Table of Contents
Top 100 Influencers v 1.76 Bob Corlett
Great talent in the HR and Recruiting universe rarely arrives in a straight line fashion. None of the stories of the Top 100 to date involve a person who went to school to become a member of the HR Industry. This is particularly ironic when you think about the amount of energy that gets spent trying to get the right people trained for the right job. Given the serendipity with which HR influencers arrive on the scene, it’s surprising that there isn’t an HR Silo for Talent Randomization.
Bob Corlett is a great example. He began his career as a Systems Engineer at EDS. (Bob says that you should interpret ‘Systems Engineer” as ‘business process guy’). In his early career, he helped companies map and transform processes. Once the discipline waas formalized, it was called business process reengineering. Bob began back in the days of Deming and Total Quality.
That background is the essence of Corlett’s impressive contribution. Although he doesn’t use the word, Corlett practices a Kaizen approach to life and work. Simply, Kaizen is about a sustained focus on focus upon continuous improvement; a relentless search for the better way. Corlett applies his Systems Engineering skills to the delivery of talent and the building of his business.
From his view, influence is the essential element of effective work as a headhunter (which he is) or a leader in HR. Influence is what allows people to see possibilities. Influence changes the level of appreciation for the object of influence. It has two basic elements.
First of all, you have to meet the bare minimum threshold for credibility. He calls it ‘curb appeal’. Do you look legit and are you an actual expert or are you just another poseur. Without curb appeal and expertise, there is no influence.
The second component is the make or break aspect. Do you get to frame the issue? Once you have the ability to shape the conversation, you have everything you need.
Influencers shape thought with a combination of expertise, credibility and the willingness and capacity to own the entire argument. They probably don’t spend much time counting up the dimensions of their own personal influence. They are much more likely to be making things happen.
One of the key issues in the measurement and assessment of influence online is the virtual impossibility of getting a handle on people’s ability to have impact. The way that influence manifests itself spans the entire range from motivating to destroying motivator.
Preventing things is as influential as making them happen. And, organizations and industries need both aspects of influence.
Corlett’s Recruiting process includes a massive reengineering of the entire process from the job narrative to the number of people who get to see resumes. Here’s how he describes the process of engaging a candidate:
Step 1. Pass the first smell test.
Step 2. Tell the candidate an interesting story about the company or the job.
Step 3. Then ask, “Do you want to have a conversation?”
Step 4. Have a very disciplined phone conversation focused on the prospect’s competencies
Step 5. Candidate isn’t sold, she has a conversation about fit. Reads the blueprint has professional interview, not sales pitch.
Step 6. Help them be consistent in the interview process
Bob understands that there is more to the game than perfecting the process. Recruiting is changing. Increasingly, HR Departments, Vendors and other ecosystem members are all becoming publishing houses. The next wave of industry innovation is all about content development and management. Corlett is way out ahead of the game on this.
The company’s newsletter is designed to arm the decision makers who are their customers. The newsletter covers talent and business strategy questions. The fact that he edits it and writes for it is no small tribute to his understanding of where the industry is headed. Here are a couple of examples.
And, just for emphasis, here’s his current bio:
Bob Corlett is the founder and president of Staffing Advisors – a retained search firm in Washington DC. Despite being half the cost of everyone else in exec search, or perhaps because of it (their fees average 12.5% of annual salary) they have earned the staffing industry’s only award for exceptional client service – Inavero’s 2011 “Best of Staffing” award.
His company is totally focused on serving small to midsize businesses, associations and nonprofits – so you may notice that Bob does not seem to care much about hiring problems outside of that realm, or branching into other services.
As the developer of The Results-Based Hiring Process®, Bob is one of Washington’s better known thought leaders on staffing and recruiting. You can read his blog posts in The Washington Business Journal, in his email newsletters, on his company blog – The Staffing Advisor, and on Twitter. (Of course there is a separate blog, twitter account and Facebook fan page for job seekers).
Bob volunteers with the RecruitDC unconference crowd and also runs his own a face-to-face networking group for HR and staffing pros, called the Staffing Alliance of Maryland Employers.
Heather Bussing is a regular contributor to our HRExaminer Editorial Advisory Board. Heather has practiced employment and business law for over 20 years. She has represented employers, unions and employees in every aspect of employment and labor law including contract negotiations, discrimination and wage hour issues. While the courtroom is a place she’s very familiar with, her preferred approach to employment law is to prevent problems through early intervention and good policies and agreements. Full bio…
Ideas Are Free But Content Isn’t- Copyright and the Internet
by Heather Bussing
I’ve seen lots of questions and opinions lately about when it’s okay to use someone else’s content, why scraping is not okay–but excerpting and linking is and what constitutes plagiarism.
First, the law is way behind reality. Almost all intellectual property law is based on the idea that there is something tangible that you can own and attach ownership rights to—like a book or a song or a painting.
Most internet content is organic: it changes quickly in both form and content and is distributed infinitely within minutes. It can be edited over time—sometimes by the author—or with a wiki or a social network site–by the entire community.
This is not something you can cart into a courtroom as Exhibit A. Internet content changes every time someone joins a community, posts a new article, comments, makes a friend, or adds a photo or video. There is no HR Examiner or Facebook page or Twitter, especially Twitter, that you can print out or point to as being a specific thing over time.. The law can’t begin to handle that.
Ideas Are Free
Next, the basic principle of intellectual property law is that you can NOT own an idea. Ideas are free. It’s only when an idea takes form through publishing or creation of a thing like a photograph or a play, that ownership rights attach.
Those ownership rights– intellectual property, are either industrial or copyright. For a great discussion of intellectual property law, see the Manual by the World Intellectual Property Organization here.
Industrial rights are generally patents and trademarks that apply to inventions, scientific discoveries and commercial use of trade names and logos. The primary purpose of industrial rights is to protect against unfair competition and to give the inventor or first creator an initial protected right (usually 20 years) to make money from the creation.
It takes a lot of investment in time and energy to create something—not so much to steal it from someone else.
Copyright covers every other pin-downable expression of ideas– including print, music, plays, artwork, film and recordings, and digital works such as computer programs or databases. Copyright does not cover the ideas themselves.
So I could wonder aloud: Hmmm. Wouldn’t it be a great idea for lawyers to hire sourcers to find witnesses and get background information on the people, judges and attorneys involved in a lawsuit? My wondering aloud is just an idea that I’m playing with. But now that I have written it down in this blog post, I think that I should get an equity share in your sourcing business for lawyers because the idea was mine.
Except that intellectual property does not protect the idea. All a copyright protects is the unauthorized use of your work in the form that you create it. So I don’t get an equity share in your sourcing business after all. It was still just an idea that you can use. It’s just that you can’t copy my blog post without my permission because I have a copyright to these words in this particular order. (It’s a great idea though and I still want an equity share.)
You don’t need to do anything to copyright the things you write. It happens automatically by creating it and putting it out in the world. You can register your work and get additional protections, but you have the copyright just by creating the work.
Gift or License
When you give permission for someone to use or copy your work, it can either be a gift or an exchange for value.
A gift is just that—you let someone have it and use it. If you give it as a gift, you can’t take back permission. Gifts are irrevocable.
An exchange for value is usually a license. A license is when you give someone permission to use your stuff. Licenses are revocable by the person who gives it.
So if I grant an online community like Facebook or Recruitingblogs or ERE a license to use and publish my posts, I can change my mind and take it back—delete my post and member page and quit.
You can also sell various forms of rights in your written work. So a book contract usually grants the publisher very broad rights to use and sell the story for a certain amount of time in exchange for a percentage of sales. It’s often called selling the book, but it’s really a license to publish and sell the published versions. The author still owns those words in that order.
Or you can sell the whole thing.
Plagiarism is a related idea that has to do with taking someone’s words and saying they are your own. Plagiarism always involves a copyright violation—but the idea is that you stole the credit as well as reproduced it without permission of the real author.
Fair Use Doctrine
The place that users and the courts are struggling with is what constitutes reproduction. Generally free use includes quoting from a work, provided the author is mentioned and the quote is not extensive (fair use doctrine). Other free use includes using a portion for news reporting or use of the work for illustration in teaching or for educational purposes.
How much of an excerpt is fair use? No one knows. The Fair Use Doctrine is part of the Copyright Act that sets out the factors to determine whether a use should be free or whether the author should be compensated for the use. There are four factors which are intended to be nonexclusive guidelines in determining whether the use is Fair Use:
1. Whether the use is for commercial purpose or for educational or non-profit purposes;
2. The nature of the copyrighted work;
3. The amount and percentage of the copyrighted work that was used; and
4. The effect of the use on the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The courts have not really dealt with blog excerpts yet. They have dealt with thumbnail images which are copyrighted photographs and images you can find all over the internet and anytime you do a Google image search. The 9th Circuit in Google v. Perfect 10 has determined that thumbnails are basically an excerpt of the full sized image, so they can be used on the internet without compensating the image creators. If you have time, this case has a great description of how the internet works. (As a photographer, I’m not sure I agree with the result, but as an internet user, I think it’s the right one.)
How to Use Other People’s Work on the Internet
With these principles in mind, excerpting a short quote with a mention of the author and a link to his or her original post is the proper way to use another blogger’s material. Copying the whole thing is illegal and a clear copyright violation—you owe the author money.
There is a good argument that failure to link to the original post can be a copyright violation too because the value of a good post on the internet is the traffic and exposure the post receives. Traffic is what advertisers look for when they decide to spend their money on an ad. Traffic is also what moves a website to the top of the pile in a search -which is how you or your product gets found. If no one reads you, it doesn’t matter what you say.
So when you use someone’s work on the internet, always give credit, don’t copy the whole thing and always link to the original post.
Colin W. Kingsbury is the president and co-founder of HRM Direct, a leading SaaS provider of applicant tracking and onboarding systems to mid-sized organizations. Colin brings a lifetime of experience from both in and outside of the software industry, having previously held positions in product management, software engineering, sales, and as a newspaper journalist with expertise in knowledge automation, and has consulted on technology and business practices for Northrop Grumman, Boeing, General Electric, and the US intelligence community. Full Bio
World’s Most Offensive Job Board
by Colin W. Kingsbury
I’m thinking I should start a job board called TheWanted. The rules for signup would be very simple: candidates have to prove they’re currently employed. The slogan for HR clients could be, “Used by all, admitted by none.”
What else could we do to build the world’s most offensive job board? I’m only half kidding about this.
I went on Monster the other day to figure something out for a client, and was flabbergasted at the amount of junk that site threw at me. It’s like trying to read the want ads walking through a carnival funhouse. If this is the alternative to The Ladders, then you can put me down for a subscription.
The #1 complaint of recruiters is the deluge of bum candidates; the #1 complaint of candidates is applying for 25 jobs they think they’re honestly qualified for, and hearing zilch from anybody. The feedback mechanisms in this ecosystem are a mess.
I can’t help but think that the more unspoken rules one breaks, the closer one might get to an online recruiting experience that delivers real results for candidates…
Next week, we’ll be launching HRxAnalysts at the Spring ERE. As things move in that general direction, various pieces are falling in place. For instance, here’s the company Manifesto:
HRxAnalysts is the first company to treat the HR Industry as a mature marketplace teeming with brands and customers. Our job is to quantify the people who work in HR, their needs and ambitions. Simultaneously, we quantify the elements of the brands of the companies that serve those HR workers.
HRxAnalysts is the only company in the world that measures and reports on the psychographics of the HR profression. We have just completed the largest ever survey of the attitudes, demographics, lifestyle choices, politics and attitudes of the people of HR. From us you can learn about the career choices they make, the way they spend their time, and what turns them on.
We are also the only company that measures the difference between a vendor’s intention for their brand and the way that buyers and users perceive it. Our surveys range from customer satisfaction to an apples to apples comparison of functionality in the various HR silos.
In all communications, there is an inevitable difference between the message that is sent and the message that is received. This is really true in the HR Marketplace. The story the vendor tells and the narrative the HR customers get are always going to be different.
We help vendors understand how they fit in the market and what customers think of them. The brand that matters is in the mind of the customer or potential customer. We help vendors see their brand and understand what the market is asking.
We give voice to the desires and realities of life in the HR work world. Vendors benefit from having a clear, projection free, quantified picture of the real world. People who work in HR benefit from a market that more clearly understands their needs and requirements. The HR Profession benefits from having a single source quantified narrative about its work and values.
Mostly, we ‘Mind The Gap’. We’ve taken this everyday caution on British subways and applied it to our work. We mind the gap between brand promise and performance. We mind the gap between stereotype and reality in the HR Workforce. We mind the gap in the HR Industry.
Among the bits of news, we’ll be releasing the industry’s first ever Psychographic Research Report. Bret Starr, who is both underwriting the project and helping pull the report together describes some of the data here. Shortly, expect to see an executive summary (with some meat on the bones) and a fully fledged website.
If you’re headed to ERE, let us know.