Here at Hodes, we offer a long list of people communication and consultancy services. But they all fall under the banners of employer branding and engagement or candidate attraction and graduate communications. While we do provide some set products, almost all our services are designed to tackle specific issues. So you won’t be expected to pick out exactly the site or the engagement survey or the fully integrated global multi-media campaign you need. Rather, we’ll take the time to understand your challenges, then devise a solution that’s a nice, precise fit.
Acknowledged as a pioneer of employer branding practice in the UK, Hodes has exceptional credentials in this area. Not only did we win the first CIPD award for Employer Branding, but we also wrote the definitive book on the subject in 2009. In the last few years, we have helped world-class organisations in a variety of industry sectors define and manage their employer brands, including Anglo American, ABB, Barclays, Barclaycard, Cargill, HMRC and Genzyme.
Our approach to the subject is simple. We believe that the employer brand is best seen as a two-way deal between an organisation and its people. On one side of this deal is the promise that the business offers its employees and candidates and on the other its expectation of their performance, behaviour and attitude. The art of employer branding is to articulate this deal in a way that is distinctive, compelling and relevant to the individual, and to make sure that is delivered consistently throughout the employee lifecycle.
We work with clients in all sectors to help them understand this deal and to ensure that it is aligned to organisational goals and attracting and retaining the talent they need. In simple terms, we help businesses become employers of choice for their employees of choice. Perhaps you’re looking to align your employer brand more closely with your corporate positioning. Or it could be that your HR strategy would benefit from a more clearly articulated people deal. Whatever your precise needs, our team of dedicated HR/brand consultants, researchers and creative consultants will help you define your employee value proposition (EVP): what you stand for as an employer.
Then, with a validated expression of this deal, we will help you manage your employer brand, improving the consistency and quality of the employee experience. This could involve integrating your EVP into HR processes and leadership behaviours, or bringing the employer brand personality alive in everything from onboarding programmes to L&D support materials and recruitment communications.
You’ll find out more about our approach to employer branding here.
The case for investing in engagement is well proven. No one doubts the positive impact that higher engagement levels can have on attrition, productivity, customer satisfaction and, ultimately bottom-line performance. So why is it still such an issue? Engagement levels are hovering around the 30% mark for most businesses – and this isn’t shifting.
One answer is that there is no one answer. Engagement is different for every organisation. The desired outcomes range from better customer service, improved safety or compliance, to lower absence and greater retention of key talent groups. And, of course, what drives engagement differs, too. In other words, there is no room for formulaic responses here. There is, however, space for insight, innovation and creativity. And that’s our approach at Hodes.
We work with leadership teams, HR, comms and marketing teams to engage people in three key areas:
Drawing on a broad suite of services, we help employees understand and respond to commercial strategies and vision and values programmes. This involves engagement research, insight and strategy, strategic narrative, vision and values, and organisational change.
We help galvanise employees by encouraging their contributions as advocates for a brand. Here our focus is on brand and rebrand narratives, internal brand propositions, customer experience, brand tracking and social media policy.
True engagement involves aligning every aspect of the employee experience with your brand. As such, every point of the talent lifecycle is an opportunity for engagement. Not surprisingly then, our services span a range of activities extending from onboarding, induction and talent management to mentoring, employee referrals, exit procedures and alumni engagement.
As well as these three ‘specialist’ areas, we support business-as-usual internal communications. Our services include comms audits and IC strategy, channel launch and refresh content strategy, creation and management, IC coaching, social business and collaboration, recognition schemes, campaigns and events.
In a constantly changing world, we work with leading organisations on some of the most important talent challenges facing them. From direct sourcing to social media management, from building reputation and talent pipelining to executive onboarding, we have the capability to reduce costs, improve recognition and increase quality of hire.
As dramatic as the changes have been in the talent arena in recent years, some certainties remain. The best people still need persuading to move employers – and they won’t move for reward alone. We help organizations in all sectors identify, attract and recruit such people.
Sometimes this involves supporting businesses in their journey towards direct sourcing. We train, consult and advise across a range of direct sourcing activities, from social media monitoring and management to digital copywriting. Alongside this, we devise bespoke resourcing solutions drawing on a range of high-value talent services, including resourcing strategy, brand campaigns, social media engagement, executive onboarding and assessment communications.
An intelligent, research-led approach shapes everything we do. Whether we’re targeting a collection of hard-to-find skill sets spread over several countries, or maximizing the effectiveness of senior executive hires with a brand-aligned induction process, we plan thorough, measure robustly and adapt swiftly.
From Gen Y and Millennials to undergraduates and interns, our Future Talent team helps clients engage their talent of the future. We do this through a comprehensive suite of services. These range from planning and implementing online and offline attraction strategies, through campus campaigns to event design and organisation. Everything you need, in fact, for your future talent offer to cut through the clutter and inspire the people you need.
To deliver a successful campaign, we are big believers that you need to remain close to the target group and keep a close ear to the ground to understand what makes them tick. As well as being on campus whenever possible, one of the key ways we do this is through strong relationships with key graduate groups. As the marketing partner and long-term sponsor of Enactus (formerly Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE)), we’re actively involved in their work to help develop socially responsible business leaders. Not only do we provide advisors to support their student teams, but we also judge their national competition.
Similarly, we’re closely involved in the TARGETJobs graduate awards. We helped develop the Employer of the Year category which encourages graduate employers to honour their promises, and our benchmarking report on the best employers is now a key publication in the sector.
We recognise that Higher Education is ever changing and our clients need to be flexible and innovative in their approach to reach their target groups, and stand out from their competitors.
As a result, we keep a close eye on the market to ensure we can advise our clients on the key stakeholder relationships they need to be building, the latest opportunities to engage students and how to be one step ahead when new government policies and plans are announced. The rise in social media activity targeted at students is apparent but it’s about a balance of online presence and campus activity. Our teams have the expertise to develop and manage multi channelled attraction campaigns that targeted students and graduates alike can’t fail to spot.
Similarly, through our strategies, we look at how undergraduate opportunities can produce the future graduates for our client, feeding the talent pipeline to maximise ROI of the attraction campaigns.
It is becoming more commonplace to target talent earlier. With the surge of school initiatives, alternative entry routes and apprenticeship opportunities, it is little wonder that future generations are faced with career decisions at ever younger ages.
Given the rise in popularity of these schemes following their government backing and the increase in university tuition fees, we work with employers to ensure they are attracting the right candidates through brand and career awareness. Success for us is about ensuring our clients are front of mind when key decisions are made.
This is the process of measuring your website traffic and the effectiveness of your online advertising. It helps you understand where your visitors come from and how they interact with your site.
All our new web builds come with a monthly report on how effective our clients’ web campaigns have been. By tracking each visitor’s journey to your site, we can evaluate a campaign’s success from first contact to application and beyond. It’s all designed to help us create better ads, strengthen marketing initiatives and produce websites that convert more visitors.
A campaign isn’t simply about making one big, bold statement. To be successful, every stage of ‘follow up’ activity must have resonance. It’s all about engaging with prospective and existing candidates.
We work with clients to ensure that they use the most appropriate media channels, across as many touchpoints as possible, and then we measure the campaign’s effectiveness. This is vital. Because it’s only through tracking and analytical reporting that we can establish how it’s performing – and then go onto feed these results into the long-term strategy.
A blog (short for web log), is someone’s regular commentary on a topic. A vLog uses video rather than writing. Blogs by employees are great for bringing an employer’s culture to life. Often they focus on the social side of work as much as on hard facts about the job itself.
It’s vital to avoid corporate-controlled marketing speak. We’ll advise you on the best ways to do that – and how to highlight the pivotal experiences that encourage candidates to pick one organisation over another. Something we’ve already done successfully for clients like HBOS.
Campaign reporting helps you understand which media and creative executions are working best for you. Instantly. That means you can get the most out of your budget – investing it where it’s generating the most impressive results.
We’ve monitored and tracked results from marketing campaigns for clients such as Hertfordshire Constabulary, Enterprise-Rent-A-Car and the BBC.
This small website – usually no more than seven pages – is based on a template design and used for a specific recruitment campaign. Clients choose one of three designs. Then we build the site to look and feel like an extension of their current brand, hosting it for one month.
We’ve recently created these cost-effective, quick turnaround sites for Royal Mail, E.ON, the Ministry of Justice and East London NHS Trust. Clients like the fact that they can easily upload vacancies, track how well the campaign is performing and generate highly relevant applications.
Although the rise of digital has allowed recruiters to reach talent in new ways, there’s nothing quite like the personal touch. And campus/location-specific campaigns are an extremely effective way of engaging and attracting candidates.
As well as utilising ‘off the shelf’ events, such as careers fairs, we plan onsite campaigns that ensure employers’ brands have a consistent presence. Working with budgets big and small we develop strategies which consider everything, from the academic calendar to key sites on campus.
Organisations keen to build a new talent pipeline, or a deeper relationship with an existing one, invest in Candidate Relationship Management (CRM). It’s all about developing and implementing a medium- to long-term communications strategy that makes sure you connect with your target audience.
We can help you define who that audience is, decide how you’d like to reach them and how often, and identify the results you want. Something we’ve already done to good effect for clients like Edward Jones.
By using a content management system (CMS), organisations can create and publish web content without having to go through a third party. It offers more control over everything from simple information that needs constant updating – like news items – to the look, feel and content of an entire site.
We can help you get the most out of a CMS so you develop more targeted campaigns and communicate more effectively with candidates. That might mean working out whether you already have the right CMS for your needs or building a CMS from scratch.
An organisation’s main website usually has a careers section. But its look and feel is often linked to a company-wide database and confined to a specific design. We can improve career sections of corporate websites with tailor-made content that works with the site’s functionality.
We might add employee profiles and videos for instance to make the careers section more engaging and convert more applications. It’s something that’s worked well for clients like E.ON, Comet, Hertfordshire Constabulary and STA.
Data capture allows organisations to gather and store personal information about candidates. This can help them gain vital insights into, and build relationships with, potential employees. It usually involves creating some sort of form with required fields. A simple example is an email newsletter sign up which asks users for their first and last name, email address and basic details on their university course.
By understanding how much data they need to capture, and how they plan to store, transfer and use it, we’ve helped clients like HBOS and Norton Rose.
Email marketing is a cost-effective way to keep in touch with candidates and employees. Sending a personalised HTML or plain text email to subscribers can, for instance, highlight an application closing date or encourage people to reconnect with a brand.
We can integrate email subscriber functionality into your site build, create email marketing strategies that support your recruitment campaigns, design and create impactful emails, and measure how well they work. One client we’ve helped in this way is M&S.
Events can make your employer brand stand out in a memorable and innovative way. But to be successful, they demand careful preparation and appropriate delivery.
Rest assured, we have the knowledge and capabilities to design, plan and deliver events which make an impact, whether it’s on campus or in your office.
Google Calendar – an online calendar that can be seamlessly integrated into your website – can be viewed by anyone you choose. It makes it easy to share and update events, including reservations, appointments, conferences and shows.
We can help you display events content on whichever page of the site you like. We can also allow users to subscribe to this via an RSS feed so they can quickly see when any new events are added.
This private network allows organisations to share information with suppliers, vendors, partners, customers or other businesses – easily, instantly and, above all, securely. In fact, as extranets are more secure than normal websites, the most confidential information can be shared openly and confidently.
We’ve built extranets for clients such as HBOS and STA based on key factors like the number of users, the location of the users and what the different levels of access should be.
The candidate journey can be long, intensive and occasionally a little intimidating. Adding further to the confusion, future talent are often faced with several offers from competitor employers.
To that end we help clients stay at the forefront of the candidate’s mind throughout the process. To do this we develop onboarding strategies which not only provide ongoing supportive communications for candidates, but also promote the client as an employer of choice.
A Google gadget is a miniature object that sits on a user’s iGoogle page. A series of feeds are directed to the gadget so that employees gain access to a continuous stream of regularly updated information at no expense.
We have created branded Google gadgets for clients who wish to engage employees with market updates, company news and new roles. With our help, Enterprise-Rent-A-Car and GSK have made Google gadgets available as downloads from their career websites.
If you really want to get under the skin of an educational institution then first you must pass the scrutiny of its many stakeholders or, for want of a better word, ‘gatekeepers’.
We use our specialist knowledge and experience to build these relationships so that our clients can reach their target cohort of students. As well as forging with Career Services, we establish robust ties with key influencers like course leaders, departments and student support staff – that way we can deliver campaigns which are both strategic and durable.
Employers will often ‘tier’ or rank their target universities (or schools) based on the number of applications they produce. However, this can be a self-fulfilling prophecy as, for example, the top tiered universities will also be where employers spend the most time.
We help clients review these rankings in a more dynamic way and then produce a targeted list of universities which (when combined with an expert attraction strategy) generates applications from candidates of the right calibre.
Typically featured on job boards, these are web pages where organisations can display their credentials. The pages tend to be very light in design and are often offered as part of an advertising package. Clients who’ve made the most of this extra from the media include Hertfordshire Constabulary and Edward Jones.
New government policies, an increasingly competitive market and the realisation that targeting bright minds early matters, all mean that the future talent market never stops moving. As a result, employers need to keep their ear to the ground if they want to stay close to their talent pools.
We use quantitative and qualitative methods to ensure that our clients’ activity is effective and strategically well placed. And it’s with this insight we’ve helped the likes of Rio Tinto, ABB and KPMG make their mark online, on campus and, most importantly, on target.
An intranet is a private, internal website – and a fast, efficient way to help people really feel at home in a business. Employers can talk to thousands at once, giving them information on everything from benefits to company events and industry developments.
Our job is often to rework the copy used in internal communications. Or we may develop specific elements for internal use – like the screensavers we produced for Anglo American. But we can also build intranets from scratch if that’s what you need.
Usually between five and 20 pages, a microsite gives candidates more tailored information than a corporate careers site. As it has a longer shelf life than a campaign site, it’s a cost-effective way to communicate with specific markets while reinforcing your brand.
The microsites we create for clients like HBOS, Genzyme, the BBC and Techs in the City often support advertising campaigns. They’re keyword rich too, achieving high search engine rankings before ultimately driving traffic to the main careers site. We always put clear ROI metrics in place to measure how well they work.
An onboarding site is designed for people joining a new company. By smoothing the whole process – from offer letter to induction and beyond – it keeps them feeling positive about their move and reinforces the company’s employer brand. Fewer candidates drop out after they’ve accepted an offer. And those who join become more productive more quickly.
With our help, clients like M&S are using onboarding sites to make candidates feel valued and special long before their first day.
We’ve helped clients like HBOS and M&S use online questionnaires to gather information on potential employees. They’re a great way to enrich a site with random surveys or interactive quizzes that really engage visitors.
More importantly though, they can test knowledge or skills. They encourage candidates to deselect themselves by highlighting the competencies you’re looking for. And they speed up the recruitment process. As a result, they can save you money.
In Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC), you pay each time someone clicks on an ad that directs to your website. You can use it on advertising networks, in blogs and on search engines. In the search engine form, you bid on keyword phrases relevant to your audience.
We can set up, run and manage your PPC campaign and advise on keywords, content and ad placement. Most importantly, we’ll track the campaign’s performance. Highly cost-effective, PPC works well when integrated with organic search engine and social media marketing – as our recent campaigns for Barclays and Hertfordshire Constabulary show.
This describes a broad range of digital interactive media that makes advertising more engaging. Ads can expand when you roll over them for instance or stream HD video. They can invite users to play a game, navigate through different ‘pages’, turn sound on and off, select from a drop-down menu and so on.
Not surprisingly, candidates feel more involved with the brand and click-through-rates are higher – something clients like Hertfordshire Constabulary have benefited from. File sizes are bigger too of course, as is the cost.
SEO helps put a website at the top of search engine results for specific keywords and phrases. And with over 85% of visitors finding websites through natural ‘organic’ search, an effective search strategy is almost guaranteed to increase traffic to your site.
We make your site search-engine friendly in a number of ways. We pinpoint the keywords that applicants search under for instance, identify the features of high-performing sites and capitalise on them, and encourage linking to your site from other sites. Edward Jones, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, HBOS and Staples are among those who’ve already benefitted.
Site audits help organisations get to grips with any problems their websites may have. While not as comprehensive as usability studies or competitive benchmarking reports, they do identify around 80% of the key issues.
Our site audits look at structure, design, interactivity, content and copy. Most recently they’ve allowed Bank of America and KPMG to quickly understand which aspects of their sites they could improve.
A standalone site is a website that works without the internet. Usually it’s housed in a CD or DVD ROM, but it can also feature on kiosks (for use in roadshows) or laptops. Costs and timeframes vary depending on each site’s complexity.
Standalone sites are often used at graduate fairs so that each audience at each university has the same experience. KPMG is just one client we’ve helped capitalise on their accessibility and consistency.
This is the process of outlining the long-term direction of a campaign, brand, channel, product, Business Unit, or organisation. Companies look beyond the day-to-day and compare how the different activities they’re involved in affect each other.
We use planning tools to help clients like GSK and Drax prioritise their investment in recruitment communications. We also look in-depth at the impact new products and technologies have nationally and internationally.
We advocate a consistent approach throughout future talent campaigns – which can often be challenging. as candidates will encounter a number of employer’s representatives.
That’s why we offer a variety of solution-based workshops and documents to help clients deliver a consistent message. These range from training on identifying and building the right institution relations to creating how-to guides on internships policies. In fact, whatever you need, we can offer all sorts of support that will eventually feed into your future business plans and strategy.
Want to know how user-friendly your website is? Usability testing will tell you. It involves gathering a group of typical users and finding out how they feel about everything from the site’s structure, copy and layout to its design and functionality.
The earlier it’s done the better. Expensive redesign is minimised, as are recruitment time and cost. The positive experience offered by a great website attracts good candidates and strengthens employer brands. We can help you improve what you already have or get it spot on right from the start – just as we’ve done for E.ON, Drax and Edward Jones.
Unlike vLogs, video profiles are corporately-produced. They show working life at an organisation through the eyes of its people and help candidates decide if what’s on offer is right for them. You can also use excerpts from the videos in online ads – research shows video drives more web traffic than traditional formats – so maximising your budget.
The video profiles we’ve produced for clients like HBOS, KPMG and Comet highlight our strengths in this area. One we created recently for Hertfordshire Constabulary has won a Bronze Medal at the LA Film Festival.
Writing for the web and other digital media is different to writing for print – and not just because reading on screen is more difficult. Readers are much more likely to skim read, jump from page to page and start reading at different points. They also expect instant information. Vital too is SEO – using keywords to achieve higher search engine rankings.
Our copywriting and editorial service covers all digital formats. With our help, clients like Edward Jones, HBOS, Norton Rose and Enterprise-Rent-A-Car have made sure candidates can easily find, read and understand their content.