Hardly. Grab the popcorn and listen to my recent presentation on RecruitingWebinars.com: “Hiring Tech Talent Is Easy…Right?”
Click here for the almost hour-long webinar; you can also download my slides from this page?
This webinar addressed 4 core areas around hiring technical people:
While it’s relatively easy in anthropological terms to talk about how culture is passed on from generation to generation (or management team to management team, employee to employee, customer to customer) via things like storytelling or analysis of clay pot remnants, it’s the initial description of “What is culture?” that vexes almost everyone in HR and talent functions.
Almost everyone speaks of their culture in terms of its uniqueness, how special it is, how different it is from all others – using the same words as everyone else.
Well isn’t that special?
When groups of experts gather ’round to discuss the many shades of culture by using the same language how much learning actually takes place?
I think the reason most use the “standard culture word library” is because accurately describing culture is really, really difficult. It’s this “lapse” in analysis and erudition that leads to the typical “I’ll know it when I see it” action taken during recruiting.
“I’ll know it when I see it but I can’t really describe it.”
How frightening is this? Can you fathom how many great people and performers we’re tossing to the side – and yet at the same time claiming to others that we’re experts at recruiting?
I liken it to the saying, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”; in reality, most everyone inside a company either experiences the culture of the company second hand or takes the word of someone else.
Does the tree make a sound? Of course it must. Is our culture special? Of course it is.
It has to be.
How many in recruiting – especially those newer to it – actually spend significant time inside the groups being supported, with enough time spent observing and collecting data like the great anthropologists? Yes, it’s a rhetorical question.
Instead, most all recruiters simply take the word of their charismatic leader/founder, and/or authentic marketing expert, and/or HR branding guru. Think about how long anthropologists study the remnants of a people who long ago perished before they begin to understand the culture. Yet here in HR and recruiting we take the word of an entrepreneur whose company has been in existence 12 to 18 months?
That’s one of the core problems in recruiting – the forest we think we see through the trees isn’t what we’re describing with our words nor actions. If this isn’t what’s real then I posit that the profession is comprised of lemmings and sheep who need to have their collective eyes and ears examined.
As harsh as the last sentence is, it it spotlights that we’re darn near in the middle of a downward spiraling vortex that’s sucking our collective recruiting reputations down the drain then I’ll deal with the fallout. It’s time to plug the sink, hire better plumbers, fix the pipes, and enjoy the outcome.
Yes, the falling tree in the forest does make a sound and it’s time to prove it.
[cross-posted on RecruitingBlogs.com]
Since there are so many ways that as recruiters we’re not getting an appropriate bang-for-the-buck from our LinkedIn investments (and more importantly, in any way aligned to the heights of their marketing bluster), I’m going to focus this week on the many ways that we are spammed via the LinkedIn messaging systems.
So to my frenemies in Trust & Safety, this blog’s for you!
For this week, I’ll focus on the Spam. You’ve received LinkedIn InMail that is unequivocally spamful. You scrunched up your face two sentences in and thought, “WTF?” You checked to see what level connection you have with this social Charlatan.
“*(^%$$%@#%#$, first degree.” You right click on their name and Open Link in New Tab…
You furiously scan up and down the profile of this person whom you let into your “trusted network” on LinkedIn. Your brow is beginning to sweat and your eyes are shrinking into beady little pools of molten lava that are ready to erupt. As you’re ready to shout out “DOUCHEBAG”, you click on Contact, because you want to call and skewer this bastard.
Only you see this:
“Opayq.com is a domain used for Masked Emails for Abine’s MaskMe and PrivacySuite products. These are real user email addresses, created by users to protect their online privacy.”
Now Spammers are gaining control of LinkedIn accounts, adding their masked emails to your account, and sending your contacts LinkedIn InMails like this (I masked a few things myself to protect this person’s identity); notice the punctuation and grammar:
“I give you 100% guarantee of their legitimacy, a trial will convince you” – made me smile, because I was thinking of another kind of trial.
I hope Paul Rockwell has someone on his staff at LinkedIn who will forward him this post.
Fake Profiles, Dating Requests, Marketing InMails, Account Piracy – how soon before LinkedIn ends up as a running joke on TMZ?
And this is the ultimate tool for most recruiters?
[cross-posted to RecruitingBlogs.com]
I’m concerned about the lessons being taught to young technology entrepreneurs:
Create. Grow. Fund. Billionaire.
Personally, I love the concept of entrepreneurism and growth; and who doesn’t have at least one day every year when they wonder what it would be like to be a Billionaire!
But are having a good idea and being able to initially execute on that idea good enough reasons to become a highly sought after target for VC funding?
According to Jim Goetz, a Partner at Sequoia Capital, it sure is – with an interesting caveat: That the young founders of Yik-Yak can magically change the course of online adolescent and young adult behavior.
Jim Goetz, a partner at Sequoia Capital who recently joined Yik Yak’s board, said the app’s history of misuse was a concern when his firm considered investing in the company. But he said he was confident that Mr. Droll and Mr. Buffington were committed to ensuring more positive interactions on Yik Yak, and that over time, the constructive voices would overwhelm the destructive ones.
Jim, is an environment that inadvertently promotes cyberbullying – even if it wasn’t its intended use – a worthy recipient of $62M in Series B funding? Is your confidence that Droll and Buffington – themselves barely few years north of writing the same yaks appearing on their vaunted pre-IPO platform – can magically re-architect Yik-Yak based on some hidden knowledge of human behavior and rid this VC money-printing machine of “the faceless trolls and jerks that abuse these kinds of spaces”?
Jim, what about Yik-Yak’s history as a platform for abuse and cyberbullying didn’t scare you away? Was it the viral takeoff signaling a treasure trove of marketing targets and an IPO payday? What about Yik-Yak isn’t causing you buyer’s remorse? Is it how the app is now downvoting mentions of competitors?
Jim, they can’t be downvoting competitors because Mr. Buffington claims that Yik-Yak is “delivering organic and unfiltered truths, which cannot be said for other news mediums.”
Jim, what about the phrase “unfiltered truth” means downvoting competitors? I must not be very smart to understand this.
For certain, anonymity apps can be used by citizens living in oppressed nations but heck, these countries are already doing a fine job of blocking access. But if you look at where Yik-Yak’s growth takes place – on college campuses, in high schools, the only oppression that takes place are the targets of the anonymous vitriol.
Jim, a platform that by its very architecture and mission offers an easy way to spew this vitriol with impunity. Please Jim, tell me what is so empowering about this – even if it used by a relatively small number of users? Please Jim, tell me how an app like this can help to bolster the self-esteem of young people whose psyche has already taken beatings from members of society who claim that success can only measured by a pair of three-letter acronyms, GPA and IPO?
Jim, social goodness can’t take place without honesty yet the core concept of Yik-Yak – anonymity – veils honesty.
Jim, what are we going to do?
A guilty pleasure used to be a big piece of chocolate cake; in this social media era it seems that proving one’s superiority has eclipsed food as the new dopamine spritz.
Jim, in case you missed this, Iggy Azalea clearly demonstrates she understands elements of human behavior better than you when she wrote that,
Blue ribbons and IPOs? What about social goodness?
[cleaning out my Drafts and I’m surprised I never posted this – originally written December 2013]
This past Black Friday, I watched as Willie Geist interviewed WalMart US “President and CEO” William Simon and asked Bill (actually, Willie tried his best to “pin” Simon against that mythical media “inquisition” wall) questions pertaining to WalMart’s performance, the paying-a-higher-wage issue and future career plans.
From my vantage point, Willie sure seemed to bear his teeth at Bill, pressing him to disclose on public television if (a) he was annoyed at being passed over for the newly available global CEO spot, and (b) if he would raise minimum wages at WalMart. As Willie continued to press, Bill held to the corporate positions but in my opinion, did so in a far softer than the outgoing CEO ever did. Click here for the interview.
At 7:25 AM, right after the interview, I sent off this email to Bill – whom I don’t know – and shared with him my thoughts:
Subject: Your Today Show “interview” – Willie tried but you didn’t budge
1. You realize that you’re now the most recruitable CEO target in retail, right?
2. Willie sure doesn’t understand #1 nor does he likely know what succession planning means.
3. Paying above the 50th percentile is all you can ask for as an employee; garnering a higher wage is all about performance – not a Common Law right.
4. People are free to better themselves via a range of education and self-learning channels – leading to potentially higher salaries; Willie might not know this…
5. Good job on the interview – but you should have been firmer with Willie and emphasized #3 and #4. Honesty is a trait that is in short supply in business.
By the way, I know quite a few folks on your recruiting team – good people.
Best regards and revenues,
At 10:03 AM, I received a simple email back from Bill:
Thanks for the kind note.
My message here is not that I reached out to the WalMart US CEO but that I had something to say; rather than keep it between my ears, I elected to act upon it. What’s the worst thing that could have happened?
If you’re a jobseeker seeking to engage a hiring manager or a recruiter trying to engage a passive superstar, what do you notice from what I did?
A customized Subject line?
Some real understanding about your target’s hot buttons?
Statements that support your target’s point of view?
A few sincere platitudes?
Humor and Humanity?
As a jobseeker, would you write something like this? Why – or why not?
From The American President:
People want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they’ll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They’re so thirsty for it they’ll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there’s no water, they’ll drink the sand. ~Lewis Rothschild
Lewis, we’ve had presidents who were beloved, who couldn’t find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. People don’t drink the sand because they’re thirsty. They drink the sand because they don’t know the difference. ~President Andrew Shepherd
From where I stand, this also applies to the Career & Job Search Counseling, HR, and Recruiting spaces.
Folks, we can do much better – for everyone’s sake.
Raise the bar (no, not the way Amazon does it ;)