Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Organic Branding for Employers

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

I was recently asked by international employer branding news journal, Universum Quarterly, to be the guest writer for this quarter’s edition.  Subscribers in HR organizations worldwide will receive the publication this week.

Universum Quarterly began in 2006 and is the world’s first periodical for Employer Branding.  Each issue brings feature articles which investigate best practices and trends in employer branding, as well as examples of employer branding in action and instrumental tips for succeeding in certain industries, locations and with certain types of talent.

Organic Branding for Employers

by Craig Fisher, Courtesy of Universum Quarterly

An employer brand should be built from the inside out. Just as part of an organization’s marketing message should come from its customers, the employer brand should be championed by its employees.  For better or worse, they are the vehicles by which the message will be conveyed on blogs and social networks. Smart employers will take advantage of this tremendous PR opportunity and embrace social networking, encouraging intercompany collaboration, and communication with those outside the corporate walls by their employees acting as their brand champions in social media.  The brand message itself must be authentic, unique and attractive. Job seekers today do not care about boiler plate HR selling points.  Sure, the message should be stated clearly on an effective recruiting Web site. But if it is not first conveyed to the internal employees and reinforced by meeting or surpassing their expectations, the organization will not have the brand champions it needs to convey that message online to job seekers.

Social networking at work

Organizations that place broad restrictions on the use of social media at work will soon feel the backlash in lower employee recruitment and retention. Workers at many levels these days are used to communicating and receiving information at a speed that is difficult to achieve with standard email and corporate intranets. In economic times such as these, where cutbacks are common, communication with your workforce is vital to maintain morale.  Social networking cannot only expedite communication, but also improve employees’ sense of belonging and worth.

Top firms like IBM and Sun Microsystems have successfully incorporated social networking in the workplace. IBM created a wildly successful internal social network for communication and collaboration. Sun hosts a Twitter account that is automatically updated by Sun Microsystems’ employee blogs worldwide.  Both companies have very clear employee guidelines about the use of social networking encouraging responsible engagement, communication, learning, and contribution.

Reach new talent Web 2.0 style

Jobseekers regularly google a prospective employer to find out what current and past employees are saying about working at that company. How do companies encourage a positive online portrayal by its workers? Social networking best practices should be taught in the workplace. Employees should be empowered to feel they are part of the positive message an employer wants to communicate. Your HR team can double as community managers by setting up employee group pages on sites like LinkedIn, Ning, or Facebook. Companies need to encourage employees to join and share knowledge. They should post helpful tips for new employees to get them integrated and productive quickly by networking with their peers and managers.

Prospective employees should be exposed to such networks to get a sense of the people with whom they will work and a feel for the corporate culture. Your new community managers can even use services like Twitter to announce updates, further promoting the brand.  With such an effort, your social collaboration will become an attractive feature to future employees. 

Control vs. respect

Companies cannot completely control what is said about them on blogs or social networks.  But viewing social media as a potential liability will not help matters. Companies who rely on simply a corporate blog or Web site to convey their message to customers or potential employees will miss the mark. Individual brand advocates within your ranks can be trained to effectively relate any message to the masses on social sites. Zappos.com is a company known for excellent customer service. However, Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh, has said that their main focus is not customer service, but rather their internal people. That is a powerful branding statement. One can easily ask Zappos.com’s employees how they feel about it, as many of them have Twitter accounts with names like Zappos_Alfred or Zappos_Lynn.

It is natural to be concerned about what may be said by employees who are laid off by their former employer. Company policies of surprising workers with news that their job has been eliminated, locking them out of their offices, and ordering them off the premises are common place. Smart organizations can avoid this PR disaster with better communication and by assisting their displaced workers.  Instead, companies should set up a network for those who are laid off and post advice and leads to assist in job searching and outplacement.  Taking this a step further, they can even organize a “pink slip” party. Set it up on Facebook and invite local recruiters and career coaches to come and offer assistance to those outgoing workers. Word gets around fast about companies who treat their people well, even in the wake of layoffs.

Reinforce the message

A company’s employer brand must be authentic, unique, and attractive. To consistently have the company message positively reflected in the external comments of workers, a company must clearly convey that brand to current and new employees and work to meet the expectations set by that message. From the perspective of new recruits, there must also be a strong employer recruiting site that clearly states the message and gives a good picture of what work-life at your company is like. Many of the top corporate career sites use recruiting videos that can be viewed on site, as well as on social spaces, like YouTube. These are particularly effective when utilizing current employees rather than actors.

Creating a positive atmosphere of trust and empowerment within a workforce will help to assure that the right message is communicated online. If employers remain true to their message, the brand is built naturally from the inside out. Social media becomes less of a liability and more of a recruiting tool. Empowered employees will be the best employer brand champions.

Growing your brand with social media

• Determine your authentic, unique and attractive brand message.
• Convey the message to employees and on an effective recruiting web site. Meet the expectations it sets.
• Embrace social networking in the workplace.
• Empower your people to champion your brand through social media.

Craig Fisher

Owner Principal A-List Solutions
Dallas, Texas, US

Craig Fisher has more than 18 years experience in sales and is a specialist in IT recruitment.  He is the co-founder of A-List Solutions, a full-service staffing and recruiting firm for management and IT professionals. Craig is also an avid blogger.

A-list Solutions is a full-service staffing firm providing permanent and contract placement services for management, marketing, and IT positions to organizations of all sizes. They consult with both job seekers and employers on branding strategies that utilize social media and web 2.0 technology.

Headquarters: Southlake, Texas, US

Employees Help Build Social Brand, Interview with Loomis President, Mike Sullivan

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Loomis_Podcast Sometimes its who you know and who they know.  Last summer I was introduced to the president of The Loomis Agency, Mike Sullivan.  Maybe re-introduced is more accurate.  We first met years ago at the wedding of mutual friend, Lauren Mulkey.  Now Lauren, in her business development capacity with Loomis, a 20-year old Dallas creative firm, was getting us together again to talk about some ideas to get Loomis more brand recognition in Social Media.

Like many companies, Loomis was sort of half way into social media.  But Sullivan knew they could do more.  And being a brilliant executive, he consulted with people who had expertise.  And he also talked with me.  I had a couple of suggestions that they actually put into practice with great success.

Loomis had a few things going for them that I suggested he take advantage of.  One of those things was numbers.  They have a pretty good sized team.  I recommended getting everyone in the shop to get on LinkedIn and Facebook to help Loomis establish a presence there.  From an SEO standpoint, having all those users with Loomis as their current employer, and with links back to the Loomis homepage, LinkedIn and Facebook would be a great asset and would give them additional Web real estate at a very affordable price.  

Mike Sullivan himself is a pretty dynamic guy.  So I also suggested a targeted company blog with Sullivan being very visibly involved.  I thought that would be enticing to both prospective clients and prospective employees.  It also gives the current staff a solidified vision straight from the top. 

Recently I caught up with Mike to see how his plan was coming along.  I knew Loomis had done a great job with their revised blog.  And I had seen a viral holiday video they produced that was a stroke of genius.  So I was curious to get his feedback on the impact social media branding has had on Loomis.

Me:  This summer we met for a brainstorming session about corporate brand marketing through social media (social networks, corporate blogging, personal branding of employees, etc.)  What ideas from that meeting have had an impact on your strategy?

Mike: First off, I’ve encouraged all of our team members to get on LinkedIn and Facebook and begin using those tools actively. We’ve created a company presence in both those places, as well. We’ve used both tools as a means for generating traffic to our blog site, and I’ve noticed that it seems to have improved search results for our company.  If you search “Dallas ad agency,” for example, we’ve moved up quite a bit.  Depending on the day you search we pop up just above or below the fold.  I believe that’s largely a function of the increased social activity of our team members. 

Me:  What new steps have you taken to boost your brand awareness?

Mike:  I’ve personally built a fairly tight LinkedIn contact base. I think I have somewhere around 290 professional contacts, and most of my team members have fairly large, but tight, contact lists as well.  We have extended the distribution of our regular monthly e-newsletter, “Off The Chain,” to this group of professional contacts.  I think our total team member list is somewhere in the neighborhood of a couple thousand contacts on LinkedIn.  Of course, we have an opt-out option, so we are not engaging in SPAM tactics.  But, we’ve received a ton of positive feedback on the content of the e-newsletter and I know it’s been forwarded to others.  We used this tactic to launch our “sock puppet” video during the holiday season and that video was ultimately viewed by more than one million people.  Again, the content was the rocket fuel for that, but the initial LinkedIn database was the launch pad.

Me:  How has this new approach complimented your more traditional marketing efforts?

Mike:  I think that’s just what it is-a complement to the traditional business development work we’ve done for years.  We still do all of the traditional stuff–OB calling, direct, networking–and the social networking and blogging has been an excellent overlay for that activity.  The goal is to show up in as many places as we can, and this helps us accomplish that with limited resources.  We’re exploring other ways to use the social tools, as well. For instance, we are putting the final touches on our first monthly podcast this week and will be distributing that the way we’ve distributed our blog and e-newsletter.  The social sites will play a big part in that distribution.

Me:  Has this had an impact on your efforts to hire or retain talent? 

Mike: It certainly has been great for hiring.  We were fortunate to be in hiring mode recently and found several excellent candidates through LinkedIn and hired two of them.  We always prefer candidates who come with a referral from somebody we know and trust, and both of these panned out that way.  The interesting thing is that one of the hires came directly from a referral through one of our team member’s LinkedIn contacts (2nd degree).  If it hadn’t been for that tool, we would never have found that particular candidate.

Me:  What kind of feedback have you received?

Mike:  It’s been excellent.  Certainly, great content drives the best feedback. A really good blog post or something like our sock puppet video garners attention and generates a lot of positive feedback.  With respect to the video, we had people calling and e-mailing from all over the country.  That was fun and effective, and we plan to do it again. Of course, we’ve also had a lot of companies contact us asking if we can do videos for them. 

Me:  After your research and experience in the process of social brand marketing, what advice would you offer to other business owners and executives?

Mike:  First, just be sure to get in the game and encourage your staff to get out there and represent you.  Old school thinking tells people to stay away from this stuff during work hours, but I think nowadays our professional and personal lives are blended to the extent that it simply doesn’t make good business sense to try to restrict social networking activity during business hours.  Encourage it, and recognize and reward those who do the best job of it on behalf of the company.  Writing good blog posts and making smart use of social networks requires good thinking. 

Second, stay current because it changes fast.  Twitter is a new frontier for us, as an example.  It feels like that just popped up and we’re already playing catch up.  But I know a lot of people swear by the results they are seeing with it.  Staying current also requires a forward-leaning disposition as a company.  It needs to be an encouraged activity.

Finally, it still all comes down to quality content.  Are you communicating something people want to hear, read, or watch, or not?  The marketplace will vote as it always does.  Be sure to use the right side of your brain when you’re leveraging all this left-brain technology!

5 Things to do when you’re unemployed. Hint: It’s not job hunting.

Monday, March 9th, 2009
Penelope Trunk Keynote PRSA 2008 Detroit

Penelope Trunk  recently wrote a great article with some take-action suggestions for anyone who is laid off or otherwise out of work.  She suggests spending time creating projects for yourself that will lead to increased productivity and networking.  This is very good advice that anyone can use to get moving in the right direction while on the job hunt.

5 Things to do when you’re unemployed. Hint: It’s not job hunting. | By Penelope Trunk

Let’s say you get fired, or laid off, or you quit because after two weeks you know you’re at the worst company on the planet. In all of those cases, you will face the interview question: What happened at your last job?

Here’s the answer you should always give: “I left to do x.” And you fill in for x.

Which brings me to what you should be really focusing on when you are unemployed: Learning and growing. Because this is what you are going to talk about in job interviews.

Most people require about six months to get another job. This is a big chunk of time that you can piss away sending resumes to Monster and wondering why no one responds. But you cannot job hunt for eight hours a day. Really. You’ll go nuts. (Wait. Here’s a time-saving job hunt tip from my mom.)

So spend the time creating projects for yourself and executing on them. This is good for you mentally – because you are doing something meaningful with your time and that will keep your spirits up.

But this is also good for you in your job hunt. Because when you talk about why you left the last company, you spin it in a positive light by talking about how you are excited about doing what you are doing. Your interview should include you telling a good story about focused personal growth, and no one will get stuck on why you left your last job. Here are five ways to set that story up:

1. Create a job for yourself. These projects can be wide ranging, but they have to show that you are driven, ambitious and focused. During one stint of unemployment, I worked for free for my boyfriend’s company for a couple of hours a day. That way I didn’t actually have a gap in my resume; a resume doesn’t show part-time or full-time and it doesn’t show pay or no pay. So volunteering at my boyfriend’s company for a couple of hours a day ended up looking like a full-time job on my resume.

2. Focus on ambition and execution and not so much on work per se. Another time I got laid off I spent my days learning to swing dance. I took one or two lessons a day and practiced at night, and after my six months of job hunting, I was good enough to teach dancing just off Broadway. I didn’t put that on my resume, but when people asked me why I left my job, I told them about how I gave myself time to fulfill lofty goals as a swing dancer.

3. Start a blog about the industry you want to go into. Blogging is a great way to keep up in your industry, network without looking desperate, and leverage the fact that you have more time on your hands that people who have jobs. Everyone who is unemployed should be blogging as a way to get their next job. Put your ideas out into the world and connect with people that way. This is why you want to be hired, right? For your ideas. So show them. The reason that people who blog have great careers is that bloggers are always thinking about issues in their industry. Show that side of yourself to people. Blogging takes a lot of time, sure. But you have a lot of time. So use it. Here’s my guide for how to start a blog.

4. Start a company. Do you have a company idea? Try it now. During unemployment. There’s nothing stopping you. You have time, and you can try ideas to see which one sticks. Also, whether or not your company does well, you’ll be able to talk about it in an interview as a huge learning moment that will deflect from any problems at your last job. The company that never got out of your parent’s basement can sit on your resume as professionally as a stint in the Fortune 500. It’s all about how you write the bullet points: talk about accomplishments and learning.

5. Practice talking about yourself with everyone. High performers practice for interviews. So now you know what you’re aiming for, but you need to talk about it with everyone – parties, at the gym, on the phone with friends. When they ask how you’re doing, talk about what you’re doing like you are in the job interview. And the good news is that the better you get at talking like that, the more you will actually believe your story, the story that being unemployed is lucky because you have learning opportunities.

What’s important to remember here is that no one can tell you what experience you can gain and what you can’t. You don’t need a job in order to learn cool stuff and be on cool projects. You control what you do with your time and you can make it useful. Talk about that. There is no reason to talk about why the last job didn’t work when you can talk about the great things that leaving opened up to you.

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Twitteriffic Susan Kang Nam Gets Creative with Reasons to Twitter

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Award_Image1 by pinkolivefamily.A big question I am often asked about Micro-Blogging service, Twitter, is simply this, "So what do you do on Twitter, just tell people what you’re doing?"  And my answer is usually, "No".  I use Twitter to network with early adopters and people all over the world who have similar interests in social media and web2.0 technology.  I post helpful links about careers, employment, and job searching.  And I use it to promote my blog, where I write about using those technologies for recruiting, career branding, and employer branding.  I also use Twitter to promote my company, A-List solutions, a full service staffing and recruiting firm for management, marketing, and I.T. positions.  (how about that shameless self promotion!)

One of my Twitter networking friends, who I originally met through on RecruitingBlogs.com, is Susan Kang Nam.  She is what I like to call a social media darling.  She is a master networker with a knack for recruiting, collaborating with the top players in social media and recruiting.  She supports her sister’s boutique, Pink Olive Inc. based in NYC, where she uses various social media tools to network and build relationships with customers, vendors, and community organizers around the world.  Susan also has responsibility on the boards and committees of numerous groups and associations related to social media, recruiting, and careers.  You can see a full bio of her at her Google profile page: http://www.google.com/s2/profiles/117560664691580702505

When we talked last week about ways to encourage more participation in a Twitter networking group that she runs on Talentbar.com,  she told me that she had been invited to sit on a panel at the upcoming BlogHer conference.  She thought this was slightly ironic because she doesn’t have a blog.  In January we had talked about her plan to start a blog and she told me at the time that she hadn’t done so yet because she was still finding her voice, -deciding on the right content, key players, and collaborators- to present persuasive information that is original and unique to readers. 

Susan excels at the concise format of micro-blogging, which, with the help of Twitter, has become the hottest new form of blogging.  The BlogHer panel she has been asked to sit on is a "micro-blogging" panel called "Is MicroBlogging the Key to MommyBlogging Bliss?".  But she is still working on the idea of a real blog.  She has encouragement from blogosphere luminaries like good friend Chris Brogan.   But she is in no rush to set one up, having such enthusiasm for twitter (She’s happy to be a micro-blogger) offering values & engaging in interesting dialogues via tweets.

Still she joked, in a tweet she sent to me after our call, that she doesn’t do that much creative writing.  I tweeted her back with a gentle nudge and she responded the way I would expect her to.  By writing something so useful that I wanted to blog about it.  She posted the following note on Facebook shortly after our exchange.  It’s a great lesson for would-be bloggers.  And it is great info for anyone wondering what this Twitter thing is all about, highlighting some of the multiple ways that it is useful. 

Why Tweet? Tweeting for 5 reasons so far…

By Susan Kang Nam

Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 2:23pm

Encouraged by my latest "tweet" from a twitter recruiting pal Craig Fisher, I decided to "practice" my creative writing on this post via FB notes today. His tweet to me was:

Fishdogs (Craig): @PinkOliveFamily (Susan) That’s crazy. You are plenty creative. It’s like anything else. Research + Practice makes perfect : )

Ha! So as much as I’d like to believe that I am a creative writer. I solely admit I am not. However, here is my further attempt to continue writing and exploring via this post.

Many ask me why I "tweet" and there is no short answer for that obviously. To be honest, from the beginning it was just another tool ~ an exploratory tool that I have used after hearing it from a couple of recruiters over at recruitingblogs.com back in late June of ‘08.

I tweet for the following 5 reasons:

1. Content: Initially I came to twitter to review and correspond with other recruiting professionals to share content. I find some of their links that they share online quite useful i.e. Fistful of Talent to various other recruiting bloggers that showcase their knowledge and thoughts. I also came in initially to reach out to other pink olive customers and to provide value i.e. Tory Johnson over at ABC news Good Morning America, Women for Hire CEO – as her little one was a fan of pink olive boutique in east village location. I was happy to reach out to other Pink Olive customers and give information back to my sis Grace Kang, founder/owner/designer for Pink Olive Boutique. Other contents I valued overtime include Social Media in general, Marketing sources as well as reaching out to mainstream media professionals (i.e. CNN, Wall Street Journal to Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick etc and the list goes on and on). As I continue to look out for my next executive recruiting position I’d like to continue to explore connection via Twitter and find it worthwhile. In the meantime, appreciate sharing contents via peeps I follow on Twitter.

2. Contacts: As I started to lead a club called Boston Salty Legs Career Club, I have utilized all social media tools including Twitter to reach out and get referrals for our membership roster. I found it quite helpful and the contacts I have made via twitter has been phenomenal. Of course, I talk about Chris Brogan quite often however since I have the great opportunity to meet him via his New Marketing Summit I have been in awe of what he has brought reference to contacts I have made via Twitter. I highly recommend following him on twitter if you have not yet to recognize the "value" that he brings to connecting with professionals all over the world utilizing this platform. And yes I would not have had the opportunity to connect with someone like Tory either if it wasn’t for our tweets shared back in October of ‘08. Currently I have little over 4400 followers and I am humbled by what they know and share (even funny jokes really helps – that reminds me – can’t forget about @animal – aka recruiting animal ;P).

3. Presence: At Jeff Pulver’s SocComm summit I had the opportunity to share my thoughts via being part of his twitter team in NYC. At the Summit, many mainstream media industry moguls spoke on topic of "presence" on social media. I highly recommend to attend his next SocComm2 Summit in June and continue the conversation on various topics. The topic of "truth" from Fred Wilson was an eye opener for me for sure. His thought processes intrigued me.

4. Branding: There has been lots of tweets regarding Branding lately and I hope to explore more on this topic as I am not 100% clear on both personal or professional/employer branding. I’d like to "think" that I know what exactly it means to brand yourself using twitter however that topic is open for more to come.

5. Fun: I know we speak of ROI for everything ~ however twitter is also about having "fun" engaging in conversations while making an impact in this "new" social media world. For good example, Jyl Johnson Pattee and Carissa Rogers, founders of MomITForward and #GNO have done a great job energizing the 200+ mommy professionals providing "fun" content on Twitter along with their efforts to reach out. Their mission is "to change the world one mom at a time." achieving that by 1) strengthening women, 2) helping them become the best moms they can be, and 3) providing ideas, opportunities to, and recognition for carrying out the Mom It Forward mission in small and large ways, locally as well as internationally. I am in awe of their efforts & energy and I do my best to join their #GNO hashtag party in Twitter every Tuesday night from 9PM EST.

As a micro-blogger, I am happy to share content, RT contents, making contacts, defining presence, learning about branding and having fun utilizing this tool. It helps me to pinpoint what I’d like to get out of for that day. Usually I’m on from 5:30-9:00AM on weekdays to engage in conversations (except this week I am "suppose" to be on vacation ~ so I have been on more often than usual ;P). On weekends it really varies. Sunday early mornings are an interesting "time-frame" to tweet.  Why?  Hmm, that can be another post.

So, why do you tweet? :) What drives you to use this platform over others out there, not to mention already "addicted" to twitter ;P

Susan
On Twitter
@pinkolivefamily
@shuffergreene (for #GNO ladies and gents)
@saltylegs (private for members and guest speakers/ update for the club)

Employer Branding with Web2.0 & Social Media

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008
Leveraging Social Networks at Affiliate Summit...

If your company’s HR department is not already utilizing Web 2.0 tools and Social Media to market the company to job seekers, it should be. A new report by Gartner, Inc., shows that even though corporate marketing and web strategies are embracing social media, HR departments are generally slow to align with those efforts for the purpose of employer branding.

Job seekers today research companies the same way recruiters research job seekers.  They look at what other people are saying about them on social media, blogs, and other Web 2.0 outlets.  HR Organizations who don’t attempt to control their employer brands online are missing a great opportunity and run the risk of missing the most sought after job candidates.

A recent study by Potentialpark Communications, a Swedish-based research and consulting firm, surveyed 1,800 U.S. students and recent graduates in an effort to identify the leading corporate careers sites.  Rusty Weston wrote an article about the study, Checking Out the Best Corporate Careers Sites, that states:

"about one third of the rated companies use videos to present possible future colleagues, a walk through the office or the day-to-day work,” says Potentialpark’s Magdalena Knott. “The use of blogs, pod casts and web casts has not advanced too far until now, but the importance is rising."

The Top 10 U.S. Corporate Career Websites

by Potentialpark Communications

  1. Deutsche Bank

  2. Microsoft

  3. BCG (Boston Consulting Group)

  4. Merrill Lynch

  5. Accenture

  6. Charles Schwab

  7. UBS

  8. Booz Allen Hamilton

  9. Intel

  10. Bertelsmann

The Gartner report concludes that "By 2011, Organizations That Do Not Manage Their Employer Brands Effectively Will Fail to Attract Key Talent.

"Organizations are investing significantly in adopting marketing and sales strategies for social software, and Gartner predicts that by 2010, more than 60 percent of Fortune 1000 companies with Web sites will have some form of community that can be used for marketing purposes. Although many organizations hasten to adopt and exploit social computing in marketing, sales and customer support roles, Gartner has found that HR tends to lag behind."

According to Gartner, the first step that organizations need to take is to understand what is being said about them on social networks and informally benchmark this against competitors and peers, as well as companies that tend to lead in this area. They need to be prepared for candidates to enter the recruitment process with a much-deeper understanding of the organization than would have been expected previously. The organization must also look at new ways of improving its image online."

So where is an HR organization to start?  UK-based Web 2.0 development firm, Organic Development, offers these suggestions.

5 ways social media can benefit an Employer brand

1) Blogging is a great way of building up your online presence and generating awareness of what it is like to be employed ‘on the ground’ within a company. They help the business engage with candidate and employee audiences directly. Moreover, with blogging comes the opportunity to ‘comment’, where readers can actually speak back to the business, giving their opinions and input: free market research.

2) Engage and respond to feedback. Responding to your candidate and staff opinions makes for a stronger relationship, gaining your customer’s trust and understanding. If people say good things about you, say thanks. This shows that they are genuinely being considered and their opinion matters.

3) Recruitment and HR Managers should welcome social networking sites such as Facebook, Linkedin and Myspace into the workplace. Not only are they tools for colleagues to recruit, promote HR policies, interact with employees and build relationships with each other but having them viewable by the public makes the company seem more approachable and engaging. Many companies are now using these sites already to recruit new members of staff, search for new business or to induct new team members.

4) Advanced search facilities allow people of all interests and niches to find and target what they are looking for quickly and easily. New and evolving audiences can be identified and reached without spending a penny.

5) If you create media that people enjoy and find useful in some way, they are likely to pass it on. Therefore, it is worthwhile seriously thinking about how social media could be incorporated into your business. The beauty of the concept is that through processes such as word of mouth, making a success of social media means sooner or later your audience will start to do the work for you. "

Blogger beware!  Corporate blogging has its pitfalls.  In an article written by Forrester Research analyst, and co-author of the book, Groundswell, Josh Bernoff comments on the recent Forrester survey that showed Only 16% of online consumers who read corporate blogs say they trust them.  Bernhoff says, "This means that if you blog, your goal should be to create a blog about which people say “I like that – I don’t think of it as a company blog.” For the most part, that’s a hurdle you need to jump to gain their trust. I don’t mean to hide who is writing the blog. I mean it has to be more about your customers than it is about you."

The survey, and Bernoff’s comments, are geared more toward corporate marketing efforts than employer branding.  But the lesson is good for both.  The job candidates you are seeking are savvy.  They do read blogs and utilize social media.  So relying solely on a blog for your HR and employer branding is not advised.  Nor is posting the usual HR propaganda.  Get your real employees involved and make your message transparent and believable.  And use that content in conjunction with social media to create an organic source of top job candidates.  Give them a real face to associate with your Employer Brand.

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