When I was first introduced to Recruitment Blogging, I entered through ERE blogs, venturing into Simon Meth's musings about contract recruitment, in addition to Shally's Cybersleuthing and then viewing outwards into Dennis Smith's Wirelessjobs.com. Simon has brought insights into the value proposition of contract recruitment consultants for several years now. We first met in person at ERE, San Diego in 2006 and I was fortunate to meet him again much to my delight at ERE San Diego a few weeks ago. After all these years reading one another I am honored to finally have the opportunity to tell the tale of this Australian expatriate who is passionate about our profession and has so consistently paid it forward since the blogosphere introduced us as fellow travelers.
Simon was educated at The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia where he earned a B.S. (Honors) degree in Physical Geography. He began his professional career as a physical geographer writing environmental impact statements. He then started his technical sales career selling machines for Canon Copier Australia. He joined Triad Software in 1984 as a salesman where he developed a nationwide distribution company specializing in the Pick database operating system and related hardware and software. Triad Software achieved international recognition as one of the top Pick resellers in the world.
Simon moved to the United States in 1987 where he provided coaching and consulting services in business management, technical sales, and marketing to Triad Software and several other clients. He sold his share in Triad to his business partner in 1995. Simon continued to develop his expertise in staffing, career counseling, and coaching. He has worked with industry leading companies including ViaSat, ENCAD a Division of Kodak, Bond International Software, Adecco , Stac now known as Altiris and Symantec, and Source Services now known as Kforce Professional Staffing.
He is a Certified Independent Trainer for Competency Based Interviewing®. SittingXlegged is his blog on ere.net about Corporate Recruitment: what works and what doesn't plus other musings. Simon is an accomplished author of technical articles, a monthly news column, press releases, and company newsletters. He has been published internationally in print and on the Web. Simon lives in San Diego, California with his wife and two children. He is a passionate golfer who asserts that most of life’s lessons are available on the golf course.
Q&A with Simon Meth
Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world.
SIMON: The four of us live in sunny San Diego. Our daughter is off to college in the fall and then we’ll be three at home. Our son is a champion junior golfer and much of our lives revolve around golf. Fortunately I’m a golf tragic and hanging out at the golf course is just about the most fun thing I know to do. Life has been a little odd lately with my wife traveling to golf tournaments or to colleges with our kids. I’ve had more time alone than I’m used to or really quite enjoy. I’m very outgoing and prefer to be with others than keeping my own company. However, time alone at home gives me a chance to take care of a myriad of things and to exercise my obsessive compulsive tendencies. I’m pretty hopeless at goofing off and have always been that way. Doing nothing usually evolves into being productive and working on something. I do love watching golf on TV. Some of my favorite shows are House, Law and Order Criminal Intent, Mythbusters and Deadliest Catch. My guilty pleasures are Doctor 90210 and Nip/Tuck which I watch on Hulu. I listen to most kinds of music and usually do that on Pandora. When I’m driving I almost always listen to a book on CD and usually it is fiction. I just love Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck. I’m also the resident PC Tech so when anything goes wrong with something on the network I get a call. Come to think of it that’s one of the few times when my daughter initiates conversation with me . Aren’t 18 year old girls just so much fun?
Six Degrees: How many years have you been in the staffing industry?
SIMON: Well it depends how you count it. I’d say since I started with Source in ’95. That would be about 14 years.
Six Degrees: How did you get started as a recruiter?
SIMON: Funny you should ask. I started as a recruiter way back in my native Australia before I realized that was what I was doing! I was a partner in a software company and we sometimes placed Prime Information consultants at our client sites. Only the very seasoned readers will have ever heard of Prime Information. If you don’t count that then I got into recruiting in the U.S. by accident. After I sold the Australian company I was looking for something to do. There was a recruiter at Source Services Corporation, now Kforce, who had sourced Pick programmers through me for a couple of years so I called her. I figured that she could help me find a job. She did. Working for Source! Funny how often that happens. She made a nice little commission after I started.
Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?
SIMON: I was consulting with a company called Stac that later became Previo and then went out of business. We worked with an industrial psychologist to evaluate candidates above a certain functional level. I got really interested in what he was doing and eventually read a lot of the technical literature and even became certified to teach his Competency Based Interviewing course. Doing that enhanced my innate ability to assess what people are good at and to predict their future success. Time and time again I’ve had clients tell me that that ability is something that distinguishes me from others. I’m always surprised by that because it seems so obvious to me.
Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?
SIMON: Not really. I’m a great gatherer and processor of information. I observe and study everyone and every process and choose what works for me and what I think will make me and those who work with me more productive and efficient. Sometimes the best teachers are those who are failing and aren’t great at what they do.
Six Degrees: Tell us about your position:
SIMON: I typically work as an independent consultant. Currently I’m at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. Before that I spent 5 years at ViaSat. I work a full desk with typically 35 to 50 requisitions. Often it’s a mix of technical and non-technical positions. I’m an Applicant Tracking System nut and I love to learn everything that the tool can do and I do mean everything. I also document the heck out of everything I do. I look at every resume for everyone who applies and love to get lots of things going. One of my first managers always stressed the importance of activity. I find if I do lots of the right kind of activity then everything works out well. As I mentioned earlier, I’m pretty hopeless at goofing off so you’ll almost always find me doing something productive. Of course you can easily engage me in conversation and I’m likely to tell you more than you want to hear. I know this about myself and am never offended if people cut me off. In fact, with folks I work with a lot, I actually ask them to cut me off if I ever run on too long. Oh, and another thing, I return every voice mail I receive.
Six Degrees: What other companies' recruiting operations do you admire or have heard are best-practice examples?
SIMON: There are so many different ways to do it. I know one international company where the recruiters don’t review resumes. The hiring managers are responsible for identifying people of interest and the recruiters screen and work them through the process. I’m sure it works for them but that’s not how I’d do it. I’ve heard horror stories about how long it takes to get hired at some industry leading companies. I’ve worked at places where hiring by consensus is the way they do it. Everyone who interviews a candidate has an equal vote. I could never see the sense in that. Everyone should be listened to but some people will or should have a clearer idea about who fits the position best. I admire companies that treat applicants with respect, that have a fast and efficient hiring process, and that get back to applicants every time. I admire companies that have recruitment teams that are passionate about the company they work for and about their craft. I admire companies that embrace technology and that have recruitment systems that make sense and that work well.
Six Degrees: What recent general news story or industry trend do you feel will have an impact on your work in the future? Why?
SIMON: It’s old news now but the whole area of social networking is absolutely where it’s at! I can’t predict where we’ll end up in the next few years but I see more and more transparency of information, I see everything linked to everything else, I see a time when we’ll be able to really understand a candidate and their background. Candidates will know what it’s like to work at your company before they start work. They will have the tools to accomplish that. If they don’t use those tools then don’t hire them.
Six Degrees: Tell us about your broader involvement within the staffing industry:
SIMON: I recently attended ere expo in San Diego. It was great catching up with industry colleagues both new and old. That’s an easy conference for me to attend since it’s in my home town. I haven’t ventured to other conferences but ere expo really piqued my interest. I’d certainly love to attend more. I started writing my blog, SittingXlegged, January 9, 2006. That’s been loads of fun. While I don’t get a ton of comments I do get the occasional reader who lets me know that they appreciate my writing. I’ve started cross-posting to several other sites to expand my readership. I’ve gotten the best results on RecruitingBlogs.com. RecruiterSpace San Diego is a local social networking site for recruiters that I started to help connect recruiters both agency and corporate. I post local opportunities and lots of folks have used the site as a tool to connect.
Six Degrees: Can you detail how the recession has affected your particular industry niche?
SIMON: I’ve been affected directly by the recession. After 5 years working as an independent consultant at ViaSat I could see that my requisition load was dwindling. I remember thinking that I wouldn’t pay me what they were paying me to carry that load. I talked with my Director and Vice President and worked out a separation. I feel very fortunate to have found General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc where I consult today. The economy seems to have been improving but I was getting lots of calls and emails from industry colleagues who were looking for work. I’ve also noticed that agency recruiters are more or less desperate for work. I get lots of calls from them too. There has been lots of downsizing of both staff and office space. Of course the strong will survive and will grow again when the economy turns around.
Six Degrees: Given your own Trial and Error experiences as a Networker, what advice do you have for your peers on what NOT to do?
SIMON: That’s a great question! What NOT to do? My best advice is don’t delay in trying out any networking opportunity. Early adopters have a huge advantage. If the particular site takes off then their own network will grow much more quickly than those who engage later on. Of course you may spend some time on some duds but that’s OK too. Learn what you learn and delete your account.
Six Degrees: What is your next career goal? What do you need to do to get there?
SIMON: I don’t have one or at least I don’t have a goal to do anything differently to what I’m doing now. I love to recruit. I’m passionate about it and I’m always looking for ways to be more efficient and productive. So more of that! I’ve held management positions in the past and they can be extremely rewarding. I’d do that again if I could lead a team and continue to work a desk. I have limited interest in playing the corporate game and dealing with all the stuff that corporate managers deal with. I’m not saying that stuff isn’t important I’m just saying that I have limited interest in it. I can imagine working for a very well funded start-up where there is no process in place and there is a huge need to hire highly talented people quickly. I could build that and have fun doing it.
“HOW DOES SIMON THEY DO IT?”
Six Degrees: What recruitment software tools do you use in your day to day recruitment activities & do they translate effectively within all of the different countries where you recruit?
SIMON: The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that I use every day is smartsearch. I really like the user interface (UI) and have learned to be really quick and efficient with it. I used Kenexa Recruiter BrassRing at my last gig. I liked it too and it’s probably more capable for really large international companies. I also use TalentHook for sourcing. It’s a solid tool that is well worth the time investment to learn to use efficiently. I think that I have the advantage of having the computer “geek” gene that makes me really dig into any tool I use to get the most out of it. Other than that I use my various networks most days.
Six Degrees: What tools (technology or old school file folder, for example) did you first encounter early in your recruitment career?
SIMON: I remember wondering how to keep track of so many discrete events and all the paperwork. I talked with every recruiter in the office and found that everyone used some form of day planner. This was before Franklin and Covey merged and I used the Covey planner. Of course I’m almost 100% digital today but the lessons learned are still valuable and in use each and every day.
Six Degrees: How did your expectations of being a recruiter compare to the actual, first time you got on the phone or in the cubicle? In your opinion, how do people's assumptions about our vocation differ from reality?
SIMON: I don’t remember having any expectations. I didn’t know enough to have any! I also don’t know about people’s assumptions about our vocation. I do know that when someone is looking for work that we are all their best friends.
Six Degrees: Worst mistake, biggest goof, lousiest practice you thought would fly but didn’t…and how that was a learning experience?
SIMON: Ah! The million dollar question! The one that distinguishes the strong candidate from the exceptional candidate. I’d better answer it then . My first recruitment manager drove me absolutely nuts. I didn’t care for her and I amassed lots of evidence about why that was. I also gossiped about her with my colleagues. And despite all that I was successful there. I have no doubt that if my production had been lower I’d have been given an opportunity to work elsewhere. What I learned from the experience is that we all have different styles of working. I do my best to work in situations that are a good fit for me. If I work with someone who I find challenging I look for ways to work well together. Mostly that’s just finding things about them that I admire or that work well rather than focusing on the things that I don’t care for.
Six Degrees: Considering all of the frustrations you have experienced in your career as a recruiter, -- what inspires you as you continue in your career?
SIMON: I just love it! That is all.
Six Degrees: Anything you want to plug?
SIMON: Not so much a plug as a request for everyone who has read this far to find a way today to give back to our industry. Find someone you can help and help them for no reason.
Recommendations For Simon
“Simon reviews every candidate we hire. His insights often point to attributes that we missed during the normal interview process. More importantly, Simon has uncanny knack for understanding how new employees will fit into the team. People are our most important asset -- thus Simon's services are a critical component to our ability to sustain growth at the superlative levels we have achieved under the leadership of our new CEO.” February 23, 2007. Top qualities: Great Results, Good Value, High Integrity
“Simon is a very savvy and experienced career coach and recruiter. I worked with him multiple times to help with my job search. Each time he provided me with invaluable knowledge that tremendously improved the response rate to my resume submissions and lead to successful employment.” November 26, 2006. Top qualities: Expert, High Integrity, Creative
“I've worked with Simon on a variety of web, marketing and staffing projects and have always found his input and/or direction of far higher quality and clarity than most top level executives. Simon's ability to look through the surface of a situation, to focus on the most important aspects and goals of an activity, promotes results that retain an enduring luminence.” June 9, 2006
James Metzger, Owner, Video Diamonds
“I've worked with Simon several times since we first met in 1996. Each time he added exactly what was needed, and our busy employees interviewed just a few highly qualified candidates before we filled the postion. Simon adds a lot of value to the hiring process, from management to hands-on interviewing, screening, and making the offer -- and he's very focused on getting the positions filled.” June 2, 2006
Tom Dilatush, CTO, FutureTrade
“I worked with Simon in 2003 when I quit my job at FotoNation and was looking at new opportunities. Simon developed a special program for me, flexible in direction, intensity and duration. He was listening to me, helping me to discover and tackle issues I was suffering from. His help really made a difference in my life and my attitude. I would highly recommend Simon to those in need of coaching.” May 30, 2006
Boris Berkman, CTO and Senior Systems Architect, FutureTrade Technologies
“I have known Simon almost 25 years. We have been business partners, played golf, and had many conversations. Simon has earned the title of my most trusted friend. I have found his counsel to be insightful, clear, and useful, time after time. I recommend Simon as a coach, consultant, recruiter, and friend. He's a pretty good golfer, too. " May 30, 2006
Steve Alexander, President, ENG Resources, Inc.
“Simon is the only recruitment consultant we've worked with at Integrant since 1999. We always use him to evaluate potential hires and value his take on candidates highly. We have, on a few occasions, gone against his recommendations and we've always regretted it. I highly recommend him to you.” May 31, 2006
Ben Lacomble, Practice Manager, Integrant
“Simon is a professional recruiter who has ensured the companies staffing requirements are met in all dimensions of qualifications, corporate culture and financial contraints. He was always an honest source of advice and coaching in building a high performance team in a challenging San Diego market.” May 30, 2006
Al Haddad, CEO, Indyme
“Simon is a very thorough Staffing Consultant. I have worked with Simon for over two years now and he has brought a level of insight when considering potential candidates I would have thought difficult if not impossible to obtain in a 1 hour interview. Simon is a straightforward and direct person who can understand our business needs and help us qualify prospective candidates.” May 30, 2006
Jeromy Giacosa, Director of IT, Integrant, Inc
“Simon is one of the best recruiters I've ever worked with. He stays on top of things. Reminds the team of what each has to do. He also has outstanding team skills. In a competitive and stressful environment like we're in it's paramount to have team leadership skills. My thinking is that strong recruiting skills is necessary but not sufficient. An outstanding recruiter must have those skills but must also have strong team leadership skills. Simon has those as well and that's why I consider him an outstanding recruiter. He's an excellent 'face' of the company for prospective candidates.” December 15, 2008
Chris Wren, Director, ViaSat
“Simon is someone who is very knowledgeable in corporate recruiting, from screening applicants to selecting only those people with the right skills and personality to fit our high standards at ViaSat. He worked at ViaSat for years in a very fast paced, competitive time in the technology industry and produced great results. Sharing time in the same hall I can say he is very dedicated and put in the hours he needed to make things happen.” October 27, 2008
Bruce Rowe, Director, Marketing Projects, ViaSat Inc
“I have worked with Simon at ViaSat, Inc. for almost one year. Simon was very helpful when I first started in getting me up to speed and answering all my questions in a thoughtful way. Simon is an outstanding recruiter, he thinks things through and understands the implications of his actions. He can read people extremely well and knows how to communicate effectively. He knows intuitively when to be assertive with candidates and managers and when to be more receptive. He has an excellent grasp on technology and his organizational and time management skills are some of the best I have ever seen. He prides himself on always being prompt. Simon is a strong, independent thinker and yet is amenable to constructive feedback. I have learned a lot from Simon during the time we have worked together and hope I have the pleasure of working with him again in the future.” October 24, 2008
Alana Martyns, Technical Recruiter, ViaSat, Inc.
“Simon handled all the recruiting for the Corporate Accounting Group. Over the last couple of years we have doubled the size of the Corporate Accounting Department. Though this intensive hiring Simon played a key roll and only brought us the top candidates. Simon has a great understanding of what is needed in great Corporate Accountant and will not deviate from our needs. He has excellent organization skills, very professional and a great team player. He always did a great job and was great to work with. He will be missed.” October 23, 2008
Ann Grant, Corp Actg Mgr, ViaSat
“Simon was a member of our Recruiting team for many years and in that time he brought a dedication to efficiency and excellence that's seldom seen. He brings a consistent methodology to the table that leads to finding precisely the type of candidate you're looking for, and he's is very good at reading the subtle "red flags" that less experienced and perhaps less perceptive recruiters may miss. Simon's personality and wit are icing on the cake!” October 15, 2008
Melinda Del Toro, Director of People Development & Employee Relations, ViaSat, Inc.
“Simon supported our entire sales organization. He cut through the red tape and found ways to help us hire some great people who contributed significantly to the bottom line. He was always up-beat and positive. I'd characterize his style as consultative customer service. Highly recommended!” June 29, 2006
Tony Espinoza, VP, Operations, Kodak/Encad, Inc.
“We had challenges recruiting and retaining key employees. Simon was constantly striving to understand the needs of the hiring manager and find people who would be the best fit. He was able to work at all levels. With his help, we were able to retain key people. In executive staff, he often provided key insight. Charles Sharp, Former VP Supplies, ENCAD President, Digital Image Technology” June 2, 2006
Chuck Sharp, Owner, Digital Image Technology, managed Simon indirectly at Eastman Kodak formerly ENCAD
“Simon worked in my branch office for the direct placement division of Adecco. Simon's core strength and attribute was his ability to bring a consultative approach to our recruiting team that resulted in a more effective and streamlined recruitment process, better candidate screening, and higher returns on placement activity.” November 16, 2007
Eric Scott Hensley, Owner, Technology Search Group
“Simon Meth is one of the best recruiters I have come across in my 28 year career. He single handedly helped me build up my 8 person marketing team while I was VP of Marketing at Stac, Inc. His pre-screening of candidates alone saved me a considerable amount of time and meant that I only interviewed top-notch candidates. John Bromhead, Former Vice President Marketing, STAC” May 31, 2006
“Simon was very dilligent, organized and exceeded his sales quota as a Sr. Technology recruiter at Source Services (now Kforce). Simon was a pleasure to work with and became a great working partner.” May 30, 2006
Rick Raimondi, Managing Director, Netsoft…
ollow and would appreciate any feedback to know if its something that we should continue to do. So, sit back, grab a coffee and enjoy the conversation!
Don't forget to join us and participate in the live Chat each week on Tuesday's and Thursday's at 3pm ET / 12pm PT.
Susan Burns Hi Everyone! Stick around for Talent Talk Cafe with Suzy Tonini - topic is compeititve intelligence. Starting in 5!
1:59pm Irina Shamaeva Hi
1:59pm Suzy Hi everyone
1:59pm Maureen Sharib Hi Suzy.
1:59pm Maren Hogan Hey Suzy!
1:59pm Suzy Susan will you be the emcee here please?
1:59pm Susan Burns Hi Irina - Hi Suzy - Hi Maureen - we'll begin in a few
2:00pm Slouch Hey Suzy, Thanks for spending an hour with us
2:00pm Dorothy Beach CI was whart caught my eye
2:00pm Irina Shamaeva I'm Suzy's follower on twitter - enjoy it, very informative
2:00pm Suzy Hi Maureen, Irina, Maren and Jason-nice being here virtually
2:00pm Susan Burns Hello Everyone! Its time for Talent Talk Cafe! Our special guest host today is Suzy Tonini from Deloitte
2:00pm Amybeth Hale Hi Suzy!
2:00pm Susan Burns A couple of things and then we'll get started
2:00pm Suzy Hey Amybeth!
2:01pm Suzy So I'm just going to say one big group hello
2:01pm Susan Burns You can click on Chat in the blue nav bar to pop the chat out and make it bigger and easier to follow
2:02pm Susan Burns Also, if you haven't already heard......drumroll.....Talent Talk Cafe is now on twice a week - Tues and Thurs with 6 fabulous new voices and another one to be announced soon!
2:02pm Susan Burns Our guest host today - Suzy Tonini - is a wealth of information! I learn something from her every week thanks to all her fab tweets!
2:02pm Suzy Cool beans! Can I ask a few questions to your group then?
2:03pm Susan Burns Take it away Suzy!
2:03pm Susan Burns Hi Amybeth!
2:04pm Amybeth Hale Hello Susan :D
2:04pm Suzy BTW:Tweets are 140 chat msgs on Twitter in case you dind't know that by now. One of my fav tools for gathering CI. OK for you TPR'sdo you add value by providing CI to your Clients? If so, what do you provide and what tols do you use?
2:04pm Suzy excuse lame spelling
2:04pm Susan Burns What are TPRs - exscuse the lame acronym knowledge ;-)
2:05pm Jeff Gauthier third party recruiters
2:05pm Susan Burns Thanks Jeff!
2:05pm Suzy Was that too big of a question....?Yes, Third Party Recruiters/Agencies etc
2:05pm Shannon Myers yes and no
2:05pm Eric Gilson We provide CI information regarding salaries to our clients. We use the phone as a tool to gather the information.
2:05pm Jeff Gauthier as a tpr, we share salary/offer info as appropriate from competitors
2:06pm Shannon Myers Agreed more info as related to marketing the position - salaries, benefits, etc
2:06pm Suzy So you wouldn't provide org charts of sorts as an added value?
2:06pm Shannon Myers with names or just to show structure?
2:07pm Suzy well, names are always juicier;-D
2:07pm Jeff Gauthier we would be more inclined to keep that to ourselves
2:07pm Irina Shamaeva We get paid on a contingency basis. I wish we were also paid for providing CI
2:07pm Eric GilsonIt's not that I wouldn't, I just don't currently
2:08pm Kay Hi All, can sombody tell me how do i remove a blog?
2:08pm Paul DeBettignies I share who is hiring, laying off, new products, news not yet out in the community
2:08pm Maureen Sharib I think it's a BIG income area that sourcers can tap into (if they're so inclined).
2:08pm Shannon Myers I think more CI is offered depending on relationship you already have with a client and whether it is for a new position you are recruiting for or more general
2:08pm Kay I mean I posteda blog a couple of days ago now I want to delete it from my page
2:08pm Susan Burns Hi Kay - you can write to Jason through his profile. This is a scheduled chat so they'll be focused on set topic
2:09pm Suzy OK- for corporate recruiters then-is there a CI function w/in your company and do you gather primary research info (phone) and disseminate back to your team and leadership?
2:09pm Kay oops!!!
2:09pm Suzy Thanks Maureen- good point
2:09pm Suzy Paul- that's good stuff you are sharing
2:09pm Dorothy Beach No CI function and yes primary info is given back to team
2:10pm Paul DeBettignies (but I do keep theorg chart to myself)
2:10pm Maureen Sharib CI could be a direct link between recruiting and business devt with outreaches to devt and marketing.
2:10pm Irina Shamaeva Suzy, we work with 2 of your competitors and our relationships with them are good very structured.
2:10pm Irina Shamaeva good but
2:10pm Dorothy Beach Most companies aren't organized to receive much from Recruiting(
2:10pm Suzy Dorothy-can you expand on that thought?
2:11pm Maureen Sharib Most companiesdon't tHINK about what information recruiters and sourcers come across on a daily basis...
2:11pm Paul DeBettignies or that it is as valuable as it is
2:11pm Maureen Sharib Zakly
2:11pm Susan Burns Often recruiting doesn't offer up the info to the right people though - they have to take the lead sometimes
2:11pm Dorothy Beach I meant as far as CI is concerned.
2:11pm Susan Burns If you have the knowledge but don't share it ....who would know to ask?
2:11pm Suzy Yes- so in essence a structured CI function that works hand in hand with recruiting would be ideal, correct?
2:11pm Maureen Sharib They don'tknow howtohANDLE the information for the most part - how toact on it - a lack of criticalthinking IMO
2:11pm Paul DeBettignies yes
2:12pm Irina Shamaeva Yes
2:12pm Eric Gilson I guess that we do provide information on some of our clients competitors. Which verticals or horizontals consulting firms seem to be hiring in. But I would hope that they would already know who they are competing with out there?
2:12pm Suzy Eric- you'd be surprised
2:12pm Paul DeBettignies I know of a big company here in Mpls that calls it the rumor mill. They ask recruiters to pass on any information they ehar about to the VP operations
2:12pm Dorothy Beach No place in an ATS that can capture it and then be serached for - it miiht be illegal to even put it in there? So where to put it?
2:12pm Maureen Sharib My thots zakly Suzy!
2:12pm Susan Burns Suzy - how do you see CI intersecting with workforce planning?
2:12pm Eric Gilson SAP for example....
2:13pm Suzy Paul- well, that's innovative!
2:13pm Maureen Sharib Illegal?
2:13pm Paul DeBettignies nothing formal, just pass it on
2:13pm Suzy Susan- can you maybe rephrase?
2:13pm Maureen Sharib Big audience today Suzy!
2:13pm Suzy HA! Thanks Maureen
2:14pm Susan Burns As you see CI working closely w/ the recruiting function do you also see it working closely with the workforce planning group or person?
2:14pm Eric Gilson How do you use and distribut CI internally Suzy
2:14pm Suzy Dorothy- hmm...yes, good point. ATS might not be the spot for CI-perhaps a newsletter?
2:15pm Suzy Eric- that's for me to know and for you to find out:-0
2:15pm Dorothy Beach I am thinking of risk for a company to let that out - advice on how to handle that kind of info?
2:15pm Susan Burns Suzy - are sharepoint sites being used too?
2:15pm Dorothy Beach Adding this info to a Sharepoint site that has hiring manager access?
2:15pm Suzy Susan- I see CI being used pretty much in all functions of a company. Yes, I've heard of internal Sharepoint sites being used
2:16pm Shannon Myers I would think some CI would be vital to attracting/retaining talent and has to be discussed somewhere
2:16pm Susan Burns what about CRM? Could it be set up to manage the info as well?
2:16pm Suzy I would like to hear fromothers on Dorothy's question...?
2:16pm Irina Shamaeva Suzy, we talk about CI and hopefully we all understand it similarly - but would you mind saying a definition, or listing items?
2:16pm Dorothy Beach You mean CRM like Salesforce that others have access to?
2:17pm Suzy Irina- competitive and business intelligence- what your competitors are doing, hiring, firing, planning on doing, salaries, benefits etc
2:17pm Dorothy Beach Before I forget there is Paul Houston - from SCIP - who specializes in Recruiting and CI
2:17pm Susan Burns Dorothy - yes but access can be protected if needed/desired
2:17pm Irina Shamaeva Thanks
2:18pm Suzy Paul Houston- well check him out- I too am amember of SCIP
2:18pm Suzy Society for Competitive Intelligence Professionals
2:18pm Suzy So how does your company leverage CI to source candidates?
2:19pm Suzy And- when does gathring CI become unethical, in your opinions
2:19pm Dorothy Beach Right now it is the simple stuff - layoff reports, industry reports, analysts reports ...
2:20pm Susan Burns Suzy - do you like what LI is doing with the corporate beta project - is it a good CI resource?
2:21pm Irina Shamaeva We know the competitors and what they are good at so look for candidates there; know when they are about to layoff or are being acquired etc
2:21pm Paul DeBettignies I found staying within my ethics is simple. I always ask people, "what do you know"
2:21pm Dorothy Beach If you go to a new employee and he/she is apporached about their last company but doesn't want to talk about it - the recriter/CI person might push for info too hard - then it might be unethical
2:21pm Paul DeBettignies rarely have to dig further although I may be missing the "really" good stuff
2:21pm Suzy I like what LI did very much- it's not 100% but it certainly gives you som good basic data to work off of
2:22pm Susan Burns Curious - if your working with a prospect that easily offers up info - how do you feel about presenting them to a client?
2:22pm Susan Burns the person that is who just disclosed a bunch of proprietary info ;-)
2:22pm Dorothy Beach Not sure what the corp beta project is?
2:22pm Eric Gilson I would coach him to be a little more tight lipped
2:22pm Suzy I like yuor approach Paul-keep it simple
2:23pm Susan Burns Dorothy - click on a company name in someones profile and you'll see
2:23pm Suzy Agreed with Eric
2:23pm Dorothy Beach Oh you mean the link for company info - yes very interesting and could be expanded
2:24pm Suzy I'm curious- oes your company try to obtain CI from new hires and is that process established?
2:24pm Susan Burns Good question Suzy!
2:24pm Suzy This would be for corporate recruiters
2:24pm Dorothy Beach Not established -
2:24pm Eric Gilson If I was internal, I was ask each new hire for a list of the best people he/she has worked with over the last few years.
2:25pm Eric Gilson every hire
2:25pm Suzy Good one Eric
2:25pm Dorothy Beach Corporations have a hard time just getting employees to put profiles into the address book!
2:25pm Susan Burns When I've seen it done its more informal and inconsistent but should be an established part of the on-boarding process like asking for referrals
2:25pm Dorothy Beach It seems it takes a lot to get info from new employees - maybe because they stress about on-boarding.
2:25pm Amybeth Hale When we hire new people, we use that opportunity to get referrals for hires
2:26pm Shannon Myers Dorthoy - LI is using data from LI users and updates from Capital IQ to be able to show who is where coming and going if you click on some of the companies - still in devp't
2:26pm Amybeth Hale and often in that process we discover good CI nuggets :)
2:26pm Susan Burns Amybeth - how are the CI nuggets shared
2:26pm Amybeth Hale Such as if our competitors do investment hiring, if they've recently had hiring frosts, or perhaps certain areas of their business where they are ramping up (potential new client gains)
2:27pm KarenM / Hirecentrix.com question, does anyone ask if there the candidate signed any non disclosures before asking questions?
2:27pm Suzy That would be a good question, Karen!
2:27pm Susan Burns Karen - would also expect that has come up prior in the hiring process
2:27pm Susan Burns or previously ;-)
2:28pm Dorothy Beach Oh yes, especially in an Exec Search Practice and if the search is confidential
2:28pm Suzy I would asume any self-respecting hiring manager/recruiter would do that
2:28pm Jason C. Blais How much time and how often do people engage in CI activity?
2:28pm Amybeth Hale Precisely. Those things are determined going through the hiring process to begin with.
2:28pm KarenM / Hirecentrix.com another question, then, the candidate has said agreement, and they expose information, what would you do as the recruiter or hiring manager?
2:28pm Suzy Jason: it can be a full-time job or it can be an extension of your recruiting -ask probing questions
2:29pm Susan Burns Amybeth - can u share more about how the info gathered is put to use.....shared with key people.....
2:29pm Eric Gilson My HM's have shot a guy down for this when the info shared was actually public knowledge
2:29pm Jason C. Blais (sorry I'm late to the table- I was at an HR meeting acquiring CI from Corp HR Prof's and Consultants)
2:29pm Susan Burns Suzy - can it overlap with a sourcing strategist role too
2:29pm Eric Gilson yeah yeah
2:29pm Susan Burns So, Jason - you have lots of new CI to share with us then ;-)
2:30pm Suzy Susan- yes indeed Sourcing and CI should go hand in hand
2:30pm Amybeth Hale I'm just a simple researcher. I share what I learn w/ my manager and let him decide what to do with it.
2:30pm Susan Burns Amybeth - u underestimate yourself ;-)
2:30pm Jason C. Blais (reading my ethics and morality book now, trying to determine whether it's okay to share, and if so how)
2:30pm Eric Gilson How about TPR using CI to attract passive candidates?
2:30pm Suzy Amybeth: you are NOT just a simple researcher @:^)
2:31pm Dorothy Beach You mean Eric about the company they are in?
2:31pm Susan Burns Seriously Amybeth - I could see u developing a secret insights book each month that goes to the Board!
2:31pm Eric Gilson "I hear that your current company lost that account or is about to...."
2:31pm Eric Gilson yes
2:31pm Suzy To Karen's point: what would you do if candidate has NDA and exposes info anyway...and the answer is?
2:31pm Jason C. Blais I'd like to hear more about what is done with the CI once you have it- white papers? Meetings? Strategic implementation? newsletters?
2:32pm KarenM / Hirecentrix.com jason that is a good one, and also to add to that, what does your company do to protect themselves if they become privy to info they may not have
2:32pm Suzy Jason- I beleive all of the above would be an ideal mix
2:32pm Susan Burns Suzy - re last Q - (a) shouldn't ask out of respect but (b) if they share I'd say bad hire!
2:33pm Suzy OK- one of MY fave topics- what tools do YOU ue to uncover CI??
2:33pm Susan Burns Many companies have written policies stating that the information can not and should not be used and its grounds for separation
2:33pm Amybeth Hale When we are made aware, either through a tip or a public press release, that a target company has started rounds of layoffs, the other researcher and I set about looking for individuals who work for that company, gather their contact information, and pass it to our recruiters or do initial outreach to them.
2:33pm Dorothy Beach Yes, what is professional in manner? Especially if candidate is to go to a high position
2:34pm Jason C. Blais If there are public layoffs, isn't it appropriate to contact the HR at the location and offer to help with career transition?
2:34pm Susan Burns Suzy - before we go on - wondering if it would be helpful to discern between CI that is appropriate to collect and share and CI that is not appropriate to collec and share
2:34pm Dorothy Beach Now see I have gone straight to the outplacement companies to ask what titles for example are being released
2:34pm Dorothy Beach What the timing is
2:35pm Susan Burns Jason - YES!
2:35pm Dorothy Beach Usually someone in HR in the targeted company that is laying off will tell you which outplacement firm they use
2:35pm Dorothy Beach The onlycompany I haven't been able to get that from was P&G
2:35pm Dorothy Beach But I got it from other sources
2:36pm Suzy Well appropriate is A)anything that is on the internet (for the most part) is fair game and can be shared and B)inappropriate- I guess I don't know since I've never gone there!
2:36pm Dorothy Beach so one should search th einternet before disclosing?
2:37pm Susan Burns So, is information shared during conversation appropriate if its simply offered up and there is not an NDA
2:37pm Jason C. Blais we work with ouplacement firms, to provide "online job hunting tips" to those outplaced. Often they haven't searched for a job in quite some time. As a job posting service, we know we have had exposure to a group from a certain background, and our sales calls other companies to sell access ot our RezDB. Is that commonly agreed to be appropriate?
2:37pm Irina Shamaeva Suzy - what is you get somebody's password to a closed source?
2:37pm Susan Burns I guess there is also a fine line between legal and ethical. Recall hearing of someone getting a hold of a doc online that should not have been available - do you use it or not?
2:38pm Suzy Irina- that sounds un-ethical to me if I hear you correctly
2:38pm Jason C. Blais A little bird told me?
2:38pm Dorothy Beach It seems to me Susan that happens less and less often
2:38pm Amybeth Hale Who's the one to determine if the doc should/should not have been available?
2:38pm Eric Gilson I use Jason's line
2:39pm Suzy Jason & Eric- and that actually flies as an answer?
2:39pm Dorothy Beach so how does one reveal sources of information that might be delicate?
2:39pm Eric Gilson example: A candidate tells me the name of their best Client Partner. I ask if I can use the candidate's name when contacting them. They say no.
2:40pm Jason C. Blais:-! not exactly. Though sometimes the value of the information will bend people's sense of ethics..s
2:40pm Susan Burns AMybeth - in the ex I shared - it was part of an SEC filing for a financial inst - full org chart with names and titles
2:40pm Jason C. Blais ..so i try to avoid those situations as best as possible.
2:40pm Jason C. Blais susan- wow.
2:41pm Suzy And Susan- how did you know it wasn't supposed to be up?
2:41pm Eric Gilson I don't come out and say a birdy told me, what I tell them is that their name was given to me by a individual that I am currently assisting in a confidential job search.
2:41pm Susan Burns Suzy - don't know for sure but it was requested with the filing and I would expect the company did not anticipate it to be an accessible document
2:41pm Eric Gilson Your name came up as someone who is very good at what they do. ALl I can say is that I will offer you the same level of confidentiality that I offer all executives that I engage with.
2:42pm Maureen Sharib full org chart with names and titles That's unusual in an SEC filing. ALL the employees?
2:42pm Dorothy Beach A SEC file not accessible?
2:42pm Eric Gilson and yeah. That works everytime
2:42pm Susan Burns May be more common now with SOX - not sure
2:42pm Jason C. Blais I'm trying to build more CI into our company. I am a member and on the board of HR associations. I attend trade and chamber activities. I build trust and gain info and insight.
2:42pm Susan Burns Maureen - not all but a lot!
2:42pm Dorothy Beach Ohhh - something to look into...
2:43pm Susan Burns Suzy - I think we got off track - you had another question for us
2:43pm Jason C. Blais I become very wary of handing that intelligence to our sales team, as I don't want to burn bridges. We need the info, but have to be tactful on how we use it.
2:43pm Suzy Jason- that sounds like a very good path you're on
2:43pm Irina Shamaeva Someone told me recently that examining source code for web pages is not right, you agree?
2:43pm Jim - medXcentral jumping in late again.. sorry.
2:44pm Amybeth Hale Isn't source code considered to be public domain?
2:44pm Suzy My question was: what tools & techniques do you guys use to gather useful CI?
2:44pm Eric Gilson The telephone
2:44pm Amybeth Hale I love press releases personally - online paper trails. One usually leads to several others
2:44pm Suzy Irina- why is that not right? If anyone is able to view them...
2:44pm Jason C. Blais In a previous life, I worked for a travel broker that guaranteed loweest rates.
2:44pm Maureen Sharib I have allowed my thoughts to wander -my mind to drift - here: If a corporation is a public entity then doesn't the "public" (who holds stock) deserve to be privy to the employee info? I know it's a pipedream...a fantasy...but it sure would be nice! :)
2:44pm Jason C. Blais There was a whole dept devoted to calling all our competitors every day and filling a spreadsheet with rates
2:44pm Dorothy Beach Usual stuff - SEC filings, websites, blogs, LinkedIn sometimes, etc
2:44pm Susan Burns Twitter, LI
2:45pm Irina Shamaeva Say on zoominfo you can view source of your results and emails will not be truncated, easy to get all at once, like cheating
2:45pm Suzy Maureen- nice dream for sure!!
2:45pm Susan Burns Maureen - guess it comes down to intention. Transparency is very good but protecting assets protects the shareholders as well
2:46pm Jason C. Blais Old school but effective. Now there is much more activity on the web, but it's become less reliable. Published info, particularly on the web will always be tainted with spin..
2:46pm Suzy I'm sure RSS feeds are used as well-I like to be on top of things and disseminate to my team ASAP
2:46pm Susan Burns Ultimately - if ee are happy, engaged and taken care of they won't leave. if they want to leave its only a matter of time
2:46pm Jason C. Blais Suzy, do you think more people should have access to CI tools like RSS feeds, or fewer?
2:46pm Susan Burns RSS is going wild - although I heard it may peak at 11% usage
2:47pm Susan Burns Suzy - do u by that # - 11% of Internet users will take advantage of RSS
2:47pm Suzy Jason-it takes a certain type of info-maniac to really stay on top of things, but yes people should have access to RSS feeds by all means!
2:47pm Suzy I know- not that many RSS users kind of boggles my mind- just gave a webinar on setting them up etc
2:47pm Jason C. Blais I mean to say: will productivity suffer from analysis paralysis? Too much time in research, not enough time in action?
2:48pm Maureen Sharib Is there a single most important piece of CI?
2:48pm Susan Burns Jason - good point - comes down to roles and structure to take advantage of it
2:48pm Suzy Jason-that is why Internet Researchers such as Amybeth and I are of great value-let us do the legwork
2:48pm Susan Burns Maureen - do u mean of the data collected or of how its used?
2:48pm Dorothy Beach Yes, how to manage it all - I think you have to try enough venues to understand what gives most pointed info and then cut out all the rest
2:48pm Maureen Sharib The data collected.
2:49pm Susan Burns Suzy - this really emphasizes the importance of how a recruiting/talent function is structured. Much more sophisticated to then previously
2:49pm Charles Bretz Suzy, any tips orbest practices for compiling and sharing your CI - what about storage and access
2:49pm Suzy Thanks Susan- very true.
2:49pm Dorothy Beach Goof Q Maureen - is there such a thing as a single best CI site/blog/whatever?
2:50pm Amybeth Hale Jason: agreed w/ Suzy. Professional researchers know what to do with the mountains of information that would be daunting to most people. It's good to have people like us on staff to filter through these important bits of information.
2:50pm Jason C. Blais In our business, I am the funnel for info from blogs, associations, networks, RSS feeds, etc, for the higher level strategic data collection. We turn that data into seminars accredited by HRCI, offer the seminar, build trust, get leads.
2:50pm Maureen Sharib Or what piece of CI is most valuable? Any opinions?
2:50pm Jason C. Blais However, our sales managers spend a % of time on sales CI...
2:50pm Suzy Charles- well hello there! Ideally, a corporate social networks comprised of RSS feeds, blogs and wikis would be the best way to disseminate CI- IBM has something really good up and running w/even a Twitter like function
2:50pm Susan Burns If someone is on IE could you try and copy the chat stream and send me a doc. I can't get it with Firefox or Safari
2:50pm Dorothy Beach So would a CRM typically used by sales people be a one stop shop?
2:50pm Jason C. Blais Charles- I'm interested in the same- storage and dissemination
2:51pm Amybeth Hale Suzy, do they use Yammer?
2:51pm RecruiterGuy Video for my friends here on RBC... http://www.recruitingblogs.com/video/recruiterguy-the-what-before
2:51pm Amybeth Hale Yammer not has groups you can moderate w/i you company. Great way to get info quickly to large, or small, groups of people
2:51pm Susan Burns Dorothy - to some degree - yes, what biz dev and sales is putting into the CRM it could be very informative
2:51pm Jason C. Blais Susan, I can capture this stream on Firefox. Highlight the first line. Then hold the shift and click on the last line, copy paste
2:51pm Maren Hogan oh good I was gonna say that Chris just put up a really cool post on slicin g and dicing the RSS feeds you get
2:51pm Suzy IBM uses something proprietary called Beehive I beleive-I've tried Yammer- it's OK
2:52pm Susan Burns well thank you Jason!
2:52pm Susan Burns Jason - still can't get it but I'm on a mac - is that why
2:53pm Susan Burns Suzy - is beehive avail outside of IBM or proprietary in dev and use?
2:53pm Suzy Maureen- as far as best piece of CI-all relative to your company...
2:53pm Jason C. Blais I'll get it at 4... though I only came in at 3:12, so missed some. I'll send it to you
2:53pm Charles Bretz I can copy and paste the thread. who should I send it to?
2:53pm Suzy Susan- Beehive is their internal twitter tool
2:53pm Susan Burns thanks Charles - firstname.lastname@example.org
2:53pm Charles Bretz You'll have it at the end
2:54pm Susan Burns You data junkies (me too btw) may also be interested in a new book called the Numerati on how companies, esp IBM, are using data to make a lot of decisions about team structure and project deployment - some good internal. Not sure how much may be CI related but possibly
Suzy Thanks Susan- will look into it
2:55pm Susan Burns Suzy - do you have any closing thoughts or last questions
2:55pm Amybeth Hale Numerati was recommended to my by a prominent analyst relations professional as well. As you are the second person to recommend it, I guess I should go buy it :)
2:55pm RecruiterGuy Susan seriously?? By BAker?
2:56pm Suzy BTW- I thank all of you for being here and chatting and I hope it was all worth your while
2:56pm Susan Burns You can read an excerpt of the book in BusinessWeek - or Newsweek - forget which one
2:56pm Eric Gilson Stay happy Suzi. Thinking about you guys!
2:56pm Jason C. Blais I'm glad to know that CI is blossoming and i'm on the right track!
2:56pm Jason C. Blais THanks
2:56pm Suzy Thanks Eric- it's gorgeous out here and you need to come visit
2:56pm Eric Gilson Keller was last night!
2:56pm Eric Gilson I didn't go
2:57pm Susan Burns Suzy - this has been a great chat! Thanks much for all of your insight! I know this was a tough day for you with the loss of your dog and appreciate you spending time with us
2:57pm Suzy Aww-thanks Susan- it was a good distraction
2:57pm Susan Burns Thanks everyone for joining Talent Talk Cafe today - lots of great insight about CI, the value it brings and how to navigate some sensitive areas…