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Recruiting Has Changed, Are You Doing it Differently?

Everyday we read articles on how companies are attracting talent uniquely AND how candidates are finding jobs through creative avenues.  Did you hear about Sober Lane, the pub in Ireland that used Snapchat as their recruiting platform?  What about Nina Mufleh landing a job with Airbnb after months of rejection via traditional applications, only to be hired by the CEO?

The future of recruiting is marketing (I will argue it’s now) and the future of marketing is consumer driven branding.  Mobile will continue to grow and millennials will be 75% of the workplace in 2030.  The digital habits of today’s millennials will be the future norms and they will not “evolve into GenX”.

If one can buy a $2,000 flat screen with one click or learn everything about a company in 6 seconds, then I expect to find a job with the same ease.  Heck, anybody can find a date with a single swipe across their mobile device, but it takes 30 minutes to apply for a job?  People like dating and hate searching for a job.

Here is our simple advice for companies and candidates.

Hiring Company: Why will an employee want to spend 50 hours a week doing your bidding?  Communicate your EVP (employer value proposition) in 10 seconds or less and don’t make it a thesis.  Showcase your story and convince your targeted talent why they would flourish (hint; your long, boring job description is not the answer).

Candidates: Why should a potential employer invest in you?  It has nothing to do with a two page, well formatted piece of paper and everything to do with your drive, capabilities and what you bring to the table.  Showcase your skills, stop “applying” for jobs and start telling a story (I go back to Ms. Mufleh). Below are a few more examples of companies and people who are doing it correctly.  Don’t be a copycat, but do rebrand, reimagine and redo!

Irish Pub article

Airbnb article
QR Code on resume
Phildub – Resume as an Amazon purchase

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Innovative and Creative New Employee Experience

22% of staff turnover occurs in the first 45 days of employment. Imagine the cost impact; if your average salary is $50k per person and you lose 20 people your cost impact is a loss of $3 million. These types of losses can be minimized if companies are willing to change a few things. Follow me through this scenario;

It’s Monday, 9:00 a.m. and new hire orientation has started. The process of on-boarding” new hires and providing them every piece of data they will ever require. Of course the one lone manager pops their head in to see when their new hire can begin “real work” not understanding a full day of “HR stuff”. The Human Resource Generalist grins stating that orientation is “all day” but secretly dreading the next month of drop in’s to answer questions covered during orientation.

A few stats that should scare you;

  • Nearly 1/3 of people employed in their current job, for less than 6 months, are already job searching.
  • With 10-15% annual attrition, companies turn over upwards of 60% of their entire talent base within 4 years.

Employees don’t require longer orientations they desire an experience.

Is it really possible to retain everything you need to know about shared files, IT tickets, PTO requests and benefits within an 8-hour period? No. If we are being honest new hires need three critical answers within their first 30 minutes.

  1. “¿Dónde el baño?” Because everybody has to go
  2. “I need to post a status update on Facebook, is that cool?” If not, I will just use my phone
  3. “What time is it cool to leave” I really don’t want to wait until my manager leaves…

Let’s look at how an awesome new hire experience works

9:00 a.m. The new employee is greeted by HR and immediately provided the answers for the three critical questions and asked to check-in on Facebook to receive 10 points.

HR explains the gaming and reward system and how employees are awarded points for numerous company engagement efforts including employee referrals, social media shares or simply completing their LinkedIn profile to reflect the new organization.

9:30 a.m. The employee is escorted to their desk and receives two messages;

  1. A calendar invite from their manager for a team lunch (this happens because the computer is already set up and the HR person has provided them with their login credentials).
  2. A text message to download the company’s mobile app

Upon loading the app the employee receives a welcome notification directing them to the on-boarding module where they can self-select categories of personal interest. The orientation module contains videos, links and information important to new employees.  *171.5 million people own a smart phone with 83.5% of 18-44 year olds owning one. You can send a link to the mobile optimized page that provides the same information (and the app pulls from). More mobile info here

10:30 a.m. a second notification provides a link to a mobile optimized page describing the company scavenger hunt. In this game the employees can earn points (and start engaging and learning) by doing some of the following;

  • Watch an introductory video that is 2-3 minutes and describes what to expect as an employee of Company Awesome (then share it via their social media channels)
  • Follow/like the companies social media properties (specifically the “Life” or “Careers” or “Jobs” pages) direct them to key parts of the page and ask for certain information
  • Post a selfie of themselves and tag the company OR take a picture of their favorite feature in the office and post (everybody’s not into selfies)
  • Meet 3 new people in separate departments and request a tour of different parts of the building.

12:00 p.m. Lunch with new team

1:30 p.m. HR meets with the new hires for a one hour Q&A session and provided a survey about their first day experience. Also they are given a “puzzle” to solve from the clues in the scavenger hunt with prizes (or points) awarded (must turn in to HR by Friday).

Lastly all employees are provided with a peek into the next 90 days;

  • Day 30: link to a survey “Tell us about your first 30 days”
  • Day 60: a notification goes out with a link to a video message congratulating them on making it to day 60 and requesting a 15-30 second video testimonial on their experience
  • Day 90: they receive a notification and request to confidentially provide a testimonial on Glassdoor and discuss their experience

* another option is to pull everyone back into a 60 or 90 day lunch meeting where they bring their laptops and complete a confidential survey

2:30 p.m. Meet manager and team to discuss their “real work”

No paper handouts with passwords and diagrams that enter the recycle bin on the first office purge. No “one size fits all” classroom full of first day memory loss. Employees receive an experience that engages, socializes and creates an enjoyable journey.

How does this affect the bottom line?   The cost of losing an employee in the first year is estimated to be at least three times their salary (remember our opening example). Do the math on your turnover and use as support for building a better employee experience. It will not solve all problems, but will eliminate a few.

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Create a Lively Company Culture

Sunday night cues the beginning of the end for millions of people across the world.  Realizing that once you nod off there is no escape from the dreaded Monday.  Recent global reports expose an ugly truth; 87% of people are disengaged at work.  A recent Payscale report list places Google (#2) and Amazon (#4) in terms of least loyal employees (i.e. highest employee turnover).

But they are laser focused on employee engagement and culture, how is turnover so high? Perhaps hiring ONLY the “best and brightest” is not always the answer.

Several years ago I worked at a start-up which was my favorite job ever (other than starting my company).  I was in charge of recruiting and employer branding and had success based on a simple rule; promote our culture of “be yourself”.

Everyday was fun, work was always completed and culture was employee managed.  Food, celebrations and games were regular occurrence (and did not always require a reason)….but that is not what made it lively.  People being themselves made the culture.  We hired driven people who enjoyed having fun.

There was no “secret sauce” but several of these principles applied;

No More HR Police
Beer on Friday, flip-flops, shorts and graphic t-shirts.  You have hired professional adults to do grown up stuff, let them dress themselves.  Focus on strategy and driving business.

Hire for Culture
HR should market the culture and make sure potential new hires have an honest picture.  People need to know what they will walk into day one with no surprises.

Open Communication
Employees deserve to know what’s going on with the business they dedicate 50+ hours per week.  Host regular meetings where employees can speak their minds with no repercussions.  Everyone appreciates honesty and openness.  It’s a relationship, treat it as such.

Involve Employees in the Business
The biggest mistake executives make; not listening to employees, especially the ones doing the job day-to-day.  When was the last time your Director of Operations went to the warehouse and requested advice from employees?  Who better to ask about logistics or cost cutting than the people doing it everyday?

Employees are Selfish (so are you)
Let’s be honest, most employees are not having conversations with their significant other about “making my employer more successful”.  Accept the reality that people want what’s best for them.  Cut the one-sided “company ra ra” crap and offer them opportunities to grow and learn for their future (chances are you got them 3-5 years max anyway).

Lively culture is not manufactured in a process flow chat.  People create cultures, just make sure you hire the right ones and let them be themselves.

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Creating Non Traditional Employee Engagement

13% of the global workforce is “psychologically committed to their jobs and likely to be making positive contributions to their organizations” according to a 2012 Gallup Poll.  Newer data is available from other sources and indicates a lack of improvement over the past two years.  That’s the “glass is half full version” the number that cries out is interpreted as “87% of people could care less about their employer”.

Consider the opening paragraph with the fact that 70% of college graduates leave their jobs within the first 2 years and the task of employee engagement seems vast.

2015 is a significant turning point in the labor market; it’s the year where over 50% of the workforce will be in their 20’s.  The landscape of the workforce continues to change; another consideration is 10,000 baby boomers exit the workforce everyday.

The way current and future employees of the world consume information is immensely different.  Baby boomers have adopted newer technology while Gen Y (or millennials as they are labeled) view it as “the way it is”.  Gen Y does not talk about “getting on social media”, it would be like this Gen X’er “getting on the communicator i.e. telephone”.

Instant everything; a $1,500 dollar television is but 2 clicks on Amazon and at your door in 1-2 days with a simple return policy.   The birth of your first child is announced to the world with a simple mobile click and upload to the masses before the doctors have cut the umbilical cord.

Engaging employees through this lens is the key.  The days of stumbling through a career site because “you have to apply this way” are gone.  Sitting down at the tube and completing paperwork on your first day and faxing in your signed copies are archaic.  Below is an overview for a successful employee engagement program.

Create mobile optimized everything (career pages, benefits information, open enrollment etc..  The percentage of U.S. smart phone owners by age group are;

  •  86.2% of 25-34 year olds
  • 80.7% of 35-44 year olds
  • 70.8% of 45-54 year olds
  • 61.1% of 55+ year olds

Utilize a customizable mobile app to pull all mobile optimized information into one common source.  This is a great and cost effective internal communication tool.


  • On-boarding should be easy and not a boring day of classroom nonsense that no one remembers past the pizza lunch.  You are hiring adults who like to have fun and not waste time…make it interactive
  • Mobile based scavenger hunts so you can learn about the company while interacting with employees and the companies social platforms; check out great examples at Mobile Scavenger Hunt Examples
  • User designed forms that capture pertinent information with a click; no more Word documents, PDF’s or broken systems based on a 15+ year old platform


  • Encourage grass-roots efforts by the employee (everything does not have to be started or controlled by the company)
  • Open policy on social media; banning social media usage  equates to employees calling home on the office phone
  • Encourage employee feedback at 30/60/90 days, for that matter have an open forum accessible via mobile where employees can tell you instantly how they feel
  • Reward:  never tell an employee “to be a _____ you need at least ___ years of experience” instead tell them “once you accomplish ____ then we can move you into _____ role/opportunity”

Make it Fun

  • Gamify where you can; employee referrals, leads, incentives are great starts
  • Treat everyone like an intrapreneur….this will be the biggest challenge in retaining a workforce where 30% start a business while in college


  • Read Glassdoor reviews, compile the common issues and address them in an open forum
  • Host town halls and reserve a portion for employees to voice their opinions, if a subject is overly sensitive give them an outlet to express
  • Encourage employee blogs posts and social media interaction

We could make this list into 10 blog posts!  Want to investigate this further?  Check out our full presentation and leave your ideas and comments.

Tricylcle Blog

Millennials Are Our Future

Several days ago a random tweet captured my attention.  In response to a presentation regarding “the pitfalls of hiring millennials” a 50-year-old proudly tweeted “that’s why I will never hire a millennial”.  Really?

One cannot ignore the facts;  in 2015 over 50% of the workforce will be in their 20’s and by 2030 75% of the talent pool will be categorized as a millennial.  How does a millennial fit into the future landscape of the corporate world?  What is so different about hiring people from the selfie generation?  Certainly my 50-year-old twitter “friends” assessment of an entire generation is unfounded?  Or is it?  Check out a few stats along with my assessment of each one.

  1. 33% of young professionals under age 30 prioritize social media freedom over salary;  Why would you not allow social media freedom?  Create a great corporate culture and let the free marketing of your organization flow!  This doesn’t mean you will get them cheap, but if the comp is close, open culture will win out.
  2. 70% of college grads leave their first job after graduation within two years;  Perfect, get a bit of experience and come work for our amazing start-up, time to put the current graduating class on a two-year campaign.
  3. 3 out of 5 students expect to be able to work remotely; great, smaller or no office space means lower overhead and we can take advantage of social media and video conferencing for meetings.  Create desk shares and reduce square footage and geography becomes less an issue.
  4. 30% started a business in college; bring that knowledge and thirst here!  Perhaps a new company perk for companies should be “work for us and 2-3 years from now we assist you in starting your own (non-competing) business”.
  5. 40% thinks blogging about workplace issues is acceptable; make the workplace awesome and blog away, offer them access to the company blog and talk about the business (not all business, but some).
  6. 69% want more freedom at work; and 100% of employers want results…you can have all the freedom you want as long as the results are there.  Freedom of thought means products and services become more creative.
  7. 75% want professional mentors; done….and most employers want employees to ramp up quickly and to learn from their best.
  8. 91% expects to stay in their current job fewer than three years; go back to #4, turn that into a positive.
  9. 72% entering the workforce want to make a direct social and environmental impact; most companies want a well-rounded employee, someone with depth, so this works out perfect.

I own a start-up and stuff changes around here everyday!  Millennials are programmed with an entrepreneurial mindset and strong desire to get stuff done!  My prediction for the future; large companies will need to adjust their work styles with intrepreneurial elements allowing for free thinking, personal responsibility and focus on open communication.

Millennial does not equal lazy no more that baby boomer equals hard work.  People are people and the future talent pool is changing whether you accept it or not.  Today’s 15-year-old will be a driving force for our organizations in the very near future.  Does that scare or excite you?  Either way you can’t change it.

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Creative and Sexy Job Postings Rule

When was the last time you deciphered a complete job description?  Hiring managers, recruiters and HR folks, do you study the posting specifications prior to the cut and paster that undoubtably will flood your inbox with applicants?  Insert yourself into the applicants shoes and answer this; “when was the last time anyone read every line of copy on a website, career page or job posting?”

We graze, glance and look-see.  We are skimmers!

Well written words (or copy) has its residence in the modern posting, however it is, brief, stunning and impactful.  Billboards remain successful due to the finite time required to read and digest the message while driving 85 miles per hour!  We are always on the go, glancing, grazing and skimming information.  Your job description should follow the billboard rule.

Netflix is searching for a Grammaster (Instagram Master); a candidate(s) to travel the county for two weeks, all expenses paid with a salary of $2,000 USD per week.  The posting was simple and provided all data required for submitting an application.   The process is simple;

  1. Follow @Netflix on Instagram
  2. Hashtag 3 of your best pictures with #grammaster

Creating these types of postings attract the talent they are seeking; ability to take great pictures and use social media.  The process was not lengthy or laborious, It was  interactive, engaging and fun.  How do you think the job will be based on the process?  Thought so….now never let me see a miserable thesis style job postings again.

Netflix job post 2 Netflix job post1

Check out the original Netflix job posting at:


Attract Talent with Video

The year was 1895 and the first movie was shown to a mass audience in Paris, France (I am certain your first thought was Paris, Texas).  Around the time of the Great Depression, the first televisions begin appearing in U.S. homes and by 1981 MTV premiered with “Video Killed the Radio Star”.

86 years passed from the first movie to mini productions based on another societal driver; music.  Technological evolution regarding video has accelerated since 2005 with the advent of YouTube including mobile recording capabilities, video messaging, and mini recordings with Vine, Instagram and Hyperlapse.

So why are so many companies hesitant to advertise with videos for attracting talent?  The power of video is apparent, considering the revenue it generates and the number of industries harnessing it’s power.  Retail, music, and other marketers spend significant budget to generate the perfect visual message that captures the hearts and minds of consumers.

Potential employees are consumers.  Companies should utilize the same methods when attracting employees, especially in the competitive fields of technology, retail and sales.  Below are a few samples of great employer based videos.

Spotify:  Meet the Team

Fifth Group:  Join the Family

Why Work at Twitter

Google:  Do Cool Things That Matter

Above are companies with different styles, all showcasing the hiring needs without blasting the lackluster message of “We’re Hiring” into a fruitless black hole.  Why video?  Simple.  Video will kill the written job ad and has a longer shelf life. Clips are easy for people to digitally share (and much sexier) and serve as marketing collateral.

Set your company apart with three simple words; lights, camera and action!