Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Zipf’s Law and the importance of being #1 in the recruitment space

It pays to be #1.

Seth Godin, in his books (first in the Ideas Virus and in The Dip), often referred to Zipf’s Law which basically asserts that the most widely used word in English is used ten times more than the tenth most popular word. In other words, the #1 player in any field get significantly more returns (revenue, web hits, exposure …whatever you are measuring) than those ranked below.

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Keeping Promises

What makes a good employer? According to Hewitt – keep your promises.


Details here

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It’s a Brand New Year, Call Someone

A brand new year arrives. Hundreds of ‘to do’ items screams for attention. What is one supposed to do first?

I am reminded of a quote by Hank Paulson, former CEO, Goldman Sachs:

“I call 60 CEOs in the first week of the year to wish them happy New Year. …” (Source: Fortune, “Secrets of Greatness,” 0320.05 via Tom Peters)

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Give before you take

CareerBuilder produced this e-book. It accomplished three things:

  • It’s topical and useful. Even in the age of Google, good search technique is important.
  • It’s a case of being generous; a genuine attempt to help. It’s good strategy.
  • It’s smart marketing. No hard sell; registration not required. Easily spread.

The point is, it’s always better to give something of value before you can ask anything in return.

Aviary img-icbdr-com Picture 1

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An estimated 4,000 open source professionals exist in Australia (a total of 10,000 are employed in the industry). Highly paid and in demand, they form one of the most important subcultures in the technology sector.

If a top-notch Ruby on Rails coder is looking for a new job, which recruitment firm would she turn to? Can you name a company who stands out as an ‘employer of choice’ for open source professionals? Does a specific job board or a community for php developers exist? I know of none. From a recruitment perspective no one in particular owns (serve) the open source space.

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Perceptions 2

“Poetry is when you make new things familiar and familiar things new” ~ Rory Sutherland

Ad man Rory Sutherland, in an entertaining talk, argued that a lot of value can be gained by tinkering with perceptions rather than trying to change reality.

Whether you target job seekers, recruitment advertisers or consumers of recruitment service, you can create new value by changing how you are perceived. Often that  mean not doing the things you are currently doing.

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A new friend tweeted – “you are the person I think of when I am after statistics”.

Though flattered, I never really see myself as a statistician. It doesn’t matter that I worked in marketing for the last seven years, some see me as a numbers man because for a variety of reasons that’s the way they experienced my work and brand. Yes, there are many who sees me as a marketer, some may know me as a blogger, some as a cricket tragic, and so on and so forth.

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1000 fans

Over the weekend, the number of my followers on Twitter passed the 1000 mark.

In social media speak, I am now popular. In fact, according to Sysomos I belong to an exclusive club (only 0.68% of users have more than 1,000 followers).

But what does this digital milestone mean? It certainly doesn’t mean 1000 customers. In fact, I do not have close relationship with majority of my followers, yet. This isn’t a rant. I certainly am not against having more fans on Twitter (thanks for following). The point is getting attention is good, whether its on Twitter or elsewhere, but it doesn’t means much if  it doesn’t translate to results.

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Success for recruiters is strategic not tactical

Some of the most successful recruiters that I’ve encountered have very little to do with social media.

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Feeling the CEO’s pain

It’s not easy to be the head honcho these days.

Across the globe, CEOs are reeling from the financial crisis. PWC’s Global CEO survey (pdf) found the number of CEOs who are confident about their one-year revenue growth prospects dropped to 21%, the lowest it has been in six years.

CEOs are predicting headcount to further fall in the next twelve months (graph1). However, a vast majority (97%) believes ‘talent’ is a critical driver of success and remains at the top long-term priority list (graph 2). In other words, while hands are currently tied, hiring will eventually pick up.

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Capitalising on the popularity of online VIDEO

Lava Communications alerted me to a recruitment Video they produced for Optiver Trading.

Lava claimed they registered 60,000 views in three weeks. By any standard, it’s an impressive result.

Watching VIDEO online is popular. Twenty hours of VIDEO gets uploaded on YouTube every minute, equivalent to 86,00 full-length movies per week. A new research shows that watching VIDEO online is more popular than Facebook or Twitter.

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Using word of mouth to spread your story

If you are a CEO, no one really trust you. Any day consumers prefer the opinion of their friends or peers.

In his groundbreaking study, Frederick Reichheld, argues that a company’s growth is strongly tied to the voluntary marketing efforts of loyal customers; fans recommending and selling on behalf of a company. In other words, positive word-of-mouth.

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The importance of ‘trust’ for talent solution providers

The question is, do consumers trust your talent software? your recruitment services? or job board solutions?

The Edelman Trust Barometer found 93% of Australian consumers will buy a product or service only from companies they trust.  More tellingly, 72% of customers will spread the good news about a company they trust. 79% will criticise and spread negative opinions if they distrust your brand.


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Trust and word of mouth strategy for talent solution providers

Who do Internet consumers trust? Mostly, the opinion of friends or acquaintances over other forms of advertisement.

A global study by Nielsen found 90% of consumers (93% in Australia’s case) trust recommendations from people they know.


It is likely that your future client of customer is soliciting the opinion of friends or acquaintances.  According to Nielsen: “The explosion in Consumer Generated Media over the last couple of years means consumers’ reliance on word of mouth in the decision-making process, either from people they know or online consumers they don’t, has increased significantly,”. Social Media merely amplifies the exchanges of opinions.

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Strategy in a downturn 1 – Focus on your core business

The good news is Australia officially averted a recession. However, the bad news in the employment sector continues. Gains are small (SEEK Employment Index saw a modest rise), and the hard times promises to continue for a while longer.

When times are hard, everyone needs to adapt; everyone learns to adapt. Internal departments, individual companies and whole industries are adapting to the changed environment. So, how are talent solution providers adapting? What is a good strategy to take in a downturn?

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