Archive for Effectiveness

So what happened to 2013?

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This time last year, we listed our take on 13 things we hoped not to see so much of during 2013.

How did it go?

Copy Heavy Careers Websites.

Nope, still around and strangely as more sites become mobile-focused, so the content remains more copy based than visual/video

Employer Blanding.

Still plenty of me-too companies out there and for all the talk of the importance of employer branding, due to social activity, still not much movement on differentiating. (Guess that the focus on content curating means similar content?)

The Like, Comment, Share Game.

Thankfully RIP for 2013 in most cases.

Chip Shop Award Entries.

Again another one that seems to have died away, real entries for real clients is the name of the day.

Token Social Media-ism.

A difficult one – determined by how you define tokenism. Running a campaign using social media for it then leaving it to become mundane, or non-existent, would say it’s still around. But most now seem to realise the benefits, even if they’re still toe-dipping.

Social Recruiting Conference Overload.

This one has gone into overdrive this past year.

Big Data instead of Big Ideas.

Data still seems to be everyone’s fav, but…

The Over-Importance of Liking and Following.

Still here and still being used to say how successful your presence/campaign/employer branding has been unfortunately.

Design by Powerpoint.

Doubt this will ever go away for some people.

Facebook is just for Recruiting Graduates.

Nope, still the focus for so many. Shame that other sectors of recruitment are missing out.

Technology over Real Engagement.

Tech has remained the big beast as more often than not it promises engagement but then fails to deliver.

Curating Content rather than Creating Content.

More and more it’s been about creating content – for blogs. Wish for 2014 that there’s a realisation that blogging isn’t the only content creating that’s valuable on social media (especially in recruitment).

and not forgetting the infamous #NewYearNewCareer

Doubt that this perennial will ever disappear, no matter what the media.

Happy New Year from the andsome bunch.

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What is innovation in recruitment?

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In the recent surge of interest in all things Google+, we came across a piece extolling the virtues of the much vaunted Hangouts… for recruitment. Basically, one of the many (questionable) selling points used referred to the fact that a G+ Hangout – which offers 10 participants on a growing, but still under utilised platform – was much better than say a Twitter chat. The reason? Well, Twitter chats aren’t really innovative any more – and Google+ hangouts are. There you have it.

So, communicating in a so-called less ‘innovative’ way to an unlimited number of participants on a more actively used channel, populated by more candidates is dismissed because its been around a while and isn’t the shiny and new thing it was a few years ago. Odd reasoning, don’t you think? Considering how there are many companies with resistance/doubts/troubles about using the social stalwarts of Facebook and Twitter effectively for recruitment or comms even now. You probably only have to #AskJPMorgan for more details, if you wish. (And then you could also #askgarybarlow for a second opinion too.)

It’s interesting that the more mature ‘social recruiting’ channels are now starting to be questioned. Even in their relatively short lifespan. There are lots of assumptions. Mainly by those who haven’t utilised them effectively or experienced what they can do over time. Just because the industry thinks certain aspects are now passé – does your actual audience? For example, they haven’t been exposed to a multitude of industry Twitter chats or conferences that expound the virtues of social media/recruitment. They’re too busy watching TV, tweeting and Facebooking what’s just happened on X Factor, instagramming their latest GBBO-style masterpiece or snapchatting everything. Getting on with their lives. Where looking at a company recruitment page on Facebook is the norm. Using a #hashtag is everyday. And Google+ probably doesn’t mean much.

It all kind of typifies how the recruitment industry is obsessed with ‘must do something new’ even if they haven’t ‘done something right’ with their current approach. Don’t get us wrong, we’re all for innovation. But for the right reasons. Don’t ignore where your audience is. Who you should be talking to. And how. So let’s not just do something innovative because you can. Do it because you should. There is a difference.

100 not out

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Last week marked something of a personal highlight with the winning of my 100th award at the Recruitment Business Awards 2013.

(Not to mention, Award 101 too – but that maybe the theme for a later post.)

It got me thinking.

That after 20 years in the recruitment marketing industry, should I still be creating award-winning work? Shouldn’t there be a new generation (or two) producing better?

That when I started working in recruitment comms – digital, websites and social media – all the areas that, as an agency, we have embraced over the past years didn’t even exist. And now look at them.

That you can never stop learning. We saw the potential of Social Media over 4 years ago and began seeing how we could utilise it for recruitment. Starting from scratch, not case studies. Learning all the way, while the more cautious watched from the sidelines and only now are putting a toe in.

That the only awards worth winning, are for work that actually ‘worked’. Not just looked pretty. But work that ‘looks pretty’ and actually generated results, they’re the ones.

That you can never set out to produce an award-winning piece. It never happens. Start thinking this is the one and it never will be. Start thinking ‘I want to create the best work I can’. And it may have a chance.

That you can never disregard the ‘big idea’. It doesn’t matter if it’s a tweet or a global careers site, it should always be based on an idea. Not an execution. Not a new piece of tech. An idea that connects to the target audience.

And finally, that it’s great to be hands on. It keeps you closer to what works. Closer to the audience. Closer to what’s important. Closer to reality. And, who knows, maybe closer to Award No. 102?

It’s all about the uniqueness… CIPD/Digi awards series

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There’s going to be a mashup next week. 2 award events. 2 consecutive nights. 7 shortlisted nominations in total. In celebration, it’s time for another of our andsome blog ‘mini series’ inspired by this magnificent seven at the Digiawards and the CIPD Recruitment Marketing Awards.

In the frame are websites, social recruiting campaigns and employer branding for Boots, EAT, SC Johnson, TK Maxx and the Raymond Blanc Cookery School.

Now mashups normally create something unique – so, this series is all about uniqueness. From the use of social platforms, the big idea (remember that one), the audiences and the candidate experience. They’ll all be in the mix.

It all kicks off on Monday. We hope to see you then.

Why we prefer to do

On the Job experience. That’s often the starting point for many a successful career. It’s an ethos that has come back into vogue over recent years with Work Inspiration (for 14-17 year olds), Internships/Placements for Students and Apprenticeships instead of Uni. It’s all about the learning. In the working environment. Especially the apprenticeships route, learn while you earn is the phrase. Where you’re working for real, not just attending lectures with the odd practical thrown in for good measure.

Social media is exactly the same. You learn far more in the doing. It’s great to hear the case studies but at the end of the day they’re just overviews. No matter how detailed they might be. If you’re looking to community manage, or get involved in, social platforms and talent communities, the only way is to get your hands dirty.

You’ll soon see that the ‘rules’ that float around aren’t always the good advice that they seem. You know the ones. About timings. Scheduling (or not). Tweet 100 characters or less. Where to position a link in your update. Not flooding your account with job posts. Who you should or shouldn’t follow. What gets Likes. Update an average 4 times a day. More than 2 #Hashtags affects engagement.

Honestly, with all the accounts we’ve managed and been involved with over the years, every one of the ‘rules’ above (and more) have been blown away on different accounts and different audiences. That’s the key – the audience ‘tells’ you what they want. And as every business is unique, even in the same sector, what applies to one doesn’t mean it will work for another. One approach that’s successful for one facebook page, will fail on another. That’s what experience will tell you. That’s what your audiences will show you. You never hear failure admitted very often, if at all, in a conference case study. You wouldn’t expect to. (Although a #FAILconf, is an interesting idea…hmm.) It’s always success stories. That’s what everyone wants to hear. But the odd fail (or disappointment/surprise) is often much more enlightening. And the spur to keep looking at things differently.

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