Human Resources

Reinventing Human Resources from Native American Wisdom

If you want to know how to make your company retreat transformative, I recommend you get some advice from Jennifer J. Riley, who invited me to join her team this week to teach them how to authentically brand themselves on LinkedIn so that they attract “their” people and help their people find them – clients, employees, vendors, partners, etc.

Branding helps you find “your” people, meaning the kinds of people you enjoy working with and for. It helps you engage with people who need what you offer, know people who need what you offer AND appreciate the approach you take. Successful branding results in building connections that are most likely to achieve tremendous outcomes from working together.

Jennifer’s business is family law, and she is a curator of people. I am one of those people.

Jennifer does not just provide legal services. She has a very inspiring vision of reinventing family law to provide the support that people need to rebuild after legal matters, such as divorce, devastate their lives and their shared resources.

The theme of the company retreat I presented at was New Horizons. All of the retreat’s programming was intentionally designed to stabilize her staff after tremendous growth during one of the most challenging times on the planet to be alive, so that the team can lay a strong foundation from which to build these programs and services.

Jennifer was very fortunate to have grown up around Native American elders who would frequent her parent’s store. She is in the process of setting up a third office location and home in Tucson, AZ, where she hosted her retreat at the ridiculously gorgeous Hilton El Conquistador Resort.

To honor the traditions of the land, the hotel welcomed Larry Redhouse, a Native American flutist, to perform a sunset fire ceremony. At the time Larry started, the evening’s banquet was just beginning and the photographer sent us down to get a group photo. So we all happened to be on the lawn in front of him. As he began, we all fell silent in full reverence of this ethereal sound while the sun blazed the mountains that loom behind the resort with brilliant colors – pink, bronze, and gold.

I am not ashamed to admit that tears fell out of my eyes from the sheer beauty of it all. I felt transported. As he ended a song he turned to us and asked if we were all together in a group, to which we proudly replied that we were the JJR Law Firm party. Then he turned to face us and imparted some Native American wisdom to us along with the rest of his captive audience, all of it deepening our connection as the colors of the mountains grew richer and richer.

A few of his words made the tears drop faster. For one, he advised us to “let it go.” Let go of the pain and anger of wrongdoings against us. Don’t let the pain distract you from the treasure all around. He also shared the philosophy of Mother Earth. Larry pointed to the mountain, which seemed to be shining from within down upon us rather than just reflecting the sun, and told us that to Native Americans, the earth is not a resource; it is a life source. Native Americans appreciate every gift the earth provides, and as we witnessed later that evening when the Yellow Bird Indian Dancers came to share even more about the Apache culture via dance, song, and storytelling, they pay tribute with dance and song for all of the gifts it provides.

Imagine for a moment if this was our normal way of being, not only at home, but at work – paying tribute with song and dance to the pen that signs the accord, or the software that computes the data, or internet that connects us all. Sometimes I do wish I could dance and sing and make technology work better, especially lately. However, the elder dancer of Yellow Bird said that the rain dance they performed was a song of gratitude after the rain, not to will the rain. These traditions are not of asking, but of gratitude. They gladly give back to Mother Earth and take care of Her needs.

I think you know by now where I am going with this.

So, now imagine if companies recognized people as their life source. It would probably look a lot like the retreat, for starters. Jennifer wasn’t just concerned with upskilling her people so that they would produce more. She recognized what they have already produced, especially under extraordinary circumstances. She provided them with training on tools that will enable them to make an impact on the planet that they find meaningful, as well as to protect their data.

She made sure I took the time to help one of her attorneys, Patrick (PJ) McGinnis, craft a LinkedIn invitation to those interested in learning how to protect equine therapy locations from compliance issues, a passion of his.

Another member of her tribe, Cara McClintock-Walsh, secured world-renowned author Colum McCann as a keynote speaker to engage their intellectual and emotional intelligence by being led through his Narrative 4 process.

Jennifer nourished not only her team’s minds, but also their bodies and spirits. She had a nurse teach them how to better care for their physical, emotional, and mental health through the pandemic and beyond.

And yes, they learned team building from a Trader Joe’s team developer.

All the while, she made sure we ate the best food and experienced the beauty of the area by immersing us in it with a fascinating guided hike at Catalina State Park followed by standing yoga.

The resort was not just gorgeous, but highly tuned in to the needs of the group. Someone merely overheard Jason Warburton, Jennifer’s husband and Facilities Manager, say that he forgot his sunglasses and dropped off three free pairs to his table!

Now imagine what this looks like every day. Imagine if company leaders really understood that their workforce is – more than a transactional exchange of output (production) to input (salary), but an ecosystem that needs balance to sustain itself. Furthermore, companies are a part of larger ecosystems, and need to consider the interconnection of their actions and decisions on the world around them.

What if the job of Human Resources or Human Capital was not to get the most out of their investment, but to put back what they harvest? What if doing no harm to their life source was a priority and a minimum standard?

Imagine if companies saw people, not money, as their life source. And what if the individuals of these companies also recognized the earth as a life source? How differently might decisions be made?

If a company really embodied these Native American philosophies, what would we call Human Resources?

Maybe if companies prioritized offering their talent something in the hiring process instead of focusing on what they can garner from candidates, the Talent Acquisition Department would instead be called the Opportunity Center.

Since many people seem interested in disrupting HR, it now makes perfect sense to me to not look to build a better model from scratch, but to borrow from the models gifted to us from wise civilizations around the world – an integrated model. It also makes sense to me to do the same for all the other models that need disruption.

Once these values are imbued into your corporate culture, please, don’t let what happened to indigenous cultures and traditions happen at your company! Find ways to make sure that the elders of your company pass on their wisdom and that the newer members keep the traditions alive!

Make sure your company is not only offering a living wage, health benefits beyond “sick care”, and ample time and conditions for rejuvenation of mind, body, and spirit, but also make sure your people are celebrated and appreciated.

Larry Redhouse – If You Only Knew

The Larry Redhouse Trio :Playing “If You Only Knew”, an original by Larry RedhouseLarry Redhouse – keyboardsKirk Kuykendall – acoustic bassGil Rodriguez – dr…

Karen Huller, CEO of Epic Careering, is the co-founder of The Consciousness Conference (ConCon) and the C3: Corporate Consciousness Co-op community on LinkedIn. She is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a conscious career and leadership development firm specializing in executive branding, talent-values alignment, and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of Mrs. Huller’s 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

Mrs. Huller was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. As an instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, she has helped two of her students win the 2018 National Competition to be named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, to win the 2019 People’s Choice Award, and to land in the top 8 during the (virtual) 2020 National Competition.

She serves on the board for the Upper Merion Community Center, which she helped establish, and is an advisor to Florida International University for their Women in Leadership program. For her service as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. Mrs. Huller has also been the lead singer for Harpers Ferry, a rock cover band, for 20 years. She lives in King of Prussia, PA with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

When Confidence Becomes a Liability for Leaders

We all feel best when we’re confident, but that good feeling can become a critical obstacle to being a conscious leader.

Our brain’s basic survival instinct makes us hard-wired to seek out pleasure and avoid pain. Both our learning and conditioning depend upon receiving love, and the hormonal releases associated with that feeling that tell our brain we want more.

We all want love. We crave love, and we don’t thrive without it. Thriving is not the same as succeeding or prospering. When I refer to thriving, I don’t mean as individuals. If you are alone and wealthy, you are not considered thriving. Thriving means excelling and achieving balance in multiple, 12 in fact, realms of your life. Those areas are Love Relationship(s), Parenting, Family, Social, Intellectual, Health, Career, Financial, Spiritual, Emotional, Quality of Life, and Life Vision.

Many of these realms rely upon how an individual relates to others, both interpersonally and communally.

The measure of leadership is shifting from successfully getting people to complete tasks to creating self-sustaining leaders who help companies achieve sustainable success, as in not merely financial success, but profit that does not come at a cost to people or the planet. This new definition of leadership is based on major shifts in our society over the last 100 years and various movements from industry to family dynamics to social justice.

The connotation of confidence in leadership is changing dramatically. In the past, there there was a hierarchical power structure, where the top of the organizational pyramid possessed the most power. Now, we are shifting to more of a shared power structure, which more closely mimics what America’s founding fathers had in mind – power to the people. This power shift is causing a lot of conflict everywhere, which we are seeing and even being impacted by down to the individual level.

When the power goes from the top-down, people at the bottom need to be able to rely on the primary leader, or a small group of leaders, to make decisions. In this structure, there is value to having confidence in a leader. Without having any power in decisions, these workers did not have to operate in, or worry about, ambiguity because there was authority. They could surrender their power to someone else and they could focus on the tactile, pragmatic work.

Leadership has been challenged like never before since failures of corporate leadership impacted every individual on the planet in 2008 in varying degrees. Social media has given a powerful voice to people whose voices would otherwise barely be heard by people at the top. What used to happen behind closed doors in a boardroom is now front and center and viral on Twitter the next day.

If you look at the corporate landscape as a whole, now that more of us are clued in to just how prevalent unconscious leadership is, and just how detrimental it can be to everyone, there is little trust that when a leader projects confidence, there is actual substance backing it up. Closed boardroom doors are now an ominous signal that decisions are being made that will adversely impact the majority and benefit a few.

The world of talent, which is essentially what makes corporations run, is realizing that bias and assumption drive division and create branding liabilities that threaten short-term and long-term profit.

Leaders are being forced to question everything. So, how can a leader even have confidence in an environment like this, where we have unprecedented events that no past corporate leaders have previously navigated, let alone have successfully navigated, in order to lead to any level of confidence? Even data and science are moving targets.

Confidence is an enigma. It feels awful to be uncertain about your ability to lead, to not have certainty that decisions and actions will have positive outcomes. It feels awful to be constantly questioned and scrutinized. The reinforcement that humans need in order to learn and grow is severely lacking.

What can leaders do to inspire future leaders – the leaders we will need to solve tomorrow’s problems?

The answer is self-love.

Traditionally, we don’t associate love with professional success, but it is quickly becoming visible as the exact void that needs to be filled in order to navigate the volatility and ambiguity being forced upon leadership today.

The difference between self-love and confidence is that confidence relies upon certainty and self-love is unconditional. Corporate training has been pushing ethics as the way to combat corporate conflicts that threaten sustainable profit. However, that effort has proven ineffective and emotional intelligence is quickly taking its place. This is because neuroscience has developed.

There have been several major discoveries the led to this shift. We have discovered:

  • The parts of the brain responsible for emotional intelligence, the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala, do not fully develop until the third decade of life.
  • The brain is plastic, and parts of the brain can be developed just like muscles with the right nutrition and exercise.
  • Self-criticism, personal trauma, and stress inhibit emotional intelligence.
  • Self-love and mindfulness enhance emotional intelligence.
  • People cannot simultaneously be operating in ego while also operating with emotional intelligence – they are at odds.

Knowing this, leaders can feel certain in their ability to lead in uncertain times by making self-love and mindfulness a habit. The ego is our protection, and confidence is run by the ego while our level of emotional intelligence is directly correlated to our level of self-love. In a state of confidence, that good feeling can cause our brain to block out any new information that threatens that good feeling. This causes leaders to be resistant to feedback, input, external ideas, and change – high risks for companies today as the pace of change accelerates.

What do I mean by self-love?

I don’t mean a sexual kind of self-love, though I’m not excluding sexual self-love from self-love practices, either.

I mean the emotional self-love – the ability to fully accept yourself unconditionally, to feel worthy of love, to feel lovable, to acknowledge that you are flawed – there is room to learn, develop and grow, and that wherever you are on that journey is perfect, and to see your mistakes as ways to learn.

So many leaders are self-critical, and the outward expression of being self-critical is being critical of others. Even well-meaning, well-intended leaders are unconscious that their criticisms come through at an energetic level and a non-verbal level. Even the most well-trained leaders are trained more in manipulating tone and posture to be non-threatening, which just comes across as passive-aggressive, than in achieving an actual state of acceptance.

Leaders, if you haven’t bathed yourself in love and appreciation for yourself lately, don’t be surprised if when you try it, you feel a powerful release – like a damn breaking. You may cry, you may even feel angry for times way back in the past where you didn’t get the love that you needed. Whatever you feel – allow it! Self-love means also accepting that you are an emotional being with a range of experiences from traumatic to divine.

In the first six weeks of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint, a year-long certification program for corporate leaders aspiring to make better decisions, expand influence, and contribute to calming the chaos in our world, participants get to learn, try and create habits around self-love using mini-practices that can be done in less than 5 minutes daily, yet have exponential rewards that transcend professional performance and success. They are completely transformative to how leaders achieve peace of mind, interact with the world around them, and shift from a paradigm of lack and volatility to abundance and benevolence.

We are currently filling our next case study to start next month. Schedule your consultation today!

Demi Lovato – Confident (Official Video)

Demi’s album CONFIDENT available now! http://smarturl.it/dls2 Amazon http://smarturl.it/dlams2 Google Play http://smarturl.it/dlgps2 Stream http://smarturl.i…

Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) where some of her students won the 2018 national YEA competition, were named Ernst & Young’s America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award. 

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

Renewing Your Team Bond With Personal Branding and MT/EQ Training

It may seem pretty simple to state this, but the thing that brings people together more than any trust fall is understanding.

As a client’s team member said yesterday during her personal branding consultation, everyone is a product of their experiences and everyone who has an opinion has it for a reason.

What if we gave up the idea that one person’s opinion is more valid than another’s? It’s true that some opinions are more educated than others, but if we stayed open to the idea that even educated opinions are still opinions, not facts, society might make leaps and bounds in innovation. Science is not static and few cause-effect relationships are linear, especially when it comes to people.

For employers who are committed to protecting the health of employees and who are sensitive to their concerns about COVID, team building during a pandemic has to evolve from in-person venues to virtual venues. This may feel like a challenge. The good news is there are equally, if not more, effective virtual options that can not only renew team bonds, but also create greater harmony, increase productivity, elevate engagement, and even help leaders discover new ways to leverage the talents, experiences, and passions of their team members.

Companies already understand the value of corporate branding, even if they don’t invest in it or implement it. For many companies, providing personal branding services may seem like a way to make talent prime for the picking by competition. However, engaging a personal branding expert to help employees, especially executives and front-line, customer-facing employees, hone powerful personal brands has a quadruple bottom line that can solve issues many managers are most pained with right now, such as low engagement, loss of identity, disjointed teams, and risks of or realized turnover.

When a company invests in personal branding, included is an assessment of alignment with the corporate brand. Any deviation from alignment causes exactly the pains described above.

When you combine personal branding with Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence mini-practices, training, and coaching, employees gain clarity on who they are, why they are there, how they relate to each other, and the greater vision of their future with the company. They learn how to integrate the mini-practices into full-capacity (in terms of time/energy or both) schedules.

In fact, while strong time management is usually given credit for people’s effectiveness to deliver on time, especially during now with the world’s volatile state, energy management is the skill employers want to enhance if they are finding that their employees are not able to work at full capacity, whether at home or in the office, especially if the suggestion or mandate that they will be doing additional training or team building feels more like a burden than a benefit. In fact, energy management training is what most employers can do to alleviate immediate pain and create capacity for additional training.

Ethics training has proven ineffective. However, thanks to breakthroughs in neuroscience, we know exactly what part of the brain is responsible for emotional intelligence, that the brain is “plastic,” meaning that you can develop parts of the brain like a muscle, AND various techniques to accelerate the development of emotional intelligence. Every day I hear people in my HR and recruiting circles talk about the growing importance of hiring for soft skills and developing hard skills, but there are just are some experiences that can’t be replaced. In fact, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, including a story a client told me two days ago, that someone was tolerated by a company because the benefits of their experience outweighed the risks of their behavior. Hiring for soft skills may work for entry-level and junior positions for which you expect to train the employee anyway, but it’s just another hiring fantasy to think that it would be at all cost-effective or beneficial to the company in the short or long-term to hire a senior person who has the right people skills and turn them into subject matter experts. It’s generally accepted that a professional will make an investment of ten years (K. Anders Ericsson) or 10,000 hours (Malcolm Gladwell) to become an expert.

Now, when a company combines on-the-job training with personal branding and MT/EQ training, it has all it needs to realize its vision and mission.

The last quarter of the year is here, and slots are filling up. Schedule a consultation today.

Together or apart – Lissie

Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube.

Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) where some of her students won the 2018 national YEA competition, were named Ernst & Young’s America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award. 

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

Conversational Intelligence – Answer The Call To Conscious Leadership

As usual, our topic for this month’s Answer the Call to Conscious Leadership event was voted on by our C3 community as something people wanted to know more about. One of our members, Phil Williams, actually mentioned it in his comments in last month’s event, and through that engagement, he was asked to be a panelist this month, which is really an ideal path we would like all of our members to take advantage of. I, then, used my sourcing skills to secure another expert, and I have to say I hit the jackpot in finding Gabriela Herrero, C-IQ Certified Conversational Alchemist.

This month, we shifted our platform to make it possible for people outside the C3 community to attend live and access the replay, though unless you were connected to Lawrence Henderson, you would find it hard to find that replay. We encourage you to invite other conscious leaders and aspiring leaders to request membership in the C3 community to watch the full event, which this month lasted about 40 minutes.

In that time, we covered:

  • The 3 levels of building trusting relationships
  • The 3 stages of elevating trust in conversations
  • The #1 step to enhancing conversational intelligence
  • Why conversational intelligence is a vital skill for conscious leaders
  • Why some leaders fail to communicate and how to overcome that challenge
  • What ho’oponopono is and how it relates to emotional and conversational intelligence
  • How to accelerate the path from self-awareness to being consistently conscious
  • The role of neuroscience in building conversational intelligence
  • Some of the hidden syndromes from which leaders often suffer subconsciously
  • How to ensure that you are being thoughtful in your conversations
  • What is needed for leaders to gain self-awareness
  • What conscious leadership is really about
  • Why a having a coach is the key to continual growth in conversational intelligence
  • How various cultures use language, build trust, and perceive feedback
  • What feed forward is and why it is a more palatable alternative to feedback
  • How co-creation becomes a source of renewal for leaders in a time when energy and time are extremely limited resources
  • What resilience is all about and why leaders need it
  • The importance of resilience and flexibility, and which comes first

This is not even an exhaustive list! As you can see, this hour that we co-create together provides tremendous value, and our C3 community continues to grow and increase in engagement.

We want to promote your intellectual value! We want your conscious leadership solutions to reach the people who need them!

If you haven’t already, please share your expertise with the community and suggest topics for which you could be a panelist. Answer the Call to Conscious Leadership topics are decided on by our community according to what are the most relevant and intriguing topics, which means that YOU could be our next panelist.

You can also be a host, so if you want to try your hand at that role, we want to offer you the chance to facilitate these amazing co-created conversations.

Check in with the community today!

Peter Gabriel – Come Talk To Me

The opening track off the DVD film based on his Secret World Live video. Pretty much the greatest thing I’ve ever seen.

Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) where some of her students won the 2018 national YEA competition, were named Ernst & Young’s America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award. 

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

If You Really Want to Build a Talent Community, Try These Tips

I first heard of talent communities circa 2012 from Mahe Bayireddi as he was founding Phenom People. Had I still been in recruiting at the time, I probably would have been all over it, as it seems like a great, easy way to pluck talent on demand that is already engaged with your brand. Having been trained in branding as a recruiter in 2005, it really would have aligned with what we were taught – to establish long-term relationships by being strong resources and adding unique value from our experience.

Perhaps, having had an entrepreneurial interest, I would have helped my firm launch a branding and talent community-building service for our clients. It might have helped my firm establish itself, but I’m skeptical that it would have really done anything to accelerate or improve hiring for most of our clients, and I’d like to explain why.

By 2012, I had been working with and for job seekers rather than companies (with a few exceptions.) When you see the hiring process from the candidate’s perspective, you realize candidates aren’t buying into this whole talent community thing.

Even though coaches like me have spent the last 20 years teaching corporate professionals to compile and research target employers and conduct a campaign that is proactive, the vast majority of candidates conduct reactive job searches. They look for job postings when they’re ready to change jobs and use the method that is immediately in front of them – applying through job boards.

Companies have traditionally favored recruiting talent from its competition, but it’s not great career management to jump ship because a company you vied to work for when you were looking is finally ready to hire.

Last week I attended Talent Experience Live, a live LinkedIn event hosted by Natalie McKnight and Devon Foster of Phenom People. The topic was talent communities, and Randy Goldberg, VP of Talent Acquisition Strategy at MGM, was also there to share tips.

I took the opportunity to ask these experts a couple of questions, such as how they measure success and which metrics they track. Goldberg advised running your talent community initiative combining engagement efforts with marketing best practices, such as using technology and segmented messaging.

So, using traditional marketing tools, they create various groups of talent, create tags, send customized e-mails to each group, A/B test various messages, and track the number of e-mail opens, along with the number of clicks on apply links. Using these tools, he said MGM has achieved an 80% open rate, which is amazing.

Building a talent community is not as simple as setting up some great automated tech and hiring some marketing people to post on social media or send out a company newsletter. You can do that, but ROI will escape you…unless…

Your company has already established its brand as an employer of choice. Admired companies and industry leaders like Disney, Google, Marriott, Apple, and MGM will be able to implement technology and marketing to build talent communities because they are on people’s radar as a place where they can work among the best and brightest. While marketing directly to people, they can also market to any number of startups or competitors.

If you really want to build a talent community, you have to first brand your company as an employer of choice. Your talent must be perceived as the best and the brightest, and your policies and culture as lifestyle-friendly.

One of the other questions I asked Goldberg was whether executive branding was part of their talent community strategy. He said that executives are doing more publishing and public speaking – keynotes, panels, podcasts, and live events (obviously), such as Talent Experience Live.

This is a great way to make your company superstars more accessible, but it’s just one small component of executive branding.

Executive branding is a multi-tiered strategy that, to be truly effective, will require you to brand at the macro AND micro-levels. Praise and promote your front line just as much as your C-Suite. Also, show your prospective talent that employees have an admirable lifestyle. Show them who they are outside of their company identity.

Goldberg had a good point about not sending e-mails from a “do not reply” e-mail address. Offer a channel for your audience to connect with a REAL person. This demonstrates great empathy with job seekers.

The other thing that your company will have to fine-tune if you are going to be successful at attracting future superstars to your candidate pool is the candidate experience. The experience MUST match the hype! Goldberg mentioned that MGM allows its talent community to interact with its alumni. That’s employer brand confidence.

This requires standard operating procedures followed by every stakeholder involved in hiring. This includes non-automated, HUMAN standardized follow-up protocols for candidates who interview, rolling out position status updates to applicants, transparent salary negotiations, and comprehensive onboarding and training. Acknowledge and fix what people complain about on Glassdoor.

Furthermore, your company had better offer opportunities for diverse, dynamic (hard + soft, professional + personal) development, be proactive about succession planning and development planning, and practice transparency in communications throughout the organization.

Do not invest in building a talent community until your employer, executive, and employee brand are solid!

When you do, think not just in terms of marketing metrics, but also make sure that you have a way to tie this campaign with time to hire and the quality of hires, because what good is attracting candidates already engaged with your brand if they don’t land and succeed.

Are you realizing that your company needs to develop its executive branding? Schedule a consultation today!

New Edition – Cool It Now (Official Video)

Revisit New Edition’s number 1 songs here: https://UMe.lnk.to/NewEditionNumberOnes Listen and follow the New Edition Best Of Playlist: https://UMe.lnk.to/New…

Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) where some of her students won the 2018 national YEA competition, were named Ernst & Young’s America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award. 

Mrs. Huller is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

Organizational Leadership – Answer The Call To Conscious Leadership

This past Tuesday’s Answer the Call to Conscious Leadership event featured insightful takeaways about organizational leadership.

Along with the added expertise of our guest panelist, Geralyn Smith, HR and Leadership Development Consultant, we discussed:

  • The steps to take to start building relationships with organizational leaders
  • How the human resources discipline has evolved, why, and where is it going
  • Where human resources professionals tend to want to grow midway through their career
  • Why organizational leadership has become such a niche focus
  • How to get human resources a seat at the table
  • How to explain the strategic role human resources can play vs. the tactical role many leaders perceive HR to be
  • The top tools and methods to use to demonstrate the value that HR has to offer
  • The best ways to reconcile the company expertise of HR with the functional/technical expertise of hiring managers
  • Why corporate leaders circumvent human resources and the resulting costs to the organization, as well as how can HR prevent this
  • What job seekers can do to engage HR as a facilitator rather than a gatekeeper
  • What an HR Business Partner is and why companies need one

You don’t want to miss this replay! Join our amazing LinkedIn Group, C3, for instant access. Geralyn is also a member of the group, so you can tag her and ask any follow-up questions you may have!

Our next Answer the Call to Conscious Leadership event will take place on Thursday, October 1st at 1:00 p.m. ET. Get into C3 now to be a part of future live events. Joining C3 also gives you the opportunity to vote on upcoming training topics, watch replay recordings, and connect with other conscious leaders.

Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) where some of her students won the 2018 national YEA competition, were named Ernst & Young’s America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award. 

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

Curtailing COVID Turnover – Answer The Call To Conscious Leadership

As voted by our C3 Community, this past Tuesday’s Answer the Call to Conscious Leadership event was all about curtailing COVID turnover, but we covered quite a bit about mitigating it altogether.

Our panelists, Kelly Robinson, CEO of Talent Acquisition and Recruiting Consulting firm Panna Knows, and TaJuanna Taylor, Corporate Compliance Project Consultant, had very different, but complementary perspectives on:

  • Why people resist being involved in change projects and how can you engage them
  • The definition of UNculture
  • The critical questions to ask to make sure that your company is talent-ready
  • Where in the talent cycle the turnover is highest, and if it is preventable
  • The top warning signs that your talent needs a check-in
  • Why talent is jumping ship from “secure” jobs in the middle of a pandemic
  • The recommended systems companies can implement in order to stop turnover before it starts
  • How companies can leverage assets they already have to engage and retain talent
  • The critical metric some companies are NOT measuring
  • The risks of hiring talent that is doomed to be disengaged and jump ship during this time
  • The front end measures that need to be taken to make sure that the talent you consider truly represents the talent your company can retain and who will thrive
  • How to give yourself permission for self-care as a leader
  • The long-term impacts of not taking care of your talent
  • When to make concessions in your talent requirements
  • How to get to a point of sustainability in your talent strategy
  • The qualities that leaders need to express in order to master the long-game of retention
  • The crucial difference between managers and leaders, and what’s needed right now
  • The balance leaders must strike between neglect and micro-management
  • The counter-intuitive problem of having a wide talent pool

Wisdom bombs galore, folks! You definitely want to watch this replay! Get in C3 now for access.

I don’t know about you, but I love this event and I love this group. Am I allowed to say love in a corporate setting? Yes, I am! Because this is what we are creating.

We are collaborating to create a more conscious, HUMAN corporate landscape. There are only gains to doing so. The more people who join in, the further and faster we go.

Get in this community and be on the front lines of a movement that is sure to make work better for more people…and the planet. Be one of the founding 100 members, and then when you recognize how powerful it is to connect, commiserate, and collaborate with other conscious leaders and facilitators, invite your people.

The faster we grow, the further we go.

Remember that the next free training in this group is the 3-Day Conscious Decision Challenge starting Wednesday, August 26th at noon ET. Over 3 days, you’ll discover 3 frameworks to determine the course of action that is in the highest good and that will get your people enthusiastically onboard. Register now and see you in C3!

Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) where some of her students won the 2018 national YEA competition, were named Ernst & Young’s America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award. 

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

New Questions for Workplaces in 2020

We saw some tough headlines in the last 10 years force companies to do some deep evaluation of their culture and policies. A few companies emerged as trailblazers, applying breakthroughs in research, technology, and science. They spotted trends before the rest, and started their own trends for the rest to follow (or not).

All the things that we can measure have exploded. We are now drowning in so much data that the next big feat looks to be figuring out what is actually meaningful and consequential to sustainable growth.

As much shade and slack that millennials are thrown from the other workforce generations, they certainly drove many changes. We’ve seen a transition to mobile-focused marketing and an intuitive user experience, along with greater focus on employee rewards.

Now that we’re wrapping up this decade and a new generation is entering the workforce, what do we see on the horizon that will prove influential in the evolution of careering, hiring, and leadership?

Without knowing who will become president, it’s hard to predict what will happen with healthcare, student debt, and consumer debt. Certainly, if healthcare becomes universal, many companies will be forced to completely reinvent how they plan on attracting and retaining employees who were working mostly for benefits. In my 20 years working with job seekers and job changers, I have known many who, if it weren’t for the need for medical benefits, would have opted for self-employment.

Employee benefits

Here are some statistics that can help show just how influential benefits have been in recruitment and retention strategies:

  • 49% of the US workforce currently receives healthcare benefits from their employer.
  • 78% of workers would likely remain with their employer because of the benefits it offers, up from 72% in 2016. (WTW)
  • More than 50% of employees said they have left jobs after hearing the siren calls of better benefits elsewhere. (Randstad)
  • 55% of employees would be somewhat likely to accept a job with lower compensation but a more robust benefits package. (Aflac)
  • 56% of U.S. adults with employer-sponsored health benefits said that whether or not they like their health coverage is a key factor in deciding to stay at their current job. (SHRM)
  • 46% said health insurance was either the deciding factor or a positive influence in choosing their current job. (SHRM)

Keep in mind there are many companies with employees dedicated to helping employers manage health care plan enrollment and administration. Will companies let these employees go or retrain them for other roles within the company?

Employee wellness

A Limeade study found that when employees feel their employer cares about their well-being, there is a significant boost in engagement, retention, workplace reviews, and “extra mile” efforts while hostility is reduced by ten times. Larger companies offer more benefits than any other size companies, and yet they have the lowest engagement. So, we can surmise that offering good healthcare benefits is not enough to make employees feel cared for and/or that offering employer-sponsored healthcare does not correlate to engagement at all, though it does correlate to candidate attraction and retention.

Wellness programs have become wildly popular as well. However, as more companies implemented costly wellness programs, most struggled with adoption and recouping the investment. (We’ve covered why in a 2-part article this year.)

We saw some influential leaders emerge as authors, as well, shedding light on issues like gender gaps in pay and opportunity, sexual harassment, workplace bullying, cyber security, engagement, and physical security.

  • Shawn Achor taught us that being happy at work DOES indeed lead to better engagement.
  • Studies on meditation at work increased exponentially, with new benefits emerging all the time. Companies like Google, Aetna and higher learning institutions like Brown, NYU and Harvard are weaving mindfulness and meditation into core cultural and education initiatives.
  • Ariana Huffington highlighted the need for creative minds to rest.
  • Travis Bradberry has been educating Fortune 500 companies on the implications of Emotional Intelligence.
  • Cy Wakeman has smartly asserted and demonstrated that engagement efforts without accountability breed entitlement.
  • Sheryl Sandberg encouraged women to lean in, own their seat at the table and find a sponsor, not another mentor.

With the rise of school and workplace shootings, we remain to see whether gun control becomes a major area of change or not. Mental health is another key issue. While people are shining a light on how mental illness has become an epidemic, sufferers are crying out to end the stigma.

Just a couple weeks ago Philadelphia Eagles offensive linemen Brandon Brooks left the field in the first quarter due to a debilitating anxiety attack that caused extreme nausea. He stated he was not ashamed nor embarrassed about the event. In the last decade, more and more celebrities came clean about their struggles with anxiety and depression. Others lost their battles before we even knew they were suffering. It’s clear no one is impervious to mental illness. The conversation about how to best treat and support those suffering is just starting, let alone how to address it in the workplace.

Being “woke” is going out of vogue as spiritual elitists fail to be influential in inspiring change. Authenticity, accessibility, and being vulnerable are proving to be much more effective.

Keeping all of this in mind, there are new questions we should be asking in the workplace.

In 2020 and beyond, companies should be able to answer these questions:

How do you address mental health in your workplace?

Are clear protocols in place for employees experiencing hardships?

Are there HR policies in place to protect employees who wish to get help for mental illness?

What is the company policy for determining if an employee needs urgent or professional care for mental illness?

What does the company do to support mental wellness?

How aware are employees of these outlets?

What might stop employees from taking advantage of mental health resources?

What misconceptions do they have?

Here is what I hope to see happening in 2020:

Mindfulness everywhere! It’s not only important for sustainable corporate and individual success, it’s imperative to people and the planet, that we develop self-awareness, emotional intelligence and consciousness at a faster pace than technology evolves.

My Epic Careering Personal Branding tools get funded, built, and adopted on a worldwide scale to put the power of career management back in the hands of the workers. This enables more people to have résumé and LinkedIn content that helps them be identified by employer’s AI as having the potential to succeed in their open and upcoming roles. It also easily communicates the cultural viability of a candidate.

Though I’d prefer people be self-aware and empowered to pursue professional opportunities that align with their innate strengths, joy, and best chance at thriving, employers have to play their part, too. Employers need to be more proactive in helping talent grow up, or even out, from a skills standpoint, a maturity standpoint, and a consciousness standpoint. Leaders must be better coaches. Give people more of a chance to be forthright about their aspirations. Don’t try to retain employees that are better off somewhere else, or who have demonstrated an unwillingness to be coachable and accountable. A person’s best chance at making a meaningful contribution and being fulfilled by it is being in the right job at the right company, as Jim Collins shares in Good to Great.

While technology will surely continue to be tried and applied, and the automated branding journey and content builders will certainly bridge the gap between high-quality talent and the companies who need them, job seekers everywhere are crying out for more HUMAN involvement. Certain applications for technology are not allowing exceptions to rules to get the attention of people who can interpret unconventional strengths as major potential. Let’s let humans do what humans do best – connect with each other and perceive potential.

Personally, I’d like to see one-sided video interviews die. I don’t trust facial recognition AI, nor people, to be free from bias. We’re just not there yet. Two-way (or more) video conferences are a great way to have both candidate and employer feel each other out without the cost and time of travel.

I hope that industries in need of disruption are not sustained just because they employ a lot of people and make a lot of money. Someone needs to step in and make sure that when a faster, better way of healing people, feeding people, housing people, shopping, etc. comes along, there are affordable and accessible programs available to retrain people to get even better jobs.

I hope internet connectivity reaches all corners of the planet and new, profitable opportunities are available to poor and oppressed countries, or even parts of our country.

I hope as more heroes emerge with human limits and behavior, we stop vilifying each other for our weaknesses and mistakes. Certainly, serious offenders will need consequences, but we can’t set the bar so high for leaders that they need to be perfect. This only leads to cover-ups and corruption. I hope we value accountability, honesty, and forgiveness more than we value perfection so more worthy leaders can emerge.

If healthcare was universal, it would no longer be a major driving decision of where a person works. This would absolutely force companies who want to compete for talent to pay closer attention to offering what actually engages people: opportunities for learning, growth and expansion. Plus, a salary that not only pays the bills, but funds a desirable lifestyle now and as we age.

What are your hopes for 2020?

https://youtu.be/THnabGK7mPs

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a 13-year-old leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where some of her students won the 2018 national competition, were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award. 

What If Corporate Talent Worked the Same as Athletic or Performance Talent… Is It Time to Consider It?

“I’ll have my people call your people.”

From time to time people tell me that their job search is taken care of because they have recruiters working on it.

Oh, if only.

I’d estimate that the odds of your recruiters actually being out there searching for opportunities for you is 1,000:1.

One out of every 1,000 recruiters will take time away from the 3-6 “hot” job requirements assigned to them at any given moment (positions for which clients are impatiently awaiting a small handful of perfect candidates), to proactively search for job requirements they are NOT working on so that they can find an opportunity for which to present you.

You might be thinking, “but if they place me, that’s money in their pocket, so…” So, you think that they are dividing their time between efforts on your behalf, and phone screening, interviewing, referencing, testing and packaging candidates for the jobs they have a chance at closing right in front of them?

You think that they are searching the jobs other recruiters are working on in hopes maybe that recruiter will offer a split fee to share you?

Or maybe they are looking to gain some new clients by dangling a superstar in front of them?

Or maybe out of the goodness of their heart, or even in consideration of their personal brand, they will take time away from income-producing activities while they are on the job to let other people know just how great you are and how much you deserve consideration?

I’m not saying this doesn’t happen, it just happens a lot less than you’d hope – 1/1000 of the time.

If you are relying on recruiters to make sure you know about opportunities as they arise, you are making a very common mistake of assuming recruiters have time to spare. Recruiters are notorious for failing to follow up. Again, this isn’t a truth for all recruiters, but most models restrict recruiters from spending time outside of producing and presenting qualified, competitively-priced candidates.

They can’t meet their metrics and their income goals if they do this. It’s why I started to resent being a recruiter and considered becoming a coach, and it’s why you see many other recruiters also coaching.

But what if corporate talent management operated more like professional sports and entertainment management?

What if whenever you were ready for your next big blockbuster hit, you had people working on it and trying to find you that next big gig (plus the paycheck to match it)?

Let’s rewind a bit, because in entertainment you’d still need an impressive portfolio and headshot. Much like in the corporate arena, you’d need a distinctive résumé and LinkedIn profile. In sports, it’s your buzz, your stats, and a killer highlight reel that get you the attention of recruiters. An agent will make sure you have all of the above, and they may offer that service in house or refer you to a trusted expert. Either way, that’s a charge that you, the talent, incur. They would spin your story as one of a star-in-the-making, and hype up your value for you. They would consult to you on managing your image and the narrative.

Then, an industry talent agent taps their network of industry players to find out who needs what you offer, what challenges there are, who is making the decision and when, how long you’d be needed, and what it pays. They mediate between the producers and casting agents to coordinate auditions or readings, and sell, sell, sell them on hiring you while you work your magic and do what you do best to earn the part. Then, if your performance matches the hype, your agent does all of the compensation, conditions and terms negotiating to make you as happy as possible.

The agent gets paid, takes 10-20% of your contract, and pays you the rest.

Think about 10% of your current income. Have you invested 10% of your income on things that will increase your career success and income, as most financial stability/freedom gurus recommend?

Now think about how much you’d spare of your income if someone actually helped you increase your income. Let’s say you make $100K annually. That would be a $10K per year investment, but what if investing $10K got you a $25K raise that year to take an opportunity that also elevated your career, impact, and influence.

Why isn’t this model used in corporate talent management?

Let me first say that there are firms who operate as agencies. Some will even postpone payment until you land while others will help you hone all of your marketing tools, like your résumé and LinkedIn profile, and then promote you to their “elite” network full of VIPs and corporate executives.  They may or may not require that you sign with them “exclusively,” meaning even if you land an opportunity not developed by them, they still get their fee. It’s the only way it could make sense for agents.

I would think that would decentivize job seekers to own their own campaign, and leaving your fate solely in someone else’s hands still seems dis-empowering. How can you be sure that the best possible opportunities were identified?

Have you used this kind of service? Please share if this worked for you, because I have my doubts.

It’s hard to believe that an executive in need of talent would entertain the solicitation of an agent representing a talent they don’t know. I know some recruiters and account managers do try to get a shot at filling a prominent placement by presenting a “dummy” profile filled with impressive stats. In those cases, the recruiter is expecting to get paid by the company should they hire someone, but an agent gets paid by… well, they still get paid by the company. This is because their fees would be negotiated into the salary just as a recruiter’s fee would be.

It can work, but I have to believe that this works a lot less often than if the talent were to personally approach that same executive, even digitally, and conveyed stories instead of stats that demonstrate how he or she can help the company achieve what they aim to achieve.

Times are changing, however. This is the first “job seekers” market I’ve ever witnessed. Maybe now, while the people have the power, is the right time for this model to become more prevalent.

It’s true that usually someone else’s endorsement can be more powerful and influential than your own. Does it reduce credibility if that someone is incentivized to endorse you?

Hiring managers and executives – What would it take for you to entertain interviewing a candidate that was represented by an agent?

Will this just turn hiring into a process where the best sales pitch gets the job? Wait a second. How different is that from our current reality? The difference is that the hiring manager would be dealing with a professional pitch master. Would professional pitch masters be trusted? Would it matter if the talent is truly great?

If this started working on a more consistent basis, more often than having someone in your network recommend you and more often than an effectively written cover letter targeting that person/job, how long would this model work for? Would it still be a valid practice if the economy shifted the other way?

Please share your thoughts and concerns as an ambitious talent or as a hiring manager/executive.

What are some other pros and cons to this approach and what the obstacles you perceive to it being adopted?

Does this solve other problems?

How could it be structured for the optimal benefit of all parties?

Fats Domino – I’m Gonna Be a Wheel Someday

Deluxe edition of Fats Domino’s greatest hits including “My Girl Josephine”, “I’m Ready” and more.. ♫ Listen to the full best of on YouTube → http://bit.ly/2BSub7B ⇓ Stream on Spotify / Deezer → http://spoti.fi/2H8nZI5 / http://www.deezer.com/album/5966978

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a 13-year-old leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where some of her students won the 2018 national competition, were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award. 

10 Reasons NOT to Apply for Jobs Online

Applying online is a dangerous job search habit, and one that can really restrict your opportunity and chances of landing something that is truly a great career move. Even though job seekers are taught and told over and over again by career experts like myself that applying online is a last resort, it remains a go-to resource for job seekers.

I believe there are three primary reasons for this:

  1. In this world of instant gratification, it seems to easy to resist the low hanging fruit. It seems logical to assume that you have to “strike while the iron is hot!” It’s really a case of FOMO (fear of missing out.) The thing is, fear is not a good emotion to make truly logical decisions. I will lay down some logic here that I hope will strike a chord and make obvious that applying to positions you find online is really the last activity you should invest time in.
  2. Habits run on autopilot in your subconscious mind. You may just go on applying without giving it much conscious thought. When I work with clients on their campaign, coaching and habit tracking tools are necessary to install a new workflow that will eventually run on autopilot – one that actually produces great results, reinforces your value, builds confidence and hope, and generates momentum with even less time and effort. These positive results further reinforce the more effective workflow until they become automatic. This turns career management into a pull rather than a push. However, if people are unaware of their automatic programming, it will continue to run undisrupted.
  3. The investment of time in more proactive, targeted efforts to pursue a role seems to feel and look like a delay to being in action. People get antsy knowing there’s a desirable position open and they’re not on record as being in the candidate pool. It’s true – the alternatives to applying online can take more time than simply clicking a button to apply. However, sometimes online job applications are time consuming and they still don’t get you any closer to being considered, let alone being in demand.

Still, here are the top 10 reasons why fighting the impulse to apply online will help your chances of positioning yourself as a real contender for the ultimate offer.

#1 – The Chances Your Application is Seen by Human Eyes

The quality of online applicants compared to the quality of employee referrals, in addition to other metrics that are more frequently tracked like time to onboard, have taught astute hiring professionals that their time is best invested proactively pursuing referrals from trusted talent and contacts while applications roll in as a last resort. Candidates who apply online will often only get looked at after internal candidates, referrals from employees, referrals from friends, and submitted candidates from approved recruiting vendors.

If you are a “cold” candidate, you have to rely on luck and keyword optimization to push you toward the top of the results in the case that referrals don’t pan out. This makes your résumé a tool that can either help you or hurt you, depending on how well it is written to match keywords. This doesn’t give you a whole lot of power to make something happen.

#2 – The Chances of You Getting Hired

Then, if your application is seen by human eyes, those keywords better show up in a context to validate the strength of your qualifications, at a minimum, and your unique value and culture fit, at best. If there are any anomalies in your experience, such as gaps or shorter stints, you have to cross your fingers that there aren’t applicants who appear equally or more qualified, and less risky. You can be moved from a “maybe” pile to a “no” pile quickly.

#3 – Inadequate Competitive Positioning

Even if you do get into the “yes” pile, you have no idea what the human’s perspective is on what position you are in to get an interview. I hope your LinkedIn profile is branded to help you make a strong case for why you’re a great hire and that other candidates don’t come from more trusted sources. It’s not always beneficial to interview first, but if the interviewer doesn’t have any insight as to who you are beyond your résumé, the interview will be conducted somewhat generically compared to how they would conduct the interview if someone had given you a strong endorsement or even if you had been able to effectively endorse yourself in a cover letter. From this position, the interviewer is then more interested in selling you the opportunity than in validating your résumé and mitigating the risk of the unknown that cold candidates present.

#4 – Nullifying Employee Referral Bonuses

While so many top companies have employee referral bonus programs and cite employee referrals as their top source of great talent, they are often under-leveraged, poorly promoted, and disorganized efforts. That means that when there is an opening in a company on your target list, even if you’ve given someone there a heads up that you’re interested, they won’t be made aware of the job opening, and they won’t be proactively seeking out opportunities to refer people for internal roles. I have certainly informed several people who were unaware that their company even offered an employee referral bonus, even though it was on their company’s employee or career page.

We’re all time starved, so it often takes incentives to get people to act on your behalf. Some of these employee referral bonuses can be over $1,000. I don’t know many people who wouldn’t want an extra $1,000 for spending a couple minutes referring someone. Of course, you will have had to reassure them that you will be a strong candidate and a good hire for them to stake their social capital on you.

If you are already an applicant, some employee referral bonus programs will not give credit to an internal referral source.

#5 – Disqualifying Recruiters from Presenting You

It’s certainly more beneficial for you to be recommended by an employee with social capital and clout, but some recruiters have done a fantastic job of building rapport and credibility with hiring managers. That’s why being presented for opportunities by a trusted recruiter may give you a bit of an edge over all the other cold candidates. A recruiter’s job, after all, is to weed out unqualified or unfitting candidates and whittle a candidate pool down to 4 or so top contenders.

When a great recruiter has a strong relationship and understanding of his or her client, the candidates submitted by him or her get top consideration. Of course, you’ll want to qualify your recruiters, and be forthright about where you have already applied. The clients will not involve themselves in any candidate ownership battles. Most of them are clear that only new candidates can be presented by their recruiting vendors; the company already “owns” candidates that come in directly through their career site or other job boards.

#6 – HR Arbitrary Check Boxes

As Liz Ryan pointed out on Twitter last week:

Liz Ryan on Twitter

A hiring manager – that is, your possible future boss – has a completely different perspective and set of of needs from whatever HR is looking for in their tick-a-box exercises. That’s why you have to reach your hiring manager directly, and skip the online job application

 

Why is that? Well, a number of reasons. Just like recruiters can have a solid reputation with hiring managers, they can also lose credibility with hiring managers. Still, they are required to comply with HR procedures, so they will pass along the minimal required details to get HR started on pre-qualifying candidates just in case their network or own individual efforts fail to produce quality candidates, who may or may not get a fair shake.

Another reason is that hiring managers are just more intimately familiar with the nuances of the job and what kinds of people, personalities, and talents lend themselves to success, but the internal HR system doesn’t allow for those nuances to be articulated. It can be too time consuming to communicate those nuances, or the hiring manager isn’t able to articulate them for one reason or another.

Still another possible reason is that passing along check lists is the only way companies have thought of to eliminate having to review unqualified people. They choose things they believe will help improve the chances of hiring someone able to ramp up quickly. At the same time, they systematically rule out people with unconventional careers who can add truly unique value.

A hiring manager has more latitude and perspective to see how out-of-the-box candidates might be able to add something to their team that conventional candidates can’t – IF they have vision, that is.

#7 – Time Suck

You might consider job activities a numbers game, but this is one of the huge myths that lead job seekers to become frustrated and discouraged. When it comes to ROI (return-on-investment) of time in your job search, online applications return the fewest results. Even the results they do produce can be a crap shoot in terms of opportunities that represent your best chances at thriving and succeeding in your new role.

If you invest time based on the probability of that resource producing quality results, you would spend 80% of your time networking (the right way) and 5% of your time on online job boards and filling out applications. After three weeks doing this, you will see your momentum shift at least 3 points on a 1-10 scale.

Limbo sucks. Change is hard. It might seem like applying online will be your best bet at a quick transition, especially if you have reached a senior level in your position. However, you will find that building momentum toward really GOOD opportunities takes more effort, more time and more energy when you’re spending most of your time online.

#8 – The Emotional Abyss

This is the real heartbreaking thing about online-driven job campaigns.  People start to question their worth, their viability, and their chances at improving their financial status. When online campaigns fail, people will blame themselves. This heightens the emotional stress of interviews, impeding your performance. Each interview feels like it “has” to work out. You may find yourself overselling yourself for opportunities that you wouldn’t even consider if you had a competing offer. You may even think you have to make yourself look less qualified. All of the visions of growing and developing in your career seem unlikely, like pipe dreams you have to abandon. You might feel like you’re letting your family down. Worse, you’ll feel like you’re letting yourself down.

In this emotional state, it’s much easier for unethical, inhuman employers to take advantage of your desperation. You may find yourself in a much worse situation, feeling stuck, feeling victimized – unaware that you can actually take control and make something happen.

It’s the whole negative tailspin of career confidence that is the worst part of relying on online efforts to produce results. You’ll never even know how great you could have had it, and you’re unlikely to believe you can have it any better.

Watching my mom go through this emotional abyss is why I do this work in the first place. It seriously breaks my heart.

#9 – The Flood of Irrelevant, Illegitimate Inquiries

I do recommend that my clients set up agents on job boards, and that they set aside 15-30 minutes twice a week to go through them all at once. This helps them better identify redundant postings, and decreases the chances they are persuaded by opportunities that don’t fit what they said they wanted.

Job boards are very misleading representations of how much opportunity is available. You might be tempted to pursue something that is not something you’d otherwise consider, as stated above, and that includes the flood of inquiries that you get to your profile on these job boards that are huge wastes of time disguised as “great opportunities for growth and income.”

Consider this – if technology has not progressed far enough to automatically send you relevant, legitimate opportunities that fit the criteria you entered, how well do you think it’s performing for recruiters in search of candidates? Even AI hasn’t yet made a dent in the quality of results.

#10 – It Is Passive and Inactive

Online resources keep you sedentary and tied to your computer, which isn’t great for your health or mood. Surrendering your power to some unknown force on the other end of an application also isn’t beneficial to you. The best job searches turn fun into results. Spend less time grinding away, and more time on self-care and enriching your life with new contacts.

If you don’t find networking fun, you’re probably not networking with your people. You also probably don’t know what to say that will inspire them to take action, and you were likely disappointed by people who weren’t able or willing to help you in the past.

Networking is not supposed to look like superficial schmoozing with people you don’t like. It’s more like a scavenger hunt that’s more fun with friends – a way to find the people who need you through people who like you and vice versa.


The bottom line when it comes to online campaigns is that there are just better, smarter, and more empowering ways to get yourself closer to the opportunities that are really right for you.

If you’re unsure what they are, I’ve embedded links to helpful articles throughout this post, but you can always reach out to me for some custom insights by scheduling a free consultation.

Mariah Carey – Make It Happen (Official Video)

Music video by Mariah Carey performing Make It Happen. YouTube view counts pre-VEVO: 21,232 (C) 1991 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT #MariahCarey #MakeItHappen #Vevo

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a 13-year-old leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where some of her students won the 2018 national competition, were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award.