Employee Referral Programs: How To Expand Your Circle

Written by Ziv Eliraz, CEO, Zao

There’s a reason why employee referrals are touted as the #1 hiring source. Each referral is a credible thumbs-up from a trusted member of your organization, confirming that the candidate is qualified for the job and will fit-in with your culture. Plus, when tons of people are responding to your job postings, referrals can be an effective way to separate the good from the bad, while accelerating time-to-hire.

It’s all good. So, why not expand that model?

Traditionally, referral programs have been built around an organization’s internal network, with employees identifying likely prospects. However, smart companies understand that their external network is filled with potential sourcing allies — business partners, vendors, professional peers, college connections, even former employees. It just takes a different approach to get them on board.

Four ways to extend your referral program reach:

1) Incorporate Rewards

Relevant rewards can be a powerful incentive. Plus, they work. Research shows that when companies offered rewards to trusted members of their external network, 41% of referral hires came from those non-employees. As a result, referral hires were 69% higher than through employee channels, alone.

Tip:  Make sure the value of the reward is calibrated to the business result. For example, a token gift card or social recognition could be given to acknowledge a hot lead — while cash compensation would be more appropriate when a referral is interviewed or hired.

2) Go Mobile

Consider contractors and other virtual contributors members of your workforce. Although they may not be employees, they can still provide value through referrals. However, because many operate from remote locations, your referral program should be accessible on-the-go — through smartphones, tablets, or other mobile devices. This lets your external network easily refer candidates wherever and whenever the opportunity strikes.

Tip:  Create an employee referral app or a mobile-accessible portal that is tailored specifically for external network members. This helps them feel like they’re part of the program, and makes it convenient to participate.

3) Automate The Process
While your external network can make a significant contribution to your referral pipeline, recommending candidates is an added duty they must perform without immediate reinforcement. Try to make the referral process as quick and easy as possible by automating the process. New technologies can automatically compile jobs, sending relevant reminders to the correct people at the right time, and recommending appropriate next-step actions. Automation not only keeps the referral program continuously active, but also guides your external stakeholders in their role.

Tip:  Rolling “push” communication is a smart idea. For example, you can automatically share job updates every Wednesday at 3 p.m., or whenever your network is most active. That way, your program participants learn when to expect information. Also, it’s wise to personalize message content — sending relevant messages to the right people. This avoids frustration for participants, who would otherwise have to search for information they need.

4) Incorporate Game Dynamics

Gamification uses game-based strategy, learning and mechanics to increase engagement in non-game systems. While it may seem like an uncommon strategy, 70% of the world’s top 2,000 public companies will have integrated gamification into at least one business application by 2014. In this case, it can be a fun way to involve external parties in your referral process, using quick feedback, creating friendly competitive challenges and other methods that keep your participants engaged.

Tip:  A great way to introduce game dynamics is through a leaderboard or a point-based tracking system. Members of your network can see how they’re contributing to the overall referral process, and see how they compare with top performers. This not only creates a sense of friendly rivalry, but also offers ongoing feedback that helps remind participants that their recommendations are not being ignored.

Tap Into Your Full Sourcing Potential

Of course, employee-only referral programs aren’t a bad idea. However, at some point, there is a limit to how many people an individual employee knows directly. While your internal network can provide some excellent referrals, your external network can amp up the quality and diversity of potential hires. Although you may not think of external allies first, they can be a great referral resource because they understand your organization’s culture, they know your business needs, and they often have a vested interest in your success.

What do you think? Do you involve your external network in the employee referral process? What kind of results have you seen?

Ziv Eliraz-001 (About the Author: Ziv Eliraz is Founder and CEO of Zao, social employee referral platform. Connect with Ziv on LinkedIn and Zao on Twitter and Facebook.)

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

Image Credit: Pixabay

Can You Hear Me Now? Influence Goes Social #TChat Recap

“The greatest ability in business is to get along with others and influence their actions.”
–John Hancock

Wherever you find people, you’ll find influence. The concept is as basic as civilization, itself.

John Hancock understood its importance in business contexts. But as business moves to the digital space, the way we gain, use and respond to influence is shifting into overdrive. How does this digitally-enhanced version of influence affect the way we engage and motivate others across organizations and in the world at-large? And why should it matter to everyone in today’s workplace? These questions were top-of-mind this week at #TChat Events, as the TalentCulture community welcomed two influence experts:

Mark Fidelman, author of the book, Socialized!, and CEO of RaynForest, an influencer marketplace;
Mark Willaman, Founder and President of Fisher Vista LLC, owners of HRmarketer software and Fisher Vista marketing services

(Editor’s Note: See #TChat Twitter slideshow and resource links at the end of this post.)

Defining Social Influence

What is a “social influencer” anyway? If a static persona accumulates social media followers, is that enough? Or is it about behavior that attract the attention and interest of professional peers? Is it when your presence (or absence) affects the nature and flow of conversations on social channels? Or is it when you write blog posts that draw an extraordinary number of readers and comments?

Of course, it can involve all of these elements and more. Effective influencers use social tools as a means to an end. It’s not just about building an audience. It’s about engaging and interacting with people in ways that leave them enthused, passionate, and eager to tell others about that experience. As word spreads about influencers, word also spreads about their company, product or service.

Social Influence In Action

Take a look at some of today’s most prominent business influencers — people like Richard Branson and Arianna Huffington. They really put the “social” in social media. Unlike “image-first” personalities like the Gagas and Biebers of the world — social influencers invest in real community connections and conversations.

It’s smart to focus first on quality rather than quantity. (What would you prefer — 100 engaged industry peers, or 100,000 random followers, who may not even care about you or what you represent? Where can you add value, and get value in return? I would pick 100 targeted connections with whom I can have purposeful interactions. If those interactions create a gravitational pull that expands my sphere of influence, then I’ve done something right. As someone mentioned last night at #TChat — don’t be mislead into thinking that it’s a quick process.

Why Should We Care?

I think of social influencers as “go-to” resources. When I want advice or inspiration, I turn to my network. These are trusted professionals, and use their influence for broader purposes than self-promotion. They build relationships based on integrity, transparency, vulnerability and humor — all the best traits we look for in humans. No doubt that’s why TalentCulture CEO, Meghan Biro, encourages everyone to “live your brand.” It’s the most unique, powerful asset any of us can offer.

Social media is an extraordinary tool that helps us establish immediate connections with business leaders, employees, customers, stakeholders and others. It can provide companies with valuable insight about market perceptions. It can be a powerful force that shapes business brands, cultures and communities — if organization are willing to show up, listen and participate. This is where leaders can make a difference. Committing to an active social presence is the first step toward empowering employees and customers as brand ambassadors. There’s nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

#TChat Week-In-Review: Social Influence as a Competitive Advantage


See the videos in the Preview Post now…

SAT 11/2:

#TChat Preview:
TalentCulture Community Manager Tim McDonald framed this week’s topic in a post that featured brief “sneak peek” hangout videos with our guests. Read the Preview: “The Rise of Influence in Social Business.

SUN 11/3: Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro suggested why and how modern leaders should invest in a social media presence. Read: “7 Traits of Highly Influential Leaders.

TUE 11/5:

Related Post: Guest blogger Paul Bailey helped us look at influence from the outside-in, with advice for job seekers on using social media intelligence to get hired. Read: “How Social Sleuthing Can Land You A Dream Job.

WED 11/6:


Listen to the #TChat Radio show now

#TChat Radio: Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman spoke with guests Mark Willaman and Mark Fidelman how social media is transforming the concept of influence in today’s world of work. Fascinating stuff! Listen to the radio recording now!

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and guests joined the entire TalentCulture ommunity on the #TChat Twitter stream for an open conversation focused on 5 key questions. For highlights, check the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Insights: Competitive Advantage of Social Influence

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Mark Willaman and Mark Fidelman for sharing your insights on the evolving meaning and importance of influence in the social era. Your knowledge and experience are invaluable to our community.

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

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, we take a closer look at how the social/mobile/cloud revolution is redefining the entire hiring process. So save the date (November 13) for another powerful #TChat double-header!

Meanwhile, the World of Work conversation continues. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, on our LinkedIn discussion group. or elsewhere on social media. The lights are always on here at TalentCulture, and we look forward to hearing from you.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Recruiting + Mobility = Perfect Match? #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Looking for a full collection of highlights and resources from this week’s events? Read the #TChat Recap: “Recruiting: Going Mobile by Demand?“)

Are you reading this post on a smartphone or tablet? If so, you’re among 35% of TalentCulture visitors who interact with us via mobile devices. And those numbers are growing fast — in only the past 6 months, the rate of mobile TalentCulture visitors has increased by more than 100%.

But this big mobile shift makes us wonder what the impact is on “people-oriented” business processes like recruiting.

Just how rapidly are employers integrating new communication channels into the hiring process? And what issues and opportunities are arising from all of this innovation?

Mobile Recruiting Trend Snapshot

Participants at the recent Mobile Recruiting Conference (MREC) confirmed that job candidates are increasingly connected while “on the move,” and recruiters recognize the implications. For example, according to Talent HQ Mobile Recruiting Insights:

•  62% of passive job seekers use a mobile device to research potential employers
•  61% have a better impression of a brand after a favorable mobile experience.
•  62% of recruiters say that mobile recruiting is the top trend for 2014

According to industry analyst Josh Bersin, companies like LinkedIn and Prudential already attract more than 50% of their candidates through mobile channels. Yet, other organizations seem to be lagging behind. Talent HQ reports that only 16% of U.S. talent acquisition “leaders” have optimized their career sites for a mobile audience — including only 26 of the Fortune 500 companies.

So, what does this mean for today’s changing world of work? That’s what we’ll explore this week at #TChat Events, with two well-known talent acquisition experts:

•  Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, Founder and Chief Blogger at Blogging4Jobs and
•  Rayanne Thorn, VP of Product Marketing and Strategy at Technomedia, global talent management solutions provider.

Recently, Jessica framed the topic in a brief “sneak peek” Hangout with me. Watch now:

What are your thoughts about the emerging role of mobile technology in finding and hiring top talent? Join us this week to share your ideas and opinions!

#TChat Events: Mobile Devices + Recruiting = Good Match?


Tune-in to #TChat Radio

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

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Jessica Miller-Merrell and Rayanne Thorn about the changing dynamics of recruitment. Tune-in LIVE online this Tuesday afternoon!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Oct 30 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, we’ll move this discussion to the #TChat Twitter stream, where Dr. Nancy Rubin 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: Does mobile recruiting enhance an employer’s value proposition?
Q2: What is keeping some employers from adopting mobile recruiting?
Q3: For candidates, has mobile job search reached critical mass?
Q4: Is mobile recruiting mostly about hiring young candidates?
Q5: Look ahead 10 yrs. What tools will drive 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!

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

HR and Marketing: Smashing Silos #TChat Recap

In this do-more-with-less era, it’s almost counterintuitive to think that “silo” mentality still defines some organizations. We’ve all seen it — different departments don’t know why or how they should rely on each other, and business suffers from a lack of collaboration.

Of course, I do know some companies where communication is strong. People forge cross-functional relationships, and they use influence to drive progress. But unfortunately, that’s not the norm. More often, departments work in isolation — struggling to understand business problems, confused about how to solve them, and uncertain how to move to the next level. Cultures like this lag far behind collaborative competitors.

Bridging the Gap

Where is this challenge most prevalent? Let’s start in our backyard, with human resources and marketing. As the TalentCulture community discussed this week at #TChat events, these two disciplines share much common ground, but tend not to realize it. Why? Let’s dig deeper.

According to the American Marketing Association, “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings.” How does that apply to recruiting — a critical HR responsibility?

When a company seeks candidates for an open position, it relies upon a process that helps recruiters translate the need into a workable activity. For example, the process may start with a job description, created with requirements and other information obtained from the hiring manager. The description is transformed into a job posting and communicated externally in multiple forms. Various channels deliver the message to appropriate audiences as an offer that says essentially, “Here’s the kind of talent we seek. In exchange for your ability and commitment to perform the job to our expectations, we will compensate you with X, Y and Z.”

This tactic is pure marketing. It rings true with the classic “5 Ps” of the marketing mix — as well as the more recent inside-out version:

People – Potential employees
Product – Job opportunity
Price – Associated cost to recruit, fill, hire and retain
Promotion – Advertising and word-of-mouth about the job opening
Place – Organizational culture, which extends to talent communities that share job information

At the intersection of recruiting and marketing, many tactics and fundamentals go hand-in-hand, creating opportunities to exchange knowledge and hone skills. But more importantly, at the center of this common worldview is the employment brand — a powerful organizational asset. This is the foundation upon which an employment value proposition flourishes. The proof points are bits of raw workforce and candidate experience data we should analyze within the context of a strategic recruitment plan. Ultimately, that recruitment plan should not only inform corporate brand strategy, but also be shaped by it.

Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Like two sides of a coin, recruiting and marketing practitioners must work in concert to be truly effective. As people listen, learn, empathize and sharpen their communications, the opportunity to understand and leverage interdepartmental strengths will expand. When teams work in concert to unify brand positioning, measurably improved outcomes can’t be far behind.

Thanks to everyone who shared ideas and opinions about this topic at #TChat events this week. We invite you to review the related resources below, and continue this conversation here and on social channels. Hopefully, we can be an example of effective professional collaboration!

#TChat Week-In-Review: Recruiting IS Marketing?

SUN 9/1:


Watch the Hangout with Chris Fields

#TChat Preview: TalentCulture Community Manager Tim McDonald provided a “sneak peek” of this week’s topic, featuring a brief Hangout discussion with one of our special guests, Chris Fields. Read the Preview: Recruiting and Marketing: Blurred Lines?

MON 9/2: Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro explained why and how business leaders should view recruitment as a strategic marketing initiative. Read: “5 Recruiting Habits of Successful Leaders.”

TUE 9/3:

Related Post: Guest blogger, David Smooke defined 3 keys to “Hiring Culture” as the basis for strategic recruiting initiatives. Read: “Hiring Culture: Creating A Recruitment Ecosystem.”

WED 9/4:


Listen to the #TChat Radio show

#TChat Radio: As a prelude to our open Twitter chat, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman, talked with two recruiting experts about why and how HR organizations can leverage marketing expertise to enhance recruitment. Our special guests were:

David Bernstein, VP of the “Big Data for HR” Division at eQuest, and
Chris Fields, independent HR consultant, resume development specialist and HR writer.

Listen now to the radio show recording.

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, I moderated an open discussion with Chris, Meghan, Kevin and our entire community on the #TChat Twitter stream. For highlights from the conversation, watch the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Highlights: Recruiting IS Marketing

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to guests David Bernstein and Chris Fields, for offering your perspectives on recruiting and marketing this week. Your expertise and insights are invaluable to our community.

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

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week on 9/11, we take a serious look at an important subject, “Workplace Violence and Prevention.” This promises to be a helpful and informative session. So plan to join us, and check for more details in coming days here and on TalentCulture channels.

In the meantime, the World of Work conversation continues! So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, on our LinkedIn discussion group. or elsewhere on social media. The lights are always on here at TalentCulture, and your ideas and opinions are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

5 Reasons To Hire Flexible Talent

Having a hard time finding the right employee for the job? You may be looking at the wrong group of candidates. According to recent reports, hiring within the flexible job market has steadily increased over the past 12 months. In addition, employers plan to hire more flexible workers this year than any other year before.

So, why is it in your best interest to consider flexible workers?

This infographic, compiled by Hourly (an employment network that quickly matches people who are interested in flexible positions with the right opportunities), illustrates why the flexible talent pool is the group to watch. Some noteworthy takeaways:

  • 40% of employers plan to hire temp workers this year, and more than 80% plan to increase their flexible workforce;
  • 25 million Americans work part-time, 20 million telecommute, and 10 million are independent contractors;
  • 39% of temporary workers will transition into full-time jobs.

If you’re an employer, what role do flexible workers play in your talent strategy? Or, if you’re on the other side of the table, as part of the flexible workforce, tell us how flexible options have helped or hindered you.

Check out the full infographic below, and share your thoughts in the comments section!

What do you think? What are some other reasons to hire flexible workers?

(Image Credit: Nicole LaPointe-McKay)
(Note: Gumby is a trademark of Premavision Inc/Clokey Productions)

Career Moves: An Unconventional Payoff

“Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door.” -Emily Dickinson

I sat along the far front corner of the partner’s desk, trying not to sulk in the chair. This particular partner, an attractive Chinese woman in her mid-30’s, sat quietly behind her desk while she studied my professional profile like an archeologist attempting to decipher an ancient scroll. She even put her glasses on at one point. The partner’s sister — also a partner, and just as attractive but a few years younger — smiled at me like I was a special child about to get on the short bus for the very first time.

They asked me a series of questions about my experience and skills. They finally warmed up to me as we continued to talk about career aspirations, Silicon Valley, VC’s and HR-related tech startups.

Finally the older sister took her glasses off and said, “You know, you’re very unconventional. You’ve done a lot over time, and have been quite diverse in a short time, especially on paper. Now you’ve engaged with us to help give it all context. And it’s a pleasure, by the way. But still, it’s hard to put you in a…bucket. You know?”

I do. And so do many others who have carved and crafted their way into unconventionality by learning new skills, making career transitions, job hopping, consulting, freelancing, starting business endeavors and any combination thereof.

Professional Mobility Goes Mainstream

Nancy Friedberg, president of New York City executive coaching firm Career Leverage, recently said in a Fortune article, “Partly because of all the economic instability lately, and partly due to the entry of Gen Y into the workforce, people increasingly see themselves as free agents. It’s all about the portfolio of skills you bring, not loyalty or security. Moving around has become the new norm.”

This was a recent candidate experience I had with an executive search firm in Silicon Valley. Lovely, smart women who knew their business and understood the power of the professional skill portfolio. But as I noted earlier this week, we are naturally stalwart creatures of comfort and habit. Talent selection, mobility and succession planning have long been determined primarily by literally matching hard skills and experience to a job description, and of course gut instinct.

This is not to disparage any search professional working today, but saying that talent strategies should focus on hard skills is no longer enough. The softer skills — communication, empathy, team-building — are just as integral to selection and development, if not more so. The partners I met with understood this and made it clear during our conversation.

Looking at Talent Through New Eyes

This week on #TChat Radio, Josh Bersin emphasized the importance of looking at human capital management challenges through a more strategic, holistic lens. Rather than emphasizing the need for hard skills alone, high-impact organizations seek people with a full spectrum of capabilities — and develop both hard and soft skills. As organizations reinforce and expand these combined capabilities in real-time, and provide flexible context that responds to workforce competencies, we can expect talent selection, talent mobility and business performance to improve.

Those of us who pursue unconventional paths should take heart – it seems the tide is turning in our direction. If only unconventionality paid better, right? Actually, for the progressive individuals and companies propelling themselves and the enterprise forward, it does.

I’ll tell you more about my new bucket soon…

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Join #TChat at Recruiting Trends Social Summit

(Editorial Note: Want to read the RECAP of the week’s events from April 11, 2013? See The Best-of-All-Ages Workplace #TChat Recap)

Exciting news for social recruiting and HR professionals everywhere!

Save the date – April 11, 2013. That’s when TalentCulture Community co-founders, Meghan and Kevin will be  live at the Recruiting Trends Sourcing and Recruiting Social Summit 2013, where they’ll share insights from the event’s speakers throughout the day via #TChat and #rtrends Twitter channels.

Experts from across the industry are coming together for this very special one-day event in Washington D.C. to showcase innovative tools, techniques, and strategies necessary to strengthen and expand your organization’s talent pool in today’s social business world. You’ll also learn how to optimize sourcing and recruiting channels, and attract the right candidates through social media, mobile outreach, employment branding, screening, and much more.

Social media is still relatively new to many companies, so this event couldn’t be more timely.

#TChat Event Connects Attendees with Digital Community

The day’s activities culminate with a very special live #TChat forum, where Meghan and Kevin will moderate and review the day’s tips and takeaways with onsite speakers and attendees – as well as the online TalentCulture community.

If you’re in the Washington D.C. area, please join us live at the event — or stream with us online via #TChat and #rtrends channels. Either way, this should be an interesting and informative day.

Let’s see what it means to bring face-to-face interaction together with the virtual community. It could be the start of a very big trend! “See” you in April!



Face-to-Face with Brand Humanization: #TChat Recap

Social channels and tools offer a tremendous opportunity for business to create and sustain valuable relationships with customers, partners, employees and others. Digital technologies make it possible for brands to interact with their constituents in ways that are far more immediate, direct and authentic.

In short, it means that companies can “humanize” what the world has previously considered to be a distant, faceless brand entity.

But tools and technologies, alone, aren’t enough for this “brand humanization” to take root and flourish. What really makes a brand more “real” is its organization’s commitment to engage in a whole new level of open communication. And that’s the rub.

Stepping Outsidesnea the Brand Comfort Zone

Transparent, open communication can develop positive attitudes and behaviors that ultimately translate into business value. But opportunity often brings challenges along for the ride – and brand humanization is no exception. This concept challenges organizational structures, processes and norms at every level.

So, what does all this mean for professionals who focus on the “human” side of business? How can we lead constructive change and help our organizations breathe life into brands?

That has been the focus of our TalentCulture community this week, as we’ve examined brand humanization up close and personal – each of us adding our own experience and interpretations to the mix.

Humanization – New Term, Classic Approach

We invited an expert to help shape and guide the week’s conversations. Leadership consultant, speaker and author, Jamie Notter is deeply familiar with brand humanization. In his latest book, “Humanize: How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World,” Jamie examines effective social business strategies, as well as the operational impact of embracing a social business philosophy.

It’s not easy. Cultural transformation never is. But by remaining focused on classic “human” principles, “Humanize” offers a roadmap that organizational leaders can use to navigate through disruptive waters. These principles served as a useful backdrop for our community’s exploration this week. Here’s what happened on our journey…

NOTE: For complete highlights from yesterday’s #TChat Twitter forum, be sure to watch the Storify slideshow at the end of this post.

#TChat Week-in-Review

SAT 2/16
Sneak Peek video: TalentCulture Community Manager, Tim McDonald, kick-started the week by asking featured guest, Jamie Notter, to define brand humanization and its benefits. Thought provoking!

SUN 2/17
TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro called upon business organizations to rise to the challenge in her post: “Dear Leaders: Humanize Your Brand”

MON 2/18
#TChat weekly preview laid out the week’s events: “Real Brands Humanize”

TUE 2/19
#TChat Radio Show:
Our hosts sat down with Jamie Notter for an up-close and personal discussion about the “human” side of business brand stewardship.

To frame the conversation, Jamie wrote a blog post, “7 Tips for (Seriously) Humanizing Your Brand.” It’s a must read!

WED 2/20
#TChat Twitter: Jamie returned, along with his Humanize co-author, Maddie Grant. This time, he moderated our freewheeling #TChat Twitter forum, as 250+ participants shared more than 1000 tweets that delivered 1.5+ million impressions. Now that’s what can happen when real humans show up and open up in a live digital exchange!

NOTE: For highlights from yesterday’s #TChat Twitter forum, be sure to watch the Storify slideshow at the end of this post.

Closing Notes & Highlights Slideshow

THANKS: Again, thanks to Jamie Notter for sharing your insights with the TalentCulture community this week. You brought clarity, context and dimension to this important topic.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events inspire you to write about brand humanization or other organizational issues? We’re happy to share your thoughts. Just post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, we’ll look at branding from another angle, by exploring branded entertainment and the World of Work! Save the date for #TChat Radio, Tuesday, Feb 26, at 7:30pm ET. And #TChat Twitter Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 7pm ET. Look for more details next Monday via @TalentCulture and #TChat.

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

Image Credit: Thumbprint via stock.xchng

#TChat INSIGHTS Slide Show: “Real Brands Humanize”

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Reflections on Community and Learning: #TChat Recap

“Talent is always conscious of its own abundance, and does not object to sharing.” —A. Solzhenitsyn

It was a full house last night in the TalentCulture community, as our #TChat Twitter forum celebrated two years of weekly chat events.

The celebration actually began on Tuesday night, with the return of #TChat Radio. Hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman discussed learning and social-media driven communities with three recognized #TChat contributors – ChinaGorman, Founder and CEO of CMG Group; Justin Mass, Learning, Technology and Design Manager at Adobe, and Vala Afshar, Chief Customer Officer and CMO at Enterasys.

This conversation extended to the #TChat Twitter community on Wednesday, as we shared stories about what originally attracted us to #TChat, and we discussed the value of being part of an online community. Personally, I believe that learning occurs in communities; the practice of learning is the participation in the community. Learning is the conversation between members of the community.

I can tell you that the stream activity was blazing so fast and furiously that we trended on Twitter! There were many great responses to this week’s questions, many of them personal. Following is just a representative sample …

(To see more complete highlights from the #TChat session, watch the Storify slideshow at the end of this post.)

FYI: A Note to Newcomers Are you new to TalentCulture? If so, you’re probably asking “What is #TChat?” It’s actually two valuable community resources available through a single Twitter hashtag. It’s both a weekly talent/career-oriented discussion forum, and it’s an “always on” knowledge-sharing channel. Both are freely available to anyone with a Twitter account. As founder @MeghanMBiro says, #TChat helps participants learn and grow personally and professionally. Why? “Because Community Matters!”

What attracts people to #TChat?

“This chat, more than any other, truly spans the world at work & shares a passion for making it great.” @AlliPolin

“Great info, embracing community, inspiring leading and learning.”   @TranslationLady

“I started about a year ago and developed my own community out of the experience to pay it forward.” @gingerconsult

What is the value of online learning communities?

“The power of online communities is the diversity of knowledge, experience and values. Communities are force multipliers.” @ValaAfshar

“The value lies in the diversity of ideas and practices all in one congenial environment.”  @EnZzzoo

“The strength of your network has never been a more important resource to draw from.”  @jmass

“Online learning communities are made up of professional colleagues that share & challenge = amazing learning.”  @AlliPolin

“Online learning communities allow professionals to interact with each other no matter the distance or time zone.”  @MZProhov

Why should you join #TChat on Wednesday nights?

“This is a true community that inspires conversation & thought. More like friends than strangers.”  @GabieKur

“I started to make more smart friends in our space. Simple. Follow the brilliance!”  @ChinaGorman

“#TChat is a learning-living platform. Community of insight, exploration, answers + growth.”  @justcoachit

“Some of the best hearts and minds are freely sharing transformational insights online.”  @ReCenterMoment

“The best part of #tchat is that you know you aren’t alone… others know exactly how you feel and share solutions.”  @DawnRasmussen

Ultimately, a community is only as viable as its participants. We value the thousands of smart, supportive business professionals who have contributed to TalentCulture. As long as you continue to show up at #TChat, this community will continue to be a source of inspiration, insight and support for us all. I’ll be there. I hope to see you, too, as we continue to tackle timely and important topics affecting today’s World of Work.

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NOTE: To see complete highlights from yesterday’s “communities and learning” #TChat anniversary session, see the Storify slideshow at the end of this post.

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Closing Notes & Highlights Slideshow

Did you miss the #TChat preview? Look here.

SPECIAL THANKS to this week’s inaugural #TChat Radio guests – who bring depth, humor and relevance to everything they touch. ChinaGorman, Justin Mass, Vala Afshar: you are a TalentCulture dream team.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: If this #TChat session inspired you to write about social learning or the value of online communities, we’re happy to share your thoughts. Just post a link on Twitter (at #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll add it to our archives. There are many voices in the #TChat community, with many ideas worth sharing. Let’s capture as many of them as possible.

WHAT’S AHEAD: You’ll want to make time for next week’s double feature! It’s all about productivity, prioritizing, and time management in today’s active World of Work. Tune in to #TChat Radio on Tuesday, Dec 4 at 7:30pm ET, when work/life experts Judy Martin and Cali Williams Yost talk with Kevin and Meghan. Then join the #TChat  Twitter discussion on Wednesday, Dec 5, 7-8pm ET to share your ideas and opinions. Look for a full preview early next week via @TalentCulture and #TChat. Thanks!

Image credit: tijmen at stock.xchng

#TChat INSIGHTS Slide Show: Social Learning and Online Communities

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High-Flying Talent Communities: #TChat Recap

Birds aren’t known to be mental giants. After all, does anyone really want to be called a “bird brain?” Yet, when it comes to communities, perhaps one of the smartest things you can do is to think like a bird.

At least that’s one way to summarize the wisdom shared at last night’s #TChat, where the discussion focused on the role of leadership and social media in empowering successful communities. These comments sparked my imagination:

“When birds migrate south they take turns being the leader. Drafting is tough.” @DavidSmooke

“And yet, they’re orderly.” @brentskinner

“And from afar the shape looks the same. The opportunity to lead as one.” @DavidSmooke

Similarly, human birds of a feather flock together in online communities. But the model must be sustainable. It’s essential for members to contribute individually, so the group can move forward collectively — whether the community is intended purely for the pleasure of social exchange, or for professional networking and talent development. As some #TChat-ters noted…

“Both social and talent communities are about learning, connecting and engaging.” @susanavello

“More similarities between talent and social communities than differences, it seems…” @YouTernMark

“Communication, connection and collaboration: a trio that works well…” @TaraMarkus

Just as with winged migration, every community has a purpose. Birds don’t fly for the sake of movement. They are en route to a destination, using both individual skill and collective strength to move the flock to its goal.

So, what are the implications for online community leadership? What’s the best approach to move a human flock forward in a loosely-coupled, but sustainable way? Some suggested that it requires a particular type of leadership, one that doesn’t easily fit into the classic command-and-control mold:

“The leader’s sweet spot is with the community – not behind or in front but listening & pointing the way.” @AlliPolin

“Leadership within talent communities is inclusive, open and dynamic.” @ReCenterMoment

On the other hand, some participants underscored the need for social leadership that carries over from the best real world organizational settings:

“No structure = chaos.” @RichardSPearson

“Leaders who foster communities in orgs break down silos – help develop more collaborative work relationships.” @nancyrubin

“The collaborate-&-bring-out-the-best-in-all thing? To me, that’s a big part of leadership, no matter what realm.” @AnneMessenger

“The best leaders lead by knowing how to ask the right questions, no different with a talent community.” @ideabloke

However, as our own community leader, @MeghanMBiro, observes, social engagement may not be a skill that many leaders have developed.

Regardless, for a loosely coupled talent community to thrive, its leaders and participants must embrace the community’s interests. Just as with birds of a feather who aim to reach a distant destination together, sustainable communities require individual skill, combined with collective engagement, and awareness of a common purpose.

Technology can provide tools to connect us in real time. Leadership can offer guidance and direction. But ultimately, the power to propel a community forward rests in the hands of those who show up.

Want to learn more? For complete insights from the discussion stream, see the highlight slideshow at the end of this post.

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Highlights & What’s Ahead on #TChat

Did you miss the #TChat preview? Go here. Are you looking for the highlights slideshow? Keep scrolling to the end of this post.

NOTE: If you’re a blogger, and this #TChat session inspired you to write about social communities, we’re happy to share your thoughts with others. Just post a link on Twitter (at #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll add it to our archives. There are many voices in the #TChat community — with many ideas worthy of sharing. So let’s capture as many of them as possible!

We hope you’ll join us next Wednesday at 7pm ET / 4pm PT for another #TChat. We’ll be exploring issues related to military veterans in the workforce. Look for the preview early next week via @TalentCulture and #TChat. Enjoy your weekend!

Image credit: “Gulls Over Head,” courtesy of V Fouche

#TChat INSIGHTS Slide Show: Communities and Leadership
by Sean Charles (@SocialMediaSean)

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The Talent Community Leader’s Sweet Spot: #TChat Preview

Last week, the World of Work community looked at talent in online communities, and boy, did we hit an HR, Leadership and Social Business nerve. In the #TChat preview, I conflated talent, online communities and social communities.

It turns out people have very strong feelings about the differences between social communities, talent communities and the meta-themed online communities. This is why I love #TChat: I learn from our talented, social, online community every time we get together.

Of course the words talent and social describe different aspects of the core concept of online communities, which can be built around brand, talent, social interaction, or all of the above. The key for me — for all the #TChat-ters — is how communities are managed to benefit participants. We may all have slightly different definitions — e.g., how does a talent community differ from a social community — but we all agree community is a good thing, especially with a committed leader who’s absolutely clear on what he or she is doing as leader of the community.

So this week we’ll go back to communities and dig a little deeper. Does technology help or hinder community development?  How do community managers lead? When should they lead, and when should they stand aside and let the community blaze the trail? What is this new, emerging category of leader’s sweet spot? Here are this week’s questions:

Q1: What does a talent community mean to you & how is it different from a social community? #TChat

Q2: Within talent communities, how does leadership differ from and resemble leadership elsewhere?

Q3: How can a leader give a talent community direction & help it thrive? How does technology help & hinder?

Q4: How can multiple leaders manage their inter-dynamics & lead together within a talent community?

Q5: When is it best to follow or walk alongside? What is the talent community leader’s sweet spot?

Whether your preference is for brand, talent or social community, we hope you’ll join in on Wednesday, Oct. 31, at 7-8pm ET (6-7pm CT, 5-6pm MT, 4-5pm PT, or wherever you are), the Halloween edition of #TChat — a totally spooky re-animation of the community manager–community theme. Have your candy bowl and your thoughts at the ready.

Bringing his smarts to the conversation will be this week’s moderator and #TChat co-founder, Kevin W. Grossman (@KevinWGrossman), whose work as director of product marketing at Brave New Talent intersects with Wednesday’s topic in ways that promise for a teeming discussion. Yours truly (@MeghanMBiro) and the rest of the #TChat gang will be there — and you are part of the gang, too. Tweet with us!

Image Credit: Pixabay

Care & Feeding of Social Communities: #TChat Recap

Ex-change /iks’CHanj/

Verb: The act of giving one thing and receiving another (esp. of the same type or value) in return.

Give to get. It is a concept as old as civilization. And it is a dynamic that lives at the core of every successful community — large or small, business or otherwise.

It is also the principle that brought together the TalentCulture World of Work tribe last night, as we gathered around the #TChat table to share ideas and experiences about the essential elements that make brand and talent communities work.

During a single hour of speed sharing, nearly 400 contributors exchanged 2,900 #TChat tweets — which in turn generated 17.3 million impressions across the Twitter universe. Now that’s proof of social media’s power to enable community engagement and outreach! (To see highlights from the session, scroll through the Storify slideshow below.)

Of course, as many in the community know, #TChat’s gravitational pull doesn’t stop on Wednesday nights. It continues throughout each week, as contributors apply the #TChat hashtag to ad-hoc posts and informal discussion threads.

It may seem like a small thing, but those cumulative posts add up! In fact, on HRMarketer’s latest list of top 100 hr-related Twitter hashtags. #TChat actually ranks #2 — behind only #HR itself.

Community: “What’s In It For Me?”

Hashtags aren’t communities, of course. They’re only evidence that a strong social community exists, and that begs the question: What do smart, talent-minded professionals receive in return for their contributions each Wednesday — and throughout the week? Several participants offered their feedback last night:

“Has anyone coined the expression “Crowd-Learning”? Because that’s what it feels like being on this chat!” @bcoelho2000

“I’m new to community management, reading you guys chat and discuss and going to your links is really helping me — thank you all.” @JuFriendlyChat

Last night was indeed a master class in social communities — focused on how successful communities begin, and how to best nurture them over time. In particular, these issues sparked strong interaction:

  • Do the strongest communities generate spontaneously and grow organically?
  • Under what circumstances do “manufactured” communities work, if ever?
  • Regardless of a community’s source, what is required to sustain a cohesive agenda and a sense of momentum?

Community: Postcards From the Edge

Because many #TChat participants are involved in talent or brand communities, this topic tends to spark debate and deep conviction. Best practices are a work-in-progress, but #TChat-ters are leading the way. Consider this taste of eloquent ideas, plucked from yesterday’s stream…

“Social media is NOT Community. It’s communication.” @Historian

“It’s hard to build a relationship with a corporation. Community managers humanize.” @joetatulli

“Community Manager is the connector, conversation starter, information resource, listener, marketer, moderator, promoter, salesman.” @TimJBarry

“Leaders hear this: Community Managers have the power to guide, inform, teach, and inspire. MAJOR ROI for brands.” @jocelynaucoin

“Individuals may cause the movement, but the community sustains the momentum.” @ValaAfshar

“Too much control on a community becomes a cult – no organic development – no change.” @IncentIntel

“We can learn a lot from cmtys of practice experience: nurture rather than manufacture; light touch-not control.” @4km

Want to learn more? For complete insights from the discussion stream, see the highlight slideshow at the end of this post.

SPECIAL THANKS are in order for our guest moderator this week, Tim McDonald (@tamcdonald), community manager at HuffPost Live, founder of My Community Manager, and co-organizer of #cmgrUN. The breadth of Tim’s knowledge and expertise brought wonderful depth and dimension to this week’s discussion.

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Highlights  & What’s Ahead on #TChat

Did you miss the #TChat preview? Go here. Are you looking for the highlights slideshow? Keep scrolling to the end of this post.

NOTE: If you’re a blogger, and this #TChat session inspired you to write about social communities, we’re happy to share your thoughts with others! Just post a link on Twitter (at #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll add it to our archives. There are many voices in the #TChat community — with many ideas worthy of sharing. So let’s capture as many of them as possible!

We hope you’ll join us next Wednesday at 7pmET/4pmPT for another #TChat. We continue our focus on communities, as we discuss technologies that enable community development and management. Look for the preview early next week via @TalentCulture and #TChat. Enjoy your weekend!

Image Credit: “Hands,” courtesy of Marco Michelini

#TChat INSIGHTS Slide Show: Social Communities by Sean Charles (@SocialMediaSean)
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#TChat INSIGHTS: The Sound of a Talent Community

Storified by TalentCulture · Thu, Oct 25 2012 07:32:18

#SoLike it’s a “T” for #TChat. #Duh
Q1: What is the connection between a social community and a company’s brand? #tchatTim McDonald
A1. community managers do more than just marketing efforts- they are the personality, customer service, and conversationalists #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
#tchat A1 It’s about having an audience interested in what you have to say and you can actually LISTEN to their needs and desires!Bruno Coelho
A1: Opposite of brand amplification is possible, too: silence. Plus, amplification isn’t always good. Cultivate. #TChatBrent Skinner
A1. The Social Community is the face of your brand to many people who are not on TV, Radio, Billboards #tchatRob Garcia
a1. The community manager is the master of real-time brand engagement with cyberspace. #tchatMichael Clark
A1 A community is the people behind the brand; engaging, learning, sharing, on behalf of … #TChatClaire Crossley
A1: Someone said it’s an intersection. Yes, that’s so true. The connection is the impact: brand amplification. #tchatBrent Skinner
a1. Community managers have to fearless in the flurry of energy and information coming customers. #tchatMichael Clark
A1: Social community = brand accountability squad #TChatLaTonya Wilkins
A1: The social community would seem to be crafted from unstructured parts in order to mold it to the company brand. Loyalty is earned #TChatTom Bolt
A1. community managers do more than just marketing efforts- they are the personality, customer service, and conversationalists #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
#TChat A1 – To engage the community, the brand needs to engage in convo’s, not be one sided. This will equal success & add valueMichael!
A1) The connection is only as strong as the effort the org puts into the community. More attention & care = stronger connection #tchatCate Conroy
A1. Social communities are leverages, and have an influence on the company. At best, it should be a trust connection #TChatLilian Mahoukou
A1: It’s about the communication between the company and the stakeholders. #tchatRob McGahen
A1: Social community is about connection, interaction, shared values – not corporate messaging. #tchatAlli Polin
A1 Community can form a new brand, change an old brand, or destroy any brand #tchatPaul Hebert
A1. The social community is like the company brand’s president & chief, it has powers to enact and veto the value of the brand #tchatSalima Nathoo
A1: The connection is the behavior…people executing on brand promise. #tchatBill Cushard
A1 The community can be a source of nutrients to grow the brand #TChatAlice MacGillivray
A1 – A social community is a ‘tribe’ of shared interest around a brand #TchatLeAnna J. Carey
A1: The brand is alive through its community members #tchatJen Olney
A1: I would hope that the social community is a dialog, not one way. #TChatTom Bolt
a1. The strength of the connection determines the quality of an organization’s life. #tchatMichael Clark
A1. Companies & industry that rely on community engagement must leverage society’s social networks to maintain relevancy. #tchatChris Fields
A1) It’s simple customer service. By respecting and listening to the online community the business can learn and build evangilists. #tchatAmy Gaerlan
A1 #Tchat The connection between a Brand and its Social Community is that you ARE who your followers ARE AND reputations are now built on itALEX BOTTOM
A1: The Internet <- how's that for seemingly glib, but actually not? #tchatBrent Skinner
A1: A business’ online community exemplifys the brand’s ethos through their engagement. #tchatSam Fiorella
A1 social community is both listening post and divining rod for the company #tchatKeith Punches
A1 it is so important and essential to a community’s success #TChateSkill
#tchat A1: the social community represents the brand without boarders- for good or bad it speaks out #organicMegan Rene Burkett
A1: If brand is a promise, then it is the promise delivered to the community, consistently, openly, and interactively. #TChatJon M
A1 Community is required to be a brand – a brand without community is a just a brochure #tchatPaul Hebert
A1. social community speaks to the customers/fans… not at them… it creates communication and, ultimately, engagement #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
a1. No community manager, no connection, no brand, no organization. #tchatMichael Clark
A1) The social community can become ambassadors, evangelists and your marketing force. How effective that is depends having a #cmgr #tchatTim McDonald
#tchat A1 It’s about having an audience interested in what you have to say and you can actually LISTEN to their needs and desires!Bruno Coelho
A1. social community creates a way to communicate, define, and clarify a brand to their “fans” #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
a1. Now demands high-speed, high definition, instant real-time connections. #tchatMichael Clark
A1: The social community ideally is an extension of the brand. Brings powerful energy & hopefully synergy #tchatAlli Polin
A1: The community symbolizes the bond with the brand #tchatJen Olney
A1: It isn’t a connection. It is an intersection of brand & social community – the meeting place. #TChatJon M
A1 A social community is (can be) the mirror of the brand but a mirror that influences how the brand is seen ~ #tchatCASUDI
a1. The better the connection, the more successful the organization. #tchatMichael Clark
A1 Community is the mirror of the brand #tchatPaul Hebert
A1: A company’s community SHOULD PERSONIFY its brand! #tchatSam Fiorella
Q2: What is the role of “community manager” and what’s the future of this role look like? #tchatTim McDonald
A2: TO communicate brand values through creating & curating content that is relent to community #TChatSean Charles
#tchat A2: future- a model demonstrating the ROI of a community manager ahhMegan Rene Burkett
A2: The community manager’s primary role is to be the hub, the #leader of the band. Be the gravity. #tchatBrent Skinner
A2 is it pragmatic to have one person be the CM or spread the role out…w/n the community? #tchatKeith Punches
A2 Internal / External messages must mesh or brand is not consistent across all media. #TChatTom Bolt
A2 Community Manager is the connector, conversation starter, information resource, listener, marketer, moderator, promoter, salesman #tchatTim Barry
A2: How do you manage an organic thing? That’s the dilemma. You gotta define the role, though; otherwise, mayhem. #tchatBrent Skinner
A2: Internal com sooo important. Not casting stones but I can reach one company over #SoMe before I can get answer from tech 800 line #TChatTom Bolt
A2 Community Managers are real people, building real relationships with other real people who want to interact with the brand. #TChatJoseph Tatulli
A2. The community & the company may go into diff maturity stages. The community manager facilitates the growth of the relationship #TChatLilian Mahoukou
A2 – CM are sails in the wind – adjusting and using the community to get where they need to go… #tchatPaul Hebert
A2: Th
e future is bright for the #cmgr. Conversation is shifting from do we need to which one do we need #TChatSean Charles
A2. customers/fans are savvy and smart. community managers better have conviction or they’ll see right through it #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A2. The role of the community manager is to help the company and the community achieving their top goals, in the long run #TChatLilian Mahoukou
A2 Seems to be quite a lot of responsibility – #TChatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A2 hearing aid #tchatKeith Punches
A2) Community management is about knowing not only the voice of the company but the voice of the customer. Among other things! #tchatAmy Gaerlan
a2. Community managers communicate the thoughts and emotions of the brand. #tchatMichael Clark
A2 Comm Managers should have a direct relation to how messages are shared (words & format) which is key for audiences #TChatClaire Crossley
A2 – community managers can be the “glue” to pull people together culturally and to launch and nuture SoMe campaigns #tchatRichard S Pearson
A2: Most value is in the conversation not the content. #cmgr responsible to moderate & encourage #TChatSean Charles
A2 – CM needs to be both strategic and tactical – separate signal from noise #tchatPaul Hebert
A2 #Tchat The Community Manager validates thoughts & every employee is a Brand Ambassador while aggregating all relevant quality informationNEOGOV
A2. a CM’s role is to get people pumped up to the point where they also want to pass on the positive message about your company/brand #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
#tchat A2: my prediction- community manager will soon be an academic major!!Megan Rene Burkett
A2: Still thinking about what it *is*; in the meantime, a community manager’s role *is not* to be a dictator. #tchatBrent Skinner
A2 Community manager = grand parents…respected by community, lived by the young…they are everything to everyone. #tchatEnzo Guardino
A2: Community managers will move in the future to the forefront of customer service and sales #tchatJen Olney
A2 – the goal of a community manager is to create the feeling of “user driven” that creates more value for a co. #TChatLeAnna J. Carey
#tchat A2 A community manager sets the example of what the brand really stands for and why should people care about it!Bruno Coelho
A2. Community managers are the finger on & the pulse of a brand and curate how it breathes in open social waters. #tchatSalima Nathoo
#TChat A2 Community Manager facilitates the brand’s conversation. Directs and guides but does not own it.Philip Turnbull
A2 CM need to be looking for new ways to engage – can’t just use yesterday’s tools #tchatPaul Hebert
#tchat A2: someone who connects and identifies with the brands industry an culture- a conversationalist- A LiStEnErMegan Rene Burkett
A2: #cmgr Celebrates the community and its members #TChatSean Charles
A2. A community manager will be a brand’s spokesperson, your customer service lead. Cheerleader & Problem-Solver #tchatGarick Chan
A2. it’s not just about being strategic in marketing efforts, its about knowing HOW to speak to your audience to make it successful #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
a2. In the future, every employee will be a 24/7, 365 brand ambassador and community manager. #tchatMichael Clark
A2: role of “community manager” is a moving target, so keeping up is critical – as Yoda says: “Always in motion the future it is.” #TChatSylvia Dahlby
A2: Customer service watch dog! #TChatSean Charles
My bold projection: A2) In the future, most employees will be community managers. THE community manager will report to the CEO. #tchatTim McDonald
A2: Community managers are facilitators of conversation, community engagement and they are the face of brand to community #tchatJen Olney
A2: New term – Brand Facilitator. No negotiating (un-ambassador). Just listening, exchanging, acting, giving, building. #TChatJon M
A2 First and foremost, a community manager is a connector. #tchatJoe Sanchez
A2 Community Managers can have roles both internal or external to Brand & are Key Champions to bridging both/all #TChatClaire Crossley
A2. Community Manager should own the publications and communications pieces. They will champion org social identity and engagement #tchatChris Fields
“@samfiorella: A2: Community Mngrs will move beyond- coordinating content/people/ideas across organization. #tchat” conceptualizeMegan Rene Burkett
A2. community managers have to stay passionate for the company/brand for the greater good, no matter what. #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
a2. Due to connection, engagement, reach, speed, community managers may be the most powerful people in the organization. #tchatMichael Clark
A2: To facilitate & spark conversation with current & future members of the community #TChatSean Charles
A2) The community manager is the voice of the brand, and I think soon every role in an org will have a lil’ community manager in it! #tchatCate Conroy
A2 Future = increasingly important as we head into the Age of the social #tchatCASUDI
A2: Community Manager is the future, must have his/her hand on the pulse and understand the trends. #TChatRobert Rojo
A2: Community Manager is an ambassador, a missionary, a visionary. #TChatTom Bolt
A2 It’s going to evolve – a little qualitative research perhaps? #TChatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A2 The community leader is the glue that holds it all together & the catalyst that helps it grow. #tchatCASUDI
A2 a manager of single-family home subdivisions, townhouses, or mixed-use development (but all on-line ;-) #tchatKeith Punches managers’ roles are to keep customers “in-the-know” in real time. Works with with our instant gratification expectations #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
#tchat A2 The community manager must always remember that the reason he exists is because of each and every member of the tribe!Bruno Coelho
A2 Community managers are the eyes and ears – need to be watching and directing appropriate responses #tchatPaul Hebert
A2: The community manager is the brand ambassador – engaging people & ideas #tchatAlli Polin
A2) The #cmgr is teh conduit for communication between the brand and the community and back again #tchatMuse Seymour
a2. Community managers establish organizational presence and tone in cyberspace. #tchatMichael Clark
A2: “community manager” morphed from brand manager + marketing concept and will probably evolve further in the future. #TChatTom Bolt
#tchat A2 He also must realize that leadership isn’t something you do TO people but WITH them! It’s a shared fulfillment journey!Bruno Coelho
A2: Community manager’s role is facilitator, listener, and the future looks extremely bright! #TChatJon M
A2 CM Teach others about how they can participate in the community #tchatPaul Hebert
a2. Community managers build bridges between the inside and outside of organizations. #tchatMichael Clark
A2: Community Mngrs will move beyond social engagement to coordinating content/people/ideas across organization. #tchatSam Fiorella
A2) The role of the community manager is the voice of the brand to the community and voice of the community to the brand. #cmgr #tchatTim McDonald
a2 the role is bleak and lack of jobs and HR doesnt understand the role and hire kids under 25 #tchatMichael Hahn
Q3: Why do leaders, companies need social brand ambassadors, community managers? #tchatTim McDonald
a3. Your brand’s story is being written every moment. #tchatMichael Clark
a3. Content creates conversation creates connection c
reates customer. #tchatMichael Clark
Yes @MRGottschalk A3 The customer cannot read your mind share the knowledge and empower the engagement #TChatJohn Kosic
A3 Effective social cmtys are critical to helping brands learn and adapt & therefore, be relevant. #tchatJoe Sanchez
A3 Not a luxury to know your customer base. #TChatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A3 Bottom line – information is always power. #TChatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A3: Plus there is usually some bureaucracy or element of separation btw the user and the org. Commty Mgrs are the face of brand. #tchatChristina Brown
A3 I would think you engage where you “find them”, then build the relationship from there. #TChatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A3: it’s a skill/capability unto itself – everyone can and should play up thri CEO but that doesn’t mean they can own it. #tchatSusan Mazza
A3 large and disconnected worthless small and connected priceless #tchatJohn Kosic
A3: Leaders & strong org brands have disciples. Inspire them by welcoming community. #tchatBrent Skinner
A3 Branding is a beautiful thing that can hold you to a standard of integrity in the community. #tchatWeston Jolly
A3. #cmgrs create the same feeling you get as when you finally get a cust.serv rep after screaming “rep!!!!” 100x in automated system #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A3 #Tchat The reason for Brand Ambassadors is simple 1 person pushing out all company info does not have the capacity to be omnipresent.HR Cloud
A3 Modernization has made the community manager a necessity like an engine needs oil to stop friction.#tchatEnzo Guardino
A3: to successfully, cost-effectively grow the business – much cheaper than traditional marketing & it’s sticky + immediate feedback #tchatRichard S Pearson
A3. with so many things being annoyingly automated these days, its nice to talk to a human- #cmgrs = human aspect of business #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
a3. Community managers are responsible for one of the most important elements, real-time engagement with the customer. #tchatMichael Clark
A3: Brand Ambassadors bring big value to brand by using their social equity to increase awareness #TChatSean Charles
A3 3 Reasons: ur customers have gone social, ur customers r talkin’bout u on #socialmedia, ur customers expect u to engage via social #tchatRob Garcia
A3: But you eventually want your users to be little social brand ambassadors as well. Make them leaders. #tchatChristina Brown
A3: ‘Cuz trying 2 go it alone’s insanity. Orgs building brand in social communities need community, by def. #TChatBrent Skinner
A3: Because building relationships and gathering feedback is more than a full-time job, as is managing reputation and presence. #TchatTranscend Coaching
a3. Customers live in the moment now more than ever, organizations must engage in the present. #tchatMichael Clark
A3: Because social is the future (and present). It’s best to engage it rather than ignore it. #tchatRob McGahen
A3) You can decide to welcome your community, or they will form without your guidance. Strategy is also more effective. #tchatTim McDonald
A3. i’d rather go for a co that communicates w me & makes me feel appreciated than talk to an email blast with no communication/cmgr #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A3: CM have their ear to the ground & in the trenches to hear what the word on street is so to speak – leaders implement the feedback #tchatJen Olney
A3: Community Managers humanizes and understands the brand. They know what users and orgs need to thrive. #tchatChristina Brown
#tchat a3: social demands interaction- listening, caring, thinking, and a continual feedback loopMegan Rene Burkett
A3 Key for engaging (int & ext) to understand how others see Brand, which may be different from how you see it, find out #TChatClaire Crossley
A3: We’re in business for a reason > people! Community Mgrs focus on relationship btwn the two #tchatAlli Polin
A3 – Ambassadors create a broad base that shows fulfillment of the brand promise #TChatLeAnna J. Carey
A3. Because #tchat…that’s it…becauseChris Fields
A3. Absence of brand managers, ambassadors, curators is russian roulette. Slim chance public will get it/share it right, unattended. #tchatSalima Nathoo
A3 Leaders need more data points than just what the yes-men say – need community input – Emperor’s New Clothes #tchatPaul Hebert
A3. Because, at the end of the day, an engaged community will have a positive impact on economic metrics #TChatLilian Mahoukou
A3) People want to talk to a person – not a wall or a logo. A little engagement can create a brand evangelist out of a customer. #tchatAmy Gaerlan
A3: Social media is just as important to monitor as email-you get questions and opinions from prospects, customers, candidates, etc.
A3) Your community talks about you. Up to you if you want to listen. Power comes to those who listen. #tchatTim McDonald
A3) The ability to find & adapt to new platforms is critical for businesses to connect with others. #Cmgrs make that happen! #tchatCate Conroy
a3. No matter how deep we go into tech, it’s always going to be about the people behind the device. #tchatMichael Clark
A3: Every ship must have a captain that tests the wind, charts a new course and sets the sails. #TChatTom Bolt
A3 Without them you miss an astounding amount of information – #TChatMarla Gottschalk PhD
#tchat A3 When your social ambassador isn’t an employee but a customer who became a raving fan – your Brand wins!Bruno Coelho
A3 – re: Why do leaders, companies need social brand ambassadors, community managers? uh because it’s there? #TChatSylvia Dahlby
A3: Simplistic, but if nobody is in charge, nothing will get done according to plan. #TChatTom Bolt
A3 Leaders should BE community managers too… can’t outsource it IMO #tchatPaul Hebert
A3: they serve as interpreters. #tchatEdgar Diaz
Q4: Can you manufacture online communities, or are they best left to develop organically? #tchatTim McDonald
a4. Organic community building creates energetic connections with a brand. #tchatMichael Clark
#tchat A4 Being at the top of the Empire State building shouting to the crowd that can’t hear you + doesn’t care = buying a communityBruno Coelho
A4: Isn’t part of the benefit of online community to authentically learn customer preferences & feedback? How do U manufacture that? #TChatNancy Barry-Jansson
A4 #Tchat Developing a community takes dedication which is manufactured social amplifies who u are & when u engage they respond organicallyNEOGOV
a4. The biggest challenges of the Social Revolution are releasing control and trusting the employee and customer. #tchatMichael Clark
A4 You have to “spark that movement”… #TChatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A4: it cannot be forced. Facebook works because its ‘cool’ w/ still an element of exclusivity despite 1B users. People want to belong #TChatmatthew papuchis
A4 A little “tinder” (right word?) can’t hurt. #TChatMarla Gottschalk PhD
a4. You can’t have organic and command and control at the same time. #tchatMichael Clark
A4: Community is built by people who share a passion for the same thing – just need to find each other #tchatAlli Polin
A4 Artificial communities divert and die off. Organic, like roots, they divert and spread out, too, but for the good of the tree. #tchatEnzo Guardino
A4 And yet I sometimes have ppl ask for advice such as “My VP wants 2 communities created this quarter; how do I do it?” #tchatAlice MacGillivray
a4. Organic implies care, quality, connection. #tchatMichael Clark
A4.i promote #tchat b
ecause i love the topics, contributions, and am passionate about what i learn from it. i get excited to share it #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A4: need to at least create the platform that allows it to happen. Can still be organically grown but people need a place to go 1st #TChatmatthew papuchis
A4. Online communities need to start with a leader or group of individuals but need to be cultivated and open. #tchatTerri Klass
A4 Same method as “managing up”. Let them think it’s their idea. May the force be with you. #tchatKeith Punches
a4. People are the organic part to communities. #tchatMichael Clark
A4: Building community takes patience & a strategic plan of action that supports organic growth #TChatSean Charles
A4: U *have* 2 manufacture, at some point. Identify spontaneous flashpoint; build from there, thru authenticity. #tchatBrent Skinner
A4. you can promote, but don’t promote for sake of promoting. it has to be a passion you want to share #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A4) You can pay for “likes” on facebook (manufactured), but you can’t get them to give a shit about what you’re saying (nurtured) #tchatMuse Seymour
A4 The best communities are organic, but nothing stopping a company from joining and guiding. #tchatDavid DeWald
A4. If you make me choose between organic communities and GMO ones… guess which one I’ll engage with… #Tchat #social #hippieRob Garcia
a4: It’s like when the boss lets go of the agenda and turns it over to the team to talk about what’s on their mind #tchatAlli Polin
a4. We want the community to take ownership of our brands. #tchatMichael Clark
A4. Organically, with some triggers (crafted from the listening activity) for stimulating the community growth #TChatLilian Mahoukou
A4. A little bit of both, you need people t spark interest/spread the word but then let those interested organically build it #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A4: Define organic development of a community. At some point, doesn’t *somebody* decide they want to nurture it? #tchatBrent Skinner
A4: Communities form organically, but you can catalyze the conversation, and provide a platform that engages. #TchatTranscend Coaching
A4: Sometimes online communities sprout on their own w/o the leadership of an org. Some are social mov’ts. #tchatChristina Brown
a4. Organizations till soil and plant seeds to create communities, customers add water and light. #tchatMichael Clark
A4. Manufactured communities die down quickly (unless u have an endless budget). Communities can only be nurtured to grow organically #TchatRob Garcia
A4: Once the seed of the community is planted, organic growth is possible. #tchatAlli Polin
A4 Organic makes it relevant – and what we want – and what our audience wants is relevance #tchatPaul Hebert
A4. Organically formed online communities seem more vibrant and dynamic. #tchatTerri Klass
A4 Contests and Fun content/interactions I think can go along way. Brands with strong loyalty can skip that part #tchatShawn LaCroix
A4. Manufacture – cookie cutter community, no. But you can cultivate community through shared values & sharing value. #tchatSalima Nathoo
#tchat A4: manufacturing communities is a no go- find a raving fan and interview them for the comm mgr- they are in. #organicMegan Rene Burkett
A4: You can’t fake it on social media, so organic is best – but a good community manager knows how to move things along.
A4) There is no such thing as a “manufactured” community. You can nurture a community to develop organically much faster. #tchatTim McDonald
A4 Facilitate & enable online brand cmtys but recognize that there will also be *passion* cmtys that develop on their own. #tchatJoe Sanchez
#TChat – A4 I think the most “authentic” online communities happen organically, however w/some “fertilizer” from the brand to help it along!Michael!
A4 We can learn a lot from communities of practice experience: nurture rather than manufacture; light touch-not control #TchatAlice MacGillivray
A4: You can set up the framework, but the people drive the rest. #tchatRob McGahen
A4 After reading about rebirth of Hush Puppies in the “Tipping Point”, always felt you can help something ignite. CM can do this. #TChatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A4: Like corporations, online communities are people, my friend. So no. #tchatChristina Brown
A4: Organically. But you have to build the foundation first. #tchatJen Olney
A4: Yes, but only through authenticity, having brand disciples already, & having a GREAT community manager. #tchatBrent Skinner
A4. I believe that if you take 15 viral marketers & get them to manage about 8-10 accts each, you can create “truth” on the Internet #tchatGarick Chan
A4 Too much control on a community becomes a cult – no organic development – no change #tchatPaul Hebert
A4) I think there has to be some amount of it grown organically. You can’t force community, but you can try and bring people together #tchatMuse Seymour
#tchat A4 You can’t buy people! It’s not about the number of follower but the number of engagements!Bruno Coelho
#Tchat A4: you lay foundations and then nurture organic growthRussell Klosk
A4 You may need to “seed” the community – then let it grow. #tchatPaul Hebert
Q5: What are the pros & cons social communities as an extension of orgs’ talent attraction, recruiting programs? #tchatTim McDonald
A5 if you ensure that empls (not just commty mgr) are active in community then it will replicate the culture of the comp ensuring fit #tchatTim Barry
A5: It’s good work, if you can get it? But seriously, I see mostly pros. Who’s with me? #tchatBrent Skinner
a5. Get over it! The bus is rolling, you better board now or your organization’s going to be forced to walk in a high-speed world. #tchatMichael Clark
a5. So, you want to block employees from social media and attract the best talent? Good luck with that. #tchatMichael Clark
A5 Pros > Cheap, fast and global. Cons > Apply a lot of filtering to find the cream amongst all the sour milk. #tchatEnzo Guardino
Commty values may not match comp’s MRT @AlliPolin A5: need 2 create commty pple want 2 be a part of or they won’t want to work there #tchatTim Barry
A5. Pro / A great way to humanize the talent brand and facilitate connections between potential candidates and employees #TChatLilian Mahoukou
a5. First get your head-heart-body collaborating, then go be social with others. #tchatMichael Clark
A5: Companies that ban their employees from Social Media but want a thriving community miss the mark #tchatAlli Polin
a5. Leaders, get out from behind your oversize desks, face your fears of being social with employees and customers. #tchatMichael Clark
A5 Not the job of one internal person or team to build the brand, all voices matter & keep it real #tchatAlli Polin
A5: Some voices are more valuabe outside than inside. Know the difference. #tchatMarcio Saito
A5: I don’t think orgs do enough online substainable recruitment. #tchatChristina Brown
A5. Employees should be well-informed about the talent attraction efforts. So, communication’s essential to avoid asymetries #TChatLilian Mahoukou
A5. Pro-can continue to develop your brand; con-can end up being less inclusive unless it is continually welcoming #tchatTerri Klass
A5/ hire community managers that understand what the co is looking for in talent so they can keep an eye out for rockstars #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A5 Pros: Social cmtys, as an extension of orgs’ talent attraction & recruiting programs, can project authenticit
y & credibility. #tchatJoe Sanchez
A5 I’m forever hopeful that the info presented is authentic. #TChatMarla Gottschalk PhD
a5. Leaders, you better wake-up quick because the world is leaving your organization behind in the cyber-dust. #tchatMichael Clark
A5: Pro – you attract and retain great talent – Con – if it is not monitored, you have a bad brand moment #tchatJen Olney
A5 first and foremost, if u dont have a comprehensive workforce planning and recruiting strategy, talent comms will just create noise #tchatSteve
A5: Org will grow stagnant if there is no diversity of thought. Diverse minds moving together will knit success #TChatTom Bolt
A5) Con – building a social community to promote a brand rather than actively engaging people. #missedthepoint #alienation #tchatAmanda Sterling
A5: Allows candidates to get to know the employer brand & vice versa. Helps filter talent effectively #TChatSean Charles
A5) Only con (which can be overcome) is confidentiality. #tchatTim McDonald
A5. #cmgrs can tell people why it’s a great place to work… but then you have those disgruntled workers that can ruin the brand #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A5: PRO: People are engaged! CON: They get hired and they feel duped b/c culture doesn’t match community #tchatAlli Polin
A5 Adds to the realistic job (organizational) preview. More info = better matches. #TChatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A5: don’t want brand to be watered down. Want to be inclusive but also want to create a sense of connectedness based on authenticity #TChatmatthew papuchis
a5. The best place to connect with top talent is SoMe. #tchatMichael Clark
A5 – it broadens your recruiting reach – it gives recruits a “taste” of company culture to determine it they “fit” #tchatRichard S Pearson
A5) Now think if you community becomes your recruiting arm in addition to marketing, customer service and sales arm? #tchatTim McDonald
A5: one big plus of social communities as extension of recruiting is improved hiring for cultural fit #TChatSylvia Dahlby
A5: Pros-engagement of that talent! Cons-do it poorly is worse than not at all. #tchatRob McGahen
#TChat A5 con, lack of message control pro: everything ethical is an extension of attract & retain strategyRussell Klosk
A5: You need to create a community that people want to be a part of – or they won’t want to work their IRL #tchatAlli Polin
a5. The Social Revolution is built, created, sustained by the best talent on the planet. #tchatMichael Clark
A5. Pro – a place of mind to deepen connection & broaden ideas. Con – a place of constraint when it becomes unconsciously elitist. #tchatSalima Nathoo
A5) Employees are best referral source for good talent. Encourage them to share socially. #tchatTim McDonald
A5 A zingy community will attract some awesome talent =big plus ~ but what if your community is dowdy……. #tchatCASUDI
A5. talent can learn “the inside scoop” of a company before determining if the culture fits their values. #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A5. PRO: natural extension of a company’s talent attracting activities… CONS: it can go wrong if your brand is feeble #tchatRob Garcia
A5 Con – too little turnover – too little change #tchatPaul Hebert
A5 Pro – less cultural learning curve – less turnover – less cost #tchatPaul Hebert
A5 Community can help you identify thought and knowledge leaders. Can show talent and skill too. #tchatDavid DeWald
A5 Con – too little diversity #tchatPaul Hebert
A5 Pro – more people that “fit” #tchatPaul Hebert
A5 – IMO online communities can be “manufactured” but only sustained & grown “organically” many examples of this on LinkedIn groups #TChatSylvia Dahlby

The Sound of a Talent Community: #TChat Preview

Online social communities are the voice of your users, buyers, your sales and recruiting prospects, your employees — anyone who’s involved with your products, services or other offerings. Is this impacting the World of Work or what?

Social communities have more power than the individual customer, prospect or employee because they speak with a VERY LOUD voice, even if they’re not all saying the same thing. It’s not just volume any more; it’s reach and amplitude. And, with the number of channels across which these communities interact, you get to contend with the network effect.

One ticked off person talks to you; a ticked off community talks to you and the world. It works the other way as well, but of course we notice it more when communities are unhappy than we do when they’re pleased. This is a direct metaphor with your workplace culture. It’s tough to deny this fact anymore.

I never get tired of talking about social communities and their impact on brands and the recruiting process for the right talent. To broaden the discussion a bit, this week we’re going to add the notion of community managers to our #TChat Twitter get-together.

More companies and organizations are hiring community managers, and the job’s influence is expanding quickly. Of course some communities may organically grow to encompass the need for a community manager, but these tend to happen more with technical communities, and less so with consumer or B2C brands.

When companies decide to develop communities online, they often take a different course. Organizations need to be prepared to manage the trajectory and understand the personalities of people who fit and are passionate about these roles.

Against this backdrop, here are the questions we’ll be discussing this week:

Q1: What is the connection between a social community & a company’s brand?

Q2: What is the role of “community manager” & what does the future of this role look like?

Q3: Why do leaders & companies need social brand ambassadors & community managers?

Q4: Can you manufacture online communities, or are they best left to develop organically?

Q5: What are the pros & cons of social communities as an extension of orgs’ talent attraction & recruiting programs?

The last question is especially important, I think — we need to realize that there are pros and cons of social communities, and pros and cons for community manager roles.

Bringing much wisdom to the discussion, our guest moderator this week is Tim McDonald (@tamcdonald), community manager for HuffPost Live, founder of My Community Manager, and co-organizer of #cmgrUN. Wow! Joining us, too, will be Kevin W. Grossman (@KevinWGrossman) and the rest of the #TChat gang.

So, be prepared: Please bring your experiences and thoughts this Wednesday, Oct. 24, from 7-8pm ET (6-7pm CT, 5-6pm MT, 4-5pm PT, or wherever you are). And, be opinionated — you’re part of the TalentCulture World of Work community, after all.

We’ll chat with you soon!

Image Credit: Pixabay

Collaborative Community Results for NPR & HRevolution

“So, I really liked Kevin’s definition of talent communities from last week’s #TChat Radio Show. Kevin, why don’t you share that?”

Stammer. Stutter. I have no idea.

Here we were yesterday in our packed HRevolution session on building and maintaining talent communities, me in one of three groups we had broken up in to, and after all the research, writing and talking about it to date, I couldn’t define it on the spot if my life depended on it.

Thankfully it didn’t, but still.

My point being it continues to be a much larger multifaceted conversation with a moving-target definition depending on context — and for us yesterday the context was social recruiting and employment branding.

You can review the premise of our HRevolution Talent Communities & Company Culture session, but simply put it included some of the best and brightest minds in talent acquisition and social media (and I’m not talking about mine) and our case study partner, Lars Schmidt, director of talent acquisition at National Public Radio (NPR).

The idea was to break up our session into three consulting groups vying for NPR’s business, and for each group to come up with and present a business case – and strategy – for developing and sustaining talent communities for sourcing, recruiting and employment branding.

But right from the beginning, the consensus question was, what’s a talent community?

So hey, I wasn’t the only one.

And then there was, why does it have to be called that anyway and why do we insist on the continued use of gobbledygook like engagement, transactional, pipelines, empowerment and the like?

Alas, supposedly smart spin-speak can force all the breathable atmosphere from a room (and we’re going to see a lot more of that this week at the HR Technology Conference & Exposition too).

That said, Lars from NPR found our session to be a very smart success, although he didn’t pick my group as a winner. That’s all right, as long as I get to meet the Planet Money news team someday.

Again, there are two things that differentiate true talent communities from talent pipelines and resume databases of old. The quality of interactions, not the quantity, make the community. And members are members, from outside the organization and from within as current employees — not applicants — at least until they apply for a new job. These were universally agreed on in all three groups.

But the collaborative results from each of our “community” neighborhoods were as diverse as the neighborhoods themselves.

Funny how that works. Here were all our brief ideas in schematic as written on our paper “white board” pages that forced the air back in our room. My brain doesn’t have a recordable microchip, so use your professional imaginations to fill in between the answers.

Team 1:

  • Create a curated sourcing channel that includes the target audience.
  • Add in influencers to engage with the target audience (yikes, engage).
  • Develop selective engagement events.
  • Create a Twitter dedicated hashtag.
  • Develop an influencer analysis tool to understand impact on target audience.

Team 2 (The Winner!):

  • Use the NPR Facebook page as the sourcing hub — leverage the current consumer page to tap into the 2MM fans/likes.
  • Solicit content from fans to contribute to NPR.
  • Use Facebook analytics to track traffic.
  • Utilize free solutions such as BeKnown and BraveNewTalent and integrate jobs tab on NPR page.
  • Leverage Twitter and career page traffic.
  • Add a Facebook “Like” button across all properties.
  • Leverage open graph.
  • Develop hashtag to create content.
  • Include Klout scores of fans and visitors.

Team 3 (my team — thank you to Sean Sheppard from TalentCircles for being our presenter):

  • Map and analyze the 30MM unique NPR monthly visitors.
  • Develop participation strategy to motivate super fans.
  • Interact with super fans around digital content and other activities.
  • Cherry pick and career pitch the best of the super fans.

So there you have it. Hopefully the first of many interactive learning sessions about building and sustaining (talent) communities.

A special thank you to all our smart participants as well as my #TChat co-hosts Meghan M. Biro and Matt Charney, and of course of guest of honor Lars Schmidt, director of talent acquisition at National Public Radio (NPR).

And a very special thank you to the HRevolution organizers for yet another amazing event. To date I’ve never attended an event so immersed in the collaborative moment. For me, the online social chatter slows to a stop when I participate in a true community like HRevolution.

Now it’s time for HR Tech!

Get to Know the "Talent" in Talent Community: #TChat Recap

Two people meet on the street.

“Hi, how are you today?”

“I’m great thanks. And you?”


Repeat this thousands of times per day as we move along our own separate ways, whether we’re really great or not, and what do we have?

Lots of insincere transactions. And we live with them, although that doesn’t make for tight-knit community. It makes for a polite one, but not one that’s necessarily a collaborative or problem-solving one.

Businesses today need collaborative, problem-solvers across all positions, from management to front-line. If you’re sourcing and recruiting them the old school way, via job boards and cold calls, or even the new pseudo-two-way transactional play, via social recruiting, which includes creating talent communities, otherwise known as talent pools – there are choices to make.

But applicants aren’t applicants unless they apply, and transactions aren’t meaningful for applicants that aren’t applicants unless they’re of authentic quality, not of faux frequency.

There are two things that differentiate true talent communities from talent pipelines and resume databases of old. The quality of interactions, not the quantity, make the community. And members are members, not applicants, at least until they apply for a job.

I shared some of this yesterday, and after last night’s #TChat Radio Show, it certainly rang truer with our amazing panel of “talent community” experts:

  • Marvin Smith, Senior Research Recruiter, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Anthony Knierim, Web & Emerging Technologies Global Leader, Aon by day / RadMatter by night
  • KC Donovan, CEO, Upwardly Me
  • Maren Hogan, Head of Marketing, US, BraveNewTalent
  • Harpaul Sambhi, CEO, Careerify

And one thing that was resoundingly agreed on was the fact that the talent pipeline days of old don’t make for talent communities; they make for resume databases. Sending relevant (not always unfortunately) employment brand and job information to your database of semi-warm bodies may be enough for the small percentage of potential applicants who want to apply for a job or two and get out quick, isn’t enough for the rest of the folks who need a little more small-group authentic interaction.

Imagine if certain key employees were seeded appropriately and spread that authentic interaction throughout, as well as your 2-way communication and lots of other types of “engagement” activities and assessments…

Imagine how much these quality interactions will help those in hiring get to know the talent in community, inside and out.

Imagine that.

Read Matt Charney’s precap here as well as the questions. The #TChat Twitter chat and #TChat Radio are created and hosted by @MeghanMBiro @KevinWGrossman and powered by our friends and partners @TalentCulture @Monster_WORKS @MonsterCareers @HRmarketer and of course @Focus.

Building and Sustaining Online Talent Communities: #TChat Preview

Originally Posted on MonsterThinking

The interesting thing about technologies (cloud computing is a good example) is that while they profoundly change the way we live our lives and operate day-to-day, no one, outside a few technophiles, understand not only why these emerging tools are important, but also why the average consumer should care.

And with good reason; the ultimate test of any technology is its transparency; apositive user experience is predicated, after all, primarily on instinct and intuition.

Consumer technology, as a rule, is designed to operate in the background, enabling efficiencies and empowering users in significant, yet silent, ways.

The more one has to think about a technology, the more it calls attention to itself, the greater challenges it faces in gaining user adoption and, consequently, main stream success; user experience is the fundamental difference between a Mac and a mainframe, between 8 MM film and digital video.

But when it comes to the social technologies in the talent acquisition tool box, the goals, and associated best practices, shift from creating transparency to increasing visibility.

This is, after all, the entire point of engagement and employer branding.  Getting top candidates to notice your company, its culture and careers creates the competitive advantage in the war for talent.

This also requires fundamentally rethinking many of the tenets of HR Technology; after all, applicant tracking systems are designed to drive applications, not to mention operational and reporting efficacy, by making the process as streamlined and intuitive as possible for both recruiter and applicant (how well they succeed is a different matter).

The most meaningful metrics here are tactical (days to fill, number of applicants, etc.), but for most organizations in this market, finding applicants quickly isn’t the challenge: it’s finding the best candidates.  Who, as we know, have the kind of marketable skills that mean they probably aren’t actively looking.

That’s where talent communities come in.  In the new world of work, it’s not about selling jobs anymore.  It’s about building relationships.

And the transactional tools of driving applications and developing databases are giving way to strategic initiatives which transform recruiters, traditionally “gatekeepers,” into career concierges.  Or, as they’re more commonly referred to, “brand ambassadors.”

These talent communities have traditionally been called “talent pools” or “pipelines,” but these concepts are quickly drowning in that these relationships exist in private, on the phone or over e-mail, with everything tracked in a closed system: “Just calling to check in and see how everything’s going.”

This 1-1 interaction can easily be scaled, and translated, into meaningful interactions that give insight and add value not only to the candidate who’s “right now,” but those who will be “right” in the future, showing the process and filling in the traditional black holes of transparent technology.

Of course, building talent communities takes time.  But here’s the good news: they’re organic, and if managed properly, are self-sustaining, with the community of candidates driving the dialogue about what it’s like to work at your company – and why they might want to work there.

And while that drives affinity, loyalty, and ultimately, increased applications and referrals for an employer, it also gives the recruiter a recruiter visibility into that most nebulous – but most important – consideration of all: culture fit.

#TChat Preview Post: Building and Sustaining Online Talent Communities (09.28.11)

Because culture’s the core component of all communities.  Your workforce included.  That’s why this week, in the lead up toHREvolution, #TChat Radio will on the air at 7 PM ET/4 PM PT discussing the best ways brands can build – and maintain – sustainable, 3-D talent communities.

We’ll be joined by a cavalcade of social media stars, including:

Whether you’re an employer, candidate, marketer, leader or recruiter, talent communities are more than just a buzzword: they’re likely to be the place you find the next job or your next hire.

Here are the questions we’ll be discussing, along with some background reading that, while not required, will help inform  – and prepare – your participation in our #TChat discussion, on air and online, on this week’s topic: Building and Sustaining 3-D Talent Communities:

Q1) What is a talent community and how does it relate to sourcing and recruiting?

Read: How to Build & Maintain A Talent Community by Heather Huhman

Q2) Who’s responsible for building and maintaining talent communities within an organization?

Read: Talent Communities: A Whole New World by Maren Hogan

Q3) Should companies create enterprise wide talent communities, or smaller, specialized “neighborhoods?”

Read: Put A Sandbox in Your Roundabout by Kevin W. Grossman

Q4) What do talent communities need to remain sustainable and successful?  What are the biggest taboos?

Read: How Organizations Are Dealing With Social Media by Harpul Sambhi

Q5) What are some of the biggest benefits of building talent communities for employers? For candidates?

Q6) What does an effective talent community look like?  Any best practices or examples you’ve seen?

Read: A Fresh Approach to Recruitment and Employee Engagement by Connie Blaszczyk

Visit for more great information on #TChat, as well as other great resources on careers and hiring.

Monster’s social media team supports #TChat’s mission of sharing “ideas to help your business and your career accelerate — the right people, the right ideas, at the right time.”

We’ll be joining the conversation at our new time this Wednesday night as co-hosts with Meghan M. Biro ,  Kevin W. Grossman , and Craig Fisher from 7-8 p.m. (Eastern) via @MonsterCareersand @Monster_Works.  

Emergence of Talent Communities… Not Pools

Some technologies are flashy but don’t really change anything at all in how we think about our lives – cloud computing, for example. Unless you’re in the IT industry, odds are you’ve heard a lot about it, but don’t really understand why you should care. Yet you’re using it right now if you are using Salesforce at work to manage customer contacts and information, or Google Docs to share and collaborate on documents, or Dropbox to share and store files with friends and family.

Consumer technology  is a different matter. We’ve all changed how we live and interact since mobile phones shrank from suitcase size bricks – a weird indulgence or curiosity – to a powerful, minicomputer-strength must-have.  Mobile technology is perhaps the easiest place to observe, both from a business and a consumer point of view, the value of emerging technologies, and the pace of change in technology.

Still, much new technology seems to drive people apart. Even mobile technology can create a barrier to interaction and communication. When was the last time you called instead of texted? Visited in person rather than left a VM? What often happens with technologies is they change the mode of interaction. We lose the one-to-one, person to person interaction and move instead to indirect interactions – transactional, informational or tacit.

But where new technologies have a social component, there’s hope!

Within HR and Recruiting, for example, a new technology is unfolding – one which will, in my opinion, change how people find new careers and how companies recruit. Talent Communities are here, driven by the powerful engines of social media, search, big data, ubiquitous computing and social communities. The term Talent Community is now replacing what many recruiters have traditionally called talent pools. Simply having a database of resumes to sort through to make a talent match has transformed into what we know as social recruiting. Talent Community does not equal a resume database alone – it’s much more than this.

Like all technological waves, Talent Communities can be positive or negative, depending on your attitude, intent, motivation and skill. I see numerous powerful benefits for employer brands and benefits for job seekers. I also see reason for caution if the human touch is not included in a thoughtful way for brands that are in either passive or active hiring mode. I’ve seen a few too many companies fail in this area by automating the candidate experience and not thinking about a real strategy to implement ahead of time. They see social media as the end all be all and just dive in without really thinking. Not a wise idea.

There’s no question Talent Communities are the next wave in talent acquisition. But the technology is immature still, especially for small employer brands which might not be able to field a great community manager and, thus, will rely more heavily on technologies and platforms.

What’s important, from my point of view, is the recognition by employer brands and technology providers that candidates – job seekers active and passive – are looking for a place to belong both in the workplace and in social community, and that requires a human touch at some point and hopefully on a daily basis. Recruiting a relationship driven business after all. Social media has simply given recruiters more options to find and develop relationships with talented people. And talented people are now adopting social media into their daily lives. This will only grow as we move forward.

Social media has made it possible for us to connect using weak bonds, lacking the human touch. Relationships formed via social media tend to occur between people who are sort of like us, or who are friends of friends, or former colleagues, or friends of former colleagues. These are people, and interactions, that are based in part on a shared sense of culture. Personality-culture fit is my topic about which I am passionate, so I have become a strong advocate of social media.

Social media has been working its way into HR. Recruiters and corporate brands are looking for candidates with some history or connections to recommend them, but they want to go beyond their candidate databases and tap into new talent sources (who may or may not be looking) who might be interested in the employer brands they represent. How to do this? Using social media tools, like Talent Communities.

Talent Communities are a way for employer brands to form strong bonds with potential candidates, using a human-mediated but almost purely web-managed set of interactions. Because these interactions come to us via social channels they are trusted – what McKinsey might call tacit interactions. Companies and brand managers create a Talent Community, a virtual community that represents your employer brand. The Talent Community should be managed by a wise human – a community manager, a role the open source software industry relies on – who believes in the brand; attracting new members by relying on social-media sourced recommendations. Voila, a Talent Community arises.

The short story: this is a game-changing use of technology. The long story – like all major technology shifts, some people will be bruised, some brands will be clumsy.

Keep an eye on the topic of Talent Communities. I’ll have more to say at HREvolution – See you in Vegas! Look forward to IRL with everyone. Phew.

It’s the next wave. Get ready to ride. I’m in. Let’s do this.

A Talent Community for Angels

Post written by Thom Haslam

One of the most beloved movies of all time, It’s A Wonderful Life is a favorite of every cable station during the holidays.  This heart warming story of a Guardian Angel earning its wings is also one of the greatest movies about careers in the history of Hollywood.  The story revolves around George Bailey, who has dreams of doing big things in his career, with hopes of “lassoing the moon.”  He reaches his goal eventually, but not in the way he dreamt it would happen. No, George never leaves his home town of Bedford Falls, but over the years he builds a company Talent Community that helps him overcome career hurdle of becoming, as his brother says at the climax of the film, “The richest man in town!”

Social Recruiting

Unfortunately, we’ve been drinking too much Egg Nog during all those reruns and the message has been missed.  Instead, companies have joined the stampede to Social Recruiting by establishing a “talent community” on Facebook or LinkedIn and attracting as many followers as possible.  As George demonstrates, it’s the quality of interactions he has over the course of his career that earns him all his riches.  The giant Fan Page Communities are great places for people who have applied for a job to get their voices heard, but are not great for meaningful exchanges that will cultivate a talented person who is not looking for a job.

In its current form Social Recruiting is labor intensive.  A company that builds a Fan Page with a promise of interaction for all comers, finds it impossible to stop the constant flow of chatter that is needed.  The millions spent for this purpose is breathtaking, but the Return On Investment has been called into question – rightfully so.  These activities probably shouldn’t be considered Talent Communities as they’re more appropriate for marketing products.  To be successful, a Talent Community needs a more structured engagement program that cultivates people of interest and provides an Employment Message with justified expectations.

Talent Community Difference

The promise of Talent Communities to provide a more efficient employment process can be huge, with recruiting time spent, talent quality, hiring costs and “time to hire” metrics drastically altered from what we have all come to expect over the last 40 years.  By maintaining a specific Community goal, a company has a real opportunity to attract workers like George Bailey who aren’t looking for a new job, but are focused on taking on greater challenges instead.  The elusive “other 80%” of the workforce, that have been difficult to attract with employment advertising and referrals, can be cultivated with a Talent Community.  This can be a major break through that if fully embraced can change the employment landscape forever.

Talent Neighborhoods

The broader Talent Community’s main focus is to increase the exposure of the Employment Value Proposition or Branding on an industry wide pool of talent, while smaller Talent Neighborhoods provide for development of targeted hiring Short Lists.  A company can get the most out of their Neighborhoods by segmenting them into numerous functional areas of need.  In this way, a recruiting organization can tailor their message to a more targeted group, and the size of the company wide Community can be pared down to a more manageable level for interaction and engagement with the various division or team based hiring authorities.

Obviously, it makes sense to create Talent Neighborhoods for roles within a company that experience a high degree of turnover or that come open several times during the year so a “renewable recruiting” program for these jobs is created, saving time and money.

Heavenly Hiring

Taking lessons from a fictional character like George Bailey may not always be a good recipe for success, but the desire for career consumers to want an upwardly mobile work life at a job they love should not be left to fiction.  For the past 40 years we have screened out nine out of ten workers for every req we filled, mostly with little to no explanation except, “you weren’t good enough,” and workers haven’t appreciated it.  With Talent Communities we have the opportunity to eliminate  decades of neglect and change the way our country’s work force view their career so that bells are heard jingling throughout the economy and talent shortages of angels in heaven are a thing of the past…


Brand Reality of Buying Wonka Bars at Walmart: #TChat Recap

Your brand is how your company tastes inside and out. This includes your your employment brand and B2B and/or B2C corporate brand.

Used to be that all we ever saw of the inside was what was printed on the outside — the pretty packaging and marketing spin as well as what was regulated by the Federal government (which most of us never really read, and if we did, we didn’t understand it and still don’t).

The brand tastes were still pretty much similar and controlled by the company. In fact, until recently it was only the sugar coating we ever really tasted, no matter how much we bit off.

But mercy, if we really knew the stuff that was on the inside…

Then a little phenomenon came about called social media that threw flying monkey wrenches into the batter. As I’m sure you’ve gathered, flying monkey wrenches are bittersweet and can give both employees and customers a horrible belly ache.

Not that eating highly saturated fats around the water cooler wasn’t/isn’t fun when talking smack about your employer and other employer’s gut bombs you consumed recently. But now you have access to online forums and review sites and social networking sites and unreality TV shows that delve deep into the inner workings of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.

Another interesting phenomenon? Most of you didn’t stop buying Wonka bars when you found out children had fallen into the chocolate lake, the one that was supposed to be child free. And those of us with kids know just how dirty kids can be.

Here’s another example: we were on a family vacation on the Oregon coast this last week where my folks live and we made multiple runs to Walmart. For tons of cheap stuff including stuff for our two little girls. Some of you may scoff, but hey, we know Walmart is the low price leader and price. We also know that they’ve had discrimination lawsuits filed against them by female workers, have been chastised forever about not allowing their employees to organize, have been accused for paying employees lower wages than other major retail chains, have been accused of buying marginal product in bulk overseas, etc.

In other words, the sugar coating for us overrides the flying monkey wrenches. That’s why we still see such a differentiation of company and employment branding today, when in the optimal organics world they really should be aligned.

So, who controls employer brand today? We do, the employees and the customers. But does that stop us from buying Wonka bars at Walmart? Or even working there?

No way. That’s the brand reality.

You can read the excellent #TChat preview Employer Branding: Best Practice or BS?, and here were the questions from last night’s #TChat:

  • Q1. What’s your definition of company or employer brand?
  • Q2. How does employer brand differ from a consumer brand?  Personal brand?
  • Q3. What makes a strong employer brand?  A weak one?
  • Q4. How does employer brand play into talent acquisition?  Retention?
  • Q5. What effect does social media have on employer branding?
  • Q6. Who controls employer brand: the company, employees, public, etc.?

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and to her TC majesty @MeghanMBiro for moderating! Hey, quick plug – #TChat Radio is coming July 26! Great guests lining up from our #TChat family. Join us!

Is Employer Branding Best Practice or BS? #TChat Preview

Originally posted by Matt Charney on MonsterThinking Blog

The average worker today has more brands to deal with than a Texas cattle rancher, but one that most never really give a whole lot of thought to, at least compared to the ubiquitous (if ambiguous) concept of “personal brand” is that of employment branding.

Which makes sense; after all, many talent acquisition and HR professionals don’t pay a whole lot of attention to it, either, with many companies often outsourcing or ignoring this brand management function.  By contrast, other employers spend millions of dollars a year building and managing carefully crafted and focus group tested campaigns that look more like a Super Bowl ad than a classified employment listing.

With practitioners seemingly split on the importance, or even existence, of employment brand, it begs a few questions: which side are you on?  What side should your company be on?  And, most importantly: does it matter to the workers to whom these efforts are targeted in the first place?

We’ll be exploring these questions, and their implications for the evolving world of work, in tonight’s #TChat: “Is Employer Branding BS?” No matter which side of the fence you’re on (or, like most, neutral or undecided), if you’ve ever visited a company career page or read an industry blog (like this one), you’ve been exposed to employer branding – that is, if it really exists.

Join moderator Meghan M. Biro (Twitter: @meghanmbiro) of @talentculture along with #TChat co-hosts @kevinwgrossman @monsterww @monster_works and @focus tonight at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT and let us know: is employer branding B.S.?

#TChat Questions & Recommended Reading (07.12.11)

To help prepare, and inform, your participation in tonight’s conversation (or even if you can’t make it), here are the questions we’ll be discussing, along with some recommended reading designed to give you background – and perspective – on employer and company culture branding.

Tonight’s sure to be a lively discussion; we look forward to seeing you (and your brand) for #TChat at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT!

Q1. What’s your definition of company or employer brand?

Read: The Employer Brand Experience by Dr. Jesse Harriott & Doug Hardy

Q2. How does employer brand differ from a consumer brand?  Personal brand?

Read: Why Employer Branding Matters More Than Ever by Bob Kelleher

Q3. What makes a strong employer brand?  A weak one?

Read: The Taylor Guitar Story: Fine Tuning A Successful Corporate Brand by Bob Taylor

Q4. How does employer brand play into talent acquisition?  Retention?

Read: Attract the Right Candidates With Consistent Company Branding by John Rossheim

Q5. What effect does social media have on employer branding?

Read: How to Use Social Media To Build Your Brand by Susan Kuchinskas

Q6. Who controls employer brand: the company, employees, public, etc.?

Read: Tactical Corporate Transparency: Build Your Brand From The Inside Out by Shel Holtz & John C. Havens

Visit for more great information on #TChat, as well as other great resources on careers and hiring.

Monster’s social media team supports #TChat’s mission of sharing “ideas to help your business and your career accelerate — the right people, the right ideas, at the right time.”

HR Demo Show Vegas – Humanizing Employer Brands Makes Me Happy

There are technologies that transform an economy (railroads), and technologies that lead to an industry (and an economy) treading water (railroads.) HR technology is a transformative set of technologies, one I can’t wait to dig in to. The place to see what’s coming up for us HR and Recruiting practitioners is the HR Demo Show, to be held May 24-25 at The Venetian in Las Vegas.

Did I say Las Vegas? Yup. I will be making an appearance on a blog squad that includes friends like Maren Hogan Craig Fisher and Geoff Web. I also look forward to meeting Jessica Miller-Merrell IRL for the first time. Fun times.

In this case I’m talking about new technologies for the workplace and talent management, not trains. Technologies have transformed many businesses and industries and displaced others. But its value as a creator of strategic value has been under attack for some time.

Flashback way back yonder to the year 2003 Nicholas Carr published ‘IT Doesn’t Matter’ in the Harvard Business Review, followed by a book, Does IT Matter? in 2004. His argument (to paraphrase the article, and some of Carr’s rebuttal of various criticisms): because IT is structural, built in to a company’s operations, it is no longer a strategic differentiator or source of advantage to businesses. Sure, it helps with competitiveness – you need to be on par with those in your industry in your use of IT to survive – but it’s no longer a source of tremendous advantage. IT has become a commodity.

Back to the present. Not so fast. Technology is very much transforming industries. In Recruiting and HR specifically, technology is a transformative power because today’s social tools have the power to enable emotional connections between employers, employees and job seekers (future employees). This is a hugely important tool for connecting with and hiring the right talent. And it’s no sceret I love any valuable tool that helps employer’s humanize their workplace brand when recruiting new people to teams. Job seekers “buy into” a workplace culture when they accept a job offer – it’s an emotional connection made with people first and foremost.

Things are changing fast in the world of software tools designed to support Recruitment and HR functions within a workplace. As Kevin W Grossman says, the next five to 10 years should be an interesting time for talent management technologies in our space. Cue the flash and sizzle: be at the HR Demo Show to hear what’s changing.

So much is exciting. I am going to look at things that promise much improvement for talent management in the workplace:

  • Humanizing talent acquisition—by facilitating human interaction and establishing emotional connections between employers and job candidates. Taleo looks like an interesting option here.
  • Helping to build an employment brand—by creating talent communities via social, mobile, cloud and collaboration technologies and activities.
  • Going beyond standard applicant tracking system features—by reaching into the CRM realm to keep the pipeline filled with truly qualified candidates, to grab and nurture candidates’ interest, and to empower global recruitment and multi-lingual outreach. Kenexa has an interesting set of offerings, as does Epicor.
  • Getting social networking to work effectively by driving applicants back to companies’ career portals; giving companies a clearer picture of their social media efforts/effectiveness, and helping them track and manage referrals more efficiently.

I’ll be attending talks on RPO, HRO and MSP practices and IT solutions, and reporting back to you. There’s a ‘demo’ in the show name, so I’ll be going to demos of various interesting and geeky offerings – right up my alley. I’ll be separating the very cool from the not-so-cool and on where we can use new technologies for strategic, competitive advantage.

It’s Vegas, so there will definitely be a stroll and a dance (or five) down the Strip (no cards, please) or a stop at the Red Square. There will be opportunity to connect with my fellow HR and Recruitment practitioners and purveyors of HR systems. And there will be lots of opportunity to find out about talent management, and how systems will help our industry make this a priority to stay innovative.

Join me in Vegas. Or check in here and hear what I’m hearing. HR/Recruiting technologies are on the cusp, and I don’t want to miss the opportunity, the transformation, the prospect of creating competitive advantage.


Social Networking For Career Success

Today’s post is by Miriam Salpeter — owner of Keppie Careers. She teaches job seekers and entrepreneurs how to leverage social media, writes resumes and helps clients succeed with their goals. Miriam writes for U.S. News & World Report’s “On Careers” column, CNN named her a “top 10 job tweeter you should be following” and included her in “The Monster 11 for 2011: Career Experts Who Can Help Your Search.” She blogs at and

Why do companies hire the people they hire? Is it always because the selected candidate is the absolute best qualified to do the job? It’s hard to quantify, but my guess is probably not. Hiring is a complicated art involving selecting a person to do a job, but, often more importantly, someone who is a good “fit” for the role.

Think about interviewing someone to join your family – someone you need to see and spend a lot of time with for the conceivable future. You may be interested in particular skills, depending on your family’s culture. (Cooking? Softball? Driving?) At the end of the day, you probably want to select the one who won’t annoy or embarrass you; someone willing to pitch in (even if it is not his or her job), the candidate who can communicate – and who people like to be around.

It’s not surprising to learn these emotional intelligence skills are gaining more focus and impacting job seekers. A quick definition is in order. Here is one that I like and is easy to understand from Mike Poskey, VP of Zerorisk HR, Inc:

Emotional Intelligence…is defined as a set of competencies demonstrating the ability one has to recognize his or her behaviors, moods and impulses, and to manage them best according to the situation.

Companies are incorporating emotional intelligence into their hiring processes, with good reason. The Sodexo(one of the largest food services and facilities management companies in the world) blog reminds readers that “businesses that will succeed in the 21st century will be the ones that allow employees to bring the whole of their intelligence into the work force – their emotional and intellectual self. Not only does this impact morale, but productivity increases, too.” A recent study from Virginia Commonwealth University shows that “high emotional intelligence does have a relationship to strong job performance — in short, emotionally intelligent people make better workers.”

To be successful in a job hunt, you not only need to demonstrate an association between what the employer wants and your skills and accomplishments, you need to be able to tell your story in a way that makes it obvious you have the emotional intelligence/emotional quotient (EI/EQ – or soft skills) to fit in. Companies want to hire a candidate who will work well in the team; they all seek someone who will contribute and get the job done with finesse. Most seek employees they will trust to represent the company graciously. No one wants to be embarrassed.

This is why social media is such a great tool for job seekers. A job seeker with a pristine online portfolio and nothing questionable in her digital footprint makes a strong case for actually being someone who knows how to negotiate the digital world where we all function.

Using social networking tools to illustrate your expertise can provide entree into a network of professionals writing and talking about the topics important for you and your field. If, for example, you write a blog to showcase your knowledge of the restaurant industry, or use Twitter and Facebook to be sure people understand you know a lot about finance, you have a chance to connect with multitudes of potential contacts, any one of whom may connect you to the person you need to know to land an opportunity.

At the same time you demonstrate your expertise online and grow your network, you are also giving people a taste of the type of person you may be in person. Granted, some people have a distinct online-only persona. Many of us know people who seem mean and spiteful online and are amazing friends in person. Certainly, the opposite is possible.

However, for the most part, it’s safe to assume how people act and communicate online represents how they behave in person. When we get to know people via social media, by sharing tweets (including those all important personal tweets about what we’re eating, watching, and doing for the weekend), trading comments on blog posts, and keeping in touch via Facebook and LinkedIn, we are part of the longest job interview – with a very long “tail.”

No doubt, for some people, social media is dangerous for their job search. The people who aren’t attentive to details (and don’t untag themselves in inappropriate photos), the ones with short tempers and no filter who share every thought, and those who complain about people or things and appear excessively negative online. In an environment where employers are reviewing digital footprints, those people, who are not illustrating high levels of emotional intelligence, may have difficulty landing jobs.

The flip side? If you know your business, connect and share easily online, make new friends and contacts, and try to give at least as much as you hope to receive, social media may be just the “social proof” you need to help you stand out from the crowd.

My book, Social Networking for Career Success, shows you how to leverage the “big three” tools (LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook), and describes how blogging and many other social media tools can help job seekers distinguish themselves. Learn more at Download a free chapter HERE.

Miriam Salpeter, MA
Coach, Speaker, Author

Empowering Success

Take a look at what people are saying about Social Networking for Career Success, just released by Learning Express, LLC. Copies are available from Amazon or your favorite bookseller.


HOW TO: Build & Maintain A Talent Community

What is a talent community?

According to Wikipedia:

A talent community is a collection of social cliques (or talent networks) of people that are part of the job seeking process. These people may be seeking a job themselves, offering career advice to others, recruitment professionals, college campus recruiters, sourcers, and friends seeking jobs or advice. Talent communities inherently provide 2-way interaction between the individuals.

A talent community is not a list of candidates on a web page or in a spreadsheet; it is an environment consisting of people who can share ideas for the purpose of career networking or social recruiting of candidates.

Employers can interact and communicate with prospective employees as well as inform candidates about employment opportunities, receive referrals, and handpick qualified individuals from inside the group. A talent community can include prospective candidates, past applicants, current employees, and past employees. Talent Communities are managed by recruiters and/or hiring managers.

The benefits of building a talent community

  • Qualified candidates at your fingertips
  • Less dependence on expensive, ineffective job boards
  • Less money spent on job advertisements
  • Increased interaction with potential candidates in order to help them understand what your organization does
  • Better quality of applicants to job openings
  • Creates a talent pipeline for future job openings
  • Attracts passive candidates

How to build your talent community

Turn your “careers” page into a central hub for past (“alumni”) employees, interested candidates, recruiters, hiring managers and current employees. Incorporate tools for communication and interaction to drive conversations in your talent community. Provide an exclusive look into your organization, its employees and the culture behind the company. Use video, multimedia, photos, testimonials, etc.

Create smaller talent “networks” within your talent community to target specific audiences.

Social recruiting solutions (such as Cachinko) provide separate plugins or an overall solution for managing talent.

Maintaining your talent community

When you start engaging candidates through a talent community, it’s important to continue to provide value on a regular basis. There are a variety of ways to do so, such as sending updates or an e-newsletter, providing additional information on new job openings and internship programs, creating contests, writing blog posts, or connecting via social media. author Kevin Wheeler said in an article about talent communities, “Communities of candidates are powerful and reduce the need for special sourcing or the use of outside recruiters. They can increase the number of positions a single recruiter can handle and provide higher quality candidates in a shorter time. They always trump databases.”

What do you think? Ready to start building your talent community today?

10 Tips To Building a Social Community

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

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

Here’s what I’ve learned:

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Provide excellent content.

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

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

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

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

How To: Use Social Media to Connect With Other Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneur People & Lists

The Fastest Growing Social Sites

8 Things to Avoid When Building a Community

Social Community: Metaphor for the Workplace. Find Your Intent

Recently I wrote about models of interaction within cultures and social communities that foster progress. I’d like to push the theme a bit further and look at social communities – which are really communities of intent – and how they can serve as a useful metaphor for the workplace.

Intent is one of those words that have taken on new meaning with the advent of search and search marketing. The trick that Google mastered so well is serving up information to consumers at the moment of intent (thanks to John Battelle, Andrei Broder and others; see some older material on intent here) – intent to act, to purchase, to decide. “Intent” is not only an action the searcher takes; it is a commitment the provider of information (the vendor or service), and the search service (Google, Yahoo, Bing), make to the individual searching for information.

In social communities, intent is more than interest, more than commitment, more than an informed notion. It’s the true power behind the community, because people come to communities with a purpose, an intent. They are looking for a place to be, a place to learn, a place to grow and interact in a meaningful way.

The trick then, for companies, is to behave as social communities. It’s a powerful and new metaphor for the workplace.

In a typical workplace there are people with many different personalities, personal brands, goals, aspirations, skill sets and attributes. In a healthy workplace, meaning one that focuses on ensuring personality/culture fit between employees and the organization, people of diverse skill sets and temperaments can collaborate and succeed – because they have the intent to succeed, and the social context – the community – in which to realize their intent.

TalentCulture, for example, is a collaborative social community, a community of intent, a metaphor for the workplace. Our contributors come from many backgrounds: executive leadership,  human resources, recruiting, marketing, new media, research, public relations, law, branding, innovation, venture capital, career coaching, entrepreneurship and software technology. The shared intent is to create and share the very latest perspectives and trends on growing your business and reaching your individual career goals – using them to grow and foster innovation.

So here’s a challenge: find your intent. Share it with others. Be passionate. Be creative. Make every action resonate with the intent to do something positive, something to improve your workplace or advance the idea of what a collaborative workplace or social community should be.
And keep us in the loop.

Image Credit: Pixabay