Saturday, 18 October 2008

Innovation vs Effectiveness

This is the theme of about 80% of the meetings and projects we have conducted in last 3 months.(and the last 3 months has seen much more of an emphasis on effectiveness rather than innovation). And the skill with us is how to communicate effectively to a client that a social networking programme is a really cool thing to do but how about getting their job board strategy, SEM programme, response management and careers site sorted as a first priority. And if i have a frustration, it is some of the nonsense that we in the industry talk about when we are dealing with clients seeking to reduce their cost per hire and improve recruitment and staff retention strategies.

Talking about Second Life and Twitter to clients makes us look knowledgable and clever but does not help most clients one iota (particularly at present).

And Yes - the best online campaigns and techniques can be both innovative and effective.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Broadbean acquired by owners of Jobsite

quite an interesting one this - if only for the fact that any company is acquiring anything at moment
what does the acquisition mean?
  • not quite sure what AND's motivations are - Conkers is also owned by them. I guess its going up the supply chain/value chain - like a brewery buying pubs or possibly a fleet of beer delivery lorries to stretch the analogy perhaps a little too far. Still its a little different from their acquisition history of strong vertical job boards.
  • One does not have to question Broadbean's motivation - and well done to those involved
  • AND have an excellent history of buying companies (Jobsite, Jobs Group, InRetail etc) and allowing the management to grow and develop their business without unhelpful intervention. So Dan's open letter (see above) should be taken at face value i think.
  • Will the other major jobboard owners have a problem with this acquisition (their supply lines being owned by a competitor) - and come off the Broadbean feeds. Can't see that happening in a million years - the client is king and Broadbean's client volumes are pretty substantial to forming a job boards marketplace. But lets see.
  • I would be fascinated to know how they valued this business - there is an argument that the product and the whole job posting technology industry is a commodity that could be replaced in the future - but to be fair it is priced so reasonably that there is no great desire from clients to seek any alternative solution.

In summary - Broadbean is a great business - nicely profitable, low overheads, loyal customer base, limited competition but not quite sure how it fits into AND/Jobsite's product set. But that's not the worse problem to have.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Everyone "Gets" Online Recruitment

I have just finished running a hugely well attended seminar programme in conjunction with Telegraph and Google and it has confirmed my thoughts that a wind of change has swept through this industry in 2008. The level of knowledge and adoption of successful online recruiting techniques has changed massively this year amongst clients and it is incredibly exciting and enjoyable to be having a different sort of conversation.
Believe me i have no problem whatsoever with starting with basic job posting on job boards and in many ways its the lifeblood of OME and a well constructed optimised job posting is a thing of rare beauty (just me in the whole world who thinks that isn't it.??....) - But with our longer established clients we tend to run much more integrated candidate attraction campaigns and our new clients tend to start at a more advanced level.
So i left the seminar venue absolutely buzzing - read the business press on the way to another meeting - and a "pass the revolver, I'm going into the library" feeling enveloped me. Oh well - capitalism was fun while it lasted.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Bitching About Awards

Quite enjoying the debate on UK recruiter discussion board about the integrity of the NORA awards - basically saying its all a fix etc etc. I have attended many awards functions and even organised a few. These are my fundamental truths about these events
  • They are in no way a reflection of the best work done in (fill in category) and in fact the winning piece of work/company was crap because of xxx. That is unless you win - in which case they are just recognition for the brilliant work done by the team involved and another sign of your market leading position.
  • If you suspect they are a fix - and that if you advertise in the organisers products and even better sponsor an award that you hugely improve your chances - you are probably correct.
  • If you suspect that there is something fishy about the fact that every year amazingly the awards seem to be handed out in a way that most of the big players in industry (see advertisers/sponsors point above) - seem to win at least one each and don't get too offended - your suspicions are probably correct
  • If you suspect that the extremely long "short" lists for nominations may be connected to a desire to sell as many tables as possible to those companies dreaming of glory - you would definitely be correct.
  • Do people say these same things even if they work in online recruitment, TV, double glazing or poetry - yes they do.

And finally - if you are nominated and you find yourself sitting at a table nearer the loos than the stage (meaning a 10 minute journey to stage)- then you can probably save your speech for next year.