The HOW and WHY of LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook For Business [Webinar Series]

I get to do many cool things in my job at Unbridled Talent, but one of the best things about my job is the opportunity to travel around and meet professionals who are interested in learning more about how to grow their professional careers or how to implement best practices to improve their company’s performance.

In addition to working with business leaders to define and implement people strategies required to achieve business objectives, I’ve had the opportunity to speak at over 150 conference events, corporate workshops, association meetings and webinars – often about how to utilize social media for career development, why social media matters for business and how to utilize social media tools and resources in Human Resources and Recruiting.

LinkedIn Twitter Facebook

I love my job.

But even though LinkedIn recently reached it’s 10th anniversary, Facebook has turned 9 and Twitter has crossed the 7 year mark, many people are still confused about or unaware of how to best utilize social media tools as business and professional resources. It’s not uncommon for me to talk with someone after an event where the person relates something similar to, “I was skeptical that using social media was something that I (or my organization) needed to do and I didn’t understand it, but now, I believe that it is – and I can!” Best. Feedback. Ever.

And it’s ok.

That’s one of the reasons why Laurie Ruettimann* and I are teaming up to offer a series of upcoming webinars to help business professionals, human resources pros and talent acquisition geeks understand the HOW and WHY of LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook – and we’d love for you to join us!

We realize that many of you may not be inclined to attend a conference to learn more about how to use LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook and you also may not have the time or budget resources to do so. So we’re coming to you – in your offices, your cubicles or out on your back deck – via a series of 90 minute webinars to share what we’ve learned about using social media to cultivate awareness, develop your brand/your employer brand and effective ways to nurture both consumer and employment leads in the marketplace.

So here’s the scoop (click on the links for full session descriptions and for registration):

After doing webinars for other companies for years, many of whom charged quite a bit of money, we’d like to offer these webinars at an affordable price ($37 each or $99 for all three) and we’ll also provide everyone who registers with a free toolkit after each webinar that includes a copy of the slide deck, a recording of the webinar and a resource sheet with links to learn more from leading social media resources.

Not available during the specific dates or times? No worries. The webinars will be recorded for access at any time and you’ll still receive the toolkit!

Why are we doing this now? Because we want to help you and we want to share what we’ve learned from years of working as entrepreneurs, recruiters and human resources professionals along with our experience working in a variety of industries – both within corporate America and as external consultants working with some of the best leaders and companies in the world.

Have a question about the webinars or what’s in it for you? Let me know in the comments or you can find both Laurie and I on the interwebs via

LinkedIn – Laurie Ruettimann / LinkedIn – Jennifer McClure

Twitter – Laurie Ruettimann / Twitter – Jennifer McClure

Facebook – Laurie Ruettimann / Facebook – Jennifer McClure

Or just go old school and send me an email!

If you know someone who could benefit from one, two or all three of these webinars, please share this information with your colleagues or clients!

*True story. Laurie is my favorite Cynical Girl, Pixie of the Apocalypse, cat lover and thinker/agitator in the world of work. We “met online” years ago when I found her Punk Rock HR blog, so when we actually met for the first time in person at the 2009 SHRM Annual Conference, we were already BFF’s. Ultimately, Laurie has been one of the most helpful people to me in developing my business and my speaking career and is firmly ensconced in the Unbridled Talent President’s Club. See? Using social media to build real relationships and to grow your business can definitely work!


Unbridled Talent LLC is a consulting and advisory firm providing services to clients in the areas of recruiting & human resources strategy, employment branding and leadership/career development. We offer keynotes, workshops and training that inspire and teach business leaders to be more effective in their careers and as leaders of their organization’s most valuable resource – people. Contact us to schedule an event or to discuss our strategic consulting and advisory services.

Social Recruiting – The Level Playing Field

Today’s post is a guest post from my friend, Mike Larsen. Mike is a former Director of and the Founder & CEO of job search and reviews website InsideTrak based in Sydney, Australia. Mike helped me with a project I was working on a couple of years ago related to what’s new/what’s next in the world of recruiting, so when he offered to share some of his insights related to social recruiting, I gladly accepted!

Last year, there was a lot of hysteria in the press about companies and recruiters using social media to ‘snoop’ on candidates, with more than 90% admitting to having researched potential hires using social media, according to social media monitoring service Reppler.

Surprised? Me neither.

As the human backbone of the Internet, social media has for quite some time provided recruiters with access to an incredible amount of free and publicly available information (check your Facebook privacy settings folks) that should assist in making a great employment match.

I’m all for it.

What might surprise some companies and some recruiters is that candidates are using these same tools (and more) to accessing detailed information about YOU. While Glassdoor certainly pioneered this space, they have been quickly followed by others in the US such as CareerBliss, and in Australia my site InsideTrak.

While some employers might find this a little confronting I believe the majority are seeing this trend as an opportunity to receive real time feedback from current staff, while increasing their number of new hire success stories with eyes-wide-open recruits.

Just as social media has transformed the consumer branding space, so now follow employment brands. As recruitment professionals, it’s quite simply our new reality.

Consider the playing field leveled.


Unbridled Talent LLC is a consulting and advisory firm providing services to clients in the areas of recruiting & human resources strategy, employment branding and leadership/career development. We offer keynotes, workshops and training that inspire and teach business leaders to be more effective in their careers and as leaders of their organization’s most valuable resource – people. Contact us to schedule an event or to discuss our strategic consulting and advisory services.

Employer Brand Strategies Increasing In Importance [INFOGRAPHIC]

Next week, I’m looking forward to attending The Conference Board’s Extending Your Brand to Employees Conference in NYC.

For the last 2 years, this has been one of my favorite events to attend to meet Employer Brand, Human Resources and Recruiting professionals and to learn best practices in the recruiting and employment processes from several of today’s leading companies, such as IBM, FedEx, 3M, Mayo Clinic, Cisco, Pfizer and more.

At the conference, I’m especially looking forward to hearing from Steve Cadigan, Vice President of Talent at LinkedIn, as well as the pre-conference workshop led by folks form LinkedIn on “Bringing Your Brand to Life With LinkedIn”. (You can probably tell I’m a LinkedIn Fan Girl.)

If you’d like to share in what I learn from the conference, I’ll be tweeting (hashtag #tcbeyb) and sharing updates on this blog as well as Unbridled Talent’s Facebook Page. If you’ll be in NYC next week (or can get there) and you’d like to register for the conference, enter code “JM1” at checkout for a $500 discount!


To highlight the increasing importance of Employer Brand Strategies, the folks at Bernard Hodes Group recently published a proprietary research report on The Growing Value of Employer Brands, and published a cool summary Infographic, which I’ve shared below.

Some highlights from the report include:

  • The responsibility for Employer Branding efforts lies most often with Human Resources (51%)
  • The most popular external resource for communicating Employer Brand is a company’s Career Site (78%)
  • For employees, the largest factor in considering an employer as attractive is Compensation (64%), while only 25% of employers share that opinion (Can you say disconnect?)
  • Employer Brand ROI expectations for employers include an increase in applicant quality (89%) and increase employee engagement (61%)

The Growing Value of Employer Brands – Bernard Hodes Group

The Growing Value of Employer Brands – Bernard Hodes Group

To obtain a copy of the Hodes’ proprietary research report, head over HERE.

10 Presentations – Using Social Media in HR & Recruiting

I utilize several resources to keep on top of what’s new and who’s saying what in the worlds of recruiting, social recruiting and human resources – and one of my favorite resources is (You can follow me on HERE to see presentations I’ve uploaded as well as my favorites, etc.)

Lately, there have been several informative and helpful presentations uploaded related to using social media in HR and using social media for recruiting. Below are 10 of my favorites:

(1) SHRM Survey Findings: Social Media in the Workplace

(uploaded by SHRM – November 2011)

(2) Social Changes Everything

(uploaded by Intuit Careers – presenter Gail Houston – November 2011)

Social Changes Everything

View more presentations from Intuit Careers

(3) Innovative Recruiting Tips for 2012 from ERE’s 2011 Recruiting Innovation Summit

(video presentation uploaded by – November 2011)

(4) HR 2.0: Social Media Strategy for Recruitment & Talent Management

(uploaded by Sidneyeve Matrix – November 2011)

Socializing Human Resources

View more presentations from Sidneyeve Matrix

(5) Innovative Recruiting Within a Conservative Corporate Environment

(uploaded by Jenny DeVaughn – October 2011)

(6) CareerBuilder: Q3 Trends Update: Social Recruiting

(uploaded by Melissa Murray Balsan – October 2011)

(7) Using Social Media for Recruiting and HR

(uploaded by Kyle Lacy – October 2011)

View more presentations from Kyle Lacy

(8) Essential Elements of Social Recruiting

(uploaded by Tweetajob – presenter Carmen Hudson – October 2011)

(9) Career Sites, Recruiting Strategy & The Candidate Experience

(uploaded by – presenter Matt Adam – September 2011)

(10) Save Your Cold Calls – Go Where Your Candidates Already Are

(uploaded by – presenter Shally Steckerl – August 2011)

View more presentations from beeshields
(Want to see more presentations from the companies/individuals above? Just click on the “View more presentations from ___” link below the embedded presentation.)
Which presentation do you like best? What did you like most about it?

Join Me: BrazenU’s Online Social Recruiting Bootcamp 11/7 – 18

If you’re interested in learning more about social recruiting, social recruiting strategy and employment branding, there’s a great opportunity coming up for you to do so. It’s online, affordable, you can access the training on your own time AND you can get HRCI certification credits!

Brazen Careerist is offering a Social Recruiting Bootcamp that will run November 7 – 18, 2011, with multiple sessions that will be available live and recorded for future listening. I’m excited to have been invited to do one of the sessions – “The Future of Recruiting” with my friend and HR/Social Media Strategist, Laurie Ruettimann.

I don’t think you can beat the price for this multi-day learning event and I hope you’ll consider joining us to learn more about Social Recruiting!

BrazenU’s Social Recruiting Bootcamp (November 7 – 18, 2011):

This November 7-18, BrazenU’s Social Recruiting Bootcamp will teach you how to use social media to ENGAGE with your target recruiting audience, create the content and message to CONNECT with top talent and implement the strategy to make the right HIRE, fast.

We know end of year is a busy time for recruiters, so this course offers the flexibility to either participate in live sessions or access the program materials at a time that fits your schedule — all at a fraction of the cost of typical in-person conferences. And, the course has been approved for 6.0 (General) recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute.

Classes/Speakers include:

  • “Building Your Social Recruiting Strategy” with Steve Boese, Director of Talent Management Strategy at Oracle and Susan Strayer, Founder at Exaqueo
  • “Recruiting on LinkedIn: Taking You to the PhD Level” with Mike O’Neil, Founder of Integrated Alliances and Lori Ruff, Chief Learning Officer, Lead Social Media Coach and Senior Trainer of Integrated Alliances
  • Live Power Lunch Q&A Call with Tracy Brisson, Founder of One2Many Consulting and Jason Warner, Principal at Recruiting Toolbox
  • “The Future of Recruiting” with Laurie Ruettimann, Principal HR and Social Media Strategist at Starr Conspiracy and Jennifer McClure, President of Unbridled Talent LLC (I hear this session will be awesome!)
  • “Going Deeper with Facebook and Twitter” with Jennifer Hasche, Technical Recruiter at Intuit and Margo Rose, Social Media Recruiter at Jackson National Life
  • “Maintain Your Employer Brand through Your Candidate Experience” with Christa Foley, Senior HR Recruiter at Zappos and Brandis Paden, Recruiting Supervisor at Zappos
  • Live Power Lunch Q&A Call with Brianna Foulds, Head of Talent Acquisition, Oakley and Avery Block, Senior Recruiter at Yum! Inc. (Taco Bell, KFC, among others)

Registration: $245 and only $195 for current SHRM members

Download/print this PDF for a program outline, list of speakers/moderators and learning objectives for each session.

Click HERE to register for BrazenU’s Social Recruiting Bootcamp


Best Practices In Recruiting With Social Media [Slideshare]

This Fall, I’ve had the pleasure of attending and speaking at five State SHRM Conferences (Illinois, Florida, Indiana, Colorado & Minnesota) about the topic “Using Social Media for HR & Recruiting” – and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it! I’m so excited to see continued and growing interest and enthusiasm from human resources & recruiting pros around learning more about how to utilize social media as part of their day-to-day activites.

To address that growing interest, a couple of the conferences I’ve attended – Illinois & Colorado – scheduled a full day of social media related sessions with presenters covering the topic from a variety of angles (including HR, recruiting, legal, usage by unions, etc.).

Last week, I spoke a the Minnesota SHRM Conference, and they included two day’s worth of social media offerings! On Day 1, I presented two sessions – “Using Social Media in HR: Attract, Recruit, Retain” and “Best Practices In Recruiting With Social Media” and my friend and favorite @MNHeadhunterPaul DeBettignies – took over on Day 2, covering “Rocking LinkedIn: Profiles, Connections, Sourcing & Recruiting” and “Social Media for Recruiting: Let’s Get Doing”.

I thought I’d share my slide deck for the “Best Practices In Recruiting With Social Media” session in an effort to highlight some of the Minnesota employers (plus a few others) whom I believe are doing some cool and interesting things with their use of social media for recruiting and employment branding.

Highlighted Companies:

Careers Site:
Best Buy
UnitedHealth Group
The Nerdery

General Mills Careers
The Nerdery

UnitedHealth Group
Mayo Clinic

Daxko Nation
EMC Corporation Community
Lisa Rosendahl blog (one of my favorite Minnesota HR pros)

General Mills

Deluxe Corporation Company Profile
Sodexo Careers Group


The companies listed above are just a few of the ones that I often highlight in many of my presentations.

What other companies would you suggest that are really innovative in utilizing social media with their HR, recruiting and/or employment branding efforts? Share some examples with us in the comments section!

Social Recruiting Spotlight: Stacy Van Meter & Deluxe Corporation

This week, I’ll be attending the ERE Spring 2011 Expo in San Diego, California and I’m looking forward to learning from recruiting leaders from many of the world’s top companies and those who are leading the way in terms of recruiting innovation. One of the recruiting leaders who’ll be speaking at the conference this year is Stacy Van Meter, Social Media & Talent Community Manager at Deluxe Corporation. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Stacy briefly about her role at Deluxe Corporation, their successes with social recruiting and a bit of what she’ll be talking about during her session at ERE.

Be sure to make it all of the way to the end of this post, where you’ll find links to be able to view Stacy’s presentation via the ERE Live Stream, a copy of her slides and one of my favorite recruiting/employment branding/candidate engagement videos of all time!


Tell me a about Deluxe Corporation and your role as a Social Media & Talent Community Manager

Deluxe Corporation is a 100-year-old business that has locations throughout the US and Canada, employs just over 5000 people and hires about 1200 people each year. Over the last year, we’ve been in an enormous state of transformation. Deluxe has always been known as a check printing company, but we’ve changed business models and are now a company that provides marketing services for small business. This has been a huge change for us in a very short period of time.

A year ago when I was hired, I’m not sure that they were entirely sure what it meant to have a Social Media & Talent Community Manager, but they did know that Deluxe needed a recruiting presence online. So this last year has really been about building a foundation in terms of avenues of engagement – Facebook, Twitter, a blog and a little bit of internal work with Brand Ambassadors.

We’ve been setting up avenues for people to change the perception of Deluxe from a branding standpoint because we’re no longer “that check printing company”. We need to draw in digital talent and before our social media efforts, there was no way that type of talent would even know about us. Five years ago, our top hired for jobs were positions like Press Operator. Today, our top hires are all in the digital realm – web campaign managers, email marketing managers, digital leaders, community managers, social media managers, etc.

How did you find your way into this role with Deluxe?

Early in the mid-90’s I worked for United Healthcare and I built a business plan to create one of the very first products for healthcare consumers to be able to converse with a nurse counselor online. After completing that project, I ended up going out on my own and doing some consulting from a “new media” perspective. What I found was that when I was talking with clients about how to create a web presence, they were asking me how to go about hiring “new media” types who think and act differently. As a result, my business transformed into consulting with companies on how to hire and keep “new media” professionals. So I guess I sort of fell into HR & recruiting.

When I saw the Deluxe Talent Community Manager job description, I knew it was the job for me! It’s the perfect intersection of a business background, internet, marketing, platform development and experience in Human Resources. I could not be at a better place. I go to bed every day excited about what I do and I wake up every day excited about what I do.

So what exactly does a Social Media & Talent Community Manager do?

My role is transforming. I’m doing a ton of research on where the potential is within HR and marketing. If you look at HR, Marketing, PR and customer service and then throw social media into the mix, at some point there’s an intersection of what’s going on there – and it’s all about the customers. I believe that one of the very first things that we in HR should do is to stop calling job seekers “candidates” – and start calling them “customers”. We also need to change our mindset about who they are and what they bring to us in the hiring process.

We’re working really hard to make the change to the customer mindset at Deluxe. I look at my role as impacting both the brand and our customers – internal and external. Over the last year, we’ve probably done a little more broadcasting using social media than what we ultimately want to do, but we’ve been getting into the consideration space of the talent we need to recruit, teaching people about our brand, drawing them in and getting them excited about us. We’ve been moving people down the conversion funnel – and ultimately, we’re hiring them. The next phase is after we’ve hired them, to start immediately thinking about them as Brand Ambassadors who need to be trained and equipped to become evangelists of our organization. We’re doing lots of work internally to make that next phase happen right now.

What social media tools do you use in your recruiting process?

We’re on Facebook and Twitter and we also have a blog, a YouTube channel and a LinkedIn Careers Page. We also use a couple of LinkedIn Recruiter seats for direct sourcing on LinkedIn.

Deluxe Corporation on Facebook | Deluxe Careers on Facebook | Deluxe Corp on Twitter | Jobs at Deluxe on Twitter | Deluxe Talent Community Blog | Deluxe Jobs Careers Site | Deluxe YouTube Channel

We’ve been having some great success with our videos on YouTube. We’re sending out Flipcams to our remote sites and asking hiring managers to talk about their opportunities and the location. One of my recent favorites is a video that was created for a Plant Manager opening in Streetsboro, Ohio. The short video includes an interview with another Site Leader, the HR Manager and a tour of the plant, break room and the office where the person would sit. People who are coming in to interview for the position are saying that it’s great! They really like being able to see where they would be working and some of the people they’d be working with.

How many people are involved in Deluxe’s social recruiting efforts?

We’re a pretty lean group. In addition to myself, we hired an intern this past summer to do presence management and build out our online sites. We’ve just moved him into a full-time digital marketing specialist role and we’ve also hired a full-time Sourcer.

We’re really looking for a lot of engagement online and we spend quite a bit of time routing people to the right place, giving recommendations or feedback, answering questions etc. on Facebook and Twitter. Our customers really seem to appreciate it and those who engage with us via social media do get a little extra edge. We make sure that they get right in front of the recruiter.

How are you tracking results related to your social media efforts?

In the last quarter of 2010, 50% of our hires came from our Talent Community – which has grown considerably over the last year. We had 3,500 members in our Talent Community on January 1, 2010 and as of January 2011, we have over 134,000 members.

Our Talent Community is “opt-in” and we’ve found that some people join, but don’t apply for a job at Deluxe right away. They may have heard about us and just want to see what’s going on here, or be within our email marketing system. The nice thing for us is that we can segment the people within our Talent Community. I cut and categorize those 134,000 people into groups by job categories or people that come from companies that we know we want to recruit from. We many not have an opportunity for them right now, but down the line, we’ll be able to put together a marketing campaign for those folks when we do.

What will you be talking about during your session at the ERE Spring 2011 Expo?

One of the things I’ll be talking about is what I call a Web Campaign. When we have a hard-to-fill or high profile job, I put together a 6 – 7 page framework of all of the places that we need to go, where those people live online, etc. This spreadsheet includes everything from events in the area of hire related to that particular position, to forums or places online where we can do free posts, to every LinkedIn group related to that job, to Twitter, to Facebook, all of the PPC, sometimes a micro-site, whether we’re going to do a video, email marketing, niche job boards, etc. We do tons of research up front to determine how we’re going to target market for our jobs and then we track the success rates of each step.

I’m also going to talk about the technology and recruiting transformations that are taking place and what that means for the market and for recruiters. And I’ll be talking about turning candidates into customers and hires into brand ambassadors.

In your opinion, what’s the biggest opportunity with social recruiting?

No question about it – engagement. Success to me is when customers – internal and external – are able to tell the NEW Deluxe story with delight and excitement and they’re spreading the word. That means that they’ve had a great experience with us from a recruiting perspective, a product or service perspective, or as an employee.


Find information HERE about how to watch Stacy’s presentation live on Thursday, March 24th at 1:30pm PT/4:30pm ET via the live stream provided by or catch the recording via the same site at a future date. You can check out the slides for Stacy’s ERE Spring 2011 presentation on Slideshare – “Mission Possible: How to Create a Comprehensive Social Media Recruitment Marketing Strategy”. Follow her on Twitter – @sjvconsult.

And finally, check out this awesome “behind the scenes” video from the Deluxe Recruiting team. Informative, helpful and fun. I love it!

8 Free Human Resources & Recruiting eBooks

I’ve described myself in the past as a consistently curious consumer of information related to all things human resources, recruiting, leadership development and social media. I love to learn. And I love free stuff too.

What do you get if you combine all of those things? Free eBooks!

Unfortunately, to access many eBooks, I’m required to share my contact information and typically receive a contact from a salesperson as a result. If the eBook is promising enough, I’ll do that, because I appreciate the time and effort required to put one together. However, there are plenty of great eBooks out there that are shared with no strings attached and I thought I’d share few of my recent favorites with you!

To download a free copy of each of the eBooks below – just click on the image to access the PDF link. No registration or additional steps required!

Four eBooks from UpstartHR blogger – Ben Eubanks

Ben Eubanks – HR Pro by day, HR blogger by night, Co-Founder of HRevolution, Social Media Director of the North Alabama SHRM Chapter (and Father of recently born twins) – is quite the industrious HR professional! In addition to writing regularly on his own HR blog and the blog for his local SHRM chapter – Rocket HR, Ben regularly produces eBooks for HR pros and invites some of the smartest people in the business to share their advice and experiences. Below are only four of Ben’s recent eBooks. There’s more free stuff available on his site at Upstart HR/Freebies – including a free PHR Study Series eBook!





























One eBook from blogger Benjamin McCall

Another Ben – Benjamin McCall – Leadership Performance Consultant at Standard Register – is prolific writer on his blog and also a regular contributor to the Greater Cincinnati Human Resources Association blog. He recently published a Learning & Development eBook, which includes contributions from several HR and Leadership development professionals.

Two eBooks from Chris Ferdinandi – blogger at Renegade HR & Go Make Things

Here’s a couple of great eBooks by long-time blogger & writer – Chris Ferdinandi – Employee Development & Social Media Specialist at EMC Corporation. One includes ideas from 21 of HR’s leading thinkers and doers on how to be a better HR pro in 2011 and the other is a summary of one of his presentations at the University of Rhode Island on Employment Branding. Good stuff!















Chris has also written a short book that is a step-by-step guide to recruiting and employer branding called “Culture Convo“. Check out how you can purchase a PDF or paperback copy here or you can sign up to read it free via email.

One eBook from EMC Corporation

Finally, while this one is over a year old, it’s a great resource for Job Seekers, Recruiters and Human Resources professionals. This eBook, compiled by the folks at EMC Corporation (which also happens to be Chris Ferdinandi’s employer), features 100 Job Search Tips From Fortune 500 Recruiters. The book is meant to inspire, motivate, provide insights and identify traps. It also includes a list of job search resources and social media sites.








Your Recommendations?

I know there are plenty of other eBooks and free resources out there that you may be aware of – or maybe you’ve written one. Share your recommendations in the Comments!

Wanted: A Positive Onboarding Experience

Lone Ranger Earlier this week, Michael VanDervort shared a post on his blog The Human RaceHorses about his first day on the job in HR. It’s a great read and made me think about my own “first day” experiences. Unfortunately, I’m long overdue for a good one.

Job 1

My first job post graduation was at Margaret’s Employment Service. I responded to a “Help Wanted” sign in Margaret’s front yard and when I met her – a recruiter for 30+ years – she put down her phone only long enough to say “You’re hired”. I was provided a desk, chair, phone and the Yellow Pages and my training consisted of “Make calls”. So I smiled and dialed. Within a couple of weeks, someone actually talked to me at a bank that was hiring and I scheduled an interview. For me. I don’t think Margaret noticed when I left.

Job 2

My new job was an Internal Auditor position – a job typically filled by Finance grads and MBA’s. Clearly, someone wasn’t paying attention in the interview process. (Me.) My first day involved showing up in the wee hours of the morning to drive to a branch office where, like Ninja, our secret arrival was timed with the opening of the doors. Once inside, the auditors scurried off immediately to capitalize on the element of surprise. I was instructed to count and balance the cash drawers of the Tellers. And I had no idea how to do that. Left alone to count more money than I’d ever seen in my life, it wasn’t pretty. One. Two. Three…

Job 3

After 18 months of terrorizing bank employees, I networked my way into an HR Manager position in a small company. On my first day, I entered the Plant Manager’s office full of youthful hope and exuberance. He looked at me and said: “I don’t know anything about HR. Don’t expect me to help you. There’s some books in your office.” And he went back to smoking his cigarette. So I found my office and started looking at books. I was a little less hopeful, but thrilled to finally be working in HR. Even if no one else cared.

Job 4

A few years and a relocation later, I took an HR role with a new start up that was part of a bigger company. On my first day, I showed up at the main office as instructed, but since I’d been hired for the new company (still being built) and I wouldn’t be located there, there was no place for me. My boss suggested I find an empty desk and make plans for recruiting and training the new employees that would be needed. I worked on that project (making plans) for the next 5 months at random locations before the new building was finished. During that time, I worked in a crowded office, but wasn’t really part of a team – because there wasn’t one for me yet. As a result, I attended lots of meetings with myself. They were very efficient.

Job 5

Eventually, I was recruited to a position at a company with a new CEO who’d been brought in for a turnaround and wasn’t seeing eye to eye with the VP of HR. It was a confidential search, so once the current VP was notified of his unplanned departure, the CEO and I were supposed to meet with him the following weekend while the offices were closed so he could pass the torch and provide me with the keys to the kingdom. Except the CEO forgot to show up that Sunday so it was just the two of us. Awkward. The next day I met with the HR team that had just been informed of my arrival the Friday before. They told me that because of the changes that had taken place and the way things were handled, they felt like outcasts. And I knew how they felt because I’d been there before. Thankfully, we were able to fix that.

So Why The Big FAIL When It Comes to Onboarding?

All of the companies that I worked for were great places to work (except maybe Margaret’s) and they were filled with smart and capable people. A couple of my bosses were even amazing and inspiring Leaders to work for who really challenged me and helped me to grow. But all of the companies I’ve worked for – both the small ones and those in the Fortune 500 – failed me as a new hire on my first day because they didn’t plan effectively for my arrival or take the time to make me feel welcomed.

Research shows that 90% of companies believe that employees make their decision to stay at a company within the first six months, but many of us have experienced an onboarding process that started our career with the company off on the wrong foot. Things that make you go hmmm…

Do you have an awful new hire experience similar to or worse than mine? What was your worst (or best) first day/week on the job like?

I showed you mine. Now you show me yours. Tell me about it.