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Inspecht HR Futures Conference only days away

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 9:42pm Sunday 22 February 2009    Print Article

If you are living under a rock and haven’t heard about the upcoming Inspecht HR Futures Conference in Melbourne on Feb 26, you are running out of time to buy tickets! If you are interested in coming along make sure you register soon so you don't miss out.

As a reminder the speakers are:
  • Stephen Collins - Thoughts from TED 2009
  • Sean Lew - Wiki's and knowledge sharing
  • Joris Luijke - HR in a Web 2.0 company, Atlassian
  • Thomas Shaw - Recruitment 2.0
  • Anne Bartlett-Bragg - Reshaping professional development
  • Michael Park - Legal issues of social networks
  • Jasmin Tragas -Informal learning, Web 2.0 and virtual worlds
  • Panel: Branding & Social Media and its impact on HR
  • Panel: Future of Recruiting
Thanks for your support and I hope to see you there, and if you know anyone who might be interested forward to a friend

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MyCareer has a wee problem

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 3:31pm Sunday 22 February 2009    Print Article

It seems the folks at MyCareer are still having trouble with integrating the print and online divisions. I've noticed for a while now that job adverts posted from the print publications to online cut the job title to 21 characters. Seems a bit of a poo

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We REALLY need a Recruitment Consultant

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 2:43pm Saturday 21 February 2009    Print Article

Yesterday, this Recruitment Agency posted 85 identical job adverts in the SAME category, and SAME locations within a few hours. Was this mistake made by the Recruitment Consultant, 3rd party posting provider or the job board? How much money did they just waste? Estimate $45 per advert (approx $ rate for agency of that size) x 85 = $3,825

16 identical adverts within a few hours for Sydney / HR & Recruitment > Recruitment Consultant

17 identical adverts within a few hours for Brisbane / HR & Recruitment > Recruitment Consultant

17 identical adverts within a few hours for Perth / HR & Recruitment > Recruitment Consultant

18 identical adverts within a few hours for Melbourne - Inner / HR & Recruitment > Recruitment Consultant

17 identical adverts within a few hours for Adelaide / HR & Recruitment > Recruitment Consultant


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Optimising your job site for mobile devices

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 12:44pm Friday 20 February 2009    Print Article

Have you ever tested your job board/recruitment website to see how what it looks like on a mobile device?

You can test your mobile web site at dotMobi. To sum it up here are the 35 tests that the dotMobi emulator will execute against your mobile site:

Multiple device selection, File size check, Estimated cost, Estimated speed, Mime types, Character encoding, Pop up windows, Alt Text, Image maps, Specify images sizes, Measures, Page title, Use of stylesheets, Stylesheet dependency, Objects or scripts, Auto refresh, Redirection, Default Input Mode, Provide defaults, Page size limit, Large graphics, Tables, Nested tables, Tables for layout, Access Keys, Caching, External resources, Avoid free text, Structure, Google sitemap, Form submit buttons,
XHTML mobile profile, Valid markup, Second level domain, No frames.

Keep in mind that the iPhone does not currently have Flash, Java and a slew of other plugins that work in PC based browsers.

By default the iPhone turns off the scrollbars in its Safari browser until you use fingertips to slide the page down. Also having scrollbars reduces the visible area in the browser which causes issues for some apps. In Safari you can easily scroll down using the scroll wheen of your mouse. You can also turn scrollbars on using the scroll=on URL parameter.

Apple has released an iPhone Simulator as part of its iPhone Developer SDK tools. If you have a Mac and want to get serious about iPhone development I suggest you check it out.

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Hopeless romantic seeking Valentines date

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 12:21am Friday 20 February 2009    Print Article

The title says it all, really. I'm Thomas, a self-confessed SNAG, I'm the soppy romantic type of guy. Yes, we do exist. Looking for a hyper-romanticised like-minded to hang with on Valentine's Day, maybe it could lead to something beautiful. I'm 25, tall, fit, intelligent, respectful, and genuine. Pageup will you be my belated Valentine? (shhh.. don't tell my partner)

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Name and Shame

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 11:47pm Tuesday 17 February 2009    Print Article

Lately, I have been inundated from frustrated job seekers pointing me to negative threads on some message boards/forums. These threads have been started by users to vent their frustration with certain Recruitment Agencies, Employers and problems with the recruitment process.

The threads promote a "name and shame" mentality, which Recruitment Agencies and Employers need to watch out for.

Tonight I read through some interesting posts on Whirlpool, which is a message board for IT users.
  • Worst Interview Question Ever!
  • Fake Agency Job? Now we know
  • Exaggerating details in Resumes
  • Even Recruiters are getting Sacked
  • Are there any legitimate "work from home" jobs??
  • List of good IT Recruiters
  • Unethical Recruitment Agencies
  • Name and shame bad recruiters
  • Warning - Free work is illegal

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Green Collar Jobs

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 11:52pm Monday 16 February 2009    Print Article

The market for Green Collar Jobs is growing despite the credit crunch and financial turmoil that is hitting markets around the globe. There are plenty of green job opportunities in Australia, and I recently listed to a podcast on BTalk Australia where Phil Freeman from the Australian Conservation Foundation says that 500,000 new jobs can be created in the next two decades.

The term "Green Collar Jobs" was first coined by Alan Durning in his 1999 book, Green Collar Jobs

Green Collar jobs are usually found in areas of sustainable engineering, renewable energy and social responsibility. The skyrocketing prices of oil, concerns about global warming and just general uncertainty about our resources all have contributed to a boom in green collar jobs. There are a number of environmental niche job boards such as:

Environmental Job Network
EnviroJobs Australia
NRM Jobs

Below are some of the hottest areas for green jobs in today's marketplace.

Travel and Tourism - While tourism is the world's largest sector, ecotourism is growing at a rate of three times the regular tourism industry and there is an increasing need for workers knowledgeable in this area

Urban Planning - With society becoming increasingly more and more urbanised, the need is great for planners to assist local governments with ecofriendly planning and design solutions.

Medicine and Health - The number of people turning to alternative methods of health care has been steadily increasing. Professionals will be needed to prescribe and administer these alternative forms of health care which many times produce better results with much less side effects than traditional medicine.

Renewable Energy - As we all know, fossil fuel costs have been soaring with supplies decreasing, so the demand for wind, solar and biofuels have increased substantially so this industry is primed for tremendous growth and expansion.

Legal - As interest in things environmental increases, the need for sound legal counsel will be critical to help businesses and individuals ensure that they are within the bounds of the law when it comes to conservation, pollution, exploration and utilization of resources.

Green Education - As the demand for more "green collar jobs" increases, so does the need for people skilled in the areas of sustainability, renewable energy and energy-efficiency to educate the new wave of job seekers looking to break into the green workforce.

Green Construction and Building - More and more construction and building designs are centered on having very ergonomic spaces while having minimal impact on the environment so energy-efficient building is posed to be a very lucrative field in the near future.

Corporate Citizenship - Corporations as part of their effort to be a responsible and effective corporate citizen will look to people or firms to help them ensure that they are adding value to the environment, neighborhoods and cultures that they impact. In a global economy, it is critical to understand how their strategy will affect customers, suppliers and employees.

Farming and Agriculture - This is one of the best sectors because it involves creating not just more organically grown products but identifying better ways to bring products to market and finding additional uses for crops as well.

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Hide and Seek

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 3:57pm Sunday 15 February 2009    Print Article

How do you know that your competitors are better than you? You are using them. I noticed this job advert today appearing on SEEK. I was keen to see who the advertiser was, so I used google to see that the role is at JobsJobsJobs.

Below you will see the advert on SEEK and the same advert posted on JobsJobsJobs. Can you spot the differences? It raises a number of questions:
  1. Does SEEK validate advertisers?
  2. Is "On-line Media" a real organisation, or a fake entry by the poster?
  3. Is JobsJobsJobs conceeding that there are better candidates on SEEK than their own job board?
  4. How long will it take for the job to be pulled down from SEEK?

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Conducting free background checks on search engines and social networking sites

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 11:13am Monday 09 February 2009    Print Article

There are many ways to conduct a background check on someone and you can gather a lot of free information by using search engines and social networking sites. This dangerous practice is becoming very common among Recruiters and Employers. It is as easy as typing a name into Google.

All you have to do is to put someone's name into the search field to see what comes up when you hit enter. You may find that you get a lot of results to go through for a common type of name, but you should take the time to look through and refine the search string by using "quotes", location, etc. Searches can be conducted by name, email address or phone number.

More and more people are getting hooked with the different social networking sites available on the web. With the availability of social profiles, employers now have an easier way to conduct free background checks via their profiles. You can learn more than you think about someone by seeing what they have put on a social networking site like Facebook, Myspace, Bebo, Linkedin.

Just think of the information you could see - status updates, blog posts, comments, groups, images, friends and so forth.

Social networking aggregator tools can search multiple sites in one go. Sites such as Spokeo, YoName, Wink, etc...

A warning to everyone - Ask yourself if this is an ethical practice you should be conducting? Everyone has the right to privacy so respect that of other peoples.

Because these social networking sites offer profiles that can be viewed by a number of people, some employers use these sites to check around and dig up someone's personal behavior and identity. What these employers usually forget is the fact that the profiles made through these sites only offer viewing profiles to which they are closely related to or to whomever they allow their profile to be viewed by.

These profiles can be set for viewing to up to the third level of connections or simply to the first level only, depending on the profile owner's settings. Thus if proven that at some point the employer goes further to hack someone’s profile, they could face a serious privacy concern which is a potential legal minefield

This means that even though the network profiles, that a person provides online can be viewed publicly - They don't necessarily guarantee strict privacy security; the option of showing this still depends upon the owner of the profile.

Employers should keep in mind that not all profiles are factual. False statements can easily be made in a profile which could affect or twist the truth that a researcher might wrongly depend on.

If someone uses the social profile as basis for their hiring decision, the applicant or employee carries the right to bring the issue to the court with grounds concerning privacy intrusion. However, it can be hard proving that an employer actually wrongly used the networking site for their advantage.

While there are a lot of valid reasons for employers to check the background of applicants they are interested in hiring, there are also several factors why some employers forego this process. One reason is that it takes some time and money to do a background check. Thus, small companies tend to give up background checking besides the standard phone reference.

On the other end of the spectrum, some employees are against background checking believing that it is a form of invasion of privacy or the belief that a background check could result to illegal discrimination based on the past of a person or the people he or she is associated with in the past.

It's still best to hire third party organisations to conduct the background check where you can be guaranteed that the data collected is legal and results are secured, true and necessary.

Social networking sites are the future for background checks, and there is not much you can do about it. Once something is posted online, it may be hard to remove.

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Using LinkedIn Answers to become an expert in your niche

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 8:44pm Sunday 08 February 2009    Print Article

LinkedIn Answers is very powerful tool on LinkedIn as it can help you establish yourself as an expert in your niche. LinkedIn Answers is one of the best places on the web to share business knowledge - you can ask and answer questions on specific subject matter.

By demonstrating your expertise on LinkedIn you earn recognition that helps you build your credibility. The more points of expertise you gain, the higher you appear on lists of experts.

The beauty of answering questions on LinkedIn is that you have no idea who may be reading your answers. Pick a couple of great questions that you can add value to and answer them. After you have answered a few, try to post a few questions.

Don't be defeated if you do not get answers, rephrase the question and put it out again. Be consistent become known as an expert.

Here are some tips for answering questions that will build your reputation
  • Choose questions that will have a positive effect on your credibility
  • Don't be afraid to question other expert’s responses and offer your own point of view
  • Give some thought to what you want to say
  • Don't be flippant with your answers; again, it's your reputation
  • Don't lie or make up facts in your answers
  • Provide references and/or statistics to back up your answer
  • Recommend experts from your network when you can
  • Give websites that others can go visit if possible
  • Check spelling, grammar and use of language

When posting questions follow these simple tips for asking good questions:
  • Make them meaningful
  • Make the topic of your question current
  • Make sure that it will build credibility around your area of expertise
  • Don't forget to close your questions
  • Respond to every answer, thanking the person for their time and effort
  • When possible choose a best answer for the people who took the time to answer
  • Give clarifications when needed
  • Use caution when throwing out goofy or possible inappropriate questions

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