Expose Yourself WP

Create a Lively Company Culture

Sunday night cues the beginning of the end for millions of people across the world.  Realizing that once you nod off there is no escape from the dreaded Monday.  Recent global reports expose an ugly truth; 87% of people are disengaged at work.  A recent Payscale report list places Google (#2) and Amazon (#4) in terms of least loyal employees (i.e. highest employee turnover).

But they are laser focused on employee engagement and culture, how is turnover so high? Perhaps hiring ONLY the “best and brightest” is not always the answer.

Several years ago I worked at a start-up which was my favorite job ever (other than starting my company).  I was in charge of recruiting and employer branding and had success based on a simple rule; promote our culture of “be yourself”.

Everyday was fun, work was always completed and culture was employee managed.  Food, celebrations and games were regular occurrence (and did not always require a reason)….but that is not what made it lively.  People being themselves made the culture.  We hired driven people who enjoyed having fun.

There was no “secret sauce” but several of these principles applied;

No More HR Police
Beer on Friday, flip-flops, shorts and graphic t-shirts.  You have hired professional adults to do grown up stuff, let them dress themselves.  Focus on strategy and driving business.

Hire for Culture
HR should market the culture and make sure potential new hires have an honest picture.  People need to know what they will walk into day one with no surprises.

Open Communication
Employees deserve to know what’s going on with the business they dedicate 50+ hours per week.  Host regular meetings where employees can speak their minds with no repercussions.  Everyone appreciates honesty and openness.  It’s a relationship, treat it as such.

Involve Employees in the Business
The biggest mistake executives make; not listening to employees, especially the ones doing the job day-to-day.  When was the last time your Director of Operations went to the warehouse and requested advice from employees?  Who better to ask about logistics or cost cutting than the people doing it everyday?

Employees are Selfish (so are you)
Let’s be honest, most employees are not having conversations with their significant other about “making my employer more successful”.  Accept the reality that people want what’s best for them.  Cut the one-sided “company ra ra” crap and offer them opportunities to grow and learn for their future (chances are you got them 3-5 years max anyway).

Lively culture is not manufactured in a process flow chat.  People create cultures, just make sure you hire the right ones and let them be themselves.

Millennial_main-1 copy

Creating Non Traditional Employee Engagement

13% of the global workforce is “psychologically committed to their jobs and likely to be making positive contributions to their organizations” according to a 2012 Gallup Poll.  Newer data is available from other sources and indicates a lack of improvement over the past two years.  That’s the “glass is half full version” the number that cries out is interpreted as “87% of people could care less about their employer”.

Consider the opening paragraph with the fact that 70% of college graduates leave their jobs within the first 2 years and the task of employee engagement seems vast.

2015 is a significant turning point in the labor market; it’s the year where over 50% of the workforce will be in their 20’s.  The landscape of the workforce continues to change; another consideration is 10,000 baby boomers exit the workforce everyday.

The way current and future employees of the world consume information is immensely different.  Baby boomers have adopted newer technology while Gen Y (or millennials as they are labeled) view it as “the way it is”.  Gen Y does not talk about “getting on social media”, it would be like this Gen X’er “getting on the communicator i.e. telephone”.

Instant everything; a $1,500 dollar television is but 2 clicks on Amazon and at your door in 1-2 days with a simple return policy.   The birth of your first child is announced to the world with a simple mobile click and upload to the masses before the doctors have cut the umbilical cord.

Engaging employees through this lens is the key.  The days of stumbling through a career site because “you have to apply this way” are gone.  Sitting down at the tube and completing paperwork on your first day and faxing in your signed copies are archaic.  Below is an overview for a successful employee engagement program.

Create mobile optimized everything (career pages, benefits information, open enrollment etc..  The percentage of U.S. smart phone owners by age group are;

  •  86.2% of 25-34 year olds
  • 80.7% of 35-44 year olds
  • 70.8% of 45-54 year olds
  • 61.1% of 55+ year olds

Utilize a customizable mobile app to pull all mobile optimized information into one common source.  This is a great and cost effective internal communication tool.


  • On-boarding should be easy and not a boring day of classroom nonsense that no one remembers past the pizza lunch.  You are hiring adults who like to have fun and not waste time…make it interactive
  • Mobile based scavenger hunts so you can learn about the company while interacting with employees and the companies social platforms; check out great examples at Mobile Scavenger Hunt Examples
  • User designed forms that capture pertinent information with a click; no more Word documents, PDF’s or broken systems based on a 15+ year old platform


  • Encourage grass-roots efforts by the employee (everything does not have to be started or controlled by the company)
  • Open policy on social media; banning social media usage  equates to employees calling home on the office phone
  • Encourage employee feedback at 30/60/90 days, for that matter have an open forum accessible via mobile where employees can tell you instantly how they feel
  • Reward:  never tell an employee “to be a _____ you need at least ___ years of experience” instead tell them “once you accomplish ____ then we can move you into _____ role/opportunity”

Make it Fun

  • Gamify where you can; employee referrals, leads, incentives are great starts
  • Treat everyone like an intrapreneur….this will be the biggest challenge in retaining a workforce where 30% start a business while in college


  • Read Glassdoor reviews, compile the common issues and address them in an open forum
  • Host town halls and reserve a portion for employees to voice their opinions, if a subject is overly sensitive give them an outlet to express
  • Encourage employee blogs posts and social media interaction

We could make this list into 10 blog posts!  Want to investigate this further?  Check out our full presentation and leave your ideas and comments.

Tricylcle Blog

Millennials Are Our Future

Several days ago a random tweet captured my attention.  In response to a presentation regarding “the pitfalls of hiring millennials” a 50-year-old proudly tweeted “that’s why I will never hire a millennial”.  Really?

One cannot ignore the facts;  in 2015 over 50% of the workforce will be in their 20’s and by 2030 75% of the talent pool will be categorized as a millennial.  How does a millennial fit into the future landscape of the corporate world?  What is so different about hiring people from the selfie generation?  Certainly my 50-year-old twitter “friends” assessment of an entire generation is unfounded?  Or is it?  Check out a few stats along with my assessment of each one.

  1. 33% of young professionals under age 30 prioritize social media freedom over salary;  Why would you not allow social media freedom?  Create a great corporate culture and let the free marketing of your organization flow!  This doesn’t mean you will get them cheap, but if the comp is close, open culture will win out.
  2. 70% of college grads leave their first job after graduation within two years;  Perfect, get a bit of experience and come work for our amazing start-up, time to put the current graduating class on a two-year campaign.
  3. 3 out of 5 students expect to be able to work remotely; great, smaller or no office space means lower overhead and we can take advantage of social media and video conferencing for meetings.  Create desk shares and reduce square footage and geography becomes less an issue.
  4. 30% started a business in college; bring that knowledge and thirst here!  Perhaps a new company perk for companies should be “work for us and 2-3 years from now we assist you in starting your own (non-competing) business”.
  5. 40% thinks blogging about workplace issues is acceptable; make the workplace awesome and blog away, offer them access to the company blog and talk about the business (not all business, but some).
  6. 69% want more freedom at work; and 100% of employers want results…you can have all the freedom you want as long as the results are there.  Freedom of thought means products and services become more creative.
  7. 75% want professional mentors; done….and most employers want employees to ramp up quickly and to learn from their best.
  8. 91% expects to stay in their current job fewer than three years; go back to #4, turn that into a positive.
  9. 72% entering the workforce want to make a direct social and environmental impact; most companies want a well-rounded employee, someone with depth, so this works out perfect.

I own a start-up and stuff changes around here everyday!  Millennials are programmed with an entrepreneurial mindset and strong desire to get stuff done!  My prediction for the future; large companies will need to adjust their work styles with intrepreneurial elements allowing for free thinking, personal responsibility and focus on open communication.

Millennial does not equal lazy no more that baby boomer equals hard work.  People are people and the future talent pool is changing whether you accept it or not.  Today’s 15-year-old will be a driving force for our organizations in the very near future.  Does that scare or excite you?  Either way you can’t change it.

vintage newstand_blog

Creative and Sexy Job Postings Rule

When was the last time you deciphered a complete job description?  Hiring managers, recruiters and HR folks, do you study the posting specifications prior to the cut and paster that undoubtably will flood your inbox with applicants?  Insert yourself into the applicants shoes and answer this; “when was the last time anyone read every line of copy on a website, career page or job posting?”

We graze, glance and look-see.  We are skimmers!

Well written words (or copy) has its residence in the modern posting, however it is, brief, stunning and impactful.  Billboards remain successful due to the finite time required to read and digest the message while driving 85 miles per hour!  We are always on the go, glancing, grazing and skimming information.  Your job description should follow the billboard rule.

Netflix is searching for a Grammaster (Instagram Master); a candidate(s) to travel the county for two weeks, all expenses paid with a salary of $2,000 USD per week.  The posting was simple and provided all data required for submitting an application.   The process is simple;

  1. Follow @Netflix on Instagram
  2. Hashtag 3 of your best pictures with #grammaster

Creating these types of postings attract the talent they are seeking; ability to take great pictures and use social media.  The process was not lengthy or laborious, It was  interactive, engaging and fun.  How do you think the job will be based on the process?  Thought so….now never let me see a miserable thesis style job postings again.

Netflix job post 2 Netflix job post1

Check out the original Netflix job posting at:  http://grammaster.netflix.com


Attract Talent with Video

The year was 1895 and the first movie was shown to a mass audience in Paris, France (I am certain your first thought was Paris, Texas).  Around the time of the Great Depression, the first televisions begin appearing in U.S. homes and by 1981 MTV premiered with “Video Killed the Radio Star”.

86 years passed from the first movie to mini productions based on another societal driver; music.  Technological evolution regarding video has accelerated since 2005 with the advent of YouTube including mobile recording capabilities, video messaging, and mini recordings with Vine, Instagram and Hyperlapse.

So why are so many companies hesitant to advertise with videos for attracting talent?  The power of video is apparent, considering the revenue it generates and the number of industries harnessing it’s power.  Retail, music, and other marketers spend significant budget to generate the perfect visual message that captures the hearts and minds of consumers.

Potential employees are consumers.  Companies should utilize the same methods when attracting employees, especially in the competitive fields of technology, retail and sales.  Below are a few samples of great employer based videos.

Spotify:  Meet the Team

Fifth Group:  Join the Family

Why Work at Twitter

Google:  Do Cool Things That Matter

Above are companies with different styles, all showcasing the hiring needs without blasting the lackluster message of “We’re Hiring” into a fruitless black hole.  Why video?  Simple.  Video will kill the written job ad and has a longer shelf life. Clips are easy for people to digitally share (and much sexier) and serve as marketing collateral.

Set your company apart with three simple words; lights, camera and action!

poloroid camera

12 Ways to Improve Recruiting

The top 3 hiring sources for most organizations are; Employee Referrals (24.5%), Career Pages (23.4%) and Job Boards (18.1%)  *source CareerXRoads

According to my iPhone calculator that accounts for 66% of hires.  Guess what?  You don’t need a “talent acquisition consultant” to drive applicants to any of these!  As a matter of fact 6.8% of hires are from a “direct source” meaning an internal recruiter is responsible for 7 hires per 100!

Based on this data, I am amazed that so many talent acquisition teams are simply doing it wrong!  “But, someone has to manage the applicants when they come in…” and “someone has to post the job description and make sure they go to the ATS…”  I say “Really?”

“Well there is employer brand integrity…” and “we have to build a pipeline”, again I say, “Really??”

Hear me out, I am not saying companies ditch their recruiting expertise, I am saying the role has evolved and you need marketing and sales  wrapped in a recruiting body.   Lame, long-winded job descriptions provided by HR are pointless.  Lazy social media post “Hiring” with a link to long-winded descriptions is as useful as a teat on a boar hog (for you non Southerners, I’m saying boobs on a boy pig)

Check out these 12 tips to get you started on the road to recovery:

  1. Data; know it and use it.  Where are your top hiring sources? (not applicant sources, HIRING sources), if you don’t now, that’s a problem.
  2. Marketing;  Sell top talent on why they should leave X and come work for Y over A, B ,C, D, E…..
  3. Two way communication; it’s not a “talent community” if both parties are not speaking to each other (more on communities in another post)
  4. Shorter is better; postings should be short and to the point and use a sizzle header (meaning, you don’t want every job to read the same in the first two lines of Google, Indeed, Monster etc… think about it…..preview panes)
  5. Ditch the “requisition mentality”;  build a community of engaged people who you hangout and share two-way dialogue with, vs “here’s my job, are you interested”?  Your lack of hires from this silly source should be proof enough.
  6. Create content;  Create useful content such as blog posts, employee testimonials, video documentaries of your employees etc… this is different from pushing corporate content about how “Everything is Awesome”
  7. Be open;  in social, in interviews, on your profiles, on the career page.  Do not delete negative comments, address them.
  8. Storytelling; develop a real story and use it to attract targeted talent, quit wasting time blasting and hoping someone bites.
  9. Employee Referrals; it’s more than “increase the bounty”….give your employees a reason to refer people to you organization, if your org sucks than change it, if you are unable to change it leave and go somewhere great!
  10. Career site; it should kick butt and have very little copy (words) and heavy on pictures and video..AND allow for a community where both parties can speak.
  11. Job Boards; don’t ditch them quite yet (I would have said differently a year ago, however the data supports this statement) but use the correct ones and source heavily from them…meaning identify companies you want to pull from and speak to people in said company and then ask them “who do you know”… it really works!
  12. Sourcing; if you’re sourcing team brings you the name and contact for someone who fits the bill but does not have a “resume” pick up the frigging phone and RECRUIT them; resume does not equal candidate, people who potentially fit your role equal candidate.

I could go on but I believe you get the point.  47% of the workforce in 2014 will be Gen Y, guess what?  They are the Twitter reading, Tumblr trolling, Instagram showing and YouTube watching generation.  They ain’t got time for most of this!

Open Mic Twitter

6 Places to Tell Your Employer Story

One of these days I am going to take a camera crew and just walk into a company and ask “tell me your story”.  Every company, like every person has a story to tell.  In the business of employer branding we want to tell a compelling story that reaches a targeted audience and answers the question “why should I leave my job and work here”?  Thus the guerrilla style plan of busting in unannounced and recording or live streaming your employees responses!

So when you have a great story to tell, where do you share?  What are the outlets for reaching a mass target audience?  There are tons, but below are six that you can start today!

Job descriptions

Add links from your YouTube videos and share within the footer or create hyperlinks within the body.   Keep the job descriptions to a minimum amount of words and let the video speak for itself; nobody has time to read your novel of repetitiveness, besides it is better to show than tell.  Don’t have a YouTube careers channel?  Get Google, create a channel and upload videos.


What do you think your hundreds or thousands of employees talk about every day with their friends and previous co-workers outside of the office?  The answer is YOU!  Give them something to talk about.  By the way, they are talking over their social networks everyday (many times during work hours) so give them something to share….video links, clips from Vine, photos on the corporate Facebook page….provide digital collateral that does not suck and watch your employer brand grow (also known as Word of Mouth).


Duh!!!  Of course people are looking for information on LinkedIn.  The LinkedIn stream is bubbling over with links, stories, videos and those stupid “IQ” test about “the next number is…”  The best time to strike on LinkedIn is 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.  Yep, that’s how employees are starting their days so  why not give them a message or link of the day (or week)?  Also, show and encourage them to place video links in their profile and share company information (like hot jobs) in their profiles.  Send them the message and they will post it!


When you see a picture who is the first person you look for….yourself?  Tag your employees with in picture of company events (cool, fun stuff, not a boring meeting) and they will share.  Create a sense of family with the people you see for 8+ hours per day.  There are great places to share images including Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, G+ etc….  Oh, and it’s ok if employees share these during work hours, because they are going to anyway.


Let your employees have a voice!  Create a campaign around new hires or why someone left (insert big company name) to come work for your start-up.  This is a great place to have employees write posts or create videos and share their experiences.  Create a blog calendar were at least 3 times per week your employees have an opportunity to be the journalist.  Host the employee blog on your corporate careers page within the directory and watch you SEO value increase without paying out the butt for it!


It’ real, it’s short and you can embed it!  Create contests around employees sharing their thoughts on the company in short, creative clips.  Maybe a real-time “what’s happening around the office now”.  Take the best ones and embed them to your career site.

There are tons more of these idea and great places to tell your employer story!  Watch closely because I very well may bust up into your organization with a camera and ask “why do you work here”?  It will only be accessible to the 8 billion people in the world with access to the internet.