You might be wondering (and rightly so!) what the above old-school newspaper cut-out has to do with EBrandCon 2018?
This is an early newspaper employment ad, shared by Tracey Parsons from SmashFly during her EBrandCon presentation. Her session, and the ones that followed, highlight how different today’s modern hiring landscape is (even from a few years ago, let alone from the era of the above ad) – and how many opportunities there are for us to continue to move the needle forward to achieve our talent objectives.
While there were too many actionable tips and takeaways to list in one blog post from this year’s EBrandCon in San Diego, I’ve boiled down 3 top insights that stood out for me to share with the Rally community:
1. We should start borrowing from experiential marketing by thinking about how we can make the candidate experience memorable and different from our hiring competitors.
Many of us in Recruitment Marketing and Employer Branding now know that the Candidate Experience is critical to how people think of your company’s employer and product brand.
As Russell Miyaki from TMP Worldwide reminded us on day one of the conference, 87% of candidates had their minds changed about a company through a positive experience. Conversely, 83% of talent said a negative experience changed their mind about a company they once liked (Global Talent Trends, LinkedIn).
However, the really novel part of this idea is the focus on how we can curate and create strategic experiences to win over candidates. This is what experiential marketing is all about: how we can create memorable experiences that make our brand stand out from others. (Rally note: if you want to learn more experiential marketing and how to be a “memory maker,” you’ve got to watch the RallyFwd keynote presentation by Jeanne Bliss).
Mark Hogan from Symphony Talent covered a similar idea. He shared that experience is everything and is paramount to the success of your employer brand. According to Mark, the reason that companies like Apple succeed from a consumer standpoint isn’t because of their specific features or technical specs, but because of the positive brand experience they create and distribute.
So, how do we create this thoughtful experiential marketing based experience for candidates? Here are a few ideas shared by presenters:
- Create a personalized and branded candidate journey for your target group. Every step of this journey should be thoughtfully considered and mapped out (Russell Miyaki, TMP Worldwide).
- Improve your candidate experience by giving people the information they really want and need. Provide value-add content like information on your company’s hiring process, how to interview well and other tips to help candidates grow in their careers (Tracey Parsons, SmashFly).
- Create personalized outreach experiences through video content. Rather than an initial text-based email, recruiters or hiring managers at Tenable will send a short video introduction taken with their cell phone cameras (Audra Knight, Tenable).
Thoughtful and consistently personalized experiences are what will set employer brands apart in the experiential Recruitment Marketing age to come.
2. Getting your job descriptions right is maybe even more important than you thought.
I know, I know. You’re probably already groaning at this header, if you’re one of the many, many organizations that struggle to deliver on compelling job descriptions at scale (it’s no easy feat and you’re not alone).
However, unfortunately, to be the bearer of bad news, the critical importance of job descriptions isn’t lessening as we add more tools to our arsenal. In fact, arguably, they’re getting even more important in the Google for Jobs era.
During her session, Audra Knight shared the CareerBuilder stat that 92.5% of people see your job page first. Before any of your well-thought out career pages, before your clever new social media post, before that new video you worked so hard on, they’re landing on those pages that may make you cringe.
So, it’s worth dusting off your job description copy and processes and giving them a little TLC. Here are a few EBrandCon tips on how you might go about doing so:
- Fill your pages with more dynamic content. Consider them as another career site page. Don’t shy away from video content or blocks of content that talk about company culture. A few vendors that I know of in this space include Ongig and Vizi Recruiter.
- Personalize your job descriptions by filling them with information that’s relevant to your specific candidate’s job function or location.
- A/B test your job copy. Push out the same job with two different content approaches and see which performs better to gather insights.
- Consider running your job ad through Job Page Grader, a free tool by Ph. Creative that offers insight into how your job is performing across a number of areas like engagement, technical performance, conversion and SEO.
The bottom-line: if you have outdated or dull job descriptions, you will lose candidates quickly, so the timing is ripe to consider ways to enhance your approach to prevent candidates from losing interest before fully getting to know you.
3. Don’t stress too much about how to measure your Recruitment Marketing efforts; it turns out there is no one right way.
We can all breathe a sigh of relief. No one has all the answers when it comes to measurement.
Why’s that? Because how and what you measure is going to be as specific and individual as your team’s goals, explained Jorgen Sundberg from Link Humans during his closing session.
Jorgen listed 20+ ways and sources from which we can measure Recruitment Marketing and Employer branding efforts, including:
- Annual engagement and pulse surveys
- New hire and candidate surveys
- Net Promoter Scores
- Employer awards
- LinkedIn Talent Brand Index
- Employer Brand Index
- Employer review sites
- Social media and Google analytics
- And much more
And, of course, there are multiple different things you can look at and measure within each of the above sources.
Jorgen’s advice? Find out what’s important to your leaders. What do they want to achieve? From there, establish your baseline and check in regularly. Provide visuals of the progress and socialize these visuals. Make sure to tweak your strategy accordingly over time.
My take is that because our teams are typically small and we don’t have all the time in the world to measure results, we’ll get the most bang for our buck if we establish general baselines across all areas (so we can refer back in case goals change in future), and then devote our closest attention and tracking to a few really specific metrics that align with leadership and your team’s goals.
So that’s it for today! I could write for paragraphs more about all of the things that grabbed my attention at EBrandCon, but I need to head off and start implementing some of these ideas with my own team at Great Clips.
Thanks for reading this post and if you want to get in touch to let me know your thoughts or what your top takeaways were from EBrandCon, you can find me on Twitter @JaredNypen.
If you’re interested in finding the best strategies to gain top talent for your organization, then check out SRSC 2018 this August in Austin, TX from our partners at GSMI. This three-day event will bring together leaders in Social Recruiting, Recruitment Marketing and Talent Acquisition to share lessons learned in strategy development and execution. Use special discount code RALLY15 to receive 15% off your pass!