27.5.09

Nokia open Ovi App Store

Nokia has launched its Ovi apps store globally to more than 50 million Nokia device owners across 50 different Nokia device types.  They have done a deal with AT&T to distribute the apps in the US.
 
Content providers and application developers can sign up to distribute their content through Ovi Store by visiting publish.ovi.com. “Ovi Store is open for business and we've stocked the shelves with both local and global content for a broad range of Nokia devices,” said Tero Ojanper√§, executive vice-president, Nokia Services.

“Ovi Store makes shopping for content and applications easy and fun for feature phone and smartphone owners alike,” Ojanper√§ added.

As outlined in a previous blog, what this means for recruitment just like the browser wars where you had to build your web site Netscape and Explorer ready now when launching your mobile app you need to consider multiple platforms as well and you need to pay close attention to which is more suitable to reach your target market.

GPA Jobs Board & Mentors.ie Launch

When I was 18 years of age I remember two clear focuses on my mind: (1) playing soccer to the best of my ability and (2) getting into UCD's commerce course. That same very year  I was fortunate enough to have picked up a few caps to my name for underage soccer against England, Wales and Australia and when my Leaving Cert results came through I was accepted into UCD's commerce course.  At the time I can remember thinking "ok so now that I have got into UCD, what about the soccer???".

At the time I had 3 options that formed a cross roads in my life (1) move to Dublin take up a 4 year contract offered by Ray Tracey to join Shamrock Rovers and try break into the first team (which subsequently went on to win the league that year), (2) take up a soccer scholarship offer to UCD, including accomadation, fees and pocket money and join their tour in 1992 to Singapore and Australia or (3) try get a career in England were Stoke City, Ipswich and Notthingham Forest has been sniffing around but with no real offers to talk about.

I paid a visit to my Mum's friend's son, Jim Beglin, Irish International and double winning left full back for Liverpool and he gave me some sound advice: "If you're good enough, and they want you [UK Clubs], they'll try sign you when your 21, like they did Kevin Moran" - who had also got a UCD Commerces degree, and an All Ireland medal with the Dubs before he went on to play for Manchester United.

I decided I'd take Jim's advice. And to this day I don't regret it. I didn't think I was good enough to make it at the very top levels of the sport anyway and as things turned out I broke my legs twice in different games, both in tackles, the second of which put an end to my League of Ireland career prematurly when I was 26.

As such I know what it is like to dream about sport and aspire to play at the highest level. With that in mind I consider myself very fortune, a player that never went to England but at least one that got a good strong education including my Masters in the UCDs Michael Smurfitt college and one that had a good crack of the whip playing here in Ireland and had something to fall back on. I have two friends who went to England at 17 and 18, never made and came home and have been out of work long term for quite some time. In fact, I read only a few months ago on the Net a shocking stat that only 3% of all young men tha go to England and try to play professional soccer make any sort of living from the game either in the Vauxhall conference or in any of the other professional leagues including Scotland. With the constant vissitudes of the League of Ireland with Cork City in big trouble at the moment it's hard to even try make a living from the game here in Ireland for those that want to apply their trade at home. With that in mind I fully support what the GPA have done with the announcement of their proactive and pioneering job board, here. It's terrible to think that men like Tony Browne who has dedicated the best years of his life to intercounty Waterford hurling now finds himself out of work like many more. A lot of these amateur players were faced with dificult decisions to pursue careers or sport and some followed their hearts and their dreams a corollary of which was a stultified or still born career.

I'd encourage employers out their who may have jobs on offer that may match the skills of some of these talented GAA players to support this initative by going on site and sourcing on the credentials of some of the players that are present in the database. Also, you can post some of the jobs you have on offer up there as well.

You can find out more on the Mentors.ie web site here

26.5.09

1 week to go to the Irish Recruiters "Future of Recruitment conference"

It's just over 1 week to go to the Irish Recruiters LinkedIn Group "Future of Recruitment: Part 1: The Road Ahead" conference at the Westbury Hotel, Dublin on the 3rd of June from 2pm to 7.30pm.

In many ways recruitment is staying the same as it always has been and in many ways we are seeing recruitment's industrial revolution taking place before our very eyes. I believe the industry has begun to "reboot" itself. The Future of Recruitment conference will  discuss what are the challenges affecting the Irish recruitment industry from within and abroad and what role technology will play to evolove the industry as we know it forever. To learn more go here.

On the day (just in case you don't know already) there will be a mini- job fair for unemployed recruiters. During the break session from 4 to 4.30pm potential employers and unemployed recruiters will be provided with a space to meet to see if we can find some unemployed recruiters some jobs.

The Future of Recruitment Is In The Cloud!

21.5.09

Eggsprout's secret is out: New Social Job Board

Last Friday Eggsprout a Seattle based tech company launched its new social job board. Microsoft have already begun to use it back in the US. See here. It's too early to say how it will fair but one thing that is obvious from a lot of the new products enterting the market 2010 will see a bevy of new aggregation tools.

Get ready for CV voice search on your mobile

Voice search is something a lot of people have been working on in the big search engine companies. A new application unveiled by Yahoo has just hit the market that will allow you search restaurent addresses, locations via maps, flight numbers, phone numbers, web site URLs and much more on a select number of mobile phones.

I wonder how long it will take before you can pick up a Nokia 5800 or Samsung Omni and  speak into the phone, for example " C++, 2+ years, software engineer, last 6 months" - and the phone shows me a list of mobile CVs for someone in the team to review on the LUAS ride home. To learn more about the new app go here.

20.5.09

Monster to run a "Keep Europe working" tour

Like the recent tour in the US reported on this blog recently Monster have now turned their attention to Europe. Today in Business Wire, here, you can learn about these free career fairs that will kick off in France and Holland in June.

“We’re looking forward to working with employers across Europe to facilitate the important task of helping people back into work. This tour will extend our efforts across the U.S., where our Keep America Working tour has been a great success, visiting 25 cities to-date and attracting tens of thousands of job seekers. The U.S tour will call at 140 locations by the end of 2009,” said Andrea Bertone, senior vice president, Monster Western Europe. “Monster is ideally positioned to deliver these events through our strong existing relationships with employers, and our broad familiarity as the leading career Web site among consumers.”

Dreamjob.com.br - brillant ad!

For those of you that don't know me too well let me tell you that I have worked and lived in Brazil on many occassions and I consider it very much my second home after Ireland.

I like to monitor the job market in Brazil as much as possible and I've been paying attention of late to a lot of the pay for job searching services that job seekers need to use when searching on niche job boards in Brazil. An interesting business model that doesn't work in Ireland but is quite often the norm in Sao Paulo and Rio. A bit like a job seeker in Ireland having to pay 50 euros a month to use Irish Jobs and register their CV online.

In looking at some of this research I came across a really funny video for a new job board, that would give the big budgets of Monster and CareerBuilder a run for there money:www.dreamjob.com.br.

18.5.09

Smartphone users now have scheduled group text functionality

Good to see one of our own Irish companies, Go2mobile coming out with functionality that let's iPhone and BlackBerrry owners send scheduled group SMS messages. Could be very handy when updating a talent pool of potential candidates about a new job offering. Learn more here.

14.5.09

Scotland’s leading recruitment agency provides lifeline to redundant professionals

Following on from some of the discussions in the Irish Recruiters LinkedIn group about if and how the Irish government should partner with some recruiment agencies to upskill some of the 300k+ people that find themselves unemployed it looks like in Scotland it is already begining to happen.

Check out news update, here, from Orion's web site.

Google Revs Up Some New Search Features

One of the next Rubicon's for search to traverse is the boundaries of structured versus unstructured search. It is much easier to get answers from databases where everything is organised, labeled, stamped and categories correctly. As the avalanche of data being added to the web keeps growing, keyword searching keeps getting closer to breaking point. Introducing this needed structure to the web is something that has been on the mind of some of the world's most famous search engine development departments for some time now. Google started to look at this topic recently with their dipping of toes into "universal search" e.g. embedding You Tube into the search results. However, they are now starting to tackle this with their own Google Squared initiative that has just come out of Google labs. Google Squared extracts data from Web pages and presents them in search results as squares in an online spreadsheet. See video below.

Understanding how search engines work - not just the big 3 - but those that allow "semantic search" and meta search is imperative to understanding how to mine properly. Understanding spidering, indexing, flipping, x-raying, syntax, operators, modifiers and search engine optimisation (SEO)in all its guises and forms is essential to become a modern day smart internet savvy recruiter. Understanding what cross linking is, organic search ranking, meta-tagging, tagging and cross pollination is important if you are to understand how to search in all the various types of informational systems both light, heavy, and the deep web that recruiters currently have for free at their disposal when traditional recruitment techniques have failed. I'll be showing some of the search engines, outside of the "big 3" that recruiters should be aware of, as well as some tools and techniques, they should also begin to investigate more, in order to get better at recruiting at the Future of Recruitment conference on the 3rd of June.

But back to Google for a moment.

There are dozens of semantic search start-ups trying to impose structure on the Web to perform similar tricks as Google Squared. Another high profile start up, which I have covered before on this blog, that is launching this Monday is Wolfram Alpha. This takes a slightly different approach to Google in that it simply ingests massive amounts of information into its own databases where it can query it to its heart’s delight. There seems to be rivalry between both of the companies already. The big,big difference between the both is size. Wolfram's databases will never match what is available on the web. They currently hold 10 terabytes which is a very small number compared to the size of the web.

Google squared is a very experimental, early, step at trying to organise the worlds data on the web in a far more intuitive format that we have today. Looking at the video below where I believe this may apply to recruitment is we will be able to find candidate CVs, bio's conversations, etc in a much more structured format. We may possibly be able in the future run a search that provide focused results that are pushed back in web format in a database layout that can be converted into .csv and then imported into your own ATS for review and dissemination. I'll be watching to see what comes out of this initiative in the future and how it can be applied to making searching for passive candidates more efficient.

13.5.09

Irish Recruiters Conference Update - Mini Recruiters Job Fair

Adding to my recent post on unemployed recruiters attending the conference I would like to say that from 4pm to 4.30pm during the break session in the presentations I am going to set up an area where unemployed recruiters can informally meet companies or recruitment agencies that are trying to hire recruiters. So far I have 3 unemployed recruiters and 1 recruitment agency that said they would like to avail of this. It's a small start but it would be great if it could turn into a tiny job fair which hopefully gets some recruiters back to work. Please spread the word.

11.5.09

For those thinking of developing a iPhone job app what about a Nokia job app as well?

The Nokia 5800 has been selling really well and is Nokia's first clear response to Apple's iphone. It also is a touchscreen handset and is firmly aimed at the mass market. I really like it and I think Nokia are making some great strides on the market of late. With the launch of the Nokia Ovi appstore coming soon we might see more developers begin to roll out products focused on specific nokia handsets as a way of targeting the big nokia market whilst avoiding the problem of trying to serve every single Nokia/ Symbian device.

Some of its impressive stats are:
  • Three million 5800s sold globally since its launch in November 2008, and currently shipping more than one million units per month.
  • the 5800 was Nokia’s number one revenue and gross margin generating product, and was the number one volume and value product in the UK in Q1 2009
  •  UKs biggest selling portable music device - outselling the ipod
There are many but one of the really cool things I like about this device is that Nimbuzz the voip/ messaging mobile app has released a special version of its app for the 5800.

Expect the job apps to also follow suit very soon after Ovi launches. For those who are thinking of creating iPhone apps you may want to think how portabile your concept is over to the Nokia platform onces you get your hands on the developer kit.

9.5.09

Twitter founder set to start new company

Jack Dorsey sent out a tweet letting his followers know that he was, “Getting ready to embark on something new and entirely different. Excited!” The new company has been codenamed "Squirrel". From what I've scraped off the grid what I learnt so far is it's a service that allows anyone with an iPhone to become a seller. A bit like wireless credit card swipers you can see in most restaurents and shops on Grafton Street and anywhere else in Ireland, you can carry around your iPhone and take payments. From what I can gather so far it seems like a Mobile version of PayPal.  Squirrel will be a physical device that attaches easily to the smart device as well as an application you download from an app store.

Irish Recruiters Conferene Update - Unemployed Recruiter Participation

A big thank you for those who have so far confirmed their attendance at the Future of Recruitment: Part 1- The Road Ahead conference. In particular, I'm glad to see so many coming from outside of Dublin.

Last Friday I received some emails from unemployed recruiters who said they really wanted to attend but couldn't because of cost. As such I am now offering 20 tickets on a first come first served basis for 50 euros for all recruiters who currently find themselves unemployed. I hope it helps a little and look forward to seeing you there.

Do you want a free Application Tracking System?

SmartRecruiters.com offers a free ATS that is community driven, takes two minutes to set up and very easy to use. On their site they claim that 1,000 SMEs have switched over to their product in the last 7 months. This is a very cool open SaaS application based on an open source community. Check out the very interesting interview with Jerome Ternynck on the project, here

8.5.09

Tesco using mobile ads successfully to build on consumers loyalty

Tesco are the third biggest retailer in the world and when they start using mobile ads people should take note. They have decided to use the admob mobile advertisment platform to do so and they are using text and text + banner which asks users to click through for a specific action.

Here is a screenshot of an ad they are using to get you to use their mobile servies and gain free Tesco ClubCard points to do so. Clever combining of their points system and discount purchases for their mobile offering using mobile device platforms!

A bit like Software + Services and the new tactics that HMV and other music sellers are using to sell add ons to DVD and CD purchases there is some obvious club card and discount benefits that Tesco will deploy when they have mobile users visiting their mobile platform. Like cheap petrol and some cheap loss leader products to get customers in the door mobile ads will be another tactic they use to reach out to their customers in an innovative fashion.  Cleverly if you go to their mobile landing page here they are offering customers a number of very interesting offers including discount pricing for upgrades and extra ClubCard points for switch overs. I won't be suprised if we see one of the world's largest job boards joining forces with Tesco in the future or see them venture into world of recruitment themselves.

If you are interested in learning more about the future of recruitment and how mobile phones will have a part to play in the evolution of the industry maybe the Irish Recruiters Future of Recruitment conferene is the exact place you want to start your education and exploration on the subject, here.

7.5.09

Twitter CVs has arrived! It continues to get a lot more interesting!



It's hard to keep up with the flurry of apps coming out for Twitter but this one has definitely caught my attention as it is the first time I have seen a Twitter app that allows you post your CV to Twitter. Twtjobs allows you post your CV for free which is very cool and the creaters of it state there will be no cost or advertisment; they simply accept donations which is definitely worth making, even if it just a couple of euros, if you use the services.

Twitter has become a tool well worth investigating in if you have the time. It has some very clear maketing, networking, intelligence gathering and direct sourcing functionality that for me now can't be ignored. The challenges I see with it at present are "noise" and a lack of true "search" functionality. With the momentum now behind the technology realtime updates has got a lot more interesting and RSS almost feels like a thing of the past!

.Mobi

If you are thinking of getting into a mobile web recruitment strategy one of the considerations you may face is what domain to use for a possible landling site on your mobile campaign. Here's something that' helped with my thinking on the topic.

2.5.09

New interesting computational search engine arrives

It's early days for "computational knowledge engines" but one in particular from British-born physicist Stephen Wolfram has hit the information highway a lot this week. It will open to the public in May. Wolfram Alpha is a closed search engine that looks like an amazing hybrid between Wikipedia and Google's OneBox answers for simple, common search queries. The closeness will change soon and when it does I'm looking forward to searching about software development engineers in Ireland and Europe and the related information the index pulls up. Check out the video to make up your own mind.

Alpha will come in free and paid versions. The paid version will allow users download and upload data to the engine. They haven't disclosed pricing yet, but pro users will, for example, be able to not just see a graph, but also download the data behind this graph for use on their own machines or in Mathematica.

The engine is seems not just academic in design. Wolfram is clearly thinking about monetisation and will allows users to embed not just a Wolfram|Alpha search box on their own pages, but they will also be able to embed results and a custom Alpha portal on their own sites. Users will also be able to receive email alerts when a result changes. This is where some advertising may take place.

1.5.09

Microsoft Vine beta launched as of yesterday - Twitter and Facebook on steroids

Here at Microsoft we've been coming up with lots of ideas in the social media space in our labs. Here is one that was launched yesterday that not many people in Ireland are aware of - check out the demo and keep an eye out for future updates by singing up at the beta site, www.vine.net

As it says on the site "Use the dashboard to know what’s happening. Information associated with the places you have chosen will appear on your map, including articles from 20,000 news and public safety sources. Information from people you care about, such as alerts and reports, will appear on the dashboard too. Send and receive alerts. Organize people into groups - the sports team you coach, people who live nearby, family far away, special friends, and emergency contacts. Each person defines how they want to receive alerts – through e-mail, a text message, or on their computer. Reach them quickly using alerts. Post reports. You decide what you want to share with whom, and then the information is sent directly to their personal dashboard. Check in safe and well to let your family know you are okay, let trusted neighbors know you’re headed out of town, keep people informed of situations that matter, or share general information like the team practice schedule for the week."

Also, check out what some of the press have to say about it:


Twitter + Facebook on steroids

Microsoft Vine begins beta in Seattle



Will Monster go the way of Newspapers and Korn Ferry still on top

Very interesting blog post on Harvard Business Published discussing some of the threats that agegator companies like Indeed.com are having on Monster, here, make sure to read some of the comments.

Once again Korn Ferry are recognised again as world's largest executive search firm, here

Monster Worldwide Reports First Quarter 2009 Results

Monster Worldwide has just come out with their first quarter report and as expected it total revenue declined 31% to $254 million, compared with $366 million in the comparable quarter of 2008.

Timothy Yates, Monster’s CFO, during the quarter call, addressed operating expenses, including layoffs both here and in China since acquiring ChinaHR.com last year. “Excluding ChinaHR, we ended the first quarter with almost 400 fewer associates compared with the fourth quarter of 2008,” Yates said. “We also reduced headcount in China by nearly 300 full time associates and a significant number of temporary employees during the first quarter. As a result, total headcount declined 10 percent.”

Monster are also following suit with many other companies and are planning for much more rationalisation:

Sal Iannuzzi, chairman, commented that . “This quarter we’ve made decisions which impact the compensation of all our employees. Merit increases, 401K contributions, and cash incentive compensation have been suspended this year. Any incentive compensation for 2009 will only be paid in the form of four year vesting equity…these actions ensure that our employees will share in our growth as the economy recovers.”

He also talked about Trovix acquisition. “Last year we acquired Trovix to further ramp up our internal technology to provide seekers with more targeted searches. All indications are that Trovix will provide dramatic improvement in results. We are confident we will execute a full implementation by the end of the year with a customer beta roll-out in May.”

To get more financial detail on the accounts go here.