Recruiters can do better

I read a piece titled “Table Manners” by Christopher Demers and it evoked those unpleasant manners and practices of recruiters. If it is not ‘laziness’ I do not know what word to describe a recruiter who mentions nothing about his client when putting up a job ad. If you wont reveal the identity of the organisation you are filling a position for (even though I frown at this), what about the industry or its market position. I think the focus of every recruiter is to attract a wide pool of talent for position being advertised!

Sometimes when I see ambiguities between job descriptions (JD) and person specifications I wonder if the recruiter had read through the ad before putting it up. The truth could be that these recruiters ‘copy and paste’ already prepared  JD of a particular role for all organisations. In the process, vital details are left out.

The use of social media for recruitment has been on the rise and now a popular source of hiring for most recruiters. How well have they fared on this platform can be determined by the quality of job ads on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook etc. I do understand the constraints of word counts with some of these applications which made it practically difficult to spell out every detail as regards a particular job role. However, I think they can get round this constraint by converting the ad to a web link which can be opened in a new window.

A worrying trend also emerging is for recruiters to tersely post a job role and request for interested candidates to give their email addresses in the comment section. This is a ‘NO’ for me. I wont give out my email address to the public domain with hackers and spammers everywhere. I’m sure other people will share this sentiment. It also gives room for people to send you unsolicited emails and requests. Recruiters can definitely do better than this!

Lack of feedback is an issue so many people have harped on but has lingered in the recruitment industry. The common excuse is giving feedback to hordes of unsuccessful candidates is not practicable. I beg to differ, it is. I wont go into the details of stating the importance of giving feedback as this has been done in numerous blogs but it is important to stress that feedback is possible no matter the number of candidates you have.

As 2015 beckons, we expect to see recruiters up the ante in the new year.



Social Media and Learning

The internet would definitely contest for a top finish if inventions by Man were to be graded. An offshoot of the internet wonder is social media which enables people living poles apart to socially interact. The fast growing number of platforms and applications available testify to the level of interactions that go on on the internet. Needless to say that there is a massive piece of information available on the internet.

While I admit that these information are directed at different end users, I am curious on the actual amount which constitute learning. If the amount of blogs, monologues and other writings that are churned out daily are anything to go by, we should have productive employees and flourishing businesses. The reality on ground is not commensurate to the number of business writings available in links and posts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and other social sites. If this is so, it becomes imperative to begin to look on how much learning takes place on Social Media.

For learning to have taken place, there has to be a shift in processes which will lead to improved outputs. If however results are dwindling or a business is rooted in the same position even after learning interventions, it then calls for concern. As interests in learning on social media is gathering momentum, it is pertinent to sound a note of caution. Some of the materials available on social media for learning are not practicable. In academia, social media contents do not make it onto peer-reviewed journals. I think the business community should also be wary of what they use from social media.

I agree that there are lots of experts to learn from on social media but I think some posts and writings are generic. Even within an industry, no two organisations are the same; each with specific needs. Contrarily, individual and organisational learning resources on social media are not company-specific. Yes, it is a source of general information and knowledge but not a solution to your business learning needs.

Consequently, companies investing in social media learning and neglecting the traditional on-the-job and closed space learning need to have a rethink. I’ll suggest more of the investment on learning should be directed towards the traditional approaches and social media majorly be used for business promotion and service delivery. If however there are businesses that have harnessed the potentials of social media learning, how were they able to achieve that?

Please drop your comments below.

Bashir Mudi Baba can be reached on Twitter @El_De_Bash

Power of Networking

It is often believed that graduates of Ivy schools like Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge get the best available jobs. If you think this belief is a myth, then a simple Google search of people clinching the top jobs on Wall Street or the techies at Silicon Valley might convince you otherwise. This can partly be attributed to the high rating of the universities and majorly to the strong network of alumni across the world.

The power of your network may determine the extent of one’s level of success in life. While growing up, my dad would say to me “go out and build a network of friends, its an investment with huge rewards”. True to his words, I have benefited immensely from the network of friends I have. The benefit of networking does not necessarily have to be material gain, the value of ideas and knowledge that can be tapped from hordes of people that make a network is beyond measure. And when you learn, you grow.

With the advent of social media, networking has been made a lot easier. However, some people do not make the advantage of the New Media. This is evident from posts, updates and hashtags on different social networks. The vast amount of knowledge available on social media is unquantifiable that it is impossible to keep tabs on every article and blog. Consequently, begin to screen your contacts on social media by networking only with those that add value to you.

As a Human Resources professional, I have read several resignation letters and also conducted quite a number of exit interviews. Some people not only leave their jobs but also destroy the friendship they have built over the years with colleagues. Whatever happened to referrals from former colleagues? This is a mistake often made by some of us.

Self development is always a good way of building your network. When you read wide, you begin to develop critical thinking and your thought processes will improve. If these thoughts are penned down, they will attract a wide coverage with a corresponding growth in network. This way, you will begin to influence others which can lead to you becoming a leader in your field.

There are a host of opportunities to network. Meetings, conferences, coffee shops are avenues to meet people and build a network. Please do share your experiences with networking by commenting below.