Wednesday, November 13, 2013



Friday, October 16, 2009

Workplace Hugging

I believe this is the first guest blog post I have ever put on Recruiting Revolution. This was just too good to pass up. One of our recruiting team members (Shine Thomas) sent this to our team today:

What are the rules for workplace hugs? Here are some ideas I have been pondering on:

  • The guy / girl hug. A quick hug and 2-3 slaps on the back. Keeps movement going and ensures there is not an awkward too clingy stage. Someone will always get the wrong impression even if it is for a nano-second.

  • The two girls who work closely hug – This sort of hug usually starts with a squeal of “HIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEE!!!!!”; big arms, big smiles” maybe some swaying ; some more squealing. Special occasions (such as babies and engagements) can take this hug from 30 seconds to up to 5 minutes and multiple repetitions.

  • The sideways half hug - Also good for guy/ girl workplace hugs. Affection is being shown but not too much to give the wrong impression.

  • The First hug - When your relationship goes from being friendly hello to hugging it is a very instrumental point in your relationship. It can determine how the relationship will move ahead. If the hug is not equally reciprocated it could lead to bonding issues. However, if the first hug is a good quality hug, immediate life long workplace bonding is sure to follow.

  • The outside of work hug - You see someone you know from work and chat to occasionally at random spot out and about in your hometown. Maybe even another city. It’s far enough away from the workplace to warrant extra excitement. You will probably do a “HEEEEYYY (guys) or semi-squealing “HIIIIIIIEEE” (girls); lean in, reach out arms a bit and maybe do a quick hug. Risk takers will go straight into the hug.

  • Candidate interview hugs - I have been known to hug my close candidates in the reception area. I must admit I advise against this practice though. I would recommend sticking to a warm extra long handshake and big smile. Some of my candidates have close/ stalkerish relationships with me.

  • The new hire hug - There are some candidates you court for a long time. Lots of conversations. Lots of “one more question” phone calls. Lots of trips in for interviews, emails with smiley faces, the excitement of an offer, the acceptance of an offer, relocations and finally they are here at the village. It is really a special day almost like a wedding day. I know on Sunday nights, when I know a new hire is going to start on Monday, I do get nervous excitement! You meet them on day one or sometime during their first week. You walk up to them and say “HIIIIIIEEEEE!!! Welcome aboard!!!’. If you're a female recruiter who has just hired another female recruiter, a hug is critical at this point (unless they are a VP in which case personal discretion should be used). If you have a guy / girl situation a hug might not normally be a good idea. It all depends on if you have developed a good candidate brotherly / sisterly bond.
  • The performance review hug - Not much to be said there. If you get a pay rise or promotion a hug is warranted. Or at least a semi hug for two guys. If you didn’t get a good review, a simple “OK then, I have to go now, I have a crazy day working my butt off for you and you don’t even appreciate me and I could be your boss“ look could be OK.

  • The termination hug - avoid hugging in termination conversations at all times. It sends a confusing message to the terminated employee. Even if they are crying their eyes out maintain a neutral corporate stance but try and be sympathetic with your eyes so they know you are not an A**. Also, do offer tissues.

  • The manager hug - I would follow your manager’s lead and watch their body language. They will definitely be slow moving. If you feel like they are going in for a hug and are OK with this, then hug back immediately. It’s hard for boss people to take that risk so reward them with a lot of enthusiasm. If however, you are not wanting to receive the hug, take 2 steps backwards, cross your arms and smile. They will get the hint.

  • The client hug - I find this the most challenging because I really do love my clients and I want to hug them all the time and have to refrain!! (I know I am a freak but I am still in my honeymoon phase). I think when you get to the point of hugging your clients you have become a true trusted advisor. They will listen to anything you have to say because you are at Hugging level. You can get away with anything when you get to this level :Examples below

    I’m sorry I don’t have a single qualified candidate – but I can give you a hug!!!
    I’m sorry the candidate declined our offer – but let’s hug and cry about it together.
    I’m sorry you cannot replacement hire the 5 people who have left your 7 person team

    Your team hates your management style, you should really hug them more often

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dumbed Down World of Clich├ęs and Pop-Psychology

Feedback is good as long as it’s constructive…

Really? So if I tell you that you are ugly but the good news is I have a great plastic surgeon I can recommend, that’s good, right? Just because you use the word constructive doesn’t make it so. Don’t hide your political posturing and sarcasm in “constructive” feedback. If you give it truly think about how you are affecting the person receiving it.

You can be anything you want when you grow up…

Really? So your kid wants to be an astronaut yet they suck at math but can draw a perfect flower. What the heck—encourage them to be an astronaut—I’m sure they’ll be great at it. Instead you may want to consider actually encouraging your kids to do what they are naturally very good at. And hey, who knows, maybe they will actually be able to get a job when they graduate because they are good at what they do.

You have all the time in the world to figure out what you wan to be when you grow up…

Really? Let your spouse pay the bills why you figure it out. Oh, and the kid in India that figured it out fifteen years before you did, guess what, they got the job. You don’t have all the time in the world! You don’t even live that long!

There are no bad questions…

Really? Have you ever sat in a meeting where someone asks the same question that the person right before them did because they were playing on their blackberry? But hey—still a great question right? Why not start a meeting and say please be thoughtful of your questions? Or please ask questions that will advance the discussion forward. We aren’t in kindergarten. We are paid money to think—not ask stupid questions.

It’s all about communication…

Really? So if someone sells you a crappy car but over communicates why it’s so great then the problem is solved, right? Communication doesn’t solve everything. Sometimes you have to actually do work to solve it. If you are being strategic you will ask yourself if it a communication problem or a true business problem. Don’t always assume communication is the answer to everything.

Work-Life Balance…

Really? I didn’t know we died when we got to work and came back to life afterwards. I must have missed the transition when this oxymoron was first coined…”from here on out work is no longer part of your life.” That really must suck for a farmer—they must never be alive. Stop thinking life and work are separate…got news for you-life is work and work is life and if you don’t like your job don’t try to solve it by spending the least amount of time there.

If you are communicating with a leader it needs to be high level…

Really? Because no problem (like the collapse of our economy) requires more of an in depth look at an issue. “Our analysis on risky lending practices indicates these three bullet points… Executive writes back from their blackberry, “Thanks for info” message sent via blackberry. We need to get real and stop thinking our executives can’t handle information. If we have a complex and important problem to solve give them the facts so they can make a solid decision.

Work Hard Play Hard…

Really? Because you work hard you have a free pass to do beer bongs on the table? Just because you work hard doesn’t make you exempt from looking like a complete idiot. How about work hard and be yourself. Not work hard and act like you are at a college frat party.

We are the largest…

Really? Who gives a rats ass how large your company is. Every time I go to a conference I hear speakers say “we are the largest heating company in New England”, “we are the largest beer distributor in Florida”, “we are the largest this, we are the largest that”. Who cares! What is with the largeness syndrome? Do you think someone hears that and is like, “wow, your company is large”? No—it’s totally forgettable. How about come out and say we are the SMALLEST company in the world at annoying the hell out of people by saying we are the largest. Now that is cool!

Gen Y/Millennial’s feel they are entitled…

Really? I see this written about every day from someone in the industry. Of course—it’s not written by the Millennial’s because like the WWII generation, Baby Boomers and X’ers—when their parents said the same things about them they viewed it as OLD and ARROGANT. Just like all of the other generations there are lazy, entitled people and hard workers. Please stop clumping them together in one category—it’s just truly an inaccurate way to view the world. The same inaccuracy that the WWII generation had of their kids listening to Elvis and the Beatles!!

When you hear one of these statements don't just take it as some form of wisdom someone is giving you. Think!

Monday, September 28, 2009


Susan Burns and Jeff Hunter wrote powerful and provocative blog pieces on the elusive Talent Camp (#talentcamp). If you haven’t read these two pieces you are missing out on true thought leadership; you would be remiss not to pay attention to these two if you are a recruitment professional. With them, a group of industry visionaries are coming together to discuss the future of the talent acquisition space. There will be specific attention paid to one of the most misjudged and poorly understood organization assets--TALENT.

Rapid changing currents of socioeconomics, social innovation, environment and quality leadership have made our space more relevant than ever—but only as relevant as our ability to show responsible leadership. If achieved we can bring profound, long lasting credibility to our craft. If we as a collective industry can agree on common principles and focus our efforts we can influence an entire market. If we cannot make this shift the market will dictate the future of our profession. Focused attention to the long lasting health and sustainability of our profession and the impact it has on society will be a key focus of mine at Talent Camp.

Within organizations, marketing, sales, operations, production, etc., are often thought of as drivers of the business. HR/recruiting often is thought of as influencers/supporters of the business (I’m stereotyping a bit—this is not true in all organizations). One of my goals is to break down the difference between an influence model and a true business driver model. All too often recruiting professionals ask me if I had to get permission from this department or that department to implement a program or campaign. If the program or campaign falls within our area of expertise why would we ask permission? You may need buy-in depending on what you are trying to accomplish but this is different than permission. Practitioners in our space are often waiting for something to happen in the business or waiting for permission while the organizational need is already there. How do we as an industry shift this nuance in how we execute strategy and tactics within our space?

There are large disconnects between strategists and tacticians within the recruitment industry. We lack clear, definable understanding between the differences of organization building and talent acquisition. We battle points of view on whether it’s better to pick up the phone and cold call or brand. We argue about the best sources of our hires. We tend to avoid questions on how to shape the future generations of recruitment professionals and the political and corporate institutions we operate in. If we avoid these discussions we do the whole industry a disservice. I have been invited to keynote at several industry events over the past few years. At recent events I have presented on branding and marketing in the area of recruitment. Some of the feedback I received was around why I was so focused on marketing. A few people said I came across more as a consultant versus a practitioner. When I get up on that stage my focus is straight forward. Advance the industry. I often educate myself by looking outside the recruitment space. I learn from brand marketers, operational experts and other disciplines to understand how these can be applied to our space. There are a lot of questions about how practical this is. If you’re paying attention to the industry you will find more and more organizations are pulling leaders from these other disciplines to lead recruiting functions though. Why? Because they came from areas of the business that have credibility! If we fail to pay attention to the socioeconomic currents, the entirety of our discipline we will see more and more of this.

For some reason the recruitment industry has not been able to get this as a whole. Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of individuals who do but there are too many who would rather spend their time derailing progress. It’s entirely possible to unite the industry though and advance our craft. The freemasons did it in the 1600 and 1700’s and remained strong into the last century—maybe an extreme example. The Human Resource profession has done a better job of it. Take a look at the size of SHRM and the speaker line-ups they get: Colin Powel, Jack Welch, Covey, etc. Business leaders! They are sizable enough and powerful enough to impact legislation. Recruiting industry pundits and speakers often criticize our HR colleagues for not partnering or valuing the staffing function. I’m not arguing that HR is the most progression function within an organization but where are we? The list of industries/crafts that have been able to organize effectively goes on—American Marketing Association, Information Technology Association of America, etc. Take the Information Technology Association of America ( as an example. Here is one of the first things you see when you go to their site:

"Tech Leaders Urge Investments in Digital Infrastructure as Part of Recovery Plan– In a letter sent to House and Senate leaders, The Technology Association of America, formed by the merger of the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) and AeA, formerly the American Electronics Association, joined over 100 companies urging lawmakers to include strategic investments More..."

This is an organized and focused effort to influence the government to spend in their sector. They believe this will help Americans, create jobs and as a result shape the future of their industry. This is strategic. If you are sitting in your recruiter seat filling roles and think that taking on something like this is way outside your sphere of influence—we need to rethink this. It’s about organization and coordination of common principles that we all share. And it’s this very thinking that can secure our future and the entire industries. We sit within one of the most relevant and vital disciplines to an organizations survival and we have not stepped up as an industry to create change in the way organizations value talent. Sure we talk about. But it’s going to take much more than chatter to significantly impact the fabric of how talent is valued.

I like how Susan Burns positioned her post about Talent Camp—“The Big What If”. Here are my big what ifs:

  • What if we can get agreement/synchronization on the industry future, the industry players and a game plan to focus and coordinate our efforts?
  • What if we can define the distinction between the sphere of influence and business driving within our industry?
  • What if there was formal education for the craft of talent acquisition?

Can all of this happen? It can. It’s not going to happen right away. This is just a start. The only way we can get there is if enough people in our industry can agree on a purpose and a direction. I meet brilliant people in our industry every day. It’s an incredible, passionate group of people. I meet fun people, creative people. We simply lack unity and direction. Whether this becomes something more, or simply a dream, I’m looking forward to the discussion the following Talent Campers:

Briand DeGroodt

Franny Oxford

Jeff Hunter

Joe Gerstandt

Lance Haun

Laurie Ruettimann

Mike Johnson

Ron McManmon

Shauna Moerke

Suzy Tonini

Susan Burns

Financial institutions contributed to the collapse of our entire economy. People institutions bring economies back to life. Shaping the thousands of people institutions out there is what we do. It deserves thoughtful, educated and measured commitment. Let the discussions begin!


Monday, September 14, 2009

ERE EXPO--A Recruiters Dream!

Just sitting here on the airplane (using GoGo wireless) and reflecting on all that is being accomplished in the recruitment industry and in recruiting at adidas. I’m going to forewarn you that this post is going to seem a bit random but that’s where my head is at right now. Spinning with reflections and ideas!

I’m returning from a recruiting industry event called ERE Expo ( I know there are tons of industry associations out there but anybody who is in the area of recruiting can most likely attest to the caliber of individuals you meet at ERE. This one was a favorite. Beyond my favorite industry guru hall of famers like John Sullivan, Gerry Crispin, Kevin Wheeler and John Sumsner we also had our super innovators like Jason Davis ( , Joel Cheesman ( just sold to , Neal Bruce (, Shally Steckerl ( & one of my favorite industry rookies of the year and industry MVP Josh Westover (

In addition to being able to network with some of my industry favorites I got to co-present, sit on panels with and meet many talented industry professionals. A few that really stood out to me were…Marvin Smith (Talent Community Evangelist at Microsoft), Mike Grennier (Sr. Director Corporate Recruiting at Walmart), Brian Schaffer (Recruiter at DaVita), Sejal Patel (Project Manager Staffing Marketing and Channels at Intel), Chris Hoyt (AT&T) and Angela Guidroz (Sodexo). In addition I got to see many industry friends including Grant Hubbard with Qualigence, Sarah White with HRM Direct, Master Burnett with and too many more to mention here. And last but not least I have to call out my partner in crime Steve Bonomo—Global Head of Recruiting at adidas He is a great friend and leader. I’m truly honored to work under his leadership at adidas. I also need to mention my direct supervisor in Portland, Jochen Eckhold, for his support and leadership in allowing me to come to these events, learn and grow.

There are a few themes and trends I would also like to call out that I see in the industry. Everybody seems to like to recap themes at these types of events. I actually enjoy reading these because everybody seems to bring their own twist…so here is mine:

Advertising—Traditional advertising in our industry is officially dead (dead of course is relative because dead things in industries don’t always die right away but can take many, many years simmering along with small beacons of success in niche areas—you don’t need to quote me examples of where it’s used). But the reality is that we will start seeing more and more shifts in advertising spend to pay-per-click and web advertising using contextual targeting, rich media, social networking, guerilla, word of mouth, PR. It’s been happening for a while but new players in this space will dramatically speed this up.

Media Fragmentation—With traditional advertisers threatened many new up and comers are emerging. Some are great and others offer false hope. Some show great ROI and others appear to be money traps. It’s becoming imperative to get educated on who the players are and what’s effective. Those that don’t will waste valuable organizational resources. There is a ton of hype in this space so practitioners will need to be more discerning than ever on which channels they choose.

Employment Branding—Is finally getting the respect it deserves in the industry. While companies may not totally be there yet they are getting the importance of it and are starting to look beyond the basics. I’m seeing more and more recruiting departments hire Marketing people from the business side. This is very intriguing and promising for the industry.
Integration—Everybody seems sick of the lack of integration in our industry, both from a technology perspective and a cross departmental perspective. Companies are starting to work hard and put more emphasis on this. There was a great article by John Sullivan today on on this topic.

Social Recruiting—You can’t find a conference these days that doesn’t focus at least 25% of it’s sessions on this topic. This is hot, hot, hot and more companies than not seem to be experimenting with how to best harness it’s power and show ROI. There are many promising stories in the industry right now. There are still a lot of hurtles in this space but progress is being made. In my opinion there is no turning back in terms of the importance of this in our space.

Candidate Experience—Still suffers in our industry. Candidates continue to feel that they don’t get the respect they deserve from organizations. This one is sad in that it’s been an age old problem we have not cracked yet as an industry. Those that due though can show true competitive advantage.

Employee Engagement—is a hot topic for organizations right now. With organizations becoming leaner and meaner it’s even more important to engage the current workforce. Internal careers plays a major role in this so more and more recruitment leaders will need to turn their focus internally over the coming months and years.

Conferences—less people are going but most of those that are going are creative, innovative and hungry to learn. This makes the experience of going much more exciting. This last ERE proved to be one of these cases. It was a fantastic conference all around. That said I still see many disengaged people at many of the conferences I go to. I also see a lot of disbelievers in industry advances and innovations. My prediction for these people—find another industry to get into because you will most likely not survive with that approach.

Industry News and Networking—I’m blown away by how learning, networking, conference going is combining so many forms of community, technology, communication, etc. At this ERE, the events and sessions were set up and advertised using social media, changes communicated real time. Events were streamed live. People were Tweeting what they liked real time. Highly organized events were intertwined with guerrilla events and parties are turning into charities and vice versa. And all of this is weaved together in this way that just seems to make sense—maybe it’s the freeing nature of the internet and technology. There are not a lot of rules and so it becomes thoughtful and human. This is one trend I love!

Hiring—Is picking back up. Almost everybody I talked to tells me they are seeing an upswing. This is one of the many things I love about the recruitment industry. It’s my personal barometer for how the market is doing. This is the greatest news of all! When the market is hot recruiting is HOTTER!

Final Thoughts—I want to thank Dave Manaster and his team for putting on such a fantastic event and for the opportunity to keynote at this event. I also want to say that if you are out there reading this and you haven’t ever attended an event like this in your industry or raised your hand to present at a conference consider it. There is no better way to give back to your craft and to learn from others.

At this event Steve Bonomo and I got to tell our Employer Brand story and share what we have learned in recruiting. The questions we get from the audience inspire us greatly. The fact that people care and are willing to take a stand to make our industry even stronger is profound. And the opportunity to inspire others is a chance of a lifetime. The one comment I won’t forget is when someone walked up to me afterwards and said that he wasn’t an adidas guy but is going to buy his first pair. He said that during the videos it made the hair on his arms stand on end. If we can touch one person like this, create one better candidate experience or inspire a recruiter to want to learn and grow it’s all worth it to us.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Follow adidas Careers on Twitter

For up to date feeds on new adidas job postings and career information follow adidas Careers on twitter:

Saturday, September 05, 2009

adidas Launches New Global Career Site

Check out the new face of adidas careers:

Hopefully by now you have noticed that this is not your average career site. Here you will get to experience some of your favorite athletes and learn about careers at adidas in a fun and interactive way. You also get to hear first hand from our employees on what it’s like to work at adidas. There are many things we would like to tell you about working with us but we will let the site speak for itself.

The one thing we do hope you take away from the site is that working at adidas is much more than a job. We did our best to convey this on the site, and hopefully, someday, you can experience this first hand. Until then we hope you continue to visit our site, check for updates, and apply to the many career opportunities offered by adidas and our sister brands.

We also want to hear your feedback. Creating the best career experience for you is our end goal. We aren’t perfect though and will work hard to continually improve this experience, especially as we receive your feedback. Under the "Why adidas" link at the top of the page you will find our feedback section where you will have the opportunity to take a quick survey or e-mail your feedback directly to us. While you are there you may also check out our mission statement, overview of benefits and application process. Other areas you might want to check out are:

  • Future Talent Section: Here you will find our internship and graduate programs. Read program descriptions, view videos of current employees in these programs, and apply.

  • Locations: We have created robust location pages so you can get a sense of what it’s like to work at adidas locations around the world.

  • Sustainability: This link will direct you to our main corporate site and give you information about what adidas Group is doing globally in the area of Social Environmental Affairs.

  • adidas Group Career Sites: Check out our adidas Group career site and our sister brand career sites--TaylorMade, Reebok and Rockport.

  • Retail Stores/News & Hotjobs: Learn what it’s like to work in retail, check out our hottest jobs, and read about what’s new.

We believe the greatest value is interacting with the athletes and learning about the departments you are interested in. Of course if you want to skip all of this and jump right into the job search you can do that too.

Impossible is Nothing