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Congratulations to the Winners of TalentCulture’s 2020 HR Tech Awards

The dust has settled. We’ve counted the votes. And the final rankings are set… The winners of TalentCulture’s 2020 HR Tech Awards are here!

To be sure, the competition this year was stiff. However, when all is said and done, the companies in our winner’s circle are the best of the best. We recognize each for designing and implementing the most innovative and useful digital HR tools, platforms, and services for 2020.

What Are the TalentCulture HR Tech Awards?

Here at TalentCulture, we’re all about highlighting the tools and channels that help HR and Talent professionals, as well as HR and business leaders, meet the needs of their workplace. A significant part of that effort is our annual HR Tech Awards. These awards showcase the best of the best in the world of HR technology. When a company makes the winner’s list, you can be confident they are a cut above the competition!

The Winner’s Circle

From a crowded field, 18 winners of TalentCulture’s 2020 HR Tech Awards emerged victoriously.

Accolades go to AirMason, bob, Critical, Indeed, InfoMart, and Joveo. 2020 HR Tech award winners also include MeQuilibrium, Nectar, NAS Recruitment Innovation, and Paychex. ProHabits, Reflektive, Reward Gateway, Smart Search, and Sova Assessment also earned awards last year – as did Talview, Verified First, and ViaTech. Each was notable for outstanding achievements across various crucial HR systems, each just as innovative as the last!

On behalf of the entire TalentCulture community, congratulations!

Some Words from Our Winners

Our prestigious winners were kind enough to send their thoughts. Let’s hear from two of them now:

“While we build our products solely focused on improving the Candidate Experience, it is always nice to receive industry acknowledgment and recognition. Winning the 2020

TalentCulture HR Tech Award was a public recognition of how our ACTIVATE Recruitment Marketing Platform was performing in the marketplace. Being named a winner is a great boost to our employees and client partners alike.”

– Matt Adam, Executive Vice President & Chief Talent Strategist · ‎NAS Recruitment Innovation

We appreciate the kind words, Matt!

Thank you, TalentCulture, for recognizing meQulibrium as one of the most innovative HR technology solutions for 2020. This award validates the important work we are doing for employers to improve workforce wellbeing and engagement — especially in these extreme times.

–  Pam Boiros, Chief Marketing Officer, meQuilibrium

Thank you, Pam!

A Rigorous Selection Process

Those companies chosen as TalentCulture HR Tech Awards winners earned their place among previous and future winners.

First, all of our contenders conduct demonstrations of their software platform for our esteemed panel of judges. We then personally vet each of the tech brands in our competition, putting each product through its paces to evaluate its effectiveness as an HR tool. Only then, after a thorough test-drive of their solution, do we select those companies that stand out as the most innovative, productive, and user-friendly.

Soon after we notify our award winners, we publish the results of our investigations and highlight how and why these products have earned their HR Tech Award.

Analysis You – and Your Customers – Can Trust

Our rigorous analysis of each product entered into the annual competition ensures you’ll get a full, objective view of its capabilities. With each award, we provide the rationale behind our decision to award the company with this prestigious honor.

This thorough analysis means anyone looking for a new HR service platform or program can rely on an HR Tech Award winner being best in class. Your perfect vendor is sure to be found among our winners! And our vetting process makes it easy to choose which one of these HR solutions with confidence. You know we’ve already put that solution through the wringer, and it came out the other side as a true winner.

The Benefits of Being a Winner of an HR Tech Award

Being ranked among the best of the best for 2020 is a serious boon. The TalentCulture HR Tech Awards are a notable feather in your cap, as we provide all winners with a full year of heightened recognition and brand awareness. That’s because we stand behind each of our annual winners. And we’re proud to showcase what makes each of them a perfect fit for so many real-world HR situations.

Being chosen as an HR Tech Award winner also creates significant buzz for your company. Being a winner helps gain new customers, build credibility, boost morale, and attract the new talent your company needs to grow even further. Previous HR Tech award winners have also found it a great way to increase visibility for a new company or reinforce a more established organization’s reputation.

Nothing breeds success like success. And as an HR Tech Award winner, you’re an instant success!

Want to Be a 2021 Winner?

Think your HR-focused product or service is a potential 2021 HR Tech Award Winner? Let’s find out!

It’s never too late to get started. But, since there are plenty of HR solution providers ready to throw their hat in the ring for the 2021 HR Tech Awards, now is the time to begin the qualification process. Get started now!

Human Resources is a continually evolving landscape. 2020, of course, brought its own set of challenges. Now more than ever, HR professionals need the best tools and resources available to meet those challenges. And we’re proud to count our 19 2020 HR Tech Award winners among them!

We can’t wait to see what companies come up with for the coming year – and then share our findings with the world!



The Power of a Purposeful Hashtag: #WorkTrends

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

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

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

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

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

The Power of Change

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

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

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

The Power of a Purposeful Hashtag

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

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

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

The TalentCulture Team

TalentCulture’s New Look: Announcing Our New Website!

We’re thrilled to announce that our newly revamped website is now live! In keeping with our mission, it offers the insights that empower HR, the community, and workforce to become better leaders and partners in the modern workplace. But now it offers much more.

We kicked off the redesign with some key objectives: to feature our expanding services, boost site navigation and accessibility, add more relevant articles and inspiration, and put HR innovations at your fingertips. You’ll find plenty new and improved, from the HR Tech Awards to the Newsletter Archives; from Webinars to the great featured content so many of you come to TalentCulture to read. You can still download our #WorkTrends podcasts wherever you listen, customize your search, and access our media kit and contributor guidelines as well. HR Resources gives even more opportunities to immerse yourself in TalentCulture — and become part of our extended and treasured community of writers, leaders, thinkers, experts and practitioners. 

We understand that user experience is vital — more so than ever — and we’re so proud of this new platform. So please, go explore. We cordially invite you to click around, learn, experience the site, and grow your network by joining our community. We’re excited you’ve stopped by, and we’d love to hear from you!

Pay Equity: A New Requirement for HR

The laws regarding pay equity are changing. In seven jurisdictions, there are new laws on the books regarding pay equity, including California, New York City, Oregon, Puerto Rico, and Massachusetts. Each has new laws prohibiting employers from asking a candidate’s salary history. There are more than a dozen other pay equity laws under consideration, and it’s going to be a very key focus for lawmakers — and therefore HR and the world of work — in 2018.

Navigating change

Employers are going to have to address this issue, starting now — regardless of your company’s position, or whether you’ve created a policy to deal with pay equity or not. The winds of change are upon us and it’s critical to start revising your hiring practices now. Or you may wind up breaking the law.

It’s not just laws that factor in, however. You’ll also want to be on the forefront of this transformation as an employer. In terms of attracting the best talent, it’s no surprise that it’s a best practice to demonstrate a progressive, well-thought out approach to pay equity. To not be clear about supporting pay equity is to possibly convey a retrogressive stance on fair and equitable hiring. At a time when pay equity is on the radar and in the news, to not have a policy towards pay equity, law or not, could be the key factor in whether a superbly qualified candidate applies to your organization, or goes elsewhere.

But there are also statistics showing that pay equity drives more profitability — tied into the fact that a well and fairly compensated workforce is a more engaged and productive one, and a more diverse workforce is a more innovative and creative one. A study of nearly a thousand companies on their pay equity positions found that the 51 companies officially committed to gender pay equity as of this past spring generated a 12.5% return to investors. That’s opposed to the rest — who generated a return of only 10.2%. Is it possible that paying women fairly is good business? I dare say it is.

Jumping on the bandwagon

According to the U.S. Census of September 2017, U.S. women still make only 80.5 cents for every dollar that men make. Glassdoor’s salary study in the Spring of last year found that men earn 24.1% higher base pay than women on average. But many organizations are taking the initiative. Among those known for their leading stances on pay equity are Starbucks — whose own study of its male and female employees found they are paid within 99.7% of each other for doing similar work. Gap has been officially paying male and female employees equal pay for equal work since 2014, and was the first Fortune 500 company to do so. Costco and Nike are among companies who are stepping up to do internal studies of their workforce. Tech companies are trying to repair their reputations as part of Silicon-Valley-esque bro-culture by conducting pay equity studies of their own. Will they play a role in changing the tech workplace? Probably.

We’ll see more and more organizations taking long, hard looks at their own compensation structures — and trying to remedy equity within existing employees as well as new ones. The Glassdoor study found that one key remedy for the gender pay gap are employer policies that embrace salary transparency. Albany County just announced it’s giving some employees salary “bumps” to address pay equity — days after passing its own salary history ban. We may see companies evaluating retroactive rebalancing, adding additional work/life balance components to their benefits packages, and setting key targets for increasing diversity and inclusion — as they drive towards better and more equitable pay among all of them. But they can’t do it alone.

Outsourcing Equity

That’s where recruiting and hiring firms come in. When companies outsource their recruiting and hiring to other companies, those companies are also responsible for compliance under the law, if not more so. An outsourcing firm that doesn’t guide its client on issues of compliance may be held liable for that client’s breaking the law. So, it’s incumbent upon firms to really understand the legalities involved in these new pay equity laws. And the firms leading the way with this issue are already setting their own policies. HireRight, for instance, recently announced it was building capabilities into its own hiring and screening tools that enabled its clients to remove salary verification from its screening process. Here at TalentCulture, we just featured a #WorkTrends podcast with HireRight on this topic — and we’re going to dive even deeper with them in a webinar coming up.

The bottom line is that if we’re going to improve the workplace, it can’t be left to legislation. But if there is a wave of legislation happening — and far more to come — it’s vital to understand the laws and compliance. When we combine solid internal policy making on the part of well-meaning companies with legislation, and then we increase the effectiveness by having hiring and screening firms create effective tools for observing best practices, then we’re getting somewhere with pay equity. It’s good news, and it’s about time.

This article was sponsored by HireRight. All opinions are that of TalentCulture and Meghan M. Biro.

Interested in learning more about pay equity?  Join us for “Pay Equity Legislation: 5 Ways to Tackle the Year’s HR Must-Do” lead by Meghan M. Biro.


Performance Management: It’s Not a Product, It’s a Partnership  

For winter, here’s a cold-weather metaphor any homeowner can relate to. But it’s a model that, as you’ll see, has to do with any major shift in a big system. Imagine you’ve finally made the plunge and opted to spend a whole lot to invest in a brand new heating system for your house. It’s super high tech: state of the art, energy efficient, entirely customized to your needs, with digital thermostats and a cognitive design that will not only remember your heating needs but anticipate them. You can control it from your smartphone and, theoretically, coach family and guests on how to use it. The installer walks you through it all, and it seems incredibly simple. And then the installer leaves.

And you realize you haven’t a clue how to use it.

What do you do?

You call the installer. Come back and show me again. Or my family will be furious with me, because I made them give up the old furnace that may have clunked and roared, but it worked.

Workforces are not heating systems. But as with any other essential part of the infrastructure, you can’t make a massive, systemic change to how you manage the workforce and then let it run itself. What we’ve also found is that in terms of performance management, 88% of companies want to rethink how they do it, according to a 2015 study by Deloitte. But of those, only 8–12% stopped relying on performance reviews.

Here’s one simple reason: they don’t get enough help. To revise one of the very foundations of an organization — one that blends culture with process and strategy with system, and has an impact on the single most valuable asset, people —  there should be a partnership guiding the change. Just as we set expectations for our employees, it’s time to set them for our consultants as well. What do we need to drive successful change? Here are five key behaviors companies can ask for:

  1. Don’t just hold our hand. Inspire us. This is one instance where handholding is not just appropriate, it’s necessary. No matter how sophisticated an organization’s knowledge of the software, or how savvy the HR team is, there are going to be gaps in that intelligence. It’s not just about software and tech issues, either. It’s about the very role performance management can take as a driver of organizational success. You want a consultant who sees the role of performance management as a catalyst, not a punishment, to enable employers to grow and thrive. It’s part technician, part coach.
  2. Don’t make it too complicated.  There are too many instances of plug and play applications that are not fully utilized due to poor support and overcomplicated mechanics — yes, and that can adversely affect both successful ROI and next steps. A badly conceived change could cancel out the value of future initiatives. Innovation only drives innovation when it works. Not only do we need dedicated human beings as well as chatbots to help troubleshoot, there should also be a point when a complicated problem is handled back on the consulting end, freeing HR to go back to its other tasks.
  3. Craft alignment with the customer. I recently wrote about the need to revise the foundational culture underpinning how companies manage performance: “Without the engagement and alignment of our workforce, all the big plans in the world won’t amount to much.”  The same can be said of a support system. If a company has committed to changing its performance management, it’s made the cultural shift. But without the engagement and alignment of the provider / consultant from which it’s sourcing its new performance management system, that cultural shift won’t amount to much. The new system may not function smoothly or seam into the existing organizational culture, and may drive disengagement and resentment among the workforce.
  4. Partner, don’t just provide. The tremendous shifts transforming the world of work point back to the same need again and again for teamwork not just within organizations, but outside of them. Success depends on positive collaboration — working together to facilitate the change, initiate the change, train the change, and then maintain the change. Innovative companies will not only customize the software and elements like the dashboard or the portal, they also tailor the entire process, managing not just the moment of change, but the continuum from initial adoption to fully integrated use.
  5. Act a bit like a startup. There’s a recent, compelling article on organizational change by friend and colleague Josh Levine. He breaks organizational culture into 5 Ps: package, potential, people, purpose, and perception. It’s also an apt way to look at how an organization handles a profound change such as a new performance management system. Just how the system works — what’s in the package has to be clear: its platforms, check-ins, surveys, self-assessments, and more — so employees know what to expect. But they also should see the merits and potential — for instance, if management is going to be based on motivation instead of separation (as happens in stack rankings and badly designed peer reviews), or performance reviews are going to happen more often and with less stress involved and more flexibility.

Presenting the potential is up to the people involved, and may be more effective when it’s conveyed by those who created the system. They don’t need to sell it anymore, whereas the organization may feel compelled to pitch it to the workforce to facilitate a smoother adoption. And is the workforce given the chance to really see the purpose of this new model from their own point of view? It’s as critical to manage perceptions as it is to carefully manage change — but to do that transparently and authentically. That needs to come from both provider and purchaser.

We talk a whole lot about the need to change our performance management systems, and how they’re already changing for the better. We focus on how best to engage rather than evaluate, how to use feedback to empower, how to stop treating employees like numbers whose performance simply checks off desired boxes. The specifics of a system can vary widely. But the bottom line should be a sustained, agile, responsive and scalable partnership.

This article was sponsored by Reflektive.  All opinions are that of TalentCulture and Meghan M. Biro.

The Best Performance Management Puts Humans First

It’s one thing to decide to revise your performance management approach. It’s another thing to successfully re-engineer the mindset that embraces the change — and then manage that transformation across the organization. Too often, performance management is still stuck in an old framework that conflates human performance and business performance as one. If there’s anything we know now — illuminated by revealing data — it’s that humans must come first.

Why intentions get derailed

Yes: our business or organization is only as good as its people: to a certain extent, that’s true. But confusing how we measure what people do and how the organization is doing often results in our people feeling devalued and their efforts overlooked. We know what happens next. While many companies say they want to change how they evaluate performance, 9 out of 10 still use numerical performance scores to not only to rank employees but also determine compensation. A recent HR strategy roundtable focused on plans versus reality: Most organizations average a mere two hours a year on performance management per employee. Meanwhile, half (48%) of employees surveyed in a recent study felt that a performance review helped them improve their performance.

Without the engagement and alignment of our workforce, all the big plans in the world won’t amount to much. The organization is likely too busy spinning its wheels to just sustain a workforce. We’re in a talent crunch: good talent is hard to find. Great talent — even harder. Facing churn and constantly forced to train and rebuild new teams, some managers are understandably going to fall back on the systems they already well know, and resist the prospect of yet more change. The complex fabric of today’s workforces will only exacerbate that sense of being under siege.

As the business performance suffers, it seems to underscore the need to better oversee how the people are doing, which can turn into a review of the mistakes or lapses they made in the past turbulent year. Some exasperated managers may want to point the finger at employees not ‘pulling their weight.’ Competitive rankings, awkward peer reviews, accusations of unfairness, a long future of compensation based on a half-hour meeting, surveys that start with key weaknesses — there go any plan to retool the workplace culture. There, then, go some of your best people. It’s crisis HR: forget redesigning the house at least until the fire’s out. Newsflash: the fire isn’t going to go out.

Change requires better tools

Here’s what must happen instead. Empower everyone. The role of managers is to enable the organization to work to keep it working: their loyalty must be to productivity. They may know full well there’s a better way but simply not believe it’s viable given the current turbulence they’re trying to navigate. But it’s exhausting, managing by crisis mitigation. It’s not engaging for anyone. So, if you can pry your captains’ hands off the wheel for a moment, it’s an ideal time to make the change — if it’s done right. Successfully initiating and seeing through a complete shift to a culture of collaboration, innovation, and empowerment — for everyone, including managers — means capitalizing on the powerful tech and innovative systems now available.  That way all levels of the organization, particularly management, is secure in knowing nothing will fall between the cracks.

In with the new

This new model of performance management functions on technology that frees manages to play a far more frequent and connected role in the overall performance of employees. And here’s what happens: the value is put back into people. On the human side, we get to be — human. Whether a meaningful debriefing when a project is still fresh in everyone’s mind, team feedback given by request, individual check-ins through a day or a week, or exchanges around goals and targets, the mindset is freed of a transactional imperative. There’s no need for human effort to be flattened into a spreadsheet and numbers. Replacing that is a far more collaborative and ongoing conversation that’s far more responsive to the needs of everyone involved and thus more productive in terms of the data and knowledge it creates.

On the tech side, the difference is a sea change. Goal alignment and attainment, for instance, can be measured on a granular level for employees and managers — to see specially and immediately how they’re working and what kind of progress is taking place. What skills need to be deepened, what training needs to be added, what improvements can be made — all is based on information, not an onslaught of impersonal rankings. Performance reviews, whatever time period they do cover, are based on tangible and real data that, in turn, is connected back to the employee’s own experience of the work. The tech integrates into existing systems and platforms, becoming part of the workplace — within the workplace, not outside of it. And every action can be measured to provide data that empowers improvement. The bottom line is responsiveness. The right performance management system is responsive the organization’s needs as well as human needs — and acts as a bridge between the two.

Organizations are only as good as their people, it’s true. We also know that employees do far better when they can take ownership of their own success and invest in their own excellence. The key difference is that people need to feel like that paradigm’s not a liability, but an advantage. To drive true change in performance management, there must be a powerful set of tools in place to keep it from going off the rails, set it on its course, and let it gain momentum from within. The right tech can effectively free managers from the relentless administrative pressures that tend to, by necessity, narrow their focus — when what they need is to be freed to connect with their workforce. The best tools put humans first — all of them.

To learn more, check out the webinar, “Making Performance Reviews More Human.”  from Reflekive.  Enjoy.

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Build Lasting Relationships at HR Tech Connect

HR tech is undergoing dramatic change—from the shift to mobile and the explosion of analytics and artificial intelligence, to new software options and the emergence of wearables in the workplace. The rapidly changing nature of the industry keeps things exciting, but it also makes it difficult to stay ahead of the latest technology and trends.

That’s why I’m carving out time in my busy schedule to co-chair and attend HR Tech Connect, the only conference of its kind that focuses exclusively on bringing enterprise-level HR and IT decision-makers together to better understand the rapidly changing HR and workforce technology landscape. HR Tech Connect, which will take place from November 5-7 at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, is a must-attend conference offering fantastic networking opportunities.

This is not just another trade show or exhibition—it’s the place where you can connect with peers across a variety of industry verticals, discuss the latest topics, challenges and solutions, build relationships with experts and solution providers, and understand where the future of HR tech is headed. Bottom line: You will build lasting relationships that will help your company—and your career—succeed.

I am excited to be chairing the HR Tech Connect conference this year. I enjoy attending content-rich conferences like this one because they give me the opportunity to meet colleagues, friends and clients in a more intimate setting and share best practices and advice for implementing a successful digital transformation strategy. I always say you can accomplish more of your business goals—and better determine business and culture fit—at a well-run 2½-day conference than you can in months’ worth of face-to-face meetings.

Indeed, HR Tech Connect brings together Stone Fort Group’s WorkforceNEXT community, which focuses on HR leadership in North America, with nGage Events’ IT and executive community.  There will be a healthy mix of frontal presentations and keynotes, boardroom-style case study sessions, candid panels on industry specific and vertical-focused topics, as well as one-on-one conversations with leading vendors and peers on the latest HR tech topics.

If you’re a decision-maker working in IT or HR, this is a conference you won’t want to miss. The sessions at HR Tech Connect will feature topics on everybody’s minds, including the hottest trends in HR tech, the emergence of AI and automation, and the evolution from legacy HRIS to best-in-class apps for each HR function. Conference organizers know that your time is valuable, which is why participants of this invitation-only conference receive complimentary airfare, hotel stay, meals and registration costs.

If you’re aiming to stay ahead of the competition and could benefit from meeting visionaries in the HR technology space, you’ll want to join me at HR Tech Connect. Click here to view the conference agenda and request more information about attending. Hope to see you there!

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Benefits of Measuring Your Candidate Experience – #WorkTrends Preview

Hiring is a fact of business for companies, whether it be a consistent part of their process or an occasional effort. The one thing for certain is that all industries want star candidates to fill vacant positions. However, a disconnect can occur when companies don’t create a great experience for many candidates.

Exactly what is the business impact of a poor candidate experience? According to the latest Global Talent Board research, 41% of your candidates will take their allegiance, product purchases and brand relationships elsewhere because of it. This is big and directly impacts an organization’s bottom line and reputation.

A good candidate experience is smart marketing for an organization. A negative candidate experience may cause the right candidate to turn down the job. If management doesn’t care about the recruiting process, what else is falling through the cracks?

On Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 1pm ET, #WorkTrends host Meghan M. Biro and her special guest Kevin W. Grossman, Talent Board President of Global Programs will discuss the research from this latest survey and how brands can easily implement alternative ways of engaging job candidates to reinforce a strong candidate experience and support a healthy business bottom line.

Benefits of Measuring Your Candidate Experience

Benefits of Measuring Your Candidate Experience Join Kevin and Meghan on our LIVE online podcast Wednesday, July 12 — 1 pm ET / 10 am PT.

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

 Q1: Why should brands care about the candidate experience? #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

 Q2: What are the benefits of measuring candidate experience? #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

Q3: How can brands implement candidate feedback for positive change? #WorkTrends  (Tweet this question)

Don’t want to wait until next Wednesday to join the conversation? You don’t have to. Check out the #WorkTrends Twitter feed or join our TalentCulture World of Work Community LinkedIn group. Share your questions, ideas and opinions with our awesome community.

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

Robots are taking over the World. Well, no not really. But something that is going to be a game changer is about to take over the world of HR. Artificial Intelligence or AI is coming to an HR department near you and maybe sooner than you think.

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

Join, me and my special guest Jessica Miller-Merrell on Wednesday, November 2 for a LIVE podcast at 1pm EST as we discuss this hot and timely topic.

How Artificial Intelligence Can Change HR and Recruiting

#WorkTrends Logo Design

Join me, TalentCulture #WorkTrends Host Meghan M. Biro, and my guest Jessica Miller Merrell as we discuss artificial intelligence and its impact on HR.

#WorkTrends on Twitter — Wednesday, Nov 2 — 1:30 pm ET / 10:30 am PT

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

Q1: How will artificial intelligence transform big data into capturable information? #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

Q2: How will artificial intelligence bridge the gap between HR and other company departments? #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

Q3: How will artificial intelligence improve the recruiting and candidate experience? #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

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


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#WorkTrends Recap: Lights. Camera. Action. = Video Power

Have you noticed how popular video has become? It just keeps growing in popularity! Do you use video in your workplace? Well, if you want to know about video, this is the topic for you. Today, I hosted a special guest who knows a lot about the value that video brings to so many aspects of our business world.

On this week’s #WorkTrends show I was joined by guest Chris Savage, the CEO and co-founder of Wistia, a very popular video marketing and analytics platform.

Chris talked to us about how using video as a call-to-action via various forms of communications increases response rates and helps (in a huge way) to achieve recruiting, marketing, and sales goals. That’s pretty impressive, right?

Chris also shared some powerful tips with the TalentCulture community:

  • Video is an excellent tactic for explaining things. Be you and share what you know. It’s very effective and builds credibility to have experts on screen
  • Videos are the perfect vehicle for storytelling! Video works incredibly well to communicate complex messages
  • The Three“Must-Dos”of video are: Explain a solution linearly to automate, build a connection with the audience, and get on camera.

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

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

Didn’t make it to this week’s #WorkTrends show? Don’t worry. You can tune in and participate in the podcast and chat with us every Wednesday from 1-2pm ET (10-11am PT). Next week, on Nov 2, I will be joined by Jessica Miller-Merrell, VP of Talent Strategies at Advanced Group and founder of

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

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#WorkTrends Recap: “The 11 Laws of Likability”

Most of us want people to like us, especially in social settings, but sometimes the idea of going out there and schmoozing seems phony and feels like pretending. And who wants to feel like a phony? No one. Guess what? You don’t have to, according to today’s #Worktrends’ guest, Michelle Lederman.

Listen to the full #WorkTrends podcast on BlogTalk Radio now:  11 Laws of Likability.

Michelle is the author of the book, “The 11 Laws of Likability,” which talks about the value of connecting with others in meaningful and authentic ways. During our lively conversation today, we talked about relationship networking and what draws people to each other in a business capacity.

Michelle described the 11 laws she has identified as the most relevant and impactful aspects of building genuine relationships. As she stated,  it’s not about transactions, but more about connecting with people in a real and honest manner—that benefits everyone.

Michelle shared the following key points with the TalentCulture #WorkTrends community:

  • People are influenced by how they feel, more than what you say.
  • Energy is contagious! That’s The Law of Energy. Ask yourself, how does a candidate feel when interacting with people at your firm?
  • Understand The Law of Similarity. Find a personal connection or common work vision to align and from which to build a relationship.

Her book, “The 11 Laws of Likability” delves into the value of finding your authenticity and learning to build self-image, energy, curiosity, and listening skills to develop an effective, natural system for creating and maintaining relationships. We all learned a lot!

Listen now to this #WorkTrends episode on our BlogTalk Radio channel:
Or subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or via Stitcher.

Next week, on Oct 26, I’ll be joined by Chris Savage, CEO of Wistia, who will talk about getting the most out of video (which is huge these days!)
Want to listen to more #WorkTrends episodes? Check out our archive on our podcast library page

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

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#WorkTrends Preview: The 11 Laws of Likability

Join host Meghan M. Biro and special guest Michelle Lederman as they discuss “The 11 Laws of Likability.” During this lively conversation, they’ll talk about relationship networking and what draws people to each other in a business capacity.

They will dive into “The 11 Laws of Likability,” which Michelle has identified as the most relevant and impactful aspects of building solid relationships. As she describes, it’s not about transactions, but more about connecting with people in a real and honest manner—that benefits everyone.

They will also uncover some of the misconceptions about what many people believe to be qualities mistakenly linked to likability.

The 11 Laws of Likability

#WorkTrends Logo Design

Tune in to our LIVE online podcast Wednesday, Oct 19 — 1 pm ET / 10 am PT.

Join TalentCulture #WorkTrends Host Meghan M. Biro and guest Michelle Tillis Lederman as they discuss The 11 Laws of Likability.

#WorkTrends on Twitter — Wednesday, Oct 19 — 1:30 pm ET / 10:30 am PT

Immediately following the podcast, we invite you to join us in the #WorkTrends Twitter stream to continue the discussion. We encourage all of you to participate as we gather for a live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: Why does it take more than just being nice to influence people? #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

Q2: How can employees use the laws of likability when interacting with leadership? #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

Q3: How can companies use the likability laws when attracting talent? #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

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

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


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The Benefits of Allowing Employees to Build Personal Brands

I recently attended a talk on personal branding given by Dorie Clark, bestselling author of “Stand Out,” at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.

At the conclusion of the talk, I asked Dorie her opinion of employers that restrict employees attempting to brand themselves using social media. I was in agreement with Dorie’s answer that employees should be allowed to build their personal brand.

Employers are concerned that employees frequently writing and posting could embarrass or negatively impact a company’s reputation. What employers fear are employees who build their reputations outside their business, making them more attractive to recruiters and other employers.

I used to observe employers attempt to retain employees by denying them training or asking them to work long hours to make it harder to network and attend interviews. Today I see employers creating processes for approving employees social media posts that are often arbitrary, slow moving and without transparency.

Some employees have told me that their posts have lost some relevancy as weeks and months pass waiting for employer approval. Employers in the financial industry, hiding behind the excuse of compliance and regulatory approval, have told employees to stay completely off social media.

The courts and the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) have weighed in a with variety of opinions, many of which have tilted in the direction of employees having some right to free speech. I understand employers’ point of view and their concern about protecting their reputations. I also would advise employees to not use social media to rant about their work grievances, how much they dislike their boss or to speak ill of their employer. An emotional outburst on social media disparaging an employer could stay with the writer throughout one’s career.

Employees creating original content, or commenting online, is an opportunity for employees to further intellectually engage, stretch themselves and grow as leaders in their field. This growth is beneficial to the employer as new relationships are formed, employees think of new ways to analyze and solve problems, and the company enhances its reputation having an emerging industry superstar as a member of their team.

Employers that hold back their employees, and don’t let them grow, run the risk of sliding into obsolescence. Employees pushing the boundaries of their expertise will bring new knowledge that has been vetted online (and likely offline as strong online relationships can lead to strong offline relationships). This gift of constantly flowing knowledge into companies will keep employers updated on changes in their industry. Employers can use this as an effective feedback mechanism to allow themselves to pivot quickly when necessary.

Job security is a relic of the past. Anybody can be fired at any time for any reason. Every employee needs to create their own career insurance. Writing and posting on social media allows employees to expand their network of contacts. Employees can show the marketplace their insight, expertise, skills and desirability as a potential hire. As the global economy continues to progress towards a knowledge-based, gig job market the competition for employment will become furiously competitive.

Advanced degrees and specialized education are becoming so commonplace that these credentials will transition from being competitive advantages to being minimal requirements on a job listing. References have lost much of their impact on the hiring process as many employers, worried about the threat of litigation, provide nothing more than basic information about an employee when asked about an employee’s performance. A person’s ability to stand out from a crowd will be crucial to obtaining employment. Having a strong social media presence in one’s field will be a key tool necessary to differentiate oneself from the thousands that will be seeking every work opportunity of the future. TalentCulture’s CEO Meghan M. Biro wrote an excellent article, “Five Reasons Why Social Media Should Be On Your HR Radar,” that details the importance of your social media brand and recruiting..

Employers must let employees write and comment on their social media personal pages about their industry. Employees need to be thoughtful and professional about every post they write, and every comment they make as they are creating a permanent record for all potential employers. All posts should contain an employee disclosure that their posts and comments are personal and do not reflect the views of their employers.

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Millennial’s Commentary On the Generational Gap: How We Really See You

Thousands, maybe even millions of research articles flood the web on how Xers and Boomers are trying to understand what millennials really want in the workplace. After all, this is the generation taking over our organizations. With all of this information at your fingertips on how you can engage this sector of the workforce, there seems be too little to no rhetoric spelling out how Millennials view our Xer and Boomer colleagues. This brings me to question, how can you expect engagement initiatives to be successful when you have no idea how we view you?

We think Gen X is cynical

Generation X (1965-79) is one of the most skeptical generations to date, having grown up in an era when many of the institutions built by veterans (1922-1946) and improved upon by boomers (1946-1964) were torn to pieces. We agree it can be discouraging watching companies like Enron and WorldCom crumble and being fed lies about faulty products, but understand that your cynicism stifles the innovation that we are longing for. A check and balance system in the workplace is good but when very idea that spews out of our millennial mouth’s is met with your skepticism, we naturally do want to run home at 5:00 and apply for any other position on Monster.

All you see is the corner office

The Greatest Generation raised Boomers to ensure they would never miss out on their youth the way they did. A noble cause. What parent would not want to give their child a great life? It became all about what they could do for themselves and their families. “Don’t let anything stand in the way of what you want,” Boomers taught their Xer children. This has created a stigma, whether just or not, that Xer are willing to do whatever it takes to get to get ahead. They put their head down, work 60 hours a week and finally land their prize – the corner office. The problem with that for millennials is many Xers do not seem to be inviting us to their marathon to success, quite the opposite. We view your hands-off, because I said so and never take a sick day approach to leading as nothing more than an oppressing attempt to keep us in our entry to mid-level roles. Our goal is not the corner office, but the entire company with a budget for Corporate Social Responsibility.

Them is we

Boomers and Xers, more so than others, tend to use the generation labels much more than millennials or Zs (1995-2012). Yes, I know that seems like an oxymoron considering you are reading an article about generation labels right now but please humor me. No matter who you are you do not like to be pigeon-holed into categories. The rise of individualism is not new nor did it start with our generation. It is simply better documented due to more sophisticated technology. Only a third of millennials say they are millennials. While we will always have categories in place to better organize everyone, Xers and Boomers could relate to us more if they simply stopped using the “young and dumb” approach. I know Xers have spent years trying to live up to the Boomer’s expectations only to have them creep back in to the workforce (Thank you Great Recession) but putting all the ideas you deem naïve in a box and labeling it millennial will never build successful organizations. We are all in this together.

You are on our pedestal

This has and will continue to be one of my biggest flaws. I put my mentors and leaders on a pedestal. I am chomping at the bit to conquer the world and all I need is someone in my corner cheering me on and calling me out when I need it. When my cheerleader cannot find the pom-poms or stifles my innovative idea with negativity, I am heartbroken, confused and angry. I take it personally to the point I almost cannot learn from them any longer. I do make sure I do whatever it takes to prove them wrong though. Maybe they use it as a form of motivation? Millennials as a whole inspire to be incredible people that will make the world better. You do not need to be Steve Jobs or Mohmmas Yunus but you do need to try and get on-board with that.

No matter where you stand in the conversation around generations in the workplace, one thing is certain, we are not going away. 53.5 million millennials are expected to be in the workforce by the end of this year. While I understand some of the stereotypes around our endless texting and job hopping and proven true in some cases, overall, many of us simply want someone to lead us.

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#TChat Preview: How to Manage Through Influence

The TalentCulture #TChat Show is back live on Wednesday, February 3, 2016, from 1-2 pm ET (10-11 am PT).

Last week we talked about how HR leaders achieve talent brand dominance; this week we’re going to talk about how to manage through influence.

Organizations are becoming more matrixed and less hierarchical every day. Command-and-control corporate structures are relics of the past.

Dealing with flatter organizational structures, outsourcing, and virtual teams can all be quite challenging. Because of this, more and more managers need to get things done through their peers inside and outside their organizations.

However, because the world of work has gotten so complex, the very act of change has grown increasingly difficult. Today’s flatter organizations give employees and managers much more flexibility in deciding how work gets done, but they also require greater levels of collaboration than ever before.

Success is often dependent on persuading other individuals and teams to support your projects, even if they’re not direct reports. This skill is called “managing through influence” and is as critical to success in today’s world as a sterling resume or a tireless work ethic.

#TChat Event: How to Manage Through Influence


Tune in to our LIVE online podcast Wednesday, February 3 — 1 pm ET / 10 am PT

Join TalentCulture #TChat Show co-founders and co-hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman as they talk about how to manage through influence with this week’s guest: Jim Fields, Vice President of Customer Experience Marketing at SAP, a multinational software corporation that makes enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations.

#TChat on Twitter — Wednesday, February 3 — 1:30 pm ET / 10:30 am PT

Immediately following the radio show, the team will move to the #TChat Twitter stream to continue the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community. We invite everyone with a Twitter account to participate as we gather for a dynamic live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: What’s managing through influence and how does it differ from other leadership styles? #TChat (Tweet this question)

Q2 What challenges do flatter organizations face in business?#TChat (Tweet this question)

Q3: How can managing through influence create a winning situation for all participants?#TChat (Tweet this question)

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

Subscribe to our podcast on BlogTalkRadio, Stitcher or iTunes:

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#TChat Recap: How HR Leaders Achieve Talent Brand Dominance

Last week we talked about how tech professionals can help assess and hire other tech pros, and this week we discussed how HR leaders can achieve talent brand dominance.

Employers are constantly assessing the state of their company brand. But very few understand how their talent brand impacts their reputation to job seekers and the company morale amongst existing employees.

A talent brand is what people think, feel, and share about a company as a place to work.

According to this week’s guest, less than 30 percent of the working population cares about their company’s product brand. What they are concerned with is how employers care for their people and address their needs. Most hiring authorities aren’t coming to terms with the reality that talented employees have options.

Joan Graci, CEO and President of APA Solutions, a boutique employment and human capital consulting firm, joined us to share a wide variety of knowledge on talent branding, employee brands and much more.

It was a lively #TChat podcast and Twitter conversation on a topic that’s very relevant to organizations of all sizes across industries.

Want to learn more? Listen to the recording and check out the highlights below:

Thank you to all the TalentCulture sponsors, partners and supporters!

The TalentCulture #TChat Show is back live on Wednesday, February 3, 2016, from 1-2 pm ET (10-11 am PT). Join TalentCulture #TChat Show co-founders and co-hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman as they talk about how to manage through influence with next week’s guest: Jim Fields, Vice President of Customer Experience Marketing at SAP, a multinational software corporation that makes enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations.

Join our social communities and stay up-to-date! The TalentCulture conversation continues daily. See what’s happening right now on the #TChat Twitter stream, in our LinkedIn group and on our Google+ community. Engage with us anytime on our social networks or stay current with trending World of Work topics on our website or through our weekly email newsletter.

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TalentCulture's #TChat: The Evolution Of A Successful Chat

TalentCulture and #TChat. The evolution of a successful Twitter chat…

Meghan M. Biro and I have done something amazing here, something we are so very proud of. We started over five years ago in November of 2010. With only Meghan’s TalentCulture site and its early followers and readers, a handful of early-adopter Twitter friends and followers, and a hashtag by the name of #TChat — the TalentCulture Twitter Chat was born.

We never thought it would last a month. But it did. Then, two years later we launched the #TChat Radio Show, and eventually merged the two together to form the TalentCulture #TChat Show, the one many of you have come to every Wednesday from 1-2 pm ET. The one where we invite insightful guests to discuss a myriad of hot topics about  and workforce.

And, with the help of our Cyndy Trivella, our tireless production manager, as well as many other remarkable people, and of course our generous sponsors, thousands of knowledge-thirsty professionals join us every week from across Twitter and the entire social business universe — including business leaders, HR and recruiting thought leaders, technology innovators and social marketing leaders.

But now it’s time for us each to evolve into something bigger–and we’re so excited about that. Meghan and I are going to end this amazing story we started together, and Meghan is going to move forward supported by her amazing team at TalentCulture team focusing on what it is she’s passionate about: the Future of Work.

Don’t get me wrong, Meghan and I are still going to collaborate and support one another. Absolutely. She’s a dear friend and that will never change. But I’ve got some things of my own that I’m passionate about that I want to redirect my efforts to. I have the Talent Board and the CandEs and future podcasts coming and you’ll definitely be hearing more from me. Meghan will continue her focus on TalentCulture and reimagining the future of work and she’ll be debuting a new show of her own very shortly. We’ll both continue to do amazing things in 2016 and beyond and we hope you’ll be a part of them.

Only #TChat is going away. But it will be replaced by something equally as exciting, and you’ll continue to hear from and interact with both of us, on a regular basis!

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end…” —Semisonic, Closing Time

The success of all this was truly because of you, our loyal community and friends. We can’t thank you enough. Please keep making that incremental happy workplace magic however you can and we know we’ll be seeing more of you.

And remember – middle initial always count.

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3 Steps To Build A "DAZZLE" Culture

Satisfying your customers isn’t good enough in today’s competitive markets. Meeting their needs falls short of earning their loyalty. You need to dazzle them; leave them “breathless” whenever they touch your organization.

The challenge is to build an organizational culture that serves the customer in every way. Not one that pushes products and services at them. Not one that forces them to engage with the organization in an unfriendly way. Here are three steps leaders can take:

1. Hire “Human-Being Lovers”

People who are born with an innate desire to serve their fellow human beings. People who get absolute joy from serving and do whatever it takes to see someone’s eyes light up.

Customers can’t be delighted if an employee would rather be taking inventory than taking care of them.

You can’t train people to “love humans.” You can train them to “grin” with a smile in their voice, but that’s the extent of it.

To select the right candidate, the recruitment interview should always include the the question “Do you love humans?” with the follow up “Tell me a personal story that proves it”. If you get goosebumps from the answer, hire the person. If not, show them the door.

2. Trash Dumb Rules

Rules have a legitimate management control purpose but if they drive business away because customers are unwilling to play by them, what’s the point?

Have fun with the idea. I struck a number of “dumb rules committees” to seek out and destroy senselessness; I made it matter by holding my leadership team accountable for implementing the changes.

Rules that serve the customer requires their engagement. Ask them for their input in rule design; they will be impressed that you are open to asking for their help.

Empower your front line to bend rules in special circumstances when they don’t make sense to a particular customer and their loyalty is in jeopardy. Not every policy will be acceptable to every customer, so allowing some flexibility is required.

Don’t worry, your employees won’t give away the farm. Provide them with the skills to balance the needs of both the company and the customer.

3. Turn OOPS! Into WOW!

Sure you do your best to avoid making mistakes, but they will happen. That’s life in any organization.

The good news is that if your service recovery is remarkable when you disappoint one of your customers they are more loyal than if the mistake never happened.

The issue is that most organizations don’t have a service recovery strategy; they don’t like to admit they make mistakes and as a result don’t take the time to plan for when it happens (and it always does).

So how to recover? Fix the mistake fast and then blow the customer away by surprising them with something they don’t expect.

Surprise Is Magic

People expect the screw-up to be remedied but they don’t expect the extra personal attention you give them to atone for the mistake.

Speed is critical. A recovery succeeds only if it is delivered within 24 hours of the OOPS! After that, save your energy for the next one coming your way.

Leaving people breathless is not rocket science; it’s about delivering basic human needs. We want to feel special, treated as individuals and delighted by surprise.

Stand-out leaders understand this and create organizations to deliver.


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3 Reasons Your Manager Isn’t Doing a Good Job

A huge 75% percent of people that quit their jobs, do so because of their bosses. At the same time, employers cite high staff turnover as one of the biggest challenges that companies face. It seems like there may be a solution right there, but actually improving management isn’t as straightforward as many employees think it is.

Three Pertinent Reasons Why Managers Struggle

While there are different kinds of managers, there are three pertinent reasons why managers struggle in their role.

  1. They Had A Rocky Transition.

It’s often the case that managers are team members who are unexpectedly promoted into the positions but don’t actually have a background in management, or that they were hired from outside of the workplace with very little knowledge or training as to what’s going on inside it. Sudden changes and little time for forward planning tend to be the reasons that the necessary training doesn’t happen before the manager takes on the new role.

  1. Their Approach Isn’t Smooth.

A management role is about giving direction but often managers lack a consistent approach to how the manage the team and the developments that they want to happen. Some managers will be brimming with so many new ideas that they change direction too often and forget to implement other ideas fully before starting on new ones. Other managers might be constantly unsure of whether they’ve made the right decisions and chop and change their mind because of that.

  1. Communication Isn’t Their Priority.

Never has a successful workplace existed that wasn’t built on a strong foundation of good communication. Giving orders and relaying messages is an entirely different kind of communication to collaborating on projects and creating a feedback loop. Going beyond the barriers of management and workers and communicating on the same level with everyone, irrespective of their job title, is the number one rule to cultivating a happy and successful workplace.

How Employees Can Help Improve Management

If your manager has hit the ground running, don’t be too quick to criticise. Being a good manager takes time and practise – it’s a work in progress position. Rather than gossip behind their back about their performance, be open with your comments, though remember to keep them constructive.

Speak with them frequently, especially if they’re new to the office. Offer feedback on how they could better help you and fellow employees, and be honest during feedback reviews. Praise your manager when something is working well, just as you would want them to praise you in recognition of good work.

Ron Stewart is CEO of Jobs4Medical, part of the Jobs4Group. He has 30 years experience in the recruitment industry and has headed companies in the IT, construction and medical sectors.


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Silicon Valley Employment Benefits To Inspire Even The SMBs

Silicon Valley is home to some of the world’s most successful tech businesses, all offering bigger and better perks than most of us could dream of. While their massive budgets might stretch to millions and helicopter rides with the CEO are par for the course, there’s also a lot to learn from some of the benefits they offer. In fact many of the employee benefits offered by the companies housed in the infamous Silicon Valley don’t have to break the bank, and even the smallest business can take learn from and use them.

Fun And Games

While large companies like Zynga offer employees access to an onsite arcade, there are plenty of less costly ways for your employees to enjoy themselves during their lunch breaks. Providing games like table football, a pool table or, if there’s budget, a games console, won’t break the bank and will prove to be great fun for employees, helping them to take some downtime and unwind away from their desks.

Wellness Program

Private health and dental care is a benefit that many look for in a job and is a tax-deductible business expense. Although companies like Facebook extend their healthcare benefits to offer fertility treatment, this isn’t an option for every business. However, offering help when it comes to health, fitness, stress, and general wellbeing, can be beneficial to staff, and help to improve productivity as well as reduce absenteeism.

Birthday Leave

Giving employees their birthday as vacation is a great incentive that most individuals would be grateful for and is a perk utilised by the likes of Thrillist. An extra day of holiday to be taken during the individual’s birthday week is simple, yet effective.

Bring Your Pet To Work

As part of their employee benefits package Eventbrite allows its staff to bring their dog to work. If your office environment permits, this can be a great low-cost perk for staff and having a pet companion on site can help reduce stress in employees.

Free Snacks

It might seem like a fairly basic ‘perk’, but providing employees with free snacks, drinks or even entire meals is something offered as standard by many of Silicon Valley’s residents, such as Google, Microsoft and Dropbox. Fortunately, free food of some sort is something that most businesses can implement, whether in the form of communal drinks supplies, fruit bowls or a monthly team lunch.


Companies like Ask offer an open vacation policy which enables employees to take as much holiday as they wish. Realistically this isn’t a viable option for most other companies; however it is possible for most businesses to offer flexible working. Flexible working is fast becoming an expected employment benefit, so companies that can offer it should give it due consideration.


While companies like Microsoft can allow their staff to spend several days doing voluntary work in the community, or offer sponsorship to charities, small businesses can offer their own equivalent. Allowing your employees one day a year to volunteer for a local charity will give them the chance to try something different and to give back to the community.

Nap Pods

Another of Google’s many perks allows employees to head to a designated area with sleep in mind. The nap pods allow employees to do just that! While the pods in the Google offices might be costly, that needn’t be the case for every office. Simply enabling your staff to take naps at lunch time or if they are working late will be met with gratitude – and probably a few snores of delight.

Group Outings

Team outings and activities inject fun and a sense of camaraderie into a business, and for companies like Eventbrite team breakfasts or outings to the trampoline park are standard practice. Smaller businesses can channel this idea by arranging quarterly get-togethers, whether for a team drink or meal, or something more exciting like a trip to the beach or group cinema night. Allowing employees the chance to socialise with one another outside of the office environment can help to promote bonds and encourage a positive work environment.


Employees at Twitter are entitled to several discounts, including with Zipcar, which is something many other businesses can offer. Agreeing on discounts for employees with businesses you have an existing relationship will be beneficial for all involved.


Many companies, such as Pinterest, like to ensure that all employees have the tools they need to perform their job to the best of their ability. Although it might be too costly to offer this exact benefit, giving your employees a say on what pieces of technology best suit their role will help to ensure that they are happy and productive.

As you’ve seen, employee benefits needn’t break the bank and can be tweaked to suit businesses of all sizes. While we might all lust over certain perks offered to Silicon Valley employees, the majority of these can be replicated on a smaller scale – allowing your employees to experience a range of interesting benefits that’ll help improve employee satisfaction.

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#TChat Preview: The Art of Candidate Engagement

The TalentCulture #TChat Show is back live on Wednesday, June 10, 2015, at its new time from 1-2 pm ET (10-11 am PT).

Last week we talked about how business strategies that help CHRO’s sleep at night, and this week we’re going to talk about the art of candidate engagement.

One of the toughest challenges is recruiting in-demand tech talent and how to engage this elusive talent pool.

The answer is the right mix of relationship building and empowering recruiting technology that helps recruiters develop a ready pool of tech candidates they can competitively source when the time is right.

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

Thank you to all our TalentCulture sponsors and partners: Dice, Jibe, TalentWise, Hootsuite, IBM, CareerBuilder, PeopleFluent, Silkroad, Predictive Analytics World for Workforce and HRmarketer Insight. Plus, we’re big CandE supporters!

#TChat Events: The Art of Candidate Engagement

TChatRadio_logo_020813#TChat Radio — Wed, June 10 — 1 pm ET / 10 am PT

Join TalentCulture #TChat Show co-founders and co-hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman as we talk about the art of candidate engagement with this week’s guests: Johnny Campbell, Founder and CEO at Social Talent; Sara Fleischmann, Purple Squirrel Hunter at Hewlett-Packard; and Stacy Zapar, Founder of Tenfold, and recruiting strategist, trainer & advisor.


Tune in LIVE online Wednesday, June 10th

#TChat Twitter Chat — Wed, June 10 — 1:30 pm ET /10:30 am PT Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin, Johnny, Sara and Stacy will move to the #TChat Twitter stream, where we’ll continue the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we gather for a dynamic live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: Why do recruiters and hiring managers still use the post-and-pray approach? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q2: How can employer branding and social recruiting help create talent pipelines? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q3: How do you balance relationship building with tech to improve hiring? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

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

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The TalentCulture conversation continues daily on Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our Google+ community. Engage with us anytime on our social networks or stay current with trending World of Work topics through our weekly email newsletter. Signing up is just a click away!


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#TChat Recap: Business Strategies That Help CHROs Sleep At Night


This week we were joined by Mark Stelzner, Founder of IA HR, a consulting firm that helps HR leaders transform their organizations with confidence. This week we talked about business strategies that help CHRO’s sleep at night.

HR is at a point of change and has been struggling to keep up over the past years. There is a complexity of the work environment regardless of the size of the organization and people are focusing on everything from empowering the EDP to change management.

Many organizations out there are really focusing on the problems, not the solutions available. So how should we approach strategic change management?

Did You Miss The Podcast Show? Listen On BlogTalkRadioiTunes or Stitcher.

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Stand-Out Leaders Putter At These 7 Things

Old school leadership is about control and pushing people to achieve results; setting and communicating objectives; delegating tasks; measuring results.

Nothing wrong with old school, it’s just that different priorities and actions are required if leaders are to meet the challenges of todays competitive economy and changing employee expectations.

New school leaders make it their priority to help people; to “take care” of them. They make it easier for people to do their jobs. They run interference; bash barriers and eliminate the grunge preventing progress.

New School Leaders Putter At These 7 Basics

1. They are mindlessly focused on detail.

Detail about individuals and what’s going on for them. It’s about the little things and the “small picture” where things get done. Where people take individual actions to move the organization forward. At the coal face where customer and employees engage. If a leader doesn’t know what’s going on where customer meets company, how can they help make it a better experience for all? Exactly!

2. They have an uncanny memory.

The putterer has the innate ability to remember what they’ve seen, heard and felt in the workplace so they can follow up and take whatever action is necessary. They correlate their experience with the strategy and objectives of the organization so they can remedy any dysfunction they see or reward any champion performance they observe.

3. They make the work environment comfortable for people.

Clean. Tidy. Organized. A place where people look forward to hanging out everyday. They are crazy about hygiene factors; the basic needs that people require if they are to perform well consistently. If they are working in a pit, don’t expect them to deliver sterling results. If they aren’t WOW’D by the comforts of their workplace, they won’t be in a mood to delight a customer.

4. They take action themselves when their personal intervention is critical to moving forward.

Putterers don’t delegate on matters requiring inspiration and direction. Small picture issues can’t be delegated as no one other than the leader can FEEL what needs to be done; their passion can’t be delegated. Furthermore, delegation of small picture issues sends the “I really don’t give a damn” message to all, and their currency with the troops takes a plunge.

5. They are constantly active.

Always on the move. Always looking for things to improve for people. Don’t forget the small picture has high resolution and is always in flux, requiring constant movement on the leader’s part. They keep their feet moving!

6. They anticipate.

They have acute sensor abilities, being able to apply what they’ve learned in other circumstances to a situation that is developing in front of them. And, as a result, either avoiding an unpleasant ending OR achieving something extraordinary.

7. They smile.

Putterers love what they do. They are happy. When confronted by disappointment they look for the pony. Their positive attitude is contagious. And it costs nothing. People around them catch the “smile virus”. It spreads. Imagine a workplace where everyone is smiling! Think it’s productive? Ya.

Stand-out leaders are awesome at the basics. How do you rate?

How To Cure A Sick Company Culture

Performance wanes. Employee engagement falls and morale sinks.

These are tell-tale signs that your culture is sick and needs attention. So how do you go about fixing it?

First, three housekeeping questions:

1. What is “culture”? Culture describes an organization’s working environment. How people behave. What they talk about. How they interact with and treat one another. The values they respect and hold sacred.

2. What is the purpose of culture? It enables the achievement of goals. It is a tactic, if you will, that facilitates healthy and effective execution of a company’s strategy because it engages every employee in its purpose. Culture is the engine of accomplishment. A finely tuned engine delivers high performance; a poorly tuned one is hit and miss.

3. What is the “right” culture? There is no shrink-wrapped version of culture that applies to every organization. You must create the unique one that works for you. There may be elements in common with other firms, but you discover this after the fact. Culture should never be copied; it should be created.

Cultural change requires an intervention; you can’t expect it to change without an imposition. The challenge is to move from “this is the way things are around here” to “this is the way things must look if we are to survive and thrive.”

Here are five steps that will create the culture that is right for you:

1. Start with building your strategic context. Culture is guided by the strategic game plan of your organization — “what you want to be when you grow up.” It’s an expression of what the inside of your organization must “look like” in order to successfully execute. Early in my career we had to shift from being a monopoly telecom business to a nimble customer-focused competitor; we needed to create a different culture to take us there. The journey began with creating a new strategic vision that would allow us to successfully compete in a world we had not previously experienced.

2. Develop the values you require every team member to align with. Successful execution begs that everyone is on the same page in terms of how to do their job. A value is a common-held belief, without which your strategy is impaired. Technology businesses require risk-taking, creativity and innovation to be successful; if employees don’t act in a way that delivers these values, dysfunction sets in and progress is eluded.

3. Define the behaviors that are required to exhibit each values. For each value develop more granularity to move away from an aspiration to something that is concrete and more understandable. For example, if “spirited teamwork” is one of your values, define in more specific terms what is meant by the value. What behaviors would you expect to see exhibited when spirited teamwork is alive and well in the organization. This is a critical step. Values need to be translated so that every employee has a direct line of sight that connects what they do every day to the values expected.

4. Assess the inside. Evaluate each employee in your organization to determine his or her “value fit.” Some will transition immediately to your new values; others can be convinced to adopt them and others will refuse. The point is you need to get everyone onboard fast; time is not your friend. Exit who you believe are the “non-adopters”; they will infect their colleagues if they stay and prevent progress.

5. Build your values into your reward and recognition programs. Make the expression of values matter by holding people accountable. Reward awesome “spirited teamwork” in front of employee groups. Publicize your “value heroes” so others know what is expected. Ultimately, include values as part of your variable compensation program, in which the consistent heroes are financially rewarded. If you have a 360-degree feedback program, include values as an important part of individual assessment.

The culture that is right for you is much more than an aspiration. If you don’t follow through with the specific executional elements necessary to give it “life,” it will remain a dream.

And nothing will change.

About the Author: Roy Osing is a former executive vice-president and CMO with over 33 years of leadership experience. He is a blogger, educator, coach, adviser and the author of the book series Be Different or Be Dead.

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#TChat Recap: The Hot HR Technology Trends Of 2014

The Hot HR Technology Trends Of 2014

With all this talk about employee engagement, it’s easy to forget how some of the tech-savvy organizations are combating recruitment issues, disengaged talent, and workplace productivity with analytics and HR technology. Through the elevation of technology we’re able to discover trends that we never knew existed. We not only have discovered that technology has become a part of us, and is existential to the way we live, but how invaluable it is to the world of work. This week’s #TChat guest: Steve Boese, a co-chair of Human Resource Executive’s HR Technology® Conference and a technology editor for LRP Publications, joined our community and highlighted some great insights on HR technology. After hearing and seeing what Steve had to say, it’s obvious that organizations that:

Yes, data science allows technology to do some pretty fantastic things. HR technology is about helping organizations be better equipped to manage, train, and engage their talent in real-time. According to Steve:

And empowering people to be creative is what helps jumpstart productivity. You can’t be successful in business or in any endeavor if you lack the mindset, skills, and tools to be productive. HR technology is in demand, because organizations and employees want a better workplace experience. The thing is:

HR technology has the capability to bring both sides together, when it’s dynamic of course. It not only builds a bridge that connects employees with their work and employers, it becomes a part of organizational branding. And this usually happens early on with employees. Simply put:

An “ux,” as in “user interface” for those of you wondering what we’re talking about. HR technology can be a driving force for employee retention, productivity, and great company culture. It helps sustain it and measure it. It’s no secret that technology plays a big role in our daily lives. Employees want a system that’s easy to use and understand. A good user interface makes life easier, especially when employees spend a significant portion of their time using a specific system. What this is really saying is that organizations need to stay tech-savvy if they want to keep their employees happy and their productivity up. It all ties in together.

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

Thanks again to our guest: Steve Boese, a co-chair of Human Resource Executive’s HR Technology® Conference and a technology editor for LRP Publications… Click here to see the preview and related reading.

#TChat Events: The Extraordinary Potential Of Values Based Leadership



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