Employees. Every company needs ‘em. Whether yours is a bustling enterprise of hundreds or a smaller operation of 10 people, the quality of your hires will eventually reflect the quality of your organization. High-powered individuals make for a red-hot organization. As you build out your recruitment strategy, keep in mind these pitfalls and the best way to avoid them.
1. Small applicant sizes. You spend all day writing up a beautifully-worded job description, and the following week you receive only 4 resumes. Boo. Creating an attractive workplace starts at home. If you haven’t already, sit down and define the value you provide to employees in the form of an Employer Value Statement, or EVP. Using that as a tool, get the word out through print and online that you’re looking for the next great employee at a great place to work.
2. Falling behind on the times. New technology based around the Internet allows virtual interviews, electronic portfolios, pre-qualifiers even before potential hires arrive at the office. Technology and digital interview tactics allow you create a “short list” of candidates that reduce overhead and narrow down on quality candidates.
3. Not keeping what you’ve got. Employee satisfaction extends beyond wages and bonuses. The culture you create at the workplace and affects both retention and productivity for the years your employees call your office home. Work in the concept of flexibility. Find creative ways to reward (and not punish) hard work and keep your base engaged. Good luck!
Until next time,
Facebook is huge, and it’s looking to get even bigger. As part of its joint agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor, the social media giant is looking to buff up its arsenal and service offerings by posting jobs online. The effort comes from a government-approved attempt to lower the nation’s 9.1% unemployment rate. One nice side effect (for Facebook): they’re increasing their offerings even further.
What does this mean for companies looking to recruit talented job seekers? Something to watch. Still in its formative stages, Facebook promises a “system where new job postings can be delivered virally through the Facebook site at no charge.”
It will be an interesting road ahead. This move puts Facebook in direction competition with sites such as Monster.com and LinkedIn.
Stay tuned for future developments. The infrastructure that the social network already has in place is a great vehicle for propagating hot jobs—and better yet, would do so at no cost.
Signing off for now,
Investing in your social media strategy—for recruitment or marketing initiatives—is a sound plan. Not only can you get your message out to more people in record time, social media can do it cheaper, faster, and more effectively.
The trade-off? There are a lot of pitfalls to make as a company exploring Twitter, especially those who are taking a first stab at the big blue bird. Here are 5 no-no’s to consider as you prepare to tweet.
1. Honking your own horn constantly. Good news is great. Good news 100% of the time is bad. Aim for a mix of announcements, industry information, and peeks behind your office doors. Above all, provide a reason for people to subscribe to your feed. Which leads us to number 2…
2. Not being a resource. Even though your social media output is free, provide value to your customers. Let people know what’s happening in your business, your field, and how they can improve themselves or their operation.
3. Spamming up followers’ feeds. Nothing makes netizens click “unfollow” faster than 5 tweets in one hour. Keep content brief and information moderate—a post a day, at most, will do the trick.
4. Being dull. Be confident. Be whimsical (but still professional). Mix up your messaging and use clever headlines to hook interest.
Signing off for now,
Last night, the nation began mourning the loss of Steve Jobs. His personality and brand represented more than just the genesis of a successful company (Apple Computer)—his vision and pursuit of new user experiences, as well as infusing life and charm into an all-too-often dry technology sector, changed history.
But if one were to distill his legacy to tactical moves, there’s a lot to unpack. Black turtlenecks instead of suits. Revolution instead of status quo. Calm, personal speeches instead of hackneyed, over-exuberant displays that similar companies had employed in the past (cough, cough, Microsoft). Above all else, Steve employed a willingness to ignore everyone else while following a rhythm all his own.
Innovation comes in many forms. For Steve, they were in the promotion of the user experience, and a new amalgamation of great music and geek tech. For you, they can be an exploration into new arenas, a marketing message unique to your organization that’s never been heard from before. Above all else, never stop innovating and amazing results will follow.
‘Til next time,
Ah, the viral video! It’s both a striking media debut and a tool many marketers aspire to, but few achieve. There is no 100% magic success formula that will send a video spiraling across Facebook pages and racking up the “likes” on YouTube, but there are some common themes and characteristics you can aim to hit when crafting your own spot. Here’s what it takes:
Short. A viral video needs to be fit for mass consumptions, and if there’s one thing the masses have in common, it’s a short attention span. Keep the length of your video under a minute.
Weird. Puppets smelling fingers? News reporters flubbing it on air? Shirtless men swan diving out of kitchens? Viral videos all have a touch of the bizarre, and it’s often that impulse to “figure it out” that keeps people viewing and sending it to their friends to weigh in. Aim for the offbeat if you’re looking to go mainstream.
Accessible. Make sure your video is hosted in a place that can support the bandwidth that you’re hoping to achieve. Keeping it on your website is great for company exposure, yes, but if your counter hits the tens of thousands, your site will be down and your video’s 15 minutes will be over before they begin. The tried and true usually works: go with YouTube.
Siging off for now,
As the American economy enters a period of recovery and growth—albeit slower growth than many of us would prefer—eyes once again turn toward advertising. Advertising in any economy lays a solid foundation for development of your own, but in times of want, it often takes a back seat to other budgetary concerns.
Advertising, whether for recruitment purposes in building a stronger, more capable company, or in promoting your services and product to customers, is the engine of success. Now, as we enter a period of economic recovery, it’s more important than ever to convince an increasingly consumeristic market to invest in your brand. Advertising will:
1. Make more jobs – Attract the right type of employees to your company, or drive the economy forward through sales.
2. Reduce selling costs – By creating a demand, you’re streamlining the way your product reaches its target destination.
3. Grow company profits – On average, every dollar invested in advertising sees itself multiply by half again. Targeted advertising will grow your investment even further.
4. Find security – By crafting an advertising strategy now, you’re creating a pattern of product recognition and sales that will keep your company solvent for years to come.
Until next time,
If there was ever any doubt, the question is settled: sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn have changed the face of business forever. The ability to connect with customers on an individual basis, to answer questions in real-time, and to provide a meaningful forum for brand interaction has made social media a staple for any truly comprehensive marketing strategy. But it isn’t all rose petals and sunshine. Operating social media venues requires time, talent, and strategy. Here are a few approaches industries are taking today.
Banking – Many banks today are slow in developing social media—and with good reason. Considering the negative attention the industry has received in recent years, it’s quite a chore policing message boards and walls for offensive and possibly damaging content. It’s important for banks to take the reins of new media now, however, rather than later—such as in the case of U.S. Bank and the group U.S. Bank Sucks, a Facebook group for sternly-stated complaints.
Amusement Parks – Although more of a niche industry, amusement parks are fertile ground for customrs to talk to each other and discuss favorite rides, memories, and stories. This is evidenced alone by Disney’s Facebook presence of over 22 million fans. Mascots are big business, too—before Shamu’s Feb. 2010 attack, her tweets were reaching over 10,000. After social media publicized the attack, however, Seaworld suspended the program.
Retail Establishments – Though the potential is there, many retail establishments are struggling to find a role for social media on their own. The reason they give is that there’s a large difference between a shopping experience—what customers encounter when they enter a real-world store—and a buying experience, which includes online sales. Staples and Bloomingdales are two heavy hitters in this field, accumulating millions of followers by actively searching out customer questions and providing helpful answers on Facebook and Twitter.
Signing off for now,
It’s not your fault: as a business, you’re stuck a in a service mindset. You build social media networks to offer industry insight to your customers and provide them with an exceptional selection of products and services. It’s what staying in business is all about: serving your customer. But by ignoring the larger potential of social media—a vehicle to help you out in the process, you could be missing out on a source of potential marketing and, yes, revenue.
The power of many is the opportunity crowdsourcing provides. Simple stated, crowdsourcing is tapping into a large group of people at once, through the power of the Internet, to help with a question or challenge you’re facing. Companies like Mountain Dew have, in the past, used their social media network to let fans vote on the new look of their brand. Meanwhile, businesses like Kickstarter tap their audiences to raise funds for good causes. Companies have also been known to call on their fans directly for creative talent or to find leads.
At the same time, you want to be smart when it comes to tapping your audiences. Don’t give away more information than you’d like about your current strategy, and don’t reveal clients that would prefer to stay anonymous. And remember—this goes for double if you’re a publically-traded company—never admit you’re in dire need of help. Keep it positive, remain excited for new opportunities that your own personal crowd can bring you, and await (and hopefully receive!) some powerful results.
Signing off for now,
This week’s blog is written by Jody Robie, Executive Director Business Development at Buyer Advertising.
2011 offers many new and innovative tools to not only source candidates but to make a social connection with them. Using social media can give your organization another platform to have the important conversation, promote the benefits of your company and build brand awareness as an employer of choice. Here are a few key places to start which don’t require a large financial investment.
LinkedIn offers the ability to source candidates with both their free and recruiter license model. Additionally, there are more than 100 million members representing more than 200 countries. There are more than 1200 groups with a diversity reference, but you also can start your own group as a way to connect with your target audience. Joining a group allows you to connect with the members, make comments, start conversations and promote job openings. www.linkedin.com
YouTube has more than 1200 videos tagged under “Diversity and Inclusion”. It includes the opportunity for your own employees to share their first-hand experience working for your organization. Video is replacing the formal brochure as the most effective and efficient tool to give a candidate or an employee the chance to connect with your culture. Having a video on your own website greatly increases the optimization of your career site. Giving your employees a flip cam can also give them an opportunity to share their personal experiences, promote core values or just show the personality of your company. www.youtube.com
There are more than 250,000 monthly MeetUp groups worldwide. MeetUps are groups which extend beyond virtual connections into real life meetings. You can join a group for a particular discipline such as Bioengineers in Atlanta or Black Professionals in Boston. You can also create your own group with special features which have costs associated with each option. www.Meetup.com
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Like any good advertising strategy, it’s easy to sweep the old faithfuls under the rug. In the midst of the growing popularity of Twitter and Facebook, there are many who neglect the underdogs. LinkedIn came into being in 2003, and since then, by-the-minute media has been the flavor of choice–with flashy features such as instant tweets and a library of Facebook apps. Simply stated, to some, LinkedIn has become old hat.
However, keeping an active account is a worthwhile endeavor for nearly any organization. Even without the designer interface and the mobile media extras, LinkedIn provides a valuable “at a glance” stats about a company without a client needing to navigate individual company websites. It’s essential for SEO, where sites like Google can parse LinkedIn to see if an organization exists outside their own little webspace. And as a portal for employees-to-be or prospective clients, LinkedIn offers an attractive way to reach individual people, rather than the firstname.lastname@example.org many organizations use as a default.
But perhaps the most compelling argument to keep up with LinkedIn is that people know it and use it already. It’s found a home in the bookmarks of millions, and if you’re spending time keeping up a presence, it’s only logical that you’ll reach some potential hires or customers. After all, advertising where the people are remains one of the fundamental tenants of any successful enterprise.
Signing off for now,