I have been monitoring the rise of Enterasys in the social business arena for the past few years and have been superbly amazed by Vala Afshar [the company's chief marketing officer].
So when Vala Afshar posted a #socialCV tweet about a role in digital and social strategy, I just had to tweet him back. Why you ask? It is rare to find a C-level executive on social media, and it's even rarer to find a leader that is openly discussing ideas and things that truly matter to him or her. It allows others within the community ecosystem to understand what he or she is all about.The secret sauce behind any successful social business program is culture. A firm that focuses first on being customer centric in all of their execution has an advantage over others. Social business thrives on a positive collaborative and inclusive culture. Without it, it becomes a mere broadcasting channel.
The #SocialCV Process: How It Began
As an outsider, I was curious about the overall #SocialCV process. Many have talked about the high-level philosophy of #SocialHR, #SocialHRM and #SocialCV but not many have actually gone through with it.
It would be the first time in my life that I wouldn't be limited to just 2 pieces of paper to define myself. I wanted the company to know all about me, my work, my passion and most importantly, my dreams.
Visual CV More Powerful
Having an ability to showcase and validate a candidate's work through a social graph (Twitter, About.me, Facebook, Slideshare, Google+, forums, etc.), search engine footprint (special URL references to projects, linkbacks, publications, etc.), network connections is much more powerful than just 1-2 pages and 3 prepped references. The prospective employer now has an ability to fully evaluate a candidate and understand if they are a fit or not based on actual work, not just 2 pages of crafty wording.
On the other hand, the beauty of this process is that, unlike in a traditional HR recruitment process, a candidate is now, for once, also empowered to evaluate a prospective employer's total social graph –- from the company's official presence to its employee networks to customer networks. It allows a candidate to understand if the organization is truly behind what they speak about, care for and are able to support. A win-win situation, even if things don't work out, because you can't ever bring passion and excellence into work if you or the organization aren't fully committed to it.
Application process: So, I decided to participate and submit my intention to apply on Twitter with the #socialCV hashtag, highlighting one of my articles from SocialMediaToday on social strategy. Not only did I want to get some valuable feedback from a CMO of a growing networking organization, but I also wanted to highlight my thinking in this space, based on some of my experiences and challenges in developing and managing enterprise social and digital programs at various enterprises.
It wasn't an attempt to persuade anyone to think differently but an attempt to connect, align and understand each other. Luckily, I was able to engage in a dialog that generated further interest from Vala Afshar. I was asked to provide reference URLs to anything I wanted to share, to help him and his team gain a better understanding of my work and capabilities.
In Person Interview: As a networking geek (my wife can attest to this based on all sorts of networking equipment that I have at home), I was very intrigued by my first interaction with a senior engineering architect and his ability to passionately stand behind his product platform. During the process, I was also impressed by senior leadership's ability to bring people from very different backgrounds together on the same table. In my interactions, there were people present on the table that typically wouldn't even be on speaking terms at other firms. Ha!
Lucky for me, they were also interested in what I had to bring to the table.
Whole Foods is known as an ethical company when it comes to its food, from locally-sourced produce to lovingly raised chickens. But its heart extends to its employees too, giving them a better starting pay than their competitors and encouraging them to move up.
Looking for a job at Whole Foods? Start your search here.
Darden Restaurants is a curious find on this list, since the parent company of casual eating favorites Red Lobster, Olive Garden, The Capital Grille and LongHorn Steakhouse has been sued repeatedly by employees for wage theft, discrimination and other alleged sins. But it seems that many employees are more than happy on the job, including 135,000 part-timers, Fortune points out, to whom Darden offers low-cost health insurance.
Looking for a job at Darden Restaurants? Start your search here.
"You will want to make a career here," says a current Marriott employee in enterprise operations. By most accounts, Marriott is just incredibly well-run: open and encouraging management, reasonable policies, great pay and benefits, superb discounts on hotel rooms for family and friends. On the downside, working for a major hotel chain means sometimes working weekends and holidays, and moving to a new town if you want to climb the ladder.
Looking for a job at Marriott International? Start your search here.
"I enjoy coming to work every day and I have a lot of best friends at work," wrote a current Stryker engineer on Glassdoor.com. And while some employees gripe that they're slightly underpaid, everyone gushes about the drive and integrity of their co-workers. Fortune notes that the medical device manufacturer also tries to keep the culture fun with ping pong tables and "pie-your-manager" contests.
Looking for a job at Stryker? Start your search here.
For a company so large, American Express offers its employees an impressive level of flexibility, according to reports on Glassdoor.com, including the opportunity to work evenings and weekends or from home. The financial services firm also has won numerous accolades for its commitment to diversity.
Looking for a job at American Express? Start your search here.
"Fast paced and performance based," writes a Devon Energy senior systems administrator on Glassdoor.com. "You are very well rewarded for delivering and meeting your goals." And that's in addition to the top-of-the-line salaries and benefits at this Oklahoma City-based oil and gas producer. And like many of the companies on this list, the openness of the C-suite sets it apart. Fortune reports that President and CEO John Richels sometimes calls up employees to thank them for good work.
Looking for a job at Devon Energy? Start your search here.
Employees at the oil and gas exploration and production company, from geologists to truck drivers to IT support, enjoy an extensive benefits package, including a 401(k) match of up to 15 percent. Workers at the Oklahoma City campus say it's beautiful, and that its onsite restaurants are remarkably good. Employees also enjoy regular bonuses, and in 2011, 8,000 of them received $8 million in bonuses simply for following safe practices, Fortune reports.
Looking for a job at Chesapeake Energy? Start your search here.
This electronics company has made it onto Fortune's best-companies-to-work-for list for years, in addition to winning accolades for its training opportunities and the leg up it offers interns and entry-level staff. Employees on Glassdoor.com say the work is cutting edge, the benefits generous, and the culture welcoming, although perhaps not as hip as other tech firms.
Looking for a job at Qualcomm? Start your search here.
At this data storage company, "everything just works," says one former senior analyst on Glassdoor.com. That includes training opportunities, time off to volunteer, competitive salaries, and flexibility. Others praise how accessible the executives are, and Fortune reports that Vice Chairman Tom Mendoza calls 10 to 20 employees into his office everyday to personally thank them for their work.
Looking for a job at NetApp? Start your search here.
There's nary a best-place-to-work list that Google hasn't topped. The perks of working at the world's most popular website, including free gourmet sushi and free haircuts, have become the stuff of legend. So much so that it's subject of an upcoming movie starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn.
Google is even developing a new mega-campus, so perfectly designed that every employee will purportedly be able to work by natural light, without any glare on their screens. In fact, the only thing that employees seem to complain about is that all the employees are so amazing that they're too amazing for their jobs.
Looking for a job at Google? Start your search here.