Category Archives: college recruiting

Win the Recruiting Game…Through Gaming

Job interviews can be stressful for both parties; the candidate worries that one wrong answer can take them out of the running, while the interviewer knows that a bad hire will cost the company time and money. Add to that the calls from some recruiters to replace interviews with personality tests because
interviews only increase the likelihood of a great hire by 2%. In short, interviews don’t filter out all but the best employees.

But there’s a solution to ease the tensions of both the employer and the candidate: gamification. That is, requiring applicants to play a game that simulates the actual job. This not only gives applicants a rare inside look at what their work will be like but also subtly gauges their memory, aptitude, ability to follow directions, and other important factors.

Does gamification work? When the French postal service created a game for its applicants that included not just mail delivery but non-work activities like taking a shower and eating, the dropout rate for new hires fell from 25% to 8%.
Marriott’s famous hotel kitchen gamewhich launched in 2011, helped propel Marriott’s careers Facebook page to over one million likes — and is still available for new players two years later. Or look at it from the competitive angle: Research firm Gartner predicts that over 70% of the Forbes Global 2000 will have at least one gamified application by 2014.

Image courtesy of SeriousGameBlog.com

I saw the growing excitement for gamification when two recruiting games won 2012 Creative Excellence Awards, given by the ERE: Home Depot’s Facebook gamein which players had to race among the store’s aisles to help customers
and find products, won first prize in the Social Media category. Deloitte China’s “Green Dot Mission” game, a scavenger hunt through a virtual version of the company’s office, took second place in the Interactive category.

Gamification can also be used for other initiatives, such as employee referrals, employee wellness, and even internal rebrandingA strong employee referral program cuts down on hiring costs while employee wellness cuts down on health insurance costs. I’m sure savvy companies will find other ways that gaming can reduce costs and increase profitability.

Ready to add gamification to your recruiting or other HR initiative? We’re standing by.

Recruit on Social — Because That’s Where The Job-Seekers Are

Jobvite just released their annual Social Job-Seeker Survey, which tracks social media use by people looking for work. The changes from last year’s survey are eye-opening. They show that social media is now a major part of talent acquisition — and will only keep growing.

Jobvite talked to more than 2,000 adults. 60% were currently employed and 86% had at least one social media profile. One item that grabbed my attention was that only 318 of the 1,266 workers were not open to a new job; that means more than 60% of employees are willing to leave their current workplace.

Let’s get to the numbers:

16% of respondents said an online social network directly led to their current or most recent job. In fact, 15% said they found their favorite or best job on Facebook.

Social media is becoming a search engine for job-seekers. 34% of respondents say they’ve used Twitter to find work. 38% have used LinkedIn, while 52% have used Facebook. I’ve heard people joke that they only visit LinkedIn when they’re looking for a job, but apparently half the country isn’t going even that often.

Speaking of Facebook, 14% of respondents said they specifically “searched for jobs” on the network. 20% said a contact shared a job opportunity on Facebook. 9% used it to research an employer before or during the application process; how does your organization’s Facebook Page look to job-seekers?


In fact, we can look at Facebook from the recruiter’s point of view. Jobvite recently asked recruiters about content they found on candidates’ Facebook profiles. Their answers may affect job-seekers everywhere.

78% of recruiters had negative reactions to content involving drug use. 66% didn’t like sexual content and 61% didn’t like profanity. Even if you’re a sober, chaste, polite employee, you should proofread your posts – 54% of recruiters had negative reactions to poor spelling and grammar.

Content that generated the most positive reactions? Anything involving volunteer work or donating (66%) and membership in a professional organization (80%).

It’s clear that job-seekers are using social media to connect with recruiters, employers, and each other. They’re researching companies before they apply and updating their profiles with professional information. They’re even starting to search for jobs directly on social sites, which should give Monster and CareerBuilder something to think about.

If you’re interested in joining this exciting trend and recruiting on social media, Brandemix has plenty of experience. We’d love to hear from you.

Is Facebook About to Offer Free Job Listings?

I recently predicted that Facebook will eventually destroy LinkedIn. Today, that prediction came closer to reality as the world’s largest social network announced a partnership with national employment services and the US Department of Labor. According to Facebook’s official statement, the Social Jobs Partnership goal will be “to facilitate employment for America’s jobless through the use of social networks.”

Facebook has launched a page, facebook.com/socialjobs, which features resources and information for job seekers from the coalition’s other partners: The National Association of Colleges and Employers, the DirectEmployers Association, and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies, along with the Labor Department. Facebook plans to create public service announcements to promote its services in the ten states with the highest unemployment rates, which, according to CNN Money, are Michigan, Rhode Island, California, South Carolina, Oregon, Nevada, North Carolina, Georgia, Alaska, and Florida.


Included in Facebook’s list of initiatives is this intriguing item: “The partnership will explore and develop systems for delivering job postings virally through Facebook at no charge.” Does that mean Facebook will officially enter the job-search market? If so, well, Mashable’s Sarah Kessler put it bluntly: “A job board that lives on Facebook could put the social network in direct competition with sites like LinkedIn and Monster.com.”

LinkedIn already faces challenges from Monster-owned BeKnown and the startup BranchOut, which have launched recruiting applications for Facebook. If Facebook itself gets into the game, it may make LinkedIn irrelevant even before my 2013 prediction.

And that’s just the start of the dominos falling. Monster would find itself in a particularly strange position as its host starts directly competing against it. Monster may drop its Facebook application and return to its own site – but if that strategy was working, why did it approach Facebook at all? Craigslist would also stand to suffer if Facebook allows free job listings, because the social network could offer more focused targeting than Craigslist’s city sections do. BranchOut, with no corporate “parent,” may simply disappear.

When Mashable’s Kessler pressed Facebook on this important matter, a spokesman told her, “We’re going to invest in research in new technologies that will deliver jobs virally at no charge and expand opportunities for people to create social job searching experiences online.”

That one sentence may alter the future of four different corporations and the entire online recruiting world. You know where I stand; what’s your prediction?

Campus Recruiting? Remember, It’s One Big Brand.

In honor of back to school time, let’s check out what’s new on campus. I’ve long-advised clients who desire to keep ahead of the technology curve to follow the trends in campus student enrollment. Now there’s another reason to head back to school.

If your responsible for your company’s campus recruiting efforts, Natasha Singer’s recent article for the New York Times is a must-read. The story highlights ways companies are using student Brand Ambassadors to promote products and services, and generate loyalty via social media, in-store events, and on-campus buzz.

Traditional marketing efforts like print advertising and TV spots are yielding fewer and fewer tangible results, but did you know that this fall, an estimated 10,000 American college students will be working on hundreds of campuses as Brand Ambassadors?

By illustration, Singer’s article cites efforts from three American Eagle student marketers who solicited 50 volunteers to take part in a move-in event at the University of North Carolina. Wearing A.E. Move-In Crew T-shirts, they helped with lifting boxes, handing out swag, and creating a welcoming branded experience for new arrivals, as just one of AE’s 50-campus events.

Target opened up its wallets for a freshman welcome dinner, and its doors for a private late-night shopping experience, complete with DJs and dancing through the aisles.

Mr. Youth, a youth marketing agency, published its list of brands who were best at communicating with freshmen. They included Nike (design your own shoes), Xbox (engage, connect and compete with your friends), and of course Apple (‘nuf said.)

So advice to the campus recruiting teams: Plan together and plan ahead.

Check in with your marketing department and find out if they are launching any guerilla marketing events on the college campuses. If yes, get in on it. If no, this is where you can shine. Help them plan something and then work together (isn’t that a great concept) to promote a seamless brand experience from consumer through employee. Give them the list of your target schools (you have that right?) and start there.
Work to infuse an employer value proposition that is aligned with the consumer value proposition into all your messages, and don’t sound like anyone else.
Make sure you’re careers site has been recently refreshed, is up-to-date and mobile friendly (QR tags are optional), and your social media sites are integrated with your career/jobs information.

Remember: the brands that swim together, win together.

Facebook vs. LinkedIn: Round 2

I’ve been overwhelmed by the response to my prediction that Facebook will destroy LinkedIn. The debate has continued on the article’s comments page, on Twitter, and on the Recruiting Animal radio show.

Image courtesy of Gino21410

I’d like to address some of the many good points made on both sides of the issue.

In the comments at ERE.net, Martin Snyder wrote “For my part, I don’t think social is in the DNA of LinkedIn (or they could have BEEN Facebook)” and concludes that “Products and services that enable that evolution will thrive, and recruiting, or the act of hooking up people and opportunity, will be more and more central to everything.”

I agree. Facebook combines social interactions, openness to third-party apps, and brand engagement to create a very compelling environment for recruiters. LinkedIn has many of the same capabilities, but little apparent willingness to innovate.

Which leads me to my next point. Andy Headworth of Sirona Consulting, who calls my post “utter rubbish,” pointed out that “BeKnown didn’t choose to bypass LinkedIn; it had its API access revoked by LinkedIn because they were trying to use the valuable LinkedIn data to populate the BeKnown personal profiles via Facebook.”

So LinkedIn wasn’t just bypassed by Monster, it actively chased Monster away? That’s a  perfect example of LinkedIn’s lack of vision. That decision to cede an innovation to not just one but two rivals may go down in corporate history alongside Borders’ decision in 2001 to let Amazon handle the store’s online book business. Ten years later, who came out on top?

Even recruiters who don’t agree with my prediction that LinkedIn will be irrelevant by the end of 2013 still see that the professional site is in trouble.

In an article titled “Why Facebook Will Not Destroy LinkedIn,” LatinOcean founder Jorge Albinagorta wrote, “I am not saying it will never happen; rather I am arguing that the social links – which can nurture professional links (e.g. I want to work at Adidas ‘cause I love the brand, and my cousin tells me training for salespeople is great) – are at this stage a huge haystack to look for needles.” He goes on to add, “I am looking forward to seeing a network, environment, app, etc. giving LinkedIn a run for its money.”

On the lively and entertaining Recruiting Animal show, I was challenged about numbers. “Animal” suggested that many of Facebook’s 750 million users weren’t of working age or lived outside the US. Let’s take a closer look.

According to CheckFacebook.com, a daily tracker for the social network, 153 million users are in the United States. LinkedIn states that 60 million of its members are US residents. So Facebook provides an American audience more than two and half times as large as LinkedIn.

According to the Pew Research Center, more than 24 million American Facebook users are between the ages of 18-22, the demographic either thinking about internships or summer jobs, or about to enter the workforce. The same study says 3.6 million American LinkedIn users are between the ages of 18-22. Facebook wins by a margin of more than six to one.

Factor in the National Association of Colleges and Employers survey of  20,000 graduating seniors. Ninety-one percent had Facebook pages; only 32% had LinkedIn pages. How will LinkedIn capture that other 59% as they enter the job market? What is LinkedIn doing to appeal to them? If they do nothing, won’t those grads just stay on Facebook and conduct their job searches from there?

Image courtesy of Kazukiokumura

As bleak a picture as I’ve painted, however, many think LinkedIn still has a chance. Fellow ERE.net blogger Ernest Feiteira wrote that “[Facebook] is not LinkedIn’s real competitor. BranchOut or BeKnown are. If LinkedIn realizes this too and they launch an app on FB, LinkedIn will wipe out BranchOut, BeKnown and other LinkedIn clones.”

Is LinkedIn up to the challenge? Will Facebook let its opportunity slip away? Can Google+ change the game? The conversation continues.

Talent Wars- Part 1

In a new, ongoing series- BRANDEblog will look at talent rivalries from the HR perspective. Here is the first, with help from a recent NY Times article:

MICROSOFT vs YAHOO
You Decide

Stanford’s College Recruiting event last fall saw crowds everywhere, but only lookers at the Microsoft and Yahoo tables, versus the lingerers at Facebook and Google.

Tomorrow’s workforce is looking for more than money- particularly in the realm of engineering, where the battle for talent is fierce. They want an opportunity to work on tomorrow’s technology, along with the risk/rewards of young start-ups where the payout if the company is sold could be huge.

One soon-to-be engineer said that the potential buyout of Yahoo by Microsoft reduced his interest in either, and chose to pursue opportunities with Mozilla, creator of the Firefox browser.

Josh Becker, a venture capitalist with New Cycle Capital in San Francisco, said Microsoft’s profile in the Valley would be significantly raised “if they took over an iconic company like Yahoo.” But, he added, “whether that would translate into a sense that Microsoft is a cool place to work remains to be seen.”

Some of Yahoo’s current employees would be opposed to working for an even larger organization, where corporate was more than 850 miles away.
Others saw a Microsoft deal as a greater way to beat Google- the arch enemy.

Microsoft’s culture has been described as the 3 E’s Embrace, Extend, Exterminate and that could mean very bad things for the employees who had options to work for Microsoft before joining Yahoo. Recognizing this, here’s what CEO Steve Ballmer had to say: We hope to have the Yahoo employees be very, very excited about (the deal),” “When you combine the strengths of our two companies, the result will be an incredibly efficient and competitive offering for consumers, for advertisers and for publishers.”

So, what will happen and how do YOU vote?

All I can say is that I hope if there is a buy-out, they choose BRANDEMiX, for their change management communications.

*current number of jobs aggregated by Simplyhired

CoLLege Recruiting gets an MBA (more buzz available)