11 Powerful Ways For Your Company To Be Bold on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the largest social network for professionals and colleagues, with the equivalent of the entire Ivy League enrolment joining the site every single day.

Unlike other leading social media platforms, content is specifically targeted to like minded professionals. LinkedIn provides an ideal space to increase brand awareness, client and candidate engagement and build a strong network by pushing out content that directly correlates and appeals to those in your industry.

Yet many companies either are not utilising this opportunity, or simply cannot engage with their industry. With the human attention span gradually decreasing, it has never been more difficult to grab your audience's attention and keep it. Content is key to client engagement, however this is not where it ends. Brand consistency, frequency and relevance are all equally important. By properly understanding LinkedIn, your business can take this social network and turn it into an effective Marketing Resource.

We have compiled the following Linkedin Best Practices that you can incorporate and share with your team. These simple changes can help to maximise opportunities to connect with professionals from your industry, increase content engagement and Brand Awareness.

Create a company page on LinkedIn, if you haven’t already

This one is a no brainer. However, what some companies neglect to do, is to ensure that employees add your company to their current position. By doing so, consultants will automatically follow the company page. It will also enlarge the overall reach of your page to include whoever is viewing your worker’s profile, which automatically links to your company page.

Urge your team and colleagues to connect with each other

Internal and external business contacts, customers, clients and friends. This will widen your company network maximising your audience and social reach.

Encourage your colleagues and employees to endorse each other for relevant skills

Skill endorsements are a great way to recognise your 1st-degree connection skills. The skills with the most endorsements will move to the top of your skills list. You may have a standard set of skills you wish each individual to include in their profiles.

Have your employees share the company profile once a quarter

Research carried out by LinkedIn found that, on average, your employees have a network that is 10 times larger than a company follower base. Share the company profile once a quarter to maximise brand awareness and traffic to the company profile. You may decide to tie this into a larger event, perhaps a

  • company event,

  • awards ceremony,

  • public holiday,

  • CSR effort,

  • anniversary

Ensuring that there is interesting, relevant content on your feed that portrays your brand, culture and values. Don't go stale!

It is important that profiles remain relevant. Encourage your team to post at least once a week - this can be a combination of organic content and reposts of relevant industry content. We recommend a ratio of 1:3 for organic and repurposed posts. Keep the content fresh using articles with images. Studies carried out by LinkedIn have shown that the human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Adding to this, content with visuals get 94% more views than content without and 65% of people are visual learners.

Set content guidelines

For example you may not want to be seen to endorse certain products, brands or political views. Your employees profiles are an extension of your company LinkedIn profile and in some cases, your website. It is important to ensure that your company culture, vision, mission and values are reflected effectively and accurately in their content.

Encourage employees to share company content to maximise engagement

In line with the statistics above, of course. By encouraging participation, not only are you widening the overall reach, but content within each individual’s profile remains relevant and up to date, without having to focus too much of their time creating original organic content. Some may find the idea of coming up with creative and engaging content daunting. By reposting company content, you remove this negativity whilst ensuring that content is on brand.


Plan your posts in advance

This ensures a steady flow of content that is consistent. It may also be beneficial to hold regular focus groups in order to plan content in advance. Ask yourself:

  • What is happening within your industry?

  • What is happening outside of the industry that your audience may want to know about?

Use keywords in posts and throughout profiles

This will make profiles easier to find. It is also beneficial to use hashtags so posts and content are easier to find, increasing engagement. Keep an eye on trending # tags within your industry, and utilise this information in order to boost engagement potential.

Set some guidelines for LinkedIn Headshots

We recommend that you provide headshots for your employees that are professional and on brand. However, if you do not, you should set some guidelines for images used. For example, you may not want alcohol to be visible in the shot, no group photos, colour or black and white, smart dress etc.

Use company approved cover image, header, summary and job description

LinkedIn can become an extension of your website. A way for clients and candidates to get to know your team and understand their experience. If a client or candidate comes across an employee LinkedIn profile, it should be clear who they are and who they are representing. This can then drive traffic to your company profile and to your website.


Smoke, Mirrors and Algorithms: Magic or AI?

Back in October, Smithonians wrote about How Artificial Intelligence Is Improving Magic Tricks where ‘computer scientists designed tricks that use an algorithm to search the internet for the words most associated with images’ and helps with the selection and picking out of keywords, images, card suits and numbers - by inputting the order of cards that had been chosen from one half of the pack, it accurately guessed the exact order in which the cards in the half of the deck were turned over. Afterall, much like AI in a recruitment agency, technology and algorithms are saving time, ensuring effective accuracy and impressing audiences or clients; matching the best candidates - based on keywords - to roles. It even uses Algebra! (it is useful…who knew?).

I recently also had sight of a video where magician Adam Cheye appeared on Penn and Teller’s Fool Us and used voice-recognition software Siri to do an act which involved the miraculous correct guessing of the colour, number and suit of a chosen card from the desk. So how can you - both candidate and consultant - ensure you are and find the ideal candidate for a role?...

The Recruiter

Recruiters use keyword-matching and instant identification and filtering in a kind of process of elimination. This new technology is designed to ‘streamline or automate some part of the recruiting workflow, especially repetitive, high-volume tasks’. It also conducts sentiment analysis on job descriptions to identify potentially biased language. This used to be used on websites to enhance and improve SEO opportunities but gone are the days of tricking the likes of Google algorithms by ‘content cloaking’ putting lots of keywords on a page and hiding them by making them (the text) the same colour as the background.

Screening CVs efficiently and time-effectively still remains the biggest challenge in talent acquisition, with 52% of talent acquisition leaders saying that the hardest part of recruitment is identifying the right candidates from a large applicant pool.

Benefits of using AI:

  • Saves time by automating high-volume tasks

  • Improves quality of hire through standardized job matching


The Candidate

An age-old formula assists the solution of finding, or at least being shortlisted for, the right role. That is...tailoring your CV to the skills and sector you are applying to work in. If you haven’t worked in recruitment before but are applying to be a consultant and have previously worked in a call centre or office and have gone through the toil of being listed on the books of an agency, been considered and attended interviews, put that down. It’s a affliction subsequent to personal involvement in the process and industry. Give it a go and see where you get.


AI is the belief that you cannot fully replace human capabilities through technology.
Instead, augmented intelligence suggests we should look to create technology
to enhance human aptitude and efficiency.


To find out how we can make magic for you and your clients - be they businesses or candidates - here at Marmalade, give us a shout...we have gin and a bar and a whole host of hints and tips.

Sign up to our newsletter today (and the bottom of the page)!

300 more words to win at Scrabble

One report listed it as sixth best board game, another said it was fourth most popular, but, wherever you place it on your leaderboard on the pastimes scale, Scrabble is, and had long since, been a much-loved winner. Now, Merriam-Webster has released a sixth edition of The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary to match the age of the millenial and twenty first century.

Much like the urban dictionary, they have decided to include more colloquial expressions and references to daily life and activities. Here’s a few for your interest, from the 300 additions:

Ew: an expression of disgust

Twerk: a dance that involves shaking your buttocks while squatting

Bestie: a best friend

Bizjet: a small airplane used for business

Beatdown: an overwhelming defeat

Frowny: showing a frown

“While some additions skew toward younger players, others exude the sophistication of an international traveler.” Those include:

Arancini: an Italian dish of balls of cooked rice

Qapik: a monetary unit used in Azerbaijan

The player's dictionary, published by Merriam-Webster, is the gauntlet thrown down when one player questions the validity of another's word play. If the challenged word is not found in its pages (like Susie Dent in Countdown’s Dictionary Corner, the player loses a turn. The beloved board game is made by Hasbro Inc, based in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

Associate Editor, Emily Brewster, says: "It's a way to keep Scrabble fun instead of contentious. It's a great moderator in a game that can get pretty impassioned." (Her favorite new addition, she said, is qapik, because it begins with "Q," a high-scoring tile in the game, but doesn't require being followed by the usual "U" to complete the word.) "It's really exciting for Scrabble players. It's a pretty great edition."

Jo’s still trying to get Marmalade entered into either the Urban or Scrabble dictionary but Leah just loved a good word with Q, Z, X, V, U or J

The most awesome but underused words include: Maximize, Quixotic (extremely idealistic; unrealistic and impractical), Quickly, Whizbang, Quizzify, Chutzpah (extreme self-confidence or audacity) and Jumbles. Chris’ favourite has to be Whizbang.

Others that would be sure to win you a traditional game could be:

Oxyphenbutazone: an anti-inflammatory medication used to treat arthritis and bursitis.

Oxazepam: An anti-anxiety drug.

Quetzals: The national bird of Guatemala as well as one of its monetary units.

Quizotry: A romantic or quixotic idea or action.

Muzjiks: A Russian peasant.

Syzygy: An alignment of three celestial bodies.

Za: Slang term for pizza.

and, just to prove that the above are real words, you could also have:...

Gherkins: A small pickle, made from an immature cucumber.

Quartzy: Resembling quartz.

The History:

The game that would eventually be called Scrabble was invented by Alfred Butts, a jobless architect, during the Depression, in his apartment in the Queens borough of New York City. It started out slow but gained enduring popularity after it was discovered at a resort in 1952 by a vacationing Macy's executive, who arranged to have the game sold in the world's largest store.

Merriam-Webster, based in Massachusetts, issued the first Scrabble dictionary in 1976 and since then has put out updates every four to eight years.

We’d love to know your favourite words or expressions. Get in touch!

Social Media: What is it and how does it work?

Despite being described online as ‘interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and', I would simply say that Social Media is the collective term for the classification of communication whereby profiles are created in order to quickly share information with among ‘users’.

It has been said that the variety of evolving stand-alone and built-in social media services makes it challenging to define them and the idea that social media are defined simply by their ability to bring people together has been seen as too broad, as this would suggest that fundamentally different technologies like mediums like newspaper and telephone are also social media - I would say that they are. The terminology is seen to be unclear, with some referring to social media as social networks or social networking services, but I would clarify by stating that the differentiation between a physical asset like a newspaper could be classed or included as a form of social media whereas anything online can be identified as a social networking service, although you could argue that a telephone service does the same thing. Hmm, let’s group that as electronic communication then shall we?

Anyway, ‘user-generated content', such as text posts or comments, digital photos or videos, and data generated through all online interactions, is the lifeblood of social media. Information is shared either openly in groups or on public searchable forums or portals or through profiles - either permission-based or freely accessible and other various ways to share the information are also available.
 

The History

’Social media’ has a history dating back to the 1970s. ARPANET, which first came online in 1967, had by the late 1970s developed a rich cultural exchange of non-government/business ideas and communication, as clearly evidenced by ARPANET etiquette's "A 1982 handbook on computing at MIT's AI Lab stated regarding network etiquette," and fully met the current definition of the term "social media". Usenet, which arrived in 1979, was beat by a precursor of the electronic bulletin board system (BBS) known as Community Memory in 1973. True electronic bulletin board systems arrived with the Computer Bulletin Board System in Chicago, which first came online on 16 February 1978. Before long, most major cities had more than one BBS running on TRS-80, Apple II, Atari, IBM PC, Commodore 64, Sinclair, and similar personal computers.

GeoCities was one of the Internet's earliest social networking websites, appearing in November 1994, followed by Classmates in December 1995, Six Degrees in May 1997, Open Diary in October 1998, LiveJournal in April 1999, Ryze in October 2001, Friendster in March 2002, LinkedIn in May 2003, hi5 in June 2003, MySpace. (which I consider vintage) in August 2003, Orkut in January 2004, Facebook in February 2004, Yahoo! 360° in March 2005, Bebo in July 2005, Twitter in July 2006, Tumblr in February 2007, and Google+ in July 2011. Many others have been created since with some of the most popular social media websites being Baidu Tieba, Facebook (and its associated Facebook Messenger), Google+, Myspace, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter, Viber, VK, WeChat, Weibo, WhatsApp, and Wikia. These social media websites have more than 100,000,000 registered users.

So, how do you reach this mammoth audience?
 

How does it work?

On any platform, you choose a username and password to create an account and display a brief biography and a picture - one for your display icon and one for your cover photo (not on Snapchat) - and populate as much or as little information as you want to. Having a presence on many social media channels is positive as long as there is a way to be contacted - ie if you do not post anything on it but have a telephone number, email address or website listed people can still get in touch. As well as just having a presence for organic traction, and getting recommended by people tagging you or your page, you do have the option of paying for a targeted advertising.

Options?
As there are various options on the plethora of channels, outlets and sites, here is a breakdown of some of the ways to ‘push’ content out to a public or specifically defined audience on some of the portals you may be beneficial as a business or part of an organisation:

FACEBOOK
You have the option to create and post connect on:

~ a person Profile (this works on permission-based viewing so only approved ‘friends’ can view all of the information you have set as public in your privacy settings. If they aren’t your friend, then the information they can view is limited. Friends also see your posts on their timeline);

~ a business, cause or organisation Page (people can search for your page and it will appear if it relates of includes keywords they have typed into the search field. If they Like your page (similar to being a friend apart from it not being permission-based) your posts will appear in their timeline and they can also recommend you or your business in comments);

~ or a Group of/for people who share a common interest (these can be Open, Closed, Private/Secret).

You can:
~ ‘share’ posts you want to appear on your own Profile or Page and share text posts, images and videos as well as commenting on other people’s posts and tagging other profiles and ages with ‘@‘.

~ create an Event to list on your Page or Profile and share it publicly (by keeping it Open or Sharing it) or invite friends.

~ pin a post to the top of your profile, page or group to feature it and make it more prominent.

TWITTER
There is only one option for Twitter - a profile.

You use Twitter to:
~ share opinion and other information (up to 280 characters) either organically or through Retweeting content from or tagging other accounts/profiles using ‘@‘ and their ‘handle’.

~ share text, images and videos and are able to tag up to 10 other profiles within an image.

~ look for posts about a specific topic by searching the hashtag (#).

~ pin posts to the top of your profile to feature them and make them more prominent.

LINKEDIN
Similar to Facebook, you have the option to create:

~ a person Professional Profile (although people can see information, they can see more when they have requested to connect with you. Once connected, they/you can see one another’s posts on the timeline) which works like a virtual CV. You can also list testimonials;

~ a Company Page (people can search for your page and it will appear if it relates of includes keywords they have typed into the search field. If they Follow your page (similar to being a friend apart from it not being permission-based) your posts will appear in their timeline);

~ a Group of/for people who share a common interest (these are permission-based so you have to request access).

You can:
~ ‘share’ posts you want to appear on your own Profile or Page and share text posts and images as well as commenting on other people’s posts and tagging other profiles and ages with ‘@‘.

INSTAGRAM
You create a profile to post images that can be searched for based on hashtags.

YOUTUBE
You create a profile (individual or brand) to upload videos which are searchable based on title and tagged keywords.

SNAPCHAT
A multimedia messaging app, you can easily talk with friends, view Live Stories from around the world, and explore news in Discover. Users can “chat” with their friends by sending them photos, short videos up to 10 seconds long. If you have an event or cause, you can create a filter to add to your image/video.

Social media changes the way individuals and large organisations communicate.
 

What and when to post - frequency

Add value to the conversation by sharing content that will make your customers' lives easier

Respond - Not every update has to stem from an original ideas. Monitor what people are talking about and what is trending (hashtagged and talked about the most) and bounce off the ideas that other people are already posting. Social media relies on conversations, so jump in and be a part of them. This is also a good way to get your account and brand more visibility.

Variety - Don’t just post hard sell posts about your services and statistics. Tell people why they should use your service and buy into you. Engage with people and use evidence like testimonials or express your more personable side.Maybe share information about current affairs and your CSR. Quotes are a great audience-grabber too as people will relate, think about and share them.

One universal fact is that social media status updates don't last long. The half-life of a tweet, for example, is around 18 minutes for most users. That isn’t to say that you post that regular or even often over a period of hours but you have to consider who your audience is and the they might look at the channels or buy into your services, products and what you are posting about.
 

BEST HOURS TO POST (UK-TIME)

~ Tuesdays between 8am and 9:30am and lunch around 12noon and 1pm are best for maximum impact/traction on TWITTER (Weekends are the worst times)

~ Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 10am and 11am are the best times to post on LINKEDIN (Weekends are the worst times)

~ 1pm until 4pm on Thursday onwards (towards the weekend) are the most productive times to post on FACEBOOK. Also weekend evenings (Tuesday, particularly morning, is the worst time to post)

~ Instagram users tend to be around on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday between 11am and 1pm and 7pm until 9pm. Wednesday is best. (Sunday is the worst day)

 

Fact: In the United States, a 2015 survey reported that 71 percent of teenagers have a Facebook account. Over 60% of 13 to 17-year-olds have at least one profile on social media, with many spending more than two hours per day on social networking sites.

The Apprentice: Series 14 - We're Backing Brooksy

Whilst in previous years there has been a north-south divide, or favouring, in the selection (or casting) of candidates for ‘the process’ of reality TV business show The Apprentice, there seems to be a fair geographical spread (and why not?) for this year’s series (perhaps a few more from further north than you would expect...and Yorkshire!) which returns to BBC One next Wednesday at 9pm, followed by You’re Fired at 10pm. There is even the usual stretch of age range, well 20s and 30s among the professionals.

Having carefully assessed the chosen 16, we’re already firmly set to back 27-year-old Senior Marketing Manager Frank Brooks from London. He is currently Marketing Specialist at Thomson Reuters in the capital.

On his profile, he is described as “a self-proclaimed trend-setter who likes to push boundaries with his humour.” He uses charisma and charm for both negotiating and building morale within a group and admits he can sometimes play people off against each other to get what he wants. He can be brutal when he needs to be and doesn’t stand for people who are lazy or shirk responsibility (I hear ya! Preach!).

Like any passionate, aspiring candidate, Frank promises to bring a ‘hardworking attitude’ with ‘fire in his belly’ and is a “unique, one-of-a-kind, generous, fun-loving soul who really knows what he wants in life.”

He philosophically claims that “being good at business is like being good at karaoke. You need to be able to be confident, command the attention of the room and to roll over failure” - I guess that is good advice for anyone looking for a new role. His karaoke song is ‘Relight My Fire’ by Take That and Lulu and hopes that he “can be the Lulu to Lord Sugar’s Take That (yay! a Manchester reference).

If he was a dinosaur he would be a T-Rex and, apparently, he smells like success!

Let us know who you’re supporting. Email jo@marmalademarketing.co.uk

Check out more about Frank on LinkedIn or the candidate pages of The Apprentice website

The other candidates (in age order) include:

IT Analyst, Alex Finn (21) from The Wirral

Nut Milk Brand Owner, Camilla Ainsworth (22) from Lancashire

Law Graduate, Kurran Pooni (22) from London

Tennis Events Company Owner, Sabrina Stocker (22) from Middlesex

Professional Speaker, Kayode Damali (26) from Cheshire

Swimwear Brand Owner, Sian Gabbidon (25) from Leeds

Tree Surgery Firm Owner, Tom Bunday (28) from Southampton

Eco-Cleaning Company Owner, Khadija Kalifa (28) from Lincolnshire

Lifestyle Brand Owner, Daniel Elahi (28) from London

Actress and Children’s Acting Academy Owner, Sarah Byrne (29) from Manchester

Tax Advisor, David Alden (32) from East Yorkshire

Sponsorship Consultant, Jackie Fast (34) from London

Learning and Development Manager, Jasmine Kundra (34) from West Midlands

Quality Controller, Rick Monk (33) from Lancashire

Solicitor, Sarah Ann Magson (37) from Teeside

Put the device down, you’ve reached your limit!

Have you ever wondered how much time you spend on your smartphone in specific apps? Much like the pedometer calculates the number of steps you take, Our Leah decided to assess and try to cure the time she spent with her smartphone in her hand, or on apps like Facebook, just for a browse. Just by knowing how much (frankly shocking, like most of us) time she spent, she managed to set aside time to do it or limit it completely. It’s been a game changer for her personally and professionally.

Along with ‘Scroll-free September’, Apple and Google have now unveiled tools to help reduce device usage. We all complain that our batteries are about to die or, inevitably do, because of the amount of time we use them in a day, but technology giants want to help you spend less time on their devices. Checking social media in the early hours, when you are nearly awake, is not healthy and can surely affect your sleep and mental wellbeing. Let’s face it, most of us don’t get up without an alarm anyway!

Google is doing something different with Android. Instead of showing you all the ways you can use its phone operating system to do more, it has created features to help you use it less.

Android’s Vice President of Product Management, Sameer Samat, says that the company has been working on these tools for a long time based on user research, not a desire to draft off the growing wave of concern about distraction. Claiming ownership, he said: ”We have 2 billion users so it’s the largest mobile operating system in the world. We are ‘the OS’, and we feel like we have a responsibility and need to do more around this area.”

Their update, ‘Android P’, has a new dashboard that tells you how often, when, and for how long you are using every app on your phone. With a function to set yourself limits, you could give yourself a half-hour of Instagram per day, etc. Once your 30 minutes is up, the icon will go from its usual eye-catching gradient to a dull grayscale, making the app - and phone - less appealing, presumably making it easier to put the phone down. A bit like when your battery dies and you feel like you can’t use your phone but still do whilst it is on charge.

The update also offers a handful of tools to help you keep your phone from bothering you, from subtle tweaks to how notifications work to literally preventing you from using it, excessively. The new usage dashboard is an app that gives you an interesting insight into amount of information about your phone usage, like: how many minutes you’ve used your phone overall per day, how many notifications you’ve received, a pie chart of how long you’ve used each app on your phone that day and how long per day you’ve used each app on your phone, broken down hour by hour.

Google’s ‘Digital Wellbeing’ and Apple’s ‘Screen Time’ are “the new tools for managing screen time” and “will let you see how often you picked up the phone after bedtime or how long you're on Instagram at work.”

Apple's tool lets you control how long your kids spend on their devices, if you're concerned that screens are taking time away from sleep, homework or exercise. As part of the free iOS 12 software update for iPhones, iPads and the iPod Touch, set up, you can use your iPhone to check when your children are on their devices and what apps or websites they are using. You can restrict particular classes of apps and even establish a quiet period when most apps shut down.

That latter ‘Downtime’ feature only lets you choose a single block of time each day, so if you're blocking late-night hours, you can't set a separate downtime for school hours. Plus, your selection applies seven days a week; you can't set different hours for weekends unless you want to manually change the settings every Friday and Monday.

A ‘Screen Time' feature lets you establish time limits for categories of app, such as entertainment or games which can be different on weekends. You can also set limits app-by-app, or for specific websites, but it's slightly more complex. (From the Screen Time settings, tap the chart at the top to get a list of apps and websites. Tap on an app or site, and look for ‘Add Limit' at the bottom) If a child has both an iPhone and an iPad, Screen Time can track time spent on both devices against your limits. You can exempt useful apps, such as e-books or homework sites from the ‘greyscale’ time’s up effect and this doesn’t happen with messaging and phone service for emergencies.

It's best to configure all this from your own device using Apple's ‘Family Sharing' feature. Like the TV parental control, you will need a passcode specifically for Screen Time, but be sure to pick one that's different from your phone's passcode, which your kids probably already know. Kids can ask for more time with a few taps. If you ignore or decline the request, Screen Time isn't supposed to let them keep asking. They can reopen the app to bug you with another request though (get ready for a digital version of “are we there yet?”)

Apple already had parental controls for blocking R-rated movies, adult websites and podcasts with explicit language, but the settings were buried. In iOS 12, they are part of Screen Time. You will need to set them on manually, or your kid can still watch R and NC-17 movies. 

What you won't get from Apple is any help in determining what kinds of limits to set. In fact, the clock is initially set to zero, forcing parents to make choices right off the bat instead of working from default limits. “Ultimately, it's best to have a conversation with your kids about screen time. Having software block an app can be easier than pulling a device out of a child's hands. It comes down to priority and discipline.”

For an update on industry-related initiatives, including our favourite life hacks, register for our newsletter. Email chris@marmalademarketing.co.u

Do more for deaf disabled diversity

“Deaf people can do anything apart from hear” - a powerful quote that, as if it should be needed, highlights the evident lack of confidence and knowledge that people who are deaf or hard of hearing can, and should, be employed to do the same jobs as a fully ‘able-bodied’ person. Employers and recruiters have woken up to equality, diversity and inclusion, as well as supporting value for staff, but how many have, or would even consider, deaf employees?

We have all experienced rejection - personally and in employment - but imagine being able to do a job but unable to necessarily communicate effectively because the person you’re convincing can’t understand your language (sign). Why would someone not be able to use, type on or design something on a computer, make a meal or fix something or plan a strategy or event just because they are deaf or hard of hearing? Yes, it can affect balance and communication but they remain human beings with exceptional and individual skills that can be utilised to help improve businesses.

Under the Equality Act 2010, you are disabled if “you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities”. It’s therefore somewhat understanding how many people experiencing deafness of difficulty hearing do not consider themselves disabled. The Act - formerly The DDA (Disability Discrimination Act), which came into effect in 1995 before just covering Northern Ireland -  prevents discrimination and seeks to promote better inclusivity for anyone in England, Scotland and Wales, regardless of their age, ability, gender reassignment, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation. This includes work life.

One of our team has recently established Deafness Equality Acceptance Foundation to identify gaps and downfalls within businesses and organisations - be it during the recruitment process or somewhere that currently has staff who are deaf or hard of hearing - where there is a lack of understanding, knowledge or support. With an estimated 9 million people in the UK who are Deaf or hard of hearing, it’s more important than ever to ensure talent is recognised regardless of disability. 

Consider a new employee asking the colleagues in their pod if they want a drink and making them but leaving a deaf or hard or hearing employee out purely because they didn’t hear the offer or didn’t get a response, unaware of their limitation. Or not knowing of someone’s deafness and leaving a building without looking for a member of staff who had gone on a loo break, during a fire alarm. Extreme scenarios perhaps but they do occur and have an impact, purely because of lack of knowledge and understanding of how to communicate. Facing the person and keeping eye contact can help someone who lip reads, speaking clearly and limiting background noise can benefit someone who is not profoundly deaf and learning basic sign language or gesturing can get the point across to a deaf person. Also, don’t be afraid to write down or draw to help understanding. The basic things are often overlooked and not considered when communicating with deaf or hard of hearing people. It’s not all about spending money and fitting a hearing loop.

Maybe take a step back to identify what areas of your business involve jobs deaf or people with difficulties hearing could do and see whether you can be more open and accepting to them, or supporting/training existing employees.

We’d love to hear your experiences - email chris@marmalademarketing.co.uk

Stats:
• 88% of people said that knowing an organisation was deaf aware would influence their buyer decision
• 97% of people asked told us they believed deaf awareness training should be part of every companies training plan
• 70% of people said they would have little or no confidence in communicating with a deaf person

Tip: Did you know that Youtube has an option to show a transcript to match the vocal content of a video. Click the three dots next to the share icons and select 'Show transcript'. This is great for SEO but be careful that the content, namely your brand name, is correct.

Analysed in one foul swipe

Imagine a world where people are judged in the blink of an eye, the glance at a CV or the swipe of a finger. Oh wait..erm, oh yes!

With the many new series popping up on paid-for streaming channels like Netflix, it’s hard to separate the good from the bad or the real from the fantasy - a bit like the job of a recruiter - but who knows what the future holds (that sounds like an SClub7 song!) and will be like. After all “the best way to predict the future is to create it.” Anyway, Chris was advised (made) to watch an episode of a series called Black Mirror (the first episode in series 3). Entitled ’Nosedive’, a woman desperate to boost her social media score hits the jackpot when she's invited to a swanky wedding, but the trip doesn't go as planned.

A more detailed plot is below but the premise of her journey is that everyone rates one another using their mobile phone, taking into account conversation quality, looks and personality. She starts at 4.2 and is told that she will need to ‘up her score’ if she wants to be in with a chance of getting the apartment of her dreams, or the job of choice. Just imagine, getting rejected because you don’t fit the bill just looking at your photograph or experience. Yes experience often counts for whether someone can competently do a job, usually at amore senior level than an entry level beginner, but there’s something to be said for those with a natural passion and drive, against textbook jobbers. The correlation between this and the role of a recruiter finding the right person to match job culture and spec is uncanny. I guess the moral is that candidates need to try and sell themselves more through a polished CV and relevant experience for the role and sectors there are applying for.

We know some employers still filter candidates from looking at their (personal and professional) social media accounts but are we already in the world where jobseekers are dismissed before they get through the door or are spoken to by a consultant, or recruitment agent? Many get frustrated when they don’t hear whether, or not, they have been successful.

To explore how to improve communication with all candidates as well as internally, give us a shout!

 

The plot: Using eye implants and mobile devices, people rate their online and in-person interactions on a five-star scale. This system cultivates insincere relationships, as a person's rating significantly affects their socioeconomic status. Lacie is a young woman currently rated at 4.2 and keen to achieve self-improvement, hoping to reach a 4.5 rating to qualify for a discount on a luxury apartment. She tries to gain favour from highly-rated people, as they have larger impacts on scores, and sees a great chance to achieve her goal, when school friend Naomi asks her to be maid-of-honour at her upcoming wedding, with many highly-rated guests. After a series of mishaps on her way to the wedding that send her ratings plummeting, Naomi calls Lacie and tells her not to come. Enraged, Lacie manages to get to the celebratory dinner; she grabs the microphone and starts giving the speech she had written. The guests rate her negatively, causing her rating to drop to zero. She becomes dangerously upset and security removes her from the area. She is placed in a cell and has the technology supporting the rating system removed from her eyes. Feeling liberated, she gets into an argument with a man, without worrying about being rated.

Take A Break - It’s your right and for your own good

With the majority of workers spending more time at work than at home, their minds are always working rather than relaxing or looking after their own health. One way to stay healthier is my being active and stretching your legs with a break from your desk and work. Breaks - not for cigarettes - can help to improve mindfulness and prevent aches and strain.

In the UK, employees have the right to one uninterrupted 20 minute rest break during their working day, if they work more than 6 hours a day. This could be a tea or lunch break. Obviously it is at the discretion of the company whether there are more, ie how long a lunchtime is, whether you can have cigarette breaks, etc. but it is best to get up and make a drink, use the facilities and engage with colleagues or go for a walk to clear your mind or refocus, without taking advantage.

As more and more people work with VDUs (Visual Display Units) or computers screens (do we still have monitors? Well I guess as some use two!), the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) suggest that short, frequent breaks are better than less frequent longer breaks, so a 5-10 minute break after 50-60 minutes is better than a 20 minute break every 3 hours.

To consider how to appreciate and create a positive working environment for your staff, get in touch.

Dating? Theatre? How to be more open to better quality candidates?

The ever-growing recruitment market is, quite frankly, a jungle. How do you find the spark of candidates who are eager to get into an industry? Do they have to have a degree to undertake a specific role? Or is passion, confidence and a great personality just as good if not better?

Speaking of great personality, it seems that the sourcing and assessment of job-thirsty candidates by some savvy recruiters can be likened to dating. With Reed having created an application whereby jobseekers swipe left or right - like some common apps - to indicate their desire to save a job or not before retrieving their saved jobs to apply for later on - hopefully not in the same shallow sense of dating. Then there’s the gauging of their interests and past experience (which shouldn’t always be taken into account) to see whether they could fit into the culture of your client’s working environment. The informal and relaxed meeting of the candidate, blindly, be it at an office or elsewhere, talking on the phone, to see if they, openly, ‘match’ the position.

It (the sector) could also be described as a circus. With a wealth of talented performers chomping at the bit for their chance to shine. Maybe, like aspiring and out of work actors, they work in retail or a coffee shop to earn a wage and pass the time before their big break. Ingenius job-matchers will see their potential and offer to help them - we have worked with experienced recruitment directors who have taken the leap to set up as consultants, nurturing these ‘rejected’ (by way of lack of reply from applications) unlucky dream hunters - much like casting agents attending an end of year showcase. Could someone who challenges your vision, be better placed? Years ago, your showcase was your ‘patter’, then more recently your CV. Could it be the time for the recruiter do more of the headhunter? (I know this is done in a more subtle way by scouring jobs boards for candidate CVs laden with keywords). Who knows what you may find if you open your mind to the possibility of letting someone with less qualification and more ‘life experience’ in a sector convince you of their talents and passions to do the job differently - it may pay off.

To explore how you or your consultants could adopt a more innovative approach, get in touch.

Get women on-board! They improve productivity

Earlier this year, the Financial Times wrote of the fact that gender-diverse companies are more productive and productivity growth boosted by having women on company boards. We are one of those - our founders are all Marmaladies and they make up the majority of our board.

“Gender diversity on a company’s management board has a significant impact on productivity growth and on returns to investors, according to research published to mark International Women’s day by MSCI (examined the composition of boards at 617 of the world’s largest companies)”.

It found that average employee productivity growth was higher for companies that employed three or more women at board level* than those that had just a single or no female directors. 

Companies that had a ‘gender-diverse’ board, translated into higher profits (measured by returns on equity) than at those which did not have gender-diverse boards. The report’s findings provided support for the argument that meaningful gender diversity at the board level was also a reflection of the importance paid by companies to the recruitment and development of both male and female talent. Women remain remarkably under-represented in senior corporate roles globally and account for fewer than one in five board directors of the world’s leading publicly traded companies. (Just 17.3 per cent of board seats were held by women at the 2,494 companies spread across 47 countries that comprise the MSCI All Country World index).

*between 2012 and 2016

 

To share your stories of experience, get in touch with our MD, Jo Lee, at jo@marmalademarketing.co.uk

Presenteeism? That's mental!

Absenteeism, or the fact and reason that people are off work, are commonplace within HR. They usually lead to misunderstood circumstances and disciplinary action but think how much time you could save and how more valued a workforce will feel if you delved into the real reason for their absence and helped them to combat their feelings of fear, lack of enjoyment and make sure they enjoy their work more. Stress is, after all, a big reason for people not attending work or developing illnesses that mean that they don’t have the mindset to undertake or focus on the tasks of their role. This impacts their team and ultimately the business. Anxiety and depression are more reasons for lack of productivity but who really understands, of tried to understand, them?

Similarly, ’Presenteeism’ or “working while sick” - which sounds extreme - can cause and contribute to a loss of productivity, poor health, exhaustion and workplace epidemics. It has also been referred to as “the practice of being present at one's place of work for more hours than is required, especially as a manifestation of insecurity about one's job” and links to the wellbeing and mental health of employees. This is something that needs looking at and needs support around.

As a People or HR Manager, why would you not recognise the signs that something is wrong with an employee, based on a slump in productivity and drop in their target achievement? Would you not suspect that there is a change in circumstances or the mental state of the individual? One of the ways in which the impact can be reduced is by talking to staff and ensuring that you operate an ‘open door’ policy whereby they can approach you and talk about anything that is affecting them, that may affect their job, but as an employer or manager you can support them whilst they are at work to prevent them  taking as much time off. Mental health related absence now accounts for almost 13% of absence due to sickness in the UK.

How can you ensure confidentiality between someone who has a problem and the senior member of staff or team leader handling it? Technology can be an effective way. Emailing someone discreetly can reduce the impact of judgement - not that there should be any - from other team members and colleagues and taking someone out for a walk during lunch time, away from a glass meeting room or communal break-out area could work too. Judgement affects mental health too.

To find out how to improve your internal culture and monitor feedback through a staff survey, get in touch.

Whatever happened to...the easy life of 9to5?

How much should you work as you progress in your career?

How does seeking success affect your work-life balance?

Upon noticing a post in a professionals’ facebook group, posing the question of why “the more you go up [the career ladder] the more you work” and why forging a career means “working 14 hour days”, we too wondered “what happened with work life balance?”

Whilst it is somewhat logical that you may have to undertake some hard graft to forge the foundations of your chosen career, once you have decided what that may be, do you really have to work that hard for the lifetime of your career? Surely if you enjoy the job and are organised, you don’t have to endure the burden of overworking - some executives don’t appear to when their business is thriving - unless you are a new business or want a better hold on your operations…or even marketing!

It all depends on your role and what you want to get out of it. Some people prefer to stick at the same role, often routined and sometime menial, for in excess of 20 years and just do the normal 9-5, but are those days gone?

Do people really want the same job for such a long period of the life, especially if they aren’t in a senior position, reaping the benefits of the business’ success and growth?

On the other side of the coin, we recently heard about a member of staff whose background was in high-level roles for multiple businesses and he suddenly decided he wanted to take a back seat and put his career into a lower gear and just pursue a role as a developer in the tech space, with one of our clients.

Doing some real HR and people development/management, gaining insight into the aspirations and ambitions of your new and existing employees is a relatively simple idea but rarely implemented in the recruitment space (although it is becoming more common because of the need to do so). Why would you ask what someone wants in the future when you just want to be sure they can do the job you are placing them for? The answer (or one of them) is personalisation and investment in them as a person and valued employee. We are always saying about the impact that valuing and respecting employees has on productivity and overall success and satisfaction but imagine if you had helped and nurtured someone to become a senior role in your business or empowered them to set up their own - a kind of like incubator or people and entrepreneurs

Having a progression plan is a great incentive for new recruits and it inspires them to progress and stay with you. Think about retention and the feedback they will give to people they know looking for work in the space that you cover. Your processes and benefits could be the reason your ‘quality’ talent grows and you don’t have to stress (as much) about how to get prospective candidates interested.

Flexible working also helps contribute to a better work/life balance. It all depends on young how you choose to work.

Anyway, to leave you with a funny yet inspirational quote that closes the trailer for the new Winnie the Pooh film ‘Christopher Robin’; “you tell me nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day!”

To find out more about making internal marketing work for your recruitment business, get in touch with jo@marmalademarketing.co.uk

"Google It!" Where else would you look for a job?

Known for many things, global sensation Google will forever be known as the world’s most popular search engine. Used to keep up to date with news, look for images, find a location, check your emails, manage your calendar, store your contacts AND create and file documents, why shouldn’t you use the internet giant to instantly find work? Launched in the US back in Spring, Google for Jobs is now available for use here in the UK.

Having started to dip its toe into job hunting a year ago, with the launch of a new element that trawls well-known destinations for openings and job postings, it displays jobs, as it similarly assists you when booking a hotel or finding a local amenity, displaying the information clearly and simply for ease of use for the user, searcher or jobseeker. I suspect that the tagging needs refining to show the jobs that most accurate match the keywords in the search but hey! Because the source of its content is job boards, there will always be a reliance on recruiters.

To better provide relevant employment postings to curious candidates in the UK, Google has collaborated with various major recruitment services including The Guardian Jobs, Reed, Haymarket, Gumtree, The Telegraph, Reach plc's totallylegal, CV-Library, and totaljobs.com. Indeed, however, is not cooperating. These job-matching sites automatically connect job seekers to various opportunities as soon as new job listings appear online but where do you search for everything else in your life?

The new job search feature allows users to use custom queries in Google Search like “Retail jobs” of “Marketing jobs near me” (as long as your location settings are configured and turned on) and the search engine will bring up results from across the web that suit their unique job skills and needs. Users will be able to view information about the salary, how to apply, and even the journey time it takes to travel to a prospective job. Individual job searches can also be saved so that they can be accessed across various devices (usually as long as you are logged into your Google account). There's also an option to receive alerts via email about new job listings in real time.

At the moment, the US tech giant is not charging to feature their listings nor using the service to place any extra adverts beyond those that normally appear within its results. But who knows, it may do in the future. In addition, applicants must still click through to the individual third-party jobs platforms to apply for a post.

The 14-year-old firm acts as a listings aggregator and claims to be the world's most popular jobs hunt service with more than 200 million unique visitors a month.

Indeed’s decision to avoid the new service means links to their pages now appear further down Google's results pages.

Why not see if it works on your laze-driven Google Home or Echo (equivalent to Amazon Alexa) or just on your phone. “Okay Google, find me a £28,000 creative job near me”.

FACT! Interestingly, Apple has Siri, Amazon has Alexa, and Microsoft has Cortana. Google’s is just Google.

Take Pride in your employees…we’re all for Equality

The world is never more filled with rainbows and unicorns than during Pride season. A celebration of acceptance in recognising the struggles faced by LGBT+ people and adapting to the needs of members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans communities, Equality is a hot topic for employers with many high-level corporates having established or exploring the potential for establishing internal LGBT networks to support employees and allies. Some even project their support by getting involved with pride - from a flag or rainbowing their logo, to a full-on float - but it can't just be for month or day!

From using the correct pronouns; to not assuming that someone’s partner is of the opposite sex to them, there is certainly a lot to learn when it comes to understanding sexual orientations, mindsets (mental health) and circumstances of individual employees but it is relatively easy to cope with…support them. Talk to them to get insight into their requirements and be open to change. If you open a door to allow staff to express and be themselves, professionally, then others will feel more accepted, valued and comfortable about how you are compassionate and truly value their contribution. Employee Value Propositions and Staff Satisfaction has a proven effect on the success of targets and Front Line Performance.

To get to grips with how you can help your staff be empowered and feel even prouder to work for you, see how you can implement or improve your equalities policy to attract more LGBT talent.

If you need further justification of the facts around the struggles faced by LGBT workers, check out myGwork’s recent article around Why Pride Is Still Worth Celebrating.

Equality and Diversity and Equal Opportunities should mean fairness and satisfaction for all, no matter what their gender, race, religion or sexual orientation.

For more great blogs, including one around ‘Presenteeism’, sign up to our newsletter.

Taking control of your recruitment marketing

Whilst many MDs and business owners, understandably, like to have a say on the marketing of their business, there are a proportion who do not understand the benefits of element of the marketing mix and who they should be targeting and how to do so. They end up either targeting the wrong audience or give the marketing lead, in-house or external, a free rein and only get insight into the effectiveness through reports.

Here at Marmalade, we take the pain away from MDs and business owners by taking a look at their current marketing and strategies and producing a plan for now and the future to ensure that all bases are covered and the most is made of the recourses and systems available. Whilst this is great in order reduce the burden, we are effective in keeping our clients informed through regular communication. It is important, however, that you are kept aware of all goings-on, whether you are signing them off or not, in order to prepare for a swift and smooth handover should you choose to take the operations back in-house or hand them elsewhere at the end of a contract or start of a new project.

Imagine if you were rebranding and couldn’t get hold of the design files to update your website, or you couldn’t log in to your own website to update the blogs and staff profiles…the inaccessibility of this information can lead to wasted time, resulting in lost money, both of which that could have been spent in other parts of the business.

To get some innovative new ideas about your marketing and remain informed of whats happening, get in touch with our MD, Jo Lee at jo@marmalademarketing.co.uk or call +44 0161 879 5806

How does your Employer Brand look to Candidates?

It’s time to assess your candidate experience.

As a recruiter, from the moment you receive an application, you are assessing a candidate but how many businesses take a look at the journey a candidate takes and how their experience with you - from communication to attendance at your office for an interview - influences and affects their decision whether to accept an offer if successful or what they tell other people about their time in the recruitment process for the role you have advertised? Consider the ‘Cost Per Hire’.

The phone call inviting them in; the battle of finding a parking space; after circumnavigating the route as instructed by the voice of the sat nav; the time taken for to get a response from the intercom and the welcome of the receptionist; the offer of a drink and looking up and down as you enter and sign-in; the well-informed awareness of the staff around the reception of your anticipated presence and then…the handshake of their interrogator before the cliche and occasionally insincerely taken “did you find us ok?” as they are escorted to the meeting room for the interview to take place. Sat opposite a relative stranger to be asked why they want the job and what they know about the company from the night before’s brief research and swatting of the company website, it all contributes to a rather daunting experience in a short space of time…the notes-taking and psychological attempt of assessing the interviewer’s body language and what they are thinking of your nervous waffle are just a bit more to deal with.

What does the candidate think? How is it going? What impact has been made to help them make an informed choice about the reputation and operations of the company and whether it is somewhere they would like to work?

A strong Employer Brand has been proven to be a key identifier in the effective attraction of better quality and higher retention of candidates.

Taking a step back to see what a prospective new team member might experience and what their judgement might be based on the ‘touch points’ can help you to save money and time when processing the mass of interviews to narrow down the number of options to fill the post. You are spending time waiting for them, giving them a taste of the working environment and the levels of organisation and competence within your business. You are exposed. If you think you have found the right candidate but they decline the offer based on their experience at interview, you then have the frustration of having to choose a Plan B and that takes time and effort. Equally, careful assessment of their lifestyle and interests can be a great way to gauge how a candidate might perform and thrive in the fold of your business of that of your clients - someone with less experience of a sector or role than another who is less proactive, passionate or driven would fit the bill. That culture match is important as someone who appears to match a role on paper may not fit the mould and operations of a business. It’s all about thinking about what is best for all parties.

In order to ensure maximum positivity and efficiency for you and any candidates, take a look at how things work at the moment when someone is contacted and invited in for and attends an interview. Will they be kept waiting without any information? Do the team know to expect them if you are busy? Is there a meeting room booked and do those involved know that they need to sit in? Communication is key in reducing embarrassment on the day and enabling everything to run smoothly, especially if there are multiple slots in the diary for getting through everyone.

Remember, you too want to make the best impact so you find the right person to join you, as well as being impressed by them.

To discover more about how to enhance and refine your Employer Brand, get in touch with our MD: jo@marmalademarketing.co.uk or call 0161 879 5806

IS YOUR RECRUITMENT BRAND IN 'LOVE'?

We may or may not have existed in this current state, but your recruitment brand shouldn't.

On the day the globally-regarded tennis tournament Wimbledon opens its doors to the masses, another high-end brand - the mothership of renowned department store John Lewis and innovative supermarket Waitrose - has announced it is rebranding the two businesses to differentiate between their product offerings amid the widely reported challenges facing the high street retail sector.

With both companies having a focus on offering quality experiences to their customers, we wondered where our services of rebranding and strategic marketing planning in the recruitment sector fit in…and it’s obvious, isn’t it?!

There comes a time when a brand is less prevalent and struggles to keep its beacon ablaze in the midst of an increasingly crowded world of social media and a competitive sector. We have been working with many recruitment agency and recruitment tech clients to refine their propositions and refresh their visual identity, as well as getting them out into the market to increase awareness and stand out through their content and social media management, getting them in front of the right people, at the right time.

So.. as these big brands are 'playing ball' to earn 'match points', we just hope there isn’t a 'backspin' by keeping their marketing in-house, preventing them from having an 'advantage'. We’re increasingly working to mentor and navigate internal marketing teams through the latest recruitment marketing landscape. 

We’ll be keeping up with the results on Centre-Court and might even sample some Strawberries and Cream, with a dollop of Marmalade too of course…

Subscribe to our latest newsletter - WTF?! (What the Fudge)

If you’re offended easily, please don’t subscribe. There’s some weird stuff in there.

Email our MD Jo at jo@marmalademarketing.co.uk or call 0161 879 5806

GDP-Arrrghhh!

Like most of you, I’ve recently been seriously feeling the love from every mailing list I’ve ever signed up to.

“We’re going to miss you!”

“Please don’t let this be the end.”

“It’s been great knowing you.”

A couple of years ago, I bet these brands had no idea they’d be writing their own Dear John response to people, but here we are. The GDPR, which came into effect on the 25th May, compels companies to obtain explicit permission from users to use their information, which is why we’ve received so many frantic mailers asking for us to opt-in and remain on these valuable contact lists. No permission means they need to hit delete on your details or face a considerable fine up to a maximum of 4% of a company’s global revenue.

There’s been a lot of articles offering information, advice and warnings for businesses surrounding the GDPR, but what happens afterwards? There are companies who may have depended on email marketing as a revenue stream that are now facing depleted lists and a more challenging environment in which to capture data in the future.

So, what does post-GDPR marketing look like? Are there any positives we can take from it? Absolutely! Here are just some of them:

A clean slate

Scary, but exciting. Companies reliant on user data now need to have a serious rethink of their marketing strategies. It requires a back-to-basics approach, looking at all of the available channels that can be used to connect with people and exploring innovative ways in which to do so.

Trusted communication
Barely a week goes by without news of a massive data breach or cyber attack hitting the headlines, and it’s having a detrimental effect on brand trust. The GDPR has forced businesses to become more open and transparent in all communication with their audience, which will help to start restoring that all-important public confidence.

Better quality contacts

Marketing lists might get considerably smaller, but businesses can be confident that those who have decided to opt-in are genuinely interested in what they have to offer. As a result, these people will be much more open to campaigns and be easier to nurture.

Marketing gets the spotlight!
GDPR is a data issue, and the responsibility of ensuring compliance has fallen at the feet of the marketing department. This has given marketers the opportunity to step-up to the challenge and lead in developing a culture of privacy throughout their organisation, which will not only highlight the critical role that marketing plays but goes a long way in increasing the overall credibility of the department. It’s your time to shine, so perhaps an excellent opportunity to put forward some of those innovative ideas for sign-off (or request a bigger budget!).

It’s early days, but we can certainly expect to see things start to change as companies implement new marketing and communication strategies. Hopefully, they will embrace the GDPR as a chance to turn over a new leaf and explore some new and exciting ways of reaching out to their audience. We’ll be watching!