Talent Circles

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

5 Books About Human Capital and Recruitment I’m Reading in 2015

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

The human resources industry is constantly evolving and changing, which is why it’s so important for practitioners to make research and discovery as much a part of their jobs as anything else. Whether you’re naturally a reader or not, there is so much insight that can be gained by spending some time with your nose in a book. And with the new year upon us, my mind is already on the books I’ll be reading in 2015. Without further ado, here are five books you’ll find me glued to this year. Each have been chosen for different reasons, but they are all worth the read.

Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy 
by Shel Isreal and Robert Scoble

It’s important for us to understand where our industries and businesses are heading, and “Age of Context” helps us to discover just that. Constant development goes beyond consumer technology and is quickly moving into businesses and our workplaces as the way we do business continues to be more and more technology centric. It’s vital for us not only keep up but also know where we’re going because best-in-class employees we seek to recruit and hire are increasingly expecting us to be at the cutting edge.

Predictive Analytics for Human Resources
by Jac Fitz-Enz

Jac Fitz-Enz has long been known as a pioneer in the human resources and analytics spaces, which is why his newest book, “Predictive Analytics for Human Resources,” was so highly anticipated. HR is increasingly making use of analytics and saying goodbye to dumb luck (link to post about dumb luck) but it’s still an area that some practitioners are unfamiliar with. Start with Fitz-Enz’s “The new HR Analytics,” then follow up with this book to gain a well-rounded understanding of analytics in HR.

The 4-Hour Workweek
by Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss’ “The 4-Hour Workweek” has changed my approach to business, which is why I’ll revisit it again in 2015. In this book, Ferriss paints a real-life view of what the business world is like, though it may have you shaking your head and wondering if anyone plays by the rules. Even so, a lot of what business is about is finding a way to manage our time, be as productive as possible and learn how to make other companies’ natural weaknesses work in our favor to hire their best employees.

No Fear: Business Leadership for the Digital Age
by Mark Mueller-Eberstein and Pekka Viljakainen

This book helps you understand and engage the digital cowboys of your workplace and leverage their habits to elevate your business and brand beyond compare. The authors’ focus on ROI and metrics provides useful insights into the world of the social media, blogging and online communities.

How: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything
by Dov Seidman

Sometimes the best way to learn how to make something happen is to hear from those who have already made it happen. “How” does just that by discussing the monumental business and work shift we are encountering as our businesses become globally interconnected. The book shares how top-notch business leaders stay effective in this fast moving, technology-focused, transparent economy.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

Monday, December 29, 2014

How to Talk to and Not At Your Job Seeker Candidates

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Recruiting strategies are the key to successfully guiding your talent acquisition efforts, but at the heart of that strategy is something so foundational that without it, your strategy won’t succeed –Relationships. Our connections with people will always be the heart of any strategy or employment brand campaign. If strategies and campaigns are the road map we follow, relationships are the vehicle that carries us to our destination.

It’s kind of surprising that given the fact that relationships are so vital to a recruiter’s success, I see so many who struggle to build quality relationships with prospective candidates.

A lot of the struggle to foster relationships boils down to one thing: how we talk to job seekers and candidates. All too often we talk at, not with, candidates. It’s important that recruiters master this aspect of their business because candidates will seek out information from one place or another, whether it’s from the recruiter or elsewhere. This was proven by research published by Conference Executive Board that shared that 80% of candidates seek information about a potential employer from outside sources. This high number raises the question of whether or not candidates are even getting adequate information from their recruiter in the first place. When candidates come to you over outside sources, you have more influence over how their opinion of the company is shaped and get an opportunity to address concerns right out of the gate and help them feel comfortable with the potential transition.

Use these four strategies to build better connections with job seekers by speaking with, not at, them:

Create a conversation, not a lecture
Across all aspects of life, many of us are guilty of performing monologues rather than creating conversations. It’s especially important to make the most of the time you have when communicating with a job seeker, so you must find a balance between sharing and obtaining the information you need and creating a two-way conversation. No one likes to be talked at, so treat your candidate like you would a new friend and create an exchange of information that helps you get to know each other better.

Meet them where they are
Recruiters tend to do a good job of reaching out to candidates in their natural habitat, whether that’s on LinkedIn, through email, by phone or on Twitter. We know we have to meet them where they are initially, but all too often, we make the candidate do the work after that initial point of contact. The best way to maintain conversation is to be consistent and easy to get in touch with.

You know how any given conversation helps you –you’re gauging their interest, asking them to apply or seeking further details, but how do each of these conversations benefit them? Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes and ask yourself, if I’m the candidate, what’s in it for me? How does the conversation at hand provide value to them as well? If you’re only thinking about what you can get out of a conversation, it will be apparent. 

Build a personal connection
At the end of the day, every conversation should be a baby step in fostering a connection with the candidate. If they feel connected to you as a person, they’re more likely to reply to an email, answer their phone and even trust you. So consider whether or not you create an enjoyable, relaxed and open environment. In short, would you want to talk to you?

These four strategies do far more than help you build a relationship that will turn the candidate into an employee. They also help to create brand ambassadors for you even before a candidate is hired. By building a relationship and rapport with our candidates for the long term, they turn into much more than just candidates. They can easily be our biggest champions and brand ambassadors.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

Friday, December 26, 2014

Despite Technology, Recruiting is Still About the People. Always.

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

It seems that across the HR industry, technology has begun to take center stage. Some may think that HR has turned into one giant robot, while others may want us to believe we couldn’t do our jobs without it. But the role of human resources existed long before technology and will continue on with or without it. HR isn’t a technology-driven industry. It’s a people-driven industry.

In HR, the star of the show always has been and always will be people. It’s easy to get caught up in the latest and greatest tool or technology that helps you do your job quicker, more accurately and better than the competition, but we can never lose sight of the fact that the only reason we even use tools is to reach, hire and retain people. At the end of the day, the best HR technology in the world can’t create the type of people we need and make them stay. We’ve got to remember that as we adopt more technology over time, there will never be a substitution for the human element.

People vs. technology
I am a major proponent of technology, both in my professional and personal life, but even I can admit that technology has its limitations. This especially proves to be true in an industry where the human element is such a key part of all that we do. Technology will never be able to make connections, build relationships, determine when and how to deal with a personnel problem or be able to assess a situation and all its human complexities. Technology can do a lot for us, but it will never be able to meet human needs.

Technology has its place in the industry, though, and that is to support the efforts of HR professionals. The role of HR technology is not to replace human resources or recruiting. Technology is designed to help automate administrative tasks so we can focus on what’s important. And that is the people side of HR.

People don’t work for technology. They work for people.
There’s a lot to be said for being a trendy company, having the best technology, a cool image and modern branding, but that’s not usually why people want to work with you. It may get them in the door, but what’s going to make them want to stay is the people. They want to work with people who inspire and challenge them. They want to work with people who see the world differently.

From the outside looking in
Outsiders often place too much weight on what HR technology can do instead of why we’re using it. Executives and others on the outskirt of HR looking in sometimes look at all the functions HR does and immediately associate a technology with that task. For instance, they may attribute recruiting success to social networks even though it would be impossible to accurately source candidates on social networks without a recruiter’s knowledge and techniques. Technology supplements the work we do, but it does not replace it. As HR professionals, a small part of our job is showing business leaders and others the value we bring, and this area is no exception. We must help them see what role technology plays and what role we play.

Technology helps businesses cut through the red tape and paperwork to see what really matters at the end of the day, which is people. The human element is the key to everything.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

Monday, December 22, 2014

Jeff Lackey @Rolls-Royce: Creative People + Authentic Storytelling = The Right Hire

One of the best presentations at the December HCI Conference in San Francisco was the last one: Jeff Lackey's. The title says it all: "Creative People + Authentic Storytelling = The Right Hires." I love such straightforward and energizing assertiveness.

If you think you know everything about Rolls-Royce, think twice. This prestigious company produced its first aircraft engine a century ago and generated half of the aircraft engines used by the Allies in World War I; it is now the second-largest maker of aircraft engines and one of the top largest defense contractors in the world.  Rolls-Royce would have the perfect makeup to be somewhat conservative and unappealing to younger generations of employees. However, many consumer brands may have a hard time catching up with Roll-Royce's upbeat approach.

Jeff Lackey and his team addressed this potential perception problem in four short years and transformed the organization into an employer of choice addressing head-on what matters if you want to attract IQ and foster diversity. You must:
  • Speak the language of your sociological target (the millennials who will compose the majority of the workforce in 2015),
  • Offer a career path and not simply a job,
  • Identify the candidates with a calling rather than those only looking for a position,
  • Reflect our societal diversity, nurture thought-diversity, and proactively cultivate the interest of veterans, students and women in STEM.

As Jeff likes to put it, "World-class products start with world-class people." Of course, the number one requirement to attract world-class people is a world-class sourcing and recruiting team. Jeff raves about his game-changing squad: 
  • Lindsey Gamble, Global Resourcing Manager for Engineering (yes, a woman!); 
  • Tiffany Overton, Diversity Resourcing Leader; 
  • Toby Barnes, now Group Head of Resourcing at Travis Perkins; and 
  • The irresistible Daniel Perkins, Global Employment Brand Manager, whose contagious sense of fun ravished the HCI audience. 

Thought-leadership is not a solo endeavor: it's a shared mindset for a better workplace where people turn into storytellers and, by becoming the company's evangelists, attract new candidates.

Creativity is the motto of the talent acquisition department, so much so that when you watch the videos they produce, you want to be part of the Rolls-Royce's DNA adventure. Here is the video presentation of this philosophy they gave to university students across the UK earlier this year:

Employment branding doesn't start when you opportunistically need candidates. It's an overarching motivational message. Inspired by a young LEGO fan in Derby, U.K., Rolls-Royce made a replica of a jet engine from 152,455 LEGO bricks. Key to the team's outreach is to appeal to new generations and prompt interest in technology and science as a means for a more sustainable future.

Many venerable brands still stick with the self-centered and condescending approach that people should be grateful to be offered a job. Rolls-Royce has definitely given the cold shoulder to these paternalistic behaviors of the past and embraced our people-centric social world: stop waiting for candidates to come to you but, rather, proactively pave the way for them to become your fans whether or not you currently have a job for them.

The cultural change initiated by Jeff Lackey and his team is somewhat spectacular. Think that four year ago LinkedIn was not even allowed behind the firewall. Today, the Rolls-Royce group has a stimulating YouTube channel and has garnered over half a million fans on Facebook.

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Future Success of Talent Acquisition Starts with Partnerships within Your Company


By Jessica Miller-Merrell

When executives talk about what makes a company successful, they often use terms like profit, sales and revenue, but when it comes down to the critical conversations of how to make it all happen, the talks soon turn to people. I guarantee that at the heart of the majority of C-suite conversations is the issue of people. How to get the best, where the best are working, how to keep employees satisfied, the skills and abilities of key players, and I could go on and on. It isn’t money that makes the world go round. It’s people.

However, all too often we see that the areas of the business that get the most attention and focus are the ones that sign the deals and bring in the clients, not the ones hiring and maintaining the workforce. In fact, HR tends to have a negative reputation within many organizations, despite the fact that they are the very people that have brought the company’s workforce together.

The invisible glue
As the saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.” In the majority of companies, HR tends to play a behind-the-scenes role in keeping the company’s workforce fully staffed and productive. There’s nothing wrong with the rest of the company never seeing that magic, except when it comes time to talk about how it all happened. It’s a sad fact that unless your actions had a direct impact on the outcome, your contribution may go unnoticed. There’s nothing wrong with playing a supporting role, but it’s vital that leaders understand how HR plays a role in the company’s success.

Proving our value through partnerships
Sales teams have spreadsheets full of numbers that can place a monetary value on the impact they’ve made, but supporting players have to work a little harder to help outsiders understand their value. Leaders often don’t understand our roles as human resources and recruiting practitioners. They don’t fully fathom why our roles are so important because our influence indirectly impacts the results they see.

Because of this, it becomes part of our job to help others understand just what it is that HR does and why it’s so important. To do so, we can’t simply declare that we’re valuable. We have to show it. One of the best ways that we can do this is to develop partnerships with key business areas within your company. Partnerships can prove to be incredibly valuable, allowing leaders to put a name with the results they’ve been seeing. It’s a simple fact that our influence and impact is hard to grasp, which means that we must help people see the role we play. Partnerships, relationships and alliances with business units, key influencers and income-generating areas of the business will help the HR department to visibly demonstrate how your talent acquisition and retention skills are linked to the success of a company.

By developing these partnerships, we’re also sending a message to those business areas that the human resources team wants to understand that part of the business better as well and be fully equipped with knowledge that will help to source talent that is a perfect fit.

It’s never a bad idea to invest time into the business units you work closely with, but the need to illustrate HR’s value makes it even more important to develop strategic partnerships throughout the organization.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Recruiting, Like Business, Must Be Flexible and Adaptive

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Sometimes in life you have to learn things the hard way. I had the pleasure of doing just that early in my career when my team was entrusted with an enormous task and simply weren’t able to pull through. It was no small matter, either. My division experienced quick growth and was suddenly faced with the need for an expanded workforce that could move $40,000,000 worth of accounts in under 30 days. My team worked hard to staff the division, but at the end of the day, we weren’t prepared to jump when the division said “jump.” We simply weren’t able to adapt quickly enough. It wasn’t an experience I’d like to re-live anytime soon, but I learned an important lesson in the importance of recruiting teams being flexible and adaptive.

Fast forward many years and I’m still thinking about that situation because it showed me early in my career what some struggle through years of trial and error to discover: nothing is certain except that there will be change.

When real change comes
Most of us have seen businesses shrink and grow, but being truly flexible is about more than just growing and shrinking over time. In this new fast moving economy, companies need recruiters who can change and adapt with them into many shapes, sizes and forms. From company structure to company name to company size, nearly everything is fluid in the business world. Businesses have to be responsible, flexible and adaptive to changing economic conditions, markets and other factors. They must be prepared for multiple scenarios and situations, and sometimes even be able to anticipate the change long before it occurs. This also means that they need recruiters who are able to keep up, fill in the gaps and help anticipate needs as well.

It’s about the goal, not the method
In the late 2000s when video rental stores were dropping like flies, I heard a Netflix executive say that his goal wasn’t to mail DVDs to customers, it was to serve customers, whatever that may look like. It was around that time people began streaming movies online more often than they received them in the mailbox, and also the same time that Netflix was prospering while its competitors fumbled with how to adapt to changing technology and customer needs. Netflix focused on the overall goal while its peers focused on the only method they knew. This is a perfect example of how recruiters can either focus on the end goal of staffing a workforce or they can be dragged down by the fact that the methods they’ve always relied on may need to be tweaked or changed for a different environment. A flexible, adaptive recruiter knows that recruiting methods can change even quicker than business needs, so you have to be willing to do whatever works. Personal development is also an important trait of a flexible and adaptive recruiter because there is always more to learn and ways to improve your methods.

Being flexible and willing to adapt is far more than just having an easy-going personality and working well under pressure. The most valuable recruiters are those who are constantly honing their ability to adapt by planning, strategizing and growing their efforts in anticipation of a business shift or change. Whether you know that change is coming or not, it’s vital that you’re always ready for whatever may come next. The best way to do this is by working proactively to connect with potential candidates, stay in touch with former employees and think ahead at what possible changes could mean for the workforce.
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

Monday, December 15, 2014

Knowledge is at the Center in the Battle for Best-in-Class Candidates

By Jessica Miller-Merrell 

From one expert article to the next, there are plenty of methods and suggestions for recruiting the best candidates. However, one thing that not many industry leaders touch on is the recurring theme that is found in nearly every one of those recommendations and tactics: knowledge. It seems so simple, but knowledge is the underlying support that makes the wheels turn and produce results.

Consider one of the most effective and popular aspects of modern recruiting: employment branding. Your employment brand is the sum total of all the ways today’s workforce sees you. And while you don’t own your employment brand (because you can’t make people think a certain way about you), you can shape your employment brand based on the knowledge you have of your organization, workforce and candidates.

It all comes back to knowledge
Recruiting is made up of many different tactics, such as candidate engagement, relationship cultivating and marketing. And a key ingredient of each of those aspects being successful individually is knowledge. Since efforts must be strategic in this day and age, a shot in the dark just isn’t going to cut it. It takes knowledge to make each element of recruiting successful, from using data to understand your audience, to conducting exit interviews that provide insight on employees’ experiences, to making the most of personal connections so you can discover who the best candidates are. Placing all your trust in a gut feeling just doesn’t work. It takes knowledge and understanding to attract the best of the best.

Knowledge is power – for you and your candidates
Have you ever paused to think about what candidates really know about you throughout the recruiting process? What about when they apply? Or how about at the interview? Better yet, when they arrive for their first day, do they have a good grasp not only of what your company does but also what its values are and the climate of its culture? Often when we think we’ve armed candidates with the knowledge they need to make a decision, we’ve really fallen short.

The key here is to educate them every opportunity we have, from the first job posting they see to their first day on the job. Tell them, show them and point them in the direction to find out more by using multiple channels, marketing campaigns and methods of communication to help them make the right decision.

Equally as important is collecting knowledge that will help you source the right people, provide a recruiting experience that will leave them wanting more and create a work environment that makes them want to stay. You may not even know it, but as a recruiter, you have access to knowledge, information and resources that turn your shot-in-the-dark approach into a finely tuned strategy. Start talking to your current workforce, recent hires and past candidates, researching case studies and conducting your own investigations to discover what candidates want and need, as well as what your current employees would have liked to see when they were recruited.

It’s important that you and your candidates have the knowledge needed to make the right decisions. Your job as a recruiter is not to simply lead someone into a position so you can check a box. It’s to find the right candidate and make sure they’ve found the right company so you can also retain that talent. The power of this knowledge provides an opportunity to make better hires than ever before.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Standing Out in a Sea of Sameness

By Jessica Miller-Merrell 

Job seekers know what it takes to stand out among the many candidates that are vying for jobs. And while they typically could learn a thing or two from the companies they’re interested in, job seekers may have a bit of knowledge to pass along to employers as well. If your company isn’t taking big steps to stand out with candidates and even to your current workforce, there might be a few lessons for you to learn as well.

These days, it takes more than a plan and moderate effort to recruit and retain the best talent. What it takes is standing out in a sea of sameness that so many companies have fallen into. It’s easy to become part of the masses but companies that are ready to bring on and keep the best are realizing that in the talent race, you have to go for it.

Standing out starts early
Standing out from the sea of sameness starts long before a candidate ever makes the buying decision of applying to your company. In fact, standing out from the masses is what is going to catch the eye of the talent that every company wants. This means that you have to proactively reach out to potential candidates. Even excellent companies will have trouble bringing in the best talent if they don’t actively seek out these people out. It often occurs across many channels, with many touch points, courting and wooing the candidates that will someday make a big impact in your company.

Standing out is a like a long-term relationship
Just as important as stepping up and standing out early is the need to continue to stand out to your employees long after they join your company. We all know that the cost of recruiting an employee can be astronomical, so curb those costs and put your company in a position to grow and retain the best talent by continuing to stand out throughout their tenure. This occurs by having a company culture that shows employees they’re valued and appreciated. It’s certainly easier said than done but employees just want to feel that they are an important part of the team and are vital to its success. When they believe that’s is the case, you will stand out because for every company where an employee feels valued, there are a hundred more where employees feel invisible. When you see companies that are able to not only attract the best talent but also retain them beyond 18, 24 and even 36 months, chances are they’re doing something to make themselves stand out.

All on board
It’s excellent to be motivated to help your company stand out internally and externally, but in order to be successful, your leadership has to buy in as well. From your CEO down to front line managers, all must be behind the effort to elevate your culture and recruiting to stand out. Some companies attempt to polish their image, update graphics and messaging and do a lot of talking, but the companies that are recruiting, and especially retaining, the talent everyone wants are those that practice what they preach. When the effort to make potential candidates feel like they’re at home with your company and to impress upon current employees that they are part of your team becomes a priority outside of the HR and recruiting department, good things happen.
 From recruiting to their last day, and from the top to the bottom, how is your leadership standing united and rising above the sea of sameness to recruit, retain and hire employees for your company?

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Art of Social Media by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick: A Handbook for the Art of Today's Eloquence

By Marylene Delbourg-Delphis

Most of us are frequenting social networks. However, 1) habit sometimes makes us become careless or sloppy and 2) we usually have signed up on sites at varying times and as a result we often end up coming across as a composite character. Being social is more than just signing up on social platforms: it is about understanding the "Art of Social," which entails leveraging the idiosyncrasies of each platform, honing our skills on each of them as well as managing our social life with a purpose.
The twelve chapters of The Art of Social Media by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick are informational, practical, entertaining, well illustrated and definitely worth the time you will spend reading them: they will help you move from your (most likely) makeshift virtual presence to a harmonized social reality that transparently merges with and expands our real-world presence.

The heart of the book is about who you are as a social media person and how to best communicate. It's also about you as an individual or as a business professional or both.

Who are you?
The book starts with the beginning of your profile and ends with your portrait as shaped by the digital assets that you amass over time.

I like the fact that Guy and Peg do not hesitate to open with the very foundation of our identity on social networks. When you first started using social platforms, you may have been too fancy or simply reluctant to say who you were. The days when social media skittishness was common are over. It may be time for you to drop the strange avatar that you picked a few years ago, feel more at ease, take responsibility for who you are, and come across as somebody people will want to follow or be associated with.

How effective and memorable is your screen name? How do you look on your picture? What's your mantra? How consistent are you across the various platforms you frequent? In short "an effective profile is vital because people use it to make a snap judgment about your account" and ultimately about you. Just as in real life, first impressions count and how you deliver on these first impressions will count just as much. So follow the book's excellent advice: use the incognito window to check how you come across.

The book is loaded with practical tips on how to best deliver on your persona — and even reminds you on what’s best to wear in a Google hangout: "Video cameras do strange things to clothes that contain complex patterns and stripes. The effect is called “moiré,” and it looks like waviness in the video. The way to prevent this is to wear clothes without patterns and to stick to solid colors."

Your social existence is a continuously expandable. Social networks are complementary venues that enable you to express the multiple facets of who you are, see more of the world at large and meet people whom you never expected to encounter. In the end, your social presence will enable you to connect faster when you meet in person the people you follow or who follow you. Virtual is a fast path to an enhanced connection to the physical world: "Social media can help you start, build, and maintain relationships with people all over the world. But meeting people face-to-face can make your relationship even stronger and better."

Social networks are the place where you can augment your influence and because of this, it's a personality/business amplifier. 

How and what do you communicate?
When we first start on social media, we wonder about what to share and if what we think is worth sharing. This behavior is largely conditioned by the fact that in our daily lives, we are rarely asked for our opinion and point-of-view and rarely involved in collaborative exchanges. However, in 2015, most of us have been able to see the exponential growth of "shares," which has encouraged us to swim with the tide and made us realize that presence on social networks is not simply about us, but just as much about how we interact with others. Social is less about ego marketing and more about interpersonal skills, less about self-affirmation of one's originality and more about contributing to a collaborative content value chain. E pluribus unum!

As a result, in addition to providing guidance on how to best word your post, the book offers invaluable recommendations on the art of feeding "the content monster."
Content curation may sound like an easy path to feed that "monster," yet it's also a way for you to demonstrate your openness, your desire to belong as well as your charisma: "it involves finding other people’s good stuff, summarizing it, and sharing it. Curation is a win-win- win: you need content to share; blogs and websites need more traffic, and people need filters to reduce the flow of information." Associate yourself with great curators and leverage multiple curation and aggregation services, such as Alltop, HolyKaw, Buffer, Google Scholar, SmartBrief, LinkedIn Influencers, Scoopit, Newsle, etc. Take a look at the extensive list provided at the end of the book!

You can read the Art of Social Media as a book "On Rhetoric, or the Art of Eloquence" for today's social environment with its own guidelines on convincing and influencing, reacting and letting it go, on conciseness and likeability. Writing a perfected short post or sharing images on social media entail a global communication style associated with solid fast reading skills as well as image decoding aptitudes. Becoming a super social media star is just as complex as becoming a great author. The book gives you all the tips you need to attract a loyal following base and create an integrated social media and blogging presence. In the end, however, your personal talent and your hard work will do the rest...

Ultimately, always remember that "social" is "social" regardless of the medium, be it virtual as social networks or any physical place; so understanding that you are in a communal environment with its rules and manners is essential, even if you do not communicate with your entire base but only with certain groups, circles or lists. If you want to come across as asocial or antisocial, it's your choice, but this may not be the most effective approach to command attention Enchant your followers and enjoy yourself!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Key to Great Recruiting is Doing the Work

By Jessica Miller-Merrell 

When someone recently asked me what I thought it takes to be a great recruiter, a very cheesy and very popular quote came to mind: “Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration.” This popped in my head and has since stuck with me because I’ve come come across so many people who want the secret recipe. They want to know what it takes to be the recruiter. The one who amazes the boss, wows the client and is highly sought after. The truth is that there is no secret recipe, no piece that just needs to fall into place and no secret to pass along because the true mystery of being a really great recruiter lies in the amount of work you put in.

As much as we would like for there to be a magic easy button, hiring and retaining good people is a complicated task for any recruiter. Even the rock stars. Good recruiting is tough and certainly takes dedication, but great recruiting is flat out hard. It takes putting in a lot of hours and using your time very wisely. In fact, it’s not unheard of for highly successful recruiters to schedule upwards of 20 interviews in a week, make 50 plus phone calls and juggle the rest of their responsibilities.

This may seem impossible, but the key to successful execution is preparation. Before the day-to-day duties can even be tackled, these recruiters spend time researching and planning. Aside from being willing to put in the time to do the work, spending that time wisely is also vital to your success.

Trust best practices - but test them
Spending your time wisely sometimes means that it’s not always practical to reinvent the wheel. Researching and putting industry best practices to use can be incredibly effective in your recruiting efforts. However, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work, so it’s important to evaluate whether or not your methods are working. Setting benchmarks and measuring your results can keep you from spending an exorbitant amount of time doing something that doesn’t work.

Dare to be different
As I mentioned in an earlier blog, candidates today are swimming in a sea of sameness that requires employers to stand up and stand out if they want to recruit the best. Learn from those around you, but don’t be afraid to veer away from the ordinary. Recruiters can spend years going through the motions and doing all the right things, but if you want a wow moment, you might have to pull a wow move.

Differentiate, differentiate, differentiate
And just for good measure, differentiate again! The money-making area of your company knows how important it is to have the one thing everyone wants but that oly one company can give them. Take a lesson from them and offer candidates and employees what the average company doesn’t. This could be as simple as feeling wanted and appreciated. You’ll set your organization apart from the many others who use marketing tactics in place of a good company culture, and it will pay off.

In addition to these three keys to making the most of your hard work, don’t be afraid to utilize tools and technology that free you up to tackle the important things. When you have a game plan in place, use the right tactics and tools and are aiming toward a goal, you’ll find that hard work does equal rock star recruiting. And until we invent that magic easy button, this as close as it’s going to get to a secret to success.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell