Tag Archives: LinkedIn

A bunch of Mike’s, including The Professor, but no Gilligan

Who am I?


It depends, according to Google.


Bob Denver as Gilligan on Gilligan's Island
Bob Denver as Gilligan on Gilligan’s Island (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


For the most part, I own the Google rights to “Michael VanDervort”, including my oft delayed but still forth-coming new blog site Michael VanDervort.  There are even sites set up by strangers that use my Instagram pictures for reasons that escape me.


What’s most fun is to find the alter ego Michael’s mixed into my Google awesomeness.   Say hi to them with me:


  • The rock and roll guy
  • my great, great, great, great, great, great, really super terrific ancestor
  • some other dude named MIchael who sued a bunch of other dudes
  • all the Michael’s belong to Spokeo (157 to be exact)
  • another list of Michael’s found in public records (83 to be exact)
  • the Professor, but no Gilligan alas
  • “Michael VanDervort” wanted in Shenzhen
  • Michael the Coronoer
  • Michael’s Florida mugshot
  • Mike, Mike, Mike…LinkedIn


It was fun getting to know myself….well, not my selves a little better.




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A major milestone and some news


Marking a major milestone and a transition

Today’s post represents the 1,455th post I have published here on the HRH blog since I first created the site on July 14, 2007.  That means I have just 45 to go to hit 1500 posts.  That will happen on March 9th.  It’s going to be kind of a big day.   It’s also going to be the last time I post on HRH.  On March 10th, I’ll be moving my content over to a new site with the unwieldy name of….yeah, you guessed it.  “MichaelVanDervort.com“.

Typically, it’s all about me, and maybe a few other things, old and new.

IN the meantime, you might get a kick out of reading this random scribbling that I posted on July 23, 2007 in which I think very deep thoughts about the social media, the future of HR and the meaning life.   I seem like such an ingenue. and yes, I even published it in that blue script.  It was also the first thing I ever wrote that was seen by double digit readers, 19 people to be exact, according to my blogger analytics.

Social Networking and the Flat World

On April 24th, I was in New Century, KS attending a session on using the SAP HR module, and one of my colleagues from Copenhagen, Denmark asked me if I had ever heard of LinkedIn.

LinkedIn?” I said curiously, “What’s that?”

“I’ll send you an invitation.” My colleague, Nicolai said, and he did.

Since then, approximately 3.5 months has passed. As of 7:42 this morning, through LinkedIn, I have:

· Established exactly 900 connections from all around the globe on LinkedIn.
· Corresponded or talked with a large number of these people
· Found old friends, family members I haven’t seen in years, and networked with a number of former professional contacts.
· I have been contacted by several companies regarding possible job opportunities.
· I have used the site to source experts and vendors for projects for clients

I have also begun to examine the impact my relatively new found interest in social networking has had on me personally, and to ponder the way these tools will affect the Human Resources field in the next couple of years.

I am interested in Social or Open Networking for many reasons. These range from the simple to the complex. The simple question: Who, Where, What, Why, and When can I encounter someone who will assist me or help me grow as a professional and an individual?

The more complex idea: We do indeed live in a Flat World. As a result of this flattening, a convergence of the technological and the sociological aspects of the Internet is occurring that I believe is already vastly influencing and changing the way we do things in our daily lives, as much the development of the Internet and the World Wide Web did in the past few decades.

I am not a technologist or a sociologist, but my professional work is in the field of Human Resources and most of my personal interests revolve around things that involve groups of people. Therefore, I am interested in how this convergence affects my work and my life. I seek to understand how it will work and have jumped into the water with both feet to examine how social networking and Web 2.0 can lead me towards practicing HR 2.0 as a professional, and add value to my personal life by developing networks around the globe for sharing of best work practices, career opportunities, and perhaps even personal relationships in places where they wouldn’t have existed without this medium.

Since April 24, in trying to understand social networking

· I have joined Xinghttps://www.xing.com/profile/Michael_Vandervort

· I have joined Ning.

· I have joined Viadeo.

· I have joined Ecademyhttp://www.ecademy.com/account.php?id=186529

· I am on Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=549337373

· I use Plaxo Plus to keep my finger on the Pulse of all of this. http://pulse.plaxo.com/pulse/events/

· This morning I joined Brijj.com which is a social networking site for India.

This represents around 2000 individuals I am networking with around the world at various levels. One of these people found a job through a referral I made. Business relationships are currently being developed through the power of LinkedIn connectivity. I hope to do a live LI event in the Tampa Bay area in October with some colleagues I have met in the HR community to promote these types of tools and the power they bring to your daily life if you learn how to use them.

All of this just scratches the surface.

Oh yes, the other things that have happened in my life since April 24th?

· My company changed hands.
· I became a grandfather.
· I turned 50.
· My wife went to India and back for the second time this year.
· The stock market hit an all time high and then plummeted like someone pulled the plug.
· My daughter went to Mexico for two months and came back.
· Bunches of other stuff too numerous to mention…welcome to the Flat World!


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Cheap Trick Thursday: Old School Social Recruiting Tip

 Invite Good Candidates to Apply

Wait staff w our food
Wait staff w our food (Photo credit: Food-ie Cho)

The title on today’s post is almost as long as the post itself.  Long before Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn came along, I used to utilize a really cheap social recruiting methodology on a regular basis.  Many of the managers that I work with today still use it to recruit new talent at Publix.

Here it is in a nutshell.   If you are out and about in your local market and encounter someone who delivers great service, or shows a terrific work ethic, take note of that and thank them.  Then pull your business card from your pocket and tell them about the great place you work, and how you think they might make a great fit for that organization and invite them to come in and apply sometime.

Talent pipeline.  Boom.  It works especially well in the service industry sectors.

It’s not rocket science, but it’s cheap and effective.  You’re welcome.

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An #HRPuckhead does #Tipmas

What the hell is #TIPMAS?

It was the night before #Tipmas when I got tagged in a Facebook post by that bon vivant raconteur of HR and hockey – my fellow #HRPuckhead Dwane Lay.

He was in Tampa, and looking for trouble.  I agreed to help him in the search.  We crafted our plan and decided that we would meet at Hattrick’s Tavern, which is essentially a sport bar for hockey junkies – especially Tampa Bay Lightning fans.  We had a great time, drank some local Florida brewed beer, dined and received some excellent service from our server Mary Beth.

But I also got to do something else that was very cool thanks to the generosity and creativity of Red Book Connect, who invited me to be part of their #TIPMAS campaign.   They sent me a $50 American Express gift card and asked that I do one thing: find someone at a restaurant who did an outstanding job providing great service and share the gift card with them.

I gave my card to Mary Beth at Hattrick’s, and wished her a very merry #TIPMAS, thanking for doing an outstanding job.  She told me I had made her night and gave me a hug.  It was awesome.

Want to know more about #TIPMAS?


Red Book Connect is encouraging acts of kindness to the hard working servers in the restaurant industry, and we’re calling it #Tipmas. During the 12 Days of #Tipmas, from December 9 through 21, we are encouraging our team and everyone we know to be generous with their servers and to urge everyone you know to do the same.

We hope you’ll share and spread the word to help us ignite the #Tipmas movement!

Day 1: #SecretServer – Secretly ask for a manager to tell them that your server has done a fantastic job. (Dec 9)

Day 2: #SharingIsCaring – Share the story of the excellent service you received online and tag it with #Tipmas (Dec 10)

Day 3: #HolidayHero – If you know your server will be working the holiday leave them a Holiday Card from your family. (Dec 11)

Day 4: #LetterToServer – write your server a letter showing your thanks and leave it at the restaurant. Remember, it’s not just about generously tipping! (Dec 12)

Day 5: #MilkAndCookies – If you go out tonight, order dessert. And leave dessert for your server (i.e. candy bar, candy cane, etc.)

Day 6: #ElfOnTheShelf – If you’re out tonight, and you notice another server working hard, besides your own, mention them to the manager as well! Spread the love!

Day 7: #FastBreak – When you visit, buy your server a meal they can quickly eat on their break, such as an appetizer. Those shifts are long, and every little pick-me-up helps.

Day 8: #WarmFuzzies – “Like” or “Follow” the restaurant on Facebook/Twitter then share your warm fuzzies about your server on the restaurant’s Facebook/Twitter pages.

Day 9: #ShareTheLove – Recommend the restaurant and the server to your family and friends through a Facebook Recommendation.

Day 10: TBA!

There are more great stories on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Follow us to read them all! You can also read some on our blog!


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The Social Media Volunteers #MTSHRM #TNSHRM13

Social media is now part of the HR profession

Social Media Outposts
Social Media Outposts (Photo credit: the tartanpodcast)

I’m very excited to be part of the Social Media Pit Crew for the  2013 Tennessee SHRM Conference.   It’s always an honor and a privelege to be asked to participate in an event like this.  For me, this will be the third time I have been asked to be a member of the inital social media efforts at a state conference.  In years past, I have been a part of social media teams at state conferences in Florida, Ohio, and Illinois.

Will I see you at the 2013 Tennessee State Conference?

Looking at what Chris Fields and Lyn Hoyt are putting together for Nashville, I can hardly wait for September to get here!  You should be there too!

So what makes going to a state conference as part of a social media team so awesome, especially when it is the first foray into the wild and wooly world of  HR social technology?

It’s the people, the learning, and the networking – pretty much the same reasons that people who don’t use social media much go to the conference. 

Back in 2009, I was part of the first blogging team at HR Florida.  I got invited to serve on that team because of the individual work I did in tweeting out information and sharing the event via social media as a 2008 conference attendee.  In 2010, I became a volunteer leader for HR Florida at the state level, serving as a member of the Program committee, and the leader of the Social Technology team for three straight years.  That led to speaking opportunties at other state conferences, and a volunteer leader position for SHRM National, and many other opportunities too numerous to bore you with here. 

I share this experience not to trumpet my own awesomeness, but rather to quickly illustrate that something as banal and mundane as “tweeting” can actaully lead to transformative moments in your professional career.  None of these opportunities would have come my way without the connections I made through social media.  People I met via Twitter like Sharlyn Lauby, China Gorman, Carol McDaniel, Dave Ryan and Steve Browne have become tremendous professional connections, and opened doors for me in a way that I never expected.

That’s why I volunteer my personal time to attend state conferences and do social media at these conferences.  By paying this time forward, I hope that someone out there in Tennessee will receive the same kind of mentoring and opportunity that I did.  If you are attending the Tennessee conference, please be say hello to me and the rest of the social media pit crew if you see any us. (click through the link for videos from the whole crew)

A Social media primer for SHRM Chapter Leaders

A few years ago, I put together a primer of tips for SHRM state and local chapter leaders looking to get started in social media.  It included the following advice:

Getting your chapter started

  • Look to other chapters for best practices.  HR Florida is a great case study, if I do say so myself.  I would also include Illinois, Ohio, and Louisiana.
  • Consider getting started by adopting with at least one platform if you are not ready to go full tilt.
  • Blogs are great for sharing information
  • Facebook is great for conversation / events
  • LinkedIn groups offers a semi-private platform
  • Develop policy and guidelines
  • You must believe, and lead by example.
  • Let your “chapter”  hair down a little, and have some fun!
  • You must view your audience as a community.
  • Don’t treat your social media platforms like a bulletin board used only for publishing announcements.  If you do, it will fail.
  • Help is available!
  • All SHRM chapters should have a social media person on their leadership team.

 Today I would also add the importance of developing lasting partnerships with sponsors.  SHRM National has built a great relationship with Dice, the Hive and a kickball charity fundraiser that raised more than $11,000 for No Kid Hungry.  Possibilities are unlimited, if you use your imagination.

Special thanks to MissionPoint Health Partners for their conference sponsorship, and CBIZ for providing the social media sponsorship at the 2013 Tennessee SHRM Conference and Exposition.

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A beautiful new LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn profile rejection

Bill Boorman and Jill Elswick at Recruitfest 2009
Bill Boorman and Jill Elswick at Recruitfest 2009

Apparently it’s Dutch week here on HRH. 

Lots of Dutch news these days – a new King and Queen of the Netherlands were crowned, and the latest version of the social recruiting phenomenon known as TRU Amsterdam just concluded.

Despite the success of TRU, and the seemingly global adoption of social recruiting, there is at least one Dutch recruiter who can’t be bothered.

Check out the LinkedIn profile of Marc Drees, who runs RecruitmentLab and RecruitmentMatters.   It’s a hoot!

 Mijn fraaie, nieuwe LinkedIn samenvatting

 Welcome to my LinkedIn profile!

Be aware that this profile hasn’t been updated since early 2010. I simply had/have better things to do.

For those interested in what I do and keen to learn Dutch: visit recruitmentmatters.nl. Results may vary when using an online translation service.

For those trying to improve their job or career site: visit recruitmentlab.nl after learning Dutch. An online translation service is pointless in this case. But learn Dutch. Seriously. It will help you improve your site beyond recognition. Or contact me. But not through LinkedIn. Why not? See below.

For those trying to connect with me: I have zero connections on LinkedIn and want to keep it that way. So don’t send me an invitation as I will happily ignore it.

Also, don’t contact me through LinkedIn. I will most likely never respond. There are much better ways to contact me. If you haven’t found them yet, you didn’t make a real effort.

Have a great day!

As Marc said:  “Nou maar hopen dat bezoekers ook de moeite nemen om te lezen…”, or “Let’s hope visitors take the trouble to read … “

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(Data) Impression from HR Florida #HRFL12

Social Impressions from HR Florida

We just wrapped the 2012 HR Florida State Conference.  I have a lot of stuff I want to talk about, but not a lot of time right now.  Ket’s go with this.  Thanks to my social tech members for being a part of our little events.  You know who you are.  Some of you show up on this list that is part of the HR Florida data set related to http://beta.hashtracking.com/ht-pro-rpt/cjeffers-hrfl12-2012-08-27/.   There is a lot of additonal CZOOL data available if you click through the link.   Not surprisingly, the social tech team is prominent.  Check it out.

Most Popular

mentioned in 50 tweets
retweeted 18 times
mentioned in 34 tweets
retweeted 20 times
mentioned in 48 tweets
retweeted 0 times
mentioned in 31 tweets
retweeted 10 times
mentioned in 18 tweets
retweeted 15 times
mentioned in 18 tweets
retweeted 11 times
mentioned in 18 tweets
retweeted 7 times
mentioned in 16 tweets
retweeted 5 times
mentioned in 18 tweets
retweeted 3 times
mentioned in 17 tweets
retweeted 4 times
mentioned in 11 tweets
retweeted 9 times
mentioned in 10 tweets
retweeted 10 times
mentioned in 13 tweets
retweeted 6 times
mentioned in 13 tweets
retweeted 6 times
mentioned in 11 tweets
retweeted 7 times
mentioned in 9 tweets
retweeted 7 times
mentioned in 9 tweets
retweeted 5 times
mentioned in 7 tweets
retweeted 5 times
mentioned in 11 tweets
retweeted 0 times
mentioned in 7 tweets
retweeted 3 times


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Linkedin groups, Kinetix HR, HR Florida – it’s a small world after all! #HRFL12

 Overlapping influencers  and influences 

LinkedIn (Photo credit: Christopher S. Penn)

You may not be aware of the fact that I am the creator and moderator of several LinkedIn groups, including one of the largest topical groups on labor relations.  It has the very orginal name of Labor and Employee Relations.  It’s a private group, but we have easy admission requirements, so if you are interested, please feel free to sign up.   There are a lot of great topical discussions going on all the time. We also get a lot of job postings for labor and employee relations openings.

Speaking of job postings, here is a posting for an HR Manager in Birminham, AL  that caught my eye last night.  I don’t know if it is still open or not, but I do know the people who are conducting the search.  You’ve gotta love the irreverent tone of the ad copy.   If you don’t, then you can probably blame it on Kris Dunn, Shannon Russo and the rest of the rebellious peeps at Kinitex HR.  I’ve put the stuff I really like in bold.

HR Manager, Birmingham (union)  posted by

What’s that? You pursued a career in HR because you care about the kids, and are committed to creating an environment full of puppies, rainbows and a fully engaged team? Well my friend, we’re offering up an opportunity for you to live the dream with one of our valued clients.

In the Human Resources Manager role, you will be responsible for managing and maintaining maximum service levels for the entire Human Resource function for a best in class supply chain company, at unionized facility level in support of core business goals and objectives. Other core functions of the role will involve overseeing compliance of all corporate driven policies, procedures, programs, processes and laws relating to Human Resources, with weighted strategy and focus in the areas of non-exempt recruiting, training, employee and labor relations and facility management advisement.

Stop dreaming and start living.

Five Things You Won’t Find in Our Training Manual
Keep walking if: You lack a can-do, go-getter, half glass full attitude. We’re looking for rising individual with the drive and intelligence to advance their career and climb the company ladder.

This game is all the training you’ll ever need: Tetras. Think of the bullets below as the falling blocks. Start systematically stacking now and earn yourself a high score.

Term from the company glossary: “Braggingly happy”. An adjective used to describe how our team members feel about their role, workplace and company culture. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to achieve and maintain a “braggingly happy” community.

Don’t apply if you can’t: Sing every word of Bohemian Rhapsody. We take our team building pretty seriously. (This one may or may not be in the phone screen, start tuning the vocals…)

Sharing is caring: And we care a lot. Our company is wholeheartedly committed to “giving back” to our communities through participation in company supported volunteer programs, food donation and ongoing partnership with United Way. It just feels good.

Legal Said We Had to Throw in some Bullet Points to Call This a Job Posting

 Scalimouche, scalimouche,
do you do the fandango?
Thunderbolts and lightning,
very, very frightning! 

Ps – You can meet Kris Dunn, Shannon Russo, and Carol McDaniel of Kinetix at the 2012 HR Florida State Conference (#HRFL12) August 27-29th.   Oh yeah, and me too.

Easy come, easy go…


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SMFT – Transparency or Invisibility?

SMFT (Photo credit: MMICHAELL)

Thoughts on SHRM and Transparency

If you haven’t seen it, you should go read the post by Shauna Moerke  that she called The Ugly of #SHRM12.  It’s a pretty thoughtful blog piece on a touchy topic that got very little play in the blogosphere during all the well-deserved hoopla surrounding the 2012 SHRM conference.

John Hollon gives a more straight up media spin on the same topic over on TLNT. Bottom line, the SHRM Members for Transparency are running their own slate of candidates to try to take over the SHRM Board of Directors.

If you would like to know more about this group and their agenda, you can find all the information on the SHRM Members for Transparency website.

Personally, I’ve had some odd experiences with this group, and am not sure that supporting an old guard of leaders is the way to pave a new future for SHRM.   What I find much more fascinating is the fact that in a year with nearly eighty bloggers present at the conference, there was so little attention paid to this group.  I’m not sure if that speaks to more to relevance of their issues, or to the fantastic job that SHRM did with incorporating the social media sphere into the conference experience.

A couple of years ago, I found the view of this group intriguing and worthy of consideration.  Not so much anymore.

Full disclosure:  I was invited to the press conference, but informed Kate Herbst, Director of SMFT that I was unable to attend due to my volunteer leadership commitments to SHRM.

What do you think –  is SMFT relevant or not?

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