Have you milked any whales lately? A kinder, gentler marketing philosophy

Good read – thx Wyn

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Feeling Guilty? Well, We Are Not!

As hard wired humans, we find ourselves feeling guilty sometimes; for all sorts of reasons. In our opinion, here are 19 things we should NEVER feel guilty about. Read on…

  1. Putting on your pyjamas and slippers before it’s dark
  2. Politely saying ‘no’ to a telemarketer – before they have rattled off there scripted introduction
  3. Going to a Saturday afternoon movie on your own and having a chocolate coated ice-cream
  4. Wearing lipstick at the gym
  5. Going on holiday – minus the children
  6. Wearing your ugg boots to the supermarket
  7. Getting pre-prepared meals in winter – delivered!
  8. Singing out loud in the car to your favourite old songs
  9. Booking yourself a massage
  10. Buying a boat in a recession!
  11. Not saying ‘Happy Birthday’ to everyone on Facebook
  12. Taking time out for yourself
  13. Eating high quality chocolate
  14. Enjoying a hot bath with a good book and a glass of wine
  15. Having cheese and crackers for dinner
  16. Not going on Facebook
  17. Spending money on want vs. need items
  18. Sleeping on the couch on a Saturday afternoon
  19. Asking for help

What is on your list? Let me know by leaving a comment!

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Not Your Run-Of-The-Mill Occupation: Pawnbroker

Each Friday at 8.55am you will find Desley and her trusted little companion Louie, at Kingston Café ordering a trim flat white, before they head off to work.

It was here I got to chatting [with Louie first, actually] and discovered Desley had an occupation that has never crossed the desk of a recruitment agency and is steeped in history and stories: Pawnbroker.

Research showed that as mankind’s oldest financial institution, pawnbroking carries on a tradition with a rich history.

It can be traced back at least 3,000 years to ancient China, and has been found in the earliest written histories of Greek and Roman civilizations. Today we can still see the three gold balls that still remain the trademark of pawn shops.

Introducing Desley Sullivan, Pawnbroker

DesleyDesley has been a pawnbroker for some 20 years.  She was drawn to it through one of her loves – jewellery.  It happened as things do sometimes, by accident.

When looking for a job involving this passion some years ago, and having been on various interviews, Desley was drawn to one position in particular because it included learning on the job, and the learning would happen quickly.  From this beginning Desley went on to learn the trade and then purchased an existing business which is where she is today.

It is a 6 day a week operation, the pace is steady and the customers are varied.  In pawnbroking there are three mainstays to the business model: Buy, sell and loan.

The loan aspect is a non-traditional loan. The loan is based on the value of an item for 3 months. A pledge ticket is issued and at the end of the time a redemption fee is paid to retrieve the item.

“All three aspects are equally important and the three parts work well together,” according to Desley. Her business is buoyant most of the time which she attributes to the fact that it is simple, straightforward and doable with 90% of the loans being small.

And to set the record straight right up front, Desley knows what she is dealing with.  Being fair to people is a biggie, in her books.  Good rapport building skills are essential as is treating people with respect.  Desley emphasises it is all too easy for some to pre-judge others and look down on them.  Yes, she sees some people in very vulnerable states, which is all the more reason she must display a calm demeanour, a no-fuss style, warmth and an accepting manner.

‘All kinds of people and all walks of life’, is how Desley describe her customers.  Whilst talking with Desley, several people came into the shop. On their lunch breaks from their office jobs, these were women who wanted to make a purchase and sell some old jewellery that was no longer in vogue. I did note that they wandered around, took their time and enquired about a number of the pieces tucked away in the cabinets, feeling very much at home browsing.

“Trends come and go and from one day to the next you never know what you are going to get.

The variety is huge, just huge!” according to Desley.  “Antiques, fine china, watches, silver, gold, come and go.”  She feels particularly saddened by the lack of appreciation for heritage in our ‘replacement society’ as she describes it. “I wonder how antiques will fare in the coming years?” she muses.

Desley confesses her eyes still light up with jewellery. She has never tired of her occupation and being ‘shiny object-curious’, she can’t resist checking out jewellery shop windows when she is out and about.  I think we’d call that passion!

With only 4 pawnbrokers left in Auckland City, they are a disappearing bunch.  Perhaps the only reason Desley will disappear is the fact that Auckland Council have dibs on her location as part of the possible underground train development.  Fingers crossed this does not happen.

And finally to the other love of her life and the reason I started chatting to Desley – Louie.

Louie is a Bichon Sydney Silky Cross. He is charming, disarmingly cute, bright-eyed and wriggly. Louie has followers. A range of people pop in just to see him on a regular basis.

Desley Sullivan, Pawnbroker
63 Victoria Street West, Auckland.

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Hiring Managers Lack Confidence

It is interesting when within the rhythm of the daily hubbub of meetings and appointments; a trend sidles into a pattern and takes shape almost without detection.

One example of a trend that has become increasing obvious is the evident lack of confidence by hiring managers to conduct contemporary, well-structured interviews.

When researching the reasons for this lack of confidence, the answer is easily found. Training budgets have been under the scalpel. Where recruitment and interviewing training were once common-place, today this is less frequently invested in. Instead it is left up to the individual to ‘do their best’.  In surveying in excess of 350 hiring managers who have had training in the last 18 months, only 4% were able to raise their hands with an affirmative.

This lack of confidence is having a damming impact inside organisations. It is hampering the talent acquisition process across many New Zealand business environments.  Indecision, prolonged processes, time delays, over-recruitment, poorly executed interviews and confusion in knowing how to identify the key attributes needed for the position are commonplace. Costs are escalating due to the clutching of outmoded processes and employer brand damage is occurring.

kim-seeling-smtihAccording to Kim Seeling-Smith, Ignite Global, speaking at the recent Conferenz HR Leaders Forum 2013; “One of the most important things an organisation can do is to teach their hiring managers how to recruit talent.”

We agree.  Done well, numerous positives outcomes occur on many levels including reduce cost of hire, saved time, increased talent quality, increased engagement and improved length of tenure. Research completed by Seeling-Smith shows 50% of hiring managers are more likely to have lower turnover, 38% are more likely to work in highly productive teams, and 44% are more likely to earn higher customer satisfaction scores. What’s not to like about this?

In today’s competitive environment, not only should the ‘here and now’ be in scope when hiring, so too should the future be firmly in view when interviewing.  It is here the untrained hiring manager becomes short-sighted resulting in many high potential or future-qualified people being overlooked simply due to a lack of insight.

Not only is talent identification essential within the recruiting process, the ability to ‘sell an opportunity’ to a prospective employee is crucial.  High calibre talent have choice so getting them ‘on the hook’ is important at the outset. It takes training, practise, confidence and know-how. On a positive note, once trained, it becomes second nature.

With the evolution of employer branding having moved from the employer being at the centre of the process to the JOB SEEKER being at the centre of the process, the vital importance of expertise needed when recruiting is further amplified. With the impact of social media, changes in job seeker preferences and looming skill shortages it is easy to see why a lack of confidence in recruitment must be rectified.

On a positive note, one thing that hasn’t changed is that fact that no one wants to make a hiring mistake. Hiring the right person is still considered one of the most powerful impacts an individual can make inside a business. Executed well, positive outcomes are numerous and include increased morale, competitive advantage and bottom lines.

Given the extreme importance of this activity we repeat the advice provided by Seeling-Smith which is to “Teach your hiring managers how to hire, now.”  We couldn’t agree more.


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Stand Out: 5 Tips To Get You Noticed

What a turbulent few months we have had in the HR community. News of ‘corporates recalibrating their cost structures’ has created change and upheaval.

In our numerous conversations with the HR community we have heard a wide range of responses to the situation by those impacted.  From relishing the possibilities of new opportunities, looking at contracting as a viable option while the market takes time to gather momentum, or using this as a chance to transition away from HR to career-fields anew; it has been a priority re-evaluation for many.

Our aim, amidst the hurly-burly of your day to day, is to provide information and insights into contemporary talent management, trends and market demands, salary advice, career pathway consultancy, up-to-the-minute profile building strategies and tactics on how to stand out from the clutter.

Standing out is important in the current environment. This is not the time to be humble; rather it is important to be known and be proud because those that do are able to have choice.

So, to assist you, we have devised a ‘no BS’ list of 5 things you need to do to stand out from the clutter. The reason for this?  Because it’s needed.

New rules apply in today’s employment landscape and regardless whether you are comfortably employed or coping with change, we recommend you take heed and take action.

  1. CV.  Rather than starting with your employment rundown, think carefully about your personal statement. It’s that clear vision of where you see yourself. It shows clarity.  This document has to work hard for you so beef it up.  Sell yourself upfront.
  2. Optimise your LinkedIn profile. You need to be found so your LinkedIn profile has to work hard for you.  It’ can be tricky to write about yourself so find someone to help you.
  3. Get Social. Do you agree with this? Media commentators suggest that recruiters and psychologists consider people who don’t have a Facebook account as having something to hide. Hmmm. The debate about Facebook continues but like it or not, it has a part to play. Plus, as contemporary HR practitioners, you need to know about these channels and the impact they are having on our working environments.
  4. Networking is crucial. It’s not as hard as it sounds. It just takes time and focus. And it pays dividends. Get into the traffic and start mixing both online and in person.
  5. Research. Who do you want to work for? Think about the ten companies you’d love to work for. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to keep on top of the new job vacancies when posted. This keeps you informed plus you are able to pounce on a role the moment it appears.

Frog has coaching services available on all the above should you need a swift injection of guidance or assistance. Contact Renee Daysh for more information on 09 362 0528.

Ian S Bruce, Herald Scotland http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/unemployed-and-looking-for-work-if-you-dont-use-facebook-then-you-might-not-be-able-to-find-any-kind-of-job.18555

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Just Around The Corner

According to Faith Popcorn; “In a society that defines who we are by what we do, what could be more important than understanding what we will be doing next? Another way to put it: Job descriptions are the subtitles of the culture.”

The marketing team at Frog was recently asked to research roles of the future; positions that don’t exist now but are just around the corner.  As a result they came up with a multitude of roles that may become more common place within our workforces. See what you think of some of these.  Time to retain perhaps?

Augmented reality job titles in 2020:

  • Digital Architect Designs a range of virtual buildings for advertisers to market their products and services.
  • Avatar Design-Security Consultant Designs, creates and protects the virtual you.

Robots & Artificial Intelligence job titles in 2020:

  • Personal Bot Mechanic Domestic assistants will work 24/7, but will still need the occasional tune-up.
  • Powered Exoskeleton Engineer Designs wearable robots that assist and protect soldiers, construction and rescue workers or other people working in dangerous environments.

Business job titles in 2020:

  • People Analytics Manager Authority in workforce intelligence and organisational design of predictive analytics and HR data reporting.
  • Simplicity Consultant Simplifies and streamlines processes, technologies and branding in an organisation.
  • LocaPreneur Starts up a local bank, makes local cosmetics or soft drinks that are able to compete head-to-head with the big corporations that no one trusts any more.
  • Corporate Knowledge Officer Secure knowledge and make it “always-on”. Game changers for analysts, market researchers and leading consulting corporations.
  • Corporate Data Scientist Don’t want to stop at data mining or business intelligence processes should figure out the value of the Corporate Data Scientist. They are challengers for PR and marketing decision makers who need to prove their credibility by showing facts to their CEOs.
  • Corporate Content Officer Understand the sense of integrated communities in websites by bringing all company departments to produce content for their special business area.
  • Chief Culture Officer Prolonged arm of the management team, the “personified culture geek” and at the same time working very close with the HR team.

Marketing, Sales & Communications job titles in 2020:

  • Experiential Manager Manages the “experience of the brand” by looking at all creative assets to make sure they are in line with the brand promise.
  • Brand Defender Polices the Web in the name of branding/messaging protection.
  • Digital Media Integration Manager Manages a brand’s presence in all paid, owned and earned digital media.
  • Mobile Marketing Strategist Specialises in reaching the right audience through smartphones and tablets.
  • Message Integrator Manages team communications so that all messages across various media channels are consistent.
  • Client Integration Specialist Agency representative who acts as a “stakeholder” in a client’s brand and operates as an employee.
  • Consumer Relations Specialist Helps facilitate crowdsourcing efforts to engage the public.
  • Chief Brand & Culture Officer Responsible for “living” the brand and embedding it in the culture of an organisation.

Social Services job titles in 2020:

  • Experimental Therapist Connects patients with new and emerging treatments and navigates them through the maze of patient services.
  • Home Companion-Caretaker Enables people to stay in their homes and live with dignity.

Education job titles in 2020:

  • Online Education Broker Tailors a bespoke learning package for the client, dovetailing relevant modules from courses and syllabuses around the world.
  • Space Tour Guide With Virgin Galactic planning commercial flights from 2011, space tourists will need cosmic enthusiasts to shed light on all that darkness.

Food job titles in 2020:

  • Personal Food Shopper Enables clients to hit their recommended daily allowance targets for nutritional balance, food-miles and organic sourcing.

The Creative Group http://www.creativegroup.com/newjobtitles
Jobs of the future http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010/jan/09/jobs-of-the-future
Herman Trend Alert: 2013 Workforce/Workplace Forecast, January 2, 2013 http://www.hermangroup.com/alert/archive_12-26-2012.html

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The Scientific Art of Searching Out Talent

Identifying an A+ individual who will make an impact on the bottom line takes planning. These people are not strolling around the corridors of business thinking about their next role.  They are focussed on making significant impacts in their current work environment and progressing professionally towards personally defined goals.  They may not actively be engaging with the marketplace as a jobseeker… “So how do we find them?” you may well ask.

The same way you might prefer to be found if you were in the same situation. With finesse, by a discerning and expert authority who proffers intriguing options that just can’t be ignored.

The first part of the art of talent identification lies in the research phase.  It starts with a full diagnosis of the organisational dynamic e.g. culture, marketplace, competition, strategies, for instance.  This organisational research is then augmented with your expectations for the new talent you wish to acquire.  The research phase results in a basis for substantive and informed discussion between you and your recruitment partner.  Armed with an extensive understanding of the dynamics of the talent being sought, the forensic searcher dives into big data, deep mining across a range of global data bases to discover and identify potential talent globally.

Then science meets art.  And the art takes the lead with engagement.  It is the art of knowing that there are people with exceptional talents who might not have considered roles or industries or ideas outside of their current experiences.  It is the art of defining an opportunity in a manner unique to the expert talent; it is the art of starting a dialogue about their advancement. For example, how did Frog find and lure a Senior HR Manager who needed to speak French to consider a role in Nigeria (yes, a real opportunity) for a Singaporean company?  It was the human touch that delivered this result.

Some organisations subcontract this vital work to teams of researchers offshore which explains why unique needs of New Zealand organisations are often not realised until a bad recruiting decision has been made – and a non-recoverable mammoth fee has disappeared into an offshore account.

Given the diversity of people in New Zealand, the era of the little black book and the ‘old boys’ networks’ are being replaced.

Distinctive talent is sourced from offshore and even more often, we are tempting some of New Zealand’s finest to come home for the role of their lives.  New-to-NZ talent who have substantiated their offshore expertise within New Zealand organisations provide unique talent opportunities also.  These people aren’t accessed easily through traditional recruitment processes and networks because we have moved into a more diversified marketplace for talent therefore must have more diversified talent acquisition practices.

Gone are the days of the big half page advertisement, and we hasten to add, the enormous recruitment fees.  In their place is a savvy CEO who is looking to partner with recruitment expertise to excel in the Art of Scientific Talent Acquisition.

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