BUILDING YOUR EMPLOYMENT
BRAND… BY IDENTIFYING AND
SHARING STORIES
ERE
April 1, 2008
© Dr. John Sullivan
Professor, Author...
2
Global reach of Dr. John Sullivan
Work Published (43 Countries)
Publicly Presented/Advised (24 Countries)
3
Dr. Sullivan’s current books
Dr. Sullivan has a
monthly column…
on the “last page”
5
Why this topic on stories?
1. The long lull when asked… tell me about your firm
2. Dry statistics - We are a Fortune 500...
6
Referral cards can be effective story creators
7
A WOW referral card – An illustration
Apple loves innovators…
and you WOW’ed me!
8
As you unfold it… you see
I don’t impress easily…
but we might just have
a black turtleneck
that fits you!
Call me tomor...
9
And on the back you see
Because there are so few
really talented people
in the world…
I just wanted you to know
If you g...
10
6 topics for today
1. Introduction
2. What is Employment Branding?
3. Why stories are so powerful
4. How to identify st...
11
Introduction
12
Action step # 1
Find out what your “C” level people care about
13
Business factors that concern executives
Rank these issues
Meeting customer demands
Government regulation
Competition
A...
14
Business factors that concern executives
1.Finding skilled staff 20%
2.Meeting customer demands 16%
3.Government regula...
15
Realize that…
- Talent management is the #1 business
issue
- So, if you can’t get sufficient resources
(being the # 1 b...
16
Action step # 2
Set as a goal to permanently end talent shortages
at your firm… and to identify the best approaches
tha...
There are 2 categories of firms…
Those that have a talent shortage
And… those firms that have a sorting problem
18
Realize that…
There are only 2 programs that can shift you
into a “sorting problem!”
In the last 20 years, no firm has ...
19
Action step # 3
Test how hard it is currently for an outsider to
find out the “real truth”… about working at your
firm
20
Is it really exciting to work at your firm?
Could you find the real excitement (that you
know) in…
 Your job descripti...
21
Realize that…
“There is no bigger shame…than being a
great place to work but keeping it a
secret…
because HR has failed...
22
6 topics for today
1. Introduction
2. What is Employment Branding?
3. Why stories are so powerful
4. How to identify st...
23
A definition of employment branding
Simple definition -- Employment branding is the
only long term recruiting and reten...
24
Employment branding elements
1. Branding is an image management program, it
is a form of “managed bragging”
2. It is de...
25
Employment branding elements
4. It works… because when others spread stories,
testimonials and highlight best practices...
26
Employment branding elements
5. Rather than utilizing advertising... employment
branding "proactively" (virally) spread...
27
28
What is NOT Employment branding?
If the person “selling” employment branding
emphasizes…
 Empowerment
 Software
 A j...
29
Recruitment advertising is not EB
Reasons to be wary of recruitment advertising
1. Advertising is expensive -- employme...
30
Recruitment advertising is not EB
More reasons to be careful of rec. advertising
4. Articles are widely read / ads are ...
31
6 topics for today
1. Introduction
2. What is Employment Branding?
3. Why stories are so powerful
4. How to identify st...
32
Stories drive branding
Employment branding works because…
“stories” are powerful selling/ branding tools
33
Stories drive branding
Employee’s spreading stories is effective because:
 Employee stories are more real and credible...
34
Negative stories can also be powerful
An example - Comcast sucks
Shortcut (2) to Comcast_Sucks.lnk
36
6 topics for today
1. Introduction
2. What is Employment Branding?
3. Why stories are so powerful
4. How to identify st...
37
Identify external stories
How to find external “stories/ and best practices
 Start compiling the stories by asking PR ...
38
Identify internal stories
How to find potential stories internally
 Look in brochures, orientation and recruiting
mate...
39
Identify internal stories
How to find potential stories internally
 Asked HR generalists
 Call alumni/ retiree’s to s...
40
Identify and counter negatives
Also conduct a search for “negatives”
 Yahoo finance, Workrant.com, JobVent.com,
F***ed...
41
Action step # 4
Build a program, story and best practice
inventory
42
Categorize stories for easy access
Put together a “story” / best practice inventory
The goal is to respond quickly to ...
43
Categorize stories for easy access
Categorize stories by your “brand pillars”:
Location
Fun
Well managed
Encourages...
44
Action step # 5
Create your own stories
45
WOW stories make branding work
Examples of powerful stories
 SW Air employee/ pilot assessment
 BofA run the credit c...
46
Internal competitions can build your
external brand
Send a message that talent triumphs over tenure
Picture varies from...
47
An example of “retail” employment branding
48
A parking lot full of BMW’s
spreads the brand everyday
49
An example of a corporate best practice
Video games to on-board (Sun)
In 2007, Sun commissioned two on-boarding
games,...
50
Remote work is a great story
Results Only Work Environment
•Pick your hours
•Pick where you work
•No in-person meetings...
51
Google is the worlds first “a story a day” culture
52
Google has found a way to demonstrate...
that they are different!
“Pajama day” at Google
53
Attract innovators with events that say...
you are different!
“Martini Blowout” at Google
54
Does this send a message that Google is “different”
“Testing on the toilet”
www.flickr.com/photos/gubatron/246489031
55
Google recruits at public events to send a message
Make your website funny and compelling
Our Dog Policy
“Google's respect and affection for our canine
friends is an integra...
57
Google just in the last 3 days
Google creates compelling stories from errors
Dear Superman,
Reading your blog post about Google
Transit at SXSW made us w...
59
More Google innovation
Green recruiting
A cool world: Enjoy a rosier future as a Virgle pioneer
61
Starbucks excels at stories also
62
WOW stories make branding work
Starbuck stories (365)
 Starbucks work across America
 Kidney give away
 Proceeds fro...
63
Write your own book
A book infers you are good enough to write about
64
6 topics for today
1. Introduction
2. What is Employment Branding?
3. Why stories are so powerful
4. How to identify st...
65
Spread stories through
1. Referrals (Every employee a story teller)
2. Video (1000 words)
3. Speeches at events
4. Inte...
66
Final thoughts
 Have courage to try one thing… and then another
 Relax, branding programs almost always work
and they...
Subscribe to Dr Sullivan’s recruiting articles every
Monday on ER daily at WWW.ERE.NET
---
On the web site… WWW.DRJOHNSULL...
Did we make you think?
Give you a dozen ideas to try?
How about some more questions on any
topic?
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John Sullivan

  1. 1. BUILDING YOUR EMPLOYMENT BRAND… BY IDENTIFYING AND SHARING STORIES ERE April 1, 2008 © Dr. John Sullivan Professor, Author and Advisor to Management
  2. 2. 2 Global reach of Dr. John Sullivan Work Published (43 Countries) Publicly Presented/Advised (24 Countries)
  3. 3. 3 Dr. Sullivan’s current books
  4. 4. Dr. Sullivan has a monthly column… on the “last page”
  5. 5. 5 Why this topic on stories? 1. The long lull when asked… tell me about your firm 2. Dry statistics - We are a Fortune 500 firm 3. “No meaning” phrases - We live our values, we believe in W/L balance 4. No differentiation – We have great people, we have team work, our products make a difference 5. The common… “Oh, we do that too” return after they hear a powerful story (the “crime” of keeping great practices secret) 6. The ease of building a story inventory
  6. 6. 6 Referral cards can be effective story creators
  7. 7. 7 A WOW referral card – An illustration Apple loves innovators… and you WOW’ed me!
  8. 8. 8 As you unfold it… you see I don’t impress easily… but we might just have a black turtleneck that fits you! Call me tomorrow! 408.738.1922 Steve Would you like to be part of the team that invented the iPod and iPhone
  9. 9. 9 And on the back you see Because there are so few really talented people in the world… I just wanted you to know If you got one… do you think you would call? Would you tell anyone else?
  10. 10. 10 6 topics for today 1. Introduction 2. What is Employment Branding? 3. Why stories are so powerful 4. How to identify stories 5. How to better spread stories 6. Answering any remaining questions
  11. 11. 11 Introduction
  12. 12. 12 Action step # 1 Find out what your “C” level people care about
  13. 13. 13 Business factors that concern executives Rank these issues Meeting customer demands Government regulation Competition Adequate sales and/or financing Finding skilled staff 2008 Robert Half Management Resources 1400 CFO’s
  14. 14. 14 Business factors that concern executives 1.Finding skilled staff 20% 2.Meeting customer demands 16% 3.Government regulation 15% 4.Competition 14% 5.Adequate sales and/or financing 12% None of these/other 17%
  15. 15. 15 Realize that… - Talent management is the #1 business issue - So, if you can’t get sufficient resources (being the # 1 business issue)… you need a radical change in your approach Or to begin looking for a new job Realize that… - Talent management is the #1 business issue - So, if you can’t get sufficient resources (being the # 1 business issue)… you need a radical change in your approach Or to begin looking for a new job
  16. 16. 16 Action step # 2 Set as a goal to permanently end talent shortages at your firm… and to identify the best approaches that can get you there
  17. 17. There are 2 categories of firms… Those that have a talent shortage And… those firms that have a sorting problem
  18. 18. 18 Realize that… There are only 2 programs that can shift you into a “sorting problem!” In the last 20 years, no firm has dominated their talent market without… - A great external employment brand or a - A great employee referral program It’s brand, refer or suffer (Any questions?) Realize that… There are only 2 programs that can shift you into a “sorting problem!” In the last 20 years, no firm has dominated their talent market without… - A great external employment brand or a - A great employee referral program It’s brand, refer or suffer (Any questions?)
  19. 19. 19 Action step # 3 Test how hard it is currently for an outsider to find out the “real truth”… about working at your firm
  20. 20. 20 Is it really exciting to work at your firm? Could you find the real excitement (that you know) in…  Your job descriptions?  On your corporate web site?  With a Google search?  Your offer letter legalize?  During orientation?
  21. 21. 21 Realize that… “There is no bigger shame…than being a great place to work but keeping it a secret… because HR has failed to find great practices… and to spread compelling stories about them” Realize that… “There is no bigger shame…than being a great place to work but keeping it a secret… because HR has failed to find great practices… and to spread compelling stories about them”
  22. 22. 22 6 topics for today 1. Introduction 2. What is Employment Branding? 3. Why stories are so powerful 4. How to identify stories 5. How to better spread stories 6. Answering any remaining questions
  23. 23. 23 A definition of employment branding Simple definition -- Employment branding is the only long term recruiting and retention strategy! It is a formal process for sculpting and then managing your external image as an employer. It works because being “talked about by others” is the most credible approach… and stories are easily remembered and repeated
  24. 24. 24 Employment branding elements 1. Branding is an image management program, it is a form of “managed bragging” 2. It is designed to make sure that your great management practices are… “talked about” by others 3. The goal is to make your firm’s image as an employer so positive… that it drives targeted potential applicants to think… “WOW, someday
  25. 25. 25 Employment branding elements 4. It works… because when others spread stories, testimonials and highlight best practices… they are just more credible/believable (Restaurants/appearing desperate)
  26. 26. 26 Employment branding elements 5. Rather than utilizing advertising... employment branding "proactively" (virally) spreads the word through “stories” - in the media - on-line - through speeches at events - through employee word-of-mouth (Referrals)
  27. 27. 27
  28. 28. 28 What is NOT Employment branding? If the person “selling” employment branding emphasizes…  Empowerment  Software  A job board  Job satisfaction  Relocation etc. They are probably former sub-prime loan officers from Countrywide… avoid them!
  29. 29. 29 Recruitment advertising is not EB Reasons to be wary of recruitment advertising 1. Advertising is expensive -- employment branding should be based the cheaper PR "model" 2. Believability -- because advertising is paid, it just doesn't have the credibility that comes from "others" praising the way you manage 3. Desperate? – it sends a message that your firm is "desperate” and must write it’s own copy
  30. 30. 30 Recruitment advertising is not EB More reasons to be careful of rec. advertising 4. Articles are widely read / ads are skipped 5. Advertising is too brief -- because of the high costs, advertising must be brief and advertising isn't interactive
  31. 31. 31 6 topics for today 1. Introduction 2. What is Employment Branding? 3. Why stories are so powerful 4. How to identify stories 5. How to better spread stories 6. Answering any remaining questions
  32. 32. 32 Stories drive branding Employment branding works because… “stories” are powerful selling/ branding tools
  33. 33. 33 Stories drive branding Employee’s spreading stories is effective because:  Employee stories are more real and credible  When employees tell stories, questions can be answered to tailor the story  One on one conversations last longer, so detailed stories are possible  Top people… know other top people - Kevin Bacon and “6 degrees of separation”  Colleagues can get close, with little resistance from top performers
  34. 34. 34 Negative stories can also be powerful
  35. 35. An example - Comcast sucks Shortcut (2) to Comcast_Sucks.lnk
  36. 36. 36 6 topics for today 1. Introduction 2. What is Employment Branding? 3. Why stories are so powerful 4. How to identify stories 5. How to better spread stories 6. Answering any remaining questions
  37. 37. 37 Identify external stories How to find external “stories/ and best practices  Start compiling the stories by asking PR if they have press clippings that cover stories and best practices that relate to your “brand pillars”  Identify any awards your company has won  Do an internet search for stories and best practices that were written up in the media
  38. 38. 38 Identify internal stories How to find potential stories internally  Look in brochures, orientation and recruiting materials, newsletters and on the web site  Search executive power points and speeches  Ask “superknowers” and longtime employees to help you identify exciting stories /best practices  Show them a list of features and ask “do we do that?” >
  39. 39. 39 Identify internal stories How to find potential stories internally  Asked HR generalists  Call alumni/ retiree’s to see what they did/ saw  Call district managers to see what they do  Assure them they will not be forced to “stop”
  40. 40. 40 Identify and counter negatives Also conduct a search for “negatives”  Yahoo finance, Workrant.com, JobVent.com, F***edcompany.com  College - Vault, MBA forums,  My space, YouTube (Comcast)  Google search (Firm name +bad (evil, dishonest, uncaring, deceitful, liars, greedy, corrupt)
  41. 41. 41 Action step # 4 Build a program, story and best practice inventory
  42. 42. 42 Categorize stories for easy access Put together a “story” / best practice inventory The goal is to respond quickly to reporters inquiries with powerful “on the mark” stories It should also allow managers that are giving speeches or writing articles to access powerful stories related to their topic, function or business unit Use it for “best place list” applications Use Excel or develop an internal web site
  43. 43. 43 Categorize stories for easy access Categorize stories by your “brand pillars”: Location Fun Well managed Encourages innovation Concern for health/ family Opportunity to learn
  44. 44. 44 Action step # 5 Create your own stories
  45. 45. 45 WOW stories make branding work Examples of powerful stories  SW Air employee/ pilot assessment  BofA run the credit card division  Wegman’s markets (Wafers / I know that cow)
  46. 46. 46 Internal competitions can build your external brand Send a message that talent triumphs over tenure Picture varies from actual
  47. 47. 47 An example of “retail” employment branding
  48. 48. 48 A parking lot full of BMW’s spreads the brand everyday
  49. 49. 49 An example of a corporate best practice Video games to on-board (Sun) In 2007, Sun commissioned two on-boarding games, Dawn of the Shadow Specters and Rise of the Shadow Specters New hires at Sun are encouraged to play them as an optional part of their on-boarding process
  50. 50. 50 Remote work is a great story Results Only Work Environment •Pick your hours •Pick where you work •No in-person meetings required The business impacts:  The cost of turnover is $102k per employee, ROWE teams have 3.2 % lower turnover ($13 million per year)  When workers switch to ROWE, their productivity jumps by 35%
  51. 51. 51 Google is the worlds first “a story a day” culture
  52. 52. 52 Google has found a way to demonstrate... that they are different! “Pajama day” at Google
  53. 53. 53 Attract innovators with events that say... you are different! “Martini Blowout” at Google
  54. 54. 54 Does this send a message that Google is “different” “Testing on the toilet” www.flickr.com/photos/gubatron/246489031
  55. 55. 55 Google recruits at public events to send a message
  56. 56. Make your website funny and compelling Our Dog Policy “Google's respect and affection for our canine friends is an integral facet of our corporate culture. We have nothing against cats, per se, but we're a dog company, so as a general rule we feel cats visiting our campus would be fairly stressed out”
  57. 57. 57 Google just in the last 3 days
  58. 58. Google creates compelling stories from errors Dear Superman, Reading your blog post about Google Transit at SXSW made us wonder if you were losing your powers—I mean, how hard could it be to leap over a simple 8- lane highway intersection, man of steel? We’ve enclosed a new cape—hopefully it will help you find your powers again. …seriously, though, Adam, we’re sorry that Google Transit sent you on such an expedition, and we wanted to let you know that we’ve since improved our routing, so that it returns more plausible walking sections SXSW intreractive music festival in Austin 2008 01c64a6a01c64a6a
  59. 59. 59 More Google innovation Green recruiting
  60. 60. A cool world: Enjoy a rosier future as a Virgle pioneer
  61. 61. 61 Starbucks excels at stories also
  62. 62. 62 WOW stories make branding work Starbuck stories (365)  Starbucks work across America  Kidney give away  Proceeds from a crime  3 HR shutdown  Help a collapsed customer  Free bag of coffee/ coffee tastings
  63. 63. 63 Write your own book A book infers you are good enough to write about
  64. 64. 64 6 topics for today 1. Introduction 2. What is Employment Branding? 3. Why stories are so powerful 4. How to identify stories 5. How to better spread stories 6. Answering any remaining questions
  65. 65. 65 Spread stories through 1. Referrals (Every employee a story teller) 2. Video (1000 words) 3. Speeches at events 4. Internet 5. Media stories 6. Blogs 7. Your careers website 8. Books about your firm
  66. 66. 66 Final thoughts  Have courage to try one thing… and then another  Relax, branding programs almost always work and they are very hard to screw up  They are more fun to run… than any other HR program
  67. 67. Subscribe to Dr Sullivan’s recruiting articles every Monday on ER daily at WWW.ERE.NET --- On the web site… WWW.DRJOHNSULLIVAN.COM you will find over 600 articles on all aspects of HR by Dr. Sullivan --- And you can Subscribe to the free VP-of-HR e- newsletter providing "out of the box" solutions for senior HR managers at WWW.DRJOHNSULLIVAN.COM or give Master a business card --- Or read his column on the last page of Workforce Magazine
  68. 68. Did we make you think? Give you a dozen ideas to try? How about some more questions on any topic?
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