BOOM: Amazon Announces Intent to Build Second HQ in a City Outside of Seattle...

 

Damn!

Amazon announced on Thursday that it is planning to open another headquarters called Amazon HQ2 in US city TBD.

Amazon HQ2 will cost $5 billion and eventually house up to 50,000 Amazon staff, Amazon said in a press release.

Amazon said it wants HQ2 to be in a metropolitan area with a "stable and business friendly environment" and more than 1 million people. The company also wants HQ2 to be within 45 minutes of an international airport and in a location where there is potential to attract strong technical talent.

Amazon is inviting city representatives and those working for regional economic development organizations to submit a proposal if they want to host Amazon's second headquarters.

To me, the obvious choice is the ATL.  But I'm biased because that's my second home.  

I'll leave you with this - if you have any doubt of the economic impact of the Amazon HQ2, take a look at the numbers in the chart below related to their presence in Seattle.  This is a much/much/much bigger deal from an economic standpoint that a city landing a sports team.  It's probably the biggest economic development event that will happen in America in the next century.  (email subscribers click through if you don't see the chart below)

Let's go ATL.  Click on the chart below to blow it up and be amazed...

 

Amazon impact

 


Sleepy HR Pros Won't Spend More than 30 Seconds On This Post... (The Mary Meeker Slides)

Only the true players will spend 5 minutes or more with this post and it's referred content...It's deep, but pure gold...

Kleiner Perkins general partner Mary Meeker launched the 22nd edition of the Internet Trends Report at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, on May 31, 2017. Dating back to 1995, when Mary was still an equity analyst at Morgan Stanley, the annual report compiles and analyzes data from a wide range of sources, providing insights on the state of the Internet Economy. The deck covers a broad array of topics, including global internet user trends, advertising and e-commerce, gaming, online media, digital health, and much, much more. This guide is intended to highlight some of the key topics of discussion in this year’s edition – and to help media navigate the report.

It's deep.  I can guarantee if you spend 10 minutes with it, you'll find 4-5 things to share with you team and you'll look smart as hell.  A trend-spotter, if you will...

Highlights of the 300 slide deck from ReCode (full deck below from Slideshare, click through if you don't see the slides):

  • Global smartphone growth is slowing: Smartphone shipments grew 3 percent year over year last year, versus 10 percent the year before. This is in addition to continued slowing internet growth, which Meeker discussed last year. (editors note - what's next?  Apple needs a new product)
  • Voice is beginning to replace typing in online queries. Twenty percent of mobile queries were made via voice in 2016, while accuracy is now about 95 percent. (editor's note - holy ****)
  • In 10 years, Netflix went from 0 to more than 30 percent of home entertainment revenue in the U.S. This is happening while TV viewership continues to decline. (editor's note - holy ****, even with all those shared passwords?)
  • Entrepreneurs are often fans of gaming, Meeker said, quoting Elon Musk, Reid Hoffman and Mark Zuckerberg. Global interactive gaming is becoming mainstream, with 2.6 billion gamers in 2017 versus 100 million in 1995. Global gaming revenue is estimated to be around $100 billion in 2016, and China is now the top market for interactive gaming.
  • China remains a fascinating market, with huge growth in mobile services and payments and services like on-demand bike sharing. (More here: The highlights of Meeker's China slides.)
  • While internet growth is slowing globally, that’s not the case in India, the fastest growing large economy. The number of internet users in India grew more than 28 percent in 2016. That’s only 27 percent online penetration, which means there’s lots of room for internet user-ship to grow. Mobile internet usage is growing as the cost of bandwidth declines. (More here: The highlights of Meeker's India slides.)
  • In the U.S. in 2016, 60 percent of the most highly valued tech companies were founded by first- or second-generation Americans and are responsible for 1.5 million employees. Those companies include tech titans Apple, Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook.
  • Healthcare: Wearables are gaining adoption with about 25 percent of Americans owning one, up 12 percent from 2016. Leading tech brands are well-positioned in the digital health market, with 60 percent of consumers willing to share their health data with the likes of Google in 2016.

Daaaaamn.  There's a lot here.  This one's for the true players. Enjoy...


HOW TO: Use Social Media Ad Buys to Get Better Recruiting Results...

My team at Kinetix is dropping a whitepaper today - The Talent Acquisition/HR Leader's Guide To Social Media Buys for Recruiting.  You should check it out.

There's a lot of options for your recruitment marketing spend - Job Boards, Indeed, the new Google Jobs (actually not asking for your spend yet, just disrupting for now) - it's a confusing Social ad buysmarketplace and it's easy to miss changes in what works.

One of the places most of you haven't experimented with yet is doing social media ad buys to drive candidate flow.  Simply posting your jobs on social platforms without targeting has very limited effectiveness. You need to target and spend to make it really work. The process works like this - each of the major social platforms has targeting options where you can pick who you (by career track) want to see your ad, which can be a job, content related to a career at your company or a mixture of both.

You target and then pay the social platform on a per-click basis.  Sounds easy, right?

Well, all social platforms aren't created equal when it comes to their effectiveness in helping your recruiting efforts.  That's where this paper comes in handy - download it today and we'll give you the following:

--Data on which social media ad platforms you should be using to drive raw candidate flow to your jobs.

--The Kinetix experience related to which social media ad platform delivers the best results when trying to attract quality applicants.

--A rundown of factors that Talent Acquisition and HR Leaders should evaluate when picking the right social platform for their industry and recruiting pain.

--And of course, we rate 4 major social platforms related to their overall recruiting effectiveness so you know where to go first!

Download The Talent Acquisition/HR Leader's Guide to Social Media Buys for Recruiting today and learn how to stay ahead of the recruiting and hiring curve using social.

Remember - if you need recruiting help, Kinetix is just a phone call/text away!  

Download the paper via the form below or use any of the links in this email.


A CHRO Reader Sounds Off: Have HR Vendors Lost Their Ever-Loving Minds?

If you choose to click through and read this, you have experienced a large uptick in the volume and aggressiveness level of pitches from HR vendors.  I could say more to introduce this post, but the best path is just to allow a CHRO friend of mine tell you how he feels.

"Dan" is a CHRO for a large employer in the US with thousands and thousands of employees.  He's a good Sales memesand talented guy is not moved to overreaction.  He sent me and a few other friends this note last Friday to say WTF related to what he's experiencing related to outreach from HR vendors... I changed the names to protect the source and the vendor, see his note and enjoy:

Fellow “Really Cool” HR Friends,

Well, you may object to my sneaky inclusion of myself amongst the hipsters, but I digress . . .

So, my Friday RANT which has been building for years . . . the NUMBER OF ACTUAL SALES (or even sales visits) TO ME THAT HAVE RESULTED FROM INITIAL “MARKETING” like you see below?  Free craft beer if you guess correctly . . .

ZERO.

Who are these people?  I guess they’re at least getting a sniff or two from maybe a .001% population who just cannot say no to a “live” sales call when they read the Oh-So-Compelling email.  But it still bewilders (read: angers) me that the most likely millennial group of sales types have deluded themselves into thinking that with a carpet bomber email blast – from an email list that the “receiver” DID NOT approve – will endear them to the prospect.

Besides, I know who’s behind the “keyboard” on sales emails like John from Schwing below, which now forces me to hit the delete button nigh on 25 times a day, or if I’m feeling Catholic guilt, spend 30 seconds (it adds up) replying “no thanks” politely.  It’s a lovable millennial, who hit send on the mass marketing email from his smartphone while he’s on break at the violent Berkeley protests against free speech (if said speech happens to be lean right).

I have a new personal rule . . . if you prospect me with inane “first approaches” like the below email (and his Co, Schwing, I’m sure is just swell), I will permanently black list you from ever being granted a live audience with me or my team.

Harsh?  No.  Short-sighted?  Probably, but the B.S. marketing has gone too far.  You want bi’ness?  Hold a happy hour in our fair city, and pony up to our SHRM chapter for access.  Let us confirm that you’re not a Watson computer “marketing” to us.  That you actually drink beer or wine. 

And the folks who sell the contact lists should be publicaly hanged in the the park here on our campus so that there’s a good view until the bodies decompose.

Oh, by the way, HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!  And get off of my lawn.

That's an epic rant.  And correct.  His frustration is felt by most of you, who note an uptick in the number of emails, but also in the number and brazenness of the follow ups.  My favorite follow ups to the cited initial emails and calls include:

  1. Did you get my note?  
  2. Did I make you mad?
  3. Please choose one of the following related to why you haven't responded (always includes a playful or fun answer.  Schwing!)
  4. PHONE Only - "This is John, I'm calling you back on the message you left me.  Call me back at XXX.XXX.XXXX".

What I love about America is this - anyone can start their own company.  That includes the HR Space.

What I hate about America is this - anyone can start their own company.  That includes the HR Space.

Honk if you feel Dan's pain.  HR vendors, take note. If you're part of the problem, it's probably time to pivot on your approach.

BONUS - including one of my 100 Best All Time Movie Clips for HR - pitch scene from Boiler Room included below (email subscribers click through for the video):


The Increasing Tinder (For Vendors) Vibe of LinkedIn...

When I accept your LinkedIn invite, I'm not swiping right.  I'm just doing something slightly less than giving you a business card.

I use LinkedIn a lot.  I don't put myself out there as a Lion, an open networker, etc, mainly because I'm not even sure what those Linkedin things mean.  But I do know that LinkedIn is traditionally a great tool to network and make sure you know who people are, read things they share, etc.

LinkedIn has always had a bit of a meat market feel to it.  I think that's to be expected based on the amount of career games/recruiting that goes on across the tool/solution.  You're connecting with people for a reason - mainly because you think there's a reciprocal benefit to that connection - they can help you at a later point or vice versa.

But I'm starting to notice a HUGE uptick in outright "I'm here to sell you my service/solution" behavior from vendors.  As with recruiting, the vendor element has always been around LinkedIn - but I'm not sure it's ever been as quick to the pitch as it is now.

Can you at least say hi and thank me for connecting before you drop your pants?

The increasingly aggressive pitch goes like this:

  1. You get an invite from someone who's a founder or biz dev professional at a company that sells something in your space.
  2. You accept the invite, because you're an open networker and hey, vendors are people too.
  3. 10 minutes after you accept that invite, you receive a note back from the new vendor contact with a not only an deeper explanation of who they are, but a call to action and a request for a meeting.
  4. You wonder why the hell you accepted that invite.

I'm OK with being connected to vendors, but wow - the percentage of vendors that do what I describe above used to be 10%, now it's 60-70%.  It makes it hard for me to accept these types of invites from vendors if I think the outlined behavior is what comes next. 

LinkedIn has always paid light lip service to telling you that you should only accept invites from people you know.  But let's be real, their network effect is only in play if you accept as many connections as possible.

The Trojan Horse of Corporate America was LinkedIn selling itself to companies and HR pros watching the flock as "professional networking".  Turns out, it was a resume database.  Gotcha!

Now, the Trojan Horse of white collar America is LinkedIn telling you as an individual that it is "professional networking".  Turns out, it's lead generation for bad business development people.  Or maybe good ones- depends on where you sit.

LinkedIn could stop the madness I describe above in a very simple way.  If you invite me and I accept, but you try to sell me your service in the first __ months of our connection (you tell me what's reasonable), the connection gets voided or you lose the ability to invite people to connect for __ months (again, you tell me what's reasonable).

But that will never happen because LinkedIn isn't professional networking.  I was cool with that when it was recruiting.  I'm less cool with it now that it has bit me in the ass and everyone wants to sell me something within 10 minutes of accepting their invitation to connect.

When I accept your LinkedIn invite, I'm not swiping right.  This is how people start deciding to stop using the tool on a daily basis.


UI Design: Do Amazon Echo and Google Home Have Anything to Teach Us About The Power of Being Nice?

I ordered a Google Home a few months ago.  It's an interesting if not life-changing first step into the intersection of AI and digital assistants.  I'm a big user of the Google suite of products, and I smiled when I found out that I had to say "OK Google" or "Hey Google" to activate the digital assistant.  Google has a nice way of making a lot of their products softer than they have to be.

That softness makes them less threatening when you realize Google has a lot of your information.  Like when I got into my car a few weeks ago to drive 2.5 hours to Atlanta, and Google told me what the traffic on my route would be - before I told it where I was going.

Gulp.

But back to that implied soft side - which makes Google products seem "nice".  Johna Paolino recently wrote a piece on Medium where she compared Google Home vs the Amazon Echo, specifically on how each drove a different type of vibe/interaction with her and her boyfriend:

"A year ago, my boyfriend got an Amazon Echo. I remember first using the product, dazzled at its ability to process requests from across the room. Alexa, play us some music. Home vs echo

As the year progressed, the wow factor faded quickly.

The product features continued working to their full effect, but I felt very unsettled. I found myself constantly agitated as I observed my boyfriend bark commands at this black cylinder.

Alexa, turn off the lights. Alexa, set my alarm for 8am.

This declarative speech was so incongruous with how he interacts with me, with how he interacts with any human.

Was it how he was asking?

Was it that she was female?

Was I jealous?

Paolino goes on to describe her reaction is driven by two factors - the name of the Amazon product and conversational triggers.  The echo is driven by a female name, and Paolino was taken aback by hearing her boyfriend bark orders at a female voice.  Commenters on her post rightfully let her know that you can change the trigger to the name Amazon or Echo.  That problem can be solved. 

But the use of conversational triggers is interesting to me.  Using "OK" and "Hey" as softening factors is meaningful. It means that people are going to approach communication with Google Home in a softer fashion than they will with the Echo, and that's an important factor when the technology is far from perfect.

That same conversation tone transitions to the messaging we use in HR.  If you're an HR leader and have allowed your teams to use the default messaging that was provided with your ATS and/or Performance Management system, you've missed an opportunity to sound human.  We're rolling out a system right now and the stock messages sound like a mix between Mussolini and the worst HR Manager you've every encountered wrote the default messaging.

If Google Home tells us anything, it's that it's pretty easy to put a human side on your brand.  If you're not perfect, it probably matters more than you think that people like you in HR and are willing to cut you some slack when you mess up. 

Try making HR communications sound like normal people talk.  
"

 


How Les Grossman from Tropic Thunder Manages Remote Teams With Video...

I'm back.  How was your holiday?  Mine was great - caught up on some reading, spent time with the nuclear family (spousal unit +1.8 kid FTEs), decided I now don't care about football, had a life changing experience related to the value of Patagonia in cold weather, etc.

You?

Oh yeah, another thing I did was watch parts of Tropic Thunder on HBO.  As a recruiter/HR pro/Talent Agent, I'm obviously partial to Ari Gold of Entourage as the classic agent to emulate (the good parts, not the bad parts), but there's an alternative...

That alternative is Les Grossman, the super-agent played by Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder

The walking contradiction of Les Grossman is that he does so many things wrong - while doing so many things right.

Take managing remote teams via video, for example.  The video embed below is a scene where Les patches in from Hollywood to manage a remote team shooting a SE Asia war movie on site.  Take a look at the video below (email subscribers click through for video) and BE WARNED THAT THIS IS TOTALLY NSFW AND NOT RECOMMENDED IF YOU'RE SENSITIVE:

Amazing, right? The movie was released in 2008, so Less was way ahead of his time.  Here's what Less did right in managing remote teams via video, even while he was doing so much wrong:

  1. He had big tech that made it seem like he was there.  Big screen.  He didn't go halfway with him having the need to talk to 25 or more people in the same room.  Broadband pipe was obviously large to get screen image quality up - that's worth paying for.
  2. He had people on the ground to connect him with the larger group in the room.  The guy in the pink button up is his lackey from LA who went to be onsite.  Whether you send someone or not, when you patch in via video as a leader, someone in the room you're connecting to needs to be in charge of making sure your connection is good and dealing with agenda issues and conversations that need to happen locally while the call is going on.
  3. People had assigned roles for what needed to happen.  You need a report on the Finkelstein account.  Less needed his key grip to be ready to punch someone in the face. Tomato/Tomoto.
  4. He thanked people for their work, even when he wasn't sure of who they were. He didn't know who the author of the book was when he spoke.  He didn't miss a beat and thanked him for his service. Of course, he then cursed at him, which you should avoid, right?

If you aren't afraid of language and inappropriate behavior, this clip works for you.  If not, you shouldn't have gone through the warnings.

But you could do worse than the 4 key elements of doing a video call with remote teams displayed by Les Grossman above.

Make 2017 a year of connection.  That's a successories poster right there.


The Decline of Social Snooping On Candidates and the Rise of the High School LinkedIn Profile...

At one point, my advice for HR pros who were wondering about the ethics and legal exposure of digging around on candidate's social profiles was simple.

"Just ask what your CEO wants you to do in order to have the best line of sight on a candidate.  She probably expects you to do everything possible to fully vet and get the best candidate possible."

Translation: Don't be lazy, and don't be weak.  Social snooping is a reasonable background activity, and anyone who tells you otherwise probably isn't as connected to business results as they need to be.

So, that used to be my advice, and I guess it still is, but my approach has softened a bit for a very specific reason.  The-who-the-kids-are-alright

Candidates are more aware than ever of the risks their social accounts provide, and the younger the candidate, the less likely he/she is going to have accounts that are open to the public.

Two words: Instagram and Snapchat.

Facebook, in case you were wondering, is for the olds.  Not only are candidates more cautious than ever, but the younger candidates aren't active on Facebook nearly as much, which was the platform that created the most risk.

They are on Instagram and Snapchat, and they're increasingly protecting their accounts to the fullest extent possible.  That means you might be able to find them, but once you land at the account, it's protected. You have to request to be their friend/contact/hombre to see what they're posting.

I think social snooping has become less important for this reason.

In addition, the youngest of users are attempting to play our need to social snoop by giving us accounts that put them in the best light possible, which is smart if they have college admission or work-related goals.  LinkedIn is seeing a surge in profiles among High School students wishing to indulge admission office's need to snoop.  More from the New York Times:

"Applying for admission to many American colleges already has high school students jumping through hoops.

School transcript? Check. Recommendations? Check. Personal statement? Standardized test scores? List of accomplishments? Check. Check. Check.

Now some social media experts are advising high school seniors to go even further. They are coaching students to take control of their online personas — by creating elaborate profiles on LinkedIn, the professional network, and bringing them to the attention of college admissions officers.

“They are going to click on your profile,” says Alan Katzman, the chief executive of Social Assurity, a company that offers courses for high school students on how to shape their online images.

Last year, for instance, Mr. Katzman’s company advised a high school senior in the Washington area to create a detailed LinkedIn profile and include a link on his application to Harvard. (His mother asked that the student’s name be withheld for privacy reasons.) Soon after, LinkedIn notified the student that someone from Harvard had checked out his profile."

What's that? You're worried about the digital divide and how this plays to the have and have-nots?  Good instincts, grasshopper:

“Kids from privileged families tend to do more of those things both offline and online — joining school clubs, writing for their school newspaper, getting tutoring so their grades go up, doing SAT preparation,” says Vicky Rideout, a researcher who studies how teenagers use technology. Using LinkedIn on college applications, she says, “is yet another way for there to be a disparity between the haves and the have-nots.”

For high school students, LinkedIn is partly a defense mechanism against college admissions officers who snoop on applicants’ public Facebook and Twitter activities — without disclosing how that may affect an applicant’s chance of acceptance.

A recent study from Kaplan Test Prep of about 400 college admissions officers reported that 40 percent said they had visited applicants’ social media pages, a fourfold increase since 2008."

Social snooping feels dead to me. It was only a matter of time before high school students started playing admission offices as well as employers by giving the people what they want.

The kids, as it turns out, are alright