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Recruiting

A Tale Of Two Entrepreneurs

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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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Job Search

How To Embed “Click To Tweet” In Your Blog Posts

twitter-bird-blueThe New York Times recently published a story, “The God of ‘SNL’ Will See You Now“, that featured embedded tweetable highlights throughout the story. Poyter covered this experimentation with tweetable highlights, including this background from NYT Deputy Editor of Interactive, Marc Lavalle:

“It’s a one-off experiment on this story,” Times Deputy Editor of Interactive News Marc Lavallee told Poynter by phone. “It’s not like a feature that’s in the pipeline to be rolled out sitewide.” The Times is continuing to experiment with article presentation online in advance of a redesign next year.

I was intrigued by the concept, and wanted to learn more. After a bit of research, I discovered a post by Blogging Bistro that led me to a new platform – ClickToTweet.com. Click To Tweet allows you to enter custom tweets (with text, handles, url) into an open text field. The platform generates a custom url you can use to allow readers to easily send tweet-sized comments throughout your posts. Here’s an example:

How to embed tweetable highlights in your blog posts (tweet this

I’m going to be experimenting with this in future blog posts, but wanted to share the discovery in the meantime. If you find it useful and incorporate it into your own blog posts, leave a comment with the url so readers can check it out and learn from your examples.

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Live Blog

Live Blog: My Day At NY Social Media Week (#smwny)

This is my first attempt at a live-blog, and will be updated throughout the day on Wednesday 2/20.

Today I’m traveling to New York to join The Muse’s panel, The 140 Character Resume: How Your Social Media Footprint Can Get You Hired (#smw140resume), at NY’s Social Media Week – and I’m taking you with me. The day will be filled with coffee, trains, wifi, sessions, meetings, coffee, and mixers. I’ll be taking pics, vines, and video along the way. I think it will be an interesting way to share the experience and what I learn – and hopefully it won’t suck.

5:30am: Good morning. Here we go…

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Rise and shine

7:03am: Arrived at Union Station. Checked in. Bought coffee. Wondering how many times I’ll write ‘got coffee’ today. Also, learned how to embed a tweet into WordPress.

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Job Search

You Never Forget Your First

As we go through life, we’re fortunate to meet some amazing individuals who inspire us; professionally, personally, and when we’re lucky – both.

hr fishbowlI waited roughly a year from the first moment I considered blogging until I launched this site. Why? Blogging was new to me, and I knew I had a lot to learn. Fortunately for me the HR community has a deep pool of experienced and talented bloggers and writers to learn from – and one of the best is Charlie Judy, and his blog HR Fishbowl. Continue reading

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HR, Random

And Now For Something Completely Different: HR Guy Reviews Death Metal

Okay I know what you’re thinking. This is a talent and recruiting blog. What does a death metal review have to do with either of those things? It doesn’t. But here’s the deal, as someone relatively new to blogging I figure all writing is good writing. However, as you might expect there’s a bit more to this story.

Let’s start with the obvious. I’m an HR guy, an HR guy with a diverse love of music, but an HR guy nonetheless. I’m by no means qualified to review music. While my musical tastes vary from Reggae to Punk to Hip Hop to Trance, Metal is not in high rotation in my iPod. Did I jam to Metallica, Angry Samoans, 7 Seconds, Bad Brains and others back in the day when I was glued to my skateboard growing up in Florida? Sure, but it’s been a long time. So, why the hell am I reviewing a death metal CD? Continue reading

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HR

6 Tips To Make Your First SHRM Rock (from SHRM Buzz)

We’re less than a week away from SHRM12. I’m excited to be part of the official blogger/press coverage this year. I aim to capture some of the sessions,  atmosphere, etc to share with my readers here and on the SHRM Buzz site. What’s SHRM Buzz? It’s the brainchild of SHRM’s Social Media guru (I called him that so it’s allowable), Curtis Midkiff. SHRM has really been pushing the envelope around social media engagement under Curt’s leadership and Buzz is another great example. Buzz is a collection of blog posts from fellow HR bloggers and more. They have a great social circles feature where you can plan your networking and learn about other attendees. You can even add suggestions and help pick the music playlist during opening general sessions. Creative, cool, engaged – I really like what SHRM has going on here.

I’m going to be experimenting with some video blogging at SHRM12 to capture some footage from the conference, and possibly some interviews with thought leaders in the talent space. Apologies in advance for the low-budget production value and likely shaky cam as I’ll be recording on my iPhone. Continue reading