Friday, July 25, 2008

Recruiter friend in Africa doing some charity work for OneMama. Her email diary back to friends and family.

So Siobhan has been an amazing friend, collegue and business partner of mine for close to 8 years now. A few years ago she got hooked on this idea of going to Uganda to help out in a birthing clinic. She quickly realised that the people in this village were lacking basic necessities for life let alone for giving birth. When she came back to San Francisco she put together a non-profit organization called OneMama with the intention of providing basic healthcare needs for mothers in the region.

Here are her emails from her latest trip. They remind me of a diary or journal that you would read in a novel from 1920. We are so far removed from that reality and reading her emails make me very happy to be living in the USA. More on OneMama

Give if you can and forward if you are moved by what she has to say.

Dearest Family and Friends,

I have now been in Uganda for about 4 or 5 days days. I have lost track of time here. It is taking a some time for me to adjust back to this life here with no real access to the outside world. It is like being completely unplugged from any kind of life we know in our part of the world.

A few thoughts...
The smell of night jasmine fills the air, my skin is semi permantly tanned by the red clay dust.... And the kids follow me everywhere I go singing and dancing with me...

I am sleeping next to Jamira the midwife for OneMama in her room with her right next to the birthing area.
I have to admit the first couple nights were a little rough getting use to. Jamira gets up at all hours of the night to help the local woman give birth when they come calling at all hours of the day or night.

The conditions are in great contrast to what we are use to in the states. Even though I have been here before it is still hard to adjust to living like this. There is no running water but I do get a bucket to bath with hot boiled water everyday.
There is also no power sources of any kind to utilize for lights or to power electronics or lights. We use fires ,candles or solar flashlights. I have brought a solar generator and solar panels from the US, but they have not yet proved to be successful. It is suppose to take up to 48 hours to charge. So we will see....

I am going thru technology withdrawals. I am usually on the phone about 8-9 hours a day with work and talking to friends. Then there is the internet the closest connection is about 2 hours away by car. Right now I am driving with a friend late at night to go find a power source and internet.
I hope you get this at some point since the first email I sent letting everyone know I was going to Africa still seems to not have gone out for some reason. Data ,,,,I need data and to speak in English....UGH!

Jamira... She is so sweet she was so happy when I showed up with supplies and showed her the work we have done so far. She just grabs my hand every chance she gets and says "webale" over and over... This means “thank you”...
I really don't know what to say back so I nod and say it back and smile.,,

I meet with all the local officials in a couple days to get all the paperwork in place.It really is hard to put into words the way things work here. It is just a different way....Hmmmmm

I will send pictures when I can....i hope to have more stories soon..
Love and Light Siobhan

Siobhan Neilland | Founder OneMama
“We are all OneMama on this OneMother Earth!
We all want to feel like we are loved and we matter in this world!”

OneMama Donations:
Your contribution will benefit the women, children, and men of this community.
If you have any questions about your donation, you may contact OneMama by phone at 866-485-1447 or online at OneMama

You can now donate online with a credit card!

We now need volunteers in US and in Africa.
Please contact us if you want to get involved and feel like you are making a difference in the world!

Your donation of time and money is going toward a great cause!
Please be assured that you have made a direct impact on the people of Kirindi, Uganda, where OneMama begins its pilot program

We hope you will remain involved as we continue to grow and accomplish our mission.
Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.

Sent July 10th
My Dearest Family and Friends,
We just came back from Jinga today to go use internet and computers about 1.5 hours away. That is when you got the last email from me. Everything concerning technology is so labor intensive. It took me 2.5 hours to get out just a few emails and do a little research.

We got some supplies, went to banks and ran errands.

We got to see Jessica and Wilfred who are an amazing local married couple who do are working with us on this project. I have not seen them since I was here last time. They are both interpreters for another NGO in Jinga. Jessica and Wilfred are the first ones that really helped do all the initial work on this project. They are just wonderful!

We also drove up to Bugagali falls before we left to get a chapatti that I was craving and for me to say hello to a few of my local friends that live up there. I could not believe how many people remembered my name and everything about me with out seeing me for 2 years. It was so endearing. I will be staying there a few days before I leave to come home.

Then we stopped to meet Jeremiah's uncle who owns a local hotel spot in Jinga. They were a lovely couple and excited to hear about the project..

Then the very long drive on crazy bumpy roads back to the village....
We did not get back till very late in the pitch black in our our borrowed vehicle. At least it was not a boda boda(scooter) this late in the rain and crazy road....which usually we ride 3 at a time... Not so safe but quite an adventure..
Till more adventures..
Love and Light

Sent JULY11
Today was one of those days that you start to look back on and see how things change the way you think. Living here and doing this is changing how my brain works..HMMMMM

All week Jeremiah and I have been trying to get everything in place to meet with community & village leaders and the community as a whole to present the whole OneMama Vision.

In case I did not mention it Jeremiah is Jamira's son who is now going to be the director of OneMama Uganda which is a Ugandan based and run organization. They will work with OneMama USA to create the best solutions and partnership to make this project a success.
That is the ultimate vision is to assist communities to start their own OneMama organizations that can be self-sustaining in what ever countries that we are needed. We helped them see that all the legal paper work and documentation is now now in place and is an established organization.

Well we met in a tiny little room with about 25 men and woman. I would present and they would interpret this very big vision and dream to a group of people who are not use to thinking big. Then the local OneMama Directors presented their vision...

It went Great...
The meeting with the leaders of these surrounding communities went so very well. Better than I thought they would. They tend not to trust mazaunga's and really with good reason...There is so little ever done for these people and they see us come and consume with so much money and stuff and they have so little.
.....Hmmmm I sit here and try to write about how all these meetings went and I realize I have no language to really explain these amazing interactions...

I will try to get better at these descriptions in the days to come.....UGH!
Love and Light Siobhan
Sent July 15th
Hello My Dearest Friends and Family,

Well..... today Is July 15 here in Uganda.
Today was another amazing as everyday seems to be here so far...

Today I got a call from a man with an organization here working with HIV/AIDs prevention and he is very excited about OneMama and is going to try to arrange something I never thought possible. He is trying to get me in a meeting with the first lady of Uganda before I leave. How Crazy is that....
We will see.... but what It was exciting to even have such a conversation.

I have been taking a couple day break here on the Nile river to get my thoughts together so I can really get things done these last few weeks.

This place is called the Harry Lemon it is an island in the middle of the river that runs completely on solar. This place is mostly used by rafters and kayakers who are coming down the river. There is not internet and very little cell coverage but is amazingly beautiful. I have a wonderful private banda over looking the river. There is a tree snake living in my rafters of my room and one on the front deck. There are two monkeys that live in the tree above me and love to throw nuts at the roof.
There is this fascinating bird that sits on a rock in the middle of the rapids on the river that I look onto. He is there off and on thru the day with his wings stretched full spread for 20-30 minutes at a time then he rests and flies around a little then comes back. It is so sweet to watch. Man he has the life!
Swimming in the river and in the little rapids has been so refreshing and just what I needed to recharge.Makes me miss swimming back home at Ocean Beach...
I love my queen quarters here living in what feels like luxury compared to what I have been doing...however it still is not the same as all the comforts of home.

Took a walk back to Jamira's today to show a woman from Tasmania the work we are doing. She is a sweet lovely woman who takes people on overland trucks around Africa. She may want to work with OneMama. It was a lovely walk and adventure. The kids followed us off and on the 4 -5 mile walk and played games with us as we journeyed. I missed seeing Jamiria the last two days. I cant wait to get back and stay with her and the kids there tomorrow. I really feel like a part of the family. The two days I have been away she has sent messages from different people to let me know she misses me. So very sweet....

I ran into a UK friend I met here two years ago tonight on this tiny little island in the middle of nowhere..... So good to see him.. The world starts to seem very small at times.

I have been practicing for a dance performance that I have in August while here in my little banda. I will not have time to practice again until I get back home. It is a funny reminder how I live in two worlds that are so very very different.

Now I am off to sleep....Love and Light to all..

Siobhan Neilland | Founder OneMama

Thursday, July 3, 2008

LinkedIn Joins the Billionaires' Club

BusinessWeek Article Here

5 yrs old on May 5th 2008 and now valued at 1 Billion!!!!

Estimating 30 to 35 Million users by the end of 2008!!!!

On track to hit $100 Million in sales in 2008!!!

If you are not a member on Linkedin now is the time to sign up and be apart of the explosive growth.


AND Be sure to send me an invitation

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Part I How Low can the Cost of Name Generation go?

Link to Full Discussion on ERE

I get calls 4-5 times a week from outsourced providers all over the world offering their services to help me offset my internal sourcing/Name Generation costs.

They all promise the highest quality, fastest turn around and exclaim that their researchers are typically, BA, BS, MS, MA PhD's whatever.

What I'm amazed is that the cost of a Name varies greatly from country to country.

How low can the cost of Name Generation go?

When I started out, in 1995, we charged $10 a name (all phone generated by the way) and paid our researchers $5 per name. Then we went to $15, then $20 then $30 and today HTC charges $50 per name and we haven't raised our prices in at least 5 years.

I know there was a discussion on this forum a while back about how Name Generation has become commoditized, especially Internet Name Generation but at what point does the value of the candidate's name or access to it out value the cost to produce or the value a Company would get out of it?

At what point does quality outweigh the cost?
Do clients care, if they can buy a name for $5 or $50
at $5 does quality really matter that much?

Are Internet Generated Names inherently worth Less than Phone generated names due to the ease of generating them. And if so why aren't Internet Name Generators lowering their prices to be more competitve with offshore options.

FYI I have yet to see an offshore Sourcing company offer phone based Name Generation. Why not, isn't the fact that they haven't offered phone Name Generation so far a testament to how easy Internet Name Generation is and how difficult Phone NG can be?

Jeff Weidner
HTC Research Corp
925 313 9005 X 200

Part II How Low can the Cost of Name Generation go?

Let me make some clarifications on some of the comments so far.

Mary: Please re-read the original post. This is question about the cost of delivering a service. It's not about process. No matter how you slice it if Sourcing Firm A base in India/South America/Eastern Europe/Africa etc pays their people $200 a month and the US based firm pays $1280 (min wage of $8 per hour times 160 hours per month) then all the process in the world will not make a difference in the price the US firm can charge their client, it can not be lower that the cost to produce said service. My point was that Internet Name Generation can be done by anyone, anywhere in the world at any time. All you need is access to the internet and a few hours of training and off you go. (I'm over exaggerating the amount of training needed to make a point) But it was a nice plug for SGA none-the-less no matter how irrelevant I feel your comment was to the topic at hand.

Josh/Vipul - Great banter. Good points made and let me add that employee costs will climb for companies in those offshore locations. The more companies have to compete for experienced employees the more their employees costs shift. In the beginning these offshore companies will spend a lot of time and money training employees, as an employee base gains experience over many years other companies will attempt to recruit them away to reduce their training costs. By speaking with many RPO companies in India, SA and Eastern Europe I'm seeing this happening already. A few companies are in those three areas are in strategic battles with their competitors to keep employee costs to a minimum. In one area employees costs have tripled in the past 5 years and are continuing to rise. Inevitably, as the market matures and employees gain more experience, there will be more employment options for people with those skills and salaries in those offshore areas will rise. Disclaimer: As with any investment opportunity individual results may vary. These statements are not in any way a guarantee that you or your company will obtain any level of success should you decide to take part in this opportunity. Use of, being associated with or providing these services may cause fever, fainting, rash, sleeplessness, vomiting and in rare cases body odor and addiction to caffeine, chocolate or other substances. Sorry, I felt had to lighten the post up a bit

Cultural issues and language barriers will not be barriers for much longer. These companies will find ways to offset those issues, they will shift their training tactics from a "how and what to do to" to a cultural training and language training. Admittedly this is (from my understanding) is much harder to train for but the successful companies will hire people that were educated here in the USA or UK or Australia so that they will have less of a hurdle. In short, it is difficult but not impossible. There are challenges but they can be overcome with the right training and if they companies hire people with the right backgrounds.

Patrick: CPD-Candidate Pipeline Development(TM) is actually trade marked by my company HTC Research and so as not to confuse the market I'd like to state that the prices quoted in your comment were not HTC's prices or service offerings.

Also let's extrapolate Patrick's point a bit further. Instead of $8 a name what if a company opens up an office somewhere where the employee costs could be $1 USD per day. They would now offer their names at let's say 50 cents per name. And the quality is just as good if not better. This same thing happened to the data service providers when email addresses started being farmed on the Internet. Sales People and list brokers would sell names at a $5 per name not they are 50 cents, 5 cents, 1 cent per name and even lower for unverified Sales Leads. What force in the staffing market that will stop this from happening to Internet Generated names? AND if you can get a computer to do all of it for you that could reduce costs even further.

Stella: Time difference is not as big a problem as you may think. The fact that India is 12 hrs ahead of us makes little difference. India is not the only off-shoring country out there and SA is for the most part in the US time zone. The Internet is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Now verifying those names by telephone is more difficult at night but not entirely impossible with the right techniques ;-) I know of one offshore company that does the internet name generation in India then they dump those names into their DB for their group in Eastern Europe and Africa to call and verify and then they have their group in SA recruit the candidates for contingency fees and all their business development people are based here in the USA. Amazingly though, they still charge a full 20%-30% placement fee. So it's what the market will accept.

OK I didn’t mean to ramble on for this long so enough for now, replies/rebuttals welcome.

Jeff Weidner
HTC Research Corp
925 313 9005 X 200