Wait! Doesn't social make so-called "targeting" as simple as some analytical clicks? Yes and no. A term borrowed from the military, where “targets” have a very valid, explicit meaning, the concept is losing weight in an environment where choices and information sources abound. Sure you can segment your audiences based on "likes," preferences, positions, neighborhood eateries, etc. But on her new post on how social media has changed over the last five years, Postano's Julie Blakley shows that customers know too much to “be targeted”:
“… consumers don’t see themselves as the targets that marketing people have traditionally seen them as. They see themselves as people with innumerable options. SproutSocial recently reported that 74% of consumers rely on social networks to guide purchase decisions – which means that companies MUST present themselves well on social in hopes of attracting new customers.”
Blakley relates the change to B2B as well. Her diagram above points out that marketing today is far from a linear path. A “vast, complex, interconnected web of interest, desire, clickthroughs, brand awareness and user engagement” now determines purchase decisions.” Brand advocates, digital and word of mouth have zoomed in credibility. The old marketing reductionism that looked narrowly at audiences as self-interested automatons, whose buttons can be pushed, tricked and cajoled, is fleeing. After more than 40 years in this business, all I can say is “good riddance.” Or as David Ogilvy said even in the Mad Men days, “”The consumer is not a moron, she is your wife.”
BTW, I’ve found that military analogies for marketing don’t even work with our defense clients, who know what “targets” are. Years ago, when I was trying to talk “strategy” with an Army officer, touting Clausewitz and Sun Tzu, he laughed it away: “You have to have years of experience with tactics and operations before anyone will let you get close to strategy.” Whether you’re trying to recruit civilians for working in a military service or helping a contractor sell into an acquisition command, you’re dealing with Blakley’s complex process on steroids. With lives depending on the choices made, brands become extremely customer-centric, and our “strategy” is to serve decision-makers, influencers and job candidates with the info they need when they need it.
When boomer advertisers think branding, they're still tending to put traditional media first. While usually being part of the mix, digital can get relegated to direct response or customer relationship uses. Millennial demographic (born late 70s or early 80s to early 2000s), doesn't regularly use magazines or print?What if they spend 25 hours a week online? How are they going to get your story? What's the cost olf not rebalancing the media portfolio to reflect actual audience behavior?
Bonnie Fuller, herself a boomer, knows the dollar value of traditional media. She is well aware of the bandied axiom that analog dollars translate into digital pennies. But as she shows in a newly posted Ad Age column, "misreading Millennial media behavior" will lose dollars and pennies.
Before she took over at Hollywood Life for Penske Media Corporation, Ms. Fuller had edited, even transformed, such venerable pubs as Glamour, Men's Fitness, Cosmopolitan, US Weekly, Shape, Natural Health and Marie Claire. The New York Timescredited her with inventing celebrity print journalism as we know it. In fact, Advertising Age twice selected her as Editor of the Year. Today as part of the PMC Network that includes Variety.com, India.com and Movieline.com, her site draws some 11 million young women. mostly in the 18 to 35 demo.
Fuller notes that most boomer marketers don't use plan digital media as carefully as they do traditional vehicles. In spite of presentations by the very differentiated sources that continue to refine "narrowcasting":
"....there's no way baby-boomer marketers would ever hand over their advertising dollars to an agency to be placed willy-nilly on traditional-media plans with no idea where the bucks are going.
To the contrary, they obsess over their branded campaigns, carefully choosing which magazines and TV shows are most positively aligned and should carry their advertising. Alignment is critical.
They can absolutely have that alignment online if they become familiar with the premium branded- content sites that focus on the demographic those marketers are trying to reach. Ironically they need only look at some of their traditional-media partners to find role models. TV networks and movie studios have already done a great job of this, and place exciting tune-in campaigns on digital websites.
Despite boomer-CMOs' reluctance to dive in online, marketers can create wonderfully exciting immersive campaigns that will engage the millennials they should be trying to reach."
Jackson Katz, whose diversity and leadership training has extended to the NFL, MLB and NASCAR as well as the military services, goes beyond the conventional in talking about gender issues. Since 1997 he has been directing MVP-MC, the first worldwide gender violence prevention program in the history of the United States Marine Corps. He and his colleagues have trained thousands of Marines on a dozen bases in the U.S. and Japan. In fact, Alford McMichael, the first African-American Sergeant Major of the USMC (1999-3003), highly praised Katz's work, which is not "sensitivity training," but "leadership training."
Just as diversity and inclusion programs seek to find a business basis, Katz sees understanding diversity as integral to good leadership. In this TedX talk, he shows why.
Employer value propositions depend on our understanding of motivations. But what if those understandings aren’t correct? What if we're selling compensation, benefits and material advancement while job candidates and current employees are looking for meaning, creation and ownership? Speaking at a recent TedX, Duke behavioral economist Dan Ariely shows some experiments that might be worth considering when you're looking for your organization's brand attributes.
Social media has, in many cases, become an integral part of daily life, changing how people learn about news and pop culture, watch television and even search for jobs. Search engines remain one of the most popular ways to look for jobs, and social media and mobile now each play a growing role, requiring organizations to rethink their search strategy and what it takes to be found in a mobile and social world.
Companies today can no longer expect to connect with top talent by simply putting up a career site in hopes of being found. Rather, they need to go meet their candidates in the places where they consume information and bring branded content to candidates where they are active. While massive use of social media is changing dynamics both in the world around us and in the workplace, many organizations aren’t getting enough traction or results with their social recruiting efforts. Most likely, it’s due to committing one, many or all of the seven deadly sins of social recruiting:
Sin #1: Failing to master the basics – At a minimum, you need to know how to write a detailed job description, use appropriate tags and ensure jobs are properly optimized to be found by search engines. When it comes to search, think about the way people behave – often seeking information based on geography or role. Find ways to make your job descriptions appealing, relevant, and shareable. Remember, leveraging social networks is also critical because a lot of content posted on them is indexed by search engines.
Sin #2: Not knowing who you’re talking to and how they communicate – You have to know what motivates your employees and your candidates. What do they find of interest about your company? Do they use mobile? How engaged are they in social media? When they share content via one of their social networks, why do they share? Internal employment brand ambassadors provide a powerful way to convey why your organization is a great place to work, but motivating them requires providing them with content that is of interest to themselves and other candidates; giving them the tools and conduits with which to share the content, and the opportunity to have interactions of real value with your audiences. Design and implement strategies and communications that allow you and your teams to really engage with your candidates and that give them the reasons and motivation to share your story with their connections.
Sin # 3: Being socially irrelevant – Limiting your “findability” to job boards or your company career site won’t extend or enhance brand engagement. Instead, use blog posts, videos, photographs and employee participation to show what the culture is like. Showcase the people that work together to advance the company mission and drive career advancement opportunities for the future. Participate in places where the target audience is active, whether that’s Facebook, LinkedIn or a proprietary community and help others carry your stories forward.
Sin # 4: Failing to consider the psychology of interactions – When people share dessert, no one wants to be the one to eat the first bite -- but once someone spears the center of a brownie ala mode, it is fair game. Social media is like that, too. The first like, comment or share fuels participation because it provides “social proof” that it is OK to share and engage. It is human nature to want to be helpful to your friends, be the source of valuable information or share experiences that strike an emotional chord. Think about what drives social dynamics and human behavior and don’t underestimate the value of third-party endorsements; when someone in your network says “check out this awesome company or job,” you do.
Sin #5: Having little or no mobile strategy– Many employers have not yet elevated their mobile destinations or content to the same level that users experience when searching for consumer goods, restaurants, and films. You and I can easily find movie times, locations, and even purchase tickets using our mobile devices. Job seekers expect the same immersive content when using their mobile to search for jobs. It’s time for organizations to put mobile in a priority position and deliver a mobile experience that works.
Sin # 6: Failing to treat candidates as brand ambassadors – Not every candidate will be a right fit, ready to make a move, or even qualified, but if you deliver valuable content and information and a good candidate experience to everyone throughout the process, you’ve given them reason to be a brand ambassador and speak highly of the organization. It’s expensive to get mindshare, so when you have someone’s attention, work to keep it and leverage it.
Sin # 7: Not using metrics to optimize your results – A commitment to metrics provides insight into what’s working and what’s not, helping organizations to optimize their strategy. A combination of hard metrics – apply source, applications created or completed, number of interviews, and actual hires – as well as soft metrics such as likes, shares, comments and other social interactions will show what campaigns are effective at increasing awareness, engagement and applicant flow. Make sure you establish your success metrics at the outset and build the right systems and processes to effectively track, measure, and analyze your efforts.
An analysis piece by Kaylan Billingsley in Government Executiveasks, "What will furloughs mean for young feds?" The answer points to two problems.
First, for young federal workers, often caught up in student loan debt and facing salary cuts, the private sector obviously looks more promising. Billingsley points out that a business job could offer not only more security (a typical government bargaining chip), but also welcome lateral movement. After all, when you have less financial and family obligations to hold you in place, you're more open to mobility. That's been a time-honored advantage for people in their 20s embarking on their careers. The first-time job changer has long been sought after by recruitment campaigns, offering the disappointed and disillusioned a chance to pursue dreams before marriage, mortgages and children make their claims.
That's how job markets work. If government agencies that have largely competed on what TMP terms functional and economic benefits rather than deeper differentiators, they could lose out to competitors that can trump them. However, hasn't that always been the case? In focus group after focus group, I've heard committed entry level people say that they turned down private sector bids though they had superior compensation. The reason? They wanted to serve their country. and government agencies let them serve "one master." At the end of the day, they could feel like they had made a meaningful contribution. Of course, if an agency doesn't brand itself internally and externally on psychological attributes, they may not attract people so motivated.
But now we come to the second problem, which is very closely connected to the first: If government, especially the Department of Defense, loses a generation of public servants, it could find itself, as Billingsley says, in "stagnation."
Whether one is for small or large government, I haven't heard many advocates for "stagnant" government. When I get on an airplane, I want to feel like the best air traffic controllers and TSA inspectors have been on the job, supported by the latest security equipment. For warfighters in Afghanistan, the stakes are much higher: they need to know that they have reliable, fail-safe equipment, acquired by people who knew what they were doing. So regardless of the size of the Federal workforce, I think most of us want it to be at least as competent as the private sector.
That is why employer branding remains relevant. To attract top committed performers, government agencies as well as companies need to show their psychological benefits. This constellation of emotional attributes, closely connected to mission, form the core of the employer value proposition (EVP). Regardless of workforce size or recruitment demand, the EVP tells prospective candidates why they should consider one workplace rather than another.
And it keeps alive the reasons why public service, no matter how battered by budget cuts, cannot go out of style.
Perhaps as important as any trend in technology is the process of making dumb technology smart. This shift is more commonly referred to as “The Internet of Things” (IoT), and it’s a topic we tackled recently in TMP Labs.
What is it?
The Internet of Things is the process of bringing offline objects online. This isn’t a new concept. Originally coined in 1999, it has been a dominating theme at the Consumer Electronics Show, and this year there were 18 sessions at SXSW dedicated to hardware compared to only 2 in 2012.
So what does this have to do with recruitment? Well, first of all, in TMP Labs we talk about that which is disruptive, or, in other words, things that both create new markets and disrupt existing ones. And little is more disruptive right now than IoT. Second, the impact on recruiting as a result of this shift is, and will continue to be, significant. Recruiters once tasked with finding engineers and manufacturing talent are now looking for iOS, Android, cloud, and mobile hardware talent to help bring the products the engineers are manufacturing online. More on that later.
What are some of the best-known examples of IoT?
Well, maybe this is cheating, but in my opinion, the best example is the use of the QR code. QR codes were ahead of their time. When QR codes first came out, most mobile devices did not support them without downloaded software, and even when they did, the experience was often unrewarding – a product of low bandwidth and poorly designed mobile experiences. However, QR codes were the genesis of connecting the offline and online worlds. Simultaneously, hardware manufacturers started to bring their traditionally offline devices online.
Two of the most talked about examples are the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Google self-driving car.
The Nest Learning Thermostat replaces your home thermostat. Through a Wi-Fi connection and built-in motion sensor, it learns the temperatures you like, turns itself down while you’re away, and can gather information about the temperature outside to make decisions about the temperature inside. This is a great example of taking a typically “dumb” device and making it smarter.
Google, as you’re likely already aware, has been developing driverless car technology, and as of August of 2012 had completed 300,000 autonomous-driving miles, accident free. Through a combination of mounted cameras, a laser radar system, connectivity, and the rich data Google has gathered through its Street View program, Google has brought the automobile online, allowing decisions to be influenced by real-time data and made by the car itself.
Why should employers and their recruiters care?
It’s important because we’re in the process of shifting how we look at technology. Things like a refrigerator have always been looked at simply as a place to store your perishables. The inventory of what’s in your fridge was managed in your head, or on a piece of paper. However, even refrigerators are being brought online to manage that inventory for you. They’ll even connect to services like Peapod to have the essentials delivered just as you’re about to run out.
Impacted by this are staffing and training. This newly connected hardware can only thrive if it’s accompanied by equally innovative software. An emphasis on hiring and training people who can communicate this vision to suppliers and customers will become a challenge for many employers.
Maybe this sounds like your company, or maybe it doesn’t.
But even if you feel somewhat sheltered from this shift, you’re probably not. The people proficient in the principal technologies that power the web today, and that will tomorrow, are in high demand. “iOS”, “Android”, “HTML 5” and “Mobile App” represent 4 of the top 5 growth positions on Indeed.com.
The Internet of Things is a paradigm shift that’s creating new opportunities for some businesses and dictating obligations for others. Needed will be the talent to help make devices more intelligent and the way we interact with them more integrated.
Follow the topic: http://mashable.com/category/internet-of-things/
Recommended: Google Self-Driving Car: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdgQpa1pUUE (3 minutes)
Nest Learning Thermostat: http://nest.com
It was Friday afternoon, October 26th. We just got through presenting to our client. It was a very successful one. Naturally we all broke into conversations around what plans we had for the weekend. Not your typical weekend type plans of leisure. The conversations were around preparedness and survival. With nervous candor we humored each other about buying large umbrellas and floatation devices. Trying our best to stay strong to the fact that we were about to be hit by the deadliest storm in over 40 years, and the largest ever to form in the Atlantic Basin.
We were due to be hit on Monday the 29th, so that left the weekend to truly get prepared. Little had we known as we said our goodbyes to our client and went back to the office and told our colleagues to have a great weekend, that would be the last time we would work in our office until January of 2013.
Yes, our office was one of the buildings that made the CNN highlight reel. The entire basement of our building was under water along with all of the businesses around us. So all of our electrical, security, water, and elevators were shot.
With all of this we knew business had to keep going. We still had deadlines and project work to do.
Yet we knew we had to find a way to accomplish business as usual somewhere else. For half of us we moved and worked in temporary offices in Manhattan and NJ. But predominantly we all worked from home. We became a virtual agency overnight. Literally.
The question becomes how sustainable is your brand when it is pulled apart? How does it enable those ingredients that are often glazed into value propositions and not truly tested into action? We found that out quickly. We found out that the employment experience doesn't confine itself within brick and mortar. Or within a specific timeline of the day. We found that the employer brand ventures into our home offices, and our living rooms. And the more seamless and adaptive the experience is outside of the traditional brick and mortar of our office, the more it inspired us to pull together.
Thanks to technology, we collaborated and worked virtually as if we were sitting right next to each other.
In our temporary offices that was literally the case. But an interesting experience started to unfold. It was the feeling of the challenge of being on our own yet responsible for the success of our agency. We became entrepreneurs and owners. Our temporary offices and our home environments offered a different perspective of our work. It brought perspective to what we were doing and gave us more time to reflect upon the value of what we do and what we do for each other by simply being away from the day to day things we took for granted. It was the result of the CEO of the company reaching out to all of us and asking for help by demonstrating trust and confidence in the workforce to work virtually. So the term "telecommuting" takes on a more critical variable in employer branding.
Telecommuting isn't new, nor is it for everybody.
There are challenges that go along with telecommuting, but there are specific tips for being successful with it. It is not the end all be all differentiation in employer brands. But for those organizations that can take advantage of a virtual workforce, here are some interesting stats. In a survey by Wrike, working from home is rapidly on the rise and becoming a major perk in the decision set of candidates who are considering working for a company. Although the higher the position of the company the more time the person works outside the office, a survey of over 1074 respondents resulted that 83% work remotely at least part of the day.
More and more companies are implementing virtual workforce programs as technology has delivered efficient and effective platforms for virtual collaboration. Content is accessed from the clouds and presentation platforms break through geographic barriers.
It is not just a perk. It is the attention and importance a company invests into virtual workforce programs that integrates and extends a positive empowering employment experience outside the brick and mortar office. So as we develop ideas around the employer brand, the virtual workforce is becoming more prevalent in the strategies.
Now that everyone is through with their holidays, decorations put away and holiday bills are starting to roll in—are you better off now than one year ago? When we think of changes that have occurred in both our business and personal environments, there are a number of people that aren’t sure.
When people received their first checks in 2013, they certainly realized a couple of things that we knew were coming. First, the payroll tax reverted back to 6.2% from the 4.2% where it had been the last 2 years. In addition, most organizations saw the need to raise the cost of healthcare coverage, which could be quite an impact for families. In healthcare, we have additional challenges of continuing to do “more with less” and many organizations either faced the end of 2012 or the beginning of 2013 with layoffs, downsizing, rightsizing, etc. Although contract labor continues to be on the rise, our core, experienced staff is being downsized in some cases.
So what does this mean to healthcare recruitment as the demands continue to increase for most organizations? It does seem like we have been doing more with less for the last few years but – be prepared. There is more to come! What this all means to human resource recruitment professionals is that efficiencies, return on investment and metrics that matter will be a daily requirement.
Everything you do as a recruiter matters. First let’s highlight some of the efficiencies that make a tremendous impact on your bottom line. From your sourcing strategies to a new hire’s first day of work, there are always numerous opportunities to improve. Effective targeted sourcing techniques is where it begins and this includes reaching both active and passive candidates. Being proactive is the most cost effective tool you have so it is important to know where to find the best candidates before you need them! Following sourcing your fingers touch many steps in the hiring process. Ways to decrease days to fill without decreasing the quality of the hire can be accomplished through training, clear policies/procedures and a collaborative workplace environment.
Metrics do matter although healthcare organizations continue to be somewhat inconsistent on what matters to them. Although it is nice to compare yourself to national benchmarks, those are getting more difficult to obtain the last few years so make sure that you can convince your leadership that the best benchmark you have is YOU. Track the same data year over year, determine the true strategic goals for 2013 and then move forward. Benchmarking against others does have many negatives as locations, surrounding applicant pools, schools, recruitment process, urban vs. rural and recruiter skills are not taken into account. In addition, always paying attention to what happened before sometimes takes the importance away from what needs to happen now.
Your organization is unique and should be treated that way both with strategy and measurement. Start with the goals you would like to accomplish and then formulate the metrics that need to be measured in order to supply the data to meet those goals. Looking back isn’t the answer but planning for the future is what counts.