How I would have approached GDPR

I’m fascinated by the GDPR debate, where some are suggesting recruitment and HR functions need to assume full responsibility and become experts, and others are suggesting there’s too much hype surrounding the subject.

So I wanted to share how I would have approached it if I was still the Group Head of Resourcing and HR Systems for the world’s second largest private employer, just in case it supports the conversation.

As soon as I had learned about GDPR legislation I would have walked out of my office, turned right, walked approximately 30 paces into Group Legal, knocked on the door of the Group Legal Counsel responsible for global data protection legislation for the entire organisation, and I would have asked her for her timescales for being able to brief me on what I needed to know and learn about it, and evolve and change across my areas of responsibility.

She would probably then tell me that she was still in the process of assessing the impact and specific risk to the organisation as a whole, which when finished would trigger the production of a bespoke set of aligned guidelines and critical activities for the organisation, backed up by one to one support from Group Legal to help manage any implications and changes across all functions.

I would have then gone back to my team, briefed them, then carried on delivering the things I was ultimately responsible for. Over the following months I would have continued to take my lead from her, the guardian and expert of best practice data protection legislation from within my organisation.

Granted, yes, I would have needed a healthy level of understanding of GDPR, which would have grown over time, driven by Group Legal, but I wouldn’t have needed to be educated and trained to the level of a person with ultimate responsibility, unless of course I had ultimate responsibility.

It’s everyone responsibility to know about GPPR and support the implementation of the correct systems and procedures, but it’s probably just one person’s responsibility to own it, and if that’s not you, then I would leave it to them to guide and educate you!

All the very best.

Colin.

Just realised again that I’ve come a very, very long way!

Just had a realisation moment (again) that I’ve come a very, very long way!

I was given an emergency aisle seat for my flight today, 15A, by the window. When we were up it crossed my mind that if I pulled the emergency exit handle I could create a catastrophic event.

I’ve panicked about this many times before, especially as a kid! Psychiatrists would confirm that most people would have the same thought but it wouldn’t even register! I however got a pang of anxiety as my brain tried to convince me it was a very real and probable situation; an obsession.

Then the compulsion tried to set in! The need to prove to myself I didn’t actually want to do this and to demonstrate I am not a bad person. The urge to play over scenarios in my head to give me some comfort and proof. A symptom of my mental difference and something historically I have spent hours, if not days, ruminating about.

This all happened in a matter of micro seconds and Guess what? I just laughed it off, I recognised it was just my human difference kicking in and it wasn’t something I needed to engage in. I kicked it into touch and just carried on with what I was doing, which was proof reading a business plan. I didn’t need to move from my seat as a ‘just in case’, which I would have wanted to do many years ago.

I thought to myself (again); blimey I’ve come along way! So here it is, real-time proof that you can control mental challenges and play the cause at its own game. In my case targeting my rational brain to combat my irrational brain and win.

I personally believe this is a very powerful skill I have developed, which is why I am great in a business related crisis situation. A technology hack or contract going south is a walk in the park compared to the things an OCD brain gets one thinking about and trying to solve.

My mental difference is my USP! Thank you OCD!

Resilience – That’s twice now!!!

My wonderful recent meeting with Charles Walker OBE MP at Parliament, has just converged with my speaking and chairing engagement at Roffey Park Institute’s 70th anniversary event tomorrow, where I will give the HERO Mental Health Readiness Model a great airing.

Charles said he loved the model and that it should evolve further and incorporate resilience as a follow up! Roffey Park Institute, one of the world’s renowned leadership institutes, has produced the Resilience Capability Index (RCI) – http://www.roffeypark.com/resilience-capability-index. That’s twice now!

The world is changing faster than ever and I personally think we have crossed the rubicon where change in general happens faster than our ability to adapt. Think about the political changes in the world lately. Relatively overnight, we have seen demonstrable change in the UK and USA political landscape, with what looks like more examples to follow (eek).

Then look at our reaction to it. It’s one of 50% resistance and a lack of desire to accept it and adapt. It’s also one of 50% anger and demonstration. You still see examples of this every day across traditional and social media. The debate rages on!

I’m not saying that’s a bad thing or wrong, but I predict before mainstream acceptance has happened to these seismic events (whatever that looks like) something massive and related would have changed again. The pace of change in life is just too fast. Look at tech as well! No sooner have you bought something, version (OMG my version is now old) 2 comes along! We just gotta accept more and more change because you blink and you miss the next one.

The continued and seemingly elevating outcry following change, and compulsion to get involved in the debate (quietly points the finger at social media here) by many is a huge source of distraction and potentially stress. That’s not good for personal or professional lives or human and business productivity!

So my point is this. If events like ‘Brump’, that’s Brexit and Trump combined, were accepted quicker by those/us that voted against them, would they/we be less distracted, less compelled to argue against it and less stressed.

In my own world I say yes. My immediate reaction to my initial reaction to these things, to keep my stress levels in check, is to try to accept things as quickly as possible and move on. Not easy but it’s something I am now conditioned to do because the alternative feeds my illness. Does that then make me more resilient than others? If so another positive for having OCD!

Finally, resilience must therefore be a state of mind; well for me it is. I consciously practice resilience as one of my remedies, along with exercise, distraction, CBT, not drinking alcohol (that’s a lie sorry) and by living as healthily as possible. You can apply a reaction to a reaction, and if its a positive to counter a negative, e.g. being resilient, eventually it becomes habitual. Arguably a good habit to acquire! I have a few.

All the best.

Colin – +44 (0)7887 480142 – colin.minto@bigideatalent.com – Join the Mental Health in Business Group

But What About Me???

I think I owe a few people an apology!

So there’s me talking about mental health awareness in business, separately to my day job of advising major corporates regarding their resourcing, HR and HR technology change aspirations, with multiple Group HRD’s and Wellness Heads on the subject of how they support the tens, and hundreds, of thousands of employees they have responsibility over.

Then it struck me after a wellness professional, and separately an HRD, got in touch to invite me in to discuss mental health in their business, and during the business discussion they opened up to me about their own personal experiences.

It dawned on me (err hello Colin) that those ultimately responsible for ensuring the wellness and happiness of everyone working in their organisation, can also have challenges themselves. Obvious I know but not something I immediately considered. I suppose it’s like not knowing your parents have any worries or cares in the world until you witness something!

So taking a step back, this is also going to be true for business leaders. Obvious again, but it just goes to show the extent of how hidden this subject still is. It also brings up an interesting dynamic, that those charged with making a difference for many, might also need support themselves.

So who do they get to turn to? Is it harder for them to open up because of their leadership position? Could they be putting in initiatives for others but not leveraging them themselves? If so does this increase any difficulties they are experiencing?

I can’t answer for them/you, but until I opened up, because I chose to go independent and was no longer employed, I can almost guarantee that in my capacity as a Group Head of Resourcing and HR Systems, I would not have gone mainstream internally about my personal challenges, even if I was putting in support solutions for others.

Sad to say this, but it’s how I would have thought at the time because I have feared for being stigmatised my entire life, something that compounded my particular issues.

So back to the leaders above. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for immediately thinking of those you support over and above you personally. I’m sorry that you might experience a complete set of additional pressures and challenges because of the leadership situation you are in. I’m sorry you might not have someone available in the business to open up to.

But I/we can do something about this. We can open up! We are at the start of a time where this subject is both topical in our personal and business lives. I encourage you to open up if you can find the strength and right opportunity to do so. It was the biggest release for me, and from my own personal perspective it has only been positive.

I have met new people due to a common passion. I have found out new things about close friends, colleagues and customers, because they now have someone they can talk to about things they have buried deep. I have opportunities to talk about something other than end to end resourcing strategy, HR change and HR technology transformation, which is timely because the HR market is a little deflated at present. I have learned things and I have got a huge weight off my shoulders forever!

I am introducing my HERO Mental Health Readiness Model at three events in the next three weeks. It’s going to be extremely hard hitting and liberating. It’s going to be emotional because I know others in the room will either open up publicly, or privately to me afterwards. I know this from experience of delivering smaller, more intimate, workshops on the subject recently. It’s going to be enlightening for all.

hero-mental-health-readiness-model

This all constitutes me doing my bit to support knocking the stigma associated with mental health in the workplace out of sight. Join me, contact me, speak with me, let me speak to your teams, let me run diagnostics in your business.

Let’s all open up, so discussions about mental health become mainstream and comfortable for all, and conditions and availability of support improve.

Let’s Hide No More!

Have a great weekend everyone.

Colin.

Thrilled to become a KidsOut Ambassador

Since setting up Big Idea Talent I have supported KidsOut.

I’m working in partnership with some of my Associates and Wave Recruitment Marketing (all pro bono) to build out a career centre esq solution for them to attract and recruit committee members to run KidsOut Question of Sport events and fundraising evenings.

I was absolutely thrilled and delighted to be invited to become a KidsOut Ambassador this week. One of my greatest personal achievements given the cause it represents.

It’s an amazing organisation and is run expertly by Gordon, his team and the amazing volunteers. The passion everyone puts in to keeping costs to an absolute minimum so the kids it supports get the maximum benefit is incredible.

If you want to do good and have some capacity, please contact me to discuss. KidsOut changes lives for kids and it will change yours too, believe me.

All the best.

Colin.

Have you got nice and shiny but sub-optimal? I’ll tell you for £3.10

formula-one-car-lawnmower

On Thursday I reviewed 24 major employer corporate website, career centre and ATS environments to build an invite list for a product launch I’m doing in late November.

Most of them looked quite good aesthetically, but 22 were unfortunately sub-optimal in terms of basic architecture to enable good search engine accessibility. Two were maybe average. This of course means less ‘effectively free’ job seeker traffic and the requirement for greater investment in acquiring job seeker traffic from search engines, job channels and job boards, and everything that goes alongside this, such as; multi-posting technology, resource burden etc!

I’m still struggling to understand why in 2016, this is the case? Why are corporates settling for ‘nice and shiny’ and ‘looks good’, but not realising what they have is not structured to perform one of the main functions which is to attract visitors!

It’s the equivalent of having a Formula One racing car with a lawnmower engine, a fully digitally connected house with a dial up connection, brogues in a 10K race!

There genuinely are some fundamental basics missing here, which you don’t tend to see within the comparable commercial websites of the world’s leading brands. We can do better than this, which will lead to better outcomes for employers and job seekers.

I have talked openly about HR working closer with Marketing for years and the need for digital marketing talent and expertise to sit within HR as well as Marketing / Comms, but is it happening?

I have also put a stake in the ground with customers to encourage them to think about jobs as products and candidates as consumers – Jobs are Products and Candidates are Consumers

These two logical advancements will make a demonstrable difference!

So here’s an offer. A one hour diagnostic for £3.10. That’s the cost of a large Decaffeinated Mocha in Costa, or equivalent reputable coffee house. Let’s meet up somewhere with good Wi-Fi and/or 4G and quickly run through your digital ecosystem. That’s all it will take to highlight a series of potential evolutions, oh and by the way, the coffee is actually on me!

colin.minto@bigideatalent.com / +44 (0)7887 480142

All the best.

Colin.

People are the jigsaw pieces of productivity in business!

people-jigsaw-2

Assume everyone in your business is equal in terms of the overall contribution they make, regardless of the role they perform!

Assume 100% productivity in business equals 100% business objectives achievement and 100% shareholder/stakeholder expectations met!

Divide 100% by the number of employees you should have working for your business, e.g. what you would confirm as full establishment. Effectively the completed jigsaw puzzle!

The answer is the percentage contribution that each individual employee makes in a given time period! For example 100% divided by 1,000 employees equals 0.1%.

Now you can do some interesting things and make some equally interesting assumptions.

Delete the individual % contribution for each person you are short from full establishment! This immediately shows how important it is to run as close to full establishment as possible at all times. Also visualise that incomplete jigsaw puzzle! Recruitment freeze anyone? Taking too long to hire by being reactive rather than strategic and proactive anyone? Without the right people in the right places your business could already be sub-optimal!

Imagine that the individual % contribution per employee is linked to them being the very best person for the role they are performing. Now imagine a sub-optimal resourcing strategy, EVP, remuneration policy or poor learning and development programme, or having great people but in the wrong roles…….. whatever essentially could affect the quality, motivation, commitment or output of your workers.

A subject that many of you know is close to my heart is diversity. We all know that difference is great for an organisation, so as we are visualising jigsaws, how much difference is in yours? Does a lack of diversity and too much of the same impact on individual % contribution?

It stands to reason that the individual % contribution of each worker could be reduced by a fraction, or worse, if you haven’t got some or any of the above right! Breaking down each person into a target % contribution is now a real eye opener.

How close are you then away from 100% productivity in business? How incomplete, or samey, is your jigsaw puzzle? What do you need to do to put things right?

Let’s take the resourcing strategy and function as an example. Surely ones resourcing strategy and service delivery model should be designed to fully support the achievement of the business plan, which in turn is designed to achieve 100% productivity in business.

But we hear and see so many examples of businesses not investing in workforce planning, or simply racing ahead with a career centre, digital media, employer brand, organisation design or technology project (for example), without potentially establishing what the ongoing resourcing needs and objectives are. Without a robust strategy aligned to the people and business plan!

We hear and see examples of businesses not having standard job descriptions, processes, attraction messaging, EVP, interview formats, onboarding……..… the list is endless.

Why is this? Is it because resourcing is talked about as being the most important thing in business because people are the most important asset, but in reality other things are prioritised and resourcing is under invested in?

Maybe. So let’s go back to people being the jigsaw pieces of productivity. If you want to achieve 100% productivity in business, consistently year on year, as a consequence of being truly strategic and inclusive, the solution is as clear as day and quite straightforward!

Invest in an optimum end to end resourcing strategy and function to ensure you have the right people, in the right places, in the right volumes, at the right time, for the right price!

Anything else is sub-optimal and puts pressure on achieving 100% productivity in business and your stakeholders/shareholders won’t like that!

Big Idea Talent - Six Pillar Talent Lifecycle

Oh and you won’t ever finish that jigsaw!

If you would like to spend a bit of time running through the six pillar talent lifecycle model, which is one way of achieving resourcing excellence, I’m on +44 (0)7887 480142 and colin.minto@bigideatalent.com

All the best.

Colin.

Jobs are products and candidates are consumers!

man-in-a-box

I have been in sales and marketing all my working life. I even count the year on the delicatessen at Tesco in Broadbridge Heath (other supermarket chains and locations are available) as a sales role, trying to get people to buy that extra bit of cheese, ham or quiche!

Like many I fell into recruitment; for me in 1997, and I always considered job opportunities as the product we were marketing on behalf of our clients to a consumer group known as job seekers. Our job was to market, then sell, each opportunity to relevant audiences with the view to getting the very best to transact and apply. Then obviously match make with the customer.

The extra dimension of course, is the ability to then be selective as to which consumer can have the product, e.g. offer/give them the job.

I naively thought this was a mainstream understanding throughout my recruitment, online recruitment, recruitment trade association and technology vendor days, but realised when I finally turned from poacher into gamekeeper by going client side with G4S in 2009, that I was in a massive minority, in fact, I was pretty much on my own in terms of thinking this way inside a big corporate.

It represented a great opportunity for me because I started using a unique frame of reference internally. I set about building and implementing an equally unique job advertising and candidate experience platform, to market G4S’s jobs as products and give job seekers a range of benefits and valuable experiences on top of being able to transact with jobs.

The alternative frame of reference was, and still is, extremely powerful. Many talk about HR technology not being the favourite topic of HR. I get that and understand that detailed techy speak sometimes bamboozles some, so by being able to compare jobs to products, candidates to consumers and applying to transacting, you speak in a language that everyone understands.

Bit of a generalisation here, but I would hope that pretty much everyone in business knows what a brand is and that it sits predominantly with marketing. HR has developed the employer brand, so it’s obvious that HR needs to work closely with its colleagues in marketing and bring in traditional and digital marketing expertise to optimise and capitalise on the employer brand opportunity!

The EVP could be described as the key features of the product or service and the post-sales support provided. Job descriptions are the product descriptions, etc. etc. etc.

In essence the front end piece of the recruitment process is pure marketing (predominantly digital these days), which flows into the sales process, which I describe as the matchmaking role recruiters play to excite the best people to consider the role then close out the interest between all parties. Once the sale is complete, the whole deal moves into the onboarding and core HR process; you could compare these to the product/service delivery and ongoing account management phases!

So what I’m saying is the world has gone digital (no shock there) and consumers generally are doing things on smaller and more functional devices in their day to day lives. Digital marketeers are taking over the world and dictate what we see and purchase via a myriad of media and technologies.

So let’s turn back to HR technology! Career sites, job advertising sites, CRM’s, applicant tracking systems, onboarding platforms, core HR solutions etc. Over at marketing HQ they have similar technologies, although they might use them in different ways or places in the cycle. Corporate websites, commercial websites, product/service advertising sites, CRM’s etc. In reality how dissimilar are the processes and technologies used in both functions. Not really actually, yet the technologies are sold by very different vendors!

There is some great HR technology out there, but there is also some outstanding marketing technology out there as well. If there was a race between marketing and HR to promote a product/service or a job respectively, I’m afraid I would still back marketing because of their experience, expertise, processes and the technology and platforms at their disposal. Good news though, more and more digital marketers are entering the resourcing space, mainly in the employer brand and digital attraction (including social) space. But in my opinion there are not enough and we need to start expanding our thinking to alternative technologies.

So is HR and Resourcing keeping pace? Only you can answer that but if you need some help understanding where you are in the curve, or maximising the opportunity further, try weaving in the alternative frame of reference internally; jobs are products and candidates are consumers. See how you would compete against a digital marketing approach! Career site, SEO, traffic driving, user experience…………

For example, you would be hard pressed to find a competent marketing orientated business with a sub optimised corporate and commercial website promoting its products and services, and facilitating transactions between consumers and the products or services they provide. You will however, easily find career sites where the job content is completely invisible to major search engines such as Google and Bing, because of the poor connectivity between it and the ATS – Are Your Jobs Invisible to Google!

Feel free to call or email me as I would be happy to drop in and chat. As well as providing specialist digital resourcing and HR technology consultancy, I’m beavering away with a marketing technology partner, finessing our launch marketing campaign and launch event for an exciting ‘new entrant’ HR/experience solution, which some will see as a little disruptive but when the dust settles everyone will recognise it bridges a gap and integrates, rather than competes with the great stuff that is already out there.

All the best.

Colin – +44(0)7887 480142 – colin.minto@bigideatalent.com

Are your jobs invisible to Google (other search engines are available)?

Lately I have spoken to many potential clients about talent attraction, and the unfortunate situation they face because their current career centre and technology solution is effectively blocking Google (and other major search engines) from seeing their jobs!

This invariably leads to demonstrating the reality and confirming the consequences, namely; reduced ‘natural’ traffic from job seekers searching for specific roles, and a necessity to invest more than needed to attract candidates from search engines, job channels and other media (paid for traffic)!

CareerBuilder confirmed that 70%+ of candidates start their job search on Google in their 2015 Candidate Behaviour Research. In addition people in general are getting much more granular with their job search, including; very specific job titles, locations and company names.

Other commentators have said that candidates naturally want to find jobs with named companies ahead of job sites, and companies would prefer people to find, then research, them on their own site (previous home stadium article here by yours truly in 2011!).

To cut a very long and technical story short, Google visits your site (sends spiders or crawlers hence the jazzy image up top) and takes what it finds back to a database at a server farm, and it’s this database that is searched when you search on Google, not the trillions of web pages live on the web itself! So you can see how important it is for Google and others to be able to find your jobs on your own corporate website environment.

are-you-a-brick-wall-to-google-or-an-open-door

Most companies have career pages and a link to search their jobs. It’s where these jobs live that constitutes the first problem for most. If they are searchable on the company website and domain (the important bit here), and the individual page for each job is an extension of that company domain, they pass the first test!

For example, if the company is called ‘Great Company Plc’ they may have the domain www.greatcompany.com. Their career centre may link from the homepage and be called www.greatcompany.com/careers. And a specific analyst job in London may have a page name/URL of www.greatcompany.com/careers/analyst-london-jobid. Something along these lines!

More often than not however, the jobs are hosted (they reside) elsewhere, perhaps on their ATS or career site hosting platform; e.g. www.theatspartner.com/greatcompany/analyst-london-jobid. The jobs are not then attributed to the company because they are somewhere else.

In simplistic terms, if you click from your website to either the job search function or the jobs themselves, and the bit after www. in the browser changes away from your company name, you may have a problem Houston!

Don’t forget, Google’s job is to give searchers the most relevant and credible results to satisfy their searching activity. It won’t take a punt!

Also, some companies do host their jobs on their own site and domain but the URL’s are unfriendly; e.g. www.greatcompany.com/careers/jobid/hundreds-of-random-characters-that-make-no-sense-at-all, which is a big red flag to Google, with some being completely ignored!

Google also puts a great emphasis on mobile content now so even if you are doing it well on fixed web, if you don’t have a comparable mobile site Google will again mark you down, even for searches on a PC and laptop!

There’s a lot more detail and science to this but let’s look at solutions.

This is solvable in a number of ways, but invariably involves bringing corporate website and recruitment technology partners together to deliver an alternative and best solution based on the technologies involved. Alternatively a new technology arrangement can be considered! I have done both many times globally, so can help you with this.

The benefits of attracting natural traffic to your own website (home stadium) are huge. Reduced cost is a great one for the FD! But for me, your career centre is the front door to your brand and story. Surely you want that story to be told from start to finish by your own people, using your own messaging on your own site!

Yes the story telling effectively starts on Google, but pretty much everything does these days, so let’s at least ensure you are the next destination for the most valuable thing in your business. People!

As always, I am more than happy to meet and chat through in detail. I’m on +44(0)7887 480142 and colin.minto@bigideatalent.com www.bigideatalent.com

All the best.

Colin.

The Six Pillar Talent Lifecycle – Demand – Service Delivery Model / Team

Six Pillar Talent Lifecycle - Demand - Service Delivery Model Team

Once the Needs / Planning activities have been completed, this actually falls into place.

You know the skill and personality set of those that will excel in every role across the business.

You know when, where and in what volumes you need them, to operate your business to the level expected by your stakeholders.

You also know how many resources and recruiters you need to meet demands based on previous best practice performance data or industry standards.

Your decisions are naturally driven by this knowledge and also influenced by the following:

What do your target audiences want and expect?

Some might think this a little strange to lead with, however I believe the jobs you are promoting are actually products that need to be marketed. The first rule of marketing (well for me anyway) is to understand what your customers want from your product, service and you!

So if the most important future asset to your business wants to be processed online and interviewed face to face in the place they will be working, well, you know what I am going to say next!

If however, they are happy, and expect, to be interviewed over Skype, then, well, you know what I am going to say next.

There are some amazing research and candidate experience organisations that can tell you this for your audiences, or you could of course just ask them yourself. Ask those who have recently joined your business across a spectrum of your roles, but don’t be surprised if their preferences don’t match with your existing approach!

How are your locations positioned?

If you have five locations with 10,000 people working at each, then you could choose to set up a resourcing team at each location. If you have 500 locations with two people working at each then you could choose to set up a central or regional team, with remote interviewers, or a technological solution potentially involving video interviewing!

All very logical if you have done a good job with the Needs / Planning activity.

Technology

You will of course be driven by your technology strategy, which some would also describe as an efficiency or cost driving initiative. Just make sure that the optimum candidate and recruitment experience you need to deliver can be facilitated by your technology. I’m an advocate of automation but not when it’s at the expense of resourcing effectively.

The Data Difference

We hear a lot of noise about data and here is a good example of its use. If you can interrogate your systems and data to match the high performers in your business to the service delivery model that processed them, plus the end to end processes you took them through (including how they are managed but more on this later) to bring them on board, you can learn from this and replicate.

We will go into data in greater detail later in the series but one challenge some will face is the capability of their systems. If you don’t have the data because you don’t have the technology, get in touch as we can help you with this.

The Team

Just as you have mapped the skills, experience and personality set for your critical target audiences, you need to do this to identify the optimum resourcers and recruiters to manage and deliver the recruitment experience. You will obviously be focusing on people who have demonstrated excellence in recruiting your target audiences previously, or display the potential to do so.

Remember the offer is always there if you want to chat this, or other HR challenges, through with a Big Idea Talent Associate.

All the best. JD’s from the Demand Pillar is next up and coming soon…..

Colin.