How to Turn Ecommerce Shoppers into Repeat Customers

Getting a potential customer to visit your ecommerce store is the first step. You also want them to add items to their shopping carts, complete the checkout process and finish the transaction. Congratulations, you’ve earned a conversion. But what’s next?

While getting a one-time sale does help drive revenue, ideally it will become the first sale in a series. However, only one out of five first-time buyers will ever make a second purchase from your store. As MarketingProfs notes, this means brands “spend a ton of time and effort to acquire buyers who may never engage” again.

Now it’s time to consider how to turn ecommerce shoppers into repeat customers. Successful ecommerce stores are able to build up a base of loyal customers who stay engaged and make recurring purchases over time.

 

Giving Customers a Reason to Buy from You

Ask yourself this: Why should customers buy from your store rather than a competitor’s? Not only do you need to have a firm answer to this question, you need to convey it to online shoppers.

Whatever products you sell, make sure you’re differentiating your store from those with similar offerings. Face it: You’re not the only store using a platform like Shopify to sell electronics, furniture, cosmetics, hand-knit sweaters, artisan coffee, camping gear, etc. But you don’t have to settle for blending into the crowd; with a little branding finesse, you can really make a unique name for your store.

Think about what sets you apart. Is it your eco-friendly products and packaging? Your responsive customer service guarantee? Free shipping and returns? A confidence-boosting product warranty? Make sure you clearly convey to customers what makes your store unique. Not only will it help boost trust and loyalty, but this will more than likely be the “it factor” they share with friends and family when they’re recounting their experience.

Make Loyalty Worth Customers’ While

Offering loyalty perks is a great way to tangibly reward customers for sticking with your store over time. But emailing out a 10 percent off coupon a few times a year won’t necessarily incentivize people to stay engaged. First, you need to make sure your loyalty rewards overcome the “trivialization effect,” meaning buyers actually find them valuable and gratifying.

It’s a good idea to reward shoppers for more than just making purchases. You can provide people points and recognition for a wide variety of activities, from making a post on social media to leaving a review, or referring a friend. However, you end up structuring your loyalty program, make sure it leaves your customers feeling genuinely appreciated and motivated to return for future purchases.

 

Take Advantage of Re-Engagement Marketing

Customers won’t always come back of their own accord, even if they had a good experience the first time around. Sometimes they need a nudge. Re-engagement marketing is just as crucial as acquisition marketing, like sending users a personalized email recommending products that are complementary to those they bought from you the first time around. You can also ask customers to take a short survey in exchange for a reward, which encourages them to revisit your site. Serving retargeting ads to past shoppers is another way to keep your brand top of mind.

 

Why Retention Is Vital in Ecommerce

Repeat customers are the backbone of any sustainable ecommerce business. As Econsultancy reports, the probability of selling to a new potential customer is five to 20 percent, but the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70 percent. Repeat customers simply have a higher lifetime value, which affects your bottom line.

If you can figure out how to turn ecommerce shoppers into repeat customers, you’ll see better returns on your marketing efforts and higher profit margins.

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Understanding the GDPR: What We Know at the End of 2018

Since the GDPR act was unveiled in May, it has led many companies to rethink and restructure the way they outreach and communicate with their current and prospective audiences. The new, stricter guidelines left many companies in the dark about how it will affect their businesses.

There are three main reasons why you should care about the GDPR:

  1. Failing to comply will result in fines
  2. Even if you’re outside of Europe, it’s likely you will need to comply
  3. Your customer database will be more accurate

Ultimately, companies and businesses have had two years to bring their policies up to date, but complying with the changes hasn’t been easy for everyone. Some companies have opted down the route of emailing their customers about the changes to their terms and services, whereas others have had to shut down traffic from certain audiences. For example, the Chicago Tribune had to bar certain regions from entering their website because their website did not comply with European GDPR guidelines.

Who Does the GDPR Affect?

Understanding who the GDPR will affect and how can often be confusing, given the amount of misleading and often inaccurate information online. The ICO is the only source of information that you need to follow regarding the rules and regulations of the GDPR.

So, the information below has been taken straight from ICO and Elizabeth Denham, the Information Commissioner in the UK, to help shed some light on who the GDPR affects and what you can do to adhere to its guidelines.

Personal data – this affects all information that can be used to identify someone. This includes:

  •     Names
  •     Emails
  •     Titles (careers)
  •     Locations

This also applies to both automated and manual data and even pseudonymous or key-coded data. In essence, if your business or service collects information that has the power to specifically identify someone, then GDPR will apply to you.

Email Marketing – if you rely on collecting customer’s email addresses in order to contact them, then you’re going to need to rethink the way you do that.

For example, if you’re an IT company and you want to inform people that you have a sale on, you’re going to have to prove your customers have specifically stated they’re happy to be contacted by you. Simply put, this means you will have to gain their permission in order to contact them.

There are various ways you can do this, the most popular method is by sending an online form to fill out with checkboxes. This means the recipient(s) of this email have to consciously tick a box if they would like to be contacted by you (the boxes, by default, will always be unticked). If your customer fails to respond to your email, it will be seen as dismissive and you will have no right to contact them.

Failing to abide by this rule will result in a fine or penalty depending on the severity if the action.

Understanding Charities and GDPR

One of the more controversial issues that stemmed from the GDPR was its effect on charities.

Several charities have misunderstood what the rules of the GDPR, leading them to email their donors asking them if they can still contact them, or ‘opt-in’ to their subscription service. The problem is that they never had to do this. Charitable organisations, for the most part, can still contact their donors because they fall under what the GDPR has categorised as ‘legitimate interest’ (direct mail also falls under this rule). This is a ruling that basically allows charities to keep hold of donors’ information, legally. Adrian Beney offers a simple example of how legitimate interest works:

“Here’s what we intend to do with your data. You can tell us if you’d prefer us not to”.

In contrast to consent:

        “Here’s what we would like to do with your data. Tell us if that’s OK”.

This has led to several charities losing thousands of donors because they did not read or at least understand the rules of the GDPR. Charities that chose to take the ‘opt-in’ route inevitably lost donors because not everyone will have responded, meaning these donors can no longer be contacted.

Flybe, Morrisons and Honda Have Been Fined

Big corporations have been tripped up by the GDPR regulations by failing to follow fairly simple guidelines regarding unsubscribed customers.

Flybe sent an email with the subject line “Are your details correct?” a smart and innocent way to get people to respond. However, Flybe sent that email to 3.3 million people that had already opted out and were consequently hit with a £70,000 fine.

Honda were also fined £13,000 after they emailed 290,000 people who had opted out of their marketing emails. Morrisons, in a similar incident, emailed 290,000 people regarding their new “Match and More” point scheme, but 131,000 people of that 290,000 had already opted out. This set Morrison’s back £10,500.

Ultimately, GDPR will be good for businesses because of the way it’s made us think about our online data and privacy policies. It’s forced us to think a bit more about who, online, has access to our data and how it’s being used. You could argue that several business have been exploiting our data for years, but now the GDPR is putting a stop to that.

Additionally, because customers now have to ‘opt-in’ to receiving marketing emails, businesses will lose all of the ‘false’ customers they had collected over the years. This means that when they’re correlating data, they can be sure that every customer is legitimate and isn’t simply a name on the mailing list that’s been dormant for months or even years.

Tips for Successful Conference Networking

In order to do well in any industry, you need to know and have the support of the right people. No matter how independently you work, people are the key to success in every endeavor. Although chance encounters do occur, you don’t always meet the right people at the right time.

However, you can increase these chances by setting up a booth at a conference specific to your niche. With different influencers in your industry congregated in the same area as you, the odds will be more in your favor for developing these mutually beneficial relationships.

Being at the right place doesn’t necessarily mean all these things will happen, though. You’ll need the networking and conversational skills to back you up when you meet a potential customer or partner at a conference too (even if you’re a bit more on the introverted side). Here’s what you need to know to up your conference networking game.

Don’t Skimp on Booth Design

A lot can be said about a person by the way they design their booth. When you have a booth at a conference, how your setup looks is just as important as your own wardrobe. No one will want to start a conversation with you if you look like you put no effort in your appearance.

The same is true for your booth. If you put little work into the aesthetics of your booth design, you won’t attract many people — especially if it looks like it was made the night before or is bland in style. In order to catch people’s attention, you’ll need booth banners and a striking design to flag people down.

Remember, your banner and booth materials are an extension of your brand. If anything is incongruent with your brand image, people will be confused about who you are and what you’re doing at the conference. So double check the colors and and fonts you use match the same ones as your business and other marketing materials; you always want to be more proactive than reactive.

Keep things simple and easy to read as well by designing your booth in a way that showcases what your business is about. Don’t let your message get lost in a cluttered design. Also have your audience in mind when creating your booth and banner.

Use graphics and language that appeal to your target audience so that your setup is the one they’re attracted to the most. Look into applied psychology and color theory, too, and see which shades and hues communicate the message you want your company to evoke while still being pleasing to the eye.

Have size in mind as well and make sure the promotional materials you use are large enough to catch a crowd’s attention while still conforming to the size restrictions of your booth area. Placing your booth in a good light doesn’t hurt either by utilizing lighting equipment that accentuates your display and brings attention to areas you want people to see most.

Overall Best Conference Practices

Once you’re at a conference, it won’t do hoping for the best that the right people will come to your booth. You need to prepare and devise a plan to best utilize your time at the conference. By first seeing what the conference’s schedule is, prioritizing and managing your time for the workshops and panels you want to attend will be that much easier.

Also see which topics will be discussed and which speakers were invited so you can do further research on the two to increase your chances of forming a connection with the influencers speaking and attending. You may not be able to do everything you want at the conference, so determine which events are a priority and which can be missed if you don’t have the time.

Have someone man your booth at all times as well so that your station is not left unattended while you visit various events. It helps to familiarize yourself with the location of the conference and where each activity will occur too. Knowing how long it will take to walk to certain panels and workshops will help you determine which ones you can get to in time, and having a familiar idea of where the conference is and where you can park will ensure you’ll arrive on time.

Don’t forget to schedule in break times for rest and food yourself, either. You won’t be impressing anyone if you’re exhausted or your stomach’s growling through a whole conversation. Speaking of conversations, leave some time for exchanges with other attendees as well since the whole point of you being there is to network.

If you have questions about what you should wear, look at past conference pictures on their website to get a feel for what the dress code is. You’ll want to be comfortable since you’ll be on your feet for a good portion of the day. Check the weather as well so you can plan your outerwear accordingly. Layering up is another good idea since different rooms can be set at different temperatures.

Lastly, consider other items you will need to bring with you to the conference such as a laptop, chargers, pen and paper, and business cards.

Talk the Talk

Once you have a plan of attack, you need to brush up on your networking skills. As you can see, networking is one of the top ways agencies drum up new business.

That being said, there are a lot of people vying for the same relationships you want to cultivate, so it’s up to you to distinguish yourself from the rest. Do this by being more eager to help the other person rather than having them assist you. Showing a genuine interest in the other person will make your more noticeable than a person who only asks for what they want.

Networking isn’t a one-sided relationship. It takes the efforts of two people trying to connect with one another. So be a good listener and ask them questions about themselves. Honesty is truly the best policy when it comes to networking, so speak the truth about yourself to build a solid foundation of trust between you and your contact.

Be consistent with who you are as a person both professionally and personally as well. People have a knack for discovering inconsistencies when talking with a person. Getting caught in an untruth can seriously damage a budding connection.

Also remember to continue the conversion long after the first encounter by consistently following up with them. A true networking relationship only grows and prospers if you put in the work to stay in contact with them.

Take Advantage of Hiring Opportunities

Although you may be going to a conference to form beneficial business connections, don’t forget to network with people who want to form connections with you as well. Especially when you’re hiring your first employees, it’s important to start your hiring process right by recruiting the best and brightest first instead of ones who will just do for now.

The kind of people you hire in the beginning will ultimately encourage or halt the progress of your company altogether. Hiring has a domino effect in that the employees you hire will recommend and attract other employees like them to your company, so it’s best to give yourself a good headstart and hire the most qualified candidates you can find.

Individuals attending conferences will most likely have the qualities you want in an employee, so keep your eyes open for potential hires at these events. It’s good to think in the long-term when considering a prospective employee as well since your business will have to deal with the consequences — negative or positive — of each hire you take on.

You will have to be the judge whether or not the skill sets a person possesses will benefit you just now or many years down the road. It’s also important that you like the person you’re thinking about offering a position to. Company culture is a key part to business success.

If people are miserable with the coworkers they have to collaborate with, this will only lead to setbacks for your company. After all, why would you want to hire someone you don’t like? Employees also work their best and come up with their most innovative ideas if their work environment makes them feel comfortable and encourages research and development that way of thinking. According to HR Gazette, “48% of human resources and recruiters and managers believe that technology helps them make better decisions.” 

Even with the best intentions, many startups and companies fail — but that doesn’t mean failure has to happen to you too. Attending and setting up a booth at a conference is a great way to find lasting and beneficial connections.

However, you can’t just walk in and expect great results to happen. By investing in your booth design, putting together a conference game plan, and brushing up in your networking skills, you will form relationships that will help you and your company progress far into the future.

7 Ways to Become a More Successful Recruiter

7 Ways to Become a More Successful Recruiter

7 Ways to Become a More Successful Recruiter

How to become a more successful recruiter is a major concern of today’s modern recruiters.

The war for talent is raging on, and recruiters are facing new challenges. Do you have what it takes to thrive in today’s highly-competitive recruiting industry?

What makes a successful recruiter?

Recruiting industry has been going through a period of immense change in the last few years.

Unlike before, today’s labor market is completely candidate-driven.

According to research, 90% of recruiting professionals think that today’s labour market is candidate driven.

Candidate-driven-market

Consequently, finding and hiring ideal job candidates, especially those with in-demand skills, has become an extremely hard, expensive and time-consuming endeavor.

As the “War for talent” is getting more and more intense, recruiters are faced with new challenges which have changed the way we recruit.

The recruiters who are ready to embrace these new challenges will be successful, while the others will be left behind.

How to become a more successful recruiter?

In order to successfully tackle these new challenges and get ahead in the talent game, recruiters must adopt new recruiting strategies, tactics and tools.

Here is the list of the 7 most important recruiting strategies that will help you become a more successful recruiter.

1. Build talent pools

Gone is the time when you could post your job opening on a job board and wait for a great candidate to come to you.

Why?

Because only active job seekers visit job boards.

The war for talent is raging on, so your best job candidates are passive job seekers. These passive job seekers are candidates who aren’t actively looking for a new job, but would be willing to accept a better offer.

73% of candidates are passive job seekers who are not actively looking for new job opportunities.

passive-candidates

In order to become a more successful recruiter, you need to go out there and proactively source and attract these passive job seekers. You need to become a talent sourcing pro.

You can’t afford to wait for the new positions to open to start recruiting.

You need to constantly build pools with great talent.

That way you will have the perfect candidates even before you have a new job opening!

2. Focus on candidates

When job market was employer driven, it made sense to focus on the wishes, wants and needs of employers.

But things have changed.

Now the job market is candidate driven, so you have to focus on your candidates.

In order to become a more successful recruiter, you have to focus on candidate’s wants and needs, hopes and fears. You need to understand what candidates are looking for from employers.

Why is this important?

First, when you know what really motivates your candidates, you can use that knowledge to attract them. You can turn your company’s employee value proposition (EVP) into a real magnet for attracting candidates.

Second, getting to know your candidates on a deeper level can help you build and maintain relationships not only with current, but also past and potential future candidates.

You will excel at candidate relationship management and build better talent pools.

Finally, you can encourage candidate engagement and significantly improve candidate experience.

candidate-experience-recruiting-tool

3. Utilize specialized recruiting software

Today’s technology offers a great variety of specialized recruiting software which can automate, streamline and improve different stages of your recruiting process.

There are modern HR tools that offer all-in-one solution for finding attracting, engaging, nurturing and converting candidates into job applicants.

Adopting these tools will give you a huge competitive advantage in the war for talent.  

Benefits-oF-using-an-applicant-tracking-system-ATS

Before getting a recruiting tool,  you should first identify your recruiting goals and challenges.

This way, you will be able to better understand if you need solutions offered by Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) or solutions offered by Recruitment Marketing Software.

4. Use data-driven approach

To become a more successful recruiter, you need to make better and more informed recruiting decisions.

You can do that based on the data form your recruiting software.

By tracking and reviewing the most important recruiting metrics, such as time to hire, cost to hire and quality of hire, you can get a clear and precise, data-backed evaluation of your recruiting efforts.

HR-guide-recruiting-metrics

Based on insights that you get form data, you can adjust your recruiting strategies to improve your ROI.

For example, if your data shows that your best job candidates come from referrals, you can stop wasting your money on job boards.

In other words, you can save your time and money by investing in the channels that bring the best results.

5. Use social recruiting

When we say social recruiting, you probably think of posting your job ads on Facebook. Everybody does that these days. If you want to stand out and attract top talent, you need to go a lot further.

In order to become a more successful recruiter, you need to become aware of the power that social media networks hold, and be quick to utilize it.

Social recruiting goes beyond posting current vacant jobs ads on your company’s social network profiles.

recruiting-trend-social-recruiting

You can use social recruiting to proactively search for potential candidates, build relationships with them and encourage them to apply to your vacant job positions.

6. Use employee referrals

To become a more successful recruiter, you have to set up a structured employee referral program.

By using a structured employee referral program, you can find talented people with the help of existing employees. You ask existing employees to recommend candidates from their networks, and you offer them employee referral awards in return.

employee-referrals-stats

Employee referral program is your best bet for finding and hiring the ideal job candidate and improving the most important hiring metrics such as time and cost per hire, quality of hire and employee retention.

7. Use marketing tactics

In order to become a more successful recruiter, you need to start using marketing tactics to attract talent. This new trend of using marketing tactics in recruiting is called Recruitment Marketing.

The main goal of Recruitment Marketing is to drive talent to apply for the open positions. In other words, it makes talent come to you.

In order to achieve this goal, you need to develop inventive Employer Branding strategies to build a picture of your company as a desirable employer.

Another important method for attracting top talent is Inbound Recruiting. Inbound Recruiting is a method of creating targeted, branded content to attract and engage talent.

This content needs to be informative and useful for talented professionals you want to attract. It can come in different forms, such as company’s career blog, team blogging about interesting projects, employer branding videos, interesting social media posts, employee stories and career advice.

If you’re looking for some inspiration and best practice examples, check out these great Employer Branding ideas.

Are you ready to become a more successful recruiter?

The above mentioned recruiting strategies are created in order to overcome new challenges in the recruiting industry.

If you follow this 7 recruiting strategies, we guarantee you will upgrade your hiring game, get better results and become a more successful recruiter!

Marketing Technology: How to Modernize Your Advertising

Marketing Technology: How to Modernize Your Advertising

Online platforms have revolutionized the marketing industry and have proven to be quite the game changer for advertising products. However, marketing tools are constantly evolving, so it is important for companies to always update their strategy by keeping up with the latest gadgets and software tools.

To take the brand to the next level, a business should apply diverse marketing services that focus on different aspects. Traditional methods focused on television and radio commercials as well as newspaper ads or simply putting marketing material in a mailbox and hoping for the best do not work anymore.

Though advertising via television can still have some impact, there are numerous digital marketing strategies that can have a more direct and closer influence on the public.

Modernize Your Advertising Strategy

Marketing technology offers several ways for the business to be seen on the digital media. First of all, it is crucial to build a website that provides information about the company which can be easily found via smartphone.

Around 50% of mobile searches end with a purchase, not to mention the benefits of tablet and computer browsing, but you need to make sure that your site comes up on the first search engine results page. This is why you should hire an expert or a Digital marketing company for search engine optimization (SEO).

To make the brand stand out from the others, create a creative and memorable business logo and use visually attractive colors. Visual aids are 43% more effective, as 90% of our knowledge is influenced by them. Alluring images and videos improves the business campaign and attracts more customers.

Another helpful way to start with online advertising is by posting ads on popular social media sites. For creating a successful social strategy, your marketing team should be familiar with each platform and focus on engaging your target audience. Following are the most popular social media websites:

  • Facebook – The biggest social platform with a billion active users. An excellent opportunity to connect with people from all over the world and make a global impact.
  • Twitter – For sharing updates, images, videos and links. It is one of the top 10 websites in the United States, with over 300,000,000 active users.
  • Instagram & Pinterest – Two excellent social media platforms for sharing photo and video content.
  • YouTube – With over a billion users, YouTube is a great way to spread your brand message via video marketing, offer tutorials and other useful information and make money along the way.
  • Snapchat – This app is specifically designed for mobile devices, with content disappearing after 24 hours. The application gives you the chance to see how many specific users have viewed the post, while the pressure of polished content is removed as the post disappears at the end of the day.

Get More Involved

After completing the initial steps, now is time to engage with your audience. Using the latest marketing technology is not just about promoting the business, but also being involved with the customers.

A company should pay attention to the language it uses in its branding and the message it sends, and there are several steps for developing a better connection with social media platform users:

  1. Not every post should be about the business – The message can get lost if the network is jammed with continuous posts about your business offerings. The company needs to be involved with the community and share valuable content to keep the interest of the followers.  
  2. Share the expertise – People love eye-openers. Provide and share the knowledge and helpful facts on interesting topics. Provide a better insight on the business and its message. Encourage people to vote, leave feedback and ask questions.
  3. Online reviews and ratings – Create a profile on review sites. Based on the online reviews and overall rating, a company can thrive or sink. It gives added value to established businesses and a unique opportunity to gain insight on customer demands. In addition, if the rating is high, it is a great form of social proof that can be shared on other social media to boost your reputation.
  4. Facebook live – Streaming live special events make your loyal customers feel like they are a part of a community and that their favorite brand values their opinion.
  5. Business organizations – Organizing events covered with by both online and traditional media and news will raise the company’s presence, as well as improve the moral of the employees.

Helpful Tools of Marketing Technology

Although adopting the cutting-edge tools of marketing technology may seem intimidating, they are actually a precious commodity. Depending on the business model, whether it is B2B (selling products or services business to business) or B2C (business to customer), there are software products applicable for every category:

  • Marketing automation – Repetitive tasks such as social media marketing and website maintenance can be simplified by use of marketing automation.
  • Tag Management – A tag manager can enhance your online marketing performance by including numerous tags on trending websites.
  • CDN (Content Delivery Network) – Ensures a faster online respond and downloading time for customers.  
  • DMP (Data Management Platform) – An excellent software tool for storing information.
  • CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) – A program for organizing and synchronizing marketing, sales, technical and customer support.
  • Analytics & Tracking – Track the overall business performance and all of the latest developments.
  • SEO – Search engine optimization for positioning your site near the top of the first page in SERPs.
  • Mobile Optimization – For creating an easy-to-navigate website for increasing smartphones purchases.
  • Remarketing – The same ads popping up on different websites for attracting the people who already searched for your or a similar company’s products.
  • Email Marketing – For sending periodical business offerings and valuable content directly to your customers’ email.

In this day and age, a company must use cutting-edge marketing technology to stay on top and keep up with the competition. It is crucial for a solid business plan to include the means that will improve the quality and performance of your online marketing.

Staying in tune with your customers helps to spread your unique brand message and raise awareness about your company. In addition, it creates a good impression, which will attract potential customers. 

Real-life Employer Branding Ideas

employer-branding

Employer Branding ideas are essential for building a strong and attractive employer brand. Many firms have started investing more in their employer branding strategy so I decided write about some real-life employer branding ideas and strategies. HubSpot and Facebook have mastered their employer branding and recruitment marketing efforts, and here is how!

Why is employer branding important?

The concept of employer branding has become one of the most popular topics in the world of Talent Acquisition. Demand for talent is getting bigger, and supply is getting smaller every day. Naturally, the market is suffering from a big talent shortage, which has resulted in the “War for Talent”.

employer-branding-attracting-candidates

Because all the changes in the HR and tech industries, the way we recruit has changed. Still, many companies are still sitting steal thinking that there is nothing to be done to attract talent.

Wrong!

Employer branding ideas and methods

To make employer branding as a recruiting strategy clearer, I decided to give you some real-life examples and ideas from the industry leaders. Use these brilliant employer branding ideas, and try them out in your own recruiting strategies.

Employer branding through social media

Social Media is a simple, fast and affordable way to target the right people and spread the word out. Similarly to product and service marketing efforts, social media can be used in Employer Branding and Recruitment Marketing strategies.

HubSpot on Instagram

employer-branding-on-instagram.png

This is Hubspot’s post that grabbed people’s attention just a few hours after it was posted. Why is this post so special? Why is it considered a part of their Employer Branding and Recruitment Marketing strategy?

First of all, right below the business name, there is a tag line “My Happy Place” that immediately sends a positive message about the workplace. If you read what the post is about, you will find out that it is all about making their employees feel better.

Looking at their hashtags, you can see that they really made sure that this post gets to the right people- sales people and marketers. Finally, they encourage other candidates to engage and give them tips for staying motivated. In just one post, HubSpot used some of the best recruitment marketing strategies.

employer-branding-through-social-media.png

Look at this post!

I know that not all of you have games and beer at work! However, many modern workplaces encourage fun times and games at work.

Even though you may not offer the same thing, I believe, and hope that, there is something your employees love doing besides sitting at the table and working. If so, capture the moment and share it on social media. Don’t forget to encourage your employees to do the same. They are your best brand ambassadors.

When promoting on social media, it is important to know who your candidate persona is. This way, you can make vetz targeted messages towards your ideal candidates.

Need help defining your ideal candidate, here is our guide to define a candidate persona.

Employer branding through Glassdoor

Websites such as Glassdoor are a great source of information about employers from all over the world. People go there to learn more about companies, their cultures, pay, positions, job descriptions, and most importantly, current employees’ opinions and reviews.

If you are struggling to find the right candidates, get a listing on websites such as Glassdoor and encourage your employees to write about you. At the end of the day, your current employees are your best brand advocates!

To understand the importantce of employer branding on Glassdoor, let me share a few stats from surveys done by Glassdoor and Allegis Group:

  • 69% are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand (e.g., responds to reviews, updates their profile, shares updates on the culture and work environment). -Glassdoor
  • 76% want details on what makes the company an attractive place to work. -Glassdoor
  • Top five pieces of information job seekers want employers to provide as they research where to work: 1) Salary/compensation, 2) Benefits, 3) Basic company information, 4) What makes it an attractive place to work, 5) Company mission, vision, values. -Glassdoor
  • 69% would not take a job with a company that had a bad reputation, even if they were unemployed! -Allegis Group Services Study
  • 84% would consider leaving their current jobs if offered another role with a company that had an excellent corporate reputation. And most in $75-100K salary range would only require a 1-10% salary increase to consider such a move -Allegis Group Services Study
  • 84% of companies believe a clearly defined strategy is key to achieving employer branding objectives -Employer Brand International Global Research Study

Facebook on Glassdoor

facebook-on-glassdoorglassdoor-employer-branding-ideas

What is great about this job ad is that candidates can find tons of useful information about the company and position. This is one of their current employee’s testimonials. It is completely transparent. This is important because, to find the perfect job candidate, both pros and cons should be disclosed.

This particular employee says: “If you don’t like data, don’t come here!” If you are looking for a perfect match for your company and job opening, let the candidates know what would make them your candidate persona.

Employer branding through referrals

When looking for good employer branding and recruitment marketing ideas, always start with your own employees. Employee referrals are structured programs in which companies use existing employees’ talent networks.  

Research has proved many times that employee referral programs help improve many recruiting KPIs.

employee-referrals-employer-branding

But why is a referral program considered employer branding and recruitment marketing method?

The answer is simple- they strengthen your employer brand and reputation. When your employee wants to recommend someone for an open position, they talk to those candidates first. Trust me, these are mostly nice words about you as an employer and your Employee Value Proposition.

On their ‘Refer a Dev‘ webpage, HubSpot explains how much they love and need awesome software developers. If you refer such a developer to them, and HubSpot ends up hiring them, you’ll be rewarded with a paycheck or some other type of referral bonuses.

Already have a referral program? Check out these referral reward ideas!

Employer branding through inbound recruiting

Inbound recruiting is one of the newest HR strategies used to attract talented people. The main purpose of an inbound recruiting strategy is to, through relevant and useful content, get to the people that would best fit your company’s jobs and culture.

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Inbound strategy is a long-term solution for filling hard-to-fill roles. In the example below, you can see a blog post of an interview with 3 data scientists at Facebook. This blog is posted in Facebook’s career site, and it talks about their personal experiences as data scientists at Facebook.

Do you have interesting projects your company is working on? If so, these are likely to attract passionate and motivated people who want to grow their careers. You just have to have a strategic way to communicate your story with them.

Employer branding through career site

Your career page isn’t just a place to post your jobs – it is a place to attract high-quality applicants and sell them your job opportunities.

Candidates don’t apply immediately after hearing about a job. Instead, 59% look up the company’s website. Sixty six percent want to know about your company’s culture and values, 54% about perks and benefits, and 50% about mission and vision. -2016 Global Talent Trends

Check out Facebook’s career site.

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Do you see how their career site is used to attract ambitious people who want to make a difference? They really make their site a goldmine of meaningful content attractive to many job seekers.

Here are some more ideas for career site optimization.

Employer branding through video advertising

As video is the best way for delivering messages in marketing, it is now also widely used in recruitment marketing. Social media and internet users are just more likely to watch videos than read. Use video to record employee testimonials, and put them on your career site.

Make a video of your workplace, and share it on social media. Include videos on your job ads and on job boards. Since Google likes videos, these will reach much more audience than images and plain text.

I know this post is about Facebook and HubSpot, but I had to include this video from Dropbox!

Employer branding through job descriptions

There are no words to explain how important your job descriptions are for attracting high-quality job applicants. The goal of every job description is to mirror your candidate personas’ dream jobs, cultures and workplaces.

Same as you want to attract people with best fit, candidates want to find their perfect jobs. Explaining your company culture, EVP should be part of every job description. Precise requirement, duties, skills and characteristics should be listed.

Before writing a job description, do a research on which keywords people are using when looking for job opportunities. Use these keywords and include them in your job descriptions as Google will award you for that by ranking you higher on job search results.

To save time, we have made some editable job description templates for you.

Employer branding through talent community and recruiting events

Another great way for building your talent pool with high-quality job candidates is through talent community and recruiting events. Many employers have found this one of the best ways for finding people with the perfect match for their companies.

In a recent conversation with a few HR managers from fast growing companies, I found out about a few interesting ways to organize talent community events.

If you, for example, struggle to hire people with certain IT skills, think about creating a workshop where your IT professionals will educate students or anyone else interested in this area. Share your event on social media platforms, your career sites, do some paid advertising to increase your ad impressions and do a highly-targeted campaign.

HubSpot has a great strategy for building their talent community. For example, they have live online webinars about New Hire Training at HubSpot. Anyone can join the live event, and learn about how does the onboarding and training look at HubSpot. They are well known for having great training programs, and this is what attracts people.

talent-community-employer-branding

Talent communities and events are great ways to meet people interested in your company. This way you can find out about their skills, personalities and knowledge.

Employer branding through Candidate Relationship Management

Connecting with candidates at the point when you have a new job opening is an old an inefficient recruiting strategy. Today, it is necessary to engage with talent way before that.

This is one of the most productive ways for building your talent pool with high-quality job candidates. Companies that use this approach are much more successful in reducing their time and cost per hire, improving quality of hire and reducing employee turnover rates.

Why?

Talent that ends up in your talent pool through candidate relationship management and inbound recruiting methods, are candidates with the best cultural fit. They are your ideal candidates or candidate personas.

If you have a career blog, don’t just finish there. Allow your readers to opt in to a newsletter. Share useful tips and stories from your company through targeted email campaigns. Even if they are not ready to apply yet, you have the opportunity to connect with them and convert them into applicants later.

Remember, candidates are like customers. It takes as much research and touch-point for candidates to apply as it takes for customers to purchase. You need to make sure that you are delivering an exceptional and unique experience through all these touch-points.

Using a recruitment marketing platform for employer branding

All these steps seem complicated and very time consuming. They are, if you are not using the right tools. Recruitment marketing tools such as TalentLyft can help you implement your recruitment marketing and employer branding strategies.

With tools like this, you can easily create a well optimized career site, optimize your job descriptions, streamline your referral programs, and significantly improve relationships with candidates and improve candidate experience and candidate engagement.

If you are not sure if you need a tool like this, here’s our guide for buying a recruiting tool.

White Chalkboard Writing | Social Media

6 Social Media Behaviors to Avoid in 2017

As of January 2017, Social Media has garnered over 2.8 billion active users worldwide, making it one of the largest congregations of the world’s population. This has made social media become a premier platform for businesses and marketers to extensively conduct their marketing plans. In fact, ignoring the impact that social media has on today’s marketing trends and strategies is a surefire way to see your business lose a good chunk of the audience that it could’ve had.

As an avenue that promotes the freedom of expression, it can be quite easy for brands to be the voice of the population given that they have the courage to project a relatable personality – like how Wendy’s has been known for in recent months – but it’s also just as easy to turn away audiences and make them skip to the next competitor. A big factor that should be taken into consideration for an account’s obscurity lies in the mistakes that they may have committed with their online presence.

Social Sprout’s survey of more than a thousand Facebook, Instagram and Twitter users found that there are six major social media mistakes that anyone – businesses especially – that can be prone to committing at any given point when you become complacent or careless with social media. They can result to you losing followers quickly.

Of course, this does not mean that committing any one of them is a signed deal into the land of obscurity for your business’ social media, but it’s still important to realize that they may, given the right amount of persuasion over repeated mistakes, decrease in time due to these mistakes.

Here are the key takeaways from this infographic by CJG Digital Marketing on the six mistakes to avoid for social media this year:

  1. Having too many promotional messages
  2. Posting irrelevant information
  3. Tweeting too much
  4. Using slang/jargon awkwardly
  5. Being too quiet
  6. Not replying to messages

Learn more by checking out this infographic by CJG Digital Marketing:

6 Social Media Behaviors to Avoid in 2017 | Infographics from CJG Digital Marketing


If you want to share this infographic the reference to CJG Digital Marketing and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

Why Waste Time When It Comes to Hiring?

Why Waste Time When It Comes to Hiring?

Recruitment Tray

2016 was pretty big when it came to politics, technology and of course; celebrity deaths. So it’s quite easy to see how you may have gotten distracted with what was happening in recruitment – you’re only human.

Now that we’re half way into 2017, it’s clear to see what technology trends are shaping the way the recruitment landscape is advancing. Technology is becoming an important part of our everyday lives and it’s use in how we work should be no different.

Where do you start?

At a first glance, the amount of resource out there may seem intimidating (and at times, gratuitous). Continuous innovation is great, but can feel overwhelming when in a company that still relies on traditional methods.

Which is why i’ve put together five trends which are not just popular, but also actionable. Hopefully helping you to cut through the endless supposition out there, and provide you with ideas you can get started with today. And in a role where onboarding new staff is a time-consuming (and sometimes, dated) process, it’s important that you up-skill to avoid inefficiencies creeping into your daily routine.

5 technology trends for recruitment

  1. Embrace social profiles as applications
    Ease of application needs to be paramount as we continue to move into 2017. Your potential candidates live on social. Aberdeen Group have found that 73% of 18-34 year olds have found their most recent job through social media[1]. It’s where they will look for your roles and it’s the easiest way to interact with them. By making it so your applicants can auto-fill their information from their LinkedIn or Facebook profile to your applications, you’re streamlining a process that can usually be seen as repetitive and time consuming. The easier you make it for them, the more likely they are to complete the application. This also gives you insight into their personal profiles, keeping your system’s information up to date.
  2. Mobile recruiters
    Year on year mobile use has been growing[2], which means the majority of your applicants will be using a mobile device to search for your roles. and having a mobile optimised site won’t be enough to support your potential candidates preferred ways of applying. As applicants will need to upload files, like their CV’s, covering letters or forms of ID to register their interest, the mobile experience needs to ensure it’s catering to this. Linking properly with sites such as Google Drive or Dropbox will keep the process short and smooth and the amount of required questions to a minimum will mean applicant’s return to your site in the future.
  3. Video recruitment
    The rise in use of video in business has steadily grew over the course of 2016 and has continued to increase even more in 2017. Utilising video interviews will benefit recruiters hugely concerned with reducing the amount of time spent interviewing candidates in the early stages of high-volume recruitment campaigns. As video interviews can be conducted remotely, recruiters can much easier cater to applicants schedules, and therefore allocate time easier, whilst still being able to identify high calibre candidates. And by reducing time spent finding suitable candidates, recruiters can focus more on developing suitable candidates for clients.
  4. Inbound recruitment marketing
    Recruitment tactics will need to start reflecting marketing tactics in order to attract the top talent as we move into the second half of 2017. And as the marketing sector has started to adopt; inbound tactics are proving to be more effective than previous outbound tactics. This should be done through content strategies that draw candidates to your company with pieces that reflect their interests and that they can identify with. Keep them easily accessible by sharing on platforms like social media.
  5. Updated internal processes
    Spending time hunting through piles of CV’s or application forms slows down response time in an age when most answers are a click away, and more importantly; expected to be a click away. Eliminating paper not only updates your methods and reduces the amount of paper your company consumes. It also reduces the time and money spent managing admin whilst protecting document from going missing, ensures your information is easily searchable and kept backed up in a centralised location. This can be achieved by adopting solutions such as electronic signatures for signing off documents, CRM systems specific to recruiters needs or social media management tools.

Initiate, improve and innovate!

So, try them out! By modernising your approach to hiring staff, you’re not only ensuring that your company isn’t wasting time, but you’re directly improving employee productivity and engagement whilst creating a better talent strategy, which inevitably helps your current and future team members.

About the Author:

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Jessie Davies is a Marketing Manager at Signable and also goes by the title “Content Queen”. Signable is an electronic signature platform that helps businesses get their documents finalised faster. As Content Queen she ensures that Signable’s customer’s resource for support, educational content and industry updates are always available and clear. Jessie also makes sure the Twitter feed is full of hilarious reaction gifs and sarcastic comments.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

References:

[1] Source - Millennial Job Search from Aberdeen Group: Getting Social Media Recruitment Right

[2] Source - Mobile Use Statistics, Smart Insights: Mobile Marketing Statistics Compilation

If you want to share this article the reference to Jessie Davies and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

How Machine Learning is Revolutionizing Digital Enterprises

How Machine Learning is Revolutionizing Digital Enterprises

According to the prediction of IDC Futurescapes, two-thirds of Global 2000 Enterprises CEOs will center their corporate strategy on digital transformation. A major part of the strategy should include machine-learning (ML) solutions. The implementation of these solutions could change how these enterprises view customer value and internal operating model today.

If you want to stay ahead of the game, then you cannot afford to wait for that to happen. Your digital business needs to move towards automation now while ML technology is developing rapidly. Machine learning algorithms learn from huge amounts of structured and unstructured data, e.g. text, images, video, voice, body language, and facial expressions. By that it opens a new dimension for machines with limitless applications from healthcare systems to video games and self-driving cars.

In short, ML will connect intelligently people, business and things. It will enable completely new interaction scenarios between customers and companies and eventually allow a true intelligent enterprise. To realize the applications that are possible due to ML fully, we need to build a modern business environment. However, this will only be achieved, if businesses can understand the distinction between Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).

Understanding the Distinction Between ML and AI

Machines that could fully replicate or even surpass all humans’ cognitive functions are still a dream of Science Fiction stories, Machine Learning is the reality behind AI and it is available today. ML mimics how the human cognitive system functions and solves problems based on that functioning. It can analyze data that is beyond human capabilities. The ML data analysis is based on the patterns it can identity in Big Data. It can make UX immersive and efficient while also being able to respond with human-like emotions. By learning from data instead of being programmed explicitly, computers can now deal with challenges previously reserved to the human. They now beat us at games like chess, go and poker; they can recognize images more accurately, transcribe spoken words more precisely, and are capable of translating over a hundred languages.

ML Technology and Applications for Life and Business

In order for us to comprehend the range of applications that will be possible due to ML technology, let us look at some examples available currently:

  • Amazon Echo, Google Home:
  • Digital assistants: Apple’s Siri, SAP’s upcoming Copilot

Both types of devices provide an interactive experience for the users due to Natural Language Processing technology. With ML in the picture, this experience might be taken to new heights, i.e., chatbots. Initially, they will be a part of the apps mentioned above but it is predicted that they could make text and GUI interfaces obsolete!

ML technology does not force the user to learn how it can be operated but adapts itself to the user. It will become much more than give birth to a new interface; it will lead to the formation of enterprise AI.

The limitless ways in which ML can be applied include provision of completely customized healthcare. It will be able to anticipate the customer’s needs due to their shopping history. It can make it possible for the HR to recruit the right candidate for each job without bias and automate payments in the finance sector.

Unprecedented Business Benefits via ML

Business processes will become automated and evolve with the increasing use of ML due to the benefits associated with it. Customers can use the technology to pick the best results and thus, reach decisions faster. As the business environment changes, so will the advanced machines as they constantly update and adapt themselves. ML will also help businesses arrive on innovations and keep growing by providing the right kind of business products/services and basing their decisions on a business model with the best outcome.

ML technology is able to develop insights that are beyond human capabilities based on the patterns it derives from Big Data. As a result, businesses would be able to act at the right time and take advantage of sales opportunities, converting them into closed deals. With the whole operation optimized and automated, the rate at which a business grows will accelerate. Moreover, the business process will achieve more at a lesser cost. ML will lead businesses into environs with minimal human error and stronger cybersecurity.

ML Use Cases

The following three examples show how ML can be applied to an enterprise model that utilizes Natural Language Processing:

  • Support Ticket Classification

Consider the case where tickets from different media channels (email, social websites etc.) needs to be forwarded to the right specialist for the topic. The immense volume of support tickets makes the task lengthy and time consuming. If ML were to be applied to this situation, it could be useful in classifying them into different categories.

API and micro-service integration could mean that the ticket could be automatically categorized. If the number of correctly categorized tickets is high enough, a ML algorithm can route the ticket directly to the next service agent without the need of a support agent.

  •  Recruiting

The job of prioritizing incoming applications for positions with hundreds of applicants can also be slow and time consuming. If automated via ML, the HR can let the machine predict candidate suitability by providing it with a job description and the candidate’s CV. A definite pattern would be visible in the CVs of suitable candidates, such as the right length, experience, absence of typos, etc. Automation of the process will be more likely to provide the right candidate for the job.

  • Marketing 

ML will help build logo and brand recognition for businesses in the following two ways:

  1. With the use of a brand intelligence app, the identification of logos in event sponsorship videos or TV can lead to marketing ROI calculations.
  2. Stay up to date on the customer’s transactions and use that behavior to predict how to maintain customer loyalty and find the best way to retain them.

How Enterprises Can Get Started Implementing Machine Learning

Businesses can step into the new age of ML and begin implementing the technique by letting the machines use Big Data derived from various sources, e.g. images, documents, IoT devices etc to learn. While these machines can automate lengthy and repetitive tasks, they can also be used to predict the outcome for new data. The first step in implementation of ML for a business should be to educate themselves about its nature and the range of its applications. A free openSAP course can help make that possible.

Another step that can bring a business closer to ML implementation is data preparation in complex landscapes. The era of information silos is over and there is an imperative need for businesses to gather data from various sources, such as customers, partners, and suppliers. The algorithms must then be provided open access to that data so they can learn and evolve. The Chief Data Officer of the company can oversee the ML integration process.

To start with completely new use cases for Machine Learning is not easy and requires a good understanding of the subject and having the right level of expertise in the company. A better starting point for many companies would be to rely on ML solutions already integrated into standard software. By that it will connect seamless with the existing business process and immediately start to create value.

Lastly, businesses should start gathering the components necessary for building AI products. Among the requirements would be a cloud platform capable of handling high data volume that is derived from multiple sources. The relevant people are as important to this step as are the technology and processes. After all, they would be the ones who will be testing the latest digital and ML technologies.

If you want more information on SAP Machine Learning, then go here to subscribe to the webinar on Enabling the intelligent Enterprise with Machine Learning.

The presenters include Dr. Markus Noga: VP Machine Learning Innovation Center Network, SAP SE. You can follow him on Twitter. Ronald van Loon is the other presenter for the webinar. Mr. van Loon is counted among the Top 10 Big Data expert and is an IoT Influencer. You can also follow him on Twitter.


Source: How Machine Learning is Revolutionizing Digital Enterprises | Ronald van Loon | Pulse | LinkedIn

How HR Tech Companies Should Build Their Sales Funnels To Create More Customers

How HR Tech Companies Should Build Their Sales Funnels To Create More Customers

How HR Tech Companies Should Build Their Sales Funnels To Create More Customers

When it comes to growing your HR Tech company, there are a million things that will come up as ideas and plans and “must-dos” in order to get more customers.

But it really comes down to this…

Building a systematic process that you can rely on that will turn strangers into happy, loyal, paying customers.

This is not easy, but as long as you know your customers and your product, it doesn’t have to be complicated. And the more “noise” that gets added to the conversation, the further you are going to get from creating your path to success.

Your company might be able to gain some initial traction from your existing networks and connections, and leveraging some sporadic word-of-mouth, or maybe the novelty of being new to the market, but that will only get you so far.

That’s where your system comes into play.

3 Stages Of Focus To Get You Customers

The 3 main questions to focus on for the highest impact are simple:

  1. How are we getting the attention of our target audience?
  2. How are we turning that audience into permission-based leads? (meaning they have signed up and self-qualified as an ideal customer and given you permission to build a relationship with them)
  3. How are we educating and motivating people to be excited to buy from us?

After those 3 things are accomplished, then you can build on top of them to grow at scale. But until you have these steps down and working profitably, you’ll be suffering from the dreadful sickness of Random Acts of Marketing. This leads to wasted time and money.

Not to fear! There is a simple cure…

A cure that will send out your dollars and efforts to bring back more of their friends. This cure is a systematic approach to launch, test, and improve your customer acquisition.

1. Getting Attention & Awareness

In this “top of the funnel” stage, you want to put yourself where your customers are hanging out and consuming information so that they start to find you and pay attention to what you have to say.

Online, this commonly takes place by publishing articles on your blog and then sharing them on social media using hashtags that are common for your industry. Then going out and connecting with your ideal customers on their preferred social media channels and striking up conversations with them with the main focus being to open a relationship and provide them value upfront.

As a byproduct, when you integrate SEO (Search Engine Optimization) into those blog posts, they’ll also help you start ranking on Google when people are searching common terms related to your products and services.

And with social media being the plumbing of today’s word of mouth, your blog content will help to fuel the sharing of people talking about you.

Get active in the online communities where your target customers are hanging out. Join in on the conversations and start adding value by listening and helping address the problems that they are having.

This activity will lead to visibility which will lead to opportunity.

2. Generating Permission-Based Leads

Now that you have their attention and your ideal customers are on your website (reading your blog posts), it’s time to move them along their customer journey and convert them from a visitor into a Lead.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are going to buy your brilliant product today, but it means they are a qualified candidate for becoming a great customer and successfully using your product.

Did you know that only 3% of a market is active buyers at any given time?

That means you need to focus on building those relationships with the other 97% so that when they become part of the 3% active buyers, you are there and ready and have already earned their trust and demonstrate your credibility.

This is how marketing is meant to be and how to make the sales process seamless.

3. Converting Leads Into Sales

You have driven awareness of your brand in your target market.

You’ve earned their attention.

You’ve gotten their permission to continuously provide them value before they become an active buyer.

Here is where you butter your bread.

With your follow up.

Once you have someone on your email list, it’s time to educate and motivate them, patiently and systematically, to meet with you when they are ready.

Send them messages regularly (at least once a week) that will add value to their life. Maybe that’s a quick email with a link to an article they’d find interesting, maybe it’s a new utility that will make their lives more convenient practically.

By sending out these emails, you are building a relationship with them so they Know, Like, and Trust you. The keys to making sales easy.

You’re also being persistent in a friendly way, so that when the time comes for them to move to their active buying stage, you are there with an easy way for them to get started.

Do You Have A System For Creating Customers?

By now, you should see the value in implementing a system for creating customers. Another byproduct that we didn’t touch on, but is very valuable, is that when you have a system, you can TEST what’s working and what’s not.

The elements in your system may not always be home runs. Most likely, very few will be. And it’s important to know this is not a one and done attempt. The system is reliable. The elements are what you need to test and improve.

Most social media ads fail on their first run, but that collects data for you to make the next campaign work. Maybe the original kind of blog posts you’re writing aren’t getting the attention of your audience. The offer you are making on your website might not convert a visitor into a Lead because it’s not intriguing or valuable enough from their perspective. Your email offers might not be irrefutable enough to motivate active buyers.

But when you have a system in place, you can see where there is a drop off and make improvements.

The system is the track to get your car on the road. Once you start driving, it’s easy to course correct.

But you can’t steer a parked car.

So take the time to focus on your 3 simple questions and put a system in place so that you can start testing and improving your customer acquisition and growing your HR Tech company more reliably and more profitably.


If you want to share this article the reference to Todd Giannattasio and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.