ERE’s values

If the gods of software development are kind, we’ll be launching a major revamp to all things social on ERE.net in the next few weeks. It’s given me the chance to look at every aspect of the site with a fresh eye.

As an exercise, I wrote up a draft of what I believe ERE.net is all about — our raison d’être.  Here’s what I came up with:

ERE’s mission: To facilitate dialogue and learning about talent acquisition.

ERE’s values:

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  • Sharing & Freedom of Expression. We built ERE.net to make it easy for all talent acquisition professionals to share their knowledge and learn from their peers. We encourage you to speak your mind because diversity of opinion makes the conversation richer for all. We don’t agree with every opinion on ERE.net, and we don’t expect you to either.
  • Debate & Civility. We believe that the best ideas are arrived at through the crucible of questioning and debate. In order for this dialogue to flourish, there must be an atmosphere of mutual respect and assumption of good faith on the part of all the participants. Comment on the content, not the contributor.
  • Transparency. In any dialogue, we believe in personal responsibility and accountability. If we are not willing to put your true names and reputations behind a statement, we believe that it should not be said.

It’s only a draft for now, and I’m putting it out there for feedback from the ERE community. Are there big picture values that I’m not including?

If you have suggestions, let me hear them in the comments!

Principles of Open Space: Graphic by deb roby on Flickr (cc)

ERE Media, Inc. CEO David Manaster continues to learn about recruiting every day. His first job in the profession was way back in 1997, and he founded ERE Media the following year. Today, David spends his time thinking up new ways that ERE can serve the recruiting community. You can follow David on Twitter or email him at david(at)ere.net.

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9 Comments on “ERE’s values

  1. David – great start! ERE is committed to “innovation” that facilitates the community’s mission, so I think it would be great to articulate that idea. For example, “We commit to introduce new and exciting ideas and approaches in our content, the way we conduct business, and the way we serve the ERE community.”

    Your commitment to revamp is just an example of how ERE is dedicated to innovation.

    Might not be a biggie, but thought I’d note it here.

    Looking forward to see end result.

  2. David,

    Thank you for your leadership in our community.

    This will serve to keep ERE out front as a valuable resource.

    Thanks again for your work and all the work of your team.

  3. The picture says what no other corporation has said. In fact, it’s the only thing you needed to post. Those words alone would motivate me to come to work for your company. Now, how do we, as experienced knowledge workers help the other 99% of the world understand these simple values that will hold a company together by the threads of its people vs. a product? I’ve been reading “The Squaredime Letters”. It points out the difference between the mechanical and organic business models. While reading, I became increasingly uncertain if an organization existed that would ever be able to harness my own ability to contribute entirely. Thankfully, I ran across this post. My fears have been laid to rest. The picture of my perfect company. ERE may have the ability to hire a very devoted contributor.

    However, we must be understanding and aware there it takes a unique combination of life and professional experiences to accept the “It Is What It Is” mentality. Most, if not all, talent at this level come across poised and confident, relaxed yet aware, and extremely quick to solve problems, leaving nay-sayers in the dust and tend to get frustrated with policy and procedure. They need room to think out loud without hesitation or expectation. They need at least 2 hours of brainstorming and an blank whiteboard to draw circles and lines connecting the data and business models connecting ideas to impact. It takes quite a company to embrace such a person…. is it, perhaps the ability to embrace all of someone, the only way businesses will function in the future? If so, you guys are getting a head start. Kudos!

  4. David,

    Great foundational values – and precisely why I enjoy ERE.

    Open dialogue and debate which respects each person’s right to their perspective is how we all can get better at what we do.

    The key is for each of us to remember to open our mind before we open our mouth.

  5. @Dennis: I love the idea of adding a commitment to innovation to the list of values. I see it a bit differently though – innovation by ERE (the company) is something we need to talk less about and just do more of. On the other hand, fostering innovation in our profession is a core value. I’ll think about how to add it. Have fun this weekend in Jamaica 🙂

    @Russ: Thanks for being a part of it all!

    @Dayna: Thanks for posting – now I need to read the Squaredime Letters!

    @Todd: The Golden Rule pretty much says it all.

  6. David,
    Thank you for the reply and yes follow @cjcoolidge on twitter – he is a very interesting fellow. By the way, your post motivated me to do some innovating of my own – to stimulate the economy by eliminating stages 1-3 of the hiring process: sending live-streamed (uncut) interviews of companies to candidates/candidates to clients/ or simply serve as an outplacement or website live-interviewer. The resume sifting process must stop! There’s just too much technology out there now to alleviate the minutia, and the absurd amount of time it takes to bring someone on board! Happy Innovating!!

  7. I’m grateful to David on multiple levels; this site has given me many interesting hours of entertainment (a key value often left off the lists of what’s important in life), exposure to many key people and ideas in our business, direct advertising exposure for our offerings, the start of my own writing as a blogger, and a truly memorable time at ERE Expo in San Diego 2006.

    Transparency is a difficult value to sustain; we all want to hide our warts, and often with some good reason. Perfection is irrationally overvalued, and spin is always in.

    In that spirit, I hope ERE recognizes that the last redesign was pretty much a failure, at least from where I sit.

    The dual log-in is an obvious killer, enough said, but the blogs need to be front and center: good blog talent has to be seeded with eyeballs to build an audience, while at the same time showcasing the great posts by steady but also-ran bloggers. You can’t treat em all the same and expect traction, and a skilled editor has to keep the blog space fresh and compelling while growing some stars. ERE has done well for its stable of article producing authors, who are sort of bloggers in a sense, although in a somewhat long form.

    ERE has its own niche with its events, journal, and the articles, but lets be transparent about the fact that the community has now divided its time between ERE and RecruitingBlogs. Jason Davis has a ton of energy laser beamed on community building, and ERE needs to go forward with that fact in mind- working the contours of a changed situation.

    I hope both sites evolve in directions that are mutually supportive- those whiteboard statements are interesting, but awfully passive; ERE can and should be an active force in this business. An example of that was the ATS research-something still in demand…thread after thread rises, gets some comments, and fades away…..

    although I think made another mistake in abandoning the ATS research/info space- still a regular need for lots of folks) but it must be said clearly that Jason Davis with his energy

  8. @Martin: I hear you. We have not done as much as we should for the bloggers here on ERE. We’re working to change that.

    I originally had a few paragraphs in this post on why I was committing these values to paper right now, but decided that the explanation took away from the simplicity of the post. What it boils down to is that we’ve got some big changes on the way — changes that the bloggers on the site will like — and it’s made me reevaluate the way that we interact on ERE. To me, the first step in doing that was to answer the question “why are we here?”

    Jason’s done a phenomenal job with RBC, and I envy his energy. If we are being totally transparent here — and we should be — then we should acknowledge that recruiters are splitting their time between more than just two sites. There are literally dozens of Ning-based social networks for recruiters, several of which are home to vibrant and growing communities. There are great conversations happening at Cheezhead and at FoT. There are terrific pockets of community for recruiters at LinkedIn and Twitter.

    It’s a brave new world, and no site will ever be big enough to hold the entire conversation. It’s certainly not my goal to try.

  9. I dont think any other sites in the recruiting blogosphere combined add up to either ERE or RB, and I think Joel took a hit with his last redesign as well, plus his own expanding SEO business naturally has much of his personal focus.

    Ning lays dead on the page without someone driving it- as Jason demonstrates.

    Not pushing for all conversations in one place, but looking (as an example) at the political blogosphere (left and right) where cooperation and robust cross-linking and promotion is the order of the day……

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