Hey, Rally community! Before you leave 2020 in the rearview mirror, consider that it might be when you did some of your best work in Recruitment Marketing and employer branding. So I want to help you get recognized for the impact you’re making on recruiting by encouraging you to submit your work in the 2021 Rally® Awards competition.
Since the final entry deadline is approaching on February 15, I thought it would be helpful to find out what made last year’s winners stand out. So I decided to take a trip down memory lane and look back at all of the amazing 2020 Rally Awards submissions. I had so much fun re-reading all of the entries — it was truly a joy to see the incredible work that this community has accomplished to advance the field of Recruitment Marketing!
While reading through last year’s submissions, I noticed that many of the winning entries had a few things in common. Here’s what I discovered, and I hope this helps you craft a winning entry this year!
What Rally Award winners have in common
1. Rally Award winners come from all team sizes, even a team of one
I’ve heard some practitioners say, “I think we did really good work last year, but we’re not a big brand, so I don’t think we have a chance at winning.” And I’m here to debunk that myth once and for all!
It doesn’t matter if you’re a solo practitioner who bootstrapped every project or if you work on a team with a “big” budget. It doesn’t matter if you did everything yourself or if you partnered with an agency or had a technology vendor supporting you. If you made an impact at your organization, then you have a chance to win! In fact, some of the strongest entries (first place and second place winners) were from small teams or teams of one.
After all, the Rally Awards are meant to honor and showcase the most effective Recruitment Marketing and employer branding strategies. These are efforts that made a big impact for YOUR company’s talent attraction and recruiting efforts, whatever that might look like.
We’re all trying to advance the discipline and modernize how our companies attract and recruit talent, and oftentimes organizations are at different stages in their Recruitment Marketing journey. Being the bold person to change minds internally and move your company forward is impressive, and extremely worthy of winning — regardless of whether you work for a company of 50 or 50,000!
Note: Just remember that the Rally Awards are for in-house practitioners only. If you work for an RPO or an agency or a technology vendor, then consider nominating your clients.
2. Rally Award winners know how to tell a story
In the world of Recruitment Marketing, we always say that stories make for the best content, and the same rings true for your Rally Awards submission! Last year’s winners took full advantage of each word of their 600-word submission to tell a compelling story. And the story they told generally followed the same formula:
- The backstory. What was the business problem or the recruiting challenge you faced? What was happening for your company at the time, and what was the opportunity for you to use Recruitment Marketing and employer branding to help solve it?
- The strategy. Describe the approach you decided to take to solve this challenge and why you pursued this strategy over other potential approaches. Maybe you proposed something that your company never tried before, or even you never tried before!
- The execution. Once you decided on your strategy, how did you implement it? What was the process you went through? This may have involved some of its own challenges, so share them! Explain what resources you had available, or that you didn’t have any resources and had to be scrappy. Collaboration with other teams and business partners is also important here.
- The work. Show the compelling examples of your work, including screenshots or files or links to webpages or social media sites. Some of the winning entries were not ground-breaking in terms of creativity, but that seemed to be secondary if the story around the work was compelling.
- The numbers. Provide the metrics that demonstrate the effectiveness of your approach. Winning entries all had some measurement component, but not all of them had data that connected directly to hires, as we know it’s not always possible to get that data.
- The impact. Tell the judges what impact your work had on solving your challenge. How did you change hearts and minds, or push the boundaries? Even anecdotal feedback is valued here.
3. Rally Award winners understand their audience
The Rally Awards is a peer-reviewed competition — that means that the judges are also Recruitment Marketing practitioners like you! When you’re writing your submission, it’s really important to take that into consideration. These are people who have walked in your shoes and who can relate to your challenges.
In other words, Rally Award judges can appreciate the nuances of the work you do. They want to hear about the in-depth why, what and how of your approach. Remember, these are experienced practitioners who’ve heard “no” 1,000 times too and they’ll appreciate the efforts you’ve made!
If you’re thinking about submitting your work for consideration this year or nominating another deserving practitioner, but need more inspiration on how to package up your work, we’ve also pulled together 10 tips from last year’s Rally winners and judges to help you create a stand-out submission for the 2021 Rally Awards.
To learn more and submit your nomination, visit the Rally Awards website. The final entry deadline is February 15, 2021. Winners will be announced on April 7, 2021, in a live virtual awards ceremony.
Good luck! We are rooting for you and excited to see you get the recognition you deserve for your hard work.