Not Able To Attend A Conference

Every year there are countless conferences I want to attend and every year I have to pass up on almost all of them. It is disappointing but I find ways to follow along. If you find yourself in a similar situation to me, what might you do to still gain insight about the conference?

 

LinkedIn – Check LinkedIn events and see who is attending and begin to network with them. Some individuals you may know and others maybe not. But connecting in advance could lead to sharing of information and feedback on the conference and topics and maybe even the sharing of notes about valuable take aways.

Twitter – Find out the particular hashtag of the conference and follow along with what is being shared and follow along. See what is being shared and even participate in the conversation from your home or office. Good tools to follow a particular hashtag include:

Ustream – Some conferences, like the 140conf will use Ustream to play live video of the sessions so that everyone may see what is happening. You are able to listen to the sessions, just miss out on the in-person networking.

Facebook – Some conferences will create a Facebook Page for people to join and get upcoming information about a conference or seminar. What is also valuable about these Pages is that the conference hosts may also upload pieces of the conference after the fact in video form or transcripts or with reviews.

YouTube – Many conferences or conference attendees will take video and upload the content to YouTube to share with the masses. This is an excellent way to get information but also hear others opinions on topics that were discussed.

Blogs – Use Google and do a search for blogs from the conference name and see what others wrote about their experience. These posts may appear after the conference but they will be helpful in accumulating additional knowledge about events.

 
While all of these are good tools to use, it is helpful to follow a variety of channels to maximize the impact and knowledge of what is being discussed. Conversations even continue online after events or into the evenings. Knowing that we are all busy and following along all day is not realistic; pick and choose what makes sense for you. And chances are, you will network and meet new people along the way even though you are not there in person.

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Poor Interview Etiquette

Recently I had an interview experience that I haven’t had in quite sometime. I’ve had candidates cancel interviews for a variety of reasons but I can firmly say that I have never had this happen to me before.

I scheduled an interview with a candidate one week ago. Everything was great from the candidate perspective including the day and the time of the interview. My colleague and I followed up throughout the week with updates and received no concerns or conflicts from the candidate. Two-hours and two-minutes before the interview, we receive an email thanking us for the opportunity but the candidate has accepted another offer. Okay, a last minute cancelation.

This left us wondering when the offer was made.

After some very easy searching, I found a tweet that the candidate had accepted the job the same day as the interview was scheduled!

Maybe the candidate was excited for good things happening all in one day. Maybe the candidate didn’t know how to respond to an interview request. Maybe the candidate wasn’t thinking at all at that moment.

I conduct a lot of Twitter searches, Boolean searches and social media searches. I failed to follow my own rule of checking a candidates comments. I do not seek anything specific, I often just look to see how they use social media and not to make a hiring decision based upon what I find.

  • Should I have looked more often at their social media feed? Yes!
  • Should I have received a call or email well prior to the interview? Yes!

Sometimes it takes just a moment to realize what you should do and what you should not do. I certainly learned here, not sure the candidate learned anything though.

3 steps to poor interview etiquette

  1. accept a job
  2. accept a 1st interview with another company the same day as accepting the job
  3. cancel the scheduled interview with less than 2 hours notice

Lesson learned.

 

Interview With #DriveThruHR

On March 28th, I had an unbelievable opportunity to be interviewed by William Tincup and Bryan Wempen on their BlogTalkRadio show: DrivetTruHR.

This was my first opportunity to speak with William and Bryan and I am sorry I haven’t spoken with them earlier! I have interacted with them on Twitter but have not met them anywhere. After speaking with them, these are two engaging and interesting individuals (plus William and I have a passion for Manchester United which is always a solid bonding point).

It was great getting calls from Animal, who is always looking to stir the preverbial “pot”, and a call from Tammy, from the 616 in Michigan. It was just knowing that someone is listening out there, regardless of the fact that I know William and Bryan have an impressive listener base.

Thank you again to William and Bryan and everyone at DriveThruHR for listening to me yesterday. If you want to hear the entire conversation, you may do so here.

Hope you enjoy!

Don’t Be A Wallflower – Be Heard

Being in social media takes more than just pushing out information, it takes involvement… engagement. It is about more than your name or your company logo or brand, it is being there to converse and interact with the community.

Social media is a community, like it or not, and is a particular chosen and accepted platform for diverse people to connect and talk about everything from breakfast/lunch/dinner to movies to video games to customer service to shopping to job searches to the GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Not every message is for everyone but each person’s community will have some sort of theme to it. That is where Twitter lists and Facebook pages come into high regard.

If I want to follow thought leaders in mobile marketing & recruiting, I will follow a specialized group of industry experts to discuss the topic. If I want to make a crock pot meal, I will interact with those that love sharing recopies.

Social media is more than self-promotion and publication but it is about interaction, networking and relationships. How do you achieve this?

ENGAGEMENT!

Following a wide array of people makes attending a conference so much more interesting and personable. For some of us, going to a crowded conference makes the introvert become prominent. But if you are able to find a friendly face from social media that you have been conversing with for some time in the room, this event just became more interesting and friendly. For others of us, meeting new people is not a problem but social media lets those connections develop for a longer lasting period of time.

Do you use LinkedIn Groups to engage others? You do not need to ask questions but by joining groups and participating in the conversations you are much more likely to exchange professional ideas and even brainstorm on the topics you may not have ever considered previously.

Engagement starts on your mobile phone or personal computer and evolves over time into real connections and relationships. Take the time to connect with others and see what develops and where you will go engaging with a whole new community.

Image credit to J. Morgan Marketing

 

Keith McIlvaine is the author of the HR farmer

TOTAL PICTURE RADIO with Peter Clayton

I’ve spoken to Peter Clayton on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for a number of topics over the past year or so. Peter is extremely recognized in the industry as a leader and has fantastic insight… plus he is amazing to connect with in real life.

We finally met in October when we both attended the IACPR conference in Philadelphia and were witness to a very interesting and well attended event. This was my first

Peter was kind enough to interview me on his Total Picture Radio show and you may download the podcast or read the transcript here.

I am truly honored to have been included in the show as Peter has interviewed amazing talent and thought leaders. I am a bit humbled (but honestly thrilled) to have been asked.

I hope you enjoy and always welcome follow up questions.

No Such Thing As A Quick Fix

#SocialRecruiting or the use of social media for recruiting is not a new concept.  Many blogs have been written about how recruiting is social, has been and always be social.  What I am sensing from many recruiters is a “Field of Dreams” syndrome… if you are there, candidates will come.

Social media is not a “quick fix” for anyone.  These are tools that will take time while building credibility, adding value and ultimately trust from others.  There is a time investment, a willingness to share and an huge amount of listening that must occur as well.

In fact, listening might be the most important piece of the puzzle.  If you listen well, you will be able to respond to comments appropriately and make stronger connections.

This is not a push methodology for your jobs.  Yes, social media will allow you to post jobs and to let others know about your openings.  Just don’t be spam!  Don’t be that person that posts 40 messages in a row talking about your openings.  Don’t make others pull you or block you from their feed.  If they do block you, your information is now useless to someone and their entire network.

Be strategic with what you share.  Take the time to formulate what messages you want to convey.  Identify key individuals to follow and interact.

Social media is an incredible tool, just don’t rush it for both your sake and your business!

Transcript of Video:

“Hey, how are you.  Coming to you today, just wanted to talk with you about all of the recruiting summits that are happening now for social media.  And I’m seeing a lot of people come in and start to talk about “how do I get there?”  And the biggest questions that I always come across is “well, how much time does it involve?”  And I don’t think it is about time. And I had a great conversation at some previous conferences about time.  It is not about the time.  You put the time in to get the results. It’s not a quick fix, but over time the results will be there.  So take time, think about what you are doing, put the effort in and everything’s going to work out.  Just make sure you are there, you are doing it and you have the presence.  That’s it this week from the HR farmer, see you soon.”

Over Thinking Social Media

I’m a thinker, a reader, a planner and then I will execute after I feel like I have covered many options.  But with social media, it is more of a think quick, try it, revise it and repeat it approach.

In a post last week, Lance Haun wrote about why you should mess up in your social media efforts and I agree with his view.  If you are sitting in a comfort zone and doing the same things repeatedly, what kind of strategy is that?  Do companies evolve to stay ahead of their competition?  Absolutely!  So why do you have the same approach to social media day after day after day?

I’ll tell you why, the unspoken rules.  You know those rules that people have spread around about etiquette, what to say and what not to say.  You know what, I was in that boat as well.

Here I am, the pot calling the kettle black, and jumping onto the new wave of social media.  Try a new approach, try a new direct message, heck – try anything new!  Think outside of the norm, of your norm, of your comfort zone and engage in a new way.  Add value to your network by doing something innovative.

Why should we wait for people like Gary Vaynerchuk, Chris Brogan, Seth Godin, Brian Solis and others give their new thoughts away?  Beat these guys to the point and make it happen.

As Chris Brogan and Julian Smith put it in their book “Trust Agents”, make it a game.  Do something new, and then be a leader and tell others about it.  Add value by helping others… now go and have fun.  And kudos to Lance for getting me thinking in a new direction.

The Mobile ATS

Recruiting has been centralized around online applicant tracking systems (ATS) and being tied through traditional, non-mobile compatible applications.  In general terms, the entire application process is fairly lengthy for many companies and could be a detriment to candidates taking time to apply.

Now you introduce mobile phones and how many people rely on them for internet searches.  In a conversation with my brother-n-law, he let me know that he uses his iPhone for every type of search.  He only uses a computer or laptop if he needs to print something else.  I do not think he is in the minority in this regard either.

Mobile recruiting is already important and will only become more necessary in the short term.  But you also need a way for interested candidates to connect with you.

This will probably be an investment for all of us, but to connect and build relationships this is an absolute to be addressed, the sooner the better.  If companies wish to infuse their talent networks, we all must now think about how to merge the mobile world with the existing technology.

Social Media Certifications

These days you are able to apply for a certification for everything and anything, the latest entry into this is a Social Media Certification.

In general, certifications are nice and maybe a good learning experience but do they truly enhance your ability.  Anyone from any background is able to enter a certification course and gain the knowledge but that does not necessarily translate into usability.  There is an awful lot to learn, understand and apply into social media and just by taking a course will not make you any more savvy.  Sure, you might gain insight and potential tricks to use, but the application is so much more important.

Social media changes on an ongoing basis and keeping up with new tools, trends and even sites can be a full-time task.  Reading, interacting, connecting and adding value is how social media has made its mark.  Value is king though, if there was not value then no one would use it.

Get out there and use it in some business application.  Otherwise, it is great that you learned it, but I want to see what you’ve done with social media to make your mark.

Social Media Certifications

These days you are able to apply for a certification for everything and anything, the latest entry into this is a Social Media Certification.

In general, certifications are nice and maybe a good learning experience but do they truly enhance your ability.  Anyone from any background is able to enter a certification course and gain the knowledge but that does not necessarily translate into usability.  There is an awful lot to learn, understand and apply into social media and just by taking a course will not make you any more savvy.  Sure, you might gain insight and potential tricks to use, but the application is so much more important.

Social media changes on an ongoing basis and keeping up with new tools, trends and even sites can be a full-time task.  Reading, interacting, connecting and adding value is how social media has made its mark.  Value is king though, if there was not value then no one would use it.

Get out there and use it in some business application.  Otherwise, it is great that you learned it, but I want to see what you’ve done with social media to make your mark.