In this episode, Richard Bliss is joined by Katelyn Richards, founder of Crafted Careers. Katelyn’s focus and expertise are in employee retention, advocacy, and talent acquisition using the LinkedIn platform. Companies that have succeeded on LinkedIn have utilized LinkedIn’s untapped potential as a platform for turning employees into brand advocates. Richard and Katelyn’s discussion includes finding and placing candidates, highlighting traditional job ad limitations, and LinkedIn's power to engage with potential hires. Uncover the true essence of LinkedIn as a social platform where authenticity prevails and information can be easily verified. Gain valuable insights on employer branding, relationship building, and expanding your audience through meaningful conversations and comments. Avoid common LinkedIn pitfalls, such as immediately pitching products or services without establishing a connection. Discover why empowering employees on LinkedIn leads to higher retention rates and attracts top talent. This episode is a must-listen for professionals seeking growth and success.
Host: Richard Bliss
Guest: Katelyn Richards
Podcast Manager: Kimberly Smith
Welcome to Digital-First Leadership. The podcast that explores the essential principles and strategies for leading in the digital age. In this dynamic podcast series, we dive deep into the realm of digital leadership. Equipping leaders and teams with the necessary tools to thrive in today's rapidly evolving digital landscape.
Richard Bliss [00:00:24]:
Welcome to the show. I'm Richard Bliss, your host, and thank you for joining me on Digital First Leadership Podcast Now before we get started, I'm gonna try something new. For many of you, you follow me on LinkedIn. Some of you subscribed to my text LinkedIn text post. So little text messages I send out. So I'm gonna give you a LinkedIn chip today. Many of you see that I have a dot in front of my name, and I get asked about this all the time. Why do I have a dot? A members of my team have emojis, but I have a dot. Here's why. This week, I received 2 connection requests from 2 individuals And here's what the opening message said. Hi, Dot. I'm impressed by your experience in software. The other individual said, hi, Dot Richard. I'm reaching out on your LinkedIn profile. I wanna discuss blah, blah, blah. It doesn't matter because I immediately know those 2 individuals are bots using a bot tool to send an automatic connection request. So here's that's why I used the dot to quickly identify those individuals. And by the way, I went and looked at their profiles just because I can't believe people are still doing this, and you can take a look and see how old about this profile, how old it is. Both of those profiles were created less than 6 months ago, thereby giving me a double indication that those are probably fake and there's no reason for reason for me to even engage. So there's your LinkedIn tip for the day. Okay. My guest today is somebody who I've recently met. We've had a great time getting to know each other. It's one of those things where you get to know somebody online, and then you meet in person. You're like, how could we not we know each other. My guest is Katelyn Richards. Katelyn is the founder of a company called created excuse me, Crafted Careers. Now her focus and expertise is in employee retention, advocacy, and talent acquisition using the LinkedIn platform to accomplish these. Katelyn, thanks for joining me.
Richard, thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be here.
I'm excited to have you here. And just for so those who know, we've got babies in the background as a possibility. Dad's taking care of the babies, but you know how dads are when comes taking care of babies. At some point, they get overwhelmed, and they're like, I can't do it anymore.
Katelyn Richards [00:02:30]:
It's so true. It's so true. And there's no than them, so very loud.
Richard Bliss [00:02:35]:
3 of them. You have a 3 year old, a 2 year old, and 1 year old. Is that right?
5, 4, and 3. Correct.
5, 4, and 3. Okay.
Yes. But you got the age spread exactly spot on.
That is just crazy crazy things. I got my 5 children and people think I'm crazy, but mine involved 2 x So there's there's a little bit of activity there going up. So we're here to talk about your expertise. Because you have been in the industry for a long time working closely with job seekers and HR teams when it comes to talent acquisition, finding and and placing employees, that type of thing. And you've used the LinkedIn platform heavily for that. Let's talk about that just for a little a little bit of that background. Absolutely.
Katelyn Richards [00:03:15]:
So working in recruiting and talent acquisition is where I started out, and that's where, you know, my journey LinkedIn really begins. I think I got a profile way back in the day, you know, when I first graduated college. But I started lurking on LinkedIn back when I was a recruiter and doing talent acquisition there. And then in the midst of the pandemic, I was let go. From that job and ended up making a pivot into the career coaching world. So still working with job seekers, and using LinkedIn in a completely new facet to help them essentially learn how to establish their personal brands and create community and engage in a way that would open the doors for opportunities for them when it comes to their careers. And now I have the opportunity to partner with with HR teams and talent acquisition teams to help them learn how to empower you know, their recruiters and their talent acquisition people to use LinkedIn with with intentionality so that they can increase retention and they can attract top talents and
Richard Bliss [00:04:22]:
really turn their employees into advocates for their brand. Yeah. And so you've been on both sides of that that fence, so to speak, how to find and place those candidates and how to help those candidates find and get placed in those key jobs. And 1 of the things that we talk about on LinkedIn is because oftentimes when it comes to HR, when it comes to talent acquisition, mostly what a company is going to do is they're gonna throw up an ad and the or not an ad, but a post that says we're hiring for this position. Right? And in reality, that's I'm not gonna say it's a waste of time, but it's certainly not leveraging the power of the LinkedIn platform to reach out and engage with those candidates. Is that right? No. It is absolutely spot on. Right? And I would say that is how the majority of recruiters in talent acquisition,
Katelyn Richards [00:05:07]:
both are using the platform, myself included back in the day. You know? And now I I think back to to myself then, and I just kinda wanna kick myself a little bit in terms of of the ways in which I was so under utilizing the potential of LinkedIn specifically when it comes to connections and relationship. Right? Because we know at the end of the day, when it comes to to to human connection and having that inside knowledge, of who someone is holistically versus who they are to simply and resume form makes such a difference. What comes to making hiring decisions, you can be so much more empowered on that front. Right?
Richard Bliss [00:05:45]:
Yeah. And I think I tell people all the time that LinkedIn is the closest thing we have to a social platform that is connected to reality. It's really hard to lie on LinkedIn because there's so many people who can call you out. Hey. I'm a VP at Microsoft. No. You're or I've done this with my career. And there are people who can call you out saying, no, you didn't do that. You were a minor member. Or even on the other side, people who downplay their contribution, people can step in and make that endorsement, so to speak, that it makes it so much more real. 1 of the things that people forget, they think oftentimes that LinkedIn is a job resume site. And then that's how it started off. Right? It's our employee or electronic Rolodex. Got to admit the other day, I'm doing a presentation for a corporation. There's some interns in the room. And I mentioned the term electronic Rolodex, Now they're like, oh, yeah. There were 3 boomers and a bunch of interns. And I turned to the interns, and I said, have any of you ever heard of that word before? Only 1 of them were like, yeah. I think I've I saw that, like, in a museum. They had no idea what a Rolodex was, and for some of Red List in the audience, they might find that humorous or disturbing that and so but the point here is is that LinkedIn continues that at heart still continues to be an employment or an employee business tool. And what you're able to do with your skill and the and the clients you work with is help them understand how those 3 things that we talked about, retention, talent acquisition, and employee advocacy all tie together to drive the culture of the company by empowering the employees. Let's explore that. Explain that a little bit. Absolutely. At the end of the day, I mean, it's really about employer branding. Right?
Katelyn Richards [00:07:24]:
So so companies truly have this desire to to attract and then to keep the top talent. Because, ultimately, we know that turnover in in employees impacts every other stat said of the business. Right? And so when it comes to, you know, kind of the beautiful thing about LinkedIn is that we have the stability, like you just named, to fully show up as other full selves and not just this 2 dimensional resume. Right? But as as a full holistic human being, And and in doing so, the what happens for employees when they're empowered to to really show up in that way, is that they feel seen, they feel valued, right, they feel cared for by their employer. And this is going to to to keep them and retain them. And and all the data shows that, you know, you're 20 percent more likely to retain your top talent if you you empower your people, right, to to be able to go out there and really, you know, use their own voice and to use LinkedIn in a way that that's gonna drive them building community and relationships and networking and all of these good things. So let's hold on there for a second because you use the word empowerment, which is kind of a soft and squishy word. So when we say empowerment and an employer hears that, that you need to empower your employees
Richard Bliss [00:08:47]:
to have them build their authentic voice. What does that actually look like to an employer? What does that look like? Empowerment. On LinkedIn?
Katelyn Richards [00:08:55]:
Yeah. That's a great question. So it's giving them the tools, I would say, the insights and and the strategy that they need
Richard Bliss [00:09:05]:
to be able -- Alright. I'm gonna pause you. Do it. What I'm getting real specific here. To an employer, you just listed off a bunch of things and they're like, I still don't know what you're talking about. What tools? What do you mean by tools?
Katelyn Richards [00:09:17]:
I mean, first and foremost, there's a lot of tools that work really well synchronously with LinkedIn, right, that can make the LinkedIn experience so much more fruitful. Some of these are paid tools. You know, there's tools like and and some of these are controversial even, but tools like Tapio. Right? Or tools like shield that give you analytics and data and information about your LinkedIn usage. And then there's free tools like author dot which is literally a Chrome extension that you can then use and connect to your lead gen profile to make content creation so much more simpler by to to make it, you know, more efficient,
Richard Bliss [00:09:53]:
not a time suck. So tools like that. We're giving them some tools that they can either automate or craft Now how do we empower them to actually share the content? What does that look like? Because you're talking about, okay, we've got the tools Now what's the next step? How do I I'm an employer. I'm try I'm still trying to wrap my head around having my employees even active on LinkedIn. And so you come in, you're talking to me, I'm struggling with that. I'm like, okay. But what does that look like?
Katelyn Richards [00:10:20]:
What am I gonna have my employees do it? Yeah. And would say the number 1 thing that I hear from people is, okay. I want to show up on LinkedIn. I want to engage. I have no idea what to say. But could I possibly say, how could I add to the conversation, whether that's in commenting or it's in creating my own content and hitting the post button? I have no idea. It feels overwhelming. Right? So we want to then help them be able to really hone in on what are what are the things that that they want to start talking about? What do they wanna create that leadership around? What do they wanna be known for? When it comes to their career, when their current role at their company? What are the stories that they wanna be telling? Right? And then we also wanna train them on how do they find the people on LinkedIn that are gonna be their people? Because the truth is there's 900000000 plus people on LinkedIn They are not all of our people. For companies, not all of those people are are going to be, you know, your your customers or your clients. And in the same way for individuals, not all of those people are gonna be in our corner or be part of our community. So how do we find who those people are And how do we organically start to build relationship? Because at the end of the day, all of this has to come back to relationship. If your engagement is not driving you into relationship with other individuals, then it doesn't matter. If you're content you're creating is not driving you to conversation relationship, then it doesn't matter. Right? If this is all about how do we show up on LinkedIn with intentionality, with purpose in a way that's going to drive us towards relationship and towards community. And in doing so, that's what then leads to the success of of these companies.
Richard Bliss [00:12:05]:
Okay. So now I'm gonna say, what does that look like what does it what do you mean by how do I go about building relationships or having my employees build relationships on LinkedIn that have meaning? How the what does that look like?
Katelyn Richards [00:12:17]:
Why I always say relationships are built in layers? This is true offline and it's true online. You know, it takes multiple touch points to really feel like you you know someone and that you you you're starting to understand their story and who they are and that you're you're truly building connection. Right? And so the beauty of LinkedIn is that we're able to do this really organically. When you can find people who who are ready themselves are creating content on there and you can show up and you can participate in the conversation, that they're generating based on their content, both with that individual and then the other people that are showing up there and you can do that a couple of different times. I mean, this happened exactly for you and I. Right? Then you begin to feel like you you know this person. You have an understanding of what they're about, what what they're passionate about, what they care for. And from there, you can take that into the DMs, and you can start to build a relationship up there, 1 on 1. And from there, you can hop on a a Zoom call or a phone call and have a coffee chat and really get to know someone. And and that that, in my opinion, that is the beauty of LinkedIn. And this is how, you know, you can support people in their careers, therefore retain them, you can attract this top talent, and you can create this employer brand that's just really meaningful.
Richard Bliss [00:13:39]:
And I like what you're saying because 1 of the things in our training that we teach is how not just that you need to participate in a conversation, But oftentimes people say, well, what does that mean? And then I tell them, okay. That's leaving comments. And then they say, okay. What kind of comment? And often times what we see, and you and I see this all the time, the pods that are out there, the great job. I agree. Well done. Thanks for sharing. Awesome. Happy birthday. These are not conversations. They're not authentic conversations. They are manipulations oftentimes by individuals using pods groups of people just to flood in, manipulate the algorithm to drive the appearance of a conversation. But 1 of the things that you're talking about here, these true relationships, So we teach that, first of all, go make a comment on somebody who's in a space that you want to be known for acknowledge them, tag their name, Caitlin, and then restate what they said. You make a really interesting point about employee advocacy and Employee retention when it comes to using LinkedIn. So I've restated what you've said, and then I said, as I work with my clients, Here's where I've been able to see and apply that, and then I put my own spin on it. These types of comments that you're talking about, because oftentimes people think, well, I don't know what to say in a comment. And so by finding ways to use a very formulaistic approach, tag them, restate what they had to say that you found interesting, and now add your own insights allows the audience to see you participating in a conversation where you add because I something that a lot of people don't know is that when you leave a comment on LinkedIn, it doesn't stay with just the author who's it goes to your audience, your network as well. And so always be thinking, Who's listening to my comment that said congratulations without context? Congratulations about what? Congratulations. We've worked over the years. You've didn't so good when we did consulting together, whatever it might be, give content. And so I like the idea of how you've mapped that out. It's start to build those relationships, use a commenting strategy to do that. It starts to move into other areas. Oftentimes, we tell people the last thing you should do is send the connection request. Not the first thing. By the time you send that connection request and you and I are exactly that, By the time you send that connect request, we should have already engaged with each other in a conversation in LinkedIn. I mean, think about it. You and I were to meet at a networking event. Would I walk up to you and be Ned Ryerson from Groundhog Day? And so here's my card. You wanna buy some insurance? Here's some insurance. I can sell you some insurance. We don't do that in real life. But so often, that's what people do on LinkedIn. And instead, let's get to this is what you're saying. Let's get to know each other, build that relationship through commenting, liking, sharing all of these tools that LinkedIn provides because it's such a Wonderful tool. What are some of the mistakes that you see people, whether they're looking for a job or looking to attract talent? What mistakes have you seen? Because you've been doing a lot of this.
Katelyn Richards [00:16:34]:
I mean, the number 1 thing it's very similar to what you just named is people just pitching themselves constantly. Right? It's it's them putting themselves out there or as a recruiter. It's just constantly putting the job that you're hiring for out there. And and what that's doing is is you're it just communicates, I'm just looking to take from y'all. Right? Like, here's something I need and how you can help me or how you can, you know, add value to me I'm just gonna put that in your face on repeat rather than going into LinkedIn and approaching it from the standpoint of I am here to give to other people. And I wanna give freely, and I wanna give often, and I want I want to then know that in the giving, There is this beautiful reciprocity that exists on LinkedIn. It just does. It just it always comes back around. But it's it's all about, you know, the mindset and the the the stance that we we we bring to it. And I think Ajin has people show up on LinkedIn looking to take Think what do I need to get from this, either for my career or for my company, instead of how can I go in and support other people? How can I champion this person over here? Oh, this person right here needs to know this person, so I'm gonna introduce them to each other because because they just need to know each other, and they don't know each other yet. Right? Johnny did that for you and me. He's like, these 2 people need to know each other, so here we are. So I would say that's the top one, or they only show up on LinkedIn when they need something. And and all of this is true for a lot of job seekers. And they'll get a new job and they'll piece out until the next time they're ready. Yeah. It let's explore that as we wrap up here because this is the other big mistake. You and I identified this as in our pre prerecording
Richard Bliss [00:18:17]:
call, and that is you work with someone. You help them get their message built. They spent months building up their brand They get a job and then Crickets. Crickets.
Katelyn Richards [00:18:29]:
They stop posting. They stop engaging. They stop commenting if they stop having, you know, virtual coffee chats on the regular. And, you know -- On what happens? Go ahead. No. Go ahead. Yeah. Well, what happens is that then they're back at square square 0 over here when it's time, for them to make their next big career move, whatever that might be. Right? Instead, you know, what I try to be the proponent of for both companies who are empowering their teams and individuals themselves is you need to create rhythms for these things. This needs to be infused into your career and into your business moving for This has to be the norm. This has to be. This is the era we live in. Right? We live in the era of
Richard Bliss [00:19:14]:
You know, it's it's it's the creator economy and social selling, and here we are. Yeah. I call it the digital first environment. Because we know each other and meet each other digitally before we ever meet in person. Our physical presence used to be what people encountered, and then they would look up, it's now the exact opposite. Our digital identity is what leads the to engagement with our products, customers, partners, employees, family, whatever it might be, oftentimes, it's that digital encounter, and that's the new world. And so I think to an excellent point is We see them just stop, and it's an ongoing process, particularly for that area. Katelyn, I wanna say thank you so much for joining me on the show today. It's been fascinating and energetic conversation. Very energetic. Thank you so much for having me, Julie. This was so fun. You've been listening to Digital-First Leadership Podcast. My guest has been Katelyn Richards. She's the founder of, let me get this right this time, Crafted Careers and her focuse is on helping companies through employee advocacy, retention, and talent acquisition Use the LinkedIn platform to meet and those goals of keeping the your best employees, making them feel valuable, and a attracting new employees into the environment and to your culture using the LinkedIn platform and mobilizing those employees. So it's been a great conversation. I strongly recommend that you reach out find her on LinkedIn. It's Katelyn, KATELYN, Richards. If you don't know how to spell my name, you're not gonna I don't know how to spell her last So Caitlin Richards. You can find her on LinkedIn. I wanna say I said thank you to her for joining. Thank you all for listening. We appreciate the sport. Support. Hopefully, you have listened to and found something inspiring and helpful. I know I did. Thanks for listening. Take care.
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