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A tattoo is for ever, just like an employer

Time’s newsfeed reports that employees at one company are getting tattoos of their employer’s logo in exchange for a 15% payrise… the particular employer is, of all things, a Realty company, and around 40 employees have been inked so far.  This might be a case of taking “Employer Branding” too literally. Continue reading


People aren’t Paperclips (but you already knew that)

clippy by scampy

Over on Ragan’s HR Communication today is an article entitled 12 most dehumanizing buzzwords to ditch.  The first two? “Resource” and “Human Capital”.

Resource: …If the resource you’re referring to breathes air, talks and has a name, it is best not to use the word “resource.”

Really?  Organisations are not under the impression that their employees don’t have lives outside of work, or that they are any way less than “human”.  But let’s not kid ourselves – employees are resources for the organisations they work for.  Otherwise, they wouldn’t be employed (or at least, not for long).  It’s not dehumanizing to state the obvious. Continue reading


5 Things Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness can teach us about Strategy and Metrics

“I am not so much interested in gross national product. I am more interested in gross national happiness.” – Jigme Singye Wangchuck, 4th King of Bhutan, 1972

Haa Valley looking north, September, 2006

Haa Valley looking north, September, 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1972, the fourth king of Bhutan said in a seemingly off-the-cuff comment to a journalist: “I am not so much interested in gross national product. I am more interested in gross national happiness.”  That’s a great sound bite, but perhaps not that remarkable.  How many times have you heard an organisational leader use a platitude such as “our people are our greatest asset” in an off-the-cuff comment?  How many times did you expect them to back it up with action? Continue reading

The Office is Dying, According to Esselte

Tickler file

Tickler file (Photo credit: dahnielson)

To mark the 100-year anniversary of the company, Esselte Corporation teamed up with Futures House Europe, and has this week released a white paper examining the Future of Work.

I was going to put together a more detailed summary about the key points in the paper, but the “key points” ended up being pretty much a copy of the paper itself.  It’s not often that I (or anyone, I suspect) reads a whitepaper and gets excited by it, but truly this is a fantastic resource.  Do yourself a favour and take a read – a link to the press release is below.  In the meantime, here are some “tweet-worthy” sections: Continue reading

What Google can teach you about Talent Brand

Google 貼牌冰箱(Google Refrigerator)

Free food and drink – just one of the many employee benefits at Google (Photo credit: Aray Chen)

Talent Brand, why it matters, and what Google can teach you about how to improve yours…

Late last year, LinkedIn released the Talent Brand Index, along with a list of the most “InDemand” employers.  According to this whitepaper, The Talent Brand index ranks each company by the number of people interested in engaging with the company (researching your company and career pages, following your company, and viewing your jobs and applying), divided by the number of people who are aware of your company as an employer (by viewing company profiles, and being connected to your employees).

This matters to employers competing for top talent in a competitive industry, because if you have a strong Talent Brand, it’s easier to attract and retain top talent.

As you might expect, Google’s one of the stand-outs.  Google is ranked #1 overall in all geographies and functions; as well as being ranked:


  • #1 in the United States
  • #1 in the United Kingdom
  • #2 in Canada
  • #2 in Australia
  • #3 in France
  • #10 in India
  • not in the top 20 in Brazil
  • not in the top 20 in the Netherlands

By Industry:

  • #1 in Software Engineering;
  • #1 in Marketing;
  • #1 amongst students & recent graduates; and
  • #10 in Finance and Accounting

To me, the most impressive statistic here is this last one – Google has a talent brand in the top 10  for a very competitive industry that’s not its’ core business.

Google are renowned for some of their incredible perks, but they’re also a very data-driven organization, including in HR.  They don’t give people free food and valet parking without crunching the data to know that those things work for their organisation.  Laszlo Bock is the SVP of People Operations at Google, and in this interview, explains that all of the perks Google offers its’ employees achieve one or more of the following:

  • Creating a Community; 
  • Driving Innovation; and/or
  • Driving Efficiency.

More importantly, he feels that the company would be the same without the perks, because people don’t want to work for Google because of the perks – they want to work there because of the culture.

And how do Google gauge which programs will appeal to their employees and which ones won’t?  They ask them.

Some things to consider for employers:

  1. If you’re not already thinking about Talent Brand, you should.
  2. Your talent brand is not the same as your company brand, because the workforce you’re competing for is not the consumer you’re competing for.
  3. Ensure all your talent management strategies align to business objectives, and you can clearly articulate their benefit – even better if you can use workforce analytics to demonstrate their benefit.
  4. Ensure that the “benefits” you offer employees will actually attract and retain top employees; and
  5. Point 4 is much easier if you actually gauge what your employees and potential employees want, rather than relying on “best practice”.