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What is the most important thing in our world?

(I say) It is People, it is People, it is People.

Recruiting Image - People, People, People...

[NOTE: This post is about people… …or recruitment actually]

Working on the copy of our book, I was reminded of a well known Maori proverb that translates to the headline and opening line in this post. For us it has significance on many levels, but in this instance it prompts me to blog about recruitment. Ask anyone managing a business to list their biggest challenges and you will find somewhere at the top words to the effect of ‘finding and keeping good people’. It is not only a time consuming process, considering all the interviewing and reviewing of CVs. It can also be a significant investment to use a recruitment agency and when, after a role has been advertised for months, the best applicant fails the probation period, how can the agency expect their policy of replacing that person to even look like a reality, or an immediate solution.

This post is part about our own recruitment and part about recruitment branding, one way in which we assist our clients. In “Built to last”  by Jim Collins and Jerry L.Porras they found four common themes that visionary companies display (greater that their competition) which makes them more able to find and keep the right people. They are: fervently held core company ideology; indoctrination; tightness of fit; and elitism. To work for your business these themes must be authentic and implemented throughout your entire company culture, no easy feat if it does not exist yet.

A client of ours recently engaged us to create a new recruitment brand for them. Our objective was to take their well known industry brand and evolve it to communicate their core ideology and strong culture to new entrants to their market, specifically university graduates and interns. These bright young people have not yet been exposed to their reputation in the market, so in the brief exposure they get at uni, there needs to be a clear conveyance of these aspects – succinctly and engaging!

This particular client has a genuine culture that resonates loudly and is fervently held by its people. Focus groups and interviews revealed commonalities that we explored to create a powerful and engaging campaign. I have to admit that the first concept we presented missed the mark completely, and we learned that with a resounding “no”, it was the common approach that could work for any of their competition. When we approached this project with it’s people and culture in mind, we not only a created a concept that we liked and could really dig our teeth into, but on every level the people whose culture it is we were selling bought in.

Recruiting Image - People...

In short, what we found was three major benefits of joining our client are: Experience, Diversity and Reward: Experience – being able to work directly alongside industry elite; Diversity – the wide array of service areas covered;  and Reward – monetary and acquisition of global skills. Because this elite financial industry values intellect, we created the headline: “We are growing and looking for great minds” and to support this we have illustrated a section of the unique open office floor plan to identify some of the great minds of the organisation and to illustrate exactly where a new hire might be positioned in relation to these minds.

Another way of defining it is: It’s about alignment. By identifying the company’s ideology and ambitions clearly in all recruitment efforts, the majority of respondents are ‘the right people”, and the pretenders are quickly found out in the interviewing stage. As for The Sponge, we too are growing and have added our new internship program and New Roles.

Heading these roles is a newly expanded upon set of Core Values. In them we have done our best to identify our company’s core ideology and ambitions. While we love to meet new and talented people, we are only looking for people who are the perfect fit for our company. We don’t want to waste anyone’s time trying to fit a square peg into a droplet shaped hole. We are always looking for more people with big hearts and minds and ambitions in sync with our own. When we find that person, we are more than happy to explore with them how we can create a role to suit them if one has not been advertised. In other words we understand the value of having the right people on the bus.

I’d love to hear your thoughts…

After thought: Seth Godin wrote that recruiting is most often not treated as the important marketing it is considering you are betting the future of your company on it. It only takes 10% as much effort to hire someone in the bottom 90% of the class. And it takes the other 90% to find and cajole and retain the top 10%. Isn’t it worth the extra effort?

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Humbling Words From Awesome People

Our brand looks better than we could have dreamed and The Sponge team managed to squeeze so much meaning into it that our prospects really get a sense of how we can help them.
Darren Vardy
Insolvency Options
The Sponge have been outstanding to work with. Their expertise, dedication and outstanding quality of work is second to none. I am grateful for their input into the design of our brand and website.
Matt Malouf
The Fortune Institute
The Sponge truly immersed themselves into our business, our team and our culture to develop a brand that not only captured our essence but more importantly; expressed it to the world.
Mende Seljanovski
Enth° Projects
Love their vision, love their work and mostly love the team!
C. S. Chen
Claytan Australia
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Claude Di Ciano
Richardson & Wrench Willoughby
Awesome design. Easy to work with. Jobs are completed quickly. Highly recommended.
Alexander Bont
Great creative proactive company. Could not be happier with the works they both provided and suggested. Now our go to company for branding.
Ross Thompson
JHA Engineers
Awesome company with awesome creativity. After working with them over 2 years, The Sponge has successfully turned me from a happy customer into a raving fan!
Jeremy Chen
Claytan Australia
High level strategic thinking and their creativity makes them stand out. Quick turn around time and reasonable price make them the winner every single time.
Syed Mujtuba
Crescent Wealth
A great vibe and energy brought to every project that The Sponge have led for me. Easy to work with, quick on the uptake of direction and prompt service. Will definitely be using The Sponge again and highly recommend.
Lucette King
NSW Department of Education
The Sponge team are great to work with. They translate your ideas and vision into something real and tangible and they truly want to make an impact to your business strategy with their valuable insights. We have been using them for over 10 years and would highly recommend their expertise.
M Levonian
William, Thyme & Prophet / Report Factory
Luke and the crew at the Sponge helped set up our Corporate image as it stands today. They were extremely helpful and patient. They took the time to understand our business and brainstormed with us some of the essential elements and came up with various images until we were happy with the final one. Can't recommend Luke and his team enough. Thanks again Luke.
Kim Lie Jom
Complete Health Chiropractic
I usually don’t believe in one stop shops, because of the inability to be great across many areas, but The Sponge truly are the one stop shop for brand creation, innovation and lead generation.
Mark Capelin
Tribe Social Fitness
I have had The Sponge involved in several IT based projects over my years working as a Software Developer. Each project has seen results that have exceeded expectations and I highly recommend them.
Shane Wisniewski
Wesfarmers Industrial and Safety
One of Luke’s talents is his ability to move people and organizations from the creative to the innovative, commercializing ideas and inventions.
Rodney Marks
Hoax Speaker
I recommend The Sponge’s services to new and established organizations who are looking to differentiate themselves from the “ordinary” and stand out from the crowd.
Annette Wright
InfoGenesis Pty Limited
The Sponge’s perceptive sensibility guarantees a perfect match between your business and its presentation to the world. They makes your values, ethics, goals, and the 'feel' of your business shine through every aspect of your brand.
Geoff Walker
Sydney Massage Time Pty Ltd
Branding is a familiar concept to comms & marketing professionals like myself. But it’s often a mystery to other staff, and for brand to be authentic, unique and indispensable they all need to be on board. This training helped me clarify branding to everyone in our organisation. Now they’re all part of the brand redevelopment crew, identifying and sharing stories that resonate with our values and purpose. Thanks, Luke, for launching our journey to uncover the brand that ‘comes from within’.
Avril Janks
Communications and Marketing Coordinator
We were in the middle of re-branding and wanted to know how better to market our product including how better to tell our story. This webinar provided practical marketing techniques, and rationale to explain the benefit of this strategy. The 'light bulb' moment for me was making the connection between the power of storytelling and marketing our brand.
Susan Perry
CEO CommunityGro
The Sponge is enabling small business to focus on essential elements of marketing/strategy. I used to go in circles and best guess engagement with customers; I didn’t understand my target market. The Sponge gave me a real wake-up call: To realise how much time and money I was throwing away for no return. The learning was interesting and interactive. Now, I feel in control and focused.
Sue Lea
Timely Business Solutions

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