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    Entries in employer brand (12)


    CHART OF THE DAY: The World's Most Valuable Brands

    Happy last-day-of the-month Monday!

    Quick shot for kicking off a busy summer week. Courtesy of our pals at Visual Capitalist, let's take a look at the list of the corporations owning the world's most valuable brands:

    The 'brand value' methodology is referenced on the infographic above, but the essential element is that it it is the intangible asset that exists in the minds of consumers, which is usually an image forged over time through exposure to branding, ads, publicity, and other types of personal experiences. Attaching a dollar value to this intangible asset is perhaps more art than science, but while the specific dollar values can be debated, it probably can't be debated that there is at least some value to the brand.

    So while the top companies for brand value are likely the ones that you'd expect, after I saw this chart I couldn't help noticing that these companies also seem to be the ones that show up on the various 'Best or Top of Most Awesome Companies to Work For' lists that float around on the internet.

    Take a look at just one example, from our friends at LinkedIn, on the '40 Most Attractive Companies in the World' (according to LinkedIn)

    I cut the Top 40 List off at 7 due to space concerns and also because that is all I needed to make my point

    Hey, what a surprise! The Top 5 Global Brands in terms of value, (Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook), all show up inside the Top 7 of the LinkedIn 'attractiveness' list.

    And you'd find similar kinds of results on most of the other types of 'Best Places' lists - they are dominated by these mega-tech brands that make the coolest products, have the most incredible corporate campuses, and often are led by influential and charismatic leaders.

    All of this to make the point you already know - the thing we like to call 'employer brand' is inextricably tied up in what most people will call the consumer or public brand. The most powerful, valuable, and well-known consumer brands have such an advantage in the employer brand category that it is almost laughable.

    If you are one of the companies on the 'most valuable' list, congrats, things are always going to be easier for you to attract and recruit. If you are not one of those global, mega-brands, you have to know you are starting any competition for talent at a disadvantage. 

    Some brands have all the luck, I guess.

    Have a great week!


    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 275 - Employer Branding on a Global Scale at GE

    HR Happy Hour 275 - Employer Branding on a Global Scale at GE

    Hosts: Steve BoeseTrish McFarlane

    Guest: Shaunda Zilich, Global Employer Brand Leader, GE

    Listen HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, hosts Steve Boese and Trish McFarlane are joined by Shaunda Zilich, Global Employment Brand Leader for GE to talk about employer branding, recruitment marketing, and working with employees and the marketing staff to achieve employer branding goals. 

    Shaunda shared some key insights about GE's approach to employer branding, how to engage employees, hiring managers, and business leaders to help spread important employer brand messages, and to best position GE as well as communicate, support and align with business strategy. She also shares some ideas about how to get employer branding and recruitment marketing programs off and running, even with limited, (or maybe even no) budget, staff, or resources.

    You can learn more about GE at www.ge.com/careers where you can learn about GE's new initiative to place 20,000 women in technical roles.

    We also chatted about bourbon, snowstorms, and Trish and Shaunda both shared some incredibly important news of their respective company's recent announcements with the NBA. This is HUGE news (definitely to Steve anyway).

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or by using the widget player below:

    This was a fun and interesting show, thanks so much to Shaunda for joining us!

    Remember to subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and all the podcast apps - just search for 'HR Happy Hour' to subscribe and never miss a show.


    Best of 2015: By the time you catch Google, it may already be too late

    NOTE: As 2015 winds down, so will 'regular' posts on the blog. For the next two weeks, I will be posting what I thought were the most interesting pieces I published in 2015. These were not necessarily the most popular or most shared, just the ones I think were most representative of the year in HR, HR Tech, workplaces, and basketball. Hope you enjoy looking back on the year and as always, thanks for reading in 2015.

    Next up a piece from April, on how chasing 'Best/Top/Most Awesome Places to Work companies like Google is a tough game to play.

    By the time you catch Google as a 'Top Place to Work', it may already be too late

    Here's a quick note of caution for any employers chasing 'Top' of 'Best' of 'Most Amazingly Fantastic' organizations to work for lists - the kinds of lists that are almost always topped by legendary companies like Google, courtesy of a recent piece on Business Insider titled In terms of 'prestige', Google is now a 'tier-two' employer, says recent Comp-Sci grad.

    A quick excerpt from the piece, then some comments from yours truly, (it is my blog after all):

    When Google offered a recent grad from a top CS program a job, the new grad said no.

    That despite monthly compensation of $9,000, including a housing stipend.


    In an email, the engineer gave us four reasons:

    • "Lower pay after tax. Housing stipend is taxed more, and several places pay more than Google. That being said, Google is still very competitive. Google's full time offer is very average (105k starting salary) and the best startups pay more."
    • "Less interesting work. It's a large tech company. The impact I'd have is minimal."
    • "Lower prestige. Outside of tech, and maybe within average CS students, Google is the place to go if you're one of the smartest engineers. However, within top CS students, it's not considered that great. Probably tier two in terms of prestige and difficulty to get an internship. I have lots of friends barely passing their CS courses that are interning there. Saying you intern at Google just doesn't get you that much respect."
    • "Less upside. For full time specifically, you get equity at a startup. If it IPOs, you make millions if you're one of the first 100-1000 employees.

    Lots to take in there but the gist is pretty clear - at least according to this Comp-Sci grad, even one of the most highly lauded top companies in the world isn't immune to being 'topped' by competitors for the best, most sought after kinds of talent. If Google, with it's history, success, mythos, and bucketfuls of cash is getting beat out (at least in the perceptions) of top recruits, it reminds everyone that while chasing companies like Google might seem like a great strategy, it eventually is a failing one, since Google can't even keep up with Google, if that makes sense.

    But there is also one other nugget in that quote worth teasing out a little and that is the way this Comp-Sci grad talks about how he and his peers think about and talk about companies and workplaces. From the quote, there definitely seems to be an odd kind of peer pressure and one-upmanship going on with these recent grads. The desire not just to get a great offer and work on great tech and projects but to be able to brag to the other kids in Comp-Sci is pretty high on the list of desires for this group.

    Interesting stuff it seems to me, and a great reminder that no one, not even Google, is immune to competition, changing values, and the need to constantly be moving forward and re-inventing their value proposition in order to keep their lofty status on whichever 'Wonderful' Place to Work list you subscribe to.

    Have a great weekend!


    Technology, process, or message - which one should come first? #OOW15

    I am out at Oracle Open World for a couple of days this week and have been reminded (in a good way) of just how massive both this event is and the breadth and depth of the technologies and applications that fall under the Oracle banner. This event is really more like 10 events in one, with all the various technologies and application domains, (sales, marketing, finance, HCM, etc.), all having their own segments, content, and dedicated demonstration areas. It is just a huge event.

    One interesting nugget from my first day out at Open World was an observation that was made in a session I attended called 'Connect Sourcing, Recruiting, and Onboarding for Better Not Just More Candidates', that was given by Ann Blakely and Jim Fox from the consulting/advisory firm BakerTilly. It was a solid session with many smart and practical steps that organizations can take to better design, optimize and rationalize the steps in a classic talent acquisition process flow.

    But to me the most interesting aspect of the talk was the way that the typical 'People/Process/Technology' relationship was described. Typically, and in most of the 3,490 times I have seen someone discuss the concept, the importance of aligning each element (people, process, and technology), and making sure that each one individually is given adequate attention and resources, each one is treated more or less equally. In a nutshell, people, process, and technology are all kind of viewed as the same, or equal elements or sides in some kind of HR tech equilateral triangle. 

    Which is cool, or at least better than the classic mistake of leading with technology or becoming a slave to pre-existing (and often inefficient) processes at the expense of the other elements. Usually no one seems to make the 'mistake' of placing too much value or emphasis on the people side of the triangle, which is both odd and illustrative I guess.

    But to get back to the presentation yesterday which was fully in the context of improving the overall talent acqusition function, the speakers looked at the 'people' side of the classic 'People/Process/Technology' triangle and instead referred to it as 'Message.' But more importantly than just the semantic change, the speakers emphasized that in talent acquisition the 'message' itself - the Employer Value Proposition, the brand values, the ways in which the company wants to portray and position itself in the talent market, all of these things, that the message should more of less define the processes and then lead you to finding and deploying the right technology.

    It was more or less, a call to lead with 'people' as opposed to lead with one of other sides of the triangle, (which we know never really works out), or even to treat them all at least conceptually equally. Figure out the message, essentially who you are, what you stand for, what you truly believe are the core values that will make you an attractive employer, and build everything else out and up from there.

    It was a cool idea, and one that for me, I know I have not heard advocated much in the past, maybe not at all.

    Let the 'people' and the message drive how you design the processes and how/where/what technology will be leveraged to support it all. I am coming to think more and more that HR tech and tools that put 'people' first will be the ones that win in the long run....

    Like I said, a really cool idea shared in one small room of a massive event.

    Have a great Wednesday!


    How to quickly solve your engagement, retention, and employer brand problems

    If you (and the people in your organization) are representatives of what has been happening more generally in work and workplaces over the last decade or so then you are likely working more hours, remain as disengaged as ever, and now, more acutely, are struggling to find and retain the needed talented people for many of your key roles.

    These challenges of work/life balance, engagement, and retention collectively have had about 4,958,909 articles and 'advice' pieces written about them in the last few years, (I looked it up), and yet most organizations and people still struggle with one or all of these problems. But what if there were one simple change to the design of work and workplaces that actually could improve the situation across all three of these measures? What if there were the equivalent of an HR/Talent/Org Design magic wand that you could wave and you'd pretty quickly see employees happier with their work/life balance, become more enthusiastic and engaged with their work, and be much less likely to leave your organization to search for greener pastures?

    When you hear this idea (especially if you are from the USA), your first reaction is almost certainly going to be 'There's no way that will ever work here', but I ask you just suspend your cynicism for three minutes and at least allow your imagination to play with the concept - it's Monday morning and you are having a hard time getting going anyway.

    So here it is, the easy solution to burnout, engagement, and retention:

    Change your standard workday to 6 hours.

    That's it. Keep everything else (salary, benefits, performance standards, org structure, etc.) the same. Just cut the workday from the 8 hours down to 6, and remind everyone that you still expect and require the same productivity and outcomes as you did on the 8 hour day, but you now only 'require' them to work for 6 hours.

    This is an idea that has been in the news again lately, based on a few experiments both in the public and private sectors in Sweden, and are reviewed in this recent piece in the Guardian. Organizations that have either tested or totally adopted the reduced hours have consistently reported improvements across the three key objectives I have been mentioning - work/life, engagement, and retention.

    From the Guardian piece, the experiences of a tech startup, (a type of company much more commonly associated with 12 or more hour days):

    For Maria Bråth, boss of internet startup Brath, the six-hour working day the company introduced when it was formed three years ago gives it a competitive advantage because it attracts better staff and keeps them. “They are the most valuable thing we have,” she says – an offer of more pay elsewhere would not make up for the shorter hours they have at Brath.

    The company, which has 22 staff in offices in Stockholm and Örnsköldsvik, produces as much, if not more, than its competitors do in eight-hour days, she says. “It has a lot to do with the fact that we are very creative – we couldn’t keep it up for eight hours.”

    And what about a more 'normal' job, say as an auto mechanic? Well their is evidence that shorter workdays can be successful there as well:

    Martin Geborg, 27, a mechanic, started at Toyota eight years ago and has stayed there because of the six-hour day. “My friends are envious,” he says. He enjoys the fact that there is no traffic on the roads when he is heading to and from work. Sandra Andersson, 25, has been with the company since 2008. “It is wonderful to finish at 12,” she says. “Before I started a family I could go to the beach after work – now I can spend the afternoon with my baby.”

    I know what you are thinking - there is no way a 25% reduction in work hours without a reduction in comp and ben costs will EVER work for you. 

    The bosses will never go for it, and for US companies, it just sounds too 'European' and vaguely socialist an idea to ever merit serious consideration. But if you can get past your instinctive reaction as an HR pro and just consider the notion as an individual employee you might think differently.

    How much time, really, do you spend each day on 'non-work' - catching up on your idiot friends posts on Facebook, calling to schedule a Dr. appointment, or doing the lunchtime 'bank/dry cleaner/pharmacy' trifecta? 

    How many of your kids school activites to you either miss or have to guiltily sneak out of work to try and attend?

    How many times to you sit in traffic from 5:45PM - 7:00PM only to reach home completely frazzled and wiped out?

    And after all of that, how much work, actual important and quality work did you get done that day?

    Definitely some, you are a solid pro, but definitely not 8 hours worth, that is for sure. Work expands to fill the available space and time provided, often crowding out the other, 'non-work' parts of our lives. And, if your job is similar to many of the other folks I know, it never really is 'done' anyway - no matter how much time you spend in the office.

    These small experiments with shorter working days all seem to turn out the same - employees are more focused, have more energy, provide better service, are happier, and are much less likely to leave what they perceive to be a great working situation.

    What's not to like about that?

    Nah, it would never work here.

    Have a great week!