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Blogumulus by Roy Tanck and Amanda Fazani

Saturday, January 31, 2009

What will 2009 bring...a view from our North America Recruitment Jason Nowell

Like many of us, I have found myself searching high and low for some positive news about the global economy. As the media continues to report on how 2009 is shaping up to be a bumpy ride, I recently came across some interesting articles that speak about what might be in store.

The following article discusses how the Obama administration plans to make major investments in technology as Obama will appoint the first ever “Chief Technology Officer” to tackle some of these tough issues.

"Clearly the government will be a major spender on a variety of projects, including technology," said Scott Kessler, head of Standard & Poor's information-technology unit. "Obama has talked a lot about improving the nation's digital infrastructure."

Some other key initiatives are protecting the openness of the Internet and improving America’s competitiveness. Click here to view the Obama technology plan in more detail.

The article also references some of the challenges our industry is facing in 2009 as some companies will be trimming their technology budgets. While the Nasdaq is down 40% from last year’s high Oracle seems to be especially well positioned for 2009 and beyond.

New reports show Oracle is positioned in the Leaders Quadrant in each of the three new Gartner Magic Quadrants focused on application infrastructure. These three segments for Application Infrastructure include: SOA Composite Application Projects; New Systematic SOA Application Projects; and Back-End Application Integration Projects.

This is especially encouraging because so many deem SOA to be critically important to the future evolution of software. While 2009 promises to be a challenging year I think it’s important to remember how crucial our industry will be to the success and competitiveness of our customers in the 21st century.

The author of this article has been with the Oracle North America Recruitment Team for the past two plus years and can be contacted at

Friday, January 30, 2009

Are We Really Changing the Way We Recruit... by Vanesa Rodriguez

I read an article yesterday on the use of video games for recruitment, which made me think how companies are changing the way they recruit to attract, engage and identify Millenials. Can we also use Web 2.0 technologies to assess candidates for a role?

According to this HR blogger, this might be the next step in this transformation of recruiting. And therefore, this could affect not only the way we spot millenials but also the way we select them.

Recent research from Pew Internet & American Life Project found that “virtually all American teens play computer, console, or cell phone games and...the gaming experience is rich and varied, with a significant amount of social interaction and potential for civic engagement."

Nowadays, companies are launching new blogs, and making their webpages more attractive to millenials, (you can visit, where companies publish videos jobs), but are companies doing their selection process more interactive? Virtual career fairs are getting limited results not to mention the empty virtual world Second life, where many companies were established with no success. Is it worthy then to invest in an interactive model to assess candidates?

The HR blog wonders “What if instead of the process being a one-way street (candidates search for information about employers, employers try to figure candidates out), it was a two-way simultaneous sharing of information?”

What if companies use their technology to give candidates more information about them and at the same time, testing their analytical/technical skills? Does it make any sense to you or is it just an absurd idea?

What do you think? Can we utilise Web 2.0 technologies to assess candidates for a role, or is this technology better suited to the attraction/identification and search for candidates. Your thoughts are welcomed!!!

The author of this article has been with the Oracle EMEA Recruitment Team for the past year and can be contacted at

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Oracle is Ranked #35 of the Top 50 Recruiters Using Twitter

I was surprised to find a list put together by which listed The Top 50 Recruiters on Twitter. I was more surprised to find that I was listed at #35 of the Top 50 Recruiters using Twitter.

Twitter is a great tool that allows people to connect with each other and share ideas/comments/thoughts, etc.... I do use it for Recruiting, however I find that it is so much more useful than just being a way to search for/identify candidates. Through Twitter I have had the opportunity to meet some great people and have found information and conversations happening that I would otherwise not have access to.

As I wrote in our Blog Entry on January 5th Using Twitter to Land a Job: Real Life Examples .

Twitter is "changing (the) way that companies and candidates are now using Social Networking Tools to connect with each other. I do not believe tools like Twitter have gained widespread acceptance in the Recruitment Industry yet (I stress the word yet as it is becoming more mainstream) but it is quickly becoming a more viable tool and will soon be common practice in Recruitment. To stay connected with candidates companies will need to integrate these tools into their recruitment strategies and be less reliant on using job boards and traditional means of recruitment to attract top candidates."

My Twitter ID if you want to connect is

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Interview with Oracle AU Managing Director - Ian White

Earlier this month Oracle's AU Managing Director, Ian White has taken time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions and provide his thoughts and comments on what it is like working at Oracle. I have had the opportunity to interact with Ian and have been impressed with the way that he motivates and leads Oracle's Australian Team. It has been great to get the chance to talk to Ian and have him share his thoughts and experiences at Oracle with us.

Without further introduction please find below our interview with Ian White, Oracle AU Managing Director - Ian thanks again for your time.

1) When did you start your career with Oracle and in what capacity, how long have you been in your current role?
I joined Oracle in October 1993 as an Applications Consultant. I became ANZ Regional Managing Director in June 2005, having been the Western Region General Manager for the preceding seven plus years.

2) What is it that you feel makes Oracle a great place to work? Why do you enjoy working for Oracle?
There are many reasons why Oracle is a great place to work. Corporately we are always looking to grow and improve our business - we are never 'standing still'. This means we are always looking to change, to perform better and to do things differently, which creates a culture and spirit of innovation and success that attracts a certain style of person to Oracle and I enjoy working with people who are innovative, who think and act creatively, who expect and celebrate success.

3) How would you describe Oracle's company culture or spirit?
Oracle's company culture and spirit is based on innovation, creativity, being competitive and being successful.

4) What is the most important contribution that Oracle expects from its employees?
Regardless of your role, Oracle expects its employees to adhere to our corporate values and Code of Ethics and Business Conduct. Beyond this, Oracle is a fantastic example of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. Where different parts of our organisation work effectively together, we are able to offer significant increases in value to our customers and hence our shareholders. Oracle expects its employees to use all its resources in the most effective manner possible.

5) How would you describe the experience of working here?
I have had a fantastic experience of working at Oracle. I have had many opportunities to do different things and have worked with many very talented people who have had vast amounts of fun achieving spectacular results. I have always enjoyed support from senior management and have 'lived through' a number of Oracle and IT industry periods - the database wars, the internet, the dot com boom, the dot com bust and IT slowdown, the IT industry consolidation, and now the global economic crisis. Each of these periods has presented many corporate and personal opportunities for those prepared to look for them and to take advantage of them.

6) Work-life balance is an issue of retention as well as productivity. Can you talk about your own view of how to navigate the tensions between getting work done and encouraging healthy lives outside the office?
Work-life balance is one of the biggest challenges facing all of us and often means quite different things to different people. I am married with four young children and try to spend as much time as possible with my family. I try and avoid working on the weekend unless there is no choice, for example I will often look at email, but not send any unless it is critical to do so. We are all creatures of habit and it is quite easy in my experience to develop the habit of working on the weekend, even when it is not essential. I try and maximise the work I do when I am travelling, so that I have less to do when I am not travelling.

7) If you were speaking to a new Oracle employee, what one piece of wisdom would you want to incorporate into their work life?
Don't wait to be tapped on the shoulder and have an opportunity presented to you. Be on the lookout for opportunities and grab hold of them.

8) Do you feel the opportunities exist for employees to develop both their personal and professional growth in Oracle?
Absolutely. We have many examples of people who have grown significant careers in Oracle and benefited personally and professionally as a result. Oracle has grown significantly in the last four years - this has created many opportunities for people to develop their technical and management skills, and to switch between the two. Oracle will assist with personal and professional development, however don't wait, be proactive.

9) In the current economic climate, What do you feel is the greatest challenge currently facing Oracle AU in the next 12 months?
The greatest challenge facing Oracle Australia in the next twelve months is to focus on the reality of our business locally. We have a very broad customer base, a very broad product set. The next twelve months are a fantastic opportunity for Oracle to continue to persuade the market of the tremendous value and benefit its complete, open and integrated software stack can bring businesses in challenging times.

10) Is there any person or company you feel is doing innovative work in AU and in what way?
Many of our customers are using our products and services in innovative ways, to help make them more efficient and in particular to help them differentiate themselves against their competitors. Often, Oracle employees are not only engaged in these initiatives, but leading the way as well. In my experience, Australian organisations and people are regularly leading the world in their understanding and application of technology.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

How to Reject a Job Offer - by Pushpa Sreenivasan

As a candidate, you have got a call from your dream company, cracked the interview and also have just received a job offer. But, you are unable to join them due to various reasons best known to you. In this instance what is the best way to approach this situation?

1) Don’t beat around the bush: Pick up your phone and make a call to the Recruiter as soon as possible. Tell him or her what’s lurking on your mind instead of avoiding calls from the Recruiter, your prospective manager and anybody from your future dream company. Your recruiter always was your first face to have set up the interview and remember they know a lot many things that you don’t know. Being honest in saying what you are going through will help you renegotiate the offer and see if the company can address what is on your mind.

2) Negotiate the offer: If you were not extremely happy with the offer made by your dream company but don’t want to reject the offer and also don’t want to accept it, again talk to the Recruiter and help him/her understand what’s on your mind. The Recruiter may be able to work as your mediator and help resolve the outstanding points that need to be addressed. In this scenario, sometimes you may get what you want. But when you don’t, it means your expectations were beyond your limits. Go by it.

3) Ask for an extension: Most of the organisations, counter the offer you have received from the outside company only after you get it. When you attempt to resign from your current employer they may try to retain you by promising something else. If your manager is in that mode and you are awaiting his response, again, talk to your Recruiter or your prospective manager for an extension in giving your confirmation. This will give a feeling that you are genuine and true.

4) Gracefully Exit: Even after all the efforts you have put, the prospective manager has tweeked in the offer letter and yet if you are not able to accept the offer, do that gracefully. Explain the people concerned what exactly it was. Remember, this is your dream company and you may want to see yourself in this place in the future, keep that door open for yourself. Above all, the worlds is small and flat. You will bump into the same people and Recruiters/Hiring Managers have a great memory. The Hiring Managers remember most of the candidates and don’t take a chance if they feel they a candidate has n0t been honest with them.

5)Maintain a good track record: Even if you decide to exit the interview process, make an attempt to refer somebody else for the role, which will give a good feeling in the minds of the people of the company who offered you as they had invested a lot of time, energy and money in interviewing you. Ensure, you stay in touch with them as you will be the next first person the hiring manager will approach when the position gets vacant again.

All the best.

The author of this article has been with the Oracle India Recruitment Team for the past three years and can be contacted at

Friday, January 16, 2009

Oracle HCM Blog Rated in Top 25 by Fistful of Talent

I find working here at Oracle I am always "finding" great people who are doing interesting things here. Talking to one of my colleagues in Singapore she referred me onto the Talented Apps Blog.

Quoting from the Talented Apps Blogsite: "Talented Apps is written by a group of Development and Strategy individuals within the Oracle Fusion HCM team. Our focus is on the industry and future of Talent Management although we expect we will wander from that focus on occasion."

It makes enjoyable reading to read blogs that are written by people who are passionate about their work. Our blogging team at Talented Apps are putting up some great content about the future of Talent Management. The work they are doing has not gone unrecognised as they have recently been rated in the Top 25 Talent Management Blog Power Rankings 2.0 by the Fistful of Talent Website.

There is some good information on this site and Congratulations to the Talented Apps Team on your rating, keep up the good work as I look forward to continue hearing your stories and articles.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Motivation from Seth Godin and David Carman

I read Seth Godin's Blog In the Mood last night which I wanted to share. I enjoy reading his blog entries as they are great for getting/keeping me motivated through out the day.

It reminded me of some training that I attended in Melbourne in December last year from Carman White. CarmanWhite provide professional development services to the recruitment and selection industry. I have attended numerous courses run by David Carman and I think he has a great approach that gets the best out of people and inspires them in their work.

Below is one of the CarmanWhite slides that David shared in his training. The slide relates to how accountable people are for their actions. For example some people always blame circumstances or have a reason why they did not do something. At the other end of the spectrum some people get on with their (GOWI) work to find solutions to the actions they are tasked with.

I found that by looking at myself and seeing how I handle situations, I can see what group I was fitting in (although people can go from group to group) and was able to adjust my actions as I needed to.

A wait and hope approach to solving a problem or reaching a goal does not often work, but by changing our accountability and taking action to find solutions we put our destiny in our own hands.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Interviewing in 2009: Let’s get Ready….By Lucy Zhuang

You may have interviewed numerous times and gained solid interview skills in the past, in this article I want to share some of my experiences from a Recruiter’s point of view and share some ideas on interviewing successfully with Oracle.

1. Be prepared – I am not focusing on interview skills like eye contact, dressing accordingly, being confident, etc… Other than those, please really be ready for any single interview mentally. Don’t let good opportunities pass you by because you already have a wonderful job. I have some candidates who are not quite motivated to change their jobs currently, so they just go to interviews very casually without any preparation. If you are not motivated to move, tell the Recruiter politely that you would like to try some other opportunities later on. Don’t go to an interview knowing you are not ready to move from your current role. You may end up damaging your personal brand with that company and potentially lose the opportunity to explore future opportunities as you may be perceived (correctly or incorrectly) as “the sheep that cried wolf”.

2. Tell a story and paint a picture - Understand what behavioral based interviews measure. Behavioral based questions are designed to assess individual competencies by measuring your past successes. Using S.T.A.R. a well known and also my favorite method to give an example you can recount your experiences and provide examples of how you overcame challenges at work? I found many candidates with great experience failed to give good examples to demonstrate their experience. S.T.A.R method, that is Situation – Target - Action - and Result, can help you. Use one or two sentence each to describe the Situation and Target, put most emphasis on Action part, and one or two sentence to give the Result. This can make your example expressed in a clear and logical way.

3. Have an open communication with your Recruiter. The Recruiter should know the job requirements. Open and honest communication with Recruiters can definitely help you to win an opportunity. Many of my candidates try to collect information from their friends who used to work with Oracle or guess by themselves what we are looking for. Sometimes, the information is correct and helpful but sometimes not. Talk to the Recruiters directly if you have any questions or concerns regarding the position, and I am sure they are willing to help. The best thing to do is to have open and honest communication so we can ensure you have the information you need to be successful.

4. Write a “Thank you” letter promptly after the interview. In China, it is not very popular to write a Thank You letter however, a Thank You letter is not meant just to say Thank You but you can also highlight or re-emphasize some of your skills/experience required that you noticed the hiring managers focus on during the interview. It is a professional and polite way to engage with the Company and genuinely thank someone for their time.

The author of this article has been with the Oracle China Recruitment Team for the past two years and can be contacted on

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Millennials, Web 2.0...Recruiting Challenges In The Brave Flat World

The world of recruiting is experiencing a transformation and keeping up with the shifting trends requires a great deal of fortitude and education. The baby boomers of the fifties and sixties are starting to leave the work force in record numbers, making room for the up and coming Generation X. The fifty one million Gen’xers, those workers born between 1965 and 1976, appear to be accepting the mantle of leadership with some deference. The real paradox of employment as the world continues to flatten and more boomers retire is the future of the workforce and the emergence of the new Generation Y “Millennials.” Much has been written about the seventy five million Millennials who are entering our employment world with their independence, idealism and view of what a career in today’s labor market means to them.

The expansive growth of international workforces in India, China, Eastern Europe, Chile, Russia and the entrance of the Millennials to the workforce create a rather new set of challenges for Recruiters. These factors combined with Web 2.0 and the advances in technology are requiring a fundamental shift in how we go about identifying, recruiting and attracting employees in this Brave Flat World.

Recruiting in the Baby Boomer years consisted of running advertising in the classifieds section of local and national newspapers, putting help wanted signs on the front lawn, and attending career fairs in hotels to attract top talent to our organizations. Our CRM systems consisted of a Rolodex (card browser) or 3X5 index cards. Today’s recruiter must be much more technically savvy, surfing the web is ethereal, and today to identify top talent one needs to be familiar with Web 2.0, social networking, blogging and host of other new evolving technologies to keep up with the trends of how the new generation explore career changes. The profiles, interests and how candidates go about considering a new career has changed with the convergence of the latest technology and the emergence of the Millennials.

As the terms and conditions of the new work force continue to evolve, the fundamentals of a successful Recruiter are transforming as well. The telephone remains a staple of the trade and yet the tools and technology have really started to morph at light speed. How strong is your network has always been essential to a Recruiters success, but with today’s six degrees of separation and the internet, it is not as much about who you know, but who do they know and how fast can we get to all the folks they know, that really changes the paradigm in today’s Web 2.0 universe.

Recruiters in today’s world need to be Social Networking guru’s and connect to folks through any number of the tools that are permeating the Web. Using the likes of Linkedin (30 Million) is becoming almost passé with tech savvy Recruiters looking to tap into the likes of Myspace (110 Million active users each month), Facebook (120 Million), Orkut, Bebo, Plaxo and a host of other new sights that sprout up seemingly out of nowhere and then become the latest rage. Still others are connecting to folks using the ever-popular Twitter (Do you Tweet?) while others explore more exotic sites like Second Life. Learning how to use these tools effectively and implementing them for successful networking is one of the most difficult challenges that Recruiters are facing today.

The work force may shift to other parts of the planet but as Thomas Freidman has poignantly demonstrated the world it is getting flatter and how we identify and recruit employees to our workforce remains pretty similar across our regions. These tools are catching on no matter where you live and candidates are very technologically savvy with the Millennials almost demanding that Recruiters keep up with the times to reach out to them. You can follow someone in Twitter across the globe and reach out to social networked candidates from anywhere, and thus the transformation has begun and keeping pace is now the ultimate challenge. There is no Huxley like soma chemical out there to make it all align perfectly, the real quest for Recruiters, today and in the future, is the ability to harness the technology, understand this new generation and educate our management teams about The Brave New Flat World so we can continue to attract the best and brightest here to Oracle.

The author of this article is Jan Ackerman who has been in IT Recruitment for 20+ years is Vice President of Oracle's APAC Recruitment Team.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Using Twitter to Land a Job: Real Life Examples

As readers of our blog may know I am an advocate of Web 2.0 technologies and Social Networking Tools - specifically as it applies to Job Searching and Recruitment.

I have just read an article by Jonelle Marte titled “Twitter Yourself a Job .

Jonelle Marte writes "Looking for a new job, Alexa Scordato didn't email or call her contacts about possible openings. Instead, she messaged them via the social-networking Web site

Her brief message: "Hey there! Looking for a Social Media job up in Boston. Are you guys doing any entry level hires?"

Within a week, she had an interview. Within two weeks, she had a job.

...It's been criticized as a site for sharing mundane details about everyday activities. But people like 22-year-old Ms. Scordato, who used Twitter to privately message some people she'd met at a conference, show the site can be more than that.

"I would guess that if I had just sent them a long email with my résumé, I might not have gotten a response as fast as I did," says Ms. Scordato, who was hired by Mzinga, a Boston-area company that helps businesses use social technology.""

This is a fantastic example of the changing way that companies and candidates are now using Social Networking Tools to connect with each other. I do not believe tools like Twitter have gained widespread acceptance in the Recruitment Industry yet (I stress the word yet as it is becoming more mainstream) but it is quickly becoming a more viable tool and will soon be common practice in Recruitment. To stay connected with candidates companies will need to integrate these tools into their recruitment strategies and be less reliant on using job boards and traditional means of recruitment to attract top candidates.

My Twitter ID if you want to connect is

Friday, January 2, 2009

Job Searching in a Difficult Economic Climate - By Prashant Singh

Hello and Namesta to all.

We have all read recently about the economic meltdown and the number of layoffs and redundancies from various organisations. This is definitely a shift from the climate we have seen over the past few years and this has affected millions across the Globe. We cannot ignore the situation, but it does not mean we need to put our careers or job searching on hold. Despite the economic downturn there are still good job opportunities out there.

How can candidates make make the most of their job search in this environment?

1) In the current market the number of job openings will be fewer. Pick the information channel that best suits the specifics of your career and your preferred position. For example: If you see a requirement for a Technical role and you feel your strength is more on the Functional side then this may not be the ideal role for you. You should focus on finding a role that you want to do and one that fits your skills and experience. It may still be worth contacting that company and making them aware of yourself as they may have a suitable role that is not advertised.

2) Contact Recruiters about opportunities. I would advise to call and speak to the concerned Recruiter regarding opportunities that are either available or may be coming up. Take the opportunity to find out about the team you may be working in, the culture, the working environment, work/life balance, etc…. A 10 minute conversation with a Recruiter can be a goldmine of information.

3) Look for opportunities in the Hidden Job Market: As blogged about earlier in “The Hidden Job Market How Do I Find It” many opportunities are not posted on job boards and many roles can be found by connecting with your network of contacts (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Plaxo, etc…). By relying solely on using Job Boards in your job search it is likely you will not see all of the roles actually available but will see a much smaller percentage of the actual roles available than what there really is.

4) Ensure that your resume is up to date and has all the details and skills that you possess,For example: If you are a Technical Architect, make sure that along with your role and responsibilities in the projects you have worked on that you also detail the environment that you have worked in, what technologies that you have used, etc….

Make a difference in you career today…for a better tomorrow. Wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New year ’09.

The author of this article has been with Oracle India Recruitment Team for the past two years and can be contacted on

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