Why I’m still smiling today…

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So yesterday we held our first Reconverse in Coventry. I’m still smiling. I don’t think you realise how many chances you have to network with peers and share ideas as a recruiter based in the SE, because you have loads. Hell, we run 3 events a month alone! Outside of London it’s a different story.

We were initially contacted by Vicki Walker from ProBrand to see if we’d bring Reconverse to Coventry. We did. It was a fantastic day. We’ll be back.

Jeremy Russon gave a lesson on building a direct sourcing model and TheSmartList gave some eye opening statistics on job board performance.

What’s kept the smile on my face is that it was like the early days of Reconverse and gave me a much needed reminder of why we run our events in the unique format that we do:

- There is very little chance to build relationships with other in-house recruiters in Coventry. Now they all have another 9 peers to email or grab a coffee with.

- These are not household brands by any stretch of the imagination. These guys have real issues and faced real challenges, in most cases on their own as the sole recruiter. We can get so caught up in the vocal minority that blog and debate online, it’s easy to forget there’s a world of real recruitment going on out there.

- There was a 40-60% reliance on rec find across the group. They were buzzing to meet the suppliers we took with us, and now understand some new ways they can help reduce that agency spend and do it themselves.

But more than anything it’s made us realise there are pockets of recruiters in the UK that are under serviced by the usual recruitment events out there, and we can help with that.

As always, leave your comments below.

HARBOUR on the Marquee for RecFest

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We are pleased to announce that HARBOUR will be the Marquee Sponsor for the inaugural RecFest.    HARBOUR, and Alex Hens in particular, have been long term friends of Reconverse, so we are pleased to be working with them to bring you THE in-house recruitment festival of the summer.

When asked why they’ve agreed to be a part of RecFest, MD Alex Hens said “For the best part of 6 years now we’ve been building Applicant Tracking solutions for the likes of Admiral, Comic Relief, Clarks, Heinz, hibu, New Look, Sense and the University of South Wales. Literally delighting clients along the way with unsurpassed service, the slickest of candidate experiences and some pioneering steps too. We’ve just been rubbish at telling people about us. Kinda like industry Ninjas.   We’ve always liked the cut of the Reconverse jib. We like to think perhaps we’re a bit alike – not so big on the airs and graces, just honest talking and all about getting the job done. So when we were thinking that this year we might take our light from under our self-created bushel and we heard about RecFest, well, it just seemed to just add up. It’s therefore with great delight that we agreed to jump onboard as Marquee Sponsor (does that mean we get to keep a tent too??) and are really excited about seeing this all take shape. Should be a great platform for exchange of opinions and experiences with loads of learning opportunities all-round. Can’t wait :)

Lisa Scales and Peter Gold to Host Interactive Workshop

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OK, let’s say you want to buy a new car – what do you do? You test drive a few, you read online reviews, you speak to your friends……but what would happen if you had a car manufacturer, Jeremy Clarkson and a bunch of people that all have an opinion in the same room? Would you buy the car your mates told you to buy or buy a car based on other expert views?  It’s no different when you buy a new ATS system. So, Lisa Scales, Co-Founder of TribePad and Peter Gold, HR Tech Consultant, Editor of HR Mash and the Clarkson of the recruitment world will be hosting an interactive workshop session at Reconverse with some lively debate around:
• Building a dream ATS• What you want and what you need are very different!

• How do you measure greatness?

This will compliment our usual round table discussion within our upcoming event, ATS: What does good look like?

To register for this session, click here.

Big Data – Round Table Summary – 1/8/13

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“Bid data is like a 5-wood.  Just another club in the golf bag.  Just another way to get the ball from the tee to the hole.”

We’ve talked for a while about running an event on Big Data – well, it happened!  Some of those present had some solid ideas on what they thought Big Data was… others were happy to admit they had no idea and wanted to get to grips with the topic. It’s fair to say there was a good mix of excitement, scepticism and humour lined up for the debate…

Matt Alder kicked things off with his take on big data, starting with a definition. Matt went with the Wikipedia version to get things moving quickly, which can be précised as follows: data sets so large and complex they become difficult to process with regularly available data tools. The key indicators to look for are the four V’s of big data:

  • Volume
  • Velocity
  • Variety
  • Veracity

If you’d like a further explanation and examples of these, this infographic is a good place to start. To focus on more recruitment-related matters though, Matt made a bold statement – “LinkedIn is maybe the only genuine big data play in the talent market today”.  On the surface of it, we only see profile details – but scratching the surface and considering all the data points concerning relationships, career and skills movement over time, interaction between people and group discussions, jobs viewed (and not always applied for) you start to get a sense of the kind of data Matt’s referring to.

At this point, Matt delivered a timely reminder of the first two questions you should ask when considering data in your organisation: First, what data do you already have? Second, is it the right data to answer the questions you have?

Matthew Dewstowe of Innovatage followed up – looked specifically at some of the data he’d been tracking over the last few years and how this could be applied to deliver real-world benefit to recruiters:

  • By picking up job data across the world, it’s easier to spot emerging trends. These can indicate not just where talent planning and costs for your own organisation might go, but also what new areas your competitors might be looking to move into.
  • Capturing large and unstructured datasets is becoming easier by the day – delivering actionable insight takes far more effort but is the only way to extract real value.
  • A database is one thing… a database of intent is very different. Currently, very few firms are capable of building the latter (Google, LinkedIn etc.) but this will change rapidly (the “intent” refers to user activity, not just profile information).

As the debate kicks off, it’s clear there will be no immediate agreement on exactly what big data is – but there’s certainly a strong feeling that recruitment as an industry lags well behind sectors such as retail research (Target and Visa held up as examples). Indeed, Matt Alder jumped back in with the observation that technology landscape changes typically take ten times as long to hit recruitment as they do in many other markets.

There are also some strong warnings from a few around the table on approaching the subject from the right angle.  All recruiters are collecting more data as time progresses – but before leaping in and playing with it, it’s important not just to understand the question you want to answer but also the context/relevance of that question – particularly when looking at those organisations with global recruiting functions where regional difference can make such an impact (upcoming event on that topic here).

One of the most appreciated statements of the afternoon came from someone offering a modicum of perspective. It’s all too easy to get carried away with the newest, shiniest, fastest new toolset available – but in Talent, as we should all know by now, there IS no silver bullet.  Big data can and will be helpful in the years ahead, but:

Interesting observations too on those organisations able to really leverage big data.  If we consider the market as a whole, the major job board distributors and the global job boards themselves have significantly more data in terms of the job flow AND the applicant market than most single employers can dream of – but because this data is largely driven by employers themselves, or contributed by applicants in search of work, it’s significantly more difficult for those players to extract and leverage.

Assessment tools provide another angle on where data volumes and complexities are rising fast.  On the subject of using such tools, the table seemed fairly evenly split on whether those tools had value in the process (some with a strong held belief that such tools could be manipulated). However, all agreed there were useful trend-points in assessment data over time, even if individual results were sometimes questionable.

Finally, the debate moved into the ethics and privacy area.  It’s important to note the difference between personal data (which we all agree deserves the utmost protection) and aggregated trend data (which can offer spectacular market information and forecasting). The opportunity for recruiters generally is significant – but mistakes can and almost certainly will, be made.


Thanks to @James_Mayes for live tweeting and the round table write-up.

Video in Recruitment

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The concept of video interviewing isn’t new, but the changing mentality towards it is.  Last year, we hosted our first Video in Recruitment event and found a market that had been somewhat overlooked by employers, due to social, mobile and other “mega trends” taking priority.  A year on and video interviewing has certainly started to move and is picking up substantial momentum, with huge corporate wins for the leading video interviewing suppliers happening every week.  We would love to think it was our event alone that has shifted the tide, but the reality is it’s a combination of increasingly credible suppliers, the uber adoption of Skype and Facetime in the UK and the ever growing number of case studies from leading employers that have benefited from video interviewing technology.

This event will cover:

What are the real benefits of video interviewing for employers?

Exploring the common objections and specifically looking at the legal and ethical responsibilities of an employer.

When is video interviewing right and when is it not?

How does video interviewing integrate with other recruitment technologies, including ATS?

Along with a yet to be announced in-house guest speaker, Matt Alder (MetaShift) will be  on hard to give some exclusive insight into the building of his recent report on Video Interviewing and an update on the findings.  Early reviews of the report are extremely good, and you can purchase a copy here, and use the discount code RECONVERSE to get 25% off.

To register your place for Video in Recruitment, click here.