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Video

“Brand Or Be Branded” [Video]

Last month I had an opportunity to lead a panel discussion on Talent Brand at LinkedIn’s annual conference – Talent Connect. It was a diverse panel with interesting perspectives on the topic. We covered some of the following topics:

  • How to get buy-in and executive support
  • Tools to help you manage your talent brand
  • How to drive talent brand in regulated industries
  • The role of story telling in talent brand
  • What not to do – mistakes and lessons learned

You can check out the full video from the LinkedIn Talent Solutions YouTube channel below.


“Brand or be branded”

You don’t need to be a Fortune 500 company, or the latest start-up, to have a winning and engaging talent brand. These SMB recruiting leaders share the talent brand and content tips that have worked well for them.

Continue your talent acquisition transformation at Talent Connect 365: http://linkd.in/1s8SWeG

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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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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

Hiring
Job Search

How To Write The Perfect Resume

The title to this blog post is a bit of a ruse. There is no ‘perfect résumé’. Perfect is in the eye of the beholder, and you never know who’s going to be reviewing your résumé – recruiters, hiring managers, founders, admins, etc. Aiming for a ‘perfect résumé’ is a lost cause.

Like most recruiters, I’ve read thousands of resumes over my career. Some great, some awful. Some memorable, some not. The key (in my mind) to a great résumé is one that’s laid out in an easy to follow chronological order. A format reviewers can scan vertically from the top, and ascertain in the first 10 seconds whether there is enough relevant experience to review more thoroughly.

Wait, isn’t the résumé dead?

There is a lot of chatter these days about the death of the résumé, that your ‘digital footprint‘ or LinkedIn profile have made your résumé obsolete. This is (for now) a myth. The reality is while there are sufficient tools and platforms out there to allow hiring teams (in many industries) to make early stage viability decisions, most organizations are still managing through hiring apparatuses and workflows designed 5+ years ago, before some of these technologies existed. This is particularly true with large organizations, or those required to have compliance-driven processes. For now, resumes remain a necessity in most job searches.

What about the robots?robot

There are many blog posts out there advising candidate to load their resumes with keywords to get past keyword scanning tools some organizations have baked into their ATS (applicant tracking system). I personally don’t put a lot of weight into these tools, but there are organizations that do. If you heed this advice, be sure the flow of the résumé is still logical, and doesn’t read as if you’re aiming for keyword density. You might get past the robots, but eventually a human will see and this and may be turned off if it’s an obvious ploy to get past the robot gatekeepers.

Continue reading

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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]

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Recruiting

Recruiting In The Trenches: Should You Care About Social?

The following is a re-post from a guest post I shared on RecruitingBlogs.com this week. You can find the original post here.

This week I’ll be presenting at Recruiting Trends annual conference. My session, Recruiting Lessons From The Trenches: How To Develop, Champion, And Manage Social Media Recruiting Strategies That Work, will explore how recruiting leaders can develop and integrate social recruiting into their workflow, and the impact it has.

NPR Recruiting Manager Infographic

There is a lot of chatter about social recruiting; benefits, costs, ROI. My aim will be to demystify some of that, and provide actionable examples of how to implement social into your branding initiatives.

Social Media is a tool, not a strategy.

With all the buzz around social, it’s easy for recruiting leaders to get caught up in the hype. Don’t. If you feel compelled to get your recruiting efforts on social, just to say you are, it will show – and it won’t be effective. It’s not enough to have a presence on social. You have to actively and regularly nurture your network and build the type of engagement that helps supplement your traditional recruiting methods.

While I do think an employment branding strategy should be integrated into every recruiting strategy, the delivery mechanism doesn’t have to be limited to social media. Your career site, job descriptions (like the example on the right), candidate experience – all of these are tools at your disposal to enhance your talent brand.

Social is a long play endeavor.

If you decide to pursue social, it’s important you’re prepared to put in the time and work needed for it to pay off. Social is not a quick fix solution. It takes roughly a year to build an engaged network that begins producing measurable and consistent results in source of applicants and hires.

At NPR, we’ve built ‘the big three’ (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter) into our top 10 sources of applicants and hires. Twitter, specifically, is our #4 source of hire. It’s been a key resource for helping us reach that elusive ‘passive talent’. This didn’t happen overnight. It took months of engaging, tinkering, and learning to build the kind of engaged community the bears this fruit. You can learn more about NPR’s employer branding journey here. Continue reading

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Recruiting

#InTalent Preview: Develop A Winning Talent Brand As A SMB

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This week I’ll be hitting the road to attend my second LinkedIn Talent Connect conference. Talent Connect (#InTalent) is LinkedIn’s annual user conference; bringing together users, speakers, and recruiting thought leaders from around the globe to spend three days learning about the latest trends in recruiting. I enjoyed my first Talent Connect experience, and shared my review on their LinkedIn Talent Blog.

I was happy to be invited back as a speaker for this year’s event, and wanted to share a preview of our session below. I’ll be joining two talented peers from Suncor Energy, Lauren Larose and Stephanie Ryan. If you’re not familiar with Suncor, a Canadian-based global energy company, you can learn more about them here.

You might ask how organizations like NPR and Suncor got paired for a Talent Connect session (full disclosure, I’m sure we did as well). While our organizations appear quite different on the surface, we learned during our session planning that we traveled similar paths in developing our talent brands. We each had unique challenges based on our organizations, and our tailored tactics differed, but our strategy and roadmap was surprisingly similar.

In our session, “Developing a Winning Talent Brand as a Small or Mid-Sized Company”, we’ll be sharing our individual stories of how we went about building our talent brands.

We’ll focus on four key areas:

  1. Define Your Talent Brand

  2. Gain Executive Buy-In

  3. Develop & Execute

  4. Measure & Optimize

Our presentation will be Wednesday 10/16 from 2:45-3:45pm in Room 312/317. If you’re attending Talent Connect, we hope to see you there. You can read the full session overview below.

Develop a Winning Talent Brand as a Small or Mid-Sized Company

You can follow along on Twitter at #WinningTB

2:45 PM – 3:45 PM  Wed, Room 312/317

Lauren Larose Marketing & Communications Advisor at Suncor
Stephanie Ryan Manager, Talent Acquisition Marketing & Stakeholder Relations at Suncor
Lars Schmidt Senior Director, Talent Acquisition & Innovation at NPR
You don’t need to be a Fortune-ranked company or the latest hip start-up to have a winning, engaging talent brand. You do need the right strategy, planning, and action. In this session, you’ll hear from two talent acquisition leaders from Suncor and NPR’s Head of Talent Acquisition & Innovation on how they brought their employment brand to life through a targeted multi-channel approach. Core takeaways will include how to create and garner internal buy-in for an employment brand targeted talent attraction strategy, how to engage your employees and build brand ambassadors, and how to measure success.
Social Media

How To Be A Digital Influencer

Influence

Influence. It’s a term we hear often in today’s social media/digital/marketing-fueled world. Marketers and brands grapple with – what does it mean? how can it be measured? how can influencers be identified? how can we get them to support our brand?

On an individual level, many of us desire to be influential. That desire certainly precedes social media, but has been magnified with it’s prevalence. We seek out ways to expand our reach and establish ourselves as thought leaders. We long for likes, retweets, and +1’s.

Influence is something that’s earned, not given.

If you’re approaching influence from the standpoint of “how can it benefit me”, chances are you’ll fail. Influence is something you earn through the course of contributing to your respective field – helping others, giving ideas away, and contributing to the collective intellect of your industry. You do this not because you want to be influential. You do it because you want to be better, and you want to help others be better.

Realizing it’s not about you is the first step in becoming influential.

I have been thinking about what a path to influence really looks like, and contributed the following post to Blogging4Jobs. You can read the original post here.

So you want to be an influencer. Whether you follow Technorati for trends on what’s next in digital influence, or your aim is to be ‘discoverable’ as a social media influencer, you’re going to have to put in work to get there. The following 25 steps will get you on your way to being an influencer in your chosen field.

25 Steps To Becoming A Digital Influencer

  1. Be patient. This won’t happen overnight. It will take years of effort and commitment (yes, years).
  2. Don’t obsess over sites likeKloutKred, andPeerIndex. (Seriously, visiting once a day will not help your score).
  3. Be generousShare your knowledge and expertise freely.
  4. Have a great idea? Give it away.
  5. Build Twitter lists of people in your field you admire. Learn from them.
  6. Proactively build a diverse network.
  7. Find blogs of thought leaders in your industry. Comment on them. Share them with your network.
  8. Don’t obsess over your social media follower numbers.
  9. Be a voracious reader of blogs, books, trends, etc in your industry. Share what you find.
  10. Obsess over your social media follower numbers (sigh).
  11. Remember not to obsess over your social media numbers.
  12. Join Twitter chats in your industry.
  13. Find conferences and events to attend. Make a point to meet some of your social media connections who will attend. Have coffee / beers / conversation with them.
  14. Be real. Don’t get so focused on your personal brand you lose the person. Personality counts (unless you’re a jerk).
  15. Don’t be a jerk.
  16. Join LinkedIn Groups in your field and share your wisdom.
  17. Look for any and all opportunities to speak at conferences (virtual counts).
  18. Start a blog (If you’re at least a decent writer, and have ideas to share.Guest bloggingcounts).
  19. Be generous. Share your knowledge and expertise freely (again).
  20. Join Quora. Follow and answer questions in your field of expertise.

Check out 20-25 from the original post on Blogging4Jobs.

Did I leave any off that you feel are important characteristics of a digital influencer? Share in the comments and let me know. 

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Recruiting

12 Digital Tools For Today’s Social Media Recruiter

So, you’re a recruiter who’s embraced social. Good call. Welcome to the world of Recruiting 3.0.

Social recruiting isn’t meant to replace ‘old school’ recruiting methods (for those of us who learned how to recruit with a phone book and land line), but it gives today’s recruiter additional tools to find and engage talent. Recruiting has evolved. Recruitment marketing and employment branding are now key components of a successful talent strategy.

Strong social recruiting strategies allow recruiting teams to amplify their impact, and can be a key differentiator when competing for talent.

If you’re working in a small to medium size business (or non-profit), chances are you’re involved in all aspects of recruiting – from employer branding and talent attraction to sourcing, hiring, and workforce planning. Time is your most precious resource, and efficiency is crucial when managing a busy desk and diverse sets of responsibilities.

As a self-professed HR MacGyver and digital geek, I’m constantly scouring the tech landscape for tools and resources that can help me be more efficient and help my team make a bigger impact. Here are some of the resources I use that have become indispensable tools to help me manage my social recruiting activities.

12 Digital Tools For Today’s Social Media Recruiter

  1. Digg (Free) My new go to RSS reader after Google Reader’s demise. Feedly is another good option, but Digg’s reader was built to mirror Google Reader so the familiarity gives it an edge for me. RSS readers are an important tool for digital recruiters, as they allow you to easily and efficiently view content to share with your social recruiting channels. 
  2. Buffer (Freemium) My go to tool for scheduling social media posts. Buffer allows you to queue and schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. You can also schedule different send patterns for different sites. It’s a huge time-saver to ensure you’re regularly contributing content to your various social media channels. Bonus: install the chrome extension to easily add to your queue from any website. More on Buffer in this Amplify Tool review.
  3. Sprout Social (Paid) Sprout is one of the few paid social media tools I use. The smart inbox is a huge time-saver, allowing you to view all the feeds you manage (@ mentions, hashtags, etc) in one unified field. Bonus: their iOS app is feature-rich and allows you to monitor, send, and manager on the go.  Continue reading
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Job Search

20 Tweet-Sized Social Media Job Search Tips

jobsearchwebsitesSocial Media has impacted the job search process for a broad range of jobs, and changed the ways organizations and candidates court and connect. These changes have raised new questions:

  • How do I stand out in a crowded job field?
  • How can I use social media to gain a competitive edge in the job market?
  • What the hell is a personal brand?

Recruiters are often asked these questions, and fortunately many of us feel its important to help job seekers find answers. Below are 20 tweet-sized tips from leading career experts, many of which were shared during #NPRTwitterChat (a collaboration between NPR and Twitter’s HR teams aimed at providing job search advice).

If you like a tip, click the (tweet this) link to share on Twitter.

    1. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for a job, recruiters are always looking for you. Be ready.” @ThisIsLars (tweet this)
    2. “Use SM to network. Reach out to people who are doing the job you aspire to + ask questions.” @TdoubleD (tweet this)
    3. “You can find a job on twitter by helping other people find jobs on Twitter. Good karma and reciprocity are valued.” @lruettimann (tweet this)
    4. “Own your brand. What do your last 20 tweets say about you?” @JMass (tweet this)
    5. “Create lists to show you know your industry–a unique way to stand out and help others.” @SusanLaMotte (tweet this)
    6. “What’s a personal brand? Google yourself.” @ThisIsLars (tweet this)
    7. “Check Wefollow and Listorious to find and follow thought leaders in your industry.” @Keppie_Careers (tweet this)
    8. “Recruiters and hiring managers can see via your #twitter that in hiring you, they inherit your network 2!” @SHRMSMG (tweet this)
    9. “Share valuable content-the more relevant contributions u make, the more others will want to connect w/u.” @anitra10 (tweet this)
    10. “Consider building a personal web page (eg. about.me). They’re effective, creative supplements to resume.” @dobbins (tweet this)
    11. “At networking events you have to speak up, get out of comfort zone. Listen & Learn. Twitter is same.” @JenniferMcClure (tweet this)
    12. “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Also important: what the internet knows about you.” @mattcharney (tweet this)
    13. “Authenticity = degree of transparency UR comfortable sharing. Don’t fear UR personality.” @jmass (tweet this)
    14. Here’s a guide for how to use #LinkedIn as a job seeker. http://slidesha.re/17EPgcG Good luck. @lruettimann (tweet this)
    15. “Follow people at target companies on twitter. Linkedin-search types of people that your target company hires.” @clairetapia (tweet this)
    16. “What if you treat each bullet on your resume as a tweet? It’d get some attention+cut thru the clutter.” @nikilustig (tweet this)
    17. “I was told that good jobs come to those who bust their butts and get lucky. You need both.” @skuranda (tweet this)
    18. “Networking: Use SM as a sourcing tool. Then find events where u can translate “names” into relationships.” @lruettimann (tweet this)
    19. “Alumni networks are great avenues, I’m more likely to help out someone who went to my school.” @LindsayClaiborn (tweet this)
    20. “Don’t be a ‘personal brand’, be a person.” @ThisIsLars (tweet this)