How To Surpass What Your Job Title Says About You

TEDx-1-e1430710475881I had a conversation with one of my friends from India and we were sharing stories about how throughout our careers we have both been known as people who can do more than what our specific job title would indicate.  We weren’t talking about being able to take on more responsibility in order to receive a promotion, we were talking about learning and using skills from another industry to help further our careers.

Breaking out of YOUR mold

I spent many years learning human resources and honing my skills related to compensation, benefits and employee relations.  It wasn’t until I reached my mid-thirties that I realized that I was compelled to learn more about technology, finance, marketing and communications, and ultimately social.  Spending my free time educating myself was some of the best time I’ve ever spent in terms of the return on my investment.  The best compliments I get now are when someone tells me I’m a good writer, a marketer, or an expert for them in social media.

What are you known for?

When I think of the most successful people I know, these are the people who continuously increase their knowledge.  Here 6 steps you can take to update what you are known for and be more than the definition of your job title:

  • Identify industries you want to learn more about-  Before you invest your time, make sure you have carved out a path that is not only going to be interesting for yourself, but one that will actually provide you improved business opportunities in the end.
  • Read as much as you can online about the topic-  The internet brings the best education to us at our fingertips.  It’s easy to find written works from experts in your chosen field as well as video to teach you what they know.
  • Interview “experts” already in that field and ask for recommendations to get up to speed in that industry- This is the time you really need to break out of your comfort zone.  You will be reaching out to people you may not know and asking for them to help you learn.  Keep in mind that many people like to
  • Listen to podcasts on the subject while driving or working out
  • Register for a course online or at a local university
  • Ask to job shadow someone already working in the industry

With a bit of time, a plan, and a desire to learn and expand, you will be able to position yourself to no longer be defined by your job title.  What have you done to change this in your career?  Share with me in the comments.

*from the dusty archives…

Recruiterbox and the Facets of a Robust Recruiting Strategy

When it comes to recruiting candidates, there is no shortage of advice or recommended tools.  As someone who doesn’t jump on every trend, I tend to watch the market and analyze how things are shaping up before I weigh in.  Each year, I evaluate countless tools and technologies in the Talent Acquisition space.  I recently came across one tool that stands out and deserves your attention.  Why?  Because it addresses many of the tenants of recruiting that I hold dear as a former practitioner:

  • Business needs
  • Organizational culture
  • Finding the most qualified employees
  • Solid understanding of budget and the actual cost of hire

Recruiter Box Logo

These facets are widely accepted as some of the most important when determining your talent acquisition strategy.  With many organizations now spending time and money on specifically creating world-class recruitment strategies, they are putting a lot of thought into each facet. In terms of business needs, organizations used to open a ton of positions just because someone left the company. Today, there is much more mindful consideration regarding whether or not there is a true business need for a specific role. Organizational leaders have found that spending the time to rethink and reevaluate a specific role’s requirements often leads to different and better candidates.

With regard to the organizational culture, this is now something that is a major aspect of planning and hiring. Organizations think about how their employer brand impacts their ability to attract better, more qualified candidates who will outperform their predecessors. Lastly, having a solid understanding of budgets and how the cost-per-hire changes from industry to industry (and position to position) has a major impact on hiring. As leaders have become more educated, so have their hiring decisions. With that in mind, savvy leaders are looking for tools to help support their focused talent acquisition strategies.

Recruiterbox is one tool that can help incorporate those facets into your own strategy.  What is Recruiterbox? It is a type of recruitment software that simplifies and optimizes your hiring process. You can post job openings, manage candidates, collaborate with colleagues, and use data to help you make an informed decision – all in one place.  And the brains behind this software even provide advice on how to improve your hiring process, too.  Just check out this video they created on the cost of a bad hire.

Having tools and solutions that help make your recruitment process a winning one is, well, worth your time and money.  I encourage you to check out Recruiterbox to see how this software can help transform your talent acquisition process.






Career Path- What Is Your Next Step?

fork-in-the-road-2-pathsAre you happy with your career?  Are you working or have you been laid off?

I’m hear from more and more people as they examine their career future.  I’ve heard from those that wonder if they should stay in their current position or current company.  I hear from those who have been part of a recent layoff and are now deciding whether to stick with their career choice or try something new.  I also hear from people who were ready to retire but are rethinking that decision and wondering how to proceed.  And of course, there are recent college graduates who are finding it difficult to find work in the major they chose.  They too are examining career options for the future.

What is the right approach to identify the next step in your career path? The best way to see where you’re going is to look back where you’ve been.  I know I personally run at 100 m.p.h. most of the time and it is rare that I slow down and appreciate where I’ve been and how far I’ve come.

Think back to when you first chose your career.  How did you decide what you wanted to do with your life?  Many people chose something they could be passionate about.  Even though it’s just a job, a means to an end, it’s was much more meaningful if you chose a career you were excited about.  As you look to the future, you should examine the steps you walked and what you learned so that you can use that knowledge to guide you to a new career.

  • Roles- What were the first roles you had in your career? Whether you were an intern, an apprentice, a generalist, a support staff, etc. the lessons learned during the early days of your career were very valuable.  It taught you how to interact with others.  It taught you about managing up.  About learning what the expectations were and how to exceed them.  It taught you about getting along with colleagues and how to fit in to the culture.  You were most likely a “do’er” during this time.  Absorbing everything new like a sponge.  As you explore career options, try to capture the enthusiasm of your youth when learning about the new career.  Be willing to be a “do’er” again.  Ask as many questions as you can.
  • Key influencers- Who were the people you looked up to when you first chose your career path? Were they instructors?  Neighbors?  Maybe a family member.  Bottom line is you found people you respected and decided you wanted to emulate them.  What steps did they take to pursue that particular career?  What special skills or education were needed to get the job?  Look around.  Who can help and influence you in your new career?  Use social media to meet professionals in your new field or industry.  Reach out.  Be open.  Learn from the “experts”.
  • Take aways- So what does this mean to you now? Is there a career you’ve always dreamed of having?  What are the steps you will need to take to embark on that career?  Is it an achievable goal?  Will you need more education?  A certification?  Will you need experience?

Deciding to journey down a new career path is a daunting decision; however, it can be even more rewarding than can be imagined. Have you ever taken a major turn in your career path?  What steps did you take that helped you select that career and get acclimated?  Share with us in the comments.

Importance of Mobile for Employee Referrals

More than any time in our history, people are on the move.  You don’t walk down the street or down the hallway at work without seeing someone on their mobile phone.  From looking at social sites to texting to taking pictures, people just can’t live without their phones.  As companies incorporate mobile into many of their approaches, one great use comes to mind- employee referrals.
Whether they know it or not, your employees are meant to assist you in the recruitment process. After all, they’re the ones who are going to be working with new team members; it only makes sense if they are in the recruitment trenches with you. However, what happens when your employees are on-the-go or don’t work in-house? What’s the best way to streamline the referral process? By using mobile!
This infographic, compiled by social employee referral management platform Zao, illustrates the benefits of mobile in your employee referral programs, as well as some best practices when you get started. Some takeaways to note include:
  • 1 in 4 people who come to a career site are coming from a mobile device
  • Only 1 in 5 Fortune 500 Companies are mobile-optimized for recruiting
  • 66% of employees use two or more mobile devices at work

Check out the full infographic below and let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Zao-Mobile-972 (1)

Tech Job Hunt Handbook: Not Just For Job Seekers

I read a book.

I know what you’re thinking…. who has time to read a whole book?  Like most people, I get my reading in online and when it comes to actual books, I have at least eight that are in some stage of progress right now.  It’s not that I don’t like reading books.  I do.  I just get distracted with kids, work, activities, etc.  So, when I find a book that grabs my attention, I pay attention.

Tech Job Hunt Handbook grabbed me.

kevin-grossmanWritten by Kevin Grossman, this book is not only an outstanding resource for people who are looking for a job in the technology industry, it is a great source of information for anyone.  Here’s what you get:

  • Specific techniques for job seekers.  This is focused on the tech field, however, many of the tips apply to other industries.
  • Ways to build your online profile.  Who can’t use this?  Social interaction online is one of the fastest growing pass times.  If you need to know how to increase your presence in a positive way, this book can help.
  • Ideas for HR and recruiting pros.  Want to get some new ideas on onboarding?  It’s in the book.  How about info on video interviewing?  It’s in there too.

Kevin writes in a conversational style that makes you want to keep reading.

Last night, Steve Boese and I invited Kevin to be a guest on HR Happy Hour radio show.  You can check out the interview archive  to learn more about the book.  Ready to buy?  You’ll find it over at Amazon.  Pick up your copy today.

For more information about the author, head over to Reach West.  You can learn how to work with Kevin and more about his speaking and consulting.


Finding The Rhythm of Work

*Sharing a post from the archives…

I was on my way to work and thinking about how I get some of my best post ideas while driving.  The other day I was thinking about the rhythm of driving.  When you drive somewhere, you really have to figure out the rhythm of the traffic around you to get there most efficiently and effectively.  It’s about how you as a driver fit in with the people around you.  And, if you don’t, you might pass them, slow down, or move over a lane to the right or the left.  Work is not really different than that.

When you get to work, you need to figure out the rhythm of the workplace and whether or not you fit in.  And if you don’t, it’s a tell tale sign, a red flag, even in this economy.  People may have felt like they had to remain in a workplace where they don’t fit in with the rhythm but we’re starting to see that change a little.  It’s ok to still be out there looking for opportunities so that you can find a workplace that has the rhythm that you need in order to be successful if you don’t fit in with the rhythm and flow of your current organization.

If you are someone who is happy at organization, the challenge becomes how can you influence the behavior of others to increase the chance that they are fitting with the flow if they are not.  This comes up more and more often as people take on greater workload and they get burned out.  I”m hearing from managers that they are struggling with what to do when you have someone on your staff that has lost that spark, that passion, that fire.  How do you get that back  and have them fit into the work-flow so they are productive?    It goes beyond what you can do to motivate them though.  It is a lot about their self-motivation, so you need to focus on what you can do to provide an environment where that will flourish.

If you are in HR advising the leader, or if you are the leader, I’d like to hear in the comments what you do to help re-ignite that passion and help that employee fit into the rhythm of work.  If they are a good employee, what can we do to get them back into the work-flow? Thanks for your thoughts.

Recruiting Tactics: Would You Move For A Better Job?

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by Allied Van Lines, proud sponsor of the “2012 Workforce Mobility Survey”, designed to capture the voice of HR on topics related to workforce mobility. Allied has more than 75 years of experience in corporate, household and international relocation.)

What would it take for you to move in order to accept a new job?  Have you ever relocated in order to take a new job?

As an HR executive, I have had the good fortune to live in a city that afforded me opportunities to progress in my career without having to relocate my family.   There was a time, years ago, that I was offered the opportunity to relocate to the west coast.  The package was not too bad and the pay would have been good for the role in that market, but no one ever mentioned that I was a mother with young children.  Children that were nearing school-age.  For me, that was the only factor that kept me from making that move.

According to the 2012 Workforce Mobility Survey, “Two factors are most likely to increase a candidate’s willingness to relocate- higher salary (reported by 82% of HR professionals) and career advancement (reported by 79%).  Three factors are most likely to limit or restrict willingness to relocate:  spousal employment situation (80%), children’s plans/ schools (72%), and selling a home/ mortgage (69%).  (Chart 5)

Last week, following the release of the research, Kris Dunn shared his thoughts in How To Tell Whether Your Relocation Package or Your Closing Skills Suck.  It made me think back to the time when I did not make the move and why I chose not to move.  It was a combination of the HR pro not closing the deal and some of the missing pieces around how things would be handled with my family.

  • Would my husband leave his position he had held for his entire career?
  • How would we find him a new job that he would love?
  • Where would my children go to school and how would I find the perfect environment for them?
  • How would I find good quality child care, pediatricians, and a church?

HR professionals need to know that it is questions like these are running through your candidate’s head and that may prevent them from taking your job offer. In order to create a relocation package that sets your company apart, one of the key factors is considering these types of questions and providing the support the candidate needs.

Stand out from the crowd

  • Since only 2% of companies help with spousal employment, you can make your relocation package unique by offering unemployment assistance or job serach assistance for the candidate’s spouse or significant other.
  • While 16% of companies are offering to assume a loss for a recruit’s underwater mortgage, you can boost your chance of landing a candidate for a hard to fill position if you take the step of offering that type of assistance.
  • If only 39% of companies are offering information about the local community and schools, you can provide a packet of information or links to sites that support various communities in your area that a candidate would be interested in.  For families, focus on the school district and any extra-curricular activities available.  For families or singles who like to participate in activities like running, working out, etc., include community information on parks and trails they would find appealing.

Are you ready to make the difference to your organization’s ability to both attract and close the deal with your top candidates?  Start today.  To learn more, continue to check in to the Allied HR/IQ website for more results from the 2012 Workforce Mobility Survey.


Using Social Media: How To Tweet Your Company’s Jobs

Earlier this week, I wrote 10 Easy Ways to Build Social Media Into Your HR Practice.  Today I’m sharing specifics on each of the ideas I suggested.  These are written with beginners in mind.

My first suggestion is to tweet your jobs.  It’s becoming common for companies today to have a company Twitter account.  Make sure that at a minimum, your recruiters are sharing their job openings on Twitter. But Twitter is not just about posting jobs like a job board.   Recruiters and HR pros should also tweet reasons candidates would want to work at your company, share awards or recognition the company has received and in general, any positive messages about the organization.

If you’re not on Twitter:

  • Go to and open an account.  It’s easy to get started and Twitter now has easy steps to walk you through the process of creating your profile and following a few people.
  • Once signed up for Twitter, go to the search box and type in words related to your business or industry.  It will bring up people related to that industry.  Start    following people.  The only way to begin getting people to follow you (which you’ll need later) is by following them.
  • Take an online Twitter tutorial to gain understanding of how to begin to use the tool.  Twitter provides a good tutorial and you can also search for videos on YouTube that give good demonstration on how to use Twitter.

 If you have a Twitter account for your company or your recruiting team:

  •  Compose the tweet.  Now that you are using Twitter, compose a tweet that suscinctly describes keywords about the job.  Be sure to include a shortened link to the job on your career website.  An example would be “Charlotte manufacturer hiring Director of IT. Relo available. #Charlotte #IT #Jobs“.  You can see that it describes the location, type of company, role and gives a bit of information on relocation.  It includes a shortened version of the link and a few hashtags to help the tweet reach more people.
  • Use hashtags.  In the example above, you can see I included three word “tags”  that will help the job show up in searches on Twitter.  Since it is located in Charlotte, I chose that as a search I would want the tweet to appear.  I also chose IT and jobs since there are people who run searches looking for IT jobs.    For more information on what a hashtag is and how to use it, click here.
Remember, using Twitter is not just about pushing information out. It’s about engaging in conversation with people, in this case, potential candidates.  Be sure to tweet out information about your company so that people are more likely to ask questions about the company and more likely to re-tweet and share your job postings!
Happy Tweeting!