The Adventures of Johnny Bunko


I have spent the last hour reading “The Adventures of Johnny Bunko” a business book in the Japanese, cartoon manga form.

The story of Johnny Bunko, is one I have heard many many times when recruiting. Simply, people work in areas that don’t fufill them. The money is not enough to the soul killing daily experience.

They come looking for another job but actually this is just more of the same.

I would often say to people, you don’t need a new job but a Life Coach!

This book gives a simple, quicker and cheaper way to have the same realisations.

The book teaches the six lessons of satisfying, productive careers:

1. There is no plan.
2. Think strengths, not weaknesses
3. It’s not about you.
4. Persistence trumps talent.
5. Make excellent mistakes
6. Leave an imprint.

Dan Pink is known for his other books Free Agent Agent Nation and A Whole New Mind which for me were life changing. I have contracted for the last two years. In the mornings I race to my computer. I love what I do! But that’s another story.

If you go to Dan’s site you will see there is a competion to come up with the 7th Lesson.

Want a win a trip to the UK to the TED Conference? Yes I do!

Also, he suggests having a Johnny Bunko Breakfast. What do you think people, November some time in a Japanese cafe? This could be the first New Zealand. I have sent Dan Pink an email with this very suggestion. People do like a holiday in New Zealand.

Here is an interview with the man himself.

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Using Facebook for Recruitment

Are you using Facebook for your company Recruitment? There are some large US companies,  who have invested heavily in Facebook but I don’t see this popular social networking tool being used extensively yet in NZ.

There seems to be some reluctance to use Facebook, Yes, Captain it is the new frontier. Not that new though … 334,921 people are signed up in New Zealand network. 80 million worldwide. Facebook has relaunched in July 2008 and is now targeting itself as a tool for networking in the business world. Why fight it, ignore it when you can just try it?

Regardless of what you think, if this is where your potential staff spend their time on line, this is where you need to be. Like all advertisers, you need to follow the eyeballs. If you want to find passive candidates, there is no point just advertising on Seek. Facebook should be seen as forming a Talent Pool, it is there as part of a longer term Recruitment Strategy. It is about forming relationships.

There seems to be a fear about various social media, Facebook being one of many, but what about opening your mind to the benefits?

Simply, Facebook is a great way to engage with existing staff and also lets people find out about your company and culture. It is never what you say, it is what you do that counts in forming a company culture. Giving possible new hires a sense of cultural values like respect, diversity, teamwork, collaboration, openness, and authenticity is possible if you engage with people. It is difficult to convey this on a static closed off web site by stating we are honest, open and collaborative. It is not the same as being these things. By being on Facebook you are showing your values.


Facebook has two sections that I suggest you use for Recruitment. Groups and Events. I would start with a Group of people who are already in the company, this can include past staff too, like  the Friends of Fronde Group . Remember, if potential new hires finds these sites, it will really give them a sense of the culture.

If you search in Facebook, you will find people who work, or have worked for your company. And this is the point. If you don’t set something up, new hires can easily find a lone voice, in your company to contact. Try a search on your company and see who comes up. It is better if there are a range of views not just one voice? People can read through a list of comments and make their own mind up.

By using Facebook, you will be establishing an employment brand. So think carefully about the image you want to portray. In a group, you can pose questions, talk about issues that face your company, note interesting blogs, video clips, press releases. You should have no problem on what to say! Once you have started the Group though, you need to keep feeding it. (Please read my earlier post on the Social Community Manager). So while Facebook, is cheap and easy to use it does require somebody to be responsible and keep it going. Like all relationships, it needs an investment of time. The Warehouse has started a Facebook group. I can find lots of started groups that have gone nowhere. What impression does this give you of the company? Better to take it down than to have a non functioning group.

Once the Group is going, it is easy to invite people to Events. Company events to start with. Making these public can really prove there is a “fun” company culture. Again, it is about being, rather than just saying it. Have a look at Gen-i – it appears to be a group for the social club. Later, wider events where you showcase the company knowledge, a new innovation, product launch etc. It is very easy to invite your contacts in Facebook, and they can easily send the invite on to a friend.

The WDHB has just ventured into Facebook Groups for their Graduate Recruitment. This give you an idea of an event that the WDHB have just run. Looks like they need a few more people in their group though…

MEET AND GREET DAY!!
Come and meet with Charge Nurse Managers and current New Graduate Nurses, from every area, to help you decide what area of nursing you would like to kick start your career with!!
Onewa Netball Courts function room
44 Northcote Road, Northcote, Auckland

Business is about relationships, it is about people. Social media is a tool that can help with those connections – why would you not want to connect with talent, with your staff? Social media has taken hold because the communications is genuine and people want authenticity.

Before you through your hands up in horror. Social media is no different to any other part of business. If people abuse the community, or the tool deal with it as you would anything else….actually I believe it will be easier as there is be written or verbal evidence.

If you don’t want to have a presence on Facebook, you can let applicants be emailed the Job details to their Facebook address like this Talent Technology does. As Facebook is a web site, people can receive Facebook emails privately at work. Some people, think this is one of the reasons for its success…

Best known in this area is the Ernst and Young sites. E&Y paid an undisclosed fee (US$500,000 I read somewhere) to Facebook . So don’t be disheartened if you can not easily replicate this. These sites do give you a sense of what is possible. I am talking here about something more low key, connected and real.

Let’s Start at the Very Beginning….

What will this day be like, I wonder?

For most companies, human capital, talent, IP, brains – call it what you will – PEOPLE are the most important asset. The desks, chairs and computers are worth very little.

People are the essential element of success in your industry. Agreed?
It amazes me that most companies, especially Professional Services ones, do not have a talent pool.

Most companies don’t have any recruiting strategy, let alone a Talent Pool. They are not constantly looking for the best talent.
Recruitment is a knee jerk reaction when somebody hands in their notice. Now we start looking. An ad on Seek. Call a recruiter.  Your company takes who is available now.

The best people rarely have to look for a job and never need to contact recruiters. People find them. Other companies will be talking to your stars and as soon as they have had enough of you, it is very easy for them to move on. Are you doing this too? But before you can hire them, before you can encourage them away for someone else, before you can tempt them with exciting challenges and tantalising packages, you have to find them and court them.
Assuming that if you are reading this post, you will be looking for tech literate people -the Internet is now where they go hunting. It is a given that job searchers, looking on the internet have technology skills.

The Internet has caused a revolution in recruitment. It is cheap, it is effective, it is fast. It is a gift to the recruitment process. Technology can cut your costs and makes recruitment much easier.

People who are presently working for your competitors should know who you are. Make it easy for them to come to you. (If you are not being approached by good people, you need to have a good look at your employment brand, your navel, your company culture – but that’s another story). Some people though are coming in from overseas and will have no exposure or understand of your company.
So, how do you get started?
Do you want to find your own people, or do you want to outsource your recruitment? If you want to  outsource it, find a great recruiter and form an excellent partnership with them.
Assuming you want to be responsible for finding and nurturing excellent people to join your company where do you start?

Let’s do a simple check.
1. Does your company have a Talent/Jobs page on the web site?
By now, most companies already have a web site to advertise their products and services, The easy thing to do is to add a “We are Hiring!” , Careers, Jobs on the front page and a link to the available jobs and contact person within the company.
If you don’t have a Talent Page, get one. It is that simple. Have a look and see what your competitors are doing. TelstraClear, links it’s page to Seek directly which is one way to get started.
2. Can the top talent find your web site?
Can people find your company web site? Does your company come up high when you search for it under the obvious headings? If not you need to find out about having your site optimised. Strangely, you also should get the web addresses of all the close wrong spellings that people may search under. Whe
3. Are your current job openings posted on your web site?
Actual vacancies should have specific details of each job opening but make the role sound appealing. This is no place for the Job Description. Remember this is an advertisement. Is the listing current? You make a poor first impression if people apply for jobs that are no longer available. Take old jobs off the site when they are filled. The job list must keep changing if you want people to check it.
4. Do you have a general category for roles you hire frequently?
Many skills are so hard to find that a company will hire if they are approached by the right person, regardless of whether they have an actual current opening. You should keep a list of the general types of people your company hires. Also, describe roles with the titles for which people in your industry are likely to search under, not the title you use inside the company. Here is an example for  Fronde
5. Does your website tell prospective employees about the company, its products, its culture?
Does the website accurately reflect the culture of the company? The employment brand is a subtle and important to build. Not something to be taken lightly. This is a complex area and requires real work with both marketing and HR. Here’s a simple one by Atlassian and an awarding winning example by The Warehouse.
6. Is it easy to apply on line?
Applicansts do not want to spend an hour filling in a database for your company. Make it easy for them to apply, especially at the beginning of the process. Have a look at Telecom’s home page. Is it not obvious at all how to apply. Typing “Jobs” in the Search box leads you to this place. Helpful, friendly? I know it takes a long time to fill in all the forms.
Have you considered you will stay in touch with your applicants?
Have you considered how to handle the CV’s so you can search across them, keep them up to date?
There is software that will do recruitment administration. These are known as Applicant Tracking Systems. You will be spoilt for choice. All sizes, all prices.
7.Treat people carefully. Is there a personal email address available and phone number on the web site?
If you are bringing your recruitment in house and not using an agency, the reputation and view of your company starts at the beginning of the process. Do you want to look a faceless bureaucratic organisation from the start? Or warm, friendly and professional.

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.

Social Media Community Manager

Many companies are now venturing on line, using Social Media to build their employment brand and to sell more of their goods and services. Going online is not enough though. Content must be generated if a company is going to leverage from its web experience.

In the US I have noticed a role the Social Media Community Manager – now this sounds like fun! From one Job Description I found…

As a given, a Community Manager needs to be familiar with and part of:Be responsible for setting up tracking and alerts for keywords specific to our industry, subscribing to relevant industry blogs, podcasts, and video channels, and to subscribe to certain topic categories on YouTube.

Be able to comment on appropriate blogs intelligently and accurately, bringing traffic back to the company blog. Monitoring the existing blog sphere by listening and commenting would be the bulk of duties to begin with.

Already have a blog of their own so know to create an audience

Facilitate conversations inside Facebook, Ning community or other relevant communities.

Often I sign up in Facebook, or LinkedIn or some other community and nothing happens. Nada. Build it and they will come does not happen on the internet. Build it and you have to work to get their attention is more like it! It is a slow romance not a one night stand! To begin with when people sign up,  they  are on the outside looking in. It takes a while until they get the hang of it all before they get more involved.  It is new members of a group to generate content and discussion, this needs to be created by the people who set up the Group or Blog or Twitter Group – Enter the Social Media Community Manager.

This role is relatively new in New Zealand. I found a few who are working in the government sector. A few communications managers are taking this role, some people with a PR background. There are some people in the IT sector have the technical smarts to understand what is required, but they also need to be able to write and have good marketing skills. No doubt the early adopters who are already across the space should and will get these roles (although, they may cringe at the thought of this, but look at it as a career option to justify all those hours spent on the Social Net!)

So if going on line is not enough, a company needs to think about this carefully before they start. Do you have the skills and time in house to start and maintain a vibrant on-line community? Your company’s reputation is very important both off and on line. There is so much noise aound this whole area, companies are jumping into it without really thinking about it at all and wondering why then nothing happens?

Companies also need to consider are they really ready for this onlineworld? The philosophy behind online communities is openness and honesty.

Does your company want to hear what your community honestly wants to tell you?

Will you respond and be proactive to suggestions that your community suggests?

From a recruitment point of you, are you clear with your employment brand and what you messages you are communicating?

How does the Social Net fit in with the rest of your marketing?

What is the purpose of the community you are creating?

Do you know where your potential audience already goes on line?

How big do you want to be on line? Or is it better to be small with the right people?

This discussion is taking place all over the web. I like this fellows take on it.


Being found on LinkedIn

I am a big LinkedIn fan. As the most LinkedIn person in New Zealand this should come as no surprise….
Job seekers often asked me “Why do I never get contacted through LinkedIn?”
The simple answer is you need to improve your profile.
A few suggestions…
1. Connect to people
People like to see that you are connected to people they know too. In New Zealand there is a lot of “connectedness” in the way people like to work so this is very powerful. Also, adding connections, you increase the likelihood that people will see your profile first when they’re searching for someone who meets the search criteria they are looking under. You will appear at the top of search results (e.g which is a major plus if you’re one of the 500+ Project Managers in New Zealand, or any other large category on LinkedIn)
2. Complete your Profile
Most users put only their current company in their profile. This is largely because somebody asked them to connect and then they left it at that. This limits your ability to be found. You should fill out your profile with as many key words in it, on which you want to be found. Some people make a list, call it specialities and list all of their key words there.
3. Get found by Google as well as in LinkedIn.
Not everybody looks for people in LinkedIn. If somebody searches for you by name in Google, your LinkedIn profile is likely to show up quite high. LinkedIn profiles receive a fairly high PageRank in Google as they have many people optimising the site.
You must allow your profile information available for search engines to index. To do this, create a public profile and select “Full View.” Also, instead of using the default URL, customize your public profile’s URL to be your actual name.
4. Enhance your search engine results
In addition to your name, you can also promote your blog or website to search engines like Google  Your LinkedIn profile allows you to publicise your websites. There are a few pre-selected categories like “My Website,” “My Company,” etc but you must have your profile set on “Full View” This is fantastic search-engine optimization for your site.
5. Ask a Question
LinkedIn Answers is excellent to lift your profile with your target group. Linkedin Answers allows you to broadcast your business-related questions to both your network and the greater LinkedIn network. The premise is that you will get more high-value responses from the people in your network than more open forums.
For example, I have recently asked my network about using Twitter for Recruitment and also if anybody is using Zoho People. Excellent response and then I picked up a business lead!

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.