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Not rocket science, simply helpful.

Acquiring The Souls of Boomerangs: The #NewWayToWork


We live in an age of diminishing talent in many fields, tech being the most obvious. With the proliferation of mobile technology and do-it-yourself apps, there is less interest in pursuing software development degrees.

Companies are going to extremes in interviewing and screening to hire the top people. Google may put a candidate through 25 interviews. Twitter does 5 interviews in one day with interviewers from different parts of the company and must have a consensus of at least 4 to make a job offer.

At the same time there is a dearth of tech talent to be found in Silicon Valley. Google, being the behemoth, will buy candidates right out of Twitter's hands with shares. Google will also hire people to get their ideas off the street. But not everyone is Google. And more often companies are now opening remote offices in order to hire talent in other parts of the world or country.

What is the price of this war? There is a definite price on hiring, training, and turnover. In this economy, many companies' main goal is to just hire the brightest people from their competitors.

How do the best companies retain this talent? If they go to extremes to hire from competitors (and they do), then the goal ceases to be that of just putting butts in seats.

The goal must shift. Turnover is now so common that many Gen Y and millennial workers will know within the first few months of employment how long they will stay with an employer. Workers see jobs more as projects which can be done with many different employers over a career.

So they leave every 2 or 3 years. But are some companies keeping these workers longer than others? And what kind of praises do these workers sing of their former employers when they do leave? Are some companies winning the war on employer brand and reputation?

Yes and yes.

The war on talent is won today not with a continual churn of warm bodies. This war is won by acquiring souls.

We must make work so compelling, vital, and urgent that our workforce feels constantly challenged, appreciated, and that they are continually growing. We must give them the tools to be more efficient. And we must make it easy for them to work when and where they want.

Most importantly, we must make an effort to court boomerangs.  If we play our cards right the best workers will work with us again and again in some capacity.


Kevin Wheeler of FutureOfTalent.Org says "We're heading to a world of what I call "Career Mosaics" where people move through various types of employment as their interests, needs, and skills change. One day an employee, another a part-timer, and another a contract worker. This may be interspersed with times when they do not work (at least for money), but travel, learn, chill out, etc. It will be very fungible and much of it will be virtual."

This week I will be in New York participating in a Thinkathon hosted by Purematter and IBM. The Thinkathon is a hands on, interactive think tank-meets-workshop event. It serves as the kick-off event
to a three-day experience in partnership with IBM, all centered around hacking the future of work and the unveiling of IBM's new Mail Next product.

I will be reporting back here with some of the sure-to-be-interesting ideas that come out of this week.

Food For Thought

Here are a few fun resources some of my colleagues who will be in attendance have shared to think about the #NewWayToWork.

Dion Henchcliffe: The new digital workplace: How enterprises are preparing for the future of work





Mark Stelzner: Why working from home is both awesome and horrible





Kevin Wheeler: Future of Talent Work Trends





Some interesting stats from our friends at IBM and Purematter:

•82% used social networks to recruit, versus the 16% average determined in an Jan 2014 IBM Smarter Workforce Institute study*

•Mining community expertise is a grassroots effort (compared to other ambitions where it’s more top-down) – 43% rely on employee evangelists to help kick start adoption*

•Most organizations know what it means to be “social” but many don’t know where to start or how to achieve their goals:*

•74% of respondents define a “social” business as one that uses social technology to foster collaboration among customers, employees and partners

•Only 20% believe their organization is currently acting truly “social”

•Embedding social isn’t just about bolting on a few extra components onto an existing process. It’s about building social capabilities into the underlying systems and making them an integral part of the process: 43% of respondents said company systems are now set to default to social capabilities*

•Despite access to a wealth of social data, less than a fourth surveyed use social analytics to inform their marketing decisions*

•Uncertain ROI is a top two concern across aspirations, yet few (34%) have established formal metrics*

What do you see in your future?  Is it possible for an employer to capture your undying loyalty for a long-term career these days?  Share your thoughts here or on Twitter @fishdogs, and I'll share them with the "futurists" at this week's #Thinkathon.  

Follow the conversation at #NewWayToWork

What Words Get Content Shared the Most on Social Media?

Infographic: Interesting 2014 #SocialMedia Stats

http://ift.tt/1vUaoWL

Interesting 2014 #SocialMedia user stats Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (infographic)



http://ift.tt/1uGAi5Q

I find your lack of a Facebook account highly suspicious. How will I ever see you?




It is anyone's right to choose if they will participate on social channels and share bits of their life.  That being said, it is occasionally difficult to keep up with people in this day and age if they unilaterally ban social media as a method of communication.

Pew research shows that Facebook is used by 57% of all American adults and 73% of all those ages 12-17. Adult Facebook use is intensifying: 64% of Facebook users visit the site on a daily basis, up from 51% of users who were daily users in 2010.  

Half of internet users who do not use Facebook themselves live with someone who does. In addition, some 24% of Facebook non-adopters who live with an account holder say that they look at photos or posts on that person’s account.

So the people who see your updates via their spouse's account are halfway there.  But often you know nothing about their life or current interests if friends of yours don't have their own Facebook account.  Even if someone doesn't often, or ever, update their own profile, many will occasionally "like" or comment on something you post.  At least that way you know they are still alive.

I realize that Facebook isn't for everyone.  I get tired of it constantly.  It's even good to take a break here and there.  But unfortunately it is one of the major ways people communicate these days.  It is also a very powerful business tool.

Think about it.  Do most people respond faster to a Facebook message or an email?

What do you think?  Are your friends missing out if they don't have Facebook?


Personal branding with Social Media



Your prospects want to know more about you.  Give them an easy way to check you out.  It is much better to offer something interesting about yourself right up front than to have your prospects have to go searching for information about you.

I highly suggest linking out to your Linkedin profile, Twitter, or About.me page right from your email signature.  And make sure your email signature is on your every response so it is very easy to find your contact information at any time.

 Have you ever tried to find the contact info of someone you are supposed to have a meeting with and they don't include any in their email signature?  Huge mistake.

This infographic is a nice guide to help you build out your social channels.

There are many more infographics and great stats on my Pinterest page.  Enjoy!





Top 5 Things to Share on Linkedin


There is soooo much content on Linkedin these days.  A few years back, Linkedin began a conscious effort to serve up interesting news items and articles to keep users on the platform longer and more often.  They needed to be less of a bounce-in/bounce-out resume platform.  More eyeballs = more ad revenue.  A simple and effective formula.

A brief content strategy history of Linkedin:
March, 2011 - Linkedin Today, Social news aggregation
October, 2012 - Linkedin Influencer, Thought leader articles
April, 2013 - Linkedin integrates Pulse, News reader and mobile content distribution platform
February, 2014 - Linkedin Publisher, Limited release and eventually open release of Linkedin's blog platform

This content strategy has worked amazingly well, helping Linkedin to skyrocket from under $100m in revenue in early 2011 to $533m in August of 2014.

What can the average user derive from this?  Well, let's see...content works.  And you should be posting some on a regular basis to your own status updates, in groups, through Pulse, and from Company pages.

More eyeballs on your content means more interest in your profile.  That means more clicks on your links, job openings, sales promotions, or resume.  Inbound marketing, pure and simple.

You can now also share content by posting blog articles on Publisher.  Yes, there may be a bit of "I wish I had those minutes of my life back" content posted on Publisher by overzealous "bloggers".  Lars Schmidt and I debated this recently on The Cool Tools Show.

Linkedin conveniently fixes Publisher spam for you by serving up the most popular content at the top of your homepage vs. the most recent content.  And they have this handy publisher guide for best practices to help.

But what about short posts and updates?  What is the best content to post on a regular basis to keep your audience engaged?  I discussed this with SEO Strategist, Joe Youngblood, when I spoke at a recent Search Engine Marketing event.

I have long used a ratio of 5:1 "gives" to "asks" when posting content.  Gives are fun or interesting things your network can use and share with their networks.  Helpful tips, 3rd-party articles, personal anecdotes, instagraphics, fun pics with co-workers are all gives.  Job postings, white papers, surveys, sales promotions are asks.

This 5:1 ratio keeps you looking like a helpful resource vs. a spammy, potential threat (salespeople and recruiters, I'm talking to you).  Here's a video I did on posting good content to illustrate this a bit.

Joe has studied the most engaging content to share on Linkedin, (how many likes, shares, and comments something gets - not what is most often posted by users).  His results are very interesting. *Note they do not take into account the time of day things were posted and some other data that would potentially effect engagement activity.  Still, very interesting.


The number one most engaged type of shared content that Joe observed is a business related contest - through your personal page or company page.  Career achievement announcements get big response as well. Then there are new jobs, for which Linkedin has a whole algorithm dedicated to getting people to congratulate you.

But most people don't have a new job, contest, or career achievement every day about which to post. So the next best thing is a graphic with text that is either work-related, funny, inspirational, or factual.

I wanted to test this, so I started (in a far less scientific, more personal study than Joe's) posting what I call instagraphics, every 3 days or so, to Linkedin.  Sure enough, these got more likes, shares, and comments than most of the other things I ever post.
43 Likes, 5 Comments (Give)
34 Likes, 4 Comments (Give)
34 Likes, 0 Comments (Give)
18 Likes, 2 Comments (Give)
27 Likes, 9 Comments (Give)
30 Likes, 8 Comments (Give)
9 Likes on my profile, 2 Shares and 3 Comments from posting to a group (Ask)
I added some text in the message portion of each status update where I posted these graphics.  Usually it was in the form of a statement, and questions, such as: "Not taking risks is risky. How will you jump out of your comfort zone today?"

Why do I care if I get engagement?  Because I want to be a familiar, helpful, non-threatening face to my network.  This turns cold calls into warm calls.  And when I occasionally ask for referrals or other "asks", I get pretty good results.

The bottom line here is that you should be posting things to Linkedin on a regular basis if you want to network there.  Post "give" content to your own status updates, and in groups where your prospects are members.  Post links to third-party content (helpful stuff that was not written by you or your company).  Post an anecdote and photo from your office or co-workers to showcase your company's culture.  Post a fun or informational instagraphic to entertain the troops.

Then, every once in a while, once you've proven you are a good network citizen, it's okay to reach out for a referral or an "ask" of some kind (job posting, sales promotion, "need a new job", take our survey). 5:1 ratio.

Here, from Joe's research, are the top 5 things to share on Linkedin:

5) Text Advice/Affirmation Graphic
4) Occupational Humor Graphic
3) New Job
2) Career Achievement Announcement
1) Business Related Contest on Linkedin - Be careful to keep it legal!  http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/5-creative-ways-to-use-linkedin-company-pages/

Yes, I made a Top 5 list.  And  I abused quotation marks and parentheses.  Sue me.  But also please let me know what content has worked well for you on Linkedin in the comments below.