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.


Living Young Hand Writing

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

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

Dr Evil

Develop a Social Recruiting Strategy

Everywhere you turn you hear one buzz word; social!  I am in the field of talent acquisition and companies are always looking for the fountain of candidates; that one place where strong candidates are abundant, java developers fall off of trees and the purple squirrels carry around blue acorns!

Guess what?  Just because you join a social network does not mean you will suddenly find yourself in some utopia of candidates where it rains skill sets and flying unicorns pee coffee and poop sugar cubes!

One thing is certain, there are over 1 billion people (thinking of Dr. Evil as I type this) within social networks; our job is to meet, greet and network with them.  This requires a strategy not bombardment of useless and pointless…..crap!

Creating the strategy is the most important thing you can do PRIOR to jumping into the social land of milk and honey.  Your social strategy requires meaning and must tie into the bigger picture of your company’s goals and objectives.  The three keys of social media include;

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

Developing your strategy is the first step, which I will take you through in my Building a Social Strategy presentation below, designed as a 2.5 hour interactive workshop.  Also, you can find a Social Strategy Template  I created to go along with the presentation and document your plan!

Good luck on your strategy and if you see any purple squirrels or flying unicorns I know several companies that can use them!


Three Keys To Social Media found in article HERE

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Benefits Question

13 Reasons You’re NOT a Social Media Expert

If you Google the term “social media expert” you will find tons of posts and writings on the topic.  I have met many so called “experts”, several whom contribute to blogs and a few that have written papers and  even books regarding this topic.  I was recently amazed to find a collection of these experts were unable to provide a Twitter handle, because they did not have an account!

So let me boil it down, You may not be a social media expert if you …….

  1. are the owner of a really dumb phone.
  2. were the 743,127, 698th person to join Facebook.
  3. refer to any social media medium as “The….”, example, “The Facebook”.
  4. think LinkedIn is a type of fence to keep the dogs in.
  5. believe HootSuite is a type of hotel for owls.
  6. hear the term “hashtag” and instantly think of the movie “Dazed and Confused” or any Cheech and Chong flick.
  7. actually believe you are the Mayor or Duke of Starbucks because your phone says so.
  8. see the “@” symbol and wish you could draw your “a’s” that way.
  9. have never seen a “blog” in the wild and still unable to google a picture of one.
  10. are still not sure what type of animal a RSS is and what you should feed it.
  11. think YouTube is a type of clothing similar to a tube top.
  12. hear the term “tweet” and think of Tweetie Pie from childhood cartoons.
  13. clicked on any of these links to find out what they are!

In all seriousness can some really be a social media expert?  Social media has so many uses and there are tons of tools.  You can be a strategist, because you create strategies around social media or an enthusiast if you love social media and push it’s use for different campaigns.

So please stop using this term as a title!  If someone calls you an expert, take it as a compliment but refrain from revamping your business cards and updating your LinkedIn account.

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boombox legwarmers

Change Worth Video Chatting About!

I recently heard the following comment about “improving” customer interaction and relationships “well it has worked for 25+ years, it should work the same way today. ” “Why change it?”  This got me to thinking, some things may work the same as 25 years ago (toilets, sinks and other household items) but what about communication and interaction with people?  Think about the following;

  • 25 years ago the best way to apply for a job:  send a resume via mail for .12 cents and wait…  Today, email or upload to a site for free…… and then wait!
  • 15 years ago the best way to communicate with your distant loved ones was get a cheap calling card (love it when you missed a digit and had to re-enter the 16 digit code) or wait till after 10:00 for the cheapest rates….  Today, VOIP  or Google Chat with whomever, whenever, wherever free!
  • 10 years ago if you had an out-of-state/country friend, you may see/speak with them 1x per year (or less)…. Today, SkypeFacebook Video Chat or Google Hangout with them anytime of the day/night for free!
  • 5 years ago, you had long lost touch with your classmates from the class of 90’…  Today, you have a Facebook group with ability to video chat and watch their children grow up in daily status updates!

So how does this apply to work relationships?  If your job is dealing with people, certainly it involves several generations.  Will the techniques of 25 years ago work today?  Of course not!  However let’s not take away from the core principle:  Building Relationships!

Take a chance and Skype with a customer sometime, invite a friend or co-worker to join your tribe on Facebook or LinkedIn, start a Google Hangout about a specific topic or interest.  Don’t forget, it is possible to build a relationship in 140 character or less, Twitter Scouts Honor!

Thank you Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Niklas Zennström (Skype), Jack Dorsey (Twitter), Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google) and Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn) for not doing things the same way and improving our relationship building!  I reach more people today, in less time, for less money!

Now time to remove those incriminating Class of 1990 “Party Like It’s 1999”  prom pictures when Prince ruled the airwaves, cassette tapes got stuck, MC Hammer pants were awesome and Mississippi Mudflaps (aka a mullet) ruled!  Now that is change worth skyping about!

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