Recruit, Inspire & Retain

August 2002

Ideas for "Marketing" and Providing "Customer Service"  to Current and Potential Employees

Great Training for Great Employees 
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Tools:     Recruit      Inspire      Train      Retain

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Brand Your Organization As An Employer

“Most firms are faceless to their own employees.” says Kevin Wheeler, President of Global Learning Resources Inc. Recruitment branding will identify your organization’s own strengths to your current employees, which helps with retention, and is a great way to let potential candidates know your culture. The key to an employer branding campaign, he believes, is the same as for any other branding project:

  • a defined promise,
  • a consistent message,
  • and a unified design

that can be used in print and interactive environments. Grounding that campaign in reality requires a few steps commonly followed by organizations that have branded their recruiting campaigns.

STEP ONE: Know Thyself Through Current Employees Hearing what employees say about their employer plays a big part in getting the message right. “Using an outside vendor to get the information from employees will lead to a more honest result,” says Diane Doyle, director of U.S. recruitment for Glaxo SmithKline (GSX). ”We laid out the project, but the vendor did the 100 one-on-one interviews and 70 focus groups, because I think you get more realistic and honest information with an external firm,” she says. “They interviewed a cross-section of our employees then later used those groups to test tag lines that we came up with for the employer branding campaign.”

Current employees can also help identify who’d be the more successful in a particular job. The Minneapolis-based coffeehouse chain, Caribou Coffee, discovered that some of its best performers were women in their 30s with families who needed a job with flexible hours, according to Karen McBride, senior director of HR. As with most coffee chains, the majority of employees are teens and college students, but soccer moms have turned out to be hard workers who train easily and have a good work ethic. Last year the company created a small campaign to appeal to moms after conducting focus groups of – guess who? – moms currently on staff.

STEP TWO: Developing and Advertising the Pitch Tag lines, the basic pitch to applicants that tell a company’s story in six words or less, help employers define themselves and assist candidates in understanding the pitch being made to them.

At CUNA Mutual, the tag line, “Isn’t it time you got into a mutually beneficial relationship?” did two things. It reinforced the word “mutual” to separate it from CUNA and invited people into a company that sees employees as assets. After development of the tag line, a vendor stepped in to help CUNA Mutual create a full-fledged recruitment campaign composed of college materials, radio and print and online ads, direct-mail postcards, and an airport diorama in Madison that serves as a welcome sign to visiting candidates.

Caribou Coffee’s tag line, “Life is short. Get out of the house for it,” baffled the company’s executives but went over well with Caribou’s moms. Caribou used its existing branding colors, graphics, and typeface to create a window sign, a standup poster card, and an 8.5-by-11 sheet of paper inviting applications. Store managers who wanted the materials simply called HR and placed it in their stores. The company spent a mere $2,500 on the campaign.

Employers say employer branding campaigns provided a few lessons:
1. Limiting the use of outside vendors to focus groups and doing a portion of creative strategy in-house saves money.

2. Pushing applicants to the company’s Web site for more information and online application forms works. Interviewees arrive better prepared and ask more focused questions since they already have read the information about the company often covered at the beginning of job interviews. (If they have not, it may be an indication that they’re not that interested in your company.)

3. An employer brand established to target one population group can be redirected to appeal to another. Caribou plans another in-store recruiting drive to find shift managers and early risers who do their best work around 6 a.m.

STEP THREE: Measure Results Different companies measure their employer branding campaigns in different ways. CUNA Mutual was pleased to experience a 10% increase in resume volume and a 20% increase in direct hits to the Web site. Although GSX’s campaign has just begun, they already see higher retention and better self-selection among candidates. Caribou’s low-cost effort yielded 75 new soccer-mom hires, a great result considering that the recruiting materials could be found only in stores. “While I work in HR, this is less about recruiting and more about marketing. You’ve got a product you want to sell, which is your company, and you have to think about how you want to sell it,” explains McBride. “We were just thrilled with the results of this campaign. It reinforced for us that by using a specially crafted recruiting message and our stores as a communication vehicle, we could target a specific audience for a very low cost. We plan to use this campaign again this fall.” Adapted from “HR is Turning Jobs Into Brands”,

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  • “Writing & Implementing a Marketing Plan”, by Richard Gerson
  • “Get the Best: How to Recruit the People You Want”, by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. Associate, Catherine Fyock.

Both available at 
(10% off by typing “RIR” in Special Instructions)

Get more tips on recruiting great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.
Recruitment, inspiration, training, and retention ideasHave a recruitment, inspiration, training, or retention idea or question? Ask by clicking the question mark, and we’ll post your idea or question (and the answer) in Answers & Ideas on Recruiting, Inspiring, Training, & Retaining Great Employees at

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*Staff in the Thermal Systems Lab at GE Corporate Research & Development.

*State CPA Association staff participating in a session on how to set up a room for maximum learning at conferences.


Fun Meter Buttons, available at TRAINING SYSTEMS Books/Tapes 

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The Ant Philosophy

Ants have an amazing four-part philosophy: ANTS NEVER QUIT. That’s a good philosophy. If they’re headed somewhere and you try to stop them, they’ll look for another way. They’ll climb over, they’ll climb under, they’ll climb around. They keep looking for another way. What a neat philosophy, to never quit looking for a way to get where you’re supposed to go.

ANTS THINK WINTER ALL SUMMER. That’s an important perspective. You can’t be so naive as to think summer will last forever. So, ants are gathering in their winter food in the middle of summer. An ancient story says, “Don’t build your house on the sand in the summer.” Why do we need that advice? Because it’s important to be realistic. In the summer, you’ve got to think storm. You’ve got to think rocks as you enjoy the sand and sun. Think ahead.

ANTS THINK SUMMER ALL WINTER. During the winter, ants remind themselves, “This won’t last long; we’ll soon be out of here.” And the first warm day, the ants are out. If it turns cold again, they’ll dive back down, but then they come out the first warm day. They can’t wait to get out.

ANTS GATHER ALL THAT THEY POSSIBLY CAN DURING THE SUMMER TO PREPARE FOR THE WINTER. What an incredible philosophy, the “all-that-you-possibly-can” philosophy.

Wow, what a great seminar to participate in - The Ant Seminar. Never give up, look ahead, stay positive, and do all you can.


  • PowerPoint screen show that features 40 humorous and timely posters that are pre-set to work on "auto-pilot". Makes a great "WELCOME" message or enhancement to your session break. Runs about 5 minutes, and is set to automatically recycle. You can add in your own slides. (a great place to slip in your objectives!) Get your PowerPoint screen show here!
  • BUY PACKS of inspirational posters. (Do a Product Search for POSTERS, then look for Training Room Posters (30/pack).) 

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Helping People Think & Act Like A Team

*Sam Donaldson says, “I’d much rather deal with someone who’s good at their job, but malevolent toward me, than someone who likes me, but is a ninny.” Lesson: help people learn to do their job before learning how to think and act like a team.

*Illinois Institute of Technology’s President said that in order to prepare the leaders of tomorrow to work together, we must inspire them to have:

  • Curiosity, which provides the impetus to keep up with a technologically dynamic world;

  • Courage, which allows future leaders to challenge the status quo and take risks;

  • Imagination, which provides the spark by which to see problems in new ways;

  • Judgment, which tempers the imagination with an appreciation of the world’s realities; and

  • Interprofessional competence, which enables cross-fertilization among disciplines for a more holistic view of knowledge.

*Laurie Beth Jones, in her new book, Teach Your Team to Fish, identifies 47 clear principles to help you:

  • Excite People

    • simplify what they’ll be doing

    •  let them know how their results will be measured

    •  help them multiply what they learn

  • Anchor & Ground Them

    •  prepare them for difficulties

    •  be a role model in your handling of difficulties

  • Transform Them

    •  keep them informed

    •  help them learn to transform themselves

  • Release Them

    •  help them identify and release their genius

    •  keep overhead low

    •  make training a reward, not a punishment

    •  teach them to face and move through issues

    •  share responsibility for customer satisfaction

    •  turn everyone into recruiters

A recent article on artificial intelligence stated that experts predict they can teach a computer to think like a human within the next four years. However, they said it will take an additional forty-four years of sophisticated, nonstop effort to teach computers to think and act as a team. As team builders, you have been given perhaps the most challenging and rewarding work on earth today, which is teaching human beings to think and act like a team. Laurie Beth uses Jesus’ examples for creating the world famous mega-successful team.

  •  “Teach Your Team to Fish”, by Laurie Beth Jones, 800-469-3560 or
    e-mail to
  • “Virtual Teaming” by Deborah Jude-York, Lauren Davis & Susan Wise, 800-469-3560 or e-mail to
Get more tips on inspiring your employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

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!! Jodi Lenkaitis, of Sauer-Danfoss, writes, ”Just wanted to take the time to write you a quick note to say how much I (and I’m sure many, many others) appreciate the time you spend to send out this e-newsletter. There are always great ideas in there, and often your Tool Box are/references to sources can lead me to something else that can help me in my job. So, for you, I would like to extend a very sincere THANK YOU!!!”

!! Diane Schuch, of Wayne State University, writes, “We’ve been using the CourseBuilder books to get ideas for new and different activities that fit into our blended learning system here at Greenfield Coalition. The designers really like the way the books divide the activities into categories that fit well with our approach. For example, we try to follow Gagne’s 9 events. Using the “Preparation” book, the instructional designers can find activities that “Gain Attention” and “Elicit Prior Knowledge” readily. By using the books as an activity resource and our content to flesh them out, we’ve been able to craft a variety of learning activities that are appealing to a large audience. Thanks for making it possible for our instructional design team to use the CourseBuilder books!”

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Learn Fast & Retain the Most

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” - Alvin Toffler

Learners will love you when they have an easy time learning and are able to retain what they learned! You design lots of types and/or mediums of training—self-study (paper based, video, audio, CBT/WBT) and/or facilitated (group, one-on-one coaching, OJT). Follow one simple, straight forward format for them all.

For the fastest learning and greatest retention, learning goes in this order:

FIRST Attention getting opening to get Learners’ attention off what they were doing before and onto this training.

2 Learners tell or write what they already know (to build confidence)

3 Facilitator tells or writes big objectives for this training

4 Learners write, verbalize, & visualize specific individual objectives for this training as though already achieved. (Facilitator makes sure they’re SMART & tells research on why objectives help learning)

5 Facilitator tells all learning methods and times

6 Facilitator & Learners work on all learning methods needed to meet objectives (repeat cycle below for each learning method needed to meet all objectives) - (this is the bulk of the training time.)

* Objective (boxed)
* Intro (labeled)
* Facilitator instructions &/or text (labeled)
* Processing (labeled)

7 Facilitator reviews all that is learned

8 Facilitator tells and shows resources to use for future

9 Learners complete the Learning Action Plan

LAST: Call to action closing that matches opening

*Note: In training where there’s no Facilitator, the attention-getting opening and call to action closing are simply the first and last thing said/done by the coach or written in the booklet, or stated/done on the video or computer/internet training.

Excerpted from “Creating Highly Interactive Training Quickly & Effectively”, by Carolyn B. Thompson, page 9, TSI Publications, 2000.

Go see the full TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC., Learning Format, including memory techniques.

  •  “Creating Highly Interactive Training Quickly & Effectively”, by Carolyn B. Thompson, (10% off by typing “RIR” in Special Instructions)
  • “Accelerated Learning Techniques” by Brian Tracey
  • “21st Century Computer Trainer Newsletter, from Systems Literacy Inc., 973-770-7762
Get more tips on training from TRAINING SYSTEMS.  

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How to Protect Your Human Capital

**Create a genuinely compelling vision. This is the message that demonstrates that leaders are in charge and have a credible plan for success. Whether you’re the leader of the company or of a team within an organization, craft a clear and attainable goal. The vision must be both realistic and inspirational. Engage your staff in the process of discussing their hopes and dreams for the organization. This helps unleash optimism and generate excitement.

**Communicate continuously. This goes both ways. Be sure that you have communicated the vision and strategy to your team, but at the same time, open the lines of communication so that you hear what those around you are saying. Seek out “opinion leaders” in your organization for their input and support. Consider technology communication solutions such as an intranet or telephone hot line to keep the lines open. What typically motivates star performers is confidence in the company, reassurance about their role in its future and the sense that someone in the organization actually cares about them. Continuous communication assures your best people that someone is listening.

Reprinted with permission, www.sales&

  •  “Keeping Good People”, by Roger Herman,
  • “Fun Works: Creating Place People Love to Work”, by Leslie Yerkes,

Both available by calling 800-469-3560 or e-mail

Get more tips on retaining great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

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Recruitment, inspiration, training, and retention ideasHave a recruitment, inspiration, training, or retention idea or question? Ask by clicking the question mark, and we’ll post your idea or question (and the answer) in Answers & Ideas on Recruiting, Inspiring, Training, & Retaining Great Employees at

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September 9-12, 2002
The Leadership Development/Succession Management/Coaching and Mentoring Conference, San Diego, CA,

September 12-13, 2002
The Change Leadership Series, Process Redesign: From Analysis to Execution, Chicago, IL, 

September 10-13, 2002
 e-Learning Workshop Blended Online and Classroom, Houston, TX, 

September 23-25, 2002
Online Learning Magazine’s 5th Annual Online Learning Conference & Expo 2002, Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA, 

September 24-26, 2002 e-Learning Workshop Blended Online and Classroom, Framingham, MA, 

September 25-27, 2002
Human Resource Executive’s 5th Annual HR Technology Conference & Exposition, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL, 

September 25-28, 2002
Disney Institute Presents The Walt Disney World Approach to HR Management Seminar, Orlando, FL, 

September 29-October 2, 2002
15th Annual Benefits Management Forum & Expo, Hyatt Regency at Reunion Tower, Dallas, TX, 

October 7-9, 2002
SHRM’s HR Generalist Certificate Program, facilitated by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. Associate, Catherine D. Fyock, CSP, SHPR, New Orleans, LA, 

October 16-18, 2002
SHRM Recruitment and Retention Certificate Program, facilitated by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. Associate, Catherine D. Fyock, CSP, SHPR, Chicago, IL, 

October 21-23, 2002
Workplace Diversity New Challenges/New Opportunities Conferences, Chicago, IL, 

October 21-23,2002
SHRM HR Generalist Certificate Program, facilitated by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. Associate, Catherine D. Fyock, CSP, SHPR, Chicago, IL, 

October 28-30,2002
SHRM HR Generalist Certificate Program, facilitated by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. Associate, Catherine D. Fyock, CSP, SHPR, Orlando, FL, 

November 4-6, 2002
SHRM HR Generalist Certificate Program, facilitated by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. Associate, Catherine D. Fyock, CSP, SHPR, New York, NY, 

November 6-10, 2002
International Career Development Conference: Thriving in Challenging and Uncertain Times, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Irvine, CA, 

November 13-15, 2002
SHRM Recruitment & Retention Program, facilitated by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. Associate, Catherine D. Fyock, CSP, SHPR, Washington, DC, 

November 18-20, 2002
SHRM HR Generalist Certificate Program, facilitated by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. Associate, Catherine D. Fyock, CSP, SHPR, New York, NY, 

November 18-20, 2002
Corporate University Week 2002, Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club, Lake Buena Visa, FL, 

University of St. Francis’ Training Management and Training Technology programs, 800-735-7600

November 30, 2002
Computer Security Day, 

Check out eBay’s Health Insurance, for people who sell about $1,000 per month through eBay.

Buy your office supplies from Quill, If they ship an incorrect item that’ll cost a lot more for them to have shipped back, they ask you to donate it to a local non-profit organization. Good job, Quill!

NEW LIFE FOR OLD BOOKS Send children’s books to orphans in Ethiopia, or old dictionaries to a university in Croatia. Go to  to find out what kinds of books nonprofit organizations worldwide need.

IS YOUR FAVORITE CHARITY CRUELTY-FREE? Visit  for a list of health-related charities that don’t test on animals, AND a list of organizations that do.

HELP SAVE THE PLANET! RECYCLE USED PC DISKS! Over one billion disks are thrown away by PC users every year! They go into landfills, where they can take over 450 years to degrade OR they’re incinerated, causing acid rain. Greendisk has a recycling program that’s easy and inexpensive. You ship used 3.5" disks, CDs and videotapes to their recycling facility in Missouri. Greendisk takes them apart and makes new disks and other items. Go to  for details.

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Copyright 2002 TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. All rights reserved.

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