Archive for February, 2013

Cracking the “QR Code” in Recruiting

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

QR PicAs I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I was recently the keynote speaker at Keyano College Career Fair on the topic of Low Cost/High Impact Recruiting for the 82 employer exhibitors. Part of my talk focused on tapping into free or near free electrons through social media recruiting. I was asked by way of show of hands how many people of the 150 plus in attendance were using QR “Quick Response” Codes in their recruiting efforts. It was interesting to see that only about 5% of the people raised their hands. I went on to share with the group that I feel not using QR Codes as a key element of a company’s recruiting efforts is a missed opportunity.

As I walked through the career fair looking at the exhibitor booths I was pleased to see that Dresser-Rand was using QR Codes in their recruiting by having them on the recruiter’s business cards and on the long sleeve shirts they were wearing. I loved the “Human Billboard” approach to using this technology. The photo is me in a Dresser-Rand QR Code recruiting shirt.

Link to Careers at Dresser-Rand

Given most people in developed countries own at least one smart phone and that there are a number of free QR Reader apps for every major platform, QR codes are used by organizations as a quick and easy way to market their businesses and extend the reach of their brands. When a customer/prospect scans the code with their phone the code will link directly to a website. The marketing possibilities are endless. Consumers are becoming very comfortable with scanning QR Codes to enter contests, get free information, get e-discounts and do a host of other things.

Recruiting is no different than marketing in that you are always looking for creative ways to capture the interest of both active and passive job seekers. Producing a QR Code is very easy and most often free.

Here are several links to QR Code Generator sites:

Here are some places that recruiters are using QR Codes:

  • Recruiters business cards & name tags
  • Employee referral cards
  • Print ads – newspaper, trade journal
  • Human billboards – T-Shirts
  • Billboards, banners & mobile signs
  • Posters
  • Text message attachments
  • Sales receipts
  • Window & truck signs


Get Your Employees into Bed*

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Jon Jonathan Laplante Director of Sales Obasan

If your organization has taken a stand on a social or political issue, why not incorporate your cause with your recruiting, engagement and retention efforts. For example, If your company has taken a very progressive stance in protecting the environment and you’re involved in various environmental initiatives, you’ll attract people who share your concerns. People can become very excited about the prospect of working with a socially responsible company, and the common ground you and the prospective applicant share on environmental protection may prove to be a real “gelling” force. Align your organization to supporting a cause and attract like-minded people (e.g. Bodyshop, Toms Shoes, Starbucks). A number of legal firms are doing pro-bono work for local charities as a way of giving back while enticing like-minded young lawyers to join their firms.

*Obasan, a manufacture of natural and organic mattresses and bedding accessories, not only markets their green philosophy, they live it. Jean Corriveau, the president, often travels to remote parts of the world sourcing natural cotton, wool and rubber. He and his team are committed to only doing business with suppliers who are truly committed to fair trade practices. The result is that like-minded people are seeking to be part of the Obasan team. Jean gets his employees into an Obasan bed, they get to fully appreciate the quality of the products but also the health benefits of a great night’s sleep. The employees take tremendous pride in owning an Obasan bed and in their role of providing hand crafted mattresses and accessories for their clients. Jean also actively seeks input from all employees from production, sales and administration for product development ideas and prototypes. The result is a highly productive, engaged and loyal team in a sector plagued with high employee turnover.

“At Obasan, employees are treated as full and equal partners. We hire locally and provide workers with a clean, safe and supportive environment in which they are treated with respect and dignity. I am proud that we have several employees who have been with Obasan for 15 years or more and the new or ones are happy to stay, learn and grow. This type of loyalty is difficult to come by and I deeply appreciate the trust that these workers place in me and in the company.”

Source Sleep Well, Live Well My Passionate Journey for Better Sleep by Jean Corriveau founder Obasan

To learn more about Obasan go to








Key Points on Hiring a Social Media Manager

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

I was recently the keynote speaker at Keyano College Career Fair on the topic of Low Cost/High Impact Recruiting for the 82 employer exhibitors. One of the questions I received while talking one-on-one with several exhibitors was about tips on hiring a social media manager or co-ordinator. I shared my thoughts with them and today I listened to Shane Gibson’s podcast on the same topic. In this blog I will share the key points that I offered last week at the Career Fair and at the end of the blog you will see a link to Shane’s podcast which I encourage you to listen to.

When you look at selecting a social media manager or coordinator, or whatever term you use, make sure you invest the time and energy to select the right person. This is a key position within the organization and there is a tremendous cost to your brand if you don’t do it right.  The social media manager role is about leading and contributing to the various conversations about the organization, its products, services and people. The reality is that the conversation about your brand is happening regardless of your organization’s involvement (or lack of involvement) in social media. The best strategy then is to have a talented professional leading the social media engagement from within your organization.

The most important role of the social media manager is to influence and lead the conversation about the organization. To do this requires two key elements in my estimation. 1. The candidate needs to have the right attitude. By this I mean that the individual needs to understand what the overarching goal of social media is. It is not about the constant one-way hard selling of your products and services, rather it is about actively engaging and contributing to an online community while re-enforcing your brand image.  Another key attitude is the notion of being “referable”, which requires earning the right to be referred by others – word of mouth advertising. This starts with an attitude of service. Lastly is the key attitude that being the social media manager is not a part time job, it’s something that requires a consistent full time approach on a disciplined daily basis.

2. The second element to hiring the right person is focusing on the core competencies. Shane Gibson has identified 22 Competencies for a Social Media Manager


Put simply, I think there are three fundamental areas of competencies. First, the person needs to possess the technical competencies regarding the ins and outs of working with the following social platforms; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Blogging, Podcasting as a minimum, and they should have a proven track record of engaging with large numbers of people via these sites.

The second competency to possess is consumer behaviour, marketing and business development skills.  These skills can be acquired through formal degree programs, specialized courses and career experience. The point is that the social media manager role is at the core a marketing one that must dovetail with traditional marketing and business development iniatives.

The third element is a strategic competency.  The social media manager needs see the big picture of how external issues can affect the organization. This role is critical to establish the organization’s social media policy. This person needs to be an internal leader showing colleagues the best social media practices and ultimately be the social media voice sitting at the executive table.


Link to Shane Gibson’s podcast