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Today, we’re unveiling the second in our series of lists documenting the online world’s Most Influential People in HR and its subsets. This list, the Top 25 Most Influential Online Recruiters picks up where the First Top 25 list left off. That list, you might recall, surveyed the Top 25 Online Influencers in all of HR.
Once again, we’ve partnered with Traackr, the Boston based online reputation discovery tool, to develop the list. Traackr is a fantastic way to identify the most widely seen and read individuals in a variety of niches. Their expertise is the discovery and ranking of people in very specific niches. Traackr uses a combination of spidering, processing and analytics to develop its lists.
In order to really quantify the dimensions of online influence, Traackr measures three key variables:
- Reach: A measure of the audience size (number of eyeballs) for each individual. Traffic.
- Relevance: The degree to which content associated with the individual matches a cloud of keywords prepared for the analysis
- Resonance: The number of mentions, inbound links and participation found for each individual.
The process is amazing. Given a starter list of key words, Traackr spiders the web based on searches for those search terms. That massive pile of data is then sorted and sifted in Traackr’s analytic sandbox. Links, references, content, name duplication are all identified, assessed and reexamined. Ultimately, after a number of spider-analyze-spider iterations, the list starts to take shape.
Jason Buss is doing some amazing things at the Talent Buzz. His blog is a constant and useful flow of commentary and information designed for the HR/Recruiting community. It’s no accident that he is the top ranked person on our list of the Top 25 Online Influencers in Recruiting. (You ought to subscribe to his rss feed.)
Recently, he published:
These lists cover the universe that exists entirely within the walls of Twitter. He estimates that there are over 10,000 recruiters who are active in some way on twitter. These lists are a nice complement to our project which takes a broader look at the online recruiting coral reef. We used Jason’s lists as one reference and validation point in the search-analyze-search process.
There is always a question of validation. In the first iteration of the process (The Most Influential People in HR List), the validation point was the discovery of novelty. Of the 25 people on the list, only 17 were known to the review board. For this Top 25 Recruiters list, we validated with a list of five names that probably ought to be on the list.
Interestingly, the first draft of the list (after two weeks of data processing) didn’t have Shally on it. It’s hard to imagine a list of influential people in online Recruiting that doesn’t include Shally Steckerl. After some review, we discovered that Shally was not particularly active (up to normal standards) towards the end of the year. We had to broaden the window and redo the analysis to make sure the list included his work.
We learned something really interesting about the world of online Recruiting. It’s very “present tense”. The online world is a “what have you done for me lately” environment that demands the attention span of a twitter addict. If you don’t stay current, you fall off the edge of consciousness.
As we continue this experiment in the measurement of online influence, we’re continuing to learn. The Shally example suggests that influence might have two components: current immediate influence and long term impact. The long term is a measure of quality that is harder to measure.
The list we present today is like any contemporary hits list. The positions are not inevitable, they are just the positions this month. It’s a rapidly changing world out there and it’s likely that many of these names will not be on the 2011 version of the list.
Here are some interesting statistics.
- While the list is fairly US-centric, about 25% of the influencers are international.
- About 50% of the influencers are working recruiters
- About 50% work in vendors or other institutions that support the recruiting industry.
- 30% are women
- 100% have a blog
- 40% have more than one blog
- On average, an influencer has seven different presences in social media (LinkedIn, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs etc)
- 100% of the Influencers have LinkedIn accounts
- 96% are on Twitter.
- 88% are on Facebook
We’d love to get your feedback on the list and the meaning of online influence.
Five Scenarios for the Future of Recruiting 6: Invasion of the Shallybots
I spent an hour on the phone yesterday with yet another entrepreneur who imagined that the future revolved around the ‘eHarmony for Jobs‘.(The idea was tired a couple of years ago) I regaled him with stories of Intellimatch, itzBig, JobFox and 40 other matching services. They all planned to use structured profiles and assessment tests to ensure a fit. The primary problem with these schemes is that they always require too much investment of time (from candidates and employers alike) to actually work. The secondary problem is that the investment required to make the technology make sense is measured in Billion$, not Million$.
Lots of forecasts for the future of Recruiting and HR focus on phenomenal breakthroughs in technology’s ability to personalize and match environments. That’s probably not really going to happen in the foreseeable future. The triple disciplines of sourcing, attraction and selection will continue to require human intervention at the decision making point.
Some commentators are beginning to notice that the world is already heavily served by a bot-mediated culture.
Forget about HAL-like robots enslaving humankind a few decades from now, the takeover is already underway. The agents of this unwelcome revolution aren’t strong AIs, but “bots”– autonomous programs that have insinuated themselves into the internet and thus into every corner of our lives. Apply for a mortgage lately? A bot determined your FICA score and thus whether you got the loan. Call 411? A bot gave you the number and connected the call.
Highway-bots collect your tolls, read your license plate and report you if you have an outstanding violation. Bots are proliferating because they are so very useful. Businesses rely on them to automate essential processes, and of course bots running on zombie computers are responsible for the tsunami of spam and malware plaguing Internet users worldwide. At current growth rates, bots will be the majority users of the Net by 2010.
We are visible to bots even when we are not at our computers. Next time you are on a downtown street, contemplate the bot-controlled video cameras watching you, or the bots tracking your cellphone and sniffing at your Bluetooth-enabled gizmos. We walk through a gauntlet of bot-controlled sensors every time we step into a public space and the sensors are proliferating.
In other words, rather than a huge, monolithic big brother, it’s more reasonable to expect something like a swarm of little tools, Shallybots.
Contemporary software development processes emphasize incremental progress rather than grand vision. While the ‘big idea’ is certainly an important force. tools like the scrum methodology focus on the delivery of high priority results in an interative environment. (Translation: keep your eye on what’s important.) Older approaches to technology projects echoed their industrial roots. The big project/big picture approach with a cascading series of ‘waterfalls’ worked to get a man on the mon. It doesn’t work as well when you want to make daily forward progress.
So, we will increasingly inhabit a world that is riddled with bots. These one task at a time bits and pieces of automation will increasingly hold the responsibility for internet filtration. To the extent that a job req is designed to fill an empty slot (find a replacement worker), bots can be developed on a case by case basis. The technique doesn’t work as well when the job is brand new or the organization is small.
That suggests a world with lots of job boards, sourcing bots and highly targeted advertising networks.
There’s an incredible temptation to think of the future as more of the past with a little something extra. Even asking a question like “What is the future of Recruiting” assumes that things will continue to behave similarly. More likely, lots of little things will get automated and we’ll develop architectures and nomenclatures for the new structures.
Hadoop is the network architecture that underlies the calculation speed of Google and Yahoo. By organizing around single instance problems spread across many, many servers, the framework produces quick results to one-off problems. It’s another aspect of the move to solving micro-problems rather than their imponderable macros cousins.
There are only a few instances of scrum methods and Hadoop implementations in the Recruiting and HR space. Rest assured, they are coming and will be the foundation of the next waves of change. The essence of the approach is to take a lot of bite sized moves to produce change.
In the Shallybot scenario, tens of millions of little alerts and triggers are constantly going off as you move through time and space. Potential employers know you by characteristics and have set thresholds for paying for your attention when they need it. At the same time, sourcers, working at complex dashboards, monitor availability and requirements while they continue to try to discover novel answers to oft-repeated queries. Selection bots use behavioral indices that resemble credit scored background checks to winnow the funnel.
As the tools create ever refined personalization, Recruiting becomes less and less standardized. Nuances for regionalization, industry specifics, cultural attributes and other factors. In the Shallybot future, recruiting produces better matches as a result of 10,000 little things rather than one big one. It’s the opposite of the eharmony for jobs.
This research is sponsored by Pinstripe Talent.
To read the rest of the series:
Lance Haun, one of our Top 100 Influencers in HR is the VP of Outreach at MeritBuilder. One of the industry’s most prolific bloggers (he and Kris Dunn are competing for the gold for blog volume), Haun is in the midst of his first experience as a member of the HR Vendor community. MeritBuilder is a Portland, Oregon based service for the management of incentive programs.
The idea is simple. Companies purchase “MeritBucks” and dole them out to employees in recognition for accomplishments. MeritBucks are fully owned by the employee and transferable between jobs.
The service, which is targeted at the SMB (Small to Medium Sized Business) market, is a web enabled version of things you’ve already seen somewhere else. Incentive companies provide gifts and discounts to companies to give to employees. MeritBucks are redeemable for anything you can discover on Amazon.
The idea of using motivational gifts and bonuses is well understood as a motivational tool. Recognition of a well-done job creates a greater autonomy, increases visibility within your organization, and showcases success. MeritBuilder is a platform for the management and distribution of incentives. It tracks a company budget with allocations down to the supervisory level. It tracks disbursements against the budget.
On the employer side of the equation, the target is companies with somewhere between $5,000 and $100,000 in their incentives budget. The toolset includes thank you note templates, reports, feedback forms and an enormous catalog of things to buy with MeritBucks. Best of all, the system is free. MeritBuilder makes its money from the use of MeritBucks.
It’s the portability features that make MeritBuilder really interesting.
With supplemental features like skills analysis and records of individual performance, MeritBuilder acts like a turbocharged resume for its individual users. Reward records demonstrate job performance in a way that other tools entirely miss. Now, mid you, the SMB market operates differently than the rest of the employment market. Jobs are not advertised in the same ways and the vast majority of SMB companies have no applicant tracking or background checking. A MeritBuilder enhanced resume offers signs of confidence in the place where most jobs are created. (For a clearer view of the market, see this piece on the marketplace from the Five Scenarios for the Future of Recruiting project.)
MeritBuilder operates in a blue ocean segment of the industry. A few years of delivering on their core promises will help them create a distinct marker in the part of the game that has defied organization.
Lance was smart to become a part of the firm.
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 v 2.07
Watching HR Careers To See The Path. LinkedIn Pointers where available (in bold).
- Chawn Weatherly has been promoted at Oasis Outsourcing to vice president, information technology and HR services. Weatherly is an expert in technology solutions for employment-related business practices.
- Tim Pratt has been promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Boston Scientific; he will continue to serve as General Counsel and Secretary. The company will consolidate Legal, Corporate Communications, Government Affairs, Human Resources, Quality and Regulatory Affairs under Mr. Pratt, who joined in 2008. Andy Milani has recently been named Senior Vice President of Human Resources. Mr. Milani joined Boston Scientific in 2009 after a distinguished 28-year career as an officer in the U.S. Army, serving most recently as Chief of Staff for the Army’s Special Operations Command.
- Scott Grubin, 45, was appointed chief talent officer and partner at the public relations firm Porter Novelli. He was previously at Bank of America Securities/Merrill Lynch where he had been head of human resources and first vice president, legal department.
- AIG also announced the appointment of two HR executives to corporate officer positions. Jeffrey Hurd was named AIG Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Communications and Sandra Kapell was named AIG Vice President and Global Head of Talent Strategy and Performance Systems.
- The Purdue Board of Trustees will vote to accept Luis Lewin as the university’s first vice president of human resources.He began working at the Athens, Ohio, school in late 2008 after 20 years at the Tribune Co. From 2000 to 2008 Lewin was the company’s senior vice president of corporate human resources where he oversaw a $30 million budget for human resources, property and corporate security, according to Purdue.
- BMW Manufacturing Co. announced that Annmarie Higgins has been appointed as vice president of human resources. She will succeed Kathleen Wall, who plans to retire at the end of 2010 after 12 years with BMW. Higgins previously worked with Mitsubishi Polyester Film, formerly Hoechst Celanese, where she served as the company’s director of human resources for its Greer facility. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.
In The Know v1.07
Five links and a couple of quick freebies. Reorient your view of HR.
- Removing The Noise
With the data tsunami gaining in momentum, it’s time to narrow your communications windows and batten down the hatches. Here’s one guide to social media input simplification.
- Algorithmic recruitment with GitHub
Future talent markets will include demonstrations of skills and social network analysis. This piece (from a geek, not an HR player) shows the beginnings of that process. GitHub is a website where coders can leave examples of their work. The author steps through the use of an algorithm to find the right talent.
- This is BS: The Criminalization of Failure
Jason Seiden rails against the anti-learning culture we create when we insist on success in all things.- Imagine a world in which learning were criminalized.
- Where zero-tolerance policies were used to punish students for honest mistakes.
- Where doing your best with the information you have and the latest in modern technology were not enough to protect you from liability.
- Where simply anticipating the impact of macro-economic shifts on your company could result in a groundswell of distrust and populist angst, while not anticipating them could get you subpoenaed to testify before Congress.
-Where doing something right but unpopular—ie, trusting others to see beyond the tips of their noses—can get you maligned and cost you your job.
Seidman sez, “That’s our culture”
- The Convergence of Advertising and E-commerce
Tim O’Reilly says that advertising and ecommerce will fuze into one seamless entity with no middlemen. That suggests a future of employer driven job boards with traffic driven by text alerts. Seems unlikely but worth imagining. The future HR department will have to be very web savvy. Today’s players are already archaic.
- The Organization’s Self-Image
Steve Boese steps out of his technology chair an looks at the distance between self-concept and reality. Nice piece to pass around the office.
Top 100 v1.57 Brian Hackett
There are more than 50 small organizations that offer peer to peer networking (in the old fashioned sense) for HR Executives. From the Conference Board and the Recruiting RoundTable (whose parent offers a number of similar forums) to analyst firms like Bersin and Associates to a slew of academic operations (Cornell’s ecosystem is particularly interesting). There are consultancies built around academic figures, Institutes for the Future, and a host of exotic, nichey operations. Some (but not many) vendor user groups accomplish the same end.
There are a number of things that these influential groups have in common. They are:
- Intimate (a handful to forty members in the most effective groups)
- Relatively vendor free (and always vendor neutral)
- Designed to combine networking and education
- Focused on helping members become more effective (in one way or another)
- Loosely facilitated
Some have a greater emphasis on Research (Analysts tend to chart their own courses while larger groups tend to answer the questions of members). Others focus on conversations about what is working and what isn’t.
Most interestingly, there is no central repository that compares and contrasts service and pricing. These are tony groups who don’t really like a lot of attention. There doesn’t appear to be any consistency in the price value equation.
That said, customers are often rabid fans of the service they use. Virtually every Fortune 2000 HR Executive belongs to one or more of these small groups. The networking and cross-competitor information transfer gives members a real edge when it comes to innovation and execution within their companies.
You can think of this arena as ‘the trade show business for real HR decision makers” or “the HR Industry’s Think Tanks”. The institutions are amorphous and live in the shadows. They provide a fast information distribution system while shielding members from an avalanche of sales calls.
One of the more interesting operations is called the Learning Forum. With about a dozen “councils“, LF members meet in groups of 10 to 15 participants about three times a year. A look at their website tells you that these folks are not interested in slick marketing.
The Learning Forum is a network of senior executives who join together for direct, peer-to-peer dialog and sharing of “better practices”. We focus on Leadership Development, HR Strategy, Workforce Planning, KM, Innovation, Wellness and Sustainability. We also run executive level workshops for top teams using Gettysburg, Normandy and other key historical sites to teach timeless lessons of leadership and human nature.
At the heart of the Learning Forum is Brian Hackett. A former Towers-Perrin consultant and director at the Conference Board, Hackett is one of those people (nodes) who are spectacular at making connections. A long time student of evidence based decision making, leadership, innovation, knowledge management workforce planning and a host of eclectic topics, Hackett runs the Learning Forum as a self organizing network. The members set the agenda and the rules.
Hackett is the archetype of a kind of networker not usually covered in the tomes about social interactions (yup, that means Malcolm Gladwell). At the heart of many small HR / Recruiting networks is someone who loves research and experimentation. The ability to make and develop connections comes, in part, from having something interesting to offer in conversation. The essence of real connectors is that they are profoundly curious. It doesn’t take long, when talking with Hackett, to see his wonder unfold. He loves learning and creating environments in which others can learn. What makes Hackett’s connecting work is the fact that he is content rich as a character trait.
Five years ago, Hackett co-founded Apex Performance, a small consultancy that provides what he calls neuro-leadership training. The idea is that performance can be measured and improved scientifically. The firm routinely trains high-end military teams and athletes/teams who want leadership and performance improvement.
Hackett shares our distaste for best practices. Doing the best with what you have is a better formulation for the peer to peer education he facilitates. The learning Forum is all about conversation and adaptation rather than a stream of copycat “best practices”.
Hackett is an advocate of conscious capitalism (as practiced by Patagonia, Whole Foods, Southwest Air) and is fascinated by the economics of trust in and between organizations. At some point during each of our conversations, he recommended Firms of Endearment, the seminal book on conscious capitalism. Integrity, subdivided into keen self-knowledge, project candor and maturity as the components of marketplace love. Love, says the book, distinguishes the great companies from the rest of the best.
When asked for advice to HR professionals just starting out, Hackett said, “Go into business, don’t go into HR until you have some sense of the business. Learn politics and get good at it. Develop financial acumen and expertise (overcome your fear of math). Find a mentor and be a mentor. And, if you want access to the boardroom, do a stint in the executive compensation department.”