Monday, 22 December 2008

Christmas Time, Mistletoe and Wine

You cant beat a bit of Cliff

After nearly 3 years of OME - i have learnt the pitfalls of not switching off and taking a break (ever...) - so just quick note to say i will not be blogging , twittering, posting on forums and indeed doing any proper work now until January - i hope everyone has a lovely Xmas.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Thanks Mum

Clearly her sophisticated online ballot box stuffing has secured her youngest (and best) son's nomination for this Best 2008 Recruitment Blog Awards. Please feel free to vote for me or indeed anyone else if you are so minded.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Entrepreneurs and Start Ups

Saw the excellent people from BraveNewTalent to hear more about their new venture. Without going into specifics of their offering which is a kind of cross between Linkedin and Facebook for the Grad market - i have come to realise that start ups matter less in terms of the quality of the idea - it is all about the people, their passion and execution. After all the idea and product can quickly be modified if there are flaws - but the core of a company and its offering are the people behind it.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Monster Re-Launch

This post is an admission that i am not going to get round to blogging in full on Monster's relaunch - a presentation of which i attended on Monday. But briefly - its a big step on road to interactivity. adding value to the job board offering, making users much easier to target with relevant content. So well done to them for investing and improving in today's climate and trying to change the competitive field from marketing to technology/search/content.

The long term benefits of this will become clearer over time but the initial and clearest short term benefit will come from changing the very clunky back office to something that will much more user (client=user) friendly. Monster's back office is a pain and the data entry and ad optimisation team here really hate it and i am sure this view must be echoed across all clients. and impact negatively on data quality and ad response.
interestingly i scanned the room i was in (largely ad agency people in audience) and thought probably only about 10% of this room have ever been in Monster's back office and so have no idea of the significance of this part of the relaunch - but our clients will probably get more out of this than the sexier stuff in the pres.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Easy Media Planning and Buying

Going through 2 separate media reviews at moment - trying to get all closed up and agreed before next week and i must say with both it is a pleasure - why?
  • We are doing the review based not on media owner stats, not on clicks and not on applications but on hires! ie cost per hire by job by media and all cross referencable (is that a word?)
  • We are not looking at this stuff in isolation - its clearly a retrospective metric that has a lot of variables in it - need to base stuff on what is likely to be results and/or needs next year too
  • Both clients agree that though budgets are tight - we need to continue to push things a little further in exploring new routes so have allocated a budget accordingly

Now it would be easy to pretend that everyone is at this point but that is not the case - most of the work that enabled this to happen occurred in 2007 - and there is an awful lot of unglamorous grunt work involved in proper tagging and tracking both from client side and us - but the benefits are enormous - primarily the ability to show the reduction in cost per hire, the efficiency of the process and the real time visibility of the numbers.

Hang on - i think i have to shroud what we do in complex web talk otherwise anyone will think they can do it - and we cant have that can we!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

2008 - what a year!

I have never experienced a more "interesting" year (both good and bad) in my business career as this year. I will try and get some more formal comments on what i think have been the key trends this year and what i think will happen next year over next couple of weeks - hope to have a bit of time as it is definitely getting a wee bit quieter out there.
Overall - it feels like 2008 was the year that online became a core (probably "the core") element of a companies recruiting and employee engagement strategy. The level of complexity and sophistication in our client discussions has moved on more this year than the previous 2 years combined. That shows itself in spend and breadth of techniques adopted (SEM, Business networks, social networks etc) but most importantly - quantifiable tangible and documented results which show the great improvement in ROI - effective online recruitment/engagement gets companies.
Anecdotally - most of us who have been doing this a long time agree that these days you don't have to sell the concept anymore - it really is about the right product and brilliant execution. In that sense - The West has been Won.
However - when a great big hulking macro economic trend comes into play - recruitment can simply stop and no amount of cleverness and expertise can always get round that objection.
I am in the camp, however, that though fist half 2009 will be v tough - those efficient value led companies (like OME!!) will benefit hugely as the downturn lessens.