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You are what Google says you are

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You are what Google says you areOn average, people do 22 Google searches per day, each lasting about 11 seconds. Google has replaced encyclopaedias, directories and even ‘Mom’ in many cases (don’t tell her I said that) as the go-to resource for seeking answers. So it should come as no surprise that when people want to find out more about what kind of company yours is to work for, they ask Google.

For instance, if you Google “is Pixar a good place to work?” Google offers about 191,000 results, the first 10 of which are displayed on the first page—and which incidentally reflect exclusively positive comments. Even more remarkable, is the fact that of these top-10 results, only one or two of them come from Pixar-owned sites. The rest are mostly from independent blogs (which cover everything from animation to e-commerce personalization services).

How do they do that?! Aside from actually being a good place to work, and having lots of employees who are happy to say so, Pixar is clearly doing something else right to saturate the internet with that much positive content.

To get at what Pixar is doing to get the word out, it’s important to remember that, like a third-rate comedian who can’t come up with any of their own material, Google can only repeat what others have said. As powerful as Google is, it does not have the capability to manufacture content, it can only index what already exists. And bloggers too, will only blog about topics that already exist. You, as the HR department, need to seed the internet with interesting topics for people to write about.

Some ideas for topics:

 

  • latest employment awards (Canada’s Greenest Employer, Canada’s top 100)
  • departmental milestones (our third successful product launch this year, thanks to the dedicated efforts of the R&D team)
  • corporate social responsibility activities (fundraisers, donation drives)
  • employee certification milestones (congratulations to all five of our Engineers in Training, who have just received their degrees)
  • new branches opening (which not only points to hiring more staff but also offers an opportunity to highlight the features/décor that will set the tone in the new facility)

If you don’t have access to your own company blog, you can post summaries or links to these stories on relevant industry or association blogs that your employees are members of. Another way to get people chatting about you is to post a teaser to the full story as a status update on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

Examples:

  • “We’re voted as green again! We love the new bike lane downtown.”
  • “Angela and I just donated our old computers to FreeGeek. Their faces lit up when they saw us!”

Basically, anything you can say about your organization’s culture, industry or approach to hiring will offer both insights into your employer brand and provide others with an opportunity to discuss what they think of those features. Discussions are good – the more people you can engage in the conversation, the better chance you will have of your stories being picked up and shared through the far reaches of the internet.

Does Google think your organization is a good place to work? Ask Google, and then start building your plan for how to seed the internet with answers.

Reprinted with Permission from Midlyn Day Communications

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