Thanks to the British Consulate in Düsseldorf

A new passport in three hours.

A consulate is a potentially stressful place, after all people don’t go there to be patriotic. They go when they have issues. 

The Consulate  team in Düsseldorf was friendly and supremely efficient.  Airports could learn something from the security team at the consulate, through, yet welcoming.

My old passport was getting very tatty. Last time I flew, the airline nearly didn’t let me fly.  My problem is that I travel too much to post it in and wait for a new one.  So I had to drive up to Düsseldorf, that took longer than the passport process.

Thanks again for great service.

It has one of these in. But I can’t blame the folks in Düsseldorf for that.


(photo from Kai Hendry)


Pondering Integration


Photo from the excellent cc stream of pupski.thanks.

I’ve not posted much recently, I’d been meaning to post on HR tech, but several other blogs have done an excellent job of summarising the event(See Brian, Larry,Jim, Bill, Jason, HRmarketer and Zach for starters).

I have been thinking a lot about integration recently. I’m back from HR Tech, and Jim and I are in the middle of the employee performance management magic quadrant process. I’m hearing a whole lot about integrated talent management at the moment. The list of ‘unique’ integrated solutions is now rather long. Someone listening in from another planet would think that word unique means we do the same stuff the other guys are talking about.

HCM vendors of all varieties are talking about how they have integrated the stuff together that they own. My succession talks to my performance, my performance talks to my development, my development talks to my learning and so on.  Yes this is all good stuff.

I’ve spent some time this week talking with several multinationals here in Europe. They are also asking lots of questions about integration.

The integration they are worried about is a different one.

They are concerned how to connect their talent management applications to the rest of their applications. They are worried about building parallel universes. Silo 2.0.

HR IT leaders are beginning to realize that they need to learn a whole lot about data governance, data semantics and masterdata management. Chucking a CSV file over the firewall and hoping for the best isn’t really going to cut it. Managing and syncing core HR organisation data is what will keep HR IT awake.

It is good to see vendors getting their own applications talking to each other, but I sense they have been neglecting the real customer challenge. HCM applications should work closely with the rest of the business applications out there.

Vendors that focus and take responsibility for integration beyond applications they build. Now that would be unique.

(cross posted on my Gartner blog)

The death of a word.

You were a lovely word. It wasn’t your fault.

A maverick is an unbranded range animal, especially a motherless calf; it can also mean a person who thinks independently; a lone dissenter; a non-conformist or rebel. The word first arose in mid-19th century America from Samuel Augustus Maverick, a Texas politician with a large ranch full of unbranded cattle

From Wikipedia.

I think it will be at least a generation before the word can recover.



A cow. In Garmisch. THanks to the opensource stream of heritagefutures.

Youtube and graduate recruitment

Cross posted from my Gartner blog.

Readers of my blogs and research will know that I’m largely in favour of HR exploiting the “rich tapestry” of the Internet, and especially web 2.0 solutions such as YouTube, Facebook, Ning and LinkedIn. Candidates are using these tools, so HR is missing something if they aren’t aware of what’s out there. I do wish more HR folks would at least read The Cluetrain.

Microsoft’s recruitment blogs are an excellent example of the effective use of blogging in a recruitment context. They  provide good guidance on how best to apply to Microsoft and put a human face on what is, for most job seekers, a daunting exercise.  They make good use of video too.

I’m  working on a note at the moment on the employer brand and social software, so I decided to spend sometime in YouTube surfing around looking at recruitment related activities. Nothing like a bit of primary research.

I found this example from Google. An engineer is doing the talking rather than corporate communications or HR.  It isn’t a professional video, but it is neatly produced. It works quite well, and it does an excellent job of showcasing female engineers. There are some moments of “scripted acting”  but most of it is genuinely open and transparent discussion. It gives a good insight into Google. It is probably a tad long.

This one from Cisco. More polished. It positions the organisation well, without being too syrupy.  There are several other Cisco employee cameos out on youTube, most of them well done.


Xobni, a start up, (Xobni is inbox spelt backwards) uses “developer” humour. It picks up on the company culture and gives an excellent insight into the business. It works. I really liked this one. If you watched that before the interview you would have a really good idea about the company and the people that work there. It takes a good bit of creativity to pull this off.

I’m nearly 20 years older than the target market for this clip, but I do wonder about the effectiveness of this particular effort from Cap Gemini

At the very least, HR should have an idea about what is out there on YouTube about their company. Consider putting recruitment videos on YouTube, but I’d suggest you need to tread a fine line between over produced corporate advertising and “hip and funky” amateur attempts. Remember also to consider copyright issues on backing tracks. What techniques have you seen out there that work? Please send me links to the ones you like and the ones that make you cringe.