Employee branding. Some assembly required.

Cross posted on my work blog.

I stumbled on this brilliant video today (hat tip to @williamtincup).

 

 

This is one of the better examples of linking corporate and employee branding for recruitment I have seen.

  • Low cost
  • Innovative
  • Targeted
  • Measured (note the stats at the end).

It cleverly reinforces the corporate and the employee brand.  I wrote a note several years ago now (client link here) where I stressed the need for organizations to get marketing and HR to work more closely together on recruitment branding. This is probably the best example I have seen of a company doing that. Ping me others that you have seen, please.

A clever play like this does put pressure on the rest of the recruitment process. Make sure you have good, solid administrative processes in place to process the applications effectively.

My colleague, Michael Maoz, has been critical of those that try to do Social CRM without getting the rest of their CRM in order.  The same goes for recruitment.  If you target your customer channel for recruiting, make sure you give them prompt, polite and top notch service, especially if you don’t end up hiring them. Applying for a job is a big step for most people, so treat that step with respect.  If you mess someone around in the recruitment process, the chances of you keeping them as a customer are next to zero.

Continuing this theme, a Belgian cartoonist, Canary Pete has a lovely take on the next stage of the IKEA hiring process.

 

 

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Not just for journos. Poring over data, and a bit of Google’s HR practice.

My regular reader(s) will probably know that I’m a fan of the Guardian newspaper and its on-line efforts.  It does a fine job with data, both in terms of sourcing it and visualizing it. Have a look at the website and data blog here.   I’ve also ranted about the need for more numeracy in HR on a number of occasions. This post will be more of the same.

Leading newspapers are making  effective use of visualization today. As an  example,  the US treasury bond ownership graphic is far more impactful than a simple listing.

It goes deeper than just a nice graph though, at a recent lecture at Leeds Trinity College,  Guardian Data Blog editor Simon Rogers presented with Tim Berners-Lee about data journalism.

Data journalism involves visualising or scrutinising often complex amounts of statistical information.

TBL had this to say.

"Journalists need to be data-savvy. It used to be that you would get stories by chatting to people in bars, and it still might be that you’ll do it that way some times.

"But now it’s also going to be about poring over data and equipping yourself with the tools to analyse it and picking out what’s interesting. And keeping it in perspective, helping people out by really seeing where it all fits together, and what’s going on in the country."

It seems to me that most professions could do with a solid dose of data visualization and the accompanying scrutiny. I’m not talking here about expensive tools, but about the love of data, and the joy of finding stuff out, getting stuck into the numbers.

I’ve given a couple of lectures on HR topics, and I’ve been hammering home on the analytics topic, but I think next time, I’ll bring some more data visualization to the party. I strongly believe that we need to see more focus on data visualization across all areas of business, but the HR department needs serious help.

I was pleased to read that Google came up with its 8 rules of management.  At first sight they  seem a typical list that one would find in any airport management book, but they are rooted in an empirical study.  Google has built its business on analysing data, so it is  not surprising that they decided to root around in their own HR data.   I do wish more HR departments would fall in love with data.

I think it is possible to be “people-centric” and “data driven” at the same time. Using numbers  to inform decisions and drive buy in isn’t treasonable.

Innovative recruitment practice

(Cross posted on my Gartner blog).

Atlassian is an Australian software vendor, active in the social software and developer tools space. I’ll leave the product evaluations to folks like Nikos Drakos, Tom Austin and Jeff Mann but I would like to call them out for something else.

I have been watching the company from afar for a number of years. I’ve been consistently impressed with how they manage recruitment, and I think a lot of IT departments and larger software companies could learn from what they do.

1. consistent use of twitter, youtube, flickr and blogs to position Atlassian as a cool employer.

2. Posts and video from current employees about working there. No complicated HR speak.

3. Engaging and dynamic careers page. with a strong graduate offering, including international placement, coding festivals etc.

4. Vigorous referral program

6. Executive focus on recruitment as being vital to company strategy

7. Excellent alignment of marketing and employer brand.

8. Effective use of their own software to help manage the process.

I’ve done a bit of research over the last couple of years on employer branding, and I plan to step it up in 2011.  I’ll be on the look out for more examples like this.

Dan Pink picked up on Atlassian’s “Fed-ex” days in a recent TED talk. You should watch the whole talk. It raises some important challenges for HR and HR technology. What are you doing to attract and motivate your employees?

Get your HR VP an iPad.

 

I’ve just read Stephen’s note on the iPad in the enterprise. (Gartner subscription required) here is the summary.

CEO Advisory: Seize the iPad Opportunity Now

The Apple iPad and associated ecosystem are likely to disrupt existing technology usage profiles and business models. CEOs should take a moment to ensure that the potential opportunity is being seriously evaluated inside their enterprises.

It got some press coverage here.

If I was working in an HR IT department, I’d buy one myself and give it to the HR VP. I’d make sure that it had a simple dashboard (check out roambi as an example)  with half a dozen HR and business relevant measures on, some relevant alerts and their email, key presentations, some budget stuff and the Dilbert widget.

Then let him/her loose on a meeting with other executives.

I reckon you’d get a really good ROI on that iPad investment come bonus time. You might also get a whole lot more budget for a proper HR analytics project.

I’ve rambled on about the iPad and UI a couple of times.

I’m on the look out for innovative UI work in the HCM technology space. Both Kronos and Cybershift recently impressed me with their UX work for time & attendance management on the iPhone. Vendors, if you have done something innovative on the iPad, do let me know. Users, if you are actually using the IPad in an HR context I’d really like to know more.

Branding innovation at a conference

I have been to many, many software conferences, but I’m especially fond of the HR tech conference in Chicago. It has a good mix of vendors and practitioners, and is well worth a visit.

Over the years at conferences around the world, I’ve strolled the vendor booths, and seen all sorts. Some, just a desk and a couple of chairs, others vast multi-story gaudy edifices. They are all a bit of a blur. 

This week, at the HR tech conference I saw the best booth ever.

It was designed to

  • draw attention
  • bring delegates into an area where they couldn’t escape easily.
  • be eco-friendly
  • be participative (you could write on it)
  • relate to the company culture and marketing message
  • be 100x times cheaper than a typical stand

I give you the sonar6 minimalist box.

image

 

There is a software metaphor here too.  There is goodness in a common practice done uncommonly well.  At the event I saw evidence of some vendors starting to build simple applications that bring a consumer simplicity to existing, rather bloated, HR processes. 

Evil HR lady nails it. Bring on the math(s) and stats.

cross posted on my Gartner blog.

I read many HR blogs, and one of my favourites is the Evil HR lady. She blogs a much of her HR stuff on the BNET site.

I have been speaking to a lot of HR audiences lately, and sometimes they get a little uncomfortable when I bring up the analytics topic. Most HR departments don’t do a good job at analytics, and then they wonder why they don’t get the budgets to make an impact on the business.

One of my suggestions to HR is to hire a good numbers person, someone with strong undergraduate or preferably graduate statistics.

Looks like this is exactly how the Evil HR lady got her start.

I had a master’s degree in political science, with a strong emphasis in statistics.  Since you never see a “Help wanted:  Political Scientist” sign in the window, I knew I needed to look outside my field of study.  What I really wanted to be was a trainer.  I knew that trainers often work in Human Resources departments, but how in in the heck was I going to get a job in HR?

Well, first, I went to a temp agency and asked to work in an HR department.  “I’ll do anything!” I said, and I meant it.  If the temp agency had sent me to wash windows in an HR department, I would have done it.  Instead, they placed me as an admin (I can type!), and for 6 months in a couple of different assignments I worked as an HR admin.  Then, I saw a job posting.  Job title?  HR Metrics Specialist.

What on earth does an HR Metrics Specialist do?  Well, I didn’t know, but one of the qualifications was the ability to do statistics.  That, I had.  So, I applied, interviewed and was hired.  My boss told me flat out that the only reason they had hired me is that I appeared to be the only person in the universe with a modicum of HR experience and the ability to do statistics.

I’ve been ranting on about this topic for ages, here are a few.

http://blogs.gartner.com/thomas_otter/2009/09/07/scrabble-and-hr/

http://blogs.gartner.com/thomas_otter/2009/06/08/via-a-comment-via-a-link-the-three-sexy-skills-of-data-geeks/

http://blogs.gartner.com/thomas_otter/2009/02/23/accountings-big-problem-according-to-archibald/

http://blogs.gartner.com/thomas_otter/2009/02/19/banging-on-about-hr-analytics/

http://blogs.gartner.com/thomas_otter/2008/12/06/measuring-twice-cutting-once/

so it is nice to see some validation…

Mathematics is a beautiful thing. Spend 20 minutes in the company of Benoit Mandelbrot. (click here if you can’t see the video)

 

If Hans Rosling can do this with demographics on a global scale, why can’t HR do it with their data? (click here if you can’t see the video)

 

By the way: Jim Holincheck and I recently published quite a bit of research on workforce analytics, and there is buckets of cool stuff on pattern based strategy on Gartner.com

HR Tech: Chicago.

image

image via OzinOH, thanks!

I’m looking forward to this event. Most of the events I go to are single vendor events, but this one is different. It is the event that brings most of the HR technology community together. Bill runs an excellent show.  I’ll get to see Jason, Steve , Phil and Naomi, and I’ll be on a panel discussion about global HR trends with Karen.  I also hope to meet many of the clients and vendors that I talk to on the phone.

There are a couple of things I’m keen to really dig into.

1. use cases of social software and HCM technology working together.

2. HCM analytics that are actually used by leaders beyond HR to make business decisions.

3. Mobile scenarios that create new ways of working rather than simply rendering existing transactions in a different form factor.

4. Integration, HR MDM and the cloud.

5. Do you really need a traditional HR system of record?

If you want to chat when I’m there, drop me a tweet or an email. I plan to blog a bit when I’m there, and I’ll be tweeting a storm too.