#WorkTrends Recap: Recruiting Trends and 2017 Predictions

The world of recruiting and talent acquisition has evolved over the past few decades… and changes are predicted to continue well into the near future.

The HR Technology space is teeming with options and competition with new companies coming onto the scene every day. Many will see a bright future, but others will barely see the light of day.

This week, special guest host Tim McDonald hosted Talent Board co-founder and chairwoman Elaine Orler to discuss recruiting trends and predictions for the next year.

Tim and Elaine discussed what trended this year and where they think the industry can and will go.

Here are a few key points that Elaine shared:

  • Businesses need to define what they want versus what they need before they shop for HR tech platforms
  • Social media is now moving more to interactions and awareness of where people are
  • Recruiting technologies fail because of the inability of the business to be prepared for new solutions

Did you miss the show? You can listen to the #WorkTrends podcast on our BlogTalk Radio channel here:

You can also check out the highlights of the conversation from our Storify here:

Didn’t make it to this week’s #WorkTrends show? Don’t worry, you can tune in and participate in the podcast and chat with us every Wednesday from 1-2pm ET (10-11am PT). Next week, on Nov 16, I will be joined by William Keiper, CEO of FirstGlobal Partners LLC and best selling author, to discuss the new epidemic hitting the workplace, cyber slacking.

Remember, the TalentCulture #WorkTrends conversation continues every day across several social media channels. Stay up-to-date by following our #WorkTrends Twitter stream; pop into our LinkedIn group to interact with other members; or check out our Google+ community. Engage with us any time on our social networks, or stay current with trending World of Work topics on our website or through our weekly email newsletter.

Photo Credit: aquanandy Flickr via Compfight cc

#WorkTrends Preview: Recruiting Trends and 2017 Predictions

The world of recruiting and talent acquisition has evolved over the past few decades… and changes are predicted to continue well into the near future.

The HR Technology space is teeming with options and competition with new companies coming onto the scene every day. Many will see a bright future, but others will barely see the light of day.

Join guest host Tim McDonald and special guest Elaine Orler, the Chairperson and Co-founder of Talent Board on Wednesday, November 9 at 1pm ET as they discuss the current state of recruiting and explore the possibilities of the future recruiting technology landscape.

Recruiting Trends and 2017 Predictions

#WorkTrends Logo Design

Join Tim McDonald and Elaine Orler on our LIVE online podcast Wednesday, Nov 9 — 1 pm ET / 10 am PT.

Immediately following the podcast, the team invites the TalentCulture community over to the #WorkTrends Twitter stream to continue the discussion. We encourage everyone with a Twitter account to participate as we gather for a live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: What is the most impactful HR tech you’ve seen in 2016? #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

Q2: What recruiting and TA tech will be game-changers in 2017? #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

Q3: What resources can help educate us on recruiting technologies? #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

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


Photo Credit: der bischheimer Flickr via Compfight cc

#WorkTrends Recap: How Artificial Intelligence Can Change HR and Recruiting

Are robots coming to work? Not entirely, but something that is going to be a game changer is about to take over the world of HR. Artificial Intelligence or AI is coming to an HR department near you and maybe sooner than you think.

Artificial intelligence is going to do for HR what the car did for transportation. It’s going to transform how we look at data, what data is worth considering and help us to interpret the intricacies of big data.

This week, I hosted special guest Jessica Miller-Merrell, founder of Blogging4Jobs, to discuss this timely topic.

Jessica and I discussed ways AI has already impacted HR. She also shared her predictions for the future.

Here are a few key points that Jessica shared:

  • AI has the potential to make work easier for our teams
  • AI can remove the unconscious bias from hiring and find candidates that might otherwise be overlooked
  • You need data for AI to be effective

Did you miss the show? You can listen to the #WorkTrends podcast on our BlogTalk Radio channel here:

You can also check out the highlights of the conversation from our Storify here:

Didn’t make it to this week’s #WorkTrends show? Don’t worry, you can tune in and participate in the podcast and chat with us every Wednesday from 1-2pm ET (10-11am PT). Next week, on Nov 9, special guest host Tim McDonald will be joined by Elaine Orler, chairwoman of the Talent Board, to discuss recruiting trends and predictions for 2017.

Remember, the TalentCulture #WorkTrends conversation continues every day across several social media channels. Stay up-to-date by following our #WorkTrends Twitter stream; pop into our LinkedIn group to interact with other members; or check out our Google+ community. Engage with us any time on our social networks, or stay current with trending World of Work topics on our website or through our weekly email newsletter.


Photo Credit: mohanrajdurairaj Flickr via Compfight cc

#WorkTrends Recap: Millennial Attraction Factors

There are more millennials among today’s applicants than any other generation, and they’ll be 75 percent of the workforce by 2025. On this week’s #WorkTrends show, we were joined by CEO of The Muse, Kathryn Minshew, who shared insights on what attracts millennial talent.

Kathryn discussed the challenges all businesses face in finding what resonates with millennials. She helped the audience set aside common misconceptions and shared what to focus on in order to engage the Digital Generation.

Here are a few key points Kathryn shared:

  • Millennials are looking for the 3 Ps for their future business. People, Purpose, and Path. They want to know about the people they will work with, what their value will be to the company, and what growth opportunities they will have within the organization.
  • Instead of just telling prospective employees about your company’s greatness, give the megaphone to your employees and have the employees explain what they love and why.
  • Potential employees need to demonstrate that they’ve done their homework on the company and come prepared to describe what they bring to the table and why they would love to work there.

Missed the show? You can listen to the #WorkTrends podcast on our BlogTalk Radio channel here:

You can also check out the highlights of the conversation from our Storify here:

Didn’t make it to this week’s #WorkTrends show? Don’t worry, you can tune in and participate in the podcast and chat with us every Wednesday from 1-2pm ET (10-11am PT). Next week, on Oct 19, best-selling author and speaker Michelle Tillis Lederman will join host Meghan M. Biro to discuss “The 11 Laws of Likability.”

The TalentCulture #WorkTrends conversation continues every day across several social media channels. Stay up-to-date by following the #WorkTrends Twitter stream; pop into our LinkedIn group to interact with other members, or check out our Google+ community. Engage with us anytime on our social networks, or stay current with trending World of Work topics on our website or through our weekly email newsletter.

photo credit: jeffdjevdet Millennials Scrabble via photopin (license)

#WorkTrends Preview: Millennial Attraction Factors

There are more millennials among today’s applicants than any other generation, and they’ll be 75 percent of the workforce by 2025. On this week’s show, we’ll talk about what attracts millennial talent. The challenge all businesses face is finding that sweet spot between the myths and the truth — and what resonates with millennials may surprise you. Time to set aside those misconceptions and focus on the must-haves: an optimized mobile portal, social media-linked application processes, and an authentic employer brand to pull it all together. That’s what it takes for this Digital Generation to engage, apply, interview and ultimately, perform.

Host Meghan M. Biro will be joined by special guest Kathryn Minshew, CEO and Founder of The Muse, a career platform used by 50+ million people to advance in their careers.

Be sure to tune in to get an expert view of what’s millennials what to see from companies, where to find top talent and much more! Millennials are the future of business so this live podcast and Twitter chat should not be missed!

Millennial Attraction Factors

#WorkTrends Logo Design

Tune in to our LIVE online podcast Wednesday, Oct 12 — 1 pm ET / 10 am PT

Join TalentCulture #WorkTrends Host Meghan M. Biro and guest Kathryn Minshew as they discuss how to recruit top millennial talent.

#WorkTrends on Twitter — Wednesday, Oct 12 — 1:30 pm ET / 10:30 am PT

Immediately following the podcast, the team invites the TalentCulture community over to the #WorkTrends Twitter stream to continue the discussion. We encourage everyone with a Twitter account to participate as we gather for a live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: What misconceptions do companies have about new talent?  #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

Q2: How can millennials showcase their talent to prospective companies? #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

Q3: What actions should companies take to highlight their value proposition to new talent? #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

Don’t want to wait until next Wednesday to join the conversation? You don’t have to. We invite you to check out the #WorkTrends Twitter feed, our TalentCulture World of Work Community LinkedIn group, and in our TalentCulture G+ community. Share your questions, ideas and opinions with our awesome community any time. See you there!

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


Photo Credit: stocknewsusa Flickr via Compfight cc

Recruit Smarter Not Harder

It’s happened to us all: That person—that star—the one who absolutely nailed their interview ends up being a dud. New hires end up in duds-ville for many reasons, including poor culture fit, temperament issues, “coach-ability” problems, and less than stellar technical competence. In fact, one recent survey revealed the number one reason for failed hires (performance issues aside) is a poor skills match, with unclear performance objectives sliding into second place. And, aside from hiring fails, recruiting itself is getting tougher. We need to recruit smarter in today’s marketplace.

Aside from hiring fails, recruiting itself is getting tougher. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (reporting on a recent survey by the DHI Group), “…half of respondents (45 percent)…said that the time to fill open positions has lengthened since 2014. The primary reason cited is the inability to find qualified professionals (53 percent), followed by hiring managers saying they’re waiting for the perfect match (29 percent).”

Another important factor leading to longer fill times? Salary expectations, especially when it comes to tech positions, just aren’t being met.

We know how expensive the churn of hiring and re-hiring can be, so how can HR departments and recruitment specialists reduce the number of bad hires, get the right candidates matched and hired for the right positions, in a shorter amount of time?

The answer isn’t to recruit harder. The answer is to recruit smarter.

Recruit Smarter, Not Harder

Talent Analytics: Today’s smart recruiter uses technology and big data to help fine-tune hiring decisions, which brings us to talent analytics. Talent analytics, simply put, is the process of using big data to analyze the data of past, current, and potential employees. The insights gleaned help HR departments find top-notch cultural fits and hire for predicted success. Another bonus? Talent analytics helps keep employment costs low, by helping make the entire process more streamlined, and reducing the risk of a bad hiring decision.

Mobile and Social: According to a recent piece from, “The use of social media for recruitment has grown 54 percent in the past five years…84 percent of organizations are now recruiting on social media; only 56 percent of companies were hiring on social media in 2011.” The pool of online job-hunters has doubled in the last ten years, and today, online for the majority of people means mobile. Twenty-eight percent of job seekers use their smartphone for job hunting, and, not surprisingly, that number rises to 53 percent in the 18-to-29-year-old age bracket. Ensuring that your recruitment strategies are online, intertwined with your social media efforts, and mobile optimized will up your chances finding—or getting found by—the right person.

Employee/Candidate Review Websites: There are myriad job review websites out there today, and we should not ignore them. Nothing sells a company more than glowing reviews from actual employees. Being able to use various rating systems, and pro/con style feedback, employees using sites like Glassdoor, for example, are encouraged to be brutally honest in their reviews. But, if we want to get just a tiny bit Machiavellian for a minute? Scouring employment review websites can also alert you to which organizations are failing when it comes to workplace satisfaction and employee loyalty and happiness. These sites can also tip you off to who just might be amenable to ditching, and join your organization.

Create Clearly Defined Job Descriptions: Don’t rely on that same set of job specs you’ve been using since 2008. Today, with the tremendous impact technology is having on everyone’s roles, there’s a better than good chance that job spec is out of date. Instead, speak to departments managers and the people who are currently in the positions you are hiring for—before writing a job description. You’ll probably hear an entirely different account of what’s needed to perform successfully in the role than you might have expected, which can help you craft a job description that clearly outlines job responsibilities as well as the personality characteristics required. Even something this simple can help weed out applicants who don’t have what it takes—and pull in the candidates that do.

Stay Up to Date on the Latest Technology: I’ve written before about how important it is to adopt—and adapt to—as much HR technology as possible if you want to stay competitive. HR’s role in tech is what will separate the wheat from the chaff. From the initial search, recruitment, training, and bringing new recruits up to speed, HR’s effectiveness, in terms of functionality that supports an organization, is a matter of tailoring and customization. That tailoring and customization won’t happen until you dip both feet into the pool. Keep your ear to the ground, watch what your competitors are doing, read as much as you can about the latest innovations and updates, and start integrating HR technology into your hiring processes.

There’s a great old idiom about “flogging a dead horse.” And the last thing you want to do if it starts to feel like your recruiting efforts are floundering is to keep flogging. Harder doesn’t mean better. Flog as hard as you want, but until you start recruiting smarter, your efforts are going to go to waste.

What do you think? Have you explored new and exciting recruitment methods? Shaken off the old-fashioned “tried and true” for social outreach and HR big data? I would love to hear how you’re using technology in your smart HR recruiting efforts.

Photo Credit: RollisFontenot Flickr via Compfight cc

Five Reasons Why Today’s Dads Need Support, Too

When we talk about addressing the challenges of balancing work and family, the conversation is often framed as a women’s issue. In response, we’ve seen enterprises make plans and implement programs designed to support working moms.

These initiatives accomplish important work. Family-friendly benefits, like paid maternity leave and child care assistance, have proven valuable in terms of recruiting and retaining female talent, improving gender diversity and driving the bottom line.

But in many cases there’s something missing. It’s obvious, yet often overlooked. It’s dads.

Today’s dads do more than earn a paycheck. They’re engaged parents rising to the challenge of raising a modern family.  They want – and expect – work-life supports from their employers, and forward-thinking companies are the ones who recognize this.

Let’s take a look at five reasons companies need to dial into the modern dads movement:

  1. Modern Families – and Their Employers – Struggle With “Mad Men” Era Policies
    Dual-income families used to be the exception, now they’re the rule. Today, about two-thirds of couples with children under 18 are in dual-earning households – that’s up from about half of households in 1970. After decades of increasing educational and professional achievements of women, we have a generation of men marrying women with career prospects equal to or greater than their own. Millennial moms and dads want to share work and family responsibilities equally. But our modern families – and their employers – struggle when workplace policies are stuck in the Mad Men era. In a recent survey of Fortune 1,000 employees, we found that 90 percent of employees have left work, and 30 percent have cut back by six or more hours per week, due to family responsibilities. For their employers, this translates to costly absenteeism, productivity loss and a hit to the bottom line that could have been prevented with flexibility and family care benefits.
  2. Dads Want Help With Work-Life Integration
    For modern dads, being more involved in household responsibilities than generations past doesn’t mean they’re working less. As the Dads@Work survey revealed, 89 percent of dads reported working more than 40 hours a week, while 30 percent log more than 50. At the same time, about a third of these working dads spend 16-plus hours with their children each week. Nearly half of working dads we surveyed felt their employers should do more to support working parents. In particular, they identified child care assistance (55 percent) and paid parental leave (50 percent) as key areas where their companies could do more.
  1. Recruiting, Retention and Employer Branding
    Dads have been getting a lot of attention this year – in advertising, in media and, increasingly, in the business world as well. Mark Zuckerberg’s paternity leave, Fatherly’s Best Places to Work for New Dads list and recent momentum around gender-neutral parental leave are just a few indicators that the workplace could be approaching peak fatherhood. What will this mean for employers? We can expect supports for working dads to play an increasingly important role in recruiting, retention and employer branding efforts. A survey by the Boston College Center for Work and Family found 89 percent of fathers said if they were considering a career move it would be important that the employer provided paid paternity leave. Sixty percent of respondents indicated paternity leave would be extremely important or very important.’s own research has shown 62 percent of employees – and 83 percent of Millennials – would leave a job for better benefits, and about 70 percent of working parents say the cost of child care has influenced their career decisions.
  1. Gender Equality at Home, Gender Diversity at Work 
    Given the data on families and work, it’s time to stop qualifying “working moms” and “working dads,” for that matter. We need to acknowledge working is the reality for today’s parents, and we need to adjust our systems to support engaged caregivers. Stripping away perceptions of gender norms – namely, that dad’s at work while mom’s at home with the kids – allows us to promote gender equality at home and gender diversity at work. By adopting gender-neutral family-care benefits, progressive employers are able to support families and drive business results though reduced absenteeism, improved productivity and higher engagement. Further, creating a culture in which neither moms nor dads are penalized for being parents can improve gender parity, which strengthens a company and our economy. For evidence in support of this theory we can look to Sweden, where a 2010 study found mothers’ future earnings increased 7 percent for every month of parental leave that her partner took.
  1. Benefits Equality Matters
    Speaking of equality, as an HR leader it’s important to strike a balance with your benefits and total rewards. A successful program should support all of your employees equally – whether you’re looking at moms and dads or pet parents or employees caring for aging parents. A program designed to support all employees eliminates the sense of inequity and resentment that can crop up when populations feel underserved in comparison to others.

The new reality for most families is that both parents work. Sixty percent of households have no stay-at-home parent and 93 percent of dads work outside of the home. The traditional division between our work lives and our homes lives is disappearing, but our societal, and cultural conventions are not keeping up with the realities most families face today.

Dads are looking for their employers’ support to allow them the day-to-day involvement with their families. In today’s marketplace business leaders must build company cultures that encourage both women and men as engaged parents.

The Old Ways Of Working Are Not Working

The future of talent has arrived. Today’s businesses are competing for the most innovative and the brightest, and it is time to step up to the plate or step aside. What does it take to recruit, evaluate and retain a 21st century workforce? Well, here are some things you need to consider:

1)    The Old Ways Won’t Work: Cultivating top talent is essential if you want your business to adapt and thrive. According to a recent survey just 34% of executives believe their talent acquisition efforts are up to the job of preparing the workforces their companies will need in the future.  They’re right. Executives need to focus on building the company’s employment brand. Today’s companies must market their brand not just to consumers, but to potential hires too. Leveraging social media and professional networks to mine and build talent communities is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the outreach process. Video, collaboration programs, and employment engagement platforms are just a few of the tools companies are using to build the workforces of the future. Leaders are becoming more social by the minute. 

2)    Use Big Data to Build and Retain Talent: Top talent is still a rare commodity, but the pool of potential employees is global. Leveraging big data and talent analytics is essential to identifying skilled candidates and measuring the quality of hires. Put simply, statistical tools can help you locate the proverbial needle in a haystack. Otherwise, you might as well be aiming at a dartboard blindfolded.

3)    Community Building: Community building is not just important on the job, it is an important way companies are attracting the right recruits. For example, companies like GM have used employee generated content dispersed through social media to attract and build talent-based communities. Innovative practices like these are helping companies expand their talent pool.

4)    Interface is Everything: To reach potential employees you must connect with them using the same tools and technologies they use. Think candidate experience. Essentially, this means giving potential hires a great experience with whatever platform, device or channel they choose to use when interacting with your company. Top-quality candidates have more choices than ever. If they can’t connect with you seamlessly, then they’ll likely pass you over in favor of someone else.

5)    Employee Engagement: Today, hiring a recruit is only the beginning of an extended process. Employee engagement is indispensable towards maintaining a deep bench and a motivated workforce. Creating a connected and collaborative workplace environment helps assure that employees have open lines of communication, team-building tools and the feedback they require to do their jobs. Today’s recruiting is not your mother or father’s recruiting. The emergence of global markets, social media, and analytic tools is transforming the business of hiring and retaining employees. Companies need to out-smart, out-innovate, and out-hustle the competition if they want to have the inside track when it comes to attracting the highest quality candidates. If you want the best and brightest to work for you, then you had better be the best and the brightest at acquiring talent.

A version of this was first posted on Forbes.

Photo Credit: RollisFontenot via Compfight cc

How HR Can Recruit for IT Departments of the Future

I’ve written a lot about Millennials and the massive impact they are having on the future of work. The largest generation in today’s workforce, they are the generation perfectly matched to ride the wave of digital technology and mobility that came of age more or less at the same time they did, and they’ve helped turn traditional business practices on its ear.

One of the areas in which these two “change makers” are having the biggest impact when it comes to the future of business is in IT. IT departments, and the professionals that staff them follow old school stereotypes no longer. Gone are the days of IT being a mysterious “NASA’esque” area of your organization that most of your employees never entered, let alone collaborated with.

Today’s up and coming IT professionals consider themselves partnered with their peers in the enterprise, and are eager (and able) to participate in strategy planning and long-term corporate goal setting. They tend to work closer than ever these days with both sales and marketing teams, and understand—and make sure their teams know—how what they’re working on in the “backend” will impact what’s happening in the front end. The result? Excited, engaged teams, increased productivity, better products, happier customers and clients, and reduced turnover.

Hiring for IT Departments of the Future

Millennials are driving a majority of this change. These “digital natives” were practically born with a smartphone in their hands, and they live and breathe mobile devices, apps, and software. They are also the cohort who demand connection and collaboration in their work environments. That will not sit idly by and take orders from superiors, instead, they want to know the “why” behind tasks, projects, and business initiatives.

As an HR professional or anyone tasked with IT hiring, you need to be on top of these changing expectations when it comes to recruiting for the future of IT.

Seek out potential recruits who, though skilled in the technical areas as they should be, also score high when it comes to soft skills—things like excellent communication, negotiation, and interpersonal skills. Sharon Florentine, who writes for, recently shared a quote from Kevin King, founder and CEO of the management consulting and assessment firm, Transformation Point. King says that there’s a direct relationship between soft skills and workers’ effectiveness, which translates to better overall business results.

“A higher degree of soft-skills competency brings improved effectiveness and improved organizational results, and that in turn drives greater employee engagement and retention… When people work more efficiently and effectively together, that means their organizations see better results and they’re more likely to stay,” says King. He adds, “You can have the best technology and processes in the world, but if your people aren’t able to communicate about them, if they aren’t effectively demonstrating teamwork, critical thinking and emotional intelligence, it doesn’t help your business succeed.”

What CIOs Need to Change

According to a recent Gartner study, the 2016 Gartner CIO Agenda Report, “talent has now been recognized globally as the single biggest issue standing in the way of CIOs achieving their objectives.” Where are the most significant talent gaps? Big data, analytics, information management, and knowledge/acumen. The worst part of this revelation? These are many of the same talent gaps CIOs cited four years ago!

Gartner goes on to explore a little of what today’s CIO’s and other IT professionals can do to start bridging those gaps. The key here is to think about talent as a platform— and be innovative. When you’re thinking about staffing, don’t be afraid to think outside the box, and try new ways of sourcing talent—like these:

  • Recruiting/rotating staff from outside IT
  • Working more closely with universities on internships, co-designed courses, etc.
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Considering customers, citizens, vendors, and partners as extensions (and digital accelerators) of the talent platform

Today’s CIOs, in many cases, are already seen as a corporation’s digital and/or innovation leaders. And most of those tech leaders also feel their power and influence is increasing as they become more cross-functional and collaborative across the enterprise. The successful IT departments of the future will maintain a focus on new technology, new software, and hardware, and the ‘hottest’ new skills. To build an IT department at this level, IT staffers will be required to be just as cross-functional, collaborative, and engaged as their CIOs are learning to be.

Empathetic, “big picture” thinkers, who are comfortable moving between the confines of the IT department to a client meeting to customer service or the corporate boardroom, are the types of IT professionals you will need to seek out when hiring and/or staffing for the IT departments of the future.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you seen such an evolution in your organization’s IT department? Do you find yourself collaborating and teaming up on projects more often these days with IT teams? Or are you seeing pushback from IT teams who aren’t ready (or able) to adapt to this new way of enterprise business? I would love to hear what you think.

Photo Credit: codiepie via Compfight cc

A version of this post was first published on

How To Become The Most Wanted New-Age Recruiter

  • Your intuitionis a matter of fact — a natural essence of ordinary life — and comes into play with everything you do.
  • Your mindsetis out of this world (okay maybe not in the extreme way) but you are an undeniable positive piece of work.
  • You are moldable— this doesn’t mean you don’t have strong, unwavering values but you have an open mindto consider other options/avenues.
  • You ask questions — not just ordinary questions — theright Questions that provide some valueinsight, and isn’t just taking up space.
  • You have a strong purposein life and you are crafting yourself around this vision.
  • You have strong goalsand desires outside of work that makes you who you are — you have something to share with the world.
  • You actively seekto be put in uncomfortablestressful (or disguised as stressful), or adverse situations to test your own abilities.
  • You are self-awareconfident, and knowyour own self-worth.
  • You approach difficult situationswith enthusiasm and willingness to go the extra mile to meet expectations more efficiently each time.
  • You make a point to serveyour team and make their own lives easier with your added touch. (EX: You make processes/email structures more efficient to communicate in a faster, more visual matter)
  • You are actively reading/skimmingthe newest articles and books on yourcraft (or the industries you are recruiting for)
  • You have a keen eyefor the design/copy/words that bring in the best (or have in the past)
  • You have a social media background.
  • You have a guerrilla marketingbackground or direct sales (very similar to headhunting).
  • You have experiencein an MLM type of company and have endured — keyword — success (strong numbers for more than 3 months).
  • You have theability to become friends with basically anyone you meet.
  • You have a voicethat soothes the listenerportrays confidence and demands respect while seemingly creating an open, casual atmosphere for the candidate.
  • You must have the ability to separate your emotionsfrom a candidate when it is time to reject
  • You must be able to create a brand experiencethat provides positive experiences in the face of negative outcomes. (EX: Being firm but friendlywhen rejecting the candidate while also maintaining a positive interaction.)

This post was first published on Medium.

5 Recruiting Habits Of Successful Leaders

At some point in our job-seeking lives, we’ve all interviewed at a company that felt more like a military school than an exciting, flexible, creative, ever-evolving workplace culture. The signs start early in the hiring process: a dry, lifeless job posting or stale employer branding that does not feel inspired. A blizzard of paperwork, including reams of rules and regulations for submitting a resume. A monochromatic HR office filled with identically-dressed drones who are clearly reading from a script. I can remember walking out of a few select interviews earlier in my career and saying to myself, “There is no way I’m working at that mausoleum.” Or better yet – I’ve enjoyed being part of a world class organization recruiting top talent – where every day of interviewing seems to feel like a rush of adrendaline. You see – I’ve been on all sides of this equation in my own career – The best of the best, the good, the ugly.

The simple fact is that recruiting is often a company’s first impression, and a reflection of its culture and workforce brand personality. It’s a spectacular — and too underexploited — opportunity to wow, woo, seduce and excite talent. Top talent doesn’t want to work in Dullsville.They want to work in a company that understands, challenges, excites, surprises and delights them. They want to work hard, play hard, and feel appreciated.  Recruiting should be where the courtship starts. Your organization doesn’t have to be a Zappos or Google to start using savvy — and social media — to attract “the right fit”  and talent skill set you need to soar.

Here Are Five Steps You Can Take To Turn Your Talent Management Strategy Into A Powerhouse Branding and Marketing Culture.

 1) Take A Workplace Culture Inventory. Take a good hard look at your current HR and recruiting practices. Put yourself in the shoes of a talented person who has never heard of your company. How are you trying to reach that person? Are you using filtering tools to target the right kind of talent you need? How big a part does social media play? Are you engaging brand advocates and influencers? How is the language in your employer branding and follow-up information? Stodgy branding can be a real turn-off (as can self-consciously hip or snarky content that seems shallow). What about your career site design? Is it fresh and appealing to all generations? How are your initial and follow-up contacts conducted? Deconstruct the whole recruiting process form initial posting to final hire. Where along the way do you need to change to catch the eye and imagination of the talent you need? Solicit feedback from recent hires and even those who decided to take another career opportunity – yes, at another brand.

 2) Make The Necessary Leadership Changes. Your weaknesses should be pretty obvious when your inventory is finished. The question becomes: do we jettison the whole process from soup to nuts, or are enough parts working that we can make selective changes? Whatever you decide, consider hiring outside talent to help you develop a holistic, integrated recruiting process. Of every choice, ask the following two question: is this going to help us attract stellar talent? Is it a true reflection of our company? Because the last thing you want is to present your company in a misleading way. Remember: HR and recruitment is a major branding opportunity. The goal is to lodge yourself in people’s minds as a great place to work, even if with talent that isn’t looking for to switch jobs at the moment.

3) Engage Your Marketing Talent.  HR and recruiting don’t exist in a vacuum. They may be the initial contact with talent, but the more input that other departments have, the stronger and more integrated the process will become. This is especially true, of course, for the departments and functions that will be directly impacted by the applicant. Solicit input on specific job postings from people in the department where the job is. Ask top talent from across the organization for suggestions on making your marketing pitch intriguing and enticing. The more buy-in you have throughout the entire organization – including marketing, the more likely you are to hire just the right talent.

4) Use Social Media. The HR gods were smiling when social media was invented. It has evolved into a dream tool for finding and communicating with brand advocates and influencers. Are you exploiting it to the max? Are you using the whole panoply of social media to establish a presence and dialogue that goes way beyond a specific job opening? Social media is nothing less an historic breakthrough in branding and talent engagement. Again, hire outside help if you have to, a specialist in social media who can help you target your resources and efforts for maximum return. Get input from social-media-savvy employees from across the organization and beyond. Use video if possible. And make your online interface and career application process user-friendly.

 5) Keep It Real. As I touched on above, your HR and recruiting process must be honest — a genuine reflection of your company’s leadership and workplace culture. If you misrepresent your brand, you’ll attract the wrong kind of talent, and when someone is hired they’ll feel like the victim of a bait-and-switch. Whether your organization is way zany, slightly playful, or downright dour, you want to attract talent that feels comfortable in your culture.

HR and Recruiting are an untapped gold mine for too many organizations. Work hard to make them a reflection of your mission and methods, appealing and user-friendly, and able to identify and exploit social media to reach and communicate with the right talent. This is an exciting exercise in leadership excellence.

A version of this post was first published on Forbes on 09/01/2013.


Photo Credit: datasoft.technologies via Compfight cc

The Truth Is in the Data: The Top 5 Ways to Recruit More Women

As a professional in the talent space today, you’ve no doubt run across some facts and figures from the likes of McKinsey, Gallup, Deloitte…the list goes on…showing that companies with more female employees, particularly in management roles, yield stronger organizational and financial performance.

As a result, the focus on recruiting female employees continues to grow, and companies are pulling out all the stops. Fertility benefits, shipping breast milk home from work trips, in-office massages and manicures, on-site OB/GYNs, and feminine products in the restrooms are just a few of the ways companies are getting creative with trying to appeal to women.

While these things may be appreciated by female employees, they’re not what’s driving their decision to come on board with your company—or to stick around. We must realize that recruiting female talent is about more than just flashy perks.

At InHerSight, a new platform in the online recruiting space, we’re striving to propel this perspective. Through our site, we enable women to rate their current employers on 15 fixed metrics such as management opportunities, maternity leave, and salary satisfaction, and we use this data to match women with new job opportunities based on what they’re looking for in an employer. And from the company’s point-of-view, we help organizations be more successful at recruiting female talent and building more female-friendly workplaces using our data and insights.

Recently, we analyzed responses from 15,000 women looking for great workplaces on our site, across a broad range of ages, industries, and geographies. Women were able to select multiple options from our metrics. The results may surprise you—what women said they wanted most from their employers was not ample maternity leave or mentorship programs or other fancy incentives.

So, before you update your career website, write your next job description, craft your latest job offer, or even decide how you’re going to allocate funds to certain benefits and perks, read on to learn what women really value most from their employers and then use this information to appeal to them to come work at your company. Here are the top five items, in order of importance:  

1.  Paid time off (90% of respondents)

Our top answer, paid time off, demonstrates that women want the ability to manage their own work-life balance. This comment from an employee at non-profit DonorsChoose highlights the positive impact of being able to take time off when you need it: “As a junior leader…I feel extremely supported and empowered to take risks, take time for myself, and prioritize my workload to meet business needs without burning myself out. We work extremely hard, but we also get lots of vacation time and flex(ible) work opportunities.” If your company isn’t providing a reasonable amount of paid time off, it may be time to rethink the value that this could bring your workforce.

2.  Salary satisfaction (89% of respondents)

This is an obvious one—women want to be paid fairly for the work they do. While there is certainly more strides to be made regarding equal pay in this country and elsewhere, women at the very least want to be compensated competitively for the amount of effort they put in, the experience they bring, and the scope of their responsibilities.

Our research revealed that computer technology company Dell appears to be getting this right as one employee commented: “…it seems that salaries are based on hard work, perform(ance), and seniority, not gender.” And an employee from tech giant Amazon commented, “(There are) long hours and high expectations but (it’s) manageable with the right boss, and salary is commensurate with effort, in my opinion, which makes it worthwhile.” Beyond making sure your salaries are competitive in the market in general, companies should conduct an annual salary review to ensure that men and women who have the same level of responsibility and experience are paid in parallel. And wherever discrepancies are found, you should work with your CFO or Financial Planner to make the necessary adjustments.

3.  Outstanding co-workers (89% of respondents)

Our research shows that women seek co-workers who are respectful, professional, unbiased, and generally easy to work with. This comment from an employee at enterprise software company Asana highlights the positive benefits that women feel when they get to work with great people: “I feel encouraged to speak my mind, supported to soundboard my thoughts, and in very good company.” Clearly, interactions with colleagues and the social environments cultivated by companies have a huge impact on how women feel about their employers, with women citing specifically that strong male-dominated “old boys” and “bro” cultures were off-putting, and that instead, they sought a culture that took gender out of the equation. By implementing a structured interview process in your company, you can be sure to hire for the qualities, personalities, and culture fit that fuel an environment that women are attracted to—and thrive in.

4.  Equal opportunities for men and women (85% of respondents)

There’s no hidden message here; it’s exactly how it sounds—if men have access to an opportunity, a women should as well. Opportunities should be based solely on merit. So, follow suit and provide equal access to promotions, leadership roles, salary increases, and incentive programs. One employee at mobile games platform Chartboost describes it well: “(This is) the first time in my career that I’ve felt my gender truly had no bearing on how I’m treated as an employee. I see men and women equally represented in management positions and being given equal opportunities to move up within the company.”

5.  Flexible work hours (81% of respondents)

Women strongly seek employers who are flexible with working hours, allowing them to set their own schedules and successfully attend to both the demands of life and work. An employee at best practice insights company CEB stated: “As an employee who has both a senior job and a lot of outside commitments, my manager and I work together to create the right schedule for me—and communicate (it) to others within CEB—in order to fulfill my personal AND professional ambitions.” Employers seeking more female talent should thus become amenable to the idea that it’s about your employees’ ability to do their jobs and do them well—and not as much about when and where they do it.

What women want

As a whole, our data indicate that women are not looking for employers to answer their specific needs, whether for family-raising, socializing, or creating work-life balance. Nor do companies need to offer a bunch of fancy perks and incentives. Rather, women seek employers that treat them fairly and provide them with the choice, the flexibility, and the financial means to fashion their own lives as they see fit.

A version of this post was first published on

Four Things HR Can Learn From Marketing

With the consistent growth of concepts like “Employer Brand” and “Recruitment Marketing,” HR departments everywhere are adding another role to their already burgeoning workload: marketing. And while some elements of marketing were already there for some HR and recruiting pros, the level of expertise required has grown exponentially. So if you are finding yourself marketing without ever having cracked a textbook in that territory, here are some things to learn from marketing.

Be Consistent with Messaging. Frankly, don’t be all over the place. Whether you are conveying information on open enrollment, a workplace wellness program or open positions, be clear and consistent across all platforms. Don’t have a different job description on your website than on a job board and don’t have three variations of the workplace wellness program. Treat each campaign like a true campaign, with some up-front decisions about the language, the look-and-feel and the appropriate channels to use.

Massage the Message. What action do you want people to take? Make your call to action palatable, encouraging and appealing. Forceful, jargon-heavy or boring language can be a main reason for slow conversion rates. Depending on your culture, make it hip and playful or strategic and savvy. Words matter. Ask any copywriter about the power of words and you may open the floodgates.

Sell the idea. If you need or want to sell a concept, sell it. Don’t just tell people the boring who, what, when, where and why; persuade them. You can use the old 5Ws format to start (remember the tip about clarity) but throw is some attention-grabbing language that makes it compelling. Answer the So What? Or Whats In It For Me? right away.

And this is absolutely critical when it comes to recruiting. If you aren’t already up to speed on Employer Branding and how to entice and engage candidates, hit the books. Make sure you know what to say and where to say it.

Change Messages to Audiences Based on Needs. You may have similar needs from a wide variety of audiences, from potential candidates to internal departments, but it’s key to also know their differences and pain points. Just as if you were forming a strategy to market to teenagers versus retirees, think about what will resonate with vastly different groups. This doesn’t need to negate the point of being consistent, but maybe think about the best ways to reach them. Is it through an App? Social media? Or is a poster more appropriate? Take the time to think about what will reach and influence them and make a plan that aligns with those realities.

HR and marketing really do have a lot in common. When it comes to reaching humans with needs, the leaders in these two industries know what’s up. So, my HR friends, as you consider rolling out a campaign to your internal audiences or are focusing on external outreach to potential candidates (Recruitment Marketing), put on some Mad Men and have some fun.

This post is sponsored by SmashFly. All thoughts and opinions are my own. For more content like this, follow SmashFly on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and SlideShare.


Photo Credit: Executive Search Toronto via Compfight cc

#WorkTrends Recap: Rethinking the Candidate Experience

In recent years, the recruitment process has become increasingly impersonal–for both candidates and recruiters–and it’s obvious both sides are less than satisfied with the experience. Several suggestions have been made to fix the issues but, more often than not, solutions overcomplicate the existing problems.

On this week’s #WorkTrends show, we talked with Rebecca Macek, Director of Recruitment at CareerBuilder, about simple and effective tactics any business can use to get back to the best recruiting basics. Here are a few key points Rebecca shared:

  • The worst thing a recruiter can do is forget that they are dealing with humans
  • Candidates need to watch their social posting – it can be the death of their career
  • Job seekers use up to sixteen different resources in their job hunt

Rebecca also shared several key stats from the CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study which is definitely worth the read, whether you’re recruiting and hiring talent, or managing and leading them once hired.

You can listen to the #WorkTrends podcast on our BlogTalk Radio channel here.

You can also check out the highlights of the conversation from our Storify here:

Missed this week’s #WorkTrends show? Don’t worry, you can tune in and participate in the chat with us every Wednesday from 1-2pm ET (10-11am PT). Next Wednesday, May 18, we will be joined by leadership expert, Susan Steinbrecher to discuss the seven principles of heart-centered leadership.

The TalentCulture #WorkTrends conversation continues every day across several social media channels. Stay up-to-date by following the #WorkTrends Twitter stream; pop into our LinkedIn group to interact with other members; or check out our Google+ community. Engage with us any time on our social networks, or stay current with trending World of Work topics on our website or through our weekly email newsletter.

Disclosure: CareerBuilder is a TalentCulture client and a sponsor of this episode of the #WorkTrends show. If you’re interested in topics like this, be sure to follow CareerBuilder on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and SlideShare.

Photo Credit: consultechit1 via Compfight cc

HR Technology: A Revolution For The World Of Work

HR (specifically talent management) is an art and a science. Achieving the right balance between the two should be the goal of every global leader.

HR is an art because, at its heart, it’s about people – in all their messy glory. It’s about hiring the right people, and then inspiring and enabling them to deliver stellar performance.

HR is a science because there are ways to measure talent, skills and compatibility that can take some of the guesswork out of the process and dramatically increase the odds of success.

The science side of this equation is where you find most of the technology juice and action these days. In fact, technology companies are coming up with innovations that knock my socks off (not that I make a habit of wearing socks but you catch my drift).

The core of many of these advances is sophisticated software algorithms that identify talent and match it to an organization’s needs. Suddenly your pool of hires is literally global and social. And most of the costly and time-consuming preliminary screening is taken care of by the software or social application. Hey – maybe it’s even in the cloud. You’re just dealing with the cream of the crop, the best potential people matches for your job openings. This kind of sorting is a HR and leadership dream come true.

Other new technology can help pinpoint team players based on core traits and personality matching. There are some very talented people who don’t play well with others. You may well want them in your company, but not in a team-based, project-based capacity. And natural team players who bring enthusiasm and cooperation to the game are invaluable, even if some of their skill sets may not be world-class. Being able to determine if a candidate is team worthy before you hire can save a lot of talent management heartache, recruiting and leadership training budget later.

There’s new HR technology that allows the application process to be completed on mobile devices or tablets. This is a fantastic tool when you need talent ASAP. And software can find any red flags – such as obnoxious social networking behavior – that may well be a disqualifier. (Hint #1 to everyone — yes, every GENERATION not just millennials– watch what you post anywhere, it’s all accessible for all eternity. Hint #2: drinking too much at happy hour and tweeting is not always a smart career move if hiring managers are testing out your judgment skills)

How about finding talent that isn’t even looking for you? The cherished “passive job seeker”. New software and social platforms can discover the best and brightest, taking the most die hard recruiter, head hunter out of the picture, and allowing HR or your hiring teams to establish an immediate dialogue with a star. This software alone has the ability to change the HR equation. Imagine being able to browse on-line for fabulous talent the way you do real estate or shoes? You might discover someone who ignites your imagination and leads to creating a position just to get this star on board.

The HR technology landscape is ever-evolving. It’s very exciting, but there’s a caveat: in embracing the science, never forget the art. Technology is not infallible. Remember the human dimension. The best HR practitioners and leaders know their organizations and culture brand on a visceral level.Finding talent can be made a lot easier by these fantastic technologies, but finding the“right fit” transcends even technology.

A version of this post was first published on


photo credit: MIT+150: FAST (Festival of Art + Science + Technology): FAST LIGHT — Light Drift via photopin (license)

How to Win Candidates Over (Before They Even Apply)

The recruitment process has become increasingly impersonal for both candidates and recruiters – and neither side is satisfied with the experience. It’s become clear that it’s time to get back to basics. The good news? As an employer or recruiter, you have a unique opportunity to change the experience candidates have with your company and your application process.

And let’s be honest – you can’t really afford not to, as CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study shows that 76 percent of full-time employed workers are either actively looking for or open to new job opportunities. As an employer, that number should concern you – and as someone who is actively hiring, it should excite you.

The first step? Put yourself out there. And not just haphazardly, either: First impressions count. By approaching candidates in the right way, you’ll be able to make your employer brand shine, while getting a better caliber of candidates applying to your jobs.

Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to being more approachable:

  • Make it easier to spark a conversation before candidates apply. Job seekers and employers both agree that job postings can be very impersonal, and they sometimes miss key information about what the role entails.
  • Listen to what candidates want to know about a job. Pay attention to what candidates feel is missing from job descriptions and other hiring tools – and work to fill in the gaps. Providing the most useful information will only help you get better people. And more often than not, candidates want the same thing you do.
  • Realize job seekers want to ask questions, too. 81 percent would like the contact information of the person who posted the job before they apply; 72 percent want to talk to a recruiter or hiring manager.
  • Stop avoiding salary. The top feature candidates would like to see in job postings is salary/compensation (74 percent).

Get more tips on how to get out of your comfort zone when it comes to reaching out to candidates: See more findings from CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study.

CareerBuilder is a TalentCulture client. For more content like this, follow CareerBuilder on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and SlideShare.

Photo Credit: reputationtempe via Compfight cc

#WorkTrends Preview: Rethinking the Candidate Experience and Making Better Hires

The recruitment process has become increasingly impersonal–for both candidates and recruiters – and it’s obvious both sides aren’t satisfied with the experience. The challenge? Each side has very different ideas about what makes the other side tick–and what needs to be done to improve the experience.

At its surface, finding a job or a new employee is a high-touch, personal, and interactive process–much like dating. And akin to the dating world, over-complicating an interaction between two parties is not always the most effective approach to make a successful match. In fact, simplification is really where connections between candidates and employers begin to happen. After all, employers and candidates are both on the search for the perfect match.

We’re excited to talk with Rebecca Macek, Director of Recruitment at CareerBuilder, on this week’s #WorkTrends show. We are looking forward to hearing her simple but effective tactics any business can use to get back to the best-recruiting basics.

Rethinking the Candidate Experience and Making Better Hires

#WorkTrends Logo Design

Tune in to our LIVE online podcast Wednesday, May 11 — 1 pm ET / 10 am PT

Join TalentCulture #WorkTrends Host Meghan M. Biro and guest Rebecca Macek as they discuss how to use social media effectively for business.

#WorkTrends on Twitter — Wednesday, May 11 — 1:30 pm ET / 10:30 am PT

Immediately following the podcast, the team invites the TalentCulture community over to the #WorkTrends Twitter stream to continue the discussion. We encourage everyone with a Twitter account to participate as we gather for a dynamic live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1. What are the first questions candidates should ask? #WorkTrends (Tweet the question)

Q2. What basic recruiting tactic is often overlooked? #WorkTrends (Tweet the question)

Q3. What is the key to a great candidate experience? #WorkTrends (Tweet the question)

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

Subscribe to our podcast on BlogTalkRadio, Stitcher or iTunes:

BTR stitcher_logoItunes_podcast_icon



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


Photo Credit: donnyjean via Compfight cc

The New Rules Of Leadership

Spring is in the air, the days are getting longer and the crocuses are poking up their hopeful heads. Yet, these remain bleak times for too many job seekers, even leaders and managers with impressive resumes. The reason? The demands of a collaboration-based, talent-hungry, global, wired economy are evolving so quickly that success depends on nothing less than continuous learning. Fall behind and you may find yourself disqualified from the race.

A while back, I had the eye-opening experience of reading a report written by the analyst Josh Bersin of Bersin by Deloitte, in which he made his predictions for the coming year. This post is inspired by his research and insights.

One senior innovation advisor at a major energy company told Bersin, “In today’s economy there is no way anybody can be an expert in a substantial part of their total field. The modern ‘renaissance man’ is one who understands how to learn.” This is huge and so important.

Companies of all sizes in all industries are still trying to meet the new imperative. At that time, learning and Development (L&D) spending was up 12 percent, the largest jump in almost a decade. The goal is to integrate learning into a company’s culture and processes. There are also training sessions, workshops, conferences, and retreats, but the most successful strategies are those that make learning a continuous process, hardwired into a company’s metabolism.

For leaders this is both a daunting challenge and an exciting opportunity to engage and retain top talent. You have to keep your eye on the horizon, your ear to the ground and your nose in the wind. Your company’s needs are ever-changing, and you must stay one step ahead.

How? Start by understanding that change is happening at unprecedented rates, that new technologies can disrupt the best-laid plans, that competition is fierce. These days, laurels aren’t for resting on, they’re for leaping from. Complacency = Extinction.

Leadership by walking around may sound Paleolithic, but there’s no substitute for getting out into your organization and seeing how things actually work, talking to people, making sure you understand what everyone is doing. You’d be surprised how many leaders, even in this day and age, hide out in the executive suite. Not smart. Get out there and learn what’s happening.

Understand and master the borderless future world of work. Technology has rendered borders largely meaningless, not only between counties, but between companies and their stakeholders, including employees, partners, customers and at times even competitors. It’s a diverse, cross-cultural new paradigm with a flatter structure. Engage with all the new technologies and social media.

Talent is priceless. There’s a tremendous competition to hire the very best, especially people with superb and specialized technology and creative skills. Traditional career paths and job descriptions can turn these people off. Be flexible and work with talent to design jobs that allows them maximum freedom and productivity. If you don’t, they will likely move to a company that does.

Embrace emerging markets. There’s tremendous energy and excitement in India, China, Brazil and Eastern Europe. Make sure you understand these economies and are engaging them in every way possible. These days, we need them at least as much as they need us. Humility can be a great business tool.

The rules of leadership are ever-changing. Staying engaged, open-minded, technologically savvy, and embracing continuous learning, not only individually but as a core organizational imperative, are the hallmarks of 21st century leaders.

Make a list of everything that you’re doing to learn and develop. Be specific. Then examine the list for areas where you should be doing more. Take actions to up your proficiency in those areas.

Thank you, Josh Bersin, for inspiring me to share some of this trendy wisdom.

A version of this post was published on

Image credit:

Big Data: Now an Integral Part of Talent Recruiting

Big data is a driving force behind business strategy today—and human resources is no exception. It’s given recruiters the tools they need to make better hires and is changing the way organizations measure performance, boost employee engagement, prioritize training, and analyze talent needs. HR today has access to a gold mine of data, an unprecedented amount of information: insights, intelligence, trends, future-casting.

There’s a reason the job of data scientist just ranked as the top career opportunity for 2016: There are currently more than 1,700 job openings for a job “…where demand outpaces supply,” said Scott Dobroski, Glassdoor’s career trends analyst.

Making data science one more crucial skill to add to the skills gap HR is dealing with today. But it’s worth the effort to stay on top of big data and data science – here’s why:

Why HR Needs Big Data

Recruiters have access to a lot of information about potential hires: Social media, online databases, employment records, online tests, and even contest results. This information can help them assess leadership qualities, critical thinking skills, and other hard and soft skills that can make the difference between a mediocre and remarkable employee.

For example, personality testing analyzes a candidate’s skills and personality in relation to an existing team—identifying strengths, weaknesses, and complementary skills that indicate how well he or she will fit into a particular role.

But this is only one example of why HR needs big data. In fact, a growing number of HR departments are turning to big data to improve decision-making and efficacy.

The Big Data Difference

Regardless of the industry, both recruiting and training are vital. Many enterprises see human capital as the most influential factor for long-term economic value. Here are a couple of examples of how data has helped organizations make smarter hiring decisions:

  • Customer support. Xerox revitalized its call centers by analyzing information collected during a six-month period. By analyzing the data, they realized a personality assessment was a far better predictor of success than a hiring decision based predominantly on previous experience. As a result, Xerox improved employee satisfaction and cut call center turnover rates by 20 percent.
  • One financial services provider had an epiphany regarding its recruiting strategy. When hiring sales staff, they were using academic excellence as a key performance indicator. However, a look at their sales productivity and turnover rate showed that wasn’t a critical factor. Instead, hiring for previous sales experience, time management skills, and resume quality made a more predictable difference. The shift in their hiring strategy led to a $4 million difference in revenue.

Why a Lack of Big Data Skills Is an Issue

Beyond more strategic recruiting, understanding data and analytics can help organizations track how training impacts employee progress, improve how and where they communicate, and gain insight into factors that affect performance and retention.

Using data to pinpoint how employees are getting burned out, for example, can lead to better hires and internal support. Predictive analytics can indicate where a candidate or employee might run into problems in the future, providing an opportunity to address potential issues proactively.

The trick is that somebody has to know how to read this information. That’s the essence of the big data skills crisis: There simply aren’t enough HR professionals who know how to gather and interpret the information available through analytics.

As I have said before, it’s not just the numbers, it’s how they’re crunched.

Finding a Data Scientist Means Thinking Outside the Box

You may have to use unconventional hiring methods to recruit talent to tackle your HR analytics. Why? First, there’s the previously mentioned talent shortage; like many other technical skills, the competition for experts can be fierce. Creative talent sourcing—like new graduates or freelancers—can improve your odds of finding a match.

However, this field is relatively new, which is why the number of data scientists falls short of demand—but that doesn’t necessarily mean the skills aren’t out there. As noted in a leading site on Business Analytics, Big Data, Data Mining, and Data Science, people working in this field may be educated as statisticians, mathematicians, or computer scientists, or they may have expertise working with data science tools like Hadoop, R, or SAS.

Data mining takes a broad spectrum of skills, so regardless of whether you use social media, crowdsourcing, or other networks to find a data scientist, you should keep an open mind. 

Jump on the Big Data Bandwagon Now

Big data is infinitely useful for HR, and it’s worth investing time and resources to find the right people for your needs.

Start by looking at basic analytics and prepare your team to take a more data-centric approach to its work; identify tools that can help you succeed, and roll out any changes needed to support internal data collection. Beginners may consider outsourcing for some data help, but using a consultant to coach internal staff can be an excellent place to start, too.

Big data improves the recruiting process, making it more efficient and more reliable. It even gives organizations the information to help existing employees grow and become better workers. Businesses should start seriously thinking about finding HR analytics talent to harness data’s real potential.

A version of this post was first published on Converge on 3/22/16

Photo Credit: rodrigo_play via Compfight cc

Why Storytelling Matters in Talent Acquisition

In early 2015, I was a remote worker getting through my job every day with very little oversight, very few challenges – and very little inspiration. I easily completed my responsibilities every day by 2 PM, no questions asked. I had freedom and free time. I needed a change and a push, but I wasn’t seeking it. Who wants to give up pool time in the summer?

I was also preparing to send my now husband off to the Middle East for a four-month deployment. I wasn’t about to put myself through a second huge change.

But a recruiter found me on LinkedIn. She hooked me with “startup,” so I took a call. Then she hooked me with “opportunity” and “a chance to build something.” So I took an interview with the hiring manager, who happened to be SmashFly’s Chief Marketing Officer. And it was Lori who really spoke to me: about both strategy and tactics; about working at a fast pace, but finding a balance; about building something great and learning along the way; about making mistakes every day, but never making the same mistake the next day; about having a mentor, not just a manager.

I flew to Boston shortly after in February (yes, during one of their worst and snowiest winters ever). It was the first time I was interviewed by a CEO and a CMO (and it was totally awesome). I walked through an empty floor looking out on a river in an old mill building (that now is the work habitat to more than 30 SmashFly employees). I left the office being hugged by not only one, but two, SmashFly employees.

The week my husband left for the Middle East, I started working at SmashFly. And people cared. My teammates cared and they didn’t even know me yet. Throwing my time, energy and dedication into a new position, a new industry, a new team gave me a sense of purpose and control that I felt like I had just given up in my personal life. It was simply perfect timing in my life.

A job can be more than a job. It should be more than a job. It should be a part of your life – and mine gladly is.

This is not a lesson in responding to InMail from recruiters (although it could be!). This is hopefully a lesson in storytelling.

Stories come in all shapes and sizes and voices. A quote can initiate a story; an image can tell a story; a video can show a story; a job description can be a story. Each individual at your organization has their own personal career story: how they got to your organization, what inspired them to get into their line of work, what keeps them happy and motivated to stay, what pushes them to come to work every day.

  1. Find them. And if they aren’t on the surface, just ask.
  2. Share them in their realest form, in the real voice they came from.
  3. Let the stories—not a one-sentence EVP, a standard job description or an explainer video—work to influence candidates.

Your Employer Value Proposition doesn’t live in a paragraph on your career site. It doesn’t live in About Us copy on LinkedIn. It doesn’t live in Best Places to Work awards (although they are awesome). Your EVP lives in your employees and their stories.

Be a recruitment marketer and learn how to find those stories within your employees, share them across every recruiting channel you use and influence candidates with authentic messaging. For more ideas on how to become a better storyteller for your organization, read SmashFly’s 2016 Recruitment Marketing Ideabook.

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


photo credit: Storytelling_Threesixty via photopin (license)


The Nature vs. Nurture of Sourcing

Sourcers are always finding new ways to effectively use technology, street smarts and process of elimination to find quality candidates. With the deep analytical skills that sourcers possess, we know they are driven to organize and look at each potential lead to find the perfect candidate for their organization. But what about how the candidate is researching you?

Sourcers: It’s In Their Nature

Sourcers have a very specific set of skills―this was evident in attending SourceCon this year. The two most important skills are critical thinking and intuition. It’s in their nature to dig, to optimize, to question. They have to be inherently analytical, extremely organized, self-sufficient and resourceful. If you find yourself a great sourcer, you hold on and never let go.

In the SourceCon keynote, Glen Cathey of Kforce validated the nature of sourcers by speaking to their inquisitive and problem-solving DNA. Cathey challenged every attendee to start with the “why” behind their search for talent, following up with a quote by W. Edwards Deming, Engineer, and statistician: “If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing.”

Sourcers must be intuitive by nature and always ask the right questions to get to the right candidates. Every job req is a problem that needs to be solved, and sourcers are the people who build the equation that leads to the solution: the right candidate. It’s critical thinking at its finest.

So of course, being resourceful and masters of critical thinking, with access to unlimited data, plus more and more job reqs to fill, sourcers are expected to find more of the better candidates, faster.

More, better and faster isn’t easy. In another SourceCon keynote, Jonathan Campbell of Social Talent had attendees literally jumping out of their seats as he shared the construct of a 3,000 character search string. He had people live tweeting (and live gasping) over talent mining hacks and Boolean tricks. It blew my mind! Sourcers want to find the candidates no one else can, and it’s these types of insider secrets that can help.

But it got me thinking: With all of this upfront research finding the right candidates, what is the path that candidates are taking to find you?

The Nurture Part of the Sourcing Equation

Just as sourcers have become more sophisticated in their research of candidates, candidates also are becoming more sophisticated in researching prospective employers.

Even the best sourcers can’t make a candidate respond. The candidate likely receives several creative email messages from a sourcer, and before she considers responding, she:

  • Googles your career site
  • Looks up the sourcer on LinkedIn
  • Searches your company on Glassdoor
  • Finds your social accounts

And probably even more touchpoints! If the candidate isn’t impressed, why would she reply? Your candidate experience and employer brand needs to be working for you to nurture these candidates in their research phase. Your recruitment marketing should be communicating a similar message, tone and value across all of the touchpoints between you and a candidate.

I read a great post from Kelly Dingee on Fistful of Talent that proves this nurture point: “I find people, sure. But like all good consumers, they want a comparison, and easily with the change in the job market, they find one. So why will they choose your company? What will make it stand out? It’s all about the wooing. The engagement. The experience. That is the most important part of recruiting right now.”

Nature has become a science, but it’s the nurture that is more art. What good is a perfect 3,000 character search string that yields 1,000 results if candidates just aren’t interested in choosing your company? Recruitment marketing tactics are vital in nurturing candidates once sourcers make that connection and, even before they make that connection, help your sourcers out with a strong and engaging employer brand and candidate experience!

The Insight

Sourcers need to be asking (and answering):

  • Once I find the talent, how can I continue to nurture them through the candidate journey?
  • How can I “sell” my brand to candidates more effectively?
  • How do I forge a relationship with them over time?
  • How do I get my organization to be a top contender if they’re not ready to apply today?
  • How do I engage with silver medalists differently?
  • How do I find and engage the candidates I’ve already sourced for new or better positions?
  • How can I learn more about them over time?

The insight here: You learn if you’re providing an optimal experience for your sourced candidates to choose you. Did they go to my career site? What actions did they take? Did they read employee testimonials or Glassdoor reviews? Did they go to Facebook to check out our culture? Your recruitment marketing tactics, plus sourcers’ one-to-one communication, are necessary to nurture quality candidates.

The answers stem from a recruitment marketing strategy enhancing every touchpoint in their journey to research your employer brand. Sourcers thrive on data and information on candidates, but they also need to be tracking and analyzing behavior of candidates. Technology like a Recruitment Marketing Platform can provide a holistic view of the candidate journey from the first point of attraction all the way through hire.

A New Goal

Our goal as sourcers is ultimate conversion, which as we know is unlikely with the first shot. So we need to have an interim goal of nurture: keeping them engaged until they’re hooked. Finding people is the science, and great sourcers know that―maintaining and nurturing relationships is the art that will make them choose you.

You have the nature. How will you improve the nurture?

This post is sponsored by SmashFly and was previously published on the Smashfly blog. For more content like this, follow SmashFly on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and SlideShare.

This post was first published on on 3/25/16


Photo Credit: centre-technorama via Compfight cc


Smashfly is a client of TalentCulture and sponsored this post. 

The Talent You’re Looking For Doesn’t Have a Resume

A recent expedition into a client research project gave me a sudden “A-Ha” about creating a Fiercely Loyal internal culture. While I can’t share the specifics of the project, I can share what I learned and how it is directly linked to creating a Fiercely Loyal culture, the kind where amazing work gets done and no one is job hopping.

First let me share a significant framework: According to Gallup research, lost productivity due to employee disengagement costs more than $450 billion in the U.S. annually. This staggering statistic says there is something very very wrong in the workplace. Organizations know it. One of the ways they are trying to fix it is in the hiring process.

Looking for the best talent that’s looking for a job would seem to solve the problem, yes? No.

Because here’s what I can tell you. Most of the best talent isn’t in the job hunting market. They aren’t officially looking. They may toy with the idea from time to time, but they aren’t about to engage in a “Talent Acquisition Process”. Which means that most hiring managers are starting from the wrong end of the telescope.

A recent Fast Company article titled “How to Get a Job Using Social Media When You Aren’t Looking for One” underscores this idea. According to Fast Company “a survey published by the Society for Human Resource Management that says some 84 percent of companies now use social media to recruit “passive” job candidates”. The article goes on to share specific tips for beefing up social media profiles so that these passive candidates can be found by perspective employers.

And yet, a quick scan of the top job posts on the LinkedIn Job Board, Indeed, Monster, and the Ladders still end with “submit a resume”. While some companies allow a candidate to import a LinkedIn profile, the application process also asks for a resume. Great candidates who aren’t actually looking won’t make it past this point and you will never know they are interested.

Another important thing to remember about these potential job candidates is that many of them have established lives. They’ve put down roots. Their children may be in a great school system. They may live near important family members. Upending all of that may be too unpalatable to even consider applying for your position.

Many organizations are answering this challenge by drastically expanding the concept of telecommuting. Research from Global Workplace Analytics found that 3.7 million Americans work from home at least half of the time. Tele-commuting isn’t a trend that stops at the C-suite either. The head of the entire financial services division at SAP, the enterprise application software maker, tele-commutes from Maryland to the division hub in New York. That’s what it takes to recruit and keep the very best talent.

If you want access to this vast pool of job candidates who aren’t officially looking, you have to shake up your hiring process. Here’s what I mean:

  1. Are you asking for a resume just to get the conversation rolling? You’ve just eliminated 75 percent of your best candidates because they not only don’t have one, they aren’t going to go to the time and expense of putting one together.
  2. Are you 100 percent sure that your position MUST be location specific 100 percent of the time? The best talent out there already have established lives somewhere. Starting the conversation with “You have to uproot your entire life” is a sure way to keep the conversation short, if you ever have one at all.
  3. Bonus question: Do you call your hiring process anything like “Talent Acquisition”? Pens and pencils are acquired. People, especially highly talented ones, are not, nor do they want to be. How you talk about your hiring process will either attract or deflect the top talent you want for your organization.

I know that I’m talking about disrupting an ingrained approach to hiring. In today’s incredibly competitive market, isn’t having the best talent you can find working on your team worth that extra effort? If you don’t think so, I’m betting you’ve got competitors who do.

photo credit: Accept Reject via photopin (license)

5 Most Important Decisions a Leader Can Make

As a leader, you do have a choice as to how you spend your decision-making time; there are numerous possibilities when it comes to which decisions to make yourself and those that you leave for others.

How do you determine the “my decision” areas?

The criteria I used was payback. Where could I add the greatest value to the organization?

It’s not about what you enjoy doing or where your strengths are; it’s about where OTHERS will realize the maximum benefit if you focus your decision-making time there.

You may be amazing at financial analysis and enjoy dabbling in numbers, but if marketing is a critical element of the organization’ strategic plan, for example, you need to leave financials to someone else and re-vector your decision-making efforts.

Decide on these 5 strategic issues. These must be owned by the leader and no one else.

  1. The strategic game plan for the organization. Leadership value starts with deciding on the organization’s future. And it should be created by the leader and not chosen from a number of options submitted by management. What business you intend to be in and how you intend to differentiate yourself from your competition can only be decided by the leader who is directly accountable to ownership. It’s not something you can delegate to business development folks.
  1. The values that shape culture. Values describe how employees behave with each other “on the inside” and externally with customers. The leader must decide on the values critical to their strategic success and they must make the call on eliminating the traditional values that are no longer appropriate.
  1. The talent that gets recruited. Strategy and values are the determinants of the people you recruit. The leader must have their fingerprints on the “people strategy”. They must decide if it will do the job; it can’t be delegated to human resources. The wrong people in critical roles will drive your strategy to fail. I used to participate in candidate interviews; an excellent way to monitor how your expectations are being met, as well as a great learning experience for the other managers in the room.
  1. The “customer moment” architecture. If the leader isn’t personally involved in defining what the customer transaction with the organization “looks like”, dysfunction results; everyone does their own thing and offers up their own version of serving the customer in an exemplary manner. The leader must decide what the moment looks like at the frontline level where customer perception is controlled. Leaders don’t like to engage at this level of detail, but this micro-managing is essential.
  1. Aligning activities with the game plan. Aligning activities is where most things go wrong. The strategy says one thing but the people in the various functions behave in a manner inconsistent with the chosen direction. The leader must decide on an alignment plan developed by every department in the organization; it’s the only way synergy is guaranteed.

Strategy, values, people, customers and organizational synergy. What could be more important to decide on for a leader?

photo credit: arrows via photopin (license)

The Game for Tech Talent is Getting Serious

The world of technology is a huge playground with winners and losers. In this playground players are constantly fighting against their rivals, fighting for being the fastest, the best.

If you don’t join the game, you are going to lose.

Recruiting is one of the games in technology playground. Do you want a great tech talent in your team? You need to fight and be aware you are not the only one who craves for this person. As in the battlefield, unless you have a proper tactic, you’ll probably lose. Brace yourself!

“Make love, not war” – building relationships

You don’t need to be brutal to win your games. Let’s get creative. Let’s get personal. Let’s make love. One of the best tactics of recruitment is building relationships. Recruitment is constant work. Even when you aren’t hiring.

Imagine your current tech talent quits or you want to expand your team. Without good relationships, a well-built network, you will probably panic. If you work on your network, you’ll find candidates for your position quickly. Connect with as many people, as possible, but don’t spam them. Get personal, write them why you want to connect with them and be on good terms with them.

If you run social media accounts – use them smartly. Ask people for referrals, let them know you are recruiting. Use ‘weak acquaintances’ – sociologist Mark Granovetter found that most of the people got their jobs through people around them even if they occasionally or rarely met. When the recruitment time comes, you have plenty of possibilities.

“Baby don’t go” – use your allies

Employees are not for granted. Particularly in the tech world, the probability that your talent will quit or be headhunted is very high. Tech talents seek for new challenges and possibilities. No hard feelings, it might not be your fault if they left. But it’s up to you how this relationship ends.

Treat well your “exes”. Your present and past employees may be useful in your recruitment process. You can ask them for referrals – they probably know people which you would like to hire. If your ex-employees want to come back, why don’t take them back? They quitted, got stronger, gained new skills and experience.

“I’m sexy, and I know it” – make them want to work for you

How to make them want to work for you? Use branding – a very powerful tool. Look at Google – even someone who is not technical knows that Google’s working environment (offices, social benefits) is one of the best in the world. Why? Because Google is showing its culture. They know in Google that they need to attract the best tech talents not only using money but also they need to add something extra.

Even if your start-up consists of 2 people, you can be like “Google”.  Show and sell your culture. Generate buzz about you. Stand out in a way which draws the attention of your talents. Be easy to find.

If you are tech recruiter, being “sexy” means being interesting, knowing what you are looking for, what you are talking about. Be up-to-date with the tech world and try to learn as much as possible. The tech talents will appreciate it, and they will treat you more as a partner.

“Come to me, my precious” – invite them over

Are you wondering where you can find your potential candidates? Where can you show how cool you are? Invite them over and be a host. You can create events, hackathons, open code challenges, meetups. Make your future best tech talents know you. Even if they do not join your events, your name will be more and more familiar to them.

In recruitment process invite your candidates to meet the real-life situations. You can offer face-to-face time with your team, which can be impossible when you have many candidates. Use online testing to simulate the first day at work experience with real programming tasks or code review challenges. Test not only their knowledge of certain programming languages but also libraries and frameworks, this way you will show them that you know what you want.

Let them resolve problems their way, use their favorite IDE and all other resources, just like they would do at work to get things done. Always acknowledge candidates who haven’t made it this time. Don’t burn your bridges behind you. It’s the relationship, stupid!

“The time is gone” – use time wisely

No one likes wasting his or her time so make your recruitment quick and as smooth as possible. Don’t make your candidates wait. Simplify the process, use fewer papers. Create clear application forms which result in more relevant candidates.

Consider anonymous assessment where the only what matters are skills and strengths you need. Then you will attract those who are talented, candidates that are afraid to apply will not be put off (I mean those who are afraid of rejection based on their sex, race, religion, background, etc.). Focusing on skills and strengths allows you to find your perfect match.

One year in the tech world is more than decade in other industries; everything changes fast enough to say: your candidates’ past work tells you almost nothing about their current abilities. Use your and your candidates time wisely and it will pay off. In the recruitment time is money.

“Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s…” – know what you want

Who do you need? Without knowing what you want, you won’t get the best talent. Think about your team – do you need a Batman? Or do you need a group of Avengers whose members are completing themselves? What will happen when your Batman quits? What will happen when your Ironman quits? As silly these question can sound, it’s important to recognize your needs. Clear expectation allows you to recruit the most suitable person for a certain position.

Recruiting the best tech talents isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible. Treat them as you want to be treated. Respect, appreciation, being nice, helpful, in touch, having clear expectation combined with working on your image help you find your perfect match, I mean, top tech talent.

Prepare yourself and win your games!

Image credit :

Want to Recruit Great Talent? Focus on Your Online Presence

There’s no question that technology is a game changer today—no matter what your industry. One of the greatest changes happening with the advances in mobile technology, for example, allows businesses to both find and work with employees located quite literally around the world.

While this opens up millions of hiring opportunities for recruiters, it’s also a bit of a Faustian deal. While recruiters may be able to pick and choose from a vast pool of talent that pool is so huge, that you can end up wasting time while attempting to separate the wheat from the chaff. What do you need? A way to identify top contenders among the many applicants. Cue “personal branding” and your online presence.

An Online Presence for HR Means a Competitive Edge

The concept of having an “online presence” has only emerged over the last 15 years or so; in the past, job seekers may have used the Internet to look for opportunities through online sites like job boards or forums, but for a long time that research didn’t go much farther.

Today, your online presence is everything. Employers and employees alike are evaluated in part by their presence, connections, and behavior on the web.

Companies that engage with potential employees through social media are carving themselves a competitive edge; it starts a relationship and sets the tone for an open and tech-savvy workplace culture, which is particularly important to Millennials.

Now that you have tools that help streamline hiring processes, making back-end operations much more efficient, you can grab more time to refine your online presence to make sure you’re recruiting the best talent for your brand.

How Online Presence Affects Both Sides of the Job Hunt

Just as an individual’s online presence can affect his or her ability to get hired, a business’s presence can impact its recruiting strategy.

Imagine this scenario: You want to hire a new social media manager, and you have a promising applicant. You look through his or her social media presence only to find poorly managed profiles and posts that consistently show questionable judgment. You might pause to rethink your decision.

The same is true from a candidate’s perspective. Before an interview—even before they apply—they want to learn about your company culture, and they expect to be able to do that easily. Businesses with little or no online presence will have trouble finding the best talent because job seekers won’t take the time to pursue an opening without a clear sense of the corporate culture, company values and how it behaves in the marketplace.

Recruiting the Best Talent Requires a Strong Online Presence 

There’s plenty of information about building a solid presence to reach customers, but not as much to help you reach job seekers. Here are a few quick tips to get you started:

  • Use social media to its full potential: Connect with other industry professionals and businesses, and build your reputation by writing and sharing opinion pieces (like this one!) on LinkedIn and other community forums. Having a vibrant social media presence establishes your business within the industry and gives readers (and job seekers) a sense of your brand voice.
  • Revamp or eliminate your employment webpage. I’ve previously discussed how Zappos’ decision to do this was wildly successful: It eliminated its job page in favor of building long-term relationships with candidates through a new program that’s similar to a social media app. This kind of outreach allows companies and potential employees to get a real sense of each other before the hiring process even begins.
  • Pay attention to feedback on sites like and These companies pull job listings from your site and match them with feedback from previous or current employees. Many job seekers will check these sites to review information about pay, benefits, company culture, and strong and weak points within an organization. Use this opportunity to your advantage—if there are some negative reviews, get in front of the story, and don’t end up caught off-guard by other people’s comments.
  • Make it easy for job seekers to apply once they find out how great your company is. Job hunters are busy; they don’t want to waste time filling out lengthy forms that ask for the same information over and over again.
  • Leverage the power of Google’s “near me” searches. Google’s own research found that “near me” searches have increased by 34 times since 2011 and almost doubled last year. And where do most of those “near me” searches originate? You guessed it, mobile. While those people might be looking for a juice bar or the nearest movie theater, they also might find your ad interesting. If you’re headhunting, don’t forget to source locally as well.

In today’s Internet-centric society, building an online presence is one of the most valuable investments you can make. For businesses hoping to hire the top talent in their industries, it’s not only helpful—it’s necessary. Otherwise, you might end up swimming in a sea of candidates.

Image credit: