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Back in 2011, Jodi Ordioni of Brandemix wrote an article for ERE claiming that Facebook was going to destroy Linkedin in 2013. That was an attention grabber (for shure) so I expressed an interest and she sent her alter ego, Jason Ginsburg, to represent her on The Recruiting Animal Show.

He's the Director of Interactive Branding at Brandemix and you can find his appearance from August 17, 2011 here. We had fun. But there's one rule that most people who make predictions follow. Don't be too specific.

But Jodi was specific. She was as specific as you can be. She included a date and that was a key part of the article's appeal. But now it's 2013 and Linkedin is still here. In fact, it's going strong so we thought we'd have Jason back to defend his claims -- or apologize for them. And he came. That takes some guts, doesn't it? But the big topic didn't turn out to be Facebook or Linkedin; it was the relationship between recruiting and recruitment marketing.

The Animal Crew got the impression that Jason believes that an employment branding company like Brandemix could totally replace recruiters. And, of course, no one likes to be told they're useless so just before the show ended this became the subject of a heated debate.

My poor guest! In the middle of the argument he was prevented from defending himself because the guest is not allowed on the AfterShow which was led yesterday by his main opponent, @AlaRecruiter, herself. And, in her battle with Jason, darling Amy had lots help because everyone else just piled on. They didn't like that guy. But I did.

I love the Animal Aftershow because I like venting my feelings and I hate sitting through sermons I don't agree with without being able to say anything. So, why should my audience have to do that? They shouldn't. So, I have the only show around that pays the audience real respect. But, of course, there are some negatives.

They could speak up during the show when the guest is there to defend himself but, often, they don't. Instead, they wait for Jerry to come on and help them express their angry feelings in a safe environment. And, I often disagree with what they say.

Yesterday, I enjoyed the huffing and puffing but I didn't really understand what all the fuss was about. Jason works for an advertising company.  Most people in most companies are not the kind they pay headhunters to go after so they depend on advertising and referrals to bring those people in. And that, I believe, is the focus of recruitment marketing firms.

For the hard guys, managers come to recruiters. But not for everybody. That's why Amy's company has a Pinterest page and hired her as well. And I don't remember Jason saying that his ads are going to replace us -- but, in fact, they do act in our stead for a lot of jobs.

In the end, the battle focused on a tweet Jason made after the show. It read: "@Microsoft recruiter mocks Pinterest recruiting on @Animal show. It turns out that Microsoft recruits on Pinterest." And he offered a link to prove it.

Well, this tweet drove Amy wild. But why? It was the perfect rejoinder and in his position I would have happily made it myself.

So, here's where I have to go into my standard lesson. The Recruiting Animal Show is supposed to be fun! I know it's not for everyone. It's for people who like rough-housing and horsing around and being fairly blunt. To really participate you've got to be willing to have someone point out your faults. And you've got to be willing to have people criticize you who are wrong.

But, here's the thing. Criticism isn't fatal. It's not going to hurt you. So, every week we dish out a few rounds of disagreement and the next week we come back and do it again. Of course, people can go overboard. But it didn't happen in this tweet. That guy took a beating on the aftershow and this was a mild and intelligent response.

So, Jodi, I'm sorry I kind of called you a dominatrix at the start of the show (I'm not really sorry). And Jason, I already said you seem like an okay kinda guy. And, Amy, you're the guest next week. You'll be able to direct all of your anger towards me. So, let's not kiss and make up but let's put a reasonable cap on the passion we feel about employment branding. Okay? 

And, readers, if you want to hear what this long lecture is about, be my guest. But, PS: I have to confess: I used an old picture of Ginsburg. In the last two years, he's become tall and stringy and he doesn't look that sympathetic anymore.

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Bonus: Mike and Jerry

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Comment by Derdiver on August 22, 2013 at 8:22pm

I think it is ironic that Brandemix has gotten more press from this then they could ever offer a customer.  Frankly, Pinterest has asked me and Amy to be featured as PIC posters next month!!!!  YAY us!!!! Anyway...

Comment by Recruiting Animal on August 22, 2013 at 8:24pm

a) Good publicity? Or wild criticism?

b) Re: Pinterest. You're joking right? I don't know what a PIC poster is but anything is possible.

Comment by Derdiver on August 22, 2013 at 8:43pm

LOL

a) bad publicity IMO If I were running my companies SM stuff, hint, I do, just walk away.

b) Yes buddy, it was sarcasm. They have that in Canada, right? (irony again) just checking.

Comment by Amy Ala on August 22, 2013 at 9:32pm

Oh Animal... Just so you know I appreciate how much it's going to pain you to give me yet ANOTHER best guest Ammy.

I don't mind criticism at all. I do draw the line at outright stupidity. Does Microsoft have Pinterest pages? Of course. With the exception of the one studio page with something like 11 pins, do we call those product pages "recruiting" pages...? Probably not, if you know what recruiting actually is.

I should have picked up sooner on the fact that your guest (like you these days) can't admit when he's wrong.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on August 22, 2013 at 11:43pm

Social Media Branding strategy:  "Don't sling it if you can't bring it."

Comment by Will Thomson on August 23, 2013 at 12:02am
I'm sorry I missed the show, but listened to it later. You know I will always have Amy's back
Comment by Stephen Nehez, Jr. on August 23, 2013 at 10:52am

We have a Italian-Mexican restaurant in Detroit.  (El Barzon)  Somehow.  Some way.  They've made it work.  And believe me, it's an absolutely fabulous restaurant.  But this isn't Yelp....

This is what they call an "opinion piece".

Other than obvious big-named companies, proper company branding is a tough, tough challenge.  The branding is created to attract customers.  Arguably, I would imagine that most companies come short in rolling out successful branding.  (Let's say you start writing down the names of companies that you can think of.  I would challenge that after about two minutes and fifty names, you'd be going "uh, uh, uh, uh. Hmmm.  Uh."  What about the other 10 kazillion companies out there.)

So now that I proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that getting company branding right is a tall order, let's FINALLY agree that company executives and managers that decide that it's a priority to develop "employment branding". 

Come on?  Really. 

I contend "employment branding" is the ugly step-child of "company branding".  Agree or not.  I would dump the stock of ANY company that would make "employment branding" a PRIORITY.  Let me be clear, I'm not saying companies shouldn't have a employment strategy.  My gripe is that I think trying to "brand" your hiring strategy is silly.  And to drag this mess down the path a little further, trying to attract new employees by having a completely separate "branding" for working there is just too much trigonometry for my limited brain cells.

I worked at Ford for three years.  Back then and even now, most Ford employees carried a special type of pride as Ford employees.  The same goes for when I worked at 3M.  HOWEVER, to my knowledge, there is no "employment branding" (even today) that either of these two companies have implemented or even exists.  If there is, that department should be eliminated. 

So, my takeaway from the show outlined in Animal's blog is that the guest and his company exist to enhance the "employment branding" side, NOT "company branding".  THERE IS A DIFFERENCE!  (I'm shouting again.  Excuse me.)

TGIF.  I'm not sure if I can take much more of this.  Whew.

- Steve

Comment by Amy Ala on August 23, 2013 at 11:29am

One other thing the guest said that really should make it VERY CLEAR how differently we see this thing we call recruiting -

"Our customers are looking for APPLICANTS" - Ginsburg aka Brandemix

"My customers are looking for RESULTS" - AlaRecruiter and every recruiter worthy of the title everywhere

Comment by Stephen Nehez, Jr. on August 23, 2013 at 11:32am

My office gets about 50 "applicants" a day that we circle-file.  (Unless, of course, my office started recruiting in countries that I can't pronounce.)

Comment by Ian Millar on August 23, 2013 at 4:03pm

A corporate recruiter I know, a few years ago, put an ad on the largest billboard in his region's main traffic corridor commuting away from his office to a larger city. He came up with a wonderful slogan: stating what seemed to be obvious: essentially "why drive so far? Come to work for us." Sounded like a great plan. Should get thousands of applicants. Katy bar the door.

Just to track it, they asked every candidate where they heard about the company. As you may have already guessed: Nada. Zip. Not one applicant came to them by the ad. Katy bar the door... not.   

So, it was once the rule #1 of Shally Steckerl's training systems: First, Post the job. Meh. Not so much. Why waste all the time reading unqualified resumes when I can go look at 10 highly desirable prospects and call them? If I get past those first 10, maybe I'll post. Maybe not. Maybe I didn't create enough sizzle on the phone. 

In my mind, advertising is a necessary evil. 95% of applicants are unqualified. But, you get that 5%, right? You can't wait for them however. The real benefit of ads: branding. Creating some awareness so that when you call a candidate, they have some idea of who you are and you can direct them to those ads as a back up. Branding the company, branding the job, branding the opportunity. 

Folks on the agency side don't care about that so much, I know. Less at stake. But, on the corporate side, do you have to post? Really? Is there a rule? To my knowledge the only rule to that effect pertains to H1b applicants. Am I wrong? 

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