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Each year, as we look forward to new beginnings, it's essential to make room to reflect. While it’s tempting to run full force into the next big project or next resolution that will make us - to borrow from Daft Punk - harder, better, faster, stronger, we owe it to ourselves and our teams to take a beat and genuinely self-reflect. Besides, we aren't machines, and what really enhances growth is learning from the past.

We understand this year brought hardships and grief to many worldwide. We want to honor those lost and those whose lives were negatively impacted through the struggles, large and small, this year. While we have also been affected in many ways, we would like to take a moment to celebrate the strength, resilience, and ingenuity we've all shown as well. So, today we reflect on the highlights, success stories, and lessons in the hopes that you too can reflect on the positive moments of the past year.

While many of us aren't big on bragging, we want to show you how company culture really makes a difference. At Omnia, we use our assessments to develop and maintain a reliable team. With a solid team, you can get through almost anything. And in this, our 35th year of business, we did just that. 

We'll kick it off with Jennifer Lucas because she put it so perfectly.

"Like everyone in the world, we had to rearrange everything about the business in no time. Our team made some major adjustments, and though we were scared about the future, we all worked together and took it in stride. With so much uncertainty in the world, it was such a relief to know I still had a job, and I could still make meaningful contributions to it. It made me grateful for, and proud of, my team and company.

We Rearranged and Re-invented Everything! 

"We have re-invented so many processes at Omnia this year. While we turn 35 years old, that doesn't mean you have to grow old and continue to do the same things, in the same ways. We have made huge strides in utilizing Salesforce to a fuller potential, established marketing and sales processes to continually keep the pipelines full, and created an online reference and "playbook" system. Processes and procedures are documented and can be followed by all. All this serves to allow Omnia to better serve its employees, which, in turn, allows our clients to be better served. Omnia in 2020 is not the same Omnia as in 1985! It is even more agile and client-centric than ever." – Steve Rorrer 

We Took Advantage of the "Gift of Time" 

"Starting a new job is always a challenge – so taking on a Sales, Marketing, and Client Service executive role one month before the world literally shut down was a bit freaky!  In hindsight, though – I believe the downtime allowed me to take more time to get ramped up even more thoroughly.  It was a gift!  

We used the downtime to build great playbooks for our team.  We updated key client service processes and documented them to aim for a better customer experience, not to mention a better way to onboard new associates. 

On a personal note, I'm very grateful for the gift of time I got to spend with my daughters and husband. My husband and I travel quite frequently, so being home together every day was a blessing – and yes, sometimes a challenge as we got used to the new routines and all that togetherness.  The flexibility of online learning gave us more opportunities to see our daughters with extended visits at home.  I never imagined I would have seen my college freshman or senior so much this year, or that we as a family would get so much time together." - Keather Snyder

We Strengthened Relationships  

"One of the best things about 2020 for me was getting to know our clients better. "I hope you are doing well," took on a whole new meaning. I got familiar with some of our clients' dogs because they were trying their best to contribute to the conversation! Their babies and kids, too. Many of us were suddenly dealing with everyone being at home for school and work, and I looked for ways to make it as easy as possible on our clients. And there was shopping! I virtually assisted one small business owner while he hit up the Best Buy for all his employees' telecommuting equipment. If there was one thing we learned in 2020, it was that work doesn't just happen in the office." – Cynthia Brooks. 

"Even though I truly missed all the travel and face-to-face client meetings, I think I actually participated in more conferences than in any year prior. There were a wealth of interactive, engaging conferences – and doing so virtually gave me the time and cost savings to attend more. Through these experiences, I also grew my network exponentially – this was actually a blessing of 2020 as a new associate to Omnia." - Keather Snyder

We Expanded Target Reports and Added Clients! 

"We're on the verge of debuting new targets geared toward employees who work remotely, which is really cool. Also, I think bringing on 200+ new customers during a global pandemic is fantastic. 😊 Plus, Omnia has hired some STELLAR people this year!" – Alaina Sims

We Stayed Together and Expanded Our Team 

"We stayed together! Our Omnia Team never had layoffs, and everyone pivoted to work from home. We have now grown our team adding two new associates in Texas." - Keather Snyder 

We Tackled New Projects 

"Remote work got me motivated to finally turn my son's room, he's out of the house now, into a proper home office. It was a project that I should have done a couple years ago, but quarantine and working from home gave me the need to create a more productive workspace along with the time to get it done." – Wendy Sheaffer

We Learned About Ourselves 

"I learned that I can work from home. (Like the rest of the world). This sounds like a basic task, but for somebody who was "always on the go" and drove 3 counties frequently, this was very different. The best thing is that I learned a lot about myself and feel that I am much more efficient with my job. I also think that I am a better teammate and can assist more when needed. I have learned that if we all try our best and work together, it seems to always work out." – Jamie Morlock

We Took Advantage of Opportunities and Tried New Things 

"Although 2020 has had lots of challenges for people worldwide, I've been able to make the most of the challenges that came my way. I got furloughed from a job that I had outgrown and should have left a while ago. Thanks to the government's stimulus package and the banks' programs to defer house and car payments, I was OK financially through the summer.  As a result, I had the summer off with my kids for the first time since they were little. I enjoyed spending time at home and did lots of organizing, cleaning, and decorating. 

I fulfilled a long-held dream to run for public office.  Due to the pandemic, the election got moved to coincide with the presidential election.  I put up signs, gave speeches, and campaigned via social media.  I won the election against a 10-year incumbent and started my two-year term on City Council in December. 

Best of all, though I got laid off in September, I interviewed and got hired at Omnia in October. I've been having a great time meeting everyone and learning lots about our products and services.  I can't wait to see what 2021 brings!" – Linda Salazar 

And Finally, We Made Plans for the Future 

We're celebrating 35 years as a business. Like Steve mentioned, this year isn't anything like 1985 when we started. It's also like no other year in Omnia's, or the world's, history. We have been resilient through the changes, and it's made us stronger, as people and as a company. The updates, playbooks, processes, and deepened relationships are only the beginning. Omnia has been an excellent company to work for and work with for decades. Now we're ready to take it to the next level. As always, we remain people-first and customer-focused. We hope you join us on this next adventure.  

Not everyone loves hiring. Does anyone love hiring? Does anyone like hiring? Some parts of it can be fun: the excitement of bringing in new people and new ideas, imagining the possibilities, the hilarious typos on the resumes. But it can be a slog. Especially right now, many job postings will lead to a flood of resumes and applications. That’s a good thing, right? Well, not exactly. According to Barry Schwartz, the author of The Paradox of Choice, having too many options makes us humans pretty unhappy. We suffer from fear of missing out and agonize over the best choice. Of course, having too many choices as a hiring manager means a LOT more work. You want to do it because you want to find the best person for your sales team, but you also have other things to do. 

What if you didn’t have to start from zero every time you hire? What if -- instead of dealing with job postings, sifting through the virtual stacks of resumes, making the calls, and struggling with the anxiety – you just picked up the phone and made a call to the right person, and a couple of weeks later, they just started? 

There is a way. Creating a talent pipeline can save yourself a lot of work, uncertainty, and, yes, even unhappiness!

What is this magical time saver? 

According to HR (Human Resources) Technologist, A talent pipeline is defined as a ready pool of potential candidates who are qualified and prepared to step up and fill relevant key roles within the organization as soon as they fall vacant.” 

In other words, you have a waiting and willing list of people you can call on as soon as you have an opening. Ideally, they would be clamoring to join your team, they will have been moderately vetted in advance, and they have the skills, experience, or attitude (or all three!) you want.

Here are 5 steps to building your very own talent pipeline.

  1. Identify your needs. There are always surprises in staffing – someone moves to a new field, a spouse is transferred, a production manager decides to start his own artisanal sourdough bread company, the usual – but not all job vacancies are unexpected. You can take stock now of where the positions are going to be in the future. These might include: 
    • In areas where you are planning to expand (new initiatives, departments, or branches). 
    • Replacements for excellent contributors who are on a divergent educational path. You love them, they do excellent work, but they’re in the final year of their degree in Almond Husbandry. 
    • Positions where there is a lot of lateral and upward movement. These are the roles that prepare your employees to move up in the company. 
    • In areas where you are always willing to hire the right person (commission sales is usually at the top of this list for many companies), even if you’re fully staffed. You can make room for someone who is going to take your sales revenue to the next level. 
  2. Prepare to sell the benefits of working for your company. You know it’s a great place to work, but what is your plan for letting other people know? This should go beyond a dry list of HR benefits. What are the benefits of working there? Why would you recommend it? Consider creating a marketing packet for attracting talent the same way you would attract sales prospects. 
  3. Scope out your people. 
    • Start in your own in your backyard. You probably have a few stellar employees in mind for your sales team. These people are gold because you know their work ethics, skill levels, and reputations. Of course, moving someone over to sales will leave an opening elsewhere, but it is easier and less risky to fill an entry-level position than a high-level one. 
    • Talk to the people you trust most. Maybe you don’t have a great fit within your current ranks, but what about the people they know? Referrals from your best employees are as good as selecting the employees themselves. 
    • Scope out external business contacts. Chances are you’ve built relationships with bright, motivated people outside the company, contacts from vendors or services you use, for example. It can’t hurt to feel around and see if they are interested in a change. 
    • LinkedIn, Indeed, and social networking. LinkedIn is always a great place to start because of its well-defined keywords and the ability to review people’s resumes and histories. Indeed.com also allows you to search resumes, although you will have to buy a subscription. Also, check out industry-specific social networks, such as GitHub (for software) and Moz (marketing) or industry subreddits, to find people who really know their stuff. 
    • Local business networks. Virtual and (eventually) in-person networking events offer a great opportunity to meet reputable people in your area seeking new opportunities. 
  4. Make sure they are a good match. You may like everything about the person, but they must be more than likable; they must be well suited to the job. Remember, a great salesperson is not necessarily going to be a great accountant (and vice-versa). 
  5. Make and maintain a connection. Reach out and find out if there is interest. Be open and honest about the timeline. Remember, this is not a solid offer of a position; it offers a mutual future opportunity. Find out the best way to reach this person and keep in touch. Provide updates as the possibility of a role comes nearer. 

There are steps you can take to start building your talent pipeline right now. The sooner, the better. Because let’s be honest, a lot of people have baked a lot of sourdough bread these past few months. There are going to be some award winners out there.

There’s no way to hire right without putting in the time, effort, and money. The task often requires coordination (anyone who’s ever arranged a panel interview knows this only too well!), organization, and perseverance. Although many job seekers secure positions through the hidden job market, highly qualified candidates don’t just fall out of the sky.

So you put in the work, went through a thorough selection process, and your shiny new employee joined the team last month. Great news, right? Unfortunately, your good feelings of accomplishment were short-lived, because you just found out that this person lied on their resume.

Lying on Resumes Statistics

So, just how common is lying on a resume? According to multiple studies, very common. A 2017 CareerBuilder survey found that 75 percent of HR managers have caught a job applicant lying on their resume about work experience. A HireRight study from the same year reported an even higher number of 85 percent.

In some cases, lying on a resume about work experience is easy to spot. Consider some of these amusing examples from CareerBuilder’s survey:

In most cases, however, it’s harder to know when someone has lied on a resume. Setting aside situations where someone has accidentally lied on their resume (due to a typo or forgetting an exact date), several subtle lies often slip through the cracks throughout the hiring process. Some of the more common lies include fudging dates to cover employment gaps, claiming accomplishments that actually belong to others, and faking degrees and other credentials.

Yes, the job market is tough, and more than one employer has been accused of searching for that “purple squirrel,” but even a little lie (or two) on a resume can signal big problems. That’s why ignoring your discovery isn’t an option. However, rushing into action could complicate the situation even more.

Is Lying on a Resume Illegal?

Technically, it is not illegal for an applicant to lie on their resume because a resume is not in itself a legal document. There are, however, many related legal consequences that could result from lying on a resume. This is particularly true where the federal government is involved. Someone who claims federal work experience could be charged with fraud if they used those lies to gain security clearances or other financial benefits. Falsifying degrees or certifications to support resume lies is considered document forgery in most states and can carry serious legal penalties, up to and including time in prison. 

Employee Lied on Resume: Do’s and Don’ts

DO Verify the Information

Perhaps you heard through your network that an employee didn’t really earn that impressive MBA or was actually fired from their last job for a cause rather than laid off. When faced with the possibility that an employee lied on their resume, the first step is to move from rumor to fact.

It’s become standard practice to receive consent for and perform background checks on candidates during the hiring process, but things can get a little trickier for current employees. According to the EEOC, while such searches are permitted, employers must remain mindful of employees’ rights. For example, if the employee’s original consent doesn’t extend to a background check for retention, promotion, or reassignment, it’s probably not wise to do a “lied on resume background check” without letting the employee know what’s happening first. 

DO Weigh Your Options Carefully

When it comes to light that an employee lied on their resume, the employer basically has two choices: 

  1. Fire the employee 
  2. Don’t fire the employee. 

Depending on the scope of the deception and the employee's performance/potential, retention – and not termination – might make sense. If the employee accidentally lied on their resume or lying on their resume about work experience amounts to little more than creative exaggeration than outright falsehood, then the situation may be salvageable. On the other hand, lying on a resume about a degree or fabricating work experience constitutes a serious breach of trust and ethics. In such cases, termination might be the only wise option. 

The point is, a careful weighing of the facts is needed before moving forward. While it can be frustrating to learn that someone who lied on a resume got the job, it’s important to follow a transparent and legally defensible process (more on that in a moment). Knee-jerk reactions are not recommended.

DO Confront the Employee

While it may be uncomfortable, it’s important to confront the employee directly once the facts are revealed. Tell the employee what you learned and give them a chance to clear the record. Be reasonable, be respectful, and remain calm. 

For example:

If it becomes clear that the situation isn’t the result of a mixup or miscommunication, additional steps are necessary. Tell the employee if you intend to perform a background check at this time and what the potential consequences are likely to be if he or she lied.

DO Consult Legal Counsel

Just because an employee lied on a resume doesn’t mean employment laws no longer apply. While most states are “at will,” there are plenty of exceptions to the law, and you don’t want to violate any. Before you take employment action based on the information you’ve received, make sure you’ve assessed the potential risks. And along those lines… 

DON’T Let Your Emotions Get the Better of You

It’s normal to feel disappointed, exasperated, or even angry after discovering that an employee lied and that the lie may have significant consequences for the organization. However, don’t permit your temper to overcome you. It’s a mistake to take your employee’s alleged dishonesty personally. 

Lying on the resume about work experience or degrees can seem like a terrible abuse of trust, and perhaps it is. Still, smart employers will proceed carefully when they learn about the deception, which is the only way to ensure that any decision promotes the company’s long and short-term interests. While the employee will most likely be dismissed for lying on their resume, it’s important to gather as much information as possible before taking action.

There seems to be a tradition of animosity between HR professionals and hiring managers. Like it or not, the recruitment process reveals aspects of the corporate culture that are often bureaucratic or even counterproductive. It is the company's face to its professional communities and the geographic community in which it is located. Dissension or a lack of communication between HR and hiring managers can expose problems for all to see.

In a tight job market with a flood of applications to online job postings, it may appear that this is not a problem. However, even if a company’s various recruitment channels are bringing in strong candidates, this IS a problem.

You want to present a united, harmonious front to potential hires, especially the cream of the crop who are most in demand. You want to attract the best candidates, not annoy them and make them so disgruntled that they question their decision to apply and even contemplate withdrawing their names from consideration for the position.

 Here are five suggestions to foster better relationships between hiring managers and HR, resulting in better hiring decisions:

  1. Determine the ins and outs of recruiting your ideal candidate. The hiring manager and HR must agree up-front on the qualifications and skills they are looking for in a recruit. The hiring process will be a disorganized train wreck if there is no consensus at the beginning. It is vital to differentiate between must-have and nice-to-have characteristics. Otherwise, you risk passing up quite acceptable candidates at the beginning of the search to settle for those who are barely adequate later on.
  2. Focus on the quality of candidates versus quantity. The better the understanding of who you are looking for (see above!), the easier it is to weed out lower-tier candidates and focus on the best. This also prevents unnecessary frustration on the part of applicants who are not right for the opening in question but may be ideal for another job in the future. Why ask someone to jump through hoops in prepping and providing references, work samples, etc. if you won’t hire them?
  3. Clearly define the roles of the hiring manager and HR. Design the process flow together. Failing to do so can hold up and confuse the entire process as each party assumes the other is phoning references, reviewing resumes, scheduling interviews, and making job offers. Sometimes the HR person is too overworked to carry out every step of the assignment on time. (Sometimes the hiring manager is overworked, but only the hiring-related tasks enter into this discussion.) Each party must respect the other; dumping unattractive tasks on one another makes the hiring process an ugly experience
  4. Communicate frequently and promptly. Avoid he-said-she-said misunderstandings. Negotiate complex issues, such as workflow or qualities desired in candidates, as interactively as possible. Meet in person if circumstances allow.
  5. Use behavioral assessments wisely. It is suggested that an employee behavioral assessment be given before the first interview. To bring them in at the very end of the hiring process as the final stumbling block is unfair to all parties. The company has put considerable effort into luring in the candidate and selling him on the company. The applicant has also gone to great lengths to show he is right for the job. Both parties have done research and soul-searching to determine there is a match. When a formal assessment is done as the last step, it suggests that neither HR nor the hiring manager has confidence in their decision-making or understanding of the recruitment process. The assessment is positioned as a “pass/fail” exam rather than a tool that can benefit both parties.

In the end, both the departments desire the same thing: the timely hiring of the best person for the job. This is easier to achieve with a thoughtful, harmonious relationship between the hiring manager and HR along the way.

Check out our previous webinar, "Onboarding Your New Employee For Success," for more on working together to create a smooth transition for new hires. 

Are you promoting a positive and productive work environment for your employees? Being a generous leader doesn't mean you have to give away the farm! Every so often, I’ll encounter a stingy manager, and it gets me thinking all over again about what makes these individuals tick. Don’t they understand that inclusive, generous management leads to trust, high levels of engagement, loyalty, and increased productivity? No? What a shame!

There’s nothing to be gained by being a stingy leader. What do I mean by “stingy?” I’m so glad you asked!

Here are three things I've noticed over the years that stingy managers do:

(Please DON’T do these)

1. Low Employee Ratings

Rate everyone low or medium on performance reviews because a high rating means people are “perfect” and have nothing else to learn.

2. WIIFM

Are indifferent to the career aspirations of their staff. Stingy managers don’t offer stretch assignments that enhance the employee’s resume unless they think of it first or see the assignment as a personal “win.”

3. No compliments for you!

Hold back on compliments and positive feedback. Rather than focus on employee strengths, they focus on employee deficits that need “fixing.”

What’s behind all this? It depends. Some managers fear that being “too nice” will make them look “weak” and encourage employees to take advantage. We all know that “nice” doesn’t equate to generous, but the concepts are often confused.  While it's true that a boss does not need to be well-liked to be productive, the best, at a minimum, carry the respect of their teams.

Other managers believe there’s no reason to be generous. Generosity is simply irrelevant. Employees come to work, do the job, and get a paycheck and benefits in return. What else is needed?

And then there are the truly troubled. These managers enjoy deliberately withholding positivity because they’re mean. They might also believe that the only way to build themselves up is to make others look bad, an easy way to stand out that comes at their employees' expense. There aren’t too many of these, thank goodness. If you happen to work for one, don’t expect any support. Stingy managers are notoriously bad at supervising others. Just earn what you can while learning what you can and get the heck out.

How to be a More Generous Leader

How can you learn to be a more generous manager? Self-awareness is a great start! Knowing your personal leadership style and the individuals' motivators/demotivators on your team is an education worth pursuing. Generous managers have the potential to inspire intense loyalty, which, in turn, causes their staff to work “above and beyond” regularly. Tap into this loyalty by learning how to communicate with all the different personalities on your team effectively.

And not to mention -- generous management is a humanitarian, sustainable way to lead. Why wouldn’t a manager want to do whatever they could to help an employee reach their career aspirations? It feels great to do that! And in truth, a high-performing team can only make a leader look good. Finally, keep in mind that today’s progressive manager is more of a coach and mentor than a “boss.” Yes, the buck needs to stop somewhere, and there’s a time to pull rank, but generally, that’s not every minute of the day. In fact, in the modern workplace, rank pulling is for special occasions only.

(And while we’re on the topic, don’t mistake genuine, generous management for the favoritism that permeates authoritarian cultures. Giving out goodies like raises, promotions, flexible schedules, plum assignments, and extra perks to the office favorite (while ignoring the needs of other employees) is not what we mean by “generous management.” There’s nothing generous about misusing company resources toward a selfish end.)

But back to the original question – how can you be more generous in your management?  Simply put...practice those behaviors that stingy managers avoid:

(Please DO these)

1. Don’t hold back the praise.

If an employee does something worthy of a thank you (or better), say so. Whether it’s public praise or a quiet email, everyone likes to hear it.

2. Don’t make employees wait to receive tangible rewards.

If you need someone to step up permanently, don’t give them the work without the raise, elevated job title, etc., until they prove they’re “worthy” of it. You asked them to do the work, and that means you think they’re worthy already. Reward them in kind and stop being so stingy. You couldn’t get away with that behavior with an outside consultant. Why do it with someone who’s already on your team?

3. DO be a mentor.

Help your employees get to the next level. There doesn’t always have to be a direct line between the next job and this one for you to offer support, resources, and encouragement. And remember, this attention will pay off in increased retention and loyalty.

If I were to sum all this up in one word, that word would be “advocacy.” Unfortunately, that’s a scary word for some managers who believe their role is to be as neutral as possible. Not so. Neutrality has its place, of course, but advocating for your staff to receive what they need to (1) do their jobs and (2) develop as professionals is definitely within the job description of the generous manager!

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 136,000 HR Manager jobs in the United States in 2016. And why not? Every company over a certain size needs an HR department to handle benefits, compliance, risk, and the inevitable employee relations snafus.

Of course, your department could be doing so much more. And if your mind draws a blank (or worse) when you think about HR, then odds are you’re not using your department to its full potential.

What a shame! It’s time to correct this oversight by rethinking and redirecting your HR strategy. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Tip #1:  Do an HR Audit

You have to know what’s wrong before you can make it right. Now’s the time to conduct an in-depth analysis of your HR policies and procedures. How effective is your HR department at recruiting, onboarding, and developing talent? Are your employment policies up to date? Are your files organized and in compliance? What kind of reputation does the department enjoy? Is the staff known for efficiency, creative problem solving, accuracy, responsiveness, and follow through? Are there services HR isn’t providing (perhaps because no one has ever asked) that your employees would like? It’s time to find out. An efficient but underused department can probably conduct its own internal audit. However, don’t be afraid to hire a consultant to guide you through this process if that makes sense for your organization. 

Tip #2:  Develop a Work Plan

Develop a plan now to close the biggest gap between desired outcomes and typical outcomes. Maybe your HR team needs expertise they don’t possess, and it’s time to invest in training or additional staff. Maybe non-essentials like event planning need to be delegated to some other department. Maybe your team needs to be unleashed – that is, given the support and bandwidth to do something great.

Figure out the most important thing you could be doing that you aren’t doing and then give your team the resources to do it. And please, don’t micromanage! A plan is essential to get from here to there, but let your team drive the plan's creation and don’t hover. That’ll be the quickest way to drive them back underground. 

Tip #3:  Moderate Your Expectations

Here are two HR truisms: (1) The HR department can’t carry the load managers should be carrying, and (2) it’s not realistic to think you can change everything at once.

To that first point, your HR department isn’t responsible for managing your staff, and HR can’t create and maintain desirable workplace culture. Sure, HR has its part to play, but culture starts at the top, and only those holding the carrots and sticks can really enforce change. A good HR department can help you design the carrots and sticks, but you’ve still got to wield them (and responsibly, please).

To that second point, be practical about how much change can occur and over what period. Setting a goal of, say, overhauling your performance review system, developing a managerial training program, implementing a new HRIS, revamping the personnel files, and starting a mentoring program all within six months is probably too ambitious. Make way for your staff actually to succeed at the tasks you assign.

Tip #4: Hire for Keeps

When I peruse the job boards, it’s obvious that employers are becoming more and more discriminating in their requirements for HR professionals. That’s good because, for the longest time, it seemed that the prevailing wisdom was that anyone could do HR, and that’s not true. Like all professions, human resources requires certain knowledge, skills, and abilities. Make sure your new HR hires are up to the task by incorporating behavioral assessments into your hiring process. Better yet, build the team by having everyone take an assessment now. You’ll gain great information about each worker’s motivations and behavioral traits.

Solid, knowledgeable HR staff are value-added for every company. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to maximize your staff’s effectiveness to the fullest! Follow these tips to get the most from your HR department.

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