Friday, July 22, 2011

Team or Company?

When looking at a new job you’ve got to consider a bunch of in particular is what’s more valuable to you: the company name or the team you’re joining.  

Now, in some cases they are the same thing right?  Joining a start up?  The team IS the company.  However, joining a larger organization like Apple or Microsoft you really need to consider the specific group you are joining as much as the overall company.  The question is, how do you make that call?  Alas, a few tips:

1) What can you learn?  This is really the crux of the issue right?  I mean, if a job is with an amazing team you can learn a ton even if it’s not the worlds greatest company. Assuming you learn a ton, you can then grow your skill set and long-term you’ve made a great move even if it ends up being a shorter term gig.

2) Reputation - Great team but a company with a bad brand?  Tough call honestly but I think you stay away from companies with bad brands if you can....for example.  Enron calls?  Um, pass.  Now, there are exceptions right and you can justify anything but as a general rule....avoid it if you can, even if the team appears awesome.  Not worth the risk.

3) Networking - The flip side of bullet #2 of course is networking right?  Some companies or organizations have AMAZING networks...getting into that network can be as valuable as the role. (Think Harvard)  So, if you have an opportunity to join an org with one of those legendary networks you should jump on it.

4) Other opportunities - Huh?  Consider other gigs before you even take the new one?  That’s right.  Here’s why.  If you are joining a company like Microsoft or IBM...whatever.....there are TONS of opportunities within the org that you’ll have the ability to compete for in the future.  So, let’s say you join a team in Boston...18 months later you’re a top performer and the world is your oyster.  Of course the flip side of this is you absolutely-positively have to perform to take advantage of these roles....and typically, it’s hard work so just be ready to bust your tail and make things happen.

5) Trust your gut - Sage advice here but if you gut tells you something is probably is the wrong company or team.  If you just can’t stop thinking about how great a gig it is and how cool the people are then you’ve meet a good crew.  You might think I’m crazy but I’m a huge believer in trusting you instincts when looking at gigs.  

Ok, that’s about it......just remember a new job is about much more than just the job description and your day-to-day work.  It’s about personal growth, professional brand and how it fits into your overall career........until next time, good luck out there.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Early thoughts on "Google+" for recruiting and networking

Ok, so we all know that Google+ is the hottest thing in social media right now.  Everyone have an account already?? (I have a few if you need one)  

I’ve been playing with it for a while now and I have to admit, as a recruiting tool there is a lot of potential here.  To me, the problem with social recruit is and continues to be that it’s very hard to draw the line between the “personal you” and the “professional you”.  

Anyone who’s friends with me on Facebook has to put up with all kinds of posts about my family, concerts and political rambling......oh, and the occasional recruiting insight too.  So what I’d done is drawn the lines myself....Twittter is for work (mostly), Facebook is for fun and my professional Facebook page has about 4, yeah, not a big winner there. Then, of course there is for sure but definitely more professional.  My issue with LinkedIn, it’s hard to organize.  If you’ve got 500+ connections it’s really hard to organize them and going back in time to 2005 to add notes on my connections is not happening.  

Well, I think, Google+ has a change to be that recruiting tool we’ve all be looking for and will take social recruiting to the next’s how:

Circles - Ok, by now we have a million names for the people we associate with via social media (friends, followers, connections, etc etc) but Circles are a little different.  Basically Google+ allows you to decide VERY easily who goes into what Circles and also allows folks to be in multiple Circles.....all of them only visible to you.  How do you use this as a recruiter or job seeker?  Easy.  Create circles and target your content.  Here’s an example:

Jeff recruits engineers, has a bunch of friends from college and also does a lot of networking with other recruiters (some of them former college buddies).  So, I’ve created Circles for “Software Engineers”, “Coworkers”, “Recruiting Folks”, “College Buddies” and “Family”.  Some of my content goes to all of those folks, some of it is VERY targeted and some of it crosses multiple genres allowing ME to control who sees what and make sure I’m making efficient use of my social network and not just spamming away to people who only care about my open roles

The key here is quickly and efficiently use Google+ to split you network into easy to use Circles and maximize your impact.  If you are a recruiter, setting up Circles for each of your candidate types and tailoring your content to those folks is an absolute no-brainer and something the other social networking tools don’t do as well as Googe+

Takeout - This honestly is so cool.  Takeout allows you to take your data out of not only Google+ but any Google product.  You can learn more here but the reason this is so cool is that the data is yours and it comes in portable open formats that you can import that data to other services as you please.  My favorite thing?  You can download any content you’ve pushed through your Google+ account.  Not to mention, quick and easy downloading of all your contacts from Google+ in easy to use vCard format organized the same way you organize them via Circles.....without jumping through hoops. Also, shout out to the Google team in Chicago on this....rock on guys!

Sourcing via +1 - This one isn’t a reality yet...but give it time.  +1 (more info here) basically allows your social circle to recommend links and push relevant content into your search results.  Um, give this time but for recruiters this could be the holy grail.  Imagine you have 1000 folks in your Circles...organized well so you are pushing them fresh and exciting content.  Now, imagine these folks using +1 to recommend articles and other content related to whatever field they work in.  Still with me?  Ok good...because when you search the web for the latest news in your field...voila.....some of the people you are connected to happen to be recommending all kinds of content related to your search.  As a recruiter, these folks are great networking contacts or even potential candidates because they are looking at the same content you are!  Now, again, this is NOT happening right now but give Google+ and the idea of being able to “+1” content and you can imagine a world of much more robust and targeted recruiting.

Just a few quick thoughts, obviously more to come but If you are using Google+ and have a few more tips please share them here, I’ve seen a few other blogs on this so it’s exciting to watch as everyone takes a different look at this new and exciting too.  That’s it for this week, until next time good luck and happy hunting