HR transformation and innovation: having great technology is not enough. Why?

You can hear about digital transformation and innovation everywhere. Transformation and innovation:  from the virtual reality to the blockchain technology, through the automation of processes. The digital transformation is a philosophical and technical movement that influences businesses, departments and teams…  including HR. The technological innovation, the new methods of collaboration and ways of doing are at the centre of this change.


We need to talk about the change. Choosing an innovative technology does not equal starting an innovation/transformation change.  To understand what you need to change or work on, you need to understand your values. The values are not the ones that were present at the creation of your organisation or your team. If you do not understand what are the current values and the current way of doing things, the change will never happen. Relying on rewriting values and creating power point presentations on the corporate mission does not mean working on change.

Do you want to be in contact with a recruiter? Do not use Facebook!

We can exchange and receive information in real-time; this dynamic and multiple sources’ network boosts innovation, knowledge sharing and relationships’ building.

The organisations have to embrace this revolution and their efforts are focused on (virtual) collaboration and cooperation. The results of this revolution brought also the organisations to be more open:  they have opened their doors to the external world. For example, the recruiting function has been affected by this cultural change; think about LinkedIn, the meetups and Glassdoor. You can search about the company using different media and get to know better the company culture. If you want to reach out a recruiter, it is super easy.


So, why are you using Facebook? Why would you contact a recruiter via Facebook? Why would you move a contact from the professional level to the personal one? A recruiter might decide to do not answer a message. Additionally, your message might not show up because it has gone to the “spam folder”. So, I would not do it…and if you ask, the recruiters should not use Facebook to find candidates for the same reasons.

Dear recruiter…

Dear Recruiter,

I hope that you’re ready to start the new week.

There will be new candidates to be interviewed, feedback to be delivered and you will surely have to organise (or reorganise) one or more recruiting processes.


You have to remember that your relationship with the hiring manager is very important. You have to work on it, you have to listen and you have to understand the recruitment needs; however, do not forget to have opinions. Being available and responsive with a manager does not mean always that you need to agree with her/him. If you do so, well, apart from creating problems in the recruiting process itself, you will always be considered as a support and never as a partner. A recruiting process is only successful if there is a true collaboration between the recruiter and the hiring manager. Remember that having opinions is a good thing; a recruiter without personality or opinions will be always an average recruiter.

Finally, what is the worst thing to tell to your hiring manager? This role is difficult.

What would the answer to the question if I was the manager? Well, what are you doing here then?

The data scientist self-promotion is like the hacker case.

The recruiting world is influenced by trends, temporary or long-term ones. This post is not related to any employer branding or talent acquisition strategy. It is about a job title: the Data Scientist. Oh yes, we will talk about a job title, not a job profile. Why are we not talking about the job profile? The Data scientists have different expertise, skills and focus considering the organisations they work for. Another variable to be taken into account is the tech stack.  So, defining or discussing the job profile is extremely complicated.


During the last two/three years, we’ve observed a surge of the need for data experts; it is especially true if we consider the Data Scientists. The issue rises with respect to the research of this profile. Many professional define themselves as data scientists. It happens very often. If a professional manages data, the Data Scientist job title is listed on LinkedIn. However, a Data Manager is not a Data Scientist. 

Do you remember when many software developers were used to defining themselves hackers? We are in the same situation…. Data rhymes with Scientist as it happened with Software and Hacker.


Stop talking only about the candidate experience. There is much more!

Let’s start with a simple statement: the candidate experience is very important. However, we need to broaden our horizons. We need to talk about the customer journey when it comes to recruiting and employer value proposition. The customer journey is very important.


The first thing to consider is that the candidate experience is related to professionals who are already interested in your company. They might be already part of a recruiting process. If your strategy is focused only on candidates, you are excluding an important part of the “market“. Following the advice of the best marketing or acquisition departments, we cannot forget the prospects (for example, the so-called passive candidates) or our customer base (the employees). Therefore, the organisation must think about providing a service to them too.


Then, the recruiting processes require the commitment of professionals of the organisation, not just the recruiting team. Therefore, all the participants in a recruiting process (for example the interviewers) are brand ambassadors .  Finally, when a candidate accepts an offer becomes a customer of your organisation. Moreover, the candidate, now employee, becomes also a brand ambassador. Organisations need to be aware of this conversion process and need to work to optimise it.

A prospect who becomes an employee through the recruiting process needs to be treated as unique. Why? The professional can decide whether to become a customer of your brand or continuing to be one of your customers, to convince others that your business and your brand are exceptional, refer friends and spreading the word about your brand…. We know that the word of mouth is still the best form of marketing and proposition. What about the candidates who have not been selected? You need to value them and treat them as the ones that accepted your offers. These candidates can be selected in another process, make referrals, being your customers and brand ambassadors.

A different approach to the candidate experience is definitely needed.

Being curious? Do not forget about it!

We often read articles about the skills and the competencies that each professionals should have. It is clearly important to have good analytical skills, being able to communicate well and navigate the politics of your organisation.

We should consider the programming skills, not only for software development roles. Steve Jobs was used to say that everyone should be able to program. Why? Not because we need to be developers; we need to be able to program and writing software because it “will teach us how to think”. He was used to say the same thing about studying Law as different approach to reasoning. In other words, you should train yourself to think with a different mind-set.  To be honest, it reminded me what my high school teacher was used to say about Latin language. However,  I’d really like to invite all to watch Steve Jobs’ interview with Robert Cringely in 1995 … impressive accuracy in presenting scenarios that will happen 20 years later.


The interview made me think how is important to have curiosity. Our curiosity is the engine of many of our actions and it is the energy that boosts our knowledge. You do not need only to show curiosity, you need to be curious. Why is curiosity so important?  We discover something new thanks to our curiosity. If we are not curious, we’d never discover our areas of development. Doing research, the stress (or pleasure) of learning new things, reading, researching… These are the results of our curiosity.  Curiosity is the mechanism that pushes you into difficult situations and it is also what pushes us to travel and discover new places. Curiosity is also the desire to know other people. Understand them, do not understand them and try to understand why we are not understanding them.

Being curious comes for free… let me think about a MBA….

This is not another post about time management!

Our behaviour at work is the result of the perceptions of the reality around us. For example,  the perceptions related to a particular work environment are different amongst the employees of the same organization. There are employees who find the work environment very enjoyable and other ones who hate it.

One important perception is the one related to “time”. Let’s start with a simple example. We usually feel that the time is flying while we’re doing something that we like. On the contrary, we have a completely different experience when we are part of something (task, project, activity) that does not stimulate us and/or does not boost our creativity. As a consequence,  it is difficult for a manager to interpret the individuals’ perception of time. Why? We interpret our roles/task/activities in a complete different ways.


However, the managerial role is not tricky as for what I am going to describe now. Specifically, what is the perception of time with respect to success or failure?

Well, the whole thing becomes even more complicated and less generalizable than what said about the interesting (or not) tasks . The reaction towards the time spent to a complete an activity can be positive if you have completed something quickly; however, it can be perceived also positive if you have finally completed a task after a lot of time; why? you feel relieved.


Moreover, how much time we dedicate to the celebration of success or thinking about failures? Again, another perception and interpretation which depends on personality, attitude and also the work environment.

Yes. lt is very complicated. There are cases, such as in sales departments, where the achievements ( for example new deals) are celebrated. But, as the group celebrates, what is the achiever thinking? Is that celebration perceived as enough? Or is it needed more time for an individual (personal) self-reflection?  

Yes. It is complicated.  Your perception of the time is simply a fundamental dimension of your relationship with your job.


What’s the simplest thing to do for creating a collaborative team?

What’s the simplest thing to do for creating a collaborative team? I will tell you in a minute.

It happens often to read several articles about team building and collaboration; the fundamental elements which are usually presented as fundamental to create the “chemistry” are:trust, clear communication , clear goals and having an inspiring manager. In order to achieve this framework, organisations usually invest money for programs or specific initiatives. I imagine that it is happened to most of us to participate in offsites, social events or simple team meetings where your manager defines (or redefines) the team goals and/or the way of working.


But, are these official occasions enough? Do they really create that needed chemistry? Probably they do, but not completely. The first reason is due to the fact that not all the organisations invest in this kind of initiatives . Secondly, even if they do,  there is a lack of continuous development which follows these events; in other words, there are not initiatives which follows the official event.
So, which is the simplest thing to do? Creating a culture of gratitude. Saying “thank you” when someone is working with you, saying “thanks” to your boss for the opportunities and supports are just few example. Recognition is fundamental in order to creating a good teamwork atmosphere and a needed collaboration…

Do you usually thanks people only when they have done something for you? Better to open up your horizon to create a better work framework.

Employer branding strategy: the reason why you should not lie!

As mentioned several times in this blog (for example here, presenting the “informal” image of a company is fundamental to having a good positioning into the job market.

Diapositiva1The company revenues, the job offer with its career’s plan, the compensation and benefits package are not enough to being perceived  as an employer of choice. One of the corporate goal is therefore presenting the working reality; in other words, it is needed a sort of storytelling process with the aim of reducing the distance between “public” and the company.

If your company’s Employer Value Proposition (EVP) is supported by the PR or marketing departments, this effort clearly allows you to work on the emotional side of the EVP; the risk is to exaggerate with an “honeymoon” presentation. In other words, your company should not confuse the employer branding with marketing driven initiatives; in fact, this kind of exaggeration with the aim of increasing the audience will play against the reality’s presentation. Another threatening mistake is related to the personal employer branding ( For the fact that organizations are social environments, creating too strict guidelines for the usage of social media will limit the potential of your EVP.

I’m not saying that companies do not need to keep an eye on confidential information ; but the social side must remain social, so shared… and then, here we are with the most basic rule for a correct employer branding: do not lie!

Are you a brand ambassador? And recruiters?

We often read blogs’ posts and articles that have branding as main focus. No, I’m not referring to employer branding but to the what so called “personal branding”. In short, personal branding is the process where a person is represented and represents a brand (in some cases you’d be officially called “brand ambassador”). The relationship between employees and brands has expanded its meaning and consequently its responsibilities. Your “personal branding shadow” (thanks to the presence of social media) it is not just confined to your personal network; actually, it could resonate louder and going beyond geographical boundaries.

Do you remember the time when someone explained you how to write a CV and what to include into the personal interest section? Here we are with the power of social media. Being a “brand ambassador” leads to give great importance to your hobbies and what you do in your spare time. The combination of your work, your social life and your hobbies creates your personal branding image. Some people have grown so much the personal part (personal interests) that have created their own job; think about the travel or fashion blogger (Youtubers situation is slightly different, but the result is very similar).

Now, what about recruiters? What about the brand ambassadors (at least, but not only) of the recruiting process? Thanks to Linkedin, we are all brand ambassadors (not only the recruiters) or at least we contribute to it. The boundary between personal and work life regarding the usage of social media is thinner for recruiters than other people. But is it only about employer and personal branding? I think that in the long run the scenario will be a bit different. Recruiters have their personal network and they enlarge it following and being followed by people who are interested in the brand they represent or simply the work for. So, when their network is enlarged, they become the perfect bridge between brands and prospects. Simply and (potentially) recruiters could eclipse the work of the placement agency. Again, being the “bridge” is true for everyone because everyone could be the brand ambassador; but for recruiters even more true: if you want to be in contact with a company the simplest way is contacting a recruiter. So, think about if you want, are or would like to be a brand ambassador… your company will be happy for that.