Category Archives: Cloud Computing

Cloud Recruiting and the Voluntary Sector

Companies can be big, unwieldy and slow to act. You might like to try out some Cloud Recruiting ideas but are being stopped by Marketing or Human Resources or your boss who doesn’t get it.

How about trying some of these techniques with a voluntary group you are involved with?

The voluntary sector is largely about engagement of a community. The cloud recruiting tools, apart from being free are perfect for growing and developing networks. The voluntary sector has quickly grasped the potential of this technology and have not been slow to act.

Before you think, but these American/British voluntary groups are big, well funded etc etc, let’s have a look at some New Zealand initiatives I have found.

Engage your Community conferences are popping up around New Zealand. The next one is in Rotorua on 28th November. Nobody is paying more than $200 to attend. The speakers are very high calibre and really understand the technologies in this space.

MIraz Jordan who is one of the speakers on Engage your Community circuit has started “Groupings – inspiration and a toolkit for voluntary groups.” There are some great links on this site – Beth’s blog will give you a sense of how deliberately and cleverly voluntary groups are already using this technology. Stephen Blyth is a New Zealander who blogs in the same area,  Not quite so intimidating if you are just getting started. Here is Stephen’s presentation on Spreading the word using Video, podcasts, blogs and more. Stephen has the presentation stored in SlideShare which is a great way to share your presentation.

Intersect is a group for “green” Wellington young professionals. They have formed a social network on Ning. This group already has 441 members. It looks active and good fun. Intersect have now attracted enouth attention to have a story in this month’s Good magazine.  I only wish I was a bit younger!

Hopefully, you are involved with a voluntary group and no doubt they need to recruit and engage more people and raise money.  In my experience with voluntary groups, you put your hand up, the job is yours. So become a “Web Community Manager” for your group, learn as you go. Try it out and gain some experience and then bring these skills back into your work and do some good at the same time.

By the way,my kid’s school had a Little Day Out fundraiser this year. We had a blog and did email marketing to our parents.  I tried to get a Facebook going for the committe but this didn’t work. We went from raising $25,000 to raising $75,000. We barely touched the surface of what is possible with using these tools, we had more parents engaged than ever before, the school really lifted its sense of commuity and we made more money.

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Create your own Job Board and Social Network

If you haven’t used Ning it is an easy way to make your own social network/topic group. (There will be a pgroup for you on Ning as they now have 500,000 of them)

For example, I am a member of New Zealand Recruitment 2.0 which is for New Zealanders who want to discuss innovations in Recruitment.

Today I found a clever and easy way to of using Ning as a specialist Job Board combined with a Social Network Wirelessjobs

There is a blog, events listing, industry news, links to LinkedIn and Facebook. Having used Ning (and I am not a developer), I know that a Ning network could be easily set up by somebody with no programming skills.

On the Wireless Jobs site there is also a job board that is powered by StandOutJobs. Standout Jobs is free HR software for building your own career web site, marketing jobs and managing candidates through the hiring process. As far as I am concerned, if Kevin Wheeler is endorsing it, this is a good thing.

“One of the best of the tools [for building recruiting websites] is provided by Standout Jobs.” Kevin Wheeler

It looks perfect for New Zealand companies. Here are a few examples.

Freshbooks

Curve Dental

Technorati

And here is one from an Australian community organisation

TRCare

SocialLight is featured as a Case Study on Stand OutJobs.

Does this sound like your company?

“a technology startup with less than 10 employees. The company has an exciting workplace, but limited resources for hiring and staffing programs or recruiters.

Since its creation, Socialight used a variety of tools to find employees, including personal and professional networking, Craigslist, targeted technology forums, and university career sites.

These options varied in terms of the number and quality of job candidates they could reach. But across the board, they failed to effectively brand Socialight as a desirable employer, and empower the company with the tools and flexibility to stand out in a competitive recruiting environment.

Socialight

Socialight recognized that it needed a more effective way to develop its employer brand, attract job candidates, including “passive” job seekers exploring their options, promote a positive candidate experience, and manage applicants more efficiently through the hiring process. Rather than wait until conditions permitted the company to design its own career portal, Socialight started using StandoutJobs, which enabled it to showcase its culture and team, advertise open positions, and input job applicants into the hiring process.

According to Socialight CEO Dan Melinger, the career site was easy to create: “Just a couple of hours’ work and we were presentable to the world. It was important to us that we could launch the career site quickly, but also make sure that we were doing a great job of representing Socialight as the fantastic and exciting work environment it is. Standing out in a crowded job market isn’t easy, but we’re empowered more than ever now with Standout Jobs”

Does your company hire people in a specialist area that would benefit from a professional group/job board?

I would love to hear from you if you are interested in working with these products for your company in New Zealand

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New Zealand Job Boards

In New Zealand, we are now seeing the proliferation of many new job boards. An attempt to take some of the market from the market leader, Seek, cut costs and provide a better product. The problem all of these boards have is getting brand recognition and then web traffic.

Seek have had another stellar year, lifting profit by 37% up to $76.3 million, up from $55.5 million in 2007. Seek have a low cost model and plenty to spend on marketing.

Companies can of course advertise on Seek or any board they chose to but it is always worth checking out the numbers. Compete and Alexa are reputable web analytics sites but most NZ job boards come up as “too little data”. Web analytics is not an exact science but it does give you some indication of traffic. Give it a try yourself –  http://www.myjobspace. co.nz comes up with 3,500 unique visitors compared to Seek’s 4,500, JobX 1.500. CVBank.co.nz, Spotjobs.co.nz have insufficient data.

TradeMejobs.co.nz and NZHeraldJobs  have no separate job listings so you cannot see their  numbers.

Seek appears to be no longer has the dominant position it once had.

Also these numbers do not tell you if the same people are now just searching on more job boards. It  doesn’t show where these people come from and can they work in New Zealand. The numbers are very low so the “Cloud Recruiting” ideas of Talent Pooling look far more compelling.

Image representing Alexa as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBase

Companies who are advertising on job boards will find this fragmentation of the market difficult.  There are now company job boards, professional organisation job boards, print and other media, social networks, google adwords and a  number of specialist boards. In the US, companies just don’t know where to list. The boards all fragmented and now there are aggregators like Indeed that “scrape” all the sites and get all the jobs in one place again!

What it means for companies is more expense listing across multiple boards and also more time to load the jobs and to monitor them.  In New Zealand we still don’t have mass job uploader products like Broadbean that are available in the UK.

Niche New Zealand sites, that are already well trafficked like Geekzone have started attaching job boards to their sites. GeekZone has plenty of interesting, fresh  content and a strong user base. Geekzone has tied up with http://www.jobx.co.nz. but it is just a click through. Interestingly, the model of paying to list jobs is fast disappearing in the US.

There are a proliferation now of free boards that are attached to well trafficed sites. SapFans is for fans of SAP – very specific. I had great success and response using this job board.  A marvellous combination of high traffic, active users and free.

Like all advertising you have to go where the eyeballs are! Also if you have your own talent pool you shouldn’t need to  advertise on boards at all but be able to approach the right people when the time is right.

Here is an interesting article on this by Jason Buss “What if Job Boards became obsolete? . This article gives a good overview of the issues being discussed around Job Boards in the US, where the market is far more mature than New Zealand.

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Cloud Recruiting – a new definition?

There is a lot of  technology on the web  that is already available, that works and  that can be used for Recruitment.

New Zealand is a long way behind the US where these technologies are already being tried and used successfully. The great thing is we can miss some of the steps the pioneers have made and jump straight into using this new technology that is so well suited for recruitment.

If you work down this list, and click on the terms there is is an example of a technology that fits under the heading.

Cloud recruiting is excellent for all sized companies but is particularly good for smaller companies who are unknown, do not have an employment brand and also do not want a bit outlay on recruitment technology when their recruitment needs ebb and flow. Most cloud technology is either free or SaaS – pay as you go, per person. Constantly new ideas come out that can be added to this list. For example, I have just I read about Mobatalk which is away to send video on Twitter.

Recruitment 2.0, e-recruitment are being used to describe this new way of recruiting, but things have moved on a notch in that people no longer need to have the tools on their own PC. People can access information anywhere, any place on any device as long as they can connect to the internet.

This is all so new there is no widely accepted term that describes all this but this week I found a new definition  by Michael Marlett from Microsoft, Cloud Recruiting and it is the one I am going to settle on.

The way people work as well as the type of information, the speed that this is now that this is now available is undergoing a major change. Why not take advantage of this for your firm and be one of the early adopters in New Zealand?

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When exactly did I decide to use Cloud Computing?

Sun, Clouds n Eagles

I’ve been a using web based mail for quite a few years now. Gmail – it is on the web, the spam filtering is great. And best of all I don’t have to worry about having my PC stolen or hard disk fry as it is all backed up. Now, the rest of my IT life has moved to “the cloud” without me really noticing.

I switched my calendar early just recently to Google Calendar as I really like the ability to manage multiple calendars. This works well for me as I have to manage my kids diaries, and stay across with what the husband is doing. I got tired of their stuff cluttering up my diary. It will be great if our school will use Google Calendar Richmond Rd School is.
With Google Calendar I can book a meeting with somebody and not have it scramble up at their end as they are not on the same platform. This was a real problem when I was at IBM and using Lotus Notes.

How about organizing an event that all the invitees can makes comment and share until it is all sorted? Try using this for the class party – 30 families and their kids. Brilliantly simple. All decided andthen you just attach the Google Map so everybody can find the park. It doesn’t matter that the other people are not using Google Calendar they can still comment and be involved. People like the way the event gets put into their calendar automatically if they accept. I could go on and on as to how great this software is….

Google Reader for my RSS feeds is vital and more important to me now than flicking through the NZ Herald. The clever bloggers are way more interesting than the bulk of the junior reporters who now populate New Zealand news rooms.

Now that I work for myself, there really is no need to buy MS Office. Sure I will use it if it is given to me but I can’t see the point of buying it. As well as my personal stuff, I’ve shifted all of my work email and calendaring to go through Google. With Google’s new browser Chrome it goes like the clappers!

Word and Excel I use them most of the time very simply. Google Docs is great if you are working on a document with the same people but are not in the same company. So much easier to be able to all just update the same document. Sure, there is not the same functionality as Office 2007 but the ability to share is far more useful to me.

I am not an IT evangelist or an early adopter but I am interested that the process I am taking seems to be the same one that others around me – it is just easier and cheaper to move to cloud computing. Facebook to stay in touch with my friends, WordPress for my blog.

LastFM for keeping me up on cool new tunes. Zoho People for recruitment projects, Twitter to entertain me when I am working by myself, YouTube instead of the TV, Flickr for my photos– on and on it goes. In never made a decision to get into Cloud Computing – it just happened. As Malcolm Gladwell would say, Cloud Computing is tipping.

People talk about security and other problems with the Cloud. I am quite happy to go with Google for a few reasons. The products I use are good, reliable and simple. They do the job I require and they do it fine. So bit by bit as more Google products come along I am happy to try them out as well. As far as other products, same thing – they work fine.

Call me gullible and naïve but I think my real threat to my IT security is tipping my cup of tea on the laptop or having it stolen along with the car!

Next time I get a laptop it will be a Asus Eee PC will do just fine.

Recruitment and Cloud Computing

03cloud.xlarge1

There is plenty of interest now in moving your applications into “The Cloud”. If you have not come across this jargon, all it means simply is not buying software from Microsoft that works on your computer directly but paying a monthly fee. (Software as a Service or Saas) Even better though, is the products that are free!

Google has a term for this “the power of free”. People quickly become loyal to products that are free, constantly upgraded and do not need to be maintained.
For example, if you laptop was stolen would you have a full back up? You do if it is all stored in the “cloud”

As an example, a company I have worked with who uses Excel to keep track of all of its recruitment has now moved the trusty spreadsheet over to Google Apps as it is very simple for everybody to access the document and update it.

So will recruitment move into the Cloud?

Firstly the systems that you can use to do your recruitment administration, many of them are SaaS. Where it get interesting though is that “cloud recruiting” with the Social Net begin a new focus on building and maintaining relationships.

It is far easier to build and maintain an active relationship with passive candidates who just want to stay in touch with your company, see what you are doing until they are ready to make a move.

Slowly we can draw them into our company with a recruiting process that gently stays in touch and makes them aware of what is happening. Gives some idea of the company culture. The passive candidate can slowly make up their mind about us. The company may also not have a vacancy right now but when they do, they already have developed enough rapport that asking the candidate if they are now interested is a lot easier than a cold call about a vacancy.

Passive candidates need reassurance that they are making the right decision; they require relationships that have developed over time.

Until Web 2.0 it has been too hard – too time consuming and too labour intensive to build and maintain a real talent pool. So, what happens? We advertise and take the person that is on the market now – a purely chance event than finding somebody who is a better match.

Cloud recruiting provides a way around this problem by building “virtual relationships” on the Internet. Virtual relationships can be developed more quickly and efficiently because they use one-on-many online interactions. In other words, passive candidates can engage with you whenever and wherever it’s convenient (and discreet) for them to do so.

Where does cloud recruiting take place? You could build your own Talent Pool, or you could invest some time linking to the right people on LinkedIn.

Posing the occasional question, inviting them to an event, notifying them of a great book – anything that is an occasional reminder of you and your company.

Does all of that cost a lot more money than most organizations are now investing in the career resources they’ve provided on their Web-sites? Probably not if you take away your spend on recruitment agencies and use this to build a real talent pool. The calibre of the candidates that you do hire is likely to be better.