sting 3.0. But what direction are we heading in? Is it a coherent journey? Is there a clear destination/end goal?
4.0. What on earth could that include? How’s this?
Recruitment transitions from being a “cost center” into a “profit center”’!
The collapse and insolvency of many recruitment agencies.
Job boards stuttering and collapsing … and repurposing themselves
Companies hiring “through the sky” through external referrals and crowdsourcing
Exclusive/VIP/premium paid in-community content and paid mobile apps
Gamification shapes recruiting strategies and generates stickiness and virality
Companies rated globally by crowd opinions
Before anyone screams “unrealistic” or “utter fantasy” or cries B.S., let’s be clear that Recruitment 4.0 moves into the territory of vision. This is some years off. But by calculated hypotheses it is clear there will be a 4.0 and that it is a natural progression of 3.0 and builds sensibly on its foundations.
Let’s recap the different versions of recruiting.
Recruitment 1.0 encompasses traditional recruiting over a huge timeline, including good old-fashioned fax machines, print advertising, (post, spray ,and pray), and Rolodexes moving into traditional ATSs. Recruiters more focused on processes than end results. The basic any-bum-on-any-seat philosophy.
Recruitment 2.0 saw the move onto online and using technology for recruitment purposes, including the advent of online job boards & online CV searches. While the technology moved forward, the traditional methodology of 1.0 was prevalent, including online post, spray, and pray candidate attraction (aka the recruitment lottery of let’s hope the right-ish person looks at the online advertisement, at the right time and feels willing to go to the effort to apply).
Both Recruitment 1.0 and 2.0 were/are fundamentally focused on the active job seekers, (applying to vacancies, on agency books, and those watching job boards like a possessed predator).
Recruitment 3.0 is a huge leap as it moves recruitment out of its comfort zone. The beating heart of 3.0 is the non-active/passive individual and a focus on “best talent” and building predictable talent pipelines. In addition, the philosophy of “everyone is a potential candidate so engage them” is central. 3.0 takes us into building engaged, two-way, free-conversation based, transparent communities. This is anchored by things like employment branding, marketing, and PR. 3.0 is not only concerned with building communities but mapping key competitors and seducing cream-of-the-crop talent with your brand and in-house opportunities.
What is Recruitment 4.0?
Recruitment 3.0 is all consumed and focused on building communities. 4.0 is all about the value of those communities, both real and perceived.
Recruitment has traditionally been a cost center. It sucks money from the profit line like Count Dracula on a feeding frenzy in Transylvania, especially if agency fees are involved, coupled with advertising/job board fees etc. Add this up and it can be an overwhelming drain on resources.
Remember that many of the Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 companies are addicted to agency hiring and mass job board advertising like an alcoholic drawn to drink. Why highlight the Fortune and FTSE companies? Primarily they should have the advantage and resources to wean off agency addiction, source passive candidates far more easily than small to medium companies, (but funnily enough it is the small- and medium-sized companies who are far more fleet of foot and innovative).
Recruitment 4.0 sees recruiting move from being a cost center (a loss-making division) to being a profit center.
Reflect on that statement.
It’s huge and revolutionary.
Recruitment being a profit center.
“Impossible,” you cry.
Perhaps not if you reflect and apply some visionary foresight.
Recruitment 4.0 is some years off. But not as far as some may think.
Consider the world we live in. Value is defined differently. Companies like Zynga, Facebook, and LinkedIn have massive valuations, well above their profitability margins. Their reach and potential reach and the size of their mass following — an engaged following.
Our generation is living in the information age. The power lies in networks. Networks are data. Data is power. And data is money.
We all want data. Especially recruiters and marketers/salespeople.
So how does a community, (or let’s crudely call it data) = value = monetization = recruitment becoming a profit center?
There are several facets to recruitment moving to a profit center.
Reduction of recruiting costs to a minimum, (agency usage close to zero, less need for mass job board advertising, reduction in number of in-house recruiters employed).
This depends on building and nurturing a “qualitative” community, a strong employment brand, vibrant social networks, mapped competitors, and putting in place a predictable talent pipeline for key hiring channels.
The community itself evolves into a self-service community, where recruitment can be executed by crowdsourcing, and by hiring managers becoming more engaged into pipeline generation and hiring. Everyone can use LinkedIn. Why not hiring managers?
Value in the community is identified by both internal and external advertisers/marketers that allows for revenue for recruitment.
A sense of increased value is attached to belonging/being part of that community, hence VIP/exclusive areas/content that people are happy to pay for.
Gamification principles create more engagement and sense of belonging and stickiness to sites, hence driving potential of more opportunities for monetization.
Actual games/cartoons/content that people subscribe to have repeat value.
Let’s look at some of those in a little more depth.
Traditional advertising is failing. The days of successful, targeted TV and print advertising are long behind us.
Ways to communicate, once limited and restricted, are now numerous and disperse.
Looking at TV, the former medium of choice for mass communication, now diminished, as people are now hungry for choice and happily spread their viewing over a diverse and numerous multitude of TV channels. If an advertiser manages to define a great TV slot to advertise to reach their target audience they are thwarted by the fact that people can now record and Tivo, hence skipping ads. TV advertising then is a busted flush.
Print advertising? Again, some national newspapers and magazines are spiraling downward from their heyday readerships. People tend toward reading the latest news online 24/7 or from niche web sites. They don’t want to wait the next day for old news. Print has had to be more salacious and do what it can to get the best scoops to get whatever sales possible. Online, people not only digest news, but have the benefit of posting comments and engaging in discussions.
So traditional messaging vehicles are struggling.
This coincides with a time when recruiter networks are expanding. Combine a recruitment database (with some companies having in excess of ½ million – million names), with social media networks, a targeted mass of names, email addresses, with perceived affinity to a business or product, and a growing realization awakens that this has a marketable value.
A marketing department does not have this scale, (or quality), of information on its database.
Now the first step is for recruiting to cross charge its marketing division to advertise to its database and community. Why not? Many marketing departments don’t see or understand the value of recruiting databases. They’re a potential goldmine of information and data … and potential business opportunities.
Taking this a step further, why not allow specific external companies the opportunity to advertise to your community? (Mindful of data protection and ensuring a community buys into contact by third-party advertisers). You remain in charge of the names and not divulging data, but certain advertising is safe to your community and could be revenue-generating for recruiting.
As this thought sinks in, revenue potential opens up.
The Death of Recruitment Agencies
At the same time, savvy companies will be seeing their recruiting costs decreasing.
As companies build their databases of talent, via sourcing, identification through LinkedIn, talent mapping, and coupled with their valued online communities, the need and reliance on recruiting agencies, both contingent and retained, will dramatically lessen.
This will also coincide with less of a need for corporate in-house recruiters. Hiring managers are more than adept at searching on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is greatly expanding its offering and making recruiting easier for everyone. Initiatives like ‘Genome’ from LinkedIn will radically lesson the need for dedicated in-house recruiters in the future. Coupled with your community recruiting on your company’s behalf (crowdsourcing of talent), the need for recruiters will lessen and hence accelerate cost reduction.
The very future of recruitment agencies depends on their ability to adapt to the new realities that companies are waking up to the need to break out of the active candidate pool and identify and attract passive candidates. If we take as an approximation that of the 100% of candidates qualified for your job, only 10% are active with agencies and job boards, then it’s the 90% who are more attractive to companies, and the agencies need to identify, attract, and present those candidates.
Contingent recruitment agencies, especially the large ones, are in the business of competing to be the first to present the CV of that 10% active pool, all trying to Bolt out the blocks. Unless they start to adapt by attracting and mapping out the 90% non-active and building their own communities, their model will face extinction. Now is not the time to rush and buy shares in traditional contingent operators as a long-term investment.
Even worse, the business model of traditional retained search and selection companies, as we reflect on it in this modern age, is founded on the delusions of lunacy. A client pays a 30% fee for first-year guaranteed compensation (or even just basic salary only), split into thirds, a third for commencement of the project and a third for presentation of a shortlist — the risk all loaded on the fee-paying client. Certainly, cost models will change toward loaded placement fees.
The irony is that search firm marketing is based on its peerless reputation as the ultimate Rolodex of all the golden names in the industry. Their network is the goldmine that we are seduced to unlock. If their databases are that peerless and they have done hundreds of similar searches, why then does it take four to five weeks for a shortlist? Perhaps that question is not raised enough.
The zealots will cry that the search agency is peerless in assessment and interviewing. But is that not we do in house? Why am I paying two-thirds of a fee without a placement? It’s even more laughable when the shortlist of contacts is most likely generated by a fresh graduate on $40,000 a year in the back room of the search agency, who then passes all their lead generation to the search consultant.
Alternatively, a growing trend is using a new breed of company that is engaged in market mapping, talent pooling, and recruitment research solutions — hence providing a company with a mapped market of qualified talent, with contact details and candidate profiles that the recruiter then follows up on. Not every company can afford internal sourcers, and this is the next best thing, and significantly cheaper/more cost effective than a full search.
However you cut it, the future is not bright for contingent and retained search and selection unless they adapt to changing new business realities. Not many currently have that foresight as they focus on short-termism. Hopefully agency CEOs have strong managers in their crow’s nest who are prepared to shout “iceberg ahead” before disaster strikes.
Job Boards Faltering
Coupled with the death/decline of agencies will be the faltering and restructuring of the large job boards.
As companies build their own recruitment databases and even more importantly their own communities, they can use creative ways to sourcetalent.
Communities themselves will evolve around certain disciplines/careers/industries and hence negate the use for paid job boards. Why pay for a large job board in the active pool when we can reach passive candidates in a free community?
Job boards will have to look at community-building themselves and earn their revenue through product placement advertising rather than paid-for job advertisements.
Companies have always embraced the concept of internal referrals. Why not the reverse? External referrals — even better through crowdsourcing using their communities.
Naysayers will point to the rewards attributed to internal referrals, generally through monetary bonuses, and hence the difficulty of applying this externally as companies don’t want to pay for talent they would have got anyway.
But recent times have showed the power of recognition and “public reward” through games like Foursquare. People love the status of being the Mayor of a local curry house.
Why not take this principle into recruiting and reward referrals from crowdsourcing: Public recognition and rewards in the community, (badges, leaderboards), on a sliding scale to reach actualization of ”real” rewards, be it monetary bonus, vacation, or a PC or iPad?
External Referrals through Crowdsourcing
Recruitment can learn a lot from crowdsourcing.
This term was arguably defined by Jeff Howe in the June 2006 issue of Wiredmagazine.
Simply defined, crowdsourcing represents the act of a company or institution taking a function once performed by employees and outsourcing it to an undefined (and generally large) network of people in the form of an open call. This can take the form of peer-production (when the job is performed collaboratively), but is also often undertaken by sole individuals. The crucial prerequisite is the use of the open call format and the large network of potential laborers.
Howe further drives this home by stating that “it’s only crowdsourcing once a company takes that design, fabricates [it] in mass quantity and sell[s] it.”
In laymen’s language, a company posts a problem online; a vast number of individuals offer their opinions and ideas as to how to solve it; the winning idea is rewarded in some form; and the end result is the company adopting the idea for its own benefit.
Some great examples of the power of crowdsourcing exist on Wikipedia: (the following are all directly quoted from Wikipedia).
In 2005, Amazon.com launched the Amazon Mechanical Turk, a platform on which crowdsourcing tasks called “HITs” (Human Intelligence Tasks”) can be created and publicized and people can execute the tasks and be paid for doing so. Dubbed “Artificial Intelligence,” it was named after The Turk, an 18th century chess-playing “machine.”
Cisco Systems Inc. held an I-Prize contest in which teams using collaborative technologies created innovative business plans. The winners in 2008 were a three-person team, Anna Gossen from Munich, her husband Niels Gossen, and her brother, Sergey Bessonnitsyn, that created a business plan demonstrating how IP technology could be used to increase energy efficiency. More than 2,500 people from 104 countries entered the competition. The winning team won $250,000.
The Democratic National Committee launched FlipperTV in November 2007 and McCainpedia in May 2008 to crowdsource video gathered by Democratic trackers and research compiled by DNC staff in the hands of the public to do with as they choose — whether for a blog post, to create a YouTube video, etc.
Facebook has used crowdsourcing since 2008 to create different language versions of its site. The company claims this method offers the advantage of providing site versions that are more compatible with local cultures.
General Electric organized a multimillion dollar challenge to find new, breakthrough ideas to create cleaner, more efficient and economically viable grid technologies, and to accelerate the adoption of smart grid technologies. The winner will be announced on Nov. 16, 2020.
The Vancouver Police Department has put up a website entitled Hockey Riot 2011, informing people about the VPD′s investigations into the 2011 Stanley Cup Riot. It also asks people to contribute any pictures or video that they may have taken during the riot, with the goal of identifying people who may have participated in the rioting. The site also reminds people to not use social media to take justice into their own hands, instead leaving it to the police. As of July 1, 2011, 101 arrests have been made.
IBM collected more than 37,000 ideas for potential areas for innovation from brainstorming sessions with its customers, employees, and their family members in 2006.
L’Oreal used viewer-created advertising messages of Current TV to pool new and fresh advertising ideas.
Pepsi launched a marketing campaign in early 2007 which allowed consumers to design the look of a Pepsi can. The winners would receive a $10,000 prize, and their artwork would be featured on 500 million Pepsi cans around the United States.
Unilever has recently decided to drop its ad agency of 16 years, Lowe, and has turned to the crowdsourcing platform IdeaBounty to find creative ideas for its next TV campaign. Unilever has worked with Lowe on the snack-food brand Peperami since 1993, but has decided to submit its brief out to the public, rather than a small team of creatives.
Ironically, Wikipedia is itself a successful example of crowdsourcing.
Crowdsourcing, as a concept, lends itself perfectly to recruiting.
Posing the question to your community, “We are looking for a dynamic Product Manager, with x/y/z experience … any ideas/recommendations?” will soon become a normal sourcing/name generating activity for recruiters.
The key is how to incentivize/inspire/motivate the crowd to do your recruiting.
LinkedIn gets it. It’s already making headway toward this goal, aiding a company’s ability to use employee networks and matching up people who are connected to our employees who closely match our job specifications.
But what about the wider crowd? That’s where attention will turn next.
Premium Paid Content
Recruitment 3.0 recognized that recruitment is fundamentally boring. People tend to only visit corporate careers pages when they are looking for work. There is no engaging “repeat visit” content that drags them back for more. Many companies are using social media as a replacement job board and listing jobs with hyperlinks back to the job site. It’s hardly the most engaging content.
Recruitment 3.0 involves building “engaged” communities. The key is compelling, rich content, creating a destination that people want to go to on a frequent basis. That is not a list of jobs.
Remember again that recruiting is not about “bums on seats”; it also encompasses nurturing a strong employment brand proposition, attracting and seducing those not familiar with your brand, and taking them on a journey to either apply to work for your company or be an active brand ambassador in your community.
As communities build up in 3.0, underpinned by engaging content, and when those communities reach a critical mass, the next step is starting to grant VIP access and exclusive content to community members. If communities are engaged, they will be, by definition, happy to pay to be part of the VIP area, and we will see the monetization of these communities and a potential revenue stream for recruiters.
Aggregating all your social media feeds — Twitter, Facebook, YouTube content, and your blog — is the first step. This could and should be aggregated both on your corporate careers site and your mobile phone app (for those who want to be part of the community on the move). A one-stop shop for people to engage and follow your company encourages repeat visitors.
This content on the social media sites needs to feel personalized and humanized, giving exclusive access behind the scenes of your company and the individuals behind it.
But what else?
Understand the public pulse. There is no better place than the Apple Store. This shows what content keeps people coming back and is most popular to download. And guess what that is:
News & Information (knowledge and exclusive access news)
Games (fun games but also including quizzes)
Comics & books (The appeal of an ongoing story that people want to follow)
Photography/photos/videos (uploading and sharing)
This content often focuses on getting people involved, something to do with your friends, and brings that “global community” together.
Each of these is “sticky” and keeps people coming back.
Why can’t recruiters use these same concepts as part of their community building but adapt them for their own companies?
Recruitment Embraces Concepts of Gamification
Gamification is the latest buzzword. What’s funny is that some well-known commentators are rushing to speak about this subject but end up mirroring granddad at the disco trying to throw “cool” shapes to the latest bangin’ tune but instead look rather doddery and completely out of touch.
People love to be entertained. Gaming is huge. Not just “serious” video console games like the Call of Duty’s, FIFAs, and Battlefields, or the PC games like World of Warcraft, but the spread of casual gaming whether on Facebook or on mobile shows the power of people of all ages wanting interactive entertainment.
Gaming educates us about the dynamics of engagement. (Some would take this further to addiction.) What a great game does is ingrain itself into the conscious and subconscious of the player. You think about it and love the roller coaster of emotions that the game takes you through. You may pull an all-nighter, or get up extra early to get in an hour or so before having to venture off to deal with humdrum reality. Escapism is the new drug of the austere Tens.
But what else can we learn? Casual games are the key to the door of mass/mainstream and that elusive community engagement via compelling content that we all seek.
Casual games are those that embrace all demographics, are simple, fun, accessible, and from which users get an instant form of gratification. This is different than “serious games” that are deeper experiences and are perhaps less accessible due to the time invested and the barrier of controllers/complexity of purpose.
Farmville on Facebook is a classic example of community-building and demonstrates some key buttons in engagement theory (in a social context). Farmvile has been such a success for a number of reasons. First, it recognized the unbridled thrill of “gifting.” When you first visit your farm, you don’t go straight to it but to a page with a list of gifts. Many games ask you to spam mail your buddies to play the game. Farmville cleverly goes further by allowing you to send a gift of an animal or plant/crop to your friends. Of course, when we receive gifts, we also like to give them back, starting the spiral of interaction.
Part of this psychology also encourages you to help your friends by reminding them to harvest their fields and to weed their farms. It’s very community-friendly stuff.
These gifts also have a perceived value. The whole point of Farmville is to build a busy and profitable farm and maintain it. But to do this, you need to build and grow the farm, which is time-consuming and takes a while to buy plants, crops, and trees, etc. But luckily your saving grace is your friends as they help out by sending all these valuable items for your farm. Hence my farm looks better with more content so I will invite more of my friends to play, give them gifts, and expect/request gifts in return. It’s a clever use of personal psychology and satisfaction of wants.
Farmville also gets that the game has to be accessible and simple. There are no extra levels; you just keep on growing the size and scope of your own farm. The only limitation is money. But having lots of friends gets around that.
Now the clever part kicks in. The game keeps you coming back. Certain crops you plant require harvesting at certain times. Some crops will die if you don’t come back. Strawberries mean you come back every four hours. That locks in an engagement and repeat visit. “I must log back in at 2 p.m. or my crops will die!”
Farmville also cleverly gets the whole concept of one-up-manship and competing to have the bigger farm, the more money, the latest gadgets 00 and that’s where monetization kicks in. Someone can pay to get ahead of their friends, and for many that is a key driver. “I must have the biggest farm and the latest items and be ahead of my mates!”
Hence Farmville teaches us there are three things to making social games huge viral successes: getting users to invite their friends (virality); getting users to return frequently (stickiness); and people competing to win/be ahead of their friends (showing off).
Interestingly, one of the first to understand these dynamics was the Hotel chain Marriott, which has released a Facebook game designed with the goal of introducing potential employees to life in the hospitality industry.MyMarriottHotel gives players the opportunity to “work” in various hotel roles, including hospitality manager. You can start by working in the hotel kitchens and gain points for excellent customer service and profitability. The game is geared to raising awareness among millennials to job opportunities around the world (cleverly available in five languages).
Critically for recruiting, the MyMarriottHotel Facebook game includes at the top of the game a banner shouting “Do It For Real” that hyperlinks to Marriott’s jobs site. Marriott’s goal is to fill 50,000 positions at its hotels around the world, helped by this game raising awareness, (predominantly outside the U.S.).
So what is gamification, and how can it be applied to recruiting?
Gamification is using game mechanics/methodology to inspire engagement in activities that otherwise would be considered boring or routine. Recruitment certainly sits within that definition.
Key concepts of gamification that recruiters can learn from when developing communities and building compelling, repeat visit content, include:
The key word when engaging in social media and community-building is remembering the key element, often-forgotten, is social
Keeping activities/content simple, fun, and interactive. When people read your blog/social media, is it light, carries pictures, short, informative, stimulating, or even entertaining to read?
People want to know what other people are doing, especially their friends. Can people see what their friends have been doing? People love engagement and giving their opinion, be it by rate-this-page, commenting, oropinion polls. These are all interactive elements that engage.
As people interact, degrees of personalization and humanization help, such as the uploading of avatars and/or people’s pictures. People prefer engaging with “perceptibly real” other people. Avatars aid that.
Are you encouraging sharing content/activities with your community? Are people rewarded or recognized for sharing content?
Inspiring members of your community’s “friends” to get involved and get their friends engaged, i.e. virality, sending community growth viral.
“Gifting.” Can content be shared amongst friends/can someone get something in return?
Keeps em coming back for more. Certain times of the day/week that the community has to be there. Prizes/giveaways ingrain this activity. Some companies do specific content “reveals” at certain times of the week. Live webcasts also encourage set-time attendance.
Competition against friends/leader boards. It could be quiz-questions about your company, the most referrals of job seekers, or the most comments made in your blog/social community. Leader boards keep people coming back to chart their progress and see who is on top, and if they are ahead of their friends.
“Easter Eggs” — those intentionally hidden features that people can’t find. Especially cool for college sections and can be used to encourage people to find about more about your company and unlock exclusive content.
Enabling unique experiences/personalization. Can people create their own unique user account, personalize their landing pages, and personalize their experiences?
Progress bars. People are addicted to completion, and progress bars are often used in online shopping as you are guided to place things in the shopping cart and progress to the checkout. Progress bars fit nicely with job application processes of a series of tasks that people will want to complete. “Completism” is a natural human psychological compulsion.
User-generated content, and games like LittleBigPlanet have showed us that people love creating their own content and sharing that content with the community. Can your community do the same, involving uploads to your blog/corporate careers site?
These concepts can all be applied to corporate career sites, which are purely a repository of information overload and fundamentally dull, and of course tomobile apps. People, bored sitting on the train, plane, and bus, want content to engage them.
Some corporate sites already include games and other challenges — almost always in the Careers section — and some companies have added game elements to the recruitment process.
Some are asking, “Is this expensive? How can a recruiting department make games? But at minimal cost there is a thriving development community and graduates studying at colleges who would love the opportunity and exposure that creating and publishing a game on a corporate site brings them. Development time on games for mobile is minimal but the key is fun (look at games like Doodle Jump and Flick Football, massively popular but simple to develop).
Many recruiters are currently using Empire Avenue as a way of engaging with communities and making new contacts. Some are even using it as a sourcing tool to recruit from. For those who don’t know, Empire Avenue is fundamentally a stock market simulation social network game that encourages users to buy and sell shares of people and websites. Players have their own portfolio in a virtual economy and earn money, called Eaves, by investing in other people. This sees your own net worth rise by encouraging friends and community members to invest in you. What is cool is that when all accounts are linked together, including Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, LinkedIn, and blogs, your net worth rises based on the content you either create or share. What’s cool about this approach is that it combines simplicity with what we do on the web every day: creating and sharing content. Interestingly, Empire Avenue mimics the other sites as it’s also a social network itself. It’s allows opportunities to connect and debate with others by finding affinity groups (“Communities”) within Empire Avenue. Clever engagement mechanisms at play.
Concurrently, Google is also on the move with its Google News Badges. We all read the news, and applying the above theory — let’s call it gamification methodology — Google has created “Google Badges.” Google News users in the U.S. can earn different pins for reading the news, starting with bronze and moving up to Ultimate. There are more than 500 badges available to suit all types of interests, such as “stock market,” “Harry Potter,” and U.S. elections. These “Google Badges” follow closely on the heels of Google launching its own social network, Google+, and is increasingly trying to get people to share content via its network of services in a similar fashion to Facebook.
This will sound very similar to users of Foursquare. Foursquare is a location-based social networking website based on mobile phones. Users “check-in” at venues using a mobile website, text messaging, or a device-specific application, and select from a list of venues that the application locates nearby, e.g. restaurant, library, pub, house, etc. Each check-in awards the user points and sometimes “badges.”
The first time a badge is unlocked on Foursquare, be it an easy achievement (like the “Superstar” badge for 50 check-ins), or one that comes as a surprise (“Douchebag Badge,” which is unlocked after checking into venues tagged with “douchebag,” or the “Don’t Stop Believing Badge,” awarded for checking in to three venues tagged “karaoke” in a month), the game keeps people engaged with rewards that makes members want to use the system even more and compete with friends. Especially those who live or work in close vicinity of each other as they compete to be the Mayor of a location.
Why is gamification so important?
Interestingly, to give more credence to this area, Gartner, in research published in April 2011 stated: By 2015, more than 50 percent of organizations that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes. By 2014, a gamified service for consumer goods marketing and customer retention will become as important as Facebook, eBay, or Amazon, and more than 70 percent of Global 2000 organisations will have at least one gamified application.
That’s a big statement. 70 percent of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application.
Many commentators see that naturally fitting in the corporate careers site.
Perhaps gamification will be taken more seriously among current recruitment leaders moving forward.
Global Community Rating of Companies
People trust each other and members of their community far more than they do advertising or company communications. Paul Gillin, author of The New Influencers, talked about the impact of social media. One of his key points was that 78% of consumers trust each other more than they trust advertising — which is why they read blogs and go to chat rooms.
There are many examples to back this up, particularly when we go on vacation. The holiday industry has had to get far more authentic and responsible in its communications. No more fantastic ratings of restaurant food when it is tripe; no more “the beach is in walkable distance” … but only for those who are happy to walk for two hours; and no more “great local entertainment” when it is two people playing spoons. Why is that?
Many people now check out Trip Advisor and read how people have voted/rated their vacation/hotel en masse and then read through some of the commentary. Real. Authentic. Trustworthy. No hidden agendas, just shared experiences.
Companies value their placing on “best companies to work for” and “great places to work” lists. And these are a mix of internal questionnaires of employees’ experience and then a specialist evaluation of policies and internal structures by a panel of experts.
Glassdoor is the closest to a trip advisor for recruitment. Its bias is more U.S.-focused and needs to hit that critical mass to be held in the same esteem.
As we head to 4.0, those principles behind Glassdoor will see job seekers trust the crowd, and companies will value that authenticity far more than traditional manufactured best-places-to-work lists.
Size Doesn’t Matter
Some reading this will rightly raise the question of whether this is all this scalable. Cynics will openly proclaim there will always be a need for local agencies to hire receptionists, builders, joiners, hairdressers, admin assistants, and hosts of other roles. Screams will be heard:
Job boards will never die!
This was all predicted 10 years back and it never happened!
How can a small company generate its own community?
Many criticisms/protection of vested interests will emerge in this debate.
They’re fair points to discuss. Interestingly, when Hard Rock Café wanted to open a new venue in Florence, perhaps the initial reaction of many recruiters was to advise them to go to local “high street” agencies, or place an ad in the local press, even on a job board. The Hard Rock took a different approach and used Facebook to reach out and recruit. It built a community around the new venue opening. Hard Rock needed to hire 120 staff across eight categories from waiting staff, barmen/women, to accounting. It was inundated with responses and was able to interview 600 candidates for the roles and whittle down to the 120 needed for opening.
Whatever the size of a company, all the concepts here are relevant. It may be that a company does not have the time to build its own community but will be able to access other communities and groups, be they local or discipline-specific, such as hairdressers, and crowdsource their vacancies.
Technological, access to information, and communities know no boundaries. That’s the difference the past 10 years have made and why jobs boards and agencies have to adapt, or else.
Recruitment 4.0 is a long way off; yet, many of its concepts are resonating today and being built upon and planned. Some early adopters are even implementing some of the component parts. 4.0 is a natural progression from 3.0. It takes the community concept to the next level.
While some will be initially shocked at the radicalism involved at suggestions of recruitment transitioning into a profit center, crowdsourcing talent, and entertaining/gamification, with a period of reflection it makes sense as a natural strap-on to 3.0 communities.
Many of the recruitment leaders in place today are not ready for 3.0, let alone 4.0. They have been schooled in traditional recruiting techniques that will soon be outdated and detrimental to their business. Many more are worried about process than end results. Where does your leader stand?
Imagine those recruiting leaders who can go to their CEO and demonstrate that they have been able to map out competitors, and identify and build relationships with cream-of-the-crop talent. Leaders who have helped shape and who have put in place engaged communities with positive two-way communication social media channels, thus enhancing employment brand attractiveness, (with a positive spinoff for the consumer/product/service brand), and have hence been able to slash expenditures on recruitment and are now coming up with proposals of how to turn recruitment into a profit center.
Compare that to your current recruiting leader. Are they shaping your future in this direction?
Who do you think your CEO would prefer as a recruiting leader? The one described above or your current one?
There is plenty above to chew on and debate. Agree or disagree, what is certain is that exciting times lie ahead for recruitment.
And before someone asks, will we see an article on Recruitment 5.0 anytime soon? Not from Autodesk. We’ve got to focus on delivering 3.0 and 4.0 with the great team at Autodesk. There’s lots to do and achieve.
Personal Causes: Saving Edith Wharton’s Home in the Hamptons, it’s a very unique bit of history
Office/Cell Number: 805-212-0612
Personal Email: email@example.com
*** Beth is Available for New Opportunities
Beth Havens has been a Full Cycle Contract Technical Recruiter with more than 12 years exempt recruitment experience in high-volume, high profile technical and scientific fields. Beth takes pride in her expertise in areas such as risk reduction, ability to work independently or in teams, vendor negotiation, collecting and defining business requirements, executing strategic searches, workforce planning, strong flexibility to adjust to demanding environments with attention to details and deadlines.
Q&A with Beth Havens
Six Degrees: Tell us about your home world Beth
Beth I am an empty nester with a busy year ahead of me! My youngest Daughter Graduates from the University of Louisville, in Kentucky, on the 9th of May. (Yes that is the week after the Kentucky Derby, for you horse racing fans out there) My Oldest Daughter is getting Married in August, and finishes her Masters at USC in December (her BA is from UCLA, she has a fine sense of humor) otherwise it is just me and the critters at home these days! Have Dog will travel!
Hobbies! Oh my! Aside from the obvious hobbies of gardening and hiking, I am known to write poetry, I have a book on lulu dot com that I put together for the friends and family who complained, “Toads Pond”. I’m known to hang out with the Society for Creative Anachronism on occasion. I enjoy medieval engineering, heraldry, textile hobbies and other interesting tidbits to be found within that group. I love ancient architecture. I’m far more likely to be found in the museum or the garden than on the beach. I’m terribly unsocial in my private life for a recruiter.
Six Degrees: How many years have you been in the staffing industry?
Beth I started recruiting in 1995. My BS is in Physics and Computer Science and finding a job in that market was a bit tough, when I stumbled across a recruiter who thought I’d make a good recruiter. I think a good many recruiters stumbled into the industry via odd roads. I had the pleasure of working for an IT staffing company called XXCAL for a good many years before I went into contract recruiting. Since then I have been doing contract and freelance recruiting. Generally I get called for one of two things, either hard to find Scientific, Engineering, IT or Technical people, OR oddly enough, hard to work with hiring managers. I have worked with both very large companies like Citibank, and Sony electronics, and small companies(less than 100 employees), like Xencor. I find either can be great opportunities as long as there are interesting requirements to work on.
Six Degrees: How did you get started as a recruiter?
Beth Full Cycle Contract Technical Recruiter with more than 12 years exempt recruitment experience in high-volume, high profile technical and scientific fields. I am dedicated and work to give a high level of professionalism. My abilities include strong written and verbal communication, risk reduction, ability to work independently or in teams, vendor negotiation, collecting and defining business requirements, executing strategic searches, workforce planning, strong flexibility to adjust to demanding environments with attention to details and deadlines.
Most recently, Beth serviced at Sony Electronics, Inc. through Integrity Placements, performing full cycle recruiting, mainly for ISSA, Legal, Marketing and Controller groups. Recruiting mainly SAP manufacturing and finance project lead and management for ISSA. Participating in research and development for a strong print ad campaign, as well as searching for and developing stronger presence in recruiting online in niche arena’s for specific job functions, mainly seeking Project experience for large ERP projects. Helped to re-create the in house staffing function at Sony.
Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?
Beth Transitioning from Agency Staffing to Contract Recruiting - it allowed me to really do the parts of recruiting I like best! Working directly with hiring managers to fill needs, and working on finding the candidates to fill those needs, while not having to do the part I dislike which is hunting for prospective opportunities.
Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?
Beth I have to say the person I learned the most about recruiting and business in general from, was Marv Hoffman. Marv not only provided a great deal of recruiting training, but encouraged his recruiting teams to participate in groups that they could learn more from. For instance while working with XXCAL I belonged to several users groups that were great souring pools. (NT users group and a VB Testing group for example)
We attended recruiting conferences and Marv had his own training sessions as well. It would have been hard to spend any length of time in that group and NOT learn a great deal.
Six Degrees: Tell us about your position, (responsibilities, size of your staffing organization) :
Beth Currently I am doing freelance work, taking on requirements from staffing firms who need a bit of help, and doing splits while seeking that next contracting opportunity!
Six Degrees: What recent general news story or industry trend do you feel will have an impact on your work in the future? Why?
Beth I am hoping the Trend in new Energy Development and Deployment will have a great boost in my future opportunities, as I’ve been keenly interested in alternate energy sources since I was a teen. Be it thermal heating systems, Wind turbines, solar (recently read a great white paper from MIT on some solar energy changes that would radically alter the amount of energy you are ABLE to use from solar cells) or even passive energy creation or conservation. (for instance if you don’t lose as much heat from a home, you don’t need to create as much, etc.) But then I’m always interested in engineering and architecture, so this shouldn’t’ be too big a shock for those who’ve been reading along. I am a geek by nature, and no! That is not a negative statement!
Six Degrees: Tell us about your broader involvement within the staffing industry: (Do you attend conferences? Which ones? List/detail speaking events, awards, publications, where you have you represented your company)
Beth I have attended conferences in the past, SHRM, ERE and many conferences that were directly related to my recruiting needs, Like the Optical Electronic Industry conferences, or Computer conferences which were related to industries I was recruiting for. My personal favorite is the OPIE. I have to admit, I have a couple Schott glasses from the Schott glass company. That has to be one of the best give aways ever.
Six Degrees: Can you detail how the recession has affected your particular industry niche? Has it effected your job or that of your fellow team members within the organization - If so, to what extent? (If you have been laid off, tell us about the experience, when it happened)
Beth My last contract ended at the end of January in 2008. I was very surprised that I didn’t have several opportunities in the wings when it ended, but still, I didn’t think I’d be working freelance as long as I have. I had remarked to some friends in 2007 that some banking transactions I’d had reason to observe worried me as to the state of several banks stability. I really hate to be right some days. It seems to me that the media began paying attention to the recession in Late 2008, but that the recession itself began early 2007. I began seeing a great deal more recruiters looking for work peaking in the winter months of 2008 and finally starting to subside in about March of this year.
Of course in times like this, Good Sales Staff are worth their weight in gold, but they aren’t automatically created from thin air, so both staffing agencies and corporate business have found themselves going through sales staff and training at a rather intense rate (good training is far too under rated and under utilized in my opinion) while other business find themselves holding their collective breath, so to speak waiting to see what is happening on the world stage, or even failing in the interim.
We will recover, economies do, sometimes more slowly than others, but we will recover. Now, where we will all be at the other end of that recovery, that is the question! I admit to having some Thoughts about the viability of changing direction, but to what purpose? Important questions these!
I think one of the best indications that the bleeding of the economy is slowing down is that there are more advertisements for recruiters and a big slowdown in the number of NEWLY unemployed recruiters. If there are Jobs, there will be a need for recruiters, so it is, I think, the number one job listing to look for in a recovering economy.
Interestingly there seem to be a great deal more ads for the east coast than west coast coming up on my searches. That too may be an indication of what we need to watch in the coming year. Are other economies recovering faster than the California economy? And which industries are recovering fastest. Which seem to be failing completely? I enjoy searching through this information on a regular basis lately. Also I would expect some staffing agencies to do really well when the economy begins to heal because when applicants are abundant, what manager wants to wade through hundreds of resumes to find a few gems? So the pick up in Agency hiring is to me another indication that the recession is beginning to ease just a bit. I am looking forward to a happier year!
Six Degrees: Aside from simply the generic term “Networking” what specific efforts have you made on your own behalf, or on behalf of colleagues to broaden your opportunities. Are there specific groups, both online and in-person that have proved fruitful in extending your personal brand and job seeking prospects?
Beth You know that is a great question! I have joined a few interesting groups in an effort to get more visibility. I joined the “Ruthie List” and “Carecruit” (California recruiting) groups. I also started receiving other industry communications that I thought might be useful for finding companies that might need my services. I found a few browsers that have been uniquely helpful. Indeed.com is a site that lets you see jobs on several boards and even private company sites at once. Which also just brings to light several possible companies that might be useful.
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? Be specific
Beth I should advise against sharing too much personal information, there really is (and I believe, should be!) a difference between your personal and public life. Other than that, be interested in others as much as you are interested in promoting your own needs, because if you don’t listen to others, you will miss opportunities for yourself! (or maybe even an opportunity for a friend)
Six Degrees: What is your next career goal? What do you need to do to get there?
Beth There are a couple things I’d like to do. One objective is to work with a small company helping build a solid team from the ground up. Possibly working that effort into an operations Lead position later on. Another thing that I’d be interested in doing is leading a recruiting team for a large company. Either objective is highly dependent upon opportunity. I have my eyes open for just such an occurrence!
“HOW DOES BETH IT?”
Six Degrees: How many applicants at your present employer do you estimate are hired from your corporate website as compared to how many are hired through referrals?
Beth When corporate recruiting, it has been my experience that the overwhelming vast majority of the hiring was the result of sourcing efforts on my part, which included, corporate advertising, searching internal and external databases and networking. I found that a good candidate was just as likely to be found by anyone of these methods as the other, which is why I employ all these methods. .
Six Degrees: What is the source of your "LOWEST COST OF HIRES" - (least amount of invested resources for the easiest hires, regardless of quality) at your present employer?
Beth Without doubt the lowest cost per hire I have found has been with previously known candidates, or internal transfers. An internal transfer does not always mean another opening. One of the things smart companies do, is to review the personnel they have to let go from One team, for the likelihood they can fill openings in another group. The cost savings can be tremendous there.
Six Degrees: What talent niche groups do you target and are these particular talent areas specialized under your review?
Beth I generally focus on hard to find IT, Engineering or Scientific candidates, though I’ve been asked to fill legal openings as well. While at Sony my main focus was in hiring High level SAP management and design level candidates and Law candidates. While at Amgen it was chemists and other high level R&D scientists, at Citibank embedded Unix developers, and Oracle programmers. If it is a complex opportunity, I may be the recruiter you need.
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?
Beth I have probably used just about every ATS system out there, at one time or another, having an ATS is invaluable, which one you have is certainly up to you or your company, my favorite is Bond. The one I’ve used most is Taleo.
Secondly I think one should have access to posting on Some job boards, one doesn’t necessarily need every board out there, but one universal board, and a few niche boards that fit your company needs really do make networking easier. Not to mention advertise your company and give you more opportunities to network. And contact with niche groups that support whatever activity you most need in your hiring, be it MBA groups or some users group that services a particular type of prospective candidate, these can be invaluable. My brain, is also known to be a fairly useful tool, though I don’t claim to share all its contents.
Six Degrees: What tools (technology or old school file folder, for example) did you first encounter early in your recruitment career?
Beth I came into recruiting when databases and search engines were already in use. And being a geek I really don’t think I would have gotten into it otherwise. If I file it, it isn’t likely to be seen again for years. I file things that Might be useful sometime, not things I use on a regular basis. That is why databases are so useful, its filing for things you plan on using regularly. I also think I drove my first bosses crazy because I hired more candidates on email than I ever called, and that drove the metrics crazy. But then a lot of the candidates I deal with don’t like(and occasionally don’t answer) the phone.
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?
Beth I didn’t have any idea of what to expect when I first started recruiting, since it wasn’t anything I ever imagined I’d be doing! So no expectations to live up to or crush. I think the biggest assumption people have about recruiting is that it in any way is an HR function. Recruiting is a management function, and is diabolically opposed to HR. the sole function of HR is to protect a companies assets. This means if you have someone in HR doing your recruiting, they often will not show resumes to hiring managers that they think are a pain to HR. a recruiter puts the position and the hiring managers needs before HR preferences. Recruiting assumes the responsibilities of a hiring manager to detail, advertise and find suitable candidates for an opening. Some of the odd HR jobs recruiters take on in order to fulfill that duty, are for our own convenience, to get the job done. They aren’t a recruiting function per se’. The most foolish thing any business can do in my opinion, is to put recruiting under the auspices of HR. If they aren’t under their own separate heading altogether, then they should be under operations.
Six Degrees: Worst mistake, biggest goof, lousiest practice you thought would fly but didn’t…and how that was a learning experience?
Beth I will have to hold a contest to see. Though possibly the one I thought the silliest was parking in boss’ favorite (though unmarked) parking place when I went for an interview.
Six Degrees: How do you personally expect to facilitate change within our industry, and/or at your place of work? If you started that process, outline the problem, your solutions, and the vision.
Beth I think that the best way to make any industry better is to do your best at what you do. Lead by example and change will occur naturally. Well it’s a theory anyway.
Six Degrees: “Best practice” you are most proud of developing (now or in the past) in your recruiting career?
Beth The best recruiting practice is to stick to process.
Six Degrees: What are some of the frustrating aspects/obstacles to your day to day as a staffing professional and in general?
Beth I think the biggest obstacle to recruiting, are hiring managers whose personal hiring goals clash with their companies hiring goals. They most often take up the most time. This time waster is followed closely by un-necessary meetings.
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?
Beth I’m happiest when working on an interesting opportunity. Finding that one odd placement no one else can find.
Six Degrees: What one thing do you ideally hope to accomplish in 2009? (OR) Six Degrees: What one thing do you find most ideal given the opportunity to develop/ implementing/ invent professionally that has yet to be done.
Beth Actually I’d like to see an MRP (manufacturing resource planner) that is similar to a job board for investors and communities to use to help manufacturing stay strong. The idea being that resources, inventors and investors really need a place to network to make opportunity happen. The thought comes out of my recruiting experience.
Six Degrees: Anything you want to plug?
Beth Only the hole in the economic dyke…
e office. The company brought in two of the national training team members to work with her. One stayed a week the other was on assignment for several months. She ran the training classes with his assistance and was told that she was doing a great job. There was only one little glitch, a rep visited a winery brought back a case of wine and brought her a bottle. She thanked him told him she could not accept gifts and returned the wine. Later that day it was back in her office. She went immediately to her boss and told her he had given it to her, she had returned it , he had put it back in her office so would the boss like to have it or should she take it back to him and insist that he take it back. Her boss told her it was ok to keep it but to just be careful but it wasn’t a big deal since he was not on her team and he had given several other people in the office a bottle also. Of course 10 days later she was called in and told that it had been reported that she had accepted gifts from reps. My candidate reminded her boss that she had asked her about it previously but the bottle of wine was still in her office and the boss was welcome to it or she would now give it back. No not necessary, the boss had forgotten but now did remember so forget it. My candidate was contacted about three jobs that were being posted that would enable her to live in this area but work in another division reporting to another supervisor. She was thrilled as both would be a promotion and a raise and allow her to report to supervisors that she had worked with in the past that she liked. She applied and was told that it would be six weeks to two months before interviews would be held but received calls from the other supervisors encouraging her about the jobs she was applying for being a good fit for her. For her to be able to move into another position with the company her boss is required to release her and does have the ability even she is offered another position to say that she is not releasable due to business needs. My candidate was concerned so thinking that things had gone better for several months she went to her boss and told her that she was applying for the other jobs, she had enjoyed working for her, had learned a lot (no kidding) but wanted to advance with the company and needed as a single parent to make more money and be in a situation where she could take her kids to school and day care at a normal time instead of before 7:30 in the morning to be sure that she was in the office by 8:00 and be able to pick them up herself rather than have someone else have to pick them up as she did not get off until 6:00 with the after school program and day care closing at 6:00. Her boss told her that she understood but she did not want her to leave. She was irreplaceable, the boss was going to retire in a couple of years and she was grooming my candidate for her job. She would change her hours so she could come in at 8:15 and leave at 5:45 if my candidate were willing to work an extra Saturday a month. My candidate said she would appreciate that and would work the extra Saturday but she wanted to move up with the company, did not want the boss’s job and wanted to get out of the office environment that was not a fit for her as she did not feel and never felt that she fit with the management style and environment there. My candidate did not believe it was right to retaliate against people who filed a complaint. Her boss said, “I have told you we don’t retaliate if any of them file a complaint against us, it’s not legal but ,what we do is “work them out of the business , we just observe every move that they make until we have enough to work them out.” My candidate said , “yes I know and I don’t think that’s right, people make mistakes I feel like that is what has happened to me in the past and I don’t want any more of it. “Things have gotten better but I have always felt like you were going to fire me for something and I don’t want to live that way. You micro manage me, you undermine me, you tell me to fire a rep for attendance then after I do you bring them back and tell them that you saved their job so I have a problem with a rep. You make me uncomfortable talking about your sex life and talking about who is having an affair and I don’t think I can work for you.” At this point the boss started crying and sobbing and apologizing. She went on to say that “she was not a weak manager, she was not a weak manager she was just emotional and if my candidate would just reach over and rub her arm when she stared acting that way she would get control of herself. My candidate feeling that things were getting too bizarre and as she put it, “my stomach turned at the thought of having to rub her arm to calm her down.” , brought the meeting to a close by saying that she wanted to move forward with the other jobs and she hoped that the boss would not stand in her way. The boss dried her sloppy tears and said she would not stand in her way. A few days later the boss came in and asked my candidate to go for a drink with her after work. Not knowing what this was about as it had never happened and not wanting to go to a bar with the woman after the arm rubbing comments she said she would but had dinner plans with family so would only be able to stay a short time. They met at a bar. The boss told her that she needed her to stay as she was handling several vital parts of the business. She would change my candidate's hours, she would be flexible with her where her kids were concerned as she was the only single parent in the management group, she would give her more vacation, she was going to get an allocation for all manager raises and she would give her the full amount that she got for all the managers if she would not move forward with other jobs. My candidate told her she appreciated the offer but as she had discussed with her .she wanted to move into a different area of the company and she felt that if she got all of the raise allocation for all of the managers it would make the situation with her peers worse than it already was because she was not considered part of the group as it was. since her boss had taken responsibilities away from one or two of the other managers and given them to my candidate. A move that had not made my candidate a favorite with two of the other managers. My candidate made a hasty retreat from the bar and hoped that this would be the end of it. All was quiet for a week or two. On a Friday evening at a few minutes before 5:00 without any warning my candidate received in her interoffice email containing a boarding pass and reservations for a company trip to Columbia, South America to be part of a training team who would be onsite in Columbia for two weeks. She freaked, the national trainer she had been working with still on site. She went running to him and asked if he had requested her as part of the training team. He indicated he did not know anything about it but he was scheduled to go to Columbia so not to worry about it. He would be there he spoke Spanish and the training would be held in a hotel. She explained to him that she had two small children in school and no one available to keep them for an extended period of time. It was also a dangerous country and she would terrified to go there and was not going to go. On Monday she went to her boss, told her she had received the boarding pass and reservation. The boss looked at her and said, “Yes”. My candidate told her that she was not going to go to Columbia, she had no child care available for that kind of trip and further was terrified of going to a country that the State Department discouraged as a place for Americans to travel. She would quit before she would go. She asked the boss if she would go. The boss said no she would not. My candidate said she was not going so if she needed to clean out her desk she would do it. The boss said she would see what she could do. It went away, nothing more said. My candidate thought it was strange that her boss seemed to know about it and had not said anything to her before she received a boarding pass and confirmed reservation. Just strange. Two weeks later on May 4th my candidate checked the company site for the jobs she had applied for. She had three interview requests for the jobs and was very excited that finally she would at least have the opportunity to move on. Before she could send the acceptance her boss came in her office and said, “you need to come to the conference room, EEO in Houston wants a phone conference”. Thinking it probably had something to do with the refusal to go to Columbia off she went to talk with EEO. The EEO rep started the conversation by telling her that EEO needed to be sure that my candidate was not recording the conversation and did not have a cell phone with her or any note taking material. Then told her that they were investigating her entire management career. When my candidate asked why she was told that the EEO rep had been advised of a number of things and had never seen anything like this and that her boss had asked that her applications for other jobs be suspended until the investigation had been completed. Here is the list. EEO had been advised the following –My candidate's responses are in ( ) She had assisted male reps more than she assisted female reps. (Yes and had corrected) She had brought a fart machine to the office. (No she did not, one of her reps did, she told him it was funny but to take it home) She had used the children of reps to take care of her children. (No she had been asked about it because her boss was confused due to a same name of reps daughter and it had been clarified) She had lied to her boss about being late to work. (No her boss had changed her hours, it was on the schedule, when she came in one day another manager had asked her if she was five minutes late. She had popped off and said, nope 10 minutes early) She had accepted gifts from reps. (No, she had gone to her boss about the wine and her boss told her not to worry about it but the bottle of wine was still in her office.) EEO had received pictures from the wife or girlfriend of a male rep that the wife or girlfriend said were sent to her husband by my candidate. Several were full nudes both front and back one reflecting a tatoo and two were pictures of her with two little boys and in a car with her sunglasses on. (Holy God, she had received an hysterical call from this woman accusing her of having an affair with her husband. She had only seen the kid outside of work once, he was drunk and had come to their table. She and her date had left the place and gone someplace else. The wife had accused her of sending pictures to him. she had not but when asked what her email address was she had told the wife so if they had any nude pictures they were not of her , she did not have a tattoo. The guy had been called in and asked if he were having an affair with her. Had come and apologized to her about his wife calling both my candidate and the boss and additionally the wife had later called and apologized. But if there were pictures she wanted to see what they were because somebody was guilty of cyber harassment as the other two pictures where the ones that had been on her facebook page that had been up for a total of three weeks only in Dec. of 2009.) She had interfered with an investigation and had received a COBC violation. (The now infamous Christmas Play Caper. She told eeo that she had the meeting with the boss’s boss over that whole silly mess and when she received her evaluation there was no COBC violation. She was informed that in fact it was in her file and should have been on her evaluation.) She had made comments of a sexual nature regarding pop rocks. (Her team was to dress up like Halloween candy, they asked about lollipops. She had said , “no then the other teams will just say that we suck so pick something else” One of the reps had said what about poprocks. She had responded , “whatever that might be cute”. She didn’t know how that could be considered making a comment of sexual nature about Poprocks. EEO declined to explain to her the sexual nature of poprocks and I didn’t think I would go there either.) She had been losing weight in order to start a relationship. (She had been losing weight because she had gained back up to 190’s her doctor had put her on medication for high blood pressure and told her to get the weight off.) She had assisted a lesbian rep an inordinate amount of time to try and start a relationship with her. (No she wasn’t a lesbian anymore that she was a femme fatal having an affair with every male in the office. The woman was struggling and needed more help than some of the others.) She was a know it all. (She was the Subject matter expert on fiber for the office so if that made her a know it all so be it.) She had assisted a rep with filling out FLMA documents for claims he was filing after he had gone out. ( No, He was on her team, had back problems that required a sit down/stand up desk. He had asked to move it because he didn’t like the location. She had asked her boss if it could be moved. The boss had said, hell no ,it’s too expensive to move he can stay where he is. The guy had come to her asking what he needed to do to go out on FMLA. She had referred him to HR. He had filled out his own forms, she was his supervisor so had reviewed them signed them and he went out in Jan. She had not spoken to him since.) She was having lunches in her office with a trainer from the national group. (yes, she had two working lunches with the national trainer who was on site in her office. He was assisting her with training sessions so had gone out himself picked up lunch on two occasions and brought it back to the office so they could discuss any problems the reps were having with the way the training was being presented.) In a state of total shock my candidate went back to her office after this lovely encounter of the third kind. Before she could do anything but sit in a daze her boss walked in and said , “You are being put on paid administrative leave until EEO completes their investigation. I will need your badge and key card and I will walk you out.” My candidate asked if she could get her personal things ie; bills that needed to be paid in the next few days. She was told that her boss would see if she could get those things for her but my candidate would not be allowed to remove anything from her office and would need to leave NOW. It was just before noon. As she was walked out of the office in front of 170 people her boss marched behind her swinging my candidate's badge in a circle like she was a stripper, to make sure that everyone in the office saw that she was being walked out. When she was called by her boss later in the afternoon to find out when the boss could get some other pass key that she had at home she again asked if she could get her personal things. The boss said, “this is just administrative leave you don’t need to get all of them I will bring your bills to you.” On May 7th my candidate filed an ethics complaint through the company for sexual harassment, hostile work environment, bullying, retaliation and related the series of events to another company EEO representative. On May 9th my candidate filed a police report against the wife or girlfriend of the male employee for cyber harassment and sent a copy of the case number to EEO and a request for copies of the pictures they had, the dates they were sent who they were sent to and the headers of the emails from all correspondence relating to the pictures. She felt the woman was nuts and could be a danger to she or her children as she had no idea what the current status of their problems were and had not heard anything from the woman since early in 2010.On May 17th she was returning home in the middle of the afternoon and caught her boss driving slowly past her house. She lives on a dead end street with a cul de sac where the boss turned around and drove slowly by her home on her way out of the subdivision. Nobody can figure that one out. On May 18th my candidate was contacted by her boss to come back to work to discuss the results of the investigation. At that time she was told that she was being terminated for. 1. Releasing Proprietary Company information without a business need. 2. Creating a hostile work environment 3. Interfering with an Investigation. 4. Violating the code of business conduct in terms of honesty and integrity. When she asked for details as to what information , how she created a hostile work environment and what misconduct she was being accused of ,she was told that her boss would not discuss it but would send her a letter. She was asked to sign a document saying that she would not use her knowledge gained while employed at any other communications company and she would not take any legal action against the company. She refused to sign it. She asked if she could remove her personal things from her office. The boss followed her. My candidate smiled ,said hello to everyone who was calling out hello’s. Packed up her things in several boxes asked her boss to take an inventory and asked where her personal notebook and the copies of her personnel reviews were as they had been in her office. The boss denied any knowledge of either. My candidate looked at the woman and told her she was taking this to a higher level at which point the boss started crying and quit digging through things but did want to be sure that the highlighter my candidate was removing did not belong to the company. My candidate held her head up , walked out smiling at everyone told them she would miss them and good luck. As she reached the middle of the office people stood up and clapped for her. Some were crying. Two walked in and quit and walked out behind her. Five more have gone out on stress and two have quit since then. The next morning the boss received flowers with a card that said. “Congratulations, you finally got her, you must be proud”. A few days later she received a letter in a hand written envelope. It was from her boss stating that she had been terminated for: 1. Misconduct in the office/misconduct off the job 2. Creating a hostile work environment. 3. Helping male reps more than she helped female reps. 4. Interfering with an investigation. My candidate filed for unemployment. TWC requested information twice from the company as to the reason for termination. The company provided a copy of the employee handbook, a statement that an investigation had been done, she had exhibited a pattern of dishonesty, created a hostile work environment, helped male reps more than female reps and had interfered with an investigation. No details yet as to how she managed to do all that or what she did proximate to termination or what triggering event occurred that resulted in her termination. Her unemployment has been granted and made retroactive to the date that she was put on leave. She is now waiting to see if the company will appeal the granting of her unemployment with some kind of detail as to what she was found guilty of that triggered her termination. Her family has stepped up with financial assistance. She will not be able to move forward with the purchase of her home and will have to move within a month. She has enrolled in school to finish her degree. She has updated her resume and is moving forward looking for a new job. She is in fact brokenhearted at losing the opportunity to stay with the company in another position after spending all of her adult life fighting this mess to try and be a success as most of the people who worked for her and those she interacted with throughout the company felt she was. She has learned a lot. Not the least of which is to file an ethics complaint at the first sign of something like what she has been through with , in my opinion, a sick and toxic personality. As a recruiter of many moons experience I know that all I have heard is her side of the story and there are normally two sides to every story. I have done some fact finding with other employees without her knowledge. What she tells me appears to be backed up over and over by the people who have worked with her . Realizing that this is hearsay I share it with you as I feel this is a story that should be told. Oh, and she received a call two days ago in regard to the ethics complaints she filed. They left her a message that they were closing the complaint due to not being able to find enough evidence to substantiate her complaints. What a surprise. It is after all an employment at will state.…