Author Archives for dancrosstaw

About dancrosstaw

Dan Cross is particularly passionate about two things - basketball and human resources. Unfortunately, Dan was never drafted into the National Basketball Association (NBA) so he embraced a career in Human Resources instead. Driven by data, Dan challenges conventional HR and People practices through the use of analytics, human-centered design, and agile methodologies. An advocate for disability employment, Dan coaches for Special Olympics and regularly volunteers as a vocational rehabilitation specialist. When he’s not in the office, on a plane/train, or on the court – he’s most likely on Twitter (@CrossOverHR).

The “Final Four” Best Tips to Build your Employer Brand


We’re in the final stretch of March Madness as the semifinal games or “Final Four” of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament are set to tip-off this weekend. As competitive as these games will be, HR and Talent Acquisition professionals find themselves in an equally, if not more so, competitive environment in the war for talent.

Some of the key differentiators for Talent Acquisition is a positive employee value proposition and meaningful recruitment marketing. Listed below are the “final four” best tips to effectively build and boost those factors to deliver a powerful employer brand. Doing so will showcase your company as a great place to work and can help with recruiting, development, and retention.

  1. Set a strategy. It may sound basic, but many employers today have disjointed job marketing materials or deploy a “post and pray” strategy on social media. To build an effective employer brand, your organization must first define the value that they will provide to potential job seekers. It might be similar to the value provided to your customers or it might be completely different. Either way, it is important to implement your organization’s brand in a united way.
  2. Share visuals. Creative, well-written text content describing your employee value proposition does not compare to the power of visual representations – showing potential employees your office space or company culture in action. Whether photos or videos, these visuals help bring your employer brand to life while also being more engaging to the content consumer. In today’s world of data overload, visual images have become how customers and candidates organize information (and ultimately remember it!)
  3. Engage your team. The greatest tool that will help build your organization’s employment brand is your current workforce. They can help tell the story of your company and do so in an authentic way. There may even be an opportunity to create a program that rewards employees for active brand participation. Check out TicketsatWork Corporate Rewards and Incentives for a few great ideas.
  4. Be real. Work is not always sunshine and rainbows. An employer brand that shows the truth behind a job or company will earn the trust of current and potential employees. It’s also not always just about the job. By focusing on more than just technical duties in job descriptions, try to show how your company culture supports employees in all facets of work and life. The best employer brands not only highlight the positive aspects of the employer, but also are realistic and create a relatable situation.

No matter your school affiliation or tournament bracket standing, we all can cheer for better employer branding!

3 Must-Do’s to Attract Top Talent in 2017

Attract top talent in 2017 with these must-do tips for HR managers and recruiters at

Q1 is a busy time of year for recruiters and HR teams looking to fill vacant roles within their organizations. And, as most recruiters know, finding great talent is not an easy task. Here are three must-do tips to help your organization attract the best candidates and stand out as an “employer of choice” among the competition.

  1. Leverage technology: No, robots will not take over the recruiting industry in 2017. However, technology will continue to change the game when it comes to sourcing, selection and the overall recruiting workflow. Recent technology advances, and the high-volume recruiting process, have led to the standardization and automation of administrative tasks such as application reviews and interview scheduling. Enhanced selection capabilities including video and virtual reality are also being used to seek top talent. HR teams should take the time to dig through the multiple HR tech vendor pitches to find a comprehensive solution that will make things easier for their team, recruiters and candidates.
  2. Make it a team effort: A successful hire is no longer the sole responsibility of an independent recruiter or HR team. Rather, it must be an integrated effort where recruiters and hiring managers work together to solicit referrals and candidate feedback. To do this effectively, it would be prudent for employers to offer a monetary bonus or other reward incentive for each successful referral or organize a fun team event for the group with the most active participation in employment branding events or initiatives.
  3. Get creative with a tight budget: HR and recruiting budgets tend to be tight, and finding top-notch talent is not cheap. This economic reality in tandem with the increased focus of talent “attraction” (not just acquisition), makes employment branding and talent marketing a critical priority for organizations. As social media and career feedback sites like Glassdoor and The Muse become increasingly popular among job seekers, companies must be intentional about their brand awareness and should use these free (or relatively cheap) resources to help spread the word about what the culture and professional benefits are like within their organization.

Leveraging these tips with the goal of making positive enhancements to both the recruiter and candidate experience will put your organization in the perfect position to find and acquire the best talent this year. Happy talent hunting!

New Year, Same Old You? 4 Ways to Get Back on Track

Learn how to get back on track and achieve your New Year goals!
It’s officially been one month since we swore off all our bad habits, pledged we would start fresh and exclaimed that it was the beginning of a “new me.” The changing year indicates a blank slate, and an opportunity to create a new behavior to meet a particular goal or desired result.

I’m not much of a gambler, but if I had to hedge my bets, I think it is safe to assume that most of us have fallen off the resolution bandwagon. And, if my own resolution failures don’t already display a disheartening truth, research shows that only 9.2 percent of people feel they were successful in achieving their stated promise.

However, let’s aim at reversing that statistic. 2017 is still a blank slate, and there is plenty of time to get back on track.

As an HR professional, I know too well that New Year goals within organizations slip through the cracks just as quickly as they get started. Whether the hope is to implement a new recognition program, improve organizational efficiencies or bring on new employee benefits, the rush of projects at the start of January can set these proactive objectives to the back burner.

Here are 4 tips to get back on track and achieve those resolutions:

  1. Set a realistic goal: Instead of focusing on a perceived weakness or aiming for a goal you know is not achievable within a reasonable amount of time, aim to re-focus on an area (or areas) that can be improved or enhanced without going over budget or throwing the entire team off track.
  2. Create a strategy: Be proactive by setting a timeline to outline the steps it will take and deliverable needed to achieve the goal. Keep it detailed and make sure to check off action items as they are completed – the more items crossed off the list, the closer you will be to your goal.
  3. Include team members to stay accountable: Two heads are better than one. Bring on other members of the team who can help you brainstorm, meet deadlines and, most importantly, keep you accountable and on task.
  4. Set a deadline (and a reward): Having a deadline not only makes the goal real, but also gives you and your team an opportunity to celebrate a job well done. Once you reach your goal, celebrate with a team dinner or outing to mark the moment.

Follow these action steps and stay positive. If you do, I know we will all be on the path to declaring “New Year, New Me!”  Get started today with Corporate Rewards and Incentives!

Get Started with TicketsatWork Corporate Rewards & Incentives

What Does Culture Have To Do With It? Everything!

What's culture have to do with it? Everything! Check out to find out more.

Over the past several weeks, I have taken a close look at three key components needed for successful employee engagement. Today, I will be highlighting the third, and in my opinion, most essential component – culture. The general belief is that a strong corporate culture is the direct result of high employee engagement. While this is true, building an environment of engaged, motivated employees is easier said than done.

Culture is not a standalone function. As I noted in my previous posts, it is heavily impacted by accountability, benefits and other workplace influences. Therefore, organizations must make it a priority to put in place a solid structure that can build and support an environment that fosters employee happiness and facilitates trusting, collaborative relationships between colleagues.

Here are 3 culture hacks that can help create an organizational culture that supports and sustains employee engagement:

  • Recognize wins: A successful rewards and/or recognition program must become an integral part of a company’s culture, rather than just a tool used by a select few leaders and HR professionals. There are excellent examples of peer-to-peer recognition programs and other types of group rewards that can help drive critical elements of positive culture such as teamwork, collaboration and creativity. Learn more about rewarding and retaining your employees through TicketsatWork Corporate Rewards & Incentives.
  • Celebrate failures: It is easy to reward successful events, but we also need to recognize unsuccessful ones. To be clear, we shouldn’t celebrate every failure – I’m looking at you, compliance miscues or code of conduct breaches. This hack, on the other hand, revolves around the celebration of ideas that were particularly innovative or challenged the status quo. Sometimes, however, these failed ideas might have been a bit too audacious or were just not feasible at the time. The organization can learn from these types of failures to make future initiatives better or they can be tabled for a launch down the road when the time is right. Creating a culture of innovation and positive risk-taking is the only way an organization is able to move forward and stay ahead of the curve.
  • Build trust by having fun: An open and transparent line of communication between employees and management will help establish trust at work. It will also help create a collaborative environment that, in turn, can produce improved problem solving and facilitate new or strengthened professional relationships. When it comes to having fun, simply scheduling a happy hour every other week or stuffing a ping pong table into a meeting room does not automatically mean your employees will enjoy themselves or build effective teamwork. Rather, you simply need to allow flexibility in the day so that organic fun can occur and a culture of engagement can be established.

What are some of the ways your company builds a culture of engagement? Let us know using the hashtag #FunAtWork on Twitter or get started today with Corporate Rewards and Incentives!

Get Started with TicketsatWork Corporate Rewards & Incentives