncan’s Run was going really well and I also at the same started my plan for Margaret River as well. That is up until about 2 weeks before Duncan’s Run when my Physio confirmed that I had pretty bad case of Plantar Fasciitis. This happened just before the social distancing around Coronavirus took effect. Since that time Duncan’s run has been postponed as has Margaret River and I get the feeling that Larapinta may not be far away from being postponed either.

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From a motivation perspective this has been a difficult 4-5 weeks for me. I have not been able to run with my injury and with the changed world we are in at the moment, it has been difficult to do any cross training which is tough at the best of times. I exert so much energy getting out onto the trails and getting my runs in, but the positive energy that comes back is ten fold. I find running keeps me pushing myself while also keeping me grounded at the same time. It gives me balance.

Over the past few weeks there has been a real drop off in terms of activity. However I have been walking the past week or so to keep moving, keep active and to make sure that I get outside. I think I now have all the self-pity out of my system and I am finding myself again starting to find that focus and motivation again. I still am not 100% from my injury, but I can see myself running again in the coming 2-3 weeks and right now I am  excited just to get out for a 5k run. At the same time I don’t want to rush it and just re-injure myself so I will take it slow. With no runs planned for the next few months I have the time to allow myself to heal properly.

My running plans then have changed for 2020 and that’s ok, people are very adaptable. I may not complete every race that I had planned when 2020 started but no matter how many runs I finish, I will still feel good at the end of 2020.

Whether it’s running, family, work, etc… it doesn’t matter, there will be times that things go well and times when they don’t. It is human nature for your motivation to rise and fall as well. I think with the world we in at the moment, it is nice to remember that things will pass and if you are in a funk, just keep doing the things that you know are good and things that produce results and you will come out of it before you know it.

It is also about perspective (hurting my foot is inconsequential really compared to what people are living through at the moment) and while I enjoy running, I am by no means overly athletic or particularly fast when I do run but I enjoy it none the less.

Will Our View of Employment Shift (Not Really, a Bit or Yes Significantly)

I love to see the speed and flexibility that many large and small businesses have shown in response to the Coronavirus pandemic and the way they have adapted their workplace/workforce policies to ensure their employees health and well being. We have seen a lot of content around working from home. Many organisations who may not have had ‘Work From Home (WFH) practices have quickly scaled to bring to the masses a new WFH mentality.  I think that this will change forever the perception of WFH policies and processes for the better but I think that the focus on remote working is only the tip of the iceberg when we look at the potential shifts we may see in the workplace in the coming year(s).

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The Push to Workforce Casualisation: We have seen a slow but steady increase in the casualisation of the workforce. I remember attending a conference in 2006 where a speaker portrayed that the workforce of the future would not be a team of full time employees but be more like a movie production crew where people come together for a specific piece of work and then disband and then individuals join another project.  We haven’t quite got there yet but we have seen the rise of contracting, side hustles and workforce casualisation over the years since at a slow and steady pace. Will the response we are seeing in the business world today from the Coronavirus be the driver that causes a spike in further casualisation of the workforce. Maybe when the Coronavirus pandemic settles down and we resume back to a degree of normality we may see some companies/employees embrace change by looking at other ways to manage the workplace relationship between each other. Will every full time role that was made redundant or put on hold need to be hired back a full time role? We may come out of the other end of this and see both employers and employees more open to considering working together in ways besides a standard full time role. Both business and workers alike could look for more flexibility from the role that work plays for them which could mean contracting, more remote work, 2nd jobs, part time work, shared jobs, etc…. as a result of adjusted working conditions that we are having to adapt to at the moment.

A Shift in Mindset: Not every person and not every business thinks the same – this is what makes the world so great. For some people and businesses working Mon-Fri in an office in the city is perfect for them while for others the opposite is true. There is no right or wrong answer when we look at how we work. What I can see happening though is that going through this pandemic we will see some people begin to focus more on doing work that fits their overall life not just their work life. People will realise they do not need as much as they think and they will get some balance in their life between work, family, health…where we have seen in the past cases of burn out from people trying to be all things to everyone.

There is an Article by the Australia Industry Group: Casual work and part-time work in Australia in 2018  It is interesting to see the percentage of the overall working population in full time employment in 2018. Will this graph look significantly different in 2025?

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Things are tough at the moment however I have confidence and belief in how resilient and adaptable people are. We do not know when this will end, but it will end and when it does I am interested to see how this changes the workplace dynamic. I think the remote work conversation is the easy discussion, the deeper discussion I feel is around how this may change the way employers/employees view work and if it does change in what way. I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Running My First 100km Ultra at 46 Yrs Old

I have been quiet on this blog the past 6 months or so. So where has all the time gone and what I have I been doing? Running and more running and lots of eating!

The last post I wrote was in March this year after completing my first 50km Ultra marathon. Between March and now (September) I think it is fair to say I have been bitten by the running bug. Shortly after finishing Duncan’s Run I ended up entering the 100km Solo event at Surf Coast Century with a little coaxing from a few people (Jac, I am looking at you). So in April I started a five and half month training plan for the 100km race.

April to September involved a lot of running, I can’t thank my family enough as every Sunday I was out at least half the day on my weekly long run and Saturday’s as well for good measure. Also a big thank you to all the runners and friends who spent countless hours listening to me complain about all my aches and pains over that time during our weekly runs. There is no way I could have completed this without all the love, support and understanding from family and friends.

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So onto race day in September, to say I was nervous I think is an understatement. In the few days before the race I really had to calm my nerves as my mind started to play tricks on me. As I went through taper and took a few days rest before the race the thought kept coming back into my head that by taking this rest I would fall out of race shape or lose my conditioning. I knew this was not the case but the thought was still there trying to trick me.

It was great to start with the race with a friendly face in Greg who was also completing his first 100km with me. There were 4 legs to the race, in Leg 1 looking back I am certain I was running on adrenalin and the buzz of the day, I kept running with all that energy until I tripped over a tree root and face planted into a gum tree about 35kms in. This actually helped slow me down literally and figuratively. After knocking out the first 50 km’s in pretty good shape the back 50 was much harder and I had to dig much deeper to keep going. Having family, friends and everyone from the Seaford Lifesaving Club to support me and keep me going really helped push me through. Again I knew my mind was trying to play tricks on me and it was always good to have someone help pull me out of some of the deep mental funks I found myself in over the day.

I was able to cross the finish line and complete the 100km’s in 13 hrs and 30 mins.  Last year in 2018 I ran Leg 2 of the Surf Coast Century as part of a team. I remember seeing the individual 100km runners a year ago and being amazed at what they were doing. It is fair to say I was hurting after this race but I loved it and have a new found respect for the distance and everyone who gave it a crack.

Last year 30km’s was my limit, six months ago my limit was 50 km’s and now I know my legs have enough to do 100 km’s – who knows where this takes me next (Jac, I am looking at you again and today the answer is no way!). I do have Two Bays coming up in January and then…………

 

 

 

 

Running My First 50km Ultra at 45 Yrs Old

For the past 12 months or so I have been running with more regularity and with more thought and purpose than I had done the previous 10-15 years.

With a very big thanks to many people locally last year I signed up to do the 28km leg of the Surf Coast Century run in September 2018 as part of a team and completed my first half marathon the same year as well. After completing those couple of runs and coming out relatively unscathed in November 2018 I signed up for my first 50km run which took place over the weekend in March 2019.

Over the past weekend I ran and am glad to report that I completed the 50km run ‘Duncans Run‘. The race was actually 57 kms as they added an extra bonus 7kms to the race and I finished in just over 8 hours. The elevation was close to 2500 metres and it seemed like there was a hill at every turn, I think I am traumatised by hills now.

Having this race to prepare for really kept me focussed over the past 4 months as I tried to stick to my training plan and while I missed a few runs and missed a lot of exercises that I was meant to be doing it was good to have that focus and goal in mind. Over that training period there was a lot of self doubt and injuries that crept in, but one of the things about running that is so good is the support, advice and encouragement that you get from the greater running community.

On race day my mind was playing even more tricks on me, somewhere around the 35km mark my left leg/knee was really on fire and hurting. I managed to walk the hills and run when it made sense but everyone I ran with on race day was encouraging each other on and helping each other through the race. This helped so much.

  • I am really enjoying trail running, I love how this sport pushes my body and my mind. I enjoy working through the highs and lows of a run and love those times on a run when you push past those negative thoughts in your head and end up on the other side in a great mindset.
  • I enjoy the camaraderie of trail runners, it is not about getting a time but about enjoying the run and helping others. At least for me anyway, I am sure there are runners out there that are crazy competitive but even the competitive runners are still supportive and willing to share tips and tricks.
  • I enjoy getting out in the bush to run. I run when I can but with work, family and all the other commitments there are it can be hard to get out. I would rather be on a trail though any day of the week rather than a road race or run in the suburbs. To quote Darryl Kerrigan – ‘How’s the serenity’.

My legs and knee are a bit sore today, but I am feeling pretty good. Will I be doing another trail run in the future? Yes!!! In my mind right now I am thinking I will do the 50km run at Surf Coast Century in Sept 2019, then a 56 or 85 km run in January or February 2020 and hopefully that will lead up to a 100km run for Surf Coast Century in 2020.

Those are my plans at the moment. Who knows things may change in any number of ways but it certainly gives me a bit of focus for the next 18 months for my running 🙂

 

 

Giving Your Recruiters Tools That Will Help Your Talent Acquisition Strategy

I wanted to look at the Hiring Lifecycle from a Recruiter’s perspective and go into a bit more detail about getting full value from your ATS (Applicant Tracking System).

Recruiters are creatures of habit, this is not a bad thing. If you have not hands on been a Recruiter, you may not appreciate the level of multi-tasking and priorities that a Recruiter has to manage. A Recruiter may at any time be working on anywhere from 15-40 open roles that they need to fill. Most Managers will want those roles filled as quickly as possible and will have varying ways to emphasise to their Recruiter the urgency their role requires over other roles. On top of this comes reporting, branding, updating your ATS and all the other nice to haves.

With this in mind, Recruiters go to the sources where they get the best/quickest result for their effort. A Recruiter will want to identify quality candidates quickly without having to sift through candidate profiles that are not relevant. If those quick to find people sources don’t work then this is when a Recruiter needs to invest more of their time/effort and start undertaking tasks to uncover people not easily findable (sidenote: being easy/hard to find does not make you a better/worse candidate). Think back to when LinkedIn took off. I remember first using LinkedIn in 2006 and having a world of candidates to contact open up to me. That and job boards were able to give me quick wins. A good Recruiter normally has a balance of sourcing channels that provide both quick and long sources of candidate pipeline.

One thing I have noticed though over the years is that I have rarely seen Recruiters use their own ATS (Applicant Tracking System) as their first port of call to finding candidates. Job Boards/LinkedIn often gives Recruiters quick results and that fresh energy to filling a new role. I have had feedback and seen myself some of the frustration that comes from Recruiters using an ATS to source candidates. The main things that come to mind are:

A Recruiters ATS Frustration Can Be:

  • Search Capability and Results are often not accurate. You type in a search for ‘Web Designer in Singapore’ and get an Accountant in the US (ok that is extreme, but this can be how inaccurate the search results are).
  • Searches take too long. Some searches take 5-10 seconds to go from page to page but multiply that over a hundred searches in a day and you have a lot of inefficient time being spent.
  • UX/UI is clunky and not easy to navigate. Multiple clicks and pages takes away from the Recruiter’s experience.
  • Candidate profile views are often in spreadsheet format or in a format that does not let the candidate’s experience shine through. This creates more inefficient time being spent by the Recruiter to dig deeper on candidate screening.
  • Recruiters need to enter their own boolean string search and not confident that results are reflective of candidates in their ATS.

Today’s modern Recruiter will use your companies ATS if it helps them find and engage with great candidates. The world of Recruitment is changing and a Recruiters time is more stretched as Recruiters wear multiple hats from Sourcing expert, Business Consultant, Branding/Marketing, Reporting, etc… I think today’s modern Recruiter would benefit from an ATS that:

ATS Tools That Will Help Today’s Modern Recruiter:

  • Provides a great end user experience: The UX/UI is slick and makes the tool really easy to use, there is no delay between pages and profiles are standardised so they are easy to read.
  • Has deep search functionality and AI capability. A good search engine actually has a very robust and smart search capability so that not only will it produce real results from candidate database but it will actually suggest candidates that would suit the roles you are looking to fill.
  • Allows them to easily engage with candidates and minimise the amount of admin work updating systems. So your ATS should be able to minimise duplication, for example if I email a candidate and then need to update my ATS that I emailed them, I want a tool where I can do this in one place.
  • A good search engine actually has a very robust and smart search capability so that not only will it produce real results from candidate database but it will actually suggest candidates that would suit the roles you are looking to fill.
  •  Reporting is easy to read and in graph format so you can easily see the things that are important to you such as time to hire, source of candidate, etc… You will be able to have confidence in the numbers you are reporting and in the accuracy of your data.

Being a creature of habit is not a bad thing, good Recruiters use the tools/sources that provide results for them. The question to HR and Talent Acquisition Leaders is: Is your current Applicant Tracking System your Recruiters first port of call for candidate sourcing/engagement, if not how is this impacting your business, candidate engagement and productivity?

Would love to hear your thoughts!

The Continuing Evolution of Candidate Experience and Technology

I wanted to talk in more detail about Candidate Experience. When we think about candidate experience for many people the first thing that comes to mind is the relationship or communication between Recruiter and Candidate. For me the way that a company treats this conversation/experience is the result of the way that the business or company views/prioritises their view of recruitment and candidate care.

I have worked with different businesses over the years and have seen how business leaders who place a value on the candidate experience differ from those who view hiring as a transactional means to an end. I think the view that a company’s leadership team takes towards their hiring experience is the output that candidates will get with that company. A good candidate experience begins before the company even starts it’s hiring process.

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The Changing Expectations of Today’s Candidates: Candidate behaviour has changed from what it once was 10, 20 or 30 years ago. Where once candidates did not question the processes of a companies hiring procedures and looked at jobs as ‘jobs for life’, that ideology has evolved into a much more discerning employment population.

With the changing demographics of the workforce, companies can no longer rely on their name and/or size as a guarantee of a candidates interest in them. A generation ago a common belief was to get a job with a big company and have job security. This approach has changed at least since the GFC and even before that as we have seen companies go through layoffs, redundancies and pressure to deal with a rapidly changing economy.  Candidates can now prioritise which role to take based on factors besides job security or company name. This may include factors such as, team culture, projects they are interested in, chance to work on something new, etc…..

If you couple this change in candidate thinking with the changes in the technology space it really allows companies to better understand the hiring process from a candidate perspective and provides a better candidate experience through a combined evolution of their hiring approach together with an uptake of technology.

Technology exists that should be able to parse a person’s LinkedIn profie and/or resume fairly easily without there needing to be a lot of intervention needed from the candidate. The candidate should really be able to apply for a role via their mobile the same way that they order an Uber or order a pizza. In today’s quickly evolving workplace, companies need to make the process as simple for candidates to get into their pipeline as possible. Companies should be bringing candidates into the org not losing candidates at the application process as a result of a low tech application processes.

There are so many technology changes in the workplace today that companies can easily modify their workflows to make the candidate experience that much easier and better for both candidates and managers. The answer is not in technology alone but I think will come from the combination of technology and the evolution of a company’s change in mindset to candidate experience.

Breaking The Myth….How Long Do You Need to Stay in a Job

After almost 13 years with Oracle, this was my last week with the company. I gave notice to my boss just before Christmas and I have been helping hand things over as best I could over the past few weeks. I posted a thank you to everyone I have had the pleasure of working with over the years here: LinkedIn Goodbye Message the other day.

 

The thought in my head this morning was how my own actions have made me think about ’the experts’ who claim how long you should stay in a job for or are quick to tell everyone how companies view your tenure (whether it is too long or too short or something else) when you are looking for a job. You will see some articles saying you must stay in a job 2 years, or don’t stay longer than 7 years in a role, etc…..

 

Image result for how long to stay in a jobThe working world is a much different place to what it was 10, 20 or 50 years ago. My dad worked for one company and retired with that same company. Me, I am still in single digits in terms of the number of companies I have worked for but I may well end up in double digits before my working career wraps up and my kids – I am not even sure what the world will look like for them, they may not even have or want to have full time roles.

There are so many articles out there with these self perceived corporate guidelines of how long to stay in a job so you are not viewed as a ‘job hopper’ or as ‘part of the furniture’. I understand the thinking of these articles but I also feel that you do not need to apply some unwritten corporate guideline to your life. The best answer I would put out there on how long to stay in a job is to follow your gut feeling. You as an individual tend to know when it is time to leave a company/role and your gut instinct is more often than not correct.

 

If you end up in 5 roles in 5 years that is ok, if you are with one company for 10 or 20 years that’s ok as well. Different jobs/companies serve us differently at different times in our lives. The old school mentality of job tenure is shifting rapidly in today’s workforce.

 

This post below from Inpower Coaching and subsequent photo I think is really well written and is a very level headed approach to the question, how long to stay in a job.
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The point that I would note is to not make rushed, emotional decisions about your role/job/company. In my experience I have seen people (from graduates to executive level) change jobs based on rushed, emotional decisions rather than working out what it is they want to do, taking the time to evaluate their current situation and then making a level headed decision on their career weighing up all the information they have.

 

This is where if you change companies 5 times in 5 years and you are doing the same role each time – maybe it is not the companies that you have worked for that is a problem, but maybe in this example you have not sat down and worked out what it is you are looking for and then searched for that type of role. You may be taking on roles that you may know deep down you may not want to do (I hope that makes sense).

 

I am not the only person finishing work with their company this week, I am fortunate as I could not have finished on better terms with my boss. I have seen a number of similar posts as mine from people finishing up from all kinds of companies giving thanks to everyone.

 

People resign from companies every day and the world keeps on turning, if you find you are asking yourself how long should I stay in this job, make sure to take a level headed and logical approach to the question. A calm and measured approach will keep you from making any rash decisions. The answer is individual to you, it should be as long the role you are in works for you, not because of what others may or may not think of how that looks on your resume.

Good Writing is Not About Hits or Clicks it is Sincere and Meaningful

Last night I read the following Blog Post from Dan Nuroo. Dan has always written interesting posts. Most of his writing has been in and around the Recruitment Industry and it was really good to see him writing online again.

As I was out for my morning run my mind started to wander and I got to thinking how much I enjoy reading sincere and meaningful posts such as the one I read last night. I also ended up thinking about how long it has been since I have written. At one stage I was writing about topics in the recruitment space on a regular basis. There have been a few posts over the past couple of years here and there but not with the same level of activity that I had previously written and I started to think why.

One of the things I love about Social Media is that you get to share your thoughts and views with readers around the world. The more we share the more we all learn and grow and all the positive effects that go with it. There are some people who advise that if you are going to blog or share content that you must post every day or every second day to keep your visibility up and your ranking high on various sites. I struggle with this thought of having to post every day or every second day. The reason I write and post online is two fold, on one hand it probably is therapeutic for me to get this information down on paper but I also like to think I am providing something that may help a company or person in their recruiting or job search efforts.

With regards to how often you should post, I don’t think there needs to a rule of thumb. If you are writing with good intentions and trying to make a positive experience for whoever reads your post then do it when it works for you. For me, I think don’t post something just to post something, post content when your writing is honest and sincere and not just about hits, clicks or views. Ok, I feel that this post is now starting to tread into rambling territory now.

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Will I write more in the new year, I hope so, I think I will as even putting this together feels good for me. So why have I stopped writing for the past number of years, here are few thoughts that bounced around my head this morning.

  1. In years prior I had written a lot of content on Recruitment and Candidate interviewing, I think I felt I had exhausted many of the topics I wanted to talk about and didn’t want to just add content online for the sake of it.
  2. My role has changed a lot over the past 3 or so years. I have been focussed on internal systems/processes and growing and developing our internal teams. My mindset has been on helping our teams and people internally succeed. While this has been very satisfying it has likely refocussed some of my creative outlets to those folks rather than this site.
  3. Life – I know we prioritise the things that are important to us, but juggling work, family and everything in between kept me busy. Over the past 3 years there have been births, deaths and everything in between that has taken my focus and attention.
  4. Work – the past number of years have been busy, I have viewed spreadsheet after spreadsheet and report after report. I have had to focus my attention and energy on corporate stuff and my writing has been impacted as a result of this.

It can be easy to fall into a level of complacency when it comes to writing. If like me you have written in the past but maybe not so much lately that is ok just remember the things that brought you to writing (and Dan if you are reading this hopefully you will have more content in the new year as well 🙂 )

 

 

In Recruitment It Is More Often Than Not Mind Over Matter

I used to run and I used to run often. Back about 5,6,7 yrs ago I was running three to four times a week and really enjoyed my running. Sometime between that period of time and today in 2018 I crossed over into the 40+ age bracket and as my running distances and time increased I also injured myself (repeatedly).

Looking back I now know that the reason I was injuring myself was because I was overtraining, running too far and too fast for what my body could handle and I was not doing enough stretches or exercises to support longer distances.

At the time though, in my head I did not see these logical reasons for why I was getting running injuries. In my head the narrative was much different – the conclusion that was coming up in my head was that these injuries must be age based as running can put a lot of wear and tear on knees and legs. I came to the conclusion that as I continued to age there would be no way I can continue running without causing further injuries which led me to the conclusion that I should start bike riding instead as that has less impact even though I prefer running to biking.pexels-photo-421160.jpeg

The good news is that I have started running again this year and I am enjoying it as well. It took me a little while but I was thinking wait a second, you see 80 yr old people running all the time, with all the injuries and ailments and other reasons that make running hard they still do it. So if that is case, what’s my excuse!

How does this all relate to Recruitment? I have worked with a lot of Recruiters around the world over the past 18 or so years and I really believe the narrative in your head is the reality you produce. As a Recruiter if you tell yourself that there are no ‘good candidates’, or the market is tough or that nobody will be interested in the role you have to fill….if you tell yourself these things this is likely the outcome you will produce.

On the other side of that coin – if you tell yourself the next call you make will be the perfect candidate, or the next search will produce the person you are looking for – that drive and focus will help push you to the outcome you are looking for.

Recruitment is hard, I am not saying that just by thinking good thoughts you will make easy placements but negative thoughts will certainly not help you. Every problem has a solution, sometimes as Recruiters you just need to dig deep to find that candidate, make that placement or solve a problem. It is kind of cliche but it is true hard work pays off, the more calls you make the more interviews you have, the more interviews means the more placements.

I am sure in your industry that the equivalent of that 80 yr old runner with a hip replacement is out there making cold calls to candidates and making placements. Sometimes half the battle is having the right mind set. Once you have that locked in there really is no difficulty you can’t face.

 

 

Interviewing: Motivation and Reason are Key Elements to Success

A colleague of mine recently asked me a few questions about my thoughts on interviewing and some ‘tips’ that may help candidates in their job search. There were four questions that were asked of me and I thought I would share the four statements I had about interviewing in today’s world. The information below I think really is just scratching the surface on interviewing and job searching but here is what I said back to my colleague.

I think before any candidate gets excited about an interview they really should work out what it is they are looking for in their next role. If you don’t have an end goal in mind and go where the wind takes you how will you know when you have found the right role/company for you?

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Every candidate is unique. Candidates may share similar experiences or work histories but often having the right work ethic and motivation is one of the common traits that I tend to look for in every candidate. A candidate who is not afraid to work hard and wants to do the work will often be more successful than a person who has all the required skills but has a sense of entitlement or does not have the motivation to embrace the role. I would look for someone who is energized and excited about an opportunity as I think that enthusiasm will help drive someone to succeed in their role.

Information is available with a bit of research: There are numerous companies in the world of all shapes, sizes and forms. As a Recruiter I am more interested in what research a person does about the role they are being considered for more so than their knowledge of a certain company that anyone can get in the news. In today’s day and age I would expect that the person would have at least researched the Recruiter they are talking to and also should have researched the Interviewer they are going to meet. Candidates really should look at sites like Glassdoor to get employee reviews and information on what the work culture at an organization may be like. This opens up the opportunity to ask some great questions during the interview to validate what you independently researched about the company and individual you are interviewing with.

Perception and expectations can be different: I think candidates and Recruiters can sometimes go into an interview with different perceptions of what the other person is looking for more so as opposed to what they think is or is not important. Recruiters and Hiring Managers are looking for people to join their company that can add value to a role and help them achieve great results. There are still a lot of stereotypes about interviewing that exist that are being broken down. The best interviews tend to be the ones where the interview is more of a discussion than a question/answer type of situation. Candidates may over emphasize developing a good rapport with their interviewer. While this is important a candidate cannot sacrifice other important elements of an interview such as being professional or being able to clearly communicate your successes and results in a clear, crisp manner. There is a balance between developing a good relationship with the interviewer and showing your A game when it comes to business capability.

Two candidates but only one job, who gets the role: Two candidates can have similar work experience but have very different motivations for considering a new opportunity. A person who has the right work ethic and motivation to do a role I think really sets them up to succeed. Candidates look for new opportunities for a variety of reasons. Some people want more money, want to climb the corporate ladder, want to relocate, want more responsibility, etc…. the list is long. A good Recruiter knows how to qualify what it is a candidate is looking for in their next opportunity and see how that fits into the role they are being hired for. We can always teach people about technical or business skills, the candidates that embrace the opportunity are the ones who I think will grab the role and run with it.

The Changing Workforce: A Bright Light For Future Generations?

One of the things that really intrigues me and I love to hear other people’s thoughts and opinion about is ‘The Changing Workforce’. We all know that the demographics of the workforce are changing. A large number of Baby Boomers are retiring in the next few years and there is just not as many of us Gen X’ers around to take on those roles left open. The size of the Gen Y and Millenials population will soon see them being the largest percentage of the workforce in x number of years.

Besides the changing demographics of the workforce, there are also a number of other factors at play. The shift to a services economy combined with technological advancements is seeing traditional work barriers such as location and hours of operation crumble. Now it is possible to perform your role in any location where you have a strong enough wifi signal. The days of having to commute into the city to be in the office at 9 and leave at 5 are remnants of a different view of the of employer/employee relationship.

Another change which I see happening on both the employer and employee side is the change in the views of work. We have seen union membership consistently decline as the work changes, but on a broader scale both companies and employees no longer want to be held to the constraints of an outdated workforce. It used to be that a person would work 20 years with one company or even spend their career with one company, this was common place and the goal of many people 1-2 generations ago – Find a company to work at, get a steady pay check and rinse and repeat. In today’s workforce, skilled employees are looking to associate themselves with roles and companies that help them achieve their own goals that are often not just monetary. For example some people want to continue to develop their skills and capabilities and may last 2-3 years at a company before moving on. Some people may be drawn to others who share the same workplace values as them. There no longer is one clear cut way to develop your career and this is accepted now, it is no longer seen as detrimental to move every 3 years as it once was as long as you make an impact in your role. Now more than ever employees are taking the opportunity to move their careers in a variety of directions. Employees will stay at a company when it aligns with their goals and needs, when that alignment disappears we see movement in the workforce.

The casualisation of the workforce creates more opportunities for those who seek those opportunities. The false sense of security that a ‘job for life’ once gave no longer prevails. I think this is a good thing. Staying fresh, staying challenged and continuing to grow (either skill based growth or your own personal growth) is a good thing. I think we will see many more people working for themselves in the future and see far more work assignments being project based assignments as opposed to on-going roles.

I look at my kids and wonder what their work world will look like in 10-20 years. I am actually quite excited at the prospects and opportunities I think they will have. The workforce will continue to change at a fast pace and I think that those who embrace change will be able to adapt and grow while those who try to deny any change is happening or do not accept change will struggle in the new work economy.

“That Won’t Work Here” and Other Recruitment Myths

Over the past 10 years, I have helped roll out Recruitment Functions across to new locations/countries/business groups across the Asia Pacific region. One of the phrases that I have heard from both customers and even Recruiters when we want to look at a new way of candidate sourcing is “That won’t work here”. I have also heard “That won’t work here’s”  infamous sidekick “That’s not the way we do it” used as well.

One of my favorite writers Seth Godin published a Blog Post titled “Because it Has Always Been This Way” that I think explains some people’s resistance to change.

ThatWontWork

I love all the different locations and people that I support in my role(s) here. There is always a local custom or way of work that I need to  respect and pay heed to when I am working with others in different locations. One thing though that rings true across the globe no matter where you are is that a solid Recruitment Plan and a good Recruitment approach is a universal trait that applies everywhere. It can be easy to say why running a direct sourcing strategy or why a social media campaign won’t work.  It can be easier for people to stay in their comfort zone and use tried and tested methods even if those approaches hurt them in the long run. When you say ‘that won’t work here’ or ‘that’s not the way we do it’ without giving ideas proper consideration you are not allowing yourself to ask the question “What if”?

What if I could find all the candidates I needed with a Recruiter working from  a remote location, what if I could source all my competitor’s best talent, what if I could hire xx number of people in xx amount of time. When you stop limiting yourself to thinking only of the ways things are done and think about the end result you can then really start to make things happen. Once you have an end goal in mind you can work backward from that goal and figure out all the things that need to happen to make that goal achievable.

I think one of the key components of a Recruiters role is to take our customers hand and help them keep improving their recruitment capability. Customers have a million things to do, recruitment is only one of them. Recruiters need to stop taking ‘job orders’ and work as business partners to help educate their customers on what the best Recruitment practices are and give them options on how they can be implemented into a business. As a Recruiter you need to be the expert bringing new sourcing approaches to the table to discuss, if you are not doing this are you giving your customer the best level of service they deserve?

What is the worst that can happen, you try something that does not work out – at least you know if it works or not instead of dismissing ideas without trying. The upside is too big to ignore.

There is always a reason not to do something, but those Recruiters who can make the impossible possible are the ones that really shine!