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.



17 Employer Branding Strategies for 2014

Employer branding is one of the hottest recruiting trends of 2014.  The term seems to be on the tongue of many C-level HR leaders but my question is “will companies truly build employer brand equity or will this be just a hot phrase for 2014″?    Below are 17 focus points when building a great employer brand;

  1. Start with the loudest part of your brand, the career landing page and create a visually appealing and near textless career portal.
  2. Digital marketing equals recruiting; utilize campaigns, landing pages and develop a personality for the recruiting team (they are the front line of contact).
  3. Ensure your talent community is worth joining.  Does it provide something your job notifications, social channels and ATS don’t?  If the answer is yes, then you are doing it correctly.
  4. Hire recruiters and HR folks that can give you innovative accomplishments and goals.  This one is free: Just saying you “do social recruiting” is not innovative.
  5. Data rules! Make decisions in the recruiting process (i.e. tools to use, sources of hires, media spend etc…) based on data, chances are most of the information you require is in your ATS.
  6. Resumes are dying, ensure your systems accept social media profiles (especially LinkedIn) as a resume replacement.
  7. One click apply; two click acceptable but three or more is just dumb.
  8. Mobile optimized pages….best mobile strategy available.
  9. Do not advertise “mobile” if your mobile strategy is applying on a device and then being required to go to a desktop/laptop to complete the application process (see #6 for a resume work around on mobile).
  10. There are tons of recruiting software tools; do your research and know what they do….exactly what they do (they are not all designed to increase applicants, that’s a sales pitch).
  11. Video; short, simple and to the point…oh and have a story to tell, if your video sucks, guess what candidates think about your company!
  12. Video; interview with it…..
  13. Social media is more than throwing up a Facebook page and creating tweets;  highlight your organization and communicate externally and internally through all social channels.
  14. Employees must have access to social networks at work….oh wait they do, their mobile devices.  Don’t be a social media workplace czar.
  15. Market to your internal employees often!  Employee referrals can be up to 50% of your hires and internal employees will leave you for another company doing something you need done (and have an open requisition for…)
  16. Gamification; make work fun!  Create games around things like employee referral where people are rewarded with points, prizes and recognition.
  17. Candidate experience….know what it is, test it and focus on it daily!

These 17 employer branding strategies may seem overwhelming or even foreign.  I am often asked, “where do I start”?  The simple answer is “with a business plan”.  Document your plan, determine a budget and then decide if you need outside help to create a killer strategy and employer brand plan.

Make your 2014 goal to be an employer that communicates and showcases their story…..that’s how you fill requisitions.

Talent branding

Invest in Talent Branding

“Bootylicous” is now in the dictionary and means “attractive/sexy”. The term “crunk” means “very excited and full of energy”. Although not the everyday vernacular of recruiting and HR professionals, both of these terms describe HOW you should be doing your talent brand.

In a recent LinkedIn white paper, a talent brand is defined as “the highly social, totally public version of your employer brand that incorporates what talent thinks, feels and shares about your company as a place to work. Another way to say it is “everything your company does from a recruiting perspective is being watched and discussed in social media”.

Will every brand be sexy? It really depends on your definition of sexy. People are attracted to different kinds of artwork, literature, architectures and preferences that they find sexy. Companies must build a bootylicious and crunk talent brand, but have to keep it real. Below are a few keys to keep in mind while building your talent brand:

  • Tell the truth! If your company’s claim to fame is longevity and “safe”, there are people who will find it sexy. Everyone doesn’t want a Google environment.
  • Market Perception. Be aware of what current and past employees are saying about working for you. It’s best to find out while they are still employed through; surveys, lunch & learns etc…not by cruising over to Glassdoor.com and learning the hard way.
  • Turn to the dark side; meaning go to the blogs, chat rooms and uncontrolled sites where people discuss your brand. It is one thing to have your employees complete a survey before the holidays and totally another to read the blog of an ex employee.
  • Strategy: know where you want to be and create a scorecard with milestones to drive the actions required for building the right talent brand.
  • Measure: similar to strategy, brands must measure their success, identify shortcomings and push towards the goal.
  • Buy-In is required from the highest level in the organization….if they don’t support the efforts, it will fail or best case seem fake.
  • Do something: at minimum, don’t pretend that talent branding is just a new term or a fad. Socialization and sharing of all information is here to stay and the workplace is usually in the everyone’s top 3 things to discuss.
  • Influence the message; whether you participate or not, people are talking about your brand and if you MUST encourage ambassadors within your organization to speak. Long gone are the days of building a singular website with all the data the company desires, messaging now belongs to the masses!

Now go throw on the best pair of bootylicious Monday morning HR suit pants you can find and get your talent brand CRUNK! YEAHHHHHHH!

Magic 8 Ball

The Future of Recruiting: Futurecasting with Dave Mendoza

Remember the good ole days of recruiting?  If drinking and smoking at your desk with a rotary dial phone popped into your head, you are on the wrong site!  What I am trying to say is remember how much recruiting has evolved?

  • 30 years ago it was a phone, phone book and paper resumes mailed to the Personal Department
  • 15 years ago, the internet was starting (thanks Al Gore) and job boards were catching wildfire
  • 5 years ago LinkedIn and other social networks were popping up along with tons of Applicant Tracking Systems
  • 1 year ago, all about social – cultural changes in how and how much data people share

What is the purpose of all this data sharing if you are not doing anything with it?

The methods listed above are different in many ways, but share many commonalities – mainly they all involve data.  In each scenario recruiters gathered data on people.  Today we gather lots of data or “Big Data”.  Again I ask, what are you doing with all this data?  Dave Mendoza, a thought leader in recruiting, not only asked this question, he is doing phenomenal work in the field of Big Data to make our future more productive.  Welcome to the future, welcome to Futurecasting.

Google can predict my preferences and suggest articles, sites and videos around my search habits.  Amazon takes my buying habits and suggest items for purchase at the precise moments.  Futurecasting uses the abundant data we have within our systems (ATS, social networks etc…) and predicts talent outcomes.  Can this data be used in succession planning?  Best source of hires?  University and degree of most success in our organizations?  The answer is “yes”.

Although many companies house this data, most are not archiving in a “Talent Knowledge Library – TKL”.  The TKL (coined by Dave) establishes patterns to make sure objective decisions are reached based on data points.  Imagine, making talent decision based on data and objectivity!  This is not a hiring trend or fad, this is the future of talent acquisition and management.

I could go on and on about this topic, but recommend reading Dave Mendoza’s white paper “Futurecasting:  How the rise of Big Social Data is set to transform the business of recruiting“.  Dave has poured years of research, sweat and labor into this award-winning work.  If you still use a phone, phone book and paper resumes then this is not for you (come to think of it you may not be reading this post anyway).  If you want to be on the fore-front of recruiting, read this white paper and get ahead of the game!

SoMe Icons

Social Recruiting Will Die!

Do you remember the archaic language of the 60’s “groovy” and “dig it”.  I remember my first real world job in the late 90’s and everyday hearing the word “synergy” and thinking to myself “huh”.  Those terms today seem dated and tired (much like wearing a tie to work where you talk on the phone at your desk all day).  The term “Social Recruiting” will suffer the same fate.

The title “Social Recruiting Will Die” is purposely misleading, it was meant to make you say “what the *%$#” (that never happens with sites, give you a heading and suck you in).  The real conversation is not “social recruiting will die” but one of how archaic the term is already.  The shelf life of new things today is 6-12 months and “social recruiting” is 3 years overdue.

Admission of guilt, I use the term regularly.  Furthermore, I am leading a discussion at SHRM-Atlanta’s spring conference on Tuesday, April 30 titled “Social Recruiting:  Brand, Hire and Engage”.  Below is a synopsis of my track is:

This session will focus on recruitment branding via new/digital media. We will discuss branding your talent acquisition department through social channels including; Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs. Attendees will also learn about unique talent acquisition and engagement tools to utilize during the recruitment process. You will walk away with a social strategy and fresh ideas to distinguish your brand. If you want to learn how to communicate your brand across multiple channels, deliver a social strategy and incorporate video into your talent engagement, this is the session to attend!

In reality social recruiting is not dead, it is very much alive!  The term will far outlive it’s shelf-life and recruiting will always be social no matter the technologies or grooviness of the future.  Can you dig it?  Sorry, I refuse to use the 90’s term, mainly because I would rather say “work together”.

“You can wrap a turd in tinfoil and call it shiny, but it’s still a turd in tinfoil” – Unknown old man from my hometown.

Come by my session at SHRM-Atlanta 2013 conference on Tuesday, April 30.  Follow the #shrmatl13 hashtag and me on twitter @alexputman

LinkedIn Logo 2013

Social Media Strategy: LinkedIn

The number one question to ask yourself when developing your corporate social media strategy is:  “What is the impact and alignment of the social strategy and business goals/objectives?”  You should first start by looking at three key criteria;

  1. Strategy:  plan that marries your business objectives and your business insights to your users
  2. Enablement:  active commitment to becoming a social business and making social a part of the company DNA
  3. Content:  Storytelling!  What you’re saying must pass the “Who gives a crap” test!

LinkedIn is a powerful tool and a powerful addition to your social media strategy.  This tool goes beyond just “status updates” or “push information”.  When creating your strategy LinkedIn (or any social platform) ask yourself:

  1. How will the platform tie into the  overall social media goals?
  2. What do I want this platform to look like in 3 months, 6 months and longer?
  3. How do I “Keep it real” and engaging to people vs. pushing the same information to a different platform?
  4. What is the reason I am on this platform, is it ONLY because the cool kids are doing it?

Once you have a strategy in mind you can now put together your plan.  Below are six components of a social strategy and sample/generic objectives:

Drive professional conversation, engage business minded users and answer questions by industry professionals.  This will establish your brand/company as an expert in areas outside of your product/service.


  • Drive traffic to the corporate website and/or landing pages
  • Utilize product/services page to promote products and receive feedback on product/service offerings
  • Cross pollinate relevant content to other social media communities AND provide content in a different forum.
  • Create and/or join groups that are in line with your business to establish your brand as a leader.
  • Participate in conversations on company related topics and business questions.

Business Statement:
We will use the LinkedIn community as a platform to interact with business minded professionals and engage peers on a professional level regarding our products/services., thus showcasing our expertise and leadership in our industry.

Target Audience:

  • Professionals with a business mindset vs. a more “social” platform.
  • Users who are less likely to interact on networks such as Facebook or Twitter.
  • Potential customers that interact with competitors products/services

Compare stats, activities, connections and interactions.  Also, gage your interaction/adoption because it is more important than just obtaining “followers”

What works and what does not work, you should measure against current stats (if available) and pay attention to:

  • Increasing engagement on corporate pages and product/services pages.
  • Identify sources of new members/followers
  • Gauge your target audience reach.
  • What are the engagement sources and which ones are working best.
  • Goal achievement and relevance.

I hope this helps as you build your social strategies.  Remember you may not be able to build a strategy for every platform, so start with one and let it roll!