When we at XING in Barcelona decided to reorganize the product team and to make 5 teams out of 3 teams, we chose a different way for reorganizing them. According to our vision „For a better working life“ we chose to hold an internal job fair and to involve every employee in the upcoming reorganization, instead of making our decisions about the new teams behind closed doors.
Why a Job Fair?
Inspired by Michele and Jim McCarthy, who organized a job fair at Microsoft, instead of the usual sitting in endless rounds of meetings, we decided to do so on our own. A job fair is basically an event where companies set up brightly decorated information booths full of smiling recruiters, all trying to snap up talent. There are job fairs at colleges and universities for new graduates as well as industry or sector specific job fairs. But what convinced us to use a job fair format for ourselves?
The job fair format covers and supports the values we share here at XING and would be a great way to uphold those values such as transparency, trust, accountability and efficiency. Not only would we be transparent about the fact that new teams would be formed and what the teams would be working on, but also we wanted to send people the message that we trust them that they know best with whom they want to work and what they want to work on. We believed the group could put themselves in teams with minimal interference from us. An added benefit of being able to choose your own team is that because the choice is yours, you now are accountable to the team to make it work. It’s not so easy now to blame the other people on the team, or your manager for putting you on a team you don’t like.
How did the Job Fair work out?
After enjoying a breakfast together where everybody got to know each other, the kick-off began with an introduction from Gemma, our VP Engineering. After that each Product Owner was given 20 minutes to present their products/projects and other information such as they liked to work, and what they didn’t know yet and needed help figuring out. We asked all the Product Owners to make themselves available to answer any other questions people had about their projects.
Last weekend the Hamburg Geekettes and Open Tech school together organised the very first Hamburg Hackathon, and XING was proud to be the event’s main sponsor. More than 80 hackers from all over Europe attended the event held at the fantastic location called werkheim. The organisation was brilliant, and the top venue came with healthy food, fresh smoothies, and even a small pool for kids who came along to hack with their parents. The sun also put in a welcome appearance to really round things off.
The Hackathon kick-started with the motto “For a better working life”. Plenty of ideas were pitched, so then it was time to team up and they hack into the 16 ideas that were presented at the end of the event.
The energy, spirit, enthusiasm and passion shown by each and every participant was fantastic.
I had the chance to talk to a lot of people at the event, and I asked each of them why they come to an event like this. A common answer I observed was that they wanted to get to know the community, learn something new, and connected with people who have similar interests. A few of them also had unique answers along the lines of wanting to have the freedom of choice they get by developing something they’re passionate about.
XING as a company was privileged to support this event, because we believe everyone should be given a chance to work on something they’re passionate about. This is the culture we foster at XING, a typical example being our innovation weeks where every two months the engineering department takes a week out from their usual schedule to hack highly innovative ideas they always wanted to try out and then present them to the entire company at the end of the week. Once a year the entire company also gets together for 3 days to work on ideas aimed at shaping the future of XING, an event called the “Prototyping Days”.
In keeping with this, the Hackathon enables every professional to hack into whatever they’re passionate about, and we were very privileged to be able to support this event. We wish all the very best to everyone who attended.
XING has introduced new General Terms and Conditions. Today we’re sending our members all over the world an e-mail to the notification address they entered on the platform. Members we can’t reach via e-mail will receive the same information as a XING message.
Why is XING introducing new General Terms and Conditions at this time?
XING recently celebrated its tenth birthday. A lot of things have changed since our professional business network first went online in 2003. Back then, XING was known as “a private paid communication forum for arranging business contacts” in the previous GTC. Today, XING is much more than that. Long-standing users will in particular remember all the features we’ve added over the years. Recruiting via XING is an excellent example of just how far we’ve come as XING members have always shared job vacancies with one another on the platform. The last few years have seen the launch of all kinds of recruiting products for companies ranging from pure job ads to the Employer Branding Profile and on to the XING Talent Manager. And our members can also benefit from an entirely new kind of job ad that immediately shows the employee ratings for that particular company.
A similar scenario also arises with the events portal which, thanks to the XING EVENTS (formerly known as amiando) integration, XING members can use to organise events and manage their online ticketing processes. XING’s service portfolio has also grown drastically, and will continue to do so in the future each time we release product innovations. We therefore rewrote our GTC to create the best-possible basis for future developments.
Overview of changes
We’d like to take this opportunity to provide you with an overview of the changes to our GTC. If you have any questions about them at all, please visit the XING Community (German only) where you’ll be able to discuss the new GTC with other members and XING employees.
- XING is essentially a social network. On top of that, users have access to other applications such as XING EVENTS or kununu, the largest employer review platform in German-speaking countries. The terms and conditions for the use of these platforms have now been added to our GTC.
- An important aim of the new GTC is the prevention of spam. Our new GTC expressly forbid the use of tools, certain software and scripts that enable XING members to be spammed. Advertising and disseminating such tools is also prohibited.
- The data protection and privacy terms highlight the fact that XING members are at liberty to choose whether or not they want to share their personal details, in whole or in part. Any such settings can also be revoked at any time, meaning that users always remain fully in control over their own data.
- We have also incorporated a number of aspects that are already standard practice. Examples of this include the banning of logos as profile pictures to ensure that people are interacting with one another rather than simply using their profile picture purely for advertising purposes. Our new GTC also further emphasise that profiles may not be used by third parties. They also stipulate that XING does not fundamentally get involved in communication between users. The exception to this rule are groups moderated by XING or XING employees, such as the German-language “XING Community” or the group covering last year’s German elections. There may also be projects in the future where XING or XING employees get involved.
As described in the first point, XING provides its users with other applications. A visible profile is not required for every single application, such as with the “Contaxt” app. Here, users can log in with their XING profile, but the service is also available to non-XING members. In such cases, users do not need to have a user profile that’s visible within the XING network. This also applies to pure ticket purchases via the events platform and reviews submitted on the employer review platform.
If you’d like to see all of the changes to our GTC, please open this PDF file. We’ve highlighted the changes to make it easier for you to find them.
We would like to point out one final thing: As always you can object to the new GTC within six weeks of receiving our notification as per clause 12 of the old GTC. If you correctly object in good time, our old GTC continue to apply to you. If we don’t hear from you by the end of the objection period, our new GTC will henceforth apply to you.
In isolated cases, XING members have brought to our attention a warning message that appears while logged in to XING. IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO KNOW: This warning message is not from XING. This is in actual fact a fraud attempt that, according to our current knowledge, operates from the user’s computer which is infected with malware. Please do not follow the steps described in the warning message.
How can I recognize this warning message?
In the warning message the fraudsters ask the user of the infected computer to enter their cell phone number in order to activate their allegedly blocked XING account. The user then receives a text message with a download link. They are then led to believe that following this link will install a piece of security software onto their smartphone, which can then actually infect the smartphone. Fraud attempts like this are, for example, described here: http://krebsonsecurity.com/2013/08/a-closer-look-perkele-android-malware-kit/.
Who does this affect?
The warning message has currently only appeared on computers that run Windows operating systems. However, it cannot be ruled out that this malware is able to infect computers that run other operating systems.
What should I do when I see this warning message?
With the situation as it is, we presume that the users’ computers are already infected with malware when this message appears. Users who are affected should immediately get their computers checked for malware infections. In the meantime, we recommend that users avoid visiting important online services like banking, shopping, etc., until the malware has been completely removed. If you have already downloaded the software onto your smartphone then this device will also have to be checked and cleaned up. We rely on your help in order to find out more and clarify this fraud attempt: Please let our security team know of any abnormalities or peculiarities as quickly as possible (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We would like to thank the two members who promptly informed us of this fraud attempt.
Roughly three months ago, Apple unveiled iOS 7 at the WWDC conference in San Francisco. XING’s iOS team was there and, like everyone else, surprised at the depth of changes that went far beyond throwing away skeuomorphic design elements and making everything flat. The design philosophy itself had shifted: In iOS 7, the user interface defers to the content. Subtle but sophisticated animations replace or clarify navigational elements. Typographical details become more important. And those are only the aspects the eye can see: The days following the WWDC keynote, we learned about changes and enhancements pertaining to the functional core of iOS.
Ready for iOS 7 within weeks
Enthused and fired up, we came back to Hamburg – only to realize that our roadmap was already booked solid for the upcoming months. There was little chance to get an iOS 7 version of our app out of the door by the time iOS 7 would be released. We then convinced our team and product manager that it’d be worth to invest a week for iOS 7 related research. We used this week to evaluate new opportunities for our app and to estimate the time and effort needed to implement them. At the end of the week we were convinced that we could get our XING app iOS 7 ready within a few weeks. And with ready we meant not only a visual adaptation but also the support of new features such as downloading new data in the background and dynamic font size changes. (more…)
XING Beta Labs have been in place for almost two years now, and it gives us an opportunity to present our members with various beta features that they can test. That way, anyone looking to put developmental features through their paces can go there, select the feature they want to try, then test-drive it and send us their feedback. XING Beta Labs were the birthplace of various features we currently offer on the platform such as attachments and the conversation view. But sometimes beta features don’t work out and they have to be removed to free up resources for other great ideas, which is why we’re going to remove XING Topics from the platform.
We’d like to thank all the members who put a lot of time and effort into test-driving XING Topics over the last few months. During that time we’ve been busy collecting and evaluating your feedback and performed a number of random tests which allowed us to find out what you liked about the Topics section (e.g. being able to add images and rank topics by popularity) and what you weren’t too keen on (e.g. layout of the posts). We always take your feedback into account when developing new features and products, and we’ll be re-using a number of the XING Topics features you really liked in other parts of the platform – so keep a lookout for them!
XING Topics will be available until 16 September. Until then you can still view your posts in the ‘your posts’ tab and copy and paste the ones you’d like to keep to a text file. Alternatively you can use the ‘copy and paste view’ button to copy and paste all of your posts in one go. After that date, all of your posts will be permanently removed, so if you want to keep them, please make sure you save them somewhere else.
As always, we’ll carry on working hard to boost your XING experience, so don’t forget to visit our blog again soon.
XING holds regular innovation weeks that give our developers an opportunity to tinker around with things and put their ideas into practice. Some of the results of these projects include things like the RSS import feature allowing you to import blog posts and to share them with your XING network. Now we’re happy to present you with another great innovation weeks feature that’s available from today. This feature allows you to use XING with keyboard shortcuts as you’ve most probably come across before in your daily work on the computer. This of course makes it both easier and faster to network on XING.
Here’s how it works
Keyboard shortcuts usually involve pressing and holding either the CTRL key if you’re a Windows user or CMD if you’re on a Mac. We don’t want to interfere with your browser’s own shortcuts, however, that is why our shortcuts always start by pressing and holding the SHIFT key. (more…)
Imagine you’re driving in a city you’ve never been to before to visit a business partner. You’ve probably used your address book or smartphone to get the address you’re going to and then entered it in your sat nav. But isn’t this process a bit over-complicated? Wouldn’t it be great if you could call up your XING address book in your sat nav and then simply select it as your destination?
This probably sounds like something from “Back to the future”, right? Well, at the moment it is, but it’s actually highly realistic from a technical point of view! That’s because XING is rolling out its API (Application Programming Interface) for external developers which enables them to build great apps just like the idea I mentioned above. (more…)
Robert Wiechmann on 16.08.2012 at 17:14h CET
Our annual Prototyping Days event gives every employee the opportunity to turn his or her vision of XING into reality. Project teams consisting of people from every corner of the company put aside their usual work and get together for three days to work on projects they came up with. At the end of the events, the entire company gets together with the project teams presenting the results of their work. But coming up with great ideas isn’t just fun, it’s also a major benefit for the company, too!
The top 8 reasons to work at XING
Our project looked at how we can provide the best-possible networking experience in the future. My seven project teammates and I didn’t just want to use the Prototyping Days 2012 event to look into the future, we wanted to focus on what drives XING, i.e. its employees. Our aim was to show why we’re so passionate about XING and why we love working here. Our personal contribution as just a few of the 520 employees was a video we made that presents the top 8 reasons to work at XING.
Our team consisted of people from the Technology, Customer Relations and Product teams. The video went through its baptism of fire at the presentation session and passed with flying colors. In fact we won the Best Spirit Award for our efforts. But let’s face it – we got our Executive Board to crawl under the table soccer table, so I’m sure we deserved to win :o)
Want to feel XING’s positive vibes for yourself? Just join the team!!
Jens Pape on 16.08.2012 at 17:09h CET
What could the future of online business networking look like? What do we need to do to provide the best-possible networking experience? How would XING need to evolve to achieve that goal? These were just some of the questions the 520 employees at XING tackled during the XING Prototyping Days 2012 event.
As was the case last year, every employee–from the customer support through to marketing and product teams–had three days’ time to put aside their usual work and get together with other people to work on developing a specific idea.