Long Posts.

There are a lot of people out there who think that the blog posts I write are too long. You will like this one, because I’ll keep it brief by reminding you, you’re not the reason I do this.

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Selling Out.

An editor is not supposed to interject their own voice or agenda into their publication; ostensibly, similar to stage managers or offensive linemen or HR generalists, our job is to stay hidden in the background; like the above professions, the only time anyone takes notice of our work is when we screw up.

An editor finds writers, coaches and coaxes content from them, counsels them past missed deadlines and blocked nights and frantic calls and frenetic PR or product people.

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Diverse Erection Careers.

If you think you have a hard time overcoming stuff like negative Glassdoor reviews, compensation that’s not competitive with the market or some of the other challenges most commonly ascribed to employer branding initiatives, trust me. You have nothing to worry about; some recruiters out there have it way worse.

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Temporary Insanity.

“Don’t worry. You’ll get the hang of it.”

With those famous last words, she pivoted on a worn heel and walked back around the corner to the fluorescent drenched cube farm set aside for the office and administrative staff , leaving me alone at the oversized front desk.

The glass divider separating this desk from the waiting room beyond only added to my feeling of isolation. The air in the receptionist area was stale, and smelled like an odd cross between a Furr’s Cafeteria and a used bookstore. While an air conditioner chugged away above my head, for some reason, no one thought to add a vent into the tiny fishbowl that was my new workspace.

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Fit Happens.

“I do this for my culture, To let them know what my peeps look like when we roll in a Roadster. Show them how to move in a room full of vultures; Industry is shady, it needs to be taken over.”

-Jay Z

We all understand the inherent importance, and strategic value, of company culture, particularly as relates to recruiting and retention; talking about the inherent importance this amorphous, ambiguous and largely subjective catch-all has become reduced to a tired corporate cliche, and an even more maudlin talent acquisition aphorism.

Company culture, supposedly the end-all be-all of recruitment marketing and employer branding, the single most critical competitive differentiator when it comes to attracting and hiring top talent, is one concept we all agree is important.

The problem is that as much as recruiting and HR professionals talk about company culture, very few companies actually know how to define their company culture, much less screen and select candidates against it. “Culture fit” has become a ubiquitous hiring consideration in today’s world of work.
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Stop Selling Candidate Experience.

Fun fact: I own the trademark on the “slogan” (their term) candidate experience in the United States. I’m pretty sure that it’s unenforceable, but I’ve got the paperwork to prove that I at least paid the filing fee and was issued an e-mail confirming my registration was a success. Why did I pay $159 for the rights to intellectual property that’s pretty clearly no one’s property? 

It’s simple. It’s because vendors, increasingly and ironically, have actually managed to pull off a rather dubious and extremely nefarious repositioning and positioning themselves as solutions for improving candidate experience. This is a joke, but I’ll get to that punch line in a minute.

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Insane in the Membrane.

“Rip that mainframe, I’ll explain/why people like me is going insane.” – Cypress Hill

Another day, another recruiting tool, and it’s always the same shit. This is the silver bullet that’s going to solve everything. 

The problem with a quick fix, of course, is that these solutions almost never work over the long term, trading superficial style for substantive change. Even the best technology can’t fix flawed fundamentals, or compensate for an incompetent recruiter.

While it’s convenient to scapegoat your shortcomings on the absence of some recruiting system or point solution, the truth is sometimes we just need to accept that recruiters periodically fail for reasons other than not having the right technology.

False promises are easy, but true progress in recruiting takes more than using the right technology. Success really depends on the end user, no matter what tool they happen to be using.
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How To Make Friends and Manipulate People.

I grew up back in the day where the same maxims for career success still applied, and even contrarians (and smart asses) like myself knew that there were a few lines at work you never crossed. It’s the same sort of stuff that’s instilled in us from our earliest days, reinforced by our parents, teachers and peers.

Be on time. Dress appropriately. Don’t talk back. Recognize and respect authority. Check your personal feelings at the door, repress your emotion, collect your paycheck and wait out the years before you finally get that gold watch.

No one expected to actually enjoy work – after all, it’s called work for a reason. But sometime between the late 60s and the late 80s, something changed; when it came to company culture, business as usual became anything but.
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Latency Period for Life: True Confessions of A Fake Adult.

 “Are you all ready for today’s lesson? Listen to your teacher; repeat after me. I won’t grow up, I don’t want to go to school. Just to learn to be a parrot, and recite a silly rule. If growing up means that it would be beneath my dignity to climb a tree, I’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up…not me!”  – Sir J.M. Barrie.

Every so often – like when I’m presenting for an auditorium full of serious looking people in suits frantically scribbling notes, or when I’m sitting listening to some C-Suite exec drone on about product roadmap in a board meeting – I can’t help but feel like I’m a little out of place.

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Street Cred: Simple Strategies to Stop Sucking At Sourcing.

I started out my career in sourcing; in those days where active job seekers mostly started at the major job boards, finding the names and developing the contact information for potential candidates actually required skill.

The task of building a pipeline or slating final candidates for a position through direct sourcing was made easier by the nascent search engines and the early destinations for online personal information (like Jigsaw, MySpace or LinkedIn in its infancy).

Even back in the day when Boolean was more than a passé buzzword or superfluous sourcing subject, when even e-mails still had some novelty factor and the only mobile recruiting you had to worry about was sourcing and verifying candidates’ cell numbers (before phones were ‘smart,’ we were dumb enough to still pay for landlines) – even then, with online recruiting more or less still in its greenfield days and without the noise or competition talent pros face today, you couldn’t rely on the internet exclusively for candidate identification and development.

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