Words of Wisdom from the Talent Acquisition Summit

This post was originally published in June 2010 on the Pinstripe Recruitalicious blog.

Last week, I drove all the way from Lombardy Road to good ol’ Lombard, Illinois for the Chicago Talent Acquisition Summit.  Though I’d prefer to withhold this useful information & remain more knowledgeable than the rest, my experience dictates that I share my words of wisdom (or lack thereof).

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An Early-Bird-Kind-of Event: Be a Piece of the Solution

Be a Piece of the Solution was inspired by a lovely lady named Judy Shanley, whose personal strength and courage along with a few doses of medicine from Dr. Jeff Engelman at Massachusetts General Hospital have enabled her to live with stage four lung cancer for two years. On Friday, September 16th, Dr. Engelman will visit Milwaukee to thank the organization for their donations towards lung cancer research and treatment. One of the originators of Be a Piece of the Solution, Sally Lautmann, says, “Our project is more than just a Friday night party, but a concept that we hope you will help us share with the world.”

With social media, information and ideas become viral with a click of a mouse or tap on an iPad.  While Judy has been travelling between Wisconsin and Massachusetts, her story is transcending state and international borders. The message is going beyond her immediate family, friends and congregation. By harnessing the contagious nature of social media, the people who have chosen to Be a Piece of the Solution will soon be a part of a movement that began as a Facebook event

That you can send, like, share, tweet, post. You can Be a Piece of the Solution, too. 

Thou Shalt Not Twudge

Scene One: Winnie the Pooh with dark sunglasses is smoking a cigarette by the window. Man with a girls’ soccer uniform on is playing beer pong. Woman with cheetah ears and tail is dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

Scene Two: A woman with Uggs on and a colorful scarf appears in the doorway. A girl follows with high-waisted jeans, a turtle neck and sweater vest. I thought to myself, that woman is clearly having a mid-life crisis and I’ll totally lend my September Glamour magazine to this fashion-deprived girl.  I try to act natural but almost strain my neck for further analysis.

When unfamiliar people enter a room, no one is quite sure how to behave or what to say. Facebook—a previously, purely personal place (say that ten times fast)—became a professional place overnight. Employers who infiltrated the social network discovered negative comments about their companies or less than glamorous photos of their Employee of the Month.  Obviously, hoopla regarding scandalous pictures and rude wall posts are not ideal for PR. The resolution was (and still is) to publish articles regarding an “appropriate” Facebook profile, create company policies about YouTube use, and talk about guidelines for proper conduct online.  As a result of this, employees and candidates are afraid to be themselves in online communities because they could get fired or may be disqualified from a position.  Being a social media strategist has not exempted me from this fear.

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Your Mother Added You as a Friend on Facebook

During my sophomore year of college, I was using my procrastination skills to avoid an English essay when I logged onto Facebook to stalk a few of my favorite people. When I logged on, I was mortified to discover a “News Feed” on the main page that publicized all the content I posted and all the actions I was making in real-time. Panic set in: Oh no, was Adam (i.e. cute guy from Econ 101) going to know that I had his profile page open for almost ten minutes during lunch?!?

Amidst this momentous (and slightly traumatic) event in the lives of Facebook veterans like myself, I could never had predicted what I’d be doing just few years later. Ironically enough, it is now my job to be on Facebook and carry out the social media strategy for my client. Good thing Mark Zuckerberg promised us that no one would ever know how long you were gazing at someone else’s profile and I decided not to deactivate my account. However, Facebook and I almost broke up a few years later when I called my mother for our weekly phone conversation. She started by saying “So I was on Facebook…”

WHAT!?!? You were on WHAT!?!?
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Full-Time Work Too

In my dreams and on this blog, it appears as though all I do is work three hours a week, walk my dog, hang out with my nephew, take care of the house and watch reality television.

In reality, I have a full-time job at a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) company called Pinstripe. I provide technical support for and hold training sessions with recruiters throughout the world to hire over a thousand people per year. When I’m not helping a recruiter, I’m devising a plan to accelerate our social media strategy or pulling reports from the applicant tracking system. My new title is Global Staffing Coordinator, but if you ask for the Queen of the Recruitment Process you’ll reach my desk as well.

At Pinstripe, we’re always hiring. We have a contest to win an iPad2 to celebrate social media day (today!). We encourage our employees to showcase their recruitment talents by posting on the Pinstripe blog, Recruitalicious. I started sharing my wisdom (or lack thereof) on the Recruitalicious blog in January 2010. For the next few weeks, you’ll see some of these old school posts right here on Miss Early Bird. Pinstripe is migrating all the blog content to another site, so my precious posts will be lost forever unless I re-post them here.

Get ready for stories about engaging with candidates in the social media space, some professional blunders and my stint of being slightly obsessed with Twitter.

Happy Blogoversary to Me

Yes, blogoversary is actually a word. I’m fairly certain that I’m using it in the proper context.

On January 6th, 2010, my first blog post was published on Recruitalicious. That’s when my love affair with writing and imagined stardom began…  Since launching Miss Early Bird in April, I’ve managed to write (at least) one post per month for the last year. Although I promised to focus on “careers and social media” I trended towards the “thought-provoking” (I hope) and embarrassingly personal.  By fall, I was so addicted to seeing my name in print that I submitted a post to Women of HR.

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An Early-Bird-Kind-of Company: Life Productions, Inc.

Tami Sweeney and I struck up a conversation about social media at a Brewer’s tailgate. I told her about my year long adventure as community manager of social media recruiting for my client. In response, she shared her rather traumatic story of breaking Facebook etiquette rules in front of her mortified daughter. She said to me, “Ali, I need your help with my business.”

Tami is the owner of Life Productions, a video production firm that specializes in marketing videos for businesses, schools and non-profit organizations. With business partner, Louise Berg, the firm showcases their portfolio on YouTube and receives numerous recommendations from former and current clients on LinkedIn. After reviewing this Milwaukee, Wisconsin based company’s social media presence, I responded “Tami, you don’t need me for anything.”

Other organizations can learn from Life Productions’ example:

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Who Else is a #SocialRecruiting Summit Stalker?

Since Monday morning, I’ve been living vicariously through the tweets of the #socialrecruiting summit attendees. I couldn’t watch ERE’s live stream all day, but kept hitting refresh so I could be the first one to view slides and vids from the conference. I started watching Paul DeBettignies’ (@MNHeadhunter) presentation on “Building Community as a Solo Act” because the title & description appealed to me. I kept listening to Paul for a few other reasons.

1 ) His major sarcasm. If scientists identified a gene directly related to sarcasm, it would be traced back to the Midwest.

2) His goal to recruit candidates in the Minnesota area did not require recognition on a global or even a national level.  He focused his efforts on networking within the state and did not set his sights beyond that.  In a world where most want to be a Lady Gaga-esque super star, it was refreshing to learn about his narrow approach. “You’re So Vain” began playing in my head as I realized that being a nationally recognized blogger might not be a realistic goal. My roots are in Wisconsin. I love the following cities in this descending order: Milwaukee, Fox Point, Madison, Up North (kidding). I suppose I’ll stay local and ditch the dream of international stardom sigh…


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