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Amplify VIP Newsletter

Introducing: Amplify Talent VIP Newsletter

The smart way to stay informed of trends, news, and developments in Recruiting and Employer Branding.


I’m excited to introduce the new Amplify Talent VIP Newsletter!

Join Amplify VIP

The Amplify VIP Newsletter is a carefully curated collection of news and information at the intersection of Recruiting, Employer Branding, and Technology delivered to your inbox each month. We do the research – scouring media, press, blogs, podcasts, articles and white papers to ensure our subscribers stay in the know.

  • A regular digest of top news that matters, delivered right to your inbox
  • Stay on top of new developments impacting the world of recruiting
  • We respect your inbox – all substance, no filler

Welcome to Amplify VIP.

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Recruiting

A Case For Reinventing Job Descriptions

I recently had an opportunity to speak at Glassdoor’s inaugural Employer Branding Summit. I made the case that corporate recruiting is still rooted in dated practices, and explored what recruiting might look like if it was built from the ground up today.

One of the points we discussed was job descriptions, and the fact that they’re one of the least evolved tools in our corporate recruiting tool belt.

We’ve stuck to the script for years. Laundry list of vague responsibilities? Check. Unrealistic qualifications? Check. Compliance-driven language? Check. We’re not touching on many things that matter in today’s market. We can do better.

Job descriptions tend to be written for the benefit of the employer, not the employee.

When we write for compliance or legacy, we fail to give prospects a true sense of what our organizations are like – our culture, our teams, our perks, physical office space. We try to convey the soul of our organization in text alone. We’ve become over-reliant on our career sites as the place to share images, video, and our people.

Today’s prospect are busier (and more distracted) than ever. We have a limited window to get their attention, particularly for high-demand talent. A boilerplate JD won’t do it.

What if job descriptions looked more like this?

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Candidates don’t want to rely upon boilerplate JD’s to give them a sense of whether they should explore your jobs. They want to know about things like specific deliverables, success measures, growth plans, and perks. They want to know what their desk might look like, what tools they might use, and what their colleagues are like.

Why don’t we consider things like…

  • Include a 30 second video from the hiring manger about why you might want to work in this role
  • Share stories of past employees in similar roles and their career growth
  • Include LinkedIn/social profiles of the team
  • Embed photos or videos of the office
  • Include infographics and other visual mediums to convey the opportunity
  • Make job descriptions text more dynamic by including hyperlinks to more content (press, awards, employee blogs, multimedia, company social links, etc.)

What are they keys to a great job description in your mind? Do you have any examples of other companies getting job descriptions right? I’d love to hear them. Leave a comment and let’s start taking steps to give prospects something better.

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Employer Branding, Innovation, Recruiting, Social Media, Uncategorized

Glassdoor Summit Preview: You Say You Want A [r]Evolution? #GDSummit

What if?

What if seems like a good starting point when pondering a revolution.

Think about where we are today in recruiting – our practices, our technology, our shortcomings. How’d we get here? Or more importantly, is where we are in recruiting today where we should be? Have our practices kept up with broader societal changes?

In recruiting, evolution = iteration. Our behaviors and approaches change slowly. Our practices are built upon workforce assumptions that aren’t keeping pace with candidate behaviors.

9/10 job seekers say they will use a mobile device in their job search within the next year, yet 90% of Fortune 500 career sites don’t support mobile apply. We’re not keeping pace with these changes in candidate behavior. It’s time for recruiting to evolve.

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What if?

What if…we started over. What if we built recruiting today, based on current job search behaviors and expectations? What would it look like?

I’ll be diving into that topic during the opening presentation during Glassdoor’s first Employer Branding Summit on September 12th. I’ll be joined by an exceptional mix of leading Employer Branding and Recruiting minds to discuss the future of Employer Branding, and its impact on recruiting. You can view the full lineup below. I’ll be the MC for the day, so really looking forward to sharing and learning from everyone. You can too!

Register Here

You can also join the conversation on Twitter at #GDSummit.

Glassdoor Employer Branding Summit Agenda

Hop On, Hop Off! Feel free to join a single session, portions of each or the whole Summit. It’s up to you—just make sure you register now for the live stream! You can also follow our live Twitter feed using the hashtag #GDSummit.

9:00 am – 9:15 am Welcome Intro | Robert Hohman – CEO, Glassdoor
9:15 am – 9:45 am Keynote Presentation | Lars Schmidt – Amplify Talent
9:45 am – 10:15 am Simply Irresistible: Are You? | Josh Bersin – Bersin by Deloitte
10:15 am – 10:45 am Break
10:45 am – 11:15 am 3 Secrets to Employer Brand Storytelling | Bryan Chaney – IBM
11:15 am – 11:45 am Content Is King, Distribution Is Queen: Content Marketing for Recruitment | Jennifer Tharp – AT&T
11:45 am – 12:45 pm Networking Lunch
12:45 pm – 1:00 pm New to Glassdoor! | Alison Hadden – Glassdoor
1:00 pm – 1:30 pm If Seuss Was Alive in Two Thousand and Five | Arie Ball and Anthony Scarpino – Sodexo
1:30 pm – 2:00 pm Infinite Possibilities, Limited Budget: Optimizing Your Branding Resources | Jen Powell – Deloitte
2:00 pm – 2:30 pm Getting Your Brand Out of the Box | Stacy Zapar – Zappos
2:30 pm – 2:45 pm Break
2:45 pm – 3:15 pm Using Video to Share Your Company’s Story and Attract Talent | Shannon Smedstad – CEB
3:15 pm – 3:45 pm Bringing It All Together: Combining Your Employer Branding Efforts on Glassdoor | Will Staney – Glassdoor
3:45 pm – 4:00 pm Closing Remarks | Lars Schmidt & Robert Hohman
4:00 pm – 6:00pm Cocktail Reception

 

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Recruiting

A Tale Of Two Entrepreneurs

kara-lars

The other week I had an opportunity to chat with a friend of mine, Leela Sreenivasan from LinkedIn, about my thought process in deciding to leave the corporate world and launch a new business. She was working on a blog post for the LinkedIn Talent Blog and gathering thoughts from me and a fellow new entrepreneur from the talent world, Kara Yarnot (@klyarnot).

In reading the post, I was struck by the similarities between Kara and my paths to starting a business. Both of us had great full-time roles we enjoyed. Both of our moves were triggered in some way by internal drivers within our organizations. We both cited the influence and impact of our networks in supporting our decisions. We also shared the same sentiment about what we felt we’d miss most in making this decision – leading and mentoring teams. The similarities were quite interesting.

Kara’s company, Meritage Talent Solutions, was launched to “disrupt the talent acquisition process and marketplace by providing a blend of solutions to impact the way companies acquire talent”. She has the experience and vision to make a big impact in our space. I look forward to watching Kara and Meritage’s growth.

You can read more about Kara and my views on launching a new business in the original post below.

Have you ever considered striking out on your own? If you think you’re ready to climb out of the corporate recruiting trenches and advise your peers, read on.

In the last several months, two of my favorite corporate talent acquisition leaders stepped away from high-profile corporate roles to launch their own consulting firms. First Kara Yarnot, who previously ran the Talent Acquisition Center of Excellence for Fortune 500 company SAIC, resigned and launched Meritage Talent Solutions. Then Lars Schmidt gave up his Senior Director role at NPR to focus on his new business, Amplify Talent.

In speaking to both, I identified certain commonalities in their stories (beyond, coincidentally, both of them living in the Washington DC metro area).  As they struck out on their own, our protagonists each had the following 5 things going for them:

1. The sudden impetus to go out and do it.

Both Kara and Lars were sitting pretty in their previous jobs – until a business shift made them rethink their careers. In Kara’s case, SAIC split into two separate companies, heralding change for the Talent Acquisition function. And while Lars had been mulling over the opportunity for a while, the catalyst was the departure of his VP HR and the resulting team re-alignment.

2. A powerful and extensive network.

Kara and Lars assert that who they know will be vital to their success. “Our community is incredibly supportive, even to those of us who ‘change sides’,” said Kara. “I have a large number of connections that have given me advice, sent me leads, reviewed my marketing materials and challenged my business model.  I will be forever grateful for all of the advice and counsel.”

Lars agrees that “If you’ve worked hard to cultivate a network, they will be there for you.” For him, launching the business “really reinforced to me how important relationships are – a core learning for any new entrepreneur.”

3. Determination and know-how to drive wholesale change.

Whether you work in Talent Acquisition or any other function, change management is not for the faint-hearted. But apparently it’s something that both Kara and Lars run towards, not flee from. Before launching her firm, Kara did explore other more mainstream careers, “to be sure that other corporate opportunities weren’t going to meet my need for regular change and disruption.”  When they didn’t, Meritage Talent Solutions was born. Having heard her speak with authority on the power of pilots and working on ‘small, manageable chunks’ to make change stick, I know she embraces that challenge.

Similarly, Lars notes how “most recruiting teams today are so heads-down with their requisition loads that they have a hard time thinking differently about how to engage and attract talent.” If your recruiting organization is ‘bogged down in transaction mode’ and needs help thinking differently, Lars says he’s your man.

You can read the rest of the post, 5 Things You Need to Form Your Own Talent Acquisition Consulting Shop, on the LinkedIn Talent blog.

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Recruiting

Dice Tech Salary Survey Results – 2014

Dice just released their 2014 technical salary survey results. You can download the full survey here.

The report provides insights into the current state of tech hiring across the U.S. The infographic below provides details of the top five salaries and markets for technical talent in 2013.

Dice_2014 Tech Salary Cities

In today’s competitive hiring market, retaining your best technical employees is vital. Rest assured your best technical talent is getting regular calls from recruiters. Will they listen? Are you doing enough to retain them?

The chart below breaks down some of the ways organizations attempted to retain their talent in 2013. They include compensation, increased responsibilities, recognition, and work flexibility.

Dice Retention Motivators

The full report goes into more details on the current state of technical salaries and expectations. More details below:

Dice’s Salary Survey Report for 2014 shows that salaries and confidence are rising for U.S. tech professionals, but tech powered companies are on edge as compensation satisfaction slips.

More tech professionals in the U.S. enjoyed merit raises last year, driving average salaries up nearly 3% to $87,811. Tech professionals understand they can easily find ways to grow their career in 2014, with two-thirds of respondents (65%) confident in finding a new, better position. That overwhelming confidence matched with declining salary satisfaction (54%, down from 57%) will keep tech-powered companies on edge about their retention strategies.

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Recruiting

The Anatomy Of A Top 10 LinkedIn Company Page: Inside NPR

The following post was originally published on the LinkedIn Talent Blog. You can find the original post here.

Last week LinkedIn released their Top 10 Company Pages of 2013. I was surprised and excited to find NPR among them, listed alongside organizations like Kellogg, Adobe, Dell, Mashable, Hubspot and more. As an admitted employer branding geek, I’ve been preaching the benefits for years. I’m also a believer in open-source approaches to work, so wanted to share some of the tips and tactics that helped us make this list.

But wait, isn’t NPR a household name?

In the U.S., this is true. NPR has been around for over 40 years. We’re fortunate to have an incredibly engaged audience, and fans who support us. This certainly gives us an advantage around discovery, but LinkedIn company pages followers are only part of the formula. The real keys are content and engagement. Your name may get people to click the ‘follow’ button, but name alone won’t get them to return and engage with you.

Don’t you need a big staff and resources to be effective in talent branding?

This tends to be one of the bigger misconceptions about social media in general, particularly as it relates to recruiting and employer branding. You don’t need an army of Community Managers to be effective. You need discipline, and tools, and a learned sense of time management – but even if you’re a team of one, you can make an impact. At NPR, we’re a non-profit with limited resources and a lean three member recruiting team. This means that I solely manage our LinkedIn company page (among other responsibilities). It can be done effectively, you just need to be disciplined with your time and use tools to enhance your efficiency. More on that later. Continue reading

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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. Continue reading

Recruitment
Recruiting

How To Design A High Impact Interview Process

HiringHiring. It’s one of the top factors in determining whether your organization will succeed. Your people, and the culture they help you build, shapes the DNA of your organization. What are your values? What do you stand for (and against)? Why do you exist as an organization? The answers to these questions are generally framed by the founders or executives, but your employees are the ones who determine whether your organization truly lives these truths.

Early Stage Hiring: Phone A Friend

When you’re an early stage startup or small company, hiring tends to involve tapping your collective networks to see who you can hire. This process may lack diversity, but it’s a path of least resistance and generally leads to low-scale hiring success. As your organization grows, these networks grow thinner and begin to dry up. This tends to be the growth stage when most organization will bring on recruiting help, whether in-house or agency, to help them reach new candidate pools.

Building A High-Growth Interview Process

When you’re in high-growth mode you need to build an interview model that’s efficient, effective, and continues to provide the critical lens through which you want your candidates to be viewed through. It’s important this process has enough structure to be followed, but scales and offers flexibility when needed. The ‘Ideal process’ will vary as it should be tailored to each organization, but the following items should be factored in to most high-growth interview procedures.

Requisition Approval Process

Things move fast in high growth organizations, particularly startups. Strategic decisions (including hiring plans) can be made over coffee or beers. It’s important to have a light-weight process that ensures the appropriate stakeholders (Finance, HR/Recruiting, Division lead) have all signed off that the position is within budget and organizational hiring timeline/priorities. You’re recruiting resources are valuable, and you don’t want to waste time building and engaging candidate pipelines for jobs you won’t hire.

Sourcing & Networking

Recruiting is a team sport. Successful companies get this. No matter how effective your recruiting team is, the reality is that their reach only goes so far. It’s vital to build programs that allow the entire organization to rally behind the company’s growth. Strong recruiting teams will develop programs to ensure that all staff are aware of current hiring initiatives (particularly essential roles), and equip their colleagues with the tools and resources they need to be effective brand ambassadors.

Interview Prep

When you’re hiring at scale, it’s important all the stakeholders are really dialed in on the profile you’re targeting in each role. The hiring manager and recruiter should meet with the interview team before interviews begin to discuss the job description, target profile, intangibles, projects and initiatives they will work on, how the role interacts with their area (for cross-functional interviews, which most will tend to be), cultural fit, etc. This discussion is vital in ensuring all the stakeholders are on the same page and fully aware of what they’re vetting.

Interview Process

The recruiter should discuss the ideal process with the hiring manager during their search strategy kick-off meeting. The interview process should be generally defined so internal teams know what to expect, but also flexible to allow you to accelerate if you find stellar talent that has competing offers. The recruiter is generally the top end of the filter – evaluating candidates fit, motivations, qualifications (generally for technology roles), and identifying any potential blockers that might need to be overcome. Once determined qualified, the candidate will generally speak or meet with the hiring manager via phone/Skype/etc. This step is not always necessary, but important for technology roles to vet skills more deeply than a recruiter may be able to vet. Evaluations, code samples, and problem-solving/behavioral exercises help streamline this stage of the process. Free tools like Skype and Google Hangouts, or paid tools like WePow and HireVue, are valuable here as they allow more robust discussions in the early stages of the process to determine fit and potential. Following the initial vetting to confirm viability, the candidate will come in and meet the interview team for further vetting on skill and cultural fit. I find adding some structure to those interviews (behavioral questions, splitting competency evals per interviewer, etc.) adds value to this stage.

Candidate Experience

This is a really important to embed and reinforce throughout the interview process. How an organizations treats candidates, good or bad, is a tweet of GlassDoor post away from your talent pool. If you communicate regularly and treat every candidate with dignity and respect, you have an opportunity to create advocates. They may not get hired, but they will have a deeper respect for your company – and they will tell their friends. Open and regular communication goes a long way in enhancing candidate experience. An example is a recent ‘Candidate Experience Pledge’ we created to give NPR applicants a detailed overview of what to expect from the moment they apply.

Decision

After the interview, you’ll want to get the stakeholders together to discuss feedback. There are a variety of ways to do this. One way I’ve found to be productive is brief written evaluations (based on pre-determined templates) sent to the hiring manager and recruiter, followed by a group discussion. Gathering the written feedback in advance allows for unbiased input, and raises potential red flags to be discussed in the meeting. The eval includes a thumbs up/down on support for hiring. The hiring manager has the ultimate decision, but should ideally get near consensus from the interview team. Any red flags that are surfaced should be discussed and addressed during the review meeting.

These are just a few things to consider when developing a high-growth interview process. What tips and procedures have you found successful when developing your hiring plans? Please share in the comments section.

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Recruiting

Developing A Winning Talent Brand: LinkedIn Talent Connect Session [Video]

The following video is from the 2013 LinkedIn Talent Connect session, “Developing a Winning Talent Brand as a Small to Medium-Sized Business”. It highlights some of the techniques and methods NPR and Suncor Energy used in developing their talent brands.

You can learn more about what was covered in this session in my #InTalent preview. [Las Vegas, NV, October 2013]