It’s two months since we announced our Twitter only recruitment so I thought it was time for an update. We’ve been pretty much overwhelmed by the number of people who registered an interest in the Lab.
We had over 14,000 views of the material and are still getting enquiries. The follow up conversations took a lot longer than we thought!
People have questioned me on whether this is actually a more complex way of recruiting than the conventional model.
The answer , undoubtably, is yes.
Just like comms and marketing , recruitment used to be pretty simple. You broadcast your message and waited for the bite. Then you reeled it in.
Social media – and social recruitment – are not about broadcast. They are about the conversation , the slow burn of relationship building. People challenge you. People suggest ideas.
You question whether what you are building is right.
In a conventional recruitment no-one would dare challenge your ideas. They know that expressing dissent is the first sign of a troublemaker.
But in a social recruitment, where chats are conducted away from the shackles of forms and questions and personality tests , the relationship gets democratised.
Welcome to recruiting through the network.
I want to publicly thank everyone who took time to speak to us. Your input has been invaluable in shaping the pipeline of the Lab and the way we go about making the network operate. Thanks to everyone who has shared the material about the recruitment too – your support is incredible.
So what have we learned?
- A lot of people want to work with us in some capacity but not in a full time role based in the Midlands. Only a few people expressed an interest in full time work for one employer and this has led us to reshape the idea of three roles.
- There was a lot of interest in doing some work at mutually agreed times and the development of a retainer based – or time limited – relationship.
- Peoples skills and experience are a lot wider than the rather narrow confines I put around Data, Design and Digital
So the challenge for me over the past few weeks has been to redesign something that makes use of the great talent that is out there in the network.
So what are we doing?
Firstly – we’ve decided we really need a full-time design role – and it’s the one that lends itself least to remote working. So we’re going to advertise this role for two weeks only with interested applicants going through the existing Bromford recruitment approach. You can find details of this role here. People who previously expressed an interest were given an exclusive preview but new applicants are welcomed. Give me a shout if you want to chat about it.
Secondly – we are developing opportunities for people that have a specific expertise that we need coaching in. These are likely to be commitments of a few days of time spread over a period between 3 months and a year. These will be available to people regardless of geography. The bulk of the people who expressed an interest first time around fall into this category and will work with me to shape it.
Finally we are developing a way that we can commission the services of people on a one-off basis. So for instance – a problem enters the Lab that we don’t have the skills to host and we need to bring in the network to do it for us. Many people suggested this might be done on a more creative basis than simply employing someone . For instance , we could develop an incentivised challenge to solve a specific problem.
This is an incredibly exciting time for everyone involved in the Lab.
Thanks for your support!
(A version of this post originally appeared on 24Dash – go visit them as they’re great!)
2pm 11th June: London grinds to a halt.
Cab drivers have downed tools for an hour.
Uber, a smartphone app that offers an easy and cheap taxi booking service, has rolled into the UK. Our taxi drivers, required to do training of between 4-7 years, are understandably outraged at this tech startup rocking up and suggesting services can be delivered in affordable ways that are more tailored to the customer.
The howls of anguish from the striking drivers were heard all across Europe. But far from highlighting the cause of taxi drivers it served only to promote Uber itself- which saw an 850% increase in subscriptions.
The hackney carriage – a tradition dating back to 1654 – faces potential disruption.
Plenty of howls of anguish in Manchester too this week as the annual housing conference rolled into town. This year though the conference had an Uber-like startup to contend with.
HouseParty - an unofficial fringe – had parked its (mini)bus just over the road.
Much like Comms Hero, it would be easy to dismiss HouseParty as a bit of inconsequential fluff. A bunch of malcontents fiddling around with social media and shiny tech whilst Rome burns.
But both formats deserve closer scrutiny. Both have super smart business brains behind them in Asif Choudry and Matt Leach. Both have got the sheer balls to deliver something different in a market starved of original thought. And both show an implicit understanding of their customers.
Comms Hero was developed after speaking to Comms people and asking them what they would design if they could create their ideal event.
HouseParty has evolved through social media connections and captured the imagination of people who would never have thought of attending a housing conference. Additionally it’s been co-designed by Esther Foreman a social entrepreneur who also happens to be – guess what? – a real life housing association tenant.
And they are new and achingly cool. Whereas the annual CIH conference has roots in a tradition starting back in 1931. On that basis it’s unfair to compare and contrast the three. But anyone who has attended them, or followed their social media feeds, will do so.
Let me be clear. This isn’t an attack on the CIH, an organisation I have huge respect for and who employ some inspirational people. Neither is it a ringing endorsement of Comms Hero or HouseParty – concepts that are taking their first awkward baby steps into the world.
But the fact is the annual conference , and public sector conferences like it , have to change.
You can’t blame the CIH. The public gets what the public wants. And, if we’re honest, the UK housing public wants an annual sideshow to the real business of getting together and having a chinwag and a few beers.
The conference this year certainly had a unified message: We need more social housing and we need more money. We need more of the same. Impassioned stuff and I, optimistically, hope it’s heard.
But at £525 for a one day non-member ticket you’d expect passion at the very least.
How attractive would this be to people in the top 5 of the digital Power Players list. People like Anne McCrossan, John Popham or Helen Reynolds? Sole traders who could help the sector be much better than it currently is.
How attractive would this be to a tenant?
Comms Hero has undercut its rivals by a good £100. HouseParty offered an innovative ‘pay what you can afford’ option.
Much like ‘affordable’ rents, our conferences need to consider their purpose, pricing and accessibility.
Thom Bartley has made the brilliant point that it’s now cheaper to fly to Amsterdam to see a 3D printed house than to pay to go to a housing conference and hear someone talk about it. We all know that housing has to revisit its purpose but that also involves a restatement of its values.
This is less an issue for the CIH than it is for the sector itself.
In reality neither Comms Hero nor House Party are competitors to traditional conferences – they offer something different. But just like Uber, Spotify and Netflix they are bringing the question of customer value into the spotlight.
The annual conference, just like black cabs, will be around for a good while yet. But if nothing else the new kids on the block have made us consider “would we do it this way if we started again?”
And that’s always a pretty good question to ask.
Social Media Campaign: Winner: Adrian Capon for #HousingDay. Runners up: Council Home Chat , Real Life Reform
Best Blogger: Winner: Colin Wiles. Runners up: Thom Bartley, Jules Birch
Rising Star: Winner: Michala Rudman. Runners up: Cheryl Tracy, Thom Bartley
Social Superstar England: Winner: Nick Atkin. Runners up: Asif Choudry, Lara Oyedele
Social Superstar Wales: Winner: Brett Sadler. Runners up: Keith Edwards, Michala Rudman
Digital Innovation of the Year: Winner: Jayne Hilditch for MyTVH. Runners up: Muir Group for digital sign up , Halton Housing for digital deal.
Super Connector of the Year: Winner: Anne McCrossan. Runners up: Nick Atkin, James Caspell
Comms Innovator of Year: Asif Choudry
Digital Innovator of Year: Matt Leach
POST UPDATED 25TH JUNE
After the excitement generated by #PowerPlayers14 we’ve decided to reflect on peoples contribution to digital housing one final time this year at House Party in Manchester on 24th June.
This is a time of huge change in the public sector and the importance of social and digital technology has never been so important.
Despite the success of #powerplayers14 – the housing sector still has a mountain to climb in embracing new ways of working and thinking. Once you open the door to social media you have begun to change the nature of your organisation. There’s no going back.
We are now turning the spotlight away from the list itself and towards the difference that has been made. These are awards for the people and organisations who are doing something new and making a difference.
The categories for this year are:
Social Media Campaign: Which campaign has most effectively used digital to promote social housing for social good?
Best Blogger: Which are the posts you just HAVE to read?
Rising Star: Which newcomer (or nearly newcomer…) has made a powerful mark in #ukhousing for their use of digital?
National Social Superstar: We’ll have winners for Wales, England , Scotland and Northern Ireland. Who are they and why?
Digital Innovation of the Year: Which person or organisation has used digital to really make a difference for their customers? What have they done differently?
Super Connector of the Year: Who’s the person who has most effectively used digital to break down barriers between sectors?
Anybody can make a nomination. All you have to do is to state who you are nominating, the category & the reason. You can post your nomination with a comment in the blog or use Twitter with the hashtag #powerplayers14.
This is completely crowdsourced – nominations can be made up to 5.00pm on the 24th June.
This being a socially savvy event all awards will be virtual and tweeted out to winners live!
You can follow events via the hashtag #hseparty14.
We look forward to hearing the nominations!
Paul, Shirley and Boris
You want to get to the list don’t you?
Hold on. It’s coming.
Before you look at the Top 50 influencers please read this guest post from Shirley Ayres who kindly agreed to collaborate with me on #powerplayers14.
For me…it sums up perfectly what it’s all about….
When the first Power Players 50 list was published I was surprised and complimented to be included.The list was intended as light hearted fun but the interest generated in who was included and why sparked a very lively debate.
I was delighted to be invited by Paul to collaborate on the #powerplayers14 list and we agreed that we needed to widen the criteria. We accept that Klout is an imperfect algorithm so added in scores from PeerIndex. We also invited public nominations. You can read the criteria we used here.
We wanted to create a different kind of list celebrating the diversity of people with an interest in housing who are using social media to connect, inspire and challenge.
We were particularly keen to encourage nominations for people working in and around the sector and we were pleasantly surprised by the diversity. 140 different people were nominated.
Digital technology has democratised access to information and created very different ways of enabling people to connect and share resources, thoughts and opinion. We live in a digitally connected world and in the crowded social space online influence is becoming increasingly important.
Influencers select, share and create content around topics which attract diverse audiences and offer real opportunities to drive action and effect change.
At a time when the housing sector is having to redefine their core mission and purpose, online engagement can amplify voices and offer alternative views to those presented by the mainstream media. Influencers are passionate about their interests and have invested time to grow and develop trust with those following on their social networks.
We all have access to a wide range of social media tools. It’s what individuals do with the tools that is important. Shared experiences on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogs are valuable in earning trust over time.
Possibly the term power players is a bit of a misnomer in this context and a more appropriate term is super connectors. The housing sector is at an early stage of recognising the potential of social media to make new connections which are not limited by sector boundaries. It’s a potential for new collaborations , with the active involvement of customers in the development of new services.
Becoming a social business often requires a cultural mindshift which goes beyond thinking that social media is just a communications channel. People increasingly expect that organisations will not just reach out but also listen to them. The nominations for power players represented a cross section of people who are building connected communities and and modelling how social technologies can creatively help housing associations build new networks.
I believe that we need more opportunities to inspire staff and people who use services from across housing, care, health, charities and social enterprises to collaborate in exploring how to embed digital innovations as an integral part of the support available within every community.
Power players are by nature engagers and connectors who understand that social media is about connecting with people.
If we are battling for hearts and minds we need ambassadors who understand the issues at every level of the housing sector and are able to contribute to debates.
This list represents the new world of housing associations
So that’s the list! Congratulations to everyone who was nominated.
A diverse range of people and interests.
There are substantially more CEOs present than last year – a sign of social being taken more seriously?
Notably 7 of the Top 10 are women.
We’d love to get as many of your thoughts, congratulations or disagreements as possible in the comments below.
Do you agree with the list? Any omissions? Who should get special mention at the House Party awards for significant contributions?
Over to you….
Imagine a future where you don’t have a CV or resume. A future where your talent and achievements are broken down into tweetable chunks. Your professional life , and a good bit of your personal too, is available online for all to see. You are scored according to your worth and the value of your followers. Your score can determine whether you get that job interview – Me , March 2013 – How Social Media Could Get You Your Next Job
The first and only time I start a post quoting myself. Honest.
Next week marks the launch of the Bromford Innovation Lab – a new venture that we are very excited about.
What makes it different is the way it will work.
It consists of Lab sessions each lasting 12 weeks and run four times a year. During those 12 weeks we’ll be hosting a number of problems and designing multiple solutions to help solve them. And if we can’t design a solution in 12 weeks – it gets shelved. We won’t fear failure – we expect up to 75% of concepts won’t proceed at first attempt.
It’s rapid innovation for a connected age where none of our organisations can keep up with the pace of change.
The Lab is less of a new team and more of a social network formed around problem solving through creativity.
And working differently means attracting people who will thrive in that environment.
The Lab is open to anyone who wants to collaborate with us. We’ll be launching a new website and social networking links over the next few weeks.
But we also have a number of paid opportunities for people who want to work with us more closely.
So today starts a very different way of attracting that talent.
Social media has made the CV redundant. We are all searchable – and increasing amounts of us are sharing our knowledge online to build our networks and collaborate.
New and powerful connections are being born and the Lab aims to help us maximise the power of these relationships. We want to cast the net far and wide with the Innovation Lab – as well as giving opportunities to colleagues at Bromford.
Welcome to our first Twitter only recruitment.
Here’s a brief guide to the Lab:
We feel we need three Lab Leads – Digital , Design and Data. These will help us grow our networks in those disciplines and work with us modelling and testing concepts in the Lab. The people profiles are published at the bottom of the post.
We are not publishing salaries for a very specific reason. People might already have another job or business that they wish to retain and just give us a couple of days a week. Or we might consider a match funding arrangement. Or you might want to work full time (the maximum we can offer right now is 12 month fixed term). We are really trying to break the mold in the diversity of talent that the Lab works with.
Obviously we have a fixed budget for these roles but we want to be flexible to what people can offer us.
So firstly we want to begin a conversation with people about whether this is something they are interested in. They might have loads of experience or are at the very early stages of their career.
- We are not accepting CVs or application forms and will select people to talk to exclusively via Twitter. People have to provide online evidence of skills that are in the public realm.
- Registering an interest will begin on 9th May and end on 18th May.
- Three specifications will be posted via Twitter at the beginning of the selection period from the account of @paulbromford. These are also posted below.
- All interested people should apply via Twitter using the account @paulbromford. Interest doesn’t have to be registered publicly and can be sent by direct message (DM). If you want to apply publicly then please use hashtag #bromfordlab
- Direct messages should point us to sites and useful links that demonstrate your social CV
- Experience must be demonstrated via web content – i.e. blogs, community involvement, endorsements, news articles and other searchable publications. It is acceptable to group these links together into one site as long as it is public.
- We will use Google and/or other search engines for publicly available data.
- We would expect interested parties to be able to demonstrate social influence within their relevant communities. Evidence of being an influencer in the digital , design, data or social innovation communities is welcomed.
- During the selection period, we will select people for chats via Google Hangout. In the event of high demand we will use a shortlist criteria based on the fit with the person profile as demonstrated via Social CV.
- All people will be advised about their progress. All expressions of interest will be logged to ensure we get back to people.
- Your expression of interest will not be shared publicly unless you make it public.
- People who want to proceed after the Google Hangout will be given details of a second stage.
- Although our physical Lab space is based in the Midlands we are open to discussions of remote working.
Here are the profiles:
Digital Lead Profile:
Data Lead Profile:
Design Lead Profile:
Will identifying talent in this way work? Who knows? Like everything else the Lab does it’s an experiment.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the approach
A year ago I published The Top 50 Power Players In Housing [Klout Edition] – featuring people working in and around the sector.
More seriously – it was done as an exercise in comparing online and offline influence.
Only 14 of the original Power Players remained in the online list. The democratising effect of social media was apparent. CEOs disappeared almost completely and were replaced by people with less seniority – in the traditional hierarchical sense. There was a higher number of women, more ethnic diversity and at least 3 of the top 10 influencers were under the age of 30.
There is a serious point to this. We now have a generation of people working in Housing who have no idea who David Orr and Grania Long are. But they would recognise John Popham and Dominic Campbell. It’s increasingly important that UK Housing leaders embrace digital as a relationship builder rather than a broadcast channel.
I never expected the post to be so popular , it’s the number two ranked piece on this blog and still gets views every day.
I also never planned to do a follow up list , but due to public demand I’m pleased to announce that there will be a 2014 edition published in June!
To freshen it up I’m making three changes based on feedback:
- Although it will still use the controversial Klout score, there will be some new measures included. So , for example , I’ll be looking if a person has a frequently updated blog or website. The full criteria will be published alongside the list.
- Politicians are being dumped. You told me you’d prefer a list without elected members – one that concentrated on real people working in and around the sector.
- For the first time you’ll be able to nominate people you feel have made a significant contribution through their online influence. Who has really shaped things this year? Who ran the best blog? The best social media campaign? Remember this list is reserved for individual people only – you can’t nominate Housing Associations or companies. You can nominate people however you want. You can mention them on Twitter using the hashtag #powerplayers14 , you can DM me or send an email. Ideally though you will add a thread to the bottom of this post. Nominations or suggestions must be made by midnight on Sunday May 11th.
I’m delighted to say that Shirley Ayres – co-founder of the Connected Care Network is joining me to collaborate on the list. Shirley was the Number 1 ranked influencer on last years list after politicians. So , just like me, Shirley won’t be appearing on this years list!
The list will be announced in June and published on this blog simultaneously with the print publication in 24 Housing Magazine. Thanks to Jon Land who is a great sport for suggesting this. Watch out for news also on how some of this years list could find themselves invited to a special event at House Party on 24th June. Thanks to Matt Leach , who would get my vote for innovation in housing , for this.
So – over to you. Who are the Power Players 2014? Remember – they don’t have to work in housing. Just influence it.
As I’ve said – in an online super-connected world – sectors only exist in our imagination anyway….
UPDATE TO POST
SO HERE WE GO…………………
THE 2014 SHORTLIST (although it’s quite long)
Abigail Scott Paul
|Gary Orr||@gary yarlington|
|Victor da Cunha||@victor_dacahuna|
Well done everyone – the Final Fifty will follow in a few weeks…
Thanks for voting
Shirley and Paul