Just mention that your next meeting is a brainstorming session and you can feel the eye rolls and groans. Myriad studies seem to backup this feeling, for example the 2003 University of Berkeley study finding that, “individuals produce more and better ideas alone rather than in a group.” Brainstorming sessions have become synonymous with outdated, idea-killing, wastes of time that don’t result in any action.

All of this can be true, if you don’t take a few key steps. Empowering a facilitator, planning and communicating before the session, setting the parameters, and follow-up. A couple simple changes to your brainstorming approach, can create an effective session that generates SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely) solutions.

An Empowered Facilitator

Effective brainstorming sessions are a balance of ‘free-flowing ideas’ and guidance by a facilitator. A facilitator acts as a short-term project manager; communicating early and often. They are setting and helping to keep the agenda, and taking notes and managing dialogue. Furthermore, it is important that the facilitator is not a stakeholder and is empowered to lead the session.

Work Ahead

The work of a brainstorming session should not be the group meeting alone. There are pre- and post-meeting efforts that should be taken on to promote the best group meeting environment.

“I’m on the List”

Consider inviting stakeholders AND non-stakeholders to a brainstorming session. A group with different levels of investment creates diverse sets of ideas and solutions. Non-stakeholders are more likely to offer unconventional ideas. They are stretching the group’s thinking even if they aren’t put in to play. Additionally, today’s problems are complicated and need ideas sourced from people with a variety of skillsets/expertise. This allows the ability to address all facets of the problem.

It is important that the invitees be diverse only in skillset and investment, not at the org chart level. Mixing leadership and frontline team members puts undue pressure on all invitees. Frontline team members may feel pressure to agree with the ideas of leadership. Or they may keep quiet. Leaders may unconsciously fall in to their standard role of leading the meeting, when they are a participant.


 Send invitees an email explaining the purpose of the meeting. Set expectations, agenda, and goals. Explain the problem that needs to be solved and ask each team member to develop a few ideas to bring to the meeting. Furthermore, explain the process that will be employed in the meeting. This sets the stage for the invitees, gives the facilitator a roadmap, and keeps everyone accountable. And asking invitees to bring ideas to the session gives people time to come up with ideas, let’s even the most introverted participate and helps to eliminate dead air moments (when just about any idea sounds like a great idea)


No, agendas are not sexy, they aren’t exciting, and they may even feel stifling. Really, though, the opposite is true. A clearly outlined agenda gives space for participation. It also removes the specter of those unending monologues or worse conversational voids. Also, let’s be honest here, attending a meeting with a clear agenda is better than attending a not-sure-why-I’m-here session. Invitees know what is expected of them, they know what to expect of everyone else and there is a bit of shared control.

The idea tornado

Much like those old school game show money tornado booths, the ideas in a brainstorming session should be fast and furious; within a timeframe. The facilitator should set a timeframe for the idea tornado and just take notes – for example, let the group have 15 minutes to share their ideas including those developed before the session. The ideas should be shared stand-alone; without evaluation, justification or explanation. Write down EVERYTHING (ideally in a prominently displayed place, like a whiteboard).


Now that the tornado has passed, go back to each idea, talk through and allow elaboration on each. Simultaneously, ask the group, ‘are any of the ideas similar, can we consolidate any of the ideas.’ Consolidate ideas as makes sense. Additionally, move unrelated ideas to a parking lot, this simple act will refocus the group energy on the task at hand, while also ensuring you don’t lose valuable eureka moments.

Evaluation, not judgement

The overall goal of any brainstorming session should be to leave with at least a few actionable ideas, which means the list of consolidated ideas needs to be evaluated. Believe or not, this can be done, civilly. The facilitator should outline the set of evaluation questions before any ideas are reviewed. For example, what would be involved to implement this (tools, team members, timeframe, etc.), what is the cost, what existing processes would be impacted, and etc. Using these set evaluation parameters, review each idea, one at a time, not in comparison to any of the other ideas.

After each idea has been evaluated, choose the top two or three for further research and development.


One of the worst feelings is to leave a meeting with no idea of the outcomes. To actually reach the effectiveness goal of a brainstorming session, the last items on the agenda should be summary and assignments. The last 10 minutes of the session should be spent summarizing the work of the session. Furthermore,  it should include the goal of the session, the ideas presented, the evaluation of those ideas and any parking lot items generated. Based on the group-determined top two to three ideas, tasks should be assigned for further research and development of these ideas. And finally, a follow-up meeting (and inherent timeframe for those assignments) should be scheduled.


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Manufacturing Recruitment Strategy

Worker shortages in manufacturing industry is real. Highly skilled positions remain open as a significant portion of the manufacturing workforce is nearing retirement age. For manufacturers, building and maintaining a robust and skilled talent pool is key for both short-term and long-term hiring success.

Recruitment Marketing as a Relationship Builder, Not Just Candidate Sourcing

Don’t wait to be present until a position is open – consistently position your brand in front of both passive and active job seekers. Consistent branding creates a talent pool who is familiar with your company, benefits, culture and therefore more likely to consider you when looking to make a career change. Top of the funnel marketing tactics such as video and display make your brand presence known.

Build A Connection By Understanding Your Best Potential Candidates 

Develop personas, marketing strategies and campaigns specific to your common open positions. Different positions attract different types of candidates. Understanding the nuances allows you to more directly content with job seekers, to communicate your company story and to welcome them into your culture with a personalized approach. Seek out a recruitment marketing partner with a deep data bench, capable of developing audience segments, media placements and creative to speak directly to specific candidate audiences.

Enhance Your Job Board Presence with Display & Video

Placements on job boards are effective in reaching those actively seeking a position. However, other traditional marketing methods like targeted display and video allow companies to share their full story. More visual formats let prospective candidates see your benefits and experience your culture. Both elements that can cause them to choose you as their next employer – over your competition.


Healthcare Recruitment Strategy

A growing aging population, pandemic burnout and a ramp up of traveling nurse opportunities have put a strain on healthcare recruitment. Nurses are in high demand – with an abundance of employment options to choose from. How does your healthcare facility standout in this mad dash for employment?

Invest in the Community You Serve

Healthcare is essential to the community. Consider supporting the community you serve by sponsoring local events, job fairs and awards to keep your organization top-of-mind. Not only will these positive associations bring your organization front and center, it will also generate positive word of mouth among the community – reaching friends and families connected to potential candidates.

Showcase Company Culture

Give a glimpse of what its like to work at your organization on any given day. Show the people who work there, the halls to be walked and the benefits to be had. Video succinctly communicates positive culture through virtual tours, testimonials and more. Written testimonials and other content featuring current employees lend authenticity to your showcase.

Replenish Talent Pools with New Grads

New graduates are critical in helping to fill staffing gaps and to replenish talent pools. Utilize highly targeted strategies to reach new graduates, while still on campus, where they are spending their time. Hyper local mobile targeting puts your organization front and center among soon-to-be-graduating adding you to their consideration set for post-graduation employment.


Education Recruitment Strategy

Like most categories of business, education providers are facing faculty and staff shortages. Finding experienced and passionate educators and faculty continues to be a challenge. Education institutions should look beyond salary and benefits to larger strategies to drive interest and applications for the upcoming school year ahead.

Build Your Talent Pool with Year-Round Strategy

Primary education recruitment season begins at the end of the previous school year, with many schools starting from scratch every year. Establishing a year-round recruitment marketing strategy, allows you
to reach faculty and staff considering a change throughout the school year, adding them to your talent pool as the year progresses. Having a year-round plan also puts your institution front and center, outside of the more cluttered traditional recruitment period.

Utilize Your Community As A Recruitment Tool

Your community has the potential to be a unique selling point for your institution. Consider highlighting the quality of life – showing prospective employees the community you serve. Community events, local activities, cost of living and more can have pull over prospective employees looking to make a move or to enjoy a way of life your community offers. Partner with local events, local organizations and even your convention and visitors bureau to generate content about your community.

Job Fairs Help Build Awareness of Your Institution

Passive and Active job seekers join job fairs to learn more about prospective districts and institutions. By merely being present, among your competition, you can ensure that your district or institution is in the consideration set for educators looking to make a career move. Both in-person and virtual career fairs provide additional visibility and awareness for your institution.


Warehouse Recruitment Strategy

Warehouses are experiencing unprecedented growth thanks to a shift towards online shopping. As growth continues and timely shipping remains critical, warehouses face a continual shortage of workers.

Tout the Benefits That Make You Stand Out

Warehousing jobs are not historically known for good benefits and upward mobility. With changing demand and increased competition, more warehouse companies are adding long-term benefits and job training to their offerings. As an employer, tout benefits like 401Ks, employer matching and paid training as part of new hire packages. Talk about your openings more as long-term careers vs. short- term or holiday employment for additional appeal.

Get Connected In the Community

Grassroots community efforts and word of mouth tactics still hold strong in warehousing recruitment. Sponsoring local community events and job fairs raises brand awareness in the community, spreads positive sentiment about your organization and jump starts word of mouth. This simple activation makes your organization more likely to be noticed by potential job seekers and considered as a stable, future local employer in a future job search.

Local Jobs, Local Placements

Warehousing recruitment pulls most applicants and new hires locally. Very rarely to companies hire outside of their immediate market. Tap into the local job seeker scene through local job boards, job fairs and other local job posting opportunities. Local job seekers continually use these outlets to find new employment opportunities.


Trucking Recruitment Strategy

Facing an aging workforce and increased competition for new talent, the trucking industry struggles to keep recruitment pipelines full and trucking routes staffed. Trucking industries should look to implement full-funnel marketing strategies to not only attract active job seekers but it keep talent pools fresh with new prospects.

Address Trucking Industry Myths

Increase top-of-the-funnel prospects by introducing the benefits of a trucking industry careers to passive job seekers. Address potential concerns head-on, including hours, mileage goals and living conditions while highlighting employment benefits such as 401K matching, healthcare and time off. Video and written content are both great vehicles to communicate this information.

Stay in Touch with Prospects

Deciding to change careers can be a lengthy process for passive job seekers. Keep your talent pool active with periodic communication about your business, job openings and career benefits. Set up an email calendar, reaching out to a list of emails from those who you met at job fairs, submitted an inquiry or sent a full resume. Frequently post about your culture, the trucking industry and openings to keep your followers engaged.

Job Boards Are Important

Trucking applicants remain tapped in to local and regional job boards. A presence on local job boards and job aggregator sites provide you business with bottom of the funnel presence – reaching those interested in the truck industry and actively applying now.


Professional Recruitment Strategy

Finding outstanding talent that fits your culture is a concern for any business. Make the most of your time and resources by attracting qualified candidates that can hit the ground running and succeed within your organization. Identify quality talent and cultivate your talent pool with leading recruitment marketing strategies perfect for professional businesses.

Showcase Your Company Culture

Tell the story of your business, your history, your employees and more. The more a prospective employee knows about your operations and culture the more they are able to determine whether they are a match for your organization. Office tour videos, employee testimonials and other visuals can help to show daily life within your company.

Tailor Communications to Open Positions

Instead of deploying blanket recruitment ads for all positions in your company, consider developing custom creative and campaigns for each position. Messaging should focus on key benefits and operations of that role, showcase photos and videos of that segment of your business and speak directly to those candidates. Specific communication, drives more qualified applications – increasing your odds of finding a match while building up your talent pool - than general recruitment ads.

Use Job Boards to Reach Active Job Seekers

Job Fairs, local job boards and job board aggregators remain critical bottom-of-the-funnel tactics in securing applications for open positions. While other flashier tactics will fill the top of your funnel, these more nitty-gritty media elements provide a place for active job seekers to seamlessly apply for the positions they want – now.