#NPRsunset
Recruiting

Signing Off: My Career At NPR And What’s Next

Photo by Lars Schmidt

I’ll miss #nprsunset

I still remember my first week on the job at NPR in February 2011. I was touring All Things Considered at the beginning of the Arab Spring, watching the remarkable buzz and pace of the newsroom while covering a Mubarak speech. I sat in the main studio waiting room, speaking with a four star general before he stepped into the studio to be interviewed by Robert Siegel. It was so impressive to this newsroom neophyte, and I knew I joined something special.

I didn’t grow up a backseat baby. I joined NPR with a deep admiration for their journalism and unbiased programming, but not with a deep understanding of public radio. As the next several months passed and I began to get my bearings, I was often struck by my colleague’s intelligence, compassion, creativity and deep passion towards NPR’s mission to create a more informed public. Even though I was the proverbial new guy (an ‘HR’ new guy at that), I was welcomed warmly.

I’ve had an opportunity to work with many brilliant and interesting colleagues, not to mention a stellar stream of candidates and new hires who are shaping NPR today. I readily found collaborators who were willing to experiment and try new campaigns, like #NPRlife. I was fortunate to have a supportive group of HR colleagues and a boss in Jeff Perkins who empowered me to think big, take calculated risks, and not be afraid to fail. I met kindred spirits like Elise Hu and Danielle Deabler, who allowed me to get involved in inspiring initiatives like Generation Listen. I’ve had the opportunity to share our employment branding and social recruiting journey through conferences and media like Mashable, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, TwitterHootSuite, and others.

We’ve had a lot of wins over the past three years:

Re-imagining recruitment into a model driven by social media, brand advocates, and talent branding resulting in over $100k/year savings in recruiting costs

Building a Top 10 LinkedIn Company Page, and sharing how we did it

Launching and growing #PubJobs, a collaborative recruiting effort that helped job seekers land jobs and internships across public media

Leveraging Twitter into our #4 source of hire, and Facebook/LinkedIn in our top 10 sources of applicants and hires

Growing @NPRjobs (22k followers) into one of the leading social recruiting channels on twitter

Leading the transition of NPR’s internship program to a paid year-round effort, and implementing a proactive diversity outreach campaign, resulting in a substantial increase in diversity

Designing a fully responsive career site focused on clarity, culture, and candidate experience

Winning the inaugural NPR Innovation Award in 2013

Collaborating with Twitter’s recruiting team to co-host #NPRTwitterChat, a twitter chat designed to bring leading career experts together to provide social media and job search advice that was covered by Mashable

Sharing our social recruiting strategy on one of HootSuite University’s Top 12 Lecture Series of 2013 (their first lecture in the field of Human Resources)

Co-founding Generation Listen, a grassroots movement to engage new audiences and help secure NPR’s future supporters

Differentiating the unique culture, and amazing team at NPR, through our #NPRlife efforts

I’ve also had an opportunity to make many new friends and mentors in the HR community who I’ve learned a lot from: Laurie Ruettimann, Craig Fisher, Susan LaMotte, Matt Charney, William Tincup and many more.

It’s been such a rewarding and enlightening journey, one I’m truly lucky and grateful to have had it, and an experience that has uniquely prepared me for what’s next.

I’ve decided to step away from my role at NPR to pursue a new chapter in my career, following a desire that’s been growing steadily over the past year, and will be launching a new company – Amplify Talent, LLC. I truly feel recruiting is fundamentally shifting, and companies have unique opportunities to blend marketing, social media, and innovative talent strategies to transform their recruiting in ways not imagined several years ago. Amplify Talent, LLC will work with brands and in-house recruiting teams to help them develop progressive talent strategies that leverage these new platforms and practices. 

Walking away from one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve had isn’t easy, but I can’t deny this growing hunger to follow in my father’s footsteps and launch a business. I will be working closely with my HR colleagues during my transition. There will be several openings in the coming months as a result. If you want to be part of an amazing organization that truly empowers recruiting to innovate, I strongly suggest you apply. I’ll share the posting when it’s live, but feel free to reach out to me directly at lars@amplifytalent.com in the meantime.

My time at NPR has been a tremendous ride, and I’m grateful for the friends and experience I’ve gained over the past three years. I’m excited for this new chapter in my career, and look forward to sharing more details in the coming year. Here’s to 2014!

21 thoughts on “Signing Off: My Career At NPR And What’s Next

  1. Pingback: For everything there is a season | Marenated

  2. Lars, I’m so proud of you. Congratulations on having the courage to pursue your dream and start a new empire. The world is ready for you. May all your wishes come true.

    Your friend,

    @HRMargo Rose

  3. Pingback: Introducing The New AmplifyTalent.com | Amplify Talent

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