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Picking Employees from Job Candidates #hr #jobs

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I can tell you that the way I pick candidates to be interviewed is probably wrong, and the way I hire people is probably worse. It’s not that the people I pick are the wrong people for the job, it’s that I pick them based on my gut, rather than based on the metrics. Let me explain…

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Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

May 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Posted in business, risk

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Social Networking Job Trends 2012 #jobs

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In 2008, and again early 2011, I wrote articles about the Social Networking Job Trends, again I checked the graph I’d included, continued to be updating and had shot over 1% of all the job postings on in December 2011. Perhaps these employers and sourcers should be reading Why I Will Never, Ever Hire A “Social Media Expert”:

Social media is just another facet of marketing and customer service.
Say it with me.

What else could this mean?

It’s obvious to me that this graph shows that Social Media as a term is winning ground over web2.0, which is lost from the mid 2011 high of 0.35%.

"social networking", "social media", blogs, "web 2.0" Job Trends graph“social networking” Job Trends

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Image source: zerojay, indeed

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

January 12, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Social Networking Job Trends #jobs

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In 2008 I wrote an article about the Social Networking Job Trends, today I saw that the graph I’d included continued to be updating and had reached almost 1% of all the job postings on in January. Perhaps these employers should be reading Why I Will Never, Ever Hire A “Social Media Expert”:

Social media is just another facet of marketing and customer service. Say it with me.

"social networking", "social media", blogs, "web 2.0" Job Trends graph
“social networking” Job Trends

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Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

May 24, 2011 at 10:16 pm

A catalog of this year’s risky articles #2010

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Programming Hands

Risk is something which can be difficult to evaluate for the average person, there is a lot of work which goes in to learning not to do the two things that people usually do when they are confronted with risk:

  1. Ignore
  2. Overreact

It looks like every man and his dog needs to have a Facebook page, even banks…

It has been almost 1.5 weeks since Google’s FeedBurner removed the Frie…

Some days ago I tweeted to Prosper, a personal loan marketplace, whether they…

I don’t really think most people get “it” when it comes to …

Just noticed that Google Translate translates the name of the Dutch social ne…

I find a 400 plus page manual of office policies and job descriptions for eac…

In the last two days I’ve not been posting so much, and focussing on up…

I started playing with Google Scribe and wanted to see if patterns emerged so…

I have my Google account set up with English as the preferred language, my br…

For the last 2 years LinkedIn has been running a bad poor IT management depar…

When I just started I too had trouble with getting all the items I required t…

On August 11th 2007 I exceeded my GMail quota, I blogged about it here. At th…

Brian Szymanski send a reply to me concerning another bank implementing SMS b…

I don’t understand why url expansion after url shortening is such an is…

I just read an article Web Coupons Know Lots About You, and They Tell in the …

This morning/night China’s networks were sending rerouting messages to …

The lack of trained and experienced computer security people working in small…

Last week I saw an episode of a popular Dutch Ombudsman program Kassa, they r…

After seeing a program about a lifecoach trying to find the time to get his p…

Image source Radio Nederland Wereldomroep

Inspired by Productivity #lifehacks #mashable

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I was reading a Mashable item on productivity[1] which contained some interesting things that I will turn into a slideshow on this week.

Do NOT check your e-mail for the first 45 minutes that you are in the office in the morning. […] There are never meetings at that time and most people are settling in and reading their e-mails, […] — Amanda Feifer O’Brien, Marketing Manager at Firmenich Inc.

Take the first 30 minutes to plan the rest of your day. By plan, I mean make a list of the important tasks that you need to have done today and stay focused on these items. […] Make a list of the things that you want to achieve that day and work from that list until it’s completed. — Rohan Hall, Founder and CEO of rSitez, Inc

This is an excellent way to start the day, I have been using the 43 Folders system to unplan the year, this is my scheduled backlog, and take the day folder out and add this to my daily TODO list – which I write on Post-its. While creating the initial Post-its I like to create Post-its which contain:

  • Lunch
  • Coffee Break (x4)
  • Snack Break (x2)
  • Mail Break (x2)

And interspace these in the timeline of the day.

On my whiteboard I arrange the Post-its in the following grid:

First I take the Not Urgent and Not Important and bin them, obviously there is no reason to do them or they would have been graded differently.

Next I estimate the time and importance needed for the Urgent and Important tasks, and split the longer items into shorter tasks. Then I start the tasks by solving some of the important short tasks first to set the tone of the day to task completion, then I process the remaining tasks in order of importance. I like to use timeboxes for each of the tasks based on my estimates.

Next I estimate and complete the Not Urgent and Important items and don’t move on to estimating and completing the Urgent and Not Important until I’m finished.

  1. 37 Productivity Tips for Working From Anywhere

Image source: Dennis Hamilton

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

December 11, 2010 at 8:29 pm


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Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

December 2, 2010 at 3:09 pm

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Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

October 27, 2010 at 11:43 am

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Company Policy or People #hr

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Looking through the lens of HR

I find a 400 plus page manual of office policies and job descriptions for each position in the office slightly excessive, I know few people who read manuals like that back-to-back unless they are finding ways to make a company policy work in their favour, or a loophole. You’ve just given them 400 plus pages of potential loopholes, unless it’s written by a lawyer, then you have given them 400 plus pages of information which is impenetrable to them, and in which they will have to pay a lawyer to find the loophole which is almost certainly in there.

Even if the average employee could read, understand and recall 400 plus pages of information at 1 page a minute it would still take them 6 2/3 hours to read the manual. Do they get paid for these hours? What if it takes them slightly longer?

Employees are often asked to go above and beyond the call of duty, these job descriptions and policies are a disadvantage for the company also. I’ve seen companies give detailed job descriptions – including a specific location – and then have a policy which contradicts this by saying that location and duties are determined by the company. I’ve seen high-value producers leave because overanxious HR departments following policy without using judgement have send official warnings on first offense policy violations, they go to competitor companies were the working environment was less hostile.

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I’m not saying to have a 400 plus page manual which covers office policies and job descriptions isn’t helpful, it can be very valuable. Although I’ve found that companies who give their employees manuals which stretch to 400 pages are usually companies, and specifically HR departments, who need a way to exercise control which they do not have. Perhaps it is wise to look at the company structure and size, and regain the control by having control.

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Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

October 6, 2010 at 11:42 am

Posted in business, risk, work

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Educating Recruiters: The Recruiter’s POV #jobs #career

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If you are a recruiter reading this this is not an indictment of your profession, but a guide for your clients.

After my article Educating Recruiters: Gatekeepers to the HR gatekeepers I was not asked to clarify, nor was I put in my place. Julie Holmwood wrote a well augmented piece noting the omission and posted the recruiters point of view.

We [recruiters] get limited opportunities with a client to ‘impress them’. Sending CVs of candidates that can do the job but don’t match the spec mean that our lifespan with that client is likely to be coming to an abrupt end.

This is a serious issue, for our clients. (The recruiter and you have the same clients!) In the short term the client must be convinced that the product must be able to perform the task that the client requires, with in the terms the client has set. This means that a recruiters need to have a good match, but the client is the final judge, so to pass the client’s gatekeeper the client must be a paper match too.

You would be astounded to know how many candidates send brilliant emails stating that they can do specific jobs standing on their head and then attach a CV that doesn’t mention any relevant experience at all.

I’m not easily surprised, but I have been in charge of processing resumes that people send to companies, so I know how bad it can be. This is why it is so important to not just have a generalized resume that you send using the buckshot approach. For each position you apply for a custom resume is as important as a cover letter. And where a resume is broad it is the task of a cover letter to highlight the specificity of the match.

If you have already contacted a company within the last twelve months then there is no way we can represent you with that company. Typically a company’s terms state that candidates belong to an introducer for twelve months. Hence if you introduced yourself to them and we then reintroduced you they would say ‘we already know him’ and would discount you from our submission list. Part of our remit is to speak with candidates about the client as well as the role and re-submitting a candidate they know is another black mark against us and something we are typically briefed by the client not to do. Of course, there are always candidates that don’t tell us. In my experience it doesn’t do the candidate any favours and they are still discounted from our submissions.

This is a matter of contract law, and although this is a point of note for the recruiter a candidate should ignore this in my opinion. (Sorry Julie!) When a candidate is refused by a customer this could be for a completely different reason, it could just be that he/she is not a good match for the position. Case in point is when I was asked by a management recruiters to be a candidate for a consultant Business Analyst for a large Dutch ISP, the ISP felt I didn’t have the marketing experience for the position. Two months later when they needed a consultant role to advise the Business Analyst the HR department didn’t make an issue of the fact that I had applied previously for a different role.

Julie replies:

Should a candidate continue to directly approach Company A time and again for different positions that they feel they are qualified to do. If they want to work for Company A then yes, absolutely.

Should a recruiter submit the above candidate when they are already known to the company because they made an application a few weeks ago, either directly or via another recruiter, no. We are briefed by the client in the majority of cases not to do this and it is bad recruitment practice. In many cases if the recruiter ignores this and re-submits a candidate that is known to the client they will not be allowed to make any charge.

I think this can be a win-win-win process for clients, candidates and recruiters but all parties have to believe that everyone is working for the greater good. When the candidate sees the recruiter as their enemy that they need to conquer to get to the good job they are probably not starting from the right place!

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I need to note here is that the recruiter is NOT the enemy! The recruiter is a service provider, I may not always agree with the way they provide the service, yet I respect the service they provide. I am a true geek hacker, and social engineering is part of my portfolio.

Your opinion is most welcome!

Published with permission of Julie Holmwood

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Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

July 28, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Educating Recruiters: Gatekeepers to the HR gatekeepers #jobs #career

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If you are a recruiter reading this this is not an indictment of your profession, but a guide for your clients.

I’m unlike many people who work with recruiters in that I’ve never gotten a job via a recruiter, usually I find something under my own steam. This doesn’t mean that recruiters don’t help me to keep my resumes up to date and my skillset relevant. When a project has finished I often go to appointments set up by recruiters. And there are a number of reasons why I mostly don’t match with what the customer is looking for. So why is this?

  • Recruiters are looking to match keywords not people
  • Recruiters are looking for certificates not knowledge
  • Recruiters are limiting themselves and you
  • Recruiters are selling you, not working for you

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Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

July 23, 2009 at 7:32 pm

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