Carnival of HR – Online Degree Edition

I’m so excited! It’s time for me to host the famous Carnival of HR for the first time!

It’s also the midpoint of summer here in the US, meaning it’s almost time for the kiddos to head back to school (which according to Staples – and many parents – is the most wonderful time of the year), so I’ve got class schedules and degree programs on my brain as the parent of an incoming freshman at THE Ohio State University. (Go Buckeyes!)

In the spirit of education, I thought I’d whip up a quick online degree program for HR Pros, Recruiting Rockstars and Talent Management Geeks everywhere by organizing the great Carnival of HR submissions I received into an educational opportunity and featuring some great bloggers Teachers just for you!

So grab your assigned seat, take out your pen and paper, bring some chocolate an apple for your Host and check out all of the posts! I’m confident you’ll find some great new blogs and bloggers you’ve not yet discovered and you’ll also be a wiser and more educated professional for having done so.


Corporate Culture

Leadership Belief and Building ‘People-Centric’ Culture – Professor Tanmay Vora of QAspire Blog.

Class Summary: The Leader’s choice to treat people as “humans” or as “resources” and how that can affect an organization’s culture.

The Perfect Corporate Culture Doesn’t Exist – Professor Jennifer V. Miller from The People Equation.

Class Summary: Explore how even the best of corporate cultures aren’t perfect.

Diversity & Inclusion

Inclusion Measurement – Tracking the Intangible – Professor Erik Samdahl of The Productivity Blog.

Class Summary: Learn some indirect measurements for gauging inclusion success in an organization.

The Act of Including – Professor Joe Gerstandt of Our Time to Act.

Class Summary: The not so fine line between being unintentionally exclusive versus being deliberate, intentional and proactive about being inclusive.

Employee Benefits

Survey Says: Employees Don’t Want Their Benefit Information Tweeted – Professor Lexi Ruben from the Precept Employee Benefits Blog.

Class Summary: To tweet or not to tweet benefits information? That is the question.

Employee Relations

Anniversaries Matter. Jobs Matter More. – Professor Kari Quaas of the Seasonal Human Resources Blog.

Class Summary: Don’t be schmucks.

Rehire Fired Employee? – Professor Susan M. Heathfield from the Human Resources Blog on

Class Summary: How following the recommended steps for firing an employee might influence that decision.

Why Do Companies Punish Whistleblowers? – Professor Suzanne Lucas from the Personal Success Blog on BNET.

Class Summary: Establishing a process for reporting and investigating problems within your company to keep communication lines open.

Global Human Resources

Future Imperative – Professor The HRD of My Hell is Other People.

Class Summary: Discuss the seismic changes taking place and globalization of work – and whether or not organizations are prepared.

Salary Inflation II – Professor Frank Mulligan of the Talent in China blog.

Class Summary: Explore the effects and consequences that recent increases in wages in China are having on the nation’s & region’s economy.

Upside of a Global Organization – Professor Amy Wilson from the TalentedApps team.

Class Summary: Learn about some of the challenges and tremendous leverage of working in global teams.

HR Technology

Top Three Challenges of Implementing an HR Automation Software – Professor Gireesh Sharma of the Grasp e-Marketing blog.

Class Summary: Review the top 3 challenges during the software implementation cycle based upon Gireesh’s experience.


Make Sure You “Hug” Your Top Performers During Times of Change – Professor Dan McCarthy from Great Leadership.

Class Summary: The importance of not taking top performers for granted and making sure they know they’re valued.

Responsibility and Leadership – Professor Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership Blog.

Class Summary: When Dwight Eisenhower gave the order to launch the D-Day invastion, he faced the real possibility that things could go wrong. But he was willing to take the responsibility.

Stop Trying to Make Others Happy – Professor Mary Jo Asmus of Aspire Collaborative Services.

Class Summary: Personalizing rewards and recognition to motivate employees.

Legal & Compliance

Dear Evil Skippy: The FMLA Expands Family Trees – Professor Jim of Evil Skippy at Work.

Class Summary: FMLA definitions, communication and navigation. (Note: This required class is sure to be a riot. Good times.)

What You Need to Know About Floating Holidays – Professor Kim Urban of Kim’s HR Potpourri blog.

Class Summary: The intricacies of handling Floating Holidays in the state of California.

Organizational Psychology

Trains and Perception – Professor Steve Boese of Steve’s HR Technology blog.

Class Summary: What we call programs and activities in our organizations can influence the perception of their importance as well as the approach and enthusiasm of the people involved.

$5000 or a Stranger’s Happiness? – Professor Drew Tarvin of Humor That Works.

Class Summary: Learn how surrounding yourself with happy (or unhappy) people impacts you.

Performance Management

Performance Management is a TOOL and not a CHORE – Professor Cathy Missildine-Martin of Profitability Through Human Capital blog.

Class Summary: Decide whether Performance Appraisals should be 1 question, 3 questions or 435…


In Defense of Recruiters – Professor Bill Boorman of Norton Folgate: The Recruiting Unblog.

Class Summary: 5 ways to fix the process and build better relationships between Recruiters and HR departments.

The Need for Speed – Professor Mervyn Dinnen of T Recs.

Class Summary: Debate whether finding the “best” candidate for clients is hindered by expectations of speedy submissions.

Social Media for HR/Recruiting

Developing a Social Recruiting Strategy: From Bigot to Believer – Professor R.J. Morris substitute teaching for yours truly right here on the Unbridled Talent blog (good stuff in case you missed it).

Class Summary: Case study of one man and one company’s approach to developing a social recruiting strategy.

How to Get Started in Social Media with Mike Vandervort – led by Professor Ben Eubanks of UpStartHR.

Class Summary: Learn how HR practitioner Mike Vandervort is using social media to create a competitive advantage for his employer.

We’re Social Media Hippies Who Live in Mamby-Pamby Land. I can dig that. – Professor Kevin W. Grossman of HR Marketer Blog.

Class Summary: Explore the risks and the values of using social media in the workplace – while saying cool words like Mamby-Pamby.

Talent Management

If Lebron Went Corporate: A Cautionary Tale – Professor Aaron Ziff from the Respectful Workplace Blog. Class Summary: Talent management lessons from the real-world case study featuring basketball hero or zero (you decide) Lebron James.

Talent Management Best Practices for a Post-Recession World – Professor Lois Melbourne of Aquire.

Class Summary: Talent strategies to keep your top talent as the economy improves and employees have more choices.

There Is No “I” in “Team”. But There Is a “Me”. – Professor Benjamin McCall of ReThink HR.

Class Summary: Talent Management and succession planning lessons from the world of sports.

Tour de France’s Lessons for Human Resources and Management – Professor Michael D. Haberman from HR Observations.

Class Summary: Review some lessons from the Tour de France related to talent, teams and planning that are important for businesses today.

Talent Selection

How to Hire People Who Understand the Values of Your Organization – Professor Amit Bhagria of Young HR Manager.

Class Summary: Review a case study and examples of how to shift the focus of your interview process to asking questions that reveal a candidate’s self beliefs and value system.

Low Performers Are Laid Off First – Professor Chris Young of the Maximize Possibility Blog.

Class Summary: The importance of pre-employment assessment validity.

Winning the War on Talent – Professor Mark Stelzner of Inflexion Advisors.

Class Summary: Review a case study that could change sourcing, screening and assessment processes to ensure hiring candidates that match an organization’s culture.

Workforce Development/Career Management

Making Employees Career Competent – Professor Lance Haun of

Class Summary: HR’s role in helping today’s workforce develop new skills to improve employability.

New Generation – Professor Laura Schroeder of Working Girl blog.

Class Summary: Debate whether the new generation is owed an express ticket to executive management because they’re willing to work hard and have black belts in social media – or not.

Extra Credit/Self-Study

Ten Minutes with Vinnie Mirchandani – Industry Expert – brought to you by The Devon Group.

Class Summary: Hear from the author of the book “The New Polymath: Profiles in Compound-Technology Innovations”.

Top Summer Reading for Business Leaders – compiled by Professor Trish McFarlane, the HR Ringleader.

Class Summary: What thought leaders in HR, recruiting and academia are reading this summer.


Whew! Well there you have it folks. A crash course in all things HR, Recruiting and Talent Management.

If you read all of the posts and passed the exams, give yourself a pat on the back. You just graduated from the Carnival of HR Online Degree Program! Now be sure to leave a comment on this post so I’ll know how many seats we’ll need at the graduation party…

Thanks to all who submitted great posts for the Carnival of HR! Next up, the August 4th Carnival will be hosted by Drew Tarvin at Humor That Works. Be sure to check it out!

Developing a Social Recruiting Strategy: From Bigot To Believer

In an effort to highlight HR, Recruiting and Talent Management professionals who are developing and implementing Innovative People Strategies every day in their workplaces, I’m starting a regular guest post series here on the Unbridled Talent blog to share some of their work and best practices. Today’s guest post is from R.J. Morris, the corporate Director of Staffing at McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. I first became aware of R.J. through reading his guest posts on Fistful of Talent and soon began following him on Twitter. My impression was that R.J. is a recruiting professional who “gets it” and I had the opportunity to confirm my suspicions when I met him in person at the recent Social Recruiting Summit at Best Buy in Minneapolis, MN.


Nine months ago, I would tease my wife when she logged into her Facebook account after the kids went to bed. In a horribly superior tone, I would ask her if she was 15 and IM’ing her BFF. I was neither classy nor witty. Like my mom ten years ago when she talked about “that internet thing,” I sounded like a complete idiot—a social media bigot, if you will. Thankfully, my wife is a very cool lady and recognized that I made fun of Facebook because I did not understand it. These days, I write guest blog posts, tweet and am helping to implement social recruiting in my organization.

Now? My wife makes fun of me daily.

How do you go from bigot to believer? I was, of course, initially afraid I had missed the boat. I kept hearing that companies were using social media to drive recruiting and business results—my limited exposure to Facebook made it seem like it was a tool that told me “Sally’s excited about shopping today” or “Heather has completed the Bugs Collection” on Farmville. Twitter? That was for folks who wanted to follow Ashton and Britney. I was hopeless and overwhelmed.

Thankfully, the social media community is very welcoming, and I began to learn. Progressive HR professionals were soon interacting with me, offering outstanding knowledge and resources. The challenge was how to translate that knowledge to the business that I support. “Look how much professional development I get from colleagues on Twitter,” is quite different than, “Here’s why we think we need to develop and implement a social media strategy across multiple communication channels supporting distinct organizational goals.”

We still don’t have it all figured out. We are trying to be deliberate, not splashy. Our team is responsible for recruiting activities nationwide, so we looked through that prism. LinkedIn was a safe first play. Executives at the company understood the tool, and many were active on the site. For our recruiting efforts, LinkedIn has tools that aligned well with our sourcing strategy, so we went there first. It is, of course, the least social/most controlled network, but it allowed us to establish a presence outside of the corporate website and show some results.

Facebook was next. Yep, my wife enjoyed mercilessly making fun of me each night as I logged on to check out competitors and review top page designs. Mashable became a good friend as we matched user demographics to our national recruiting strategy. I was scared that selling Facebook as a recruiting tool to a conservative organization in a down economy would be tough. Nope. I work with smart people, and they quickly saw the potential power. They realized we were going to have a social media presence regardless—either we would be heavily involved in crafting that presence, or someone else would.

Next up is integrating Twitter and an employee blog to make our people more accessible as we tell our story and show off who we are. We are also reviewing communication material we developed for internal use over the past 12 months—much of that can be leveraged to ensure we can share ongoing and engaging content.

Like most companies, we are still figuring social recruiting out. When we did not know anything about social media, I was upset and felt we were behind. Now, we realize we are working with emerging communication platforms with dynamic rules and usage—getting social recruiting integrated is a process. When I talk with companies that want to start, I tell them to engage with people in the community and learn.

And, no matter what, don’t make fun of people for using the tools.


R. J. Morris is the corporate Director of Staffing at McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. – an ENR Top 10 building company based in St. Louis, Missouri. McCarthy has offices and projects nationally and they recruit really smart people who want to join a company where everyone is an owner.  R. J. is responsible for leading and directing all national recruiting activities using both tried and true old school tactics and the implementing the latest methods (including social recruiting) to support the growth needs of the organization.

The SHRMmys – My 2010 SHRM Annual Conference Awards

The 2010 SHRM Annual Conference is officially in the bag and after making my way back across the country, I’ve taken some time to reflect on the conference, the experience and what I took away from it all. There will be more information to share in the coming days, but as someone who attends quite a few conferences, I can safely say that this was one of the best that I’ve been to!

To share some of the highlights of my experience, I thought I’d give out some Awards – all voted on and selected by a committee comprised of yours truly. So without further adieu, I present to you, the first annual (assuming I get to go back) SHRMmys!

Category: General Session/Keynote Speakers

Best Keynote SpeakerMarcus Buckingham. If you’re a fan of the strengths-based movement, have read any of Buckingham’s books or have seen or heard him speak before, Marcus didn’t share anything new. What he did do was focus his talk on the audience (HR pros) in an entertaining and engaging way. It doesn’t hurt that he’s pretty handsome, speaks with an English accent and used lots of humor. The ladies weren’t the only ones who noticed. There were quite a few Marcus #fanboys in attendance as well.

Most Surprising Speaker – Al Gore. The former “next President of the United States” skipped the Power Point for his keynote on the second day and won over the audience with a talk that was about 75% focused on challenges and issues that businesses and HR pros are facing  today. He lost a little momentum when he moved into sustainability and global warming, but that was brief and not unexpected for a guy who won a Pulitzer Prize and an Oscar for his work in that area.

Rising Star Ray Jefferson. In his brief moment before the keynote by Steve Forbes, Mr. Jefferson was well-spoken and inspiring, speaking directly to the audience and calling for HR to make a difference by hiring our nation’s Heroes. “In this time where it’s critical to do more with less, it’s more important than ever to hire great talent.” More than a few attendees suggested that Mr. Jackson would have been a better choice for the opening session speaker.

Best Speaker at Some Other ConferenceSteve Forbes. Someone forgot to tell Steve that this was the largest HR conference in the world, not a stop on his 1996 or 2000 Presidential bid tours. We definitely need to understand business/economic issues in HR, but an inspirational/actionable keynote this was not.

Category: Exposition Hall

Best Booth – Since I was a part of the #monsterlive Social Media Street Team, I’ll recuse myself here, but let’s just say the Monster booth was pretty awesome. Check out my Behind the Scenes Tour of the SHRM10 booth before the Expo Hall opened and I’ll let you be the judge.

Most Intriguing BoothCorporate Lactation Services, Inc. With a tag line like “Professional Excellence in Corporate Lactation”, what’s not to love about this entry? In my book, they deserve an Award just for that.

Best Swag – iPads dominated the giveaways and drawings, but branded USB’s, hand sanitizer and carryalls useful to haul tons of swag that can be repurposed as “green” grocery bags ranked high on my list.

Most Coveted Swag – The focused swag grabbers quickly headed for the headgear (Dr. Suess style hats, toboggans, crowns, etc.), Hawaiian leis and Monster Trump dolls. Where this stuff ends up is anyone’s guess, but on Sunday night, they were “must-have” items.

Lamest Swag – Nothing says “we’re in the low budget section” like having a booth full of pens, key chains and refrigerator magnets. My recommendation? Spend less money next year and buy one i__ (insert name of hot Apple product) and do a drawing for a giveaway. You get names for lead generation and up your cool factor exponentially.

Category: Event Coverage

Best Official Event Coverage – SHRM. From the official Conference Daily’s waiting outside hotel room doors in the morning to General Session opening videos (including 3 attendee’s journeys to the event, the opening session Flash Mob and Undercover Boss with SHRM CEO Lon O’Neil and Board Chair Robb Van Cleave) – everything was top-notch. SHRM also embraced social media coverage this year with the implementation of the first “official SHRM Blog Squad”, the first tweet from the SHRM CEO and SHRM10TV “On the Couch” interviews with Manager of PR & Social Media Relations Curtis Midkiff in the Social Media Lounge.

Best Video CoverageThe Interview series. SmartBrief Senior Editor on Workforce Mary Ellen Slayter and the MonsterThinking crew teamed up to offer a high-quality, informative and well-done video interview series with HR thought leaders, authors and bloggers like Libby Sartain, Gerry Crispin, Dave Ulrich, Nicole Williams and more. Extremely well done and a great resource archive!

Best Social Media Coverage – went all out this year to provide coverage for SHRM10 from an attendee’s point of view through blogging, vlogging and tweeting. Ben Eubanks and I were fortunate to be a part of the #monsterlive Social Media Street team and were encouraged to tweet, blog, video and comment on the conference activities in our own voices and as practitioners to provide a sense of what it was like to be there for those unable to attend. I was super impressed with the planning and effort that went into the Street Team coverage, as well as the participation of the Monster crew – SVP of Global Communications & Social Media Janet Swaysland, VP of Client Adoption Eric Winegardner, Director of Social Media Relations Kathy O’Reilly, Social Media Relations Manager Matt Charney and Manager, Client Training Lisa Watson – and therefore can’t take them out of the running for the top prize in this category just because I was involved. Well done!

Rising StarsLaurie Ruettimann and Jennifer McClure. (Yay!) While trolling the Expo Hall on the first night doing video interviews with attendees, Laurie and I happened upon SHRM Board Chairman Robb Van Cleave and snagged an exclusive interview with him, where we “broke news” about the next day’s General Session speaker. I’m sure he’ll never forget us and will always cherish the sombrero that Laurie gifted him with at the end. As budding serious journalists, we’re now looking for Agents to handle all of the requests for live event coverage…

Best Blog CoverageCharlie Judy of HR Fishbowl and John Hollon of A fixture in the Press Lounge with headphones and game face, Charlie was on fire covering the event with speedy and insightful commentary and observations. John Hollon brings a seasoned journalist slant to his coverage of the conference each year ripping Steve Forbes, praising Al Gore and summing up his thoughts in straightforward posts.

Most Tweets – For sheer volume, it was a close race between Jessica Miller-Merrell of and myself. Hopefully, our followers and those keeping up with the #shrm10 hashtag found some value in the volumes of information and observations that we shared.

Best Twitter CoverageEric Winegardner and Mark Stelzner. It’s always a pleasure to follow Eric and Mark at any event that they attend. Both are able to provide useful, informative, critical and often hilarious insights in 140 characters or less. Favorite tweets include Eric’s observation following SHRM CEO Lon O’Neil’s Tweetup announcement and Mark heading off the rails during a “social media is evil” session.

Funniest TweetsLaurie Ruettimann. Laurie’s Twitter stream is a riot most any day, but at conferences, she can be particularly fun to follow. She does a great job of sharing her cynical and educated views in few words and hilarious photos on Twitter.

Category: Social/Networking Events

Best Party – The SHRM / Monster Social Tweetup & Afterparty. This was the first year for SHRM to hold a Tweetup and they teamed with the Tweetup experts – From the bacon chocolate cupcakes, drinks with glowing neon ice cubes, swag bags for attendees and lively networking, this event was first class in every way. Check out photos from the evening and see for yourself.

Best EntertainmentHall & Oates. For all of the pre-conference bashing that the Hall & Oates choice received, there were plenty of attendees who were jazzed about showing up to hear the duo sing classics such as Private Eyes, Maneater and Rich Girl. While I didn’t personally care to relive the 80’s by attending, those who did all had a great time.

So there you have it, my picks for the 2010 SHRM Annual Conference. If you’re a winner, we’re reducing our carbon footprint and going “green” this year, so consider this a virtual high five for your efforts.

Overall, it was a well-organized event in a fantastic location. I’m already looking forward to SHRM 2011 in Las Vegas!

What Awards did I miss? Award some of your own in the Comments!