May 2010

 “So you want to be a Poker Star”™,  is down to the final 4 poker players. As mentioned before in this Blog,  “So you want to be a Poker Star”™,  is a reality TV show from TDPro featuring Poker Pros as mentors to teams of Poker Players aspiring to become Pros themselves!
Stay tuned as I will be announcing the filming date for the finale show when I have it.

I read somewhere that each month there are over 100 Million job related searches initiated on Google.  Also confirmed by Google, longer search phrases with 4 word phrases e.g. “store manager woman’s fashion” are growing faster than shorter phrases e.g. “store manager”.  I know the above to be true in my experience as I personally test this out monthly looking for postings in the Dallas Fort Worth Area.  As I see it, if these companies are looking to fill these positions, they may be interested in my consulting services in the interim.

Obviously the problem appears that most companies’ career pages are not search engine friendly that means when you post your jobs through your Applicant Tracking System, you’re getting them onto your website—but you’re not getting them to the web.

In order to optimize job posting searches on the web, they first of all have to make it to the careers section of your website.  Basically it comes down to companies being super proactive when it comes to listing open positions at their company.  I may be going out on a limb here, but I think that larger corporations have a process for approving and posting open positions but smaller companies may not.  How many times have you seen a job on a board on through a recruiter and it is not even on the corporate website yet?  This process has to be fixed first in order gor SEO to occur.

Once this process is implemented, start to write the job postings so that they are search engine friendly.  Include things such as:

  • The title – you will want to make sure that your page title includes the most commonly used title for
    the position, as well as the location of the position. 
  • The description – does it have as many bullet points and “buzz worthy” words as you can (while still sounding professional).
  • The details –  do you have salary ranges? Years of experience? The date of the posting?
  • Headers —Search engine spiders generally give more “weight” to words that appear in headers, on
    the theory that they are a good indicator as to what the page is about. 
  • Keywords —As a general rule, you should use your keywords repeatedly in your document.  The more they appear, the higher those keywords will rank your page in the search engine results.  But, you do not want to go overboard.

Next, HR needs to partner up with the SEO ninjas in IT to push out a perfectly optimized job listing page or if using with an outsourced ATS partner, work with their ninjas!  If you use a vendor, this process may be a bit harder in real life, a quick search of Kenexa’s web site for SEO and Search Engine Optimization yielded no results.

CBC Prime Time News makes one of the first news mainstream reports on the “revolution” called “internet” check out this one from the archives (1993).

In late 2008 I was working with a company to specify and deploy an internal “enterprise” social network “software” as part of a larger social network initiative.  The question at the time was “What is  social media, why is it important, and what is our social media strategy going to be?”

We had formed an internal  cross-functional steering team to address these issues, and like every team, some members attended consistently and some did not.  The folks who attended eventually got on board for the larger social networking initiatives, but were torn down the middle to the value of this employee enterprise network.

I think even in 2010 there is a lot of debate at the executive level whether social networks offer any value to companies, and if so, where?  Some have identified its value to that of just a marketing and/or recruiting tool externally, but internally, many have seen them only as a drag on productivity (or potentially even more dangerous). 

Anyway, we were all set to launch this new employee network when HR stepped in and put the kibosh on it.  It is important to note, that HR was definitely an invited participant on this larger steering team 🙂

So my question becomes, where do you stand on this issue?  Do you believe that employee “enterprise” social networking software lets the employee stay in touch with a large network of colleagues thus allowing the employee to keep up to date with that they’re doing, working on, and producing or telling this network the same?  Or do you believe that al large portion of this group will waste time or even more frightening; say negative things about people in the firm, or about the organization as a whole. 

Personally, after designing this social network, I believe that connecting employees to those who can help answer questions quickly (and more importantly accurately) is a huge win for the organization.  By all employees networking with their peers (even those they have not met yet) we essentially flatten  the organizational structure and remove barriers (departments, time zones, title).  With the ability to form “Groups” within the employee base we can start to maximize our employee IP by teaming those with similar interests and/or job functions.  Imagine the VP’s collaborating in a “VP Group” on the most important issue of the day, real-time, without waiting to call a meeting or without the formal structure of that meeting.

Man, that’s power!

So, VMforce was released this week which will enable Java developers to create and deploy new applications in the cloud using’s cloud enviroment and VMWare’s Vcloud.

I am reading a lot about how this is going to change the face of Enterprise applications and wonder if this will turn out to be true.  I see a lot of features that I really like such as the interface provided by the Spring Source Tool Suite, the ease of provisioning provided by Vcloud and the VMForce built in reporting and dashboarding coupled with the ability to adapt for mobile…

My question is, can this new cloud enviroment make its way into the Enterprise?  Definitely the agility is fantastic, especially when compared to the current cycles large companies have for procuring and configuring a new enviroment (assuming you can justify it in the first place).   Once you’ve seen provisioning and configuration done in the cloud, the old way seems crazy.

In one of my latest customer engagements, trust in IT has to be re-earned every day forcing IT to have to bid against outside vendors just to be able to develop internal applications and the process for justifying and approving this IT spend gets harder and harder every day.

If internal IT governance and processes makes it harder for a business unit to get things done, then they almost feel like they have to circumvent IT.  Everyday I hear at least one person in the business say “If I can’t get it done the official way, I’ll get it done another way.”

So as IT departments deal with issues like added bureaucracy and complexity, more governance, less annual budget and a record high number of competing priorities, can they reinvent themselves and provide the agile services the business is looking for? I think it will all come down to leadership because it is bound to get a bit bloody along the way.