Archive for February, 2021

Let It Be

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By Rob Kessler

Time to find the right recruiting solutions

Six years seems like a generation ago. Time flies when you deal with a pandemic. In 2015, the number of applicants per job opening was about 59. In 2019, that number fell to only 30. Obviously a strong economy and falling unemployment numbers made seeking out new talent difficult for recruiters across most industries.

Enter our favorite year … 2020. Everything changed and a reset button was hit on recruitment as we now head towards the end of the pandemic (hopefully). With current unemployment (January 2021) at 6.3%, there are millions of full-time workers looking for new opportunities. And those numbers don’t include those who held off leaving their company for fear of finding something new.

What does this mean to talent acquisition professionals? A huge jump in applicants per job opening.

So to help explain what TA teams can do to assist the new hiring realities, we’ll go to a Beatles theme (the music lover in me) to “Get Back” and help you navigate the “Long and Winding Road.”


With budgets cut, in-person interviews still in question and resources strained, recruiters will need to find ways to sift through those resumes efficiently and effectively – all while maintaining a strong candidate experience and employer brand.

You say you want a (tech) revolution

One area that HR leaders should look into (assuming they haven’t already) is a digital transformation, utilizing data solutions and tech to simplify a number of administrative tasks across the hiring process. Recruiters should be focused on the relationship side of the TA equation while things like AI can handle the mundane parts of it.

With the continued evolution and revolution of smart applicant systems, TA teams can utilize the solutions and tools in place to automate job candidate matching, candidate screening and job description keywords. Most advanced tools also offload repetitive tasks, such as sending automated candidate responses and scheduling interviews. And with virtual interviewing not going away anytime soon, you’ll find most with video conference capabilities as well.

All you need is love (and balance)

Just like last year, 2021 will bring a host of challenges to talent acquisition. And just like in the past, recruiters will need to do all they can to enhance the candidate experience to attract top talent and strengthen their employer brand. That balance won’t be an easy one. Candidates continue to place a positive employer brand, reputation and culture high on their radar as they consider new opportunities. But with the right tools at their side, TA professionals can support their companies’ growth initiatives with strong hiring practices and processes, while reinforcing their reputations as a great place to work.

Or at the very least, avoid a “Helter Skelter” of work coming your way (I had to throw one more in).

Learn more about how Magnetize can help you attract and retain great talent.

Why Anyone Hearts Anything

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by Rebecca Kappel, Strategy Director

Falling in love. For your sake, I hope you’ve done it … at least once.

The obsession, the singular focus on that one person, that “I have to have them” feeling. It’s like nothing else. It drives your decisions (good ones and bad ones) and dominates your motivations.

This one universal human experience is so strong it’s been the prominent theme in an undefinable majority of art, music and theater we’ve produced since, well, ever. I don’t need to find some stats — you know it’s true.

But leave it to science to ruin the romance. According to some smart folks at Harvard, love is simply chemicals in the brain, and since the brain controls the body, there you go – through three scientifically proven phases of love: lust, attraction and attachment.

Love and marketing. Like love and marriage but … different. A product or service might not be as life-altering as human love, but it sure can change futures and fortunes (think: Apple). Brand love can begin as innocently as any other: passing a window display in a busy city, pausing on a post on Instagram or being introduced by a friend.

And, conveniently, the phases are incredibly similar. When consumers or audiences are after a product, an experience or a lifestyle, they process the same emotions:


So much dopamine here! You have to have it, can’t live without it. It’s the vacation, the car, the shoes that will finally make you happy.

But how do you make someone fall in love with your brand? It’s easy if it’s a Porsche or a pair of Manolos, but what if it’s pipeline maintenance?

According to Ben Kunz at American Marketing Association, and drawn from the psychology of Daniel Berlyne, the following five elements generate desire.

1. Novelty: Make your brand like no other brand around it.

2. Unexpectedness: Connect surprising elements to your narrative; don’t be boring.

3. Complexity: Let’s call this intelligence: be smarter than your audience.

4. Ambiguity: Leave something to the imagination. Give them a reason to click the button, turn the page or pick up the phone.

5. Creation of puzzlement: Make them wonder how they could ever survive without your product or service.


Now that they want you, make them trust you and play into the need for reward behavior. Let them know that not only can your product or service take care of their needs, they deserve it. The luxury item, the excellent customer service, the top-notch legal work … they shouldn’t settle for less.

Ah, oxytocin.


And this is, of course, a brand’s best friend. Or favorite lover. This means we reach for Coke over Pepsi, Kleenex over tissue (is there even another tissue brand?), Apple over Samsung, Southwest over United and even H&R Block over TurboTax. Because eventually, even in the best love stories, you end up talking about stuff like taxes and whether or not you slept well.

If love is in the brain, the good news for marketers is that brand is in the brain too. Understand your audience, talk directly to them, build their trust and don’t ever be boring.

Because, after all, “Love is a game that two can play and both can win.” – Eva Gabor

We’re All Just Personas

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by Rebecca Kappel, Strategy Director

Developing user personas is an effective way to understand your audience and provides a framework for your brand message.

“Knowing our customer and communicating with them in their language, in the places they go in an appropriate way … everything else is tactics.” — Peter Bell, Product Marketing Senior Director, Marketo

I’m a Virgo INTJ.

By all accounts, I am:
“picky and critical” (check)
“industrious, methodical and efficient” (check)
“strategically capable” (check)
“imaginative yet decisive” (check)
“comfortable out of the spotlight” (yep)
“bent on deconstructing and rebuilding every idea and system they come in contact with” (hell yeah)
“self-confident and mysterious” (hmmm)
Spot on.

So are we all that easy to peg? Individual characteristics can be run through testing and given classification. But how do we determine group motivations and ideals?

According to a study by The Edelman Group, 51% of the 11,000 consumers surveyed think that brands that they have chosen to engage with (ie, follow on social media) don’t understand their needs.

Developing user personas is an effective way to understand your audience and provides a framework for your brand message. At Magnetize, we love to dig in and learn what motivates people. When developing customer profiles, we look to discover three big things: Drivers, Obstacles and Mindset. To accomplish this, we take into account existing data and develop mechanisms to gather new insights. These fall into two categories: Qualitative and Quantitative.

Qualitative persona assessments are more than gut feelings and intuition. They can be simple or complex, but they must be based on actual assessments. Qualitative data can be gathered through customer surveys, interviews, focus groups, and exit surveys.

At Magnetize, we have conducted all of the above to learn what makes consumers tick, and then use those insights to create messaging that speaks to just the right folks. We have learned that IT professionals value collaboration over process; that potential talent recruits don’t mind wearing a suit and tie if the environment is collaborative; and that healthy thirty-somethings will buy life insurance if they are offered great rates.

Quantitative assessments need data, period.

Using your existing analytics platform, we can pull metrics on frequency, repetition, transactions and revenue per user. Tracking the customer journey through pixel placing and ad retargeting can determine how people best interact with your brand, and shed light on which tactics and channels yield the best results.

If you don’t have a history of well-tracked analytics, don’t fret. It’s never too late to start gathering data. We make sure to set objectives, goals and KPIs, and then measure against those markers during campaign implementation. Working in three month tracking periods, our digital strategists assess and adjust based on that continual knowledge gain.

And we never rest. A surprising barrier to effective data analysis is, strangely, success. Campaign successful? Great? Why? Let’s make sure we know and do more of it.

Most Importantly, Know Thyself
Understanding your organization’s ability to manage data is critical. You will need the resources to both gather and monitor analytics in house or the budget to engage with an agency to watch that activity. Knowing and accepting this at the beginning of a campaign effort will allow the team to scale their efforts accordingly.

At Magnetize, we work both alongside and in front of our clients, providing increased or decreased support as their needs and capabilities change. Our agency persona: Focused on mutual success, invested in your business outcomes, collaborative always.

Find out your personality type: