Archive for HR

It’s all about the uniqueness… of your employer brand

These days it’s hard for an employer brand to stand out. Everyone wants to be seen as a Great Place To Work, naturally. EVPs seemingly aren’t USPs any more but generic lists of corporate buzzwords that everyone uses. And portraying a unique brand across social media is a challenge in itself.

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With EAT. the employer brand came from the brand values – we’ve covered that before the last CIPD RMAs when it was voted Best Employer Brand. Since then, for the last 2 years, that brand has been ‘living’ across social media. Unique hashtags have bought it, and more relevantly, the recruitment needs to life. Everything from Airport vacancies to students for part-time positions, have been ‘advertised’. Eash with their own unique theme, but every one reinforcing and building on the overall employer brand. Gone are the old skool days of separate campaigns, that used to appear in the press, which were unrelated to the main recruitment strategy because they were for ‘difficult to recruit’ skills/areas. Nowadays, it should be seamless. There are too many different channels to keep using different messages. It’s so easy to do that. But it’s so confusing. It might be hard work to keep the brand consistent but it’s so worth it.

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But what about an employer without a real image? How about one with famous brands? Mr Muscle. Toilet Duck. Glade. We’ve all heard of those brands but the company behind them? That’s SC Johnson. A worldwide FMCG business that has always cared for the environment and its people – way before it was the popular thing to do. They have a truly unique culture. The people who work for SCJ are given huge responsibility and are empowered to work with an integrity that runs to the core of the entire business. That’s a real USP.

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One that we demonstrated through ‘Responsible Careers’. Their people sold the business – no corporate fluff. That demonstrates real responsibility. Infographic animations created a unique presentation. SCintillating facts revealed on the website reinforced their difference as an employer. A visual style that went through everything from attraction to internal comms to employee birthday cards and a celebration cake. That’s how an employer brand can say a lot.

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So, think what your EVP says about you. Look at what your employer brand implies. Now does all of that come across in everything that you do?

EAT is shortlisted in Best use of Digital Media in Recruitment at the Digiawards tonight. Then tomorrow at the CIPD Recruitment Marketing Awards, the EAT #hashtag campaigns are shortlisted in Best use of Social Media, while SC Johnson is in contention for the Best Employer Brand category. Everything is crossed.

Can’t the recruitement industry spel anymore?

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Or do people just not care? Every day, without any exaggeration, you see a totally inept mistake. From Eshots. Blogs. Social Media. Infographics. Even client work on agency websites. There’s a typo (or even two). An improper punctuation here and there. They’re on communications. Selling your business. Or on behalf of your clients. Recently they’ve become more apparent. Now I’m not some grammar geek on the hunt to catch anyone out but when you see this almost daily it’s difficult not to notice them. Or maybe that’s just me and my years in advertising, being taught and then practising the art of craft and importance of detail. But there seems to be a growing sloppiness.

The cause? Laziness? Poor education? Time pressures? Lack of attention? It’s as easy to get it right, as it is to do it incorrectly. Back in the day, this would all have been inexcusable. If pointed out, shame would follow. Apologies made. In this social age, where misspelt tweets are one thing – thank god, for the scapegoat of predictive text – it seems it’s ignored, forgiven, accepted.

As the majority of recent offenders are companies, organisations and agencies involved in the world of recruitment, do they care so little about their reputation? Do their clients or customers care even less? It seems as we get more technologically advanced, we are forgetting all the old skills we used to practise. Poofreading for one. Not relying on spellcheck for two. Having some pride in what you do, three. And four, holding your hands up if you’ve made an honest mistake that someone spots. Interestingly, of a few recent sightings where we’ve ponted out a spelling fail only one company was open enough to acknowledge it. Kudos to them. As to the rest… think they’ll even spot the two deliberate spelling mistakes in this blog (and they’re not the ones in the title)?

Social recruiting can be really personal

Social media for recruitment. There’s much talk about engagement. Finding the right job hunter. Searching for the passive candidates. Spreading effective content. Generating the correct ROI. Creating an Employer Brand. Ultimately, it always comes down to the hiring.

But there can be another side. When social media transcends the worry about the application process into something more personal. Rather than platitudes that this would be a dream job, it turns to talk of experiences from real life. And in our role as social media community managers, we’ve seen this touching side of recruitment, time after time.

Take someone who suffers from an extreme form of epilepsy. They contacted the Twitter account, after asking for a follow, and then enquired about how to gain a foothold in the industry for a career. We took up the conversation. For them it took the extreme effort of a chain of Direct Messages over a 45 minute period to fully explain their situation. For us, it was an extremely emotional conversation, as you saw the passion and frustration coming through. We pointed them in a useful direction.

Then, late one night, there was a girl trying to apply for a role but there were issues with the online application form. We were on hand to help. She then cam back to say she couldn’t apply because of family pressures due to her mum suffering from MS. We talked with her about the situation. (She even RT’d some of our replies.) She never applied. But hopefully, we helped her that night.

Another occasion, a gay man talked to an account about how he’s been victimised in a previous job because of his sexuality. We offered some advice. Other followers joined in the conversation. He appreciated all of the support.

You would never, necessarily, be exposed to these kind of ‘recruitment’ issues, if it wasn’t for the openness of social media. And only if your social media accounts show that they have a human side. Providing a platform for real conversations, not just jobs. The next time the question is raised of  ‘Is this Social Media effective for recruitment?’ remember that it’s effects can more worthwhile, far more wider reaching, than you could have imagined.

Who wants to be a great place to work?

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Every business under the sun – according to most company career websites out there. It’s more often or not the rationale for a new EVP and/or the reasoning for the employer brand. And sometimes, it’s used as the advocate for a social media presence – just to show that ‘we are a great place to work’. The trouble is: ‘Is that it?’

Surely ‘a great place to work’ is in danger of devaluing itself and becoming as worn out a cliché as ‘War for Talent’. The phrase is meaningless. It’s an end to a means. Not the be all to end all. After all, who’d buy into ‘it’s an OK place to work’? Or the social openness of a Facebook page containing videos which proclaim ‘I work here because it’s an awful place to work’? (Then again, at least that would be a real differentiator and show some personality.)

Any good employer brand, regardless of execution or strategy, sells the culture of a business. Is Google just a great place to work for example? All businesses have unique traits that can help them stand apart. Make those the reason why people should work for you. Use that uniqueness as your recruitment champion. That’s what will make you talked about. Tweeted about. Liked. Shared. And not forgetting, applied to.

Standing together under a ubiquitous ‘thought’ achieves none of that. In fact, it more than likely has the opposite effect. And that’s not great, is it?

Lucky ’13


It’s almost 2013 (or it probably will be when you read this).

So, rather than looking back on 2012 or predicting what will happen in 2013, here’s our andsome take on 13 things we’re hoping not to see so much of during the next 12 months.

Copy Heavy Careers Websites.

Employer Blanding.

The Like, Comment, Share Game.

Chip Shop Award Entries.

Token Social Media-ism.

Social Recruiting Conference Overload.

Big Data instead of Big Ideas.

The Over-Importance of Liking and Following.

Design by Powerpoint.

Facebook is just for Recruiting Graduates.

Technology over Real Engagement.

Curating Content rather than Creating Content.

and not forgetting the infamous #NewYearNewCareer

Happy New Year from the andsome bunch.

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