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5 Things We Learned at RallyFwd to Reinvent Recruiting

5 Things We Learned at RallyFwd Virtual Conference
Profile photo of Lori Sylvia
Written by Lori Sylvia
5 Things We Learned at RallyFwd to Reinvent Recruiting
5 (100%) 6 votes

While RallyFwd has always been a virtual conference, this year was different. In 2020, many of us moved to completely remote workplaces and virtual candidate experiences almost overnight. That meant a lot of change for us, both professionally and personally. We were pushed into digital transformation, and there’s no going back. Now, at the end of 2020, we’re all wondering what 2021 will bring and what will Recruitment Marketing and talent acquisition look like going forward.

That’s why this RallyFwd Virtual Conference focused on the theme of reinvention. Our speakers inspired us to reinvent our strategies and our careers, so that we can seize this time as an opportunity for growth. During RallyFwd on Dec. 2, 2020, we heard from 5 talent leaders who have embraced the challenges of 2020 to reinvent their talent acquisition, Recruitment Marketing, candidate experience, employee engagement and career advancement strategies. 

If you missed any of the sessions, you can access the full RallyFwd Virtual Conference on demand at your convenience. Each presentation is packed with actionable tips to help you upgrade your skills as a practitioner and gain a recruiting advantage for your company.

We’ve recapped our top takeaways from each RallyFwd speaker to help you on your journey to reinventing recruiting in the virtual world we now face. 

1. Revisit and refresh what sets you apart as a remote-friendly employer

Amy Winebright, Dell

Amy Winebright, Global Talent Attraction & Employer Brand, Dell Technologies

Session: Uncover Your True Employer Brand Difference

Speaker: Amy Winebright, Global Talent Attraction & Employer Brand, Dell Technologies 

If you haven’t done so already, now might be the right time to revisit and update your employee value proposition (EVP) to align with whatever the new normal looks like at your company. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to an EVP refresh, tune in here to find out how Amy and the Dell Technologies team tackled their recent EVP refresh internally. 

Their process consisted of researching market and competitor trends, assembling a global EVP committee, surveying internal teams, testing the truthfulness of their EVP and tweaking their final messaging.  

Since Dell has been remote-friendly since 2009, flexible work has long been a pillar of their EVP. So, when it was time for a refresh, the team focused on how remote work at Dell was still a competitive advantage, given how so many other employers have moved to remote work. Through their EVP refresh process, they learned that the policies and resources they had in place to support remote work were their differentiators. Here’s an example of how their messaging has progressed: 

  • 2016: “We encourage our team members to work where, when and how they work best”
  • Start of 2020: “Providing you with the flexibility you need to do your best work, wherever, whenever and however”
  • Refreshed 2020: “Providing the stability, resources and flexibility for you to do your best work”  

If a full EVP revamp is outside the scope of your current resources, Amy suggests revisiting and refreshing 1-2 pillars that may no longer be relevant to what today’s candidates are looking for given the current landscape. 

2. Improve your diverse hiring initiatives by “serving” your candidates

SteFan PremDas, Postmates

SteFan PremDas, Head of Talent Acquisition Operations, Postmates

Session: Using Data & Inclusivity to Attract Diverse Talent

Speaker: SteFan PremDas, Head of Talent Operations, Postmates 

After reviewing their data, SteFan and his team found that they were getting a lot of traffic to their careers site, but only 12-15% of diverse candidates were hitting “apply.” So, they decided to revamp their entire application process to improve their conversion rate and ultimately increase the diversity of their team. 

SteFan’s strategy was to focus on “serving” their candidates first and foremost — meaning, to create a candidate experience and hiring process that was easy and seamless, while delivering candidates the exact information they want, right when they need it. 

One aspect of their approach was to “incentivize” their job applications by giving candidates immediate feedback on their resumes and how their qualifications compared to others applying for similar jobs. SteFan says this approach makes applying for jobs less intimidating, which has helped them increase the number of applicants from underrepresented minority groups. He says, when candidates can see which jobs are the best match for them, they are more confident to apply.

3. Build trust during times of uncertainty through frequent, authentic communication

Liz Caselli-Mechael, Nestle

Liz Caselli-Mechael, Digital Communications Lead, Nestlé U.S.

Session: Employer Brand Building in Uncertain Time

Speaker: Liz Caselli-Mechael, Digital Communications Lead, Nestlé USA 

While it may be tempting to pause or scale down your talent communications and marketing in a time of uncertainty, this could actually hurt your employer brand in the long run. 

Research by IRI on the 2007-2009 recession showed that the organizations that grew post-recession were the ones who took bold steps to build their brands and invest in the future. In times of crisis it’s critical to build trust with your candidates, employees and other target audiences.

One key element to achieve this is to get buy-in from your internal stakeholders to prioritize employer branding as a strategic initiative. In Liz’s session, she shared 3 approaches she uses internally to help build consensus and communicate a shared vision to enable real brand-building investments. These frameworks include: 

Show the return on investment (ROI)

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to tackling quantitative data, there’s already a lot of compelling evidence for the ROI that employer branding and Recruitment Marketing can provide. Take these 2 stats from Corporate Responsibility Magazine / Allegis Group Services Study

  • A strong employer brand can help attract top talent: 84% of employees would consider leaving their current job if offered another role at a company with an excellent reputation
  • A strong employer brand can help mitigate rising salary costs: most in the $75,000-100,000 salary range would only require a 1-10% salary increase to consider such a move

Leveraging existing statistics and applying them to your organization is a fantastic approach to showcase the impact your employer brand has on your bottom line. 

Conduct a competitive analysis

If your organization is highly focused on its position in the market, then using a competitive analysis could be a good approach to gain support from your leadership team. 

Liz says that as TA and Recruitment Marketing practitioners, our job is to expand the lens of who our hiring competitors are. In today’s competitive employment landscape, we should focus beyond industry competitors since a lot of talent is moving between industries.

If you can expand that lens and help your leadership team look at the job market through the eyes of potential candidates, it might help motivate them to make the investment in building your brand. 

Candidate Feedback 

Whether it’s through surveys or anecdotal evidence, candidate feedback is another area that can make an employer brand building program feel real.

 Hearing top talent say, “I was really attracted to this company because I saw a video of your culture and how you’re supporting employees,” is a tangible way of reinforcing and capturing the moments where the impact of your brand is felt most strongly.

In times of uncertainty, a scaled-up communications and branding strategy can feel scary and risky. However it’s actually riskier to go silent. If you want to come out on top of all this, it’s important to continue to make the investment in your employer brand and continue to build trust with candidates — which is critical for when the economy rebounds and you’re looking to scale up your hiring efforts again. 

4. When the pressure is on, the right recruiting technology will help you succeed, not replace your job 

Leah Ramsey, HR Maximizer

Leah Ramsey, Vice President, HR Maximizer

Session: TA Tech That Changed the Game When It Counted

Leah Ramsey, VP, HR Maximizer 

In today’s virtual world, the technology we use matters more than ever in creating a digital candidate experience that stands out from the pack. For instance, AI technology can help you decrease your time-to-fill and increase candidate engagement — both important metrics if your organization is experiencing a COVID related hiring surge. 

In Leah’s session, she shared a case study about how leveraging chatbots helped her healthcare client hire 37.5% more full-time employees and decrease their time to fill by 6 days.

Leah also highlights the experience of a pediatric urgent care facility in Houston, TX. This organization was opening 2 new clinics in a tight timeline, which meant they needed to fill a couple of priority healthcare roles asap. 

Within 12 hours of posting the 2 jobs, her clients had received 430 applications. With such strict timelines, the sheer volume of applicants could be overwhelming. However, rather than closing the posting or having recruiters work overtime, the team simply switched on the chatbot integrated with their ATS.

The chatbot was able to screen out over 400 candidates, while also screening in and scheduling 18 phone interviews for recruiters. By automating these simple yet time-consuming tasks, recruiters could focus more on value-added activities — like providing a strong candidate experience.

Leah’s advice: don’t be scared of AI and automation. Technology will never replace recruiters. In fact, with the right recruiting technology, you’ll be able to attract, engage, screen, schedule and hire candidates more effectively than ever!

Rally note: Watch our RallyFwd Technology Showcase featuring the latest product videos from our sponsors: Clinch, Lever, Talemetry and XOR.

5. Find your career ‘sweet spot’ by aligning your passion and your role with what your organization values 

May Busch

May Busch, Executive Coach, Speaker, Advisor, Author & Entrepreneur

Session: Closing Keynote 

Speaker: May Busch, International Executive and Career Coach, Speaker and Author of “Accelerate: 9 Capabilities to Achieve Success at Any Career Stage”

In her RallyFwd keynote session, May shared 15 strategies to make your role more valuable and strategic so that you can propel your career forward. One of her key pieces of advice? Operate in your “sweet spot” 

You’ll know you’ve found this sweet spot, when the following 3 conditions are at play:

  1. You’re great at what you do,
  2. You love what you do and 
  3. It’s valued by your organization. 

May shares that one really important piece that is often overlooked is the third element — because if what you do is not valued by your organization then your call to action may not be heard.

So once you’ve identified the first two factors, you need to identify what your organization values and align whatever you’re doing with that. As you likely know, one area that’s universally valued in any business is having the right people in the right seats.  After all, you can have the best strategy in the world, but without the right people to execute on it the company is not going to succeed. 

Accelerate book

This is great news for us talent practitioners because that means what we do is extremely valuable — now we just have to make sure that we find the specific area in TA that we’re best suited for and love doing and then clearly show the value we bring to the table while executing on that work.

Rally note: The Rally community can download a free copy of the first chapter of AccelerateDownload your free chapter here >


So there you have it! We hope you enjoyed reading through some of our key takeaways from RallyFwd. If you want to hear even more great advice for accelerating your strategy and career in the new remote world of work,  take a look at RallyFwd on demand to access all the sessions at your convenience.

The Rally team would also like to thank our event sponsors, whose support enables us to produce this conference free of charge for all attendees. Thank you to:

RallyFwd Virtual Conference

5 Things We Learned at RallyFwd to Reinvent Recruiting
5 (100%) 6 votes

About the Author

Profile photo of Lori Sylvia

Lori Sylvia

Recruitment Marketing evangelist and community builder. Founder of Rally.

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