Employment Branding: Satisfy the Psychological Contract

For example, let us consider Un-diverse Inc, a fictitious company based on a real example. Un-diverse is considered to have one of the most attractive employment brands for young aggressive professionals. However, we questioned its generational diversity efforts from the images displayed on its careers website, as well as when questioning its associates about their internal status. Although it is not explicit in its attraction for young professionals (that would be illegal in the United States, according to Title VII and other federal and state laws), the culture created from their particular employment brand is one which is attractive to young professionals, especially male professionals.


by Joe Shaheen

In the September Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership, I write about branding in a way that, hopefully, you haven’t thought about before.

There has been a lot of talk about employment branding recently and how organizations are dedicating more and more of their resources toward their branding intitiatives. In all the noise and in the race to create the best brand something essential not just to recruiting but for the entire entry-to-exit HR process was lost. Keeping promises! That’s right — keeping promises. It’s not as boring a subject as it might seem, and I make no ethical/soft arguments toward that end in my article. Simply put, I provide evidence and a discussion that supports either promising only what you deliver, or using your employment brand as a driver to deliver more than what you promise. It’s all there in the literature. It’s even very intuitive to see, yet time and time again we see that this advice is ignored in the branding efforts of even some of the most visible organizations.

What I say in the Journal is that branding isn’t a matter of good and bad, but about how much you promise, what you promise, and what you can deliver. If you raise people’s expectations too high, and under-deliver, that’s when you’ll have a problem. Leer más “Employment Branding: Satisfy the Psychological Contract”

Real Time Location Recruiting: Using Emerging Technology to Meet Prospects

The smart phone and the applications associated with it are radically changing the game for advanced, technically savvy recruiters (others need not read on unless you like shaking your head in disbelief). For those not afraid of evolution and innovation, an emerging class of “location aware” social networking applications can and are enabling recruiters to facilitate impromptu face-to-face meetings with top talent outside the structured assessment process.

Originally intended to help friends with time to kill coordinate impromptu meetings with other friends physically located nearby, services like foursquare, Facebook Places, loopt, and countless others provide savvy recruiters with an opportunity to engage face-to-face with elusive top talent often difficult to convert to an applicant or the offer-stage candidate sitting on the fence.


by

Dr John Sullivan and Master Burnett

The smart phone and the applications associated with it are radically changing the game for advanced, technically savvy recruiters (others need not read on unless you like shaking your head in disbelief). For those not afraid of evolution and innovation, an emerging class of “location aware” social networking applications can and are enabling recruiters to facilitate impromptu face-to-face meetings with top talent outside the structured assessment process.

Originally intended to help friends with time to kill coordinate impromptu meetings with other friends physically located nearby, services like foursquare, Facebook Places, loopt, and countless others provide savvy recruiters with an opportunity to engage face-to-face with elusive top talent often difficult to convert to an applicant or the offer-stage candidate sitting on the fence. Leer más “Real Time Location Recruiting: Using Emerging Technology to Meet Prospects”

Prepping Candidates and Taming Hiring Managers

Most candidates — even high-level executives — need to be prepped before the interview. The reason for this is obvious: they all think they’re great interviewees. Most aren’t. Making matters worse, the hiring managers they’ll be meeting think they’re endowed with some special instinct that allows them to accurately assess candidate competency. Most aren’t.

Since I don’t like to present great candidates who get inadvertently excluded for dumb reasons, I need to prep both my hiring manager clients and my candidates to increase the likelihood the candidates are appropriately and accurately evaluated. This way I don’t have to do searches over again and rely on luck to make placements.

To be taken seriously on this point I had to write a book: Hire With Your Head. Basically it describes a process on how to get hiring managers and candidates on the same page. From the hiring manager’s perspective, it’s describing the work as a series of performance objectives required for on-the-job success. (I refer to these as performance profiles.) From the candidate’s perspective, it’s having them describe a comparable accomplishment for each performance objective. For example, let’s assume the job required the new product marketing manager to develop and launch 25 new iPad apps over the course of the next year. During the interview you’d ask the candidate to describe in detail some comparable product-marketing-related accomplishment. I suggest spending 10-15 minutes getting lots of details for each accomplishment. (Here’s my one-question interview article I wrote for ERE in 2001 on how to do this.) These performance objectives can be split among the hiring team; then, during the collective debrief, the team can rank the candidate on how well the accomplishments compare.

At least that’s the theory. In the field other things happen to mess up this plan.


Photograph taken during the California rodeo, Salinas, 2006 edition Copyright © 2006 David MonniauxMost candidates — even high-level executives — need to be prepped before the interview. The reason for this is obvious: they all think they’re great interviewees. Most aren’t. Making matters worse, the hiring managers they’ll be meeting think they’re endowed with some special instinct that allows them to accurately assess candidate competency. Most aren’t.

Since I don’t like to present great candidates who get inadvertently excluded for dumb reasons, I need to prep both my hiring manager clients and my candidates to increase the likelihood the candidates are appropriately and accurately evaluated. This way I don’t have to do searches over again and rely on luck to make placements.

To be taken seriously on this point I had to write a book: Hire With Your Head. Basically it describes a process on how to get hiring managers and candidates on the same page. From the hiring manager’s perspective, it’s describing the work as a series of performance objectives required for on-the-job success. (I refer to these as performance profiles.) From the candidate’s perspective, it’s having them describe a comparable accomplishment for each performance objective. For example, let’s assume the job required the new product marketing manager to develop and launch 25 new iPad apps over the course of the next year. During the interview you’d ask the candidate to describe in detail some comparable product-marketing-related accomplishment. I suggest spending 10-15 minutes getting lots of details for each accomplishment. (Here’s my one-question interview article I wrote for ERE in 2001 on how to do this.) These performance objectives can be split among the hiring team; then, during the collective debrief, the team can rank the candidate on how well the accomplishments compare.

At least that’s the theory. In the field other things happen to mess up this plan. Leer más “Prepping Candidates and Taming Hiring Managers”

Spherion’s Temp Life Is A Branding Phenom

Have you ever gotten a video resume where the candidate brags about her gorgonzola mashed potatoes? Or another where the candidate declares his faults, one of which happens to be that he lies?

Trouble has. His given name is Nick Chiapetta. (Think about it. You’ll get it.) His job is to screen all the video resumes that the director of human acquisitions, Alina Deloris, gets, and recommend candidates to her for temp jobs with Celltons, a company that makes cellphone buttons.

Nick, or Trouble, as he prefers to be called, used to own the temp agency where Celltons is now, until an unfortunate incident involving a bus and a 33-week absence lead to the agency’s demise. Now he’s temping for Celltons.

Those of you still reading, but wondering what I’m talking about, you are excused. You may return after completing the pre-requisites for this post about what may be the most incredible branding adventure in recruiting history.

Everyone else here knows about The Temp Life, Spherion’s Internet TV show. What began as a branding effort aimed at the entry-level demographic has succeeded so well it has been declared a “bona fide phenomenon” by Fast Company. It begins its fifth season in November.

Produced by CJP Digital Media, the phenomenon tag is anything but hyperbole. The videos have been watched some 18 million times. The show was nominated this year for a Streamy Award – the online Emmys. It has a Facebook page and a loyal Twitter following.

It’s also been picked up by cable TV syndicators and is being shown to 1.9 million Marriott, Hyatt, and other hotel guests every year on in-room entertainment.


Have you ever gotten a video resume where the candidate brags about her gorgonzola mashed potatoes? Or another where the candidate declares his faults, one of which happens to be that he lies?

Trouble has. His given name is Nick Chiapetta. (Think about it. You’ll get it.) His job is to screen all the video resumes that the director of human acquisitions, Alina Deloris, gets, and recommend candidates to her for temp jobs with Celltons, a company that makes cellphone buttons.

Nick, or Trouble, as he prefers to be called, used to own the temp agency where Celltons is now, until an unfortunate incident involving a bus and a 33-week absence lead to the agency’s demise. Now he’s temping for Celltons.

Those of you still reading, but wondering what I’m talking about, you are excused. You may return after completing the pre-requisites for this post about what may be the most incredible branding adventure in recruiting history.

Everyone else here knows about The Temp Life, Spherion’s Internet TV show. What began as a branding effort aimed at the entry-level demographic has succeeded so well it has been declared a “bona fide phenomenon” by Fast Company. It begins its fifth season in November.

Produced by CJP Digital Media, the phenomenon tag is anything but hyperbole. The videos have been watched some 18 million times. The show was nominated this year for a Streamy Award – the online Emmys. It has a Facebook page and a loyal Twitter following.

It’s also been picked up by cable TV syndicators and is being shown to 1.9 million Marriott, Hyatt, and other hotel guests every year on in-room entertainment. Leer más “Spherion’s Temp Life Is A Branding Phenom”

Work/Life Balance and Labor Day

Labor Day in the U.S. is almost here. Many other countries also celebrate a labor day, which has always seemed an unusual event to me. We didn’t celebrate such a day at all until Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City. Interestingly, this is a date that coincides well with the world’s entry into the impersonal and mechanistic 20th century.

I have been noodling for quite some time over the work/life balance movement. I call it a movement because it really came about unexpectedly around 15 years or so ago and has swept corporate America from coast to coast.

I can’t think of any organization that has not had to change policies or at least address its employees about the issue. The work/life balance movement is an interesting phenomenon. I don’t think there has been a previous era when there was such an emphasis on specifically setting aside time for non-work activities.

It is a logical outcome of decades of isolating work from other aspects of life. The idea of creating a balance is based on a set of assumptions that aren’t questioned, yet are very strange from the perspective of a Baby Boomer such as myself or from that of anyone who has studied the history of work.

This is rapidly changing and the work/life movement will wither away over the next few years as people begin to find ways to develop their passion and dreams into paid work that they can do at home or near home when and as much as they want.

Young folks, the Gen Y or Millenniums, are rejecting the work/life notions, much to the chagrin of their elder Gen X colleagues. Gen Y tends to look for work they are passionate about and then they tend to work in ways foreign to Gen X. They take any sense of balance away and may work for days without a stop or not work much at all for some time. They try to choose meaningful and interesting work and embrace it with a passion only seen once in a while with Gen X or Baby Boomers.


Labor Day in the U.S. is almost here. Many other countries also celebrate a labor day, which has always seemed an unusual event to me. We didn’t celebrate such a day at all until Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City. Interestingly, this is a date that coincides well with the world’s entry into the impersonal and mechanistic 20th century.

I have been noodling for quite some time over the work/life balance movement. I call it a movement because it really came about unexpectedly around 15 years or so ago and has swept corporate America from coast to coast.

I can’t think of any organization that has not had to change policies or at least address its employees about the issue. The work/life balance movement is an interesting phenomenon. I don’t think there has been a previous era when there was such an emphasis on specifically setting aside time for non-work activities.

It is a logical outcome of decades of isolating work from other aspects of life. The idea of creating a balance is based on a set of assumptions that aren’t questioned, yet are very strange from the perspective of a Baby Boomer such as myself or from that of anyone who has studied the history of work. Leer más “Work/Life Balance and Labor Day”

SEO Manager Wanted. Bots Need Not Apply

If you were looking for an SEO manager, where would you advertise?

Even if you follow all the rules Lou Adler laid out, it would be hard to top what the Daily Mail in the UK did.

The newspaper embedded an ad in its robots.txt file, a place there is no reason for any human to look. This is a file strictly to be read by the crawlers from search engines. It tells them what pages to index and what not to. For normal humans, there’s nothing of interest there, as you have may already have discovered if you clicked the link.

True SEO geeks, though, check those files. Sometimes the instructions to the crawlers contain interesting tidbits, such as the location where dummy editions might be found. A blogger in 2007 posted about what he found in some UK newspaper files.


If you were looking for an SEO manager, where would you advertise?

Even if you follow all the rules Lou Adler laid out, it would be hard to top what the Daily Mail in the UK did.

The newspaper embedded an ad in its robots.txt file, a place there is no reason for any human to look. This is a file strictly to be read by the crawlers from search engines. It tells them what pages to index and what not to. For normal humans, there’s nothing of interest there, as you have may already have discovered if you clicked the link.

True SEO geeks, though, check those files. Sometimes the instructions to the crawlers contain interesting tidbits, such as the location where dummy editions might be found. A blogger in 2007 posted about what he found in some UK newspaper files. Leer más “SEO Manager Wanted. Bots Need Not Apply”

Think Piece: The Only Competency That Will Matter Is Continuous Learning

by
Dr. John Sullivan

“In a chaotic world, the only competency that matters is continuous learning.”

To improve and extend your career, you need to ponder what the near future holds. While predicting the distant future is tough, looking out a few short years using recent history as your foundation isn’t nearly as difficult. The last two decades have been marked by the radical adoption of technology in nearly every aspect of conducting business. The adoption of technology has eliminated once formidable barriers to entry, brought unrivaled transparency to reality, and accelerated productivity (particularly in the areas of product development and distribution). Given all of the change you have witnessed in the last 20 years, does it really make sense that the same competencies organizations sought out three decades ago will be those most of value moving forward?

I argue NOT!
Characterizing the Last 20 Years

While the adoption of technology has certainly been a major driver of change, there are ultimately four characteristics that define the business environment of the last two decades. Those characteristics are:

1. Continuous churn — frequent cycles of both rapid economic growth and contraction that forced organizations to acquire and shed both talent and entire businesses. Many global organizations were forced to deal with both rapid growth and contraction simultaneously, i.e. churn.
2. Intense global competition — as barriers to entry and competition fell, every firm, even those servicing once tightly defined regional markets, was thrust into a state of unrelenting and intense global competition. In a race for differentiation, technology was leveraged to accelerate product development and innovative delivery, kicking off a never-ending battle that has shortened product development lifecycles and forced innovation throughout all business functions.
3. Rapid obsolescence — with product lifecycles getting shorter and new ways to deliver goods and services arriving daily, information, tools, practices, products, and skills are becoming obsolete at an insane pace. In some industries the knowledge required to produce a product is obsolete by the time the product hits the market. This characteristic impacts not only individuals and organizations, but also entire industries (print publication, photographic technology, communications infrastructure, etc.)
4. Unpredictability foils planning — all of the above characteristics combine to create the fourth: the complexity that volatility in the business environment brings to planning. For industries that make long-term investments (airlines, heavy manufacturing, materials mining, etc.) long-term planning has become largely ineffectual.

The two words that best describe our current state: continuous obsolescence. Years ago, management guru Tom Peters predicted our current state. He called it “managing under chaos.”


“In a chaotic world, the only competency that matters is continuous learning.”

To improve and extend your career, you need to ponder what the near future holds. While predicting the distant future is tough, looking out a few short years using recent history as your foundation isn’t nearly as difficult. The last two decades have been marked by the radical adoption of technology in nearly every aspect of conducting business. The adoption of technology has eliminated once formidable barriers to entry, brought unrivaled transparency to reality, and accelerated productivity (particularly in the areas of product development and distribution). Given all of the change you have witnessed in the last 20 years, does it really make sense that the same competencies organizations sought out three decades ago will be those most of value moving forward?

I argue NOT!

Characterizing the Last 20 Years

While the adoption of technology has certainly been a major driver of change, there are ultimately four characteristics that define the business environment of the last two decades. Those characteristics are:

  1. Continuous churn — frequent cycles of both rapid economic growth and contraction that forced organizations to acquire and shed both talent and entire businesses. Many global organizations were forced to deal with both rapid growth and contraction simultaneously, i.e. churn.
  2. Intense global competition — as barriers to entry and competition fell, every firm, even those servicing once tightly defined regional markets, was thrust into a state of unrelenting and intense global competition. In a race for differentiation, technology was leveraged to accelerate product development and innovative delivery, kicking off a never-ending battle that has shortened product development lifecycles and forced innovation throughout all business functions.
  3. Rapid obsolescence — with product lifecycles getting shorter and new ways to deliver goods and services arriving daily, information, tools, practices, products, and skills are becoming obsolete at an insane pace. In some industries the knowledge required to produce a product is obsolete by the time the product hits the market. This characteristic impacts not only individuals and organizations, but also entire industries (print publication, photographic technology, communications infrastructure, etc.)
  4. Unpredictability foils planning — all of the above characteristics combine to create the fourth: the complexity that volatility in the business environment brings to planning. For industries that make long-term investments (airlines, heavy manufacturing, materials mining, etc.) long-term planning has become largely ineffectual.

The two words that best describe our current state: continuous obsolescence. Years ago, management guru Tom Peters predicted our current state. He called it “managing under chaos.” Leer más “Think Piece: The Only Competency That Will Matter Is Continuous Learning”