Friday, October 28, 2005

King of Connections

We just launched our new Waggener Edstrom Worldwide brand. This is exciting news especially for those of us on the Staffing team. Our new career site features employee vignettes, accolades, cultural anecdotes, career paths, and, of course, our job listings. If you get a chance check it out:

I had the honor of conducting the interview for our featured employee vignette. I included this below. This is from one of our PR pros on our T-Mobile team—Jackson Jeyanayagam.


King of Connections

Jackson Jeyanayagam is well-connected. Whether sharing ideas
with co-workers, chatting with editors at Glamour and Maxim, promoting
after-hours parties, or reaching out to the broader world, Jackson enjoys
building relationships as part of his job. He is in the know and on the go.

A senior account executive at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide,
Jackson works with wireless service provider T-Mobile USA. He helped launch the
wireless industry’s first nationwide service to play ”ring-back tones,” real
songs that callers hear when calling a mobile phone. Jackson also manages
celebrity product placements for the fashionable T-Mobile Sidekick II product.

”I like the WE culture. It’s an open environment and I have
lots of good friends here,” he says. “There is an entrepreneurial spirit here,
so you can carve your own way. There are so many things you can get involved in
from staying connected with colleagues and clients to giving back to the global
community. Where else would I get to do this?”

Staying current on what’s considered hot among consumers.
Working the phones. Contributing to corporate giving efforts. Getting paid to
read Gear, Spin and Details and watch MTV’s "Total Request Live.” Hooking up
hip, young celebrities and fashionistas with the latest mobile data devices.
It’s all in a day's work for Jackson, and the connection - even friendship -
with colleagues and consumers makes it more worthwhile.

“I speak my opinion and people listen to me. The agency is
shaping its vision and I feel I get to give input,” Jackson says. “When I have a
meeting with executives who ask my opinion, that means a lot to me. Everyone
here has a say and you can make a difference.”

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Visual Mapping

I had the fortunate opportunity to hire an individual that wrote her dissertation on clustering blogs based on market demographics. She is originally from Hong Kong where she was a journalist and public relations practitioner before coming to the US to obtain her PhD. She recently turned me onto a blog that focuses on visual mapping. I have included the link below; I believe this work WILL have an impact on recruiting.

Visual Mapping Site:

Two of their maps really jumped out at me--the first was the map that showed the overlap and differences between search engines. It’s actually a map that they pulled off of What’s interesting about this is that when we are thinking about search optimization we need to be thinking about multiple sites. It also made me think that aggregate sites don’t win out over well branded sites. This has implications for what they are calling “vertical search“. You would think a user would use a vertical search site for the convenience of having all of their jobs in one place. If this were true users would use Dogpile more than they would use Google. Google’s brand far outweighs Dogpile’s so it’s just not the case. Dogpile is also symbiotic of the other sites--if they didn’t exist Dogpile would cease to exist as it’s currently known.

The second and more interesting post was mapping around social networking. This is very exciting work. This will most likely be the future of social networking where you can actually see how your connections visually. Jobster is doing some of this now but it’s not as advanced as what’s shown on infostetics. This concept really makes sense to me because when you think about relationships they are not linear--they are multidimensional. Let me give you an example of this:

You have a co-worker that works in recruiting. She owns a piece of the pie and
you own a piece of the pie and your day to day responsibilities are to service
those clients and fill roles. Your relationship with her is as peers in this
instance. Your co-worker also owns college recruitment and you support her on
initiatives that she is driving. Your relationship with her here is as your
project lead. You also know her husband and go out for drinks with them on
occasion. Your relationship with her here is as a friend. Some relationships can
obviously be very complex but I think this demonstrates that relationships are
not linear.

They also show how this same concept can be used in e-mail. Furthermore, David Lefkow also had a post recently mentioning how cool Google Earth is. This is another example of visually mapping search. All of this research will have implications for how we recruit--the web is becoming more and more multidimensional than it has ever been.

It’s RAD!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Cybersleuthing & Digibility

I just came across two very interesting blogs. This first is Digibility authored by Jim Stroud and the second is Cybersleuthing by Shally Steckerl. Both of these authors are Microsoft employees. If you want to be top of your game in on-line recruitment then you should check these guys out--especially Shally Steckerl--a lead researcher at MS.

If you want to simplify the business world into three main categories from the context of innovation here it is:
  • There are those that innovate--changing the way we work in live with their inventions; they are rapidly changing the marketplace
  • There are those that react to this; they try to catch up and make sense of the change around them
  • There are those that ignore the change; they don’t want to believe things are changing around them and do nothing to keep up with the advances

The on-line recruiting world is changing. Search is more relevant than it has ever been and search optimization is critical. If you don’t understand this or don’t know what this is you should. Shally and Jim are a good place to start. If you are completely unfamiliar with this subject then some of their postings may be confusing. Shally in particular can be a bit daunting.

Regardless, check out their posts and start asking about search optimization for your recruitment site and job postings if you aren’t doing this already. Both of their sites are included below:

The Digability Blog
The Cybersleuthing Blog

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Make vs. Buy

I just read an interesting article about make versus buy talent acquisition decisions. I posted a link to the article below. The article presents a case for firms that have high R&D investment and short product release cycles to hire external talent versus train an internal workforce. They go on to say that if you have longer product release cycles and lower R&D investment than it’s better to train your internal workforce. The article is focused on technology firms.

Check out the article and post a comment if you agree or disagree with this….

Make vs. Buy

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Go Cheap or Go Brand

David Monreal posted an interesting comment on my blog asking, “why spend X in Monster or any other big job board if I can use a cheaper small one and get also listed in Indeed, WorkZoo or Hotjobs.”

First, this is a great question David, and I have an answer for you. The answer is brand recognition. This is still one of the most important factors driving traffic to a site. Most of the job boards, job search and other job tools out there are not genius technology. The reality is you can hire a web developer and build a crummy job board in no time. The true genius comes from the ability to get your brand through the massive clutter.

Here is a simple exercise to test this theory. Go find a few of your top performers—not including recruiting or HR. Then ask them if they have ever heard of Indeed or WorkZoo (Jobster is a different story because they actually are making huge strides in brand strength, but still have a long way to go). Now go ask them if they heard of Monster? What do you think the answer will be?

As recruiters we have to be careful not to underestimate the brand of the top job boards. We live in the recruiting world and read about all the new tools out there—but does the average person? You can post to some cheap job board and have it picked up on Indeed but do you think there are more people looking for jobs on Indeed or Monster? Just because there are thousands of jobs posted there doesn’t mean the people you need are there.

Hotjobs has an interesting model—they say you can search the web for jobs. Have you ever conducted a test search on their site? Try it and see what comes up. Hotjobs postings come up first—several pages before you get to general web postings. Then the kicker is that their search algorithm excludes their competitors—you don’t see Monster postings popping up. So the reality is that it’s not a true web search.

The one job board that seems to consistently fly under the radar that in my opinion should have competitors worried is Craig’s List. Their brand is viral and their traffic is very strong. In my opinion they are the Linux of the on-line job advertisement world. Until the Indeed’s, WorkZoo’s and SimplyHired’s of the world increase the brand strength I wouldn’t put my money on the cheap job boards. But hey, throw your jobs up on the free boards and on your blog and let these sites spider them. There’s no harm in this.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Innovation: Through Thick and Thin

My pals over at Jobster have given me an excuse to swim back up to the surface from my staffing abyss and do some blogging. It looks like Jason is back at it talking about what Jobster is all about. He recently did a webcast from the September ERE conference. Feel free to check out the link below to see what Jason has to say.

Here's the link to view the video:

The thing I like about Jason and Jobster is that they seem to be in it for the right reasons. They are a company in search for a better, more innovative way to recruit. is this way as well. The reality is that they care about the recruiting industry and want to make it better—I don’t believe it’s all about profit for these two organizations. We often get excited about the very small start-ups and criticize those that are in the spotlight. However, many of those small start-ups are working to build a brand and then just sell it off to a larger company. I’ve been very under impressed with this. These mostly comprise of 30 something’s trying to retire early.

This all goes back to choosing a career you love. Look at Jeff Taylor—he can retire but he is starting another company called Eon’s. It’s a company that will be focused on the Baby Boomer’s. I suspect that Jason and Jeff will be at it for a long time whether they are rich or poor—again, because they are in it for the right reasons. So next time you talk to someone saying they want to start some new recruiting site and sell it off to a larger company—you got to ask yourself…what are they doing to make our industry better, faster, smarter?

Bravo to the true recruiting innovators out there…..and thanks for staying with it through the ups and downs…..