tory behind its formulation and its intent is anything but funny.
I waited a couple of days to let this this situation and its implications 'sink in' to properly address all the issues involved. Today I will make an attempt to remove any ambiguity on where I stand on the video, its creators, Chris Lavois - a public figure in our industry.
It started as a 'gag reel' to loosen up for a more serious video about an entirely different topic matter. I requested, and I was promised, - without any ambiguity - that this video would not be produced nor aired at any time. In emails to date, this has been confirmed by Chris LaVoie, a Recruite earth Co-Founder, that he fully understood that it was never my intent to have this video shared with the general public.
You may be asking yourself why it matters, "It was funny Dave, why the issue?"
The video you may have seen was originally taped in November at Kennedy Expo four months ago. I was given no expectation that the material would be aired, I was not informed of the video by Recruiter Earth, nor did the video even give credit to RecruitingBlogs.com nor Jason Davis. Above all, I want to inform Recruiter Earth's membership that the video you saw was edited entirely out of context, of which none of this material should have been on aired. Chris LaVoie and Recruiter Earth never had legal rights to make it available to the public and overall it wasn't a funny situation. Overall it was an abuse of trust. The video was made to look like a comedy at the expense of my friend Jason Davis and though it is a funny Video, RecruiterEarth's intent was not meant for comedy and I'll explain why.
Let me give you a bit of background on the process that led to this seemingly, lighthearted video:
This past September, Recruitfest, Toronto, was produced by Recruitingblogs.com and a cocktail party was hosted at the home of Jason Davis. Being one to enjoy "Where are they now" Baby pics I took a photo as a prank on my friend, Jason Davis, on my iphone of a picture frame. A month later on Halloween when Jason asked me who I was pretending to be for the holiday, I told him I was going as "him" - he was puzzled but a few hours later I used the little boy picture as my own profile photo for the day. The initial intent on my part was that of an innocent prank, a shenanigan, - but It was poorly executed and the impact was something I could not have expected 4 months later and has been a matter of personal regret.
As a partner of RecruitingBlogs.com, I know first hand that decisions to ban members are never easy. Over the last several months Chris LaVoie has been an active participant on RecruitingBlogs.com but instead of being active by adding content and participating in the ongoing conversations about recruiting, Chris would use RecruitingBlogs.com in order to promote RecruiterEarth in a way we like to call 'Predatorial' networking. His behavior was that of someone whose sole purpose was to attract RecruitingBlogs.com membership to his own, with the intention of selling products to them.
You see I am the first to tell you that Recruiter Earth is slick, just like its leadership. The word "slick" is defined by Webster's dictionary, however, as "deftly executed and having surface appeal or sophistication, but shallow or glib in content; polished but superficial." The look and feel is that of a Vodka ad in GQ magazine - and it feels that way because it is indeed utilizing its membership information to continually promote its Red and Black book of passive candidates, among other products.
We at RecruitingBlogs.com spent at least two months determining whether to ban Chris Lavoie from RecruitingBlogs.com, and once he was banned - he shot back at jason by banning JD AND then manipulating my gag reel - with Recruiter Earth going out of their way to make it look like it was through my own consent. It is no coincidence, that four months after that video was shot that it would appear without warning or notification just as he was being banned himself from RecruitingBlogs.com. The video was produced to spite Jason Davis, myself and RecruitingBlogs.com because he was removed by our community for his lack of respect. The timeline and the lack of consent is consistent with this conclusion. The fact that Chris LaVoie continued to air the video after informing me he would remove it merely confirms this understanding.
As much as i would like to take credit for being funny, this was a concerted effort to have as many people see this as possible and
completely taken out of context. The more I learned about the timeline of actions leading up to the video being posted, the more I understood it was no coincidence. It was Chris LaVoie's way of giving a middle finger to RecruitingBlogs.com after he was banned.
I am absolutely appalled. I always found Chris to be a personable sort of guy, the kind you can crack a joke with down the hall of a conference, but interestingly enough Chris was always fond of closing a conversation with "Let me know when you're ready to join the "Dark Side." I certainly saw the site's underbelly this past weekend and over the last several months hitting our membership to join his own site. What is more interesting is that Chris repeated this refrain right as I was about to hang up the phone telling him to take the video down. It speaks volumes that Chris would view himself and Recruiter Earth in this manner.
It is easy to contrast the healthy ecosystem as reflected by Recruitingblogs.com - a community whose membership can be secure without fear that their private membership data will not be sold to vendors, and whose leadership works to benefit its membership with transparency and worthy, user generated content without the hollywood glitz. This description is decidedly contrary to that of Recruiter Earth, whose membership is availed to vendors, a constant stream of vendor related spam, and whose leadership can often be found lurking from profile to profile promoting a competing site and its products and spamming its membershp via email. It is a depiction Chris LaVoie thinks is funny, or perhaps a freudrian slip of the tongue of how he views his practices as compared with that of our own at RecruitingBlogs.com. It is not, however, how Jason Davis and I do business nor do we find such juvenile responses to being banned humorous, pitting one friend against the other to show spite.
When the goal is to sell people things rather than to build community, I agree with Chris, it is the 'Dark Side' of the industry and it is what we are trying to Change - not continue to propagate as the image of an industry we want people to take pride in.
Sometimes what seems funny turns out wrong, but it becomes unethical when the sole intent is to manipulate it as an instrument of spite.
PS: As soon as I posted my response to the Video on RecruiterEarth Chris Lavois banned me as a member of RecruiterEarth within 5 minutes, then he banned Maureen, I assume Jerry Albright - Oh Well lol - really Chris be an adult. There are so many simple solution, like for example, taking the video down you have no signed release for nor stated permission otherwise - and apologizing. Escalation is pointless especially against individuals not even involved because they shared opinions on the matter.
Chris Lavoie - I would appreciate it if you apologized. It's warranted.…
of her previous jobs have been and just full of wonderful new ideas about what we all need to do. Ugh! We have a great department, all different ages, colors, and experiences but we enjoy our group and our jobs and work well together. Wonder Woman has been so irritating with all of her wonderfulness that some people are avoiding her.Others are making some sarcastic, funny comments to try and defuse the situation and others are just rolling their eyes. Wonder Woman became quickly aware that she was not being well received by her co-workers, so what does she do? She goes to our direct supervisor and says she is being bullied and no wonder it's hard to find people to work in this area. She is an attractive person and has a good background why does she act like this and why play the bully card when she was the one who came in like we were all idiots.So now the situation is that we have had the "bully lecture". Nobody got bullied and I think it was a cheap shot to play the bully card when she caused the reaction by coming in like God's answer to the advertising world.Half the group is pissed and probably will never like her. Two or three people think she is just unstable. Overall she has added a downer to the whole department since now she is not being so overbearing but still has all the answers and if anyone takes issue with her ideas she says they just didn't understand what she meant.It's really sticky in here and our department is walking on eggshells around Wonder Woman. Any suggestions?Signed,
"Not a Bully and mad to be called one'
Amy Ala - Internal Recruiter Says:Dear Not a Bully,Work is hard enough, isn’t it? I mean if they didn’t pay us, no one would bother to show up. So here you are, enjoying your life for the most part, you’ve got a decent job with good people around you, and here comes Wonder Woman throwing a monkey wrench in the whole darn thing.For what it’s worth (admittedly, probably not much) WW is probably more intimidated by you and the group than you might think. Showing up for work the first day is a lot like your first day in a new school, worse if it’s the middle of the semester. Even worse if it’s high school… but I digress. The point is it’s downright nerve wracking. Here you and your work pals are, steaming along, productive, no doubt well-liked by your boss, and WW is trying to figure out how to fit in. Clearly not very self-aware, she verbally vomits all over the team making a mess everywhere. The optimist in me says that WW probably just wants to be liked and acknowledged for what she thinks she has to offer. The cynic in me agrees that she’s most likely off her meds.If not for the “bully talk” this whole thing would probably have burned itself out quickly. But no… now things are escalated. Now you’re been put “on notice”, so to speak, by someone that should have had your back. I HATE that. What to do?1. Ignore Wonder Woman. I know, this will be difficult, but potentially the safest route to take. Smile and nod, whenever she drops some pearls of wisdom on you say thanks and keep doing your own thing. Above all, DON’T ENGAGE. If you are absolutely forced to work together, make sure you have witnesses.2. Have a serious heart to heart with The Boss. Let him/her know in no uncertain terms that you appreciate he/she wants to support the newbie but that doesn’t mean they’re allowed to throw proven, solid performers under the bus. Highly recommend that Boss tells WW to dial it down a few notches.3. Have a serious heart to heart with Wonder Woman. Personally I hate this idea the most and don’t see myself ever being capable of this. I tend to take route #1 because I still listen to my mother who said if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all.In a perfect world WW will eventually (hopefully quickly) wear herself out. It seems the bigger issue for you, dear reader, is that you are not feeling the love from your Boss. Therein lies the difficulty….Sandra McCartt - Third Party Recruiter Says:
NO, YOU ARE NOT A BULLY BUT CHECK THIS OUT, YOU HAVE BEEN BULLIED. In the most passive aggressive way known to man.
Oh boy, ain’t she a little treasure. I am not a shrink but I am a pretty good armchair psychologist so here’s my diagnosis. I think what you have in your nest is a little bird called a Narcissistic Personality Disorder. These folks are normally pretty smart, attractive people and can be very charming but..and this is the kicker…they will die without attention. It’s all about them. They hardly ever take time to introduce themselves and get to know their co workers before they start telling everyone how great they are. The problem is the Wonder Woman exterior and outgoing “I know it all” attitude is a big cover up for a personality that is like an emotional vampire. If they can’t get attention by exploding into the group as a big star or the reception is negative they will get attention by going into a Sarah Bernhardt routine and playing the “Bully Card” or turning on the “Waterfall”. Believe it or not it comes from a very weak ego and lack of self esteem. I know, at this point you feel like if they had anymore esteem for themselves the windows would blow out. They set people up to react and if the reaction is not what they want it to be ..well you’ve seen it. Wonder Woman will never take responsibility for her own actions and it will never occur to her that the reaction of her co-workers was caused by her entrance as the queen. Unfortunately these personalities are not treatable nor can they be reasoned with. The only thing that works with them is adoration and they are not very adorable. But that doesn’t answer your question. Just perhaps offers some insight into why she would play the “Bully Card”.
Oh , and she will do it again or throw some other kind of fit that will make other people angry or be falsely accused of some sort of abuse of this little darling. Most of them are pretty smart and tricky so the best thing I can tell you is don’t get caught up in the narcissistic dance.You have to work with her at this point so eggshells may be the best course of action. Be polite and professional and wait for the mills of God to grind as they always do with an NPD. If an NPD doesn’t get a lot of attention or people disagree with their ideas they normally don’t last long in any group. I think your supervisor will come to the party pretty quickly and realize that things were good in there before Wonder Woman exploded on the scene. They can be pretty conniving so my advice is keep your distance and keep in mind that if you poke a rattlesnake it will strike or it will slither and wiggle. It’s a snake. You are all in a bit of a pickle because when an NPD is ignored it always figures out a way to get attention. But my advice on this one is to steer clear as long as you can stand it. When she puts the full court press on you in some way just smile and ask for a meeting with you , Wonder Woman and your boss. Discuss just that instance and at least let your boss know that you are making an effort to get along in an impossible situation, before WW has a chance to play any of the black cards in the black deck of the narcissist. I’m sorry, but I think your department is going to be not so pleasant until WW decides that you are all a bunch of Barbarians who can’t appreciate her and moves on. Just don’t let her suck you into a conflagration and make you the bad guy. They can do that and they will and you will be up all night worrying about it because sane people angry/frustrated trying to figure out personality disorders because it doesn’t make good sense. And it doesn’t , that’s why they call it a personality disorder. I feel for you. I have seen a couple of these in action. I worked for a TV station for several years and most of the “on the air” types were textbook cases as many of the attention addicts end up in broadcasting, acting and politics. The other 95% end up in offices. yuck!
If it gets so bad that it makes you miserable, you can take her on head on and let her have it. But ,be ready to go find another job when you do. Your whole department can go to your boss or baring that there is always HR. That's called punting the NPD to the people who hired it.…
ill-considered certainty is reasonable as far as I’m concerned. Unearned certainty strikes me as the disease of our age.
Wow. That line resonates for me in an article full of great analysis. It is especially relevant to recruiting and hiring and employment and all the ways work itself is broken today. Unearned certainty abounds.
I think much of our problem lies in how we process information and make decisions - how we see the world and why we make the decisions we do.
New developments in cognition research show us that the way we decide to act in in one way over another is more complicated than we realize.
As recruiters, we do a lot of deciding. Who do I call, who do I email, what profile is interesting, which one is not.
It starts earlier than that, though. When we place an open position in our mind, we start thinking about "who will be a fit?" We are deciders, differentiators. It doesn't matter if we are outside agency folks (like me), or internal recruiters, those acts of choosing are central to what we do. We look at resumes, web profiles, cover letters and we choose who gets our attention, because we can't talk to them all.
As recruiters, we do a lot of deciding. Who do I call, who do I email, what profile is interesting, which one is not. It starts earlier than that, though. When we place an open position in our mind, we start thinking about "who will be a fit?" We are deciders, differentiators. It doesn't matter if we are outside agency folks (like me), or internal recruiters, those acts of choosing are central to what we do. We look at resumes, web profiles, cover letters and we choose who gets our attention, because we can't talk to them all.
I've noticed, over my almost 20 years of agency recruiting holey hell how did that happen, that though I always worked for tiny little companies with tiny little budgets for tools/staff I was able to compete effectively mostly because of how I parse information. I'm good with trends, and systems, and technology - it comes easily to me. Time and again I'd look at a resume someone else would pass by and I would call them, represent them and they'd be the candidate hired. Sometimes another recruiter from another agency would have spoken to them but passed them by. I'd talk to them, pull some additional detail out of their background, and eventually they would be the one to get hired. It happened enough that I began thinking about resumes and job descriptions as a little game for me to play, and eventually my desk became an experiment in pattern matching and eliciting conditioned responses, which if you think about it is a big part of job-searching. Which if you think about it long enough, in this economy, will make you sad.
The thing is, many of us are pretty rigid in our thinking. When we start the process we make it super narrow, because we think we know *exactly* what our hiring managers want, and honestly? We usually don't. I mean we have a good idea of the parameters and what is essential, but often the actual triggers making one person hire another person are more in flux than we want to admit. I was taught to rule candidates out before I ruled them in - to imagine how candidates could be seen as "not a fit" so that I could build a better argument for why they were. But I think many of us either forget that second action item, or don't understand what we recruit for deeply enough to color outside of narrowly defined lines.
I think we are often so certain ourselves, or our hiring authorities are also so certain, that we don't open our minds to candidates that could be just as good (or even better) than the picture in our minds. I think rigidity, that "unearned certainty" part of the reason folks have trouble getting traction in our current marketplace. Perhaps it is a small part. I'm not saying that recruiters can solve the unemployment problem by opening our minds, but I wonder what would happen if we tried, as a rule, to be less certain of our decision that a particular candidate doesn't get a shot.