And So It Begins, With Gratitude

I'm excited to announce the launch of my new project, Amplify Talent. This platform will focus on all things talent: trends, tools, recruiting best practices, recruitment process optimization, employment branding, social media, and leadership - among other various musings and observations. The content will be based on my recruiting experience gained over the last 14 years across a broad range of industries and organizations. But before I can move forward with this project, I need to reflect on some of the people who helped me along the way. The year was 1998. I was a rookie technical recruiter with Pencom Systems in my first job straight out of FSU, learning what it meant to be a recruiter. Fortunately, I had an amazing mentor who believed in me and challenged me to be my best - Rick Krostag. Rick was from the old school of recruiting. Give him a phone book and a phone and he'd find five Java programmers by the end of the day. He taught me how to recruit the right way - building strong and lasting relationships, out working everyone, working with integrity, following through, hustling, and candor. Rick played a key role in shaping my approach to recruiting in the early stages of my career. He went on to establish his own recruiting firm, Connective Talent, in Houston with much success. He was a great boss, and I'm proud to call him a friend.

By 2003, I was a Senior Recruiter with Tickemaster. Six months in, I learned that my Director would be leaving.  The SVP Human Resources, Michael Castro, asked me to take over the team. Michael realized that I was new and had no prior leadership experience. He gave me the following advice, "You will try. You will fail. You will learn. That's how it goes. Know that when you fail I've got your back, just don't do it twice". Those words resonated with me and that advice helped shape my approach to leadership, working creatively, and taking risks.

In 2011, I had spent 6 months building a network of HR pro's following my relocation from Los Angeles to Virginia. I realized there was a wealth of information I could learn from my peers and colleagues, particularly in the social media space. I had recently joined NPR as Director of Talent Acquisition, and knew that social media would play a big part in the talent strategy I was building. I reached out to Matt Charney for advice. Matt is one of the smartest people I've worked with in any role. He graciously shared his knowledge and helped me solidify my initial plans. Matt then introduced me to Eric Winegardner, whose real and impassioned advice I remember well. At the SHRM conference several months later, Matt invited me to a dinner with many top bloggers in the HR community: Laurie RuettimannChina GormanJessica MerrellRobin SchoolingTrish McFarlaneTeela JacksonJohn Nykolaiszyn, and several others. They were so welcoming and willing to share their knowledge, that at no point did I feel like the new guy who didn't belong. Later that weekend I met others who I admired and have since grown relationships with: Craig FisherCharlie JudyMaren Hogan, and others. Many have become great friends, and I appreciate this entire community and their commitment to advancing HR.

So, why launch this project now? Didn't Laurie Ruettimann tell everyone in her Cynical Girl blog that you don't need to blog? Yes, she did. That advice actually saved me from rushing into something I wasn't prepared for, and likely would have been a disaster. I'm not guaranteeing this site will dazzle, but I've had an opportunity to put a lot of thought into what I want to say and how I want to contribute to the HR community. My aim is to get one to two posts out per week. I'm new to WordPress, so welcome any feedback any of you have on widgets, features, etc. This will be a work in progress on many levels.

We're all working hard to propel this field forward, helping our organizations excel. Amplify Talent is here to join the HR voices for progress; shedding the reactive, policy-cop, order taking HR mindset of the past. This will be fun.