Posts

The Social And Mobile Workplace: Climate Change Is Real

We’ve all watched (and some of us have helped) Social and Mobile (SM) rise to the forefront of the world of work. It’s applied a new source of heat; flooded the banks of formerly tame streams of data and processes and turned them into wild seas for recruiters, candidates and everyone else. It’s turned the sometimes chilly field of recruitment into a kind of digital garden, where Cloud-based tools and software bloom in increasing density and profusion, fed by huge new storms of new information and metrics we’re just learning to harness.

As with climate change, there are plenty of doubters. Refuseniks. Hem-hawers. Prove-its and even naysayers. Stalling at the threshold of this profound change may not be the wisest tactic, but it’s not entirely irrational. When we don’t know what to do or how to do it, some of us tend to freeze, others start flailing.

The what or how is because there’s no cohesive orthodoxy — there are great approaches, but no rules —as is often the case with a new frontier. But there are compelling reasons. So to get from point A to point SM, consider what the weather’s showing us, and dress accordingly.

Boomers can benefit. In terms of a job search, even if boomers avoid SM (and they do), it could work to their advantage to join the party. HR strategist Robin Schooling cites some interesting stats from the Spherion Generations in the Workplace survey. The study queried more than 2,000 workers and 225 human resource managers, and the social mobile stats are striking:

  • Just 20% of baby boomers said they would launch their search for a new employer on a social network.
  • That’s in contrast to 28% of Gen X, and more starkly, 47% of millennials.
  • And, of the boomers surveyed, 55% felt that their age and generation limited career opportunities, yet few boomers market themselves online. Possibly, having a stronger online presence might help expand those limitations.

Brands need to be tight. No matter who or what you are, your online brand can’t be slapdash: having a strong mobile and social presence cuts both ways. The Spherion report found that used badly, your brand (which includes any and all exposure, right?) can work against you. For millennials, they were most likely, of the three generations surveyed, to not be hired based on something their potential employer found online. Interesting disconnect, since they are clearly the most savvy in some ways, but clearly, still not limiting themselves to brand-enhancing online exposure — e.g., drunken karaoke.

Employers best get to it. If an employer wants to attract the best candidates, without a strong SM platform that puts forth a clear, appealing employer brand, there’s a good chance they won’t. Back in January, Glassdoor compiled some serious HR and recruiting stats:

  • 80% of job seekers turn to social media for employer brand promotion.
  • Of those,69% would not accept a job with a company with a bad online reputation —even if they were unemployed.

And while valuing employer brand does break down by generations, it’s not that marked a contrast: the Spherion study found that 42% of baby boomers believed a company’s online reputation was as important as the terms of the job offer itself, versus 55% of millennials. 

Seriously, employers — Of all the stats in that report, I found one particularly telling. Possibly some companies are eschewing a seriously strategic renovation of their online brand in favor of something a little, well, cheaper. Here goes: The Spherion survey also found that 93% companies believe their employees are important brand ambassadors for the company. Yet only 35% of workers surveyed said they would say anything very positive about their company. Do you see what I see?

You are what you are online. Not to talk in riddles, but whether we know it or not, we are already all measuring a company’s reputation via what we see online, because most of us are doing everything online. And for any prospective employee, job seekers are not only watching, they’re paying attention: a healthy majority of every generation surveyed by Spherion believed that a company’s profitability is effected by its online reputation (72% of millennials; 63% of Gen X; and 59% of baby boomers.

If you still feel you need to look up at the sky to find out if it’s getting hotter in HR, there are signs everywhere — and I heartily encourage you to look. Because we are all looking at each other, and we’re looking on mobile and social, as it turns out.

A version of this was first posted on Forbes.

12 Certain Ways To Ruin A Conference Call 

Email may be the predominant form of communication in business, but it’s not the only medium. Moreover, it’s not used for the most important moments. Face-to-face meetings or live phone calls are required for urgent problems or significant planning issues. Live communication is personal and direct. No matter how commonplace email has become, we still have to be humans from time to time.

Conference calling will always be popular because, while more informal methods like email can get convoluted, more formal meetings are problematic logistically and otherwise inconvenient or invasive for most people. From underlings to CEOs, conference calls drive exchanges outside the company. Expect to spend a fair amount of time, particularly some of the most significant moments of your career, on the phone with others.

Representing your organization in a conference call comes great responsibility. It really is no place for rookie mistakes. Here is a consideration of the 12 most certain ways you can ruin that conference call.

  1. Eating Over The Phone

It’s not polite, and even though I may be eating a sandwich while typing this article, no one wants to hear a sandwich being chewed or a nasally voice talking over chewing. Beyond that, you certainly don’t want ten other people having that image of you. Eat before the meeting or at least bring in something quiet to eat or drink.

  1. Using Dating Sites or Social Media

Some faux pas are so evident that they are obnoxious to even suggest, too obvious to consider, but weird things happen all the time. In fact, there was at least one poll claiming ten percent of people admitted to perusing dating sites during conference calls. Social media can be an addiction, but tell your girlfriend you will favorite her latest tweet after work and use social media for major updates regarding the industry or the company.

  1. Falling Asleep

Another seeming no-brainer, Wall Street Journal acknowledges over 25 percent of people admit to having snoozed through a conference call. Even Morgan Freeman was busted sleeping during a video conference. Get a good night’s sleep before going to work.

  1. Checking Email or Other Divided Tasks

Most people do other work during conference calls, including checking email. There is always something coming up, something more to do. Writing a report during a call is not doing a favor to the client or your organization. Multitasking is an important workplace skill, but focus needs to be prioritized to the clients and business matters at hand, then move on.

  1. Using the Toilet

Hello? The 21st century is calling. Modern convenience reigns supreme. We can get anything on a moment’s notice and aren’t particularly good about remembering how to do things the old way. We used to take breaks to do things like eat, smoke, go to the bathroom, etc. These days, we work all the time. Half of conference callers go to the bathroom while on the phone. This isn’t even polite to do with a friend, don’t let your source of income hear your gastrointestinal noises.

  1. Inviting the Entire Company

While it is good practice to be inclusive and transparent as a company, it’s not the best practice to flood one room with people talking over each other. Clients on the other end need a cohesive review from a well-informed representative. It’s important to include concerns from colleagues, but co-workers have more valuable job duties besides snoozing through conference calls.

  1. Not Being Battle Ready

It’s one thing to be behind in work. It’s another thing entirely to not have materials prepared to share with someone who scheduled time to listen to you. They don’t want to hear that you are not quite sure whether you got that email or why you don’t have the data that was requested. Make sure you have all your ducks in a row before the call.

  1. Not Knowing How to Use the Equipment

Despite technological innovations, dogs are still man’s best friend, technology is not. Glitches, crashes and a myriad of horror stories, plague office equipment. People understand things happen, but there’s a limit to patience. Save excuses of mishaps for rare occasions. Make sure you know how to manage multiple lines and other trickery of smartphones or computer programs before making the call. Don’t accidentally drop the call when you meant to mute it for a second to sneeze. Dropping the ball at the wrong time can lose the game.

  1. Having the Call In a Noisy Place

The random locales for conference calling by the Wall Street Journal include a truck stop bathroom, a pool in Vegas, even a closet at a friend’s house during a party. While it’s considerate to dedicate some intimacy to a meeting, being at a party in the first place was probably a bad idea. Callers don’t want to hear some guy walking by with a boombox, but that doesn’t mean an echoey shower stall is the place to get away from the noise. Find something halfway professional.

  1. Rambling On and On and On

Everyone hates meetings. Everyone. Short and to-the-point is a recipe for success. Of course, don’t cut people short or disregard issues. Bring everything necessary to the table, not including why your mother didn’t like the last conference call interrupting lunch plans and a multitude of other needless things that are an annoyance to people and their busy work days.

  1. Not Being Interesting

Some people are boring. Personally, I am as monotone and deadpan as they come, but it doesn’t mean I am a stick in the mud. Have some ice breakers, some funny things to reduce tension. Try to show that you’re a real person. If the callers wanted an automated response, they would just send email. Don’t be so focused on the product you’re selling that is becomes the only mission you care about. Customers buy with their emotions, not their analytic minds. Make that someone excited to buy from you or work with you. That only happens if they think you’re personable.

  1. Driving While Conferencing

Smartphone sophistication extends to car stereos and other hands-free devices, making driving and talking convenient. People won’t be too upset if you schedule a last minute meeting during a drive to Denver, but make these cases rare and don’t make it too obvious that you’re driving. People get upset when others drive and use the phone, even people that drive and use the phone themselves. Accidents happen because people’s minds are on other things. It’s important to keep your mind on the road, so you make it to Denver. When possible, save the call for a time that your client won’t hear you squeal off the highway to your death.

A good number of points from this list share a common thread: don’t be distracted. If you need to, be distracted by doodling or playing word games related to the meeting. It takes a lot of practice to keep your head in the game while also being distracted. And when you attend 20 calls per week with a rotating cast of characters that drop in to portions of calls, it’ll get tedious and frustrating. Bad stuff will happen. Corners will be cut. A smart person will let that happen to someone else. When it comes back to bite them, you will be in line to win the contract.

Photo credit: Bigstock

Why Accountability Matters in the Workplace

A 2014 Partners in Leadership study on workplace accountability revealed some contradictory results: 82% of respondents said they had no ability to hold others accountable, but about 9 out of 10 employees cited accountability as one of the top development needs they wanted to see at their organization.

Employees want to keep their peers accountable to the demands of their jobs, in the same way they want to recognize them when they do good work. But when employees have no system of accountability in place, things can very quickly fall apart. This is why accountability matters, and why you need to invest in it.

‘Mistakes Were Made’

The phrase “mistakes were made” has been dropped by politicians so often that books have been written about it. It makes great use of passive voice, but it also speaks to a general lack of accountability in a system. Does the person uttering it want to cover their own skin, or are they part of a system that has no way of holding anyone responsible for their actions? Either way, it’s a cop-out. The phrase acknowledges problems only after they’ve been discovered, it holds no one responsible for them and it tries to move on from those problems without anyone actually having learned anything.

Why do I highlight this phrase? Because it’s a perfect example of why accountability matters. When employees (and let’s be fair, managers do this too) don’t hold themselves responsible for their actions, it prevents anyone from learning from them. This ends up perpetuating those problems until someone comes along and points these problems out. It also creates a culture of mistrust among employees.

For example, a 2013 survey found that 11% of managers said at least half of their employees avoid taking responsibility. Do half of employees really shrug off their mistakes? My point is that it doesn’t matter; what matters is that those managers believe they do, and that’s the distrust I’m talking about. That distrust will lead to bigger problems down the road unless something gets done. But what do we do about this?

Accountability Is a Culture Problem

I really can’t stress enough how much of a culture problem accountability is. When no one trusts each other to do the work they’re assigned, employee morale takes a hit. Employees feel like they can’t trust their bosses. They feel devalued. And when employees aren’t valued, they’re less likely to be engaged with their work; the American Psychological Association’s 2018 Work and Well-Being Survey found that 91% of employees who feel valued at their job are motivated to do their best, compared with 41% of those who don’t feel valued. So it’s a domino effect: Low accountability leads to mistrust, which leads to low morale, which leads to worker devaluation, which leads to low engagement, which leads to low productivity.

So the first step to creating more accountability in the workplace is to revamp your culture so that accountability fits within it. Make sure employees know that they’ll be accountable for their work by creating guidelines about how you’ll monitor their productivity. Set weekly goals and deliverables so that employees are motivated to complete tasks on a regular basis. Most importantly, make sure you’re following your own rules. Minda Zetlin offered some great advice: “Perhaps the best way to create a standup organization is to lead by example. Make sure employees understand what you expect of them, and that you’re holding yourself to the same high standard. Follow through on your promises, own up to your mistakes, and give feedback even when it isn’t easy.”

Balancing Accountability and Autonomy

Earlier I mentioned the need to monitor employee productivity, but the idea is important enough to expand upon it. Just how do you track someone’s productivity? Do you monitor their every action, making sure they’re always on-task and getting results?

I wouldn’t advise it. Being on top of your employees like that is a recipe for disaster, and is likely to cause even more distrust in the workplace. No one wants to be micromanaged. Plus, the second you have to leave on business they’re back to their old habits. So it really doesn’t fix anything.

The key to accountability is to passively track work without being overbearing. Have employees create to-do lists (whether they write them down or you implement a software solution) for the things they’re directly responsible for. Then leave them alone. Autonomy can be a productivity booster in the right situation, and accountability means nothing without it.

When you’re micromanaging that’s not accountability. Part of accountability is responsibility. Let them make mistakes. If they’re slacking, give them feedback on it. If their lack of work is a consistent problem, that’s when you address it.

Accountability matters because not having it means no one can be held responsible. Creating accountability, then, is about creating a culture where people value responsibility, and where people understand that accountability involves a certain degree of autonomy. Accountability is important, but when implementing it into your workplace, make sure you’re giving employees as much as you’re asking from them.

This post was originally published in October 2015. It was updated in July 2019.

How To Hire Your Dream Team Using Workforce Science

“Psychometric assessment implementation” –see why we didn’t put that in the title? I hope we haven’t already lost you, because this science isn’t as complicated as it sounds, and it can have some pretty powerful affects on your workforce.

Psychometrics are used to measure things like skills, knowledge, abilities, attitudes, personality traits and educational achievements. Do you remember all of those yearly tests that you took in school, and you didn’t know why you were taking them? Those were crafted with psychometrics as a tool to gauge the progress of your education in an objective and scientific way.

Psychometrics in HR

Not surprisingly, we see many of these psychometricians (yup, that’s a real word) working in the Human Resources field. The knowledge gathered by psychometric testing and surveys can help in the hiring process, team building and even succession planning. These once very subjective matters in human resources, can now be looked at and measured in a much more effective way.

  • Hires once made on a gut feeling, can now be made with solid data.
  • Teams no longer have to be thrown together, but instead thoughtfully crafted with this science.
  • Succession planning is no longer a matter of favoritism or convenience, but rather finding the right person for the position.

Fierce.com conducted a study over 1,400 executives, employees and educators, and asked them to name the specific kinds of collaboration problems that plague their workforces. 97% of respondents believe a lack of alignment within a team directly impacts the outcome of a task or project. These are the major issues that psychometric assessment implementation (there’s that term again) can help to alleviate.

Should I Be Using This as a Workforce Science?

Today over 80% of Fortune 500 companies in the US use psychometric testing, and over 75% of the Time “Top 100 Companies in the UK” use it. So the answer is, yes, you should be using this science in your workforce.

There is one small problem; many of the tests out there that claim to use psychometrics, or, are presumed to have been created with psychometrics, have simply been built on a “Buzzfeed” type of test structure. You know those tests, “What Disney Character are You?” or “What 90s Pop Song Would You Be?” Well some of the so-called workforce science testing out there is created with a little more validity than these playful time-wasters.

So You’re Saying I Need a Department of Psychometricians?

No, unless you have a budget that makes Google look like a mom and pop shop, that’s not the way to go. Thanks to decades of study and the wonderment that is the internet, these psychometrics tests are available from real experts, online. Your workforce can take these assessments anywhere, anytime and then the data procured can be used to create the optimal work environment for teams.

What to Look For

Like any software or platform decision, it is always best to look for case studies, customer reviews, and testimonials. You should also always take a demo, tour or trial of the product before signing on the dotted line. If you answered 15 simple questions in a survey that took less than 4 minutes, this isn’t a product that actually works. If it were that easy, you wouldn’t need a provider in the first place. Also look for the assurance that these tests or surveys were in fact created by experts in the psychometrics field; anyone can slap a survey together.

As attraction, retention and engagement are all rising to the top of every employer’s concerns, this workforce science is becoming far more of a necessity. That, coupled with the increasing access to and effectiveness of these tools, has created a solid part of recruiting, team building and career planning. Even for a small business, assembling effective and successful teams is a struggle, but as organizations grow, the thoughtful crafting of these teams falls farther down on the to-do list.

"Millennial" Isn't a Scary Word: Workplace Trends Through the Eyes of the Digital Generation

“They’re here.” While horror movie fans might hear this line and immediately think of Poltergeist’s unhappy spirits, managers will think of another, potentially scary group: millennials in the workplace.

According to research by the Pew Center, millennials, also called the Digital Generation, are now the largest generational demographic in the American workforce. Unfortunately, lots of rumors have followed these young professionals to work: they’re lazy. They’re entitled. They’re narcissistic. And they’re a manager’s worst nightmare.

But is any of this true? While everyone likes to talk (and generalize) about the way in which the Digital Generation works, very little has been said about how talent management strategies affect them – or how they view that talent management. That’s why PeopleFluent launched a comprehensive survey and focus group to directly reach these young professionals to learn what works best to attract, motivate, and retain them. What we discovered is that this group is ambitious and engaged – and that your talent management tactics might need to shift to maximize their effectiveness.

For example, while over 75% of our survey respondents report being “engaged” or “very engaged” at their job, nearly two thirds are still entertaining other opportunities. Why? Remember, many of them grew up with information on-demand and started careers in the midst of the great recession. As a result, for the Digital Generation, careers are filled with possibility and instability. Just because they’re in a stable situation today doesn’t mean that things can change quickly. Plus, with job postings and company information constantly updated online, young professionals can keep their finger on the pulse of what’s happening in their industry or chosen fields – and make a quick move if the need should arise. Just understanding this one dynamic of your Digital Generation workers can help you better engage – and retain – them at your organization.

We’re excited to discuss some more of our findings, and what managers should take away from this information, with Kevin Grossman and Meghan Biro on TalentCulture’s #TChat Show on Wednesday, 09/23 from 1-2pm EDT. Join Frank Moreno, PeopleFluent’s VP of Product Marketing, and learn how to recruit, develop, and engage your top performers from the Digital Generation. Here’s a sneak peek of what that show will look like:

For more information about this week’s #TChat Show, see here. We look forward to seeing you on 09/23!

Stay on the lookout for our “The Digital Generation in the Workplace” proprietary research report, coming soon! In the meantime, learn how to empower your Digital Generation employees to become diversity-minded leaders with our ebook, “4 Steps to Developing Millennial Leaders with Diversity in Mind.”

 

PeopleFluent is a client of TalentCulture and sponsored this post. 

Telecommuting Tools: What’s Your Plan?

Virtual teams are truly gaining ground in today’s workplace, thanks to the convergence of three factors:

1) More employers recognize the value of flexible work models,
2) Workers are open to remote options, and
3) New cloud-based technologies make it easy to connect, communicate and collaborate.

Many employers now allow members of their workforce to operate entirely from home — while other companies support more limited forms of telecommuting.

Telework = Serious Savings

There are compelling business reasons why organizations and individuals should evaluate this trend. According to research compiled by Global Workplace Analytics, 50 million U.S. employees have jobs that are compatible with telecommuting, and are willing to pursue it at some level. It’s estimated that, each year, if all those who are able and willing worked from home even half of the time, a typical employer would save $11,000 per person, while the typical telecommuter would save $2,000-$7,000.

But regardless of how much money telecommuting can save, one thing is certain — it’s essential to invest in viable technology to ensure that remote workers can succeed in their role.

110727_GIST_The_Mobile_Worker4

See the infographic and more details at Mashable

3 Keys to a Telework Technology Plan

Before assuming which tools are ideal, it’s wise to look for helpful insights from workstyle studies. For example, a 2011 study by GIST profiles remote work behavior across multiple dimensions — identifying locations remote workers prefer, and revealing how they accomplish tasks on the go.

Of course, every business is unique, but when you develop a detailed technology plan for virtual workers, it’s essential to consider three key elements: communication, collaboration and connections. Here are some ideas to kick-start your process:

Communication: There are many technologies remote workers can use to stay in touch with team members, managers, customers, and others. Email probably remains the most common communication channel, but text messaging, chat, and instant messaging are also useful when people need to discuss projects, status and other issues in real-time. The good news is that many of those tools work in tandem or on top of popular workplace communications applications.

Skype and similar audio and video conferencing tools are highly affordable, reliable and are easy to deploy and support. They’re ideal for everything from small group meetings and business presentations, to more formal conference-like events. Google+ Communities and Hangouts are also gaining popularity as simple, freely available tools to help groups connect and discuss topics and projects via audio and video, with file sharing and social tools that enhance and extend those discussions.

Collaboration: Remote workers need tools that help them work together with others to generate ideas, solve problems and manage group projects. Google Docs is a great way to co-create content and share information among team members on an ongoing basis. Also, Dropbox and other cloud storage services are popular for exchanging, organizing and archiving content (especially larger files), and for easily accessing content while on the go.

Connections: With today’s vast array of freely available social media and cloud software solutions, keeping your workforce securely and reliably connected is becoming remarkably easy to do. Intranets provide dedicated virtual spaces that help distributed teams work together asynchronously, using embedded social tools to interact. And integrated suites of cloud-based tools like Google Apps for Business help workers easily create, share and manage all kinds of business documents and communications. To learn more about Google Apps for Business, watch this video overview:

Staying Ahead of the Curve

Whether you tap into new web-based tools, or you extend applications that your company already uses in-house, a technology plan is one way to be sure that all your remote contributors stay focused and productive, no matter where or when they’re working. The pace of cloud software innovation is so rapid, your biggest challenge may be staying ahead of new technology developments. However, your efforts should pay off, with telecommuters that are highly efficient and engaged in their jobs.

Your Turn

Does your company encourage telework arrangements? What tech-related issues do your remote teams face? What tools do you recommend to others?

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

Image Credit: Pixabay

Telecommuting Tools: What's Your Plan?

Virtual teams are truly gaining ground in today’s workplace, thanks to the convergence of three factors:

1) More employers recognize the value of flexible work models,
2) Workers are open to remote options, and
3) New cloud-based technologies make it easy to connect, communicate and collaborate.

Many employers now allow members of their workforce to operate entirely from home — while other companies support more limited forms of telecommuting.

Telework = Serious Savings

There are compelling business reasons why organizations and individuals should evaluate this trend. According to research compiled by Global Workplace Analytics, 50 million U.S. employees have jobs that are compatible with telecommuting, and are willing to pursue it at some level. It’s estimated that, each year, if all those who are able and willing worked from home even half of the time, a typical employer would save $11,000 per person, while the typical telecommuter would save $2,000-$7,000.

But regardless of how much money telecommuting can save, one thing is certain — it’s essential to invest in viable technology to ensure that remote workers can succeed in their role.

110727_GIST_The_Mobile_Worker4

See the infographic and more details at Mashable

3 Keys to a Telework Technology Plan

Before assuming which tools are ideal, it’s wise to look for helpful insights from workstyle studies. For example, a 2011 study by GIST profiles remote work behavior across multiple dimensions — identifying locations remote workers prefer, and revealing how they accomplish tasks on the go.

Of course, every business is unique, but when you develop a detailed technology plan for virtual workers, it’s essential to consider three key elements: communication, collaboration and connections. Here are some ideas to kick-start your process:

Communication: There are many technologies remote workers can use to stay in touch with team members, managers, customers, and others. Email probably remains the most common communication channel, but text messaging, chat, and instant messaging are also useful when people need to discuss projects, status and other issues in real-time. The good news is that many of those tools work in tandem or on top of popular workplace communications applications.

Skype and similar audio and video conferencing tools are highly affordable, reliable and are easy to deploy and support. They’re ideal for everything from small group meetings and business presentations, to more formal conference-like events. Google+ Communities and Hangouts are also gaining popularity as simple, freely available tools to help groups connect and discuss topics and projects via audio and video, with file sharing and social tools that enhance and extend those discussions.

Collaboration: Remote workers need tools that help them work together with others to generate ideas, solve problems and manage group projects. Google Docs is a great way to co-create content and share information among team members on an ongoing basis. Also, Dropbox and other cloud storage services are popular for exchanging, organizing and archiving content (especially larger files), and for easily accessing content while on the go.

Connections: With today’s vast array of freely available social media and cloud software solutions, keeping your workforce securely and reliably connected is becoming remarkably easy to do. Intranets provide dedicated virtual spaces that help distributed teams work together asynchronously, using embedded social tools to interact. And integrated suites of cloud-based tools like Google Apps for Business help workers easily create, share and manage all kinds of business documents and communications. To learn more about Google Apps for Business, watch this video overview:

Staying Ahead of the Curve

Whether you tap into new web-based tools, or you extend applications that your company already uses in-house, a technology plan is one way to be sure that all your remote contributors stay focused and productive, no matter where or when they’re working. The pace of cloud software innovation is so rapid, your biggest challenge may be staying ahead of new technology developments. However, your efforts should pay off, with telecommuters that are highly efficient and engaged in their jobs.

Your Turn

Does your company encourage telework arrangements? What tech-related issues do your remote teams face? What tools do you recommend to others?

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

Image Credit: Pixabay

TalentCulture’s Greatest Hits: 2013 Edition

Lists! Lists! Lists! As we close the chapter on 2013, there’s no denying — the “best of” list season is in full swing.

And who can blame blogs for sharing top picks from the past year? After all, lists are incredibly easy to create, and there’s a certain seductive power in a headline that promises to deliver all the goods in just one single round-up post.

But for me, picking “best” blog posts is like picking “best” children — an impossible task. I’ve spent hours helping to envision, edit, implement and promote every one of the 200 posts we produced last year. And to me, each is uniquely relevant and valuable in its own right.

So please consider our showcase of 2013’s most popular content more than a “best of” list. It’s also our way of recognizing ALL of the many “world of work” experts who have contributed to our blog, our weekly radio shows, and our #TChat Twitter chats. For example:

Business leaders like Chris Boyce, CEO, Virgin Pulse; Richie Etwaru, Group VP, Cegedim CRM; Todd Owens, President, TalentWise; Dr. Janice Presser, Founder, The Gabriel Institute, and Jason Averbook, Chief Innovation Officer, Appirio.

World of work observers and educators like Josh Bersin, Angela Maiers, Dr. Marla Gottschalk, and Dr. Nancy Rubin

Best-selling authors like Bob Burg, Stan Phelps, Marcia Conner, Jamie Notter and Ekaterina Walter.

To these contributors, and to the many others who participate in our community of purpose, thank you. We’re all better because you share professional insights that are relevant today, and will clearly stand the test of time. Need convincing? Check out the items below, and let us know what you think…

Top 10 TalentCulture Posts (Most Popular)

1) Employees Quit Leaders, Not Companies — by David Hassell, CEO, 15Five

2) Want Engaged Employees? Tell Them Why — by Meghan M. Biro, CEO, TalentCulture

3) Are You a Good Fit? 3 Interview Questions — by Razor Suleman, Founder + Chief Evangelist, Achievers

4) 5 Social Skills Business Leaders Must Master — by Meghan M. Biro, CEO, TalentCulture

5) Considering a Career Change? Take a 360 Snapshot — by Dorie Clark, marketing strategy consultant, branding expert and author, Reinventing You

6) Brainstorming is Broken: Rethinking Group Dynamics — by Razor Suleman, Founder + Chief Evangelist, Achievers

7) Gen Y at Work: Feedback Changes Everything — by David Hassell, CEO, 15Five

8) The Steep Cost of Poor Management — by Tatiana Beale, Achievers

9) Want To Be Your Own Boss? Try This First — by Hans Balmaekers, Founder and Director, sa.am

10) Hiring Culture: Creating A Recruitment Ecosystem — by David Smooke, Director of Social Media, SmartRecruiters

Top 3 #TChat Radio Shows  (Most Popular)

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen to #TChat Radio replays

1) How Collaboration Unifies Polarization — featuring Jesse Lyn Stoner

2) The Big Deal With HR Data — featuring Andrew Courtois and Christene Pantalone

3) How Open Leaders Win Employee Hearts and Minds — featuring Dan Pontefract

Top 3 #TChat Event Preview Posts (Most Popular)

Featuring G+ hangouts hosted by Tim McDonald, Community Manager, TalentCulture + Director of Community, Huffington Post.

1) Leadership + Influence, From The Inside Out — featuring Steve Gutzler

2) You 2.0: Reinventing a Personal Brand — featuring Dorie Clark

3) Should Work Be Fun? Really? — featuring Dan Benoni

Top 3 #TChat Recaps (Most Popular)

1) HR Data: What Really Counts? — by Kathleen Kruse

2) Mindfully Managing Your Personal Brand — by Kevin W. Grossman

3) Face-to-Face With Brand Humanization — by Megan Burkett

Of course, this is only a slice from the TalentCulture archives. There’s much more inside — over 500 posts with helpful ideas and guidance on workplace culture, innovation, leadership, learning, career strategy, HR and talent management. So feel free to stop by anytime.

And no matter what your professional interests may be, we hope you’ll continue to bring your ideas and opinions to the TalentCulture table throughout 2014. Because, no matter how “popular” our blog or events may be on any given day, it’s our community’s collective energy that will truly shape the future of work. So, together, let’s discover how we can be even better.

Your Turn

What topics were your favorites in 2013? And what issues would you like to explore in the year ahead? Share your ideas in the comments area — we’re listening!

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

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

TalentCulture's Greatest Hits: 2013 Edition

Lists! Lists! Lists! As we close the chapter on 2013, there’s no denying — the “best of” list season is in full swing.

And who can blame blogs for sharing top picks from the past year? After all, lists are incredibly easy to create, and there’s a certain seductive power in a headline that promises to deliver all the goods in just one single round-up post.

But for me, picking “best” blog posts is like picking “best” children — an impossible task. I’ve spent hours helping to envision, edit, implement and promote every one of the 200 posts we produced last year. And to me, each is uniquely relevant and valuable in its own right.

So please consider our showcase of 2013’s most popular content more than a “best of” list. It’s also our way of recognizing ALL of the many “world of work” experts who have contributed to our blog, our weekly radio shows, and our #TChat Twitter chats. For example:

Business leaders like Chris Boyce, CEO, Virgin Pulse; Richie Etwaru, Group VP, Cegedim CRM; Todd Owens, President, TalentWise; Dr. Janice Presser, Founder, The Gabriel Institute, and Jason Averbook, Chief Innovation Officer, Appirio.

World of work observers and educators like Josh Bersin, Angela Maiers, Dr. Marla Gottschalk, and Dr. Nancy Rubin

Best-selling authors like Bob Burg, Stan Phelps, Marcia Conner, Jamie Notter and Ekaterina Walter.

To these contributors, and to the many others who participate in our community of purpose, thank you. We’re all better because you share professional insights that are relevant today, and will clearly stand the test of time. Need convincing? Check out the items below, and let us know what you think…

Top 10 TalentCulture Posts (Most Popular)

1) Employees Quit Leaders, Not Companies — by David Hassell, CEO, 15Five

2) Want Engaged Employees? Tell Them Why — by Meghan M. Biro, CEO, TalentCulture

3) Are You a Good Fit? 3 Interview Questions — by Razor Suleman, Founder + Chief Evangelist, Achievers

4) 5 Social Skills Business Leaders Must Master — by Meghan M. Biro, CEO, TalentCulture

5) Considering a Career Change? Take a 360 Snapshot — by Dorie Clark, marketing strategy consultant, branding expert and author, Reinventing You

6) Brainstorming is Broken: Rethinking Group Dynamics — by Razor Suleman, Founder + Chief Evangelist, Achievers

7) Gen Y at Work: Feedback Changes Everything — by David Hassell, CEO, 15Five

8) The Steep Cost of Poor Management — by Tatiana Beale, Achievers

9) Want To Be Your Own Boss? Try This First — by Hans Balmaekers, Founder and Director, sa.am

10) Hiring Culture: Creating A Recruitment Ecosystem — by David Smooke, Director of Social Media, SmartRecruiters

Top 3 #TChat Radio Shows  (Most Popular)

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen to #TChat Radio replays

1) How Collaboration Unifies Polarization — featuring Jesse Lyn Stoner

2) The Big Deal With HR Data — featuring Andrew Courtois and Christene Pantalone

3) How Open Leaders Win Employee Hearts and Minds — featuring Dan Pontefract

Top 3 #TChat Event Preview Posts (Most Popular)

Featuring G+ hangouts hosted by Tim McDonald, Community Manager, TalentCulture + Director of Community, Huffington Post.

1) Leadership + Influence, From The Inside Out — featuring Steve Gutzler

2) You 2.0: Reinventing a Personal Brand — featuring Dorie Clark

3) Should Work Be Fun? Really? — featuring Dan Benoni

Top 3 #TChat Recaps (Most Popular)

1) HR Data: What Really Counts? — by Kathleen Kruse

2) Mindfully Managing Your Personal Brand — by Kevin W. Grossman

3) Face-to-Face With Brand Humanization — by Megan Burkett

Of course, this is only a slice from the TalentCulture archives. There’s much more inside — over 500 posts with helpful ideas and guidance on workplace culture, innovation, leadership, learning, career strategy, HR and talent management. So feel free to stop by anytime.

And no matter what your professional interests may be, we hope you’ll continue to bring your ideas and opinions to the TalentCulture table throughout 2014. Because, no matter how “popular” our blog or events may be on any given day, it’s our community’s collective energy that will truly shape the future of work. So, together, let’s discover how we can be even better.

Your Turn

What topics were your favorites in 2013? And what issues would you like to explore in the year ahead? Share your ideas in the comments area — we’re listening!

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

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Mobile Hiring: A Smarter Way to Seal the Deal

Written by Todd Owens, President and COO, TalentWise

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

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

The Mobile Workplace Imperative

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

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

Mobile Hiring: Building Stronger Candidate Connections

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

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

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

The Business Case For Mobile Hiring Now

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

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

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

How To Catch The Mobile Hiring Wave

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

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

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

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

Image Credit: Carnegie Library

HR Flashback: The Way We Worked

(Editor’s Note: Want to learn more from Kevin and TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro about the transformation of HR and workplace learning? Listen to their CLO Magazine on-demand webinar.)

“What do you do?” asked my airport shuttle driver (I’ll call him Ben).

“I work for an HR software company,” I answered.

He nodded. “HR, huh? I remember when I worked in personnel.”

“Personnel.” That term got my attention — precursor to the “human resources” profession we know today. I asked Ben about his experience, and he told me about his days at Polaroid in the Boston area during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

By my estimates, Ben is in his early 60s — a fit man with short salt-and-pepper hair, a neatly trimmed matching goatee, and an infectious storytelling style.

Back in his Polaroid days he worked the line that manufactured the shutterfly housing for a new camera at the time. Two years later he was offered a personnel job.

“I thought I was going to have my own corner office, enjoy long lunches and play golf with the management team,” he told me, shaking his head. “I was 21 years old and extremely naïve. I had no idea the job would be as hard as it was.”

“HR is no free lunch. Not then, not now,” I said.

“Well, it certainly wasn’t then, that’s for damn sure,” he said.

He managed and staffed the “C shift” (11 pm to 7 am  — otherwise known as the graveyard) one of the hardest shifts to work, much less staff and manage. He had to continually wake up his team members as they dozed off on the job.

“C shift” workers were some of Boston’s poorest whites and minorities who had the basic skills to do the job. Ben had to interview, screen and hire 50 people a week for months, until he had a few hundred employees to help roll-out the new cameras.

And Ben managed it all manually.

“We had no HR software or systems,” he explained. “I was going through 150 to 200 applicants per week to hit my 50 target. We had a brief interview process and a skills proficiency test. Then there were tons of forms for each new employee, and all had to be completed in triplicate. There were stuffed file folders and cabinets that cornered me daily in my tiny office.”

“Mercy me,” I replied.

He continued. “Not only that. The new hire trainings were intensive and on-the-job, complete with product manuals that weighed about 100 pounds each. Needless to say, I got very close to the line I used to work with and the new line employees I was staffing for. These people struggled financially, had families to care for. Many were single moms. They had all sorts of personal stress outside of work that affected productivity and quality, but we managed to meet line quota every week.”

“Fascinating,” I said. “And painful.”

“Yes, it was. One of the hardest jobs I ever had.”

“It sounds like it,” I said. “I’ve only played HR on TV.”

He laughed. I sat fascinated by the conversation and the contrast to today. The whole time we talked, with my WiFi hotspot booted, I had logged into my company’s expense report system to review and approve reports.

Then I logged into our collaborative community platform to review some product marketing collateral and the latest entries in our organization’s global contest to name our corporate intranet. What a great way to promote creativity, diversity of thought and culture in a company that’s recently moved through multiple acquisitions, and now has multiple product lines and multiple office locations and many remote contributors.

There we all were, naming the very thing that kept us connected, and I was accessing it all from my tablet of choice.

I logged off, closed my iPad, and sighed audibly. Thank goodness we have today’s technology and software systems at our fingertips, I thought. It’s all about moving from the way we worked to the way we work now — complete with interconnected, platform agnostic devices tethered by the invisible magic of cellular and WiFi science.

Mobile recruiting has seen unprecedented recent growth, and now mobile screening, assessing, hiring, onboarding, training, learning, developing, recognizing, rewarding, and more are part of the “world of work” master plan — critical to an increasingly global, dispersed workforce of full-time, part-time and contract employees.

Again, thank goodness. Think about the old model of snail-mail offer letters, conference room paperwork and storage space stacked to the ceiling with file box archives. So horribly inefficient and administratively painful. Even e-mail has become cumbersome for many in today’s workplace, (although it’s not being replaced anytime soon.)

Fortunately though, highly configurable, mobile-friendly work spaces and systems are here. They mirror our day-to-day work experience and allow us to access the data we need, whenever its needed.

Your corner office is nestled comfortably in the heart of your favorite mobile device. I think Ben would like it that way.

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

The Rise of Influence in Social Business #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Are you looking for full highlights and resource links from this week’s events? Read the #TChat Recap: “Can You Hear Me Now? Influence Goes Social.”)

Think for a moment about the brands that have the deepest impact on your professional life.

What companies and people do you look to for credible information, relevant insights and valuable connections? And which ones would you include on your “who’s who” list?

More importantly, how would you develop that list?

Influence Isn’t What It Used To Be. Or Is It?

In less than a decade we’ve seen a dramatic shift in the logic and tools we use to create and shape our professional circles. “Influence” is no longer limited to an elite and somewhat static class of highly prominent organizations and individuals. Today, social channels make it possible for anyone to claim a corner of the marketplace, earn a share of voice, and develop a loyal following.

So, what do these new social dynamics mean for the future of employer and employee brands? And how can we all do a better job in leveraging the “currency” of influence? That’s what we’ll explore this week at #TChat Events, with two experts in the art and science of influence:

•  Mark Fidelman, CEO of RaynForest, an influence marketing platform
•  Mark Willaman, Founder and President of Fisher Vista LLC, owners of HRmarketer software and Fisher Vista marketing services

To frame this topic, I spoke briefly with both guests in separate G+ hangouts. First, Mark Willaman discussed the “what” and “why” of influence:

Then Mark Fidelman offered a quick take on how influence is measured:

What are your thoughts about the role of influence in today’s world of work? Join us this week to share your ideas and opinions!

#TChat Events: Social Influence as a Competitive Advantage

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

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Mark Willaman and Mark Fidelman about the role of influence in today’s social world of work. Tune-in LIVE online this Wednesday afternoon!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Nov 6 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, we’ll move this discussion to the #TChat Twitter stream, where Cyndy Trivella will moderate an open chat with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these questions:

Q1: How can “industry influence” impact the world of work?
Q2: In what ways does social listening shape culture, marketing and branding?
Q3: Why would brand influencers make better employees? (or not?)
Q4: How do leaders know who is an influencer, and how does this impact culture?
Q5: What social tools do you use for brand marketing and talent recruiting?

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

Another Kind Of Revolution: Social, Mobile, Cloud

“You say you want a revolution? Well you know, we all want to change the world.” –John Lennon

It’s deja vu on a grand scale — like the Beatles are arriving in America all over again. A huge culture shift is upon us, and the winds of change are blowing in ways that are simultaneously unsettling and exhilarating.

“Boomers” are transitioning out of their careers, and the leadership reigns are slowly-but-surely being handed to Millennials at start-ups, small businesses and enterprises everywhere. Much like when John, Paul, George and Ringo touched down in New York in 1964, at first there was some resistance, but eventually the new guard convinced skeptics and changed minds. In the 60’s, revolution was expressed through music and social change — while today, next-generation leaders are driving disruptive change in technology and business.

New Agents of Change

Cloud computing, mobile devices, “big data” and social media are now prominent fixtures across the business landscape. From solopreneurs to the global enterprise, companies are more connected than ever with their customers, employees, shareholders and stakeholders.

Enabled by connectivity and powered by the cloud, this is more than just “Marketecture,” this is the engine of our business future. Millennial leaders are strongly committed to embracing these technologies and putting them to use in a way that drives their organizations forward, leaning on cloud applications to keep employees connected with anyone, anywhere, anytime. This allows business to continue 24×7×365 if needed, yet provides employees ultimate flexibility to untether from their desks and remain productive.

I don’t see anything wrong with that, do you?

And then there is social media. This phenomenon isn’t just about tweeting #hashtags on Twitter and posting  “likes” on Facebook. Social media offers a whole new way for humans to engage and extend our communities through the most powerful business-building infrastructure in the world — the Internet.

Thanks to social powers, the timeline for building a global business has compressed from decades to days, because word can spread and new markets can be created at a such a dramatically accelerated pace. New ventures everywhere can instantly reach out to potential partners and target markets to ask questions and find solutions for the most simple and complex business problems.

Building the Future, Differently

When the Beatles came to America, they permanently redefined rock and roll. Adding their collective influence to the voices of their time, they made music better for all of us who followed. And today, through social synergy, Millennial leaders seek to do the same for business.

Leaning on the best ideas and innovations that have previously defined success across industries, the CEOs of the future are not content to settle for the status quo. The goals of next-generation leaders may be similar to those before us in some ways, but they are different enough, so our mark will be felt.

We will leverage breakthrough cloud and big data resources to develop businesses that are inherently social, and we’ll create cultures that thrive on collaboration. Like leaders throughout history, our goal is to solve business problems effectively, but we’ll approach those problems very differently. Building a smarter planet through technology is exactly what the Millennial CEO of the future is destined to do.

What role do you think technology plays in next-generation business success? What must Millennial leaders do to succeed in a hyper-connected marketplace? Share your ideas in the comments area.

(Editor’s Note: This post was adapted from the Building a Smarter Planet Blog, with permission.)

Image Credit: Wikimedia Public Domain image archives

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

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

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

1) It Matters For Our Mission

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

2) It Matters To Others In The World Of Work

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

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

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

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

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

3) We Hope It Matters To You

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

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

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

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

Image Credit: redagainPatti at flickr

 

Recruiters On Twitter: Rise of "Coffee Talk" Learning

Written by Mona Berberich

In college, one of my teachers regularly told me that the room with the coffee maker is the most important place in an office, because it’s where people learn the most. At the time, I thought that this guy was perhaps a lazy coffee addict who was definitely in the wrong job.

However, 10 years later, I realize that he was right. The space near the coffee machine was where people gathered to briefly put work pressures aside and open up in an informal way — sharing what was on their minds, getting advice from peers and even generating new ideas.

The New Coffee Room

Today, there’s a whole new world of coffee rooms out there — it’s called social media. Whenever people tweet, retweet, read, share or like, they are contributing to something bigger — the social learning community. One of the most important platforms for social learning is Twitter, where many business people “gather” to share information and ideas on an ongoing basis. These behaviors are studied by companies like Leadtail, a social analytics platform vendor, which published a detailed Social Insights Report last week, focused on the Twitter activities of HR professionals.

That report deserves attention because the HR community is vital in transforming workplace culture, defining social business policy, and driving workforce development. In short — talent-minded executives, recruiters and training professionals are shaping the future of social learning.

What Is Social Learning?

For those who aren’t familiar with it, think of social learning as a process where people rely on digital tools to connect with one another, and exchange information with a specific purpose in mind — typically to expand their knowledge, to develop their competence, or to collaborate in resolving a common challenge. In contrast to formal classroom training, where an instructor “lectures” to a group, social learning is characterized by a two-way communication flow. Thanks to advances in mobile, web and collaborative technology, most of us can engage in social learning whenever and wherever we want. And Twitter is one of the most powerful engines of social learning — with information flowing on the stream 24x7x365.

Who Helps Recruiters Learn?

At the request of ERE.net, Leadtail also drilled down within the HR realm to focus on Twitter behavior among recruiters — looking at engagement, reach and sources of influence from March-June 2013. During that time, recruiters shared 55,576 tweets with a total of 835,336 followers. And, as the graphic below reveals, Meghan M Biro, founder and CEO of TalentCulture, is the HR personality that recruiters most often retweeted.

ERE_Recruiters_MeghanMBiro

When you recognize that Meghan has attracted almost 56,000 Twitter followers to-date, the reach and importance of her Twitter presence becomes clear. A single tweet immediately can touch 56,000 people. But her impact doesn’t stop there. As the “most retweeted” recruiter resource, her Twitter “multiplier effect” is astonishing. For example, even if only 10% of her followers see and read a tweet, and only 4 followers retweet that item to their followers … and so on … and so on … you get where this is going. Even one tweet has the potential to get attention from thousands of people, over time. (Example below.)

The ERE.net Leadtail report features several other key metrics — top 25 media content sources, leading brands that attract recruiter attention, and recruiters’ favorite hashtags. Among those hashtags is #TChat – a moniker that many people associate with Meghan M Biro. Anyone can use the #TChat shorthand to “tag” information of interest to talent-minded professionals. It’s also the tag used to drive the TalentCulture community’s weekly interactive Twitter chat events. Bottom line: It’s hard to move around the Twittersphere and not bump into Meghan or TalentCulture in some form!

Social Learning Hot Spot

As these examples show, Twitter is becoming a magnet for social learning — by facilitating informal knowledge exchange, topic-driven chat events, or even backchannel for industry conferences (as recruiters discovered recently when rallying around the #SHRM2013 hashtag). The attraction is easy to understand. It’s a simple, low-cost, immediate way to engage with people — and it’s a natural extension of social recruiting best practices.

Many recruiters are now at the forefront of social learning on Twitter. And as a recent Huffington Post article suggests, people like Meghan M. Biro are leveraging Twitter to engage the HR community in a way that not only positions her as an expert, but also boosts the credibility and visibility other HR professionals, as well.

What’s Your Social Learning Hot Spot?

Are you a recruiter or HR professional? How are you using Twitter or other social tools to expand your expertise? What challenges and opportunities have you experienced? Let me know in the comments below, or share your perspective on the BetterWeekdays website!

Mona Berberich2(Editor’s Note: Mona Berberich is a Digital Marketing Manager at Better Weekdays, a Chicago-based company that has developed a platform to help HR leaders source, screen and develop talent based on job compatibility. She is a researcher and writer covering HR, career growth, talent management and leadership development. Contact Mona on Google+ or LinkedIn or Twitter.)

 

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Recruiters On Twitter: Rise of “Coffee Talk” Learning

Written by Mona Berberich

In college, one of my teachers regularly told me that the room with the coffee maker is the most important place in an office, because it’s where people learn the most. At the time, I thought that this guy was perhaps a lazy coffee addict who was definitely in the wrong job.

However, 10 years later, I realize that he was right. The space near the coffee machine was where people gathered to briefly put work pressures aside and open up in an informal way — sharing what was on their minds, getting advice from peers and even generating new ideas.

The New Coffee Room

Today, there’s a whole new world of coffee rooms out there — it’s called social media. Whenever people tweet, retweet, read, share or like, they are contributing to something bigger — the social learning community. One of the most important platforms for social learning is Twitter, where many business people “gather” to share information and ideas on an ongoing basis. These behaviors are studied by companies like Leadtail, a social analytics platform vendor, which published a detailed Social Insights Report last week, focused on the Twitter activities of HR professionals.

That report deserves attention because the HR community is vital in transforming workplace culture, defining social business policy, and driving workforce development. In short — talent-minded executives, recruiters and training professionals are shaping the future of social learning.

What Is Social Learning?

For those who aren’t familiar with it, think of social learning as a process where people rely on digital tools to connect with one another, and exchange information with a specific purpose in mind — typically to expand their knowledge, to develop their competence, or to collaborate in resolving a common challenge. In contrast to formal classroom training, where an instructor “lectures” to a group, social learning is characterized by a two-way communication flow. Thanks to advances in mobile, web and collaborative technology, most of us can engage in social learning whenever and wherever we want. And Twitter is one of the most powerful engines of social learning — with information flowing on the stream 24x7x365.

Who Helps Recruiters Learn?

At the request of ERE.net, Leadtail also drilled down within the HR realm to focus on Twitter behavior among recruiters — looking at engagement, reach and sources of influence from March-June 2013. During that time, recruiters shared 55,576 tweets with a total of 835,336 followers. And, as the graphic below reveals, Meghan M Biro, founder and CEO of TalentCulture, is the HR personality that recruiters most often retweeted.

ERE_Recruiters_MeghanMBiro

When you recognize that Meghan has attracted almost 56,000 Twitter followers to-date, the reach and importance of her Twitter presence becomes clear. A single tweet immediately can touch 56,000 people. But her impact doesn’t stop there. As the “most retweeted” recruiter resource, her Twitter “multiplier effect” is astonishing. For example, even if only 10% of her followers see and read a tweet, and only 4 followers retweet that item to their followers … and so on … and so on … you get where this is going. Even one tweet has the potential to get attention from thousands of people, over time. (Example below.)

The ERE.net Leadtail report features several other key metrics — top 25 media content sources, leading brands that attract recruiter attention, and recruiters’ favorite hashtags. Among those hashtags is #TChat – a moniker that many people associate with Meghan M Biro. Anyone can use the #TChat shorthand to “tag” information of interest to talent-minded professionals. It’s also the tag used to drive the TalentCulture community’s weekly interactive Twitter chat events. Bottom line: It’s hard to move around the Twittersphere and not bump into Meghan or TalentCulture in some form!

Social Learning Hot Spot

As these examples show, Twitter is becoming a magnet for social learning — by facilitating informal knowledge exchange, topic-driven chat events, or even backchannel for industry conferences (as recruiters discovered recently when rallying around the #SHRM2013 hashtag). The attraction is easy to understand. It’s a simple, low-cost, immediate way to engage with people — and it’s a natural extension of social recruiting best practices.

Many recruiters are now at the forefront of social learning on Twitter. And as a recent Huffington Post article suggests, people like Meghan M. Biro are leveraging Twitter to engage the HR community in a way that not only positions her as an expert, but also boosts the credibility and visibility other HR professionals, as well.

What’s Your Social Learning Hot Spot?

Are you a recruiter or HR professional? How are you using Twitter or other social tools to expand your expertise? What challenges and opportunities have you experienced? Let me know in the comments below, or share your perspective on the BetterWeekdays website!

Mona Berberich2(Editor’s Note: Mona Berberich is a Digital Marketing Manager at Better Weekdays, a Chicago-based company that has developed a platform to help HR leaders source, screen and develop talent based on job compatibility. She is a researcher and writer covering HR, career growth, talent management and leadership development. Contact Mona on Google+ or LinkedIn or Twitter.)

 

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