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ICYMI: Why HR Could Benefit From a Rebrand

Cornerstone Editors

Editor's Note: In today's fast-paced news cycle, we know it's difficult to keep up with the latest and greatest HR trends and stories. To make sure you're updated, we're recapping our most popular articles every month in our "In Case You Missed It" series. Keep reading for May's top stories!

Why HR Needs A Marketing Strategy

We find ourselves at a point in business history where HR is likely the most misunderstood department within any company. By applying some simple marketing principles, HR can communicate its value more effectively. Find out how.

Dear ReWorker: I'm Being Forced to Change An Employee's Performance Rating

I gave an employee an outstanding performance review and rating, and she was thrilled. Now, my boss is saying I need to adjust the review downward. Why is this happening?

3 Reasons Office Perks Are the New Normal

The modern workforce demands more from their employers. While standard medical, dental and 401k plans are still the backbone of any benefits package, many companies now boast flexible work schedules, unlimited vacation time and on-site lunch. Find out why.

Four Ways Companies Can Support Women In Leadership

While more than 75 percent of CEOs say gender equality is part of their top 10 business priorities, women remain underrepresented across every level of the corporate pipeline. A few shifts in your company culture could change that.

Header photo: Creative Commons

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Why Recruiters Are Your Company's Best Brand Representatives

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Why Recruiters Are Your Company's Best Brand Representatives

When you think about who communicates with people outside of your company the most, you probably think of sales reps, but you should be looking at your recruiters. In fact, they spend almost all their time talking with or about people who aren't employees. Glassdoor says each corporate position receives an average of 250 applicants. Of course, that number is going to vary wildly depending on the position, but recruiters can potentially interact with thousands of people every year. Even though they aren't public relations specialists or marketing pros by title, a big part of their job is not only to attract and select the right candidates for the right roles, but also to present your organization in the best possible light to individuals and organizations—such as universities or talent agencies. Because of the sheer number of people they interact with on a regular basis, recruiters play a crucial role in generating a positive impression of your company. Here's how recruiters can serve as marketing agents, brand ambassadors or even PR agents, outside the scope of hiring new employees. Job Candidates Are Consumers, Too No matter what your company does, it's quite possible that your job candidates are also your customers. You want every one of those candidates to continue to do business with you even if they don't get the job. That requires treating all candidates with respect and ensuring they know you value their time. Candidates fill other roles—they're consumers, they work for other firms and they conduct business with your competitors. They have a voice. It used to be that PR reps could control a company's image—now, anyone with a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Glassdoor account can build a following and change the perception of a company. The Recruiter's Guide to Brand Representation Knowing that every customer recruiters interact with can have an impact on your brand perception, it's important for recruiters to be truly good brand representatives. To do that, they need to do a better job with regard to candidate experience. Today, almost 60 percent of job candidates say they've had a negative candidate experience, and 72 percent of those have shared their bad experience online. Here's how recruiters can change their ways, and keep candidates postive about the company: Keep candidates updated and informed. No ghosting! Send rejection emails as well as offer emails. People want to know when they should move on. Reward people for applying. When Hard Rock Cafe opened a restaurant in a new city, they gave a free drink coupon to everyone who applied, and everyone who interviewed got a free meal coupon as well. I interviewed the company about the promotion, and they told me that applicants not only redeemed these offers, but also brought their friends. Treat candidate's time as precious. They have jobs (often), homes and families, so use their time judiciously. Limit the number of times they need to come in for face-to-face interviews. If you want to see sample work, work with hiring managers to create a manageable assignment that will take less than an hour. Doing these things gives people positive feelings about your company, regardless of whether or not they get the job, and that's good for your company's brand. When your company has a great reputation, not only will people want to do business with your company, they'll also want to work for it. Photo: Creative Commons

How to Transform Your Employees Into Powerful Brand Advocates

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How to Transform Your Employees Into Powerful Brand Advocates

A version of this article was originally published on the SmashFly blog. It's no longer enough to be a great company—your company must be known as a great place to work. That's bigger than your own Employee Value Proposition (EVP) and what you say on your career site and what your leadership thinks about your culture. It's a blend of perception, reality, reputation and delivering on promises. So how do you become known as a top place to work and stand out to the people you seek to hire? The answer is sitting in front of you every day. No, not coffee (though caffeine can spark some ideas). It's your employees. I know what you're thinking: Do employee advocacy programs really work? How do I get my team to take part on top of everything else I have to do? At the Transform Virtual Conference this year hosted by my company SmashFly, a marketing automation software for recruiters, I explained how you can unleash your employees as powerful brand advocates. And I know it's possible because I've done it at different companies throughout my career. Why Employee Advocacy Matters Employee advocacy is a marketing strategy based on your workforce's enthusiasm for the company. If your organization solely relies on corporate messaging and official, branded social media accounts to drive awareness and connect with people, you'll never build an effective employer brand reputation. Sure, your messages, tweets and posts are important; they're just not trustworthy. Survey after survey shows people trust other people, not brands: 83 percent of people trust recommendations from people they know 60 percent of people trust peers more than a CEO If your company creates the right brand, compelling content, an intriguing purpose, useful resources, your employees will share it. Fueling Your Employees With Content "OK Carrie, so how do we find or create that content?" Well, I can tell you they don't want to blast out your sales pitch or your employer brand mantra or a formal paragraph from your About Us. They do want to share content that is personally relevant to their values, purpose and career goals, and helps establish them as thought leaders. Here are some types of content that I've found to work: Employee-generated content: People will share what they create, so involve employees in the content creation process, whether videos, blog posts, interview tips or their personal route to your company. Inspiring human-interest stories: I'm sure plenty of your employees or managers have inspiring stories both in and outside of work. Your team will share great things their co-workers are doing! Educational content: People like to be educated and teach, and this type of useful content really showcases your employees and brand as helpful. Ideas to Get You Started There are plenty of things you can do to drive employee advocacy, and most of them don't require a lot of money or effort. When I worked at AT&T, we saw tremendous results by simply tapping into existing employee networks. Start some (friendly) competition: For example, we shared a list of jobs we had difficulty filling with employees, so they could share it with their networks. To amp up some friendly competition, we created a competition and offered incentives for the people who could drive the most qualified applicants. Find your tribe: We created a "Twitter tribe" by identifying employees who were already tweeting about our brand, then invited them to share curated content we'd send every week. We fueled their feeds and made it easy, while they helped share our message. We had 1,200 employees participate the first year, and they sent over 10,000 tweets. Look to other advocates: We had an extensive talent network at AT&T, and we surveyed the members to learn what type of content they wanted. Most wanted to hear about company news, so we shared that content, and many ended up sharing it with their networks. These programs can work regardless of the size of your company because they don't require a ton of resources, just a little creativity. More often than not, your happiest and most effective employees are willing and eager to jump in, they're just waiting on the encouragement and support to get going. Photo: Creative Commons

6 Tips for Shaping Your Personal Brand Online

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6 Tips for Shaping Your Personal Brand Online

In today’s competitive -- and increasingly digital -- career landscape, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. Almost every job seeker (and even those not on the hunt) is on LinkedIn, and with job boards like Indeed and Monster, employers are deluged with candidates. So how do you get hiring managers to notice you? With the job market mostly digital today, it starts with building a solid personal brand online. Whether through a website or blog, LinkedIn profile or social media channels, candidates need to effectively communicate who they are to hiring managers and client prospects. Below, three HR and hiring experts share their tips for shaping your personal brand on the Web: Do: 1. Define Yourself First, decide how you want others to perceive you. "Think about the one to two things you want others to know about you," suggests Sharlyn Lauby, author of the popular blog HR Bartender. "It can be difficult to convey how multi-dimensional we really are on social media, but this doesn’t mean we can’t give others a sense of it. Then, hopefully, we meet people in real life and they get to know more about us." 2. Know Your Competition Do your research before you get started. "It’s important to have a clear understanding of where you stand in the market relative to competitors and what makes you different," says Lisa Quast, founder of Career Woman, Inc. "Be specific and clearly define your goals and objectives," Quast recommends. "Is it to become known as the best project manager in a certain industry? Is it to be a creative director at a large advertising agency?" Answer these questions first. 3. Be Consistent Across Online Channels Quast also recommends that you manage your brand proactively, ensuring that "your attributes are in sync across various platforms and that they continue to reinforce your brand attributes and market niche." Make sure that you present a similar face across the board, whether it's on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr, or another social network. Don't: 1. Pretend to Be Someone You’re Not Though it can be tempting to present an idealized version of yourself, Lauby says, "your personal brand needs to represent you. Get comfortable in your own skin and own it. You can look to others for ideas, but your brand needs to be about you." Also, be sure to choose a photo that actually looks like you. "I really like it when people meet me for the first time and say, ’You look just like your avatar,’" says Lauby. "It helps make a person approachable." 2. Do the Smoke and Mirrors Approach Similarly, make sure you’re adding real value to your market before you start broadcasting your brand. "People often skip the step where they have something unique, interesting or useful to share," says Lance Haun, creator of HR and recruiting blog LanceHaun.com. "Create something of value, or be in the process of creating something valuable, before you even think of getting heavily involved in building your brand." 3. Give Up Too Soon Most people won’t see immediate returns on personal brand building. "It takes energy, especially at the beginning, without a lot of payback," says Haun. "That's why so many people quit after six to twelve months. There's minimal traction." However, he points out that, people who stick with it generally interesting tale rise up or a positive outcome to report. Keep at it.

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