Tag: recruitment strategy

What we can learn about employee & candidate experience through a cup of coffee Culture

What we can learn about employee experience through coffee

Two years ago, a long-standing neighbourhood second tier coffee shop chain was replaced with a Starbucks. The former coffee shop was usually empty. While they made awesome donuts, they struggled.

Down came the sign and nobody knew what would soon occupy this prime corner lot. Then came the infamous green signage, the modern refacing of the exterior, and beautiful interior fixtures that felt like home (or at least a home we wish we lived in). There was no modification to the physical structure, in fact the floor plan remained unchanged.

Today this Starbucks is constantly packed. From students to entrepreneurs, from parents to neighbourhood kids, it’s the local go to place.

Why is it now so busy? They both served coffee, had ample seating, and played music. One magnetized customers while the other was unnoticeable.

Starbucks created an experience in the truest sense of the word.

When the HR community talks about “employee experience”, many redirect the discussion towards process optimization which may be part of the solution, but not to be confused with the immersion of partaking in a meaningful moment.

So what can we learn from this java transformation?

Create an energy – It all boils down to energy. As Marty Neumeier says, brand is a “gut feeling” about a product or a service. Starbucks created an energy around who they are, what they stand for, and what one can expect. There, we are introduced to vibrant music some of which we have never heard before, versus the typical elevator soft rock pouring through the speakers elsewhere. Staff are laughing and chatting with each other as well as customers. The lighting is dim and warm in stark contrast to the sterile and impersonal environments elsewhere.

Ask yourself – What is the energy of your workplace when you enter the door? Even schools these days are pumping music through the PA system to kick off the day with the “right vibe”.

Vanilla (unless as an espresso shot) is the equivalent of white noise – Starbucks didn’t play it safe, they played it as them. From their decor to their music selection, it’s not for everyone but when it’s right, it’s VERY right. This is how you create raving fans. Apple also takes bold stances and as a result, their following is deep-rooted. Playing it safe and opting for vanilla will never create a remarkable brand.

Ask yourself – What is your organization’s brand personality? If you are struggling to find an answer, there’s your answer. Ditch the vanilla and leave your mark.

Traditions matter – Cultivating an experience is about creating customs and traditions. Starbucks writes your name on a cup and we joke at some of the strange spellings, but we have come to expect that as part of the experience. It is personal. It is distinct.  

Ask yourself – What traditions do you share as a company that are embedded in who you are and are part of the fabric of your culture? What playful and memorable moments occur during important milestones (onboarding, birthdays, baby showers, etc.)?

Create belonging – Starbucks creates warmth and comfort at every turn. They use woods instead of plastics for seating, as though they are inviting you to “stay awhile”. This again is in stark contrast to the turnstile “fast food” ambiance that we have come to expect elsewhere. Companies too should be looking to foster belonging and warmth. From the outset, organizations that create a comfortable environment for talent to explore opportunities within, will be the ones that win, over those that “grill” and intimidate during the interview process.

Ask yourself – Are you creating comfort and belonging in your interview process?

The power of brand – Brands are built on consistency. Starbucks has found their “secret sauce” for creating a welcoming environment that has personality and emits an energy drawing in both new and repeat customers. Instead of building a process, build an “experience”, master it, and then create a system for consistently delivering it. Your employer brand will thank you.

While this example may appear to paint a picture of a diehard Starbucks coffee drinker, in fact nothing could be further from the truth. While I will drink Starbucks coffee during my many visits there, it is not my preference. So why do I keep going back? I return to truly experience something more than a transaction. Your current and prospective employees seek the same.

 

Need Employer Branding help but worried you don’t have the budget? Check out the Employer Branding Co-Operative for EB coaching. Let’s hit it out of the park together! Full-service more your style? Hit us up here.

Powerhouse Talent -employer branding, culture and talent attraction Employer Branding

Recruitment Technology Is Less Important Than These Six Skills

 

Recruitment Technology Is Less Important Than These Six Skills | ERE

All I see lately are recruitment conferences focused almost entirely on technology. It seems as if other things – the really important skills that differentiate the skilled recruiter from the amateur – are not important anymore. I am not anti-technology, have written a lot about what it can do for us, and I know that …

Give us a shout to learn more about how we are making employer branding feel easy! Click here to learn about the Employer Branding Co-Operative.

Image of desk - Employer Branding agency alternatives Employer Branding

Full Service Employer Branding Agency Alternatives

To test what you are made of as a Talent Attraction pro, you have been tasked with building out an Employer Brand strategy. Did we mention you have been given next to no budget? Yikes!

Fret no more because we have five full-service Employer Brand agency alternatives that will help you step up your EB game for less than you think.

1 Capstone projects – One of the most time-consuming aspects of an employer branding project is the research phase. Did you know that many universities have student research projects called “Capstone projects”? By partnering with local post-secondary institutions, you may be able to benefit from research resources while simultaneously supporting our emerging workforce. It’s also important to note that these students likely have not been down this road before, so this option will require strong oversight to ensure the end result aligns with your organization’s goals.

2 Inhouse resources – Look internally for talent with an interest in learning about employer branding. You may find several employees who can carve out time to support this initiative. Next, build a project team that leverages their natural abilities. Who is the super creative person in the group? Who can write and give Stephen King a run for his money? Align the team with someone from Marketing who can help guide them through a similar process to what is used in consumer branding.

3 Part-time Freelancer – Consider hiring a freelancer on a part-time basis to work with internal resources. This approach allows a company to contain costs while still benefiting from Employer Branding expertise.

4 Employer Branding Co-Operative – Powerhouse Talent’s EB Co-Operative was created to be an alternative to the traditional agency engagement. Co-Op members gain instant access to Powerhouse Talent’s exclusive learning platform with bite-size training ranging from, “what is a recruitment funnel?” to “digital marketing”. Members also gain access to LAND YOUR BRAND, our Employer Branding training and blueprint. To put the action in Talent Attraction learning, members also obtain their very own EB Strategist to ideate and coach them on a monthly or quarterly basis. It’s like having your very own EB Strategist for a fraction of the cost.

5 Employer Branding Accelerator – The more nimble the organization, the more viable this option becomes. An accelerator is a one day intensive where together with Powerhouse Talent, organizations build out the foundation of their employer brand. Once the session is over, Powerhouse refines the session output into a strategy and tools for your team to activate.

There you have it, Employer Branding can be achieved on little to no budget with some creativity and sweat equity!#LetsDoThis

Give us a shout to learn more.

Powerhouse Talent -employer branding, culture and talent attraction Recruitment

JCPenney is enticing workers with free vacations to New…

JCPenney is enticing workers with free vacations to New York and Miami as retail’s ‘war for talent’ heats up

JCPenney is looking for ways to stand out from the crowd as a “war for talent” hits the retail sector. On Tuesday, JCPenney hosted a nationwide hiring day where applicants were invited to come in to its stores and interview for jobs. To entice workers, it offered expensive prizes to eight lucky candidates.

 

 

Powerhouse Talent -employer branding, culture and talent attraction Employer Branding

FREE Employer Branding On A Budget Video

While the Talent Attraction community at large may be investing more than ever in their employer branding (EB) efforts, many have been tasked with building out an EB strategy on a shoestring budget.

To those who may be bootstrapping their way to the top, take a deep breath because we’ve got your back.

We have put together an action plan to help you on your EB journey.

Gain instant access to our EB on a budget video by clicking on the image below.

See you soon!

Employer Branding on a budget video training

Ready to amp up your EB game? Give us a shout!

employer branding on a budget Employer Branding

Employer Branding On A Budget

While the Talent Attraction community at large may be investing more than ever in their employer branding (EB) efforts, many have been tasked with building out an EB strategy on a shoestring budget. To those who may be bootstrapping their way to the top, take a deep breath because we’ve got your back.  We have put together an action plan to help you on your EB journey.

(Article continues below)

 Employer Branding on a budget video training

Know your “why”

Start with discovering your “why”. What attracts and retains your top talent and what is your organization’s promise to its people? This is your Employee Value Proposition (EVP). It’s also the foundation of your Employer Brand, so naturally, it’s where you want to start.

You can help discover this critical component to your people strategy by speaking with employees via interviews and focus groups. You can also use surveys to collect this information.

It’s also critical to layer upon your EVP where your organization is going over the next few years and to determine who your critical talent populations are.  From there you can build talent personas to deepen your understanding of these populations and what channels they may be utilizing to consume content.

Be consistent

Once you are aware of your EVP, critical talent populations, and have built talent personas, it’s time to determine key messages and your visual identity. Consistency is a critical element to any brand.

Imagine walking into McDonald’s to order a Big Mac. You can easily identify its building from others due to steady use of images and colour, which is essentially its visual identity. You are aware of what McDonald’s stands for due to how they consistently communicate with their customers. You are not expecting a $50 steak and are thrilled with your Big Mac as it delivered on its promise of consistency thus further building brand trust. This is the power of consistency and how you build a brand.

Understanding who you are, consistently communicating your messages to the world, and honouring your brand throughout your employee lifecycle is critical in building brand trust.

Amplify your story

With your EVP in hand, key messages determined, storytelling tools such as your visual identity mapped out, it’s time to share your epic story with the world.

Check out these low-cost ideas to help get you started:

Build content on social media

Consider visual storytelling tools such as Instagram and Facebook. They are free to use and create dynamic and authentic content for your prospective talent to get to know your brand.

Keep in mind that unlike a consumer brand, many people “checking out” your profiles will not opt to follow you for fear of the ask to follow back. Many candidates wish to keep their social media profiles private but will investigate prospective employers prior to accepting a job or even applying. Round out the content available to candidates by offering them more to see and read than simply employer reviews.

Mobilize a social team

Empowering employees to share your story is highly effective. Select and train employees to be “social scouts” and look for great social moments to share on the feed. These scouts may be given direct feed access or serve as “content collectors” for the curator to have final say.

Additionally, organizations looking for increased employee advocacy may want to check out our new employee advocacy app. This branded app is included in all our managed social media programs or may be purchased as a stand-alone tool. We built this branded app to help organizations empower all their employees to become social ambassadors while the company remains in full control of what is published on the feed. It’s the perfect fusion of authenticity and employee engagement meeting brand consistency and control.

Use video

Create a YouTube playlist of great office moments or archive video on Instagram or Facebook. Our view is that highly produced video may look great, but we feel credibility is stronger with informal selfie style employee led video. Give a tour of the office, capture highlights of a great event, tour the neighbourhood, etc. The opportunities are endless.

Blog

Add a blog and write about hot industry topics by highlighting the quality of the talent you have at your company. Awesome people want to work and learn from awesome people. Blog your way into brand relevance.

Optimize for search

Not everyone is aware of SEO (search engine optimization). SEO helps search engines rank content and display the most relevant pieces to users. Great SEO means discoverability. From strong titles to keyword tags, be mindful of SEO with each and every piece of content you create.

 

Employer Branding on a budget is totally doable! It takes some skilling up, a whole lot of self awareness, and some major hustle but it so worth it in the end.

Looking for more help without the cost of a full-service employer branding engagement? We are excited to share with you how we are disrupting the Employer Branding agency model and making EB accessible to all! To learn more about The Employer Branding Co-Operative, our exciting program that helps organizations big and small afford an Employer Branding strategist on their team, give us a shout.

 

 

 

Powerhouse Talent -employer branding, culture and talent attraction Employer Branding

Employer Branding Mistakes

The 4 Biggest Mistakes Companies Make in Employer Branding

At this stage, I’d wager that you’ve spent some amount of time seriously thinking about one of the two hottest topics in recruiting: artificial intelligence or employer branding. In your fear of getting left behind or as a means of

Looking for a range of Employer Branding solutions? We have programs to support organizations and budgets of all sizes. Hit us up here.

Powerhouse Talent -employer branding, culture and talent attraction Employer Branding

The 5 Things Driving Online Applicants the Most Crazy

The 5 Things Driving Online Applicants the Most Crazy

Half the U.S. job candidates who participated in our study this year say they have quit an online application. This is an increase of 6 percent compared to 2017. What are the causes? What challenges do candidates face? How can

 

Learn more about progressive talent attraction strategies and optimizing your candidate experience here.

Powerhouse Talent -employer branding, culture and talent attraction Culture

How To Breathe New Life Into A Stale Employer…

How To Breathe New Life Into A Stale Employer Brand

If your organization has been having difficulty finding and retaining the talent it needs, it may be due in part to a stale employer brand. Not to be confused with your company brand — which encompasses the messaging, perceptions and valuation your customers have of your organization’s products and services — your employer brand is your reputation as a great place to work or an awful place to work.

 

There Is A New Compensation Currency And I’m Not Talking About Bitcoin Culture

There Is A New Compensation Currency…

There is a new currency out there and I’m not talking about Bitcoin…or Ethereum for that matter. Increasingly we are seeing the intangibles weighing more heavily on the hearts and minds of applicants and employees when making employment decisions.

So, what are some modern-day tenders of choice?

Flexibility– There have been countless articles, research, and conferences about how millennials wish to work differently. What is surprising to some is that many other generations are thanking them for being the catalyst for change positively impacting the way we work. Working parents, human and fur alike, now enjoy greater flexibility to provide their most meaningful contribution in a manner that makes sense for their roles and their lives. Progressive leaders empower their people with a challenging mandate and then allow them to decide how to best achieve the optimal outcome. From flex-hours to remote work, how we work has changed and thank goodness for that!

Solution- Consider implementing agile workforce programs in your workplace. This is more than writing a policy, it’s a lifestyle change. Lead by example by having your leaders demonstrate these progressive programs in how they collaborate and measure success.

Inspiring leadership– Move over command and control, inspiring leadership is where its at. What resonates with someone is individual, but we have yet to hear someone ask to join a company where there is more hierarchy, regiment, and excessive approval processes. What we do hear about is accessible leadership, removing bottlenecks, mission-driven work, and a clear vision.

Solution- From the top of the house down, ask yourself if you have the type of leaders that will magnetize critical talent populations to your organization. On a go-forward basis, be sure to hire leaders that support a cultural metamorphosis.

Virtualization– In order to achieve this flexibility, one needs technological requirements to help make it happen. A virtualized workplace has allowed us to collaborate not only cross-functionally, but also globally in very meaningful ways. Legacy facetime has been replaced with Apple Facetime, Google Hangouts, and Skype.  Providing smart ways to work helps a workforce manage their most precious resource, their time, by shaving hours off their commute and positively impacting the environment.

Solution– Start utilizing tech tools that power a modern workforce. You would be surprised how many are free or low cost. Locate the early adopters in your employee population and empower them to train and evangelise on these tools.

Purpose– “We’re here to put a dent in the universe”- Steve Jobs. According to an Imperative study, 40% of the US population is purpose-oriented. That figure is even higher in several European countries. Many employees are no longer working for the all-mighty dollar alone. We are driven by impact and the dent we make in the universe.

Solution- Ask yourself, what is the bigger purpose of the work you do? Promote this bigger purpose as a focal point of the mission and employer brand messaging.

Fuller Talent Utilization– “We only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make” – Lewis Carroll.  Regret can also be tied to the talents and gifts we did not have a chance to share. Narrow role scoping and a culture of colour within the lines can translate into underutilized talents. What a shame! It’s no wonder why the start up ecosystem has a natural magnetism to it. Bootstrapping means fuller talent utilization. We all want to be the hero and show the world what we are made of.

Solution-Provide broader mandates and challenge your team to try new things and tap into their hidden talents. Foster a culture of career exploration internally.


Modern Organizational Structure
– What would you select, cog in a wheel or valued contributor to the mission? Progressive leaders are looking to limit communication bottleneck and create greater access to information. If speed to market is game changing, reliance on old school hierarchy and communication protocol can spell disaster. Elon Musk’s now famous email on communication at Tesla embodies the spirit of open communication in the best interest of the organization versus a historical chain of command. While this may seem like an impossible dream for the multinational giants, this is exactly how Tesla is looking to compete with “intelligence and agility”.

Solution- Revisit structure and look for ways to streamline communication and optimize how work gets done. Encourage open communication and accessible leadership across the company that serves the culture and the customer.

Per Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, compensation and benefits are basic human needs of personal safety. Those must be present but to truly attract and retain, but in today’s war for talent, the exceptional are looking for far more than their personal safety needs met. They want fulfillment. It could be increased autonomy or creative freedom, perhaps it’s tied to the mission. Regardless of what the driver may be, it leads back to how an opportunity at your organization can enrich their life, not simply thicken their crypowallet.

#HumanBeforeResources