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Career Corner: 5 Action Steps to Communicate Your Transferable Skills

We’ve all heard the age-old saying, “No time like the present.” Given the uncertain times, these words are feeling more relevant as days go by. Industries are changing daily, and organizations have to shift gears on a moment’s notice, causing many people to self-reflect on their work and personal situations. Whether you’re ready to take the plunge into a new career or industry, or still considering the switch, knowing which direction you want to head and how to communicate your transferable skills is pertinent. But no need to fret. We’ve got you covered.

You may be asking yourself, “Where do I begin?” Or, you may have already conducted countless hours learning about your desired new industry and/or role, and you’re ready to make the jump. No matter where you are in the journey, communicating your transferable skills and share your personal brand presence will set you apart from other candidates, even those currently within the field.  Here are five action items to get you to your dream job and feel confident about your decision to change careers.

Action Item No. 1: Pre-work and Research

The hardest part about changing careers is deciding which direction you want to head. It’s important to take time to self-reflect and learn about the industry and the role you truly want. Think everything through thoroughly. Are you feeling stuck because your role has been affected by Covid-19? If this is a short term fix due to our current environment, that is understandable. However, these steps are for someone who has the clarity and conviction to make a change – and now needs that extra support to cross the bridge from one industry to another.

Here are some questions to ensure you are 100% committed to making this leap!

  • What is most and least fulfilling about your current role? How does your new role interest fill the gaps in your current/previous role?
  • Are there factors in your current industry that are affecting you to pivot now? Is this a long-term or short-term pivot?
  • Does this new role/industry fulfill your passions?
  • How long can you endure this roller coaster ride as you make the transition, both financially and mentally?

A bit of due diligence and pre-work on the front end will give you a competitive advantage as you communicate your motives and worth. Need help with some of the questions above? Here are some recommended resources:

Hire a Coach

Many organizations offer in-house career counseling services to assist with succession planning. Nicole Wagner’s role focuses on in-house career counseling to students entering and starting with Compass Group. If your organization does not, please reach out directly to Rebecca Ahmed as a follow up to this article, or research the plethora of certified coaches through the International Coaching Federation.


Platforms like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Recruiting Daily, and ERE are common sites to check out for advice on organizations, job expectations, culture, interview processes, and compensation. Hear from experts directly through their blogs and reach out to those experts for additional insights and opinions.


Looking for a book to tackle this head-on? Richard N. Bolles is a trailblazer when it comes to the job search front. His book, “What Color Is Your Parachute?” is a tried and true method for anyone looking for direction and pinpointing career paths based on interests. His Flower Exercise will send you on a self-discovery of knowing who you are so you can explore the best path for your next career move.

Action Item No. 2: Identify and Communicate Your Transferable Skills

Your professional success shines through in the stories you share about your past experiences and roles. Here are some questions to help create three elevator pitches that highlight your accomplishments and achievements.

  • What is/was your last role?
  • What problem existed in this role?
  • Exactly what tools did you leverage to address this problem?
  • What solution did you provide to address this problem?
  • How did your solution benefit the organization?

Once you have thought through and answered the above questions, step two is taking these solution-oriented approaches and relating them to your new desired role. Check out our case studies below to see exactly how we did this step by step.

Action Item No. 3: Integrate your transferable skills

Now that you’ve identified your transferable skills, next on the agenda is articulating your career journey and past experiences into your branding. Your resume and LinkedIn profile are the first impressions you are making to potential employers. Think of them as digital advertisements showcasing your talents, accomplishments, and the overall badass you are!  Below are a couple of ingredients to help you integrate your story and stand out in the digital world.


On average, recruiters spend less than 10 seconds skimming resumes for keywords. Ten seconds, that’s it! So how do you convey your awesomeness on one single page? Skills-based resumes are the perfect format to highlight your expertise and transferable skills clearly and concisely.

  • Ditch the objective. These one-liners tend to be generic and fail to demonstrate your true talents and abilities.
  • Showcase your value and skills at the top of your resume in a “summary of qualifications” or “core competencies” section. Leverage sites such as TopResume to assist with verbiage to beat the bots!
  • Under your work history, list out three to five accomplishments for each role. We recommend using The Ladders formula for effective and concise communication – success verbs and data points to emphasize each role’s accomplishments.
  • Make sure your resume is targeted to the role and company. You will want to update it for every job you apply to, ensuring you speak to each role’s desired experience and company culture.


Tapping into your LinkedIn community and utilizing all facets of this platform will give you a competitive edge. In addition to showcasing your experience, LinkedIn is a great platform for you to share your passions, connect with various networks, search for jobs, and build your brand!

If you’re new or in need of a refresher, we highly recommend checking out this article on how to leverage your LinkedIn profile. Looking to go more in-depth with their Sales Navigator platform? Check out recommendations from Samantha McKenna.

Action Item No. 4: Leverage Your Resources

You’ve completed your research and determined your next move. You’ve built a resume and designed your LinkedIn profile. Now it’s time to get out there and ensure everyone knows your desired next steps. Have your network work for you. You are only one person, but your network can reach thousands!

How can you ensure your network is working for you? Here are some quick steps to get the ball rolling:

  • Let recruiters know you are actively seeking an opportunity and ensure they know what the opportunity is. There are settings in each social media platform to turn on and ensure you show up in Boolean searches.
  • Leverage your alma mater connections. Even if you don’t know someone from your school, send a private note to connect with them. People naturally want to assist others from their communities, even if they don’t personally know you.
  • Hit the town or hit up zoom! Sign up for networking events that attract leaders in your career field of interest. Attend galas, association events, virtual coffees, wine tastings, etc. Have fun connecting with people in a variety of communities that all align with your desired role. All it takes is one personal interaction that can lead you to your dream job interview! 

Action Item No. 5: Nail the Interview

You leveraged your connections, made it through the bots then landed an interview. This is your time to shine and highlight how you bring value to the new organization.

Most often, companies use behavior-based interview guides to assess how candidates handle certain situations. As you can imagine, these guides ultimately tell them if the candidate is a good fit and also a match for the role. These questions tend to have multiple parts and can be confusing if you’re not familiar with the format. The STAR Interview Method is a fool-proof way to answer and nail these questions every time. Think of it as giving a personal example in a story format.

  • Situation: Briefly set the scene by providing a few short concrete details of your example and how it relates to the question.
  • Task: What was your role in the situation? Be concise and clear.
  • Action: Explain the steps you took to overcome the challenge. How did you bring value to the situation?
  • Results: What was the outcome, and how did your achievements lead to the result?

You’ve now read through our five actions to communicate your transferable skills effectively. No matter where you are in the career change journey, these steps will empower you to communicate your value and worth!


Editor’s Note:

This post was co-authored by Rebecca Ahmed, an upcoming TEDx speaker, a certified Energy Leadership Coach with the International Coaching Federation (ICF), and a published writer. She has taken her expertise and launched her own business, Laugh Thru Life, where she brings energy and joy to the workplace.

Rebecca AhmedRebecca is a recognized expert in talent acquisition, culture, and diversity and inclusion. During her 10+ years as a leader in Human Resources (HR) in Hospitality, she is most notably recognized for partnering with C-Suite Executives through a 2.8B M&A, overseeing Talent Acquisition, HR Operations, and Technology for up to 16,000+ team members. Rebecca has a bachelor’s in public relations with a double minor in communication design and business from the University of Southern California, and a master’s in hotel administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.


The Power of a Purposeful Hashtag: #WorkTrends

If we’ve learned anything over the past decade, it is the power of a hashtag…

#WorkTrends has been on quite an adventure. Over the past 10 years, TalentCulture’s signature podcast has introduced us to great minds in the HR space. We’ve produced over 700 episodes — packed with insights, future-casting and anticipated trends.

We’ve had an incredible range of guests on #WorkTrends, from CEOs to technologists to practitioners, psychologists, data mavens and more. They’ve given us unparalleled perspectives and wisdom on so many subjects — leadership, recruiting, management, recognition, strategizing, coping, thriving. How, where, when, and even why we work is ever-expanding — and we’re proud to say our savvy guests predicted every pivot, and every moment. 

In our episodes and in our Twitter chats, we’ve heard some groundbreakers I’ll never forget. Listing the many names would take pages and pages, so to all our guests so far I’ll just say this: Thank you for gracing the #WorkTrends stage with your presence and your brilliance. 

And now it’s time to expand these amazing discussions… it is time to release them into the world.

The Power of Change

Even before the massive changes of 2020, TalentCulture was planning our own set of changes: a new website, an expanded community, and a new way to bring #WorkTrends to our growing audience. We recognized that in today’s business world, we’re connecting across digital space more than ever before. And we realized there isn’t a better time than now to broaden our discussions. 

So we’re inviting everyone to join the #WorkTrends conversation beyond Twitter — and across more social media channels. We’re taking #WorkTrends to LinkedIn, Facebook, Google and beyond. Of course, you’ll find the same dynamic conversations about key work topics and all the issues that matter. Instead of exclusively through a weekly Twitter chat, though, #WorkTrends will be an ongoing discussion.

We believe the world of work is limitless: it’s a wellspring of energy and engagement. And to honor that, we’re opening the gates. 

The Power of a Purposeful Hashtag

#WorkTrends is now a legacy hashtag. It’s become a classic that represents all the best minds and conversations. We’re excited to watch it grow wings — and move across time zones, borders, and barriers. So please join us. It’s going to be another wonderful adventure!

Be sure to tune into our weekly #WorkTrends podcasts and recaps. And to learn even more about how we’re growing the podcast, check out our WorkTrends FAQ page.

As always, thanks so much for tuning in and being a member of this amazing community. You #inspire me — every day!  

LinkedIn Aiming to Power Social Sharing + Lead Gen with Elevate Offering

For many, LinkedIn has long been the underdog in the social media space. The kid who gets picked last for sports. The red-headed step-child. When I hear that LinkedIn is an individual’s least favorite social network, I know that they view the world of business in general and lead generation in particular very differently than I do. That’s because for me, and for our B2B clients, LinkedIn is where our customers and prospects are. Daily. Don’t take my word for it, though. A 2014 survey from IDC showed that 75 percent of B2B buyers used social media to make purchasing decisions, and when you factor in C-level and/or VP execs, that number jumped to 84 percent. Think those numbers have grown any in the past couple of years? I am certain of it.

Forget social media in general, and let’s focus in on LinkedIn. That same IDC survey showed that more than half of B2B buyers and C-level/VPs (56 percent and 64 percent respectively) specifically reported using LinkedIn to support purchasing decisions. Tell me again why you and your sales team aren’t using LinkedIn?

And that’s why content curation and sharing in general, and perhaps the new LinkedIn Elevate functionality, quietly announced in April and currently available by invitation only with an expected rollout in Q3 should be on your radar screen.

Let’s Back Up—LinkedIn by the Numbers

LinkedIn, the earliest social network to be profitable, boasts over 433 million users, 120 million in the U.S. and the remaining 70% outside the U.S. The site reportedly gains users at the rate of 2 per second and the amount of data it has on that user base is staggering to contemplate—it’s no wonder Microsoft swooped in for an acquisition.

Microsoft’s play in the cloud space, with a huge focus on collaboration, makes LinkedIn a perfect fit for the technology giant. Adding LinkedIn and its massive, devoted user base to its family of products that include Office 365, Skype, and OneDrive makes good sense. Getting access to the treasure trove of data on that LinkedIn user base makes even better sense. And connecting a gigantic, business-focused user base and giving them more tools to communicate with one another—not unlike what Facebook is doing—is smart. Not to mention the fact that that move gives Microsoft and LinkedIn access to even more data on that user base. It’s a data driven marketer’s wet dream.

LinkedIn and Lead Gen

Understanding that its user base is focused on lead gen has been driving much of the company’s acquisition strategy. Last summer saw the 175 million dollar acquisition of B2B marketing platform Bizo, and then early 2015’s launch of LinkedIn’s Lead Accelerator. This solution is designed to target prospects with specific ads, depending on which parts of a website they visit. The system allows brands to place a pixel on their site, using cookies to identify LinkedIn users. Though the data is held anonymously, advertisers are able to serve targeted ads to LinkedIn prospects based on which pages they view.

LinkedIn has partnered with brands, like the recent Marketo mash-up, intended to enable marketers to more effectively follow up on leads. With the integration of LinkedIn Lead Accelerator with Marketo’s Engagement Marketing Platform, customers of both companies can engage with prospects in a more meaningful, and definitely more coordinated way.

LinkedIn has also built a reputation as a place to not only share, but publish content to, which I wrote about in this post: LinkedIn Publishing, 4 Reasons You Should Want to Do It Now—representing a serious leap into content and social sharing. We work with clients on a regular basis helping to ideate and develop content intended specifically for LinkedIn, and for many it’s a big part of not only their thought-leadership and overall brand value, but also a source of ongoing top of funnel lead generation.

Why Social Sharing? For Starters, Brand Awareness, Lead Gen + Recruiting

Social sharing is an integral part of so many facets of business operations. For starters, it has a huge impact on brand awareness and developing a reputation for thought leadership, plays a big role in corporate lead generation, and an undeniable impact on recruiting operations.

I could share research conducted by LinkedIn as it relates to social sharing by employees, but since my team and I live this daily, I’ll share our experiences. By and large, it doesn’t happen. Social sharing by internal teams that is. Even, surprisingly, when those teams are focused on business development—or marketing.

Isn’t that amazing? Well, not really. There are a variety of reasons that this is the case. People don’t know how to share. They don’t know what to share. They don’t know how to make time for sharing. They don’t even know there is a corporate blog and/or a corporate LinkedIn page, perhaps because they’ve never been told about those assets or encouraged to use them. It could be that their LinkedIn profiles suck (harsh, but true), and in all too many cases, they’ve not visited LinkedIn since their last job search.

Getting employees to share business-related content on their personal social media profiles, even a business social media network, and one that could help lead your sales/marketing teams to more business opportunities is extremely difficult. LinkedIn research reports that only two percent of employees share company content on LinkedIn, and it’s a good bet that most of that two percent comes from your marketing teams.

Yet more content sharing, more regularly, by more people leads to greater visibility. For your company and for the individuals sharing that content. Greater visibility leads to so many things—more brand awareness, more new business opportunities and increased lead generation, more effective talent acquisition, just to name a few. Why then is it so difficult?

Data backs up the assertion that social selling works, and that it’s a key component of top of funnel strategies for your top sales performers. Below is a graph from the Corporate Executive Board illustrating that the single most powerful behavior separating top sales performers from core performers is the use of social media as a key channel for engaging customers and generating leads.

And That’s Why LinkedIn is Developing Elevate

Since curating and sharing content should be a part of driving overall brand awareness, both for an individual and for the company they work for, and since they know it’s largely not happening, this presents an opportunity for LinkedIn.

Using combined algorithmic recommendations from Pulse and Newsie, LinkedIn Elevate is a mobile (iOS and Android) and desktop app designed to help employees easily find, curate, share, and even schedule content to be shared on LinkedIn and Twitter. What LinkedIn is hoping will make Elevate even more powerful is the insights provided to its users to help them measure how people engage with their content. Note that this is a paid platform, so you’ll only be using Elevate if your company ponies up the dough for you to do that.

Why You Need to Overcome the Hurdles to Internal Content Curation/Sharing

Empowering your employees to share content with the aim of becoming a socially engaged company is a worthwhile objective. And it absolutely does have an impact on the bottom line in a business landscape that is noisy, distracting, and moving at the speed of light. The companies who succeed are the ones who understand that great marketing trumps great products, and sales teams can do more when you empower them in every way possible—including the social media space.

Whether you work with a team like ours, who ideates, writes, curates, and distributes content to share on social networks to various teams within an organization, or you buy LinkedIn Elevate and integrate that into your business operations, doing a better job of curating and sharing content on the networks where your customers and prospects are is good business.

The data on this front—which comes from LinkedIn—is pretty powerful:

  • When a LinkedIn member shares six pieces of content, on average they receive six profile views and make two new personal connections (another team member benefit: personal brand enhancement)
  • Also as a result of that sharing, the company they work for receives six job views,three Company Page views, and one Company page follower.
  • Those 2 percent of content sharers in YOUR organization (who likely have larger networks than the company itself)—they are responsible for approximately 20 percent of the overall engagement—likes, shares, comments, etc., that the content shared on behalf of your organization receives.

There’s much to gain from helping your employees be more engaged social content sharers and advocates for whatever it is your company does. People trust people, not brands. And when trusted connections regularly curate and share great content, it helps their personal brands, it helps the company brand, it helps customers and prospects educate themselves, it helps drive brand awareness, sales, trial, adoption—so many things.

Whether you explore and ultimately use LinkedIn’s Elevate product, or learn to integrate content curation and social sharing into your business operations on your own or working with a vendor partner like our team at V3B, it can be tremendously beneficial to your business. No matter what you sell. And if we can help you with that, you know where to find me.

As I mentioned earlier, LinkedIn’s Elevate is available by invitation only. You can sign up and get more information here.

What goes on in your organization with regard to content curation, development and, of course, social sharing? Do you see the same reluctance to do that that we see, or is your team all in? If not, what hurdles to adoption do you see within your organization and how do you deal with those? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

A version of this post was published on V3+Broadsuite.

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4 Reasons Social Media Is A Critical Recruiting Tool

There’s always that tipping point when the future turns into the present; novelty becomes the new normal. In tech recruiting, that’s the case with social media. If you’re not building social media into your recruiting efforts at this point, you’re not really recruiting on par with the industry standard.

Need a kick in the pants before life puts you in a food coma? Here are four ways social media is now a recruiting must:

1. It’s the best way to reach job seekers. I’m seeing a lot of confusion in this realm, but simply put, far more job seekers are on social media than aren’t. Is it because they’re younger and they do everything on social media? Perhaps. Does it matter why? It doesn’t. This is one instance where accepting the status quo is actually forward thinking. According to a white paper by iCIMS, putting a job posting up on social media can increase candidate applications by between 30 and 50 percent.

2. It’s part of a cultural shift. Recruiting success isn’t just measured by jobs filled, but by who fills them. And what drives top employees now is more than just a paycheck. Purpose, we now know, is a critical driver of talent. Interesting that a recruiting hub would lead the way here; LinkedIn has grown exponentially (78 million to over 400 million members in five years), and now looks for employees driven by purpose. Its staff includes 41 percent who cite self-fulfillment and a desire to serve others as key, according to the 2015 Workforce Purpose index. Recruiters take note: competencies are only part of the equation; the very concept of work needs to be screened for as well. Those who view their work as far more than dollars or promotions perform better on all fronts, found recent research by NYU and Imperative.

3. Transparency goes both ways. The fact that 48 percent of job applicants in a recent survey are active in social media is more than a “don’t get left out” for recruiting. It also means there’s access to a full-circle view of the candidate, whether or not that’s the intention, and one more way to take some potentially nasty surprises (and hiring fails) out of the equation. Recruiters are learning to follow a different kind of gut reaction than the old days of handshakes and necktie patterns: 61 percent of hiring managers found something they didn’t like on a candidate’s social media account, and 55 percent  of hiring managers reconsidered the hire based on what they found.

4. It’s not the “good-old-boy” network anymore. Recruiters surveyed in 2014 anticipated an ever-tightening and more competitive drive for candidates in 2015. The top way to stay ahead of the game was social media: 73 percent of recruiters planned to invest more in social recruiting, versus 63 percent in referrals. This is an entirely different world than Armbruster putting in a good word for his prep school buddy (and I’m not trying to be gender specific here, just culture-specific). The same survey found that 93 percent of companies and recruiters were using social media — up from 82 percent four years earlier.

Not so unlike the way the Cloud blasted open our conceptions of how much information we could live with, social recruiting has changed the game. This is a far, far different playing field, with the same extreme contrast. You’re either on it, or you’re not. Social is a key tool for promoting jobs, building brands, sourcing candidates, creating relationships, and vetting applicants. Recruiters know it’s the future (or the now), and they’re investing their time and money accordingly.

The talent’s not going to wait.

Image: BigStock

A version of this article was first published on Forbes on 11/25/15

Key Points from LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends 2016 [Report]

Each year, technology brings new recruiting trends to the HR world that impact both how we recruit, and retain, employees. It’s up to businesses to stay on top of these changing trends if they want to acquire the best talent. Obviously, that’s easier said than done, especially for smaller businesses that may not have the time and resources available. That’s why LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends for 2016, created by a panel of experts, is a fantastic guide for HR professionals and hiring managers

The report is geared toward small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) looking to upgrade their recruiting processes for the New Year and is the result of surveying some 3,894 talent acquisition decision-makers who work in corporate HR departments. With recruiting talent and retaining employees becoming more important than ever, businesses are constantly on the lookout to improve HR. Thanks to this report—and the experts surveyed—a lot of the hard work is already done. Let’s take a look. 

Identify Top Priorities

HR duties are widely varied, so prioritizing business needs is important for small businesses. The first section of the report found that businesses are focusing heavily on recruiting the very best talent and incentivizing employees to stick around. This certainly isn’t a new priority for any HR department anywhere: 42 percent of those surveyed said recruiting highly-talented candidates is a main priority, while 38 percent said the focus should be on employee retention. Other concepts, like improving the quality of hires, sourcing techniques, and pipelining talent were further down on the priority list.

Increase Hiring Budget for Better Hiring Practices

SMBs are growing steadily and that growth, as reflected by the HR pros participating in the survey, is likely to continue. 62 percent of respondents reported they expect an increase in hiring volume over the next year. Likewise, 46 percent predict their hiring budgets will increase accordingly. The two directly affect one another: the need for more employees necessitates a larger hiring budget, and better practices mean better employees.

Use New Ways to Find Top Talent

Recruiting high-quality talent seems to be the top priority among survey respondents, and many are wondering where to find it. The survey found that Internet job boards and social professional networks are the most popular sources for finding talent. SMB recruiters reported they lean more toward Internet boards (45 percent), while enterprise recruiters favor social networks (46 percent). Other recruitment methods mentioned include employee referrals, staffing agencies, and company career sites. Social media has been an effective way to find exceptional talent, and it appears that will continue to be a solid trend.

Win Over Top Talent and Measure Quality of Hire

SMBs and enterprise businesses alike are fighting over young professional talent. Most companies report looking to hire those who are freshly out of school (0-3 years). Internal candidates are also a source of talent, but not as popular as hiring Millennial talent. The tricky part is that there’s a lot of competition over this age bracket. The experts identified a few specific challenges SMBs have when trying to recruit Millennials:

  • Competition was rated as the biggest challenge, at 35 percent
  • Creating attractive compensation packages was second, at 32 percent
  • A lack of interest or awareness in the company brand was third at 31 percent

After beating out the competition, SMBs report that measuring the quality of hire is the most important way to assess ROI. The majority of companies (51 percent) measure this using new hire evaluation, while 48 percent look at retention and turnover rates, and 41 percent measure the hiring managers’ satisfaction. This suggests that SMBs are shifting toward employee satisfaction as a valuable metric. A happier employee will show better performance, and that’s important to both employee and employer. 

Brand Development for Effective Marketing and Recruiting

It’s no surprise that a lack of brand awareness is troubling to many businesses. Candidates’ familiarity with your brand is just as important as customers knowing your brand. Brand confusion is a business killer, so businesses are spending more money than ever on brand development. Furthermore, experts feel that a combination of channels is the most effective way to promote a brand. Respondents reported their most popular brand awareness channels, in order, as:

  • Company websites
  • Online professional networks
  • Social media
  • Word of mouth
  • Employee advocacy

believe that with an overall goal of brand awareness, the most effective strategy is to use a mixture of channels. A great company website—with a side of social media and industry authority—is a good starter recipe for raising brand awareness. And it’s important to note that any one of these alone probably isn’t enough to deliver the kind of results you’re looking for when it comes to attracting the best and the brightest. Recruitment today is as much about smart marketing as it is about anything else. If this topic interests you, it’s one I explore in depth in a Recruitment Marketing Series that I did for IBM, and contains lots of information you’ll find valuable.

The Future of Recruiting

Looking toward the future, finding and keeping top talent will continue to be a major priority. As technology and innovation evolve and continue to change the world of work as we know it, the way we recruit and retain talent will have to change and adapt as well. Businesses will focus on brand messaging related to corporate culture, innovation, social awareness, and other key things that are attractive to candidates, in an effort to not only attract, but retain them as well. As mentioned earlier, marketing now plays a central role in recruitment strategies, and it’s going to take much more than a few perks to get the attention of top talent. Lastly, measuring the quality of hire will continue to be the most valued metric by HR pros moving forward, especially as recruiting becomes more about the talent and less about the budget.

What do you think? Do the results reported here mirror your thoughts on this topic? What didn’t the experts cover that you find to be a challenge? Grab the report here if you’d like to explore in more detail: LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends 2016.

Other posts on this topic:

Increasing Engagement and Retention With Progressive Benefits
Employee Retention Begins in the Interview Process
4 Reasons Social Media is a Top Recruiting Tool
Ending the Phony War for Talent: Why the language we use in recruiting matters


Photo Credit: C_osett via Compfight cc

7 Ways Candidates Blow A Phone Interview

I’m consistently amazed by how unaware the average job seeker is of how to establish a positive first impression on a phone interview. I hear the same frustrated complaints from employers of all industries and sizes – that candidates who voluntarily submitted their resumes in hopes of discussing a position they’re supposedly interested in just can’t seem to get it together. Remember when all you needed was a solid resume to be guaranteed a face-to-face interview? For the sake of saving time, resources, and money, recruiters have become much more selective on who they decide to meet in person. In an effort to weed out time-wasters and soft-skill-deficient candidates, recruiters are conducting phone screens to find out who’s off their game.

1. They’re unprepared to take the call.
If you’re 4 beers deep at a Yankees game or trying to wrestle a dirty diaper off a screaming baby, you probably shouldn’t answer a call you don’t recognize. Yet, most of the candidates my recruiting team speaks with are under the impression that it’s better to answer a call you’re not completely prepared for than to miss the call altogether. It’s not. If you find yourself in a situation that isn’t suitable for a professional conversation, don’t pick up. Instead, call back within 24 hours, after you’ve collected your thoughts, can speak confidently, and have locked down a quiet location.

Not to mention, they start timing you from the second they leave a voicemail, which brings me to my next point. If you’re actively looking, you should have a professional voicemail with specific instructions to avoid an unwanted game of phone tag. For example, “Hi, you’ve reached Mark Smith. If you’re calling in regards to my resume, please leave your name and number as well as the best times for me to reach you.”

2. They expect the recruiter to fill in the blanks.
“Hi, what job did I apply for again? What company are you calling on behalf of?” It pains me to admit this, but these responses are the norm when an employer reaches out to a candidate, even for high-level positions. You’re a job seeker, which means you probably apply to several jobs each week. We understand that it’s tough to keep track, but it’s essential – if only for the sake of a recruiter’s sanity – that you start taking notes. Just by picking up the phone and saying, “Hi Wendy, you must be calling in regards to the Customer Service position I applied for last week.” Mind blown.

3. They conduct an unorganized job search.
This goes hand in hand with my last point. Today, it’s not enough to print out a handful of resumes and call it a day. We always recommend that our candidates keep a spreadsheet of every job application they submitted with corresponding dates, company names, and relevant contacts. Or, if you’re a tech wiz, try these awesome job search apps. That way, when the phone rings, you’ll have a handy guide that’ll save you from playing guessing games. Also, it’s important to keep your background information and portfolios within arms reach to provide some quick material for preliminary questions. It says a great deal about your personal brand if you’re prepared to answer a challenging question, and even have some on-hand stats to back up your argument. And for bonus points, don’t forget to browse company websites and connect with HR personnel on LinkedIn. Taking that extra step makes a huge impression.

4. They don’t understand why recruiters really call.
More often than not, recruiters aren’t calling to simply schedule a personal interview; they’re calling to conduct a prescreen. In other words, to decide whether they want to move you forward. Remember all that research you were supposed to do when you applied for the gig? Use it to show recruiters you know something about how their company culture works and that you’re serious about the job.

5. They have a bad “radio personality.”
Phones are tough – all you have to make an impression is your voice. Candidates, especially introverts, often fail to heighten their energy over the phone. Nobody’s expecting you to sound like Ron Burgundy, but you should at the very least sound excited, confident, and prepared. Excessive “umms,” stammering, or sounding like you’re dead inside are huge turnoffs to recruiters. The only way to overcome this obstacle is through practice. Record yourself on any device you have handy, and ask yourself this difficult question: “Would you hire you?” Getting your career narrative down in a way that engages and connects with an employer is essential to winning that face-to-face meeting.

6. They have a weak or unprofessional online presence.
Chances are, if recruiters are interested in what you have to say, they’ll be googling you before then end of your conversation. A half-complete LinkedIn profile or a racy Facebook picture is all it takes to eliminate you from the game. Just last week, one of my recruiters found a candidate with a stellar background and scheduled her for an interview right away. But just minutes before their call, she discovered an R-rated photo online that involved a stripper pole. Needless to say, the recruiter’s mind was made up before the conversation started.

7. They fail to treat a phone interview with the same decorum as they would a personal one.
Just because you didn’t put on a suit or block out time in your day doesn’t mean it counts any less towards your chances of securing the job. Request follow up procedures, send personalized thank you notes, and be sure to highlight any takeaways to reinforce your sincerity. Take it from me, the small things really do matter.

photo credit: Phone Talkin via photopin (license)

How To Get The Most Out of Your Job Ad

So, you’re hoping to create some buzz around the job ad you’ve just published on your careers page? Today’s recruiting environment is competitive and complex. Recruiting the best candidates starts with making the right first impression—and using a combination of tactics will help you get the most out of your job ad. For the best results, it’s important to include social and mobile recruiting tools, as well as free and paid ads—and to know the best day to post.

Building Hype Around Job Openings

So where do you start?

The first thing you need to do is get your listing noticed by the communities where the passive candidates hang out. LinkedIn might be just the platform you are looking for. The business- driven social platform has scores of ways to get your job ad noticed, including groups you can join, mention jobs in, or initiate general discussions around the role, your company, or the industry.

The next thing is to promote the opening within your organization. Does everyone on staff know you have just listed a new job? Share it across your company. If you don’t have a referral system in place, we’d strongly advise you to set one up. For example, eFounders used simple tools they were already familiar with and made it work. Include a social sharing feature to your job ad and give your staff incentives to start sharing from their own social accounts.

Just listed

Another tactic is to create your own online communities. Smart companies make sure they have created Facebook groups or a Facebook Jobs tab, or even run a Facebook ad campaign, with the sole purpose of attracting potential candidates. Promote your employer brand through these pages and when you post a job ad, you’ll have a talent pool of existing fans. Add as many touch points as possible between you and prospective candidates.

Make sure to add mobile listings to your arsenal. According to research from, smartphones and tablets account for 60 percent of total digital media time in 2014. Kelton Research survey results indicated 86 percent of active candidates surveyed use their smartphone to begin a job search, and 70 percent of active candidates want to apply via a mobile device.

seven out of ten

The Top Job Boards

Posting your job ad on your careers page and social media is not enough. You need to include job boards. While the leading premium job boards in terms of ROI (return on investment) are LinkedIn, Craigslist, Indeed, and Monster, there are many other job boards you can consider using.

Some job boards, like Indeed, also offer a free option as well as a paid. SimplyHired and Glassdoor offer free postings when you access them through an ATS like Workable. For the most effective places to post your jobs, check out our job board directory, which enables you to choose job boards based on industry, location, and cost (paid versus unpaid).

Posting your job on your careers page and social media is not enough. You need to include job boards. While the leading premium job boards in terms of ROI (return on investment) are LinkedIn, Craigslist, Indeed and Monster, there are many other job boards you can consider using.

Some job boards, like Indeed, also offer a free option as well as a paid. SimplyHired and Glassdoor offer free postings when you access them through an ATS like Workable. For the most effective places to post your jobs, check out our job board directory, which enables you to choose job boards based on industry, location, and cost (paid versus unpaid).

The Best Day to Post a Job

Don’t post your jobs on Friday evening, because by Monday they’ll be last week’s news! Instead, wait until Sunday evening or Monday or Tuesday morning and advertise your roles when the candidates are most active.

Most job sites use freshness as a factor in ranking job search results. Plus, the new jobs of the day usually land in email updates and job board front pages, so getting there when the action is happening can often get you double the candidates you’d receive on a slow day.

The Premium Job Boards

When volume of candidates is the priority LinkedIn, Indeed, and Craigslist are the top sites for posting job listings due to their popularity, functionality, and reach. LinkedIn boasts the biggest potential candidate pool and may be the most powerful sourcing tool in your arsenal. Indeed is a job search engine and a global job board leader with over 180 million unique visitors per month. Finally, although Craigslist is a classifieds site and not a traditional job board, it beats everyone on inbound traffic.

job directory

If the big guys are too broad, and you need to do some laser-targeting, you’re in luck. Try our global, searchable job board directory to drill down by industry, location, and cost. Just the thing if you’re looking for “only healthcare job boards,” or “only job boards in Brazil.”

Happy hiring!
Photo Credit: Kevin H. via Compfight cc


Workable is a client of TalentCulture and sponsored this post.

Three Trends Changing The Way Of The Recruitment Industry

Predictions of future trends typically range from spot-on to far-fetched, and just plain silly — the latter being more likely. Take the second installment of the popular “Back to the Future” trilogy, for example.

It took place primarily in the year 2015, which Bob Gale, who wrote “Back to the Future Part II” with director Robert Zemeckis, predicted would look a lot different than it does today (i.e. we can’t yet take our flying cars to robotic gas stations before heading to a holographic cinema).

The recruiting industry is growing and evolving, and in order to set yourself apart from the competition for top talent, it’s essential to anticipate and adopt the latest recruiting trends. Fortunately, the trends making their way to the recruitment industry are much more practical than incorporating hologram interviewers into the recruiting and hiring processes.

Where is the industry going? Here are three data-backed trends that will change the way we find and place top talent:

Shifting From Resumes To Online Profiles

Social professional networks, like LinkedIn, have changed the way professionals of every age interact and find jobs. They have also transformed the way recruiters find quality talent. And, according to LinkedIn’s 2015 Global Recruiting Trends report, quality of hire is the most valuable hiring metric, followed by time to fill.

The report by LinkedIn also revealed that social professional networks are recruiters’ best bet in finding high quality talent. In fact, these networks are currently the fastest growing source of quality hires globally, increasing 73 percent over the past 4 years.

With sites like LinkedIn, job seekers can leverage their network in search of new opportunities, and recruiters can better find and connect with talent. As more companies begin to switch out the traditional, one-page paper resume for an updated online version, it will become essential for recruiters to utilize these sites when searching for and placing great talent.

Passive Candidates Are Becoming Highly Sought After

Typical recruiting methods — the alluring job description, company career page, and attending job fairs — while successful at luring in active job seekers, don’t do much for the passive candidate. These candidates are usually already employed and not looking for a new job — but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth adding to your talent database.

In fact, with 75 percent of professionals categorizing themselves as “passive” candidates, it’s crucial to capitalize on the passive candidate pool now, more than ever. Not only does their experience make them ripe for the picking, but because they’re not actively searching for a new job, they’re not likely to be interviewing with any other companies. This makes them an ideal target when recruiting.

How do you appeal to these elusive job candidates? Reach out to them via their social professional networks. Not only do these social sites provide an optimal situation for interacting with passive job candidates, but they serve as an efficient learning tool for you, and a way to showcase employer brand.

Video Becomes An Essential Tool In The Recruiter’s Toolbox

Video technology is going viral within the recruitment industry. Visual content, in general, is a rising trend across all industries — not a surprise considering that most people respond better to visual communication.

One piece of video technology more recruiters are getting on board with is video interviewing. Currently, more than 60 percent of the 500 companies surveyed by OfficeTeam are utilizing video interviews in their hiring process. Both one-way and two-way video interviews enable participants in various time zones and locations to connect on a more personal level, during the screening and interview process.

The video interview trend isn’t going anywhere, for a number of reasons. For starters, they help recruiting professionals place great talent for clients while saving time, money and energy. Video screening, for instance, is replacing the outdated phone screen, largely due to the fact that you can watch 10 one-way video interviews in the time it takes to perform just one phone screen.

Finally, being able to provide clients with a recording of the video interview can give recruiters the competitive edge they need to attract and retain happy clients. In addition to video interviews, video job descriptions and postings, videos for employer branding, and video resumes are all great tools for appealing to job seekers and clients.

These emerging trends, within the recruitment industry, can help recruiters find and attract quality talent, build a solid talent pool of active and passive job candidates, and stay one step ahead of the competition with innovative recruiting tools and strategies.

Photo Credit: Big Stock Images

Recruitment: LinkedIn Is A Tool, Not The Tool

LinkedIn took the recruiting world by storm not too long ago. This user-friendly, massive network of talent has become an indispensable tool for hiring professionals, but some of us have gotten a little LinkedIn-happy, and it has lead to a sort of too big for their britches scenario in hiring. What I mean is many employers are buying into the idea that LinkedIn, or other web-based products and services like job boards are enough to take over the job of recruiting experts, and that simply is not the case. Business Insider author and former recruiter, Vivian Giang said:

“The internet has changed the way a lot of markets work, because everyone can now be their own “gatekeeper” in a sense. Everyone is an expert because they have all the information available at their fingertips, hence there’s no need to pay someone else a handsome fee to do the research for you. In other words, the middlemen — headhunters — have been cut out.”

Recruitment: A Dying Profession?!

So let’s talk about this notion that recruitment as a profession is dying.

  • Wanted Analytics recently pulled together data that revealed an increase in the number of online job listings for recruiters by 4.5% in August from the same time period in 2013.

  • The US currently has the second highest demand for recruiters.

  • Recruiters rated a 72 out of 99 on Wanted Analytics difficulty-to-fill scale.

If anything, recruiters are now in greater demand. With 52% of companies listing hiring and retaining talent as their top business challenge, the role of recruiters is becoming even more vital. The question still remains though: Can LinkedIn actually replace recruiters? Nope, and here’s why…

LinkedIn Has Not Yet Become Self Aware

LinkedIn iconWhat I mean is that web-based services can’t offer the level of personality and care that a recruiter can bring to the hiring experience. The hiring experience can make or break a relationship, regardless of whether or not the candidate becomes a hire. In fact, 90% of candidates who were treated with courtesy and a personal touch would encourage others to join the company in the future.

The role of a recruiter is not what it used to be. Job seekers are expecting a lot more now, and recruiters have become experts in delivering. Recruiters understand the importance of constantly having a finger on the pulse of job seeker needs. For instance a recruiter would know well-informed candidates have a 35% lower dissatisfaction rate, or that 34% of job candidates strongly agreed that their experience during the hiring process –whether positive or negative –affected their decision to accept a position.

Consider The Following:

If you truly believe that matching skill sets with job requirements is enough to successfully hire, then by all means give it a whirl, but first please consider the following:

  • 89% of hiring failures are a result of poor cultural fit and the average cost of replacing an employee in a mid-range position can be about 20% of the annual salary. For example, the cost to replace a $40,000 per year manager would be $8,000. So how solid are your cultural assessment tools, background and experience?

  • Human capital is commonly known as any organization’s most valuable asset. Additionally, payroll will almost always be the highest expense in any given organization, but sure, LinkedIn will do…

  • Experts in the recruiting field estimate that screwing up a game-changing hire can cost as much as $1M. The good news is that someone who doesn’t specialize in recruiting could never calculate that cost. Ignorance is bliss?

  • Recruiters are able to expedite the hiring process because that is their core job requirement. Hiring without experience or resources will result in a lengthy time-to-hire and 21% of candidates believe that a lengthy hiring process is not worth their time.

Ultimately, the ‘I can just recruit’ attitude will result in a biting off more than you can chew outcome. Recruiters have experience, industry knowledge and connections that are very specific to their professional success. You could also learn to code or how to analyze data, but odds are a professional would do a much better job. In conclusion, recruiters are on the way up, not out.

Secrets To Building A LinkedIn Recruiters Will Notice

LinkedIn is the champion of social networking sites when it comes to recruitment, with 94% of recruiters using the site. Are they successful in finding hires on LinkedIn? The short answer is yes. Seventy-nine percent of recruiters have found a hire through the website. Social networking, especially on LinkedIn, is set to be a key recruitment trend for 2015. Whether you’re an active or a passive candidate, here are three insider secrets on how to get your LinkedIn noticed by recruiters.

Join Industry-Based LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn’s groups are still not given as much credit as they are due. Industry-based and skills-based groups are not only populated by hopefuls wanting to break into certain careers, they are also joined by recruiters who follow the group’s discussions. While intelligently contributing to discussions in the group is one way to be noticed by recruiters, there is another.

Once you are a member of a group, you are able to message other group members even if they are not you connections. By searching the “members” page of the group, recruiters can see all group members and whittle them down by keywords before sending a message. This feature is excellent for recruiters as they are able to reach out to passive candidates who have the right credentials for the positions they are looking to fill.

Contribute To LinkedIn’s Blog

Writing articles related to your expertise for LinkedIn’s blog platform is an excellent way to establish thought leadership in your field. In the beginning, only “influencers” were able to share content on LinkedIn, but in February 2014 LinkedIn announced that all members would be able to publish articles.

With over 270 million users on LinkedIn, articles have the potential to reach a massive audience. Of course, it also means that there is big competition to be the most widely read, and as such has caused an influx of articles on the internet on how to write clickable LinkedIn headlines and what topics get the most shares and so on. Nonetheless, the fact that there is a chance to get your content noticed, even if only by a fraction of LinkedIn’s users, certainly counts for something.

Grow Your LinkedIn Network

There is some debate as to whether you should accept invitations from people whom you don’t personally know on LinkedIn, but there are plenty of reasons that you should approach LinkedIn the same way you would Twitter. One of the big reasons is that the more connections you have, the more people there will be viewing your profile. Though you may be skeptical about the benefits of this, growing your network is a surefire way to gain clout and get noticed.

About the Author: Ron Stewart has worked in the recruitment industry for 30 years, having owned companies in the IT, construction and medical sectors. He runs the Jobs4Group, and is CEO of Jobs4Medical.

photo credit: IMG_1971 via photopin (license)

Content Marketing Freshness Comes With True Relevance

On the morning of the vernal equinox, the crazy cool converged. Actually, according to my mother-in-law, the vernal equinox is equivalent to at least four full moons, which means the crazy isn’t necessarily cool and only falls from trees like overripe fruit that children can’t help but to throw at one another.

That’s an appropriate analogy if you compare it to the way too many companies and candidates still market to one another. A spoiled twist on the spray and pray approach to the recruiting pitch (have you ever been hit with an overripe peach, for example?).

Content marketing best practices are as ubiquitous as the over-pollenated buzzwords that coat them these days, and yet, marketers, recruiters and applicants alike are still tossing leaky, bruised hand grenades over the fence to see whom they hit, and who cries out.

You know who you are.

Hey, I’m not judging; I’ve been there, too. So before we get back to the best practice, let me cover my crazy cool convergence from this week first:

First, I found that the 2013 Candidate Experience Awards eBook is now available for download! The third annual North American “CandE” Awards program has grown with overwhelming participation from both the employers seeking to benchmark their processes and job candidates who are eager to share their feedback on their recruitment experiences. Lots of great data in the latest eBook, including the top six content themes employers make available to potential applicants before they apply:

  • Values (i.e., ‘Fit’)
  • Answers to ‘Why’ People Want to Work Here
  • Community and Sustainability Initiatives
  • Answers to ‘Why’ People Stay Here
  • Product Information
  • Diversity – Culture

The 2013 CandE Awards indicate the emerging importance of communicating a company’s culture as a key point of differentiation, while there’s a decreased emphasis on job benefit details (among many other valuable insights). That’s a good sign. Download the CandE eBook and read it. Trust me. And if your company wants to participate this year, please do register here. There’s still time.

Second, LinkedIn is becoming a crazy content marketing tool, which I kinda knew and have tinkered with, but learned more succinctly after talking on #TChat with Viveka von Rosen, CEO of Linked Into Business and co-founder of LinkedProspecting. Since its launch, LinkedIn has been known as a recruiter and job seeker professional networking site, but has been extremely under-utilized as a recruitment search and marketing resource, to continually attract, find and engage with their ideal candidates by leveraging content marketing, influencer relations and so much more. (That last part is key for whatever “platform” you use.)

Third, I just received my LinkedIn publishing invite on the first day of spring! Sure, spring represents renewal and new beginnings, but the little gray pen thingie appeared magically in my status update box, and I’m not even really sure what it means yet. I’ve been told it’s a big deal for regular content creators, of which I am one, but now I can share real and relevant “fruits of my labor” with my “targeting” network. Good for me, good for business, hopefully good for readers. Right on.

Now, back to the best practice

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – I recommend that apply these two rules when enraptured with the sweetness content marketing can bring:

      1. Keep it real. Because good story is the human experience, but it’s not so simple to tell – or, more appropriately, retell. Sixteen years ago an editor told me that, “You haven’t quite found your voice yet; you haven’t fallen through the center of the earth and back again. It takes experience and practice to find your inner voice, and not everyone gets there.” True indeed. Practice, practice. Read and read some more and then read even more inside and outside of your immediate professional realm – and then write, write, write to find your voice. Write with regular frequency and remember your voice will come with time. And keeping it real keeps it authentic and you’re more likely to find a “buying” audience this way, whether on LinkedIn, your career site, your blog or whatever your publishing platforms of choice are. Candidates want the transparency with your company, just as much as you want from them.
      2. Keep it relevant. Because finding your audience means you’re creating and sharing relevant content with them (think of the CandE example above when it comes to attracting the right talent). The good stuff they want to consume regularly, whether they take action or not (over time, they might). Maybe they want a little humor, maybe they want to be schooled, maybe they want to be moved, but regardless, they want it to be meaningful and relevant to their lives as “customers” – buyers or candidates. This goes for content you curate as well as create. If you’re targeting product managers, then create and/or share software/hardware agile development articles, go-to-market strategies, building business cases, marketplace trends and innovations, and so on. Vice-versa if you’re a product manager prospect targeting specific companies and industries – share your insight and keep it focused.

The only forbidden fruit in my garden is that which rots in my field. Content marketing freshness comes with true relevance.


Photo courtesy of Big Stock

Prospecting LinkedIn For…Everything #TChat Recap

The Power of Professional Prospecting

If you’ve been working in the recruiting, workforce, HR or leadership space, you’re well aware of how LinkedIn can be used for…work. But there is more to the professional networking behemoth than sourcing and recruiting (not that it’s a slouch in that department either).

Professional prospecting, or “panning for sales gold” as I like to call it, was the subject of last night’s #TChat and our guest Viveka von Rosen had some incredibly interesting tidbits to share. The CEO of LinkedIn to Business and a published author (nab her book, LinkedIn Marketing in an Hour a Day, here) gave #TChatters inside information about how to use LinkedIn to unearth new deals and create additional opportunities from sales, leadership and yes, employment perspectives.

The Mainstays

“Dynamic LI profiles are ones tended to like a growing garden: with care & frequent watering” @DawnRasmussen is right. You get out of LinkedIn what you put into it. There are countless ways to update your LinkedIn profile and all of them add value to getting you MORE sales, more leads…more connections. So get in there!

Nearly everyone agreed that LinkedIn is a powerful tool, but the cons listed had to do with lack of visibility, frequent pulled support for favorite tools and an ever changing user experience. But in #TChat as in life, there were a whole lot more pros. Included in the list?

  • The breadth of information available on LinkedIn
  • The ability to find anyone via one’s own network
  • The third-party tools built to work with the platform (shout out to @rapportive)
  • The new and improved search UX

Stuff You Can Do

Didn’t have time to attend? Try these five-minute new tricks to make baby steps toward using LinkedIn for prospecting:

  1. Find and connect with those who have “viewed your profile”
  2. Search out people in your area
  3. Create buyer personas and make a target list and send personalized emails (you get 5 free!)
  4. Ask and answer questions in your chosen fields
  5. Join groups to get the inside track in your industry (you have up to 50!)
  6. Of course, change your profile URL to something recognizable
  7. Put keywords you think your target market or candidate will be searching
  8. Connect your Slideshare account and keep it updated

For the organization: Check out this article from our friends at Social Media Examiner on how to make the most of your company page. Jonesing for the unique #TChat interactions or want to see who said what?

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Viveka von Rosen for enlightening us on LinkedIn! Check out her full site at LinkedIn to Business

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about trends on the workplace talent frontier? We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we may feature it!! If you recap #TChat make sure to use this link so we can find you! 

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week at #TChat Events, we’ll be talking about authentic leadership. Todd DeWett  is going to be our radio guest, and Kevin Grossman will be our moderator. See more information in the #TChat Preview this weekend, and save the date: Wednesday, March 26!

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.

Think you have what it takes to write for TalentCulture? Submit an application to be a contributor NOW!

Social Recruiting Trends And LinkedIn

Even though LinkedIn has long been known as a recruiter and job seeker social media site, it is extremely under-utilized as a recruitment search AND marketing source. I think most recruiters still just think of it as a place to source and research candidates. And candidates barely know how to use it, not realizing they can be actively marketing themselves to the recruiters and businesses interested in hiring them.

With the Recruiter Lite membership abolishing messaging to group members, I think it’s more important than even for recruiters, hiring manager and others in Talent Acquisition to make use of LinkedIn free (or cheap) features.

Beyond LinkedIn’s great Advanced Search features, it has other communications and engagement features (Introductions, Who’s Viewed My Profile, Who’s Viewed My Updates, Groups, People You May Know, Contacts) that many LinkedIn members simply don’t know about or use.


I simply don’t understand why people don’t make more use of Introductions. (And in LinkedIn this is dangerous, since LinkedIn has certainly showed us its “Use It or Lose It” attitude lately!) Maybe they simply don’t know where they are? (Drop-down arrow to the right of Send InMail button.) You can even find whom you have in common (and with the new In Common feature what you have in common) and then ask them if they are willing to forward the intro. You get 5 with a free account, 15 with a paid account.

Who’s Viewed my Profile:

I absolutely love this new feature (Here’s my latest article on it and video on it.) Let’s just say the new analytics are worth the price of admission! I recommend not only that people check out who has viewed their profile (last 5 with the free, everyone with the paid), but also do some “proactive viewing.” (Meaning create and save a search of ideal candidates and then every week or so just view their profile so you show up in THEIR Who’s Viewed.)

Also, with LinkedIn’s latest “Who You’ve Viewed” feature you can see who else LinkedIn thinks you should be looking at and check them out too.

Who’s Viewed My Updates:

Since LinkedIn got rid of Signal and the Activity Feed (Use it or lose it) it’s been harder to use Updates to create relationships. But now you can at least see who has responded to your updates and engage accordingly. Perhaps with the pending release of LinkedIn Publisher we will get some of our update search capabilities back too!

Groups: Even though LinkedIn stole the ability for recruiters in Recruiter Lite to send messages via groups, we can still do it in our free personal accounts. Yay! Let’s use it while we can to reach out and engage with those outside our network!

People You May Know:

You might as well let LinkedIn do the work and show you who they think you should know. Plus when you connect with someone from this feature you don’t have to jump through the usual LinkedIn connecting hoops. But always customize your 300-character invitation when you can.


I’m not sure what I like more – the new Who’s Viewed or Contacts. I guess I don’t have to pick. To find out all the ways the new Contacts feature can help you in your social recruiting, read this article.

Content Marketing:

As social recruiting trends towards Content Marketing, Influencer Positioning and Social CRM Systems, it would serve the Recruiter well to invest their time (if not resources) in these very aspects supported now on LinkedIn through Media Sharing, Update Mentions, LinkedIn Pulse and Contacts.

Whether posting a white paper, mentioning a success story in an update, sharing relevant content from LinkedIn Pulse or managing your network (keeping notes, tagging and setting reminders) in Contacts, LinkedIn is a hot hot place to be and not to be ignored in 2014!


Viveka von Rosen is the author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day, contributing “expert” to LinkedIn’s official “Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide” and is known internationally as the “LinkedIn Expert”.

Networking: 5 Ways To Work It Into Your Life

Written by Lynn Dixon, co-founder & COO, Hourly

Networking. Some people consider it a guaranteed way to connect with industry luminaries. Others believe it’s the ideal way market your professional capabilities and build brand awareness. Still, others dread the concept, and try to avoid it at all costs.

Truth is, networking remains one of the most effective techniques for selling yourself, as well as uncovering new business opportunities, projects and jobs.

But there’s a key to networking success that isn’t often discussed — knowing how to conduct yourself in various social situations is essential.

While handing out business cards may work wonders for you at a designated networking event, the same strategy might not work in a different atmosphere. Is there a way to predict what techniques will be effective in a specific setting?

Let’s look at several common social scenarios, and consider an appropriate networking plan of action for each:

1) Work Events

Work events come in all shapes and sizes, from professional development courses to off-site meetings with colleagues. These events tend to be more formal and task-oriented. Typically these settings are not ideal for aggressive networking, primarily because your participation is tied to other business goals.

How to play it: Although you may know most people at a work event, you can subtly network by introducing yourself to other attendees. When it fits into the flow of conversation, you might also mention recent accomplishments or challenges you’ve overcome. This helps people in your internal network see where you shine, and helps them envision how you could contribute to future projects with them or others they know.

2) Office Parties

Events like the annual holiday party or your boss’s birthday don’t usually scream “networking.” Conversations are often focused on personal life, and you may not want to think about business. Although no one wants to “talk shop” throughout an entire office party, it can be an awesome opportunity diplomatically reinforce your strengths.

How to play it: Put the alcohol down and get to know colleagues you don’t know well, especially those in other departments. You don’t have to brag about your accomplishments, but you can weave in your expertise. Chances are, one day they may need your skills on a project. Be memorable and focus on how you add value.

3) Family Events

You probably believe family events are the last place to whip out your resume and market yourself, but these events can be a networking goldmine. Think about it. Your family wants you to do well in your career. It’s like preaching to the choir. You just have to know what songs to sing.

How to play it: Although members of your family probably don’t work in your industry, they’re likely to know someone who does. That’s why it’s advisable to touch base about business with as many people as possible while you “work the aisles” at reunions, weddings and other family gatherings. Bring a stash of business cards, in case someone expresses interest. In the future, if someone they know needs someone with your skills, you’ll be the first person on their radar.

4) Industry Conferences

Conferences are a great way to establish excellent connections who can help you expand your network. Sometimes the premise of a conference centers on networking. Other conferences are developed for you to learn more about your industry by listening to speakers, attending workshops and sharing ideas with professional colleagues.

How to play it: This is one of those obvious networking situations where you’ll need lots of business cards, a stack of resumes, and a variety of portfolio samples. Since conferences attract a plethora of industry colleagues, you never know who you’ll run into — so you need to be prepared. It’s also smart to refresh your LinkedIn profile before the event, so anyone who checks your profile afterward will see your most current information.

5) Running Errands

Picture this: You’re at the grocery store when you see an influential member of your industry. You don’t want to throw business cards at this important person, but you do want to make a connection. How do you approach a power player in public without appearing to be desperate?

How to play it: Look for an appropriate opening. Briefly introduce yourself and explain why you admire this person. Try to mention a recent article they wrote or compliment them on a recent accomplishment. Then, close quickly by asking if you could connect via email or on a social network. This opens the door to future conversations while downplaying what could otherwise be an awkward situation.

The ability to market yourself in any situation is a skill that should be practiced and polished. You never know who you’ll bump into and how they could help you out in the future. Look at every situation as a chance to boost your network and provide a possible stepping stone for your career.

What do you think about the power of networking in social settings? How have you marketed yourself at various events? What has been effective for you?

Lynn-Dixon(About the Author: Lynn Dixon is the co-founder and COO of, an employment network that quickly matches people who are interested in flexible positions with the right opportunities. Connect with Lynn and Hourly on Twitter and LinkedIn.)

(Editor’s Note: This post is republished from Brazen Life, with permission. Brazen Life is a lifestyle and career blog for ambitious young professionals. Hosted by Brazen Careerist, it offers edgy and fun ideas for navigating the changing world of work. Be Brazen!)

(Also Note: To discuss World of Work topics like this with others in the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events every Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome at events, or to join our ongoing Twitter conversation anytime. Learn more…)

Image Credit: Pixabay

How Social Sleuthing Can Land You A Dream Job

Written by Paul Bailey

Is your job hunt stalled because employers don’t respond to your inquiries? It’s time to rethink your communications strategy. Are you sending generic letters and resumes? Do you emphasize your skills and achievements? There’s a better way to gain an employer’s attention — and it’s easier than you may think.

Consider this — most recruiters rely on social media to check candidate profiles. Why not take a page from their playbook, and leverage social surveillance in your job search? It’s only fair. And it’s entirely free. All it takes is a little bit of digging.

Here’s how you can find helpful information and use it to ace every step of the job application process:

Start By Looking And Listening On Social Channels

Let’s say you find an ad for an attractive job. Your first step is to look at the company’s digital footprint — its primary website, as well as its blog, and presence on LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter and Facebook. At each location search for the following:

•  Hiring manager or recruiter name. Review their Linkedin profiles. Do you have anything in common, professionally? Be sure to check their interests and interview pet peeves on Facebook or Twitter.
•  Company background. Familiarize yourself with the organization’s target demographics, recent news, and products/services.
•  Someone who’s working in the position for which you’re applying. That person has the job you’re targeting for a good reason, so check what you have in common. If they have qualifications or technical knowledge you don’t, and those are related to the job, that’s a clue. Study those differences.
•  Challenges the company and its industry are facing. Prepare two or three suggestions on how you could help address those issues.
•  Company values, vision and mission. This is required baseline knowledge for anyone who wants to be considered a serious job contender in the social era.

Next Steps: Put Information To Use 3 Ways

1) On Your Resume

Take time to customize your resume. Align your skills and credentials with the job you’re pursuing. Highlight related achievements, too.

Remember your research on the person who already has the job you’re seeking? Look at how that person describes the job, and think about how you could insert skills or tasks on your resume that fit with that description. (Of course, don’t list these skills unless you really have them. Authenticity trumps all.)

2) On Your Cover Letter

Don’t start your cover letter with “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern.” Address the the recruiter or hiring manager directly.

Include key phrases from the job ad, and pair them with some phrases from the company’s mission/vision/values. For example, instead of writing “analyst with five years’ experience in banking,” say “analyst with a get-it-done attitude and five years’ experience in banking” (where “get-it-done attitude” is part of the company’s values).

You might think this is cheesy, but it gives the recruiter a subliminal signal that says, “Hey, this candidate will do well in our culture.” It’s also much better than using generic cliché phrases, such as “hardworking,” “honest” or “quick learner.”

3) In Interviews

Use your knowledge of the interviewer’s LinkedIn and Facebook profiles to break the ice. If you don’t have anything in common, try talking about their interests.

Don’t say something like, “I saw you worked at Chase Bank for two years. I worked there as an intern!” This ruins the ice-breaker because the recruiter will sense you’re trying too hard to establish rapport, and it reveals that you’ve been snooping on social sites.

Mention whatever it is you have in common, but don’t drag the recruiter into it. Say, “I was an intern at Chase Bank.” It’s likely that the recruiter will respond by acknowledging his history there.

Assuming you can establish rapport, the next step is to reinforce why you’re the best candidate for the job by eliminating the competition. This is where most of your research will pay off.

Asking questions makes you stand out from the hundreds who simply shake hands and say, “Thank you for your time.” Ask about the challenges new hires encounter, then tell a story about how you successfully handled similar challenges. Your awareness of current employees’ skills will be helpful, as you highlight your job-specific knowledge and competence with necessary tools. If you can confidently use the jargon or lingo associated with the job, use it.

Ask about the challenges faced by the company or industry, then share suggestions you’ve prepared in advance. However, don’t overdo it. Your task is to portray yourself as a problem-solver, not a know-it-all.

The next time you want to apply for a job, do research before you send an application. Customize your resume and cover letter for every job application you send. And use the intelligence to prepare yourself to stand out from the crowd.

Have you tried these techniques in a job search? How did they work for you? What other ideas do you recommend? Share you comments below.

168e7dae52120ad8976f5b.L._V388018754_(About the author:
Paul Bailey is a certified professional coach and business improvement consultant with more than 12 years of experience. He specializes in helping people realize their potential and unleash their inner confidence, so they can find meaningful work that matches their skills and values. Learn more about Paul and his coaching services at Impact Coaching & Mentoring.
Or connect with Paul on Twitter or Google+.

(Editor’s note: This post is republished from Brazen Life, with permission. Brazen Life is a lifestyle and career blog for ambitious young professionals. Hosted by Brazen Careerist, it offers edgy and fun ideas for navigating the changing world of work. Be Brazen!)

(Also Note: To discuss World of Work topics like this with others in the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events every Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome for events, or to join our ongoing Twitter conversation anytime. Learn more…)

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Forbes Picks TalentCulture As A Top Career Site: 3 Reasons Why It Matters

“The people to get even with are those who’ve helped you.”
–J.E. Southard

Today it’s time for us to “get even” by expressing deep gratitude! Why? Because has selected TalentCulture as one of “100 Top Websites For Your Career.” Of course we’re thrilled — and not just for all the obvious reasons. So, in the spirit of lists everywhere, here are our 3 Reasons Why This Forbes List Matters:

1) It Matters For Our Mission

By including us, Forbes is acknowledging the rise of crowdsourcing and virtual communities of practice in today’s social business world. And, if you consider the breadth and caliber of the company we’re keeping, it truly is an honor to be featured.

2) It Matters To Others In The World Of Work

On this list, everyone is a winner because there are no rankings. Instead, as Forbes staff writer Jacquelyn Smith notes:

“Our goal was to assemble a comprehensive guide to smart and engaging…online destinations for interns, job seekers, business owners, established professionals, retirees, and anyone else looking to launch, improve, advance, or change his or her career.”

forbes-logoForbes has developed a highly eclectic mix of sites. It’s not just about wildly popular social platforms like Twitter; professional networking sites like LinkedIn; job boards like CareerBuilder; and reference sites like the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Forbes actually adds meat to those big bones with niche services like CareerBliss and PayScale, as well as informational sites like Lindsey Pollak and Jobacle.

However, for us, the most exciting sites on the list are the many valued friends, partners and participants in our TalentCulture community. For example:

Blogging4Jobs by Jessica Miller-Merrell
Brazen Life by Brazen Careerest
Come Recommended by Heather Huhman
Keppie Careers by Miriam Salpeter
The Office Blend by Dr. Marla Gottschalk
Tweak It Together by Cali Yost
WorkLifeNation by Judy Martin
YouTern by Mark Babbitt

3) We Hope It Matters To You

Most importantly, this recognition is a positive reflection on each of you — the tens-of-thousands of monthly visitors who rely upon TalentCulture as a resource for helpful “world of work” ideas, insights, connections and conversations with professional peers.

This milestone is also an opportunity for us to express our gratitude for the hundreds of community participants who, for nearly 4 years have generously developed blog content, appeared as guests on our #TChat Radio shows, participated in our popular #TChat Twitter events, and shared knowledge and peer support continuously on our social media channels.

TalentCulture exists only because of the time, effort and skill that each of you contribute. That’s the beauty of community. This isn’t merely a “website.” This is a reflection of a continuous collaborative process that our founder, Meghan M. Biro, calls a “metaphor for the social workplace.”

Truly, in this case, we could not have done this with out you. So thanks to you all! And congratulations on what you’ve helped us create. Stay tuned to this site — and let’s see where our living learning laboratory will take us next!

Image Credit: redagainPatti at flickr


The Social Side of Professional Endorsements: #TChat Recap

The endorsement process is an evolution. What you try to do is you endorse someone that you believe in and their ideas align with yours. -Herman Cain

“It’s not what you know, it is who you know.” I’ve heard this statement throughout my college years and my career hunt. So, if everyone I know endorses me on LinkedIn, or if I email personal endorsements with my resume, will that land me the perfect job?

Recently I’ve been researching the role of social media in predicting consumer behavior. I see a connection with professional endorsements. For example, today’s technologies allow companies to track customer sentiment. According to Nielsen’s latest Global Trust in Advertising Report, 92% of consumers around the world say that they trust earned media (such as recommendations from friends or family) above all other forms of advertising.

If consumer reviews have such a significant influence on potential buyers, then surely professional endorsements carry tremendous weight with recruiters and job seekers.

But what about the new “skills endorsement” feature in LinkedIn profiles? What do these “thumbs up” stamps of approval really mean? How authentic are they? Are they considered credible? And how do they relate to more traditional professional recommendations?

I am not the only one with these questions. That’s why the TalentCulture community focused attention this week on the role of recommendations in today’s social workplace.

#TChat Week-in-Review

SUN 1/20
TalentCulture Founder, Meghan M. Biro set the stage in her post: “4 Questions to Keep Your Reputation in Check”

MON 1/21
#TChat weekly preview post “The Power of Online Endorsements”

G+ Hangout Video: As a prelude to his appearance later in the week, Mike Dwyer, discussed the value of endorsements with TalentCulture community manager, Tim McDonald. Mike is Co-founder of QUEsocial, a social business platform that equips employees with training, content and motivation to improve their performance.

TUE 1/22
#TChat Radio Show: Our hosts continued the dialogue with Mike Dwyer – along with Marla Gottschalk PhD, an organizational psychologist, consultant, and author who focuses on advancing workplace effectiveness.

WED 1/23
#TChat on Twitter: Mike and Marla joined us again – this time on the Twitter stream – as Mike led participants through an open discussion of issues, experiences and best practices in managing professional recommendations. Representative comments are featured below…

NOTE: To see specific highlights from yesterday’s “The Power of Online Endorsements” #TChat session on Twitter, see the Storify slideshow at the end of this post.

What is the value of endorsements and recommendations online?

Tremendously valuable, but they need to be authentic. @9INCHmarketing

Endorsements SUCK. Require no effort & too many ppl are abusing them to try to garner reciprocal endorsements. @DawnRasmussen

Are all online endorsement and related activity created equal?

I feel that referrals and recommendations weigh more than endorsements. It’s not a one click free-for all. @AshLaurenPerez

+K endorsement on klout is like Linkedin endorsement. Fast and fleeting, with no context. Written endorsements prove relevance. @bryanchaney

LinkedIn endorse. would make more sense if they had engagement portion where you could see discussion about person/brand taking place. @rezlady

How should leaders interpret online recommendations and endorsements?

Consider the source. Probably best not take at face value. ‏@TomBolt

As an initial filter it will probably speed up recruitment, but, I still prefer meeting people to make an accurate choice. @EnZzzoo

When do *you* endorse a fellow professional online?

Endorsements are nice but in prefer calling people and talking business. @levyrecruits

I have to know someone personally to endorse them and have something significant to say to recommend them. @nancyrubin

How is tech changing the nature and value of endorsements and recommendations?

Tech will increasingly become the norm. For delicate HR placements it will never replace a genuine CV and interview…I hope. @EnZzzoo

While tech makes it easier for everyone to see your endorsements, when abused it dimisses value for all. Why you need network. @tamcdonald

# # #

Closing Notes & Highlights Slideshow

SPECIAL THANKS: A nod to Mike Dwyer and Marla Gottschalk PhD for your leadership this week. The TalentCulture community would recommend you anywhere, anytime!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events inspire you to write about professional endorsements or other “world of work” issues? We’re happy to share your thoughts. Just 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 examine “Diversity of What?” – a fresh take on diversity in the workplace. Be sure to mark your calendar – first for #TChat Radio, Tuesday, Jan 29, at 7:30pm ET. And then for #TChat Twitter Wednesday, Jan 30, at 7pm ET. Look for more details on Monday, January 28 via @TalentCulture and #TChat.

Until then – we’ll see you on the stream!

Image credit:

#TChat INSIGHTS Slide Show: “The Power of Online Endorsements”

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#TChat INSIGHTS: The Power of Online Endorsements

Storified by TalentCulture World of Work· Wed, Jan 23 2013 17:45:50

My work “world” – see you on #TChat in a few!!
Collector’s Item! RT @rmcgahen I do! RT @DaveTheHRCzar: @nancyrubin u want 1 of these? #TchatNancy Barry-Jansson
Q1: What is the value of endorsements and recommendations online, whatever the context? #TChatMike Dwyer
A1 Too many fast & frenzied endorsements going on. Wait and see which flourish and which fade away. #TChatEnzo Guardino
A1: Endorsements are a measure. It is a valid measure as long as you don’t focus on that. #tchatMarcio Saito
A1. it can help you gauge if someone has the credentials you are looking for #tchatKimPope
A1: Peer validation is important, as long as it’s accurate. #TChatKevin W. Grossman
A1: I usually take them like I take movie reviews. Listen, but in the end want to make up my own mind. #TChatchrys peterson
A1: If you play “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” don’t endorse anyone. That’s not how the game is played #tchatJen Olney
A1 A recommendation via Twitter is great if you know why the person is being recommended as someone to follow #TChatHolly Chessman
A1. The most valued endorsements are from people that have not been formally asked to give one #tchatMichael Danubio
A1: An online endorsement is like the frosting on top of your career cake. It won’t stand up without real experience. #tchatBryan Chaney
A1: If the endorsement is genuine and from an authoritative source, it is meaningful. But ‘gamification’ def detracts from value. #tchatMark Salke
A1: I gave honest recommendation to someone on #LI. When she said she would endorse me back I told her not to dilute it by doing that #TChatTom Bolt
A1: I really VALUE the recommendations I have from past managers, colleagues, clients, etc. #REAL #TChatNancy Barry-Jansson
A1. It’s a public acknowledgement of your a: existence b: professional value (if provided by a legit source) #tchatSalima Nathoo
A1: I worry about that subjectivity bias that causes poor references to be worse and great references to be a tad unbelievable #TchatDan Schultz
A1: I’ve never read a recommendation for anyone on LI. It’s just like when checking references for a job – a waste of time. #tchatRob McGahen
A1. The real power of endorsements is internal, strengthens belief and passion for your vision and purpose. #BrandYou #tchatMichael Clark
A1) The most meaningful recommendations I’ve received? Those I’ve never solicited. They mean THE WORLD. #tchatExpertus
A1: Reward employees for the work they’ve done by giving them work they want and are capable of. Give them wings. #tchatBessie Rousselle
A1: Endorsements & recommendations that are REAL are social proof that U R who U say U R, do what U say U can do @Cruiter #TChatNancy Barry-Jansson
A1 The skills endorsement was some adroit marketing by LinkedIn #Overheard on #Tchat radioDave Ryan, SPHR
A1 Endorsements on LinkedIn are not terribly useful but real recommendations are #TChatHolly Chessman
A1 Endorsements are one way we can support each other, personally & professionally #TChatClaire Crossley
A1. They are best when the come from well informed people who know you well, their credibility comes through #tchatGuy Davis
A1. #TChat Tremendously valuable, but they need to be authentic.Stan Phelps
A1 They can help define your skill set online. An important career development step. #tchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
Q2: In the world of work, are all online endorsements and related activity created equal? Why or why not? #TChatMike Dwyer
A2: I find them more valuable when the endorsement comes from someone who managed the person directly #tchatWill Staney
A2 I haven’t take time to endorse all who deserve it—it’s too much. So the whole concept is too random right now. #tchatStephen Abbott
A2: Online Recommendations take more effort and carry more cred #TchatDan Schultz
A2 – or a client as well. I am also somewhat skeptical of people who endorse each other (scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours) #tchatmatthew papuchis
A2-endorsements, etc without performance examples are still nice but they’re really nothing but vacuous platitudes #tchatSteve Levy
A2 We have to start somewhere – and we have a long way to go! Endorsements are just the start. #tchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A2: What about resumes that list way too many skills? Skills endorsed have to matter and not clutter #tchatChristopher Yeh
A2: If it is on LinkedIn, the value comes from if the person knows the company/person giving the rec. = crediblity #TChatLori~TranslationLady
A2: I think one from a supervisor or someone in a “senior” position have more weight vs. a peer. Just my initial reaction. #tchatmatthew papuchis
A2 Online endorse not as valid as by client or startup whose bottom line increased via my help :-) #tchatCASUDI
A2 Endorsements are only as good as the people who give them, so not all are created equal. #TChatMike Dwyer
A2: No, endorsements are stronger when they come from credible sources. Big difference between a friend and a former manager.
A2. In the world of work? Doubtful – in the world of B2B or B2C? Probably (or can we separate the two?) #TChatSusan Avello
A2. Again, I feel the on-line recommendations are nice to have but I’ll never make a decision on those. Backdoor reference trumps. #tchatMichael Danubio
A2: Sadly, just as in the world of #leadership, we give more value to endorsements based on certain positions than others #TChatAndrew Henck
A2: It’s all about WHO provided the endorsement/recommendation. Needs to be authentic/legit/thoughout #tchatGoldbeck Recruiting
A2 Not sure, but I would think that the weight of the endorsement will heavily depend on the person recommending. #TChatEnzo Guardino
A2: The platform doesn’t matter; the person who provides the endorsement / recommendation does. #tchatDawn Rasmussen
A2: In a job search, those that are from previous employers and bosses probably hold a little more water than from peers. #TChatKevin W. Grossman
A2 Are you hiring someone? Are you prospecting? Are you making friends? Different recs can serve diff purposes #TChatHolly Chessman
A2: Written recommendations => read the words. Is it sincere? Push-button endorsements => too easy. Why wouldn’t they invest more? #TChatTom Bolt
A2. I feel that referrals and recommendations weigh more then endorsements. It’s not a one click free-for all #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A2 I always wonder if anyone looks at my Klout or Kred score. I don’t. #tchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
Q3: How should leaders interpret online recommendations & endorsements? What is the value? #TChatMike Dwyer
A3. Being and doing the best #BrandYou is the most powerful endorsement. #tchatMichael Clark
A3: Ldrs should look within their organization to see what type of LI footprint their “A” players have for guidance #TchatDan Schultz
A3: Online endorsements are almost the price of admission. If you want “front row seats” you’ll need a lot more than that though. #tchatmatthew papuchis
A3. Checking out a persons blog can give u insight as to how they think – don’t look at mine #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A3 Endorsements & esp. recommendations show you have credibility & that others are confident in your skills, reliability & work ethic #TChatMarc Cibulka
A3: I think the only reason why employers want references, is so they can check the box. STOP CHECKING BOXES!! #tchatRob McGahen
A3: Leaders recognize them as qualitative input. To be given their due consideration as such. #tchatMark Salke
A3: UR brand-indv/otherwise is never about what u say about urself–it’s what’s being said when u leave the room that counts #TChatAngela Maiers
A3 Rather than seeing a ‘click’ I’d rather hear about the experience, from candidate, that resulted in endorsement #TChatClaire Crossley
A3. it can back up some of the things people say. you can be ANYONE you want online – it can help prove you’re legit #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A3 There could be value for mentors-mentees. Taking the time to write a recommendation is more valuable than simply endorsing. #TchatGoldbeck Recruiting
A3: Consider their own LI recommendations/endorsements – note the roles & weigh that against job description #TChat @CruiterNancy Barry-Jansson
A3: Online recommendations etc should be valued equal to the amount of time it takes to do. Just a click, just throw it away. #TChatAndy Phillips
A3: A very big grain of salt. Not all online endorsements ring true #tchatJen Olney
A3: Leaders interpret online recommendations: We should be aware of the tools (e.g. Klout) & their limitations. Use caution. #tchatD. Scott Smith
Do our words not hold the same weight in digital as they do out loud? Mine written words are more weighty, in fact. A3 #tchatJocelyn Aucoin
A3. Verify against overall digital and social footprint to see if endorsements align w/ voice and engagement. #tchatSalima Nathoo
A3: It helps to tell a subjective story about the individual they’re reviewing and who the individual is connected to. #TChatKevin W. Grossman
A3 An open & creative leader new to working with an employee could use them to gain insight into ee if meaningful recent & sincere. #tchatJamieAinDC
A3) I think recommendations can be valuable on an intranet – for example – putting them to work in a context (what do you think?) #tchatnancyrubin
A3. Leaders should give endorsements a quick scan, nothing more. #tchatMichael Clark
A3 Online recommendations are a good way to see if its worth starting a conversation with someone – but it’s not the end point #TChatHolly Chessman
A3. Everything you discover should lead to a conversation where you corroborate and refine what you intuit. #tchatJustin Mass
A3: Online recs & endorsements should be taken with a grain of salt, maybe used as a starting off point for reference checks.
A3: Take it with a grain of salt #TChatAndrew Henck
A3 #tchat the vakue is in the passion and differentiation/authenyicity of the endorsement, if it strikes a chord, worth pursuingdiane mcwade
Q4: When do *you* endorse a fellow professional online? What criteria do you use? #TChatMike Dwyer
A4. I don’t do on-line reco’s. It’s just easier to say no to everyone than yes to some and not others. It’s a cop out for sure #tchatMichael Danubio
A4 I only recommend someone I personally know well, produced top quality work with and all the while truly enjoyed the experience. #TChatMarc Cibulka
A4: Confession: I’ve ignored req. for endorsement: I hadn’t see their work…yikes, didn’t I make a reference to ostriches last week?!! #TchatLori~TranslationLady
A4: I’ve recommended a few ppl on LI. Those who inspire me and who I’ve worked (note: past tense) w/ face-to-face. #tchatBob Merberg
A4. I would like to offer each of you an endorsement for awesomeness right here and now. #tchatMichael Clark
A4: I see people in 3D. I like to cut through the “sheen” and FAST :-) Heart, Smarts and *Credibility* is what is important. #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A4: I will provide an unsolicited endorsement for a colleague who I know and trust for a skill I have seen demonstrated. #tchatMark Salke
A4 only when i know the person, know that they have demonstrated the skill and know they are on the job hunt. To help them out #tchatAidan Daly
A4: I endorse only those I have worked with and believe they would represent my recommendation well. #tchatSalary School
A4: When do *you* endorse a fellow professional online? <--Following a recent interaction (relevant & real time) #tchatD. Scott Smith
#tchat A4 when you have had enough interaction to determine their authenticity, their own knowledge, their reactions etc!MySageAdvice(TM)
A4: In Linkedin I only endorse people I’ve worked with. I believe most people do that. Trust the community. #tchatMarcio Saito
A4 I endorse when I worked directly with the person and I can evaluate his skills #tchatAhmed Abdel-Aliem
A4: if they endorse me first :) J/K – I will endorse if someone has established consistently high competence in certain area #tchatmatthew papuchis
A4. How long have I known them, what is our relationship, work, prof assoc, student emply, colleague, how do I know their skills #tchatGuy Davis
A4 On LI I only endorse people I’ve actually worked with or know well. On Twitter I recommend people I admire & connect with #TChatHolly Chessman
A4: Endorse people when I have gotten to know them and feel comfy extending my brand credibility to include them. #tchatDawn Rasmussen
A4: If someone I know is looking to fill a position and I know someone that may be a good fit. #tchatRob McGahen
A4 I endorse unsolicited, and only when I really know that person is good at that skill #TchatChristopher Yeh
A4) I have to know someone personally to endorse them and have something significant to say to recommend them #tchatnancyrubin
A4 Only current associates (people can change over time). Or a service that I’ve actually experienced. #TChatEnzo Guardino
A4. I make sure I endorse people for what I legitimately dealt with when working with them. #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A4 #tchat I never endorse folks I do not know/value and I never share with the nework as an option, what is the point? It is reputationaldiane mcwade
A4 I must have had a cocktail with someone to endorse them #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A4: I only recommend when I’m asked to, and I reciprocate when I’m given one. But I haven’t dabbled in endorsements to date. #TChatKevin W. Grossman
Q5: How is tech changing the nature & value of endorsements & recommendations? #TChatMike Dwyer
A5 As many of you wonderful people have said, nothing beats the power of a recommendation / referral based on in-person experience :) #TChatMarc Cibulka
A5 whatever happened to picking up the phone and checking in with the person’s endorser? You can tell a lot from tone of voice!! #tchatAidan Daly
A5: I remember recommendations someone took the time to think about and type out on paper. Seemed more meaningful. #tchatBob Merberg
A5: Technology has put an even greater emphasis on endorsements, forcing us to look at experiences across the board #tchatAlex Theis
A5: Let’s GET CLEAR on the difference between “endorsements” and “recommendations” on #LinkedIn #Justsayin #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A5: More tech gives us the ability to start to be more discriminate with who we trust and how we will wield our endorsement of others #tchatJen Olney
#tchat A5: It makes it convenient but unfortunately a lot of it can be skewed too.Mike Chuidian
A5 It’s doubled-edged. On one hand it takes less time so people can write more meaningful recommendations. On the other, saturation #tchatChristopher Yeh
A5: The easier the endorsement is to perform, the less value there is in it. Technology is making it TOO easy. #TChatLori~TranslationLady
A5. Watering them down, making them too easy, eliminating thought and discretion. #tchatMichael Danubio
A5) While tech makes it easier for everyone to see your endorsements, when abused it dimisses value for all. Why you need network. #tchatTim McDonald
A5. Some great pros I work with in prof assoc once a year, tech makes it easier for us to keep in touch and get to know their skills #tchatGuy Davis
A5. Tech can def help you find more qualified people quicker than by searching via word-of-mouth. Recmd/endorsements can back up cred #tchatKimPope
A5 – alas I fear too many online endorsements lack credibility – and it’s getting worse #TChatSylvia Dahlby
A5 A lot of the #SM stuff is turning into noise #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A5 Tech or no tech, any endorsement, recommendation, a shout-out, should be authentic! #TChatClaire Crossley
A5 when tech is foisted upon a process that is broken – without reengineering te process – the result is automated inefficiency #tchatSteve Levy
A5 makes it easier, which isn’t necessarily good. Can mean less thought goes into the endorsements/rec. Can get lazy!! #tchatAidan Daly
A5: It definitely makes it much easier to do so!! #Tchatrecruiterbox
A5 It makes you wonder what happens to those who haven’t adopted the tech to be endorsed/recommended #TchatGoldbeck Recruiting
A5: Tech has made endorsing / recommending easier but that doesn’t mean we should lower the bar! #linkedin #endorsements #tchatStacy Donovan Zapar
A5 #tchat it is destroying it, has no proper validation/risk assessment guidelines attached, needs curtailment, else true professionals diediane mcwade
A5: Tech is changing endorsements / recommendations to make them dumber (uh, easier) to do. #tchatDawn Rasmussen
A5: A well thought-out composed recommendation vs. a “click” and yes we are moving on to the next person. Hmmm… #tchatDawn Rasmussen
A5 Tech makes it easier to find people but that’s where the real work begins – then u have to get to know them #TChatHolly Chessman

The Power of Online Endorsements: #TChat Preview

EDITOR’S NOTE: Want to read the RECAP of this week’s events? Read “#TChat Recap: The Social Side of Professional Endorsements”

The digital reputation economy is fast approaching — it’s already here for movies, restaurants (including their restrooms), customer service in retail, and a growing number of employers. And it’s arriving for us ordinary citizens: “everyman” and “everywoman.” Startups are building software that can aggregate your tweets, “likes,” online commerce and more, to construct a profile of who you are. And employers, banks and others who have influence over your professional and personal affairs want to review that aggregation of data. This week we look at whether or not that’s a good thing in general, and how it changes our professional and personal currency.

Endorsements online can mean a lot. This we know, and their apparent relevance to the world of work is considerable. They can help an organization’s SEO, yes, and research shows that a large majority percentage of social media users turn to their peers for recommendations on products and services, and not to the organizations themselves that provide these — a sort of unofficial recommendation.

There must be a corresponding phenomenon in the world of work. And that would be digitally revolutionary. Against the backdrop of social endorsements are the official and unofficial mechanisms for professional endorsements and recommendations that drive careers, too. With its new endorsements functionality, LinkedIn recently has made a splash along these lines.

Let’s train our collective #TChat wisdom on endorsement, to look into whether or not all online endorsements are created equal. We’re going to do our best to extrapolate as many key takeaways as possible that might be applicable to the world of work. In the spirit of that quest, following are this week’s questions:

Q1: What is the value of endorsements and recommendations online, whatever the context?

Q2: In the world of work, are all online endorsements and related activity created equal? Why or why not?

Q3: How should leaders interpret online recommendations & endorsements? What is the value?

Q4: When do *you* endorse a fellow professional online? What criteria do you use?

Q5: How is tech changing the nature & value of endorsements & recommendations?

To view the #TChat Radio preview, click the image.

One of this week’s #TChat Radio and #TChat Twitter guests is Dr. Marla Gottschalk (@MRGottschalk), a prolific member of our community. Marla is practice manager in organizational development at Rand Gottschalk & Associates, a management consultancy focusing on organizational change and performance development. Here’s a link to her blog, The Office Blend.

Our other guest for the radio show, and moderator of Wednesday’s Twitter chat, will be Mike Dwyer (@cruiter), co-founder and managing director of market development at QUEsocial, a social business technology platform that equips employees in recruiting, sales, customer service, product marketing, and marketing with job-specific training, content and motivation to convert social media activities into desired outcomes.

So please, join us. Tune into the radio show on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 7:30pm ET / 4:30pm PT. And then bring your ideas to the Twitter chat on Wednesday, Jan. 23, from 7-8 pm ET (6-7pm CT, 5-6pm MT, 4-5pm PT, or wherever you are). We always enjoy and value your tweets and wisdom!

Image credit: Thumbs Up via stock.xchng

Whether the Why Not of Social HR Leadership: #TChat Recap

We’d thought we’d cause a rift in the space time continuum. Fortunately we didn’t.

That’s because the amazing SocialHRCamp attendees in Vancouver BC and the fantastical #TChat contributors collaborated together during the #TChat hour on the topic of Social HR: Engage the Humans for Social HR Leadership.

No rifts, but we most certainly did riff and make sweet rock and roll insight together. The folks who gathered on site of our generous hosts Talent Technology were made up of progressive HR and recruiting professionals ready to learn, share and take the lead in all things social and the world of work.

Many still struggled with convincing their leadership the value of social recruiting and social marketing and blogging and even using LinkedIn to source from, for goodness sake (which is the most embraced mainstream professional social network these days, although there were those of us who argued if it was truly social or not, but I digress).

Yes, the collective did indeed riff in one session after the other, and it all crescendoed during #TChat. Although at first there was hesitation, a groupthink holding of breath, the very fabric of time stretching at the seams, we all watched the livestream of the online #TChat stream away.

I then broke free and moderated away, and what ensued was a delightfully smart, provocative at times and sometimes heated exchange about how much of the personal and professional should we combine in our personal and professional lives. Should there be boundaries?

What we discovered is that we do all have our own boundaries of varying degrees, but when we get together live at events like this, ad hoc communities within communities form, and we do combine our personal and professional lives, solving our world of work ills from the inside out.

We’ve been spending so much arguing inside our companies of whether or not business leadership, including HR and recruiting, and including everyone down to the front line employees, should be using social media to do anything, when all along the argument should be whether the why not.

Am I right?

Click here if you missed this week’s preview, and check out the slide show below of prime-cut tweets from Wednesday’s chat. We can’t wait for next week’s conversation. Stay tuned for the preview.

Image Credit: Pixabay

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Finding Career Success Without A Job or Internship

Written by Kirsten Taggart

I’m currently in Australia taking some classes and learning what life is like in the southern hemisphere.  Even more, I’m learning some important lessons and tricks on how to advance my career away from home without a job or an internship. Whether you’re also abroad, a recent graduate, or simply want to plan ahead, it’s always beneficial to know how to be productive on your own time.

We’re facing an unemployment rate of 9.1% (underemployment is at 19.2%). There are approximately 21 applicants per job position.  Intimidating? I certainly think so. But you can have a major advantage over your competition simply by making yourself known and getting your name out there from wherever you may be.

Being away from home, I’ve found the best way to do so is to stay connected. Email previous employers/professors and tell them what you’re up to, what you’re planning on doing in the near future, etc. Maybe they know someone you can contact.

Use LinkedIn wisely.

Be vocal on Twitter – when I say vocal I don’t mean telling the world that you broke up with your boy/girlfriend via a sappy song lyric. Twitter is a branding source so use it the way you would want your employers to view you. What are you interested in? What relevant articles have you read lately? Who are (or aren’t) you following?  Twitter is great for making connections in your industry and finding open positions.

At the same time, go out and meet people. My goal here has been to meet the locals and find out what they do, what working in Sydney is like, workplace dynamics, etc.  Who knows, you might find someone in your field that can help you out.

Here’s a recent example of how networking can help you anywhere in the world. TalentCulture recently took on a few new talented bloggers.  I tweeted them a small community welcome, which led to a conversation with William. Before I knew it, he was sending me the contact information of his friend in Australia.  Now I have a local connection and an opportunity to expand my network.

In the past few weeks there have been numerous articles on the best and worst advice for college students, but the most valuable tip I’ve heard so far is not to limit yourself. Put yourself out there on social media – in the end you’ll be available to a much broader job market.

If you would like to read more on the world of work for new grads, check out Tuesday’s #TChat recap.

What Social Recruiting IS and IS NOT: Welcome to TC, Jeff!

Hello all,  Jeff Waldman here.  As my first post, I am sharing the latest article from my blog. I look forward to becoming the newest contributer to Talent Culture and hope you all enjoy my writing!

I’ve been itching to write something about social recruiting… why? Because people who should be all over social recruiting and leveraging it as a strategic practice to build kick-ass organizations just don’t get it.

Hmmm… “the Jeff Waldman brainstorm session”…

I took a blank piece of paper and jotted down any idea that came to mind when I asked myself why people don’t really get it. I wrote a few things down, then put the piece of paper away and did some other work, came back to it a few hours later and wrote a few more things. Here’s a bit of a summary of what I came up with.

  1. HR, who supposedly is responsible for attracting and recruiting new talent has absofrickinglutely no clue how to utilize social recruiting. And…. they should.
  2. Forget about technology for a second, it’s been my experience that HR is not very good at being proactive with building talent pools and pipelines, and integrating workforce planning, succession planning and talent management functions into the day to day business. Note: if you’re not strategic then spending any amount of time using social recruiting is a complete waste of time!!!  In fact, it’ll more of a detriment to what you’re trying to do, building and developing a recognizable and solid employer brand.
  3. The role of HR in most organizations, regardless of what HR people say their role is, is really nothing more than reactive, administrative in nature, and frankly viewed as a cost centre. No wonder why I cringe when I see the way over-priced Masters in HR program that York University recently started offering… I still haven’t seen anything in their course curricula that has anything to do with real business.
  4. There are obvious demographic characteristics associated with using technology —- e.g. “I’m 50 years old, I don’t want to touch social media….. it’s a foreign world to me so I’ll let one of our junior 20 something year olds figure it out… let me just continue doing my thing as I’ve always done it”!!

These were the common themes, and there are many other points that came to mind but the key thought is this:

All social recruiting really is, is a highly effective tool to proactively and strategically support the business attract and hire the best talent out there…. simple as this! The principle of talent attraction is not new one bit, but HOW someone does it is new….. TECHNOLOGY.  By the way, in addition to social recruiting being highly effective it is extremely cost effective, which in this day and age, never hurts the bottom line of your organization.

What Social Recruiting is Not…

Don’t forget that the core purpose of social media is engagement… conversation, interaction, consistent and constant dialogue, finding common interests globally, sharing, collaborating, caring and relationship building. However, I see on a daily basis people/companies that I am following “pushing” content out without really caring about the conversation and dialogue.  They are missing out on a huge opportunity that is literally served up to them on a silver platter. Why would I care what a company says if they have never shown any interest in what others are saying and doing? I value reciprocity, and pushing 100% of the time does not demonstrate reciprocity whatsoever.

Here’s an example that I think you’ll recognize. You’re following company X and you see a tweet on Twitter from this company that they are hiring a Marketing Manager… they include the link to the job posting that takes you to their website. That’s it… they may tweet about this job more than once. You then take a look at the history of this organizations’ tweets and you notice they are of the same variety, and they have only tweeted 15 times during the past year. Everything is pushed content. What’s different about how this company is using Twitter versus putting a job ad in Craigslist or Workopolis? You guessed it….. NOT A FRICKING THING… This is NOT social recruiting!!

The Point…

Social recruiting is not rocket science. It’s just a really effective way to proactively and strategically build the most talented and best organization possible. However, and I hate to break this to you but hard work is required on an ongoing basis in order to reap the benefits that social recruiting has to offer. All of those descriptive words that I used earlier to describe what social media should be are things you need to employ when using social recruiting.

The principle of building relationships have never changed, and never will. The tactics you use to do this though have changed, and technology is that change. If you want to compete with companies that “get it” then you better start fully embedding social recruiting into your day to day activities.

Be proactive, be strategic, be smart and help your company achieve their business objectives. Technology is not a scary beast that can never be mastered and learned. Find someone in your organization that understands the finer points of social media who can give you a demo of each of the primary social media tools (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn).

Then leverage the desired technological platform(s) to engage, converse, talk to, share with and reciprocate with other people…. you’ll be amazed how quickly and effectively you’ll meet and connect with people you would never have met otherwise. The senior executives of your organization will hail you as a hero to being “the one” who single handily increased the level of your workforce talent while reducing real costs associated with HR. They will LOOOOOOVE YOOOUUUU!!

VIP Treatment for Hiring Managers and Recruiters: College Campuses

Today’s guest post is by our talented colleague and friend  Karla Porter.  Karla is the Director of Work Force Development and Human Resources for a chamber of business, industry and economic develop­ment agency in Pennsylvania and blogs about Human Capital & New Media at You can follow her on Twitter @karla_porter for “all things human capital, career, recruiting and new media… maybe more.”

In 2008, college students and their parents were wearing out their worry beads thinking there would be little hope for a long time for graduates and no way to pay students loans for many years to come. Post graduate enrollment increased with students thinking they might as well stay in college rather than face unemployment or have to deal with underemployment. At least that way they could stave off student loans a while longer.

At the same time, in one of life’s ha ha I fooled you moments, employers coming out of recessionary shock realized the economic woes were going to be a chronic case of global acid reflux not a mere blip on the radar, but they couldn’t necessarily hold out on hiring any longer. What to do?

In many companies the answer has been to help manage budget cuts by hiring recent college graduates with the aptitude to do the job at entry level salaries, rather than seasoned professionals with track records that command heavyweight salaries.  At the very least, hiring managers are much more willing to interview and seriously consider recent graduates than perhaps they have ever been. Whether it will prove to be a wise business decision in the long run or not, it’s the hand many hiring managers and recruiters have been dealt.

So, why not enjoy the VIP treatment college and university career services centers are delighted to bestow upon you in order to help place their grads, especially in these times of a tight job market? Get to know the players, build rapport with them and they’ll turn into a team of willing assistants for you. It might even help ease the pain of a “light” placement fee for third party recruiters or a smaller bonus for in-house recruiters.

Here are some tips to tap into talent – even if you don’t have a budget to get out to on-site campus recruitment events. I’ll use computer science/engineering majors as an example.

Do you have any tips you would like to share for tapping into fresh college graduate talent? Interested to hear your stories and examples.

10 Tips To Building a Social Community

The human resources, career, and recruitment communities are communities in the truest sense of the word. Social media communities are popping up everywhere these days. Why do some work, and some don’t? How do we build stronger communities? Where do you go for advice and resources for community development?
First, the success of any social media community depends upon engagement, interaction, and positive reinforcement for participation. Back in February, I started a job search community called #HireFriday. It spread to 3 Countries within the first 3 months, and went viral throughout the web. HireFriday is not just a community, it’s a movement with grass root supporters, volunteer community leaders who act as stewards, and evangelists to grow our community.

I attribute this to the pay it forward aspect of our social community. I believe it is hunan nature to want to be kind, and helpful.  In the down turned economy, people seek out ways to make a difference.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

1. Engage-give people a reason to be part of your community. Reach out to your industry leaders and enlist their support.

2. Interact-be a conversation starter. People appreciate making contact – particularly when the banter is positive and upbeat.

3. Reinforce interaction with public recognition. Retweet on Twitter. Create a blog post noting and linking the people who are engaging with you community. This encourages other people’s participation.

4. Find people who need your help and help them. Enlist others to do the same. For instance, job seekers appreciate it when you amplify their search with a retweet, or tweet.

5. Make sure you are listening and responding to participants in your community.

6. Be prepared to address negative comments immediately. Rapid response is crucial to building a better relationship. A problem resolved quickly and attentively builds community loyalty.

7. Provide excellent content.

8. Be consistent in your content by staying on message and reinforcing your core brand values, goals, and mission.

9. Don’t spread yourself too thin-find the space where the interaction is greatest and focus your attention there.

10. Stay positive. Garner support from your community and build those relationships.

The relationships I’ve built over the past few years in social media communities have grown dear to my heart. Nothing builds community loyalty like deepening relationships with your participants. The top ten tips I’ve mentioned have helped me focus my community building efforts. I hope they help yours.   Mashable and Techcrunch are staples in my Google Reader. I like these topical articles – Enjoy:

How To: Use Social Media to Connect With Other Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneur People & Lists

The Fastest Growing Social Sites

8 Things to Avoid When Building a Community