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Preview: ...from the trenches

...from the trenches



There is a 'War For Talent' raging with massive talent shortages in Engineering, Accounting, Healthcare, etc. Visit often for one Recruiter's view of the 'War'...from the trenches



Updated: 2015-09-17T00:27:15.691-05:00

 



Farewell Here...Greetings Over There

2008-04-16T09:24:15.761-05:00

For the trickle of visitors that still happen upon this blog from time-to-time, you have probably noticed that I haven't done anything here in the past three months. There are a few reasons for that, but the primary one is that I'm finding that the contributions I am making on RecrutingBlogs.com are reaching a larger audience and the Ning platform is offering a greater array of opportunities to connect and be heard.

If you have not been to RecruitingBlogs.com yet, or have and not signed up yet, I strongly encourage you to pay another visit, sign up, and enjoy the ever growing rich content of this site. Jason Davis (aka Slouch) has done a tremendous job in growing the membership to over 5700 in a relatively short period of time. If you are based in the DC area, be sure to join the DC Area Recruiters Group which is currently the largest regionally-based group on the site. Many other interest groups exist there as well.

I'll keep this site live for the time being. There's alot of good stuff here and I'm proud of the time and effort I put into it. But RecruitingBlogs and another soon-to-be-announced blogging venture make more sense for me to be involved with going forward.



Shameless Plug Time: Internet Innovations - Feb 6

2008-01-15T20:17:34.213-05:00

Yes, that's right, it's shameless plug time again. Your's truly will be participating on a panel with Gary Cluff and Bret Hollander to discuss what's new and cool in Internet Recruiting. Gary will be providing a view on what internet tools are popular with employers and candidates alike, Bret will share his wisdom the various internet sourcing tools available, and I will be discussing how to effectively utilize social networking tools in your recruiting strategy.

The February WTPF Internet Innovations event will take place on Wednesday, February 6 at The Tower Club in Tysons Corner, VA. WTPF members and non-members alike are encouraged to attend.

For more information, click here
To register online, click here



Nevermind

2008-01-13T11:09:11.977-05:00

Due to various circumstances, which were primarily out of my control, the CRM 4 Recruiting blog will not continue. Didn't last long, did it :-/

It's unfortunate, but I hold no grudges or ill will with anyone involved. Life is too short to be caught up in such things. I move forward and put these past few days behind me, and I hope others will as well.

As for this blog, I still think it needs an overhaul if nothing else. Stay tuned.



Hanging It Up For A While

2007-12-04T09:06:31.112-05:00

A year and a half ago, I decided to jump into the recruiting blogosphere and let my voice be heard. Since then, I've written over 130 posts, mostly on recruiting, but also some on my life and personal interests. As time has gone on though, I've found it more and more difficult to write about the original subject of this blog, recruiting. Being in the role that I am with my firm, it's been difficult to delve into much detail about my views on recruiting, as those views greatly reflect what we are actually doing here currently, and I'm not ready to show my cards to the competition just yet. Work has been busy, life has been busy, to the point that it's not that I can't write new posts here, more than anything, I just haven't been motivated enough.

After contemplating this for quite a while, and with a heavy heart, I've decided to stop posting on this blog for a while, if not for good. It's been a labor of love at times, and I'm proud of what I have done here. At the very least, I think that it's made me a better writer. I've received numerous compliments on this blog from friends and colleagues, and I am eternally grateful for that. Going forward, this blog will stay live indefinitely as I know that even when I don't post for a while, it still gets visitors, especially for some who appreciate the list of Recruiting Blogs.

I won't be disappearing either. I've been pretty active on Facebook lately, and plan on diverting my writing efforts more to comments on ERE, LinkedIn and other Recruiting Blogs, so you certainly haven't heard the last of me.

I've been blogging actually for more than just the past 18 months. Before I launched this blog, I wrote a music-related blog for about 15 months (a challenge to any researchers out there who might find it???). That said, this will be the first time in 2 1/2 years that I won't be blogging. I may just start things up here again someday, or maybe, go in a different direction. Regardless, thanks again for everyone who has paid a visit here, left a comment or two, especially those who encouraged and inspired me over the years. All the best!



R.I.M.S. - Part 4

2007-11-28T10:10:12.906-05:00

A long journey culminated yesterday in the launch of the final major feature of our new RIMS, Virtual Edge. A year ago this month, I started my new job, and in the first week became involved with the efforts to identify and implement a new RIMS for the firm. We made our selection in late Spring, and after a fast-tracked and tumultuous implementation, finally went live at the end of August. When we went live however, it was with several pieces still yet to be launched. I wanted to wait until the last of those pieces was in place before I put up this post.The implementation process was indeed a challenge for a number of reasons. The ADP-Virtual Edge merger had resulted in a large number of simultaneous implementations, of which we were caught in the middle of. We had a hard deadline to get the RIMS in place before college recruiting season began for obvious reasons. When we went live, it was with the core VE Professional product, providing us with the core RIMS functionality. Although there were a few bumps early on, we were able to get the system operational and everyone trained relatively quickly, which offered a tremendous improvement in technology for us compared to where we were before.There was still more work to be done however. At the end of September, we trained our recruiters on VE's CRM tool, Pilot, and launched this in early October. We are still in the early stages of using this new tool, but I am convinced that our recruiters will find this to be a valuable and powerful tool to help them better communicate and cultivate relationships with our prospects and candidates.Also at the beginning of October, we rolled out the Employee Referral functionality through our Employee Referral Intranet Portal. We have had the intranet site up since May, but the process was still relatively manual. The launch of this feature enabled our employees to access our job postings internally and easily submit their referrals directly into the RIMS for the first time. With this feature employees can also provide us additional information about their referrals, and we also have automated email notifications set up to notify referring employees as to the status of their referrals. New referral features that will be made available with VEs next release will make this feature even more powerful. On the downside, employees are still slow to take advantage of this self-service functionality. This is a major process change however, and one that we will hopefully continue to convince our employees the value of in the coming weeks and months.The final piece of the puzzle however was launched yesterday. Up until yesterday, the process for our employees to pursue internal job opportunities was a challenging and convoluted one to say the least. The simple fact was that we did not have the ability to post jobs internally across the organization through our intranet. Yesterday, we went live with our Internal Career Center, which offered a direct link into RIMS for our employees to explore and apply for internal job postings easier than ever before. We expect that over time, this will greatly improve internal mobility, therefore ultimately improving our employee's career growth initiatives and reducing turnover. We realize that there are some cultural barriers to cross here, but this new functionality alone will go a long way to get us where we need to be.Whew! It was alot of work to get us to this point. The key factor that delayed the launch of the employee referral functionality and internal job postings was the challenges that came along with providing our employees Single Sign On (SSO) access. Once the issues related to this were resolved, and we were able to set up/revise our intranet sites, we were finally able to get these important pieces into place. My boss, my teammates, our intranet and corporate communications teams, and our outstanding IT Project Team are all responsible for moving us lightyears ahe[...]



Intern Conference Video

2007-11-14T08:04:44.806-05:00

Check out this video of highlights from our Firm's Summer Intern Conference, held this year at the Q Center in St. Charles, IL. Kudos to my teammates for pulling off this great event!

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Feet Back on the Ground

2007-11-13T09:21:48.800-05:00

Eeek! It's been way too long since I've posted here, since the end of the ERE Conference in fact. Sorry for the layoff, but as I thought it would be, it's been a very, busy, tiring and exciting fall. Where have I been? Well, here's a quick recap:

- CareerXroads Colloquium, Oct. 22-24: Mark, Gerry and the Recruiting team at JP Morgan Chase were very gracious hosts for the latest Colloquium event. One major rule at the Colloquium is that what is said there, stays there, so I can't go into detail here. Very interesting discussions however regarding how some companies are bringing executive search in-house. Outside of the Colloquium itself and making some new friends, a highlight was Gerry returning a favor providing a tour to a few of us of Hoboken, his alma mater, Stevens Institute, and mid-town Manhattan. The view of Manhattan from Stevens Institute in particular was absolutely spectacular. Thanks Gerry and Mark once again!

- Global MBA/Masters Career Conference, Nov. 1-3: My first trip to Orlando was to help out at a recruiting event that included about twenty companies and MBA/Masters international students from universities across the country. I met and engaged with a number of highly talented students, as well as career center professionals from TCU and Willamette College. This was the first job fair/interview event I had done in over a year, and to be honest, I at first felt a bit out of shape and practice. Once I got warmed up though, I felt back in my element, and overall had three productive days. Hopefully we'll get a few hires out of this effort. I was also able to gather some info for a return trip to Disney next Spring.

- NRT Team Meeting, Nov. 8-9: The fact that the team I am on is virtual means that we don't get to see each other as a group very often. So when we do get together, we tend to be pretty lively and get alot accomplished. We've come a long way since the start of this year, but the really good stuff is yet to come.

I'm home for a full week now after seven straight weeks of travel, conferences and meetings. Add to that the completion of the first draft of a 17-page internal whitepaper about Source-of-Hire, creating the business case for a sourcing function and alumni program, building a new intranet site for internal job postings, Halloween, my son's baseball games, football and basketball games, getting evaluated for laser eye surgery (I'm a candidate! Yea!), and not alot of sleep, I hope you can understand why my energy around blogging hasn't quite been there lately. I can tell though that there are still some visitors to the site though and I have alot more to blog about in the coming days/weeks. Check back again soon for new posts on our new office, our RIMS implementation and launch, more on the source-of-hire whitepaper, amongst other topics.



ERE Expo Fall 07 Recap - Day 2 & 3

2007-10-21T15:41:12.935-05:00

Holy cow, what a week! This was my fourth ERE Expo and I don't think that any of them went by as fast as this one did. What makes this even so great? The speakers and the sessions offer a good variety of strategic and tactical content, and I typically get a few nuggets of new knowledge there. But more than that, this event brings together the best-in-the-business time and time again. I learn just as much if not more in my networking at the Expo, get to meet alot of interesting people in the process. I had been looking forward to this for over a year, and now it's come and gone .When I left you last, the events of Thursday evening were about to begin. We started with a CareerXroads dinner at one of DC's best restaurants, Cashions Eat Place in the nearby Adams Morgan neighborhood. It was a great meal with great company and conversation. Gerry and I had to cut out early though to get back to the hotel for the Charity Poker Tourney. I was fortunate enough to be sponsored by Diversity.com to play at the 'high-rollers' table. I didn't do so great there, but won a couple hands and had alot of fun. Big time congratulations to Jason "The Dynasty" Davis who won his third straight ERE Charity Poker Tournament. Also a big congratulations to the ERE Foundation, that came out big raising over $9K in donations. Job Target and ZoomInfo also deserve recognition for their sponsoring this event. It was a great time for a great cause.Got home late again, slept fast again, and got back to the Expo Friday morning just-in-time to hear Dan Pink's keynote, which was fascinating and entertaining at the same time (especially with his 'startling factoids'. Dan amazed us with alot of relevant information, including his view that offshoring is overhyped short-term, underhyped long-term, and that routine work is destined to go away in this country the same way that manufacturing has. Gerry led a panel of MBA students/graduates next where they gave us their insight as to what they appreciate and look for in the recruiting process. It really all boiled down to the need for a personal touch in the process.After lunch, my former boss, Gary Cluff, showed off the recruiting branding video game that he helped develop at MITRE called Job of Honor. I saw a brief demo of this a few months back, but this was the first time I saw the complete version. What MITRE has developed is truly innovative and should go a long way to help educate potential candidates as to what MITRE is all about. The game is available live on MITRE's website (see link above), I strongly suggest that you check it out.Any regrets from this year's conference? Well I would of liked a little more time to interact with some of the vendors. As the conference went by, everything felt a bit rushed. I was able to reconnect with alot of old friends though and made few new ones as well. The networking gets better everytime. I also would of liked to take more pictures, but just got caught up what I was doing too much and missed alot of opportunities. The pictures I did get though are linked below.Another great ERE Expo is done, and time to look forward to the next recruiting conference, which actually comes up this week with a trip to the CareerXroads Colloquium in Jersey City. More to come later this week on that event. Until then, just catching my breath, and getting ready for more learning, networking and fun!ERE Expo - Fall 07[...]



ERE Expo Fall 07 Recap - Day 1 & 2

2007-10-18T16:28:17.479-05:00

The week I've been looking forward to for over a year is finally here! I arrived at the Wardman Park mid-afternoon yesterday to get started on the heavy-duty networking that makes this conference great. Almost immediately, I was able to reconnect with Joel Cheesman, Jeremy Langhans, Mendoza, Ed Newman, Gerry a former colleague (Suzanne), and numerous others. Joel and I had a particularly useful conversation regarding SEO. Soon, the networking spilled out to the welcome reception hosted by The Ladders, which was very nice, but dinner was still necessary. So a group of us headed over to the Adams Morgan neighborhood for a very nice dinner at the rooftop restaurant, Perry's.

Got home late, slept fast, got up early, and headed back to the conference again this morning. Got to reconnect right away with my old team at MITRE, a nice start to the day. In regards to the Expo itself, I won't go into too much detail here regarding the sessions, you can get that at the ERE Expo Blog. I enjoyed most of the sessions I attended today though. Learned a few interesting things from Anne Ceruti from Disney, including their heavy Accounting recruiting efforts in Burbank. I knew that Jim Larranaga's session would be great as I've heard him speak before. He energized the room and was a hard act to follow.

I was off then to check on some email and to start work on this post, when I ran into Steve Levy, who I've exchanged communications with many times before, but was now meeting for the first time. Lunch soon followed in the the Exhibit Hall with Steve, Mendoza, and Steven Rothberg, another blogger who I was able to meet for the first time.

After lunch, sessions followed learning about the Dell Talent Acquisition Academy (very timely since we are planning our own recruiters conference coming soon), and about how American Express is building their talent pipelines. Most of this I am writing as I'm listening to Mark and Gerry wax poetic about everything from SLAs to data integrity, trends, recruiter requisition load, and more.

Soon we will be heading off to a great dinner, followed by the Charity Poker tourney. More on that tomorrow, and pictures will be up soon as well.



Welcome to DC ERE!

2007-10-11T10:38:35.765-05:00

I'm so excited! We are a week away from my favorite recruiting conference in my home town! I'd like to offer a heartfelt DC welcome to David Manaster, ERE and the hundreds of recruiting professionals and vendors attending this week's ERE Expo. This most certainly will be an exciting event, chock full of thought leaders, cool technology, energetic speakers, and more.Hopefully you will get the opportunity to look around DC while you are here. Last year, I put together a local guide for those coming into town for the 2006 SHRM convention. Check it out for suggestions on museums, monuments, restaurants and more. Honestly though, this is the best time to be in DC. The summer months are hot, humid (actually, it still was up until earlier this week!) and mobbed with tourists. Complete with torrential downpours, the SHRM conference experienced all of that. Fall in DC is my favorite. The leaves are turning, the weather is cooler, and tourist season is over. A hotel room overlooking Rock Creek Park should offer a stunning view. The historic Wardman Park Marriott is also in a great part of town.Looking for great restaurants? DC has one of the hottest restaurant scenes in the country right now. Adams Morgan is chock full of great ethnic restaurants and is only a short walk away. Cleveland Park is a long walk/short Metro ride away and offers a number of great restaurants including one my favorites, Palena. Others restaurants that I did not list last year include:- 2 Amys (great pizza)- Cafe Atlantico/Minibar (a culinary adventure)- Citronelle and City Zen (got a REALLY big expense account?)- Kinkead's (best Seafood in DC)- Sushi-Ko (not a sushi fan myself, but this is supposed to be the best.- Vidalia (DC is a southern town at heart you know...)Looking to explore on foot? Within a short (or long) walk, you have the National Zoo (free of course), Rock Creek Park, and the National Cathedral. Or, take a short cab ride to Georgetown. Take the Metro to the Smithsonian Museums (BTW, the American History Museum is closed for renovations), The Mall and the Monuments. In fact, one Monument that I didn't mention last year was the FDR Memorial. This stunning Memorial is a short walk from The Mall by the Tidal Basin. I was back there for the first time in years and forgot how beautiful it was, unlike any other Monument in DC. Oh, and if you can, check out the Monuments at night, truly the best way to see them.I love DC. My Grandfather, my Father and I were all born within it's city limits. I'm proud to call DC home with all it has to offer. So enjoy the ERE Expo for sure, but also be sure take some time while you are here to see what DC can offer you. I promise you, you won't be disappointed.[...]



500!!!

2007-10-09T07:45:20.719-05:00

Over the course of this blog, I have documented the growth of my LinkedIn network. I've been an evangelist of LinkedIn with my employers and colleagues alike. The strategy for growing my network has been deliberate and targeted, to the point where I can say that I actually 'know' over 75% of my 1st degree connections. Even with this strategy, I've been able to grow my network at a relatively steady and brisk pace.

Back in July 2006, I made it to 100 connections (1 Million 3rd degree) and thought I was all that. In April of this year I grew my network substantially via MLPF. In May, I was at about 350 1st degree connections and was concerned about the integrity of social networks. Then, in July, I hit 400 (2.6M 3rd Degree).

Today, I hit what is essentially the landmark number for LinkedIn, 500 1st degree connections. Fittingly, my 500th connection is none other than Dave Copps, the pioneer who is revolutionizing semantic search for recruiting purposes, specifically the enhanced ability to easily source from what he terms the edge of the web, places like blogs and social networks. I'm a big fan of Dave's, so thank you Dave for accepting the invite and I hope we cross paths again soon, at ERE next week perhaps?

As for now, when you see me on LinkedIn, you will see that nice '500+' in my profile. And if we haven't connected on LinkedIn yet, and you see a mutual benefit to connect, send me an invite today. I've said it before and I'll say it again, LinkedIn is the greatest business networking tool around. And if diamonds are a girl's best friend, if dogs are man's best friend, then LinkedIn is most certainly a Recruiter's best friend!



Busy Day In The Big Apple

2007-10-04T20:40:20.216-05:00

Heading home on the train from NYC as I'm writing this post after a long, long day visiting our New York office, and attending the Select Minds CONNECT Conference. The day started with a productive strategy session with our local recruiters, and I think we came away with some ideas that should raise the bar and generate more candidate flow. After lunch, I headed a few blocks over to the Sofitel Hotel for the Conference.

I've been keeping my eye on Select Minds for a while as I like what they are doing in the alumni portal and corporate social networking space. There were several good presentations, including the always interesting and entertaining Mark & Gerry. Also got to meet our new sales rep and the charming CEO of Select Minds, Anne Berkowitch, in the process. It was nice to see Jennifer from Bearingpoint again too.

Much of what I heard confirmed things I already knew. But there were a few juicy nuggets that I was able to walk away with too. Will we go with Select Minds as a vendor? Hard to say right now as we are in the early stages. But the clear consensus from some of their key clients was that it would of been much more costly to build out similar functionality on their own. Up until last week, my scope in this space was solely focused on building an alumni program. But I'm becoming more convinced that an alumni program is just part of a larger corporate social networking strategy, one designed to more effectively leverage knowledge, relationships, career growth, retention efforts, and business development opportunities. Corporate Social Networking is anything but a fad IMO, it is becoming more and more of a component of overall business success.

Thanks again to Doug at Select Minds for convincing me to attend today, and thanks to the crew on Sixth Ave. for a productive morning and a nice lunch.



It's a Matter of Source

2007-10-01T08:34:42.766-05:00

I haven't written here in about a week because I've been working on something else that has taken up much of my time and effort. I believe that a fundamental shift is needed in our overall talent acquisition strategy. A shift that requires us to move away from reliance on traditional, 'reactive' recruiting sources and practices, and towards more 'proactive' sources and long-term strategies. The competition in our industry, and what the future holds, demands no less.

Over the next few weeks, I will be developing Source Utilization whitepaper for our Firm. This whitepaper will explore our past and current source utilization metrics and strategies, which will in the process make the case for a realignment of resources to better enable our firm to improve the quantity of quality candidate flow.

The biggest challenge in undertaking this effort is the data. Data integrity is critical, and for a variety of reasons, the data we have up to this point is not what I would consider to be highly reliable. Then there is the whole issue of how to gather this data in the first place. Mark and Gerry at CareerXroads make the valid argument that candidates often arrive at your doorstep via a variety of sources, not just one source, which is what most organizations (including ours) track. Or even worse, they don't know themselves the true source, or select the wrong source by error. For example, I saw a few examples just last week of college students who selected 'Employee Referral' as their source. Yes, they may of been 'referred' by an employee, but they will be involved in the college recruiting process, and therefore don't qualify as 'employee referrals'. Getting this right in the long run will require great diligence by our organization to identify the one, most relevant source for our candidates, especially our hires (even though the selection of one source may continue to be a flawed measure).

The data we have today though will have to be sufficient. Even it isn't highly accurate, it should be reflective enough to show where were we are now, and where we need to get to. Our management needs to be educated as to where our candidate flow comes from, the cost, quantity and quality related to those sources, and which sources moving forward will best support our talent acquisition needs.

I believe that the source utilization metric, as flawed as it may be, is the singular most critical metric needed to chart one's recruiting strategy. It's all about maximizing quality candidate flow in the most cost effective manner possible. Check back as I'll share what I can from this effort.

Also coming this month will be recaps of the Select Minds Conference next week in New York, ERE in DC in mid-October, the CareerXroads Colloquium the following week, the story of the launch of our new RIMS, and much more. October is going to be a VERY busy month...



I Made a Top-100 List

2007-09-24T09:23:43.334-05:00

Ran across this on MC Stroud's blog this weekend. According to Bootstrapper, this blog is among the Top-100 HR blogs, specifically among the top-15 in the 'Corporate' category. I'm assuming that this isn't rank-ordered, as there is no way that this blog would ever be ranked higher than the Mr. Stroud.

Not to sound ungrateful, but:
A) This is not a HR Blog
B) I've also always considered this to be a personal blog rather than a corporate one (so shouldn't I be in the 'Recruitment' category instead?), and
C) I've never been a fan of 'Top' lists like this.

When you see lists like this, they are often based upon numbers (therefore highly objective), or based upon opinion (therefore highly subjective). It's the latter that bother me. These lists are often entertainment-based (Top-100 Movies, Top-100 Swimsuit Models, Top-100 Hair Bands), and I am often left shaking my head, wondering, how did they come up with THAT!

The responsible party for this list must of read something on my blog at one time that they thought was interesting or useful, then formed an opinion somehow that this was a good Corporate HR Blog. But the author clearly states that the blogs that made the list "will provide you with the information and expertise you need to take on the legal, interpersonal, management and other challenges associated with human resources." This blog ain't that...

Nonetheless, this is a first for me, so for whatever reason this blog was included on the list, I do indeed thank you kindly for the recognition.



The Sourcing Savant

2007-09-17T12:17:33.805-05:00

All hail the SourceCon Grand Master Challenge Champion, Michael Notaro! Oh, and check out his blog too. Today, he shares with us the secrets of his success. Something to do with Google Coop and Radiohead. Brilliant!



SourceCon Wrapup

2007-09-14T09:06:56.677-05:00

When I left you last, the Grand Master Sourcing Challenge was in full swing. It was a great competition for those involved, but only one, the great Michael Nataro, would come out on top. Michael's only been a dedicated sourcer for a short time, but he certainly has a great future ahead of him. Congrats again to Michael.

A nice outdoor reception carried on to a Charity Poker Game that would last into the night. The game, which raised $1900 the Positive Outlook Foundation, was great fun, and all for a good cause. I played some great hands, but was knocked out by the eventual winner, Jeremy Langhans (who seems to win at just about everything BTW). It turned into a late night, but the continuous networking and collaborating made it all worthwhile.

A very groggy Thursday got off to a rousing start with a energetic and entertaining presentation by Danny Cahill. I had heard of Danny before, but had never heard him speak. If you ever get the chance, don't pass it up, he is fantastic. Why? More than being entertaining, he's real, he's honest, and in most cases, he's dead-on right. Treat your prospects and candidates right, with respect and honesty, and you can't lose.

The day continued with mind-blowing presentations by Shally and Eric Jaquith. I love listening to these guys as I always get some great takeaways. They are truly two of the best around.

Marc, Constance and Denny from ExecuQuest followed with The Anatomy of a Successful Sourcing Organization, once again a highly relevant, and very informative subject relating to my mission in attending SourceCon.

Amybeth Hale (congrats on her new role!) educated us next with what the value of a Researcher is. Amybeth has been leading the charge to gain more respect for this very valuable niche specialty, and once again did a fantastic job.

I only got to see about half of Dave Copps' presentation, as I had to head off to catch my flight home (which ended up being delayed 2 hours, grrr). Dave is attempting to change the world of online search, can't wait to see what he comes up with next.

In reflection, I'm amazed just how well this conference went. For a first-time conference, it went off for the most part without a hitch. I got what I hoped to get out of it, and more. Great content, great learning, great networking and collaboration. Big thanks to Leslie O'Connor for having the vision, energy and passion to see this through. I hope to make it again next year!



SourceCon Update - Day 1

2007-09-12T17:05:39.835-05:00

I'm reporting to you LIVE from SourceCon where the Grand Master Sourcing Challenge is about to get underway. MC Stroud is setting the stage for this event, with competitors Jeremy Langhans, Suzi Tonini and Michael Nataro getting ready to do battle. Lots of tension in the air as this exciting competition gets underway.It's been a hectic past day here in Hot'lanta. I arrive midday yesterday and quickly met up with Russ Moon from Wachovia, who was very generous with his time and his tips. I spent the rest of the day and evening catching up with friends old (Gerry Crispin, Rob McI., Glen G., Shally, Dave M, Dave C. and more) and new (MC Stroud, Amy Beth, Jeremy, Tim and more). The evening ended over drinks and food with Gerry and Atlanta local, Eric Jaquith, who enlightened me with his new product offering and what makes Atlanta such a Recruiting powerhouse.Today has been long, but chock full of great information from speakers including:Stan Smith of Deloitte (Found his research very interesting, and scary for the professional services industry at the same time. Can't say I agreed with his conclusions however, i.e. I'm not a bridge. Those of you who heard his presentation know what I'm talking about).Susan Burns (A wonderful overview of the most critical components to building out a talent acquisition strategy. Her focus on internal talent development and mobility was particularly good to hear)Rob McIntosh of Deloitte (A treasure trove of information. He always leaves me with more questions than answers...)Tracey Friend of The Right Thing (What you need to know when considering outsourcing sourcing functions, again leaving me with more questions than answers)Glenn Gutmatcher of Microsoft (Blew the room away with tips and tools of how to do internet sourcing on a budge)Krista Bradford of The Good Search (Enlightened the room with a number of out-of-the box approaches to name generation)A lot to take in for sure, and even more to come tomorrow. As I've spoken with a number of my colleagues here, I realize more and more that I understand the pieces of the puzzle, I just need to figure out how they will fit together in our organization.Big announcement here just now. MC Stroud is working the room, conducting interviews in the audience, and Shally lets us know that he has a new Sourcer (i.e. baby) on the way. Congrats to Shally on the great news!The competition continues as we can see the action on the main screen. The competitors are hard at work figuring out this great challenge. Many in the audience are following along taking notes of the search strings that are being used.We'll have another update tomorrow. Wish you were here. Signing off from SourceCon...[...]



Last Time I Was In Atlanta...

2007-09-10T14:24:58.979-05:00

There is no greater experience as a sports fan than to witness in person YOUR team win it ALL. I was honored to have that experience on April 1, 2002 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

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Will my experience in Atlanta this week be as great as my last time there? We'll have to wait and see. Do check back often this week as I'll be providing daily recaps from SourceCon.



Props from Copps

2007-09-06T20:22:01.124-05:00

Yesterday, a promotional email for the upcoming SourceCon conference was sent out, complete with an interview with one of the scheduled presenters, Dave Copps. I met Dave at the Virtual Edge Power Summit a few months back and was blown away by his ideas and work in Semantic Search. I'm thrilled to see that he'll be presenting at SourceCon next week, but am disappointed that I'll only be able to see a portion of his presentation, as I'll have to leave a bit early to catch a flight home.

In the interview with Dave, he was kind enough to mention me, although his quote was a bit inaccurate:
The first three things you should do are - network, network and network. Many answers are already out there right now and being talked about by your peers. If you haven’t already done so, set up a feed reader and subscribe to recruiting blogs - make sure you add Jimmy Smith and Ben Gotkin. Ben has even created a Ning social network of recruiting blogs at http://www.recruitingblogs.com/.
Of course, Jason Davis is the creator of Recruitingblogs.com, Dave might of meant that I had created a private subnetwork off of Recruitingblogs.com, which I have to admit, I haven't done much with lately. Again, thank you to Dave for the very, very kind words, but I also want to make sure the record is set straight too.

At any rate, if you are attending SourceCon next week, do be sure to seek out Dave and network with him too. I've seen what he is developing, and it will, IMO, revolutionize Internet sourcing as we know it.



SourceCon Questions

2007-09-04T19:22:26.904-05:00

A week to go until SourceCon, and already Sourcing is starting to consume my every thought (well, except for our launch of Virtual Edge, but more on that later). As I mentioned in my prior post, I have a singular mission and goal in attending this conference. So what do I need to come away with? It's not a definition of Sourcing, I believe that I have that already.

(My definition: The process of identifying and engaging talent that is not coming to us, and that we are not finding through traditional recruiting sources.)

No, what I need to learn includes the following:

- Where to begin? Most all of our recruiters want sourcing help, but we are not looking to drink-the-ocean here. How do we prioritize?

- Is a centralized or decentralized structure more appropriate in our situation?

- Inhouse? Outsourced? Offshored? A Matrix of some or all? I'm pretty sure that something will be in house, but what model will be most effective for us?

- Full-time? Part-time? Flexible-hours? Virtual employees/Telecommuters? Contractors? For those that we do 'hire', what works best? How many sourcers per recruiter?

- What costs are involved and how do we justify these costs?

- Should sourcers do both name and candidate generation? Can sourcers have equally good phone and online skills, or is better if they specialize in one? Does it matter?

- Sourcer Job Market. Am I too late into the game. Lots of opportunities out there right now for Sourcers, are there enough qualified Sourcers around? And going back to cost, what's the going rate for great sourcers.

- What tools do we need to provide them. We already will have an outstanding CRM tool (VE Pilot). Are there other essential tools they need (i.e. Broadlook, Infogist, etc.)

- How have others successfully built a business case for Sourcing in their organizations?


I'm just getting started with this list. If you will be at SourceCon next week and think you can help, I'd love connect with you. I'm sure I'll have more questions coming up too. This is a complex subject for sure, lots to learn, just a week away. Yea!



Sourcecon Or Bust!

2007-08-28T15:55:39.457-05:00

Two weeks from today, I'll be off to Hot'lanta to attend SourceCon. Now I've been to a number of HR & Recruiting conferences over the past several years, but this one will truly be unique, both in content, and what I hope to get out of it. As a bonus the timing of this conference could not be more perfect. I need to build a business case for a sourcing function, and two days of total immersion in Sourcing should do the trick.

Typically, when I attend these conference, I'm looking for best practices, for new tools and tricks of the trades, and new friends and colleagues. What's different this time? A singular goal. I need to walk away from Sourcecon with a better understanding of what a sourcing function could and should look like at our firm. What would the structure and scale be? How much of any of this would we outsource? How do I sell this to those who have no clue as to what Sourcing is? How much will this cost and how do I justify that?

Of course, it will be great to reconnect with a number of colleagues in the industry (Tracey Friend, Rob McIntosh, Shally, Mendoza, and Glenn Gutmacher, among others). I also very much look forward to meeting a couple of fellow bloggers (Jim Stroud, Amy Beth Hale) for the first time.

I know what Sourcing is, I know we need a sourcing function, I'm hopeful that I leave SourceCon with a better understanding of how to craft this critical need for our firm. If you read this post and will be attending SourceCon yourself, let me know. I look forward to seeing you there!



Jobster = Spamster?

2007-08-23T19:00:11.927-05:00

It pains me to write this today, but I'm compelled due to the numerous canned e-mails that I have received over the past few months from Jobster. Those of you who have read this blog for a while know that I was an early adopter, I was on their short-lived Customer Advisory Board, I know Jason Goldberg and several other current and former Jobster employees and like them all. You also know that I've been perplexed by their actions over the past year, particularly around their shifting product line/strategy, not to mention the mass layoffs at the start of this year.

When changed employers, I wasn't a Jobster client any longer, and still do not believe that Jobster is the right tool for my company at this time. I've kept my Jobster profile up though and for a while would get periodic requests to join my network or to become a contact. That was all well and good and fit with their social networking model (and my interest in social networking). Lately though, I don't seem to get those any more. In fact, over the past 2-3 months, the only emails I have received from Jobster have either been invitations to participate in one of their webinars (I was getting an invitation a week, but chose not to participate, primarily due to schedule conflicts), or 'Notes' on my profile from Jason.

Now when I get one of these 'You have a Note' emails, I have to click on the link, login each time (it won't keep me logged in for some reason) to read it. Not sure why it just can't show me the 'Note' in the email, which would save alot of time and clicks. I've received four of these over the last 7 weeks. Each of these emails were blast marketing emails, nothing personal about it. Even though I've known Jason for 2 1/2 years now. Oh, and the 'Note' I received before the ones from Jason, was from 'Jessica' that was another blast marketing piece.

So I'm turning off the ability to leave Notes for me on Jobster. I'm a bit sad about that. I was really hot on Jobster there for a while, and to this day, still believe that their core product had potential. But times have changed, so has Jobster, so have I. No more 'Notes' from Jason Goldberg, of course unless he'd like to send me a personal email just to say hi.



It's Going To Be A Great Fall!

2007-08-22T19:56:20.258-05:00

I'm starting to get excited about what should be a busy and exciting Fall season. Fall is my favorite time of the year usually anyway. Football is gearing up, Baseball is winding down, and for a very brief time, Basketball and Hockey even overlap. The temperatures here get right around where I like it (60s and 70s), and the colorful foliage makes everything look nice.

In terms of Recruiting however, there's going to be alot going on over the next few months, including:
- Conferences: ERE Expo (see the shiny new badge over on the right sidebar!), SourceCon and a CareerXroads Colloquium event.
- RIMS: We are scheduled to launch Virtual Edge next week. The excitement and energy is building, we will all be in a learning mode this Fall, but the payoff for this investment should be huge.
- Surveys & Metrics: New surveys and new data from RIMS. Can't wait to sort it out and make sense of it all.
- New Business Cases: I'll be spending alot of time this Fall building business cases for a Sourcing Function and an Alumni Program.
- ERP: We'll be morphing our ERP Theme in a few weeks, can't wait to see the results.
- Travel: In addition to the conferences, I'll be paying our Recruiters in the field a visit on various trips around the country.

Of course I'll be writing about all of this, hopefully more often too. In the meantime be sure to click on the ERE Expo badge over there---> and sign up if you haven't done so already. See you there!



Training, Traveling and Beaching

2007-08-20T10:02:27.032-05:00

It’s been a pretty busy summer, one of the reasons why I haven’t been blogging so much lately. I also have to admit that the time I’ve been spending on social networks like Facebook, RecruitingBlogs.com and LinkedIn has taken away from time that I would of spent blogging. A busy summer is about to turn into a busy fall, but regardless, I hope to start writing again a bit more often.

The past two weeks in particular have been fun, busy, and tiring. The week before last we took our annual family vacation to Bethany Beach, DE. We’ve stayed at the Sea Colony resort there 3 out of the last 4 years, and have enjoyed it every time. The temperatures were hot, but a lot of time swimming in the ocean and the pool helped cool things off. Vacation memories faded fast however last week as I spent 3 days in training and 1 1/2 days traveling coast-to-coast.

Last Tuesday and Wednesday, myself and 25 of my fellow Recruiters here at the firm went through Virtual Edge training at our training center in Tysons Corner, VA. This was the second of three training sessions that we are holding this month. Tuesday night I took 10 of my colleagues on a twilight tour of the DC Monuments. This is the second time I have done a tour like this over the past 15 months, and both times, my ‘customers’ loved it. Think there might be a business opportunity here for me, hmmm… Anyway, overall the reception of Virtual Edge has been greeted with enthusiasm and optimism. We are scheduled to go live late next week after a couple delays. I've been involved with this since my first day, so you can imagine my excitement to finally move forward with this.

As soon as I was done with training on Wednesday, I headed straight to the airport to fly cross-country to Irvine, CA to help deliver Competency Based Interview (CBI) training to 20 of our staff and management. It was a long way to go just for a day of training, but the trip was worth it as we had a class that was highly engaged and generally appreciative of what they were being taught.

I was able to spend my downtime in ‘The OC’ visiting Laguna Beach and Newport Beach. It was pretty sweet to touch both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in the same week! Friday was spent flying home (don’t do red-eyes). The weekend was largely spent catching up on lost sleep. Fall is my favorite time of the year, and this should be an exciting one coming up. I've got three conferences on my calendar, plus more travel and new programs to develop. More to come!



Fast Bad Revisited

2007-08-01T15:03:58.922-05:00

I first heard the term "Fast Bad" several years ago during a local EMA event presentation by Michael McNeal, who at the time was running the world's most innovative recruiting organization at Cisco. I wrote about Michael's use of this term in a post titled "I Can't Recruit From My ATS!" last Fall.

There was a quote from yesterday's ERE Forum that I felt was highly relevant, but from a slightly different angle:


While presenting my ATS to a prospective customer, my #1 'favorite' question I've ever been asked by a recruiter is: 'Won't this software put me out of a job? 'My answer was: 'Only if you're a bad recruiter, because it will help you do more of the wrong things, faster. - Sylvia D.
Sometimes, it isn't the technology or the implementation that is the problem, often times the end-user can be equally to blame. I found this quote to be especially relevant as we start to finish up the implementation phase for our new ATS, and will be moving into Recruiter Training starting in two weeks.

I don't believe that we have 'bad recruiters', but to Sylvia's point, misuse of the system doesn't help matters, and can in some cases make things worse. We feel strongly that we selected the right system, the implementation phase is critical to our efforts moving forward, but the ultimate success will be directly correlated to how well our Recruiters adopt and use the system.

Starting next week, all of our Recruiters will be provided two days of intense training on how the system works and how to get the best out of it. I plan on following up with our Recruiters throughout the Fall to ensure they are maximizing the use of this system. We will offer follow-on training and best-practice sharing to ensure that everyone has access to the latest and most relevant information. At the end of the day, the last thing I want our Recruiters to be accused of is "doing more of the wrong things, faster". "Fast Bad" can be worse than "Slow Good" if you know what I mean.