People business’. It is about the people right?

I have a confession to make.  I get confused easily.  That’s it, I said it! 

What’s confused me this week?  Well companies that are in the “People business”, you know Recruitment Agencies, Consulting companies and the like, a quick scan over their websites revealed that a number of them have absolutely no people images on their website, marketing, or if they do, it’s from stock photos, bleck!. 

Surely your people aren’t that ugly that they would scare people away? (unlike this guy, but we still published it!)Image

It astounds me how many places a few people can work, the handshaking champion, the chiseled good looking guy, and those blurry people behind him, that amazing team comprising a old guy, a young woman, a young woman of asian decent, an African American guy etc etc insert cliche here. 

At IMA we thought about this, about the need to showcase our people! We’re pretty proud of them to be honest, but we wanted our website to represent us, not some vanilla vision of what a company, a board or a team should look like. So we engaged a professional photographer (Simone from Enraptured Photography) to assist us in showcasing our people, to show us in the light in which we want to be seen.  Sure the photo’s are edited, cleaned up to look the best that they can, but it doesn’t make them any less authentic.  It’s us, and honestly, it looks a hell of a lot better than, photos put up that we took with our mobile devices or our own DSLR, or heaven forbid stock photos. (OK a certain bias here)

But why? Why don’t companies want to show case their own people? Will it take away from the brand? Will it allow people to try to poach your people more easily? Or is it just too expensive to hire a professional? Or perhaps the imagery on your website doesn’t make that much difference to you?

Maybe you think candidates or clients don’t care about this stuff, it’s all about the jobs you have open, your team doesn’t really matter.  Maybe…. I’m not sure. 

I did a review of a number of Recruitment Agency websites and I rarely saw a photo on it.  Lots of information mind you, but little to do with imagery or their people.  It’s a people business right? Where are the people?

If you don’t think it matters, seriously talk to Carolyn Hyams from Aquent/Firebrand and have a look at what they have done with their Social Media and imagery and tell me it doesn’t matter.

This rant is right up there with….. well another rant I did a while ago… here 

In these days of social media and everything online, I think you need to give yourself every advantage, why not spend the money, if you have it.  It’ll improve your brand, personalise your PEOPLE business even if you cannot define a ROI on it. Although I’m sure Carolyn could!

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Posted on February 21, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Dan, firstly thank you for the mention. I really do appreciate it. You make a good point. Why don’t brands show their people, make them contactable, give them a peak at their DNA? Maybe they are still in the dark ages — afraid that their staff will be poached. Don’t they realise that in the age of transparency, everyone can be found (on LinkedIn for example)? I know I would much rather see who I am talking to (I often search for a person on LinkedIn whilst I’m talking to them on the phone so that I can picture them. I’d much prefer to contact a human instead of an ATS or a machine and get a human response. That’s how you build relationships right?

    And you’d be surprised how inexpensive it is to include real photos (and have fun with them too). In fact, it doesn’t have to cost a cent. People tend to trust “real” photos rather than those corporate, polished photos anyway.

  2. Very good point Dan, and when it’s all said and done what matters is that steady eye to eye contact as you shake hands to close the deal – not our avatars and social profiles.

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