Tag Archive for Employer Branding

Employment Blanding And The Society Of Secrets #truNZ #ATCSM

Every mention of EVP and one of these guys gets it

I’m really looking forward to being in New Zealand for #truNZ on Monday. I’ve been on a bit of a whirlwind tour taking in Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney, on top of 30 other destinations this year. It has been wild and informative, and a great way of learning about what is really happening in recruiting globally.

I know we are all connected, but you don’t really learn anything meaningful from the comfort of your own bum stuck on a seat in your house in front of a screen. You have to get out there and live it.
At every event I’ve been to there has been a lot of talk about employer branding, and how to get the best candidates to apply. This concerns me, because the big metric that everyone seems to be applying is that more is better. The more people who apply for a job, the better the chance of accidentally hiring the right person. In most locations I’ve heard people talking about defining the E.V.P. and why recruiting is really like marketing, except that it isn’t.
This pains me, because every time someone says E.V.P. a small puppy dies somewhere. Whilst we talk about authenticity, we also talk more about what people can’t say about work and the company because that would create the wrong impression and people just wouldn’t apply. I’ve heard plenty of people talk about how recruiters need to sell a job, and sell an opportunity, but my view is that if you have to sell it then you’ve got the fit wrong.
Lots of companies talk about wanting to be social organisations. They recognise the potential but fear the consequences, and operate there intranets, internal comms channels and the like as a society of secrets. Those who operate Yammer are the worst offenders. They are creating great culture content and having day-to-day people conversations in secret.

One organisation I spoke to at #ATCSM had a whole series of content on why they were a great company to work for locked down in the intranet. Great for the employees, but what about the outside world who might just want to know too? Best not tell them, they might become interested in knowing what we are all about. Best keep our internal comms internal. Keep it all a secret.

I get the point that there are confidential conversations and information that is internal and is secret. That is probably no more than 10% of what is being posted and discussed. That means 90% of the day-to-day conversations, topics and discussions offer a great insight in to the organisation. The real culture brand content that companies worry so much will take so much time to create is already there, its just hidden. They worry about  the cost, and the disruption to the employees day. If staff are allowed on Facebook they will just talk to their mates all day. They can’t be trusted. They are too stupid to be know what is secret and what is for public consumption. Best lock everything down behind a closed wall. Stick to the intranet. It is a nonsense argument really. The content is there. learn to share it, and keep sharing constant, rather than a series of one-off events.pictures, video, audio, text, let employees connect and talk in public. let them tell people why they wouldn’t want to work for you, that way you don’t accidentally end up with the wrong employees. You do, after all, end up with the employees you deserve.

All of your culture branding efforts should be about showing the good, the bad and ugly of working in your company. That way fewer people apply. The numbers go down, but the right people apply. The people who stay and survive.

I have a simple belief that every culture is sexy. People are different and unique. You can’t sum up what is important to them in one small set of statements. One EVP, that’s just marketing BS. On this trip I met a girl in Singapore who worked long hours in a company who had a 24 hour canteen. This was great for her because she could get food on the way home. It was convenient, and gave her life and work order. She changed jobs and forgot to ask about the canteen at interview, and on joining discovered that it was closed in the evening. This greatly inconvenienced her, and led to a quick exit. Her “EVP” was a 24 hour canteen. Ever seen that listed anywhere?

On my travels, I have heard 100 stories like this. Each one unique to the person who told them. We should be thinking of messaging about culture brand as being unique. A message to an audience of one, because really we only want one person to apply, the person that fits us, and we fit them. We should be doing all we can to put the rest off, because we are wrong for them. Needs and wants are unique, so our conversations should be unique ones.

What I’m seeing right now is everyone working hard on employer blanding. Companies doing the same thing, telling the same story and merging in to one. copying best practice, shying from innovation and being unique. Time for a change I think. ditch the EVP and all that other stuff, and start thinking about reaching an audience of one.

Bring on the conversation at #truNZ!



A recruiting manifesto #truEurope

this document is not my original thought, though I concur with much of the thinking. This is a manifesto from Bjorn veestra, the founder of Employer brand Insights, prior to his track at #truEurope, in a bit of a Jerry McGuire moment. Enjoy and comment,

MANIFESTO – #trueurope
‘The future of labour: The Talent Stock Exchange’

Brussel, 19 april 2012

join the conversation at #trueurope

Author manifesto and track leader: @bjornveenstra
Founder: werkenbijmerken.nl and Employer Brand Insights

The labour market’s landscape is changing at a fast pace.
We observe a strong urge among university and college graduates for personal freedom and the ability to engage in entrepreneurial activity on an independent basis. Ask ten higher educated starters or professionals how they perceive their future role in the labour market and expect over half of them to reply that they are aiming to work independently at some point in time in their professional life.

Personally, I am convinced that within the next five years, this landscape will depict a fundamental shift from ‘work agreements’ to ‘talent contracts’. Within ten years there will be a new world in which every individual is marketing his or her own talents and skills either independently or through an organized format.

Talent contract©
Talent contracts will be known for its flexible attitude towards duration, be it extremely short-term (hours, days, weeks) or longer term (months, years). It will be directly connected to the talent and knowledge that needs to be delivered on, scarcity of talent and skill determine the tariff and the talent-contractor carries the risk. Nothing I’ve mentioned so far is new in any way, apart from the fact that it’ll become standard practice.

Talent Stock Exchange©
I firmly belief in action-reaction. Following the above train of thoughts I foresee a movement in which talent groups unite in order to market themselves to employers in an organized manner. Is this the birth of the Talent Stock Exchange? The reversed business model of the major current temporary work agencies, where talent unifies and markets itself. Employers can in turn perhaps also take part in this Talent Stock Exchange.

No matter how you put it, this is an interesting question because the role of the employer brand (as an integral part of brand-management) will only increase in importance. The labour market will be ruled more obviously by the principles of demand and supply due to the pressures of an ageing labour market and an increased degree of flexibility.

Who shall access my talent?
The above mentioned matter is merely functional, and oriented on recruiting talent. An at least equally important fundament of making decisions in terms of employment is determined by the employee: who would you give access to your skills and talent. Research amongst over 5.500 Dutch higher educated (Employer Brand Monitor) has shown that the decision of accepting a task or employer is more and more based on the match between the personal brand and the employer brand. In other words: whom do I want to give access to my talent? Values, norms, culture and archetypes are key in determining the match between the personal DNA and the Employer Brand DNA.

Engage and join the conversation at #trueurope
‘Based on all findings, remarks, opinions, suggestions I will formulate an updated Manifesto on ‘The future of labour: The Talent Stock Exchange’.



Coolest Job In The World On MonsterCoolJobs.Com

If you weren’t a recruiter, or battling your way through HR, what would be the coolest job in the world to do? I started thinking about this when I was sent a link to the “Cool Jobs” landing page for a formula one racing team, powered by Monster.Com. They’ve pulled off a bit of a coup by working with the Marussia F1 Team  in putting together a brand new team. It’s great for Monster, but I think it will also work out well for Marussia.

Now when we think Formula one, it’s natural to think of Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton and co. It’s inevitable that we think of the headline makers, and not that it takes 200 people to get the car around the track in a quick time. There is the engineering staff that makes the real difference to times by clipping off seconds through innovation. The whole team though will consist of people in the office, accounts, payroll and even the odd H.R. manager. There are lots of jobs that would look on the outside to look ordinary, but become cool because of who the employer is, or the products they produce. 

Now this gets me thinking. When you’re not a formula one racing team or anything nearly as sexy, perhaps an insurance company or an accountant, how do you turn “just another job” in to a “cool job?” This is where employer branding comes in to play. Jobs become cool by the right association, and this is brought to the public eye through social activity. Creating places where people can tell the real story of work, and share a look in to their working life and workplace through pictures, video and other content.

If you asked any of the millions who are unemployed around the world, I think they would mostly say that any job is cool. That work is cool. I think we sometimes forget that our jobs and workplace is cool to someone looking for that kind of job or your kind of workplace. In the day to day of doing a job, of working with the same people or at the same desk each day, it’s easy to forget that to people outside of the day to day, it’s actually both cool and interesting. Whenever I work with new brand advocates, it’s getting this point across that is actually one of the hardest things to achieve. To do this you need to get them to look at the business, department or job that they do, and see it through the eyes of an outsider. What would they want to know? What would they see as cool? What makes you a cool employer and how can you communicate this in an authentic way? Being cool without being cheesy? That’s the real challenge of employer branding, getting people to share with peers, and understand what is interesting. You might be surprised to see just what content people respond to, from pictures of desks to videos of the canteen. These images can take your business in to the “cool” category, when you create a place where content can be posted and let people share.

I love what Monster have done with the cool jobs landing page, and the Marrussia F1 team in creating a video and job board campaign in building the team in this way, behind the headline of “take us to the podium!” Watch the video, there’s a brilliant message on building the right team, and why a racing team would turn to a job board.


Monster Cool Jobs

Employee Branded: Employees As Fans – #TruLeeds

I’ve always been puzzled as to why so much non-confidential employee communication goes on behind closed doors. I really like Rypple as a feedback tool for internal comms, and platforms like yammer provide a much more social and interactive intranet, but how much of the communication that goes on here is confidential, and how much is a missed opportunity for great employer branding?
If your employees talk to each other in public and share their daily chit-chat, photos, videos and congratulations to colleagues, birthdays, births etc, how effective could this be in giving a real insight in to the workplace.
It’s no secret that I’m a champion of Facebook fan pages for building public communities. To make a fan page a community over a notice board, certain things need to be achieved.
The content needs to change regularly, not just be business announcements.
Be social in content style and postings.
Have regular contributors, likes and comments beyond the administrators postings.
Have social features like chat, livestream etc.
In addition to this, it helps if people can, if they choose, apply for jobs or buy product/services.
The challenge then is to get the internal marketing right. You want people to sign up for the page because they want to rather than because they have to. targeted ad’s together with internal e-cards or invites will help with this. Give your brand advocates something to share and they will. Encourage them to post their work/branding content in the group first and share from there. This not only puts the content in to their stream, but it also spreads the content under the community name. A welcome invitation. Once you combine employee community with a social referral app like Work4Labs, you get an idea of the potential and power of this approach.
To give you an idea of the possible each that can be achieved, Oracle Community, Oracle Sales Community and Oracle Romania recently launched. A video of the inside of the Dublin office as liked 27 times and viewed over 1000. When you consider the average Facebook user has 135 fans, then that’s 135 x 27 as a possible reach for simple branding content. The most shared content is face pictures and video, and there is opportunity throughout the day to create this content and get it shared, all with your fan page attached.
Oracle have taken a proactive approach to these employee focussed fan pages. There has been training for anyone who wants to be involved on what makes good, sharable content. Theres no real rules or restrictions, just common sense guidelines and a healthy respect for the global brand. Recently, the community were even asked to vote for the design and functionality of the mobile app they liked the best. Again there was plenty of feedback and shares from those who will be the eventual users. Theres even a plan for a social event to coincide with social media day on the 30′th. I’m sworn to secrecy so keep your eyes peeled.
Hats off to the Oracle team, in particular social champion and serious grafter Klaudia Drullis, the real community DJ and powerhouse. It’s a pleasure working with this team, Oracle have a real open mind to social and recognise the real potential.
I’m going to be talking about becoming employee branded at #truleeds on Friday. You can still get a ticket if you hurry!
What do you think is the best way to get your employees active in employer branding? love to hear your thoughts.
The Oracle Community On FaceBook


Buy Tickets For #truLeeds

Guest Post: Max Heywood: Employee Branded #truDublin

The Awesome power Of Personal Accounts

My previous experiences at #Tru events have been terrific – great people, great content and a really stimulating format – so I’m very much looking forward to doing it all again at #TruDublin later this week!

This time around I’m running a track called Employee Branded, looking at empowering employees to publish running accounts of their workplace experiences, to help prospective hires get a better insight into what it’s like to work for a particular employer.

Arguably traditional Employer Brand materials – advertising, brochures, videos, websites and the like – have not kept up with the times and are increasingly ineffective, especially amongst entry-level talent.

I’ve seen this first hand as Global Head of Employer Brand at Credit Suisse these last few years – there has been an explosion in the number of channels a prospective hire can go to for information about a particular employer and this has led to a corresponding erosion of trust in the information employers themselves provide.

Often this is compounded by the fact that many employers struggle to clearly differentiate themselves from their competition and their mandating that marketing materials pass through many levels of corporate sanitizing, so that they end up bland and sterile. In the meantime the real story is increasingly leaking from the organisations directly from employees through their networks.

Has the time has come for employers to embrace this change and start empowering employees to share authentic experiences? After all the big difference between competing organisations is often their culture and personal accounts are often the best way to express it.

Can employers shake off their command and control mindset and trust their employees? What ground rules need to be in place? How should they deal with less than positive accounts? Which employers are leading the way and what have their experiences been? What is the best way to test this out in your organisation? How should this approach co-exists with more traditional ones?

If you are looking for answers to these questions come join me at #TruDublin Wednesday morning, or follow the hashtag!

Follow Max On Twitter

Next stop: #truStockholm: Track leader list 9'th – 10'th March

The #tru carnival moves on next week from #trulondon to #truStockholm. There’s something special about the first #tru event in a new city and a new country. Those that attended the first #trulondon, #truAmsterdam or #trumanchester will know exactly what I’m talking about. As the communities have developed, it’s great to have shaped it through the first event.
Thanks to Monster.Se for making this possible! 

I can now announce the line-up of track-leaders so far. Expect more confirmations over the coming week:

Andy Headworth – Founder – Sirona Consulting
Michelle Rea – CEO – SocialHonesty
Oscar Mager – CEO – Recruiting Essentials
Stefan Ritzvi – Marketing Director – Nordics – Monster
Bill Boorman – @BillBoorman and #truevents
Karin Isberg – Employment Branding Specialist – The Tomorow Story
Rob VanElburg -COO – Rave Recruitment and #RIDE
Keith Robinson – Founder – The Buzz/Jobsite Advisorand E-Comm Digital
Torgil Lenning – CEO Potential Park
Anna Malmstrom – CEO – Propell
Jorgen Sundberg – Founder – LinkHumans and Social-Media london
Fredrik Johnsson – Founder – HRSvreige
Sara Headworth – Sirona Consulting
Johannes Sundlo – HRSvernge
Stefan Liden – CEO – iNeed

Thats a fantastic line up from 3 countries, all looking to share their knowledge and provoke conversation.

We’ve also added some new tracks due to demand:

#truGrads – The real graduate recruitment process and what they need from employers.

Culture Match – How to best understand culture, interview and select for fit.

Augmented reality check – the potential for recruiters in utilising augmented reality, data-mapping and location-based recruiting techniques.

Case studies – a selection of case studys covering what people really did to recruit, successes and failures.

Every picture sells a story – using photos and images to reinforce employer brand.

Blogging for branding – how employees are encouraged to spread the employer brand through blogging, selling the message person to person.

Changing face of learning – The impact of social-learning, from on-boarding through to continuous professional development.

We will of course be adding tracks right up to the day according to the attendees needs. Let us know what you want to hear.

Theres 30 tickets left. it would be a shame to miss out,



PS: One day tickets now available.