Tuesday, June 19, 2018

5 Ways You’re Losing Good Candidates In The Recruitment Process

A candidate’s opinion of your organization will be shaped almost entirely by the recruitment process. Consider their first touch point with your company as a first date. While it’s crucial for the candidate to sweep the recruiter off their feet, recruiters often forget how important it is for them to create a positive impression in favor of the organization. This courtship is a two-way street, as unemployment rates across North America are steadily dropping, leaving a smaller pool of qualified and competent available job seekers.

After a bad candidate experience, 72% of job seekers report sharing their encounters online. This alone can severely diminish an organization’s brand equity and prevent future applicants from considering them as employers. In fact, 55% of job seekers report avoiding certain companies after reading negative reviews.

Every interaction with a candidate sends a clear message about the organization. Let’s examine some common recruitment mistakes, and the message they send to good candidates that might scare them away.

5 Ways You’re Losing Good Candidates In The Recruitment Process

1. Drawing Out the Recruitment Process

The interview process can be lengthily based on an organization’s hiring policies. The overall process can take an average of 23.7 days. While a great candidate might be considering your organization, they are likely considering other companies as well. By drawing out your process, you are communicating to a good candidate that not only are you still not sure about them, but they might not be your top pick. As a result, good candidates may withdraw themselves from the pool. Having multiple screening methods beyond the interview (IQ tests, presentations, panel interviews, etc.) can also slow down the process and create more hurdles that scare candidates away.

Eliminate any unnecessary steps or meetings, and make an offer as quickly as possible. Remember, if you string candidates along and treat them poorly, they will likely share this experience on sites like Glassdoor, so communicate transparently and frequently.

2. Showing Up Late/Unprepared to Interviews

Of course, uncontrollable circumstances can sometimes occur. However, if a candidate is taking time away from their job for an interview, the minimum requirement should always be that an organization is timely, prepared, and have read the candidate’s resume. Otherwise, the candidate might leave feeling as though the company does not value their time, and likely does not value the time of its employees. Be prompt with each interview, and don’t think that letting a candidate sit in the lobby while you answer emails won’t impact their overall impression!

3. Asking for Finished Work

Asking a candidate to produce similar work to that required of the job can be necessary when searching for a specific skill set. However, asking a candidate to produce real work that will be used in the business is unethical and should not be a best practice within your organization. This tells candidates that you’re comfortable taking advantage of the people you work with and you might not always be ethical in your business.

When asking candidates to submit an exercise to demonstrate their skill set, consider how long it will take them to complete this work. If it takes longer than a few hours, this request will likely be seen as unreasonable and will result in many qualified candidates removing themselves from the recruitment process.

4. Calling Them Without Setting Up a Time to Chat

In a traditional recruitment process, a recruiter would identify a list of resumes, and begin calling potential candidates. While calling a candidate is certainly quicker than writing up an email, it can become extremely invasive for individuals who are currently employed. Seventy percent of organizations utilize an open floor concept, which means most people can’t pick up their phones in private while they are at work. As a recruiter, you’ll know whether or not a candidate is currently employed, and calling them without setting up time over email might convey the impression that your organization is unprofessional and not considerate of their personal circumstances. When it comes to candidate preference, 79% of those surveyed prefer being contacted through email first.

5. Forgetting to Sell the Company and Opportunity

Finally, remember that as a recruiter, you are trying to sell a candidate on your organization. It’s important to be transparent about the realities of the job. It’s also crucial to share positive information about the culture, highlight their growth potential, and always ensure the candidate is completely informed of all aspects of the role they are interviewing for. Like in any sales cycle, you must close your candidate!

Losing good candidates to a bad recruitment process will not only damage your talent pipeline, but will influence how consumers interact with your brand and products in the long run. The best candidates understand that interviewing is a two way street, so information must always be shared both ways, and candidates must always be treated with respect and value!

This article originally appeared on Glassdoor and was re-published with permission.

The Best Storyboarding Software of 2018 for Any Budget

Today, video can help marketers do a lot of things -- it can help you explain your product or service, it can increase traffic to your website, and it can even convince people to purchase a product.

72% of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service. Even if you have a powerful written content strategy, if you don’t use video, you’re losing traffic to more video-heavy competitors.

Your business is probably already using video for marketing purposes (since, in 2018, 81% of businesses are), but are you planning your videos for optimal success, or are you drawing shots by hands or writing a script and winging the rest?

Whether you use video for training, sales, or demo purposes, storyboarding can alleviate the time-consuming nature of video preparation, while also increasing your video’s overall quality and decreasing production errors.

If you’re looking for a tool to take your video production process to the next level in 2018, take a look at our list of the best storyboarding software out there -- no matter your budget.

1. Storyboarder

Storyboarder is open source and free, making it one of your best options if you're working with a smaller budget. The program has a clean interface with all the necessary tools at your disposal, so it’s easy to quickly draw shapes and characters. You can also write dialogue, and enter timing information and shot type.

Storyboarder works collaboratively with Photoshop, which means you can edit your board in Photoshop for more precision, and it will automatically update in Storyboarder. This software lets you export to Premiere, Final Cut, Avid, PDF, or Animated GIF.

Price: Free

Image courtesy of Storyboarder.

2. Plot

Adrian Thompson made animated videos for seven years, and “came to despise how tedious it was to edit a basic storyboard template.” His frustration led him to create Plot, a free and fast storyboard creator with impressive users such as WeightWatchers, Vistaprint, and Workday.

Each feature aims to make your process as quick and efficient as possible. You can add and delete scenes without copying and pasting text, incorporate images from anywhere on the web to visualize scenes faster, and collaborate with coworkers from within the software. Plot is a solid option if your team often works under tight deadlines and needs a software to create storyboards quickly.

Price: Free, or Premium for $7.50/month

Image courtesy of Plot.

3. Frameforge Storyboard Studio

With impressive users including HBO, Netflix, and BBC, Frameforge is the real deal, but your team can still benefit even if you don’t have animation, drawing, or highly technical computer skills.

Frameforge offers core and pro versions of their product, and the pro option allows you to plan where you’ll place dollies and cranes (down to the inch). The software lets you import a script from any scriptwriting program. Plus, the storyboards include movement arrows, framing notations, angle of view, focal length, and more, so everyone on your video team, from preparation to production, is on the same page. It works on any mobile device, and the export functions make it possible to download the final product as a Powerpoint presentation. Frameforge is a good option for teams that aim to create more full-fledged and lengthy videos for entertainment purposes.

Price: $299.95 for Frameforge 4 Core Full, $599 for Frameforge 4 Pro Full

Image courtesy of Frameforge.

4. Studiobinder

Studiobinder lets you customize every aspect of your visualization, and offers tools to filter columns, adjust the order of your scenes, upload images, change aspect ratios, color code shots, add notes, and more. Studiobinder also makes collaboration easy, with project management features to assign tasks and add comments. Plus, if you want to preview your project from within the platform to show your team, there’s a nifty presentation mode. It touts impressive clients including BuzzFeed, ESPN, and CBS Interactive. This option is good for teams who need to collaborate on various stages of the video production process, and prefer customizable tools.

Price: Free, or $49/month for Professional

Image courtesy of Studiobinder.

5. Moviestorm

You’ll have flashbacks to The Sims when you first test out Moviestorm, which takes you step-by-step through the process of creating 3D characters, directing a scene, framing your shots, adding and deleting in-scene objects, recording the movie, and adding music and sounds. Moviestorm’s product is an effective all-in-one solution, and is helpful whether you’re creating a company commercial, training video, or corporate presentation. You can try it free for 14 days. This is a good option if your team wants to visualize and even pitch the full video start-to-finish in accurate detail, or create a full-fledged product from within the app itself.

Price: $225 for Moviestorm Max

Image courtesy of Moviestorm.

6. Storyboard Fountain (for Mac)

If you’re not necessarily interested in the fancier movie-making options in the list, Storyboard Fountain is a simple, user-friendly interface for quickly drawing stick figures and incorporating text for scene details. The marker, pencil, and pen tools respond to Wacom sensors. When you’re happy with your storyboard, you can record audio and board timing, so you can playback the video to pitch your idea. Best of all, it’s open source and free, making it a fantastic option for teams working with a smaller budget.

Price: Free

Image courtesy of Storyboard Fountain

7. PowerProduction Software

PowerProduction Software offers a variety of tools for storyboarding, varying from simple to more robust and all-inclusive. StoryBoard Quick, for instance, offers a library of artwork for characters, props, and locations, and allows you to design and share your ideas easily. StoryBoard Artist, on the other hand, offers a full-featured timeline, frame transitions, and 3D characters, and is more appropriate for animated video presentations. PowerProduction Software also provides iPhone and Android app versions of their products, so you can visualize and create from anywhere. These products are used by big-names including Disney, Universal, and 20th Century Fox, so if you choose this software, you’re in good company. If your team is interested in creating lengthy, high-quality, and even animated videos, this could be a good option.

Price: $129.99/year for StoryBoard Quick, or $269.99/year for StoryBoard Artist 7

Image courtesy of PowerProduction Software.

8. Canva

Creating a storyboard doesn’t have to stress you out, and Canva makes it especially easy, with a library of templates to choose from, one million stock images (or the option to upload your own), and grids and frames to organize your scenes. You can choose font type, color, and include headers and subheaders. If you’re working with someone else on script or design, you can grant access for collaboration, and when you’re finished, share the design with your team through email or as a PDF file. If your team needs a simple and easy software for simpler projects or to get your feet wet with the process of storyboarding, this is a good option.

Price: Free

Image courtesy of Canva.

9. Boords

Boords offers an all-in-one pre-production storyboarding software, with drag-and-drop tools and flexible frames. It also offers a unique Animatic Tool, and when you’re ready to share your animatic, you can share it online for feedback or export to Boords’ After Effects plugin. Plus, you can share your storyboard with coworkers or clients and let them comment within the platform. With a free trial and incredibly low prices after that, there’s no reason not to try it if you’re interested in using storyboarding for animatics or simpler projects.

Price: Free Trial, then $19/month for Plus version or $24/month for Team version

Image courtesy of Boords. 

Coffee and Community: Foster Coffee Company on Growing Their Social Media Following and Business

Too busy to read? Just click the play button below to listen to this post.

“We love coffee, but we love community and people more.”

This Foster Coffee Company credo isn’t just a brand statement.

It’s at the heart of their social media strategy too.

We spoke to co-founder Nicholas Pidek and marketing associate, Justin Ozanich, about how social media has helped them grow their community and business.

“Two and a half years ago we were just brewing coffee at the farmers’ market, and we learned early on that social media was a huge part of our strategy to grow our business. You know, we were serving coffee one day a week. Saturday mornings we would get up at 5 a.m. and serve people from 7 till 1… but we were able to use social media every day of the week to touch people.” – Nicholas

What began as two friends experimenting with craft coffee at a farmers’ market has become a local business success story.

Foster Coffee Company now has two thriving locations in Michigan, where people gather to drink great coffee, work, converse, celebrate the local community and build relationships. Along the way, that initial partnership has blossomed into a team of coffee and community enthusiasts, whose faces feature regularly on their social media platforms.

Part of our strategy with growing was just producing really good content.

We’ve got some really great resources at our disposal of people who work for pretty much next to nothing because they believe in the brand – to take photos for us and come out and shoot our product and photograph people, to really tell people our story.

Our philosophy is products are great and there are so many great companies out there that have the most beautiful photographs of their cappuccinos, and their lattes, and that’s something that we do speckle in there, but primarily people are attracted to people. So we want people to see other people interacting with each other and with our products at the same time.

People drive our community, not products.” – Nicholas

Foster Coffee Co instagram photos

Discovering Buffer through a personal touch

With a people-first philosophy and content strategy, Nicholas started exploring ways to better plan out social media campaigns and expand Foster’s reach on social. His exploration into social media management platforms even involved a serendipitous personal connection, the exact kind of thing their coffee shops aim to cultivate.

“Early on, I started using Buffer and just kind of did the gamut of looking at what platforms were out there. I was just really thrilled with the platform.

Adam, who works for Buffer, started coming into Foster, and when I found out that he was working for Buffer, that was kind of a cool connection there – that someone from this company is actually working in our coffee shop.” – Nicholas

Buffer is the ideal publishing platform for Foster because it enables them to plan, schedule and deliver their content in a consistent, yet flexible way.

“I start off with photographs, so really our Buffer scheduling starts at the photoshoot. We capture new content on a weekly basis and decide the direction of that content anywhere from two weeks to a month in advance – where we want our publishing schedule to go. Two weeks seems to be a sweet spot for us. It is far enough out that we can stay ahead of the schedule without scrambling to find content, and at the same time it’s not that difficult it add something or make changes or last minute – we can just click and drag stuff around.

I use the calendar feature in Buffer all the time. I schedule pretty much exclusively from that perspective.

For example, if something awesome is happening in the shop or if we have something unique that pops up, it’s really easy to insert that into the schedule. We don’t have to be married to a plan, which is a great feature.” – Justin

Foster's Buffer calendar

“One of the things that I think has really helped us, as far as social media engagement and growing our following goes, is early on Nick understood the power of really great content, instead of just settling for mediocre.

He took the initiative to make sure that we have really good photographers working with us regularly to produce great content that represents our vision. I really like that because it shows our audience that we have a certain level of care for every aspect of our business and want to bring our customers the best in every avenue.

We want them to know that we really care about our product, and that we really care about them and their experience, and I feel that is transferable through those photos. And then when they generate their own content about Foster, they also understand that we care about their experience and are willing to share their images on social.” – Justin

Harnessing user-generated content is something the team at Foster are being more deliberate about. It’s an opportunity to generate word-of-mouth, build loyalty and create advocates for their brand.

“We are reaching a certain level of popularity, where people from all walks of life with varying degrees of photography skills are drawn to capture their version of community attached to our brand. So now we’re sprinkling these into our feeds to feature other people’s viewpoints of the Foster vision.” – Nicholas

Making decisions with data

Social media analytics are also playing an increasingly important role in helping to guide content decisions.

“One of the things that I really like about Buffer is how I can build out as far as I want into the foreseeable future, but really start to tailor campaigns if we see certain trends within the industry. We can get ahead of that and it’s really easy to customize the publishing schedule afterwards.

We want to know our top performing posts for the year, we want to know what content was in those posts, so that way we can build a better model moving forward of content that generates more engagement.

Because as we know, the more engagement we can get online, the more that’s going to translate to a possible sale, or somebody walking through our doors, or checking out our website and maybe making a purchase that way” – Justin

A peek inside Foster Coffee Company’s social media analytics

Foster's Top Posts

Foster Engagement report

(Advanced Analytics and Reports are available on Buffer for Business plans)

They’re also exploring how social media tools can help with their market positioning and benchmarking their growth.

Being a small business, one of the best ways that we’ve found to determine our market position is with social media.

We aren’t directly competing with large publicly traded companies and franchises, but in a way we are. From a purely economic and capitalistic viewpoint, we’re all competing for coffee consumers. We intentionally add an altruistic community-centric mission to our vision, but through our social engagement measurement systems, we can at least get a rough estimate of the market position of the purely profit-driven companies around us in comparison to ours. We can measure how we’re both making an impact based on our reasons to exist.” – Nicholas

Say hello to amazing coffee

If you’re ever in town and in need of a fresh brew, do pop by Foster Coffee Company in either Owosso or Flint and say hello. Aside from excelling on social media, they’re great people who make amazing coffee!

Foster Coffee Company: Key Stats

2013: year founded by Jonathan Moore and Nicholas Pidek
2: the number of coffee shop locations
15k+: combined social media audience
30%: year-on-year social media follower growth

Instagram | Facebook

We hope you found this case study useful! Ready to grow your small business? Getting started with Buffer is easy. Learn more about our plans and try it free.

Monday, June 18, 2018

26 Animated Logos to Inspire Your Own

There’s a reason we’re so invested in movies and watching something play out on a screen versus reading a book about the same topic.

Motion is exciting to us, and often conveys a message difficult to express through text alone.

Granted, watching animated logos all day isn’t quite as fun as binge-watching The Office, but nonetheless, it still often wins in a contest against its static alternative -- doesn’t it?

Here, we’ve compiled a list of some of the coolest animated logos businesses are using today. These logos are so sleek and pragmatic, they’ll likely inspire you to beg for a redesign of your own company logo.

If you don’t believe me, let the exploding Skype name speak for itself.

1. Shazam

Image courtesy of Oleg Turbaba.

2. Skype

Image courtesy of Pivotal.

3. Nike

Image courtesy of JustCreative.com.

4. FedEx

Image courtesy of JustCreative.com.

5. Lux

Image courtesy of Mucho.

6. Spotify

Image courtesy of Oliver Keane.

7. Feral Sphere

Image courtesy of Mind Design.

8. Brikk

Image courtesy of Gun Karlsson.

9. Sello

Image courtesy of Latham Arnott.

10. Untime

Image courtesy of Tony Pinkevich.

11. Firefox

Image courtesy of Latham Arnott.

12. Flight PR

Image courtesy of Dia.

13. OpenView

Image courtesy of Pentagram.

14. Cub Studio

Image courtesy of Fraser Davidson.

15. Ugmonk

Image courtesy of Seth Eckert.

16. Arzábal's Food Truck

Image courtesy of Behance.

17. Two Twelve Studio


Image courtesy of Behance.

18. Scout

Image courtesy of Dave Chenell.

19. Fuzbiz

Image courtesy of Mattias Peresini.

20. AMA

Image courtesy of David Stanfield.

21. Ikea

Image courtesy of Nikita Melnikov.

22. Hypercompact

Image courtesy of Evgeny Skidanov.

23. Slingshot

Image courtesy of Anastasiia Andriichuk.

24. CrowdStrike

Image courtesy of Seth Eckert.

25. Google

Image courtesy of Adam Grabowski.

26. Glug

Image courtesy of Marcus Chaloner.

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Best Coworking Office Spaces in Australia

It’s fair to say that Australia is one of the best places in the world to start a business, boasting a thriving tech industry and an entrepreneurial edge. But starting your own business comes with a ton of expenses -- and one of the biggest is finding office space to work your magic in.

The good news is that you can vastly reduce this expense by opting to use one of Australia’s many coworking spaces, where you’ll also benefit from being in the midst of like-minded people who are willing to share ideas. (Not to mention, many of these spaces also offer free coffee!)

Sydney and Melbourne are two of the most active startup hubs in Australia, so we’ve put together a list of the best coworking spaces in each to help you find a space that works for you:

Sydney Coworking Spaces

  1. Fishburners
  2. Tank Stream Labs
  3. Spaces
  4. Hub Sydney
  5. Stone and Chalk

The Best Coworking Spaces in Australia

1. Fishburners

Image Source: Fishburners

Fishburners have locations in Sydney, Melbourne and Shangai, with the Sydney office alone boasting almost 300 companies working out of their space, as well as 500 visitors entering the premises each week. Fishburners also offers some handy perks such as free coffee and Red Bull, as well as a thriving community environment.

Pricing varies depending on the type of membership you choose, but you can take a free tour of Fishburners to get a feel for what membership package would best suit your needs. A huge bonus of joining Fishburners is that you get access to all of their locations mentioned above, regardless of your membership type.

2. Tank Stream Labs

Image Source: Tank Stream Labs

Tank Stream Labs (or TSL to those who know it well) bills itself as a “tech-focused, coworking community for startups and scaleups, with a global focus”. And it’s safe to say that they live up to that billing, with two offices in Sydney that house companies like Buzzfeed, Ashop, and formerly, GoDaddy. TSL also has a large community, with over 400 startups on the books in total and more than $300m raised to date by its members.

3. Spaces

Image Source: Spaces

Landing in Sydney’s Surry Hills from Amsterdam in 2016, Spaces offers 222 coworking desks to choose from, as well as three private meeting rooms. Spaces also provides a virtual office package that gives you access to a private office at Spaces locations for five days a month. If you’re not sure if Spaces is for you, they offer a free one-day trial so you can test their facilities out without dropping a cent.

Image Source: Startup Scene Australia

3. Hub Sydney

After originally opening a single office in Sydney’s William Street in 2013, Hub Sydney has now opened a second office located at Hyde Park in 2018. They offer day passes if you’re only passing through Sydney, or monthly memberships if you’d like a longer stay. Like Fishburners, you’ll get access to any of Hub Sydney’s other locations once you join the community. This means you can set up camp in places like Melbourne, London, Singapore, New York and Santa Monica.

Image Source: The Founder Lab

Based in Sydney’s Winyard Green, Stone and Chalk entered Australia as Asia’s largest Fintech coworking space, and it’s growing fast. It’s secured some impressive partners in Australia already, with the likes of NAB, HSBC and Suncorp amongst the many listed as corporate partners. Stone and Chalk also host regular in-office events with guest speakers from companies like Ernst and Young and Westpac.

Melbourne Coworking Spaces

  1. Framework
  2. Inspire9
  3. The Commons
  4. Hive Studio
  5. The Cluster

1. Framework

Image Source: Creative Spaces

Framework is one of the smaller coworking spaces on this list, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome. They’re based on the edge of Melbourne’s CBD with a tight-knit community of designers, developers, videographers, copywriters, marketing professionals and everything in between. Framework’s aim is to foster a social, professional and collaborative environment to nurture small business growth -- you can even take the space for a test drive before making a decision.

2. Inspire9

Image Source: Creative Spaces

In business since 2011, Inspire9 is well known in the Melbourne startup community and has offices in both Richmond and Footscray. Like others on this list, Inspire9 holds regular in-office events and promote a strong focus on a collaborative environment between members. They’ve got packages to suit all needs, including daily and weekly passes, as well as a 24/7 residency package for the workaholics among us.

3. The Commons

Image Source: Creative Spaces

The Commons is one of the largest coworking spaces in Australia, with Eventbrite, Yeti and Almo among its members. The Commons has offices in Cremorne, South Melbourne and Collingwood, and offers a host of membership packages, including a customised private office. They’ve even got a photo studio and green screen if you need to get creative and save on the cost of a photo studio

Image Source: Hive Studio

4. Hive Studio

Located in Collingwood, Hive Studio offers a boutique workspace for small startup businesses, focusing on a community atmosphere and shared creative-minded environment. Depending on your needs, Hive Studio offers both desk space and office space, where you can rent up to seven desks in your own, lockable mini office. Pricing is also all-inclusive, so no hidden costs.

Image Source: Spacely

5. The Cluster

This is one of the best equipped coworking spaces on the list, with no less than six multimedia meeting rooms and 2,500m squared of high-tech office space that overlooks the Yarra River in Melbourne’s CBD. They offer a multitude of packages including flexi desks and private offices, while also providing a call answering service as part of their higher-end packages. Members of The Cluster include Amaysim, Mexia and Point Advisory.

Those are, in my opinion, some of the best coworking spaces you’re likely to find. But, there’s a plethora of others available if none of these suit your needs. If you’re in the process of starting your own business in Australia and aren’t quite sure what you have to do next, you can also take a look at this handy checklist to help you tick off the main items on your list.