Probably the best infographic in history – Sparks’ Histomap

In 1931, John D Sparks produced a truly inspirational infographic – a huge chart showing the rise and fall of different civilisations over the past 4000 years. I came across it again the other day and was awestruck by how cleverly it contextualises different historical events – not to mention realising how limited my knowledge is.  I sure wish I’d been given a copy when I was wading through Bismarck etc in A-level History back in the ’80s.

JohnDSparks Histomap

Whilst looking for an updated version (i.e. up to the end of the twentieth century), I found this engaging animation of the original histomap    Turns out the updated version by Rand Mcnally is available (at a price) but inevitably there’s more noise and less historical perspective on more recent events – so I will stick with the 1931 original!

Found at, and copyright John D Sparks

Disruption of the online talent sourcing market by social networks

Here’s  a summary of the dissertation I wrote 5-6 months ago for the Strategy and Innovation Masters Level Diploma at Oxford Said.   I’m making it public for a few reasons. Firstly, I was pretty pleased to get a Distinction for it – which means it “demonstrates a total grasp of relevant concepts and frameworks.” Secondly, although events might have moved on somewhat in the past 6 months, I am not aware of anyone having dealt with the issues raised – and I think they (we?) should.

The PDF is available here: Disruption-online-talent-sourcing-market-social-networks_Public

It’s not the easiest read, nor the most polished text, and I resisted uploading the entire dissertation (this is an extract). But please do download it and take a read if you’re interested.

If you do use any ideas or quotes herein, please do credit me as the source.  Likewise, any comments or questions, feel free to contact me:

The end of a half century habit

There’s a lot been written over the past decade about the death of newspapers, often with the blame attributed to the web and specifically Google and, here in the UK, the BBC.  I hesitate to venture into this territory given there are many people who know more than I do about the subject, and also my role in a business with some adjacency to the sector. But I am going to anyway.

Recently my dad was explaining to me why, at the age of 76, he’s stopped buying newspapers. Not one specific newspaper, but all.  His most recent daily was the Daily Telegraph, but he’s bought the Times, Guardian and local newspapers too – a half century habit.   Since he retired over 15 years ago, his morning routine has always been a brisk walk around the local park and fields, stopping on the way back to pick up a paper before returning home for breakfast.    We’re talking about a deeply-ingrained habit of buying newspapers.

Why have my parents stopped buying newspapers? They don’t get their news online – that’s for email and Facebook and family photos. They have always watched the TV news – that hasn’t changed. It’s purely and simply down to quality.

Continue reading “The end of a half century habit”

The value of a CV over time?

As part of the online talent sourcing research I was doing recently, I rediscovered some data (a few years old now) from which I was able to extract the following chart – plotting the number of times CVs were downloaded over time, based on their age.  If you assume (a big assumption) that the popularity of a CV equates to its economic value, then you can extrapolate the value of a CV over time.


It was only tangentially relevant to my research, so I didn’t include it in there, but I thought it was quite interesting and posed questions for both jobseekers and those whose businesses are based around reselling CV data.  I’ve removed the # scale to protect confidentiality, but it’s a reasonably-sized data set, which shows a clear trend.

The trend is presumably driven by both the jobseeker behaviour of regularly refreshing their CVs on job-boards and contacting recruiters repeatedly; and also the recruiter behaviour of focusing on the freshest CVs. I wonder whether it also reflects the unemployment issue of stale candidates left on the shelf.  There’s obviously a real opportunity in effective mechanisms for data refreshing/enhancement, which is where LinkedIn, Facebook et al have demonstrated genuine leaps forward.

I can’t say whether this is representative of the industry as a whole, or whether things have changed in the very recent past, or even whether the original data was 100% accurate … so it is presented “as is” rather than as empirical evidence.

Infographic: Innovation in the online recruitment market

Thanks for a great response to the survey.  I have included below an infographic with some of the more quantitative data. I made two £50 charity donations – firstly, to Barnardos and secondly to The Ethiopian Education Foundation – both great choices.

(c) Gareth Lloyd
(c) Gareth Lloyd

Academic survey: Innovation in the online recruitment market

Interested in online recruitment and innovation?

If so, I’d like to ask for your expertise and insight on a subject I am researching at the University of Oxford. This is an academic survey and I will be happy to share the results with you on completion.

The research analyses the changes in online talent sourcing driven by the use of social media, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, and the strategic responses available to agencies and job boards.

The survey will take around 15 minutes to complete. Your responses will be anonymous.   I really appreciate and value your input, and please do let me know if you have any questions.

As it is so close to Christmas, I will be donating £50 to a charity chosen by a survey participant picked at random (by email address) on the closing date of Friday 4 January.