As you might have noticed, in September we (proudly) welcomed a new member of our executive team, Cheryl McKinnon has joined to lead our marketing, bringing many years of ECM experience from big name players.
Cheryl is a key member of our executive team and I am proud to have her on board: she brings deep knowledge of ECM alongside great sense or marketing. It’s a unusual hire for a company like Nuxeo. I believe the hiring process is a very interesting aspect of this story… It’s a total “2.0″ process.
Earlier this month, Cheryl organized and hosted a workshop for tech professionals who needed to get back into the job market – a move that ‘went viral’. She has lived the new Recruiting 2.0 experience and offered to share her learnings with others – because this is how we found her:
For several months I was thinking of finding a CMO to accelerate and strengthen our go-to-market strategy, as well add some serious brain power and experience in the field of ECM to our company. It wasn’t an active search at first – it took time to imagine the profile I was looking for. Once figured out, it became one of those sticky ideas I get sometimes… I had to fix this!
I considered several options to find the right person:
Hunter Route -> great to find the typical “world-class marketing guy” but he/she might miss the twist that I was after. Plus I wasn’t sure I could properly explain the profile, let alone assuming the head hunter really gets it.
Wait for somebody to send a resume spontaneously -> can work, but I wasn’t confident in the exact timeline for obvious reasons!
Find her/him myself using my own (limited) resources.
As the first route seemed wrong (and/or too expensive) and the second one too uncertain I went for the third one and started to work on the topic.
I wanted an “ECM expert / Web 2.0 thinker / social media pundit / community-aware marketer”. That would have been the first brief for a head-hunter. Hence, I headed to LinkedIn: refined searches, careful manual review of profiles (including blog / twitter-feed reading).
Applying several rules: proper Linkedin profile, a professional blog, a twitter account, some activities in social media and communities of practice. But more than anything, I was looking for the “twist”, the small things, difficult to describe, that make a person right for a particular job at our company. The thing that makes your company special and that is so difficult to describe. I was looking for “Nuxeo’s CMO”, not “a CMO”.
I ended up with a very small hand-picked group of people that seemed to fit the profile. Next, I sent an intro email to explain the opportunity, got answers, (lot of) calls, in person meetings, explained and discussed about vision and strategy. Kind of a standard hiring process, actually, for a key position. With a difference, however, from the old times… I would never had been able to do it, just 5 years ago. LinkedIn, social media, blogs and twitter made that possible: find great people for key position in (close to) no time. Less time than describing such a complex profile and complex position to a head hunter actually.
I now use this approach for all key positions in the company: you don’t find us, we find you (well, if you find us that’s cool too…). The social web is just a wonderful opportunity for great companies to find great people and for great people to find great companies. It enables to hear the voice of the talents and connect with them, before the first interview. That’s a brand new way of seeing the hiring process. This would have been completely impossible just 5 years ago. And I don’t think we’re an isolated case, my wife has been hunted and hired the same way a few month ago (which is maybe what got me started with this approach, actually).
As a CEO, it’s the most valuable result I’m getting from social media: being able to connect and engage with great people that can join and strengthen the company, at no cost (except participating to the system, being very open and transparent). I have access to a virtually unlimited pool of talent: just need to pay attention and look for people. This is a huge opportunity, totally new compared to what our predecessors had to deal with. And a great threat for those who don’t get it.
We’re living amazing times…