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    Friday
    Jun202014

    Three data points that should tell us something about how things are changing

    For a 'please can this week be over yet?' Friday, here are three unrelated pieces of news/information from the last few days that individually are interesting, and taken collectively should make us think about where the next few years are heading in technology. First, here are the three stories for your consideration:

    League of Legends is now a college sport - and one University is offering scholarships for its team (Venture Beat)

    Robert Morris University of Chicago is now accepting applications for its first competitive League of Legends season. Associate athletic director Kurt Melcher said the university is also looking to hire a coach.

    Competitive League of Legends is a remarkably successful enterprise. E-sports racked up an astounding 2.4 billion viewer hours last year, with this online strategy game being the most-watched game of the bunch. This has brought a multitude of advertisers and sponsors to the table. League of Legends also made $624 million dollars in microtransactions last year and has over 70 million monthly players.

    RMU is looking to fill around 18 or 19 player spots. Eight or nine players will be a part of the varsity team, but the college is also looking to field two full (five man) practice squads. The university is offering scholarships that will pay up to 50 percent tuition and 50 percent room and board, which Melcher said is valued at around $19,000.

    Yo Now Has Over 200,000 Users - 140,000 More Than It Had Yesterday (Business Insider)

    You might still be figuring out what you think about Yo, the app that only lets you send "Yo" notifications to your friends, but the app is taking off.

    Yo just announced that the app has surpassed the 200,000 user threshold.

    Yo has also broken into the Top 50 free apps on Apple's App Store, surpassing even Facebook's new Slingshot app. It's currently #24.

    The Best and Worst: Media Habits of the Class of 2014 (Niche)

    This year’s high school graduating class is part of a coveted demographic for tech companies. In a survey of 7,000 Class of 2014 Niche users, students ranked 50 popular apps and websites based on frequency of usage.

    (Chart)

    Steve here - really interesting data points I think. Video games and gamers are getting more and more mainstream each day, the hottest App in the Apple App Store has a single function, sending the word 'Yo' as a notification to one of your contacts, and the oldest Gen Z (or whatever we call them), has no time for anything that exists primarily as a website or a web-based destination. With Yo, and the data from teen tech usage, we see that attention spans for individual tasks are getting still shorter, (if that was possible). But the video game trends remind us that for the right experience, you can capture attention for long, long periods of time. And those experiences are changing.

    I think it is important if you consider yourself a student of people and technology, (what the best HR tech folks should be), to at least keep aware of these kinds of developments as they arise, and before they turn into full-blown trends. If you are still writing and reading stories about how 'Mobile is going to be big' or 'Social media is important for HR', you're really late to the party. In fact, that party is over, it ended in 2010 or so.

    This weekend you should spend 10 minutes thinking about what, if anything, 'Yo' means for you in HR and for your workplace tech in the future.

    Or just send me a 'Yo'.

    Have a great weekend!

    Wednesday
    Feb052014

    Update: WEBINAR: Don't Fear the Future - Today at 2PM EST

    UPDATE: With last week's travel nightmares a distant (kind of) memory the Webinar originally scheduled for January 29 will now be TODAY, February 5, 2014 at 2PM EST.

    All the details are the same, and just in case you missed the opportunity to sign up last week, you can still jump in to the webinar today:

    Here is everything you need to know and thanks to the fine folks at Silkroad for sponsoring the webinar called:

    Don't Fear the Future: 5 Tech Keys to Raise Your HR and Game in 2014 and Beyond

    This is meant to be a lively and hopefully interesting look at some of the most cutting edge or innovative technology trends, (robotics, wearable technology, etc.), talk about where these technologies are heading, why they matter, and then talk a little about how understanding how these technologies can and will be used in the workplace can help you raise your HR game in 2014 and beyond.

    Here are all the pertinent details, including the registration link for the FREE Webinar:

    While most of us with busy and chaotic jobs in HR are busily trying to get 2013 closed up -- there were some remarkable developments in the consumer, business, and economic arenas that you might have missed. Amazon introduced us to the concept of package delivery via a fleet of drones. Google wants to put a self-driving car in your driveway. And Rethink Robotics wants to supply you with your new office-mate, an eight-foot tall, fully articulated, and happy industrial robot named Baxter. Meanwhile, the workforce is getting older, entire industries are worried about finding the talent they need, and EVERYONE is fighting over the same superstar technical workers.

     

    But you are a progressive HR, recruiting, or talent management pro (that’s why you’re reading this), and you know that in order to help drive your organization boldly into the future you’ve got to stay ahead of the rest of the pack and be the lead dog so to speak. And not only being aware of what is happening in the world outside of the HR office but how these technology and environmental developments will help inform and shape your talent management strategies.

     

    You already get that the key to winning in 2014 (and beyond) is probably not going to be found in creating a better PTO request approval workflow, but you might not yet have the time and the bandwidth to think more deeply and creatively about how to leverage these changes in your organization and for your career.

     

    That’s why Silkroad created their latest webcast – Don't Fear the Future: 5 Tech Keys to Raise Your HR and Game in 2014 and Beyond. Join us for this webcast, and we’ll give you a quick look at what these trends will mean for our work and workplaces, and more importantly, share some creative ideas about how to apply them to your HR and talent practice (and make you look like some kind of clairvoyant in the process). So make plans now to get your 2014 started in the right way - by getting your creative juices flowing and thinking about how your organization can be ready to win the future!

     

    February 5, 2014
    2:00 p.m. (Eastern)
    1:00 p.m. (Central)
    12:00 p.m. (Mountain)
    11:00 a.m. (Pacific)

     

    Date or time doesn't fit your schedule? Go ahead and register anyway. We will be sure you receive an email with a link to the recorded webinar following the event.

     

    You can register here and I hope to see you on the webinar!
    Wednesday
    May112011

    Whoworks.at - See your LinkedIn Network as you browse

    Whether you are a job seeker researching organizations that you would like to work for, a recruiter seeking talent from competing firms in you industry or region, or a sales professional examining the websites of customers and prospects - one thing is for certain - it sure helps to know someone at the target company. Having an 'in' of some kind, some kind of plausible way to connect with an actual person inside, as opposed to filling out a generic 'contact us' web form, or submitting an anonymous resume into what can sometimes be the black hole of the ATS.

    No doubt being able to connect, most optimally by leveraging an existing and hopefully trusted network seems to offer one the best opportunity to get the job application noticed, to find a potential candidate to recruit, or to connect with a real decision maker in a sales process. But sorting out who you might know, or might be connected via other friends and colleagues, typically meant a scan through email contacts; a local CRM or ATS system; or, increasingly, a trip to LinkedIn to perform a quick Company search. Kind of tedious process, but necessary.

    This week a new Google Chrome browser extension called Whoworks.at launched, that makes the entire 'Who do I know that works here?' question much easier to answer. After you download and install the Whoworks.at extension, simply click the extension icon just to the right of the Chrome toolbar, and immediately you will be presented a pop-up window displaying all your LinkedIn contacts and extended network that connects you to whatever company whose site you are currently browsing.

    Here is a screen shot of my Whoworks.at information for Oracle Corporation:

    And here is the view of my LinkedIn network connections at the NBA, (sadly, my network there is not nearly as robust):

    I still can't believe LeBron has not accepted my LinkedIn invitation yet.

    From within the Whoworks.at pop-up, you can also browse LinkedIn data for recent hires and promotions at the target company, and click on any LinkedIn profile name to be taken directly to that person's LinkedIn profile page.

    Whoworks.at is a really neat and useful tool to add to Google Chrome and that makes the task of seeking and reaching out to connections at companies of interest that much easier. And it does get kind of addictive after a few minutes, there is a little bit of a curiosity factor that sets in as you browse around on the internet, sort of wondering if you know anyone at a given company.

    Check it out and let me know what you think, simply go to Whoworks.at and provide your email address and a beta invite link should show up in your inbox really quickly.

    Happy stalking!

    Monday
    Dec212009

    What Do They See?

    NOTE: This guest post is by the great Ben Eubanks of UpstartHR.  Take it away, Ben.

    Let's start with a visualization, shall we? A prospective applicant stops by your career site. They try to search for a job, but they can't find out how. They finally see the little button to search, but when they get to the next page, there doesn't seem to be a way to apply for the position. Disgusted, the applicant turns away from your site and files you away as a "don't even try to apply" in their mind. You've been discarded before you were even in the running.

     

    Is that fair? Is it your fault that they were unable to find out how to apply to your job postings? Well, it may not be, but with a new Google tool, you may be able to see that problem and correct it before other candidates end up the same way.
     
    Google Browser Size is a new tool cooked up by Google's amazing engineers. If you go to this site and plug in your site's URL, you can check how much of your site people can see on their browsers. How does this affect you? Well, if the majority of people can't see how to apply, there's a good chance they won't apply.
     
    Check out the Browser Size tool and test it on your own site. You may be surprised at what you find out. When I looked at my own site, I saw that about 50% of my visitors don't see all the way across my site horizontally. I could be missing some feed subscriptions from those people simply because they can't see my button.

     

     

    To compare that same issue with Steve's site, you can see that more than 80% of his visitors can see his subscription button without having to scroll. I'd be willing to bet that his subscription rate is higher than mine simply on that measure alone. Plus, more than 90% get a glimpse of his HR Happy Hour logo right off the bat. How's that for promoting the show?


    In the post on the Google blog, one of the project engineers talked about how they discovered the problem through their own Google Earth download page. Although a large number of people were visiting the page, there was a significant difference in the number of hits on that page and the number of software downloads. They tested the site with the Browser Size tool and saw that about 10% of people couldn't see the button to download the program.
     
    Ten percent doesn't sound like much, but if your organization gets 1000 hits on your career page per day, that's 100 people who never even apply (assuming they had planned to). Are you sure you want to be turning them away before you get a chance to see their qualifications?
    Ben Eubanks is an HR professional from Huntsville, AL. He lives much of his life online. Don't believe it? Catch him on LinkedIn, Twitter, RocketHR, or via email. His blog, UpstartHR, is about many things, including HR, leadership, and zombies.