Talent Talk: Q&A with Dan Nuroo (Recruitment Manager, DWS)

dnurooEquipped with a unique perspective gained from years as an agency recruiter and currently as recruitment manger at DWS, a technology consulting firm, Dan Nuroo navigates the rapidly evolving recruitment landscape with aplomb. A regular on industry forums and a prolific user of social media tools, Dan blogs, tweets and shares his experiences and views on recruitment with refreshing openness. One wonders if he represents a new breed of HR/recruitment professionals in Australia. I caught up with Dan to find out more.

Q. You are a prolific participant in forums and social networks. Are your activities a deliberate strategy to reach out to candidates? How has your participation contributed to the acquisition of talent at DWS?
DN: I have always been a prolific reader of material in the Recruiting space, with ERE.NET being my first foray into it. The strategy has been two fold, some partly aimed at candidate attraction, others, are just because I have things I like to contribute. I enjoy collaboration and have found that the more you put in the more you get back. My time spent on Recruitingblogs.com is purely for my own learning and information sharing.

Using some social media tools, like YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook etc are all part of our Talent Acquisition Strategy at DWS. However, I’d be naive to believe my writings etc have added to anyone applying to my company, as my company is a technical company, and technical skills are something I am particularly lacking in.

Q. Have you hired anyone through networking sites like Facebook, or even Twitter?
I have only recently started looking into Twitter as a source for hires, but am very excited at the possibilities. We have and are currently courting people because of a relationship on Facebook. We also use Facebook as a cross checking function with LinkedIn.

Q. In a past life, you had been an agency recruiter, now your worldview is shaped mainly from the perspective of an employer. How different is your current responsibilities from your agency days?
It is an interesting leap, and even more interesting when you are hiring for yourself and watching other people trying to make that same leap. I must admit my final days in the agency world are a little jaded in my mind. The Revenue Generation focus is nowhere near the focus it once was. Essentially my role does not generate revenue at all.

My current responsibilities are still focused around the servicing of a company with quality talent, however the focus on quality and culture fit are even more heightened. You can see firsthand the effects a bad hire has on a company, and most of the time you have to deal with that personally, so yeah you have more invested in the process other than a commission cheque at the end of the day!

The focus on being an ambassador for the company is always front of mind, to many people my team and I are the face of the company. It is very important to try to enhance the candidate experience as much as possible. I also only need one focus for every candidate I meet, I don’t have to have a number of client companies in mind, and I think enhances the value I can add.

Whilst there is no pressure to make money, the pressure to deliver quality is higher I believe. If we are short of people, that costs us money, and nothing hurts a company more than opportunity costs.

Q. Do you track where you source your talent? What is the most effective source of talent at DWS? What do you think are promising channels to find candidates?
I see everywhere people eulogising about the death of Job Boards. I understand where these people are coming from, however, the news of “their demise has been greatly exaggerated”. The majority of our hires still comes from these mediums. There are a lot to try, new niche boards popping up, everyone with a “new angle” on the same thing. One of my biggest learning’s over the last few years has been to avoid being an early adapter. I feel I have spent unnecessary money on some great ideas with absolutely NO traffic and little return.

I think we will continue to build our Employee Referral Programme, and that will continue to be a big driver of our hiring success.

We will however keep abreast of technological advancements, specifically the Recruitment2.0 Technologies and use those to our advantage. We are successfully utilising LinkedIn, Facebook, and soon on Twitter properly, it will be interesting to watch these tools evolve.

Q. The economy has not been kind on anyone. When times are hard, does the role of a national recruitment manager change, if so in what ways?
A great question. It’s actually harder. Previously I was (in my own mind) aiming to be a General in the War for Talent for DWS. However, there is not much use of Generals in a Detente. And it is something I have discussed with the CEO of the company, who has been asked the same question by market analysts. However, we are hiring, responsibly with a wider view of the market as a whole. Our responsibility to our people and our shareholders is to ensure the business is working well at its optimal size.

My role however, hasn’t changed, it is to ensure the hiring of quality people, who successfully get through our process for our company and continuously find ways of adding value to DWS. My participation in a variety of forums, and other online communities has helped grow numerous ideas (good and bad) in so far as trying to help DWS improve itself and the way we do things in a cost effective manner.

Q. What is the mood at DWS, are you increasing or reducing headcount? What type of talent are you looking for in the current economic climate?
The mood at DWS is quietly confident. We are continuously looking at our market share and how we can continue to add value to our clients, staff and Shareholders. We tend to hire people as opposed to skill sets. The skill sets are important, however, the people side, to use a poor phrase their “softer skills” and “cultural fit” are very important to us. I am always looking for strong consulting types with a technical bent, and that is Australia wide, whether that is for an immediate hire or talent pooling for future needs.

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