Kevin W. Grossman is the Director of Product and Content Marketing at Peoplefluent, the leading provider of talent management solutions designed to support the entire workforce. He has nearly 15 years of domain expertise and familiarity with the HR and recruiting technology marketplace and remains a top social influencer in leadership, human resources, talent management and recruiting.
Kevin has been a prolific “HR business” blogger since 2004 and his first business book titled “Tech Job Hunt Handbook” was released in December 2012 from Apress. He also co-founded the TalentCulture “world of work” community that includes the highly popular weekly #TChat Twitter chat and radio show. Kevin loves reading, running, drumming and is a proud father of two girls. He also blogs regularly about responsible parenting and the joys of Daddyhood.
1. Most job postings cite “X” years of relevant work experience and specific education criteria as requirements to be considered for the position. With this in mind, what prior work experiences and degrees/certifications/training helped prepare you for your current role?
Well, I’d be lying if I said my college degree didn’t help me; it’s in psychology and yet I’m a writer working in marketing. Fact is, while I was going to college I had already started my marketing career in university relations and fundraising at the same school (San Jose State University), recruiting, training and managing teams as well. That was the foundation for all my incarnations since and where I’m at today in the HR and talent acquisition technology marketplace.
About the writing part, though — writing is my true love but it takes a lot of work including reading and imitation to finally find your own voice. So while the years of practice don’t quite make perfect, they sure as hell make you better.
1B. What (if any) additional knowledge or skills that you don’t currently have would make you even better at your job?
I’d have to say an even deeper dive into the software development, product management and pragmatic marketing, much more so than I’ve had to date.
2. Some jobs require the incumbent to be very analytical. Others require one to be a strong communicator, and others still require traits like patience, the ability to multitask, self-directedness, comfort with ambiguity, and exceptional attention to detail. Are there any behaviors and/or attributes that you would say are essential to performing the work that you do?
All of the above, except that the very analytical is the least favorite on the list for me. Not that I don’t love data and numbers; I used to be a math and statistics whiz back in the day. Today I actually prefer the strong communicator role (written and spoken), the self-awareness and comfortableness with ambiguity, being able to easily architect “story” and process while those above my pay grade manage the analytics and details portion. Of course I jest a little, but you get the point.
3. Jobs guru Lou Adler says there are only 4 job types of jobs in the world (producers, improvers, builders, and thinkers). Which type of job are you in?
These questions are always tough because it’s not that easy to place yourself in one category, but if I had to choose, it would be thinker. I’ve been a hopeful daydreamer and idealist since I can remember and really want to help make the world a better place, one thought at a time, and I can do that with the written word quite readily. Doesn’t mean anybody else is “buying” it, but it does mean I can and do.
4. Does your job involve either directly or indirectly supervising or managing people? If so, how many direct (or indirect) reports do you have?
Currently I have one direct report, but had upwards of four earlier this year. One thing about working in a larger company is that “reorg” is a regular occurrence and teams sway and shift. What I do prefer is a more flattened, collaborative, cross-functional structure, and that’s one we’ve been moving towards.
5. How does what you do impact the business? Think complexity (different types of impacts) and scale (degree of impact). Put another way: Who and what would be impacted if your job wasn’t being done well, and why would it matter that they were impacted?
Every company has to generate thought leadership and general awareness and education about what they do and what problems they help solve, and that’s one place where I have the most impact. Buyers don’t want to be just sold to constantly — they want to understand that you understand what the “world of work” is like day after day, month after month, and all the fluctuations in between. I’ve been in the HR/recruiting technology marketplace for over 15 years and I love the practitioner side just as much as the marketer side. I’d even think about making the flip if given the opportunity. People power this magnificent world and I really love talent-centricity.
6. Is your job safe? Rate its safety on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being “seated all day in an air conditioned vault” and 10 being “I’m an astronaut going into space”. If your job isn’t safe, what working conditions (specifically) make it hazardous?
Well, although I wanted to be an astronaut as a child, I never liked going around and around really fast. Ironically, that’s what happens even in “knowledge worker” land, going around and around really fast with no stable moments in sight. That’s the speed of business today and as long as we wear our seasickness patches, we’re good to go with at least a 7, maybe an 8.
7. Is there anything I missed that people should know about your job? Is there anything else you want to say about what you do?
Well, besides the exciting new Talent Engagement Cloud™ and Mirror Suite™ we offer at PeopleFluent that no enterprise should be without, I’m also the co-founder of the TalentCulture #TChat Community and weekly radio and Twitter chat show that covers the entire world of work. Join us every Wednesday from 6:30-8:00 pm ET (3:30-5:00 pm PT).
As always, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.