Tag Archive for social media

It’s a Book. It’s Humane. It’s Personnel?

This Time It's PersonnelLast year, the wonderful David D’Souza (@dds180) conceived, created and curated a book called Humane, Resourced: A Book of Blogs. With contributions from more than 50 HR professionals, bloggers and writers, it charted on Amazon as a top selling HR book in the UK. You can find the book at Amazon UK or Amazon and easily download it for Kindle.

And now there’s a sequel!

This Time, It’s Personnel: The Book was released on November 1st and by November 3rd it topped the charts for Kindle books in the UK, becoming the top selling UK HR book – even including actual you-have-to-hold-them-in-your-hand books! It’s available from the Amazon international store here and from the Amazon UK store here.

What makes this sequel a must read?

  • There are even more contributors: 25% more authors than the first book
  • Lynda Gratton wrote the foreword. Lynda is a Professor of Management Practice at London Business School where she directs the program ‘Human Resource Strategy in Transforming Companies’ – considered the world’s leading program on human resources.
  • Chester Elton – who has sold over a million books himself – contributed a chapter
  • The money raised from sales goes to charity (sales from Humane, Resourced: A Book of Blogs supported charities involved with mental health, disability, cancer research and sexual health)

Oh…and I contributed a chapter!

There were a few others who assisted with the book and I want to send a shout out to Kate Griffiths-Lambeth (@kategl) and Alison Chisnell (@alisonchisnell) as well as Simon Heath (@simonheath1) who provided the artwork for both books.

So listen up HR people … we have incredible opportunities to connect, share and collaborate with people from around the world and this book is a representation of our international HR community. Please take a few seconds to download it, read it and spread the word.

After all it’s personal…personnel…HUMAN resources.

The Circle of (Employee) Life – #EWS2014

Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 5.50.56 PM(This post is sponsored by my friends at Spherion but any thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone. See below for full disclosure). 

One of the things that drives me mad in HR and in organizations is the tendency to compartmentalize or ‘disconnect’ the elements of the Employee Life Cycle. Sure, this sometimes pops up due to size, scope and scale: as an organization grows, and with it the HR function, in order to get stuff done we end up silo’ing HR responsibilities; Talent Attraction resides over here…Recruiting resides over there…and On Boarding/Talent Management/Performance Management/Career Development and Planning reside in a gazillion other places.

Oh – and we don’t talk to each other. Ever.


It has to stop. And it’s easier than ever to stop it.

Today we have multiple ways (ahem – ‘think social!’) to connect-the-dots as people progress along the pathway from candidates to applicants to employees. All those folks are increasingly using their social networks when deciding whether to enter a conversation with a company (candidate), express an interest in working for a company (applicant), or go to work for a company (employee).

Spherion has released the findings from the 2014 Emerging Workforce Study which was conducted by Harris Interactive earlier this year in which they surveyed more than 2,000 workers and 230+ HR managers/leaders. Spherion has been examining the issues and trends impacting the workforce for 15+ years and this year’s study examines several primary themes aligned with the employee life cycle: attraction, recruitment, engagement, retention, advocacy and leadership.

Check out this infographic for a few key findings:

Spherion EWS Employment Life Cycle Infographic (first 3 phases)

Bottom line for HR and business leaders? Our understanding of these things has been changing, shifting and evolving for a number of years but now – NOW – it’s time to further develop your insight on how these areas intersect across the employee life cycle: things like job satisfaction, #workflex, the changing workplace (how we work!), and social technologies. I encourage you to check out the survey and read up on how you can bridge the gap (an ever widening and disconnected gap) between what employers think and what candidates/applicants/employees think.

It IS a circle! Let’s connect the dots.


Disclosure Language:

Spherion partnered with bloggers such as me for their Emerging Workforce Study program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any idea mentioned in these posts. Spherion believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Spherion’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

Shhhh…Don’t Tell Anyone But We’re Hiring

whisperIf you attend an HR conference in 2014 you’re more than likely going to find a session or two on topics like employer branding, social recruiting and/or how to build a talent network/talent community/talent pool (pick your poison). Mobile…social…SMS. Creating a dynamic and interactive career site. Effectively using video and images (Instagram!) to share your culture. If you are to stand any chance of hiring the necessary talent (you’re told) you better start managing your talent acquisition programs in a whole new way. Naturally, the implication is that if you are not already doing all of these things you are hopelessly out of date.

Yet, despite all these admonishments, there are a number of organizations that continue to reside firmly in 1998 and see no reason to change.

Look, there are some recruiting practices, decidedly old-school, that continue to work effectively for certain industries, in specific geographies and when targeting particular positions. Within the last week, while going about my daily about-town business here in Baton Rouge, I saw a billboard alongside the interstate advertising a job fair (10 AM – 4 PM!) at Company A, heard an announcement on the local news advertising a job fair at a community college for Company B (9 AM – 3 PM!), and found a flier on the door of a local coffee shop encouraging interested parties to complete an application for barista jobs (ask the Manager!).

Curious as to what was going on across the spectrum of jobs in town I decided to explore the local classifieds; it’s been quite some time since I looked at job listings in the (online) newspaper and I was bemused to see the category for tech jobs is called “computer personnel” – talk about 1998. Am I right?

While many ads provided the URL to company career sites there were a sizable number that did not. Some directed applicants to apply in person while others requested a resume be sent via email.  There were a few for which the only method of resume submittal was via fax or by mailing resume/cover letter via US Mail. Seriously? I need to either track down a fax machine or get a stamp and an envelope?

A fair number of those requesting resumes via email, fax or US Mail did not disclose the name of their organization but rather dropped cryptic clues like “a leading community bank” or “well respected law firm.”  And some, apparently believing what-they-do is akin to the CIA, opted to merely state “Company Confidential.”  (and no…those were not 3rd party recruiters playing the game on behalf of a client).

After musing about this on Facebook someone inquired if, in fact, the “mail to P.O. Box” was a blind ad.  No it wasn’t; the company name was front and center.

But THAT took me down an entirely new rabbit hole because those ‘blind ads’ do still exist. Talk about employer branding all you want; chatter on about demonstrating organizational culture via videos and pictures and storytelling; make the point that HR practitioners should target efforts on only having the most appropriate candidates apply (those who get the culture, brand, story).  Talk about that stuff all you want but remember at the other end of the spectrum from Glassdoor and UPS and Zappos and Sodexo sits the Community Bank of South Louisiana (80 employees!). **

Debbie the HR Manager at CBofSL is instructed to leave the name of the company off when she has a position available above a certain level so the CEO isn’t inundated with phone calls from his golf buddy Jim who want to finangle an interview for his wife’s hairdresser’s son. The powers-that-be don’t want it to appear to customers that the bank has retention issues so jobs are not to be posted publicly. Debbie’s only hope of developing an applicant pool is by using traditional post-and-pray recruitment channels and hoping for the best; she sure can’t head out to any social networks to build a community for secret jobs. And as she doesn’t have the wherewithal to set up a generic email account or sideline something through her non-existent ATS she ends up gathering resumes via US mail to a top secret PO Box.

That’s employment and culture branding right there, isn’t it?

Shhhh…we have secret job openings!

** not an actual organization

Goals: Making Them Stick

Stick ItFor the last few days (we’re on day 2 of 11) I’ve been serving as a Social Media Ambassador for Visit Baton Rouge and covering the Miss USA Pageant activities going on here in town; thus far it’s been a whirlwind of sequins, hairspray, high heels and photo ops.  Everything – I mean everything – is a photo op.

It’s a happy, cheery, candy-coated world of filtered loveliness – in a good way.  Everyone affiliated with the Miss Universe/Miss USA organization is smiling, friendly, pleasant, and seems genuinely excited to visit our lovely city.  It’s a bit of a change from the normal lot I hang out with (and love!) at HR and Recruiting events where there’s cynicism and sarcasm and the conversations are punctuated with world-weary sighs of jaded resignation.

Aye me.

These Miss USA contestants have their lifelong (for as long as lives are at ages 20 or 22 or 23) dreams on the line.  I’m sure that underneath much of the PR-smiley joy that is shared with the adoring public there are times when a gut wrenching stab of fear causes Miss Whoever to wake up at 2 AM in a cold sweat as she feels a twinge of anxiety about the whole deal.

As I’ve observed the poise and professionalism with which these contestants pose for pictures, converse with children and hug the old geezers men that inevitably want a hug I’ve wondered how they keep that energy on high.  After all, in their relatively short lives, they’ve done this stuff a million times; a lot of them began competing in Miss Teen USA pageants and have been parading around with sashes for years.  I would have grown tired of it long ago.

But you know what it comes down to?  Each of these contestants is very clear on her goal.  Before she signed up for this fishbowl life Miss Whoever knew it was all about being triumphant.  Wearing the crown. Getting to go on speaking tours with Donald Trump.   Being called Miss USA.  I’m sure she’s imagined herself, envisioned herself, gliding triumphantly down the runway over and over and over.

I can guarantee you that everything Miss Whoever has done over the last 5 or more years has been with a determined focus on achieving her goal.

That goal became sticky.

So Miss Whoever will persevere, eye on the prize, until the last musical note is played on June 8th.  Whether she rides on out with the crown on her head or heads out of town after being relegated to “not the Top 5” she will have given it her all.

No messy residue left behind. But sticky nonetheless.


Behind the Scenes fun:  this picture of Super Stick It! was taken in the wardrobe/make-up room at the contestant’s hotel. This, my friends, is apparently the magical elixir that makes sure a bosom doesn’t pop out of an evening gown and alleviates that pesky problem of one’s swim suit riding up into one’s lady bits.

“Stick It! is the entertainment industry’s double-stick tape that can be applied apparel-to-apparel or apparel-to-body. It is hypoallergenic and resistant to heat and moisture. Its unique flexible soft material design is almost undetectable and comfortable to wear. Stick It! stays put, yet is gentle enough to use on fine fabric. It leaves no messy residue behind.”