Category Archives: recruitment advertising

New Year’s Resolutions for HR and Talent Acquisition Professionals

Welcome to 2014. The economic outlook predicts that competition for talent will increase, making this one of the most challenging years for recruiting in recent
memory. How can your company stand out and attract the most talented
workers?

For friends of Brandemix in talent acquisition, I’ve analyzed some recent
trends and found there are three pressing issues for recruiters in the
coming year. Make one, two, or all three of these your New Year’s
resolutions and watch your company make better hires.

Invest in employer branding
An employer brand is the promise your company makes to employees. It
communicates your vision as an organization and the employees’ role in
realizing it. A strong, compelling employer brand attracts top talent,
retains them, and helps them perform to their best abilities. It
also increases referrals, decreases turnover, and drives profits


The best employer brands come from research. Communications audits and anonymous surveys make a good start; employee focus groups and executive interviews are even better. From these findings, you’ll discover why employees choose to work for your company, why they stay, and even why they leave. You’ll learn the C-suite’s long-term goals. And you’ll see the company’s values clearly emerge. None of t
his has to cost a lot of money: a basic research plan’s price is around $10,000. This can be the year you make a bold statement to job-seekers and take a unique position in the job market. Download a FREE copy of our Employer Branding Strategy Guide.

Add social media to your recruiting
78% of recruiters have made a hire through social media, and 29% of job-seekers found their favorite job through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Social media is a great way to communicate your employer brand, keep your company top of mind, and engage with the most attractive job-seekers — even passive ones. Make 2014 the year you put a significant effort into social recruiting.

Already on Facebook? Add Twitter. Already on Twitter? Take the next step to
Pinterest or Instagram. Mastered those? Get on YouTube and start creating videos. Reach out to job-seekers by showing and telling how your employer brand differentiates you and you’ll create a unique connection with your desired audience.
Download a FREE copy of our Social Media Strategy Guide for Talent Acquisition.

Make your careers site mobile-friendly
Here are some amazing facts: 31% of searches for “jobs” come from mobile devices. But many careers sites aren’t optimized for mobile — and 65% of
job-seekers will simply leave a site if it’s hard to use on their mobile device; 40% will even have a negative opinion of that company. This doesn’t just apply to entry-level positions, either, as 65% of applicants to executive positions use tablets.

As phone, tablets, and “phablets” become more popular, this demographic is
only going to increase. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile (also
known as “responsive design”), you’re conceding a large pool of talent
to your competition. This year, it’s time to not only to match your
competitors but to leave them behind, with a mobile site that’s clear,
easy, and even fun to use.

Ready to rock 2014?
If you’d like to learn more about how Brandemix can help with your employer branding, social recruiting, or mobile websites, contact us, and one of our experts will be in touch.

I hope you and your entire recruiting team have a great year.

The Most Popular Blog Posts of 2013

As 2012 comes to a close, let’s take a look back at the year’s most popular blog posts. The topics range from telling your brand story to embracing new technologies to engaging your employees. I hope these articles will help you become an employer of choice and attract top talent — and avoid some of the biggest social media mistakes. 

Here are the BrandeBlog’s six most-read posts of 2013.

Employer Branding: Recruiters Help You Tell the Right Story\
One of the biggest recruiting trends of 2014 is employer branding: the promise your company makes to its employees. And one of the biggest trends in marketing is brand storytelling: the use of content and experiences to bring your brand to life. Combining these trends can bring a powerful presence to your talent acquisition. Here’s how to do it.

How to Become an Employer of Choice
A recent Gallup study found that only 47% of American workers are completely satisfied with their jobs. A MarketTools study found that 21% of employees had applied to another job in the past six months. Clearly, many employees are ready to look elsewhere for the next step in their careers. To attract the best of these workers — and make your current employees stay with you, follow these steps to become an employer of choice. 

Create Goodwill for Your Small Business with Community Involvement
For any small business to succeed, it must build goodwill with the surrounding community. You can have Facebook fans or catalogue customers all over the world, placing orders by phone and email, but if locals aren’t walking in the door, you’re doomed. Branding your business as a “hometown hero” can make a huge impression on your customer base and serve as an important differentiator in the marketplace.

One question that gets asked in every employer branding workshop we hold is, “Where does our employer brand fit with our corporate brand?” Some companies create an employer brand slogan that lives only within recruiting or HR. That’s often against best practice, as it has no bearing on a true employer value proposition. A strong EVP is based on the unique elements of your culture and workplace, resonates with the people you would like more of, and integrates with the same value proposition to your consumer base. Integrating the two brands isn’t always easy, but it’s crucial to success.


Social Media PR Disasters: Applebee’s Wild Night

If it’s true that you can learn more from failure than from success, then there’s a lot to learn from Applebee’s mysterious midnight meltdown. After the restaurant chain’s controversial firing of a waitress, critics took to Applebee’s Facebook page to complain. In the early hours of Saturday, February 2, someone from Applebee’s tried to fight back. What happened next is a perfect example of what not to do in a PR crisis.

Recruiting with Google Glass
Google’s new wearable technology may change recruiting forever. Why? Because, as the economy improves and the competition for talent increases, Google Glass will allow organizations to show a job listing and a corporate culture instead of telling. From talent acquisition to employer branding, here’s how this amazing visual device can be used to engage job-seekers in several new and exciting ways.

What do these posts’ popularity tell us? That there a lot of people with an interest in  and a need for  social media trends, marketing, and branding. As it so happens, they are also specialties of ours! 

Want to be more popular to job-seekers, employees, and customer? Put Brandemix on your to-do list for 2014.


Thanks for reading and happy holidays.

Employer Branding: Recruiters Help You Tell the Right Story

Right now, the biggest trend in recruiting is employer branding, crafting the promise your company makes to its employees. And the biggest trend in marketing is brand storytelling, using content, examples, and experiences to bring your brand to life in the mind of consumers.
 
Combining these trends can bring a powerful presence to your talent acquisition. But it’s not always straightforward. Harnessing the best of employer branding and storytelling means sharing not only the story you want to tell but also integrating the story your best candidates want to hear.

For example, your company may have a customer-service focus — but that’s not necessarily part of a compelling employment offer. That sort of disconnection happens all the time: Many employers think that recent college graduates are concerned about the environment, but a recent NACE study showed that working for a “green” company was last on their list of desired employer qualities.
 
And don’t mistake storytelling for content. You may have a regular blog, Pinterest boards full of photos, and a YouTube channel with lots of videos, but if none of it emotionally connects to job-seekers, you won’t move the needle. As Momentum Worldwide’s Jon Hamm put it in Adweek, “Audiences have always asked for stories. They’ve never asked for content.”

To most effectively integrate storytelling with employer branding, I recommend that the HR department — and even the C-suite — become best friends with recruiters, because they’re the ones “selling” your company and know what resonates with job-seekers. You’ll have to go beyond a few casual conversations, too. Conducting independent focus groups with your recruiters allows you to marry what your company offers with what people want. It also lets you create counterpoints to what people are saying about your company “behind your back.”
Another successful hire!

The result? You’ll build a compelling employer value proposition that resonates with desirable workers in the job market. They’ll be the right cultural fit, too, which means you’ll decrease hiring times, hiring costs, and turnover while increasing retention, referrals, and productivity.
 

The best branding involves storytelling, and employer branding is no different. Good employer branding is easy to spot — Southwest Airlines, Taco Bell, Deloitte. Bad employer branding…well, those companies never seem to become household names. 

It just so happens that Brandemix specializes in brand research and employer branding, so we’re an ideal partner for determining what top talent is hearing from your company and what they want to hear. If you’d like to stand out from your competition, I’d love to hear from you. Write to me or read about our successes on the Brandemix website.

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.

Decoding the 2013 Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey

Jobvite has just released its sixth annual Social Recruiting Survey, polling 1600 recruiters and HR professionals on their social media efforts.

The results continue a trend that I’ve been following for years: Social is a major part of any organization’s hiring efforts. In 2008, 78% of recruiters were using social media. In 2011, it was 89%. This year, it’s 94%. Even more telling, 73% of respondents planned to increase their social recruiting spend in 2013 – compared to the 39% who planned to increase their spend on job boards.

LinkedIn was the most popular social network in many categories, from searching for candidates (96% of companies), contacting candidates (94%), and posting jobs (91%). Only about half of respondents posted jobs on Facebook, and a little less than that posted jobs on Twitter.

Just what you’d expect, right? But there’s more to these numbers than meets the eye.

From the 2013 Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey

From the 2013 Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey

First, the cracks in job boards’ dominance, already mentioned above, become more apparent deeper in the survey. Respondents said that 42% of their applicants are sourced through job boards…but only 14% of hires come that way.

Compare that to applications through referrals and company career sites, which make up 39% of submissions, but 61% of hires. This is a much better ratio, especially since 43% of these employees stay for at least three years, while only 14% of job-board hires do. It looks like job boards are generating lots of applicants who don’t get hired – or don’t stay if they do.

Another interesting discovery is that recruiters use LinkedIn differently from other social networks. LinkedIn was good for assessing a candidate’s professional experience and “specific hard skills.” But Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and others were better at determining a candidate’s cultural fit. Which is more important? How would Southwest Airlines respond, whose co-founder Herb Kelleher coined the phrase, “Hire for attitude, train for skill“?

What I found most revealing were the questions that related to the financial value of social recruiting. 43% of companies spend less than $12,000 a year on social recruiting. But 65% believe that its value is greater than $20,000 a year. And 20% place its value at more than $90,000 a year!

From the 2013 Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey

From the 2013 Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey

I understand the budgetary restraints placed on HR departments, but these numbers show that even a small investment can generate tremendous savings, especially combined with higher quality of candidates (according to 49% of recruiters) and less time to hire (33%) that social recruiting produces.

Are you one of the 6% of companies not yet using social in your talent acquisition strategy? Or one of the 73% that plans to increase their social recruiting budget? Brandemix can help. Download our free Social Media Strategy Guide for Talent Acquisition. If you’re ready for the next step, visit our website for more info.

Brandemix Bonus Reel: Recruiting with Google Glass

Jason Ginsburg, Director of Interactive Branding at Brandemix, shows how Google Glass offers exciting ways for recruiters to connect with job-seekers.

How to Recruit IT Professionals in a Competitive Environment

As the economy improves, the competition for talent is increasing. That goes double for IT professionals, who are always in demand and who often look to the Googles and Microsofts as their ideal workplace. How can less flashy tech companies hire tech workers in such a competitive environment?

I’ve found the answer in some recent case studies that involve smart employer branding and innovative recruiting. Here are three ways to recruit IT professionals:

High Traffic
It was almost ten years ago that Google launched its clever billboard campaign, which directed job-seekers to a website only if they could solve a complex math problem. The billboard was placed on the 101 freeway in the heart of Silicon Valley, guaranteeing that Google’s “secret” message was seen by thousands of tech professionals as they drove to and from work.

That strategy still works today. CodeEval, “a platform used by developers to showcase their skills,” is looking for tech workers. But because it’s in San Francisco, not Silicon Valley, CodeEval is often overlooked by the very people it’s trying to hire. So the company recently started a billboard campaign on the same freeway Google used in 2004. The billboard directs coders to an online game that requires them to calculate the shortest distance between startup companies in San Francisco.

The message of both the game and the billboard’s location is clear: A job at CodeEval lets IT professionals work near their San Francisco homes and avoid the daily traffic going into Silicon Valley. It’s a one-two punch that’s very clever and effective.

CodeEval billboard
High Touch
Last February, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer ended the ability of most of her employees to work from home. The announcement proved a perfect opportunity for competitors to steal some of Yahoo’s most talented workers.

Sara Rosso, VIP Global Services Manager at Automattic, immediately took to Twitter: “Disappointed in @marissamayer‘s ban on working remotely. Yahoo peeps, come to @Automattic! :)”  Marc Garrett, CEO of software company Intridea, did the same: “Hey #Yahoos: if you’re being forced to quit come work with us @intridea. We all work from home!”

Whatever you think of Mayer’s decision, these two companies were positioning themselves as more compassionate employers than Yahoo. In essence, they were telling IT professionals, “We care more about you than about numbers or rules.” It’s a great employer branding strategy.

This sort of high-touch approach works for fields other than technology, by the way. Houston’s mayor, Annise Parker, tweeted an invitation to NBA star Dwight Howard to sign with her city’s team — part of a citywide strategy that eventually convinced Howard to join the Rockets.

When two top neuroscientists left UCLA for nearby USC, they said how impressed they were that the dean of the USC medical school greeted the janitors during their tour, even referring to employees’ personal details. Luring top talent away from brands as strong as the Los Angeles Lakers and UCLA is difficult, but Houston and USC show that it can be done.

Hot Food
Sometimes the fastest way to a tech worker’s heart is through his stomach. Two years ago, Microsoft needed engineers for its Kinect for Windows team. The company hired a food truck to park between the offices of Adobe and Google in Fremont, Washington. Staffing the truck were Microsoft recruiters, who found a ready audience of competitors’ tech workers as they waited for lunch.

BlueCava, which makes anti-fraud software, is expanding and adding hundreds of jobs. It has created a company-branded food truck that parks in front of competitors’ headquarters up and down California. BlueCava trumps Microsoft’s efforts in that the lunches they serve are free.

If that strategy seems too aggressive — or desperate — you may prefer the method used by Risk Management Solutions. To increase employer brand awareness, RMS recently rented a food truck and parked it outside a conference on cloud computing.

BlueCava food truck
As you can see, tech companies both large and small are using innovative techniques for recruiting IT professionals in an increasingly competitive landscape. From math puzzles to personalized tweets to free lunch, companies are reaching out to passive candidates in exciting ways.

Brandemix specializes in recruiting and employer branding. If you’d like to learn how we’re revolutionizing talent acquisition, visit our website or contact us directly.