A job is a job is a job. When I search for Director of Content jobs in Denver, I see at least 75 results in the Google Jobs widget alone. The title doesn't pique my interest (I have it currently). The list of responsibilities is a given (I do them now). The bullets of requirements are expected (I've seen them before).
I'm not impressed or intrigued enough to change jobs. All these jobs look exactly the same. What I'd be looking for is to change companies. Industries. Countries. Cities. Brands. Teams. Projects. Growth. Culture. Impact.
I don't have to go too far out on a limb to say that other people in today's workforce, even across generations, feel the same way. Do people still want to know salary information? Yes. Do benefits still drive decisions? Of course. But we're seeing a broader attitudinal shift across the workforce today when it comes to finding, choosing and staying with a career. People are looking to work with a company, not simply for a company.
And it's a little scary for those companies.
It means there isn't a formula for winning top talent. It means companies can't rely on being a household name. t means shedding light on the good and the bad. It means having a plan for growth. It means acquiring new skills and expanding expertise. It means learning what the "right fit" is and screening out the "wrong fit." It means employer brand comes first and jobs come second.
It means we must utterly change the way we've gone about recruiting talent. How? Shifting from selling jobs to marketing your why.
The Tech Factor in Employer Branding
Marketing your brand and your why means ditching the notion that jobs are the sun: not everything revolves around the roles you need to fill. Working in this mindset requires new technology, like a Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) solution or a Recruitment Marketing Platform. Here's a look at how these technologies can help maximize your employer brand by boosting awareness, differentiating your message and nurturing candidates over time.
Career Site: Instead of only paying to attract talent on job boards, invest in a career site that can be your brand hub. Use custom landing pages to speak directly to your target audiences, like veterans, students or female engineers. Create unique talent network forms that encourage people to learn more about your company over time instead of applying when they aren't sure. In addition, use technology like a Recruitment Marketing Platform to ensure your career site is optimized for mobile and search, so more candidates can find you from where they likely start their career search: Google.
Email Marketing: Finding the right person (if you're a recruiter) or the company and role (if you're a job seeker) is all about timing. Great marketers excel at this: understanding how to generate interest and then nurture that interest over time based on the person, what they're looking for, what their challenges are, etc. It's personalized, it's relevant, it's consistent. It's not as simple as sending the same open job in a mass email to every person in your database. A CRM or Recruitment Marketing Platform is built to automate communication and segment messaging based on your talent pipelines. For instance, GE created a targeted email campaign to all of the women who saw the Millie Dresselhaus "Women in Engineering" video; it featured a real, female GE employee in a STEM position talking about her experience and her path. That's powerful branding and helps your candidates align their "why" with yours.
Social Campaigns: The value in using one technology solution to manage and measure all of your recruiting tactics, including social media, is that you're able to see what's working and what's not in one dashboard. Social media can't, and shouldn't, be siloed from your other strategies. Being able to track how certain content is driving clicks back to your content allows you to make better decisions about who to target on social media, what content and messaging to create and when to send that content.
Analytics: Employer brand is a squishy thing to measure. But with the right technology, you can help prove the effectiveness of certain parts of your brand: email newsletters, new career site content, job descriptions and employee videos. When you can tie higher clicks and applicant conversion rates to a better job description template, you have a proof point for continuing to invest in these types of strategies over others.
It's a brave, new world out there when it comes to talent acquisition. And to be brave, you have to be bold, smart and different. The good news? You don't have to be brave alone. Let technology help you.
Photo: Creative Commons
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Why Recruiters Are Your Company's Best Brand Representatives
When you think about who communicates with people outside of your company the most, you probably think of sales reps, but you should be looking at your recruiters. In fact, they spend almost all their time talking with or about people who aren't employees. Glassdoor says each corporate position receives an average of 250 applicants. Of course, that number is going to vary wildly depending on the position, but recruiters can potentially interact with thousands of people every year. Even though they aren't public relations specialists or marketing pros by title, a big part of their job is not only to attract and select the right candidates for the right roles, but also to present your organization in the best possible light to individuals and organizations—such as universities or talent agencies. Because of the sheer number of people they interact with on a regular basis, recruiters play a crucial role in generating a positive impression of your company. Here's how recruiters can serve as marketing agents, brand ambassadors or even PR agents, outside the scope of hiring new employees. Job Candidates Are Consumers, Too No matter what your company does, it's quite possible that your job candidates are also your customers. You want every one of those candidates to continue to do business with you even if they don't get the job. That requires treating all candidates with respect and ensuring they know you value their time. Candidates fill other roles—they're consumers, they work for other firms and they conduct business with your competitors. They have a voice. It used to be that PR reps could control a company's image—now, anyone with a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Glassdoor account can build a following and change the perception of a company. The Recruiter's Guide to Brand Representation Knowing that every customer recruiters interact with can have an impact on your brand perception, it's important for recruiters to be truly good brand representatives. To do that, they need to do a better job with regard to candidate experience. Today, almost 60 percent of job candidates say they've had a negative candidate experience, and 72 percent of those have shared their bad experience online. Here's how recruiters can change their ways, and keep candidates postive about the company: Keep candidates updated and informed. No ghosting! Send rejection emails as well as offer emails. People want to know when they should move on. Reward people for applying. When Hard Rock Cafe opened a restaurant in a new city, they gave a free drink coupon to everyone who applied, and everyone who interviewed got a free meal coupon as well. I interviewed the company about the promotion, and they told me that applicants not only redeemed these offers, but also brought their friends. Treat candidate's time as precious. They have jobs (often), homes and families, so use their time judiciously. Limit the number of times they need to come in for face-to-face interviews. If you want to see sample work, work with hiring managers to create a manageable assignment that will take less than an hour. Doing these things gives people positive feelings about your company, regardless of whether or not they get the job, and that's good for your company's brand. When your company has a great reputation, not only will people want to do business with your company, they'll also want to work for it. Photo: Creative Commons
ICYMI: Why HR Could Benefit From a Rebrand
Editor's Note: In today's fast-paced news cycle, we know it's difficult to keep up with the latest and greatest HR trends and stories. To make sure you're updated, we're recapping our most popular articles every month in our "In Case You Missed It" series. Keep reading for May's top stories! Why HR Needs A Marketing Strategy We find ourselves at a point in business history where HR is likely the most misunderstood department within any company. By applying some simple marketing principles, HR can communicate its value more effectively. Find out how. Dear ReWorker: I'm Being Forced to Change An Employee's Performance Rating I gave an employee an outstanding performance review and rating, and she was thrilled. Now, my boss is saying I need to adjust the review downward. Why is this happening? 3 Reasons Office Perks Are the New Normal The modern workforce demands more from their employers. While standard medical, dental and 401k plans are still the backbone of any benefits package, many companies now boast flexible work schedules, unlimited vacation time and on-site lunch. Find out why. Four Ways Companies Can Support Women In Leadership While more than 75 percent of CEOs say gender equality is part of their top 10 business priorities, women remain underrepresented across every level of the corporate pipeline. A few shifts in your company culture could change that. Header photo: Creative Commons
How to Transform Your Employees Into Powerful Brand Advocates
A version of this article was originally published on the SmashFly blog. It's no longer enough to be a great company—your company must be known as a great place to work. That's bigger than your own Employee Value Proposition (EVP) and what you say on your career site and what your leadership thinks about your culture. It's a blend of perception, reality, reputation and delivering on promises. So how do you become known as a top place to work and stand out to the people you seek to hire? The answer is sitting in front of you every day. No, not coffee (though caffeine can spark some ideas). It's your employees. I know what you're thinking: Do employee advocacy programs really work? How do I get my team to take part on top of everything else I have to do? At the Transform Virtual Conference this year hosted by my company SmashFly, a marketing automation software for recruiters, I explained how you can unleash your employees as powerful brand advocates. And I know it's possible because I've done it at different companies throughout my career. Why Employee Advocacy Matters Employee advocacy is a marketing strategy based on your workforce's enthusiasm for the company. If your organization solely relies on corporate messaging and official, branded social media accounts to drive awareness and connect with people, you'll never build an effective employer brand reputation. Sure, your messages, tweets and posts are important; they're just not trustworthy. Survey after survey shows people trust other people, not brands: 83 percent of people trust recommendations from people they know 60 percent of people trust peers more than a CEO If your company creates the right brand, compelling content, an intriguing purpose, useful resources, your employees will share it. Fueling Your Employees With Content "OK Carrie, so how do we find or create that content?" Well, I can tell you they don't want to blast out your sales pitch or your employer brand mantra or a formal paragraph from your About Us. They do want to share content that is personally relevant to their values, purpose and career goals, and helps establish them as thought leaders. Here are some types of content that I've found to work: Employee-generated content: People will share what they create, so involve employees in the content creation process, whether videos, blog posts, interview tips or their personal route to your company. Inspiring human-interest stories: I'm sure plenty of your employees or managers have inspiring stories both in and outside of work. Your team will share great things their co-workers are doing! Educational content: People like to be educated and teach, and this type of useful content really showcases your employees and brand as helpful. Ideas to Get You Started There are plenty of things you can do to drive employee advocacy, and most of them don't require a lot of money or effort. When I worked at AT&T, we saw tremendous results by simply tapping into existing employee networks. Start some (friendly) competition: For example, we shared a list of jobs we had difficulty filling with employees, so they could share it with their networks. To amp up some friendly competition, we created a competition and offered incentives for the people who could drive the most qualified applicants. Find your tribe: We created a "Twitter tribe" by identifying employees who were already tweeting about our brand, then invited them to share curated content we'd send every week. We fueled their feeds and made it easy, while they helped share our message. We had 1,200 employees participate the first year, and they sent over 10,000 tweets. Look to other advocates: We had an extensive talent network at AT&T, and we surveyed the members to learn what type of content they wanted. Most wanted to hear about company news, so we shared that content, and many ended up sharing it with their networks. These programs can work regardless of the size of your company because they don't require a ton of resources, just a little creativity. More often than not, your happiest and most effective employees are willing and eager to jump in, they're just waiting on the encouragement and support to get going. Photo: Creative Commons