My aim is #tru

HassanahThis week’s post has been written by Hassanah Rudd from Frog Recruitment in Auckland.  I desperately wanted to attend the very first #truNZ but work commitments meant I was unable to get there and meet the legendary Bill Boorman in the flesh.  So what better than to get some thoughts from one of the track leaders at the event. Thanks Hassanah!

Having followed the various twitter streams of many #tru events offshore and read the blogs, I have to admit to be being a little bit excited (ok a lot) when we got the confirmation that tru was coming to NZ.  We have been somewhat bereft of anything like this for many years in NZ, and if you wanted similar it was off to OZ for you…but the downside to that is the authentic voice of NZ just doesn’t get heard. I hear from clients quite often that what they want is NZ information and statistics rather than the offshore information they and we are often given. I was reminded of this when the esteemed Bill Boorman started to ask questions of the 40 or so expert recruiters that we couldn’t answer…. Such as what are the hiring stats for SME’s in NZ? We didn’t know either.

I have to come out right now and admit it, that I loved the tru unconference format. The ability to engage and debate where the participants lead the conversations took us on different tangents to new ideas. It gave us the space to look at things in a new way, to innovate and throw ideas around, some we hung on to, and some we discarded. 

Bill has made a profession of the study of the world of recruitment and treasures of information just got scattered around. The first track I went to was on Gamification of Recruitment. It’s a difficult term; what image comes to mind when you think of gamers? Yep us too, a bit of a sad no life loser locked in his room trying to be master of the empire of the handbag.  However there are 1 billion people worldwide who spend at least 1hr a day in some form of gaming. The research shows typical gamers are over forty.  On FB the highest gamers are women with young kids…and yes the mums in the room looked at each other along the lines of “yeah right”….But … Farmville?  It’s still gaming. What about LinkedIn? LinkedIn encourage you to get to 100% on your profile…that’s a form of gamification.

The thing with gaming is its part of humanities DNA. Look at the emotional and motivational drivers. Making something fun and competitive, trying to do better each time, having a scoreboard, being the best, relishing your wins and developing resilience to failure. It did lead us to question whether gamification is the right word? Addictification could be an alternative maybe.  “Gaming” gives us immediate feedback: instant gratification, simple, engaging and instant reward. This evolved into looking at the testing we do; numerical reasoning, psych testing; is there an opportunity to “gamify”?

We talked about tying in an App to “game up” the application process. That threw up a query… Where would the recruitment teams get the budget?  Marketing has the budget, recruiters don’t, try asking for money to develop an App to connect with talent!

The conversation led to referral programs…most referral programs fail miserably. But approach it from a gaming principle. We look for instant gratification, so reward the referral NOT the outcome. It’s instant and going to generate a far higher return (& it’s not all about the money). One head of recruitment had laid $10,000 on the line for a referral for a critical role and it still didn’t work. Most of us agreed we could compete if there was an iPad up for offer, but really the same motivation isn’t actually there if money was the reward.  Referral programs reward the wrong thing. The reward should be the referral not the placement

Bill mentioned one company where they have Referral Friday. It works like this, when you make a referral you get a special T-Shirt. On Friday if you come to work in your special T-Shirt you get free beers! Simple, competitive, instantly rewarding…and it works.

At this point I could probably write a short book, but this is a blog and probably not designed to be 3000 words. So I’ll do some key takes out I had on the day:

  • Strategy. We do too much and not enough talking to the people in the business; ask them what pushes their buttons and develop the program/strategy from there.
  • If you are going to do an internal KPI, don’t make it time to hire metric… how about Executive Noise. It’s all quiet up there and it’s a thumbs up!
  • Should you even have careers site? When your candidates want to be mobile and a very quick access to application. But ask yourself why bother spending the money on going mobile when your audience isn’t even able to apply for a job because of your current process? 
  • People connect with organisations, they don’t connect with jobs
  • You want to actively discourage people from applying – you don’t want volume, you want that small quality.
  • Twitter lists are the bomb; also stop using passionate in your bio. It’s overused and can be seen straight though. If you’re posting jobs use #nzjobs as a hashtag.
  • If you put your link in the middle of a tweet you get 5 times more click though
  • For Agency; Change the billing models up – have lots of options. Perhaps different % for different levels/expertise of the recruiter.
  • Perm recruitment is dying – revenue will not come from corporates and particularly those with in-house teams (Bill predicted within 18 months) – You need to focus on contingent
  • Have a clearly defined niche and good networks 
  • Think of candidates as consumers and we start to do things differently
  • Don’t make your employer brand basically about the job and the application process
  • Branding should be geared to NOT getting people to apply. You want to show the culture of an organization so people of the wrong fit don’t apply
  • Trust your people – be open warts and all
  • There are no bad cultures just a bad culture fit
  • Show and tell – blog, video, connect, tell the story – connect people with the employees working in the business and maybe if they really need it give them a PD
  • Let people see inside your organisations with honesty – then you get the right people and have no retention issues
  • Every culture is sexy to someone
  • Try stuff, lots of it and often – It’s not Best practice its Test practice – Don’t be scared of the risk
  • Any other business calls it research in recruitment we call it failure

It’s a heck of a list…and I didn’t attend each track..I missed the one that the discussion on twitter turned into blowing up your ATS!

The wonderful thing about TruNZ is we all talked. There was no in-house/external standoff, and it was a pretty even split with some heavy hitters in the room. It was an exploration of ideas that makes the unconference format so exhilarating. It’s a bit like a power packed thinking/strategy/ideas/ day. In fact I would go as far to say if you are busy penciling in a strategy/planning day with your team. Get everyone to the #tru first…!

So if you are curious to see for yourself…Bill said he would be back next year with Auckland and Wellington scheduled in the #tru calendar. Seriously do not miss it!

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