RallyFwd™ Recruitment Marketing

6 Takeaways From RallyFwd to Evolve Your Recruiting and Recruiting Marketing Strategy

6 Takeaways From RallyFwd to Evolve Your Recruiting and Recruiting Marketing Strategy_
Profile photo of Lori Sylvia
Written by Lori Sylvia

At our most recent RallyFwd Virtual Conference, eight presenters shared their ideas, experience and vision for the future of Recruitment Marketing, employer branding and talent acquisition. This overview of each session compiles the key takeaways from the event.

6 Takeaways From RallyFwd to Evolve Your Recruiting and Recruiting Marketing Strategy
5 (100%) 4 votes

At our last RallyFwd, the world felt like it was in total disarray. However, we took it as an opportunity to reinvent recruiting and blaze a new trail for our careers. Today, with the pandemic almost in our rearview mirror (hopefully!), it seemed only fitting to focus this May’s RallyFwd theme on “change”. It’s clearer than ever that we are not going back to the way things were before, and we need to continue to embrace change if we want to evolve and thrive

At RallyFwd on May 5, 2021, we heard from an outstanding group of practitioners who persevered through adversity to come out the other side with better employer branding, candidate experiences, technology, DEI, workforce communication, Recruitment Marketing content and so much more. 

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

And to get you started, we’ve recapped our top takeaways from each speaker so that you can begin to RallyFwd for change at your own organization! 

1. Create a dedicated employee value proposition (EVP) for your high priority candidate groups

Session: How to Evolve Your Employer Brand After a Business Pivot
Speaker: Liz Gelb-O’Connor, Vice President, Global Head of Employer Brand and Marketing, ADP

Liz Gelb-O'Connor, ADP

Liz Gelb-O’Connor, Vice President, Global Head of Employer Brand and Marketing, ADP

As a company well known for its full line of HCM products, Liz needed to get through to tech talent by communicating the company’s evolution from being a service company to a tech company. To accomplish this, Liz and her team settled on building a tech talent-specific employee value proposition (EVP) from the ground up. 

Liz turned to existing ADP technologists across all the subcategories she was looking to hire for. With a film crew at her side, she visited ADP’s innovation centers around the world to try to understand what an EVP for tech talent, by tech talent, looked like. This included focus group sessions, EVP workshops, round tables and department-wide surveys to learn everything from what tech talent wants to see on a career site to how they would rank different EVPs. 

By the end, not only was she left with a concrete understanding of what tech talent wanted and what employee stories to tell, but also a whole champion team that they worked with from day one to create new designs for careers sites and a new tech blog featuring contributions from ADP technologists. 

And with the help of the film crew along the way, the team was able to collect 242 hours worth of great video content to share online, including 52 videos for their Tech and Innovation playlist and 9 videos for their Women in STEM Playlist on YouTube that they can use to effectively activate their new tech talent EVP! 

One of ADP’s 52 videos created for their Tech and Innovation playlist on YouTube. 

2. Evaluate if the recruiting technology you implemented last year will help you thrive in the new world of virtual hiring 

Session: The New Candidate Experience: Virtual and Human
Speaker: Chloe Ryan, Vice President, RPO and Talent Acquisition, EG Workforce Solutions

Chloe Ryan, EG Workforce Solutions

Chloe Ryan, Vice President, RPO and Talent Acquisition, EG Workforce Solutions

Like many practitioners last year, Chloe and her team at EG Workforce Solutions were faced with the challenge of transitioning their entire team to remote work. As the world opened back up, however, Chloe was presented with an even bigger challenge: meeting a record-high number of hiring orders with a completely virtual team. 

Chloe quickly began researching technology that would allow her to meet demand, while also supporting their new virtual hiring process. Whereas tech changes can take some companies years, Chloe needed a solution ASAP, so she identified 3 criteria to use when evaluating recruiting technology:

  1. Effectiveness
  2. Support the business
  3. Human touch 

Let’s take a brief look at the outcomes of each one: 

  1. Effectiveness. Ultimately, your tech needs to make your life easier while doing exactly what you need it to do. In the case of EG, they needed a solution that they could implement quickly and could help them ramp up hiring efforts to meet their historic level of service orders. In the end they were able to implement the new tech stack in a matter of 2 weeks, and were able to make 512 new hires in less than 6 months! 
  1. Support the business. Ask yourself, how well is your tech stack able to meet your business goals today and over the next 3 years? Chloe looks at this in 4 areas:
    • Revenue: will it make money?
    • Recruiters: will it save recruiters time? 
    • Brand: will you be able to put your employer brand front and center?
    • Candidate experience: will it give candidates the “wow factor”?

Since Chloe and her team were able to hire 512 people, they could tie that back to a dollar value — check! Not only that, but by day 2 of their new tech implementation, the tool’s scheduling automation tool, had already pre-booked 15 new interviews into the recruiter’s calendar, saving them time going back and forth with candidates.

  1. Human touch. While AI and automation is great, at the end of the day, candidates have to buy into your company’s jobs, culture and values — and that’s one thing human recruiters will always do better than robots. So how do you keep the human touch involved? Chloe found that the right tech stack automates things like scheduling and candidate communications, so that recruiters can focus on building authentic relationships.  

When looking to upgrade or replace your own recruiting and Recruitment Marketing technology, you can use Chloe’s checklist above to cut down on deciding time, choose tech that improves your recruiters’ ability to do their job without taking away from their input and overall manage your use of tech so that it’s always beneficial for your company now and in the future.

Rally note: Read more about Chloe’s shift to virtual hiring in her blog 3 Proven Tactics to Create a Digital Candidate Experience.

3. Treat DEI like any other part of the business: Use data to drive business outcomes

Session: A 3-Pronged Approach to DEI
Speaker: Annie Lin, Vice President of People, Lever

Annie Lin, Lever

Annie Lin, Vice President of People, Lever

While more companies than ever are focused on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), in many cases, the needle has not moved on making meaningful progress. Annie Lin, VP of People at Lever, suggests that’s because most organizations treat DEI as a separate initiative outside the day-to-day fabric of the organization. If you want to see real results, Annie says to start with good data and set concrete, achievable goals.  

To start, Annie suggests asking questions to identify your areas of strength, as well as gaps in your organization such as: 

  • What percentage of candidates do I have high-quality information about? And is that enough to inform next steps? If not, how can I make my data better?
  • What is the distribution by gender, race, etc. among candidates? At different stages of the interview process?
  • How are different demographic groups represented? What does that look like at different levels of the company? 
  • Who gets promoted? Who’s left the company?
  • What are we doing well? 
  • How does this all compare with where we’d like to be?

Once you have a better grasp of your current state, you can then begin to set goals and identify concrete actions to take. At Lever, this looked like: 

  • Increasing the number of candidates who completed the diversity insight survey (to make sure they had more comprehensive and representative data to make decisions) 
  • Increasing the percentage of candidates from underrepresented groups at their panel interview stage
  • Improving conversion rates at each stage of the recruitment funnel for candidates from different demographic groups 
  • Identifying and setting compensation benchmarks to ensure that all job offers are based on objective data, equity benchmarks and account for peer parity 

The takeaway? Treat DEI like you would any other business need. Prioritize collecting good data and setting achievable goals. In doing so, you can begin to move the needle and see meaningful change at your organization. 

Rally note: for even more actions you can take, check out Annie’s blog A 3-Pronged Approach to Create An Impactful DEI Strategy

4. Leverage your CRM to keep former employees engaged for when it’s time to build back your workforce 

Session: Ready to Rehire: Get Your Team and Tech in Place to Grow Again
Speaker: Bill Malcolm, Director of Talent Acquisition, Travel + Leisure Co.

Bill Malcolm, Travel + Leisure

Bill Malcolm, Director of Talent Acquisition, Travel + Leisure Co.

The travel and hospitality industry was hit particularly hard last year. Bill and his team at Travel & Leisure Co. had no idea how long the shutdown would last, but they knew how important it would be to keep furloughed workers engaged so that they could refill roles as quickly as possible.

So Bill got right to work staying connected to laid off and furloughed employees using his recruitment CRM from Clinch.

With a global workforce composed of different languages, time zones and facing different challenges relating to COVID-19, Bill turned to his CRM to come up with a viable solution, which looked like:

  • Custom email and SMS campaigns for laid-off employees and furloughed employees directing them to resources and a weekly update video from the company’s CEO
  • Different landing pages containing language and location-specific resources for staying safe and finding work
  • Heat maps to understand how people were engaging with the websites and resources and where to make changes

Today, with 90% of his company’s resorts reopened, Bill continues to use this strategy to quickly and affordably refill positions at Travel + Leisure Co. Regardless of how the pandemic has affected your workforce, Bill’s reaction serves as a great example of how to not just keep past employees warm in the case that their positions once again need to be filled, but also how to continue to support your workforce during this difficult time beyond their employment with you. 

Rally note: Read more about engaging former employees in Bill’s blog How to re-engage furloughed employees when you’re ready to rehire.

5. Use talent intelligence data to tailor your content strategy for each of your hiring markets 

Session: Activating Your Employer Brand in a New Talent Market in 60 days
Speaker: Chris Fitzner, Recruitment Marketing Manager, Appian

Chris Fitzner, Appian

Chris Fitzner, Recruitment Marketing Manager, Appian

Today’s recruiters are experiencing tons of challenges when it comes to attracting qualified talent. That’s because even in tough times, good candidates will always have options. And this can be even more challenging if you don’t have a presence in the talent markets you’re trying to recruit in.

To get ahead, Chris Fitzner and the team at Appian created a playbook to activate an employer brand in a new market in 60 days! 

Appian, which is headquartered in Virginia, U.S. was looking to expand to Seville, Spain. This was not only a new talent market for them, but it was also an international market!

Chris says that one of the key factors to success when reaching new markets, regardless of where they are, is to leverage talent intelligence data to create content and messaging that will stand out in front of your target candidate audiences. To get started, Chris shares that you need to have good data in place. 2 areas to focus on is to take a macro look at the talent market as well as conduct a competitor scan. 

  1. Macro talent overview

A macro talent overview consists of taking a broad view of the specific talent market you’re looking to capture. Here are just a few questions to explore to get started: 

  • What does the total talent market look like in the target city?
  • What other cities and towns are nearby?
  • Are there specific job boards that are more widely used than traditional job boards?
  • What are the goals talent are looking for in the specific city? E.g. stability, compensation, work life balance, etc.
  1. Competitor scan 

The next step is to look at competitor data to better understand. Here are a few key areas the Appian team paid close attention to: 

  • Who were the companies actually located in Seville? 
  • Who were the companies with satellite offices in Seville? 
  • Who were global companies hiring remotely in Seville?
  • What employer brand content are they sharing on social?
  • What are the consistent messaging themes they’re sharing with candidates?

Rally note: For more insights, check out Chris’ blog 3 Sources of Data You Need For A Successful Employer Brand Launch.

  1. Create tailored content for each stage of the candidate journey 

Equipped with these insights, the next step is to create content to begin to generate employer brand awareness and start attracting talent. But, before diving head first in Chris suggests that you first have to understand the candidate journey so that you can begin to create content for each step of the funnel. At Appian this looked like capturing content around employee groups, the tech that they work on and the benefits employees get from working at the company. 

Create tailored content for each stage of the candidate journey

Example of Appian’s candidate journey.

And to make sure that your content sticks out, it should be specifically tailored to what your candidate audience is interested in. And this is where your talent intelligence comes into play! For example, during the data collection phase, Appian found that in the Seville market, people valued work life balance more than compensation, which ultimately influenced the content and messaging they shared. 

content specifically tailored to what your candidate audience is interested in

Examples of Appian’s content tailored to what their candidate audience in the Seville market is interested in.

6. Repurpose content to make your content creation effort easier

Session: Scroll-Stopping Content Ideas That Work


  • Emily Rutt, Manager, Social Media & Community Management, Nestlé USA
  • Dani Kaufman, Manager, Talent Acquisition Operations and Employment Brand, PetSmart
  • Tony Prudente, Senior Specialist, Corporate Communications, Brother USA
Tony Prudente, Brother USA; Dani Kaufman, PetSmart; Emily Rutt Neste

Tony Prudente, Brother USA; Dani Kaufman, PetSmart; Emily Rutt, Nestlé USA

One of the panelists, Emily Rutt,  shared that amidst social distancing, Nestlé found not being able to meet colleagues in person to be one of the top reasons stopping candidates from making a job change. To remove this roadblock, Emily and her team needed a way to showcase Nestlé’s culture remotely. Instead of recreating the wheel, Emily and her team recognized that they already have plenty of great content with plenty of great content — it just needed to be tweaked to be more remote-friendly. 

For example, they converted their Nestlé BFF series, which showed friendly coworkers in casual conversation, to Nestlé Remote BFF. Other examples included shifting from providing regular interview and recruiting tips to tips on interviewing virtually, as well as changing product innovation content to content more centered around work-from-home lunch ideas, how to manage cat allergies when working from home, tips to make your groceries last longer and other remote-friendly topics. 


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A post shared by Nestlé USA (@nestleusa)

An Instagram post showing coworkers in friendly conversation as part of their Nestlé Remote BFF series.

From these shifts alone, Emily saw the following results:

  • Increase in engagement rates to 5x competitor platforms averages 
  • 50% increase in digital engagement from potential talent compared to previous year
  • Increase in engagement from talent where Nestle has historically experienced a reputational gap, with 32% of total engagement coming from these audiences


With that, we wrap up our key takeaways from yet another amazing RallyFwd Virtual Conference! To hear even more great advice for accelerating your strategy and career in the new world of work, be sure to visit RallyFwd on demand where you can catch all of 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:

6 Takeaways From RallyFwd to Evolve Your Recruiting and Recruiting Marketing Strategy
5 (100%) 4 votes

About the Author

Profile photo of Lori Sylvia

Lori Sylvia

Recruitment Marketing evangelist and community builder. Founder of Rally.

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