Doing it works
In a global recession it goes without saying that jobs are scarce, let alone careers or vocational positions. Unfortunately, through a mixture of circumstances, many people will suffer through these straitened times.
However, for some enterprising – and often young – job seekers a new trend has developed. Fed up with the constant rejection letters, for those afforded even that courtesy, some have taken to social and traditional media in an effort to secure employment.
Most are now familiar with LinkedIn and its benefits. Many have landed positions by dint of uploading their profile on the site without having to go through the usual job seekers’ channels. Some employers now hire exclusively through the platform, and employers’ middlemen – recruitment agencies – are more active in this space than most.
Other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are now routinely used to look for employment and find staff. Necessity is the mother of invention, and this is a great example of how we can adapt all means available to suit our needs. What it clearly demonstrates is that we are becoming increasingly comfortable with taking direct action for ourselves.
Tough economic times test our endurance, creativity and patience. Just a few weeks ago a former Honda worker found a job through Twitter 18 months after being laid off. A local company spotted him on TV news talking about his use of Twitter following a fruitless letter writing search. His enterprising action sparked action in his new employer – a virtuous circle of the power of doing something, and doing something differently.
A US advertising executive bought six ads on Google saying “Hey …,” followed by the name of a top creative. When those people searched their names (as you do), above the results was the executive’s ad – a pitch for work, with a link to his site. He got two job offers.
Apprentice winner Tom Pellereau managed to get his nail file innovation into a US giant pre TV exposure, through a combination of charm and bottle by securing a meeting with the chief buyer at a major retailer – not bad for an unknown.
Some don’t have the aptitude or the personal circumstances to take advantage of newer digital platforms, but the endeavour itself is the important thing, not the chosen channel. Sending gifts, using sandwich boards, turning up unannounced and other gimmicks are of course commonplace and arguably they have lost some of their allure as a result. However, these techniques are still successful if they are thoughtful, meaningful, relevant, and pitched appropriately.
It seems that brands could learn something from these enterprising would-be employees. Put simply, these people have found success by being disruptive, standing-out and understanding how to be totally relevant to the audience they need to capture. So how can marketers adopt this same, laser-like focus on our goals?
The key is in understanding specifically who the audience is. Whether it’s one person or a million, we need to think of them in individual terms – understand what their lives are like on a daily basis so that that we can determine what we can create in contrast.
We also need to know what our interaction is worth to them, how it will benefit them, and to factor that in to our approach – whatever the media. If we are going to stop them whilst they are doing something they like or need to do, then we better make it good (and ideally entertaining).
Finally we need to make it personal. The reason that the US Ad Exec got a reaction from the busy creative directors he targeted was because he understood that we all like the idea that someone wants to talk to us, just us. And with increasingly smart ways to capture and use data, we can now have very personalised conversations en masse.
Perhaps the key lesson to learn from these job-hunters is not about making use of new platforms; maybe it is more about tailoring the message. Clearly there are great opportunities that new platforms can offer us (job-hunters and marketers alike) but we must use them to connect personally and relevantly, to say something that will make them take notice.
Jo Arden, head of strategy, 23red