Branding goes beyond messaging and includes a company’s products and services as well. The same goes for employer branding. Can Yelp employees rate their jobs on Yelp? Do Glassdoor Employees rate their experiences on Glassdoor? Can you drop your resumé into a Dropbox to apply for their jobs?
Although it may not seem like it at first blush, HR is no stranger to marketing.
At its core, that’s what recruiting is: marketing and direct sales. Those in the recruitment profession market professional opportunity through sharing openings, culture, and brand association. On the sales side, its quite possibly one of the hardest sales jobs; much like real estate, both sides are buying, so both sides can say no. It’s not like a car is going to refuse to be sold to a buyer.
So over the years, recruitment has focused on refining its “spoken sales pitch.” While an important part of the process, it is fairly limited in its reach. The move to digital marketing came about and our ability to broadcast news, share glimpses into our company culture, and build different level of “relationships” with ‘brand-fans’ widened. The online space got very, very noisy.
Amidst that noise emerged evidence of fissures in the brand façade; the carefully crafted messaging by the brand didn’t actually match conversations about the workplace realities of the employees. “A company that cares? Sure … about profit! Let me tell you how… [insert employee vent session here].” Well-intentioned employees trying to help disgruntled customers or potential buyers by giving product/service information that proved to be inaccurate. Less-than-flattering posts from the “personal” side of life conflicting with stated goals, ethics, and morality embraced by the organization.
All of these disparate voices, fragmented messages — they have traditionally freaked out marketing, human resources, and the C-Suite … with fair reason: the disharmony can create confusion in candidates and consumers, which is clearly bad for the brand.
The reality is that employers cannot “silence” the voices. They never really could. Those fissures always existed; however, the adoption of digital ecosystems vastly extended individual reach and amplified their individual stories “on brand” or not. And here’s the real kicker: employees have more credibility, individually, than executives, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer. So if we’re unable to “control” these powerful voices, what are HR marketers and brand managers to do? The need behind this question drove the creation of a new category that sits at the intersection of marketing and human resources: employee advocacy.
An employee advocacy program is about more than marketing controlling how the brand message is shared. keep reading…
It’s difficult to attend an HR and recruiting centered conference and not find yourself sitting among a choir while one of our industry’s messiahs preaches to a crowd of smiling faces nodding in agreement to the sermon.
I’m not even saying it’s a bad thing. Sometimes it can be therapeutic. Lately it seems our spiritual advisors in talent have learned a new hymn, or perhaps they’ve simply remixed an old one and it just sounds cooler because there are more and more voices chiming in.
The tune is the one about finding and recruiting people who have found their passion. It’s in the key of C, since C is for “calling” and we want to hire only the best people who have found their calling. A lot of people are singing it. The melody is beautiful and I suggest giving it a listen if you’ve never heard it. You’ll be changed, if only briefly. keep reading…
EROAD is an Auckland, New Zealand-based startup that was established to modernize road user charges in New Zealand. In 2007 the business began to commercialize its research and development and seven years on, it has just launched in both Australia and the United States.
Having seen several articles about EROAD’s recent IPO, growth into Australia and North America and its comparatively huge demand for highly skilled engineers, I met with EROAD’s HR Manager Rebecca McKaskell to gain an insight into how with a relatively unknown brand she has been able to support the highly technical resourcing demands of this business. keep reading…
It’s what employees and job candidates, particularly the millennial generation, want in their work. And it’s what companies need in their teams to produce the goods and services millennials and others want to buy.
Employers are starting to find clues to help them attract people with purpose. keep reading…
A new list of the best employment brands among the Fortune 500 contains a lot of familiar names (if you guessed Google, you guessed right), but a few less-familiar ones too. keep reading…
The U.S. Air Force is launching a new recruiting campaign this week featuring the slogan “Aim High,” used 15 years’ back. The campaign is heavy on visuals, including striking photos and powerful videos — see below. keep reading…
Over the past seven years I have been fortunate to travel to more than 50 cities in 30 countries to share my employer branding knowledge and experience with thousands of leaders. The No. 1 issue that continues to draw discussion and debate is whether employer branding should be a human resources or marketing function — or both! There are also a number of leaders which support the view it requires a combination of expertise from multiple functions to effectively deliver an employer brand strategy that builds value.
Declining Role of HR keep reading…
We all know that recruiting is about connecting with candidates on multiple levels: practical, emotional, and aspirational. Employment branding and marketing can make a big contribution toward that. Today many recruiting organizations still see “recruitment marketing” as optimizing their job board strategy. But there is so much more that can be done with a true employment branding strategy. Getting this right will help you stand out in your market, generate pipelines more easily, and most importantly of all attract the top talent in your industry.
To define your employment brand, consider these factors: keep reading…
Two studies recently came out that provide interesting perspectives on how a brand is viewed by the general public and by young workers looking to start their careers. These surveys illustrate both the connection and disconnection between branding and employer branding.
The first study was conducted by CoreBrand, which annually surveys more than 10,000 business decision-makers from the top 20 percent of U.S. businesses. This is a survey of peers, not of average consumers. It determines two factors: Familiarity, based on whether respondents could name a brand’s verticals or subsidiaries; and Favorability, based on respondents’ opinions of the brand’s overall reputation, perception of management, and investment potential. CoreBrand considers brands with the highest scores in both categories to be the “Most Respected.” The top 10 of 2014 are: keep reading…
Employees can be a very big recruiting resource
A recent report by PR firm Weber Shandwick — Employees Rising: Seizing the Opportunity in Employee Activism – has a lot to say about the potential for tapping employees as a recruitment resource.
The report is based on a global survey done by the firm. The survey found that engaged employees can become activists for their employers. They can be an employer’s best advocates, promoting the company as a great place to work. Many employees actively defend the reputations of their employers. More than half of all employees surveyed reported defending their employer to family or friends or in a public form like a website or a blog.
But they can also be its worst opponents. Just read the reviews on Glassdoor for proof of both.
None of this should be a surprise, but what’s most interesting in the report is that employee advocacy is a largely untapped resource. keep reading…
If you search “employee testimonials” on YouTube, you will notice a theme after watching a handful of them.
They look and sound alike.
They all say basically the same thing, with variations on these themes:
“I love working here because…
- “… I get to work with really awesome people.”
- “… there’s such high integrity here.”
- “… you get to grow professionally.”
- “… you get to work on really cool projects.”
… etc, etc.
Blah, blah, blah.
If your videos are like these, they will quickly be forgotten in a sea of sameness. You will have lost an opportunity to stand out as an employer of choice.
To Be Memorable, Get Concrete keep reading…
Recruiting is an arms war, with rapidly advancing technology and complexity. At stake is the future of your company. Social media has changed the game, raising expectations of the applicant experience and making everything faster and more connected. Employees and prospects have the upper hand and our tactics have to keep up.
But we can all name companies that are snagging (and keeping) top talent. So beyond the most recent recruiting weapons, what one thing is helping them win that race?
Once upon a time we sold products much as we “sell” jobs and organizations today. At the turn of the 20th century, merchants waited for a potential buyer to show up. The buyer was supposed to know what they wanted and ask for it. Most of the merchandise was kept in drawers or under the counter. A customer had to ask for something specifically and the merchant showed them only one particular item. There was no engagement, no selling, and no touting the benefits of the product.
But, soon department stores like Macy’s changed all this by displaying items openly, running ads targeted, in particular, to women. It offered well-known socialites the newest fashions and relied on gossip and word of mouth to attract new referral customers. Window displays created dream worlds and played to emotions. They encouraged salespeople to engage with the customers, build relationships, and even try on clothes or demonstrate the product.
Recruitment has a lot to learn from this story and from marketing. keep reading…
co-authored with Michael Pelts, RightJoin
What do folks think about your company? Every organization has a public image as an employer (and if you don’t, all the worse), and the image determines whether in-demand professionals will agree to be in touch.
The hands-down champion in employer marketing to software engineers is Google, which regularly gets photo-shoots of its toy-filled offices in top media like the New York Times. These campaigns are planned to draw in the best candidates in the industry and also to increase retention among current employees. In the final calculation, they more than pay for themselves with a significant reduction in recruiting costs.
In many small and medium sized companies, the priorities cannot justify the budget for long-term branding campaigns to boost the corporate image. But employers have started to realize that strong employer branding can make the difference between excellent hires and unfilled reqs; or, even worse, filling the position with unqualified candidates. Luckily, employer branding can be done on the cheap by combining it with recruiting: They both have the same target audience, and they boost each other when done together.
In this article, we’ll explain how to do this efficiently, focusing on the area we know most about: software engineering. keep reading…
More than career website development, and more than any other activity like developing brand strategies, it is social media that companies are turning to for enhanching their employer brands.
That’s one of the findings of a new 18-country study of employer brands around the world. Other findings: keep reading…
The new recruiting “no job postings” website of Zappos is truly unique.
First off, you have to give the Zappos team credit for eliminating anything in recruiting, because we have a long history in recruiting of adding but never subtracting approaches.
The new talent community declares the end to job postings and the painful transaction between applying for a specific job and getting a cold rejection. It further offers the opportunity to become “a corporate insider,” where you join the firm’s exclusive “talent community,” made up of interested prospects and applicants. In essence its own social network that the firm can use to keep in touch with applicants over time. It can also use the information that you provide during the increased interactions with recruiters to find the right job for you, even if it’s outside the typical jobs that you would have applied for.
This article critically analyzes this new approach in order to highlight possible advantages and problems with this approach for others that may be considering a similar move. keep reading…
This new video starts off slow, with soft music, a smiling police officer, and a children’s cartoon character.
What comes next are handcuffs, drugs, high-speed chases, and explosions.
It’s all for jobs in the Midland, Texas, police department. The video is below.
There’s a Zen saying that you can never step into the same river twice. The same is true for technology. It changes every day, not just by adding new channels and platforms, but by suggesting new strategies, new tactics, new messaging, new touch points, and entirely new ways of thinking about our own jobs. What worked yesterday will not work tomorrow as you are stepping into an entirely new river.
This is as true for talent acquisition professionals as it is anyone. All of your prospects and targets have become tech savvy in their pursuit of better positions, while you are just trying to keep your head above water.
As they say, you want to skate to where the puck will be. So the better you understand how technology is changing, the better you can plan for the future. Over the next three articles, I’ll be presenting predictions on what is changing and what you should be doing about it. Today, I focus on the power of content.
Content online has been growing exponentially since its inception, but I’ve seen an explosion in the last two years. This trend is expected to continue as the amount of content will double in the next two years. As brands realize that every company is now a media company and start to build content shops in house, talent acquisition has been furiously following suit, building content around the company and various jobs. But creating content is not the same as executing a content strategy. Here are trends I think will be shaping everyone’s strategy very soon. keep reading…
Microsoft — as I mentioned last fall — is involved in a teacher-recruiting campaign. In the U.S., with so many teachers in their 50s and 60s, the education department is using TV, social media, print, radio, and more to spread the word about the profession.
Now, there’s more out about Microsoft’s role. keep reading…