Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had the pleasure of working with LinkedIn’s content team to produce a short article with some of my top lunch interview tips.
Check it out here and let me know what you think!
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had the pleasure of working with LinkedIn’s content team to produce a short article with some of my top lunch interview tips.
Check it out here and let me know what you think!
Thanks Leo, much appreciated.
So, I’m often asked about how best to approach interviews (whether phone, video or in-person) and how to interview with Hudl. My general advice for interview preparation, on the whole, can be found online by sifting through interview advice articles, so I’d like to give some specific tips for interviews I conduct.
Some of you may be thinking, “hang on a minute buddy, you can’t be giving inside tips on how to pass your interview!”. Well, why not? Research is key for any interview, and if you’re a candidate I’m about to interview and have found this post then well done, you are doing your research. Also, I want candidates to perform at their best during the interview. 30 – 45 minutes is a short amount of time to assess someone, I want to see you at your best in this time.
THE INTERVIEW PROCESS
Hudl’s interview process differs by position, but one aspect that doesn’t change is the first interview with a Recruiter. Whether you’re interviewing for an Engineering, Sales, Support or Marketing role, you will always speak to one of the Talent Squad (cool name, right?). This will either be a phone call, a meeting in-person (most likely a coffee fuelled meeting) or a video call.
We’re assessing whether you match the skills set for the role, but more importantly, we’re figuring out if you’re a culture fit. Culture fit? We have a diverse workforce (genders, nationalities, introverts, extroverts, sexual preferences etc.) but what remains constant is the practice and belief of our core values.
Tip #1: Look at our values. Do they match yours and can you relate to them? Come up with multiple examples of times you have exemplified these values (inside and outside of work) and be ready to answer follow up questions.
STARTING THE INTERVIEW
I start every interview the same way. First I will ask “Why do you want to work at Hudl?” and second, I will ask for you to give me a brief account of your experience. These two questions, on some occasions, have given me enough insight as to whether the candidate is not a fit for the role and/or for Hudl.
In the first question I want to hear that you’ve done your research and are really excited at the idea of joining us! Perhaps tell me about an article you read, our use of open source tools and cloud computing, our impact on the sports industry etc. and get a strong idea of what our software actually does. Don’t tell me that you just saw the position, applied and don’t really know what we do.
Tip #2: Do your research and come up with a genuine answer for why you’re excited to join us. There are many different reasons why people enjoy working at Hudl, pick the reasons that relate to you. Also, really get an idea for what our software does (bonus points for downloading either Hudl or Hudl Technique).
When I ask for a brief account of your experience, don’t just read off your resumé/CV as I will have it right there in front of me. This is a chance for you to sell yourself, showcase projects and explain decisions related to your career path.
Tip #3: Even if you’re not in sales, being able to talk about yourself in a professional and attractive way is always a useful skill. Practice talking through your career, your aspirations, your achievements and the decisions you made to help you get to where you are.
THE REST OF THE INTERVIEW
The rest of the interview will then consist of questions specific to the role you’re applying for, but I’ll still be looking for key competencies that reflect our values, for example, are you positive, productive, a self-learner, ambitious, a good communicator, versatile and conscious of how your work impacts the bottom line.
I hope this article was helpful. And if you’re interviewing at Hudl or anywhere else right now then good luck! If you’d like get in touch, my email is email@example.com. Thanks for reading!
Simon Mainwaring – “Social media is not about the exploitation of technology but service to community”
As a Recruiter, I always want to be where the most people are as this gives me greater options to seek out talented individuals. This is why I have built a professional online brand and Twitter is at the core. My online brand is how I am perceived online and is a culmination of LinkedIn, my blog, Instagram, Google+, Medium and Twitter profiles (I only use Facebook for personal use).
But you don’t have to be a Recruiter to make the most of Twitter for professional means. Over the last 3 years, Twitter has helped me to progress in my career, voice professional opinions and network with others. I was going to title this blog Should You Have A Professional Twitter Account?, but considering that the answer is an obvious YES, I thought some tips on how to get started and really use the social platform to your professional advantage would be more helpful.
Marilyn Monroe – “I don’t mind making jokes, but I don’t want to look like one”
Let’s start with the basics.
Profile photo: Get yourself a high quality mugshot for your profile. As you’re going for a professional Twitter profile, perhaps use the same picture from your LinkedIn profile (tips on getting the right profile pic here).
Header photo: Ensure that your header photo is of high resolution and represents you, your employer or your industry. Avoid low resolution images as this looks amateur and unprofessional. You want your profile to represent the best possible you.
Handle: I would have liked @JoeBurridge, and you should always go for your name if you can (it looks professional), but if not go for something that relates to your company (e.g. @BenSmithHudl) or role/industry (e.g. @JoeFindsTalent).
Description: Always include your job title, company and what you tweet about. But after that get creative, think about optimising SEO and perhaps a little personal. Notice how I have the words ‘tech’, ‘careers’ and ‘London’ for SEO while also being personal (and sharing a much loved Star Wars quote).
Location and link: Include a location to allow others in your vicinity to find you easily, and link to help promote your professional online brand. If you don’t have a personal website, provide a link to your LinkedIn account or your company’s homepage.
Amy Jo Martin – “Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way we are perceived, both positively and negatively. Every time you post a photo, or update your status, you are contributing to your own digital footprint and personal brand”
Tweeting: Now you have an awesome Twitter profile, you better start tweeting, but what do you tweet?! Before tweeting, think about your audience and add value. In other words, will my followers find this relevant and useful? Share news articles, your professional opinion on a topic, updates from your current role and company, and the occasional personal update. Twitter is all about connecting on a more personal level, so don’t hesitate to post personal tweets in a more casual tone.
Always think to yourself, would I follow my own Twitter profile? Always go for quality instead of quantity, but you should aim for at least 3 a week (including retweets).
Hashtags: use appropriate hashtags as they’re searchable. However, a common beginner’s error is to use far too many hashtags. Over usage makes the tweet look cluttered and won’t receive as many likes or retweets. This is a good example:
Promotion and Engagement
Matt Goulart – “Social Media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide for you.”
If you want to gain followers, retweets, likes and ultimately value from your Twitter profile, you need to promote and engage. There’s no point crafting great tweets if no one is going to read them. When you get started, don’t hesitate to tell your friends, family and colleagues that you now have a professional Twitter profile and ask for follows. Also promote your profile on other social networks.
Get in the habit of when meeting someone new, networking or meeting a new client, to ask if they have Twitter and if so offer to follow them. This is similar to how asking to connect on LinkedIn has become the norm. You will more likely get a follow back if you follow someone than by straight up asking for a follow.
Make sure you engage with other people and their tweets. Don’t just login to Twitter to check your notifications and tweet to your profile, instead get involved with a trending hashtag or seek out others in your industry and introduce yourself. If you see an interesting tweet, comment on it and start a conversation. Sometimes it takes courage to voice your opinion online, but good advice gets noticed.
I hope this was helpful. If you have any follow up questions, feel free to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
How is technology impacting the sports industry? What exciting technology is being used now? And what can we look forward to in the future?
Last Thursday (23rd June) I had the pleasure of hosting London Sports Tech 2016 as part of London Tech Week where, in just one evening, these questions were answered. A fantastic event focused on presenting the latest innovations in sports technology, with speakers from Hudl, Sony and Catapult Sports.
Below are some of the key takeaways (in my humble opinion)…
Hudl – Speaker: Paul Pop – Lead Computer Vision Engineer
What is Hudl? Hudl is a sports technology company that creates a suite of video analysis software products to help athletes, coaches and teams better their performance. Paul Pop works in R&D at Hudl, more specifically in Computer Vision, and is working towards automating the analysis of video to provide greater actionable insights for better team performance.
Paul emphasised the impact of luck or chance in any typical game of football. But there is still a great deal we can influence using data (blue and grey areas in picture below).
“There are many data sources in sports, some more useful than others. Analytics done at Hudl provides coaches and analysts another insight in measurable metrics. Based on event annotation and tracking data, we highlight instances of interest during a football game and help coaches adjust their team formation and strategy”.
In many cases a game is won or lost by just one player being in the wrong position, such as a defender hanging back to increase the offside line, but with more accurate and relevant data teams can learn and improve.
Sony – Speaker: Mark Grinyer – Head of Business Development and Programme Manager
Right now, whether you’re a sports professional or a consumer, you have easy access to technologies like 4K cameras, headphones and smart bands which are able to track location, movement, heart rate and sleep patterns (to name a few). This is giving us an ever increasing understanding of our personal performance. But how can this be used by a broadcaster, club or association?
In this talk, Mark Grinyer discussed how the impact of today’s technology alongside a greater focus on combining content and data can improve the experience for fans.
A standout point for me was the use of player tracking for broadcasters. Sony acquired Hawkeye Technologies back in 2011 and uses their precise tools to track players, for example here during a tennis match. This can provide automated alerts to broadcasters, very often allowing just one person to control a production. For example, a camera will be pointing at the sideline chairs and recognise when Andy Murray goes to sit down alerting the broadcaster to switch to that camera. Better understanding of the game along with what fans want to see allows for a more entertaining experience of sports and live broadcasts.
Catapult Sports – Speaker: John Coulson – Director of Business Operations
You may not have heard of Catapult Sports. Catapult enlightens sport with scientifically validated analytics, obtained with some of the most advanced wearable technology in team sports. For example, in professional football (soccer), players wear a small tracking device on their back that includes a 3D accelerometer, 3D gyroscope and a magnetometer which allows Catapult to capture minute pieces of data on an athlete’s movement.
A key finding over recent years has been the direct correlation between low injuries and winning a season (across all team sports). For example, see above the injury stats from the 2015/16 English Premier League and notice how Leicester City have the lowest amount of injuries lasting 14 days or more and the only team to hit single digits here.
John gave an example of how a player, though reporting no pain at all, was slightly compensating his weight onto a different leg. If you were to watch this player’s performance you wouldn’t think anything had changed, but the tracker detected this change alerting the physio’s to dig deeper. Turns out the player had a hairline fracture at the base of his spine. It’s small injuries like this, when discovered early, that can stop season ending injuries resulting in a better performing team.
I hope this post was helpful and we hope to organise another London Sports Tech event soon (and get it filmed next time!). If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me on email@example.com.
A couple of folks from LinkedIn HQ got in touch a month back to discuss me writing for their LinkedIn Talent Blog. My first post has just been published!!
You can find it here.
Today (May 11th 2016) I celebrate my 1 year anniversary at Hudl (*does a mini fist pump*), and oh boy what a year it has been. In the past 12 months I have witnessed the integration of 3 acquisitions, the result of $72.5M in funding and what rapid growth looks like. From the viewpoint of a Recruiter, and any role within Hudl for that matter, it has been a rare, rewarding and challenging environment to be in.
In this post I will, as openly as possible, run through some of the key areas of learning for me in my last year. I wish I could cover everything I have learned here but that would be a rather long blog post indeed. These key areas are:
RECRUITING IN A ‘STARTUP’
Part of Hudl’s QA Team in a whiteboard session
I’m using apostrophes here because Hudl is not a startup. When I started in May 2015 Hudl was 9 years old and 229 people spanning 4 offices across the USA and UK. In the UK I was hire number 8.
Why am I claiming Hudl is a startup? It’s important to note that out of the 3 acquisitions 2 were startups, including Replay Analysis here in London. A couple of Hudlies from HQ in Lincoln NE (USA) came out to help setup the new office space and build the team, including hiring me. Hudl created the London office and UK presence with 3 Co-Founders of a startup as its base. So the feel of a startup was definitely there, and in many ways still is.
Also, the Talent Squad (aka Recruitment Team) was just a year old when I started. I’ve had the opportunity to learn new hiring processes as well as help influence, change and create new ones. Hudl, like a startup, provides everyone a lot of freedom to deliver on high responsibility roles which has given us room to experiment with our processes and tools.
Upskilling new Hiring Managers too, especially Hiring Managers brought through from acquisitions, and creating hiring strategies for new roles and locations isn’t easy (as covered in this post) but these experiences have helped me grow.
Lastly, in a startup finances are front of mind for everyone, as is the same at Hudl. Hudl’s leadership are transparent about our finances, from gross revenue and company expenses to the value of our stock options. As with almost every company, human capital is the highest expense and so for the Talent Squad our ability to hire the best talent while keeping to budget is always front of mind.
DEALING WITH THE UNEXPECTED
Hudl London Dodgeball Tournament. I received an unexpected shot to the back of the head…
From January 2015 to now Hudl has more than doubled (191 to 419) and we opened offices in Boston, London, Sydney, Marseille and Mumbai. Though Hudl has incredibly bright and ambitious leadership backed by decades of experience with our Board of Advisors and Directors, growing this fast will always cause unforeseen challenges.
To hit the ambitious hiring targets we had in 2015 Hudl grew its Talent Squad to 12. Going into 2016, changes were made that would ensure a more mindful approach towards expenses, Business Development and Sales Teams are grown and prioritised, and hiring would slow down. With less hires to make it didn’t make sense to have such a large Talent Squad, so in January 2016 our team was cut down to 5.
Honestly, it sucked to see my teammates leave the squad, and some leave the company. Over the last 5 months my team and I have had to learn what it means to be lean and agile. We’re now more productive, efficient and proactive than ever and we have come out the other end of that situation stronger.
GROWING AND WORKING INTERNATIONALLY
Hudl Sydney enjoying beers & bbq on a Friday afternoon
Again, this topic is a blog post unto itself. I could go on to speak about adapting to other cultures, how to source and attract talent in different countries, the differing HR and legal processes, language barriers etc. Here though I want to focus on international communication.
In the last year I’ve helped hire in the USA, UK, France, Netherlands, Canada and Germany. Hudl is truly international and is split over many time zones. In the Talent Squad there’s no exception; 1 Recruiter in London, 1 Recruiter in Boston, 2 Recruiters and 1 Co-Ordinator at HQ in Lincoln NE. Before Hudl I worked in recruitment agencies where my entire team were all sat in close vicinity. It may sound super easy to use Slack, email and video tools such as appear.in and GoToMeeting (FYI, it is) but using them for effective and meaningful communication is more challenging than it appears. All of Hudl, especially our Product Team, will be working with at least 1 person in a different office or time zone. I wasn’t the most effective communicator (and still have ways to go) with online tools when I started, but I have definitely improved. I’ve learned that if you’re in an international business now or in the future, it’s essential to be an effective online communicator.
That’s it from me, I hope you have enjoyed the post. If you want to contact regarding hiring at Hudl, or for any other reason, don’t hesitate to reach out on firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Confucius – “Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure”
As I’m sure you can imagine, when I googled “preparation quotes” there seemed to be countless. Everyone everywhere seems to be talking about the value of preparation, even as far back as Confucius 2,500 years ago. You’d think it would be hardwired into human beings by now. But sadly no.
Next month I will be celebrating my first work anniversary at Hudl (BOOYAH!). As that first year comes near, I think about my transition from agency to internal recruitment and its steep learning curve. I feel like my mindset has completely shifted and that I’ve become a more rounded Recruiter (though of course I still have a lot more to learn).
One of the key lessons from that learning curve? Before you start hiring, get your sh*t together. In other words, before you dive headlong into sourcing, advertising, interviewing and offering, ensure that all parties involved (Co-Ordinators, Recruiters, Hiring Managers, HR etc.) and on the same page.
Scar once said “be prepared”. And whether you’re an evil lion or a Recruiter, having a clear hiring process makes it easier to compare candidates which leads to better hires, improves internal communications and provides the candidate with a fantastic company experience (even if they don’t get the job).
This may sound incredibly obvious but I, embarrassingly, have dived into filling a vacancy without covering these basics and ultimately been stung down the road.
For example, last year a Hiring Manager came to me and said they need to hire 3 XXXXX’s. I asked briefly what they were looking for and went straight into sourcing and reaching out to potential candidates. I thought that if I could fill up the pipeline quickly with great candidates 1) everyone would think I am a super amazing Recruiter 2) we could figure out the rest of the hiring process as we go.
Both statements are false.
A smooth and stress-free hiring process is rarely undervalued by your colleagues and management. Always take time to understand the role in detail, develop a strong relationship with the hiring manager, communicate regularly and ensure that all details of the process are decided prior.
Here are some other helpful articles:
LinkedIn Talent Blog – “Your profile picture can be one of the most important elements of your LinkedIn presence. Our research shows that just having a picture makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by others”
Your profile picture, on any social network, is the first impression someone gets of you. So do you know what really grinds my gears? Bad LinkedIn profile pictures. Why? Because it’s not hard to get a great one.
The aim of this article is to show how I got my profile picture wrong (for a long time), and how you can learn from my mistakes.
The Ugly. My first ever profile picture. And yes that is me in a field with a can of Carlsberg. I had just graduated from university and thought that as long as my picture is of high quality, then that will be OK. Wrong. A high quality picture is just one factor of many. Ask yourself, does that look professional? No, it doesn’t (unless my profession was selling Carlsberg in fields).
While we’re on the topic of alcohol, I’ve seen so many profile pics of people clearly at a bar or club, beer/cocktail/shot in hand with a booze-induced grin. To top it off it’s usually a grainy, cropped pic taken from a phone. Think about it, what message does this send? Does it look like you take your professional appearance seriously?
The Bad. My second profile picture. Meh, it’s OK but it doesn’t show who I am. I rarely wear a suit and rarer still am I clean shaven. This picture no longer portrays who I am or what I look like at work. There’s also too much going on in the background and it’s not close enough to my face.
LinkedIn has a great 53 second video to help users snap the right photo for your profile. In the video, it quite rightly mentions that we all have different versions of ourselves i.e. we dress and act differently when jogging, meeting friends, at work etc. On LinkedIn, you want the ‘at work’ version of yourself to shine through because LinkedIn is a professional networking site. So you may not have the same pic for Facebook, Twitter or Tinder…
The Good (said as humbly as possible). My current profile pic. About 9 months ago I asked my girlfriend, with the help of her DSLR camera, to help get me a new profile pic. I trimmed the beard, had a haircut, ironed a shirt and stood in front of a brick wall. It took a while but I feel I now have a picture that, well, looks like me! And the me I want everyone else to see online. Being a Recruiter, I spend every day on LinkedIn and introduce myself to new people, over LinkedIn, all the time. Whether you like it or not, people form opinions on your appearance. What do you want your profile picture to say about you?
I hope this article has been useful! If you ever want further LinkedIn advice, feel free to connect and message me.
Reid Hoffman – “Your network is the people who want to help you, and you want to help them, and that’s really powerful”
LinkedIn made a couple of big announcements this week, the first being that LinkedIn UK hit the 20 million user milestone. An incredible achievement and hats off to them. The second part was the introduction of LinkedIn Power Profiles, and I was fortunate enough to be listed as one for the category of HR.
What is a LinkedIn Power Profile? Well in this instance it’s a list of the “Most Viewed Human Resources Professionals on LinkedIn in the UK for 2015”. It seems then that views is the metric to focus on here.
When I was told by LinkedIn that I will be recognised as a Power Profile, my Profile Views in the Last 90 Days was sitting at around 6,000. I’m the most viewed profile in my company and in the top 1% for views within my connections. So, what I will cover in this blog post is how I drive views to my LinkedIn profile.
Let’s start with the obvious. I’m a Recruiter which means I spend all day, everyday on LinkedIn. But just sitting there logged in doesn’t drive views though, activity does. I post relevant articles about my industry, blogs and the odd witty business meme. And not just to my update feed, but also to the groups I’m in.
Interactions are key too. I start conversations with people by either connecting then messaging, or by sending InMails. More often it’s me reaching out to talented professionals discussing job opportunities at Hudl. But also I’m speaking to other Recruiters for advice or requesting to be introduced to others i.e. what LinkedIn is for.
INTEGRATE OTHER SOCIAL NETWORKS
Most of my LinkedIn traffic comes from Twitter. Now it may shock you to hear, but I do have an automated direct message in place that, once you’ve followed me, will ask you to connect professionally on LinkedIn too.
This has been a fantastic way to expand my network, but more importantly I can engage with my Twitter followers on a professional level (through LinkedIn).
My blog also has a link to my LinkedIn page (along with Instagram, Google+ and Twitter) right at the top. The idea is that if I drive views to either Twitter or my blog, it will also lead to views on my LinkedIn profile.
IN PERSON CONNECTION REQUESTS
Ask people in person to connect with you on LinkedIn. Did you have an interesting conversation with a professional at a conference? Request to connect. Perhaps you had a successful client meeting? Request to connect. Or you’ve joined a new company? Connect with everyone in that company, so that you’re recognisable when you eventually meet them face to face. Make your in-person network compliment your digital network, and vice versa.
Anna Held – “The more they applaud, the bigger your salary will be”
What are your 2016 goals? Lose weight? Spend more time with the family? Ask your manager for a pay rise? Or perhaps you haven’t bothered with goal setting this year (for shame!).
Out of all the goals we set ourselves at the start of the year, asking your manager for a pay rise has to be up there as one of the most difficult. Many of us are fortunate enough to have employers who have implemented clear pay incentives and regular performance reviews that provide opportunities to increase our salary, but others may not. In this case, a gutsy conversation with your manager is needed.
In this blog I will lay out a few do’s and don’ts to help you achieve that well deserved pay increase.
PLAN AND STAY CALM
When it first dawns on you that you feel you deserve a pay rise, your instinctive response can often be highly emotional. Don’t let your emotions control your thoughts here, as it may lead to inappropriate actions e.g. telling your boss to go F him/herself (or something like that). Instead, stay calm and devise a plan.
The core motive behind a pay rise is that you are worth more now than when you started your job. So prove it. Bring together multiple examples of where you performed your job well (perhaps look at your job description again), excelled above your duties, helped other departments, made decisions that led to wider company success, took time out of work hours to mentor colleagues.
Aim to use metrics and quantifiable examples. The more tangible your plan, the better.
RIGHT TIME. RIGHT PLACE.
Asking your manager for a pay rise at any random point in the day, month or year is not a good idea. Firstly you should ask HR, a colleague or manager if there is an appropriate time to ask for a raise. Usually performance reviews are tied to salary discussions. Find out when your next one is and plan for then.
But if a performance review is a long way off, or not practiced in your company, then you need to time a meeting carefully. If your company is not performing well financially then wait for revenue to be on the rise. And you want to ensure that you have your manager’s full attention. Don’t book a meeting Monday morning, Friday afternoon or in the middle of back-to-back meetings. You want a relaxed, but serious, meeting.
The right place also plays a role. If you work in an open plan office perhaps head out to a nearby coffee shop to chat. Or if your relationship with your manager is more formal ensure you book a meeting room with ample time for discussion. You don’t want either of you to be disturbed or distracted.
PHRASING AND THE POWER OF SILENCE…
As mentioned before, avoid emotion in this conversation. For example, “I haven’t had a raise since…”, “I’m doing the work of 3 people”, “I’m in debt and need more money”. No, no, no. This is about you making clear that you’re now a more valuable employee.
Stay positive and reaffirm your passion for the role and company. Explain that wanting a pay rise doesn’t mean you’re going to be looking elsewhere. Ultimatums are always a risky move.
Once you’ve made your case, just listen. Silence is incredibly powerful when negotiating. Hear what your manager has to say and ensure you have prepared counterpoints to any expected replies.
GET IT IN WRITING
Whether you achieve the pay rise or not, once you’ve finished the discussion, follow up all decisions and action items with an email. For example, “if you hit x targets you will achieve your raise”; “you will receive £x in your February pay packet” etc. This ensures you have it in writing for a later review.
If you’re aiming for a pay rise in 2016, good luck!