Darth and Stormtrooper_WP

Are You Innovative Enough?

Ask yourself a question….”what is the most innovative thing I have accomplished professionally this year?”  My journey started with a New Year’s resolution.  That resolution included being happy at work, using my creativity to build something cool and never being required to wear a tie ever again.

Thus began a new job search in January 2011.  As many people know, a job search is no easy task; I sent out over 200 resumes, went on 20+ interviews and spent many waking moments in search mode (many times with mobile apps on my phone) before landing my ideal role in October 2011.  But all this revolved around the simplest question; what do I want?  I don’t want “a job” my desire was for a path, an outlet for creativity and this was boiled down into a simple list of intrinsic needs;

  1. Innovative work
  2. Result oriented environment
  3. Creative outlets
  4. Ability to build something

Each interview went pretty much the same; sneak off and put on a suit and tie, go through several rounds and then the company and myself would evaluate each other.  I always had one key question at the end of each interview and each time was met with a similar answer.  My question; “what is the most innovative accomplishment of your company and team in the last 12 months?”  The responses ranged from long periods of silence to awkward answers of “well we implemented a system that ensures everyone gets paid” (yes, that was a real answer)!

I so wanted to work for a Facebook, Google or some company that provided my intrinsic desires (I actually had the chance to speak via email with Facebook and they did not outright reject my application — or it was the nicest rejection ever).  Then, I got the call!  Through my LinkedIn network (which is almost 5,000 1st level connections) I discovered a consulting gig that only 2 people were aware of; one  of those being in my network.  I was told “no need for a tie, come as yourself”!  Elated, I walked in and was greeted by lots of color, a few dogs (the furry, pet kind) and lots of laughter!

Week 1 was interesting;

Day 1:  I had no designated place to sit, utilizing my laptop, 60 open jobs, no tracking system (excel and mail folders) and no careers page/jobs page on the web.

Day 2:  I put a band aid in place on the company blog and used Bullhorn Reach to place jobs on web and create hyperlinks for post.

Day 3:  Overheard a key member of the executive team say “has he hired anyone yet”

Day 4:  You get what you ask for, asking myself  “Fight or Flight”

Asking myself, “are the expectations too high?” Answer “No!”  The cost of working in this type of environment involved making things happen…..pick up and make it happen….this is why companies like this accomplish so much in so little time!  Now, more than ever, I wanted to be a part of something bigger, faster and growing!!!

Two months later I was hired as a full-time employee (January 1, 2012)!  In that time our talent acquisition team (there are two of us now) have accomplished 3 years worth of stuff including;

  • Hired 65+ people, with 15% being outside the US
  • Implemented an Applicant Tracking System based on social recruiting and everyone in the company is part of the process
  • Developed a social recruiting plan that includes a complete video strategy
  • Unrolled a careers portal geared towards “Life at ____  “
  • Branded the talent acquisition function on all major social platforms
  • Traveled to other countries to set up and secure a talent acquisition process
  • Focused candidate experience efforts to ensure positive results (we are part of the Talent Boards candidate experience awards and will know the results in October)!
  • Never dread one day of work or one Monday morning….loving it 10 months later!

All of these things were accomplished wearing flip-flops, with no one giving me a set of “goals and objectives”.   What’s the most innovative thing I have done in the past 12 months?  I don’t know, you tell me.

A lot has changed; new hires come in and have equipment, a place to sit and clear objectives.  We have focused on the candidate experience and hired many top-notch managers and team mates.  I have stuck to my resolution of never wearing a tie, ever again (really, what is the point of having something tied around your neck…..I find the concept somewhat disturbing).

Like Yoda said “Do or Do Not, there is NO try”!  This hangs in the Talent Acquisition area and is our motto!  Either do what you want or don’t, trying is not an option!

future eye_WP

SHRM-Atlanta Conference: Future of Talent Acquisition

Orignal Post appeared on the SHRM-Atlanta blog 

Did you know that there are over 1 billion (with a “B”) smart phone users globally?  By 2015 smart phone usage will overtake desktops.  Do you think this mobile explosion will have an impact on talent acquisition?  Consider this scenario…

The year is 2015, the war for top talent continues (yes, it is still happening).  You are at a dinner party and strike up conversation with someone, realizing they are the perfect VP of HR for that long, exhausting search you have been conducting for 5 months!  Here is how it would play out, past, present and future;

In 2004 you hand them a business card, request a resume and wait a few days to receive via email, hoping it does not get caught up in your spam filter.

2012:  You may hand them a business card and then look them up on LinkedIn, sending a connect request (hoping they remember and liked you).

2015:  Snap a picture of them with your mobile device and instantly go to their web profile.  Your device recognizes their image and returns web results instantly via something called augmented reality!

Now granted, snapping a picture of someone to search their image may sound creepy, but so did “following” someone just a few short years ago.  How realistic is the above scenario?  Want to learn more about what the future of talent acquisition holds in terms of mobile and social recruiting?  Then join me at the 22nd Annual SHRM-Atlanta Conference where I will discuss the future strategies, tools and practices of talent acquisition.

I will be live tweeting & blogging from the SHRM-Atlanta conference on March 13 & 14 and discussing the topic of Future of Talent Acquisition during a March 14 session (see below):

Session Date and Time:                Wednesday, March 14, 1:45 pm – 2:45 pm
Session Title:                                   The Future of Talent Acquisition
Content Area:                                  HR and Technology

Square Device

3 Reasons It’s Hip to Be Square

There are so many mobile tools that have or will affect most aspects of our life.  My latest question is, “why do all the cool tools come in a small square shape?” I recently discussed QR codes, however their was one flaw that left me puzzled.  Once I load the link, then it was forever attached to that bar code….until now.

More QR Code Stuff

I recently discovered a tool (FREE) that allows you to generate a QR code in a variety of colors, and then edit the links while never changing the bar code. Hipscan has the ability to send mobile devices to your website, social profile, or anything else. The best part is that you can change it any time you want!

They offer a variety of other cost effective custom services including creating mini-stickers, t-shirts and mini-cards ranging from $14-$18 dollars!  This is a must check out for the QR enthusiast!

Get Paid Quick and Easy!

Now let’s assume you render services, be they social media consulting, small business owner or your roommate owes you for their half of the rent.  Square is a device that takes minutes to set up, is easy to use and includes a free square device for use.  Did I mention the software is an app and you guessed it…. is free to download.

You will be able to accept credit/debit payments instantly with a simple slide.  Want to stay green?  You can email/text the receipt versus printing (although this is still an option) to the person making payment.  The fees are flat and minimal (2.75%)…what’s not to love?

Jobseeker and Hiring Mobile Apps

Lastly, everything, and I mean everything is going the way of the mobile app!  Are you searching for a job?  Check out Indeed’s app that will allow you to search for jobs on your phone…anytime, anywhere… but of course never @ work!

The flip side, do you have a job opening but can’t afford to build your own app?  Check out the JobSpeek site and app (yes that is the correct spelling).  They allow you to:

  • record 60 second audio ‘hiring message’ to describe the job
  • upload a picture of your business or office environment
  • free distribution to 10+ million job seekers through sites such as SimplyHired
  • ability to manage/edit/add listings quickly and easily
  • social media integration

Guess what?  All the above is FREE (well JobSpeek is for now…)  Obviously many of the job boards have their own apps, however I really like Indeed because they compile all the jobs into one easy location!

Mobile is taking over!  You never leave home with it, it is always with you and it is ever evolving!  Make your life a little easier and go square!!

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Mobile: All the Cool Kids Are Doing It!

Albert Einstein said “Imagination is more important than knowledge”, as profound a statement as this is and as much as I agree, I have a confession.  I read this profound statement in a bathroom while on vacation AND it was next to a copy of the Constitution.

Information is everywhere and literally at our fingertips!  When a new form of technology or media arrives, my first thought is “how can I use this as a recruiting tool”.  Mobile communication is no exception.  Currently there are many mobile recruiting applications which are extremely cool.  Here are a few smart phone stats to think about:

In an average 1 week period ___% of mobile users will:

  • 81%browse internet
  • 77% use a search engine
  • 48% watch a video
  • 63% access a social network
  • 39% use in bathroom
  • 33% use while watching tv
  • 70% use while in a store
  • 74% make a buy decision based on info from smart phone
  • 95% use to find local info
  • 71% of mobile search is due to seeing an ad
  • 42% people click on mobile ads
There are 91.4 million mobile internet users in US today.  This will jump to 132.5 million by 2015 which will encompass 41.5% of the U.S. population according to eMarketer.   CareerBuilder has seen more than a 270% increase in page views on its mobile website, Android app, and iPhone app from March 2010 to March 2011.


So how do marketers, recruiters and everyone in between engage their communities past a phone call or text message?
  1. Optimize your website for mobile users; surprisingly a large percentage of websites are not optimized for mobile views!
  2. Build an application for your company or brand (easier said than done, but it is becoming easier).

A great example of a company’s use of mobile applications include Pepsi’s “Possibilities“, click the link and check it out!  It is more an engagement tool, which is really what recruiting is about?  If you don’t agree with this statement about engagement go back to 1985 and tell Crockett and Tubbs I said hello.  If you are not sure who Crockett and Tubbs are click HERE for information on the 80’s show “Miami Vice“.

Mobile is everywhere, it is always with you and we are always connected.  Isn’t that what we all are looking for, a way to get our message to people everywhere and anytime?

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