My reply to Ross Clennentt’s blog about our use of the word……. ‘Fuck’

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Today I was sent an e-mail about this blog by Ross Clennentt who only days ago I had included in my list as one of the top 50 influential people in the Australasian recruitment industry.

In his blog he goes on to say;

“that whoever wrote the Vend VP of Global Marketing job ad; I think you’ve overstepped the mark. Your use of the F word is not contextually appropriate. It just comes across as look-at-me showmanship.”

It was a well written blog and the guy (Ross) can obviously write.

However, I didn’t agree.  Anyone that knows me knows I am of the ‘EQ recruitment’ movement. I believe in searching for people who feel like they truly fit into your culture and I believe doing great work while truly being themselves is what people actually want in these modern days. Ross suggests on his about me page that he stopped recruiting in 2003 and so I give him the benefit of the doubt that he has not experienced the EQ movement and how important culture is in modern business.

So to Ross, his readers, his commenters and to my readers I write this open reply.

Dear Ross,

I work for Vend in the Talent team and so I thought I would pass on our reasons at Vend for using the word ‘fuck

Oops, I did it again.

In our recent exchange on twitter I suggested you did not get it.

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To which you replied by saying that “you’re absolutely right; I don’t ‘get it’ but keen to be enlightened.”

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I am not sure if you will be enlightened, though here are our reasons for using the ‘F word’ at Vend and in our ads.

Firstly: We are encouraged to bring our real personalities to work and not to leave them at the door. This means that we have a lot of different people who work at Vend, people from all over the world, all kinds of religions – and Vend welcomes and supports everyone including people who drop an F bomb.

If someone is offended by something at Vend they can (and do) speak up without being afraid of any consequences. But we really push to be true to ourselves in the market when we attract talent and we are extremely proud of our culture and the work we do. So we work hard to maintain what makes us unique as a business and that means letting people drop an ‘F word’ if they need/want to. It is not uncommon to hear people swearing at Vend every day. Considering one of our supporting values is “Just fucking do it” I would be highly surprised not hearing an ‘F word’ every day.

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Secondly: We work in a new tech start-up, much like Atlassian who you also wrote a blog about. In the startup world the people whom are attracted to and often found working in these companies are from what the kids would call the “New school” of business and don’t feel they need to hide nor forgo their complete vocab just because they are at work.

Finally: I agree with ‘Anonymous’ on your comments that asked, “Was this blog post written in 1952?”  Yes this is 2015 and regardless if you like it or not, Fuck is being used more than ever in business by all generations.  Did you know that the words Bloody and bugger were the two most prevalent and offensive swear words in the 18th and 19th centuries. We now use those particular words (especially in Australia) all the time. Things change and the word fuck is as I see it a great word to depict passion.

Well, we at Vend prefer to use it in a passionate and uplifting way to which is different than you have in your previous blogs.

So why did we at Vend use this in our VP of Global Marketing ad?

(p.s thanks for marketing the ad)

https://jobs.lever.co/vend/f6266da5-4ae2-4ea2-8114-213f3c3a040f

Well, we like to write our ads to address peoples IQ and EQ.

While the intent isn’t to offend (because we’re far too nice for that), if somebody is offended by the word Fuck then there’s a chance they may not enjoy working at Vend. As for you suggesting that our use of the word is:

Not clever.

Not funny.

Not appropriate.

Not necessary.

I will tell you, the very reason we use the word is to ‘detract’ people who are offended by it, so I believe this makes the ad quite clever, very funny, appropriate for Vend and ABSOLUTELY necessary.

By giving readers a good peek through the windows it allows them the opportunity to opt out if they choose. We have done this only a few times over the years and when we do the feedback is really positive.

Some of this weeks feedback:

“Embrace it! Vend is super proud of its culture and if it needs the ‘f’ word to reinforce how awesome it is then go for it! Vend is challenging the status quo and I love it.” 

“I just had to say that I loved your VP Global Marketing search profile.. well done!”  (from a Media Specialist at NASA)

“Refreshing”

Why wouldn’t we keep doing this? To date we’ve had one complaint that’s come to us direct and after responding to this feedback openly we received a great response in return. Not one of agreeance but certainly acceptance.

So hey, we won’t all agree in life, but I hope I have ‘enlightened’ you as to why we chose to write the word ‘fuck‘ on our own ads.

I will conclude by addressing your final remark on your blog.

“So, to whoever wrote the Vend VP of Global Marketing job ad; I think you’ve overstepped the mark. Your use of the F word is not contextually appropriate. It just comes across as look-at-me showmanship.”

This is your view and I respect it. (Not agree with it.)

I hope that at your place of work, you and your colleagues and or staff are allowed to ‘say what you want’ and ‘bring your true personality through the door.’

At our workplace this is completely appropriate and by no-means is intended for showmanship, next time you come to New Zealand, come in to our digs and have a beer and say hello. I bet you mutter the words – “Actually, this must be a ‘fucking’ great place to work.

Just so you know 100% of Vend employees are proud to work at Vend and we swear all the time. You can check out how great our culture is here and you will note that in all the pictures nobody has soap in their mouth.

Thanks for reading.

You pal,

Troy

Bad ass HR and Recruitment folk in New Zealand and Australia

I recently read an article about HR and Recruiting thought leaders written by Glassdoor.com

It appeared to be a great list of many people I really admire in our industry. What I was really disappointed with though was APAC did not even get a mention. I know their disclaimer was “We’ve based this list solely on social profiles and online engagement.”

But c’mon is Glassdoor trying to build a global tool here? Don’t be like Facebook and leave little old NZ out of the loop.

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APAC has some remarkable HR and Recruiting folk and some I deem to be very much in the “thought leader category.”  So needless to say I was pretty annoyed at Glassdoor for not tipping their hat to anyone on this side of the world.

I am an Australian who lives in New Zealand and so have mad respect for both my birth and adopted countries and I am really inspired by what we in our industry achieve over here.

The sad thing is that every day I also recruit in the America’s and EMEA and I still speak to people and they say things like, “New Zealand, is that near London?” or “We have this company over here called IKEA, it’s an American company and I am not sure if you have it in Australia?

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For those that are reading and don’t know why I would be going on about thought leaders over this side of the world let me tell you….

There have been many amazing people come out of Australia and New Zealand rather than the film and music celebrity type people. ANZ has seen many amazing inventors and thought leaders and so please let me share some facts for you.

Australia:

  1. Everyone knows about black box flight recorders, an audio recorder in a super-strong casing that records the conversation of the pilots in a plane’s cockpit. If the plane comes down, salvage teams can listen to the recording to find out what went awry, and apply prevention measures if possible. It was invented by Australian chemist Dave Warren, who one day thought to himself, “What if the pilots could tell us themselves?” His device is now installed in every commercial plane in the world. Oh, and is actually orange. Not black. *But hey I hear ‘Orange is the new black.’
  2. For the old school recruiter. You should know that JA Birchall an Aussie bloke from Tasmania (The little island located 240 kilometres (150 mi) south of the Mainland) of Tasmanian stationery company Birchall, was the first person to take loose sheets of paper, cut them in half, back them with cardboard and glue the top edge. Thus creating the notepad. Every good recruiters friend before tablets.
  3. For the modern recruiter. You should know that a group of five CSIRO (Australian) scientists invented wireless LAN technology, otherwise known as Wi-Fi, which is used in more than five billion devices globally and has earned more than $430 million in royalties alone. I thank these 5 amazing Aussie men when I am at  recruiting conferences around the world.

New Zealand:

  1. Christchurch inventor Glenn Martin has developed a jet pack that enables fliers to stay aloft for half an hour. He launched the jetpack at the Oshkosh air show in the United States in July 2008 and his company is now taking orders.
  2. Kiwi scientist Baron Ernest Rutherford was the first in the world to split the atom in 1919. He was awarded a Nobel Prize for his work with radioactivity.
  3. Probably the most famous Kiwi invention of the modern world. Daredevil AJ Hackett pioneered the bungy jump, opening the world’s first commercial site in 1988, the year after he illegally leapt from the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Certainly the most hair-raising Kiwi invention!

Now I do not mean to begrudge the ‘thought leaders’ of the HR and Recruiting world nor suggest that everyone is ignorant to our fair lands. We have had some amazing speakers and commentators from all over the world come and share their wisdom over here. Some of my favourites have been, Will Staney, Bryan Chaney, Laura Stoker, Matt Charney, Bill Borman, Derek Zeller, Andy Headworth and Irina Shamaeva.

So to these amazing guests and all the others I thank you, but please sit down a minute. What I really wanted y’all to come and read this for is to hear about some of the amazing HR and Recruiting peeps I love from this side of the world.

So below I give you a list of the top HR and Recruiting bad asses of APAC. 

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*Please note: I have not used social engagement tools to complete this list and chosen people I have met and admire and or people I have not met, though tip my hat off to. You can kick my ass or buy me a beer next time you see me in a bar for your entry or omission. 

APAC’s 2015 HR & Recruiting thought leaders to follow (in random.org order):

  1. Mark Mansour
  2. Paul Jacobs
  3. Marc Hammond
  4. Matt Pontin
  5. Angela Farrelly
  6. Bob Olivier
  7. Daoud Edris
  8. Kellie Egan
  9. Iain MacGibbon
  10. Simon Martin
  11. Helena Gannon
  12. Kirsti Grant
  13. Keith Muirhead
  14. Greg Savage
  15. Jade Shearstone
  16. Vanessa Payne
  17. Phillip Tusing
  18. Mark Sumner
  19. Siobhan Lyndon
  20. Elena Di Fiore
  21. Scott Brown
  22. Axel Koster
  23. Jon Rice
  24. Mathew Bosher
  25. Richard Westney
  26. Nigel Mills
  27. Ross Clennett
  28. Mel Rowsell
  29. Amanda Tolley
  30. Leslie Taylor
  31. Dale Clareburt
  32. Hassanah Rudd
  33. Tracy Earl
  34. Steven Miratana
  35. Richard Earl
  36. Troy Hammond
  37. Mark Souter
  38. Melissa Bowden
  39. Kimberley Gilmour
  40. Dan Buchanan
  41. Rob Fortescue
  42. Aaron Dodd
  43. Matt Bartlett
  44. Andrew Cross
  45. Dan Nuroo
  46. Rebecca Clarke
  47. Juhi King
  48. Jordyn Riley
  49. Warren Young
  50. Celeste Kocabay

So there it is my list of HR and Recruiting folk who kick ass and take names in ANZ. The list is more biased to the recruiters of the region as I come across them the most in the hiring of “All the People”

Comment below on other amazing recruiters and HR peeps I have left out and make me feel like a jerk.

“As always the rule is of anyone stupid to make a list, you shall be ridiculed” ~ Troy Hammond