With the end of the year approaching, you’re thinking about wrapping things up or budgets for next year. What if instead, you started thinking innovation? If you’ve struggled this year making a name for your company in the talent market, it’s time to determine what you can do differently next year to build your employer brand.
This week we’ve rounded-up some posts to get you thinking–can’t 2014 be the year of the creative? First things first: you’ve got to define your employer brand. But once you’ve done that, here are some ways to jumpstart your brand:
1) 17 Employer Branding Strategies for 2014 from SocialTrex
“Start with the loudest part of your brand, the career landing page and create a visually appealing and near textless career portal [and] ensure your talent community is worth joining. Does it provide something your job notifications, social channels and ATS don’t? If the answer is yes, then you are doing it correctly.” Read More…
There’s nothing worse than a busy season to test the mettle of a startup. Excessive orders, customer service wrinkles, products out of stock, you name it. And when something goes wrong the problem usually lies with…you guessed it, the people. When we help clients build cultures, we talk about the importance of hiring to culture–especially for startups where employees are often the face of the company.
Hiring to culture is not “can I have a beer with this guy?” It’s a defined selection process that tests whether a candidate will deliver in a way congruent to your company values. It’s employees that live the brand every day and act as an extension of the business no matter where they are.
Since I’m in the business of startups, it’s only fitting I patronize them too. And in checking off my own gift list this year, I decided to put a few service startups to the test. How would they fare when I ordered their goods, asked questions, and responded to problems that arose? And what startup employees are really singing their brand’s tune? Read More…
We talk culture all day long, but there’s a beginning, a place it all started. And you might be in the place. Considering the role culture plays or even trying to convince your founder or leadership team it matters.
This week we’ve compiled some varying insights on ways to learn about culture and get started in your organization. Remember, values are just the first step–you stil want to do all you can to bridge the gap between values and execution (perks, communications etc.) Check out our post on what we call work rules–a unique way to put your values in action.
This week’s roundup:
1) Want to Build an Enduring Company? Fix Culture First from Agency Post
“As a leader, your primary role — and greatest challenge — is to build culture. The sooner you begin to look at leadership as the empowerment of people through culture, the sooner you can build a true foundation that will correct the problems the company faces through the people who are in the midst of it every day. More than vision, product or decisiveness, culture is what builds great companies and enduring brands.” Read More…
When we started exaqueo at the end of 2011, the goal was to rethink the way we value employees. When companies wait until they get too big to create a culture and hire to that culture, disengagement ensues. We’re passionate about helping startup and high-growth companies and pleased to grow our team of consultants doing just that.
This week, we welcome consultant Lexi Gordon to our team here in snowy, Washington, DC. Lexi’s background in consulting, culture and brand is the perfect addition to our growing team. Most recently, Lexi was a consultant with The Clearing, a culture and change management strategy consulting firm. She now turns her expertise and attention to startup and high-growth clients here at exaqueo and joins our awesome team.
When it comes to “employer brand,” most people either don’t know the term or completely misunderstand it. Employer brand is not social recruiting or posting jobs online. And it’s not slapping the consumer brand on a careers site and calling it a day. It’s what the employment experience is known for, it’s reputation.
It’s actually just like the consumer brand, but instead of the product or service a company is selling, it’s the employment experience. In order to really understand employer brand, you have to start with understanding the concept of brand, so this week we bring you some brand basics. Put your consumer brand hat on first!
1) Everything You Know About Branding Is Wrong from the CMO Network
”The simple truth is that a brand isn’t a logo, an advertisement, or a poster hung on the wall in a corporate office. It’s a gut feeling about a company, and smart companies know the power of a brand done right. This happens when everything connects through design—from virtual environments like websites to built environments like office spaces—and it all starts with an understanding of why a company matters. Whether designing a company’s headquarters or field office, their website, or developing a new brand strategy, start by asking two key questions: who are you? And: Why do you matter?”
I saw another post today touting the great culture of a company and showcasing the office space. That’s great, but a cool office does not make a culture alone. A culture is a set of values and norms that define the behavior of an organization. Sure. perks and cool chairs can be an extension of that, but you have to start with what you believe.
Today we continue our series on companies not only passionate about culture but making the effort to pull that through. Our goal is to show you talent not only matters but can be the difference between success or stagnation. This week I connected with Raoul Davis, the CEO of Ascendent Group. Raoul’s on a mission to amplify the message of socially conscious firms led by visionary CEOs.
Susan LaMotte, exaqueo (SL): You’re in the business of people everyday. But can you describe your corporate culture in three words?
Raoul Davis, Ascendent Group (RD): Highly effective and human. Read More…
This week is all about gratitude for sure. Thanksgiving isn’t just a food-coma-inducing holiday. It’s a chance to think carefully about what you’re thankful for and to share that thanks.
Being grateful isn’t as easy as sounds. Especially when it comes to thanking employees. Team members receive and appreciate gratitude in different ways and it’s important to learn how they liked to be thanked and what they appreciate most.
This week we’ve found some great insights on how to do just that. It’s important to realize everyone appreciates gratitude differently. And the more attention you pay, the more they’ll see the how genuine your gratitude really is. Who will you thank this week? And how will you do it? Read More…
During my first human resources job for Arthur Andersen, I was introduced to the beauty of self-awareness. Even in the early 1990s the firm was HR-progressive, introducing a mandatory 360-degree feedback program.
Back then, upward feedback was thrilling. A chance to honestly share what my boss could do better? I had been raised to respect my elders so there was little opportunity to openly correct my elders. And back then the workplace was about respect too. You followed the boss’ orders and only provided your opinion when asked. But the 90s brought an HR revolution. And workers everywhere started hearing the phrase that still echoes in my mind today.
Feedback is a gift. Read More…
As companies scale, culture and growth go hand-in-hand. This means founders and leaders have to be more and more creative about how to ensure they continue to sustain culture so it doesn’t get lost in the forest of growth. This week we share multiple examples of ways you can think about scaling the talent side of your business in the right way.
” “When a city doubles in size, innovation increases by 15 percent,” he says. “But when companies get bigger, productivity goes down.” To avoid that destiny as Zappos expands, he aims to organize the company “more like a city and less like a large company” with densely populated workspaces, and, when it comes to navigating them, a preference for “collisions over convenience.” Read More…
At exaqueo, we’ve always believed that the earlier you define your culture, promote that culture –the good and the bad – and hire to it, the more effective the role talent can play in your growth.
Today we’re continuing our series on companies not only passionate about culture but making the effort to pull that through. Our goal is to show you talent not only matters but can be the difference between success or stagnation.
I remember when I told my father I wasn’t interested in becoming a corporate vice president. He was taken aback–climbing the corporate ladder and succeeding was one of his biggest successes. And it was big–for him. Success was measured in responsibility, power and titles. And there is nothing wrong with that. Plenty of workers still find value in hitting those milestones and rightly so.
But change is afoot. It’s not that we no longer value these things, it’s that we have reevaluated the role work plays in our lives and for some of us the way we get value from work is different. Success may be one value, but we also value things like creativity, flexibility, patience and time. Now we have to make the case that companies need to offer these values just as much as they sell us their vision of success. Read More…
Let’s face it, no one sails through their work life with grace and ease. We stumble, we fail, we struggle and we learn some pretty great lessons along the way. For me, those lessons have come from 32 different, paying jobs in 21 years. You heard that right. 32. From orientation leader to cold caller, I wouldn’t believe it myself if I hadn’t written them all down.* Am I flighty? Do I lack work ethic? Am I a poor performer? Not a bit.
We’ve been chastising millenials for job hopping and holding too many jobs. We assume the worst–lack of promotions, laziness, perspective–but maybe there’s more to it, especially early in your career. What if having a million jobs was a good thing?
Every week we gather HR and Talent news for you — the best of what we’ve read. This week, we’re turning the tables and sharing some of the best of what we’ve written both for exaqueo’s blog and in other channels where we share our insights. The common theme? Rethinking what we often hold true: processes should stay static, we can’t learn from areas of the business completely different from ours, constant achievements are the goal…this is the norm. And sometimes, the norm has to be flipped.
So this week we bring our insights on how to rethink some of the common things you do from milestones to updates to hiring. And maybe you’ll shift the tide come Monday. Read More…
There’s no shortage of college graduates searching for jobs–some have internship and project experience, but they’re still new, and entry-level talent has to be trained. Programs like Nashville’s Software School, App Academy, and Hackbright Academy are helping to fill the gap. But that doesn’t help when you have jobs that require experience now and you can’t find the talent. You can take a newbie and try to train them up quickly, but sometimes a role requires more than just skill–things like decision-making ability, patience under pressure, or team management experience that takes a few years to cultivate.
In these situations, it’s tempting to outsource the problem. After all, you’re busy running companies, bringing in new business and customers, running beta tests–you don’t have the time to devote to a recruiting strategy. Thing is–neither do most external recruiters. They’re going to focus on sourcing the position like you did and then charge you a sizable percentage when you choose one of their candidates. Not that you should avoid external recruiters completely, but what if there were a way to save that fee without exceptional effort? Read More…
It started as early as eighth grade. Field hockey tryouts came and went, and we gathered around the team lists like crazed Madonna fans (the Bieber of my day). I was a decent athlete, and I made the A team. The season passed, and everyone wanted to know whether I was going to try to make the high school team.
Ninth grade found me playing softball. At under five feet, I was the smallest girl on the team, but also the fastest. That meant a sometimes-bump to varsity as backup for second base and the designated pinch runner. Everyone asked, “Will you make varsity next year? I did. Then it was, “Will you start at varsity next year?” I was cut. I’d been good enough to play varsity my freshman and sophomore years, but too many bigger, stronger girls rose through the ranks.
It was embarrassing — not even because I didn’t make it, but because everyone kept asking what the next milestone was. I was out of milestones. We’re so achievement-oriented, we can’t handle defeat (let alone appreciate the moment we’re in). I’ve learned that it hasn’t gotten better as I’ve gotten older, either.
Everyone wants to know where you’re headed next. Read More…
Another day, another viral video of a frustrated, tired employee quitting a job in a dramatic fashion. First there was the chute-sliding JetBlue flight attendant and then the brash marching band incident followed by the forthright op-ed from the ex-Goldman Sachs employee.
And now there’s the dancing video producer who’s simply had enough.
In her case she claimed the work environment in Taiwan wasn’t bearable. So why not just move on? Or better yet, look for work opportunities in countries where employment laws and work environments generally tend to be a bit more supportive of work-life balance?
If only we could all vent this way. About everything. Read More…
Startups and growing businesses talk about scale, sure. But when we think of scale, we often forget the trials and tribulations that scale brings, especially when it comes to talent. A few of us here at exaqueo had the opportunity to hear from LivingSocial CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy earlier this week talk about the difficulties of scaling his business.
And guess what? His challenges were primarily people related. In fact, LivingSocial went from 35 to 400 to 6000 employees in two years. I never thought I’d a founder talk about the challenges of labor laws. But alas, it’s true. If you really want to scale, you can’t ignore the people factor. From hiring a team to your own people skills–it could make or break you. Seriously.
Timely. Detailed. Manager. Feedback.
When you read that, you have one of two likely reactions. They are probably either “I’m sorry, what did you say? Was that English?” or “Oh, you mean when a manager says ‘hmmm, Not a fit’”. Let’s face it, regardless of whether you are an internal or external recruiter, getting timely and detailed feedback and information is usually a challenge. Feedback and a solid heads up can very much resemble the purple squirrel we’re all always in search of. So what can we do? We’re all at the mercy of the hiring manager who makes the final call, right? Well, what if we turned the feedback model on it’s head?
Many of you who recruit for technical and/or engineering roles are familiar with the Scrum development methodology. Not familiar? NO PROBLEM. It’s not just for engineers! Scrum is a methodology that incorporates the idea of fast development cycles, frequent releases and quick stand-ups versus long, drawn out, “Death by Powerpoint” meetings. Hmm, maybe the developers are on to something here. Read More…
Regardless of the business you’re in, learning has to be a regular part of your routine. Otherwise you miss technology, innovation and quite simply, what’s happening all around you. It’s one thing to engage in online content, but another to hear it live, engage, ask questions and hear what others think about what you just heard. But while conferences have value well beyond our online selves, they’re often overwhelming or hard to navigate. That’s where local comes in.
Every locale, every geography has its own set of challenges that make doing business there hard. And DC is no different. Read More…
There’s a great scene in Sex and the City where Charlotte proclaims she’s exhausted with dating. Constantly trying to find “the one” is tiring. And while there’s no real limit on the time we can take to find the right spouse or partner, if you’re a recruiter, you don’t have the luxury of taking your time. The proverbial clock is always ticking. It’s a constant game of matchmaking and starting over again.
Sometimes a good metaphor can be the best training. So when founders, new CEOs or leaders in growing companies toil over hiring, I encourage them to think about it like dating. It makes it easier to understand the struggle, the exhaustion and the hilarity of it all.
Here are five ways recruiting is like dating and the accompanying lessons you can learn.