Friday, 11 May 2018

What do you get for $1.2 Billion these days?

So the big news in our world is that Recruit holdings who own Indeed bought Glassdoor for 1.2 billion greenbacks - so here's my hot take on it

1. Had no idea this was on the cards but it makes all sort of sense.

2. Indeed is hugely successful, expanding and effective but if it has weaknesses - it is that their audience is not as engaged as they want it to be (they may disagree but....) - that is their traffic get what they want from Indeed and move on quickly.

3. Indeed also have the small issue of Google taking them on - head on (Google is not anyone's idea of a competitor you want to have launch against you).

4. Glassdoor is a phenomenon - growing fast and a/the key engagement platform for jobseekers/employees (depending on sector). They have a very large global audience (47m Unique Users per month) and it is very engaged - (avg time on site 2 mins 40 seconds ) but....

5. I think Glassdoor are having greater difficulties monetising the platform than they had envisaged and certainly not as quickly as they would like. Converting this traffic into applications and clear tangible ROI that clients are happy to pay big money for is not an easy job.

I'm going to ignore the current take that they will be run as completely separate businesses etc - they all say that in year 1 - in year 2 not so much.....

So combine a hugely engaging platform with a hugely effective traffic driver and you get alchemy / magic / hyper growth / supercharged results

As we all know making it happen is not quite as simple but 100% get the logic and there will be some very clever people paid large amounts of money who will be charged with getting a return on that $1.2Bn!

Friday, 20 April 2018

Welcome and Thanks for Attending.....

We spoke at a great event for in-house talent this week (alongside sponsors and while getting our content together I realised what i like to see when i attend these sorts of thing as a delegate and therefore to make sure what we talk about and how we talk about it - fits that bill

1. Most obviously - none of us want to attend for content/info/research and be sold to for 45+ minutes. We are all grown-ups and clearly the organisers are generally doing it for business reasons but make the selling bit either very short or very much implicit.

2. Not all that keen on wonderful case studies where everything goes right, results amazing, budgets plentiful as in our experience that's not how the real world works. We all learn more from the difficult bits than the easy bits - yes? I have never yet had someone say to me I don't think you are a great partner/supplier as the example you showed us clearly did not go perfectly.

3. This may be my personal weakness and slight ADHD - but keep an individual session to maybe absolute maximum 40 mins - as my brain cant cope after that.

4. The organisation of event is really important - have a nice venue, welcome the attendees, have people on hand to chat, try and start (and definitely finish) on time.

And as a speaker - I always want to seek honest feedback so that I can improve in future but only on one condition that the feedback is "you were really good and everyone thought so".

Monday, 9 April 2018

What is going on?

It feels like we have existed in economic uncertainty for so long now (Brexit, weak pound, some sectors performing poorly) that it's just become the New Normal. And I think a healthy attitude when running any sort of business is to ignore the macro and concentrate on your own performance. At the end of the day there is absolutely sod all we can do to affect the UK/European/Global economy so what is the point in worrying about it.

The above is a long winded way of introducing the fact that Q1 2018 was a very strong month for candidate attraction activity (media, social, content) certainly for OME but also I think for the market generally and so the bigger economic factors aren't affecting things negatively (at this point - I probably should insert the word YET). Predictably aggregator and social spend is up year on year but less predictably according to some - the job board spend is strong too. I gave up on predictions a few years ago due to a terrible record at predicting correctly - but I feel comfortable that we can all agree on the statement that - Things are changing, talk, listen (clients, suppliers, partners) and be nimble and flexible to react to these changes - and repeat.

Finally - we have an event next week - come along and find out more about what's going on out there

Monday, 19 February 2018

What is Programmatic Advertising? (2018 version)

OME is spending more and more on programmatics as a type of media and our classic job board spend is pretty flat (for reference - LinkedIn still increasing significantly, social way up, future/early talent probably our biggest growth sector which crosses all media/platforms).

However - I think we need to define the phrase Programmatic Advertising as it is used in many different ways by many different people (not necessarily wrongly)

So I want to define what it will now mean for OME and its clients

Programmatics is performance based advertising that we can manage via our automated technology and/or human intervention. Based on performance of adverts/campaigns - spend can be managed in the most efficient/effective ways. Its all about quality analytics with skilled interpretation and active campaign management.

What does this mean?

This means that job boards, aggregators, LinkedIn, social, behavioural/re-targeting can all be programmatic

its a methodology or approach not a type of media.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Account Management

A classic question I get when in a new business meeting or just chatting with clients - is "What's OME account management structure?" and "how can it meet our needs?". And I think they expect me to have an answer that goes into detail of layers of acc mgmt/SLAs/Process etc and I don't. Let me be clear - we have a couple of docs which go into detail about these things but I think they are just at best - a start - or at worse - window dressing.

Let me explain why:

1. All clients are different
2. Even clients who look/sound/feel alike are all completely different
3. Nobody knows at outset of exactly how service intensive an account will be (OME's largest billing client would not be in top 5 of hours spent by team in servicing)
4. We have 84 current clients and approx 15-20 major ones - three have OME staff onsite - many have weekly meetings - more have monthly - one we didn't see in whole of 2017 (international and it just didn't happen through no fault of client or us)
5. Most have SLAs - vast majority have never referred to it since it was signed
6. Majority of clients want a personal friendly efficient value driven service - the rest want that but without the personal friendly bit.

So what I'm saying is - when a client engages with a business like OME - still independent/nimble/bespoke - they are doing so as they believe that we will offer the service to match their need - not to have to match their needs to our service.

Our job is to make sure our service offering is robust yet flexible and highly matched to what they need/want.

And the happy ending (so far) is that plenty (enough!) clients seem to like too!

Thursday, 21 December 2017

The Last Rites of 2017

So I think I will make this my final work related act of the year (some winter sun is calling me........)
No predictions for 2018 (my view can best be summarised as "God Knows") but may be it's time for a little reflection on how the year has been for the industry and OME.

1. We have had a very successful year but feel we've had to work harder than ever before - (apologies if next bit is a tad salesy) but we've had to deliver higher quality service to clients, work more productively with suppliers and partners and nurture/develop our staff better.

The recruitment economy has been good - but we all have to deliver more for less or much better for the same in many areas. The new budgets have very fixed objectives and we (client/us/suppliers) need to hit those objectives and this can only be done with smart thinking and great teamwork.

2. Everything single things is measured in 2017 but I think the currency, the value, the difference is in the very HUMAN interpretation of the huge amount of data we gather. Analytics are useless without the proper review when you then enhance what you are doing next - and we have seen some huge improvements in campaign performance from this expert analysis - more of this next year please!

3. Don't think i've ever enjoyed my time at OME than this year - I like the people I work with (most of the time) and I like (most!) of our clients/suppliers - that's got to be a great thing hasn't it! having said all that - I am now done and really don't feel like lifting a (work) finger for a couple of weeks.

So finally - just want to genuinely thank all the OME folk so much for their work this year - but don't forget its still time to crank out some more proposals - its only 21st December!



Tuesday, 14 November 2017

How to enjoy a conference

Most of us I'm sure regularly get invited to or contemplate attending conferences, exhibitions, seminars in our sector - this is my very personal guide to "enjoying" the events you say "yes" to (this is very much influenced by the fact that i've just been to and enjoyed #IndeedInteractive last week)

1. Check and review the Agenda/Subject/Speakers - so you know what you getting before you get there and aren't complaining about the content during lunch (obviously I've never done this...)

2. I'm a sucker for a nice venue/nice food. Yes I know that makes me look like a xxxxx. But its important to know yourself isn't it!

3. Once you have decided to go - DO make an effort. Talk to peers, suppliers, clients. Stick your hand up and ask questions. People are generally lovely and in same boat as you - and speaking as an occasional presenter at these things - getting a question is a wonderful human interaction and an excuse to leave the pre set narrative behind.

4. Set realistic objectives. My personal feeling is if have learnt two things and met two interesting people - then its a success. But i'm easily pleased.

5. DONT be afraid to dip out. For people with short attention spans like me - the 230-330 pm slot which is an ATS demo - may be a suitable slot to return calls, do emails, hide in the corner of the coffee shop. Dipping out means you get more from the sessions before and after - and you're probably more up for networking rather than brain dead.

6. This is the most important tip - DON'T attend too many conferences - DON'T be afraid to skip a year to the event that you actually get quite a lot out of. Nothing chills the soul more than seeing the same presentation from 6 months ago that is maybe just a sales pitch anyway (nothing wrong with those in the right place) or my personal hate - the rose tinted case study - showing how everything went brilliantly - and aren't we all amazing.

One of the main reasons we attend external events is to open our mind and think differently about our work/company/team. Therefore - make sure you start with an open mind and a great attitude. I can GUARANTEE this advice will improve your conference experience - well maybe at least until the first coffee break.