The Anatomy of the Perfect Keynote Speech

I was recording a podcast last week with my friend and professional speaker, Jennifer McClure, last week for her new Impact Makers Podcast (check it out!). I won’t be for a while, but she has some great people she has already recorded including a brilliant session with William Tincup!

One of the secret ingredients to a well-produced podcast is that all the participants are somewhat ready for the conversation that is about to happen. So, Jen and I did some pre-gaming and post-gaming conversation that wasn’t recorded, and the topic of keynote speeches came up.

I was telling her that I had a new talk that I’m doing that is killing (speaker talk for doing well!) and I made a comment about it’s all just stories with bits of data thrown in to make the stories seem more important! (half joking) Jen commented saying, “That’s a blog post! The anatomy of a keynote!” So, here you go Jen!

Before I lay out the perfect keynote, you have to have some ingredients. Here’s the basic keynote ingredient list:

  1. A person who can speak. I would love to say an engaging person who can talk, but I’ve been to far too many conferences where this was a requirement to be a keynote!
  2. A book, working experience with a transcendent brand, or you’re famous. A book is always helpful, conference planners love to have keynotes with books. Books are like a driver’s license for a keynote speaker. But, you can also work Google or Facebook or Nike or just name a giant brand, and working for a brand like that takes the place of a book or your ability to speak.
  3. A price tag north of $20,000. You might be the most awesome speaker in the world, but if you tell them you’ll only charge $5,000, you’re out! Our conference deserves a much better keynote speaker than a $5,000 speaker, I mean we have a budget for $25K!
  4. It helps to be attractive, but the bigger the celebrity/brand the uglier you can be.
  5. Fashion that matches your speaking brand. If you’re a buttoned-up, semi-conservative speaker, you can’t get away with jeans and a hoodie on the keynote stage. If you cuss and drink a red bull and started a tech company and have a YouTube channel with 100K followers, you’ll look foolish wearing a suit and tie.

Okay, we have all the ingredients to a great keynote, what does the actual keynote look like? There are basically three types of keynotes:

Keynote #1I’m famous, you’re not! In America, especially, we are fascinated with ‘celebrity’. If you’re famous, you can keynote because somehow we believe you being famous gives you something important to say, even when it doesn’t.

The anatomy of Keynote #1:

– I’m famous!

– I have “being” famous stories!

– But I’m humble and I’m really just like you, but I’m famous!

– Here’s how you should live your life, because I’m famous!

Keynote #2I’m not famous, but I work(ed) for a famous brand/person. These keynotes can be fascinated because again we are all interested to know what the secret sauce is of other organizations, and our hope is this person will tell us.

The anatomy of Keynote #2 –

– I work for a famous brand, you don’t!

– Working for this famous brand is awesome! You should try it!

– Here’s what we do because we are a famous brand. You should try it!

– Here’s how you should live your life, because I work(ed) for a famous brand!

Keynote #3I’m a Professional Story Teller. A good portion of keynotes falls into this camp. Someone worked their butt off to learn how to be a professional speaker, paid their dues, probably wrote a book or two along the way, probably had a decent actual career to a point, people liked hearing them speak and they turned that into a full-time gig.

The anatomy of Keynote #3:

– Start with a story that will endear the audience to you, even if that story has nothing to do with you.

– Share some data or research, that might not even be yours, but the audience is like “Wow” that can’t be.

– Share another story (that isn’t even about you) that reinforces that data/research and ties to the concept of your new book that was written about other’s people research and stories.

– Another piece of research and data, that ties to the model you present in your book. Plus, acts as motivation for the audience to change something in their life.

– The final story, this is a big one (not yours, again), that you foreshadowed in the first story, and that will wrap up the entire keynote like a bow! This ending story is a crescendo of laughter, tears, and motivation to change your life in ways you didn’t dream of just sixty minutes before.

– Here’s how you should live your life, because I just entertained you for an hour and you have no idea why you want me to sign a book.

Okay, you guys know I love to joke and make fun of life. I get that it’s super hard and takes a ton of practice and talent to pull off a great keynote. I’ve seen keynotes that were brilliant and I know it’s a skill! I’ve also seen keynotes where the keynote speaker stole my time and the conference organizers money!

Great keynotes at any level start and end with great storytelling. The best tie those stories to an actual takeaway that will help you get better at something. That takeaway could be personal or professional, it doesn’t matter. The best keynotes also entertain you a bit. They are masters at almost instantly getting you to trust them and like them.

My least favorite keynotes are famous people. I’m not impressed by celebrity. The worst ones are the new Q&A’s with celebrities. It’s an insult to my intelligence that you’re getting paid $150K for an hour and you couldn’t even come prepared with an hour of material, instead, you just show up and we’ll ask pre-sent questions and listen to your lame answers.

My favorites are people you entertain me, teach me something, take me on a journey with them for an hour. It seems like the hour was over in twenty minutes. I want more. My all-time favorite is Malcolm Gladwell. He’s a masterful storyteller and I could sit and listen for hours.

Who is your favorite all-time keynote speaker and why? Hit me in the comments!

Career Confessions from Gen-Z: When You Get “Ghosted” by an Employer!

Although I am referred to as the “Gen-Z expert”, I would not claim to be an expert on the dating practices of Gen-Z members. However, I am familiar with the concept of “ghosting”. If you aren’t familiar with this practice, here is the definition from Urban Dictionary: “To avoid someone until they get the picture and stop contacting you.” Pretty harsh, huh? Now, this is a classic example of young people just avoiding their problems and being too afraid to face them. But, we aren’t the only ones doing this!

My name is Cameron Sackett, and I have been ghosted by a potential employer.

Yes, I said it. I am only 19 years old and I have been a victim of ghosting.

Here’s how it works people. Let’s say you apply for a job and low and behold, they invite you in for an interview! Next, you go in for the interview and it goes really well and WOW, they offer you the job right on the spot! They say “oh, we’ll be in touch next week!”, and you leave feeling like you’re on Cloud 9. All of sudden, it’s next week and you hear nothing. You wait around and still nothing. Finally, you email them and they email back saying “some internal things are changing in the company, we’ll be in touch as soon as we can”. And you never hear back again.

This is what happened to me a few months ago. And it sucks. So, I’m here to say, don’t ghosts your candidates. Don’t fall into the easy trap of avoiding potential confrontation and just own up to it! Be honest with your candidates. If you can’t hire them anymore for whatever reason, let them know! Don’t just forget about them and leave them hanging, desperately yearning for an internship, so you can gain much needed experience to get other internships that will help you find a worthwhile job after you graduate (or at least in my case).

On the other side of the coin, don’t let yourself get ghosted. You may think that this is all because it was a shady company, but no! This happened to me at a perfectly well-respected company and I’m sure it does at plenty of others. If someone is offering you a position, get it in writing. I don’t care how you do it, but don’t fall into the same hole that I did.

Now, I’m not trying to call out anyone on this post because. Even though it made me upset, everything ended up working out and I’m all set for a summer internship at a different (better) company. I’m writing this for all of the hiring managers and recruiters out there who offered a position they can’t fill anymore. Also, I’m writing this for all of the candidates that were offered a job that they desperately need or want, but somehow disappears. Let’s lead the way and end job ghosting and hopefully, Gen-Z will follow suit and stop being assholes.

Editor’s Note (Yeah, Cam’s Dad) – So, I’m a Gen-Xer but clearly I was on this ‘ghosting’ thing way before my Gen-Z son – when I wrote this post –  The Reson You’re Being ‘Ghosted’ After Your Interview!  All the way back in March 2018! 😉 

This post was written by Cameron Sackett (not Tim) – you can probably tell because it lacks grammatical errors!

HR and TA Pros – have a question you would like to ask directly to a GenZ? Ask us in the comments and I’ll respond in an upcoming blog post right here on the project. Have some feedback for me? Again, please share in the comments and/or connect with me on LinkedIn.

The Weekly Dose of HR Tech: @HRmarketer now has Employer Brand Advocacy!

On the Weekly Dose this week I review HRmarketer’s new Brand Advocacy product. If you don’t know who HRmarketer is they are someone you should probably take a look at. They were originally developed as a real-time data and HR industry insights product to help drive HR marketing and media relations campaigns, primarily for the HR vendor community to sell better to all of us (and they still do a great job at doing that!).

What HRmarketer found out over the past years was that they had built most of what an Employment Brand function would need to have a fully automated employee brand advocacy tool as well. Since they already built a brand advocacy tool for vendors, building one for employees was pretty similar with a few changes.

So, what the heck is an employee brand advocacy tool!?

Think of Employee Brand Advocacy the way you think about all those consumer brand you follow socially and love. One of my favorite brands is Nike. I follow them on Instagram, FB, Twitter, etc. If they share cool content, I tend to share a lot of that cool content with my followers. As you can imagine, Nike loves this kind of content share, because it’s coming from a fan.

Now, think about how you can use that with employees with your employer brand.

Not all of our employees love us. Some just like us, or they’re on the path to loving us! We all have a few employees that are truly in love with us! They love us, we love them! If you asked these employees to share some content with their networks, they would in a second! Without even asking why. Remember, they love you!

If you truly want to build and grow your employment brand, you need employee brand advocates! Now, you can do this manually and send a million emails asking for help, then send more emails showing them a piece of content to share, then hoping most will share. You can do that. It’s tough, and it’s hard to maintain.

This is where HRmarketer comes into play by automating the entire employee brand advocacy function for you! It’s like Employee Brand Advocacy on steroids!

What I like about HRmarketer’s Employer Brand Advocacy program:

It’s priced to get people to test it! You don’t pay by the size of your company, you pay by the number of advocates that use the program. So, you can start small with one group and see how it works, then, as you prove the value, you can expand where you need it. (HR vendors should take note, this is a great pricing model).

Super easy to create as many employee groups as you want. By skill, by location, by demographics, by hiring a manager, etc. Want more female referrals? Just create a group of all of your female employee brand ambassadors and have this group share content and job openings with their network.

Advocates don’t have to live inside the platform. Once it’s set up and permissions approved, email reminders of new content go directly to your ambassadors who can then pick and choose what content they share and how they share it. You can also set up mobile and desktop notifications as well for new content.

It measures the analytics so you have real data on the effectiveness of various content you share. Plus, you can also see which advocates are having the most impact, and figure out how can you leverage these employee ambassadors even more, or even set up rewards.

I’m a gigantic fan of this technology!

If you’re running a large TA shop, an employee brand advocacy program is a must. If you want to do it really well, employee brand advocacy automation is a must. HRmarketer made this platform super easy to use, you don’t have to be techy to use it, and they made it cost effective to test and show your organization the value.

So, I tell you to demo a lot. I know, I love tech and I geek out about this stuff, but this is one you really need to demo if you want to start an employee brand ambassador program, or just have interest in what and how other organizations are using these programs to expand their employment brand. Just demo it, you’ll see!

The Weekly Dose – is a weekly series here at The Project to educate and inform everyone who stops by on a daily/weekly basis on some great recruiting and sourcing technologies that are on the market.  None of the companies who I highlight are paying me for this promotion.  There are so many really cool things going on in the tech space and I wanted to educate myself and share what I find.  If you want to be on The Weekly Dose – just send me a note –

Want help with your HR & TA Tech company – send me a message about my HR Tech Advisory Board experience.

Career Confessions from Gen-Z: What Social Media Should You Use to Recruit Gen-Z?

Like my Gen-Z counterparts, social media has been a part of my life from a very young age. Unlike many of my fellow Gen-Zer’s, I may have less Twitter followers than one of my parents, but I like to think my knowledge of social media is up with the rest of them.

Social media branding can be a make or break asset for companies. Too much advertising can make you seem old-school or unapproachable, but too little activity will make you seem irrelevant. It is absolutely vital to create a brand through social media in order to appeal to Gen-Z. Here’s the lowdown on each major social media platform and how to use them for the greatest success:

  1. Twitter: Twitter allows for the greatest interaction between you and your potential employees. I recommend to maintain a large and active Twitter presence and do your best to interact with people or current events/trends, rather than posting only ads about your company. (Look at Wendy’s Twitter interactions for an example).
  2. Facebook: While Facebook’s influence is still the largest of all other platforms, Gen-Z is not the most active on this site. We may all have profiles, but we are not as active on this as other sites, like Twitter and Instagram. I would keep a steadily active presence, but focus your Gen-Z branding efforts on the other platforms.
  3. Instagram: This one is tricky. Although it’s my favorite social media site, the little interactivity amongst users makes it difficult to recruit. I would focus your video content here since Instagram and Instagram stories are widely used for short video clips and it is an easy way to find a Gen-Z following.
  4. Snapchat: All I have to say is STAY AWAY. Please do NOT try and recruit people on Snapchat. Not only is it awkward, it is not the place people go to in order to look for a job. The only feature that is usable for recruiting efforts is the stories feature, and I would recommend using this on Instagram instead.
  5. YouTube: Like I said in my last article, go crazy on YouTube. Get that video content going and go share it on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc. Utilize YouTube to the best of your ability and it may result in big success.

While I may not know a lot about HR, I know a lot about social media and Gen-Z. Social media can seem very daunting, but all it takes is a little effort and a little personality. Try to be different. It will be evident if you are making an attempt to brand yourself over social media and Gen-Z will realize that. We’re not all social media crazed monsters like our parents want you to believe. I promise.

Let me know what you think about social media branding in the comments! What’s working for you? What isn’t!? 

SpamBrands: Is there really any difference between Employment Brands?

I have a belief that 9 out of 10 employment brands are exactly the same. Meaning, if you were to really go out and ask candidates to give you specific differences between employment brands, they wouldn’t be able to tell brands apart.

EB #1 only hires the best talent, treats their employees with dignity and respect, values diversity, has a fun work environment, and really listens to their employees.

EB #2 does the same thing as #1 but in green!

EB #3 does the same thing as #1 and #2, but they also only hire top talent.

EB #4 does all of that but they pay for performance.

At this point in employment branding history, we are really just creating SpamBrands! Our brand is just like that brand, but better! How are you better? Because we say we’re better!

I do think we have a few special employment brands in the world. So, the big question becomes what makes those brands truly standout from all the spam we get bombarded by on a daily basis?

I had this idea a while back, about SpamBrands, but I sat on it because I didn’t know how to answer that question. The answers I kept coming up with was just more spam! Not real differentiators that made a difference.

I’m not sure if this is right or not, but in with my limited marketing knowledge, it seemed to make sense. I believe the only true employment branding differentiation that your organization has is:

A truly transformational leadership vision. 

Any organization can pay more. Have better benefits. Have great diversity. Have tremendous leadership soft skills. Any organization can make the product you make cheaper and better. Etc. Etc. Etc.

It’s an extreme rarity to have true leadership vision! Elon Musk vision. Steve Jobs vision. Henry Ford vision. Oprah Winfrey vision. Crystal clear, inspirational, unending. A vision that stands out front and employees will follow it like without question.

So, if this is the case that the only thing that really separates our organizations is a transformational vision and someone who can lead it, and the rest of us are basically the same, what are we really telling candidates? Isn’t it just spam? If it is, isn’t employment branding just a giant waste of time and resources?

I’m going to say NO!

Didn’t see that coming, right!?

Basically, we are living in an Instagram world. Most people see great design and a savvy media strategy as something that is ‘better’ than something that doesn’t have that.

Employment branding works because marketing works.

It doesn’t mean you’re actually a better employer to work for. Let’s not be naive. We can all play the game, and get that’s it’s a game. It doesn’t make you or your organization bad for playing the game. But it is a game if you don’t have that transformational vision.

It’s even cool if you truly believe your company is a great company! Belief is what separates good from average for most employers. I mean belief is what transformational vision is based on.

So, what’s the favorite part of your SpamBrand?

Career Confessions from GenZ: Are you Pre-boarding Interns?

College orientation was one of the most uncomfortable and awkward experiences of my life. I would say that most other current college students would attest to this. I think it’s very unreasonable to expect a group of 18-year-olds to meet for the first time and become friends in a short time span while learning everything you’re supposed to know about the school you are attending.

Thankfully I am through the college orientation process, but I have a lifetime of job orientations ahead of me. Apparently, this process in the workforce is called “onboarding” (thanks, Dad!), but to newbies like me, we invented a new term to describe this orientation called “pre-boarding”.

This new style of onboarding is a more in-depth look into general ideas about the workforce in addition to normal onboarding events. This is for people that have never worked real-life jobs before (yup, that’s me). I like this idea of pre-boarding because I am a very curious person that has a million questions and likes them all to be answered! So, here are some specific topics that I want companies to focus on while pre-boarding newbies like me:

  1. Dress Code: For someone that has always put a heavy emphasis on what I wear, this is very important to me and other young people. The words “business casual” mean absolutely nothing to me. I need concrete examples of what to wear and this means VISUALS.  I want someone to show me pictures or even show me real-life examples of what I should be wearing every day to work. Please and thank you.
  2. Logistics: I’m calling this section logistics because it encompasses a whole array of logistical things. I need to know where to park, where to sit, when I eat, where I eat, where’s the bathroom, when I’m supposed to arrive, when I’m supposed to leave, among many other things. And I would like a concrete answer to all of these. Coming from a school environment, like most newbies are, we are always told when to do things and how to do them. Therefore, it is important to realize this and adhere to how your new employees have been given information for most of their lives.
  3. Job-related content: This part of the pre-boarding process should be different for every job because it has to do with the specific duties and tasks that new employees will be performing. This can include things like meeting your fellow team members, learning how to use certain software or programs, and other instructional demonstrations as needed (you guys already know how to do this part). Will I have a laptop, desktop, no computer, no desk? Should I bring my own laptop? What about my phone, you know I’m not going anywhere without that!? 

I’m sure I’m forgetting a million other things that are important, but these are just things that I specifically worry about. For this pre-boarding process, it is extremely important to leave all questions unanswered. Gen-Z (and young people across history) DON’T ask questions, so it is important to make sure you think of everything beforehand. This process will help alleviate pressure from your new employee and will warrant an easy and successful transition into their new position.

Here’s to hoping that my future bosses will be reading this post to make it easier for me!


HR and TA Pros – have a question you would like to ask directly to a GenZ? Ask us in the comments and I’ll have Cameron respond in an upcoming blog post right here on the project. Have some feedback for Cameron? Again, please share in the comments and/or connect with him on LinkedIn.


The Top 100 Fortune 500 Employment Brands Report @WilsonHCG

RPO provider WilsonHCG released their annual Employment Brands Report for 2018. The report lists the top 100 employment brands based on an algorithm Wilson put together, and they are:

#1 – Johnson & Johnson

#2 – Intel

#3 – IBM

#4 – Lockheed Martin

#5 – Proctor & Gamble

#6 – General Motors

#7 – J.P. Morgan Chase

#8 – Dow Chemical

#9 – Cummins

#10 – ADP

So, how does that Top 10 feel at first glance?

I had some problems. The top 10 list seems a bit dated. Like it might be better titled, “Employment Brands People Over 40 Would Love to Work for!”. If someone on the street came up and said, “Tim, you can win a million dollars by telling us the 3 top Employment Brands in the U.S.” I would immediately say – Google, Apple, Facebook.

Google is on the list and in the top 20. Facebook is down at 61. Apple is NOT on the list! Also, no Nike. Very strange.

So, I looked at the criteria. How did this big RPO firm that sells to the Fortune 500 come up with this list? Here are the criteria for having a ‘top’ employment brand:

  • Career Page – Okay, that’s important to a great employment brand, solid start!
  • Job Boards – Um, what!? Your use of Job Boards has nothing to do with your Employment Brand! In fact, I would argue organizations with great employment brands don’t even have to use job boards.
  • Employee Reviews & Candidate Engagement – Okay, we get it Glassdoor has data.
  • Accolades – By whom? Me? You? This is also gamed as it’s “Best Places to Work”, “Most Admired”, etc. Which are all pretty much pay to play schemes.
  • Recruitment Marketing – RM is not EB. You can be great at RM – Amazon, and still have a weaker EB.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility & Recruitment Initiatives – Recruitment Initiatives? Could one of those happen to be – “Use RPO”? Just asking for a friend.

Okay, I’ve had enough fun with Wilson and the report, there was some actual good data that came out of it as well.

The biggest one that really hits home is this: The top 100 on the list scored 805% better than the bottom 100 on the list! That’s a giant disparity and really talks to the fact that EB (or more RM in this case) still has so far to come, but many top brands are beginning to separate from the pack.

Wilson found that top scoring companies had better alignment with marketing, which completely makes sense and it should be that way. Employment branding and recruitment marketing done in a silo, is a whole lot of wasted effort and resources. Your candidates are often your consumers, and while marketing messages can be vastly different from recruiting messages, the tone and voice should be similar.

Go check out the report, you can download a copy here! Under each of the six measures, the report does a great job of giving specific things organizations can do to better themselves.

The Power of Your Network is Still the Most Valuable Thing You Own!

If you’re even a casual reader of this blog you know I have three sons. Two of those sons are in college. Being that my life’s work has been in HR and Recruiting you better believe they understand the importance of good grades and internships!

Being the Dad I am I thought it would be a good idea to use my network to try and help my boys get an internship. Let’s be honest, this is how most recruiting still works today. It’s about who you are, combined with who you know. My kids know me and a few hundred friends and family, 99.9% of which are absolutely no help in finding them an internship.

They’re a lot like most kids, besides this one exception.

I know a ‘few’ more people than they do. I’ve been writing for about ten years now. I’ve spent a career building a network. So, I put a very simple message out on LinkedIn. Here it is:

You see the number, right!? 99,973 views of this post as of me writing this post!

I don’t care who you are, or what your network is on LinkedIn, 99K views is a lot! I know a bunch of marketing pros who would give me their left arm for 99K views of anything they put out!

The outcome is still undetermined. Both boys have had interviews, so I’m confident they’ll find something wonderful. I’ve had amazing friends, peers, and people I’ve never met, reach out to help. Some with actual positions. Some with other connections who might have something. Others with just words of encouragement.

I was overwhelmed with gratitude.

When you write a free blog for ten years you really don’t have any idea what the ultimate outcome will be. I don’t ask for much of my network. I really didn’t expect much from the post above. I sent it out into the world and magic came back. It’s very cool!

Some learnings I’m taking away from this experience:

– LinkedIn for how much we love to hate it sometimes can be very, very powerful tool for networking.

– When a post goes viral, you are never prepared! If I didn’t reply back to you I’m sorry, it was unintentional!

– The next time you decide to ‘ignore’ a LinkedIn connection request, think about how that person might help your network.

I had a friend point out that some folks might be upset over this. The reason my kids will get an internship is because of ‘who’ they know (me, there dad). They have the advantage of having a network that can deliver these opportunities. What about all those kids that don’t have that same ‘privilege’. It’s not fair.

I can’t change the fact that as a father I want to help my kids get every opportunity they can. I didn’t do their homework and take their tests, that’s all on them. I don’t sit in on the interview, that’s all on them. I help out people not related to me every day in the best way I can. I’m not going to apologize for helping my own kids find a job. That’s just silly.

FYI – still on the outlook for a summer Accounting internship for a Junior Accounting Major with a 3.85+ GPA, who is a student-athlete playing college baseball on scholarship. It turns out most Accounting internships are in the Winter and Spring during tax season. He can’t do that with his athletic commitment. So, if you know of anything, let me know!

Is Your Organization Using HR Tech for Good or Evil?

Right before Christmas when things were crazy and no one was paying attention, something happened in the HR Tech world that didn’t get much press. This happens at certain times. It’s why corporations, governments, etc. release bad news on Fridays at 5 pm. It gets buried during the weekend.

The thing that happened was the announcement that many companies (Amazon, Verizon, UPS, and even Facebook themselves) were using Facebook Ads to exclude older people from applying for their jobs! That’s big news, right!?

If these same companies were using the exact same technology to exclude females or African Americans, don’t you think the world would have stopped, if only for a second until Trump tweeted again!? I think it would have, but it didn’t.

From the article:

A few weeks ago, Verizon placed an ad on Facebook to recruit applicants for a unit focused on financial planning and analysis. The ad showed a smiling, millennial-aged woman seated at a computer and promised that new hires could look forward to a rewarding career in which they would be “more than just a number.”

Some relevant numbers were not immediately evident. The promotion was set to run on the Facebook feeds of users 25 to 36 years old who lived in the nation’s capital, or had recently visited there, and had demonstrated an interest in finance. For a vast majority of the hundreds of millions of people who check Facebook every day, the ad did not exist.

Verizon is among dozens of the nation’s leading employers — including AmazonGoldman SachsTarget and Facebook itself — that placed recruitment ads limited to particular age groups, an investigation by ProPublica and The New York Times has found.

The ability of advertisers to deliver their message to the precise audience most likely to respond is the cornerstone of Facebook’s business model. But using the system to expose job opportunities only to certain age groups has raised concerns about fairness to older workers.

So, is this right? Well, Facebook seems to think so:

Facebook defended the practice. “Used responsibly, age-based targeting for employment purposes is an accepted industry practice and for good reason: it helps employers recruit and people of all ages find work,” said Rob Goldman, a Facebook vice president.

“Age-based targeting for employment purposes is an accepted industry standard”. Really!? Well, in one way it is. But only if you’re doing it for good, not evil! If you are out trying to specifically recruit older people because you lack an older population in your workforce, then “yes” that is accepted.

If you don’t want older people, because they don’t fit your culture, then “HELL NO” it’s not an accepted standard!

The holidays came and went and all of this is forgotten because we don’t care about older workers. That’s a fact. We treat older workers like garbage in America. Once you reach 50 years old in America, you become stupid and worthless to hiring managers, even when those hiring managers are over 50!

We would have killed Facebook if they said it was an “industry standard to run ads for only white dudes”. But they are running ads for only young people and that is now an industry standard.

It’s not. It’s prejudice. It’s wrong. It is not an industry standard. Segmenting recruitment marketing is tricky. We have to be responsible enough to know when you exclude a certain group, that better not be an underrepresented group in your workforce and not the majority of your workforce (Facebook!).

So, what do you think? Industry accepted standard or bad recruitment marketing practice? Hit me in the commnets and let me know!

How Fake is Your Employment Brand?

I think most employment brands are completely fake. The reason I feel this way is because HR and Executives approve the messaging.  We, HR and Executives, are the last people who really know what our employment brand truly is.  So, we end up with stuff like this:

Seems really cool!  Makes us feel good about ourselves and our organization.  But for the most part, it’s one big lie.

That’s marketing.  It’s not marketings job to tell you the truth.  It’s marketings job to get you to buy something.  Sometimes its just some crappy product or service. Sometimes its the church down the street with the cool young pastor and rock band.  Sometimes it’s working for your organization.

Many HR Pros and Executives get really pissed off when I say something like this.

That’s because they drink their own Kool-aid.  They truly believe the messages brought forth are the truth.  Those messages are what they hope and dream the organization to become, so they’re all bought in on making it happen.  I actually really like these people. I like people who are bought into making their organizations what their commercials are telling us they are, even when they aren’t.

Who wants to go work for an organization that puts up a commercial of some manager unable to communicate what needs to be done, and Bobby down in the accounting bitching he only got a 14 lb. turkey from the company, when last year he got a 15 lb. turkey?

No one!

But that’s truly your organization.  Organizations are like families. You have some folks in your family you don’t want the rest of the world to see, but when you take the family photo it looks like everyone is fairly normal and well adjusted.

So, how fake is your employment brand?  On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being Goldman Sachs and 10 being Google, where does your organization fall?