Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

Friday May 27, 2011 | Filed under: News About ASI, Research, Using Ad Specialties

As recent college grads set off on their quest to become masters of the universe, I’d like to pass along some tidbits from a 2005 commencement address given by Apple CEO Steve Jobs at Stanford University.

Jobs, now worth about $5.5 billion, never graduated from college. He started Apple from his parents’ garage when he was 20 and by following the self-imposed mantras below, became one of the greatest American success stories of all time:

  • Trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.
  • Find what you love, in work and in matters of the heart.
  • Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
Great advice for grads now entering the working world. Lucky for them, hiring is finally on the rise, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). For the first time since 2007, employers report a double-digit increase in their spring hiring projections, the NACE reports.

ASI’s crack research team got to thinking about the job fairs those grads are hitting, hopes in one hand, diploma in the other. And so we surveyed HR pros about ways they’re using promo products in their search for new talent.

Results of the new survey found 56% of responding HR staffers say promo products imprinted with a company’s name or logo convey a positive image when distributed during job fairs and other recruiting efforts.

Of those surveyed, 55% choose pens and 41% use logoed items like T-shirts, calendars and high-tech accessories in conjunction with hiring.

We spoke to an HR expert about what else companies can do to grab the best grads’ attention, and she said to think creatively – and think geek, employing technology like QR Codes on event giveaways for tracking and analytics.

Hand out unusual and useful branded items like an iPhone cover to drive word-of-mouth conversation and branding exposure, says Jessica Miller-Merrell, CEO of Xceptional HR. Be original, interesting, useful and, if at all possible, interactive.

When Jobs closed his commencement address, he gave the grads one last bit of advice, which stayed with him after he spotted it on a Whole Earth catalog in the 1970s. Above a photo of an early morning country road on the final catalog’s back cover, it read “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”

Those are words to the wise, no matter what your age or position.

If you heard any sound advice from college speakers this year, let me know by posting a comment or emailing me here. I’m also on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.