Monday, January 27, 2014

Learnings from ERE’s Creative Excellence Awards Webinar

Last month, Brandemix was fortunate enough to co-host the CEA awards presentation, along with ERE Editor-in-Chief Todd Raphael.

The CEAs are an award program designed to recognize outstanding achievement in recruitment advertising and marketing. Each year, recruitment ad agencies and corporate recruiting departments from around the world enter their best creative advertising campaigns. Each entry is judged by a panel of the finest creative and professional talent from across the country, of which I was one.

As context for the awards ceremony, Todd and I did some research on 2014 recruiting trends, much of it already familiar to readers of ERE, particularly John Sullivan’s illuminating articles. In case you weren’t able to attend, here are some of the important learnings you might have missed.

·      Layoffs are at their lowest level since 2001.
·      Hiring is heating up.
More employees quit their jobs in October than in any other month since the recession of 2007-09.
In fact, according to, 55% of hiring managers and recruiters plan to hire more professionals in the first half of 2014 than they did in the second half of 2013 - a jump of 9% from the same period one year ago and the highest level on record since Dice first posed the hiring question in mid-2010.

Other 2014 Trends
      Employer branding is considered the best long-term recruiting strategy, as recruiting looks more like marketing.
      “Apply with LinkedIn,” instead of a resume, is gaining acceptance.
       Employee referrals and social media are melding.
       The idea of attending college is changing, and thus college recruitment marketing is changing as well.
       A metric-driven employee referral program is becoming a dominant hiring source.
       Boomerangs are a primary target once again.
       Predictive metrics and the use of big data have moved from interesting to essential.
       The mobile platform continues to be a critical tool.
When McDonald’s launched its first mobile career site in 2008, three million people visited it and 24,000 people used it to submit applications. By 2012, those figures had jumped to 30 million visits and two million applications. Now, it brings in a little over 10% of total applications.

      Though Facebook recruiting is becoming a more significant part of the recruiting budget and a more accepted as a recruiting source, here’s a bit of advice: Keep your eyes on the next trend. Teen panelists of Ignition 2013 had these comments: 

 “I hate Facebook. It's just so boring. Now I’m an Instagram user.
 “I used to scroll down Facebook and read every single status. Now I just love Vine.”

From the CEA submissions themselves I learned the following:

      Augmented reality is really here. The seamless process from ads to booths and banners with QR codes or other ways to connect with smart devices has made for a totally immersive recruitment experience.
       Website redesigns on the rise -- in fact, there were more than 50 submissions this year. Flash is out, HTML is in, and content is king.
       As a words person, I am disappointed to see that copy is still a second-class citizen to creative. While people and pictures were front and center, copy and provocative headlines have not evolved as much.
       The link from employer brand research to uniquely branded creative is still missing a beat. Those of you looking for DIY branding have the research part down, but take my advice: Call in a professional to do the analysis and brand architecture.    

And finally, my favorite. There is more transparency and greater detail given about the hiring and selection process, from attraction through onboarding. That's great, as recruiting comes out from behind the curtain.

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