4 easy tips to help graduate recruiters find their online audiences

Last week we told you about the story of Jon and Charlie, two regular guys with different approaches to making conversation. Jon got all the friends because he knew that everyone has a different point of view, a different set of preferences, motivators and behaviours and rather than talking about himself in the same way to everyone at the party (we’ve all met people who do that, right?), he listened to the conversation first and adapted what he wanted to say to match the people he was talking to at that particular moment.

The ability to do this is one of the characteristics that sets humans apart from other species. Empathy and understanding are basic principles of psychology. Jon knows that everyone is different and uses that to his advantage.

So why as employment marketers do so many organisations ignore this? Grouping people together into neat little boxes? Assuming that we all consume information in the same manner, hanging out in the same places, doing the same things – the things that marketers manipulate us to want to do.

Like sheep acting and thinking in the same way. It’s actually quite insulting when you stop and think about it.

Create a message. Identify an audience. Build a media plan. Penetrate that audience. Hope your message sticks. That just doesn’t work as a model any longer because in a world where we are bombarded with information all the time, content that’s not directly relevant becomes background noise.

Back to Jon’s point of view. We’re all motivated differently. We have unique interests and ambitions. As a result we hang out in different communities and consume information in different ways, having different conversations in different ways with different people.

And therein is the future of marketing (and especially employment marketing). People building real relationships with other people as a means of selling a product, service or career. Having conversations (dialogue rather than monologue), about mutually interesting topics, helping each other where possible, adding value all the time.

Where do those conversations happen? Wherever the people you need to speak with are hanging out. That could be at events, across the meeting room, on social media platforms – it’s a fragmented environment.

Where do you start? Well, there are two options here.

The first is to go to where they are. The second is to pull them to you and build your own community.

So where are they?

Here are four easy tips you can use right now to find where the right people for you are hanging out so you can start talking with them:

Twitter chats, Linkedin and Facebook groups and Google+ communities

These might seem obvious, but it’s quite rare to see employers make best use of these simple and effective options. Whatever your interest is – no matter how specific or oddball, you can bet your bottom dollar that there will be an existing community that you can join, add value to and build your reputation. Google+ Communities are particularly useful for this, and we’ve talked about these before.

Facebook Graph Search

Graph search really allows you to effectively wade through the exabytes of data that Facebook has collected on people since launch. So for example, you can search for ‘Groups of people who like TOPIC and like PAGE NAME’ or ‘Favourite interests of people who like PAGE NAME’ to get a great understanding of where they spend their time online.

This can be particularly handy when researching the hobbies and interests of those who like your competitor’s pages, for example.

For a full list of the search possibilities and examples, it’s worth having a look here: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/facebook-graph-search-marketing/

Forums

Forums are an incredibly useful place when it comes to listening and contributing. Job boards like Indeed already post jobs on specialist forums – but why pay when you can do this for free? Taking the time to respond to questions and just generally being helpful will have a far greater impact on your reputation than just posting ads.

Take a look at all these students asking for help on Moneysavingexpert.com – they have a dedicated student money saving forum with plenty of questions waiting for you to answer: http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/forumdisplay.php?f=25

Boolean searching

This is more of a manual technique than a tool, and won’t work for everyone…but chances are you’ll find be able to find positive or negative conversations about you, and join in right away.

Try Google searching the below:

  • “like” + [your brand name]
  • “love” + [your brand name]
  • “I wish” + [your brand name]
  • “sucks” + [you or a competitors brand name]
  • “hate” + [you or a competitors brand name]

Some of the results might surprise you…

We hope these little tips help you find out where you should be spending your time online.

Next week we’ll be talking about the laws of attraction and how you can bring the party to you, so don’t forget to follow our blog using the follow button at the top right and you’ll get notified when we publish new content.

In the meantime, if you want to talk to us about how we can help you find and talk with the right talent, then give us a call on 020 7183 2556 or drop an email over to tam.salih@tonic-agency.com to set up a coffee.

http://www.tonic-agency.com

Being Less Predictable on Campus

On a certain level, law firms are pretty much indistinguishable from one another. Work a 100-hour week at one firm or a 96-hour week at another and the bags under your eyes are just as big. Magic Circle firms, in particular, are as hard to tell apart as chunks of gravel.

The problem is that every firm is trying to differentiate itself in the same way: the work; the values; the social life; the prospect of working abroad in a ‘truly global’ firm; the comps and bens; the accumulation of past experiences rather than the potential of future ones. All of these are useful, and vital considerations for candidates, but they’re not the magic formula.

People today are looking for more emotional connections. They’re not simply looking for a job or a programme, a type of client or a list of benefits. They’re looking for somewhere they will love working at.

That’s why when Berwin Leighton Paisner asked us to help them Be Less Predictable, we knew it was exactly the sort of project we love to get involved with.

We redesigned the trainee brochure to make it less of a predictable list of ‘who we are’ and ‘what we do’ and more into a classic story of the hero’s journey – the graduate, stepping out into the world and, after successfully taking on challenge after challenge emerging triumphant.

To accompany this, we also created the BLP Sound shower experience on campus – something that really stood out at law fairs and engaged students in a totally unique and innovative way.

If you’d like to stand out from the crowd and build those all important natural conversations with the right talent, why not drop us a line and we’ll explain more about how we can help.

Call 020 7183 2556 or email tam.salih@tonic-agency.com to set up a coffee.

5 tools to help graduate recruiters make sure they’re not a proper Charlie.

A couple of weeks back, there was a party that Charlie and Jon decided to head to. Neither of them knew anyone that was going, except for the host of course.

As they arrived they got into the swing of things. Charlie, who was loud and gregarious, jumped right in – he started doing the rounds, interrupting people’s conversations to introduce himself, talking about his job, his girlfriend, where he lives and so on.

Jon however was a little less sure of himself. Being the shy type he was not so keen on interrupting people mid-party to talk about himself. He wanted to make a good impression, but he decided that maybe listening and understanding these people – background, personalities, preferences – was perhaps the more intelligent approach.

The night was going great, the two friends were enjoying themselves, the music was good and the drink was flowing. Jon had lots of people around him, engaging in good conversation, laughing at his jokes and buying him drinks. They wanted to spend the evening with him because they felt he understood them. He was connecting so well with other guests.

Charlie however was not having such a great time. He was speaking to lots of people, sure. But nobody was really listening. He found that after 5 minutes people would wander off and he’d be left looking for the next group of guests he could start talking to.

Jon left with a whole load of new friends and even a girl’s number…the lucky rascal.

Charlie on the other hand didn’t – and he couldn’t figure out why.

We see a lot of approaches to social from a broad range of employers who ask us to plan their strategy and begin conversations. The key trend we always seem to spot is that they all want to jump right into the party, much like Charlie. They want to use social media as a megaphone to shout about their message. When what they should be doing is taking a leaf out of Jon’s book and using it instead as a set of speakers to listen to what people are saying.

Social listening is quite literally that. Listening to what’s being said about your brand online within social communities – blogs, forums, corporate pages and social channels. It can help you understand where you’ve been mentioned, and in what context. You can then begin to compare that to those you compete for talent with which is incredibly useful for benchmarking your strengths and weaknesses.

Knowledge is power as they say and understanding the good, the bad and the ugly will put you in a great position to build out a plan of action – whether that plan focuses on being disruptive, challenging misconceptions or outright education – you need to truly listen before you speak.

Here are a few free tools to help ensure you don’t make a proper Charlie out of yourself.

Hootsuite & Tweetdeck – widely used to plan outbound messages, but have some functionality to monitor and allow you to gather data and respond in real-time.

Twazzup – great for beginners looking for a Twitter monitoring tool

Social Mention – allows you to monitor and collect data across multiple platforms with basic analytics to help you measure positive and negative sentiment

Icerocket – specialises in blog searches but has the functionality to watch Facebook and Twitter too

Google alerts – a very basic way to discover when a websites is posting about you. Doesn’t cover social and is probably the least useful in a recruitment sense

We hope you’ve found this little introduction to buzz monitoring useful. If you’d like to talk to us about how we can help you really listen, then pop over to http://www.tonic-agency.com and get in touch.

10 steps to becoming a more attractive graduate employer

Reputation is a funny old thing. By definition it’s a widespread belief that someone or something has a particular characteristic – something that makes it unique.

In today’s employer marketing arena, being unique is a commodity that many simply don’t have. When it comes to standing out from the crowd, being heard and generating real space between you and the competition, many employers think they’re #winning, but in reality they’re out there sounding and acting just like everyone else.

There’s a Dutch photographer called Hans Eijkelboom. He’s created a collection of ‘anti-sartorial’ photographs entitled, ‘People of the 21st Century.’ He walked round town with a camera round his neck and the trigger in his pocket, snapping people while they were unaware. Sounds a little stalkerish but the way he arranged these photo’s is what we’re focusing on here.

In a world where we all think we’re individuals choosing to look, dress and act in a way that reflects our personality and celebrates our individuality, it’s remarkable just how identical we all actually look.

Have a quick look here to see what we mean.

So where are we going with this?

How can you grab someone’s attention, and keep it, when you’re only as appealing as the next employer down the road? How do you really take that step from aspiring to be different, to truly leading the pack and setting a great example? How do you become the envy of the competition?

In the coming weeks we’ll be sharing 10 pieces of content with you, the graduate recruiter, as you begin to assess your recent performance, define goals and objectives and plan for the year ahead.

Our aim is to make your life easier, so we’ll be sharing success stories, examples of client work and the results achieved, as well as some of the latest thinking that will help you to effectively manage your reputation, persuade and influence your audience and build those all important conversations on and offline.

Follow us on Twitter, Linked In or Google + to stay up to date, or follow our blog using the follow button to the top right of this post to receive an email each week when new content drops.

Of course, if there’s any topics you’re particularly interested in then be sure let us know, and we’ll even create your own personal bit of content around that topic and share it with our wider community to fire up a discussion and get our readers input.

See you next week and have a fabulous weekend!

The team at Tonic

http://www.tonic-agency.com

What story are you telling?

Last Christmas I was sat at home watching TV, my mulled wine in one hand and the television remote in the other doing the usual evening channel surf.

I love Christmas time. It’s one of the best things about what I find to be an otherwise very dull and depressing time of year. And even if you’re not quite feeling festive enough in the run up, you can pretty much guarantee that there’s something on TV that will get you in the mood – whether your preference is Elf, or The Muppets Christmas Carol.

As I was flicking through, I came across something that caught my attention and I paused to watch for a moment. It was a very well made cartoon about a bear and a hare who were preparing to celebrate Christmas together.

But from what I could gather, the bear had to leave early – he never got to see Christmas as he had to go and hibernate. The hare looked rather devastated as he watched his friend wonder off to his cave to sleep and miss out on the Christmas fun with all the other animals, yet again.

I felt genuinely upset for the little mite, and being an animal lover it moved me a little. I carried on watching.

The hare managed to find the bear’s cave, saw him snoozing, and left him a little present. A small red box at the entrance of the cave. He then left to go and re-join the other animals and the advert cut to a scene where all the animals, hare included, were enjoying themselves around this big Christmas tree covered in lights and decorations.

Then, from over the horizon the hare spots his friend the grizzly bear walking towards them.

The bear sees the tree and all the other animals having fun. The look of awe and happiness in the bears eyes reminded me of that feeling I would get as a kid when I came down the stairs on Christmas morning to see the tree bursting with presents, decorations and the sledge tracks leading back all the way to the fireplace that my dad had drawn into the carpet with his fingers. I felt excited for him!

It turns out the hare had bought the bear an alarm clock, so he could wake up and enjoy Christmas with all the other animals.

I have to say it genuinely moved me, and at 29 years old, made a connection to my past that was so personal and so specific to my life that there was no escaping the emotions it evoked. Lily Allen finished the job off.

Of course, if you haven’t guessed already, I’m referring to the John Lewis Christmas ad from 2013, aptly titled, The Bear & The Hare.

So why am I telling you this story?

Storytelling comes naturally to us – it’s been used to pass information between generations since we existed. Tests have shown that when you hear a story, the same parts of the brain light up that would if you were experiencing the event first hand.

This allows that person to frame the content within their own personal context, thus evoking memories and emotion that are specific to that individual. Everyone who listens to a story will hear the same content, but generate their own personal response. This is incredibly important because we live in a world where we’re subjected to as many as 5,000 ads per day. The key to standing out today is to leave a personalised, emotional impression.

Working in recruitment marketing I’ve seen the industry change quite drastically in a very short space of time. I understand the factors that have influenced this change – but I still see many employers reluctant to embrace it. I’m puzzled as to why there’s a fear of that change and why employers continue to do things in a certain way, simply because ‘that’s how we’ve always done it.’

HR and Recruitment should actively encourage employees to get out there and tell their story. But first, they need to tell that story internally, and it needs to land because your employees will be the vehicles for your messages. If a brand and EVP is built in the right way, is founded on honesty and truth and it’s an accurate reflection of internal culture and values, then employees are more likely to tell that story on behalf of the employer. And in today’s world, that’s incredibly powerful.


There’s a multitude of tools employers can use to share their stories with people – blogs, videos, pictures and social being great examples. But employers need to trust their own people to be their advocates and start telling their own stories about how they’ve made an impact in the business. And that’s something that you don’t see often enough.

In a few months, I’ll be eagerly waiting to see how John Lewis follows up their huge success, and equally vigilant for how the competition keeps up. Because when you mention Christmas TV to me now, The Bear and Hear is one of the first things I think of…. along of course with the Coca-Cola ad that has burrowed its way into my brain more from repetition than anything else.

So, for any employers reading this, ask yourself, “What story are we telling?”

For other great examples of storytelling have a look at the links below.

Dodge Ram – “God Made a Farmer” and Johnnie Walker’s – The Man Who Walked Around The World

If you’d like to talk to us about how to start telling your own story more effectively, then head over to http://www.tonic-agency.com, get in touch, and pop over for a coffee so we can share a few of our own success stories with you.

Telling your digital story

Some great thoughts when considering digital channels and socialisation of your internal comms.

Progressive IC

As more organisations move towards a fully integrated digital workplace it is important that you take your employees with you on the digital journey. If you want to be a digitally enabled business, you need to look beyond the investment in tools and make sure you are culturally ready as well.

The transition to a digital workplace isn’t an easy one, especially if you have been slow to embrace the digital revolution. There will be many employees that are wary of digital, and especially the speed at which things change.

It is important that you make your case for digital to your employees, so they can see and understand why the business is moving towards the change. There are many very good business reasons to look towards digital – including interactivity, collaboration, efficiency and cost.

When you are developing your digital story it is easy to look at components of…

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Everyone’s in the game!

“Diversity is a reality, inclusion is a choice.”

KPMG were keen to promote inclusiveness on campus, and our crowd game helped them to do just that. We invited students who didn’t know each other to step up and take part in a fun and engaging game. The goal was to control a virtual hot air balloon on screen by using your body. Waving your arms left and right would move the balloon in the respective direction on screen. The idea was to get from start to finish as quickly as possible and clinch 1st spot on the leader board.

However, there’s a couple of twists. Firstly, you’d need to avoid the flocks of geese, lightning bolts, UFO’s and oncoming airplanes that try to pop, zap and shred you on your way to the finish line.

Secondly, students would need to work together to ensure that teams of up to 15 players were all moving together as one. Find out more by watching the video here.

Did Microsoft’s new CEO hit the mark?

We can’t be quite sure what Satya Nadella said in the 3000 word memo sent to all Microsoft employees outlining the company vision and values. It may have been the best piece of internal communications possible. But in any context it would be interesting to see how it stacks up against the eleven words that Bill Gates used to do the same job a decade or two ago. I suspect that it wouldn’t be quite so memorable or compelling as ‘To put a computer on every desk and in every home’.

What makes a good piece of communication? Memorable? Punchy? Hard-hitting? Meaningful? Yes, of course these are all true. But, the best communication, the stuff that we remember works because it begins with what’s important to us, the person receiving the information, and the way that we consume knowledge, rather than the content that the communicator wants to send.

Does a 3000 word memo do that job, well yes, it probably does, for some people. But for others it more likely felt like a report to the board. And who wants to read those in their spare time?
In a world where we the majority consume information in bite-sized chunks, rapidly, between other important jobs and life events, it may be better to reflect that in the way that messages are communicated.

Segment the groups of people you need to build a dialogue with. Identify what’s important to them and personalize your message as much as you can. Vary your method too – video, podcast, hangout, town-hall meeting or even team level de-briefs are probably more effective, more memorable and more compelling than a single all-points bulletin. They’re also likely to take you less time to produce.

If the aim is to truly motivate people to work towards the company vision, to be more productive, or to signal a change in direction, then the message has to begin with ‘What do you need to know?’ rather than ‘What do I want to tell you?’ It’s the human face of business.

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TonicOn2: How not to build your brand

Here’s a recording to our first Google Hangout where we’re sharing some Tonic thinking around how NOT to build your brand. We focus on a number of factors that mean traditional marketing has fundamentally changed and that building real engagement with your audience requires a fresh approach.

This presentation followed the well received talk at the last #FIRMday. We’ll be back in a couple of weeks to share some more Tonic thinking with you all live, so watch this space…

 

 

Tonic’s two today

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Wow. It’s the 4th July again. Independence Day. And Tonic’s birthday (expecting presents from you later).

We’re two today and, just like a wobbly toddler, we’ve learned a lot; thought new thoughts, found fresh ways of mastering age old problems and worked in more than 30 countries since July 2012, picking up ideas and new perspectives along the way – here are some of the things we’ve learned along the journey so far.

Push marketing died. RIP. Life and all the things that make it special; births, deaths, love, war, peace: life in all it’s wonderful, glorious breadth just gets in the way. You won’t beat the noise because recruitment marketing is incidental. Someone you don’t know, trying to hire you, right now, is just another marketing message to ignore. To be heard you have to listen first.

Human branding is showing its power. Our concept that the future of brand was human is in use more and more frequently by recruitment advertising agencies and employers alike. It’s great that our thinking is being listened to, and that the way we saw the world back then has helped build better conversations from Adelaide to Aberdeen. Not so good that for some people the Human Brand is just a phrase, a hook that looks good on a PowerPoint deck. To be truly Human, you need an entirely new philosophy – this is not just more comm’s, more media, more spend wrapped up under a different banner.

Community is where you’ll find the talent you need. That’s been part of our mantra since day one. But like human branding if you’re reading community but thinking about talent pools, talent pipelines and passive, one way communication flow – you’re barking up the wrong tree. Community means mutual support, give and take, becoming a utility. There’s that philosophical change again.

One conversation is not enough. We all have different priorities, different perspectives. As marketers we need to understand the preferences of the people we need to communicate with and segment, divide and personalise what we say to match. This is harder to do, but much more effective. It’s up to you whether you spend your time communicating well, or your money with an RPO screening bad candidates.

As we work into our third year we’re looking forward to learning, sharing, collaborating and celebrating with the people we work with. We’d love you to be part of that. Join our TonicOn community to get involved.

Independence. It’s an amazing thing.