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BRANDE : blog

February 1, 2018

3 Ways Google for Jobs Will Strengthen Your Talent Brand in 2018 and Beyond

When Google for Jobs first launched in 2017, few people really knew what to expect. Was it positioning to compete with Indeed? Were employers going to be able to post listings directly?  Fast forward six months, and the waters have cleared, the waves have subsided, and everyone’s ready to use it to its full potential.

For us, as talent-acquisition experts, Google for Jobs acts not only as another touchpoint to get in front of candidates, but also as a tool to help strengthen our talent brand and take another step towards being an employer of choice.

Increasing Brand Exposure

Google for Jobs levels the playing field for all by making sure that all are playing by the same set of rules and held to the same standards.

Google insists that all postings follow its specific data structure so it’s easy for its AI aggregator to parse. It rewards postings that have more content (and more quality content) with a higher ranking, in order to incentivize employers to fill out more details.

So while we can’t all be Buzzfeeds, Amazons, or Facebooks — we can make sure we’re showing the world why employees should want to work with us. With Google for Jobs, your open position for “Data Analyst” could just be right underneath a Fortune 100 company. Though your career site may not have gotten much attention before, it now has the opportunity to be featured right alongside the biggest players.

To make sure you’re giving your brand the best chance for continued recognition, here’s a quick talent-brand checkup:

  • Are all of your postings in the Google-approved format?
  • Are you continuously submitting your sitemaps to Google?
  • Does your career site have information the candidate would find valuable?
  • Do you have multiple social channels that candidates can visit to get an inside look at your company?
  • Are your employee reviews healthy?
  • Do all of your touch points follow the talent brand in terms of messaging, voice, and aesthetics?

Finding Better Candidates

When interviewed about the Google for Jobs launch in 2017, Nick Zakrasek, Google’s product manager for the project, told TechCrunch that “Finding a job is like dating. Each person has a unique set of preferences and it only takes one person to fill this job.”

Extending the simile, Google for Jobs can help you transition from an Internet-style speed dating scene to a match that’s more akin to a date tastefully arranged by a common friend.

In the former, you’re more or less meeting anyone and everyone — you can narrow it down considerably, but at the end of they day there are always going to be more “misses” than “hits.”

In the latter, the “friend” knows what both of you are looking for. On one side, the candidate is able to use filters that narrows down their search results to positings that fit them best — positions that they really want.

On the other side, employers are able to optimize their postings to emphasize the keywords, details, and specifications to ensure that they are attracting the best possible fits.

Overall, Google aims to improve the candidate experience — by consolidating the number of pages a potential applicant needs to visit to get the full scope of information, and by streamlining the application process. This is an aim you can capitalize on by making sure your company’s talent brand is displayed in its best light.

Driving Home Your Selling Points

Google’s strategy for improving the candidate experience is one that those of us in human resources should be jumping to collaborate with. Google has a unique advantage — acting as a (mostly) neutral third-party between every website in the world. It has the ability to provide objective facts.

How does this help you, or your talent brand? It gives you the opportunity to drive home the parts of your culture you are especially proud of.

You say “competitive salary,” Google wants to know what that means — for the candidate’s sake. Salary information is missing in 85 percent of job postings. Google, in its mission for complete information, has partnered with sites such as Glassdoor to help reduce that number. It also provides company’s social profiles and employee reviews when available, consolidating the candidate journey even further and allowing you to show off your social side.

Your goal, and the key to staying ahead, is to make the facts work in your favor. Highlight what you are proudest of — be it flexible days, full health coverage, or an enticing employee development program. Don’t use fluff language, tell the truth, and let it work for you.

January 4, 2018

Becoming an Employer of Choice in 2018.

You’ve set New Year’s Resolutions for yourself, but have you set any for your company? This year, you only need one: strive to be an Employer of Choice. 

Why

Why does this one resolution carry so much weight? When you become an employer of choice, you’ll see top applicants vying to work for you, competitors envy your employees, and your most talented workers stay with your company for years and years. 

Given the competitive job market, combined with the rise of the gig economy, new-normal Baby-Boomer retirements and Millennial job-hopping, being an employer of choice is the best way to gain a stronghold in today’s recruitment landscape.

So how do you become an Employer of Choice?  

The bad news is that there are a lot of factors outside of your control.

The most significant employer of choice drivers include: working in a great location and/or working for a company with prestigious name recognition or  #1  position in their marketplace.

While we can’t all be Google (they get check marks for all 3), the good news is that there are things that you can do to create a culture that elevates your position as an employer of choice.

1. Define Your Talent Brand

This means taking a close look at what people are actually saying, seeing and sharing about your company as a place to work. From those insights you will create a strong Talent Brand Architecture to be used as the foundation for all your internal and recruitment communications. For in-depth information on how to make this happen, refer to my new book, The Talent Brand: The Complete Guide to Creating Emotional Employee Buy-In for Your Organization.

2. Socialize your Talent Brand

Having a clear, articulated talent brand that promotes your culture, EVP (employer value proposition)  and talent philosophy (how you manage talent) is only half the job.

The average person has 1 to 12 intimate contacts, 150 social contacts and 500 – 1,500 weak ties. An employee population of 100 people could influence 10,000 people on the merits of working for your organization.

Make sure that each one of them not only has the information, but has contributed their thoughts on what makes your organization their employer of choice. (Don’t wait to read about it on GlassDoor).

Staying vigilant and continually working to improve the employee perception of your company, will pay off big time.

3. Focus On Career Development

With the younger generation, retention is a major problem. According to The Deloitte Millennial Survey  2017over ⅓ of millennial employees surveyed plan to leave their current job within two years. While this number is down from the previous year, it’s still a substantial percentage.

You’re not helpless in the battle for retention, however. A Gallup survey last May revealed that 87% of Millennials said professional development or career growth opportunities were very important to them in a job. The article goes on to say that “their strong desire for development is, perhaps, the greatest differentiator between them and all other generations in the workplace.” So becoming an Employer of Choice means making the most of the Millennial’s time, skills and talents.

3. Become a Culture of Choice

Focus on your company’s culture, and the candidate/employee experience. Don’t just hire for culture-fit; raise the bar and go for culture-add.

Think about what matters to the people who matter most to your organization. If you don’t know, find out, and position accordingly. Then create meaningful and personalized experiences that cater to their wants and needs of your talent pool as they go above and beyond in their work. 

Your ability to evoke a singular experience in the hearts and minds of multiple audiences will enable you to truly build awareness, consideration and preference with all your constituents, including employees and potential employees.

Your organization may or may not be sexy, well-know or a category-killer, but with the highest intentions and a steadfast plan, you can fulfill your goal to achieve Employer of Choice status. in 2018.

Good luck. Keep in touch and let me know how you’re doing.

November 2, 2017

EMPLOYEE BENEFIT COMMUNICATIONS – IT’S TIME TO DISRUPT!

November 1st marks the beginning of open enrollment season for a majority of U.S. organizations, and we thought it would be timely to look at some startling stats and the latest trends in employee benefit communications.

The good news is this: Employee Benefits have high positive impact on talent attraction and retention:

• 92% of full-time employees believe that companies that offer nontraditional benefits are more likely to recruit top-tier talent (ICIMS)

• 88% of executives agree that benefit programs have the most impact on improving employee loyalty as well as increasing employee engagement and lowering company medical costs (Wells Fargo)

• 75% of employees reported they’re more likely to stay with their employer because of their benefit program (Willis Towers Watson)

• 62% of employees under 50 wouldn’t consider working for a company that didn’t offer voluntary benefits (BenefitsPro)

• 35% of millennials have turned down job offers because they were dissatisfied with the benefits (Anthem)

Though employee benefits are becoming more costly for employers to offer, it’s great to see that they are a worthwhile and well-appreciated expenditure, particularly given the competition for talent and the millennials’ propensity for job hopping and freelancing. Offering a flexible and diverse set of benefits can really be a differentiator, particularly for small and medium-sized companies.

So how can you make sure you’re realizing the maximum impact from your efforts

  1. Implement an Integrated Communications Plan that Considers All Audiences and Influencers

Different generations in the workplace have different preferences for how they want to receive their information and in many cases, the person responsible for evaluating the different plans and options is not even your employee. Make sure you appeal to each of your audiences by crafting a combination of digital and traditional materials that can be accessed at home and work across a variety of platforms. Provide real-time text updates or the opportunity to downloadable digital assets (worksheets, PDFs, presentations) from a benefits microsite that can be accessed from your intranet, or through an easy-to-remember, password-protected URL (www.mycompanybenefits.com).  Hang posters, send emails and postcards and display signage in the cafeteria, digital screens, lockers and gyms.

  1. Less HR-Speak and More Personalization

Remember, you are talking to people. They may have health considerations, financial concerns and families to consider. Their native language isn’t always English.  If you’re a benefits administrator, make sure you keep it simple, employing less copy and more visuals, including infographics. Define terms, use FAQ sheets, tutorials, worksheets and videos to ensure that people are opting for the best choices for their situation, vs the ones that initially seem to cost less, or that they may be most familiar with.

  1. Use the Power of Branding to Disrupt at Every Opportunity

Each of us are bombarded with thousands of messages each day so make sure that your benefit communications are breaking through the clutter. Consider a theme or foundational message that you tie to everything. Add a logo. Put a sparkle in your emails by using attention-getting subject lines. Make sure that the envelopes you send home are colorful, clearly marked and iconic. Hold contests and competitions and give away prizes for accomplishing sprints by location or department.

According to an International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans survey, 80% of participants do not open/read materials and 49% don’t understand them. Use the business case and simple strategies to reverse the trend, improve your results and build your talent brand through benefits.

Get it touch if you need some help! 

October 5, 2017

Making the Leap from Talent Branding to Employee Engagement

It is no surprise that Employee Engagement is a growing concern for business leaders. Especially when Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report informs that only 33% of employees are engaged in their job and a massive 51% are actively looking for new employment. Research from Bain and Company revealed some other pretty interesting statistics about companies and engagement:

1. Lower level employees have lower levels of engagement.

Problem: High-level management may be out of touch with employee morale on the front lines.

2. As tenure increases, engagement levels decrease.

Problem: Those with the most knowledge and experience to contribute are uninspired to do so. 

3. Engagement levels are lowest for sales and service people.

BIG Problem: These are the same individuals who are most likely to interact with your customers!

How Talent Branding Helps: 

Talent branding usually involves conducting primary research with your employees – different from an engagement survey, the research uncovers the emotive qualities that prevail within your culture. At times, just giving employees an open forum to discuss issues, vent annoyances (even the most petty) and feel like they’ve been heard goes a long way towards building engagement.

At the completion of the discovery process, following the analysis of the information, you will have what we call the Talent Brand Architecture. It will include a statement about the collective work being done, the things that make the culture unique and appealing (yes, there are always things to say) and the Employer Value Proposition – the passionate and authentic expression of the experience you hope people will associate with your company as an employer.

Bringing employees together to introduce your talent brand architecture, rewarding them for their contributions in creating it and recognizing them for their allegiance to sharing it will also revive their passion for what they love about where they work.

The bottom line:

Employee Engagement doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s a strategic, thoughtful and continuous process intentionally designed to build bonds, repair trust, and shine a light on how everyone makes a difference through their efforts at work.

Similarly Talent Branding doesn’t happen in a creative department, in a recruitment video or on a career site.  It is ever present as an opportunity to ask questions, and shape what is said,  shared and thought.

3 ways you can join us our journey to build strong talent brands and drive greater internal employee engagement: 

Sign up to for news about how to receive your own first edition of The Talent Brand

Sign up for news about soon-to-launch Employee Engagement community, achievEE.

Book Jody for a talent brand consultation, or find out more about her speaking engagements and availability.

Always be Branding

September 6, 2017

Building Brand Equity With Your Annual Report

An annual report is like a yearbook—it should shuttle readers through all aspects of the company’s business while weighting content towards the company’s financial success and brand.

Woven throughout this content must be a clear picture of where the company is heading—a reassurance to investors that the firm has a solid game plan for moving ahead in the coming years. Here are 4 simple ways you can make sure your annual report presents your brand in the best possible way.

Create A Comprehensive Story, Theme and Outline 

What is the primary message you want to communicate? Is it investment in R&D? Growth over many years? Change in direction? Solid leadership? Defining this is key to creating an outline for the report and inspiring a visual interpretation.

Communicate with Design. Reinforce the Brand. 

The overall look and feel of the piece should not only be consistent with your company or organization’s brand, but it should enhance your theme. What key colors will illustrate your brand and report theme? What format will best communicate your theme: print or online? What style of photography and imagery will you use: high-end, abstract, illustrations and schematics, or real-world photos of people or applications?

Demonstrate your commitment to the environment by working with printers who employ ecologically responsible paper, ink, and waste print production processes. Here, the media truly becomes the message, expressed in the content of the document and in the production of the report itself.

Some options you may consider:

• Forest Stewardship Council Certified Production

• Soy/Vegetable Based Inks and Coatings

• Recycled Paper

• Recycling Extra Reports

Design Pop and Rhythm. 

The report’s design and narrative style needs to establish a visual vocabulary and cadence from page to page that keeps investors moving through the book while generating an emotional response. Readers need to understand how vital the company is to the world—customers, employees, communities, etc. They need to know your firm is special.

Once all the elements are in place, continue to ensure a quality product through diligent proofreading, production, and print management.

We Predict that More Technology will be Embedded within Annual Reports

Online annual reports are the future of compliance communications. By providing shareholders with online disclosure information, companies are bridging more disclosure gaps than ever before. They are able to provide more information more quickly effectively, allowing access to shareholders and potential investors. One of our favorite trends is the use of AR to create an immersive experience across a variety of devices and platforms.

One final note- along with presenting your company in the best possible way to investors, your annual report is also an excellent opportunity to engage and recognize your employees (many of whom are also shareholders) in their achievements and efforts in realizing your business outcomes.