Social Selling with The Eagles – Already Gone by Mike O’Neil

Integrated Alliances
Social Selling with The Eagles – Already Gone

Social Selling is about many things. But first and foremost it is about getting attention and keeping their interest – what people see and read. It is about relationship building and this article deals with the start of many of those relationships.

Sorry to say this, but your profile might be killing business prospects and you may not even know it. Visitors come to your profile and they might be “already gone”. Why is this and what can you do about it?

Visitors may be coming to your LinkedIn profile and they just don’t like what they see. They jump for the back button. You’ve lost them. You may never know it or why – unless you get help. They come, they go and you may not even know (OK, I made a rhyme, but you expected something musical, right?)

Look at “whose visited your profile” and see who this is. It’s a great place for finding leads and it’s a place that shows you who is NOT reaching out.

One simple way to begin improving upon your “click off rate” is to ask others to take a critical look at your profile. And ask them for suggestions. Have them specifically look at the areas listed below so you can focus their attention. Be sure to do a decent sample size (5+ people), start making some changes based on what they say.

When people land on your LinkedIn profile they see a few things right away. They might hit the back button. That’s bad. Or they might move their heads a little closer to the screen (good) based on what they see when they get there. It’s that first 3-6 seconds that makes you or breaks you and it’s like with a web site. So, are you pulling them in or pushing them away?

Let’s dive in a bit and see if we can improve upon a bit…

Some help with pulling them in

The primary things that will affect how you are “viewed” are:

LinkedIn photo
Headline text
Current job titles & employer names (up to 3)
Past job titles & employer names (up to 3)
LinkedIn profile URL
Header image (Premium Account holders only)
LinkedIn profile photo

Your LinkedIn photo is the VISUAL welcome mat on your profile and it is SUPER important, worthy of a post all to itself. You can sure bet we will be doing a special post on this topic. This photo should be of you and you only. There is much that can be done to pull in viewers. My all means make it attractive and make it stand out.

Your profile photo is the center piece of your profile AND is what people see of you whenever you appear anywhere on LinkedIn. This can be in lists, in messages, in posts and much more.

LinkedIn profile headline text

Your headline text is the TEXTUAL welcome mat on your profile and it is equally important. The reasons are 2-fold. First is what people see (read) and that’s critical. What message are you putting in front of them? There are lots of strategies here. And I will explore them just a little bit. Once again, this is the subject of an article all to itself and you can expect an article dedicated to this coming from us in the future.

Second is what the search engines see. The text you put are tracked by both the LinkedIn search engine and external search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. They all (rightfully) assume that this text is the most important things on your profile. For starters, think about including keywords and some type of a value statement. Here is mine for example:

Forbes Top 50 Award Winner ♦ Social Selling Speaker, Trainer, Author, Expert, Futurist ♦ I help sales teams make quota!

Current job titles and company name

The job title and company name text that appears for each position appears in clear view to all visitors. LinkedIn show up to 3 entries from your pool of “current” jobs. There are lots of strategies on what to do here as well. No matter what, make sure you think about how they appear at the top of your profile as much as you think about how they look down below. The search engines also value this information. Think about keywords that you want to be associated with in your job titles and spice it up a little bit. For example:

► Integrated Alliances LinkedIn Training and Sales Training, ► Integrated Alliances Social Media Speakers, ► NewGen Broadcasting – WebmasterRadio.FM

Past job titles and company name

Just below your current job entries are the 3 PAST job entries and it too appears in clear view to all visitors. Perhaps you can make those past positions look nice and attractive as well. Here is mine:

► Internap Network Systems, ► Cable & Wireless Global | SAVVIS, ► US West | USWest | U S West


You can display one education entry in this area and you can control which one it is. Pick one that shows you off best or that is most genuine and move it around so it appears here. It might take several iterations. If you have a real degree and took a class at a local community college most recently and have that listed, pick the better of the two.

LinkedIn Profile URL

The LinkedIn profile URL is much more subtle than the previous items I have presented. Everyone has one of these and it’s just a matter of whether you figured out how to change it or not. When you have the default URL with random characters appended to your name it shows a lack of detail that visitors may think applies to your work as well. Be sure to give yourself a nice custom profile URL that makes you look as intelligent as you are.


The importance of this is subtle although there are indeed some good strategies for it. For example, I live in Prior Lake, Minnesota. The city is a cool place with a vibrant business community and lots of great live rock and roll music. Yet, most people don’t know where it is other than “somewhere in Minnesota”. Fortunately, LinkedIn lets me pick the larger nearby city instead and I choose to do so (Greater Minneapolis-St Paul Area). I look more ready for business being in a big city vs. a small one.


For many there are options to be had with your industry. If you do marketing for an aerospace firm should select Marketing or Aerospace or something for your industry? Give it some thought for attracting people and enticing them to stay on your profile a little longer. Look at what others are doing, both in your firm and in similar positions at other firms to get a perspective. On another note, your employer may have a standard or may want to implement a standard.

LinkedIn articles and posts

LinkedIn implemented a sophisticated content publishing platform a while back. And they launched it first with a select group of individuals. This is now open to everyone and it’s a terrific way to get attention of your target market and jazz up your profile. I am doing just that here with this post for example. Make sure you include a good looking, relevant picture in your post. So that picture will appear on your profile and encourage people to hang out a little longer. How is this for standing out a bit?

LinkedIn profile summary

Getting a little further down we get to your summary and, in particular, the TOP of your summary. Pay some extra attention to the first sentence and the first paragraph. Greet profile visitors with a “virtual handshake” and thank them for stopping by. The profile summary is the single most important piece of “larger” text field you have on ALL of LinkedIn. Make it count.

LinkedIn profile header image (premium account holders)

In May 2014, LinkedIn added a full width header image that has long been included with Facebook, Twitter, web sites and blogs. This is the NEW way to really impress visitors and draw them in. In the same month, I wrote a popular LinkedIn article about this feature with over 20,000 views to date.

The Eagles Already Gone song trivia and links

“Already Gone” was a huge hit for the Eagles but it is not a true “Eagle song” in the purest sense of the word. This song was written by Jack Tempchin and Robb Strandlund, who were good friends of the band. Tempchin sent an early version of the song to Glenn Frey who had just come out of a personal relationship and the lyrics really clicked with him. Frey sings the lead vocals while he and Don Felder do the nifty twin guitar solos that complete the song.

The Eagles (mostly Frey and Henley) had a falling out with Johns over the way he handled the recording sessions and the band was seeking a new producer. Bill Szymczyk was subsequently contacted about the role, but he wouldn’t take the job until he cleared it with Glyn Johns. Call it a combination of background check and professional courtesy. Szymczyk got the OK and he brought the band to his LA recording studio to actually cut the record.

This was also one of the first songs that the Eagles recorded for the On The Border LP with their new producer Bill Szymczyk. The band’s first 2 albums were recorded in London with famed British producer Glyn Johns (Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Rolling Stones).

See the song lyrics and view the YouTube video.

Author: mikeoneil (83 Posts)
@MikeONeilRocks ♫ The LinkedIn Rockstar ♫ #RockTheWorld Author & Radio Host | #LinkedIn Sales Trainer | #SocialMedia Speaker Authority Visionary Celebrity ♫ klas-ik-rokr’/ ♫ Interested in Rocking LinkedIn? Free Training Here:

Tagged as: classic rock, eagles, Mike O’Neil, Social Selling, the eagles, the linkedin rockstar, Training


Six Ways to Cure Writers Block From the Pros … From INC.

People are writing more than ever. Emails, tweets, posts, and blogs fill our world and take priority over phone and face-to-face conversations. And now, with content marketing becoming more and more critical to growth, good writing is likely the most important communication skill you can master if you want to be successful in business. Most of you have to write something important, sometime. So you sit down, flip open the laptop and…freeze. Whether it’s caused by panic or lack of organization, or if you just get stuck, writer’s block can be painful and frustrating. Somehow you need to find the find the muse after she has run off.

My best friends for solving writers block are sleep, exercise, and web-surfing. Most of the time, if I am blocked, it’s because my brain is simply exhausted. A good night’s sleep or even a short nap will help the synapses start firing again. If that doesn’t work, I head out for a 5k run or a long paddle in the kayak. The scenery inspires me, and those extra endorphins get my brain moving. On one 10k run I came up with 14 column ideas, enough for a whole month. I had to repeat the titles in my head in order so I could remember and write them down when I got home. My last resort is surfing the Web. Reading other people’s writing is usually enough to give me the angle I needed to get going.

I usually start with a glass of red wine and read columns from my smart Inc. colleagues, who generously share their writer’s block remedies here.

1. Know it or postpone it.

Never sit down hoping you’ll “discover” a great topic. You might discover a neat way to bring a great topic to life…but you’ll never dream one up by staring at a blank screen. If I can’t write 600 to 800 words in 25 minutes, then I haven’t figured out what I want to say.

Always know what you want to say and have a framework for how you want to say it before you start. And if you find yourself struggling partway through, put it away for later and turn to another idea. Time heals all blocks. –Jeff Haden, Owner’s Manual

Want to read more from Jeff? Click here.

2. Conquer the fear.

I believe most writer’s block doesn’t come from lack of inspiration. If you’ve sat down to write something, chances are you have something to say. The real problem is fear–fear that what you write will be ridiculed, or simply won’t meet your own high standards.

My secret for overcoming that fear (yes, professional writers have it, too) is to put words down with a serious lack of commitment. This is what I’m writing as if it were my real work, but it’s not, I’m going to change it later. Even if you do write something awful, once it’s written, you will likely see how to make it better. –Minda Zetlin, Start Me Up

Want to read more from Minda? Click here.

3. Move the project aside.

As a full-time writer, I cannot afford to get writer’s block. However, when writing on a particular project becomes a slog (which it sometimes does), I have found the best cure is to put that project aside for a little bit and work on something–anything–else. Switching projects lets me re-find my rhythm and start moving forward again. After a while, I’m then able to return to the original project with a clear head, which snaps me out of whatever it was that was slowing me down in the first place. –Peter Economy, The Management Guy

Want to read more from Peter? Click here.

4. Don’t force it.

When your muse is playing hard to get do what I do: Give up. Well, not entirely, just for a brief time. You don’t have to force creativity, because once given a mission, your subconscious mind will work relentlessly to produce exactly what you’re looking for. Why not take the pressure off, and let it do the work? Try shifting gears; relax and the creativity will flow in its own time. I find success in a brief meditation, a relaxing stroll in the yard, or a workout. This process of relinquishing control rarely lets me down, yet the ease of it all never ceases to amaze me. –Marla Tabaka, The Successful Soloist

Want to read more from Marla? Click here.

5. Get out of the office.

When I am stuck or have writer’s block, the best remedy is to get out of the office and attend an event or my local Toastmaster’s meeting. Listening to someone present or watching a panel always sparks several ideas for potential starting points for my own content.

I purposefully look for events that are outside my typical area of focus. Listening to a speech on grilling, a presentation on how to grow a garden, or what it takes to learn how to be on a rowing team gives me a different perspective and starts my creative juices flowing. I walk out of an event with three or more topics that can further explored and applied to my area of expertise. –Eric Holtzclaw, Lean Forward

Want to read more from Eric? Click here.

6. Just start writing.

Writer’s block can be paralyzing! Trust me: I’ve published three books and 300 articles and I’ve probably had 3,000 cases of writer’s block along the way. I’ve learned that the only true solution for me is to just start writing. I might literally be writing gibberish–but soon enough, it will turn into editable writing, and one day a finished product. It’s all about the start. –Dave Kerpen, Likeable Leadership

Want to read more from Dave? Click here.

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KEVIN DAUM | Columnist

An Inc. 500 entrepreneur with a more than $1 billion sales and marketing track record, Kevin Daum is the best-selling author of Video Marketing for Dummies and the executive producer of Amilya! on 77WABC New York.
The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of

8 Things Really Efficient People Do

INC. 5000

8 Things Really Efficient People Do BY 

Everyone wants more time. Efficiency is one way of adding minutes or hours to your day. Here are eight tips effectively used by the most efficient.



Most everyone would like to be more efficient. Just think, you would spend less time doing the things that you don’t enjoy and more on the things that bring satisfaction, happiness and profit. Some people are actually very adept at efficiency.  They manage every manageable moment so they have more time for themselves to do the things they love. Here are eight techniques efficient people use to gain that freedom.

1. Stop Multitasking

Many people fool themselves into thinking they are good at multitasking. But actually very few can solidly focus on more than 1 or two tasks, particularly if they require focus and depth.  They fool themselves into believing they are getting more done when in reality they are accomplishing less and the quality of the work is poor. Really efficient people know that concentrated effort with few distractions leads to better work product in faster times. Otherwise the work may not be up to par, which means wasting even more time and energy going back to fix the mistakes.

2. Delegate

So much productivity is lost when people take on more than they can accomplish. Don’t be inspired by CEOs and leaders who overload their schedules and burn the midnight oil. Really efficient people are extremely good at delegating tasks to others who will perform them better. When you know how to break down a task and empower others to contribute effort, you can choose the tasks most suited for you and crank through them in record time without distraction.

3. Use Appropriate Communication

Poor communication is a huge time-waster. A fast email transmitting bad instructions or an offensive attitude can end up adding many unnecessary hours to a project. The masters of efficiency take a little extra time to think through their communication in the beginning. They consider their objectives when deciding to get on the phone. They craft their emails with purpose using the exact language necessary to get the desired effect.  It takes a little more time at the beginning but can actually shave days from a project.

4. Apply Structure to the Schedule

With all the available scheduling and productivity tools you would think more people would feel they have a handle on their schedule. And yet often people feel their schedule drives them instead of the other way around. Efficiency fanatics create standard routines in their schedule so they can achieve a disciplined approach and be ready for the important events. The more you control the calendar, the easier it is to make room for the unexpected.

5. Give Everything a Proper Place

A lot of time is wasted chasing down lost items. Keys, pens and clothing hunts can cause distraction and frustration, especially when you have something important to do or somewhere important to be. People get really efficient from being organized. Establish a home for all the items you have.  Factories that practice LEAN create common homes for necessary tools of the trade. You can do the same. Organize clothes, papers and electronics in a way that you can easily find what you are looking for.  It may take you a few extra minutes to put things away but you’ll save a ton of time and irritation from having to search for what’s important.

6. Time Activities

Do you really know how much time you spend productively versus how much time you waste? I often know that I am talking on the phone with someone who takes efficiency seriously because they tell me when the call is almost over. Efficient people set a time for each of their tasks and work to keep the schedule. Try logging your time on conversations and activities for a week.  Then spend the next week setting specific times for similar activities and work to reduce the times with similar output.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the gains.

7. Commit to Downtime

Tired and overworked people don’t perform well. People pleasers will sacrifice their own downtime thinking they are benefitting others, but in truth they detract from productivity. Really efficient people make sure they get rest and recuperation so they can perform at their peak. Since one amazing employee can do the work of three average employees, best to let the team rest up and be top performers.

8. Plan Projects

Effort is often wasted when people don’t have a clear path to success. Impatience is the direct enemy of efficiency. Really efficient people know they must take the time to research and break down a project into basic steps in order to achieve success consistently. Yes, planning takes a little time. But considering the challenges, process and responsibilities in advance will make for clear direction with the team. With good communication everyone can move confidently and efficiently to achieve all the objectives in record time.

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An Inc. 500 entrepreneur with a more than $1 billion sales and marketing track record,KEVIN DAUM is the best-selling author of Video Marketing for Dummies.





The Workforce Institute Predicts Top Trends in Workforce Management for 2013

The Workforce Institute is the latest group to make predictions about the Workforce in 2013.  These predictions go beyond Social Media to include topics such as Obamacare.

News Feed Item

The Workforce Institute at Kronos Predicts Top Trends in Workforce Management for 2013


JANUARY 3, 2013 09:04 AM EST
At its recent annual board of advisors meeting, board members of The Workforce Institute™ at KronoIncorporated discussed their predictions about the top trends and issues that will impact the field of workforce management in 2013. Predictions were also captured on video and via a visual map.

Top Trends for 2013

  1. Big Data & Analytics – Availability of an ever-increasing amount of data presents a challenge for organizations. How can they distinguish between what is interesting versus what is important? New technologies and services will help organizations find value in Big Data via function- and industry-specific analytics tools. Board members believe these tools will continue to gain attention throughout 2013 as more organizations adopt data-driven workforce management practices.
  2. Mobile – Mobile technologies will continue to transform the way organizations operate and interact with their employees, customers, prospects, and the world at large. Tablet devices have taken mobile to a new level and board members predict that new technologies in this space – coupled with increased adoption – will continue to revolutionize the way organizations manage their workforces this year.
  3. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) Compliance – More commonly referred to as “Obamacare”, PPACA compliance will be a major focus for many U.S. organizations in 2013. Leadership will need to determine what the Act means for their organization, understand associated costs, and make informed decisions about labor scheduling and utilization.
  4. Managing an intergenerational workforce – A tight economy and changing notions about the concept of retirement mean that more workers over the age of 60 are remaining in the workforce for longer. The usual challenges of attracting and retaining the right workforce are exacerbated by the increasing age difference in the workforce.
  5. Closing the skills gap – Unemployment is still relatively high, but many organizations are hiring. Depending on the business, the current applicant pool may not have the skills that employers seek. How can this problem best be addressed? Much attention will be paid to this issue this year with public/private partnerships emerging to help close the gap.
  6. War for Talent – The Great Recession put the war for talent on ice, but board members think 2013 may be the year that it heats up again. As organizations pull out of the economic doldrums and begin to perform better, employees who have been sitting tight will start looking for new opportunities. As a result, organizations will need to be ready to fight for the best and brightest talent.

The Workforce Institute at Kronos Board Members

  • Board Members of The Workforce Institute at Kronos are: David Almeda, chief people officer, Kronos Incorporated; Ruth Bramson, CEO, Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts; Andy Brantley, president and CEO of the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources; Bob Clements, senior principal, Axsium Group; David Creelman, CEO, Creelman Research; John Hollon; vice president for editorial, ERE Media; Sharlyn Lauby, The HR Bartender and president of ITM Group Inc.; Joyce Maroney, director of The Workforce Institute at Kronos; Susan Meisinger, SPHR, JD, columnist, speaker, consultant on executive management issues and former president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM); John-Anthony Meza, vice president, Workforce Readiness, Corporate Voices for Working Families; Dr. Tim Porter-O’Grady, senior partner, Tim Porter O’Grady Associates, Inc.; and William Tincup, SPHR, CEO of HR consultancy Tincup & Co.

Supporting Resources

  • Join us for a Tweet Chat about our 2013 predictions on 1/9/13 at 12pm EST Hashtag: #KronosChat
  • Visual map
  • Connect with Kronos via FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedIn, andYouTube.
  • Subscribe to our workforce management blogs.
  • Take a look at the lighter side of workforce management in our Time Well Spent cartoons.

About The Workforce Institute

The Workforce Institute was founded by Kronos Incorporated in 2006 as a think tank to provide research and education on critical workplace issues facing organizations around the globe. By bringing together thought leaders, The Workforce Institute is uniquely positioned to empower organizations with the knowledge and information they need to manage their workforce effectively and provide a voice for employees on important workplace issues. A hallmark of The Workforce Institute’s research is balancing the needs and desires of diverse employee populations with the needs of organizations. For additional information, visit

About Kronos Incorporated

Kronos is the global leader in delivering workforce management solutions in the cloud. Tens of thousands of organizations in more than 100 countries — including more than half of the Fortune 1000® — use Kronos to control labor costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity. Learn more about Kronos industry-specific time and attendance, scheduling, absence management, HR and payroll, hiring, and labor analytics applications at Kronos: Workforce Innovation That Works™.

© 2013 Kronos Incorporated. All rights reserved. Kronos is a registered trademark and The Workforce Institute is a trademark of Kronos Incorporated or a related company. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Connecting an (HR) Disconnect

Can HR become aligned, or is it destined to struggle to “find itself” and thus the rest of the organization? A former colleague of mine puts forth her hypothesis!!

Connecting an (HR) Disconnect:  by Carol Anderson, Anderson Consultants

Posted on December 5, 2012

Back in the 1980s, I thought HR was disconnected. At that time, I was starting out in compensation, writing job descriptions (yippee). This was back in the days of point-factor evaluation plans where details of what the job did, what/who it was responsible for and how it influenced in the organization determined the salary grade and pay level.  Job descriptions were pretty standard, and a quick look at says they haven’t changed much….identification data, general purpose, duties, tasks, functions, qualifications/KSAs, special requirements, ADA information.

I didn’t quite “get” the purpose of job descriptions back then (it may have been because I really didn’t like to write them). But it seemed that they were written, graded and stuffed in a drawer never to be looked at again until someone wanted the job upgraded.

After I became a hiring manager, the recruiter sat with me to create a “hiring profile”. As I described what I was looking for, it struck me that pretty much nothing I told her was reflected on the job description for the position. That seemed odd to me, but she explained that job descriptions record “jobs”, while her profile process reflected the actual “position.”

Okay, intellectually I get the difference. But I had this nagging feeling that there should be a connection somewhere. After all, aren’t we talking about the same people – those who are hired who then fill the jobs that were described?
Here we are many years later, and it feels as if there is still an opportunity to connect the various information needed for the “job”…the side of the equation that represents what the organization wants the employee to do and be. And with the knowledge work in most organizations today, we can’t afford to put people into a neat box by telling them exactly what to do.

To complicate it more, we add yet another set of criteria in the performance appraisal. Now, the employee was hired to one set of criteria, doing the job of another, and held accountable for a third. It’s enough to confuse even the most diligent employees. Learning and development may add yet another layer as they design learning objectives for training programs.

So how do we connect the disconnect? I think that there is an opportunity to collaboratively (meaning all areas of HR) come together to define the job side of the equation. Recruiting, compensation, performance management and learning should work from the same model – a model based upon a set of competencies that are shared.

I question the need for recording job duties at all. When jobs were scientifically graded based upon a point-factor process, that information formed the basis for the grade. Today though, compensation departments rarely have the staff to support effective point-factor analysis, and typically use a “General Purpose” statement to match the job to the market job. Additionally, comp staff usually work to make job descriptions more and more generic, so the duty statements become less and less relevant.

Investing time in creating effective core and functional competency models can be the linchpin that will allow all of the various HR areas to work from the same starting point. Getting all the parties in the same room to define what the job data will be used for, and then looking at commonalities can lead to a very integrated process that will make sense to the end user – the employee. After building a good competency model, based upon the organization’s business, operations and strategy, each HR discipline can use.

Let’s play that out using “Builds relationships” as a core competency.

  • Talent acquisition focuses on assessing the candidate’s experience in collaborative planning and execution and experience in working within a team environment.
  • Compensation needs to differentiate between two levels of the same job, so defines the higher level in terms of the criticality or complexity of building relationships.
  • The performance management process identifies “building relationships” as a critical success factor for those in the role,
  • And the learning and development team builds curriculum at an employee and leadership level on team, collaboration and communication.

The employee sees a consistent and holistic picture of how they are expected to behave and develop as a member of the organization. The leader coaches to help the employee build the skill, using practical examples of relationship building as it relates to the projects and processes in which the employee participates.

Can it work that way.  It absolutely can, but takes strong alignment on the part of the HR stakeholders to the ultimate vision – creating a unified road map for the end user – the employee.

Very insightful post about “Big Data”

Breaking the Code of Change

Confirmation Bias in HR

Data is very ambiguous. It often doesn’t give you a clear answer to the question; “What should I do?”, which is really the question you hope that Big HR Data will help you answer. To get to that point, you must take your data and convert it into knowledge. The question is; what will you see when you stare at the data? The answer is clear but not very encouraging.

I have previously argued that psychology has a lot to offer us in our understanding of how we work with data. This is also the case when we need to understand what we look at Big Data. Big Data is a much hyped term which essentially just refers to a lot of data – a lot of data in terms of volume, variety and velocity. But a lot of data it is and you therefore need to cut and…

View original post 602 more words

How to Screen Potential Candidates Online – Top 7 Tips

The Undercover Recruiter

Recruitment and Career Secrets Revealed

How to Screen Potential Candidates Online [Top 7 Tips]

There are many terms for it in the corporate recruiting world: data mining, identity research, online screening or social recruiting. No matter the term, more than 90 percent of employers say they use social media to find employees.

For most employers, this online screening is an important part of their due diligence – using public information posted by the candidates themselves. If you, like most employers, are planning on looking into the Internet presence of your potential hires, here are a few ways to make sure you do it right.

1. Start With a Search

GoogleYou may be surprised just how much information you can find with a Google search, but it would be your first step when digging into a potential employee. Of course, a search can become clouded with results if a candidate has a common name, so dig a bit deeper into their resume to cross-reference employment claims, association membership or volunteer work. Google can supply a wealth of information if you can target your search properly. Opening a Google Alert on each of your candidates’ names can provide ongoing monitoring throughout the application and interview process.

2. Don’t Wait to Check Their Profiles

If you want to get an accurate view of a candidate’s social media profile, it is important to be proactive. Start researching them before your first contact to arrange an interview or call. Though they are actively searching for jobs, many candidates can be short-sighted in regards to their online personas, only cleaning them up once they know someone is interested. However, a 2010 Technisource study showed that 50 percent of applicants would not change or delete content from their profiles, even if they knew a potential employer would be checking their page.

3. Look for Repetitive Behavior, Not Isolated Incidents

Taken on their own, some pictures or status updates should not immediately invalidate an applicant. It’s important to be realistic about employee behavior. Look beyond occasional images and posts to see if the applicant has a personality or sense of humor that would fit with your company. Only if the candidate shows a pattern of objectionable behavior should you consider losing their application.

4. Find Candidates Who Build a Brand

While too many potential employees may torpedo their job hopes with inappropriate pictures, political rants or dubious associations, just as many will be responsible administrators of their online persona. These candidates will be readily identifiable with even modest digging. Here are a few things to look for on major social networks:

  • Facebook – Look for candidates who share content related to their industry, rather than updates about where they partied last night. Even better, just stick to the Info Page to get a sense of how the candidate portrays themselves. This might not show you who is a party animal, but it will help you avoid some ethical and legal gray areas.
  • LinkedIn – LinkedIn should be every recruiter’s dream. Many people will use it just to share their job status and resumes, but with the wide range of discussion forums and online networking tools, LinkedIn makes it easy to identify candidates who are engaged in the industry and looking to advance. Of all the social networks, searching LinkedIn should give the clearest snapshot of what sort of employee a candidate might be.
  • TwitterTwitter gives much more visibility for online screening, and it can say a lot about any candidate. While Facebook pictures can tell you a lot about someone, how a candidate interacts with a global audience can be more telling. Look for people who engage positively and intelligibly with people and companies.

5. Don’t Penalize Responsible Candidates

It can be tempting to respond negatively to prospective employees who have their online presence so locked-down (or nonexistent) that you can’t find any information on them. Is this candidate too good to be true or just hiding something? More often than not, it just means that the candidate is a responsible manager of their online presence.

Negativity bias is a natural thing for recruiters who are denied information, but a potential employee who is responsible enough to tend their social media will probably make a responsible employee. Rather than penalizing employees who show little information, dig into the information they have provided. Call their references, dig through their contacts on LinkedIn and prepare some extra questions for an interview.

6. Be Consistent With Your Screening

While these public online searches may not be as regulated as a background check, employers should still be careful with what they find. It’s easy to discriminate with information found online, especially since people willingly provide so much through social media. Make sure that you are only screening candidates to see if they would be an appropriate fit for your company culture and work ethic. It is much harder for a candidate to prove discrimination occurred following an online search, but creating inconsistent screening methods is an easy way to land in hot water.

7. Follow Up With Candidates

Finally, don’t let your screening be the end of the story. If a candidate looks like a great employee on paper, don’t let a few online indiscretions rule them out. Follow up on their interests and passions in an interview and ask for reasonable clarification of any concerns you may have.

Cara Barone is the Social Media Marketing Manager at Kforce, a provider of staffing and solutions. Cara also manages Knowledge Employed, a career advice blog for job hunters, seasoned employees and hiring managers. Follow her on Twitter: @CaraBarone


photo by: Juancho 507

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Filed Under: Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Recruitment, Screening, Twitter Tagged With: Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, online, screening, Twitter

GREAT HR METRICS …from the HR Capitalist

November 26, 2012

GREAT HR METRICS: Innovation Spend/Effectiveness at Your Company…

I’m on the record as liking Revenue Per Employee as the best macro metric on HR effectiveness.

But that’s macro, let’s get micro. Training $$ per employee? Turnover percentage? Does that include involuntary?


Let’s roll out something cool, like evaluating innovation spend vs peers. Check out this chart from Business Insider today that shows R&D spend as a % of revenue (email subscribers, display images or click through for the post)


As they say… daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn.

So, you can measure your spend on innovation as a percentage of revenue. And when you do that, it tells you some things you would expect – namely, that your competitors are doing what you thought they were doing. Microsoft, Cisco and Google – all leading the pack at over 10% of revenue spent on R&D.

But that of course, tells you nothing about effectiveness. Apple? <insert evil laugh>. Spends about as much Dell – YES DELL – on R&D.


Things that make you go “hmmm”

On to the next one.

Signed – in search of metrics that provide clarity on talent issues.

Posted by Kris Dunn on November 26, 2012 at 12:57 PM in Innovation, Talent | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)