Friday, November 18, 2005

When I grow up, I want to be a Searchologist

Have you ever been to a "Career Day" at your kids school? For the uninitiated, that is when you sit in a classroom of your child's peers and try to make your vocation the best thing since "Harry Potter" and thereby incentivize young minds to study hard so they can be just like you when they grow up. When this happens to you, try not to follow a Policeman, Soldier or (groan...) a Fireman with a bright red truck parked in front of the school. I had the recent fortune (or misfortune) of being in that position and although I would like to believe that I "dazzled" as I compared sourcing candidates to playing hide-and-seek, my street-cred was shot the moment the siren rang on the engine outside. At the end of the day, all kiddies present wanted to be something else other than a "Searchologist." Sigh...

I imagine that such is the case for any other parent out there who has to explain what they do when what they do is recruiting or recruiting related. I mean, come on... How many kids do you know say, "When I grow up, I want to source the internet fro candidates? Or, I want to recruit people for companies all over the world. Or... nevermind."

I think one of the reasons why young people in elementary school (or college for that matter) rarely consider HR as a career of choice. Why? My thoughts is that it is not "cool" to the public at large and whose fault is that? Quite frankly, its yours...

If you are a sourcer, how much pride do you have in what you do? How often do you mentor others (via a blog for example) on "the craft?" Or, is it all just a job?

Well, color me naive, but I hope to change the mindset of Sourcing (and recruiting in general). How? With baby steps...

Baby Step #1: Make being a Sourcer "Hip"

Wear a t-shirt, hat, something or other that tells the world that what you do is cool.

Baby Step #2: Champion your skills internally.

Market every success vigorously and gain the respect of the hire-ups so that they see the value of what you do and how it affects the bottom line.

Baby Step #3: Get people talking

Share what you know, challenge what you have already learned and push, push, push innovation at every turn. If the methodologies of sourcing stagnate, so does the value of sourcing overall.

I LOVE what I do and am fortunate to work with people who see the value in what I do. If this is not the situation you operate in, begin with babystep #1. Remember, its not only for you, but the next generation of Searchologists as well.


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Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Business Card As Fine Art

AEA invited me to hang out with them the other day during their forum on "Technology Redefines the Role of Marketing." I had a good time and met some cool people, among them Lauren and Mo of "Goods For You."

What stood out to me about Lauren and Mo was not their impeccable manners, approachable nature or even their contribution to the discussion (for the record, these guys are pretty savvy). No, what kept them in my mind (now, days later) and compelled me to write about them was their business card. (See below)

What do I like about these cards so much? Ahh... Let me count the ways...

1. The baby pictures (and yes, these are their actual baby pictures) 2. The offbeat colors and ever so subtle psychedelic design. 3. The rounded upper right corner.

Put all these factors together and Goods For You is telling me a story. Ahem, (clearing my throat) the story goes like this...

"Hi! My name is Lauren (or Mo') and I have imagination. I know how to take risks. Most of all, I know how to bring attention to myself. Surely, I can do this for your business. And hey, even if you don't call me right away, I am (even now) using my hypnotic marketing powers to compel you to show this card to someone else. Afterall, who can refuse a peek at a cute baby picture? Am I right?"

To this I say in a zombie-like voice, "Yes Lauren. I hear and I obey..."

Everytime I glance at the Goods For You buiness card (its on my desk now, next to my Geek coffee cup) I say to to myself, "Self, these guys are thinking."

And this of course had me thinking, how come business cards could not be art pieces? What is stopping someone from finding all the cool and interesting business cards in the world and blowing them up into 3x5 framed masterpieces? Maybe its me, but I think that would be somewhat amusing. So I begin to dig and find something almost as good.

Are you hip to Cardbroswer?

Cardbroswer does a very interesting thing. They go to trade shows (and similar events), collect cards and then add them to an online database. As a subscriber to their service, you are able to get contacts that are not (neccessarily) on the web and (I like this) you also get access to their cellphone numbers. At least those cellphone numbers that are posted on their cards.

Okay, so its not an an exclusive gallery of business card artistry. It is however, a clever resource for sourcing the elusive passive candidate.

Digability rating: Nice one! Call in for a free trial now!!!

ADV: Where in the world is your next hire?


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Sourcing Candidates with Feng Shui

What would happen if you allowed the workers to design their own workspaces? Would you get more comfortable motivated workers who refuse to go home? Would you get a tidal wave of applicants who want to work there simply because the environment was so (expletive) cool!!!! Could be... Just ask the guys at Pixar who flat out refused to allow cubicles to confine their creative imaginaries. Ain't it Cool News toured the Pixar facilities and (among other things) posted pictures of their workspaces. Below is a clip from an AICN blogpost. Ahhh... feel the envy.

Instead of cubicles, each of the animators has a customized space. There was one guy who had this groovy corner office that was open on two sides, and he had no chair at all. He had the entire office set up so that he could work standing, like so:
That was a pretty extreme example of what someone could do with their space. A lot of the animators decided early on that they didn’t want cubicles, so instead, Pixar found these groovy little cottages that they bought for them. Walking through the animation department is like walking through a neighborhood for dwarves. Lots of little houses laid out along “streets,” each one with an address on the door.

The animators also have lounges set up so they can congregate and relax, including a jungle-themed lounge with piñatas hanging overhead.

Want more? Click here...

HOT JOB: Microsoft Technical Central Sourcing is looking for a Primary Sourcing Expert.


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Sourcing Candidates From The Ghetto

I came across an intersting post today on Searchengine Low Down called Searching the Gheto: New Engine Delivers Surprising Results. Being overwhelmed with curiosity, I check out the searchengine mentioned in the article and discover "GhetoSearch" (and yes, I and the searchengine company are aware that "Gheto" is misspelled).

In case you are wondering the signifigance of the name, Ghetosearch reversed their search algorithm so that the least relevant results appear first and the most relevant results are last. Why do it that way? (Actually, its pretty brilliant.) If you search one of the major searchengines like Yahoo, Google or Ask Jeeves, you will get the best 1,000 results out of say... thousands of possibilities. By flipping the algorithm as Ghetosearch has, you are looking at those results that are at the bottom of the barrel (the Gheto, if you would). The advantage of this is that you may stumble across websites and resources that most would ignore or probably would never find otherwise. Ohhh.. the possibilities! Intrigued, I jump right in and begin adding in search strings to find resumes of all sorts and get... nothing. Hmmm... maybe I am doing something wrong? I consult the help menu and play with (all of its) advanced features and... nothing. I was so dissapointed because it had such an intuitive interface, gimmicks on its advanced page uncommon to the majors. Alas for me, I could not manipulate it well enough to find resumes that I could easily source elsewhere. Grrrr... Ghetosearch, why do you tease me so? Digability rating: Not so Dy-no-mite for resume searching, but I will keep my eye on them. Afterall, they did have some interesting features.

ADV: Do you know the art of Shakespeare Recruiting?.


Monday, November 14, 2005

Sourcing Desperate Housewives

What do you think about real-life housewives? Think they have it made? I found this article online "Myth vs. Reality: What Are At-home Moms Really Like?" and thought it would prove quite a revelation to some so I thought I would share it. Here is a snippet...

At-home mothers, as portrayed on television, are stuck in the 1950s mold of small-minded housewives. They may not wear aprons and pearls anymore, but they are usually presented as women who are more concerned with lavishing attention on their houses then on caring for their children. Modern mothers who have left successful, established careers to nurture their children find it very hard to see anything of themselves in this picture. What are at-home mothers really like? Results from our survey of 300 women across the country reveal that they are neither idle and pampered nor perfect Betty Crockers of the home front. They do work hard -- 42.2 percent said that they care for children fourteen hours or more per day -- and they're on call twenty four hours a day. Almost one-fifth said that they don't get time off during the work week. Things are only a little better on the weekend, as more than 36 percent of the respondents reported that they don't get any time off then, either. The image of the decorative country club wife is also very far from the truth. While the economic profile of these families is solidly middle class, they definitely are not rich: half of them are supporting three, four or five people on less than $40,000 a year and are constantly searching for new ways to economize. Most mothers at home are neither youngsters, inexperienced, nor unskilled. They are not at home because they have failed to make a go of it in the business world and have no other career options. Half of them have undergraduate degrees, and nearly 40 percent have advanced graduate, professional or technical educations. More than two-thirds fall into the thirty-to four-year-old age bracket. Click here to read the full article Why do I share this information? Well, besides being interesting to me, I think it speaks to an untapped resource for sourcers. Somewhere out there are hard-working, diligent and resourceful women with undergraduate and advanced college degrees. Now ask yourself? What effort is your company making to attract these types of candidates? (And when I say these types of candidates, I am referring to housewives looking to rejoin the workforce.) If you are charged with sourcing diversity candidates, or if you just want an additional resource to turn to, you might want to add the following strategy to your bag of tricks.

Trot over to the butler (Ask Jeeves) and ask him to bring you the resumes of houswives that are (potentially) looking to re-enter the workforce. To insure that you get the same results I did, input the following searchstring:

resume "domestic engineer" -jobs

Can you dig it?

And before you can say, "Your candidate is served," Jeeves plops down 141 resumes (more or less) matching your request. Pretty nifty huh?

Until next time, happy hunting...