Idea for Google Android(GPhone): no ring zone

After reading about the new Google Android cell phone platform (the Gphone), it rekindled an idea that I had at a conference some time ago.  Turns out there is no “phone” behind the gPhone.  Instead it is an open source platform for cell phones.

About 2 years ago, I was a member of  a technology panel at a recruiting conference.  While one of my fellow panelist was finishing answering a question, a cell phone started ringing in the audience. 

On most panels, audience questions naturally get directed to the right person; the panel learns quicky how to use each others expertise and take or defer questions as needed.

I got a question right after the cell phone rang.  The specifics of the question, I do not remember. It was something about how to apply the right mix of technology in a recruitment process (right up my alley).   A cell phone ringing 10 minutes after the event MC asked everyone to turn their phones off perturbed me.

With microphone in hand, I addressed the crowd. “I’m wondering if the people in the audience today heard the announcement about turning off cell phones. It is quite disturbing for the people on stage.  I guess I don’t understand it.  In the last 30 minutes, I’ve heard 4 cell phones.”  Several people noticibly slinked down in their seats…most likely the offenders.  The crowd was expecting that I was going to chastise them all. 

In reality, I had an idea that I wanted to share with the audience:  The no ring zone.  The topic of the panel was technology in recruitment. 

Here is a general idea of what I said

“We’ve been talking about the right application of technology and when to apply it.  Here is a perfect example.  What if there was a device set at the door of this conference, that when passed by, set cell phones to vibrate only?  Call it a no ring zone.  In high schools around the country, cell phones are being banned.  As a parent, I want my children to be able to reach me and I want to be able to reach them.  What if this same device could set high schools to parent only ring zones?”

I got a good deal of nodding heads, and a few emails from people over the last year about this idea.  I’ve had good conversations about it and it always ends up with our agreement that unless there was some unifying standard behind the cell phones, we wouldn’t be seeing this feature any time soon.

Now that Google has the Android platform, we just need some developer to create a single application, make it free, and market it to speakers, conferences, high schools and parents. Not a bad little market.

List of Applicant Tracking Vendors – 4 hour taxonomy

At least 3-4 times per week, I get asked by recruiters for my recommendation of  a preferred Applicant tracking system.  In addition, another top question I am asked is for an example of how Broadlook’s software can be used in a real life recruiting, sales, or research process.   Broadlook partners with many ATS vendors, so we do not recommend any one vendor. We will, however, provide a short list of 4-5 vendors based on what we know about the clients needs.

I’ve seen several recruiting industry “lists” of ATS vendors by various publications.  The tone of the articles is typically one of inclusivity and completeness.  This is far from accurate.  Vendors get on the list by paying.  Some vendors with great technology don’t make those lists.  So I thought I would use Broadlook’s software tools to make my own list.  

About the list.  Total time to create this list: 4 hours.

Methodology used:

1. Broadlook’s Market Mapper to create the initial list of companies

2. Broadlook’s Profiler to scan the companies and pull out “descriptive paragraphs”

3. About 1 hour of manual editing

Any recruiter who is looking to build a list of companies in a niche industry goes through a laborious process of search engines queries, manual selection and cut & paste.  To put a list like this together manually would take about 2 weeks.  I was able to create this list in 4 hours…and during 2.5 of those hours the software was working alone.  So the net was 1.5 hours of my time to create a list that had not existed before.  Is it the definitive list? No.  There will always be some holes in 100% automated processing.  However, for those recruiters building lists of companies the old way in some niche, from scratch.  Game over.  I’ll beat you every time.  I’ll be on the phone talking to passive canidates on day 2.  In every phone call I’ll sound like I know every major player in their space.  I’ll pick up several more job orders along the way and I’ll be sending candidates to multiple companies in similar spaces.  Damn I wish I had this tool when I was recruiting.  Now I can only live vicariously via my clients that give us high fives at recuiting conferences.   For those of you who attended NAPS, thank you for stopping by the booth.

With the amazing success we’ve had with DIVER, I’ve been thinking about releasing a trial version of Market Mapper v3 when it is released (tool used to create the list).  Here is the challenge: it is a POWER users tool.  I’d welcome feedback from the community on the nature of getting a tool like this out.  One thought I had is to have a mandatory training webinar.  If you attend the webinar and learn how to use it, you get the trial.   Feedback please.  BTW.. Market Mapper version 3 rocks!  Those who are fans will love the latest version. Nuff said…here is the Applicant tracking vendor list

Search engine wish list

Assuming NO limitations on the technology what would internet researchers vote for as their top features to add to search engines?

Some of mine:

1. Access to all results. When I do a search and see 3500 results, and can only get to a maximum of 1000…ahhhhh

2. Some control over the business logic in the ranking algorythm. – to much popularity means too much mob mentality.

3. The ability to perform 2 searches and create a concordance of results in a 3rd search – Example get a list of all terms that have to do with JAVA and then perform a resume search with the entire list as an input into one of those complex search strings that all you souring gurus are fond of.

It’s called Telepresence

Cisco has a cool new system for teleconferencing.  It’s called telepresence.  This is the next evolution in web conferencing with the idea to make you feel like you are really in the room with multiple people from remote locations.  Cameras are lined up in such a way that it appears as you’ve got eye contact with the person in the remote location.

How Do I Do It?

I was curious about the topic so I did a few search engine queries.  Almost everything was about Cisco, I had to dive deep to find some variety.  Google was only giving me the popular side of the story.  I needed to dig deeper. 

Using Broadlook’s Market Mapper tool. I was able to find several vendors that have telepresence offerings.  Time to do search: 5 minutes.  Pages I would have had to weed through on Google: over 3000 (would need 3 separate queries). 

Here is a partial list. 


Company Web Page
Remote Meeting Technologies, LLC
BrightCom, Inc.

 What I learned in 5 minutes is that Cisco is NOT the inventor of the technology and a closer look should be given to companies that were the poineers like Telnetix.  Good research yields results that the popularity ranking algorythms of the search engines pass over.  Cisco is big and popular.  So mob mentality rules with all the blogs and posts about Cisco’s offering.  If you want the mob version of a topic, use Google. If you want something that people, not algorthms control, try wikipedia.  If you want to take research into your hands based on your decisions, check out Broadlook.

Topics that keep me up at night