Andrea Piacquadio

[#WorkTrends] Job Description Complexities: The Problems and Solutions

Love it or hate it, the job description is a fact of business life…

The problem with many job descriptions? Too often, they are written to benefit the hiring company and not the person looking for a job. They also lack the essential information a job seeker needs to assess a company’s workplace culture and leadership style. Information such as “a day in the life” is rarely provided, nor is enough information about the position and team or department. Worse yet, many contain hidden bias. Plus, let’s face it, most job descriptions are boring. 

Is that how we want potential employees to perceive our brand? Self-serving? Biased? Boring?

Poorly written job descriptions have a consistently negative impact on our organizations. They filter out good people and a more-diverse set of applicants. At the same time, they increase the risk of applications from unqualified candidates. Even worse, they become a root cause of poor job interviews andworse yetbad hires. 

You don’t want to miss a single episode of #WorkTrends…  subscribe to the podcast now!

But there are practical ways to humanize job descriptions. We can make them more reader-friendly and more focused on the job seeker. As employers, we can be seen as more approachable — more human. 

Our Guest on #WorkTrends: Mark Herschberg

I invited Mark Herschberg — entrepreneur and author of the upcoming book, The Career Toolkit, Essential Skills for Success That No One Taught You to join me on #WorkTrends this week. We talked about how thoughtful companies are improving their job descriptions by writing them betterbetter for the employer brand, and to better attract and engage interested, qualified job talent. 

Right away, Mark let me know I wasn’t alone with my frustration with how job descriptions are written, and how poorly they represent the hiring company: “The biggest problem is that most job descriptions look interchangeable. If you take any two, three, five, six job descriptions from different companies they all read the same,” Mark said. He went on to tell us this templated, generic approach does not serve the job seeker well. He then added: “This gets even more complicated when you start to think about what’s not in a job description — the human elements. “We leave out leadership or communication abilities. We don’t talk about the need to build relationships and have a strong network. Or even how important it is within the culture to have a sense of humor.”

The Job Description and Company Culture

We also talked about an issue near and dear to my heart: Company culture — and how employers can best describe their culture not just in a job description but during onboarding. “Culture is really important, but not the culture most people think of. When HR typically talks about culture, they talk about stated corporate values, things such as putting the customer first. But on a day to day basis, what work culture means to most people is how they interact with others. And that really comes down to communication.” Mark is right. And job descriptions are our first opportunity to communicate with a candidate, so must include that vital information. 

Mark added: “Those water-cooler interactions or hallway conversations may have been a hallmark of your company’s communication before. But in today’s remote work world, they might not be taking place. So a job description should be explicit about how the company functions during normal times and how it functions today during the pandemic.”

Mark and I went on to talk more about how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted hiring and onboarding, how a job description should serve as a sales and marketing tool versus just a hiring tool, and so much more. 

Enjoy the entire podcast. Then go start a discussion within your company about how you can help job descriptions become not just better hiring tools, but better representations of your company culture and brand!


Find Mark on LinkedIn and Twitter.


Photo: Dylan Ferreira

6 Tips To Improve Your Video Presence

Video is more important than ever for the vast majority of businesses trying to stay open during the pandemic, which you can see just by looking at how well online collaboration platforms have been doing lately. For example, Microsoft Teams grew its daily active users by 70% in a single month, while Google Meet added about 3 million new users daily in April alone. And since the spring, many businesses now conduct town hall meetings, executive presentations, and company updates entirely via video, often using the collaboration platforms mentioned above.

So if you’re relying on video for business a whole lot more than usual, you’re in good company! But as you might have noticed, not everyone is a natural when it comes to using video regularly, especially when it comes to video presentations that aim to teach viewers something new. Some people have a great camera presence that can capture and keep the viewer’s attention from the beginning of the video presentation to the last word. Others need a little — or lots! — of work to engage viewers. If you feel like you fall into the latter category, that’s okay. You can easily improve your on-camera presence by putting the following tips into practice.

 1. Don’t Be Too Scripted

 Many people who aren’t confident in front of the camera assume that writing out a full script to follow will instantly make them better. But it often does the opposite! You definitely don’t want to be reading from a script on camera if you want an impressive video presence. Doing so will make you seem overly rehearsed and even robot-like, which is not appealing to people.

 Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to go completely off the cuff and make up all your talking points on the fly. There’s a middle ground here, and it involves writing a brief outline to follow. This way, you can glance down at your notes to stay on topic, but you’ll still spend most of your time looking at the camera and speaking naturally as you present.

 If you plan to use PowerPoint while you present on video, glancing at your slides can help you stay on topic, too. Just don’t expect to read them word for word. Use them as quick reminders of what to talk about, and then expand on the topic as you speak freely from your heart.

 2. Speak to Your Viewers, Not Your Camera

Another important detail to remember is that your camera lens is not your audience! Your audience is made up of individuals, and you want to make a good impression on them. So have an image in your head of your viewers before you start the video presentation. Picturing a specific person or team that you talk to regularly at work can help.

 If you’re struggling to imagine talking to a specific person, go ahead and actually do it! Record yourself sending a message to one of your employees or clients. You could be wishing them a happy birthday or telling a joke. What’s important is that you record it with the intention of sending it to that person — even if you end up not sending it after all.

Once you’re done, watch the recorded message and take note of how authentic and engaging you are. You probably look like you have passion and energy in front of the camera, and that’s a great step toward having a better presence on video! Just be sure to keep that same energy for every video you make, even if it means pretending that you’re just talking to your favorite client or team of employees every time.

3. Focus on Your Body Language

 Another way to improve your presence in front of the camera is to work on your body language. Just sitting in a chair facing the camera isn’t usually enough to engage viewers during your video presentation. You also need to have good posture while you present your information.

For instance, you should avoid hunching over. Instead, keep your back straight and put your shoulders back. And if you normally keep your hands in your pocket — or just feel awkward, not knowing what to do with them — try using them to your advantage. You can use your hands to communicate with body language while you talk, gesturing to illustrate your points. Let your head sway in a natural way while you talk, and keep your feet firmly on the ground during your video.

Having good posture will help you feel more relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera. But even better, it will give you a more trustworthy, authoritative look to viewers. Speakers who have good posture tend to come across as more charismatic, confident, and worth listening to in general! So work on improving your posture in your daily life in order to look and feel more prepared in front of the camera.

4. Use Feedback to Improve

 As you use these tips to improve your video presence, make sure you take the time to watch yourself on camera. In fact, it’s a good idea to watch your first few videos and take notes on what you think you can improve. Then, as you work on your posture and learn additional ways to improve your video presence, watch your newer videos so you can compare to the old ones. How have you improved, and what can you still work on?

Consider some details in particular. Do you talk too fast due to nerves? Do you notice any nervous tics you didn’t even know you had, such as clearing your throat often, cracking your knuckles, or moving from foot to foot as you stand? Do you use filler words, like “um” and “like,” a lot? If so, take note of these habits and work on stopping them.

You should also get feedback from other people and listen to them. Ask your employees or coworkers to watch some of your best videos and let you know how you can improve. And if you think you’ve already improved, thanks to tips like these, ask your team to compare your old videos to your newer ones to see how much difference there is.

5. Look at Analytics for Your Videos

 Another type of feedback you should use is the data you can see from any analytics programs you use. You should be able to see important metrics, such as how many views you got and how long each viewer watched the video. This will give you an idea of whether you have a good presence on video, or if you need to make some improvements.

 An easy way to track analytics is to use Hive Insights 2.0, which reports aggregated event metrics that matter. They include viewer participation, viewing time, network impact, video quality, and more. You’ll even get ranking lists that show your viewers and locations by size, video experience quality, and other details.

 So when you look at the feedback you get from Hive Insights 2.0, you can get an overview of how your videos are doing. And since your on-camera presence does affect the performance of your videos, this information will undoubtedly be helpful for you to have!

 6. Remember That Practice Makes Perfect

As with anything, you’re going to need to practice your new on-camera habits before you can perfect them. So instead of reading these tips and then quickly creating a video that you send to everyone right away, make it a point to make some videos just for fun. Think of a topic and an audience, and make a few videos with those details in mind.

Then watch them and take notes of what else you can improve. You might notice your posture is better after just one or two videos, but you could still work on leaving out filler words. Or maybe your speech is great, but you just can’t easily break your bad posture habits and will need more time to improve.

That’s okay. No one becomes an expert on making engaging videos in just a day or two. It will take some time — and lots of practice videos — to improve your video presence. But if you’re making lots of video presentations for your business this year, it’s worth your time to get good at it to ensure your messages really resonate with your viewers.

That’s especially true when you’re trying to reach employees who have been working from home for months and are likely experiencing some video fatigue as they connect through video constantly. Those types of viewers deserve a great presentation — not a lackluster video — that will keep their interest.

Dee Ann Turner of Chick-fil-A Talks About The Evolution of HR

In this Corner Office article, Cyndy Trivella, Events Manager with TalentCulture, spoke with Dee Ann Turner, VP Corporate Talent with the iconic brand, Chick-fil-A. In addition, Dee Ann is the author of the acclaimed book It’s My Pleasure: The Impact of Extraordinary Talent and a Compelling Culture. They talked about the evolution of HR and the impact on how employment and culture, technology, employer branding, and the challenges associated with talent acquisition have all been affected. In keeping with our theme, this article will highlight the perspective and experience of someone who has made the move to the “corner office.”

Cyndy: I had the immense pleasure of speaking with one of the smartest people working in the field of human resources. Dee Ann Turner knows HR inside and out. She worked her way up the corporate ladder and learned great lessons along the way, which she has been able to incorporate into her current role as VP of Corporate Talent.

Cyndy: Dee Ann, you are certainly a role model for any person aspiring to become an HR professional. You’ve seen so much in your 30 years and with that the evolution of the HR function. When you compare hiring today versus 30 years ago, how has culture and productivity been affected by the practice of hiring people as contingent workers more so than ever before in our history?

Dee Ann: This shift to more of a “free agency” staffing model has been developing for over a decade. This has had both positive and negative effects on culture and productivity in the workplace. Culturally speaking, the use of contingent workers can help create an opportunity for the workforce to expand and contract based on work demands without impacting the job security of full-time employees. That scenario can be a positive for morale and the culture. However, the culture can be negatively impacted when a large percentage of work is performed by contingent workers unsure of their future. This can be particularly stressful to both full-time and contingent workers if they do similar work but hold a different employment status. Both parties become concerned about the perceived inequity. In the midst of the distractions inherent in these situations, productivity can suffer.

Communication of expectations is the key for both the contingent worker and full-time employee. The communication needs to address expectations of, not only, the contingent workforce, but of the full-time staff as well to dispel the concerns of inequity. Be sure that the contingent worker has some trade-offs for their flexible contract. An organization employing contingent workers should only expect full commitment to the work contracted, not necessarily the kind of commitment to the organization that a full-time employee exhibits. People are generally only as loyal to you as you are to them. A predominate sense of loyalty strengthens the culture.

Cyndy: Excellent points. There are definitely pros and cons to contingent hiring and it’s important that the company dispel rumors and perceptions. Again, drawing on your years of experience, what evolutions and advancements in technology and philosophy have been game-changers for HR in the past 10 years?

Dee Ann: Without a doubt the biggest technology game changers are the advancements in self-service benefits and data management, web enabled interviewing, the impact of social media on recruiting and branding, and robust applicant tracking systems.

Philosophical game changers include the rise of the millennial generation, which has impacted the company culture significantly from work hours to workplace design to dress codes and more, increased litigation and regulatory requirements, and adequate succession planning with the exit of baby boomers, and a less populous Gen X.

Cyndy: I agree. Technology is a real game changer for HR. I believe it reduces the administrative burden of the duties and allows HR to be the contributing department that it is. I’ve one last question. Let’s talk about one of my favorite topics… employer branding. What do you believe are the best practices for building an employer brand?

Dee Ann: The first step is to assess and understand the current employment experience. What’s good? What is not so good? What do employees tell others? How do employees advocate for the company? Where do employees find fault with the company?

Secondly, decide who you want to be as an employer. What is your key competitive advantage over other companies? What attributes do you want to define the employee experience at your company? How does the employment experience tie to the company brand, mission and overall organizational business strategy?

Thirdly, communicate who you are. Innovatively communicate in diverse ways who you are as a brand, organization and employer. Develop a message that even in just a few words communicates the opportunities you offer and what your employee value promise is.

Lastly, assess again what you have created. Measure the impact of the employment brand on attracting and retaining exceptional talent.

Cyndy: A very sound strategy, Dee Ann. More companies need to understand what’s working and not within the organization and find effective ways to eliminate inefficiencies or capitalize on the findings. Thanks for spending time with me and for sharing your perspective with us. Congratulations on the success of your book… well deserved!

Dee Ann: Thank you. It’s been an enjoyable conversation.

Be sure to catch the next interview with Brian Carter, author of The Cowbell Principle, at The TalentCulture Corner Office.

Photo Credit: consultechit1 via Compfight cc

The Role of Communication in Employee Experience and Employer Branding

Slack, an internal communications platform designed to improve workplace communications, grew to a $1.1 Billion valuation within eight months of launching to the general public. Their adoption rates are off the charts, and their users adore them. There’s a very good reason for this:

Clear workplace communication leads to team success.

But many of us forget how significant communications is to the bottom line, or how detrimental lack of communication is to the employee experience.

A recent study by AON Hewitt on global employee engagement trends shows a -26 percent downward slope in overall work experience between 2013 and 2014. Ouch!

They also found that a disengaged employee costs a company $10,000 in revenue annually, according to a survey of more than 7,000 enterprises.

Oh, and guess what? In 2014, CareerBuilder reported that 59 percent of workers surveyed expressed general dissatisfaction with their jobs.

That’s getting expensive fast.

As an enterprise working on your employer brand, you know how important employees are to attracting top talent.

So what to do now?

Improve Employee Experience and Drive Employer Brand 

When it comes to sharing the employee experience with the world, your employees are your best assets.

And the best employer brands exist because employees genuinely love them and want to talk about them. This produces a ton of benefits, including better employee engagement and talent acquisition:

  • Employee referrals have the highest applicant to hire conversion rate – only 7 percent of applicants are via employees but this accounts for 40 percent of all new hire hires (Source: Jobvite)
  • 67 percent of employers and recruiters said that the recruiting process was shorter, and 51 percent said it was less expensive to recruit via referrals (Source: Jobvite)
  • 47 percent Referral hires have greater job satisfaction and stay longer at companies (Source: Jobvite)

According to a data published in Altimeter and LinkedIn Relationships Economics 2014, employees of socially engaged companies are:

  • 57 percent more likely to align social media engagement to more sales leads
  • 20 percent more likely to stay at their company
  • 27 percent more likely to feel optimistic about their company’s future
  • 40 percent more likely to believe their company is more competitive

And yet, as described in the Towers Watson 2012 Global Workforce Study, disengaged employees make up 74 percent of the average company’s workforce. Your employees play a significant role in communicating your employer brand, but this becomes a huge challenge with a disengaged workforce.

How Do You Improve The Employer Experience?

Despite the downward trend in work experience globally, AON Hewitt discovered reported that work experience is looking optimistic. The North American work experience improved 21 percent between 2013 and 2014, mostly fuelled by Canadian ratings.

On top of that, the best driver to this increase was enhanced communication within the company.

Without the proper communication channels in the workplace, it’s hard for employees to stay engaged. They need to feel like they have a voice. They need to feel empowered to make decisions. They need to know what’s going on in your enterprise. If they don’t, they’ll leave.

Or even worse, they’ll stay as a disgruntled employee and cost you a ton of money.

So what if you could create a communication channel for employees where they feel empowered?

How Employee Advocacy Helps Improve Communication

Employee advocacy is the result of the right culture, communication, and content. Employees become knowledgeable about your company and WANT to talk about you positively, both online and offline. And establishing a formal employee advocacy program can help improve communication and better the employee experience, resulting in a stronger employer brand.

But how does employee advocacy actually help?

  • Content as Knowledge: By creating a centralized content library that employees can securely access, they can consume your content, making them smarter about their industry. This content knowledge translates into better communications skills, making them better at their job.
  • Modernizing the enterprise: Because of the complexity of implementing an employee advocacy program, you most likely don’t have an existing communication tool that can centralize all content and employees, and make it easy for them to communicate internally and externally. Adopting a program forces you to change, and invest in digital technology that your employees actually want to use.
  • Developing daily communication habits: By integrating the right technology within your existing enterprise stack, you can help employees develop daily communication habits, like consuming enough content and sharing to their personal social networks. Technology helps activate social media training for employees and helps communicate your brand appropriately.

All of this helps improve the employee experience and distribute your employer brand.

Everyone Benefits From Improved Communications

By giving your employees the right content and access to modern technology that improves their skills, you’re investing in their professional development. When you show them you care, they become more engaged, which in turn improves the overall employee experience.

And by improving the employee experience, your workforce wants to participate in your employer branding efforts.

As an enterprise, it’s your responsibility to grow your employees. Give them the right knowledge and tools, and they’ll help attract and keep the right talent. Period.

How are you improving employee communication at your company? Do you invest in the employee experience? Leave a comment below and share with your colleagues!

photo credit: Business Computer and IT Support via photopin (license)

How to Better Use Employee Stories in Your Recruitment Marketing Strategy

For more insights on recruitment marketing best practices employed by the world’s leading organizations, get a free download of SmashFly’s Recruitment Marketing Report Card for the 2015 Fortune 500

This September, SmashFly researched and evaluated every 2015 Fortune 500 organization’s career site 13 unique recruitment marketing practices. The research itself was pretty illuminating (see a snapshot here in the Report Card Infographic), especially as more organizations aggressively invest in better ways to attract, engage and convert candidate leads into applicants.

While I highly encourage you to check out all 13 practices in the report card and use the data to benchmark your recruitment marketing strategy, I want to focus on four best practices I consider crucial to how organizations find and attract the right talent to their organizations.

This will be a four-part series highlighting each integral best practice and how to use it in your recruitment marketing strategy. Up first: Employee Stories.


Employee Stories

Companies are increasingly trying to provide more transparency in their recruitment marketing strategies by leveraging employees and their unique stories in their messaging and on their career sites. Within the 2015 Fortune 500 companies, SmashFly found that 57% used employee stories on their career sites through either text or video. That’s a tremendous stat and probably one of the most encouraging findings in our report. However, that’s only Step 1. Step 2 is utilizing these stories better throughout the candidate experience journey.

As you look through career sites, employee stories are typically grouped together on their own page. A candidate interested in learning more will go to the employee stories page on the site and be able to consume content across various employee types and disciplines. This is great, but the problem is that candidates have to proactively find and choose to consume this content on their own. How can we get better at delivering this content directly to the candidate in their journey?

Employee stories are the best content we own in talent acquisition, and any good content marketer understands that great content should be repurposed four to five different times in your marketing program. So what can we do to repurpose, extend and highlight our employee stories? Here are a few ideas:

  • Job Descriptions: Most candidates that come to the career site will view or search a job. However, very few will complete an application ― 74% drop off based on the most recent SmashFly data. So how do we make job descriptions more compelling? We include our videos and stories in the job description. Only 1% of job descriptions today include a video or image on career sites (found in our 2015 Fortune 500 research), so there’s a huge opportunity to stand out and deliver employee stories at the point that candidates decide to apply for a job position.
  • Landing Pages: Most organizations are leveraging landing pages to deliver relevant content to specific job families and skills (think engineering page for engineering candidates). But while most only include sparse copy and targeted jobs, the most successful ones deliver employee stories and videos, highlighting “Why Work Here as a [CANDIDATE TYPE]?” and focusing on the compelling reasons targeted to that audience.
  • Email Nurture Campaigns: Our research didn’t dive into email nurturing for the 2015 Fortune 500 companies, but this is another area to better leverage your customer stories. Say an engineering candidate joins your Talent Network: What content are you going to deliver to them? First, you should send a “thank you for joining” email and set expectations for what they will receive. But an even better next step? A great video on your engineering team and the interesting projects they are working on.
  • Sourcer/Recruiter Talking Points: Whether in email or in phone calls, your recruiters and sourcers should know your employee stories and use them when talking with candidates. Create messaging for your team to use during these interactions and measure the success of when this messaging is used vs. more generic messaging. I assure you that employee stories will provide better interactions.


Most organizations put a lot of work into creating great employee story videos, but then they regulate them to a page that most candidates don’t see. As employers, let’s proactively get these employee stories in front of candidates at each and every touch point in their journey. This will help give candidates a clear picture of what it is like to work at your organization, providing a better, more personalized candidate experience as they decide on their next career opportunity. In turn, we ensure that we convert more candidates into applicants across our strategy.



Smashfly is a client of TalentCulture and has sponsored this post.

Recruitment Marketing: Your Key to Recruiting Success [Webinar]

Recruitment marketing has never been more important. Why? Today’s hiring economy is highly complex and competitive–and finding top talent is harder than ever. Unemployment is at a seven-year low, and it’s taking increasingly longer to hire. If you’re a recruiter in search of top talent, this is likely something you live and breathe on a daily basis. 

In fact, attracting candidates and retaining current employees is a lot like attracting and retaining customers. Consumers can take up to 12 touch points with a brand before they make a purchase decision. Candidates are researching your employer brand the same way: They’re following you on LinkedIn and Twitter, reading reviews of your managers on Glassdoor and checking out your latest blog posts and YouTube videos. That means your relationships with candidates don’t start from the point of applying; the begin long before–from the point of attraction.

Candidates seek a relevant, transparent, and personalized experience–and expect it in every interaction, before they even get to submitting an application. How valuable are your social media posts? How authentic are your career site stories or employee testimonials? And how transparent are your emails?

Bottom line: How you treat every candidate has a direct impact on your brand. In today’s digital age, where sharing experiences online is commonplace and even expected, a poor candidate experience can be bad for business, bad for branding–and translate to millions in lost revenue annually.

This changing talent acquisition landscape requires a more proactive, engaging, multi-touch approach. Today, we call that “Recruitment Marketing.” Recruitment Marketing is the process by which you find, attract, engage and nurture candidates–your talent acquisition leads–to build a more qualified pipeline of candidates and ultimately convert more quality hires. Today, it’s important to understand that the goals and day-to-day focus of your recruitment marketing team is completely different from the goals and day-to-day focus of your recruiting team. A recruiting team’s job is all about conversion. Their focus is on converting the most highly qualified, most sought after applicants into hires. Recruitment marketing’s job, which is completely different, comes first. Their focus is on developing strategies that allow them to attract leads and convert those leads into applicants, so that your recruiting team can choose from a larger and more qualified pool of applicants. Recruitment marketing’s job is to attract and qualify candidate “leads” that can be delivered to the recruitment team to convert–and “close” with a job offer that’s accepted. This process, and the collaboration between recruitment marketers and recruiters are what is driving today’s modern recruiting organizations.

Today’s job seeker doesn’t want just a job. They want career development opportunities, stellar company culture, employee camaraderie,and a purpose. As a result, transparency up front, and in every touch point thereafter, is an essential start to building a better candidate experience.

Being transparent isn’t always as simple as it sounds. But a step in the right direction is a clear understanding of what exactly recruitment marketing is, and how to structure your team to deliver the best results. If this is what you’re focused on now and as we move into a new year, I hope you’ll join me and my friends at SmashFly for a webinar on best practices for recruitment marketing and how it’s driving transparency in today’s modern recruiting organizations. The webinar will be on Tuesday, November 17, at 11:00am PST / 2:00pm EST.

Here is what you can expect to learn: 

  • The edge of the talent funnel in HR and recruiting
  • What recruitment marketing is and isn’t
  • The critical importance of transparency in recruitment marketing (and how to be transparent)
  • The primary components of a successful recruitment marketing strategy

Good stuff, I promise. Take a quick minute to register for the webinar using the link below and I can’t wait to see you there.

Webinar Registration Link: Why Transparency is Key to Recruitment Marketing Success & How to Master It, Tuesday, November 17, 11am PST/2pm EST 

Photo Credit: flazingo_photos via Compfight cc

#TChat Preview: Live from the 2015 #HRTechConf: Why Recruitment Should Be Transparent Marketing

The TalentCulture #TChat Show is back live from this year’s HR Technology Conference & Exposition in Las Vegas on Wednesday, October 21st, 2015, from 1-2 pm ET (10-11 am PT).

Last week we talked about the three steps to selecting the right HR technology, and this week we’re going to talk about why recruitment should be transparent marketing with Susan Vitale, Chief Marketing Officer at iCIMS; Lori Sylvia, Chief Marketing Officer at SmashFly; and Michele Ellner, Director of Marketing at Montage.

Attracting candidates and retaining current employees is a lot like attracting and retaining customers. But, today’s hiring economy is highly complex and competitive. Finding top talent is harder than ever!

Sneak Peek:

#TChat Events: Live 2015 #HRTechConf: Why Recruitment Should Be Transparent Marketing

TChatRadio_logo_020813#TChat Radio — Wed, Oct 21st — 1 pm ET / 10 am PT

Join TalentCulture #TChat Show co-founders and co-hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman as they talk about why recruitment should be transparent marketing with this week’s guests: Susan Vitale, Chief Marketing Officer at iCIMS; Lori Sylvia, Chief Marketing Officer at SmashFly; and Michele Ellner, Director of Marketing at Montage.



Tune in LIVE online Wednesday, Oct 21st

#TChat Twitter Chat — Wednesday, October 21st — 1:30 pm ET /10:30 am PT Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin, Susan, Lori and Michele will move to the #TChat Twitter stream, where we’ll continue the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we gather for a dynamic live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: Recruitment should be transparent marketing. What does this mean to you? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q2: How can organizations leverage positive job seeker feedback for process improvement? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q3: What digital marketing activities do recruiters need to deliver on today? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Until then, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed, our TalentCulture World of Work Community LinkedIn group, and in our TalentCulture G+ community. So feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions. See you there!!!

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How Can Branding Help HR Leaders To Tap The Right Talent Pool?

Branding gives your organization the required visibility in the market. Traditionally, the concept of branding was limited for the all-round promotion of the corporate houses; however, with time every department of a company needs to be in the limelight for the right reasons to add to the growth of the business. Thus, marketing also takes into account the internal elements of the organization to carve a niche in the corporate world.

Talking about internal marketing, the HR Department needs to pep up their portfolio showcasing their accomplishments that will give them the leverage when it comes to obtaining, engaging and preserving talent. The HR experts need to build their credibility through the creation of a proper brand enticing the human resources. They are the interface between the organization and the talent pool hence to establish their variability, a sturdy branding is necessary.

Thus the HR leads can implement these five actions for the better future prospects:

  1. Focus on vital communities for better chances of hiring: The HR of most of the organizations are running the same rat race that includes visiting social media platforms and performing the same keyword searching to get the right candidate for their job. This does not make them proactive and they fail to stay ahead of their competitors. To make a real difference in the job market, the HR needs to be strategically sound.

The HR experts should concentrate more on the distinct groups to pick the right talent. With respect to the nature of the job they can consider communities like interns, customers, local institutions and universities, contractors, interns, and alumni to name a few. For instance, if you have a vacancy for the role of Vice President HR then you can appoint someone meeting the required level of competencies in your current workforce or he can be an efficient former employee or he can be someone outside the organization. You will resort to different ways depending on the job role and demand. This will take into account your strategic thinking. You need to set the target, spot the community and consider the efficacious ways to involve with the community.

  1. Nab the company advocates to be the brand promoters: There are people who are quite fascinated by the company and express their satisfaction with the companies’ product and services in the social media platforms. The HR can tap these people involved in promotion to write reviews and feedback in important platforms that will give the job seekers a fair idea about the company. It will be a source of positive publicity. Recruiters can make optimal utilization of these promotions facilitating their branding and marketing. You can tweak these loyal communities to increase the views and feedback on the Facebook page of the company.
  2. Employees are a category of your customer: You need to treat your employees as your customers by offering them what they are looking for. Every job seeker wants an easy and hassles free application process that gives value to their time. It will be better if the HR provides them with a user-friendly interface to keep their interest intact. The job aspirants are equivalent to your customers who if not treated well has the power to voice their opinion in various online platforms that can have a negative impact on the company. Hence, the nature of management of the recruitment process does matter.
  3. Work in association with the Marketing Department: While establishing the brand of the organization, the HR needs to work in close relation with the Marketing team. The Marketing professionals can help them with a proper brand awareness campaign designing their brochures, pamphlets, and print media advertisements. Making use of some sensational graphics they can attract the crowds to scan through the various job openings available within the organization. This adds the right punch to the external communication.
  4. Show the talent pool the consistency the brand maintains: There should not be much difference between how an employee perceives the organization prior to joining and after being on board. The employees should be made to feel a part of the business hence the need of the integration in talent platform. If an employee senses any mismatch then it will be hard for him or her to plan for long-term association with the organization. Therefore, there should be continuity, a common tone and feel across every interpersonal relationship within the organization.

Therefore, with ample job portals establishing a direct link between the employee and the organization, it is necessary that you being the HR should invest a considerable sum behind the branding of your own department to catalyze the recruitment process. This will ensure that you spot the right talent pool for the right positions existing in your organization.

Photo credit: Bigstock

#TChat Recap: How To Build And Market Your Employer Brand

This week we talked about how to identify, grow and market your employer brand. No matter how you slice it, it’s really a lesson on research and positioning and how you end up marketing your company as the place to work.

Our guest was Susan LaMotte, SPHR, founder of exaqueo, a workforce consultancy. Susan explained that you can’t be everything to everyone and too many companies are trying to be just that. No matter how “great” you think your company is, the “greatness” message won’t weed out the people who aren’t a great fit for your company.

So first you should ask your current employees about what your company does well as an employer, and all of the things that it doesn’t do well. Then build a real employer brand foundation so you can better extend that brand in the market.


Did You Miss The Podcast Show? Listen On BlogTalkRadioiTunes or Stitcher.


What’s Up Next? #TChat returns Wednesday, July 22nd: #TChat Radio Kicks Off at 1pm ET / 10am PT — Our radio show runs 30 minutes. Usually, our social community joins us on the Twitters as well.

Next topic: #TChat Preview: Innovation & HR: Carpe Diem — Wednesday, July 22, 2015 — Our halfway point begins with our highly engaging Twitter discussion. We take a social inside look at our weekly topic. Everyone is welcome to share their social insights #TChat.

Join Our Social Community & Stay Up-to-Date! The TalentCulture conversation continues daily on See what’s happening right now on the #TChat Twitter stream in our LinkedIn group, and on our Google+ community. Engage with us anytime on our social networks or stay current with trending World of Work topics through our weekly email newsletter. Signing up is just a click away!


Photo credit: Big Stock Images

#TChat Recap: How To Create A Culture That Rocks

On July 8th we discussed how to create a company culture that rocks. Our guest was my friend Jim Knight, a leading training and development expert who worked with Hard Rock International for 20 years where he led the renowned School Of Hard Rocks.

Jim offered some rocking, high energy dialogue around the art of candidate engagement and why its vital to develop a cohesive company culture. A powerful, productive and fun company culture  is the sum total of its employees. As Jim put it, employees collectively make up the heart and soul of the organization.

This week’s show was a real blast and, for me, really brought home the importance of the cultural fit in the hiring stage and beyond. The Twitters rocked on with us in big numbers this week – trending, for example, in L.A. – a pretty rock n’ roll city!

Great “bands” and brands focus on culture first and foremost so it will drive engagement, business outcomes and ultimately success. So remember #TChat fans, while skills are important, there must also be a rocking fit between the culture of the employer, and employee, ‘brands’.



Did You Miss The Podcast Show? Listen On BlogTalkRadioiTunes or Stitcher.

What’s Up Next? #TChat returns Wednesday, July 15th: #TChat Radio Kicks Off at 1pm ET / 10am PT — Our radio show runs 30 minutes. Usually, our social community joins us on the Twitters as well.

Next topic: #TChat Preview: How To Build And Market Your Employer Brand — Wednesday, July 15, 2015 — Our halfway point begins with our highly engaging Twitter discussion. We take a social inside look at our weekly topic. Everyone is welcome to share their social insights #TChat.

Join Our Social Community & Stay Up-to-Date! The TalentCulture conversation continues daily on See what’s happening right now on the #TChat Twitter stream in our LinkedIn group, and on our Google+ community. Engage with us anytime on our social networks or stay current with trending World of Work topics through our weekly email newsletter. Signing up is just a click away!


Photo credit: Big Stock Images

#TChat Recap: Live From #SHRM15: The Brilliant HR Profession Of Today And Tomorrow

This week the TalentCulture #TChat Show was live from the 2015 SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition in Las Vegas – where we discussed the brilliant HR profession of today and tomorrow.

The special show included three awesome guests: Steve Browne, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, Executive Director of HR at LaRosa’s, Inc., Chanel Jackson, HR Business Partner at Honda of America Mfg., Inc. and Callie Zipple, PHR, HR Rewards Analyst at Zebra Technologies.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), HR professionals are feeling more confident about the job security and growth opportunities than ever.

So what does this mean? Simply put, the HR profession has never looked brighter. Our guests talked about how and why HR leaders are now powerful change agents; amplifying talent engagement and driving business outcomes and discussed the modern role of the CHRO – whose traits are most similar to those of the CEO.

Did You Miss The Podcast Show? Listen On BlogTalkRadioiTunes or Stitcher.

What’s Up Next? #TChat returns Wednesday, July 8th: #TChat Radio Kicks Off at 1pm ET / 10am PT — Our radio show runs 30 minutes. Usually, our social community joins us on Twitter as well.

Next topic: #TChat Preview: How To Create A Culture That Rocks — Our halfway point begins with our highly engaging Twitter discussion. We take a social inside look at our weekly topic. Everyone is welcome to share their social insights #TChat.

Join Our Social Community & Stay Up-to-Date! The TalentCulture conversation continues daily on See what’s happening right now on the #TChat Twitter stream in our LinkedIn group, and on our Google+ community. Engage with us anytime on our social networks or stay current with trending World of Work topics through our weekly email newsletter. Signing up is just a click away!


Photo credit: Big Stock Images

How To Execute Employer Branding Without A Headache

Not everyone’s up for focusing an employer branding. Even though I’m a hard core “importance of employer branding advocate”, I get that there are many other priorities for leaders, especially when it comes to SMEs. Not everyone has the resources it takes to create an incredible employer brand like L’Oréal. They run incredible campaigns such as “Are You In” which got employees involved in a career-oriented conversation across all social media platforms.

Even if you can’t go into a full blown employer branding program, I do believe that you’ll waste a lot of time if you don’t vocalize and sell just why your employees (and future employees) should be working for you. Don’t let employer branding intimidate you – the following steps will let you implement it without much hassle.

1. Have A Planned Social Media Presence

Most companies are online on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Even if a company isn’t on social media officially (which it should be) your employees definitely are. To help them convey the right message about your company, provide generic do’s and don’ts of social media is an absolute must. This can go out on an email if you don’t have a digital reference area but it needs to be in the form of an official policy. Beyond social media guidelines, you could share messages for them to use about the company – perhaps something from your latest advertising. The whole point is, provide guidelines. Don’t let them venture into the social media world without any help.

2. Weave Talking To Your Employees Into Your Communication Plan

All companies have some form of communication plan. Even if it’s not officially documented, you know the messages you’re sharing with your clients, stake holders and leaders. Add your employees to this list as well – even once a quarter is enough. You could send out newsletter emails, have a quarterly town hall meeting with key leaders or have communications with them on social media. Whatever method is your cup of tea, make a regular plan to communicate with employees.

3. Keep Core Values At The Heart Of Your Corporate Culture

This may seem like a “so obvious” kind of tip but consider the following angle on it: Employee behavior should mirror what customers would like to see in your company to make them do more business with you!

And where does this behavior stem from? Values and Capabilities. And where’s the best place to exemplify what values employees should hold close to their heart? The company culture of course. See the thing is, employer branding is all about how you want to be perceived as a company by the people who work for you. And the truth of it all will lies in your culture. I know it can all sound a bit abstract but you have to make culture work for you.

4. Have A Solid Careers Page On Your Website

By “solid” I mean really really good. Not just some random automated form that asks people to send in their CV to you. I’m also not saying that you need some fancy automated process that asks people to upload LinkedIn style details to your website. Your Careers Page needs to reflect your brand, for the employees. Even if you don’t have a branding strategy, think about what you can offer to people and why they should come work for you. Answer these two questions and present them nicely on the careers page.

So you see, there really is a lot you can do to attract and retain your teams without having to get into the depths of employer branding. I’m not saying employer branding isn’t important, it very much is. But if you don’t have the time, manpower or resources to focus on it, at least do the 4 points above to set some sort of tone for your company. I guarantee you it will be worth the effort.

Photo Credit: Big Stock Images

#TChat Recap: How Employee Engagement Empowers The Employer Brand

This week Stacy Zapar, Founder of Tenfold, and recruiting strategist, trainer & advisor joined us to discuss how employee engagement empowers the employer brand. I always love her energy and passion for this topic.

Spending ridiculous amounts of money to source sought-after skill sets and recruit top talent won’t get you very far when your employer brand has hit the skids. Meaning, if your current employees aren’t usually happy, even jazzed about working for your company, then that poison seeps into the groundwater and taints the wells around for miles and miles.

This is why, Stacy explained, you must step up your branding game and empower your own employees to evangelize your company culture in an authentic, transparent way. Energizing your employee base to truly engage, tell their stories, share their experiences and engage with potential employees is what empowers the brand.

A long time friend of this community, Stacy also discussed how recruiters, human resources and talent professionals can maintain excellent relations with candidates – both successful applicants and those who don’t get the job. Through taking the time to help candidates with their resumes and LinkedIn profiles, Stacy explained, recruiters can maintain and build important networks and create lots of extra good will.

Did You Miss The Podcast Show? Listen On BlogTalkRadioiTunes or Stitcher.


What’s Up Next? #TChat takes a week off and then returns Wednesday, July 1st with a very special live show from the 2015 SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition in Las Vegas: #TChat Radio Kicks Off at 1pm ET / 10am PT — Our radio show runs 30 minutes. Usually, our social community joins us on Twitter as well.

Next topic: Live From #SHRM15: The Brilliant HR Profession Of Today And Tomorrow — Our halfway point begins with our highly engaging Twitter discussion. We take a social inside look at our weekly topic. Everyone is welcome to share their social insights #TChat.

Join Our Social Community & Stay Up-to-Date! The TalentCulture conversation continues daily on See what’s happening right now on the #TChat Twitter stream in our LinkedIn group, and on our Google+ community. Engage with us anytime on our social networks or stay current with trending World of Work topics through our weekly email newsletter. Signing up is just a click away!


Photo credit: Big Stock Images

#TChat Recap: Finding Your Business Vision

Finding Your Business Vision

Have we lost trust?

People don’t trust the idea of vision these days. What some organizations call vision is no more than a cleverly disguised marketing message.

Having a vision is extraordinary, but it will require key elements to turn it into reality for your organization. Vision takes serious work and continuous investment to keep it alive.

This week, Dr. Jesse Lyn Stoner, Founder of Seapoint Center for Collaborative Leadership, shared 3 essential elements to a compelling business vision: purpose, values, and a clear picture of a desirable future.

People get lazy on vision: it takes a long-term plan. Leaders must live the vision consistently and integrate it into the organizational infrastructure.

Creating strategic visions doesn’t lie just with leadership. Visionary leaders involve everyone in the process. 

Give your talent a voice. That takes vision itself, but what is that vision about?

Purpose and values matter, especially when there is trust.

Create an authentic vision. Give the words of your vision life by involving others. People will rally behind the visionary leaders they believe in and trust.

See What #TChat-ters Said About Business Vision! 

What’s Up Next? #TChat Returns Wednesday March 4th! 

TChatRadio_logo_020813-300x300#TChat Radio Kicks Off at 7pm ET / 4pm PT — Our weekly radio show runs 30 minutes. Usually, our social community joins us on Twitter as well. The topic: 6 Steps To Building A Remarkable Workplace.

#TChat Twitter Kicks Off at 7:30pm ET / 4:30pm PT — Our halfway point begins with our highly engaging Twitter discussion. We take a social inside look at our weekly topic. Everyone is welcome to share their social insights #TChat.

Join Our Social Community & Stay Up-to-Date! 

The TalentCulture conversation continues daily on Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our Google+ community. Engage with us anytime on our social networks or stay current with trending World of Work topics through our weekly email newsletter. Signing up is just a click away!


Photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via Picjumbo 

#TChat Recap: Recruiting Like It’s 1999

Why will this year be the best in talent acquisition since 1999?

Because we’re bringing recruiting back to what matters most: relationships.

Smart businesses acquire and maintain top talent with great company culture and transparent relationships.

This week: Will Thomson, Founder of Bulls Eye Recruiting, joined our #TChat community and let us know how this year has the hiring potential to be the best since 1999.

What do job seekers want from today’s global, social, and mobile World of Work?

Recruiters must also determine how a potential hire will fit with their company culture. Educate them. Guide them. Tell them:

Company culture matters. The bottom-line is: 

Recruiters want to attract talent with the right cultural fit and reward their efforts. Recruiting has to be on its A-game this year. Employer brands must tell the truth: be true to “Brand You.”


Recruiting has always been about relationships. Let’s celebrate that!

See What #TChat-ters Said About Recruiting! 


What’s Up Next? #TChat Returns On Feb. 25th! Next Wednesday!

TChatRadio_logo_020813-300x300#TChat Radio Kicks Off at 7pm ET / 4pm PT — Our weekly radio show runs 30 minutes. Usually, our social community joins us on Twitter as well. The topic: The Three Essential Elements of Compelling Business Vision.

#TChat Twitter Kicks Off at 7:30pm ET / 4:30pm PT — Our halfway point begins with our highly engaging Twitter discussion. We take a social inside look at our weekly topic. Everyone is welcome to share their social insights #TChat.

Join Our Social Community & Stay Up-to-Date! 

The TalentCulture conversation continues daily on Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our Google+ community. Engage with us anytime on our social networks or stay current with trending World of Work topics through our weekly email newsletter. Signing up is just a click away!


Photo credit: Todd Quackenbush via Unsplash cc

How To Make People Want To Work For You (Infographic)

Google received over a million applications last year.  For the fifth year running, it was named #1 on Fortune’s list of the Top 100 Companies to Work For.  And for good reason: it’s employees enjoyed 100,000 hours of free massages in 2012, in-office happy hours, all the free gourmet food they could eat, and hundreds of other amazing perks.  As you may have heard––thanks to its incredibly talented and hard-working employees––Google is also one of the most innovative companies in the world today.  It has gained that status by providing its workforce with an ideal environment in which to be creative, productive, and highly motivated.

In contrast, most employers stifle their workers.  Most employees count the minutes until five ‘o’clock when they can go home and forget all about their jobs.  But Google builds harmony between its employees’ lives and jobs.

So while many employers today are scratching their heads wondering why high salaries and prestigious titles aren’t attracting top talent any more, this generation’s brightest minds are seeking careers where they can cultivate their health, creativity, and professional skills simultaneously.  Traditional employment models have lost their luster.  So to learn how your company can adapt, innovate, and inspire the talent you need to succeed in the 21st century; check out this great infographic from Talent Puzzle.

Source:Talent Puzzle

To discuss World of Work topics like this with the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events each Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome at events, or join our ongoing Twitter and G+ conversation anytime. Learn more…

TalentCulture World of Work was created for HR professionals, leadership executives, and the global workforce. Our community delves into subjects like HR technologyleadershipemployee engagement, and corporate culture everyday. To get more World of Work goodness, please sign up for our newsletter, listen to our #TChat Radio Channel or sign up for our RSS feed.

Do you have great content you want to share with us? Become a TalentCulture contributor!

photo credit: CarbonNYC via photopin cc

Zappos Says Farewell To Job Postings

Zappos, an online retailer, has been one of the most talked about companies in the HR and recruiting space mainly because of their unique practice in offering employees bonuses to quit the company. Now, Zappos is changing their hiring process beginning with the very first step: the job posting.

The job description is one of the first interactions a potential candidate has with the company, and while most companies rely on job descriptions to explain to candidates what the position entails, Zappos has a different opinion. “Job postings are a conversation killer,” stated Zappos’ candidate experience and engagement strategist, Stacy Zapar, “Gone. Poof. Done.” And done they are.

“A job posting is that bright shiny object in the room that distracts from the real conversation and networking to be had. It’s a dead-end road, a recruiting black hole where applicants go to die or leave with a negative experience and impression of your company. They’re one-way conversations where your candidates don’t really have a voice. They’re that sore thumb sticking out as we make this evolution back to old-school, relationship-based recruiting.” – Stacy Zapar.

Now What?

Zappos has a new program called Zappos Insider, which can be found on their careers page. The Zappos Insider was created as a place for candidates to reference so they can learn more about the company and its culture. To do so, the candidates will need to become members of Zappos Insider.

By becoming a member, candidates have the opportunity to chat with Zappos Ambassadors. This interaction places them in a position of higher consideration when openings become available. The candidates who invest the time to enroll and learn more about the company are given preference. This process eliminates candidates who apply anywhere and everywhere. The Zappos Insider program encourages a more engaged relationship between the employer and prospective employees.

Take A Look

I had to see this for myself, so I traveled to the Zappos Career page here. At first glance, it seems to target the millennial generation. The images are bright, enticing, and less corporatey. I actually want to click around and learn more about the careers at Zappos. At the bottom of the page, Zappos Insider encourages you to join in on the Twitter conversation. Just one month ago, @InsideZappos only had around 1,200 followers, according to Twitter Counter. As of the time of this writing, that number has more than doubled. This is a great way for a company to build their brand through social recruiting.

Is This The Future?

Companies may be apprehensive about doing away with job postings completely but even Zappos is hedging their bets for now (the company is keeping job postings for their technology jobs as a control group to measure success). From a user perspective, I spent more time on their career page than I have on the retail site!

If your company’s culture is fresh, fun and appealing to Millennials, then represent it on your career page. This year, 36% of the U.S. workforce will include Millennials, and in 6 years, Millennials are expected to grow to nearly half the workforce. Now that a new generation is entering America’s workforce, it’s time to revamp our recruiting and hiring processes, and what better place to start than the first step candidates take?

(About the Author: Maren Hogan is the CEO of Red Branch Media, a full-service B2B marketing agency that primarily serves HR and global workforce clients in the U.K., Africa, China, Israel, Europe and North America.

With over 14 years of marketing experience and as a community builder in the HR and recruiting industry, Hogan has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies in both the B2B and B2C sectors, and been a prolific contributor of thought leadership in the global recruitment and talent space. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies and SMBs around the globe, and she has served as chief marketing officer, advisor, and board member for over ten companies in the last seven years.

You can connect with Maren on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter, as well as read her latest posts on and

photo credit: betsyweber via photopin cc

Employee Engagement: Say It Like You Mean It #TChat Recap

(Editor’s Note: Looking for details of this week’s #TChat Events? See the Storify slideshow and resource links at the end of this post.)

Dearest Employee:

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I give you a fair wage. I give you competitive benefits. I give you a safe workspace. I give you freedom to work at home, and innovative tools to communicate. I give you beer bashes and company events. I give you a professional title. I give you a team, a staff, a department. I give you the work you love.

But it’s just not enough, is it? It’s never enough. You just keeping taking, and taking, and taking.

What else can I do? What’s that? Oh, I see. It’s not you, it’s me — is that it?

Talk Is Cheap

Even the most gracious, modest employers can develop this kind of benevolent hubris. But competition for top talent is continuing to heat up, and people are losing interest in luke-warm relationships with their employers. Combine that with the fact that the world of work is getting more stressful for us all — from CEO to freelancer — with blurred lines between professional and personal life.

So, what more will it take to win employee hearts and minds? Workforce wellness pioneer, Virgin Pulse, has advice, based on results of a new U.S. employee survey. And that’s what the TalentCulture community discussed yesterday at #TChat Events with our guests Chris Boyce, CEO at Virgin Pulse, and Kevin Herman, Director of Worksite Wellness at The Horton Group.

Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places

Here’s the good news: Less than 2% of respondents say they hate their company and want out. Even better, 75% say they either “love” their company because it’s a great place to work, or they feel “pretty good” about it. At first blush, that looks like a win for employers. But here’s the rub — only 25% of respondents say they feel love in return.

This gap signals a major opportunity for companies to develop stronger relationships with their troops. But how? The same survey asked employees to rank what they wish mattered more to their employers:

 44% my financial well-being
  40% my career development
  39% my work/life balance
  35% my emotional health (e.g. reducing stress)
  29% my overall well-being and quality of life.

You can see where this is going. Other recent research echoes these sentiments. We want a better life overall — and that doesn’t mean just more pay and health coverage. We want employers to invest in us as complete humans.

Two Ways To Connect

Yesterday’s #TChat conversation reinforced this understanding. The TalentCulture community got right to the heart of what motivates people in the workplace:

1) Aim Deeper: Surface perks like nap rooms, chair massages, and ice cream socials are nice, but there are more meaningful, practical options. People respond to things like flexibility to manage their schedule. They need to take care of business and family without compromising either — whether they work in a corporate office, at home, or both. They don’t want to feel guilty or take a financial hit when they’re tending to a family member’s health, or their own.

2) Aim Wider: People want to feel better about themselves while loving the work they do. They respond to programs and resources that improve their overall health and well-being — not just health club reimbursements, but onsite gyms and stress management support, healthy cafeteria options, even financial planning assistance. If they’re being asked to contribute “the total package” to their job, they want to know their employer has a similar commitment to therm.

So, Workforce Cupid, how do I love thee? Let me count the healthy ways. Happy Valentine’s Day.

#TChat Week-In-Review: Love Your Employees, They’ll Love You Back


See Chris Boyce discuss wellness and healthcare costs

SAT 2/8:
#TChat Preview:
TalentCulture Community Manager, Tim McDonald, framed the week’s topic in a post featuring a brief video with Chris Boyce. See the #TChat Preview: “Does Your Workforce Feel the Love?

SUN 2/9: Post:
In her weekly Forbes column, TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, discussed how heartfelt leadership can drive better business results. Read “Let Love Inspire Your Leadership.

Job Hunting? Look For Employers That Care About Your Future” — by Chris Boyce
Leaders: Is Your ‘Work’ Self the Real Deal? — by Ted Coine
Workplace Wellness: The Story Starts With Healthy Culture” — by Chris Boyce

WED 2/12:


Listen to the #TChat Radio show replay

#TChat Radio: Our hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talked with Chris Boyce and Kevin Herman about why and how employers should demonstrate their commitment to workforce well-being. Listen to the #TChat Radio replay now…

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin, Chris and Kevin guests moved over to the #TChat Twitter stream, for an open all-hands conversation with the entire TalentCulture community. This dynamic discussion focused on 5 key questions about employee engagement issues and opportunities in today’s business environment.

See highlights from the Twitter stream the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Insights: Does Your Workforce Feel The Love?

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Chris Boyce and Kevin Herman for sharing your perspectives on the importance of driving employee engagement through wellness programs that serve the “whole” person. Your passion and perspectives are invaluable!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about employee engagement strategies? We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week at #TChat Events, we’ll look at how employers can be more effective at finding and hiring top talent. Our guests are Chris Mursau VP at Topgrading, and Jean Lynn, VP of HR at Home Instead Senior Care. Look for more details this weekend, and save the date: Wednesday, February 19!

Meanwhile, the TalentCulture conversation continues daily on #TChat Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our NEW Google+ community. So join us anytime on your favorite social channels.

We’ll see you on the stream!

(Editor’s Note: CONGRATS to Paul Thoresen — winner of the recent Pebble smartwatch giveaway from Dice! And thanks to all the #TChat contributors who shared tech recruiting ideas and questions with Dice and #FutureofTech.)

Image Credit: Pixabay

Job Hunting? Look For Employers That Care About Your Future

Written by Chris Boyce, CEO, Virgin Pulse

Are you pursuing new job opportunities — hoping to take the next step in your career? How do you determine if a potential employer is a wise choice? What criteria really count?

If wellness programs aren’t on your “must have” list, you may want to reconsider. The evidence is mounting. Companies committed to workforce wellness — particularly those committed to total quality of life at work and at home — are likely to be your best bet.

Unfortunately, not all companies make that kind of commitment. It’s no doubt one reason why employee engagement is so poor. Of course, engagement is influenced by multiple factors, but in general today’s workforce isn’t feeling the love. In fact, Gallup research revealed last year that 70% of U.S. employees are either disengaged or actively disengaged — and it’s costing companies over $300 billion a year.

The Workforce Wellness Difference

If you’re looking for a new gig, it makes sense to bypass organizations whose employees just aren’t dialed in to the work they’re doing, or the company’s mission, or its culture. But how do you find a great place to work?

There are some amazing companies out there that demonstrate their commitment to employees by investing directly in their health and happiness. We see them every day.

Leaders at these companies recognize that employees who are engaged in life inside and outside of their work environment are likely to be more productive and loyal over time. These types of companies support their workforce with comprehensive wellness options, like healthy food choices in the cafeteria, free group exercise classes in corporate gym facilities, paid time off to volunteer in the community, and even cold, hard cash incentives to reward healthy behavior.

Why Total Wellness Matters

By improving your health in multiple ways — physical, mental, social and financial — you’ll improve your total quality of life and maximize your potential in your job. Smart companies know this, and smart job seekers do, too. According to our own research, 87% of employees believe robust workplace wellness programs are paramount when choosing a place to work.

In recent years, with technology advances like the Internet, smartphones, teleconferencing and a variety of devices that help us work productively no matter where we’re located, the lines are blurring between work and home life. Employers recognize this, and increasingly are helping employees improve their total quality of life — not only by offering stellar benefits and workplace wellness programs, but also by extending those benefits to family and friends. This way, employees can rely on their natural support network to influence and reinforce their healthy habits.

Including family members is a no-brainer for employers, since spouses and dependents help boost wellness program participation. It should be a no-brainer for you, too. When exercising and dieting with a friend or family member, you have a 57% greater chance of losing weight than by going it alone, according to the Framingham Heart Study. Plus, getting healthy is more fun when you don’t fly solo. With innovative wellness programs that include your family and friends, you can challenge one another to simple, healthy competitions. For example, you can win bragging rights by tracking who climbs the most stairs at work, or who eats the most fruits and vegetables each week.

Employee Health Is More Than Fun and Games

But all of that fun also has serious impact. If your employer offers wellness programs you enjoy, and you take advantage of those programs, you’re more likely to adopt and sustain healthy lifestyle changes for the long-term. What’s more, the link between companies that provide robust workplace wellness programs and sustained employee engagement is strong. Our research shows that, at these organizations, 80% of employees feel their employer cares about their well-being.

So, in the long run, what can you expect? The payback of choosing a company that cares includes: fewer sick days, fewer workplace safety incidents, and an increased sense that your contributions at work have a greater overall impact, according to multiple sources. You’ll also feel a stronger connection with your employer, as you’re encouraged to stay active and healthy, and you see a similar commitment to those you love.

Bottom line: Healthier, happier employees are more engaged employees. And engaged employees perform more effectively at work. This can opening avenues to upward mobility and promotions that you might never have realized otherwise.

Factor these elements into your job search today, and I am confident that, in the future, you’ll find greater benefits both at work and in every other facet of life.

Chris-Boyce_color_web2(About the Author: Chris Boyce is CEO of Virgin Pulse. He is an accomplished technology entrepreneur who brings more than 15 years of consumer loyalty, enterprise and consumer software experience to Virgin Pulse. Leveraging Virgin’s philosophy that business should be a force for good, Chris’ leadership has been instrumental in guiding Virgin Pulse’s development of market-leading, technology-based products and services that help employers improve workforce health, boost employee engagement, and enhance corporate culture. Chris has an MBA from Harvard Business School. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.)

(Editor’s Note: Chris Boyce discussed employee engagement with the TalentCulture community this week at #TChat Events. See full highlights and resource links in the Recap: “Employee Engagement: Say It Like You Mean It.“)

Image Credit: Pixabay

Does Your Workforce Feel The Love? #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Are you looking for full highlights and resource links from this week’s events? See the #TChat Recap: “Employee Engagement: Say It Like You Mean It.“)

At one point or another, all of us have felt it.

You know what I mean. That sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, when you suddenly realize someone you desperately want to pursue is simply just … not that into you.

Talk all you want about The 5 Love Languages or 50 Shades of Grey. No amount of self-help advice or passionate persuasion is likely to alter the destiny of that relationship.

Employer Love: Beyond Hearts and Flowers

Fortunately, it’s a different story for relationships between employers and employees. Even companies that haven’t connected with their workforce in meaningful ways can turn a lackluster situation around. But what’s the best approach? And is it really worth the effort?

That’s the topic the TalentCulture community is taking on this week at #TChat Events. And we’re fortunate to be welcoming two guests who understand the importance of developing solid employer/employee bonds: Chris Boyce, CEO at Virgin Pulse, and Kevin Herman, Director of Worksite Wellness at The Horton Group.

Sneak Peek

Both of these executives see tremendous potential in strengthening employee loyalty and engagement by focusing on lifestyle fundamentals — health and well-being. Last year, Chris explained in a Bloomberg broadcast interview why it’s wise to invest in workforce wellness, especially in the face of rising healthcare costs and reduced benefits. Watch now:

Recently, Chris contributed a TalentCulture post expanding on this concept. In “Workplace Wellness: The Story Starts With Healthy Culture,” he makes the business case for embracing next-generation wellness programs — not just to promote employee health, but to build a more resilient business, overall.

What do you think about the importance of wellness programs and other employee engagement strategies in demonstrating employer “love”? This topic affects all of us in the world of work, so we hope you’ll join the #TChat crowd this week and add your perspective to the conversation.

#TChat Events: Love Your Employees, They’ll Love You Back

#TChat Radio — Wed, Feb 12 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT


Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Chris Boyce and  Kevin Herman about why and how employers should demonstrate their commitment to workforce well-being. Tune-in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Feb 12 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and our guests will move to the #TChat Twitter stream, where we’ll continue the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community, in a dynamic live chat.

Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these 5 related questions:

Q1: Why does workforce recognition and engagement matter more than ever?
Q2: What are the best ways employers can demonstrate this kind of “love”?
Q3: Where have you seen engagement in action, for better or worse?
Q4: What technologies help nurture workforce engagement?
Q5: What kind of engagement metrics are relevant and useful?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed, and on our new G+ community. So feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Tech Recruiting: Skilling Up to Fill the Middle #TChat Recap

(Editor’s Note: Looking for details of this week’s #TChat Events? See the Storify slideshow and resource links at the end of this post. And to learn how you can win this week’s Pebble Smartwatch giveaway, visit Dice.)

I remember when I was choosing the cover art for my book, Tech Job Hunt Handbook. I couldn’t help thinking, “How am I going to fill-in the middle?”

That’s the toughest part. Filling the middle. Developing coherent career guidance for technical professionals – from the job search, to the interview, to the hire.

But I did it. And in the process, I learned so much about how technology touches every facet of our lives, how rapidly the world of work is changing, and how important it is to stay relevant while competing for specialized jobs in areas like cloud computing, big data and mobile application development.

Retooling your skills and re-branding yourself is essential, whether you’re trying to be more effective in your current tech job — or seeking a new professional challenge — or recruiting to fill those specialized technical roles. And of course, retooling can’t be a one-shot deal. It has to be an ongoing process.

Continuous Commitment Counts

As the economy inches back, millions of people are quitting their jobs, confident they can find an attractive career next-step. These professionals are open to competent help. But even with today’s fluid, open-for-business talent pool, “filling the middle” is no easy task.

In a recent hiring survey of recruiters and hiring managers, Dice found that 5 of the 12 most challenging cities for tech recruiting are in the Midwest. Why? They’re “tough recruiting locations based on a combination of supply and demand issues.”

Frontline recruiting reports like that are a call-to-action for anyone located in “the middle,” as well as those on both coasts. Whatever your location, a winning hiring strategy takes marketing savvy, selling skills and “in the know” awareness of the technical positions you’re trying to close.

This week’s #TChat Events with Shravan Goli, President of Dice, and Sara Fleischman, Senior Technical Recruiter at Concur reinforced my conviction that “filling the middle” requires ongoing commitment, at two levels:

1) Keep Skilling Up. In today’s workplace, tech industry recruiters may feel more secure than others. But the pace of innovation is relentless — it challenging us all to stay ahead of the curve. It’s not just about matching job candidates step-for-step. It’s about proving your strength in your  role, and out-pacing other recruiters who are determined to stay “in the know.”

2) Keep Filling Up. As a tech-savvy recruiter, you may have an edge. But tech lingo isn’t the whole package. You add value by staying aware of salary trends and specifics about how your company, city and regional amenities compare. You’ll also build stronger relationships if you’re always up-to-date with practical guidance, tools and recommendations that help candidates assess new opportunities, get noticed by the right people, ace interviews and negotiate successfully.

Over time, recruiters with that kind of commitment build a reputation as resourceful “go to” career advisors. A talent pipeline eventually follows. And that’s what I call filling the middle with the right stuff.

Dice smartwatch giveaway for #TChat participantsShare Your Ideas — Win a Smartwatch!

Thanks to everyone who joined this week’s #TChat Events. We value your ideas. In fact, Dice is so interested in your input that they’re giving away a cool Pebble Smartwatch to a lucky participant!

Entering is easy. Just share your tech recruiting ideas or questions with Dice by Friday, February 7th. Then find out who wins at #TChat on Wednesday February 12th! (See details and enter now.)

#TChat Week-In-Review: How to Find Top Tech Talent

Shravan Goli Sara Fleischman (2)

See the Preview Post now

SAT 1/25:
#TChat Preview:
TalentCulture Community Manager, Tim McDonald, framed the week’s topic in a post featuring two “sneak peek” hangouts with guests, Shravan Goli and Sara Fleischman. See the #TChat Preview now: “Finding Tech Talent to Fuel the Future

SUN 1/26: Post:
In her weekly Forbes column, TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, offered guidance based on her personal experience as a tech industry talent strategist. Read “How Leaders Hire Top Tech Talent.


What Makes Tech Talent Tick?” — by Dr. Nancy Rubin
Tech Pros’ Salaries, Confidence Rise” — January Trend Report by Dice


Listen to the #TChat Radio replay

WED 1/29:
#TChat Radio: Host Meghan M. Biro talked with Shravan Goli, and Sara Fleischman about what it takes to recruit tech talent in today’s competitive environment. Listen to the #TChat Radio replay now

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Shravan, and Sara joined the TalentCulture community on the #TChat Twitter stream for a dynamic open conversation, centered on 5 related questions.

See highlights in the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Insights: Finding Tech Talent to Fuel the Future

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Shravan Goli, and Sara Fleischman for sharing your perspectives on tech recruiting tools, techniques and trends. We value your time and your expertise!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about tech recruiting issues? We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week at #TChat Events, we’ll look at how each of us can be more effective at managing our careers, with one of the nation’s best known career coaches, Maggie Mistal, and one of her clients, Laura Rolands. So save the date, Wednesday, February 5, and prepare to raise your professional game!

Meanwhile, the TalentCulture conversation continues daily on the #TChat Twitter stream, our NEW Google+ community, and elsewhere on social media.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Image Credit: Top Student Challenges

Candidate Experience: Survey Insights #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Are you looking for full highlights and resource links from this week’s events? Read the #TChat Recap: “Candidate Experience: Getting It Right.”)

Candidate Experience.”

The concept has been gaining visibility in HR circles for years. Along the way, we’ve explored the topic multiple times at #TChat events, and on this blog.

The term isn’t yet part of a typical job seeker’s vocabulary. But people don’t need to speak HR lingo to know if a prospective employer treats them with courtesy and common sense. Regardless of whether a candidate is hired, those impressions make a lasting impact. And in a world where both top talent and brand loyalty are scarce, companies ignore these fundamentals at their peril.

Candidate Feedback: Thunder Rolls

Of course, word now travels incredibly fast on social channels. And with organizations like The Talent Board (the “CandE” Candidate Experience Awards people) paying close attention, the voice of the candidate is getting louder all the time.

In fact, response to this year’s “CandE” survey was thunderous. Nearly 50,000 former job candidates invested 40 minutes each to tell The Talent Board how employers managed their application and interviewing process. Imagine the insights that will come from all of those data points!

Fortunately, we don’t have to wait much longer to find out, because this week, we’ll hear “early returns” from two of the leaders behind the survey:

 Elaine Orler, President of Talent Function Group and chairman of The Talent Board;
Gerry Crispin, Staffing Strategist and Co-Founder of CareerXroads Colloquium.

Sneak Peek Survey Results

To kick-off this week’s discussion, Gerry joined me for a brief G+ Hangout, where we discussed the focus and importance of this year’s analysis:

If you’re an HR professional, or a business leader who wants to know how to win hearts and minds through recruiting best practices, you won’t want to miss this week’s #TChat conversation!

#TChat Events: Candidate Survey: Early Insights

#TChat Radio — Wed, Dec 11 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT


Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Gerry Crispin and Elaine Orler about early findings from the candidate experience survey — and implications for HR. Tune-in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Dec 11 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, our discussion moves to the #TChat Twitter stream for an open chat with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these 5 related questions:

Q1: Why does “candidate experience” continue to be a hot topic?
Q2: As a “perpetual candidate,” what would you like employers to fix?
Q3: What hiring process improvements have you seen that worked?
Q4: Why don’t more companies request + act on candidate feedback?
Q5: What technology traps keep the candidate experience painful?

We look forward to hearing your feedback, as talent-minded professionals — so bring your best ideas from both sides of the hiring table.

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.
We’ll see you on the stream!

Mobile Hiring: A Smarter Way to Seal the Deal

Written by Todd Owens, President and COO, TalentWise

(Editor’s Note: Learn more about issues and opportunities in mobile hiring from Todd and Brandon Hall talent acquisition analyst, Kyle Lagunas. Listen to the #TChat Radio show now.)

During the past few years, innovative technologies have revolutionized HR business processes. The first wave focused on talent acquisition — with the advent of applicant tracking systems, and the recent surge in mobile recruiting. Now, mobile hiring is emerging as the next wave in this era of HR transformation. Why is mobile hiring important? Let’s take a closer look.

The Mobile Workplace Imperative

No one doubts that mobile connectivity is changing the world. 91% of Americans currently own a cell phone, and globally more than 6.8 billion mobile phones are in use. Now, tablets are making tremendous inroads, with sales that outpace mobile phones by a wide margin.

As these next-generation digital devices become central to our personal and professional lives, organizations are recognizing the value of integrating mobile capabilities into every facet of business operations. In fact, mobile technology is just one dimension of the SoMoClo (Social, Mobile, Cloud) revolution that is reinventing the workplace. HR has leveraged the power of SoMoClo for recruiting. The next logical step is hiring.

Mobile Hiring: Building Stronger Candidate Connections

First let’s look at mobile recruiting trends. Each month, one billion job searches are conducted via mobile devices. When properly executed, mobile-friendly recruitment leads to conversion rates that are 5-10 times higher than traditional PC-based recruitment, but at lower cost. A key benefit of going mobile is immediacy. While 70% of mobile searchers act within the hour, only 30% of PC searchers do. It’s no wonder why recruiters are scrambling to source talent through mobile channels.

However, even the best recruiting efforts can be undone when the candidate experience is disrupted by a cumbersome, outdated hiring process. What does it say to the candidate you’ve spent valuable resources recruiting — the one you’ve sourced and attracted through mobile channels — when you send a paper offer letter via snail mail and ask for a reply via fax?

Too often, there is a disconnect between the satisfying high-tech, high-touch experience of mobile recruiting, and old-school hiring methods. Unfortunately, it occurs at the most critical moment — in that stage between the job offer and onboarding. Why take that risk? It’s time for hiring to step up.

The Business Case For Mobile Hiring Now

Early adopters are seeing dramatic results, as the demand for mobile hiring support soars. For example, consider metrics from the TalentWise platform. Our customers send job candidates directly to our mobile-optimized portal to expedite the hiring process. In less than a year, we’ve seen a stunning 5-fold increase in mobile traffic — from only 8% of candidates last year to 43% today. Employers can’t afford to ignore that kind of exponential growth.

Mobile isn’t about devices. It’s about immediacy and “always on” access — and hiring should be, too. A weak hiring process is bound to affect your retention rate. In fact, studies estimate that, without solid on-boarding, 22% of new hires leave within the first 45 days.

Your organization only gets one chance to make a lasting first impression with today’s on-the-go talent pool. A mobile-friendly hiring process can give you a clear competitive edge. Is your offer letter truly digital? Can candidates sign it through a smartphone or tablet? Or must they print an email attachment, sign it, scan it and send it back? That model is just an email twist on a paper-based process, and it comes with all the old compliance risks and security issues of hardcopy workflows.

How To Catch The Mobile Hiring Wave

So what’s the first step to making your hiring process mobile friendly? Take a hard look at your hiring process. Audit every step. Go through it yourself as if you’re a new hire. Decide what is critical, think holistically, and optimize according to your priorities. For example, offer letters and screening authorizations are essential, but 401k enrollment forms may not be as important. HR managers should be able to monitor the status of multiple candidates from their tablets, but payroll may be better managed from a desktop.

Once you have a clear view of your current process, from both a candidate and administrative perspective, you can identify a technology solution that effectively “mobilizes” these functions. The path to a streamlined solution may be easier than you think.

What opportunities and issues do you see on the horizon for mobile hiring? Share your thoughts in the comments area.

WPFl8ZJCTbSWd3aW36zfeEA69ZEo44fOfHHdTeu8j9Q(About the Author: Todd Owens is President and COO at TalentWise and has been with the company since 2006. Previously he held senior Product Management and Business Development roles at Wind River Systems and Siebel Systems. A former United States Navy submarine officer, Todd has twice been recognized as a “Superstar for outsourcing innovation in support of HR organizations” by HRO Today magazine. Todd holds a BS degree from the United States Naval Academy and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.)

Image Credit: Carnegie Library

Anatomy Of A Leader: Not Just Skin Deep

(Editor’s Note: This week at #TChat Events, the TalentCulture community is looking at what it will take to prepare the next generation of leaders — regardless of current age or organizational rank. We think the following commentary by Dan Newman, author of “The Millennial CEO,” is an ideal backdrop for any discussion about what is at the core of an effective leader. What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments below.)

By definition, leadership is grounded in action and not in title. We may tend to associate leadership with professional titles — such as president or CEO. But of course, simply holding an executive title doesn’t make anyone leader. In reality, the only way to be a leader, is to lead.

Let me explain. During the past few years I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to meet and work with some fantastic business leaders. I’ve also met some individuals with great titles who couldn’t even lead a conversation about the weather, let alone a business organization. Yet somehow these people have risen to enviable professional positions. It’s impossible not to wonder — how can that happen?

Enter The “Extroleader”

One of the most interesting leadership trends I have noticed over the past several years is the emergence of the “extroleader.” What is an “extroleader,” you ask?

The term is one that I created. It applies to leaders that operate effectively as the face of an organization to the public — customers, investors and other stakeholders. The anomaly about the “extroleader” is that many of them have no internal leadership skills whatsoever.

So, while they are able to shape public opinion and they give the appearance of success to the outside world, they may not even be able to convince their assistant to schedule a lunch appointment.

Often this type of leader is driven by ego and excessive interest in personal branding, more than by interest in developing the organization and its brand.

This can be a subtle, but deadly nuance for growing organizations.

Here’s what is most interesting about this type of leader. Typically they find a way to the top because they are so capable at driving behavior outside the corporate walls. The world at-large may be enamored of an “extroleader” CEO that looks charismatic. But looks can be deceiving.

Leadership Inside Out

Great leaders are genuinely able to drive the best from everyone around them. Because they’re human, they have deficiencies, but that’s not what sets them apart. What makes them effective is their ability to make others want to be better.

For leaders in any organization, the biggest mistake is building a leadership facade that speaks to the outside world, while inside the corporate walls, your army will not fight for you. Because organizational culture is essential to achieving your business vision, you must have all hands on deck. This starts by demonstrating and reinforcing your vision, message and values within your organization.

It requires commitment to an inside-out approach — recognizing that you’ll be paid dividends by earning the respect of your team and closest stakeholders before focusing on external constituents.

A Higher Degree of Leadership Difficulty

Coming up with witty and charming content for the outside eye can be quite easy. Think about how we are often fooled or misled by politicians, athletes and media celebrities as we hang onto their every word, wanting to believe them. It’s much harder to prove yourself, day in and day out, to those with whom you work.

This is because the things you say can’t stand on their own. Others will look to see how closely your words actually match your behavior and your value system. That is critical as your team determines whether or not to follow you.

The more difficult path actually builds a more loyal following. When you prove your vision, mission and values to your team, they will fight to build and protect your organization and its brand. Ultimately, that brand will be built on a stable platform that is far sturdier than the glass house that “extroleadership” creates.

External Leadership IS OKAY!

Having said all of the above, let me clarify one important point. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a strong outside-facing leader. In fact, an effective public “face” is an important part of growing any organization.

But here’s the key: Outside leadership must match communication and behavior within the walls of the company. It’s all about consistency.

It isn’t egomaniacal to want to create an impressive organization, if the intent is good. However, when a leader paints a picture that the employees can’t see, trust or respect, the organization will struggle endlessly to reach to its potential.

So, if you’re a leader — or if you aspire to lead — I encourage you to take a close look at the source. Ask yourself honestly: Are you looking outside, first? Or are you starting within?

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

The Social Workplace: Nowhere To Hide #TChat Recap

“A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.”
–Dalai Lama

Excellent point. But the Dalai Lama’s quote begs a key question: In the social workplace, how much transparency is too much? Moreover, what does “privacy” really mean today, for employees as well as employers?

Obviously, there are no simple answers. And best practices only continue to shift, as social tools and conventions evolve. However, this issue affects everyone in the world of work. So that’s why TalentCulture invited a social-media-savvy HR attorney to help our community explore these issues at this week’s #TChat forums. We were thrilled to welcome Mary Wright, former General Counsel at employment litigation firm Ogletree Deakins, and founding Editor of HR Gazette, a daily online newspaper for HR professionals and employment lawyers. (For event highlights, see the links and Storify slideshow at the end of this post.)

Social Disclosure: Less Is More. Or Is It?

Ubiquitous social media channels. Smartphones with cameras. (Does anyone remember “old school” film cartridges anymore?) Circles of “friends” we’ve never even met face-to-face. It seems like nothing is truly private anymore. Most of us share photos, post comments and tell the world whatever pops into our minds throughout the day. But how does all that activity expose us professionally in unwanted ways? And what are the implications for the organizations we represent?

Here’s the kicker question: In an open social environment, how can companies encourage employees to serve as brand ambassadors, while ensuring that those same individuals use appropriate discretion?

Knowledge Is Power

As many #TChat participants noted this week, the answers start at the top. Senior executives must lead by example and encourage others to follow. Treating employees with candor and respect means that candor and respect will likely be returned. Communicating company objectives and priorities helps employees feel valued and empowered. And clarifying social policies provides a framework that makes it easier for employees to comply. Sharing more information with employees doesn’t need to put employers at risk. Instead, it can create a spirit of collaboration and strengthen employee engagement.

At the same time, employers should respect employee privacy. Again, leading by example is key. Managers should avoid gossip around the office and outside of work. This sounds like common sense, doesn’t it? And yet, I’ve overheard managers openly discussing an employee’s personal hardships, including private medical information. When managers breach that kind of trust, it leaves a memorable impression for everyone involved.

Amplify This? Think Before You Go Social

These days, social media adds another dimension. Employers can no longer afford to operate without documented social media policies. But what should the guiding principle be? Here’s a simple idea from Dave Ryan:

And what is an employee’s responsibility when interpreting social policies? Jen Olney offered sound advice:

Or perhaps for some of us, that sequence should be Stop. Think. Stop some more…and more…and more…then send.

In other words, before posting a comment or photo, consider for a moment who may see that information. How might they perceive it — for better or worse? Ask yourself, “Would I want my grandmother or daughter to see what I am about to make public?” Remember, once you post it, you won’t have control over where it may be seen, or how it will be interpreted. So perhaps the very best policy is for each of us to take responsibility for ourselves, and err on the side of caution.

To see more about this week’s conversation, see the resource links and Storify highlights slideshow below. And if you have ideas, feel free to share a comment, or post in the #TChat stream. This is just the start of an ongoing dialogue — so please weigh-in anytime!

#TChat Week-In-Review: Workplace Privacy vs. Transparency

SAT 9/21:

Mary Wright

Watch the Hangout with Mary Wright now

#TChat Preview: TalentCulture Community Manager Tim McDonald framed the topic in a post that features a brief G+ Hangout video with our guest, Mary Wright. Read the Preview:
“TMI: A Fresh Take On Privacy By An HR Lawyer.”

SUN 9/22: Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro outlined 5 issues for business leaders to consider about transparency in today’s social world. Read: “Private Workplace Lives In a Public Social Age.”

MON 9/23:

Related Article: Entrepreneur David Hassell talked about why and how trust is the most precious currency for any new venture. Read: “Want to Build a Business? Lead With Trust.”

TUE 9/24: Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro shared compelling leadership lessons learened from a cultural clash at a software company in transition. Read: “5 Social Skills Business Leaders Must Master.”

WED 9/25:


Listen to the #TChat Radio show now

#TChat Radio: Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman spoke with Mary Wright about legal issues and implications surrounding privacy in the workplace — from multiple perspectives: employers, employees and job candidates. Listen to the radio show recording now!

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, hundreds of community members gathered with Mary on the #TChat Twitter stream for an expanded discussion about this topic. For highlights from the event, see the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Highlights: Transparency vs. Privacy In The Workplace

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Mary Wright for adding your insights to this week’s discussion. Your legal and HR expertise added depth and perspective to a topic that increasingly affects us all.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about information sharing in the new era of social business? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, we tackle another “world of work” hot topic — The Dark Side of Workplace Effectiveness — along with two of the HR community’s best-known social commentators: John Sumser, editor-in-chief of HRExaminer; and William Tincup, CEO of HR consultancy Tincup & Co. So save the date (October 2) for another rockin #TChat double-header.

In the meantime, we’ll see you on the stream!

Image Credit: Pixabay