Archives for dream employer

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: Listen and follow the New Edition Best Of Playlist:…

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.

10 Steps to Being the ONE Who Gets the Offer: Avoid “Bland Brand”

Day 102/365 by markgranitz on Flickr

Most people don’t get the job. Only one. How do you set yourself up to be that one from the get-go?

It’s your brand. This isn’t just a buzzword, and it’s not something created out of thin air. In fact, you have one whether you are intentional about it or not. Only, if you haven’t been intentional (which is the “I” in EPIC,) it may not be a brand that positions you for what you want, and it might not be noticed by people in a position to give it to you.

Getting it noticed is a step ahead, step 3, though. Let’s just focus now on what you need to ask in order to assess your current brand, which is really how people think of you. Then you can bridge the gaps to include what people really need to understand in order to see that you are special, deserving, and ready for the next step.

[To go back a bit, Step 1 is Focus – I covered that in a video I shared recently, but it’s no longer available.]

Step 2 to landing your dream job is Branding. For job seekers, this means taking that focus on what you want to do most and who you want to do it for, and understanding what your ideal employer needs to know about you to help them quickly determine that you are a person of extreme interest and unique value.

A powerful brand creates a sense of urgency, because if a hiring manager sees your value, so will someone else, and that means that you could be an asset to the competition any day now. That’s a double loss to a company!

The average résumé and LinkedIn profile describe functional duties – what you were responsible for or in charge of doing and what your day-to-day, weekly and monthly duties were.

Do you think presenting yourself as average will attract the attention of your dream employer?

For that matter, will you attract the attention of any employer? Only if that employer is okay with average employees. What kind of job security can a company with average employees offer you? Will you be satisfied working with average people who produce average results? You may, and to each his or her own. My clients would not be, but that’s why they choose to work with Epic Careering. If you aren’t striving for Epic, you aren’t a potential client. This post could still help you, because even if you want an average job, you still need to land it, and you still need to be slightly better than average – otherwise, how is an employer to choose? I can just see them doing eenie meenie minie moe with résumés now.

(By the way, and this may seem obvious, so forgive me, but in order to be seen as an attractive candidate, you first have to be seen. Don’t depend on online applications for this, but again, that’s step 3.)

A. In order to assess your current brand, it’s best to ask others who know you well: What kind of reputation do you think I have?

When people give you generic answers, such as, “You’re a team player,” or “you are results-focused,” get them to be more specific. For example, when it comes to results, ask them to define the kinds of results that you generate, or how they can tell you are focused on results. If they praise you on your ability to work with a team, ask them what they think makes you good at working with a team. These are a couple examples of where and how to dig deeper, but the kinds of responses you might get are limitless. The key is to keep honing in on your UNIQUE way of being valuable in ways that many, many people are valuable. Don’t settle for answers that most people give, or you will wind up sounding like everyone else. That’s a kind of brand, but not the kind that gets the offer – that’s a bland brand.

B. Now you have to take a look at the kind of people that your ideal company wants to hire. Find a company that meets 80% of your criteria (which were developed in Step 1 – Focus.) How? Pick the most critical of those criteria and determine where companies who meet that criteria can be found.

For instance, if you want your company to offer excellent health benefits, Google “companies that pay 100% health benefits.” This worked for me. You may want to put in your state or city, but even if a company is headquartered in a different location, they still may have subsidiaries or locations near you, or they could have remote positions.

C. Visit their employer page to see what they say about the kinds of talent they attract. The better ones will have employee testimonial videos. You’ll still want to rely on other sources. Go to LinkedIn, search for the company, opt to see the employees on LinkedIn. You can sort by titles that resemble the ones you would want. Check out various profiles to see where else people worked, where they went to school, and what they have achieved at work and in their community. You may even see if those same people are on other social media, like Facebook or Twitter where they may share more candidly and you can find out more about the kinds of personalities the company attracts.

D. Look for trends. Write down what you find. What are the common backgrounds, personalities, and achievements that have enticed this company to hire in the past? Do you feel like you fit in?

That’s a loaded question, since most of us suffer from “imposter syndrome.” Let’s assume that these are people that you think you would like to work with, and therefore you would fit in. It’s generally true that traits we admire in other people are those we possess or strive to possess, and therefore are authentically us. We just need some evidence.

E. Take the list of common backgrounds, personality traits, and achievements and put them in a T-table so you can compare with what you possess. Keep in mind that you may have to look outside your previous work experience to find evidence, since we don’t always get the chance to express or apply our innate strengths on the job, or we do and it’s not appreciated. If we’re going for EPIC, we’re assuming that your strengths, talents, and personality will be embraced and leveraged. That’s what makes you feel ALIVE at work. [Let’s also assume that you’re well compensated for them.]

F. Here is where we get more specific and start to build your brand case. The achievements, education, and skills are the more tactile to compare. However, when it comes to personality traits, it may be more challenging. Asking for assistance from those who know you well can really help speed this process along, as vulnerable as it might make you feel. You need to discern what your unique way of demonstrating these qualities has been.

G. Once you have all of the data, synthesize it, and distill it into 4-6 branding points – no more/no less. You need a solid foundation on which to build your content, and you want to make sure you can be clear and consistent across your résumé, LinkedIn profile, biography or any other media you might use to share your brand.

H. Put them into priority based on for what you want to be appreciated most.

I. Each branding point needs a story to prove it. The higher priority branding points need to be proven more frequently, and more recently.

J. Use the following formula to flesh out all the details of your story

> Situation (the conditions that existed that necessitated a change)

> Challenge(s)

> People impacted and the impact (pre-solution)

> Decision made

> Action taken

> Skills, talents applied

> tools used

> people involved

> results (in measurable terms whenever possible)

> impact (how that trickled down to other people)

K. Take the most impressive components of each story and build a bullet, starting with an action verb, that highlights them for your résumé. You may not accommodate each part of the story for résumé bullets, but you can save that back-story for your LinkedIn profile, helping you create a completely complimentary brand story between the media.

If these steps have already overwhelmed you, and you feel that in the time that you would take to complete all of these steps you could have made good money, do what highly successful people do and leverage other people’s expertise and time.

Engage us and we will:

  • Ask all the pertinent questions
  • Understand your target employer’s hiring criteria
  • Ensure that your new brand resonates with them and creates a sense of urgency
  • Get granular and specific about which makes you unique
  • Synthesize and distill all of your qualities and experience into 4-6 branding points
  • Write your summary to distinguish you among any other equally or more qualified candidates
  • Compose branded bullets that PROVE you are a MUST-CALL candidate
  • Craft complimentary content that presents a clear, consistent and compelling story that inspires action


If you like these steps, consider yourself a talented writer, and love the do-it-yourself model, I recommend investing in our very fun bullet builder, summary builder, LinkedIn profile builder and our proven template: These put all the creation in your hands without the guesswork that can lead to costly (time and $$) trial and error.

The Smiths How Soon Is Now?

Album: Hatful of Hollow / Year: 1984 / Written by Morrisey and Johnny Marr / Produced by John Porter Lyrics: I am the son and the heir Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar I am the son and heir Of nothing in particular You shut your mouth How can you say I go about things the wrong way?