Why “Employee Engagement” Is The Successories Poster of HR.

Employee engagement is one of those perpetual trending topics in HR and recruiting, probably because for years now, pundits and practitioners alike still haven’t figured out how to confront what seems to be a fairly endemic case of malaise and apathy perpetually plaguing our workforce.

I’m not sure why it is that talent leaders and recruiting pros can’t to have a near obsessive fixation on what’s inherently an amorphous and highly ambiguous concept, but I think the primary driver of our engagement fetish is that it seems to be a convenient, categorical catch-all that’s more or less seen as the whipping boy for all of the manifold problems plaguing the HR and recruiting profession today.

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The Top 10 Reasons HR Bloggers Suck.

There’s the A List, the B List, and so forth. Of course, as Courtney Stodden and Andy Dick prove, even the F List at least get invited to the occasional VH1 awards ceremony and shop at Kitson. Below that, on the totem pole of fame, there are local network affiliate meteorologists, inspirational speakers and newspaper columnists.

Then, one level below that, you’ve got your King Curtis, Omarosa or Joe the Plumber types, and below them, you’ve got your convicted militia leaders, Congressmen and Canadian Football League players.

And then somewhere, somewhere far, far down in the bottom, like Dante’s Inner Circle, but with way more self-loathing and latency issues, are those people who sit somewhere between fame, infamy and dreams of grandeur.

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We Want Eazy: Recruiting Doesn’t Have to Be Hard.

Recruiting is never easy, but for some reason, many talent acquisition professionals make it somehow much harder than it really needs to be.

The fact that recruiters inherently work in silos and are largely forced to figure out the intricacies of talent sourcing and screening independently means that we tend to all make the same mistakes.

For the most part, they’re easily avoidable, but again, recruiters don’t really like to focus on what’s not working – after all, there’s too much work to do.

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Our Employer Brand Is Crisis.

I can’t really say I miss my days in PR with any sort of nostalgia, nor do I think of it fondly – in fact, in retrospect, it kind of sucked. So, why do I bring all of this up?

Well, recently, one of my friends forwarded me an article in the Boston Globe with the kind of title that gives anyone in PR (or HR) nightmares: “Hubspot book is an unflattering portrait of Cambridge company,” the headline screamed. And, of course, immediately caught my interest.

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No Can Write? No Problem. This is Marketing!

While there are a lot of great software products out there for the HR professional of today, who is as important to business in our rapidly changing times as were the trusty smithies or habadashers of yesteryear. But there are only 8 hours in a workday. You’ve got a limited budget, and even more limited time. 9-5 is hard time, sometimes. But that’s why God invented whiskey!

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Not Afraid: Marketing for HR.

“I attempt these lyrical acrobat stunts while I’m practicing that I’ll still be able to break a motherf-ing table over the back of a couple old ladies and crack it in half, only realized it was ironic … after the fact.” – Eminem, Rap God

One of the most overused and hackneyed clichés in the people business is also a testament to HR’s historic failing to be taken seriously.

The reason that the whole “seat at the table” conversation has become so banal is that the goal of actually becoming a business partner for our businesses has largely been limited to a somewhat oxymoronic job title.

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April Fools: Why Elevated Careers Is A Joke.

 

The first time I heard eHarmony was making a jobs play was all the way back in the Summer of 2013; I even pushed back a flight home from SHRM to attend an ancillary conference where Dr. Steve Carter, eHarmony’s Chief Data Scientist, was speaking about using their matching software for recruiting for the very first time.

What can I say? I’m a geek like that.

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One More Night In Hollywood.

My freshman year of college, I lived in a high-rise dorm in the middle of the hood. I loved every minute of it. My favorite part, however, was the fact I could see the Hollywood sign from the window of the shared bathroom.

Every morning I looked out and thought to myself how awesome it was to be so close to the action, and it was, as a kid coming straight outta Kansas.

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Office Politics.

 

Despite our general apathy about politics, like an Olympic Athlete in some obscure sport, our collective focus gets drawn every 4 years to the race to become the Leader of the Free World – which is one hell of an optimistic job search objective, if you think about it.

This increased interest in politics happens every national election cycle, of course. This year, however, has created the proverbial perfect storm for political debate, through the rise of a certain controversial candidate increasingly looking like a major party’s inevitable nominee, mostly.

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Thanks, LinkedIn.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably sick of reading scathing attacks on LinkedIn by now. Hell, I am too, and I kind of invented the genre.

I’m like the Fritz Lang of trolling this particular company, and by now you know just how many fundamental problems I have with their business model, data integrity and the fact that almost everyone in their editorial, PR or legal functions is a gigantic douchebag.

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