Category: Brand

Recruitment. Here’s to hiring the right attitude

Well g’day there!

Let me just point out that I’m not a Human Resources professional but I do deal with the symptoms of HR.

What do I mean by this?

As you already know, brand is not just what you promise in your advertising but also the way you deliver the experience. For this reason your people are pivotal to driving the brand, which means there’s a lot to consider when hiring new staff. If you’re hiring people based purely on skills, you might be missing the opportunity…

When I walk into any business, I look to see what fits the brand and what doesn’t – this includes it’s people. If it’s a client I’m working with I’ll seek to find out the reasons why people seem disengaged. I’ve worked in scores of businesses where I could easily see the person who sticks out and doesn’t want to be there or simply doesn’t fit.

A person with multiple face piercings might have lots of skills but is more suited to a vibrant edgy type of company than they would be as the concierge at Qantas Lounge. Someone who is too uptight doesn’t fit well with a company that’s meant to be young, free and on the edge. It sounds simple, yet staff are still being sourced based on their skills with ‘brand fit’ well down the tree.

For some staff, it just takes a bit of collaboration to help them find their groove. For others they just won’t ever fit. They don’t think the same, they don’t share the same values or present themselves in a way that fits the brand. Because of this disconnect, they will rarely feel purpose in what they do nor be passionately engaged in their role.

One such incident that I’m aware of nearly meant a new employee who ended up becoming a superstar for their company never made the shortlist by the outsourced HR company. Those presented as finalists for the vacant position had skills but didn’t fit well to the brand. Other than for a twist of fate, this superstar would never have been found.


So how do we stop this before it happens?


1. Human resources and employment agencies should consider more than just skills as a qualifier. Many don’t, so ensure they are proactively interested in your company’s values, the ‘bigger picture’ purpose of the role and the personality of your brand. If they aren’t proactive in asking this, they probably don’t understand it.


2. The brand foundations should be clearly conveyed in the position vacant ad and articulated to ensure you get interest from the people who relate to what you do.


3. Ensure your HR department or HR company is fully aware of the attitude you seek to fit your brand.


4. During the interview process ask how much the candidate knows about your company, this will show their natural level of interest.


5. Ensure the criteria includes skills, strengths and personality traits. Maybe even ask them what kind of car they drive. 


6. The ad must be written in such a way that it’s a promotion for your brand as well. There are some things that should be kept private like ‘be a persuasive seller’. If the customer wouldn’t like it, then don’t put it in there!


7. Learn more about what your small business may need to change to ensure your brand message is on point in all facets of your business, download our free eBook ‘ 10 things small business must STOP doing NOW ‘.

The Point:

150902_Blog_recruitmentIt takes more than just qualifications to find a good employee. Hiring the right attitude will mean they’ll be keen to learn any skills they don’t already have because they’re passionately engaged in adding value to your organisation. If you don’t get this right it doesn’t matter how well you promote the brand, your team will never naturally deliver it.
And just for something extra, see how Atlassian use their brand values to hire the right people based the fundamental base attributes of how those people see the world…






Playing with the Formula

Consistency. It’s a bit of an objective term, but one that’s oh so important.

Great brands are built to a formula. They’re consistent in delivering an authentic service experience. Fans (brand ambassadors) become conditioned to know what a brand stands for. The funny thing is, business owners often get bored of things before the customers do. Think about it…you experience something every day, generally your customers won’t so it stands to reason that you’ll get tired of the repetition before the market has even really got to know you.

I was in a cafe not long ago…it was quiet. This cafe usually has the music pumping. I felt self conscious. I felt like every word I said could be heard by those all around me. I didn’t enjoy the experience as much as I usually do because it didn’t match my expectation.

Another time I went to a restaurant and they decided to change the style of music up a bit. I liked the new stuff…but I’d have preferred it in a different restaurant. It wasn’t what I’d come to expect. I know I sound picky, but music is one of those things that make you feel at home. It gives you a sense of ease.

When we look back in history, Coca-Cola was probably the most classic example of why you shouldn’t bugger with the formula when they introduced New Coke in 1985. This wasn’t done out of boredom but out of fear of Pepsi gaining market share. But either way the change was almost disastrous to the point of Coca-Cola having to setup ‘help’ lines for people who just couldn’t handle it.

Another analogy is driving a bus from Melbourne to Sydney then one day deciding to take your passengers for a quick trip to Adelaide. Not sure they’d be impressed… Imagine if Arnotts changed the recipe of Barbecue Shapes!

But while my blog post was going to finish right there, I realised I must tell you the flip side…that is, if you stay the same the world will pass you by. Even worse brand fatigue can set in…meaning both you and your market are bored of you!

So what do you evolve and what don’t you change?

The non-negotiables are your core values and purpose. Being true to what you stand for is essential. Keep the service standard the same too, and introduce signatures that you know can be delivered day in day out.

Now when it comes to change, I prefer to use the word ‘evolution’ because this infers incremental change and maintaining relevance rather than just chopping and changing for the sake of it. Evolution is good. It’s a constant set of steps toward achieving your vision. Evolution shows you have purpose and will do what it takes to deliver on it.

A great brand, big or small, is about a strategic formula. Every part of the experience delivers a touchpoint that will build the total sum of your brand. If you want people talking about your brand with a common voice, then all of the experiences have to have a common thread. The secret is to stay true to who you are and the experience people have grown to love, but be ready to evolve with next big things that keep you and your market excited about the journey.


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