Thursday, June 26, 2008

Job boards -> reccomendation: SELL

In schools we all learn that all of the future empires were hungry in the beginning and it was keeping them driven to expand beyond their borders (some were more hungry then the others). After expansions there were usually golden eras and those golden eras were making empires happy and... lazy... and arrogant. When arrogant empires were oppressing their people, angry crowds were growing bigger and bigger to do not bring down the empire but to bring the change. Changes in the empire might make the empire grow bigger, wealthier and better for it's people (rarely) or they will bring empires down (most of the cases). Since history is my hobby I can come up with tonnes of examples from Mongolian Horde to Rome, Ottoman to Austro-Hungarian, Soviet Union to Microsoft .... but it's not a blog on history so I will stick to job boards.

Rise of the empire(s)

The ‘new economy’ of the late 90s created job boards. The place where you go to if you want o find a job –> you type keywords, narrow the search and there you go –> you browse the great job postings, you send your resume, you register your profile etc so simple ... :-) Job boards back then were so eager to build up the content and the critical mass that majority of them were under the water for few years giving out postings for free and advertising practically everywhere (outdoor, press, TV). Of course some of them didn’t manage to secure the financing to keep up with the competition and they went bankrupt. Others had financing to secure non-profit life for many years and some of them were keeping on growing organically.

Golden Era
In late 90s there were loads of people who believed that 10 general job boards is not enough for medium or large European country …… of course they were wrong. Today the biggest markets in EMEA have 3-5 generalist job boards but many successful niche services. Never the less internet dream (actually the nightmare) made e-recruitment market more realistic in 2000-2002, making some of the players being takeover by others (like hot jobs taken over by yahoo), some changing hands almost every year (monster) and other having stable financing and no reasons to worry (jobpilot). This crisis left some of the countries with 1-2 players taking over the staff from bankrupts and building their presence sometimes trough acquisitions sometimes growing organically. This left loads of recruiters from particular markets having no choice but using job board x or y and job boards started to pump up the prices (I know a portal in EMEA asking eur 500/posting!). Job portals being present in the markets couldn’t ask for more …. (almost) no competition, European economy speeding up leaving almost no unemployed and billions of EURs in recruitment budgets.

Fall Of The Empire (in progress)

Greed caused the arrogance of the job boards. Some of the job boards’ investors cashed out at their businesses peak, others started to crate cartels to keep their oligopoly across the continent and others became warm and comfy enough to terrorize their customers. Some job boards are telling their customers to move their applicant tracking to their systems because they don’t want to write simple xml scrip to interface with their current system (in fact they want to be market’s biggest recruitment application), others started to increase their fees so they would be just slightly cheaper then agencies and others decided to do nothing but charging for the same product ignoring job seekers’ and employers’ needs. Job boards business is product driven which means you have to be more useful and friendly to job hunters and meeting employers’ needs. Majority of the players are focused on squeezing as much money as they can from the current operations (getting bigger piece of the cake) but they are not trying to grow the market with new products and services (growing a cake).

Most of job boards in European market those days do not meet the needs of neither job seekers or employers what make more and more recruiters turning to other channels of communication. In mid and long term perspective I can see job board becoming advertising space for SMEs with large corporates seeking other ways to bring in more candidates. Besides that future seems to be shaping in niche colours meaning that narrowly focused portals (for software engineers, catering staff, doctors, cleaners etc). On top of the job boards there are more and more recruitment budgets targeting social/professional networking sites like linkedin, xing and facebook.

That said if you’re an investor I strongly recommend getting rid of job board companies from your portfolio. In coming posts I will start presenting other tools then job board to generate traffic of candidates.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Eventful week in Google Krakow

I was all of last week in Krakow doing loads of recruitment stuff but on top of that I saw few other things happening there in parallel:

1. GoogleServe - I was very positively surprised seeing Googlers from Krakow contributing beyond they day-to-day work (from ecology to supporting those who need help the most) - picture below: Krakow SWEs are playing Rock Band with kids from the local orphanage

2. Sergey Brin visited Krakow office (together with Jeff Hubber) to see the stuff engineers are working on (heard that some product presentations made very good impression on both of them)

3. My colleges from recruitment team managed to invite around 20 female SWEs to show them how we work (and it was Sergey opening the event and then joining for networking/mingling session)

and on top of that I had my work to do so there were loads of stuff to deal with + rich after hours life of Krakow SWEs always keeps me busy :-)

I'm currently running couple of projects on how to generate traffic to recruitment website without using external parties (like postings on job boards or banners) so I will write couple of posts soon on the stuff I can expose to public - stay tunned :-)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Google Krakow in Rynek - new office - new pictures

Just got back from Krakow where I had a chance to see the new Google Krakow's spaces. New office is in Krakow's Main Market Square and it's in 14th century tenants house just opposite of the Wierzynek restaurant (serving pierogi since 1364). From now on Googlers from Krakow will be operating in this and the 'old' office in Krupnicza. The distance between the sites is less then 5 mins walk and of course bike is the bast way to commute.
Few pictures below:

The building

view from the office

but some prefer to stay focused

mikro kitchen

finally someone to make sure engineers are not hungry - meet Mariola

Mihai is happy to have all of those snacks

I want to work here! Where to apply?! :-)

conference room

Krakow Googlers do not drive to work

table tennis room

chill out

reception area

beer gardens in the Square

Postcard from the Square

Street performers at the Square

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Interviewing recruiter - part 2

I recently exchanged few emails with my readers on the interviewing recruiter post so I decided to add few more. One of the questions below is not mine (and I hope that author will not mind making it public):
- Case study 1: You have to hire 100 Software Engineers in 3 months. How would you do that?
- Case study 2: You have to increase diversity hirings (for the diversity you can put whatever is your target group) to be 20% of the total (it's 10% now). What do you do?
- Case study 3: You don't have enough active applicants via website and job-boards, you can't engage agencies and you don't have bandwidth to source by yourself. How will you increase number of applicants?

Good luck!

Wrong interview

Since it's fool's day it's time for something serious.
So there were 2 men sitting at BBC reception in London some time last year - Guy and Guy.
Guy 1 was a cab driver coming for a job interview and Guy 2 was invited to BBC to comment on Apple's court verdict so in the end of the day wide audience could see something that probably every recruiter had at least once in a lifetime: Is it really the right guy (Guy) I'm interviewing? :-)


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Search: Google salaries -> Did you mean: Great place for Software Engineers?

I noticed that some % of the searches that end up on my blog are related to what Google pays (with one of the most popular - 'google krakow salary'). I decided to write few words for those who believe that all answers are on the web:

1. It's not that it does not happen but with 000s of people applying to Google I spoke to over last 2 years very few asked me about the wages in the beginning. I cannot remember anyone asking me monies question and getting hired. Advise: stay focused! :-)

2. Do you believe salary info you can find on the internet is reliable? I saw few posts about what Google pays in Krakow and tonnes of experts on the matter (usually claiming that they turned down offer from us) posting some completely false numbers. For those who claim to be one of those (or claim to know someone) who turned down offer from Google Krakow - we had only one person turning down our offer up till now (so why there are dozens of you posting from different IPs ;-)).

3. Do you really believe that Google is looking for cheap labor/cost cutting offshore centers? Look at the location of our offices and where are those offices based in those cities (NYC-9th ave, London-Victoria Station, Krakow-Krupnicza/Rynek). I would jump here to logic conclusions :-)

4. and last but not least: Maybe instead of looking for information about salaries at Google try to find ex-Google SWE who left due to the monies? :-)


Google Russia - GMail TV commercial

Google Russia works on promoting GMail in Russian speaking countries/territories and here is TV commercial (you don't have to speak Russian):

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Few pix from Google Krakow - 3rd biggest SWE site in Google EMEA

I told you that Google in Krakow is running out of space but on the other hand with more and more engineers joining us we have more perks onsite (massage chairs, fussball table, Google bikes, Wii, 20+ kinds of snacks in micro kitchens etc ;-)). There will be more facilities arriving in coming weeks (with new office space) since Krakow is, as of last week, 3rd biggest SWE site in Google EMEA.

Here are few pix I took a week ago (shots were taken with mobile so they are not top notch quality):

Using linkedin when working for remote location = building strong network overseas

Recently I had a couple of interesting chats with my colleagues about sitting in different location that you recruit for.

Majority of the recruiters in EMEA faced challenges of working with markets they don't know much about. Don't worry building a local network does not have to be that difficult as you think - how to do it in 3 steps:

1. Send email to with a quick intro: 'hi my name is, i'm your recruiter blah blah. I would like to find top talents for position_XYZ and for that I would like to build a network in your country. If you have linkedin account i would like to connect with you and browse your connections (don't worry - before spamming your 1st degree connections will let you know, but i will focus on your 2nd degree connections) so please accept/send me invites'.

2. See who from this site is on linked in and send them invites

3. Browse the connections/referrers/companies and...

...there you go - you didn't know anyone in the country week ago and now you have 1000+ connections just after linking up with few colleagues

Good luck!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Google Czech Engineering Team - Ahoj

... and another great moment in Google's history in EMEA. We just had first people starting in our Czech Engineering Team and we're gearing up to build great products targeting Czech market as well as contributing to our global product portfolio. Czech Engineering Team will be led by Jan Sedivy who joins us from IBM labs in Prague and I'm looking foreword to things that he and his team will deliver :-) This team will be based in Krakow for the time being.

We're still looking looking for Czech / Slovak speaking Software Engineers, Senior SWEs, Tech Lead Managers and Engineering Directors so if you're interested in being one of the first engineers in this taskforce please apply here.

PS. Speaking of Czech Google -> Tania Le Moigne just made it to the cover of Hospodarke Noviny's weekend insert - here is the full article (in Czech)

PS II - Answer to: 'Does it mean that we can expect more detailed maps of the Czech Republic in google maps soon?' Don't know - The team that is responsible for quality of the maps' scans is distributed globally and I don't know what criteria they use for some parts of the world being in better/worse quality...:-( It would be logic is the criteria would be number of zoom-ins on countries/regions (more zoom ins the better quality pictures they have)