Advent Calendar: 24 excellent mistakes – 24 ambitious plans. Your holiday countdown!

Berlin, December 2015. This is Julian writing, from the Potentialpark office, where our team is busy completing the new OTaC study. Before the results come out in January, this seems like the perfect moment to – reflect a bit!

Legend has it that fireworks were invented by mistake, in China, more than 1000 years ago. A kitchen chef just mixed charcoal, sulfur and saltpeter. Imagine his surprise! (Booom!)

Meaning? You learn by trial and error, with courage to go new ways. So… I invited some friends to the:

AdCal 123


24 HR experts from all around the world – 2 questions each

The two questions I asked everyone are: your best lessons learned from 2015, and your most ambitious plans for 2016. (Plus, we will have a few special guests with some special questions in there, as well.)

Today, the first 3 doors (we’ll open the calendar in 3-day bits): Pam from Intel, Jacques from Deloitte and Elisabeth, CEO of Potentialpark. Enjoy your holiday countdown!

-Julian & the APOLLO blog team

Door 1: Pam’s (very reflective) Glassdoor story

Pam IntelWho: Pam McKnight

Role: Defining the solutions that help Intel establish and maintain a competitive advantage in talent acquisition

Where: Austin, Texas, USA

Question 1: What was your favorite mistake this year? The one you learned the most from.

We were awarded Glassdoor’s 2015 Candidate Choice Award for Computer Hardware and Software employer. This was an important and special honor for our team particularly. While we were very proud and had a plan to put this on our career site and post on LinkedIn, we missed a huge opportunity. We approached our communication and branding efforts in a very narrow & insular way.

Three key opportunities we missed:

  • We did not realize candidates would really think this was important information.
  • We did not consider the opportunity to engage candidates in a very personal way, and thank them for nominating us.
  • Lastly, we approached the effort very singularly versus a command center approach. We did not have a comprehensive marketing campaign leveraging our internal brand ambassadors, external social & talent community fans or and paid media.

The result was that someone else in our organization made the announcement, stealing a little of our thunder. No one in our organization had a specific call to action, so there was little awareness and minimal sharing done. While we did gain a little traffic from our efforts, we watched two of our competitors execute very targeted and comprehensive strategies around this announcement.

The result was that their Facebook pages, LinkedIn communities and other channels blew up. We know that they gained considerable value in their employment brand that we missed. It was a very tough lesson, but one we did not repeat when the LinkedIn 2015 In Demand Employers list came out and we were on it.

Question 2: What is your one most ambitious plan for 2016?

2016 will be about engagement for us. Our plan is to truly impact the candidate experience through our engagement efforts. We are striving to understanding where the important touch points are – from initial attraction, connection to our career site or at any other point in the candidate lifecycle – and how we can best engage talent at those times. Our goals is to engage at the critical points, providing content that meets their needs, confirming their decision to take action.

Get in touch with Pam on LinkedIn.

Door 2: Jacques’ advice on how to get big things done

JacquesWho: Jacques Kleynhans

Role: Digital Candidate Experience Manager, Deloitte (Globally)

Where: London, UK.

Question 1: What was your favorite mistake this year? The one you learned the most from.

Acting without knowing the full story or truly understanding the problem. Always take time to understand, digest and plan, before jumping straight into action.

Question 2: What is your one most ambitious plan for 2016?

Shaping the Candidate journey, beyond digital channels, from the very start right through to Alumni. Engagement shouldn’t stop after a candidate is hired, it should be a consistent, delightful journey, from the first interaction with the brand, till the last.

Get in touch with Jacques on LinkedIn.

Door 3: Elisabeth and a look behind the curtains at Potentialpark

Elisabeth2Who: Elisabeth Wicklin

Role: CEO, Potentialpark

Where: Stockholm, Sweden.

Question 1: What was your favorite mistake this year? The one you learned the most from.

My first year at Potentialpark has been very focused on internal communication since we are in a change process. Most important learnings are that you can never communicate enough internally and externally.

It is also worth mentioning that since we at Potentialpark are very research-savvy and data-driven, we made the mistake to put too little emphasis on marketing and PR.

Question 2: What is your most ambitious plan for 2016?

Our vision is to inspire communication because no one should miss the opportunity to find the work and place where they belong.

Next year we will spread the results and insights more. I will focus more on meeting and communicating with our clients, universities and students. Kick-starting with the OTaC Conferences that we are arranging in February and I’m also looking forward to the unique meeting place where we share ideas and experiences with our journey clients at Future Forum.

Get in touch with Elisabeth on LinkedIn.

The next 3 doors: Coming up on Dec 4th…

…so if you like to hear more stories, join us here, on the APOLLO blog. Our motto is Applying Online & Loving It, and that’s why we like to share data, best practices and opinions on employer branding and the candidate experience!

Read doors 4 to 6

Read doors 7 to 9

Read doors 10 to 12

Read doors 13 to 15

Read doors 16 to 18

Read doors 19 to 21

Read doors 22 to 24

Thank-you note: This all started a year ago, when Frank Staffler from Deutsche Telekom said to me “people share their successes all the time. What would be really interesting is an advent calendar where, every day, someone shares their best mistakes, too!” Great idea, and now is the time to pick it up.

Julian Ziesing Potentialpark

About the blogger: Julian Ziesing, candidate experience believer since 2002, and Head of Business Development at global market research firm Potentialpark, Berlin.

Get in touch with Julian on LinkedIn.

8 thoughts on “Advent Calendar: 24 excellent mistakes – 24 ambitious plans. Your holiday countdown!

  1. Pingback: Advent Calendar Doors 4 to 6: a re-launch with hick-ups | Applying Online & Loving It

  2. Pingback: Advent Calendar Doors 7 to 9: applying in 90 seconds, a personalized career website and Facebook luck | Applying Online & Loving It

  3. Pingback: Advent Calendar Doors 10 to 12: the power of online, videos and communities | Applying Online & Loving It

  4. Pingback: Advent Calendar Doors 13 to 15: about courage to lead, drive change and leave at the right time | Applying Online & Loving It

  5. Pingback: Advent Calendar Doors 16 to 18: turning around a Twitter crisis | Applying Online & Loving It

  6. Pingback: Advent Calendar Doors 19 to 21: University special about what companies can do better on campus | Applying Online & Loving It

  7. Pingback: Advent Calendar Doors 22 to 24: final stops at Amsterdam, Buenos Aires and the North Pole! | Applying Online & Loving It

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