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

Movember, Recruiting

Introducing: HR Movember PSA Channel (#HRMoBros)

MO13 Primary Logo Ranged NEG copy

The magical moustachical month of Movember has arrived. For those of you who know me, Movember is a cause I’ve been passionate about for the past five years. Cancer has impacted me personally, and Movember is one of many great charities that allows those impacted by Cancer to fight back.

I’ve gotten to know a lot of fellow MoBros in the HR community over the past several years, and have been thinking of ways we can collaborate to help the cause. I’m excited to introduce the result of that collaboration, a new YouTube Channel:

HR Movember PSAs

This channel brings together many fellow HR MoBros including: William Tincup, Dwane Lay, Bill Boorman, Will Staney, Bryan Chaney, Charlie Judy, Geoff Webb, John Hudson, and Matt Jones. We’re adding more contributors every day, so if you’re a MoBro or MoSista in the HR community and want to join us, let me know.

You can learn more about the channel on the video below.


If you’re interested in joining or donating to my Movember team, Big Kahuna’s Ascot Society, you can do so here.

UPDATE: Dollar Shave Club is supporting our Movember efforts. Use this code: MOVEMBER065 when you order and they will make a $10 donation to the Kahuna’s.


Lars Schmidt

Captain, Big Kahuna’s Ascot Society


How Not To Make A Video Job Description

A few months ago I attempted to make a video job description with a colleague for a new paid internship we just opened for Generation Listen. It bombed. Our intentions were in the right place, but our execution missed. I’ve tried a few others. Some turned out okay, so were so bad they couldn’t make a blooper real. I thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned so far as I’ve experimented with video.

Here are some of the things we got wrong:

  • No script. The idea to make the above mentioned video was spontaneous. We thought having an unscripted discussion about the opportunity was the best way to convey our excitement about the role. While I don’t necessarily think you need to have every word scripted, having at least an outline of what you plan to cover is a better way to go.
  • No plan. If you’re developing a solo shot video (maybe of the hiring manager) with no editing you’re good to go. If there are two or more people in the shot, you need to have an idea of when you’ll kick it back and forth to each other. Natural banter is good, awkward transitions are not.
  • Time of day matters. Shooting a video late in the day is probably not the way to go. You’re punchy, it’s late.
  • Setting matters. What’s your ideal backdrop? We ended up doing several takes from a variety of angles to find one we liked for video two below. Is there a black background? Remember black shirt = floating head.
  • K.I.S.S. Unless you have experienced multimedia pros in your arsenal – keep it simple, and keep it short. No one wants to sit through a lengthy pitch. Have a point and get to it soon. I was excited about this Q&A with our VP, Programming to promote hiring for the new TED Radio Hour show – but at 5+ minutes, even I had a hard time watching the entire thing. Continue reading

A Lesson In Failure

Earlier this month marked the one-month anniversary of Career Hangout (CHO). It also marked the final episode.

Career Hangout was an ambitious idea for a collaborative project between me and Laurie Ruettimann. We wanted to find a way to “pay it forward” and use our collective HR insights and networks to provide job search and career management advice to professionals.

We spent two months focusing our time and energy on getting CHO ready to air – designing a logo, building a website (actually two of them after we changed WordPress themes), registering social media profiles, booking guests, finding a producer, learning about Google Hangouts On Air (HOA), testing HOA, teasing/marketing/promoting the show. . . you get the picture. We invested hours of time into CHO before broadcasting our first show. Continue reading

Recruiting, Social Media, Video

Recruiting on a Budget Using Social Networks (VIDEO)

Dice has been doing a tremendous job in partnering and advocating in the HR social media space. They developed a great YouTube channel and have engaged recruiting leaders like Sarah White to get tips from a broad range of human resource professionals. Here is an interview I did with them following my presentations at ERE’s Recruiting Innovation Summit earlier this year.