Obsessively Curious

To squirrel

/ˈskwɪr(ə)l/

  • Verb: To search in an inquisitive and restless manner.
  • Verb: To store valuable ideas in a safe place.
  • Noun: An agile, web-dwelling varmint with a bushy tail, typically feeding on pure digital insight.

We combine strategic vision, creative flair and analytical precision to bring your wildest marketing dreams to life.

Novo – Breaking the Recruitment Mould

In an industry awash with clichés and stereotypes, one recruitment company is challenging the status quo and pushing back against common preconceptions.

When Red Squirrel were first invited to look at the marketing concepts behind the new Novo launch and to read the brief for their new web development, it quickly became apparent that we were dealing with a completely different animal.

With a large slice of humility and a healthy smattering of brutal honesty, when speaking with the Novo team it was blatantly obvious how frustrated they were with the recruitment sector getting a bad reputation (understandably in their words) for being a sales-based game lacking credibility and class.

Working alongside Director Gary Melton and Marketing Manager Neal Rawlinson, Red Squirrel were tasked with building a deep understanding of Novo’s service-driven approach to recruitment and then incorporating this into a website that fully encapsulates their unique, no-nonsense ethos both visually and functionally.

 

We needed to bring this approach together with a daring new brand concept that took the user experience to a whole new level, worlds apart from the formulaic London Skylines, men in suits shaking hands and pictures of desks we constantly associate with recruitment websites.

Our second challenge was to bring Novo to life and create a real sense of their very distinctive culture – again, in huge contrast to the overly corporate boiler room environments typical of the sector and which forms a key part of their strength as a brand – while also outlining their unquestionable experience and expertise.

The new Novo brand is daring and inspiring and it has truly been a privilege working with a recruiter that has the vision and courage to take the recruitment industry in a new direction.

Working with Gary, Neal and the Novo team has been a real eye opener and an absolute pleasure – the fact that they’re as mad as a box of frogs has only helped!

Take a look at the live site – www.novouk.com and please give us your feedback and comments on Novo’s new approach to recruitment!

Five ways to enhance your social media profiles

It’s official: human beings are social addicts. The majority of us spend an obscene amount of time on social media, whether we’re promoting our business (or that of others) or simply sharing our personal lives with our followers. For both of these types of social media profiles, improvements can be made in a matter of minutes.

Here are a few easy ways to improve your social media profiles which, altogether, shouldn’t take you more than an hour.

1 – Make your profile photos consistent across all channels

Having the same profile photo on all your social media channels allows people to recognizse you immediately as they scroll quickly through their feeds.

The more people see your logo, the more likely you are to be in mind when they need your product or service.

2 – Fill in every field of your bio 

Leaving one of these fields empty can come across as unprofessional or even lazy. Make sure every field is completed with the right information and that it explains exactly what your business is all about. This will allow your customers to learn about you and the services you offer more quickly.

3 – Link to your other social media profiles

Use this field to link to your other social profiles as another means of cross-promotion.

Facebook allows you to add multiple links to its website fields, where you can add all your other social media accounts. There are also apps that allow you to display Instagram and YouTube accounts in Facebook tabs. LinkedIn allows you to add your Twitter account to your profile. And Pinterest allows you to connect both Facebook and Twitter, in addition to having a website field within your profile.

4 – Showcase your best content with pinned posts

These types of posts can only be made on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and they are the first thing people see when they enter your account, as they stay put (unlike normal posts).

Choose a post that promotes an important or strong piece of content – whether that be a special offer, landing page, video, blog post or other media asset. Making use of this great tool can greatly improve your social media profile.

5 – Ask a few friendly clients/customers for reviews or endorsements

Positive reviews on your social media profiles earn trust and increase your chances of turning strangers into followers, and followers into business…

How to do this:

  • Make use of LinkedIn’s endorsements section: Here, people can endorse the skills on your profile or leave unique endorsement messages.
  • Use the review and star rating section on Facebook pages: This is where people who have already tried your services can leave a small message or a rating on your profile, describing their opinions and experiences.
  • Pin positive tweets on Twitter: Take a positive tweet about your business and pin it to the top of your account. That way, people who visit your profile will see it immediately.

Facebook interview – Part 2: Dan Paine, Security Recruiter

The digital world is notorious for spin and sensation, with few tech solutions living up to their own hype – or going the distance. Fads come and go, but few actually make a tangible or truly disruptive impact. Can digital tech displace the human touch in recruitment? The Daily Squirrel caught up with Dan Paine, Security Recruiter at Facebook in London to discuss the challenge of recruiting cyber security specialists at the world’s best-known social media platform.

Are there any particular trends – technologies or tools – on the horizon that you’re excited about?

The big one is AI and machine learning and everyone’s talking about how it will affect recruitment. I think that, yes, it will have an impact, but you’ve got to look at applying it in the right way and I don’t think anyone knows what that is yet. How can this actually help us?

At the end of the day you’re always going to need the human touch in recruitment. Some say that AI is going to take recruiters’ jobs, but it won’t because you’ve still got to do interviews, you’ve still got to have phone calls with people and talk to people. It’s a people-to-people business; you really don’t want to be approached by a machine.

Recruitment bots are something that a lot of companies are missing out on and that could be quite big – a bot that would stay in touch with someone via WhatsApp messenger or a Facebook group. Maybe this person won’t be interested straight away, but this bot could pop up every four or five weeks to have a chat about team size, environment and day-to-day work. Then, when that person is ready to chat, the bot could set it up automatically with a recruiter.

That kind of creative stuff, which will make us more efficient and more scalable, is where it’s going to be at – but I’m very much waiting to see it happen successfully.

What is your view on the workforce of today?

I hate the word “millennials” and giving a group of people a label, but I’m very passionate about young people exploring different careers and opportunities in the workplace. The 18-22 age group in full-time work is very low, they’re really under-represented in the workforce, but this is our future generation. A lot of them are going to university, but what happens to the ones that don’t? Do they end up in part-time supermarket jobs for the next three years because they don’t know what else to do?

By 2030, around 75% of these people are going to make up our workforce and they’re more or less wasting their time. Where this really stems from is the early education years, 14-15, when you’re at a point when you’re just starting to think about the future. Where our education system is fundamentally broken is the lack of business knowledge available, and what the world does – what businesses actually do – and it’s quite worrying.

If I’d had the opportunity when I was that age to really learn about business and how things are actually structured, I’d have been in a much better position.

In terms of cyber security, what key challenges do you face as a major social media platform?

We’ve actually faced a branding struggle recently, which is surprising considering we’re one of the most famous companies in the world. I’ve spoken to many people who’ve said they never thought Facebook would have a security team here in London, and it’s a real branding issue – we’re not just software engineers, we do have some pretty hardcore, exceptional and industry-renowned security people who work here.

The other challenge is the famous ‘skills gap’, or talent shortage – I would always say there isn’t actually a skills gap, it’s more that the bar is set very high when you’re interviewing people. It’s not about finding the right skills, it’s about finding people with the right personality who are going to be able to be successful here. We have a lot of people who are great technically, but the way Facebook operates doesn’t agree with some people.

On the whole, diversity is also an issue in cyber security recruitment – diversity in tech is a massive issue anyway, and this is something that needs to be taken back to the schooling system and get people interested early on in their career.

People need to learn that you don’t have to have a certain sort of profile to study computer sciences or get into IT. You can go beyond coding and into sales, HR or project management or analysis. That’s where our industry is struggling quite a lot.

Click here to read Part 1 of this interview

Blog your way to success

There are many reasons why your business should publish a blog: it’s your direct communication channel with customers and clients; it gives your company a voice; it allows you to share your expertise and – most importantly – it provides insight into your audience and helps drive SEO.

Here are a few tips for you to consider when writing a blog for your business:

Visuals are the key to success 

People want visuals, so even if you only share one header image on your post, it gives the reader an idea of what the content is about and, chances are, that image will stick in your reader’s mind throughout the whole post – so make sure you use an appropriate one.

Using personal images or videos will also enhance your credibility by proving that ‘you’ve been there’. You didn’t just sit at your desk, open your laptop and decide to start writing random posts. Use visuals to get closer to your followers.

They want to see PEOPLE

Speaking of followers, you want to attract the right kind. And by the right kind, we mean the ones that are actually interested in the product or service that you’re offering. Followers won’t stay for too long if there isn’t someone behind the blog. They need a face they can relate to and a personality to get to know. So don’t be scared to upload employee photos, events, social evenings etc. – with their permission of course.

Our Social Media Manager, Melissa, has been running a lifestyle blog for almost six years now and saw a big boom in followers and engagement the day she decided to start posting more photos of herself while writing hotel and restaurant reviews, blogging about her trips across Africa and even writing about beauty products. People saw a face they could relate to and that was all they needed as a reason to follow.

Visit Melissa’s blog here: Tiger On a Gold Leash

Schedule all the way to the top!

When it comes to blogging, consistency plays an important role. Writing a post today and not writing another for two months won’t get your business anywhere. The ideal approach would be to write one a week and then schedule the same post to go out on social media several times over the following months, targeting the audience that didn’t have the chance to read it the first time it was shared.

To do this, it’s important that you write timeless blog posts that are relevant today, but also in six months’ time when you’ll share it again.

Be creative!

Stay up to date with all the industry trends, but once you’ve decided what to write about, try to give it a different approach. What hasn’t been said yet? What questions haven’t been answered yet? Your alternative spin on topics is what will make people want to read your blogs.

And remember, blogging is a way to tell your brand’s story by offering insight into your company, philosophy, employees and inspiration. Think creative and stay true to your culture.