Tag: Employer Brand

Do you have an Original Thought?

It is hard for anyone to use you as a resource if you, yourself, are not a good resource. If you can’t offer an original idea what makes you different?

Why would I come to you for information, for guidance, for direction on anything when I could search for it on Bing, Google, head over to my next door neighbor, a colleague, a current association or neighboring cube for the same information. In fact, doing so in those places may be easier.

But if people come to ask you for information on a consistent basis… you may have some original thoughts around your approach, industry and practice then most. You may just offer… IT… better!

It’s not always because it’s easier for them to come to you… often it’s because what you have to offer is better!

Are you better? What do you think about this?

Culture and Branding: Creating a New DNA for HR

gap Culture and Branding: Creating a New DNA for HR

For Marketing, PR, Sales, etc. you could argue that there has always been an aspect of branding in the way they approach the business. They even, whether they recognize it or not, are creating a culture in the way they interact with their customers, evolving the way they do business. These approaches represent who they are and what they do!

Brand and Culture are, what I would call, “the new sexy” for companies. Really the “new sexy” for anyone in Human Resources. These words… “brand’ and ‘culture’ have become terms that HR has either scathed and embraced.

I was asked to speak at the Cincinnati Regional Chamber of Commerce. It is being held today, Tuesday October 19, 2010. As a part of their HYPE Talent Symposium I will be speaking on the topic of “Brand versus Culture: Creating the new DNA of Human Resources”

I will be touching on the following points:

  • Definition: Brand and Culture
  • What these terms mean, for a Company and  HR, in Talent Management
  • Evolution of HR
  • Best Practices: both good and bad
  • Make no comparisons
  • Don’t let the work get in the way
  • Being Visible
  • Communicate and Listen
  • Admit mistakes
  • Be a business person
  • Understand your own hiring process
Feel free to take a look at the presentation (without context) on Slideshare:
Thanks and wish me luck!

 E-Book available for download 10/21/10. Sign up for the email list!

Image Learning Ebook WhatWeTeachHowWeLearn 300x167 Culture and Branding: Creating a New DNA for HR

Candidate Response, Company Brand and Your ATS

bigstockphoto talk to the hand   bu Candidate Response, Company Brand and Your ATSWorking your way past the locked door, to the room of the interview

I am sure that many of us have had our share of interviews. Gone through the process of entering in data and resume information into a company applicant tracking system for a position. For those of us who may be a little more savvy, we may have built our relationships, made contact with our influential contacts, networked and sweet-talked our way into an interview.


Whichever way you chose to apply for a job, in the interview is where you feel you did your best. You were the perfect candidate for the position when you read the posting. It was love at first sight. You believed in your heart that you had a great rapport and even did the proper follow-up afterword. Warm and fuzzy feelings ensue - until….

You receive the letter, the email. The standard communication we all have seen when we didn’t get a role.

Dear Notgetin The Job,

Thank you for inquiring about the position of “INSERT TITLE” with the “INSERT COMPANY”, where every day we make a positive difference in the lives of our INSERT CLIENT OR GROUP HERE.

After reviewing a large number of applicants, we have decided to pursue other candidates for this role.  However, we appreciate and recognize the value of your experience.  Your information will be retained and considered for future career opportunities which match your background.

Thank you again for your interest and time for applying.


For those of you lucky enough to never see a notification like this, consider yourself, exactly that, lucky. In fact I consider you some type of alien from another planet or someone who denies mail, has no email address or contact information.  Now-a-days email is the preferred communication channel for letters such as this. With the current economy, you are lucky if a company sends notification on any progress within the process of an interview.

Charlie Judy over at HRFishbowl.com had some good points from the SHRM 2010 Annual Conference (#SHRM10 ) in his interview with Gerry Crispin, Principal with CareerXroad.

I personally don’t think it is bad if you get one of these notes. If you have had only one interview then it is sufficient. However, if you have had two or three? If you have been in a room with multiple members of leadership and may have even been a finalist for a position… I do think a personal message from your internal recruiter, HR representative, and/or hiring manager is adequate, desired from the candidate and in good form for the company.

Now if you ended up bombing, insulting or destroying the end of your final interview process then you may not deserve it. Good luck getting anything.

What if your Candidate responded back to you in the same way?

How do you think an internal recruiter, HR representative, and/or hiring manager would react? Would you be offended, look at that candidate negatively. Utter the words “well how dare they!” and ban them from the process forever. Or would you chalk it up and say “that’s the market!”

Dear ImmaNot GonnaWorkForYou:

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your time in my interview process. I appreciated your interest and your offer to work for XYZ. However, I have decided to pursue other companies that I feel are a better match for my specific job needs and requirements.
I wish you the best of luck in your sourcing, search and future endeavors. Please feel free to check back with me, as I may have interest
with XYZ in the future .

ImSoAwesome ImWorking ForTheOtherGuy

Think about it, candidates don’t like your response. So when you have the perfect person that you have been interviewing for a role, you make the offer and then they walk away with this response… how would you like it? I do understand we in HR don’t have time to respond to every candidate, but for the ones you have a full process with… don’t you think they deserve the time and closure?

So what are your thoughts? Is this off target? What would your reactions be? I would love to see you comment on it below!

Benjamin McCall on Twitter

CBS Undercover Boss: What Works, What doesn’t

09000d5d81648005 gallery 600 CBS Undercover Boss: What Works, What doesn’tBy now, everyone has watched the historic event that took place this past Sunday. The ups and downs, the emotional outburst, and fantastic inspiration that can only be described as history-making. Oh, you thought I was talking about Super Bowl XLIV. Ummm, no. What I am talking about is the new reality show Undercover Boss (@undercover_cbs & #undercoverboss) on CBS that had its debut right after the Super Bowl.

A brief synopsis of the show:

The new CBS reality series, Undercover Boss follows high-level chief executives as they slip anonymously into the rank and file of their companies. Each week the series, regular Sunday (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) time period on Feb. 14, will have a different executive leave the comfort of their corner office for an undercover mission to examine the inner workings of their company.

While working alongside their employees, they will see the effects their decisions have on others, where the problems lie within their organization and get an up-close look at both the good and the bad while discovering the unsung heroes who make their company run. The first show was with Waste Management CEO Larry O’Donnell.

Great idea right? I think so. However, while there are some great influences and benefits that could come from a show like this, I do think there are ramifications and disadvantages if senior leadership (especially a CEO) were to go rogue in an undercover rotation within the “Real World” of their company. Business and Human Resource Departments and Companies have something to think about.

There are plenty of people that are probably weighing in on this subject. While I don’t have all the answers, in my opinion, here are a few thoughts:

What Would Work

right wrong CBS Undercover Boss: What Works, What doesn’t

  • Listening: One item that I thought the show did a sincere job of was allowing Larry O’Donnell, the CEO, the chance to ask questions, get to know the employees from their perspective and LISTEN. The employees did not have any bias because they did not know he was the CEO. Larry was just some new guy and with that “new guy” perception, Larry was able to listen intently with no filter coming from the employee. If you as a senior executive cannot get your people to be honest with you, then how do you know what will truly work and be implemented from the glass ceiling to the concrete floor?
  • From the Ground Level, UP: Building on the listening piece, if you as a CEO cannot relate or understand what your people do, how can you truly help the business? I am not saying that a boss or CEO should work within every position (that would be impossible and ludicrous to suggest). What I am saying is that he/she needs to be WILLING to ask questions and connect the dots to how each role within the company makes an impact to the overall business.Involvement: Any time you have someone shadow and truly get their hands dirty (like Larry O’Donnell actually did) in the day-to-day tasks of a job, it can help that person see what works and what doesn’t. It promotes understanding between front-line employees and senior executives of the company.
  • Revamping Policy, Process & Procedure: From the involvement that leadership has in the job, they can help adjust and evaluate the legislation they create. These ACTIONS helps ensure that policy and procedure is not just being created for the sake of creating them. It ensures that those large manuals hidden within someone’s desk are being built in the best interest of the employee culture, supporting the company mission, and driving business viability so that all can stay safe, productive and employed!
  • Communication: The CEO of Waste Management communicated to the employees his experiences and let them know that changes would be made. While it is unclear how these changes will truly be implemented within WM’s culture, policy and day-to-day life of the employee – the fact that communication took place is a key part to making the “Undercover Boss” work.

What Doesn’t Work

  • Tailoring policy to individual opinion – There is a reason that policies are put in place and processes are set. Some people will gain and others will lose. If you changed policies, procedures and approaches every time someone complained or felt they were wronged then you would never get it right. I feel for people who are in tough situations but those tough situations are subjective and cannot be treated as if they are a mirror of the entire employee population.
  • Do it for the right reasons not for PR: If you’re going to go rogue do it because it’s right as a whole, not for a PR image.
  • Not all employee opinions are valid: We are all a genius in our own minds. Give respect, Research the situation and then Evaluate what should be done.
  • Get the facts from trusted managers: There are times where Larry goes to the supervisors of the employees he has shadowed. His approach, while kind, almost undermines and disrespects the very authority that the CEO has given them. If a supervisor is doing stupid stuff then check them and discuss appropriate alternatives. However, undermining a manager’s authority is not cool. It waters them down and diminishes what credibility they may have had.
  • “Can I count on you to get this done” : There is a point where Waste Management’s CEO, Larry O’Donnell goes to the supervisor and ask this question. All well and good but how many people would honestly challenge this question from their CEO. Some of us would but low level front-line managers will rarely ever feel empowered to question this. I mean come on, would you?

What are your thoughts?

  • Great concept but how real could it be?
  • I have always been a proponent of rotational roles within a company. What is your take?

Do you think all CEO/Bosses should go undercover?

View Results

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