Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess

We’ve Moved
February 6, 2010, 7:52 pm
Filed under: Networking/Social Media

If you’re looking for Research Goddess, we’ve moved the blog. Please set your browser to You may also subscribe to the RSS feed or subscribe via email.

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Deliberate vs. Situational Job Seekers on Twitter
February 4, 2010, 7:00 am
Filed under: Networking/Social Media, Recruiting, Research, Twitter

I believe there’s a lot of untapped gold on Twitter when it comes to searching for job candidates. The thing you need to keep in mind is that there is more than one type of job seeker on Twitter. Here are the two types of active job seekers I’ve noticed on Twitter:

  1. The Deliberate Twitter Job Seeker
  2. The Situational Twitter Job Seeker

The deliberate twitter job seeker is the person who has written in their bio line that they are looking, whereas the situational twitter job seeker is one who might tweet that they dislike their job or want a new job after a frustrating day at work. The key is to run searches for both types of people. If you only search Twitter updates for job seekers, you’re going to miss out on the ones who have their job seeker status in their bio.

The deliberate job seekers most likely have other social network profiles elsewhere noting their status as a job seeker, and Twitter is simply a part of their ‘campaign’. As such, it would be best to use a tool such as TweepSearch or Tweepz to find these people. These two search engines search only Twitter profiles, not the tweets themselves. Here is a sample search string to use:

“looking for a job” OR “looking for work” OR “seeking employment” OR “need a job” OR “need work” OR unemployed OR “new opportunity”

Situational job seekers are going to be a bit more challenging to find, because they probably don’t even consider themselves to really be ‘active’ job seekers. Rather, these are the individuals that maybe had a bad day at work and are venting. For example:

When approaching these people, it’s important to catch them close to the time in which they expressed their disdain to their job. That is, if you wait until 2 days after they’ve expressed hatred for their current job, you’ve probably missed your window of opportunity. For this search, I recommend conducting a basic search through Twitter’s advanced search function and subscribing to an RSS of the results. This way, you’ll get fresh results for people who are having frustrating days at work. Here is a search string that has worked pretty well for me:

“new job” OR “need a job” OR (“looking for” job) OR ((want OR need) “new job”) OR (hate “my job”) OR “job sucks”

Another good resource to follow is the Twitter account @hatemyjobfeed. This particular Twitter account automatically retweets message that contain “hate my job”. While often just amusing, there are occasionally tweets that come through this feed that warrant a response from a recruiter with a good opportunity.

Why “Research Goddess”?
February 2, 2010, 7:00 am
Filed under: Networking/Social Media, Rants, Recruiting, Research, Thoughts

“Research Goddess” is a silly nickname that was assigned to me nearly 4 years ago. The story behind how it came to pass is pretty interesting, so let me share with it with you and put to rest any notion that its meaning is anything more than completely fun and innocent.

When I left my first internet research job, which I held for 4 years, I also left a sizable internet research community via a listserv (numbering near 500 participants). As it was a proprietary listserv, I was no longer allowed access to it. I started my blog in order to stay connected to several of these researchers as well as to meet new people outside of that community. My first blog, by the way, was called “SPI Research” (now simply a placeholder), NOT Research Goddess. Research Goddess came about after I had conversations with Joel Cheesman and Jim Stroud. Joel informed me that I needed to create a memorable identity (as he did with Cheezhead), and Jim told me it would be in my best interest not to tie my blog directly to the company for which I worked at the time. He told me it would be hard to continue with the blog title “SPI Research” if I ever left SearchPath International, which I eventually did a year later.

Jim and I played around with some new possible blog titles on the phone one day, most of which I cannot recall now. In jest, I threw out “Research Goddess” and the line went silent. I thought at first I’d lost the connection, or that it was a horrible idea, but then I heard an enthusiastic “That’s awesome!!” from Jim. I chuckled, stating that it was just a joke, but Jim insisted that it was a great blog title and a memorable one at that. To this day, whenever Jim calls me or I call him, he always greets me with “Hello, Goddess!” It makes me giggle that he still does this, as it’s all in good fun.

As months turned into years, the nickname stuck. In fact, when I go to conferences now, I usually introduce myself and then throw in “I write Research Goddess”, and only then do I get the “Ohhhh, I know who you are!” responses. I am almost better known by my silly pseudonym than I am by my real name. What this tells me is 1) it’s a memorable nickname, but 2) I need to do a better job of tying who I really am in with the nickname. Working on that…

As a test to those of you reading this, here are a couple of other popular ‘nicknames’ of people you might recognize:

  • The Sourceress
  • The Searchologist
  • Cincy Recruiter
  • HR Bartender
  • The Recruiter Guy
  • The Red Recruiter
  • Recruiting Animal
  • MN Headhunter

While you may not know their real names off the top of your head, you recognize the names and know that each has a niche or a gimmick that is recognized and understood. That’s one of the important parts of creating a memorable identity for yourself. And one of the reasons “Research Goddess” has stuck to me.

Does it mean I believe I am a goddess? Heck no. I’m just another girl in this game, trying to learn and grow just like the rest of you, while sharing my thoughts with this little community. And quite honestly, for those of you who know me, I mean REALLY know me, you know that pretentious, selfish, or conceited are not words that describe me. Opinionated, yes. You’ll never have to wonder where I stand on issues. But having an opinion does not equate to being full of oneself.

If you think that the nickname “Research Goddess” means that I think I am an expert or a guru of sorts, please talk to any of my peers and learn otherwise. I will say that I feel blessed to have had opportunities cross my path that have enabled me to learn and develop my skills. As such, I do believe I have a decent grasp on good research techniques as well as some application of social media technologies when it comes to sourcing. Also, I believe my peers will tell you that I certainly have earned any praise that I have received. I believe I’ve worked hard and contributed some value to this industry, and I hope I’ve done a good job of paying it forward as well. BUT… I know I still have SO much to learn, and you will never hear me say anything to infer that I feel I’ve ‘arrived’. EVER.

If after having talked to my peers you still believe there is a conceited, pretentious, or conniving underlying purpose for my blog and my nickname, I strongly urge you to leave a comment here. Or call me directly – (360) 389-3227 – and let’s talk. Give me your thoughts as to why you believe this of me, and make some constructive suggestions for alternatives. I’m open to all ideas if you think I should take another direction. All I ask is that you don’t judge me or my intentions until you get to know me.

In the end, you’re certainly entitled to think whatever you want to about me. But I believe my work, my track record, and my peers’ experiences with me speak louder than anything else. I hope this sheds some light on the whole ‘research goddess’ thing. It’s just a stupid nickname, but it helps people recognize and remember me. And in my book, that’s a good thing.

Cool Tool Alert: Tweepi
February 1, 2010, 7:00 am
Filed under: Cool Tool Alert, Networking/Social Media, Twitter

If you’ve got some cleaning up to do when it comes to the people whom you follow on Twitter, I highly recommend Tweepi. It’s not just a clean-up tool, it’s actually a complete Twitter account management tool. With Tweepi, you can auto-follow back new followers, auto-unfollow people who unfollow you, auto-reciprocate for those who are following you already but you’re not following them, and (my favorite) to a quick clean-sweep and bulk unfollow many accounts at once.

Example: I want to clean up the current people whom I follow. Once I us oAuth to access my account, I can pre-set targets:…or I can customize the columns which I’d like to see in the results:

Once I choose what columns I’d like to see, I can then start going through the list of people I follow and bulk follow/unfollow them:

The only thing I don’t like about the sorting feature is that it only sorts what is on the current page. Meaning, you have to click through and re-sort each page; it doesn’t sort all the results, just one page at a time.

Give it a shot – I love that this is a one-stop multiple function account management site. Enjoy!

Go Where The Puck Is Going To Be
January 27, 2010, 7:00 am
Filed under: Recruiting, Research

Wayne Gretzky, arguably one of the greatest hockey players of all time, has a few of my favorite quotes. First one is probably his most famous, and that is “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Slightly less well-known is this:

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”

I will add to this and say, “I skate to where the puck [in my game] is going to be, not where it has been.”

When you are sourcing, do you think about where YOUR potential candidates are going to be, or do you just go to the same tired places because that’s where everyone else has been?

When looking for candidates, go where the candidates are going to congregate in your industry. And for each of us, that is going to be a different place. For example: a marketing sourcer is probably going to find a plethora of candidates through various popular social networks. An accounting sourcer – not so much.

The whole idea behind this quote is forward thinking and future planning. You have to be one step ahead of your target or you’re going to miss it, or be late to the game and get stuck with all the leftovers.

Are you a talent attraction professional? Start thinking 6-12 months ahead of your target audience. How is the economy going to affect them? How is the current labor market going to affect them? The latest technologies? Then locate resources discussing these types of topics and share them. You’ll earn brownie points for thinking of them and their future. And while you’re at it, digest those resources yourself. Chances are a few new candidate resources will surface when you start thinking ahead…

We’re each playing similar, yet decidedly unique, games here. Stop worrying about the puck in other people’s games. Make sure you’re following the puck in your game and look ahead to where it’s going to be.

College Students and Twitter
January 26, 2010, 11:00 am
Filed under: college, Networking/Social Media, Twitter

My primary focus with the AT&T Talent Attraction team at this point in time is working with our Campus Recruiting team to find new and innovative ways of reaching students and new grads to make them aware of the opportunities we have at AT&T. I found this video this morning – an interview with several college students regarding their thoughts on Twitter:

“It’s a lame way for celebrities to share information about stuff that nobody should really know.”
“I feel like a lot of people just … talk about random stuff.”
“I don’t think people really want to hear about my personal life.”

Hearing these statements is disheartening and tells me that those of us who are proponents of the professional use of Twitter are not doing a good job of sharing with this particular demographic how it can be used.

This is a call-out to all of you who read this blog and are current students. If you’re a college student, please leave a comment with your thoughts on Twitter. Share with us why you do or don’t use Twitter. I’m most interested in what your perception of its purpose is and why you do or don’t see the value in participating in the Twitterverse.

Strengths, Weaknesses, Balance, and Basics
January 26, 2010, 7:00 am
Filed under: Networking/Social Media

A couple of weeks after the beginning of 2010, I started attending a fitness bootcamp at my gym. This bootcamp is three times per week for a total of eight weeks. My goals attached to attending bootcamp are simple: I want to lose between 20-25 lbs. and be able to run 2 miles with no stops. I have aggressive goals beyond this, but for an 8 week program, I think these are ambitious, yet do-able.

On the first day of bootcamp, we worked out HARD. I had sore muscles where I didn’t think muscles existed. I was a little surprised by this because I’ve already been working out with a personal trainer a couple days per week to work on strength and tone. The bootcamp began revealing areas of weakness that I didn’t know were previously there.

Last night, one week into bootcamp, we did measurements and took photos. To date, I have already lost 2 1/2 lbs. and .5% of my total BMI. No – the “before” photos will never appear on this blog 🙂 We’ll have to see about the “after”s…

I am learning some things about myself as I go through this bootcamp that I don’t particularly like. When you make a commitment to change, a true commitment, there are going to be parts of you that are going to be peeled back and exposed as weak. For example – I have incredibly weak hip flexor muscles. Those are the muscles that help you bring your knee up to your chest. But I am also learning about strengths of mine, such as the fact that I have pretty steady aerobic endurance. I used to be a competitive long-distance swimmer so it’s natural for me, but it’s been years since I last competed so I am pleased to learn I still possess this strength.

The kicker though is that strengths and weaknesses have to work together in order for you to operate properly. I can’t just focus on strengthening my hip flexors and neglect the quads or the calves. I can’t just work on my aerobic endurance and neglect sprinting activities. If I did that, I would be unbalanced as a whole. The whole point in working toward achieving this goal is to become more balanced in my fitness. And in order to do that, I have to go back to some basic movements to retrain my muscles on how to do things properly.

So – what does this have to with sourcing? Everything, if you ask me. In order to refine your strengths and strengthen you weak areas, you often have to go back to the very basics of your function. You have to return to developing basic Boolean search queries, or perhaps you have to go back to some basic phone skills to hone your style of communication. If you neglect these foundational areas, you will become unbalanced in all your efforts to better yourself professionally.

Discovering, and in particular owning up to, your weaknesses can be a pretty unpleasant experience and leave you feeling somewhat exposed. But owning your weaknesses and recognizing that you need to make some improvements can also be liberating and open up a world of learning opportunities. I was reluctant to admit that I needed help in achieving my fitness goals. I wanted to believe I could do it on my own. But finally realizing that I work harder in a group setting has been incredibly freeing for me. The same is true for pinpointing your professional weaknesses. Admitting them can be painful, especially if you’ve denied them for a long time, but it also allows you to begin the process of getting back to basics and retraining the way you approach things at work so you can be better balanced in your skills.

I have every intention on reaching my short-term goals during this eight week period. However, if for some reason I don’t, I know I’ll still be better off for having tried because I will have started a process of continual improvement and desire to achieve balance. So, when you apply these same principles to work, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get to where you want to be as quickly as you wanted. Just know that you’re better for having tried, and keep the end result in mind. You’ll make it there eventually!