Talent Circles

Friday, August 28, 2015

Zachary Misko: A rare blend of competence and courtesy in the HR industry

I do not attend too many tradeshows and conferences per year... Among the ones I like is the HRO Today Forum that takes place annually in May. They also hold annual in events in APAC (Spring) and Europe (November).  The person who lured me into checking it out was Zachary Misko, Vice President and Global Executive Director at SharedXpertise. Zachary's soft-spoken and kind manners are extremely effective. No overselling. No claim that, as a vendor, I "should" be there. No injunction of any sort. He didn't need to: the simple fact that Zachary had joined that organization made it interesting to me.

Sharing expertise...
That's what Zachary Misko is deeply and sincerely about. This was the mission of the original media group founded in 2006 by Elliot Clark. Zachary is not stepping in just after a few years of experience: he was a practitioner for twelve years in various organizations and a provider of services for another thirteen years at KellyOCG, where his latest position was to their Global Vice President for Workforce Strategy.  He also served on the Board of Advisors and various committees for HRO Today Association for 8 years, prior to joining.  He is also the author, with Todd Wheatland, of The New Rules of Recruiting, an excellent short book published in 2013, on which I reported in this blog. In short, Zachary has a right to claim "responsibility for the thought leadership, best practice sharing or management of the association."

The Association
HRO Today offers a wide spectrum of services destined to a very large number of HR decision makers through its magazines, research studies, newsletters, events, and its famous HRO Today’s Baker’s Dozen Rankings. In my latest conversation with Zachary, we focused more on the great progress accomplished over the last year or so with the Association.

"It's all about the art of fostering conversation," Zachary says. "For this, we needed to strengthen our brand recognition, welcome advisors and practitioners from across the globe. We have built a powerful product and we have great content. We have "Thought Leadership Counsels" (that we call TLC's) and that's the opportunity to engage in best practice sharing and learning with our members on an on-going basis. We use that platform monthly for North America and Europe, the second week of each month, and address four different topics: talent acquisition, talent management, employee relations and services and outsourcing. My focus is to continue to improve that product and attract more professionals to engage. Today in the association has 3,000 members and 80% are practitioners. The Association has helped me to steer new content for both the magazine and well as for our events." The APAC region also meets twice monthly to discuss similar topics.

Zachary is definitely in his own element there too. His exquisite interface, his ability to listen and his understated moxie are a delight for all the attendees. You can see that he loves every minute and every aspect of his job. He enjoys the feeling of being kind of backstage while operating as an “MC” and major enactor in the inner sanctums of the HR show.

The event I know best is their North America event, held the past two years in Philadelphia – and it's really good. Of course as in most HR events, we hear about "success stories" whose content displays all the buzzword of the day, but you have much more and much better: Elliot Clark's deep attachment to Philly and the unshakled humor of a consummate professional, awards for people who make meaning in their communities, such as, this year, Candace Osunsade, the V.P. of Human Resources of  National Aquarium, Kawel LauBach, the CHRO of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, or authentic narrations from hands-on practitioners who are not necessarily on the big talk circuit such as Kathleen Edge, the EVP of Human Resources of Southwire Company. This conference also offers the absolute best as far as relevant information is concerned thanks to the Wharton School Track, with amazing contributions by my friend Peter Cappelli whose fact-based perspectives should inspire any serious HR who loves her job, or such unbeatable session on Games and Gamification in HR delivered by Ethan Mollick . The 2016 North America HRO Today Forum will take to the windy city on May 2-4, 2016 in Chicago. This years European HRO Today Forum takes place November 10-12, 2015 in Amsterdam and ... there is still time to nominate HR professionals, providers and team excellence for the HRO Today EU Awards Gala.

The HRO Today Association continues to gain momentum, with solid membership growth, combined with learning opportunities, best practice sharing and networking.  The Association is excited to begin offering recertification credits in fourth quarter this year.  With a good group of HR Executives on the Board of Advisors and Zachary at the helm, they have a leadership team for success.

Zachary is only at the beginning of a long journey in our complex space, where people want to hear about change, yet can't only absorb it in homeopathic doses, where leadership is everybody's dream, yet micromanagement is everybody's obsession, and where pulse conversations should never give you a heart attack. But Zachary has what it takes to handle our metastable world, grey matter and emotional intelligence.

TalentCircles is the most comprehensive candidate engagement platform on the market. Take a product tour or request a live demo today. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

TalentCircles Celebrates 400th Blog with Our Top 10 Recruiting Blogs

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

On Monday morning, I realized as I hit “publish” on the TalentCircles blog that we had published our 400th blog post. Yes, you read correctly four hundred blogs! You can click here to check it out which post was lucky 400. 

Over the nearly four years while writing, working and consulting with TalentCircles, I never imagined writing four hundred blog posts. That’s nearly 200,000 words focused on the sharing of resources and best practices in the areas of recruitment, hiring, talent acquisition and HR technology. I’m truly humbled and amazed at the resources and technology that TalentCircles provides. Their team is fantastic. I am lucky to be working with some of the best engineers and brightest minds not just in human resources but in all of technology. 

TalentCircles Celebrating 400 Blogs 

Over the last four years, we’ve consistently shared 2-3 original articles a week. Here are 10 of my favorite TalentCircles blogs in celebration of the knowledge base and resource library that has been built focused on improving the recruiting industry.

And here's to 400 more. What types of resources, articles and conversations you are wanting to continue to elevate our fine profession? Leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, @jmillermerrell. I truly believe it's a great time to be working in human capital where so many great people continue push the envelope whether it's through new recruiting process strategies and innovations for practitioners or the technologies that support us in the hunt for the best human capital to elevate our companies. 

TalentCircles is the most comprehensive candidate engagement platform on the market. Take a product tour or request a live demo today. 

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology anthropologist specializing in HR and recruiting. She's the Chief Blogger and Founder of Blogging4Jobs and author of The HR Technology Field Guide. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmillermerell. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Five Ways to Use Mobile at Your Next Career Fair or College Event

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

The end of summer is upon us, and with the changing seasons comes the time of year when recruiters pack up their branded pens, water bottles and post it notes and head to campus career fairs. It is officially college and campus recruiting season. The next few weeks and months will be filled with time spent dragging our campus career fair banners and stands while balancing the arm loads of career fair swag and candidate resumes. It’s exciting, tiring and a perfect opportunity to incorporate new tactics into your strategy.  

As technology driven as our lives are, most recruiters aren’t making great use of it in their campus and college recruiting, meaning that there’s room for improvement even in this familiar realm. Mobile can be a great way to engage college students both on and off campus, whether you are attending an in-person event or want to continue the conversation with your top college candidates afterwards.

Take a look at these five ways you can use mobile at your next career fair or college event to make life easier, engage students and grads more, and be a better campus and college recruiter.

Mobile video

Mobile video is the future of recruiting, so make use of it with an audience that is sure to be immersed in the technology already. Whether you hold live conversations and communications using Periscope, YouTube or Meerkat, video is a great way to share your employer brand and invite your candidate pool to learn more after the career fair. Invite candidates to follow you on these platforms right at your booth and then be prepared to stream shortly after.


Using TalentCatch, you can have a new candidate enter their information on your mobile device, which takes less than a minute from start to finish. You’re not carrying around resumes or writing info on the back of a business card, and they can be automatically added to your talent network. This one is a no brainer.

SMS text messaging

Many football coaches working to earn commitment from their college recruits use text message as the main form of communication with them. Take a lesson from their playbook and do the same. With an average read rate of 97 percent, it’s a great way to stay in touch with your candidate pool.


I promise you this talent pool is using Snapchat on a daily basis, so join the party and invite your candidates to connect, share stories and learn more about you by tapping into the power of disappearing photos and video. Be sure to incorporate Instagram into your campus recruitment social channels too.


If you think email is old school, you may not be considering the fact that it’s a big part of mobile use. According to Adestra, 45 percent of email opens occur on mobile, 36 percent on desktop and 19 percent in a webmail client. It’s a simple, effective way to stay in touch with your potential candidates.

TalentCircles is the most comprehensive candidate engagement platform on the market. Take a product tour or request a live demo today. 

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology anthropologist specializing in HR and recruiting. She's the Chief Blogger and Founder of Blogging4Jobs and author of The HR Technology Field Guide. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmillermerell. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Future of Recruitment is Retention - Part 2

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Check out part 1 of our recruiting retention series by clicking here

Recruiting has gone through many ups and downs in the last decade. As I mentioned in part one of this series, supply and demand has played a big role in how we recruit, with the recession that began around 2007 causing many companies to cut perks, pay and even their workforces. This caused a high supply of candidates to enter the job market, and a low number or job opportunities to be available to meet the demand. It was a tough time, but looking at the job market now, you’d be hard pressed to see evidence of it.

When the nation recovered from the recession, companies suddenly had a need for larger workforces to help them meet the demands of customers who were beginning to be freer with their money. In order to build up their workforce, companies had to bring back the perks they had cut, and then some, to attract candidates. There is an increased demand for talent and companies are revisiting not just revisiting the topic of perks, benefits and compensation programs. They’re also shifting their focus to be around employee retention in general. This is because we’re now in a job seeker’s market, and the competition to attract the best candidates is a great reminder of why retention truly is the future of recruitment.

Supply and demand vs. the repeat customer

When we talk about supply and demand in the job market, there’s a sense that either recruiters or job seekers are on top. The problem with this for recruiters is that while we may be on top at moments, we have no control over when or how that happens. Companies that aren’t able to retain employees will be carried by the high and low tides of the job market and economy. On the other hand, companies that are able to retain will be affected less in those shaky moments, and will be ahead of the curve when the job seekers are in control. In a way, it’s like having a repeat customer that continues to buy the essentials from you despite the fact that they may have to cut back in other areas in bad times or may be tempted by a hotter, newer product in good times. As a recruiter, retention is powerful.

Now that the economy has turned, companies are focused on hiring for the long term rather than just doing what’s best in that moment. Filling that leaky bucket that is your workforce is not just expensive in terms of recruiting costs but also productivity costs. It also impacts a company’s ability to grow and take advantage of this growing and thriving economy. That’s why retention in these four areas is key:

Retention of candidates

You may be thinking that retention only applies to employees, but a recruiter’s biggest asset is their talent pipeline. Retention starts from the moment a candidate visits the career page, talks with a recruiter or begins considering working for the organization. Maintaining that pipeline is just as important as maintaining your workforce since turnover will happen, no matter how well you retain employees.

Employee retention

This is probably where your mind first went when we were discussing retention, and there’s good reason for it. Your employees are the lifeblood of the company and an experienced, tenured workforce is one of the most valuable things a company could possibly have.

Keeping high-potential leaders

During times of high demand for workers, companies will likely be actively recruiting your high potential leaders, but they’ll also be sought after during tough economic times as well. As I said above, turnover is inevitable in every organization and when the job market isn’t looking great for candidates, recruiters can cherry pick who they want. Don’t leave your company vulnerable to having your high-potential leaders pulled away in either situation.

Retaining linchpin employees

It’s a widely accepted fact that companies that aren’t able to retain their key leaders suffer from all the stress surrounding the situation. Productivity, strategic vision and morale are all affected, so retaining these linchpin employees is essential for a healthy organization.

Check out part 1 of our recruiting retention series by clicking here

TalentCircles is the most comprehensive candidate engagement platform on the market. Take a product tour or request a live demo today. 

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology anthropologist specializing in HR and recruiting. She's the Chief Blogger and Founder of Blogging4Jobs and author of The HR Technology Field Guide. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmillermerell.