4 Things You Need to Consider When Screening Job Candidates

Screening job candidates, before inviting them to take part in a formal interview, is an essential part of the hiring process. It avoids wasting both the candidate and hiring manager’s time. After all, you can’t meet every single person who applies for a job — especially since an average of 250 resumes are received for each corporate job opening.

Is your screening process taking too much time out of your day? Are you having trouble choosing between qualified candidates? Consider incorporating some of the following practices into your candidate screening process, to optimize the overall process and make your job a little easier:

Say Goodbye To The Phone Screen And Say Hello To The One-Way Video Interview

The one-way video interview is an attractive screening option, in which job candidates record their answers to a series of pre-determined questions. In some cases, candidates can even review their responses and re-record them until they’re satisfied with the final product. This ensures that you’re seeing the candidate at their peak performance.

In addition to painting a more accurate picture of the candidate, than the outdated phone screen, one-way video interviews are convenient for all parties involved. For starters, they eliminate scheduling conflicts. It gives candidates flexibility when recording their answers, and it gives you the freedom to view interview recordings at your leisure.

Let’s not forget the amount of time one-way video interviews can save. A recent study by Aberdeen Group found that hiring managers can view 10 one-way video interviews in the time it takes to perform a single phone screen.

Get Social With Candidates

It’s still a good idea to “Google” job candidates, but combing through job candidates’ social media profiles has become an even better tool for hiring managers because it gives them a rare glimpse into candidates’ personal and professional lives. You might not always like what you find on social media, however, and may feel tempted to nix candidates right off the bat. But your goal should be to keep an eye out for repetitive behavior, not isolated incidents.

Additionally, screening candidates via their social media profiles has been known to cause legal issues in the past. To avoid discrimination issues, your safest bet is to hold off on visiting candidates’ online social profiles until after you’ve conducted an interview.

Take advantage of social professional networks, like LinkedIn, when screening job candidates. Social professional networks are currently the fastest growing source of quality hires globally, increasing 73 percent over the past 4 years.

These profiles act as an updated resume, and focus on a candidate’s professional accomplishments and interests. Most importantly, sites like LinkedIn can help you reach passive prospects to further expand your candidate pool.

Put Job Candidates To The Test

There is no better way to assure you of your decision on a candidate than by putting them to the test, before extending an official job offer. A candidate may seem like a perfect fit for the job on the surface, but do they have the necessary skill set to be successful in the new role? You won’t truly know unless you invest in some form of assessment testing.

While pre-employment testing can help you find top-notch talent, it can also help you weed out unqualified candidates. Consider having candidates complete an assignment that relates to the job — a past customer project, for example — to see their skills in action. Doing so will help you better identify the candidates most likely to perform well on the job, while saving time, money and decreasing employee turnover.

End The Screening Process On A Good Note

Only 15 percent of candidates say companies are responsive throughout the hiring process, according to a recent survey by CareerBuilder. Don’t end your screening process on a bad note: keep candidates informed and follow up.

Following up with candidates not only improves your brand image, but it also gives you a chance to ask additional questions — and the candidate a chance to clarify — based on what you’ve seen on paper, social media and in the preliminary interview.

How have you optimized your screening process? Please share your tips in the comment section below.

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Career Inspiration: Strive To Be These 3 Things

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

We live in an age when we allow ourselves to be ruled by our fears. The more we have the more we curl in on ourselves to defend it, clinging to our past achievements rather than reaching forward for more.

But nobody ever achieved great things through caution. It is boldness of speech and action, the willingness to let go of our fears and step bravely forward, which allows us to be the best that we can. Einstein didn’t become the most famous scientist in the world by quietly accepting what he had been told. Neither Bill Gates nor Steve Jobs became global business leaders by timidly working in long established fields.

If you want to achieve great things then you need to be bold.

Be Different

It’s easy to feel pressure to conform, to work in the same way as others in your business, to take the same model as your competitors. But all this will do is guarantee that you blend into the background.

Apple built their business on a guiding principle of simplicity. In an ever more complex age they stood back and asked how they could take that complexity out of their products. From the way they look to the way they work you can see that principle at play in Apple devices, and it’s part of how they’ve been so successful.

Be bold enough to be different.

Be Challenging

It’s always tempting to be timid and not to challenge the attitudes of others. Maybe it’s accepting your boss’s view even when you disagree with her. Maybe it’s setting unambitious targets because you know that your team can safely meet them. Maybe it’s giving your customers the same product year after year because that’s what they’ve come to expect.

But challenging the status quo is a great way to create your own space, to show the intelligence, insight and creativity that you’re capable of. And it can lead to opportunities no one expected.

The success of organic farming is an example of this. Going against perceptions that all customers cared about was identical fruit and vegetables at dirt cheap prices, organic farming has turned into a thriving business sector and in the process challenged the way that we think about our food.

Or think of Bob Dylan going electric. It was a challenge to his audience and to the traditions of folk music. It changed the face of rock and roll and guaranteed his place as a cultural legend.

Be bold enough to be challenging.

Be Yourself

At the heart of all of this is being yourself. If you can be the real, authentic you, if you can define achievement on your own terms, then you will be more comfortable in your own skin, more effective in your work and more compelling to others. Your energy will be unleashed and your passion will show, bringing out the best both in you and in others.

Russell Brand may not be everyone’s favorite comedian but his willingness to intelligently discuss subjects he cares about has made him a star. Richard Dawkins may seem abrasive but by standing by his beliefs he has widened debates on science and religion, selling a substantial number of books along the way.

Be bold enough to be you and the rest will follow.

Let Go of the Fear

Fear of loss, of challenge, of embarrassment is natural, but it will only hold you back.

Be bold. Be the best that you can.

Apply Now

(About the Author: Mark Lukens is a Founding Partner of Method3, a global management consulting firm. He has 20 plus years of C-Level experience across multiple sectors including healthcare, education, government, and people and potential (aka HR). In addition, Mark currently serves as Chairman of the Board for Behavioral Health Service North, a large behavioral health services provider in New York. He also actively serves on the faculty of the State University of New York (SUNY) and teaches in the School of Business and Economics; Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship and the Department of Management, International Business and Information Systems. Mark holds an MBA and is highly recognized in the technology and healthcare space with credentials including MCSE and Paramedic. Most of Mark’s writing involves theoretical considerations and practical application, academics, change leadership, and other topics at the intersection of business, society, and humanity. Mark resides in New York with his wife Lynn, two children, and two Labradors. The greatest pursuit; “To be more in the Service of Others.”)


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6 Small Changes You Can Do Today to Improve Your Career

In order to avoid the dreaded career burnout, it’s important to do little things to make your days easier and a bit more enjoyable. After all, if you enjoy what you’re doing and do it well, that opens up your prospects for career advancement and for less stressful days. Thankfully, there are many small and simple changes you can make to your workday to instantly perk you up and put you back on track. Try some of these suggestions today.

1. Tackle Tough Tasks First

If you have a dreaded or difficult task facing you, it’s best to get it out of the way first thing in the morning. This way, you won’t have it hanging over your head all day and you can get on with more enjoyable things. Brian Tracy goes over this in his famous book, Eat That Frog. Morning is the best and most productive time of day to jump on challenging projects, not the after-lunch slump.

2. Quit Multitasking

No, doing more than one thing at a time does not make you more productive. Your brain simply can’t handle it, even though you often think it can. Multitasking pulls you in a million different directions at once, to the point where nothing you are doing gets the full attention it deserves. Instead of multitasking, try “singletasking,” a movement started by this hilarious video from The Atlantic. By sticking to one task at a time, it will be much easier to cross those to-dos off your list.

3. Get Enough Sleep

A better work day begins the night before, with a good night’s sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll end up feeling groggy and irritable, and you’ll be more prone to making careless mistakes. Aim to get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. There are plenty of reasons for not sleeping well, including stress, sleep apnea, and just staying up too late. Make it a habit of going to sleep at the same time each night, and wind down with a quiet activity such as reading. If that’s not enough, there are sleep apps that can track your sleep and even wake you up during the best part of your REM cycle.

4. Make Time for Breaks

You are not a machine, and you should take little breaks throughout your day to recharge your batteries. Don’t eat lunch at your desk; visit the cafeteria and socialize with coworkers, or get out and take a walk. Take mini-breaks at other times as well. Step outside the office for a minute, or get up for a cup of coffee or water. Don’t be a slave to your desk.

5. Record Your Accomplishments

When you’re working day in and day out, you may begin to feel like Sisyphus, that character in Greek mythology who was condemned to push a boulder uphill, day after day, for eternity. It sure is easy to feel frustrated if you don’t pause to look at your accomplishments and see how far you’ve actually come. That’s why you should track your progress and feel good about all those things you have accomplished, outside of the big picture.

6. Plan Something Fun

In order to avoid feeling trapped in a rut, you should be sure to schedule some enjoyable activities to look forward to. Plan a lunch date with a friend, happy hour with your coworkers or a weekend away with your spouse or family. There is so much more to you than just being a worker, and by nurturing other aspects of your life you will appreciate and enjoy your career even more.

Put some of these tips to work for you today, and you should see an immediate improvement in your outlook. It’s little things like this that can make a big difference in your career.

Apply Now(About the Author: Scott Huntington is a career specialist, writer, and blogger from Central Pennsylvania. Check out his blog, or follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.)


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Career Advice: The Best Defense Is A Good Offense

There can be few things more disheartening than having someone completely steal your idea and try to find success off the back of your hard work. Imagine if you’d released a popular app that had had thousands of downloads and a ton of positive feedback; only to find that several imitators had proceeded to release carbon copies of what you’d made and begun damaging your sales and stealing your customers. They say that imitation is the best form of flattery, but in reality it tends to be far less flattering and much more frustrating.

The question is then, what do you do about these imitators and how do you ensure that they don’t steal all of your thunder? Should you tackle them head on, or should you be more subtle about it?

The Best Defense

The best defense here is definitely a good offense. That doesn’t mean you want to attack your copycats though, rather it means you want to move forward with your project in an ‘aggressive’ manner so as to effectively bulldoze your opponents. Just think about how many Angry Birds imitators there are out there: do you care about any of them? No: because Angry Birds was the first and the best and as such it got all of the attention. This is the way you need to be with your project: rather than worrying about protecting yourself legally or chasing down every last attempted copy, you should just focus on making your project the best and being the first to market.

Ideas Aren’t Everything

In fact when you think about it, the magic of Angry Birds wasn’t really in the idea at all, so much as it was down to the execution. It was the charm of Angry Birds and the physics that made it a hit, and this is the case with many creations. People can steal your idea, but they can’t steal your personality and your fingerprints which should be all over your creations and often that is far more valuable than the idea itself.

As tech-investor-and-author Tim Ferriss put it to the Huffington Post:

“Ideas are worth nothing, they’re not a dime a dozen, they’re just nothing. All the good founders I know – even the bad founders – can come up with ideas all day long. It doesn’t mean anything. You have to execute.”

Don’t Become the Bad Guy

Generally where we’re going with this then is to say: don’t fret if someone tries to muscle in on your territory. In fact it’s fairly normal for people to ‘borrow’ your ideas, just as Microsoft has borrowed from Apple and SEGA has borrowed from Nintendo. A little competition – even if it feels like an affront – will only lead to a better marketplace for your customers and more progress in your industry.

And if you take too aggressive a stance you can end up becoming the bad guy: just like ‘King’ did when they ridiculously copyrighted the term ‘Candy’ for use in computer games and merchandise.

Sure it’s annoying when someone tries to steal your intellectual property, but eventually it’s all but inevitable. Don’t waste your energy fighting them, instead focus on taking your own products to the next level. You’ve innovated once, you can do it again!

(About the Author: Greg Fisher, founder of Berkeley Sourcing Group, has a strong manufacturing and engineering background, and is proficient in Mandarin. After graduating from UC Berkeley with an engineering degree, Mr. Fisher worked in the medical device, hard drive storage, ice cream, and professional tools industries in various management, manufacturing, and quality control capacities.)

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!

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Collaborative Learning: Web Conferencing Tools Made Easy

Computer technology has progressed in amazing ways, providing a seemingly endless list of tools to make life, work, and even learning easier and more available. In reference to education, electronic learning (e-learning) successfully utilizes electronic media in the pursuit of higher learning. E-learning takes advantage of such media technologies as typed text, imagery, audio bites, video, and animation to teach its diverse lessons.

Although television and audio/video tapes have been successful e-learning outlets, the internet has revolutionized distance learning, mainly due to its interactive attributes. One of the most popular forms of internet e-learning lies in networking through a variety of platforms which allow the advanced sharing of information. Through such means, collaborative learning can occur which places a group together for the purpose of sharing and interacting, thus increasing learning time and effectiveness while reducing costs. 

Web Conferencing Features

Web conferencing technology is the driving force behind collaborative learning. Meetings, classes, and training sessions that used to only be accessible through person-to-person, telephone, email, or online chats are now available in face-to-face settings from great distances over the internet.

The value of a visual and audio presence will always hold its edge in any learning or training environment. The power to drive home a message relies on an acute ability to offer a winning presentation, and the visual and audio capabilities of web conferencing delivers these qualities to its audiences. 

Benefits of Web Conferencing

Web conferencing, therefore, offers a wide selection of benefits for those pursuing collaborative learning goals. A large number of people can get together from around the world to give and receive information. Through webcams and web microphones, interaction takes place in real time so that ideas, solutions, questions, and answers can all be shared with all who are in attendance.

Web conferencing platforms also allow users to interact through websites, pictures, charts, files, notes, recordings, videos, whiteboards, and more to present what is needed–all through a computer screen. These meetings can also be recorded and experienced over and over again to gain more from the information provided.

Both time and money is also saved through web conferencing technology. Great amounts of time are saved by bypassing travel. Meeting can be set up within minutes, shared through email, text, or phone and attended from wherever there is a computer and internet connection. Not having to travel to distant lands or even across town to attend meetings also saves a lot of expense as well as reduces one’s carbon footprint. 

UberConference Makes It Easy

UberConference is a top web conferencing application that allows its users to partake in stellar audio conference calls. Once the application is loaded, connection is made automatically through a dialup feature. Attendees are then selected and receive an email, text, or call to meet. No registration or PINs are required by attendees to be present at the meeting which has been initiated by the original user. The UberConference app is available for iPhone or Androids as well as computers.

Practically every feature necessary to create and attend a high quality web conference is included in the UberConference software. For instance, a visual overview is provided on every attendee so that everyone can be viewed which drastically reduces confusion of who said what. A variety of filtering features are also included so that users can mute, remove, add, or ‘earmuff’ (temporarily block) other callers. Meetings can even be recorded in a popular MP3 format.

The company of UberConference has taken their service to the next level by merging with Google which has a well established video platform, but suffers from limited voice call participation. The merger allows UberConference, with its limited video abilities, access to Google’s powerful video platform while enhancing it with its wide calling capacity (up to 100 people). The two companies integrate their technologies via the Google Hangouts platform which provides a conferencing experience that excels the expectations of any collaborative learning or other web conferencing requirement. 


The power of the internet has opened a wide and beneficial door for those seeking collaborative learning opportunities. By utilizing the latest web conferencing technologies, such as UberConference, knowledge can be obtained and skills honed easily, conveniently, and without wasting time and money.

(About the Author: Norah Abraham has been a freelance writer since 2005. She attended the University of Boston and graduated with a Bachelor in English Literature. She loves public speaking and motivates people in her own comic style. She loves gadgets and techie stuffs. In her career, she has written dozens of Press Releases, Articles, and Essays.)

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!

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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

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#TChat Preview: Inspire Or Retire Leadership Theorem

The TalentCulture #TChat Show is back live on Wednesday, May 21, 2014. #TChat Radio starts at 6:30 pm ET (3:30 pm PT) and the convo continues on #TChat Twitter chat from 7-8 pm ET (4-5 pm PT).

Last week we talked about the talent-centric recruiting experience, and this week we’re talking about the inspire or retire leadership theorem.

Yes, that’s what we said. The first part of this theorem is a reminder that from the junior employee to senior management, leadership is everyone’s business. When organizations are in a VUCA environment (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity), they are usually flatter and everyone must lead.

You’ll learn more about the theorem soon, but until then, inspirational leaders encourage their team by example and allow their people to take the lead in accomplishing the organizational vision.

The most significant contribution we can make as leaders today is to leave a legacy of inspired leaders behind to take care of tomorrow. We can leverage our skills, talents, and experiences to transform our people into leaders.

Join #TChat co-creators and hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman as we learn more about the inspire or retire leadership theorem with this week’s guest: Thomas S. Narofsky, Founder and Chief Inspirational Officer for the Narofsky Consulting Group, a leadership development, team effectiveness, and executive coaching consultancy.

Sneak Peek: Inspire Or Retire Leadership Theorem

We spoke briefly with our guest Thomas Narofsky, to learn a little about the Inspire or Retire Leadership Theorem. Check out our YouTube Channel for videos with other #TChat guests!

Related Reading:

Michael Rogers: Inspirational Leadership – What 5 Things Do They Have In Common?

Jesse Lyn Stoner: How To Give Your Boss Bad News 

Peter Sessum: Military Leadership: Lessons In Military Leadership For Civilians

Kevin W. Grossman: On Finding The Leader’s Way

Meghan M. Biro: Leadership Is About Emotion

We hope you’ll join the #TChat conversation this week and share your questions, opinions and ideas with our guests and the TalentCulture Community.

#TChat Events: Inspire Or Retire Leadership Theorem

TChatRadio_logo_020813 #TChat Radio — Wed, May 21 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with our guest Thomas Narofsky!

Tune-in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter Chat — Wed, May 14 — 7pmET / 4pmPT Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and our guest 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: What are the current and best leadership development approaches and why do they work? (Tweet this Question)

Q2: Why is it important to teach leaders of all stages how to develop themselves? (Tweet this Question)

Q3: How can next-gen leaders be comfortable in a volatile and uncertain environment? (Tweet this Question)

Q4: How can we train new leaders to inspire future leaders? (Tweet this Question)

Q5: What technologies improve the delivery of inspiring leadership development? (Tweet this Question)

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

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!

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