Q&A with Rob Papworth - Social Media Resources for IT Recruitment and how to retain overseas talent


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In this Q&A with Rob Papworth, Recruitment Manager at Ericsson, he goes through how Ericsson source quality candidates through social media websites and online resources. He also details the major pitfalls most companies fall to when recruiting from overseas.

Rob Papworth will be speaking at the Recruitment and Retention in the IT Sector Conference. For more information about the event, please visit www.recruitmentinIT.com.au or call +61 2 9229 1000 or email enquire@iqpc.com.au

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Q&A with Rob Papworth - Social Media Resources for IT Recruitment and how to retain overseas talent

  1. 1. Social Media Resources for IT Recruitment and how to retain overseas talent Q&A with Rob Papworth, Recruitment Manager at Ericsson Recruitment & Retention in the IT Sector 2011Human Resources IQIn recent years we’ve seen IT recruitment being increased in social media focus, ITrecruits and HR professionals are using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, andothers, to find quality candidates. So what is your approach to social mediarecruitment? What kind of role does it actually play?Rob PapworthI tend to classify social media in two types. I think there’s more of a personal-stylesocial media, and I think there’s more of a professional-style social media. For me,as a head of recruitment, I’ve aligned our strategies more towards the professionalside and we’re mostly focused on LinkedIn. We have a very strong presence onLinkedIn by way of Ericsson Alumni, and we also advertise our roles, and we alsohave a very active presence from my team in terms of linking with the actualcandidate marketplace.In terms of the parts of social media, we initially did have a Facebook presencewhich was mainly around connecting with undergraduate students, but we do findFacebook very personal social media space so as an actual region, we no longerhave a Facebook presence.In terms of Twitter, we decided not to have a presence there either. We personallybelieve that Twitter has a lot of activities, a lot of noise, but I do question its benefitsfor recruitment. And I know that different people in my role have different types ofuse, but for us as Ericsson, mainly invested in terms of LinkedIn.Also, we have some blogs. For instance, we actually maintain a blog on Whirlpool.Whirlpool is a very popular place for IT undergraduates. And every time we do anactual graduate campaign, we actually manage the Whirlpool site to liaise andhandle questions from graduates. 1
  2. 2. Now on final note, we’ve also built an actual webpage which is ericssongrad.com.auand we actually maintain a blog on that gives people the chance to correspond withus. But in summary, for us it’s about having a professional social media and we’revery aligned to LinkedIn because we find it a very professional tool.Human Resources IQIt’s well known that IT professionals don’t really job seek, so what kind of innovativestrategies do you have and to overcome this? And do you actually use currentemployee network?Rob PapworthSo we’ve got two types recruitment, one is what you called more than actual pool oran actual proactive type recruitment when you try to weigh pool candidates in. Forus, we have a very active presence in terms of technical user groups and alsoamongst Ericsson Alumni and also using the referral network within the organizationto actually try to identify candidates or to simply talent pool and capture people on anongoing basis. I think for us, there’s a strong presence in this body, sometimescalled the passive candidate market. But by saying that, I do actually believe that ITprofessionals do look for work. And what I’ve found is the more technical they are,the more they rely on technical search tools such as leveraging seek.com or usingLinkedIn. And what I’ve found with people that are more in IT, but moremanagement related, is that they tend to use more their networks and referrals. Sofor instance, for me as a manager and designing a recruitment strategy, I will use alot of technical means to actually find technical people; put a lot of relationshipmeans to find management staff. And how we came about that is when we came onboard here, I simply surveyed the business, and I surveyed the new hires, and wentthrough a process to find out amongst those people - where would they go toactually find work and where did they go to find work, and then we put up a verycomplete profile of how to actually find people.Human Resources IQSkills shortage in Australia has meant IT companies are increasingly recruiting fromoverseas. Now, how do you ensure you’re creating a supportive workingenvironment for overseas professionals?Rob PapworthI think Australia still has a very strong value proposition internationally. Whilst I feelfrom remuneration perspective, we’re not competitive against some regions, I thinkfrom an actual lifestyle, actual job content, family, and from a social perspective, howour proposition is actually quite strong.In terms of relocations, I think it’s important to think about it from two points of view.One is the actual individual who does actually come across and actually work from 2
  3. 3. this region, but bear in mind they’re coming into an actual workforce and they’recoming in to actually be bonded and are simulated into that work environment.For the second part is –don’t forget the actual people around the individual. It couldbe their family, it could be their partners, it could be anyone that’s attached andcoming across with them; and often organizations forget that. And in some of theresearch I’ve done in the past actually says that most reasons why relocationsinternationally fail is not because of individual, but because the people surroundingthat individual. So for us at Ericsson, we have a very strong focus in terms of thecomplete relocation picture and in that case would outsource to a third-party to helpindividuals with their transition.At Ericsson, we obviously have a strong global community and for us here, it’s acommon gateway for us to hire people.Human Resources IQWhere do you think the IT recruitment industry is heading?Rob PapworthIn terms of recruitment, I feel there’s been a few major changes over the last decade.I did see recruitment become very much focused in terms of recruitment agenciesand a case of very small internal teams, engaging on a high percentage basisagencies.The last five years, I’ve seen a trend which is more the creation of larger internalteams and less of an actual engagement of agencies and I actually do feel thatcontinuing. However, I do see a role for really good confident agencies who do knowtheir actual market because of highly confident internal team who always need anagency in times of either peak workload, specialization, or in times of very tightmarkets. And I feel that as the market is picking up we’re heading more and morefor third category.I feel where we’re heading is a greater partnership between our internal teams thatare highly confident with actually highly confident agencies and I see the role ofagencies on that level diminishing over time because I think the market will slowlymove away from them.Rob Papworth, the Recruitment Manager at Ericsson, will be speaking at theRecruitment and Retention in IT Sector Conference. For more informationabout this event, please visit www.recruitmentinit.com.au. Alternatively, youcall us on 02-9229-1000 or email us on enquire@iqpc.com.au.Dont forget, you can also follow us on Twitter @iqpc_australia. 3
  4. 4. Human Resources IQCan you please tell us a bit about your experience and your role at Ericsson?Rob PapworthAt Ericsson, I currently manage recruitment for Australia and New Zealand.We look after few things, we look after permanent recruitment both internaland external, we look after contractor recruitment, contractor management,graduate campaigns, and also interviews and downsizing as well. Personally,outside of Ericsson, I have 13 years in total in recruitment, I’ve worked bothinternally, the agency side, and also in RPO, and I’m currently studyingMasters of HR just to improve my skills. 4