Tag Archives: recruitment

4 Things to Make Sure Your Boss Knows About Employer Branding (The 5th is Optional)

“Employer branding is the new black,” according to George Anders’ recent article on Forbes.com. LinkedIn is spreading the word about the significance of having a strong employer brand while also providing more tools and resources to help companies promote one on their platform.

So you’re not Apple, Amazon, Deloitte, or Disney. Don’t despair. That doesn’t mean you can’t have an employer brand or employer value proposition of your own.

Here are 4 things to tell your boss when you’re putting it into your 2013 budget:

It’s not a headline or tagline within your recruitment marketing materials.
Your employer brand is the essence of the employer/employee contract. It contains the reasons people join your company and the reasons they stay. Intuitively this
information may be known to some or all of your organization, but going through
the exercise of defining your brand architecture, your differentiators, and your employer value proposition will make sure that you’re all speaking in one voice. 

Once this is defined, it may never appear in any of your recruitment marketing
materials or internal communications. 
But the essence of the employer value
proposition can be communicated in a multitude of ways, varying by business
unit, country, or corporate initiative.
It makes the company money.
A well-defined employer brand will be integrated with the business strategy and articulate the shared responsibilities for achieving success. The ROI is not an HR metric (cost-per-hire, time-to-fill) but rather a metric of revenue growth. In March 1994, the Harvard Business Review wrote about the service-profit chain. Employee satisfaction drives customer satisfaction, loyalty, and revenue growth. This relationship still holds true today. Employer branding fuels employee engagement, which fosters productivity, which fuels profitability.


It saves the company money.
Good employer branding connects employees with cultures, reducing the chance of a hiring misfire. There is transparency in the employer-employee contract and
everyone knows the deal going in. Both turnover rates and recruiting costs go down.

It doesn’t cost a lot of money.
Those of you who have attended my employer branding presentations already have many of the tools to do it yourself. But even going outside to bring in an employer branding expert doesn’t have to be an expensive proposition. Communication audits and employer branding surveys can get the ball rolling, and executive interviews and internal focus groups can be selectively added. For a small research plan, costs can be as low as $10,000. If you’re lucky enough to get a bigger budget, I recommend you survey external constituents to really provide context and color to your internal findings.

You will have more fun at work.
Yes, it’s true. Once you have gone through your branding exercise and embedded the essence of your competitive differentiation into your careers website, videos, recruitment and social media marketing, and internal communications, you’re all set to reap the rewards. Happy hiring managers, increased employee referrals, more unsolicited resumés coming in from top talent, lower turnover, and greater retention. You’ll have more time to work on other critical initiatives like workforce planning, talent management, or diversity and inclusion. Or maybe just steal a few extra minutes to read a blog or two.  

Use Employer Branding Secrets to Create Your Personal Brand

Employer branding. It distinguishes an organization from its competitors and makes itself irresistible to job applicants. As I’ve traveled around the country teaching companies how to create employer brands that attract top talent, I couldn’t help but wonder: What if job applicants applied the same strategies to build their personal brand?

How can they stand out in the marketplace? What is their unique value proposition that will get them in the door of top organizations? No surprise, I’ve found that the same rules apply.


1. Determine your mission. Forget for a moment about job titles and experience. What can you do well? What do you want to do? After all, plenty of branding is aspirational.

2. Decide how you stand out. Next come the differentiators. I discover these through research and focus groups, and you’ll have to be as honest with yourself as those groups are with me. What are the four or five things that set you apart from everyone who else wants to be, say, Director of Sales at Disney Consumer Products? Perhaps your experience points overwhelmingly in the direction you want to go, which is a great advantage. If not, what other skills could be applicable? Be candid about both your strengths and weaknesses; you may be surprised about which is which.

3. State your case. After the research, I create a single-minded proposition that encapsulates all the differentiators in a cohesive way.  How do you want employers to perceive you? Maybe instead of a marketing manager; you’re a “communications specialist with international experience”? Or, instead of a receptionist, you are a “Director of First Impressions.” How about conveying your passion for accounting by branding yourself “I love numbers”? Or flaunt your credentials, such as “Serving entertainment clients like HBO and Paramount for over a decade.” Whatever you decide, your brands should match your mission, summarize your differentiators, and convey a concise yet big idea to employers.

4. Spread the word. Lastly, a brand identity has to be visually compelling. You can use a number of free or low-cost tools to do this. Create a logo or find a headshot and use it on everything from your Facebook profile to your business cards. If you’re looking for a job in environmental engineering and brand yourself as “The Green Technician,” you should create a Twitter profile with that name. Make sure your brand is not just visible but highlighted on your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. Join professional and affinity groups on LinkedIn as well, or even form a group of your own!

Stand out from the crowd!

If you have a blog or a Tumblr, re-design it to match your new brand. Buy http://www.[yourname].com, and the domain of your brand (if it’s short enough), so internet searches for your name will bring up your brand, and vice-versa.

A distinctive, credible, engaging personal brand will put you at a great advantage over your competition. Follow these steps for creating an employee brand and start attracting top companies today!

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.

Social Media Superstar: PepsiCo

As I travel around the country giving my presentation “Socialize Your Talent Strategy,” I’m always on the lookout for companies using social media in innovative ways to attract job applicants.My latest unbiased SoMe (if you don’t know what that means, sign up for my next Webinar) Superstar discovery is PepsiCo, the family of brands that includes the famous soft drink, Quaker Oats, Frito-Lay, Gatorade, and Lipton. True, a few weeks ago, Pepsi lost out to Coke in my head-to-head competition of consumer-facing social media. But when it comes to social recruitment marketing, Pepsi has some fizz.Here are 4 reasons why:

  • The company maintains one digital employer brand. 
  • The company offers iPhone, iPad, and Android apps solely for job-seekers. 
  • The company manages a separate Twitter account just for job-seekers and a fully optimized LinkedIn Careers tab.
  • The company speaks to the next generation of workers by posting in Spanish, highlighting PepsiCo’s jobs perks, and emphasizing its environmental and charity efforts.

Employer Branding: “The Power of Possibilities,” and four value propositions: Culture, Benefits, Diversity, and Development are featured on their Careers Site. (Memba when I called them out on this:http://bit.ly/mrhzNr?) Job-seekers can also watch four well-crafted videos that each tell a story about a different employee. This section includes download options for Pepsi’s mobile jobs applications (which I believe is the future of best-practice recruitment). 

Many members of Generations X and Y claim that salary isn’t as important to them as working for a company that does good. PepsiCo addresses this issue on their YouTube channel, with videos such as PepsiCo Feeds America and PepsiCo’s Global Water Goals. The employee profile videos are also here, for candidates who don’t visit the main site.

PepsiCo’s careers Twitter profile has over 4,700 followers and continues the “Possibilities” branding. True to my philosophy of providing interesting content, the company’s tweets include recipes (“Spice Up Your Snacking with Mexican Shrimp Cocktail Fritos Pie”), answers to applicant questions (“Hello, Gunther. Make sure your contact and work history are current…), and even posts in Spanish, which broadens its applicant pool.

But it’s on LinkedIn where PepsiCo really stands out. The Careers tab is branded with the “Possibilities” logo. There’s a video message from the CEO, a list of employee benefits (including an on-site gym and café), three testimonials from employees, introduced by a particularly powerful employer value proposition for the marketing and communications positions that PepsiCo is trying to fill: 

We entrust our marketing and communications experts with creating our message, positioning our products in the right markets, understanding what consumers want and building demand for our products. They are the curators of our message and the guardians of our brands.


So, we raise our glass of soda to Pepsi,  BRANDEMiX latest unbiased example of a SoMe Superstar!

Who Wants to Work For Tiger?

Recruiting through Disaster- 7 Ways to Improve Your Employer Brand.

Maybe your firm was recently rescued from the abyss by the US government. Perhaps your CEO was photographed having breakfast with Bernie Madoff. Or your boss, one of greatest sports figures who ever lived, the face of your brand, has been caught playing in cars and courses he doesn’t belong in.

As your best laid recruiting plans crumble, current employees might linger longer at interview lunches and critical openings go unfilled. The open EXIT door seems to beckon even you.

But don’t despair. Though your task may seem impossible, armed with a plan, you can assuage a publicity crisis and accomplish recruiting objectives with a bit of skill, planning and diligence.

Here are 7 things you do:

1. Be honest and authentic. The chances are, it was a lack of honesty in the first place that got your organization in the mess, so now it’s time to come clean. Be candid and transparent about your situation and you’ll have a good shot at earning back the trust with current and potential employees.

2. Hold town halls, focus groups and monitor web chatter. The conversation is happening around you so get in on it. Take two Advil and get a firm grasp of exactly what potential and current employees think of your company and see what the damage really is.

3. Dust off your employer value proposition. Get back to the basics of communicating your fundamental differentiator as an employer. Theoretically, your intrinsic value as an employer is still intact so take the focus away from ancillary distractions and drive home your core value proposition through recent actions and examples.

4. Fight the battle on your own turf. Ubiquitous social networks mean more opportunities for social humiliation. Armed with insight, mitigate the issue by providing details and counterpoint on your website or vanity landing page and post comments and links to drive traffic to that page.

5. Revisit your workforce plans. One positive to situations like this, is that it gives you carte blanche to rethink certain strategies or processes. Do you still want to hire the type of employees you did 2 months ago? This could be an opportunity to bring in new blood and grow in directions you never before considered.

6. Refresh all your online recruitment messaging. Last week’s job postings won’t help you through yesterday’s disaster. Build brand equity quickly and inexpensively with current messaging that show people you know what they’re thinking, and what you think about it. The opportunity for swift change is the beauty of our digital world.

7. Create and promote an employee recognition program. Recognize and publicize the talent you have, and show the world that human capital still remains your strongest asset. Featured professionals will appreciate the kudos and can become the face of your recruiting efforts, featured in blogs, videos and printed materials. Potential recruits will be reminded of the brain pool they have an opportunity to be part of.

While we can’t always plan for future disasters, a properly executed disaster recruiting “plan-in-the-can” when your Tiger tanks is as easy as 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8.

8. Call BRANDEMiX

www.brandemix.com

BRANDEMiX