It’s been a pretty good month for Eisenhower era literature, as Americans discovered Atticus Finch was a racist and Harper Lee still can’t move as many titles as Chelsea Handler, and, perhaps more importantly, Dr. Seuss dropped a new book today. Well, he didn’t do it, although if he was a zombie, that would make him even more badass than he already was, a populist Escher mixing equal parts parenting and psychedelics. Only in a tasteful, understated kind of way, unlike my other great childhood influence, HR Puffnstuff.
Hootsuite, a high growth, high tech employer based in Vancouver has emerged as one of the most widely used social business platforms on the market. Its enterprise social monitoring and publishing tools have fueled the company’s explosive growth from bootstrap to big brand, from start-up to social success story.
In under four years, Hootsuite has grown from under 20 employees to over 700, with plans to hire hundreds more global employees in 12 countries in 2015 alone.
That kind of growth would be daunting enough for pretty much every employer, but as the head of talent for Hootsuite, Ambrosia Humphrey faces a few unenviable talent attraction challenges.
If you’ve seen me at a conference, this is going to be hard to imagine. But when I was immersed in the world of Fortune 50 HR departments, the professional equivalent of a home ec class, I thought the best way to fit into a world where I was an obvious interloper was by simply dressing the part.
I was a sweater vest aficionado, preferably anything in Argyle. The socks, naturally, matched whatever pattern I happened to be wearing – a fact that makes me want to go back in time just to kick my own ass. I had 10 pairs (or a laundry cycle’s worth) of Express for Men Producer pants, and a revolving rack of Banana Republic button up shirts. Plus I always had some cardigan ready, just in case it turned chilly. I wish I could go back and kick my own butt, frankly.
Recruiting and HR pundits sure seem to like writing obituaries. Hell, there’s an entire cannon of posts, white papers and corporate copy on the death of any number of human capital-related themes. Reading through this generic genre, everything from job boards to resumes (false) to LinkedIn (true) are either dead or on life support. Most of these are premature in their declarations of imminent mortality, and written to sell consulting services or align with whatever keyword happens to be trending or whatever buzzword is performing well on Google.
The funny thing is, some of the hottest topics and trends in recruiting are, in fact, alive only by virtue of these same influencers, product and content marketers and “influencers” whose chief industry influence comes from successfully gaming Klout. Good news: some of their most omnipresent “trends” are about to become obsolete.
There’s something almost mystical about Australia – which makes sense, considering its antipodal positioning. And, I can tell you from experience, that 17 hour plane ride across the Pacific sucks. You know when you get excited that the monotony of sky and surf is broken by some remote atoll or, better yet, a barge – particularly when the best in-flight movie they’ve got is Ice Cube in Ride Along.
The first thing you should know about recruiting Generation Y? According to pioneering generational researchers William Strauss and Neil Howe, workers born between 1982-2000 actually prefer to be called Millennials.
That nuance illustrates the essential element to recruiting and attracting the best Millennial talent — effective communications that speak to and understand their language and values.
I’m no theologian – my apologetics tend to be limited to defending snarky blog comments – but one thing that’s always struck me as kind of odd is the striking semblance that social has kind of always had to spirituality.
I’m not talking about those who would, like the Pharisees, display their faith by live tweeting televangelists (and based on Joel Osteen’s hash tag, this actually exists). The whole dialogue around social media in general, social media for recruiting in particular, has always had the same characteristics as a religion.
Act I: Set-Up
The shaman figures prominently in many Precolumbian and aboriginal cultures, and for millennia they acted as stewards of an oral legacy stretching back to time immemorial. Around dancing fires, the people huddled and listened as the Shaman cast his spell; but his sorcery was not supernatural – it was story telling. Without stories, there is no past, and without a past, there can be no identity, no destiny, only the perpetual present, stuck spinning forever.
It’s the holidays, which means it’s that special time when B2B marketers start pushing lazy, self-congratulatory content (“our favorite posts of the year!”) and, even more noxious, the prediction post. You know, the kind where bloggers talk about what’s going to happen next year. Which is weird, because you’d think if bloggers could predict the future, they’d have avoided making the bad decisions that led them to blogging to begin with. Particularly those bloggers tasked with covering the HR Technology industry. While we’re not alone in adding to this canon of crappy content, prediction posts are even more specious in this industry, because, well, most of the “hot trends” vendors like to talk about are anything but.
I’m no Nostradamus, here’s my sneak peek at what’s going to happen in 2014. It’s pretty easy to predict the future for an industry that’s stuck in the past. But there’s no time like the holidays for evergreen content – and look forward to repurposing this post for 2015, too.