Table of Contents
Five Recruiting Scenarios 5: Guild Cities
Across the globe, people are moving to the city. 2009 marked the first time in human history that more people lived in the city than on the farm. We inhabit an increasingly urban planet.
One of the most interesting features of those cities is that they are increasingly organized by profession. Silicon Valley for Software and Consumer Electronics, Seattle for Software and Large Scale Engineering, Los Angeles for Entertainment , Houston for Energy, Austin for Software, New York for Finance and Publishing (what’s left of it), Northern New Jersey for Pharmaceuticals, Boston for Education.
You get the drill. As the economy shifts from manufacturing to more conceptual disciplines, a new economic organization is beginning to emerge. It’s different than the company towns of the past. There’s economic power in the concentration of conceptual expertise.
If you are a software engineer in Cleveland, you are a scarce local resource. Rather than being the key to higher wages and increased security, being a scarce resource makes you vulnerable. When your company closes down, you have to move, essentially.
On the other hand, Software Engineers in Silicon Valley (where they are almost a commodity) are paid 20% better (here’s Cleveland, here’s Silicon Valley). When your company closes down in Silicon Valley, you move next door.
The educational and cultural infrastructure support the companies of the area. So, a software engineer is always out of phase in Cleveland and in phase in Silicon Valley.
The combination of job security, level of challenge and pay differentiation make the Valley (or Seattle or Austin) attractive destinations for people just starting their careers in software and software related disciplines. The same dynamic holds true for most engineering and technical professions, music, entertainment and so on.
Every metro area has its embedded collection of Overhead and G&A (O,G&A) Functions. The lawyers and accountants always live in the boundary areas where there are lots of coffee shops. The HR people inhabit the slightly lower status suburbs. Marketing people live near the HR people. All of the local O,G&A professionals serve the technical people who actually create value.
It’s obvious that HR, Recruiting in particular, has a strong regional bias. If you are in Cleveland, you compete agains Silicon Valley for Talent. If you are in Silicon Valley, you play against your local competition. The budgets, procedures, incentives, priorities and even the skills vary significantly depending on whether you recruit within a region of professional concentration or against it.
Imagine the logical conclusion of this trend. It’s the hyperlocal version of outsourcing. When expertise is concentrated by Geography, the local market gets employees while the national market buys contracts. Increasingly, the company’s financial function is in New York, its lobbying in DC, its IT in one of the IT areas, and so on. Concentrations of workers in a high broadband culture means organizations that are flat and geographically distributed.
How would Recruiting change in a geographically distributed world where major functions are executed by contract?
This research is sponsored by Pinstripe Talent.
To read the rest of the series:
This article comes from Kevin Wheeler, known globally for his interests in learning, recruiting and talent development. HR is reaching an inflection point that seriously affects the direction and scope of the profession and its practitioners. Kevin notices the trend towards results and away from process management. He echoes the frustrations expressed by may CEOs about the utility and relevance of the HR function. In the end, Kevin sees a future for the profession but one that is different from a straight forward trajectory.
As the months progress, the HRExaminer will increasingly host articles from the brightest minds in HR. It’s a real honor to launch that aspect of the work with this piece by Kevin. There are few in the industry whose views are as broad and global. -js
The Way It Is
Since at least 1996 when Dave Ulrich published his well-known book, Human Resource Champions, on the state and future of human resources there has been a constant conversation on how HR can become relevant to business leaders. Simply the fact that the conversation takes place, indicates that HR is in a marginal position within most corporations and is not seen as having much relevancy.
Relevancy implies adding value and being in a position to improve profits, efficiency, or quality. Most business leaders, line managers, and even employees are uncertain of the value HR brings to the organization or its people. Most of them understand the legal and regulatory requirements that HR educates about and enforces, but that is not seen as adding significant value. At best it is perceived as reducing the risk of fines or negative publicity and at worst it is seen as getting in the way of doing things efficiently. Few believe that HR significantly contributes to employee performance, productivity, sales or profits.
Despite the rhetoric, Human Resource functions at large, hierarchical organizations with traditional manufacturing or service employees remain much the same as they were 10, 20 or more years ago. They write policies that try to regulate the ways employees can interact with each other and the outside worlds. They try to establish and enforce pay levels, working hours, and decide who gets recommended for hire. They oversee equal opportunity employment. They create performance management schemes and discharge or layoff employees as rules or broken or need arises. Most of the people who call themselves HR professionals have formal training in the rules and regulations of the country and state or province they work in and many have formal certifications from professional HR organizations or associations.
But this type of HR person and function is slipping into history faster than we may imagine as it becomes impossible to regulate and control people, ideas, or information. A system built on control as a fundamental assumption cannot survive. And, rather than adapt and develop the competencies and attitudes that might allow then to contribute to improving sales, HR people dig in and try even harder to proclaim their worth. They cite the awful legal things that will befall the organization if their rules are not followed and they increase the paranoia that surrounds Facebook and LinkedIn and other social networks or emerging technologies.
The Way it Might Be
HR might instead accept that creative work now means collaborating, sharing, and allowing information and ideas to flow freely. Newer organizations are already using HR in a different way. While there are usually rules and policies, they are often much simpler and less “policed” than those of large organizations. Information is openly shared including salaries and bonuses. Employees are asked to recommend friends and colleagues as candidates for open positions. Recruiting and development become more the responsibility of managers than of some corporate office. Blogs and social networks form the basis of communication both within and outside the organizations and can be harnessed for recruiting candidates, on-boarding new employees, developing current employees and for sharing information.
Does HR Matter?
If we believe, as I do, that innovative and engaged people will be the most important raw material of future organizational and national prosperity, the answer is obviously “yes.” No corporate function represents people, advocates for people, or develops strategies to improve people other than HR.
It has never been more important and I think most CEOs and other executives know that. They are just frustrated and disappointed in those who carry the title HR professional. They don’t see programs leading to improved productivity or profits and that is where HR must improve. If we cannot develop methods that generate these things, we should move on to something else and let those who can do it.
There are number of entrants in the automated job referral business. Long gone are the days of weeding through the resumes of bosses children needing jobs. The ‘send us your friends’ resumes and win a Beamer programs disappeared in the early 00s.
Really, referral means something other than it used to. The current definition began to take shape with the launch of H3. Hans Geiskes, once president of Monster, and Lexis-Nexis before that, built a patented process to process referral payments and harness word of mouth advertising. (read about the referrals advertising market here, here and here). In the middle of the decade, there was an initial rush of products. Jobster, H3 and a half-dozen other somewhat forgettable players entered the market with Social Media 1.0 products.
Anymore, ‘referral’ really has something to do with the number of friends you have on Facebook or the number of followers you have on Twitter. Where referrals used to involve the friends you’d swear by, the now feature the vast array of people you sort-of-might-of-know. This idea, whose strongest proponent is Dr John Sullivan, assumes that you can build an enduring talent pipe ling stratified by discipline and rank and powered by acquaintance. It’s a long way from personally vouching for someone. But, it’s an interesting rethink of the fundaments of sourcing and selection.
As we watch, the core disciplines of HR and Recruiting are evolving while the nomenclature remains the same. Referrals are a perfect example. Contemporary referral systems are mostly complex, single thread, outreach campaigns designed to create candidate flow and (sometimes) identify key sourcing nodes.
There’s a strong undercurrent of pay-for- performance. In the best systems, referral bonus payments are used to optimize overall system performance.
That’s the where we got turned on about Cachinko.
Using a visual interface and a set of easy to understand business rules, Cachinko helps you manage (and distribute referral bonuses to) your ever expanding network of social media connections and other referral network members.
The company, built over the past four years by a team led by Career Builder’s former National Accounts Manager, is a self-funded startup. They are in the business of building “automated referral networks.” With a tight coupling to the company employment website and job aggregators, the service helps you manage a referral driven sourcing process as if it were a multi layered social network.
It’s worth running a small pilot program in your organization,. You move your contacts from outlook to the Cachinko workflow and then start building networks and track records. Cachinko helps you distribute the job and collect data on the paths through which referrals come to you. You pay bonuses using PayPal. Cachinko processes the payments and the tax paperwork.
In some ways, building this kind of referral network is an exercise in multi level marketing. Cachinko has enough experience in the market to be able to make interesting suggestions about the optimal distribution of referral bonuses. (Spending a percentage on leads tunas out to be a smart way to grow your overall network.)
This is another arena in which the performance data that the vendor is amassing is one of the compelling reasons to join the service. In most sourcing operations, measurement is a secondary consideration. This means that the deployment of budgets biased on hunches. With Cachinko, you can test and experiment until you find the optimal spend.
Cachinko looks pretty smart from here. The stong graphic interface, laced with pictures and illuminating the underlying business rules, is easier to navigate than the more standard screens of forms to fill out.
We like the product and think it has a meaningful chance of bringing new life to the referral business.
Our sponsor Pinstripe, Inc. designs, builds and delivers high-performance talent acquisition and management solutions. Pinstripe’s innovative approach to Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) integrates sourcing, recruiting, hiring, on-boarding, and engagement into a complete, end-to-end solution. Pinstripe on-demand hiring solutions are tailored for specific clients across a spectrum of industries including financial services, healthcare, technology, telecommunications and other major industries. For healthcare organizations, Pinstripe Healthcare works with clients to attract the best available talent so they can deliver high quality patient care and reduce overall labor costs.
On The Go v2.06
Watching HR Careers for Clues (Links to Linkedin Profiles (in bold) Where Available)
- Bemis Company, Inc appointed Timothy Fliss as Vice President of Human Resources. Fliss is replacing Eugene H. Seashore, who will assume a new role as Bemis’ Senior Vice President until his planned retirement in 2011. Prior to joining Bemis Company, Fliss spent 19 years at Schneider National, Inc., where he was Executive Vice President of Human Resources. He also spent six years as an officer in the Army Corps of Engineers.
- Jeffrey J. Hurd was named AIG’s senior vice president, human resources and communications. He was most recently AIG’s chief administrative officer and previously worked as senior managing director, chief administrative officer and general counsel of AIG Investments, and deputy general counsel of AIG.
- Purdue University announced that Luis E. Lewin, chief human resource officer at Ohio University, has been selected as vice president for human resources. He was at Ohio U since 2008.From 1987 to 2008, Lewin served in a variety of capacities for the Chicago-based Tribune Co., which owns about 10 major daily newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times. The company also owns television stations and media content syndicator Tribune Media Services.From 2000 to 2008 as the company’s senior vice president of corporate human resources, Lewin oversaw a $30 million budget for human resources, property and corporate security. He successfully led the transformation of the human resources function into a more innovative and leading-edge contributor to the company’s strategic plan.Prior to being appointed senior vice president, he served in several human resource management positions at the company’s corporate level, as well as at the New York Daily News and Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. He also served as publisher of Exito! a Chicago Spanish-language weekly newspaper.Lewin received his bachelor’s degree in 1972 from Wilmington (Ohio) College in psychology secondary education and Spanish and earned a master’s degree in 1974 in modern languages from Ohio University.
- Liz Claiborne Inc. announced that Lisa Piovano Machacek has been appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. Ms. Piovano Machacek will report directly to William L. McComb, Chief Executive Officer, Liz Claiborne Inc. and is responsible for all Human Resources functions across the company.Commenting on the announcement, Mr. McComb said: “I am thrilled that Lisa will be leading Human Resources. Lisa is a long time Liz Claiborne Inc. associate with roots in product development and has a profound understanding of the fashion business. She also has deep connections with and respect from our associates and business leaders, and the essential functional expertise in building high performance cultures and teams and managing complex change. She will play an integral role in the next phase of our five-year turnaround.”Ms. Piovano Machacek joined Liz Claiborne Inc. in 1988 as an assistant in product development for the Liz Claiborne brand. In 1996, she was asked to join a three-year business transformation project ultimately responsible for the development and implementation of SEWN, a proprietary supply chain technology that impacted all aspects of the business. From that initiative, she transitioned into Human Resources in 1999 to serve as an HR Generalist for the Dana Buchman brand. Since then she has held a variety of Human Resources positions across the company, including most recently Vice President of Human Resources for Partnered Brands.
- Harris Stratex Networks, a provider of wireless solutions for fixed and mobile broadband networks, appointed Mimi Gigoux as senior vice president and chief human resources officer. In the role, Gigoux will be responsible for heading the company’s human resources organization.According to officials, Gigoux joins Harris Stratex Networks with over 25 years experience in human resources management, development and communications.Most recently, as the founder of Tribal Works Consulting, Gigoux provided consulting services to both private and public companies. Prior to her consulting role, Gigoux held senior positions at Redback Networks, Digital Fuel, NeoForma, and Mirapoint Technologies . As SVP and Chief of Staff for Redback Networks, Gigoux led organizational changes to address the company’s expansion and later led the integration of Redback into Ericsson.She started her career at Apple Computer working in a range of roles including customer relations, marketing, event planning and communications. “Mimi is a seasoned and well respected leader who brings a wealth of expertise in the key functional areas of human resources including leadership development, executive coaching, mergers and acquisitions integration, recruiting and compensation,” said Harald Braun, president and chief executive officer. Mimi’s many years of experience in understanding and managing complex human resources challenges coupled with her innovative leadership style will make her a tremendous addition to our executive team.”
In The Know v 1.06
Five links to expand your view of HR.
- Informal Learning: An Interview with Jay Cross
In a nutshell, it’s informal learning if you want it and formal when it’s shoved down your throat. Jay Cross, the hidden gem of the Learning Marketplace, says it more eloquently in the interview. Basically, we are moving into an informal learning period. That’s part of the reason that training budgets are declining.
- Go Big, Get Your Employees on the Bus or Go Home
This is the standard formula “Social Media is the wave of the future and companies that don’t acknowledge it are primitive dinosaurs destined for immediate failure”. The mantra goes: “So what exactly does this look like? It means unshackling your employees. It means equipping them with tools, policies and the means to engage with stakeholders around the clock. Finally, above all, it means allowing your workforce to unlock and share their company and subject-matter expertise.” Somehow, anything this obvious is bound to be mistaken. What do you think?
- Outsource Your Personal Chores and Errands
As the world gets smaller and more local, outsourcing key personal responsibilities will be central to maintaining productivity. If you are not following Web Worker Daily (where this link takes you) now is a good time to start.
- Google Ads Preferences
Take a couple of moments and change your ad flow on google to things that interest you. As long as you’re getting ads, they may as well be useful.
- Dissecting An Analyst Relations Failure
The post wraps around a funny (and somewhat offensive) video clip that looks at the relationship between analyst firms (Gartner’s the target in this one) and the vendors who live or die on their recommendations. If you are involved in purchasing decisions, this is the underbelly of the beast.
Top 100 v 1.56 Ann Bares
As she was finishing her undergraduate degree in Social Work, Ann Bares realized that she just didn’t want to do it. Degree in hand, she went shopping for work and found herself in an HR Department. In the first year or so, she concentrated on Recruiting and administrative tasks.
When a job in the Compensation department opened up, she chased it. It meant more responsibility and a promotion. Much to her surprise, working in the comp function fueled her twin passions: quantitative analysis and behavioral influence.
She never looked back. Ultimately, she picked up an MBA from Kellog and led the life of a big time comp consultant.
In the following 30 years, Bares has worked in every conceivable compensation environment. From consulting with the big dogs at places like Watson Wyatt, Bares likes to say that she’s worked with progressively smaller companies. Six years ago, she formed her own firm, Altura Consulting Group.
Most people run across Ann in her blogging role(s). If you look at the December version of the Top 25 Digital HR Influencers, you’ll find her at number 9. While that list only quantifies influence in the online world, it’s a measure of Ann’s success elsewhere.
For most people, compensation is a dry arena for faceless, gray, narrow practitioners. through her myriad online outlets, Ann is able to use the discipline to shed light on key organizational issues.
Ann Bares has spent time around the clan at Fistful of Talent. Her own blog, Compensation Force is a near daily look at Compensation issues through a variety of lenses. She also runs the Compensation Cafe. Her work is routinely recognized in polls like the Fistful of Talent FOT/HRCapitalist v. 6.0 Talent Management Blog Power Rankings.
While the issues are powerful within the profession, Ann has the ability to make them resonate for outsiders. Give Compensation Force and Compensation Cafe a try. You’ll find the engaging analysis of compensation issues flavoring your view of organizational dynamics.
As the HR profession continues its metamorphosis, folks like Ann Bares are leading the way. Her blogs, which were started as a lark, draw readership from all across the business landscape. The combination of great writing, subject matter depth, intelligent analysis and a sense of humor makes Ann an emerging powerhouse of influence. She’s learned to wield social media in a way that changes perception, builds her business and teaches.