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Category Archives: recruitment

Leon Gettner
June 30, 2010

Lying about careers is common. Two years ago, I did a blog entry looking at how more people were now lying on the CVs, making up stories about their academic background and achievements.

But then, embellishing the truth a little might be part of human nature, something I examined here. That suggests there are plenty around who bend the truth about their career. How far do people go? When do white lies become a problem?

According to Forbes, the most common porkies on people’s CVs are about academic qualifications, playing with dates, inflating your previous salary, making up job titles you never had, lying about technical abilities, claiming language fluency, providing a fake address and inflating your academic performance.

Of course, there are many who say you shouldn’t do it. For example, this piece from The Wall Street Journal warns that honesty is the best policy and you’ll be found out anyway.

Similarly, academics from the Wharton Business School in the United States warn that it’s dangerous. “Embellishment is part of human nature, experts say, and almost everyone is guilty of it at one time or another. Left unchecked, however, exaggerations that seemed innocuous at first could result in serious, potentially career-ending consequences … In today’s work environment, where no one comes in for a job interview without being Googled first — and where small talk in the elevator or comments made at a staff meeting are just a Twitter post away from reaching a global audience — it’s easier than ever to get caught in an exaggeration”

But others take a more nuanced view. Kelly Magowan in the Six Figures blog asks, for example, whether it’s actually lying if we gild the lily a little to make the CV look more interesting. “A bit of embellishment and ‘white lying’ make it far more interesting for the reader and more likely to get you the job. Let’s face it – we all lie. Albeit, the frequency and degree to which we all lie may vary.”

Writing in the Financial Times, columnist Lucy Kellaway says embellishing the truth comes naturally for many. “Lying is surely caused as much by pragmatism as fear. In my experience, it can be jolly useful. And tests have shown that it doesn’t always catch up with you at al.” Kellaway says comoulsive truth tellers don’t last very long in any office. Sooner or later, they are forced out because no one can work with them. “Offices are glued together with lies. We pretend to like people we work with. We must pretend to be satisfied with our jobs. We must pretend to think our company is better than the competition. By accepting a place in any hierarchy, you are bending yourself out of shape.”

At the same time, you would have to say that that in today’s work environment where there is so much pressure to perform, the temptation to bend the truth has never been greater.

So what would you do if there is an inconvenient truth in your past? Do you gloss over it, make something up or come clean? What do you think about bending the truth on a CV? Is it ok, or unacceptable? Do you know of anyone who has? Or have you done it? What did you say?

From: AAP January 11, 2010 11:40AM

THE number of jobs advertised in major newspapers and online rose by 6 per cent in December, the strongest monthly growth in two-and-a-half years.

Overall job ads averaged 149,063 a week, with newspaper job ads rising by 11.6 per cent and internet job ads increasing by 5.6 per cent, an ANZ survey shows.

The rise in December follows a 5.2 per cent increase the month before and it was the strongest monthly growth since May 2007.

ANZ acting chief economist Warren Hogan said total job advertisements have recovered from the recent low in July 2009 as they continue to improve each month.

“This is already translating into employment growth and helping to keep the unemployment rate relatively stable, despite accelerating population and labour force growth,” Mr Hogan said.

“This sustained improvement in job advertisements and actual employment has come relatively early in this economic recovery cycle, indicating the mildness of the downturn Australia has experienced over the past 18 months.”

The report comes ahead of labour force figures for December from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday.

Financial markets expect the number of new jobs created increased by 10,000 in December, and the unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage points in December.

The number of jobs advertised in major metropolitan newspapers averaged 10,631 a week, and were 4.8 per cent higher than 12 months ago, the ANZ survey says.

Online job ads averaged 138,432 a week, but they were 24.1 per cent lower than in December 2008.

Mr Hogan forecasts the job market to continue to improve in the coming months.

“In the near term, the forward indicators appear positive for some solid employment growth in December and over the summer months, although probably at a slower pace than seen in the past three months,” Mr Hogan said.

“The ANZ (and other) job ads surveys are improving rapidly, retail sales turnover grew strongly in November (retail trade is currently Australia’s second largest employing sector, behind health services), business investment and construction are regrouping, and the AiGs three industry surveys (manufacturing, services and construction) all indicated net expansion of employment in December.”

ANZ expects the unemployment rate to peak at around six per cent by mid-2010.

02 July 2009 6:40am

Forget social networking and blogging, video interviewing will have the biggest impact on recruitment of any new technology, argues leading international HR consultant Dr John Sullivan.

Sullivan says the move to video interviewing is finally becoming widespread in the US and Europe and is starting to be seen as a necessity rather than a “nice to have” by leading employers.

Not only is video interviewing a major cost saver, says Sullivan, it speeds up time to fill, reduces interview drop out rates and vastly improves the candidate experience. As well, the “interview from anywhere” concept opens the possibility that recruitment companies and employers may decide to outsource the entire shortlisting process to lower-cost offshore locations.

The trend to video interviewing takes advantage of widespread broadband internet access and inexpensive webcams, two factors that severely restricted videoconferencing as a feasible alternative to face-to-face interviews a decade ago.

The quality of the video has improved significantly with broadband and the latest generation of webcams, adds Sullivan.

“Unlike telephone interviews, facial expressions and body language can be readily seen, something that hiring managers rate as a “must-have” feature,” he says.

Sullivan says hundreds of major employers including HP, Google, Rio Tinto, E*Trade, Whirlpool and Pepsico are now using video interviewing, and usage patterns are climbing at a significant pace.

“I predict that within a few years the ‘interview from anywhere’ approach will become the standard practice for all but final hiring interviews,” Sullivan says in a recent article.

Besides being cheaper, faster and more efficient, Sullivan argues that video interviewing broadens the potential candidate pool by making it possible to easily interview candidates from outside a company’s local area. It also improves candidate availability by enabling candidates to do an interview without spending a day or half day out of their office.

Offering this approach to interviews will help employers and recruiters to be seen as cutting-edge in their field and improve their employer brand.

“By showing respect both for the candidate’s time and the needs of their current firm, you may also build goodwill in your image,” he says.

Australia yet to embrace video interviews
Very few recruiters are using video interviews in Australia at present, according to Tom Culver, national sales manager of video solutions company Vipepower.

Culver argued that video interviews are only practical for the preliminary stages of interviews for executive level jobs. He said one of the biggest hurdles for widespread use of live video interviews is that many companies’ IT firewalls prevent the use of Skype and other video programs.

There is also currently little demand from Australian employers to have the ability to manage video interviews in their applicant tracking systems, according to Adam Whitelaw, product director of recruitment and talent management systems company NGA.NET.

Whitelaw told Recruiter Daily NGA.NET’s software has the ability to work with embedded video links such as Google Videos and clients can also load video files into a file library and link to them from assessment screens or candidate files.

NGA.NET may consider integrating its software with the software of a client’s preferred video partner in the future if requested, he said.

Recruitment Directory’s Thomas Shaw said video interviews “certainly cut down resources if you’re interviewing remotely located staff or you have hiring managers in different locations”.

“[But] nothing still beats a one on one personal interview,” he added.

“You still need to meet the person and get a feel for them. Video interviews are a great introduction to the next step.”

30 June 2009 6:49am

Social networking is an important part of a recruitment strategy but won’t take the place of “old fashioned” personal connections with talent and clients, according to Aquent CEO Greg Savage.

Savage says that when the internet and email first came along, it was widely believed they would “wipe traditional recruiters from the landscape”.

“And none of it came true. None of it,” he says. “The internet and email and job boards didn’t kill off recruiters. New technologies helped them to new heights and new riches.”

While he has embraced social networking, Savage says he does not believe it will inspire a new world of recruiting.

“The truth is that the recruiters who are doing the best now are those who are able to integrate the traditionally required skills with new technologies, and make one plus one equal three.”

Social networking is just a tool
In a recent blog, Savage says social networking is a communications channel recruiters must embrace, but stresses that it’s “not the Holy Grail”.

“It’s just a tool. An enabler, and it needs to be harnessed like all the other mechanisms we use to manage our relationships with clients and candidates,” he says.

He predicts a downturn in the use of social networking sites by recruiters, as the full reality of how hard it is to get a return on investment in that arena becomes clear.

Recruiting by Twitter is not targeted
Savage says that until a more structured and fruitful way to mine networking sites is developed, posting a job vacancy via Twitter is “even less targeted than the least targeted job board”.

“Of course, candidates and even clients, will originate from your social networking site on occasion,” he says.

“But I also pick up candidates and clients from amongst the parents on the sidelines of my son’s rugby matches! No one is really suggesting that as a targeted, sustainable way to re-invent recruiting are they?”

Nothing wrong with being “old-fashioned”
Savage says that just before the recruitment market crashed about 18 months ago, an exiting employee of his company commented, “Aquent is a great place and Greg a good enough guy, just too old-fashioned”.

“The departing employee who made that remark was going to a new staffing world of in-house café lattes, flexible work hours, torn-jeans dress code – and a talent management strategy based entirely on scanning Facebook all day,” he says.

“Sadly that business is gone, along with many of its ilk.”

Savage says it is the “old fashioned” recruiters who actually look to connect, personally, with talent and clients that will survive the current downturn and thrive in the inevitable upswing.

01 July 2009
‘You don’t have Australian experience’ – the biggest cop out in a recruiter’s lexicon
When I was recruiting temp accountants for Recruitment Solutions in Sydney during the 1990s, I took a lot of satisfaction in placing many ‘number crunchers’ who didn’t have ‘Australian experience’.

These arrivals to the Great Southern Land had permanently left homes in countries such as Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Fiji, to name just a few. None of these accountants had previously set foot in a workplace full of Vegemite lovers, yet I was able to secure them assignments with my varied clients , covering industries such as Financial Services, Travel, Freight & Logistics, Telecommunications and Property.

I accomplished this in an environment where ‘skills shortage’ was barely a glint in the amorous eye of the Australian labour market. For the benefit of the Gen Y’s reading this, who were merely a glint in their father’s eye, at the time, unemployment took four years to move down a miniscule 1.5 percentage points (9.7% in July 1994 to 8.2% in July 1998) as the Australian economy slowly built up steam after the ‘recession we had to have’.

When I hear today’s recruiters moan about any alleged ‘skills shortage’ in their market, I am always interested to know how many candidates without ‘Australian experience’ they have placed or even referred to their clients recently. The response that is typically shot back at me is ‘my clients won’t look at them’.

Really? And as expert in your field of work, you accept this response?

What a cop out!

It’s a lame excuse typical of an unskilled, under-trained or lazy recruiter – or all three.

Why is it a lame excuse? Because competence at work is determined by behavior.

Australian workplace behavior is NOT unique – it has far more similarities than differences when compared to other workplaces around the world.

Humans tend to observe differences and exaggerate their magnitude and significance far beyond what objective analysis would justify. Believing that workplace behaviours found in other countries are not replicated in Australia (or vice versa) is ignorant, arrogant, naïve and patently false.

No matter in what workplace or which country a candidate has gained their experience, they will have developed a range of competencies to a certain level. The fundamental job of ANY recruiter is to identify these competencies and assess whether the level of these competencies at least matches the minimum level required for the job the candidate has applied for.

In circumstances where ‘Australian experience’ is relevant it is mostly tied to appropriate standards and qualifications required of immigrants by professional associations, as distinct from a specific amount of experience in an Australian workplace (eg medicine, accounting).

Even so, I still placed plenty of ‘No Australian Experience Candidates’ (NAECs) into temp roles that required competency in accounting skills (eg management accounting, reconciliations etc) rather than Australian-specific accounting knowledge areas (eg tax and law).

So was I a politically correct, bleeding heart, do-gooder leftie who had a personal crusade against discrimination in Australian workplaces? LOL. Far from it!

As a recruiter, I was one of the most hard-arsed, commercially driven recruiters around. I only placed candidates that were the best possible candidates for my clients’ jobs, regardless of Australian work experience or not.

It made huge commercial sense for me to place accountants without land girt by sea experience. Here are the major reasons why:

Skill: Accounting fundamentals around the world are the same. As long as I asked the right questions I could quickly ascertain how well matched the skills of a NAEC were to my client’s requirements.

Reliability, loyalty and commitment: An Australian reference, even from a 4 week temp job, was seen as invaluable to NAECs, so they worked hard, never complained and completed their assignments as agreed.

Flexibility: After all the inevitable patience, drama and organisation required to relocate to Australia, changing trains, catching buses or working in grungy, off-the-beaten-track, Sydney suburban offices, didn’t phase a NAEC as much as it did my true-blue Aussie candidates.

Value: Grateful for a job, NAECs accepted a fair rate for the job and never attempted to negotiate an unjustified rate increase half way through their assignment.

No distracting perm interviews: Because perm recruiters put my NAECs in the ‘too hard basket’, my candidates were not distracted by calls and interviews for perm jobs.

Temp-to-perm pot of gold: As skilled workers who were also reliable and committed, it didn’t take too long for my clients to be convinced of the excellent value offered by my NAECs. Perm job offers often followed and were never turned down.

Referrals: NAECs had close-knit, well-connected communities and networks and as a result I always had a steady stream of quality referrals (candidates AND clients).

Given this long and not exhaustive list, it would seem that it’s a no-brainer to place competent NAECs into relevant roles – so why isn’t it happening in recruitment agencies all over Australia?

To find out the answer go to for Part 2 of my article

Peter Martin
June 18, 2009

A FOREIGN or indigenous-sounding name gives people less chance of landing a job in Australia, a study has found. Unless your name sounds Italian and you’re in Melbourne, in which case it can be an advantage.

Australian National University researchers Alison Booth, Andrew Leigh and Elena Vargonova sent out 4000 fake job applications to employers advertising on the internet for entry-level hospitality, data entry, customer service and sales jobs, changing only the racial origin of the supposed applicants’ names.

Applicants with Chinese names fared the worst, having only a one-in-five chance of getting asked in for interviews, compared to applicants with Anglo-Saxon names whose chances exceeded one-in-three.

Typically a Chinese-named applicant would need to put in 68 per cent more applications than an Anglo-named applicant to get the same number of calls back. A Middle Eastern-named applicant needed 64 per cent more, an indigenous-named applicant 35 per cent more and an Italian-named applicant 12 per cent more.

But the results varied by city. Sydney employers were generally more discriminatory than those in Melbourne or Brisbane, except when it came to indigenous names, where they were more accepting.

But only in Melbourne was there a type of non-Anglo name that was actually loved. Melbourne employers were 7 per cent more likely to respond well to someone with an Italian name than they were to an Anglo name.

Asked to guess why, Dr Leigh hastened to point out that the 7 per cent bias in favour of Italian-sounding names was not statistically significant.

“But what it does allow you to say is that there is no statistically discernible discrimination against Italian names in Melbourne. They are as well-regarded as Anglo names.

“This could be because Melbourne has a higher share of Italians than other Australian cities, and has had for a long time. Discrimination tends to be higher when you have a recent influx of arrivals, as Sydney has from China and the Middle East.

“Or it could be because many of the jobs we pretended to apply for were waiter and waitressing positions in bistros, bars, cafes and restaurants.”

Asked whether the study had found that Australian employers were racist, Dr Leigh said it was clear they discriminated on the basis of the racial origin of applicants’ names. “There is no other reasonable interpretation of our results,” he said.

The fake applications had made clear that the supposed job-seekers had completed secondary schooling in Australia, making it unlikely that the employers had assumed the non-Anglo applicants could not speak English.

A similar study carried out in the US found that applicants with African-American-sounding names needed to submit 50 per cent more applications than white applicants to get the same number of interviews, suggesting that Australian employers were more prejudiced, except when it came to Italians and Australians with indigenous names.

By Caitlin O’Toole
June 16, 2009 09:12am

A YEAR ago, accounting and mining engineering students would be fielding two or three job offers halfway through their final year.

Now, they can’t afford to be choosy, and count themselves lucky to get a single offer.

Graduate Careers Australia research manager Bruce Guthrie said the economic uncertainty takes the shine off industries hit hard by the downturn, like formerly ‘hot jobs’ in mining and finance.

“A lot of employers have just been holding back a little bit, waiting to get some firm idea about what the rest of the year will bring,” said Mr Guthrie.

“Some employers decided maybe to be a little more prudent and either decided to delay hiring, or pay people and say ‘sorry we’ll withdraw the offer’.”

WHAT has your experience been of the graduate job market? Tell us below.

Related Coverage
Graduate Officer
Adelaide Now, 19 May 2009
Agri-graduates amongst the lowest paid
Adelaide Now, 31 Mar 2009
Plenty on grad’s plate
The Australian, 27 Mar 2009
Fewer booths at job fairs
The Australian, 18 Mar 2009
Uni grad beats credit crisis with 50 jobs, 16 Mar 2009 Even accountants, which formerly moaned about a skills shortage, are cutting back. ‘Big four’ firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers offered graduates $4000 to delay their start date, and Ernst & Young postponed graduate start dates.

Almost 70 per cent of graduates expect it will be hard to get a position because of the economy, according to a CareerOne survey. And almost half of grads aren’t working in the field they studied.

As architecture and building, accounting, engineering and business graduate programs mirror the economy, the less glamorous careers will hold up, predicts Mr Guthrie.

“Commonly those are areas in the teaching, health sciences areas, where demand for employees isn’t governed by the economy,” he said.

Headlines about layoffs and fewer graduate spots in the private sector mean graduates are turning to public service, where competition for graduate spots has jumped.

Applications for the Australian Tax Office’s graduate program, with its $49,000 starting salary and 15.4 per cent super, jumped from 1701 to 5312 applicants this year, most with tax, accounting, law or economics degrees.

Employers attending careers fairs have fallen 15 per cent, said Dawn White, president of The National Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (NAGCAS).

But having to fight hard to get a job could have a silver lining, as fewer grads fall into the formerly ‘safe’ career options of law, finance or accounting and think seriously about what they really want to do with their lives, she said.

Although investment banks are still recruiting on campuses, fewer students are showing up for their information sessions, said Ms White.

Students are now less likely to enter banking just to keep their parents happy, even though there are still jobs and even signing bonuses on offer.

“You read in the paper of a company cutting jobs, and then they ring up the next day and want to recruit grads,” said Ms White.

‘Hot jobs’ like IT or banking are just trends, and students are better off thinking carefully about what they really want to do, she said.

Recessions push people to make a more conscious career choice and think about what they are good at and what they really enjoy, because the ‘safe’ career track is gone, said Ms White.

“It might have made people realise there aren’t any specific safe industries, so it’s more important to do something you enjoy and gain transferable skills.”

“It’s forcing students to have a look at their priorities and their reasons for getting into things,” said Ms White.,27753,25643410-5012426,00.html

May 19, 2009 – 7:01AM
Sun Yizhen considered her university degree in international trade the ticket to a prestigious career with a state-owned enterprise like Bank of China in Beijing. Instead, she found herself huddled against a freezing wind in a middle school parking lot in Huai’an, waiting to interview for a job with the local tax collector.

“I never thought I’d go for civil-servant jobs,” said Sun, 21. “But the financial crisis is something that none of us would expect. We’re just desperate.”

The global financial meltdown is taking a toll on this year’s 6.1 million Chinese college graduates and the 1 million still unemployed from last year. The government said the 2009 official urban registered unemployment rate may reach 4.6 per cent – a three-decade high – as collapsing exports drag gross domestic product to its lowest growth rate in nine years.

That is turning off the pipeline depositing new graduates with multinational corporations and state companies, forcing many students to lower their sights and consider the once-unthinkable for them: a civil-service career. The last test for central government openings attracted about 775,000 candidates – or 56 for every job, a 20 per cent jump from the year before.

Prospects aren’t any better in the US and UK. Just 20 per cent of graduating US students who applied for a job have one, according to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. That’s down from 26 per cent last year and 51 per cent in 2007.

The US unemployment rate reached 8.9 per cent last month. Of the 35,000 students surveyed, 12 per cent had plans to work in government, compared with 8.9 per cent last year, spokeswoman Mimi Collins said.

In the UK, a December survey of 100 firms by London-based High Fliers Research Limited showed that they had reduced recruitment targets by 17 per cent since September and expected to hire almost 3400 fewer graduates this year than planned. The UK jobless rate was 7.1 per cent in March.

Yet the number of entry-level positions for graduates in public service increased by 51 per cent in 2008-2009. A third of 1017 final-year students from 30 universities say such work is more appealing now, the survey said.

China’s Communist Party is especially sensitive about student unemployment as it approaches the 20-year anniversary of the student-led Tiananmen Square uprising in June. The State Council said in January that creating jobs for new graduates was the government’s top priority.

“Students, please rest at ease,” Premier Wen Jiabao said in December while visiting Beijing University of Aeronautics and Aerospace, state media reported. “We are putting the problem of graduates’ employment on top of our agenda.”

The labor ministry said it would lend money to small- and medium-sized enterprises and subsidize salaries for positions in the countryside.

The China Disabled Person’s Federation received more than 4700 applications for a community-organiser position, said Wei Chunfeng, a human resources official there. The starting salary is 3000 yuan ($US440) a month.

“Civil-servant jobs just became suddenly attractive again,” Wei said.

China’s official jobless rate doesn’t include rural workers migrating from one province to another, a population the labor ministry puts at 130 million. A survey of the entire population last year showed the estimated unemployment rate may have reached 9.4 per cent, the government-backed Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said in December.

Only 20 per cent of graduating seniors landed work in the first quarter this year, down from the historical average of 70 per cent, said Sherman Chan, a Sydney-based economist at Moody’s, an economic analysis unit of New York-based Moody’s Corp.

Since changes were introduced in 1978, China’s economy has averaged 9.9 per cent annual growth and is now the world’s third-largest behind the US and Japan. Wen says GDP must expand 8 per cent a year to create enough jobs in the world’s most populous nation.

The Washington-based World Bank, a multilateral lender established after World War II, predicts growth will slow to 6.5 per cent this year. China is one of five major economies – joining Australia, Brazil, India and Russia – that are still growing, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

By comparison, the world economy may contract 1.3 per cent this year, said the International Monetary Fund, the Washington-based lender with 185 member nations. The US economy shrank 2.6 per cent in the first quarter from a year earlier.

A dearth of opportunities for China’s best and brightest may present a challenge to Communist Party leaders, who say the economy must wean itself from dependence on low-cost manufacturing and develop the auto, shipbuilding and steel industries.

“Failing to find those students proper jobs would mean a great loss of human resources, thus irreversible economic loss over a long term,” said Li Xiangwei, head of the college graduate employment department at the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

Students from the best schools who cannot find employment will go abroad for work or graduate school and may not come back, said William McCahill Jr., vice chairman of research firm JL McGregor & Co. in Beijing.

“For the U.S. it’s been a great source of innovation and technological growth,” he said. “That trend might be a bit accentuated.”

Eric Ma, 25, is earning his master’s degree in logistics from the Shenzhen branch of Tsinghua University – ranked in U.S. News & World Report as the No. 2 school in China. He interviewed unsuccessfully with Procter & Gamble Co. of Cincinnati and Lenovo Group Ltd. of Raleigh, North Carolina, and said he couldn’t even get in the door at Atlanta-based United Parcel Service Inc. and New Brunswick, New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson.

He said he beat out 1,000 others taking the test for a resource management position with the National Development and Reform Commission in Beijing.

“Graduating from the most prominent university doesn’t help very much this year,” Ma said.

Students are under great stress to succeed, said Li of the human resources ministry. China has a one-child policy. Parents in eight of the biggest cities — including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou – spend about a third of their incomes on education, according to the Beijing-based Horizon Research Consultancy Group.

“Every student carries the hope of the entire family, so there would be great social impact if they can’t find jobs,” Li said. “The government is under pressure.”

Civil service is nicknamed the “gold rice bowl” because of its stability, annual pay raises and benefits packages, Wei said. Most of the more than 10 million civil servants work in government and law enforcement, and in related agencies.

Sun, a slender 5-foot-3 (1.6-metre) woman, said she never considered that route while attending Beijing Technology and Business University. She interviewed to be an interpreter with Shenzhen-based Huawei Technologies, the nation’s biggest maker of equipment for telephone networks, and a customer- service representative with Beijing-based Bank of China, the country’s third-largest by market value.

Her worried parents encouraged her to take the civil- service test in November, she said in a series of interviews by phone and in person in Beijing. She focused on jobs outside the capital because she believed there would be less competition.

She said she expects to earn between 2000 and 3000 yuan a month. Her family calls her a “little gold collar,” meaning she can live comfortably as a civil servant because her hometown is less expensive than Beijing.

“It wouldn’t be my dream job, but when I look around at my classmates, I think, ‘Oh God, I finally got settled!”‘ she said.

Maybe it was just me, but I was amazed pre-GFC at how many employers were complaining about skill shortage and their struggles to find candidates, talking about their employer branding and employer of choice strategies, but who were still using the approaches and technologies they used when labour was plentiful…and not noticing the contradiction….

12 May 2009 8:17am

Corporate career sites should be customised to their target audience and manage candidates’ job expectations, according to technology and HR expert Gerry Crispin.

Too often, they fail to engage candidates in ways that influence their career decisions and only very rarely do they let candidates know what to expect during the recruitment process, he says.

Crispin told last week’s Australasian Talent Conference that career sites should:
be customised to your target audience – know who you want to hire and tailor your content and design to those people. To engage people, they should recognise “people like me”;

cross-link to other platforms – have a Facebook page, for example, that scrolls your hot jobs;

demonstrate a sense of urgency – have a chat room where potential candidates can ask live questions;

omit static information and diagrams of ‘career ladders’ – “it gives the wrong message”;

offer a user guide – “If you’re interested in doing this, go here, or if you just want more information about us, go here”;

increase the transparency of the application process – offer “clear data about how you hire people and what the process is”. Explain how frequently you have jobs open and what they are;

detail your community involvement – “what are you dealing with in terms of sustainability? People make decisions based on that”;

manage job expectations – “ask key questions of employees that get deep into core values of your company, such as how they excel in terms of performance, and how they innovate in terms of products”, and post videos of their answers. The messages on the site must be aligned with the reality or people won’t stay;

tie in self assessments – more employers are doing this, but the next step is to share the data with applicants. “Both the organisation and [the applicant] should know whether [they] should go forward; and

respect candidates – “acknowledge every action”. Disclose what comes next in the process; promise to protect applicants’ data; offer them status updates and explain why they weren’t selected.
“Most companies are not here yet,” Crispin says, “but you see pieces of it being built in the most competitive organisations”.

By Europe correspondent Emma Alberici

Posted 6 hours 3 minutes ago

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has welcomed Australia’s plan to introduce a parental leave scheme but says it is less generous than what is offered by other countries.

Of all the advanced economies, Australia and the United States are the only countries that do not offer statutory paid-maternity leave.

Economist Willem Adema of the OECD’s Social Policy Division welcomes the announcement of an Australian scheme to begin in 2011 but says the amount allocated to it is low when judged against similar schemes around the world.

While Australia’s proposal is means tested, the paid leave offered in the other 38 other OECD countries is open to all parents, regardless of income.

The OECD reports that in many European countries parents are given between 75 and 100 per cent of their wages for up to 18 months.