“So, I really liked Kevin’s definition of talent communities from last week’s #TChat Radio Show. Kevin, why don’t you share that?”
Stammer. Stutter. I have no idea.
Here we were yesterday in our packed HRevolution session on building and maintaining talent communities, me in one of three groups we had broken up in to, and after all the research, writing and talking about it to date, I couldn’t define it on the spot if my life depended on it.
Thankfully it didn’t, but still.
My point being it continues to be a much larger multifaceted conversation with a moving-target definition depending on context — and for us yesterday the context was social recruiting and employment branding.
You can review the premise of our HRevolution Talent Communities & Company Culture session, but simply put it included some of the best and brightest minds in talent acquisition and social media (and I’m not talking about mine) and our case study partner, Lars Schmidt, director of talent acquisition at National Public Radio (NPR).
The idea was to break up our session into three consulting groups vying for NPR’s business, and for each group to come up with and present a business case – and strategy – for developing and sustaining talent communities for sourcing, recruiting and employment branding.
But right from the beginning, the consensus question was, what’s a talent community?
So hey, I wasn’t the only one.
And then there was, why does it have to be called that anyway and why do we insist on the continued use of gobbledygook like engagement, transactional, pipelines, empowerment and the like?
Alas, supposedly smart spin-speak can force all the breathable atmosphere from a room (and we’re going to see a lot more of that this week at the HR Technology Conference & Exposition too).
That said, Lars from NPR found our session to be a very smart success, although he didn’t pick my group as a winner. That’s all right, as long as I get to meet the Planet Money news team someday.
Again, there are two things that differentiate true talent communities from talent pipelines and resume databases of old. The quality of interactions, not the quantity, make the community. And members are members, from outside the organization and from within as current employees — not applicants — at least until they apply for a new job. These were universally agreed on in all three groups.
But the collaborative results from each of our “community” neighborhoods were as diverse as the neighborhoods themselves.
Funny how that works. Here were all our brief ideas in schematic as written on our paper “white board” pages that forced the air back in our room. My brain doesn’t have a recordable microchip, so use your professional imaginations to fill in between the answers.
- Create a curated sourcing channel that includes the target audience.
- Add in influencers to engage with the target audience (yikes, engage).
- Develop selective engagement events.
- Create a Twitter dedicated hashtag.
- Develop an influencer analysis tool to understand impact on target audience.
Team 2 (The Winner!):
- Use the NPR Facebook page as the sourcing hub — leverage the current consumer page to tap into the 2MM fans/likes.
- Solicit content from fans to contribute to NPR.
- Use Facebook analytics to track traffic.
- Utilize free solutions such as BeKnown and BraveNewTalent and integrate jobs tab on NPR page.
- Leverage Twitter and career page traffic.
- Add a Facebook “Like” button across all properties.
- Leverage open graph.
- Develop hashtag to create content.
- Include Klout scores of fans and visitors.
Team 3 (my team — thank you to Sean Sheppard from TalentCircles for being our presenter):
- Map and analyze the 30MM unique NPR monthly visitors.
- Develop participation strategy to motivate super fans.
- Interact with super fans around digital content and other activities.
- Cherry pick and career pitch the best of the super fans.
So there you have it. Hopefully the first of many interactive learning sessions about building and sustaining (talent) communities.
A special thank you to all our smart participants as well as my #TChat co-hosts Meghan M. Biro and Matt Charney, and of course of guest of honor Lars Schmidt, director of talent acquisition at National Public Radio (NPR).
And a very special thank you to the HRevolution organizers for yet another amazing event. To date I’ve never attended an event so immersed in the collaborative moment. For me, the online social chatter slows to a stop when I participate in a true community like HRevolution.
Now it’s time for HR Tech!