Wooing potential employees with eggs

by Julie Labrie on April 9, 2014

Mashable reported on a recent hiring campaign out of San Francisco this week, where an e-commerce platform company called Bigcommerce was using “eggs to poach employees from Facebook and Google.”

As employees waited for their shuttle buses during their morning commute, Bigcommerce personnel handed out poached egg breakfast sandwiches, and artisanal coffee that was accompanied by their “Bigcommerce pitch.”

To take their efforts beyond the streets, the campaign also came with a Twitter contest and a hashtag: #poached. Bigcommerce’s aggressive hiring strategy even included iPad giveaways for referring a friend.

Is this the new face of modern-day hiring? We’ve dropped the old-fashioned “want ads” like a hot potato, and now we’re hitting the streets, wooing candidates with eggs?

Interestingly, this campaign offers us in the HR and hiring field a lot of insightful lessons:

  • It reinforces the importance of employer branding in this highly competitive marketplace. As recruiters, we can grab the attention of your target candidates at competing companies a lot easier, if they know of your brand. In Bigcommerce’s case, they are showing the world that they are bold and brave in their brand personality, two very attractive attributes for talented workers who want to break through themselves.
  • While it’s gimmicky, because it has a clever play on words and pokes fun with the idea of #poaching. The humourous nature of the stunt makes it entertaining for others to read – giving Bigcommerce immeasurable PR value. Beyond reaching potential new hires, the company is also building awareness among potential clients through their PR exposure.
  • They’ve created a full, integrated marketing campaign here, meaning the interactions by the bus stops that have now become impromptu job fairs live for a lot longer through social media too. People who aren’t even in the San Francisco market can get involved and share Bigcommerce’s news among their social networks (since great candidates can be “poached” from any market!)

The greatest takeaway here from a recruitment standpoint is, that HR need not shoulder the burden of creating their employer brand on their own. In today’s marketplace, HR and marketing need to work hand-in-hand to create a great impression.

When this foundation is well built, recruitment efforts can be greatly maximized both in strategies and tactical roll-outs. We can “sell” opportunities to the best candidates who, knowing and liking your brand, will be more likely to have an open mind, and more likely to be willing to compromise more during the job offer negotiation process.

Have you come across any companies doing kooky things to get candidates to pay attention? Please share your stories with us!

{ 1 comment }

In a recent Forbes article, contributor Josh Bersin discussed how Deloitte has found the top two people issues facing organizations in 2014 are leadership and retention. More over, after companies have spent years focusing on cost cutting, restructuring, and pushing people to work harder, today, more than 60 per cent of organizations are telling Deloitte their top challenge is managing the “overwhelmed employee.”

Image courtesy iStock Photos.

Bersin predicts that the high-performing employee will soon takeover control of the workplace environment. This group is more apt to consider changing jobs as they seek out career growth, and companies need to cater to them in order to stay ahead of their competition. Thus, helping the overwhelmed employee become the inspired employee by creating a meaningful, rewarding and enjoyable work environment is an absolute must to win in business today.

Top-performing employees are often naturally inspired from within and as a result, they seek out work environments that complement and support their inner inspiration drivers.

We speak to these top-performers everyday, and have found that more and more, there are specific trending patterns of “wants” and “asks” that are popping up on these candidates’ must-have list. Here are the top three priority areas that we’ve identified based on our conversations with the most talented candidates we’ve encountered in the marketplace:

  1. Recognition versus opportunity: it’s true that thank you’s for a job well done is important, no matter how small the accomplishment; but today, a more effective staff recognition strategy is to give top-performers greater learning opportunities. Awarding employees with increased trust and responsibilities is a highly effective retention strategy. It not only provides new on-the-job learning opportunities, but also cultivates greater, faster career growth too – something that top-performers crave.
  2. Training versus coaching: from a return-on-investment perspective, the #1 challenge with training programs is making sure employees retain the learning beyond the actual training period. Consider moving from short-term training opportunities into long-term coaching programs. The recent book by Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Forget a Mentor, Find a Sponsor: The New Way to Fast-Track Your Career, was featured in Harvard Business Review and discusses a new trend towards transitioning mentorship programs into sponsorship programs, where senior executives have a built-in organizational responsibility to see the growth of a junior employee (versus a mentor who is often expected to be only an advisor).
  3. Cultivating leadership potential: top-performing talent don’t always make the best people managers, but most organizations often reward well-performing employees in their career growth by promoting them into people management positions. New managers in these situations often end up feeling unsupported in new territory if leadership cultivation isn’t woven throughout the organization. The key lesson to be learned here is that leadership development is something that should be considered for employees at all levels of the organization. In the future, leadership training from a bottom-up approach will be much more coveted by top talent, versus the traditional top-down system.

Today’s workplace is increasingly becoming more democratic and collaborative. Companies who are in-the-know are placing great emphasis on this change, building this knowledge into their strategic talent attraction and retention approach.


How recruiters complement HR teams

February 13, 2014

“Why are recruiters so expensive?” I’m often asked this question. But, many business executives also ask their HR and hiring teams this same question – for good reason. In business, it’s not just important, but imperative to account for every dollar spent, with a measurable return-on-investment. We must ask: what is the business value for [...]

Read the full article →

Why are headhunters so expensive?

February 12, 2014

The following article was originally posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 in The Globe and Mail. THE QUESTION I’ve been working with my human resources people for some time, because recruitment is a major problem for us. We’re in a competitive industry, and finding and retaining the right talent is a top concern. Our compensation [...]

Read the full article →

Decoding a job candidate’s body language

January 17, 2014

The following article was originally posted on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 on Workopolis. Research suggests that body language and paralinguistic cues (e.g. intonation, body posture, facial expression, etc.) influence up to 93 % of human communication, while only 7% is shaped by the words we use. Imagine the profound impact that non-verbal communication can have [...]

Read the full article →

Is company confidentiality dead?

January 10, 2014

Jobseekers on Glassdoor review compensation/benefits and former employee commentary, to get the goods on prospective employers Once upon a time in a downtown boardroom in January, business executives discussed closely-guarded, proprietary HR policies. Fast forward to 2014, and businesses are now using social media to virtually welcome prospective employees into those boardrooms – to be [...]

Read the full article →

How to be more objective during the interview process: Guard against the von Restorff effect

December 3, 2013

Have you ever gone through a hiring process where your colleagues and you have given some interviewees impromptu nicknames for quick and memorable internal references, such as “the yellow shirt guy” or “the jazz lady”?   Image courtesy of Olga Vasilkova and Dreamstime.com. While its human nature for us to use unique markers to remember [...]

Read the full article →

Does Your Business have a Succession Plan?

November 5, 2013

What happens if a key executive at the helm of the business leaves today? According to a recent report issued by BMO Wealth Institute, less than 40% of Canadian business owners have a succession plan. But life can throw many curve-balls, often at the most inconvenient times. What if a key employee within your company [...]

Read the full article →

How “corporate giving” can give back to business

October 9, 2013

Corporate giving is no longer simply trendy, it’s a business imperative. Some businesses donate funds directly from product sales such as the popular Toms Shoes “One for One” campaign, while others engage employees in team-building initiatives through charity, such as volunteering on a build site for Habitat for Humanity. No matter the charitable choice, your [...]

Read the full article →

Culture Shock: A Discussion on Corporate Culture

September 30, 2013

Join our President, Julie Labrie along with Elena Iacono – Specialist, Professional Communication and Daniele Bertrand – President, Dufflet Pastries for a discussion on Corporate Culture. When: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 – 7:15am-9:00am Where: Lionhead Golf & Country Club | Mississauga Register here Elena Iacono, a Professional Communicator, will share her focus and knowledge on [...]

Read the full article →