100 posts and more to come - thank you!

I just want to wish the readers of the blog a belated Happy Christmas and a colourful, peaceful and successful New Year.

When I started off this blog it felt like I was talking to myself a lot. Now that the blog readership has been growing steadily I find I do less of this here and normally do more of it while walking in Phoneix Park or in Tramore!  I wantted to give a special thanks to those regulars who have taken the time to subscribe to the RSS feed. Your email comments have made the blog worth while and I hope to write more engaging content for you in 2009.

I've been writing the blog for 4 years now and I just recently posted my 100th entry. While I would have liked to have posted more in 2008 my new job, which I love, took up a lot of time -especially, considering I am soaking up more information than ever from China, India and MEA. However, "cleachtas a dheanamh maistreacht" so now that I am getting the hang of it I hope to produce some more next year. I'm off to Paraty and Itacare on vacation until the end of January but "slan go foill" and see you in 2009!

Happy Hunting!

PS - I will be organising the first ever "Irish Tuesday's Club" in Feb 09 so hope to see you there.


Saongroup continue their impressive growth - opportunity knocking on recessionary times!

It's not something you hear a lot of people in the Irish press talking about to often but Denis O'Brien and Leslie Buckley have been consistent and tenacious in their vision of creating one of the biggest job board portfolios in the world. Since there acquisition in Irish Jobs from John Feeley in 1995 they have been growing and diversifying ever since. The list of acquisitions they have made and the number of current opportunities they have in their own company are interesting and caused me to dig a little deeper.

On their own web site they state: "saongroup.com is now one of the fastest growing Irish owned online companies in the world, with offices in 10 countries across 4 continents. saongroup.com has its head office is Dublin, Ireland and employs more the 1,700 people across the globe".

Being one of the fastest growing Irish owned companies in the world may sound a bit "quixotic" but it's very much true! Looking from afar and having studies closely what Career Builder and Monster have done and tried to do over the last number of years what Saaongroup has done has been very impressive in comparison.

The portfolio consists of, and this is only some of it:

The company is currently expanding aggressively in India with the recent launches of http://www.myjobsinpune.com/  in Sept 07 and then a recent second expansion in http://www.myhyderabadjobs.com/. I've checked and http://www.mybangalorejobs.com/ and http://www.mydelhijobs.com/ are functioning job boards as well so maybe they've gone ahead and registered the domain and got these set up already. Maybe these are simply target looking companies that the group may go after. Get ready for Goa, Jauiper, Cochin and the other big hubs to follow. Basically, anywhere there is a concentration of 5 million or more people on the planet where internet penetration is growing Denis and Leslie will want a job board. Get ready next for Nanjing, Dalin and Shenzhen in China.  Actually, it seems like that is exactly what the company is planning by the looks of some of its  vacancies on its career site. Interestingly, they have a regional CEO/COO job in China where they are looking for an individual with 10+ years experience, willing to travel and who can speak Madrin and English. The role will report into the regional CEO and will have control of P&L, expansion and employee motivation. Having been to China myself 3 times now and about to go again in February to train Microsoft's recruiters some deep sourcing techniques I've had a chance to immerse myself in the China recruitment industry and study it from afar. It certainly fits into the emerging market category that Saaogroup have targeted for expansion.
Sales Executive Cayman Islands Caribbeanjobs.comCayman Islands
Business Development Executive - Dubai UAEDubai
Sales Account Manager LuxembourgLuxembourg
Sales Executive Trinidad Caribbeanjobs.comTrinidad
General Manager RecruitGulf.comDubai
Group Finance Director Saongroup ChinaBeijing
Business Development Manager Abu Dhabi, UAEAbu Dhabi
Regional Finance Manager - Saongroup (China)Shanghai
Sales Executive Jamaica Caribbeanjobs.comJamacia
Management (Online Recruitment) - WorldwideWorldwide
Financial Accountant – CaribbeanJobs.comTrinidad
Regional CEO - ChinaBeijing (travel involved)
Sales Account Manager Dublin (OTE €70,000+)Dublin 2

The downturn in the global econonomy presents fantastic opportunities for those companies that have a strong balance sheet. Anne Hegarty in CPL, Brian Murphy in Premier Group and all at Saaongroup must be looking forward to 2009 and the acquisition trail ahead!


G-Speak and the User Interface of the Future

One and a half years ago I was fortunate to be present at a meeting with Steve Ballmer where he fielded some questions from a group of recruiters within Microsoft. At the meeting Steve was asked what would he like to change about technology in the future? What would he like his technological legacy to be? Amongst many things right at the top of the list was redesigning operating systems and how people are allowed become more intuitive with their bodies and minds in operating computer systems instead of relying on the present mouse-and-hand paradigm which we have an ubiquitous preponderance of today. As he spoke I tried to form some images from his words to bring myself into his future. In the abstract I found a formidable opponent.  But now with the help of the amazing work of the extremely talented Oblong industries  I can realise the picture that he painted in its totality.

As the inventors put it themselves:

"The g-speak platform is a complete application development and execution environment that redresses the dire constriction of human intent imposed by traditional GUIs. Its idiom of spatial immediacy and information responsive to real-world geometry enables a necessary new kind of work: data-intensive, embodied, real-time, predicated on universal human expertise.

Some of the SOE's core ideas are already familiar from the film Minority Report, whose characters performed forensic analysis using massive, gesturally driven displays. The similarity is no coincidence: one of Oblong's founders served as science advisor to Minority Report and based the design of those scenes directly on his earlier work at MIT. Other foundational components are less directly visible but as crucially transformative. The g-speak platform braids development arcs begun in the early 1990s at MIT's Media Laboratory, where Oblong's principals produced radical user interface advances, distributed and networked language designs, and media manipulation technologies."

Cloud recruitment in the future may involving geo-spatial gloves that are a combination of gestural i/o, recombinant networking which will bring us a major stride forward in computer interfaces since 1984. We may all be able to gesture with our hands to a mobile device and execute a number of commands simultaneously using voice recognition. Enjoy!


CPL hit hard

Over the last few days there's been some interesting commentary in the national press about CPL's revenue performance. Check out the Indepants article, here today and yesterday's RTE update here. Shares in the company are down at 1.05 euros at the moment and the group expects the outlook for 2009 to be "very uncertain".

Permanent placements are suffering, we know this, it will be interesting to see how hard the contract side of the business become in 2009. However Anne Hegarty and co have a very strong balance sheet. I'd be expecting them to acquire a number of small operations across Europe in the year ahead allowing them expand more aggressively into the RPO market in Europe and play catch up on companies like Kenexa and Adecco to name but a few.


The Future of Recruitment is in the Cloud! (Utility Recruitment)

I love technology!

Ever since I got a Commodore 64 I've been hooked. One of the very cool things about working for Microsoft is I get a chance to collaborate with smart people in a very innovative environment that allows me glimpse over the edge of tomorrow's technological future and constantly reignite the curious little boy in me who loved to tap away at his computer in his bedroom for hours on end. In this environment I'm often trying to keep my personal knowledge base high by listening to a variety of tech podcasts such as Leo Leporte's Twit and blogs like TechCrunch and the prestigious Robert Cringley's blog as well as a huge internal database of sharepoints on a variety of technological gendres and flavours. And that's not even mentioning our very own Channel 9 or MSDN Blog Network.

I love recruitment!

I love trying to figure out how new improvements in technology can be used to make recruitment more efficent and effective. A lot of recruiters I know like to read other recruitment magazines or blogs or like to pick up the CIPD magazine, the Friday Irish Times or Sunday Business Post to keep up to date with the latest recruitment trends and techniques. I do this myself a lot and have benefited greatly from others. However, I much prefer following the technology geeks and then applying what I've learnt from them to recruitment rather than reading about it from other recruiters. That's where the fun is for me and that's when and where I enjoy my job the most.

Some of the greatest satisfaction I have had in my career is coining a technique and then passing it onto one of our recruiters in Dublin, Dubai or Hyderabad and learning in the future that they made a hire through it.

For quite some time Microsoft has been working at the concept of Software as a Service (SaaS) and has been one of the architectural leading netizens which such companies as Google, Salaeforce and Amazon when it comes to coining the phrase "Cloud Computing"! It's been very interesting to watch this from the inside and I believe that now more than ever a recruiter can be empowered by using technology correctly and creatively to be better at their job and more successful than their peers.

A lot of people may not know what cloud computing is? Sometimes you here people mention things such as: "on demand computing" or ""cluster computing" or "server virtualisation". For me it's simply the ability to access information over the internet from any device. It is a step towards less of a device centric, app centric world and more to an information centric model. Recruiters will need to know how to use social media to brand and contact technological savy individuals and the new generations. They'll need to sync better to increase speeds to facilitate the sharing and processing of information. It will be driven by mobility.

Some of my recent blog entries have been about vice technology, image teleportation and mobile syncing. Stay tuned for more in the future.

For those that are new to Cloud Computing check out  Christopher Barnett's great video!


Voice Search - Square is the new round - The Future of Recruitment is in the Cloud!

Wow! I can't believe it's that long ago but I think it's 2001 when I wrote an article for Monster called "How will XML change the face of recruitment".  7 years and XML has had a huge part to play in driving ATS systems together allowing multiple posting and driving us all towards a more common cloud computing experience. It is truely amazing the technology that recruiters now posses. The future is here but in a lot of cases it's just not distrbuted amongst us evenly.  One example of this is voice search technology which maybe in the next 7 years will have a big part to play in how we break away from our addiction to laptops and desktops and start to use mobile devices more in how we recruit. Who knows we'll probably be even talking into our car mirrors to make a search one of these days for a senior credit analyst or a purchasing manager (for new readers who haven't checked out my little screenplay on searching on your car mirror check it out here)!

Here's a video to tell what I mean:

And this is only the start!Windows Mobile, iPhones and Android are all working on improving their technologies in this space. Already Google's launch of Google Mobile Apps in iTunes a couple of weeks ago is setting high standards for voice search on your mobile device. So why not do some searching for candidates on the web or on LinkedIn are Facebook while you're queuing up in Marks and Spencers for those addictive choclete cookies or why not use that valueable time when waiting for your next Ryan Air flight to Faro!

The future of recruitment is in the cloud!


Is this the future of remote interviewing?

Maybe the hologramatic interview is not too far away!!!


List of European Search Engines

When sourcing passive candidates on the Internet most recruiters only use Google, which in my opinion is a big mistake. You should always have a healthy variety of search engines at your disposal to source with... at a very least you should also use Live and AltaVista as well. Engines index differently and in my years of searching I have found on numerous occassions CVs in one search engine that did not feature in another.

Here is a list of European search engines to be aware of.