Archive for March, 2010

There’s an app that needs an icon

There is a Ye Olde Advertising saying: “Any great idea should work on a postage stamp”. (In this digital age many would answer: “What’s a postage stamp?” but I digress.) Nowadays surely the equivalent would be: “Any great idea should work as an Apple App icon”. Look around the App store – loads of logos, tons of icons and many, many poor excuses for both. Squeezed into that small pixel area you’ll find everything from bad clip art, Word document typography and identity use that the designers never allowed for in their brand guideline bibles.

We all know (or should do) that App icon is the ‘shop window’. One of many that iPhone/iPod Touch users love to show off to their friends. As they flip through pages (and pages and pages and…) of digital tools, games and playthings they carry in their pocket. Each App and its icon representing the style of the user.

So why do so many feel like after thoughts to the app they open the door to? Surely if you’re going to spend so long developing it with love, why should it appear that you gave it only a few seconds thought before you pressed the publish button?

What DIY recruitment comms do to your Employer Brand

Be it an A4 laser-printed poster straight off a PC, a paper set ad in the local press where the only existance of your brand is a web-grabbed pixelated logo or a bullet-pointed job description as a listing on a Job Board – the result tends to be the same. No ‘sell’ of the company as an employer. No differential of the culture or values. No ‘de-selection’ of inappropriate candidates. But definitely, the impression that as an organisation you’re not interested in the right fit of employee – only that you’ve a vacancy to fill.

In the short-term, this cost saving approach means you will probably find someone who can do the job. But in the long-term? The business that is overflowing with ‘bums that filled seats’ will lose its differentiators. The culture (if it had one to begin with) will be eroded by the ‘wrong’ type of employees. Any ability to attract the best people will become severely handicapped. And ultimately, the result of all this will be a relatively unsuccessful business.

Something worth thinking about the next time a recruiter in HR says “Look why can’t we can do it ourselves and save a few quid in the process.”

Why Recruitment Advertising isn’t dead and buried

Despite the efforts of the recession and the rise of social media, recruitment ‘advertising’ is still alive. It’s changed – probably never to return phoenix-like amongst the classified pages of the nationals, locals or trade press again – but it is still a valuable recruiting ‘tool’. Why? Well, not everyone works in an office with daily PC access for one. Nor do they have a Linked In profile. Or even any kind of on-line CV. And more importantly, not everybody is actively searching for a new job on Job Boards. Or prepared to make an effort to track down your website to get to know you. So how can you attract these potentially perfect employees, if not with some form of ‘advertising’?

Take retail and hospitality – sectors with relatively high staff turnovers – even the No 1 employer in The Sunday Times 25 Best Big Companies To Work For, Nando’s has a 32% churn of people. How do you reach that contented Manager or Team Member to convince them they’d be much better off and enjoy their work more at your company instead? Yes, that age-old Six Million Dollar question.

There is still a need for the traditional window poster – print on paper. The referral scheme – that lands in the hand, not the Inbox. Word of Mouth (naturally) – encouraged by real employee engagement and encouraging internal comms. And if you use this ‘must-do’ worldwidewebby stuff – target their out of work online activity – from the sites they visit for fun to the Social Media that they use ‘socially’. Remember that you (and your current employees) still have to convince and ‘sell’ the roles you think will attract them. Which is all technically ‘recruitment advertising’ isn’t it?

Shouldn’t your Employer Branding have personality?


With the growth of Social Recruiting, is the use of an Employer Brand still the right way forward? Obviously, the answer is yes – as you still need to communicate the differences and benefits of your culture, values and organisation. However should it now really transform into an Employer Personality? After all, we are talking about the use of more and more ‘social’ media nowadays. Where it’s no longer a case of merely ‘advertising’ your virtues as an employer and a business. This is a place for engaging conversation and discussion. Advocating what makes you a better employer and demonstrating why you’re the best choice for the right candidate.

It’s vital that your company personality comes across in everything you do. In 140 characters on Twitter. The links in the career/job section on your website. Any videos and photos on your Facebook pages. How you cross-pollinate the various social media sites that you use to recruit. Total joined up communications. Together they build a whole picture. Gone are the inefficient, old-fashioned recruiting ways – something that we found inexplicable anyway – of the unconnected attraction – application – offer process all supposedly tied together with a psuedo-marketing style Employer Branding strapline tagged onto the end of the communications.