2010 – Next Big Thing or Next Big Idea?

What will the coming year bring to employer branding and employee engagement? 2009 will probably become the year when social recruiting came to the fore – not always in reality, but definitely the possibilities. Employers, recruiters and recruitment ad agencies (are they still known as that?) all scrambled together to try out the shiny new toys in the pram – Twitter, Facebook and Linked In. There were even attempts using alternative ‘new’ targeted media such as Spotify and Xbox LIVE. The coming year will no doubt see stabs at Augmented Reality, Google Wave and…well, we’ll just have to wait and see.

But what is this incessant scramble to jump on and ride the latest arrival doing for the poor old employer brand? How much damage does it suffer when the media strategy is right yet the overall creative approach is wrong? Where is the brand’s longevity when ‘recruitment’ messages are overshadowed by the ‘cleverness’ of the ‘media first’?

That’s why we’re going ‘Back to Basics’ this year. Creating, building and enhancing employer brands from the bottom up. Utilising a traditional ‘application’ that is starting to be neglected: The Big Idea. Something that will make your business stand out as an employer – as the best place for the right employee. Building your reputation. Creating a difference. Evolving as the business does. (Not just changing every year because your agency is bored of it). All the things most businesses tried to do before seemingly becoming entranced and reliant on the sexiness of Social Media.

Yes, we know that employer brands come from the employer and, most importantly, the employee. But they still need marketing. A company value (or list of values) does not ‘sell’ the business or make a potential candidate ‘buy’ you. How many hospitality brands think that a ‘passion for food’ will recruit the best people, for instance?

So before we become too hooked up on the Next Big Thing we’ll be making sure the Idea is Big enough for it.

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