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Glory Glory Hallelujah!

Friday, November 2, 2007   

"Looks like someone else has just had a big pay day for implementing your ideas - again!"

So said a letter I received from a former colleague who had worked with me on an employer branding exercise a few years back. 

He was referring to an enclosed newspaper article quoting the HR director of a very high profile firm who, at the time of our work with him, had totally rejected the notion of an employer brand as "nonsense".  Yet,  here he was now, quoting us verbatim, being portrayed to the world as the archetypal HRD visionary. 

My former colleague was angry - I was just plain disappointed

You see, upon reading the article, although the words had been plagiarised from the presentations, it was obvious that the HRD (and the creative company that had enjoyed the 'big pay day') had missed the point completely.  What they'd come up with between them wouldn't ultimately deliver results in terms of improved employee engagement or attraction and retention, so everyone loses.

When I say everyone, I mean even the creative agencies who take the cash and run.  When this happens not only do they damage their own reputation, but  bad experiences always get bitched about, so they also hold back the adoption of best practice and hold back the market for everyone.  Why? Because every failure presents a perfect example to the cynics who hold up such spectacular failures as a reason to carry on 'doing what we've always done'.

Collaborate for better results 

Despite some bitterly disappointing experiences of collaboration, I still maintain that in hiring practice terms, it is the only way forward.

Taking employer brand development as just one example, let me venture that there's only one place to be in order to truly understand why people leave and join companies:  that is, consistently standing shoulder to shoulder with them as they are making those decisions.  No amount of staff surveys, implied behaviour focus group research, nor ability to choose clever words or creative pictures is ever going to substitute that first-hand working knowledge.  

The point I'm trying to make here is that effective employer brands, those that are truly compelling, are not developed in the sanitised vacuum of HR, marketing or the creative agency.  Understanding values and cultures is one thing, but these only exist in context with the activity of other employers competing for the same talent and the prevailing mood this creates.

Good recruiters carry vital knowledge that HR and creative agencies alike, all too often dismiss as either irrelevant or inferior to their own.  The best piece of advice I can give in terms of employer branding is find a great recruitment agency and make good friends with them.

Nobody has the monopoly on common sense!

I've been banging this hiring practice impact drum for a long time now and, over the years my teams and I have develop processes for talent planning, acquisition and attraction, especially for skills-short markets.  Do they work? Yes - very well, in fact.  Are they unique?  Not a chance! 

Let me be the first to publicly proclaim that I am definitely not the only person who understands how to improve organisational performance through hiring practice.

It doesn't matter what name tag we apply to our processes, providing that all hiring activity is linked to the real needs of the organisation, the current demand for the skills sought, and the motivations of the exact behavioural type of person the hiring circumstance requires, then you can call it what you like; best practice is just common sense - although, admittedly, it's far from common practice!

There are people interacting with all over the world now, the vast majority of whom agree whole-heartedly with what the campaign is calling for and, certainly, some of whom have developed their own processes for dealing with the hiring practice issue.   

As I know only too well from the past twenty or so years, when we try to tackle the hiring practice issue individually we are just little voices throughout the world creating a 'white noise' that is A).  hard to distinguish  B). oh so easy for organisational leaders to ignore

One voice

May I venture that, if this campaign does succeed in getting hiring practice onto the CEO's agenda, the rewards will be reaped by all.  By uniting behind the common-sense approach of this campaign, the more attention everyone attracts to their own services and solutions.

There are enough case studies already on this website to demonstrate how employers will benefit.  In terms of the kind of support service providers, just imagine how much easier life will be if you no longer have to spend half of your working time battling against that institutionalised apathy towards the best practice solutions you provide.

When shareholders start asking CEOs what THEY are doing about the organisation's talent, then we'll start to see real progress.  The more people we get talking about this campaign, the sooner that will happen.

By lending your full support to the campaign - by sharing your experiences to develop cases, by putting a link to this site on your own web pages, by emailing page links to others - you are being an important part of something that is really going to make a difference to both UK productivity and the day to day working experiences of individual people.

Please, add your voice to the campaign and get others involved too


Click the logo to email a link to this thread to someone who you think should know about it  →


© Copyright 2007  - please credit where shared or reproduced.


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Actually, this one works for me! 


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Even Reg was an expert on recruitment


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Bombarded: How many 'unique solutions' can HRDs handle in a single day?



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