Tag Archives: CV

SEEK Launches Jobseeker Profiles and it’s Better Than Expected

This week saw the promised launch of SEEK’s foray into the online CV database market with Jobseeker Profiles.  The premise behind this is an attempt to flip the traditional job board model on its head and turn it into a proactive job search tool for job seekers, rather than reactive one.  Instead of applying to job ads as they appear on the site, this enables job seekers to post their CV and profile onto SEEK’s database and become searchable by recruitment agencies and employers looking for keywords or experience contained within those CVs.

Of course, this is a bit like when the football A-League was announced and launched back in 2005, bringing professional football to Australia and New Zealand for the first time.  Many people were like, “OK that’s cool, but really it’s about time seeing as every other country in the world has a professional football league already.”  So it is with this, with job board goliaths like Monster already having pioneered this facility many years hence.

So will it take off in our region?  The traditional resistance has always been that in a smaller market (particularly New Zealand) job seekers are going to be less inclined to post their details publically looking for a job in case their current employer should happen to stumble upon it.  I imagine SEEK will have set up numerous screens to protect the obvious identity of the candidate, until the candidate permits the release of their details to the employer, but it is still a cultural mindset that will be hard to shift.  The reaction amongst many of my fellow recruiters has been pretty under-whelming so far, a bit like the opening game of the A-League which I attended where Newcastle Jets lost 1-0 at home to Adelaide Utd.  A lone header from the visitors punctuating an inability for either team to string any passes together stuck a pin into the barely inflated pre-game bubble of excitement.

But I am an advocate of change and innovation if nothing else, so I am committed to giving this new thing a go.  And seeing as it’s Friday Whiteboard Day I thought I might as well provide you a running commentary of how I get on with my first foray into Jobseeker Profiles:

–          Open browser and click into SEEK.co.nz.  Looks familiar, notice the tile in the bottom “Look for a job while it looks for you, employers and recruiters are searching for people like you now”.  OK so that’s for the job seeker, but what about me?  I want to see what profiles I can find.

–          Click into it anyway to see if that’s where I should go…no it’s just for the job seeker.  OK well I’ll take my usual route for posting ads and click on “Advertisers Post a Job Ad” at the top of the screen.

–          Aha, here we go.  A new “Candidates” column on this page.  Click into “Jobseeker Profiles for your roles”

–          OK it all looks pretty nice, excitement and anticipation starting to build, where do I go next?  Only place I can see to go next is clicking on “your roles”

–          Here we go – familiar page but with a new “Jobseeker Profiles” column.  It is telling me there are 70 jobseeker profiles available for my “Experienced Recruitment Professionals” job ad – sweet.  Got to check this out, click on the 70.

–          Reduce the field to 29 by adding the keyword “recruitment” (as I am looking for experienced recruiters here, the word must surely appear on all profiles of experienced recruiters).  That also thankfully eliminates the “Hard Warking Boy” who wants to be a butcher (not sure which letter he mis-typed in that sentence)

–          Must say it looks like there might be one or two useful profiles for me here…have a scout through them.  As an introductory offer SEEK are giving away 10 free profile views per job ad so I’ll compile my short list and see how it goes…

–          OK got my 10 job seekers and click “Checkout”.  7 will have their CV’s released automatically and 3 are private profiles, so they get to review my job ad before releasing their info (this is where jobseekers worried about their boss seeing them looking can cover their arses)

–          2 of them are already registered with me.  One is a candidate I already placed 3 weeks ago.  The others are there for me to peruse and decide what to do with.

Overall I have to say this is quite a slick process.  It looks good and, once you have found your way into the right area of SEEK, it is very easy to use.  As for whether it will throw up the results recruiters are looking for?  Well I must say I was surprised to see the profile of a candidate who I have already placed.  This proves irrevocably that this could work very well for us in recruitment.  The fact he applied to me directly as well as posting his own profile meant I was able to work reactively on finding him a job, but this shows how it could become a more proactive process.

Looking at the rest, I will make contact, but on first glance doesn’t appear likely there will be the right fit in there.  But as this is taken up by more and more agencies and employers then more job seekers will load their details up and the quality of the database will improve.  I can definitely see this being of benefit, especially for overseas candidates moving to, or returning to, New Zealand, who wouldn’t necessarily know who to contact or where to look.

This is a good move from SEEK.  The calls about job boards becoming less and less relevant are getting louder, and have obviously prompted SEEK into launching this new product.  But this kind of move was essential for SEEK to remain relevant, to display some innovation, to just keep us all interested, especially as the likes of Linked In and Google make searching for candidates without job boards a realistic option for many recruiters.  Yes, this has been done before, but I must say SEEK have done this well.  As long as they now invest proper amounts in marketing this new feature to job seekers, to improve the size and quality of their database, then this could be a very useful tool in the recruiter’s candidate sourcing strategy.

Keen to hear about anyone else who has tried out this new feature in their particular sector, and any feedback you might have.

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Fraudulent CV Saga starts to lack Momentum

 

Ali Dia arrived at English Premier League Southampton back in November 1996.  He had been signed by the then manager, Graeme Souness, purely on the basis of some hazy video footage and a phone call, purportedly from World Footballer of the Year George Weah, claiming to be the cousin of Ali Dia and recommending him for a place in the team.

Ali Dia was indeed a Sengalese footballer but he had certainly never played for Paris St Germain or his country, as was suggested in the phone call.  Nevertheless Graeme Souness was bewitched, stars in his eyes, and lined the player up to have a run out in a reserve match friendly against Arsenal.  However, due to a waterlogged pitch, that match was called off, and Ali Dia found himself on the bench for a first team match against Leeds that weekend.  After about 30 minutes he was substituted on for the injured Matthew Le Tissier.

He was abysmal.

He lasted 53 minutes before being substituted off again…and he was never heard of again.  Le Tissier recalled the story in a TV interview many years later and said:

“[He] was unbelievable. He ran around the pitch like Bambi on ice, it was very, very embarrassing to watch.”

 

Souness had been the subject of a hoax.  The phone call from “George Weah” had actually been from a student friend of Ali Dia’s and, although he had played at the lower levels in France and Germany, he was nowhere near the level required to perform in the elite Premier League.

This week we have heard how Momentum Consulting have been involved in their very own Ali Dia hoax with the story of Stephen Wilce, placed by Momentum in the role of chief defence force scientist, breaking after an expose of fraudulent CV claims on the current affairs programme 60 Minutes.  Wilce’s claims of armed combat experience and British Olympian sledging exploits were exposed as lies.  He resigned from his post, which he had held for 5 years, the very next day.

Now obviously this is a trifle embarrassing for Momentum, it’s not a great look, but let’s be honest about this – nearly any recruitment company out there would have acted in exactly the same way.  For what is our role as recruiters?  I believe the chief and primary role is to identify, source, attract and present talent to our clients – but ultimately the final hiring decision has to come down to the client themselves and they have to take the brunt of responsibility for poor hires.  This is the kind of role that any recruitment consultant would be unlikely to have real expert, deep, intimate understanding and knowledge of.  Of course you can take a detailed job brief, do some research, and put together some sourcing strategies, but ultimately it is to be expected that the Three-Man Panel of Experts that Momentum put forward their short-list to should be the ones held accountable for failing to identify Wilce’s lies and inaccuracies.

Yet all week long we have heard Momentum being attacked in the media about their involvement in this, almost as if it is entirely their fault.  The chief antagonist has been that walking tabloid Paul Henry on his Breakfast programme.  He had John Key in on Monday – all he wanted to do was attack the recruitment agency – and John Key rightly deflected his ire towards the investigation that is underway for he knows that the deficiencies of Defence and Intelligence Service are going to come out way ahead of any mistakes made by Momentum.  Yet the next day Paul Henry had James Sutherland in from Resume Check – again he insisted on turning the focus on the recruiter – even ridiculously suggesting they be removed from recruiting roles for the new Super City.

In many ways this is to be expected.  People like Paul Henry make a living through sensationalism and he will often deploy the “shock jock” approach to news reporting to boost viewing figures among his scandal-hungry followers.

But what has really annoyed me is some of the smirking, holier-than-though, sycophancy on evidence by other recruiters.  I know tall poppy syndrome is alive and kicking in New Zealand but don’t you people realise that any public attack on Momentum is, as far as the rest of the non-recruitment world is concerned, an attack on the entire recruitment industry as a whole?  They don’t differentiate.  The behaviour of one recruitment firm is a blueprint for the behaviour of the whole industry as far as they are concerned.  If you hear of a car salesman selling a lemon on Target one night, does it just affect your views towards that car dealership, or the industry as a whole?

Earlier in the week I assumed that the level of criticism must be because Momentum had done absolutely no background checks at all, not even reference checks.  And whilst I thought that was not ideal, I was able to recall many occurrences where clients of mine have told me that they will do the reference checks themselves, so I haven’t done them.  I have even worked next to recruiters who have completed empty reference checks consisting of nothing but a full-stop, just so they can get the paperwork through the CRM system and get the invoicing sent out on time.

You know this happens out there.

But in this case I thought, well it’s Defence, if they told me that they would do the background checks then that, to me, would make a lot of sense and I would happily leave them to it.  So what will be really interesting to hear is who was actually responsible for conducting employment reference checks and probity checks?  Momentum or Defence?

I must say I have been surprised by the lack of comment from Momentum, apart from this response from MD Bede Ashby.  Are they adopting a dignified silence?  I for one am eagerly awaiting clarification on all of this because the longer it goes on, the worse it will be for the reputation of us as an entire recruitment industry, not just Momentum.

The final word has to go to Graeme Souness who released Ali Dia from his contract after just 2 weeks at the club (note the speedy response – how bad a candidate can Stephen Wilce really have been if he lasted 5 years in the job?)  “I don’t feel I have been duped in the slightest,” explained Souness afterwards.  “That’s just the way the world is these days.”