Belly Dancers + HR Professionals = Awesome… Meet Carol McDaniel…

William Tincup Good HR, HR, Trench HR, William Tincup

The moment I arrived at Moroccan Night at the HR Florida conference… I knew I was going to witness something special. Henna tattoos – check, palm readers – check, open bar – check, belly dancers in the flesh AND on the big screen – double check.  OMFG.  All my HR sensibilities were completely challenged… Screen shot 2010-09-28 at 11.47.58 PM in a good way.  The event, IMO, was a huge risk for a conference AND a huge success.  Who put this brainchild together?  I had to meet him/her and at the very least give them a hug.  Meet Carol McDaniel, lover of all things Moroccan… 

JWT: What's the one thing people need to know about you? 

CM: They need to know that I’m very passionate about my work, family and volunteer work.  One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing people just “doing” their job… Despite our current job climate, there are so many opportunities to contribute and do something that you are passionate about. For me, my volunteer work brings me great satisfaction whether it is putting on a state-wide conference or implementing a program or process that makes a job easier or more efficient for my client. It’s no different at Hodes – I’m passionate about my company and the resources we offer. You can see it in a person’s face, actions and results – passion is the fuel that drives success –IMHO! And if you lose your passion – it’s time to move on.

JWT Editorial: I often give the career advice to freshly minted grads… create a passion inventory and competency inventory and look for OR create overlap with the two.  That’s when work doesn’t seem like work… cause it isn’t.

Gorman-photo JWT: Name three people in our industry that have influenced you, and why? 

CM: Dave Ulrich – his ability to reach the very core of what makes organizations successful and what drives people to contribute to that success. I wish I could be that smart as China Gorman, former COO of SHRM! And while I know she is no longer at SHRM, she has really inspired me to continue to “fight” to educate the industry on smarter, more efficient ways to work within our industry and with its people.  Using technology to bring people together to watch them connect and succeed – it’s a beautiful thing!  Last, well I won’t name names, and I don’t like giving any credit to this person, but a bad manager I had a few years back. You know there is nothing like having a bad manager to really influence how you manage your team. I learned a lot about communication, (more is better), I learned how to give appropriate feedback (not being yelled at from a cell phone) and I learned to embrace change – it’s the only way to progress and grow a business, even if you allow your team to bring that change – it’s a really good thing. Gone is “that’s the way we’ve always done it” – ugh, that aggravates me.  I changed the way I work, communicate and commit to my job, industry and team based on that horrible experience.

JWT Editorial: I wish you would name names… how do bad managers ever get found out?  I worked for a company years ago that had a secret rule regarding promotion and/or transferring a problem employee / manager.  Never do it, never allow it.  Never!  If the employee / manager didn’t find a way to get better, etc… they died in that department.  That’s one way to deal with bad managers… I guess.

JWT: Name two social media personalities within our industry that you follow, and why?

CM: I enjoy the Cynical Girl blog – she’s funny, but has a message in her rants – it makes me laugh and sometimes I call my boss out on something she mentioned in her blog. He’s like “Where do you get this *hit?” That’s even funnier!! I also like Chris Brogan – he is the founder of New Media Marketing Labs and the co-founder for Third Tribe Marketing, an online community for marketing education. His posts and insight provide me fresh ideas to bring to the marketing side of my business. While he doesn’t focus on talent management, there are many similarities between consumer marketing trends and talent acquisition marketing. 

JWT Editorial: Chris is an interesting personality… I wish he wrote more often about HR / talent related issues … kind of like the crossover hit Seth Godin.

JWT: What do you think holds back your profession?

Titanic_sinking CM: Not being agile enough to change as the industry and market change. The Talent Acquisition and Management industry has changed immensely over the past 10 years and making the move to a more digital based service model is like turning the titanic – seriously, having the nimbleness to move quickly and to be on the edge of what’s around the corner is key… As our mindset has reached the place where instant response, cultural awareness and fit are becoming best practice, the digital space has become the forefront in gaining access to the top talent.  As rapidly as this has changed though, some organizations have not adapted quickly, however, and still find themselves in a “pickle” when they have hiring needs. Unsure of why they don’t get the response needed or expected from a traditional approach (ads, job fairs, job postings), that’s when we can help educate on how digital tools can be great to communicate and build relationships with potential candidates to fill the pipeline. It does not always have to be reactive recruiting… Then you also have the onset of mobile media, geo-targeting as well… the way we approach candidates will have to continue to evolve. 

JWT Editorial: I’m drawn to the words “approach candidates” in your last sentence.  I wonder if that’s what we have wrong… the very foundation might be flawed and/or predatory.  What if employers AND candidates adopted more of an eHarmony approach? 

JWT: What excites you the most about our industry?

CM: The new emerging workforce!  In the last few years, a new employee has emerged – one who is connected in ways that is not familiar to the establishment and sometimes, uncomfortable for most talent acquisition specialists. This emerging workforce blogs, is active in all forms of social media, texts while driving and has distinct opinions – about everything.  Hiring professionals are now asking questions like: Do we want someone who has a following of over 20,000 people on Twitter, and/or will they expose my organization in ways that make us vulnerable?

Whether we chose to embrace or ignore, this new emerging workforce brings a new level of consciousness to the organization’s mission and cultural presence. While transparency can make organizations uncomfortable, the new “socially aware and connected” workforce brings that to the forefront and is helping lead the way as companies struggle to find ways to stay competitive.

JWT Editorial: At the end of the day, companies that embrace transparency and alignment of values win… those that don’t… should lose.

JWT: What are your three favorite online sources for industry information?

Screen shot 2010-09-28 at 11.52.49 PM CM: I love;; and Fast Company. This makes four, but I also love TweetDeck – lots of interesting news, resources and people come through there. I’ve been using TweetDeck for about eight months and it is really addictive. It’s a morning ritual for me.  I gain access to industry news, blogs and trending topics that can give me an edge in my business.  Based on what I might currently be working on – I Screen shot 2010-09-28 at 11.53.05 PM can find hashtags and follow that stream to gain access to thought leaders on the subject.  By reading the links, blogs and interviews, I can easily capture the pulse of what might be trending on the topic and I can be a better resource to my clients and constituents.  When I was planning
the HR Florida Conference I was following the #HRFL10 hashtag, as well as the other state council hashtags like Ohio SHRM, Illinois SHRM to get a sense of the buzz out there.  And now, there is even a group forming to consolidate all of the planners and volunteers who devote time and work to put on state-level SHRM conferences to discuss best practices in conference planning. This group has only come together because of the awareness made through the Twitter hashtags. 

JWT Editorial: For those who aren’t using Twitter hashtags… excellent way to search for stuff in Twitter and/or with tools like TweetDeck or Hootsuite… really easy way to keep track of ongoing trends / conversations, etc.

JWT: In 50 years from now, what's the most significant change that has taken place in our industry, and why?

Words_You_Don't_Want_to_Hear_During_Your_Annual_Performance_Review_Cover CM: Well, I can only hope that we will have advanced away from performance reviews – they suck. Evaluating someone once a year on paper seems so wrong. I mean, how can you spend 30 minutes with an employee and provide them career path opportunities, training resources, good sound advice on performance – highlighting the lows and highs and expect them to walk out of your office re-energized about their future? I visualize a time when the performance evals are “real-time”, not a review of your past. It’s an ongoing process, not one that culminates in a once a year meeting, that may or may not be in person. I would also like to see us approach the process to have the manager evaluated on the delivery of that performance review. Managers should be prepared at any given time to be able to speak about their team and its success, areas for improvement etc…  

I would also like to have progressed beyond filling jobs based on the requisition – and have the ability to bring talent in based on cultural fit, not what is soley on the resume. Google does a fantastic job of cultural fit – each resume that comes in to their systems is evaluated on several different levels.  One factor that I admire is based on where an applicant went to school. The system then matches them to current employees who went to the same school and looks for feedback from that employee – it’s one of many ways organizations can look at cultural fit. You can teach anyone to make widgets – hiring for cultural competencies produces a better match and overall productive employees who ultimately enhance the bottom line.

JWT Editorial: Along with the concept of constant… I would like to see performance reviews / feedback loops performed by every human one comes in contact with.  Shitty people would have nowhere to run / hide. #bantheshittypeople

Carol McDaniel, Vice President, Bernard Hodes Group, Vice President HR Florida State Council.  Connect with Carol:

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Editor's Note – This is the second in a series of interviews with HR & recruiting folks by William Tincup. Have you ever had the opportunity to meet this man? William? Fascinating guy. The Q&A we'll have to turn around onto him at some point actually. A bit about his story here, on He's also guest starred on an episode of FOTv in the past – probably one of the finest performances we've ever seen on the show. Yep, we're Tincup fanboys and fangirls over here at FOT. No problem admitting that whatsoever.