Over the past four years, Amplify's focus has been on employer brand strategy, recruiting optimization consulting, and executive search. For the past two years, my focus has also been on growing and scaling the HR Open Source initiative. I've traveled the world and met many talented practitioners who all seem to be grappling with similar challenges around how they prepare their businesses, and themselves, for the “future of work.” I've had countless conversations with some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the HR space who are transforming their organizations. They've inspired me to think deeply about where the world of work is heading.
You’re looking for a job—which means you’re networking your pants off. Wisely, you’re focusing on contacting recruiters and human-resources folks in particular, and you’re (just as wisely) taking a two-pronged approach: paging through LinkedIn for all it’s worth, and piecing together the email addresses of the contacts you identify, whenever you’re unable to send them an InMail message.
You realize it’s a bit of a crapshoot, since a lot of the time, this means reaching out to people you don’t know, so it’s all the more crucial that you nail your introductory message. But how do you do that? Recruiters and HR professionals receive loads of unsolicited notes from jobseekers, and yours needs to stand out.
Recruiters spend lots of time combing through LinkedIn profiles—possibly more than many would like. After awhile, they can start to blend together, which means that whatever you can do as a job seeker to stick out from the crowd (at least in a way that reflects well on you) is probably worth trying.At a minimum, though, you’ve got to sidestep the most common mistakes and drawbacks that recruiters encounter on LinkedIn constantly. These are some of the issues that recruiters, hiring managers, and execs who constantly use LinkedIn to staff their teams say the worst profiles have in common.
As most job candidates are probably sick of hearing by now, emotional intelligence is a coveted skill recruiters look for when they’re making hires. There’s tons of advice out there for candidates to adjust how they speak and answer questions on job interviews in order to dial up interpersonal skills. But a lot of the time, emotionally intelligent applicants don’t make it through to the interview stage at all. They get lost in hiring processes that are emotionally unintelligent to an alarming degree. What if the reason companies keep saying they’re having such a hard time finding emotional intelligence in the job market is because their hiring processes are devoid of humanity?
The notion of hiring for culture fit was established as a foundation of many corporate recruiting processes. The term was embedded in career sites, integrated into interview processes, and touted as a competitive advantage for many organizations in the tech community. Over the years, the term has taken on more of a tribal meaning. People who think like us. People who work like us. People who live like us. Please who look like us.
A hiring process built around an undefined notion of "culture fit" is fraught with bias. In some organizations “culture fit” has become a weaponized phrase that interviewers use as a blanket term to reject candidates that don’t match the hiring manager’s view of the ideal candidate; and as such, it has become the embodiment of unconscious bias. Most interviewers are more likely to hire people like themselves and discount those who are different. This type of thinking hinders diversity and leads to homogenous cultures.
The world of recruiting is evolving at an accelerated pace. Recruiting teams at the leading edge of this evolution are deploying modern tools and technology like algorithms, bots, and AI to help them identify, engage, and retain talent. However, many companies still struggle with the fundamentals of recruiting, which is creating a widening gap in capabilities…and successes. This eBook is not for those practitioners already at the leading edge of this curve. This is a resource for recruiters with a full desk and heavy requisition loads who perpetually struggle for time. Startups without established recruiting or HR functions and are wondering what to do to give their organization a hiring edge. Teams that started modernizing their recruiting functions, but soon found themselves stuck.
Open-sourcing HR can fundamentally change the way practitioners work. In some cases an HR rep is struggling to make a case to a skeptical boss to do something new or different. Being able to point to a case study as proof that it's doable can be indispensable. In other fields, finding quantifiable evidence to back up a proposed approach is easy and routine. In HR, it isn't. But if those in the field don't get comfortable with offering one another tangible, comparable examples—free of charge—innovation will continue to trudge along, and we can expect to keep hearing that HR is on its last leg.
Amplify Talent was launched four year ago. It was a time when Employer Brand was just beginning to emerge as a core component to modern recruiting. It was a time of transition, as I stepped away from 15 years of corporate recruiting and HR leadership roles to go out on my own and try something new. I often joke my career spirit animal is a Designer. I have a deep appreciation for great design, and my first logo was very important to me. I had clear ideas of what I wanted, and what I didn't, to visually represent my business.
Your mobile-responsive career site doesn't cut it anymore.
We're days away from 2017, but many companies are still hiring like it's 2010. The entire hiring process—from the way job seekers find listings to the way recruiters reach out to prospects—has evolved quite a bit in the past few years. Now it's time for every employer to catch up to the times, lest lose the top talent to competitors that beat them to it. These are three factors that, more and more, will make or break a company's recruiting in the year ahead.
As talent leaders continue to beat the “war for talent” drums, are they missing the bigger risk to their organizations?
The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 4.6 in November 2016, the lowest jobless rate since August 2007. This trend was steady throughout 2016. To remain competitive companies began investing more in their recruiting capabilities, particular in the growing field of employer branding where they aim to attract talent by shaping candidate perceptions and influencing sentiment. While this makes sense in today’s connected candidate marketplace, an over-emphasis on talent attraction and hiring without equal emphasis on development and retention will create problems for companies in the new year.
To keep their edge in an intensely competitive hiring climate, some companies are trying to make themselves more attractive employers. In many ways, that's understandable. Building an employer brand can create the sizzle that brings as many candidates as possible through your door. This is a mistake.
We all have different drivers and motivators when it comes to our work . . . One person's dream job is another's nightmare. There's no doubt that attracting talent is important. If you can't do it, positions will remain unfilled, and the top people in your field will go to your competitor. But attracting the right talent is what really matters. Most companies already agree with this in principle, but many still overlook the fact that the goal of recruiting isn’t more candidates—it’s more of the right candidates. And their recruiting practices are still geared more toward the former than the latter.
Transmedia storytelling is a narrative that conveys stories across multiple platforms. This medium is probably not the first thing you’d associate with recruiting - but could it be the future of how you hire?
The legacy of recruiting is transactional. A job opens. A job posts. A recruiter sifts through resumes. Interviews commence. A short list of finalists is determined. An offer is made. An offer is accepted. A new hire joins your organization. This model is based on notions of “active” and “passive” job seekers. It was built on job boards and recruiting agencies. It drives mostly reactive processes. Today’s recruiting is different. The old transactional models aren’t necessarily gone, but they’re augmented by an entirely new set of approaches and platforms borrowed from marketing. That’s right; recruiters are now marketers.
When was the last time you saw a video online that made you feel something? I mean really feel something.
Chances are you were perusing your Facebook timeline and caught a viral video of panda cub sneezing, or a veteran reuniting with her family, or perhaps the devastation in Aleppo.
Video is all around us. It’s become something that we’re constantly exposed to, watching as much as five hours of video content per day. With the ubiquity of mobile and the rise of live streaming, we’re all mobile broadcasters.
With the rise of video eating into our attention span, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for companies leveraging videos to help them recruit. Five years ago a recruiting video was a differentiator. Today it’s become a common commodity.
Recruiting videos have become somewhat formulaic. Show an ethnically and gender diverse group of employees extolling the culture and perks your company has to offer. Check. Foosball table. Check. Talk about changing the world. Check.
Some companies are bucking this trend and taking a different approach. They’re creating cinematic showcases of the employee journey, providing a deeper narrative that aims to make viewers feel something. Let’s explore a few examples below
There has never been more competition for our eyes and ears. We're awash in stimuli almost every waking moment. The constant bombardment of our senses is chipping away at an already limited attention span.
To cut through the noise, media organizations are embracing personalization. Audio has been doing this for awhile with Pandora, Spotify and others serving up tailored playlists based on your musical tastes. Established broadcasters like NPR, have followed suit. Netflix is famous for their personalized content suggestion. All of these efforts are an attempt to get and maintain attention by catering to their audience's specific needs.
The increasing demand and ability to deliver personalized content tailored to the needs and characteristics of individuals means you need a much wider range of content reflecting different interests. This is certainly true in recruiting, where candidates have never been more distracted with various media channels – or bombarded by recruiters.
Starting any new job can be scary, but when you’re going out on your own, it can be downright terrifying. The more preparation, research, and planning you can do while you have the financial security of a full-time paycheck and benefits the better.
You likely have an idea of what you’d do as a solopreneur. Spend some time understanding the market for that niche. Comb your contacts and gauge opportunities. Build your network. Work to gain visibility and connections in the spaces where you want to work.
Being good at what you do is important, but so is being known. If you’re the former without the latter, you may struggle to get your business off the ground.
Once solely the domain of marketing, storytelling is increasingly being adopted by corporate recruiting teams to help them hire more efficiently. Rather than telling candidates what it’s like to work there, companies are showing them by finding new ways to share the employee experience.
These narratives are revealing a more human side of the business. They often go beyond "this is what I do here," instead illuminating “this is why I do what I do - here.”
That subtle shift provides a different lens through which job seekers can envision themselves (or not) working for your company. Some of these stories go beyond work, sharing insights into personal drivers and life experiences that shape employees.
Recruiting is no longer a transactional field. It’s now a creative field. This shift runs deeper than the cosmetic rebrand to “talent acquisition”. As competition for top talent continues to increase, companies have to rethink how they can stand out to draw talent. This new landscape puts increased pressure on recruiting teams to find news ways to stand out and cut through the noise – and this is mainly being accomplished through storytelling.
The early days of social media in recruiting were a sea of the same stock photos, boilerplate text, and career sites with slogans like, “A world of opportunity”. Today’s job applicants want something more. Software engineers want to know what it’s like to write code at your company. Marketers want to understand your go to market strategy. Success in connecting with these audiences is now driven by how you can help them understand what their role in your company looks like – and get to know their future peers.
I sat down with PH.Creative Co-Founder, Bryan Adams, to discuss storytelling in Employer Branding on his "Getting Goosebumps" podcast. You can listen below, and be sure to subscribe to his podcast for great insights on storytelling from some of the top minds in Marketing, Product, and Talent.
The year was 2010. I recently landed at a new job running recruiting and innovation at NPR. My past experience included traditional ‘traditional’ recruiting leadership roles at companies including Ticketmaster, Magento, and Intersperse. I soon learned a traditional recruiting approach would fail in this new role. It forced me to find new ways to share our employee experience, culture, and talent - and fundamentally changed how I thought about recruiting. This was my introduction to Employer Branding.
Fast forward to today. The field of Employer Branding had evolved into the fastest growing area of recruiting. 62% of global talent leaders say Employer Brand is their biggest priority for 2016. Many companies are building dedicated employer brand teams to help them shape and steer their employer brand narratives. Employer Brand has matured into a key component to the modern recruiting function.
Introducing the Employer Brand Checklist
Motivated by the collaborative sharing spirit driving the HR Open Source (HROS.co / #HROS) initiative, I decided to open up my own playbook of EB resources, tools, and assets I use with clients when helping them develop their Employer Brand strategy. I wanted to make it even more robust, so enlisted peers to weigh in with some of their own (credits below).
The following checklist can be used as a guide to help steer considerations on things you may want to include in your Employer Brand strategy and roadmap. Feel free to copy, tweak, and use it however you like.
My goal in open sourcing this is to help frame what’s possible for those new to EB. I plan to keep it updated as new tools/approaches/etc or released, and would love your help to make it even better. If you have any EB approaches you don’t find below, leave a comment and I’ll add to the checklist.
Brands are increasingly migrating to Snapchat and some are finding measurable success. If you’ve researched your target audience and determined Snapchat makes sense for your branding portfolio - be aware you need to develop an entirely new approach.
Snapchat is unlike any other social platform. It's all about capturing a moment - through video and photo. You can customize these moments with filters, emojis, text, and drawing. No links, no self-promotional “thought leadership” blog posts or auto-scheduled posts - just moments.
As Snapchat is all about the real-time sharing, metrics and analytics are not easy to come by. This presents unique challenges for branders who want to measure engagement and ROI. Here are a few things to consider:
Followers in social are often considered a vanity metric. They don’t necessarily illustrate engagement (considering they can be bought on most platforms), but they're often one of the first metrics brands review to gauge how popular they are. Snapchat doesn’t provide follower counts. You can determine how many followers viewed your story, but that’s it. This presents some challenges when trying to measure overall channel ROI and reach.
The first thing you need to know about Snapchat is that it’s unlike any other social channels. Those fluent in Tweets, Instas, and Facebook assuming that experience will translate to Snapchat are in for a surprise.
Snapchat is all about capturing a moment, through videos and photos. You can customize these moments with emojis, text, filters, and drawing - but that’s your communication method. No links, no self-promotional “thought leadership” blog posts or auto-scheduled posts - just moments. Real and true.
The presentation below was developed by A m p l i f y (👻 ThisIsLarsSnap) with the help of Snapchat veterans - Nando Rodriguez (👻 nandoism) and Celinda Appleby (👻 cellyapp). The goal was to demystify Snapchat and help new users and brands better understand how the platform works. You can view the entire presentation below, or download it for free.
Snapchat is a growing force in the world of social media. It's become the social platform of choice for millennials, and brands are taking notice. It's more than just snaps. Snapchat has grown into one of the preferred communication channels for GenY with 69% of millennial users using it daily as a chat platform. This is an important stat for HR.
The field of Recruiting, with it's focus on talent attraction and branding, is usually an early adopter of new platforms. They want to gauge whether these new platforms can be integrated into their branding portfolio, and help them attract and engage talent in new ways.
Recruiting is all about meeting candidates where they are. For some companies, that's Snapchat. Does that mean everyone needs to rush out and start snapping? No, but whether you're using Snapchat for business or personal reasons there may be reasons to invest your time there.
HR industry veteran Jay Kuhns (👻 jrkuhns) is one of the more active Snappers in the space. He recently blogged about his experience with Snapchat, and why he feels HR professionals should start Snapping.
I'm an admitted Snapchat newbie. I've been digging into the platform the past month to learn more about how it works, and gauge how companies might use it for branding purposes.
Last month my friend Mark Luckie, Head of Journalism & Media at Reddit, reached out and asked if I'd do an AMA on job search. If you're not familiar with AMA's, it stands for "Ask Me Anything" and serves as a Q&A platform for, well, pretty much anything. You can check them out here. I hadn't hosted an AMA on Reddit before, but thought it would be a cool way to help job seekers so of course said yes.
I had a great time answering questions. My AMA covered a broad range of topics - from new university grad job search to coding bootcamps to my views on time travel. You can check out the full AMA below.
Amplify will work at the intersection of Employer and Consumer Brand, helping CMO’s and CHRO’s bridge the gap between HR and Marketing to develop talent-focused campaigns and initiatives that help companies harness and convey their employee experience.
So you want to be an influencer. If 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.
Onboarding is a crucial component to successful recruiting. All of the hard work and goodwill built up over the recruiting courtship can be undone with a bad onboarding process. The challenge many recruiters face is that they feel they don't "own" onboarding, and too many think their role ends at offer acceptance.
If you don't make onboarding a priority, you risk creating a poor first impression of their new roles for your new hire. Don't let that happen.
One of the ways you can support a more successful onboarding is to coach your hiring managers on their role in onboarding. Often times their involvement from the moment an offer is extended through start date can set a tone for successful acclimation.
Random Tweets of Kindness will be returning Tuesday March 9, 2016. This year we’ll be broadening the campaign across social media; so you can use#RTOK on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, blogs, or wherever you want to say thanks or share gratitude.
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.
Noor van Boven shares experience and insights from her career in Recruiting and Human Resources. In this episode, Noor shares how her Father influenced her career, taking time off to travel, why she prefers "people operations" to "human resources", the key ingredient that separates good from great companies, managing people operations in aa global organizations with 38 nationalities represented, time management and productivity tips, how SoundCloud uses it's platform for recruiting, and what music you'll find in her home.
Sree Sreenivasan shares experience and insights from his career spanning Journalism, Academia, and the Arts. In this episode, Sree walks me through where his passion for technology comes from, his 30 year love affair with the Met, the museum of dead technology, learning the value of new technology during a military coup in Fiji, how living in different countries stoked his curiosity, what it's like to run a 70 person startup in a 100 year old company, Tradigital journalism, attention as currency, the biggest competition for museums, where he goes to keep up with emerging technology, why LinkedIn is the most under-appreciated of all the social networks, and where he finds inspiration.