Click Happy on LinkedIn

At the end of September, LinkedIn introduced Endorsements:

They were rolled out with the intention of one-click feedback — quick and dirty one might say. The addition of Endorsements was a positive to the LinkedIn platform. Before the only way you could verify or validate a colleague was by writing a LinkedIn Recommendation. The problem with the Recommendations tool is that people are intimidated by it and it’s definitely not easy to use. The process is time-consuming and people don’t want to opt in {no different than how it’s hard to get someone to write you a recommendation letter!!}. The positive is that people generally have to take some time to write them — so if you do get one, it’s a huge win and you need to give yourself a pat on the back.

Over the last month, I have been endorsed by all sorts of colleagues {thank you, thank you!}.

So what’s the problem?

Some {some some some, not all!} of my colleagues have “endorsed” skills and expertise they have never seen me demonstrate. In regards to HR, many people endorsed me in Human Resources because I currently work in the field. Not because I am any good at it, nor because we worked alongside each other doing a compensation review.

From a personal point of view, LinkedIn Endorsements build credibility. Most people will look at endorsements and go whoaaaa — must mean you have your shit together. Hooray…! :/ Just remember that’s not really the case… you could be a deadbeat and have your 10 deadbeat friends endorse you. You’re really no further ahead in life. Focus on quality over quantity — and don’t get your panties all bundled up in excitement because you have 7 notifications that you’ve been endorsed. Results will always be gold.

From a Recruiter’s perspective — remember that Endorsements don’t mean shit all. LinkedIn Endorsements are honestly no different than +K — same beast, different platform. Take online recommendations with a grain of salt. Don’t assume skills endorsements equal credibility.

If you’re going to endorse others / give out recommendations (or anything to that like) — make sure they are thoughtful and relevant. Avoid getting click happy. Give a shout out to your colleagues because you know they are totally all star at their expertise area. And hell… if you’re already their #1 fan, why not just spend the time to drop them a love note in the mail or write them a full-on recommendation on LinkedIn.

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. ❤

strangers on social media

To some degree, I’ve wrote on this topic before… social media platforms and their purpose. Seems to be all the rage as of late, so why not write on it again. :)

I’m definitely not an expert, but I feel that I have a good grasp of effective use of social media.

Social media is a powerful tool — and so many people have signed up for accounts, completely unaware of the risks involved.

Tonight I went through a stack of business cards that had been collected over the last month. I opened up my LinkedIn account and read through each card. I asked myself the following questions… Do I remember who this is? Where did I meet him/her? Are they “relevant” or did I just take the card to be polite? I tossed 19 and I added the rest. In most of the invites, I wrote a personalized note on why I was adding them.

When you add someone on LinkedIn… the platform asks if you know the contact. If you click the link, you get this:

The biggest problem with adding someone you don’t know is the second point — “Others may ask you about them and vice versa.” Dangerland.

Take the following example. Random idiot adds me on LinkedIn. He writes a sweet note about why we should be contacts. I accept. The following week, he’s at an event with people I know. Through the small world that is most cities, my contacts find out I am “friends” with the random idiot. Judgement commences. This random idiot now negatively reflects on me. And I don’t even know him… and will likely never know that this transpired.

Seem far fetched? It happens all the time.

In my opinion:

Facebook is for your personal friend circle.

Twitter is for engaging with and learning from the masses.

LinkedIn is for connecting with professionals.

By keeping Facebook to your friends (and locked down) — like actual friends — you can share your private life with minimal risk. If you have more than 100 friends, you should likely have built a limited profile within your account. This way when you feel guilted into accepting a ‘friend’, you limit the information that will be of access to them. :) If someone is posting about random things (cough Farmville cough) that have no relevance to you — delete them. If you have grown apart — delete them. If your extended family went crazy and phones your mom whenever you post about boys — delete them. If you are not actual friends with the person — delete them.

By being aware of who you follow on Twitter, you can control your feed… always ensuring information is relevant to you. Anyone can read through who you follow at any time — they 100% reflect your brand. If you decide to follow a load of 20-25 year old blonde girls with their boobs all up in their avatar or the male pornstar of the month or every single job hunting site to man — people will make judgement. The key is to be aware that people are watching. Who you follow shows your interests. Ensure they reflect you accurately. [The only time this does not apply is if you’re #TeamFollowBack. I won’t get started – entirely different argument if that’s the case].

The goal of LinkedIn is to connect with fellow professionals. It is about quality over quantity. Want to expand your network? Get out there in the community and put your feet to the pavement. Attend events, get involved in your industry, meet people. Think that you can expand your network by adding whatever stranger on LinkedIn? Technically yes, but the quality of your ‘network’ will take a nosedive.

My point is:

Adding strangers on LinkedIn does not add value.

Really. No value.

At minimum, it is an ego boost for people. “Weeee… I have a large network. Look at all the people I’m helping.” :/

Seem harsh? I see it way too often.

LinkedIn has huge perks if you use it effectively. Currently it is the most succinct way to stay in touch with people you’ve met through university, work and the community.

I challenge you to take the time to go through your networks and ask yourself why each contact is there.

Determine how each of the tools you utilize adds value to your life.

Happy Monday.

// End Rant

PS – Don’t even get me started on Google+… I have yet to join.