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Candidate Experience: Getting It Right #TChat Recap

“I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day you bet on people, not strategies.”
Lawrence Bossidy, Author & Former CEO, Honeywell

If talent is what matters most at the end of the day, why do so many companies struggle to provide a stellar experience for job candidates? And how can we finally fix that?

This is the hot topic the TalentCulture community tackled this week at #TChat events — with guidance from two of the HR community’s most knowledgeable candidate experience experts:

Elaine Orler, President of Talent Function Group and chairman of The Talent Board;
Gerry Crispin, Staffing Strategist and Co-Founder of CareerXroads Colloquium.

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

Building Brand Advocates One Job Opening At A Time

What is candidate experience, anyway? Of course, it starts long before a potential employee ever arrives for an interview. In fact, some #TChat-ters say it’s smart to think of it as an ongoing brand experience that begins the moment an individual envisions a future with your organization, and continues throughout the recruitment process, and beyond.

Smart employers consider all the touch points in that process, not just the tone and content of a job description. Every interaction helps shape a candidate’s impression — from the way a company website portrays its workforce, and the way it engages with employees on social media, to the pace and flow of ongoing communication with applicants. No detail should be overlooked.

Why do details count? Because, according to our guests (and the 2013 Candidate Experience Survey Results), these factors make a lasting impression on job seekers. And cumulative impressions can determine a brand’s destiny.

Early results from nearly 50,000 former job candidates confirms what common sense tells us. Once candidates develop a perception of an organization, they’ll share their thoughts with others. And that word-of-mouth behavior can have a measurable impact on your business — for better or worse.

Roadmap For Improvement

Early next year, The Talent Board will publish a detailed survey report to help employers make meaningful changes to their candidate experience. But in the meantime, here are some self assessment questions:

• Have you walked a mile in your candidate’s shoes? (And documented that walk?)
• What kind of first impression does your company project?
• Do you acknowledge job seekers when they apply or submit a resume?
• What proportion of inquiries are completely ignored?
• Is information about your company culture available, accurate and complete?
• Are your employees empowered as brand ambassadors?

Inspiration From Candidate-Friendly Companies

How do great employers like Zappos and Microsoft make their candidate experience stand out? They treat everyone with respect and common sense. They also display other “best practice” behaviors.

These actions leave a lasting positive impression – even when candidates aren’t hired. Even when they’ve invested significant time and energy to conduct company research, customize a resume, apply for the position, prepare for and participate in interviews, and follow-up with hiring managers.

Of course, word now travels incredibly fast on social channels. And with organizations like The Talent Board paying close attention, the voice of the candidate is getting louder all the time.

So, if you care about influencing the way your organization is perceived by candidates, consider the resources and highlights from this week’s #TChat conversation, below. Thanks to everyone who contributed opinions and ideas. This is how we can move the meter in a positive direction!

#TChat Week-In-Review: Candidate Experience Survey Insights

Gerry Crispin (2)

Watch the #TChat “sneak peek” video now

SAT 12/7:

#TChat Preview:
TalentCulture Community Manager, Tim McDonald, framed the week’s topic in a post and “sneak peek” hangout video with guest, Gerry Crispin. Read the Preview: “Candidate Experience: Survey Insights.”

SUN 12/8:

Forbes.com Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro looked at how employers can improve their hiring process to achieve better business results. Read: “5 Tips For A Winning Candidate Experience.”

MON 12/9:

Related Post: Guest blogger, Matt Charney, recommended a provocative approach to improving the status quo. Read “Compliance: Why It’s The Only Fix For Candidate Experience.

WED 12/4:

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen to the #TChat Radio replay now

#TChat Radio: Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman spoke with guests Elaine Orler and Gerry Crispin about the early findings from the candidate experience survey. Fascinating stuff. Listen to the radio recording now!

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin, Elaine and Gerry joined the TalentCulture community on the #TChat Twitter stream, for an open crowdsourcing conversation centered on 5 related questions. See highlights in the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Insights: Candidate Experience Survey Insights

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/2013-candidate-experience-award-insights.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Elaine Orler and Gerry Crispin for sharing your perspectives on candidate experience trends and implications. We value your time and expertise!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about how companies can offer a more effective job candidate experience? 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, #TChat welcomes leadership development expert, Steve Gutzler, to discuss the role that emotional intelligence plays in our job performance and our effectiveness in leading others. Look for more details this weekend.

Meanwhile, the World of Work conversation continues. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, 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: Pixabay

Candidate Experience: Survey Insights #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Are you looking for full highlights and resource links from this week’s events? Read the #TChat Recap: “Candidate Experience: Getting It Right.”)

Candidate Experience.”

The concept has been gaining visibility in HR circles for years. Along the way, we’ve explored the topic multiple times at #TChat events, and on this blog.

The term isn’t yet part of a typical job seeker’s vocabulary. But people don’t need to speak HR lingo to know if a prospective employer treats them with courtesy and common sense. Regardless of whether a candidate is hired, those impressions make a lasting impact. And in a world where both top talent and brand loyalty are scarce, companies ignore these fundamentals at their peril.

Candidate Feedback: Thunder Rolls

Of course, word now travels incredibly fast on social channels. And with organizations like The Talent Board (the “CandE” Candidate Experience Awards people) paying close attention, the voice of the candidate is getting louder all the time.

In fact, response to this year’s “CandE” survey was thunderous. Nearly 50,000 former job candidates invested 40 minutes each to tell The Talent Board how employers managed their application and interviewing process. Imagine the insights that will come from all of those data points!

Fortunately, we don’t have to wait much longer to find out, because this week, we’ll hear “early returns” from two of the leaders behind the survey:

 Elaine Orler, President of Talent Function Group and chairman of The Talent Board;
Gerry Crispin, Staffing Strategist and Co-Founder of CareerXroads Colloquium.

Sneak Peek Survey Results

To kick-off this week’s discussion, Gerry joined me for a brief G+ Hangout, where we discussed the focus and importance of this year’s analysis:

If you’re an HR professional, or a business leader who wants to know how to win hearts and minds through recruiting best practices, you won’t want to miss this week’s #TChat conversation!

#TChat Events: Candidate Survey: Early Insights

#TChat Radio — Wed, Dec 11 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Gerry Crispin and Elaine Orler about early findings from the candidate experience survey — and implications for HR. Tune-in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Dec 11 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, our discussion moves to the #TChat Twitter stream for an open chat with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these 5 related questions:

Q1: Why does “candidate experience” continue to be a hot topic?
Q2: As a “perpetual candidate,” what would you like employers to fix?
Q3: What hiring process improvements have you seen that worked?
Q4: Why don’t more companies request + act on candidate feedback?
Q5: What technology traps keep the candidate experience painful?

We look forward to hearing your feedback, as talent-minded professionals — so bring your best ideas from both sides of the hiring table.

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!

HR Generalists: Tricks of the Trade #TChat Recap

Recruiting and hiring.
Compensation and benefits.
Organizational design and development.
Compliance and employee relations.
Training and performance management.
Change management and internal communications.
The list goes on…

In today’s world of work, the areas of expertise that define HR are varied and complex. Yet, most companies are too small to employ a dedicated staff of specialists. It forces the question:

In an era of increasing specialization, how can one person successfully run an entire human resource department?

Of course, this isn’t just an academic exercise. For many HR professionals, nonstop multitasking now seems to be a way of life. Recent research by The Society For Human Resource Management suggests that there’s a widespread need to support small HR shops. According to SHRM, a majority of its 275,000 members represent HR departments of 1-5 people. They know what it means to juggle many demands on a daily basis. But how can they perform effectively?

That’s the issue our talent-minded community tackled this week at #TChat Events, where two  “in-the-trenches” HR veterans led the discussion:

Dave Ryan, SPHR, Director of Human Resources at Mel-O-Cream Donuts, and
Donna Rogers,
SPHR, owner of Rogers HR Consulting, and management instructor at University of Illinois Springfield.

(Note: For details, see the highlights slideshow and resource links at the end of this post.)

Context: How Essential Is HR, Itself?

Recently, a debate has been brewing about the value of HR departments, overall. Bernard Marr questioned the need for an HR function, while Josh Bersin championed its role. Bersin emphasizes the fact that, despite a tremendous need to reskill and transform the HR function, human resources professionals help solve some of today’s most fundamental business problems. Top executives recognize the strategic role that talent plays in organizational success, and HR professionals are best equipped to define, shape and implement those strategies.

But how does that apply to solo HR managers, who may be living in a perpetually reactive zone? Ben Eubanks describes the best one-person HR departments as leaders with entrepreneurial traits:

We don’t pick up the phone and call our corporate HR team. We ARE the corporate HR team.
We are comfortable with research and making judgment calls.
We constantly seek out opportunities for professional development — if you’re not growing you’re dying.

Comments From the TalentCulture Crowd

Because many #TChat-ters understand the challenges that multi-tasking HR generalists face each day, the vast majority of Twitter chat participants sang the praises of one-person shops. In addition, many offered thoughtful advice. For example:

As the #TChat discussion demonstrates, solo managers don’t need to wait for industry events to connect with smart advice. Social tools make it easy to create a network of virtual resources to assist when you need it. Do you have a question about an unfamiliar subject? Tweet it with a relevant hashtag. (Try #TChat!) Post it to a LinkedIn HR discussion group. I guarantee you’ll get responses, faster than you expect.

Social tools also are useful for communication within your organization. Intranets are a great way to enable collaboration and communication at a relatively low cost. Cloud-based tools are available for internal discussions, project management, and reporting. Hiring systems and performance management solutions also offer social integration without steep IT costs. The possibilities are limited only by the time and interest HR managers invest in professional networking and research.

Above All: Aim for Agility

It seems that, of all skills needed for one-person HR superheroes, the most important is agility. Put aside the notion that you can execute perfectly, across-the-board. Prioritize carefully. Then, with the time and budget available to you, apply tools and resources as efficiently as your able, while making it all seem effortless.

Scared? Don’t be. If you’re reading this, you know that a worldwide community of like-minded people is right here to support you. We’ve got your back!

#TChat Week-In-Review: HR Departments of One

Donna Rogers and Dave Ryan

Watch the hangouts in the #TChat Preview

SAT 11/30:

#TChat Preview:
TalentCulture Community Manager, Tim McDonald, framed this week’s topic in a  post featuring #TChat hangout videos with guests Dave Ryan and Donna Rogers. Read: “HR: How to Succeed at Flying Solo.”

SUN 12/1:

Forbes.com Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro looked at 7 ways leaders can foster a high-octane social workplace culture. Read: “Top 5 Reasons HR Is On The Move.”

MON 12/2:

Related Post: Guest Donna Rogers shared wisdom from her experiences. Read “Survival Tips for HR Departments of One.

WED 12/4:

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen to the #TChat Radio recording

#TChat Radio: Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman spoke with guests Dave Ryan and Donna Rogers, about the challenges and rewards of operating as a one-person HR department. Listen to the radio recording now!

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin, Dave and Donna joined the TalentCulture community on the #TChat Twitter stream, as I moderated an open conversation that centered on 5 related questions. For highlights, see the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Insights: HR Departments of One

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/the-hr-department-of-one.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Dave Ryan and Donna Rogers for sharing your perspectives on HR management. We value your time and expertise!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about how HR professionals can operate “lean”? 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, #TChat looks at the latest Candidate Experience trends and best practices with guest experts, Elaine Orler and Gerry Crispin! Look for more details this weekend.

Meanwhile, the World of Work conversation continues. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream,  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

Going Social: Learning In Action #TChat Recap

“Learning is more effective when it is active rather than a passive process.”
– Euripides

One of the most active learning environments I know is #TChat.

In fact, sometimes it’s truly hyper-active, as the TalentCulture community meets on the Twitter stream to exchange ideas about the world of work. That’s certainly how it felt this week, as we gathered to celebrate three years of #TChat events and continuous online knowledge sharing.

It was fitting that our conversation focused on social learning. And it was equally fitting to welcome an HR executive who’s responsible for (among many other things) leveraging social tools and techniques to foster learning across her fast-paced, global organization.

Our guest this week was Ambrosia Humphrey, VP of Talent at HootSuite. And the insights she shared on #TChat Radio are instructive for any organization striving to elevate its learning culture.

(Editor’s Note: See full event highlights and resource links at the end of this post.)

Social Workplace: Learning Everywhere

As social media weaves itself deeper into daily life, organizations are searching for effective ways to blend social behaviors with learning methodology. There are good reasons for all the interest.

Social channels remove the hierarchy found in most organizations. With traditional roles de-emphasized, everyone has more freedom to contribute, interact, experiment and develop personally and professionally. It’s collaboration at its best. When organizations channel this collective energy, there’s great potential to boost innovation and business performance.

However, many companies are still only testing the waters in their cultural commitment to social learning. Twitter chats such as #TChat provide a low-risk model outside organizational walls; bringing together experts and talent-minded professionals to discuss today’s workplace — what works, what doesn’t, and how to address key issues.

#TChat: Social Learning Slice Of Life

As #TChat proves, social tools and techniques are an attractive way to develop and sustain learning communities. The immediacy, flexibility and availability of social media make it possible for people with common interests to connect and contribute easily in real-time, from all corners of the globe.

Imagine the possibilities when this approach is applied within organizations! Employees feel more appreciated and valued for their input. Engagement increases. And employers signal a commitment to employee development and growth. It’s a win-win. Companies gain a more engaged, productive workforce, and in turn, employees are challenged and become more competent.

This is why I look forward to many more wonderful years for #TChat and TalentCulture — an open, ongoing learning environment that is helping us all shape the world of work for the better!

#TChat Week-In-Review: Online Communities and Professional Growth

Kevin Grossman Tim McDonald TChat (2)

Watch the #TChat hangout now

SAT 11/16:

#TChat Preview:
TalentCulture Editorial Director, Kathleen Kruse framed this week’s topic in a post that features a special 3rd Anniversary #TChat hangout video with co-founder, Kevin W. Grossman. Read the Preview: “We’re Turning Three! Let’s Celebrate Community.”

SUN 11/17:

Forbes.com Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro looked at 7 ways leaders can foster a high-octane social workplace culture. Read: “7 Characteristics of a Social Leader.”

MON 11/18 — THU 11/21

Related Posts:
Read: “What Drives Social Influence? Insights From Recruiting Circles” by Carter Hostelley
Read: “#TChat Road Trip: Going to the Next Level Together” by Meghan M. Biro
Read: “Community Heart + Soul: #TChat Favorites” by Kevin W. Grossman

WED 11/20:

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen to the #TChat Radio show now

#TChat Radio: Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman spoke with guest Ambrosia Humphrey , VP HR at HootSuite, about why and how organizations benefit by committing to social learning initiatives. Listen to the radio recording now!

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and team Hootsuite joined the entire TalentCulture community on the #TChat Twitter stream, as I moderated an open conversation that centered on 5 related questions. For highlights, see the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Insights: The Growth of Online Learning

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/from-the-virtual-wilds-the-growth-of-online-learni.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Ambrosia Humphrey for sharing your perspectives on social learning and organizational culture. We value your time, enthusiasm and expertise!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about social learning in the workplace? 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, #TChat Events go quiet, as we celebrate the Thanksgiving week in the U.S. However, we’ll be back on December 4th, with a special double-header, featuring two of our community’s most beloved HR experts, Dave Ryan and Donna Rogers! Look for more details next weekend.

Meanwhile, the World of Work conversation continues. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream,  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

Community Heart + Soul: #TChat Favorites

When loss blots out all other light, that’s when the stars around you shine the brightest.

It’s counterintuitive, I know. The times when life is bleakest, what you’ve sown is reaped in the form of torches guiding you through the blackest labyrinth.

This time last year was tough for me, having lost my father in July and then my mother in December. Both were very ill, and it took quite a toll on me, my family, and my world of work. This included my usually dedicated participation in the TalentCulture community and #TChat Events.

There’s a kindhearted warming that can occur in times of desperation and need — like coming in from a freezing rain to thaw in front of a fire, surrounded by supportive family and friends. This reciprocal positive power moves us into lighted places, into rebirth, into healing, into growth, into bettering ourselves so we can better others, in turn. The economics are simple and powerful. Yet, they require transparency, authenticity, trust and love — essential elements that cynics squash like bugs underfoot.

Healing Power: Community To The Rescue

Thank goodness for the light (as we watch the bugs scurry into hiding – or their metamorphosis into believers). This uplifting energy is the heart of community — and the heart of community is you.

We see community spirit at work time and again, when help mobilizes after global disasters, disease, war, and injustice — or simply when we grant a child one magical wish. (Here’s to all Batkids in the world!) It’s okay to get good news once and a while, you know?

TChat_logo_colorAfter this rally from my greater Northern California community last weekend, I was uplifted. And coming on the eve of #TChat’s 3rd anniversary, it reminded me of the mutual support that comes from within our TalentCulture community — through bad times and good.

That’s one of the most powerful aspects of online communities like ours. They spring from the wild, virtual earth, in many different forms. They’re often vibrant and complex, even in their simplicity. Their roots are nurtured by the diverse individuals who come to learn, network, share and support one another around relevant topics, both personal and professional.

That’s what #TChat has become since its founding. The proof is evident after 150 Twitter chats, and 50 radio shows in the past year alone.

The first #TChat occurred on November 16, 2010, and the topic was emotional intelligence, which seems appropriate, since most of the time we try to be self-aware and manage our emotions — whether we agree with one another or not. Trust and mutual positive regard are just as important in our community interactions as they are in the larger world of work.

Best of #TChat

Since then, my favorite #TChat events include all of them. Although it’s tough to choose, I’ll list just 15 here that stand out:

  1. Moving, Schooling, and Finding Your Voice
  2. Community Beginning the Social Revolution
  3. Performance Reviews: Like Bad High School Movies
  4. IRL Networking Is Face-to-Face, not F2F
  5. Freelancers Make Better Business Biscuits
  6. Hobbits, Jedis, Fealty and the World of Work
  7. Getting Workplace Recognition Right
  8. Real Brands Humanize
  9. The Business of Talent: Magic?
  10. Office Space: Work in Progress
  11. Open Leadership: Going Deep
  12. HR Data: What Really Counts?
  13. 101 Ways To Save The Day With A Paperclip
  14. Engagement As Energy: #TChat Lessons From #HRTechConf
  15. Mobile Hiring Hits The Fast Lane

I’m so excited that #TChat continues to break new ground as one of the largest and longest-running online learning and networking communities in the “world of work.” A very special thanks to the thousands of loyal participants who have participated during the past three years.

And a very special thank you to those who keep the weekly wheels of #TChat turning each week:

New To #TChat? We’re Just Getting Started

If you’ve only just discovered #TChat, welcome!

The TalentCulture (#TChat) Community is an open online network of business leaders and innovators, human resource and recruiting executives, organizational development and learning professionals, HR technology vendors, industry consultants, job seekers and more who collectively create, curate, crowd source and share timely “world of work” news and information critical for all professionals to grow and succeed in business today.

And that means you and you and you and you…

What’s your role in the TalentCulture Community? Just as it’s always been since the beginning:

Sharing your real world expertise and candid perspectives.
Actively participating with others in expanding the depth and breadth of your reach.
Contributing as much as you benefit.

The conversation starts…wait for it…here!

This is an exciting milestone for #TChat — and we have all of YOU across our wonderful community to thank. So thank you again. We look forward to moving forward with you all!

Image Credit: Pixabay

#TChat Road Trip: Going To The Next Level Together

There are many possible paths through life and career. Every so often, we’re presented with a decision: Take one path (maybe it’s a new job with an existing employer), or choose another route (maybe it’s an uncharted role at a new company with no clear business model or understanding where it is headed).

More than three years ago, I chose the second path — launching a talent-focused management consulting practice, creating #TChat as a TalentCulture community beacon, and embarking on a life at the crossroads of social media, knowledge sharing and collaboration. And what an incredibly interesting and rewarding journey it has been!

There have been too many high points to mention — the exhilaration of weekly Twitter chats; the roller-coaster dynamics involved with growing a professional online community; the great times Kevin W. Grossman and I have had connecting with many of you at live events — SHRM, HR Demo, Recruiting Trends, HRO Today, HR Tech, HR Evolution and so many others. It’s fun to push the technical limits with experimental “simulcast” chat/radio shows, and other new ways that connect our global community with the best minds and forums in the HR and social media realm.

Along the way, we’ve had the opportunity to meet hundreds of HR practitioners, business leaders and social influencers, both via #TChat and in person. I became a blogger – contributing to many niche blogging communities with whom I’ve been fortunate to forge strong social partnerships. These three years have opened my eyes and heart to new ideas and friendships that have enriched me more than I could have imagined.

Throughout this TalentCulture adventure, I’ve been guided by a vision of community, leadership, learning and innovation in HR. It’s the same today as it was the very first day — everyone is invited and everyone’s unique voice matters. Together, we’re exploring innovative topics – emotional intelligence; collaboration; evolving social and HR technology; the multi-generational workplace and the natural tensions that exist among Boomers, Gen X and Millennials; as well as the role that trust, influence and intent play in today’s most innovative organizations.

We had the courage to take this winding road, to live this social experiment, and we did it without a safety net of financial support. Like many bootstrapped ventures, we lived an online experiment, while sometimes risking our own security during past three years. We became, and are, the #1 and longest running Twitter Chat focused on “The World of Work” in the HR, Leadership, Innovation and Social Business niche. And I am proud of the way we navigated to that destination. This “organic” effort was the right approach. It gave us the freedom to stretch our limits, and really listen to our inner voices — even when others cautioned us that this endeavor was a huge time sink.

I’ve learned a lot during these past three years:

1) Patience.  It takes time to create a community that’s designed to be a metaphor for the social workplace. It takes take time to connect, share, and earn trust. Initiative is imperative — but when relationships are on the line, patience can be even more important.

2) Courage. We didn’t chase after easy money. We stayed with a bootstrapped, organic growth model — and it gave us the freedom to find our true voices and passion. We believed that the community would guide us, even when the road wasn’t clear. And the community has risen to the challenge.

3) Perseverance. It isn’t easy to work 10-20 hours a week or more without compensation. But we stuck to it. We kept showing up. That commitment has made it possible for us to arrive at this third anniversary of #TChat.

4) Engagement Through Trust. Since Day 1, everything we’ve done has focused on engaging with a larger community of HR practitioners, workplace visionaries and leaders. This is a big open tent, filled with people from a vast spectrum of expertise and interests. That’s what makes it such a vibrant, interesting place to be! What makes it possible? Mutual trust. It’s our foundation — and it’s the thing I value most. Above all, we are a community of trust.

5) Learning And Moving On. Through the years, I’ve discovered that growth means leaving some ideas behind. From time-to-time, we need to mix things up, as we continue our mission of serving this eclectic community of practitioners, partners and constant learners.

Change is in the air again, as we look ahead and consider new ways to serve our community’s mission.

This week, which marks #TChat’s third anniversary, presents us with another set of paths. We can continue the community as is, without funding. Or we can embrace a new model that involves careful monetization to fuel additional growth. The second path will give us the financial support we need to add new capabilities for better communication and interaction, integrate new channels for commentary and thought leadership, and create new opportunities to engage with and influence a broader “world of work” for the benefit of all. I’m excited by the challenges these choices present, and I’m eager to move TalentCulture to another level in its growth. But most of all, I’m humbled to lead such an extraordinary community at a time when the very nature of work, itself, is being reinvented.

For three years, we’ve been engaged in an experiment to understand how social innovation can transform work culture, evolve leadership practices, develop trust, and inspire continuous learning. Now, we’re ready to take our first steps toward the next horizon. We hope you’ll join us on that journey. The road ahead may not be entirely clear, but the path is wide, and there’s room for all.

The adventure continues!

Image Credit: Pixabay

What Drives Social Influence? Insights From Recruiting Circles

Written by Carter J. Hostelley, CEO, Leadtail

Marketers change jobs a lot. So every few months I hear from someone who’s job hunting again. Typically, we get together to grab coffee and chat about their situation. And at some point, they ask, “Hey, are there any recruiters you’d recommend I talk to?”

Now, imagine you’re an executive recruiter sitting nearby and listening in. Wouldn’t you like to pull up a chair and join our conversation? Sure you would. And maybe you’d also wonder how to influence me, so that I recommended you.

Social Listening Isn’t Enough

These days, you don’t need to hang out at coffee shops to listen in. You can just tap into your favorite social media news feed to discover what’s being discussed and shared at any moment. But pretty quickly you’ll get overwhelmed. Why? Because you don’t know which conversations to join, whom to engage, and how to influence them.

Without context, social listening isn’t helpful. To make social media more relevant and actionable, you need to tune-out ambient noise. In other words, you need to move from social listening to social insights.

Case In Point: How Do Recruiters Engage on Twitter?

Let’s say you’re an executive recruiter who wants to know what other recruiters are up to on social media. Or maybe you work for a company that sells to recruiters. In either case, you’re looking for social insights about recruiting professionals.

That’s exactly what ERE.net asked my company to do recently. So we developed a report: How Recruiters Engage on Twitter. It summarizes how 557 North American recruiters participated, engaged, and were influenced on Twitter, from June-August 2013. During that time, our sample of  recruiters generated 173,903 tweets, 106,343 shared links, and had a total of 1,533,429 followers.

Why look at Twitter activity? Because it’s a good proxy for social media behavior overall, and offers an advantage over other data sources (such as surveys, polls and focus groups), because it reveals what people actually do, versus what they say they do.

Leadtail Chart Social Influence (2)For example, here’s a visual representation of the people who are most retweeted by recruiters we analyzed:

This report also provides other useful social insights, including: most popular hashtags, most shared content sources, and the top 25 industry publications shared by these recruiters.

Best Practices of Top Influencers

Exclusively for this post, we dove even deeper into Twitter activity among the five people who influence recruiters most. They are:

@MeghanMBiro — Meghan Biro, Founder & CEO, TalentCulture
@blogging4jobs — Jessica Merrell, Editor of Blogging4Jobs
@jimstroud — Jim Stroud, Director of Sourcing and Social Strategy, Bernard Hodes Group
@YouTernMark — Mark Babbitt, Founder & CEO, YouTern
@GlenCathey — Glen Cathey, SVP Talent Strategy and Innovation, Kforce

What did we discover by examining the behavior of this elite group?

•  Influencers tweet a LOT. 4 out of 5 of these top influencers tweet 15+ times a day. (Meghan blows them all away, with an average 107 tweets/day!)

•  Influencers develop a “brand” of their own. Each top influencer has a style and focus that’s unique. For instance, @JimStroud focuses on social recruiting and job search strategy, while @GlenCathey’s approach is decidedly more tech-and-data driven.

•  Influencers don’t lean on retweets. All 5 of the top influencers go light on the RT, keeping them to less than 15% of overall tweet volume. Instead, they share lots of links and often mention other folks.

•  Influencers embrace the community. 3 out of 5 of these influencers will most likely follow you back (they follow 70%+ of those who follow them), and 4 out of 5 include an “@” mention in most of their tweets.

•  Influencers tweet with a goal in mind. Whether it’s to get the word out about their next event, to sell their services, or to grow their audience, these folks tweet links that drive traffic to their other online channels (websites, other social media sites, etc.) 10%-50% of the time.

While these “best practices” come from observing the Twitter activity of only 5 key influencers, they also provide insights into how you may want to consider approaching Twitter and social media to boost your influence.

Tips To Increase Your Social Influence

How can you move from social listening to social insights (and perhaps have an impact on the right people)? Here are 5 tips:

•  Listen to your target audience. Who cares what anyone and everyone is saying? Instead, listen to what’s on the minds of customers, prospects, and key influencers.
•  Be where the right conversations are happening. So many social networks, so little time! Invest your efforts in the social platforms where your target audience is active.
•  Talk about relevant topics. What issues, news, and events have captured the attention of the folks you’re looking to engage? Shouldn’t you be talking about that, too?
•  Discover who’s doing the influencing. Which publications and people do your buyers read, share and interact with? Pay attention to who is popular and influential, and how they engage.
•  Work the aisles. Just being present in social media is not enough. You must cultivate relationships with a community that you develop over time. Eventually, you’ll be in a position to influence those who matter most to you.

Now, imagine we’re back in that coffee shop, where you’re listening to my conversation with my marketing colleague. Let’s say you decide to introduce yourself. Wouldn’t it be great if I said, “Thanks for coming over, I actually follow you on Twitter! I love your comments and the content you share.”? That means you’ve done a great job of influencing me, before our conversation even begins!

Now It’s Your Turn

How are you generating social insights today? What strategies have you found successful in becoming more influential on social media? Share your thoughts in the comments area.

Carter Hostelley (2)(About the Author: Carter Hostelley is the Founder and CEO of Leadtail, a B2B social media and insights agency. He and his team have developed and implemented social media programs for leading business brands and technology startups including WageWorks, Alcatel-Lucent, Symantec, Adaptive Planning, NetBase, and PunchTab. They also publish periodic social insights reports on senior marketers, HR professionals, and recruiters. These reports have been covered by publications such as: Forbes, Business Insider, Huffington Post, ERE, MarketingProfs, AllTwitter, and Social Times. Carter also has over 15 years experience working with venture-backed technology startups in numerous executive roles, and is a contributing author at CMSWire. Connect with him on LinkedIn, Twitter or via email.)

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

We’re Turning Three! Let’s Celebrate Community #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Looking for complete highlights and reference links for the week’s #TChat Events? Read the #TChat Recap: Going Social: Learning In Action.)

What does #TChat mean to you?

To me, it’s so much more than metrics. But the numbers do tell a story of their own…

#TChat By The Numbers

3 years
100+ radio shows and hangout video interviews
150+ high-intensity Twitter chats
550+ blog posts
1 simple goal

Those of us who plan and produce #TChat social learning forums hope that TalentCulture community events educate, energize and enrich everyone who participates. We’re grateful for your involvement — which educates, energizes and enriches us all, in return.

This metaphor for the social workplace isn’t just a random fluke of Twitter nature. It’s an intentional human exchange that continuously flows and shifts in ways that are now bigger than the sum of its parts. Still, each of us is an essential element — with a unique voice that adds depth and texture to the fabric of our talent-minded “tribe.”

#TChat Turns Three: Learning Through Community

So, during this 3rd Anniversary #TChat week, let your voice be heard. Let’s gather on social channels to celebrate the individual, mutual and collective growth that every community of purpose strives to achieve.

Ambrosia Humphrey Hootsuite

This week’s #TChat guest, Ambrosia Humphrey

Who better to help us celebrate the value of digital learning communities and collaboration than a valued friend of #TChat, who is also an expert at social media strategies in the world of work?

Our guest this week is Ambrosia Humphrey, VP of Talent at HootSuite! Team Hootsuite will be celebrating along with us as well. Social engagement in action.

As a special treat for this week’s “sneak peek” video, we asked our own Community Manager, Tim McDonald, to compare notes with Kevin W. Grossman about the meaning and value of #TChat. The resulting video is a delightful journey into the minds and hearts of two men who are walking examples of community spirit! Watch the hangout now:

Share Your #TChat Story! The Conversation Starts Here

Tim and Kevin aren’t the only ones who are talking about TalentCulture’s role in their professional and personal lives. We’re gathering a collection of quotes and videos from all over the community landscape, and sharing that feedback on #TChat Twitter and other social channels this week.

We’re also launching a special “Buzz!” page right here at TalentCulture.com, to highlight community comments now and in the future. We invite you to share your thoughts — in whatever form you wish.

So, please join this week’s conversation about the power of social learning communities, and tell us what this particular community means to you. The #TChat channel is always “on” and everyone is welcome to participate in whatever way is most beneficial for you. Don’t be shy!

#TChat Events: Online Communities And Professional Growth

#TChat Radio — Wed, Nov 20 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Ambrosia Humphrey about the evolution of social communities in the world of work — and the road ahead. Tune-in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Nov 20 7pmET / 4pmPT

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

Q1: What are the key ingredients for online learning communities? Why?
Q2: Why do you participate in Twitter chats like #TChat?
Q3: How can organizations capture learning community magic internally?
Q4: What’s the future of Twitter chats in building communities?
Q5: What topics would you like #TChat to explore in 2014?

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!

We're Turning Three! Let's Celebrate Community #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Looking for complete highlights and reference links for the week’s #TChat Events? Read the #TChat Recap: Going Social: Learning In Action.)

What does #TChat mean to you?

To me, it’s so much more than metrics. But the numbers do tell a story of their own…

#TChat By The Numbers

3 years
100+ radio shows and hangout video interviews
150+ high-intensity Twitter chats
550+ blog posts
1 simple goal

Those of us who plan and produce #TChat social learning forums hope that TalentCulture community events educate, energize and enrich everyone who participates. We’re grateful for your involvement — which educates, energizes and enriches us all, in return.

This metaphor for the social workplace isn’t just a random fluke of Twitter nature. It’s an intentional human exchange that continuously flows and shifts in ways that are now bigger than the sum of its parts. Still, each of us is an essential element — with a unique voice that adds depth and texture to the fabric of our talent-minded “tribe.”

#TChat Turns Three: Learning Through Community

So, during this 3rd Anniversary #TChat week, let your voice be heard. Let’s gather on social channels to celebrate the individual, mutual and collective growth that every community of purpose strives to achieve.

Ambrosia Humphrey Hootsuite

This week’s #TChat guest, Ambrosia Humphrey

Who better to help us celebrate the value of digital learning communities and collaboration than a valued friend of #TChat, who is also an expert at social media strategies in the world of work?

Our guest this week is Ambrosia Humphrey, VP of Talent at HootSuite! Team Hootsuite will be celebrating along with us as well. Social engagement in action.

As a special treat for this week’s “sneak peek” video, we asked our own Community Manager, Tim McDonald, to compare notes with Kevin W. Grossman about the meaning and value of #TChat. The resulting video is a delightful journey into the minds and hearts of two men who are walking examples of community spirit! Watch the hangout now:

Share Your #TChat Story! The Conversation Starts Here

Tim and Kevin aren’t the only ones who are talking about TalentCulture’s role in their professional and personal lives. We’re gathering a collection of quotes and videos from all over the community landscape, and sharing that feedback on #TChat Twitter and other social channels this week.

We’re also launching a special “Buzz!” page right here at TalentCulture.com, to highlight community comments now and in the future. We invite you to share your thoughts — in whatever form you wish.

So, please join this week’s conversation about the power of social learning communities, and tell us what this particular community means to you. The #TChat channel is always “on” and everyone is welcome to participate in whatever way is most beneficial for you. Don’t be shy!

#TChat Events: Online Communities And Professional Growth

#TChat Radio — Wed, Nov 20 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Ambrosia Humphrey about the evolution of social communities in the world of work — and the road ahead. Tune-in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Nov 20 7pmET / 4pmPT

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

Q1: What are the key ingredients for online learning communities? Why?
Q2: Why do you participate in Twitter chats like #TChat?
Q3: How can organizations capture learning community magic internally?
Q4: What’s the future of Twitter chats in building communities?
Q5: What topics would you like #TChat to explore in 2014?

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!

Hiring: Moving Forward With Mobile? #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Looking for a full recap of the week’s highlights and resources? Read the #TChat Recap: “Mobile Hiring Hits The Fast Lane.”)

Several weeks ago at #TChat Events, our community discussed the rapid rise in demand for mobile recruiting.

The statistics are mind-boggling. Already, it’s estimated that 1 billion job-related searches are initiated each month from mobile devices. That kind of volume means organizations everywhere are racing to make their candidate experience more mobile friendly.

Mobile Recruiting Leaps Forward: Can Hiring Keep Pace?

These explosive mobile adoption figures lead us to wonder — what happens after the recruitment phase?

Are HR organizations committed to mobile-friendly hiring processes — from the offer letter to onboarding — and beyond? What will it take to connect the mobile workforce dots across the entire employee lifecycle? And how can we get there from here? That’s what we’ll explore this week at #TChat Events, with two talent acquisition experts:

Kyle Lagunas, Talent Acquisition Industry Analyst at Brandon Hall Group and
Todd Owens, President and COO at TalentWise, a next-generation hiring platform provider.

Todd took several minutes to help frame this week’s issues in a “sneak peek” hangout with me:

This is an important issue for talent-minded professionals everywhere. So we hope you’ll join the conversation this week. We look forward to hearing your ideas and opinions!

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

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Tune-in to #TChat Radio

#TChat Radio — Wed, Nov 13 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Todd Owens and Kyle Lagunas about how mobile hiring processes extend the candidate experience and improve HR effectiveness. Tune-in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Nov 13 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: What exactly is mobile hiring, and how it is being applied today?
Q2: What are the advantages of hiring anywhere, anytime?
Q3: How can mobile hiring showcase an organization’s corporate culture?
Q4: How can companies get all generations to adopt mobile recruiting/hiring?
Q5: Is mobile hiring a revolution, while mobile onboarding is an evolution?

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!

The Rise of Influence in Social Business #TChat Preview

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

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

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

More importantly, how would you develop that list?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#TChat Events: Social Influence as a Competitive Advantage

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

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

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

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

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

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

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

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?

TChatRadio_logo_020813

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

Should Work Be Fun? Really? #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Looking for a complete recap of this week’s events and resources? Read the #TChat Recap: Fun Times! Work, Games and Culture.)

Work and fun — do they fit together? Or should we save good times for vacation and weekends?

Traditionalists might say that work is serious business. However, one of the most creative and productive minds of the Industrial Age seemed to think otherwise:

“I never did a day’s work in my life; it was all fun.”
-Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison

Learn more about Thomas Edison

It’s impossible not to admire Edison’s enthusiasm. But these days, with global employee engagement stubbornly stuck at 30% or less, companies everywhere are looking for ways to inject more of that spirit into their organizational cultures.

That’s why the principles of gaming are gaining appeal as a way to improve workforce commitment, development and performance.

But how can we create environments where work is naturally more engaging and enjoyable, without losing sight of business objectives?

That’s the topic we’ll explore this week at #TChat Events, with two innovators in workplace culture development:

•  Dan Benoni, Co-Founder & Product Director at Officevibe, a social employee engagement platform
•  Mario Coculuzzi, Eastern Canada Regional Director at Microsoft.

Dan and I spoke briefly in a G+ Hangout, where he suggested that successful approaches don’t focus on the work, itself, but instead focus on three essential human factors:

Also to help us prepare for the discussion, TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, wrote a related article at Forbes.com. Read “5 Fresh Trends to Fuse Fun and Work.”

This topic promises to be great fun — and helpful, too. So please plan to join us this week to share your ideas and opinions about why and how game-oriented tools and techniques make sense in the world of work.

#TChat Events: Should Work Be Fun, Really?

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen to the #TChat Radio show

#TChat Radio — Wed, Oct 23 — 6:30 pmET / 3:30 pmPT

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Dan Benoni and Mario Coculuzzi about why and how “fun” can be an effective way to improve employee energy, drive and focus. Follow the action LIVE online this Tuesday afternoon!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Oct 23 7pmET / 4pmPT

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

Q1: How often do you see healthy company cultures? Examples?
Q2: Why is engagement key to creating/maintaining a vibrant culture?
Q3: Can “fun” team challenges and other activities really help?
Q4: How can leaders improve employee well-being and retention?
Q5: How can HR drive adoption of recognition and engagement platforms?

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!

Engagement As Energy: #TChat Lessons From #HRTechConf

“Employee engagement?”

She furrowed her brow and challenged our use of the term. And that’s when things got interesting.

Or maybe that’s when things got accurate. Historically accurate. Holistically accurate. Painfully accurate.

Meghan and Kevin LasVegas HRTechConf 2013 (2)“Why are we using that word? When employees meet each other in the hallway, do they ask each other ‘Are you engaged today?'”

All of us on the panel shook our heads and smiled. She continued, “No, they don’t. What we’re really talking about is improving individual and organizational energy, drive and focus.”

We all nodded.

The “she” in this story is Marcia Conner, collaborative learning thought leader, author and Principal of the SensifyGroup. She was one of five panelists at a very special “live”  #TChat roundtable in a jam-packed Peoplefluent booth at this year’s HR Technology Conference & Exposition in Las Vegas. (And by the way, thank you, Peoplefluent for hosting the event!) Others on this stellar panel included:

Employee Engagement: Why Should We Care?

TalentCulture at HRTechConfMy TalentCulture co-founder Meghan M. Biro and I gathered this panel of smart HR executives and industry influencers to look closer at employee engagement employee energy, drive and focus, which has become the holy grail of HR and business leaders, through every aspect of the talent lifecycle — from recruiting and onboarding, to continuous development and performance management.

Again we ask the question: Why? And why so much fuss over something so seemingly out of HR’s control? We’ve seen the dismal research results for years. We keep sharing industry jargon surrounding this issue. And yet most initiatives designed to improve the status quo haven’t moved the needle much, if at all.

Engagement — energy — whatever you choose to call it — is a problem that isn’t going away anytime soon. Nor is it likely to be resolved without continued awareness and dedicated effort. But there’s a lot at stake for those who crack the code, and that’s why the smartest employers remain focused on finding solutions.

So we shouldn’t be surprised that employee engagement is a top priority for all three of the practitioners on our panel. They recognize that emotionally connected individuals simply perform better, day to day. In turn, this increases productivity, improves performance, reduces attrition and boosts overall business results.

Employee Engagement: What Matters Most?

But clearly the best answers won’t come from a one-size-fits-all approach. We know that more emotionally committed employees invest more discretionary effort at work — and some individuals are more committed than others. It’s always been that way. A myriad of variables determine commitment. But if employers pay attention to the most important factors, perhaps commitment (and by association, energy, drive and focus) will improve. That’s the goal.

Meghanandfriend (2)All three of the practitioners on the panel shared examples of how they’re addressing key factors to influence engagement levels across their organizations. The initiatives range from community building, to culture immersion (at Buffalo Wild Wings, one restaurant at a time), to coaching and mentoring, to performance-specific rewards and recognition, to highly configurable collaborative communication platforms.

None of these ideas were lost on the TalentCulture community, as the #TChat Twitter stream lit up with questions and comments throughout the live discussion. It was truly an engaging meeting of the minds.

And that’s when Meghan and I suggested we focus all of that energy and drive into one grand, collective #TChat hug. A figurative hug of course — but a group hug nonetheless. C’mon, bring it in…

 

 

Virgin Pulse + TalentCulture Team Up To Champion Workforce Engagement

Changing The Engagement Game Together

Nearly four years ago, we launched TalentCulture on a simple premise — that talent-minded professionals can transform the “world of work” through purposeful social connections. Our vibrant community continues to grow and evolve, fueled by three core values:

•  Desire to advance the “human side” of business;
•  Passion for innovation;
•  Commitment to open collaboration.

In this spirit we welcome Virgin Pulse to the TalentCulture circle — where we’ll work hand-in-hand to help develop better business organizations from the inside out.

Virgin Pulse — Not Your Father’s Wellness Program

Virgin-Pulse

Learn more about Virgin Pulse

Part of Sir Richard Branson’s famed Virgin Group, Virgin Pulse (formerly Virgin HealthMiles) is the leading workplace health engagement platform. Every day, its “Total Quality of Life” approach empowers more than 1,000,000 participants to improve their health in ways that are meaningful, fun and sustainable. This elevates employee performance and retention, while simultaneously building stronger, more resilient organizations.

The Virgin Pulse philosophy fits naturally with TalentCulture’s emphasis on “seeing employees in 3D.” Together, we aim to advance the concept of “bringing your whole self to work.”

Everybody Plays — Everybody Wins!

What does this alliance mean for you? In the months ahead, look for TalentCulture and Virgin Pulse to:

•  Examine core engagement issues facing today’s business and HR leaders;
•  Investigate the connection between healthy employees and business performance;
•  Exchange benchmarks and insights from our respective communities;
•  Share thought leadership that is shaping engagement standards and practices.

Today’s organizational challenges are highly complex. There are no easy answers, but diverse ideas can lead to innovative solutions. That’s why we welcome everyone to the TalentCulture table — including HR technology and services vendors. We believe that this inclusive environment encourages effective problem solving, and accelerates everyone’s path to progress.

Our relationship with Virgin Pulse promises to add an exciting new level of depth and energy to the TalentCulture conversation. We invite you to join us each day on our combined social channels, as we explore workplace issues that affect us all.

(Editor’s Note:  Save the date for a very special #TChat double-header (BlogTalk Radio interview and Twitter chat) with Virgin Pulse CEO, Chris Boyce on Wednesday, October 23!)

Image Credit: by Mike Baird on Flickr

It's All Good: Employees Are People Too #TChat Recap

“Positive anything is better than negative nothing.”
–Elbert Hubbard

This week, the TalentCulture community pushed some buttons — as well as some boundaries — by exploring a topic that is seldom addressed openly in the world of work.

In some ways, we all struggle personally. And some of us struggle more than others. But what does that mean for our professional abilities? And why don’t organizations work more proactively to leverage the strength that can flow from our human weakness?

Celebrating The Fully Human Side Of Business

Knowing how tricky it is to navigate these mostly uncharted waters, we asked two of the HR community’s most respected thought leaders to guide us through this week’s #TChat events:

John Sumser, editor-in-chief of HR Examiner.
William Tincup, CEO of HR consultancy, Tincup & Co.

John challenged us with a compelling premise:

“All of the stuff that traditional organizations consider taboo — what if you bring it into the workplace, and figure out how to turn it into creative assets?”

William offered a business case that supports John’s premise. He noted that the process of talent acquisition is designed to eliminate outliers, in favor of a more homogenous workforce. This may make onboarding and talent management easier — but at what cost? If everyone feels obliged to conform for the sake of getting and keeping a job, are we sacrificing the diversity needed to drive world-class innovation?

Obviously, there are no simple answers — but these ideas certainly were conversation starters! After the radio show, the #TChat Twitter stream was blazing with ideas about workplace transparency, professional authenticity, and how to bring our whole selves to work.

(Editor’s Note: For highlights from this week’s discussions, see the resource links and Storify slideshow at the end of this post.)

Starting Small: Accentuate The Positive?

I realize that this week has been devoted to issues that are often repressed or rejected because they’re perceived as “negative.” But does positivity have a place in this discussion? How can leaders introduce constructive changes to create a more supportive culture for everyone? What would you do?

Alexa Thompson, a writer interested in workplace transformation, suggests these 5 ways to apply “positive psychology” principles. The goal isn’t to roll out sweeping corporate initiatives, but to initiate incremental enhancements, tailored to your particular environment. It’s about making small, simple, consistent improvements that build over time. Imagine the sort of progress we might see in personal fulfillment — as well as business innovation — if most organizations lived by these standards:

1) Practice Thankfulness the Smart Way  Employees may be motivated by many different things, but all crave recognition and praise.

2) Introduce Exercise for Fewer Sick Days and a Healthier State of Mind  Physical activity has long been known as a stress-reducer, and companies who include fitness and exercise as a part of their corporate perks generally register higher when it comes to work/life balance satisfaction.

3) Embrace Creativity  When employees are allowed and encouraged to share their thoughts, business processes can become better streamlined, new products can emerge, and communication can improve.

4) Make Use of Mentoring  Workers who feel like their company invests in their development and cares about their progress usually are more productive. They’re also more likely to remain than those who feel like just another cog in the wheel. A small effort to build knowledge-sharing connections can go a long way.

5) Engage a Happiness Trainer  Happiness trainers draw on psychological research and ancient traditions to teach inner peace, gratitude, kindness and resiliency in the face of adversity — of which there is plenty in today’s workplace.

Has your company tried any of these suggestions? What might work best in your environment, and why? For more ideas from this week’s #TChat interactions, see the resource links and Storify highlights below. This is clearly a topic we’ve only begun to explore, so let’s keep the conversation going. Share your ideas in the comments below, or post in the #TChat stream. In our world of work, everyone is welcome, all the time!

#TChat Week-In-Review: Daylight In The Dark Side Of Talent

SUN 9/29:

JohnSumser

Watch the preview hangout with John Sumser

#TChat Preview: TalentCulture Community Manager Tim McDonald framed the topic in a post and a brief video interview with guest, John Sumser. Read the #TChat Preview: “Finding Daylight In The Dark Side Of Talent.”

MON 9/30:

Forbes.com Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro outlined 5 issues for business leaders should be more open and authentic to achieve better business performance. Read: “5 Ways To Keep It Real At Work.”

WED 10/2:

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen now to the #TChat Radio Show

#TChat Radio: Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman sat down with John Sumser and William Tincup for an unstructured discussion about norms and biases that keep organizations from making the most of employees who are struggling personally. Listen to the radio recording now

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, hundreds of community members gathered around the #TChat Twitter stream for an open-ended conversation about these issues. As you can imagine, the topic sparked a broad range of opinions, questions and ideas. For highlights from the event, see the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Highlights: Engaging The Dark Side Of Workplace Effectiveness

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/tchat-insights-engaging-the-dark-side-of-workplac.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to William Tincup and John Sumser for shining a #TChat light on this topic. We look forward to continuing to explore this topic in more depth along with you in the future!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about how to organizations can be more effective at accepting and empowering employees as “whole” humans? We’d love to hear 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 is a very special week for the HR community, and for #TChat Events, too! If you’re attending the HR Technology Conference in Las Vegas, join us for a LIVE #TChat Roundtable, as a panel of experts gathers to take on employee engagement!

And next Wednesday we won’t host a radio show — but we will be hitting the #TChat Twitter stream for a lively chat about Age Discrimination in Today’s Workplace, along with Steve Levy and Heather Bussing. Watch for details here in the coming days.

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

Image Credit: Pixabay

It’s All Good: Employees Are People Too #TChat Recap

“Positive anything is better than negative nothing.”
–Elbert Hubbard

This week, the TalentCulture community pushed some buttons — as well as some boundaries — by exploring a topic that is seldom addressed openly in the world of work.

In some ways, we all struggle personally. And some of us struggle more than others. But what does that mean for our professional abilities? And why don’t organizations work more proactively to leverage the strength that can flow from our human weakness?

Celebrating The Fully Human Side Of Business

Knowing how tricky it is to navigate these mostly uncharted waters, we asked two of the HR community’s most respected thought leaders to guide us through this week’s #TChat events:

John Sumser, editor-in-chief of HR Examiner.
William Tincup, CEO of HR consultancy, Tincup & Co.

John challenged us with a compelling premise:

“All of the stuff that traditional organizations consider taboo — what if you bring it into the workplace, and figure out how to turn it into creative assets?”

William offered a business case that supports John’s premise. He noted that the process of talent acquisition is designed to eliminate outliers, in favor of a more homogenous workforce. This may make onboarding and talent management easier — but at what cost? If everyone feels obliged to conform for the sake of getting and keeping a job, are we sacrificing the diversity needed to drive world-class innovation?

Obviously, there are no simple answers — but these ideas certainly were conversation starters! After the radio show, the #TChat Twitter stream was blazing with ideas about workplace transparency, professional authenticity, and how to bring our whole selves to work.

(Editor’s Note: For highlights from this week’s discussions, see the resource links and Storify slideshow at the end of this post.)

Starting Small: Accentuate The Positive?

I realize that this week has been devoted to issues that are often repressed or rejected because they’re perceived as “negative.” But does positivity have a place in this discussion? How can leaders introduce constructive changes to create a more supportive culture for everyone? What would you do?

Alexa Thompson, a writer interested in workplace transformation, suggests these 5 ways to apply “positive psychology” principles. The goal isn’t to roll out sweeping corporate initiatives, but to initiate incremental enhancements, tailored to your particular environment. It’s about making small, simple, consistent improvements that build over time. Imagine the sort of progress we might see in personal fulfillment — as well as business innovation — if most organizations lived by these standards:

1) Practice Thankfulness the Smart Way  Employees may be motivated by many different things, but all crave recognition and praise.

2) Introduce Exercise for Fewer Sick Days and a Healthier State of Mind  Physical activity has long been known as a stress-reducer, and companies who include fitness and exercise as a part of their corporate perks generally register higher when it comes to work/life balance satisfaction.

3) Embrace Creativity  When employees are allowed and encouraged to share their thoughts, business processes can become better streamlined, new products can emerge, and communication can improve.

4) Make Use of Mentoring  Workers who feel like their company invests in their development and cares about their progress usually are more productive. They’re also more likely to remain than those who feel like just another cog in the wheel. A small effort to build knowledge-sharing connections can go a long way.

5) Engage a Happiness Trainer  Happiness trainers draw on psychological research and ancient traditions to teach inner peace, gratitude, kindness and resiliency in the face of adversity — of which there is plenty in today’s workplace.

Has your company tried any of these suggestions? What might work best in your environment, and why? For more ideas from this week’s #TChat interactions, see the resource links and Storify highlights below. This is clearly a topic we’ve only begun to explore, so let’s keep the conversation going. Share your ideas in the comments below, or post in the #TChat stream. In our world of work, everyone is welcome, all the time!

#TChat Week-In-Review: Daylight In The Dark Side Of Talent

SUN 9/29:

JohnSumser

Watch the preview hangout with John Sumser

#TChat Preview: TalentCulture Community Manager Tim McDonald framed the topic in a post and a brief video interview with guest, John Sumser. Read the #TChat Preview: “Finding Daylight In The Dark Side Of Talent.”

MON 9/30:

Forbes.com Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro outlined 5 issues for business leaders should be more open and authentic to achieve better business performance. Read: “5 Ways To Keep It Real At Work.”

WED 10/2:

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen now to the #TChat Radio Show

#TChat Radio: Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman sat down with John Sumser and William Tincup for an unstructured discussion about norms and biases that keep organizations from making the most of employees who are struggling personally. Listen to the radio recording now

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, hundreds of community members gathered around the #TChat Twitter stream for an open-ended conversation about these issues. As you can imagine, the topic sparked a broad range of opinions, questions and ideas. For highlights from the event, see the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Highlights: Engaging The Dark Side Of Workplace Effectiveness

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/tchat-insights-engaging-the-dark-side-of-workplac.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to William Tincup and John Sumser for shining a #TChat light on this topic. We look forward to continuing to explore this topic in more depth along with you in the future!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about how to organizations can be more effective at accepting and empowering employees as “whole” humans? We’d love to hear 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 is a very special week for the HR community, and for #TChat Events, too! If you’re attending the HR Technology Conference in Las Vegas, join us for a LIVE #TChat Roundtable, as a panel of experts gathers to take on employee engagement!

And next Wednesday we won’t host a radio show — but we will be hitting the #TChat Twitter stream for a lively chat about Age Discrimination in Today’s Workplace, along with Steve Levy and Heather Bussing. Watch for details here in the coming days.

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

Image Credit: Pixabay

Experts On Engagement: #TChat Goes LIVE in Las Vegas!

(Editor’s Note: Looking for a recap of this live #TChat event? Read “Engagement as Energy: #TChat Lessons From #HRTechConf“.)

Employee engagement has become HR’s holy grail. Organizations are striving to strengthen engagement through every aspect of the talent lifecycle — from recruiting and onboarding, to continuous development and performance management. Why? HR leaders know that emotionally connected individuals simply perform better, day to day. In turn, this increases productivity, improves performance, reduces attrition and boosts overall business results.

Connecting The Engagement Dots

HR Technology Conference LogoWe’ve all heard Gallup’s bad news about the stagnant state of workforce engagement. But there’s good news on the horizon, too. CEOs and corporate boards are now taking aim and launching initiatives to turn these trends around. In fact, according to Conference Board research, CEOs say “increasing employee engagement” is their number one strategic priority for operational excellence.

So, How Do We Get “There” From “Here”?

In true #TChat style, we believe that better solutions come from the wisdom of the crowd. And what better place to share ideas than the HR Technology Conference?

HRTechMontage (2)That’s why TalentCulture co-founders Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman have gathered a panel of today’s smartest HR executives, analysts and industry influencers to look closer at factors that make engagement work. And we’re saving you a front-row seat!

You don’t want to miss this LIVE #TChat roundtable in Las Vegas! We’re even serving-up refreshments to keep the conversation flowing. So save the date, and join some of the best minds in business, HR and technology for a very special event:

Join The Conversation When #TChat Goes Live In Las Vegas!

WHEN: Monday, October 7th, 2:30-3:15pm PT (5:30-6:15pmET)
WHERE: Peoplefluent booth #1201 (And on the #TChat Twitter backchannel)

Meet Our LIVE #TChat Panel Of Experts

•  Steve Melamed, Senior Director, HR Organizational Effectiveness & Operations, Avaya

•  Mark Berry, VP, People Insights, ConAgra Foods

•  Tony Loyd, VP, Organization & Team Effectiveness, Buffalo Wild Wings

•  Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, Author & CEO of Xceptional HR

•  Marcia Conner, Collaborative Learning Thought Leader, Author. Principal, SensifyGroup

This a must-see event for anyone attending the HR Technology Conference and Exposition. So join us in booth #1201 for a lively and insightful conversation with some of the best talent-minded visionaries in business today!

Image Credit: Pixabay

Finding Daylight In The Dark Side Of Talent #TChat Preview

(Editorial Note: Are you looking for a full review of the week’s #TChat events and resources? Read the #TChat Recap: “It’s All Good: Employees Are People Too.”)

Positivity in the workplace. It may sound like a worthy goal, but what does it really mean for business? Is it a “secret sauce” that leads to employee engagement and effectiveness? Or is it overrated as a path to peak performance?

Humans At Work: Good, Bad And Ugly

No one is perpetually happy and upbeat. We all have a dark side — the never-ready-for-primetime part of our persona that doesn’t fit ideal workplace expectations. But when we’re less than 100%, how can we still bring our best selves to work? And if we’re not fully engaged, how long can we expect to sustain great results?

Imagine if the key to unleashing workforce potential started with celebrating each of us as we truly are — including characteristics that may be considered counterproductive. What if we felt free to express emotions like anger, fear, depression and grief in the workplace? Could that kind of authenticity lead to better performance?

Let’s Talk About Talent — The “Total Package”

This week at #TChat events, we’re talking about the consequences of “bringing your whole self to work” — for better or worse. Leading the way as our guests are two of the HR community’s best-known and admired commentators:

John Sumser, founder and editor-in-chief of HR Examiner. John is also an HR industry analyst who serves as principal at Two Color Hat.

William Tincup, CEO of HR consultancy, Tincup & Co. William is recognized as a leading thinker and advisor on HR technology adoption and social media use in HR.

I had a chance to sit down briefly with John, as he explained the importance and sensitivity surrounding this topic. Watch the G+ Hangout now, and I’m sure it will strike a chord, no matter what your role or history may be in the world of work:

This week’s #TChat promises to be an eye-opening discussion for talent-minded professionals everywhere. So please join us, and bring your ideas, questions, examples and concerns!

#TChat Events: Exploring The Dark Side of Workplace Effectiveness

#TChat Radio — Wed, Oct 2 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with William Tincup and John Sumser, about why and how to embrace employees as complete, unique personalities. Follow the action online, and dial-in LIVE with your feedback and questions!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Oct 2 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, we’ll move the discussion to the #TChat Twitter stream, where Dr. Nancy Rubin will lead an open chat with the entire TalentCulture community. Anyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these questions:

Q1: Why are positive workplaces so hard to maintain? Should we keep pushing?
Q2: How can we bring our “whole selves” to work, even if we don’t feel whole?
Q3: Can business leaders develop stronger organizations by letting go of control?
Q4: If culture is the software of business, where does transparency fit in?
Q5: What technologies help business transform emotional power into insight and results?

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: Stuart Pilbrow via Flickr

Game On! Playing To Business Strengths #TChat Recap

This week, the TalentCulture community took a fascinating look at gamification in the workplace. And in my opinion, everyone earned badges and gold stars, as we shared collective knowledge at #TChat events.

Our two expert guests are masters at explaining the connection between business gamification and big data. These smart senior executives brought key concepts to life with practical ideas and real-world examples:

Guy Halfteck, Founder and CEO of Knack, a company that integrates games into the hiring process to help companies define desired talent characteristics and improve recruiting outcomes.

Mark Howorth, COO at Panavision, who previously served as Partner and Sr. Director of Global Recruiting at Bain & Company. He has seen the power of gamification at work, as three of his #TChat Twitter comments revealed:

(Editor’s Note: For full highlights from the #TChat Twitter event, see the Storify slideshow at the end of this post)

Gamification: What’s In A Name?

“Gamification” is a controversial term, but the concept it simple. It’s about employing game theory and mechanics in business environments to drive problem solving, boost workforce and customer engagement, capture better organizational insights, accelerate responsiveness, improve learning and increase ROI. Last year, Gartner predicted that by 2015, more than 50% of organizations that manage innovation processes will integrate gamification.

Gartner identified four ways that gamification drives engagement:

• Accelerated feedback cycles. In the real world, feedback loops are slow (annual performance appraisals) with long periods between milestones. Gamification increases the velocity of feedback loops to maintain engagement.

• Clear goals and rules of play. In the real world, where goals are fuzzy and rules selectively applied, gamification provides clear goals and well-defined rules of play to ensure players feel empowered to achieve.

• A compelling narrative. While real-world activities are rarely compelling, gamification builds a narrative that engages players to participate.

• Tasks that are challenging but achievable. While there is no shortage of challenges in the real world, they tend to be large and long-term. Gamification provides many short-term, achievable goals to sustain engagement.

Gamification: What Makes It Tick?

Gamification is serious business. As Accenture explained in a detailed report early this year, companies are striving to understand what makes games so appealing (a shared sense of purpose, challenge and reward). They are decoding gaming mechanisms (personalization, rankings and leaderboards), and applying these mechanics in imaginative ways across business functions. Accenture identified seven essential elements:

Status: Because gamers are motivated by recognition of others in their social circles, game-based business solutions must make it possible to enhance players’ reputations.

Milestones: Levels are everything in gaming, and enabling participants to perceive progress through incremental accomplishments is vital to sustaining interest.

Competition: This is a major motivator that maintains engagement.

Rankings: Visually displaying progress and rankings help participants benchmark their performance to their own goals and others’ performance. Rankings tap into natural human competitiveness, and motivate participants to continue, so they can improve their position.

Social connectedness: Successful gamification initiatives create a strong sense of community.

Immersion reality: With visually rich graphics and animation, digital environments can help immerse participants in their virtual reality.

Personalization: The ability to customize promotes a sense of control and ownership.

In their book, “For The Win: How Gamification Can Transform Your Business,” Wharton professor and gamification expert, Kevin Werbach and New York Law School professor Dan Hunter, take a deep dive into gamification.

In this informative video, they explain how gamification helps people “find the fun in the things you have to do.” They make it easy to understand gamification, with examples of successful companies that are applying these techniques, and advice to help organizations avoid common pitfalls. We hope you find this, along with the collected resource links and #TChat Twitter highlights slideshow below a helpful resource for game-based initiatives in which you may be involved!

#TChat Week-In-Review: Games + Big Data + Talent Management = Trifecta!

SUN 9/15:

GuyHalfteck

Watch the Hangout now

#TChat Preview: TalentCulture Community Manager Tim McDonald framed the topic in a post that featured a brief G+ Hangout videos with Guy Halfteck. Read the Preview:
“Games and Data and Talent — Oh My!”

MON 9/16:

Forbes.com Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro outlined 5 compelling reasons for businesses to integrate gaming into workflows, learning and management processes. Read: “5 Ways Leaders Win At Gamification Technology.”

WED 9/18:

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen to the #TChat Radio show now

#TChat Radio: Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Guy Halfteck and Mark Howorth about how games are emerging as a highly effective, reliable way to select, recruit and retain employees. Listen to the radio show recording now!

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, I joined Guy, Mark, Meghan, Kevin on the #TChat Twitter stream for a dynamic and enlightening discussion with the entire TalentCulture community. For highlights from the conversation, check the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Highlights: Games People Play: Ultimate Way To Measure Talent?

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/tchat-insights-games-people-play-the-ultimate-way.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Guy Halfteck and Mark Howorth for adding your voices to this week’s discussion. Your insights and passion for the business benefits of gaming strategies have captivated us all.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about gamification? 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, we tackle another important “world of work” topic — Transparency vs. Privacy in the Workplace with HR/Employment lawyer, Mary E. Wright. So save the date (September 18) for another rockin #TChat double header. And keep an eye out for details in the next few days.

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 your thoughts are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Graeme Lawton via Flickr

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

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

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

1) It Matters For Our Mission

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

2) It Matters To Others In The World Of Work

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

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

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

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

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

3) We Hope It Matters To You

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

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

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

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

Image Credit: redagainPatti at flickr

 

Violence On The Job: It Pays To Prepare #TChat Recap

“Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.” ―Gen. George S. Patton

This week’s #TChat events coincided with the anniversary of a difficult date in U.S. history — September 11. As our nation considered lessons learned from terrorist events 12 years ago, our TalentCulture community came together to crowdsource ideas about a topic that is vital every day of the year: How to prevent workplace violence, and prepare for incidents that may occur.

Workplace Violence Stats

Learn more – read “Stopping Workplace Violence” at CFO Magazine

According to OSHA, workplace violence includes a range of behaviors that put workers at risk while on the job — from verbal threats and abuse to physical assault and even homicide. How prevalent are these harmful incidents? Some notable facts:

• Each year, more than 2 million Americans report that they have been victims of violence in the workplace. (See details from the U.S. Dept. of Labor.)

• A surprising proportion of incidents are fatal. As the adjacent image illustrates, nearly 20% of on-the-job fatalities are associated with workplace violence, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

• Workplace violence is estimated to cost employers a whopping $120 billion a year. And of course, the human toll is incalculable.

For these reasons alone, workplace violence is a growing concern that deserves serious attention.

Violence At Work: What To Do?

To lead this week’s conversation, we welcomed two experts:
• Tom Bronack, President of Data Center Assistance Group, specialists in enterprise resiliency.
Felix Nater, Founder of Nater Associates, a business security advisory firm.

On #TChat Radio, Tom explained that companies can achieve more effective compliance and recovery through a strategy of enterprise resiliency — combining all recovery operations and personnel in a single entity that speaks the same language and uses the same tool set. Why is this important? As Tom noted during the #TChat Twitter discussion:

Felix emphasized the need for proactive violence prevention programs in the workplace, explaining that preparation can decrease incidents by improving problem solving and conflict resolution. He also noted that broader awareness is worth the investment of time, energy and resources to identify threats and mitigate risks. During the Twitter chat, he suggested a handy mnemonic:

He also cautioned us that results come from solid planning, in concert with effective execution:

Tom and Felix inspired many participants to join the conversation last night. Thanks to everyone who contributed opinions and insights! Highlights are captured in the Storify slideshow below, along with resource links from the week. We invite you to review these ideas and share them with others. Who knows? You could be a catalyst to make your organization a safer place to work!

#TChat Week-In-Review: Violence Prevention In Today’s Workplace

SUN 9/8:

Nater and Bronack_KK2

See the preview post and videos

#TChat Preview: TalentCulture Community Manager Tim McDonald introduced the topic, in a post that featured brief “sneak peek” G+ Hangout videos with both of our guests. Read the Preview: “Workplace Violence: Myth and Reality.”

MON 9/9:

Forbes.com Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro outlined 5 ways that organizations can be proactive in maintaining a safe workplace culture. Read: “Is Your Workplace Prepared For Violence?”

WED 9/11:

TChatRadio_logo_020813#TChat Radio: As a prelude to our open Twitter chat, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman, talked with Felix Nater and Tom Bronack about best practices in workplace violence prevention and preparedness, while community members added their thoughts on the #TChat Twitter backchannel.

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, I joined Felix, Tom, Meghan, Kevin and our entire community on the #TChat Twitter stream for an open discussion focused on 5 key workplace violence questions. For highlights from the conversation, see the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Highlights: Workplace Violence & Preparedness

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/tchat-insights-workplace-violence-and-preparednes.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Felix Nater and Tom Bronack for joining us this week. Your insights are raising awareness and providing solutions that make the world of work a more secure, productive place for us all.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about workplace safety? 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, we tackle another timely topic in today’s workplace: Creative ways to leverage big data in recruiting top talent. This promises to be a really interesting peek into candidate profiling. So save the date (September 18) for another rockin #TChat double header. And keep an eye out for details in the next few days.

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 your thoughts are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Graeme Lawton via Flickr

Workplace Violence: Myth and Reality #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Are you looking for a full recap of this week’s #TChat events and resources? Read the #TChat Recap: “Violence On The Job: It Pays To Prepare”.)

9/11/2001. Who can forget that morning, 12 years ago, when the unimaginable unfolded before our eyes? Before that fateful day, few of us gave much thought to the impact of violence and disaster preparedness in the world of work.

But among the many lessons of the 9/11 attacks, we learned that no one should ignore the potential for workplace violence, in any form.

So this week as our nation remembers 9/11, the TalentCulture community is coming together at #TChat events to dispel costly myths and discuss vital realities about workplace violence and disaster preparation and prevention.

Making Sense of Risk Management

To lead this important conversation, we welcome two experts:
• Tom Bronack, President of Data Center Assistance Group, specialists in enterprise resiliency.
Felix Nater, Founder of Nater Associates, a business security advisory firm.

To kick-off the discussion, I spoke briefly with both Tom and Felix in separate Hangouts recently. Watch, and I’m sure you’ll agree that this topic deserves closer attention by all of us who focus on the human side of business.

First, Tom set the stage by telling the brief story of one company that paid a tremendous price for operating without a safety or recovery plan:

Next, Felix explained the steep cost of violence in business environments:

We have everything to gain by learning more from pros like Tom and Felix — and by sharing ideas with others in our community. So bring your questions and concerns, and let’s talk!

#TChat Events: Violence Prevention In Today’s Workplace

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Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

#TChat Radio — Wed, Sep 11 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Felix Nater and Tom Bronack about why preparation is essential in preventing and recovering from workplace violence. They’ll help us rethink myths, and educate us on best practices. Don’t miss this special event — dial-in LIVE with your questions and input!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Sep 11 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, we’ll move the discussion to the #TChat Twitter stream, where Dr. Nancy Rubin will lead an open chat with the entire TalentCulture community. Anyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these questions:

Q1: How prevalent is workplace violence today? Why?
Q2: What costs are associated with workplace violence?
Q3: What top 3 things should employers should do to prepare for violence?
Q4: Who should be on your workplace violence preparedness team?
Q5: What technologies enable response planning and safeguarding?

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!

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:

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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:

Forbes.com 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:

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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

Recruiting/Marketing: Blurred Lines #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Are you looking for the week’s highlights and resource links? Read the #TChat Recap: HR and Marketing: Smashing Silos.)

As you may know, I’m not an HR professional. I look at the human side of business primarily from a marketer’s point-of-view.

Nevertheless, from my experience with the TalentCulture community, it’s easy to see that the lines between marketing and recruiting are rapidly blurring. Actually, that seems like good news for everyone.

If It Looks Like Marketing And Sounds Like Marketing, Is It?

As Kevin W. Grossman says, “Fact is, first impressions truly do make a difference. The recruiting process contributes greatly to employee engagement, productivity, retention and improved employment brand. And getting it right from the beginning makes all the difference in the end.”

Of course, this increasing interdependence between marketing and HR functions raises some challenging questions about roles, responsibilities and best practices. That’s why we’re tackling this topic at #TChat events on Wednesday, September 4th.

Leading the way are two expert guests:
•  David Bernstein, VP of the “Big Data for HR” Division at eQuest, and
•  Chris Fields, an independent HR consultant, resume development specialist and HR writer.

To set the stage, Chris talked with me briefly about the importance of tying recruitment efforts to an organization’s marketing strategy. Watch the sneak-peek Hangout now:

Do you agree with Chris’ opinion? Either way, this week #TChat promises to be provocative. So bring your ideas, questions and concerns, and let’s talk!

#TChat Events: Recruiting IS Marketing

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Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

#TChat Radio — Wed, Sep 4 at 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

David Bernstein and Chris Fields join hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman to discuss what it takes to drive recruiting like a marketing professional — and why it make sense for marketing and HR professionals to work in alignment. Listen LIVE and dial-in with your questions and input!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Sep 4 at 7pmET / 4pmPT

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

Q1: Why don’t recruiters market companies more accurately?
Q2: What should companies measure to align recruiting with talent retention?
Q3: Do you think most job titles & descriptions are deceiving?
Q4: Should employment branding be a function of marketing or HR?
Q5: How can technology better support recruitment marketing and HR analysis?

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

We’ll see you on the stream!