Archive for September, 2012

Mastering Nuit Blanche – Art in Toronto #toronto #nuiteblanche

Posted: September 30, 2012 by torontosingledad in Uncategorized

Some of my “community” are also Toronto based and will know about Nuit Blanche which is a free night of Art throughout Toronto.  The art ranges in it’s appeal from kiddos to some very adult art works.  Last night was the 7th instalment of Nuit Blanche and the first time that I went out with a group of friends to check out the night.  It starts at 7pm and continues through the night to 7am, which makes for crowds of thousands and  possibly tens of thousands moving through the downtown core to hang out together, view artwork and well do some serious eating and drinking.  Believe me by 2am walking home along Queen Street with new friends it became very very obvious that the drink was on.

The night started off by meeting up with some folks from the SocialMedia Cafe and my buddy Brian at the Office Pub on John and King Street.  We has some dinner and drinks (I was in recovery from the night before).  We then prioritized that we would hit the TIFF lightbox theatre, walk along King Street to University and then up to City Hall where they were putting on a multi-media presentation called “Museum for the End of the World” — basically, it was the artists take on the Rapture that we have all been talking about for the past few years (anyone else glad that December 12th is coming up?).  We then would head over and up to the OCAD exhibit on sublimation of the Native Peoples in Canada (we even got our own Treaty Cards which is basically the cards that Native People’s are required to carry when off reservation, and that all non-Natives are supposed to carry but we don’t).  Then we wrapped up the night at the AGO and their Photography contest and an interesting tableau that was dedicated to the Labour movement in Ontario.  I was really into the AGO exhibit until a) one of the girls on the “shop floor” started talking on her cell phone and b) I started to spot the various Ontario Labour Law infringements and my brain slid into HR mode.

Overall it was a great night, with beautiful weather
to hit the downtown core, here are some of the images the gang shared for the night.

Possibly the best exhibit for the night was provided by Nature.  This was the view from Nathan Phillip’s Square near City Hall, as we entered the Square we wondered why everyone was looking up and taking pics.  Well this is the reason why.

At University/Queen corner outside the SunLife building was the Space Invaders exhibit, basically a huge game of Space Invaders in Neon Green, tons of kids and teens taking pics against the iconic game.

We then headed into City Hall where we and the crowds were treated to a multi-media presentation of the upcoming Rapture, as you can see from the last pic some of the folks who went in were a) really tired or b) Raptured 🙂

This was part of the AGO presentation on the Ontario Labour movement.  How many Labour violations can you spot HR peeps?

Finally at the end of the night the AGO gave us all the opportunity to become part of the Nuit Blanche art….here is an exhausted Brian Cugelman and myself making our own version of Art.

I believe during the evening there was discussion of Busking during next year’s Nuit Blanche and/or trying to set up a presentation of Social Media/Digital Artwork as part of the SMCafe contribution to Nuit Blanche.  So wether it’s as an attendee or a participant I will be sure to check it out again in 2013.

Do you have a Nuit Blanche in your city?


The Friday Webb Report – September 28th

Posted: September 29, 2012 by torontosingledad in Uncategorized

So they say that there is a reason for every season and that all endings will herald new beginnings.  And because my community is such a lovely group of fine folks I thought I would update you all on my life going forward…and you know what, things are pretty good.  Here’s the bullet point version of what’s up with Geoff.

  • After an exhaustive selection process this previous Monday I officially rejoined the AON/Hewitt team.  Now some of you saw the announcement before it was officially official, my apologies, sometimes I just get stoked about things.   I will be working with a great group of Sourcers and an old friend from the Microsoft Days (Kim Race) and supporting the BMO account.  This will be the first time that I will have worked with the Canadian team and I’m looking forward to making an impact in the Canadian sourcing landscape.  It is actually going to be very much a reunion of some of the key players from the Microsoft days 🙂

  • I moved into my new place in Liberty Village.  I am enjoying the new place and the views of the city are fantastic.  I am using the Pool and the Gym almost every day which is a bit of a change for me but it feels pretty darn good.

  • I have had a chance to connect with some great friends and spend more time with some great peeps.  Including but not limited to Brian Cugelman (who does great Karaoke) and Jeff Wedge, of course Daniel J Smith when he can get into Toronto and the guys and girls in my Meeetup groups.  For those of you in Toronto I hope to see you this upcoming Friday night for my “Welcome to Liberty” bash at the Brazen Head pub.  For more details and to RSVP go here.  And yes there will be a special guest there but I promised I wouldn’t share her with the world quite yet 🙂
  • Finally I have been spending more time thinking up good and useful blog topics and started to write a book.  I will have excerpts out soon.

That about does it for me this week, look for our next three part series to happen next week and every second week after that and look for the new News Show on Youtube happening every Friday afternoon and do do do subscribe.

Yeah sorry…..



 One of the first things that you really should concern yourself with as a new employee is how you provide service to your client. I know this can be seen as a two-way street; as most of us spend numerous hours when we are not working, spending our hard-earned money as consumers. Don’t let what you experience become the example of providing service. Set your own bar, and set it high! Good customer service can be defined by the number of returning customers to your business, and the number of friends they tell of your exceptional service. That is one of the big things you wish to be known for: EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE!

Over the next number of weeks; I will make various suggestions on how you can look to get ahead in your new career- but this is really the place to begin. Alot of companies think it is okay to hire someone, then let them loose on their clients without giving them a session on WHAT the new standards are; and why THEY care about the bottom line and the people who keep it in the BLACK. Ask yourself “What really sets this company apart from all the competitors; and what are they doing different from everyone else?” Remember, if you have set yourself up properly, (Mastering the fine art of The Service) and observed both the exceptional and the not-so-exceptional “at work” you are already part way to success.

The customer is the reason you are in business, not the other way around- so use that as you move forward. Study the manuals, know your product and learn as much information as possible about competing brands, and all the alternatives on the market. Then each morning ask yourself “How badly do I want this; Am I ready to make a difference in both the name of myself and my company?”- realize that as a paid-member of your company culture, its up to you to make your name synonymous with the employers, almost as if you are a “married couple” OR when a client thinks of who they should deal with for a major purchase from their key supplier- your face should immediately come to mind. If it doesn’t, figure out what you need to do to put it there!

Customer Service is not an exact science, and I used to train people to think in that manner. Good Service is a certain percent knowledge, a certain percent personality, and a certain percent luck (being in the right spot at the right time and being able to take full advantage of the opportunity); and based on that formula- you have control over 2/3 of the formula- Its all up to you. Spend off-hours observing how others work, and think of a way to improve on what you have seen.

Every customer/client must be treated like they are your first for the day. They really don’t care about your family life, how indebted you are to the bank, or where you spent your last vacation: All they want is what you can provide right here and right now. Please leave all the attitude and negative emotions at home; they don’t help in a successful business transaction. If you wish to be looked upon as the Best at what you do/provide- then OWN IT and make it your lifestyle 24/7, because you never know where the next big deal will come from; and you need to be prepared to fill that need.

I could go on with this one topic; but being successful is so much more than Customer Service; but if I had to construct the perfect employee, I definitely would give them a fair percentage of this fading formula.

Let me know what sets you apart from others in your field; and why you think your method of serving customers is the best on the market. Better yet, give me some examples of “poor customer service” and what you learned from the experience. Best examples of both will be discussed here in the coming weeks.

Until next week- Be Honest, Fair and Responsible; everything else should take care of itself and have fun at what you do!

Have an exceptional week…

I AM The Sourcers Apprentice™

Daniel J. Smith

Follow me on Twitter @thedanieljsmith

Mastering Facebook Part III

Posted: September 14, 2012 by torontosingledad in Uncategorized

OK honestly Facebook Advertising can be a bit creepy but no where near as creepy as all that (I think).

The reason that I like Facebook Ads for building a) Fanpages and b) potential candidate populations are that they are very targeted and at a much lower PPC (Pay Per Click) amount you can get much more bang for your buck than traditional Job Board or Agency spend.

So first things first, here is how you access the Facebook Ads portal:


As you can see because I’m on Chrome my browser attempts to Auto-complete for me…thank you Google Chrome.

Once you are in the Ads area you need to set up or Create your Ad….this means creating a picture for your Ad, a URL to direct folks back to – in this case you can actually direct people back to the actual job or let’s say you are hoping to build a Talent Community then you may want to direct them back to a Facebook Page, Group or Linkedin Group.  You will also need to set out some compelling copy, but don’t worry about including location in this one, because you will be able to set location in your filtering.  Here’s one that I just made up for Dating Purposes — yes there are many associations between Recruitment and Online Dating.


Next you want to actually Target your Ad.  The nice thing about Facebook Targeting is that you can filter on multiple criteria and Facebook will update you on the size of your target market as you put in filters.  If you find that one of your filters dramatically decreases the size of your market they remove that filter or try something different…for the purposes of this Ad…


I chose to target Females who live in Canada, and Toronto between the ages of 33-45 years old and are Single but have interests in Gaming, Cooking, Pop Culture, News, Dogs, Computer Programming, Politics, Small Business Owners who like Comedy or Science Fiction/Fantasy.  Wow seems pretty targeted right and still Facebook tells me that due to the size of their network I am looking at a target market of 11,280 users.

After you have targeted your ad you have to choose a suggested Bid.  Now most PPC bids will be between .50-2.00 per click.  Here is the cool part, you can also allocate a daily spend on the PPC rates or PPI (Pay Per Impression) – so if you are testing out the system and you only want a daily spend of $10 you can set that amount and Facebook will only deliver 5 clicks per day.  Depending on the type of role you are working on that might be enough.

Next let’s measure the efficacy of your ad campaign…..Facebook actually gives you a very strong dashboard where you can track both Clicks and Impressions.  I ran my fake dating ad for three days and here were the results.



So from a targeting perspective the ad was seen by over 17,000 people that met my criteria and on that day was clicked on by 9 folks who met the criteria.  Now none of those people messaged me because there was no call to action….but still that is good coverage.

The things you must to do make a Facebook Ad campaign successful:

  1. Know your target audience and choose images and text that will engage with them.
  2. Make your ad clickable.
  3. Track and Monitor your performance
  4. Know when to cut the Ad off.
  5. Manage your costs.

Using all the principles above you can make a very compelling and successful and targeted  Talent Campaign using Facebook Ads.


Mastering Facebook Part II

Posted: September 13, 2012 by torontosingledad in Uncategorized

So yesterday we talked a bit about Direct Sourcing on Facebook, but honestly again the platform is not geared to people sharing information about their employment, Facebook was never meant to focus on employment and jobs and although there are online apps such as BranchOut that try to be the “Employment Networks” on Facebook most of the general population are not engaging with these apps, why, well honestly probably because a majority of us even though we may love our work, we don’t like working…it’s kind of a necessary evil to you know making money.  Facebook was always meant to be the online representation of our entire life, that’s why Timeline was such an important feature of the Social Network.

The question for employers then is how do you get folks that are not coming to Facebook to apply for jobs to you know apply for jobs.  And if you do direct source someone from Facebook a lot of folks will not be willing to be approached via Facebook because they still view it as a personal network.  I don’t know how many times I have spoken to groups from multiple generations who just don’t appreciate business as part of the Facebook experience.

Most brands will now feel like they “have” to have a Fanpage on Facebook, or more accurately a Timeline for Business.  There is absolutely no reason that companies as a starting point cannot utilize the power of Timeline to a) serve potential job opportunities to candidates/fans and b) do some strong employment branding.  Now when I say this most companies will point out the fact that they are not a huge brand like Coke or RedBull.  Well guess what, almost any brand can take advantage of the Branding/Talent opportunities of Facebook and here are some simple rules that you can follow:

Here are the folks at Fairmont Hotels, not a well known Canadian Brand (and not a client) however, they have over 6,000 likes on their Careers Timeline, how did they get those Fans?  Well they made a few key moves:

  1. They included the Fanpage/Timeline link in all their Recruitment/Talent messaging, including any automatic messaging from the ATS when folks apply to a position at any of the Fairmont Resorts.
  2. They link back to the Careers page and make frequent mention of it from their main Timeline page.

Here is a big NO NO that Fairmont has to fix though.  As part of the page they are pointing potential candidates who want to look/apply for jobs at an outside link.  Research consistently shows that internet and specifically Facebook users are lazy and will not click out of the system.  Fairmont would be well served to build a job portal Tab right into the Fanpage….oh and when you do so please don’t bury it where Fans have to go looking for it.  I have met with other retailers who have said to me “Geoff it’s a test to see how serious a candidate is” —- wow, that’s a great way to lose talent before they have even had a chance to work with you and gives the message “we are arrogant and a difficult company to work for”, just saying….


Fairmont does a great job here with Employer Branding, the message being that if you work hard for the company you will be promoted and you will be recognized, which is awesome, again they have missed an opportunity however to link directly to the job that obviously now needs to be backfilled….


When I looked at their Page (and for that matter any other page) I noticed that they have a ton of fan posting questions about roles and processes, here is the biggest FAILS that Facebook companies make (can you spot it), there is no, let me repeat that NO engagement with these folks.  The company has basically set up a Facebook Career Page and then left it.  This is a sure fire way to lose potential candidates, and I get it, sometimes companies don’t have the capacity or capability to respond to every post on their wall….if that’s the case there are some options:

  1. Insource the process — share the posting/responding opportunities internally within your management and/or Recruiting and HR teams.
  2. Outsource — hire a company who’s role will be to respond to Fan’s questions on the Wall.  If you go this route then make sure to set out very clear SLA’s with the provider and for god sakes give them access to the information they will need to respond appropriately and accurately.
  3. Hire — get someone on board who’s role is 100% to manage social.  And my advice is not to hire a revolving door of interns.


The Gap has the right idea, they use Work4Labs app to pull their current opportunities into Facebook and allow you to stay within the platform to apply for jobs.

Now is this all the best way to leverage the Facebook platform for it’s Viral nature?  NOPE.  The most shared things on Facebook continue to be internet Meme’s….wondering what a Meme is?  Well here is the definition and an example:

meme (play /ˈmm/meem)[1] is “an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.”[2] A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate and respond toselective pressures.[3]

“The word meme is a shortening (modeled on gene) of mimeme (from Ancient Greek μίμημα Greek pronunciation: [míːmɛːma] mīmēma, “something imitated”, from μιμεῖσθαι mimeisthai, “to imitate”, from μῖμος mimos “mime”)[4] and it was coined by the British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene (1976)[1][5] as a concept for discussion of evolutionary principles in explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. Examples of memes given in the book included melodies, catch-phrases, fashion and the technology of building arches.[6]

Proponents theorize that memes may evolve by natural selection in a manner analogous to that of biological evolution. Memes do this through the processes of variationmutationcompetition and inheritance, each of which influence a meme’s reproductive success. Memes spread through the behaviors that they generate in their hosts. Memes that propagate less prolifically may become extinct, while others may survive, spread and (for better or for worse) mutate. Memes that replicate most effectively enjoy more success, and some may replicate effectively even when they prove to be detrimental to the welfare of their hosts.[7]

A field of study called memetics[8] arose in the 1990s to explore the concepts and transmission of memes in terms of an evolutionary model. Criticism from a variety of fronts has challenged the notion that academic study can examine memes empirically. However, developments inneuroimaging may make empirical study possible.[9] Some commentators[who?] question the idea that one can meaningfully categorize culture in terms of discrete units. Others, including Dawkins himself, have argued that this usage of the term is the result of a misunderstanding of the original proposal.[10]

In internet terms a Meme is a picture or concept or video that goes Viral and is widely shared.

So what would happen if you created an Internet Meme and then added a Job Posting/link to the Meme?  Could you potentially get the Meme to go Viral.  If you thought about viral coefficients then this could be a very successful strategy.  It’s not that difficult to start a Meme…here is one that I posted and created on my Facebook Timeline about a 1/2 hour ago.


It works well for my audience and although it’s only been up for approx 32 minutes it has been shared six times and has eight likes, all during the time that folks are at work.  My expectation is that the Meme will go pretty far/wide and I will know that it is successful when I start to see candidates picking up the Meme and running with it.

Just food for thought, tomorrow we will look at the tried and true PPC Facebook Advertising.  Until then stay tuned.