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    Entries in LinkedIn (13)

    Thursday
    Nov292012

    #HRHappyHour Tonight - 'The LinkedIn Show'

    Tonight at 8:00PM EST  the HR Happy Hour Show is back live with Episode 151 - 'The LinkedIn Show.'

    You can catch the show live starting at 8PM on the listener call-in line 646-378-1086, on the show page here, or via the widget player embedded below.

    Listen to internet radio with Steve Boese on Blog Talk Radio

     

    Our guest tonight will be industry analyst and thought leader John Sumser from HRexaminer.com.

    Recently, HRexaminer ran a series of pieces about LinkedIn, the current state of professional networking, the impact and influence of LinkedIn for the talent management community, and finally some interesting and thought-provoking ideas about LinkedIn's future.

    What you WON'T learn on the LinkedIn show are things like, 'How to stuff your LinkedIn profile with the right keywords' or 'How to use LinkedIn to find electricians in Toledo.'

    What we will talk about, and we invite everyone listening tonight to join in and share your thoughts, is LinkedIn's place in the overall professional/personal networking space, how LinkedIn's platform and walled garden are impacting the industry, and what potential threats and alternatives exist to LinkedIn.

    As an HR, Talent, and Recruiting pro, I am sure you have an opinion about LinkedIn as well, and tonight on the show, and on the Twitter backchannel (hashtag #HRHappyHour), we invite you to share your thoughts. 

    It should be a fun and interesting show and I hope you can join us!

    Monday
    Nov052012

    The Last HR Pro not on LinkedIn

    Last week I had a chance to present to a great group of about 100 or so HR, Talent, and Recruiting professionals at a local SHRM event in Virginia. I like getting to these kinds of local HR gatherings - they provide a much better view into the real concerns and challenges in the HR trenches, and usually are bereft of the collection of often jaded and a little too smug and ironically detached, 'professional' conference attendees. Sure, I get it, you are sick of hearing the 71st talk on 'Why Social Media is Important for HR', but in case you have not realized it, actually attending the same presentation dozens of times at events all over the country make you the one who is a little weird and out of the mainstream, not the HR pro at a 300-person company that is trying to figure out how, if at all, having a Twitter account will help her get her job done.

    But back to the point - at the session where I was talking to the group about changes and trends in workforce technologies, naturally the use of the public, or consumer social networking sites was brought up, I think in the expected context of how they are being used for various aspects of the talent acquisition function. I asked the attendees to share some examples of how they are incorporating these networks in their organizations, and a few folks shared what they were doing to share job openings and company information on Facebook and source candidates on LinkedIn. Nothing unusual here, a few attendees, (maybe 10% of the group), had some 'active', (not just trolling for candidates), activity on social networks, but what was interesting to me was as the conversation continued, one audience member told the group she had never created a personal LinkedIn profile. I pressed her as to why she was not on LinkedIn, and she promptly replied, 'I just don't have time for it. I'm busy'. I jokingly suggested she was the last HR pro not on LinkedIn.

    The group continued to discuss both social networking and other kinds of new technologies that are impacting the workplace and the practice of HR, but I could not get out of my head that in late 2012, there was still one smart, engaged, (she took the time to attend a professional development and networking event), and experienced HR/Talent pro that had not found her way to LinkedIn, if nothing else to set up a shell profile on the site. I even came back to her a couple of times later in the session when the conversation shifted to mobile technology, and how the usage patterns in consumer tech are effecting enterprise tech, I think my comment was 'You are all on your iPhones, updating your Facebook and checking out who has viewed your LinkedIn page, well except for you, (giving a mock-disgusted look towards the one LinkedIn holdout).'

    The point of all this? 

    I guess a couple of things stood out after thinking about it a little longer.  One, there still exists a pretty significant knowledge and value perception gap between most of the front line, working HR professionals and those of us that think about and use new technologies every day.  There are really still very few 'real' HR pros out there that are as obsessed with this stuff, as it just does not move the needle for them on their day-to-day. Two, while participation and use of these social technologies might level the playing field to some extent between larger and better-financed organizations and smaller ones, that effect is limited. A couple of audience members from very large organizations shared what they are doing with social and branded talent communities, a level of commitment and effort that simply can't be approached by smaller companies.

    Last, and maybe the only fascinating part of this entire post, is that after taking some good-natured ribbing from me, (and even the presenter that followed me), the HR pro who had been the one LinkedIn holdout approached me at the end of the day to let me know that she would be, after all, setting up a LinkedIn profile when she got home.

    Good for her!

    And bad for you, the 'savvy' HR pro who is all over social media and social networking - that is one more competitor for talent that you have to worry about.

    Have a Great Week!

    Thursday
    Jul192012

    Watching LinkedIn Connections on a Sunday Night

    Do you have any remaining doubt that the always on, 24/7, connected at all time via iPhone or iPad life has almost completely taken over your professional network?

    Well if you do, then I recommend taking a look at your LinkedIn feed this Sunday night. I am drafting up this post at just after 10PM ET on Sunday, July 15th, and just a few moments ago I took a scan of my LinkedIn network update feed.

    Quick observation - my LinkedIn feed is littered with 'Person A is now connected to Person B' updates. More than one or two, probably about two dozen or so connections being made after 10PM on a Sunday night in the middle of the summer.

    Sunday night, which used to be the time you were crashed out from a big weekend of fun and family, maybe catching something on TV before turning in, maybe, for the younger crowd, trying to wring the last bit of fun out of the weekend before the work week hits in full force on Monday. But now, at least in part due to smart phone apps and iPads, Sunday nights are now a time where we can simultaneously be with the family sitting on the sofa watching whatever it is that is popular on TV, (I have on an NBA Summer League game on, so forgive me for not knowing what normal people are digging right now), and making sure the care and feeding of our networks doesn't need to stop for whatever passes for our real lives.

    There's nothing really novel in this observation I admit, the always-on social network is old news at this point. 

    But what is changing, at least a little, at least by implication from what you'll see on your LinkedIn feed late on a Sunday night, is the subtle expectation that if you really want to get ahead, or at least stay even with the pack, (the pack that even if they are your 'friends' on Facebook all will be quite happy to see you fail), is that you too better be grinding away on Sunday night yourself. 

    Your mortal enemies are out there at 10:31PM, making connections with people you're dying to meet.

    They're out there sending little private messages thanking each other for the connection and arranging phone calls, or worse, meetings over coffee or a beer.

    They're beating you at 10:35 on Sunday night, and what's worse is all you really want to do is turn on Bravo, have an ice cream and shut down your mind for a while.

    The game hasn't really changed. It just never seems to take a break, and the score keeps flashing in front of you as the LinkedIn connection updates scroll by.

    Wednesday
    Feb082012

    Picture Yourself Here

    Have you seen any of these kinds of targeted job ads on LinkedIn recently?

    I am not sure exactly when these kinds of personalized ads started popping up on the professional networking site, but over the weekend while I was scoping out who had viewed my profile, connecting with like minded HR and Technology professionals and contributing to industry discussion and dialogue, I noticed the ad to the right. Like a moth to a flame, or a bargain-hunting performance car shopper to Ashley Schaeffer Imports, I couldn't help but notice my own mug staring back out at me from LinkedIn's right margin.

    Picture Yourself with this New Job, the tag line reads, (interesting use of BOLD and capitalization), and with the addition of my profile picture to the company name, logo and position title, the ad attempts to make me feel somehow connected or even invested in not just the job, but of me having the job.

    Which are entirely two different things. 

    And since LinkedIn is a modern, social, Web 2.0 deal, Apply Now and Share Job buttons come along for the ride. Confession - I did not think to click either one when I first encountered the ad, and now I can't seem to convince LinkedIn to show it to me again. But let's assume, for now, both buttons work as expected, for the purposes of this post, it doesn't really matter. 

    What does matter, at least what I find interesting about this kind of targeted and personalized job ad, is the way it attempts to use information about me, (in this case the information is primarily where I live, as M&T Bank is a Northeast regional bank, with lots of presence in Western New York), my actual image from the site, and some suggestive copy to make me think more about inhabiting this role, rather than just simply clicking a link to a sterile, impersonal ad (that I was not searching for in the first place).

    What the ad immediately made me think of are the recruiting tactics that are often employed by major college athletic programs and coaches in their pursuit of targeted top High School athletes. Often these athletes have lots of options in their choice of college and team/coach to play for, and to help make their case the competing colleges frequently employ custom videos of imagined highlight packages or simulated stadium scoreboard displays or PA announcements that include the recruit's likeness or name. These videos, announcement, and other strategies are designed to make the high schooler think not about being a star Quarterback generally, but being a star Quarterback at that school specifically.  

    Trish McFarlane had an excellent post earlier in the week about recruiting needing to be an individual process, and I think these kinds of personalized, targeted ads, (while admittedly still kind of crude), will eventually serve as an important first step in what becomes the custom, individual process that Trish describes.  It is not hard to imagine the LinkedIn ad getting way more intelligent about what roles you could realistically picture yourself in. Using insight from career paths from similar profiles, career history of members you are connected with, and macro analysis of jobs, industries, or locations that are 'hot', pretty soon I'll bet LinkedIn can map out a realistic and reachable career path for anyone.

    Interesting times for sure. Meanwhile, have a look at a bit of a takeoff on the college recruiting tactics, courtesy of ESPN, (email and RSS subscribers will need to click through).

    Wednesday
    May112011

    Whoworks.at - See your LinkedIn Network as you browse

    Whether you are a job seeker researching organizations that you would like to work for, a recruiter seeking talent from competing firms in you industry or region, or a sales professional examining the websites of customers and prospects - one thing is for certain - it sure helps to know someone at the target company. Having an 'in' of some kind, some kind of plausible way to connect with an actual person inside, as opposed to filling out a generic 'contact us' web form, or submitting an anonymous resume into what can sometimes be the black hole of the ATS.

    No doubt being able to connect, most optimally by leveraging an existing and hopefully trusted network seems to offer one the best opportunity to get the job application noticed, to find a potential candidate to recruit, or to connect with a real decision maker in a sales process. But sorting out who you might know, or might be connected via other friends and colleagues, typically meant a scan through email contacts; a local CRM or ATS system; or, increasingly, a trip to LinkedIn to perform a quick Company search. Kind of tedious process, but necessary.

    This week a new Google Chrome browser extension called Whoworks.at launched, that makes the entire 'Who do I know that works here?' question much easier to answer. After you download and install the Whoworks.at extension, simply click the extension icon just to the right of the Chrome toolbar, and immediately you will be presented a pop-up window displaying all your LinkedIn contacts and extended network that connects you to whatever company whose site you are currently browsing.

    Here is a screen shot of my Whoworks.at information for Oracle Corporation:

    And here is the view of my LinkedIn network connections at the NBA, (sadly, my network there is not nearly as robust):

    I still can't believe LeBron has not accepted my LinkedIn invitation yet.

    From within the Whoworks.at pop-up, you can also browse LinkedIn data for recent hires and promotions at the target company, and click on any LinkedIn profile name to be taken directly to that person's LinkedIn profile page.

    Whoworks.at is a really neat and useful tool to add to Google Chrome and that makes the task of seeking and reaching out to connections at companies of interest that much easier. And it does get kind of addictive after a few minutes, there is a little bit of a curiosity factor that sets in as you browse around on the internet, sort of wondering if you know anyone at a given company.

    Check it out and let me know what you think, simply go to Whoworks.at and provide your email address and a beta invite link should show up in your inbox really quickly.

    Happy stalking!