#FutureOfWork and #HRTechWorld Amsterdam

We are so excited to be sending two of our Founders to #HRTechWorld in Amsterdam! It will be the Best HR Show in the World!

In fact, if you check out the agenda, you may notice a familiar face, right there, next-ish to Ariana Huffington, you’ll find our very own Weird-One-in-Chief. Dale Clareburt will be talking through what soft skills you need to focus on and why the soft skills we look for today may be a different kettle of fish tomorrow.

The coveted Weirdly Hat

Dale isn’t a lone-wolf this time though, we are also sending Simon Martin to be her partner in crime. They will have a supply of Weirdly hats, so find them and you too can look cool like us!

And if, like the rest of us, you’re not going to be in Amsterdam… we will be bringing you all the highlights. Here on this blog, or on our Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn pages. In fact, if you’re not a member of our recruitment Slack group, people-people, come and join us, we’ll run some AMA and post the links to the live-streams as they happen.

Let’s check out the #futureofwork together!

Family Feud – The Recruitment Edition

Last night our co-founders Dale and Simon hosted an energetic and exciting rendition of Family Feud, with a recruitment twist (of course) at the #sydRecMeetup. The whole evening was sponsored by LinkedIn, Enboarder and ourselves. The anticipation was well and truly built up before the event, the venue allowed us to have 120 and we maxed that out. (Not to mention a wait list a mile long).

We’d also like to give a #shoutout to Troy Hammond of TalentArmy who gave us the idea to begin with. And a massive #shoutout to Chris Long, Mark Mansour and Neil Gunning for inviting us to be part of it all.

For those that aren’t familiar with Family Feud; it is a game show first created in 1976 in the United States and has since spread all over the world. The TLDR description is that often there will be some kind of survey before the show and the contestants on the show have to guess what would be the most popular answer to the question asked. In our case we sent the survey out to all members of the meetup online and then went about creating our panel of recruitment super-stars. The teams were boys vs girls, and we had an amazing line-up:

Representing the Girls:

Representing the Boys:

There was a whopping twelve rounds so here are some of the highlights. If you’re a talent hunter in Sydney you can watch the whole thing on their closed Facebook group here.

Who are your key influencers in the talent acquisition community globally?

Bill Boorman won with 35 votes, followed by Kevin Wheeler at 28, Glen Cathey at 20, James Caan at 12 and Lazlo Block with 5

Round One kicked off asking about key influencers. When social is key to getting your brand out there, it was no surprise that Bill Boorman of the Recruiting Unblog came up on top as the most popular answer. We’re big fans of Bill already but thought that there were a few key names missing off this list like William Tincup and Stacy Zapar. There are really so many to choose from.

What are the key factors that affect the candidate experience?

Feedback edged out all others with 41, followed by response time at 29, the reality of the job at 15, respect at 10 and technoloogy coming in last at 5

This question is near and dear to our hearts. Here at Weirdly, we are all about the candidate experience. We like to think that our software makes your life as a recruiter simpler, which should give you more time to provide feedback! Our automagic filtering that happens whether you have a hundred or a thousand applicants should also cut your response time by the bucketload.

What are the top ways you would measure your employer brand?

Retention won the day with 25, the quality of the applicants at 20, surveying the candidates at 18, employee referrals close behind at 14 and Glassdoor at 12

These are all awesome ways to measure your employer brand. We totally agree! A strong employer brand will increase your staff retention and you will get a better class of applicants through the door. Here at Weirdly we help you build the culture you want to have. That’s your brand of weird, and it should help you attract and keep the very best people.

If money was not a constraint, what would you invest your budget in?

A New ATS is top of the dream list at 31 points, EVP/Branding on its heels with 29, people at 16, automation tools at 14, and conferences at 10

We love the utopia question… people always get that dreamy look in their eyes and that faraway smile.We’re also glad that the superyacht didn’t make this list, what a dedicated bunch of talent professionals. For some of you larger corporates, a top notch ATS is vital, but we’re glad to see that Branding and People are high up on the list too.

Sayonara for now

If you missed the night, I’m sure you’re keen to find out who won… It was a close call, but the audience chose the girls this time round.

Let's hear it for the girls!

It wasn’t all a serious competition though, there were some very memorable moments including Gareth Davies from Enboarder singing his heart out whilst experiencing technical difficulties during his preso or Chris Long throwing a highly sought after Weirdly cap over his shoulders to a feverish bunch of groupies at the end of the night. I think it’s safe to say that the Sydney Recruitment Community is very much alive and well.

It was a blast coming across the ditch to host, and now there is such an amazing Powerpoint, it’d be sad to see it go to waste, there’ll probably be a re-match at some stage.

 

 

If you want to work on your brand of Weird right now, chuck your employer brand into a Weirdly Quiz today

Weirdly quiz sign up now

#shedoesnotspeakforus – racism & recruitment

Last month, the Human Rights Commission here in New Zealand posted a sound clip of a recruiter verbally attacking what sounds like a possible candidate. If you haven’t heard it yet, don’t bother, you’ll get the gist of it from this blog.

Recruiters nationwide were (rightly) outraged and demanded to know the identity of the recruiter. To their credit, Recruitment & Consulting Services Association Australia & New Zealand (RCSA), who represent over 3000 recruitment professionals and companies, responded the same day. They sent an open letter to the Human Rights Commission condemning the actions of the recruiter, and at the same time created a mildly viral campaign #shedoesnotspeakforus encouraging all recruitment professionals to join in the condemnation.

They are going further than that. Tomorrow they have got Dame Susan Devoy (the Race Relations Commissioner), their own CEO, Charles Cameron, and others on a free webinar open to all New Zealand recruiters. It is called “Ten ways to stamp out racism in New Zealand”

Register for free here.

Here at Weirdly, we thought it was important to alert you of this webinar. We were as outraged as everyone else when we heard the sound clip, and we applaud the RCSA for doing something about it so fast, and then following through with a solution.

 

A Brick in the Wall – Education and a Diverse Workforce

This is part three of a three-part series exploring the future of work and what true diversity can mean for you, the organisations you work in and society at large. Click here to read part one.

Let’s take you back roughly fifty to sixty years. It is the mid-19th century. The Ivy-League colleges in the USA have become a thing. (For those that don’t know the USA context, the Ivy-League refers to a group of prestigious universities which are often associated with academic excellence and social elitism)

In fact, never mind the Ivy-League, Oxford University in England doesn’t even have an origin story, but they think it started somewhere around 1096!

Of course, education as a concept isn’t new, what is new(ish) is this idea that education will ‘get you a job’. In fact, what we have been doing as a society, is using education as a filtration system. When there is a focus on qualification attainment, education becomes a filtering mechanism. Those that cannot achieve the lowest of standards become the ‘unskilled’ workforce and the ones that do become the ‘clerical’, and so on and so forth until we reach the hallowed halls of the nearest tertiary institute. The grand plan being, that once you reach and finish university, then you are ready for the most-skilled of roles in society.

Where do we teach creativity, innovation, teamwork, collaboration, problem solving or communication?

Since starting Weirdly, we have been investigating this notion of the ‘Future of Work’, and what that will mean for you. We’ve looked at what diversity could mean regarding personal qualities. We’ve looked at how your companies can be ready (or not) for a more diverse workforce. This week, we take yet another step back and look at society as a whole.

Worldwide, there is an overemphasis on teaching subjects rather than skills. We do not teach children how to learn; rather we are pushing them through assessments to gain qualifications which have no real-world correlation.

There is also a disconnect between industry and education. International researchers McKinsey and Company surveyed 8000 employers, providers and young people and examined over 100 programs. Employers consistently rated young people lower than education providers on competencies such as teamwork, spoken and written communication and problem-solving. The industry as a whole is sitting back and merely expecting educational institutions to churn out work-ready people, then complaining when it doesn’t happen.

It isn’t all doom and gloom. Some corporate giants have come to the fore and are working with schools or students directly. Microsoft, for example, has a yearly high school internship program where they pay kids for full-time employment over the Summer and give them real-life skills to take into their future careers.

Also, say what you want about charter schools, but corporations like Tesla have put their money where their mouths are and are opening STEM high schools which put emphasis on STEM over other skills.

We would argue that these initiatives don’t go far enough. As a society, we are expecting a school structure created in the 1950s to work for the brave new world of 2017. We look at the industry and lament about the lack of diversity, and yet our entire educational system favours the ones that are the same.  It is as if our schools are a factory putting out teenaged-widgets. The ones that are different are deemed defective and often don’t make the cut.

Encouragingly, the some of the so-called Big Four of recruitment (Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and KPMG) have stopped relying on grades entirely. For example, Deloitte contextualises the academic data, looking at the economic background and personal circumstances as well as the scholastic achievements. Pricewaterhouse Coopers’ Director of Student Recruitment, Mr Richard Irwin, admits that figuring out how to measure these ‘soft skills’ is a work in progress for those recruiting young people. “Every year, we take data from the selection process and compare these to their performance in exams and in the business”.

While we don’t have all the solutions, we know that the ‘Future of Work’ is already here, and solutions like ours make this transition easier. We have started looking at machine-learning possibilities to feedback the data from your new recruits back into your quizzes, giving you the enterprise-level recruitment experience of Pricewaterhouse Coopers without the need for a multitude of data scientists.

 

Try a Weirdly quiz today. Find out what makes your recruits tick instead of what they got the tick for at school.

Weirdly quiz sign up now

What does your company smell like? And what does that mean for your organisational culture?

This is part two of a three-part series exploring the future of work and what true diversity can mean for you, the organisations you work in and society at large. Click here to read part one.

Imagine this… you are walking around downtown Kolkata (previously Calcutta) in India. It looks like this.

Downtown Kolkata

It is 99% humidity. It is 38°C (or roughly 100°F) and you feel the sweat dripping down your face. There are people everywhere, pushing and crowding.

Now imagine this… you are walking around the forests of Fontainebleau in France. It looks like this.

A forest in Fontainebleau

The air is crisp and cool. There is calm in the air. You feel a briskness in your limbs, and you breathe in the sweet smell of forest green.

When Professor Sumantra Ghoshal described these scenes in a speech at the World Economic Forum, he was careful not to disparage either of them and rightly so. There is nothing wrong with Kolkata. It is a vibrant city full of amazing things to see and do, and equally, there is nothing especially magical about the forests of Fontainebleau.

Professor Ghoshal draws an analogy between organisational culture and the ‘smell’. He admits that measuring organisational culture is inherently difficult, but if you imagine, you can almost ‘smell’ it. The key is to make sure the people that work within your organisation (the ones you need to perform well and feel engaged) are attuned, inspired and energised by that “smell” – the distinct culture, values and experience your company offers.

 

Four requirements for supporting diversity in your own culture

Last week, we talked about what a diverse person could look like. We all agree that we want more diversity in our companies, it is a quantifiably Good thing (with a capital G). But are we prepared to support that diversity? Are we creating the right environment, the right “smell” to allow it to thrive?

He emphasises that in order to build an organisational culture that smells like success, you need to improve in four key areas.

 

An organisational culture of stretch, and not constraint

Cat stretching

An organisational culture of stretch means that all your staff want to do is more. If you asked the question, “Can you think of an instance recently when you saw an opportunity to do something that would be of significant value to your company. Did you take it?” Would the majority of your staff admit to not taking the opportunities because of structural barriers? If we are increasing the diversity in our companies and encouraging many different thought processes into the mix, are you holding some of them back with an organisational culture of constraint?

 

Encourage discipline, not compliance

Puppies in a line

An organisational culture of discipline is about embedding self-discipline instead of ensuring compliance. It can manifest in a myriad of ways from simple things like always being on time to meetings through to more complex structures, like being accountable for your project goals without the need for micro-management. Creating a culture of self-discipline fosters the growth and allows diversity to thrive. Instigating an organisational culture of compliance displays lack of trust and alienates diverse thought.

 

Curate a culture of support, instead of control

Puppy Holding a hand

The whole role of senior management changes when you are not consistently being seen as the overlords of control but as those who exist with one purpose only, to support your staff to win. You can do this by providing access to resources or coaching and by guidance and not control.

 

Lean into trust, rather than contracts

Dog trusting their owner

Most large companies (and come to think of it, most societies) have become overwhelmingly contractual. The idea that there’s no trust without a legal contract binding you to your word. Of course, we’re not advocating you dissolve all your contracts. But to really encourage your staff to fly in their diverse ways, we  need to nudge the pendulum a little closer to the middle – increasing the level of trust we have in each other and in our workforce.

 

So, do you have a good handle on your culture’s unique “smell”? Whether you’re a forest in France or a busy street in India, a diverse, inclusive environment is better for your organisation – the question is, are your ready to support it?

 

Weirdly creates customisable screening quizzes that test every applicant for values alignment, instantly. Integrate it with your ATS and collect valuable diversity and candidate experience metrics. Talk to one of our team today to see how Weirdly could work in your own organisation.

Where do you keep your tomato sauce (ketchup)?

This is part one of a three-part series exploring the future of work and what true diversity can mean for you, the organisations you work in and society at large.

When Leslie Miley (at the time, senior engineering director) questioned the steps being put in place for diversity action at Twitter, the senior VP of engineering responded with “diversity is important, but we can’t lower the bar”. For Mr Miley, this was a turning point… he also then realised that he was the only African-American in engineering leadership at Twitter, the same company that, some would say, drove the #blacklivesmatter and #ferguson movements.

This was in 2014, and while Twitter (and indeed many other companies) have made some great advances since then, there is still more to be done.

Diversity comes in many flavours and colours… it’s not just gender and ethnicity… but even with obvious markers like gender and ethnicity, most companies are failing. Staying with Twitter for a moment, their own diversity report stated that even though African-Americans and Hispanics made up more than 30% of the active users, their engineering and product management team had less than 5%.

In fact, putting aside gender and ethnicity for a moment… Let’s talk about tomato sauce (or ketchup for our American readers). Where do you keep your tomato sauce? Is it in the fridge? Or the pantry?

Studies have shown that there is a definite grouping of people who keep their sauce in the fridge, vs those that keep it in the pantry. Why does it even matter? Scott Page, a professor of complex systems at the University of Michigan explains why. If you keep your sauce in the fridge, and you run out of sauce, your alternatives are vastly different from the pantry-storage cohort. You might choose mayonnaise instead of malt vinegar, for example.

In fact, Professor Page went further than just sauce. He compared two sets of algorithms for solving a problem. One set was similar in its makeup and the other set diverse. The diverse set solved the problems better each time. The non-diverse set kept getting stuck at the same place.It’s the non-diverse team that needs the bar lowered!

It just makes sense, diversity isn’t necessarily about what you look like… it’s about how you think.

When Mr Miley was interviewed in a podcast, he explains: While sameness will be good for a fast growing startup – you think the same, there will be less misunderstanding and you can communicate quickly – if you want to grow, you need to have diverse teams. Yes, it will affect efficiency at the beginning, but don’t be lazy… Learn different communication styles, experiment with different internal team structures, adjust your decision making processes and you will reap the rewards. He suggests that one of the best ways to increase this diversity is to try different types of questions at the interview process… it’s almost as if Mr Miley is advocating for Weirdly!

 

Try those different types of questions now. Look for people who share your weird.

Weirdly quiz sign up now

 

The benefit of the doubt – be kinder to your candidates

Giving someone the benefit of the doubt means that you hold a positive opinion or judgement of a person because there is no reason for you to think otherwise. Here at Weirdly, we strongly believe that recruiters should give people the benefit of the doubt. This means that they can become the people you want them to be. Yet, increasingly, there are more and more examples of people assuming the worst in people and then actively going to look for proof.

Since Alphabet – Google’s parent company – bought Diane Greene’s Bebop for $380 million in 2015, there have been rumours swirling round about what Google plan to do with their acquisition. Bebop wasn’t just one product, it is a new development platform that makes it easy to build and maintain enterprise applications. It has a heavy HR focus, after all, its primary mission is “making it easy for people to be more productive”.

Then a few years ago, Google released a closed alpha of the Cloud Jobs API, and again the rumours swirled. Is Google about to take on LinkedIn and its friends?

This sort of news should be positive. It should show that corporations with the magnitude of Google are taking the idea of talent acquisition more seriously. The amount of data that Google has could revolutionise hiring, bringing a holistic, whole view of a person to the recruitment table.

Instead, publications like The Sun (and indeed our own New Zealand Herald) led with headlines like “Fears Google Hire could allow employers to see your entire search history”. This sort of headline assumes the worst in people. It assumes all the candidates have things to hide, and that they are actively hiding them, and it will take extensive Google searching to find these ‘gems’.

Weirdly’s software allows you to hire people based on how well they fit the culture you want to create. By giving someone the benefit of the doubt, you can allow that person to fulfil your vision. We believe that recruitment isn’t a chore, it should be a fun and honest chance for you to get to know your candidates, but not to the extent of finding hidden skeletons in their closets… we can leave that for Halloween.

 

Start changing your culture now. Create your Weirdly quiz for free here.

Weirdly quiz sign up now

#aucklandrec – the diversity edition

#aucklandrec or Auckland Recruitment Meet-up is a regular Meetup of talent sourcing professionals from all over Auckland. Fuelled by Toto’s Pizza and lots of tasty beverages; over 100 talent professionals chatted, networked and learnt about diversity.

After some drinks were had……

…the speakers kicked off. First up was Katy Anquetil from Manpower Group who started with a thought provoking demo:

Three volunteers – two women and a man – were each offered a glass of wine, and much more wine was poured into the man’s glass. Katy asked the man if he was a parent, when he said yes, he got more wine!

It was a very visual way to show the wage gap… Katy pulled out stats which shows that it is a whopping 12%, unless you’re a parent… then it grows to 17%.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom though, in a room full of talent professionals, Katy gave some very concrete actions through the use of a pertinent Ryan Gosling meme.

Ryan Gosling says: Hey girl, didja know that if women were earning as much as men, the US Economy would produce over $47 billion in additional income... will you ask for a raise?

Then next up was Philip Patston from DiversityNZ but speaking about Be Accessible NZ. He had the shakiest start to his presso… getting stuck in the lift on the way in!

A stark reminder that you should check your equipment regularly!

Philip also started with some stats…

1 in 4 kiwis have access needs

Pointing out that while 1 in 4 kiwis have access needs… 60% of them are un/under employed. The opportunity cost of this workforce exclusion has been calculated at $11.7 billion. He then outlined some of the amazing things that Be. is doing to fix this:

Things that BeAccessible NZ does

Last up was Claire Montgomerie from Westpac NZ. Conscious of the fact she was standing between the crowd and the pizza, Claire went through the amazing things that Westpac had done with with Inclusion and diversity. Through consistent programmes, Westpac NZ’s leadership team is now 51% women.

Claire pointed out that it wasn’t good enough to consider only one type of metric… and that Westpac NZ had created a group or programme for all sorts of diversity. They specifically had groups for culture, gender, sexuality, age, disability & accessibility. In fact, they are one of the first kiwi companies to be awarded the Rainbow Tick.

Well that was us from #aucklandrec. It was a blast, and if you are in recruitment you should go and sign up on Meet-up and perhaps we’ll see ya there!

PS: the pizzas were awesome, thanks XRef!!

Some takeaways from the evening:

Katy Antequil from Manpower Group

  • As a talent sourcing professional and not the hiring manager, YOU can ask the hard questions:
    • Why Hiring Manager would we offer X less than Y for the same job?
    • Why would X be less qualified because she took a year off?
    • How do we determine a candidates worth? Is it not based on the job we are asking said candidate to do?
    • Shall we conduct an organisation wide pay gap audit?
  • Always submit a diverse slate of candidates, if necessary, strip CVs of gender and ethnicity before giving them to the hiring manager.

Philip Patston from Diversity NZ

  • Tell Be. of any internships or professional positions that might be of interest.
  • Check them out online → www.beaccessible.org.nz

Claire Montgomerie from Westpac NZ

  • Your programmes need to be company wide and driven from the top down. If there is no buy in from the top level, it will fail.
  • Consider all types of diversity and try to be inclusive for all.

 

 

 

Want to work on your diversity? Including a Weirdly quiz in your hiring process is an awesome way to target the weird that you want.

Weirdly quiz sign up now

Robots vs Humans: are algorithms going to replace you?

It seems weird that a company that is about finding the very human idea of cultural fit is looking at algorithms to be the next big thing. You know the role that you’re hiring for, after a few personality quizzes and several interviews, you feel that you know the applicants and you definitely know your company…surely you are the best person to find that ideal candidate.

In fact, research has shown that even simple equations beat human decisions by at least 25%. This holds true across the board, from the trenches all the way to the c-suite.

In last week’s #CIO100 launch, Gartner presented their top 10 Strategic Predictions for 2017 and beyond. In particular, they predict that by 2020, algorithms will positively alter the behaviour of over 1 billion global workers. Gartner believes you can solve ‘talent retention and attraction’ using pervasive algorithms. Or, specifically, by creating algorithms in every aspect of your business,

Unfortunately, the algorithms out there in HR land is all about crunching big data to tick the right boxes. There is no mention of cultural fit at all! (there are a few coming, but the jury is still out till we see it in the wild)

What’s worse is that Gartner also predict that by next year more than 3 million workers globally will be supervised by a ‘roboboss’. Or, in other words, an algorithm that will determine what work you need to do. What will happen to your carefully crafted company values if half of your team are ‘robobosses’?

Weirdly believes in allowing you to hire people based on how well they fit with your weird… not only the culture you have right now, but the culture you NEED, the culture you WANT to have.

Remember that algorithms rely on the data that they are given. The decisions that they make are only as good as the data that you are putting in. If, like us, you believe that great culture comes from connectedness, engagement and relationships… then you feed those data points in, and your algorithms will, in a non-biased, non judgmental way, calculate the best person for the job. What’s even better is that Weirdly will assess your culture and your goals, find the opportunity profile for productive culture evolution, and assess the candidates to fit. We aren’t about just removing human error, we’re about empowering you to make creative and strategic decisions about the direction that you want your culture to go.

We do believe that the next big thing will be machine learning and algorithms. What we need to do as a society is not lose track of the human-ness. Machines don’t get distracted by inconsequential details, they are amazing at crunching through large amounts of data with no bias… but they need to be told what to do exactly.

Weirdly can help with knowing which data is important to track and which data needs to be fed back into the system. While we are working on all sorts of exciting things to automate some of this, all of your team needs to start off in the right mindset. Data should not be an afterthought, or a chore you do after the ‘real work’ is done. Your data strategy needs to be built into your processes right from day one. This way, your company will be at a competitive advantage when you turn the robots on… you will already have all your ducks in a row.

Build the culture you want to have now, start thinking about the attributes you want and it’ll take us 30secs to generate a quiz

Weirdly quiz sign up now

#HRTechConf: Your live feed of insights, tweets and gifs

HR and Recruitment conference season has hit the states and it’s shaping up to be a doozy. HRTech conference (Hashtag HRTechConf)is being held in Chicago this year, overlapping with LinkedIn’s Talent Connect conference in Vegas, then followed closely by the 2016 Global Talent Management Conference in New York.

If jetting back and forth across America isn’t on the cards for you this year and you’re feeling the FOMO, we’ve got your back. Starting with #HRTechconf, we’re collating the best insights, opinions, news and hilarity from select sessions across all three days. To make it even more convenient, we’re doing it right here for you. No need to go filtering through miles of twitter feeds and LinkedIn posts.

This feed will be updated live across both main days of the conference. So dig out an old lanyard, make yourself some watery coffee and tune in. It’ll feel like you’re really there!