King of the Wild Frontier

‘The future’s not what you see, it’s not where you’ve been at all’ (Foals, 2010)

I started my social job hunt 5 weeks ago. I wasn’t sure where it would lead, but I knew that I wanted a new, challenging role within the recruitment industry…a role that would combine a commitment to quality service and delivery, of making a difference and adding value, with social media. The latter was important to me as I have seen during the last 2 years how the reach, engagement, connectivity and possibilities of social media have begun to impact on the recruitment industry.

Like most 3rd party recruiters I assumed that this role would come from within an agency or an in-house role. After all, who else is there?!!

In my last blog I talked about the daily conversation that goes on around talent attraction and development, social recruiting and social sourcing, and how agency recruiters seem unwilling to be part of it.

It became quite apparent during my chats with a range of niche agencies that not only is there an unwillingness to be part of this conversation, there seems to be obliviousness to them even taking place. As one director told me…

‘You could really add value here with your social networking knowledge and abilities…but we’re not really ready for that…to be honest we’ve yet to be convinced that social media will have an impact on our business or the recruitment industry’

…if you’re not in the conversation, then you don’t know what everyone else in the industry is talking about. Or to put it another way…You’ve got to be in it to win it!

To a lot of third party recruiters there is no-one else in the industry…just them, their competitors, clients and potential clients.

Job boards, LinkedIn, RPOs, direct sourcing teams, Research houses and new model offerings?

Tools, barriers, roadblocks…rarely partners or clients.

In every interview these topics were touched on…and often dismissed. No-one was looking beyond this quarter’s figures, last week’s new briefings or today’s portal delivered vacancy updates. Interviews were rarely about what I could do in the future but more focused on raking over the coals of recent months…not about what I can do for them, but about what I did for someone else.

Yet when I spoke to some of the other businesses who make up the recruitment industry’s rich tapestry – like those I mentioned earlier – I heard plans, ideas and collaborations; I sensed energy, passion and real optimism.  And most of this came from the possibilities opened up by social media.

Throughout the 5 weeks, one company and one opportunity stood out. It offered the chance to really provide the capacity and focus to help grow their online presence, with social media channels being the key platforms. An award winning business dedicated to communicating with, not at, their audience, and passionate about the conversation.

They connected with me through social media and our talks have all been about the future, about plans and visions, a belief in embracing emerging channels to create a better business.

I have long believed that great content is the key to any social media strategy, and that the role of community manager will be vital to any business looking to really grow in future…as vital as sales and product development.

This is new and exciting, the kind of challenge that I was hoping to find. The landscape is wild and unchartered, new frontiers waiting to be conquered.

So after 5 weeks my job search has ended and I am really proud to be the new Content and Community Manger

…at Jobsite UK  

I’m even going to try to bring recruiters into the conversation..

..wish me luck!

45 thoughts on “King of the Wild Frontier

  1. Huge congratulations Mervyn. During my own time in social media marketing, I’ve shared many conversations with you; come to you for advice and support; picked your brains; shared success stories. Social media is all about communication and engagement – and you’ve always had this down to a tee.

    I wish you every success in your new role and have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that you will be an invaluable asset to Jobsite. I look forward to continuing the conversation that never sleeps…

  2. Great blog and whilst 5 weeks doesn’t sound a long time I’m sure there were days when your hunt for the right job felt like you’d been searching for an eternity. Congratulations.

  3. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. My very best to you Merv, it was never going to be an easy search, but you endeavoured and you made it a success. A truly exciting opportunity from the sound of it for both you and Jobsite. Bravo.

  4. Oh Wow! I am utterly delighted for you! I wanted to ask you about it late last week, but wasn’t sure if it was good timing or not. You must be thrilled, I certainly am, for you

  5. Really well done, Mervyn. It’s been great following your thoughts as you have gone about your job search so the view from your new position is going to make for very interesting reading. I am looking forward to those blogs and tweets.

  6. Congratulations Mervyn….it really does sound like you have found the role for you. Get used to the Pompey Chimes tho….and Pompey / Plymouth is just as fierce as the N London derby!!!! Well done again.

  7. Wow Mervyn – huge huge huge congratulations on your new role. Your blogs, tweets and updates have been really thoughtful, inspiring and a pleasure to read over the last few weeks.

    I have no doubt that you will be brilliant in your new role. They are lucky to have such a knowledgable social media guru!

    All the best Merv x

  8. Fantastic news Mervyn. I’m sure you’ll have a brilliant time with the JS team and community. I’m also sure they’ll get much more than they’re paying for. A very good deal all round.

    Let me buy you a pint next week.

  9. Congratulations Mervyn! Well done and your friends in the US are all glad to hear it. I think one of your first projects as community manager needs to be to organize a visit to Jobsite from some of your American friends!

  10. Mervyn, I’m absolutely delighted that you decided to join us at Jobsite. Finally I can talk about it. Really cool. It’ll be really good fun. & i can’t wait to learn more from you and execute some of our ideas. Thanks again. And Andy, no, we don’t require Mervyn to change his footballing perferences. But I’m sure he will develop a soft spot for #Pompey

  11. Hugely humbled by all the love and good wishes, positive comments and confidence that you’ve shown in me.

    I feel honoured to be able to be part of the team at Jobsite and after my first two days I have seen enough to know that I will thoroughly enjoy working with a really passionate group of people.

    A big thank you and hug (man hug as well) to everyone who has taken the time to read, comment on, tweet and like this post. I can’t wait to share the journey with you!

  12. Mervyn! WHOOOOHOOO! So excited you landed an awesome opportunity! It was great to meet you last year.. Hope to see you in Atlanta. Wishing you all the best! Shennee =)

  13. Congratulations Mervyn, and I really like your point about raking over the past. In a career area where there isn’t much of a past to fall back on, the competency model based on the notion that “past performance is the best indicator of future potential” doesn’t work very well.

    In these circumstances an employer needs to have vision, be willing to take a risk and be able to spot the talent through the transferable skills and attitude.

    They’ve also got to be in the market for what you can do for them. Clearly Jobsite is in that market. I guess most of the traditional recruiters will wait until they’re looking over the edge of the cliff before they get on with it.

  14. Thrilled for you but not a bit surprised – glad you found your perfect match after spending so long helping others find theirs! This is a new and exciting chapter for you and can’t think of a more amazing opportunity for you!

    GOOD LUCK – not that you’ll need it.

  15. Well done Merv and its going to be fascinating watching you develop the Jobsite community. Baring in mind the discussion that’s been going on on LinkedIn about what a Job Board can do to provide more, I think Jobsite is one of the few who are able to continually develop. They’ve come a long way since the early days and Keith would pick up the phone 🙂

    Best of luck


  16. Mervyn, my friend, you know I am absolutely THRILLED for you. I know you will accomplish great things with Keith and Felix and the whole team. Just know that you have your biggest US fan 110% behind you and I”ll help in any way I can. Congratulations!!

  17. Mervyn – belated congratulations! Well done, you rock! What a great move to a value based organisation who sound like they appreciate you already! Be happy there, I hope you have found your tribe!!

  18. Congratulations Mervyn! I have obviously been living in a hole and missed this piece of news. I cant wait to hear about this journey!

  19. Good luck, not that you’ll need it 🙂

    I hope you’re having fun, and I’m sure you’ll have already started making a very valuable contribution to bringing the recruitment industry into the 21st century!!

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