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A Ramble on turning 30

11 Jan

Today seems like a good day to have a ramble. A ramble on turning 30…… yup that’s right
   
 

I wrote a post 5 years back now about getting older and how I was looking forward to it. In all honesty the 5 years between then and now have flown by in a mixture of jobs, moving to London, losing loved ones, watching loved ones get married, have kids and yup still being a total failure when it comes to dating J 

The 25 year old version of me would probably have seen my life different at 30 and more in line with society. You know …. Married, kids, house and while my face book feed is full of my friends doing all these things. I am not envious of them (ok sometimes I am) but generally I look at my little lot and think ok. It’s starting. Life, I mean. As I want it to be not as anyone else thinks it should be and that makes me Happy. But let’s reflect.

So Marriage ……. Yeah, I wake up more and more to 30 messages in a WhatsApp group about the best wedding diets! While I love a good wedding and love going along to support my friends while they buy ‘that dress’ or pick the perfect venue, I have come to realise just how much the thing cost. I mean and to be honest right now that puts me right off (yes I can hear people going it’s because you’ve not found the right person. I think it’s just because I would rather spend £10K on something else) not to mention the torture my friends seem to put themselves through on random wedding diets.

Ok, Kids. I love Kids. Here is what I hate, the stigma around being a women in my 30’s and not being settled or having kids. If you don’t know what I mean then you live in a very different world to most of us. “That body clock is ticking” can’t even begin to tell you how many times I hear that said to me. I have a constant desire to punch those people in the face.

Houses…. I read an interesting article about my generation AKA those born in the 80’s especially the first half of it. We are apparently the generation who are the worse off than any. We went into Uni and came out with debt into one of the worse recessions. Our starting salaries would be laughed at by any grad now, most of us where just happy to either have a job, bummed off travelling or suddenly went back to do that masters you didn’t want to do. We are behind the curve and due to the slow rise in our income we have taken longer to pay debts off. Now of course this rule doesn’t apply to all but it does to a large proportion of my friends. So we will get there. J

The biggest change for me was getting a job I enjoy and is permanent. For all of those who have helped me I guess I am finally starting to see I can do what you saw in me a long time back and I am lucky to have a boss who also believes in me.

I guess what I learnt in the last 5 years is I am at an age where I hope things will all start to fall in place, they certainly feel that way. I am done with the pressures of worrying about my life compared to everyone around me. I am getting there in my own little steps and what will be will be.

 

Engaging or being engaged – The battle of content 

19 Jul

I am currently on holiday and out of no where the sudden importance of the slight difference in semantic between Engaging and Engaged came to me. Maybe it’s too much sun but her me out. 

In recent months I have noticed lots of articles about brands and trying to force customers to engage with them.

Example 1. Robinsons – what on earth was the 30 second clip for Wimbledon … It looked like something I’d put together on an old Mac! It was not nostalgic or worth the money paid for it!! 

Example 2. Instagram ….. For the love of God i do not have an Audi or a Samsung phone I feel spammed and highly unengaged with both you and the brands you push! 

I am now in a role which means how we engage with (in my case candidates) falls at my feet. Granted the larger strategy isn’t mine but I’ve been trying to get people to understand that in a digital world candidates don’t all what the same thing. Everything is quick and fast, not all job seekers want to be forcefully engaged with. 

When people ask me to describe my job I guess the best way I can explain it is that I am a brand manager but rather than selling the product the company makes I help recruiters and hiring managers sell the business.

Stepping away a bit from this ….. Who ‘wants’ to be sold something? Well no one, not really. Who has been to a market in Turkey for example and there are people persuading you to buy, following you around, arms thrust out almost begging. Buy this…… Ok but why should I buy this? 

In this day and age if someone wants to buy something they will go and google it, read a review, ask a friend or ask Facebook and Twitter. We do it for everything including jobs. Now I know there is glass door and people can rate your company and the experiences they have with but is that painting the real picture? Maybe. Personally I’m more likely to write something bad than good because good is forgotten faster than bad. 

So where does that leave me when I have to think about how we get people to want to come and work for a company with a savvy workforce where the market that is quite honestly saturated in a lot of industries. How do you compete?

Personally I don’t want to force people to be engaged with the brand I want them to find us engaging. Why? Because being engaging buys more trust they want to know about you and what you have to say. Aka; The art of story telling but not with the sole purpose to sell. With the purpose to be that engaging company. 

I’m not always interested in the conversion levels I’m interested in what people think and say about the brand. I want them to stop and think wow they know their shit. They have real people who do real stuff and they like where they are. What’s more, stop all the high flyer bullshit focus, focus on some of the other people, give some of your less engaged people the reason to love your brand as well. Why? Because people buy people and any person employed by you chose you at one point for a reason they found you, your job the opportunities engaging (and likely the remuneration as well) they should be advocates. It should be coming from them, not just the be engaged with this crap I keep seeing at the moment. 

What’s my point? That I will continue to try and get ppl to think about the content that they put out even if it’s just s job advert. Why? Simple. I ask our community manager one question every time she asks me to check content, if I was the person on the receiving end of this ….. What would I think, feel, see and hear and why am I getting this? 

Engaging or being Engaged- The battle of content 

18 Jul

I am currently on holiday and out of no where the sudden importance of the slight difference in semantic between Engaging and Engaged came to me. Maybe it’s too much sun but her me out. 

In recent months I have noticed lots of articles about brands and trying to force customers to engage with them.
Example 1. Robinsons – what on earth was the 30 second clip for Wimbledon … It looked like something I’d put together on an old Mac! It was not nostalgic or worth the money paid for it!! If you’ve not seen it go to YouTube (I’m on holiday after all) 

Example 2. Instagram ….. For the love of God i do not have an Audi or a Samsung phone I feel spammed and highly unengaged with both you and the brands you push! 
I am now in a role which means how we engage with (in my case candidates) falls at my feet. Granted the larger strategy isn’t mine but I’ve been trying to get people to understand that in a digital world candidates don’t all what the same thing. Everything is quick and fast, not all job seekers want to be forcefully engaged with. 
When people ask me to describe my job I guess the best way I can explain it is that I am a brand manager but rather than selling the product the company makes I help recruiters and hiring managers sell the business. 
Stepping away a bit from this ….. Who ‘wants’ to be sold something? Well no one, not really. Who has been to a market in Turkey for example and there are people persuading you to buy, following you around, arms thrust out almost begging. Buy this…… Ok but why should I buy this? 
In this day and age if someone wants to buy something they will go and google it, read a review, ask a friend or ask Facebook and Twitter. We do it for everything including jobs. Now I know there is glass door and people can rate your company and the experiences they have with but is that painting the real picture? Maybe. Personally I’m more likely to write something bad than good because good is forgotten faster than bad. 
So where does that leave me when I have to think about how we get people to want to come and work for a company with a savvy workforce where the market that is quite honestly saturated in a lot of industries. How do you compete? 
Personally I don’t want to force people to be engaged with the brand I want them to find us engaging. Why? Because being engaging buys more trust they want to know about you and what you have to say. Aka; The art of story telling but not with the sole purpose to sell. With the purpose to be that engaging company.
I’m not always interested in the conversion levels I’m interested in what people think and say about the brand. I want them to stop and think wow they know their shit. They have real people who do real stuff and they like where they are. What’s more, stop all the high flyer bullshit focus, focus on some of the other people, give some of your less engaged people the reason to love your brand as well. Why? Because people buy people and any person employed by you chose you at one point for a reason they found you, your job the opportunities engaging (and likely the remuneration as well) they should be advocates. It should be coming from them, not just the be engaged with this crap I keep seeing at the moment. 

What’s my point? That I will continue to try and get ppl to think about the content that they put out even if it’s just s job advert. Why? Simple. I ask our community manager one question every time she asks me to check content, if I was the person on the receiving end of this ….. What would I think, feel, see and hear and why am I getting this? 

A Ramble: On Social Recruitment & LinkedIn Publisher

26 Feb

This morning I came into work and do what I always do as person, who works in the recruitment space, I headed over to my LinkedIn.

I hover over the 4 new notifications and in there I see one that says I’m Hiring. Now this made me think 1 of a few things

  • My contract is about to end let me see what this is about
  • Oh no he didn’t just post a job on LinkedIn publisher
  • Maybe it’s a post about how to hire people

My gut was resting with option 2 so I clicked as the curiosity got the better of me.

In fact a fair amount of people clicked on the post and as I got to it and found that the only thing on the post was a link to the job profile rage started to take over.

 NO

Of all the things, of all the stupid things you can do this has got to be one of them at least if they’d put something on the post but just a link, really?

As recruiters you are expected to think of new avenues to contact candidates but this, this is just broadcasting which I know is also needed to an extent but Publisher is simply not the place to post just a link.
Use your news feed, use your company page but do not use publisher.

For those of us who are trying desperately to get people in recruitment to embrace digital and new platforms this is an example of someone who still hasn’t understood.

I may be coming across harsh as the person might have no idea what they are doing (obviously) but can you risk that anymore in this day and age? Personally no, you can’t.

I learnt the hard way early on that some things are ok to do and others are not ok to do. Every time I take on a new role where I become the recruiting voice for the company I have to stop and think; if I was on the receiving end of this bit of information how would I take it, would I be impressed? Would I want to read it? Would I think it’s relevant to the business and what they stand for?

I spend a lot of my time trying to educate as well as create content for businesses, there are a lot of people passionate about finding new ways to engage with candidates, no sorry they aren’t new ways, they have always been the way to engage, conversation, knowledge, ease of access to the information they require, the ease of access to information anyone requires be them a candidate or not.

That is the beauty of the digital world, the fundamental psychology behind selling, marketing, brand presence whatever you want to call it is that story telling the ability to invite people into the conversation and if they don’t know it to educate them. Stuff like this gives Employer Brand, Recruitment Marketing, EVP whatever you chose to call it a bad name.

Snapchat Recruitment?

18 Dec

Snapchat-Feature-ImageForgive me for some of this post might come across as ignorant and some of it might be a random thought farfetched for right now you will think me a little mad (I am mad)

At the moment I am sleeping badly, waking up at all hours; the other night about 2 am I woke up to a Snapchat on my phone. In the haze of half sleep I had an Idea; would Snapchat be a good platform to use for recruitment.

Hear me out; there are a million new ways of ‘doing’ interviews with candidates that makes life easier for lots of people. The rise of the video interview seems to be the ‘in thing’ (alongside big data recruitment, whole other thing). For those of you who don’t know what I mean, this is the next level of skype interviews where you can pre-program questions of your choice, amount of questions and even up to the amount of time the candidate has to answer said questions, but what next?

Here is where I plead ignorance mainly due to not using Snapchat for anything other than personal use. Snapchat is currently used for brands to promote events, products etc. why could you not use it for the same purpose for brand/employer brand awareness? I get it’s a bit of a random way of getting the message out and I’m not sure if it’s targeted or not but I’m sure as time goes on it will get more and more targeted.

As recruiters we hold a lot of numbers of candidates, I know a lot of recruiters who text candidates a lot (not in that way, maybe some in that way) but with all this information surely it can be used to be more innovative with the way we reach out to people?

Aware I sound mad now, but I do think there is something in it, someone might even be doing it already; I’d love to know if you are.

If not then I think it is something likely to happen further down the line and something to bear in mind.

A Ramble About The Word Social And Things

11 Dec

I’ve spoken about this before but I honestly think my brain may of gone dead, I used to have a million ideas and way things could change, I notice I have lost that spark, until at least someone ignites my imagination again, even if it is only for the 5 seconds of our attention spans.

I was determined to try and put something coherent down after going to SMLondon some time ago now. I’m sure most people didn’t take away from the day what I did which was touched upon by both Jeremy Waite and Rylan Holey which was around social employee’s.

Now I’ve been having a think about this term ‘social employee’ taken at face value, we what, want our employee’s to be more social, but with who and what?

I started off being highly enthused by the idea of some sort of massive business shift that was going to mean that suddenly all employee’s would take up social media channels and start tweeting like crazy.

Then I had a bit of a wakeup call on Tuesday at 4:30am with this burning idea of why on earth do we keep putting certain words in front of stuff, this idea alone does not make a great blog but then Mr Waite posted a section of this amazing book from the 1900’s and the main thing is that a lot of basic processes in business have not changed.

Cue exhausted brain dump –

blog_what-exactly-is-a-social-business
Social Business; what on earth do we mean by this? (Aware there is an actual meaning and not maybe the one we think)

So In my book business is still business the absolute fundamentals of business have NOT changed from the moment humans started trading goods with each other. What has however changed in business is the speed in which we do things, the channels we use have changed, phone calls have moved to emails to text to a DM on whichever platform the person was last seen on. For me Social business is people making business as easy to do for everyone involved. It’s being connected and fluid it’s not just about social media and digital they are only a few components in that. Face time as people sometimes like to call it, is almost more important to building those relationships; it’s called ‘social’ business after all, get social with it.

social-business
Social Employees; I think there is some confusion on what is expected of employees. The idea is what, that we get employees interacting more on social media… going out with each other more, I’m a little baffled.

I don’t think it’s about employees being more social I think it’s about truly using people’s strengths to the best (we do so much testing like Myers Briggs that never gets used). Seek out the people in the business that already absolutely love you, get them to talk about you. Seek out the unhappy people to figure out what is the driver. Word of mouth is stronger than you think on both counts. For me to gain real “Social employees” you have to showcase the people in your business, to allow them to want to talk about your business, that includes the bad (internally as much as possible, obviously) no business is without faults but not business would exist without its employees and the work force IS changing that is always going to be the case but in that case lets support people through that rather than throw more buzz words at them. Find your cheerleaders; Find those who need the extra support to be your cheerleaders both are important they both cheer loudly.

 

 social_employees
Social Recruitment; I put my hands up and profess I used to think this was a thing, it was in my job title for heaven’s sakes.

What I have learned over the last 3 years however is that, there are a few ways of recruiting regardless of what type of business you are in. You have some very transactional people in recruitment, its supply and demand, it’s about commission or time to hire. Then you have the people like me who were all about the conversation, conversations take more time and more effort than the first. Here is something else I have learnt, Social recruitment is about people; oh it’s so 100% about people. It’s about the current people and it’s about future people, it’s not about bums on seats (although they are important) it’s about the right bums on seats, it’s about using the right channels to tell the right story’s.

Whatever you do have a strategy for this, please have a strategy for this if you don’t you are throwing shit at a wall and hoping it sticks. Most of it won’t stick but will smell foal and not be the message you want. I have also learnt that tweeting out 20 jobs a day does NOT enhance anyone’s experience and it’s not social recruitment.

Here is what I think; I think the world is changing and faster than most of us can keep up with it. What all of these things have in common though is that putting a word such a social or digital whatever you want to us in front of it doesn’t change the actual IT. Let’s just be honest and say; buzz words suck. There is perfect logic behind all of these things and it isn’t all tied up in just one word being put in front of it like social. A lot of the ability for companies to advance is hidden in the ability to identify strengths and weaknesses and use them accordingly and you will find a lot of both in your people as much as your data, insight or strategy.

Motorway Ramble

28 Oct

M1 motorway sign

Driving up the M1 this morning it got me to thinking about my series of Underground rambles and how happy I was when I first took this new contract that I would be driving.

Let me make it very clear; I LOVE DRIVING no really I love it that I am usually the driver to most places and opt to be, so you can imagine the fact my poor old car that hasn’t seen much use over the last 2 years was suddenly out and about again and not always loving it (didn’t start after topping up the oil)

The best bit is that it’s going to costs me less and takes me the same amount of time in the mornings to get to work; it also means music blasting and singing your heart out in the morning without looking like an odd ball.

Instead what its actually meant is; I read less (not a good thing) I don’t keep up with current affairs (although the metro is a dubious source) I no longer get stylist (this does make me sad) I also have to plan my life better which for those of you who know me well will understand that’s a concept I sometimes struggle with. What is has meant is no more passing out in the winter or battling with Shoppers and tube strikes, don’t have those anymore.

Instead in the mornings I now battle with the van men who park so close to the entrance of my road I can’t see what is coming towards me, the people who don’t understand that lights in the dark mornings and nights are helpful, that sunglasses are essential to winter driving and that driving in the middle lane doing 60 miles an hour is DANGROUS not to mention the drivers who put their make up on and play candy crush whilst driving their car.

So over the next month I will bring you the joys of all these things on the 3 junctions I drive of the M1, might as well take the commuter stress out someplace other than the horn on my car.