This week, I’m down in Orlando, FL for the HCI Human Capital Summit and the sessions and learnings from these sessions has been great so far.

As always, I’ve been taking notes online and via Twitter (@smashfly) on the highlights from these sessions and wanted to share them from the first day of the conference.


Open Leadership: Transform the Way You Lead with Social Technologies by Charlene Li (@charleneli)

In this talk, Charlene looked to provide insight into how social technologies can help companies better connect with employees and customers to drive change and improvement.

There were a number of insights to be had from this presentation and here are the ones that stuck with me:

Need to Trust Your Employees:  The one big constant from Charlene was that social is out of your control once it’s set in motion but you need to be OK with that to have it be successful.  Your job with social is to empower your employees to use good judgement and help them continually practice it.

Social provides great benefits to teams including Internal Collaboration, External Engagement as Part of Job and External Employee Advocacy.

Education is Key:  The loss of control doesn’t mean that you can’t direct how employees use social in their work and lives.  Setting up and educating employees on how to use social media and providing them a direction for proper use is integral.

Charlene provided a great example of Dell who has over +14000 employees using social media externally.  They have set up Social University to train and provide resources for employees looking to use social more effectively.

Jump Before You Can Run: As you can’t fully control employees use of social, it can be intimidating to start these initiatives.  You can always come up with negatives to these initiatives but the positives are immense and well worth doing.

Reticence is understood but we need to move forward with these initiatives.  As you look to empower your employees with social Charlene provided 3 recommendations:

  • Examine 2014 Goals
  • Pick Areas where Social makes impact
  • Double Down on your Investments


Military Engagement at The Home Depot: Creating a Successful Niche Strategy by Barbara Truell (@THDBarbara)

Military recruiting is a hot button topic among recruiting organizations in today’s world with companies not only trying to give back to Veterans but also realizing the tremendous potential of these candidates.

With this session, Barbara shared insight into Home Depot’s “Mission: Transition” program to engage Veterans and help them prepare and find jobs in the private sector.

What “Mission: Transition” is?

Mission: Transition is a multi-faceted initiative to educate and attract Veterans to better transition into the workforce.

The initiative included these main outlets:

  • The Home Depot Foundation, which has led to over $80 million and 10,000+ units of housing impacted over 5 years to Veterans
  • Internal Employee Group, made up of both veteran and non-veteran employees to donate their time to help with education
  • Partnerships with Military recruiting specific sites and communities
  • A Single Day of Events with 100+ events across the US in 1 day to help Veterans transition into the workforce – for any organization.
  • Centralized Military Microsite devoted to educating and providing opportunity to Veteran candidates, which you can find here.  From this site they tracked all candidate sign-ups for their Single Day of Events and used it provide information and targeted messaging to Veteran candidates.

Education First, Results Follow

With your Military initiatives, it’s important to be open to providing education to Veterans on how to transition to the workforce.  In Home Depot’s series of day events, they focused on education on resume optimization, job search strategies and interviewing just to educate Veterans for any job.  It’s all about how their skills translate to the private sector.

By contributing to this community, they have seen incredible results from these initiatives in terms of hiring Veterans to their team.


Home Depot’s Military focus realized real results including:

  • 18000 email subscriptions
  • 216000 Military Career Site Hits
  • 13000 members in their Talent Network
  • Moved up 60 spots on military friendly employer list
  • Hired 16000 vets in 2013

Overall it’s been an incredibly successful campaign for Home Depot as you can see.


Creating and Developing Brand Ambassadors to Drive Social Brand Awareness and Recognition by Randy Goldberg (@rgoldberg)

At Hyatt, they look to provide the same great experience they provide guests at their hotels to their employees every day.  As such, they use a diverse strategy to engage employees.

Here are key insights from Hyatt’s strategy:

Brand is Integral: At all stages of the Employee Life Cycle, you need a good employment brand to be success.  As Randy said during the presentation, “People join a company because of the brand. The brand makes them stay as well”.

Career Site is your Hub: Your Career Site is the hub of your recruitment marketing and messaging.  In order to create a Career Site that helps to best promote your employment brand and engage prospects and employees, it’s integral to focus on the candidate experience.

Video can be a great way to show off your company culture.  A Mobile Optimized Career Site experience is essential for engaging candidates who engage via mobile devices which Hyatt does with

Assessments Important: Hyatt uses a custom assessment to determine potential fits in the hiring process.  They also use these assessments as a development tool for hired employees to identify skills to improve and educate one.


Building Best in Class: How to Drive Change in Talent Acquisition with Limited Resources by Nicole Guiet

Nicole’s session chartered her course in helping CH2M HILL and University of Colorado Health create successful talent acquisition processes.  Her story covered a number of key initiatives and insights:

Recruiting is About Relationships: To be successful in recruiting, you can no longer focus on short term relationships with candidates such as post and pray.  We need to focus on creating longer term deeper relationships with candidates to develop candidates for future opportunities.

Targeted Recruiting: While overarching strategies are important, we also need to create strategies for the different candidate and skill types we look to recruit.  How we attract these candidates will differ and in terms of attraction and engagement.

Engagement can be through customized automatic messages to candidates that join your Talent Network or Apply for a Job, Newsletters that provide great content (NOT jobs), job alerts and/or recruiter based one off messaging to candidates.  The key is to make these messages valuable to candidates, not just jobs.

Career Site is Integral: What couldn’t be stressed more is how important the Career Site is to the overall recruiting strategy. As Nicole mentioned, if you were to spend time and resources to get one thing right it should be for the Career Site.

Once up and running, every recruiting initiative you execute should push to your Career Site as it will your Hub for all your recruiting efforts.  And it’s important to ensure the right messaging and content is on this site from employee videos to SEO jobs to compelling messaging.

The last most important piece is to not let marketing control your website.  You know the messaging and brand that needs to be communicated to candidates and it’s integral talent acquisition controls these communications on the Career Site.

Technology to Assist: As we look to improve recruitment engagement, we need tools to make it easy.  Nicole mentioned Recruitment Marketing Platforms and CRM as ways to capture and create better relationships with candidates.

We have a Recruitment Marketing Platform you may want to look at if you are interest, Booth 315.


Day 2 Is Underway

I’m looking forward to the learnings from the Day 2 sessions.  If you are at the conference make sure to stop by Booth 315 and say hi to the SmashFly team.

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