Facebook and Google in Reference Checks – What Employers Use to Research You

Increasingly employers admit to using social networking sites and search engines as tools in conducting reference checks in the employment process. Social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and search engines like Yahoo and Google have become very popular for employers to search and screen applicants.Business Justification.Why would employers bother using Google and Facebook to research potential applicants? Is it simply curiosity or is there real business justification? Many studies confirm the costs associated with the bad hiring decision. The cost of a turnover is estimated at twice the annual salary for particular position. The cost of a bad hire that stays with a company is even greater.Companies also have an interest to limit “potential liability” associated with a poor hire. For example, hiring someone who runs a website espousing racist views or illegal activities can represent a huge potential liability to any company. So there are many reasons why a company may choose these avenues to research a potential candidate or conduct a reference check.ApplicantsWith the ever increasing popularity of social networking sites and the omnipotent search engines like Google, personal information has never been easier to obtain. Recently, Facebook has opened up it’s site to search engines like Yahoo and Google. Despite the legal or moral concerns job seekers may have with employers using Google or Facebook to view their personal information and conduct employment reference checks, it would probably be wise for job seekers to be careful of what they post on the web.EmployersRegardless of technology, established employment law still applies. In many countries, there is specific legislation against discriminatory hiring practices. In Canada, the Human Rights Act protects individuals from discriminatory hiring practices on the basis of religion, race, gender, marital status, disability, and the so on. It is advisable for employers to be familiar with legislation and concepts like BFOR’s etc. For example, a company should not bypass an applicant, because the search engine results reveal that this applicant has a religious website. If employers are considering incorporating the use of search engines and social network sites in their screening and selection process, then be consistent in application while abiding by all established employment law. Consistency means that all applicants go through the same hiring process, that your policies should be applied consistently. For example if your company conducts criminal background checks as a condition of employment, then it should complete this step for all applicants not select ones because they look like a criminal. If employers have any concerns regarding their hiring policy it would be prudent to contact their Human Resources professional or labour lawyer.Lastly, as mentioned above, the business decision to employ search engines and networking sites to research potential employees is driven primarily by cost avoidance. That is employers are motivated to avoid the potential cost and liabilities of a poor hire. In this same logic, it would then also be important for employers to consider the impact on public perception and employee engagement in employing such policies. Since if employees and job seekers view using search engines and networking sites to research applicants as distasteful, then by doing so the employer would have defeated the purpose of the exercise.

Gadgets That Can Make Students More Productive

Computers and related gadgets have a potential of making lessons more interactive and interesting for students. This would make the student more productive.In modern times when the going is getting more competitive people are putting the pressure on the student fraternity to produce better results every day. This was not so in the past with the limited syllabus and the down to earth lessons that were incorporated in the curriculum. Gadgets.in has researched into the various gizmos and gadgets that are available in the market that will contribute to the students becoming more and more productive. First on the list is the iPod. This little gizmo is becoming a very convenient digital storage device. Students can use the cyber cafes to research their lessons and store the data on their iPods to retrieve at some later time. Other gadgets are not only the physical electronic gizmos in the market but also the various software students can use to make their studies easier.It is no secret that computers are a great tool that can enhance student productivity. Teachers can create presentations in a way to grasp the attention of the student and get the lesson across in a more efficient manner. The use of overhead projectors is another great way to deliver a lesson. Probably the best gadget of all would be the miniature computer, much like a laptop. These gadgets would engross students in their lessons and deliver lessons in a more interactive way making the lesson enjoyable and memorable for the student.

How Sales, Marketeing, Branding & Digital Dysfunction Are Dragging You Down

Getting sales and marketing to talk to each other may feel like torture, but it has never been more critical – especially for the more than 5 million mid-market industrial and B2B companies in the U.S.The digital age and a host of technology developments have exposed four major flaws in traditional B2B marketing practices:• Lack of coordination between brand, sales/marketing and digital activities• Dedication to sales at the expense of marketing• The slowness of firms to focus their online voice• Failure to recognize that the internet has changed the sales dynamicB2B companies are struggling to leverage the internet to sell and grow. Unlike consumer product companies, they’ve been slow off the mark in the digital race due a traditional but flawed rationale that branding and digital communications can’t really help their ‘relationship’ style of selling.What’s become glaringly obvious is that three core marketing functions – brand, sales/marketing and digital communications – don’t behave as if they have anything in common. Worse, they don’t work together to build equity, share of mind, customer loyalty, or sales for B2B enterprises.The open secret always was that sales and marketing were never really very integrated. In some firms, they didn’t even like or talk to each other. Not to mention that in many B2B firms, ‘sales and marketing’ actually means ‘sales.’But because the internet has made company ‘walls’ ever more transparent, there are few secrets. Employees complain, whistle blowers whistle, bloggers gossip, e-mails get forwarded, the news media investigates, and your customers actually know all about you – your product benefits and even your prices – before you ever hit their door. So what are you actually selling?When a company’s brand, its sales force, and its digital activity aren’t in lockstep, customers notice. At best, customers scratch their heads at this lack of coordination; at worst and more commonly, firms are losing credibility, customer satisfaction and opportunity because they can’t get their act together.In 2014, Forbes Insights published, Breaking Down Marketing Silos: The Key to Consistently Achieving Customer Satisfaction and Improving Your Bottom Line.Forbes noted that the challenges with marketing silos mean:1. Each silo may have its own brand vision, creating a disjointed experience and message for the customer.2. Team incentives may motivate some team members to exploit and damage the brand in order to boost short-term sales.3. Poorly integrated teams suffer from inadequate cooperation.4. Silo interests stand in the way of programs that require scaling.5. Key growth areas such as digital are not scaled because they are dispersed across silos.6. Success in one silo is leveraged slowly into others, or not at all.And not listed, but in the mix: Inconsistent customer experience across divisions and functions.The good news is that with the right market data, the marketing function is uniquely positioned to lead the charge for integration in the name of better service to the customer. Forbes pointed out why marketing is primed for a leadership role in integration:1. Marketing brings an outside point of view.2. Marketing can articulate the unique truth of the company and what differentiates it within the marketplace.3. Marketing can communicate the product and value-why products are relevant to customers in different ways, identifying segmentation in the market.4. Marketing creates compelling stories for rallying employees and making an emotional connection with customers.5. Marketing is a strategic seat at the table; there is no other department that can see such a company panorama and bring those perspectives together.To overcome the silo issue, the report concludes by offering best practices for CMO’s:1. Replace competition and isolation among silos with communication and cooperation.2. Consolidate when necessary.3. Act as a facilitator, establishing frameworks, encouraging collaboration through teams and knowledge hubs, and upgrading marketing talent.4. Think like a consultant: create company-wide insights, train marketing talent and participate in strategy development.5. Secure access to the C-suite. Teradata found that marketers with executive responsibilities are almost twice as likely as others to believe that there are no barriers to interdepartmental integration.6. Force integration. In Teradata’s study, marketers say the best way for marketing to become more intertwined with other functions is to set up integrated processes.For some firms, these are lofty marketing ideals. But there are practical steps smaller companies can take to force different thinking and action. But there are practical steps smaller companies can take to encourage different thinking and action. One is to use research and market data strategically – know the customer better than anyone else. A second step is to stop planning functionally and start planning via a ‘communications & experience canvass.’ What does the customer need to feel, see and hear? How do we ‘behave the brand?’ Who is responsible for delivering that? What are the methods for delivery?In short, turn the silos sideways. With this framework, suddenly a lot more people see and serve their responsibility to serve the customer – including functions such as accounting, help desk, order fulfillment and e-commerce managers, and the c-suite.

Branding Your Business – 5 Top Tips on How a Brand Can Enhance Your Business

In this article we discuss five essential ways to brand your business. This will not only help to increase your profits but enhance your business profile. Branding your business is one of the most important steps you can take to promote your business’s success. We will examine niche innovative ways to develop your brand within your business premises such as personalised clocks and mirrors.Firstly, we need to define exactly what a ‘brand identity’ is. Essentially it is creating exactly the right impression and atmosphere around your business to encourage trust, desire and even a sense of community. It is a combination of consistent visual elements that affect your consumer’s emotions which influences their decision to purchase from your business. It is more than a logo, business card, letterhead, or envelope but brings with it a psychological aspect. As a result, brand associations like thoughts, feelings, perceptions, images, experiences, beliefs, attitudes, and so on can become linked to you brand.Tip 1. The first thing you need to do when considering your brand, is consider how you can lift the bar, by thinking beyond your actual products and services, and adding a greater sense of purpose behind what you do.To do this you need to challenge your consumer by getting them to venture outside their normal perimeters. By buying your brand, it should enable them to feel more fulfilled and enhance their self-expression and personal identity. By way of example Nike successfully challenges their consumers to do their best in sports and fitness. Their slogan ‘Just do it’ allowed their consumer to raise the bar and achieve what is almost the unachievable.So if you sell T-shirts, you are not only selling the T-shirts, but the ‘lifestyle’ the product brings with it. Your brand should therefore make a simply T-shirt allow your consumers to feel more confidence, more attractive and have more self-esteem.Tip 2. When deciding on how to brand your business you need to analyse the outward depiction of your brand this includes your logo, business card, letterhead, and envelope trademark, communications, and other visual appearance. This is controlled by you and reflects how you as the owner wants your consumer to perceive your brand. Your customer’s perception of your brand i.e. their mental picture of your company’s image may be somewhat different.Your role will be to seek to bridge the gap between your ‘brand image’ that which your customers see, and your brand identity. To ensure this, you need to have an effective brand name that builds a connection between the ‘brand personality’ as it is perceived by your target audience and your actual product/service. It should therefore reflect your demographic audience and be easily recognizable. This will allow it to be differentiation from your competitors. You should always check the consumer’s perception of your brand, as it should evolve to take into consideration consumer trends.Tip 3. As a marketer you must have a strong focus on what your brand will achieve for its intended consumer. It is therefore crucial to bring in line the expectations behind the brand experience with your good and services. You should therefore make a promise to your consumers that buying your brand, will provide important added value, not obtainable from your competitors. An example of this is arguably the world’s largest cosmetic company L’Oreal. L’Oreal knew that it had to add value to its products as it was more highly priced than its competitors. Hence the slogan ‘because your worth it.’ By formulating a brand promise which conveys to customers what you stand for, and reflecting this thorough your products or services, you can enhance your business brand.Tip 4. Use Social Media Sites such as Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, Digg and many others, to reinforce your brand by building large list of contacts and supporters that can help to spread the word about your brand.Tip 5. Use every available way to reinforce what you have to offer your marketplace. Start with finding clever, innovative and affordable ideas to generate your brand from within your business premises. The recognition and perception of a brand is highly influenced by its visual presentation. So when customers visit any place of business, the colour scheme, decor and signage should work in harmony to create exactly the right impression and atmosphere promoting your companies ethos.One way to achieve this is by using a centrepiece such as a promotional clock or mirror depicting your company brand. This will help provide a powerful way of creatively setting the theme and reinforcing your brand messages. Personalised clocks and mirrors that use your promotional photo, logo and copy will be viewed frequently within business settings, such as reception areas. Branding in this highly effective way will help to convey the important business ideas you would like to get across to your customers, whilst promoting your company’s brand.Using functional advertising tools, such as promotional clocks or mirrors with an interactive design approach will allow you to tailor and customise your branding message, and can also allow you to up-sell your goods and services in a way which is untapped by most business owners. This method of promotional branding forms a clever and cost-effective way to add value to your business brand.