The Back Story

  Our roots do not stem from the Human Resource space.  We were researchers first that found our niche within the human capital world.  Our founders' previous companies were built on name-generation, research architecture, and competitive intelligence.  That foundation is what lead to the idea for PeopleOps.  Our early success, when we launched in 2008, came from the idea that instead of interrupting candidates with cold-calls we can use our data sets to allow massive quantities of ultra-targeted candidates 'self-selected' themselves.  In a landscape that was still heavily cold-calling from a job board, this idea was a juggernaut.  Our little company based in a relatively obscure city of Tallahassee Florida was able to get hired by captains of industry and the darlings of tech. 

  Fast forward to the present day.  Our old process has been replaced by tools like LI Recruiter, Entelo, and dozens of others.  These tools are great and many we use in-house and recommend to our clients without hesitation.  Just like marketers have ruined most of the great products that the internet has offered us recruiters are ever eager to jump on that bandwagon and be the last guys to the party.  Today the average engineer get's twenty-seven (27) messages across the platforms he or she frequents.  This is not necessarily just emails or inmails (although that number alone is substantial) but it now consists of sponsored tweets, Facebook dark posts, and a barrage of Linkedin advertising.  

  How is a company of any size supposed to recruit really the best talent in this kind of climate?  Moreover, we selfishly ask for ourselves as well, how can we as a service provider add 2-4X value over any conceivable competitor both within the clients own organization or from another vendor? 

Turns out, both questions have the same answer. 

Go is a great scripting languages for Site Reliability but hard to recruit for

y favorite blog post on Site Reliability called it the "world's most intense pit crew."  After placing many SRE's the last couple of years I could not agree more.  After searching for lots of great companies not just in the bay area but also around the U.S. and internationally I have found certain scripting languages are sought after more then others ...but are really hard to find.  If you are considering transitioning from Software Engineering to DevOps or Site Reliability, learning Go could give you a great leg up. 

  • Go   Go is an open source programming language that makes it easy to build simple, reliable, and efficient software. 

A great resource I found for Go was on Dave Chaney's blog.  

Question of the day:  If you are an SRE or DevOps Engineer, what is your favorite scripting language and why? 

3 great tools for Flexible A/B testing for your Android apps

#1.   Apptimize

“Mobile A/B Testing Made Simple”

Apptimize is a high performance, reliable way to A/B test native Android and iOS applications. With the Visual Apptimizer (a what-you-see-is-what-you-get visual editor) and a codeless installation process, Apptimize empowers mobile developers and product managers alike to push new A/B tests to users in real-time without app store approvals. - See more at: http://www.crunchbase.com/organization/apptimize#sthash.71YKcZl2.dpuf

#2.   Leanplum

“The Most Powerful A/B Testing Platform for Mobile Apps”

Leanplum is a fully integrated optimization solution for mobile apps. The company enables developers, product managers and marketers to unleash the value of customer data by easily optimizing mobile content and messaging via flexible A/B testing, marketing automation and powerful analytics. - See more at:

http://www.crunchbase.com/organization/leanplum#sthash.LjjVvq1f.dpuf

 

#3.   Splitforce

“Mobile A/B Testing for iOS, Android and Unity Apps”

Splitforce provides easy A/B testing for iOS, Android and Unity apps. Where you can A/B test on your app's entire user base OR specific user segments, and programmatically show what's working better more often using Auto-Optimization. - See more at: http://www.crunchbase.com/organization/splitforce#sthash.rbt6e2ZC.dpuf

 

If you are passionate about taking A/B testings and mobile analytics for developers to the next level we have a handful of opportunities you might be interested.  I encourage you to get in touch.

 

4 not-so common open source technologies for DevOps / Site Reliability

With even early stage products getting thousands, if not millions, of users in lightning fast speed compared to their alumni counterparts having a strong infrastructure for your high availability systems is an issue now for companies of all sizes.  Most use great and proven open source technologies like Chef or Puppet.  However, there are other great tools when it comes to helping your development operations and/or infrastructure hold up the best it can.

1) Test Kitchen (http://kitchen.ci/) :Test Kitchen is a test harness tool to execute your configured code on one or more platforms in isolation. A driver plugin architecture is used which lets you run your code on various cloud providers and virtualization technologies such as Amazon EC2Blue BoxCloudStackDigital Ocean,RackspaceOpenStackVagrantDockerLXC containers, and more. Many testing frameworks are already supported out of the box including BatsshUnit2RSpecServerspec, with others being created weekly.

2) Vagrant (https://www.vagrantup.com/) is a cookbook that allows you to create and configure lightweight, reproducible, and portable environments. 

3) Jenkins (http://jenkins-ci.org/) is certainly not new to the scene but is a great and often overlooked extensible open source continue integration server. 

4) Foodcritic (http://acrmp.github.io/foodcritic/) is a self described "lint tool" for your Chef cookbooks. 

 

Question of the day:  What is the core difference between a DevOps Engineer and a Site Reliability Engineer?  

Campfire.

I remember  sitting on the circle time rug in the third grade after lunch every day as my teacher read a chapter of a book about Ancient Egypt. I don't remember what the book was called, I do remember that story time was by far the best time of day. I remember being captivated by the illustrations of ancient Egypt I came up with in my mind. I hung on every last word as it came from her mouth and as she closed the book at the end of each chapter I remember being on the edge of my seat with anticipation for the next days reading. 

 

Stories captivate us. They leave us begging for more. Sharing stories is sharing a bit of yourself. Stories are told to challenge, teach, inspire, and remind us. Characters are often born out of reflections of our self or out necessity (to teach, inspire, encourage or remind). 

Think about your favorite story as a child (or even now as an adult), what did it teach you? Did you learn about life through the pages of book or did you escape reality through stories? Everyone has a connection to a story. We all can connect through a story. We can all tell our story to relate to someone else. 

What if you could harness the power of a story, what if you could play out your favorite story?

You can. 

 

-Autumn. 

If you are story teller with gaming experience (UI, UX, Game Design, Icons, HUD, Photoshop, Graphics, Art, Illustrations, Sketches, Concept Ar)  you probably should click here!

the AWFUL 3rd wheel

the AWFUL 3rd wheel

 There is a disconnect between humanity and the way we use technology to connect. It's like when you're hanging out with your best friend and you can't actually say what you want to say cause her boyfriend is there (and he's literally the most obnoxious person on the planet).

5 Reasons Marketing and Recruiting Should Get Married

5 Reasons Marketing and Recruiting Should Get Married

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 Marketing as we know is going through a dramatic 'shift.' The internet and social media is about to go to college ...and as we know most people start entertaining the idea of marriage about this same time.   Companies are scrambling to take what was a single eloquently crafted message that was delivered to millions and change it into several thousand authentically crafted messages delivered a couple thousand at a time.    Recruiting is no different.   Just like in marketing, social media has massively impacted recruiting.   I have not seen a physical resume on my desk in several years, more and more candidates are using their Linkedin profiles as their pseudo  resume, and candidates can now visible see second and third degree connections into an employer of choice via a number of online communities and clever smart phone apps.  
So what does this mean?   Marketing and Recruiting should really consider getting together ...here is why:


They do life separately 



When your relationship is casual, you maintain your own places. Marketing lives in a cute sublet, and recruiting lives in a downtown loft. They don’t share anything, and they spend time separately. Marketing has girls’ night out and Recruiting has poker night with the guys. Their communication is sporadic at best, and it's obvious they just aren’t on the same page.

They Don’t Share Finances



When Recruiting and Marketing are just in the dating phase, they don’t pool their money. They don’t share expenses, and they don’t leverage economies of scale. For instance, they both pay their own rent and utilities, and they don’t have any family memberships at the gym. Let’s face it: they are wasting a lot of money because they don’t work together. 


They Sound Different

While Marketing and Recruiting are just dating, they don’t sound as if they are on the same page. When I talk to Marketing, she tells me one story, and when I talk to Recruiting, I hear something completely different. Marketing is always interrupting me with her advertising speak, and Recruiting is constantly talking reactionary based on getting "hires" and “budget” that. This is a big challenge for the people around them, especially the people they want to be close to: Candidates and New Customers...oh wait...could those be the same people?

They Don’t Complement Each Other



Before they commit, Marketing and Recruiting's' personalities are totally different. Recruiting is pushy, and Marketing tries to show me how smart she is. She has all the answers. And then there are the spats. Marketing thinks Recruiting is the problem and Recruiting thinks Marketing is the problem. They really need to be a team if they want to achieve their lifelong goals.

5 Reasons Marketing and Recruiting Should Tie the Knot

If Marketing and Recruiting got married, it would transform them from two individuals -- Recruiting and Marketing -- into one family, also known as the Growth Department. Think about it; what if they worked together as a single unit; as a team? Here's what would happen:



1. Matched Messaging: What if Marketing and Recruiting said the same thing? What if their approach was aligned, educating, helping, advising, and counseling all the way through the life cycle? The Recruiting presentation would match the messaging on the website. The Recruiters would be providing educational content and nurturing their candidates, helping passive candidates feel excited and confident about joining your company.

2. Return-on-Investment: What if they pooled their money? They could accomplish so much more. They would eliminate the unproductive things they did like traditional advertising, trade shows, and costly golf outings, and instead focus on the highest return activities like websites, email campaigns, lead nurturing, content creation, and social media management. They might even get on a budget and take their talent attraction to elite levels using a team like PeopleOps to galvanize their efforts. 


3. Integration: What if they lived together, working on challenges and focusing on the single task: getting results? They would understand each other so much better and be a tightly knit, integrated team. Just think about the potential. 


4. Content Collaboration: If they tied the knot, they could do things together like create educational videos that highlighted the hiring manager's so when they finally met their candidates, the candidates already felt like they knew them, liked them, and trusted them. What a warm, friendly feeling that would leave with potential new hires. 


5. Aligned Goals: Most importantly, if they were committed to each other, their goals would be aligned. Their hopes and dreams would now be one. Their Growth department would grow into the Growth Machine their parents hoped and dreamed of when they started their own families. 


While this marriage analogy is cute and I hope it got you to chuckle, this is becoming the new model in businesses of all sizes. The Growth Department is an aligned model where recruiting and marketing are a single team working together to drive one single measure: growth. 

Are your marketing and recruiting teams happily married? What benefits have you experienced from having successfully aligned marketing and recruiting departments?

Overnight success looks a lot like 10 years of hard work

As I sit here on a plane waiting to take off for my first leg. I notice the crowd on this flight is considerably different then my normal flight mates.

As a guy who regularly clips 100k sky miles in the time it takes most people to go between oil changes, consider this observation to have a fairly good sampling.

The folks on this plane are clearly not flying on business. Of course it's possible they are in civilian clothing until tomorrow but I am fairly certain for the vast majority that is not the case.

The point I am taking obnoxiously long to make is success to the outside often looks overnight. Sort of like when you see a distant relative's kid and six months later (it seems) you get their high school graduation photo.

For me, success is simply hitting enough medium size wins that the big losses don't crush you. In the process assuming you don't give up, a major win is inevitable. Thus your 'overnight' success.

 

Transient

The Double Edge Sword of SLA’s

SLA

 

   If you are a staffing vendor of any ilk, SLA’s (Service Level Agreements) are a necessary part of the contracting process.  They are designed to protect both the vendor and the client by making plain the objectives of the assignment.  

 

   The dangers however are when SLA’s stunt the creative opportunities a project might bring by not rewarding, and often punishing, the activity.  Here are some ideas that Vendor’s and Client’s may want to consider when crafting SLA’s to build in opportunity to encourage creativity that could exponentially increase results.

 

  1. Define but modify. It is important to define what a deliverable may look like. This could be a candidate that is qualified against some standardized criteria, or research defined by a baseline quantity.   While this is a good common sense SLA to include, you may want to consider allowing modified criteria to be delivered and counted if it indeed proves to be useful.  

2)  Keep the main thing the main thing. Seems simple enough, but so many projects are defined more by metrics than by results. Make sure you are not delivering to hit numbers but rather to exceed result expectations.  After all, that is why the project exists in the first place.

 

3)  Compromise but do not conform. The business landscape is ultra-competitive, so getting that next deal is always a top priority. However, signing a client with steep SLA’s that are going to be a strain on your companies ability to succeed could have much larger negatives than the benefits of additional top line revenue. Key members of your team could burn out and leave your company, your overall P&L could suffer, and more importantly your team could fail the project simply because it was doomed from the beginning. Finding quality projects is much more important than volume. It is critical that you believe in your team enough to ‘fight for the good pitches.’ 

 

 

4 tips to troubleshooting a difficult req

 

   We have all had them.  Searches that are just open way too long.  Many organization deal with long time to fill ratios on an ongoing basis.  Here are some four quick tips to hit the “reset” button and get traction on your searches.  


Should the title be thrown out the window?  One companies Sales Engineer is really called a Systems Engineer but functionally they are a sales engineer.  That means a “real” systems engineer will probably not be a fit.  While this concept seems simple I have personally witnessed otherwise very good sourcers go by the way side in environments like these.  Why?  We often put too much weight into a title.  The important thing is to focus on must have criteria… of course title can be a strong indication but in situations where the most obvious candidates have likely been cycled through more then once its time to look for the not so obvious choices.
Is your compensation really out of line?  Its super common for searches that take a long time is due to compensation being too low.  Depending on the organization re-adjusting the compensation for anything meaningful is not likely to happen.  What is more likely is redefining the title.  If your Major Account compensation is paying more like a Territory Account Manager…why not discuss calling it that?
Location, Location, Location.  There are certain parts of the country that are not very well known for top technical talent.  Are there some?  Absolutely, but the density is likely questionable.  In situations like this it might be work looking at either remote developing options, relocation, or allowing the new hire to work from another office.  If your salary is reasonable enough to have a little cushion, you could always try convincing the hiring manager to shave 10k off the total compensation.  You can get creative with it offering a $5k signing bonus + 5K in relocation expenses.  
Your job description doesn't make sense.  A lot of times hiring managers will recycle job descriptions that more or less give them what they are looking for.  In hard searches that grey area could make the difference.  Try adding a section of “from the hiring manager” and bullet point what he or she is really looking for.  This will help not only recalibrate your search but give candidates confidence to pursue your role.

If you notice, these tips are not really about how to find more candidates.  In most cases, a long shelf life on a requirement is an indication of an internal issue.  Sometimes the hiring managers themselves are just not that motivated.  Issues like these are both common and unique to each circumstance.  My advice is try communicating a “reset” button which includes a renewed commitment from all stake holders involved.

How to start a start-up

How to start a start-up

   Being a serial entrepreneur I am often asked how to start or build companies.  My answer is rarely the same and it varies in authority.  Why?  Simply because starting a company is not a step by step process in the sense of connect A to item B and then insert screw R.  It’s more like start with an idea, then figure out some sort of idea around what it will look like... and start.


   To many of my colleagues that sounds like poor planning.  They are right, it is poor planning.  What I have learned after filling countless notebooks & numbers documents with plans, financials, go to market strategies, etc is for an idea to really become what it is meant to... you as the founder have to guide and nurture it... not dictate it.

 
  Just the other day I was advising a startup whose founding team was far more senior to me (chronologically speaking).  We were discussing the results of a recent focus group around their new product.  Some of the greatest assets as per the focus group were areas of the product overlooked by the design team.  This happens very often even with products that have had major impact... and as a founder, the lesson from this is not to get hung up on what YOU think is important but LISTEN and react to your customers... which means you have to go out and get customers... which means you have to have a name, a website, a 1.0/Beta version of your product or services... and you have to ask someone to be your customer.  NOW you have started a company.

‘Management Consulted’

   Funny enough, even though PeopleOps is now among them, we have always referred to Management Consultants as “suits.”  If PeopleOps has a disdain for consulting why are we in fact, in their sand box? 

   The mission of management consulting is not the dispute.  The ability to partner with leaders of organizations of all sizes and ages to help drive growth, overcome business critical obstacles, or help executive teams exit or grow their legacy.  

    Where the difference does become stark contrasts is in the approach, thought process, and execution of these solutions.  PeopleOps doesn’t saddle our clients with oppressive hourly rates to only present to boards information they probably already knew.  PeopleOps approaches every client from our “three truth’s” philosophy.  

     What is our “three truth’s” philosophy?  In our opinion the score card for any company can be weighted by top line growth, bottom line profit, and it’s amount of capital to deploy.  Very few companies do all three well with most only doing one well.  With that philosophy in mind, PeopleOps architects are solutions with a results oriented approach.  

 

Gen Y Executive Search 

  With many of the most sought after board members, product leaders, and CXO level candidates coming from leading startups executive teams are starting to look a lot less like the peppered gray haired boards that represent majority of the Global 2000. 

   With these highly sought after Gen Y executives that are often under or in their early thirty’s the approach from an executive recruiting stand point must also be different.  Here are a couple points to consider:

  1. They probably don’t like you.   Many early stage founders have had a plethora of bad experiences working with recruiters and just like we lump all of our bad experiences and blanket an industry with it (telemarketers, collectors, attorney’s, etc) they do too.  You have to overcome this by first showing your actually read about them and not calling out of the blue.  Do your homework and whatever you do, don’t wing it. 
  2. They are not motivated by traditional compensation packages.  The onslaught of startups funded by venture money has brought on a new set of benchmarks Gen Y executives execute against.  Sure P&L is important but that comes second to client/user experience, subscriber growth, or other top line metrics.  

  PeopleOps happens to bridge that gap of being comfortable in a wider range of settings compared to our legacy competitors.  Our team is ran by a Gen Y executive and we understand how to communicate your value proposition for winning results. 

Gen Y Executive Recruiting @PeopleOps

Gen Y Executive Recruiting @PeopleOps

What Inbound Marketing is and why you should know.

Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images

What is Inbound Marketing? We have been getting asked this question a lot lately. To us Inbound Marketing is a refresher. It is a new and necessary tool that must be utilized in this modern internet business driven society to attract our customers. It’s refreshing because with proper use, Inbound Marketing can be the key to turning any business around. It is not like the traditional forms of marketing and it provides information to our target audience in a way that proves our expertise in our specific fields. 

Inbound Marketing is defined in general as ‘pulling target customers toward your business’. There are many in depth definitions of the term but in general this short phrase will suffice. It is the distrubution of authentic and engaging content online that brings "prime" customers attention to your business. The key to this definition is ‘how’. Inbound Marketing is all about driving the attention to your brand, not just any attention, but the right attention, the target audience. 

Long gone are the days of buying attention or ‘outbound marketing’. The more traditional cold calling, advertisements, billboards, TV commercials, telemarketing, bla bla bla, spam spam spam. The average consumer is over the ‘disruption marketing’. They want to find what they need, and can now with the power of the internet in their pockets. (35% of American adults have a smartphone and 87% of smartphone owners access the internet on their mobile devices.) With this kind of access to information the average consumer is not sitting around waiting for someone to disrupt them with an idea for a product they may or may not need. Instead he or she is scouring the internet for information. (89% of US internet users search online before they make a purchase, even when the purchase is made at a local business.) 

This is where the beauty of Inbound Marketing comes in. As a business it’s now our jobs to create content designed to cater to our customer’s needs. The first goal of Inbound Marketing is to ‘get found’. How do you get found? You engage with the target audience through Inbound Marketing techniques. As a business your considered the expert in your field. Show your customers that through producing and distributing authentic content. Some typical content examples are:

  • Blogs
  • Whitepapers
  • eBooks
  • Webinars
  • Videos 
  • Podcasts
  • Decks
  • Infographs

Among many others. It really comes down to marketing to YOUR key audience and catering to what and where they are. 

Content is key but there also must be a centralized hub for all your new attention to turn to. Your website. Having a keyword optimized site with the right balance of visual appeal and intellect is also a large factor in the success of your Inbound Marketing campaign. Content is produced for a reason, to drive attention to your site. Once your audience is there, the make up of your site can be just as important as the content you create.

Once the content is created how do we share it? There’s no right answer for all businesses but the key is catering to your niche community of customers and prospects. Social Media is no doubt a mainstay and must be utilized to an extent as a medium for content and communication. But you can’t focus your efforts just there. Inbound Marketing is not only about being found, it’s about efficiently converting those who find you into customers.  

Converting leads into customers is one of the largest driving factors of any marketing campaign, and it’s no different in Inbound Marketing. The difference is in how you do it. The most common forms of converting leads into customers are done through on site Calls to Action, Landing Pages, and of course, Forms to capture contact information. Once the contact information is captured, effective email campaigns are executed to nurture the leads. Email campaigns should be handled as another way for you, the expert, to reach out to the prime prospects and provide more information. Non-spammy and informational reach outs are the key to effective email campaigns. Once you've developed and managed a healthy email lead nurturing program, if you've executed well it's time to close the deals and create loyal customers. 

With all this in mind it is important to realize the fact that, though this may seem like a lot of work to some, the cost per lead for Inbound Marketing verses traditional outbound is significantly lower. It is also an important fact that the ROI of Inbound Marketing is Increasing every year at astounding rates. With a basic Inbound Marketing campaign in place most businesses see drastic results within the first year. I decided it was important to define Inbound Marketing in my terms and break down a very basic overview of what could be an effective and successful Inbound Marketing Campaign. 

For More Information About Inbound Marketing Check Out Our eBook Inbound Marketing For Beginners.

 

 

Click to Download Your Copy of Inbound Marketing For Beginners

Click to Download Your Copy of Inbound Marketing For Beginners