The past month has been a whirlwind in my life! Personally, my family has moved across the country, while professionally I’ve transitioned from a large industrial company (GE) to a smaller high-tech company (Qualtrics).
This professional change has given me a chance to see the Recruitment Marketing world from two very distinct and different perspectives. GE and Qualtrics are worlds apart, after all.
My takeaway to date? Working in Recruitment Marketing company to company can be really different, but at the same time quite similar.
Why does this takeaway matter, you might wonder?
In my opinion, the areas that are similar across organizations are the most important places that we can focus on to affect real change in our roles and organizations.
Let me explain further: we all know that Talent Brand has grown up in recent years. The space continues to trend up in terms of recognition and importance; however, one real opportunity area still outstanding is that many companies seem to think they are so unique in their corporate identity and hiring objectives that they can’t learn from one another.
Newsflash: that idea is simply not true.
While there are some things that are quite different company to company, there are many more elements that we can learn from each other in every situation. If we write off each other’s experiences because we work at different companies (think healthcare vs. high tech or huge org v. startup), then we miss out on a big chance to improve.
In light of this realization, I thought I would take a minute to capture some comparisons from my own experience and recent transition, in case they might help you in your next job change or to improve operations in your current role.
As I reflect on the key components that are really universal to Recruitment Marketing at any organization, there are three key areas that come to mind: Resources, Brand Awareness and Culture.
1 – Resources (Tools and People)
I have learned and witnessed that the conversation around tools and people is the same battle in Recruitment Marketing across any size or type of company.
There are so many tools that do amazing things, it’s just determining which ones will be most useful and if you have the capacity to manage them effectively.
In a smaller company, you’ll likely have fewer people to work with. For this reason, (and not budget allocation) I think smaller companies will tend to take on fewer tools, or don’t leverage the tools they do have to their max potential. As a catch 22 though, smaller companies tend to be more tempted buy tools because they need to accomplish 101 amazing things and have fewer people to do so!
When it comes to people and tools then, here’s my two cents that I think applies across organizations: don’t be distracted by the ‘shiny penny’!
You need to think through your tools and resources really carefully before falling for the sales pitch. Here are three steps I use: 1) try managing the process without any tools, 2) identify the pain points with the manual approach and THEN 3) entertain the vendors that might be able to help.
Before plugging in a new tool, you have to be able to ensure you have enough people and they have the capacity and skills to implement and manage the tool properly if you expect it to help with your pain points.
2 – Brand Awareness and Attractiveness
How well is your brand known? That’s an important question. Obviously there can be some differences here between big and small companies, however, at the end of the day, as Recruitment Marketers we all struggle with the same problem when it comes to brand awareness and reputation.
How well does your brand attract talent? This is the more critical question. Even if you are a larger company, your brand doesn’t always help to entice top talent. In a world where candidates expect real-time communications and personalized interactions, ALL brands need to work hard to provide a great experience and remain attractive as an employer.
No matter the size of organization, I address this area by asking myself, what will grab the attention of the talent I am after? After I have their attention, it’s about providing the information so they can determine whether the organization seems like a good fit or not.
3 – Culture
Culture arguably has the biggest influence on Recruitment Marketing at any organization.
It can make our jobs easier or harder by impacting the type of key messages we can share and our very operations. I’m going to focus on how a company’s culture can impact our effectiveness and operations.
First off, a company that is not risk averse is ideal for Recruitment Marketers. When your company culture is one that lets you take chances, it allows you to continue to grow and evolve your organization’s brand as an employer. If you can’t take calculated and informed risks, you will never find out what works and what doesn’t.
Second, Transparency is HUGE! Transparency allows you to interact more meaningfully with your external audience. Internally, it allows you to partner more directly across marketing, communications and sales. In this way, transparency helps you to move more quickly and get things done.
The last aspect of culture that is SO important is a strong team mentality. When a company has a strong team mentality, coworkers work to move things forward together. This approach encourages innovation, creativity, and growth (because you have more room to make mistakes and learn from them).
A strong team culture will also simplify every initiative you launch. When you work somewhere where everyone has each other’s backs, less time is wasted on making an internal case and more time is spent thinking about your brand and external messages for candidates.
There are a few things that all Recruitment Marketing professionals can ask themselves about each area in order to facilitate a bit of reflection and improvement:
- What do I have to work with (tools and people)?
- Am I trying processes manually first before seeking out and and implementing tools? What are the drawbacks of this manual approach?
- Does my team (or myself) have the capacity and skills to implement and properly use the new tool?
- How well known is your brand?
- How effectively does it attract talent?
- What am I doing with our brand to actually get candidates’ attention and encourage people to think of our brand for employment opportunities?
- How can I take calculated risks? Is my company a place that will be receptive to this approach?
- How can I encourage more transparency?
- How do I encourage a culture of collaboration with the people I work with? How do I get us to move forward as a team to encourage ‘free time’ for creativity and allow for risk taking?
All in all, I think everything I’ve said here can really be wrapped up by this analogy and anecdote from my commute to work a few days ago:
There was this girl jamming out in front of me to a song, with hand motions and everything. I had my own music on and was definitely in a great mood because of it. While we were likely listening to a different song (probably a whole different genre of music), we were both enjoying our journey to work and ultimately were even headed to the same place as she pulled into my company’s parking lot!
The same can be said for Recruitment Marketing: while we may be listening to different songs or enjoying different musical genres, we all are trying to get to the same place and attract the talent that best fits with our org – and there’s a lot we can learn from each other along the way!
This is why the Rally community exists and why I’m proud to be mentor: we drive this space forward when we learn from each other, no matter what industry or size of organization we come from!
Let me know your take on this and your learnings from your own companies by sending me a tweet @Shaunda or connecting with me on LinkedIn.