Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Work/Life Balance

As the annual SHRM Workflex Conference is in full swing this week, I thought it ironic that my blog post was on this topic.  Well, maybe I planned it that way.  You never know.

This year I participated in an OHSHRM State Council meeting where Scott Ferrin (@SHRMSCOTT)  from SHRM explained  different Workflex ideology and how to incorporate that into the workplace.  It was a highly educational for someone like myself who never had the opportunity to explore these options in their workplaces. 

So, what are some of the things he shared with us?  For one, did you know that SHRM partners with the Families and Work Institute?  They define themselves as: 

 "Families and Work Institute is a nonprofit center dedicated to providing research for living in today’s changing workplace, changing family and changing community."

Their most recent research suggests several things that stroke a chord with me about the changing workforce.  Maybe these stats will resonate in your life as well.  Did you know that:

There are so many options available for employers to review their rigid policies/procedures on Workplace Flexibility.  SHRM and the Families and Work Institute have dedicated time and money to research and offer such solutions.  I encourage you to take a look at them.  Times have changed...this should be no surprise to you!  We are all dealing with some balance issues in our lives.

Many of you have noticed and reached out to me as to why I haven't been blogging as much.  Well, to put it simply, I am working on my own Work/Life Balance.   Sometimes you have to take a step back, take a deep breath, and listen.  I'll still be blogging, but not once a week.  The next few months will be very hectic at work and at home.  Make time for the important things in your life - relationships.  I've said it from the beginning, it's not about the numbers - it's about the relationships.

So, what are you struggling with? 
What are your employees struggling with? 
How can you use all this research/solutions to better the lives of your employees?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What do you do all day long?

Recently, a colleague asked me a very simple question.  He said, "So, What do you do all day long?"  At first, I thought "How Rude." I work in a manufacturing plant and this colleague use to as well.  How could he not know what I do all day long.

Then after what felt like justifying my existence, I started to think.  What is a typical day for me.  What do I do?  In a futile exercise, I jotted down "the list."  Then I looked and said, this isn't what I want to do all day long.  My day revolves around firefighting.  For anyone who has ever worked in manufacturing, you know what I mean. 

How do successful HR folks NOT concentrate on the firefighting.  How do we find the time to make a difference?  We intentionally take time out of our day to find the good in situations.  We brainstorm about solutions to reduce the fires.  We focus on the positives not the negatives. 

So - how do you find time to make that difference?  Have you been struggling lately?  I have.  As Simon T Bailey reminds us, we need to reach out to our personal board of directors for a lift.  A gentle reminder that we are marvelous. 

As my conversation with my colleague closed, he reminded me of a Nora Ephron quote, "Be a Heroine, not a Victim."  Thanks, Jim for the gentle reminder.

Let's share today.  Tell me, how are you able to focus on the positives in the midst of the negatives?  You just might make a difference in the life of someone you have never met.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Engage or Leave...

Last week was OHSHRM. It was a baseball theme, so you'll have to pardon the puns!  In case you missed the Tweets from the conference, here are a few folks that I was able to engage with.  

The conference lead off with Steve Gilliland.  Steve brought some reality into my life when he told us a story about coming home from a long roadtrip for work, saying hello to everyone and then jumping onto his computer to answer emails.  Totally missing the fact that his wife and son had cleared their evening to spend with him. Steve told us of how he purposely turns off his cell phone.  Yikes.  Can you still do that?  There's an off button on those things?

Social GravityThen, in the Talent Anarchy general session, Joe and Jason reminded me that online "friends" are not about the sheer number of people, but the relationships and overlap you have with folks.  So, I purposely made it a point to introduce myself to Joe and Jason.  I wanted them to know what an impact they have had on me.  I am purposely choosing to take a deeper dive into my "connections." If you haven't picked up a copy of their book Social Gravity - what are you waiting for?

Our closer was, Jeff Havens.  Which, if you know me and my family, he could be my brother's twin.  His satire on what to do to "Unleash Your Inner Tyrant"  made everyone laugh.  Well, almost everyone.  There's always a few HR folks who won't dress down or laugh at a conference.  Jeff pointed that out too!  Jeff was able to remind us how ridiculous we could be when faced with leadership challenges.  It was great to end the conference laughing.  We truly don't laugh enough in HR.

For those of you that attended OHSHRM.  I hope you were able to engage in the sessions, the networking, and the amazing Resources Partners at your fingertips.  Fred Eck and his team put on a great conference.  If you haven't had a chance to connect with Fred, you should.  And...tell him thank you for hitting it OUT OF THE PARK!

In closing, I leave you with these thoughts.  There was a lot of discussion around relationships, family, and priorities.  Have you disengaged with people at home or work?  Do you have priorities straight?  Sometimes, you have to change the lineup in your life. Batter up!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Efficiency vs Effectiveness

Graph, Chart, Icon, Symbol, clipThere is a lot of chatter on Twitter around data points.  What is the most effective way to recruit.  What is the percentage of folks living paycheck to paycheck.  How many people will vote for Obama or Romney.  Those are a few headlines I saw today.  Everything is about the numbers.

This week I had to travel for business.  So, I spent all weekend catching up on emails, prioritizing the tasks for the week, and finishing those last minute business processes that must be completed so payroll can be processed.  Tasks...I caught up on my tasks.

I went into work on Tuesday briefly before flying east.  When I was at the office, I had a list of "things" I had to accomplish before I left.  I cancelled a conference call, I ignored an incoming phone call (I have caller ID), and I short changed a very important person in my life that just needed help and guidance on some HR things.  This very important person never short changes me when I need his time.  BUT... my desk was clean and I was ready for the trip.

In the end, the guilt eats me alive.  I was totally efficient - isn't that what every boss wants?  I was not effective.  It was more important to get the numbers out than it was to deal with the human side of the business.  How many times do you short change those people in your daily life strictly to get the numbers out?

We are in the Human Resource Business.  Human being the key word here.  So, all I can do is say, "I'm sorry, Boss" for short changing our conversation on Tuesday.  It's time to step back and remember why we are in the field of Human Resources.  Clean desks and empty inboxes are important, but the relationships we build are more important.

Who have you short changed this week?  We all have shorted someone.  Call them, and say you're sorry.  After all...we're all human. 


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Take Me Out To The Ballgame!

Well, it's time. OHSHRM is finally here! September 19th-21st at the Beautiful Kalahari Resort in Sandusky Ohio.  After months and months of anticipation, there will be over 500 HR Professionals under one roof.  That should scare some CEOs.  Just kidding.

Have you taken a look at the Grand Slam Line Up for this event?  You can visit our website here. But let me tell you what I am looking forward to! Getting to see some of the folks I met at ILSHRM12. 

Dr. Daniel Crosby (@incblot) will be speaking at an early-bird session.  While I met him at ILSHRM12, I didn't have the opportunity to hear him speak.  He's first on my lineup of sessions with "Becoming A Strategic Five Tool Leader!" 

Then there are the Talent Anarchy (@talentanarchy) guys!  Jason Lauritsen and Joe Gerstandt.  Remember, I didn't get to meet them at ILSHRM12, but I heard them motivate!  Can't wait to introduce myself to them.  I might even ask them to hang out at our chapter social hour - that's the introvert in me.  Can't wait for Joe's inning on "Freak Flag Flier!"

Besides the folks I met at ILSHRM12, there are two folks I am excited to meet IRL. 

Meredith Soleau (@LifesCrazyJoke)  is a resource in my own outfield (about an hour away) and I have never met her.  I am looking forward to her session on "Recruiting Your Designated Hitter Using Facebook and Twitter."   

The last guy I want to tease you with is Tim Sackett (@TimSackett).  I have followed him from the start on Twitter.  He is speaking on "What Your CEO Wishes HR Would Do." Who wouldn't attend that inning???

So, if you haven't registered, it's NOT TOO LATE!!!  If you are coming to OHSHRM, give me a shoutout on this blog or Twitter.  I'd love to have you join us for our chapter social hour!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


While at ILSHRM I was able to participate in a conference session from a local Ohioian, Benjamin McCall.  Benjamin is from the Cincinnati area and can be found at his blog

Ben's session was on how to develop a leadership training program.  He started the program out by asking us one simple question, "Do you think leaders are born or made?" My initial instinct was to say, "Duh...they are born with it." Being the introvert that I am, I said nothing.  Neither did anyone else!

So he had us all ball up a piece of paper.  Those folks that thought leaders are born, were to thrown their paper towards the left side of the room.  Those folks that thought leaders are made, were to throw their paper towards the right side of the room.  There weren't too many of us throwing our papers on the left side of the room.

The next statement sounded so simplistic that I almost was embarassed that he knew which side of the room I threw my paper on.  Ben said, "If leaders are born, then why do we have tons of consultants teaching Leadership Development Programs?" Ok - so what had I missed.  He was right.  We as HR professionals tend to look for the quick fix. We want to find that next leader that is ready to go so we can move on to the next firefight. 

My challenge to you today is simple.  When you are looking for your next leader, look at the potential to make someone a leader.  Don't just look for the natural born ones. You never know what introvert is waiting in the wings!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I am a Dancer!

Did you know that I am a dancer?  Well, I didn't either until I went to ILSHRM12 last week.  Here are some adjectives that I would have used to describe myself BEFORE I went to this conference:
  • Organized and Schedule Driven
  • Socially Introverted
  • Not a Risk Taker
  • Not a Dancer
Here is how I would describe myself AFTER ILSHRM12:
  • Still Organized and Schedule Driven
  • Less Socially Introverted
  • A Little more of a Risk Taker
  • A Dancer
Ok, so you can't change me that easily overnight.  The point being, there are a couple of guys from Talent Anarchy named Jason Lauritsen and Joe Gerstandt that spoke at the conference.  I have followed these guys on Twitter for quite a long time.  I even tweeted about being geeked to meet them at the conference.  Sadly, I didn't introduce myself to them (See note above: Socially Introverted). When they started talking about Happiness Matters when it comes to life, I thought, "Yeah, it does - but who really is happy."  Jason asked the crowd how many of us were dancers.  About 1/4 of the room raised their hands.  Then Jason asked us why the rest of us didn't raise our hands.  There were tons of excuses. 

Then, it happened - Yep FLASH MOB!!

So, Jason said, "Everybody up. I'm going to teach you three dance moves.  Then we'll put it together and you'll all be dancers." And...he did.  We were all dancers for that brief moment in time. 

In is a link to a video of it shot by Donna Rogers. I fully admit, I am in the front row in the orange dress with black sweater dancing my heart out.  Why? Because someone told me I could dance. 

So, my challenge to you is - are you holding yourself back because you haven't told yourself that you can accomplish something?

Guess what else I am going to do?  When Jason and Joe are at OHSHRM in September - I am going to fly my freak flag and intentionally hang out with those amazing guys. 

Are you a Dancer?

Thursday, August 9, 2012


I had the amazing opportunity to attend 2 days of the Illinois State SHRM conference this past Sunday and Monday. First, thank you to Dave Ryan (@davethehrczar) and John Jorgensen (@jkjhr) for the hospitality.  They were amazing hosts and treated my like royalty.  I am so blessed to have had the opportunity for this experience.  They helped make that happen!

There were so many people I met IRL.  Remember, it's not about the number of Twitter followers or friends you have on Facebook.  It's about the relationships you build with those friends.  I had the thrilling opportunity to meet Buzz Rooney (@thebuzzonhr).  She was at the conference on the Social Media Crew.  If you haven't gotten to know her, you can find her blog at  We met on Sunday and she was my conference buddy from then on!  She introduced me to so many folks I had never met.  I appreciate her taking me under her wing and helping this introvert!!

I also had the opportunity to meet the ever so beautiful Susan Avello (@susanavello).  She is just as bubbly in person as she is online.  Susan wrote a humbling blog post about me on her blog,  I am so thankful for her guidance and support online. 

Here is a picture of Susan and Buzz as we were getting ready for TalentNetLive to start:

I also had the opportunity to meet another fellow blogger for the first time.  His name is Chris Fields (@new_resource).   You can find his blog at Chris has been supporting me online and offline for several months. He is someone who truly cares about people and the relationships he makes with them.   

I can't even begin to list all the folks I met and hung out with.  But let's say I was able to meet everyone IRL  that I was hoping to meet.  I can't wait to share with you all my experiences and learning from this trip.  I'm still on the here is a teaser to hold you over until next week's blog post.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

ILSHRM12 Part 2

Last week I told you all about my reasons for going to ILSHRM12.  I also asked for feedback as to who else is going, so I have a chance to connect with everyone.  Here is a sampling of other folks that I am so excited to meet.  Remember - it's not about the number of connections, friends,'s about building relationships with those folks. 

@incblot  - Yeah, he's gonna be there!
@thebuzzonhr - this makes me smile just thinking about it!
@victorio_m - Can't wait to see his smiling face in person!
@bradgalin - All the way from that Indiana State!
@JeffWaldmanHR - His bio says "Relationship Builder" - we'll get along just fine!
@johnphudson - I wonder if he knows the Deadliest Catch guys?

OK, enough about the folks I'm going to meet...although
the excitement is so hard for me to contain!!!

Programming...Can you say major league lineup?  Here is a link to the lineup if you want to see the entire thing:

Let's start with keynotes - Simon T Bailey, Joe Gerstandt, and Jason Lauritsen.  Enough said.

I had the privilege to hear Simon at OHSHRM last year, and am looking forward to it again.  Yes, my watch is still on the other arm!

Concurrent speakers like Ben McCall, Curtis Midkiff, Paul Hebert (another OHSHRM favorite), Trish McFarlane/Steve Boese, Brad Galin, Jason Lauritsen, William Tincup, and Jennifer McClure are some of the awesomeness that is ILSHRM12.

I only wish I could be there for the entire conference.  Sadly, I will be departing Monday afternoon.  Don't worry, I'll post plenty of pictures of my new #TWIRL (Twitter in Real Life) friends!

See you all soon!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

ILSHRM12 Part 1

This post is the first of a few highlighting the upcoming Illinois State SHRM Conference. Folks ask me why would I go to a State Conference in another state.  After all, I live in Ohio. 

The first reason that I am going is to sample what other state SHRM conferences best practices are.  You see, I believe in collaboration not COMPETITION.  State Councils don't compete for members between other states (in most cases).  So, why wouldn't we share with each other best (and worst) practices? By the way...they have an app for that.  It's awesome. Thinking it may be something for OHSHRM13????

That leads me to the next reason why I am geeked to be going to this conference. My Twitter friend @DaveTheHRCzar (you can also find him here  invited me to ILSHRM12 after a Tweetchat called SHRMCHAT.   I get to meet so many Twitter friends IN REAL LIFE!!!  Here is a sampling of them - I encourage you to follow them either on their blogs, Twitter, or LinkedIn. 

@new_resource (so geeked to be meeting a fellow Buckeye in IL...go figure)

And the list isn't finished.  So...if you are coming to ILSHRM12 - let me know.  I can't wait to meet you! If you aren't going, why not???  Visit their website at
Next week, I'll post on the awesome conference sessions themselves.  I am going to meet some amazing HR peeps that I can learn so much from. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Barriers to Innovation

I wrote this post several months ago, but am just now launching it.  You see, I wanted to give you a better insight into these "Tweetchats" I referred to last week.  One Tweetchat that I try to attend at least once a month is "TChat" better known as Talent Chat.  "TChat" is every Wednesday, from 7-8pm EST. If you aren't familiar with Meghan Biro and Kevin Grossman, you should be.  The Talent Culture blog can be found at

That particular night, a very diverse and multi-national group of folks were discussing innovation in the workplace.  There were three topics that left me thinking...

1.  Are we leaders or managers (and I don't mean your job title)?
             My honest answer: manager 

2.  Do we foster an environment of innovation in our workplaces?
             My honest answer: I don't foster an environment of innovation

3.  How do we remove barriers to innovation in our workplaces?
             My honest answer: I'm not sure

This Tweetchat left me thinking about my purpose in the workplace.  Sure, we are all paid to "do a job." However, what would we do if we let our team members stop managing and start leading.  By the way, I haven't completely figured this out yet.  I probably never will.  But the folks on that chat had some great ideas to get me started. 

So, I encourage you...start your Tweetchat lurking with "TChat" next week.  Let me know what you learn!

Have a great week!

You can catch the recap of that chat on innovation on Talent Culture's website at:

Thursday, July 12, 2012


What is a Tweetchat? Do I want to participate?  How do I participate?

There are two definitions for Tweetchat:
1.  A live Twitter discussion about a specific topic.
2.  A website that allows you to easily participate in a chat.

Let's start with the first one.  A Tweetchat on Twitter is a live discussion at a set time about a specific topic.  Usually, the chats last about an hour.  There is a moderator who will Tweet a question and then participants will answer that question.  When you are participating in the chat, you want to use the hashtag that the moderator has chosen.

For example, Tuesday evening, we had a Tweetchat we call "SHRMCHAT." The moderator of this chat is Joan Ginsberg (you can find her at  We have this chat the second Tuesday of every month at 8pm EST.  Joan will post the questions ahead of time on her blog.  This gives you the opportunity to decide if it's a chat you would like to join as well as prep answers to the questions. 

Our chat this past Tuesday was on Conferences.  Joan tweeted a question about every 10 minutes. When she tweeted a question, it would look like this:

Q5. What are the 2 or 3 most important attributes of a successful conference director? #SHRMCHAT

Then if you wanted to respond to that question, you would answer with:

A5: Personality, Personality, Personality #SHRMCHAT

Remember, if you are using Twitter to participate, you need to type that hash tag with your answer or folks won't see it in the thread.  When I first started attending tweetchats, I used Twitter and the search feature to watch the threads come through.  However, if I wanted to respond, then I had to go out of the search function, tweet my response, and then go back into the search function to watch all the responses.

Thus - my good friend Becky Robinson (you can find her at told me about  There are several different websites you can use to participate in tweetchats.  I like, myself.  They explain very simply how it works.  When you tell the application what hashtag you are following, it will automatically type that for you when you tweet a reponse.  It saves time!

Ok HR Twitter Pros, what else should our new friends to Twitter know about Tweetchats OR What Tweetchats should they participate in?

Remember, #SHRMCHAT is the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 8pm EST.  Hope to see you there next month!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Are you being followed?

This next post in my Twitter lineup is on following and being followed.  We all know there are spammers out there.  If you didn't know that, you do now.  Twitter is no exception.  In fact, the latest spam I received from one of my Twitter Friends (that I have met IRL) said the following:

"Hello somebody is saying really bad things about you..."

This came to me, from my friend's account (at least it sure looked like it) in the form of a direct message.  My first instinct is to click on the link.  Who could it be and what have I done to them?  Then that small voice in the back of my head (actually it's my husband's voice) reminds me not to click links that I can't be sure are legitimate.  I'll admit I have fallen for that before and it causes my husband hours of fixing my computer. 

Usually when this happens, someone has hacked into and sent that message via my friend's account.  If this happens to you, go in and change your password.  Not too much harm done.  If you have used that password for other non-Twitter accounts, my recommendation is to change the password on all those accounts too. 

What about when someone follows you and you know that they are a spammer?  This is usually because their tweets are nothing but links that are not legitimate, they have no info in their profile, and they have no avatar.  You have the option to block this account from following you again.  You can also report them to Twitter as a Spammer. This is done from the Profile section when you pull up your followers. 

It's important if you have a fully public account (meaning your Tweets are not private/protected & you allow anyone to follow you) that you review your followers periodically.  Obviously, you want to return the follow if it is someone you are interested in having contact with. 

Alright Twitter Pros...any other spammer tricks our new friends to Twitter should watch out for?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Direct Messaging

The next thing I want to cover about Twitter is Direct Messaging.  This is a feature that allows users that are following each other to send a 140 character message that only those two individuals see.  Ok folks, it's an email.  

Here are some uses for DM that I have experienced:
  • I participated in a tweetchat and someone wanted to contact me offline to discuss a new idea they had.  I DM'd them my phone number.  Obviously, I didn't want the entire Twitterverse to have my cell phone number (and sorry, you're not getting it here either).

  • A friend of mine saw that I checked in on foursquare very late at night at a local hospital.  She DM'd me to see if there was anything she could do to help.

  • Another friend of mine, DM'd me to make sure it was OK to feature me on their blog. Of course I said yes!
Direct Messages are short and sweet.  Not intended to be a lengthly email.  Here is one last reminder about DMs.  Both users have to be following each other or else you can't DM them. 

OK, Twitter pros.  What else should our new friends to Twitter know about DMs?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Twitter Speak

I have met (HNMIRL) so many new folks to Twitter over the past few months.  If they are anything like me, Twitter can be overwhelming.  There are so many acronyms to figure out.  I spent the first few months of my Twitter life "lurking."  I followed a few folks on Twitter and then watched what they did.  So, here are a few Twitter terms to get you started. 
  •  Your Twitter handle is your user name.  All handles start with an @ symbol.  My name on Twitter is @nicoleoch. 

  • The # symbol is for searching/trending on Twitter.  It's called a hash tag.  For instance, if I wanted to see all the Tweets surrounding our upcoming Ohio State SHRM Conference I would do a search for #OHSHRM. 

  • RT means re-tweeted.  If someone on Twitter likes something you said, they will re-tweet it to their followers.

  • MT means Modified Tweet.  If someone on Twitter wants to add some commentary  to a tweet you wrote, but their commentary exceeds the 140 characters allowed, then they have to modify the Tweet.

  • #FF - This one took me a little while to understand.  It stands for Follow Friday.  If you wanted to let your followers know about someone they should be following you would tweet, "#FF to these awesome #HR pros @davethehrczar @jrkuhns @sbrownehr @trishmcfarlane"

  • DM - This stands for direct message.  Twitter has a feature called direct messaging.  I'll get deeper into this on a future post.  Just understand what the definition is for now.

  • HNMIRL - My friend @davethehrczar created this one.  It means "have not met in real life."

For my Twitter Friends, leave a comment with some of the "Twitter Speak" that new to Twitter users should know!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

To Tweet or Not To Tweet...

That is the question!

So many HR Professionals don't see any value in using Twitter for Business Use.  Most follks think it's nothing more than sharing your Four Square location, discussing what you had for dinner, or posting pictures of your dog.  I, on the other hand, have seen firsthand the usefulness that is Twitter.

I have received breaking NLRB news about the recent overturn of the expediting of the union campaign process.  I have received information on HR job openings in our area (and around the US) and have sent the info on to collegues that were looking for a position.  I have received updates from the SHRM foundation on scholarship opportunities.  I have met a native Ohioian that's on a mission to help folks get help with their resumes.  I have received info on new product launches by my favorite companies.

So, who do I follow on Twitter?
  • I follow news - Business (@TLNT), National (@CNN), and Local (@13ABC). 
  • I follow other HR Professionals - Local (@karlinn2cool), State (@sbrownehr), and Regional (@davethehrczar) and National (@jrkuhns)
  • I follow SHRM and their associated - @SHRM, @SHRMFoundation, @SHRMFdnBeth
  • I follow Job Boards - @HRJobs
  • I follow Leaders - @SimonTBailey, @ChinaGorman, @Lolly Daskal, @beckyrbsn
  • I follow awesome folks that just want to make a difference in our Profession - like @new_resource.  If you don't know who Chris Fields is, you should check out his blog here.
If you are not on Twitter, I suggest you check out this link.  It's Twitter 101 for HR Professionals by Mark Stelzer (another great resource if you are in HR).  He does an outstanding job helping us get acquainted with this Social Media Tool.

We are going to take the next few weeks to cover some topics that I wish I had known more about when I started Tweeting.  Things like, Terminology, Blocking Spammers, How to use the search tools, Tweetchats, and Lists.  If there is something additional you would like to see a post about, please let me know. 

So...Who do you follow?

Thursday, May 31, 2012


The last post in this series focuses on following companies on LinkedIn.  For those of you who have a limited amount of time to spend on social media (hint==>all of us) you may be asking yourself why you should follow companies on LinkedIn.  Here's a few reasons why I follow the companies I do:

1.  It's my company.
2.  I like the products or services that the company offers.
3.  I love to see how other companies use social media.

Let's start with the first item.  If your company is on LinkedIn, and you are on LinkedIn, then why aren't you following them?  I bet your company posts job openings, talks about new products or services, and their company profile page will show you the new folks that started at your company that are also on LinkedIn.  Seriously, I shouldn't have to beg you to follow your own company.

The next reason is because I like the products or services that the company offers.  This is an easy one to share with you.  I follow Duracell - you know, the battery people.  I follow them because of the work they do with the Red Cross.  My dad works with the Red Cross when there are disasters across the country.  When he went to Alabama a few years back, I found out that Duracell had a semi-truck brought in that had huge batteries on it.  People could plug in cell phones, emergency lights, and anything those local victims needed to plug in as well as what the volunteers needed to do their job.  I was so proud of how that company helped during a time of disaster. is the main reason I follow companies on LinkedIn.  I LOVE to see how other companies are using social media to market their employment brand and company culture.  One company that I find intriguing is Deluxe Corporation.  When you go their company page on LinkedIn, you will find an overview of the company (including any connections you may have with people at that company), Careers that they have available, and Products and Services that they offer. 

I first came accross this company through a blog post by JenniferMcClure from Unbridled Talent, LLC.  Side note...Jennifer is an amazing human being that can help your company with social recruiting and employment branding.   Deluxe uses everything from their own company blog, to youtube videos showing the environment you would be working in, to what their lunchroom looks like via LinkedIn! What a way to involve a candidate from the start in the recruitment process.

So, tell me, what companies do you follow on LinkedIn? And why?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

LinkedIn Groups

Why should I belong to a group?

The next facet of LinkedIn that we will talk about are Groups. For the longest time, I didn't understand the value of a group.  Then I joined a few.  Some of the groups I belong to are BGSU College of Business Alumni (GO FALCONS!), The Ohio SHRM State Council, and LinkedHR.  I want to talk more in depth about each of these groups so you can understand the value.  Again, it's not about the numbers.  It's about the usefulness of the group. 

The BGSU College of Business group is valuable to me because I can follow what's happening at my alma matter.  They post when there are seminars, upcoming job fairs, and general announcements.  However, as an alumni I can post things as well.  Just last month there was a posting for 2 IT Recruiters needed in Akron.  You may be able to connect someone to that open job.

The Ohio SHRM State Council is an awesome group because we share chapter best practices, blog posts that are of interest to Ohio (and national) employers, and events all around the state.  We have had 11 discussions started this month alone!  The knowledge sharing on recent legislation is a valueable resource too!

Finally, LinkedHR is another group I belong to.  I will be honest.  There is a lot of traffic that flows through this group.  I only check out the discussions maybe once a month.  Topics in this group are anything and everything HR related.  You do not have to be in HR to belong to this group.

I do want to explain about the private vs. public groups.  My first two examples are privates groups.  Just like a connection, you have to ask to belong.  Whoever created and administers that group gets to decide if you can be a part of it.  The last group is open to anyone who wants to join.  Just to put things into perspective, when I wrote this post here were the stats of how many people belong to each of those groups:

BGSU College of Business                1,174 people
The Ohio SHRM State Council            454 people
LinkedHR                                     663,083 people

So, choose wisely or you can get caught up in the numbers game.  Remember, if you are going to try LinkedIn be intentional about the connections you make and groups you join.  Build those relationships.  You never know when you might need a Link...

For my readers that are already on LinkedIn and members of groups - what group would you suggest to newbies to LinkedIn?

Thursday, May 17, 2012


      In case I haven't introduced myself enough, let me tell you about another passion in my life.  I am the current President of our local HR Association and a proud member of the OHSHRM State Council.  Our local association meets once a month to collaborate on issues facing our tri-county area.   I am so lucky to be on a Leadership Team with 9 other AMAZING HR people.  One of the recent discussions from our Leadership Team revolved around the use of social media.  The percentage of our members that are active online in social media was around 50%.  So, these series of posts are for those 50% not active yet.  We'll convert you!

The Ohio SHRM State CouncilBTW, we had two recent converts to Twitter at our OHSHRM State Council Meeting - here's a big shoutout to @HRStella and @karlinn2cool.  These are two outstanding human resource professionals here in Ohio.  You should connect with them.

On to business...

The next step to successfully creating your LinkedIn Profile is to connect with other business professionals. 
There are two ways to do this. 

The first option is to search for someone you know.  In the upper right hand corner there is a search box.  You can search several ways using this field, but right now let's concentrate on people.  You can search by full name, just first name, or just last name.  You'll notice that LinkedIn will auto-suggest some potential names.  There is also an advanced option that allows you to enter in their location, industry, or job title.  All of this can be done from the home profile page you created. 

The second option is to use the Add Connections link.  Once you are in your home profile page, click on the tab at the top that says "Connections."  Once there, in the upper right hand section is an Add Connections link.  Go ahead and click that link.  You will notice several options for finding people.  You can enter email addresses of people you know, you can search for colleagues you currently work with, and you can search for alumni you went to school with.

These two options help you find people that are currently on LinkedIn.  Once you have identified someone you want to connect with, you click on the yellow connect box in the upper right corner.  You then have to choose one of the radio buttons to show how you know your connections.  PET PEEVE ALERT: Please change the canned response in the optional message at the bottom. Let folks know why you want to connect with them. Start building those relationships from day one.

The next step in connecting with folks is done on the flip side.  Just because you want to connect with someone doesn't mean that they want to connect with you.  They have to accept your invitation!  On that note, you don't have to connect with everyone who sends you an invitation. 

So, go at it!  Start connecting with people.  Just remember, it's not about the number of connections you have .  It's about the genuine relationships you can build online, one connection at a time!
I met a new peep at the OHSHRM State Council Meeting.  I just sent her an invitation to connect.  Who will you connect with?




Thursday, May 10, 2012

Social Media What???

I am the first to admit that just about everything has been written about the use of social media in HR and business in general.  What to do, what not to do.  And the choices of where to start, should I have a LinkedIn Page, Twitter, Google+, or Facebook page?  Should I blog? What is a blog?  The options can be very overwhelming. 

Here's where I started.  LinkedIn. 

It's the world's largest professional network on the Internet (it says so on their website!).  There are 161,000,000 professionals on LinkedIn.  I created a profile to be able to connect with other professionals.  So, if you are interested in dabbling in social media, I suggest you start here.

Creating a profile on LinkedIn shouldn't take you more than 15 minutes.  LinkedIn does a great job of walking you through step by step.  Be thorough! Don't leave your picture blank (but don't put a picture on that you will regret down the road!). 

Once you have created your own profile, there are so many other things you can do on LinkedIn:

  • You can send messages to individuals asking them to connect with you
  • You can join a group
  • You can create a group
  • You can follow companies
  • You can create your company's LinkedIn page
  • You can post jobs
  • You can search for jobs

The list is somewhat endless.  That's because you can choose how much (or how little) time you spend on this social media site.  In my next few posts, we'll talk in greater detail about how to use some of the features of LinkedIn. 

I'm curious...

         Where was your first venture into Social Media ?