Tag Archives: Employer Branding

Social Recruiting: Too Important for Interns

Earlier this month, I advised organizations on adding social media to their 2014 talent acquisition efforts. Since then, I’ve heard from many organizations who told me, “We’ve assigned our intern to handle that.”

I think that’s a mistake. Here’s why.

Social media is “social” because of the interaction between the poster and the audience. In talent acquisition, the conversation centers on job openings, the application process, and the company itself. Job-seekers expect a company’s social channels to have the information they want, almost instantly.

So why would this crucial position — charged with attracting the best talent out there — left to unpaid interns?

I recently did a search on Indeed.com for the term “social media intern.” Hundreds of results came back — all posted in the last few weeks. Some of them were specifically for recruiting while others included both marketing and recruiting, as if the two were basically the same.


This contradiction extends to the financial value that companies place on social recruiting. According to the latest Jobvite survey, 43% of companies spend less than $12,000 a year on social recruiting…even though 65% of recruiters believe its value is greater than $20,000 a year! 20% of recruiters even place its value at $90,00 a year!

As we’ve all seen recently, one social media misstep can lead to days of bad press, loss of income, and (worst of all) the re-evaluation of job-seekers who were considering your organization. Whether it’s a single angry tweet at a fan or a complete meltdown on Facebook, errors in judgment can mean terrible damage to your brand. Interns, who are often young and inexperienced, may not understand what they’re doing wrong until it’s too late — or, if they’re unpaid, they might not really care.

And you don’t even have to look to major disasters to see how social affects recruiting. A study by CareerBuilder found that 70% of job-seekers said the experience during the application process had an impact on their decision to accept a position at a company. A lot of that “experience” comes through social media, from job postings on Facebook to employee videos on YouTube to company pages on LinkedIn.

A few years ago, interns were given the social media reins because they were young, and social media was used primarily by young people. That’s not true anymore. And social media is no longer an afterthought to talent acquisition; it’s now front and center, as 94% of organizations use social media for recruiting, according to Jobvite. 33% of recruiters say social decreases time to hire, while 49% say it increases quality of hire.

I understand there are other reasons to rely on interns for social recruiting. Some organizations don’t have the headcount or the bandwidth to manage a successful social recruiting campaign that takes place in real time. That’s when you can bring in a cross-functional team of marketing, internal communications, publicity, and any other relevant stakeholders to help you in your efforts. Just make sure you implement guidelines to ensure they’re adhering to your brand voice and are aware of your hiring needs.

The better the talent supporting your social recruiting, the higher return on your efforts.

For more information, download Brandemix free Social Media Strategy Guide for Talent Acquisition.

Or find out more about how we can do it for you.

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.

What Do The Biggest Recruiting Breakthroughs of 2013 Mean for 2014?

It has been a big year for recruiting and employer branding. Employer
are now reaching job-seekers through “SoMoClo” — social media, mobile
device, and the cloud. New technology, new services, and new
philosophies are re-shaping the recruiting world.

So how will the breakthroughs of 2013 shape recruiting in 2014? Here’s a rundown of some trends you should be watching. 

Gamification
Another evolving technology is gamification, adding game mechanics to a non-game activity, like recruiting. Marriott got the ball rolling with an awareness campaign, and a few other companies have used aspects of gaming in their recruiting. The trend took another step when the French postal service created a game for orientation and onboarding: it simulated getting up in the morning, eating breakfast, and dressing for work, along with mail sorting and delivery. It’s only a matter of time before a bold employer fuses all these concepts together and turns the entire hiring process into a game. Who will it be?

Mobile
A recent LinkedIn survey shows that job-seekers have moved their searches to mobile devices: 72% of active job-seekers and 62% of passive candidates say they’ve visited a company’s mobile site to learn about careers. But the survey also found that only 13% of companies have “invested adequately in making
their recruiting process mobile-friendly.” If you’re using social media in your recruiting campaign, keep in mind that many social sites are visited from a mobile device: a
ccording to Microsoft, 50% of Twitter users access that network through a phone or tablet. I expect all these numbers to increase in 2014. Is your company ready for mobile recruiting?

Google Glass
As I recently pointed out,
Google’s new wearable technology, launched this year, has the potential
to revolutionize recruitment videos. There’s nothing more powerful to a
candidate than showing them what a day working for a company is really
like; Google Glass lets them virtually experience it. But that’s not
all. Google Glass can show candidates the recruiter’s point of view
— literally! This can greatly help them prepare for the application
and interview process. CEO’s can also wear the device and shoot videos
of their working days, providing a behind-the-scenes look at the corner
office that employees and job-seekers now only dream of.

Vine/Instagram video
Speaking of video, two new short-form services launched in 2013. Twitter
introduced Vine in January; Instagram added a video component six months
later. For any recruiters using social media (which is most of them), these simple formats have opened up a whole world of video possibilities. With only a few seconds, very limited editing, and no graphics or effects, even a recruiter who has never made a movie in her life can now create tiny works of art and share them with job-seekers on numerous social channels. So far, I’ve been inspired by Manifest Digital and Aviary on Vine, and VMware on Instagram.

These trends shaped 2013 and will certainly influence 2014. At Brandemix, we’re keeping close tabs on these emerging concepts and are adding them to our campaigns. If you’d like to know more about gamification, mobile recruiting, Google Glass, or short-form videos, drop me a line.

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.

Busting Employer Branding Myths

Considering how important employer branding is, I still encounter a lot of confusion and misinformation about it. So, as a public service, I thought I’d bust some of the myths about employer branding.

 
Myth #1: Employer branding is unnecessary
Some clients tell me, “We’re an employer of choice; great candidates will
find us.” And yet you never hear executives at Apple or Disney or Coke
say “Everyone knows our products; customers will find us.” In fact,
those brands have massive marketing budgets. You can’t assume that your
exact desired demographic, whether it’s MIT grads or truck drivers, will
actively seek you out. Or think about this: What if great candidates do know you — and don’t like what they see? Employer branding can increase awareness and engagement by refocusing your messaging on your company’s mission, vision, values, and business strategy.
Myth #2: Employer branding is expensive
Good employer branding actually saves you money, through lower recruiting costs, higher engagement, and increased productivity/sales. Depending on the plan goals, a basic research project can be launched for as little as $10,000. You can start small with communication audits and internal surveys, and then add executive interviews and employee focus groups. If you can secure a larger spend, we recommend surveying external constituents to provide context to your internal findings.

Profits going up!

Myth #3: Employer branding is completely separate from consumer branding
It better not be! An employer brand must be absolutely aligned with and inspired by the consumer brand. After all, candidates are customers, investors, and influencers. One of the first things we do on any employer branding project is break through organizational silos and align the employer brand with the company’s current messaging. We try to get all stakeholders — Marketing, HR, Internal Communications — into the same room to make sure we have a consistent brand that’s authentic on both sides of the house. Along the way, we
often help Marketing and HR become friends!
 
Myth #4: Employer branding research can be done in-house
It can, but it’s much more difficult. Employees are reluctant to share their true
feelings with their HR department for fear of reprisal. Executives
interviewing each other often leads to an “echo chamber” effect, where
no one advocates change. And external constituents, such as customers
and former applicants, think surveys are a marketing ploy and
stay away. Brandemix is a neutral third party; we take empathetic listening to the next level by listening, probing, and processing. An outside set of
eyes can reveal things about your employer brand that you never saw.
3 Employer Branding Stats from EBI
Myth #5: Employer branding only helps the hiring managers
Au contraire! The entire company benefits from a strong employer brand. You’ll attract employees who are a good fit for the culture, who stay longer, perform better, and recommend the company to others. More referrals and lower turnover makes for a happier, more stable workplace. HR will have more time to work on other initiatives, like workforce planning, talent management, or diversity. Eventually, you’ll have weeded out the underachievers and filled your roster with satisfied employees, which studies have shown create more profit for the entire organization.

Don’t let these myths fool you. Employer branding is crucial to the success
of any company, from a nonprofit to a regional chain to a global
corporation. It cuts costs, generates profits, and can turn your company
into a true employer of choice.
 
Any other myths you want busted? Drop me a line.

Brandemix Bonus Reel: The Importance of One Brand

Jason Ginsburg, Director of Interactive Branding at Brandemix, explains why it’s important for organizations to integrate their employer brands with their consumer brands — and shows how to do it right.

To learn more about employer branding, download our free strategy guide or contact us.