Tag Archives: Social Media

10 Skills Critical to Business Success in 2014 and Beyond

leader logoWith technology today, the ability to have content at our fingertips is easier than ever before.  One place I continue to look to stay on top of trends is the writing of experts in the HR and recruiting industry.  Andy Headworth, author of Sirona Says, continues to be a favorite for me.  I learn so much about the global recruiting space by reading his work.  I also get ideas from time-to-time that apply far beyond the recruiting world.  This happened last week.

Andy penned a post called Is This What the Recruiter of Tomorrow Will Look Like?  In it he outlines seven skills that recruiters of the future will need to master in order to be successful.  They are:

  • Sales and marketing skills
  • Candidate networks building skills
  • Candidate sourcing skills
  • Social media skills
  • Content production skills
  • Contractor management skills
  • Keeping up with technology

I absolutely encourage you to read his post because the details are well worth knowing.  I want to take those ideas a step further today and expand on them to show that they can be used, regardless of industry, to become a better business person.

  • Sales and Marketing skill-  No longer just reserved for your organization’s marketing department, sharing the employer brand is something that each employee does.  Not only that, they are the face of your company to the clients, to potential clients and to potential employees.  Companies that are leaders in this area ensure that all employees know the positive messages that need to be shared with the public.  Transparency is key in ensuring that your colleagues know how to put the good news about your organization out to the world. Teaching your employees how to share their excitement about your product or services now makes everyone a potential marketer.
  • Candidate networks building skills-  It’s not just imperative that your organization’s recruiting team build networks with candidates, it is important that you encourage all your employees to be ambassadors to keep growing your organization.  Their participation with potential employees can help convince candidates to join the organization.
  • Candidate sourcing skills- One great way to encourage this is to ditch the old approach to referral programs and begin rewarding for introductions.  More to come in a future post on that.  For now, suffice to say that once your employees are company ambassadors, they will WANT to tell people to work with them.
  • Social media skills-  As someone who has been using social media for over six years now, it almost seems impossible that this is still new for some people.  However, it is.  So, if you or your staff are not using social media platform to futher the growth of your business, you are now officially behind the industry leaders.  Whether for networking, recruiting, marketing, sales, etc., you need to be in the space in order to be successful.  It is not a fad, it is a method and tools for doing business.
  • Content production skills-  One of the most exciting changes in the last few years is that we can all be content producers.  This means that employees whom you least expect to wave your organization’s flag can now do so.  Boldly.  Encourage them.  Empower them.  Teach them how to refine their writing skills.  Celebrate and reward them when the share.
  • Contractor management skills-  According to CareerBuilder’s 2013 Jobs Forecast, 40% of employers in 2013 planned to use contract and temporary workers.  This is up from 36% in 2012.  This means that you need to ensure that your leaders know the difference in how to work with them vs. employees.  It’s imperative that leaders know not to create co-employment situations that put the employer at risk.
  • Keeping up with technology-  Much like the topic of social media, technology and the use in business is now “normal”.  Being unwilling to learn or even someone who does not follow general industry trends in the technology space puts you at a disadvantage.  If you want to gain success with customers, internally with communication and data, or even on a personal level, technology now plays a role.
  • Financial analysis skills-  I’ve been saying this for years now.  No matter what type of professional you are, you need to understand how the business you work for makes money.  The best way for you to gain this knowledge is to talk to your supervisor, CFO, Controller, etc.  Also, talk to the salesmen and women in your organization.  They can all give you views of how your organization makes money.  One you understand that, you can educate yourself on the basics of Finance 101.
  • Presentation skills-  I know you may be thinking you can’t do this.  That you are too afraid to speak in public.  Well, when talking about success, you will likely need to be able to share your ideas and vision of the future with colleagues and others.  This skill is key to develop.  Start small.  You can do this at home by speaking in church, for local organizations you are part of, or within your work team.  Just know that each time you participate in public speaking, you improve your ability to use persuasion to get your message across.
  • Project management skills-  Now that most of us get our “work” assignment through series of emails, you need to understand how to manage priorities.  This is always a work in progress so having some formal skills in managing projects can help you manage your day-to-day tasks as well.  You can take classes through local management associations or colleges or you can read up on the subject.

What have I missed?  Feel free to expand on the ideas from Andy and the ones I added.  What skills lead to business success?

12 Minutes: Learn Social or Business During Your Drive Time

trafficI took my car to my dealership this week for a Xylon treatment.  It’s one of those things that is great to have done, but the hassle of having to drop my car off, on a weekday at 9:00 am, and pick up a rental car was something I didn’t look forward to.

The dealership had great service and the rental car was ready for me, but the idea of having to drive a car I’m not familiar with as the forecast called for snow and ice didn’t make me feel very confident.  At any rate, about twenty minutes after arriving, I was on my way in a 2011 Cadillac DTS. Sweet ride…..but felt larger than driving a bus.  This was not exactly my idea of fun.

So, away I go in my caddy and I’m trying to find something on the XM radio.  Only, it’s not activated.  I try to remember some local stations so that I can find something good to listen to on my way to work.  I settle in on a station that has a song I know, but it quickly ends.  Now it’s commercial time.  I sat through twelve minutes of commercials before the next song!

I don’t have time to sit through twelve minutes of commercials.

I felt like I was completely wasting my time.  I sat there cursing the local radio and hating the fact I couldn’t get any news or information of value.  That’s when I realized that there are many people who still don’t purchase their radio experience.  They listen to local radio.  These are some of the same people who argue that they don’t have time to learn social media, to read a blog, to learn a new tool or technology.  But like me that day, they get those same twelve minutes stolen from them all the time.

Making Good Use of Your Drive Time


  • Download podcasts that you can listen to on your iPod or other device.  Shows such as HR Happy Hour can be found on BlogTalk radio.  You can learn about the latest HR, recruiting and leadership information.
  • Listen to audio books that relate to self improvement or business acumen.
  • Use your smartphone to listen to “how to” videos on YouTube.

What are some other ways to spend your time in the car to make better use of it than listening to commercials?  Share your thoughts with me in the comments.


No thoughts of grandeur this morning.  Just a simple reminder.


I had dinner last night with four HR professionals I met via social media.  We laughed, we talked shop, we talked about our families.  It was nice to connect in real life.  For all the good that social media can do, remember to reach out and connect in person too.  It was worth more than 1,000 tweets I could have exchanged with this group of friends.

Happy Wednesday!

Top 3 Reasons CHRO’s Need To Embrace Social

As 2011 comes to a close, many people begin thinking about the coming year and ways they can either lose old habits or pick up a new, positive one.  This year I’ve had the opportunity to speak with more CEO’s and CHRO’s than ever before and one question comes up time and again.  Should I learn about social platforms? 

The answer is a layered one, the first of which is easy.  Yes, as a CHRO, you should know about social platforms.  In reality, you do not need to be an expert, you just need to become and advocate and champion.  You need to be willing to hire HR and marketing professionals who know the intricacies of how to use social tools and the reasons behind using them.  You need to have an understanding of the value that is becoming more apparent as various sites enhance and refine their social services and offerings.  The reality is you need to be open to social because it is no longer a trend or an option, it is a valuable way to do business.

What are the top reasons CHRO’s need to embrace social?  

It’s a communication catalyst-  Being involved in social media platforms is a way to be involved in the conversation that is happening about your organization.  It is your way to have a real-time view of what employees, candidates and customers are saying about your brand. Leaders have struggled for years to get these same groups of people to give feedback via survey and now you can obtain this information on a regular basis online.

For collaboration and the wisdom of crowds-  Using the wisdom of crowds and achieving shared outcomes has to be one of the best reasons to get involved online.  Long gone are the days of only pushing information out to various groups of people.  Today, it’s about the conversation and the ideas shared both ways.  Social platforms are a way for you as the CHRO to not only be part of this conversation but to LEAD  and give direction to the conversation.  Additionally, capturing the ideas and expertise of a group of people for minimal cost and at increasingly faster speeds is the best benefit of crowd-sourcing  information for your organization.

To know thy competition-  Whether you are the CHRO of a large, global organization or a small business, one of the key components of running a business is knowing what the competition is doing.  Social platforms are  a perfect way to aid in monitoring.  Not only that, you may see what they are doing and have an idea of how to do it better, so it becomes a way of taking best practices and ramping them up a notch.  You can also see what their employees, candidates and customers are saying about them.  Believe me, if your organization is not doing this, your competition is likely already monitoring you and determining how to stay ahead in the game.

There are many more reasons and benefits for the CHRO to become a knowledgeable advocate of social media platforms.  If you were speaking with your CHRO, what reasons would you give them and why?  Share with us in the comments.




Social Media: Your Key To Competitive Advantage

What comes to mind when you hear the words social media?  Do you think of sites that are popular today like Twitter, FaceBook, or LinkedIn?  Do you think it is just for teens or that it is just a tool to decrease employee productivity?  Or, can you see past all the negative hype and see how to exploit social media platforms for a competitive advantage?

That’s right, social media can be your key to competitive advantage.

It is a tool that can help you as an individual or as a business leader to stand head and shoulders above the rest.  Let’s be honest, in today’s lagging market, we need a way to stand out in a positive way and to reach our current and potential clients and customers.  So, how do we get there?  Social media. These are free tools that can be quickly learned and applied in ways that will communicate your brand.  If you’re like I was, then you just don’t make the connection how that is possible.  Let me share my story.

About two years ago, I participated in a webinar that demonstrated how to use Twitter.  I sat through it wondering how in the world this would pertain to me in my role as a human resources director.  I did not understand the concept of finding people with a certain background to follow.  I did not understand why someone would want to follow me and see what I’m doing moment by moment.  And so, like many, I signed off and did not touch it again.

Fast forward to a year ago.  I loved reading human resource blogs and started my own human resource blog.  I realized that many of the bloggers I was communicating with used Twitter so I signed back in.  I followed HR bloggers and other HR professionals and saw them sharing relevant HR articles on trends and core competencies . I began tweeting (sharing information in 140 characters via Twitter) each time I wrote a new post on my blog.  My followers would re-tweet it, meaning they would send it to all their followers.  I quickly saw my blog stats rise and simultaneously, my Twitter followers increased too.

I was marketing myself!

I fell into a situation where I quickly learned the power Twitter has to connect you with other like-minded professionals in your industry or with a certain market segment that you would like to reach.  The one caution I have is that the Twitter community is one not to take advantage of.  You have to be genuine and willing to share and communicate, not just push out your personal or company agenda.  Otherwise, you will be labeled a spammer and will quickly crash and burn.

Since that time, my blog has seen exponential growth, my personal brand as a HR professional has flourished and I have the opportunity to speak globally about the power of social media.

So, have I piqued your interest in getting involved with social media?  Add your questions or your own story in the comments.

7 Things To Do When You Get Home From A Conference

1017244_10152959205545523_92643918_nIt’s been a few weeks since the 2013 SHRM Annual conference wrapped.  Of course there was a flurry of great posts about the event.  Check out a few here:

From hearing about the keynotes and other speakers to learning more about vendor progress in the HR space, there is no shortage of take-aways from this year’s event.

Then, there is the ever expanding social presence of SHRM in our industry.  Originally championed in 2009 by then COO, China Gorman, SHRM national has embraced making strides in social channels.  Current “SHRM Social Media Guy”, Curtis Midkiff, did an outstanding job of pulling together those active socially in the space.  From the HIVE where attendees could come to ask all their burning social questions to the hashtag attendees could follow to stay in tune with all that was going on (#SHRM13), there was a larger focus than ever on networking and connectivity.

There were also events such as the SHRM Kickball to raise money for No Kid Hungry.  We raised nearly $11,000 so far and if you’d like to contribute or find out more, it’s not too late to help feed kids here in the US that are in need.  There were vendor and executive dinners and even a night with DJ Jazzy Jeff hosted by Glassdoor.  It was an amazing several days full of learning, challenge and fun.

1250_10152959208015523_483375459_nRegardless if you attend a conference as part of a group or if you’re there on your own, the importance is what you do with the information you learned and how you apply it all when you get back to the day-to-day grind.

7 Key Steps to Take When You Return from a Conference

  1. Go through all the business cards you collected and send out connection requests via LinkedIn.  Networking and making connections is one of the largest benefits of conference attendance.
  2. Send a thank you note to any speaker you saw that made a difference in the way you think.  As a speaker at SHRM Annual and other conferences, I can tell you that people prepare for weeks or months to present.  Acknowledging their hard work is a nice way to make them feel appreciated for the time they spent with you.
  3. Write a summary for your boss on the value of attending.  Many employers do not understand the value of learning at a conference.  Make sure to spell it out.
  4. Follow people who tweeted using the #SHRM13 hashtag.  Having a list of people in the HR space at your finger tips is invaluable. Be sure to solidify those connections on Twitter.
  5. Give feedback to SHRM.  Hopefully you filled out session surveys or other conference surveys.  If not, go to the SHRM site and leave feedback.  They work hard each year to pull this togetether so share what really worked well and any suggestions for improvement.
  6. Send thank you notes to any vendor or HR pro you met that you want to keep in touch with.  This is an extra step.  A personal note is certainly a way to stand out and make yourself memorable to that person.
  7. Share pictures.  Who know that HR pros could be so fun?  Use social networks to share your pictures.  Speakers love to have pictures of themselves presenting, share the fun ones from charitable events and of course, the real “social” nightlife.

So there you have it- ways to wrap up an event and continue the value.  What do you do when you return home from a conference?  Share your story in the comments.

Social Media for HR Executives

section_social_media_marketingI’ve been heads-down at work all conference season and excited that June brings some great speaking opportunities for me.  If you’re still deciding where to spend your conference dollars, one event I always recommend is the Social Media for HR Executives conference.  The Conference Board hosts this event and it always exceeds my expectations.

This year’s event is June 25- 26 in New York City.  You can click HERE for the agenda and registration.

I will be leading the Employee Engagement in 2013 and Beyond session.  You can also catch speaking royalty Jen McClure and Ben Brooks.  Jen will guide you through Maximizing Social Channels for Talent Management.  Ben is leading A Game Plan for Social Transformation at Your Firm.  Add in the other working sessions and it really is a great value.

I encourage you to attend.  If you can’t, be sure to follow us on Twitter using the tag #TCBsm4HR.

Fired over FaceBook Posting? It Can Happen to You

The New York Times ran an interesting article this week about an employee who was fired because of something she posted on her FaceBook page.  An emergency medical technician at American Medical Response of Connecticut was told she had violated the company policy that prevents employees from depicting the company on social media sites.  Additionally, it is thrown in that this was one reason for her termination and alluded that there were other reasons as well.  According to the post, this is “the first case in which the labor board has stepped in to argue that workers’ criticisms of their bosses or companies on a social networking site are generally a protected activity and that employers would be violating the law by punishing workers for such statements.”

Without knowledge of what the other reasons for the termination were, and if we had a case where the disparaging remarks were the only issue, should this company have fired the employee?  Let’s assume that the company did a few steps before terminating.  Here are a few questions I’d like answered:

  • Did they use progressive discipline with the employee?
  • Was this the first time the employee violated a policy?
  • Is this policy violation serious enough to have termination as a consequence?

I think the bigger question for us and our organizations is, are we doing all we can to educate employees about using social media in a way that promotes professionalism? We’re not there yet.  Many instances like this can be avoided first and foremost if the supervisor is open to feedback on a daily basis.  Additionally, if the organization gives employees an outlet to let leadership know if there are issues brewing.  And, while a majority of employees do not use social media as a platform to bash colleagues, I would recommend that for those few who do, education and discussion should be a major component of dealing with the issue before termination is used.  After all, the whole point of social media is being able to communicate and network and by terminating employees on the spot, we’re flying in the face of the purpose.

What do you think?  Do you support terminating employees who vent about colleagues on social sites?  Or, do you agree with the National Labor Relations Board that employees in cases like this are being treated too harshly?  I’m anxious to hear your thoughts…..weigh in in the comment section….