CAT | HR
Apple has just released the new Iphone 5 to much fanfare and you’ll either be in the ‘love it’ or ‘will reluctantly buy it later’ category.
We have also just passed the one year anniversary of Tim Cook’s tenure as Apple CEO having taken over the role from Apple founder and icon, the late Steve Jobs.
Under his stewardship – Cook has successfully launched the Iphone 5; their share price continues to rise; Apple has settled an intellectual property lawsuit against Samsung, and Cook has also carried on Steve Job’s legacy. He continues to embrace Apple’s core principles (innovation, user experience, and excellence) whilst also imparting his own distinct management style over the company.
Apple has shown the critical importance of having a strong succession plan. Over time Apple, Steve Jobs and its board of directors developed and executed their CEO succession plan through promoting Cook. By giving Cook more responsibilities and having him serve as caretaker CEO whenever Jobs was on medical leave, Apple has been able to effect a smooth transition for this key leadership position.
In this current employment environment, hiring and also retaining talent is a key issue facing organisations of all sizes. The implications of an organisation not being able to hire the right person magnifies the longer a position is left vacant (leadership vacuum, lost business opportunity, effect on staff morale, negative company perception externally). There are many examples of organisations that have suffered without having a strong succession plan, eg : HP, Yahoo!, Simon Cowell leaving American idol.
Companies that do not have a succession plan in place for employees at all levels also face the consequence that these employees may leave if there is not a sustainable career path in front of them.
Until next time.
Kony 2012 may be the most ambitious recruitment campaign that I’ve ever seen. Jason Russell’s The Invisible Children has been established to build awareness rapidly about Joseph Kony and to recruit people to help effect his arrest. Here are some observations:
Social media and engaging content
To date the first Kony 2012 video has over 104 million views on YouTube, over 3.2 million likes on their Facebook page, and they’ve received over 3.59 million pledges. Their aim was to recruit people to their cause on an international basis, and they’ve successfully reached their audience through developing engaging and personal content. To differentiate, companies looking to attract the right staff need to effectively identify their target audience and create engaging social media content to best talk to them. It isn’t enough to have a passive message – it has to encourage action.
Initially, people didn’t know Joseph Kony, but they do know Justin Beiber (20+ million Twitter followers) who took to Twitter to put his endorsement on the cause. In business, people aspire to work for companies that have individuals who are strong advocates for the brand; these are people who are the face of companies and who display a passion for their work.
Word of mouth
My colleague in March: ‘Have you seen the Kony video’?
Me: ‘The what??’
My first thought was, is that a new consumer electronics brand or sports shoe brand? By the time my wife and colleagues had mentioned Kony; it was difficult to NOT watch the video. In the recruitment industry; the best jobs and the best people that we hear about are always through word of mouth and referrals.
The best companies in the world offer individuals the promise of being part of something special and to make a difference. Kony makes it clear that their goal cannot be achieved without ‘you’ helping to effect change. People always ask us ‘Why should I come to work for this organisation?’ Kony 2012 reflects that the impetus should come from the individual; i.e. what you can bring to the organisation and how you can contribute.
The positive response received from the campaign has been matched in full by negative sentiment and backlash as to financial disclosure and intentions of The Invisible Children. With the current nature of information and its accessibility, companies will be scrutinized from front to back. Prospective employees will do their due diligence and background checking, so be prepared and make sure the house is in-order.
Until next time.
[Temporary IKEA installation in New York to showcase a new store opening]
I’m sure most of you reading this have some form of IKEA product at home. Whether you need to buy furniture for a small unit, purchase hundreds of tea lights, or simply have an obsession for Swedish meatballs – they have a solution for you.
IKEA is also a brand that utilises innovation in their marketing campaigns to connect with their customers and to keep the brand fresh.
I came across the video below which details a recent and highly successful recruitment campaign that IKEA Australia ran to hire staff for a new store that they were opening:
A simple idea executed to perfection. IKEA has uncovered an alternative communications channel at nominal costs that has reached their target market effectively. By crafting a simple communications piece they’ve been able to pre-qualify a high number of suitable candidates for their vacancies who also have a passion for the brand.
In business we always try to over-complicate things; recruitment is not ‘rocket-science’ and IKEA has shown that by thinking outside of the (flat-packed) box they have achieved the desired solution to their hiring issue. They have constructed a winning recruitment campaign by demonstrating a strong understanding of their target market.
Until next time.
Sally was contracting at a top tier investment bank on a rolling three monthly basis, and ended up disappointed when somebody else was hired for the permanent job she wanted. The permanent role was won by Nancy, another contractor for a different team at the same bank. Nancy worked harder at her temp job, often staying late to finish work. Her manager responded by creating permanent position.
“I knew I’d be good at the job and liked the work,” Nancy said. “I just needed to show them how much.”
If you are contractor hoping to be hired full time, or have your contract renewed, there are things you can do to improve your chances. Here are some of my top tips:
- Become a source of ideas by really understanding the needs of the company and figure ways to apply your talents to this end. Be proactive!
- Be punctual and friendly, replace the office coffee with a gourmet blend or do anything else to increase your visibility in the office. Small gestures can make lasting impressions.
- Work your way into the everyday office culture so co-workers think of you as a colleague and somebody they can rely on. Participating in workplace functions such as office parties, picnics or lunch outings can help build your internal relationships and overall career network.
- Where possible, get involved or even volunteer for company-supported activities like charity work. Even if you have to sacrifice some of your personal time, these can be great opportunities to interact with your superiors and other co-workers in a casual setting. It also will allow people to connect the hard-working temp from the office with a real human being who’s easy to get along with.
- Don’t pester everyone about becoming a full-time employee. Deliver your best work and let your actions sell you. Keep note of your accomplishments and bring them up when it’s time to discuss your temporary contract.
- Being on the inside gives you a ‘foot in the door’ and an advantage over external candidates when applying for full-time jobs. But don’t get complacent and always have a back up plan.