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. ❤

at last… the top employer experience

Things I learned yesterday…

  • Be proud of your brand (whether personal or professional)
  • If you get fired, pick yourself up & think of a badass company to create
  • When in Guatelmala, watch out for well-dressed biker gangs (… they will rob you)
  • Live today, not for the future
  • Embrace creativity & the bizarre
  • From time to time, step outside your box & enjoy someone else’s comfort zone
  • The most successful people understand that relationships are the bottom line of business
  • Making a difference & fun are #1

… and a hell of a lot more. Full story to come.

Amazing experience with Rogers Communications, Starbucks Americas, SteamWhistle Brewery, Gap Adventures, and KPMG Canada.

A huge thank you to Nadir Mohamed, Colin Moore, Greg Taylor, Bruce Poon Tip, and Bill Thomas, and their respective teams. Special shout out to Brandon Lewis from KPMG Canada and Kate Morawetz from MTV Canada for being patient with me. ;)

Stay tuned for coverage from the day (yes it was filmed) and a write-up on the whole “Top Employer” experience!

For history & how all this came to be, click here.

With love!! T-2 days till Belize!

opportunity

We’re 9 days into the new year… and I haven’t blogged! What is wrong with me?!

The good news? I’ve been having some necessary *me* time. I have been getting sleep, going to yoga, and putting some serious thought into what’s in store for 2011.

I was very happy to close the door on 2010 and start a new chapter with the new year.  During the last week of December, my intentions were to reflect on the year, write my new goals, make my dream board, and start the new year organized. Well… that hasn’t exactly happened.

Life has been full tilt. I was given the opportunity to go on a new project at work and started three days before Christmas. With a new role comes a whole load of learning – and it didn’t help matters that I booked off three weeks of vacation within my first month of work! The good news though? I am doing employee engagement every day, all day – and I absolutely love it.

In addition to starting the new role, I’ve got a bit of my social life back. In December I finished 7 years of university. Yes, SEVEN. I have been going to uni full-time nights and weekends; it took a wicked amount of time away from my friends. I’ve been taking the last few weeks to reconnect with friends and meet some fabulous new people. Immersing myself back in the social environment (which is totally my scene), just showed me how much I missed it.

I have met some excellent HR contacts (and friends) over the past few weeks.  They ooze with passion and dedication towards the profession – and two ladies that I couldn’t be more proud of. I also recently tweeted that I was overwhelmed by web design and how to create a website. Well I was blessed to have a friend of a friend respond to my plea for help and he’s supporting me through the process. Hopefully by late Spring I’ll have a new site up!

I feel as though my life has been disorganized for months, if not the whole past year. I spent this past weekend cleaning my house, organizing my life, and trying to get things sorted. I had a massive stack of unread mail, ridiculous amounts of business cards to look through, textbooks to sell, and laundry up the ying. I have been procrastinating so many tasks for months… putting them at the bottom of the list of priorities. Yet, since completing everything I’ve putting off, I feel at peace. Funny how that works. ;)

This week is going to be busy, but I feel prepared to take it on. In four days I leave for Toronto.  KPMG is flying me out east to meet with the CEO’s and Executives from the “Top Employer” competition this Fall.  On January 18th, I’ll be meeting be the CEO/President’s of Starbucks, GAP Adventures, Steamwhistle Brewery, and KPMG (meeting with Rogers CEO is on January 10th via tele-conference). The other days that I am in Toronto will be spent meeting with various Executives at other companies, people I respect & admire, and catching up with a few friends.  I’ll be running from coffee date to meeting to lunch date to meeting to meeting to dinner date to – hopefully, a glass of wine. :)

I then fly from Toronto to Belize for a little more *me* time.  2010 was honestly a very overwhelming year.  There was absolutely great success and massive achievements, but also a few major rock bottom moments. I want to get 2011 started off on the right track. In order to do that, I need some time with my mind. I will be spending 2 weeks in the sunshine – sunbathing, swimming, reading, and living freely. I am looking forward to the opportunity to both disconnect and reflect.

From a blogging standpoint, stay tuned for:

  • My reflection on 2010
  • 2011 goals & dream board
  • “Top Employer” experience
  • Trip to Belize

I’ll leave you with this…

Someone recently asked me what were my expectations of my trip to Toronto and the “Top Employer” experience. All I said was… “opportunity.” I honestly threw together a video, uploaded it onto the Top Employer site, and never thought for a moment that I would win. Yes, I was confident with my response and stood behind it proudly.  To me though, my opinion on the workplace of today  is the same response I’ve had for years. It wasn’t special, unique, or an idea that I had been brewing for months.

Tomorrow is my first “Top Employer” meeting and guess what? I’m nervous. I think I find it odd that these executives would want to meet me and/or have any interest in what I have to say. I mean… I am pretty cool ;) but seriously – why? [Rhetorical]. :P I’m looking forward to participating in this experience. It is absolutely once in a lifetime, and I’m prepared to learn a massive amount.

I hope that you have had a chance to think about how you want your 2011 to look. Always remember – you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

With all my love. xo

PS – A few questions I have recently been asked….

1) Are you going to wear a suit to the CEO meetings? No.

2) Are you going to ask them for a job? No.

3) Are you going to ask them to give me a job? No.

4) Are you going to ask Starbucks about their new “branding” or Rogers about their cellular service? No.

If you have any other questions about the experience or the meetings just let me know. ;)

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.

—————————————————————————————————————–

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.

—————————————————————————————————————–

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. ❤

international travel adventures part 1 – flying

There has been a lot of excitement building up to today…! Today I am en route to JCI World Congress in Osaka, Japan.  Weeeee!! There has been a lot of build up to today – in fact, I have been thinking about today for the past year.  Last year, I attended the JCI World Congress in Tunisia, Africa.  At the conference, I won the Most Outstanding First Timers Award – apparently I displayed superstar performance for the duration of the conference. :) With the award, I won my registration paid for the 2010 conference in Osaka.  The free registration coupled with funding from JCI Calgary made coming to another congress irresistible!

November 2009 - Awards Ceremony

A few weeks ago I booked the last few details and got all sorted to go – AND now… I am soo excited!! We have 9 members coming from JCI Calgary with a total of 23 members from JCI Canada. 12,000+ people are expected at the conference.  I will be gone for a total of 12 days, spending the majority of my time in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto.

My “day” actually started on Thursday morning at 7am.  I had zero sleep last night as I had so much to do with uni, work, packing, and an early 5am departure to the Calgary airport.

 

12 days: 2 full suitcases, a laptop, and a purse

5:15am to 6:45am – This was definitely the most stressful part of my day… I arrived at the United check-in to be greeted by hundreds of people confused over baggage tags.  The staff were less than helpful while everyone scrambled.  Finally someone said “Anyone on the 7am to SFO”… well lookie, we all were!  We were rushed through baggage (without having our bags weighed please note!!) and into the US customs line.  It’s about 6:20am now and the line is 1.5 hours line.  They make us wait in it for 20 mins before pulling us out and moving us to the front of customs.  We get through customs to wait in the security line – of which, we wait, we wait, we wait, and finally at 6:50am, we arrive at our gate.  5 minutes before the plane pushes back.  They advise the whack of us that our bags might not meet us at our destination.

6:55am – My flight left Calgary for San Francisco – and I slept the entire flight… I was upgraded to an “Economy Plus” due to no availability in Economy… shame. :)

9:30am – I arrived in San Francisco for a three hour layover.  I had scheduled lots of time on my layover knowing that 1) I was flying United, and 2) I wanted my bags to arrive in Tokyo.  The morning was spent using Wi-Fi and working on homework.

12:15pm – I relocate over to my gate to wait for the boarding call… AND then…

12:29pm – I received an email from KPMG indicating that I had won their “What Makes a Top Employer” contest!!! As I’m trying not to shriek in the airport, I’m [kind of] delighted to hear that… [separate blog post to come on Top Employer results] ……………

12:30pm – We get the boarding call for the flight to Tokyo… AND we’re delayed! Typhoon Chaba is roaming on the east coast waters of Japan and for now we’re going no where.  We we’re supposed to depart at 1:10pm, and they have delayed us until at least 3:20pm.

It’s now 2:30pm and United has advise that we should be boarding soon.  I am giddy with excitement over winning the contest and completely distracted from working on my “Strategic Transformation” project for Policy & Strategy class.  Once I get on the plane, the journey to Narita Airport in Tokyo takes about 10 hours.  Erik is supposed to be meeting me around 4:30pm Japan Time… but uh now I’m behind.  Hopefully he waits for me!!

Tonight will be exhausting – but Erik & I plan to meet up with Marta for dinner.  Marta is from JCI Poland and an absolutely fabulous gal I met at JCI World Congress last year.  If all goes as planned, we’re all in Tokyo seeing the sights for the next few days, then will relocate to Osaka on Monday for the conference.

Today’s blog post was rather chronological, but I promise posts to come will be very exciting!

With love, XO.

PS – Eeeeeek I WON!!! :D

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. ❤

1 | 2 |