A Birthday Wish: Your Stage, My Dreams

I’m celebrating 35 years on the planet this week. In honor of that celebration, I want to write about something besides recruiting this week. I want to talk about life and a speaker goal that I need your help to accomplish. 

Now, if you subscribe to my letter every week (if you don’t, you should. Click here.), you’re used to my big ideas and philosophies on living a little better. I do that letter because hiring is about people. Humans with big feelings, colorful memories, and funny stories. As the intermediary in hiring decisions, we need to make our decisions from a place of love and hope. It’s more than a “strategic message.” 

I think that’s what gets left behind a little too often. We snag that MBA or move our way up, and suddenly we stop making decisions with our heart. We get competitive and try to keep the big ideas a secret, so we get the spotlight. It’s icky, especially considering we are one of the only departments with “people” in the name. 

It’s even worse when people present at conferences. Most presenters behave as if recruiting, sourcing, and HR are just tactics, and their strategies don’t impact anyone. They treat it like a paycheck, ignoring the humans, hopes, and dreams on the other side of our candidate experiences. 

I, on the other hand, have cried on stage. How can you not? If you’ve been in this business long enough and seen the impact work can have on people, it’s hard not to be overwhelmed. It’s hard not to take every story personally. Every day I talk to people who want a better life when I rewrite their LinkedIn stories. I hear the emotion of overcoming odds. I see the power of people helping each other. I know the disappointment. 

This year is full of them for everyone. My big disappointment of the year is that I didn’t get to deliver my first big keynote. They canceled along with every other big speaking plan I had. Speaking plans that came from you, actually. Many of you were the ones who referred me and made introductions to secure my spot on those stages. 

I need your help again. 

My Birthday Wish: Can I be Your speaker?

I want to bring my heart and the stories I hear every day to more stages. Work isn’t just about requirements, tactics, and bullets on a job posting. It’s about building a better life and offering new opportunities and experiences – as humans, not headcounts. 

That’s my birthday wish. 

I want to tell more human stories on your stage. I want to be a keynote and speaker at your conference. I want to remind your audience why they loved recruiting in the first place. I want to make everyone else cry instead of being the only sap on the stage, too. 

I’m working on a few new presentations – one on writing inclusive job postings, writing better automated and 1-off emails, and a new job post writing workshop. In my keynote, I’m talking about why stories matter and how to turn them into a strategy. I believe no one’s story should go unnoticed because it wasn’t told well. I’ll showcase some of the most beautiful stories in the world and inspire with ideas you haven’t heard a million times from a motivational speaker who doesn’t understand recruiting and HR. 

I’m getting excited just writing about this. 

Whether it’s right now or the next time you’re put on a speaker selection committee, I hope you’ll think of me and this birthday wish. 

Suppose you thought, “Ooo! I know where Katrina would be great,” let’s talk. You can contact me on this page. It’s one of those fancy speaker sites. Show it off when the speaker committee is all, “who the hell is that?” There’s video, topics, and feedback from attendees. 

Life recruiting

Kat Kibben View All →

Katrina (Kat) Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive, unbiased job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.

Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.

Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.

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