BRANDE : Interactive Communications

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:

January 19, 2015

The Coolest Innovations from CES (and How They Can Help Your Business)

I love gadgets so I’m always eager to see what new tech is on display at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. I’ve scoured all the exhibitions and wanted to share the best with you — along with ways you can use them to help your business.

Smartwatches and other wearables

CNET called the wearables on display at CES “connected, invisible, and everywhere.” There was the Fenix 3 from Garmin, the OneTouch from Alcatel (a great deal at about $150), and the SmartWatch from Sony. All feature small but legible interfaces on wrist-sized screens. But they also need to be Bluetooth-connected to an actual phone in your purse or wallet. That’s why I like the GoldKey Secure Communicator, which runs Android all on its own. Your move, Apple.

GoldKey watch, courtesy of CNET

But there was other wearable tech at CES. Sony debuted the Smart Eyeglass, a competitor to Google Glass, and Misfit exhibited the Swarovski Shine, a fitness wearable in the form of a blue crystal pendant.

How this will affect your business: Mobile marketing and recruiting is only going to increase, since everyone will soon be wearing at least one mobile device. That means responsive web design that can shrink to the size of a screen 1.6 inches square. It also means large buttons and minimal text. The fight for people’s attention will get more intense, but companies that send too many push notifications will likely get deleted. So the search for a good balance will continue.

Software and hardware

There was all sorts of tech at CES that promises to make running your business easier. As someone who’s always losing power cords, I was excited by Zolt’s “ultra-small” Laptop Charger Plus, which has ports for charging three devices at once — and comes in eye-catching red or blue to you’ll never forget to grab it after a meeting. I also liked WakaWaka’s solar-powered charger and Lynktec’s Reeljuice, “the world’s first back-up battery for mobile devices to full integrate a fully retractable cord reel design.” Green tech and less cords on the conference table combine for the win.

Zolt chargers

CES doesn’t really focus on software, but I was impressed by Opera Max, which can shrink photos, videos, and text on any Android phone by up to 50%, giving users more data across apps and browsers, which means saving money on data plans. I’m also keeping my eye on Lima, which won two CES Innovation awards. It unifies all your devices so that you see the same screen on each platform, just in a different size. When you rename a file on your phone, it’s renamed on your tablet and laptop as well. And it all does all this without access to the cloud, which means increased security and privacy for your content.

How this will affect your business: All these innovations are ways for your organization to work smarter, not harder, and to save time and money. These may not be as sexy as futuristic watches or virtual reality, but you’ll notice an increase in efficiency and improved time management, as will your employees — and job candidates when they come to your office. After all, no one wants to work for an company that seems stuck in the past.

Virtual reality and drones

VR and drones are on the verge of changing photography and videography. Oculus Rift’s new Crescent Bay headset was a huge hit at CES, showcasing better optics, a friendlier fit, and 360-degree audio which made you feel even more immersed in the scenery. I love it, but the company still has no release date for a consumer version.

Drones were also immensely popular at the show. To me, the best (and cutest) was the Zano.Fresh, which is about the size of your hand, can be controlled by your smartphone, and shoots HD video.

Zano Fresh drone

How this will affect your business: I always recommend that employers show off their location and workplace to job-seekers, and these new technologies take that to the next level. Soon candidates will be able to virtually walk around your entire building, “sit” in the conference home, “eat” in the breakroom, and “see” the view from the CEO’s office. Drones will let you take unobtrusive video of your work, such as constructing a building, or your volunteer events, like running a 5K. Giving top talent a memorable experience will become an important differentiator for recruiters in the very near future.

Jody Ordioni is President of Brandemix.


July 18, 2011

A Day in the Life of a Social Media Expert

A quick search of the phrase “Social Media” on Indeed.com just now served up 1,923 jobs with that phrase in the title. Actual opportunities range from Social Media Managers, Coordinators, Strategists and Specialists to Social Media Community Managers. Ever wonder what these people actually do? Great news, today you’re in luck. I’m Jason Ginsburg, the Director of Digital Branding at BRANDEMiX and this is my story.
At BRANDEMiX, we teach companies how to go from Social Media Starters to Social Media Superstars, and you might say that I’m the guy that puts the star in Superstar. I’m a social media strategist and addict, plugged in to cyber conversations 24/7 and continuously working to find new ways of keeping those dialogues going, for us and for our clients.
Half of my day involves listening. I track what people are saying about the brand or company, and monitor where they’re saying them. Then I respond.
I comment on whatever is happening in the industry or region, or refer to world events, or even just the weather – sometimes just to prove that a real person is running the show. I retweet and re-post anything interesting from the incoming stream, and I’ve set up special news feeds just for relevant keywords. I express sympathy towards someone who experienced poor customer service and show encouragement if someone wants to share a video. I engage with the audience wherever its mood leads.
The conversation can be quite lively and always keeps me on my toes. When a matter gets serious, I make sure to pass it along to the client for immediate attention.
I also run the social sites for BRANDEMiX, where I discuss online branding and marketing with other professionals.

All this time, automated posts that I scheduled earlier in the week have been going out.  That’s when I go into research mode. I scour the web for the latest online trends and tools that can help connect our clients’ and employer brands with their desired audience.
This week I discovered Roost before the New York Times did. I got my Google+ invitation weeks ago. Today I’m following developments in augmented reality and watching how Chatter and Yammer are changing companies’ internal communications. I also take this time to read the smartest, most innovative blogs for inspiration.
Hold on a second- it’s time for another quick check of the livestream – I never want to let a question or complaint sit for too long.
Let’s move on to the multimedia part of my day. Some contests (we call them Sweeps) and campaigns require photos or videos, or even PowerPoint presentations. I upload media to multiple sites, tag them for the best SEO, and respond to any comments on the existing photos and videos. This week I was stymied by the inability to do a bulk upload of some pics. I expressed my frustration in the form of a tweet to the company, and in 5 minutes, I had a reply tweet that said the bulk uploader is in development. Things like that make my day.
OK- time for blogging. I create content for our clients, either consumer-facing or internal, such as an employee newsletter. After writing, it’s back to – you guessed it – the social sites, to make some final posts, follow some last links, and schedule some content for the coming days.
Despite what you’ve just read, the mercurial nature of social media ensures that no two days are the same. My success is measured in business results and I am constantly refining my strategies and tactics based on desired outcomes and pre-established objectives, whether that’s friends, fans or followers.
What else is on the horizon? Well, I can’t reveal all my secrets.
Want to know more about my exciting social media life? Connect with me at @BRANDEMiX or our Facebook page.

April 19, 2011

Just when you thought you were cool, augmented reality bites HR

You’ve already created a careers page that’s separate from your main site. You’re posting news and photos on your Facebook careers page and talking to applicants on your Twitter careers profile. You’ve set up your company’s Careers tab on LinkedIn and put videos of your office life on YouTube. What’s next?
Get ready to add AR to your HR. AR stands for augmented reality, an exciting new technology that will change many of our interactions with the world, including job searching. What is it? Applications that use augmented realityoverlay links, images, and information onto whatever you’re viewing on your mobile device’s screen. In a way, it’s no different than the scoreboard superimposed over the live broadcast of a baseball game. But in other ways, it’s a whole lot more.
Review sites such as Yelp! forsee using augmented reality to get information on whatever restaurants are around you. You’ll be able to simply point your smartphone at a restaurant’s storefront and see information displayed over the image, such as reviews, menu prices, or even the restaurant’s history. Point your phone at a crowded bar and you may be able to find people who are currently tweeting, or logged into Facebook – or looking to date.
The possibilities for recruiting are obvious. With the right app, a job-seeker could point their phone at a building or office and immediately see what positions are available. Links would appear that lead to videos of employee testimonials. The job-seeker would be able to have an application form sent to them by email, or even to schedule an interview – after all, they’re already holding their phone! Both the ease and the “wow factor” of such an innovative process will make sure that your company stands out in the crowded employment marketplace.
In fact, CareerBuilder is already pursuing this technology, as is CompanySpot in the Netherlands. The Dutch employment firm, which provides information on salaries and benefits to job-seekers, declares on its website, “What exactly is happening behind the large glass door of the headquarters across the street? Point your mobile at the building and you’ll know.”
Augmented reality applications for talent recruiting aren’t quite here yet, but they’re coming. Just as companies that scoffed at marketing on Facebook and Twitter eventually realized their mistake, recruiters who dismiss AR may soon find themselves scrambling to keep up. I’m excited about the possibilities that augmented reality offers and I’ll track its progress, both here and at my LinkedIn group Your Digital Brand.
So enjoy “regular” reality while you can – it’s about to get augmented!
September 7, 2008

Best Buy “Employee” Making Less than Minimum Wage

In what might be an ideal situation for some employers, Best Buy has unveiled the perfect employee to Mall of America shoppers. He knows what to say, he shows up for work on time and doesn’t even need a lunch break.

For lack of a better name, I’ll call him Buzz.

When Best Buy wanted to create a buzz around their new store, they didn’t go the usual route and hand out flyers. instead, they created a digital hologram to attract attention.

Not everyone is as impressed as I am. Some comments from the advertising community:

It’s bad because who wants a holographic projection talking to you and you walk through the mall. It’s good because all you have to do is walk to the side of it and it disappears.”

“It’s only a matter of time now until Terminator-like robots patrol our nation’s food courts, gesturing menacingly with their whirring appendages, their fixed gaze wordlessly urging you to check out the new Sears bathmat sale at the price of your life.”

“Creepy. I would punch this thing if he started following me.”

But for BRANDEMiX, we see the potential in delivering rote material in an exciting way, using the latest in digital technology.

  • Imagine holding orientation where you can see and hear the CEO everywhere, every day.
  • Imagine showing up for your first day at work and meeting your mentor.
  • Imagine holding a job fair where hiring managers could “sell” candidates on the Employer Brand.
  • Imagine someone calling me for more details about how to clone their “best” employees!