Human Resources, Leadership, Modern Career, Talent Branding
Employer Branding Around the World with Siobhan McHale.
Siobhan, can you tell us more about yourself and your job?
I’m a culture change specialist with a vision to make workplaces better. I’m employed as the Head of Human Resources at DuluxGroup – a successful, growing international consumer goods company based in Melbourne, where my focus in on creating a more consumer-oriented and growth focused culture.
I trained as an organizational psychologist and hold a BA in Psychology and a Masters degree in Occupational Psychology from University of Sheffield, England. I began my career as a management consultant at PricewaterHouse Coopers in London where I crisscrossed Europe helping clients create successful culture transformations. In this role I advised leaders across four continents about how to create more vibrant and productive work environments.
In 1994 I grew tired of the long, wet English winters and moved to Australia, where I continued my work as a change advisor with Accenture.
After a decade as a consultant I wanted to put some “skin in the game” and decided to test all that I had learned in an actual corporate setting. I was employed as the executive in charge of change in a series of large, complex organizations. In these workplaces I was no longer operating as an outsider but actually getting my hands dirty working in the challenging and often messy trenches of transformation. These “insider” positions gave me a markedly different perspective on workplace change.
You have an impressive a track record of creating more engaged businesses across four continents. What is the connection between engaged employees and a strong talent brand?
I worked at Accenture which is one of the biggest consulting firms in the world. Within 3 months of joining I had moved countries from Australia to New Zealand and was working in the retail sector, which was completely new to me. I was on an accelerated learning curve but my experience in the consulting firm was completely aligned with the promise that I had been ‘sold’ when I interviewed for the job. I was told by the partners that I was entering a fast-paced, stretch culture where I was expected to be agile. I was not surprised when, three months after I had joined, I was asked to move countries.
The important thing with your employer brand is that it is congruent with the ‘deal’ that you are espousing to employees. When there is misalignment between the promise and the deal, then that’s when you get noise. So, for instance, if you are telling people that they can expect a highly engaged workplace and you don’t deliver on this promise then employees will be disappointed when they enter your firm. The clearer you can be about the expectations and the closer you can deliver to these, the better.
DuluxGroup has a quite unusual Brand Ambassador. Can you tell us more about him?
Yes, our brand ambassador is an Old English Sheepdog called Digby. Our employees love Digby and he shows up to staff events where there is typically a queue to get a photo taken with him. The dog was first introduced in advertising campaigns in 1961. Since then the sheepdog has been a constant and highly popular feature of Dulux television and print adverts wherever the paint is sold. So much so, that many people in those markets refer to the breed as a ‘Dulux dog’ rather than a sheepdog. Over the years, different dogs have appeared in the adverts. However, they all look very similar and Fernville Lord Digby, was the most famous Dulux dog.
Digital Trends, Human Resources, Modern Career, Talent Branding
Employer Branding Around the World with Leni Rokosova.
Originally from Czech Republic, Leni sees herself as a global citizen. Her background is in linguistics and international relations which led her to explore the world on the path to matching the best talent with amazing career opportunities. She has lived and worked in seven different countries and enjoys getting to know a new culture and immerse into it. She is currently working as a Talent Acquisition Manager for Meltwater in their Sydney office, responsible for full cycle hiring across all their departments in Australia and New Zealand.
Leni, congratulations for Meltwater being awarded the Top 7 Best Place to Work in Australia in 2017 and Top 12 Best Place to Work in Asia in 2018, as well as being one of 2016, 2017 & 2018 Great Place to Work Awards Winners in Canada. Can you share some secretes of your company success: what are the best practices of talent attraction and retention at Meltwater?
What attracted me to Meltwater was the fact that the company has managed to establish itself as a global leader in media monitoring with 60+ offices in less than 17 years! However, despite the success and growth we are experiencing, candidates I approach on LinkedIn typically have not heard about us, but when they do their research, they’re always surprised that they have not come across us yet!
Our target market is Gen Y (also known as Millennials), it is well reported that personal growth and career development is the key factor in choosing a suitable employer for this generation. As such Meltwater is extremely conscious of building a culture that facilitates that experience, we challenge our employees from day one to be the best version of themselves. We work in a fast-paced environment, things change quickly so our new recruits need to be agile and learn quickly.
Research also shows Gen Y wants to be connected to the work they’re doing and for us, that means ensuring there is a sense of shared purpose. There is plenty of time spent with line managers and even though these meetings may sometimes seem like simple catch ups, the regularity achieves a greater purpose. A constant two-way feedback ensures people feel they have a seat at the table, they are given a platform to speak up and make an impact on the business and its culture.
Last but not least, we promote based on merits, not tenure. Drive and determination and your ability to realize your potential quickly are what determines the speed at which your progress. You can easily check this by a simple search of our employees on LinkedIn.
Is building a strong talent brand a “must have” or “nice to have” for modern employers?
Definitely a “must have”. Especially for Gen Y, they want to be coming to a place where they don’t only do what they enjoy doing but also a place where they feel welcome and are surrounded by like-minded individuals. Showing them what our culture is about, what our workplace looks like (maybe even giving them a sneak peek into our office playlists), how we celebrate success and what we do together outside of our workplace, is a no-brainer. This way they will already anticipate if this is an environment they would love to be part of or not.
What has been the process of building a strong talent brand at Meltwater?
We don’t have a designated team or employees for building our talent brand. I believe this should be a common effort of recruitment, marketing and HR, but, ultimately, all employees are responsible for this. Of course, all of us have a slightly different goal but at the end of the day, we all want to increase our brand awareness. I drive different initiatives, such as encouraging our employees to write blog posts, partner with top universities and students’ societies and provide training to all newbies (regardless of what team they join) on how to manage/promote our brand on LinkedIn. I already started this in my last job and it worked really well so took it over with me to Meltwater. It only takes about 15 minutes (if they’re in Sydney, its F2F, if in any other office, it’s via a video Skype call) but you would be surprised how little people know about different functions on LinkedIn and how to use them to your advantage. I always start the training with showing them some numbers on how many people interact with our brand on daily basis which always leads them to understand why this training is so important.
What is your social media strategy when it comes to employer branding?
I’m a huge advocate of LinkedIn and that’s where I spend lots of my time during the day. From my experience, the most quality talent is right there and it’s easy to tap into. On the other hand, it is true that the Gen Y don’t necessarily have a LinkedIn profile (yet!) and so it is important to build a strong strategy on their favourite social channels, such as Instagram and Snapchat – this is work in progress for us right now!
How do you use content marketing and storytelling methods on LinkedIn to generate stronger candidate pipelines?
As mentioned before, I love LinkedIn and consider content marketing as a great tool for raising brand awareness. I always make sure my posts have a purpose and most importantly, have a personal touch. Sharing only jobs, I’m currently hiring for wouldn’t make the cut! I divide my posts in 25% about our office life/culture, 25% about company updates, 25% about job posts (always accompanied by the right culture pic!) and 25% about my personal/professional interests. Sometimes it’s hard to keep the office life pictures to only 25% because there’s always something happening (ranging from a simple celebration of someone’s birthday – yes, everyone loves a good piece of cake! – through celebrating a new deal that just came in, to those crazy closing days when we always have a theme and dress up).
Consulting, Digital Marketing, Digital Trends, Human Resources, Leadership
5 Tips for Using LinkedIn as Employer Branding Tool.
LinkedIn is not only a powerful tool that modern recruiters use to source candidates, but also an emergent employer branding platform that many companies have started to appreciate.
Read on to learn how the recruiters, HR and employer branding specialists from the different parts of the world generate stronger candidates’ pipelines by using content marketing and storytelling.
1.Introduce Social Media / LinkedIn Training
Did you know that employees have 10 times more connections on average than a company has followers? To leverage your employees personal brand and network introduce Social Media / LinkedIn training.
For example, Dell’s HR strategy including social media training resulted in higher quality hires, lower turnover and better engagement rates for Dell.
“We have trained to date over 16,000 employees! We also train our summer interns as part of their development and introduction to Dell. The biggest success is the ongoing focus on the program including monthly power hours by topic (how to deal with trolls, what is the deal with SnapChat, etc.) as well as the revisiting and updating of the content. The opportunity we have is to continue to have executives model this activity and behaviour.” – says Jennifer Jones Newbill, Senior Manager, Global Candidate Attraction, Engagement and Experience at Dell.
Click HERE to read our case study About social media and recruiting with Jennifer Jones Newbill from Dell.
2. Empower your employees to tell the story about the company
Of course, they need to love their work in a first place, and the post should come from them, you cannot simply order a praising article. Readers will only spend their precious time on reading and sharing authentic stories. Pay attention to employees who already blog or vlog. Often those who relocate will be interested in documenting they journey.
3. Enchant your staff
Delight the staff with a small gesture or help when it is not expected, for example offering them flexible work arrangements or even showing that you listen, and you care:
“When you enchant people, your goal is not make money from them or get them to do what you want, but to fill them with delight.”
“(…) in a world of mass media, social media, and advertising media, it takes more than instant shallow, and temporary relationships to get the job done.”
Guy Kawasaki, Enchantment
4. Communicate your innovative HR policies
Challenge yourself (and your top management) to introduce a HR policy that could be shared as an interesting story.
Impossible? Here is the update from BrewDog:
“Thrilled to find out today that BrewDog have been shortlisted as a finalist in the 2018 Scottish Top Employers for Working Families Awards, in the ‘Best for Innovation’ category, for our Pawternity Leave initiative! (…)”
Seems standard but wait, did they misspell “paternity”? Or…
5. Measure success on your LinkedIn company page
Even if your company already has its LinkedIn page, you might strongly consider setting up a new page for your geographical region.
A simple company page is free yet give you some visitor demographics and some invaluable metric tools such as updates engagement and followers acquired in a specific month, week or even day.
Followers acquired are only included for sponsored updates. You could still measure the success of your organic (not paid) updates, by looking at the followers acquired on a given day if you post no more than one update per day.
This article was inspired by the companies and experts from Scotland, Germany, Czech Republic, Australia, and China.
What are your favorite company updates or ideas for using LinkedIn as employer branding tool? Reach out on LinkedIn or Facebook; we would love to hear about the examples from other countries.
Adding Value, Consulting, Digital Marketing, Digital Trends, Human Resources, Leadership, Modern Career
How to control social media with math
Mirco A. Mannucci is a Big Data Analytics Consultant, a CEO @ HoloMathics and a Ph.D. in Mathematics. His interdisciplinary background in the sciences and software engineering mingles with a burning interest in web social communities. Mirco is one of the authors of the research conducted at Chapman University exploring the concept of virality. The researchers were examining socially bonded clusters of people and subgroups on Facebook to identify the way to achieve the maximum reach of people. Today, Mirco and I will be discussing implications of big data for social networks, virality and the new world of super-heroes on social media.
Mirco, as a Big Data geek with a Ph.D. degree in Mathematics, how do you see social media transform in the next 5-10 years from now?
Great question to start off Dagmara! I think we should always begin with a touch of SF, because quite often what some mavericks are dreaming about now, becomes reality later. Social media means media which are social, media that are embedded in the very tissue of the social web. Now, where is the social web and where is it going?
I believe that the plumbing has already been done, we have plenty of large scales social communities. We also have small dedicated communities, we have various types of communication tools, we have, in a word, the proper infrastructure. But something is still lacking, isn’t it?
What is lacking is true SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE. By this I mean: just like there is a logical intelligence, there is a social one. Not many people are social intelligence geniuses, to be sure, and yet without it not much happens in one’s life, because social intelligence drives success.
So, here is my little piece of SF: I dream that very soon there will be another Social Web, let us say Social Web 3.0, which looks and feel like the existing one but with a glaring difference – it is smart. In this social web on steroids, people will get together, form teams, virtual ventures. All of that thanks to some help from the embedded social intelligence. It goes without saying that this would drastically impact social media and social advertisement as well. Highly focused communities would also demand highly focused media….
Will the social media 3.0 allow people with scarce social intelligence to do the work for them? Also, it is interesting that you see the future of social media 3.0 as a collaboration tool. Would not that be just another LinkedIn or Slack on steroids? Just another networking tool?
We definitely need a layer of intelligence on top of the existing social web to form a team of collaborators. I am not suggesting that a machine is better than humans at assessing whether some fellow is the right one to cover some new role in a team, but the machine could act as an advisor. I would not like machines to replace my judgment, but I would like machines to expand my possibilities. Imagine I need someone for my team who is extremely smart, knows how to speak Farsi and Icelandic, has a record of traveling in off-the-road destinations, and has a passion for new projects. What is my chance to find such a fellow now? Very slim, right? So, why not have a little help? There is another dimension involved. This is not a battle humans vs machine. Humans could recommend people too, and perhaps the machine would learn from them…
That is why you decided to build a platform that will enable it?
The platform, that I am building right now, is a “gaming platform”, in a sense. The chief difference is that instead of letting you play in an alternate world, it tries to turn you into a superhero in this one. Most of us live an unnecessarily boring life because we dream and leave our dreams in our closet. Why not add a little spice by being able to post your dreams adventures or join other’s dreams and team up with other superheroes? That is precisely what I want for the Social Web 3.0.
You mentioned that the Social Web 3.0 will impact social advertising. What is the biggest challenge while using social media for advertising and the way to overcome it?
The biggest challenge is that we are completely drowning in information: everywhere we are bombarded with ads, brochures, emails. The only way to mitigate this miserable state of affair is to provide value, highly specific value, to the individuals. If you shoot me an ad, most likely I do not want to hear it, but if you know what I am after and you leverage this knowledge by assisting me in MY objectives things are quite different.
On the other hand, retargeted ads can be pretty helpful. But, let’s drop the topic of ads and let’s get into something more entertaining. You mentioned that our lives are quite boring. What about viral content? It makes our life more exciting, or at least more fun. Getting viral is what everyone secretly dreams about, but they don’t want to admit it at loud. What do you think it takes to achieve viral growth? What could be the key variables that drive viral growth?
The paper which I have coauthored with my fellow researchers at Chapman University partially answers the question: to become viral it means to become like a virus. Viruses go from place to place in the body, being hosted not only by single cells but by entire organs. We essentially found a math model of virality which involves leveraging groups and communities instead of single individuals, to spread information around. To be sure, our research is simply a modest step in the right direction, we need more sophistication to provide a better representation of virality. But using interest groups and active web communities to spread your “virus” is certainly a great way to begin.
If the information is like a virus, looks like we should start spreading info locally, to the people that are close to us in a strictly geographical sense (but they are not our friends like on Facebook), and let them share the info to everyone globally. Do you see a potential in it, in a tool where everyone can share anything they like, but there are no other rules involved?
The beauty of the social web as it already operates now is that the notion of the locality has undergone great changes. When I grew up, several centuries ago, what was the chance of having a talk with you about social life? Close to zero. Now my nephews, who live in Milano, have friends in Spain or … China. Therefore, virality can take different clothes… however, having said that, there are certain types of information which must be spread locally, for the very simple reason that they are intrinsically local: why should I broadcast to the entire world the news that the guy next door offers the best pizza and a jazz concert for an incredible price? A guy in Peru could not care less…as for the second part of your question, I think we should have themes, channels through which information flows. I am not a big fan of Twitter’s model.
Neither am I. It’s way too messy and requires a constant time commitment. Mirco, if you were on a mission to predict the popularity of pieces of information that spread through the social media networks, where would you start?
Going back to the previous answer, I would try to understand which paths this piece of information follows to spread, and what is the relevance for folks and communities which dwell on mileposts along this path. Example: Suppose you try to spread some news about a service. You want to hit ONLY groups and folks for which this service could be intriguing, right? Nobody spreads info if they do not think it is “cool” and valuable…
Sure thing. But what is the probability to detect information big stories before they even happen?
It is extremely difficult to predict the future, especially where the human element is heavily involved. However, IF (big if!) I knew a lot about the folks and groups which receive this information, for instance, their tastes, goals, dislikes, then something can be predicted, especially if I do have a track record of previous scenarios.
Even if we knew the tastes, goals, dislikes, likes, interests of everyone in the earth, there are still many external factors that can mess your equation up. Is there anything certain about social media at all?
True, indeed the variables are almost infinite. But, as I have already said, I do not like Hal 9000 type of AI. I rather prefer Jarvis, the AI advisor of Tony Stark in Iron Man: Jarvis advises me, but I decide. If it makes mistakes, it will learn to adjust.
Using data and identifying new opportunities for unlocking it requires creativity. Could you give us an example of a product or a service that used creativity to bring data to the next level and unlocked its potential?
The obvious thing that comes to mind is Youtube. Not a rocket scientist type of technology, by any means, but one that has changed radically many aspects of our life: we can post anything, opinions, products tests, news, personal journeys. A video which is on your computer is your video, a video that is on Youtube is humanity’s video…a big difference.
There are plenty of tools on the market that helps identify the most influential authors (influencers), but after finding the right ones for your product or niche, the question emerges: How do we minimize the risk of not getting enough brand exposure, engagement or leads from this cooperation? We cannot be sure that our content will resonate well with the audience. What data would you be searching for to maximize the success of the cooperation with an influencer?
With a partner in crime, I have been working hard at a new platform to do exactly what you ask for. To be more precise, and going back to the previous part of this interview, I do not believe that getting the influencers on your side is enough. You need to also catch groups and communities for which what you want to sell is relevant, and communities have a life of their own. So, whereas as you said there are plenty of tools which are aimed at individuals who are “hubs” in the social web, this perspective is a bit too skewed toward single individuals.
You mentioned that community has a life on its own, can you share more details here…?
A community to me is like a collective mind: we are the neurons, but the whole has an intelligence of its own. It is the same everywhere: a single cell is one thing, an organ quite another. This is extremely important to understand if we really want to unravel the mysteries of the social web: if we stick to the view of the cell, we miss the organs…
Any golden tip for social media managers out there on achieving a consistent analytical approach?
Hire people, who understand both analytical tools and what these managers are trying to get.
What is the one social media metric you would die to measure, but no one out there came up with a solution yet?
How much what we offer aligns with what people really want.
I would risk a statement that people often times don’t know what they want…they search for one thing, but end up using or doing something completely different. People are irrational, don’t you agree?
You are right, but my measure is not what they want now, rather: after you show it to them, they like it or not? People are very bad at figuring out what they want before they see it but quite good at deciding what they like after they have played with it.
Information overload is killing our productivity. You have plenty of projects on your plate and you are surely a busy man. How do you achieve a better quality of information and remove the noise?
I will be honest with you: I was never good at that, I am someone who begins 1000 things and completes 2-3. But recently things have changed for me, simply because I realized (finally!) the truth: I do not have much time, nobody has, we barely have the time to do what we need and truly wish to do, and send everything else to hell.
Do not let information drive you, any information, drive your life and use the right info to go where you want to go.
How do you see the role of AI in data mining?
Well, the fact is, little by little we will let machines do the dirty job. Data sets are huge and complicated, so this is bound to happen (in fact, it is already happening). But I do not see the role of humans as something that is going to die anytime soon: humans are still needed to create new ways to model data, to make sense of what machines will find. Let us say that I am here an optimist: instead of substituting humans, I like to think of future AI as expanding our cognitive powers. But maybe I am a tad too optimistic. Time will tell.
They say that failures make us stronger. Could you share with us one of your failures and what did you learn from it?
There was a project I started in 2009 called MergingPot, the ancestor of this new thing. I spent a considerable amount of time building it, putting it on FB as an app, but eventually it died. Why? Truth is, I had no clue how to run a start-up, how to prioritize, how to engage people, and also my timing was not right. In fact, everything was wrong EXCEPT the core idea, which was way ahead of time. Now, if I was a complete fool, I would give up. Far from it…I always loved the hero who has been beaten up to a pulp and yet makes a last comeback 🙂
Do you want more blood? I could go on forever. What is more interesting is WHY I failed. Chiefly by lack of consistency: when you start something, you MUST complete it, no matter what.
Ouch! You even don’t know how much I agree with you on that one…thanks for sharing!
And of course, thank you a ton for the interview, Mirco!
Thank you Dagmara! I had a lot of fun.
Coaching, Human Resources, Modern Career, Relocation
Career transition – from London to China.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Lao-tzu, Chinese Philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC)
In 2011 I quit my job in SAP recruitment in London and moved to China. Little did I know what was going to happen, but I hoped that the relocation would help me change my career.
I didn’t love my job, but I didn’t strongly dislike it either. As everywhere, it had its rainy Monday mornings when commuters were rushing through the Liverpool Station. Everyone seemed stressed out and unhappy about starting a new week in the City. However, as soon as I would get inside the office and make my coffee while chatting with colleagues, it didn’t seem that bad. ‘I can do it, I can get through another week, if I only survived Monday’ I would say to myself. There was also the thrill of headhunting, the constant buzz in the office, and a lot of laughs. Life was good and the closer to the weekend the better it was becoming. Around Wednesday, emails from my friends were starting to circulate as we were preparing for another fabulous weekend in London. It rarely happens that we are entirely happy or unhappy in our job, and I guess that makes any decision harder. When is the cutting off moment when we say: “I’m done with it and ready for a new role”? Once we have reached that stage another obstacle appears – we don’t have clarity on what we WANT.
I realized that what bothered me the most about my job was the fact that I didn’t feel challenged anymore. I didn’t want to live only for the weekend. I thought about moving to internal HR, as that was one of the most common “career transitions” for agency recruiters. I was also asking myself when was the last time I was happy at my job? The answer was three years ago, working as an executive search consultant in the energy sector. With that in mind, I was considering going back to the executive search. Then my boyfriend got a job offer in Beijing. We discussed three options: a long-distance relationship, me staying in London and trying to job hunt in Beijing, or finally quitting my job and relocating together. From a recruiter perspective, I knew that being in the right location could make a huge difference. Firstly, my CV with London and the UK number on it could go into the “bin folder” in a matter of seconds. Secondly, meeting hiring managers face to face is a small difference that makes the all the difference.
While discussing relocation, we also decided to get married. Three weeks later, on a Monday morning, I was rushing through Liverpool Station to work. I was going straight from the airport and I asked my manager if we could have a meeting. He knew I just came back from Las Vegas, he wasn’t particularly surprised about the marriage decision. However, he didn’t expect the news that I was now moving to Beijing.
I was moving to a country that I haven’t visited before. I didn’t know anyone there and I didn’t speak the language. A country that scores at the top of the most difficult places to live and work in the world. The goal was to find a new career path and I was excited about it, especially about the fact that everything was going to be different.
What happened in China?
Digital Marketing, Digital Trends, Human Resources, Modern Career
About social recruiting and personal branding with Maasa Walker
Maasa, can you please tell us about yourself?
I love being able to connect with talent digitally and in-person and especially leveraging social media to tell a story behind some of the jobs that I recruit for.
I’ve been recruiting for the last 5.5 years, working across various industries ranging from healthcare, IT, marketing, creative, retail in both agency and corporate settings. I’ve been fortunate to recruit for many top brands & companies including Microsoft, Starbucks, Amazon, and Expedia.
Social media allows recruiters to connect with prospects in a more meaningful, authentic, and engaging ways than the traditional “submit and pray” system. For me, this is the most exciting part of my job as a social recruiter. I especially love showing off “behind the scenes” content and information to talent – whether that be fun group photos of the team or writing and sharing a blog on the “human” aspect of each job, team or organization.
Your LinkedIn summary is very impressive. It has all the “right ingredients” of a powerful summary, which are: storytelling, description of what you and your company do, call to action, keywords, and imagery. How did you come up with it?
Thank you! You know, in any profession, whether you’re a sales person, marketer or an engineer – there are tons of other people who do the same job you do. If you look across my network, I’m sure you can find many recruiters who have worked for the same organization or have held similar roles and I have. Given that situation, you have to figure out a way to stand out from the herd in an authentic and memorable way.
When I wrote this particular summary of mine, I thought about few things: 1) Who am I and what is my “brand”? 2) What are things I’m particularly good at? 3) What type of stuff gets me really excited?
The first part is really important – knowing your personal brand. Beyond being a recruiter at “company A” or being a specific industry recruiter, I have my own “flavor” or brand that I represent regardless of the company I work for or team I’m on. You have to have clarity & consistency in that brand & messaging.
The second piece is also important because that’s what makes you unique and different – your superpower if you will. You definitely need to understand the value you bring to the table and be able to celebrate that differentiator.
Third is being able to articulate the area of passion. This is where I ideally like to build more of my career on, and I think it’s beneficial for others to know as well. I’d like to think this is the reason why you reached out to me for an interview. I think overall you open up more doors by being transparent and letting others know what drives you.
Consulting, Digital Marketing, Digital Trends, Human Resources
About social recruiting with Christie Cordes
Christie Cordes is a CEO | Director of Global Talent Acquisition and an Employer Brand Consultant @Ad Recruiter with over a decade of digital and social media recruitment branding experience. Today we are going to talk about the evolution of Human Resources and Christie’s social recruiting best practices in bringing a talent pool to her clients companies.
Christie, can you explain the meaning behind your company’s name?
I recruit executives in the ad (advertising | branding) industry. Being in the digital media industry I knew SEO and Google results would have an impact on my company’s visibility, so I looked at the major industry news sites such as Ad Week and Ad Age – and there you have it: Ad Recruiter. I think the name really helped clarify to industry executives what disciplines I focus on. I think it was a simple yet powerful naming strategy as a sole proprietor.
Social media conquered the world and it shows no sign of slowing down. What do you see as the most effective social media channel to recruit at?
Social platforms shift in popularity much like fashion does. Different platforms ‘trend’ and then new ones emerge – it’s very fluent and always shifting. Being ‘visible’ where the cutting edge, curious people are in social is important for recruiting and attracting the very best talent. Social media is composed of people and people are talent. It’s important to have a handle on how all the platforms operate. If I’m looking to attract college grads and interns – they absolutely love SnapChat. It’s such a fun platform, it’s a great place to attract them, because that’s where they are spending time! Instagram and Pinterest is a visual creative network for many aesthetic minded designers and creatives. It’s a great place to ‘discover’ talent and see how different people curate their boards and also see projects they are working on. LinkedIn is fantastic – for referencing and seeing peoples experience, it’s an invaluable tool. I’m not sure if it’s incredibly ‘social’ but they keep trying to improve that to some extent.
The best network (as of now) for Ad Recruiter is actually Twitter (w/LinkedIn) together. There are a few solid reasons why it’s great for communicating to talent and identifying talent. Twitter has low barrier to connecting to top executives and forming relationships. We’ve all experienced top executives ‘not accepting LinkedIn invites from strangers’ yet a follow is typically met with ‘how nice’ as a positive compliment! That makes it an ideal place to identify and build trust based on relationships with executives all over the world. I consider my social followers across all platforms – my candidate pipeline (not an automated database of pdf CV attachments).
I use LinkedIn with Twitter at all times, in other words a new follower who’s bio on Twitter is vague, I’ll locate their LinkedIn profile to understand who they are and what they do. I advise all executives, to have a transparent / informative Twitter bio with a link to LinkedIn on Twitter – especially for career advancement, business networking and ‘being discovered’. The other platforms can be more personal and so people don’t share their real names, or where they work often times, especially Snapchat! So that’s makes it difficult to identify ‘targeted talent’ but attracting them there is always important!
You’re not only a seasoned recruiter, but also an employer brand specialist. Can you share how you engage candidates on social media?
Adding Value, Coaching, Consulting, Human Resources, Leadership, Location independent, Modern Career, Relocation
What do coaching, opening a new café, and creating a time saving app have in common?
What do coaching, opening a new café, and creating a time saving app have in common?
Too difficult to answer?
How about this one: what do all the above have in common PLUS establishing an internet shop, volunteering in Africa and running photography workshops – all at the same time?
As a career coach, I might be slightly more attuned to these ideas I hear literally every day – from my friends, acquaintances, and clients. What is this all about, you might ask. Is it about who has the best idea? Who is the most creative? Maybe who can execute something and bring it to life? Or perhaps about picking and focusing on just one idea? I can see something on a much deeper level: people desperately long to add value to the world and be truly useful to others. When others around me say ‘I want to open a vegan bed and breakfast’ or ‘I want to create a job search app’ or ’I want to be a life coach,’ I hear “I want to add value.” They want to change the world – or at least help improve parts of others’ lives. At the same time, we would like to use our unique talents, be creative, have fun, and earn for living (except, of course volunteering). Earning while doing something valuable and enjoyable seems to be the trickiest part. I think many of us still believe that they can not earn well while doing something they love. Others think they first have to sort out their own careers and financial security and only THEN they can start adding value and changing the world.
Is adding value and helping others a luxury you can only afford after you yourself become established and successful?
Coaching, Consulting, Digital Marketing, Digital Trends, Human Resources
About social recruiting with Michelle Minnikin
There’s no one better to talk to about social recruiting than a recruiter who has worked previously as a marketer. Today I interview a Strategic Recruitment Manager at Scott Logic, Michelle Minnikin, who shares a great deal of useful practices on recruiting through social media, company culture and branding. Michelle also shares her top 3 resources for HR managers. Keep reading.
Her background is in occupational psychology and recruitment, having built 14 years of experience. She is a Recruitment Manager – Strategy, having joined Scott Logic after three years at Balfour Beatty and prior to that, AMEC. In her role she provides a bridge between recruitment and marketing activities for Scott Logic. She’s been in post since February 2016 and her favourite things (at work) are employer branding, selection and assessment.
Michelle, social media are already full-fledged recruiting tools. What do you see as the most effective social media to recruit for Scott Logic? There is so much out there and sometimes it can be a waste of time if not used properly.
As a business, we create carefully targeted content, including three different blogs for different audiences that are shared through various channels. Our technical blog, which our consultants write, shares our thoughts and experiences of using technologies, techniques and tools, and is very popular. Our insights blog is for business leaders and decision makers, and our careers blog helps software developers, test engineers and user experience designers with their job search while showcasing what it’s like to work at Scott Logic.
At Scott Logic, the quality of our service is defined by our people; they are our greatest asset, so we already know we want more people just like them (we’d love to clone them, but this technology has not been suitably developed yet!). So, we asked our people what social media sites they spend time on so we can focus our efforts on the channels that are relevant to them.
Based on this information, we are focusing our efforts on LinkedIn and Twitter as recruitment tools. As an organisation, we do have a LinkedIn Recruiter License so we are able to source directly using that. However, I think delivering engaging, useful content that positions our employees as thought leaders and showcases what it is like to work here helps make our recruitment brand more desirable.
I wonder how do you assess the efficiency of your content marketing? How you set yourself a goal to reach which specific content and what stats are you looking at to define the success?
Our strategy is a long term one focused primarily on raising awareness of the Scott Logic brand among our key audiences. So, tracking all applications to ask how each candidate heard about us is vital. We also survey all candidates to assess the experience they’ve had of our recruitment process to obtain anecdotal and qualitative feedback that helps us improve on an ongoing basis.
Can you share how you engage candidates in your employer brand on social media?
Digital Marketing, Digital Trends, Human Resources, Leadership
About social media and recruiting with Jennifer Jones Newbill from Dell
Interview with Jennifer Jones Newbill
Senior Manager Global Candidate Attraction, Engagement and Experience at Dell
Jennifer Jones Newbill is a quintessence of a modern HR director who is not afraid to play by the marketing rules to achieve higher quality hires as well as, lower turnover and better engagement rates for Dell. She has over 20 years of Human Resource experience working as an Employment Branding/Social Media and Recruiting Specialist and Leadership Development Expert, and she has also managed various global and regional HR programs/projects for Fortune 50 companies. Today she shares valuable lessons about developing the right set of skills within the HR profession and social recruiting best practices based on her experience at Dell.
Jennifer, you’re a Senior Manager: Global Candidate Attraction, Engagement and Experience. Your title already shows that your job is not a standard set associated with the tasks within an HR department. Can you tell me more about where your title comes from and why a Senior HR manager role would not be enough to describe your expertise?
I wanted to describe myself and what our team does in a way that was easy to understand and describe. It was tough and yes my title is a bit long, but typically people I speak to understand quickly. Our team is all tasked with candidate attraction (messaging including digital and, print as well as technologies used) engagement (social media and employee advocacy in partnership with our marketing team) and analyzing and improving the overall candidate experience.
I wonder how you’ve gotten involved in the role that links HR and Marketing?
In 2010, Marie Moynihan, Global VP Talent and Chief Diversity officer was appointed to her role and for the first time we had a global leader who had a centralized team (along with regional/local recruiting teams). At that time, we began looking at our standards, processes and policies across all regions and locations and that included evaluating our employment brand, digital properties, recruitment marketing strategies, etc. My role has evolved quite a bit since then including growing a global team that has strong proficiency in social media, content expertise and keeping a thread of candidate experience in mind with everything they do!
Do you think Marketing and HR have much in common? What changed in the last 10-15 years in your industry?
Marketing and HR have very similar goals – in a nutshell – candidate and customer attraction and retention. And it is clear that candidates and customers are frequently one in the same. Current or potential future customers can have their sentiment about your company influenced if they are referred to a job or interview with the company – very powerful stuff… There is huge opportunity for Marketing and HR to partner and collaborate in a way that is mutually beneficial.
Let’s get into details with the referral hires program at Dell you were involved in. In one of the interviews, you said that referrals were one of the best sources of hire and that you managed to achieve 50-125% increase in global referral hires. Global Employee Referral rate was 38% globally, and over 50% in some locations (previously only 19% in 2010). If you were to compare these numbers with the past, do you still think, it’s the best source of hire nowadays?
I can beat the drum about the importance of referrals all day every day! Regardless of the evolution of our digital lifestyles, we still believe in and trust what our friends and connections tell us – about products, services and yes, jobs. Where I think the industry struggles a bit is rewarding those that refer really great quality hires for the company. That is a next step for us at Dell – agreeing on a clear Quality of Hire metric and filtering by source – in particular referrals. Who is referring the best people/fit with the company? How do we drive this activity with our employees further?
Dell is on every social media channel including Pinterest. Which channel do you find most useful for recruiting?
Facebook and Twitter continue to have very inexpensive promotional solutions and we absolutely see hires through those platforms. Other social platforms are still important but play more of an influencing/branding role than direct hires. We don’t see people, for example, going to a job directly from Pinterest. However, we just hired someone onto our global social media team who specifically mentioned our Pinterest page and our Careers channel specifically. The mention was all praise and how it created more positive sentiment of Dell in their mind. This is a win even if we didn’t hire the person ‘from’ Pinterest.