Next Top Recruiter

I am a huge believer in everything happens for a reason.

On August 15th, while in the midst of my relocation from Calgary to Vancouver, I received an email from a colleague. One of my peers from my past employer, Shawn, had forwarded me a casting call for a HR/Recruitment Reality Show.

All he added to the email was: “Should I send your application in?”

I re-read the email to Michelle and we both started laughing. A HR reality show? For real? I think that we were both imagining Big Brother meets The Bachelor meets the Apprentice. Regardless, I was intrigued.

I sent an email off to the Producer of the show asking if “America” meant North America or the United States of the America. I assumed it was the latter, but I had nothing to lose!

On August 24th, Chris Lavoie from Top Recruiter and I finally connected. We had some sort of interview, get to know me chit chat — of which Chris dedicated a lot of time to finding out who I am as a person. What drives Jillian Walker? I went off about the usual… working in HR, changing the world, being over-involved, traveling, volunteering and working with young women. I’m positive I talked his ear off and that he was overwhelmed.

At the end of the call, he tells me that I’ve passed and that I need to do make an audition video. The only problem though? I had 24 hours to get it uploaded to Vimeo. Ay. I hung up the phone and went into action mode.

Yes, this meant I tweeted out to the masses:

It was funny that this competition hit a week after I moved away from the city I lived for the last 7 years. If I had been in Calgary when this happened, I would have had a network to help me out! Instead… Chris gave me a challenge. Not only did I need to great an audition video in 24 hours, I now needed to find someone to help film it.

I had checked out some of the videos on the competition website (www.toprecruiter.tv) and I was less than impressed. You can seriously make a great home video with a flip cam and a friend. Really, I’ve done it too many times to count. You can! I didn’t want to be one of those people who were holding a camera in front of their face looking ridiculously silly and unprofessional.

Thankfully social media came to the rescue. A few hours passed and I had a ton of local Vancouverites offering to help, BUT I also had a production company step forward and offer to produce and edit the video. Kevin Sarasom from redmuse and I talked over Facebook chat throughout the night. We talked about the requirements of the show, plus how I would add a creativity and necessary edge to my audition. We agreed to meet at the Corner of Davie + Denman the next day to do the filming.

I wasn’t at all hesitant to meet up with Kevin. What’s the worst that could happen? He would attack me with a video camera in a ridiculously busy place like English Bay? We did quick exchanges of hello and got on the move. After all, we had a 8pm EST deadline! It took us 2 hour to film a 90 second shot. Seems ridiculous. We were both considered that we wouldn’t have enough content when we went to edit, so we totally filmed 10 mins too long of content. Oopsie. At the end of the day, we had some brilliant lines and I was happy with what we created. We sat in Starbucks for the afternoon. While Kevin edited, I worked. I continually peeked over curious as to the final product.

Finally it was uploaded to the site and an email was sent off to the Producer for review. My fingers were crossed.

I heard from the show a few days later and apparently the casting crew was pleased. They uploaded my video onto their website and instructed me to gain momentum! I’ve been around the block when it comes to this sort of competition or challenge. I knew exactly what I needed to do… I needed to build a fan base.

Ta da! This is my audition video, check it out:

I have officially been branded as “The HR Rebel.” They could have used words like insane, intense, crazy, nutjob… instead they used ‘rebel’. I like it. It sounds somewhat sexy. Perhaps it’ll even help my dating life. Don’t tall, dark and handsomes like industry rebels? ;)

So is this ‘Top Employer’ all over again?

I have no doubt that you remember KPMG’s “What Makes a Top Employer?” How can you forget it? The process was pure torture — daily votes, daily harassment for just about 6 weeks. Then we waited a month for results. Then we waited 4 months for my prize. But do you remember how much momentum we created in Canada? A ton! We… not me, WE had a voice. We had an opportunity to challenge the way employers evaluated their practices and integrate a Gen Y opinion into their leadership teams.

I don’t really look at this competition as much different. Yes, the topic is different and the demographic is different. At the end of the day, this competition is about education. It will provide an opportunity for the community to learn a lot about recruiting and the HR profession (likely – the good and the bad). It will give leaders and employers fresh perspective on hiring and retaining talent. If I am included in the competition, Canada will have a voice.

So how do we make this happen?

The show has challenged me to gain momentum. I know that I am so close to making it on the show [they are making their final decision on the 5 people in late fall]. You watched my video. You know that I know all about fit. I’ve already determined that this show fits what I’m about. Now it’s in TopRecruiter.tv’s court to find out if I’m the right fit.

I would love if you watched the video ONCE. I need you to check out the website ONCE.

[I promise. Only ONCE.].

They are tricky people over at TopRecruiter.tv though. They have left a whole pile of rating systems within the audition page. So if we’re going to cover all our bases, here is what you need to do:

  1. Head over to: http://www.toprecruiter.tv/audition-meet-the-hr-rebel and if you haven’t already, watch the video.
  2. Give my audition a score between 0 and 10. Click on the star to make the rating. Seriously, give me what you think I deserve!
  3. Give my audition a thumbs up or thumbs down. Click on the icon to make the rating. [Please note, if you give me a thumbs down, you should unsubscribe from my blog]. ;)
  4. Leave a comment. It’s really not that painful, you only need to put your name and email in — there is no need to register! Please note that all comments are held for moderation by the show. No need to use offensive language or be blatantly mean. ;)
  5. While leaving a comment, check out the other comments. Under every single comment, there is an opportunity to give a score between 0 to 5, and also give a thumbs up or thumbs down rating. I have been learning a lot about myself from the comments that have been left on the page and who knows, you might learn something too!

  6. If you are on social media, I’d love a share on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. I even have share buttons right at the bottom of this post — how convenient eh? ;) For Twitter peeps, you can use the hashtag #TopRecruiter. If you’re on Google+… cool. But I’m not. So do whatever you do over there to give me some love!
  7. Now… give yourself a pat on the back for supporting a HR keener in her quest to change the world. You could also treat yourself to a latte, mani/pedi, bubble bath… whatever floats your boat. :)

The video has been on the TopRecruiter.tv site for just over a week and I haven’t really mentioned it via email or social media. I wanted to be able to share the story of how this came to be and why I want to be part of it. The video has been randomly landing in people’s laps… of which I get an email and someone says “Is that you?” “How do I vote?” “How come you haven’t said anything yet?” Today was the day to formally announce.

To everyone that has voted and supported so far, thank you, thank you, thank you. The comments that you have been leaving on the site and sending to my email warm my freakin’ heart. Can’t someone send some hate mail? All this lovely is going to go to my head!

A huge thank you to Shawn and Dawn for always looking out for me and being inspirational HR role models.

And lastly a thank you to the clients of Elevated HR for supporting the audition and also how Michelle and I do HR differently.

I have seen the momentum that we can generate. I know it exists. So let’s create it. ❤

what makes a top employer – part 4 (success!)

On October 29th, I received an email from KPMG indicating that I won the national “What Makes a Top Employer” video contest!!! I was on my layover in San Fransisco en route to Tokyo and heard about a minute before I was supposed to board (which as per my previous blog post – fight was delayed a few more hours).  I couldn’t have been more thrilled!  I was absolutely giddy in the SFO airport wishing that I could tell someone (I was on roaming), and unfortunately I couldn’t resist. I likely have a hefty bill from the international texts and calling.

[Disregard the spelling error in KPMG’s tweet ;)]

Representatives from KPMG were completely flexible with the fact that I was on my way to Tokyo and rather unavailable due to the conference I was attending.  We agreed to chat upon my return and finalize all the details.

KPMG recently went live with a summary of the competition:

On November 9th, TalentEgg.ca wrote an article on the competition.

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If you missed seeing my original submission to KPMG’s contest, feel free to view here:

And on October 3rd, I posted an additional video to “engage” ;) the viewers.

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I ended up connecting with KPMG late this week and they are currently working on the finding a date for me to connect with the 5 CEO’s.  In the near-ish future, I will have a 1 hour meeting with the following well-respected and successful CEO’s:

  • Bill Thomas, CEO of KPMG Canada, as the sponsoring company
  • Nadir Mohamed, President & CEO of Rogers Communications
  • Cameron Heaps, Co-founder of Steam Whistle Brewing Company
  • Bruce Poon Tip, Founder (AKA “The Captain”) of Gap Adventures
  • Colin Moore, President of Starbucks Coffee Americas

This means a trip out to Toronto and a whole lot of opportunity!

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone for your support during this competition.  In 30 days, WE reached 661 votes, and over 2,169 viewings.  In 30 short days, you all listened to what I had to say about the future of work.  In 30 days, I saw the power of social media, with votes, tweets (retweets), facebook posts, and online discussion.  In 30 short days, you gave me opportunity.

Thank you for your continual commitment. Ahh it gives me absolute warm fuzzies to know I have people in my court, rooting for me every ounce of the way. I absolutely have *big* plans for 2011, stay tuned for how the CEO meetings go and for the next steps with my career.

With all my heart. ❤

top employer update

Today I received this:

“I am one of the representatives of the What Makes a Top Employer Contest. I called you this morning to deliver the news that you are one of the 3 finalists for the What Makes a Top Employer contest. You are now in the running with two others to have the chance to win 5, 1 hours meetings with 5 of Canada’s top CEOs.”

These 5 judges will be viewing my video next week:

  • Bill Thomas, CEO of KPMG Canada, as the sponsoring company
  • Nadir Mohamed, President & CEO of Rogers Communications
  • Cameron Heaps, Co-Founder of Steam Whistle Brewing Company
  • Bruce Poon Tip, Founder (AKA “The Captain”) of Gap Adventures
  • Colin Moore, President of Starbucks Coffee Americas

As per a recent KPMG news release:

Two sets of prizes will be awarded to students in appreciation for their time and effort.

The first prize wins an Apple iPad and five individual one-on-one mentoring sessions with the CEOs.  The first prize will go to the student with the best video response—the most insightful, thoughtful, and useful video. The winner will be chosen from a short list of individuals who will be judged by the five CEOs. The second prize winner—the student whose video wins by popular vote—will also receive an Apple iPad.

Fingers crossed everybody!

every vote counts

Today is VOTING DAY!

What does this mean?

1) Today is the last day of KPMG’s What Makes a Top Employer video contest. It has been a month long battle with university students across Canada, but I have attained 2nd place (out of 400+ videos!) and couldn’t be more proud. Contest closes at 11:59pm EST. I would love if you gave me your vote.

2) Today is Calgary’s Municipal Election. Do you research, then head down to the polls and vote for Mayor, Alderman, and School Trustee.  Voting stations will be open from 10am to 8pm. Visit The City of Calgary’s website for more information on locations.

I’m looking forward to life being more calm after October 18th.  Fingers crossed for team J-N-Z (yes that would be Jillian-Nenshi-Zak)!! ;)

With love.  ❤

what makes a top employer – part three and a half

On October 10th, I blogged. It was my third blog post regarding KPMG’s What Makes a Top Employer video contest.  In that post, I said that I would update again once the competition was over.

Tonight, I received a message from Chris, my brother-in-law:

“dear jill… today i haven’t voted for you because you haven’t put any effort into your site lately (blog)… lets see a post.” xxchris

Well… apparently I haven’t been doing a good job.

Chris this is for you.  There has been a lot going on in my world as of late and I apologize for not keeping up with my blog.

The time to vote is now.

Love Jill XO

PS – To the rest of you, the KPMG competition ends tomorrow – yes tomorrow at 11:59pm EST.  If you haven’t voted today, please do! Then tomorrow – again!! Then guess what, we’re finally done.

Thank gosh eh?

PPS – In other news, I went to a birthday party for a 9 year old friend of mine named Paige.  It was intense.  14 girls were in attendance.  Paige asked me to get her a puppy for her birthday… and I didn’t.  Bad me. :)

PPS – Marley, I’m still working on your letter.  My goal is to get it mailed before I leave for Japan. ❤

what makes a top employer – part 3

This blog post will be Part 3 of a series of 4 posts related to KPMG’s competition on “What Makes a Top Employer“.

On September 20th, I blogged about the competition, how to register and vote, and why I wanted to share my voice.  I encouraged you to watch my video (and the others) and decide if I was worthy of your vote.  On September 28th, I blogged because I had hit a milestone, 1000 views!!  I had been asked how I would continue to engage the voters, as 30 days is a heck of a long time to vote daily.  A few days later, I uploaded this video to YouTube:

The video continues to align with my Top Employer vision, but won’t count towards official votes on KPMG’s contest website.  As you can tell, I did the ABC’s of “What Makes a Top Employer” [it’s ok to start laughing now…], I knew creativity and humor would be critical for engagement.

We are now 8 days away from the end of the competition.  I am currently in 3rd place, with 431 votes and 1631 views.  The young woman in 1st place has a 30-day video upload advantage on me; as a result, I’ve decided my goal is to get to 2nd place before the contest ends on October 18th, 2010 at 11:59PM EST.

If you have yet to engage in this competition, I will plead with you to do so.  At the end of the day, this has nothing to do with votes or who is the “winner.”  As I’ve said, I believe this competition is about impact.  The impact that we, as young people, can have on future leaders and potential employers.

If you would like to vote, please visit my video contest entry here:

VOTE HERE

I will update again post-competition with the final tally on votes and views.  The judges are expected to make a decision on the winners by November 5th, 2010.

With all my love. ❤

what makes a top employer – part 2

On September 20th, I blogged about KPMG’s “What Makes a Top Employer” video contest.

We are now 8 days into the contest and what I can I say other than… wow!

Today we hit 1000 views and 200 views!! That means for every 5 views, I’m getting a vote – and I’d say that’s awesome odds!!

Here’s the proof:

We now have 20 days to go…  and we need to keep up the momentum.

Yesterday I tweeted that I had finally made it to 3rd place!  Yes went from 120th+ place to 3rd place in 8 days!

Anyways, the response was this:

I recognize the importance of engagement.  I know that people don’t really want to register – let alone vote daily for the next 20 days.  What are the votes I want?  I want votes from people who truly believe I’ve presented the best vision of a top employer.  I want you to engage in the goal of this competition and understand why initiatives like this have potential to change the employee-employer relationship.  I can’t promise a song and dance, but something… enticing ;) … will be posted on YouTube, Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/votejillian) and Twitter within the week.

In the meantime… I need your votes. :)

VOTE HERE

If you’re just getting started, read more about the competition here or follow my instructions on how to register here.

Thank you to all of you who are supporting me in this competition, in my career and in life.  You all mean the world. ❤

what makes a top employer

Let’s talk Twitter… my gosh, Twitter has provided me with so many opportunities since I became active in late Fall 2009.

I’ve been following @KPMG_Canada for a few weeks and on September 18th, they tweeted this:

I was immediately intrigued.  For those of you that don’t know… from January to March 2010, I competed in a national business student competition called “Focus 2040“…. the goal was to predict the future of work in 2040.  It involved various stages and in mid-March, I was invited to Ontario as one of the top 10 finalists in Canada.  Anyways, throughout the process, I did a lot of research on Generation Y and workplaces of the future.

I truly feel like I am a voice for the next generation.  I embody many characteristics of Generation Y, including the ability to thrive in a flexible work environment, a need for feedback and involvement, tech savvy skills, and of course, pro-change.  I have been in the workforce since the ripe ol’ age of 15, but have a solid 8 years of “real” work experience.  I have been working in Human Resources for the last 4 years and I have a true understanding of corporate programs and policies.

When I saw this contest my eyes lit up (as lame as that sounds) and once again I was excited about something in my life… I had found a new purpose (or maybe a distraction… regardless, I was excited!).  KPMG is the sponsor for the 2010 Canada’s Top Employers for Young People award. This year they are asking Canadian university students to share their opinion on what makes a top employer! Within 24 hours, I had my figured out what I wanted to say, created a video (ahh so many takes, a ridiculous amount of takes), edited the video, uploaded the video, and started promoting my “brand.”

From my perspective there are a ton of angles you could take on a question as large as “What makes a top employer?”  I narrowed it down to flexibility, community focused, diversity, and passion.  Flexibility revolves around the need for ‘flexible work options’ in the workplace including personal days, tele-working, and flexible start and stop times.  I discussed the concept of “work to live,” and although I didn’t touch the issue in the video, I do believe employers need to be flexible with many facets of the employee-employer relationship, including dress code and office space.  The next generation understands the importance of community work and giving back.  So many of us are blessed… blessed with family, a support system, good health, food in the fridge, a roof over our bed, and clothes on our back.  We are educated and know that we have the skills to help others.  Employers need to support their employees in giving back.  We thrive in a diverse learning environment.  Whether it be gender, ethnicity, religion, geographical location, or skillset, employees appreciate diversity in organizations.  Passion. As a young employee, I want to truly believe in my organization.  I want to see that my employer is passionate about their business, their employees, and the community.

I would have loved to talk more about management support and the need for mentorship programs, orientation, continual coaching, and performance development plans.  Or maybe the concept of socialization in the workplace and how we need to have fun and laugh.  Or respectful workplace policies and ethical treatment of employees.  At the end of the day, I only had 4 minutes. :)

I chose an angle that was different than most of my competitors.  I truly could not sit here in my living room and say that a top employer has to have competitive pay.  End of story.  That’s not it at all… Top employers have to have the whole package.  Top employers for young people need to have the whole package PLUS understand how the next generation’s needs and wants differ from the past.

Just over 14 hours ago, my submission was “approved” by the video contest representatives and made available on KPMG’s official video contest site.  I have now had 208 views and 28 votes (see note at end of post!).  208 views in one day – ahh so wonderful!!!  In less than a day, I have made it to Top 5 out of approximately 160 videos.

VOTE HERE

What’s important now is momentum… we have 28 days until the contest ends at October 18, 2010 11:59 EST[By the way, 208 views, 28 votes, 28 days… all kinda bizarre…] If 28 people vote once per day for the next 28 days, I would be at 784 votes and in 1st place [assuming everyone else stops voting for the others ;)].  I know…. in fact, I am positive that we can do better than 28 votes per day.

My call to action:

Please learn about the video contest and understand the potential impact this competition could have on your future employer. If you are a Canadian university student and under the age of 28, feel free to submit a video.

Check out my video. Just 4 minutes! It will fly by! ;) If you support my ideas and vision of top employers, please vote. You can vote every day until the contest ends (see note below on registering before your first vote).

Share share share. Please continue to spread the word about this contest and my video.

A few options:

Are you going to forget to vote? [I know… daily is a lot!!]

  • On the Facebook event, at the very bottom of the page, you can click on “export”.  Select the option to export to email.  The event will be sent to your email and you can save it as a calendar item in your Outlook.
  • I will be sending out daily reminders via the Facebook fan page.  Follow the voting progress via your Live Feed or check your fan page “Updates” via your Messages section.
  • I will tweet reminders 2 or 3 times a day on my Twitter stream.  As the Calgary election is also happening during KPMG’s voting period, the Twitter stream is busy busy… follow the hashtag #TopEmployer to catch the tweets.
  • If you want a personal text message reminder every morning. I will do that, just for you.

So why should you help me out?  Well, I can think of a thousand reasons!! :)  I am a voice of the next generation. I have committed my time to thinking about what’s important to Generation Y and making this video.  I have truly thought about what I wanted to say and that it was representative of my peers.

I know that even if I don’t win, I will have impact.  Impact and influence on both KPMG and Canada’s Top Employers.  Regardless of if we believe it or not, people listen.  KPMG created this competition for the young people.  They wanted the young people to have a voice.

This is not about the iPad or the opportunity to meet with top executives across Canada.  This contest is truly about education.  Education of employers, employees, and the community.  Education on needs, wants, and generational differences.

Together, we can all make a difference.

If you have any comments or questions, feel free to comment on this post, get in touch with me through any social networking site, or email me at jill [dot] walker [at] uleth [dot] ca.

With absolutely all my love,

Jillian Walker ❤

Note: Why is there a considerable difference in the number of views versus votes?  I’ll tell ya why… No one wants to register.  I completely understand why they don’t – it’s a pain, it’s too much work, it’s this or that.  Well, guess what? You have to register!  In order for KPMG to ensure the contest is legit, they need you to register… but the good news? You only have to register once!