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    #SHRM12 Session Preview: Is Social Recruiting Really Working?

    Dispatch #2 from the SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia, where the coffee, bus, and bathroom lines remain long, the temperatures remain hot, and a drop-in to Atlanta from President Obama threatens to muck up travel plans for many a conference-goer.

    Today's effort is a bit of shameless self-promotion for 'Is Social Recruiting Really Working?', the panel discussion I will be moderating at the big show, tomorrow, Wednesday June 27 at 11:30.

    The session features a stellar panel consisting of Glassdoor.com CEO, Robert Hohman, industry analyst and legend John Sumser, and Jeremy Langhans, who leads Global Brand and Talent Attraction for Expedia.

    In the session, the panel will walk through some basic, fundamental issues and questions surrounding social media and social recruiting and challenge the audience to think a little past the hype, buzzwords, and confusion to try and get to the reality of what social recruiting is today, whether or not it is truly being effective for recruiting in the real world, and what the future might hold for social media in recruiting.

    The slides with the questions we plan to ask and discuss are included below, but certainly the slides themselves don't offer much in the way of answers, you'll have to come and see us on Wednesday, June 27 at 11:30.



    Many thanks to the entire team at Glassdoor.com for all the fantastic work helping to organize this session and for asking me to participate.

    See you at the session!


    This post has nothing to do with #SHRM12 (kind of)

    Dispatch #1 from the Super Bowl of HR, also known as the SHRM 2012 Annual Conference and Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia. If you have not been to Atlanta before you really only need to know two things about the city - one, it is really hot; and two, every other street is named 'Peachtree' or some variation. A typical set of driving instructions in Atlanta goes something like this:

    1. Head south on Peachtree

    2. When you get to the third intersection take a left on Peachtree

    3. Bear right at the traffic circle to get on Peachtree

    4. It will be on the right, if you hit Peachtree, then you've gone too far

    But enough about Atlanta.

    As for SHRM12, well, so far it is exactly as you'd expect for the most part. Big. Really a giant and complex logistical enterprise. And the attendees? 15,000 or so HR professionals from all over the world mostly standing in lines - for the shuttle buses from the area hotels, for the restrooms, for Starbucks. Massive expo hall that when taken all at once is a little bit of a sensory overload.

    What's new this time? Well an extremely large space called The Hive to help promote SHRM's social media outreach and efforts, an expanded and interesting blogger's lounge, and the general feeling that SHRM, (and its associated minions), are going to jam social media and Twitter down the throat of every HR professional from Topeka, Kansas whether they care to participate or not.

    I think it will be a good conference though, but I worry that overall the event itself, and the flood of coverage from the blogger brigade that SHRM has assembled will result in a fair bit of the 'same-old same-old'. I have already seen some Tweets about Monday keynoter Malcolm Galdwell's talk that it didn't seem very new or fresh, and it could have been delivered in 2010. I am not sure that is fair, but if even there is some truth to it, it might not bode well for the rest of the event. 

    So here's hoping for a great, interesting, and different kind of event. Let's be mindful that there is a lot more to creating a great experience by simply making it bigger. Let's try to actually add something meaningful to the conversation and the industry.

    I've written, (including this one), about 1,209 forgettable blog posts. And maybe 15 really good ones.

    Let's hope I (and the rest of us), can do better with #SHRM12.


    The secret of not wishing to be anywhere else

    Whether it's during a long meeting at work, standing on the sidelines of a U-7 soccer match in the cold rain when you know you have about 4,120 other things to do, or making small talk in a big room at an event or trade show, most of us at least once in a while, battle with the sometimes intense desire to be somewhere else, or to be doing something else.

    Part of this, I think, stems from a kind of achievement at all costs, stay one step ahead of the next guy, keep Tweeting and Tumbr'ing and Instgramming, while simultaneously talking, texting, and making sure your SEO and SEM and mobile optimization strategies are all in place and whirring. There's always something else to do, something else that could be done, something that the next guy is doing that maybe threatens or angers or makes you envious. Whatever. Work, building a business, angling for some better opportunities, trying to raise your profile to get on an internet list or get comped to an event - it can be a pretty exhausting grind.ATL

    Of course there is lots to do, maybe more to do than ever before. Certainly the explosion in platforms and applications that require care and feeding are one reason, and I suppose the degradation (for many folks), in the employee-employer contract or said more plainly, the notion that the next day at any job might be your last, as the spectre of one bad quarter or a decision from a large company to jump in to your market conspiring to make any job in any company seem more temporary and fragile than in recent memory.

    So the natural, and I think for the most part correct, response to all this uncertainty, (and also, paradoxically, opportunity), is for professionals to be much more on the hustle, even those with so-called 'real jobs'. There is a lot of chasing going on no doubt, and while the rewards can be really nice for the ones that do it well, and work at the the hardest, certainly all this chasing and hustling and posturing and angling comes with some downside.

    First, the nagging feeling that no matter how much one works, there is someone else out there doing just a little bit more. And that's annoying. Second, it is really, really, easy to forget to say 'No' sometimes, and to remember that less is usually more, (and more interesting). And last, it is easy to fall into the trap of feeling no matter where you are and what you're doing, that you've made the wrong, or at least not the best, most bang for your time, SEO-optimized decision and that somewhere else, something fantastic is going on and you're missing it.

    The truth is there probably is something better going on. And you are missing it. And there, wherever there is, is one of your peers/friends/competitors thinking the exact same thing. 

    Have a Great Weekend!



    Notes From the Road #7 - On Chatty Cab Drivers

    Quick dispatch from sunny Las Vegas where I am attending and presenting at the Oracle HR User's Group, (OHUG), annual conference.

    On the cab ride in from the airport yesterday  I was either lucky or unfortunate, (depending on your point of view), to have a classic chatty cab driver. The kind of guy not only interested in sharing a few choice nuggets about his city, fun things that might be happening in town, the most recent and noteworthy local news items, and whatever else is on his mind. The chatty cab driver scenario usually ends badly, particularly if you've been traveling all day and just are not in the mood for small talk.

    Yesterday my cab driver, a man of about 55 or so years old I'd guess, somehow, (I am really not sure what set him off, I only said something incredibly mundane and boring like, 'Wow, kind of windy today'), got set off on a little monologue about the value of hard work, the need for more people to suck it up and just quit complaining, and simply find something, anything valuable and positive to do with their time, and just do it and shut the hell up.

    I believe his exact, (or near enough), quote on the topic was something like -  

    People need to drop the ideology that you have to get your dream job. There's no such thing. And even when you think you have it, in 2 years you'll just want to chase some other dream. Look at me, you think I dreamed about driving a cab in the desert? You do what you have to do.

    It was an interesting and realistic take and whether or not you agree with the folks (mostly life coaches, I think), that proscribe chasing your dreams or doing the work that you are passionate about, every time you talk to a real working person about their careers and their choices it always provides some great perspective. 

    You think I dreamed about driving a cab in the desert?

    No, I don't think you probably did. Probably hardly anyone does. But as you said, Mr. I-did-not-catch-your-name Cab Driver, and as you rightly conclude, sometimes, maybe more than you hoped for, you do what you have to do.

    And honestly, lots and lots of people doing what they have to do make life a heck of a lot easier for those of us who feel like chasing (often elusive) dreams. So thanks for the ride and the conversation.

    Back to Vegas. I have the Heat minus 3.5 tonight.

    And Matt 'akaBruno' Stollak likes Michigan State to win the Big 10 this Fall.



    What's your day look like?

    If it looks anything like the day awaiting our friend 'Karen' here in the image on the right hand side of this post, then I can state with near certainty, that your day is going to stink.

    The image is from an Apple ad for the iPhone 4s and its virtual assistant Siri, that I noticed on the back cover of the April 2012 edition of Men's Journal magazine. Why the ad copy decided to show 'Karen's' day on the iPhone calendar app instead of someone more likely to be a Men's Journal reader, (Dave, Stan, LeRoy, maybe), is the obvious question that came to mind. But putting that minor detail aside, (I'm guessing the same ad probably ran in lots of publications, so trying to nail each outlet's demographic might not have been important), the other thing that jumped out at me when I saw the ad was how horrible Karen's day is shaping up to be, and how that many of the folks reading this post on a Monday morning are looking at similar, dispiriting kinds of schedules.

    This is an Apple ad, the paragon of cool, the leader in the latest technology, the company that has defined innovation, engineering, and design for the last 5+ years, and what do we get from the ad touting the wondrous capabilities of the new iPhone and the magical Siri?

    A rundown of the classically over scheduled, back-to-back set of meetings where people are talking about things that have already happened, and with little opportunity to actually spend some time thinking, kind of Monday that so many of the managers and leaders in organizations have in front of them today, and probably for most of the rest of the week.

    Apple wants you to ask Siri 'What's my day look like?' Well the 'day' they offer up for our pal Karen, full of status meetings, project briefings, and production updates, and a I doubt it will really happen lunch with 'Emily', (I have $100 that says Karen eats at her desk 9 days out of 10), pretty much renders the wonder and potential of new tools like Siri pretty much moot.

    In fact, if Karen realized she was staring down a Monday so uninspiring, maybe she would have asked Siri to phone in sick and tried again tomorrow.

    So, what's your day look like? Full of updates, status, and briefings like Karen here? 

    Or will you actually have time to do something cool?

    Happy Monday!