Why you want to attract recruiters via LinkedIn

I often hear from LinkedIn citizens that they’re pestered by recruiters about jobs, how they find it a huge annoyance, unprofessional, spammish, and they won’t reply. But what if recruiters were not contacting you?

Having a recruiter contact you is an affirmation that a) your skills are in demand and b) you can be found. Without both, the professional-you may be approaching the end of it’s shelf life.

Unlike our parents era, no one is looking out for you and your career. This is now your responsibility. You could be tapped on the shoulder tomorrow, or while you’re reading this, that your services are no longer required.

linkedin-icon-100x100aLinkedIn has democratized human capital. Virtually every one in every vertical should be on LinkedIn, whether you’re a professional commercial painter, electrical supplies salesperson, or work in technology, you’re doing yourself a disservice for not being on LinkedIn.

By not being on LinkedIn and/or not sufficiently describing your skills:

  1. You’re losing track of solid connections that could help you find your next job (and vise versa)
  2. You’re losing track of key connections that would provide references during the hiring process (and vise versa)
  3. You’re unable to share your industry, technical or business knowledge to your inner circle, and learn the same from your network. A great way to keep you, and them, up-to-date
  4. You’re keeping your salary depressed.

 

Related must reads:
Why a Passive Candidate Should Take a Recruiter’s Call. https://diigo.com/0x8we
How to be found on LinkedIn: searchvelocity.ca/2012/11/09/top-11-linkedin-seo-tips/

5 Ways to Pass the Employment Probation Period

newjobYou were hired because you are smart and the employer has a high level of confidence in you. You were the best candidate! They want you to succeed.

Here are 5 tips to help you through the employment probation period.

1. Work longer than required.

A good work practice is to work an extra 15-30min at the end of the day. This will look positively on you. Consider this, invariably staff who commute a distance will be unexpectedly late due to weather, traffic, public transit delays, etc. The “banked” minutes/day balances out against the days were the trip in takes unexpectedly longer, days where you need to leave a little early, or have a little longer lunch. It’s a good practice to know in the back of your mind that you have “time banked”.  Related, arrive ready to work. Its a bad practice to arrive at your start time then get your coffee, engage in small talk, then turn on your computer & get setup to start working.

2. Double and triple check your work

Mistakes made in the first 90 days have a greater impact on you and your fledgling tenure than when you’re a “long term” employee.

3. Admit mistakes

We all make mistakes. Admit any mistakes you make. Mistakes are proof that you are trying.

​4. Learn

Be inquisitive. You’re new. Ask lots of questions. Take notes. Learn. Doing the opposite implies you’re not interested or don’t understand. Seek training. If the company doesn’t provide it or peers have insufficient time, seek out webinars, vendors or training videos on Youtube. For company products, ask which are the top 1, 5, or 10 products you should focus on learning. Read manuals.

5. Manage your on-boarding

Build a 30-60-90 day on-boarding plan. Minimally, have daily or weekly plans.

Does Dropbox have a Secret Sauce for Hiring Top Talent?

Many may be under the impression that startup success stories have a secret sauce in identifying and recruiting top talent. Not so. They use the same common sense, tried and true techniques that quality recruiters use.

Dropbox founder CEO Drew Hustone and Sequoia Capital partner Bryan Schreier join TechCruch TV discussing how they work together on recruiting and retaining talent.

It’s a 10min interview. I’ve highlighted the good bits below (note WordPress.com doesn’t permit embedded media):

dropbox techcrunch drew huston

  • 2:50min Q: How do you make employee #251 feel like their employee #5?
  • 6:02min Q: For a key hire, how many times would you meet with a prospective employee?  A: “Several times”
  • 6:43min Q: How does a VC help Dropbox find employees? A: “I provide a service”
  • 7:50min Essentially the interviewer asks Sequoia’s Schreier, You worked for Google building their team in the early days. Do you use similar patterns to help hire top talent at Dropbox?

A Necessary Evil: SWAG

A 2012 Silicon Halton CEO Peer2Peer monthly meeting was kicked off with an interesting opener-topic, SWAG. You know, the often flimsy, cheap paraphernalia that we hope will shine a positive light on your company or products, but too often goes straight from the tradeshow bag into the garbage bag.

The CEO Peer2Peer (P2P) members are relentlessly focused on topics of business value. So why even spend time discussing the merits of swag, which is generally viewed as a necessary evil? The purpose of this opener was to learn from peers what their experience with swag is, what works (if any) and what doesn’t (likely all?). Perhaps we’d learn to abandon swag all together.

What is SWAG’s business purpose?

SWAG purpose is to extend your brand and assist in unaided recall of your company, products or service.

CEO’s report that swag that “sticks around” is what works best. Items that function in a prospects or customers business or personal life, or has a fun-component, will continue carrying your brand and assist in unaided recall. The more useful or more entertaining the swag, the more likely client will remember you on their own.

SWAG is commonly dispensed in two ways: at trade shows or while conducting normal business.

The Trade Show

I think most businesses realize their booth is a mystery novel to the vast majority of tradeshow attendees. Unless you have a new Telsa parked in your booth, how do you lure prospective new clients to your booth? The answer, Swag.

There is a certain expectation within the attendee population at tradeshows that swag can and will be had.

From the vendor’s perspective, for swag to be effective it must pass these 4 events we purchasers make before buying:

  • Be findable – The attendee first must become aware of its existence
  • Interesting – Now that the attendee is aware of your swag, are they interested in it?
  • Desired – As their interest increases, is the swag deemed a prize-worthy such that the attendee feels s/he must have it. We’ve all seen swag that is interesting, but we don’t want it.
  • I must have it – Lastly, interest grows sufficiently to compel the attendee into action. They need to have your swag and therefore make an unplanned stop at your booth. This achieves SWAGs mission.

The other 364 days of the year

Outside of the trade show, as procurers of product and services, it’s nice to receive small tokens of appreciation from our vendor. Resellers or ambassadors for a vendor also like receiving small tokens of appreciation of their efforts. This makes them feel good. They associate feeling good with the company that made them feel good.

The Best Swag

CEO’s shared examples of swag that is reasonably priced, is desired, and allowed them to realize a business advantage. Each of the items would have your company name and/or logo on them:

  1. Tee-shirts / Golf shirts
  2. Making custom swag with 3D printers, for example, memory sticks with the attendee’s company logo embossed on it.
  3. Pens
  4. Portfolio
  5. Silly Putty
  6. Business card holders
  7. Hand sanitizers (works particularly great at trade shows).
  8. Post-it notes
  9. Cell phone speaker
  10. Small screw driver set (ideal for engineers)
  11. Backpack
  12. Water bottles
  13. Items that can be thrown (football, soft frisbees)
  14. Lip-balm

Goes without saying all the above items have your company name and/or logo on them.

If you send me a picture of your best + unique swag, I’ll add it to this post.

Top 11 LinkedIn SEO tips

How are people finding you on LinkedIn if they don’t know your name?  What keywords and/or titles are they using?

I have a LinkedIn premium account and can therefore see how people find me. 22% (up from 15% a few months ago) of the people who found my LinkedIn profile found me by my name, firstname and/or lastname.  The next largest hit was 4% (combined) for vendor names mentioned in my profile. However, finding me by those company names has zero value to me – I’ve since removed the vendor names and that 4% disappeared.

How do I want to be found on LinkedIn?  This started my research into LinkedIn SEO tips as LinkedIn provides virtually no help here except for one faq.

Your Unique Lense

LinkedIn’s Search results are based on your Profile content and activity.  However, one early and (now) seemingly obviously discovery is everyone searches LinkedIn through their own unique “lense”.  Your lense is the people in your network, your 1st, 2nd, 3rd level connections, group connections and your Industry.  Below is my part of my lense into the LinkedIn population – the 1st level connections.   Image underneath each dot is another cloud of connections (your 2nd level) then each of your 2nd level connections has a cloud of connections under them.  Those 3 layers of cloud connections is part of your unique lense. Because of each person’s unique network, virtually no two persons search results will be identical.

Consider that the value of LinkedIn is ensuring your search results are most relevant to you, delivering search results of people in your network.  If I’m searching for title “CEO” in location “Toronto”, I want my results to start with people in my network, people I have a good chance of knowing, or know someone in common, so I may rapidly connect with that CEO.  That’s the other power of LinkedIn, facilitating rapid connections.

Your unique lense also includes your Industry.  You set your Industry with your profile settings.  My Industry is Information Technology & Services.  Therefore, when I search “CEO” in location “Toronto”, I would expect the results to be of CEO in my industry, vs. CEO’s in the Fishery industry.

Your Profile

Before you embark of SEO Optimizing your LinkedIn profile you need to ask yourself a) how do you want to be found and b) by whom – what keywords / titles would they use?  There are two ways to search LinkedIn profiles, from within LinkedIn itself, and externally via a search engine as your #LI profile is indexed by search engines.

During my research I came upon the following results, from reputable sources.

11 LinkedIn SEO tips

  1. Customized Profile URL with your name.  Keywords in URL are search engine optimized.
  2. Change the standard names for the (up to) 3 website URLs (i.e. from “my company”) to customized names (e.g. Stomphorst.ca) for SEO passing authority. You may want to rename the site within LI to attract your target audience, vs. the actual url name.   BTW, don’t list your employer’s website.
  3. Repeat your professional specialty and keywords many times in your LI profile, however keep in mind LI says “More keywords aren’t always better”.   E.g. If you are a BI Specialist:
    1. Professional Headline: BI Specialist
    2. Summary: I’m a BI Specialist in the….
    3. Current & Past Titles (if/when applicable): BI Specialist
    4. Description within job: I was a BI Specialist ….
    5. Specialties: BI Specialist
    6. Skills & Expertise: BI, business intelligence, business intelligence tools. Insert all the keywords you want to be found from.
  4. Remove non-relevant keywords to eliminate false positives. E.g. I was receiving significant hits (relatively speaking) due to single mentions of “Rypple” and “Intelex” in my profile.  This adds zero value to my profile.  30-60 days after I removed mentions of “Rypple” and “Intelex” from my profile, those search words don’t appear in my “Top Search Keyword” (include screen capture)
  5. Set your profile to Display all information
  6. Set your Industry accordingly
  7. Participate in Group discussions – increases the number of internal links to your profile from within LI, thus strengthening your visibility in search engines.
  8. Answer questions on LI answers – increases the number of internal links to your profile from within LI, thus strengthening your visibility in search engines.
  9. Link to your LI profile on other social sites (i.e. link backs)
  10. Request Recommendations. Have at least 10. Elevates your profile within LI.
  11. Endorsements: LinkedIn isn’t weighing endorsements at this feature’s release in Sept 2012, “but will soon.”  “…the more endorsements for your skills and talents that you get, the more often you’ll appear in search results” according to Dave Kerpen.

Gaming the System

I classify the following suggestions as “gaming the system.”  They likely produce a positive impact, but I can’t corroborate their effectiveness. I don’t use them.

  1. Recognizing that LI users search through their “lense”,  LI will elevate results for connections within their network (i.e. 1st, 2nd, 3rd level connections, groups). Therefore, to be in as many networks as possible and therefore found by as many people as possible, you need to be connected to as many people as possible.  Accept any and all connection requests (I’m breathing in a paper bag as I type this).
  2. Similar to above, this too seems seedy, join as many Groups as possible (50 max).  Join the groups with the largest memberships (where’d that paper bag go?).
  3. Add applications like WordPress to promote your blog and Slideshare.net to promote your slidedecks.
  4. List any media attention in the Honor & Awards section. Obviously include any other honors or awards.
  5. Use the Projects section to promote your whitepapers

Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers

A must read for anyone in the hi tech industry. Not just for sales and marketing folks, but for product managers and developers. This is an eye opener in how to best sell high tech products.  I only first read this a couple years ago.

Some key takeaways for me:

  • When the company is crossing the chasm, everyone in the company must be focused on crossing, not just the Sales & Marketing groups. You need company unity.
  • Have to show your new technology enables strategic leap forward for your customer.
  • Learned the term Whole Product, The minimum set of products and services needed to fulfill the compelling reason to buy for the target customer. Every high tech company needs to define their œwhole product
  • If the bug report and product enhancement list are not managed properly it will bring the entire development organization to it knees. The whole product manager needs to own the list. Everyday the enhancements list is in the hands of the original pioneers, the company risks making additional development commitments to un-strategic ends. I’ve seen this happen.”

Win – Language that works Today

One of the top 5% of the books I’ve read. Very timely book about the language of business that works today, not 5 years ago. Win is full of learning experiences. It’s a book I keep within reach. I review it often.

Words are a weapon. Used right, they greatly enhance ability to persuade the listener. Luntz provides examples of words & phrases that work today. He also provides popular words & phrases that worked pre-recession which are no longer valued with the post recession population.

One the better quotes I like from Win is “You can accomplish the right thing, in the right order, and the right time, only when the entire organization understands what is important and why.”

If the language your business uses to communicate matters, I highly recommend you read this.

Follow the author at @FrankLuntz