Amplify Talent 2015 Year In Review        

  As 2015 comes to a close, I want to thank all of you for being part of the Amplify Talent community. This month marks the two-year anniversary of Amplify Talent. I’ve learned a tremendous amount since launching in 2013, and am deeply grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with leading brands and recruiting teams to help them recruit more effectively. Here’s a look back on the past year.



I feel incredibly fortunate when a client brings Amplify in to help them optimize their recruiting efforts. I don’t take that responsibility lightly, and am honored that every client we’ve had over our two years has renewed our engagement.

We’re led by our values and when you find organizations that share them it’s an incredible alignment. In 2015 we partnered with leading organizations like Hootsuite (#HootFam), Cracker Barrel, NPR, and Cognosante to develop and implement progressive recruiting and branding initiatives.

Each company is in a different sector and at different stages of their recruiting evolution. All of them have great teams with vibrant and unique cultures. It’s been wonderful working with each of them.



I scaled back my speaking in 2015 to focus on client work and family, but was still fortunate to have several opportunities to speak at events and share my experience.

The year brought me to London twice, and a variety of interesting US events including LinkedIn Talent Connect, Glassdoor Employer Branding Summit, Sourcecon, and SXSWi TalenNet. I really enjoyed returning to Glassdoor’s EB Summit as their Emcee. That event keeps getting better, and I always take something home from the employer brand-focused conversations.

One of my highlights of 2015 was emceeing the livestream for LinkedIn Talent Connect. That was a first for me, but I had a blast doing it and was honored to bring viewers around the world into Anaheim with me to experience the keynotes.


One of those keynotes gave me and my friend Ambrosia Vertesi an opportunity to unveil a new initiative we had been incubating for several months at Hootsuite, Open Source HR (#HROS).

Open Source HR (#HROS)

#HROS is an effort designed to encourage employers to open up their HR playbook, share some of their practices, and ultimately inspire and learn from their peers in talent acquisition and management. It’s a global movement to change how we educate and inspire the field of HR – accelerating learning, progress, innovation, and collaboration. It’s ultimately about providing access to a collective intellect and knowledge base to make the field of HR better.


To date, practitioners have contributed ten case studies from six different companies. They’ve been viewed or downloaded 20k+ times. The HROS community is grown to over 1,000 global practitioners, and 60+ companies have already signed up to contribute case studies in 2016.

HROS wouldn’t exist without the shared vision of Ambrosia Vertesi, and the support and courage of Hootsuite to lead the way and “go first” to take a chance on this idea. I’m very grateful for that.

HROS will be a core focus in 2016, and we’re incredibly excited about what’s in store for next year.


Best Part Blog Header3

I grew increasingly curious about audio and podcasting in 2015. In June, I launched the Best Part Of My Job podcast (#BestPartJob).

Best Part Of My Job is an exploration of the world of work. In each episode, I interview someone in a different career to share what that job does, how that career develops, and wisdom they have for others interested in pursuing a similar path.

The podcast allowed me to explore a rich diversity of fields, including The Muse’s Kathryn Minshew, The MET Chief Digital Officer, Sree Sreenivsan, “Chunk” from The Goonies, Hollywood Producers, Shark Marine Biologists and industry peers I admire like William Tincup, Gerry Crispin, Hung Lee, and more.

Random Tweet of Kindness


One of the projects I’m most proud of is the unexpected viral growth of the Random Tweets of Kindness (#RTOK) campaign.

I launched RTOK in 2014 as a way to recognize people who’ve inspired, educated, or helped me over the years. I thought it would grow in year two, but never dreamed it would become a global trending campaign, including coverage in Time.

Seeing the unexpected joy and recognition being shared, and the impact that had on recipients, was inspiring. We’ll be bringing it back in March of this year. Stay tuned for date and details.


On a personal note, 2015 was a bit of a rollercoaster. Watching my daughter grow from an infant to a toddler, and seeing her personality begin to develop, has been an absolute joy.

Kai Lars

The thrill of being a new (ish) Dad was rattled in October when I lost my brother, Kai. It was a sudden and unexpected loss, and another reminder of the fragility of life. I’ve experienced loss before, and used my experience to write a post on Medium with the hopes of helping others who are grieving during the holidays.

As 2015 comes to a close, I want to thank all of you for being a part of the Amplify community. I hope you’re able to end the year sharing laughs with friends and loved ones, and wish you all a 2016 full of growth, smiles and new experiences.