SourceCon in Dallas? Bring Cab Fare…

Well howdy folks, and welcome to Dallas ~ now get your Smartphones out and download the Uber app. On behalf of the Metroplex (I’ll get to that in a minute), please bring your consumer dollar and spend liberally. If you’re one of the hundreds of people headed down (or over) here for SourceCon, why not bring the spouse or significant other (or both) and make it a long weekend? The “Metroplex” includes all of the cities and communities that include/bridge the Dallas/Ft. Worth corridor. Having grown up in Ft. Worth, then living in Dallas, Irving, Bedford, and now Southlake, I feel moderately qualified to make a few recommendations.

Full disclosure, folks – this ain’t Chicago (or New York, San Francisco, New Orleans, Boston, or Vegas) but it’s one helluva place to live. And, since you picked a week to come where the weather might actually fool you into thinking we have a “moderate” climate, it’s a good time to enjoy what we have to offer.

There are probably more comprehensive lists (see Bradley’s here,) but there may still be a few things you could do that would make this a truly memorable experience – an NONE of it occurs in Dallas. As a Ft. Worth boy, I can impartially tell you that Ft. Worth blows the doors off of Dallas and demands your attention, and sits only a short 25-minute drive away.

1. Saturday, September 19th, 7pm – TCU plays SMU at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Ft. Worth, TX. The “Horned Frogs” will be ranked #3 in the nation, and take special pleasure beating their Dallas rival, SMU. Great college scene in TCU, the weather will be insanely nice, and you can view the richest co-eds in the state of Texas, regardless of which school’s students you may observe.

2. Joe T. Garcia’s – There’s only one Mexican food experience that counts around here. Joe T’s, located on the North Side of Downtown Ft. Worth is an institution. Authentic family-style Mexican food, margaritas that are flammable (again, Uber app), and the perfect place for a pre-game meal or post-game capper with friends. One of a kind, take advantage of the opportunity while you’re here.

3. Billy Bob’s Texas – Yeah, it’s cliché, and it’s a little hokey, but the place is massive and lies just down the road from the aforementioned Joe T.’s. Dancing, mechanical bull-riding, honest-to-God cowboys and goat-ropers (don’t ask), this Saturday  it’s featuring Bret Michaels. I’m not a fan, but still – Bret Michaels.

4. Sundance Square – This is downtown Ft. Worth. You may have heard of the Bass Brothers – they started financing the re-building of our downtown back in 1979. Outside of Austin, this is the best downtown in Texas. Great restaurants, great scene, and you can walk anywhere without fear. Try that in Dallas, but make sure your dental records are up-to-date. In downtown Ft. Worth you’ll actually see mounted police in cowboy hats ~ I don’t care who you are, that’s pretty cool, padnuh.

"Y'all be safe now, ya hear?"
“Y’all be safe now, ya hear?”

5. Global Life Ballpark in Arlington – Yeah, I know, this is an Arlington highlight, but this is Major League Baseball. Located next door to Jerry Jones’s Death Star (literally, they can share parking lots) in Arlington, the Texas Rangers are on a home stand & they are in the throes of a pennant race. Playing the Houston Astros on Thursday, the Seattle Mariners on Friday and Saturday. Beautiful stadium, outrageous food, meaningful baseball in September – what’s not to like?

So do yourself a favor while you’re here in Dallas ~ grab a few buds, get a ride, and go see a more “Texas-y” part of Texas. You have my personal, bias-free endorsement. 😉

Don’t P*** On My Leg

…then tell me it’s raining.

Familiar with this one? I can remember the first time I heard this expression – my high school baseball Coach decided we all needed a proper ripping, and as he was expressing his displeasure, one of my teammates offered an excuse. 

Oh dear.

So, Coach walks up to him with a cup of water, starts pouring it on his own leg and utters the line, “Don’t p*** on my leg then tell me it’s raining.” Crude, yes. Brilliant? Definitely. Because, try as we might to rationalize something, from an external perspective it still looks like the same thing – excuses.

Which brings us to Glassdoor.

It’s vexing, really. We’re not talking about CafePharma or an equally ridiculous flame-board. Yet a perception of fearing Glassdoor persists today. When speaking with clients, prospective clients, or colleagues, there is still an uneasy feeling of dread in the feelings of corporate leaders. Before I speak with a prospective client or employer, I’ll go onto Glassdoor to check them out, and I’m continually amazed at how few of them have made the commitment to manage their respective brand/reputation.  But let’s face it, management-types have a long history of being uncomfortable with sites like, because of all those disgruntled ex-employees just waiting to pounce. “We’re a conservative organization.” At least that’s what they’re telling you.

Guess what? They’re p***ing on your leg.

The reason? Fear of losing control. But more likely, it’s a matter of being fearful of the unknown. So they default to the easy choice. It’s akin to having your finger on the chicken-switch; that which appears to be an exposure equals a “risk,” and we all know how leaders hate to take risks. Risks are too….risky.

In the last month, I’ve met with numerous companies as I start mapping out my business planning for 2016. Almost universally, the participation in Glassdoor (and or others of the ilk) was completely in a defensive (if at all) position, relying on others to define their reputation. We’ve discussed this before, it’s the “protection vs. projection” mindset.

But some people in our industry have figured out a way to breakthrough corporate uneasiness. I had a discussion with Bryan Rice, Director of Talent Acquisition for Stryker. Somehow, Bryan managed to navigate the conservative nature of a corporate structure with a “Talent Ambassador” program. Instead of a hide and hope philosophy, Rice’s program set an expectation that employees would actively participate in Glassdoor. No scripts, no pre-written “atta boys,” just an explanation of the importance of having a presence; “Candidates expect to be able to go to Glassdoor and figure out what it’s like to work at our company.” Realize that invites positive and negative reviews to be input, which could equate to some risk. But you’ve also changed the collective mindset to one of an unafraid, transparent, confident company. And the results have been somewhat staggering; brand recognition, page views, applicants, reviews, CEO rating – the metrics are crazy good, but it took someone championing the effort, fully aware that it may even come with a few hiccups along the way.

So how do you change the lens and view these types of sites as an opportunity to use the reputation/rating sites to manage employment brand, to connect with candidates, and to make better hires?

Let’s start with the September version of the FOT Webinar entitled, Top 10 Ways To Use Glassdoor For Good (Not Evil). Join Kris Dunn and Tim Sackett (yeah, we’re bringing out the “A” Team) from Fistful of Talent on 9/17 at 2pm Eastern, and we’ll hit you with the following:

– How the the yelp-ification of America is changing the way employees and candidates think about job search and employer brands.

– The 5 Biggest Myths about company reputation sites like Glassdoor. 

– Last but not least, you’ll get a 10-step playbook on how to engage on reputation sites and become more of a Marketer as an HR/Recruiting Pro.

“Nothing to see here.”

The alternative is to keep your corporate head in the sand while others define who “you” are. Wouldn’t you rather be the one that brought those fears into the sunlight?

Might sound like the strangest advice you ever received, but quit letting them p*** on your leg.

(FOT Note: Glassdoor is sponsoring this FOT webinar. We’re happy to have them as a sponsor and, true to their commitment to transparency, they’re letting us talk about the myths and a lot of other realities HR and Recruiting pros have experienced related to Glassdoor—without restriction. That type of balance makes them a great partner.  Join us and we promise you’ll get a balanced view—no sales pitch—as well as an insider’s guide to how to use sites like Glassdoor to become a better marketer as an HR/Recruiting pro.)

Hit this link to register today!