Three Recruiting Conferences That You Must Attend

Most of us in recruiting and social media have a limited travel budget, several ongoing responsibilities and other time constraints.

Here are three events that you cannot afford to miss this year:

1. mRecruitingcamp in San Francisco, CA - September 30, 2011
This conference's Founder, Michael Marlatt, has been an innovative mobile leader for many years now. I remember when I first heard Michael speak at an ERE event, he was revolutionary. On September 30th, mRecruitingcamp will make its industry changing debut as the world’s first comprehensive mobile recruiting conference for HR and recruiting professionals. The lineup of speakers is second-to-none and I'm honored be the emcee. Registration to the event includes a step-by-step guide on mobile recruitment strategies and campaigns. Sign up here:

2. LinkedIn Talent Connect 2011 in Las Vegas, NV - October 17-19, 2011
Last year, I was able to attend the inaugural LinkedIn Talent Connect event. The technical and logistical aspects of the conference were exceptional. LinkedIn provided a variety of networking events and surprises to keep us engaged. The keynote speakers were inspirational. There are also four different learning tracks now, so the content should be even more relevant. Contact your LinkedIn representative for more info or visit

3. Recruiting Innovation Summit at Facebook in Menlo Park, CA - October 24, 2011
Formerly known as the Social Recruiting Summit, this is the ERE event that showcases emerging recruiting trends. I'm excited to be a speaker and also to visit the new Facebook's brand new campus at Menlo Park, CA. In the past, the networking at this event has been top notch, since it usually has a good mix of new attendees and industry favorites. The early bird pricing is in effect until August 26th:

By strategically attending conferences, you invest in yourself and build beneficial relationships in person. Maximize your time while you are at these events to get the most out of them for you and your organization. Hope to see you there!


My 30 Day Personal Revolution and Bucket List

My life has gone through many changes this year - some voluntary and not. It is a perfect time for me to join the TR 30 Day Personal Revolution.

I've decided to create a bucket list and strive to be the change for the next month.

1. Watch a NASCAR race at a track that you've never been to before.

2. Visit your sister and put all of her needs first.

3. Dust off the golf clubs and take some swings at a driving range.

4. Do at least 45 minutes of cardio everyday.

5. Travel with your kids on a spontaneous adventure. During this trip, only say no to activities that would physically harm them.

6. Be aware of negative comments and redirect the conversation to a positive one.

7. Give up fried foods.

8. Write one handwritten thank you card a day and mail it.

9. Go out on the town with friends and have no sense of time.

10. Call up an old friend that you haven't spoken to in years.

The clock starts now. Follow the tweets at #TR30days. Create your own bucket list and start your own personal revolution.


Infographic: The Tech Talent Wars

Udemy just posted this infographic regarding the tech talent wars. The accompanying blog post states, "Hiring a great team is the #1 most important thing you’ll ever do for your company. Are you ready? Do you know where to find amazing co-founders or how to lure away those rock star MIT computer science majors who were just offered $300,000 to work for Google?"

What is your company doing to retain this talent as well?



New Career Announcement - Think Green

In January of last year, I was honored to join Bernard HODES Group as their Director, Social Strategy. During my tenure, I partnered with exceptional people and amazing clients. It was refreshing to collaborate with unmatched professionals who create the most efficient and innovative recruitment marketing solutions. We shared many successes together and I cherish our friendships. I'm in debt to leaders from HODES like Shannon Seery Gude, Lana Suiter, Kevin Hensley, Vince Vitti, Andy Katz and Julie Burgstahler.

Later this month, I will join Waste Management as their Manager, Social Media and Employment Branding. I look forward to making a significant contribution and working with proven talent acquisition, HR, marketing and communications teams. Of course, I'll keep blogging here and staying active in social platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Foursquare.

Thank you to my friends, family, mentors, co-workers and clients who have been so supportive of me online and offline. I appreciate your honesty and keep paying-it-forward.


Meetup: Connect is King, Not Content

It was an honor to attend Mashable Connect 2011 at Walt Disney World. The attendees, venue, speakers, sponsors and organizers were top notch. One of my favorite sessions was delivered by Scott Heiferman, CEO of Meetup. Meetup is the world's largest network of local groups with over 7.2 million members in 45,000 cities.

In his session, Scott was not shy about proclaiming that connect is king, not content. Scott declared, "A mark of a great brand in the 21st century is Meetups. People caring enough to Meetup about the brand." In marketing and social, we push the importance of value-added content. However, if the content doesn't influence a genuine connection with your audience, then it failed.

Meetup provides the platform for fans of your brand to create self-organized events to meet in person. Ultimately, this will create a stronger community of your most engaged brand ambassadors. Plus, these non-employees have much more credibility with your audience. You will also have a focus group to help provide valuable feedback. Meetup recently unvieled its integration with Facebook tabs to help mobilze your brands Facebook fans too.

Start connecting with your social community thanks to Meetup and Mashable. Go beyond distributing content. Hope you will join me in celebrating the next worldwide meetup day on June 30th. Find one near you at


Infographic: Awesome Twitter Facts and Stats


Infographic: The Value of Being LinkedIn

The Value of Being LinkedIn


Infographic: A World Without Facebook

A World Without Facebook
[Via: Single Grain]


Transparency vs. Too Much Information (TMI)

When you work in social media, there is a balance between being transparent and providing too much personal information. In my work, I decided several years ago not to say anything online that I wouldn't discuss in person to a client, employer or my most esteemed relative. Here are points to consider before taking your personal reflections online:

1. How will this affect my family and friends? Your actions online can potentially harm your family's interests and ultimately, their safety.  Also, you may have relatives or children who have political or other career aspirations.

2. What is the best channel for me to share this information? When I have bad news to share with my family and close friends, I call or speak to them in person first. Even though it would be a timesaver, in the long run, initially posting this type of news to Facebook will generate more questions than answers.

3. What does this information reflect about my professional brand? Each update, post and tweet matters. They collectively affect your reputation and image. If your feeling about the subject is temporary or it will pass, you shouldn't share it online.

4. How would I feel if I read these insights from one of my mentors? Think about how you would react if someone from your trusted network posted it. Would it drive you to help them or question their judgment?

If you are on the fence about any comment or topic, my recommendation would be not to post the material. There are so many interesting trends and solutions that you can provide in your niche. Share your best knowledge, not something that truly needs to stay in your ever-changing thought bubble.


Bring on the EGOsystem + Long Live Klout

One of my favorite sessions at SXSW this year was moderated and orchestrated by Brian Solis. It was called, "Welcome to the EGOsystem: How Much are You Worth?". The panelists included’s Sean Rad and Arnie Gullov-Singh, Klout’s CEO and Founder, Joe Fernandez and Jon M. Chu, Director of Justin Bieber: Never Say Never and creator of The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers.

This session provided insights into's relationship with Charlie Sheen, including how brands can leverage celebrity endorsements with fewer liabilities for both parties using Twitter. Jon M. Chu is continually humbled by the responses of loyal Bieber fans each time he tweets.  Joe Fernandez discussed how he created Klout while recovering from surgery. I find it fascinating that Joe's Klout score is 59 and mine is 61. Charlie Sheen's is 94. I get to finally insert my favorite hashtag, compliments of Charlie Sheen, #winning.

There have been times when I've viewed a list and wondered why I didn't rank higher or even make the list at all. However, that is just one algorithm or way of comparing you to others. Regardless of your feelings about being ranked as a number on an influential scale, getting a higher Klout score, more connections on LinkedIn and thousands of followers on Twitter takes a lot of work. Like most of my peers, we hustle like Gary Vaynerchuk and pay-it-forward every day to deliver value to our audience. Numbers alone cannot determine your self-worth. Analyze several quantitative and qualitative metrics to verify and learn from your successes or failures.

Ask yourself: do people reach out to you to hire you as a consultant in your field? Do colleagues seek you for advice regarding problems in your area of expertise? Do you take the time to listen to your audience and provide solutions? If not, revisit some new ways to better engage your social network.


Your Personal Brand - Niche or Noise?

One of my favorite things about SXSW is seeing some of the most influential web celebrities in person. I can tell them how they have inspired me and start building a genuine relationship. Each online mentor has their own distinctive characteristics, perspective and success story that sets them apart from others.

You were also given strengths and attributes that make you special. There are many opportunities for experts of all hobbies and interests. Instead of trying to be something that you are not, be the best you that you can be. Find your voice and start speaking to your niche audience.

In my SXSW core conversation with Robyn Cobb, we discussed how to shine a light on others to increase your brand. I challenged the attendees to have brand sacrifice (thanks to Jerry S. Wilson). Look at your last ten tweets, blog posts or Facebook status updates. Do they reflect who you are? Are they valuable to your desired audience or is it just noise?


Atlanta Reaches One Million LinkedIn Users

My friend, Eric Jaquith, predicted this last month and now it is true. Atlanta has over one million LinkedIn profiles. There are only four other metro areas with more users: New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago.

For those of us based in Atlanta, this is a reminder of how social networking has revolutionized our careers. There is a collaborative community of significant digital, technical, telecom, financial, social, marketing and recruiting talent based in Atlanta.

Here are the top five most connected LinkedIn users in the greater Atlanta area:

1.  Shally Steckerl

2.  Jim Browning

3.  Jenny DeVaughn

4.  Glen Cathey

5.  Muhammad Siddique

The top five companies with the most current and former employees in the greater Atlanta area with LinkedIn profiles are: AT&T, Delta Air Lines, The Home Depot, Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech).

Start connecting with these influencers in Atlanta, including me. I welcome all invites.


Shine Light On Others To Build Your Brand at SXSW

In Atlanta, Robyn Cobb is a friend to all who cross her path: online and in-person. Robyn is currently the VP of Digital Influence at Ogilvy PR and serves many non-profit efforts in her free time. I was honored when Robyn submitted me as a potential panelist for a core conversation at SXSW (South By Southwest) Interactive titled, "Shine Light on Others to Build Your Brand". It was an amazing feeling to be selected for this session.

During this core conversation, Robyn and I will reveal how paying it forward to others has helped us tremendously in our careers and personal interests. We share an upfront, yet positive style and promise to provide actionable advice.

For those with a SXSW Interactive, Gold or Platinum pass, our session is on Friday, March 11th at 5:00 PM in the Marriott Courtyard, Rio Grande B, 300 East 4th Street (between Trinity and San Jacinto) in Austin.

If you are unable to attend SXSW, please follow the tweets using the hashtag, #shine and join the movement!


How to Claim Your Venue on Foursquare

Foursquare, a location-based mobile and social platform, is growing globally, however, many local US based-businesses still do not manage their venues online.

The most important reason to claim your venue on Foursquare is to get access to valuable analytics called Venue Stats. In real time, as the owner of a venue, you will be able to view:

  • Total daily check-ins over time
  • Your most recent visitors
  • Your most frequent visitors
  • Gender breakdown of your customers
  • What time of day people check-in
  • Portion of your venue’s Foursquare check-ins that are broadcast to Twitter and Facebook

As the owner of a venue in Foursquare, you may create unique specials and offers for your business to attract more interest and customers, including mayor specials, frequency specials or customized one-time specials.

Recently, I was accepted into the Foursquare Ambassador program where I'm able to help businesses connect with their loyal clients and attract new customers. If you'd like to using Foursquare for free to claim and promote your business, check out to get started.


Insider Check-In at Foursquare HQ

While attending SourceCon in NYC, I had the opportunity to tour Foursquare's HQ. Co-Founders, Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai were there to greet me too. As an active user, I was simply thrilled just to check-in to this location.

Naveen and Jenny at Foursquare's HQ

The genuine passion of each employee is evident when the elevator opens to their offices. Although people are productive and focused on their work, you sense that they are motivated by a greater purpose. I talked with two outstanding employees, Carol and Eric. It was refreshing to hear about their responsibilities and sincere dedication to Foursquare's users.

Their offices include private meeting spaces with badges on each door, a kitchen, disco ball and lounge areas for their staff to work comfortably. Innovation, kindness and creativity are valued and on display. It is no surprise that Foursquare is hiring and growing. I'm hopeful that the collaborative core and culture will remain the same. Visiting Foursquare only reinforced my belief in this organization and its continued success.


Customize Content to Feel Like Home

Yesterday, I returned to Atlanta from a business trip to Minneapolis with a world-class employer brand and recruitment team. Being back in the Midwest rejuvenates me, especially since I was born and raised in Iowa. When I meet someone that knows my hometown, there is a stronger possibility of a trusted relationship. We have much more in common, including friends, values and shared experiences.

When you post content online to a unique niche, it should feel like home to your ideal audience.

  1. Use familiar lingo: Using the phrases and language that your audience uses will allow for better communication, understanding and interest.
  2. Find their sounding boards: Have empathy for your audience and their fears. Search social networks, groups, newsletters, blogs and discussion boards to see their immediate problems, join those conversations and offer solutions.
  3. Connect visually: Show photos and videos of your target audiences’ locations, surroundings, events, etc. Do your photos and videos include people that they feel are like themselves?
  4. Leverage role models: Your audience looks up to certain celebrities, thought leaders and public figures. Read their books, watch those shows and understand why they inspire your target audience. Your message should reflect those ideals and stir the same emotions.
  5. Demonstrate genuine interest: When the message is too contrived or fake, it will cause a negative reaction. Do you want to be viewed as an outsider with a revenue-based objective or as an insider with an opinion that people trust?

The Super Connector - Online Hype or Hero?

LinkedIn unveiled it's newest product, InMaps. When connected to your account, it shows a visual impression of your connections. When I linked mine, this response appeared: Sorry, but your network is too large to be computed, we are working to increase the limit, stay tuned! To be fair, I have over 22,000 1st level connections. No matter what size network you have; you can create meaningful relationships.

Here are four ways to be an online super hero rather than just an ego:

1. When connecting for the first time online, share something that you genuinely have in common with that person. Start a relationship built on similiar characteristics, values, life/work experiences, hobbies or even the ideas that you share.

2. Never spam new connections. When I accept someone's invitation on LinkedIn, it frustrates me when I immediately get emailed a newsletter from him or her. Be respectful. I may have checked out your blog and already signed up to get your updates through my RSS feed.

3. Have a goal to eventually take the discussion offline. At some point, you may want to extend an invite to a group/event, meet for coffee or even provide a referral to another colleague. I have a list of folks that I can't wait to meet face-to-face this year.

4. Don't forget who brought you to the dance. I learned this from my Grandpa. Remember those trusted friends who have helped you get this far. Be sure to set up monthly collaborative meetings with those colleagues. My family in Iowa reminds me of where I'm from and where I want to be in life.

As I learned from Kat Cole at a recent conference, when you choose to communicate or not, you are always communicating. Be a super connector to those in your network and do much more than just accept their invitation on LinkedIn.


This One's For You, @Armano

Last May, I was a speaker at the Social Media in Recruitment Conference in Chicago. Some of my favorite colleagues were in attendance and we enjoyed being in such a hospitable city.

During my time there, I had the opportunity to meet David Armano. I'd been following (not stalking) him on Twitter and reading his blog, Logic + Emotion. After a few direct messages, David was kind enough to meet me and Eric Winegardner for happy hour with some of his colleagues, Suzanne Marlatt and Blagica Bottigliero, at the ROOF of theWit. David's transparency instantly earns your respect, while his demeanor captures your attention. However, I wasn't prepared. We chit chatted like you would with a stranger in the line at the DMV and I missed out on building a genuine relationship.

When you meet someone that you admire, be prepared. Discuss a specific experience, best practice or any advice they shared and how it inspired you. Also, don't be afraid to ask a follow-up question that shows you want to learn from them or get their perspective on a decision that you are facing. After your brief meeting, send him or her a handwritten note or at least an email to say thank you.

This March, I'll be speaking at SXSW Interactive with Robyn Cobb on how to "Shine a Light on Others to Build Your Brand". Hopefully, the invite to join David at the Edelman SXSW party is still open and I'll have the second chance to share how he has unknowingly had a positive impact on my career.


2010: Reflect, Reassess and Refocus

At the end of the year, it is time to reflect on successes and failures, reassess personal and professional goals and refocus our resources.

This year was remarkable, because of my family, friends, colleagues, co-workers, acquaintances and mentors. It is impossible to list every phone call, blog post, text message, email, video, article, conference, introduction, book, webinar, networking event, random act of kindness and tweet that influenced me this year. Thank you for paying it forward.

Happy New Year from my family: Roger, Julia (4) and Will (2) to yours.

 Photo Courtesy of


The Top Five Websites for Facebook Tips and Insights

If you are looking for new ways to harness the power of Facebook and its 500+ Million fans, check out these websites for current news and innovative ideas:

1.  FacebookFlow:
FacebookFlow (FBF) CEO, Garin Kilpatrick, shares 50 free tips and offers a free 7 day e-book course.

2.  All Facebook:
Started by Nick O’Neill, this blog covers all issues pertaining to Facebook including new applications, news and its future.

3.  Facebakers:
This site is run by Candytech and offers the most comprehensive Facebook statistics by country, page, group and application.

4.  Inside Facebook:
Founded by Justin Smith, Inside Facebook is to providing news and market research to the Facebook platform and social gaming ecosystem, especially for developers and marketers.

5.  The Facebook Blog:
This is the official blog of Facebook written by its employees. It provides an insider’s view of what it’s like to work at Facebook and explanations of the newest changes and updates.