Your Branding Goal and Mechanism

by The Red Recruiter on August 7, 2014

Marble On The PianoWhen I started sharing a corporate culture and working heavily in employment branding, I thought that my purpose was to attract job seekers to the organization. It wasn’t long before I realized that my focus needed to change. The same ‘ol approach had become obsolete.

I asked myself, “Why would people be attracted to a company brand in the same way they would be to a person?” It just seemed like way too impersonal of an expectation.

It was for this reason that the strategy with Racker Talent did not start with a Facebook page or Twitter account. It simply didn’t make sense to dedicate a ton of time, effort, and financial resources into building an active job-seeker “community” of people. And, as I realistically considered the stance of a passive, happily-employed, job-seeker, I couldn’t think of any incentive for giving us a “Like” on our Facebook page, as I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t be interested in announcing their brand affinity to their friends and colleagues. There is no logic in that. And if you’re not going after the passives, why wouldn’t you just stick with the active candidate channels that the industry has always used?

So, fast forward, the blog was launched and one-by-one I started adding contributors. In some part, I still thought it was about simply attracting people to the blog based on the stories. I knew the culture was special and I was hellbent on sharing it! Then my perspective started shifting even more.

I struggle to imagine a scenario (outside of a very select few popular B2C companies) where the level of “engagement” on a corporate career site would equal that of a non-business site. Why would people show their cards that way? “I love your company! It’s so great! Let me work for you!” … doubtful. If they do… #awkward. You’re welcome to disagree, but perhaps just consider it a bit.

After coming to this conclusion, I started thinking about the purpose of the site a bit differently. Yes, it exists to help future employees understand our culture… but, there is something else to sharing culture that I found to be rewarding. And, in large part, it became the focus. The purpose of creating content related to the company culture is to give current employees something to talk about. I mean, let’s face it… if given the option of sharing a job opening or a cool story about the company they work for… which one do you think they are going to share? I placed my bets on the cool stories and it paid off over time.

This is really about empowering your engaged employees with useful content. If they’re proud of where they work, what they are a part of, their team, etc… they are more likely to share. Are you still hoping that they’ll simply share job openings? Boring. Get real. Are you going to reward your employees financially for sending all their friends to your vibrant community? Go for it. Hope that works out.

Just consider this. What gets you excited? What pumps you up and would make you want to learn more about working for a company? An ad? Really? Are you totally sure about that? How about an email from a friend who works there? Maybe. Who knows? How about your buddy who posts, “Hey everyone, my company is hiring. Check out our openings.” Lame, boring, no fun.

If I were a betting man… I’d put my money on the random social posts from people who work there (perhaps friends of yours). Think about it. Your friend Joe shares some post saying “Holy shit, I work at the coolest place on the planet!! Check this video/post out!” Does he have your attention? Yeah, probably. Especially if you’re having a crappy day.

So, bottom line… yes, hiring great people is a big part of the goal. But, ultimately, put your thoughts around the mechanism. Is it sincere, useful, helpful, intriguing? If not, change it. Be weird, be loud, have fun… explore, share, enjoy. In the end, that’s what people will feel… and that’s what they’ll be attracted to.

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The Infinite Unknown

by The Red Recruiter on February 2, 2014

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.” – Albert Einstein

If you missed the previous posts, click here to view the Awakening category.

To read the post just prior to this one, click here to read “Letting It All Go”.

Antennae GalaxiesIn an instant, I was no longer here. And by “here”… I’m referring to our common perception of physical reality and the space we occupy within it. The reality we claim to dominate with our advanced physical senses.

The only way I know how to describe the reality I entered is by using terms we can all associate with. So, I’ll do my best.

If you were to close your eyes, place a light bulb close to the front of your face, and just take in what you observed… it would look similar. Remove all sound around you and replace it with a deep oscillating vibrational tone… it would sound similar. I didn’t feel anything physically, and I don’t remember any particular smells. But, emotionally, I can still remember a great feeling of openness and freedom. Free to roam, yet guided as needed.

And while I did perceive a number of guides while in this “altered’ state, it’s incredibly difficult to describe how they appeared. They were simply with me. And it didn’t require our common interactions of speech or body language to communicate. It was as if my heart had a mind of its own… and it was able to communicate more effectively through pure emotional interaction.

Perhaps the early stages of falling in love resembles the feelings. Remember early on in the relationship when your heart was so blasted open to the other person that you could literally predict their actions? You even knew what they were thinking on occasion. At times, the interactions felt magical and it required little to no effort to be perfectly content in the company of the other person. It’s kind of like that. But, without the whole “hump like rabbits” part. You’re in sync with another being and the interaction happens naturally… with and without effort at the same time. “Seamless flow” is probably a fair way to describe the experience.

So, there I was, in this bright vibrational space. And, within its seemingly infinite bounds, I could travel freely. As I went through it, a number of people seemed to show up. I’d later go on to have these individuals described as guides. Among them, I had a great sense of connection with Einstein. It was as if he brought me through portions of his work, but also allowed me access to his emotional stance on what he accomplished. Then, another figure visited and brought me through all sorts of advanced geometries. Another, theology. Another, symbolism and linguistics. Talk about information overload.

It all happened so quickly that it was impossible to process everything. It was as if a lifetime (or more) of education and exposure was flashing in front of me… on topics that I had never really taken an interest in. In school, I was never really interested in topics related to science. So, most of what I observed seemed foreign and strange… but, in a another way, it all kind of made sense.

From an experiential standpoint, it didn’t feel like time was passing. But, actions were occurring. Kind of a timeless place that lacked boundaries and was filled with information, story, history, memories, and everything else we consider to be learned or experienced. And there was a lot to take in…

Out of nowhere, I heard two knocks on the right-side passenger window of the Tahoe. I came back to present reality and quickly looked to my right to see who was there. No one appeared within my view. I turned to the radio and the clock read exactly 4:44am. My angel numbers had returned again. Perhaps to remind me that I wasn’t alone and reassure me that I wasn’t losing my mind.

I sat back in the driver’s seat and attempted to process what I had just gone through. It felt as if I was suddenly existing in two different plains of reality. My brain and heart were tied into a realm of unspeakable depth and scope… yet my body and general physical existence was firmly planted in the front seat of my vehicle.

I stepped out of the Tahoe, stretched, and looked up at the night’s sky. I remember thinking, “Wow… there really is something beyond this world that few ever recognize as possible. There really

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are existential realities that we chalk up to speculation and hypothesis.” The thoughts and reflections kept streaming through my conscious mind, but in the simplest of terms, I can just say that I was left in awe. Absolute, total, and complete awe of what I had just experienced.

More soon.

Looking Forward, Michael

Photo Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA via


Letting It All Go

January 30, 2014

I feel compelled to preface this post with some additional context. Prior to what I experienced in the early morning of April 6, 2012, I had never been a formal member of any particular tradition or religious institution. Other than the occasional wedding or funeral, I did not carry any official religious conviction. I attended […]

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Dreams, Tornadoes, and Life Lessons

January 26, 2014

To describe my life over the past year and a half would be near impossible. All the stories, which will surely surface over time, have made for a pretty interesting (sometimes disturbing) adventure. Whatever the assessment ends up being, it’s surely taught me a lot about life, love, and the fears we must confront during […]

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The Journey Forward

July 24, 2012

I’m grateful for the past three years – both personally and professionally. On the personal side of things… Meeting and marrying Kelly Long.  She’s super awesome and I still feel blessed daily by her presence.  Ends up, she’s a pretty amazing Wife and Mother too (bonus!).  I’m eternally grateful for her love and support. Fatherhood.  […]

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May 16, 2012

Howdy! I’m currently attending the Jobs2Web User Conference in Minneapolis.  This morning I had the great privilege of presenting #BeTheBird to the attendees at the general session. It may be hard to get the context through the presentation alone, but I figured I’d put it out in case you want to take a look.   […]

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Why Matter?

April 9, 2012

If you matter you mind. If you mind you matter. If you don’t matter, you don’t mind. So, let’s say we don’t mind and we decide to matter. Wouldn’t our acceptance solve the riddle? If E = mc2 Then wouldn’t Now other wish have payday loan advance actual lenders decided sadly Caress. Strong payday […]

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#TalentNet is…

April 2, 2012

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Journey to #TalentNet

April 1, 2012

It’s #TalentNet time again – but, this time, I’ve prepared a little surprise.  Well, 5 surprises. I’m bringing along 5 members of the Rackspace Culture + Communications Support team. We left San Antonio today and arrived to Dallas just in time for the evening events. Check out our road trip! Looking forward to seeing everyone […]

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Full Circle and Culture Branding

March 10, 2012

It’s funny how sometimes life brings you full circle with a flash of reflection.  That moment when you are simultaneously grateful and shocked by everything that led up to now.  A “Wow!  That all really just happened.” kind of instance. About three years ago to the day, and without much planning, a good friend (Alicia) […]

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