Christie Cordes is a CEO | Director of Global Talent Acquisition and an Employer Brand Consultant @Ad Recruiter with over a decade of digital and social media recruitment branding experience. Today we are going to talk about the evolution of Human Resources and Christie’s social recruiting best practices in bringing a talent pool to her clients companies.
Christie, can you explain the meaning behind your company’s name?
I recruit executives in the ad (advertising | branding) industry. Being in the digital media industry I knew SEO and Google results would have an impact on my company’s visibility, so I looked at the major industry news sites such as Ad Week and Ad Age – and there you have it: Ad Recruiter. I think the name really helped clarify to industry executives what disciplines I focus on. I think it was a simple yet powerful naming strategy as a sole proprietor.
Social media conquered the world and it shows no sign of slowing down. What do you see as the most effective social media channel to recruit at?
Social platforms shift in popularity much like fashion does. Different platforms ‘trend’ and then new ones emerge – it’s very fluent and always shifting. Being ‘visible’ where the cutting edge, curious people are in social is important for recruiting and attracting the very best talent. Social media is composed of people and people are talent. It’s important to have a handle on how all the platforms operate. If I’m looking to attract college grads and interns – they absolutely love SnapChat. It’s such a fun platform, it’s a great place to attract them, because that’s where they are spending time! Instagram and Pinterest is a visual creative network for many aesthetic minded designers and creatives. It’s a great place to ‘discover’ talent and see how different people curate their boards and also see projects they are working on. LinkedIn is fantastic – for referencing and seeing peoples experience, it’s an invaluable tool. I’m not sure if it’s incredibly ‘social’ but they keep trying to improve that to some extent.
The best network (as of now) for Ad Recruiter is actually Twitter (w/LinkedIn) together. There are a few solid reasons why it’s great for communicating to talent and identifying talent. Twitter has low barrier to connecting to top executives and forming relationships. We’ve all experienced top executives ‘not accepting LinkedIn invites from strangers’ yet a follow is typically met with ‘how nice’ as a positive compliment! That makes it an ideal place to identify and build trust based on relationships with executives all over the world. I consider my social followers across all platforms – my candidate pipeline (not an automated database of pdf CV attachments).
I use LinkedIn with Twitter at all times, in other words a new follower who’s bio on Twitter is vague, I’ll locate their LinkedIn profile to understand who they are and what they do. I advise all executives, to have a transparent / informative Twitter bio with a link to LinkedIn on Twitter – especially for career advancement, business networking and ‘being discovered’. The other platforms can be more personal and so people don’t share their real names, or where they work often times, especially Snapchat! So that’s makes it difficult to identify ‘targeted talent’ but attracting them there is always important!
You’re not only a seasoned recruiter, but also an employer brand specialist. Can you share how you engage candidates on social media?
Adding Value, Coaching, Consulting, Human Resources, Leadership, Location independent, Modern Career, Relocation
What do coaching, opening a new café, and creating a time saving app have in common?
Too difficult to answer?
How about this one: what do all the above have in common PLUS establishing an internet shop, volunteering in Africa and running photography workshops – all at the same time?
As a career coach, I might be slightly more attuned to these ideas I hear literally every day – from my friends, acquaintances, and clients. What is this all about, you might ask. Is it about who has the best idea? Who is the most creative? Maybe who can execute something and bring it to life? Or perhaps about picking and focusing on just one idea? I can see something on a much deeper level: people desperately long to add value to the world and be truly useful to others. When others around me say ‘I want to open a vegan bed and breakfast’ or ‘I want to create a job search app’ or ’I want to be a life coach,’ I hear “I want to add value.” They want to change the world – or at least help improve parts of others’ lives. At the same time, we would like to use our unique talents, be creative, have fun, and earn for living (except, of course volunteering). Earning while doing something valuable and enjoyable seems to be the trickiest part. I think many of us still believe that they can not earn well while doing something they love. Others think they first have to sort out their own careers and financial security and only THEN they can start adding value and changing the world.
Is adding value and helping others a luxury you can only afford after you yourself become established and successful?
There’s no one better to talk to about social recruiting than a recruiter who has worked previously as a marketer. Today I interview a Strategic Recruitment Manager at Scott Logic, Michelle Minnikin, who shares a great deal of useful practices on recruiting through social media, company culture and branding. Michelle also shares her top 3 resources for HR managers. Keep reading.
Her background is in occupational psychology and recruitment, having built 14 years of experience. She is a Recruitment Manager – Strategy, having joined Scott Logic after three years at Balfour Beatty and prior to that, AMEC. In her role she provides a bridge between recruitment and marketing activities for Scott Logic. She’s been in post since February 2016 and her favourite things (at work) are employer branding, selection and assessment.
Michelle, social media are already full-fledged recruiting tools. What do you see as the most effective social media to recruit for Scott Logic? There is so much out there and sometimes it can be a waste of time if not used properly.
As a business, we create carefully targeted content, including three different blogs for different audiences that are shared through various channels. Our technical blog, which our consultants write, shares our thoughts and experiences of using technologies, techniques and tools, and is very popular. Our insights blog is for business leaders and decision makers, and our careers blog helps software developers, test engineers and user experience designers with their job search while showcasing what it’s like to work at Scott Logic.
At Scott Logic, the quality of our service is defined by our people; they are our greatest asset, so we already know we want more people just like them (we’d love to clone them, but this technology has not been suitably developed yet!). So, we asked our people what social media sites they spend time on so we can focus our efforts on the channels that are relevant to them.
Based on this information, we are focusing our efforts on LinkedIn and Twitter as recruitment tools. As an organisation, we do have a LinkedIn Recruiter License so we are able to source directly using that. However, I think delivering engaging, useful content that positions our employees as thought leaders and showcases what it is like to work here helps make our recruitment brand more desirable.
I wonder how do you assess the efficiency of your content marketing? How you set yourself a goal to reach which specific content and what stats are you looking at to define the success?
Our strategy is a long term one focused primarily on raising awareness of the Scott Logic brand among our key audiences. So, tracking all applications to ask how each candidate heard about us is vital. We also survey all candidates to assess the experience they’ve had of our recruitment process to obtain anecdotal and qualitative feedback that helps us improve on an ongoing basis.
Can you share how you engage candidates in your employer brand on social media?
Are you thinking about taking on a new direction in life and work ? Looking for an inspiration?
This article is for you. Monika Budzyńska used her extensive headhunting experience to set-up an organic FMCG company. She shares her know-how, mistakes, lessons learnt and rules for success with Coachify.
Monika, please tell us about your career transition and your new business.
I have been working professionally for more than 10 years and it has been mostly in the headhunting industry. However something has changed in my life a lot. I have had some health issues lately and that made me discover the natural medicine and healthy lifestyle. This experience changed my point of view and my life extremely. I started to eat organic, do sports, be with the nature more often and got a dog – a cute Maltese called Lucy. Once I had done it all I felt like I was ready for more changes and I needed to do something professionally connected with health and ecology themselves. This was the time I decided to set up BioInspire, organic FMCG distribution and sales representative company. I haven’t left the headhunting business fully yet however I am strongly focused on developing my company at the moment. There is a great vision behind BioInspire. I would like to inspire people to lead a healthy lifestyle by sharing my knowledge and also delivering the products that I find healthy. And this is actually not that obvious once you go through what is being sold in organic shops. That’s why BioInspire is so unique, we only represent the chosen manufacturers. Following the vision of BioInspire, I am really happy to have such possibility of participating in Coachify’s interview.
We are happy to have you here. Can you tell us how difficult was your career transition?
Actually it was not that hard for me even though my professional experience might sound completely different from what I do now. However I can see many common characteristics. First of all, head-hunters sale their services and candidates to their customers. They have to approach new clients, candidates, set up the relations and maintain them. Head-hunters need to be active on social media just to be recognizable on the market they operates on. This is something I do on a daily basis at BioInspire. I gather information, approach new customers, analyze the market and create the new brand recognition on the Polish market.
Do you feel you are ‘stuck’ in your job and wondering what to do about it? Do you wake up every morning wishing you could stay in bed instead of going to the office? Do you have the impression that your job has no meaning or importance? Or maybe you are so fed up you want to run away to the sun and sip cocktails for the rest of your life? If you answered yes to any of these questions – rest assured, you are not alone. For several years I worked in a role that didn’t align with my natural talents or personal strengths. In fact I hear a similar story from many of my friends who are dissatisfied with their jobs but keep on going for years feeling unhappy and stressed. The long-term effects of working in such a relentless environment can be devastating. Chronic stress related to your work situation can contribute to serious health issues such as high blood pressure, cardiac disease and depression. Despite this, for many different reasons we remain in the jobs we hate or we make a change without understanding our real purpose, strengths and goals, ending up in the exact same job situation as before. Albert Einstein once said the ‘the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result’. Following his wisdom, before you make a drastic move and hand in your notice, pause for a moment and think! There are several things you can do to discover which job will truly make you happy.
It took me a while to make a conscious decision to change my career and today I can proudly say I did it! The time and effort I invested changing my path has already had an impact on my life. I have become more confident, positive and clear about who I am and what I want to achieve in life. I am writing this article to let you know it is possible to make a huge difference by finding a job you love.
Please – DO NOT READ this article about the utmost passion and the eternal struggle of an individual UNLESS you want to fully understand the complexities of being a woman in technology and see why only few females will thrive in this environment.
Why would you like to read or hear about someone’s story, anyway?
Because it hasn’t been told yet.
And because every story is like no other.
So, who is she? This tech lady.
Daijie Huang is a first generation Chinese immigrant in the USA. She founded the Boston-based startup, InnoTechnologies, that is creating the first marketplace for location based personal travel guides. The project was built on a passion for technology and innovation, but also traveling, since Daijie is an enthusiastic traveler herself. She is quite the global female entrepreneur, as well as successful and resourceful women and leader – but there’s more to her than that.
Behind every success, there’s a hard work. We all know that. Except that behind Daijie’s story there’s this extra effort she had to put into making her dreams a reality.
Daijie grew up in China, currently lives in the USA, and she visited countless countries all over the world, mostly with her daughter. Daijie’s career has spanned from engineering to product management and now to entrepreneurship. As we speak, she is now bringing her app to Kickstarter to bring travel experts from every corner of the world to share their stories. Today I want you to read about Daijie’s path to becoming a successful entrepreneur, her technical interests and how she fully embraces the notion of women in tech.
There’s a lot of press around women in tech and obstacles they face, but the story of Daijie Huang, the immigrant from China, is a must read. It’s the homage I pay to her after observing the sweat and tears she poured into countless updates of her app. She’s someone I can identify with since I am a Polish immigrant now living in Canada, working in technology. Also, I worked for three years in China in the mobile games industry, so most of the time while interviewing her I felt like we have the similar life stories.
Daijie, let’s talk about your background a little bit. What was growing up like?
I grew up in Xian, China. I have two elder brothers. Back in my young childhood, China was still closed to the outside world. The old city wall was our playground and gave us infinite joy after the boring school day. Catching bugs, climbing the brick wall, playing hide and seek, etc, you name it; the ancient city wall gave us all of our fun. I rarely thought about other places, but even if I did, I would assume that kids everywhere else were doing the same things as us. To me, the world was home and home was the whole world until one day, a few western backpackers showed up on our streets. Yes, I was one of the silly kids following them, finger pointing at them and wondering where the heck they came from. I started to realize that the world was something big, different and fascinating.
Then, flocks of foreigners came to Xian; they wandered around the ancient wall, the bell tower, the big goose pagoda, and of course, the Terracotta Warriors. Then, I started to learn English at school, and learn more about the world as China began to open the door to the Western World. Later, when I got into college, my mother, a CTO at a local company, started to work with western companies about potential partnerships. China was changing. After her business trips to the UK and the USA, she told me: ”The outside world is fascinating. Our generation has missed our chance, but, you still have one. Go further to see the world!” Honestly, it was a challenging goal during that time. Unlike Beijing and Shanghai, Xian was pretty laid-back and under developed. Although my parents were making an above average income in Xian, it was still too little to support my studies in the USA. The good thing is that I have been a very determined person since I was young, good or bad. Although it was a big stretch to compete for a good university in the USA, I got into Renssellaer Polytechnic Institute with financial help, after months of catching up on my English. Can you believe I memorized 800 new words in a day? I won’t be able to do that again honestly.
My mom taught me that a woman can do even better work than a man in technology and encouraged me to go outside to fulfill my dream – then my father taught me the entrepreneurial side of things. My father was a brilliant engineer in his field. He took a newly invented tech to a nice service business later.
Growing up under the influence of a high positioned mom and an ambitious dad, I set up my life goal before I even realized it: an adventure. To make life fun and meaningful, no matter where the road led me, traveling, or on the life journey. So, I went from a silly girl chasing after alien-like foreigners to an entrepreneur who believes that the sky is the limit.
What was your career path from engineer to entrepreneur? Did you have role models & mentors along the way?
It was more of a genetic accident. Using my husband’s words: it’s my restless genes. Repetitive work just bores me to death. So, instead of climbing the corporate ladder like most smart people do, I quit my engineering job from a high tech but slow growing company to start on my own journey. It wasn’t easy and I learned a lot in the process. I also have a very supportive husband, which hugely helped me stay float through the hectic life change.