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Communications and the Quest ...

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Tech companies more than any other industry recognize that their ability to recruit A+ talent has a say in their long-term success.

Magnifying the issue, the tech sector has been on a roll, and the talent pool hasn’t kept pace. With demand out of whack with supply, there’s even more pressure on companies to do whatever it takes — sure, we can arrange a hot towel to arrive at your desk right before lunch — to differentiate the role in the eyes of the job candidate.

Yet, the same companies under siege to find talent continue to tap the HR 101 handbook for the communications that drive the recruitment process. Can we all agree that a job description like this doesn’t differentiate?

 

JOB TITLE

HR Manager

 

JOB DESCRIPTION

Responsibilities

•  Provide support in new employees on-board process, induction program and staff departure arrangements

•  Employee relations & communication, performance management and training & development, etc.

•  Formulate, implement and review HR policies and procedures

•  Prepare employment related documents and process permit / visa applications if necessary

•  Prepare various periodic statistical and analysis reports

•  Maintenance of the HR Information system

•  Provide support in other HR initiatives and other related ad hoc projects

•  Liaise with other Asia offices on HR projects

Requirements

•  Degree in Human Resources Management or related

•  Possess at least 2-5 years working experience as generalist in multinational environment

•  With good knowledge in HK employment ordinance and HR practices

•  Strong organizational skills and numerical sense

•  Good communication & interpersonal skills

•  Proficient in MS Office Application and payroll system

•  Proven ability to manage demanding workload and conflicting priorities and meeting deadlines

 

And it’s not just job descriptions that call for a face lift. Every interaction from the first touch point (finding out about the role) to the offer letter is an opportunity to win over the job candidate.

While much of the communications coming out of the HR function is uninspired (to be kind), this video from Axis (security solutions) caught my attention. Before going further, I should disclose that Axis is a client, but we have no involvement with HR and its recruiting efforts.

 

 

This video renews my faith in HR and its willingness to humanize the company story for job candidates.

I’m not saying whoever created this video is going to relegate Spielberg to Bar Mitzvahs. In fact, the production quality of the video might be kindly termed as adequate. But the production quality is also what gives the video its realness.

This video also shows how a concept can carry the narrative.

The flash boards that kick off the video read as follows:

 

Stuck in a rut … fed up in your current role?

Don’t look forward to going to work?

Can’t see a bright future?

This is the opportunity for you.

 

Right, the copy comes across as a bit cheesy .Yet, seven employees standing in a line as one by one they jump to the front to hold up a flash board — cheesy copy and all — tells a story from the job candidate’s perspective, that Axis is a grounded company that doesn’t take itself so seriously.

Again, I give the Axis HR/recruiting function credit for creating an early touch point for job candidates that differentiates the company.

Years ago I wrote about then-Twitter-CEO Dick Costolo, who shared:

“It’s fun to be the customer of a company with a personality. This seems totally obvious, and yet you too rarely see companies with distinct personalities really grab your attention in the marketplace. Why is this? It’s actually hard to remove personality and character from communications. So, instead of saying that companies don’t take the time to have personalities, it’s probably more accurate to state that companies don’t allow themselves to show their personalities.”

He went on to share a letter he received after placing an order with a company called Moosejaw.com:

“If you are actually reading this note you should be super happy. First, you have received your order, reading is fun and getting something in the mail (even if you bought it yourself) has got to make the day better. Second, I put your order together all by myself.”

Costolo’s punchline —

People like it when companies have personalities.”

And the Axis video puts the company’s personality on display for 69 seconds.

I might even “borrow” the concept for us.

 


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