BRANDE : Culture

March 1, 2017

Moving Past Culture Fit To “Culture Add”

people-diversity-700x467There is so much out there about cultural fit. And it does have its place. We all want that perfect candidate. The one that can live up to all the clichéd buzz words — “hit the ground running,” “add value,” “contribute right away,” and of course “fit in.”

And yet, at the same time, we are looking to build a culture of diversity in backgrounds, thinking and experience. We are looking for people who can bring something to the table versus just bring themselves to work. That’s why I think it is now time we move past culture fit and embrace a new term — “Culture Add.”

Why culture add?

When you are only thinking of culture fit, I think there is a good chance you are hiring people who think and act alike. In today’s world of speed, innovation, and adaptability, you might just need different talents around the table to progress as much as you need to. When you consider if a candidate is a “culture add” then you are looking for candidates to bring in new ideas, a different point-of-view, and bring out different traits in others in a collaborative, positive way. Ideally, this person will fill in what you might be missing to give you that competitive edge for your products or services.

The 3 Es of culture add

Employees: If you embrace this concept of culture add, I urge you to be clear with your existing employees that the next new team member will be great — but may not be just like them. Emphasize the benefits of collaboration among diverse teams, and when those benefits happen celebrate them.

Employer brand: If you want to go even further to embrace the concept of culture add, take the time to look at your employer brand — from your website to your internal materials. What would you need to do to refresh or enhance it to speak more broadly to the qualities of your culture and how prospective employees can add to it? Decide if it’s an option or an imperative and make your choice known.

Expectations: Provide change management training so hiring managers know how to talk with candidates and to help managers understand there are expectations they’ll need to meet. Offer them training so they don’t fall into a bias trap.

And above all, remember that when you hire for culture add you’re not just adding to the culture but adding to the bottom line as well.

Need help with defining your culture? Try Brandemix Rapid-Cycle Talent Branding.

January 5, 2017

Becoming an Employer of Choice in 2017

Being an employer of choice means top applicants are eager 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 new-normal Baby-Boomer retirements and Millennial job-hopping, this seems like a great item for the top of your New Year’s Resolution list.

So how do you become an employer of choice?  

The bad news is that there are a lot of factors outside of your control. Employer-of-Choice drivers include attributes like working in a great location, working for a company with great/prestigious name recognition and/or a number 1 position in their marketplace. But while we can’t all be Google (they get checkmarks 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. Here are some of them.

Become a Culture of Choice- Create meaningful and personalized employee experiences and rewards. Think about what matters to the people who matter most to your organization. If you don’t know, find out. According the the Jobvite Jobseeker Nation, compensation is more important to established professionals (ages 40-54) than Millennials who greatly value the flexibility to work from home. While you’re at it, start mapping your internal culture fit to the customer experience. Again, if you’re not sure what that is, find out from your Marketing department. When Southwest Airlines committed to a delivering customers to their final destinations with a smile, a joke or a song, they made sure that joke-telling was part of interview process and fun was part of their culture.

Socialize your Talent Brand- Having a clear, articulated talent brand that promotes your culture, employer brand, employer value proposition and talent philosophy (how you manage talent) is only half the job. The other half is TBPR- Talent Branding Public Relations. The average person has 1 to 12 intimate contacts, 150 social contacts and 500 – 1,500 weak ties. That means that 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 Glass Door.)

Focus On Career Development- 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.” In just 3 more years, this high-achieving, highly productive yet untethered generation will make up more than 35% of the US workforce. So becoming an Employer of Choice means making the most of the Millennial’s time, skills and talents.

Become an Authentic Brand- Brands are about trust. 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.
The internet has leveled the playing field. Your customers are also vendors, employees and investors. Conversations that used to happen around the water cooler are happening across the internet on sites like Glass Door, Yelp and Amazon. Yet within the organization, the drivers of influence for each of these target groups are often siloes of spin. The myriad of messages are often in competition with one another.

To genuinely be an authentic brand means that you have developed an integrated, values-based messaging approach that is true at the highest level for all audiences and speaks in one voice. An authentic brand represents the ultimate truth and often reshapes how you attract, onboard, engage and retain talent.

Your organization 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.

Note: We are compiling a list of Employer Branding Resources. Please add yours here:

November 14, 2016

Join Us in Giving Back This Thanksgiving, with Kiva

Help empower people around the world with a micro loan.

Many organizations have believed in Brandemix to assist with their branding, marketing, and recruiting needs.
During this time of year, we feel it’s important to give thanks for that trust and to give back as well.
That’s why, every year for Thanksgiving, we make a contribution to Kiva, a nonprofit organization that enables anyone to extend microloans — as little as $25 — to low-income entrepreneurs in struggling communities across the globe.
We chose Kiva out of many other microlending sites because 80% of its recipients are women, who are sometimes single-handedly supporting large families. As a certified woman-owned business enterprise, Brandemix believes in strengthening women around the world.
Kiva loan recipients from Brandemix
No matter how difficult our lives at the moment, people are suffering far more in many places – too many – across the world. Please take the time to visit www.kiva.org and give to the worthy cause of your choice. It’s not charity; it’s a loan, and more than 98% of Kiva recipients repay the loan with interest.
Lending through Kiva creates desperately needed capital in some of the poorest parts of the globe. It bypasses corrupt governments and predatory banks and ensures that the money goes directly to those who will use it. When the loan is repaid, you can give the money to another entrepreneur, donate it to Kiva’s general fund, or simply withdraw it. It’s a great way to give. And while you’re there, join the Brandemix lending team.
We hope you’ll join our efforts to fight poverty around the world and here in the US. From all of us here at Brandemix, happy Thanksgiving and always be giving.
October 1, 2016

The Buzz About Employer Branding

screen-shot-2016-10-01-at-12-23-45-pmThis month Brandemix took a look at Facebook’s recruiting on (of course) Facebook to learn from its efforts. More traditional than one might expect, its career site, which also links to a more traditional Facebook recruiting page, checks all the boxes for a great example of how employer branding can shape a candidate’s experience of your company.


According to most reports I’ve read on millennials, they want to work for purpose-driven organizations. While no one would accuse Facebook of being a not-for-profit organization, it has done a great job of creating emotional buy-in for its career opportunities by connecting to a higher and human purpose. It leads off with a few sentences that show it values people and humanity.

“Do the most meaningful work of your career

People are at the heart of every connection we build. We design products and deliver services that create a more human world — one connection at a time.”

A Sneak Peek into the Culture

Through short, engaging videos (and rollovers that further help segment the content) visitors can quickly learn about different paths, internships, accolades, and awards. Moreover, though the storytellers are different, the videos all share the same theme of doing meaningful work and connecting through people.


Judging from the photos, Facebook employees are a diverse bunch of happy people working all around the world. In fact, every page offers the opportunity to connect to a team, a location, or a specific population (university, interns, managers etc.). The pictures themselves are stylized, diverse, and very engaging without being overdone.

HR Is Working Hard

What I really enjoyed was the excellent copywriting throughout the site, as evidenced by something so innocuous as presenting the employee benefits in a people-focused way. Rather than an informative bulleted list, readers get the sense that HR tirelessly eliminating distractions and thinking of ways it can truly be of help to employees and their families.

By focusing on seven key areas below, we’re able to connect you and your loved ones with the support you need.

Each area is supported by a statement about how everything it offers is with the employee in mind:

  • We’re committed to building a healthy community — one person at a time.
  • We strive to be a great place to work for people with families. 
  • As we build a more connected world, it’s important that we stay connected to each other. 
  • Never stop learning! 
  • We offer saving and investment programs to help define and build on your financial goals and give you peace of mind as you plan for your future.
  • We want to make your workspace as convenient as possible so you can focus on connecting the world. 
  • Sometimes you’ll need time away from work to be with family, attend to a medical condition, take a dream vacation, or just recharge. We’ve got you covered.

All in all, it has done a fantastic job of interweaving the rational (compensation, development, challenge) and emotional (taken care of, purposeful, happiness) drivers of employment to eliminate the uncertainty of career change.

And that’s at the heart of making a good impression through great employer branding. Want to know more?

April 27, 2015

Rapid Cycle Talent Branding

Alignment at the Speed of Business

RapidCycleTalentLandingPage3[1]Time is moving quickly and organizations that are fast to change and seize opportunities are realizing greater financial rewards. And yet, the greatest barrier to change is creating understanding and emotional support for the redirection.
How can branding help?

The essence of branding is the successful alignment of the rational and emotive sides of our brains, creating rapid acceptance to new ways of thinking and acting.

Someone once described the optimal state as a CEO, a dog and a Frisbee. Wherever the CEO throws the Frisbee, the dog is there to catch it; running joyously, changing course and returning it with a wagging tail.  But what if instead of one dog there were one thousand. How can we harness the positive energy and create a reflexive, adaptive workforce, ready to change direction and chase down new opportunities?

Some call this change management.
We call it branding.

Brandemix rapid cycle talent branding is an efficient way to understand the business and create awareness, commitment and support for the effort. It’s designed to bring stakeholders together to collaborate, vet ideas and implement meaningful actions to align talent with business strategies.

Rapid-cycle talent branding can help companies create, refresh or reconfirm their employer brand or create awareness and commitment around a new initiative.

This is the ideal solution for companies who want to quickly:

  • • engage internal audiences with opportunities and actions
  • • perform employer brand check-up
  • • highlight expectations, Center of Excellence, change initiatives, or talent segments
  • • get leadership invested in their talent management efforts

Get real outside perspective and guidance, create organizational alignment and deliver quantifiable results in a timely and efficient way.

Consistency between your company’s culture, talent and people practices are imperative to an organization’s success. Rapid cycle talent branding  is an opportunity to learn how you can define the culture, HR and talent management experience you want to portray, and keep employee performance continuously aligned with strategic goals of your company.