2 Secrets of Successful “Social Recruiting” Explained

Every day, somewhere out there in our universe, many Recruiters are losing their way in regards to using social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook for recruiting purposes. I see the complaints (often ironically aired via Twitter) that <insert favorite social network name> simply doesn't work for recruiting and is only a waste of time. These rants are typically followed by statements extolling the virtues of the telephone – and how "real" Recruiters know how to magically work this ancient device. And I sigh.


And I continue to think that they're not willing to evolve and learn how to use these tools successfully. 


Recently, I came across two great examples that explain how I believe Recruiters should approach social networks for recruiting purposes. The first is from Amber Naslund, who writes the consistently informative Altitude Branding blog. In her post – How I Made $100k With Twitter – Amber shares 8 steps she took to make money using Twitter to build relationships and market her services. Be sure to check out the full post here.

In the excerpt below, I've taken the liberty of inserting recruiting-related terms to illustrate how I think the method Amber outlined is exactly the way to approach using Twitter (and other social networks) for recruiting.

The magic in making money <recruiting> with social media isn’t that the site or
social network becomes a revenue center <candidate database> itself. I didn’t sell stuff <"recruit"> on
Twitter. I gave people access to me and my expertise, and paid
attention to when the time might be right to talk business
<about opportunities at my company>.

That’s the trick here, folks. Social media is rarely the cash
register <candidate Fairy>. It’s communication tools that help form the foundation for
healthy business relationships that might eventually lead to sales
<successful placements> elsewhere. Whether you’re B2B or B2C.

Twitter was just the handshake that got the conversation started. It
required an investment of time and effort for me to spend time there
and converse
without the intent to sell something <recruit anyone>, and lay
the groundwork for trust and relationships. Much like having lunch or
going to networking events. I spent time getting to know the people
that might eventually be the decision maker for a project that I could
be hired for <the potential clients or perfect candidates for positions I'm recruiting for>. And when they needed something like what I did, they
often thought of me.

It’s that simple, and yet that complex.

Nailed it. To me, that's one of the simplest and best explanations that I've seen regarding how relationships are developed, business connections are made and successful recruiting is done via social media.


Second, Andy Headworth of one of my favorite recruiting blogs – Sirona Says – interviewed Super Sourcer/Recruiting Trainer/Social Media Whiz Kid Jim Stroud at the recent TruLondon Unconference asking – "Where will social media recruitment be in 2 years?" Jim didn't disappoint, giving an interesting and insightful answer. (Email subscribers will need to click through to the blog to view the video)

Hint: It's not about being able to find more people folks.


I think we've got to get more people thinking differently about how to use social networks for recruiting purposes. It's more about relationships and branding and less about having a large network or being able to find names.

What do you think? Do you think investing the time to build relationships and to establish a "personal brand" on social networks is required to successfully recruit? Or is the "old way" still the best way?

Executive Coaching: What Are Global Coaching Leaders Discussing?

The-Conference-Board Recently, at the invitation of The Conference Board *, I had the opportunity to attend their 2010 Executive Coaching Conference in New York City. As an Executive Coach, I was thrilled to be able to attend this event and learn from some leading coaches and global organizations about best practices and current trends. Today’s post is the first in a series where I’ll share some of my experiences, takeaways and observations from the conference.

Below is an overview of my experience at the Executive Coaching Conference via take-aways and quotes from the speakers that I shared on Twitter using the hashtag #tcbcoaching. (Also included are some tweets from fellow conference blogger Barry Zweibel of GottaGettaCoach! Incorporated). During the conference, there were a number of great points made about internal & external coaches, measuring ROI of coaching and some interesting potential future applications were discussed (texting & Second Life).

Please forgive the abbreviations and shortened words in some tweets due to the 140 character limit!

Conference Keynote (Marshall Goldsmith – Author & Executive Educator)

Peak Personal Performance Session

  • 4 sources of energy – all critically important: Purpose (direction) Physical (quantity) Emotional (quality) Mental (focus)
  • “Strategic disengagement” – new way to say “take some rest”.
  • There are 20,000 moments in every day where you can make a difference. Are you an Eeyore or a Tigger?
  • Research shows that having an “attitude of gratitude” can add 5 years to your life.
  • “The only difference between a rut and a grave are the dimensions.” Important to keep moving forward and stay sharp.
  • Powerful things: 1) Craft a Purpose Statement 2) Get clear on Ur Top 5 Roles in Life 3) Define 100 Things U Want to Do in Life
  • 80% of heart attack victims never change their behavior. 20% that do? They have someone who holds them accountable for change.
  • It takes 21 days to establish a new habit. Invest extraordinary energy in it during that time & build in accountability.

Keynote: The Role of Virtual Coaching – Pros and Cons

  • “No correlation between fees that are charged and the Quality of coaching you get”
  • So true: “If you know where the conversation is going… It’s not Coaching”
  • “Really good coach helps redefine a clients goals” (via @ggci)
  • “The more detail you put into a definition, the less meaningful it likely is” (via @ggci)
  • Most coaches are under qualified – even those chosen by the executive (via @ggci)
  • “To be an effective telephone-based coach, you need to first be a good in-person and via-email coach” (via @ggci)
  • Case study done on an instance of Coaching by text. Hmmm… does it make me old-fashioned if I don’t think that’ll work?
  • Levels of coaching – skills, performance, behavioral, transformational (via @ggci)
  • Clutterbuck suggests not dismissing Second Life in terms of coaching either.
  • A broad sense of purpose has a higher correlation to success than goals. Goals are an outcome of your Purpose.
  • Important in Coach/Coachee relationship to have enough similarity to create rapport, but enough difference to create stretch

2009 Executive Coaching Practice Survey (results overview)

  • Exec Coaching survey: In large orgs, most resp 4 coaching are managed centrally re: strategy. Local takes active role in matching
  • Average length of coaching engagements (external coaches) – majority in 6 – 9 month range, very few lasting longer than 1 yr.
  • Survey: Majority (50%) of large orgs work with external coaches who have 1 – 5 coaching engagements in their orgs per year.
  • Survey: #1 reason for engaging an external coach – Development. 2nd 360 Debrief. 3rd Other assessment debrief. 4th Transition
  • Survey: Majority of coaches (0ver 50%) are paid as services are rendered or monthly. Only 2.8% are paid at end of engagement.
  • Survey: Internal coaching is on the rise and growing, but in its infancy. Internal coaches tend to be HR prof vs line leaders.
  • Survey: Almost 80% of internal coaches spend less than 20% of their time on coaching activities.
  • Discussion happening as to whether or not #HR is the right place for internal coaches due to trust/credibility issues. #sad
  • “Line business leaders trained as coaches have double the credibility – because they know the business” #HRopportunity

How Coaching Is Being Used With High Potentials (Panel)

  • Panelist: It’s more important for external Coaches to focus on gaining experience & strong reputation vs specific certification.
  • At Amex, coaching evolving into high-touch, targeted investment closely linked to business results. (via @ggci)
  • At NY Life, coaching is about culture change, and creating ‘distributed’ and ‘principles-based’ leadership (via @ggci)
  • At Microsoft, coaching program “allows emerging and experienced leaders to learn from each other.” (via @ggci)
  • At Microsoft, coaching dev plans include more observing/interacting w/senior leaders; building strong networks w/other hi-pos (via @ggci)
  • At Amex, “coaching must leave a footprint in the organization that builds our internal capability” (via @ggci)

Identifying & Developing Coaching Competencies for Managers (Panel)

  • Very cool job – panelist at #tcbcoaching = Coach at NASA. Challenge of getting highly technical folks to understand “art” of leadership

It’s a wrap!

  • Finishing up at The Conference Board’s Executive Coaching Conference #tcbcoaching. Top notch event with sharp speakers/attendees. Good info!

* Disclosure: By accepting TCB’s invitation to attend, I’m asked only to help them get the word out about their events and the programs that they offer to leading organizations and senior executives. I’m free to share my opinions (positive or negative) about my experience in attending and comment on the content shared by the speakers at the conference.

The Best Lists? The Ones You Make! (Top 25 Most Influential Online Recruiters)

Top25-hr-digital-recruiters-logo Today, John Sumser and the good folks over at HR Examiner have unveiled their latest list of Online Influencers – the Top 25 Most Influential Online Recruiters – and apparently somebody left the back door open, because yours truly somehow managed to sneak in!

<insert massively awkward happy dance>

Hey I know it’s just another list, and there are always more people left off of any list that should be on it than there are actually on it (and I can think of several folks I would say are missing from this one) – but like any awards show nominee will tell you, it’s still nice to be included.

The HR Examiner uses an online reputation discovery tool – Traackr – to measure reach, relevance and resonance in the online world in an effort to keep their lists objective and this one follows the announcement of the Top 25 HR Digital Influencers 2009 released this past December.

I’m honored to be included on any list along with the likes of Sumser, Steckerl and Sullivan – widely recognized recruiting thought leaders and influencers that I’ve followed and learned from for many years.

Thank you very much HR Examiner and a huge congratulations to everyone that is mentioned!

Passion: It’s Not a Dirty Word in HR !!

In the wild world of HR, I come across many HR people who either hate the profession or feel that everyone hates them.

Passion - It's Not A Dirty Word In HR

There are blog posts about the death of HR.  Magazines love to fill themselves with how the profession is failing.

Today’s guest post is from my good friend and mentor Steve Browne, who is Executive Director of Human Resources at LaRosa’s, Inc. a regional Pizzeria restaurant chain employing over 1,400 Team Members. Being passionate about HR is a subject that Steve is uniquely qualified to talk about – because that’s how he’s consistently described by others. Learn more about Steve at the bottom of this awesome post.

HR is tough. It is.

That’s because we have to deal with people and people are tough. However, that’s also the BEST reason to be in HR! Seriously. The main reason I went into HR was to mess with people. Trust me. It’s allowed.

When it comes to “passion”, some people tend to think that it’s not appropriate in the work environment. Unfortunately, because many people aren’t passionate at work, they often feel disillusioned and are thinking about how to leave their employer more than they’re seeking how to drive performance.

The reason the TV shows “The Office” and “30 Rock” are so popular is because people know folks that work beside them who are reflected in the characters of the shows.

People who love what they do scare us too! Really. People who are passionate are often under suspicion of not being genuine or just a cheerleader who doesn’t have a clue. That’s sad. We’ve come to a point in work environments where drudgery is often preferred to enjoying what you do! Think about that.

HR, more often than not, is the catalyst of this drudgery because they don’t see the ability, or avenue, to be passionate at work. This needs to change! HR professionals have to ask themselves – “If this is so bad, then why am I doing it”?

HR people who aren’t passionate should get out of HR.

Sounds harsh – but it would be better for you and the profession if you went into a field you were passionate about.

So can you be passionate about HR these days ? The answer is a resounding YES! Here’s how:


Get away from your desk and into your people. Your desk doesn’t miss you as much as you think it does. Your people do.

Too often HR’s answer to people is – “I’ll get back to you” – when we never intend to do it. Stop this! Get in front of your employees and let them know that they do exist, they’re valuable and that you (and the company) appreciate what they do.


Get out of the fairness and compliance mode. Compliance is the law. We can’t change laws, so quit trying to.

Be consistent with how you handle situations and understand that the majority of what we do is gray and not black and white. Consistency is essential and people will see how “fair” you really are when you’re consistent.

3)      BE GENUINE

Who likes fake people? Anyone? You can’t teach this. You either are genuine or you aren’t. And your employees know it right away.

If you knew me and saw my office, you’d hear my iPod blaring, and see my lava lamp bubbling next to my Magic 8 Ball and the sword on my wall. I also just got a bobble head made of myself! (A gift from a vendor.) I only wish it was a tie dye shirt versus a blue oxford!

I’m passionate about everything I do. Honestly. More often than not people respond to this positively and most of them say that HR at our company is better because this is the tone that HR sets:

Love what we do and what you do!

[Tweet “Give it a try. Passion is awesome! Passion is critical! And – HR MUST be passionate !! – @sbrownehr”]


Steve Browne bobble head Steve Browne, SPHR is an HR pro who is passionate about connecting people. He runs an internet message board (the HR Net) – with over 7,500 global subscribers – and enthusiastically facilitates monthly HR Roundtable meetings in Cincinnati. Steve actively serves on the SHRM Board of Directors, and is a popular speaker at HR Conferences, HR Associations and business/community groups.

Want to be a part of the HR Net? Let Steve know! Follow him on Twitter at @sbrownehr.

Personal Branding and Women Leaders

Today, I had the privilege of speaking about Personal Branding to the 50+ participants in the 2009/2010 class of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber's Leadership Development Program for Women – – WE Lead. It was an honor to be able to spend some time with some of Cincinnati's leading women and to talk with them about the importance of having a "personal brand" to better manage their careers and attract business opportunities. 

During the presentation, I shared how my own personal brand has evolved over the last few years and is currently "under construction" (see my last post) as I prepare to take this itty bitty world by storm in 2010. Stay tuned…

An embed of the presentation is included below (email subscribers click through to view):

Resources shared with participants:

10 Steps to Uncovering and Building Your Authentic Personal Brand by Meg Guiseppi


* Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand by William Arruda & Kirsten Dixon

    – Free downloadable workbook

    – 360°Reach™ – Personal Brand Assessment (with book purchase)

* Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton

    – Take Gallup’s StrengthsFinder.com profile online (with code from book purchase)


* Free e-book on Personal Branding by Chris Brogan


* What’s The Value of your Personal Brand Quiz

* Online Identity Calculator

Recommended Blogs:

* Personal Branding Blog

* Executive Career Brand

Google Alerts:

* http://www.google.com/alerts


Personal Branding was all the rage a couple of years ago, but the
hoopla seems to have faded a bit recently.

While it may be called something different in the future, I think it will always be important to define who you are, what you do, who you do it for and the
value you offer. Doing so helps you to focus your efforts and target opportunities and also allows you to engage your network to assist you in getting what you want.

What do you think about having a Personal Brand? Is it still necessary? Or is the concept so 2000 and late?

Can Your Awesomeness Be Contained To 7 Words?

Recently, I came across a discussion in a LinkedIn Group that I manage, where a member posted an interesting Discussion topic that sparked over 175 comments. It was a simple request:

Can Your Awesomeness Be Contained To 7 Words?

Describe what you do in exactly 7 words.

It was interesting to see all of the responses to the question over a few weeks, and through them I learned about/became interested in several people that I wasn’t familiar with who conveyed their personal or business brand in a concise and meaningful way.

Others paid no attention to the 7-word limit, and rambled on as they likely would in person (rule-breakers). A few used less that 7 words (show-offs/also rule-breakers), and at least one person answered the question several times with a different 7-word response each time (confused).

Whether you’re a seasoned professional, a business owner, a person in career transition, or a recent college grad, it’s important to have a descriptive and succinct response to the inevitable question you’ll encounter when meeting someone for the first time – “What do you do?”.

And while it’s not typically required to limit yourself to 7 words, I think this is a good exercise, and worth your time to figure out a concise way to describe who you are, and what you do

Can you describe your awesomeness in exactly 7 words?

Give it a shot in the comments!

And if you’re wondering what the perfect 7 word description is for myself…

World’s only human who doesn’t drink coffee.

Okay, I got to get to work on that. 🙂