Wednesday, August 21, 2013

You Don't Have to Be a Weatherman To Know Which Way the Wind Blows.

Which direction is the wind blowing in terms of SharePoint?

Answer: JavaScript/JQuery (read "function") and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets, read "look and feel"), if you want to do anything above and beyond out-of-the-box with SharePoint 2010 and 2013.

With every new release of SharePoint, Microsoft is allowing SharePoint to be more flexible, but at the cost of becoming less user-friendly for non-developers. The newest release of SharePoint, SharePoint 2013, makes heavier use of "apps" that can be customized through script.

SharePoint Designer 2013 has taken away its Design view, and thrown the form customizations over the fence to InfoPath 2013.  InfoPath 2013 has some limitations, and so the most effective way to change the function of your SharePoint sites is to use JavaScript and JQuery. This means that even a Site Collection Administrator would be well-served to have knowledge of JavaScript, JQuery, and CSS.

Fortunately, there are many good books available on both subjects, and even books focused on using JavaScript, JQuery, and CSS within the context of SharePoint 2013. I would highly recommend also getting a book on the use of InfoPath 2013 and even Office 365, Microsoft's cloud-hosted SharePoint solution.

For an all-in-one book, I recommend "Pro SharePoint 2013 Branding and Responsive Web Development". "JavaScript and JQuery: The Missing Manual" is also a good read if you're starting anew with any type of development/programming and has good cross-references within.

Best of luck, and happy coding!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Hard Truth #3: Taleo = Turn-Off

Let me take a moment to be like the rare woman who is actually brutally honest with a guy and explains to him why he's just not attractive to her, which, I know, rarely happens, but it's a defining moment of true epiphany when it does happen and the guy can improve himself 1,000 times over than if a woman doesn't give the guy some tough love. With that said, here's my tough love to my beloved recruiter community.

If you're REALLY interested in finding quality candidates, be more personal and save the formal application until after the interviews are completed and an offer is accepted. Taleo and other lengthy online job applications are an impersonal turnoff. To use this step as the first impression to your candidate is nothing but a hassle for the applicant for a job that they might not want after interviewing or that they might not be hired for, especially when other recruiters simply accept and review résumés by e-mail. To make matters worse, many Taleo sites require a separate login and repeated entry of the (mostly) same information over and over again. While Taleo offers a Universal Profile, many companies simply do not use it. If a company simply refers a me to a lengthy Taleo application, 99 times out of 100 I will simply move on to the next job posting unless there is really something in that job or company that I want very much (with SharePoint professionals, there's usually not much that makes a particular position stand out above others. The Taleo application is just not worth my time or any other applicants' time UNLESS an offer has been made to the candidate and the candidate has accepted. If I have already interviewed, been made an offer, and I have accepted the offer in writing, I will gladly take the time to fill out the formal application.

So, what's the answer? A simple email address for sending a searchable résumé to or some other SIMPLE résumé uploader, along with collecting only basic contact information (name, address, phone, e-mail, and the standard citizenship question) is tolerable. A company named Tribridge has successfully implemented Taleo in this way, with just basic contact information and a résumé upload... and I gladly applied for their available position. The same can be said for McDonald's, who posts some of their corporate jobs on LinkedIn, with a fast, simple application initiation with résumé upload. If collecting résumés by e-mail, the recruiter can simply collect a few days worth of some e-mailed resumes, enter them into a searchable repository, then search the group of attachments for key words to find qualified candidates.  Use Taleo as an on-boarding step, not a recruiting step.

Leave the lengthy application form to those applying for government security clearances.