Social Media Can’t Fix What’s Broken

A couple years ago, I thought that social media, at least when it came to HR and recruiting, was an online bubble bound to burst quicker than you can say Second Life.

After all, HR professionals tend to suffer from stasis, and that’s slowed the growth of social media somewhat, but not the increasing awareness that we’ve got to do something different to really make a difference.

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5 Reasons Why Cloud Computing Matters in Talent Management

Chances are you’ve heard of the cloud by now, or even used the term yourself, but haven’t really stopped to give it a lot of thought.

If you’ve logged into Google, bought a book on Amazon, “liked” an article on Facebook or streamed a movie on Netflix, you’ve seen cloud computing in action — yet probably weren’t even aware of it.

Similarly, the convergence of cloud computing with HR systems is already ubiquitous, yet invisible.

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On Writing

If you’ve noticed I haven’t posted a lot of content recently, the truth of the matter is, I don’t write a lot of content that’s not copy I’m getting paid for.  Why?  It’s simple, really.  I hate writing.  But I have the curse of being able to do it cogently, and sometimes, eloquently. But the process is probably the worst thing in the world, because, well, there isn’t one.  I’d like to think writing is a craft, and it all comes down to discipline, but really, it doesn’t.  In the end, it comes down to motivation.

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Social Media Tool Time

What is the top driver for worker engagement, satisfaction and employee retention?

Numerous studies show that an employee’s relationship with their immediate supervisor or manager is key, a correlation that’s even more pronounced in the burgeoning ranks of the Gen Y workforce.

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Social Media & Diversity

My very first business trip ever, I went to Atlanta for the National Black MBA Association annual event, thrilled by the prospect of a transcontinental flight crammed in coach, a non-nondescript high rise hotel room and a 40 dollar a day per diem – a pretty sweet deal, I thought, considering I was completely unqualified.

It had nothing to do with the fact that as a white guy who went to film school, I was pretty much the polar opposite of a black MBA. I knew how to get around picking up the phone – a skill which is apparently now referred to as “social recruiting” and involved a lot of researching various professional associations and diversity organizations.

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My HR Technology European Vacation

In his keynote presentation at the 2012 HR Technology Europe Conference in Amsterdam, Across Technology CEO Peter Hinnson discussed the concept of “the new normal,” and the impact of the “consumerization of technology” on the constantly evolving world of work.

While the jury’s still out if “consumerization” is an actual word (although dictionaries can’t possibly keep pace with Moore’s Law, after all), it was a recurring theme throughout the conference – and the industry dialogue in general.

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Recruiting, Karma and the Candidate Experience

Originally published on the Talent Technology Blog

We can talk about candidate experience all day (and do), but here’s the real reason why recruiters should care: as last in, first out when it comes to headcount, and as a pretty significant corporate cost center, you’re basically one bad business decision away from being a candidate yourself.

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The Best of the #HRTech Backchannel

Walking onto a trade show floor is like walking into a Moroccan bazaar, a myriad of vendors promoting every ware imaginable, from the esoteric to the mundane, to passersby running the gamut from deep-pocketed pashas (your Fortune 500 buyer) to penny-begging thieves (think: start-up sales guys).

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Social Media Secrets for Small Business Success

Contrary to popular belief, not every big company is putting big bucks into spreading their brand and employer message via social media at work.

Most corporate social media functions have limited headcount, time and resources dedicated to social networks, demanding low-cost, innovative approaches for attracting and driving social media engagement, both current and potential.

That means the social media playing field for businesses has been leveled.

Small business recruitment strategies actually have a leg up when it comes to realizing the power (and profit) of social media. Breaking through the buzz doesn’t require a huge investment in manpower, tools or technologies. It takes dedication, creativity and experimentation to formulate and deliver the right message to the right targets on the right platforms — in other words, it requires a solid small business marketing strategy.

While there’s no “secret formula” for success, there are secrets that every small business owner should know when it comes to crafting a social media strategy. Here are eight social media secrets designed to give you a head start on the competition and capitalize on the conversation about your brand, business and bottom line.

Fax machines send the wrong message: Nothing makes your business appear behind the times more than advertising your fax number throughout your e-mail signatures, HTML newsletters, home pages and business cards. Ask yourself when was the last time you likely received an unsolicited fax which led directly to sales? More than likely, it’s back when you were jamming to an eight-track tape.

Secret: Exchange the prime real estate your fax number now takes up and replace it with links to your social profiles. Doing so instantly brands your business, signaling your willingness to engage with your customers and candidates. Besides, in the off chance someone needs your fax number, they’ll know where to find you to ask.

What the Hashtag? It’s a good idea not to jump into the Twitter conversation right away; it’s challenging to know which conversations you should follow when you’re starting out. Even harder is cracking the hashtag code.

WTHashtag.com solves both problems with one easy to use website that’s free (and you don’t even have to register).

Simply enter any hashtag into the search bar, and within seconds it displays top users, definitions, usage statistics and related resources. The best part, though, is its transcription service.

It easily captures a word processing-friendly transcript of all tweets using that hashtag over a user-defined period of time so you can read (and report) without constantly monitoring your feed. Why do that? Because you’ve got more important things to do.

Hint: For small business owners, popular hashtags include #smbiz, #smallbiz and #startup.

Blast Follow: Once you’ve found out which hashtags you’re most interested in, enter them into BlastFollow.com to automatically generate a list of all accounts referencing them. Put in your Twitter credentials, click blast, and you’ll start following all those users “en masse.’

You Don’t Have To Pay To Measure ROI: A growing number of corporations are using increasingly sophisticated tracking tools to monitor and measure the success of their social media efforts, paying a premium for advanced analytics, reporting and analysis.

While these technologies make sense for Fortune 500 Companies, your small business can generate more than enough data using free tools to maximize the influence and impact of your social media efforts.

When it comes to making friends on Facebook and YouTube, both channels provide self-generated reports for channel and fan page activity, respectively; this simply requires opting in on your business account to see analytics that are easy to understand and interpret. For Twitter, Twitter Analyzer is just one of many free options that provides advanced and accurate analytics. It’s a goldmine of actionable data, tracking unique readers, reach, retweet trends and most tweeted topics among its many reporting capabilities. When it comes to measuring your blog, Google Analytics remains the gold standard for its insights and interface.

Pipl.com: This “deep web” people search engine can help fill in the blanks about almost anyone. If you have a name, phone number, e-mail address or even a social networks username, this free tool will return all available online data within seconds, from public records to social profiles.

E-Mail Still Matters: Even with the rise in social media, most of your customers and clients, both current and prospective, likely still rely predominantly on email for communication. But for your message to break through today’s increasingly crowded inbox, you need more than a clever subject line.

For email marketing, check out Mail Chimp, which allows you to create, distribute and track customized HTML newsletter campaigns that can help small businesses make a big impact.

Their “forever free” plan lets you send up to 6,000 e-mails to up to 1,000 subscribers a month; if you need more, their pay for performance model guarantees you get what you pay for.

Case Studies Are Learning Experiences Social media’s all about transparency, which means that many companies make valuable information about their social media objectives and strategy publically available.

Reading case studies not only highlights real-life examples of social media initiatives that really work, but more importantly, what doesn’t. Two of the most comprehensive sites for social media best (and worst) practices are the Social Media Business Council and SmartBrief on Social Media, with new cases delivered daily to your inbox.

Finally, there are no secrets in social media…and that’s the point.

But you didn’t hear that from us.

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