SmartBrief is talking directly with small and medium-sized businesses to discover their journeys, challenges and lessons. Today’s post is from Matt Straz, the founder and CEO of Namely, the HR and payroll platform for the world’s most exciting companies. Connect with Straz and the Namely team on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Are you a small-business owner and would like to share your story? E-mail senior editor James daSilva at jdasilva [at] smartbrief.com.

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You know when something’s not quite right. Your new employee is the black sheep of the bunch, and you aren’t sure if they might be the wrong fit for your company or it’s just the learning curve.

Employee fit is influenced by both skill and culture. Skill is the easier aspect of these two, because it’s more tangible and you can always train someone to master a skill.…

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Even in retail, an industry that might more often be associated with women rather than men, women executives are hard to come by. But Kim Strong has navigated her way to the top, becoming Target’s first vice president with diversity inclusion in the title.

Strong stopped by SmartBrief’s offices this week to talk about her experiences as a woman in an executive leadership position. She recounted her career and the challenges she has faced along the way during, talking about her professional life and personal life and how they did (and sometimes did not) mesh.

Strong has been with Target for her whole career, starting out in operations and human resources for former Target division Marshall Field’s and eventually moving up to become director of human resources for Mervyn’s, another former Target division, vice president of human resources for Target’s southern stores and vice president of diversity and inclusion for all of Target, the position she currently holds.…

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STEM-Roundtable-300x228Join us this week on SmartBlog on Education as we highlight Q&As with the panelists from our recent STEM Pathways Roundtable event. Read our most recent interview with Josh Thomases, dean of Innovation, Policy & Research at Bank Street College.

Why is the issue of connecting industry and education to enhance STEM education important to you?

First, and most importantly, mathematics and science — and technology and engineering — are fun and interesting. They are critical to understanding the real world. Engaged children regularly love learning – it helps them answer the questions they are trying to understand: Why does it rain? How does a train work? Something happens in our schools and the connection to the real world is lost. At Bank Street College, we understand that by placing the real world at the center of children’s learning experiences, school and learning become powerful, fun and engaging. Connecting industry and education is a way to make it central by providing students to work with real people in the STEM fields every day.…

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After working with dozens of nonprofit organizations to help them strategize and improve the overall performance of their Facebook efforts, I’ve come to understand what successful pages have in common: Content that not only helps their target audience tell their story through engagement, but also adds real value to their news feed and their friends’ news feeds.

Drew-BernardIt’s not enough to post high-quality content that informs your target audience. Nor is it enough to post content that your fans enjoy consuming. For your content to be shared, it must be something your fans want to be personally connected with as it becomes part of their online personal narrative. As a result, page managers must create content that helps their target audience express themselves to their friends. In my experience, successful page managers repeatedly use these five strategies to create content that people want to engage and be connected with – and you can, too.…

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This post is sponsored by SmartRecruiters.

Finding the right candidates for your organization is no small feat, especially in today’s saturated job market. To stay on top of this, a growing number of organizations are turning to cloud hiring platforms as a way to recruit and vet potential talent.

But what should you look for in a hiring platform? In its white paper, Guide to Cloud Hiring Platforms: 6 Requirements, cloud provider SmartRecruiters outlines the six keys you need to consider when choosing a hiring system.

A delightful candidate experience. Make sure you can offer job hunters a simple, efficient engagement experience. Candidates should be able to apply for or get information about a job opening with one click, from any device. The system should integrate with the major social networks, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and pre-fill forms with the candidate’s information. It should also provide timely communication — personalized to the candidate’s job profile — and allow recruits to respond to invitations for interviews.…

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