The Arland Group is a boutique creative agency. We want to ask you an important question. Would you rather work with people who want to work with you? Or, would you rather work with people, who work for people, who make them work with you?

By: Ryan Ching

A career fair can be a recruiter’s dreamland or worst nightmare. You’re surrounded by top talent but your competition is out to poach them from your pipeline. In order to recruit the best of the best and stand out from your competition be sure to utilize these four easy tips.

1. Catch Their Attention

Don’t be afraid to get creative, especially if you’re recruiting for a creative minded position. Make sure that your company’s booth stands out with colorful graphics and intriguing copy. If your booth looks like it was made by a middle school student for the science fair it’ll be hard to catch the eye of your ideal candidate. Be sure to convey your brand’s values and employee value proposition clearly at your booth in order to give a sense of your company culture. Another way to attract people to your booth is to have small giveaways such as pens, sunglasses or other creatively branded items. While these may cost a bit of money, it can attract talent to your booth and, at the very least, increase your brand recognition around the fair.


2. Be Genuine and Conversational

Don’t try and sell your company too hard to a prospective employee. Don’t get me wrong, you want to explain why your company is a great place to work and why they should choose you but do it in a conversational manner. If you’re giving top talent a sales pitch, odds are that they can see through the smoke and mirrors and may be turned off by the idea of a hard sell. It can also raise questions about why you are working so hard to sell your company experience. Let the conversation flow naturally and see if they’re a good fit at the end.

3. Respect Your Candidates

It’s important to treat prospective employees with the respect that they deserve and remain professional at all times. If a candidate fails to meet your expectations for the position, simply thank them for their time and tell them in a polite manner that they do not meet the requirements for the position. If you need to get the person to stop talking in order to meet with another potential employee, let them know that it was great talking to them but out of respect for others they must move on to the next person. Remember to be professional and respectful because after all you are representing your company and potential employees can spread the word quickly if they feel they were mistreated.


4. Make a Lasting Impression

As a recruiter you need to have an outgoing personality at career fairs to attract top talent. For example, I had a recruiter from a major company that simply stared me down as I attempted to talk to him and would not answer any questions that I had. Not only was this awkward in the moment, but it also killed my interest in the company. Prospective employees are trying to make a good first impression to you but at the same time they’re also judging the company based on your interaction with them. Be excited about your company and talk about what makes it special to you to give recruits something to remember when they leave the fair.

Next time you attend a career fair use these tips to lure top talent away from your competitors and build your talent pipeline. If there are any tips that we missed be sure to let us know at our Facebook or Twitter page!

4 Easy Recruiting Tips To Career Fair Success

Change—Get Past the Fear!

by Deb Andrychuk

9 August, 2013

Change. Just the thought of it can make us humans break out in a cold sweat. We resist change like the plague. I’m sure there are many scientific reasons why, but I think it always goes back to the old saying, “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.”

With this in mind, it makes sense that it’s so difficult to introduce positive change to our clients. Let’s take employment branding as an example. Many prospects that we are engaged with either do not have a strong employment brand or have a version that is dated, generic or poorly executed on the creative side. If they even have content, it’s coupled with horrible visual aesthetics. I get that outdated employment brands are driven by both fear and lack of budget. But, you can’t get the budget unless you have the courage to ask.

Did I mention these are the same clients who are complaining about poor application conversion rates? Candidates who arrive at these career sites are not only unimpressed but also unsure about working for a company that does not take the time to explain its value proposition. To attract quality candidates, recruiters and talent acquisition leaders need to get past the fear and start identifying what can be improved in their department.

  1. Go team! Include folks outside of your department to get a balanced approach and new ideas. This takes the pressure off of you—if something goes wrong, then it’s not solely on your shoulders.
  2. In or out? Determine whether or not your change is something you can handle internally in an efficient way. If not, look to bring in external partners. Do your homework and talk to clients who have used the firms you are interested in.
  3. Establish budget and timeline. This may be your biggest hurdle. Build a solid case around why change is necessary and how it will impact your organization’s bottom line. Establish timelines to stay on task.
  4. Communicate. You do not need to communicate 24/7, but you do need to make sure that you consistently update the team and let your internal partners know what is going on. A simple project easily derails when no one is talking. If your project involves creative, make sure you include marketing, legal and communications from the start to lessen the threat of having your work scrapped later.
  5. Be yourself! Whatever you do, do not plagiarize the work done by other companies and think that its solution will fit your company’s needs. Do the research and take the time to understand how your project should unfold with your culture and personality stamped on it, not someone else’s.

My last thought? If you have the courage to do what you know will benefit you and your company, then you will get immense satisfaction and reward in the end. Once you get rolling, you will find the fear has subsided.

Change will do you good!

You Are the Brand

by Emily Pirraglia

14 June, 2013

Last week, Keith, Kathy and I had the opportunity to travel to Providence, R.I. for the Honey Summit and meet a few amazing, dedicated bakers. The Honey Summit was a great time for the bakers and for us—we spent many hours researching flights, hotels and working through all the details of the event, and it was a relief to see everything go as planned.

Preparing for an out-of-town event took a lot of coordination with our contacts in Providence. Their service and efforts reminded me of a valuable piece of advice: your actions represent more than just yourself. As a brand manager, many interactions—both online and offline—cross my path that echo this thought.

Lately we’ve seen a lot of ways an individual’s actions impact a brand. From the good (Abid Adar’s excellent customer service at Dunkin’ Donuts) to the terrible (NYU professor’s fat-shaming tweet), everything you say and do will ultimately be a reflection of your employer.

Our last night in Providence, we experienced first hand what it means to be a reflection of your brand. Stranded in an unfamiliar city with no taxi in site, we gave up trying to find one and started the long walk back to our hotel. Passing the Hilton, we tried one last ditch effort to arrange transportation by asking an employee* hanging out by the entrance if they had/knew of any available cabs that night.

His response? “No,” he said, “We don’t have any taxis around, but I wouldn’t mind giving you guys a ride to your hotel myself.” No mention of cash or reimbursement entered the discussion—he was just happy to provide exceptional service, even to people he knew weren’t Hilton customers.

At the end of the day, he didn’t stand to gain any personal recognition by helping us—we weren’t staying at the Hilton, we didn’t know his name and although we gave him a tip for his efforts, we could’ve just as easily accepted his kindness without providing any reimbursement. This guy just cared that we had a problem and went out of his way to address it. We never got his name, but we will remember that he was a Hilton employee, which makes a bigger, better brand impression on us than a banner ad ever could.

*Editor’s Note: we were not staying in Hilton brand hotel. This guy was probably on his break and definitely wasn’t obligated to help us in any way, which makes what he did awesome.


Be Like the Duck: Brand Yourself

by Deb Andrychuk

3 June, 2013

If you’re one of the millions of A&E Television viewers, you are fully aware of the Robertson Clan and their wildly successful companies, “Duck Commander” and “Buck Commander” and their crazy successful show “Duck Dynasty.”  For those of you who live under a rock, Duck Commander manufactures duck calls and Buck Commander is CEO Willie Robertson’s venture into deer hunting gear.

Duck Dynasty chronicles the life of the Robertson Family in their home town of Monroe, La. The Robertson family has become a staple in millions of American homes each week, serving up humorous reality-based television episodes, with show topics ranging from how to catch an escaped lizard in the warehouse to law enforcement “ride alongs” with the sheriff to teaching Willie’s teenage daughter how to drive. How big are they? According to Nielsen, their Season 3 finale was watched by 9.6 million viewers, which makes it the most watched program in A& E’s 29-year history. I would say that’s pretty big! In addition to their duck calls, they have branded shirts, hats and other paraphernalia on the shelves of several retailers like Cabela’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

If you’re thinking, “Hey Jack! I really don’t care!“ I promise I’ll get to my point. In watching the show and following this family on Twitter and Facebook, I feel like I know the Robertson’s intimately. They are so open on social media and TV; you can’t help but to sense that you know all of their personalities. From Phil and Miss Kay to Jase, Korie and Uncle Si, you really feel like you are hanging out with these down-to-earth folks. If you check out their Facebook page (4.9 million likes) and Twitter page (787,524 followers) I think you’ll understand what I am talking about. There are pictures of the family shopping, hanging out on vacation and at events.

What’s even more impressive is the growth of the company over the last few years. They have taken a company making 60,000 duck calls a year in 2011 to a multimillion dollar empire in 2012, the year the show aired. The Robertson’s have done a great job of branding themselves in a true and interesting fashion and have leveraged self-made instructional videos, TV and social media to effectively engage with their fans. I think companies trying to increase their consumer or corporate brand awareness or even their employment brand awareness could learn a thing or two from the Duck Boys from Monroe, La.

Here’s what I’ve learned from the Bearded Boys:

  1. Sell by tell. Tell your story with passion! Consumers and job seekers alike will then be compelled to want to learn more and to engage with you.
  2. Make it visual: Use plenty of relevant, candid shots of your people and events.
  3. Keep it real: this is huge! Genuine wins every time!
  4. Multimedia wins: Employ as many media platforms as possible to share your message: TV, video, social, print, in person events.
  5. All In: Get everyone at your company on board to support the cause, especially on the social media sites. This is best way to grow your fan base organically.
  6. Have fun! If you aren’t “Happy, happy, happy” Jack, then you need to hit the road!

The Duck Boys may look like dumb rednecks, but they’re smart and savvy marketers. Looking forward to more lessons in Season 4!







The Arland Group Inaugural Summit Finds ‘BEOW’ Factor

by Alyssa Stahr

16 May, 2013

If someone would have told me last week that the catchphrase for The Arland Group’s first ever summit was going to be “BEOW,” I would have looked at them a little sideways. But, in fact, BEOW, which stands for Branding, Engagement, Optimization and Winning! also stands for something else—our creative team hard at work.

The two-day gathering began with some of us meeting for the first time. Arlanders are spread throughout the country, and we had team members traveling in from Minneapolis, Denver, Chicago and Indianapolis. The excitement here at St. Louis headquarters was evident, and we all were ready for two days of presentations, stimulation and collaboration.

Presentations were based around talent acquisition and how TAG specializes in different facets of this realm, be it through sales, social media or customer service. We identified who we are as a company and where we want to go in the future. As someone who works on the creative side of things, it was nice to hear what the sales people do on a regular basis and how the creative team fits into that puzzle.

My esteemed TAG team member, Emily Pirraglia, and I gave a presentation on what we provide our talent acquisition clients in terms of social media and content. In the course of preparing for our presentation, BEOW was born. We posted a photo of Grumpy Cat, and BEOW instantly became a TAG phenomenon for the ages. After all, the acronym fits perfectly with what we provide our customers and what we recommend every creative agency does with their own brand.

The thing I loved most about the two-day summit was the idea phase of the meetings. We all went in with open minds and open hearts. I really feel this is a team who cares about one another and the work we produce daily for our clients. It was great to know that no matter how silly or complicated an idea was, it was still written down and discussed. After all, the most creative minds in history haven’t necessarily been the most straight-laced bunch. World-changing ideas have come from those people.

The next summit is planned for six months out, and with a focus on the creative side of things being the next topic of choice, I can’t wait to see what we come up with!