My Portfolio

A Look at Some of My Recently Published Work

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HR Daily Advisor: Contributing Editor

2022

Contributing content on learning and development, HR/employee relations and employee communication issues.

How HR is Using Virtual Chat and Chatbots

May 2022

Chatbots can play a role in augmenting or even replacing person-to-person interactions between employees (or potential employees) and HR staff. More HR leaders are considering and adopting conversational AI technology. In fact, Gartner has predicted that by 2023, 75 percent of HR inquiries will be initiated through conversational AI platforms.

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Working With Influencers in 2022

June 2022

What do Richard Simmons, Ron Popeil, George Foreman, and Kim Kardashian have in common? Many readers may not have even heard of the first three names, but they do share something in common with Kim Kardashian: They are early examples of influencers.

The Risks and Rewards of Substance-Misuse Benefits

May 2022

About 60 percent of Americans diagnosed with substance use disorder are working.


But while there are certainly many rewards to be gained by offering employee benefits that address substance misuse, there are also some potential risks.

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Marketing’s New Strategy: Paying for Performance

May 2022

There’s an old saying in marketing that goes something like this: “I know that half of my advertising works; I just don’t know which half.”

That lament has long been the bane of marketers in both traditional and digital environments. Those in the digital world, though, are fortunate that technology offers them advanced means of gaining precision around what works and what doesn’t.

Automation: A Help or Hindrance for Employees?

May 2022

"The robots are taking our jobs!" is by now a not-unfamiliar lament in many workplaces. And in truth, we've all been exposed to situations where technology is taking the place of people—self-checkout lines in grocery stores, chatbots that ask and answer questions on various websites, software that does the job of some accountants and tax preparers, and the list could go on.

But is technology replacing employees, or is it helping them?

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Best Practices for
Finding and Vetting Experts

May 2022

When writing an article, looking for podcast guests, conducting research, or doing any activities that require expert input and insights, Google is an
obvious starting point. However, in a digital environment, it’s easy for literally anyone to establish a presence as an authority on something. A well-designed website does not an expert
make. What does?

How the Pandemic Changed Parental-Leave Policies

April 2022

Remote and hybrid work during the pandemic uprooted many policies and procedures that companies had long held to, such as requiring employees working from home to ensure they weren't also caring for others while doing so. During the pandemic, as employees became responsible for home-schooling children or caring for immediate or extended family members, they and their employers discovered that they could be productive while juggling work and home responsibilities.

Employers are now weighing changes to their company policies to reflect what they've learned.

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Top Hiring Obstacles to Avoid With Better Recruitment Strategies

April 2022

As prevention guidelines adjusted and vaccines became more available, employers began calling employees back to work. Many were startled to find that some employees simply didn’t want to come back, and others had taken positions elsewhere. Suddenly they found they needed to drastically modify their recruitment strategies to get results in this new environment.

Employers around the country found themselves faced with what has come to be called the Great Resignation, and an employee-driven market that is tighter, more competitive and more challenging than employers have ever faced before.

What Marketers Need to Know About the Metaverse

April 2022

The metaverse may be the talk of 2022. I receive at least three to five emails a week that have “metaverse” in the subject line—including “Willy Wonka, Chocolate Rivalries, & the Metaverse,” “Preparing for the Metaverse Shift in How We Work,” and “Bring Your Love to the Metaverse With Personalized NFT Jewelry From MYKA.”

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COVID Vaccine Policies: A Risk Management Approach for Employers

April 2022

In November 2021, the U.S. government began to roll out vaccine mandates for federal workers, healthcare workers, and companies with more than 100 employees. It’s been a rocky road since then.

New Interview Questions Since the Pandemic

April 2022

The work environment has changed significantly in many ways since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Hiring teams have subsequently changed the questions they are asking to assess candidates' knowledge, skills, abilities and potential fit.

Not surprisingly, HR professionals, recruiters and hiring managers have found some new areas of importance to consider when interviewing candidates for jobs during the pandemic—and for the foreseeable future.

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The Apprentice Opportunity: Using an Old Model to Recruit Fresh Talent

March 2022

Apprenticeships offer a “try before you buy” model that supplies needed labor and expanded opportunities for a diverse population.

Taxonomies’ Impact on Data Reliability and Use

April 2022

Companies gather masses of data to drive their decision-making, but not all data are relevant or reliable. Much depends on how that data is being defined, gathered, entered and accessed. For better reliability, some companies are taking steps to create enterprise-level taxonomies—organizational structures and rules around how data is categorized.

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The Win-Win Potential of Hiring Neurodiverse Workers

March 2022

Successful programs designed to employ neurodiverse candidates raise awareness among employees of the effort and make important alterations to the recruiting and onboarding processes as well as adaptations to communications and management approaches.

The investment is worth it as companies benefit from the achievements, skills, experiences, and unique perspectives of individuals they might otherwise overlook. Because when organizations fail to see what individuals have to offer – through misconceptions, bias, or some other factor – it is a missed opportunity.

Making Sure Unlimited PTO Is Done Right

March 2022

In an era of high stress, burnout and turnover, it's important for employees to achieve the right balance between work demands and personal pursuits. They need, after all, to recharge once in a while.

That was the original promise of unlimited paid time off (PTO), which does away with a fixed number of vested vacation days each year and instead lets employees take any number of days away from work—after getting approval from their managers to do so. Unlimited PTO now has become a trendy perk that companies use to signal their commitment to work/life flexibility.

At first glance, the promise of unlimited PTO seems too good to be true; too often, that may be the case.

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How Employers Can Leverage Their Trusted Position With Their Employees

March 2022

Consumer trust is on the wane across a variety of organizations—from the media to government organizations, to large corporations. While many feel confident in saying trust is on the decline, Edelman has been researching trust in organizations since the turn of the century and has proof in their 22nd report: the 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer

Coaching Apps Address Soaring Demand

March 2022

Coaching has traditionally been a person-to-person activity, but the pandemic has changed that significantly. Even though coaching was already being provided via phone or videoconference prior to the public health crisis, virtual coaching has skyrocketed since 2020.

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What Comes After the Great Resignation

March 2022

The Great Resignation has been a hot topic in business and HR circles for several months now. Visier predicted it would kick into full force in the summer of 2021—it did, and it hasn’t relented since then. With a jaw-dropping one-third of the workforce quitting their jobs in 2021, the seismic ripple of the resignation wave has grown into a tsunami. There is no going back to before—the world of work has undeniably changed. 

People Are Your Greatest Resource? SEC Says Prove It

March 2022

Most companies today—especially during what is being called the “great resignation” would likely tell you that one of their most valuable assets is their employee base—the people who work for them. And yet, despite the fact that so many companies espouse this sentiment, how often does the head HR professional in the organization sit at the senior leadership table or participate in board meetings on a regular basis? How often are “people reports” given the same priority as “financial reports?”

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Can AI Really Be Trusted?

March 2022

 The difference between AI and traditional marketing automation is that in the past people had to tell systems what to do through human programming. AI is based on the concept of machine learning—the AI itself makes decisions and becomes more “knowledgeable” with every interaction it has.

Virtual Mental Health Care Presents Opportunities—And Potential Risks

February 2022

A sharp rise in the availability of telehealth benefits has opened up new opportunities for mental and behavioral health counseling, as well as challenges for health care providers, employers and employees.

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How to Use Trending Conversations and Popular Hashtags to Build Your Brand

February 2022

Hashtags allow marketers to tag their content to attract the attention of users who may be interested in a certain topic; additionally, users are able to follow hashtags related to their personal areas of interest. They can be generic terms such as #love, brand-specific terms such as #CocaCola, or ambiguous terms (which social media users really need to click on to determine their specific meaning) such as #smilingfood. Hashtags are common on a number of social media sites, most notably Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Changing, Communicating Employee Benefits to Meet New Expectations

February 2022

If communicating the ins and outs of employee benefits was difficult before the COVID-19 pandemic, it's even more so now, as employees are often far-flung and struggling with new work/life challenges.

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How Can HR Leverage Automated Content Generation Tools

February 2022

Content generation tools are an emerging way for content creators of all kinds to get an artificial intelligence (AI) assist. The technology is still somewhat new and somewhat clunky, but it holds promise. In fact, organizations like the Associated Press have been using this technology for a few years now to generate content of various kinds.

But journalists and content creators aren't the only ones who can benefit from this technology by finding efficiencies and streamlining repetitive tasks. There are opportunities for HR, as well.

Using Virtual Reality for Remote Hiring

February 2022

Pandemic restrictions can make it difficult to hire employees who have never had the opportunity to visit the physical location where they will work. Particularly in a competitive hiring environment, employers want to do everything they can to provide potential employees with a good feel for what it would be like to work for the company.

Fortunately, as with many challenges facing employers during the pandemic, technology can help. Virtual reality (VR) technology allows candidates to experience what it would be like to work in certain jobs or at specific organizations. Once the employees are hired, the employer can use VR to provide training in near-real-life situations.

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Getting Ghosted During the Hiring Process? You're Not Alone

February 2022

It may surprise you to know that ghosting is increasingly common. A new Visier survey on ghosting in the workplace in both the U.S. and the U.K. revealed an uptick in the practice—both on the part of employers and employees. An overwhelming majority of U.S. job seekers admitted to ghosting an employer or potential employer in the past 18 months with 37% saying they’ve ghosted an employer, 30% saying they’ve ghosted a potential employer, and 10% saying they’ve ghosted both—that’s a combined percentage of 84% of job-seeking employees, or candidates.

Why You Need an Enterprise-Level Marketing Taxonomy

January 2022

Marketers today benefit from a wide range of data available to them literally at their fingertips. Theoretically, that data should provide them with insights to help improve their marketing efforts and maximize profitability.

But data can be misleading, and the decisions made based on that data can be flawed.

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Level Up Support for Mental Health

January 2022

There has been much talk in the media and human resources circles recently about the "great resignation" aka "the talent tsunami"— the burgeoning number of employees who are deciding to leave their jobs or the workforce altogether.

Benefit Packages in 2022

January 2022

In a hybrid work environment, trendy perks like on-site fitness centers, ping-pong tables, meditation gardens, etc., have lost some of their allure. Even traditional benefits like time off have taken on new meaning—employees working from home have been less likely to use up their sick or PTO time.

As employers and their benefit advisors look ahead to 2022 they’re considering, and making, some shift in what and how they offer benefits to their employees.

One primary area of focus driven by pandemic experiences—appreciating the value of time.

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With U.S. Paid Leave Laws in Limbo, Employers Fill the Gap

December 2021

The United States (U.S.) is one of the wealthiest and most advanced countries on the planet, yet it has no formal paid family leave laws or policies in place to ensure employers are supportive of their employees beyond the 12-weeks of unpaid time off for parents “at all public agencies, all public and private schools and at all companies with 50 or more employees," according to ABC News.

Substance Abuse Got Worse Amid the Pandemic and Remote Work

December 2021

Amid the pandemic, mental health and substance use disorders have worsened, in some cases significantly. Of particular concern is the rising rate of opioid addiction and related deaths.

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Recruiting Retirees: Opportunities, Barriers and Best Practices

December 2021

We are now in one of the tightest labor markets in memory, and all industries are feeling the pressure. Companies are getting increasingly desperate, but desperation can spark new ways of thinking about how to fill vacancies. Often overlooked are retirees, who represent a largely untapped source of promising talent to help stem the impacts of the Great Resignation.

The 100 Year History of the Human Resources Department

December 2021

The HR function is relatively new in the world of work and, given its relatively brief tenure, it’s undergone remarkable change over the years—especially during the past 10 to 20 years and, of course, even more so over the past 18+ months as companies of all types and sizes have grappled with the pandemic and how to serve employees, customers, and other key stakeholders in new ways.

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Technology to Automate and Refine the Recruitment Process

December 2021

In the marketing world, they're known as customer relationship management (CRM) platforms. In HR, they're referred to in other ways—for example, candidate relationship management or employee relationship management (ERM) platforms—and often integrated with an applicant tracking system (ATS), but the concept is the same. They're platforms that leverage technology to connect with an audience—in this case potential employees—in ways that drive talent acquisition and retention.

Shameka Young: A Difference Maker in the D&I Space

December 2021

A key element of diversity, equity, and inclusion is finding ways to not only hire more diverse workers but also elevate them within their organization. For Shameka Young, VP and Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) at Cognizant, leveraging the company’s focus on affinity groups, targeted hiring, and other practices have been key factors in the success of its diversity initiatives.

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Using Navigation Platforms to Boost Health Care Decisions

December 2021

Workers with employer-sponsored health care often struggle to understand the benefits available to them. They seek support both for choosing appropriate benefits plans and for navigating through the health care system with their coverage.

Ill-informed health care decisions drive up health care costs and are detrimental to employees' health and well-being. Online health care navigation platforms aim to help employees make better health care choices.

Your Virtual HR Assistant

December 2021

Fueled by the pandemic and the challenges faced by employers to find and retain staff, virtual human resources assistants are seeing a resurgence. Having good tech tools can be like having extra HR staff members on hand to do administrative tasks. This lets leaders tackle higher-level, more strategic priorities.

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Filling the Pipeline to Boost DEI in the C-Suite and Beyond

November 2021

One of the many obstacles that get in the way of greater diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the corporate world is what is known as the pipeline problem. While there is controversy over whether the problem is a significant impediment to D&I efforts or simply a convenient excuse, the general premise is that diversity at the highest levels of organizations is lacking because there isn’t enough diversity at the lower levels of organizations. The reason there isn’t sufficient diversity in organizations generally is because there isn’t enough diversity in a particular field at the higher education level.

How Content Marketers are Using AI for Content Development

November 2021

Wouldn’t it be great if technology could play a significant
role in helping create copy to meet a seemingly
insatiable demand for more content? It can,
kind of. AI tools and natural-language generation are being
used by a growing number—and range—of content developers.

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Tips for Building Wallet Share to Gain Market Share

November 2021

Companies talk a lot about market share and engage in a wide range of activities designed to build or increase it. But there’s another important “share” on which they should also be focused—wallet share or share of wallet (SOW). It can be a leading indicator of market share and can be a metric to identify opportunities to impact customer satisfaction, but it has important relevance of its own.

Personal Life Experiences Drive Passion for DEI

November 2021

As the American population continues to diversify, so, too, does the distribution of wealth and business ownership. Potential depositors and borrowers are increasingly likely to be people of color. Banks that don’t look like or think like this emerging audience are less likely to attract diverse clientele than those that meaningfully embrace diversity. Mike Sebring gets it.

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Technology Can Assist When Accommodating Employees with Disabilities

November 2021

The ability to work from home is a big boon for many employees with disabilities. They may still face barriers, though, during the talent acquisition process and beyond. Those barriers can lead to costly lawsuits—and reputational damage.

What Can Credit Union Leaders Do to Mitigate 'The Turnover Tsunami'?

November 2021

A predicted massive outflux of employees is already beginning to be felt in some organizations. Employees of all kinds from companies of all sorts have gotten a taste of the flexibility and work/life balance that working from home has provided. Many are loathe to return to the physical workplace. Many have also had plenty of time to think about their careers and the companies they work for—what they like, what they don’t—and what they would rather be doing.

This has created an environment in which employers, including credit unions, are scrambling to find—and keep—talent.

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Who Is Training the Next Generation of Managers?

November 2021

Another effect of the pandemic and the Great Resignation is starting to bubble up: a woeful lack of trained leaders ready to manage in the future. Why? One of the biggest reasons is that the traditional way of training up future leaders isn’t quite jibing with our new-normal way of hybrid working—in other words, it’s nigh impossible to shadow someone when they’re in a different time zone. There are emerging ways of filling this leadership-training gap, however, and it starts with a power shift.

How Employers Can Respond to ‘Two-Timing’ Workers

October 2021

Imagine this: One of your employees, now working from home, has established three side businesses that do the same type of work your company does and serve the same types of customers. They're running their businesses during the hours you're paying them to work for you. They're using your databases to access information to help them sell their services online. Worse, they've actually contracted with some of your other employees to help them run these businesses.

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What's a "Mouse Wiggler?" Or, How to Manage People in a Hybrid Work Environment

October 2021

Suspicious employers and their managers who still ascribe to the “out of sight and out of mind” concerns about managing a remote workforce and seek to use Machiavellian measures to monitor remote work performance may be turning off employees and sending them looking for job opportunities elsewhere in an already tight labor market.
So how can companies effectively manage productivity in a hybrid workforce?

Wellness Portals Help Fill Employee Need

October 2021

Employers have long recognized the role they can play in providing resources and support for employee wellness—initially to manage rising health care costs, but there are other impacts as well. Successfully managing employee wellness can positively impact absenteeism, productivity and turnover.

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Taking Another Look at Cafeteria Plans

October 2021

Cafeteria plans are getting new attention during the pandemic as a way to let employees select—and fund with pretax dollars—optional insurance benefits and spending accounts that meet their health and caregiving needs.

Compensation Rises Despite Uncertainty

October 2021

It's fair to say that 2020 was a year like no other. Not a single individual in the U.S.–or, in truth, much of the world–was not impacted in some way by COVID-19. It's against that backdrop that the 2021 CUES Executive Compensation Survey was conducted. Like the previous year's report, the 2021 report shows steadily increasing salaries for credit union leaders.

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The Apprentice Opportunity: Using an Old Model to Recruit Fresh Talent

April 2022

Apprenticeship-style programs offer a “try before you buy” approach for both employers and employees. Employers benefit from a new source of talent: the increasing number of people who lack a four-year degree – or can’t afford one.
Employees benefit from free training and the opportunity for career advancement. Whether following the traditional model or some modern variation, apprenticeship programs can supply talent pipelines and expand opportunities for women and people of color.

Which Market Research Platform is Right For You?

September 2021

The digital environment is rich with real-time communication and consumer sentiment across a wide array of topics, industries, and geographies. But what if companies could cultivate, synthesize, analyze, and draw conclusions from these sentiments to improve their marketing communication and CRM efforts?

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Five Key Questions About Video Marketing Answered

September 2021

There’s an old saying: A picture is worth a thousand words. It’s so trite, but it’s true, especially for moving pictures (i.e., videos). However, not all content marketers are equally adept at communicating via video. And their
experience level varies widely. In this column, I take a look at some commonly asked questions and provide insights from experienced video marketers.   

HR Leaders Agree—People Matters Are at the Heart of Business Success

September 2021

In most organizations, the human resources (HR) department tends to be thought of as “owning” the employee experience and everything related to employee engagement, satisfaction, productivity, etc. In truth, though, people issues are everyone’s responsibility, from senior leaders through front line supervisors.

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Mobile Apps for HR Communication

September 2021

In the current digital environment, there are many options for mobile apps that can help streamline communications and ensure that employees and managers stay connected with their teams, colleagues and others. From enterprise tools like Slack, to free apps and plug-ins, HR professionals are making use of a wide range of apps as they continue to navigate a new work reality.

Quick Fixes for Common UX Mistakes

September 2021

If the user experience (UX) on your website isn’t optimal, you could be missing out on visitors and engagement—and revenue. What are the top pain points when it comes to engaging users who come to your site? What are the biggest barriers or turnoffs? How can you discover what may not be working well on your site? What should you do to improve your site’s performance? Can you take a DIY approach, or should you hire a UX firm? When searching for external assistance, what should you look for and look out for? In this column, experts weigh in on best practices for ensuring the best UX for your website visitors.

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Return-to-Work for New Hires

September 2021

As the COVID-19 delta variant raises new virus concerns, some employers are moving forward with plans to bring employees back to the worksite, while others are putting those decisions on hold. Many organizations are using some form of hybrid design for the foreseeable future—if not forever.

There's one group of workers that deserves special consideration: those who were hired during the pandemic and have never been physically present at the worksite, nor engaged face-to-face with their colleagues or managers.

Adopting New Tech for Sourcing and Engaging Employees

September 2021

In days gone by, recruiting at schools, advertising in trade publications, and mining personal networks were often the only avenues recruiters had to find those who might be right for their open jobs. The Internet and rapidly advancing technologies, of course, have changed all of this.

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Top 6 Reasons People re Quitting Their Jobs (and How to Keep Them)

August 2021

SHRM and others have predicted a “turnover tsunami” that is expected to unfold over the next several months as employers begin to call workers back into their physical settings. Visier’s research also supports the likelihood of this exodus which has already begun to be felt at many organizations. Over the past several months employees have gotten a taste of the freedom and flexibility that working from home can provide. During this time they’ve also had ample time for reflection. Many have decided that what they’ve been doing just isn’t what they want to continue doing in the future—or they’ve decided they’d prefer to do it for a different company.

Managing Paid Leave During the Pandemic and Beyond

August 2021

As working from home continues during the pandemic, employers and employees are identifying the need to adopt new practices, such as rethinking paid time off (PTO).
Even prior to the pandemic, many organizations told employees to stay home if they were ill, to avoid infecting others. Now, the need to do so is imperative.

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Many Roles Lead to Multiple Impacts

August 2021

Tauhidah Shakir is Vice President of HR and CDO at Paylocity, but people development and DEI weren’t always her primary passions.

The Big Quit—Who’s Leaving and Where Are They Going?

July 2021

By now we’ve heard of the mass exodus of employees in all industries and the resignation numbers are alarming—95% of employees say they’re ready to leave their organizations; four million Americans have quit since April; 68% say they’ll leave if they have to return to the office; and three million women have already left because they simply can’t “do it all.” So who’s leaving? Where are they going? Which organizations are likely to be the hardest hit? Here we take a look at the issue and implications for employers of all types and sizes.

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Not All AI is Really AI: What You Need to Know

July 2021

A wide range of technology solutions purport to be "driven by AI," or artificial intelligence. But are they really? Not everything labeled artificial intelligence really is. The technology, in reality, has not advanced nearly far enough to actually be "intelligent."

Small Businesses Face Hiring Challenges

July 2021

Many small businesses are struggling not only with finding great candidates, but also with thinking strategically about their overall talent strategy and how to address important topics like diversity and inclusion, which are very much top of mind these days.

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7 Ways the Gig Economy Changed During COVID-19

July 2021

The gig economy was already exploding prior to the pandemic, but the gig economy changed during COVID in ways that are likely to continue well into the future. Businesses that previously thought face-to-face interactions were the only way they could conduct business had to suddenly pivot and become more open-minded and innovative about how they would interact with customers—and employees.

The Top Marketing Trends: AI and Automation Drive Digital Interactions

July 2021

The marketing lessons learned during COVID-19 are likely to last. Here we take a look at some of the top trends and technologies that have emerged over the past several months and what the future is likely to hold.

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How Content Marketers Are Using Zapier and Other Automation Tools

June 2021

Input from content marketers,
analysts, and experts on the role that automation
can play to streamline processes for content
marketers. What types of automation are being used? What
best practices have content marketers discovered? What tools
do they prefer? What are the pros and cons of these various
options?

Aligning Marketing and Sales

June 2021

There is often tension between marketing and sales in many organizations. But why? Shouldn’t these two functions be closely aligned to most effectively achieve the revenue and ROI goals of the organization? What causes this tension, why is alignment important, and what steps can you take to bring these two important organizational functions closer together?

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Shining a Light on the Dark Funnel

March 2021

The dark funnel is a concept that has been making the rounds for some time now in sales circles. The term refers to the often-veiled insights marketers might fail to uncover as they attempt to understand the customer journey. While the digital marketing environment yields some powerful insights into consumer actions, some of these actions, like visits to other websites, research conducted through third-party sites, social media impacts, etc., might be hidden from marketers.

Changes in SEO Strategy

November/December 2020

SEO has long been the holy grail for internet marketers—
and content creators—of all kinds. Attracting
eyeballs, and website visitors, was job number one.
While that’s still the case to a large degree, SEO has become
less of a numbers game and more of a driver for creating
high-quality, relevant content.

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Work Tourism: A New Employee Perk During the Pandemic?

September 2020

As employees are adjusting to a new normal at work, some have identified an unexpected potential perk of the ability to work remotely—the opportunity to travel to distant locations for extended periods.

The Top Marketing Trends: Automation and AI Are the 'New Normal'

July 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic and its worldwide impact was, arguably, the most disruptive force that marketers have seen in a long time. As we move beyond the pandemic, though, we can expect to see a continuation of some of the trends that were taking shape before COVID-19 and many more that have been fueled by COVID-19.