April 8, 2013
I travel around the country giving presentations on employer branding and building and promoting an employer value proposition. I usually highlight employer brand success stories. But as major brands like Goldman Sachs and Zynga stumble into PR crises, I thought it might be useful to help your company avoid the most common employer branding mistakes.
Don’t be inauthentic
Your employer brand embodies your employees, your culture, your vision, and your values; these are impossible to fake. So if you’re a fast-paced company with an entrepreneurial culture, don’t market yourself as a laid-back environment with unlimited vacation days.
I remember looking at the careers site for BP several months after the 2010 oil spill and being shocked to see that it looked the same as before the spill. Surely the eco-minded Generation Y or Gulf Coast residents affected by the disaster might hesitate joining the company afterwards? But there was only one acknowledgement of the situation – a tiny text link on the sidebar that asked “Why is it a good time to join BP?” Why indeed?
|BP Careers, November 2010
Don’t get lost in the crowd
The are dozens of salty snacks on the market, so how does Doritos stand out? By having an attitude: Coming in crazy flavors with cool names and bright packaging. In the same way, your employer brand has to be distinctive. Avoid bland themes like “Grow your career with us” or “We offer work-life balance.” Almost any job can become a career and almost every job lets its employees go home at night.
Don’t get stuck in the facts
So many careers websites begin with, “Company X was founded in 1950 and now operates out of 75 offices in 12 countries.” Does that year mean the company is old-fashioned? Do those 12 countries mean employees get to see the world? Do the 75 offices mean employees can be transferred against their will?
Stand-alone facts like those can be both boring and confusing, a deadly combination for anyone looking to top motivate talent. Remember, you’re trying to create an emotional connection, so facts and numbers can only get you so far. Instead, talk about how your company helps people’s lives. Let employees share their stories. Show your workplace. Highlight employee events, rewards, volunteer work. Never be boring.
Be authentic and differentiated, and add an interesting and emotional component to your recruitment messaging. If you can’t always leave them laughing, at least leave them hungry to learn more.
June 11, 2012
It’s true that I’ve publicly predicted their demise, yet, like the grade-school girl who hits the boy she loves, deep down I really have a crush on LinkedIn. Obviously, I’m not alone. This professional network is signing on new users at the rate of two per second and has a lot of advantages that make it useful to anyone in business or looking to bust in.
Here are my five reasons for loving LinkedIn:
1. Picture perfect
Admit it. Before you meet with someone, or even before you call them, you look at their photo on LinkedIn. It’s just human nature to want to see the person you’re about to contact; LinkedIn provides that vital connection. It’s no longer necessary to think of the audience in their underwear to eliminate the fear before a meeting. Now I can get a sneak peek, and know before I go.
2. Group therapy
Speaking of presentations, following Brandemix workshops on popular topics like DIY employer branding or social media marketing, I receive dozens of business cards and LinkedIn requests. But how do I remember that I met Jim from Dallas in Orlando and Jane from Orlando in Dallas? LinkedIn lets me organize my contacts with tags: keywords that I create myself. I can group by speaking engagement, event, date, location, or up to 200 differentiators. It’s a simple online solution to a real-world problem that LinkedIn recognized and addressed.
3. A happenin’ app
Hardly anyone talks about it, but I think LinkedIn’s mobile version is more versatile and beautiful than the site itself. Its intuitive images of file folders, envelopes, and ID tags are a welcome change from the web version’s stark blue and white. The big, bold icons make it easy to read content, comment on posts, and search the directory. The interface gives LinkedIn a more friendly, social feel, like Facebook or Twitter. And speaking of which…
4. Wonderful for wordsmiths
I can’t always express myself in the 140 characters of a tweet. LinkedIn gives me 700 characters or a post, four times as many as Twitter. I also get 1,000 characters under Interests and 2,000 for my Summary. Great for, shall we say, enthusiastic writers like me!
5. There is such a thing as a free lunch.
While LinkedIn offers excellent premium accounts and comprehensive recruiter packages, I have almost 800 connections and still use the free version. Even without InMail or the advanced search options, I’m able to form groups (and you’re welcome to join mine), join groups (I hit my limit at 50), and still get access to all kinds of useful content for free.
Miscellaneous: I always get enlightening feedback to my questions on LinkedIn Answers. I use my allotment of free introductions to expand my network. And I follow my competitors and my “wannabes” to stay up to date in the fields of marketing, branding, and interactive technology.
LinkedIn is my one-stop shop. And with its two new features – targeted updates and follower statistics – I’m finally able to segment my messaging and see exactly who I’m reaching. Last year, I worried that LinkedIn wasn’t innovating, but features like these (and don’t forget that great app) show me that LinkedIn is committed to being the most useful network for business professionals.
I’ll be moderating an NYC panel with a LinkedIn representative on June 27. Anything you’d like me to ask? Drop me a line or find Brandemix on Facebook or Twitter. And do Link In.
April 23, 2012
In a recent Jobvite survey, 80% of recruiters said they use social media as part of their strategy — and 40% used three or more social media channels. If you’re not using social media for recruiting, you may be missing out on top talent.
The incoming generation of workers has been raised on social networks and aren’t looking for jobs only on LinkedIn. They’re on Facebook, where new applications like BranchOut allow them to network while they chat with friends; they’re on Twitter, where @pepsicojobs and @UPSjobs each has more than 12,000 followers; and they’re on YouTube, the world’s second-largest search engine. And now they’re even on Google Plus and Pinterest.
How can you reach those job-seekers? What brands are using social media in innovative ways? If you’re a novice, how do you even set up accounts on all these sites?
I’m here to answer all these questions and more. Join me for Socialize Your Talent Strategy, a free webinar on Thursday, April 26.
We’ll seek out the most inventive brands for each of the six major social channels to engage applicants. We’ll talk about the unique content that differentiates your recruitment strategy from your marketing campaign. And we’ll look at the emerging trends for 2012 and beyond.
Three different webinar sessions make it easy for anyone to attend:
10 am EDT / 7 am PDT
2 pm EDT / 11 am PDT
5 pm EDT / 2 pm PDT
I hope to see you on Thursday. If you have questions, write to me for more information.
April 9, 2012
Last week, Bullhorn Reach published the results of a survey of more than 35,000 recruiters in its user network, tracking their use of social media. The survey focused on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
The findings are surprising. Only 21% of Bullhorn recruiters are using all three social networks. In fact, 48% are using only LinkedIn! Apparently these recruiters haven’t seen the study from Jobvite that showed that, in 2011, 50% of job-seekers used Facebook to find a job. 25% used Twitter, while only 26% used LinkedIn. Why aren’t recruiters fishing where the fish are?
Of course, use of social media, by either recruiters or job-seekers, doesn’t necessarily mean success. But in case after case, I’ve found that it does.
For example, in 2010, UPS announced that it received applications from 680 people who arrived via Twitter – and hired 45 of them. Almost 4,000 people applied via Facebook, 226 of whom were hired. Heck, UPS even received 1,000 applications from candidates applicants communicating via text messages, but I bet few recruiters have created a strategy cialis online generic for texting. Though it’s the world’s second-largest search engine (second to its parent, Google) you’d be amazed at how few people actually have a YouTube recruitment strategy in place. The Jobvite study goes on to state that 18.4 million Americans “say Facebook got them their current job.” Only 10.2 million Americans give LinkedIn that credit, which isn’t much more than the 8 million jobs that were the result of Twitter. Bullhorn’s survey states that “a Twitter follower is almost three times more likely to apply to a job posting than a LinkedIn connection.” So why are less than half of its recruiters using Twitter?
I think I know why. As I told ERE’s editor-in-chief, Todd Raphael, Twitter can be intimidating to recruiters because of the sheer volume of information. It takes a focused professional, not just a summer intern, to monitor your chosen keywords and engage job-seekers. Twitter can also be a time suck and presents the daunting opportunity to have public conversations with applicants. But I’ve found that conversations can begin on Twitter and then become private, via direct message, email, or even a phone call.
Whatever the reason, recruiters who aren’t using all three major social networks are missing out on millions of applicants. As applications like BranchOut and BeKnown bring more professional searches to Facebook, recruiters who remain exclusively on LinkedIn will be losing the competition for top talent.
If you missed the Brandemix webinar on Socializing Your Talent Strategy, contact us and we’ll share all our knowledge with you – from important studies of the past to the emerging trends for the future.
August 22, 2011
I’ve been overwhelmed by the response to my prediction that Facebook will destroy LinkedIn
. The debate has continued on the article’s comments page, on Twitter, and on the Recruiting Animal radio show.
- Image courtesy of Gino21410
I’d like to address some of the many good points made on both sides of the issue.
In the comments at ERE.net, Martin Snyder wrote “For my part, I don’t think social is in the DNA of LinkedIn (or they could have BEEN Facebook)” and concludes that “Products and services that enable that evolution will thrive, and recruiting, or the act of hooking up people and opportunity, will be more and more central to everything.”
I agree. Facebook combines social interactions, openness to third-party apps, and brand engagement to create a very compelling environment for recruiters. LinkedIn has many of the same capabilities, but little apparent willingness to innovate.
Which leads me to my next point. Andy Headworth of Sirona Consulting, who calls my post “utter rubbish,”
pointed out that “BeKnown didn’t choose to bypass LinkedIn; it had its API access revoked by LinkedIn because they were trying to use the valuable LinkedIn data to populate the BeKnown personal profiles via Facebook.”
So LinkedIn wasn’t just bypassed by Monster, it actively chased Monster away? That’s a perfect example of LinkedIn’s lack of vision. That decision to cede an innovation to not just one but two rivals may go down in corporate history alongside Borders’ decision in 2001 to let Amazon handle the store’s online book business. Ten years later, who came out on top?
Even recruiters who don’t agree with my prediction that LinkedIn will be irrelevant by the end of 2013 still see that the professional site is in trouble.
In an article titled “Why Facebook Will Not Destroy LinkedIn
,” LatinOcean founder Jorge Albinagorta wrote, “I am not saying it will never happen; rather I am arguing that the social links – which can nurture professional links (e.g. I want to work at Adidas ‘cause I love the brand, and my cousin tells me training for salespeople is great) – are at this stage a huge haystack to look for needles.” He goes on to add, “I am looking forward to seeing a network, environment, app, etc. giving LinkedIn a run for its money.”
On the lively and entertaining Recruiting Animal show
, I was challenged about numbers. “Animal” suggested that many of Facebook’s 750 million users weren’t of working age or lived outside the US. Let’s take a closer look.
According to CheckFacebook.com, a daily tracker for the social network, 153 million users are in the United States. LinkedIn states that 60 million of its members are US residents. So Facebook provides an American audience more than two and half times as large as LinkedIn.
According to the Pew Research Center
, more than 24 million American Facebook users are between the ages of 18-22, the demographic either thinking about internships or summer jobs, or about to enter the workforce. The same study says 3.6 million American LinkedIn users are between the ages of 18-22. Facebook wins by a margin of more than six to one.
Factor in the National Association of Colleges and Employers survey of 20,000 graduating seniors. Ninety-one percent had Facebook pages
; only 32% had LinkedIn pages. How will LinkedIn capture that other 59% as they enter the job market? What is LinkedIn doing to appeal to them? If they do nothing, won’t those grads just stay on Facebook and conduct their job searches from there?
- Image courtesy of Kazukiokumura
As bleak a picture as I’ve painted, however, many think LinkedIn still has a chance. Fellow ERE.net blogger
Ernest Feiteira wrote that “[Facebook] is not LinkedIn’s real competitor. BranchOut or BeKnown are. If LinkedIn realizes this too and they launch an app on FB, LinkedIn will wipe out BranchOut, BeKnown and other LinkedIn clones.”
Is LinkedIn up to the challenge? Will Facebook let its opportunity slip away? Can Google+ change the game? The conversation continues.