Hi Rally! My name is Chris Fitzner, I’m the Recruitment Marketing Manager at Appian where under the Employer Brand Team I lead the Recruitment Marketing efforts to attract top talent using a multi channel data driven approach. Making data driven decisions to drive your employer brand and Recruitment Marketing strategies is becoming more important than ever. The labor market has changed drastically in the past year. With predictions of unprecedented economic growth, the shift to the Work Anywhere Workforce and changing candidate expectations, the competition for talent is only expected to get hotter!
The good news is that with the right strategy, top talent is perfectly within reach for any business, regardless of size, resources or brand recognition! The key lies in activating your employer brand the right way through well-informed talent intelligence.
Think about it like going on a road trip — you need a map before starting towards your destination, right? The same applies when trying to create an employer brand that resonates with your target audience — you need a talent intelligence roadmap to guide your way. This roadmap approach is what I attribute to our success at Appian. My team and I rely on the following 3 sources to create our talent intelligence maps:
- Candidate personas
- Competitor scans
- Internal data
Today I’d like to share a few tips on how to collect data within each area so that you can plot your own talent intelligence roadmap and begin to develop an employer brand and Recruitment Marketing strategy that works to better attract your target candidates. Let’s jump in!
Rally note: Chris will be sharing his playbook on how to launch an employer brand in a new talent market in just 60 days atthe upcoming RallyFwd Virtual Conference on May 5, 2021. You can register for free today!
1. Candidate personas
Candidate personas help define an ideal candidate’s skill sets, experience, motivations and interests so that you can target them with your talent attraction strategy. A strong candidate persona will tell you where your target talent likes to hang out online, what job boards they frequent, what their interests are, what motivates them and other relevant insights into their job search.
To get started you’ll first need to identify your talent needs, including key talent segments by department and the number of roles that need to be filled. This is also a great opportunity to connect with hiring managers as well as talent already in those roles to get an idea of where great talent in your business has come from in the past — but we’ll dive more into gathering internal data a bit later!
Next, you’ll want to take a macro-level view of what the talent market in your target area looks like. And be sure to make an effort to not just understand the talent in the specific location itself, but also its surrounding areas as far as 1.5 hours away! For example, if you’re hiring in Chicago, it’s worth investigating nearby suburbs such as Buffalo Grove, Naperville and Lake Forest.
Now that you have a more complete picture of your talent needs, where great talent has come from in the past and the specific market you’re going to be targeting, you can get to work filling in the more granular details of your personas. Your research should reveal information like:
- Their “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” in a job
- Job search behaviors (including common pain points that they may face in their current job)
- Where they spend their time online
- Events they attend
- Preferred communications methods
The means through which you find these details can change from person to person, but the following areas are good starting points:
- LinkedIn Talent Insights
- Open source talent data available in the market
- Organizational data directly on LinkedIn
- Bureau of Labour Statistics
Once you’ve gathered this information, all that’s left to do is map out each persona profile with the necessary details. For help with this, check out Rally’s free candidate persona template.
2. Competitor scans
With your candidate personas filled out, the next step is to look to your competitors. You’ll not only want to understand how they’re positioning themselves in front of candidates but also important factors such as the types of roles and skill sets they’re hiring for, the volume of hiring and employee retention and engagement. Take note of things like:
- Organizational structure
- Department structure
- Common employee skill sets
- Employee value proposition/unique selling points
- Bonus and compensation structures
- Active social channels and talent networks
Competitor research also has the added benefit of highlighting great opportunities to poach qualified talent. For example, your research might reveal legacy employers in the area who aren’t showing signs of growth, employers with high attrition rates or organizations who have recently gone through a merger or acquisition. These types of situations often tend to come with unhappy employees who may be receptive to new opportunities.
Tracking down this information might be as simple using LinkedIn Talent Insights or other public sources of data, or as thorough as reviewing their annual reports and applying for jobs to audit their candidate experience and reverse engineer their processes. Regardless, start by getting informed on who has a presence in your talent market, who is showing an uptick in hiring in your target locations and identify how they are positioning themselves to attract talent so that you can stand out in front of candidates and be seen as an employer of choice.
3. Internal data
The final component of your talent intelligence data collection is to look inward at your internal data. A great place to start is to identify the top hires and performers at your company. In looking at your highest performing and tenured employees, you can understand what kind of schooling, past work experiences and other unique or interesting traits they possess. You can then incorporate these insights into your search to better target similar candidate profiles.
You can also consult with your recruiters and sourcers for more helpful insights. For example, you can find out what companies candidates with the highest in-mail response are coming from. If you’re never getting an answer from Company A, you may want to reconsider your outreach strategy for candidates from that particular company, however, if you’re getting a high number of responses from Company B, you may want to double down on your efforts there.
Your HR department is another invaluable resource here. Depending on the systems you have in place, you might be able to work with your HR team to pool employee data from exit interviews, alumni records and all sorts of other sources.
However, if you don’t have any data, then now is a great time to start collecting different insights! For example, you can ask a new hire class or onboarding cohort to add information such as their previous schools and companies to their HRIS profiles. You’ll then be able to leverage this information in the long term.
Another way to find out more about top employees is to survey them. You can work with HR and hiring managers to identify 5-10 groups of top employees to focus on. And if you have the resources to implement a company-wide survey, then by all means go for it — the more data you have access to, the more accurately you can fill in your talent intelligence profiles.
Putting your talent intelligence to use
With your data in hand, the final step is to actually put it to use! I recommend taking your data on a roadshow with hiring managers, recruiters and leadership to let them know it exists and create a pitch as to why the information is valuable as well as provide use case examples. You can then create a ticketing system so that teams can submit a request for data when they need help informing their strategies and initiatives.
And remember, if you want people to use your data, then you have to put it in a consumable format — which doesn’t mean packing everything into a spreadsheet! Instead, create battle cards or one-pagers to make your data easy to consume. Talent intelligence thought leader Annie Chae introduced the idea of talent battle cards and they are an efficient way to showcase your data.
At the end of the day, when you consider that you only get a few opportunities to get in front of your target candidates, you need to make sure they’re seeing the right content and messaging that will pique their interest, help them develop positive feelings toward your employer brand and ultimately consider working for your company. By building out your talent intelligence roadmap you can ensure that you’re “driving” in the right direction.
For more on winning over top talent in a new market, be sure to catch me at the upcoming RallyFwd Virtual Conference on May 5th! I’ll be taking the stage alongside an incredible roster of other TA, HR, and Recruitment Marketing practitioners to share my playbook to launching your employer brand in a new talent market in just 60 days. Don’t miss out, you can register for free today!