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I was recently the keynote speaker at Keyano College Career Fair on the topic of Low Cost/High Impact Recruiting for the 82 employer exhibitors. One of the questions I received while talking one-on-one with several exhibitors was about tips on hiring a social media manager or co-ordinator. I shared my thoughts with them and today I listened to Shane Gibson’s podcast on the same topic. In this blog I will share the key points that I offered last week at the Career Fair and at the end of the blog you will see a link to Shane’s podcast which I encourage you to listen to.

When you look at selecting a social media manager or coordinator, or whatever term you use, make sure you invest the time and energy to select the right person. This is a key position within the organization and there is a tremendous cost to your brand if you don’t do it right.  The social media manager role is about leading and contributing to the various conversations about the organization, its products, services and people. The reality is that the conversation about your brand is happening regardless of your organization’s involvement (or lack of involvement) in social media. The best strategy then is to have a talented professional leading the social media engagement from within your organization.

The most important role of the social media manager is to influence and lead the conversation about the organization. To do this requires two key elements in my estimation. 1. The candidate needs to have the right attitude. By this I mean that the individual needs to understand what the overarching goal of social media is. It is not about the constant one-way hard selling of your products and services, rather it is about actively engaging and contributing to an online community while re-enforcing your brand image.  Another key attitude is the notion of being “referable”, which requires earning the right to be referred by others – word of mouth advertising. This starts with an attitude of service. Lastly is the key attitude that being the social media manager is not a part time job, it’s something that requires a consistent full time approach on a disciplined daily basis.

2. The second element to hiring the right person is focusing on the core competencies. Shane Gibson has identified 22 Competencies for a Social Media Manager


Put simply, I think there are three fundamental areas of competencies. First, the person needs to possess the technical competencies regarding the ins and outs of working with the following social platforms; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Blogging, Podcasting as a minimum, and they should have a proven track record of engaging with large numbers of people via these sites.

The second competency to possess is consumer behaviour, marketing and business development skills.  These skills can be acquired through formal degree programs, specialized courses and career experience. The point is that the social media manager role is at the core a marketing one that must dovetail with traditional marketing and business development iniatives.

The third element is a strategic competency.  The social media manager needs see the big picture of how external issues can affect the organization. This role is critical to establish the organization’s social media policy. This person needs to be an internal leader showing colleagues the best social media practices and ultimately be the social media voice sitting at the executive table.


Link to Shane Gibson’s podcast



Jon Jonathan Laplante Director of Sales Obasan

If your organization has taken a stand on a social or political issue, why not incorporate your cause with your recruiting, engagement and retention efforts. For example, If your company has taken a very progressive stance in protecting the environment and you’re involved in various environmental initiatives, you’ll attract people who share your concerns. People can become very excited about the prospect of working with a socially responsible company, and the common ground you and the prospective applicant share on environmental protection may prove to be a real “gelling” force. Align your organization to supporting a cause and attract like-minded people (e.g. Bodyshop, Toms Shoes, Starbucks). A number of legal firms are doing pro-bono work for local charities as a way of giving back while enticing like-minded young lawyers to join their firms.

*Obasan, a manufacture of natural and organic mattresses and bedding accessories, not only markets their green philosophy, they live it. Jean Corriveau, the president, often travels to remote parts of the world sourcing natural cotton, wool and rubber. He and his team are committed to only doing business with suppliers who are truly committed to fair trade practices. The result is that like-minded people are seeking to be part of the Obasan team. Jean gets his employees into an Obasan bed, they get to fully appreciate the quality of the products but also the health benefits of a great night’s sleep. The employees take tremendous pride in owning an Obasan bed and in their role of providing hand crafted mattresses and accessories for their clients. Jean also actively seeks input from all employees from production, sales and administration for product development ideas and prototypes. The result is a highly productive, engaged and loyal team in a sector plagued with high employee turnover.

“At Obasan, employees are treated as full and equal partners. We hire locally and provide workers with a clean, safe and supportive environment in which they are treated with respect and dignity. I am proud that we have several employees who have been with Obasan for 15 years or more and the new or ones are happy to stay, learn and grow. This type of loyalty is difficult to come by and I deeply appreciate the trust that these workers place in me and in the company.”

Source Sleep Well, Live Well My Passionate Journey for Better Sleep by Jean Corriveau founder Obasan

To learn more about Obasan go to

QR PicAs I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I was recently the keynote speaker at Keyano College Career Fair on the topic of Low Cost/High Impact Recruiting for the 82 employer exhibitors. Part of my talk focused on tapping into free or near free electrons through social media recruiting. I was asked by way of show of hands how many people of the 150 plus in attendance were using QR “Quick Response” Codes in their recruiting efforts. It was interesting to see that only about 5% of the people raised their hands. I went on to share with the group that I feel not using QR Codes as a key element of a company’s recruiting efforts is a missed opportunity.

As I walked through the career fair looking at the exhibitor booths I was pleased to see that Dresser-Rand was using QR Codes in their recruiting by having them on the recruiter’s business cards and on the long sleeve shirts they were wearing. I loved the “Human Billboard” approach to using this technology. The photo is me in a Dresser-Rand QR Code recruiting shirt.

Link to Careers at Dresser-Rand

Given most people in developed countries own at least one smart phone and that there are a number of free QR Reader apps for every major platform, QR codes are used by organizations as a quick and easy way to market their businesses and extend the reach of their brands. When a customer/prospect scans the code with their phone the code will link directly to a website. The marketing possibilities are endless. Consumers are becoming very comfortable with scanning QR Codes to enter contests, get free information, get e-discounts and do a host of other things.

Recruiting is no different than marketing in that you are always looking for creative ways to capture the interest of both active and passive job seekers. Producing a QR Code is very easy and most often free.

Here are several links to QR Code Generator sites:

Here are some places that recruiters are using QR Codes:

  • Recruiters business cards & name tags
  • Employee referral cards
  • Print ads – newspaper, trade journal
  • Human billboards – T-Shirts
  • Billboards, banners & mobile signs
  • Posters
  • Text message attachments
  • Sales receipts
  • Window & truck signs


latin-americaWhile most North American and European countries struggling are struggling with high unemployment rates Latin America has been bucking the trend. Averaging 6.5 percent, unemployment in 13 Latin American countries has fallen to near historic lows, contrasting sharply with rich nation’s rates and its own historic peak of 11 percent a decade ago. 35 million jobs were created over the past decade as the average length of education rose by three years, and 65 percent of women aged 25-65 had joined the workforce, and salaries have risen leading to the narrowing of income gaps. This good news trend for workers is expected to continue with the projected average growth for 2013 for Latin America to be around 4 %, which is above the overall estimated growth for developed economies.

“It’s quite remarkable that Latin America has been able to break with the tradition of high unemployment and informal employment to bring down overall unemployment rates to new historic lows.”
World Bank Regional Chief Economist Augusto de la Torre.

While all this is great news for the average worker it does present some challenges for businesses throughout the region. A recent Economist Intelligence Unit report sponsored by SAP stated that due to the regional economic boom small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are facing major challenges of finding and retaining skilled workers. The report was based on a survey of 175 respondents from companies throughout Latin America. Respondents were clear that Latin American SMEs face significant challenges in recruiting, attracting, developing and retaining skilled workers. In order to compete, Latin American SMEs will need to address this problem quickly.
The main findings of the SAP sponsored survey include:

SMEs face internal organisational challenges as they try to embrace a culture of continuous learning. While 42% of respondents to our survey identified the need to change the organisational culture as the largest problem they face in the area of innovation, executives also underlined the need to encourage teams to work together (34%) and to transform ideas into marketable goods/services (39%).

SMEs lack an organised way of analysing strategy. When asked to describe the way their organisation analyses strategic issues, a majority (51%) of respondents said there was either no process (5%), claimed it was largely ad hoc (16%) or said it varied by business unit or from year to year (30%).

A lack of good workers remains an obstacle to success. When asked to characterise the market for qualified, high-potential employees, 63% of executives complained of either an extreme shortage (10%) or a limited supply (53%) of talented workers. When asked to identify the three largest workforce-related challenges facing their organisations, the biggest single response (30%) was the inability to attract qualified candidates.

Recruitment and retention continues to be a challenge. Three of the other four most common responses to the same question pointed to recruitment and staffing problems: a mismatch between employee skills and organisational priorities (27%), an inability to retain key employees (26%), and an inability to build a properly motivated workforce (22%).

Source: An Economist Intelligence Unit report sponsored by SAP

The 2013 Ottawa HR Journal published by The Ottawa Business Journal ran a three page article based upon my latest book Stop $pending Money on Your People – How to Turn HR into a Profit Center.

The global economy has recently been in a state of flux. There is ample discussion and concern in the media and boardrooms about the recent “roller coaster” performance of most stock markets. Powerful local and foreign competitors are attempting to gain market share. Margins are being squeezed, competitors are aggressively targeting your clients and the expectations of today’s consumers are more demanding than ever before.

Business success in any economic climate is a matter of being able to tap into the potential of your employees, in good times or in bad. The over arching key to attracting, developing and retaining highly productive and engaged people is to understand what gets employees fired up vs. what doesn’t work. In the following article I attempt to dispel the top 10 motivational myths.

Here’s the PDF posted to my SlideShare account. Enjoy!

I have always liked Vancouver with its natural beauty (sea to mountains) and vibrant multi-cultural cosmopolitan vibe. There are many high tech employers with regional and global headquarters based in the lower mainland. Adding to this growing list is Amazon Web Services. AWS is on a recruiting drive for engineers. With Vancouver located only a few hours drive away from Seattle (Amazons Global Head Quarters) and Canada’s current economic immigration policy the company is banking on filling as many as 1,000 positions at its 91,000 square foot office. Amazon’s plan to smartly leverage Vancouver’s natural appeal plus Canada’s policy of favouring economic immigrants, prioritizing solid candidates that match job offers and in-demand skills.

It’s all about the EXPERIENCE

By Dr. Denis Cauvier

The Canadian business scene is in a state of flux. There is ample discussion in the media and amongst senior executives about geo-political concerns such as the future of NAFTA, increases in minimum wages, volatile commodity prices, global supply increases and currency fluctuations. Powerful foreign and local competitors are attempting to gain market share throughout Canada. Margins are being squeezed, competitors are aggressively targeting your clients and the expectations of today’s consumers are more demanding than ever before.

Business success in any economy is a matter of tapping into the potential of your employees. One of the most effective investments an organization can make is to hire, develop and retain engaged people. Engaged employees will provide the competitive edge to sustain and grow the business in today’s economy. HR Magazine states that for small businesses, highly engaged employees are 3.3 times more likely to be top performers, and 5 times less likely to voluntarily leave their employer than disengaged people. When businesses invest in hiring, developing and retaining motivated, committed, and qualified people, it helps their operation achieve its goals. When they don’t make the needed investments in their people, it affects productivity, profitability, turnover, and workplace morale.

How to create the right engaging EXPERIENCE

Our experiences in life shape how we feel about people, situations and even organizations. For example, if you had a horrible dinning experience at a restaurant you are not likely to return or refer it to a friend. This same holds true for an employee’s experience. If their “on the job experience” is very positive they will be happy to work with you (engaged), they will contribute more value (productivity), they will develop new skills quicker (reduce learning curve, wastage & rework) and they will spread positive comments internally (enhance team moral) and externally (be a brand champion and make employee referrals).

By assessing your employees at work experience you will be able to see the areas that you are already doing well plus identify any opportunities for improvement. Not only does creating such a satisfying, motivating, inspiring work experience improve morale, safety, productivity, engagement, customer service and drive profits, it will also turn your team into a mini-band of head-hunters sharing with others what a great place it is to work.

At a recent workshop for the Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association, Dr. Cauvier highlighted his E.X.P.E.R.I.E.N.C.E. ™ acronym and explained the various employee experiences that impact engagement and ultimately your organizations bottom line. He also provided his E.X.P.E.R.I.E.N.C.E. ™ Assessment that helps employers quickly identify areas for improvement as well as many ready to use tools and templates to implement various engagement strategies.

After the conference evaluations were tabulated the following letter was sent to Dr. Cauvier.

Dr. Cauvier’s workshop was extremely well received by the direct farm marketing industry at a recent Ontario Farm Fresh workshop. He was engaging, interesting, knowledgeable, humourous and relevant to the agricultural sector and our challenges with hiring great staff. I would highly recommend Denis for any HR presentation you are considering offering.Cathy Bartolic – OFFMA, Executive Director


Dr. Cauvier president of Dr. Denis Cauvier Seminars International is a professional Speaker/Trainer and Consultant with over 30 years experience. Dr. Cauvier is recognized as Global Talent Management expert. He has worked with dozens of food producers and processers throughout Canada. He is the author of 14 Best-Selling books.

Left to fester, disputes between employees affect productivity and can lead to communications breakdowns and impacts morale. So it’s critical that every teamamte does their part to recognize any small issue or conflict and find solutions quickly before the issue grows into something much larger. Here’s a five-step process that you can implement.

  1. Identify conflicts quickly. Successful managers keep a finger on the pulse of day-to-day interactions in the workplace. Interpersonal conflicts, though, often easily noticed get dismissed as “no big deal” “It will work itself out” or “I don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings so I’ll let it pass”. These “sweeping it under the carpet” actions only serve to add resentments, frustrations and never really solve the core issue. In-fact, left unsolved the issue will snowball into a much bigger issue that normally will grow to the point of an emotional outburst that causes unneeded harm and impacts team engagement. The key point to remember is that procrastination never pays. The sooner the issue is deal with the easier is to resolve. It’s like a high interest credit card, much better to pay off a small balance right away as opposed to keep making ongoing charges and only making minimum monthly payments, before long you are facing a debt nightmare!
  2. Communicate. Upon becoming aware of a conflict, quickly develop a full understanding of it’s nature and source. Be open to both sides of the issue as you discuss the dispute individually with the teammate(s) who have the opposing view.
  3. Meet ASAP. Once you clearly understand both sides of the situation, state the issue, the impact it has had and how the impacted person has felt as a result. Then ask the other person to describe the issue in their own words and to voice their suggestions for a resolution. Make this meeting a listening session for all parties, and don’t allow it to deteriorate into a shouting match or blame game. Work to clear the air.
  4. Clarify priorities and develop solutions. Once the issue has been aired and the reasons for the conflict are clear, have the involved parties to suggest ways to minimize the dispute, find solutions so the issue doesn’t happen again and restore peace in the workplace.
  5. Monitor progress closely. Personal disputes can leave lingering effects, so keep a close eye on the situation. Talk to the individuals involved even after you’ve found a solution. Follow up as needed with additional suggestions. Each parties commitment to the agreed solution is important in establishing and maintaining a more cooperative and productive workplace.