Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession

Lance Haun

Lance Haun is an editor at The Starr Conspiracy, a marketing agency focused on the enterprise HCM market. He spent three years as an editor at ERE Media and seven years in the recruiting and HR trenches before joining the agency. You can follow him on Twitter, circle him on Google+, check out his blog or contact him directly at lance@coug.rs.

Articles by Lance Haun

Business, Technology

If You Aren’t Becoming Mobile, You’re Going to be Left Behind

Mobile recuriting report chart

Mobile recuriting report chartIt shouldn’t be news now that smartphone use is big (and is getting bigger). In late 2012, estimates pegged the number at over a billion smartphones with that number doubling by 2015.

If you’re a smartphone user, you’ve probably increased your reliance on the device steadily. I now expect my device to do everything but poach my morning eggs.

When you send a candidate or someone in your talent community or on your mailing list a notice of a new job, what are they going to see when they click through on their mobile device? Will they be able to do anything with it? And if you’re not there, how do you start and what does an optimal solution look like?

Industry News

Facebook Stumbles Out Of The Gate With Social Jobs Application

Facebook logo

Forbes said that recruiting will never be the same. I said in July that a Facebook-driven job board has potential. And after several false starts this summer and fall, they finally released it into the wild last week. Now, millions of people are flocking to it to get a job, right?

Paying homage to the folks at Monday Night Countdown, there’s only two words I have for you: “C’mon Man!”

The entire platform is stalled before it even got started. In many ways, it doesn’t function properly at all. There is bad targeting either for the job itself or for the location parameters (or, in some tragic cases, both). When it works, the results are underwhelming. That’s putting it kindly.

If I were Facebook, I would quietly remove the server that hosts the application, toss it into San Francisco Bay and start over, never to speak a word of it again.


Easily Source Techs and Scientists In the Patent Office With TalentBin

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

If you’ve delved deeper into sourcing than a LinkedIn search, you’ve probably heard of using the U.S. patent database to search for talent. That process wasn’t the easiest thing to pull off.

This month, TalentBin launched an easier way to search the patent database and find candidates that are, oftentimes, difficult to locate in more common databases. This is an addition to the growing list of services TalentBin covers.

Oh, and I should also mention that they also just launched a snazzy new iPhone app as well. But more about patent talent search.

Easier Patent Talent Search

U.S. patent records are a part of the public record, available to anyone. You can search records with either the built-in search or using tools like Google’s dedicated patent search. If you use the patent office’s advanced search, you’ll get something that looks like the first picture.

Industry News, Social Media

Reports Says Facebook is Preparing to Launch A Jobs Service

Facebook logo

You likely heard by now that according to Dow Jones Newswires, Facebook will be launching its own jobs board as soon as August. While details about the planned move are sketchy at this point, it is believed that the board would incorporate listings from third-party providers that currently service Facebook-based brand pages.

While this may not be the big, disruptive splash into the employment space that many had hoped for, as one talent acquisition manager told me, “This is definitely a big deal.”

The third-party companies involved in the launch are rumored to include names that should be familiar with anyone who has used Facebook for job postings: BranchOut, Jobvite, and Work4Labs. None of the companies would publicly comment on the matter.


Google Offers Free ‘Power Searching’ Classes

Google logo

If your searching skills could use some brushing up, or you want to use Google more effectively, help is arriving. Google is offering a series of free, online courses it’s calling “Power Searching.”

Google says it will offer six 50 minute courses; three each week from July 10 through July 19th. At the successful completion of the course, you get a certificate suitable for framing.

Perhaps the most exciting part about it is that you’ll get to interact with the top minds in search through Google+ hangouts and Google groups set up for this class. As the announcement on their official blog says, “Power Searching with Google blends the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) learning format pioneered by Stanford and MIT with our social and communication tools to create what we hope is a true community learning experience.”

Assuming your questions don’t get answered in the class format, it might be worthwhile attending if only to see if you can ask some of the experts there.

Google says, “Lessons will be released daily starting on July 10, 2012, and you can take them according to your own schedule during a two-week window.”

You can register until July 16th (though they recommend you register before the first class starts on the 10th). As far as I can tell, they aren’t limiting the number of registrants.

Industry News

LinkedIn Describes Security Steps After Huge Password Breach


Yesterday, LinkedIn clarified efforts to contain the 6 million password breach that occurred last week. In an e-mail to the media the company summarized its work to secure the site.

While there didn’t seem to be any immediate danger to member accounts (and LinkedIn confirmed this), there was concern about how the breach occurred and how the company would respond to prevent future breaches.

According to the e-mail, by June 7th (a day after the breach) LinkedIn disabled the impacted user passwords. Customer service teams reached out to those users explaining how to reset their passwords. As of yesterday, there had been no compromised accounts. LinkedIn also made sure to say there has been no impact on sign up numbers or with people leaving the network.


Five (Inexpensive Or Free) Cloud-Based Productivity Tools For Recruiters


When I talk to people about what tools they use on a day-to-day basis, they usually default to the recruiting specific tools they use. They might be trying out something new or maybe they are frustrated with an ATS or search tool.

When I ask about what’s driving their backoffice or productivity, I often get blank stares. People might be living off of email, a calendar, a spreadsheet, or maybe nothing at all. And that might be fine if you’re never out of the office, don’t ever miss anything important or never have a computer issue.

For those of us who may have one or more of those issues, using an internet-based application might be the way to go. The key advantages being that your data is available, often on all of your devices (including mobile) and is backed up. So what should you be checking out? Here are five essential tools (plus some extras) to try out.


TalentBin Pulls Together Talent Profiles To Make Sourcing A Snap

TalentBin logo

TalentBin officially launched from private beta to public this week. The service, which bills itself as a talent search engine, said it “just turned the entire professional web into the largest talent sourcing database known to mankind with its public launch.”

If you’ll excuse the bravado, what TalentBin is trying to do is actually quite impressive and has leaped forward since I saw the beginnings of its private beta at the HR Technology Conference last October.

What it is trying to do is fairly simple: create a searchable database that merges information about a person from all over the web into a single profile so that recruiters can get all of the information about them in one, digestible place.

Industry News, Social Media

How Techies Use Social Media And How That Can Help You

social media illustration

There seems to be this overarching assumption that the way the general populace uses social media is the same way that technical talent will use social media. And while that might be true on a larger scale (for example, social networks as a whole are gaining more members and more professional members at the same time), is it really true on a more tactical and operational level?

The folks over at GlobalSpec put out a report recently on the “industrial use” of social networks. And while the report is geared more towards marketers and sales professionals, there’s much in the report for recruiters. First, let’s touch on LinkedIn. 

Entrepreneurship, For Managers

Do You Really Want Entrepreneurial Employees?


I’ll admit it: I’m biased.

You see, all of the entrepreneurs I grew up with were much better entrepreneurs than employees. My father is an entrepreneur and both of my grandfathers were entrepreneurs, too. I’ve also heard stories from their time working as an employee and not only were they not as productive as they could have been, they were less than happy being an employee. Being their own boss was a better fit for multiple reasons.

So when I was sent Army of Entrepreneurs by Jennifer Prosek, I was admittedly skeptical. In some ways, I still am but there seems to be a better argument out there for incorporating principles of entrepreneurship into a company.