Sunday, 25 June 2017

Check Out These Upcoming Online Events for Your Small Business

This week’s calendar of events is absolute proof you don’t have to spend a lot of money or travel to far off destinations to get all the helpful small business advice you need.

There are plenty of upcoming business events that take place completely online, including a Twitter chat aimed at getting you inspired, a webinar to improve the speed of your team, an online conference aimed at sales professionals and even a digital marketing conference.

You can learn about all of these online events and more in the Featured Events section. And check out even more event opportunities for your small business in the list below.

To see a full list or to submit your own event, contest or award listing, visit the Small Business Events Calendar.

Featured Events, Contests and Awards

Twitter Chat: Twitter Chat: “Get Inspired in Your Business”

June 28, 2017, Online, Twitter

Are you ready for the Microsoft Inspire event? The company’s annual partner conference is only a couple weeks away! Join Anita Campbell, CEO of Small Business Trends, and Small Business expert Gene Marks on June 28, 2017 at 3pm ET (12pm PT) under the hashtag #MSBizTips for a preview of what’s coming down the pipeline for small businesses from Microsoft, and discover what you can expect to learn from the conference.

WEBINAR: Give Your Team What it Needs for SpeedWEBINAR: Give Your Team What it Needs for Speed

June 29, 2017, Online

The right technology tools and resources can help your team respond to—and stay ahead of—your competition and the market. Whether you have two employees or 100, you can always ramp up team speed. From improving processes and decision-making to boosting collaboration and providing your team with the technology and tools it needs, this webinar will explore the ways in which team speed can be leveraged as a critical competitive edge. Our panel of entrepreneurs and experts will engage in a lively, informed and interactive discussion about how you make your team more nimble and agile—and boost productivity and profits as a result. Our Panelists include Anita Campbell, CEO of Small Business Trends, Gene Marks, owner and operator of the Marks Group, and Ramon Ray, Small Business Evangelist at Infusionsoft, publisher of Smart Hustle magazine, and Technology Evangelist at SmallBizTechnology.

Rule Breaker Awards 2017Rule Breaker Awards 2017

June 30, 2017, Online

Entrepreneurs don’t play by the rules. Why should you be judged by them? The Rule Breaker Awards will honor and celebrate those entrepreneurs who have succeeded by doing it their way. Some have created whole new industries; others have revolutionized industries that have existed for hundreds of years. Nominations end June 30, 2017. Nominate an entrepreneur today!

Rule Breaker Awards Ceremony Rule Breaker Awards Ceremony

October 24, 2017, Scottsdale, Ariz.

On October 24, 2017 at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Rule Breaker Awards will honor and celebrate those entrepreneurs who have succeeded by doing it their way in a ceremony featuring the Rule Breaker of the Year and Rule Breaker Award winners.

Sales World 2017Sales World 2017

November 08, 2017, Online

Sales World 2017 takes place November 8th to 9th, 2017, Online; Live and On Demand. It is the largest Sales Industry Event in the World and will be attended by over 10,000 Sales Professionals. It’s the one sales event you can’t afford to miss!

DIGIMARCON WORLD 2017 - Digital Marketing ConferenceDIGIMARCON WORLD 2017 – Digital Marketing Conference

November 14, 2017, Online

DIGIMARCON WORLD 2017 Digital Marketing Conference takes place November 14th to 16th, 2017. Whether your goal is to reinforce customer loyalty, improve lead generation, increase sales, or drive stronger consumer engagement, DIGIMARCON WORLD 2017’s agenda will help attendees enhance their marketing efforts. Sessions will focus on building traffic, expanding brand awareness, improving customer service and gaining insight into today’s latest digital tools.

More Events

More Contests

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends and SmallBizTechnology.

Online business events photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Check Out These Upcoming Online Events for Your Small Business" was first published on Small Business Trends

Source: small business

Review: Superman #25

Manchester Black has Jonathan Kent in thrall. When the villain sends Superboy and the Super Elite against Superman — who is backed up by Batman, Robin, Frankenstein, and the Bride — will the father or the son prevail?

Superman #25 Synopsis:

Black turns Superboy loose against his father, giving Jon the uninhibited use of his full powers. Frankenstein and the Bride take the fight to Manchester and the Elite while Batman and Robin aid Superman in containing the unleashed youth. The Man of Steel leads the boy away from the melee in a flight to the top of the burning doom tree, but, when a part of the flaming oak plummets down toward innocent citizens below, Jonathan insists on saving the people to show his own strength.

The unstable quantum reactor of the concealed ship, on the verge of collapsing entirely, begins “throwing out arcs of space-time”, one of which allows Superboy to peer into the alternate worlds of the multiverse. Jonathan then ruthlessly turns on Black, but his brutal assault is interrupted when Lois Lane appears and shows her son she is all right: Manchester Black created the illusion that she had been injured. Kathy Branden grabs Jon’s hand and, taking advantage of the lad’s link with Manchester, renders the villain inert with telepathic feedback. Superman allows the apologetic Super Elite to rebuild Hamilton County and guard the rift, the Kents make plans to move to Metropolis, and Manchester Black’s consciousness appears to emerge in the body of the Cobbs’ dairy cow.

Superman #25 Analysis:

Fade to Black has an ample amount of cool moments. The thematic chromatic aesthetic is underscored not just by the presence of Goth Superboy but also by the existence of black, rather than white, backgrounds behind the panel borders. The page-turn reveal of the physically whole Lois — whose dismemberment, as predicted, was only an illusion — was preceded by her maternal exclamation of her son’s full name. As the story nears nears its close, Clark Kent wistfully reflects that Hamilton will always be for Jonathan what Smallville was for him. These are just some of a number of nice touches for which Superman #25 deserves praise.

Unfortunately, the last chapter of Black Dawn also has more than its fair share of severe problems. Even with extra pages, the story has too many characters to make good use of them all. Furthermore, the fact that the fridging was fictitious was hardly redemptive, particularly when Frankenstein suffered a succession of dismemberments. Mahkne’s energetic action sequences and Gleason’s softer personal moments each are effective on their own, but the stylistic shift in the midst of the clash with Manchester Black disrupted the visual flow of the tale. The biggest problem with Superman #25, though, is the simple truth that Fade to Black is a narrative mess.

Cobb and Kathy Branden, after having been quite sinister in their menacing manipulation of the Kent family, shift allegiances with stunning suddenness, resulting in a degree of forgiveness that is not so much kindhearted as dangerously naive. Superman likewise is befuddlingly gullible in trusting the Elite, whose change of heart conveniently coincided with the absolute defeat of their leader moments before, but who evidently may be relied upon to safeguard a dimensional rift otherwise left unattended. Jon’s loyalties and values seem equally transient, both before and after the random intrusion of the deus ex machina of the quantum reactor exposed him to the multiverse almost as an afterthought, and the coda of Superman #25 is yet another county fair, which apparently happen every other week in Hamilton County.

So much of Black Dawn — Chapter 6 fails to follow logically from page to page that some of the comic’s best moments get buried under burning doom tree branches, flying Frankenstein limbs, and dimensional rift rivulets. The concluding sequence strongly suggesting that Manchester Black’s consciousness has been transferred into the Cobbs’ cow recalls Hellcow — hardly the first Howard the Duck allusion to appear in the storyline. Also, the energy that flows from the quantum reactor into Superboy and is then unleashed against the villain all has a distinctive light blue tint; what forthcoming clash do you suppose that foreshadows?

Superman #25 ended well, but that doesn’t mean that all’s well with this troubled, convoluted conclusion to the Black Dawn arc. We invite you to offer your thoughts in the comments and ComiConverse with us about Fade to Black.

Source: B2C

FAQ-page Design: Be Savvy About Self-service

Wonderful conversation makes the world go ‘round, and we’ve heard your support agents are pretty wonderful to talk to. But self-service is gaining steam—in fact, one Zendesk survey found that 67 percent of respondents actually prefer it, and 91 percent would use a knowledge center if it met their needs. At the heart of a sterling self-service offering? A killer FAQ page.

Customers who’d rather help themselves will greet a well-designed FAQ page as a useful tool—and a welcome relief. With fewer tickets for agents to address, it’s aso a boon for efficiency and costs. Plus, your freed-up agents can devote more time to strategy and longer-term projects. Best of all? Good FAQ page design is part of your toolbox for cultivating meaningful connections with your customers. Consider these points as you consider FAQ page design.

Identify the Goals

Before you and your team go anywhere near the drawing board on an FAQ page, answer this crucial question: Why does your organization need one in the first place? If your website is confusing your customers and they simply can’t find critical information, then an FAQ page is just a Band-Aid, says Christopher Calabrese, senior UX designer at Cooper in New York City. In that case, examine the greater design issues first.

Companies that routinely address a flood of incoming questions, however, are prime candidates. If that’s you, identify your goals and prioritize: Would you like to reduce the number of support tickets that your staff addresses? What about fostering terrific relationships and interactions between customers and employees? Get consensus early on so that key stakeholders can execute.

Don’t Forget the ‘Who’ in FAQ

Creating a positive user experience is paramount. In the case of an FAQ page, don’t lose sight of the mission: A customer has a question, needs an answer. Simple and straightforward is the winning recipe.

How many questions do your customers frequently ask? Considering that is pivotal for two reasons. First, the questions on your FAQ page should be ones that actually come from your actual customers, not questions that the company has come up with. Ask for feedback from the rest of the company. Second, if you’ve got four or five FAQs, and that’s it, feel free to lay them all out, with answer expanded below question—then your customer doesn’t have to click around. “But if you have 50 and they’re in no particular order or alphabetized and they’re all expanded,” says Calabrese with a cringe in his voice, you’re forcing the customers you so dearly love to embark upon an endless scrolling expedition. Design for easy navigation—and consider a search tool.

Go lavish with media—video tutorials, gorgeous photographs. Whenever possible, avoid popups and the like. Anything that keeps a user from accomplishing the goal that they want to accomplish leads to an irritating experience, says Calabrese. “Being bombarded with these things is going to frustrate a user and eventually lead them to figure out a different way to reach their goal.”

Mobile, Mobile, Mobile

It’s mandatory: Your customers use mobile, and they expect consistent service from you, whether they’re on their home computer or their smartphone. With responsive mobile design, you make changes to the main site and it immediately reflects on mobile. It’s then easier to create and manage the mobile aspect of your digital offerings.

Having a good mobile strategy is important, says Calabrese, but don’t think of it as more important than or even separate from your main site: “Mobile design is just part of your website.”

How Are You Doing?

Great! You’ve designed the best FAQ page on planet Earth, and now you can move on to the next business goal. Kind of. You need to determine whether your FAQ page gets a gold medal or complimentary key fob for participation. On-site survey tools abound; use them to get feedback from your customers. Also monitor site data and solicit feedback from your staff—what are they hearing from customers?

All fired up about FAQ? Here are some examples of help centers and FAQ pages with the Zendesk seal of approval.

Source: B2C

The 6 Marketing Channels You Should Be Personalizing

cross-channel personalization

It isn’t enough to master your marketing communications through one channel if your current or prospective customers engage with you in many different channels. And for most companies, it is pretty safe to assume that they are. The typical digital consumer now owns 3.64 connected devices. Forrester predicts that by 2021, 40% of in-store sales will be influenced by the internet. And even in financial services, 47% of bank customers engaged in at least one cross-channel interaction in the past 90 days.

At Evergage, when we talk about cross-channel marketing, we don’t mean mass communication across channels. We mean personalized communication. Why? Consumers expect personalized experiences. Forrester found that 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience. And Infosys uncovered that 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized.

And when we talk about cross-channel personalization, we mean the ability to provide a consistent and relevant experience across website, web app, mobile app, search, email and human channels. In this blog post, let’s briefly explore each of these areas.

1. Website

Many digital marketers view their website as their most important channel. Whether your goal is to drive online sales, generate leads or maximize page views, there is typically some action you want a visitor to take while on your site. As a result, many of your online marketing activities are focused on driving traffic there. Given its importance, it’s critical to show each person exactly what they are looking for on your site to drive those conversions or page views. Personalization – whether using rule-based targeting to segments or machine-learning algorithms at the one-to-one level – allows you to do that.

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows personalizes its main homepage experience to several of its main customer segments, such as visitors from target cities, families and season pass holders. By showing each group of visitors something relevant to them, these experiences have improved conversions and revenue per user.

web attribute segment

This example just scratches the surface of website personalization. For some other easy to deploy ideas, check out this blog post.

2. Web App

For subscription-based businesses like SaaS, financial services, publishers and many retailers, the logged-in environment (also called web applications) is often the primary interface for engaging with customers. There is a huge opportunity to personalize the logged-in environment to identify when users need help and direct them to most relevant resources, drive users to leverage features that can help them get the most value out of the product, identify churn risks and upsell opportunities, and more.

Endurance International Group (EIG) leverages in-app personalization to communicate and engage with its customers “in the moment” at different stages of their lifecycles. For instance, while providing web hosting services to customers, EIG saw an upsell opportunity to offer a premium website creation tool to specific audiences. Leveraging in-app personalization to target users with an upsell CTA at the right time, the company saw conversion rates 4-5 times better than their traditional promotional email campaigns.

3. Mobile App

Mobile apps have become a vital means of engaging and interacting with increasingly mobile audiences. In fact, more than a third of consumers say they expect their mobile apps and websites to be more personalized over the next three years. Yet our recent study with Researchscape International found that mobile apps are the least personalized channel — only 18% of marketers using personalization are using it for their mobile apps.

Personalization on mobile devices is much like website and web app personalization — helping users find the most relevant content. You can similarly target different segments and individuals with rules and machine-learning algorithms.

For example, a travel app can share a specific deal only with users who have booked a flight within the past month. Or an e-commerce app can deliver personalized recommendations that boost brand and price affinities to help shoppers find products they will be interested in, quickly and easily. An effective personalization solution can even allow you to build, test and implement various messaging campaigns in your app, without involving developers or waiting for an app store release. Learn more about how that works in this blog post.

4. Email

Email undoubtedly remains a critical communication channel – one used by nearly all businesses today. Many marketers already leverage personalization in their emails to some degree. In fact, we found in a recent study with Researchscape International that email is the most personalized channel. Typically, marketers leverage their email solution’s broad segmentation capabilities to personalize email campaigns. Yet, half of the respondents to a Retail Touchpoints survey say that they have received emails from retailers with irrelevant information.

In order to ensure the content of your emails is relevant to an individual, you need to consider all you know about that person across channels, particularly in terms of individual behavior, history and preferences. But what is relevant to a person at one moment may be out of date to that same person later. The key is to be relevant at open time, rather than at send time.

For example, let’s say that an e-retailer sends an email containing three product recommendations to a regular customer. Between when the email is sent and when he opens the email, he purchased Product 1 via the mobile app, Product 2 went out of stock, and Product 3 dropped in price. If the retailer personalizes the email at open time, when he opens the email, Products 1 and 2 would be substituted with different (but still relevant) product recommendations, and Product 3’s price would be reflected accurately.

5. Search

The search function on any website is incredibly important, as it is a key channel for helping customers find and discover products and content. The visitors that use the search function state exactly what they are looking for, and in many cases are more ready to convert than other visitors that don’t use search. Yet search is a traditionally underused channel, and search results are notoriously ineffective across industries.

To make the most use of your on-site search, you should show visitors the most relevant products or content with as little effort (and as few clicks) as possible. That means that the search results you show should be selected and sorted in a way that is unique for each person, based on the visitor’s intent and affinities.

For example, Zumiez leverages in-depth behavioral data to assess the interests and preferences of each visitor to its site, so that it can help them find the most relevant products in the search bar. In the image below, note that the recommended shoes are in the shopper’s preferred gender (women’s) and brand (Vans) based on her previous behavior on the site.

deep behavior segment

Essentially, search results that consider each person’s preferences and intent will provide products and content that are maximally relevant to the individual, not to the search term.

6. Human

The human channel is in some ways the most obvious form of personalization, because it’s very easy to provide a personalized experience to a customer when in a one-on-one conversation with him. But at the same time it can be the least obvious form of personalization, as many marketers do not realize that they can use the same principles and the same valuable information that they collect in all of the previously mentioned channels to pass on to call center, customer success and sales personnel to enable more relevant customer engagement.

For example, a B2B salesperson prospecting into an account can provide a personalized experience too. When preparing for a sales call, she can look into the activity of all visitors associated with the account – including an account’s activity history, preferred solutions, categories and content — to steer the conversation in a relevant direction even before asking any discovery questions.

Final Thoughts

In today’s multichannel world, cross-channel personalization is increasingly worth the effort to get right. Of course, achieving successful cross-channel personalization requires the right data and the right technology. For more information about the components you need for cross-channel personalization, check out this blog post.

Hopefully this article has illuminated some channels you may not yet have considered within your personalization strategy. To talk to someone about how Evergage can help you establish and execute your own cross-channel personalization strategy, request a 15-minute consultation today.

Source: B2C

Saturday, 24 June 2017

The Account-Based Marketing Disconnect B2B Marketers Are Ignoring

You’ve been given the assignment of incorporating Account-Based Marketing (ABM) into your demand generation strategy this year. Where do you begin? Unfortunately, the approach most B2B marketers choose by default is wildly disconnected from marketplace realities. Marketers are under the impression that in order to run scalable ABM campaigns, display advertising and retargeting is the only approach to take—and that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Display Advertising and ABM Disconnect


Let’s think about this for a moment, the one channel known for ‘banner burn out’ and poor engagement rates is considered to be the leading tactic for executing ABM. Why? ABM is a sophisticated marketing strategy that relies on volume and scale. How the hectic are you going to achieve success with banner ads in today’s climate? It’s amazing that marketers are acting like lemmings on this one. Why have more marketers not challenged this obvious disconnect and looked for better methods of ABM execution?

Going a step further, there is little to no qualification of appropriate sites to deliver ABM campaigns for B2B marketers. Sure, you can filter out mobile apps and such, but business related website filters are not available. Since ABM heavily relies on retargeting methodologies, let’s look at that scenario:

Your campaign is following around professionals identified as working at one of your target accounts. The campaign follows them onto sites such as ESPN, The Weather Channel, and This Old House with banner ads promoting your latest analyst report on IT Security Software. What’s wrong with this picture? There are zero signs of intent in this scenario…you are stalking a user while they check sports highlights from last night. You’re a savvy professional; ask yourself, how often do you click on those banner ads? NEVER.


The even funnier thing here is, where’s the B2B-level filter marketers are always so obsessed with? When B2B marketers run campaigns, one of the first questions they ask are ‘where will my content be shown…give me examples of the sites…are they B2B specific…are they IT specific…what’s their audience demo?’ It’s 10x the third degree. But when it comes to ABM display and retargeting it’s a free for all. Marketers trust in the tactic against all reason and data, and run the campaign anyways. I’m here to tell you, you can do better.

Content Powered Account-Based Marketing

Let’s daydream for a moment and imagine a world of perfect ABM scenarios. It probably includes one-to-one in-person meetings with the buying committees at your target accounts…yeah, I can’t give you that, talk to Sales ;) But what about this, what if you could guarantee that your content would be exposed to professionals working at your target accounts while they actively research business-related topics? No banner ads, no bogus irrelevant website placements – we’re talking real B2B style intent and native content. In the exact moment your target prospect is downloading a white paper on IT Security, wouldn’t you like to be there to metaphorically say, “Hey, while you’re at it, I think you’d also find my report really interesting, here’s a copy?” WHAT MARKETER WOULDN’T WANT THAT?


…And this my friends is content powered Account-Based Marketing (ABM). Luckily, this is not a dream, it does exist. Using content syndication with B2B-specific networks your campaign immediately narrows in on intent-based prospects doing research. Next, layering in account-level targeting and account-level lead filters, you’ve created the perfect ABM campaign.

Be Logical with Your ABM Strategy

Promoting your B2B content in a B2B content environment where professionals are showing real intent is meaningful—it just makes sense. I’m not saying stop using display advertising and retargeting to execute ABM campaigns, but why not test a content-based solution that offers more contextual alignment to your goals? Diversify, if you will. And remember, above all else make sure you are working with a solution that can offer you the reach and scale necessarily to deliver meaningful results.

Source: B2C

5 Indicators You Need a Website Redesign & 5 Indicators You Might Not

FirmBee / Pixabay

Thinking of a redesign for your website? The fact that you’re even considering it indicates that something is not going as well as you would like. Your reasons may be rather obvious or they may be more subtle. These first five indicators act as tell-tale signs that your site needs a refresh:

Poor Branding, Logo, and Style

Style is something noticed immediately when someone opens your website. Before reading anything, the user gets a visceral sense of who you are and what you’re about. Your color scheme should be modern, typically with one or two colors that dominate. Fonts should be stylish but not difficult to read. And your branding message should be clear and obvious from the get-go. Don’t try to be fancy or complex with the value you bring.

Boring Layout

Websites used to be laid out like books and newspapers, in block form with boxes and tables – think brochureware. Today, websites are more pleasant to the eye when they are free-flowing with featured areas that stand out, along with large buttons for easy navigation. Remember that a majority of visitors to your website may be using a smartphone or tablet to access it. Your layout should be responsive and easy to view on a variety of devices.

Lack of White Space

Older websites have a tendency to feel cluttered and full. Cramming too much information onto the page has a negative effect and may lead the reader to give up. Feature your most important information at the top of your home page, with the goal of drawing readers in and leading them to scroll down or clicking into another page when they want to read more. There is a classic tendency to want to include everything on your home page. Resist that. It’s like a clothing store putting men, women’s and children’s clothing right at the front door – potential customers would walk in, get overwhelmed and then walk right out.

Difficult to Use

Websites that are not easy to navigate require a great deal of patience. And today’s web visitors are notoriously impatient. In fact, if your website even takes more than two seconds to load, you begin losing users. And if your visitors have to fumble around your site looking for the information they need? They’re likely to give up. Be strategic and thoughtful about any videos, animations or rotating banners you may want on your home page. Your visitors may be gone by the time they load.

Archaic Code or Browser Incompatibility

Websites built more than just a few years ago may have difficulty functioning in today’s internet world. Websites can begin to look slightly “off” with incomplete borders, text that overlaps photos, or other items that simply are out of sync. This may be due to incomplete code or lack of browser testing.

Your website should work well on all browsers, including Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. In addition, it should be equally functional on both PCs and Macs. As mentioned earlier but bears repeating, in this day and age you should also be aiming to make your site mobile-friendly. Be sure the web developer you are working with has the capability to test these aspects.

Indicators Now is Not the Time for a Website Redesign

Honestly, not every company is in the best position for a redesign at any given moment. It may have to do with timing, lack of budget, your company’s goals, or other factors. Here are some reasons that postponing your website redesign might be in your company’s best interest.

Fuzzy Vision

If you aren’t sure where you are headed as a company, waiting might be your best bet. Once your company has declared its vision and goals, then you’ll be more prepared to establish yourself with a clearer online presence. Don’t think your website redesign will bring clarity to poorly defined business goals or strategy.

Lack of Resources

Re-designing a website does not have eat up all your company’s resources. But it will take some. Not only financial resources but also time and energy investments. The timing of a website redesign should fit well into the overall plan of your company’s stage of life. Any of these factors may indicate that you should wait:

  • Restructuring staff

  • Prep for a major industry conference

  • Office remodel or move

  • CRM, ERP or other enterprise system implementation

  • Re-launching your brand

You will need an employee with decision-making authority and possibly a marketing manager or specialist who can load content, build workflows and monitor the new website.

Unclear Target Audience

If you don’t yet know who you are trying to reach, it’s important to figure that out first. Focus on narrowing down your target audience, branding your company, and then redevelop your website when you have these other items in place.

Your Site Looks Good But Isn’t Converting

Simply because you don’t have visitors converting to leads on your site does not mean you need to rebuild what you have. It is possible that your site actually looks and functions fairly well and simply just needs to be restructured with better content. If you’re attracting visitors but not generating more leads that may point to a problem with the content on your website – either the website pages themselves or downloadable content.

You Need Something Else Entirely

If you’ve been through a recent redesign but things still aren’t “clicking,” it is possible that your business just needs something else. You may simply need a CMS (content management system), better content, or a research project to determine who you are reaching. Before assuming that a website redesign is what you need, do a bit of research to make sure the other aspects of your business are in place first. Review the leads you are generating outside of your website and the percentage that convert. See if you can mimic your most successful sales processes on your website to create a digital salesperson for your company.

Source: B2C

4 Innovative Strategies For High Volume Hiring

McDonald’s made headlines recently in their high volume hiring of 250,000 employees for the summer. Job seekers can apply on McDonald’s Snapchat career page via 10-second Snaplications.

McDonalds high volume hiring using Snapchat

This is just one example of how companies are responding to the growing challenge of attracting, hiring and retaining talent for high-demand, high-turnover roles in today’s tighter labour market.

If large, established companies like McDonald’s are innovating their application process and candidate experience, it’s clear we all need to step up.

Here are 4 innovative strategies to optimize your high volume hiring. First, a brief introduction.

High volume hiring

High volume hiring is the practice of hiring for a large number of open positions in a given time frame. This can range from hundreds to thousands of positions a year.

Common in industries such as retail and hospitality, the need for a large volume of new employees can be due to seasonal hiring, new store openings, or rapid growth in the organization.

Jobvite reports that while the average job posting attracts less than 50 applicants, the average high volume hiring attracts more than 250 applicants.

high volume hiring attracts more than 250 applicants

This means the main challenge for high volume hiring is the time spent screening and shortlisting candidates. Keeping your high volume hiring process short and sweet – for both candidates and recruiters – is the name of the game.

Strategy #1: Create a “candidate-first” job application process

Indeed found 42% of job seekers found lengthy applications the most frustrating part of the application process.

So while McDonald’s Snaplications may seem silly at first glance, they’re being very smart by creating a super speedy (and mobile) application process.

Best practices for “candidate-first” job application for high volume hiring include:

  1. Be where your candidates already are: Whether that’s Snapchat, Reddit, or LinkedIn.

  2. Make sure your application is mobile-optimized: According to Indeed, 65% of job seekers use their mobile devices to look for jobs. The ability to apply on mobile is especially important for hourly workers who might not have access to a desktop computer. Being mobile-optimized includes a job application site that’s both mobile-friendly (no more pinching the screen!) and allows job seekers to upload their resume using their phone.

  3. Keep it short: If possible, reduce candidate friction by creating a 1-click application process. If that doesn’t work for you, keep your qualification questions to a minimum (e.g., five and less), enable social profile apply, and pre-populate text boxes as much as possible.

Strategy #2: Speed up your sourcing with talent rediscovery

Talent rediscovery is the practice of mining your existing resume database to find previous candidates for open reqs.

A CareerBuilder survey found that one of the biggest complaints employers have about their recruiters is the failure to look at candidates in their own database. This complaint is a bit unfair when you consider that a typical ATS just wasn’t designed to have this type of internal search functionality.

Although your ATS may allow you to use keywords and Boolean strings to search through existing resumes, the results are usually limited and error-prone. This makes it difficult or even impossible to match previous applicants to an open req, unless you’re using a dedicated talent rediscovery tool.

This type of technology works by you entering a job description of a current req and the talent rediscovery algorithm will automatically screen every resume in your ATS to find the most qualified matches.

Strategy #3: Use technology to automate resume screening

On average, 75% of the resumes a typical high volume job posting receives are considered unqualified.

When you’re hiring for thousands of open positions a year, this adds up to hundreds of wasted hours skimming through unqualified resumes. While screening hundreds of resumes can be mind-numbing for human recruiters, it’s exactly the type of pattern matching AI was designed for.

Software that use AI to screen resumes analyzes the resumes of existing employees to learn the qualifications of a job and then ranks and grades new candidates who fit the criteria (e.g., from A to D).

Using AI for high volume hiring makes sense because AI requires a lot of data to be accurate. By automating manual resume screening, organizations such as retailers have reduced their time to hire by 75%.

In his Forbes article on how AI is being used in retail, Bryan Pearson of LoyaltyOne notes reducing time to hire gives high volume retailers a better chance of winning the best talent.

Strategy #4: Use recruiting metrics to find shortcuts

High volume hiring is a problem of scale so you need to be sure you’re optimizing your time and spend where you can.

Recruiting metrics are essential for understanding where process improvements are needed and justifying investments into specific recruiting functions.

Some recruiting metrics you can use to find shortcuts in your high volume hiring include:

  1. Track source of hire to optimize advertising spend: Silkroad’s data finds the most common source of hire are job boards and aggregators, which account for 31% of hires. Get granular by assessing which job boards and aggregators lead to more hires and invest more money into them while dropping underperforming sources.

  2. Track conversion rates to eliminate unnecessarily steps: LinkedIn’s interview process for customer success representatives used to include three interviews. The first interview was a phone screen with a recruiter who rated candidates on a scale of 1-3. When their data showed 90% of candidates who scored a 3 in their phone screen made it to the final interview round, they eliminated the second interview for these candidates.

  3. Create multipliers where possible: Efficiency is crucial for high volume hiring. Multipliers during the recruiting process include asking candidates to apply with their friends and conducting in-person interviews in groups.


Source: B2C