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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

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Don’t Make a “Bigg” Hiring Mistake

Labor Day weekend, a time for family, cooking out and enjoying some warm, apple pie.  One news article captured my attention like no other.  Nickelodeon (a children’s television network) was caught with their pants down.

Have you ever heard the phrase “past actions predict future behaviors”?  When hiring talent, most companies perform a behavioral interview to gauge a candidates past.  Prior to hiring, many companies spend lots of time and money checking references.  Why?  They hope to gain insight which will lead to making a solid hiring decision.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube are just a few of the digital media outlets that give a visual footprint and insight into potential candidate actions.  Do  you think a persons digital footprint can accurately predict their future behavior?

So began a social media nightmare for the Nickelodeon network regarding their poor hiring choice.

Past actions DO predict future behaviors!  So why would you hire someone for a kids show that humped a pie?  Good common sense and due diligence always prevail when making hiring decisions.

When you are hiring don’t make a BIGG mistake – can you really afford a pie humper on your payroll?

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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!

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HR Under the Influence

I had the pleasure of attending the SHRM 2012 conference on Sunday night and all day Monday!  Many of the key Human Resource influencers were out and about with the clicking keyboards of bloggers and tweeters under the city night lights and rings, vibrates and glows of smartphones!  It was a great time of learning and having fun; what a combination!

So, what was so special about a national based HR conference in Atlanta?

The mayor of Atlanta, @kasimreed kicked off the keynote with a great discussion on HR and Atlanta!  I heard author Malcolm Gladwell speak about generational differences.  Although I highly suspect many of our personal ideologies differ, I took away a wealth of knowledge and now see the gens through a different lens.  Isn’t that what HR is about, promoting diverse thoughts and finding a common ground we can appreciate?

Next, I connected with people all over the world, many that will assist in my real job and become great friends, peers and colleagues.  Thanks to the influence of social media (which many think HR is behind on the times however I would argue differently), I met @socialtalent, who is a rockstar from Dublin, Ireland and offered many key insights into assisting in work I am doing there….only at a conference like this one!

I heard many great speakers, but there were two whose message resonated to me; @vlastelica @ryanestis.  Both spoke with passion and expertise regarding new media within HR.  If you still think HR is behind on social media, listen to these guys and think again!  I am really looking forward to the Twitter like platform for performance reviews mentioned…can’t wait to provide performance reviews in 140 characters or less on a regular basis vs. an annual form similar to a tax return….and yes, I first learned of this upcoming technology at the conference!

I really loved the Hive, which was set up by SHRM National and an epicenter for all things social media.  The list of experts is way to long to list in the post, but let’s say they came from all over the world and many are the true influencers of all things HR and Social Media related.  Great job to SHRM’s Social Media guru @shrmsocmedguy

Next year, SHRM 2013 will be in Chicago!  I highly reccomend that every HR professional pack your finest mom/dad jeans, break out your best dance moves (to Sir Mix A Lot) and prepare for some rooftop dancing with innovators of HR!  And yes, that really happened…..

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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

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9 Reasons to Blog!


In October I presented at the 2011 SHRM-Atlanta Annual conference on the topic of blogging.  The biggest question; Why Blog?  There are several reasons to blog and below is a list of benefits to being a blogger.

  1. Engagement (being part of a conversation & dialogue via comments)
  2. Tool to develop discussion around key topics/products
  3. Marketing tool for your thoughts in real-time
  4. Content Management System  (store all your thoughts/photos/videos in one place)
  5. Stay ahead of competition (those non-bloggers)
  6. Easy to share information in a one stop shop
  7. Develop and build long-term social relationships
  8. Generate Media & PR
  9. Connect with experts in specific fields

If you would like to check out my presentation, check out the highlights broken down into 4 minutes.  If you are thinking of blogging, hopefully the reason above will be enough for you to take the plunge!

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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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