The past few months of social distancing have been difficult for many of us, to say the least. However, challenging periods can also offer up the chance for reflection and growth. For some of us, this isolation period has provided us with the distance, time and headspace to reflect on our lives, including our career aspirations.
This might mean we’re considering ways to provide more value in our current careers, to learn new skills or to land a job that we’re more passionate about. Or maybe this reflection has led us to realize we want to switch into a new line of work altogether — perhaps you’re considering making the career move from marketing to Recruitment Marketing or from recruiting to employer branding!
At RallyFwd, we were fortunate to spend a bit of time together as a community to think about how to elevate our approach to talent attraction and employee engagement — along with our careers — right now. Our expert speakers were also mentors by sharing a number of valuable career lessons that are applicable for a range of career goals. We hope that these takeaways give you the motivation and guidance you need to give your career a boost in the coming months!
Rally note: if you missed the RallyFwd Virtual Conference on May 6 or would love to rewatch the speakers, you can access all of the RallyFwd sessions on demand for free.
Lesson #1: Take the time to pause and re-evaluate your approach
Right now, nothing seems to be “business as usual” and probably won’t be for a while. At RallyFwd, Debbie Celado, Head of Employer Brand & Recruitment Marketing for The Americas at Philips, recommended that you take this time as an opportunity to pause and evaluate your current approach to hiring and Recruitment Marketing to see if it needs to be updated. Otherwise, we risk being insensitive or inauthentic, which can have a negative impact on our employer brands and our talent attraction and employee engagement efforts.
This is important for our careers because only by pausing and identifying the optimal approach can we come to the table with our leaders ready to act as true strategic partners.
Debbie shares that one area that may require a significant re-evaluation as a result of this crisis is your employee value proposition (EVP). Does your go-to-market messaging still work with candidates and employees, or does it need to be adjusted in light of the current situation and how your organization has responded to the crisis? You can hear more from Debbie on how to create or update your EVP in this Rally blog: An Expert Methodology for Defining (or Redefining!) Your EVP.
Lesson #2: Let go of your fear — it’s okay to build the plane as you fly it
RallyFwd speaker Chloé Rada and her team at Sodexo had a roadmap for what they wanted to achieve in 2020. However, they quickly pivoted to focus on where they could provide more value as the public health crisis emerged. This involved developing a series of brand-new initiatives that they had never tackled before to support their employees, recruiters, candidates and furloughed staff.
The takeaway here is that this is new territory for everyone! Chloé and her team assessed what was happening, revised their action plan accordingly and bravely figured things out as the situation unfolded. She also freely admits that she made some mistakes in the beginning but she corrected them. Remember that everyone within your organization and within the Talent Acquisition industry is figuring out how to respond to COVID-19 too.
All of the RallyFwd mentors pushed us to find the courage to create a plan (even if we’re unsure it’s right) and stay agile to adjust the plan along the way. This will help you to elevate your role and become a trusted advisor for partners within your organization during this crisis and beyond.
Lesson #3: Speak up for yourself and for your employer brand
As Recruitment Marketing and employer brand professionals, we shape how candidates and employees think about our organizations. As a result, we need to be internal advocates for these groups now to ensure their needs are met and that our organization is representing itself well during this crisis. Otherwise, candidate and employee sentiment towards your organization could be negatively impacted. Plus, on top of being good for your employer brand, treating people well is just the right thing to do!
This means we might sometimes need to say things that are difficult for others to hear, which will require some strength and courage. Even the most experienced professionals can find it challenging to insert themselves into an area that is currently being handled by others or to speak up to leadership when we disagree.
However, as many of the speakers from RallyFwd explained, speaking up is really essential now as this crisis has elevated our role to an even more strategic level. Employer branding is front and center in how people (candidates and consumers!) are thinking about our businesses, and it’s time for us to step up and find a seat at the table!
What this looks like in action: RallyFwd speaker and Global Director of Talent Acquisition at Arbonne, Chantell Cooper, advised her Chief People Officer that they needed to publicly share what the organization was doing to give back during the crisis. It turns out that the head of their parent company’s CEO had asked the same question! This is the type of approach that can buy you more respect and lead to people seeking out your input on the best path forward on an ongoing basis.
Lesson #4: You can get through a negative experience and turn it into something positive
During RallyFwd, Ashley Waxman, Head of Employer Brand & Organic Social at Asana, shared her career story with us. A few years ago she was laid off after an acquisition, which was a pretty tough experience. However, this also led her to the employer brand world and her current dream role.
The takeaway from Ashley’s story is that sometimes it takes a bad experience in order for you to start something new that might be an even better fit for you!
None of us knows what the future holds and what the long-term ramifications of COVID-19 look like. If you’re in a position where your role has been eliminated due to the coronavirus, there could be something amazing for you right around the corner. Stay positive and keep searching and applying for roles that excite and inspire you — even if they’re in a different industry or discipline than your previous role.
Get insights on the recruitment marketing and hiring landscape with these survey results: COVID-19 Impact on Hiring.
Lesson #5: Take a data-led approach to test out new strategies and tactics
Marketers are always testing out different ways to get their audiences’ attention and improve conversions. Likewise, as recruitment marketers, we shouldn’t hesitate to test out new strategies, creative approaches and technologies to deliver better results.
Charlotte Marshall, Global Employer Brand Lead at Danaher, reminded us at RallyFwd that introducing a new strategy can sometimes take convincing. So first, she needs to convince herself that the strategy works and digs into the data to find out. This is the approach she adopted when testing a new employer brand strategy called “give and the get” (you can learn all about Charlotte’s give and get EVP methodology by listening to her RallyFwd session and by reading her new best-selling book).
At first it seemed risky to include messages about the adversity that candidates would face if they chose to join her company. But actually the data showed that this type of EVP resulted in better retention of new hires. In short, by using your data to guide any experiments or adjustments, you’ll increase the likelihood that your initiatives will succeed. It will also be easier to get buy-in from leadership to make big changes or launch a new campaign when you can use your data to create a compelling argument for why this is the right move.
Lesson #6: Find and focus on your purpose
Whether you’re trying to find your motivation amidst all the mayhem, or looking to make a career switch up, defining or redefining your purpose might be a good area to spend some time on right now.
At RallyFwd, Chantell shared that she uses her purpose to stay motivated to excel in her role and to attract talent too. For Chantell, her purpose is tied to her company’s core belief that everyone can flourish by being good to themselves, their community and the planet. Her company’s status as a B Corp and their dedication to balancing purpose and profit inspires Chantell and appeals to purpose-driven candidates and employees as well.
Consider what motivates you in your current role. Is this something you can harness right now to step up and produce strategic plans and empathetic communications for your stakeholders during this crisis? Or maybe your role is not providing the purpose you need right now and it’s time to think about what type of organization or opportunity might help you to find more purpose in the future.
Lesson #7: Change is a necessary ingredient for growth
The current public health crisis has led to a lot of change, really quickly. However, Marilyn Yee, Senior Manager of Employer Branding and People Communications at Klook, shared during her session at RallyFwd that change has actually always been a constant in her personal career journey — and is likely a constant in yours too!
In fact, periods of rapid change provide the opportunity for us to push ourselves and grow more quickly than we might have had the chance to if we stayed in our comfort zones. People and organizations that can embrace change and adapt quickly can thrive and continue to succeed despite challenging circumstances.
Consider how you might adjust your approach to respond to the changes in your life or role to propel yourself to the next stage of your career. It takes courage to change, but we know you’ve got this!
We hope these career tips are as motivational for you as they were for us to hear. We’re rooting for you, Rally community, and we will continue to provide resources to help you navigate this crisis and advance in your career.