Looking for Founders

The world of Community Management is changing.....at least ours is.

The title Community Manager didn't even exist 5 years ago, well it did but in a totally different industry.  Anyway, the world of online, digital, or "inbound" marketing is evolving everyday, every hour, and even sometimes within minutes.  One of the ways we try to keep up with the trends is by having the best people working on the things they enjoy the most.  In this case we're speaking of Community Managers.  Not just social media managers, but true authentic "Community" Managers.  It's a true DNA match for a PeopleOps Community Manager to be architecting and maintaining talent communities.  Here's a graphic describing the difference. 


State of the Union: CEO - Answers section

I hate it when writes create problem statements that resonate but leave you rabbit holing through a book or paper trying to find the answer.  So here are short answers to the problem statements.  I will still elaborate later in the book, but if you are a CEO reading this it will give you enough information be be able to confidentially throw this book at the leadership that is supposed to be running your staffing yelling “WTF.” 

1) If you want authenticity, be authentic.  First, know you cannot control your message any longer.  If you marketing and PR disagree fire them, they are out of touch.  You gain authenticity by 1:1 employment branding.  This is achieved not by your VP, Director, or front line managers.  This is achieved by your hiring managers and your recruiters/sourcers.  Each hiring manager/recruiter should spend at minimum 2 hours a day on social branding.  The first hour is on creating relevant content to the space they are recruiting for.  If the recruiter is not familiar with that space he or she should create a blog interviewing the hiring manager/department employees that are.  The key is to distribute relevant content EVERY DAY.  Then, immediately after the content is published, the next hour should be spent on Twitter, Linkedin, Quora, Xing, commenting and talking to every person’s comment or post that is in the space.  No LINKS, NO APPLY HERE...just networking.  Each of the profiles should link back to the specific jobs that the recruiter or the hiring manager is recruiting for.  That’s all they get; but if they do this every day...after some time when a new role is opened, you will have all the candidates you need within 24 hours.  Candidates that care about your team, already feel invested, and ones that are authentically interested in contributing. 

2) Increasing a companies speed to fill.  All non-revenue positions should be filled within 30 days ...all revenue creating positions should be filled within 15.  Here is how to do it.  

     The hiring manager’s head count, budget, etc should be awarded at the beginning of the year.  After that, creating an approved requisition and offer letter should be no harder then entering basic information into a CRM style application and clicking send.  Does this software exist?  Yep, you have engineers ...as them to build it.   

     The hiring manager should be the recruiter, his assistant the coordinator, and have a dedicated sourcing partner (or recruiter if you must) to jump start the search.  They should first reach out to their social graph with a clear idea of what they are looking for, next they should reach out to local candidates from their competitors, and finally they should reach out based on proper skill set.  NO POSTS.  Sure, post on your internal website for EEO purposes but do not bother opening a requirement and pushing it out online.  Less then 2% of candidates for most organizations are hired from within a companies Applicant Tracking System.  Finally, within 10 business days put together a slate of 10 candidates.  That is 1 a day...even a sourcer working 20 reqs at a time can get you 10 candidates in 2 business weeks.  Interview ALL 10, in person if possible.  Skip the phone interview and just block a day out and have them come in.  Out of the 10 assuming you stuck to the sourcing benchmarks (first social graph, next competitors, third skill set only) you should have a great candidate.  All the candidates that were not hired should get a 1:1 tweet thanking them for taking their time and give them something free (swag, etc).  Do not give them a discount, even if its just a sweat band, make sure its free. 

Once a candidate is selected, the HM or even the coordinator inputs the basic info and HR is able to send out the hire packet all within 24 hours of the interview.  Simple, Fast, Effective.  

3) If the CEO is involved then shit will get done.  What is important to you (speaking to the CEO)?  Is it creating the next product?  Increasing your front line sales NOW?  Maybe its firing your bull shit Marketing Agency to build your branding in house.  Remember authenticity? Well, only focus on the projects that matter to you.  Have the recruiting process work the same but personally take 15 minutes out of your day to do a quick phone interview with the hiring managers top 3 candidates.  Bring in the hiring manager who is probably several dotted lines below you for a lunch or a coffee if you can swing it.  Let them know your vision and how they are a strategic asset to you and the company.  


The Method Startup

Even though by profession I am a Talent Attraction Consultant, I am also a business owner, Angel Investor, and serial Cofounder.  I understand the difficulties that comes with recruiting your own team.

startup sourcing, early stage sourcing, startup recruiting

It's been said that accountants own taxes are often terrible, a financial advisors portfolio embarrassing, and a Chef's personal diet uneventful.  The same goes for me when hiring my own staff.  Here I am providing razor cutting strategies for global enterprise, executing war for talent competitive intelligence with such speed and accuracy it would make the NSA do a double take...but when I am staffing for my own consultants, project managers, developers, programmers, and all the other support staff that make what I do scalable and possible I am posting on craigslist.  I guess this is as much of a personal manifesto as it is explaining the method. 

The point is for a startup CEO recruiting top or just good talent if fucking hard.  It's unfortunately about to get even harder.  Why?  I firmly believe that soon we will see the rise of mega companies and startups.  What is so profound about that statement? Notice I did not say mid-size.  In the coming years after the glutton of mid-sized companies get snapped up there will be a far gap between companies.  Small companies will not be able to compete with the size, scope, and purchasing power of mega corps and the mega corps will not be able to match the creativity, authenticity, and speed to market of startups who thanks to the combination of private capital, social collaboration tools, and glut ten of talent will be able to form a concept, raise capital, develop a beta, and launch in less then 30 days.... In some cases maybe even 2 or 3.  

So why does this matter for staffing?   Because a great divide is going to occur in talent.  First there will be a preverbal line in the sand between talent.

1) the mega company employee.  These candidates are pro big businesses and the perks that simply can't be duplicated by a startup.  Sure other companies can adopt a free food policy like Google, but you would be hard pressed to find a startup that can match Google's facilities with over 8 chef ran food places...Not to mention the cafe's and other perks like doing your laundry onsite.  There is real value to that.  These employees will be ever mindful of there resume as recruiting tactics become more transparent.  Employees now watch their profiles like they watch their credit.  Making sure they have good tenure, promoted every couple years, and are very careful about lateral moves.  The war for talent in this space is about to get viscous.

2) Hackers.  Code, drink beer, repeat.  Put that in your job description and you will attract a lot of hackers.  What is a hacker? It's the new age of the Entrepreneur.  Often they are programers, designers, or product managers.  They come up with cool tech iterations and applications.  VC's love them because from a business perspective they are teachable.  If you are a startup these are the guys you want. Your IKEA furniture in your not so big office won't scare them off.  They are just fine with red bull and hot pockets as apposed to a gourmet onsite food spot.  Often they will forgo the big base for skin in the game options.  Here is the problem... They also often come with a form of business ADD.  It's extremely difficult to get one to solely dive into your firm...and if they do even harder to keep them.

As a business owner you are thinking I don't really want either candidate.  Yes, I know, that's why I wrote this...there is a way to blur the lines and get the best talent that will stick long term.  I will show you some of the best kept recruiting tricks used by the elite enterprises and executive search firms for years.

Tactical Tip:  When searching for corporate talent focus on volume.  Make sure to get a list of the top 10-50 competitors in the space.  Then use a tool like Linkedin, Twitter Search, or Xing (UK) to find the targets.  Don't call them...don't send them a description...just reach out free hand and introduce yourself.  Then you can naturally take it from there.

When searching for startup guys, they are typically visible in communities.  Check Tumblr or Wordpress for industry related blogs and start participating.  Trust me they are lurking and checking you out before you even see them.