Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Why Digital Recruiters are Different from the Other 99% of Recruiters

Looking for your best digital marketing employee? In today’s market, your ideal candidates aren’t the ones in the unemployment lines or the ones filling your inbox with applications for your open position. They’re unique because they are often “passive” candidates who have no problem finding a job, and probably aren’t even “looking.”

Before your next search, it pays to take into account what makes recruiting for digital so different:

Reality #1: Your best talent aren’t always coming from large corporations
Small digital marketing agencies often generate the best recruitment candidates. And the fact is, if you don’t already know who all those small companies are, you can easily overlook an entire pool of candidates who just happen to be flying completely off your radar.

Sifting through stacks of resumes that cite numerous company names you’ve never heard of can not only be daunting, but a time-waster. Without following the who’s who in the digital world, you’re wasting time, money and the opportunity to find your perfect candidate.

Reality #2: You must get your network in place before you need to fill that job
Emerging digital talent has traveled well beyond traditional venues into a new cutting-edge world. Simply put, it can be hard to earn their trust.

How do you earn that trust? Take the time to get to know them – well before they are actually looking to make a move. When you already know a potential candidate’s strengths, career highlights, and salary expectations, you will have established a valuable relationship that can be leveraged for your next hire.

Reality #3: Many hiring managers realize they don’t have the time and resources to build such relationships and are increasingly turning to specialized recruiters. 
Digital recruiters free up your time, allowing you to focus on managing and building your business.

Good recruiters already have well-established relationships of trust with candidates. They know the ropes, the players, and the salary requirements because their day-to-day lives are immersed in the culture and lifestyle of your future candidates. It’s their job to ally with you to help you build a compelling case to convince superior talent to join your team.

Speed and accuracy are crucial to a successful employee search. The pool of qualified digital recruits is small, so finding that perfect match for your company can be intimidating and expensive. When you allow an expert to match your opportunity to the best-qualified candidate, you will have no doubts you’ve got the right person for the job.

Kathryn Duncan is a partner of FRWD Co., a digital media services agency based out of Minneapolis. She has been relationship recruiting for five years and on any given night can be found networking with the rock stars of the Twin Cities’ digital industry.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Learning Through Mentorship Opportunities

Barrie Berquist

Perhaps you are a recent college graduate trying to navigate your way through a competitive job market or land your dream job.  Maybe you are trying to take your career to the next level and are not sure how to get there.  Or maybe you just want to learn from another's experiences so you can do your job better.  Whatever your situation, you might benefit from having a mentor.

Mentoring relationships can be formed either through a formal process where a mentor and a mentee are matched based on designated criteria, or through an informal process such as a mentee simply asking someone to share their wisdom and experiences.  Either way, the mentoring relationship allows opportunities for learning and personal development that are not readily available.

Many companies offer mentoring opportunities for their employees.  My company offers a Leadership Development Program for recent graduates who are interested in entering the Retail Grocery Industry.  Each LDP associate is given a mentor with whom they meet with regularly throughout the two year program.  This mentoring relationship allows the LDP associate the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the industry and specific roles within the company.  At the completion of the program, the LDP associates are better prepared to enter permanent positions within the company and are more likely to remain with the company long-term than those who did not have a mentor.

What about you?
  • Have you ever had a mentor? Have you ever been a mentor?
  • If so, how was this relationship established?  What criteria were considered when selecting a mentor? 
  • What did you get out of your mentor/mentee relationship?
Barrie Berquist is a Senior Category Development Manager at Acosta Sales and Marketing.  She has been a member of the MN AMA since 2007 and is a member of the MarCom Committee where she serves as the Career Insider Blog Project Manager.  She can be reached at barrieberquist@yahoo.com.  You can follow Barrie on Twitter @BEBERQUIST. 
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Networking for hungry marketing professionals

Two guys are walking down the same street at separate times. Each is hungry, each is looking into the windows of stores where there is hot food, and each has a pocketful of money.
Only thing is that one of these two guys doesn’t realize he has a pocketful of money. So he looks into the window and blames the world for being a hard place and stays hungry. The other guy uses the money in his pocket to secure a good meal.
Networking is a lot like filling your pocket with money. Some people just don’t realize that they have great resources already available to them, or think that they can’t get what they desire in life. They just focus on the world being a hard place, while they remain hungry for a job, a new connection, a deal, or whatever it is they desire.
So take a look inside your pockets, not for business cards of people you met at the last event you attended, but for the connection you established with someone at that event. 
  •  Did you follow up to reinforce that connection? 
  • Did you remember something that the two of you spoke about or heard from a speaker that was interesting to both of you?
  • Did you ask a question where you really want to hear what they think?
  • When is the last time you sent a personal message to someone who made a comment on a LinkedIn discussion that resonated with you?
      These are the type of actions that turn a handshake and business card into the start of a new relationship.  I know you have dreams and aspirations.  And I know you are hungry. 
 So what are you going to do about it?
Marc Sokol is an organizational psychologist with an eye for how people and teams can be more effective, even in a dysfunctional company. He is part of M Squared Group, a data-driven marketing consultancy.   
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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Marketing Facebook: Tips for Growing Your Fan Base

Marketing plans have increasingly incorporated social media into their agenda. Facebook and Twitter have become a natural part of a brand, and the push to attract followers and fans has almost become feverish. So what’s the big deal? What are the proven benefits of a large Facebook fan base? Is it really important to have more Twitter followers than Kim Kardashian?

There are proven benefits to having a strong social media presence. For the sake of time and space, I will be focusing on Facebook fans. I have outlined a few benefits below.

1.  Increased brand awareness. Whether people find your website through your Facebook page, or find your Facebook page through your website, it’s more traffic. More traffic and higher brand visibility make for a higher chance of product awareness and education.
2.  Easier search engine optimization- A Facebook fan page does more than heighten your exposure within a social network; a fan page raises the odds of your name being found quicker on search engines, like Google.
3.  Customer loyalty- Current customers who follow your Facebook fan page will develop an individual connection to your product or service, particularly if you are diligent about feedback and responses with their posts. Facebook lends itself to conversation nicely, and using it to engage with customers will make them even more connected. Fan pages offer fans chances to post pictures, provide product reviews, and to post feedback and comments that may possibly attract others and provide you with priceless insight into the wants and also needs of your projected audience.

It does take time, energy, dedication and knowledge to create a successful Facebook fan base. However with a little patience and creative thinking, Facebook fans can become highly vocal and loyal customers. So how can you create a larger fan base?  

Below are my top three tips on creating a successful Facebook campaign:

1.     Linking and driving. Don’t assume your customers will just stumble upon your Facebook page. Make an engaging and attractive way for them to see that you have a Facebook page. Use the brand website as a hub to connect and funnel users to your social media sites.
2.     Give a little TLC. Everyone likes to feel special-especially your customers. Entice people to become fans by offering exclusive deals for them. You can give specific coupons, post special offers, free downloads, photos, applications or advance notice for special events, all of which would be exclusive to your fans.
3.     Reward the Super-fan. Super-fans are the handful of people that are the loudest and most visible fans of your product. Pay attention to these people. They can become your strongest advocates because they are viewed as an unbiased consumer. This is why Facebook is unique, it is viewed as a community rather than a hierarchy. Visibly reward your strongest customers and not only will those customers become even happier with the brand, but Facebook allows the whole community to see their positive experience.
Ashley Haugen is a Gustavus Adolphus College alumna. She has had Marketing experience working with such organizations as the LOFT Literary Center, the Gustavus Marketing Department and the Ordway Center for Performing Arts.
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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Don’t Forget About News Releases!

Controversy about the future of newspapers swarms headlines every day. There is no doubt that newspapers have to reconsider how they go to market with their product and service. Some newspapers have already begun charging for online subscriptions. No matter what the future holds for newspapers, the one thing that won’t change is the need to send news releases.

In the old days, a “press release” was used to release news to the press; reporters and editors. Documents were written for the media, with the media’s existing understanding of the subject. Nobody actually saw the press release besides a handful of niche reporters and editors.

Today, this has all changed because companies communicate to more than just reporters; companies communicate directly to buyers.

News Releases and the Internet
Pretend for a moment that you’re in the market for a new car. What would you do? Where would you go to begin your research, online and/or offline? I would be willing to bet that your research begins on the Internet through news articles, blogs, etc. A lot of this news comes from news releases because journalists, reporters and bloggers, all go online to company websites to the “news” section to see what’s the latest and greatest thing going on.
A news release should be written in a voice that educates buyers, so you can build a relationship. If search engine marketing is implemented into your marketing plans, then be sure keywords are used in the news releases too.

New releases can be sent to:
·       Trade magazines
·       Journals
·       Associations
·       National, regional and local newspapers
·       Radio stations
Stories can be generated from news releases and posted on social media sites and websites and mentioned in external and internal newsletters.

Components of a News Release
Understand your target audience. Does your target audience need to be sliced up? If so, identify the situations each target audience may find themselves in. What are their problems, business issues or needs? Always focus on what your buyer wants to hear. Make it informative, don’t sell! What are the product benefits? Does your product or service have an environmental, social, health or technology benefit? Is it something that hasn’t been done before? If so, all of this is newsworthy and should be sent to your key publics.

Shallon Hagen is the Director of Marketing for two Ford dealerships, and is responsible for marketing, communication, promotional and public relation strategies campaigns. She has more than 12 years of experience in customer service, sales and marketing. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing Management with magna cum laude honors. She is a freelance writer and graphic designer. You can reach her at shallon.hagen@gmail.com or connect on LinkedIn.

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