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Happy New Year From All of US Here in Brandeland

Happy, Healthy, and Fun New Year

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.

The Harlem Shake Does Not A Culture Make

It’s almost impossible to believe that an internet sensation combining
some of my favorite topics — workplace culture, internet trends, viral videos — could manage to turn me off but yes, it’s happened.

The explosion of Harlem Shake memes has put me on a rant as I wonder: Is it really good for your company’s brand? 
You say it makes your employee culture seem fun? I’m sure it was fun for the people in it and the hours it took to prep and shoot, but next week will it look as stale as your holiday party pictures from 2011?

You say the video differentiates you in the marketplace? Considering you’re doing almost exactly the same thing as Dr. Pepper, Puma, Intel, Rackspace and dozens of other companies, probably not. At this point, there are probably more companies that haven’t made these
videos than those that have. In my mind, your brand may be a follower instead of a leader.

Yes, your employees seem to be having fun, but if I’m an applicant, Ijust want a job. I have a degree, valuable skills, and a creative mind. I care about pay, flexibility, benefits, and work-life balance. I care about integrity and ethics and social responsibility. I care about travel and conferences and taking my dog to work. I want to see videos that speak to the things I think are important from the people you think are important.

If you think like me, I have great news. Today marks the start of TED2013 conference. More than 70 speakers from 14 cities and six continents will be delving into world issues, personal identity, spirituality, and music. It’s virtually guaranteed that these activists (like Bono), thought leaders, economists, and politicians will not be dancing. I encourage you to watch riveting talks by remarkable people and hear ideas worth spreading.If you don’t think like me, here’s a site dedicated to the more than 60 advertising agencies agencies doing the Harlem Shake. 

Non-Profit Branding. Yes there is a difference.

My company has been working with several non-profits lately, and I’m constantly asked how branding in that space is different from “regular” branding. There are similarities, but also some important differences. Here’s what nonprofits need to know about branding, based on my experience and research.

We start with “free.”
We understand that non-profits don’t have the marketing budgets of corporations so we start by leveraging every existing asset. Rather than creating new social media channels, how can we enhance the channels you’re already on? How can we repurpose your photos and videos? What are some past concepts or campaigns that could be revived with a compelling new angle? My fantastic staff and I have a knack for finding creative ways around limited budgets. For example, we’ve taken a stack of photos and turned them into a beautiful, moving slide show.

Talk to both the head and the heart.
Unlike other brands, nonprofits aren’t selling a product or service; you’re selling a cause or a belief or a goal, which can sometimes be hard to define or quantify.This requires creating an emotional bond to donors, employees, and the people (or animals!) you serve. It is important to research that bond, deconstruct it, and examine it from every angle – and articulate it as your brand. As an example, see the World Wildlife Fund, which pairs its logical mission, “To conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth” with an emotional image, the giant panda.
Stay true to yourself
As Nathalie Kylander and Christopher Stone point out in their recent study, non-profits run the risk of violating their own ethics or identity when they brand to a wide audience. They give the example of Acumen, which presents photos of proud, dignified individuals instead of pitiful images of poverty “which “dehumanize the very people Acumenis trying to help. I discourage branding from vanity, or because you just want a new logo. Branding is about the heart and soul of your organization and can’tbe taken on and off like a shirt.


Tell a story
Storytelling was the #1 topic at SXSW and it works for nonprofits as well. A strong brand is supported by good stories which allow people to connect to your mission. Brandemix helps nonprofits find those stories, whether they’re about important milestones in your history, the life and deeds of your founder, or the success stories of the people you’ve helped. For example, the Sierra Club offers a blog called Explore, which features “stories of personal encounters with the natural world.” This turns large, complex issues, like hydraulic natural gasfracturing, into personal stories of triumph, wonder, and survival.
Non-profit branding is a specialty. Call Brandemix if you’re looking for a specialist. 

Happy 2012