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).

Five Lessons Learned in Preschool That Will Help You Become a Better Recruiter

Check out five lessons learned at preschool that will help you become a better recruiter!

We all learn valuable life lessons in our youth that can be practically applied to adulthood. That premise is not new. New, however, are the recruiters that go back to the basics and practice these learned principles to successfully achieve hiring results and provide an exceptional candidate and client experience. Here are five of those lessons:

  • Tell the truth. Preschool children rarely lie, unless it’s a question of who ate the last cookie or who broke the lamp (I’m guilty of both). Since they do not yet have a filter, they are much more likely to be transparent and blunt about how they feel and what they think. As a recruiter, it’s important to share and provide direct feedback to applicants to help them improve their candidacy. Equally important is to be fully transparent with your clients and hiring managers on the progress and status of open requisitions.
  • Treat others how you’d like to be treated. It wouldn’t be a list of lessons without mentioning the “Golden Rule.” In our rapidly evolving economy, many professionals find themselves unemployed, underemployed or employed with a side hustle or gig. Likewise, recruiters will often find themselves transitioning between those employment categories and on the other side of the hiring table (or laptop/mobile device) seeking full employment. We should strive to provide an experience to all candidates that we would like to experience as a candidate ourselves.
  • Sharing is caring. It’s never easy to share your snacks, let alone your industry secrets or candidate leads. To be an effective recruiter, however, it’s important to stay connected to other recruiters by sharing best practices, the latest tech trends, or even sourcing connections. There are a variety of forums to do so, one is even coming up – the 2017 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Annual Conference in New Orleans.
  • Rub some dirt on it and do it again. As you try that new trick on the swing set, you’re bound to fall down and scrape your knee on the first try. Similarly, the best recruiters will be testing out creative ways to reach candidates or dabbling with the latest tech or social trend. Some portion (maybe the majority) of these tests will fail. The best of the best recruiters will continuously challenge the status quo and keep testing new ways of reaching and interacting with top talent.
  • Hang up drawings on the refrigerator. Even the best recruiters don’t do it alone. They have partners in the form of hiring managers, HR professionals, and even candidates. It’s important to recognize and reward your most effective partnerships as a way to continue building relationships and a path to getting more stuff done in the future. Check out TicketsatWork Corporate Rewards and Incentives for some of the best ideas.

If you apply all or some of these lessons, you’ll be a better recruiter and may even earns a gold star or smiley face sticker!

How to Foster a New Beginning for Your Talent Strategy


The temperatures are rising, the flowers are blooming and the birds are chirping. This might seem like a tardy post for readers in the south or along the sunny coasts. However, upstate New Yorkers – or any other landlocked folks up north – know the sad, sad truth that warm weather is almost in sight.

For personal development, spring is the ideal time to try something new. If your New Year’s resolution didn’t stick, give it a second attempt this season or come up with a different one altogether based on where you are today. Maybe it’s the perfect time to work on your beach body in preparation for the fast-approaching summer season or perhaps you can finally take the next steps to further your education and learn coding skills (more on the need for those skills in a future post.) Whatever your new goal is, it’s never too late to reinvent yourself.

Similarly, it’s never too late to reinvent your organization’s talent strategy. Here are 3 tips to get you started:

  • Reflect: Most organizations will find it necessary to reflect on the seasons of the past. This is an excellent first step. If you have an employee survey, ensure you’re tracking back to the most critical factors around employee engagement and workplace happiness. If you don’t have an employee survey, now is the time to create one. Before an effective talent strategy can be set, we must establish measurement goals in order to track and assess the effectiveness of an integrated talent acquisition, development and management strategy.
  • Plan: Once you know where you are, you can set a course for where you want to be. It will be critically important to act on any areas of concern uncovered in these surveys. Doing a bit of spring cleaning in the form of training for people leaders or managing out low performers, will help facilitate a new and improved talent strategy overall.
  • Implement: As you begin to roll out the initial phases of your talent strategy, be sure to include a recognition program that rewards the focus or intent – whatever it may be – of your talent strategy.

Need some help with rewarding? Check out TicketsatWork Corporate Rewards and Incentives to help take your talent strategy to the next level.

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!