Talent Acquisition Is Being Disrupted: Top HR Companies To Watch 2015 [#hrwins]


It’s been an amazing ride here at Amplify Talent since we launched in 2013. We’re incredibly fortunate to be able to partner with leading companies like Hootsuite, SpaceX, NPR, Cracker Barrel, and Cognosante to develop progressive talent strategies.

Last week we received news that we’ve been selected as one of LAROCQUE’s Top 25 HR Companies to Watch. We’re honored and grateful to be included among companies we admire who are truly re-shaping the industry like Universum, Glassdoor, RolePoint, Clinch, and The Muse.

Firms like Amplify Talent, who establish talent strategies that are as strategic as they are rooted in common sense. Leveraging the latest technology and the latest thinking in talent acquisition.  – George Larocque, Principal Analyst – The Starr Conspiracy

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Best Part

Introducing The New Best Part Of My Job Podcast

Best Part Of My Job Podcast Footer

I’m excited to officially introduce the new Best Part Of My Job podcast! The “Best Part” podcast is weekly exploration of the world of work. Each week, we’ll interview professionals in different fields to learn more about their experience, career path, and what it’s like to do that job.

The hub for the new podcast is the website: This site will feature all of the podcasts, show calendar, and even provide an inside view into how the podcast is done.

You can also join the conversation on social media using the #BestPartJob hashtag.

Follow On SoundCloud

Subscribe on iTunes

What’s Your Story?

We’re looking for new stories to share over the coming months. Why not yours?

Share Your Story


(re)Introducing A m p l i f y

“Well allow me to re-introduce myself” – Hova

I’ve been working in the HR/Recruiting/Talent space for over 15 years. I’ve led the global talent teams from the inside of companies ranging from Fortune 500’s to seed-round startups. I’ve had an opportunity to immerse myself in industries spanning Entertainment, eCommerce, Media, Technology, Hospitality, Aerospace, Healthcare, and more. Each of these experiences taught me something that shaped my worldview around what’s happening at the intersection of culture, talent, and brand.

I’ve seen a lot change during that time, particularly around the field of branding in talent. The maturation of Employer Brand has profoundly changed the ways companies and prospects find each other and interact. Recruiting and Marketing are beginning to converge in some very interesting ways. These shifts have created a new essential skill set for HR teams – creativity.

These new market paradigms are beginning to bring the disciplines of Employer Brand and Consumer Brand closer together. While core outcomes are distinct, the influence exerted on one or the other often have symbiotic commonalities. These changes have me led me to a shift in focus.

Introducing A m p l i f y

A m p l i f y is a new subsidiary of Amplify Talent, working in the space between Employer and Consumer Brand to help companies re-imagine the intersection of culture, talent, and brand.

We partner with CMO’s and CHRO’s to bridge the gap between HR and Marketing, developing talent-focused campaigns and initiatives that help companies harness and convey their unique culture and illuminate the employee experience. Our solutions allow clients to highlight their culture and talent through intentional story telling, driving measurable brand outcomes via tailored objectives.

Our Mission has changed slightly, but our values remain the same.



A m p l i f y will harness experience and insights gained over 15 years in corporate roles, with the passion and curiosity of a student in this ever-changing digital world, to help our clients develop compelling brand narratives that influence measurable brand outcomes. We will leverage our deep expertise in talent and passion for brand to help HR or Marketing Executives develop compelling talent narratives that influence specific brand outcomes.

Learn more about A m p l i f y below. Here we go…

PS – I couldn’t leave you hanging with the Jay Z opening quote without following through. Enjoy!



TEMPLATE: Hiring Manager Onboarding Checklist

Onboarding is a crucial component to successful recruiting. All of the hard work and goodwill built up over the recruiting courtship can be undone with a bad onboarding process. The challenge many recruiters face is that they feel they don’t “own” onboarding, and too many think their role ends at offer acceptance.

If you don’t make onboarding a priority, you risk creating a poor first impression of their new roles for your new hire. Don’t let that happen.

One of the ways you can support a more successful onboarding is to coach your hiring managers on their role in onboarding. Often times their involvement from the moment an offer is extended through start date can set a tone for successful acclimation.

The template below is a checklist I use with hiring managers to remind them of their role in the process. There are nuances that need to be localized to the type of hire, but I’ve found this general format works well.

What do you do to ensure your new hires have a smooth onboarding experience? Leave a comment below with your thoughts and best practices.


New Employee On-Boarding Checklist

Congratulations on your new hire! Below are some on-boarding best practices we highly encourage you to utilize as you prepare for the arrival of your new employee. The first week is the most important for any new employee. It sets the tone for their experience and can have a lasting effect on their impressions of their new role and team. The suggestions below will ensure you make that experience as welcoming, comfortable and engaging as possible. If you have any questions, please let your Recruiter know.


  • Welcome phone call — as the hiring manager, contact the new employee upon his/her offer acceptance to welcome them to the team. Encourage any team members who also interviewed them to welcome them as well.
  • Send your new employee a welcome/congratulations card signed by the team and welcoming them to your company before their start date (optional).
  • Send your new employee any team or product information that might allow them to begin to get a better understanding of their role and new team.
  • Have your new employee’s workstation cleaned before his/her first day (e.g. clean desk, provide office supplies, make sure computer/phone is ready, etc.).
  • Verify that your new employee is on all applicable distribution lists, email groups, network permissions, etc.
  • Order business cards when you receive the new employee’s phone number.
  • Send out an e-mail to the team and business partners, announcing your new employee and their start date.
  • Create an outline of your new employee’s first week and schedule events and meetings in their calendar to allow him/her to quickly acclimate and meet/interact with new team members or groups s/he will be working with in the new role.



  • Meet your new employee on his/her first day and give them a tour of the floor/office/ building.
  • Make sure all office logistics and facilities are explained, especially the coffee/kitchen. Show new employee how to use the copy machine, fax, scanner, telephone, mail services, inter-office mail, fed-ex, order office supplies, etc.
  • Ensure your new hire is scheduled for New Hire Orientation. [if your company there a regular new hire orientation]
  • Include a team lunch or get together on your new employee’s first day or week.
  • Arrange set times over the new employee’s first several weeks for him/her to sit with and meet/shadow individual team members and/or key internal business partners they will work with to get to know them and learn about their role/s.
  • Meet with your new employee at the end of the 1st week to review responsibilities and expectations, and recap the first week. It’s a good opportunity to discuss your department’s goals and objectives, and the role they will play in helping you achieve them (i.e. what projects are underway, key accounts, etc.).
  • Be sure to meet regularly with your new employee, find out how they’re doing and solicit and give feedback regularly. Schedule a standing meeting to ensure you have regular dialog. Weekly is ideal, especially during the first three months.
  • Send an introductory email to the team and any groups your new hire will interact with including a brief Bio and background on your new hire.
  • Explain how your business unit fits within the overall organizational structure, and ensure they understand company goals, mission, values, etc.
  • Guide new hire in setting job expectations.

The Return of Random Tweets of Kindness #RTOK 3/8/16

Two years ago I was feeling a bit reflective. I was thinking about many of the people who’ve had a positive impact on my life and career over the years — friends, peers, mentors, etc. Some I’ve known for years. Others I had never met.

I wanted to find a way to thank them, publicly, and let them know they’ve had an impact on me. That desire to share my gratitude led to launching the Random Tweets of Kindness campaign in 2014.

The first year was mostly me tweeting with the least efficient hashtag in the history of social media — #RandomTweetsOfKindness. I spent almost 20 hours sending tweets every 15 minutes to friends and strangers.

By the end of the day others joined in and began adding their own gratitude to the #RandomTweetsOfKindness stream. It grew to a few dozen participants by the evening and led to calls to bring it back the following year with more advanced notice so others could participate.

It quickly grew from a “me” to a “we” campaign, and it was so gratifying to see this quickly evolve into something bigger than myself.

Last year Random Tweets of Kindness returned with the much more social-friendly hashtag — #RTOK. We picked a date and worked to get the word out so others could participate and recognize people who were important to them.

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I figured advanced notice would drive more tweets and conversations, but never expected where it went. Something special happened.

By the end of the day #RTOK was trending globally. Over 4,000 tweets from 35 countries sharing thanks and gratitude. It was covered in blogs and press including The Muse and Time. The engagement (thanks to analysis gifted by Brandwatch) was incredible.

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I read every tweet. Seeing the joy that unexpected gratitude brought others was very special. You could tell people were truly moved by the recognition, and for some it became a call to action to pass on their own gratitude to others.

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#RTOK 2015 Engagement Word Cloud

The Return of Random Tweets of Kindness

Random Tweets of Kindness will be returning Tuesday March 8, 2016. This year we’ll be broadening the campaign across social media; so you can use#RTOK on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, blogs, or wherever you want to say thanks or share gratitude.

How To Participate

Participation is easy. Just share your post @ mentioning the recipient on your social network of choice using the #RTOK hashtag.

If you’d like to join us this year, here’s how:

  • Help spread the word with your networks ahead of 3/8.
  • You can share this post, or even better write your own, and promote it using the #RTOK hashtag.
  • On 3/8, send tweets, snaps, @ mentions, etc. throughout the day to anyone you feel deserves recognition for their work — or just some kindness.
  • Keep an eye on #RTOK throughout the day in 3/8, share any posts that move you or you feel compelled to amplify.

I hope to see your posts on March 8, 2016.

Thank You.


Amplify Talent 2015 Year In Review        


As 2015 comes to a close, I want to thank all of you for being part of the Amplify Talent community. This month marks the two-year anniversary of Amplify Talent. I’ve learned a tremendous amount since launching in 2013, and am deeply grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with leading brands and recruiting teams to help them recruit more effectively. Here’s a look back on the past year.



I feel incredibly fortunate when a client brings Amplify in to help them optimize their recruiting efforts. I don’t take that responsibility lightly, and am honored that every client we’ve had over our two years has renewed our engagement.

We’re led by our values and when you find organizations that share them it’s an incredible alignment. In 2015 we partnered with leading organizations like Hootsuite (#HootFam), Cracker Barrel, NPR, and Cognosante to develop and implement progressive recruiting and branding initiatives.

Each company is in a different sector and at different stages of their recruiting evolution. All of them have great teams with vibrant and unique cultures. It’s been wonderful working with each of them.



I scaled back my speaking in 2015 to focus on client work and family, but was still fortunate to have several opportunities to speak at events and share my experience.

The year brought me to London twice, and a variety of interesting US events including LinkedIn Talent Connect, Glassdoor Employer Branding Summit, Sourcecon, and SXSWi TalenNet. I really enjoyed returning to Glassdoor’s EB Summit as their Emcee. That event keeps getting better, and I always take something home from the employer brand-focused conversations.

One of my highlights of 2015 was emceeing the livestream for LinkedIn Talent Connect. That was a first for me, but I had a blast doing it and was honored to bring viewers around the world into Anaheim with me to experience the keynotes.


One of those keynotes gave me and my friend Ambrosia Vertesi an opportunity to unveil a new initiative we had been incubating for several months at Hootsuite, Open Source HR (#HROS).

Open Source HR (#HROS)

#HROS is an effort designed to encourage employers to open up their HR playbook, share some of their practices, and ultimately inspire and learn from their peers in talent acquisition and management. It’s a global movement to change how we educate and inspire the field of HR – accelerating learning, progress, innovation, and collaboration. It’s ultimately about providing access to a collective intellect and knowledge base to make the field of HR better.

To date, practitioners have contributed ten case studies from six different companies. They’ve been viewed or downloaded 20k+ times. The HROS community is grown to over 1,000 global practitioners, and 60+ companies have already signed up to contribute case studies in 2016.

HROS wouldn’t exist without the shared vision of Ambrosia Vertesi, and the support and courage of Hootsuite to lead the way and “go first” to take a chance on this idea. I’m very grateful for that.

HROS will be a core focus in 2016, and we’re incredibly excited about what’s in store for next year.


Best Part Blog Header3

I grew increasingly curious about audio and podcasting in 2015. In June, I launched the Best Part Of My Job podcast (#BestPartJob).

Best Part Of My Job is an exploration of the world of work. In each episode, I interview someone in a different career to share what that job does, how that career develops, and wisdom they have for others interested in pursuing a similar path.

The podcast allowed me to explore a rich diversity of fields, including The Muse’s Kathryn Minshew, The MET Chief Digital Officer, Sree Sreenivsan, “Chunk” from The Goonies, Hollywood Producers, Shark Marine Biologists and industry peers I admire like William Tincup, Gerry Crispin, Hung Lee, and more.

Random Tweet of Kindness


One of the projects I’m most proud of is the unexpected viral growth of the Random Tweets of Kindness (#RTOK) campaign.

I launched RTOK in 2014 as a way to recognize people who’ve inspired, educated, or helped me over the years. I thought it would grow in year two, but never dreamed it would become a global trending campaign, including coverage in Time.

Seeing the unexpected joy and recognition being shared, and the impact that had on recipients, was inspiring. We’ll be bringing it back in March of this year. Stay tuned for date and details.


On a personal note, 2015 was a bit of a rollercoaster. Watching my daughter grow from an infant to a toddler, and seeing her personality begin to develop, has been an absolute joy.

Kai Lars

The thrill of being a new (ish) Dad was rattled in October when I lost my brother, Kai. It was a sudden and unexpected loss, and another reminder of the fragility of life. I’ve experienced loss before, and used my experience to write a post on Medium with the hopes of helping others who are grieving during the holidays.

As 2015 comes to a close, I want to thank all of you for being a part of the Amplify community. I hope you’re able to end the year sharing laughs with friends and loved ones, and wish you all a 2016 full of growth, smiles and new experiences.


Best Part

LISTEN: SoundCloud’s Head of People Partnerships, Noor van Boven, on #BestPartJob Podcast

Noor van Boven shares experience and insights from her career in Recruiting and Human Resources. In this episode, Noor shares how her Father influenced her career, taking time off to travel, why she prefers “people operations” to “human resources”, the key ingredient that separates good from great companies, managing people operations in aa global organizations with 38 nationalities represented, time management and productivity tips, how SoundCloud uses it’s platform for recruiting, and what music you’ll find in her home.

You can connect with Noor on Twitter at @emvanboven. If you found her description of SoundCloud compelling, they’re hiring!


LISTEN: “Everyone Should Be Tradigital” @MetMuseum Chief Digital Officer, Sree Sreenivasan (@sree) [Podcast]

New York Metropolitan Museum of Art Chief Digital Officer, Sree Sreenivasan, shares his career story.

Sree Sreenivasan shares experience and insights from his career spanning Journalism, Academia, and the Arts. In this episode, Sree walks me through where his passion for technology comes from, his 30 year love affair with the Met, the museum of dead technology, learning the value of new technology during a military coup in Fiji, how living in different countries stoked his curiosity, what it’s like to run a 70 person startup in a 100 year old company, Tradigital journalism, attention as currency, the biggest competition for museums, where he goes to keep up with emerging technology, why LinkedIn is the most under-appreciated of all the social networks, and where he finds inspiration.

You can find him on Twitter at @sree, and see his social media recommendations at #sreetips.


What’s The Deal With Ninjas?

An open letter to anyone still using ninja, guru, or rock star to describe themselves.

This video was shot at the DC Improv for the LinkedIn #TalentConnect livestream hosting promotional video (below). For the record, my only audience was DC Improv employees – who either clearly don’t get “career humor” or have extremely soft laughter.


LISTEN: #BestPartJob Podcast Ep11: “I’m Comfortable Not Having All The Answers” – @williamtincup

Key Interval Research Co-Founder, William Tincup, shares his career story. In this episode, William shares his career journey including Walmart’s managerial track, eight years of college and three degrees, how long it takes to learn a new industry, what it’s like to sell a company, agency life mirroring Led Zeppelin, how he came together with John Sumser to launch Key Interval, mapping the universe, calling bullshit on analyst cons, Lewis and Clark, good buyouts + bad buyouts, business partnerships as marriages, HR tech companies he finds interesting, calling BS on “culture fit”, the fallacy of authenticity, Fatherhood, and what happened to the TC clothing line.


Ep8: “A Startup CEO’s Day Starts With A Profound Sense Of Incompetence” [#BestPartJob Podcast]

In this episode, Hung Lee shares his career journey from recruiter to Founder and CEO. We dive into area spanning what originally drew him to technical recruiting, transitioning from full-time to consulting, the role of recruiters as “information brokers”, determining pricing models, solving the “noise” problem in technical recruiting, matching jobs by interest (forward-looking) over experience (historical), why being a CEO means being comfortable with a profound sense of incompetence, multitasking tools & hacks, and more. You can find Hung on Twitter at @HungLee.