The Social Media School Yard

I’ve often talked to my clients about how Social Media is like a school yard.

I think there are some distinct groups represented:

  • Friends
  • Enemies
  • Sportstars
  • Cool Kids
  • Nerds

Let’s look at them…


This is an easy one; there are many users, businesses, organisations and general peeps who are madly giving you value, ‘how to’ tips and information to help you do whatever you are trying to do….awesome!


Hmmm…just like the world there are people who are using the internet to take advantage of you. Be aware and always ask the extra questions to make your self more comfortable…not so great.


These are the guys at the gym that are lifting weights in the mirror! Lot of eye candy but not much substance. These are the many ’10 weirdest family photos’ type sites. Spend brief amounts of time to  enjoy the view and not too much that you waste valuable working time…ok in short bursts but serious time waste otherwise!

Cool Kids:

There’s so many of them! Here’s a few of my ‘go-to’ cool kids!

The best thing about these cool kids is they are sharing their coolness with all of us!


There are some fab technical sites or resources out there. Here’s a few that I use:

  • Mashable – has so much other than what you might need but great for getting good early advice!
  • Adweek – quite wide offering but use to pick up some great info
  • Google alerts – perfect for getting current info on the run

Have a great day!

Kathy Smail


Loving your Team

Your team is the biggest asset that you have:

  • Support them
  • Trade what they would like for what you need done
  • Just love ’em (and they will be an even bigger asset)



Recruiting – Prep for Interviews

Last time I talked about Tackling Resumes and some tips for getting a ‘shortlist’. This time I want to talk about preparation for interviews.

Preparation for effective interviews is crucial to an effective result. Here’s my top three tips for Interview Preparation:

  • Compile a list of questions to ask each applicant – this ensures that you can compare each applicant easily (Trust me, you wont remember after a few interviews in a row or if there is some time between them)
  • Write out the questions on a sheet of paper with room for your answers and print several copies – give a copy to each interviewer
  • Compare answers with the other interviewers using these sheets

Next time we’ll talk about what types of questions to ask.



Recruiting – Interview Questions

Asking questions in interviews without a plan is tantamount to employing an applicant by shuffling resumes and picking one!

As I’ve said before, the interview is the golden opportunity to get to know potential employees but what you ask them and how you run the interview can give you ‘gold’ or ‘nuthin’.

This time we’ll look at what types of questions to ask.

Here are my top tips for questions:

  • Ask for a self-introduction from the applicant
  • Ask for examples of enjoyable work experiences
  • Ask for examples of work experiences that were less enjoyable
  • Ask for examples of how they handled particular situations and drill down to determine the difference between rote answers and the true experience

Remember, get help if you need it.



Recruiting – Tackling Resumes

Recruiting is an integral part of creating successful work teams or a successful business. In my years as a HR Manager and as a Consultant I have recruited for my own teams and on behalf of my clients.

The real delving into the minds and work ethic of applicants is during the interview but first of all there are often many resumes to wade through.

The most important first step is to ensure that you have a clear and defined position description including accountable expectations of the role.

Here’s what I do when faced with a stack (often a large stack) of resumes:

  1. Set aside uninterrupted time to read through all the resumes this initial time – These applicants have taken time to apply for your position and as such it is appropriate to acknowledge that effort by reading them through
  2. Make a pile of those applicants that do not meet the requirements of the role; set aside
  3. Mark any outstanding applicants for interview – If this group is large, begin to shortlist from this group
  4. If not enough outstanding applicants; shortlist from both groups
  5. Decide on the amount of interviews you are prepared to do
  6. Plan interviews accordingly
  7. Get help if recruiting isn’t your strength



Increasing Sales by Re-distributing Workload

As times have got tighter, many businesses have had to retrench staff in order to survive. Many have decided to hang on to their ‘income producing’ staff and trade off their admin or support staff and generally and middle management staff.

This produces the dilemma that admin tasks are under pressure and many internal processes are struggling.

One strategy is to re-distribute workload by utilising some of your ‘income producing’ staff to pick up some of your admin and support functions. This may be difficult when your staff have already been through a tough time as the business has be taking hits but can provide a significant pay off when you work it through.

Step outside your business for a few minutes and brainstorm but don’t think about personalities, preferences or tasks at this point.

1. Look at your current distribution of work that is coming into the business. Is there available time that could be utilised within the business? Remember any amount of time is valuable.

2. Which admin or support tasks could be undertaken by an someone who knows about the business but may not be necessarily ‘admin trained’?

Put that list aside and start another…

3. Do any of the current staff have any particular leaning towards working outside of their current job?

4. Would any staff want to help out even if not an initial choice?

Take both of your pages and look for any easy matches first.

Next work on the less obvious ones.

Don’t forget, you can contact me if you’d like me to facilitate this process specifically for you.


Kathy Smail

5 tips for selecting rising superstars

5 tips for selecting rising superstars

I’ve been chatting about Recruiting recently (Interview Questions, Interview Prep, Tackling Resumes) and here’s some more on the same theme.

I found this article in Human Capital Magazine (Issue 9.08). I love it for a couple of reasons:

1. I love a quick list
2. I think they’re right!

Here’s the five points:

1. Understand what can be taught (skills) and what needs to be brought (attitude)

2. Advertise or brief an agency based on both the attitude and skills that you are looking for

3. Invest the time to talk to applicants by phone – it’s hard to pick an awesome attitude AND skills you are looking for

4. Ask ‘unusual’ questions at the interview to get ‘below the surface’ and see what makes someone tick

5. Use behavioural profiling to understand the natural talents of candidates

This article was sourced from Rookie Recruits – Tackling the Talent Crisis white paper. Check them out here.

When you’re recruiting especially in the current economic hard times, it’s crucial to get it right. Use whatever resources you can; an agency, profiling, behavioural interviewing.

My biggest tip…recruit everywhere you go…think about point 1; be looking for a consistently great attitude and then investigate your options.



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