#SRSCDallas2016 – An Introduction

The time is upon us, people.

You’re probably thinking: Summer? Long weekends? Patriotic holidays?

Well – that too. But in the Recruiting and Talent Acquisition world, the time that comes second to only beach season itself. Twice a year, we get to participate in a socially-savvy-star-studded event known as the Social Recruiting Strategies Conference, or the SRSC.

With the city of Dallas as its backdrop, the SRSC kicks off July 26 with a lineup of presenters that comprises the industry’s top contributors to successful social recruiting, including the likes of Jim Schnyder of PepsiCo, Carrie Corbin of American Airlines, and Adriana Kevill of KRT Marketing, who gave an unforgettable lecture at the San Francisco SRSC back in January.

Our own Andrew Gadomski will also be spearheading a talk around the importance of data analytics in recruiting.

There is no doubt that everyone takes something valuable away from these stellar presentations, but more importantly, there is a sense of community within a community at the SRSC. Make connections, meet new people, share ideas, and gain better business insights.

Don’t be left out in the heat this summer – register for SRSC Dallas here and be #fire with us (without all the sweating).

And, as always, #TalkDataToMe. See you in Texas!

Doing a “one-eighty” and seeing the 360-degree difference.

How is your company perceived by external Candidates who apply for open positions? What about internal Candidates? How would you compare the way your Hiring Managers view your organization’s internal processes with the way the Recruiting Managers do? Are their perceptions similar, or worlds apart? When there is thought disparity about a company’s Recruiting processes – and there often is – it’s time to take a more well-rounded look into the problem.

We’ve seen more emphasis applied to the Candidate Experience, which is vital to the health of any Recruiting organization, but companies often neglect to question the experience of Employees and New Hires, which leads to a certain inaccuracy.

In order to improve the Recruiting process of an organization, a conversation between ALL the people involved is necessary. Candidates, Recruiters, Hiring Managers, Advisors, HR – even the New Hires– should be involved. People have different perspectives on how good (or bad) a company’s Recruiting process is, and it is important to understand it from the different audiences.

Aspen’s way of solving this problem is through its own Experience Suite – Aspen XP. This suite comprises hundreds of thorough experience surveys designed for everyone engaged in the Recruiting and Hiring process. Clients that use Aspen XP are able to customize surveys and create a branded and relevant way to engage all its Recruiting players– and no one is left out. The data collected from the surveys is then analyzed by our experienced Advisors, where the results of the analysis are always action-driven.

Because hey, what is the point of data if you can’t make it actionable?

For more info about Aspen XP, email

Tuned-In Tuesday: Philly HR Tech Company Makes a Splash

As a Philadelphia resident, it’s really cool to see Philly-based companies thriving in the Talent Acquisition world.

This “Tuned-In Tuesday” focuses on a company boasting an all-encompassing HR technology platform, with hopes to make big waves in the Philadelphia and beyond Recruiting scene—a company called gr8 People.

Founded by Diane Smith, who also created Virtual Edge in 1998, gr8 People’s software-as-a-service platform combines all HR processes in the same space, and hopes to reach high-volume RPOs as clients, instead of seeking out individual organizations. This allows for a small company like gr8 People to have well-rounded and more frequent exposure to different clients, instead of just a couple at a time.

Aon, Randstad Sourceright, and ManpowerGroup are all RPOs in gr8 People’s headlights. All three are award-winning companies in Recruitment Outsourcing excellence; there is no surprise that a tech company like gr8 People is pushing to work with any of them.

Like gr8 People, Aspen Advisors has gone through a change in sales proposition as we transitioned from large, individual organizations to international RPOs. It is not a slow change, but one that is necessary once a company realizes its unique selling potential.

I am excited to see what this Philadelphia company has in store for the TA community both in the city of brotherly love, and outside.  

Read the full article on Philadelphia Business Journal here

Feng Shui: The Talent Acquisition Edition

We’ve all done it: Decided once and for all that enough was enough. It’s time to de-clutter. Your closets, the family car, your sock drawer, GASP – your office desk. You wait and wait until one day it’s just unbearable. When you finally set your mind to do it, and get it done, how do you feel? GREAT! You wonder why it took you so long to get it done in the first place, and start waxing Feng Shui to your friends as if you’ve been a neat freak your entire life.

I am certainly not the first to say that the Talent Acquisition business is completely cluttered, and needs a bit of a Feng Shui sweep. In the last few years, companies have turned to the newest, next-big-thing in technology as a selling point. Five years ago, there were only a handful of available Business Intelligence platforms for Talent Acquisition that were used by almost an entire industry. Today, they are a dime a dozen because, well, everybody’s doing it.

The problem doesn’t lay in getting great technology for a smooth Recruiting overhaul. There is plenty of good technology out there. But what’s behind the technology? Can you trust it? Technology can only take an organization so far, especially one that requires a lot of manpower, advisory, and regular check-ups, which is natural for thousands of hires each year. So, what good is technology without the expertise behind it?

In a few weeks, Aspen will be heading to RecruitDC in McLean, Virginia to learn, educate, and connect on all things TA focused. What we are hoping to see at RecruitDC is a LACK of clutter. We are especially looking forward to Celinda Appleby’s forum, “How to Attract and Engage Talent in the Midst of All the Noise,” another spot-on Feng Shui mentality for this business.

The time is now to start rethinking what the abundance of tech and data is doing for the TA landscape before it becomes even more saturated. Finding the right team to revamp an organization’s processes will be harder than finding your $5.00 off Bed Bath and Beyond coupon inside your pre-Feng Shui desk drawer.

Is Sourcing the new Spotify?

Remember when streaming music became available? Streaming and downloads took over burning CDs because the available choices and demand overwhelmed the ability to manufacture and distribute the goods. It was no longer feasible to continuously download songs to keep up with the demand of the consumers and convert the data to a hard disc. That was easy to ascertain because only a few manufacturers and distributors were involved.

This created a new phenomenon: We stopped cataloguing. We stopped manually making compilations and storing music in categories consistently. There was too much to store, and too many ways to do it. Instead, sites and programs evaluated your listening habits using data analytics, and would make suggestions for you inbound. You would then respond as needed, or consume in a way specific to you. We needed that work to be done to actually have a better listening experience. It didn’t happen overnight. It’s still happening, but it’s clear that this is the way we consume desired information.

Think about it – do we really use playlists anymore? Maybe. But certainly not like we did when we were making compilations for our high-school sweethearts back in the day. Now we just send a link to Sam Smith’s “Lay Me Down” on YouTube. No purchase, no CD, no subscription. Just on–demand music captured in a moment. Nice, right?

So why are we still cataloguing in Recruiting? Why are we using talent pipelines, talent communities, and CRMs to store the precious information we found that will likely be outdated in a matter of weeks? Why are we producing two EXABYTES (the equivalent of 1 billion GB) of data a day that will likely replace that data?

We have outgrown our ability to store and search this data in our own systems. Glen Cathey was right with his article on Just In Time Recruiting, but I don’t think he realized how close he is to the truth. Inbound messaging is really all we should be focused on because we can’t actually afford to do outbound messaging anymore. Did you ever hear that story that if Bill Gates stopped to pick up a $20 bill he would actually lose money? We are reaching that point with Sourcing. There is so much data out there that of course you will see things with Tool X that you can’t with Tool Y.

Did you ever hear that story that if Bill Gates stopped to pick up a $20 bill he would actually lose money? We are reaching that point with Sourcing.

Newsflash: There is ALWAYS new stuff. There is so much new stuff that you can’t even visualize at the detailed level, but only the aggregated level.

Think about the changes you made when you moved from burning CDs to streaming music on Spotify or iTunes. How did that change the way you entertained yourself? Now apply that to Recruiting and its pending changes. It may mean that Recruiting isn’t what you knew or grew up with. Are you using the same apps you were 3 years ago? When was the last time you added more space to your hard drive?

As you plan for 2016/2017, think about streaming data, and the changes that your teams and management need to make in order to absorb this “new way.” Study up on change management techniques. Maybe this means investing in data analytics, shifting the skills sets of your recruiters, or changing what your Sourcers actually do.

One day you’ll look back on this and say, “Remember when we used to do stream-free data?” And we’ll all have a good chuckle.