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!

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Improve Your Recruiting Practice

Recruiters tend to be creatures of habit, we stick with what works. While being productive and filling open positions is the ultimate goal, we shouldn’t get rooted in our ways and afraid to adapt to new techniques and methodologies.

I continue to be surprised while talking with recruiters about what they haven’t tried. I understand that not all social networking tools are not for everyone and there are far too many for any one person to have an impactful presence on all of them.

I still believe that recruiters, or people in general, must expand into areas that are uncomfortable to grow. Trying a new tool isn’t a bad thing. But don’t just try it and move on. Truly spend time with the tool and give it a fair try. Otherwise you are cheating yourself out of a potential new and valuable sourcing tool.

Make 2011 the year you try at least 1 new tool. Give it time as anything new takes time to evaluate. If you are unsure as to how to use the particular tool or if you are looking for tricks to make it easier to use, ask someone. Most recruiters enjoy being viewed as a subject matter expert and will be happy to provide insight and helpful hints.

Spend time doing research on what sites might be best for you to use. If you are in the Federal or State/Local government space then GovLoop will be a great option for you. If you are seeking entry level or recent college graduates then you may want to consider KODA. If you recruit on a wide variety of positions, then give Facebook a fair try.

Also, please don’t say that you are going to try LinkedIn (http://www.LinkedIn.com). I mean, isn’t that cheating? You should be there already.

These are just a few ideas but give something a try starting in January. If you really want to challenge yourself, try one new tool every 3 months to see if you are able to continually expand your sourcing toolbox.

Have fun!

Photo credit: Significantblog

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.”

Social Networking: Relationships, Encounters and Spam

Everyone knows that social media and social networking continues to grow but I have also taken note at how it has evolved on many of the social media channels.  Are people looking for a relationship, an encounter or is it just spam?

The answer is “yes”!  Social media is all 3 of those.  People and businesses need to rethink exactly what their strategy is to connect with their target markets.  Think about your day as you network through any number of social media tools:

Relationships: People and brands want to build a relationship with you.  After all, everyone is told to build a relationship with your network.  Relationships are trustworthy connections, often forged at events or in person who does not equate to every single person you come in contact with through social media.  This is very small number of people in your network, those you could call at any moment and catch up.  A very important portion of your network, and a small number in your network.

Encounters: Most likely the majority of people/brands that you will be involved with throughout your day.  These are the individuals or companies that are working to connect with you, to exchange information and to bring you into their community.  This is often misconstrued as “building a relationship” rather than acknowledging exactly what it is, an encounter.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with being an “encounter”.  Both parties are gaining information and sharing feedback.  Also, you may interact with someone today and then not again for another few days or weeks.  But you have interaction with them and you are able to message them and reconnect practically at any moment.  Encounters are where we live online, are very helpful, but not to be confused with relationships.

Spam: The bottom feeder.  Finally, there are those bots or people that spam the rest of us.  To use somewhat of a cliché, Web 1.0 tactics in a Web 2.0/3.0 world.  These accounts are those that say they “get” social media but obviously do not.  They want to push information out as often and as rapidly as they can.  If you send a question to them, you will be hard pressed to gain a response.  Spam will always be around.  Why?  It is easy and is automated.  There is minimal thought behind it and is easy to measure results.

Is this cut and dry… nope.  Is there some overlap between “relationships” with “encounters” as well as “encounters” with “spam”… definitely.  Grey is the world in which we live.

Think about this.  If the majority of our day and time is spent making social encounters, this means that you must maximize your value.  Engagement is great and value is king.  People want to learn and share ideas, make the most of your time.

Facebook vs Foursquare

This is bad news.  As reported in Tech Crunch earlier this week, Facebook is moving in a direction I am for one not ecstatic about.  Not bad news for businesses but bad news for both Foursquare (the company) and all of the Facebook user community.

A bit of an overreaction?  Maybe.

Foursquare users already integrate this app with Twitter so all day you get to know where people are & what they are doing… even if this adds zero value to 99.9999999% of the world’s population.  I’ve already done a mild rant on this so I will digress.

But, with Facebook now looking to move into the location based messaging market, the whole world is in for something big and annoying.  Just like your Twitter feed, your Facebook wall will now be one massive list of where people are and what they are doing, ALL THE TIME.

My hope is that Facebook figures out that most of this is irrelevant and that there should be an extra tab on the main page for “News Feed”.  Maybe they will add a third list option.  Currently you are able to choose between “Top News” and “Most Recent” which are both helpful.  Imagine adding a third option of “Find Friends” or “Where Are They Now” or some other name will allow you to look for your friends, if you choose to look!

I am dreading the day that I log into Facebook and see everyone posting where they are at a particular moment.

I understand this is the wave of retail, restaurants and other businesses but don’t force-feed me this information if I don’t want to see it.

photo credit to Mitchell McKenna

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.

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.

foursquare: I’m not sold

Foursquare, Gowalla, Whirrl and any other location based mobile social media “game” is definitely the buzz today, and rightfully so.  These have the potential to be very powerful tools for both businesses and users.

I have not bought into any of them for a variety of reasons.  What I have noticed is that businesses are doing some great and very interesting marketing tactics to connect further with the customers using these tools.  I have also noticed users adding absolutely zero value to their network.

Today I wanted to highlight what are my top 3 pro’s and con’s of foursquare, Gowalla, Whirrl and any other social networking location based tool.  In an effort to keep the videos short, I am just covering my top 3 points as I ramble.

To begin, let’s start on the positive side:

But, I am passionate about what I consider the negatives of these tools:

OK, so now you have read and viewed my brief takes on this subject and would enjoy hearing what you think about this.  Let me know if you agree, disagree or if I may have overlooked something – that happens too.  I look forward to your comments.