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We have moved to Wordpress! Posted by Jason Links to this post The Recruiting Front Lines has evolved. At the beginning of the year, I changed jobs within my company, moving away from Outreach and Education, and into my new role as Director of Business Development. While I remain closely involved with our field activity, I am now more focused on strategic partnerships, social media, and the world of internet recruitment resources. As I have made this change, the focus of my blog content has also changed. Recently, I began to feel that many of the ideas I had for blog posts would not fit within the framework of The Recruiting Front Lines. This was a cause of some frustration, as I felt that I was either misrepresenting my content with the title of my blog, or that I was stifling my writing because I felt it didn't fit. To rectify this situation, I have created a new blog home, now on WordPress. I am still ironing out the wrinkles, but feel that it is far enough along that I can move all my past content, and begin posting all new content, at the new address. I would like to formally welcome everyone to come check out my new home at I can't wait to hear what you think! Best Regards, and Thank you for your time and attention over the past 18 months. Jason

Oct 22, 2008

RFL: Departmental Schizophrenia?

Last week I presented a webinar focused on Employment Branding to more than 150 companies through a great resource called GoToWebinar (free plug- it's a great and easy to use web conferencing tool).

I also provided the same presentation to a group of HR professionals at the Seacoast Human Resource Association, SHRA, in Portsmouth, NH, a local chapter of SHRM.

I've presented this material a handful of times, and one piece of feedback that I get consistently really stands out, so I wanted to share.

During the presentation, we discuss how to identify a company's unique employment proposition- it's employment brand. That is, what does your company provide to it's employees that make you unique? This ranges from flexibility of schedules, to compassionate environment, to generous benes and compensation, to stabile work environment and so on...

We ask the employers to assign human personality traits to themselves as employers. Actually, we do this as an exercise, and suggest that they have their employees fill this out. As with a consumer brand, the brand is what people tell you it is, not what you think it is. If people perceive Kia's to be cheap, low quality transportation, that's the reality of the brand, regardless of what people at Kia would want you to believe, AND REGARDLESS OF THE ACTUAL QUALITY OR VALUE THAT KIA OFFERS. If people don't see it that way, it isn't that way.

Likewise, your employment brand is whatever your employees say it is.

So as we go through this process, it almost always comes up that this is difficult to do, because different departments (horizontal), or different job grades (vertical) would have different opinions about the company's strengths, weaknesses, personality.

This is where I recently stopped my thought process, and asked myself, WHY IS IT THAT THERE IS SO MUCH VARIATION IN VIEW OF THE COMPANY BOTH HORIZONTALLY AND VERTICALLY? If one department treats your employees well, pays well, is open and honest in communication, and is compassionate to them, why would that change from department to department? Or, for that matter, based on how high up the ladder you are?

So, this is, or may be, a reality for many companies. And the suggestion up front is simple- analyze your employment personality/brand for each functional area- horizontally and vertically- to capture granular detail about each department, so as you build your brand it is customized and focused right down to that level.

Here's my second thoughts on that. If you are hearing very conflicting feedback about your company's strengths, weaknesses, personality, etc, there's more work that needs to be done first.... sorry. This finding presents an excellent opportunity to identify inconsistencies internally, and develop a blueprint for building better employee relations and engagement.

OKAY, okay.... why bother, right? This is a lot of work. A waste of time. Will use up resources. What's in it for me? I get all those very valid concerns. The answers boil down to very basic principles of HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT and Organziational Dynamics.

Your ability to have a strong and pervasive culture will allow you to better identify the best potential candidates, based on your current environment and staff. Attracting better candidates leads to hiring better employees.
  • Hiring better employees leads to reduced costs for turnover, as retention increases.
  • Increased retention means better long-term skill development for your business.
  • Better long term skill development means better productivity, consumer relations, profitability.

THIS IS WHY IT IS IMPORTANT. A business's ability to realize long term sustainability and growth is based on the collective skills and engagement of it's employees. Top producing, happy, engaged employees will have the greatest effect on you bottom line of variable you can control.

From the Recruiting Front Lines, that's how I see it today! Please click here to share your comments.


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