Archive for August, 2012

Holiday edition: Social Media, GenY and HR Strategy

Just before I am leaving for three weeks to the sunny Caribbean, I have looked for reading material to shorten the eleven hours flight. I found a few interesting articles which I would like to share – meanwhile I will meditate about the next own created post at the beach 🙂

20 Tips to Tame the Wild Social Media Beast (socialmediatoday) Pam Moore’s list of things that can go wrong is as long as her tip list, but it’s a useful and hands-on help to re-think your approach towards social media.

Gen-Y Employees: How to Motivate Them ( No rocket science in Samuel Bacharach’s post, but how you have to restructure your approach towards reward and recognition to attract and retain Gen Y cannot be repeated too often. It’s also worth having a look at the link suggestions at the end of the post.

Are You Free To Express Your Own Opinions On Social Media? ( Good question and discussion points by Kim. A related aspect: in my opinion social media biases people’s perception of the world towards ‘positive’  – with some noteworthy effects.

Corporate Strategy: How HR Can Become a Player ( Also here Edward E. Lawler’s post doesn’t tell any real news, though he might be able to base his conclusions on valid research. But it has to be evangelized that becoming a real business partner and add real value, “this requires HR executives to understand business strategy.”

I would personally add, that it’s not only the executives but all levels of HR as well as all levels of the organization who need to understand this. Best way to get there: HR needs to see the consumer experience as their main goal to become an accepted business partner who adds essential value.

Enjoy reading.
¡Hasta luego!


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Yelp me!

Please find an English interview below. If you cannot read the German part, don’t worry: Yelp is new in the German market and you won’t find anything spectacular for an international audience there 🙂

Nachdem vor einigen Wochen Pinterest im deutschen Employer Branding Markt entdeckt wurde, versuche ich mal bei der nächsten Sau, die durch’s Dorf getrieben wird, auf dem Rüssel zu sitzen: Yelp

Zugegeben, im Vergleich zu Pinterest wird Yelp erstmal eher ein Ferkel denn eine Sau sein, zum einen weil es mit Qype bereits einen ähnlichen Dienst gibt, der vor allem in Mitteleuropa erfolgreich ist – also quasi das LinkedIn vs Xing der Bewertungsportale; zum anderen, weil bisher noch keine wirklich durchschlagende Idee exisitiert, wie diese Portale effektiv fuer Employer Branding genutzt werden können.

Im Gegensatz zu kununu, dass sich mit langem Atem erfolgreich am Markt etabliert hat, liegt der Focus bei diesen Portalen nicht primär auf arbeitgeber- sondern business-relevanten Themen. Ich bin mir aber sicher (und viele Daten deuten darauf hin), dass sich diese Trennung immer weiter aufheben wird. Wer möchte schon für jede ‘Special Interest’ (inkl. Jobs) ein eigenes Portal aufrufen? Die Herausforderung des Personalmarketing liegt eher in der mobilen Nutzung dieser Dienste.

Man informiert sich in der Regel nicht im Vorbeigehen aktiv über Arbeitgeber und Jobs, so dass der mobile Aspekt hier sicher ein Stück zurücktritt, aber andererseits bietet Yelp den vollen “Genuss” nur in Kombination von Website und App an. Und wer weiss, wie sich das Nutzungsverhalten diesbezüglich in Zukunft ändert. KLM hat hier im Produktbereich ein exzellentes Beispiel kreativer Nutzung geliefert: KLM Surprise und eine Meinung dazu.

Zurück zu Yelp: Viel Wert wird auf die Community und das aktive Management der Bewertungen gelegt (daher gibt es Yelp auch nur in Ländern, in denen eine entsprechend Yelp Infrastruktur besteht). Wie bei anderen Portalen auch, kann man sich Awards verdienen, Deals finden und hier ggf. in eine “Elite” (aka Power User) aufgenommen werden. Dieser “Elite”, aber auch anderen Nutzern, werden regelmäßig Yelp-Offline-Events angeboten.

Diese Events können beispielsweise eine Möglichkeit bieten, aktiv Employer Branding zu gestalten. Und die über die Nutzung der Yelp Community als Markenbotschafter lässt sich sicher auch nachdenken.

Hübsches Feature der App: das “Monocle”, die augmented reality Version von Yelp. Wenn auch viele Businesses noch in die deutsche Yelp Datenbank integriert werden müssen…

Ich hatte die Gelegenheit mir von Yelps Münchener Community Managerin, Vee, ein paar Fragen beantworten zu lassen:

The business model behind Yelp – how are you generating revenue?

Yelp offers local advertising for the highly reviewed businesses on Yelp. Also, from time to time you’ll see ads from brand advertisers who sponsor sections of the site. We currently only offer advertising for businesses in North America and the UK. This is broken down into two kinds of advertising:

  • Local advertising from local businesses that want to be featured on Yelp
  • Brand advertising, i.e. display and text ads on Yelp.

What is the unique selling proposition of Yelp for users and for businesses?

The Yelp Community and our unparalleled mission to connect people with great local businesses is what sets Yelp apart. Yelp has a very engaged Community worldwide that is comprised of passionate locals that want to share their experiences and give readers the inside scoop, street-by-street, city-by-city. They are on the ground exploring and talking about their experiences at local businesses. Yelp has always made a very strong commitment to the Community, hiring a Community Manager in each Yelp market (over 90 different markets worldwide now) to nurture
and engage with local people, ultimately to deliver on Yelp’s overarching mission: to connect people with great local businesses.

I am already checking in on Facebook and foursquare, sometimes check reviews on Qype,
why should I add Yelp, or even replace these services?

There are a lot of social networks out there and we believe they all serve their particular purpose:
Facebook for example is where people go to share information about their lives and see picture of babies and puppies. People come to Yelp to help them make an informed buying decision.

The check-in feature is not only a great fun way to keep track of where you are, where you have been and with and with whom, it offers credibility to the review content already on the site. For example, if you are reading a review that give a restaurant 5 stars and you see that person has checked-in 15 times, you can be pretty sure that this person really does like the business and goes there often, giving that extra level of credibility.

This is just one of the reasons that over 71 Million unique visitors come to Yelp each month (monthly average in Q1 2012) to decide where to spend their hard-earned money and free time.
Now, as an extension of our content-rich mobile apps, our Community can check-in, but also write tips/advice, upload photos and edit/update business info without having to switch over to another service.

How can businesses most effectively use Yelp?

Businesses can most effectively use Yelp by joining the conversation and being active with their Yelp page! How do they do this? The first step is to claim their business listing page on Yelp, which will gain them access to an entire suite of absolutely free business owner tools. Among other things, this will allow them to update their listing with the correct info, photos, web address, engage via messaging (public and private) with users that write a review of their business, check page stats, post check-in offers, and much more. Yelp has built an entire section of the website dedicated to business owners: Yelp For Business Owners.

Are there already examples of businesses that already yelp for branding or recruiting purposes?

Unfortunately, this isn’t something we’ve seen in particular…but surely, Yelp is a great platform to display one’s creativity, writing skills, and commitment and passion for their city as an avid “Yelper.” It’s an added way to contribute to the community, and build one’s personal brand as a local expert, urban explorer…or just someone that really knows a lot about restaurants, bars, shopping, the best places to take kids, or who to visit when you need a mechanic!

Schauen wir also mal, wie sich Yelp im Markt platziert – und ich bin sicher, das bald jemand einen kreativen Weg finden wird, Bewertungsportale für Employer Branding zu nutzen. Das Beispiel Pinterest hat vorgemacht, wie sich aus Ratlosigkeit zumindest aktive Nutzung entwickeln kann: “Dabei sein ist alles.” 🙂

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Olympic interview!

Just a short anecdote for a easy-going Sunday: A few days ago I went to London for some job discussions. One of these was a very short notice appointment worked in the agenda for less than an hour: “Meet me at the Ritz“. Nothing special to it so far…

But when I got there, I met a guy in shorts and a Olympia T-Shirt, accompanied by a client/friend – they were on their way to watch some games at the Olympics. As they wouldn’t have let him into the Ritz in this ‘inappropriate’ outfit anyway, we decided for the next best pub and a pint.
Actually we spend the time talking about sports and travelling and didn’t touch on any business topic at all. That I just before met a friend and had a pint helped the conversation flow… 🙂

I conducted casual interviews over breakfast, lunch or just two coffee myself, both as a hiring manager and an interviewee, but even then we where discussing mostly business and kept a form of business attire.

I have to admit that this additional informality adds another interesting aspect for selection and employer branding really that intrigued me – and I am far to ‘senior’ to be a Millennial 😉 The candidate learns a lot about company culture and it gives both sides the opportunity to explore a cultural match.

And don’t forget: it was fun 🙂 If it wasn’t fun for both sides, one could skip the rest of the selection process anyway. Hands-up who likes to work with people with whom he cannot imagine to go for a drink (including water and milk) after a long day?


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#CSR at work: #adidas

I just finished an accreditation in Albania, Nehemiah Gateway University, Buçimas.
It’s not talent management/HR, but CSR is getting increasingly important for employer branding – and I found a good example of CSR, which I would like to share: adidas sponsored their sports facilities and furthermore regulary takes interns to their HQ in Germany as well as conducting an annual sports festival.
I could recognize that this has a big impact here for the local economy and the physical education of pupils and students. Great initiative without a direct financial return for them, which means it’s ‘real’ CSR, not just stealth business development.



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